Are you looking for a marketing channel that’s scalable, provides massive returns, and requires very minimal maintenance? Radio marketing checks all the boxes! If you’d like to know more about it, today’s episode is for you!
Today’s show is hosted by Chris Arnold, a rockstar wholesaler who runs a successful virtual business while living his best life in Tulum, Mexico. Chris is no stranger to the power of radio marketing. In fact, he credits radio as the marketing channel that has helped him build a really successful virtual business.
In this episode, Chris interviewed successful real estate investor and his good friend, Clint Bartlett. Clint is also co-owner of Dynamic Properties, a flipping company he built with his business partner Jeff Cone.
Just like Chris, Clint uses radio marketing and in today’s episode he shared his experience with the medium and how he and his business was able to benefit from it. If radio marketing is something you’d like to try, tune in and discover if it is the right fit for you!
Doing Deals In Omaha On The Radio With Clint Bartlett
If you are tuning in for the first time and going, “Who is this Chris Arnold guy?” if you’ve not heard, I have been adopted into the Wholesaling Inc family as a Coach. It’s an honor to work with Cody, Brent, and Tom. My focus is on utilizing radio to find discounted properties because we know that radio is something that everyone knows about but no one is using.
There’s virtually no competition. I have a special guest, a good buddy of mine that I’ve known for years. The reason I brought Clint on is he was one of the first guys I helped set up a radio in his market in Omaha, Nebraska. Not only is he a good buddy, but I also call him my fitness nemesis. We compete in everything. It doesn’t matter if it’s pull-ups or bench presses. We are constantly pushing each other. Clint, you are a great guy to be around. I love our friendship.
For the sake of the show, I will say I love our friendship too, buddy.
Let’s jump in. Tell us about you. Where are you located? What are you up to? Give us some insights into your business.
I am in Omaha, Nebraska, which is geographically about in the middle of the country. We are a small, big town, with about a million people in our Metro area. My business partner, Jeff Cohn, and I have been investing in real estate here for years. We started in 2014. We did not start doing any marketing for deals until mid-2016. Outbound calling was the first thing that we started doing. Since then, all we have done is shamelessly rip off tactics strategies from anybody else who appeared to be successful. We started with outbound calling then we started doing mail.
We started PPC. We started layering those things over the last few years and have been growing. Not as big as what we wanted but we will close to 75 deals. We do not wholesale. We close on everything that we put under contract. The majority of those deals that we buy, we wholetail and simply clean them up, clean them out, put them on the market as it is, and then we try to keep 2 or 3 doors single-family homes for rental properties as well, every month.
Aggressive on the rental side. Tell us a little bit about what you and Jeff were trying to accomplish for your portfolio.
It is big. We want to own 1,000 doors or have a $100 million portfolio. It’s about $100,000 a door if you do the math. We love single-family home acquisitions because we can buy them at a deep discount. That’s hard to do in multifamily but we are breaking into the multifamily space for the sake of scalability. It takes a lot of time to buy and hold 1,000 single-family homes. It will be a mashup of both single-family, residential, and multifamily that we plan to own 1,000 doors over the next 5 years.
Radio marketing is a set it and forget it. You spend ten minutes at the radio station to record the ad and that’s it.
Let’s talk about the radio. You and I met because you joined Multipliers, which is a mastermind around Mexico. That’s how I know Clint so well. We always give each other a hard time. We are constantly talking. When he comes down to Tulum, we are always running around the beach and having a good time. When you and I met, you took an interest in radio. What attracted you to radio? What made you say, “Chris, can you show me the ropes?”
I joined Multipliers largely because of what you shared with me on the radio. I’m staying in Multipliers for more reasons than just the radio but it was intriguing. The thing that was most interesting is that you had a proven model of radio advertising and marketing through radio for real estate investment deals, and you were doing it on a large scale. It’s not like you were spending pennies every month. When we talked, you had all your eggs in that basket, and you guys understood it.
You understood the system. You understood how, what, when, where, and why. It was a huge bolt of confidence for me after talking to you. It gave me the confidence that it’s something that I could do here, even though the market is different in Omaha than what it is in Dallas. I knew that we were going to be different but you’ve proven the model. That was a huge sell for me. It wasn’t something that you were experimenting with. It wasn’t something that you had been doing for six months, and it had some short-term results that you are all excited about. It was your mainstay.
I have been doing it for many years. There’s a lot of tweaking and getting it right. What was your experience in setting it up? People might be reading go, “What’s it like setting up the radio? How difficult it is?” Do you mind touching a little bit on the process and your experience in setting it up?
