Posted on: January 29, 2020

If you’ve been wholesaling for sometime, you probably already know marketing is the lifeblood of your business. However, there is one key aspect not many people are aware of: the consistency of your marketing is just as important as marketing itself.

If being consistent with marketing is something you struggle with, you already have something in common with today’s awesome guest. Amazingly, he’s still closing lucrative deals on a consistent basis. His secret? Radio marketing!

David Dodge has been using radio marketing for almost 2 years now. Unique and very effective, radio has not only helped him stay consistent with his marketing, it also generated high quality leads for him. What’s even more impressive? Radio marketing brought in a lot of money while allowing him to cut his total marketing budget in half!

If you’re looking to automate your marketing, get high quality leads, and get better results for less, radio marketing would be perfect for you. If you’d like to know what to expect and would like to assess if it is the right fit, consider listening to this episode a must!

Key Takeaways

  • What convinced him to give radio marketing a try
  • What he likes about radio marketing
  • Why it’s important to have a really catchy ad
  • What makes radio different from all the other marketing mediums he has tried
  • The quality of leads he gets from radio
  • The people he’s currently targeting
  • How much he spends for radio marketing
  • Average number of calls he gets
  • Average number of deals he gets from radio
  • Key things he appreciates about radio marketing
  • How to target the right audience/demographic when advertising on the radio
  • Hurdles and setbacks he experienced when he first set up radio marketing
  • His advice for those who would like to try radio marketing

RESOURCES:

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Episode Transcription

Chris Arnold:
Welcome to the Wholesaling Inc podcast, America’s number one podcast for new real estate investors, where finding discounted properties is the most proven path to financial freedom. I am Chris Arnold and I am your host today and it is a pleasure to be hanging out with a good buddy of mine, David Dodge. What’s happening, David?

David Dodge:
Hey, buddy, I’m doing good man. I’m doing good. Thanks for having me.

Chris Arnold:
Man, if I’m having you, it’s going to be a good time, man. You and I know each other really well, have built a great friendship and definitely have done some business together.

David Dodge:
That’s right. Absolutely, man. I’m good to … good to talk to you, Chris. How’s the weather man? Everyone that knows about Chris Arnold knows that he’s living the vacation life all the time. It’s every day, baby. I love it

Chris Arnold:
Down in Tulum. Hey, you’re going to be down here in just about three weeks yourself.

David Dodge:
That’s right. I’m on my way, man. Bags are packed. Ready to rock.

Chris Arnold:
I’m looking forward to having you, man. We’re going to have a great time. Well, David, man, tell us about you. You’re in St. Louis, but for people listening, who is David Dodge? What type of business are you doing? Give us a bit about your background.

David Dodge:
You’ve got it, man. You’ve got it. So like you said, I’m in St. Louis. My name is David. I have been wholesaling property for about five years, done about 400 transactions in that time period. I’ve been investing in real estate for about 15, the first 10 I didn’t know about this kind of properties and motivated sellers and I was buying one or two a year and paying 20% down on my loans and just, I was a rookie and then about five years ago I learned about locating motivated sellers and about building relationships with banks.

David Dodge:
And in the last five years, like I said, we’ve done 400 transactions and we have about 65 rental properties at this point too. So, we’re rock and roll.

Chris Arnold:
Absolutely. You’ve got a pretty aggressive goal. What’s your goal on the rental because I love this vision that you have?

David Dodge:
Man, thank you. I want to have 150 rentals and that’s not necessarily doors. We have some multi-families, but the way we count them as, it’s more along the lines of roofs. So we wanted to have 150 properties in the next 24 to 36 months and we really just started buying aggressively about 15 months ago. We had about maybe 12 or 14 before we started buying aggressively. So in the last, 15 months or so, we’ve picked up about 50 houses, 50 properties.

Chris Arnold:
That’s what I’m talking about. I love it, man. And I love your energy as always. There’s no one that does it with more flair and style than David Dodge.

David Dodge:
That’s right baby. Just trying to have fun all the time.

Chris Arnold:
That’s exactly right. I know you do that. So man, let’s talk about radio that’s on thing [crosstalk 00:03:45].

