realestatetechshow

015: Virtual Assistant Domination – Part 3

In this episode – the final part of our Virtual Assistant Domination special – we cover the ways your virtual assistant can manage the marketing side of your real estate business. A lot of investors forget all about marketing. We get too busy and focused on our properties that we forget to generate more leads in the meantime. This is where a VA can really pay off.

Virtual assistants can help you market and generate more leads while you run your business. We break down the top three things a virtual assistant can do to help you market your real estate business, including:

  • Using Craigslist and Facebook to find and market to realtors directly
  • Scraping phone numbers effectively
  • Sending mailers and automating your mailing services
You can literally run a multimillion dollar business from anywhere in the world, all you need is a laptop. Click To Tweet

Remember, technology is supposed to make your job easier, not harder, and today’s tech makes it possible for you and your virtual assistant to work remotely. Just think about it – your VA could be contacting new leads while you’re closing on a deal halfway across the globe.  Tune in now to find out which tech you can start using right now to generate leads with a virtual assistant.

The bottom line is, how can you replace yourself or how can you duplicate yourself and the efforts and by creating systems, and having virtual assistants to help you. Click To Tweet

MINUTE MARKERS

2:57 What’s Cory doing in real estate right now?

4:49 What’s Joe doing in real estate right now?

6:50 Joe’s insight on automated wholesaling

9:16 Marketing is the most important part of this business

12:46 How VAs can free up your time

16:35 The first marketing task for a VA

18:25 How to use Vumber and CallRail with a VA

18:45 Marketing tip: VAs sending personalized texts

20:45 Where we find VAs

21:55 Pros and cons of local and international VAs

23:52 Marketing tip: 3 questions to ask a realtor

30:38 Playing the numbers game in real estate

33:41 Cory shares his favorite coaching exercise

34:28 Using a VA to send mailers

36:56 Joe’s favorite tech tool for sending mailers

37:41 Cory’s favorite tech tool for mail

41:17 Marketing tip: Have your VA use Click2Mail

43:53 The inside scoop on probate attorneys

RESOURCES

Vumber

CallRail

UpWork

Fiverr

VAServant

Click2Mail

SendFuse

DealMachine

Zapier

Haim Mamane Palman

Dan Schwartz

Seth Williams

TRANSCRIPT

Joe: Welcome to the Real Estate Tech Show, I’m Joe McCall, I’m with Cory Boatright. We are going to be talking today about virtual assistant domination part three, and we’re going to be talking about marketing. This is marketing that your virtual assistants can do for you.

Cory: Give them a little preface really quick Joe about what you’re doing with real estate, what I’m doing with real estate just for those that don’t know, they’re just kind of tuning in.

Joe: Yeah go ahead, you first.

Cory: I’m out at Greater OKC area but we do some investing with partners around the country, Joe does that, too. But primarily in the Greater OKC area we do around 100 wholesale deals a year. We focus on wholesale, we don’t focus on these options or anything like Joe, he focuses on some of that. Also moving in to multifamily apartments. I’m in the process right now of closing a hundred plus apartments deal and excited about that, but also have the company setup where I don’t have to spend very much time every week handling all the processes and having a great team in place that gets a lot of the day-to-day things done.

One of the things that is exciting when Joe and I started to come up with the idea for this show, the real estate show, he and I are both just tech nerds. We like all kinds of mobile apps and apps on your computer, and just ways to make things more efficient and more not just efficient but also being more productive. You can get a tool, or an app, or something like that, but it can actually take you back some and you don’t want that. We have these tools on here that we’ve actually used and that actually helps us save a lot of time and that’s what we’ll share with you.

Also, one of the purposes of creating the show was to get founders of companies which will be moving in to the next three or four episodes from here. We’ll be actually getting founders of companies from the technology companies that we use like Callrail, Podio, Dan Schwartz on InvestorFuse, also with SendFuse, all these companies that we all use, we’re getting the founders on here to actually have some conversations with them, that’s one of the exciting things about that as well. That’s a little bit about my story Joe, what about you?

Joe: Well I’m in Saint Louis, Missouri and I’ve been doing real estate full time since 2009. I’ve been mainly doing lease options. That’s kind of my niche, I’ve been doing lease options since 2008. That’s what flipping these options or doing lease options assignments was what allowed me to quit my job in 2009.

Now I do a lot of traditional wholesaling, we’re doing some deals in Alabama right now which is pretty cool. We’re doing some land flips in Colorado and Oregon. We couldn’t do that without technology. It’s amazing, the tools that we’re using, in case you’re curious, we’re doing Mojo Sells to call, we skip tracing, we’re buying a mailing list, we skip tracing the mailing list, and we hired a VA, a virtual assistant, we’re paying her $8 an hour which is pretty expensive for a VA but she’s good. she works about three hours a day and makes anywhere from maybe 80 to 100 phone calls a day, and talks to anywhere from 10 to 20 people a day.

All she’s doing is asking a few questions, prescreening the lead a little bit, putting them in Podio, and sending them to our local wholesale booths on the ground. We’ve done 14 deals in the last two months.

Cory: With that virtual assistant?

Joe: Yeah, and so, we’re not doing really anything except managing the VA and communicating with the local wholesalers. My models ever since 2014, we went on a 3-month RV trip, and then a year later, after that we went on three months to Prague and travelled around Europe with my family and our 4 kids. How we did that was by, we used to have an acquisitions manager, he used to have a team, and it was just way too much work, and I was still keeping barely any of the profits because I had so much overhead.

I looked at everything we needed to do and I said, “How can I do none of this?” What kind of tools, and systems, and tech things, and automation, and people can I get in place to do all of this stuff for me, in spite of me. We started developing these automated wholesaling tools. Then I created a course called Automated Wholesaling, it’s a 8-week case study, and we actually just started it this week where we teach people how to do what we’re doing right now. Actually in this case study, we’re actually going into a new market and I can’t tell you where, but we’re to a new market and we’re going to be using the same VA, and the same wholesaler, and we’re going to start doing more deals in a nearby market.

I’m pretty excited about it because for me it started when I was in Saint Louis doing deals without seeing the house, only talking to the seller on the phone and I thought, why can’t I do this from anywhere in the world? Why can’t I do this from Prague, my wife and I love Prague, we love going there, so then I started thinking what kind of tools and technology can we use because there’s so much available for us that real estate agents and real estate investors barely even scratch the surface with. You can literally run a multimillion dollar business from anywhere in the world, all you need is a laptop.

Cory: And a cellphone and not even really a cellphone, just go through your voice over IP. We should tell people that we do offer coaching, Joe and I both do, and I only take on a few coaching students new each year. I usually don’t have more than 15 at any given time, and I work directly with them. It’s mad, the results have been exciting on working with coaching students. It is incredible to be able to have a business that like Joe said, you can do anywhere in the world. I was and not Cancun the last couple of months. I was closing a deal in Florida, and we’re buying a deal in Denver. I’ve never seen the house before, I’ve never talked to a lot of the buyers and sellers in those transactions. I basically work with the right people and the right team to be able to get things done.

Actually, that deal in Florida, I’ve had for a while with the team and that was a little bit different, but the one in Denver again is just setting up relationships and finding deal opportunities, this is key, finding deal opportunities that no other people can find. If you can create a marketing, just making the phone ring, and getting quality leads, this is very important too.

Quality leads where it’s really difficult to get those leads or you’re just saving time for someone, so someone’s really good at doing some aspects of the business, maybe you’re really good at marketing, then you can really set yourself up for a lot of success and leverage. With Joe also creating with the virtual assistants which we both use, virtual assistants are great because they do things whenever you’re sleeping at night, and also during the day too, whenever you just need to get some things done, they can take care of some of those day-to-day things and in call centers as well. Call centers like PATLive, these other call centers, they can help tremendously as well. The bottom line is, how can you replace yourself or how can you duplicate yourself and the efforts and by creating systems, and having virtual assistants to help you with that.

Joe: Very good. Hey, listen Cory, I just shared it to a couple of groups I belong to, I shared this on my page on Facebook and I actually reshared it back to your wall. We’ll see if Facebook allows me to do that. Listen guys, if you want a PDF report Cory and I put together on the top 10 favorite tech tools that we use every day in our business, Cory did five, I did my top five and they’re different, go to retechshow.com. Do we have realestatetechshow.com as well?

Cory: Yeah.

Joe: So realestatetechshow.com or retechshow.com or you can text the word TECH to 38470 and we will send you our top 10 favorite tech tools. Actually in the PDF, we’ll give you links to videos that show how we use it and stuff like that.

Cory: We should also tell them Joe, to share this video and thumbs and like it as well. if you’re watching right now go and click your thumbs up and like the video, also sharing the video is better because the more shares that we have, Facebook will give a higher rank on that, and plus people on your wall obviously will see the video, and it can help them too. We really do our best to provide very great value for real estate investors that are in this business and want things that can really help them save time, and make more money.

Joe: Give us a thumbs up and listen, while we’re recording this, while we’re doing this live, if you have any questions for us that you want to answer, type them in the comment box somewhere, and we’ll do our best to answer them. Today we’re going to talk about virtual assistants and this is our final third session on virtual assistant domination. We’re talking about marketing though, and we use virtual assistants, and we love virtual assistants.

We’re going to talk about marketing because marketing is the most important part of this business, and we’re not in the real estate business, we’re in the marketing business. One of the first things I outsourced Cory, and I realized this early on when I first got started is my marketing, I knew if I try to do it myself, it just would not get done. I try to time block it out in my calendar, I tried to intentionally focus on it every day between a certain time, and man the direct mail always was late, my emails, my follow up, my texting is always never consistent, because I got busy.

I started doing deals and then I got busy marketing the deals, and then I forgot about marketing, I got too busy, I didn’t want any more leads, then I do a deal, make money, and I’m all excited, but I turn around and my pipeline is empty, and I got no new leads coming in, and I’m freaking out, and I went to this really vicious up and down cycles of like, I need leads and it is not like a light switch that you can just turn on and instantly leads are flooding back in again.

You need to get the marketing done all the time every single day, and the only way that you can do that is getting someone else to do it for you in spite of you, unless you’re super disciplined and you can do it like yourself every day. When it comes to whether you’re doing direct mail, or SCO, or paper click, or Facebook ads, or bandit signs, or texting Craigslist and things like that, you’ve got to get someone else to do it for you, so you don’t have to worry about it. That is $5 an hour activities, you need to focus on your $500 an hour things. There’s a lot of things that virtual assistants can do for you. The first thing I did when I got a virtual assistant, she wasn’t even actually from the Philippines, she was from Indiana.

Cory: Can I say something really quick before you keep going in there? It isn’t because these jobs are beneath you okay? Don’t get that wrong, I have a virtual assistant I’ve worked with for eight years or nine years. I have an actual personal assistant, actual person here locally that I worked with almost 10 years and these people do amazing jobs. What happens is you get placed in your business where you start going, where are you most effective? These other jobs that you could be doing, like Joe said, the $5, $10, and those $20 activity type jobs, you can still be doing those, what happens is it eats up all your time on you spending more relationship on building the business to the person you’re hiring to help you. They’re helping you to get through a particular task. They’re helping you to do a project.

Usually a lot of these things are project based. You as the business owner as it stands to say Joe, is that you want to build the business, you want to actually continue to make expanding decisions and building the business up. I know Joe appreciates our virtual assistants greatly, and they do an amazing job, but also wherever the country depending on where you hire them from, their rate of scale. What the average pay in those things, it all matters. I greatly appreciate everybody that we work with. Whether they get paid $5, or $30 an hour or more it stands to say that it really doesn’t, it isn’t because those jobs are beneath you, it’s just because you as a business owner have to be focused on other things.

Joe: I couldn’t do it without my VAs. They’re an integral part of my team. So what are some of the things that a VA can do for you? We came up with three different things, there’s probably a lot more. In fact, if any of you watching this or listening to it can think of more things, let us know, put a note right in the Facebook comments here, but one of the first things that I’ve been doing for a long time is marketing to sellers on Craigslist and Zillow. Landlords, people that have their houses for rent, and for sale by owners, I’ve been sending them emails, and text messages for a long time, and it still works. It works just as well, maybe it works a little better then because I’ve been teaching it for so long, now tons and tons of people are doing it.

I’ve been doing this for a long time. What I used when I used to do is I would go look for ad rentals on Craigslist and then find the phone numbers of the owner, or the landlord, and I would send them a text message saying, “Hey, I like the house at 123 Main Street. Is it still available? Can you tell me a little bit more about it?” I would start the conversation through the text and I would also send them a message like, “I saw your rental, you would have any interest in selling it would you?” They’ll say, “Yeah, no, maybe, tell me more.” I might ask questions like, “You wouldn’t have any interest in leasing it for a year and then selling it would you?”

Cory: Let me ask you this, as you’re doing that Joe, what is the percentage that you think out of let’s say 50 people that you messaged, how many do have an interest in selling their property?

Joe: Sometimes my response rates depending on that market range anywhere from 8% to 12%, so on an average maybe 10%. That’s people that will respond back depending on the question, will respond back, “Yeah. Maybe. Tell me more. I don’t know.” I would try to do it myself at the beginning. I realized a virtual system could do this. At that the time, I got Google voice, and I just had my assistant sending out text messages through Google voice.

Eventually Google voice shut that down because they were seeing too many people sending too many texts that said the same thing to people. People’s accounts got shut down. Now we use Vumber mainly in CallRail. Vumber allows you to go online with a virtual phone number and send and receive text messages. The VAs will send texts for me depending on the market we’re in, anywhere from 50 to 100 landlords and for sale by owners a day.

Keep in mind there’s a few things that you need to be aware of regarding this. We’re not sending mass text messages to a bunch of people. This is individual sending one at a time, it’s personalized, so there’s no rules against that. People are putting their phone numbers on Craigslist because they want you to call if you’re interested in their house. We’re not scrubbing it against do not call list, we’re just sending them personalized texts. That’s been working pretty well for a long time.

Cory: Have you had any challenges from anybody saying, “Why are you calling me?” or anything like that?

Joe: Never, because why would you put your phone number there.

Cory: Why do you put your number there if you don’t want anybody calling, right.

Joe: We’re not going to white pages and scraping phone numbers from their phonebook or buying lists of phone numbers. We’re just calling people that have their phone number in Craigslist. There’s a problem sometimes with Craigslist because Craigslist has the recaptures, those annoying things that…

Cory: Are you not a robot or hit all the little pixels.

Joe: If you do it every time. Then you’re going to see a picture with a bunch of squares in it and maybe there’s some street signs, and you have to click all of the boxes that have the street sign or whatever. If you start going into too many ads at one time, Craigslist will start blocking you, and putting up this recapture every time. There are people out there that know of ways to get around that. Here’s the thing, I know of a company that does it for us, and I’m not going to tell you who it is because I’m too worried that people will go out there and start—there’s VAs in other parts of the world that know how to get around this thing as well.

I found people on Upwork and Fiverr that advertise web scraping services. They have ninja ways to go into and behind the captions and scrape information from Craigslist and Zillow. What I did before is I found three or four people on Upwork and Fiverr, I paid them $25 or whatever to go scrape and give me 100 phone numbers or whatever, and they did. I picked one of them that did it the fastest and that the best success and I said, “Hey, what can I pay you to do 50 to 100 a day or whatever?”

Cory: What is that price that you typically ended up paying?

Joe: That’s a good question, I have to look. Right now, the company we’re paying to do this for us is about $0.03 per scrape.

Cory: That’s good, yeah. We have a virtual assistant company I’ve worked with for a long time called be VAServant. If you check them out, they can do just about anything you want, and I think they start out at $5 or so. I’ve used them for a long time. There’s a question that we have here from Nick Kazidi, he says, “Is it better to have a domestic VA? I’m always concerned that with real estate specifically, having someone overseas is a huge time differential and a language barrier.” How would you answer that Joe?

Joe: That’s a good question because I’ve used virtual systems for a long time from the Philippines, but when my business started getting bigger, it became harder and harder for me to manage because I’m not the implementer, I’m more of the visionary. I hired a local assistant, and when I hired a local assistant, I really thought that because I was worried about the high cost and all that, I was worried about W2 payroll.

But when I hired a local assistant, my income and productivity almost tripled because now I had somebody that can manage my virtual assistants for me, they just understood, they could think ahead for me, like a virtual assistant in the Philippines typically, not all of them but typically, they’re waiting for you to tell them what to do next. They’re good at doing the data entry, and the web scraping, and updating things, creating reports, but if you want somebody that actually thinks ahead for you, and does things without getting your specific instructions, a lot of times, there are good local assistant helps.

I put a job on Craigslist hiring three assistants from postings on Craigslist and they’ve been good. I hired an acquisitions manager from a posting on Craigslist. It just depends on the work, and if you’re struggling right now with not a ton of money, and you need somebody to help you just manage the volume of leads, or just some simple marketing for you, then just get a virtual assistant from the Philippines, don’t worry about the language barrier, they have really good English, most of them have really good high speed internet, and just give them little pieces at a time is my biggest advice.

That’s the first thing I had my virtual assistant start doing for me, sending out text messages, and emails to ads on Craigslist and Zillow that were for rent, and for sale by owner, and just asking them, I had three simple questions because I wanted them to do some prescreening for me. I only wanted to talk to people that raised their hand that were interested. The first question is typically, “I saw your house at 123 Main Street, is it still available?” The second question if they say yes is, “Are you the owner?” Typically, if it’s listed with a realtor, we’re not going to probably do a deal with that. I’ll still talk to the realtor but I’d rather not. We’re looking for the lower hanging fruit.

If they say, “Yes I am the owner.” Then the third question depending on the deal would be something like, the way I do it is if it’s a nicer home that doesn’t need any work, I’m not going to get that thing at $0.60 cents, $0.70 cents on a dollar, so my text to them will be, “I love the house. You wouldn’t consider leasing it for a year and then selling it would you,” something like that. If it’s a lower end rental like $50,000 I don’t want to do a lease option on that so I’ll ask them a question like, “I saw that rental, you wouldn’t have any interest in selling it would you?” See what they say.

Sometimes if it’s a for sale by owner I’ll say some of those questions. Sometimes I’ll say, “Hey, I’m an investor. I saw your property on Craigslist, is your price negotiable?” They know that you’re an investor, and then they’re more open to saying if they are negotiable and they’re willing to say yes, then you might have a potential deal there. Just asking those kinds of three questions in different ways like that can eliminate a lot of people that just aren’t interested at all, and then you can only talk to the people that raised their hands.

Anytime somebody responds back to the text with a semi positive warm response like, “I don’t know. Maybe. Make an offer. It depends.” Then my VA puts that lead at Podio, and then we get alerted, and we immediately then pick up the phone and call that person back, and keep on following up with them, does that make sense?

Cory: Sure, absolutely.

Joe: So again, the tools we use for that, you’ve got to find somebody that can go and scrape, and that’s a manual process, all those company I use, they claim to have a tool. I think one of their secrets is Cory, believe it or not, they change the IP address, like every single time they go.

Cory: Yeah, the rotating IP, a lot of them do that. Another one is they’ll actually have another computer in their office and they’ll just log on to that computer, it’ll do everything from there. There’s a lot of ways that they can do it, that’s something that you need to investigate.

