Show Summary

There’s a divide with real estate investors – those that believe that it’s more critical to find deals before you worry about selling them…and those that believe that you need to start with the end in mind by building a list of ravenous cash buyers, and with said buyers in mind, you can then find deals to fill your orders. Tom Krol, a newer wholesaler that’s tearing it up in Florida believes that it’s all about building your buyers list. It’s hard to argue with him, as his arguments are impressive, and his success is undeniable. He tells us all about how to ‘start with the end in mind’ in this FlipNerd.com Flip Show interview…don’t miss it!

Highlights of this show

  • Meet Tom Krol – a Florida wholesaler that is absolutely killing it.
  • Learn his strategy for building a buyers list through local real estate agents, that’s takes a lot of the hard work off your plate.
  • Get pumped up by Tom’s energy, and learn how real estate investing has changed his life (and can change yours).

Resources and Links from this show:

Listen to the Audio Version of this Episode

FlipNerd Show Transcript:

Mike: Welcome to the FlipNerd.com podcast. This is your host, Mike Hambright. On this show, I will introduce you to VIPs in the real estate investing industry, as well as other interesting entrepreneurs whose stories and experiences can help you take your business to the next level. We have three new shows each week, which are available in the iTunes store or by visiting FlipNerd.com. So without further ado, let’s get started.
Hey. It’s Mike Hambright with FlipNerd.com. Welcome back for another exciting VIP interview, where I interview some of the most successful real estate investing experts and entrepreneurs in our industry, to help you learn and grow. Today, I’m joined by Tom Krol. He’s a successful real estate investor. He’s an expert marketer and wholesaler, and he’s also the founder of Hot Seat Wholesaling, where he really puts people on the spot to share deals they’ve done, to teach others how to take massive action to be successful in this space.
Today, we’re going to talk about building your buyers list so you can maximize your profits. A lot of people get really comfortable and build a list of buyers that are kind of their go-to people, but what happens is, over time, those people expect better deals and the good customer discount and all that stuff. So Tom is going to tell us why it’s important to continually build that list with new buyers so you can maximize your profits. Before we get started though, let’s take a moment to recognize our featured sponsors.

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We’d also like to thank National Real Estate Insurance Group, the nation’s leading provider of insurance to the residential real estate investor market. From individual properties to large scale investors, National Real Estate Insurance Group is ready to serve you.

Please note, the views and opinions expressed by the individuals in this program do not necessarily reflect those of FlipNerd.com or any of its partners, advertisers or affiliates. Please consult professionals before making any investment or tax decisions as real estate investing can be risky.

Hey, Tom. Welcome to the show.

Tom: Hey, Mike. How are you?

Mike: Good. Good. Glad you’re here.

Tom: I’m glad to be here. Thanks for having me.

Mike: Thanks, in advance, for interjecting your energy into today’s show. Man, you got a ball of energy, and I love it.

Tom: Oh, I love it. That’s the only way to do a wholesale business.

Mike: Yeah.

Tom: Tons of energy. Tons of action.

Mike: Yeah. So you’ve got an interesting story that’s really not all that uncommon, as you got backed into a corner and had to do something and made it happen. So why don’t you tell . . . I don’t want to steal your thunder, but why don’t you tell us your story about how you got into real estate investing? Because you really haven’t been doing it for all that long.

Tom: No, I haven’t, almost two years. In that time, I’ve done a ton of deals. I was selling lawn care service and not very happy, sitting in a cubicle.

Mike: Yeah.

Tom: It was my 13th-year wedding anniversary, and I was picking out reservations for my wife and I to eat dinner. My manager came in, and both managers came in. So I knew something was coming that wasn’t good.

Mike: Yeah.

Tom: Yeah, I got the ax. They fired me. I called my brother, Todd Tobeck [SP], and said, “Hey, Todd. What do you think? What should I do?” So I started sending my resume out, and Todd convinced me, after a lot of kicking and screaming and fighting him the whole way, that wholesaling was the way to go.

Mike: Yep.

