Posted on: June 27, 2019

Ever wondered how the best real estate cold caller in the country built his million dollar business? Wonder no more cause in today’s special episode, he shared how he made it all happen!

Luke Rotvold is a force to be reckoned with in the cold calling world. However, even if he’s already running a million dollar business and has a team of rockstar cold callers, he still does cold calls himself. Why? It’s one of the best ways to teach his team how to respond to certain scenarios.

Make no mistake about it, that’s just one of the many gold nuggets you’ll learn in today’s show. Ever the go-giver, Luke candidly shared many other amazing tips so you better have a pen and paper handy cause you have plenty to take note of!

Key Takeaways

  • How he got started with cold calling and what it was like for him at first
  • What the hardest part of cold calling was when he first started
  • Six responses cold callers are likely to hear from prospective sellers
  • Why it pays to be in the trenches yourself when building a team of cold callers
  • How important the tone of voice is when cold calling
  • How mirroring can help when doing cold calls
  • Why the act of listening is so powerful
  • Why it’s important to be agreeable when making cold calls
  • Why it’s wise to not force things when you know it’s not gonna happen


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Episode Transcription

Cody Hofhine: I am here with the great and powerful, the number one best real estate wholesaling cold caller of all time, Mr. Luke Rotvold. Say hello to everybody.

Luke Rotvold: Hello, how are you?

Cody Hofhine: See how nice he is? See how calm he is? You already like him. You’re already feeling like, “I’ll sell him my house. No problem. 60% of value, no problem.”

Luke Rotvold: 45.

Cody Hofhine: 45%. 45%. So Luke, I’ve been hyping you up for years as the absolute best, because personally I’ve benefited from your skills. You had worked with me for a long time. Luke is number two, is there is a origin story to the TTP program, it started… you’re number two because number one of course if your wife, is his wife Sage.

Luke Rotvold: Oh [crosstalk 00:01:47]

Cody Hofhine: Now she was absolute beast. This is back in the day when I was literally getting lists of properties, getting the phone numbers, and hand dialing them, and calling them up right next to your wife, making the calls, getting deals. That was how we did the first 25 deals of our career was literally just driving around neighborhoods, writing down rough properties, and cold calling them and getting contracts signed.

Luke Rotvold: Absolutely. Yeah.

Cody Hofhine: Right? And that’s how you started. Because Sage really, she liked doing it, she was good at it, but really her passions lie outside of real estate wholesaling, real estate in general. And in stepped, at the time, her boyfriend, and you came from, what was your background at the time?

Luke Rotvold: I bartended for about five years, and after bartending I was selling cars and flipping stuff, like [inaudible 00:02:37] flipping random things on Craigslist, stuff like that. And then you guys came around and there it was.

Cody Hofhine: And you jumped all over it.

Luke Rotvold: Oh yeah.

Cody Hofhine: See the thing is, he got a list of properties, he actually started calling on his wife’s, his girlfriend at the time’s, lists and was already having really good conversations. So all of the sudden I started getting calls from Luke saying, “Hey, I’ve got this guy interested in selling this property.” And I was like, “What is going on here? Where are you coming from?”

Luke Rotvold: Yeah. For sure. For sure it was good times.

Cody Hofhine: So when you started out… now, we’re talking a lot of people that are interested in doing this, they’re interested in getting into wholesaling, or they’ve been doing it a lot but they’re interested in cold calling. Why does cold calling for you?

Luke Rotvold: It works because you’re direct with the seller. There are so many different marketing ways out there but when you’re cold calling you are reaching out, you are being proactive as you say. So you can get in front of as many people as you want, you don’t have to worry about if it’s going to get them or not. You’re getting right in front of them.

Cody Hofhine: Right. Right now.

Luke Rotvold: Yeah.

Cody Hofhine: When you started, it took a little bit to get going, right?

Luke Rotvold: Oh absolutely. Yeah. It probably took me about four months to get my very first deal, and after that I started popping about one a month or so, and then probably about two a month. And then that kind of started the cycle. And it just kept going and kept going from there.

Cody Hofhine: And what year did you start?

Luke Rotvold: Oh man, that’d have been 2015? 2014.

Cody Hofhine: ’14. Yeah.

Luke Rotvold: 2014, yeah. Because it’s been four and half years now.

Cody Hofhine: Yeah. So Luke started working with us. He would get the deals, we would comp them, we would make sure that the prices were right, we would go with the contracts, we would go on appointments together, get the contract signed, and then you just evolved, and evolved, and evolved, and evolved to the point where we’re literally sitting in his office. He’s got three other guys outside of this office making calls right now, following up with leads in multiple different markets. He’s in Phoenix, he’s in Utah, he’s in Louisville, right?

