Regardless of whether you are a new or seasoned wholesaler, you’ve most likely heard the misconception that bandit signs no longer work. Today’s rockstar rhino will prove it simply is not true!
Blair Bass is an astute wholesaler and real estate investor from Memphis, Tennessee. In this episode, Blair shared his inspirational wholesaling and real estate journey. From the risks he took to the hiccups he encountered down to the successes he experienced, Blair covered it all.
If you need to hear an inspirational wholesaling journey and solid proof that bandit signs do work, this episode is for you!
Why Bandit Signs Still Work! – $12,000 from One Bandit Sign With Blair Bass
We’re going to start with this important thought. Truly successful people know that there is something more important than ROI or Return on Investment. It’s ROL, Return on Life. ROI is what we get back from investing money. ROL is what we get back from investing in ourselves. That leads me to my guest here, in the Phoenix, Arizona TTP studio from Memphis, Tennessee, Mr. Blair Bass. How are you?
I’m great. I’m excellent.
I’m excited for you to be here.
I’m blessed to be here.
You’ve gone through a lot. We’re going to go into your background. We’re going to go into some of the successes that you have been having. A lot of your experience comes from outside of the real estate and you brought that into your real estate business and it is returning on those life skills, the skills that you’ve developed growing up. Tell me about you, what’s going on, how you found real estate investing, and how you found wholesaling?
My mom was a teacher and my dad was an industrial engineer, so school was always the end-of. I went to college twice. I had my Associates in Hospitality Management. In 2016, I got my Bachelor’s in Hospitality Management from the University of Southern Mississippi. I had plenty of job offers. My mom told me, “Pick wisely because you don’t want to be somewhere that you want to be stuck with for the rest of your life.” I said, “I don’t know, mom. What do you think I should do?” She said, “Why don’t you come home where I’m staying now to figure it out?”
I found out through that time when I was staying with her that she was sick. She had cancer and it went into remission. That’s why I didn’t go back to college. Once I graduated, I realized she was sicker than what she perceived it to be. That’s why she told me to come back, to stay home with her, to take her to doctor’s visits and things of that nature. I came to find out she was sick and cancer consumed her whole body. On January 4th, 2017, she passed away.
I had to figure it out. I was at ground zero. I was like, “Oh man.” I had this plan to go to school, get a good job, take care of my mom, go to business with her because she was a cook. She wanted to be her own business person but, tragically, she passed away. I went through my depression. I went to Illinois with her, then I moved back to Memphis in 2017 trying to figure it out. I came upon a job out of nowhere. A friend of mine told me, “Why don’t you go to youth counseling?” I said, “That’s not anywhere near what I’m doing,” but I needed a job.
I went to a company called Youth Villages, where you teach young men and women how to get back into the life sector and residential treatment facility, children that have been dealing with runaways, neglect, adoption, foster homes, and things of that nature. I was going through that path trying to help as many people as I could, being a serviceman using psychology to mimic them, to mirror them, and understand what they’re going through to see if I can help them in any way.
I’ve touched many lives but in the back of my mind, I have kids and a wife. I know this job is not the end all be all, so I’ve found wholesale real estate out of nowhere. My wife’s friend is a big wholesale real estate investor in Memphis, Tennessee. She’s pumping like there’s no tomorrow. I asked my wife, “Do anything about wholesale real estate?” She was like, “No. I know she’s doing pretty well.” I said, “Let me go ahead and take this class.”
It was a free course. She gave the ins and outs of wholesale real estate. I was like, “I can do this. I’ve done business. I know how to talk to people. I know how to be hospitable.” I asked her, “What’s the process?” She broke down the process and I’m like, “Let me try this out.” I worked with her. September 22nd, 2018, was when I began my journey.
We bought a list and it was in the high equity area. She told me to mail out a thousand postcards. I said, “Let’s do it.” I told my wife, who was pregnant at the time, “We’re going to be rich. This is going to be the next step to our generational wealth.” She said, “I don’t know. I’m pregnant, so you’re taking a risk.” It was $500 that I put in postcards. She was like, “We don’t have any food though.” I was like, “I promise it’s going to work.” I said, “I’m still working, so something’s going to work.” Unfortunately, it didn’t work. I was calling and people were saying, “No. You’re crazy. Discounted properties? No.”
