Posted on: August 03, 2020

Do you want to give wholesaling a try but don’t have the marketing budget to get things rolling? Then you’ll surely love today’s episode!

Ray Zhang is both inspirational and creative. In fact, he went from living in his car to becoming one of the most successful wholesalers in the industry, thanks to his positive mindset, drive, and creativity.

In this episode, Ray not only shared how he used his creativity to raise money for his marketing, he also shared some of the wisdom and mindset that has helped him achieve the level of success he’s currently enjoying.

If you feel stuck because you have no marketing budget available, this episode is exactly what you need to hear!

Key Takeaways

  • A little about himself
  • Creative way to raise money for your marketing
  • What the core of his method is
  • The experiment he did
  • Three platforms where you can look for free stuff
  • How he determines the value of the items
  • Another interesting thing you can do if you have $500
  • How you can benefit from the help of a good coach
  • The importance of having a really strong WHY
  • How people can find him

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Episode Transcription

Lauren Hardy:
You’re listening to the Wholesaling Inc podcast. I’m your host, Lauren Hardy. And if this is your first time listening, I want to thank you for listening to us. And if you are a loyal listener, thank you for coming back. We have a great episode today. Today I have Ray Zhang on and we are going to talk about what do you do when you want to market for real estate, you want to find these discounted deals, you want to do all the things, the text message blasting, the cold calling the sending direct mail, but you have no marketing budget. You don’t have the funds. What do you do? Well, Ray has probably the most creative ways to raise money for your marketing budget that I have ever seen. Literally in eight years no one has ever, ever suggested this, to me at least.
So I was really excited when I was talking to Ray about how he was funding his marketing. And he told me this, I was like, “Whoa, this is bananas. We need to talk about this on a podcast, because if Ray can do this, everybody can do it.” So I want to give Ray a warm welcome. Ray, thank you for coming back on.

Ray Zhang:
Thank you Lauren, good to be here again.

Lauren Hardy:
It’s good to have you. So we were talking and I interviewed you in a previous podcast episode and you had said something that just blew my mind. So I said, “Forget it, we got to do a podcast just on this topic.” Because it’s so helpful for the students that don’t have thousands of dollars to just dump into marketing just in their pocket. Right? And a lot of people start out that way. A lot of people start out in our business, wholesaling homes, they start out in wholesaling because they don’t have the marketing budget. So you had mentioned something about kind of how you started raising money for your marketing. And it blew my mind. So I just thought let’s get right into it. I definitely want to do an episode just on this topic because it’s so helpful.
So let’s get started and tell us a little bit about yourself. Where do you live? What is your current marketing and your investment strategy? Give us a little brief intro.

Ray Zhang:
My name is Ray. I live in Hawaii, beautiful Island. And my market is Coahoma City. And I started about… I came to America about 10 years ago. I had nothing and I used to live in a car. It was a broken crappy car, but you know, just started from there from literally nothing. That’s why I want to share with you some ways you can get some funds to start this business.
So first of all, I don’t want you to get distracted by whatever you’re doing. If you’re already doing wholesale, then that’s great. But if you literally don’t have any money, I want to share with you this method you can get some, even to a couple of thousand to get your marketing going. But it’s not a way to do it all the time because wholesaling is the way to go if you really want to be a financial freedom.

Lauren Hardy:
Right. Yeah. So this is not something that we’re saying go make a business out of. This is how to get your marketing funds to get you started in wholesaling houses. So Ray, take us back, so you came from China and you were literally living in your car. Did you work at the time? Did you have a job?

Ray Zhang:
I didn’t have a job, I didn’t work. I wasn’t allowed to work because I was getting a different visa. But right now, of course I have a green card, but then I did not have nothing but a car. I came to America as a student they kicked me out because I was doing business in the school there. They didn’t allow us to do anything. So I lived in the car for a bit. I couldn’t afford the apartment or whatever, so I had to live inside. But you know Hawaii weather is not too bad, it’s pretty hot though.

Lauren Hardy:
Yeah. I mean, your attitude on that is amazing that it wasn’t too bad, just a little hot. I mean come on, that sounds terrible to live in a car really. But I mean, I love that you have such a good attitude about it. And I think that that’s partially why you’re so successful already wholesaling. And we have talked about Ray currently he’s wholesaling land deals. He recently closed about $55,000 worth of land deals, only in like what one month? Those transactions it only took you what, like a month of work?

