Posted on: April 08, 2020

To completely dominate your market, a lot of key factors are involved. Choosing the right marketing channel however ranks high on many people’s list. Today’s guest recently tried radio marketing and shared what his experience with this effective and exciting marketing channel has been like.

Brian Stewart has been in the wholesaling business for 6 years now. While he already has a thriving business, he wanted to take it a notch higher so he decided to give radio marketing a try. Just 2 months in and he has already closed 3 deals!

In this episode, Brian shared what his whole experience with radio marketing has been like, what he likes about it, the hurdles he encountered, and his advice to those who would like to give this phenomenal marketing channel a try. You’ll learn many radio marketing basics in this episode, so don’t miss it!

 

Key Takeaways

  • What enticed him to try radio marketing
  • His experience setting up radio marketing
  • Number of days it took him to set up the whole thing
  • First deal he got from radio and how the transaction went
  • Psychological impact of radio marketing
  • What he likes about radio marketing now that he has tried it
  • One huge misconception about radio
  • The biggest hurdle he has encountered so far
  • How to minimise calls from people from other states
  • Where he wants to go with radio
  • His advice to those who would like to give radio marketing a try

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Episode Transcription

Chris Arnold:
I’m your host, Chris Arnold, today, and I am excited about my guest I have on today, Brian Stewart. So, Brian and I have been working together because he signed up for REI radio, and he has got in, he’s got in quickly. He’s got it set up. He’s actually closed out some deals. And so, and we want to pick your brain today on how this whole process has been through your eyes, right? Coming in and actually saying, okay, I’m going to try this whole thing of radio out, right? So, before we hop in, man, tell us a little bit about you, Brian. Give us a little bit about your background, how long you’ve been in the game, et cetera.

Brian Stewart:
Sure, sure. So, I guess I’ve been in the business about six years. So, I got my feet wet with an investment company here locally, on the property management side. My brother-in-law used to work for them on acquisitions. So, he got me in the door with the property management side for two, three years. And then he got me moved over to acquisitions. We started buying for hedge funds, and then that died down a little bit. We decided to go out on our own. So, I’ve been on my own, this is my third year on my own at this point, just straight wholesale.

Chris Arnold:
Wholesaling for three years at this point. And before radio, what were you doing for lead generation? What were you trying out?

Brian Stewart:
So, cold calling and texting.

Chris Arnold:
Okay. [inaudible 00:02:32].

Brian Stewart:
That’s pretty much all I did last year.

Chris Arnold:
Okay. So, straight cold calling and texting. So, here’s the big question? What attracted you to radio? Why, after you heard about what we are doing, why pick up the phone, call in, and learn more about, and more importantly, sign up?
What drew you in, and then said, you know what, I think that radio is a good fit for my company and what I want to accomplish.

Brian Stewart:
Right. So, yeah, there was a couple of things. I mean, the biggest thing was little to no competition. I mean, I don’t listen to a whole lot. It’s like I don’t listen to a whole lot of radio, except satellite radio, but the little bit that I do, never heard anybody on the radio advertising for buying houses. So, that was a big part of it, and it just seemed like the competition, and the cold calling [inaudible 00:03:17] space, and the texting, it’s like, every other local investor I talked to was doing it. Keeping the fresh list is always a challenge. I mean, it works, don’t get me wrong. I mean, I had a great year, the best year I’ve ever had last year, with those two strategies.
But it was just, I felt like it was just pulling teeth. It was getting a little more and more difficult every day. So, I was just keeping my eyes and ears open for that next channel that wasn’t so crowded. And then all of a sudden, here’s REI radio, and I jumped on it. Because I know it’s limited to three people in each market, and I just wanted to get in there quick and be the first one, hopefully. And I was, thankfully.

Chris Arnold:
Yeah, virtually no competition was a key thing. What was maybe the second thing that piqued your interest, besides the fact of, this thing is not oversaturated like some of the other stuff.

Brian Stewart:
Yeah. So, the other big thing was, it’s pretty much like the crock pot of marketing. Like you set it, forget it. You’ve got the timer on it and it’s done. You go in, record, and that’s it, it just keeps running. I mean, it’s a beautiful thing. Because there’s still, I still do some of the cold calling and texting. I’ve got people set up for that, but there are days, they’re virtual assistants, so there are days they’re emailing me, “Oh, the power’s out in the Philippines. I can’t text today,” or whatever the case may be. Whereas radio, you don’t have to worry about any of it. You don’t have to worry about lists. You don’t have to worry about managing people. You just record the ad, it’s on autopilot, and the leads just keep coming in. It’s pretty awesome.

