Posted on: February 24, 2021

Our guest for today’s show is an REI Radio student who closed his sizeable deal from radio advertising after only 30 days of going live. Marcelo Valdez has now two radio stations and is in the process of negotiation for a third station in the next month, three stations in 90 days!

In today’s episode, Marcelo will be interviewed by Chris Arnold on his wholesaling story, what marketing strategies he is doing, and how far it got him to this day. With that, he will dive into how he bumped into wholesaling, expanding his radio stations and his business, his first sizeable deal, his marketing portfolio, and what he loves about radio.

Learn how he grows his business through wholesaling and getting the hang of radio and its benefits. Find out what it is on the radio that makes Marcelo want to have more. Listen and enjoy this episode!

Key Takeaways

  • How far is Marcelo in the game of real estate
  • Coming across wholesaling through Tom Krol’s podcast
  • What wholesaling looks like for him in the last two years with TTP
  • On doing the business with his wife for the time being
  • His plan to expand to three radio stations in 90 days
  • On paying $2,900 monthly for two radio stations for marketing
  • How he closed his first sizeable deal from radio advertising
  • What his ideal marketing portfolio consists of
  • His view on how radio advertising differs from cold calling
  • How he gets responses from the direct mails he sent
  • What he wants to say to anyone about radio
  • His plan to migrate to another calling platform

RESOURCES:

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Episode Transcription

Chris Arnold:
Welcome to the Wholesaling Inc Podcast. I’m your host, Chris Arnold, grateful that you’re with us today to hang out. I love bringing on somebody that just comes out of the gate and closes a big deal off radio and says, “Hey, some of these other marketing channels, I got to wait six months or a year.” One of the things I love about radio is it’s an immediate delivery. Calls start coming in quickly. And we see most of our students really execute, close out contracts, I like to conservatively say within the first 60 to 90. But the person we have on today, who I’m excited for you guys to meet, closed his first deal on the first 30 and a very sizable deal at that. Marcelo Valdez, welcome to the show, buddy. Glad to have you. What’s cracking, man? How are you?

Marcelo Valdez:
Hey. Good. Thanks for having me on. [crosstalk 00:01:34]

Chris Arnold:
Absolutely. People know you… How long have you been in the game? Give a little bit of a snapshot. Who is this guy that’s on today, and a little bit about your real estate background.

Marcelo Valdez:
Yeah. I actually first came to San Diego in the military. When I got out, I went to graduate school here, decided I wanted to stay in Southern California. I ended up having a career in, actually, a big, well-known company here in San Diego, and I actually spent a couple of years living overseas. I did three years in Brazil, came back, went out to the UK for a while with my wife, who I met in Brazil, and came back, and then eventually… And I traveled a lot. I was traveling, literally, millions of miles a year. And when my daughter was born, I just thought, “I don’t think I want to do this anymore.”
So, I jumped, and I had already been doing a little bit of real estate stuff on the side, and I own a couple of real estate properties here in San Diego, and I love it. I got into it. One of the things I noticed a few years back, I’m going to say about three years ago, was how it was basically impossible to find anything on MLS. It was already… Now, of course, it’s just gotten worse and worse, right? So, I heard about this thing, wholesaling. [crosstalk 00:02:50].

Chris Arnold:
And when was that? I’d like to know, when did you hear about it? How did you hear about it? What made you even go, “I’m going to look into this”?

Marcelo Valdez:
Yeah. I, somehow, ran across it. I wasn’t looking for wholesaling. I ran across one… Todd Toback, for a while, was doing some of his podcasts, I guess they were Apple Podcasts. And he did the one thing with Tom Crow, who… His life, I think it was 90 days to whatever, like a 90 day challenge. And I was like, “What in the hell are these guys talking about?” I had no idea what they were talking about. And-

Chris Arnold:
You know Tom, he’s so high energy.

Marcelo Valdez:
Yeah. Yeah.

Chris Arnold:
[crosstalk 00:03:24] He’s excited about it.

