People think that prioritizing service over profit can compromise your success. But what if the truth is actually the opposite? Today’s guest explains how helping others is the way to scale your business and achieve success as a wholesaler. Randy Thomason is the President of Arkansas Property Buyers and Arkansas Real Estate Investors Association (ARKREIA). He says that the secret to his success is not technology or some marketing tactic. The key to converting sales to leads is the passion for helping and solving people’s problems.
Randy shares stories and experiences with his clients that proved how helping others contributes to success in the long term. He also talks about his radio shows and how entrepreneurs can benefit from this media as a marketing tool. Tune in and be inspired by his story and get expert advice along the way!
The Hidden Reason Why Most Real Estate Wholesalers Will Never Be Successful With Randy Thomason
Scaling a business while genuinely helping others is the most motivating and fulfilling thing that most entrepreneurs want to feel. Putting first the goal of genuinely helping others will lead to more deals, which perfectly describes the business principle of today’s guest that made him successful in growing his business.
Thank you for joining us. As always, we know that time is our most precious commodity. I can tell you that I appreciate you spending your time with us. I always want to bring the heat and bring you something that’s going to add value. I’m excited to bring on Randy Thomason. This guy is seasoned, not just from real estate but wait until you read his background. Here’s a couple of things that we’re going to get. He’s going to share what he believes is the most important ingredient to what has made him successful. Let me tell you this. It’s probably not what you think it is. It’s not some smooth tactic or some new piece of technology but I feel like it goes to the heart of real estate.
I’m excited to delve into this because as soon as he said it, I’m like, “Randy, that’s exactly where I want to go.” Secondly, he has been utilizing radio. This is a guy that’s subject to. People ask me a lot of times, “Chris, radio is to generate wholesale deals or fix and flip.” I tell people, “We’re all in the same boat. We’re trying to generate motivated sellers.” Where you throw those into a rental portfolio, seller finance or wholesale is up to you. You’re going to read from someone that’s utilizing radio to primarily drive their subject to business. Randy Thomason, what’s up? Welcome to the show. I’m glad to have you.
I appreciate you inviting me. I love watching your stuff and helping people out too.
Quick background snapshot, people are like, “Who’s this Randy guy? Where is he from? What’s the background and credentials?” Tell us where you’re located, how long you’ve been doing real estate and a little bit about what you’re doing before because you’ve been a part of some big transactions.
I’m in Little Rock, Arkansas, on the border of Texas there. I’ve been doing those off and on but full-time for years. My background was Sports Psychology out of college. I was planning on going to Russia to study the Soviet Union at the time. When a friend of mine died in high school, dad bought a company off Wall Street and taught me into going to work for him, even though I didn’t know anything about it. He put me in a training class and I got into the investment banking business for about 5 or 6 years. That’s what I did. I learned so many things in that business. I was a shy boy and I learned how to get over that. I learned that everything in life that we do is about sales.
A lot of people don’t think that they’re in sales but they sell their wife or their husband to marry them, to date them, their bosses to give them a raise or give them a job, their kids to dress a certain way, eat their dinner, clean the room, brush their teeth. Everything that we do is in sales. I learned that in that business. I also learned that everything that we buy and sell is a commodity. A house, car, money, jewelry, stocks are commodities. If you can sell one thing, you can sell anything if we have that “mindset.”
I want to go back to something you said. I was “shy.” I know there are some people reading this episode that by nature are more introverted. The idea of picking up the phone and cold calling, driving up to someone’s house, knocking on that door, going in and doing a presentation to purchase is overwhelming. I can tell you, I was scared to death on my first listing appointment years ago. I got there 30, 45 minutes early. I was so nervous. Give maybe 1 or 2 tips on overcoming shyness, natural brain wiring to be a little bit more introverted. Some of us like that are like, “I have envy for the people that naturally are so outgoing and have the gift of God.”
That wasn’t me, believe me. I had a hard time asking a girl out on dates. Usually, it was like somebody had to go tell somebody I was interested in them to gauge it before I would even take that step.
You had a wingman.
If you can sell one thing, you can sell anything.
Part of it is maturity as you get older and older. Getting into the investment banking business and being a sales manager made me do things that were totally uncomfortable. Dad helped me a lot. My dad is also an outgoing, outstanding wheeler-dealer type of guy and always has been. He always let me tag along. He was a banker but he did cars on the side. He always allowed me to get drag along to washing wheel and deal, use cars and stuff like that. I learned a lot about sales, listening and washing but doing it yourself is one of the hardest things.
