Real Estate Rookie Podcast

Rookie Podcast 09: Finding Off-Market Deals, Step by Step with Ryan Dossey (Mentor) and Drew Wiard (Mentee)—Part 1

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Can't find deals on the MLS? Dreaming about off-market deals, but not sure how to go after them?

This episode lays out a step-by-step, repeatable strategy for those of you who have what it takes to approach homeowners directly. It’s not easy. It takes patience. And it costs money (or time). But for those precise reasons, it’s where the real money is.

Today we bring in Drew Wiard, a Fort Wayne, Indiana, investor with a family and a full-time job. He's joined by his mentor, Ryan Dossey, a former BiggerPockets Podcast guest who built his 100-plus-unit portfolio by creating a pipeline of off-market deals.

The guys walk us through how to build a brand that stands out from the competition, how to establish authority online, and how to pull lists full of juicy leads. This is not vague advice… they reveal the exact systems and resources they're using to find and contact sellers (not all of whom fit the "desperate/distressed" stereotype, by the way)!

Plus, we have a great conversation about mentoring in general: how to find and vet teachers, how to deliver value, and how to hold one another accountable along the way.

This is actually Part 1 in a series; we’re going to invite Drew and Ryan back next month to tackle the second piece of this puzzle, including handling leads, negotiating with sellers, and crafting your exit strategy.

If you think you have what it takes to find off-market deals, this episode is a perfect starting point. Be sure to subscribe to the show in your favorite app, and we’ll see you next Wednesday!

Click here to listen on Apple Podcasts.

Listen to the Podcast Here

Read the Transcript Here

Ashley:
This is Real Estate Rookie Show, number nine.

Ryan:
I honestly enjoy marketing to find off market deals probably more than the real estate itself. Shocker but when you're doing buy-and-hold real estate investing and you use the same paint scheme and the same appliances and the same cabinets, it starts to lose its luster a little bit, it's kind of like what's one more house? But for me what I've really enjoyed is hypothesizing, if we do X, can we get deals from it? Testing those theories and then scaling them.

Ashley:
I am Ashley Kehr and I’m here with my co-host Felipe Mejia who is finally back into his little closet and doesn’t have a beach view anymore in Florida.

Felipe:
Look guys, Ashley is super jelly because I’m finally back in Nashville. I’m back home. I was in Florida for the past month and a half, quarantined myself, making sure my family and myself are safe and she was starting to get a little jealous that I had the beach behind me all the time. But yup, I’m back in my little five by five closet for recording.

Ashley:
I’m in a closet too so now we’re equal.

Felipe:
We have a great show today. We actually have Ryan and Drew. So Ryan's the mentor, Drew's the mentee and we're going to be talking about how Drew reached out to Ryan for help because he is a rookie in direct mail marketing. This show is actually going to be more than one show, it's going to be one, two or three or maybe one and two, we're not sure yet. But, one of the main things that I want to focus on here is that some of the questions aren't going to be answered and they're kind of open ended because we're going to talk about it in the next show but we didn't want to give it all out at one time, right?

Ashley:
And it was just, there’s so much information about what we talked about that it would have been I mean, over four hour show to include everything. So Drew has had some real estate investment history, but now he wants to get a specific niche covered. He wants to learn how to do marketing direct to the seller so that’s where Ryan comes in. He has got these systems down pat and he shares the exact system he’s using. You mentioned in the episode how sometimes you listen to podcasts and people say, oh, I use this, but don’t actually say the brand name or the company of that system.

Felipe:
Yeah, I love that Ryan talks about every single system he uses, how he uses it and then gives the name, perfect. If you take notes, you’re going to be able to do exactly what Ryan says or Ryan does because that’s what he’s teaching Drew how to do, right? He’s dropping the names of the companies he uses. No secret here, he gives it all out, which I think is great. Another question that I think was key that I asked was, “Hey Drew and Ryan, how did you guys click?” Because Drew had to reach out to Ryan and I asked Drew, “What did you look for in a mentor?” Then I asked Ryan, I said, “Hey, why did you decide to take on Drew as a mentee?” Because that’s important and I think their answer is spot on.

Ashley:
Even if you’re not interested in doing the direct marketing and you think this episode might not be for you, we really do touch a lot on how to find a mentor, how to be a good mentee and we do go through that a lot. So I would recommend giving that a listen, for sure. So, let’s bring Ryan and Drew onto the show. Welcome Ryan and Drew to the show. How are you guys?

Drew:
Good.

Ryan:
Doing great. Happy to be here.

Drew:
Yeah, thanks for having us.

Felipe:
So excited for the show.

Ashley:
Yeah, our show is going to be a little bit different. We’re having you guys show us what you’ve been doing as a mentor and a mentee and how that’s going. So Drew, do you want to tell us a little bit about yourself first?

Drew:
Yeah, I can do that. So I'm a Doctor of Pharmacy. I've been Director of Pharmacy at the Local Hospital System here in town for a number of years. I've been investing maybe five of those years, just a little bit on the side, we do rentals and over those five years done lots of different things. I've done a little bit of almost everything, but I've had to learn that while working full time, super hard to manage and so the importance of systems and finding creative ways to have people and systems take you through all that is essential.

Felipe:
So, you said you’ve done… you’ve already done some things in real estate, you’ve done a little bit of different things, so let me ask you this, why did you seek out a mentor if you’ve already done stuff?

Drew:
Well, some people will tell you, you need to pick a niche in real estate and do just that. Whether that’s a good idea or bad idea, I just, I love to learn. So, my history has been an evolution of, I’ll try this and once I get that under my belt, I move on to the next thing. But all along the way I’ve sought out mentors, be they someone local, be they someone across the country. So, I’ve gotten a pattern of seeking out someone who’s doing it, learning how they’ve done it and what works well and then trying to implement it in my own systems.

Felipe:
So are you like that guy in school that couldn’t sit still?

Drew:
Oh yeah. I’m a drummer, right? So I never sit still. I drive everyone nuts.

Felipe:
That was probably me as well, man. I couldn’t sit still for the life of me in school. It literally felt like torture sitting there waiting for the teacher. I was like, oh my gosh, please move on. I couldn’t wait for lunch. It was insane.

Drew:
Well, to that point, I know Ryan and I… I don’t know that Ryan even knows this, I was homeschooled as well so when you get the jitters or you need to go for a walk, you have a little more flexibility.

Felipe:
Oh, man.

Ryan:
But you can’t just tell people, I was homeschooled. That’s like [crosstalk 00:05:34]. That’s on the down low.

Felipe:
You’ve got to like ease into that man, you just straight threw Ryan under there. Like, yeah, but he was homeschooled too.

Ryan:
Now in my defense, I went to public school through eighth grade, so I knew how to interact with people.

Ashley:
Well, Ryan I meant, no, do you want to tell everyone a little bit about yourself?

Ryan:
Yeah, absolutely. So I honestly enjoy marketing to find off market deals probably more than the real estate itself. Shocker, but when you’re doing buy-and-hold real estate investing and you use the same paint scheme and the same appliances and the same cabinets, it starts to lose its luster a little bit, it’s like what’s one more house? But for me, what I’ve really enjoyed is hypothesizing, if we do X, can we get deals from it? Testing those theories and then scaling them. So, I was a total newb before I found BiggerPockets. You can find my posts from like 2014 that are horrible. It’s literally like, I have no money but I have a credit card, what can I do with it, right? So, somebody please dig that up. Yeah. Oh, absolutely.

Ashley:
We can put those in the show notes.