Ray Zhang:
We just closed two deals this morning, land deal [crosstalk 00:00:05:45].

Lauren Hardy:
Nice. Oh my God, yeah, he’s killing it. So, I mean, from living in a car to now $55,000 in land deals. So you’re living in your car and you had to think, “Okay, how can I make some money to survive?” And I mean, you’re just thinking basic survival, like food and clothing and just the basics. But that skill, you were able to kind of figure out how to make it work. And then now when you’re in the situation of, “Wait, I need a marketing budget.” You were able to draw back from those times. And I think that when life gets really hard, it forces us to think creatively to support ourselves. And you probably surprised yourself as to what you were able to do to just survive during those times.
So I thought it was so interesting because you kind of took that time and now you said, “Well, gosh, your students…” Because you’re in my group, you’re my virtual coaching program. And you were saying, “Your students, some of them said that they don’t have a marketing budget and you wanted to give them this advice.” So tell us a little bit about how can somebody raise money from zero, with no money? How can they raise money?

Ray Zhang:
Yeah, of course. First of all, you can try driving for dollars, but that way only works for your territory market. But sometimes, you’re my coach, you’re doing virtual wholesaling. Sometimes you cannot go there and drive around, but you need money to do marketing and that’s how I came to this method to get at least a couple of thousand. The core of this method is you have to believe two things. First of all, everything has a value. Sometimes we don’t see things as valuable because we don’t like it. But you have to believe it’s very valuable to other people. And secondly, you have to believe some people do things you cannot imagine. They give out stuff that you never imagined they would give out. The only thing is to look. So in the Bible, it talk about if you seek, if you ask, you will receive. That’s all it is basically.
So the method is you just go on Craigslist. All you need to do is go to wherever you are, let’s say I’m in Hawaii. And you go Craigslist and under the for sale there’s a tab called free and you just go there and you save the page to your iPhone app and you just need to click it and it go directly to your phone. You can take everything for free. You just look what’s valuable there, some people give out dirt, of course nobody will buy that. You just go to anything. I’m looking at this, this is the first page. This is a table, he doesn’t like it, but there’s people really want it. In order to do this podcast I did an experiment. So one day after we talked last time Lauren, so I decided to do my experiment. I went to Craigslist and I tried to find… On that day I told myself, “I have to find something today to help tell people you can literally get something valuable.” So I went on Craigslist, I keep looking. There’s a guy giving out computers. This is what I got, Apple iMac Pro.

Lauren Hardy:
You got an Apple iMac Pro for free?

Ray Zhang:
Correct.

Lauren Hardy:
Because there was some guy just giving away computers?

Ray Zhang:
It’s working, perfect condition. And [inaudible 00:09:37] I’m looking at it, it’s like brand new. So like I said, you have to believe some people give out things you cannot ever imagine. If I were him I would tell myself, “Why do I give this out for free?” There’s no way, right?

Lauren Hardy:
Right.

Ray Zhang:
And so there are three platforms you can look for free stuff. First of all, is Craigslist under free tab. And secondly, you can go to Facebook marketplace. And then the third is you download an app called offer up and there’s a category that says free. You just go there and keep looking every single day. I guarantee you, you will find something valuable. And the tip is once you find something, go grab it right away, don’t wait, they won’t hold it for you for sure.

Lauren Hardy:
That is bananas. So after you get something for free by looking, you keep tabs on your Craigslist, your Facebook marketplace, and your offer up. Then where are you selling it? How are you making money?

Ray Zhang:
So how to determine if the item is valuable, it’s like you do comps.

Lauren Hardy:
Just like real estate.

Ray Zhang:
Just like a realtor, you do comparables. Yeah. So how are you doing it is you just go on eBay and you search the exact same model of the item you got. Let’s say I’ve got this iMac Pro, this computer, so I put everything there. How many gigabytes, what’s the capacity, and I put everything there and I click on the filter tab on eBay. There’s the option you can choose sold, it will show up the exact model sold for how much price.

