Posted on: June 17, 2020

Just like most successful wholesalers, today’s guest is brave enough to take risks so he can take his business to the next level. While he has tried several marketing channels, he didn’t stop until he found a channel that is not only super affordable but highly effective as well.

Chris White is a fearless wholesaler from Denver, Colorado. While he’s only been wholesaling for a year and a half, he’s not afraid to try new marketing channels so he can achieve his business goals. Fortunately, he discovered radio and it was a game-changer for him.

In this episode, Chris shared his experience setting up radio—the hurdles he encountered, what happened the first week after he launched his radio ad, and how much he’s paying for a 60-second spot, among many others.

If you are considering investing in radio as a marketing channel, you’d definitely find today’s episode of tremendous value, so don’t miss it!

Key Takeaways

  • How he generated leads pre-radio
  • What attracted him to radio
  • His experience setting up radio
  • Hurdle he experienced when it comes to radio
  • What happened the first week after he launched his radio ad
  • How much he’s paying for a 60-second radio spot
  • Where he wants to go with radio
  • What he’ll tell the listeners when it comes to radio

RESOURCES:

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Episode Transcription

Chris Arnold:
Welcome to the Wholesaling Inc. podcast. I’m your host Chris Arnold. Thanks for joining us today. I’m excited about this guest. We just spent the last 20 minutes just jibber jabbering together, talking about business, telling stories. I love it. We have, today, one of our REI Radio students Chris White. And man, excited for you to hear his journey with radio, the success that he’s seen so far, and really, get to know more about this guy and he’s business. He’s hungry. This guy’s vivacious, and I’ve just enjoyed getting to know him.
So Chris, welcome to the show, buddy. Glad to have you.

Chris White:
Happy to be here, Chris. Appreciate the opportunity to connect with you today.

Chris Arnold:
So dude, tell us man, people who are checking in. All right, who’s Chris? Who’s this guy? Where is he from? Give us a little back story on you and your business.

Chris White:
Yeah. I’m in Denver, Colorado. Former military officer, former professor, ran into a guy one day here in Denver that said, “Hey, you should get into real estate.” I’m an entrepreneur-minded guy. Long story short, about a year and a half ago, I jumped into real estate. Just been feeling my way to success. And saw you, Chris, on a podcast a couple months ago, and just knew you were a guy I needed to work with, and here I am talking to you today.

Chris Arnold:
Here we are, man. Just hanging out today. Now, your business. Would you say you focus on wholesale? Fix and flip? Are you trying to build a long term portfolio? What’s kind of your overall strategy?

Chris White:
Yeah, 100% right now focused on just scaling the wholesaling vertical before I start jumping into other things.

Chris Arnold:
Okay, awesome.

Chris White:
Yeah.

Chris Arnold:
So if you listen today, you’re going to hear a little bit more about this journey, and particularly your experience with radio. How it’s worked out for you, and Chris, you know my style. I’m going to ask you the questions, and also, I like to ask the flip side questions. Like what was difficult? What didn’t work out the way that you thought? Etc. To give the audience the true scenario, because I like the nuts and bolts of something and how it’s working, as well.
Now, before we step into radio, what were you doing before that to generate deals? Because everyone’s like, talk to me about lead generation, how are you doing deals? What have you been doing pre-radio?

Chris White:
Yeah. That’s a great question. So my first experience with generating lead was driving for dollars. So spent thousands and thousands of dollars paying drivers, hiring, firing drivers. I think I went through about 12 drivers, going through the hiring process, the training process, printing out the maps, figuring out the zip codes, dealing with all the issues that happen in between those steps with a new driver, and then firing them, because they didn’t turn in their leads, and they didn’t get their quota, and finally, actually found this woman who’s a truck driver in her 60’s who didn’t want to drive trucks, and she actually became super, super dependable. And she was my go to driver, and I was paying her 2,200, 2,500 hundred bucks a month to just drive and generate leads.
This was in Kansas City, when I first got started. And the challenge I was wrestling with on driving for dollars is just the time and the energy just to manage that process, number one. And then number two, the deals just weren’t consistent. And so I was really wrestling with scaling that strategy. Now, I knew I could scale it. I could just go hire a bunch more drivers and have this huge team of drivers I’m talking to everyday. Just pulling my hair out. And I just didn’t like the idea of that.
So I started just paying attention to what else could I do? Because I’m totally new to real estate, don’t know what the heck I’m even doing. So I’m reading blogs, I’m getting on [inaudible 00:04:23], because I’m just paying attention. And I hear somebody talking about direct mail. So okay, that sounds a lot easier than driving for dollars, so I’m going to go learn that.
So I started learning direct mail, and I was spending thousands of dollars doing direct mail, and I’m getting leads, and the leads are a lot easier to generate than driving for dollars. So I’m really liking that. But the cost to generate a lead was a lot higher, and I don’t have a lot of money. I’m not sitting on piles of cash where I could just throw money at stuff. And so, that was starting to get stressful.