Ryan:
Yeah, you can. There’s that one. There’s like, I got a deal under contract, what do I do with it? I mean pretty much if you could do it wrong, I did it wrong, but BiggerPockets was there to help. Fast forward, went full time in real estate. In kind of 2016, I did like six off market deals that year. In 2017, I did 74 off market deals and then between 2018 and ’19, we probably wholesaled whole-tailed about a hundred properties and we kept another 150 units.

Felipe:
Well, I mean you say that really nonchalantly and I hear that in other podcasts as well, oh, I went from one to a thousand and it’s like, wait a minute, wait a minute, something happened there. So Ryan, if you could put it in a nutshell, 30 seconds, what made the difference man? Because I feel like our listeners are going to want to know that because I… same thing happened to me, right? I went from one, then the next year I had six single family homes. You’re right, it is just another house, I mean, that’s what happens. But what was that secret sauce for you?

Ryan:
So part of it was systematizing. So, I mean I’ve been on the podcast before, my own Call Porter, is our answering service, so I no longer had to take calls-

Felipe:
Love it.

Ryan:
… which freed me up to do a lot more marketing. So before there was almost this fear of, if I put more marketing out, there’s more angry people I have to talk to. So that was part of it and then the other part for me personally was just, I hired a business coach. 2016 was a super rough year for me, like credit cards maxed out. It was like my wife would be like, hey, we need 400 bucks for X and I would somehow go find that, right? Not the glamorous thing most people want. This business coach I hired back then, his big thing for me every week was, what are you doing in real estate to get another deal? So just really focused on revenue generating activities.

Ashley:
That’s awesome. So I want to talk more about your direct marketing and how are you helping Drew with that and can you explain to everyone how this is different than finding a deal on the MLS?

Ryan:
Yeah. Okay. So my approach in a nutshell, we build a local community brand, think like Amazon or Yelp, right? Consumers want to read reviews. They want to know this is legit. Back when I started in 2014, we sent yellow letters with nothing on them, you couldn’t tell who we were. Now, everything ties back to a local company. One thing I do want to differentiate, it’s not Ryan Buys Houses, the brand doesn’t rest on my shoulders, that enables us to do a hundred deals a year in Indianapolis while I live in San Diego.

Ryan:
So it’s a local community brand, has an online web presence, it’s very easy to find. All of our marketing is custom designed for that market. So like our envelopes are full color, watermarked for that city. The piece that goes inside it is also full color and matches the exterior. So, we hear things from sellers like I’ve never gotten anything like this before and then probably are like part of our secret sauce. We use robots that hold pens and hand write in cursive on those pieces.

Ashley:
Wow.

Ryan:
So yeah, it’s not printed, it’s not like a font out of an HP, it’s literally done with Paper Mate Eagle pens. They smear, smudge, indent and all that good stuff.

Ashley:
Wow, that’s really interesting. I had no idea there was robots that even did that out there.

Felipe:
There is robots for everything now, man. Geez.

Ashley:
Yeah, yeah. That’s true.

Felipe:
No one even wants to write [inaudible 00:10:13]on letters anymore.

Ashley:
Yeah.

Ryan:
I’m not going to lie, I wrote my wife a love letter once and I gave it to her thinking I was like slick and she was like, “This come off one of your machines?” I was like, “Yeah.” She was like, “Yeah, this doesn’t count.”

Felipe:
Wow. I love that. That’s [crosstalk 00:10:30].

Ryan:
Busted.

Ashley:
It’s [inaudible 00:10:32]. So, is this like a machine you have in your house then? It’s not like you email a place, then they print them out for you, you actually have the machine?

Ryan:
We have a lot of them. So Ballpoint Marketing is one of our companies.

Ashley:
Cool. Very interesting.

Ryan:
Yes.

Ashley:
Okay. So let’s talk about how Drew is brought into this. Drew, how did you find Ryan and what is he helping you with right now?

Drew:
Sure. So I had done some direct mail stuff on my own and had some success with it. We had bought a couple of deals, but it was really tough to sustain not only putting mailers together, but maybe the use of a CRM or a system, a mechanism to track those leads, follow up with people.

Ashley:
Can you tell everyone what a CRM is real quick? Can you just explain that?

Drew:
Yeah. A customer relations manager. The other piece that I was really missing is I couldn’t answer the phone, right? I’m at work doing healthcare stuff and you can’t just stop what you’re doing to answer the phone. So those three pieces and then probably, I just needed to bone up on marketing and modern ways to do that. So those were the four empty boxes that I needed to check. So as I was looking out there, just to see who’s around, I’m from Fort Wayne, Indiana, it’s about two hours, three hours from Indianapolis and so some of the people that I know, knew Ryan. You just start to follow and you see the things they say and the things they start to work on for a few podcasts. So, just dug in deeper and eventually we connected and just took it from there.

Felipe:
You are missing what Ryan could… like you said a minute ago, right? You needed to come 21st century type of thing, right? And Ryan seems like he had been through the same things that you had been through and now grew into something just more professional, right?

Drew:
Yup. Yup. Yeah. They were systems that I could see myself using that would elevate me to that next level. If I can’t answer the phone at 2:00 PM because I’m helping with patients or I’m in meetings or things like that, someone’s going to be there to do that for me and then I can follow up downstream. That’s one of several examples.

Felipe:
For sure. Then Ryan, you were saying that you went from doing a couple and then now you have a robot writing your letters for yourself. So you went from… is this not the same as just building your personal brand, are you doing something different than that? I mean, what does that look like?

Ryan:
I mean, so for me, I’ve followed the Marriott model. I’ve just as opportunities fall in my laps like Call Porter for instance, I can tell you as somebody who runs a call center, it is not fun. I mean, it is a lot of work. It’s pretty management intensive. So, we tried hiring VAs, I tried other answering services and it just wasn’t working. So, I hired one person to take my calls and then I ran my mouth because that’s what I do and buddies were like, well, can you take my calls? Then it got to the point that it was like, okay, we had three employees in 20 or 30 clients and then it grew to what it is today. Similar with Ballpoint Marketing on our direct mail side, I mean this was something we were doing just for us. I wasn’t talking about it anywhere. It was kind of my big secret.

Ryan:
I had a lot of fear about letting people know that I was doing it because I have some buddies that are mail house owners and I didn’t want to step on toes and I hired a guy to run it for me just to fulfill my own marketing because well, I didn’t want to lick envelopes anymore. I gave him a number of, if you can get production to this, I’ll start to talk about this. It was one of those, he’s never going to do this and he did it in four months and I was like, well, crap, it’s time for me to pay the piper. So, now we have a lot of these machines and we work with people all over the country.

Felipe:
Nice. Got it. Okay, thanks Ryan. I wanted to wrap that up. That was really good. So Ryan, what was the first steps that you had Drew take to grow into this next stage for him? Because he knew real estate, that’s obvious, but he was missing this core piece. So what were the first couple of steps that you said, hey Drew, this is what you need to do to get started.

Ryan:
Yeah, so I’ll tell you what it is and I’ll give you a caveat on it. So it’s setting up a local community brand. Now, the goal with this is like this can become busy work if you’re not careful where somebody spends just days and days and hours and months of building a website and making their own logo and they never get anything done, right? I think I gave Drew like two weeks, you have to get this done. But that being said, the importance of branding I don’t think can be understated. I’ve got a buddy of mine who owns Labrador Real Estate out of Boston, a beautiful brand name, family dog, all kinds of great positive imagery. It’s like that verses like a Pitbull Properties. Probably going to call Labrador. I love Pitbull but that doesn’t mean your clientele does, right?