Joe: The cool thing though, if you get the right people doing this for you because Craigslist and Zillow, they constantly will change their website like algorithms or stuff that goes on in the background to make it harder, and harder, and so you have to make sure you’re working with a company that may be down for a day or two, but they’re immediately catching up and finding ways to get around the blocks that Craigslist puts up.

I know some of you are maybe upset that we’re doing this, but I’d be curious to know why you don’t think this is a good idea and let us know in the comments because it’s very effective, and one more thing I’ll say that we do is, we have our VAs actually email realtors. This is really cool, I did a course with a friend of mine named Haim Mamane. I’m sorry Haim, I got your name, I butchered it.

Cory: I’ve been with Haim a couple of times.

Joe: Super cool guy, he’s from Israel, lives in San Francisco, and travels around the world a lot, he’s in Russia right now for the World Cup with his kids, and the guy’s amazing, super cool. We created a course together called MLS Hacks. The idea is to get real your virtual assistants every day to go in the MLS, and multiple markets, not submit offers on official contracts, but send emails to the realtors of those listings and say, “Hey, would your client maybe consider an offer like this?”

What he does is he has his VA look for properties on Redfin, or Zillow, or realtor.com that look like they need work in these target areas and he sends them a cash offer by email, he attaches proof of funds and he says, “We like this house at blah, would your client consider this offer for $75,000. We’ll pay cash closed in seven days, no contingencies, here’s our proof of funds.”

His whole goal is to get the realtor to respond back and get his foot in the door and maybe then he’ll look at it. If it’s a potential deal, then he’ll submit a real contract. I’ve taken a different approach, we’ll have our VA send more of a soft pass offer, “Hey, we saw the property, how negotiable is your client before we waste your time with an official contract and all of that, is your client negotiable?”

We’ll kind of look at it through that. The VAs the way it typically should work, we’re not at this volume yet, but if you got a team of three or four VAs, they could be literally sending out a couple hundred of emails every single day to multiple different markets. You could go after maybe older listings on the MLS. There’s a lot of them by the way, if you think the market is hot, all you need to do is just stick a sign in the yard, and you get multiple offers about the asking price, go into any of the hot markets that you think are hot right now, go to Redfin and look for how many homes are on the market over 90 days, you’ll be blown away, you’ll floored.

There’s still hundreds and hundreds of them. Anyway, you could email realtors of those listings, you could maybe go look on Redfin for houses that have been listed over 30 days, and have your VA go through each of them, sort it by newest so the top ones are the new ones, and just search through the pictures, look for ones that are cluttered, they need work, only an investor would really want to buy, not a retail buyer, and have your VA email those realtors and see if their client would entertain an offer, and you can tell the realtor, “By the way, you can represent me and get both sides of the commissions.”

Haim is doing that, he’s doing really well, sometimes it’s a numbers game, and if you’re doing this in multiple markets and you’re sending a couple of hundred emails a day, guess what’s going to happen?

Cory: You’re going to get some people that are buying.

Joe: You’re going to get some deals.

Cory: You mentioned this, this is something to say again because, I think so many people don’t figure this part out, but real estate is a numbers game. Wholesaling specifically is a numbers game. Marketing in general is nothing more than conversion and frequency. What happens is people miss one or both. Whenever they send out a bunch of leads, they don’t get the conversion and so they stop. Smart marketers, successful real estate investors know that you have to go about five to seven times to the same people before you’re going to get over 50% of your main conversion, 50% of your main conversion is going to come between the fifth and seventh touch of what they call touch points on this.

Haim understands that if he sends out enough fishing lines, you’re going to catch some fish compared to just having one line out there. He’s still in a line like that for marketing and that’s what’s working. Some people just don’t have the tolerance and the patience to do that, so they get frustrated and then they give up. But if you will see it through, if you understand that it’s just a numbers game, and I’m speaking specifically to a person that maybe have never done their first deal, this is why you’ve given up too early. Some people say, “Well I’ve ran out of money.” No, we’re talking about things that don’t cost a thing, you can get virtual assistants for under $3 to $5 an hour.

If you cannot handle $3 to $5 an hour, you really don’t need to be running a business, quite frankly. You can do a lot of free marketing initiatives, you can do Craigslist, you can do Redfin, you can do a lot of free things but as a business owner, you have to understand, you will have some marketing expenses. The point is, where can you put in most effort for your marketing to give you the best bang for your buck. Virtual assistants can absolutely duplicate you and it can replace you.

Joe: That’s the whole goal, and it’s a numbers game. The more the lines you throw into the pond, the lake, the more pieces of bait you have out there, the more likely you’re going to get a bite.

Cory: I should say, it can duplicate your efforts or it can replace your efforts. It’s not going to be replacing you. Here’s a great little exercise, Joe have you done this with your coaching students? I do this with my coaching students, take a list, I know it sounds super simple, but just take a piece of paper and write down all the things that you can’t stand to do that you’re doing right now in your business. That list will typically be pretty long, and then write down the things that you like to do in your business, and things that you enjoy doing and that list usually will be pretty short.

The funny thing is that usually as a business owner, you need to be doing about 10% of the things personally. It doesn’t mean these other 90% of the things don’t need to get done, they just don’t have to be done by you personally. Does that make sense?

Joe: Yeah, that’s really good. All right, so let’s move on. There’s one more thing that your VAs can do for you, for your marketing, and that’s sending mail. They can send mail for you. We’re not talking about them printing letters, or handwriting letters and then sending them from the Philippines for you. Although by the way, I have hired stay at home moms to do letters for me. I hired a virtual assistant that would scrape addresses for me.

We were actually sending mail to rentals on Zillow, for houses on Zillow listed for rent, we would send the owner a handwritten yellow letter. So I have the VA everyday that would scrape in my targets zip codes, would put into a Google sheet, a Google spreadsheet the addresses of these homes on Zillow, and I have a stay at home mom, every day, first thing in the morning, she would handwrite, she didn’t like printing, she just wanted to handwrite. I paid her a certain dollar amount per letter which worked out to be about $10 an hour. She handwrites the letters and then she would drop them off in my office.

Every day we would mail 20 to 30 letters, handwritten letters. We were doing at the time, it’s been a long time since I’ve done this, I don’t know why I stopped, but we were getting about 20% response rate on these letters, it was amazing if you think about it. These were rentals that were vacant.

Cory: Where did you get the list?

Joe: These were rentals on Zillow.

Cory: Okay, so have your VAs go and scour Zillow?

Joe: They would put them in a spreadsheet, then my stay at home mom would send them a handwritten letter, the other things she would do, she hated this but I made her do it anyway, she would crumple the letter up, and then spread it out, and fold it into an invitation envelope, and handwrite on the invitation envelope, put a live stamp, I made her make the stamp crooked. When you get that, you’re going to feel some thickness in that envelope, it’s going to feel a little weird, it’s going to have a real stamp, handwritten, it’s not computer generated, every single one of them got opened. They open the envelope and they see a crumpled paper in there…

Cory: I think I lost you there Joe.

Joe: Sorry, this was four years ago, hopefully, I don’t know if it’s going to work as well now as it did then, but everybody across the board has said that direct mail can be done. The other thing that the VAs can do for you is they can send one off letters for you, from the Philippines. There’s two different tools, the main tool that we actually use is Click2Mail. Click2Mail has this feature, if you can go online to Click2Mail, you can send letters one at a time, and what we’ve done before, we just did this recently in Jacksonville on a huge campaign.

We would take a screenshot of the house either from Zillow, or from Craigslist, or from Google Street View Maps, we take a screenshot of the house, put it on a letter, on a window envelope in Click2Mail, and just would send those letters one at a time, and it costs per letter, right around $1, a little less. Now there’s other services that will do it more automated for you, Cory why don’t you talk about the ones you’re actually…

Cory: SendFuse, our good friend Dan Schwartz that created a service, it’s called a wrapper basically it’s a service that went around Podio, but now they’ve broken out of Podio and started their own CRM which is smarter because you can do a lot more things specifically for real estate. Podio is not really designed to be a real estate centric only CRM. SendFuse basically allows you to, if you’re going and you see a property that’s vacant, you can simply go in, type in the address, and it will actually send a postcard for you right then and there.

You set it up where it’s automated Joe, and not only is SendFuse is one that you can do this for, it’s pretty inexpensive to use their service but you can also go completely free, I guess Zapier is free up to a certain amount, but if you go to Zapier and just type in, drive in for dollars. Zapier is basically an integration that allows you to speak from one thing to another, one technology to the other, like a bridge. What you can do on Zapier is you could simply go in and type in an address, maybe on your text if you wanted to, and it would send to Zapier depending on how you had it connected, it could go to a Google Doc.

You can also get a setup where you can speak, and you just speak the address, and it would go to a Google Doc. This isn’t going to send a postcard for you Joe, but when you get back to your office or whatever, now you have a list of all the addresses that you could give to your VA to send out for you. There’s another app called DealMachine.

Basically there’s another service that you can use it’s called DealMachine. DealMachine is an app that you can take a picture of the house, and it will automatically fill everything in including, I think you’ll find a phone number and email address. You take a picture of the house and it will automatically just from using this mobile app called DealMachine, send a postcard out on your behalf, and the postcards are really strong too. You can go check out a source now, this is interesting if you’ve never heard of a guy, I’m going to give Seth Williams some love on here from REI tipster, but I’m going to go ahead and put in this link in the chat, I want you to click on this link so you can check it out.

This is a very great review on DealMachine, and I know the founder. He set me up a couple times about it, we went and talked more about it. Basically, click on that link that is posted in the chat and that will be a deal review of the app, it will be a review of using that mobile app. Joe why don’t you talk about Click2Mail?

Joe: I did a little bit already, but Click2Mail is super cool. I will mention one other thing with Click2Mail that’s pretty cool. You got to have an account with Click2Mail, if you have credits preloaded in the Click2Mail, that’s the cool thing about it. You can preload credits and your virtual assistant’s not going to get your credit card information or anything like that. There is an add-on with Google Docs, that’s like the Microsoft Word for Google. Google Docs, there’s an add-on in there from Click2Mail.

If you have your VA create a letter, sometimes we do this with offers. The VA from the Philippines in Google Docs can click on add-ons, click on Click2Mail, mail my doc, Click2Mail is what it’s called I think, they can go through these little steps and click done, and Click2Mail will actually take that letter that was in Google Docs and print it, and mail it. The other thing that Click2Mail does is, if you Google Click2Mail email to mail, you’ll see a page that they have, it’s from a preapproved email address to a special Click2Mail email address, in the subject line you put the seller’s name, semicolon address, semicolon city, state, zip, and then attach a word document or a PDF to that email, send the email, Click2Mail will receive the email, print the attachment, and send it in the mail the same day to the seller, and will charge you from their prepaid credits.

Click2Mail is a really super incredible tool and if you set it up right, your virtual assistants now from the Philippines can send 20,30,40 letters a day. What if they went to court records, they could go into our court records in Missouri, they can look up evictions, and probates, and judgments, and divorces, and specialty lists, and every day there’s new court cases that go into the website that shows evictions. They can go in and find who the plaintiff is, send them a letter, they can go find the defendant which is usually the property they’re getting evicted from, look up who the owner is on public records, and send the owner a letter through Click2Mail with just a few clicks, and it instantly right when the seller is most motivated. Does that make sense?

Cory: That’s is perfect, and that’s a good one that to focus on too because most investors I know of, they are not hitting up their probate attorneys. Folks, in your area, in your city, if you don’t go through on Google and type probate attorney, and have every single phone number from a virtual assistant sent over to you, and then you can do this or you couldn’t, you could put in a Slybroadcast and send that out if you wanted to, or you could as a business owner make a phone call to the probate attorney and build the report which is what I have done.

I built the report with a probate attorneys, and probate attorneys I think there’s hundreds of probate attorneys in Greater OKC area. I can’t even imagine on a place like Los Angeles, or Chicago, probate attorneys have all kinds of great opportunities on properties that they need to get rid of quickly. Also, you can work it in with the probate attorney that because they brought you the deal, that’s a marketing agreement. You can actually pay the probate attorney a fee for bringing in that deal to you.

Do you think the probate attorney is pretty excited about working with you? Heck yeah he is, or she is. Probate attorneys is excellent, and also for the county information, you can go in, you can have your virtual assistant go into the county like Joe said, and you can go in and you can pull all this information from public record typically. Typically, this doesn’t cost you a cent. Joe really quick, because we mentioned on the email, you can do that too with Zapier.

With Zapier, basically if you email, if you speak, if you text, all the major mobile apps that you use on a daily basis any kind of Google Doc, Podio, ActiveCampaign, MailChimp, all these other things, they have connections so basically if you send an email in, they can automatically send the text, or if you send an email in, they can automatically send a postcard out. You can setup these things inside of Zapier, I wanted to mention that when you mentioned about the postcard, having virtual assistants do that, you can do the same thing with Zapier.

Joe: Good stuff. Listen, my internet is unstable, I don’t know what’s going on. I think it’s a good time to end this podcast Cory.

Cory: I think we went through a lot of great information Joe. I think that that was great. Some people didn’t know about some of those stuff. We got some questions here but your internet connection’s kind of going in and out, so maybe we should just cut it short.

Joe: Yeah but we’ll go through and answer the questions here on the Facebook anyway. Hey guys, thank you so much for listening in, and watching us, go to realestatetechshow.com if you want more information. If you want the top 10 favorite tools that Cory and I use for our real estate investing business today, go to realestatetechshow.com or text the word TECH to 38470.

Cory: And we’ll automatically send that report over to you. Thank you again, we appreciate you guys, and make sure you check out our next episode coming pretty soon here, we’ll be working on it and we’ll let you know. Thanks Joe.

Joe: See you guys.

Cory: See you guys.

Joe: Bye.

Cory: Bye.

014: Virtual Assistant Domination – Part 2

Welcome to Part Two of our Virtual Assistant Domination Series! Last episode we talked about where to find virtual assistants, and today we’re going to get into the nitty gritty of training VAs.

If you can properly train your VAs, you are going to seriously leverage your time. Whatever you don’t have time to do in your business, a VA can easily pick up the slack. They can be the person you pass the ball to when there’s just too much on your plate. You just have to prepare them for the job, and that means giving the proper training.

Whenever you’re giving tasks to a VA, it’s got to be measurable. You need to figure out some way to measure it so that you know it’s being done. Click To Tweet

For us, proper training is done with what we call a “video training library”. We share the tech we use to make these videos and how to share them with virtual assistants across the globe. What’s great about these videos is that they give you something you can use over and over again to train new assistants. Training videos also create a line of communication between you and your assistants, which is absolutely necessary if you want to have a successful VA.

Communication is critical to having success with your VAs, no matter where you find them. There are so many tech tools you can use to keep up with your VAs and talk to them in real time, and we share a couple of our favorites today. With so much technology at your fingertips, there’s no reason not to get a virtual assistant. Technology makes it so much easier to manage and communicate with a virtual team, and your real estate business has the chance to grow exponentially if you just try it out.

What you want in a virtual assistant is a driver, they take responsibility and then they have accountability. Click To Tweet

MINUTE MARKERS

2:04 What’s Cory’s favorite podcasting app?

2:50 The weather is getting a little weird

4:54 How to leverage your time with a VA

6:30 Joe’s Training Philosophy

8:34 The tech Joe uses to train new VAs

13:46 The safest way to share your personal information with VAs

19:16 Creating a video training library

21:00 Joe shares his Podio on this podcast for the first time ever!

27:40 Where to find high-quality and affordable VAs

33:10 What is a daily check-in and scorecard?

34:55 Communication is critical

38:27 Tune in next time for Part 3 of our Virtual Assistant Domination trilogy!

39:20 We answer questions on Facebook Live

RESOURCES

Screencast-O-Matic

Upwork

Vumber

Dropbox

Podio

VA Servant

Fiverr

Reedsy

Slack

TRANSCRIPT

Joe: Hey guys. Welcome. This is Real Estate Investing Tech Show. The Real Estate Tech Show, actually. I’m Joe McCall, I’m with Cory Boatright, and you’re in the right place. We’re going to be talking about all things tech. This is the show where we talk all things tech as it relates to real estate, as it relates to real estate investing.

Cory and I have been doing deals for a long, long time, and we’re both certified tech geeks and nerds, and we’re proud of it. We’ve got plaques on the wall that say that we are tech geeks and we love technology and we’re nerds. A lot of you listening to this, you know what we’re talking about. You are, too, right?

Cory: Absolutely, man. Nerds unite!

Joe: We are recording this as a future podcast episode that will be released at realestatetechshow.com as a podcast. If you haven’t subscribed to our podcast yet on iTunes, go do that right now, or Google Play, or Stitcher, or wherever you can find us. What’s your favorite podcasting app right now, Cory?

Cory: Probably Cast because I can get on the browser, I can speed it up as twice, so I can listen to the podcast on my browser or on my phone, so Cast.

Joe: By the way, if you’re watching this now on Facebook Live, please share it with your friends right now. Give us a like.

Cory: Stop right now. Everybody share, share, share. Hit the share button.

Joe: I’m actually sharing it right now as well.

Cory: Yup, I’m sharing as well.

Joe: Give us a like, give us a thumbs up. Let us know that you like the show, or you hate it.

Cory: Don’t do that. If you don’t like it then just don’t share it.

Joe: Just do it right now. Cory, talk about something, talk about the weather real quick, and how many earthquakes have you had in the last couple of days?

Cory: I actually haven’t had that many this year so far. Believe it or not though, Oklahoma is one of the leading states in the United States for earthquakes. Actually, we were I think, the leading state in 2016 and leading into 2017, but in 2018 we’ve been a little light. From some of the fracking, that’s all debatable, but I believe that it’s true. That’s been interesting, but we’ve been having actually a lot of fires here lately, Joe. We need rain and we’re supposed to get some tonight.

We’re getting these massive fires like California’s been getting these massive winds that are blowing 40-55 miles an hour and just blowing constantly, and it’s so hard to put out these fires. That’s kind of sucky, but we’re going to get some rain, I think, tonight and the next day, so that’s good.

Joe: Well, I’m sharing everybody right now, realestatetechshow.com is our website and on there, if you go to realestatetechshow.com, you can download our toolkit. Cory and I have this free PDF that we give that shows you our favorite tools that we use in our real estate investing businesses and show you how we use them and what are our tools are.

You can also get it by texting the word TECH—we think this still works—38470. You text the word TECH to 38470. We’ll send you back a link that will give you a place where you could download our favorite top 10 favorite tech tools that we use in our real estate investing business, a really valuable thing.

Today, we’re going to talk about virtual assistants. Our last episode, we talked about the ‘How To Find Virtual Assistants,’ didn’t we?

Cory: Yes, we went into kind of the broad stroke, but today, we’re really going to get a little bit granular on training. I’m excited all about today because virtual assistants have been more of a tool. I am seeing more investors really lean into and it’s smart because you are leveraging your time whenever you’re working, whether it’s a virtual assistant or any assistant, you’re leveraging your time.

Whenever you don’t have time to do something in your life, it’s because you prioritize things in a way where these things that need to get done, it just doesn’t make sense for you personally to do those things anymore. That’s okay because at some point when you’re building a team, you have to hand off the ball. You have to say, “Man, you’re much better at doing this thing than I am,” or when you sleep at night, what’s great about virtual assistants, Joe, is they’re working typically whenever you’re sleeping at night. There’s a benefit from that, too.

