Posted on: October 14, 2020

The massive value radio can offer to wholesalers is no longer up for debate. But what about other people engaged in other aspects of real estate? Today’s guest is Charles Flaxel. Charles is a successful fix and flipper who gave radio a try and is quite happy about making the shift.

In this episode, Charles shared his experiences and successes with radio and how it has helped him take his fix and flip business to the next level. If you’re in the fix and flip business and on the fence if radio marketing is a good idea, consider listening to this episode a must!

Key Takeaways

  • How he found leads prior to radio
  • What made him think radio would be a good fit for him
  • What his experience has been like setting up radio
  • How he’ll rate the difficulty of setting radio up
  • The differences between fixing and flipping and wholesaling
  • Conservative dollar-for-dollar return he’s expecting
  • Characteristics of radio that he likes
  • What he’ll tell those that are on the fence about trying out radio

RESOURCES:

If you are Ready to Explode Your Wholesaling Business, Click here to Book a Free Strategy Session with me right now!

Subscribe to Wholesaling Inc

Episode Transcription

Chris Arnold:
Welcome to the Wholesaling Inc podcast. I’m your host, Chris Arnold. Man, I’m excited about this show because we love talking with students who are utilizing radio, and showing you the success that they have. Again, one thing I tell you about it and what it’s doing in my business, but again, proof’s in the pudding. When you can sit down and talk with students and just really kind of tear apart their experience with radio, what they’re seeing. So if you’re tuning in today, really excited about having on Charles Flaxel. Here’s what radio can do for the fix and flip. Again, a lot of times people do wholesale, buy and hold. You’re going to learn that Charles is a fix and flip guy, so he’s utilizing radio for that. And so it’s going to be interesting to look at his numbers because there’s bigger pops on flips than there are on wholesale. And so I think we’re going to see some stronger dollar-per-dollar returns, et cetera.
So Charles, welcome to the show, buddy. Glad to have you.

Charles Flaxel:
Thanks, Chris. It’s fun to be here.

Chris Arnold:
[crosstalk 00:01:44]. Where are you at? Where are you located? Give everybody a little bit of a nutshell of what you got going on-

Charles Flaxel:
Yeah, [crosstalk 00:01:50] Portland. So Portland, Oregon, you probably heard about us on the news. I don’t live in the riot zone, so I’m safe from that stuff. But yeah, that’s where we’re doing most of our business. Then there’s what they call the Willamette Valley. So there’s kind of a I-5 corridor from Eugene, which is 120 miles south of Portland, and there’s various cities in-between. So we’re kind of working 50 miles south of here, up to Portland and the metro area.

Chris Arnold:
I like it. I like it. I run a virtual staff, actually my disposition person lives up in Oregon as well.

Charles Flaxel:
Oh, really?

Chris Arnold:
Yeah, she’s right up there with you. Because I think she saw your name and go, “Hey, he’s in my state.” So she always updates me on what’s going on up there with you guys. So pre-radio, right? You’re a fix and flip guy. Everyone loves this question, because everyone’s looking for how to generate distressed seller leads. You and I were talking, I was like, “What are you working on your business right now, Charles?” And you’re like, “It’s always kind of the same. It’s generating more opportunity. I’ve got money to buy, I’ve got crews ready to rehab, but I just need to pick up more flips.” And so before radio, how were you trying to create opportunities?

Charles Flaxel:
Well, we did a couple of things this year. We’ve done direct mail on and off in the past. Just never been a big fan of direct mail.

Chris Arnold:
Why is that? It’s funny you say that. [crosstalk 00:03:08] just throw that out there, people want to know, why?