Felipe:
Right.

Ashley:
Yeah.

Ryan:
So we initially went through the branding, the logo design. We use Carrot template websites. Carrot sites are great. I’ve had over like 1500 leads come through mine, so I highly recommend them. Then just getting the brand out there so Google my business, Facebook page, that kind of stuff.

Ashley:
Drew, what did you think about all this? A two week timeline to basically create your brand. How did that go for you?

Felipe:
It sounds rushed.

Drew:
It was a lot, but it was good. It was focused and it was directed. I can relate to Ryan’s comment about wanting to achieve something and you’re getting some stuff done, but it just takes… it’s easy to try to do everything. Do I get the business cards? Do I set up a website? What do I need to do? It was nice to have someone say, here are the steps I would tell you to take and here’s when they’re due. Just the accountability I think is exactly what-

Felipe:
So what where… was it almost a checklist that you give Ryan? Just saying, okay, you need your name, you need your website, you need your business cards, start in this order.

Ryan:
Yeah, we use an accountability tracking tool called Monday. It’s actually like, it’s a project management tool. If you’re in any business at all and have things you want to track, it’s worth looking into.

Felipe:
Drew, how did you come up with your name?

Drew:
Sure. So, the name of my company is Clear Sky Properties and we spent some time, some energy thinking about what are your hobbies, what do you do, what’s important to you, what do you want to accomplish in the community? So I fly paramotors and for folks who don’t know, that’s… you see the guys that have like the parachute over their head and they strap fan to their back and run up into the sky. So, the general concept was, we want to help folks if they have a problem, just help them get onto the clear skies, right? So my branding, my logo, all centers around a house with a paramotor on it and just sailing up through the clouds and [inaudible 00:17:10].

Ryan:
It’s legit because it’s also such a neat conversation starter of like, wait, you do what? I love that piece to it of just like ice is already broken, they’re interested.

Felipe:
Yeah. I think that's really good too because that way you don't just sound like a guy that's trying to take somebody home or whatever the case may be, right? Because regardless of what we know, most people, if not everyone is somehow emotionally attached to their house, right? So if you come in just like, hey, I'm going to buy your house, this is what you're going to get, yada, yada, yada, you're not going to really get anybody. But like Ryan said, Drew's coming in with more of a story of even just how he got the name for his company and what he does. That's outside of the box, I think it's great. I would have a conversation even just about what do you do and we can talk real estate at the end. I had a friend of mine who said he does wholesaling and one of the things that he did was he didn't talk real estate but about 10 minutes of the one or two hour conversation that he had with the people, it was mostly relationship building. Drew, Ryan, is that something that you guys see?

Ryan:
Yeah, absolutely. I mean, our number one thing is rapport. So rapport and customer experience. So if we tell them we’re going to do something, we do it. If we tell them we’re going to show up, we’re there on time or early. But our tasks for our guys whenever they leave an appointment is, what do they do for a living? What are they passionate about? What are they stressed out about? How can we help? Right? Because if you go in and it’s just like a… it’s funny, we’ll run into competition on deals, right, and there’ll be, so and so came in, he was in and out in five minutes, gave me a number and left, I haven’t heard back from him versus like we’re there… in Oregon, they call it porch time as I think a J Henrik’s phrase of just spending time with them, getting to know them, understanding what they want and why so that way you can help facilitate bridging that gap.

Felipe:
Right. See that makes perfect sense because you’re building rapport with that person before you’re even talking numbers. I mean it’s like, hey, how’s your day going? Or whatever the case may be. Then Drew, I know that-

Ryan:
On the branding real quick.

Felipe:
Yeah.

Ryan:
I would also make sure you don't go like a, we buy houses in your city thing just because it's very hard for them to remember like, was it we buy houses in Indianapolis, was it we buy houses Indy, was it homes? You want it to be something that's differentiated enough? I mean, I'll be blunt, we'll have sellers call us that will be like, yeah, you made an offer, I want to accept that. We look in our CRM, never spoke with them. Yeah. What was that number we gave you again? We're not going to be like, oh yeah, you were probably looking for so and so, but you're much less likely to lose deals to competitors if your name doesn't sound the same as everybody else's.

Felipe:
That’s really good for branding because then you don’t get stuck in the mesh of everyone else, you’ve actually differentiated yourself just enough to where people are going to remember who you are.

Ryan:
Correct.

Felipe:
Cool. See, I like that.

Drew:
To highlight that, I mean, a lot of what Ryan has shared with me and that just that I’ve learned is, I mean, it’s interwoven into everything, your website, your Facebook page, Instagram, places, every place. That sounds really intuitive. I mean, of course that’s an obvious thing you would do, right? But there are ways to build it and make it visual so that you really do stand out. If you get a letter from XYZ properties and you go to a website and it’s just basic or bland or a Facebook page and there’s nothing there, I don’t know that it stands out in someone’s mind. You come to my website and you see pictures of me flying around hot air balloons and sunsets and things like that. So, the imagery… there’s value in creating very positive imagery.

Ashley:
Before we go on to your next step after building your brand, I just want to focus on that two week timeline again, because a lot of times people say, don’t bother with a website, don’t bother doing this because a lot of people get boggled down and dragged out with, should my website be this color or that color? So I think setting that two week timeline really pushes you to get it done with and don’t… it’s almost like analysis paralysis, don’t spend too much time on building your website and picking out your fun and your color and stuff like that. So I want everyone to remember that when they start going through these list of steps. So, what would be step two after that?

Ryan:
So step two after that, kind of, after you have the initial brand set up and you know what you’re going to call this thing is, I think figuring out who you’re going to start marketing to and where. So, it really depends on the person, but we normally look to have a variety of asset classes. If you just mail A class areas, you’re probably going to get a pretty low response rate. It’s going to probably take a lot of work to get a deal. Obviously, if you just mail D class neighborhoods, it’s probably not what you want, right? So there’s actually a way that you can search on List Source for free and figure out where the most deals are being done in your market. So that’s a good place to start, especially if you’re looking for something like wholesales or flips of figuring out where are other people buying properties.

Ashley:
Can you explain a little bit about List Source for everyone?

Ryan:
Yeah. So List Source, I personally don’t recommend buying lists through them anymore. They charge you like 20 cents for a person’s name and mailing and those are pretty expensive. There’s like… we buy a lot of data so my cost is 3 cents, but we have other providers we prefer now, but they are like a data aggregator. But if you Google, how to find hottest wholesales zip codes like on YouTube, you can find walkthroughs of exactly what I’m talking about, that will show you, okay cool, in these 10 zip codes, the most transactions were done, which indicates the most people are selling there for a discount.

Felipe:
So, Drew-

Ashley:
That’s really cool.

Felipe:
… knowing that you’re as busy as you are, how would you tell our listeners that one, and I’m going to… so, step one was the two weeks and then you had to figure out immediately after was like, who are you going to send stuff to? Who’s going to be your market? I mean, it sounds like you are a busy guy so where did you find the time to do the two weeks, get all that knocked out and then boom, next step hit you. I mean, where did you find the time to do that? Because I know our listeners are going to say, well I don’t have the time to do that because I have three or four kids and I’ve got a full time job and all this.

Drew:
Sure. Yeah. I guess I would tell you, if you’re trying to find the time, you’re never going to find it. It’s about creating the time.

Felipe:
Interesting.