I’m excited about what we’re going to talk about. We’re going to talk about the check-in cart, we’re going to talk about the scorecard. I think a lot of people aren’t using virtual assistants that way. We are going to talk about how to train a virtual assistant to be an absolute assassin for you. We’re actually going to give you one of our favorite resources. Joe and I have two of them and even some other specials things to go along with that. I’m excited talking about the more granular part of training of virtual assistants, Joe.

Joe: This is super easy. So many people complicate it, it doesn’t need to be complicated. This is what I do, my philosophy is I’m just going to train my virtual assistant enough to get them going, but I actually want my virtual assistant to write the process manually for me. I just do enough to get them started, to get them going,but I tell them, “Listen, in case you got sick, in case you quit, in case I need to get more help, I want you to create a detailed process diagram, or a document, or whatever, of what you’re doing, so I can give it the the next person to help you.”

So many people get trap and stuck with thinking like, “I’ve got to know how to do all of this. First, myself before I can actually train somebody else to do it.” That’s just not the case. If you’ve ever had a course that you bought that digitally was collecting dust and just like, “Man, I want to get through that, but I never have,” and if you ever thought about just giving that course to a virtual assistant and say, “Hey, I want you to go through this and start implementing it.” I did that with bidding on HUDs a couple of years ago and it worked great.

Cory: That’s awesome. We actually went another step further on working with our VAs. We would pay them to go on and listen to webinars for us, Joe. We have so many webinars on Thursday and Wednesday, and if you have a life, you basically set all these webinars up in training, so you have to figure out a way to leverage that information, so let a virtual assistant to go and listen to the webinar, and then take down and do screenshots of the webinar, kind of deduce everything down to summary and send it over, man I’m telling you that saved a ton of time.

Joe: That’s a good idea. Okay, Cory and I have a mind map here that we worked on and we’re just going to talk briefly on this podcast about how we train our VAs. Cory, I’ll show you how I do it real quick, it’s super simple. Then you can say how you do it.

I rely heavily on two tools, two things: Google Docs and Screencast-O-Matic. A little bit of Doppler.

Cory: Droppler, yes.

Joe: The main thing is Google Docs and Screencast-O-Matic.

Cory: I guess, it’s Screen-O-Matic. I don’t think it’s Screencast-O-Matic, is it? I think it’s Screen-O-Matic. It’s a very, very good tool because you can edit in that tool. You can get it free but you can also get paid version of that tool as well. It’s Screen-O-Matic, Joe, isn’t it?

Joe: Screencast-O-Matic, because I’m at video. Do you know how many videos I have right now? I have 367 videos on Screencast-O-Matic. Everyday at least I’m recording a couple of little videos, sending it to my tech guy or my virtual assistant or my local assistant or friend.

I just hired somebody on Upwork yesterday to download some stuff from one of my membership sites. I have it already kind of built out on the membership site, but I want it in a Google Drive folder. She’s going in and I did a nine-minute long video just showing her what I want to do and I posted the job on Upwork, I had 57 people apply, I filtered it and I’ve found the best three. I sent them a little video of what I want done, hired the best one I thought could do it, and at $4 an hour, it’s going to take her probably—I have so much material on this thing—a good 40 or 50 hours to do all of it. She has to create all of the folder structure from the menu of the membership site, so she’s downloading and uploading it into Google Drive. But anyway, Screencast-O-Matic, I have 621 videos in Screencast-O-Matic.

Cory: Wow. Actually, you know what? You’re right, it’s Screencast-O-Matic, but the funny thing is? If you go to Screen-O-Matic, it goes to Screencast-O-Matic, so they say the domain.

Joe: Google Docs. Let me just tell you, when I did this six years ago and I still use this document today. Let me give you an example. I like to do a lot of marketing on Craigslist. I will go find rentals in Fizbo’s on Craigslist and I take the phone number and the information from the ad and put it into a Google Sheet, and then send them a text message or an email. I got it set up where my VA does that for me. She only puts positive responses into my Podio for me to call them.

Long time ago, what I did is I just sat down and I started bullet-pointing on a Google document, step one, go to Craigslist, go to this link. Step two, do these search parameters. Then I put on there—I did this with the bulleted list—this is the URL to go to. I want minimum three plus bedrooms, I want minimum rent of $950. For a negative keyword, a negative apartment, it takes out any ad that has the word ‘apartment’ in it, and then I gave the VA a URL.

By the way, let me backtrack. On the top of the document I always put what my purpose or goal is for what I’m doing. I want my VA to know why are they doing this and why is it important. These are the goals that I’m looking for. I say, “The goal is everyday I want you to scrape 30 phone numbers and put them in this spreadsheet. I’m going to send them marketing. The goal is to find deals and I want you to do a minimum of 30 a day and I want you to update the spreadsheet or whatnot.” I give them the information of the results that I’m looking for. Then I go step-by-step. Just do the best I can. I know I’m going to miss things or not get it perfect.

Then step three might be take the phone number and put it into this spreadsheet. I already have the Google Sheet, so I can share a link to that Google Sheet with the VA. Then I say, “All right, then you put this information here and this information.” I have the date, the Craigslist title, the Craigslist link, phone number, the email, et cetera. And then step twelve is send them a text message. I indent in and I give them three different text messages to send. I give them instructions on how to send it from Vumber and CallRail. Mainly Vumber for sending and receiving.

Cory: You let them log into your Vumber to send it?

Joe: In the Google Doc I put my username and password to Vumber.

Cory: You don’t have any challenges doing that because there’s somebody listening right now and go nuts. What if they misuse that, Joe? What if they do something that is potentially going to hurt me? How are you trusting this person that’s over thousands and thousands of miles away with this information? How would you answer that?

Joe: Well, first of all they can’t see my credit card information in Vumber. Most membership sites they asterisk out the credit card information. They can’t get that. Sometimes you just have to trust your VA. I use Upwork a lot, so Upwork takes screenshots. I have usually three or four days to review their work and approve it. They have a good resolution place center in Upwork where if they weren’t doing the work and they said they were, I can dispute it and Upwork will give me the money back or not take the money and then penalize them. Upwork does good a job. You pay about 10% fee for that, but Upwork does a real good job of managing that. It also tracks their screenshots to show that they’re actually working and it tracks their mouse and keyboard activity.

What I do is I list all of this out as best I can on a Google Doc. Then I start Screencast-O-Matic. What Screencast-O-Matic does is it just record your screen and it records your voice. You can have a record a webcam video if you want, but I normally don’t. What I do is I open up the Google Doc and I say, “Hey guys, I’m going to show you what I’m doing here,” and I just walk through the Google Doc step-by-step, bullet point-by-bullet point. I actually demonstrate what I want done. I say, “All right, you click this link and it goes to Craigslist.” I show them me going through Craigslist. I click on an ad I say, “This is what I want,” and I show myself actually copying and pasting he information that I want in a Google Sheet, I put the date here, I put the rent amount here, the title here, the URL here, and all that. I do three or four examples and then I do an example of me sending a text, do an example of me getting a response and putting it into Podio. When it’s done—usually it’s a 15-minute video or something—I’ll upload it, Screencast-O-Matic will give me a URL. This is really important. You take that URL, you copy and paste it at the top of the Google Doc.

What I love about technology so much is now I’ve got this Google document, that when I hire a new VA, all I need to do is share with that VA a link, a read-only, a view only link to this Google Doc. They look at the Google Doc, there’s a video link at the top, they click that, they watch the video, they can read the document. Everything they need to do that task is on one Google Doc and it’s protected. It’s view-only and if that VA quits, if I need more help or get another VA to do it all you do is share with them that one Google Doc and my entire process and procedure is there.

Now, this happens a lot where I might have forgotten something or the VA asks some questions and I, “Oh, it’s a good idea.” I do a video real quick on how to whatever that answer to the question. Then I’ll put that new link, the new video up there as well. Sometimes, I’ll have five or six videos.

Cory: And you’ll make an FAQ for it underneath that. Yeah, perfect.

Joe: Not even that fancy, but when a new VA comes in, they’re going to see this Google Doc, they’re going to see a link to five different videos there, they’re going to watch all of them, and they’re going to know immediately what they need to do. There’s zero training involved, it’s just super easy. I love it.

Cory: I love how easy that you explain that, too. Just to summarize that, here’s what people think whenever they do these videos. “Oh my God. I have to record this video. How am I going to train? What if I mess up?” That’s not the right attitude to have. The mindset is, “I’m going to record one video, one time, and it’s going to be there forever.” If you ever want to update it, you can update it with those FAQ little videos.

One thing that’s interesting what you said, Joe, I think that’s worth repeating is you create the bullet point list first. Why would you do that? The reason is because it helps keep you on path. Whenever you’re recording the video, it keeps everyone on the same path. You’re not going around saying a bunch of stuff and fluff. You’re just saying step one, you’re going from your bullet point. Step two, you’re going here. Step three… And now, you have everything is matching up on your Google Doc and in the video.

Joe: This is important, too because people think they got it all perfect before they start recording the video. That doesn’t happen at all. What often happens as I’m going through this, I’m like, “Oh, I forgot this.” While I’m recording the video, I’ll just type in a new bullet point and then I’ll explain that. If I forget to write down something they need to copy and paste it into the spreadsheet, right then and there in the Google Doc while I’m recording the video I’ll add that in. It’s not that it has to be professionally done or perfect. They see it as I’m doing it. Isn’t that cool?

Cory: That’s great. We create this thing called video training library, which is exactly what this is. You’ll have different categories, different folders in your video training library. I recommend as well, whenever you record that video on Screen-O-Matic that you upload it into Dropbox or some other place that you have the hard video, that’s something that we do as well. You have basically a backup of that video, but Screen-O-Matic is great because you get the link, and the link is going to be crucial; one, just to send it over to your VA just like that, so they don’t have to worry about downloading anything. They can just get the link and deal with it. That’s actually really great.

Inside Screencast-O-Matic, you can edit the videos, too. Anybody that has questions about editing or things like that, you can go in and you can add little titles, little things inside the video very simply without having extra software. It’s all done inside of Screencast-O-Matic, another benefit of using that tool. It’s inexpensive, too. Less than $50 a month,I think for Screencast-O-Matic. Different plans that you can have inside there. But again, you want to take your video from there—at least we do— and we put it inside Dropbox, so we can have our own basically on the server side.

Joe: I’m going to one-up you, Cory. I’ve got something better. I don’t know if you’ll be intimidated by this or blown away or you’re going to roll your eyes. Let me show you this. I’m going to share my screen with you. This is the first time ever for the Real Estate Tech Show Podcast.

This is my Podio. Don’t share this with anybody. We have an app called Procedures. I have 160 in here. We just created an app in Podio called Procedures. Here’s an example. This was six days ago. One of my assistants, we’re doing this thing where we’re using this software something. We sent a Slack message training our VA on how to do this. My assistant did this, step one, step two, step three, step four, step five, and then we did two screencast videos right there, posted that in the Procedures in Podio. We’ve got 160 of them in here of Infusionsoft stuff, book order stuff, MLS hacks. My team does this for me. This is awesome. I love it because now, when there’s something that we’re going to be doing more and more of, not just a one-time thing.

My team then says, “All right, everything that is a procedure for later on was created in here.” I just hired a new operations manager and the first thing it is, is they sent her here and there’s a procedure for everything and she was blown away like, “This is amazing.” When anybody buys my course, we send them a thank you card and some brownies. There’s a procedure right here for that and it shows step-by-step how to do it. We use a company called SendOutCards. By the way, you interested in talking about a network opportunity? Network marketing?

Cory: No.

Joe: Just kidding. I don’t do that, but we do SendOutCards.

Cory: Joe, can I share my screen as well? But I got to be careful what I’m sharing, too.

Joe: It’s so weird. I share my screen all the time with my coaching students, but I never shared it before on a podcast on Facebook Live with a whole five million people watching.

Cory: I’ll just share this really quickly. Can you see my screen? We have one called SOP. It’s very similar here. This is my team. We created all SOP sales stream, acquisition training, operation training, marketing training, HR training. We have everything inside here and it’s just tagged.

Cory: You can see this right here. It’s just really easy to have everything inside of Podio.

Joe: The cool thing about this whether you’re doing Google Docs or Podio, you can share it with your team and then remove access as well. If your person quits, you can remove their access, you can change the view only links, so that they can’t see it anymore. It really helps you protect this stuff. Let me tell you this, too. You noticed when I showed you our SOPs, I didn’t create any of those.

Cory: I like that. That’s cool.

Joe: I don’t want to be an expert on all that stuff. I want my team to do it. I can do it myself, but once you get to that level of micromanagement, you’re not focusing on the highest and best use of your time.

Cory: Same as my team. My team created all the SOPs but at the end of the day you need to understand that if you don’t have a team—there’s a lot of people that are just a one-man-show—and this is especially important, this is an excuse. You can just go in and start creating these SOPs and it doesn’t take a lot of time to do it.

In fact, you’d be surprised if you just said, “On Thursday, I’m going to create as many SOPs I possibly can for my business,” and see how many you can get done. You’d be absolutely blown away by the leverage that this gives you because now you have something that is a specific way of how you do something and it’s repeatable which is great, it leads to automation later on when you can repeat these things and you have this practice that’s going to help you create more automation in your business.

Joe: A lot of students come to me, they buy my course, they go through my steps and it’s like, “This is awesome, it’s amazing,” but they get overwhelmed, they’re like, “How am I going to find a VA to do that.” The answer is super simple. Just send my videos to your VA, have your VA watch it, have your VA create the SOP themselves. You don’t have to know how to do all of the stuff that I’m teaching you. I get it, I’m a tech nerd and a geek and I like diving in and I want to know how to use Screencast-O-Matic and I know how to use Google Docs and share these things and all.

You don’t have to know that. You could just give the VA the training video of whatever course it is that you bought. Go to YouTube and do a search for ‘How to use Click2mail.’ Go to YouTube, just search for ‘How to use Click2mail,’ find a good video, send it to your VA, and say, “Hey, figure this out and write an SOP on how to to do it. I want to send this letter to these people. Go figure it out.” That stuff is easy for the right people. You don’t have to know how to do all of that.

Cory: You use Upwork, but there’s one that we use called vaservant.com. Depends on what you’re paying for, I think our reps are a little bit more expensive than the $3 and $4 reps that you were referencing and you can get a lot—like you said—through Upwork, but VA Servant actually works on specifically a lot of real estate activities for us. Highly vetted and if you go over there, fill out a form, they will actually give you a quote on your service.

I believe right now, there is a promo, if I’m not mistaken, for two-week free trial with them, but you have to commit to a package. Whatever package, a full time or part time, you need to commit that for, I think, at least a month. But you get two weeks of using them, finding the right VA, so I highly recommend you check out vaservant.com.

You have one as well, Joe, that you prefer or you just tell them to go to Upwork?

Joe: Yes and no. For years, I’ve been recommending different services. Sometimes, they get too busy. I bring them too much business or something and I get people a complaint like, “Oh, they’re not returning my email. Their VA suck.” I kind of stopped referring other companies. Although, for my coaching students, I do give them access to the same VAs I use today.

I use this VA, this guy is an American, lives in the Philippines, he’s got a team there, and I don’t even talk to him. I talk to his main VA, and he has a bunch of people under her, and they’re super cheap. I don’t mark it up. I only do that for my coaching students. She actually trains them on doing the stuff the way that I do it. That’s what we do.

There’s so many, there’s a lot of really good services out there. onlinejobs.ph, Upwork, Fiverr. I found VAs before on Fiverr. Want to get a book published or written or whatever? You can find people on that. I’ve used Fiverr before for skip tracing and for scraping websites.

Cory: The grey hat?

Joe: Little grey hat. That’s a great way to put it. I would find somebody on Fiverr to go scrape some data from an account website somewhere, and he built my direct mailing list. I wish I could tell you. Maybe I’ll tell you when when we’re offline. I’m telling you, this data that we got for this one county that’s really hard to get. We had to stop the direct mail because we were getting so many calls. It’s because this list is almost impossible to get.

Cory: Perhaps nobody’s been calling them, so you’re the first.

Joe: Nobody. Oh my gosh, it was amazing. It was overwhelming. But anyway, we found that person on Fiverr and then we gave him a little job and then we contacted them privately to hire them to do a bunch of more stuff for us outside of Fiverr.

I just found a service today where if you’re writing a book, this is a company that a lot of my friends use. It’s called Reedsy, reedsy.com and this is a company, a website that a lot of book editors, ghost writers, designers, book designers help people finish their books.

Cory: Cool, I like that.

Joe: There’s a lot of services out there. We have some mutual friends that have VA staffing companies, there’s a lot of options. What I recommend doing is if you’re wanting to hire a good VA, find somebody that is using VAs right now and ask them, “Hey, where did you find your VAs? Do they have friends that are looking for more work?” A lot of these VAs will have actual friends that they can refer to you to work for you.

If you have a good VA, chances are their friends are good VAs, so I get a lot of VA referrals from other good VAs that I have. Does that makes sense?

Cory: Absolutely, yeah. There’s a lot of different resources out there to get VAs like you said. Robert Nickell, a friend of ours in our mastermind group, he has great VAs. There’s different levels of VA kind of competence level as well, so depending on what your budget is and kind of what you want to accomplish, you need to pay attention to that.

Obviously, you probably don’t want to have somebody that is going to code a site up and all that and paying them $3 an hour. You’re probably not going to find the best talent there. There’s a lot of administration type of task, they don’t take a lot of time. They just basically learn from a video and that can give you back a lot of your time.

Let’s talk about the daily check-in and the scorecard, Joe, because I think that’s cool with the VA service as well. A lot of people probably aren’t using that.

Joe: Whenever you’re giving tasks to a VA, it’s got to be measurable. You need to figure out some way to measure it so that you know it’s being done. For example, before they’ve got to send out 30 text messages a day and it needs to be done by 10:00 AM. In that example, I give the VAs a scorecard, it’s a spreadsheet and they have to update it with their numbers. How many ads did they scrape? How many text messages did they send? How many emails did they send? And how many responses did we get back? The VA just fills that out.

Everything that the VA do for you, you should have some kind of scorecard that they can report on their numbers. It needs to be measurable. You can’t just be vague like, “Do research,” or whatever. It needs to be like, “Research so many—”

Cory: I’m going to interject something here because for discipline of execution is probably the process of what is easier to say on this, so basically from X to Y by Z. From X to Y by Z. A very simple formula to remember here on the scorecard. From X, where are you now, to Y by what time? What deadline? It needs to have a deadline that is associated with it. If you can keep that kind of formula, man that’s the way to keep accountability.

Joe: Really, really good and we talked about this before on the last episode. Communication is so critical to having success with your VAs. People think sometimes that if I just send them work, they’ll do it, they’ll take care of it, and I’m not to worry about it, but no. You have to communicate with them, and especially at the beginning, you need to be talking to them every day on Skype or on Zoom, talking to them, “How did it go? What you get done? What were some of the challenges, roadblocks?” You’ll find if you’re doing a lot of Craigslist marketing, Craigslist has these CAPTCHAs that, if you’re in there there too much you have too many CAPTCHAs. You have to think about changing your IP address or whatever.

