BiggerPockets Podcast 377: The Riches Are… on the Radio? How to Dial in Your Marketing & Do 100+ Deals a Year with Chris Arnold

BiggerPockets Podcast 377: The Riches Are… on the Radio? How to Dial in Your Marketing & Do 100+ Deals a Year with Chris Arnold

68 min read
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Today’s guest does 125 deals a year in Dallas—from his home base in the Caribbean.

How? Well, he bailed on direct mail marketing and doubled down on radio ads.

And when others froze up as the coronavirus spread, his team put in new systems and closed a $23,500 wholesale deal… without even stepping foot inside the house.

Chris Arnold zigs when others zag, and today you’ll learn how he sets up his business so he can consistently work ON it, not in it… while enjoying a great lifestyle in Tulum, Mexico.

Chris shares timely tips for how to orchestrate deals while maintaining safe social distancing (he even holds “Zoom open houses” with multiple cash buyers at once); breaks down which team member handles each aspect of a transaction; and delivers a fantastic tip for new real estate investors struggling to stay focused.

Plus—Chris shares how advertising on local radio stations has elevated his home-buying business to new levels. Look, he says, you might prefer podcasts… “but you are not your seller!”

We play one of his ads on the show, and he guides us through how to research various audiences and negotiate the best rates with stations.

This show covers it all—from the finer points of buying properties at deep discounts to the mindset shifts Chris has made along the way.

Check it out, and if you enjoyed this please share it with just one family member or friend. We appreciate you, and we’ll see you next Thursday.

Click here to listen on Apple Podcasts.

Listen to the Podcast Here

Read the Transcript Here

Brandon:
This is the BiggerPockets Podcast show 377.

Chris:
This is not a spray and pray approach. We are not buck shotting. We are coming in and we are choosing a different demographic and we are targeting that demographic based on reports based on when we know behaviorally they are listening, and we know that that’s what makes Facebook so powerful is how much you can niche it. You can actually do some really good niching with radio, which I don’t think a lot of people understand.

Speaker 1:
You’re listening to BiggerPockets Radio, simplifying real estate for investors large and small. If you’re here looking to learn about real estate investing without all the hype, you’re in the right place. Stay tuned and be sure to join the millions of others who have benefited from biggerpockets.com, your home for real estate investing online.

Brandon:
What is going on everyone? This is Brandon Turner, host of the BiggerPockets podcast coming at you with my cohost David Green. What’s up man? How you doing?

David:
Just another rainy day in California, some of that Seattle weather that you knew so well has moved down here. But I’m doing good. We’re sheltered in place, we’re still selling houses. We’re doing a lot virtually. The market was so hot that this corona thing really, it didn’t stop it, but it slowed it down enough that people have a chance to actually get a house where before they didn’t even have one. So we’re taking advantage of that.

Brandon:
Nice. Nice, man. Well, very cool. Yeah. I closed on a flip last week or I bought a property last week. The one that we’ve talked about on the show last few weeks. I did actually buy that. I’m actually pumped about it. I’m excited.

David:
I saw that on your Facebook page. Right?

Brandon:
Yeah, yeah, yeah. I think I shared it there. Yes. I’m still buying, and put them on Instagram and put it kind of everywhere because I like to talk about my successes. But yeah, I mean the thing is this though just for those people wanting to understand the mindset behind it, I still went through with it. Even though the market’s kind of crazy right now because I believe we have enough profit, like over 100k in profit to justify. Even now, I think we can make that. If we don’t, if the market continues to get tough, like we talked about, about break even ish and the fact that I make good income and I’ve got good passive income, I can handle the about break even ish. Even if it means we have a big repair, I can handle that. So in my situation I think it’s okay. So worst case I ended up renting it for a while and sell it with better tax benefits later on as a longterm rental. Anyway, I just want to let people know we’re still working, we’re still doing this thing. It’s just a little bit different world.

Brandon:
On that note, today’s episode, we just recorded it like this week that this episode comes out because we want these fresh interviews coming out that we can talk about what other people are doing during this situation. But this ended up being such an amazing interview because we talked about the COVID stuff and how our guest, his name is Chris Arnold, what they’re doing. I mean they’re buying a hundred plus houses a year, their company, while he lives in a different country. I mean if you’re talking about you can’t invest locally, you got to invest long distance. This guy is like the master of it.

Brandon:
We talk about how he does that, but also how they’re doing in spite of the fact that they have the shelter in place things going on and they can’t go visit properties, so they’re doing these virtual open houses and all this cool stuff. I mean, he even told a story of one of their recent deals that they just closed on, they made like 23 grand. They never entered the seller’s house and the end buyer was a wholesale deal. End buyer never entered the house. So we talked about all of that. He talked about his number one lead source that you probably have never considered. You guys, I’ll give you a hint. Radio. It’s so cool his conversation about how radio works. And how he manages his business, like the different business philosophies. In other words like which business books guide his actual management of his team, especially from a distance. That’s all really, really good stuff today and more.

Brandon:
All right. With that we’re just about to get to this show. But you know what? I forgot to do something. What did I forget, David?

David:
The quick tip.

Brandon:
All right. So here’s a quick tip. Today, we have been putting together resources on this whole COVID 19 thing at biggerpockets.com/COVID, just C-O-V-I-D. Basically everything that we find like things that we think will be helpful for you as an investor, we’re putting there. So there’s lists of state by state stuff. There’s a huge list of what different banks’ policies are, a lot about the cares act and and more. So really we just wanted one place where everybody could go in the world of real estate investing to get up to date information about this whole COVID 19 thing. Biggerpockets.com/COVID, totally free. Go check it out later.

Brandon:
With that, now we can get to today’s interview with Chris Arnold. All right, Chris, welcome to the BiggerPockets podcast, man. Good to have you here.

Chris:
Man, glad to be here. Appreciate the invite.

Brandon:
Yeah. Did I read here that you are in Mexico or is that New Mexico?

Chris:
No, that is actually the country of Mexico. I live in Tulum, which is about an hour and a half South of Cancun on the Caribbean side. Been here now almost three years full time.

Brandon:
Wow. Okay. Why are you in Mexico and investing in real estate? I’m assuming you’re invested in real estate because that’s why you’re here today. I will get into your story, but how did you get in Mexico? That’s a unique thing.

Chris:
Yeah. We operate our business out of Dallas, Fort Worth. So that’s our main hub. But we were really intentional starting about six years ago to move everything to a virtual model. What I mean by that is literally no brick and mortar and the ability to have staff east to west coast all over the states. Because for me, that gave me the ultimate freedom, which I believe is freedom of location, right? The reality is, would I want to live in Dallas forever and would I want to be locked in there because my business was there? No, I’m a beach guy. I want to finish my day and go paddle boarding. I want to do like what I did yesterday, spear fishing with some buddies out in the ocean. For me it’s always been about lifestyle. So people were like, why are you in Mexico? Because I can’t think of a better place to be than the Caribbean from my personality right now. Absolutely love it.

Brandon:
That’s cool. Well, this is why I’m excited about doing this show because a lot of people live in areas of the US or around the world and they want to get into real estate investing. They want to find deals, but they think there’s nothing in my market. I can’t do it here. You’re like, “I’m in Mexico and I’m investing in Dallas.” We’re going to talk about how you do that. I want to go really in depth on the how to today, but before we get to the how to, let’s go about you. What’s your story? How’d you get into real estate to begin with?

Chris:
Yeah, I actually am a seminary graduate. I got a master’s in theology and people’s first question a lot of times like, shouldn’t you be like a pastor or like a missionary? That’s not me. I just really didn’t fit that conventional role. One of the reasons I went to seminary was I’m the kid that got in a ton of trouble in high school, like arrested, the whole nine yards. So I went to seminary to really kind of figure out what I wanted to do with my life. Once I finished up grad school, I remember sitting at Chick-fil-A eating a chicken biscuit, looking up on the mural that Cathy Truett had created in the Chick-fil-As and it had pictures of how they were utilizing the business to impact the world. That was the first time it ever really registered as a seed in my mind that what if I utilized business as a vehicle to impact the world the way that I want to?

Chris:
Because my heart and my passion is people. I kind of looked around and I’m like, what would be a great vehicle? The one that made sense to me at that time, again, early twenties, don’t really know a lot about business. Not much about the world at that point, but real estate made sense as a great vehicle. That was the reason I took that first step to cross that line to become a real estate investor.

Brandon:
Yeah. That’s cool, man. All right, so what did the first deal look like?

Chris:
My first investment deal, that’s really funny. I actually remember the street address it was on [inaudible 00:07:56]. At this time I was already a real estate broker. I had a team doing all of that, but I hadn’t got onto the investment side. One of my best friends understood the construction. I understood the real estate side and I remember eating a pizza together and talking about how we should do a deal. It was probably about two weeks later a deal came across my table. I have a guy that wanted to sell us this house so that we could fix and flip. I remember we actually took him out to lunch. It was a Mexican restaurant in Dallas and we were negotiating while we were eating and so if my business partner and I would have to make a decision that we needed to talk privately, we would get up and excuse ourselves and go to the bathroom and then we’d come back, we’d talk some more and I remember just excusing ourselves like four times to go chat it up on how we wanted to close this deal and we ended up closing it.

Chris:
Again, definitely not a scalable model for closing deals, but that’s always the funny part of how you did your first deal. So it was over chips and salsa at a Mexican restaurant.