Chris Arnold:
I like your analogy, it’s the crock pot, right?

Brian Stewart:
Yeah.

Chris Arnold:
I think that that’s fantastic, because it’s like, you just turn on the timer and let that baby simmer.

Brian Stewart:
Exactly.

Chris Arnold:
And it doesn’t, as you said, require a lot of management, which is what I experienced with direct mail, different things like that. I mean, they work, you just have to keep working them, where you don’t get the opportunity to just turn it on and let it go, which creates consistency. That’s the word I hear from you. I can’t always be consistent if my VA doesn’t show up, right? We can make calls at the level we were supposed to. That never happens with radio. There’s not a fallout.

Brian Stewart:
Right.

Chris Arnold:
So, people are listening and they’re like, “Okay, Brian, you got in here. How difficult was this to set up, scale of 1 to 10?” They’re like, “Okay, I’m thinking about this, but man, is this a heavy lift? Did you have to bust your butt to do it?” I mean, what was your experience in setting it up?

Brian Stewart:
I mean, the process itself, you make it as simple as it can possibly be. I was actually pretty surprised at how simple it was. Because you hear a lot of these different courses, and of course, when they’re being sold, they’re selling you on the simplicity of that course. And a lot of them you get in and there’s just so many components to it, it takes forever to get through. But I said, “You know what? I don’t care what it takes. I’m going to do it anyway.” But when I got in there, I mean, I was blown away at how simple it was and how fast we were able to get it set up. So, even with everything else I had going on, because I mean, I’m wholesaling full time, and I was still running appointments, stay on top of everything else. I’m a one man show other than having the VA for the texting and the VA for the cold calling. So, even amidst all that, I got the whole thing set up, I think, within 21 days.

Chris Arnold:
So, from the time you came in, you were able to set it up within 21 days and be live on radio?

Brian Stewart:
Yeah. I’d have to check the exact date that I joined, but I know it was right at the first of the year or so, and on January 22nd, the first ad ran.

Chris Arnold:
Congrats, man. I’m proud of you. That’s a fast turnaround, and I love hearing that. So, you and I were talking about success. The big question people are asking is, “Okay, great. You’re live on radio. You close the deal. Are you making any money?” And you and I were chatting about a deal that you just closed on, Winsley, and you made $11,500. You said the average for your market, St. Louis, is maybe around $10,000. Your personal average is around $8,600. So, this was a deal that you closed that was above your average. Tell us about your first deal on radio, from when the call came in, how motivated was that person? What was the experience? Break this down, this deal that you just did.

Brian Stewart:
Yeah. So, man, it was awesome. So, this lady, she was elderly. Her husband had passed away. He had passed away about a year ago. She had this huge house, for her, it was 2100 plus square feet, two story house, two car garage. Couldn’t keep up with it. They had lived there 30 something years, raised their kids there. The kids are all grown and gone. She can’t keep up with the house, it’s all original. And she had, finally, her daughter had talked her into moving out of the house just a couple months prior, finally, downsizing to a smaller condo she could actually take care of. And it was a burden. She still had a mortgage on it, and she’s paying her new condo payment, paying this mortgage. Can’t keep up with the house. Still has all the stuff in it.
And they didn’t think they were going to be able to sell it for what they owed on it. And they didn’t know what they were doing, and of course they heard the radio ad. They called and it was a pretty quick turnaround. I mean, I got out there, I think the next day, maybe. And we talked, and it was actually, it was one of my favorite appointments, because just going through the whole process, building the rapport, and they literally started crying, her and her daughter, while I was there. It almost made me cry, because like I said, she’s just had this, she’s 70 something years old, had this burden of this house on her shoulders, had no idea what she was going to do, didn’t think she was going to be able to get out from under it. And when I told her we could help her, they both just started crying.

Chris Arnold:
That goes back to sometimes the heart of what we do, right? Again, we talk about transactions, but the flip side is, we are solutions providers. And sometimes you get in there, like you just did, and you brought hope to a situation that people, sound like, felt a bit hopeless. So, I love that side of the story. That’s actually my favorite part, right? Because that allows you to know that what you’re doing carries that level of significance with it, which is super cool.

Brian Stewart:
Right.

Chris Arnold:
Now, I have a question for you. Did you have any competition on this deal?

Brian Stewart:
On this particular one, no, not at all.

Chris Arnold:
50 postcards stacked up. Had they been hit with text blasting?