Were you calling the same lists that you were mailing and cold calling?
Yes. It didn’t work out. I told my wife, “I spent $500.”
Were you hand dialing, putting their phone numbers in your phone and calling?
Yeah, on Google Voice.
Is this after you get off work?
This is with small children in the house?
There is something more important than ROI. It’s ROL, Return on Life. ROI is what we get back from investing money.
Yeah. I had a pregnant wife and a seven-year-old.
Was it a situation that the job that you were in wasn’t giving you enough income to where you wanted it to be and you guys were getting by? Was it a situation where it was okay and you could live off it, but you knew you wanted more or maybe both?
I wanted more because I wanted to fund my DJ business with that because I’m a DJ. I wanted to get out of that workforce to be able to fund my DJ career and be able to help my wife, who is a personal chef, to be able to function together. As a chef and a DJ, we can grow together entrepreneurial style. It didn’t work that way as far as the cold calling aspect. She was like, “You spent this $500, so I need you to get a return on investment ASAP.” I said, “This list didn’t work.”
Did she talk to you in those terms?
In a nice way.
She says, “I want a return on investment on this $500.”
What an incredible woman.
She’s pregnant at the time, so I have to take action. I’m in YouTube University all day trying to figure out wholesale real estate. I came across Max Maxwell. He had a 30-day challenge to get your first deal. At this time, I had little to no money. I’m calling, DealMachine, driving in the city, pinpointing distressed properties, and hand dialing.
At this point, I’m losing money. My phone went off, and one day he said, “Call local real estate realtors to see if they have any off-market property.” I said, “I can do that.” My phone went out that day, so I had to get another Google Voice number. I called realtors and they said, “No, we’ll send you a list if we have any.” I came across one property that a realtor had and she said, “It’s not something that you might be interested in but I’ll let you look at it if you’re open tomorrow.”
I said, “Sure, let’s do it.” She gave me the property information and I reached out to a real estate investor that’s a friend I went to high school with. He said, “If you have anything, send it my way. I can probably close on it fast.” I said, “I have a potential deal for you. Are you open to checking it out?” He said, “Send me the address.” I said, “Okay.” I sent him the address and he said, “I’ll be there tomorrow.”
Let’s break this down. What was your first conversation with this real estate agent? Why was this real estate agent sending you these off-market deals? Did you call him up? Did you see him driving around? Did you pull it up in Zillow? Did you pull it up on the internet? How did you know to call that agent?
I was googling.
What did you google?
Real estate agents. Real estate companies.
Were you looking to call anyone or were you looking for ones that specifically worked with investors?
I was randomly calling.
Isn’t that incredible? This is the craziest thing. I talk about TTP. People correlate that with cold-calling owners of properties. I understand that and it deserves that connection but it also means reaching out to all the people that could potentially be in your network to send you referrals and to be able to send you these off-markets.
If they’re like, “You’re my best cash buyer. I’m a real estate agent. I’m going to send you all these ugly houses because I get to keep the commission and you get this property. We can do this over and over again and I don’t have to worry about you closing on it. I don’t have to worry about the deal getting done as long as you get the deal done.” That’s the initial thing.
If you’re new and you’re starting out and you’ve never done a deal but you get a referral from somebody in your marketplace, a real estate agent, the number one most important thing is to close that deal. If you can’t close it, do not commit to it. If you commit to it and you don’t close it, you’ve lost that relationship forever. If you commit to that and you close, they will bring you deal after deal. It’s even better. It’s the equivalent of reaching out to one property owner and they own 50 houses that all need work and you get each and every one of them from one conversation.
You can build that up if you’re working with real estate agents. You cold-called her and now she’s sending you this opportunity. You’re playing middleman with your investor because your investor would never know about this deal unless you picked up the phone and connected there, so you’re going here, real estate agent, “Uh-huh.” Here investor, “Uh-huh.” What happened?