I’ve got this little tiny coaching program here in Arkansas because I run the REIA here in Arkansas. My coaching students, what I make them do right out of the bat is go to McDonald’s and order a Double Whopper or go to Burger King and order a Quarter Pounder with cheese, the thing that the other store does. The people are saying, “That’s crazy.” It’s like, “I know.” They’re going to like, “We don’t sell that here.” It’s like, “I know but that’s what I want.” Laugh about it and then order your regular food. You got to get comfortable being uncomfortable and then it gets easier and easier.
I love that you have your students go do that. That is a great exercise. I want to recap what I heard you say. What helps you overcome the shyness is time. I believe that. Part of it is maturing, some of the things that we struggle with younger. I know this about myself. As I gotten older, I’m less caring about what people think as much and so forth. That naturally happens for all of us but I also love the fact that, I’ll use the principle we use in our company, and that is you are with a leader that was willing to issue you a challenge. You put yourself underneath a coach, a mentor, a boss that was going to stretch you. You intentionally did that. On top of that, you embraced that and said, “I’m going to let this person stretch me beyond what I would probably stretch myself.” That seems like that was an important piece for you in overcoming the shyness.
Let me take that back a little. I didn’t embrace that. I was like that fish on a hook. I fought it the whole way but he didn’t let me go and force me into becoming better at it. He would embarrass the crud out of me on the phone when I was making calls to bigtime investment people. Over time, you get dull to it. It doesn’t bother you anymore. I used to have people threaten me and hang up on me. He would make me call him right back and say, “I know you didn’t hang up on me. We must have gotten disconnected.” It’s like, “I can’t do that.” He would make me. It got to be okay. Standing in front of a room in front of everybody, that wasn’t me but then I don’t even worry about it anymore.
I’m glad you say that because I think that for some people reading, it goes on. I’m glad to hear someone that has that kind of journey to the other side of this more than where I feel like on that. I love what you said. “I was with the guy that issued the challenge. I didn’t necessarily embrace it. I bought it.” At the same time, you embraced it because you stayed within it. You allowed yourself to be sharpened by those particular tactics. I love that. I want to transition here, Randy.
I want to get to what you feel like is a critical piece to your process in converting leads and working with people. What Randy, do you feel like is unique about the way in which you operate your business? I’m always looking for outlier situations. People are doing stuff that maybe not everyone is saying or doing. You and I were talking about this and you said, “I have a perspective that I carry with me in real estate. I feel like it’s driven my success.” Do you mind sharing what that is?
It’s part A and B. Part A is I’d never go into a deal saying, “This has got to be a wholesale deal, a sub-to deal or a rehab deal.” I go in and start talking to the people. You got to build a relationship and you have to be genuine about it to help them. The deal will dictate what it is as you figure out what their problems are. If you go in with that mindset of helping other people and you’ve got that mindset yourself of helping people, they can feel that from you. It’s either genuine or false. If they feel that, they let their wall down in front of you. They’ll discuss their issues more readily with you. You can figure out what the problem is and then you can get deals but if you go in there trying to make money, you’re going to lose probably 70%, 80% of the deals that you could have gotten.
There’s not a person reading that’s going, “Hey.” If I’m reading shows, I’m going, “I understand we’re all here to help people.” I don’t think you would line up one investor that would raise their hand in the room and say, “Who’s not here to help people?” You said something and that is not that you have just a desire to help people but people feel the fact that you genuinely. Let’s talk about that. There’s one thing to say that I care about people. It’s another that they feel that radiate from me on an appointment. I feel like that’s what you’re saying is the key distinction here. It’s genuine, authentic and people feel it. You gave me some examples when we were talking to some people that responded to the feeling that you showed by a feeling in return. Break this down for us a little bit more because I think this is critical for us to move away, particularly as a community from this whole shark mentality and seeing dollar signs when we see people.