Tom: I jumped right in, and I haven’t looked back since. I love it. It’s a total game-changer. I’ve made more in the past 10 days than I used to make my whole year, selling lawn care service and, by the way, not selling lawn care service very effectively. I was the worst salesmen in the whole company.

Mike: Yeah, hence losing your job, but yeah. So a lot of folks listening right now know Todd as well. Todd has his own podcast, and he’s a friend of mine. He’s actually been on the show. It’s been quite a while since he’s been on the show, probably six months or so, but it doesn’t hurt to have an awesome wholesaling brother in the family as well, I bet.

Tom: Oh, it’s been a blessing. Yeah. Absolutely.

Mike: Yeah.

Tom: I don’t want to . . . Todd . . . I don’t want to make him too confident.

Mike: Yeah.

Tom: But he is pretty good.

Mike: Yeah.

Tom: So I had a good mentor, and we worked hard. A lot of it was mindset. Wholesaling is very easy, but you really have to have the right mindset to make it work.

Mike: Yeah. Hey, I want to call out something you said before we started recording. So you’re in Florida, and Todd is obviously in Southern California.

Tom: Yes.

Mike: You said something to me, when he first started talking about it, that . . . Well, you’re in California. That’s not going to work here in my market in Florida. There’s so many real estate investors that think that way, irregardless of . . . They heard something that happened somewhere else other than their country. It’s really an excuse to say, “Well, that won’t work here.” You know?

Tom: Absolutely. Yeah. I was guilty of that 100%. I mean, as a matter of fact, we argued about that probably for the first three months. I said, “My market is smaller. Not only is it smaller, but there are less houses, but they’re cheaper prices.” I kept arguing back and forth. I spent so much time arguing. I wish I would have just got right to it.

Mike: Yeah.

Tom: But absolutely. I mean, the motivated sellers are distressed sellers, people who need to sell quickly with a timeline. They’re everywhere. It doesn’t matter which market you’re in. I certainly have found them and identified some hot pockets here, Port St. Lucy, and we work them every day.

Mike: Yeah. Yeah. Awesome. Another thing that you talked about is how . . . I want you to kind of share . . . I know this is what led into your Hot Seat Wholesaling, is that you were kind of hanging out, trying to get more and more education without taking action. Tell us a little bit about that, just your experience, but also the importance of saying that to our listeners because obviously it’s critical.

Tom: Anyone who’s out there right now, listening to this podcast, you really have to . . . Education, in my opinion, is the number one killer of new people who get into wholesaling. The way to do it is taking action. So the bottom line is when you learn, listening to this podcast, and you learn a new tactic, you learn a new strategy, it is absolutely crucial that you implement that and take action on it immediately.
So don’t go out and do a whole bunch of education and feel good and warm and fuzzy that you’re moving closer to your goals. You’re not. You got to take action and fail, and you got to take action on step one before you know what step two is and just learn the hard way. That’s the only way to do it. That’s what I did, and it worked fantastic.

Mike: Yeah.

Tom: The best way to learn is by taking action. There’s no doubt about it.

Mike: Absolutely. The reality is even if you have some early failures, those are your best learning opportunities, for sure.

Tom: No question. No question.

Mike: Yeah.

Tom: Yeah, taking action and falling on your face and meeting with a motivated seller prematurely, before you even understand what equity is, which is what I did, and mailing a list before you . . . mailing an equity list and accidentally forgetting to not put the length of ownership and then trying to convince people who just bought their home for $100,000 with cash six months ago. They’re not going to sell it to you, but that was the mistake I made because I shoot first, ask questions later.

Mike: Yeah.

Tom: So yeah, tons of mistakes is a good sign.

Mike: Yeah.

Tom: You’re making them, and that’s a good thing.

Mike: So we talk a lot on the show. We’ve done quite a few episodes this year. We always have . . . Not always, but we have quite a few episodes where we talk about the front end of the business, which is acquisition, buying, generating leads, negotiating, solving people’s problems, all those things. Obviously you can’t sell a house until you buy it.
But today, we’re going to focus on, as a wholesaler, building your buyers list, so that you continually have new people to sell to and also finding people that are willing to potentially pay more than that kind of seasoned veteran person that’s been buying in your market for a decade, that only buys at 72% of ARV, less repairs and things like that. So talk about some of your experiences about how you kind of figured that out.