Chris Arnold:
Yeah, a little cumbersome, might be the word.

Chris White:
Especially when you’re just trying to figure it out in this market. Direct mail. So now I’m doing driving for dollars, I’m doing direct mail. I’m not really getting the scalability that I want, and that’s when I found you, Chris. And you’re talking about radio. And I had a mentor in the past that had brought up radio, and it was always in my brain, and I really respected that mentor. And then you started talking about it, and obviously I looked into to you to see who is this guy? Is he legit? What’s he doing? And everything checked out. And I was like, “All right, I got to try radio, because these other things I’m doing just aren’t happening the way I want them to.”

Chris Arnold:
Let’s do it. Absolutely. Cool. So what attracted you initially to radio as a marketing channel? As you sized it up, you looked at some of the different benefits, what made you go, “You know what? I think this is a good fit for my operation.” What were a couple of those characteristics for you in the beginning?

Chris White:
Really, two. One, the ease of setting it up.

Chris Arnold:
That’s important.

Chris White:
Really attracted me.

Chris Arnold:
It really is.

Chris White:
I was attracted to that. The ease of setting it up, and the fact that I don’t know, even at this point talking to you, another person in my market that’s doing radio.

Chris Arnold:
Yeah.

Chris White:
So I was just, the curiosity of that really got me.

Chris Arnold:
Those are two big ones. It’s the idea of a set it and forget it, right? Because I’m like you. I’ve done the direct mail, I’ve done the bandit signs, I’ve done those things. And again, I’m not saying they don’t work. They are just a heavier lift, and they require a lot more management. And the thing I do appreciate about radio, the same as you, is once you set it up, which it’s not a huge lift, it is a set it and forget it, pretty much is automated and runs itself.
And I agree, it’s crazy to think as long as radio has been around, why people have not utilized it to find motivated sellers. Particularly when our target audience is over the age of 50, and what do they do? They watch television, and they listen to the radio. It’s the exact place in which they are going to hear our advertisement, but I don’t think a lot of people have connected those dots.

Chris White:
100%. I was nervous to even come on this podcast with you today, because I don’t want the secret to get out here of my market.

Chris Arnold:
You’re laughing if you’re listening. Chris actually told me that. He goes, “I don’t know if I want to do an interview with you, because I don’t want this secret to get out.” And I’m going to tell you the truth, people ask me, “Chris, why are you now teaching people about radio?” I held it really close now for the last eight years, because I had this mindset that I was going to go into every market in the country with radio, and then you kind of launch other businesses, and you’re like, “I don’t need to take over the whole country. I’m happy with the state of Texas.”
And so for me, it was like, okay, we can show these cards, because if I can help Chris set up in Colorado, it’s not going to effect me in Texas. We’re states away from each other, so what’s the big deal?
So let’s walk through your experience of setting it up. You join REI Radio, you start to go through the process of setting it up. Tell us about it. Was it difficult? Was it a heavy lift? What was kind of a little bit of the story there?

Chris White:
Well, in relation to the other things I’ve already shared, it was the easiest setup by a factor of 10, if not more. Now, I do have some experience in the past on the phones, and I think, when it comes to radio, there’s really only one… In my mind right now, I can only see one really significant hurdle to the setup, and that’s just calling the radio station and talking to the salesperson there, and having enough confidence to get what you want. And like I said, I’ve got experience on the phone, so that was like, super easy for me.

Chris Arnold:
Yeah.

Chris White:
But that’s like, there’s one hurdle.