Brandon:
I think all deals should be done over chips and salsa at a Mexican restaurant. That should just be a law in real estate. I might have to contact our president and see if he’ll institute that. All right. So what was this deal? I mean it was a fix and flip, but what was it like? Where was it at and how’d you do on it?

Chris:
Yeah, it was actually probably two miles away from my office in Arlington. I think we rehabbed, if I go back, it was like what I would call mid rehab. We probably put somewhere around 25 grand in that property. I remember I had a buddy that was kind of coaching me through the process and he’d be like, “Well did you get insurance?” And I was like, “Oh, I need insurance on it?” He’s like, “It’s a ready, fire, aim approach on your first deal. Just get off the bench and do one.” We definitely made some mistakes, but I do remember on that first deal we cleared $21,000 as profit and the light bulb went off for us. That was like, that was fun. Let’s rent, repeat and do it again.

Brandon:
Yeah. You make a really good point there. This idea of making money, especially on your first deal. Not everyone makes money on their first deal, but when you get that big check, that’s such a huge motivator to keep going. It’s kind of like if you’re getting into fitness and if you were to work out every week and then you keep going on a scale and every week you’re the exact same weight is just demoralizing. Right? Sometimes it might take a month, two months, six months, 12 months, two years to get that first big check. But man, isn’t that just like amazing that that feeling of like I can do this. This is like a legit thing. I’m moving forward. Yeah. I love that.

Chris:
That’s why I think it’s so important for people to get that first deal, to not give up, to keep after it. Because we know that once your mind is expanded, it doesn’t go back to the original position that it was in. You see things in a different way, and that first deal just catapults the brain and just the spirit to get out there and do more. So that’s why I think it’s so valuable to do your first deal.

Brandon:
Yeah, definitely.

Chris:
I was scared. I can actually remember that feeling. We have bought so many houses now you lose any type of nervousness with owning a property, but I remember the fear of actually being on the line and owning a property. And what happens if we couldn’t move it? I can actually remember the physical experience I had of the fear of like, oh my gosh, we’re about to buy this house and we’re about to own it. Then when you get to the other side of it and it’s always the same, you look back and you reflect and you realize, man that wasn’t as difficult and hard as I thought that it was going to be. That’s where you go, man, I can do this again. Because what we kind of pitch up in our mind as how difficult we think something’s going be.

Chris:
Isn’t that the value of getting out, doing something, making it happen? Because you reflect back and go, man, I made that a lot more difficult in my mind. Which is probably what holds most of us back and we’re going to talk about running a virtual company. That plays into a lot of the mind holding us back. It’s usually us as the limitations.

Brandon:
Yeah, that’s so true. Hey, I want to go and kind of get an idea of your business from where it’s at today so then we can work backwards to figure out how you got there. Why don’t we just get a quick like, what’s your business doing today? What is it like right now? What’s your team set up like? How many deals are you doing? That kind of thing right now.

Chris:
Yeah. Where my business is at right now is from day one coming in, I really read some books that really pushed my thinking around how businesses should be run. Things like, Michael Gerber, the E-Myth, this whole idea of building a business that would run without you, that would bother you potentially as little as possible so you could be on it, not in it. We currently have six directors in our company, which is fundamentally our leadership team and they run the day to day. That’s all the way from a COO down to director of sales to disposition to marketing, et cetera. The best way I could say it is our org chart is built out and we have everyone on the bus in the right seat. That’s actually freed me up to really not have to be in the day to day as much. Transactionally right now we close on around 125 properties per year. That’s fantastic considering that I’m not doing any production. That’s fully on my team handling all of that, which is great.

Brandon:
Yeah, that’s crazy. Are most of those deals like flips or wholesales or rentals or vacation rentals? What are those things?

Chris:
Yeah, it’s mostly fix and flip and wholesale. So it’s a combination. Our strategy has always been, we don’t want to be pigeonholed into any particular exit strategy. We want to look at each deal. I mean we actually have a committee of four people in my company that will analyze each deal and go, “Should we do a fix and flip on this? Would this be better to actually send out to our cash buyers list and maybe get a check that way?” That’s how we look at our business is making sure we have exit strategies. Even retail. We list properties because I’m a broker. So it’s all about being solution oriented and not getting stuck into any one way of doing it so that you can make sure you leverage every deal and get the most revenue possible by having several tools in your belt.

Brandon:
That’s smart. That’s very smart. A deal comes in and we’ll talk about how you get those in a minute. I’m really fascinated by what you’re doing for marketing, what I read it in the notes here. But before we get there, how do you decide? What does this committee decide? Because there’s a lot of people listening right now going, “I’m not sure if I should wholesale a deal or flip it or keep it as a rental.” So how do you decide which is the avenue you want to go?

Chris:
Yeah. There are four people that make up that committee, and so they will meet once a week. That meeting can last anywhere from an hour to two hours. So just giving you the actual process for how to do this. In that meeting they all kind of have a different perspective. One is our director of disposition. So her understanding is moving a deal, particularly with cash buyers, that whole mindset. We also have my business partner in there who’s really savvy at just doing deals. He’s a real deal guy. Very tactical. We have my COO and my director of sales. So you have a combination of personalities in that meeting and they’ll literally pull up a deal, they’ll start running numbers. What it is is it should be a debate. So any good meeting is built on debate. So consensus actually wins in that meeting. That’s how they drive decisions.

Chris:
I’d say a good chunk of the time they usually come to everyone’s in agreement on what to do with that deal. But sometimes they get stuck. But the whole deal is that we’re creating debate with inside the team to make sure that we are making the best decision with every property. Isn’t that amazing? I mean that’s an hour to hour and a half meeting. Can you imagine how much revenue that drives by making sure that every deal goes into the right bucket? That is an income producing meeting, in my opinion, really important.

Brandon:
Yeah, that’s cool. The leads come in and then you’ve got to put them in a certain bucket. There’s going to be this bucket, there’s going to be this bucket and everyone’s deciding that. Now is it primarily a financial question? Like we’re going to make more as a wholesaler. I mean because they know you’re going to make more of as a flip usually, maybe not, but usually the flippers make the most amount of money. By the way, if people are confused, when I say wholesale, all I’m talking about is there’s a whole side of real estate which people go out there and find good deals and then using a couple of different methods… We’re not going to go into detail right now because some are state specific on how you could do this. But basically you get that deal to somebody else who ends up doing the actual fix and flip or keeps it as a rental and you make almost like a fee in between. Is that a good way of kind of explaining wholesaling?

Chris:
Yeah, absolutely. Again, I wouldn’t get caught into any particular way. The overall mindset is being an investor and growing your tools. I mean, you might do owner financing. You might do different fix and flip, you name it, retail. But yeah, in a big sense of what you’re saying with wholesaling, that’s an easy definition. Absolutely.

Brandon:
Cool. You decide which one you’re going to make. So yeah. Are you thinking more like, yeah, is it financial? Or is it, hey, how much work do we have where our contractors are lined up? Is it kind of everything?

Chris:
It’s a mixture. I mean, that’s what the debate becomes. If it was black and white, then you wouldn’t need debate. There’s grays because you get preferences. How much money do we have out on the streets right now in our fix and flip? There’s that side of the risk. There’s also risk when it comes into days on market. Or maybe it’s a deal that has a very high ARV. Then you go, well, do I want to assume that type of risk right now? There’s a lot of variables I feel like come into play, and so that’s why my opinion that it takes a group of people to make that decision.

Chris:
Because month to month can change, season to season. Let me tell you this. If you were to run and sit in our financial committee right now with everything that’s going on in our environment, that meaning is much different than it was two to three months ago on determining whether or not we’re going to buy a house or not. Does that make sense? It allows you to be flexible with whatever direction the current market and the environment is going. That’s what I like about it. It’s very nimble. It can shift.

Brandon:
On that note, what are you seeing in this COVID post… What are we going to call this time? The world needs to come up with a name for this, but this COVID period of life. What are you guys seeing here? What are you doing? How are you reacting to it? Just for context, everybody who’s listening, we are recording this just beginning of April of 2020. So yeah. What are you doing right now?

Chris:
Yeah. The very first shift that we made, which I think is the most important, is we knew that we had to flip to a virtual model that kept social distancing. Meaning I cannot interact with three people now face to face. I cannot interact with a seller. I cannot interact with a cash buyer if I’m deciding to wholesale it, right? Or if you’re going to fix and flip a little bit different. The other thing is I can’t interact with the title company. How do you build a model in which you don’t do that? That was the very first thing we shifted. I still feel as of today, you just gave the date, that that was probably the fastest thing that we executed on that created the biggest chain.

Chris:
Let me give you some examples. If you’re dealing with a seller, I don’t care if you’re building your rental portfolio, I don’t care if you’re looking for a fix and flip, it doesn’t matter. We’re all interacting with sellers, right? There’s three ways to get what you need from a seller. You can’t go into the house so you can number one, have the seller do photography and videography for you, which is great. Number two, you can throw them on Zoom if they have comfort from a tech standpoint, hit record, and you can do a walk through as they walk you through the house, which is great because then you can guide the tour and be like, “Well, what’s that there? Can you explain that?”

Chris:
If someone is tech deficient, and they don’t know how to do video or email, these are for our demographic that’s usually over the age of 50 which is actually a huge demographic for a lot of us. What we do is we deliver a tablet to their door. We have it open to where they can take pictures and our inspector literally passes it through the door is like wearing a mask, sanitizes it down, which is important, right? Because we know that elderly people need to be cautious and we need to respect that. They’ll take pictures, pass it back through the door. If we don’t like what we see, we just explain it and pass it through. So in my opinion, those three things will remove any excuse that you cannot get what you need to see the inside of that property virtually without ever going in.

