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!
What To Do When You Have No Money For Marketing With Ray Zhang
If this is your first time being here, I want to thank you. If you are a loyal reader, thank you for coming back. We have a great episode. I have Ray Zhang on and we are going to talk about what do you do when you want to market for real estate, find these discounted deals, do text message blasting, cold calling, and send direct mail, but you have no marketing budget? You don’t have the funds. What do you do?
Ray has probably the most creative ways to raise money for your marketing budget that I have ever seen. No one has ever suggested this, to me at least. I was excited when I was talking to Ray about how he was funding his marketing and he told me this. I was like, “This is bananas. We need to talk about this on an episode because if Ray can do this, everybody can do it.” I want to give Ray a warm welcome. Ray, thank you for coming back on.
Thank you, Lauren. Good to be here again.
It’s good to have you. I interviewed you in a previous podcast episode and you had said something that blew my mind, so I said, “Forget it. We got to do an episode on this topic.” It’s so helpful for the students that don’t have thousands of dollars to dump into marketing just in their pocket. A lot of people start out that way. A lot of people start out in our business wholesaling homes because they don’t have the marketing budget.
You had mentioned something about how you started raising money for your marketing and it blew my mind. I thought, “Let’s get right into it. I definitely want to do an episode on this topic because it’s so helpful.” Let’s get started. Tell us a little bit about yourself. Where do you live? What are your marketing and your investment strategy? Give us a little brief intro.
I live in Hawaii, a beautiful island. My market is Coahoma City. I came to America several years ago. I had nothing and I used to live in a crappy broken car. I started from nothing. That’s why I want to share with you some ways you can get some funds to start this business. 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. If you don’t have any money, I want to share this method with you to get a couple of thousand to get your marketing going. It’s not a way to do it all the time because wholesaling is the way to go if you want to be in financial freedom.
This is not something that we’re saying to go make a business out of. This is how to get your marketing funds to get you started in wholesaling houses. Ray, take us back. You came from China and you were living in your car. Did you work at the time? Did you have a job?
Wholesaling is the way to go if you want financial freedom.
I didn’t have a job. I didn’t work. I wasn’t allowed to work because I was getting a different visa. Now, of course, I have a green card, but then, I did not have anything but a car. I came to America as a student. They kicked me out because I was doing business in the school. They didn’t allow us to do anything. I lived in the car for a bit. I couldn’t afford the apartment, so I had to live inside. Hawaii weather is not too bad. It’s hot, though.
Your attitude on that is amazing that it wasn’t too bad, just a little hot. That sounds terrible to live in a car. I love that you have such a good attitude about it. That’s partially why you’re so successful already wholesaling. Ray is wholesaling land deals. He closed about $55,000 worth of land deals only in one month.
We closed two land deals in one morning.
He’s killing it. From living in a car to now $55,000 in land deals. You’re living in your car and you had to think, “How can I make some money to survive?” You’re just thinking basic survival like food and clothing. That skill, you were able to figure out how to make it work, and then now when you’re in the situation of, “I need a marketing budget,” you were able to draw back from those times. When life gets hard, it forces us to think creatively to support ourselves.
You probably surprised yourself about what you could do to survive during those times. I thought it was so interesting because you took that time. You’re in my virtual coaching program and you were saying some of your students said that they don’t have a marketing budget and you wanted to give them this advice. Tell us a little bit about how somebody can raise money from zero?
First of all, you can try driving for dollars, but that way only works for your territory market. You’re my coach and you’re doing virtual wholesaling. Sometimes you cannot go there and drive around, but you need money to do marketing. 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 value. Sometimes we don’t see things as valuable because we don’t like them, but you have to believe it’s valuable to other people. 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.
In the Bible, it talks about, “If you ask, you will receive.” That’s all it is. The method is you go on Craigslist. All you need to do is go to wherever you are. Let’s say I’m in Hawaii. You go Craigslist and under the for sale, there’s a tab called free. Save the page to your iPhone app and you need to click it and it goes directly to your phone. You can take everything for free.
You look at what’s valuable there. Some people give out dirt. Of course, nobody will buy that. You go to anything. I’m looking at the first page. It is a table. He doesn’t like it, but there are people who want it. In order to do this show, I did an experiment. After we talked last time, Lauren, I decided to do my experiment. On that day, I told myself, “I have to find something today to help tell people you can get something valuable.” I went on Craigslist and I kept looking. There’s a guy giving out computers. This is what I got, Apple iMac Pro.
There was some guy giving away computers.