Tom: So this is so crucial, Mike. Every one of these wholesalers out there . . . We spend so much time, time away from our family, time away from our friends and our own time, and we’re committed to finding the best deals in town for the lowest price possible. That’s what we do. If you’re a good wholesaler, that’s what you get good at.
Then we so quickly become . . . I call them CBEs, which is cash buyer employees. What ends up happening is you end up just creating a job for yourself, where you’re really just working for cash buyers, finding a very small handful or, God forbid, just one or two cash buyers, really great deals in your community. It’s a huge mistake. It’s a huge error.
Sometimes people do it out of fear because they don’t really understand the back end of the deal. Sometimes there’s an obligation because a cash buyer will almost become . . . have like a mentor/mentee relationship with them.

Mike: Yeah.

Tom: So you’ll feel obligated to give them a good deal. In my opinion, this is a huge misstep by a lot of wholesalers and something that I, myself, was doing early on and I had to fight really hard to correct.
The bottom line is when you go into a scenario . . . For instance, if you walk into a room, and there is an experienced rehabber who attends tons of REIA meetings, and there’s an experienced landlord who has 40 properties, and then there’s also a person in there who is some couple, and they want to get into real estate investing, and their dad is giving them the money for their first purchase, and they’re going through a real estate agent, your most profitable buyer is going to be that new inexperienced buyer.
They’re looking for a good deal, which is really defined as anything that’s below market value or what I call active listings.

Mike: Yeah.

Tom: Anything that an agent will say, “Hey, listen. Every house is for sale is $100,000. This one is $90,000.” That’s a great deal to them. Those guys, unlike the experienced landlord and experienced rehabber, they can’t even conceive of your number. It’s not even in their spectrum of when they’re considering what to buy and what not to buy. The wholesaler’s price never even is something that they’re thinking of.

Mike: Yeah.

Tom: Whereas the exact opposite is true, obviously, with the landlord or an experienced rehabber who’s done 100 deals. So there’s a lot of strategies for getting those buyers, and we can discuss that, but I would say the core essential takeaway from this is that you need to have an active growing cash buyer list of those types of buyers and not really . . . I’m not saying not to have experienced landlords and rehabbers on your buyers list. Obviously I do, and you want to have a fat, healthy list.

Mike: Right.

Tom: They certainly . . . Anybody who’s saying . . . You pick up your phone, and you say, “Hey, Mike. I got this great deal. I just got it under contract. You got to come take a look at it.” Huge mistake. If everyone is not seeing it at the same time, you’re losing money on the back end of the deal.

Mike: Yeah, and the reality is there are probably waves of some of the new investors you’re talking about that kind of come and go with the market. When the market is hot like it is now, some of those people, a lot of those people, will go away if a market takes a downturn again because capital isn’t as easy to get. They’re a little scared away by what the media is saying and things like that.
So I think it’s important to kind of have a broad base of everybody in your pool, but there’s no doubt that the kind of veteran person that’s been classically trained to be a real estate investor has learned the hard way. They tend to be more conservative in their approach than newer investors who want to get into the game.
Really an interesting thing for me has been that depending on what that other person is going to do with their house, if they’re going to keep it as a rental property, for example, they may very likely evaluate it very differently. They’re not looking at it as a percentage of ARV, less repairs. They’re looking maybe more at a multiple of rent or whatever it might be.
It depends a lot on their financing. If they’re basically just starting out, and they still can get some Fanny loans or loans that are at like 5% and a 30-year fixed-rate interest, they’re going to evaluate a house very differently than somebody that is used to paying them off in 10 or 15 years, and they’re at 6% interest and a point or two.

Tom: Right. I still do tend to work with only cash buyers, but really I’m finding that new buyer, that one-time buyer is really coming from agents.

Mike: Yeah.