Chris:
Now on the flip side, if you’re fixing and flipping, you’re just going to take that deal yourself. But I will speak to part of the audience that might be moving this over to a cash buyer, right? You can take-

Chris:
That might be moving this over to a cash buyer, right? You can take all of that information that you just gathered, and you can do one of two things. You can embed it into an email that you send out to your cash buyers, and they can watch a video. Now, when we first did this, we didn’t know how it was going to work. Because investors are like, “I’m not leaving my house. How are you going to convince me to buy a property?” Well, we sent them videos of the house. Again, if you’re building your rental portfolio, you should be talking to people that are sending you deals to do this for you so that you can see them. But they jumped on it, and we actually sold our first deal. That one was particularly just a wholesale, and we made 23,500. Now, think about that.

Chris:
We never entered the seller’s house, and the person that bought the deal from us as an investor never had to enter the house either, which is fantastic. It was a completely virtual process. Then the other thing you can do with your cash buyer is you can do an open Zoom, like open house. Right? If you’re, let’s say, someone building a rental portfolio, and maybe you buy from a wholesaler… Some of us do that, right? Where you’re on the opposite side. You can put a bunch of people on Zoom and do a walkthrough of a house if it’s vacant with just one person being in that house. Now everyone can see the house, and you can create some competition by everybody being on the Zoom call together. Then the last piece is the title company. How do you deal with that?

Chris:
Well, we know obviously that if you look at real estate right now, that’s been deemed as an essential business. Title companies are still in business, and they can close deals. We do mobile closings. They literally go out to the house, they pass everything through the door, they’ve marked where they need to sign, the seller signs it and then passes it back through the door to our title person. Now you have an entire virtual model between the seller, your cash buyer, if you’re needing that, and the title company. Once we put that into place, boom. Things started taking off again. Fantastic. We got real excited.

Brandon:
Yeah, that’s cool. That’s cool. One of my fears always, because I’ve never bought a property necessarily without looking at it first, going there and looking at it and checking it out… My fear is, “Well, what if you didn’t notice that the floor was super squeaky under the floorboards because you can’t see that in a video and you can’t see that the plumbing is 1912 and it’s all a cast iron?” How do you get around some of those fears for those people listening who want to do some virtual investing [inaudible 00:02:35]… David, I would ask you the same question because you do this as well. You buy at a distance. Is that a legitimate fear, that there are going to be things that just do not show up on a camera or that I might miss out on?

Chris:
Well, let me also say that along with those pictures, we provide an inspection report as well. I feel like any deal that we’re doing, we should have an inspection report that’s filled out. The decisions not just made off of photography and videography. It’s also based on a written report. But you’re right. This is what I have found. There are two types of investors now, and we had to understand that people were going to fall into one to two camps. I’ll give you more objections, right? I’m not buying anything right now until I see what’s going to happen in the market. I can’t manage my rehab crews because I’m not going to get sick and bring that back home to my family. You have just a list of objections on that side.

Chris:
Rather than us coming in and trying to break down every single one of those objections, what we said is, “We’re going to focus on those right now that don’t have those objections.” There are investors right now, I’m telling you, that have no problem saying, “The time to buy is now. I have no problem buying off a video and an inspection report.” Now you have two camps of people. Our focus has been to go after the people that go, “I’m still in the game. Let’s keep playing. I think that there’s more opportunity due to the fact that the competition has been really weeded out because people are fearful and scared. I’m going to stay in the game because I realize there’s less people in the game. That’s enough incentive for me to get off the bench.” Now you’re dealing with two different philosophies that are out there.

Brandon:
Yeah. [crosstalk 00:25:23]

David:
I liked one of the points you made, that you still get an inspection report. I think the people who get hung up on the long-distance investing and they worry about missing something, and tell me, Chris, if you agree, they tend to think that you got to get it all done in one fell swoop, that you’re doing a complete inspection on a property before you even write an offer on it. The way that this typically works for people that do this at high volume is you break it into the Henry Ford-type assembly line where you get a lead to come in, you talk to find out how motivated they are, you see if you have a reasonable chance of putting it in contract, you do a step of due diligence. If that looks good, you do another step. If that looks good, you write an offer.

David:
Once the offer is written, you do a deeper level of due diligence, and that might be where you actually pay for a home inspection type of a thing. But you don’t see professionals that are good at this that try to do it all on the very first step. That just isn’t how business works. It’s not one step in a funnel that turns a lead into revenue. I talk about that all the time, that as a realtor, I’ve got a funnel, like a lead comes and says, “I want to buy a house,” or, “I want to sell a house,” we put them through a process of steps.

David:
If that goes well, out comes revenue on the other end, but it’s not going to do that for every person. The cleaner that you have those steps set up and the more skilled the people on your team are at their job, the more we’ll make it all the way through. I want to ask you about where your leads come in, but before I do, I kind of want to know if you can comment on how your funnel is set up, when due diligence is done, how you’ve structured the jobs that need to get done from someone saying, “Hey, I think I want to sell my house,” to ultimately you closing on that deal.

Chris:
Do you want our lead flow from the time a lead is coming in until we close it?

David:
Yeah. When the phone rings to the point that it’s at the title company and it closes.

Chris:
Yeah, absolutely. I’ll give kind of a broad stroke of the funnel. Again, everything we do creates an inbound call, right? That’s first and foremost. We love marketing, and we love to talk to people that first call us. That’s how our whole system is built because we think that that’s more efficient at the end of the day. A lead comes in. That actually goes to what we have as our calling assistants, and they are on the front lines. Their job is to pre-qualify that lead to make sure the motivation and the capacity to do a deal is there. Once that’s done, it’s actually live transferred in the moment to our sales team, right? That sales team can pick it up, be debriefed by the calling assistant that says, “Hey, I’ve got this person on hold. Here’s the situation. I’m sending them up to you because I think you can go ahead and get this deal done.” Once it gets kicked up to our sales team, their job at that point is to do more due diligence, make sure that this deal is going to work, but more importantly, set the inspection, right?

Chris:
Because in our world, we want to buy properties based off of data, not just wrap up deals to wrap up deals and go back and try to renegotiate price and all of that later. We run through our inspection process. We run our comps. We get all of that data back as quickly as possible. Usually our turnaround on that is 24 to 48 hours because we have to be fast because we know that this game is obviously about speed. At that point, the salesperson will go ahead and lock up that deal over the phone primarily. That’s another thing as well. I definitely believe face to face works. There’s times that you need to do it, but the more scalable model is to try to lock up deals over the phone and minimize commuting and getting stuck in traffic. Once that deal is locked up, it goes over to our closing manager.That deals literally everything with the title company, title issues, gets that property cleaned up, title looking pretty, and make sure that it closes out and the deal is done.

David:
What do you say to people who say, “I don’t want to lock up that deal until I’ve seen this or I’ve seen that?” Can you explain why you feel comfortable locking up a deal when you haven’t seen it or you haven’t done a lot of the due diligence yet?

Chris:
I feel like for us, because we know our area. If you were to ask me, I do think for us it comes down to just experience. Let me say this. Would I be running that approach if I was brand new to the business? If I had to because the environment required me to and I had no choice, I would do it. But normally what we would say under normal circumstances is, “Build up some experience. Know your area.” We live and do deals in Dallas/Fort worth. You can throw us an address and a city and the street, and we could probably tell you off the top of our head what the value of that deal is worth, if that makes sense. Well, for us, that just comes, I think, with just experience of doing so many deals and having a comfort level. Again, there’s a risk that we’re taking there, but it’s minimized because of experience.

David:
When you lock up the deal, do you also have stuff in the contract that allows you to back out?

Brandon:
Yeah, I was going to ask the same thing.

Chris:
Of course. Always. We’re utilizing our three-page contract written by our attorneys that work in our favor. Absolutely.

David:
There you go.

Brandon:
I get people all the time that have been like, “Well, when you make an offer, what if you get two of your offers accepted?” because I say make a lot of offers. “What if you get two accepted?” I’m not like you put an offer in and you’re automatically… Now there’s a guy with a gun to your head saying, “If you don’t buy this, I will pull the trigger.” You get to back out if you need to. I don’t like to. If you got two deals under contract that you analyzed, that’s a good problem to have, not a bad one.

Chris:
[crosstalk 00:30:48]

David:
I use the analogy of dating, like buying a house or getting married.

Brandon:
You could date multiple people at one time.

David:
If you do it the right way, then yeah. Not if you’re serious, right? Not if this is my girlfriend. But if you’re like, “I’m getting to know this person because I want to know if we could get married,” we don’t really do that that way now, but for a long time… Remember that phrase going steady? That was a step in the process. It went from, “I’m dating a couple of different people to, ‘I like this one. I’m just going to date this one.'” Putting somebody-

Brandon:
They were exclusive. It’s kind of like [crosstalk 00:31:15], right?

David:
Yeah, we’re exclusive. There you go.

Brandon:
Yeah.