David Dodge:
Yeah, I love this topic, radio’s great.

Chris Arnold:
Let me ask you this. When you and I connected, you weren’t utilizing radio. That was one of the first things as we were adding value to one another, you said, Chris, and can you help me set up radio up in St. Louis? My first question to you is what attracted you to radio? Why did you say, hey, I need to get this set up for my business? What was it?

David Dodge:
I mean, there’s so many reasons really, but one of them was just the ability to reach people that I wouldn’t be able to normally reach, right? I mean, you’re talking about a whole different medium that’s broadcasted 30 to 50 miles in some cases, in every direction. And there is motivated sellers everywhere. We teach this people, I know you guys teach this to people, but I mean at any given time, there’s 150 motivated sellers in a 10 mile radius of where you’re at. You just don’t know. They don’t know how to reach you. You don’t know how to reach them.

David Dodge:
So getting that message out there to the broader audience was awesome. Not only did I love that the most, but I’ll be honest with you guys, I am terrible at marketing. I’m not terrible at creating it. I’m not terrible at executing it. I’m terrible at being consistent. And the whole thing about marketing is that if you don’t do it consistently, you’re just throwing money away. So the ability to make a message be consistent on autopilot is super attractive to me. That’s what sold me the most on the fact that I needed to be in that space.

Chris Arnold:
We say set it and forget it. Did you feel like when you kind of set up radio, got it running, it was pretty automated. You just have to wait for the phone to ring and answer it?

David Dodge:
We didn’t even have to wait for the phone to ring. It rang like the second day we were running ads man, it ringed immediately. That’s the cool thing too about this kind of marketing. There’s lots of ways to do marketing, tons and tons of ways and again it’s all about being consistent. A lot of ways you have to feed that machine and then you have to wait. With radio, you don’t. I mean it’s essentially the messages out right then and there. A lot of strategies in terms of make your number easy and repeat the number multiple times.

David Dodge:
But very few times will I get a call or a lead from somebody from a radio ad that’s like, oh I heard your ad last month. It’s usually today, yesterday or within two or three days. So, that’s really cool. It seems to be more of an instant way of marketing. But you also have people that call, and Chris, you’ve helped me put together a super creative ad, which is awesome. I know you have a lot of different ads that you run, but having a really catchy ad would sometimes get people to call you just to tell you they liked your ad, but they don’t even have a property to sell, but they might, or after you started talking to them, they’re curious to learn more about you and they’ll want to have you out and then they will have a property. So it’s just a really unique way of going about-

Chris Arnold:
Let me ask you this, did you ever get hate calls on radio, someone telling you, hey, stop spamming me. Stop sending me something like let’s say you might get that on direct mail or some other traditional [crosstalk 00:06:46]?

David Dodge:
Oh no, not at all. Any calls that I get, there are people saying they like the ad and it’s funny or catchy, but it’s no, it’s never that way. I mean, with direct mail we’ve had people mail back letters with feces on them, man. I mean it’s just hate. There’s some hateful people out there, and we’re paying the government, the post office to deliver it legally. But with the radio people can change the station if they don’t like it. But with mail they have to get it. Yeah, exactly. So …

Chris Arnold:
Absolutely. And what about the quality of lead? What did you see there from the quality of lead with radio to maybe some of the other pieces of lead generation you were doing? Higher quality, lower quality, what did you see with someone calling it in the sense of their motivation?

David Dodge:
Motivation I feel like with people on the radio is going to be higher typically than other sources, not always, but it really depends on the message that you’re putting out. So for awhile I had a message that was like, I will buy any house in any part of town. Call me today and I would get a lot of people that wanted to sell me their house at retail. So then we had a marketing message that was like, I want to buy the bad houses and the good houses and the ones that are falling down and hey, if it’s on fire, call me, we’ll buy that one too. And then that brings in a different type of customer too.

David Dodge:
So if you have a really good refined message, you are going to get people that are going to respond to that message. And my recent ads, the one I’m running now, they are designed to sell to people that need money quick, like within a week, and I say I buy all types. However, I say, I’m an investor, I’m a cash buyer. I’m basically trying to trade convenience for this discount. I’m not paying you full price. And those leads that come in are awesome because their motivation is high and they’re willing to sell at a discount. I love that.