Marcelo Valdez:
Yeah. And he’s all high energy. And I thought, “Oh, this is really cool.” And my wife, of course, thought that I was… Had gone insane. But, anyway. And I tried to do a couple of the things at the same time, so I was actually doing some other stuff. I wasn’t really dedicated full time, full, full time, really, a hundred percent in as two years ago.

Chris Arnold:
Okay. So you’ve been going full-time for two years.

Marcelo Valdez:
Three years.

Chris Arnold:
And I’ll just point again, everyone loves this question because we’re all interested about how to create opportunities to convert motivated sellers. The last couple years, what has worked for you on the marketing side? What have you tried and been like, “Man, that didn’t work or wasn’t a fit for me.” So give us kind of a snapshot the last two years for you.

Marcelo Valdez:
Yeah. I did pretty fair amount of trial and error. I started with postcards and I went to Wholesaling, Inc. They had a thing in Utah and Brett Daniels spoke and I was like, “Wow, look at that guy, unlike me…” If he sees this podcast he’ll… That guy’s got great hair and a great smile. And I really liked what he was saying about cold calling and it made a lot of sense. And my wife had even done some similar stuff, but in the financial industry bank in Brazil. So I was like, “Let’s do it, sign up for his course.” And the both of us… She and I, both, started off doing the cold calling ourselves.

Chris Arnold:
[inaudible 00:04:49] started on the TTP side [crosstalk 00:04:52]

Marcelo Valdez:
TTP. And its worked well. Its worked well. And-

Chris Arnold:
So you’re still doing it after… And I know Brett would love to hear this, after two years, you’re still doing-

Marcelo Valdez:
Yup.

Chris Arnold:
Cold calling, must be working.

Marcelo Valdez:
It’s working, absolutely. But I want to grow the business. You see a lot of things that come and go, people talk about texting and text blasts.

Chris Arnold:
Ringless voicemail. [crosstalk 00:05:13]

Marcelo Valdez:
I tried a little bit of that for about a month or so. And then, there’s all these pended, weird messages and stuff that were on there. And I was like, “Forget this.” So, I was like, “I’m just going to stick with the cold calling.” And I’ve got a few people that are doing a great job for me. I’ve really trained them up well. And then the question is what else am I going to do? I have done postcards, but very targeted. And-

Chris Arnold:
And how’s that working? A lot of people right now keeps saying that if you bring up [inaudible 00:05:39] they’re like, “yeah, I still do direct mail, but,” and they always say it’s sniper or it’s hard [crosstalk 00:05:46]. What are you seeing on that side? Because I see this a lot. I don’t hear as many people going, “well, I send out 20, 40,000 pieces a month,” anymore. Everyone’s like, “Yeah. I really sniper it.” What are you seeing on that side for your business?

Marcelo Valdez:
Couple thousand.

Chris Arnold:
Okay. [crosstalk 00:06:02]. And that’s working better than trying to go bigger volume.

Marcelo Valdez:
It’s not working very well at all. I just-

Chris Arnold:
Even a small amount.

Marcelo Valdez:
I could send out 20,000, but then I would be broke. And I… On the TTP side, I’m profitable, I’m doing well.

Chris Arnold:
Cold calling’s profitable, you’re doing direct mail at a small level. But even then, again, we’re just having a candid conversation, which I’m-

Marcelo Valdez:
Right.

Chris Arnold:
Not really bringing you the return that you’re looking for there. And then, of course, you’re doing radio. And my big question is, man, you could’ve chose anything out there. Ringless voicemail. We talked about… You could go into digital marketing, right? You could do bandit signs. It’s just on and on. Why don’t you choose radio out of everything?

Marcelo Valdez:
To me, it just kind of made sense. Number one, don’t know of anybody in my market that’s been doing it. And so, that made sense. And the way you talk about it as set it and forget it, a lot of this other stuff takes a lot of work. Even the prospecting, you got to double-check things, you got to make sure the right lists-

Chris Arnold:
You’re managing people, right? Even though you’re not [crosstalk 00:07:06].

Marcelo Valdez:
Right? And I said, I have a small team, but they’re great. But still, you got to manage. And I really liked the idea of being-

Chris Arnold:
Here’s my question, you’re on the other side of radio right now. Is it truly set it and forget it, in your opinion? Are you having to do a lot of maintenance to keep your radio station up and going?