David:
What we would say now is, “I’m talking. We’re talking.” You could be talking to several people. That’s like negotiating with a seller, right? We’re going back and forth. Putting somebody in contract is not getting married to them. You can get out of that situation just like you can get out of a boyfriend, girlfriend situation much easier than once you’ve actually closed. I think where a lot of newer investors get hung up and they don’t take action us they think, “If I write an offer, that’s a marriage proposal, and I need to know way more about this deal. I got to review this thing super, super deep.” While you’re waiting, somebody else goes and ask that girl out to be their girlfriend, and you get nothing. What Chris is saying here is, “The most important part,” and I tell this to my clients all the time when they’re buying houses, “is we get it under contract before somebody else does.” Right? The minute you put a house in contract, all you’ve done as a buyer is eliminate all your competition.

David:
The other guys or girls that were trying to date that other person, they’re out of the game. You get to slow down, take your time, get to know them, decide, “Do I really want to marry you, or did you just look good on the outside and it’s got more problems?” It’s actually bad for the seller when they actually go into contract because they don’t really have a lot of power. They can’t back out of the deal with the buyer in the way most contracts are written. The buyer is the only one that can back out. Sellers can’t ask for more money if it appraises high. They can’t say, “Wow, that inspection came out super clean. You owe me another five grand. That was better than most.” It’s better for the buyer when you go into contract, not for the seller. The seller loses the ability to find other clients. That’s why people like Chris can move so decisively because they understand that. I want to lock this thing up, get all my competition out of the way. Then I’ll put the time into actually seriously dating this person and seeing what I’ve got.

Brandon:
Yeah.

Chris:
I agree. It’s funny you said that. The very first advice I got [inaudible 00:32:54] real estate, because I had that same fear about getting deals under contract, and you said, and I’ll never forget, this guy, this coach would tell me the same thing all the time, “Chris, just lock it up. Just lock it up.” I can just hear him in my head. “Quit overthinking. Just lock it up, and then start to make decisions after you lock it up.”

Brandon:
Yeah. I’ve been teaching these webinars on BiggerPockets every week now for four years. I talk a lot about this LAPS funnel, L-A-P-S. Every real estate investor in the world does this funnel. Just some recognize it and some don’t. You have to have a way of getting leads, L-A-P-S. You got to get leads coming in. You’ve got to run those numbers and determine how much you can pay for the lead, pay for the property. Then you have to pursue it. Now sometimes that’s an offer. Sometimes that’s a conversation on the phone. Sometimes it’s a formal, written offer, but you’ve got to pursue it because you’re never going to get anything. This is the point. People always say, “I can’t find any deals,” and the question I always ask them, and I want everyone listening right now who says, “I can’t find any deals,” there’s… A quarter million people listen to this, and I’m sure half of them are saying that.

Brandon:
Ask yourself, how many offers did you make last week? If the answer is zero, we found your problem. Then usually it’s like, “Okay. Well, I don’t have any deals at offer.” Okay. Well, how many did you analyze to figure how much you can pay?” “I didn’t analyze any. I didn’t have any leads.” “Okay. Well, how many leads came in?” “Well, none.” “Okay. Well, now we have your problem.” You pretty much diagnose a problem pretty simply. Chris, what I’m hearing you say today… I want to get to leads here in a second because I’m fascinated by this idea of what you’re doing. But you get leads coming in, your team looks at them, they process…

Brandon:
When I say analyze, that’s what I’m talking about, is going through this assembly line of due diligence and analysis and bringing it up with a team and and all that, and then moving it to making an offer, trying to get it locked up. Because if you do that enough, if you’re consistent with that, the final part of the LAPS funnel is S, success, you’re going to get success eventually. Now, I do want to give one bit of encouragement to everyone listening. You said one of the reasons you feel comfortable making offers and being able to do that is because you’ve just got a massive amount of experience. There’s people listening to this going, “Well, I don’t have a lot of experience.” This is why everyone listening needs to start analyzing deals in your market.

Brandon:
Pick your market. Where are you going to invest? At least you can start building that experience right now. Then maybe set a goal. “I’m going to analyze five deals every day.” I don’t care where the deals come from. Just go to Realtor.com or Zillow and get them. It doesn’t matter. “I’m going to analyze five deals every single day in my market for the next,” let’s call it, “three months.” If you did that, you’d have analyzed 100 deals. Is that going to help you feel more or less comfortable when it comes time to making an offer? You’ll be way more comfortable. Don’t use that as an excuse, everybody, of “Well, he’s got years of experience, so I can’t do that.” You can build the experience, and especially right now when most people are sitting at home, start analyzing deals, starting getting to know your market, call real estate agents and property managers, and just become an expert at your market. All right. Off my soapbox.

Chris:
Yeah. I had a fix-and-flip coach early on that we worked with. You want to know what the first homework was that he gave us?

Brandon:
What’s that?

Chris:
He gave us an insane amount of deals to do nothing but analyze and walk through.

Brandon:
There you go. Yeah.

Chris:
It was literally a quota that we had to meet. It wasn’t because we were going to buy him. He just wanted us analyzing deals.

Brandon:
Yeah. I love it.

Chris:
He was smart enough to understand that we didn’t have to wait years to become experienced, and I hope the audience listening right now will grasp onto what we’re saying, and that is, “Accelerate your learning, speed up your process, and you can be experienced analyzing deals actually pretty quickly if you put the pedal to the metal on this and start doing your own diligence.”

Brandon:
Yeah. Years do not equate experience. That’s such a good point you made out. Repetition determines experience.

Chris:
Agreed. That’s right.

David:
I had this talk with my assistant. She’s awesome, Krista, and she got her license, but she always feels like, “Well, I don’t know as much as the other realtors in the office,” and it hurts her confidence. She said, “They’ve been a realtor for 10, 12 years. I’ve only been doing this with you for three years.” I finally was like, “Okay, Krista. Here’s what I need you to understand. The average realtor in our office closes four deals a year, maybe five if they have a good year. Over that 10 years, they’ve done 50 deals. Okay? We do that in one year. You’ve seen 150 deals come across your desk.”

David:
This year, we were going to do 300 deals. It was going awesome before corona hit. “But you’ve seen three times the amount of deals that they’ve seen in your three years with me. You have way more experience with them. You know way more about what can go wrong. Your confidence is based on the wrong thing. It’s based on years when you should be looking at repetitions.” That’s true for everything. You want to be a great martial artist and get to black belt fast? If you go every single day, that’s different than the person who says, “I’ve been training for eight years,” and they go twice a month. It’s not the same.

Brandon:
Dude, somebody actually said that when I was at jujitsu a couple months ago before they shut down. I asked the guys, I was like, “How long have you been doing this?” He goes, “Well, that’s the wrong question.” That’s what his point was. It’s like, “It doesn’t matter how many years I’ve been doing these. I’ve actually been doing it for 20 years, but I took 15 of those off. I’m nowhere near as good as I should have been.” I was like, “That’s a really good point. I shouldn’t ask people how many years they’ve been in it. That’s why we have the belt system, right?”

Chris:
[crosstalk 00:37:51]

David:
That’s exactly right. That’s why I tell people in long-distance real estate investing, when you’re looking for a realtor, “You want one that sells a lot of houses.” Sometimes they don’t respond to your email as fast, and sometimes you have to deal with their assistant. But if they do it a lot, they’re way more likely to be good at it than someone who says, “I have 15 years of experience,” and you look it up, and they’ve sold two to three houses a year for 15 years. They’re not going to be nearly as good. Is that the same thing that you feel like you’ve seen in your business, Chris?

Chris:
Agreed. What’s the old saying, “You don’t have 10 years of experience. You just have one year of experience 10 times”?

Brandon:
Yeah. Yeah.

David:
That’s good. I love that we covered what goes on in the funnel because I always like to break things down into smaller pieces, right? Every business is two parts. It’s a lead, and it’s a funnel. If you get leads into your funnel, like Brandon just explained, out will come revenue. You can improve in two ways. You can get better at how you run through the funnel, more efficient, those are leadership skills, those are hiring skills, those are efficiency skills, like what CRM you’re using, the flow charts, that kind of stuff, or you can bring in more leads. That’s the other thing, or maybe better leads. You’ve told us about the funnel part. Now tell us, how are you driving leads to this business for your team to convert?

Chris:
Yeah, there is a few pillars we have, but I’ll give you the one that has worked for us for nine years now. Thinking about that, we go through different pieces of lead generation because sometimes they work for a period of time. They might get oversaturated because of competition. The pricing might go up and down depending on your area. That would be an example of pay-per-click. It might get expensive. But we’ve had one that we have stayed with tried and true now for all those years, and that is radio to find discounted properties. Here’s the first people [inaudible 00:39:36] saying, “Radio, are you serious? Isn’t that old school? Hasn’t that been around forever?”

Chris:
I say, “Absolutely, but the application of radio for us to find investment opportunities to build our rental portfolio or to fix and flip is literally virtually no competition on radio.” People go, “Well, who listens to the radio? Doesn’t everyone just download Spotify on their phone? Or I listen to Pandora,” and I have to remind people that you are not your demographic. Your demographic is primarily over the age of 50, and their habit is still twofold. They watch TV and, yes, they still listen to the radio when they get in the car.

Brandon:
That’s so, so good.

Chris:
We love radio, and it’s worked really, really well for us.

Brandon:
What does the radio ad say and? I think our producer, Kevin, said he actually had a recording of one. Could we play that?

Speaker 2:
It’s one thing to be stuck in your house due to COVID-19. It’s another to be stuck with your house. We have good news for homeowners listening throughout the area. My Home Sold is still buying houses in North Texas. More importantly, we offer sellers a completely virtual selling process that maintain social distancing standards. Sell your home now. Call My Home Sold at 469-269- [crosstalk 00:40:53].

