Posted on: January 27, 2021

Today’s guest is an REI Radio student who was once a real estate broker for 25 years. Now back in the real estate game, he discovered an automated marketing channel that has make his real estate return seamless and easy: radio.

In today’s episode, Michael McCaffrey shared what his return to real estate has been like so far—the calls and leads he has generated through radio, what he loves about radio, and what his game plan for the coming years when it comes to radio.

As an added bonus, you’ll also surely enjoy Michael’s wit, wisdom, and sense of humor. You’ll also learn a lot of things in today’s episode. And if you are considering radio but unsure if it’s right for you, today’s episode might just help make the decision-process easier!

Key Takeaways

  • What he did prior to investing in real estate
  • How he generated leads before radio
  • How he rates his experience setting up radio
  • Number of calls/leads he has generated through radio so far
  • How much he spends on radio
  • How he feels about his overall success so far
  • What he loves about radio as a marketing channel
  • Advice he’ll give to young hustlers
  • What his game plan for the coming years in terms of radio
  • What he’ll tell those who are considering radio as a marketing channel

RESOURCES:

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Episode Transcription

Chris Arnold:
Welcome to the Wholesaling Inc. podcast, I’m your host, Chris Arnold. As always, thank you for joining us today. I’m excited, I have got an REI radio student for you. I like bringing in, we have students closing deals all over the country, utilizing radio, but I’m always looking for people to kind of come in and add a different twist, come from a different place into real estate and how they got here. And I’ve got Michael McCaffrey on today. We’re going to talk about his background and if you’re listening today is what you’re going to get, a guy that’s come really, and I’m going to let him talk about it, really big corporate world, retired, and is now back in the game, doing real estate. And I love what he said, “I’m here to play the game, but I’ve retired, and I want something that’s not labor intensive. And so this is the reason that I picked up radio and, and why I’m setting up my business this way.”
So Michael, or Mike, I know you like to go by Mike, welcome to the show, buddy. Glad to have you.

Michael McCaffrey:
Thanks, Chris.

Chris Arnold:
Yeah. So for those that don’t know you, man, give us a quick snapshot, because you and I are chatting before we hit record, and you were telling me a little bit about your background, and it’s impressive where you come from, but whatever you can kind of share, give us a little bit of a taste of what you were doing before you were doing investing in real estate.

Michael McCaffrey:
Well, I’ve been a real estate broker for about 25 years, and I also was in the foreclosure business. I was one of the largest vendors in the country for some of the major banks, for 25 years in a foreclosure crisis, and basically we handled 13 States, and we had three offices. We had one in New York, we had one in Dallas, we had one in Simi Valley. And basically I did that for 25 years, and a couple of years ago, I decided to get out of it and retired. And after a couple of years, I decided about a year ago, I started listening to Brent Daniels, Brent Daniels set on a podcast one day, he says, “Why don’t you give this guy, Chris Arnold, a call.
And I’m thinking to myself, “Who the heck is Chris Arnold?” And so after I listened to the podcast, I got off the podcast, I started doing some checking, and I found Chris Arnold on radio, and I started listening to, and I’m going, “[inaudible 00:02:52], this is the way to go. It’s not labor-intensive, I don’t have to have a lot of people to run this, I can just basically sit at the beach and let it run itself.” And I was all for it because I loved the beach. So I love South beach, I go there a lot, a great thing to do, just do it remotely, just sit back and be Chris Arnold’s little Canary, and that’s what my goal is to be.

Chris Arnold:
Absolutely. Man, you and I think a lot of like, right? I mean, I want to build businesses that serve me, not in which I feel like I’m a slave to them. I think a lot of people start businesses and rather than owning a business, what they end up owning is a job. They’re working way more, having a lot more stress, doing this new gig of being an entrepreneur than they were working a nine to five. And that defeats the whole purpose, which Mike, you and I got into this whole game for freedom. So what attracted you to radio was the fact that this is fundamentally a set it and forget it, which for a guy like you, that has really done your time, 25 years as you said, doing the foreclosure world, you’re ready to kind of step into a season of your life where you’re still making money, but as you said, enjoying your life, enjoying the season that you’re in. So I’m curious, what were you doing to generate leads before radio? How were you trying to create some opportunities to wholesale, fix and flip, and so forth?

