Posted on: August 24, 2020

If your sales and negotiation skills can use some polishing, today’s your lucky day! This episode’s guest is a pro at both and he candidly provided several helpful tips to help you out.

Curtis Kupfersmith is a powerhouse wholesaler, real estate professional, and sales coach. And when it comes to sales and negotiations, he’s in a league of his own.

In this episode, Curtis shared some of the techniques that has helped him achieve the massive success he’s been enjoying for many years.

This show is jam-packed with valuable insights so ensure you have a pen and paper handy!

Key Takeaways

  • How he got into real estate
  • Average number of deals he does yearly
  • How he markets to people on his chosen list
  • How he makes direct mails work
  • Quick tip to add value to mails
  • What his philosophy is
  • Why it’s ideal to give people options
  • How he delivers his offers
  • Why trust is crucial when negotiating
  • How people can get ahold of him

RESOURCES:

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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 tuning in to our podcast, I want to welcome you. We talk all things real estate investing, wholesaling, and specifically, I like to focus on virtual wholesaling. Today we have an awesome guest. He’s a good friend of mine. His name is Curtis Kupfersmith. I met Curtis in Oklahoma. Actually, that is my market. I am in Oklahoma and Curtis and I know each other because we’re both in the business. So Curtis, I asked him to come on our show today because he is amazing with sales and he’s amazing with negotiating off-market deals with sellers at very good discounts so I wanted to pick his brain a little bit about seller negotiation. How does he handle his seller leads? I wanted to get really micro about it. How does he talk to sellers? What’s his script? What does he say? How does he get these good deals? So this episode is going to be jam-packed with tons of practical information. Curtis, how are you doing?

Curtis Kupfersmith:
I’m good. How are you today?

Lauren Hardy:
I’m good. I’m good. Thanks for coming on.

Curtis Kupfersmith:
Thanks for having me. I’m excited.

Lauren Hardy:
Awesome. Well, we’ve known each other for a while. I mean, you and me, I feel like every time we get on the phone, we just blab and blab and talk.

Curtis Kupfersmith:
I know. We end up talking for way too long every time.

Lauren Hardy:
Every time. It’s going to be good. So Curtis, tell us about yourself.

Curtis Kupfersmith:
So I’m originally from Kansas and I moved to Oklahoma City in 2012, I believe, and so right around the time that I moved here, I ended up getting into real estate. I got my real estate license here because when I was 19, I bought my first house in Texas and it was a fluke deal. It was the lady I worked with, went through a divorce, she got the house and she was just basically telling me she just wanted to get rid of it. I didn’t anything about real estate but I knew that this was really cheap, and so I ended up going to every little bank in town the next day and begging them for money and this old man who was the president of that bank, he was like, “Look, I can’t give you a loan through the bank. You don’t have any credit. You have nothing. But I believe in you. I’ll give you a personal loan.
So I got a personal loan from this guy. Bought this house. It was two bed, two bath on four acres and it had a barn and I had a horse at the time so it worked out really well, and my payment was $263. I was like, when I first got it, I was like, “Hell yeah, this is the cheapest place I’ve ever lived. This is awesome.” And then I read Rich Dad Poor Dad and that just messed my whole world up, and so I put my house up for lease on Craigslist. Didn’t really think anybody would call and the next day, my phone blew up and so I leased that house for $1200 a month. So I’m thinking, “Oh my gosh, this is why people like rental properties. I’m making $1000 a month on this house.” Not realizing that that’s not very common, but that’s how I got into it.
Then I moved to Oklahoma and when I moved here, I wanted to buy houses here and so I got my license just to get into rental properties. I started out just as an individual agent, selling people’s personal properties. Then fast forward a few years, I started a real estate investment firm with a partner about three years ago and I actually sold out of that company at the end of last year. I stayed on until this spring and then worked my way out of that company and now I’m basically just, I do a lot of sales training. I’m still doing a little bit of real estate here and there. Still buying properties for myself and really just doing a lot of different things right now. I’m at a weird place in my life where I have the freedom to try different things that I’ve wanted to do for a while, and so everything that I’m doing goes back to sales because that’s what I love and it’s what I’m good at. I’m just trying a bunch of different things and I’m just really enjoying it.

