Posted on: February 08, 2017

Are Bandit Signs a Waste of Time and Money?

“Bandit signs are dumb!” Sound familiar?

Has anyone ever said that to you? That was exactly what today’s guest thought when he first started out in Wholesaling.
Now he’s eating those words after making a SMOKING hot deal off of bandit signs.

Adam Balsinger is a tribe member and an absolute rockstar! This guy has been investing for three years mainly as a fix and flipper.

Knowing that Wholesalers ALWAYS get the best deals (and wanting to cut out the middleman), he joined the tribe (about 4 months ago) and has been CRUSHING it ever since!

In just a few short months, he has been able to do SIX WHOLESALE DEALS generating over $46,000 revenue! BAM!

The most interesting part about all of this?
He does this part time!

Don’t miss this amazing episode on how marketing could totally change the name of YOUR game.

IN THIS EPISODE YOU’LL LEARN:

  • Who is Adam and how he got into the real estate
  • Breaking down the marketing for this deal
  • Finding homeowners with code violations
  • Part-time Wholesaling and what that looks like
  • Initially thought bandit signs were dumb!
  • How to strategically place bandit signs
  • Taking action the next day!
  • A phone call from Clara, a motivated seller
  • Building the buyer’s list
  • Getting more cash buyer phone calls than motivated sellers
  • Staying consistent with marketing
  • Avoiding the shiny object syndrome
  • and so much more…

If you are Ready to Explode Your Wholesaling Business, Click here to Book a Free Strategy Session with me right now!

Subscribe to Wholesaling Inc

Episode Transcription

Cody Hofhine: Welcome to Investor Grit. This is Wholesaling Inc powered by Investor Grit. This is Cody Hofhine with another episode of how we deep dive wholesaling. Super excited about today’s show. We’ve got Adam Balsinger. Did I say that last name right?

Adam Balsinger: Yes, you did.

Cody Hofhine: Want to make sure.

Adam Balsinger: Good job.

Cody Hofhine: All right, so Adam balsinger with us today. Adam is a tribe member and an absolute rock star. This guy’s been investing for three years, mainly as a fix and flipper and just recently, just since last August, so we’re talking four months, decided to jump into the wholesaling game; join the tribe about four months ago and he’s already done six wholesale deals that total $46,000 so far. Now, the interesting thing that he’s going to get into with us today, is he does this very part-time, not his full time thing. This is just a part-time. Who wouldn’t want an extra 46,000 to add to the bottom line in their annual year? Just doing a part-time. So without further ado, let’s bring on Adam. Adam, how you doing my man?

Adam Balsinger: I’m good, Cody. Thanks so much for the welcome there, that was great.

Cody Hofhine: Absolutely, let’s [crosstalk 00:02:10].

Adam Balsinger: I found myself raising my hand when you said “Who wants to make an extra $46,000 a year?”. Oh that was me?

Cody Hofhine: So Adam, tell us a little bit about yourself. Fill in the gaps. What I haven’t said. Tell us a little bit about the history and what got you into wholesaling.

Adam Balsinger: Sure. So you know, I, I think probably very similar to a lot of folks who are on this podcast. You know, I had an interest in real estate forever. You know, I’ve always been pretty entrepreneurial, ran my own sales company out of college for several years, kind of moved across the country, couple of different locations, wound up shutting that down; joined the corporate world and it was pretty short lived. I’d been really kind of trying to figure out a way to get into real estate, and so decided that if I didn’t make the move that I would keep watching from the sidelines. So, left corporate America, I kind of burned my bridges completely so that I couldn’t go back, which I would not recommend, not recommend. Made things a little stressful there in those first couple of months, but got into buying, fixing and flipping properties. I’m in the Philadelphia area, primarily in the greater Philadelphia market. We’d been doing that, as Cody said. February will be three years for me, full time real estate investing. So you know, we’ve gone probably about 15 to 20 deals over that [crosstalk 00:03:24] timeframe.