Charles Flaxel:
You have no idea what their motivation is. Everyone tells you to do it, “You got to do direct mail.” And so, which postcard you choose, what size? Do you do the one with the little zipper envelope? Or do you do the yellow letter? Or the little postcard, or the big postcard? Or a picture of you or not? I mean, there’s so many different things. It just makes your head want to explode. And then you got to deal-

Chris Arnold:
Work, what you just described-

Charles Flaxel:
And it’s work, I know. Returned mail and then people call you up and they’re, “I don’t want to sell my house.” “Why are you bothering me?” And it’s not the space that I want to really be in. And we’ve done it and you send it over and over. And you got to manage the repeat mail and then you put them on a CRM. You got to call them. And it’s just not really… I mean, I guess I could hire somebody to do that but that’s [inaudible 00:03:56].

Chris Arnold:
And if you’re tuning in and you’re newer to real estate and you’re like, “Should I do direct mail? Yes or no?” Direct mail works. But what Charles and I are saying, and I completely agree with him. It’s a high maintenance marketing channel. It’s something that is going to require a lot of ongoing maintenance, ongoing variables, decisions. Like you said, “Picture of the house, not a picture of a house. Is it pink or a blue postcard?” I mean, it just goes on and on. So just know it works, but it’s definitely a lot of work, to work that particular system. So besides direct mail, anything else you were doing to generate flip opportunities?

Charles Flaxel:
Well, yeah, we’ve been doing Google AdWords for a couple, two and a half years or something like that. And that’s been decent, it’s been steady. It’s expensive, but it’s been moving us forward. Just this year, we started doing some Facebook ads and that just did not do well-

Chris Arnold:
That’s funny. I have not yet come across a person yet, Charles, that says that they’ve done well on Facebook. Again, here’s what I hear on Facebook. Just for again, you’re tuning in and we want to help you guys know what we know and we can help you learn from experience. It’s a high volume source, meaning you’re going to ton of leads through it. But the problem is the quality is just super low. That’s what we’ve experienced. Is that been the same for you, Charles?

Charles Flaxel:
Oh yeah. They’re like retail people. I mean, I’ve seen them come through, they want more than what their house is listed for on the MLS right now. I’m like-

Chris Arnold:
I just haven’t come across anyone that’s had really good success with Facebook. Now pay-per-click, Google AdWords. We do the same as you do Charles, we utilize that source. And again, I feel like it’s a good source that generates some decent opportunities. So you and I are definitely on the same page on what we’ve experienced around marketing. So let me ask you this, you’re doing Google AdWords, you’re doing some direct mail. What caught your attention about radio? Of everything you could choose out there, why’d you go, “You know what what, I think this radio thing’s going to be a good fit for our business”?

Charles Flaxel:
Well, listening to a Bigger Pockets podcast, you were on with Brandon and it just clicked. And I’m like, “Dude, we got to try that.” It just sounds so straightforward and direct and something that’s just turnkey, really. And so right after I heard that, I told my wife, I’m like, “We’ve got to give this a shot. This Chris guy’s getting it done, so I think we could do it too.” So sure enough. I don’t know, I think from hearing the podcast, to actually getting on the air, only took six weeks or something.

Chris Arnold:
Interesting. So I want to hit on two points you just made there. You were talking about the ease of the management, so let’s compare it to direct mail. Do you feel like you’ve got to do a lot of work to maintain the radio campaign, to keep it running? Again, I say, “Set it and forget it,” that’s my terminology. But people want to know, we’re talking to a student that’s utilizing it. Does it require a lot of work to keep it going or is this set and forget it, your opinion?

Charles Flaxel:
So you were like listening to those Ron [inaudible 00:06:49] infomercials late at night about the little rotisserie ovens, you set it, forget it.

Chris Arnold:
[crosstalk 00:06:55] say that. And I don’t, I wasn’t around when those were happening, but someone had told me like, “Yeah, that set it, forget it term was used for rotisserie cookers.” It’s so funny you say that, you won’t believe how many people tell me that.

