Posted on: July 01, 2020

If you want to bring in more leads and generate more revenue, there is one key aspect you should look into: your marketing channel. Today’s rockstar guest has pretty much found a marketing gold mine, one that requires very minimal management, has virtually no competition, and generates $4 for every dollar spent!

Joe Theriault is without doubt one of REI Radio’s powerhouse students. While he generated leads using other marketing methods prior to radio, he loved radio so much that he went from 0 to 15 radio stations in just 5 months!

In this episode, Joe talked about his incredible experience using radio as a marketing channel and the phenomenal results he has gotten so far. If you’ve always wanted to give radio a try but unsure if it’s the right fit, today’s episode might just help you make up your mind!

Key Takeaways

  • How he generated lead opportunities prior to radio
  • His bread and butter before he tried radio
  • What attracted him to radio
  • What his experience was like setting up radio
  • Revenue he has gotten from radio leads so far
  • Biggest hurdle/challenge he experienced with radio
  • Advice he’ll give to those who would like to give radio a try

RESOURCES:

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Episode Transcription

Chris Arnold:
Welcome to the Wholesaling Inc. podcast. I’m your host, Chris Arnold. If you’re tuning in today, man you’ve got to hear this story. I’ve got Joe Tario with me today, also known as Joseph as well. What do you prefer? I didn’t even ask you that? [crosstalk 00:01:24]

Joe:
Yeah, childhood… Don’t call me Joseph. I feel like I’m an angel and I’m the farthest thing from it. Right? [crosstalk 00:01:28].

Chris Arnold:
I like Christopher. [crosstalk 00:01:30]

Joe:
Saint. Yeah, Saint Christopher. Yeah. No, no. Yeah. We’re all set. Joe is fine.

Chris Arnold:
I love it, man. So Joe, literally I can say this, is literally probably the biggest success story we have in REI radio to date. Again, we launched in December. Joe was one of the first students that we had. So he’s been with us five months and this story right here and the success he’s seen, honestly, it’s going to shake you up a little bit because you have students that come in and you give them a roadmap. And again, there’s some people like Joe that just get it and they run with it and you step back and go, “Man, that’s how it ought to be done.” Dude, this is changing your business, literally changing your business. So let’s get into it real quickly before we hop into the meat. Joe, give a quick background, man. Where are you located? How long have you been in the game? Just kind of give us a snapshot of who you are and your business.

Joe:
Yeah. All of New Hampshire I basically cover and then North of Boston. So we stay out of Metro Boston, but North of Boston. So Massachusetts, all of New Hampshire, a little bit of Maine is generally the geography. I’ve been doing it for about six years now. We started out fix and flip, thinking that I left my career as a machinist that if I just did one fix and flip, like that was it. That was what I thought I was going to do. It was just rehab houses and what it’s turned into now and there’s legit company with 10 employees and payroll and marketing budget and EOS attraction, this isn’t what I imagined six years ago. [crosstalk 00:03:05]

Chris Arnold:
Yeah. So you kind of went to, “I’m going to be this solo investor, solo entrepreneur,” to now, you’re sitting on a team. You’re moving into leadership and how to operate an organization. You mentioned EOS. If you’re new to the game, that’s a book that both Joe and I recommend you read called, “Traction,” because it’s kind of an operating system for how you run your business. So my company’s built off of it. Your company’s built off it as well. Now, you’re running this thing. You got payroll. You have literally a little bit of a monkey on your back. So lead generation, having the right marketing channel matters because you’re not just feeding yourself and your family, you got payroll to make. You got to continue to feed this beast in this machine. So before you stepped in to radio as a marketing channel, again, people are always interested. What were you doing prior to that? How are you generating lead opportunities?

