Having a fully automated marketing channel is the dream of every real estate investor, and radio has made that dream a possibility. 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 made his real estate return seamless and easy: radio. In today’s episode, Michael McCaffrey shares with host Chris Arnold 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. If you are considering radio but unsure if it’s right for you, today’s episode might just help make the decision-making process easier!
The Fully Automated Marketing Channel That Led A Retired Broker To Freedom With Michael McCaffrey
Thank you for joining us. I’m excited. I have got an REI Radio student for you. We have students closing deals all over the country utilizing radio but I’m always looking for people to come in and add a different twist, come from a different place into real estate and how they’ve got here. I’ve got Michael McCaffrey on. We are going to talk about his background. This is what you are going to get.
A guy that’s come in the big corporate world, retired and is back in the game doing real estate. I love what he said, “I’m here to play the game but I have retired and I want something that’s not labor-intensive. This is the reason that I picked up the radio and why I’m setting up my business this way.” Mike, welcome to the show. I’m glad to have you.
For those that don’t know, give us a quick snapshot. You were telling me a little bit about your background. It’s impressive where you come from. Whenever you can share, give us a little bit of a taste of what you were doing before you are doing investing in real estate.
I have been a real estate broker for 25 years. I also was in the foreclosure business. I was one of the largest vendors in the country for some of the major banks. For many years in a foreclosure crisis, we handled thirteen states. We had three offices. We had one in New York, in Dallas and Simi Valley. I did that for many years. Years ago, I decided to get out of it and retire. I then started listening to Brent Daniels. He said on a podcast one day, “Why don’t you give this guy, Chris Arnold a call?” I’m thinking to myself, “Who is Chris Arnold?”
After that, I’ve got off to the podcast. I started doing some checking. I found Chris Arnold on the radio. I started listening to him and I’m going, “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 sit at the beach and let it run itself.” I was all for it because I love the beach. I love South Beach. I go there a lot. It’s a great thing to do. Do it remotely, sit back and be Chris Arnold’s little canary. That’s what my goal is to be.
Time is a commodity that you can’t put a price on. As you get older, you find out you can’t put a price on it.
You and I think a lot alike. I want to build businesses that serve me, not in which I feel like I’m a slave to them. A lot of people start businesses, rather than owning a business, what they end up owning is a job. They are working way more, having a lot more stress, doing this new gig of being an entrepreneur than they were working a 9:00 to 5:00. That defeats the whole purpose, which Mike, you and I have got into this whole game for freedom.
What attracted you to radio was the fact that this is fundamentally a set it and forget it, which for a guy like you has done your time, many years as you said, doing the foreclosure world. You are ready to step into a season of your life where you are still making money but enjoying your life, enjoying the season that you are in. I’m curious, what were you doing to generate leads before radio? How are you trying to create some opportunities to wholesale, fix and flip, and so forth?
I did some mailings. I was doing probably $2,000 or $3,000 a month. I was getting some leads on it. I did between 10 to 14 flips. I didn’t do the work. I hired the workout. I just kept saying to myself, “This is labor-intensive. This is what I’m used to doing.” I’m used to working long hours but as life goes on, you get to the top of the mountain and go, “Was it really worth it?” You go, “I don’t know about that.” I have decided that time is much more important. Time is a commodity that you can’t put a price on it. As you get older, you find out you can’t put a price on it. You’ve got to start thinking about that. It’s not about how much money. For radio, you set up with these radio stations, tweak it, watch it and call your leads. That’s all you had to do.
As we interview more students, we 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 a 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. Let’s talk about setting it up. Let’s say, Mike, the scale is 1 to 10, 10 being this was super difficult to set up, 1 being easy, what was the setup process? People reading are going, “This guy Mike has retired. I’m sure he does not want to come in and just spend all this time on a setup of a marketing channel.” What would you rate the difficulty of the setup?
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 tell people how to do it. There’s REsimpli with Danielle, who was a superstar. You give us the system. You tell us how to set the program up and how much we should be spending on marketing and everything else. The only difficult thing that I saw in it is calling these radio stations and trying to get the money, trying to get the ads that you want for the price that you want because they think that you are a lunatic when you call.
These mom-and-pop shops are a lot easier to negotiate with. I was doing some of the bigger ones. Grace gave me four to work with and I must have sent her over 3 or 4 proposals for mom-and-pop. She said, “Great.” When I used to sit in my office after she would send someone back from iHeart, for example, I would look at it and she would say, “This looks good. That doesn’t look good. You’ve got to get another proposal.” I would call iHeart.