Luke Rotvold: Yep. Absolutely.

Cody Hofhine: And they’re all being successful from picking up the phone and talking to people.

Luke Rotvold: Absolutely. And calling people.

Cody Hofhine: So when you started, what was the hardest part?

Luke Rotvold: The hardest part, I believe, for everyone is staying motivated to stay on the phone for four to six hours a day. That’s the hardest part. Because as we all know it’s not easy to do. You get bored, there’s things that come up, especially if you’re calling at home you get distracted easily, you don’t have an office to go to, stuff like that. So that makes it very difficult.
But I just think that if you… one of my tips is that if you can find something, and you’ve heard me talk about this before, if you can find something to do while you call it makes it ten times easier.

Cody Hofhine: So what did you find to, by chance?

Luke Rotvold: I like football, so I play a little bit of Madden.

Cody Hofhine: A little bit of Madden Live.

Luke Rotvold: Little bit, little bit online.

Cody Hofhine: So I want you guys to envision this okay? Luke is literally, he’s got… what’d you have a laptop? What were you dialing with?

Luke Rotvold: It was a laptop at the time, yeah.

Cody Hofhine: Laptop. Couch.

Luke Rotvold: Laptop sitting on my lap, controller, and I was just looking up and down, looking up and down from the computer to the TV.

Cody Hofhine: And you’re playing Madden Live?

Luke Rotvold: Absolutely. Yeah.

Cody Hofhine: Were you any good?

Luke Rotvold: Yeah, I don’t like to brag but top 4% of the world.

Cody Hofhine: Top 4%. So listen to this guys, he’s making cold calls [crosstalk 00:06:08]

Luke Rotvold: [crosstalk 00:06:08] Madden doesn’t pay but it can help you find something that does pay.

Cody Hofhine: But which [crosstalk 00:06:13]

Luke Rotvold: Which is cool.

Cody Hofhine: It worked for you, because as you’re making calls that’s what kept you on the phone for four hours at a time was that [crosstalk 00:06:19]

Luke Rotvold: Four to six hours, yeah.

Cody Hofhine: Four to six hours at a time was that he was honing his skills, he was learning different words. A lot of the TTP script originates from Luke’s crafting, my crafting of different words that would hit right with sellers, and getting straight to the point. We discovered that when we were calling there’s only six responses you get, “Yes, no, maybe in the future, how much will you give me, how’d you get my number, and who are you?” That’s it. Right?

Luke Rotvold: Absolutely. And like you said when it comes to fine tuning your craft, when you’re pounding the phones for four to six hours a day for four and half years, you start picking up small things that turn people off, and find out small things that get people more engaged, things like that. And so what we have done is we have implemented them into our calling to where it’s every tiny little detail of every call, there’s something that you can change about it to make it go your way.

Cody Hofhine: Give us [crosstalk 00:07:15]

Luke Rotvold: It will give you a better chance, at least.

Cody Hofhine: Give me a for instance. Give them an example. Give us some meat.

Luke Rotvold: [crosstalk 00:07:20] Okay. So for example, when you pop up the Zillow Ask Net, the one that says how many square feet the property is. So, again, one super small thing that I do though is that I will call out and say, “I’m showing that your property is”, let’s just say that on Zillow it says 1750 square feet. So I’ll throw out and say, “Oh, I’m showing that your house is about 1900 square feet, does that sound about accurate?” So what that is doing is that they’re thinking, “Oh, he thinks my house is bigger then it actually is.” Even though I know it’s 1750 square feet, I’m throwing out a higher number so they’re saying, “Okay, so maybe I’m going to get a little bit more a deal because he thinks my house is bigger then it actually is.”
So if I throw out 1900 and it ends up being 150 square foot smaller, they think they’re getting a deal on whatever price I throw out. And that’s just a very small thing, but I mean…

Cody Hofhine: Right. Yeah. And you mentioned something, four and a half years of calling, so you still call?

Luke Rotvold: Yeah, I still call. [crosstalk 00:08:22]

Cody Hofhine: [crosstalk 00:08:22] And just to let you guys know, Luke has a million dollar business. Luke has made millions himself personally from cold calling. This has been over years obviously, these keep compiling up and up and up. Why do you still call?

Luke Rotvold: Because the way that I look at is that if I have nothing else to do for three hours, not to say nothing else to do, but my time spent on the dialer, by time spent calling still, is going to be more profitable then me doing anything else for myself.