Tom: That’s really the secret. If you don’t have at least 1000 agents on your cash buyer list, you are seriously missing out. We spend so much time on that, Mike, on trying to find these good deals, and just to give them away, it’s like . . . Oh, that’s a tragedy.

Mike: Yeah.

Tom: I mean, just thinking back, you should be getting at least a 40% to 50% bump on all of your assignments doing this strategy.

Mike: Wow.

Tom: So why make $10,000 on a deal when you can make $15,000 or so on and so forth?

Mike: Yeah.

Tom: So that’s really the answer. Sorry. My instant messaging is going off here.

Mike: Yeah.

Tom: That’s the answer, is really to get those agents. So how do you find these cash buyers? The trick is you’ve got to get agents on your cash buyer list, and you’ve got to do that with their permission. Agents do not like just getting these blanket emails that they don’t know who they’re coming from.

Mike: Right.

Tom: When I first started, my first 100 or 200, I actually just went into the offices of agents, and I just said, “Hey. My name is Tom Krol. This is what I do. I get these deals. If you need inventory, I’ve got deals. They’re only available to your cash buyers who can close quick, but I’ve done deals. This is a title company.” They’ve got to know you’re legitimate.
Furthermore, I’m going to make a huge statement here, which is . . . A lot of people are going to disagree, but I’m going to tell you email is dead. It is totally dead. If you are sending out your properties to these agents or any of your cash buyers via email, huge mistake. At best, you’re getting a 30% open rate. Even when they look at it, they don’t really see it unless it just slaps them in the face that it’s such a good deal. So the way we do it is we send a text blast to all of our agents.

Mike: Okay.

Tom: We use Call Finder. We’ll do that to the agents with the property we have. Now, we have 100% open rate. It’s actually about 98%, but we have a 98% open rate. I mean, the property will sell to the highest and best bidder.

Mike: So you’re kind of having somewhat of an auction then. It’s not first come, first serve. It’s people who will actually maybe push up the price. Let me ask you this.

Tom: It depends. Yeah.

Mike: Do you provide them with a price? Here’s our asking price. Or do you just say . . .

Tom: Always.

Mike: You do.

Tom: I always say at least, “This is where we’re going to be.” Then if we’re in a scenario where it’s highest and best, we’ll always say . . . I’ll say, “Well, you know, Mike . . .” I say, “I already had asking. So why don’t you take a day and come back to me. By tomorrow at 2:00, we’re going to make a decision. Let me know what your client is thinking, what’s the highest and best offer.”

Mike: Yeah.

Tom: But I will tell you this, because I don’t want to mislead anyone. If I have a really angry tenant or a homeowner who is in the home, and they really are uneasy, I won’t always do highest and best. Then we’ll just do a fixed price, especially if the home is vacant. We’re always upfront with the homeowner. So if the home is vacant, we’ll do it. Or if the homeowner is comfortable with having people around, we’ll do highest and best.

Mike: Yeah. Yeah. So talk a little bit about how you find these agents. Then I also want you to kind of share how they get paid and who pays them.

Tom: Sure. So with ours, it’s very simple. In our actual email that we send out, we will always tell agents to add their price on top of our price.

Mike: Okay.

Tom: So we’ll say, for instance, “This home is $150,000. Agents, add your commissions on top.” Additionally, we’ll say, “Agents, if you haven’t bought a home from us before, please review the video at the bottom of this page.” In that video, I have some broker and agent testimonials because right away, they don’t trust you.
I also explain the process to the agents that say, “Hey. If you’re an agent, this is a great way for you to make double, triple, or quadruple your average commission. Just simply add on top of our price. It must go through your broker,” because we do occasionally have agents who say, “Oh, Tom, just buy it directly from my buyer and just give me X amount under the table.” So you have to make sure you go through the broker.

Mike: Yeah.

Tom: That’s very important. So we explain the process right in the email that we send out. To initially build that list, we really . . . I just went literally door-to-door to get my first . . . I would approximate I got about 150 at first. After that, I just went, and we did real estate calls. We bought lists of real estate. I can’t think of the name of the list company, but there’s a ton out there.

Mike: Yeah.