Lauren Hardy:
That’s amazing. So you go on eBay, compare, and that’s how you find your comps. You look at the sold section?

Ray Zhang:
Correct. Exact the same item, how much it was sold for. I did that on this computer and it was sold last week for 400 bucks. So I put my item there and there’s another tab called, sell one like this on eBay. You just sell the same thing and you lower the price for a 380. And that’s 300 bucks, right?

Lauren Hardy:
Right.

Ray Zhang:
And how many postcards you can send for 300 bucks?

Lauren Hardy:
Yeah, or how many text messages? I mean, a cheaper methods is honestly the text message campaign. And that’s what I do. That’s what I instruct a lot of my students to do right now. And I use batchleads.io. And if you really do the… I’m just kind of doing the math here, okay? So I always recommend, I mean, you guys can go as hardcore as you want and text as many as you want. But what if we just sent 500 text messages using the batch lead system, and you do 500 a day, five days a week. That’s 2,500 text messages and let’s just do a month budget. Okay? So if you do 500 a day, times five days a week, is 2,500 times four weeks in a month is 10,000. Okay. So let’s just say we’ve got 10,000 new sellers that you want to text message. Okay? So you have to budget the list costs. Okay? And you also have to budget the text platform. I’m just doing the… You guys I’m literally doing this math on a scratch piece of paper.
So the list cost, you’re going to buy the leads. I forget how much they- Well no, they have a membership where it’s monthly membership. You get 10,000 for like 50 bucks, it’s super cheap. If you guys, by the way, are interested in batch leads, use my code virtual and it’ll get you 50% off your first month. Okay. But aside from that, they gave you 10,000 uploads for whatever package, the lower package that you choose and you have to still skip trace it. So let’s say, I don’t remember off the top of my head what the skip trace rate, but let’s just put in 14 cents. So those 10,000 leads are $1,400 in just getting the phone numbers and the data.
Okay. Let’s just roughly say 1500 to round up, okay, for the data. And then you’re going to text them. So that’s 10,000 text messages at about 3 cents per text, I think, which is $300. That’s for the initial texts. And then you do have to pay for each kind of back and forth text, but you really don’t end up doing that many. Let’s just add another 300 just for fun for back and forth texting. So I’m just saying like how many MacBook Pros will it take…
So $2,100. Okay. So say your marketing budget, let’s keep it to $2,000 to keep it simple. You need to raise $2,000, but you have nothing. You’re not going to get another job, you’ve got nothing. How do you raise $2,000 to start a marketing campaign? And that’s, to me this is a really… The numbers I’m giving you are real life examples of where I tell my students to start off with, if they have this budget. So 2,000 a month, you just made $380 in a Mac book pro that took you how many hours to get?

Ray Zhang:
Half an hour, I just go there and grab it.

Lauren Hardy:
You literally… So it took you a half an hour to do that. Realistically, $2,000 a month, is that hard for somebody to do when they’re doing this method?

Ray Zhang:
That’s another thing I wanted to share because eventually there’s not a Mac book pro every day, but the next step is once you have 500 bucks in your pocket, here’s something else interesting you can do. So Tom [Curl 00:15:15] introduced me a TV show, it’s called Underground Billionaire. So this guy was dropped in the middle of nowhere, he is a billionaire. He was given a hundred bucks or something. He has to make a company in 90 days, worth a million dollars. That’s exactly how he did it. He grabbed free stuff, I remember he grabbed a huge tire or whatever. So once you have 500 bucks, you need to kind of up your game and do something else instead of always grabbing the free stuff.
So besides real estate there’s another thing everyone needs, it’s cars. So every single one needs a car. And I have a belief that no matter how crappy a car is, if it runs good, it will worth at least a thousand dollars. No matter it’s 95 or a 97 Camry or whatever, as long as it runs it will worth at least a thousand bucks. But some people are selling the old cars for less than 500 bucks. If you don’t believe me, I bought a car two weeks ago for 400 bucks, it’s a limo-

Lauren Hardy:
A limo?

Ray Zhang:
… you know the super long ones. Yeah, limo. I bought it for 400 bucks. It runs perfect. I sold it last week for a $2,000.