A lot of times if you’re using VAs in the Philippines—I’ve talked to Filipinos about this, I don’t want to stereotype—culturally, sometimes it’s hard for Filipinos to tell you there’s a problem that this isn’t working because there maybe—

Cory: They don’t want to insult you. They don’t want to make you feel bad. That’s part of that culture like everything’s okay. They don’t want to create issue. They don’t want to create a problem because their economy of scale over in the Philippines is much, much different obviously than here in the US. Anything that is going to affect, if something is not working out right is going to be potentially weighing against how much money they’re going to make.

You have to basically have that conversation upfront that says, “Listen, I know that this isn’t going to be perfect. I know that there’s going to be challenges. I know that there’s things like that. Where it’s going to work better is if you tell me as soon as possible something isn’t working. That’s actually going to be something that’s going to make us more money, not take away from much more money. In fact, if there’s something that you find that big enough thing, there might even be a bonus involved.”

You change the mindset around that this person needs to be telling you when there’s something wrong, when there’s something that’s not right, when there’s something that isn’t as efficient as even as you say it is in the beginning, and making them steer the ship, making them be the driver of that thing. That’s the key thing. What you want in a virtual assistant is a driver. Don’t find somebody that is passive. You want somebody that’s a driver, they take responsibility and then they have accountability. That’s going to be one of your better types of VAs. Wouldn’t you agree with that?

Joe: Yeah, definitely. You’ve got to schedule these calls. At first, starting it everyday. You’ve got to talk, even if it’s for a couple of minutes. Talk to the VAs—Skype or Zoom, and just say, “How’s it going?”

I have the VAs email me in the morning, “This is what I’m going to be doing today,” email me at the end of the day, “This is what I did,” update the scorecard, maybe it’s a link that they give you to the Google Sheet which has the scorecard in it, but there’s got to be that regular communication.

After a few weeks of things are going well, you maybe just talk to them just once a week. But you’ve got to communicate with them. You’ve got to have that regular communication with them.

I add my VAs into my Slack account, to my channel. We have an actual specific channel for the VA and we’re constantly communicating with our VAs and telling them what to do. If it’s important, my team tags me on it so I can see an unread tag message in there.

Communication is so important and almost 9 out of 10 times when people complain about problems that they’re having with their VAs, it’s because they’re not communicating with them enough. It’s just like a regular employee. You’ve got to communicate with them is basically what I’m saying, bottom line.

Cool. I think that’s good enough for now. Our next episode, Cory, we’re going to be talking about marketing, right?

Cory: Marketing with VAs, right. That will finish up our Virtual Assistant Domination Part Three. That will finish that up. That will be a great training. Definitely go back and listen to the last episodes we have, part one, this will be part two, but I think we’re up on the website right now at Real Estate Tech Show, we have 11 episodes. Is that right, Joe?

Joe: Right now, we have 11 released as we’re recording this. I think this is episode 14. If you’re watching us on Facebook Live, this is actually live, it’s not being recorded.

Cory: That’s right.

Joe: You’re pretty special watching this right now.

Cory: They’re always special. Okay, do you want to ask any questions? Maybe we’ll take one or two questions. If anybody has a question about VAs or anything that we just talked about, we’ll just take one or two questions and then we’ll get off here.

Joe, I can’t see the screen because it will pop—

Joe: One guy is asking here, “Do you have a VA training course?” I do, but I’m not sure if it’s open right now but you can go to easyoutsourcing101.com and I have a little $297, I think. It might be $97 or something. Just say it’s $497.

Cory: Joe, we’ve got to make a VA training course. We have to do that.

Joe: We already have.

Cory: You have one, but I’m saying we ought to make one, too.

Joe: We should. I’ve been using VAs for years and years. I know you have, too, Cory. You’ve probably been doing it longer than I am. I think you’ve been in the real estate game longer than I have. We should talk about that. If you are interested with that I have it’s Easy Outsourcing 101. Check that out.

Cory: Anything else? Any other questions in there, Joe?

Joe: I’m looking at the wrong place here because we’ve shared this now and it’s in a bunch of different places. Any other questions? Guys, if you like this, come on, share it, give us a thumbs up, let us know, and leave us a comment. I don’t see anymore questions here. If you’re watching this is a replay later on go ahead type your question down here as well. We’ll do our best to get it and answer it.

This has been really good. Let’s go ahead and end it. Guys, if you want our favorite tech tools, it’s a PDF Cory and I put together. Cory has his top five, I have my top five, and they’re different. They’re 10 different awesome, amazing tools, and we give you this PDF that shows you how we use it and what we use it for. You can get that at realestatetechshow.com or text the word TECH to 38470. We do have a question here I see from Steve.

Cory: All right, Steve, what is it?

Joe: Steve says, “I’m fairly new to wholesaling and I have considered getting a VA. Would you recommend waiting until I’ve been doing this for a while? Thanks.” Steve, that’s an age-old debate that I’ve had for myself like, “Do you spend money on marketing or on a VA?”

My first reaction is you should be focusing your all of your money, resources, and attention on marketing, getting the phone to ring, getting leads. But as soon as you can, hire a virtual assistant because you’re going to be finding when you’re first starting out you’re doing all the $5 an hour activities and you need to eventually, as quickly as possible, get to a point where you’re focusing on the $500 an hour activities. As soon as you can, hire a virtual assistant to help you.

There’s only three things your VA should be doing. Marketing, making sure that your marketing is going out the door, updating your CRM, and doing all your follow-up. That’s the only thing that your VA should be doing and if you’re in there, checking, scratching your notes on a yellow pad of paper at the end of the day, trying to decipher your notes and putting them into your CRM, trying to remember, “When was I supposed to send that follow-up email or that offer or contract.” That’s $5 an hour activity. You shouldn’t be doing any of that. Your VAs should be updating your CRM for you. They should be sending out the marketing for you. They should be doing your follow-up for you.

I would say, if you’re just getting started, put every dollar you can into marketing, but as soon as you do your first deal maybe, hire a full-time VA. It’s $500 a month to get a really decent, good data entry admin assistant. What would you add to that, Cory?

Cory: I think it’s great advice. I remember the first time that I hired somebody, I know we talk about this like it’s no big deal, Joe, but that was a scary moment. That was a very, very scary thing. Giving up control of something and hoping that somebody was going to get it done. Hopefully from watching this training today, Steve, you understand that that’s not the case.

You actually can go through and make a bullet point list of the things that you need to get accomplished. You record that video and then you give it to someone. Before you hire them or anything, now they come back and they tell you, “Yes, I feel competent enough to be able to do this activity.” That’s when you send them the PayPal or however you’re paying them on your card.

I’m telling you, that change of mindset was very big because now you still have the control per se, but you’re also delegating in the smartest way possible. To be successful in your business, long term, at some point you will have to delegate. It’s not a question of if, it’s a question of when.

If the question really is when do I delegate, when do I get a VA? It’s just like Joe said, as soon as humanly possible. Whenever you close on that first wholesale deal, take a little bit of those profits out and put it towards having a virtual assistant work with you and start there. I think that will be the way I’d do it.

Any more questions or are we going to be done here?

Joe: Guys, if you want to see Cory’s haircut pictures, follow him on Facebook, and if you want to see me with some earbuds up my nose, follow me on my Facebook wall and you’ll see a picture of me doing that.

Hey, I have to go. I haven’t had lunch yet and I’ve got a coaching call in 10 minutes. It’s been great, Cory, I appreciate you.

Cory: It has been great absolutely. All right, we’ll talk soon.

Joe: Bye-bye.

Cory: Bye-bye.

013: Virtual Assistant Domination – Part 1

Welcome to The Real Estate Tech Show! We are trying a new format with today’s episode to be a little more interactive. The podcasts will be on Zoom from now on so we can get likes and comments from our listeners in real time. If you like this new format – and even if you don’t – leave us a comment and let us know.

This episode is the first in a series about using virtual assistants in real estate. Joe swears by virtual assistants. He’s been using one for nine years now, and he’s learned a lot about hiring, firing, and creating what he calls a “standard operating procedure”. This procedure is something like a training checklist. It’s a way for you to clearly communicate your expectations with your VAs so you can make sure they’re doing the job right.

The more that you build that relationship with them often, the more that they’re going to feel compelled to want to work with you and do a better job because they feel like you care about them. Click To Tweet

We go over a few of our favorite places to find VAs, but that’s not the most important takeaway from today’s episode. The key to hiring a virtual assistant is you. Your training, your communication, and your ability to build a relationship with your VA will be the only way you can guarantee success. It’s important to keep that personal touch, even if your assistant is a million miles away. We share a few of our favorite tech tools for building that virtual relationship, and next week we’ll be talking about all the things a VA can do for you and your real estate business.  

You’ll get really good virtual assistants if you set up those procedures, that checklist right up front, but then also communicate with them and give them that scorecard. Click To Tweet

MINUTE MARKERS

0:27 Joe finds his assistants on Virtual Staff Finder

1:25 The biggest mistakes people make with VAs

2:09 Cory loves a checklist

3:31 What is a “standard operating procedure”?

6;28 How do you know when you have a good VA?

10:16 The proper pay for your VA

13:20 Don’t lose that personal touch

15:00 A quick run-down of what a VA can do for you

16:55 Interact with us in our new live format

RESOURCES

Virtual Staff Finder

Upwork

Online Jobs

Zoom Video

Screencast-o-Matic

Jing

Chris Ducker

MLS Hacks

And don’t forget to download our Top Ten Tech Tools!

TRANSCRIPT

Welcome to the Real Estate Tech Show, where two of the nation’s top experts on real estate share with you their favorite tech tools, tips, and tricks to help you explode your real estate business in productivity and profit. So get strapped in because Cory and Joe are about to lead you behind the curtain of the most relevant and effective real estate investing tools and strategies on the planet, starting right now.Joe: Hey, we’re live.

Cory: Are we live right now?

Joe: We are.

Cory: I love it. I love it. I love it. What’s going on, Joe?

Joe: Cory, this is Real Estate Tech Show Podcast and this is now our 13th episode. But this is the first time we’re broadcasting live to Facebook. I see that you’re live, Cory. It’s on my phone. And just got to make sure that I mute this so it does not… I don’t know if you can hear that.

Cory: I hear some feedback.

Joe: Yes, that was me. Sorry, but hey everybody. What’s up?

Cory: What is going on? What’s coming on? This is episode 13, like Joe said, and we have some goodies for you. If you want and go get out your phone and text the number 38470 and text the word TECH.

Joe: What’s the password on your phone?

Cory: I’m not going to give you the password on my phone. What are you talking about?

Joe: You showed us.

Cory: I’m not giving you my password, Joe. Sorry, you’re not hacking into my phone.

Joe: Hey listen, if you’re watching this on Facebook Live right now, do us a favor. Give us the like button. Give us some blue thumbs up. There’s several rules here. Listen. This is the truth here. We have rules for the show. Number one, comment down below, tell us where you’re from. Even if you’re watching the replay, comment down below, tell us where you’re from. That’s rule number one. Everybody do that right now. Type down below, tell us where you’re from.

Cory: What’s up, […]? We got some people rolling in here now.

Joe: Yes. Rule number two, give us a thumbs up. If we say something that you like, if you just want us to feel the love, give us a thumbs up right now. Everybody go down, give us a thumbs up. And rule number three, share this with your friends, okay? We’re going to be doing these Facebook Lives regularly for our Real Estate Tech Show Podcast. This starts episode 13 but we are going to be really officially pushing it, launching it now. We’re going to be sharing this good, juicy stuff with you guys. If you’re a fan of real estate and you’re a fan of tech like Cory and I are, you’re in the right place.

Joe: I love it. What’s up, Cody? Cody […] on here. […] out of Utah. Carla’s on here. What’s going on, Carla? Hope you had a good Christmas and a good New Year. Scott. Everybody comment where you’re from. That would be cool and give us some thumbs up.

Cory: Boom. I just shared it to my profile. Everybody give us some thumb’s up right now.

Joe: Let’s tell them to share it right now too, Joe. Why don’t you guys share this right now? If you know an investor, if you know a real estate investor, share this podcast, share this live feed right now and we’ll see if we can get a bunch of people get the awareness about this. Because all I hear all the time, Joe—I don’t know about you—is people asking me, “What tools do you use? What real estate tools, what automation tools do you use? How do you get all this stuff done? How is all this stuff…” There’s all these posts happen all the time. They don’t realize that we have a lot of this stuff automated. A lot of this stuff automated. Now, not everything is automated.

Today, we’re going to be talking about a topic that is red hot, red hot topic, and it’s virtual assistance. In fact, we’re calling it Virtual Assistant Domination Part One. I’m doing my show on Terry right now, Joe, and we’re going to be going over some very, very specific things on how you can absolutely dominate with virtual assistance.

There’s a couple of things that I want to get off here really quickly because you can do this right now. There’s two things. One is get on your phone without having a password and text the word TECH to 38470. In fact, Joe, I think we can just type it in the comments. Look in the comments right now.

Joe: Let’s tell you why. Cory and I put together a PDF report that shares our top 10 favorite tools. Did you have your top 10 and I have my top 10, or was it top 5 and 5?

Corey: No, we got the top 10 in there.

Joe: Of your top 10 and my top 10?

Cory: Yeah and we’re adding more in there as well. So as of right now, that’s where that is but we’re going to be adding more later on. But as of right now, they can go and download it.

Joe: Yes. We created a PDF report that Cory and I shared our top favorite tech tools that we use for our business in real estate today. In this PDF we give you the links, we tell you how to use it, we even this little video to show you how was use it. To get that report, you have to text the word TECH to 38470 and we’ll get that over to you.

We also have our website, realestatetechshow.com which we’re right now updating the header of the website. There will be soon, probably early next week, a place where we can go to the website to get that, but you can also listen to our first three or four episodes at the realestatetechshow.com.

Cory: It’s been more and more episodes are coming online there but we’re going some final edits and stuff. You can get in right now and go listen to it. It isn’t going to be pretty but it will be getting better as we go. Right now we’re just getting the content up there for you to go through.

Joe: Listen, give us some likes, give us some love. Please right now everybody give us some thumbs up. Let us know you like the show.

Cory: Tap that thumbs up button.

Joe: Even if you don’t like the show, give us some angry faces.

Cory: No, don’t give us some angries. We want likes. We want loves.

Joe: And tell us where you’re from too. I’m looking here. We got Salt Lake City, Utah. Another two guys from Utah. Kansas City. You got to tell us where you’re from guys.

Cory: What’s up, Lex? I know Lex out there in Florida. You guys type in your state.

Joe: Lex was just in Prague.

Cory: Prague, man. Joe, you spent four years there, don’t you?

Joe: Over the last four years I’ve lived there twice for two or three months at a time. Let’s talk about virtual assistance. Cory and I are going to do a little series here on the marketing, real estate seller marketing, specifically, that you’re virtual assistants can do for you. Guess what? It’s super cheap. The first thing we’re going to talk about is how to find good VAs, how Cory and I find virtual assistants. One of the guys that we were mentioning before we hit the record button was a mutual friend of ours, Robert Nicol, right?

Cory: Yes.

Joe: I had some of Robert Nicol’s VAs for a few years working for me and they’re amazing. They’re premium VAs. They’ve been pre-trained by a bunch of real estate education. They’re not cheap. This lady was phenomenal. She’s phenomenal. She’s really good on the phone. I actually used her to answer our seller calls live. Really recommend to many people to hire Filipinos to do that but she’s been really good.

Cory: Why don’t you recommend that, Joe? What is it? Because of the accent? Because of sometimes the storms knocking the power out?

Joe: I say at least two or three reasons. Number one the accents. I want somebody with good English accent.

Cory: Why is that important?

Joe: It’s just easier.

Cory: […] to understand whenever they’re taking information from the motivated seller?

Joe: Right and sometimes it won’t sound as scripted. I had two and three virtual assistants that are really good on the phone. But I was paying a premium for them. I was paying anywhere from $1500 to $2000 a month for these VAs. Most people that are trying to do this, they may only have a budget of $500 to $1000 a month to find somebody with good English from the Philippines, and I’m telling you, it’s just not enough. […] where you can’t hear an accent, they have really fast, really good, reliable internet, and they understand US customs, like if the seller is talking about a cul de sac or some kind of weird American term, the VAs’ going to know what that is. There’s a cultural thing. I prefer to have local US-based people handling the phones, answering the calls live when they come. Does that makes sense?

Cory: It does.

Joe: But Robert Nicol’s got this program, this company where he and hundreds and hundreds of VAs that have been trained in hundreds of hours of real estate education, and you can hire those VAs and that’s the guy. We don’t have any affiliate relationship with him as far as I know. What’s his VA-Easy Button used to be his website, Cory. Do you know what is—

Cory: Right, yeah, VA-Easy Button. But here’s the thing. If you’re interested and want to learn more about that with Robert, again he’s in our mastermind group, we’d be happy to talk with you about him and what he’s got going. It’s a really phenomenal business that he’s built up and a lot of happy investors use him. A lot of companies now are actually working with Robert because he’s got it dialed-in really, really well.

Again, Robert is one option, and we’ll even tell you that he’s not the cheapest. He doesn’t want to be the cheapest. He looks over quality versus getting the cheapest price. Sometimes what you have to do, is make ends meet. I know sometimes, people don’t have $1500 or $2000 to spend on this things. What do you recommend then, Joe, for them to do?

Joe: Great question. Glad you asked. I’ve been using Upwork for many, many years. It used to be oDesk and even before it was called something else even back then, but Upwork is a great place to go to find good, part-time virtual assistants or project-based virtual assistants. If you want a VA to everyday go in and scrape data off of the court website for evictions or probate, Upwork is a good place to do that because you can create a simple process and have any VA do that. You can get really good VAs there for $1, $2 an hour. Generally speaking, if you want to hire somebody, pay them a lump sum every month, it’s easier to bring down the cost a little bit like that from an hourly rate. But there’s Upwork. I also really like this website onlinejobs.ph and you can find even cheaper virtual assistants there.

Cory: Why you like them even more than Upwork? Just because of the price, or do you like that fact that you can do more selection from online?

Joe: I’ve seen Upwork the prices really go up, recently. They made some changes now where it’s harder for you as an employer to post jobs that are only for $25. I’ve done that many times where I post just something that’s just $20, $25. I think there’s even a minimum now that it’s changed. It’s been a little while since I did that, but onlinejobs.ph is a good place to go to find part-time or full-time virtual assistants. If you look at the hourly wage, they’re $1, $2 an hour sometimes. It just depends on what kind of work you having them do.

I’ll give one more resource that I’ve used before, that I liked a lot, virtualstafffinder.com. I think it’s Chris Ducker, he’s written some really good books on the whole thing about sourcing and virtual assistants.

Joe: A source that I’ve used before that I’ve liked a lot, virtualstafffinder.com. Chris Ducker, he’s written some really good books on the whole thing about sourcing a virtual assistant. He has a head hunting website, virtualstafffinder.com for $500.