Marcelo Valdez:
I would say that, like anything, you want to stay on top of it. So I want a double… Right now, one of my tasks today is to go and check the post logs, find out what advertising actually has been going on because when you’re training, you set up for a hundred a month, but I don’t know right now. Is it actually a hundred? Is it 25? Is it 50? [crosstalk 00:07:42]

Chris Arnold:
Interpreting data, just kind of analyzing.

Marcelo Valdez:
Yeah. You want to check it, but yeah. The calls come in, you answer them and you don’t have to do much more than that. So that part, I really love that. Yeah.

Chris Arnold:
It’s funny. With our radio campaigns, the only thing I do is it’s exactly what you’re doing. I have a monthly call with my Director of Marketing, Grace, obviously, that helps with the radio and Sierra, my COO. And all I do, when it comes to radio, is just interpret the data with them when it comes to… Is there any real words, adjust things, tweak things. The only work ever comes is when we decide to pick up a nurse station.

Marcelo Valdez:
Yeah.

Chris Arnold:
But for me, from my angle, the only real work comes in to sitting down and just talking about the data and “hey, how’s that station producing” and “do we feel like we might get a better return if we go over to this station,” et cetera. We’re doing 60 second spots, maybe we want to drop that down to 30 spots. So, I feel like maybe the best way I can describe what we do in radio is fundamentally just anchor with it.

Marcelo Valdez:
Yeah, that sounds right. The way I do things is I do it first, and then I figure out how to go and hand it off. Right now it’s still me and my wife, especially because of COVID. I thought about an acquisition manager, but I would want to have somebody who is, literally, standing next to me. So, for me, it’s still me doing the calls and going to face-to-face meetings. I haven’t… I’ve just pushed that off for now. Some of the tinkering you talk about. I’m doing that myself, but eventually, I’d like to be able to handle a lot of that stuff off, and even the management of the stations to someone else, which would then, for me personally, make it very much set it and forget it.

Chris Arnold:
Yeah, absolutely at that point. Very cool. You’ve been up on radio live for a month, right? Now, this is what’s [inaudible 00:09:24]. I honestly, Marcel, a guy like you comes in and you put radio in the hands of certain people like yourself. And this is what I see happens, 30 days live, you’re not on one station, but you’ve already picked up another station that just went live a week ago. So now, you’re live on two stations.

Marcelo Valdez:
Yep.

Chris Arnold:
And your about… And starting to look and negotiate to have a potential third station, just sizing in the field on that. So it’s possible that, let’s say what? In another 30 days, conservatively, maybe another month you’ll be on a total of 3 stations.

Marcelo Valdez:
Possibly. Yeah. My goal is, we’ve mentioned this before, but I want to get another deal done from radio, and that’s my trigger to then add a third station. [crosstalk 00:10:09]

Chris Arnold:
That’s another 30 to 50 days. So we’ll say three stations in 90 days, roughly.

Marcelo Valdez:
Exactly. I go by quarters. So, my thought is by the end of the first quarter, if we’re up on three stations, I’m happy. Yeah.

Chris Arnold:
And this is what I love. People don’t understand about radio is it’s so affordable if you’re new because our average student is paying 500 to, let’s say, max 2000 a month for a station. But it’s normally around 500 to 1500 bucks, and it’s super affordable. So, if you’re getting in the game, you’re going to spend more than that on direct mail. And that’s a pain to manage anyway. But then you come in on, Marcello, and you have the ability to swing to the other side of it being valuable for you because you can scale it. And you can go from one to two to three stations in the first 90 days. And let’s talk about pricing. How much are you paying for the first station?

Marcelo Valdez:
The first station? Well, if they run all my ads, because it’s two, it would be 2000.

Chris Arnold:
Okay, 2000. Again, you’re in San Diego. So anyone thinking Cali, San Diego, you’re going to be at the top. And so, you’re right within that, of what we’re talking about, 2000. And how much was the second station you picked up per month?

Marcelo Valdez:
It’s like 900.