Tom: You just cold call them. Hey. My name is Tom. I heard you were a great agent. Here’s what I’ve got. It’s important to ask their permission, especially for the text messaging, or you’re just going to make a lot of people angry, which I’m speaking from firsthand experience on.

Mike: Yeah.

Tom: But once they’re on there, and once they know that you’re legitimate and these are legitimate deals, your assignment fees will skyrocket. Your open rate will skyrocket. They’ll be running around town. I literally . . . This deal we just did . . . Tom, I’m at L.A. Fitness. I got to jump in the shower. I say, “Jake, don’t jump in the shower. Go right now, even if you’re sweaty, because this thing is going to go.”

Mike: Yeah.

Tom: It creates this feeding frenzy. Cars are pulling up. You’ll consistently get 10, 20, 30 people. They’re bringing their cash buyers along. There’s a little bit of an education process there. They don’t really always understand what an assignment is. But as far as your question goes, they do close on the HUD at the title company, and obviously the broker is well aware of what we’re doing.

Mike: Yeah. A lot of people should understand what you’re saying here because if you’re a real estate investor, you’ve probably had agents bring you deals before, or they say, “Hey. I’ve got a good deal.” You see the numbers, and you’re like, “That’s not a deal. By the time I pay closing costs and everything, I’m kind of paying full retail values. So why wouldn’t I just go pay full retail value for a house?”

Tom: Right.

Mike: So that’s the difference there, is the typical mentality of working with agents and the fact that they’re used to seeing deals and buying and selling deals on a much more efficient market, which is the MLS.

Tom: Right. Absolutely. You’re starting from behind the eight-ball right away because most agents just . . . I never say the word wholesaler to them. I never use the word wholesaler. I always say that I’m a cash buyer, which tends to get a lot more leverage. So that is a little bit of a softer introduction. Then I’ll start using the word investor, but never the word wholesaler.

Yeah. The agents operate . . . They’re very fear-based. So they’re hard to work with. But once you get a good 500,000 agents, and you’ve spoken to them, and you’ve had conversations, you have their cell phone number to text them a deal, once you’re doing that, and they . . . Oh, Jerry in the office just did a deal with Tom. This guy just did a deal with Tom. Then the brokers start doing deals with you. A lot of the brokers in my town . . . I won’t name names, but some of them are wealthy individuals, and they’re actually buying the houses themselves.
So once you start to work in that arena, your name gets put out there immediately. That’s why it’s so crucial not to ever have any kind of horizontal agreement with the broker. You have to close, and the broker has to be aware because a broker is paying the agent’s marketing and desk fees and things like that.

Mike: Right.

Tom: So if you do that, that’ll be it, and you won’t get much business from agents.

Mike: Yeah.

Tom: But yeah, with that said, that’s a key move, key strategy.

Mike: Yeah. Yeah. So talk a little bit about . . . You say . . . I don’t know. How many people do you have? How many agents do you have on your list? Is it 1000?

Tom: I have about 1800.

Mike: 1800. Okay. So I know you’ve done a couple hundred deals, but let’s just say if you had 1800 agents, and you do 100 deals a year even, you’re not working with the majority of these agents really ever. So how do you continue to maintain that relationship where it doesn’t start, for them, to just become like, “Well, we don’t ever do anything with them. Let me just unsubscribe from the list,” which maybe that’s just how it is. It’s just a numbers game. So then my next part of that question is: Do you do anything to kind of maintain a relationship with the community, if you will?

Tom: Yes and no. I started out building a list. With the list, I started out doing a monthly newsletter, but we would get a lot of unsubscribes. So we stopped doing that right away. I think we did two little notes, and then that was it.

Mike: Yeah.

Tom: To answer your question, what ends up happening is that the agents go through an emotional process with us. So what happens is at first, it’s like you’re a nobody. Then it’s like, “Okay. We’re starting to gain some ground with them. They trust us. They have cash buyers who are looking for properties. They’ve heard of other agents working with us.” So now, they start that process.
Then what happens is, in the third stage, they start to find interest in a property, but they start to learn the lesson, which is legitimate, that if you don’t move your feet, these deals are gone.