It’s working in perfect condition. I’m looking at it and it’s brand new. 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. There are three platforms you can look for free stuff. First of all, Craigslist, under the free tab. Secondly, you can go to Facebook Marketplace. The third is you download an app called OfferUp and there’s a category that says free. If you go there and keep looking every single day, I guarantee you, you will find something valuable. The tip is once you find something, go grab it right away. Don’t wait. They won’t hold it for you, for sure.
After you get something for free by looking, you keep tabs on your Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, and OfferUp, then where are you selling it? How are you making money?
To determine if the item is valuable, you do comps.
It’s like real estate.
It’s like a realtor, you do comparables. How are you doing it is you go on eBay and you search for the same model of the item you got. Let’s say I’ve got this iMac Pro computer. I put everything there, how many gigabytes, the capacity, then 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.
You go on eBay, compare, and that’s how you find your comps. You look at the sold section.
The same item, how much it was sold for. I did that on this computer and it was sold for $400. I put my item there and there’s another tab called sell one like this on eBay. You sell the same thing and you lower the price for $380. That’s $300. How many postcards can you send for $300?
How many text messages? A cheaper method is the text message campaign. That’s what I do. That’s what I instruct a lot of my students to do. I use BatchLeads.io. You can go as hardcore as you want and text as many as you want, but what if we sent 500 text messages using the Batch Leads system and you do 500 a day, 5 days a week? That’s 2,500 text messages. Let’s do a monthly budget. If you do 500 a day times 5 days a week is 2,500 times 4 weeks in a month is 10,000.
Let’s say we’ve got 10,000 new sellers that you want to text message. You have to budget the list costs and you also have to budget the text platform. They have a monthly membership where you get 10,000 for $50. It’s super cheap. By the way, if you guys are interested in BatchLeads, use my code VIRTUAL and it’ll get you 50% off your first month.
Aside from that, they give you 10,000 uploads for the lower package that you choose and you still have to skip trace it. I don’t remember off the top of my head what the skip trace rate is, but let’s put in $0.14. Those 10,000 leads are $1,400 in getting the phone numbers and the data. Let’s say $1,500 to round up for the data. You’re going to text them, so that’s 10,000 text messages at about $0.03 per text, which is $300. That’s for the initial texts, and then you do have to pay for each back-and-forth text, but you don’t end up doing that many.
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. How do you raise $2,000 to start a marketing campaign? 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. $2,000 a month, you made $380 in a Mac book pro that took you how many hours to get?
Half an hour. I just go there and grab it.
Realistically, $2,000 a month, is that hard for somebody to do when they’re doing this method?
That’s another thing I wanted to share because eventually, there’s not a Mac book pro every day. The next step is once you have $500 in your pocket, here’s something else interesting you can do. Tom Krol introduced me to a TV show called Undercover Billionaire. This guy was dropped in the middle of nowhere and he is a billionaire. He was given $100 or something and he has to make a company in 90 days’ worth $1 million. That’s exactly how he did it. He grabbed free stuff. I remember he grabbed a huge tire or whatever. Once you have $500, you need to up your game and do something else instead of always grabbing the free stuff.
You need to have a strong purpose behind why you do what you do.
Besides real estate, there’s another thing everyone needs, and it’s cars. Every single one needs a car. I have a belief that no matter how crappy a car is, if it runs good, it will be worth at least $1,000. It doesn’t matter it’s ‘95 or a ‘97 Camry or whatever. As long as it runs, it will be worth at least $1,000. Some people are selling old cars for less than $500. If you don’t believe me, I bought a car for $400. It’s a limo. It runs perfectly. I sold it for $2,000.
You graduated from free stuff, then you’ve got your $500. Now you can start buying bigger ticket purchases and selling those, so you recommend trading cars. I’m sure if you guys google this, there are probably plenty of articles on how to do this successfully. That’s amazing.
You do the same thing. Go to Craigslist and you can set a max price limit of $1,500 or under as far as price. You click it every single hour or every half hour if you want to. Try to find some deals because to 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 tons of tickets and he was tired of it. His neighbor was complaining. He was selling it for $1,000. I said, “I can get it for $400.” You got to negotiate. It’s like real estate. You have to give them a price that you feel uncomfortable. If they sell for $1,000, it’s not comfortable to tell them, “I have $400 cash right now.” If you say that, what’s the worst case? They’re not going to beat you.
They’re not going to hit you.
Worst case, they say, “No, thanks. Maybe I’ll do $700.” You knocked off $300. Anything running, you can sell it for $1,000 or $1,500. You level up. You don’t have to grab the free stuff every day.