Michael McCaffrey:
Well, basically, for the last couple of years I did some mailings and I was doing probably 2,000 or 3000 a month, and I was getting some leads on it. I probably did between 10 to 14 flips in the last couple of years. I mean, I didn’t do the work, I hired the work out. I just kept saying to myself, “This is labor intensive. This is kind of like what I’m used to doing.” I mean, I’m used to working a lot of hours, but you know what? As life goes on, and you get to the top of the mountain, and you go, “Hey, was it really worth it?” And you go, “I don’t know about that.” And I’ve decided that time is much more important. Time is a commodity that you can’t put a price on. And as you get older, you find out you can’t put a price on it, and you’ve really got to start thinking about that. It’s not about how much money. So radio, I mean, you set it with these radio stations, and you just tweak it, watch it, and just call your leads, that’s all you got to do.

Chris Arnold:
It’s that simple. I mean, as we interview more and more students, wish we could tell you that this is a super complicated process, it’s not rocket science. As we always say, “Once you set up radio, you only have to do two things, pay your bill monthly, and answer the phone when it rings.” That is all it takes to manage a radio station. So let’s talk about setting it up, right? Let’s say, Mike, scale of one to 10, 10 being, “Man, this was super difficult to set up.” One being easy. What was the setup process? Because people are listening, going, “Okay, this guy Mike’s retired, I’m sure he’s not wanting to come in and just spend all this time on a setup of a marketing channel.” What would you rate the difficulty of this setup?

Michael McCaffrey:
Well, the setup is very easy. One thing that you do that a lot of the other people in real estate with other different streams of marketing do is you basically tell people to do it. I mean, there’s REsimpli with Danielle, who was a superstar. You give us the system, you tell us how to set the program up. You tell us how much we should be spending for marketing and everything else. And basically the only difficult thing that I saw in it is calling these radio stations and trying to get the ads that you want for the price that you want, because they really think that you’re a lunatic when you call. And these mom and pop shops are a lot easier to negotiate with. But I mean, I was doing some of the bigger ones, Grace gave me four to work with, and I must have sent her… The mom and pops, I think I sent over three or four proposals, and she said, “Great.”
But I used to sit in my office after she would send someone back from iHeart, for example, and I would look at it, and she’d say, “This looks good. This looks good. That doesn’t look good. You got to get another proposal.” So I would call iHeart, and honestly, I wasn’t accustomed to somebody telling me what to do, and I had to become kind of teachable, like a child. I know how to change. I mean, that’s one of my assets in life. I had to learn how to change during my life. I have learned how to change and well, man, I’m back to first grade here. And I would just shake my head, I’d put my [inaudible 00:07:05] in my desk like this going, “Oh boy.”
So I got to the point with iHeart, I finally called them, and I said, “Look, I can’t keep going back to Chris and Grace.” I said, “I don’t have the tenacity to keep doing this with my tail between my legs.” I said, “You guys either got to give me something.” And I started calling one of them, “Monte Hall.” Let’s make a deal today. What’s the deal today folks? I don’t know, they kind of thought about it or something. And then another time I called them and I said, “Hey,” I said, “why don’t I pick you up with a limo? And you bring the contract, but don’t fill it out.” And I said, “and I’ll take you guys out to lunch.” I said, “And why we’re all at the lunch,” I said, “you guys can have a few beers afterwards.” After lunch, I said, “I’ll take you home and dump you in front of your front yard for your wives,” I said, “but I’ll fill the contract out. Is that a deal?”
They didn’t want to, but they thought it was funny. And the thing with negotiating radio is the hardest part is it’s very easy to get in tit for tat. And you can’t do that, you really got to set, when you’re negotiating with them you’ve got to make it like a game. Like, “You know what? If you lose, you move on to the next.” That’s how you got to look at it because you can really get into a negative conversation with them very easily. But if you make it a game, it’s hard for them to get mad at you. And they honestly, I think they look forward to talking to every couple of weeks [inaudible 00:08:22]. “What’s this guy going to call today about when he’s half off the rails most of the time?” And that’s what they think.