Charles Flaxel:
Yeah, no, it is. It’s totally, you negotiate, that’s one of the points you’ve got to do, negotiate your rates and your times and all that. But for us, in our situation, that went really smoothly, which I was happy to have. And then one of the bigger challenges recording [inaudible 00:07:22] because COVID. We’re trying to figure out a space and usually you go to the studio and record it. So here my wife and I, jam in our walk-in closet with the iPhone, trying to do our commercial, but it worked out. And we went to air and it was brilliant. We got to rerecord it. They sent a tech out, I don’t know, engineer out sometime in August. And we rerecorded it. So it sounds a little bit better.

Chris Arnold:
Love that you guys hid in the closet and recorded it, but hey, that’s probably the quietest place in the house.

Charles Flaxel:
That’s what they told us to do.

Chris Arnold:
So let’s go back to the statement you were talking about, the setup, right? Again, if you’re listening, as we talk about radio, we want to give you every facet of it. So people always ask me, “What’s the biggest challenge with radio?” It’s always negotiating with the radio stations, because we’re buying radio like you buy real estate, at a deep discounted price. But every student has kind of differing experience in, but I find more lean toward, if I ask this question, they’re going to give me a two to three. But let’s ask you Charles. On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being radio is super hard to set up, one being easy. Where would you have ranked it in the sense of just setting it up and negotiating? Scale of 1 to 10.

Charles Flaxel:
Yeah. Easily. I’d say two, two and a half.

Chris Arnold:
Yeah. So if you’ve been listening to these, that’s primarily the number that comes out. But occasionally we get students to go, “You know what? It felt like a 7 or 8.” But really it’s the only hurdle you have to get over in actually setting it up. So let’s talk about success that you’ve seen so far. You’re a fix and flip guy. You and I were talking, you got an ad spend of about $2,000 a month to get started. And that’s what we tell everyone. It’s $1,000 to $2,000 to get going. But so far since you’ve been up, you launched, right at the end of June. Then we had 4th of July, so probably not a lot happening until middle of July. But right now you’ve got two fix and flip properties that you’re working on right now, that you’ve already picked up.

Charles Flaxel:
Yeah, yeah. Picked up two deals, it was just super simple call. Pick up the phone and-

Chris Arnold:
Let’s talk about that, you and I were talking, fix and flip versus wholesale is much different, or buy and hold. Because fix and flip, we’re looking for really deep discounts because we’re not the end owner. So in a competition setting, if I’m going up against a wholesaler, it’s going to be hard for me on the fix and flip route because they’re going to pay more than me. So let me ask you this, on the two deals that you picked up on radio, did you have any competition?

Charles Flaxel:
No. Well, one of them, they just heard it and they had a bad tenant and they wanted them out. And she gave me a number and everything. That was really a no-brainer. So there’s no one else-

Chris Arnold:
Man, I’m calling you, here’s my number. And you’re like, “Good. I’ll take it.” It was just ready to go?

Charles Flaxel:
It was that simple. Yeah. I mean, I happened to be home. And I always keep my phone on me, you want to answer those calls live, if you can, or if you have a PA or whatever. But, just sat down and typed it in. And I’m like, “Look at those [inaudible 00:10:16], 260 and she wants 100.” That’s a no brainer.

Chris Arnold:
So that was easy, that was a lay down, that you got on radio. And what about the other one? Did you go up against five or six other people?

Charles Flaxel:
Well, I didn’t. I know the guy owned it free and clear. And he had a bad tenant as well. And he said, he’d actually talked to another investor, about three or four months ago. And I think it was 175, I think he was going to sell it for. And he was like my… And he just told me right away, he’s like, “I’m done with this person. Here’s my bottom line, like 155.” And I did my homework on it and I’m like, “Well, that’s a deal, totally a deal.” So I mean, no, not at that time. He just called. So essentially that other investor had helped me negotiate it down to, I think, about 155 from the 175.

Chris Arnold:
So he pretty much teed it up for you. Absolutely.