Cody Hofhine: Of course. Of course.

Luke Rotvold: And I still don’t mind Madden, it’s kind of fun.

Cody Hofhine: You still like playing Madden? You still like doing it?

Luke Rotvold: It’s still a good time. But it’s just putting your time where it’s best. And for me it’s on the dialer. And so another big thing that I feel that people need to, that I’ve seen from people building a team, is that they want to build a calling team. So this is huge, this is absolutely huge. I don’t know if me and you have ever talked about this, but people want to build a calling team and they have never called a single… they’ve never picked up a phone and made a single call in their life.

Cody Hofhine: I know. I know.

Luke Rotvold: And so how are you going to tell your calling team how to respond to certain scenarios, how are you going to give them the best answers for what to do when things come up, if you have no idea what they are yourself. You might be able to say, “Well this is what I’ve heard to do.” But when you’ve actually been in the trenches, when you’ve spent that time making those calls, and dealing with the objections, and stuff like that, you have to. That’s a huge, huge recommendation for anyone who is building a team, is that put in the time yourself. And it doesn’t have to be crazy, but at least get to know the meat and the bones of what it is.

Cody Hofhine: Well, what I say is you need to talk to 1000 strangers yourself, right?

Luke Rotvold: Okay.

Cody Hofhine: You need to talk to 1000 strangers yourself so you know what’s going on. So you understand the mentality of not necessarily the person that you’re talking to, the seller that you’re talking to, the distressed homeowner or property owner that you’re talking to, but the mind of the person making the calls.

Luke Rotvold: Absolutely. “Oh my god, this is driving me crazy right now. I’ve been on the phone for 40 minutes.”

Cody Hofhine: [crosstalk 00:10:32] Right. Right.

Luke Rotvold: [crosstalk 00:10:34] Right. Yeah. Exactly.

Cody Hofhine: How much do you think your tone of voice when you’re making the calls?

Luke Rotvold: Tone of voice is absolutely everything.

Cody Hofhine: Everything.

Luke Rotvold: We teach that with our team as well as mirror matching. It’s a normal sales tactic. But when you’re talking to a guy who’s very short on the phone, and he doesn’t want to talk to you but he’s still interested, and he says, “Yeah. I’d sell. What’s your offer?”

Cody Hofhine: Yep.

Luke Rotvold: Use a lower voice, be very straight up with him, and you give him his offer quick, or you find out what his number is. You don’t try to weave your way around how you would with some other people, you don’t small talk, you don’t talk about how nice the weather is, you don’t talk about, “Oh, I know someone who used to be from Louisville”, stuff like that.
So you try to mirror match them. If someone wants to get off the phone with you but they are interested, be short with them as well.

Cody Hofhine: Be direct. [crosstalk 00:11:25]

Luke Rotvold: [crosstalk 00:11:25] My personal favorite is a nice older lady. You use a higher voice, softer voice, more small talk, things like that. That’s huge.

Cody Hofhine: Well, and I think second to tone, and you are the absolute best in probably the world, I’m saying that, but active listening.

Luke Rotvold: Yeah.

Cody Hofhine: So they say-

Luke Rotvold: Oh, wonderful. Wonderful.

Cody Hofhine: Yep. Sure.

Luke Rotvold: “Right? Yeah, absolutely.” [crosstalk 00:11:56]

Cody Hofhine: Why is that so powerful? In your words, I’ve obviously said why it is [crosstalk 00:12:01], but in your words…

Luke Rotvold: You’re not going to ever get a deal if you’re going to argue with someone.

Cody Hofhine: Right.

Luke Rotvold: And that’s the thing that we have to teach too is that why are you going to sit there and tell someone… okay, let’s just say their house, the estimate is 250. The estimate’s 250. Okay, if we have to come in at 175, whatever it is, and they tell you, “Oh no, my house is worth at least 250.” You’re not going to get the sale. They want 250, they’re not coming off of it, you’re at 175. Do you really want to spend the next five minutes fighting with them over telling them why their house is going to be worth 175? No.

Cody Hofhine: Right. No.

Luke Rotvold: And so that’s the thing is that it doesn’t make sense to spend that time on that.

Cody Hofhine: Yeah. But I think it’s the little things that you say that make the conversations blossom, because they open up because they understand that you’re listening to them. You’re not just asking them a question like a robot and being quiet. It’s the difference between a conversation and an interrogation.

Luke Rotvold: Yeah. Being very agreeable, it definitely opens them up.