They will find you three different VAs that meet your criteria and what you want to have done. You interview them and you hire one, they are going to be about $500 a month for a good full time data, admin VA—data entry, administrative virtual assistant about $500 a month. The more premium you go, it’s going to cost you more.

Those are my three favorite sources, Upwork, onlinejobs.ph, and virtualstafffinder.com.

Cory: That’s the success that you’ve had with Virtual Staff Finder as well, Joe. You’ve recommended that to some of your students, too.

Joe: I’ve had several VAs from them. Here’s the thing, it almost doesn’t matter where you get your VAs from, what matters is you.

Cory: How you train them.

Joe: How you train them, how you manage them, how you communicate with them, how slow you are to hire, how quick you are to fire when they’re bad, when they’re not working. I see a lot of people making mistakes in virtual assistants.

One of the biggest ways I’m seeing them make the mistakes is with a lack of communication and poor management. They’ll prepare something half ass and just send it to the VA and expect to hear back from them in two or three weeks with all the work done or whatever.

Cory: You have to explain and you have to actually create a checklist of things that you want to have accomplished.

Imagine this, imagine how important the checklist is. Whenever you’re doing some type of task, whether it’s going and looking up properties on the county and you’re looking for certain probates, or you’re going online and you’re searching Craigslist, or you’re going online and you’re searching some type of data source. You know how to do it, hit the button. You’re liking this, Joe.

Joe: Come on and like us.

Cory: Like us, put some hearts and some thumbs up. We’re talking about having a checklist, Joe. You have to have a checklist. It’s so important to have this checklist because once you have the checklist, then you don’t miss things that you want to have accomplished.

If you don’t have a checklist, you’re going to have things missed.

If you have a VA service right now and you’re using them, unless they are already pre-trained and they know exactly what it is that you want to do. If you don’t have a checklist, expect to have gaps in your process, expect to have things missed because it’s not their fault, it’s your fault.

Joe: Let me add two more things to that, that’s super critical. You have to have the standard operating procedure, you have to have something spelled out. We’ll talk just briefly in a minute how to do that because it’s super easy.

Just as important, you need to have regular communication with your VAs. When you first hire that VA, you need to be talking to them on Skype or Zoom or whatever every single day for the first couple of weeks.

So you are like, “Give me an update. What did you do today? What were some of the roadblocks or the hindrances? What are the bottlenecks? What are some problems that you’re having?” You have got to give them some accountability, give them a scorecard, a spreadsheet where they track what they did everyday and you track the numbers. You’re going to find like, “Well, it’s taking them four hours to do this activity, it should be taking them only one. What’s going on?”

I’m going to use some generalizations here, please forgive me. In the Philippine culture, I’ve heard this from VAs from the Philippines and friends that I have that are from the Philippines, generally speaking, they are very hesitant to tell you when something is wrong or something is not working. You have to pull it out of them sometimes.

You do that by giving regular reporting and some spreadsheet or a scorecard, communicating with them every single day and asking them, “What took you so long to do this? You shouldn’t have done this. This is the right way to do it.” You’ll get really, really good virtual assistants if you set up those procedures, that checklist right up front, but then you’ll also communicate with them and give them that scorecard. That is so important. I see so many people failing with virtual assistants because they’re not doing that.

Cory: At the end of the day, what we’re talking about is to make sure that you’ve got to have a process in order. If you don’t have a process in order, don’t expect someone to follow it.

As real estate investors, you’re doing your real estate on a daily basis. You’re hiring a VA and they don’t know what to do, how to do it, and all of a sudden you expect so much out of them like they should be in the game, and they’re not.

Joe: A lot of times these real estate investors, they don’t find out that’s a problem until two or three, four weeks down the road. You’ve got to do better at that. You wouldn’t do that with a regular employee in your office.

You’ve got to treat your virtual assistants like they were regular employees in your office. You need to have regular communication with them. It’s super important to think about.

How do you know if you’ve got a good VA? One of the things that I like to do is I give them really simple tests. If I’m looking at 3 to 5 or 10 different VAs to hire, Upwork has really strict rules by giving them work to do before you hire them.

During the interview process, give them something really simple, you could say, “Listen, I want you to go to Craigslist. I want you to find three homes that are between $1000 and $1200 a month in rent, that are three bedrooms, and I want you to create a Google Sheet and paste the following information in these four columns. I want date, link, title, and phone number. I want you to send me an email, share that spreadsheet with me at this email. In the subject line, put a smiley face.”

I don’t care about any of that except I’m looking for a VA that follows directions. If they forget to put a smiley face on the subject line, they get the rents wrong, that’s not a good VA to hire. If you want somebody with good English, give them a paragraph and make them read the paragraph and send you a voicemail. You’re looking for people that can follow directions and do it quickly and promptly.

I’ve had a very good success with VAs over the last nine years that I’ve used virtual assistants because I test them. I give them really clear steps and procedures. I’m communicating regularly with them. Cory, one of the things that I like to do when I’m creating the procedures and the checklist for the VAs, it’s super simple, don’t complicate it.

You have a Google Doc, just bullet list everything that you want done, then go back and create a video of you actually doing it through Screencast-O-Matic or Jing or Doppler, there’s a bunch of them. Just create a video of you doing that and they’ll give you a link that you can put at the top of the Google Doc that says, “This is how you do it.”

You’re going to add to that, don’t think that it has to be perfect, just get it started. You’ll add items to that checklist. If you have to do another video to clarify something, just don’t do the whole thing over again, just do a second video and copy and paste that link below the other one.

Cory: What you create is called a video training library. Once you have this video training library, now basically you have your standard operating procedures, but it’s now in video. It’s up to the person that you hire to follow this procedure. If that person goes away, then guess what’s going to happen? You’ve got the training. Now, you can give it over to someone else.

Joe: Guess how I’ve created most of my courses, Cory? When I sell a course, I just take stuff that I’ve used in my business and I create a course out of it and I sell it and give it away to people.

We’ve got some compliments, he lives in San Francisco. He travels all over the world all the time, he’s a virtual wholesaler. He’s giving me some love here, he’s giving us some good tips.

Go out there, put a simple job description, get people to apply, give them some tests, give them some simple standard operating procedures, communicate with them regularly, and pay them well if they’re doing work. Don’t be such a stingy hog.

Cory: When you say pay them well, do you pay them bonuses, Joe? How do you give them incentives?

Joe: Before I get to that, somebody just brought up a good point. You can actually have your VAs create the checklist. Sometimes people get tripped up like, “I have to learn Podio. I have to learn this new marketing thing before I can train a VA.” Maybe?

I’ve done this before, Cory, I buy somebody’s course, how to bid on HUDs. I give that course to my VA, “Watch this and you start doing it. Give me a standard operating procedures to that. If you quit or if you want to bring somebody under you to help you, you just give them this video and they do it.” That works really well if you have a good VA.

Cory: Another purpose, we’re talking about this for real estate right now but also for education. There’s a ton of webinars every day, you probably get hit with 10 different emails of somebody having a webinar on Thursday or Friday. What I would do for a long time, and I don’t do this as much now, but I’d hire VA to actually listen to the webinar. They would take notes on the webinar. I just wanted to have the meat of the webinar and they would send it back. That would save about an hour of my time and that might be three or four webinars for that day and you have VAs going there and they do it. It might cost you $50 or $20 do it.

Joe: That’s a good tip, I love it so much. I’m going to give you some thumbs up, Cory. We’re talking about compensation. Don’t be stingy with your VAs, pay them well.

Every Christmas, I pay my VAs a full month’s salary for Christmas, that’s customary in the Philippines. Give them raises. Give them bonuses. If they help you do it, give them $100, give them $500. We had one VA, he doesn’t work for me anymore, but he was just in charge of follow up.

He would follow up with all of our old seller leads like a banshee. This guy was insane because he wanted that $250 bonus check. He would do three deals a month, four deals a month to make $750 to $1000. That’s almost a full month’s salary just by making calls.

Cory: Would you tell them that that bonus is coming? How would you set that up for them?

Joe: We tracked everything in Podio. He would see if it was a lead he’s been following up with, he would see when we get it under contract. It’s funny, he was so on it. He would be following up with us. He would send me messages, “I see you’ve got this under contract. When will it close?” He was great. I found him on Upwork back when it was Odesk.

Pay them well and be loyal to them, they’ll be loyal to you. I think some people, because they’re virtual, they lose the personal touch, they lose that personal communication. I wish I lived closer to the Philippines, I would be flying out there and meeting with my VAs.

Cory: When we were just at our last mastermind, Robert Nickell was just on his way to meet with his team. The more that you build that relationship with them often, the more that they’re going to feel compelled to want to work with you and do a better job because they feel like you care about them.

At the end of the day, these people aren’t just numbers even though you can’t see them. Sometimes we just think, “They’re just a number.” No. These people have families. They care about you, they want your business to succeed, but they will only care as much as you care.

Remember that, if you don’t care, if you’re putting out that energy that you’re just a number and that you’re just a tool, a resource to get things accomplished, you’re not going to do much work.

But if you care about these people, you actually build the relationship with them. I got virtual assistants I’ve had for over 10 years. I’ve got people helping me not just because they can’t go find something else, because they know I care about them, they’re always going to get paid, they know what responsibilities they need to take care of and that matters.

Just make sure that you are putting out that, you make sure you’re putting out that energy and care about these people.

Joe: Listen, this is just a little series of what we’re going be doing on our next podcast, we’re going to be sharing with you the three or four things that your virtual assistant could be doing for you, your seller marketing. A lot of these are very low cost ways. Work with individual VAs or with agencies, both.

One of the things that your VAs can do for you is send emails to realtors for you. Haim and I created a course called MLS Hacks, you should go check it out, mlshacks.com. We’ll talk a little bit about that on the next podcast.

There are other things that your VAs can do, they can send text messages, emails, they can do follow up. They could even, believe it or not, do your direct mail. They can send one off letters for you. We’re going to be sharing that with you and showing you how to do that on the next podcast episode at the Real Estate Tech Show podcast.

Cory: They can text the word tech to 38470 and get our tool box which is our top 10 favorite resources and tech tools that is helping us right now and what we’re using in our real estate business as of today, that’s very important, too, this is relevant. I want to ask a couple of questions before we get off here, Joe. Who are using VAs? Who’s using a VA right now?

Joe: Tell us if you like this format. This is something that Cory and I just started all of our previous podcast episodes which we’re still releasing. We just recorded on Skype, we were thinking, “Let’s do it live on Zoom at the same time.” Let us know if you like this, if it’s a good idea or not.

Cory: Hopefully, if we can build this up and get interaction, we can get questions, get people to ask questions. Maybe, Joe, we could even bring people onto the live broadcast, that would be really cool. Maybe we could bring some of our students on and ask them where they went from A to B and some things that are working for them. That would be really cool.

Joe: It’d be cool if Zoom allowed you to put a lower third on the video if it said the Real Estate Tech Show on the lower third.

Cory: I think we can do a logo, we can work on that. There are some people using a VA. Are there any questions that you have before we get off here on VAs? Anything you want to know about a VA? Our next show is going to be about some of the specific things that you can have your VA do now. If you have any questions, ask it really quickly guys before we get off here, we’ve got another few minutes.

Joe: Everybody right now, if you’re watching us live or even if it’s on a replay, you’re watching it later, give us a thumbs up and share this video, please.

Cory: Let’s see who shares it right now, who shares the video right now? We can see when you share it. Click on the little share button, share the video, it’ll show that you shared the video. We’ll call you out right now if you do.

Joe: We have seven shares.

Cory: Who shared it so far? Let’s give a shout out, Joe.

Joe: It won’t let me open it up.

Cory: Bill just came on here, what’s up Bill? Chris has got multiple VAs. Darren just shared the video, thank you. Brad Foster, thank you very much for sharing. Who else is going to share the video? Cindy, thank you, Cindy. Who else is sharing the video? Scott, thank you, Scott Kennedy.

Joe: Brad, Kevin, Lee, Bryant, William Denick.

Cory: William, thank you for sharing. We got folks that are sharing like crazy right now. Share this video and it really helps out with the engagement. We get a lot of folks on here, they’re going to ask good questions. These comment sections will just grow. Sometimes, Joe, if you will watch some of these Facebook videos and the comments, you can get some gold nuggets.

Joe: You know what else, Cory, there’s a bunch of people here that I’m not friends with. I’m adding you guys as friends, I’m sending you right now friend requests.

Cory: You better share it, Mark, I’m calling you out. I’m looking at you, buddy.

Joe: Even if you don’t like this show, let us know. Leave us a comment, let us know what are some of the things you’d like us to talk about on future episodes. I have to make like a banana and split.

Cory: Kick your day job, buddy. Joe, that’s funny.

Joe: That was funny, my face is red.

Cory: What’s up, Matthew? Thank you guys for sharing. Thank you for doing the thumbs up and the hearts. We will get back on here soon and do part two and go through some specifics on what you can do for your marketing with VAs, that’s going to be fun.

Joe: Thanks everybody. Thanks, Cory.

Cory: Talk to you later. Bye guys.

Joe: See you. Bye, bye.

012: Evernote as a CRM

This episode is going to be a little bit different from our typical fare. Today we’re only talking about one tool – Evernote. But there are so many different ways to use Evernote that it deserves its own episode.

Using Evernote for CRM (customer relationship management) is probably the easiest and most obvious choice for this tech tool. In fact, it’s the only thing Joe uses for CRM. He uses it for a bunch of other things too, which he goes into today, but it’s the most efficient tool for managing clients and leads that he’s found in this business.

These tools allow us to create organization and structure in a way where you don’t have to think about it. Click To Tweet

The most important thing about Evernote is its simplicity. On this podcast, we are trying to show you how easy tech can be. We don’t want to confuse you or complicate your business. And we also don’t want to scare you away from technology. Simplifying your life, automating your systems – these are the goals we have when we record this show. And with Evernote, you can share links, save photos, and send emails from an app on your phone. The biggest takeaway from today’s episode is the way Joe uses his Evernote as a CRM and a personal diary. There are no rules when it comes to using these tools, it’s just important that you do use it.

It’s important to invest in technology if you want to accelerate your business to the next level, and what we talk about today should justify the small fee you pay for using some of the better features of Evernote.

If you complicate your CRM too much, you’re not going to use it. Click To Tweet

MINUTE MARKERS

1:50 Our new favorite book

2:51 Joe uses Evernote all of the time

7:10 Evernote creates much needed CRM structure

12:39 Get familiar with Evernote on YouTube

14:48 Joe walks us through the ways to use Evernote (see video)

20:48 What Cory loves most about Evernote

23:22 Attaching property photos to Evernote

26:49 How to use tags in Evernote

27:46 How to search tags in Evernote

33:21 Keep it simple or you’ll never use this tech

38:22 The best automation you can get is a virtual assistant

39:21 Don’t be afraid of technology

RESOURCES

Evernote

Evernote CRM on YouTube

Zoom

Good to Great by James Collins

Joe’s podcasts with Rick Otton

And don’t forget to download our Top Ten Tech Tools!

TRANSCRIPT

Cory: What’s up, Joe McCall?Joe: Cory Boatright, what’s going on, man?

Cory: What’s going on? I am pumped, man. We are going to talk about Evernote today. As a CRM, you have one of your students using that to run their business. They’re getting all their leads through there.

Joe: Yeah, that’s the craziest thing. We’ll talk about using Evernote as a CRM. First, if you want our top 10 tech tools, text the word TECH to 384-703-8470. You get a PDF, couple of pages, Cory’s favorite tools, my favorite tools, truly valuable, super simple, easy to go through, or just go to realestatetechshow.com, and get it for free. Absolutely free.

Cory: Yes, the price is right. Get it for free.

Joe: If you don’t like it, we’ll give you your money back. That’s an old joke.

Cory: It’s still good though. One thing that we forget to do is Mr. Joe McCall is on the other end there. I’m Cory Boatright. We run a real estate business and we use technology to go ahead and help things be more efficient. Actually, we’re going through this book called Good to Great. I know you’ve heard of it, you’ve probably read it Joe, by James Collins.

Joe: Yeah, it’s good.

Cory: It talks about technology as an accelerator. Many people rely on technology as the end-all to run everything for them. We’re not telling you to do that. We run different businesses. I do about 100 wholesale deals a year. Joe and I both have coaching businesses. Joe does deals with the students and has his own business as well. This is what we do everyday and because we do things mobily, we do things virtually, we use technology to run a big part of the business, but it’s not the foundation. I want to make sure that you understand that this is an accelerator.

I think it’s easy sometimes, Joe, we get going here, we forget to even introduce ourselves. The great Joe McCall, also known as Podio Joe, for those that known Joe for a long time. But we’re not talking about Podio today. We’re talking about Evernote, and have you used it before?

Joe: I love Evernote. I use it all the time.

Cory: I do too.

Joe: How many notes do you have right now, Cory?

Cory: You have more than me. I think I have probably around 1200.

Joe: I have 28 notebooks. It doesn’t tell me on Evernote on the desktop, but it tells you on the phone. This is super important, because everybody’s just dying to know how many notes we have. 3344 notes in Evernote.

Cory: That’s a lot. It’s safe to say that you rely on Evernote. Why don’t you talk about why you rely on it, for your own, personal, and for business. But then also, we can roll into about the CRM.

Joe: It’s like a diary for me, man. Any time I get an idea, I find something that’s cool that I want to remember later, I’ll put it on Evernote. Sometimes I’ll just add onto an existing note, or sometimes I’ll create a new note. Like the other day, somebody emailed me something really cool. It was in a PDF. Evernote gives you a unique email address. I’ll email something to that email address, and it’ll create a new note in Evernote for me.

Cory: Yes.

Joe: It was something cool and I knew I wanted to. I couldn’t look at right now, but it would be a good valuable resource for later. I emailed it to my Evernote and there, if you look at it I can see the email and the attachments that were in there. It’s just amazing. It’s all synced in the Cloud. I can get it from my phone, my tablet, my laptop, my wife’s computer, anywhere in the world I can access this stuff in Evernote.

Cory: Do you pay a lot for Evernote Joe?

Joe: I do pay for some premium subscription. I don’t even know what it is. What is it, $20 a year, or something?

Cory: Pretty inexpensive to be able to have all the convenience that you have using that tool.

Joe: I don’t know how much it costs, but it’s worth it. I would pay $100 a month for Evernote. There would probably something else. Okay, here it is. I’m paying $70 a year.

Cory: It’s incredible. Here’s the thing, when people hear about technology tools, they first think about what’s its cost. The second thing is why do I need it? It isn’t why do I need it, and then what’s it cost. Here’s what you have to change your mindset to be effective and be as efficient as possible, and actually gain the edge because a lot of folks don’t have this mentality.

You have to change the way you think. It isn’t what it cost first, and then why do I need it. You need to ask yourself, “Why do I need it?” first. What’s it going to do to help my life be more efficient, get more deals done because I gained the edge. Is it going to give me other opportunities for connections that I don’t normally have right now? Can I integrate it with other tools? We’re going to talk about with this one. Then, from there you can say, “What’s that worth to me?” For many of the wholesalers I know, Joe—I know when you talked to students the same way—they don’t know what things are worth. “How much did the lead cost you?” “I don’t know.” “How much did you make on the last deal?” “I know, kind of, but…” “ How much was your net?” “I don’t really know.” They don’t know.