I have several title companies I work with. I try to show them what I do and how I do it because I do quite a few deals every month. They’re saying, “Why are you getting all these deals?” It’s like, “It’s because I help people.” There was an example of one, this lady who had lupus. She had inherited the house from her dad. The tenant had been there for twenty-some-odd years, paid every month on time but when her dad died and she took over, she stopped making payments. She was late or half payments and stuff. She was taking advantage of this lady because she was in bad health and stuff. We ended up buying the house. We had to postpone closing six times because she had lupus and she couldn’t get out of bed. I told her no issue. My title company said, “We’ll be happy to come to your house. It was about an hour away if you need us to.” She goes, “No, I’ll make it.”
One day, she woke up. She called me about 7:30 in the morning and said, “Today is a good day. I think I can make it.” I said, “That’s a good thing. I heard Santa Claus came through town.” She goes, “What?” I said, “I heard that he left some Godiva’s Dark Chocolate Truffles at the title company. I don’t know who they’re for but that’s what I heard.” She made it. She comes in with crutches and everything. On the table was a box of Godiva’s truffles. She didn’t even see them when she sat down. She was talking and everything. I said, “Look, Santa Claus was here.” You could feel it. She was like, “Oh, my god.”
We went through the closing and everything. At the end of the closing, she got up. She got her check. She was walking out of the room with her crutches and everything. She turned around and she came back to me. She gave me this big hug. She looked at me right in the eye. I’m sorry, I get tears in my eyes when I tell the story. She says, “I think you just extended my life by five years by getting rid of all the stress and the pressure.” She gave me this big hug and everything like that. She turned around and walked out. The lady who owned the title company was there and she had tears in her eyes. She goes, “Now I understand what you were telling me about helping people. I get it now.” When I do deals is I want people to hug me and thank me for helping them out. If I’ve done that, no matter what the size of the check is, then I feel successful.
Let me ask you this. If you were to get out of bed every day with the motivation of just making more money versus the motivation of, “I have a unique opportunity to add value to someone’s life, to do something for them that they can’t do for themselves,” would that dictate the type of day you had, the motivation, how quickly you bounce out of bed to embrace that day?
I’ve got this little group here and that’s exactly what it is. We call it The Dragon Slayers Group. It’s an accountability group. It’s three of us. What dragons are we going to go slay to solve somebody’s problems? That’s the whole thing of getting up. I’ve got a fifteen-year-old daughter I take to school. I’ll lay in bed until I have to take her to school if I need to but getting up, getting on the phone, doing a deal and finding somebody to help makes me feel good.
I’m older. It makes more sense to me than probably somebody that’s 20 or 30 but you will get to there if you take that mentality of helping people. The money will come. The more money will come, the more you’re sincere about this. That’s my whole thing. I heard that when I was younger. I never believed it. As you get older, you do a lot more deals. It’s a fact and I love it. Some people say, “You only made $1,000 on that deal.” I said, “Yes but I solved a problem for somebody and they can move on with their life.”
Everything we do in life is about sales.
We feel it. I think anyone driving down the road, reading this episode feels that you have connected with a deep why in your life, particularly when we’re younger. We’re out there trying to make a name for ourselves. We answer that question. “Do I have what it takes?” We all go through that as younger men and women. It’s awesome to talk to someone that’s been in the game as long as you have and to hear a heartfelt, genuine why. For you, what you experienced every day during deals is probably different from what some people reading this episode were experiencing.
That’s a lot more frustration. “Why am I putting up with this?” The headache and so forth but because you’re so clear on your why, anything that’s probably thrown down the pipeline, you go back to those stories like you told and go, “It’s worth everything that I’m having to deal with just so I can have another moment.” Where a woman throws her arms around me and tells me something like that, that I extended her life by five, that’s rocket fuel in the tank. You can’t get anything at nineteen more than that.
It’s not just the homeowners. It’s the attorneys, the CPAs, the other people. You can fix problems for them. I do a lot of Medicare stuff with people needing to go to nursing homes. I’ve got some attorneys that I deal with that bring me deals. I’m doing a deal that I’m only making $2,000 but it’s a family that needs to get them. Their mother qualified. They can’t take care of her at home anymore. She needs the medical care. They can’t afford the nursing home but they’ve got to get rid of some real estate. It’s not an area that I buy but I’m doing the deal. I found somebody that would take it. I’m making $2,000 to cover my cost of closings and stuff. The attorney appreciated it because he had no other way to get rid of the property and get to qualify for Medicare. I’m still having a problem for him.