Mike: Yeah.

Tom: So they start to play that typical agent game of inquiring about the property and, “Is it still available?” I’m like, “Okay. That property went out yesterday. That property is not available.”

Mike: Right.

Tom: So once you get the agents playing your game, and they know who you are, and they know you’re legitimate, and you know that these are good deals that are available to agents, then they just get in line. Now, you have this kind of authoritative relationship with them, where it’s like, “Hey. Look. We do things my way.”
So the reason it’s very important to be very structured that way and consistent is they’re going back, selling your properties to their cash buyers. So if there’s any confusion, then it’s like they’re all over the place. So you’ve got to be very careful about being consistent with your message to your agents and how your deals work and with the brokers. Then what happens is they just get in line. Sometimes they’ll call you and say, “Hey. You have anything?” But they become almost like a cash buyer, like a hungry cash buyer.

Mike: Yeah.

Tom: They’re just out there salivating for deals. I mean, we get a deal, and it’s like gone.

Mike: Yeah.

Tom: I mean, these guys are . . . Because they’re telling their cash buyers, “Hey. Look. This is the deal. This guy is the best guy in town. If you’re going to play ball, you got to play ball with his rules.” I mean, this is the way it goes.

Mike: Yeah.

Tom: So to answer your question, there’s not really any ongoing nurturing, but they’re seeing it happen as the emails and text messages go out, and they’re like, “Man, I wish I could get in on that.” We pick up their response time.

Mike: Yeah. Yeah. So a couple questions for you. So are you an agent, yourself?

Tom: No.

Mike: Yeah. Okay.

Tom: I don’t know anything about real estate, just to be perfectly clear. That’s for anybody who’s out there. I just want to be perfectly clear about this, Mike. I don’t know anything about real estate. I’m not in the real estate business. I am in the pawn shop business. So I know real estate has something to do with houses, but I don’t know anything about it. I have no idea. So just want to be crystal clear on that. Anybody who thinks they need to learn real estate is . . . Yeah, this is really . . . To me, the house is totally inconsequential. I don’t really care about the house.

Mike: It’s a vehicle. Yeah.

Tom: Yeah. Everything is the buyer’s problem. If there’s bad tenants, if there’s back taxes, that’s a problem for the seller and the buyer to work out. I have nothing to do with it.

Mike: Yeah. So talk a little bit about . . . One of the reasons that a lot of wholesalers are in wholesaling is because it’s quick and easy. I know, obviously, it shouldn’t be that much more complicated when you get a realtor, a third party involved, but it is a third party that now you have to deal with. I assume when you do the type of business you’re doing, based off what you just said, that you’re not really spending a lot of time evaluating repairs and things like that, that you need some additional comfort that deals are going to close because you’re committed to the seller. Maybe you have termination options or other things in place, ways to get out. But talk about that kind of extra third party in there, if they cause any issues, getting in the way between you closing the deal or not.

Tom: Absolutely. This is so crucial. With the agent, there is a new level of complexity on the buyer’s side. We’re still doing the same thing, which is a nonrefundable $5000 deposit, but where the confusion comes in . . . For instance, I have students sometimes, and they’ll start to get these agents on their list. Because they’re kind of soft, and they’re not confident, it’ll create this confusion.
If you allow the agent any leverage on your deals, you’re going to have that problem. So we’re just crystal clear about what the expectations are upfront. Only cash buyers. Don’t bring me anybody who needs a loan. If they need a loan, they can’t buy from me.

Mike: Yeah.

Tom: That’s, I would say, one of the first places that my students make the mistake. They’ll start to say, “Well, this guy is willing to pay me $20,000 more than we’re asking, but he needs a loan, but they can do it quick because he’s already pre-approved.” I’m like, “No, no, no. We don’t do that.”

Mike: Yeah.

