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!
Failing Your Way to Success
Thanks for joining us. I’m excited about this guest. We spent our time jibber-jabbering together, talking about business and telling stories. We have one of our REI Radio students, Chris White. I’m excited for you to read his journey with radio and the success that he has seen so far. We will get to know more about this guy and his business. He is hungry. This guy is vivacious. I have enjoyed getting to know him. Chris, welcome to the show. I’m glad to have you.
I’m happy to be here, Chris. I appreciate the opportunity to connect with you.
People are checking in like, “Who is Chris? Who is this guy? Where is he from?” Give us a little backstory on you and your business.
I’m in Denver, Colorado. I’m a former Military Officer and Professor. I ran into a guy one day here in Denver that said, “You should get into real estate. I’m an entrepreneur-minded guy.” Long story short, I jumped into real estate. I have been failing my way to success. I saw you, Chris, on a podcast. I knew you were the guy I needed to work with, and here I am talking to you.
In your business, would you say you focus on wholesale or fix-and-flip? Are you trying to build a long-term portfolio? What is your overall strategy?
I’m focused on scaling the wholesaling vertical before I start jumping into other things.
You are going to read a little bit more about his journey, particularly your experience with radio and how it has worked out for you. Chris, you know my style. I’m going to ask you the questions. Also, I like to ask flip-side questions, “What was difficult? What didn’t work out the way that you thought?” It’s to give the audience the true scenario because I like the nuts and bolts of something and how it’s working as well. Before we step into radio, what were you doing before that to generate deals? Everyone is like, “Talk to me about lead generation. How are you doing deals?” What have you been doing pre-radio?
My first experience with generating leads was driving for dollars. I spent thousands of dollars paying, hiring, and firing drivers. I went through about twelve drivers, going through the hiring and training process. I’m printing out the maps, figuring out the ZIP codes, and dealing with all the issues that happen in between those steps with a new driver.
I’m firing them because they didn’t turn in their leads, and they didn’t get their quota. Finally, I found this woman who is a truck driver in her 60s. I didn’t want to drive trucks. She became super dependable. She was my go-to driver. I was paying her $2,500 a month to drive and generate leads. This was in Kansas City when I’ve first got started.
The challenge I was wrestling with on driving for dollars was the time and energy to manage that process. That’s number one. Number two, the deals weren’t consistent. I was wrestling with scaling that strategy. I knew I could scale it. I could go hire a bunch more drivers and have this huge team of drivers I’m talking to every day. I’m pulling my hair out and I didn’t like the idea of that. I started paying attention to what else I could do because I’m new to real estate. I don’t know what I’m even doing. I’m reading blogs, getting on podcasts, and paying attention.
I hear somebody talking about direct mail. I was like, “That sounds a lot easier than driving for dollars. I’m going to go learn that.” I started learning direct mail. I was spending thousands of dollars doing direct mail. I’m getting leads, and the leads are a lot easier to generate than driving for dollars. I like 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 throw money at stuff. That was starting to get stressful, especially when you are trying to figure it out in this market with direct mail.
Now, I’m doing driving for dollars and direct mail. I’m not getting the scalability that I want. That’s when I found you, Chris. You were talking about the radio. I had a mentor in the past that had brought up the radio. It was always in my brain. I respected that mentor, and then you started talking about it. I looked into you to see, “Who is this guy? Is he legit? What is he doing?” When everything was checked out, I was like, “I’ve got to try radio because these other things I’m doing aren’t happening the way I want them to.”
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, “This is a good fit for my operation?” What were a couple of those characteristics for you in the beginning?
There are two. One, it’s the ease of setting it up. I was attracted to that. Even at this point, talking to you, I don’t know another person in my market that’s doing radio. The curiosity of that got me.
Those are two big ones. It’s the idea of, “Set it and forget it,” because I’m like you. I have done direct mail, bandit signs, and those things. I’m not saying they don’t work. They are just a heavier lift and require a lot more management. 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’s set it and forget it.
It’s pretty much automated, and it runs itself. 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? What do they do?” They watch television and listen to the radio. It’s the exact place in which they are going to hear our advertisement. I don’t think a lot of people have connected those dots.
I was nervous to even come on this show with you because I don’t want the secret getting out here in my market.
Develop an entrepreneurial mindset.
You are laughing if you are reading. Chris told me that. He goes, “I don’t know if I want to do an interview with you because I don’t want the secret getting out.” I’m going to tell you the truth. People ask me, “Chris, why are you now teaching people about radio?” I held it close for the last couple of years because I had this mindset that I was going to go into every market in the country with radio. You launch other businesses, and you are like, “I don’t need to take over the whole country. I’m happy with the State of Texas.”
For me, it was like, “We can show these cards because if I can help Chris set up in Colorado, it’s not going to affect me in Texas. We are states away from each other. What is the big deal?” Let’s walk through your experience of setting it up. You joined REI Radio. You started to go through the process of setting it up. Tell us about it. Was it difficult? Was it a heavy lift? What was a little bit of the story there?