Honestly, I wasn’t accustomed to somebody telling me what to do. I had to become teachable like a child. I know how to change. That’s one of my assets in life. I had to learn how to change during my life. If I have not learned how to change, I’m back to first grade here. I would shake my head. I put my hand in my chest like this going, “Oh, boy.” I’ve got to the point with iHeart. I finally called them and said, “I can’t keep going back to Chris and Grace. I don’t have the tenacity to keep doing this with my tail between my legs. You’ve got to give me something.” I started calling one of the Monty Hall. “What’s the deal?” They thought about it or something.
Another time I called them and I said, “Why don’t I pick you up with a limo? You bring the contract but don’t fill it out and I will take you guys out to lunch. While we are all at the lunch, you can have a few beers afterward. After lunch, I will take his home and dump you in front of your front yards for your wives but I will fill the contract out. Is that a deal?” They thought it was funny.
The thing with negotiating radio and the hardest part is it’s very easy to get a tit for tat. You can’t do that. When you are negotiating with them, you’ve got to make it like a game. If you lose, you move on to the next. That’s how you’ve got to look at it because you can 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. They look forward to talking to you every couple of weeks. “What’s this guy going to call about when he’s half off the rails most of the time?” That’s what they think.
I’m going to get some context here, Mike, to everything because you hit on some great points. I want to make sure everyone reading gets it. The first that I will be making a point that’s one of the secret sauces. One of the things that we help you do with radio is we are helping you buy it at a major discount. If you are reading, you know that all of your money is on real estate transactions made on the purchase the same is true with radio. Mike is saying like, “I’m calling these stations and their price is X. We are 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.” Mike then is coming in and locking in these stations at $0.20, $0.25 on the dollar, which is what we educate our students to do.
The other thing as well as if you hear the name Grace, we have a whole team that supports our students. Grace manages all of my radio personally for my business and helps all the students around the country as well. If you hear iHeart, every station has a different vibe to it. iHeart is the cockiest station out there. They are the hardest to negotiate. Mike has come in. He’s already advertising on two stations and he’s picked up two more stations from iHeart so he’s got a combined total of four radio stations.
Mike, let’s talk a little bit about these stations you have. The two that you picked up from iHeart are about to start. When we talk about numbers, we are talking about the two radio stations that you have 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?
It’s between 130 and 140.
How much is your monthly budget for those two stations?
That’s for one or both of them?
It’s for both.
$1,300, two radio stations, a combined total of roughly around 130 to 140 leads over two and a half month period. That’s fantastic. I’m going to keep using your way of saying it. Was it labor-intensive?
Time is probably more important than Benjamin Franklin. The money is not that important.
Not at all. It’s funny because I’m working 20, 25 hours a week. I’m like, “Maybe I should be finding some more to do.” I then go, “This is okay.”
Let’s talk about the success you have had because you have closed a real estate deal. You have listed two properties because you are licensed to be able to do that. You have already picked up a duplex to buy and hold, and then behind that, you have a couple more listings coming down the pipeline and so forth. How do you feel about the overall success you are doing well first two and a half months?
It’s incredible. It’s the way to go. The thing that I want people to understand is all the data that you gave me, I have been in a business for a long time. Very few times is the data so accurate. Your data is accurate. One thing you say is, “Make sure you have somebody answer the phone.” Sometimes I miss the clause because they go to REsimpli to Danielle and then they come over to my cell phone.
Sometimes it goes straight to voicemail for some reason and sometimes I’m not available to answer. I get back to those people with who I only made contact 25% of the time. You are right about the money. The thing is, everybody should be a canary of Chris Arnold and do it exactly. That’s what makes it work. When it’s not working, you ask yourself, “What am I not doing that he said?” I will guarantee you, they will find something.
I appreciate that. It means a lot. My deal has always been to under-promise and over-deliver. There’s no reason we need to exaggerate the process. We come in, we tell you the truth but the thing I know about radio is it’s going to back itself up because it is one of the best marketing channels that I have ever come across from myself. That’s why I’m taking the time to educate people like yourself, Mike, and help set up.
The cool part is I knew this was going to happen throughout the market because it impacted my business at a high level. Each student we have coming on like yourself is telling the same story again and again. Now that you’ve got the radio up and going, besides the fact that it’s set it and forget it, tell me another aspect that you enjoy about radio as a marketing channel, just for you personally. What do you enjoy besides the fact it’s easy to run?
It’s meeting new people.
What were you saying about the quality of the call?
