With all the drastic (and dramatic) changes brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, many wholesalers have chosen to play it safe and just halt operations for the time being. Today’s guest, however, did the exact opposite. If anything, it’s his boldness and consistency that has made him one of wholesaling’s unfaltering rockstars!
Bob Antonie is a wholesaling beast. And he does not play it safe when it comes to wholesaling. Rather than staying on the sidelines, Bob chose to double down on his efforts and stay consistent. The result? He closed 8 deals despite the current state of the market!
While the pandemic has brought about new and unique challenges for wholesalers, it’s no match for Bob’s relentless commitment and drive to succeed. So if you can use some motivation on how to get things done despite having a curveball thrown your way, this episode is for you!
8 Deals a Month During COVID-19 With Bob Antonie
People are asking, “How do we do deals in this market? Are deals still happening in this market? Do they happen? Do they take place? How are we able to do that?” We are going to give you about 10 or 15 minutes of sheer gold here and let you know that deals are still happening. I have with me, one of my favorites, Bob Antonie. I love this guy. He is in the Memphis market and crushing it. Bob, tell them a little bit about your background, your history, what you did growing up, and why you’re into real estate.
I have a degree in Microbiology, a minor in Chemistry. I’ve been in the corporate world for many years. A few years ago, things started to change for me. I ended up losing my job and I jumped right into wholesaling. I started getting involved in wholesaling in about October of 2018. I didn’t know what an ARV was or any of the terms that we use.
Let’s fast forward. You have been crushing it. Let’s talk about April 2020 because we’ve had COVID-19 started back in March. That was when the big push was for the United States. What do the first 21 days of April look like for you? How many deals have you done? Let’s start with that.
April has been really good for me. I’ve closed on five deals. I’ve got another one closing. I’ve got two more scheduled. I’m looking at eight deals altogether.
This is too good. Bob came out to the SCALE event out at my office. I was listening to his process. Here’s the better thing. He could be doing up to eight deals. Bob, how lean and mean is your business? How many people are on your team?
I got myself and a virtual assistant from the Philippines who handles my calls. She’s my lead manager. She takes my calls, does all the lead follow-ups, and schedules appointments for me. That’s it. It’s just her and I.
Make a point of being comfortable with being uncomfortable.
It’s just the two of you, and you are completely doing your thing. You’re going to do a casual eight deals. Tell us what your secret sauce is. What do you feel like helping you during this time? I’m sure you’re having conversations where people are like, “We don’t want to meet.” Maybe people are like, “We’re okay meeting.” How are you able to do deals specifically wrapped around this COVID-19?
The deals are a little bit different. There are a lot of apprehensions, and I don’t blame anybody for it. I do everything I can to make sure that people are comfortable. I’ve gone to houses. We’ve kept doing the social distance thing. I’ll be outside. We’ll stand apart and have a conversation. The secret sauce here is nothing special. It’s going and meeting with the individual, getting an understanding of their situation, why they are looking to sell, and trying to help them solve the problem.
I’ll tell them the different options that they have, the pros and cons of going through a real estate agent, for sale by owner process or a lease-purchase agreement. We’ll step them through and help them understand what the benefits are and what the negatives are, and try to help solve the problem. At the end of the day, there are lots of situations where we can help the people which ultimately leads to a win-win solution.
Do you feel like any big changes are going on? Do you feel like, “I’m consistently doing what I’ve always done?”
I’ve experienced changes on the buyer side. A lot of my buyers are standing on the sidelines. I’ve got around 5,000 cash buyers on my list. Some of my real consistent buyers are being more selective at what they are buying. Others are also picking a hiatus for a few weeks to wait and see what happens in the market.
This is incredible. I can’t believe it was already years ago when we had our first conversations and you’re going to the course, and here you are doing your thing. Eight deals are going in a month and you find ways to do it. How do you stay positive? What’s the mindset you would tell our audience? What do you do to stay focused and keep doing deals?
I’m not saying this is for everyone, but I’ve seen a lot of people who almost step off the gas and start pumping the brakes. They’re almost like, “What should we do? I don’t know what’s going on with this COVID-19. I got to wait.” One thing I’ve seen you do consistently is stepping on the gas. You’re going. You never pumped the brake. What are some of the mindset that keeps you going even though all this is going on? How do you stay focused and positive during this time?