Lauren Hardy:
Well, and that’s why I wanted to talk to you because I know from your previous company, you guys were major players. I mean, I knew who you guys were before you knew who I was. I knew your name. I was like, “This guy. I’ve got to know this guy.” Eventually we started talking and I knew by your deal volume that you crush it in sales. I mean, you obviously have a ton of really good nuggets that you could share with us. How many deals on average were you doing a year, and these are wholesale deals, right?

Curtis Kupfersmith:
Last year… Yeah. They’re sort of wholesale deals. It’s kind of a mixture. It was a weird… We did a pretty different dynamic of how our business ran. But last year we closed 227 units.

Lauren Hardy:
Dang.

Curtis Kupfersmith:
Then the year before that it was just a little under 200. So those were our first full years actually running that business and we primarily focused on rental properties, so helping people purchase cash flowing properties. So I did a lot of that, is what I focused on, was either distressed properties that you could fix up in cash flow or properties that were currently cash one that they could buy and just start cash flowing immediately.

Lauren Hardy:
So you were marketing direct to seller, right?

Curtis Kupfersmith:
Yeah. Yeah, we were [crosstalk 00:06:30].

Lauren Hardy:
You weren’t buying on the… No MLS or anything, really?

Curtis Kupfersmith:
No, no. I have my license, but we didn’t… Nothing was actually sold on the MLS. Everything was sold off market. So I primarily tried to focus on going after people that own a lot of houses. So instead of just going to one-off people, I would try to find people that owned packages of houses and so that way you’re getting a lot at once, which was a huge help. That comes with a lot of different pros and cons. But I did a lot of that to try to help people offload packages, either one at a time or as a package. I think that there’s a misconception that, especially in the wholesale world, that people think, “Oh my gosh, that’d be amazing to get this huge package of houses at one time.”
The challenge to it is that these people, either they want to sell all of them at one time to the same person and they still want a high price for them, or they don’t want to pay anything in the middle. They want such a high price that it’s hard to get anything in the middle for you as the one selling them. There’s a lot of different ways to work through what their motivation is, how to get the prices down, that kind of stuff and we can get into that as we go on, but that was primarily what I focused on.

Lauren Hardy:
Right. So it’s like you had a niche with the seller avatar that you had. I mean, you weren’t going after the foreclosure list or the tax delinquent, it was probably purely the absentee owners lists, but you were focusing a second layer of focus is they probably had to own two or more properties.

Curtis Kupfersmith:
Yeah.

Lauren Hardy:
What were you doing to market to those people?

Curtis Kupfersmith:
Direct mail. I mean, that’s literally… I mean, we started to get a lot more referrals as stuff went on, but direct mail was really the main. Which I know a lot of people do that, but it’s just doing direct mail correctly, I think, is the biggest thing. You get people that say they don’t like direct mail. It is expensive. It’s very expensive to do, but if done correctly, it can work. It can work really well for you.

Lauren Hardy:
So tell me a little bit about that. Tell me, how do we do it correctly?

Curtis Kupfersmith:
I think it just depends on what your goal is, but making them as personal as possible is very helpful. I don’t personally like postcards until I’ve mailed to that list for a few times. So even before I started the previous company, I farmed neighborhoods. What I would do is I would hyper-focus on a neighborhood and so in that one particular neighborhood, I would send them either market updates, telling them like, “Hey, These are the houses that are sold in the last nine 90 days,” Or whatever, to where you’re educating them instead of just trying to sell them constantly. For those of you who are trying to focus on a very specific neighborhood, try to think of ways that you can add value to them without just trying to sell them out, without just trying to get their deals.
If you can think of ways that you’re actually adding value to them, because everybody wants to know what their house is worth. It doesn’t matter if it’s a rental property, their personal property, whatever, they want to know, “What is my house worth?” They want to know if it’s going up, going down, et cetera. You don’t have to get so hyper-focused where you’re sending them like, “Hey, these are the houses that sold in the last 90 days.” But if you can do something that’s adding value to them, that’s making them think, “Oh, this guy or girl knows what they’re talking about because they’re consistently sending me mail.” And then the other thing is just consistently doing it. I’ve talked to a lot of people who are like, “Yeah, I mailed. I sent letters for two months and I never got anything.”
There’s a lot of times that it’s going to take you mailing them three to four or five times before they finally reach out. At that point, they’re either going to reach out and say they’re interested, or they’re going to reach out and say, “Take me off your freaking mailing list.” They don’t want to get your letters anymore, but they’re going to reach out to you eventually. Just don’t be afraid to keep hitting them because it takes time and I know that mailing costs a lot of money and so people don’t want to hear that, that you’re going to have to consistently keep doing it, but you have to consistently keep sending them in order to start getting some of those leads if you’re going to go the direct mail route.