Anybody that calls on the radio has a problem in their life. It’s nice to go in and help somebody. These people are very appreciative when you solve their problems for you. 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. I’ve gotten calls from the larger banks wanting me to come out of retirement. Here’s an example. One of the guys’ first names is Scott. “When I worked for you, my blood pressure was 145 over 95 when I was taking blood pressure medicine for many years. Since I retired, my blood pressure is 106 over 60. I’m a positive guy. What would you do?”
You were working in that world, burning at both ends. Now you are on the retirement side. I love how you tell a guy like that. “What are you thinking? You think I want to step back into that world?” This is why I think you are so interesting. People come on from different facets of life, different seasons and you are this guy that has retired who was busting your ass and you are ready to enjoy the back nine of your life. I love that filtering radio through your world. It’s such a good fit for you because it’s supporting the lifestyle that you want. That is to not be overburdened day-to-day with this real estate investment arm that you want to keep going.
I still have a fourteen-year-old who was the love of my life, a daughter. I still have got to stay around here pretty much most half of the time. 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.
I’m the same way. I will get to a point in my life where the reason you work begins to shift a little bit more like for you. You can retire but 100% you are doing what you want to do because you are in a season of life that you can do that. I imagine myself. I don’t know that I will ever be able to stop building. I love building things and tinkering with things. My motivation, the number of hours and things like that might adjust or go down but I love the game of business. I feel like you are the same way, Mike. You loved playing the great game of business.
The thing, Chris, is you are farther ahead of me than I was in the game a year age. I worked 80, 90 hours a week and I raised a family or children on my own the first time around. I have a fourteen-year-old daughter but I worked 80, 90 hours a week for many years and then I retire. The thing is as you value time, time flies. The thing about life is as you get older, you go, “I have to do something but I’m not negotiating my time.” I only have so much. If I could buy time, I would be the first one at the gate to buy the time.
Let me ask you a question. You’ve got some young hustler readers, some entrepreneur guys. Let’s say the guys are in their 20s, 30s, maybe even early 40s. They are burning at both ends, grinding it out but they are in a season where they also have families. They are married. They might have young kids and so forth. If you could look at those guys and even on this show, speak directly with them, what would you say to them that you are at the season of life that you are in? What would you look back and go, “If I could literally grab you by the shoulders and tell you this,” what would you tell those young hustlers out there?
I would tell them to understand the value of time. I would say, “You are going to have plenty of time to reach the top of the mountain if you keep doing what you are doing, you do it consistently and you set up processes.” I believe that processes are what make people successful. I don’t believe it was me that made me successful. I believe it was the process. A process and the machine will make you successful. Find a balance. Even 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. The thing is, time is more important than Benjamin Franklin, “The money is not that important, the time is.”
Begin with people like you. I am you at your age to understand time. I didn’t understand time until I was 50 years old. The thing is I had to get to the top of the mountain. Maybe you guys are at the top of the mountain earlier than I did and you realize the thing about time. I didn’t. That’s what people need to realize. They need not make moral missteps. Leaders get into power and the money. You think that you are almost godlike. You are very right about moral missteps. 2 out of 3 leaders crash and burn. It’s not how much grit you’ve 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.
For everyone reading, I hope wherever you were at that point, that message went past your brain and hit right at your heart because we had a guy telling you that time is more important than the Benjamins. It’s the one thing that you can’t get back. I love what you said about we all have time but we’ve got to get to a place in our life where we understand time. “I have always had it but it wasn’t until I’ve got older that I understood the value.” Why value time? I think you would argue and go, “You think you value time.”
If I were to get in, watch you, follow your day-to-day and how you are spending your time, you are grinding it out, you are sacrificing family, your health, your sleep and all of these things, I feel like you would look at a guy like that and go, “You are deceiving yourself.” You don’t value time because you say you do but your lifestyle points opposite to the fact. Thanks for coming. It’s straight from the gut and the heart on that. I love it. Starting to wrap up here, Mike, what do you want to do on the radio? You are about to be live on four stations. What do you think you want to do over the next years? Are you going to pick up more stations? What’s this thing look like?
I always had two personal assistants in the corporate world. I always thought everything revolved around me. One thing I have learned about radio in the last couple of years, retiring and being a one-person organization along with contractors and stuff is my personal assistants were very important to me. They started me off on my day and said, “Mike, you are going to do this and this. This is the schedule.” I would follow them all. I have been struggling with that so I turned around. I’m trying a Chris Arnold thing about hiring good people. With the MBAs, I have been through that. I have hired thousands of MBA people. I am going to good people. I hired the one that is computer savvy and got a history of marketing. He’s going to start running our organization.