Joe:
Yeah. The company was built on Inherited Property Solutions and the branding of that and really doing direct mail and being the one that really could speak to the niche of Inherited Property Solutions. So it was the direct mail thing. That was one because I could execute there and we would do really high. My cost per deal was real low and my return on investment was real high. I was the guy doing that, so that wasn’t scalable. We were putting out the most amount of bandit signs in the area. No one beat me in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Thousands upon thousands- [crosstalk 00:00:04:34].

Chris Arnold:
How many were you putting out?

Joe:
Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Chris Arnold:
What’s the number?

Joe:
500 a week. Yeah, yeah, yeah. So had driver doing… Guy putting them out, all that and I started off, my very first deal came from a bandit sign. So it was built on bandit signs, Inherited Property Solutions branding and we went into text messaging. Before anyone knew what text messaging was, we were one of the first Sherpa users. Everyone laughed at me. Brent Daniels laughed at… All the big players laughed at me with text messaging and now everybody is doing it. So it’s pretty funny to see, but I hate saturation and I hate competition. So here we are with radio.

Chris Arnold:
Absolutely. So of those three, before radio, which one would you say you had the most trust in that was giving you the best return? Because people are listening going, “Okay. I’ve heard of all those three,” but which was your kind of bread and butter, your favorite of those three?

Joe:
Yeah. The texting was really doing well for us, but it just took so much of the team’s time with data management and it’s just, I don’t know-

Chris Arnold:
High maintenance?

Joe:
High maintenance. Yeah. Thank you. It’s high maintenance. It’s not, I don’t know. I can’t even describe it to put it into words. I liked direct mail, but a lot of people are in that space. I don’t necessarily like it anymore. Bandit signs, there wasn’t anybody doing it at scale either here. So I don’t know. I’d have to say text messaging if anything.

Chris Arnold:
Okay. Again, that game has changed. I had the same challenge on the direct mail side in 2018. You said it. I hate over saturation. I hate when everyone starts to do a marketing channel and then the dollar for dollar return drops. Again, that’s why radio, I think is so valuable because there’s virtually no competition and we’re doing everything on our side to preserve it by limiting the amount of people that we teach this because I don’t want it to turn into what happened with text blasting, with other things as well. I know for you, that’s one of your concerns. This is working really well. I don’t know how much I want to talk about how good it’s been [crosstalk 00:06:42]. So let me ask you this question. What first attracted you to radio? You heard about it. What were a couple of characteristics to go, “You know what? I think I need to execute on this in my business.” What was it?

Joe:
Yeah. I met you and you didn’t realize… We met, but I don’t think you really realized what was happening at that time. I was watching you like a hawk and I caught you said something about radio and it triggered, my radar went up and I was like, “Radio. I never hear anybody on the radio stations that I listen to, except for Sam Marrow and his stupid, ‘I’ll sell you education classes.'” So my radar went up instantly when I heard the radio thing from you prior to you even having a class put together yet. So that was what drew me in is I knew you had a successful business and I was watching you basically. Once you said you were doing something, I was like- [crosstalk 00:07:37]

Chris Arnold:
And I remember that. I remember you picking my brain. We were sitting in Brent Daniel’s office [crosstalk 00:07:43] Arizona, and I remember sitting there in his office and I remember the questions just kind of started coming. I know it kind of had piqued your interest, but this was before we were teaching anyone how to do it. This was still kind of my secret sauce, something I’d been holding onto for nine, going on 10 years now. So I get it. So number one, virtually no competition. That hits you like, I don’t know anyone else doing it. What might be the second thing that attracted you outside of that initially?

Joe:
Yeah. So the big thing for me was I have a certain amount of leads I need to get each month, which equals certain amount of leads equals certain amount of deals equals certain amount of profits. So radio is semi predictable from what I’ve seen. If I put in X amount of dollars, I get X amount of leads, which there is variances in there, but I wanted marketing channels that require less from me to be in there having to do things. I want to be a business owner, not a data manager and having to go by data and spreadsheets. That’s not where I want to be. My big goal for 2020 was to do marketing channels that required less- [crosstalk 00:08:55]

Chris Arnold:
You don’t you don’t want to pick up a marketing channel and pick up another job.