Some of the reasons that we talked about these tools is because we’re lazy, generally, as entrepreneurs. These tools allow us to create organization and structure in a way where you don’t have to think about it. Joe has something that comes in, I have something that comes in, I could throw it into Evernote. I can throw an image in there, I can throw a video in there, I can share it with someone else. There’s some really cool things that you can do with Evernote, right Joe?

Joe: It’s an amazing tool. I remember when I was first learning about real estate. Cory was my coach at the time. I bought a course, and he said, “You need to have a database.” I fought that tooth and nail. I though I don’t need a database. If they don’t want to do a deal now, then screw them. Why would I want to keep a list of customers that don’t want to sell their house to me, why would I want to keep a database of buyers? I just didn’t get it.

I thought I was smarter than my coach. I thought I knew better. I didn’t pay attention to him. It wasn’t until—sure enough I would do marketing—and I get a bunch of leads. All of a sudden, I’m buried in Post-It Notes, and yellow pads of paper. I know my leads aren’t getting followed up with. I talked to a seller two days later and they say, “Why you didn’t send me the thing you said?” Then I was like, “Who are you again?” I was just so messed up.

Cory: No structure.

Joe: No structure. I just started with Google Sheets, I think it was, or Excel spreadsheet or something, to start managing my leads. In fact, actually, was a tool called Smartsheet that I started using. Smartsheet is like an online spreadsheet software, like Google Sheets, but it allows you to attach records, attach files to each roll of data, and allows you to set up reminders and tasks to each of those line items. But anyway, I started realizing pretty quickly, as I started doing more and more deals, that I have to have a database.

The problem now though is, Cory, so many people complicate this. They think that the CRM has to do everything. They spend hours, and hours, and hours trying to get the CRM to save them a few seconds. It’s important to keep it simple. To go back to the basics, step aside, step away from the computer sometimes, and say, “Alright, what is really important? Do I need to have 30 different questions of 30 possible different scenarios? Do I need it to click a button and do all these fancy things afterwards?”

I don’t know. I don’t think you do. If you just had a simple CRM that just lets you track the name, phone number, email, address of the house, mailing address maybe, and then notes, and then tasks—

Cory: Keep it simple.

Joe: That’s it.

Cory: Keep it simple. You can always add on to things as you grow. Sometimes people go, “I’m not going to do that because it doesn’t do x, y, and z for me.” What you got to do is, you got to start somewhere. I know folks wait until the perfect tool exists. Well, it doesn’t have a contract generator in it. I don’t want to do that. It doesn’t talk to my title company. I don’t want to do that thing. It’s like you’re waiting for the perfect tool to exist. In the meantime, a year or two goes by, everyone passes you and you’re still on the same place.

Joe: Right. Some of the most poor wholesalers and investors are the CRM experts. They’ve got the best CRM that does all this fancy stuff to them, they got all this integrations, but they don’t ever even use it because it doesn’t matter if you’re not in front of the sellers, and buyers, and you’re talking to people.

I had an acquisitions manager. His name is Rick. I’ll never forget this. I posted some ads on Craigslist, got a bunch of people that applied. This guy was really persistent. I liked him. Sat down and had a coffee with him. We had a lot of the same values and he was really good with people. He’s a great people person. One of the things I appreciated about him was that he’s a really simple guy.

I hired him and I trained him. We started doing deals together. We started doing a lot of deals actually. To make the long story short, we actually parted ways. We parted ways as friends, and he went to continue real estate investing.

We had a strategy where we are focusing on finding the buyers first. He went and got his real estate license. Then, I started bringing deals to him because he had such good buyers. But anyway, we parted ways and it’s been about three or four years now. For the last three years, he’s been averaging close to 100 deals a year, doing about seven to eight deals a month. Has a real simple business, nothing complicated. It’s just his phone and his laptop that’s all he has. His wife helps him out a little bit, but you know what he uses as his CRM? Evernote.

He uses Evernote. I spent some time talking with him, and I even did a podcast with him about it a few years ago at realestateinvestingmastery.com. If you just go there and do a search for Rick, you’ll see the podcast I did with him.

Cory: Put that in the show notes too.

Joe: If you search for Evernote at realestateinvestingmastery.com, and you’ll hear this interview I did with him. Cory and I were talking, and I said, “Let’s do a podcast about how to use Evernote as CRM,” because it’s super simple. It really, really is. The other thing I’d say is, if you are not familiar to what’s Evernote is, got to YouTube. Not too many people know about it. Just do a search for, ‘how to use evernote’ in YouTube. You will find a gazillion videos in there on how to use it.

Cory: Let me add to that. Once you do that, because there’s a gazillion videos, what you want to do is click a little button or a little dot or something called the filter. At YouTube, you look at relevance or you look at the number or views. The one that’s probably the most important is date. You want to look at the most recent one because that’ll cut down your fact.

Joe: YouTube actually does a pretty good job of that. They’ll put at the top of the list the best videos most of the time. In fact, do this, go to YouTube and so a search for ‘Evernote CRM’ and you’ll find a bunch of videos in there that teach this. We’re going to walk through this with you right now to show you how simple it really is. I’m going to share my screen with you here.

This is Evernote, I created a new notebook that’s called Real Estate Tech Show Podcast. You have over here your notes, notebook, and tags. Inside of a notebook which I created called Real Estate Tech Show, I have a note. This is one note I have here, it’s called a test note.

Let’s talk about how you would structure this. The first thing is you would need notebooks. The cool thing about Evernote is you can have master notebooks and subnotebooks underneath that.

Cory: Over on the left-hand side, you see one of your icons for notebooks.

Joe: Yeah, right there. You can have master notebooks and then subnotebooks under that. You could have a notebook for personal, and then a notebook for business, and then underneath your business notebook, you could have subnotebooks under that. In Evernote, they call it stacking. You can stack notebooks.

Cory: Yeah, under your personal, you could have family. You want to get out vacations, you get whatever.

Joe: I want to have different notebooks for seller leads, buyer leads, lenders, my networking contacts for example. When a new lead comes in, I want to create a note underneath the seller leads notebook, does that make sense?

Cory: Yes.

Joe: Some sample notebooks you could have would be seller leads, buyer leads, private lenders, and networking. I don’t even know if you need that, maybe let’s say you need it. Then you can a have notebook called Properties. Under Properties you have different notebooks under that like Under Contract or Sold.

Cory: All these other notebooks are really statuses, like under Contract, that’s status for the Property.

Joe: Under Properties, yeah but we’ll get to this in a minute. You can also use tags inside of Evernote for maybe your statuses. I would make each note either a seller lead, like a seller’s name, or a property. The cool thing about Evernote is that it’s completely flexible. You can do it anyway you want. You’re not forced to fit into somebody else’s box.

If you just start playing around with it, you will learn what works for you and what doesn’t. Don’t worry about trying to get it all figured out first upfront. Just start playing with it, start digging into it, and you’ll figure it out as you go, like, this makes more sense to do this folder, notebook structure, or whatnot.

Let me continue on this then. Let’s say you have a notebook for seller leads. A new lead comes in while you just create a new note. For the new note, you’re going to give the seller’s name. That’s going to be the name of the note. Then, inside of there, you can create tags. You can have a tag for new lead, hot lead, warm, cold, whatever. You could also have a tag for certain areas, if you have a North County, South County, West County, or whatever. Maybe depending on how you’re doing it, maybe zip codes or whatnot. You could have as many tags as you want. The cool thing about the tags is, you could say, “Alright, in seller leads, show me all of the cold tags,” and it shows you all the colds.

Then, what’s important is to have one master note that’s kind of like a template. You could create a new note. I’ll create a new note right here and I’m going to call this Master Template New Seller Lead. You could say, “What are the things you want to track in every new lead that comes in?” Maybe name is one, phone, email, address of property, etc. Then, maybe you have questions you want to ask. I’m going to make that bold and I’ll do bullets here like, “What’s your situation?” This could be your seller script. “What would you like to see happen?” “How quickly would you like to sell?” Maybe that’s your stuff. That’s it. That’s your template.

When a new lead comes in, you’re just going to take this, and you could do a couple of things. You could highlight the whole thing and copy and paste it into a new note, or you can right click on the note and you click on copy, and you copy that note into a different notebook.

Now, you have this new lead. You change the title to Suzie Jones, 123 Main Street, or whatever. That’s the title of this new seller lead. Give it a name. Her name is Suzie Jones. You put the phone number in here, you put the email. Now, I know that some of you are saying, “But I can’t send them an email from here.” Yeah right, you can’t. But guess what? This guy that I’m talking about—Rick—does close to 100 deals a year, he uses Evernote. He doesn’t have anything fancy. It’s not like he can send emails from here. He can’t create a contract from here.

Cory: You can actually send an email from there, but you have to share the note.

Joe: You could share this note with your title company. You can send a link of this note which had all these information.

Cory: Can we talk about this too, Joe? One of the benefits of Evernote, because I’m always looking at what’s different, this is really a to-do client resource. It’s not really specifically designed to be a CRM. You can do whatever you want with it, it’s flexible.

But one of the things that’s different about Evernote is, what you have is a link that each one of these notebooks, or note—notes are in Evernote—you can either share your notebook or you can share your note. I believe you can share both. It gives you a link. Do you want to just talk about that really quickly, because I think that’s important. Anybody can click on that link, and then they can see not only what you have there. Now you’re typing in the WYSIWYG Editor. You’re using the checklist option that they have for chat boxes. You can go in, you can link this, and it gives you a link, and you can look at it online.

Joe: Right here. I could share this note with somebody. I can also do what’s called chat. If I click on new chat, I can actually share this note live with somebody else in their Evernote account. But if I just wanted to, I could click Copy public link.

Cory: Yup. Go ahead and do that, Joe. Then open up a new browser so you can show people. I think that’s a powerful thing about Evernote.

Joe: All right, hold on one minute here.

Cory: You copy that link.

Joe: I’m going to copy that link, and I’m going to paste that link right here into Google Chrome, and here’s the note.

Cory: There you go. That’s live right now. Joe starts typing. Here’s what’s interesting, go back to your note, Joe. Put in another task there and just put ‘hello, how are you,’ all that. Now, go ahead and sync it.

Joe: It’s syncing right there on the upper left. Then I go here to Chrome and I’m going to refresh this page. There’s the stuff that I just typed.

Cory: There you go. Everything is right there, that’s what’s powerful about this. Imagine what you could do with Evernote now that you have one link that you can change on the fly, and not have to worry about sending somebody else another link. Anything else, it’s all on this one Evernote. I think that’s really different about this tool, Joe.

Joe: The other cool thing is you can start attaching pictures. I should have done this in advance. Let me get a picture of a house real quick here. I sometimes will just take pictures from Zillow. I’m going to save this image.

Cory: You actually take the image, you won’t just take the link.

Joe: Yeah, I could take the link too.

Cory: Use just less of your storage.

Joe: I could call this Zillow link, paste the link here. But I could also go up here to attach, right here. I can attach anything I want. I can attach some picture. I can go in and I can attach the contracts and the inspection reports. I can attach stuff from Google Drive or anything like that, right?

Cory: Right. It integrates with Google Drive and Dropbox, correct?

Joe: Yeah. Let’s say I have a spreadsheet, for whatever reason. I can attach the spreadsheet right there on the bottom. Now, this is my record. I could change the tags, I can move it to a different notebook if I want. Let’s say, I get this property under contract, I can move it to my notebook called Under Contract. Then I could copy and paste, maybe a new set of tasks or things that need to be done. By the end of the day when you look at this, you can see just by moving these notes around in different notebooks what’s going on in your business. The final thing I’ll share here with you is that, you can set reminders. If there is something that you need to do, or something that you need to follow up within a week on this particular seller lead, you just click on this reminders button, and you can add a reminder on a certain day, on the 20th or whatever about this note.

Now you’ve got this list of things, and on the 20th I’m going to get a reminder. It’s going to pop up in Evernote. I go into my Evernote and I can see from my list of tasks of things to do, what it is that I need to do. I could write up a task here, follow up, and send proposal. It’s very simple. It’s very flexible. It doesn’t have the bells and the whistles that you’re going to get in a typical sales CRM.

Cory: Like Podio. We use Podio quite a bit.

Joe: Right. But it does everything that you have to have it to do. If you need to send an email out, just copy this email address, copy or command-C or control-C, go to your email application, and send the email from there. If you need to create a contract, go into your computer, into an old contract, save it under a new name, just copy and paste the information in there, and then attach that new contract into this Evernote.

The idea is, you want all of your information over here into one place. Let me just talk to you real quickly here about tags. Look at this, you can have tags. You could have a tag for different statuses, or stages of the leads, in the hot, new, warm, cold, whatever.

Cory: Show what tags are. I think some people heard a tag, some people haven’t heard of tags.

Joe: I could create a tag called Hot. I have a tag called Important. Once I start typing in important, it brings up all of my tags that have, I-M-P.

Cory: Can you show where they would do that? If you put in important there, or you put in Hot.

Joe: Right here at the top.

Cory: Yeah. You put in a tag. Tag is a bookmark, essentially. Basically, think of tags as a way to filter. Now, if you put that Important, or Hot, you go ahead and put in some other tag. Then go up there to the search Joe, and show them how to do it.

Joe: I don’t want to do this because you’ll see all of my tags, and all of my personal stuff.

Cory: I got you. Okay, alright.

Joe: If I clicked on tags, and I go to search, and I can say, “Show me all of the leads that have a cold tag,” it’ll bring them all in and show them, which is amazing. Maybe you have a tag called ‘Follow-up,’ which means they’re in the follow-up. You can pull up all the follow-ups, and then look at all the ones that have reminders of some things to do or whatever.

Cory: If you go up there to the top corner, there’s a search box. This is what’s also really powerful about Evernote. This is where you can type in the tag to find it. It’ll go ahead and the syntax will pull in, or it’ll auto complete for you.

Joe: It’s looking in this notebook with all the leads that have its cold tag.

Cory: Yes. You can also create a search template. You don’t have to go in anymore and type it in up there. You can actually create a search template now. Get the one that you always go in, if you always type in cold, or hot, or important, you can create a search template now and click on that. It’ll automatically find it for you.

Joe: The cool thing too now is, when I’m in the field, I’m in the car driving around, looking at houses, I can update it right from my phone. I don’t have to have anything. I can just go right into Evernote, find this lead, update the information, maybe attach pictures that I took from my phone. If I got a contract signed, I can take a picture of that contract, scan it into Evernote, and I can save it as a PDF.

Cory: I love it. I love that.

Joe: But, let me just cover a few more things real quick. What do you need to have inside of each of these notes, or inside of each lead? Maybe a template of all the things that need to be done, you can put in contracts, you can attach emails, you can attach pictures of the house, what are the next steps, what are the reminders, maybe have a little thing that you have for numbers where you track the buy price, or the sale price, or your expected profit, or the expected closing date, and things like that.

It’s super powerful. Again, it’s virtually free. There is a free version of Evernote. But if you want to do the fancier things like maybe sharing your notes, or if you want a little bit more limit—you can get up to new 10 gigabytes every single month—you need to get it up. It’s $70 a year. You’re talking about $6 a month or $5 a month, or something like that.

Cory: It’s so inexpensive. Again, it’s changing the mindset of not what it cost, it’s what can it do for me, and what’s it worth to me. That’s way better question as an entrepreneur to ask yourself.

Joe: I’m going to stop sharing my screen here, so we can see our pretty faces.

Cory: Before you do, go back there one other time. At the very top, one other thing, on the search tags. When you’re creating a search tag, you can actually create the search template. I mentioned it before, but the purpose of that is, you can create multiple tags. Let’s say, I have Putnam City, and I only want to look at hot properties in Putnam City. I can put multiple tags into a search template, or tag template if you will. It’ll create that and you can save it. I just want to mention that there because that’s worth mentioning.

Joe: Right. There’s saved searches right here, it’s like saved filters. You can say, “Show me all of the Putnam City tags, leads,” or also I type in, “cold…”

The cool thing too about this, let’s say a seller calls you up, you see her number there, and her number is 353. You can type in to search 353, and it brings in all of your notes that have the number 353 in it. If I wrote the numbers 3-5-3-6-6-6-6, that brings up all the notes that have that thing in there. It makes it super easy and quick to find that house, or to find that seller. It’s important, you got to to have something where you can store stuff, right?

Cory: Right.

Joe: It’s super customizable. Anything that you want to track, you can. It’s here.

Cory: I love it. You can share, you talked about that a little bit more. You can actually share the link with folks. That’s great. You can share it with your team if you want to. I assume that your student is doing that. He’s sharing it with his team members.

Joe: Yup.

Cory: Is there automation tools that he’s using, that integrate?

Joe: No. He keeps it simple. That’s  too complicated.

Cory: Just keep it simple.

Joe: Yeah. The thing is, again, whatever you’re using, if you’re using Salesforce, Infusionsoft, FreedomSoft, Podio, whatever you’re using. Whether you’re an investor or realtor—realtors have five times as many different options as investors do—keep it simple for the love of all that’s holy. If you complicate your CRM too much, you’re not going to use it.

You just need a few simple fields, a few simple things to track: name, phone number, email, address of the property, notes, and the sixth thing would be task. What’s the next thing you have to do or who’s responsible for this lead. Every single lead has to have an open task with the due date assigned to somebody in the future. If you could do that, you’ll make more money because you make your money by making offers, by giving listing presentations, by actually talking to people. You don’t make money by making sure you have the perfect CRM that does all these fancy-dancy things in it that automate everything. That’s nice to have.

Once you’re getting to a point where you’re doing five deals a month or more, then you can start really building a fancy CRM that automates and does all of the stuff for you, where you click a button, it creates a contract, it emails the seller, it sets them up into a auto responder, auto follow up system, and all that stuff. It’s important, but you don’t need that when you’re just getting started. It’s really good. I see so many people, Cory, getting so confused, they give up because they’re lost in all of this technology and stuff.

Cory: Hopefully with this show, we do simplify a little bit for them. You don’t have to go all complicated, and just keep it simple. But there are ways that you can use technology that actually will help you. It’s not as confusing as you think it might be. Don’t get too overwhelmed.

Again, start somewhere. Just because it doesn’t do everything you want it to do, doesn’t mean that you can’t create some of your own custom methodologies that you can use with it. It doesn’t mean that there’s no templates that already exist. I know you mentioned how to use Evernote in YouTube, but guys, gals, if you get to YouTube, if you  typed in, “how to whatever,” you’ll find some incredible, incredible instructional videos on many of the tools that you might think are confusing that you’ve asked about. You’ll see people walk you through how to use a very simplistic—the foundational pieces of some of this tools—including Evernote.

I love it. I love the fact that he’s knocking out that many deals by using Evernote. He’s got his own system, and I’m sure he’s obviously customized a few things in there that we didn’t discussed. But, it’s simple enough, where he can go in, he can see all the properties that come in, he can see all the properties that needs to be followed up with. Keep it simple.

Joe: I’m looking here at YouTube, and there’s a bunch of really good videos right at the top on how to use Evernote as CRM.

Cory: Maybe we could throw a few of those in the show notes.

Joe: Yeah, we’ll just go to YouTube and just search for how to use Evernote as a CRM. Some of these are four years old, three years old.