Lauren Hardy:
I feel like, do you read Dan Kennedy?

Curtis Kupfersmith:
Dan Kennedy?

Lauren Hardy:
Yeah.

Curtis Kupfersmith:
Oh, GKIC. Yeah. I love his stuff.

Lauren Hardy:
Yeah, yeah, yeah. So I did, too. I used to be really big into direct mail and I remember he would say, “Always offer something for free on your mail piece,” which is the value that you’re talking about. So what I used to do, and it didn’t take much, I literally wrote the sentence in bold and I would say, “Call for a free property evaluation.” That was it. I just gave it. Because I’m not an appraiser so I can’t say property appraisal, but I would say property evaluation, and that was just the free thing I’m offering and it would get them to call me over the next guy that sent direct mail. So, that is a quick tip, you guys. Offer something for free. And Dan Kennedy, he’s all about direct mail so he’s got some good books on it.

Curtis Kupfersmith:
It is. His stuff is really good. I think too, that if you’re adding value like that to them, even if you’re trying to wholesale the deal, my philosophy has always been to be overly transparent with people. The more transparent I can be, it makes me stand out because there’s so many other wholesalers who are just slime bags and it’s like they’re trying to hide stuff from people. When you’re trying to hide stuff from people, they can feel that. You’re not being genuine. You’re not being real. In line with being transparent, I would tell people, “Hey…”
Say it’s going to be a wholesale deal that it’s a flip and it’s in bad shape. I would tell them, “Hey, once I update this house, this house is probably going to be worth X. So if you want to do that to this house, I think it’s probably going to cost you 30 to $40,000. So you could go in, put all this money in and then this is what you’re going to resell on the backend, or I can buy it for this and then this is what you’re going to make and you don’t have to worry about putting in all that time and effort.”
But if you’re giving people options, it makes them feel like you’re not forcing them into a decision. It’s like, “These are your options. You choose what you want to do.” Then they feel more competent in that decision going forward. So yeah, it might come back to bite you, but nine times out of 10 people aren’t going to want to put all that money and effort and time into it, or they wouldn’t be calling you in the first place. So by just being transparent with them upfront, you’re making them feel more empowered to make a decision instead of, “This is my only option. This is what I have to do,” because this is the only thing this guy can do for me.

Lauren Hardy:
I couldn’t agree with you more. I almost feel like we must have taken the same sales training or read the same books, because we have a very similar style, which is very not pushy. It’s not the always be closing style of sales. It’s actually more of like, “Hey, I’m just going to be honest and lay all my cards on the table and take it or leave it. I’m not going to push you to do anything you don’t want to do. Here’s my number. If you want to think about it.” No pressure sales. So I’m very similar. I think one thing that a lot of students struggle with, my students and just the coaching students I have and whatnot, is delivering a low ball offer to a seller.
we talked about how you’re getting these sellers to call you. These are savvy sellers who have multiple rental properties so they know a bit about real estate, even more than maybe other sellers you would get. How do you deliver your offer? And usually your offer’s obviously not a market price offer, so is there a way that you say it?

Curtis Kupfersmith:
So when I’m first talking to them and I’m getting information about their property, I will ask them, “Hey, do you have an idea of what it’s worth?” As we know, sellers always think their house is worth way more than what it is. But at the beginning I’m asking them like, “Hey, how old are the major mechanicals? How old is the roof? Have you done any plumbing or electric updates to it?” That kind of stuff. In asking him that, at the end of it when I ask them that price, the like, “Hey, what do you think it’s worth?” I’ll say, “If you were the one buying this house, what would you be willing to pay for it?”