In relation to the other things I have already shared, it was the easiest set up by a factor of ten, if not more. I do have some experiences in the past on the phones. When it comes to radio, there’s only one. In my mind, I can only see one significant hurdle to the setup. That’s calling the radio station, talking to the salesperson there, and having enough confidence to get what you want. I’ve got experience on the phone, so that was super easy for me. There’s one hurdle.
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 cold calling and direct mail works. There are multiple hurdles that you have to overcome. With radio, there’s one hurdle. That is to get in with the sales reps and negotiate a discounted price, just like you do in buying a real estate property but that’s it. Once you’ve got that, you are good to go.” That was your experience.
Even though I do have experience on the phones, I was still nervous because I had never gone down this path before. I was nervous about the whole process. 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 as easy as setting up a lead generation vertical in your business could be.
I’m sure people are reading going, “Is that true?” I have been on the other side. I’m always the skeptical one. 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. It’s another REI student and he goes, “I don’t want to feel like when I add on a lead generation source that I added on another job.”
It was well said because there were certain sources that we have added on in our business and we were like, “We added an entire another job. It’s like another position or department in the company.” I agree with that. You are brand new. We have launched REI Radio here. We are at the place where students are getting in, getting negotiated, and getting up. You launched on the radio. What happened in the first week for you? Did you get any calls? Did anything happen? What was the action?
In the first week, I’ve got thirteen calls. If I remember correctly, seven of those calls were not motivated leads that I wanted to work with. The other four that I’ve got, I wrapped up two contracts in my first week.
It’s thirteen calls. Out of that, you’ve got two contracts. That’s fundamentally 1 out of 7.
Two of those calls were prank calls. Three of them were contractors that wanted to work with me, so 5 of the 13 calls weren’t relevant right out of the gate. We are looking at eight.
That’s an incredible conversion rate. If I compare that to my direct mail days on how many calls we would have to get a deal, it wasn’t 1 out of 4 or 5. It’s the lowest that I have 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.
You remove some of the little solicitations you get. You might get somebody calling you about listing the property. Every source is going to have a little bit of that. If you look at the actual leads coming through, it’s a high conversion ratio. That makes it easier to manage. You didn’t have to manage 200 calls to get one contract.
I’ve got my phone number saved in my iPhone here. When that rings, it says, “Radio lead.” I go, “Wow.” I answer it, and someone motivated on the other end will talk to me, “I heard your ad. It’s awesome. I love it. I had to call you and see what you are doing. How are you doing this?” It’s a fun call, is the point.
You do outbound as well. I believe in outbound. For you, would you prefer to run a system in which you are doing outbound? Would you prefer it if you were listening? He held up his phone, all he had to do was to answer? Would you rather do marketing where you answer a call coming in?
Yes, it’s a no-brainer.
I agree that both are important to balance out a business. Once you start getting down to preference, we would rather market, talk to people that call us and say, “I need to sell my house, set an appointment, and go execute the deal.” That makes life much easier for sure. On the flip side of it, what was the biggest hurdle in setting up the radio so far? What has been the thing for you that has been the biggest challenge if someone is reading, going, “Give me the other side of it?”
Frankly, the biggest challenge was the belief in my head. It’s trusting in you. There are a lot of nuances to set this up the right way and efficiently, which you taught me. It’s trusting in that like, “I have seen all this proof that Chris Arnold is showing me. I’m seeing all this proof and the steps.” It sounds too good to be true, to be honest with you. It’s like, “I’m going to go spend this money on something that sounds too good to be true.” I had to get over that, trust in it and do it. I spent the money, set it up, talked to the radio station, and sat back.
I can remember after I gave the station my credit card. I was like, “I did this.” I’m sitting here at my desk waiting, and then the phone rings. It was a prank call and I was like, “I knew this wasn’t going to work.” The second call was from a contractor. I was all excited like, “Radio lead, this is Chris.” I’ve got my notepad here. I’m ready to take notes on the property, “I don’t have a house to sell. I just want to see if I could work with you.” I was like, “I knew this wasn’t going to work.” My third call was a real lead, and I went under contract. I was like, “I knew this was going to work.”
We call that going from fake to fact. I had to go through it as well, “Radio sounds too good to be true. You are getting in, launching and getting calls that immediately.” I get it. I have been on the other side. I had to wrestle through that as well. You are absolutely right. That is the power of coaching to take you from fake to fact.
If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you.
That’s why I have coaches because there are times where I’m like, “I know and think that to be true but I need someone to mentally walk me there because now, I’m doubting myself and the process.” I totally relate to that. Let’s talk about the station you have. How much are you paying for a 60-second radio spot?
That’s what the rep said to me when I said, “I need to get this for $33.” She said, “You need to get it for what?” It’s $33 an ad.