I feel like if I could boil down your thinking versus most people is you’re playing the long game and most people over here playing the short game. The most important thing is you play the long game. Since you’ve been in the game a long time, you’re on the other side seeing the fruits, looking back at those of us who haven’t been in the game going, “If I could tell you anything, be thinking long-term. Make those plays and help people. It’s not always about the money because it’s going at some point to come back to you.” That’s not your motivation. You’re not in it for the return but it’s organically going to come back. I love that. I appreciate you sharing that. I do want to transition to the last segment here talking about REI. You’re a seasoned guy. You’re a smart business guy. You’ve been in the game for a long time. You could choose any marketing channel. Why did you choose radio?
It was a gamble when I did it. I heard you being interviewed on another person’s show, Steve Trang. It made sense to me. I’m always looking for ways to improve my business, improve my negotiation skills. If you want to learn this business and be successful, there are two things, marketing and negotiations. If you can do those two things, you’ll be very successful. I heard you and it’s like, “Nobody’s doing that around here. Let me try it.” I signed up. I went through the thing. I was a naysayer in the very beginning of getting some spots to the levels that we needed them at. We finally got that done. We went live with first, our small station. In that first month, we got 60-some-odd calls.
You said you launched that one on January 4th, 2021. At the beginning of 2021, January is not even a hot time.
We signed four deals that first month out of that. We’ve closed two of them already. We got two more pending closing and a pipeline to close. We got three more close to signing. I got 40 that we’re nurturing. Out of those 40, I’ll bet you at least 7 or 8 of those will close here in the next days.
You’ve accomplished all that off radio since January 4th, 2021. It’s strictly radio in a couple of months. I want to break this down a little bit more. You then went and launched a second radio station in February 8th, 2021. You’re running on two stations. This is one of my favorite questions to ask because this is what blows people’s minds. How much is your monthly ad spend on two radio stations that are bringing you all of these leads?
It’s averaging $1,200 a month for the two stations.
For each month. In 2 and a half months, 3 months, I’ve spent less than $3,000.
The whole span that you’ve been up, you spend less than $3,000. Monthly, you’re about $1,200. I love this. One of the biggest misconceptions about radio is it’s not affordable. I keep telling people, “What we’re teaching you is how to buy $0.25 on a dollar.” I know Randy, when you came in, a lot of people are like, “This is crazy. Stations are going to do this and so part of our responsibility is to help people steer the course, make it through there because when you lock it in, you’re good.” This is why this works so well. Your first deal you closed, you did a transaction on that. You took the money out like a wholesale deal. You did $14,000 on your first deal. Then you said to me, which is exactly what I thought at the same time, that paid for radio for what?
A whole year for two stations. Everything is a bonus to me.
When people go, “Is radio reliable? Is it consistent?” I go, “Yes, because if you’re buying it the way we show you and it takes you a few transactions to pay off the year, then everything above that is gravy. That’s why the returns are so good.” What I find interesting is you took another one and you put it into a rental property. You have another one that you’ve executed on and you’re doing a subject to. You set it at the top of the hour. You’re a solutions provider and you don’t look at radio to help you do one particular tactic. You’re just applying multiple tactics to do whatever’s best for that particular situation.
Solve their problem. If you go in saying it’s a wholesale deal, you’re going to lose 99% of the deals. If you go in there to solve the problem, you’re going to find a whole lot more deals than trying to be a one-trick pony.
Let me ask you this. I’m curious. What are all the exit strategies that you have now learned that you can deplore on a deal? Let’s walk through that. Do you wholesale a deal?
We wholesale deals.
Fix and flip one?
Every once in a while, yes. I don’t like it.
You don’t like it but you can do it if the juice is worth the squeeze, as we would say.
We joint venture with some rehabbers. I’ll buy it and then let them rehab it. We split it.
You put them into a traditional rental portfolio.
Subject to, anything else?
Owner finance sales. We pretty much run the gamut. I’ve been doing this long enough. I’m a knowledge freak. In college, I was not a knowledge freak. I do the minimum I have to do because I was an athlete and just get by. Somebody flipped a switch when I graduated and I became a knowledge freak. I could not learn enough. I love learning stuff and figuring out how to maybe do something new and different, solve problems, make a little money and it’s all good.