To answer your question about where I’m going to be, I want to have stations in San Antonio, Texas. Maybe send it to 7 to 10 main stations here in New York. I’m going into a secondary market down in the South. I welcome competition. Go to Chris Arnold and pay him. I will tell you something. Everything he says is right on the money. The statistics are up. I’m still shocked. When I was going through negotiating with iHeart one time, I had my head in my hand on my desk and I’m going, “Chris is in Tulum, Mexico.”
I went up the stairs and I’ve got my passport out. I said, “My passport is still good.” I was going to fly down to Tulum, see you and say, “We’ve got to talk about this.” I swear to God, I was going to do that. That’s when Corona was hitting. I checked with one of my daughters and she says, “You shouldn’t go down there, Dad.” I was going to go down to Tulum, Mexico. I then was going to email Grace when I was down there and say, “Grace, how do I get ahold of Chris? I’m down here.”
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 love your personality. I love the wisdom that you’ve got and your experience. You come down and hang out with me anytime you are in Tulum. We have been doing radio, helping people. We have sold out a ton of markets at this point. It’s time. It’s 2021. With me, as Mike told you, what you see is what you get. Here’s what you want to do. Go to WholesalingInc.com/reiradio, book a call. This is the time to do it. Start with questions. Do your due diligence. I’m not saying that radio is a perfect fit for everyone but it has been a fit for a lot of people that we brought through this program. Get the ball started.
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. We have people on waiting lists and begging us to get into certain markets. We are like, “Sorry. We have a student that’s already in there doing a great job so we are going to continue to support them.” 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. You can check us out there.
Mike, wrapping up, people have heard about radio. We have done a good job of spreading the word. Let’s say someone is like, “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 are like, “Mike, I need that little push. I’ve got a little fear and anxiety. I’m trying to make sure it’s the right timing?” What would you tell that person about radio who’s trying to make that final decision?
If they want to live their life, 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. 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 is you need to listen to Chris, Grace, Allen, Sierra and everybody else says. You need to do specifically what they tell you to do because then you will be successful. It’s a no-brainer. It can’t work.
Negotiating with some of the stations like iHeart, Cumulus is difficult but you stick with it. You don’t give up. You go to Grace and say, “I’m frustrated.” They are very good. They are good people. That’s the bottom line. You have good people. I don’t know how you did it. I had a whole recruiting department. It was eight people. I might have hired 1 out of 50 like that.
That’s a big compliment. I appreciate it. The thing I’m most proud of is the strength of the team that we have built around us. My brother used to tell me this, “Chris, take great care of the people that take great care of you.” He was referring to the employees and people that work for us. That has always been my model to care about the totality of their lives, not just the job that I’m hiring them for.
As you heard, Mike, I want to make sure if anyone heard, as a resource, I always want to touch on it. REsimpli is a CRM system but it’s a one-stop-shop for everything, rather than having DocuSign, skip tracing, doing DirectMail, CallRail, auto-dialers, KPI dashboard. I could go on forever, all the cart software you have. What REsimpli has done is put everything in one place. It got rid of ten different programs we have and all we use is REsimpli. Mike is using it as well. That’s what we are referring to. If you want to check that out, you can go to RESimpli.com/chris. I will tell you straight up. It’s $100 a month. With the promo code, you get different discounts.
I am a moron when it comes to computers. Danielle in REsimpli spent three days with me, 90 minutes each time. We had it on a Zoom call and on all kinds of things trying to get me to figure something out and to get me to do something. She finally got me to do it but I didn’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.
They are great over there. That’s fine. I speak on behalf of Sharad. I want to be around people that look at their business as meant to serve. If a company like that is willing to take that amount of time, it speaks a lot. Thanks so much, Mike, for coming on. To the rest of you, we appreciate you joining us. Until next time. We will catch you soon when we add more value. Talk to you later.
About Chris Arnold
Chris Arnold is a 15-year Real Estate veteran who has closed over 2500 single-family real estate transactions in the DFW metroplex. Chris is the founder of multiple companies that are managed by a US virtual team, which allows Chris to run his organizations while living in Tulum, Mexico full time. His passion for leaders has led to the creation of Multipliers brotherhood which serves the top 5% of real estate entrepreneurs out of the US. Most recently Chris has launched his REI Radio coaching program. This program is designed to teach real estate investors the marketing stream that everyone knows about but NO ONE is doing!