Chris Arnold:
I love it. So I’m going to give some context here, Mike, to kind of everything, because he hit on some great points I want to make sure everyone listening gets. So Mike first is obviously making the point of one of the secret sauces, one of the things that we help you do with radio is we are literally helping you buy it at a major discount. And if you’re listening, you know that all of your money on a real estate transaction is made on the purchase. The same is true with radio. So Mike is saying, “I’m calling these stations and their price is X and we’re way below here. But I know Chris is telling me that this whole process is going to work, and I’m seeing other students do it.” And then boom, Mike’s coming in and locking in these stations at literally 20, 25 cents on the dollar, which is what we educate our students to do.
The other thing as well is if you hear the name Grace, we have a whole team that supports our students. So Grace manages all of my radio personally for my business. And of course helps all the students around the country as well. And if you hear iHeart, this is what we’re laughing about. Every station kind of has a different vibe to it, right? And iHeart obviously is known as a little bit… I’m just say it, they are the most cocky station out there. They are the hardest to negotiate. And Mike has come in, he’s already advertising on two stations, and now he’s picked up two more stations from iHeart. So he’s got a combined total of four radio stations.
So Mike, let’s talk a little bit about these stations you have. The two that you picked up from iHeart are just about to start. So when we talk about numbers, we’re talking about the two radio stations that you’d been on for two and a half months. How many calls have you generated or leads over two and a half months off the two stations you had? You gave me that number, what was it?

Michael McCaffrey:
Between 130 and 140.

Chris Arnold:
130 to 140 leads in two and a half months. How much is your monthly budget for those two stations?

Michael McCaffrey:
$1,300.

Chris Arnold:
That’s for one or both of them?

Michael McCaffrey:
Both.

Chris Arnold:
Both stations. So $1,300, two radio stations, combined total of roughly around 130 to 140 leads over two and a half month period. Bro, that’s fantastic. And I’m going to keep using your way of saying it, was it labor intensive?

Michael McCaffrey:
Not at all.

Chris Arnold:
Not at all.

Michael McCaffrey:
And it’s kind of funny because I’m working 20, 25 hours a week going, “Maybe I should be finding some more to do.” And I’m going. “No, no, no, this is okay. This is okay.”

Chris Arnold:
Yeah. So let’s talk about the success you’ve had. Because so far we were talking, you’ve closed a real estate deal, you’ve listed two properties because you’re licensed to be able to do that. You’ve already picked up a duplex to buy and hold, and then behind that as we were talking, you have a couple more listings coming down the pipeline, so forth. So I mean, how do you feel about the overall success? I mean, you’re doing really well first two and a half months.

Michael McCaffrey:
Oh, it’s incredible. It’s the way to go. I mean, it’s basically the thing that I want people to understand is, is you say something in one of your podcasts that all the data that you gave me, and I’ve been a business a long time, very few times is the data is so accurate. Your data is accurate. For an example, one thing you say is, “Make sure you have somebody answer the phone.” Well, sometimes I miss the calls because they go to REsimpli through Danielle, and then they come over to my cell phone right now. So sometimes it goes straight to voicemail for some reason, and sometimes I’m not available to answer. I get back to those people, I only may contact 25% of the time. So you’re right on the money. The thing is, everybody should be a Canary of Chris Arnold and do it exactly. And I mean, exactly, that’s what makes it work. And you know something? When it’s not working, you ask yourself, “What am I not doing that he said?” And I’ll guarantee you that they’ll find something.

Chris Arnold:
Absolutely. And I appreciate that, it means a lot. And my deal has always been to under promise and over deliver, right? So there’s no reason we need to exaggerate the process. We just come in, we tell you guys the truth, but the thing I know about radio is it’s going to back itself up, because it literally is one of the best marketing channels that I’ve ever come across for myself. That’s why I’m taking the time to educate people like yourself, Mike, and help set up. And the cool part is I knew this was going to happen throughout the market because it impacted my business at a high level.
And so each student we have coming on like yourself is telling the same story again and again. So now that you’ve got radio up and going, besides the fact that it’s set it and forget it, tell me another aspect that you really enjoy about radio as a marketing channel? Just for you personally what do you enjoy besides the fact it’s easy to run?

Michael McCaffrey:
Meeting new people.