Lauren Hardy:
Oh my gosh, that’s amazing. That is amazing. Okay, so you literally just graduate, you graduate from free stuff. Then you’ve got like your 500 bucks, now you can actually start like buying bigger ticket assets, bigger ticket purchases and sell those. So you’re recommending cars, trading cars. Which I’m sure if you guys Google this there’s probably plenty of articles on how to do this successfully, but that’s amazing.

Ray Zhang:
Oh, you just do the same thing. Go to a Craigslist, you can set a max price limit for like 1500 or under as far as price. And you just click it every single hour, if you want to, every half hour. Just try to find some deals because those people selling the old cars it’s a pain to them. This guy with the limo because the car is super long he parked there alongside his house, he got like tons of tickets and he was tired of it. And his neighbor complaining. I went there, I said… He was selling for, I believe a thousand dollars. I said, “I can get it for 400 bucks.” So you got to negotiate and it’s like the real estate, like what you said, you have to give them a price that you feel very, very uncomfortable. If they sell for a thousand bucks it’s not very comfortable to tell them I have 400 cash right now.

Lauren Hardy:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Ray Zhang:
But you say that, what’s the worst case? They’re not going to beat you.

Lauren Hardy:
Yeah, they’re not going to hit you.

Ray Zhang:
Yeah, worst case they say, “No, thanks. Maybe I’ll do a 700.” So you just knocked off 300 bucks. So you know, anything running you can sell it for a thousand or 1500. You level up, you don’t have to grab the free stuff every day.

Lauren Hardy:
Right, and so now it’s less work more money. Okay? So in maybe one or two transactions, you now made your marketing budget that I’m suggesting.

Ray Zhang:
Right.

Lauren Hardy:
And then you level it up even more because in one month, if you’re doing what I’m suggesting, sending 500 text messages a day and you are following up with those leads, you are working those leads and you are in the right territory. You’ve positioned yourself correctly, you have the right disposition strategy, you know what you’re doing. And again, all that stuff really comes from good coaching. I would say, don’t try to do it alone, get into a good coaching program. You could graduate from having to do this to now you’re a full time wholesaler and that’s how you’re making your money.
So this is something that people can do for maybe the first three months to get that $2,000 a month marketing budget that I’m suggesting. By three months, by 90 days I mean, I know with my students, usually by 90 days if they are doing exactly what I say, they really are doing what I say, and they are doing this exact formula, they are closing deals by 90 days. So now they have their marketing budget for the next say 90 days. And they don’t have to trade cars anymore. So-

Ray Zhang:
True.

Lauren Hardy:
Right? I mean, this is crazy. Now you have literally destroyed any excuse of, “I don’t have a marketing budget,” that anybody could ever give me with this episode. Because see, I didn’t even know this was the thing. Okay? Like I am that person that literally gives things away for free on Craigslist. I have two couches that I need to get rid of because I am getting a new couch delivered and it needs to be out of my house. And I was just going to give them away for free.

Ray Zhang:
Sure.

Lauren Hardy:
So I am that person, I’ve given away tablets, I’ve given away laptop computers that to me were junk and broken. So I’ve done that, I am that person. I personally started this business without any money as well. Now I did a more riskier, I would say you’re like the Dave Ramsey where you’re-

Ray Zhang:
Sure.

Lauren Hardy:
… doing it with cash you actually have. I just put it all on my credit card and hoped that I would close deals. Now I’m a little bit different, and I don’t recommend that for everybody. I was a little bit of crazy. I was also like… I know myself and I know that I would die before I would quit. I know that in myself and I know I’m resourceful and I had the tools to make this business work and figure it out, and I had that drive. I don’t recommend that for everybody because there are some people that just quit and they just give up, and now they’re stuck with like $5,000 in credit card debt. So I don’t recommend my method, I recommend your method. I would all day long say, do this, don’t do what I did. Don’t go calling up Capital One and increasing your credit card limit.

Ray Zhang:
Yeah. One word of caution though, when you do this free stuff and car stuff it’s very addictive because you get everything for free, you’re pretty high. And you sell a car for like 1500 profit. So the process is extremely easy. But the process of doing wholesaling sometime before you got your first deal is pretty hard for most of the people. So, people tend to move to the easier stuff and then ignore the harder stuff. But you have to have a really strong why, the purpose behind why you do wholesaling. Wholesaling will set you financial free, those methods that I just shared can keep you survive. So what choice do you do choose? That’s the thing.