Drew:
I know exactly what my goals for 2020 are. There are three big goals. One of them is very specific to this kind of initiative and Ryan’s a key part of that goal for me. So, I think being able to stay focused on that gives me that drive to say, yeah, I can sleep till 7:30 and go to the office, but I’m going to be up at six o’clock and we’re going to pound it. So I tend to stay up late and sleep late, but for, well, I don’t know, eight weeks, 10 weeks, 12 weeks, I was up every day 6:00 AM prayers, devotion and goal review, and then we hit it for an hour or two before I head to the office.

Ashley:
[crosstalk 00:24:15]

Felipe:
Anytime somebody tells me they’re too busy, I just ask them how much Netflix they watch because it’s easy to feel really busy, but if you made it through Tiger King in two days, we both know you have time.

Drew:
Yup.

Felipe:
That’s so true.

Ashley:
There’s a saying that everyone has the same 24 hours in a day, but it’s how you use those 24 hours.

Drew:
Right, right. Well and I mean, this is a perfect example, today is my first day off from the hospital for a while, right? This is what I’m doing on my day off, right? I choose to put the time in where there’s going to be a return and we try to do some fun and relaxing things like run up into the sky every now and then but-

Ashley:
Yeah, that sounds really relaxing.

Drew:
Oh, it’s fantastic.

Felipe:
It actually is.

Ashley:
Just strapped to a fan.

Felipe:
It’s pretty cool.

Drew:
Yeah.

Felipe:
You know, when it comes to the time portion of it, I think that’s really important for our listeners to understand that we do all have the same 24 hours and we’re all busy, we’re just all busy in different ways and it’s like Drew said, if you are looking for the time, you’re not going to find it. It’s definitely something that you have to take an actionable step to say, where do I have an hour that I’m going to use for X goal or X criteria, two weeks that I have to do this or who I’m going to market to. I have to figure this out and if I’m waking up at 6:00, well then there’s also 5:00 to 6:00, you have that hour there or after you put your kids to sleep, right? So there’s always that time available, you just definitely have to make a conscious decision that you’re going to decide and say, hey, I’m going to use this time applicable to my goals, period.

Drew:
Yup. Yeah, and it’s super easy to get up early and all you do is focus on your inbox, trying to get through your email or you… like we have a lot of rentals, I do some syndication stuff on the side, it’d be easy to get up and let that time go to something else. But my goal is this, this is what this time is for. Once I achieve that goal or get this deliverable to Ryan, then I can let those other things invade that time. But saying it’s not just creating the time but keeping the focus.

Ryan:
I think it’s funny too because if you give the other stuff time, more stuff comes up. If I don’t check my email, it’s almost like I don’t get emails but if I sit there and check it, then everything comes up.

Ashley:
Yeah, those are really great tips guys for everyone listening to really figure out how you need to time block to get to your goals and complete them. But I want to continue back with the picking your market. So what target markets did you end up picking Drew?

Drew:
Sure. So I’ll be honest, this one’s probably easier for me than maybe say, Felipe, you’re in Nashville, yeah?

Felipe:
Yeah, that’s right.

Drew:
Okay. So it’s huge. You have lots of zip codes to choose from. In Fort Wayne, our population is somewhere between 250 and 300,000 and that’s spread across maybe 11 zip codes, something like that. So, my goal was to find 10, I think I included all 11 at the beginning and then I picked a couple of… there are some really nice commuter towns that people commute in and out of the city from and so I chose some of those as well. As I get further down the road and really dial in specifically what I like and what’s working and not working, then we might adjust but for me personally it was pretty easy because I got to blanket the city as a whole and we’ll slice and dice later.

Felipe:
So you decided to blanket everything and then pick your market from there, is that what you’re saying? Kind of pick where you were going to go more strategic. So you did more of a 30,000 foot view maybe and then started scaling down to what you were going to be more specific on?

Drew:
I did, but that was primarily because I knew that I wanted to send X amount of mailers out and maybe we’ll talk about that and those zip codes allowed me to do that. If I lived in Nashville or Chicago or Miami, I would not have blanketed all of those zip codes because the number of mailers that you might send out might be [inaudible 00:28:03]around so-

Felipe:
Talk about the mailers.

Drew:
Yeah, Ryan you want to speak to…?

Ryan:
Yeah, so I mean, one thing I think you want to highlight here is these are… the starting campaign I always recommend is absentee owners with equity. I know that's a pretty common list that people are hitting, but keep in mind, we're showing up in front of these people in a way that's very, very unique. So we're getting different results than if you're using say postcards or something of that nature. But, I do think it's important to highlight. We didn't blanket 300,000 people, it was like 2,500 folks in these zip codes that have equity.

Ashley:
That’s a really great point and is that what you’d tell all of your mentees, Ryan is to focus on that type of person, the absentee owner with equity?

Ryan:
It depends.

Ashley:
Would you recommend that for our listeners or it depends on the market?

Ryan:
Yeah, so that's normally where I would start. If you're in like a super high end or a super competitive market, it may make a lot more sense to niche down and get a little bit more specific. So, one of the things we showed Drew how to do was find public documents. So Drew's actually starting now to build his own mailing lists based off of people that have filed for divorce, pre-foreclosure evictions, mechanics, liens, power of attorneys, death certificates. I mean, I'll be blunt. In Indianapolis, I even mail murderers with equity. Like, whoa, if there's an indication that they could want or need to sell and they have equity, we're in front of them.

Ashley:
So what would be the first step to find that information? I’m sure it varies from County, but do you go to like the clerk’s office?

Ryan:
Honestly the best thing to do is just call your County assessor. So, you’d want to decide what you’re looking for. So, one of my favorite lists that I unfortunately can’t get in Indianapolis is properties that are behind on their taxes. Great, great list. Some counties will give it out, some won’t. For some you need to file a Freedom of Information Act request, which costs you a couple of bucks and then they’ll give you the goods. Other counties, it’s as simple as you call up and say, hey, here’s what I’m looking for, and they send you the file. So first place I would start is like, another common one is Code Enforcement, right? So reaching out to whoever is over Code Enforcement in your community and hey, do you have a… is there a portal or is there a list you can give me of properties that have board orders or have been flagged as vacant or whatever.

Felipe:
Drew, give us your experience with that part with finding the list and navigating that. Now Ryan’s obviously a professional so he speaks very easy about it but I want to hear from Drew, what have you had in looking for these lists, if you would?

Drew:
Sure.

Ashley:
Could we call this step three? So we’ve got build your brand, step two is find your market and then maybe step three is, who in that market?

Ryan:
I would say this is more like step, six or seven. This is probably after you’ve done a campaign or two and you’re looking to kind of niche down. I do want to give a shout out to the CRM company, both Drew and I use, it’s a company called REsimpli. They’re active all over BiggerPockets. They’re also buy-and-hold guys that are great. So that’s the like after you have the brand setup, after you have your farm area identified, before you send out marketing, you’re setting up a tracking phone number and setting up the CRM of where you’re going to work all of these leads. Working out of something like a Google sheet or an Excel file is cool when you have four leads, but when you have 50, 60, 70, I mean it starts to get pretty messy if you don’t have a software to do some of that heavy lifting.

Ashley:
Okay. Okay, we’ll go to all that but first Drew, go ahead and answer Felipe’s question on your experience with that.

Drew:
Yeah, absolutely. So again, I’ve been doing real estate locally for about five or six years and so I’ve got a fair amount of experience with… our online systems here in our county are actually very robust. So I’ve spent a lot of time searching and digging into them. Some of my previous mailers came from those lists, but admittedly I wanted to test the waters with what Ryan was suggesting that we do and not deviate from that too much just… because if I deviate too much and it doesn’t work, then Ryan can say, well, it’s who’s fault. But if do exactly what Ryan says, if it doesn’t work well then maybe Ryan might need to… maybe we need to talk about it a little bit differently.