Cory: Yeah, that’s the thing. Look at the date.

Joe: Yeah, Evernote made some changes and updates since then but there’s a guy here that’s got it eight months ago, using Evernote as a CRM package. That’ll be good. Some of these names I actually recognize. People that I know who were in real estate. This is interesting.

Cory: One of things that I think would be interesting is, let us know. Let us know if you think that you’d like us to go in deeper with this. Maybe there’s a need for this, maybe somebody would have a need, actually want to have all these done for them, have all the templates ready for them, have basically a mini product, if you will. Basically they can watch some videos on how to set up the buyer side, how to set up the seller side. If you want something like that, put that in the notes. Let us know if that’s something that you think you’d like to have more of a deep dive into.

Joe: Yeah, I thought about creating a simple course around that, Cory. We’ve talked about that. There’s other tools like Trello, maybe we can do an episode about that. Again, don’t complicate it. Keep it simple. You’ll make a lot of money in this business by keeping things simple. This guy Rick, he’s doing very, very well. Again, he just uses Evernote.

Let me say one more thing too. Sometimes, the best automation you can get is a good virtual assistant, a good VA, or a local assistant, virtual assistant. Somebody that can update this stuff for you. You don’t have to be the one typing in all these notes. You can just voice memo, like Voxer, or WhatsApp. Your voice memos to your assistant, to your VA, and your VA could be responsible for updating this stuff, and reminding you of what needs to be done.

If you’re a technophobe, and you’re like, “This is overwhelming, even what you’ve talked about is being confusing to me,” just email the pictures of the house to your VA, and your VA can attach those pictures to the Evernote. Email the fax, the contract to your VA, and your VA can take that fax and put it to Evernote, or your CRM for you.

Cory: Absolutely. One thing that I think is interesting here as we’re wrapping this up is, people treat technology like it’s their ugly stepchild, and it’s not. It’s something that can help you get more things accomplished if you allow yourself to change the way you think about, not necessarily what it cost but what can it do for me, and what’s it worth for me. We’ll, we talked about this many times.

Also, finding a way that you can start on something. You don’t have to wait everything to be prefect. You can just start, and once you get involved in doing that thing, the momentum happens. Another part of Jim Collin’s Good to Great is talking about the flywheel concept. The companies that goes from good to great, they allowed this flywheel concept to happen with the momentum. It took a little bit of time to just get going. They started, they inched forward, but  once they did, man, do you know how it is to stop a flywheel ? It’s almost impossible. The momentum keeps going. That can be your business, that can be how you use these technology tools to help you get more things accomplished.

Joe: Very good. Good stuff man. Real good stuff. And you know what else I’m thinking? We should do a podcast on Zoom.

Cory: That would be great.

Joe: Maybe we should record these podcasts on Zoom instead because then we don’t have to go around changing our recording settings when we switch between webcam and sharing screens.

Cory: All right. I’ll put that as one of our episodes, and why it’s important. I’ll put that down as one of our episodes in the mine map.

Joe: Cory, we could broadcast our podcast live while we’re recording it to Facebook.

Cory: I would love that. If we could do that, if we could record it while we’re doing the live, that would be great. If we can do that on Zoom, I’m all in.

Joe: All right. I’ve been using Zoom for a little bit and I like a lot. Actually the quality of the video sometimes is better in Zoom than it is in Skype. We’ll check that out.

Cory: Yeah, let’s check it out.

Joe: I just signed up for a premium account, where you can now share it live on Facebook while you’re talking, and while you’re recording it.

Cory: I’m down. I’ll do that today, because there’s other tools out there that I know that you’re going to have to do it separately, and it takes so much bandwidth. If Zoom has another way around that, I’ll take a look at it.

Joe: Let’s end this recording right now. Guys, go to realestatetechshow.com to get our fancy, really simple PDF of our top 10 favorite tools that we use in our real estate investing business. Go to realestatetechshow.com or just text the word “Tech” to, 384-703-8470 then we’ll get that over to you.

Cory: Leave a review.

Joe: Yes.

Cory: Please leave a review on the podcast. We really appreciate them and they mean a lot. We read every single one of them, even the ones you’ve talked  about with Joe having a big and long McCall. We love those. Make sure you put all of those about Joe on there. He’d loves that.

Joe: You know what, you’re going to get more review saying, “Please, tell Cory stop doing that.” That’s what the reviews are going to say.

Cory: Alright, till the next episode. We’ll talk to you soon. Thanks again, Joe, appreciate you.

Joe: See you again, bye-bye.

011: Killer Image And Editing Tools

You’re probably asking yourself – what does a real estate investor need with editing tools? Short answer is closing deals. If you want to close deals faster and make more money in your business, these tools will absolutely get you there. The editing apps we talk about on today’s episode do everything to make an investor’s life easier. Take screenshots, sign documents, and edit photos right from your phone.

The screenshot feature we talk about on today’s episode is not available for Android users. Because we both have iPhones, we’re going to take advantage of our native features first.

You don’t want to be that guy to take some picture of their screen from their phone and then try to email a six megabyte file. Click To Tweet

These tools we discuss today are available across mobile devices and can be integrated your desktop:

  • Droplr: an image editing tool that allows you to share edited photos and videos as links instead of large files
  • Get Stencil: Cory’s favorite editing app is this simplified photoshop-esque tool for editing, creating, and re-creating images
  • Canva: This editing tool is free but gives you the option of buying your special effects a la carte without any commitment
  • Dropbox: You’ve probably used this tool before but not in the way we’re talking about today. Did you know you can run presentations through Dropbox?
  • PicMonkey: Our favorite editing tool for social media posts

Both of us talk about exactly how we use these tools and why. They are so handy and have become such a natural part of our work processes. When you can run your business and indulge a little creativity at the same time, you need to take advantage of it. Go out and use the tools we talk about today. If you’re interested in using technology to make your business better and more successful, get out there and start trying. Leave us a review and let us know how you are using these tech tools.

They say time is money, but I believe also you gotta get with the times. Click To Tweet

MINUTE MARKERS

0:39 Check the video for Joe’s treadmill desk

2:50 The iPhone screenshot tool

5:01 Cory shares his screenshot secrets

8:25 Screenshots and signatures

11:44 Cory’s first editing tool: Droplr

13:32 Joe explains why real estate investors need editing tools

15:35 Jing might look old but it still gets the job done

16:22 What’s The Grateful Project?

19:01 Get Stencil is close as you can get to Photoshop on your phone

21:14 Canva is a great free editing tool

22:55 The secrets you didn’t know about Dropbox

29:24 How to use PicMonkey

30:57 Why are these editing tools so important?

32:01 Use technology to make your business better

33:41 How many steps did Joe take during this episode?

35:40 FitDesk vs. VARIDESK

39:25 Joe is looking for a masseuse in St. Louis

RESOURCES

Droplr

Jing

Get Stencil

Canva

Dropbox

CamScanner

PicMonkey

TechSmith

Grateful Project

The Prayer Project

Varidesk

FitDesk

Ergodriven

TRANSCRIPT

Cory: What’s up, Joe McCall?

Joe: Hey, call me healthy Joe McCall. Look at this.

Cory: Look at this man. You’re a man on a mission.

Joe: I am walking on my new desk treadmill. What’s not new? I’ve had it for about eight months. I’m starting to use it.

Cory: Right. That’s awesome.

Joe: It’s good, man. Hey, listen, I can hardly hear you, Cory.

Cory: You can hardly hear me?

Joe: Yeah. When you were yelling it screwed up the mic so I can hardly hear you.

Cory: I blew up the mic.

Joe: Or something. Now it’s better.

Cory: I blew up the mic, man.

Joe: The computer’s like auto adjust the volume controls or something.

Cory: Right. Yeah, I think I clipped there for you.

Joe: Just keep going because that’s the way we roll.

Cory: That’s right. I really roll. Let’s talk about what we got going on today. But before we do, let’s remind everybody that they can go get our toolkit which is at 38470, they can text the number 38470, text the word TECH to 38470 and they can get automagically downloaded the link for the toolkit which gives them our top favorite tools that we use in our business on a daily basis. That’s the top 10 that we have on there.

Joe: Cory’s top 5, my top 5.

Cory: Yup.

Joe: Yeah. It’s a useful tool. This is stuff we use all the time everyday.

Cory: Absolutely. On top of that, they can go to realestatetechshow.com. We’ve got the link now, we own the domain and so we have all the show notes for today there. You’ll also be able to look at the past episodes. I think we’re on number 11 today, Joe?

Joe: That’s insane, man. Number 11?

Cory: Number 11.

Joe: I have enjoyed this. One of the favorite reasons why I enjoy this is because I get to talk to Cory. He just showed me something on my iPhone. We’re both iPhone geeks. He just showed me something I thought was so cool and I’ve never seen before and it relates to what we’re gonna be talking about on this podcast. We’re gonna be talking about editing images, signing documents, and stuff like that.

Cory: Right. Editing tools. There are some paid editing tools but there’s some free ones. If you have an iPhone and you have updated to your newest software update, which, as I’m looking at right now, is iOS 11.0.1, what you’ll notice is a couple of new things. One particular that Joe is talking about here is the screenshot. Whenever you go and do a screenshot on your phone–

Joe: How do you do that by the way?

Cory: You click on the power button and the home button. You hit it one time and it will blink. Before, that would just save right to your phone, right to your images. However now what happens is it shows a little thumbnail in the bottom left hand corner.

Joe: Yeah. The cool thing is I gotta take screenshots all the time just for I might see some either investor’s website that I think looks good or I might see something else that something’s doing and I’ll take a screenshot of it and save it and never know, just for my swipe file, let’s say.

But just recently, I noticed that image kept on showing up on the lower left and it was annoying to me I said, “Why did they change this?” I kept on flipping it away to the left. But Cory said, “Listen, if you touch the image, it actually opens up into an editing program where you can go in and you can highlight things, encircle things, and do your signatures, and write and highlight and arrow and box things. It’s really cool because I can see doing this from a lot of different things because normally in the past, what I’ve done is I have taken a screenshot and just email it to somebody then type in some kind of written instructions or whatever.

Cory: Right.

Joe: But now you can actually type in or write in these instructions right on the image itself.

Cory: It is really cool. You can do a lot of different editing options on this image. Before, you have to use a paid tool–there are free tools out there and we’ll talk about someone of the ones that Joe and I use. But now, what Apple’s doing is really smart is they’re learning about all of these different feature that everyone uses and they’re figuring out ways they can make native, a part of their experience of working within the Apple community.

One of the things that they’re doing is this editing option. I have this opened up right now and I wanna just talk through a little bit what you can do. The first thing you can do is you can make the image where it’s cropped out. You can actually pull your finger in and up and it will actually change which part of the image that you want to crop and work on. That’s one of the very first things that you can do. It’s pretty helpful because sometimes, you do a screenshot and you don’t want everything on that surface. You can choose the area.

The next thing you can use is the different pins. These little pins on the bottom are going to be the whip of something that you’re going to use to digitally edit, do digital design. You have first the pin which is kind of felt tip. If you can see this, I just put this, I also might change the colors so they can really see it Joe. I wanna change this to red. This is the felt tip. On the felt tip, it will actually be a little bit thicker than your fine tip. Because you can see right here, it’s a little bit thicker. That would be for underlining something, maybe circling it to really make it stand out.

If you go to the next pin which is a highlighter, that’s great because it actually gives you the ability to change the opacity of that background for a letter or for an image, maybe you just want to highlight it. You can still see what you got there but you can highlight it and make it stand out a little more subtly.

The next little pin is the sharp pin. It looks kind of like a pencil. It’s a fine tip in. This one is one you’re probably gonna use the most especially if you have a lot to write on the image. Then you have an eraser.

You have another crop tool that you can actually pull things out of the image which is very, very cool. As long as you connect these little dots together–if you’ve used the crop tool before, you know what that is. Then you can choose your different colors, Joe. You can do black, white, blue, green, yellow, and red, as of right now. I’m sure later on, they’ll have different hues that you could make your own hex number with which is the color combinations. But you can use these primary colors right now. Then one that’s very, very exciting Joe that you talk about here on the right which is when you add, you hit the plus button.

Joe: You hit the plus button and you can add? It’s kind of hard to see on your phone there but I guess you can see it now. You can add text or your signature or you can actually magnify things. We can call things out so you can draw arrows and boxes and circles and squares. But I have in mind, my signature–and I don’t know how Apple got my signature by the way but they did–when you click the thing called signature, it will bring in your signature and you can make it bigger or smaller and add it into your image. Cory, what do you do though once you edit your image, you highlight it, write on it or whatever, what can you do with it then?

Cory: Yeah. After you highlight it and write on, you can also add in this–like you said this on the plus–you can do text, you can add in different texts, you can choose your fonts that you want. All you have to do on that is you just hold down. If you hit text, you hold down these little letters and you’ll see right here that you have some different fonts, some different sizes to choose from for your fonts, and you can center it, you can justify, center it, left or right, center–a lot of cool things you can do there.

But the one I think is most exciting is the signature like you just mentioned. You can always turn your phone sideways and sign something. We’ve been able to do that before, right Joe? Whenever you’re sending a text message or something along those lines, if you turn your phone sideways–you may or may not know this–you can actually create a signature and then save it. That will be saved. That’s where they got your signature, Joe.

Now what they did is they have an option where when you click signature, like I’m clicking signature right now, you can just hit add. When you hit add, it’s just gonna add that signature depending on which one you wanna use, it’s gonna add it onto the image. That’s really helpful because how many different things do we have on a daily basis in the real estate business that we have to sign or initial, something along those lines. You can actually create a signature and an initial, and they will both be saved in that same place. A really easy way for you to do editing on images and it’s native to the iPhone.

Joe: Or, can you see that?

Cory: Yes.

Joe: You can take screenshot of Cory’s text that he sends you at midnight and write an angry face on it.

Cory: You can do that too. Some people have notifications completely turned off, but other people have all kinds of things notifying them.

Joe: What’s funny, I do have notifications off but my phone, it’s plugged in and it sits on this thing where it stands up and it turns on bright that lights up the entire room. I’m like, “What’s going on?”

Cory: Right, right. That’s right. You can do it by–

Joe: Why is that so funny? I don’t get it.

Cory: Unhappy face, unhappy face. Alright. Then you can also save the image to Dropbox. You can also save the image to your phone obviously, you can email this out very, very quickly. There’s a lot of different things that you can do once you have that image saved.

Joe: Yup, cool. Alright. You’ve written down a list of really good image editing tools so let’s talk first why and when a real estate guy or girl would want to use some of these tools?

Cory: Sure. Another tool that you and I use on a pretty daily basis is a Droplr because I’ve seen your links on Droplr. If you haven’t heard of Droplr then we’ll have this in the notes section. We use Droplr on a daily basis because of two things, one, it’s super fast to be able to share an image by a link. That’s one of the quickest ways to share the image.

Obviously, iPhone is creating this option for you to share these images very quickly. That’s great. But with Droplr, whenever you create an image and you edit it up, it has a lot of different editing tools that you can use. Once you save that image, it automatically creates a link. That link now does a couple of things, one, if you want to send a link to someone, it doesn’t use up a lot of space. That’s one of the very first things. They click on it, they can see everything that you’ve edited there without having to use up a lot of space in case you’re trying to save space. The other thing is that it’s really secure, depending on if you have a paid Droplr account, which I do, I believe you do as well–

Joe: Yeah.

Cory: You can upload documents in there, you can upload images, you can upload audio in there, you can upload videos in there. They actually has a tool on Droplr that you can add to your desktop that you can create little images and create little videos. It’s got a lot of functionality to it. But what I really like about it Joe is whenever I save an image on my phone, it automatically will upload to Droplr. It’s got some automatic features too.

Joe: It will put the URL in your clipboard so you can copy and paste that link into an email or whatever. You don’t wanna be that guy–and you’re seeing this, Cory–to take some picture of their screen from their phone and then tries to email you a six megabyte file. You don’t wanna be that guy who takes pictures from a phone of your screen, you can just click–I think I forget what the control keys are. I’m still stuck on Jing, I use Jing a lot. There’s a few little issues I don’t like about Jing but Droplr, a lot more people are using that.

But what’s cool you just do a couple two or three keys on your keypad, it automatically snaps this picture of your screen and then you can edit things and I use that all the time. If I have an issue with my website and I want my virtual assistant to update or whatever, I can just take a snapshot of it, draw some arrows, write in some texts, and take that image as a URL. I’m not emailing the actual image, I’m just emailing the URL by text, or in Slack, or by Skype, or whatever to my VA. My VA then knows exactly what they need to do. There’s no going back and forth, there’s no questions, I don’t need to get on the phone and talk to them.

Cory: Right. Droplr is great. We use that one together on a daily basis. We’ll make sure they have the right link in the show notes.

Joe: Jing, if anybody’s interested just Google it. It’s made by TechSmith. It seems like they haven’t updated it in years because it looks clunky and old, it still has the bubbly buttons with that shine.

Cory: Right.

Joe: But its works, I like it. Cool.

Cory: A lot of people like Jing. A lot of people like it because they’ve already created a lot of videos and things with Jing. You have different space that basically you’re purchasing through Jing if you have a paid account, the free accounts would only limit you to a certain amount of space. But now they’ve changed that around. It’s a great service. A lot of people use it. I believe it’s by Camtasia, that’s who one of the makers of Jing is.

Joe: TechSmith, which owns Camtasia.

Cory: TechSmith which owns Camtasia, got it. Right. The next one is what I use in another one of our projects right now called Grateful Project on a daily basis and it’s called Stencil.

Joe: You’re still doing Grateful Project?

Cory: Grateful Project, every single day. Every single day. Yup. Every single day.

Joe: Talk about this. This is an important little bunny joe, just talk briefly what Grateful Project’s all about, Cory.

Cory: Sure. Grateful Project is a reason everyday to be grateful. It can be something as profound as something that just really makes you go deep and thank about life and some of the reasons to be grateful there, or it can be something just as general as a bench. You’re grateful to be able to sit down on a bench and relax and not have to walk around or everywhere. It started whenever I went through a bout with thyroid cancer and what came out of that was we created a group and we’ve found a lot of like minded people that were affected by cancer, or someone in their family, or themselves have been affected. I just started posting the reason everyday to be grateful. Today we’re on day 1,223 today.

Joe: One thousand two-hundred twenty-three.

Cory: One thousand two-hundred twenty-three days would be today.

Joe: Awesome.

Cory: It’s a reason to be grateful everyday. You can go to gratefulproject.org to simply get the Facebook group there, you’ll see a lot of folks that start their Grateful Projects. I know many, many folks–I think we have over 20,000 members now, 15,000 in that group and then we have another group that’s called The Prayer Project that’s similar. But we’ve got over 15,000 people that are actively working inside the Grateful Project and they start their projects and they post the reason everyday to be grateful. You can see a bracelet here that I’ve got. I give away these bracelets. All you have to do is go to gratefulproject.org and I’ll send you a bracelet. All you do is take care of the shipping and handling.