Joe:
Yeah, yeah. Basically. That’s what was happening. With text messaging was I was picking up… I felt like I was owning a text messaging company. [crosstalk 00:09:06] You know what I mean? Data management, I’m not that guy.

Chris Arnold:
I agree. The phrase I use to maybe to best describe radio is, it’s set it and forget it. You and I relate. We know the pain of managing something that requires a lot of maintenance and the burden that, that creates on the team. It becomes a bottleneck and more than anything, it just creates frustration because you’re not going to get rid of those things because as you scale it, it just gets more and more complex and requires more and more management. The thing about radio is you scale it, it doesn’t require any work because the radio station’s doing all the management. All you’re doing is increasing your call volume, which you said was the initial thing you wanted to do. If I just need to make the phone ring, I don’t want to manage something on the backside that’s going to be a pain in the ass.

Joe:
Yeah. Yeah. [crosstalk 00:09:54]

Chris Arnold:
So somebody is listening, right? Let me ask this question. What was the experience in setting it up? We’re talking about the management of it, but scale of one to 10, 10 being an absolute time suck to set this up, one being man, this was pretty simple, man, shoot the audience straight. How difficult was it to set up?

Joe:
For me, it wasn’t difficult because I have a marketing person on the team. For me, this was on a scale of one to 10 of 10 being most difficult, this was really like a two or three from a standpoint of actually getting a phone number, setting it up in CallRail, getting a commercial recorded. The radio station is going to be called the commercial for you, so it’s not real hard there. To me, it’s relatively simple from us setup standpoint of things is I think it was one of the more easy and channels that I’ve had to deal with, really.

Chris Arnold:
Yeah. That was my experience too. Not only is it set it and forget it, again, the work obviously goes on the launch of something and I have found radio only has one hurdle. There are some things you set up to have multiple hurdles. Really, the only hurdle on radio is the negotiation piece. That’s it. You probably agree everything outside of that’s pretty like administrative; record your ad, all that- [crosstalk 00:11:11]

Joe:
Yeah, yeah. [Crosstalk 00:11:13] Yeah, for sure. The setup of it, yes, is the probably easiest part of anything that you’ve set up.

Chris Arnold:
Now the big question, everyone’s listening going, “Okay, great. Set it and forget it sounds nice.” Let’s talk about some returns. Is Joe actually doing deals on this thing, making any money? So you’ve been, let’s just get some context, you started radio five months ago and you’re on how many stations right now?

Joe:
We’re on 15 radio stations.

Chris Arnold:
One-five. So if you’re listening, the first thing you would probably tell yourself is, “If this guy went from zero stations to 15, this must be working because he wouldn’t be launching it at that level.” Then you and I were talking about, you have spent roughly about $25,000 on radio in that timeframe. How much do you have kind of in the pipeline, set to close, contracts with et cetera? What are you seeing on that side?

Joe:
Yeah. I got to break that down a little bit without getting super into the weeds, but basically $25,000 in marketing or hard costs. We just ramped back up heavy here in the past two weeks to go in at about $2,700 a week on ad spend. We’re at about $145,000 in revenue on the board not including, I forget how many listings we have, seven or eight listings, like literally listed. Plus, I don’t even know how many on the board and weeds in the funnel. The funnel’s full. I just literally, we bought a house today without buying it for 50; simple, easy breezy, buy 50, turn around and resell for a hundred. I just got a contract in on Cape Cod today, signed. Yesterday, we had signed a deal for 10 grand. I don’t know what to tell you is. I don’t know if that speaks enough volume for it working or not working, and just between yesterday and today. [crosstalk 00:13:04]

Chris Arnold:
I think I hear it. So lead volume is strong. Your boards filled up this. You scaled this. You spent $25,000. You got $147,000 on the board. On top of that, you’re like me. Not only are you doing the cash offer side, then you have this other revenue side that we didn’t even add in on what that’s going to equate to, which is eight retail listings because like us, if they don’t go cash offer, we’re going to list the property too. So that’s a whole nother revenue stream that’s going to be kicking down the pipeline as well. So if you’re listing, those results speak for themselves. Unbelievable for you to come in five months, do that. You and I were doing some math and kind of shaking this out. If you lose a deal here or there, but we roughly figure that your dollar per dollar return, that is for every dollar you’re spending, you roughly expect conservatively to get $4 back.