Felipe:
That’s right.

Drew:
Now, I won’t let the cat out of the bag. We’ve stayed with absentee owners just for the first major mailing and it’s been good thus far. But the next step for me, now that everything’s established, we’re looking to do the second and third mailings downstream, then we’ll start tearing into the niches.

Ashley:
Okay, great. Ryan, do you want to go back to your steps? So after he’s found his market, what would be next step to that?

Ryan:
Yeah, so I mean, you’ve got your brand set up, you know what you want to call this thing. You have your website and social media profiles set up. You then have to figure out what phone number you’re going to put on all this stuff, if you’re going to use like tracking phone numbers. We use REsimpli because that’s included in there and pulls through there. Then from there, I mean, if you’re going to take your own calls, cool, if you’re going to hire somebody to take your calls, Resimpli gives you like a web form you can give them so they don’t have access to all your data, they can just input the leads. Then really from there it’s like you need to get some leads into the system, go on some appointments, talk to some people, make some offers.

Felipe:
So you’re telling me you don’t put your personal cell phone number on 2000 mailers [crosstalk 00:33:32]?

Ryan:
No. Uh-huh (negative). No.

Ashley:
Okay. Drew, did you end up doing that and did you get your first call?

Drew:
Yeah. So we got our mailers all set. We sent them out, kind of once a week I send another batch out to make sure I didn’t get so many that I couldn’t handle them and we… it did real well. Almost immediately phone calls would come in. Of course, they didn’t come to me, they came to Call Porter and Call Porter did a great job of taking those calls, asking the kind of questions that I’d be asking if I were on that call. Then they populate that CRM for me so that when I’m done with work at the end of the day or when I get home, I can open it up and see what sort of conversations happened. Then begin the process of following up with each of those leads.

Felipe:
Drew, I think that’s really important for our listeners because a lot of the times I even get questions, they’re like, man, how do you do so much? How do you buy a property under contract, mess with your tenants, this, that, the other? I try to explain to them, look, if you can systematize your life, actually you step back and you watch it work on its own, right? That sounds like what you did, if you could… you just said you came back from work and you were able to just look at a business that was basically running without you, right? And you were able to just kind of pick and choose what appointments you were going to do. You didn’t have to sit there and answer every single call and you didn’t create yourself another job. What you’re doing is, you’re systemizing with Ryan’s help, right? That like, okay, I’m coming home. I see the conversation that they had. This person looks like that they’re ready to sell or whatever the case may be and you’re not wasting time.

Drew:
Yeah. I think there’s probably a transition between doing all the work yourself, choosing when you get to do the work and then letting other people do the work. I’m probably in that middle step where Ryan has helped me thus far say, I don’t have to take these calls during the day, I don’t necessarily have to do all my mailers, I still have to do some of this work with all the followup and I’ll go on some visits and things like that.

Drew:
But now I’m setting the time when I want to do that, which makes a world of difference. If we continue to have some of the success that we’ve had thus far, then we’ll be looking for maybe an acquisitions manager or the next person who really can do that work. Then he and I or she or I can follow up and make decisions together so that I’m less involved. So, I don’t know that it’s overnight, but it’s been a good transition so far. I’m probably right in the middle of, I don’t get to get rid of all the work, but I get to choose what I’m doing-

Felipe:
Love it.

Drew:
… which makes all the difference.

Ashley:
I really like this because it highlights the point, don’t recreate the wheel. You could probably do this on your own using Excel spreadsheets, pulling numbers from the phone book and taking the calls yourself and then recording that data. So let’s talk about the pricing of this and how did you decide how much you want to spend and how many mailers are you sending out right now?

Drew:
Sure. Ryan, do you want to speak to-

Ryan:
Yeah.

Drew:
I don’t know that everyone’s advice is the same for each market, so maybe you could talk through how you mentor the mentees through it.

Ashley:
Yeah, that would be great.

Ryan:
Yeah. So, I typically recommend that this is something folks only do if they can spend about 3000 bucks a month on marketing. A lot of like mail houses will tell you, hey, budget to mail the same list for six months before you get a result. I’ve heard that on numerous podcasts. I’ll just be blunt, I’m not that patient and I don’t expect other people to see that kind of money going out the door for that long without getting a return. So that 3000 bucks, what that typically looks like is going to be about 2000 pieces of direct mail. You’re going to have the CRM we use REsimpli is about 75 or a hundred bucks. Carrot sites we use are about 45 to 150 bucks depending on which version we use, a little bit of Facebook ads, a little bit of Google ads, and then Call Porter taking the calls.

Ryan:
That’s what that breakdown looks like. The most scalable and obviously the most expensive piece is also the direct mail. On that note, the reason why I do direct mail, I’ve done cold calling, I’ve done text message blasting, I’ve done RVMs and I currently have friends getting sued for RVMs and text message blasting. So we choose-

Ashley:
Can you explain what that is? I don’t even know what that is.

Ryan:
Yeah. So, there’s platforms that can send out a thousand text messages in 30 seconds. A lot of like coaches and stuff push it because the barrier to entry is so low, hey, you can get in front of a thousand people for a hundred bucks, right? Personally for me though, I just decided I wanted to play above board at all times. So we don’t do any of like the “gray” area marketing. We’re not doing bandit signs. Our big focus is on the stuff that’s legal, ethical, and scalable. So that’s direct mail and online.

Ashley:
Yeah. Then what does the RVM stand for?

Ryan:
Yeah, so RVMs are ringless voice mails. In theory, a voicemail is just supposed to go to your phone and your phone’s not supposed to ring. What actually happens is you get a call from an unknown number that you can’t answer and then you get a voicemail of somebody… we looked at it as just the user experience is terrible. I never get a voicemail and I’m like, oh great, can’t wait to check this out. It’s like, come on, shoot me a text. So that, and it started out and it wasn’t really regulated and now it’s not so much a gray area, it’s pretty black.

Felipe:
So that’s interesting that you’re saying, okay, I’ve got to stay legitimate because a lot of people are probably going to be like, okay, how do I hustle my way through this, right? How do I get in front of a thousand people for this amount of price? And you’re saying, look guys, no, just be legit from the beginning, be honest, like you told Drew, right? Just clear skies, right? Be personable. If you got… like you said, I’m never going to check my voicemails, text message me if you really want to, right? So I think you’re dropping some gold there to people, hey, be personable, even from the beginning. I mean, from the beginning all the way to the end is how you’re going to get the deal done.

Ryan:
I mean, I’ll be totally blunt. I have gotten deals through gray area methods. This isn’t something that I didn’t see the reward and the sex appeal to it and was like… we bought two duplexes in Indianapolis off of a text messaging campaign that costs me $85. I bought two properties in a hot, hot part of town for a total of 150 grand, those properties are both worth 175 a piece.

Ashley:
Wow.

Ryan:
We put maybe 30 into them, right? Don't get me wrong. I have seen the, wow, that was lucrative, but ultimately, I didn't want to run a business where I felt I needed to look over my shoulder. But then on top of that, I didn't want to explain to my wife like, hey the FCC is calling because of some dumb stuff I did, right? So, when you're starting out, if you want to cold call or text landlords, don't get me wrong, you've got to work with what you've got. I'm a big fan of driving for dollars or something like deal machine if you have very any budget but I'd rather see you door knock or go to garage sales or do kind of some of that on your feet kind of stuff. That if you're hustling because you're broke and then you get slapped with a fine, well that doesn't help you be less broke.