Charles Flaxel:
He had, yeah, exactly. So he gave me the bottom line and I was like, “Let’s play ball.”

Chris Arnold:
And if you’re tuning in and you’re looking at marketing channels. And you might have a marketing channel where you feel like every time I go out to an appointment, it’s me against X amount of other investors. I can tell you that what we experience on the radio side is because we’re not list dependent. We’re not getting called into appointments with sellers where they responded to postcards, when they got 50 of those. Or they got hit with a bunch of text blasting. So the great thing about radio is primarily, your on your own when you show up at that appointment. Which in Charles’ case, I think is so important for his business, because it allows him to get that deep discount that he needs to run a flip business. Because he needs it deeper than we do on the wholesale side. And Charles as I was just listening to your business. That’s why I think radio is a really good fit for someone like you, like a fix and flip person.

Charles Flaxel:
Right. And even some of the profit markets at the end of some of these deals, is still going to be better than stuff we’ve gotten through our regular marketing channels. So one of those might even push, what are some of the numbers we’ve done and one of our best deals ever. I think that’s 83 or 85,000.

Chris Arnold:
83 off that radio. Yeah. So you and I were talking, you’ve got over six figure, we’ll say conservatively. And you and I are talking about the numbers, but over a hundred thousand on these flips that you’ve got running. I always like to give true numbers, dollar-per-dollar return. And I always tell people, for every dollar you spend, you’re going to get $3 to $4 back. So in that case, in Charles’ world, if he was spending two grand, a three times X on that would be six. Four times would be 8,000. But you and I were doing some napkin math because you’re flipping and you’re pulling out such bigger profits. But what’s a conservative dollar-per-dollar return that you’re looking at, potentially?

Charles Flaxel:
Jeez, right now, we’re looking at like $30 for every dollar.

Chris Arnold:
$30. Well, I mean, that’s huge. And again, we’re not, if you’re listening and saying, that everyone gets a $30 return, but we’re letting you know what’s possible. Particularly when Charles is in a good market, negotiated a heck of a price on radio for $2,000, for a good station, that’s generating call volume for him. And he’s going to hit a $30 return, right off the bat and out of the gate on this [inaudible 00:13:27]. I mean, that’s huge. You and I were talking, what we need to do now is just focus with you and help you, maybe go get another station and get that call volume up even higher. Which I think is great. So now that you’ve been running radio and you’re looking back a little bit, what are maybe one or two qualities that you appreciate about it versus maybe, Google AdWords or direct mail, what you’ve seen so far? What do you like in most as a characteristic?

Charles Flaxel:
Sure. Well, Google AdWords is expensive, for one. And you still get a number of ones you got… Well more competition, pricier. And then there’s still a number of tire kickers. So with the radio, it’s a really focused audience and it’s less expensive and they’re motivated. And you’re usually the only guy in the room. So it’s been awesome so far.

Chris Arnold:
Yeah, I like that, so focused and… Speak to the quality of the lead. Out of the amount of conversations you had, did you have to go through a lot of leads via radio to get a deal? Or did you find the conversion was pretty high in comparison?

Charles Flaxel:
It’s really high. I mean, you discard the couple that maybe didn’t hear the message well. And they just listed their house and they called you. So you kind of push those aside. I mean, we’re talking so far, the numbers are showing up to be, for the two of the legitimate calls we’ve gotten so far, we’re taken down at like 15%, 20% calls.

Chris Arnold:
Wow. 15% to 20%. So that means maybe you’re converting, 1 out of, that’s 5. Let’s be safe, would you say that you’re pretty confident that for every 10 calls you get off radio, that’ll equal a deal?

Charles Flaxel:
Yeah. I mean, our numbers better than that, but I don’t want to-

Chris Arnold:
[crosstalk 00:15:18]. I’m beating that out as well. But yeah, people always ask, “What is the quality?” I think you can generate that. Charles is saying his is like 1 out of 5. I’m being conservative and going one out of ten. But again, compare that to direct mail. And I can remember, Charles, my numbers, I think we were ranging between 1 out of 60, to 1 out of 80 direct mail calls to be a deal. It was high.