Chris Arnold:
And I think that’s an important point, Dave, if you remember when I actually started advertising on the radio long time ago, I was actually advertising for retail leads because I was advertising for my brokerage. And so you’re absolutely right. The ad matters. You can run ad that’s going to generate retail or you can craft that ad in a way which is important to generate a discounted property, which is our goal. So what you say in the ad matters, which is what I hear you saying and definitely what we’ve seen.

David Dodge:
Absolutely. But if you put the right message out, Chris, the one that says that, hey, I have a legit company that can truly trade you convenience or a discounted price. Basically, here’s how I like to look at it. Wholesalers just provide liquidity to the marketplace. They come in and they create a win-win by getting the property sold and getting one bought for them. But they are basically willing to pay less for speed, right? So when you put out that message on the radio that you can do that to people, those are going to be the kind of people that are going to call you.

David Dodge:
It’s super rare that somebody calls me and says, hey, can I list … will you guys list my house? It’s like, no, we’ll make you an offer on it. But, it’s super rare because we’re not making that message clear that we’re a brokerage and if we don’t buy it, we’ll help you sell it. We don’t have that message.

Chris Arnold:
Absolutely. So for people listening, tell us about your experience in setting it up. How difficult was it? How heavy of a lift was it to get radio up and going? Maybe in comparison to some of the other traditional ways out there? What was your experience? Tell us.

David Dodge:
Yeah, man. Well, I’m happy that I hired you to help me get it going. That was number one because honestly I wouldn’t have done it without guidance. In hindsight, looking back on anything in life, you’re like, wow, that really wasn’t that difficult. But I didn’t know any of those things. I paid for speed, right? And grateful that I did because you were able to make that process smooth for me. Now, it wasn’t something that I decided I wanted to do and then it was up and running 30 days later unfortunately. However, now I’m sure that’s super possible. But for me, I wanted to basically let the stations know that I was willing to pay for my advertising at my car. Basically at my rate, right?

Chris Arnold:
Which was rock bottom, right?

David Dodge:
Which was rock bottom. Yep. And I didn’t go in and asking for pricing. I didn’t ever ask anybody for pricing. They would counter with their pricing and I would just, was … I played the game with them, but it only took me maybe two and a half months, two, two and a half months. I am ultra grateful I waited though Chris and I didn’t jump in and pay those prices. And essentially at this point I’ve been doing it for how long do you think it’s been? A year? Year, maybe 15 months.

Chris Arnold:
Year, yeah and a half year,

David Dodge:
Year, year and a half. If you look at the amount of costs that I’ve got in at versus the ones that I would have paid at retail over that 15 months, that would have been three months worth of ads.

Chris Arnold:
So for our audience listening, give us an idea of how much you’re paying for a radio station if you don’t mind. Because there … a lot of people go, is it affordable? Right? How expensive is this going to be?

David Dodge:
Absolutely. So and here in St. Louis it’s actually pretty competitive in terms of the radio, oddly enough, there’s a lot of people advertising and we’re not a very huge city. We’re metropolitan area of about, I think we’re at maybe 2.7 to three million, something like that. But we went in and we made our offers and they came back with their prices and we just said, okay well, we’ll circle back. We don’t need you guys, but you probably need us in the time that you don’t have these ads.

David Dodge:
So basically both of the stations that I was working with in the beginning, they had about a half a million people listening during the time slots that me and you work around. And they initially wanted like 120 to 150 an ad and I kind of came in around 40 bucks and at this point we’re spending about 3000 a month on the radio and-

Chris Arnold:
And that’s for how many stations?

David Dodge:
So we got two stations.

Chris Arnold:
Two stations, total cost $3000 a month.

David Dodge:
$3000 a month. And before we were doing that, we were spending about 15 grand on, this is really cool Chris, I don’t know if I told you this yet, but we were spending about 15 grand on all of our marketing, all the different things that we were doing, which is about six or seven things. And now that we have that in place, we have cut the total marketing budget in half.