Cody Hofhine: So this was a fix and flip? Where you’re actually buying the homes and doing the rehab on it?

Adam Balsinger: Correct.

Cody Hofhine: Okay.

Adam Balsinger: Yep, yep, that’s correct. Yeah, and you know, I get a lot of deals in my inbox every single day from wholesalers and you know, out of those 15 to 20 deals we’ve done over the last few years. I think we bought three from wholesalers and I was finding myself for a period of time getting kind of frustrated with the stuff that I was seeing coming in, and it just, it seemed like a lot of the stuff was overpriced, you know, the ARV was was too high; rehab costs were too low, and so it just, it seemed like something that was obviously the same niche that I was doing with fixing and flipping. So it just seemed like another revenue stream that I could add on. So I started dabbling and I realized pretty quickly that it wasn’t going to be as easy as I originally thought. I was doing a lot of research and that’s really where I stumbled upon the tribe.

Cody Hofhine: Cool, and that’s when you took the plunge, join the tribe in August, and since then six deals, and specifically we’re going to deep dive one of those deals that is absolutely impressive and I want to have them hear your full take on the pain and the pleasure of this deal. You weren’t so gung-ho as to do what it took to get this deal, the marketing channel. You’re like, “No way”, so let’s kind of help them understand. Let’s deep dive this deal and let’s start with breaking down how you marketed this deal and why it was such a, against everything Adam wanted to do initially.

Adam Balsinger: Sure, sure. So, you know, limited time, limited budget, getting started, I was really trying to figure out, okay, you know, where am I going to put my marketing dollars? And I wound up, you know, really kind of settling on direct mail and, and that was, you know, obviously a byproduct of the coaching from the tribe and I wound up, so I do this very part-time, the wholesaling arm of my business.

Cody Hofhine: What does that look like? Like when you say very part-time, how many hours are we talking, a week?

Adam Balsinger: Three.

Cody Hofhine: Okay.

Adam Balsinger: And some of that is actually going to look at stuff. So it’s really, I hired a virtual assistant who does a lot of my data entry, you know, market research, all that kinds of stuff. She cost me like a hundred bucks a week by the time it all boils down to it. And then I was just, I was having a lot of difficulty getting through all the different material and really being able to dedicate the time I needed. And so I actually recently brought on a business partner and the business partner kept saying to me, “Let’s do bandit signs, let’s do bandit signs, Let’s do bandit signs”. And I’m the biggest contributor to the marketing budget. And I was saying, no, you know, bandit signs are dumb. Who drives, you know, who sells their house with a bandit sign. Like that’s ridiculous.

Cody Hofhine: And I love this. For our new listeners real quick, Adam, let me tell them. So Rhino Nation, for those that are new listening, that are like bandit signs, what the heck is a bandit sign? Bandit signs are those white like cardboard signs stapled at every telephone pole or at the every stoplight or at every exit of like Lowe’s or Home Depot or Walmart that say essentially we buy homes, cash and a phone number. So, is that kind of your message as well?

Adam Balsinger: Yeah, we actually used my business partner’s name.

Cody Hofhine: Okay.

Adam Balsinger: His name’s Larry and he swears that Larry is less common than Adam. So after we went, we went with Larry.

Cody Hofhine: Cool, so Larry buys houses, cash with a phone number.

Adam Balsinger: Not even cash. Larry buys houses with a phone number, really big yellow sign, black letters.

Cody Hofhine: Guys, are you listening to this, Rhino Nation? There it is so far with the marketing message. All right, let’s see. You didn’t want to do this. Keep going.

Adam Balsinger: I didn’t want to do it at all, but so we bought a bunch of signs. I think we bought about 250, we wound up hanging up the first hundred at the very beginning of December.

Cody Hofhine: Do you make these signs yourself or is this something you’re purchasing online?

Adam Balsinger: We ordered the signs offline.

Cody Hofhine: Okay. What’s a website that kind of helps our listeners like, Hey, here’s where you can get some good signs for a good cost?