Chris Arnold:
900, okay. So, you got two stations for a total of 2,900, $3,000. Even when we divide that in half, roughly, that’s $1,500 per station if we were just doing an average as well. And dude, you’re in San Diego, which is, again, it’s like Dallas that’s more of an expensive place to market and to make stuff happen. You’ve already closed the deal on the books, been paid out in the first four weeks. What was the size of the first deal you closed?

Marcelo Valdez:
That was a $34,000 deal, and it was out of my market. So the guy called and he said… It was funny. I want to say it was my first day of advertising, but it might’ve been the second. But it was the second or third call I had received. And he said… And of course, I didn’t know what to expect. We’d just gone on the air and he said, “Hey, I first I heard your ad.” And it was funny because my ad says we’ll also buy… And I’m not quoting exactly, but my tenant doesn’t pay the rent houses. And he says, do you actually buy? My tenant doesn’t pay their rent houses. And I was like-

Chris Arnold:
He actually said that back to you?

Marcelo Valdez:
Yeah.

Chris Arnold:
Oh, because he heard-

Marcelo Valdez:
No, no, no, no, no, no, no. He said, “I have a property, and the tenant’s not paying the rent.” He did say, I heard you say that you bought that property.

Chris Arnold:
I love that. I love that

Marcelo Valdez:
“Did you do that?” And I said, “Sure.” And, of course, I never had. I’m like, all day-

Chris Arnold:
[crosstalk 00:12:42] I can take care of that.

Marcelo Valdez:
So I was like, “Uh-oh.” And then I called a guy I know in Riverside, who’s another wholesaler there. And I said, “Hey, I got this deal.” And he’s like, “I got a good list.” I got guys that buy… I’ll buy… That’ll buy with a non-paying tenant. So, he got on it and make a long story short. Well, I’ll take it back. He did have somebody else who he’d already talked to. So I got somebody who’s going to go in and take a look at it.
And that person offered an amount. And I said, “Okay, well I can offer $5,000 more than that.” Because the weekend had gone by, he said, “Come in Monday.” So I called him on Monday and he’s… And I said, “If I offer you $5,000 more, we do it right now.” And he said, “Yeah.” And, I think, one of the reasons why he went ahead and did that, obviously, because I offered some more money, but also because when you’re on the radio, as you also say, and that was another thing that I liked, is it gives you some credibility. You’re like, “Well, if this guy’s on the radio, he’s legit.”

Chris Arnold:
[inaudible 00:13:39] absolutely. It’s a [inaudible 00:13:40] marketing, for sure.

Marcelo Valdez:
So I think that helped a lot for him to just say, “Okay. A little bit more money and you’re legit, so let’s do it.”

Chris Arnold:
Yeah.

Marcelo Valdez:
So to make a long story short, the deal closed within about two weeks after. So, it was about two and half weeks after getting under contract. Yeah.

Chris Arnold:
That’s awesome. I love that you came in, got it up. Literally, did a $34,000 transaction within the first month. And as we were talking, continue to have more in the pipeline. And I guarantee as I talk to you again within the next couple months, man, you just have more deals to talk about that you’re close. And so, I want to ask them, you and I were talking about this. You’re in a couple of years now, what do you perceive to be your ideal, let’s call it marketing strategy portfolio? It’s going to have three things in there that you think, and what do you think it’s going to consist of? And what do you think is going to be the value of each one? And why are you setting it up this way?

Marcelo Valdez:
I’m going to, probably, stick with the three that I have right now, which are the prospecting, the radio and-

Chris Arnold:
Cold calling?

Marcelo Valdez:
Yeah, cold calling. Radio and also targeted direct mail. And I think I’ll stick with that, certainly, through this year. I can’t see anything else that I would need to add. I’m already doing okay, even just with the prospecting. So I think that’s enough to manage, first of all, especially being just myself and my wife right now. But, as we add more folks, maybe something else will come along, but I don’t see anything changing through this year. Those will be the three legs of the stool, for sure.