Brandon:
That’s awesome.

David:
That’s a really good ad.

Brandon:
I love the Southern accent.

Chris:
Well, you want to know why? Because it’s being advertised on a country station.

Brandon:
Yeah. Funny. That’s good.

David:
Now Brandon is the best marketer that I’ve ever met in my life. I’m going to put Brandon on the spot.

Brandon:
[crosstalk 00:20:08].

David:
Breakdown of why you think this is a good ad or what would have to be changed to make it better.

Brandon:
That’s funny. Man. Well, the Southern accent thing just really stood out to me, right? It’s just like, “I’m one of you guys.” It’s not like some, yeah, I don’t know, yuppie, New England voice. All the New England people now just quit listening to the podcast. No, the whole thing was benefit-driven, right? It’s not feature-driven. It’s not like, “We’re awesome, and we buy lots of houses, and we do this.” It’s like, “Here’s what it’s in it for you, and we’re going to maintain social distancing,” which is everyone’s fear. Anyway, the thing that stood out to me is just, yeah, it’s benefit-driven. It’s, “Hey, I’m this person.” It’s short and to the point. I think people go too long. But I don’t know. How’d you guys come up with that ad? What was your thought behind it?

Chris:
Well, yeah. When COVID-19 hit, you have to shift. You have to adapt, right? We talked earlier…

Chris:
… have to shift. You have to adapt, right? So we talked earlier about adapting everything from a system and process standpoint or a funnel as we were talking about it over to virtual. Well now, all the marketing that we need to do, we need to communicate two things, right? Yes, we’re still here doing business. We’re open, right? The public needs to know that. And the second thing is they need to know that we have shifted too in order to maintain social distancing and we have a solution for you to still get what you need by running it through the current environment that we’re in. So I don’t care if it’s radio or whatever you’re doing, those are the two messages that needed to be driven very quickly.

Brandon:
Do you get better results from country radio or is there a certain genre that tends to give you better results?

Chris:
Yeah, so it depends on your area. So the US can be broken down into three demographics when it comes to the radio. That depends on where you’re located in the US. So demographic one is over the age of 50. Number two is what we call rural, right? So you heard a country station and then number three is what we call your urban demographic. So depending on where you’re at, you might have one or two demographics. In Dallas-Fort Worth, we actually have all three. So we advertise on country. We advertise on old school rock that our grandparents would listen to. Then we advertise on urban stations. So we actually go after all three demographics in Dallas-Fort Worth.

David:
Weird question, were you able to get any information on which demographic tends to have the highest percentage of homeowners? I’m curious if country music listeners tend to own homes more than other radio station listeners.

Chris:
Yeah, so this is very data-driven. We’re not just coming in and going, “Hey, I live in a country so I’m going to advertise on country stations.” We actually go in and report data from the stations. A lot of people don’t understand this. There’s three sets of reports that you can pull that are really important that let you know how many people are listening and how many people actually own homes versus rent them. So these are things that you can actually know based on reports. So what I would tell you, again, generally speaking, usually people over the age of 50 are the ones that have the highest home ownership, but it can vary station to station so that’s why we don’t choose stations blindly. Definitely when we help people do this as well, we want to make sure we get in and analyze each station and the data to make sure the home ownership is there. So it’s station to station. There’s a lot of variables that can dictate that.

David:
So you’re looking for a lot of George Strait and a little less Florida Georgia Line. You want that older generation.

Chris:
Yes, exactly.

Brandon:
I know this is going to be a ton of variables as well that you can’t answer this straight out, but what does it cost for a radio ad? What does it cost and then what does the lead cost because of that? [inaudible 00:44:58] too.

Chris:
I’ll give you the exact numbers, what I call the [inaudible 00:45:01] S numbers, right? So the first reason that people have cleared away from radio, because here’s the question that everyone’s asking. If radio is so good, why are more people not doing it? That’s the real question that everyone asks. It’s based on assumptions. We already hit first assumption and that I don’t listen to the radio so no one else that I’m selling houses do. You’re wrong. You’re looking at yourself as the demographic. The second thing is I assume that it’s not affordable, that in order to do radio, I got to start with a budget of like $10,000 a month. That is not true. Your budget for radio even in a major market like Dallas-Fort Worth starts off at a thousand to $2,000 a month. That’s any market and people are usually spending more on that than direct mail.

Chris:
Right? The very first station that I bought in Dallas was $1,500 total and that got us on our way to start doing more and more radio. So it’s very affordable. Then what people really want to know is what is the dollar-per-dollar return? So let me break that down if somebody listening on that. You have a lot of metrics, you could look at, cost-per-lead, cost-per-acquisition. Those are going to vary depending on people, right? But what we care about is what comes out the backend. So we talk about dollar-per-dollar return. For every dollar I spend, how many dollars I get back. A simple analogy is for every dollar I put in the Coke machine, how many dollars does it spit back out at me? For us in Dallas-Fort Worth and for anyone that’s spending over five grand a month on radio, it lands somewhere between three to $4, which is great. That’s solid.

Chris:
Every dollar I’m spending, I’m getting three to $4 back. For us in Dallas-Fort Worth, it’s $3.50 is where we sit. And if you’re spending just a couple of grand on radio, you’re probably your dollar-per-dollar return, which has been reported back from us, from other people that have set this up is they’re getting five to $7 back. The reason that’s higher, because the law of averages is working in their favor because they’re spending a smaller amount of the budget. But those are good healthy returns. But here’s the most important thing. It sticks there. It’s consistent. It stays. It doesn’t go up and down. That’s why we love radio because we can depend on it. In 2018 we got hammered on direct mail. We were getting a one to four return and in 2018 it dropped down to a one to two in Dallas-Fort Worth because you could walk into a house and see 50, 60 postcards stacked on somebody’s table.

Brandon:
Wow.

Chris:
You’re in trouble when you’re competing with that many people around marketing. That’s what I love about radio. There’s virtually no competition.

Brandon:
Yeah, yeah. Have you tested TV at all? Have you gone that route?

Chris:
Yeah, we’re testing TV now and working on really trying to crack the code on it. We’ve cracked the code on radio. There’s a ton of variables you have to answer, like how long should your spot be? What stations should you be on? When should you advertise? There’s a lot there. So we figured that out and right now we’re trying to do the same thing on TV. What I will tell anyone listening is there’s definitely a lot of overlap between TV and radio. And so I believe there’s a force multiplier between the two, for sure.

Brandon:
Well, one thing that intrigues me about radio, and you can correct me if I’m wrong here, but when you buy a radio pack, an ad package, you get multiple, it plays over and over and over throughout the month, right? You get a number of, it’s not like one quick ad for a couple of grand, right?

Chris:
No, no. So when I tell you this, I’ll break down the numbers. When we say you can come in and own a station for 1,000 to 2,000, what that means is when we launch onto a station, we launched 100 ads per month on a station, right?

Brandon:
Nice.

Chris:
That’s five ads per day, five days a week. So when I say my first station was $1,500, I was running 100 ads, and that means, yes, do the math, that my 60 second spot was $15 dollars. People are blown away. They’re like, we didn’t know that you could buy radio, but if you understand how to buy, let me put it this way. We buy our radio like we buy our real estate. We buy it at a deep discounted price.

Brandon:
I was just going to ask you that.

Chris:
If you want to make money on a deal, you have to buy it right. If you buy it wrong, I don’t care what you do on the back end, you’re probably going to lose money. The same is true with radio. If you get that part right in the beginning, then everything behind it, the ROI, the cost-per-lead, cost-per-acquisition will all fall into place and it’ll become a very profitable marketing channel for finding deals.

Brandon:
So you have any tips on how you can get discounted radio ads?

Chris:
Yeah, so generally speaking, what we do is we go in and we look at the reports of a station and we base our decision on what we’re going to buy that station at or the amount based on those stats. So let me kind of break it down this way. Here’s a better way to say it. Each station has reports and the value of the station is hidden in those reports. If you can get access to the reports when you come in and I negotiate against your station, I don’t ask you what I can advertise on your station for.

Chris:
I tell you, and I tell you because I’m looking at your reports, which is fundamentally a way of getting in and pulling down the pants of the radio station to see really what they have at play in the sense of the listenership, how many people own homes, all of those types of things. And we do a mathematical formula that dictates what price we buy at. That is a very different conversation than just calling up a sales rep going, “Hey, I want to advertise on the radio station. Can you send me over a packet?” They’re going to slaughter you. They’re going to sell you retail. I guarantee you you’ll be paying three to four times the amount that we’re paying for the same ad. Guarantee it.

Brandon:
Yeah. I’ve heard that from multiple people who have done different radio ads for different business over the years is that if you just call them up and ask them, you’re paying retail and you can get massive discounts. Yeah.

Chris:
But a couple more benefits I think are really important around radio that I love if you were to ask me, right? Why get excited about it? Number one, celebrity status. You tell me another marketing channel that makes you a local celebrity. You don’t get that through bandit signs. You don’t get that through text blasting, ringless voicemail, everything that everyone is doing to try to locate deals. When you have celebrity status, that allows you to beat out the competition in your area because if I go head-to-head with you and I have celebrity status and the seller doesn’t even know who you are, then we’re going to beat you out. The other thing that comes behind that is what we call instant credibility. Here’s the assumption that the listener makes. If you’re advertising on radio, then you must know what you’re talking about. There’s the automatic assumption which gives you instant credibility.