Adam Balsinger: You know what Cody, I don’t know the answer to that question. My business partner found them.

Cody Hofhine: ‘Cause you didn’t want to do it the first place.

Adam Balsinger: ‘Cause I didn’t, I exactly that. My response was if you want to do it so bad you find the signs. So, that was the deal.

Cody Hofhine: So I’ll help him out a little bit. The ones that we use that is a good one is dirtcheapsigns.com.

Adam Balsinger: I’m sure it was something close to that. If it wasn’t dirt cheap signs, you know it could’ve been bandit signs made easy or you know, something along those lines.

Cody Hofhine: Cool, Cool. All right, let’s keep going. Let’s deep dive.

Adam Balsinger: So when we got the signs, the next question was, okay, how are we getting them all put up? And you know, neither one of us have the time to be able to, to drive around and do that. So we actually found somebody on Craigslist to go and hang the signs for us. So I got together with my business partner and we based on areas that are moving quickly in the Philadelphia market. We sat down with a map and literally mapped out 100 places around Philadelphia where we wanted the signs to be hung. I’m talking intersection, which side of the street, you know, which direction we wanted the sign facing and it was all based on the areas that experience a lot of traffic. We then shared that list with our sign hanger and the deal was we will pay you two bucks a sign, but I need a picture of every single sign that’s been hung in order for you to get paid for it.

Cody Hofhine: Brilliant. 200 bucks to hang a hundred signs. Plus he’s taking pictures and sending them by text probably to let you know, “Hey this has been done, this has been done. This had been done”.

Adam Balsinger: Yep. And the deal was I have to have one of streets signs in the sign. Otherwise, he could have hung them anywhere, you know, and just sent me a picture of a sign.

Cody Hofhine: Perfect.

Adam Balsinger: So it took him about three days to get them all up ’cause they were North, South, East, West, I mean you name it, it was all over, you know, Philadelphia proper. And I would say within two days of him hanging the signs in this one pocket of Philadelphia, we got a phone call and we got a voicemail from a distressed seller by the name of Clara. And that is the deal that we are actually talking about.

Cody Hofhine: Okay. So by the way, just so everyone understands, there’s going to be some like noises in the background. I’m having flooring yanked out of the house today that I’m doing this podcast and I promise you my relationship with my wife is A-OK and my kids are not getting beat at this moment. This is tile, tile getting ripped out of my house. If you hear some banging, that’s it. We just rhino this.

Adam Balsinger: All right.

Cody Hofhine: So Adam, you get this phone call, Clara, she leaves a message. You can clearly tell she really wants to get rid of this home. From there, is that when you called back, met with her or did you talk on the phone? Did do the deal over the phone or how did that look?

Adam Balsinger: Yeah, so we actually, my business partner, Larry wound up making the phone call. So our arrangement is he does the initial phone calls and then he contacts me to kind of fill me in on the conversation. And so the short story with this seller was that they were very motivated. They wanted to be out of the house before Christmas.

Cody Hofhine: Okay. And what does motivation sound like? Like what is it that you could tell or Larry could tell like instantly, like there’s some motivation here because she said this, what does that sound like?

Adam Balsinger: So in terms of what, what gave it away for Larry, I can’t speak to that 100% but what gave it away from me? And you can relate to this, I’m sure Cody, is when you ask the motivated seller, hey, you know, what is it that you need? Or what’s the least amount that you’ll take to sell this property? And it was the dollar figure that they were looking for that, that screamed, motivated seller to me. When my business partner, Larry called me and said, Hey, you know, he does, he normally doesn’t even call me when he gets off the phone with a motivated seller.
So I figured that that motivation was high and when he told me the sale price that they were looking for, my response was like, “What? Are you, really?”, I said, “You’re thinking of the right person here?”. Like it was just so much lower than what you generally see for that neighborhood.

Cody Hofhine: Okay.