Charles Flaxel:
I think, when we did it, I think our numbers were something like 80.

Chris Arnold:
80?

Charles Flaxel:
80 to 90, even.

Chris Arnold:
Yeah, so it’s high. So by comparison, you can go one out 80 on direct mail. It works, you just have to do a lot of sifting and filtering to get down to the gold. Where on the radio side, what we’re saying is, it’s much easier to get a lower call volume, pick up those deals. Particularly if you’re new, you’re trying to get out of the rat race of working a nine to five, you want to be a full-time investor. The last thing you need to do is launch a marketing channel that just ends up being a second job for you. At least on radio, it’s small call volume, when your phone rings, you know it’s radio because you programmed it to tell you that. And you’re taking a low call volume and picking up those deals. So I love it.
So if you’re listening, couple of things, first and foremost, if you always want to put a face with the name. Go to YouTube, subscribe at Chris Arnold Real Estate, and we’re always dropping additional content over there, that we’re not doing on the podcast. So definitely join us and subscribe to our YouTube. Secondly, at this point we just bring student after student. This point, seeing success with it. I was so excited to roll out radio. Charles, I don’t know if you’ve ever taught anything, but this was kind of one of those things I had in my back pocket that I knew was a game changer. And I had kind of held it back. Does that make sense? And so I’m excited to share it because if you’re going to teach something, teach something that you’re passionate about and you know works really effectively. And radio is one of those things. It’s one of the most effective tools, resources, that I’ve had in my back pocket for a long time.
So again, yeah. Check to see if your market’s open. I can’t remember how many students we’re up to at this point, but I know that markets are sold out. But again, call, do due diligence, book a call and see if your market’s open. And you do that by going to wholesalinginc.com/reiradio. Again, that’s wholesalinginc.com/reiradio and book a call, see if your market’s open.
So Charles, wrapping up again, people love these because they want to be able to hear the authentic story of something working. And I get it, I get thrown ideas and concepts all the time. And nothing worse than picking up something to find out it doesn’t work. That’s like, “Oh, that was a waste of time and money.” So your stories and you coming on, just helps students go, “Okay, this is the real deal.” But if someone’s still on the fence, Charles, and they’re like, “Man, should I do this radio thing? Or should I not? Maybe I should go after another marketing channel. Maybe I want to do X or X.” What would you say to that person that’s riding the fence? What would you tell them about radio, to help them make that final decision?

Charles Flaxel:
Well, it’s been enormously successful for me so far. We’ve tried a lot of the other ingredients in the cupboards and they haven’t produced the results that radio has. And the ease of it, so not just results, but we’re talking a very focused call volume of people that are very motivated. It seems like you’re the only man in their living room, to negotiate with them. And just the consistency of just pushing a button and letting it go. And it’s just awesome.

Chris Arnold:
So the phrase I hear you saying is, I’ll boil that down, I feel like Charles is saying, “Man, look at radio, because radio is easy money.” It’s easy money.

Charles Flaxel:
Yeah. Pretty much. Pretty much. Yeah.

Chris Arnold:
That’s how I’d sum up everything that you just said there. So awesome. Well, Charles, thanks so much for coming on, buddy. Appreciate you sharing the story. I know it will help people, it’d be inspiration as everyone’s trying to figure out how they want to pivot for 2020 and get ready for 2021. So thanks for the value that you shared today.

Charles Flaxel:
We’ll have to regroup in about a year, and I can tell you about-

Chris Arnold:
[crosstalk 00:19:24]. Absolutely, I will definitely circle that. Awesome. So to the rest of you, thank you guys so much for joining us. And until next time, we will catch you soon and add more value. Talk to you later.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Wholesaling