Chris Arnold:
That’s big. No, I don’t think you did tell me that.

David Dodge:
That’s huge because-

Chris Arnold:
That’s huge.

David Dodge:
That’s huge because we don’t need to worry about doing it. And it’s almost impossible for you to not be consistent whenever you have one or two ads. And you don’t need to overthink this guys. I’m not trying to complicate the waters by saying you have to have multiple ads. I had literally had one ad run for seven, eight months straight and forgot about it. But you automate the process of marketing to where you can’t forget because it’s in a system and it gets played automatically.

David Dodge:
Whereas I would get all excited about direct mail and send a campaign every two or three weeks for like two, three months straight, and then the phones would be going up and then I would quit doing it for two months. And it’s like … I mean, inconsistencies in your marketing is one of the best ways to have a roller coaster of a business. And nobody wants that. You want to have consistency. So having consistent marketing is the first thing you need to think about, right? And this helps keep the business marketing consistent.

Chris Arnold:
So what type of success have you seen with … Have you done any deals? That’s what people want to know.

David Dodge:
And I’d like to scale it to anywhere between six to 10 a month. But I’m in no hurry, man. 3000 a month right now is doing great. So we’re getting, anywhere between 20 and 25 ads played a week, two to three a day. With that amount of ads, we’re probably getting that amount of calls. I’d say we’re probably getting about 20 calls between both stations a week. So 20, 40, 60, 80 that’s 80 a month. And I’d say, I don’t know, maybe three to five deals a month come from that. That’s $3000. 3000 bucks from five deals.

David Dodge:
I mean you’re talking 650 to $1000 a deal. They’re good deals because again, people are responding to the message that I’m putting out. Whenever people send mail if their message, and there’s a lot of ways to do that too, of course, but there’s … when the message isn’t I’m looking for the ultimate person, and this doesn’t come out like that. It says, has checks. It’ll be like, are you getting divorced or have you recently filed bankruptcy or whatever it is, pre-foreclosure.

David Dodge:
Those are going for motivation, but when you’re just mailing people like a high equity list or maybe even an absentee owner, you’re basically putting a message in front of them that I can’t help them, right? Inherently the nature of that is you’re going to get a lot of calls that aren’t going to be anything that you can convert. So to me it’s like I’d rather not get 100 calls a week and have two or three good leads. I’d rather get 20 calls a week, right, and have two or three good leads because people aren’t responding to a message that may not suit their needs.

Chris Arnold:
Agree. I always like to say, David, what you’re saying is true and that is direct mail is high call volume, low quality, right, as an example.

David Dodge:
Absolutely. And it’s only like a 1% response rate. Low quality at 1%.

Chris Arnold:
Exactly. And radios like the other side of the spectrum, right? It’s lower call volume, high quality leads.

David Dodge:
High quality leads.

Chris Arnold:
So it’s literally on their [crosstalk 00:16:27], which means it’s less maintenance at the end of the day.

David Dodge:
And you know what? Even though, absolutely Chris, couldn’t agree more. You know what? We don’t market that we have a brokerage and we do and we don’t market to list people’s properties because it’s more of a pain in the rear end to us than it’s worth. So we don’t do it. But we convert probably one in, I don’t know, one in four, one in five of the leads that come from radio to get listings because we go out and we make them an offer, that’s a good offer for us. But it sucks so bad for them for whatever reason.

David Dodge:
Then they’re like, okay, well just paying the 6% commissions is going to be three to four times more money not left on the table than if I were to take this low offer from the investor. So that’s another great thing. We’re not marketing those things however we’re doing them. So, our core focus isn’t to do that, but it’s again, a way to convert leads into [inaudible 00:17:15].

Chris Arnold:
So, David, as you look back, you’ve been doing this for a year, year and a half. What are one to two things now that you like most about radio? As you look back on setting this up, what is it about radio where you go, these are a couple of characteristics I really appreciate about this channel?

David Dodge:
Well, that’s an easy question for me. If I was to stop all my marketing except for one or two things, that would be it, that I’d keep that because again it’s … it provides the level of consistency that I always … that I struggle with. And I’d imagine most people listening to this struggle with, that’s why you’re listening to podcasts to learn and fix problems that you’re having. And the consistency is the hardest part.