Adam Balsinger: So that was really what, what screamed it to me. And the short time frame, you know, we had heard from them probably around the fourth or the fifth of the month and they wanted to be out before Christmas.

Cody Hofhine: Okay.

Adam Balsinger: So.

Cody Hofhine: So really quick something two where a traditional real estate sale couldn’t even have taken place quite frankly.

Adam Balsinger: Not a chance, right.

Cody Hofhine: Take 30, 45, two months, three months, six months. But this is someone need to be out like well below 30 days.

Adam Balsinger: Yes. Yeah. Basically 20 days, they were trying to be out.

Cody Hofhine: Okay.

Adam Balsinger: From when they contacted us. So we decided to just, instead of going and, and you know, checking out the property, we knew just based on the dollar amount that they shared with us, that it was a deal no matter what kind of condition the property was in.

Cody Hofhine: Okay.

Adam Balsinger: So we said, Hey, instead of going and, you know, taking a look at it, so on and so forth, let’s just go ahead and go meet him and lock it off. And so that’s exactly what we wound up doing.

Cody Hofhine: Okay. So met with them, put the home under contract and from there, what does it look like at the end of the day when you turn this property for a profit? What did that profit amount to?

Adam Balsinger: Sure. So the contract agreement with the seller was for 30,000 bucks.

Cody Hofhine: Okay.

Adam Balsinger: They told us that they thought that they might have 17 to $1,800 or so in back taxes. So we knew that there were going to be some other things that were going to come up. So we just assumed, okay, we’ll be winding up paying 35 to like 38 grand. No problem.

Cody Hofhine: Okay.

Adam Balsinger: Then, so we turned around that property. We figured that we could push somewhere in the 70 to $80,000 sale price.

Cody Hofhine: Okay.

Adam Balsinger: So we went ahead right away, put the marketing material together and then shot out an email to our buyers list. Now I’ve been building that buyers list. It’s nothing spectacular. I lit-, I just added somebody to my buyers list earlier today. I have 86 buyers.

Cody Hofhine: Okay.

Adam Balsinger: On my buyers list, but one of them buys all over the scene. They’re performers. They’ve actually purchased another one or two properties from us before.
So we knew that our timeframe was pretty short, we knew that it might be a challenge around the holidays. So we shot out the mass email and then just called this particular buyer and said, Hey, I got something for you. You know, here’s the address, here’s the lockbox code. Go take a low. And within, I want to say within two to three days of us locking it up with the seller, we had the contract in place with the buyer who was going to buy it from us.

Cody Hofhine: Perfect. What did that, that look like?

Adam Balsinger: So it was $70,000 cash purchase price and you know, we did it. We wound up actually settling on the 30th, we were aiming for right before Christmas, but there were some title delays.

Cody Hofhine: Uh-huh (affirmative).

Adam Balsinger: And actually we wound up having to go back to the buyer because that’s $1,700 so when you know they thought in back taxes, they actually owed $16,000 in a combination of back taxes, judgements and nuisance liens, municipal liens, unpaid water bill, so on and so forth.
So we actually went back to the seller and negotiated because the original conversation was we were going to take care of any, anything that came up and they were going to be able to walk with 30,000 but we went back to them and said, look, you told us it was 2000 now it’s 16 you know that’s a big difference. And so we just wound up splitting it down the middle.

Cody Hofhine: Okay.

Adam Balsinger: So we did a double close on the property we purchased in the morning and sold in the afternoon. So out of pocket, we were out of pocket about 40 grand and then sold it for 70 so it was about a $30,000 profit for that. That one deal.