The next day, we went to the property low on gas. I made sure I got to the property on time. I was sitting there calling my real estate friend. He said, “I’ll be there in twenty minutes. I had to go check out another property.” I went in and looked at the property. I didn’t know anything about what I was doing. She said, “This is the bathroom. This is this. This is that.” I’m like, “Okay.” She said, “How long have you been doing this?” I’m like, “I’ve been doing it for some time now.” I’m trying to build rapport with the seller.
She’s like, “My mother is sick, so we’re trying to sell it. As an agent, I know I’m trying to get top dollar. I know I can’t get top dollar, so I’m going to sell it. I’m looking for $100,000.” I said, “Okay.” I didn’t know anything about that but I knew $100,000 was way too high. My real estate investor friend came and said, “Let me talk to her.” He was telling me everything that I need to know about properties, what to assess, what am I looking for, and if I find anything else.
We went outside and he said, “I like it. How much do you want to make of it?” I said, “$5,000.” He said, “Let’s go back inside and let me negotiate.” They sat down at the kitchen table and she said, “I want $100,000.” He said, “I can’t do $100,000 because I have to break this wall. I have to do this, that, and the third. I will be the end buyer myself, so $100,000 is too high.” They went back and forth and came to $80,000. They signed the contract. She showed her proof of funds and that was it.
Did you make your first $5,000?
No. He called me later that day. He said, “Unfortunately, I can’t do $5,000 because I had to go down. Can you take $3,000?” I should have taken the $5,000 but it’s my first time.
It’s all right. It’s a relationship deal. That’s it. You don’t want to get too greedy with it. There’s something to be said there. It’s not that you couldn’t use the extra $2,000 or that you deserve the extra $2,000 but if you’re getting pushback from them, then you say, “You owe me on the next one. I better make this $2,000 up on the next one that I send you because you know that I’m going to be going out every single day. I’m going to be finding opportunities. I want to bring them to you but I need to make sure that I can get paid for them as well.” That’s a savvy business. That’s the conversation that you want to have and building it.
All of a sudden, when you get to the point when you have 50, 100, 200 real estate agents out there sending you opportunities and you’re matching them up with all the investors, life’s good. That supplements your efforts going directly to the seller because you’re going to get the biggest spreads going directly to the seller but getting these referrals don’t cost you anything. It’s a lot less effort than spending hours on the phone calling the distressed property owners, which eventually you ended up doing because you joined the TTP family.
My journey with TTP was a blessing. After that deal, I was trying to figure it out. I was buying lists that I didn’t know anything about, high equity absentee, sending direct mail. I’m still looking on YouTube University and trying to figure it out. I lost a lot of money in the process. I came across DealMachine. I use DealMachine to start all over. I’m driving around and came across a property, handout still. I still didn’t know anything about the audio dial. I landed another deal, $6,000. Another time, I started JV-ing with another investor out of Memphis.
We want to break down your biggest deal because we have this bell ring. Is that where we’re going?
Yes. We’re leading them to that. We JV-ed a couple of deals together.
Explain JV to people that have no idea what you’re talking about.
It’s a joint venture with another investor. We find properties. He finds a property, I find a buyer, and we split the commission.
He doesn’t necessarily have the investors that you have, so he can’t make any money on this deal. It’s not a deal to them until you match it up with a ready, willing, and able cash buyer. That’s what you brought to him. How did you build up your cash buyers?
It was a tip of your podcast.
Do you mean the podcast you’re on right now?
Yes. Facebook group, search bar, cash buyers. It’s all there. I put them in the database and kept going. With everyone I see, I keep going every day.
There are a couple of great resources to be able to pull cash buyers. One is Facebook. Put it in there and search for the fix and flip groups, real estate investing groups. I highly suggest everybody reach out to the admins of those groups because those people know everybody. Typically, the admins have been in it a long time. They know and they manage to make sure that people aren’t spamming in there, causing friction, and keeping it clean in there.