David Dodge:
Not just in marketing but following up with people and just doing all the things you need to do. So I’m terrible at that. I’m not standing here today to say that I’m like this awesome wholesaler guy that can just get a call and make a deal. No, it’s a volume game. We’re spending money to do a lot of deals. But the marketing message that I put out on the radio, again, I’ve said it’s consistent. That’s number one. But number two, it’s very targeted and I don’t have to worry about changing it.

David Dodge:
I can play with it and split test it and do certain things like that, but I can also just create one or two ads and put them out there and forget about them. So I would say number one, consistency. Number two, the target of your market. And then you can also target people differently on different stations, which we didn’t even get into. I mean, there’s no right or wrong answer on which stations to use or what time. However, there’s better. I mean, that’s obvious, right?

David Dodge:
Analytics will tell us that there’s stations that we should be using and some that we shouldn’t, but it doesn’t mean you’re going to come across that rock star, 100K deal on a random station either. So …

Chris Arnold:
I think it’s a good point. It’s not a pray and spray method. You can actually get in and target your demographic by choosing the right genre of music that that person’s going to be listening to. So if your target audience is, let’s say over the age of 50, well, then you just reverse engineer that back into the fact of, well, what are those people going to be listening to? And so you can actually narrow it down. It’s not just, you’re just doing this broad stroke approach to just seeing what you can get by blasting it out in all different directions.

Chris Arnold:
You can niche it in, which I think is important. So let me ask the question that I think is important as well. We’re talking about what you like. Any hurdles in setting up radio, anything that was difficult? If someone’s considering this, they’re going, man, I really need to get this set up, what’s going to be the-

David Dodge:
I’ll be honest, man. Like I said, if I wouldn’t have hired you guys to help me with this, I wouldn’t have it up and running right now because the process isn’t frustrating. That’s the wrong word. In order to do it right, you have to be diligent in the fact that, or just be and not be … just have to go in knowing that this is not going to happen overnight. This is going to be a negotiation, but if you can get through that, it’s awesome. So you guys tremendously helped me with that.

David Dodge:
But then also analyzing. I didn’t know necessarily what to do and where to go and or how to even talk to these people. Everyone that’s in a different industry is going to have a different terminology, different verbiage for things. And I had no idea what any of that meant. So again, that was why I wouldn’t have done it. I paid you to help me with the speed aspect of it, right? Because all of the how, was done already. So, that would … I mean I can’t thank you guys enough. That’s awesome. Made my … You cut my marketing budget in half and the number of leads and quality of them is the same as it was with the double the market.

David Dodge:
It’s great. And I don’t have to work so hard. I love just being able to forget about the marketing and just focus on income producing activities.

Chris Arnold:
I agree.

David Dodge:
Marketing does not make you money. It’s necessary, but it’s just a way of outsourcing. I know some people use virtual assistants to help them do those things. When you’re on the radio or any mass media like that, it’s done for you. You pay the company for that reason. So it’s awesome. I love it, man. We’re going to ramp our station up here probably to five, seven K here in the next few months, but just for three K a month. And that’s what we’ve been running for about a year right now, it’s been amazing.

David Dodge:
And even if we were to cut that in half for those who don’t have thousands and thousands of dollars, right? I remember the first month I started wholesaling, I spent $1200 on a credit card for marketing and I had 60 grand on that car already. It was like well, what’s the difference between 60 and 62, right? What’s the difference? Right? So if you don’t have a ton of money and you’re new and you’re learning this too, you don’t have to have three, five, 20, 30 grand a month, you can do this for probably, it’s 800 to $1000 a month.

Chris Arnold:
We say a thousand, $2000 a month depending on the size of your stations. I’m saying, if you’re listening to this right and you’re going, I’m trying to figure out what I’m going to do in 2020. I’ve tried this, I’ve tried that. It hasn’t really given me the return that I’m looking for. This radio thing sounds interesting and one of the things, David and I you have talked about is that it’s a marketing source that everyone knows about, but nobody’s using, right? There’s hardly anyone advertising on radio.