Joe:
Yeah. Conservative, conservative.

Chris Arnold:
Yeah. And again, that’s the most important number. Every dollar I put in this soda machine, how many I’m going to get back? With that type of ad spend, if you’re quadrupling your investment, let me just put it that way, that’s something going back to your original point, I need to have something I can depend on, something that’s reliable. So for me, one of my favorite things about radio is that it is reliable as well. Now, if you’re listening for the first time and hearing about radio, you don’t have to be like Joe and just go off to the races. That’s the way I’m wired. I’m doing the same thing, but know that you can get on your first station really inexpensively. How much was your first station that you got on?

Joe:
I got a little bit lucky if you want the truth. So I tried calling around quite a bit. It turned out we knew one of the large players in the area, one of the large local stations that has 11 radio stations on there and they were willing to ball with us. So I got, full disclosure, I had to work it. Don’t get me wrong, but we ended up doing a $3000 ad spend, which was 300,000 QM at first. [crosstalk 00:15:04]

Chris Arnold:
But that’s where you started. [crosstalk 00:15:05]

Joe:
That’s where we started.

Speaker 1:
Mine, when I started, Joe, was $1500.

Joe:
Yeah.

Speaker 1:
I tell most people that you can start and get that first station somewhere around $1000 to 2000 a month. You went a little heavier. You went to $3000, which is fine. But if you’re listening, going, “Dude, I don’t have 25 grand,” know that we snowball this thing. My first station was $1500 because that was the budget I had at the time for radio going back like 10 years. Well, we spend $27500 a month. Your goal, you and I were talking about is you want to take your ad spend up to what? About $20000 a month is where you want to be?

Joe:
Funny is what I have on the board that I have to spend basically to make what I need for revenue for the year, if it was up to me, I’d go to $30. [crosstalk 00:15:53]

Chris Arnold:
It’s scalable, man. I love something that we can invest in and it works, and then be like, “Oh, well I got to go find something else because I’ve already hit the ceiling on that,” and that was radio. You can go two grand to 10 grand, 20 grand, to 30 grand, to 50 grand. If you want to start going to another markets, take it up to six figures, seven figures. There’s companies that do that nationwide that spend billions of dollars on radio. So I love that it’s scalable. So I think that’s cool. Now, people are listening. Again, I always like to put myself in the audiences, kind of sitting there going, “Okay. This sounds great. We’re talking about all the positives. Give me the flip side.” What has been a challenge or hurdle with radio? Let’s just kind of give the audience both sides of the coin. What was the biggest challenge for you in radio?

Joe:
Yeah, definitely. Out of that gate, it’s no different than putting in offers to distressed sellers. Right? To a certain degree, it’s buying… I had to put it in my mind, “I’m buying distressed radio space,” and I had to take 20 nos to get one yes. That was the toughest hurdle was I thought this was going to be easy breezy. I’d call some radio. Everyone would be like, “Yeah, man. Let’s do business,” but that was not the case and I got a lot of nos, a lot of people laughing at the, and finally, we got in touch, just something shook out. Then it started to snowball, started to snowball. Now, radio stations, literally this week alone and it’s Tuesday, I’ve had three radio stations reach out to me, agreeing to my pricing.

Chris Arnold:
Agreeing?