We got folks that order those–actually, they continue ordering them every month and they give them away. We love that too. A part of the initial vision of Grateful Project was people ordering these bracelets and giving them away. We gave them away to the homeless folks, we gave them away to people in hospitals that needed to have some reason to be grateful. Gave away to people that were sick and finding different cancer programs to be able to encourage people that way. Yeah, a great, great benefit, lots of great positivity that comes from it and we’re still focusing on where we wanna move next with it.

Joe: Very nice. I like this one. Looks good.

Cory: Yeah, I appreciate it, appreciate that.

Joe: Alright what’s the other tell that you’re gonna talk about?

Cory: Get Stencil. Yeah, if you follow the Grateful Project you’ll notice that everyday, all of the images look kind of the same, all of the layout looks the same. You might be thinking, “How do you keep it looking the same?” Get Stencil. It’s one of the greatest editors that I know of. It’s a paid editor. But why I love it is because it is as close to Photoshop as you’re going to get without having the massive brain damage.

If you ever used Photoshop, you get kind of lost in all of the different options. There’s a lot of great things you can do but 95% of them you don’t use, you only use about 5% of the really core things for editing. I’m not someone that want to get bogged down with all of these different options that you can use for image editing.

Get Stencil really found the way to make it very, very simple, convenient for you to go in and edit images and create these layouts and templates, if you will, for each one of your projects. We have the Grateful Project, we have a layout, all we have to do is go in, I can switch out the background, I use Unsplash, and I use Pexel for images that you can use that are royalty free.

Joe: Are you doing these images yourself?

Cory: Yeah. The royalty free images and I choose the images myself on a daily basis.

Joe: Wow. That’s a lot of work, isn’t it?

Cory: It’s something that I really enjoy. It’s something that I haven’t outsourced on purpose because I enjoy the process, I enjoy going through and thinking about what that looks like and what it means. Again, I really enjoy it. I’m with the labor of love. I got it down to about 10 minutes. It takes me about 10 minutes to do a Grateful Project. That would be a lot longer, Joe, if I didn’t have Stencil.

Joe: Wow.

Cory: We’ll have the link there in the show notes, it’s called Get Stencil. I’m telling you, it is the one of the greatest editing tools I’ve ever used, and I’ve used a lot of them. The second one probably comes close, this is a free tool, it is a free tool. What they have as an option is that whenever you want to add little special effects and cool other images and cool layouts that you’re charged $0.99 cents for each one of these. Now you have a lot of free options on this tool but they have a paid option too. This tool is called Canva. Have you ever heard of Canva before, Joe?

Joe: Yeah, yeah. I have. I’ve looked at it once.

Cory: Canva’s great.

Joe: I think I have their iPhone app.

Cory: It’s a fantastic iPhone app. It is very easy to use, very similar to Stencil, except you don’t have a lot of the templates that you can save in a way that would make it easy to switch out images. Canva does give you a lot of different options on sizes, so does Stencil. It does give you ways that you can change out and make images transparent, so does Stencil. But one thing it does is it almost creates like a store, if you will, for different images and different effects that you can add to your images for $0.99 cents. They’re more of a la crate paid version once you start using it. But the fantastic tool, I know lots of folks that use Canva, you can’t go wrong with using Canva.

Joe: Yeah. I’m looking at some of the images I created, this must have been a year ago and they look really good. I don’t know why I stopped using it.

Cory: Yeah. It’s a great tool. The last one I think we all know of–but we probably don’t use it in the way that we’re gonna discuss here–it’s called Dropbox. Nothing new, everybody’s heard of Dropbox before. But you probably didn’t know about a little feature that you could go in the preferences of Dropbox and you can actually set it up. Whenever you save an image on Dropbox, it can copy to your clipboard. Just like you discussed with Droplr, the ones that we use with Droplr, you can do the same thing completely for free on Dropbox. That’s one of the cool features and you’ll have to check out that inside of your preferences in Dropbox. It’s a simple little checkbox that you can use to create a link for a copy link to your clipboard so you can share that link and it goes to your Dropbox.

The next thing, Joe, is Dropbox made some new updates and they allow you now whenever you open a PDF or a document inside of Dropbox. Here’s the key, you have to go into the Dropbox app and you have to open it. If you open it within Dropbox, you can sign things for free. You can go in there and you can actually sign documents inside there. Once you do and you hit save, it saves the signed version into Dropbox.

Now, iPhone also has this native ability as well. There’s a little toolbox in iPhone, whenever you open up a PDF, when you open up an image by mostly I think it’s a PDF, there’s a little toolbox on the bottom of your image so if you’re gonna open up a PDF on iPhone, there’s a little toolbox, you click on it, and you can actually sign and edit that document using your iPhone. Another way before this newest update came out, another way that you could do that was using this core functionality inside of iPhone.

Joe: The cool thing about that too is when you’re signing it with the iPhone app, you can open it up, sign it, and when you click done or something it automatically puts that back in the email as a reply. Does that make sense?

Cory: And it says signed.

Joe: Yes. With your stuff on it.

Cory: Yeah. It says signed. It changes the file name to signed so you know it was signed.

Joe: Right now while we’re talking I’m gonna look for one and do that because that is super cool because it’s been a little hard to sign things in the past, we’re like, “I’ll get a PDF. I have to open it with another program, sign it with another program. If I can email it back to the person through that program but then I have to get their email address and copy and paste their email address or that’s hard to do.” Or you can upload it to Dropbox and drive and get a URL, copy that URL, go back to the email, send them a link.

Cory: Right.

Joe: But now when you could do it inside of the email app, that’s the coolest thing because you can sign it right then and there and send it.

Cory: Here’s the next level. If you use CamScan, which we talked about before, but as one of the top 10, or the top 5 for us, it’s called CamScanner. I’m gonna put this up too so you can see the icon, it’s called CamScanner, a little green icon it says CS on it. What you can do is if you save an image–imagine somebody sent you some design. An agent sent you something and said, “I need you to sign and agree to this offer that came in.” “Okay great.” You could sign it really quickly on your image. Now, you got an image, now you could send it back as an image signed. We already talked about how easy it is. But what if you needed to turn it into a PDF? How could you turn it into a PDF super quickly? If you go to CamScan and you click on the little icon to the right, you can add an image into CamScan. Then once you do, it now says, “What do you wanna do with it?” You can share it on CamScan now as many different format types.

You can share it all kinds of format types. One of those is a PDF. I recently just did this. We had an addendum that came across that I needed to sign. I signed it and I sent it back over to our agent, an agent said, “Can you send it to me as a PDF?” I thought, “Yeah. I can do that.” But I didn’t have to take an hour to do it, I just went to CamScan, uploaded it, saved it as a PDF and emailed it five minutes later. Just like that. Again, another great tool that you can use, it’s a paid tool, CanScam is a paid tool, but totally worth it. I think I paid $5 for that tool.

Joe: Look at this–since my camera’s so much better, you don’t have to focus than Cory’s–but here’s an email with the PDF attached to the bottom. I’m gonna open up the PDF, you can see it’s a contract on a certain property.

Joe: You see that’s a contract.

Cory: Yup.

Joe: There’s a little button on the upper right, it looks like a pen. I’m gonna click on that and then I get the icons on the bottom, do you see that?

Cory: I do.

Joe: I’m just going to zoom in and sign my signature. Do you see that?

Cory: I do.

Joe: Then I click the word done.

Cory: Yup.

Joe: It gives me the option, reply all or new message. I’m gonna do reply all, boom. It created a new email with that PDF as the attachment on the top of the email. That PDF has my signature, my initial in it right there and there. If I click send, the person who sent me that email will get that PDF with my signature. That took me five seconds.

Cory: Five seconds to do. What’s cool about that, it’s not just the link. It’s an actual PDF, which some places will have an issue. Some title companies right now will not open links, they will not open links. It’s really important that they want you to send the actual attachment as a PDF. This allows you to do this on a mobile device.

Joe: Really cool.

Cory: Very, very cool.

Joe: What are some of the other tools you had?

Cory: PicMonkey as the last one.

Joe: Yes.

Cory: Do you use PicMonkey?

Joe: No. What is PicMonkey?

Cory: PicMonkey’s pretty cool. It’s a paid tool as well but it has a free version. What I like about PicMonkey is that you can go in and you can really create these transparent images very quickly, you can remove backgrounds very, very quickly.

I use PicMonkey primarily if I wanna remove the background of something very quickly. They make it super simple to do that. There’s different reasons that you wanna remove the background for images, oftentimes, it’s either for a social media post or maybe you’re trying to add in a couple other images and the background is kind of distracting from what you want. But a simple tool that you can use, they also have a collage feature in there. Again, very cool for social media posts, things that you can add in there, I also more or less use this one for more of a personal tool, not all the time for business tool. But it’s a great one.

The last thing you can do is you can do touch ups in there very quickly too. Sometimes, if your eyes come out red, there’s a glare somewhere, you can make these touch ups inside the PicMonkey super fast. It’s great to work on the browser too. It’s one of the best ones I found outside that probably Get Stencil that is good for browser.

Joe: I had no idea, Cory, you’re this into much into photography and graphic design and stuff like that. I’m impressed.

Cory: It’s something that I think is more or less becoming something that’s mandatory. There’s so many people that are wanting to answer very quickly and this idea of speed and this idea of being able to quickly manipulate things, images per se or documents per se, in a very quick manner. You get your offer out faster, you’ll get the deal. They say time is money, but I believe also you gotta get with the times because if you don’t get with the times–that’s okay for you per se–but they’re still going to pass you by. You have a choice, you can either let these things control you or you can control these things, now you might think, “This sounds very geeky to me, Cory.” Okay, they might sound a little geeky to you–

Joe: Go listen to another show. What are you listening to this show for?

Cory: But I could tell you that you’re listening to the show for a reason. You are interested in using technology to help make your business better, make things faster, but at the end of the day, why does all that matter? Because you wanna make more money in your business, you want to get the deal faster, you wanna have the edge on someone else. I can assure you right now, whenever you learn a few of these tools that we discussed and start using them, it will give you, absolutely give you the edge, it will give you the advantage.

The funny thing is you think, “Everybody’s using that.” No, they’re not. They’re really not. The things that we’re discussing on this show, they might sound, everybody’s heard of Dropbox, you’ll be surprised, you get 100 people in the room, they’ve all heard of Dropbox, but are they using it with the copy board functionality with the URL that you can quickly share an image from your Dropbox like that? No, they’re not. Do they know about the signature functionality that as long as you open up with the app on your phone, you can sign a document very quickly? No, they don’t know about that. Do they know that you can run presentations through Dropbox? Yeah you can run a full blown presentations through that. No, they don’t know about that. The reason is because everybody hears about these technology tools but they don’t use them. The whole point of this show is to show you how Joe and I are using technology tools to our advantage to give us the edge.

Joe: Why we’re using them.

Cory: Right.

Joe: What’s the point of this stuff? Cool. This has been a good show. Cory, I appreciate it.

Cory: Absolutely.

Joe: You shared some really cool things.

Cory: How long do you think you’ve walked so far? Do you have steps down there? Are you tracking?

Joe: It says 2 hours and 16 minutes.

Cory: Wait. No, you just got on that thing. You haven’t been on it for two hours.

Joe: That’s what it says. Maybe it’s for the week.

Cory: Okay, I’ll take that. I’ll take that for the week. I think it’s great. I think it’s great that you’re doing that. What is that desk called? What is that walking? Maybe we should put that inside the show notes because people are gonna be asking about that.

Joe: You know what? I got their coupled right here.

Cory: There you go.

Joe: It’s called VARIDESK.

Cory: VARIDESK. Very cool.

Joe: VARIDESK. VARIDESK, what it is it’s a platform that stands on top of your existing desk. I’m actually putting my standing desk on top of another standing desk that broke. I bought a standing desk in IKEA, it doesn’t work anymore. Yeah, I can take it back but that’s gonna be a pain in the butt, that’s gonna take me all day. I just went and bought a VARIDESK that stands up on top of my standing desk. I have this walking treadmill I put underneath. It’s not like a treadmill that has the board right here.

Cory: Right.

Joe: There’s a consul type of a thing that sits on my standing desk that doesn’t stand anymore. It sits down there. I try to work, it’s not the most convenient thing because I don’t have a lot of desks space, I have a little space right here for my mouse, my laptop’s right here, I have another monitor right here, but I do wish I had more desk space.

Cory: More space.

Joe: I had less clutter but–

Cory: I’m gonna encourage you on this too. You see this? This just came in.

Joe: FitDesk.

Cory: FitDesk, you see this?

Joe: FitDesk. What do you do with that?

Cory: Do you see how big this is?

Joe: Yeah.

Cory: It actually expands. Exactly speaking to what you talked about because I have my FitDesk right over here. Here’s my FitDesk–I don’t know if you can see this or not–but my FitDesk is right here.

Joe: Looks like a bicycle.

Cory: Yeah. It looks like a little bicycle.

Joe: I don’t know if everybody can see you.

Cory: They can. They can see. But if they can’t see, they can hear it obviously. See this right here. If I put my arms here like this, you see this?

Joe: Ahuh. I see it. I don’t know if people on the podcast can see.

Cory: I can do this right here. I can do a little different kind of exercise. But if I don’t want to do that, I’ve got a little desk right here. You see this? I got a desk.

Joe: Yeah.

Cory: I’ve got paper towels over here. I got a desk, I can do this over here now. But I bought this extension kit that you just saw, called FitDesk Extension Kit. It’s gonna expand it out to here. Now, I can put my coffee here, I put my laptop here.

Joe: You can put your soda there and your hamburger too.

Cory: I put my soda, my hamburger, and my chicken wings.

Joe: Ahuh.

Cory: And my pizza.

Joe: And your beer.

Cory: A beer. If I got a double decker, I can put my pizza up here.

Joe: And your beer.

Cory: And my beer.

Joe: I love it. Can I get one?

Cory: But anyway, these are actually not that expensive. They’re called the FitDesk. I wanna show this right here–FitDesk.

Joe: Ahuh. Get yourself one.

Cory: I gotta tell you, man. I think I spent under $200 for the FitDesk. I get on that thing everyday, Joe. I go over here and I pedal. It really is one of those things when you take a break, you get that blood running in, because if you’re sitting on a desk all day–

Joe: Oh, yeah.

Cory: You gotta get blood running.

Joe: Let’s talk about those 20 sets of cushions that you’re sitting on there.

Cory: The cushion isn’t really, really important believe it or not because where you’re sitting all day, it matters. You gotta have some memory foam situations here. But this one is called the contour.

Joe: Do you have a bad back? Does your back give you a hard time?

Cory: No. My back is great but I don’t wanna have a bad back. It’s a preventative measure and whenever you do this, most people slouch, but if you put this behind you right here, it makes you kind of stand up.

Joe: Yeah.

Cory: It’s really good on your back. Maybe you want other episode, we’ll talk about cushions and chairs and things like that.

Joe: You know what’s interesting, you can’t see it but over here is my leather desk, my leather chair. I used to have a big wooden desk, got rid of it. I wanted something thinner, lighter. But I would sit down all the time. When I got this thing and started walking more, I had less back pain.

Cory: Right.

Joe: One of the reasons is I started losing weight but I’m not sitting down on my butt.

Cory: Right.

Joe: My back hurts a lot. That doesn’t hurt hardly at all anymore.

Cory: Right.

Joe: I try to get a massage once a week. Once every two weeks, believe it or not. That’s awesome.

Cory: Yes.

Joe: If you can do that. I wanna find a chiropractor that also does a massage because you can never get one to do both.

Cory: Right.

Joe: If anybody in St. Louis knows of a massage therapist that will adjust your back, please let me know.

Cory: There’s some kind of monthly–they’re like a franchise going right now but it’s like some kind of monthly massage thing that you pay for like $99 a month.

Joe: That’s what I do, it’s massage. I use MassageLuxe.

Cory: Massage…

Joe: There’s also Massage Envy.

Cory: Massage Envy. That’s what it is. Yeah, it’s called Massage Envy. Sure.

Joe: Oh, it’s awesome.

Cory: Yeah, I heard about that. That’s cool. I think we completely derailed from editing tools but that’s fine, that’s how we roll.

Joe: You can have the best tech in the world but if your body is out of shape and you are in pain, it sucks.

Cory: It does suck. You know what? I think if we get enough interest on this, we’ll do an episode about the cushions, which ones to buy, the FitDesk, the VARIDESK. I think people would be interested in that.

Joe: Yeah. Sounds good. Oh, one more thing, let me show you. Let me kill myself while I stop this. Right. I almost killed myself. Hold on. Look at this thing.

Cory: Oh, wow. What is that? What is that?

Joe: Hold on, you know what that is?

Cory: No. What is that?

Joe: It’s a thing that you stand on when you are at your desk. When you’re standing, you put it on the ground. It’s foamy, it’s all foam but it forces you to stretch your foot, put it in different positions, you’re not just in one spot the whole time.

Cory: Oh, okay.

Joe: You can stretch your calf, you can stretch your ankle. This forces you to put your foot in a different position all the time and it’s really comfortable.

Cory: Wow.

Joe: If you have a stand up desk–here’s what it’s called, it’s called the Ergodriven. I bought it on Amazon. I had a friend in Nashville recommend this to me, he works from home, he’s a minimalist, sort of. He’s gotten rid of all of his stuff, he only keeps the most essential things and he uses a stand up desk and he uses this thing with it. It’s amazing, I’m not sore after standing all day with this thing.

Cory: I’m going to have to check that out. One of the other things I haven’t talked about yet is–I don’t know if you see this or not.

Joe: Woah.

Cory: I have this under my desk. What I do is I stand on this when I’m sitting. This is when I get up, I have to get up and ride the bike. But on this, you can do this right here. But you can actually do this while you’re sitting down. Believe it or not you can get your legs moving while you’re sitting down too.

Joe: Do you use it a lot?

Cory: Yeah. It’s under my desk. It’s perfect because you want your legs to be doing something. You don’t wanna have your legs… The whole point–the challenge for sitting at a desk for too long is because you’re not moving. I don’t know if you can see this right here with my knees like this. All this go like this.

Joe: That looks very uncomfortable.

Cory: It’s not the point of comfort but you can get some blood moving that way. There’s all kinds of little hacks that you can use to get some blood moving. The point is being aware that when you sit too long, you’re gonna probably create some challenges later on in life so you need to be thinking about those things now. Get up every once in a while and move your body.

Joe: Good advice, man. Good advice. My things says five hours. I’ve been walking for five hours.

Cory: I think it’s like the most encouraging timer.

Joe: It says 3.18 miles. I think that’s since yesterday. I don’t think it starts new everyday. It should, I’ll have to look at the settings. Anyway, no wonder I feel like…

Cory: Alright. Joe, you go get your stuff taken care of, good episode today.

Joe: Yeah.

Cory: I think we’ll talk about some of these exercise things and some of these tools that we’re using to break up some of the monotonous time for sitting at desk later on.

Joe: Sounds good, Cory. Take care. See you guys. Hey, wait, wait, wait.

Cory: Yeah.

Joe: Go to realestatetechshow.com to get our top 10 favorite tech tools for the real estate agent, the real estate investor–if you’re in the real estate business. Also if you are listening in your car while you’re driving, after you pull over, text the word TECH to 38470 and we’ll get that to you right away. Hey, good show.

Cory: Absolutely. See you later, bro.

Joe: See you guys, bye-bye.