Brian Stewart:
Nope. They didn’t mention anyone else. I didn’t see any postcards. Yeah. It was pretty much just me from the get go.

Chris Arnold:
Yeah. And Brian, we know the reason that is, is because radio is not list dependent. Again, if you’re doing texts, RBM, cold calling, whatever, the reason that it’s so competitive is everyone’s utilizing the same list, right, just different methods to hit that list. But in your circumstance, right, you run on radio. It’s not list dependent. You find yourself out there with someone that is completely unmarketed to, at that point. It made that deal easier. Now, I’m curious. I know you’re just getting up on this. Did you feel any different walking in knowing they heard you off the radio? Was there a sense of confidence you had, or maybe a way you felt they looked at you as being more of an expert, or because you were on the radio? Did you sense that on this first time going out and getting this deal done?

Brian Stewart:
Yeah. Yeah. You do get a little bit of that, definitely. Definitely. I mean, I’ve been on enough appointments from radio now that there’s definitely a difference. I mean, sometimes it’s hard to describe unless you’ve actually experienced it, but yeah, it’s a different dynamic. They almost look at you like they know you.

Chris Arnold:
And I hear that there’s something about the radio and the television, what that does psychologically, right? And those of us, I mean, that happens to you and me, Brian, right? We see a celebrity that we’ve never met, ones that we like, maybe we love their movies, et cetera. There is a sense, I like the way you put it, that we feel like we know them, right? They don’t know us, but we know their stories. We watch their movies, et cetera. So, I agree. There’s already a level, let me put it this way, is what I hear you saying, there’s already a level of rapport that’s built just because they’ve been hearing you on the radio.

Brian Stewart:
Exactly.

Chris Arnold:
I love, love that. And not only did you do this deal, it sounds like you’ve been on some other appointments and you’re getting some good momentum around this. Is that correct?

Brian Stewart:
Correct. Yeah. I mean, like I said, we ran, or I ran the first ad January 22nd. And so, here we are, what is this, two full months in now. And I did, I’ve closed two deals. I didn’t tell you this before we got on, but I actually, just about an hour ago, locked up a third deal. So, and that one’s already sold. I already had a buyer lined up for it, so yeah. I’d say momentum is good right now.

Chris Arnold:
I’m excited for you, because in this process with setting it up, we launched in December. We’re at that place now where people have gotten in as students, they’re up and running, and for us, the reward we get is this right here. It’s working for you, I’m excited because you’re excited about it. It’s creating some confidence, some revenue that you wouldn’t have. And particularly with everything going on right now, I see it as being even more important, right? Because everybody’s revving up their texting, and their cold calling, if you’re watching all social media, but you still have this protected thing, radio, on the side, that is not going to get blasted with more competition, like the other stuff is. So, I know what drew you to radio, you gave a couple of things that did. But now that you’ve been doing it, what do you like about radio now? And I want a different answer than what initially [crosstalk 00:00:12:45]. What do you like about it now?

Brian Stewart:
I mean, I like the fact that, so I guess one thing that I had always thought about radio is that you couldn’t really target it well. I didn’t realize you could get so specific and really dig into the proper demographic that you want and the type of sellers that you want. So, I always thought it was just more of a broad shotgun approach. I had no idea you could really get in there with the sniper rifle and hit the targets you’re looking for. So, yeah, I definitely like that.

Chris Arnold:
And that’s a huge misconception about radio. It’s a shotgun approach. It’s a spray and pray model. When in reality, we know that you can target your audience by targeting the type of music that they listen to. And so, as you came in, you were able to go, this is the type of clientele I do deals with, and you were able to actually utilize radio to target those. We were talking about that in one of the particular areas that you were working before we started recording. So, let me ask you this question, and people will always want to ask, I want to flip to the other side. What’s been the biggest hurdle with radio? What’s been the biggest challenge so far? We talked about all that’s good, but I like to ask the real questions.

Brian Stewart:
Yeah.

Chris Arnold:
What [crosstalk 00:13:59] hurdle?

Brian Stewart:
So, I think the biggest hurdle right now, is probably just because of the station that I’m advertising on and the type of audience that I’m going after, is that I do get a good amount of leads that are outside of the area. Because I’m in St. Louis, so we’re right across the bridge from Illinois. I don’t do any buying in Illinois. I only know one other guy that [inaudible 00:14:21] with Illinois. And most of the stuff that we get in Illinois, isn’t even an area that this guy would consider, because that side of the bridge is really rough. So, that’s probably the biggest challenge. So, I’ve been considering maybe going in and tweaking the ad a little bit, to be more specific on the area that I want.