They have some authority and know everybody. If you reach out to them, you’re connected to thousands of investors. They’ll get paid for that, they should. They’ve built up that network and that authority. There are several groups in your market of those Facebook pages that you can reach out to the different admins. Also, type in real estate investor Memphis into LinkedIn and it’s an unbelievable amount of people that’ll pop up and you start reaching out to them. That’s what you did. You were proactive.
I had to.
You didn’t have a huge bank account, a big wad of cash to throw at this business. You went out and you traded your time, your skills, and your efforts as opposed to having a big budget in the beginning.
You don’t have to have a big budget. You have to have a passion.
You’re doing these JV deals and you’re using DealMachine to build up your driving for dollars. Everybody out there, for DealMachine, use coupon code TTP. It’s the biggest discount you get for DealMachine. Use the coupon code TTP at DealMachine.com. It’s a turn for dollars. It pulls up all the owner information. It lets you know if they live there, vacant, a rental, or whatever it is. They also keep adding stuff to it. Let’s break down the deal. First, let’s talk about how you had the first conversation. Is this deal direct-to-seller?
Close your deals. If you can’t close it, do not commit to it.
Yes. It was a bandit sign lead. My mentor told me, “Since you’re driving for dollars, why don’t you utilize bandit signs?” I’m like, “I see them all the time but I don’t know too much about them.” He was like, “Try it out. If it doesn’t work, don’t take my advice anymore.” We laughed about it and I said, “I’ll take it.” I utilize his bandit signs. I put out 50 every weekend.
I came across a distressed owner. It came to his CallRail number. CallRail is a business line. He said, “Reach out.” I reached out. I made the first initial contact. “You reach out again and see if she’s motivated or not.” I reached out and gave her a number that’s maybe a little bit too high. At first, I called her back and said, “Can you do this?”
She’s driving and sees a sign that you put out with your mentor’s phone number on it. You mentioned CallRail, to break that down guys, CallRail.com, it’s a way to get different phone numbers so you can use it for any marketing or a caller ID when you’re making your cold calls. It’s a great resource so check that out. It’s pretty inexpensive and it’s easy to set up. When they call in the CallRail, does it ring to you or your mentor?
We both can see it. He made the first initial contact. It was ringing his voicemail. He reached out first. It was on a Sunday, so he said, “I don’t do business on Sundays, so I’ll follow up on Monday, and you follow up with the same way.” I followed up, gave her a number, and she said, “I’m trying to figure out if I want to sell or not.” He said, “Call her back. It seems like she’s motivated.”
She called on a bandit sign. Something’s going on. What did the bandit signs say?
Cash for houses and phone numbers.
It’s simple. I remember that you posted a picture in the group of you with a bunch of bandit signs, and I was like, “What is he doing with bandit signs?” It’s reactive marketing, but it worked in this case. You put it out there, you plant the seed, you put the CallRail number out there, and somebody called. Who got a hold of her first?
We both build rapport. By the end of it, he told me, “Assess the property.” We had a big-time investing company. Memphis Invest came and assessed the property as well because they were the main buyers, a fix and flip buyer who didn’t want to buy at that price point. It was a little higher than most. They assessed it. They told the seller, “We’ll follow back up to see if this is a good deal for us and we’ll see if we can help you out.”
Why didn’t she want to sell? What was the motivation? When we go through everything, we pre-qualify every lead, condition of the property, timeline to sell, motivation, and price. Let’s go to the condition. What was the condition of this property?
It was in pretty good condition.
It was pretty clean and livable.
It was mostly turnkey, possibly.
Three bed and two bath, two bedroom, and one bath. What was it?
It has 3 bedrooms, 2 baths and is clean. I did minor renovations to the bathroom.
How fast did she want her money?
Pretty fast, within 30 days.
They stayed on the main street. She had a small grandchild, and she didn’t want to risk that. She went through a divorce, so she was ready to get out of the house.
Here’s the best part. There’s a reason I put it in that order, condition, timeline, motivation, and price. The condition is the easiest thing for them to tell us about. People will tell you how many bedrooms, bathrooms, how many repairs they’ve done, and if they’ve upgraded kitchens or bathrooms or anything like that. They have no problem telling you the conditions. It’s the first thing, so it opens up the conversation.