Chris Arnold:
I think we were talking earlier, what were you saying about the quality of the call?

Michael McCaffrey:
Oh, the quality of the call, anybody that calls on radio has a problem in their life, really is kind of nice to go in and help somebody really. These people are very, very, very appreciative when you solve their problem for you. And basically it’s a way to solve problems for people, and help people to move on with their lives through a crisis. A lot of people are in a crisis, and there’s going to be a lot more of it, because I’ve gotten calls from the larger banks wanting me to come out of retirement. And I say, “Look,” at, here’s an example, Scott is one of the guys first name, “Scott, when I worked for you, my blood pressure was 145 over 95. When I was taking blood pressure meds for 20 years. Since I retired, my blood pressure is 106 over 60, and I’m a positive guy. What would you do?”

Chris Arnold:
Exactly. I love [inaudible 00:14:03], every time we’re on the phone, man, I call you, you just crack me up, man. Right? So man, you were working in that world, just burning at both ends. Now you’re on the retirement side and I love how you tell a guy like that, “What are you thinking? You think I want to step back into that world?” But the biggest thing I hear is… this is why I think you’re so interesting, right? I mean, people come on from different facets of life and different seasons, and you’re this guy that is retired, who literally was busting, again, I’ll say busting your ass for the last 20, 25 years, and you’re ready to really enjoy kind of the back nine of your life. And so I love that filtering radio through your world is just such a good fit for you, because it’s supporting the lifestyle that you want. Correct? And that is to really not be overburdened day-to-day with this real estate investment arm that you want to keep going.

Michael McCaffrey:
Yes, because I still have a 14 year old who was the love of my life, a daughter. And I still got to stay around here pretty much half of the time. So it’s good for me to have something going on here, because if I don’t have something going on, I can get myself in trouble very quickly.

Chris Arnold:
I’m the same way, man. I just talked about retiring, I think that I’ll get to a point in my life where maybe the reason you work begins to shift a little bit more. Like for you, you can retire, but 100% you’re doing what you want to do just because you’re in a season of life that you can do that. Right? And so I just imagine myself, I don’t know that I’ll ever really be able to stop building. I just love building things. I love tinkering with things. And so my motivation, the amount of hours and things like that might adjust or go down, but I just love the game. I love the game of business, and I feel like you’re the same way, Mike, you just love playing the great game of business.

Michael McCaffrey:
Well, the thing is, Chris, is you’re farther ahead of me than I was in the game at your year age. I mean, I worked 80, 90 hours a week, and I raised a family, four children on my own the first time around, and I have a 14 year old daughter now, but I worked 80, 90 hours a week for 25 years.

Chris Arnold:
Wow.

Michael McCaffrey:
And then I retired, and the thing is you value time. Time flies, and thing about life is as you get older, you go, “You know what? I have to do something, but I’m not negotiating my time. [crosstalk 00:16:17] I only have so much. And you know what? If I could buy time, I’d be the first one at the gate to buy time.”

Chris Arnold:
Mike, let me ask you a question. You got some young hustlers listener right now, some entrepreneur guys, let’s say the guys they’re in their twenties, thirties, maybe even early forties, right. They’re burning at both ends, they’re grinding it out, but they’re in a season where they also have families, they’re married, they might have young kids and so forth. Looking at now, if you could like look at those guys, and even on this kind of podcast, speak directly with them, what would you say to them now that you’re at the season of life that you’re in? What would you look back and go, “Guys, if I could like literally grab you by the shoulders and tell you this,” what would you tell those young hustlers out there?

Michael McCaffrey:
I would tell them to understand the value of time. I would say, “You’re going to have plenty of time to reach the top of the mountain. If you keep doing what you’re doing, and you do it consistently, and you set up processes.” I believe in processes, I believe in the processes is what makes people successful. I don’t believe it was me that made me successful, I believe it was the process. The process and the machine will make you successful. [inaudible 00:17:23] find a balance. Get with people like Chris Arnold, people that understand time. I didn’t have those people around me when I was younger. I was so consumed with becoming the biggest, and the best, and et cetera, et cetera. And the thing is, is time is the probably it’s more important than Benjamin Franklin. The money is not that important, the time is.
And to get with people like you, I envy you at your age to understand time. I didn’t understand time until I was 50 years old, starting to understand it. And the thing is, I had to get to the top of the mountain. Maybe you got to the top of the mountain earlier than I did, and you realized the thing about time, I didn’t, and that’s what people need to realize. They need not to make the moral missteps as you talk about. Leaders get into power, into money, you think that you’re almost God-like. You’re very right about moral missteps, two out of three leaders, crash and burn. It’s not how much grit you got. If you have a lot of grit, and you make a moral misstep, you can have a problem. I don’t care how much grit you have.