Chris Arnold:
I like it, man. And again, if you’re listening, I always recommend to people, from a marketing strategy standpoint, if you’ve got… How many things should I be doing? And what’s too many? I always tell people two to four is where you want to be. One year in trouble because you have all your eggs in your basket. And if you have more than four, you’re probably honestly, half-assing them and not-

Marcelo Valdez:
Yeah. Or you’re just… You got so much going on that you’re probably spending too much money at that point.

Chris Arnold:
[crosstalk 00:15:34] You’re not really becoming an expert. So I think two to four strategies at one time, depending on the complexity of the strategy, right? Two might be enough, but they’re really big strategies, right? You might just do all radio, all television, spend a bunch of money on that. It just depends.

Marcelo Valdez:
Yeah.

Chris Arnold:
I’m curious, Marcel. Again, I love this because, again, cold calling works, right? And radio is working. Cold calling is outbound, radio is inbound. Contrast those two though, what do you see in the difference, now that you’ve got radio up and going versus cold calling? They’re both working, but they’re very different in nature. What have you noticed on differences between them?

Marcelo Valdez:
I would say… If I were to just pick one thing, it would be immediacy. The people that I’m talking to even… And I’ve spoken to a few that I haven’t done deals with, but they’re ready now. Whereas, when you’re prospecting, “oh, call me next year,” “maybe in 90 days” that kind of thing. They’re both good. They’re just different. And the one is I will… Well, yeah, I picked just one was immediacy.

Chris Arnold:
Yeah.

Marcelo Valdez:
Number two would be the volume, right? You’re going to get a few calls from radio, and I don’t have enough experience yet to speak with mastery, but I would imagine it’s going to be much less. I don’t know, five to one or 10 to one leads…

Chris Arnold:
Agreed.

Marcelo Valdez:
Versus prospecting, where you’re going to go… My average… I’m almost embarrassed to say this, I’m going to about 70 to one, leads to close on prospect… On cold call. Whereas-

Chris Arnold:
[crosstalk 00:17:11] was going to probably be between 10 and 20.

Marcelo Valdez:
Yeah.

Chris Arnold:
Depending on [crosstalk 00:17:16] to convert, right?

Marcelo Valdez:
Yeah.

Chris Arnold:
[crosstalk 00:17:18] leads is going to be a deal, you’re 70 on cold calling. I love, again, we want you guys to hear this because, as we always say, marketing channels work. I don’t really have seen any that don’t work. They all work if you work them. And I see people go well, cold calling doesn’t work and tax flat. And they all work.

Marcelo Valdez:
Yeah.

Chris Arnold:
And what you have to decide is what’s the best fit for you. And so, contrast and yeah, I like what you say, Marcel, that thing about radio is it’s immediate. And again, you’re newer and I just want to confirm, it [inaudible 00:17:49]. You launched on radio, people have not heard that message before, they start calling in instantly. I don’t really know anyone that, for the most part, doesn’t get calls coming in within the first week.
If they don’t, we’re usually like, that’s interesting, let’s recheck some stuff. So you’re getting the immediacy on top of that and you’re right. This is why I think it’s really good for someone that’s new. You’re getting a lower manageable call volume, but a much higher quality leads. And I know a lot of people that have been doing direct now or cold calling or stuff like that, or text blasting. They’ll tell us, “I’m doing radio and I’m only getting X amount of calls.” And they almost feel like something’s wrong because they’re used to this high volume…

Marcelo Valdez:
Yeah.

Chris Arnold:
… calls and we have to go, “Yeah, but how many of those calls were telling you don’t ever mail them again?”

Marcelo Valdez:
I was just going to say, the effort that people go through is that. I’m like, “Oh my God.” Either mailing the stuff back to me with a full written letter. [crosstalk 00:18:47] calling and giving me. I’m like, oh my God, the amount of effort these people… Did they do this to every postcard or letter?

Chris Arnold:
[crosstalk 00:18:57] man. And so, what’s funny is, I think it’s such a backwards thing and that is this. I feel like people should be looking at direct mail or cold calling, et cetera, and going, “Why is there so many calls coming in?” Because they understand that where you want to be is actually a low call volume, higher quality. Not that something’s wrong with that, but that’s actually the norm. But everyone’s so used to doing these spam approaches that they’re just used to having high call volume when they’re not used to good, what I would call, manageable call volume that’s high quality, and they think something’s wrong. And I’m like, “No, that means something’s right.” It’-

Marcelo Valdez:
Right. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. For sure. For sure.