Lauren Hardy:
Right? What do they say? The quick penny or the long dime? So, yeah, no. And that is… You know, you say wholesaling is hard, it’s hard at first, but somebody for me, who’s been doing it eight years I wholesale houses in my sleep. I don’t even… I’ve trained a team, they do everything. I get maybe like a phone call, I get on a phone call with my disposition manager once a week maybe, for 15 minutes. And that’s how I’m holding. We’re doing it probably now 60 a year volume. So 60 wholesale deals a year volume. And I literally 15 minute phone calls, that’s how easy it is for me now. And it is like, I can wholesale houses in my sleep. To me I am more intimidated by the car thing, that freaks me out. I feel like I’m just going to be stuck with an old Oldsmobile in my garage that I don’t know what to do with, that I’m parking on the street and now getting tickets. That seems more intimidating to me.
But yeah, I mean, you’re right. This is something that I could see you getting addicted because I know Gary Vee, I love Gary Vee, and he’s obsessed with it. He calls a garage saling essentially.

Ray Zhang:
Yeah.

Lauren Hardy:
And so you guys can look this up, it’s called garage saling. There’s a lot on that. Gary Vee talks about it all the time, and he is like addicted to it. Gary Vee is like a multi multi millionaire and he’s addicted to garage saling because it’s addicting. This would be incredibly addicting to me if I started doing this. I kind of want to try it just for fun, but honestly, I just know myself and I think I would get way too into it.

Ray Zhang:
Right. Just as far as wholesaling virtually just a lesson to learn and see what will make it easier for you but you have to do the work so.

Lauren Hardy:
Yeah, just listen to me with that. But if you want to talk garage saling listen to Ray. I mean, I love that you shared this Ray. First of all, it’s inspirational, your story is inspirational. You’ve had nothing handed to you. You came here and you’re living in your car. You wanted a better life, you did what you could do to survive. And that was garage saling, that was selling free stuff on Craigslist, which then turned into selling cars and trading cars, [inaudible 00:24:31] cars. Now you got into wholesaling. We met a few months ago, you got into my program. I gave you just a few key pieces of information. We worked through some stuff, you’re closing now $55,000 worth of virtual land deals, which is bananas.

Ray Zhang:
It’s about 100,000.

Lauren Hardy:
What? You’re now 100,000?

Ray Zhang:
Yeah.

Lauren Hardy:
Okay, crazy. So he’s now at a hundred thousand. Literally I interviewed him 14 days ago and he was at 55. So yeah, that just tells you how good Ray’s doing now from his garage sale days.

Ray Zhang:
Yeah, thanks to Lauren. And all the Wholesaling Inc. It literally changed my life so.

Lauren Hardy:
That’s amazing. Yeah, no. Well, your story is inspirational, honestly. And it’s going to hit people, it’s going to impact people. And that’s why I had to get you on again today. So you know, people that are in this situation where they don’t have money to get started, you now know you don’t have to have money to get started. You can find money if you just know where to look. And so Ray, thank you for giving our audience a place to look. I appreciate you.

Ray Zhang:
Thank you Lauren. Thank you Lauren.

Lauren Hardy:
All right, Ray. Well til next time, thank you guys so much for listening. If you guys want to learn more about garage saling, find Ray Zhang on Facebook. Ray, how can people find you? Do you want to do Facebook or your email address?

Ray Zhang:
Yeah, Facebook is fine. My name there is R-A-Y, Ray. And the last name is Z-H-A-N-G. So it’s pronounced-

Lauren Hardy:
Wonderful.

Ray Zhang:
Yeah, Zhang in English.

Lauren Hardy:
In English. And if you guys want to learn more about wholesaling houses virtually, and it’s not just houses Ray used my course for land deals. So anything virtual, I like to say all things virtual, houses, single family, multifamily, land, you name it, go to www.virtualinvestingmastery.com. I would love to have you a part of the program. Thank you so much, Ray, till next time.

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