Chris Arnold:
It’s funny you say that. You and I have never talked about it, but I tell this to my team that helps train. I go, “We have a marketing program that has one hurdle. Let’s compare that to something like, again, cold calling works, direct mailing works. There are multiple hurdles that you have to overcome. With radio, there’s one hurdle, and that is get in with the sales reps and negotiate a discounted price, just like you do buying a real estate property.” But that’s it. Once you got that, you’re good to go. And that was your experience.

Chris White:
Well, and I will say, even though I do have experience on the phones, I still was nervous, because I’d never gone down this path before. I was nervous about the whole process, but looking back on it, it was the easiest sell, if you want to look at it that way. Because I did have to sell what I wanted to their sales rep. It was easy. It was easy. I think it was as easy as setting up a lead generation vertical in your business could be.

Chris Arnold:
Right, right. And I get it. I’m sure people are listening going, “Really? Is that true?” And I’ve been on the other side, I’m always the skeptical one.

Chris White:
Right.

Chris Arnold:
But honestly, the thing that I love about radio the most is it’s one of the lightest lifts when it comes to launching a marketing program. I had someone tell me that I interviewed, another REI student, and he goes, “I don’t want to feel like when I add on a lead generation source that I just added on another job.”

Chris White:
Right.

Chris Arnold:
So well said, because there are certain sources that we’ve added on in our business and we’re like, “Man, we just added an entire other job.”

Chris White:
Right.

Chris Arnold:
It’s like another position or department in the company. So I agree with that.
So now, you’re brand new. Again, we’ve launched REI Radio here, just a few months old. So we’re at the place now where students are getting in, getting negotiated, getting up. You launch on radio, and what happens in the first week for you? Did you get any calls? Did anything happen? What was the action?

Chris White:
Yeah, in the first week, I got 13 calls. If I remember correctly, seven of those calls were not really motivated leads that I really wanted to work with, but the other four that I got, I wrapped up two contracts in my first week.

Chris Arnold:
Wow. So 13 calls, and out of that you got two contracts.

Chris White:
Right.

Chris Arnold:
That’s fundamentally one out of six, one out of seven.

Chris White:
Oh, two of those calls were prank calls. Two of them were prank calls, three of them were contractors that wanted to work with me. So five of the 13 calls just weren’t relevant right out of the gate. So really, we’re looking at… Is that eight? 13 minus five is eight.

Chris Arnold:
That’s an incredible conversion rate. If I compare that to my direct mail days on how many calls we’d have to get to get a deal, it definitely wasn’t one out of four or five. It’s the lowest, Chris, that I’ve seen out of any lead generation source I have. We have the highest conversion. Meaning it takes the least amount of quality calls coming in. So yeah, remove some of the little solicitation you get, you might get somebody calling you about listing the property. Again, every source is going to have a little bit of that. But if you look at the actual leads coming through, man, it’s a high conversion ratio.
So that makes it easier to manage, don’t you agree? You didn’t have to manage 200 calls to get one contract.

Chris White:
Right. I mean, I’ve got my phone number saved in my iPhone here, and when that rings, it says, “Radio lead.” And I just go, “Oh wow.” I answer it, and someone [inaudible 00:11:46] on the other end to talk to me. “Heard your ad, it’s awesome. I love it. I had to call you and see what you’re doing. How are you doing this?” It’s a fun call, is the point. It’s an easy, fun call.

Chris Arnold:
And you do outbound, as well. And again, I believe in outbound. But for you, would you prefer to run a system in which you’re doing outbound, or would you prefer… If you’re listening, he literally just held up his phone. All he had to do was answer it. Would you rather do marketing where you just answer a call coming in?

Chris White:
Yeah. I mean, it’s a no brainer.

Chris Arnold:
It’s a no brainer.

Chris White:
It’s a no brainer.

Chris Arnold:
And again, I agree that both are important to balance out a business, but once you start getting down to preference, we’d rather just market and talk to people that call us and say, “Hey I need to sell my house,” set an appointment, and go execute the deal. That just makes life much, much easier, for sure.
So, let me ask you this. What was the biggest, again, the flip side of it, what was the biggest hurdle in setting up radio so far? What’s been the thing for you that’s been the biggest challenge? If someone’s listening going, “Okay, give me the other side of it.” What’s been the biggest challenge?