Chris:
So this is what I love for the new investor, right? Someone’s new to the game and they’re like, “How can I get in and compete against the big boys?” Launch your radio. You can probably afford 1,000 to $2,000 a month and know that as soon as you’re heard, they’re going to assume that you’re an expert even if you’re a couple of months into the game. Isn’t that great?

Brandon:
That’s awesome.

Chris:
Yeah.

David:
I have a couple of questions. What are the name of the reports that you’re asking them for?

Chris:
Yeah, so we look at different reports. An example of one would be a ranker, which shows you like the listenership or size. So that’s an example of one report. Another report you can look at would be hour-by-hour, which shows you the traffic and so forth. So those are some examples of particular specific reports that we’re looking at. Great question though.

Brandon:
This is probably a stupid question, but I feel like I’ve never known this my entire life and I should know this. Radio just goes out. Radio is not internet. Internet, I can tell exactly how many people right now are on the BiggerPockets website. There’s whatever, thousands of people. To the person I can tell and where they’re at, what their IP address even is. Internet’s crazy. Radio, I just turn a dial on a car. So how does a radio station know or do they know? Are they digitally …

Chris:
They do know.

Brandon:
… advanced as well? They know [inaudible 00:53:03]?

Chris:
There’s a program that they subscribe to, which, okay, I want you to think of the MLS system, right?

Brandon:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Chris:
So the MLS system is there to collect data for all of us as real estate people that need to understand what’s happening in particular areas. So the radio world has its own MLS, which is called Nielsen. What that does is it collects all of the data so you can know exactly how many people listen, when they tune in. They can tell you that more people tune in at this hour than this hour. It’s amazing how far you can break down the data. So let me say this, this is not a spray and pray approach. We are not buck shotting. We are coming in and we are choosing a different demographic and we are targeting that demographic based on reports, based on when we know behaviorally they’re listening, based to the type of music that that person listens to. We know that that’s what make Facebook so powerful is how much you can niche it. You can actually do some really good niching with radio, which I don’t think a lot of people understand.

Brandon:
Yeah, that’s fascinating. So just to kind of the tie in one point we made earlier, and I’ll make it again here, not only did you become an expert at your market and you understand every street and every area and every demographic within your market, you also became an expert at a marketing channel. My guess is that changes over the years. Since you’ve been in real estate now you’ve probably changed the different things. You mentioned direct mail and then you got killed in that. But you start to become an expert. Right now you’re choosing to be an expert in radio, which I think is awesome. So again, to make that point I made earlier, if you’re listening to this going, well, I can’t compete with that, why not just choose a marketing strategy that maybe you think is unique in your area or you can be the best at and then become an expert at that? You should know what the word ranker means if you want to do radio, right? So my question then for you is how does somebody become an expert at radio?

Chris:
Let me actually step back because you said something that’s really important. I’m speaking to people that are newer to the business that are listening right now. The biggest mistake I see made, which was the first mistake I made from a marketing standpoint is we come in and we try to do seven to 10 different marketing strategies at the same time. What we ended up doing, honestly, I’ll just say it, is we end up half-assing them. My deal is you should never have really more than about two to four pillars for marketing in your business. My deal is when you start one, you don’t get to earn the right to go launch another marketing channel until you become an expert at that one. But people say, “Well, it doesn’t work or that’s …” I see this all time. What people end up becoming in the marketing world are bouncers.

Chris:
They bounce from thing to thing and they’re thrown off that this … Everyone works. You can build a business off of cold calling. You can build it off of bandit signs. It’s crazy. I know people that have done this. On the retail side, if you want to talk retail, referrals, I see people that build an entire brokerage off of referrals. So they all work, and so if I would tell anyone the secret is learning to focus and get rid of all the chasing of the shiny objects around you and earn the right and become great and an expert at it.

Brandon:
That is so, so powerful. I want everyone to rewind the last two minutes and just listen to that again every single morning when you wake up. I talk with a lot of investors, especially a lot of new investors and I would say this doesn’t apply just to marketing, but people are bouncers with everything, right? They want to get into flipping and then it’s like, well, I think wholesaling will be better and then maybe I’ll do rentals and then [inaudible 00:56:42] and then vacation rentals will be good and they jump from thing to thing to thing. Or I’m going to do an Amazon business. No, I’m going to go sell Mary Kay products door-to-door and then I’m going to go do Tupperware. Then I’m going to do wholesaling and I’m going to do this and they jump.

Brandon:
The fact is it all works. Like you said, I love that you said that. It all works but it doesn’t work if you try to work it all. So I use the analogy and I did it at BP Con last year and I’ll probably do it again when I talk this year because I think it’s just a good analogy. It’s like you’re building a bridge from an island you’re on right now to another island. The more bridges you try to build, the more you’re spread thin and your bridge will never hit that other side. So if it takes 100 or even 1,000 hours of research and testing and trying certain marketing techniques, but you spend an hour on this one, then you go try an hour on this one and an hour on this one, you’re never going to get that bridge across there where either somebody else is running and managing your bridge for you or you’ve just made it to the promised land and you’re just retired now on a beach in Mexico like some people.

Chris:
Agreed. To sum it up, the secret of concentration is elimination, right?

Brandon:
Yep.

Chris:
Eliminating everything around me and concentrating on the one to two key things. Man, how applicable is that in all of our lives, not just in marketing?

Brandon:
Yeah. Yeah. It’s so good. So good. Do you have any final tips? I love that point, but how does somebody say no to all the great things that are out there and all the different … You listen to a podcast and you’re like, “That sounds fun and I want to try this marketing technique. I’m going to try this thing.” How have you learned to harness that part of your mind that just wants to go and do everything?

Chris:
Yeah, that’s actually a really good question because I struggle that. I tell you, I used to hate going to masterminds and events and my team hated it too because early in the day I would come back and go, “All right, here’s everything we’re …” My team is like, “Oh, here we go with Chris again,” Right? “He’s about to literally launch 10 different changes in the business.” I think a couple things, if I were to break it down. We said it earlier and that is building the right principles in your life. I really learned and actually began to believe in the power of focus. I don’t think there’s a person not listening that doesn’t understand the importance of the ability to focus. If you’ve not heard that, I guarantee you’ve heard it 50 times, but the deal is have you really come to the belief system that that’s true?

Chris:
I think that that comes via pain. How much money have I lost? How many times have I come in and changed everything in my business when it wasn’t necessary to do it? That costs me money and that costs me pain. So I think that that’s one thing right there. I think the second thing which is really important is counsel, whether that’s counsel within your team, whether you’re a lone solo investor right now and that’s relationships that you build around you, whether you’re in a community like the one you’re listening to right now, what keeps us on track and not getting distracted is making decisions and funneling them through a few key people that we trust that are always checking us. Because when we’re left to ourselves to make decisions, that’s when we get in trouble.

Brandon:
Yeah, that’s so good. I did a webinar for BiggerPockets last weekend. I made this point that you can do everything right in real estate and in your journey, I call it the investor journey. You can do everything right and you can get the leads right, you could do the negotiation, but the fact is that most people just give up because they lack focus or persistence to actually get through things. So I offered three suggestions that have worked for me and I’m guessing they’ve worked for you as well. Number one is having an accountability group of some kind, whether it’s a mastermind group of three, four, five people. I’ve done a number of those over the years. They’ve been huge for me. The second thing I’ve done is journaling. That’s why we have the Intention Journal at BiggerPockets.

Brandon:
There’s a lot of other journals out there if you don’t want to use the BP one, but just some kind of daily habit. Every single morning I write down my three goals that I’m working on so that when I get distracted I want to go do something else. Every morning I get re-centered onto that. And the third thing would be a performance coach. Both David and I have been huge on performance coaching. I’m not talking about the 50,000 or $100,000 guru who’s charging you for his CD package. I’m talking about somebody who every week or every other week is basically doing what the accountability group does or the mastermind group, but he’s doing it just with you. It’s like, “Hey man, last week you said you’re going to do this. Why didn’t you do that?” So are those three things that you’ve used or do you have any other suggestions as well?

Chris:
Dude, you literally are speaking my heart. Everything you said is literally applicable in my life, all the way from the group setting down to the one-on-one. I tell you, the moments in my life where I was cheap and decided not to pay for a coach for a period of time or I didn’t renew to be a part of that particular mastermind or community, if I look back, those are the times I slowly unraveled.

Brandon:
Yeah, me too.

Chris:
Again, I think one of the biggest problems we have as entrepreneurs is, and I want to speak to this because I think this is really happening right now. You want to really talk about what I think the biggest challenge in the entrepreneurial world is this, is when the crap hits the fan we isolate as entrepreneurs. We go and we hide and we want to deal in the corner with these things by ourselves because we have fear and we have shame and we have all of these things.

Chris:
If you’re listening and you’re not plugged in with someone somewhere doing something right now and you’re alone, it’s dangerous right now. So this is why I feel like community is going to win above all, particularly with what we’re going on right now with COVID-19. Man, entrepreneurs isolate. It’s the biggest problem I see. You want to ask, okay, so what happens? Let’s get real raw about that, right? It comes out sideways and now you’re getting into substance abuse, alcoholism. All the addictions that you see are rampant in the entrepreneurial community, that comes when people isolate.

Brandon:
That’s so true. David, you have any thoughts on this because I know you also are huge on this performance coach stuff and communities and masterminds? You and I are in GoBundance and I know Chris, you have a group as well, Chris. What’s it called?