What I love about radio is it’s extremely affordable. People are like, “There’s no way that you are advertising a 60-second spot during prime time.” It’s 7:00 AM to 8:00 PM, which is the highest listenership. We are not advertising after hours. We are not advertising on Saturday and Sunday. This is primetime radio. Chris, I don’t know if you know it. You have been with some of our students. We have students that have 60-second spots. The lowest I have seen is $5. That’s cheaper than pay-per-click and direct mail. It’s high quality coming through for sure.
Now that you have been running radio, I know what attracted you to it. Any other thing now that you have been running it that you are like, “Now, I have discovered this about radio, and I like this as well?” One of the things you talked about was the call you’ve got from the contractor. What comes to me is now you are beginning to get celebrity status, “Chris White, I’m a contractor. Who is this guy? He must be a player. This guy must be an expert. I need to call, 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.
I’m glad you shared that because I have gotten that several times. In fact, one of these deals I’ve got under contract is a land deal to build a fourplex on it. I had a developer call me and he said, “Chris, I have been listening to your ads. I have heard them several times. I wanted to call and see what you are up to.” Long story short, I talked to this guy. He is a big-time player in Denver. He is a big-time developer doing tons of development projects. He wants to look at this deal and work with me going forward in the future. Even the fact that I’ve got that guy now on my buyer’s list is going to change the entire game for me and the business.
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 who come, the easier it is to become successful because they are unlocking more opportunities that you and I wouldn’t even have access to at where we are at in the game. That’s the power of moving that up, which is great.
Chris, you are a good-looking guy. You’ve got your hair all spiked up. Go to YouTube and check us out. My YouTube is Chris Arnold – Real Estate. Type that in and subscribe. You can do more than just listen. You can watch us. Where do you think you want to go? You’ve got the radio. I know it’s new. You launched it. You’ve got some deals under contract. What are you thinking? What are you starting to envision in the beginning for yourself with radio? Is it more stations? What do you want to do?
I appreciate you asking that question because I talked to my station rep, and I was already using the stuff that you taught me. I have negotiated two other channels on the station I’m with. For those of you that maybe aren’t into radio yet, the station I’m working with has multiple channels. I’m on one of them. I have already negotiated the rates I need on two other channels to scale. I talked to another big station and negotiated prices with them. To answer your question, my goal by the end of 2020, if things go how I want them to go, is to scale up to $20,000 to $30,000 a month in radio on multiple different channels to dominate the Denver market. That’s my mindset.
You will dominate it with about that budget as well. We are right around $27,500. It’s where we are at. That’s six stations. I do feel like we own the airways in Dallas-Fort Worth with that budget, which is great. If you are reading, you are like, “I have been reading Chris talk about this. I have been waiting for students to come through this process and coaching. Is this thing for real? It sounds too good to be true.” We are telling you the opportunity is there.
Chris, you know as well that we limit the number of people that can come in a market because we are going to preserve it. Even though I’m sharing it with people, I’m not going to let it get oversaturated. This is what you’ve got to do. You’ve got to go and book a call. See if your market is open and ask questions as Chris did. It’s what I do. Start with some due diligence. The way to do that is to go to WholesalingInc.com/REIRadio. If somebody is on the fence now, they are like, “Should I do this? I’m making how we all are. Should I get off the bench in the game?” What would you leave the audience with? What would you tell them?
I would say one thing, “If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you.” Every entrepreneur knows if you are going to get to where you want to go. I want to get to where you are, Chris. To do that, I have to change. My skills, thinking, and method of operation have to change. Everyone reading this blog intuitively knows that. My message is, “If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you.” If you are reading this, you are thinking everything I was thinking, “It’s too good to be true. That’s going to be too hard.” Whatever is going on in your head, that’s a good thing because if it doesn’t challenge you, it’s not going to change you. If you don’t change, you are never going to get to where you want to go. It’s a no-brainer. Do it as long as you are not in Denver because this is my market.
Chris, thank you for your time. It was super cool to hang out with you. I appreciate it. Congrats on your success. Welcome to the side of the radio as a marketing channel. I know as I talk to you months down the road, as you grow and snowball this thing, we will be talking and you will be like, “This is one of the best pillars I have ever set up like it has been for us.” You’ve got in. You negotiated and followed the instructions. I’m giving you praise publicly for that. You are a phenomenal student. On the way you came in, you listened and attacked it. You are here on the other side. You’ve got some deals executed and ready to grow this thing.
Thanks. I appreciate you.
To the rest of you guys, we will catch you next time to add more value. I will talk to you soon.
- REI Radio
- Chris Arnold – Real Estate – YouTube
- Be sure to join the Wholesaling Inc Facebook group
About Chris Arnold
Chris Arnold is a 15 year Real Estate veteran who has closed over 2500 single family real estate transactions in the DFW metroplex. Chris is the founder of multiple companies that are managed by a US virtual team, which allows Chris to run his organizations while living in Tulum, Mexico full time. His passion for leaders has led to the creation of Multipliers brotherhood which serves the top 5% of real estate entrepreneurs out of the US. Most recently Chris has launched his REI Radio coaching program. This program is designed to teach real estate investors the marketing stream that everyone knows about but NO ONE is doing!