Chris White:
Frankly, the biggest challenge was the belief in my head. Just trusting, really, in you. And there’s a lot of nuances to really set this up the right way, and efficiently. Which you taught me. But just trusting in that. Like, “All right, I’ve seen all this proof that Chris is showing me. That Chris Arnold is showing me. I’m seeing all this proof. And I’m seeing the steps, and it sounds too good to be true, to be honest with you. I’m going to go spend this money on something that really sounds too good to be to be true?” I just had to get over that, and just trust in it, and just do it. And spend the money, set it up, talk to the radio station, and sit back.
And I can remember, after I gave the station my credit card, and I was like, “I just did this.” And I’m just waiting. I’m just sitting here at my desk waiting. Then the phone rings. And it’s a prank call, and I’m like, “I knew this wasn’t going to work. Dang it.” And then the second call, I think, was a contractor. And I was all excited. “Oh radio lead. Hey, this is Chris.” I got my notepad here I keep by me. And I’m ready to take notes on the property, and… “Oh hey, listen, I don’t have a house to sell, I just want to see if I could work with you.”
And I’m like, “Dang it. I knew this wasn’t going to work.” And then my third call was a real lead, and I went under contract. And I was like, “I knew this was going to work.”

Chris Arnold:
We call that going from fake to fact. And man, I had to go through it as well, right. Radio sounds too good to be true. You guys are really getting in and launching and getting calls that immediately. And I get it. I’ve been on the other side. I had to wrestle with that, as well. And so, you’re absolutely right, and I think that is the power of coaching, to take you from faith to fact. It’s why I have coaches. Because there’s times where I’m like, I know and I think that to be true, but I need someone to mentally walk me there. Because right now, I’m just kind of doubting myself, doubting the process. I totally, totally relate to that.
Now, for those listening, let’s talk about the station you have. How much are you paying for a 60 second radio spot right now?

Chris White:
33 dollars.

Chris Arnold:
What?

Chris White:
33 dollars. And that’s actually… That’s what the rep said to me when I said, “I need to get this for 33 dollars.” She said, “What?” 33 dollars an ad.

Chris Arnold:
So, if you’re listening, what I love about radio is it’s extremely affordable. And people are like, “There’s no way that you’re advertising a 60 second spot during primetime,” 7 a.m. to 8 p.mm, which is the highest listenership. We’re not advertising after hours, we’re not advertising on Saturday and Sunday. This is primetime radio.
And Chris, I don’t know if you know. You’ve been in with some of our students. We have students that have 60 seconds spots. I think the lowest I’ve seen right now is five dollars.

Chris White:
Oh wow.

Chris Arnold:
We had someone pick up at five dollars.

Chris White:
Oh wow.

Chris Arnold:
Which, that’s cheaper than paper click. It’s cheaper than direct mail, and again, it’s high quality coming through, for sure. So I love it.
So now that you’ve been running radio, I know what attracted you to it. Any other thing, now that you’ve been running it, that you’re like, “Now I’ve kind of discovered this about radio, and I like this, as well.” Because one of the things you talked about was the call you got from the contractor. What comes to me is now you’re beginning to get celebrity status. “Oh, Chris White. Okay, I’m a contractor. Who’s this guy? He must be a player. This guy must be an expert. I need to call and get to know him, and offer my services.” I don’t know if you picked up on that, but that’s the beginning of celebrity status for you.

Chris White:
I’m glad you shared that, because I’ve gotten that several times. In fact, one of these deals I just got under contract is a land deal to build a four-plex on it, and had a developer call me two days ago, and he said, “Hey Chris, I’ve been listening to your ads. I’ve heard them several times. And I just wanted to call and see what you’re up to.”
Long story short, I talked to this guy. He’s a big time player in Denver. He’s a big time developer, doing tons of development projects, and he wants to look at this deal, and wants to work with me going forward in the future. So even just the fact that I’ve got that guy now on my buyer’s list is going to change the entire game for me in the business.