Chris Arnold:
Let’s talk about that, because that’s a great point. So, first of all, if you’re listening, you’ve got to realize that that radio covers a huge radius. So, for us in Dallas-Fort Worth, we get calls from Oklahoma, right. That’s a long ways away. So, a couple of things, Brian, that we’ve done on this, let’s do some real time coaching, right? Because we experience [inaudible 00:15:02]. The first thing we did is we came in and changed the language and said, “We buy homes in North Texas.” So, that started minimizing people calling us from another state, right? That was an immediate fix. The second thing that we did, though, that was really valuable, is in the beginning we started building a refer list, like you’ve got your one guy, of people that we knew that work these other areas. And we would pass those leads along. But I’ll tell you the biggest thing it got us to do, it challenged us to strengthen our buyers list and grow our radius, so that we could actually do those deals ourselves in those areas.
And what’s funny about that is, the out of area at the beginning was like, what are we going to do with this, to then it became this force that really challenged us to grow bigger. And now, Brian, where we’re at after years, is we’re able to do those deals in areas that we normally wouldn’t do. And the great part about that is, it’s not in the main competitive area of Dallas-Fort Worth. It’s more out in those rural areas. And now that we have buyers list to support that, now we get those deals too, on top of that. And so, that was just one of the, what I would say, one of the growth parts that we had to go through, as well. So, I totally relate with you of what your experience in the beginning, and that’s what we’ve done over time.
And now we love those deals out in the further out areas, because we actually have buyers for them. And so, we can capitalize on. So, great hurdle, I’m glad you brought that up. So, now that you’re processing this, where do you want to go with radio? Is your mindset, hey, I like to keep my budget, and let’s remove coronavirus and all that, just normal [inaudible 00:16:47] before that. What was your vision? Do you want to keep it small and lean, and where you’re at? Do you want to scale radio and do more? What have you been processing?

Brian Stewart:
Oh, I knew right out of the gate that I wanted to scale it. If I got results from it, which I obviously have been, I definitely want to scale it and take it as big as it can get. Yeah, I don’t want us to stay small.

Chris Arnold:
Brian, we did the same thing as well. We have scaled it, and scaled it, and scaled it. So, that’s been my mentality, because if the ROI is great, the management of it is simple, right? The quality of lead is good. The competition is pretty much virtually none. Then that’s actually something I want to invest more money in.

Brian Stewart:
Right.

Chris Arnold:
So, if you’re listening, right, and you’ve been hearing us talk about radio, and I know for some people they’re like, “I’ve been waiting to hear the first person come in and really talk about some of the success and so forth.” REI Radio is at that point. And Brian, I just was so excited to do this call with you because this is, for us as a company, the place where we get to see the fruit of our labor. And so, if you’re interested, you want to go to wholesalinginc.com/REIradio. Again, wholesalinginc.com/REIradio. Book a call, just like Brian did, ask questions.
Again, as he said, you always got to check to make sure your market is open. Brian, I believe that your area’s potentially sold out. So, you definitely want to be able to get in and make a move. And I will say this, right now more than ever, the radio stations are in trouble. People are pulling advertisements, so they are softening. And what we’re finding is, if you were ever thinking about getting in and wanting to get the best price, the time is now. That is one of the upsides of what’s happening right now. When it comes to radio, is it’s going to make the process of negotiating much easier, because their inventory is dropping, which makes them need us a lot more as advertisers. So, wrap it up, Brian. Any last thing you want to say? If someone’s listening, going, should I do this radio? Or what’s some of the final thought you might want to leave with someone that’s chewing on this.

Brian Stewart:
I mean, I’d say, you got to do it, for all the reasons that we’ve already talked about. It’s the least amount of competition. It’s the easiest to get set up, in my opinion, from the three or four different things that I’ve tried. And I’ve obviously seen the fruits of it. So, I mean, I’m sold, I’m going all in on it this year. I’m going to dump as much as I can into it and try to ramp this thing up. So, yeah, if you’re on the fence about it, I would say, just do it, especially before your area’s sold out. Like you said, I know I had a friend that tried to get into my market, and you guys told him he couldn’t. It’s sold out. So, I would say, don’t wait, because your area is going to be sold out if you do.

Chris Arnold:
Brian, I’m glad that we got to hang out today, and we will catch you next time on another episode. Talk to you later.

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