Now it’s less work, more money. In maybe 1 or 2 transactions, you now made your marketing budget that I’m suggesting, and then you level it up even more. In one month, if you’re doing what I’m suggesting, you’re sending 500 text messages a day and following up with those leads, working those leads, you are in the right territory, and you’ve positioned yourself correctly. You have the right disposition strategy and you know what you’re doing. All that stuff comes from good coaching. 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.
This is something that people can do for the first three months to get that $2,000 a month marketing budget that I’m suggesting. I know with my students, if they are doing exactly what I say and are doing this formula, they are closing deals by 90 days. Now they have their marketing budget for the next 90 days and they don’t have to trade cars anymore.
This is crazy. You have destroyed any excuse of, “I don’t have a marketing budget,” that anybody could ever give me with this episode. I didn’t even know this was the thing. I am that person that 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.
I am that person. I’ve given away tablets. I’ve given away laptop computers that to me were junk and broken. I personally started this business without any money as well. I would say you’re like the Dave Ramsey where you’re doing it with the cash you have. I put it all on my credit card and hoped that I would close deals. I’m a little bit different and I don’t recommend that for everybody. I was a little bit crazy.
I know myself and that I would die before I quit. I know that in myself. 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 quit and give up, and now they’re stuck with $5,000 in credit card debt. 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.
One word of caution, though, when you do this free stuff and car stuff, it’s addictive because you get everything for free and you’re high. You sell a car for a $1,500 profit. The process is extremely easy, but the process of doing wholesaling sometime before you get your first deal is hard for most people. People tend to move to the easier stuff and then ignore the harder stuff. You have to have a strong why, the purpose behind why you do wholesaling. Wholesaling will set you financially free. Those methods that I shared can keep you surviving. What choice do you choose? That’s the thing.
The quick penny or the slow dime. You say wholesaling is hard at first, but somebody who’s been doing it eight years, I wholesale houses in my sleep. I’ve trained a team and they do everything. I get on a phone call with my disposition manager once a week for fifteen minutes. That’s how I’m holding. We’re doing it probably now 60 wholesale deals a year volume for fifteen-minute phone calls. That’s how easy it is for me now.
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 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. You’re right. This is something that I could see you getting addicted to.
I know Gary Vee, I love Gary Vee, and he’s obsessed with it. He calls it garage saling. You guys can look that up. There’s a lot on that. Gary Vee talks about it all the time and he is addicted to it. Gary Vee is a multimillionaire and he’s addicted to garage saling because it’s addicting. This would be incredibly addicting to me if I started doing this. I want to try it just for fun, but honestly, I know myself and I would get way too into it.
As far as wholesaling virtually, a lesson to learn and see what will make it easier for you, but you have to do the work.
Listen to me with that, but if you want to talk garage saling, listen to Ray. I love that you shared this, Ray. First of all, 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 and you did what you could do to survive, and that was garage saling and selling free stuff on Craigslist, which then turned into selling cars and trading cars. Now you got into wholesaling. We met and you got into my program. I gave you a few key pieces of information. We worked through some stuff and now you’re closing $55,000 worth of virtual land deals, which is bananas.
It’s about $100,000.
I interviewed him not too long ago and he was at $55,000. That tells you how good Ray’s doing now from his garage sale days.
Thanks to Lauren and all the Wholesaling Inc. It changed my life.
Your story is inspirational, honestly. I know it’s going to hit and impact people, and that’s why I had to get you on again. People that are in this situation where they don’t have money to get started now know you don’t have to have money to get started. You can find money if you know where to look. Ray, thank you for giving our audience a place to look. I appreciate you.
Thank you, Lauren.
Ray, until next time. Thank you, guys, so much for reading. If you 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?
Facebook is fine.
If you guys want to learn more about wholesaling houses virtually and not just houses, Ray used my course for land deals. 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. Until next time.
- Ray Zhang
- Episode – Past episode with Ray Zhang
- https://www.Facebook.com/wholesalingincBe sure to join the Wholesaling Inc Facebook group
About Lauren Hardy
Lauren Hardy is a Virtual Investing expert and Real Estate influencer who owns multiple companies in the real estate industry including real estate investment, coaching, and software companies. She is also a Wholesaling Inc coach and co-host of the Wholesaling Inc Podcast.
Her experience in the last decade has been focused on real estate investing and creating products and services to serve the real estate investing community. If you are interested in investing in real estate virtually, house flipping, or virtual landlording, Lauren’s your girl.