Lauren Hardy:
Oh, that is good.

Curtis Kupfersmith:
So then it makes them think of it as like, “Oh. Yeah, if I was buying it, I’m thinking about all the money I have to put into it.” It almost makes them think through as not a seller, but as a buyer coming to buy it, because the same sellers who are like, “I want the highest price possible for my house,” when they’re buyers, they want the lowest price possible. And so it’s like it flips that switch in their head. It makes them think of like, “If I’m the one buying it, I’m not going to want to pay that much.” Usually when I ask them that, they’ll laugh or you can tell that they’re like, “Oh crap. You’re making me think in a different way.” But even if they’re like, “Well, I would pay that,” I’ll just laugh back with them and I’m like, “Oh, come on. I know if you were buying it, you’re going to want a low price on it and blah, blah, blah.”
Then if nothing else, it builds rapport to where they’re laughing with you because it feels like so many times when a seller lead reaches out to you, their guard is up immediately. It’s like they feel like this is a battle between me and you right off the bat. So they want to set that precedent. I want to get their guard down immediately as fast as I possibly can in anyway I want to get their guard down. Because my philosophy is that sales all comes back to trust. So if they trust me, that is the most important part of the whole thing. If I have trust with them, it’s way easier to deliver a lower price because they trust me and they don’t think of me as just some slimy dude who sent them a mailer. I have rapport with them.
They trust me and they feel like, “Okay, this is probably right.” But to go back to the original question as well, besides just little one-off things, I think that if you’re offering them different options, that makes it way easier to deliver a low ball price. Because I would tell them, “Hey, this is what I’m looking at. I ran numbers on it. Just use simple math, like the ARV, once I update this house is going to be $100,000. Is that what you think it’s worth? Yeah, yeah. Yeah. That’s what I think it’s worth. Okay. How much in repairs do you think this house needs? Well, I think it just needs blah, blah, blah, blah.” You try to get them to give you a number. Say that they agreed that the house is worth $100,000 and they say it probably needs $30,000 in work.
Then you’re helping them do that math in their head. And so it’s like, “Hey, I can pay 25,000 for it. Because once I pay for the rehab, once I pay for my holding costs, pay for this, I’m only making X,” and then they can see that. So I feel like if you’re sending them a low ball offer, instead of just coming straight out and saying, “Hey man, I can only give you 25,000 for your house,” help them see how you got to that $25,000 number so they don’t feel so left in the dark. They may not say yes right off the bat, but it’s at least going to give them something to think about to where they can also come back to think of themselves as a buyer, and then it’s like, they’re going to call you back the next couple of days and then you can start working through it. But making them understand how you got to that number makes it a lot easier for them to be willing to take a lower offer.

Lauren Hardy:
Yeah. I mean, I loved your style and I feel like I can never remember this book, but I feel like you had to have read it. Have you read some sales books?

Curtis Kupfersmith:
Yeah. Which one?

Lauren Hardy:
There is this book and I don’t know why, the guy clearly was not good at marketing because he sucked at naming his book because I can never remember the name, but it’s a good sales book.

Curtis Kupfersmith:
[crosstalk 00:19:22].

Lauren Hardy:
It was like, he talks about the croc brain and that you talked about, they’re always on the defense because they’ve got their guard up and it talks about the croc brain and that they’re primitive.

Curtis Kupfersmith:
[crosstalk 00:19:34]. Yes.

Lauren Hardy:
But it’s not [inaudible 00:19:35] the difference and they’re primitive in their thinking. So when you first talk to a seller, it’s primitive. They have a primitive response to you. They’ve got their guard up. So you making that joke, like, “Well, what would you pay?” that broke down their guard a little bit. Every time I [inaudible 00:00:19:49], I literally always want to recommend this book and then I can never think of the name.

Curtis Kupfersmith:
I can’t think of what it is either but yeah, everything you’re saying is [crosstalk 00:19:56].

Lauren Hardy:
I feel like I’ll find out and I’m going to text you, “It was this.”