One of the things that I do as often as I can is recognizing that in any circumstances that I deal with, there are usually several choices to pick from. There are only two decisions to make. There’s one that’s the easier, conservative and more comfortable way. There’s the other decision that can lead you to be more uncomfortable.
Whenever I feel I’m in a circumstance where I’ve got two choices, one is safe and easy, and the other one is going to be uncomfortable, I move towards that every time. I make a point of being uncomfortable. It’s something that the tribe or the course talks about all the time. It’s getting comfortable with being uncomfortable. That’s all I do.
I would rather sit back and wait and see what happens, but I’m hitting my marketing harder. I’ve increased at least 30%. I’m focusing on distressed properties and absentee owners. I’m taking a ton of calls, doing a job of screening these out, and having the mindset of trying to help the people solve their problems.
That is fantastic. What is the marketing channel you’re using? When you go out and marketing absentee owners and these distressed properties, what’s the form of marketing to get your message to them?
I keep it very simple. I do direct mail.
Direct mail is not dead. You’re out there. You increased it by 30% because of that. Are eight deals in a month normal for you, or do you think it has been higher?
My minimum number is around three. I’ll get typically between 3 and 5 deals a month that I’m closing on. This month has been an uptick. I don’t know if it’s because of the COVID-19 situation that we’re in. It’s a numbers game when it comes down to it. The more marketing you send out, the more conversations you have. The more appointments I go on, the more offers I make.
To anyone out there, I hope you caught this and wrote this down. He’s not only applying the gas, but he is also increasing the speed, meaning he has also increased his mail going out. I love the fact that direct mail is still pulling in a ton of deals for you. It does all the heavy lifting for you. You increased how much is going out. You are able to still do business during these times. Many times, we get in our own way.
Wholesaling or real estate is not complicated. It’s the wholesaler or the investor that’s complicated. We tend to get in our own ways. This is a perfect example of not only how to continue to do business, but you’re increasing how many deals you’re doing every month. Would you say to anyone out there, if they were right there thinking, “What do I do? Do I want to do this? Do I want to get into this? Am I crazy for doing this? Is the time passed?” Are you saying, “Now is a fantastic time to get into real estate?”
More opportunities are coming than what we’ve seen in the last several years in wholesaling and real estate in general based on circumstances. We’re experiencing a correction in the markets. We’re going to go through that as well in real estate. There’s a lot of doom and gloom. If you listen to the news, there are so many terrible things going on. I don’t watch the news. I don’t watch hardly any TV at all.
Opportunities are out there; you just have to find ways to solve problems.
No news is good news. How many direct mail letters are you sending out? It’s just the postcard first and foremost, not a letter. We’ve tried postcards. We have a smoking hot postcard that continues to perform well. How many direct postcards are you sending out?
My average was around 4,000 a week. I sent about 8,000 cards out. If you have to average it, I’m sending right around 6,000 cards a week.
Here’s the cool thing. This is a rockstar right here. I want to pinpoint this. He’s probably not going to point it out because the guy is the most humble, lovable, teachable, coachable, best friend you’ll ever have in your life. Something I love about Bob is the fact that he doesn’t just send out this mail. He sends it out weekly. That is huge.
Most people send out once a month, and that doesn’t allow consistency. It doesn’t allow consistent conversations, appointments, contracts and paydays. It’s that every single week, Bob stays 6,000 mail pieces going out every week, so he can have consistent conversations, appointments, contracts and paydays. This is crucial. What’s the response rate on that? That’s probably universal. It hovers pretty close to 1%. What is your response rate?
It depends on the marketing channel of the campaign, but it’s right around 0.7% or 0.8%.
This is fantastic. I want you to know how much value you bring to people. We talked about this briefly in a text message before we hopped on. Guys, we’re hoping to inspire and motivate you to let you know that deals are still happening. Don’t put the break on. Don’t pump the break. Now is the time to hit the gas.
What an incredible first interview that I’ve done this way, Bob. I appreciate you jumping on with me. More importantly, it’s a perfect example of going out there and staying steady, strong, and being consistent. I love that it’s nothing new going on other than you’ve increased maybe the marketing spend, but you’re still doing what you’ve always done, and it’s still netting the results that you’re looking for, which is phenomenal.
I’m looking forward to what the future is going to offer me.