Chris Arnold:
Absolutely, man. Everyone listening, man. I hope wherever you were at that point, that that message went past your brain and hit right at your heart, because you got a guy right now telling you, man, the time is more important than the Benjamins. It’s the one thing that you can’t get back. And I love what you said about, we all have time, but we got to get to a place in our life where we understand time. That we’re, as I feel like you’re saying, I’ve always had it, but it wasn’t till I got older that I understood the value. And I think anyone listening goes, “Well, I value time.” And I think you would argue and go, “Well, you think you value time, but if I were to get in and watch you, and follow you day to day, and how you’re spending your time, you’re grinding it out, and you’re sacrificing family, and you’re sacrificing your health, and your sleep, and all of these things.”
I feel like you’d look at a guy like that and go, “You’re deceiving yourself. You don’t value time, because you say you do, but your lifestyle points opposite to the fact of that.” So, dude, thanks for coming, man. Just straight from the gut and the heart on that. I love it. So starting to wrap up here, Mike, [inaudible 00:19:29] what do you want to do in radio? I mean, you’re about to be live on four stations. What do you think you want to do over the next year? Are you going to pick up more stations? What’s this game look like?

Michael McCaffrey:
Well, one of the things I realized, I always had two personal assistants in the corporate world, and I always thought everything revolved around me. And one thing I’ve learned about radio in the last couple of years and retiring and being a one person organization, along with contractors and stuff, is my personal assistants were very important to me. They basically started me off on my day and said, “Mike, you’re going to do this, this, and this today. This is the schedule for you.” I would follow the bone. Well, I’ve been struggling with that, so I just turned around last week, and I’m trying the Chris Arnold thing about hiring people that are good people. Not with the MBAs, I’ve been through that, I’ve hired thousands of MBA people. I’m going with people that are good people.
I hired one that is computer savvy, and really has done some marketing, has got a history of marketing. And he’s basically going to start running our organization. So to answer your question where I’m going to be, I want to have like Mitch has down in San Antonio, Texas, maybe seven to 10 main stations here in New York, and then I’m going into a secondary market down South. And I welcome competition, anybody, go to Chris Arnold, pay him, because I’ll tell you something, everything he says is right on the money, and the statistics are dead on.
I’m still kind of been kind of shocked. When I was going through the negotiating with iHeart, One time I had my head in my hand like this on my desk, and I’m going, “We’re losing Tulum, Mexico.” I went up the stairs, and I got my passport out, and I said, “Okay, my passport is still good.” I was going to apply down to Tulum and see, say, “Look, we got to talk about this.”

Chris Arnold:
I love it.

Michael McCaffrey:
I swear to God, I was going to do that. And that’s when Corona was really hitting, and I checked with my kids, one of my daughters, she says, “You probably shouldn’t go down there, dad.” [inaudible 00:21:23] And I was going to go down to Tulum, Mexico. And then I was going to email Grace when I was down there and say, “Grace, how do I get ahold of Chris? I’m down here.”