Chris:
Yeah, the Multipliers Brotherhood. So it’s about the internal side, right? It’s about the connection, about men having each other-

Chris:
Right? It’s about the connection about men having each other’s back regardless of what happens. It’s powerful. I know you’re in GoBundance. It’s the same philosophy. It’s so powerful.

Brandon:
David, what do you think on this stuff?

David:
It’s about the connection. About men having each other’s back, regardless of what happens. It’s powerful. I know [inaudible 01:03:12] it’s the same philosophy. It’s so powerful.

Brandon:
David, what do you think on this stuff?

David:
I think that one thing when Chris was talking earlier about the mastermind he’s in before we started this group with a couple of guys we knew, they’re all house flippers. They’re all investors. Some of them are established, some of them are just getting started, but ideas travel virally just like viruses do. One idea can get into a group. All 100 people or 50 people realize, oh my god, that’s a great idea. They all use it and then they all spread it to the people that are in their world too. When people here on the BiggerPockets podcast, you or me or one of our guests say something that sounds brilliant, they tend to attribute that brilliance to the person who said it, but there’s a 99% chance that person got it from somebody else.

Chris:
Amen, amen, nothing original.

David:
Right? And so we end up looking much smarter than we probably really are, because we were smart enough to get into a group of smart people, which some people may say is privileged, but it’s a privilege that’s open to anybody that gets into the group, and then they all hear the idea and then eventually everyone does the idea and it stops being effective and someone comes up with a new idea, and boom, everyone benefits. The difference is nobody is smart enough to come up with all 50 ideas on their own. All it takes is one out of the 50 having one good idea that year and all the other 49 benefit from it, and then one of the other 49 has the next good idea and then everyone benefits from that and it amplifies the results that you get. This is why masterminds are really big.

David:
The second way that they help people a lot is, like Chris said, when there needs to be a consensus, when there’s a decision we made in the business because we don’t know our own blind spots. I don’t recognize my weaknesses. I don’t know the way I rub people the wrong way. Brandon doesn’t know the areas where he could be doing better, but I look at it like, oh, if you could just change that one thing, you’d be crushing it in this area. Well, when you have people that care about you, or even if they don’t, they’re just committed to your success because you’re in a group, they can point those things out and they can give you advice for how they would handle it, which is what you need. Cause the way you look at the problem is wrong. You have a blind spot there.

David:
You don’t see it the right way. That’s what’s been super big for me is the performance coach that I have will help point out, this is why you’re having trouble hiring. And then my accountability group will, “Hey, have you fixed it? Have you fixed it? Have you fixed it? Are you still doing it?” And it’s very difficult to stay the same when you’ve got that much people around you that are pushing you. When you isolate, you tend to just beat yourself up. You’re telling yourself thoughts, like I suck, I’m failing. This isn’t working, but you’re putting on a smile to everybody else.

David:
Especially if you’re promoting yourself on social media, you’re always going to be smiling and you’re always putting that today’s a new day, a new year new me, I’m going to go crush it and then they never do anything. That always happens and then it’s doubled bad, cause you went and wrote this check on social media that you can’t cash and you don’t want to tell anybody that. I know there’s a lot of people that are hearing this and realizing, oh that’s normal? Everyone’s going through that? Yeah. Everyone’s going through it. The ones that are successful are the ones who get out of their own way. They don’t self-isolate and they get into a group of other people that can help push them through that.

Chris:
Can I ask you guys a question? When this whole COVID-19 hit, how many zoom calls or community calls did you guys jump into as the immediate response to get help and guidance from people in your network? Like I found the first week or two weeks, that’s all I was in was Zoom after Zoom group after group, and that was the highest and best use of my time to get as much brain power that we had access to at that point to come up with these ideas. Did you guys find yourself doing the same thing and you realized how valuable to have that network was?

Brandon:
Yeah, very much so. My team and I, we were already digital anyway but we’ve just picked up the pace and done it even more. And same with BiggerPockets, the company itself, the fact that everyone’s now no longer at the office. Yeah, it’s constant Zoom calls and it’s super helpful. I think just learning, I guess, to rely on one another. Cause you have to trust people a little bit more. I feel like when everyone’s working from home and everyone’s working their own thing, that’s been super powerful as well. And just in getting through a tough time together, you kind of, again I said this last week, but difficulty and crisis like that forges change in life.

Brandon:
Just like you have a heart attack and you become a different kind of person. I think it’s kind of the same thing here. But we’re doing it as a company and as a group and as a bunch of other people. And that’s why I’ve been pumping out videos and doing interviews on Instagram Live. Same thing. But huge. Man.

Brandon:
Well I want to go one more place before we get out of today’s show because I know it’s a long show already, but you’re managing a team. How many team members you have in your company now?

Chris:
With the investment side, I think we’re around 15, somewhere around 15.

Brandon:
So how do you manage this? I mean especially living in Mexico, you got teams in Dallas. And I’m curious of, when I say how do you manage, it’s not just like where’s everyone located kind of thing, but is there an investment or a management philosophy you follow? Is there a book, like we do this system, or you made up your own maybe, and this is when we meet, this is how we meet, this is our goals. What does that look like in terms of getting everybody aligned and moving in the right direction and having accountability within your company?

Chris:
Yeah. There’s two systems that we’ve built our entire company off of. On the operational side, not the sales side, we run EOS, which comes from the book Traction. EOS stands for the Entrepreneurials Operating System. What it does is it just gives us a flow of setting priorities and what types of meetings we should have. I think you’re about ready to hold up the book. Boom. There it is. So I really do believe you have to have an operational model to be able to do that. On the sales side, the model that we run is called four disciplines of execution. He’s about to pull out that.

Brandon:
I’ve got that one too.

Chris:
Man, you’re a man after my own heart there. Look at you.

Brandon:
I run two in my business as well. It’s 4DX and [crosstalk 01:09:02].

Chris:
Are you running the exact same ones?

Brandon:
Yeah, we do the same thing.

Chris:
Those two? I feel like that’s all we need.

Brandon:
Four disciplines is on the sales side, and the Traction stuff is-

Chris:
And the other one’s on the operations side.

Brandon:
We are the same person.

Chris:
That’s exactly what we do. So those have been perfect for us to be able to do that. Now I do want to speak to management as a whole. Here’s what people don’t realize about the virtual world and I think management in general. People that are hatched or birthed in the virtual world, meaning they’ve been in a virtual world for a long period of time, I have found those people normally to be more self-driven, self-motivated and self-disciplined. They do not require the structure that someone coming into the office does, and there are people that do well outside of structure and those that need it in order to be able to work and to get things done. So what I would tell people is, as we began to hire people out of the virtual world that had already been there, we really didn’t have to do much management at all.

Chris:
And I also believe just getting down to the overall principle, talented people do not need to be managed. I remember one of my coaches used to tell me, I’ll never forget it, he used to say, “Chris, if I have to manage you, I don’t need you.” He said, “That’s what I tell the people on my staff all the time.” And he’s right. If I have someone in my company that I’m managing, for any particular reason, managing to be on time, whatever that looks like, they don’t belong in my company. It’s taken us a long time to get there. I made a lot of bad hires to get the type of team that I have right now.

Chris:
Again, I’ve been doing this now for 15 years. So if you were to say the thing I’m most proud of is the fact that we have self-driven, self-managed people that literally make almost all the decisions in the company without me. And for me as a leader, isn’t that really the goal? To raise up leaders, to empower them, to be able to run something without you? I love what I heard someone say one time, the most selfish decision a leader can make is to make a business dependent on them. And the success of your business is how long it would run if you stopped working in it today. That’s the world and philosophy that I live by. And so that’s why we worked so hard to create the team that we have.

Brandon:
My neck’s going to hurt after this interview cause I’m just nodding so much. I’m just like, yes.

David:
I wish that the people listening could understand how impactful that is to those of us that are running the business, because I think most people that want a change in their life, they look to real estate as the magic bullet that’s going to fix it for them. And it’s never a magic bullet. For some people, they can do better in the world of real estate than in their real job, but that’s probably a lower percentage than most people think. I think what motivates a lot of people to get in real estate investing is they’re not happy where they’re at. And the problem is if you’re not happy where you’re at because it’s a toxic environment, you will do better in another one. But there’s a very good chance that you’re not happy where you’re at because of your own attitude or your own mindset.

David:
Or like you just said, Chris, that you’re not driven, you’re not self motivated. I hear a lot of employees say, “I don’t know, I’m just not motivated to work here. They just don’t make me really want it that much.” And when you were mentioning, you said something about showing up to work on time and I thought, when someone doesn’t come to work on time unless a manager makes them, whether it’s by punishing them or giving them an incentive, you’re basically transferring the responsibility of getting to work on time off of yourself and onto the manager. And then I started thinking, well, that happens with everything. I don’t want to make my calls, I don’t want to produce, I don’t want to give my best. It’s somebody else’s responsibility to make me want it. It’s not my own responsibility. And that’s why they become a drag on us because they’re taking everything off of themselves and putting it onto the company.

David:
And now the company’s bearing the burden of what should be coming from them. And so the number one piece of advice I’d give people that want financial freedom is that you probably don’t need to look for a different opportunity. You need to look for a different attitude first. If you’re not already crushing it where you’re at and hitting a ceiling where there’s nowhere to go, you’re probably not ready for the next jump.