If you’re reading, we want to encourage you at the show to look at yourself, not as a wholesaler or just a fix and flip person but as a solutions provider. I’m emphasizing over time. You don’t watch all of these strategies in your first year as a real estate investor but you learn, you master one and then you go onto the other. Before you know it, you find yourself in a position like Randy, where he’s a truly seasoned investor that can pull out different tools for different situation. If the market goes up or down, I guarantee you that Randy is in a much more secure place than the person that only has one tool in their toolbelt that all of a sudden is going, “I’m a wholesaler. The wholesaling dropped and I’m in trouble.”
Randy’s like, “If the wholesaling and fix and flip drop, that means to create financing has probably increased. I’m over here begging money on seller financing and subject to. If it flips back, then I’ll go back over to this side and use this toolbelt.” If you’re new, I want to plant that vision for you to understand that because I believe that seeing yourself that way will help you long-term. Randy, you’ve been doing radio for a couple of months. What are a couple of qualities that you enjoy most about it? We talk a lot of things like set it and forget it or this is a high-quality lead, different things like that. What do you enjoy characteristically about radio for your company?
The biggest thing is the cost-effectiveness of it. I’m spending $1,200 a month. When the radio ad is running as often as they’re running, I’m getting a whole lot more response rate. Not all of them but a lot of them are more motivated than I get from mailers and texting. To me, it’s so much more cost-effective. I’m not in a big market like Dallas or Phoenix, where it might cost ten times what I’m paying but the margins on those properties, in those cities are bigger too.
It’s all relative. It frees up a lot of my time. I’m not managing a mailing or a texting campaign. You said it. You record your ad. They run it based upon their schedules and you wait on the calls. That’s one of the key points is. Answer the calls. Don’t let it go to voicemail. I personally don’t want it to go to an answering service because the people that are calling are the people that want to sell. You’re building that relationship from the time you pick up the phone.
I love radio. I am so excited that we were able to roll this out to the industry. Randy, you’re talking about helping people. You tell that story of being at the title company and that lady. That moment you have there is the moment that I get to have. It’s like, how cool was it that my team that spent all of these years building something could pass it on to someone like you and then see the success? At the end of the day, that’s what’s motivating me. It’s super fun to help other people come successful. For me, it’s the thing that fulfills me the most. I love it. I’m super proud of what you’ve accomplished at a box.
If you’re reading and you’re like, “I keep knowing about this radio thing. I’ve put it on pause,” whatever that was. We’re always about right action, right time but you might be reading and going, “It’s time for me to pull the trigger on this. I’ve been hearing him talked about it again and again with student after student.” If you feel like you’re ready, it begins with the conversation and asking questions. I always recommend that everyone do their due diligence and make sure that whatever market channel you pick is a good fit for you.
To check it out, go to WholesalingInc.com/REIRadio. Book a call. See if your market is available. If so, we’d love to be able to help you out like we have with Randy as well. Randy, I appreciate you coming on. If someone is reading, I like to do this with someone that’s seasoned. They go, “I resonated with this guy,” whether that’s YouTube or Instagram. If someone wanted to reach out to you or maybe they have a deal in Little Rock that are like, “I’d love to partner with this guy. He knows what he’s doing on JVs,” how can people find you?
If you take that mentality of helping people, the money will come.
They’d go to my website, ArkansasPropertyBuyers.com. I also run the REIA here in Arkansas, ArkREIA.com. They can find me that way too. Everybody around here knows me because this is a relationship business. Reach out. I’ll be happy to talk to people. I also want to give you a little bit of kudos too. Your team of people that you’ve got training and working with people like me, I don’t know you could put together a better team. Do what they say and you’ll be successful. Try to take what they say and make it your own. You may not be as successful. You’ve got a great group of people.
I appreciate that. That’s the thing that we have worked the hardest to build. I believe that the success of your business is how long it would run if you stopped working. As they say, you’re either the genius or the genius maker. I realized a long ago that I don’t want to be sitting at the top of the hill as the genius. I much rather bring people around me that are smarter and better at things than I am so that I can have a lifestyle business and spend time on the things that I value most. I appreciate that compliment. I will definitely pass it on to the rest of the team. To the rest of you, thanks for joining. Randy did mention, “I got my phone number.” Always check us out on YouTube if you want to see the video. You can go to Chris Arnold – Real Estate. Subscribe over there. If you like to be able to watch the video as well, you can check it out there as well. To all of you, thank you so much for joining. Until next time. We’ll 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!