Ashley:
Right. Makes things worse. Drew-

Felipe:
My first deal was from a yard sale, actually. My first house hack that I have was from a yard sale. I pulled up on a yard sale, the little lady was selling everything and I was kind of confused and ultimately she was like, “Yeah, I’m selling my house too.” I was like, “Really? Let’s buy it.”

Ryan:
Yeah. I mean, there’s kind of this, you’re either going to spend more money or you’re going to put in more time. It’s up to you which one it is. I like the scalable, systematized, like I value my time way more than I value money. But that wasn’t always the case. There was a time when I had no money and I had time as you can find in old BP posts.

Ashley:
Yeah, that’s great. I really like that because that’s very true is, you can either spend more money or spend more time. I like that. We’ll have to use that as a highlight of the show when we upload it. But Drew, I want to ask about what have you used besides just mailers? Anything… you mentioned you had a Facebook page, your website. Are you getting leads through those at all?

Felipe:
You’ve got to talk about that first deal, man.

Drew:
Yeah. So the first deal was-

Ashley:
Yeah, let’s hear it.

Drew:
… yeah, the first deal was wild because it came out of nowhere. We’re working through a couple of weeks at a time trying to build these systems and get onboarded. The first deal that came to us came through the Facebook page where someone just messaged the Facebook page. Turns out they had a lake property, actually on the same lake my parents live on.

Felipe:
Nice.

Drew:
It’s about an hour from here and we wound up purchasing, we actually close on it tomorrow and it’s going to be a vacation rental throughout the summer, but it’s only 45 minutes, maybe an hour up the road. So, we’ll go hang out there, visit our folks maybe at Christmas time when relatives come from out of town, they’ll stay. It was a great deal for us. It was great for the seller and it was even before I sent a single mailer out. So, it just showed me immediately the value of just putting yourself out there and having that brand that’s attractive.

Felipe:
I’ve had so many folks I’ve worked with that when they throw out the business page and invite their friends to like it, people are like, oh, I’ve got a house. It was like they didn’t even know that you did this. So Drew, I don’t know if that’s how this particular guy found you, but-

Drew:
Yeah, it turns out that we have a lot of mutual contacts. It’s strange how many people that we know and so again, I had invited a lot of friends to like the page and so I don’t know if it was through some of those connections, but it’s been great just to get to know him and what they’re going through and it’s been good.

Ashley:
That’s a common theme we’ve had on the podcast too, is people talking about word of mouth, how they just tell people what they want, what they’re looking for and either their direct friends and family have something for sale or they say, oh, actually I know someone, let me connect you.

Drew:
Yeah, I think that’s been huge for me. When I first started investing, you could find deals on the MLS and that started to dry up and we spent a lot of time… I host the Local Real Estate Investors meeting in town, but we talk a lot about network and put yourself out there and communicate. Now, with Ryan’s guidance we’ve started to get several deals and the ball’s really start to roll. But the previous six months, I think we had four or five deals and they were all word of mouth, pocket listings or my sister needs to go to a nursing home or things like that. So word of mouth is absolutely huge.

Felipe:
Drew, I do have a question that I get all the time as well, and this is going to be more directed to actually probably both of you guys, but Drew, if you would tell me if someone is looking for a mentor like Ryan in a specific niche, what are some of the things that you looked for? Because there’s other people that do what Ryan does very successfully and also teach people how to do it. Why did you choose Ryan? Then Ryan, you can say, the question to you would be after that is, why did you decide to mentor Drew? Because I don’t mentor everyone that comes to me. So, what was the decision factor for both of you guys?

Drew:
Yeah, that’s a really good question. I think it’s going to be different for everyone. I think it’s important that you know what you’re going for, right? So if you’re just starting out and you want to do rental properties, you’re probably going to seek out local landlords in your community so that you can just spend time with them. So maybe you meet and you meet for lunch, or you… however you want to connect. I’m to a point personally where I do learn a lot from local people and I actually spend a lot of time teaching local people now since I… because of the Real Estate Investors Association.

Drew:
So now I’m at a place, the last two years where I’m really trying to focus on this aspect, this one thing. So, you cast a wide net and just sit back and watch at least that was my approach is, I’ve heard of Ryan, I listen to his podcast. Okay, what’s he about? Right? So you follow the Facebook thread and you maybe introduce yourself, things like that. But I kind of vet through just watching for a little bit.

Ashley:
You’ve got to stock them a little bit and make sure [crosstalk 00:45:26].

Drew:
You’re spot on. So, that was at least my approach. So, it probably depends on what you want to learn and how specialized of the information you need to gain is. The stuff that I need was pretty specialized and it led me to Ryan.

Felipe:
Ryan, why did you decide to take on Drew?

Ryan:
Yeah, good question. So one of my big things is, I try to work with people that already have the dream. I don’t really like the selling the business opportunity. It’s very, very rare that I’ll work with somebody who hasn’t done a deal or several. But I think the thing for me that was appealing with Drew was, he’d done deals. I’d actually dabbled in his market with somebody else and had good luck. So I remember when I told Drew when he was debating it, I was like, “Look, I’ve already done this in your market and I know it works. So, come on, let’s go.”

Ryan:
We also just happened to get a couple Fort Wayne leads that fell into our lap down in Indianapolis and I said, “I’ll tell you what man, whether you join us or not, here’s 15 leads, go work these.” So, I mean, ultimately for me, it came down to the fact, he had the experience, he had the track record. Our big thing is acquisitions and getting you in front of people and I felt like he could close. I can get you in front of as many people as you want, but if you can’t close a door, I really can’t help you, right?

Ashley:
Yeah.

Felipe:
So that’s funny because it sounds like you were going to make him successful easy. You knew the market, you knew what was going on, you knew the work, you’re like, that was going to be easy, I’m going to make him successful. Yeah.

Ashley:
I think it’s easy to find out who the gurus are and who the legit people are that you do want to invest your time and money with. Just by asking… ask that person, who are you mentoring now? Get referrals. Even just maybe someone is not mentoring anyone and you message them on social media just asking, hey, would you be interested in mentoring me? Then you can provide some value to them, whether it’s money or writing… sending out mailers for them or something like that. But I want to talk about-

Ryan:
I’d really like for people who add value is my thing. I’ve had people in the past that I reached out to for help and it was like, well, here’s my $25,000 program and it was like, right. I asked how I set up a Google My Business. That’s not what this is, right?

Felipe:
I’m not trying to buy a $25,000 program.

Ashley:
Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Ryan:
Yeah, so I mean it’s, I think really you want to look for somebody that you’re learning from before they’ve asked you for anything. I think is another big piece to it.

Ashley:
That’s a great point.

Felipe:
Ryan, I would add a little bit more to that as well and then I’ve got a question for both of you guys, but I would add that, I even go past now what kind of value that person is bringing. I don’t even look for that anymore. I look for genuine relationships. If someone’s like, “Hey Felipe, I can redo your website.” I’m like so can the other person that you’re not adding any value or, “Hey, Felipe. I’d love to help you with this, that, the other.” I’m like, all right, that’s cool, but so can the other person. But the person that’s like, “Hey Felipe. I saw that you were in your prayer this morning. I think that’s really cool.” Didn’t ask me for anything, just a comment. I’m like, oh, that’s cool man. Building a-

Ashley:
Build that. Yeah.