Curtis Kupfersmith:
Okay.

Lauren Hardy:
“Did you read this?” Because I swear we have the exact same style. You literally sound like me talking to sellers. The only thing is I don’t say an amount because I lived in California and at the time, when I was really heavy into direct mail and seller negotiation, I was a house flipper in California and then I went virtual and did it in lower price states. In California it is very hard to spit out, “I’m only making $40,000 on this flip. Like, only. Real hard to say. So instead I would say percentages because they’re savvy.

Curtis Kupfersmith:
Oh, that’s good. Yeah.

Lauren Hardy:
Most California sellers were pretty savvy and they understood as investors like, “Well, listen, Nr. Seller, what do you expect to get in the stock market? You expect the average stock market returns are 10%. I’m just buying a piece of real estate that can have all sorts of liabilities attached to it. I’m just looking to get 12% return.” They hear that and they’re like, “Oh, okay. She’s not greedy. She’s not really trying to rip me off here.” I flip it and say percentages instead, which might even work better too, when you’re in a market that’s lower end because yeah, 10% of a $100,000 house is only 10,000.

Curtis Kupfersmith:
Yeah. And that does sound a lot better than saying $10,000. 10% sounds a lot lower.

Lauren Hardy:
Exactly. I mean, for me, I was really passionate and still am very passionate about sales and direct to seller conversations and things that you say. I used to think about… So any time a seller would throw shade at me, anytime a seller would get mad at something I said or chew me out or even just where it seemed awkward in the conversation, I would make a mental note, write it down, and then I would go, “what is a better way to say that? So I don’t get that response out of the seller anymore.” So maybe call me a big fat people pleaser, but that is what you’re doing, right? I mean, whatever. Whatever makes the seller like you more than your competition, right?

Curtis Kupfersmith:
Exactly.

Lauren Hardy:
Because at the end of the day, there’s so many investors that have paid the same price you would, but they like you.

Curtis Kupfersmith:
Exactly. Yes.

Lauren Hardy:
They like you. I think that it comes down… And you said trust. To me, it’s just they like me.

Curtis Kupfersmith:
And building a rapport in general, just getting them to talk about things. And also if it’s an absentee owner, even whether you know it’s a rental property or not, I always want to know what their motivation is. So it’s like, “What made you call me today? Why are you thinking about selling the house?” For anybody listening that’s done very much work with sellers, like, “Oh, well, I don’t really need to sell it. I don’t have to. I mean, I’m just thinking about it.” Unless you got a really distressed seller that’s like they don’t know what the heck they’re doing and they’re just like, “Oh, I lost my job and I need get rid of this immediately,” and whatever.
But nine times out of 10, if they’re savvy at all, they’re going to tell you, “I don’t really need to sell it. I’m just kind of sick of having a rental house,” or, “I’m just thinking about it,” whatever. But I want to drill down on that motivation. If they say, “I’m just kind of sick of being a landlord,” that’s not direct enough. “What are you sick of? What are you sick of dealing with? Is your tenant not paying? Do you have too many repairs in the house? Also in finding your motivation, you’re going to find out a lot about the house too. [crosstalk 00:23:32]

Lauren Hardy:
Right. Because sometimes the motivation lies in the home.

Curtis Kupfersmith:
Exactly.

Lauren Hardy:
He’s not motivated, but the house needs a lot of work so it’s the condition that is the motivation. So I know, again, back to what is a way to say this, because I noticed that when I would say, “So why are you selling?” it would put their wall back up and they would get on the defense. So the way I would ask it is I would say, “So what were your plans with this home originally when you bought it?”

Curtis Kupfersmith:
Oh, that’s a really good one.

Lauren Hardy:
And hear what they say and it leads into, “Oh, really? Okay. So you were [crosstalk 00:24:06].

Curtis Kupfersmith:
[crosstalk 00:24:06] this happened.

Lauren Hardy:
… then this, Oh, then what happened next?” And then it leads them to then say, “But then my tenant stopped paying rent.” It’s like they accidentally say it. It’s just mind games.

Curtis Kupfersmith:
Yeah.