The process was easy for me. That largely came from conversations that I had with you. I knew what I needed to be looking for. I knew what type of stations I needed to be talking with from a pricing and negotiation standpoint. You helped me understand what I needed to do to negotiate better pricing for my ad spots. The setup was easy because I was able to replicate so much of what you’ve shown me. Anywhere from what to say on the ad to what the ad sounds like, I was able to rip and reapply everything that you’ve done on a smaller scale here in my market.
My step one after I got that education from you was reaching out to the local radio stations, developing that relationship, starting negotiations, and figuring out what I wanted my ad to sound like. Within 30 days of talking to you, we were up and running in our market on our first radio station that we started advertising on, which was a smaller AM station because I’m a cautious guy. I don’t like to throw tens of thousands of dollars into something I don’t understand. We set our budget at $1,000 a month with a small AM station.
You got on a station at $1,000 a month.
That’s at $10 an ad. That’s 25 ads a week, 5 a day times 5 days a week times 4 weeks, $250 a week, and $1,000 a month is what we were paying. A small station, AM 590. It’s Nebraska Cornhuskers. It’s like the sports talk radio but it had the right age demographic that we were looking for. We started in February 2019. This 2020, we have gotten three deals. That’s not a lot but I’m only spending $1,000 a month. By the end of the year, I would have spent $10,000. The first deal that we did was a $12,000 profit. It was a wholetail.
The second deal was another wholetail at a $23,000 profit. That was a little more significant. The third one is pretty interesting. We are holding it now. The guy is building a new construction home. He sold us his house. He wanted to rent it back for six months, and then he’s moving out in the spring. We will put the house on the market but we expect to make between $30,000 and $40,000 on that house. At the end of the year, we will have a $65,000 profit on a $10,000 spent.
That’s about a 1 to 6 return.
It will probably be closer to 1 to 7, knowing where we are at. The other thing is we added the FM station. We doubled our marketing spend. We are now at $2,000 a month because this particular radio station was running a promo, and I have been negotiating with their marketing rep for over a year, trying to break into FM. The original quote that she gave me was $20 for a 30-second spot. I was able to lock in the next year at $12 a spot because of this promo that they were running. I had developed a relationship with her already. I was always hounding her. It was a perfect time to get in. We had an appointment, and I have another radio appointment that looks like a good one.
I go to our appointments whenever I’m available. We need to keep this short and sweet because I’m going on my next radio lead appointment. The interesting thing with radio is the cost per lead is high for us. I don’t know what it’s like in your market but we don’t get a lot of phone calls. Our cost per lead, last time I looked, was $600 or $800, which is insane. Our cost per contract doesn’t matter to us because we are converting at such a high ratio. The conversion rate is insanely high because we only need so many appointments to convert a deal.
Everything about the quality of the lead versus some of the other stuff out there where you are getting a large volume of leads but you’ve got to dig through a lot of stuff to get to the goal. What’s the difference you see in the quality?
Honestly, in the past, the entire 2019, when I looked at it, we were literally paying $600 or $800 a lead. It’s twenty leads for the entire year, and we converted three deals. The conversion rate is high, obviously because of quality of a lead is better. You are hitting an audience that is not getting pounded with postcards or with phone calls. It’s somebody who’s innocently listening to the radio, and they opt to call you. Obviously, in the radio ad, our value proposition is that we are cash buyers. We will buy your trashed home, code violations, bad tenants, whatever the issue is. It’s neat that you are hitting somebody who doesn’t have a stack of postcards sitting on their kitchen counter at home. I love it.
What it comes down to is the dollar-per-dollar return. That’s what we care about, cost per lead. All that type of stuff is irrelevant. What matters is, “What is the return I’m getting on my investment.” You are spending $1,000 and roughly getting $6,000 to $7,000 in return. What did you like most about radio?
Honestly, every once in a while, I will get a text from a friend that will say, “I just heard you on the radio. That’s fun.”
There’s a reason radio still exists and that’s because of the ad space.
Celebrity status. That’s what we call it.
Local celebrity. At the end of the day, for me, it’s the numbers game. If I have a 1 to 6, 1 to 7, 1 to 8 return, then I’m going to do it all day. Frankly, we have two acquisition managers who are up to their knees in bad leads and low-quality leads that they are nourishing for months at a time. These are higher-quality leads that don’t need a lot of nourishment. We went on the appointment once, put an offer together shortly thereafter, and closed within a few weeks. Everybody that we’ve worked with from radio so far in terms of purchase contracts has been quick, seamless deals because they are the right type of seller. They are truly motivated.