Cody Hofhine: Holy smokes. You know what’s about to come down right now, right? You’re ready? Get ready for the listening. We go for the victory bell. Hold on one sec.
Whew. My man, Adam goes out, puts a home under contract at 30,000 comes up with a after title search, they find out there’s a lot of fees attached to it, goes back, negotiates and, and sits down with the seller, ultimately able to move this properties into it $40,000 and then moves it to a cash buyer and investor that’s going to do the rehab on it and buys it for $70,000. My man, Adam, there’s so many gold nuggets that you put in there and the first thing that I want all of Rhino Nation to understand when they’re listening to this, and especially those that are new to wholesaling, sometimes you’re going to hear things. You’re like, “No, there’s no way”. Just like Adam said, “No, no one calls you on a, on a sign that’s hanging on the road. It just doesn’t work. No way. I’ve never called on those”, but you got to remember people are driving all over the place.
It is a very cheap source of marketing and you target key areas and you can find out maybe with your cities to make sure you’re not going to get in trouble for it and what you can do to be able to do that type of marketing. But ultimately a distressed seller saw the sign, called them, instantly they’re able to understand quickly that there was a deal that ultimately wound up being a $30,000 profit. That stuff happens. It happens all the time. And this is probably, if you now look back at him, correct me if I’m wrong, this is probably one of your cheapest forms of marketing for the best return on investment coming back in. Would you agree? Or is there any other marketing forms that you’ve done that’s like, no, there’s other marketing forms that are just as profitable?

Adam Balsinger: Oh my God, I, I rolled my eyes as you said that like it probably spent, you know, costs as what we spent probably, you know, 400 bucks maybe on all the signs and then 200 bucks for the guy to go hang them. So for less than a thousand dollars total. And that’s for all the signs, not even just those ones that we hung up. You know, we, we wound up having our biggest deal of, our biggest wholesale deal of the year by far. So, You know.

Cody Hofhine: So now do you continue to do that today or are you still like in disbelief that it won’t happen again?

Adam Balsinger: Well, no, so we are getting ready, so we’re in the middle right now of a big direct mail [inaudible 00:17:50] this week.

Cody Hofhine: Uh-huh (affirmative).

Adam Balsinger: And my guy that hung up those signs has, I’ve had him occupied, he’s been running to all the local township buildings, pulling probates for me.

Cody Hofhine: Uh-huh (affirmative).

Adam Balsinger: So as soon as he’s done with those probates, he’s hanging up more signs.

Cody Hofhine: That is awesome.

Adam Balsinger: We’ve already talked about it. Yeah, that’s, that’s going to be a consistent thing. And you know, in addition to that deal, we picked up two or three cash buyers off of the bandit signs as well.

Cody Hofhine: That is very, very true. A lot of cash buyers see those and go-

Adam Balsinger: Yeah, we actual, I think we may have gotten more cash buyer phone calls from the signs than we did motivated sellers. So you never really know. It kind of depends on the area.

Cody Hofhine: Which is perfect ’cause it’s a win win cash buyers, everyone needs. You need to have those.

Adam Balsinger: That’s it. Yup.

Cody Hofhine: So yeah it’s, it’s never a loss with those calls cause if they’re calling, they’re usually not going to call you cause they’re mad. They’re usually can call you cause they’re either motivated or they’re a cash buyer and they’re looking for deals. And the biggest thing is just taking action. And the key word that you just said, and I want everyone to understand if there’s anything you could write down today, it’s A, taking massive action; but then B, is exactly what Adam just said, is we are going to be consistent at doing this form of marketing. If you stay consistent, the wholesaler that stays consistent with their marketing, they are the ones that win. Everyone will come up and ask me, “Cody, how is it that you’re doing 10 15 deals a month?
How is it that you’re doing this month after month, a month?” And usually my first question back to them versus saying, “Well here’s what I do”, I’ll usually ask them, “When was the last time you sent out direct mail?” And without fail they’ll say, “Oh like three months ago”, or “I did some about six months ago”, or “I did some about two months ago”. And my answer is there is your, like I always say back to them, “That is your answer right there.” I’m able to do 10 to 15 deals a month because I stay consistent. Mail is going out weekly, marketing’s going out weekly, and that seriously is the key to success in any business, is you’ve got to stay up on marketing. Me and Adam were joking earlier when people say, “Hey Cody, what is it that you do?” I always say “I’m in the marketing business”, ’cause he who markets the best, and the most consistent, gets the most deals. Would you agree with that, Adam?