Chris Arnold:
That’s awesome. I love it. I love it. If you’re listening right. And, again, I know a lot of our students are now around the country, come in and go, “Chris, the big thing for me is just getting to hear from the other REI radio students.” It’s just such a positive thing because everyone’s just coming in. Here’s the thing, I know about where REI radio and all of us, we’re also consistent in what we’re telling you. Like, three to four returns, set it and forget it, immediacy. And I love… Marcel, a guy like you will come in and say, “Chris, everything you guys said it was going to be is what it was.” It’s just, this is a very consistent marketing channel, which I love. So, man, now’s the time to jump on it, to be honest with you. We’re getting to that point where we sold more and more of the markets out. And so, for 2021, if you’re thinking radio and that’s a good fit for you. And again, I always tell you, do your due diligence, find out what’s the best fit for you.
But if you’ve been thinking about this thing, man, it’s time to jump on it, make it happen, get it up and going. Go to wholesalinginc.com4/REIradio. Again, that’s wholesalinginc.com4/REIradio and book a call and jump on board, man, and get this bad boy set up for you. And I’m telling you now with such confidence because we sack so many people have around the country. And, when I first came in, it’s like, “Is this going to work?” And every market is going to work with new students and season. And, it was under speculation. I really believe that day, but I didn’t have the data. And at this point, I’m like, “It works for everybody, in every market and I’m seeing it.” And so, that’s what excites us because it’s such a great marketing channel.
So I absolutely love it. So, let me ask you this Marcel, somebody has listened and so forth and really debate around this radio thing and like, “Man, should I go this route?” And again, I get it, I’m super skeptical about anything before I sign up. But, maybe, what would you tell someone that’s on the fence right now, maybe trying to figure out this is the best fit for them. What would you say? “Man, the one thing I want you to know about radio is this.”

Marcelo Valdez:
Well, I would say that, again, the simplicity on it. I would probably say that the most important thing, especially as somebody who’s newer, is simplicity. The other stuff does require more effort.

Chris Arnold:
That’s a great word. I’m glad you… It’s funny, people throw out different words to describe it.

Marcelo Valdez:
Yeah.

Chris Arnold:
And I don’t know that I’ve had a student choose that particular word, but I think you nailed it. I think the thing that I actually love about radio, now that you say, is just the simplicity of it.

Marcelo Valdez:
Yeah.

Chris Arnold:
It’s just a super simple marketing channel.

Marcelo Valdez:
Yeah.

Chris Arnold:
There’s not a lot of complexity. I think people get in and they’re really okay. Like, “All right, this is, it’s actually as easy as you guys said it would be to run it and do it and so forth.” So I think-

Marcelo Valdez:
Yeah. Yeah, I’m actually looking right now to move to a different calling platform, and I’ve just delayed and delayed and delayed it, just because I’m like… [inaudible 00:22:22] It’s not really that hard, but it, yeah. It’s an effort to migrate to new platforms instead of like, “Ah, crap.” [inaudible 00:22:27] done it. But yeah, this is just simpler. It’s just that simple, for sure.

Chris Arnold:
Bro, I just want to publicly tell you, man, I’m proud of you coming in and doing a deal in the first 30 days, on two stations already. We’ll be looking and sizing up your third within the first quarter. You and I were talking, even have a bigger goal for the year. And I got to be honest as I… Getting to know you, and so forth, and just seeing you go through this program. And again, I always get feedback from my team on different students, and so forth. I have no doubt, you’ll be exactly where you told me you’re going to be in about 12 months. I’ll probably have you back on going, “Yep, he said he was going to be at X amount and he’s there.”

Marcelo Valdez:
Let’s do it. Let’s set the date.

Chris Arnold:
I love it. Well man, Marcel, thank you so much, buddy. And to the rest of you guys, as always, we appreciate your time popping in and to hear about radio. Until next time, we will catch you soon when we add more value, talk to you later.

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