What’s the biggest challenge with radio? We are talking about the upside. Any downside that you’ve experienced and the biggest challenge with radio?
I have no complaints yet. If I go a whole another year and there are no deals they put under contract, maybe I will complain that I didn’t get any deals this year but I have zero. Honestly, it’s a set it and forget it. Once you record the ad, spend ten minutes at the radio station to record the radio commercial, and then it goes. It’s simple. I have no complaints. There have been no challenges thus far for us. Again, maybe my story would be different but we are converting deals. We’ve converted enough to justify doubling our marketing spend. Frankly, going into 2021, maybe putting some more marketing dollars towards it as we see more results.
That leads me around my next question. Where do you want to go with the radio over the next couple of years? Do you imagine continuing to scale it? What’s your plan for radio with the type of return that you are seeing?
We are going to take a look at every quarter and review all of our different marketing spend avenues, wherever we are getting the highest return with the least amount of work. Obviously, we are going to divert more dollars there. Radio is exactly that. It’s a higher return, a low amount of work to get that return. For me, again, I’m a cautious guy. I’m probably not going to dump another $5,000 a month into it.
I will probably add $1,000 a month. If halfway through the year, if we pick up a couple more deals from radio, I will add another station. Now, we are on classic rock and AM. I might try to pick up something that’s a little bit different variety to capture a different audience but I will continue to double that spend as long as we are seeing the results and the conversion stay with the rate of our spend.
If I could recap because what you are saying is a lot of exactly what I told you that we experienced down in Dallas, Texas, and that is you’ve named some of the things. It’s a set and forget it. That’s what I love about it. It doesn’t require a ton of maintenance like some of the other marketing pieces that are out there. The other thing is it’s a high-quality lead rather than getting a high call volume and low-quality leads. It’s the reverse.
You are getting a lower call volume but a much higher lead. You talked about the idea of getting celebrity status. We also refer to it as instant credibility because if you are on the radio, you must know what you are talking about. It’s exactly the same thing that we experienced in the Dallas-Fort Worth market.
If you are reading and go, “I want to learn more about this. I’ve heard you guys talk about it. Now I’m learning the success plan,” who’s all the way up in Omaha, Nebraska, what you want to do is go to WholesalingInc.com/reiradio. You can book a call to see if your market is open because we are running this and creating exclusivity in markets. Book a call, and see if it’s something that it’s a right fit for you.
I know for myself and you, Clint, it has been a great piece to plug into our overall marketing plan. Wrapping up, I get to see you here in less than 60 days. You are going to be down in Tulum, which I’m excited about. To people reading that are learning about radio for the first time, the bells are going off, they are going, “This is interesting. I’ve heard about radio but I can’t think of anyone that I know that’s utilizing it,” what would you want the readers to learn about radio? What would you say to them if they were tuning in to this concept for the first time?
Think about the radio ad. There’s a reason that they are the radio still exists. It’s because of the ad space. That’s why radio still exists. The other thing that I would say is I had never heard of anybody doing radio in the REI space until I talked to you. The results speak for themselves. It would be silly not to consider it just because of what you have been able to do over the last several years in radio. Now seeing as you shared your strategies and tactics with more people and they start to have success, it becomes a proven model at that point.
I know you got a radio appointment to go to. You are going to go lock up. I’m going to let you get to that. Thank you so much. Thank you for your friendship. Thank you for being a part of Multipliers and being a good buddy. You and I are constantly punching jabs at each other.
I can’t wait to break and mess you up in Tulum. We will compete.
Thank you so much for tuning in. That website, if you want to book a call and learn more, is WholesalingInc.com/reiradio.
- Clint Bartlett – LinkedIn
- Be sure to join the Wholesaling Inc Facebook group
About Chris Arnold
Chris Arnold is a 15-year Real Estate veteran who has closed over 2500 single-family real estate transactions in the DFW metroplex. Chris is the founder of multiple companies that are managed by a US virtual team, which allows Chris to run his organizations while living in Tulum, Mexico full time. His passion for leaders has led to the creation of Multipliers brotherhood which serves the top 5% of real estate entrepreneurs out of the US. Most recently Chris has launched his REI Radio coaching program. This program is designed to teach real estate investors the marketing stream that everyone knows about but NO ONE is doing!