David:
Now, this doesn’t apply to everybody, but that’s what I’ve noticed, is there’s so many people that say, I want another environment, another opportunity, another thing to learn, and those are typically the people that, like you guys said earlier, start one thing and they don’t finish it. They move on to the next. They don’t stick through it. You’re ready to move when you’ve already done everything that you possibly can within the job that you have and you’re being held back because either, like you just said, Chris, the owner says, I don’t want another leader here, it’s dependent on me.

David:
This person’s now a threat, or they don’t have more opportunity to give you. That’s when you should be making the next jump. If people could just get in our heads and understand how badly our businesses are looking for the person who will come in and give their very best and run with it, like the Ryan Murdock that came in and changed Brandon’s life, I really think there’d be an epiphany that just went on across the world of, oh, I have way more control over my financial future than what I think. If I gave it my all to somebody else, they’re not going to take advantage of me. They’re going to give me more opportunity. They’re going to give me more chances to make more money. They’re dying for somebody to step in here and do a better job and not be dependent on us to take their hand and hold them and say, this is how you hold your pencil.

David:
I know I beat this drum a lot, but it’s because so many people come to me on social media saying, how do I get out of the situation I’m in? I want more opportunity, but they’re not crushing it in this situation they’re already in. And I know when I put them in a new situation, they’re going to have the same problems that they’re having right now. But then Kenny had a comment that nobody’s a great leader of mediocre talent, and it was very similar to what Chris just said, where I think you said, if I have to lead you, I don’t want you. Right. Like the right business-

Chris:
If I have to manage you, I don’t need you.

David:
There you go. If I have to manage you. Yeah. Not lead. If I have to manage you, I don’t need you. The right business will offer you the opportunity and give you the tools that you need to be successful, but they’re not going to take your hands and swing the axe for you. That part is your job.

Brandon:
Yeah. So good. Well dude, Chris, this has been fantastic. Really, really good stuff. We’re going to get out of here in just a few minutes, but before we do, I wanted to get our last segment of the show. It’s time for the famous four. All right, it’s time for the famous four. These are the same four questions we ask every guest every week. Before we hear your responses, let’s hear from others on what’s going on this week on the BiggerPockets podcast network.

Jay Scott:
Hey there, Brendan, and BiggerPockets real estate podcast listeners. This is Jay Scott, your cohost for the BiggerPockets business podcast. This week on the business podcast, we have Nigel Geisinger with us. He is both a real estate expert and a business expert, and he’s figured out how to put both of those passions together to create a business model that is absolutely unstoppable, and one that works tremendously well in the current economic environment. So check us out on the BiggerPockets business podcast this week. Now back to your famous four.

Brandon:
All right, so make sure you guys are listening to those other podcasts. They are fantastic, full of good ideas that actually help real estate investors as well, like the money and the business and obviously the rookie show. These things help you as a real estate investor. So make sure you guys are listening to them as well. And now, Chris, number one, do you have a current favorite real estate related book?

Chris:
Yes, a book called The Outsiders. It’s a book on some of the top CEOs in the world and how they were able to look at themselves as chief investment officers. And that’s just a fancy way of saying they understood the value in building a business and cashflow, and how to reinvest that back into the market, whether that’s real estate or anything else. And so that’s what made them the greatest eight CEOs ever. So love the tie-in there and it gives the right philosophy on how to look at your business. It’s meant to be utilized as a vehicle to invest.

Brandon:
Very cool.

David:
That’s really, really good. So they look at generating income like this foundation that they’ve built and then investing is how they stack up on top of that.

Chris:
And what made them the greatest CEOs was how wise they invested the money. I’m talking CEOs of GE, different things like that, right? At a real, real high level. So it’s not just being a CEO, it’s being a CIO, a chief investment officer. And so that’s a really powerful thing. I don’t know a lot of people realize. I didn’t until I read that book. That’s what made the great CEOs, was how they reallocated that money back that they made.

David:
Whether they hired new people, they bought new materials, they bought new supplies, that kind of thing.

Chris:
Businesses, invested. Yes. How they invested it.

David:
Interesting. Okay. What’s your favorite business book?

Chris:
I’ll tell you the one I’m going back to now a lot, and it’s one of my favorite, it’s called Organizational Physics and it’s by Lex Sisney. And the reason I’m going back to is it takes the laws of physics and applies them to business. So let me say it this way. What Traction did for me in giving me a model on how to run my operations, Organizational Physics gave me a philosophy on how to look at my business as a whole. It was that impactful. I put it up there with Traction and what it did for my understanding of business. I love that book.

Brandon:
That’s awesome. Very cool. All right, next question.

David:
What are some of your favorite hobbies?

Chris:
Yeah, so a couple of things I’m into right now is paddle surfing, so it’s taking a paddleboard out into the ocean and riding waves so you can actually paddle and ride more waves, because we don’t have really big waves here in [inaudible 00:01:18:36]. And then the other thing I’ve gotten into recently is spear fishing, which is fun.

David:
I’ve always thought that looked like so much fun.

Chris:
It’s one thing to snorkel, it’s another to put that mask on with the spear going, I’m actually snorkeling with a mission. I’m hunting something under the water. That just feels different than swimming around and looking at tropical-

David:
I say that all the time. Thank you. I’m glad someone else gets it. People always say, would you want to get your pilot’s license? And I’m like, you’re just a bus driver in the air. I would do it if there was like a missile I was shooting at something. That sounds really fun. What about skydiving? Does that sound like fun? No, you’re just kind of waiting till you hit the ground. But if I was trying to get in behind enemy lines and I needed a parachute, that would be a blast. You’re 100% right. When there’s no mission involved in what you’re doing, it’s not that fun.

Brandon:
That’s funny. That’s really funny. All right. That was one of my favorite analogies I think you’ve used, the bus driver. All right, last question of the day. From me, anyway. What do you believe sets apart successful real estate investors from all those who give up, fail or never get started?

Chris:
Lack of clarity in two ways. People don’t take the time to understand and get clear on how they’re wired, what their unique ability is, their genius zone. And because they don’t function in that genius zone, it’s always going to hold them back, because they’re doing things that they’re not naturally gifted at doing. And then it’s also lack of clarity around opportunities and resources. And that goes back to what we were saying is being around the right people, reading the right books, that present those opportunities. So my [inaudible 01:20:17] always comes down to a lack of clarity around those two things, myself and the resources that are around.

Brandon:
Yeah, so good.

David:
This has been great. I mean we went into everything from becoming a radio expert to building a big business to how to do business in the current age.

Chris:
What else do you boys want to talk about?

David:
That’s exactly right, yeah. The psychology behind masterminds and coaching. There’s a lot of good stuff here.

Brandon:
Driving a bus in the sky.

David:
Yes, absolutely. Spear fishing. That’s something I definitely want to get into at some point. I think that’d be a blast. Brandon, if you could figure out a way to make that happen.

Brandon:
They do it out here all the time. Yeah. I mean I’ve got a lot of buddies that do it.

David:
We should go. I would be curious like how do you know what fish to shoot though? I’m sure you don’t eat all of them.

Chris:
My deal is I just shoot the biggest one I can find.

David:
And then figure it out later.

Chris:
It’s like I can kill that. That’s big.

Brandon:
Sorry. Sorry, Jerry. Thought you were fish.

David:
Wearing that bright colored bathing suit, confused him under the water. His goggles got fogged.

Brandon:
Yep. It’s rough.

David:
All right, Chris, for people that want to know more, where can they find out more about you?

Chris:
Yeah, a few things. If you just want good free content, and just a little bit more about my story and how I do what I do. You can go to my YouTube, which is Chris Arnold Real Estate. If you’re curious about multipliers and want to learn a little bit more about the brotherhood that we’ve created, that is my passion. That is the hill that I’m willing to die on. I think you guys know the value of community. You can go to multipliersbrotherhood.com. And of course if you’re interested in this whole radio thing and hey, I love this, I think this would be a great tool for me and you want to learn more, you would have to just see if your market’s even open. But go to wholesellinging.com/REIradio.

Brandon:
Very cool. Thanks man. Appreciate it. This has been amazing. It’s been really good. I’ve been thinking about doing radio for a while out here in Maui. Now I’m even more fired up to try it. So yeah, I appreciate the insight.

Chris:
I really enjoyed it guys. Thank you for the opportunity. It was a lot of fun and definitely connected. I think we got a lot in common philosophically and all that, so super cool. Cool. Anything else?

Brandon:
Awesome. I don’t know. I think that’s it. David, you want to take us out?

David:
Absolutely. This has been an awesome time. This is David Green, for Chris Arnold, and Brandon, the spear fisher Turner, signing off.

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In This Episode We Cover:

  • Why Chris runs his business virtually from Mexico
  • His #1 lead generation strategy: good old-fashioned radio!
  • 3 major demographics he markets to
  • Why “bouncing” is the reason so many newbies fail
  • 3 shifts he’s made to adapt to COVID-19
  • How he decides whether to wholesale or fix and flip a property
  • The exact workflow his team uses to work leads from start to finish
  • How he inspects houses remotely
  • Closing deals over the phone
  • How he puts together “Zoom open houses” for cash buyers
  • How he’s finding cash buyers who will buy sight unseen
  • How the market is reacting to coronavirus
  • Ways to back out of a contract if necessary
  • And SO much more!

Links from the Show

Books Mentioned in this Show:

Tweetable Topics:

  • “The ultimate freedom is the freedom of location.” (Tweet This!)
  • “Any good meeting is built on debate.” (Tweet This!)

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