Joe:
Agreeing to my pricing. [crosstalk 00:17:32]

Chris Arnold:
Tables have turned, have they not? [crosstalk 00:17:36] I hope you’re listening. I agree with you. Really,. If we’re being transparent, we are buying our radio like we buy our real estate; at a wholesale discounted price. That’s what we teach you. We tell you the number to buy it at, and then we kind of have to get to mentally understand that a station will do it because the station does not want you to know that they’ll go down to that rate. So they will. They’ll tell you, “We can’t do it.”
They’ll tell you that you’re crazy, et cetera, but it’s no different than buying real estate because if you were to tell the rest of the world that’s not in real estate that we buy houses on a regular basis at 60, 70 cents on the dollar, they’ll say, “No way.” That’s not possible because they live in a world where you pay retail. The same as with radio, we have to help our students make that transition to understand just like we do it on the real estate side, we go do the same thing on the radio side. Because we buy it at such a deep discount, that’s one of the key things that makes it so profitable, just like buying a house at a deep discount is what’s going to make your profit. You agree with that?

Joe:
Yeah. This is just spot on. One of the radio reps that we’re still doing business with, every time I talked to him, he’s like, “Joe, nobody has got radio at…” So if I would’ve called him specifically, we would have never gone anywhere. I knew the VP. He was like, “Nobody, we don’t ever sell radio at that price. No one calls us trying to buy radio. We sell them what we want them to pay for radio, and they either agree or disagree. Then they get on the radio station.” You came in and said, “This is what I’m paying. Take it or leave it.” So every time I talked to him, he’s like, “Joe…” So it’s really funny to see. It really is. [crosstalk 00:19:17]

Chris Arnold:
That makes me happy. That’s the secret sauce. That’s why I tell people, you have to have something honestly, like REI radio. I wish I could fully take credit and said I figured this all myself out. I had some coaches that helped me kind of overcome those hurdles, but you’re absolutely right. We are teaching people, not only a marketing channel that no one’s using, we’re teaching people how to do it in a way that it’s not been done before, a way that’s unique where you picked up stations. I’m sure that makes you feel good to know, “I got the best on radio in my entire market. I know that because my reps are like, ‘Joe, you got the best rate.'” That’s how you know it’s a winning strategy, and that’s the strategy that we’re helping people do.
So if you’re listening and you’re like, “Man, I’ve been hearing about radio. I hear these testimonials coming out now that REI radio’s been up for about four or five months.” We got students now like yourself closing deals, making it happen. So the proof now is out there. It’s not me talking about how great it is. It’s now the students coming in and going, “What Chris was saying was the truth,” because again, this has kind of been my secret sauce. Joe, you and I had talked about this candidly. It’s like, we don’t want a lot of people to know about it. People are like, “Well, Chris, why do you share this?” And I go, “Because I just realized I’m not trying to take over the entire United States anymore. So John, I’m not going into your market. I’m not going into other states. I’m going to stay in my market. So if I can help you, Joe, and another market do it, what’s it going to hurt me? Because I’m not coming to your territory. So let’s kind of share this value as well.”
But if you’re listening, the place start is to book a call. You got to make sure your market is open because we’re doing exclusivity [inaudible 00:20:53] market, particularly depending on the size. It might have one, two, maybe max three, if it’s a huge city, but a lot of these cities only have one or two people. But book a call, go to wholesalinginc.com/REIradio. Again, that’s wholesalininc.com/REIradio. Book a call before this is fundamentally all sold out and guys like Joe and I will be on the side talking about how our businesses are doing well, particularly with everything that’s going on because of radio.
Now, going back, you made a great point. The tables have turned. So you kind of had to humble yourself on that initial call. They don’t know who Joe is. You got to fight to get that first rate. I told you, what will happen over time is you’ll get branded in your area and then they start knocking on your door. That’s what you’re finding now. They’re seeking you out. So it’s no longer, “I’m Joe. This is what I’m trying to do.” It’s “Hey, Joe, what do we got to do to get you on our radio station?” Is that what you see is happening?