Felipe:
… a genuine relationship I think is even more important than just like, hey, I can add value to you. Well, that’s fine. Maybe that would have helped me back when I didn’t have money, not that I have money now, I’m just saying. If you want to reach somebody, man, build a relationship with that person and I think real estate is like that in a completely way, right? Adding value to somebody, cool. I love that. It sounds great. You can throw it on an Instagram post, whatever, but for me, I think more important is relationship building. Do we click? Am I going to actually be able to help you? The money is irrelevant. If me and you don’t click bro, I’m not going to be able to help you because I don’t know, we’re not going to connect. So I think more than that, it’s just building a relationship with that person.

Ryan:
There’s a book on that called Blue Fishing, that I highly recommend.

Felipe:
Okay.

Ryan:
Yeah. The guy’s just a total gangster, but some of his… his basic thing is he can get anything for anyone. He had like a client who wanted to get married in Rome and he got her married in the Vatican by the Pope.

Felipe:
Dude, wait, what is that book called?

Ashley:
Wow.

Ryan:
Blue fishing.

Felipe:
Oh, man.

Ashley:
We’ll add that to the show notes for everyone.

Ryan:
[crosstalk 00:49:42]It’s like a four hour listen, and I know the guy who wrote it personally. Super, super good guy.

Ashley:
If you guys want to find that link, we’ll link it to the show notes at biggerpockets.com/rookienine.

Felipe:
Hey Ryan, let me ask you, how are you… because I think this is really important and I want everyone to listen to real quick, Ryan, how are you going to hold Drew accountable to the goals that he’s talking to you about? Even going back to like the two weeks thing and even going forward, how are you keeping him accountable to his goals?

Ryan:
Yeah, good question. So, how we structure things, we do two group calls a week and then we also have Slack access. So one thing I’ve found with entrepreneurs is when they’re hurting, when stuff’s not going well, when they’ve got relationship or health things going on, they tend to pull back from the communities that are there to support them as opposed to pushing in. So it’s like, hey, you haven’t showed up in a few weeks, what’s up? We’ve had guys that be like, “Oh, I got a new girlfriend.” I’m like, “Okay, cool. That’s fine. I wanted to make sure it wasn’t anything else.”

Ryan:
Then on top of that, I mean, the way we look at it, this is kind of a passion project for me of my goal is to be just a part of the success story. So the way I look at it, every single month, every single marketing campaign he does, I mean this is money he’s spending with my companies, right? I need to earn him as a customer every 30 days. I think that’s just the way I look at business. So, hey, what were the results? If the results weren’t great, let’s talk about it. Let’s dive into it. Let’s look at what we need to do for the next campaign and that kind of stuff.

Felipe:
So, that’s how you’re holding-

Ashley:
That’s great.

Felipe:
… everyone in your team accountable. It’s like, hey guys, you haven’t been around, new girlfriend, cool and all, but like, hey, this is what you talked about last week or the week before.

Ashley:
That would mean things are good then if you got a new girlfriend, not things are bad [crosstalk 00:51:32].

Felipe:
Yeah.

Ryan:
You mentioned the relationship piece though, I follow all these people on social as well, right? So it's like… then I also love that you mentioned that. I had a buddy of mine that I remember I asked when I started coaching people, how do you differentiate is this somebody you're going to pitch on what you have to offer or if this is a relationship? I mean, his advice to me was always go for the relationship. That's just what I've done. I mean, I have friends that have ended up spending money with me, I have friends that I've poured a ton into that haven't spent a dollar with me. But I think the big thing you're talking about though is, it has to be that genuine interest in the relationship not what can I get out of you because that's… I mean, that sucks. Nobody wants [crosstalk 00:52:12].

Ashley:
Right. Yeah.

Felipe:
That’s something that my mentor is working on with me. He’s told me a couple of times, he’s like, “Philippe, you do have genuine relationships. But I feel like a lot of the times even you don’t know it subconsciously you might be building relationships to see what you can get and you need to start building relationships to what you can give.” I’m like, man, that’s really good. It’s actually one of the pastors at my church. But, basically he was telling me, it doesn’t always have to be a monetary gain and you’ll see a huge success if you just build relationships to build relationships. I think that’s really smart. Drew, I would ask you, what is… if you’re willing to let us know, man, what’s one goal right now that Ryan has you accountable to?

Drew:
When we first started talking, there’s this core curriculum that we start working through that he holds you accountable and I’ve just recently, the last couple of weeks gotten through that and he and I communicated back and forth about… I gave him a report of, okay I’ve gone through the whole thing, this is how it’s gone. So, this is how many leads we got, this is how many offers I made, how many deals we got. Then the dialogue from there is, okay, where do you want to take it next? What do you want to work on? So, we’ve had discussion about niche lists, which ones to pull, other people either inside his network of people or maybe even outside that might be able to help me. It turns into a little more independence but he’s challenging me to think about new things and test new things and that will continue on.

Ashley:
That’s really great and Philippe and I are actually going to be your accountability partner too because we’re going to have you back on the show to see how you’re progressing going through this mentorship and using the direct mail marketing pieces. We’ll also focus on what happens after that person calls and you go to the property and how do you negotiate the deal and how you close it because Ryan talked about how he can get deals in front of you but you have to be able to close it. So when you come back, we’ll cover all that too.

Drew:
Yeah, and I’m really excited to do that. I think the first round that we’ve done, took off like gangbusters and we’ll see if that continues. I imagine that it will if I keep putting in the same amount of effort, what that [inaudible 00:54:22]is, there’s so much more to talk about, you know, how I finance these deals, just the face to face interaction with the people and building the relationships that we keep talking about.

Ryan:
Exit strategies.

Drew:
Yeah. Yeah, absolutely.

Ashley:
So what you guys are saying is we need to make this into a part three-

Felipe:
A three part show.

Ashley:
… instead of two shows?

Drew:
Yeah. Yeah. If you send the invite, I’ll come back.

Felipe:
Ryan, how do you handle when a mentee, because the show is talking about a professional like yourself and Drew, who’s trying to get on that level but how would you handle somebody… because Drew said… it sounds you hit a home run from the beginning, what would you say to somebody that didn’t?

Ryan:
So first thing first is, diagnosis. I’ve done dumb things before like sent a marketing campaign and not turned my phone number on. Like, did something like that happen? We had a customer who, or we had a guy in our group who couldn’t figure out how to log into his CRM but hadn’t told anybody. So he’s like, “I’ve been checking my email and I’m not getting anything.” It’s like, dude, you have like 45 leads in your CRM. Let’s make sure you know how to access that. So, I mean I think for a campaign that falls flat, it’s looking at, okay, what, can we change or what should we do differently next time?

Ryan:
Because it’s not just… I would say most people who I buy houses from aren’t desperate but the other piece to that is most people who I buy a house from call me asking way too much money. Tell me I’m out of my mind and should be ashamed of myself for the offer I gave them. I think BiggerPockets actually lovingly named my last interview, How to Make a Low Ball Offer. So, most of these are people that tell us no and then end up panning out when we follow up. So, that’s one of the big things we get into is, followup and overcoming objections. If you offer a hundred but really you can do 110, you don’t come up to 110 on that first phone call. It’s, I think more the negotiation piece. I think just doing diagnostics on, if you have leads but no deals then there’s probably a breakdown in either how you’re analyzing the deals, how you’re estimating your repair costs or your followup.

Ashley:
I feel like we have so much more to talk about-

Felipe:
There is so much more.