Tom: So number one is you have to be really rigid about the rules, and you have to make sure that the agent and the agent’s broker understand the process of what you do. If they need some testimonials, or they want to talk to other agents, that would be fine, but get that out of the way now, not at the closing table.
So I’m going to tell you, though, it’s a little bit more effort. Once it’s systematized, it’s fine, but you’re talking about . . . I mean, we’re, on average, I think 46%, the last time we ran the figures. Now, it’s hard because almost all of our deals sell through agents. The rehabbers and the guys who attend the REIA meetings, they’re kind of like, “Oh, forget you guys,” which is great.

Mike: Yeah.

Tom: Which is great. So there’s a little bit of a learning curve there. It’s a little bit of extra effort, but you’re talking about making an extra almost 50% per deal. It’s a no-brainer.

Mike: Yeah.

Tom: But it is aggravating. There’s no doubt about it.

Mike: Yeah.

Tom: There’s a few times a seller doesn’t really get it. Sometimes the agent wants to be in between, and we don’t allow that. We have to have a conversation with the buyer, and we have an agreement that says, “Hey. Look. We’ll never sell around you, directly to your buyer,” but we want to make sure they’re comfortable with the process. So that’s something to bring up too, is that we always have a preliminary conversation with the buyer. I’ll say, “Hey, Jen. I’ll definitely sell it to your buyer. I want to talk to them for five minutes, if that’s okay. I want to make sure they understand the deal.”

Mike: Yeah.

Tom: Then that helps too.

Mike: Now, how about on the seller’s side? So historically, at least the way that I’ve run my operation with wholesales and assignments, is that I don’t ever want anybody to talk to the seller other than me, because it just causes problems.

Tom: Right.

Mike: Yours is a little bit different, in the sense that you have an agent. So they should be professional, but not necessarily.

Tom: Yeah. Right.

Mike: Are you still the primary person maintaining that relationship with the seller, up until the deal is closed?

Tom: Absolutely.

Mike: Yeah.

Tom: Yes. The agent never . . . No one talks to the seller but us.

Mike: Okay.

Tom: Me or my acquisition manager. No one is having a conversation with the seller.

Mike: Yep.

Tom: Yeah, we don’t allow any . . . That’s definitely . . . I agree with you. It’s a recipe for disaster.

Mike: Yeah.

Tom: You’ll lose the business.

Mike: Yeah.

Tom: So yeah, we still maintain that . . . I would say though, in 90% of the cases, even if the seller is there, we’ll usually show when the seller is not there. There’s very little . . . The only time is when there’s a seller present that there’s an issue, but then we usually will bring . . . We’ll go with two people. So for instance, this just happened. There was a house on Elsido [SP]. It was a great deal, went for highest and best offer. We did $24,400 assignment on that.
Daniel went and took the seller and was having a conversation with them the whole time, when the buyers were coming in and out for the half an hour that we were showing. Then we shut the door. Daniel stayed, my acquisition manager and my brother, he stayed back at the house. Anybody else who pulled up, he said, “Look. I’m sorry. It’s closed.” We always do that because some people do show up late, and they’ll knock on the door. So we always stay for an extra hour or two, just to make sure that nobody does that.

Mike: Yeah. Yeah.

Tom: Yeah.

Mike: Awesome. So what did we not talk about today, Tom? It sounds pretty straightforward on this side.

Tom: Yeah.

Mike: I mean, there’s some interesting . . . So I know you said you were using Call Fire. There’s a number of other . . . There’s a ton of text marketing tools that have popped up that are extremely effective and low cost, for sure. I mean, what you’re doing is . . . It’s not like it’s something that somebody that just listened to this can’t go out and replicate.

Tom: Absolutely. It’s super easy. It’s just a new perspective. Somewhere along the line, wholesalers took on that term literally, and they said, “Well, I’ve got to be the middle middle guy between the seller and the professional investor.” Really the answer is you should be a wholesaler and a retailer, but that’s direct to market. Yeah. I mean, Call Fire is a great tool, as far as the text messaging is concerned. Text messaging is absolutely critical. You’ve got to be text messaging. There are buyers out there who want your deals, who just are getting bombarded with emails. They’ll never even see them.

Mike: Yeah.