Chris Arnold:
As we continue to bring in people that we’re coaching to do this, the thing they keep telling me is I just can’t think of anyone in my city that’s doing radio to find discounted properties because it’s not, it’s wide open. So if you’re curious, if you’re interested in learning more, then what we’d love for you to do is just book a call, go to wholesalinginc.com/REIradio.

Chris Arnold:
You can book a call and just ask questions. But David as you know, one of the keys with radio is the facts that we’re doing exclusivity per market, that we’re not going to let this thing get saturated like direct mail did where everybody’s on that bandwagon. We want to be able to preserve it long term, and so that’s why we’re limiting the amount of people that can come into the markets around the country.

David Dodge:
I think that’s wise.

Chris Arnold:
It’s really wise because we want to preserve, I want to preserve it for me in Dallas, right? It’s a key piece for you in St. Louis as well, so it’s really important. So again, wholesalinginc.com/REIradio. David, let me close with this question. People listening, right, wondering, man, should I do this radio thing? Is this the right fit for me in 2020 what would you tell the audience listening today about radio?

David Dodge:
I would just say if you’re looking for something that is going to produce better results for the same amount of money that you’re spending an hour or in some cases less and be able to automate it, then that’s going to be the number one thing you should be looking at, right? To me it’s no brainer because again, I’m not good at being consistent. They say you should mail people between four and 12 times, right? Whose actually mailed somebody more than six or seven times ever, right?

David Dodge:
I’ve done campaigns before and tested different things. There’s always new lists coming out and there’s always this new thing, right? And it’s just like, man, it’s overwhelming. There’s so many choices, but this message is broadcasted everywhere. Everybody can hear it, so on multiple times a day and you start to get that repetition. So I have people tell me that when they call me, they’ll be like, man, I heard your ads 60 times. I’m like, yeah, it’s been on the radio for a whole year. I’m like, who else has sent you 60 postcards?

Chris Arnold:
That’s a great point

David Dodge:
I don’t think anybody ever has and he’s like, when I first started here and I thought it was funny because it has a little catchy line in there, a couple of little lines and it’s a great ad but all of a sudden now he became motivated for whatever reason, something in his life changed. So you can’t beat the consistency and the repetition that it provides period.

Chris Arnold:
Agreed. I totally agree with that. I’ll close with this story. We had a call one time, David, where a lady called in, she had her two kids in the backseat and she left this voicemail, right? She called in, it was like after hours and we didn’t catch it live, and she said, hey, I’m riding in the car with my two kids in the back and I want you to know that they can repeat your ad verbatim.

David Dodge:
It’s awesome.

Chris Arnold:
Great job. Keep it up. You’re doing great marketing, have a great day. And hung up. Her kids in the backseat, again, and kids aren’t really listening to the radio. This was a classical station.

David Dodge:
It’s the, yeah, they-

Chris Arnold:
It’s not like they’re listening to rascal music. They’re doing their own thing, but it was repeating so much over time that her kids could repeat the ad verbatim, you’re not going to get that with direct mail.

David Dodge:
No, kids don’t even see it.

Chris Arnold:
So David, man. No, they don’t. So, man, thank you so much for coming on. Put you’re a flip flops and board shorts and get down [crosstalk 00:26:02].

David Dodge:
I’m on my way, that’s right.

Chris Arnold:
And we can hang out. All right, buddy. Thank you so much.

David Dodge:
Thanks for having me Chris. I appreciate you man and I’m happy you have me on today because if you do have any listeners or any people in your guys’ network that are struggling with consistency, this is the easiest way to solve that problem. Truly. And I’ll be honest, I’m terrible at consistency in most things. So, whenever you have to be consistent again and marketing to these motivated sellers and answering these calls and running these appointments and following up with these people and sending offers, there’s a lot of things you have to be consistent with. So take some of that off your plate and boom, there you go. This is one of them.

Chris Arnold:
Just answer the phone. All right David, have a fantastic day. Thanks so much man for coming on.

David Dodge:
Thanks buddy. We’ll see you next time.

Chris Arnold:
All right. Bye.

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