Cody Hofhine: Agreeable. 100%.

Luke Rotvold: [crosstalk 00:13:04] it opens them up to getting deeper into conversation.

Cody Hofhine: Well, and I think it gets down to confirming and approving, just like you were saying, confirming and approving whatever their thoughts are.

Luke Rotvold: Yeah.

Cody Hofhine: “I think the house is 300”, “Okay. Great. Yeah.”

Luke Rotvold: “I see why you would say that. That you think it’s worth three. That makes sense. I’m just letting you know where we’ve been buying them personally, is around the 220 mark. I understand that you think yours is three, and I can see where you’re coming from on that. But us personally, where we’ve been buying them is about 220. It sounds like we could be fairly close, do you think there’s any kind of wiggle room in there? Possibly? Do you think you’d maybe come down to 250 maybe? Okay. Yeah? Wonderful. Okay. Great. I could possibly come up, we really need to get a chance to see the inside of the property. It’s just it’s hard to give you a real concrete number without seeing the inside. So if I could get the chance to meet you, which I would love to get the chance to meet you, you sound like a wonderful person, but if I could get see the inside I could let you know if I could come to that 230. So maybe we could meet in the middle.”

Cody Hofhine: Yeah. You think he’s done that before? Every single day for four and a half years. Right. But that is the point of it. That is the whole art and the actual skill to making these calls is to not cause friction at all during these calls. Right?

Luke Rotvold: [crosstalk 00:14:24] You’re not going to get a deal if there’s going to be friction. You’re just not. You have to be [crosstalk 00:14:26]

Cody Hofhine: Right. Right. Move on.

Luke Rotvold: Exactly. And that’s another one of the thing pointers that I have, is everyone does things a different way. But for me, what I have seen that has worked in the past, is that if something is not going to happen don’t keep [crosstalk 00:14:44]

Cody Hofhine: Don’t force it. Yeah.

Luke Rotvold: Yeah. Exactly.

Cody Hofhine: Move on.

Luke Rotvold: You know within the first 30 seconds if it’s going to happen. So again, what we always teach our team is that if they are at a certain price and you know for a fact that it’s not going to happen, say, “You know what? Let me get together with my partner, I’ll see if we can try to make those numbers work. If I can, I’ll give you a call back and we’ll go from there.” It’s a soft way to lay them down. It’s not happening, you’re not going to get that deal. And the thing is is that if you’re going to talk them into, if you have to talk someone into it, do you really think they’re going to be at your price?

Cody Hofhine: [crosstalk 00:15:15] No.

Luke Rotvold: Let me ask you, so if I was going to ask you, “Would you sell your house right now?” What would your answer be?

Cody Hofhine: No.

Luke Rotvold: No, okay. Well are you sure? I really want to buy your house. How can I make it work?

Cody Hofhine: No, I’m happy there.

Luke Rotvold: Okay. Well if you were going to sell, and I could make it worth it, what would the number [crosstalk 00:15:30]

Cody Hofhine: A million bucks. You give me a million bucks, it’s yours.

Luke Rotvold: Thank you. [crosstalk 00:15:34]

Cody Hofhine: This happens. By the way, this happens every single day.

Luke Rotvold: [crosstalk 00:15:37] And this is the complete opposite of what we have to do.

Cody Hofhine: Right.

Luke Rotvold: We have to get it lower. So as much as you push, and push, and push for someone to try to sell their house, if they’re not interested they’re not interested. And the only way you’re going to make them interested is offer a high offer, which we already know ahead of time wholesaling is not offering over [crosstalk 00:15:54]

Cody Hofhine: Well, and it’s something that Tom Krol, my mentor told me a long time ago, tells everybody, we’re deal finders not deal creators.

Luke Rotvold: Right. Right. Absolutely.

Cody Hofhine: We find the deals, we find the opportunities, we find opportunities in the marketplace we don’t just create them out of thin air where there’s not any script, there’s nothing that’s going to all the sudden crumble their defenses and they’re going to sell at a discount for their property. Especially properties that you know as soon as you hear that they’ve remodeling the kitchen, they’ve remodeling their master bathrooms, they’ve got such pride in their house, you look at the Zillow picture of it and then landscaping is perfect. That’s not a deal.

Luke Rotvold: No, it’s not.

Cody Hofhine: That’s not a deal.

Luke Rotvold: For sure.

Cody Hofhine: So I think you said something really, really important, I want everybody to pay attention to this. You know in the first 30 seconds if it’s going to be a deal.