Tom: Just a little impersonal text message . . . They don’t know they’re in a group message on Call Fire. So just something like, “Hey. Did you see the house I just sent you?” That’s it. We don’t get anything more detailed than that.

Mike: Yeah. So given that you have not a whole lot of room with text, you’re basically sending a text and telling them to check their email. Is that what you’re doing?

Tom: No, we just do exactly that. It’s always a little bit of a different text, and we’ll say, “Hey. Did you see that email I just sent you? Or I just sent you an email. Or did you see that house I just emailed you?”

Mike: Okay.

Tom: Then what we’ll see is you’ll immediately see that your . . . If you’re using something like Send Loop or Mail Chimp, you’ll see that your open rate will get shot up.

Mike: Right.

Tom: A lot of people too will say, “Tom, I’m on the road. I don’t get email. What’s the property? I’ll head over right now.” So you get just a huge response, which is awesome.

Mike: Yeah. Yeah.

Tom: I love it. I love it. I love it. I mean, I’ve been using email. I was using email for so long. I’m just like watching Mail Chimp. It’s like 12%, 18%. Oh, my goodness. These people . . . Then I have to get on the phone and start calling the buyers. Our list is . . . We have a huge list of buyers.

Mike: Yeah.

Tom: So it was a pain in the butt. But now, a whole new ball game with text messaging. So that’s really the key. So as far as tools go, that would be key. Then obviously any list . . . I apologize. I can’t think of where we bought it. It had a unique name, the list of agents. It was a very odd name. It had nothing to do with list companies. It was like Dr. Bob’s List or something like that.

Mike: Yeah.

Tom: It was something odd. Are you familiar with it?

Mike: No. No.

Tom: There’s an agent list out there. Yeah, it has a very odd name. I can send it to you later if you want to put it in the show notes.

Mike: Sure. Yeah. If you think of it, send it over, and we’ll put it in the video.

Tom: Absolutely. Yeah.

Mike: But yeah, a couple Google searches will probably turn up a lot of ways you could buy lists of agents.

Tom: Sure.

Mike: Of course, you got to be careful sending a message, spam, to a bunch of agents too. Like you said, it’s probably a good idea to find ways to reach out to them, call them and things like that, where you’re trying to build a relationship from the beginning.

Tom: Absolutely mandatory. You’ve got . . . I’ve tested that, and I can tell you you have to first ask their permission. Let them know who you are, and not because of following protocol, but because it’s more effective.

Mike: Yeah.

Tom: You’ll just piss a lot of people off, basically, if you don’t do it that way.

Mike: Yeah.

Tom: Yeah. So that would be critical.

Mike: Yeah. Awesome. Well, Tom, so if people want to learn more about some of the stuff that you’re doing, I know you have a coaching program and other things. Where do they go to learn more about some of your techniques and your blog and stuff like that?
Tom: Sure. Hotseatwholesaling.com. Yeah, that’s a great place to get some great information. We really share a lot of great information on that site, and there’s a lot of blogs out there. We have some great blog articles for you guys to look at. Yeah, it’s a fantastic site. We do offer one-on-one coaching, which is great because our students do deals.

Mike: Yeah. Yeah. That’s great.

Tom: Make them do deals. Absolutely. No question.

Mike: Hey, Tom. Thanks for your time today. Thanks for sharing the insights. I mean, it’s something that’s fairly straightforward and obvious, but I think a lot of people, even veteran folks, hear something, and they’re going to be like, “Wow. That’s pretty easy. We need to start doing that. Why haven’t we done that?”

Tom: Absolutely.

Mike: Good stuff. Very actionable.

Tom: Easy [inaudible 00:33:14]. I like it. Thank you, Mike. I appreciate it.

Mike: Yeah. Yeah. Have a great day, my friend. Stay in touch, please.

Tom: All right. Enjoy the day. We’ll talk to you soon.

Mike: All right.

Tom: Bye.

Mike: Thanks for joining us on today’s FlipNerd.com podcast. To listen to more of our shows and hear from incredible guests, please access all of our podcasts in the iTunes store. You can also watch the video versions of our shows by visiting us at FlipNerd.com.