Ashley:
… and to cover. So I’m really excited for the other episodes. If you guys have questions about this episode that we didn’t cover or going forward, stuff you want Drew and Ryan to cover, you can call our Rookie request line at 18885 Rookie and leave a voicemail there and we’ll play it on the episode and we can have Ryan and Drew answer that question for you. Is there anything else that you guys wanted to add that relates to the show today, getting your brand out there, getting your systems in place, finding your market?

Ryan:
I think the only thing I would add is, I used to look at anything I paid for marketing websites services as like… I used to put a lot of the responsibility on… Like there’s a tool I pay for email opt-ins. Okay, am I getting 250 bucks of value out of that tool this month? But then what I looked into and realized is, they have all kinds of training and material and stuff like that out that the way I now look at any marketing campaign I do, there’s vendors, I’ve got people I hire to do my paper click advertising and my Facebook ads, I look at, okay, do they have resources that I’m potentially not tapping?

Ryan:
So I think like somebody who’s a BiggerPockets person who’s like, ah, is it worth paying for a premium membership or whatever? It’s on you to extract the value out of that. I mean, it’s like listening to a podcast, I’m hoping that somebody who listens to this is going to go Google how to find the hottest zip codes in their market. We named dropped the vendors we’re using, this isn’t like… this isn’t a hire me thing, it’s a, these are the tools, go connect them. I think really if you don’t take action, you’re wasting your own time.

Ashley:
This is something that definitely rookies can do. Because you mentioned that you personally only mentor people who have already done some deals, but this is something that anyone could start, because you say like-

Ryan:
Yeah, I mean, my first deal I did was direct to seller. I think that was a blessing and also a curse. That’s how I find all my deals. But I wasn’t on the MLS, I wasn’t looking for pocket listings, I was out talking with sellers trying to figure out how I could solve problems. I think that’s really the thing is like, get yourself in front of people like Felipe mentioned a yard sale and a state sale, at the block party, pass out business cards. I’ll never forget, I had a buddy of mine who I was talking about real estate investing with and he goes, “Oh man, I totally forgot you did that. My dad and I just sold my grandpa’s house to HomeVestors for like pennies on the dollar.” He was like, “Man, I totally would have just… that could have been yours.” But, I wasn’t talking about it so.

Felipe:
Absolutely. It’s really great that you actually named dropped everything because sometimes, oh, sometimes you hear podcasts where people are like, oh, well I use this CRM and I use this and I use that. I’m like, cool, but where can I find that [crosstalk 00:59:30]?

Ryan:
What are they?

Felipe:
Yeah, what are they? What are you using that I can use?

Ashley:
What’s the secret?

Felipe:
You literally gave them step by step, hey, this is how you’re going to get started and on the next episode you’re going to say, this is how you follow up and on the next episode you’re going to tell us like… So, if people just listen, write it down and take action, done. You’ve literally given the exact steps on how to get this started. Drew, thanks so much for being on here today and being that mentee and being vulnerable to saying, hey, I needed help even though Ryan might be younger than me, but I have this experience in real estate, but hey, I’m not good at systemizing this and Ryan is and I need to find out how to do that. So it’s really cool that you were able to humble yourself and say, I’m going to hire this guy and we’re going to get it done and you’re definitely crushing it. So Drew, where can people find out more about you? Ryan, Where can people find out more about you?

Drew:
Yeah, for me, honestly, probably Facebook’s the easiest way to find me. It’s Drew Wirad. That’s wizard without the Z. So, Drew Wirad. What I would tell you to do is, go find your local REIA. If you’re starting out and you’re new to things and you’re not spending time with people who are doing it, you’re doing yourself a major disservice. That’d be like never reading a book or never watching a podcast or listening to a podcast, you need to go spend time with people, even if you’re not necessarily a people person, you can just soak up so much knowledge even just by sitting at the elbow with people. So that’s between now and when we come back for the second round, people should have been able to attend one or two at least by then.

Felipe:
Agreed.

Ashley:
I always harp on that and Felipe was [crosstalk 01:00:56].

Felipe:
I was about to say, you hit Ashley’s button. She loves to talk about REIA. Go ahead Ashley.

Ashley:
All the meet-ups, yeah. Especially now when you can do them at home, all of them are virtual.

Drew:
Right, well, I mean, you can tell Ashley-

Ashley:
You don’t need to go anywhere.

Drew:
… Ashley clearly loves just socializing and being with people and all that kind of stuff and that might not be your cup of tea, but if this is what you want, if this is what your goal center around, you can just go hang out. We have lots of people come to our meeting. I try to meet everyone, but there’s too many people I can’t, but they just fly on a wall for a couple of months and-

Ashley:
Yeah, believe it or not, I am an introvert. I prefer to be at home and so I usually take a friend with me or I meet someone online, on Instagram beforehand so I know a face to go to when I first get there.

Felipe:
Ashley will Instagram creep you before she gets to know you and she knows more about you than you think so [crosstalk 01:01:45].

Ashley:
Yeah.

Felipe:
Ryan, where can people find out more about you, man?

Ryan:
Best way to do it is just my website. It’s just ryandossy.com

Ashley:
Awesome. [crosstalk 01:01:52]you have to drop your Instagram too.

Ryan:
I mean, mine’s ryancdossy same with Facebook, YouTube. I mean it’s-

Felipe:
She loves Instagram guys, you’ve got to understand.

Ashley:
Yeah, it has good content and I follow Ryan on there, so. But thank you guys so much for being on the show today and we can’t wait to have you guys back. I am Ashley Kehr. You can find me @wealthfromrentals on Instagram. My co-host is Felipe Mejia, @felipemejiarei

Felipe:
That’s right. Thanks guys.

Watch the Podcast Here

In This Episode We Cover:

  • Building a local community-oriented brand when marketing to sellers
  • How to differentiate yourself from other “We Buy Houses” competitors
  • Setting up a Carrot website
  • Creating a web presence to build authority
  • How to identify the hottest zip codes in your area
  • Building “niche” marketing lists using online public records
  • How to generate off-market leads without quitting your day job
  • Eye-catching direct mail pieces
  • The customer relationship management (CRM) system Ryan and Drew use
  • How Ryan holds Drew accountable to his goals
  • How to bring value to your mentor
  • How Drew makes time for investing despite having a demanding job and a family
  • And SO much more!

Links from the Show

Books Mentioned in this Show:

  • Bluefishing by Steve Sims

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Tweetable Topics:

  • “You’re much less likely to lose deals to competitors if your name doesn’t sound the same as everybody else’s.” (Tweet This!)
  • “It’s not finding the time but keeping the focus.” (Tweet This!)
  • “Always build a genuine relationship.” (Tweet This!)

Connect with Ryan

Connect with Drew

Ready to go take action? Every Wednesday, the Real Estate Rookie Podcast will arm you with tips, tools, and inspiration to help you launch your real estate investing career. Hosts Ashley Kehr and F...
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    Jonathan Williams from Wilmington, NC
    Replied 5 months ago
    Awesome episode. Had to keep pausing it to take notes on the recommended steps and tools they use. Can't wait for the next two parts!
    Drew Wiard Rental Property Investor from Fort Wayne, IN
    Replied 5 months ago
    Glad it was helpful!
    Oscar Miguel from San Diego, CA
    Replied 5 months ago
    I'm really enjoying all the information the Real Estate Rookie Podcast is providing to those of us that are still new or relatively new! I love, not only the information but also the motivation it provides without being overwhelming. Thank you, Felipe and Ashley and I hope your podcast continues to grow and grow!!
    Lisa Ruhl
    Replied 4 months ago
    Thank you for all the detailed information. I'm looking forward to part 2 and maybe even part 3!