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
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
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
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?
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.