Chris Arnold:
I love it, man. Well, I’ll tell you what, Mike, I just love your personality. I love the wisdom that you got and your experience, man. So you come down and hang out with me anytime you want in Tulum. So if you’re listening, I think now we’ve been doing radio, helping people for more than a year. We’ve sold out a ton of markets at this point, but again, it’s time. It’s 2021, and with me, as Mike’s told you, you’re just going to, what you see is what you get. So here’s what you want to do. Go to wholesalinginc.com/REIradio. Again, wholesalinginc.com/REIradio, book a call, now is the time to do it, obviously. Again, just start with questions, do your due diligence. I’m not saying that radio is a perfect fit for everyone, but it has benefit for a lot of people that we brought through this program, and that’s what you’re hearing.
And do your due diligence, ask questions, but get the ball started. And there’s going to be a point in time, it’s starting to speed up and come, mike, that there’s not going to be any markets left. We will have sold out markets, and we have people on waiting lists now, and people begging us to get into certain markets. And we’re like, “Sorry, we have a student that’s already in there doing a great job. And so we’re going to continue to support them.” So check us out. And of course, as always, if you want to put a face with the name and see Mike as well, go to YouTube and subscribe at Chris Arnold-Real Estate, and you can check us out there.
So, Mike, wrapping up, somebody’s listening today, and I think now people have really heard about radio, we done a good job of spreading the word, but let’s say someone’s like, “Man, 2021 is here, I’m still a little bit on the fence on this radio. Should I do this thing or not?” What would you wrap up somebody that’s almost there, and maybe they’re like, “Mike, I just need that little push. Maybe I got a little fear. Maybe I got a little anxiety. Maybe I’m trying to make sure it’s the right timing, whatever that is.” But what would you tell that person about radio that’s trying to make that final decision?

Michael McCaffrey:
Well, if they want to live their life, and not just work all the time and become obsessed with having to work 80 to 100 hours a week, radio is the way to go. I mean, you could run a successful business doing this 25, 30 hours a week if you build your team. The thing I would advise people to do when you start doing radio, you need to listen to Chris and what Grace, and Alan, and everybody else says, Sierra, you need to do specifically, specifically what they tell you to do, because then you will be successful. It’s a no brainer. It’s impossible for it to work. Negotiating with some of the stations like iHeart, Cumulus is difficult, but you just stick with it, you don’t give up. You go to Grace and say, “I’m frustrated.” They’re very, very good, they’re good people.
That’s the bottom line. You have good people, and I don’t know how you do it. I don’t know how you did it, because I mean, I had a whole recruiting department with eight people, and I could never, I might’ve hired one out of 50 like that. So, I mean, I don’t know how you did it.

Chris Arnold:
It’s a big compliment, I appreciate it. And so I think the thing I’m most proud of is the strength of the team that we’ve built around us. And honestly, it just comes down to taking care, my brother used to tell me this, “Chris, take great care of the people that take great care of you.” And he was referring to the employees and people that work for us, and so that’s always really been my model, to care about the totality of their lives, not just the job that I’m hiring them for.
So and you heard today, Mike, I just want to make sure if anyone heard, as a resource, I always want to touch on it, REsimpli, just to provide explanation, is a CRM system, but is one-stop shop for everything. So rather than having DocuSign and skip tracing, and doing direct mail, and let’s say every other, CallRail, auto dialers, KPI dashboard, I could go on forever. Any a la carte software you have, what REsimpli has done is literally put everything in one place. So it got rid of 10 different programs we have, and now all we use is REsimpli, so Mike is using it as well, and so that’s what we’re referring to if you hear that. And so if you want to check that out, of course you can go to Resimpli.com/chris.
And again, that’s REsimpli S-I-M-P-L-I.com/chris, and I’ll pay straight up, it’s $100 bucks a month. And so with the promo codes, you get different discounts and so forth.

Michael McCaffrey:
Hey, can I say something about REsimpli?

Chris Arnold:
Yeah, please do.

Michael McCaffrey:
I am a moron when it comes to computers. Danielle at REsimpli spent three days with me, 90 minutes each time, we had it on a Zoom call, we had it on all kinds of things, trying to get me to figure something out and to get me to do something, and she finally got me to do it, but I don’t even know her, she’s got the patience of a saint. I wouldn’t call her back because I was feeling guilty about being such a moron putting her through it. I was like, “Wow.”

Chris Arnold:
They’re great over there.

Michael McCaffrey:
Yeah, they are.

Chris Arnold:
That’s why I really speak on behalf of Shirad. Again, I want to be around people that really look at their business as meant to serve. And again, if a company like that is willing to take that amount of time to you, I think it speaks a lot. So thanks so much, Mike, for coming on, and to the rest of you guys, we really appreciate you joining us. And until next time, we will catch you soon when we add more value. Talk to you later.

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