Chris Arnold:
Absolutely. And man, you can’t underestimate the power of having celebrity status in your market. Because here’s what happens at celebrity status: You become what we call “magnetic.” And you begin to attract opportunities that you wouldn’t get otherwise. That’s why the more successful people become, the easier it is to become successful, because they’re actually unlocking more opportunities that Chris, you and I wouldn’t even have access to at where we’re at in the game. That’s just the power of it. That’s the power of really moving that up, which is great.
And let me remind you. If you’re listening on iTunes, and if you want to put a face with the name, C-Chri. Chris, you’re a good looking guy. Got your hair all spiked up. Got my hair spiked. I mean, go to YouTube, check us out. You can watch this, as well.
So YouTube is Chris Arnold Real Estate. Type that in, and definitely subscribe. And you can do more than just listen, you can watch us.
So let me ask you this. Where do you think you want to go now? You’ve got radio. Again, I know it’s new. You’ve just launched. You’ve got some deals under contract. But what are you thinking? What are you starting to envision now in the beginning for yourself with radio? More stations? What do you want to do?

Chris White:
Yeah. I appreciate you asking that question, because just two days ago, I talked to my station rep, and already using the stuff that you’ve taught me, I’ve negotiated two other channels on the station I’m with. So stations have multiple channels, for those of you watching that maybe aren’t into radio yet. So the station I’m working with has multiple channels. I’m on one of them. I’ve already negotiated the rates I need on two other channels to scale. And I just talked to another big station yesterday and negotiated prices with them.
So to answer your question, my goal, by the end of the year, if things go how I want them to go, is to scale up to 20-30,000 a month in radio on multiple different channels, just to dominate the Denver market. That’s my mindset.

Chris Arnold:
And you’ll dominate it with about that budget, as well. So we’re right around 27,500 is where we’re at.

Chris White:
Okay.

Chris Arnold:
That’s six stations, and man, I really do feel like we own the airways in Dallas Fort Worth with that budget, which is great. So I love it.
So if you’re listening, you’re like, “Man, I’ve been hearing Chris talk about this, I’ve been waiting for students to come through this process, through this coaching. Is this thing for real? Sounds too good to be true,” again, we’re telling you, the opportunity’s there. Chris, you know as well that we limit the amount of people that can come in in a market, because we are going to preserve it, even though I’m sharing it with people. I’m definitely not going to let it get oversaturated.
So this is what you got to do, man. You got to go, and you got to book a call. See if your market’s open. And ask questions, just like Chris did. It’s what I do. Start with some due diligence. But the way to do that is to go to WholesalingInc.com/REIradio. Again WholesalingInc.com/REIradio.
Chris, if somebody’s on the fence right now, and they’re like, “Man, should I do this?” You know how we all are, right? It’s like, should I get off the bench and in the game? What would you leave the audience with today? What would you tell them?

Chris White:
I would say one thing. I would say if it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you. And ever entrepreneur knows if you’re going to get to where you want to go… Like I want to get to where you are, Chris. And I know in order to do that, I have to change. My skills have to change, my thinking has to change, my method of operation has to change. I think everyone watching this podcast intuitively knows that.
So my message is if it doesn’t challenge, you it won’t change you. So if you’re listening to this and you’re thinking everything I was thinking, which is too good to be true, it’s going to be too hard, or whatever’s going on in your head, that’s a good thing. That’s a good thing. Because if it doesn’t challenge you, it’s not going to change you. And if you don’t change, you’re never going to get to where you want to go. So it’s a no brainer. Just do it. As long as you’re not in Denver.

Chris Arnold:
Exactly right.

Chris White:
Because this is my market.

Chris Arnold:
That’s your market. Stay out of it.

Chris White:
You’ve got to do it. It’s a no brainer.

Chris Arnold:
I get it. Got to be protective of it, as well. So I love it, I love it.
Well man, Chris. Thank you for your time. Super cool to hang out with you. I appreciate it. Congrats on your success. Welcome to this side of radio as a marketing channel. Man, I know as I talk to you months down the road, as you grow and snowball this thing, we’ll be talking, and you’ll be like, “Man, this is one of the best fillers I’ve ever set up,” just like it’s been for us. So congrats, buddy.
And, to you, man, you got in, you negotiated, you followed the instructions. So I’m giving you praise publicly for that. You’re a phenomenal student, on the way you came in, you listened, you attacked it. And boom. You’re here on the other side, you got some deals executed, and ready to grow this thing. So I appreciate it.

Chris White:
Thanks, bro. I appreciate you.

Chris Arnold:
All right. To the rest of you guys, we will catch you next time to add more value. Talk to you soon.

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