Lauren Hardy:
[crosstalk 00:24:22] get them to show me their cards. So I say it like that because I felt like the why, I always felt weird in my stomach when I would say, “So why are you selling?” It would make me feel weird asking. I would feel almost like, “Gosh, that’s a personal question.” I mean, I don’t know if that’s very British of me, but I don’t like to be just very blunt like that. It seems nosy. So I try to say it into a very non-nosy way.

Curtis Kupfersmith:
That’s really good. Yeah. I like that. “What were your original plans with the house?” And then that way they can tell you why. “Well, I wanted to do this, but then this happened.” And then you’re going to find out the real truth really quickly.

Lauren Hardy:
They’ll spill the beans. And then I always like to say, trying to explain this, because that is their pain button and you want to, after that, once you’ve identified what their pain button is, you put that in your CRM and you just push that pain button every time you talk to them. The way I push the pain button is through storytelling. So I will talk about how I had that pain button. But I’ll say, “Oh, I remember when I had to do an eviction and oh man,” and you just storytell. I could usually whip one of these stories out because I’ve done enough transactions that I can come up with something of where I went through something similar or a seller I knew went through something similar. Because I could say too, “Oh, I worked with another seller, had the same issue. You’re not alone on that. I’ve seen it before. No worries. We deal with this kind of stuff all the time.” And then also coming up with supporting how you can solve that problem, that pain and make that pain button go away for them.

Curtis Kupfersmith:
Yes. And finding out… It goes back to what you were saying with the, “What was your original goal with the house?” Another question on top of that, after that, is “What is your goal with the house now?” If they have a number in mind, that’s like, “Well, I want to net $25,000. I want to get rid of it as fast as possible.” Whatever that is, when you… Going back to presenting a lower offer, if what you’re offering gets close to or does meet their goal, then it’s like, “Hey, your goal was to net $25,000 and my offer is netting you $25,000, so what is keeping you from moving forward at that right now if we’re meeting your goal? Because remember, this was your goal.” You’re tying everything back to their goal or their pain at the end of the day.
Because what will happen is they will think somebody else will tell them, “Well, I can give you X amount, which is $10,000 higher than what you can do.” So then they start getting greedy. But if your number is still meeting their goal, then it’s like, “Did your goal change?” Or, “What is happening between now and then that you’re not taking my offer?”

Lauren Hardy:
Yeah. No, that’s good.

Curtis Kupfersmith:
[crosstalk 00:27:20].

Lauren Hardy:
That’s good. We’ve got some good stuff here.

Curtis Kupfersmith:
I know.

Lauren Hardy:
I feel like we are dropping some seriously good content on sales.

Curtis Kupfersmith:
I know.

Lauren Hardy:
I mean, you are really, honestly, really great at sales. I mean, your deal flow and volume last couple years shows it. I know on your-

Curtis Kupfersmith:
[crosstalk 00:27:38].

Lauren Hardy:
Yeah. Well, I mean, I know that it’s a no brainer. I knew you were good at sales just by having a conversation with you. You’re very likable and most good salesmen are very likable.

Curtis Kupfersmith:
Oh, thank you.

Lauren Hardy:
So how can people get ahold of you? Are you active on the socials?

Curtis Kupfersmith:
Yeah. I’m actually more active on Facebook, but I post on Instagram too. So my name is spelled really weird. My first name is easy. It’s Curtis. C-U-R-T-I-S. And my last name is K-U-P-F-E-R-S-M-I-T-H and my website’s the same thing, too. It’s just my full name .com.

Lauren Hardy:
Awesome. I’ll include it in the show notes. So you guys, if you want to talk to Curtis, happy to talk to you guys and give you some sales advice. Curtis, thank you so much for joining us today.

Curtis Kupfersmith:
Thanks for having me. This is awesome. I liked it a lot. It was fun.

Lauren Hardy:
Awesome. We’ll have to do it again. You really did deliver, so we’ll have to do a 2.0 to this soon.

Curtis Kupfersmith:
Okay. Good. I’d love to.

Lauren Hardy:
If you guys want to learn more about virtual real estate investing, check out my program at www.wholesalinginc.com/virtual. Thanks again. Have a great day.

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