Adam Balsinger: I would, yeah. And you know, like you said, it’s, it’s, it all boils down to the consistency. It’s like, you know, somebody who wants to be in really good shape but is consistently overweight. They’re always looking at people in great shape. Like, “Oh, what is it that you do? How are you able to be in such great shape?” Well, they know the answer. It’s not that they’re, you know, this magic person that’s just always in great shape. They have a better diet and they exercise more frequently.
So I think the easy thing is to get caught up and how is it going on? How is it that these guys are doing this? And I think that Craigslist is a big trap too. I don’t really mess around with Craigslist at all. I know that, I know that you guys have the, the IFTT or I have PPT for helping to find sellers on Craigslist. But for my market it’s, it’s primarily wholesalers, so I don’t even spend time looking at that stuff anymore. It’s just a matter of being able to identify where the bulk of your leads are going to come from and then being consistent with it. Just like you said.

Cody Hofhine: Perfect. Well Adam, I want to thank you for sharing that way of marketing and what it equated to and then helping us deep dive yet another deal where our listeners can understand what they can be doing today to get the same results. So I appreciate that. Before we get off, is there a favorite book? If you could name one book, what would you name as like a book that has helped change your mindset that has helped change you to be a better Adam?

Adam Balsinger: Yeah, and this is a perfect segue because I’ve actually, this is the, one of the biggest focuses for myself and my business this year, is with automation and systems because you know, I’ve just been figuring so many things out as I’ve been getting started, that it’s time to kind of ramp it up. So the book that I recently read at towards the end of last year, that’s really has me thinking of ways I can systemize and automate my business was The E-Myth by Michael Gerber. It’s a great book. Great book.

Cody Hofhine: Such a good book. I 100% agree. Okay, so the E-Myth and that helps with mindset. What about if you could take it back from square one and you had to start all over again with wholesaling, what would you do differently?

Adam Balsinger: That is, I think a pretty easy question for me to answer. I would focus more. So you know, with real estate when we’re first getting started, there’s a zillion ways to make money in real estate from you know, your wholesale, your flip, your, your lease options. There’s all these different creative, you know, no money down ways that you can get into deals. Single family apartments. I can go on and on and on. Pick an area of focus. It’s very easy to get distracted with shiny object syndrome. So pick something that you want to focus on and just truly focus on that thing. Don’t be spending too much time looking for another way to make money in real estate. Learn one, get it down and then add another one on. Don’t, don’t be trying to do four things at once.

Cody Hofhine: Perfect. Well Adam, thank you so much for joining us today. You have helped our listeners understand a little bit more about what it is to, to be successful in wholesaling. I love that you do this part-time, three hours a week. You’ve done six wholesale deals, you’ve done $46,000 to add to your bottom line. Like this is huge, so thank you so much for joining us today and helping our listeners understand what they can be doing in wholesaling.

Adam Balsinger: Thank you very much. Thanks for having me and I hope that the information that we’ve covered helpful for everybody that’s listening in.

Cody Hofhine: Perfect. Thanks Adam. All right, Rhino Nation. This has been yet another episode of Wholesaling Inc powered by Investor Grit. We are super, super excited with the results that Adam has had and if you’re looking to get into wholesaling, there’s a couple of ways you can do that. Super quick and that is get onto investor grit.com, Investor G-R-I-T.com and subscribe to our email list. If you’re not on our email list, that is one thing I would highly recommend. We give out gold nuggets often through that email list, so get on the email list and if you want to learn a little bit more about wholesaling in general, play around on the website. You can go see how wholesalers nationwide are succeeding and how they’re able to do deals consistently on the testimonials tab and if you want us to help you explode your wholesaling business in 2017 click on the coaching tab and book a call with our team and if we like what you have to say, we just might invite you to be part of the tribe and be one of the Rhinos. All right, Rhino Nation, take care. See you next time.

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