Luke Rotvold: [crosstalk 00:16:45]

Cody Hofhine: Now I think a big mistake that I made, and I’m sure maybe you made it yourself when we started was you’re having a good conversation with somebody, and you’re happy that you’re not rejecting you, but they’ll never do business with you.

Luke Rotvold: No. Yeah.

Cody Hofhine: But you stay on the phone longer and longer, because you’re like, “Finally, somebody’s nice to me. Finally somebody’s talking to me, finally somebody’s”, but it’s not going anywhere.

Luke Rotvold: [crosstalk 00:17:08] wasting time. That’s all it means.

Cody Hofhine: [crosstalk 00:17:09] It’s wasting time. And it’s stopping you from finding that person.

Luke Rotvold: Exactly. And the thing is if you can get through those calls faster, the faster you can get through those nos, it’s to find your yes.

Cody Hofhine: Yep.

Luke Rotvold: So don’t spend, exactly like you said, don’t spend five minutes per no, spend 20 seconds per no. When you know it’s a no, get off that phone. Do it in a nice way, don’t say, “Hey, it’s not going to work. Have a good one.” No. “Let me see what I can do, see if I can try to make it work. If I can, I will get right back to you.”

Cody Hofhine: This is perfect. Yes.

Luke Rotvold: And you’re not going to call them back, that’s not going to happen.

Cody Hofhine: [crosstalk 00:17:40] This isn’t even golden advice, this is like platinum device. This is diamond device. You see how crazy I’m getting here? What we’re going to do here guys is we’re going to do a tour of his office, see what’s going on, see people actually making calls. And then we’re going to actually go and see the fruits of Luke’s labor. Because I think it’s really important, one of the biggest things that doesn’t get talked about enough, is the lifestyle you get once you control your schedule.
Because here’s the thing, Luke calls and talks to people on his schedule. He time blocks time, his team time blocks time on their schedule. They’re not anxiously awaiting somebody to interrupt their day with their family, and small children, and their dogs, and their boats, and everything, because they have to answer an incoming marketing call. And I think this is a huge advantage if you guys are looking for lifestyle in this business, it’s a huge advantage to have conversations on your schedule.

Luke Rotvold: This is exactly the way that we did this five years ago, and we still do it today.

Cody Hofhine: This is an important point here guys. Luke prints out all of his leads and he keeps it in two folders. Now what is this folder? This is your yearly?

Luke Rotvold: Yeah. So this is the yearly. This is the daily, I’m sorry monthly and daily.

Cody Hofhine: Right. So what do you do everyday? You come in…

Luke Rotvold: So what we do is the callers all put their leads in these two folders based on when they’re supposed to call them next. So as of right now we are in April, so this is the April folder, it’s got one through 31. So if you’ve got someone who says, “Call back in seven days”, today’s the 17th, so you’d put it in the 24th. So very self explanatory, but-

Cody Hofhine: So here’s the point. This is pretty analog. The point here is this works for a million dollar business and people are waiting three months, six months, to figure out their CRM systems, their online lead follow up, when they should be talking to people [crosstalk 00:19:41]

Luke Rotvold: You just got jump in.

Cody Hofhine: [crosstalk 00:19:41] You guys just set it all up just so that you can this month, in May, you have this many leads to call. And then he puts it in which days it goes, you come in each day, you pull it out-

Luke Rotvold: [crosstalk 00:19:53] May 1st comes around, you file them in, and as the days come you pull them out and you make the calls.

Cody Hofhine: And you get deals.

Luke Rotvold: Absolutely.

Cody Hofhine: And you don’t lose deals.

Luke Rotvold: And we don’t lose deals.

Cody Hofhine: There’s a stack here, there’s a stack there.

Luke Rotvold: We’ve thought about if there’s a fire, yeah okay, that’s come up before. But no, exactly. Yeah.

Cody Hofhine: [crosstalk 00:20:10] But it works. It works because it’s simple. We’re not building rockets here. We’re talking to people, we’re having quality conversations with distressed property owners every single day.

Luke Rotvold: Yeah. Every day.

Cody Hofhine: And this is the way that you organize.

Luke Rotvold: That’s all we do. It’s very simple. Very simple.

Cody Hofhine: That’s it. It’s very simple. That’s it. There you go.

Luke Rotvold: You know how much this costs per month?

Cody Hofhine: How much?

Luke Rotvold: This is about a $12 fee up front, and then you got your paper costs, sorry for the green people out there. There is a paper cost there. But it’s a lot cheaper then a CRM, just being honest.

Cody Hofhine: [crosstalk 00:20:43] Yep. There you go.

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