The second one is the timeline. It’s like, “To let you know, Ms. Seller or Mrs. Seller, we typically purchase these properties in 2 weeks to 1 month. Does that work for you? Are you good to close in the middle of whatever of the month?” That’ll tell you what their motivation is, which is beautiful because a lot of people protect their motivation.
If you put the timeline to them, they open up. All of a sudden, you start learning. They’re like, “I’ve got a young child in the house that I don’t want to live next to a bunch of traffic.” “I got a divorce.” You’re getting the motivation by asking about the condition and the timeline. It sounds natural. If you go into it and go, “This sounds like it’s a nice house. Why are you selling?” It’s much different than unfolding it and when we’re doing it.
You’re breaking down layers.
Do you feel that way?
You’re skinning down the layers a little bit, trying to solve this problem.
The last one was the price. What did she say?
She wanted $145,000, but we broke it down. We finally agreed to $107,000.
You got her down from $145,000. That’s $38,000 that she reduced by talking. How did you get her down? Give us some tips.
We figured out the motivation. We wanted to sell within a certain time to be able for her to get out. My mentor built rapport with her. I threw the assist to him. He told me to stay informed.
Do you want to give him a shout-out? What’s his name?
Great job, Tom.
He told her, “At this price point, we have to do it at this time. We want to get it at $130,000, but unfortunately, we can’t do $130,000 to $145,000 due to the area and the street. We can’t do it at that price point, so $107,000 is the best we can do.”
You got it for $107,000. Closing in how fast?
When you do a joint venture, are you the buyer in the contract or is it Tom or Tom’s company?
Did you have an agreement with him that’s a joint venture agreement so you guys can both negotiate this deal and work on the deal, and you get paid?
Did you get paid through the closing, through the title, and escrow?
Yes. Unfortunately, for this one, it was through his LLC, so he cut me a check at this point.
You lock this thing up. Did you blast it out or did you bring it right to Memphis Invest, who buys a lot of properties?
What’s their process?
They assess the property. If they like it, they can pay a little bit more, so they said, “The best we can do is one $119,000 for this one.” We locked it up at $119,000.
How much did you make off of it?
From a call off of a bandit sign. Ring this thing.
I’ve been waiting for that.
It feels good though, because you were doing deals for $3,000, $5,000, for under $10,000, and you popped one for $12,000. How does that feel?
It’s real life. You’re doing this full-time, right?
In real estate, you don’t have to have a big budget. You just need to have a passion.
You have to take action every day.
The job that you had for the last couple of years of your life has been wildly emotional and a lot of different changes. You’re always in the group, on the phone, supporting, loving, and bringing that optimism. You’re always bringing that support. You’re cheering other people on in our private group. It’s fantastic. Where does that come from?
My mom was hands-on. She was a childcare director as well, so I got that fun spirit from her and God. You’ve got to be a servant-hearted man. I want to make sure everybody else wins. I want to make sure our nation is stronger.
That’s Incredible. That’s where it comes from. That’s how you keep that positive, and you’re out there. As people get into and discover wholesaling, they start learning that it’s not about the deal and money. It’s truly about going out and solving the problems of these distressed property owners in our market. Have you found that to be the truth?
Sometimes you have to take money out of the picture, and you’ve got to figure out what’s the problem. Why do they need to sell? How can you solve their problem as fast as possible?
Doesn’t it feel good when you’re done?
It feels great.
It’s incredible. That’s the biggest benefit of it. People can make money, but if you can’t sleep at night, what’s the point? You’re going to be more stressed. It’s the best sleep ever. You close this deal, and all of a sudden, you’re getting Christmas cards from distressed property owners that you made $42,000 on a deal or something. They’re thankful that you got them out of the situation because it is the truth. People will trade equity and property for speed and convenience. To a lot of the people that we work with, the 6% to 10% of the real estate market that’s in distress, those people don’t always come down to the money. It’s about the money, that’s the secondary benefit of it. The first is to get rid of this problem. The first is don’t worry about a young kid running into traffic.