It’s going to be very good because you’re consistent in a time when there’s a lot of inconsistency going on. You are going to do fantastic. One more thing we noticed about direct mail is a lot more people are pulling out of direct mail. It has almost revamped the power of direct mail all over again. On our end for our business, we’ve been doing other channels. All of a sudden, we’re seeing this bump and uptick in response to our direct mail. It’s because of how many people are not doing it anymore. It’s like, “Keep pulling out, guys, because I’m going to go consistent.” You gather in your list. Did you do anything special or did you just follow the exact thing on how we do it in the tribe?
My lists are the same list that pretty much everybody goes after. I use tax delinquent. I do absentee owners. I’ve had a lot of success with the Tom Krol list here in the Memphis area. I do code violations. I’m also working on building a list from driving for dollars.
What has this done for you, your family, future and lifestyle that might be different from your other 9:00 to 5:00? Have you seen it to be a blessing? Have you seen it like, “I still got to figure out the blessing side of it?” What does that look like for you now versus what it was in Corporate America?
I was always pretty frustrated working in Corporate America because someone else is telling you what your value is in an organization. It’s also very political. It would frustrate me more than anything. Working for myself, I have a sense of satisfaction. I get so much joy out of helping someone. I had a property from a gentleman who I worked with. It was his mom’s property. She had a stroke. She’s incapacitated. She needs to sell the property. There’s a car there that he needs to deal with. He lives in California and he had a car. He was like, “I need help. I want to donate it. What do I need to do?” I’m like, “I’ll figure it out. I’ll help you out.”
The next person that gives me a call, I go to their house. They’re like, “We want to sell our house, but we need a car.” I’m like, “This is funny how this works out. I know a guy.” I call him. I get the car connected. We go and pick it up. It’s been sitting in the garage for seven months, but it started right up. I’m helping the guy solve a problem with the car and helping the other homeowner get a car. I’m there to solve problems. It’s crazy how if you look for the opportunities, they’re out there. You just have to look for ways to solve problems.
Write that down. This is one of my favorite things. I get chills when I hear these things because it’s the way to do business. It’s not about real estate. We’re problem-solvers. It’s using your ears and mouth proportionally. Listen more than you talk and find out the situation. Be good at solving their problems. The byproduct is you’re going to get contracts that allow you to purchase their home. Bob is good at that. I wanted to highlight that. It’s been incredible to see you go through the wholesaling course. You came out to the SCALE course. What I love is everyone who walks out of here are like, “My favorite person is Bob Anthonie.” I love this guy. This guy is like a friendly teddy bear. This guy is the guy. I remember standing between you and Brian. If you can imagine, Bob is not Cody Hofhine’s height. Bob is a very tall gentleman. Do you play football?
I did. Brian and I are both 6’7”.
I’m standing between the two of them to get a picture, and my arms are like this to hold onto their shoulders. It’s been incredible watching you as you’ve gone through your journey. There are multiple times I’m talking to either my team, Mark or Tom, and I’m sitting there. In fact, someone said it over here. They said, “Bob is the GOAT, the Greatest Of All Time.” GOAT is a good thing. I talked to Tom, and I’m like, “Bob’s the GOAT. That guy’s the greatest of all time.” This is one of our favorites. Bob, any last things you want to share with our audience?
I’ll leave you with this. Consistency is key.
Write this down. This is not fluff. This is not him saying, “This sounded like a great quote.” This is what has led to his success. The guy is consistent. Bob, thank you so much. You could be doing follow up. You could be reaching out to people. You could be lining up the deals you already have. From the bottom of my heart, Bob, thank you for spending some time with us and helping uplift and motivate those that are going to be reading this now and in the future.
Cody, it’s always an honor talking with you.
Is there anything I can do for you?
Not at this time. We’ll keep on moving.
Thanks, Bob. See you.
What an incredible interview to help motivate you, excite you, lift you up, and let you know deals are happening. If you need help, Tom and I are here to help you. We’re going to keep pushing forward. We’ve got it at a price point that will fit most people’s budgets. We can simply get you in the game. As Bob said, now is the time. It’s going to get better. He sees it getting better. I’ve seen it getting better. I’ve seen responses getting better. If you’re looking for help, head on over to WholesalingInc.com and fill out a short questionnaire. Let’s get that jersey on you and get you in the game so you can get out there and start doing deals. Take care and have a blessed day.