Joe:
I’ll tell you what I see is happening. All right? They want some positivity here. We played in front of 2.4 million QM last week. Okay? The state of New Hampshire has a population of 1.4 million and we’re in there. There isn’t a person that I don’t meet in real estate that doesn’t say, “Joe, if I hear another one of your damn ads again…” Everybody we’re coming in contact with is like… I had my cousin that does real estate in Mass and she’s like, “Joe, congratulations. You’re on KSS. That’s like a 900,000 QM station.” Then the radio stations are reaching out to me now saying, “We’ll give you the pricing.” The guy that laughed at me the most at [inaudible 00:22:26] was like, “You’ll never get on the Red Sox station. You’ll never get on,” begging me now to get on the radio station with them. You know what I mean? Hounding me, hounding me now. [crosstalk 00:22:39]

Speaker 1:
My laugh is because I experienced all this myself on my own and now, it’s so good to share it with someone like you because now, I know all this and I’ve went through it and I’m just laughing because now I got someone over here and I’m watching, I’m going, “I know exactly what you’re talking about.” If you heard QMs or whatever, all we’re talking about is the listenership. When he says over 2 million QMs, let’s just put it this way, that is a lot of people hearing that ad. Dude, the amount of branding that you’re getting for your business, the celebrity status that you’re moving to in your area where people are like, “Joe, I heard you,” you got to understand, and I don’t know… Here’s the next thing you’re going to experience. You’re getting a little bit of it now. It’s when all of a sudden, everyone starts to elevate you to celebrity status and they start to act a little bit differently around telling you… That’s the next thing that’s coming down the pipeline, Joe, because it’s everyone knows who you are.
It’s no different than the attorney that we all know on the radio, that when we see out somewhere we’re like, “Oh my gosh, that’s that attorney I hear.” It’s just happens psychologically in the mind, and that’s what you’re creating. I don’t know that you can put a price tag on that type of branding. Now, we’re getting into what Coca-Cola and Apple and these companies have done so well at a global level. You’re starting to do that at a local level and really create that brand new. So last question kind of wrapping up. Joe, if somebody’s listening, what’s kind of last thought you would leave them with if they’re like, “Man, should I make a decision on this? Should I move forward?” What would you tell them? I think we’ve said enough, but just bring it home. [crosstalk 00:24:10].

Joe:
If you’re in Mass or New Hampshire, don’t do it. Stay away from my area. Let’s just put that out there because that’s the kind of guy I am. I’ll be frank with you. Stay out. Then otherwise though, you definitely should. It’s a channel that is predictable. What’s really nice about this too is not 10 other people texting them. So generally speaking, if someone calls in from a radio ad, they don’t have somebody else that’s a professional to service them, only you basically. So it’s a really good place to be because even if you hypothetically, I don’t like missing calls, but if you miss that call, you get back to them. It’s not like PPC, pay per click, where it’s 10 other people advertising and if you don’t get back to them within one minute, they’re on to the next person. Here, you’re the only one. They’re calling you. It’s a different style lead. [crosstalk 00:25:02].

Speaker 1:
We’re not list dependent. Everything else is list dependent. Everyone’s battling over a list. I don’t care if you cold call, direct mail, RBM, text blast. The reason it’s over saturated because it’s just different methods going after the same list. We’re not list dependent. We’re hitting an audience that’s not getting touched or untapped. I’m glad you brought that up because that means it’s nice to go on an appointment where I’m not going up against five other wholesalers.
So Joe, man, I appreciate you coming on. I appreciate the candidness. I’ve loved this interview. It’s been fantastic. Let me say publicly, I’m super proud of you. I know what your future looks like. When I can see someone like yourself come in, run with this at this level, I know whatever other opportunities you get, man, you’re just going to crush it. So man, no telling where you’re going to be five, 10 years now, man. So I’m super proud of you and so glad this has been great for you. To the rest of you, again, go to wholesalinginc.com/REIradio. Book a call. Until next time, in which we add more value, we will catch you then. Thanks so much.

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