Being in a house when you were married and now you’re divorced and now it feels bad being in that house. All of these things are real life. These happen every single day and people go, “I don’t know what to do. I don’t want to fix it up. I don’t have a lot of money to fix it up. I don’t necessarily want my neighbors to know that I’m going to sell this property. I don’t want it on Zillow or the internet. I don’t want a sign in my front yard. I don’t want strangers coming through. I don’t want an inspector to come through and nitpick everything, and turn my house into a bloodbath of repairs that need to be done. I want you to give me a price and be done with it.” That’s the truth.
Give some advice to people starting out. Give some advice to people that are going after their first deal. They’ve got that fire in their belly, which it’s not a lot. Out of the 350 million Americans, there are a small number of people that want to be real estate investors, even smaller ones who want to be wholesalers. We’re speaking to our crazy people out there who are reading that are inspired, that have that fire in their belly to succeed in this business. What advice would you give them?
Learn your market, driving for dollars. Utilize the DealMachine app. If you don’t have that, write the property address down and take action. Look up the property assessor and take action every day. Try to find as many properties as you can. Two hundred a week is the goal. Stick to a goal, a plan, and take action. In 30 days, 90 days, you’ll have a deal. You’ve got to push forward.
You’ve got to stay consistent. You have to pick up the phone. It starts with the conversation. I don’t care if you’re waiting for referrals to come to you, you’re buying those leads from marketing, or you’re going to go out and earn it by being proactive. You have to have a conversation. We talked about this. We talked about how our ability to speak and to talk and communicate effectively with people is the single greatest skill we have for making money in this business.
If we don’t have a lot of experience in it, if we’ve never done it before, if we haven’t talked to people about real estate before, why wouldn’t you want to get there as fast as possible? Start having as many conversations as you possibly can. I’m sure the first time that you did, you felt a little bit off, you felt a little bit better, and it started to build up. Now, you don’t have a problem talking to people about real estate. You’ve been talking to my team all day about real estate. It’s incredible.
I love it. I always learn. Thank you so much.
Thank you for being on here. What an inspiration and what a story. For anybody in Memphis, how do they reach out and get hold of you? How do they tell you and send you love?
Love it. Reach out to him. I don’t care where you’re at. If you were inspired, if you read this story and you were encouraged, please reach out to Blair, especially if you’re in the Memphis market, squad up with him there. He is an unbelievable resource and has a huge heart and is somebody that you need in your corner. If you are dealing with any pessimism, you’re feeling negative or unsure, this is the guy that you want in your life to help boost you and be around because it is truly the people that we spend the most time with that we become. I’ve seen that time and time again.
It’s a pleasure to be able to spend time with you and have you around and have you in our community. You’re phenomenal, and everybody loves you. It’s incredible. If you’re interested in joining the most proactive group in real estate investing, the TTP family, go to WholesalingInc.com/TTP. Check it out and scroll down. If it feels good in your gut, sign up for a call. I look forward to working with you personally. Blair, it’s good to have you in Phoenix.
It’s such an incredible time. Until next time guys. Go out there. I always encourage you to talk to people. Until next time. Love you. See you.
- Blair Bass – Facebook
- Memphis Investment Properties
- @DJBlackCard – Instagram
- @Intrepid _Investments – Instagram
About Brent Daniels
Brent Daniels is a multi-million dollar wholesaler in Phoenix, Arizona… and the creator of “Talk To People” — a simple, low cost, and incredibly effective telephone marketing program…
Also known as “TTP”… it helps wholesalers do more, bigger, and more profitable deals by replacing traditional paid advertising (postcards, yellow letters, bandit signs, and PPC) with being proactive and taking action every single day!
Brent has personally coached over 1,000 wholesalers enrolled in his “Cold Calling Mastery” training, and helped 10,000’s of others who listen to him host the Wholesaling Inc. podcast, watch his YouTube channel, and attend his live events…
A natural leader, Brent combines his passion for helping others with his high energy, “don’t-wait-around-for-business” attitude to help you CRUSH your wholesaling goals as quickly and easily as possible!