Posted on: June 09, 2021

Health problems made Matthew Bristow fearless. He quit his corporate job, sold his house, cashed in his 401(k), and built a wholesaling business by networking on Facebook. He lost most of his money while trying to figure things out, but in a year, he made $380,000 back.

In this episode, Matt shares how he creatively uses radio to increase brand recognition and conversion. He also gives an overview of some of the notable deals he has gotten.

Key Takeaways

  • When failure is no longer an option, do what you need to do
  • Get into the minds of your audience
  • Why Matt likes radio compared to other marketing channels
  • You can market however you want, but what truly matters is what phase of the sales cycle the consumers are at
  • Matt’s plans to improve his social media strategy

 

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Episode Transcription

Chris Arnold:
Welcome to the Wholesaling Inc Podcast, I’m your host, Chris Arnold. As always excited that you guys are with us today. So, here’s what you got coming in store on this episode. Talking about brand recognition, I’ve got a guest who is a tribe member, and I told him, I see some of the stuff he posts on social media and I’m like, “This guy’s unconventional.” He’s kind of off in the left field using a lot more creativity than what I see most people do. And so we’re going to talk about how he’s kind of taken marketing and really had a lot of fun with it and really do some pretty cool stuff to help grow the brand recognition of what he’s doing.
And so that’s what we have in store. And of course he’s utilizing radio as well and so we will talk about in the short period of time that he has been up, a little bit about the 181,000 that he’s closed out on the books and another big deal is about to close which can be about 80 to 130, depends if he hotels it or flips it. So. Excited. Matt, what’s up? Welcome to show man.

Matt:
Hey Chris, thanks for having me. I appreciate the opportunity. I’m excited to be here and chat with you and catch up on this stuff.

Chris Arnold:
Well, let’s do it, man. This is going to be fun. I was laughing at some of the stuff that you’ve come up with already. So, a little background, those that don’t know you, how long you’ve been in the game. And since we’re talking about creativity and kind of the fact that you walk to the own beat of your own drum, right? So, give us a little snapshot. How did we end up with the Matt Bristow that we’re talking to today?

Matt:
Well, it’s kind of crazy, man. I guess I think it tied into I started having health problems about five years ago, to be honest with you. And I didn’t realize then that I had Crohn’s and I was just recently diagnosed last year actually. I’m on Remicade chemo treatments right now. And about five years ago, I was just too sick to work for, I was in the financial industry, I worked for US Bank, I was too sick to do it anymore and I needed a break. And at that point in time, I decided to dive into real estate investing, needing more flexibility in my life, and needing to be able to dictate the amount of money that I could make on my own instead of working for somebody else. So, I did something kind of crazy.
I quit my corporate job, I was making six figures a year, I sold my house, I cashed in my 401(k), and I went off to try and make as much money as I could while I could, because I wasn’t feeling well. It kind of made me do some crazy things that maybe I normally wouldn’t have, but that’s honestly what kind of led me to doing the things that I’ve done and making the decisions that I’ve made. And it kind of made me a little fearless I guess you could say. That’s kind of how I ended up here. I didn’t have any experience or anything like that, to be honest with you, I’d done a couple of personal deals, and it’s been crazy ever since. It’s a lot better now, five years into it than it was when I first started thanks to many, many wonderful coaches all over the US that I’ve paid for advice and experience and mentorship from, you being one of them.
And I tell you what, every time I do, my business grows, things get better, and so does my personal life and it kind of trickles into my health as well, to be honest with you.

Chris Arnold:
Yeah. Well Matt, first of all, i applaud you for your vulnerability in sharing that. And it’s interesting that that particular challenge as you said kind of built the framework, kind of gave you a different lens to look at things through. And in the word that you used was fearless. I’m going take maybe some bigger risks than I might normally feel comfortable with but with the health situation that I have, I’m going to come in and use a bit more of my creativity if I don’t maybe let’s say have as much physical energy, right?

Matt:
Yeah. Dude, I literally I built my business sick from my bed and from my couch on Facebook networking. My first mentor I hired was in Boston, Massachusetts. Nobody around here wanted to teach me cause nobody wants to create competition for themselves so I just said, “Screw it, man. I can’t let anybody get in my way,” and just went wherever I had to go to get the job done because honestly I didn’t have a choice so.

Chris Arnold:
Let me ask you this question. So, people listening right now have different challenges. It could be health-related, it could be anything right now because we know that whether it be pain or a tragedy, all of those things do have a commonality and that is that they drain energy, right? They require you to focus on other things that become a priority like health. Anything you’d say to the audience and kind of, how did you continue to move the ball down the field when your body was saying, “No, I don’t want to do that.” How are you able to do that mentally? Because I feel like we have something to learn from you here.

Matt:
Failure just wasn’t an option. I quit a six-figure job, I had a ten-year career that I left, I was just going crazy, man. I couldn’t do it anymore. I just remember being in my job and not feeling good and just saying, “This cannot be it. This can’t be my life.There’s something else that I’m supposed to be doing.” I broke and I would say that the experience made me realize that I just had to do what I needed to do. And this is where I ended up. I’m so thankful, I’m so grateful, I’m so happy that I made that decision and I didn’t give up. I’ll be honest with you, I had a point where I went from $380,000 to less than $14,000 in April of 19. I almost lost everything. I thought about going and getting another job. And I was sick. This was before I started chemo. I was really sick and I had a choice. My aunt works for Zoom, she’s actually one of the first 25 employees hired there. So I was working on getting onboard over there in 19.
Literally I had a choice to start interviewing for this position or take a gamble on my first wholesale deal that I thought was going to hit within the next 60 days. And I walked from that opportunity and stayed in it. I barely had enough money to make it to that day but I stayed in it and I had three kids sick. And that moment was a defining moment for me, thank God [crosstalk 00:07:41].

Chris Arnold:
Exactly. I was just saying that that was a defining moment in your life.

Matt:
Have you heard of the book Two Feet From Gold, I’m getting the chills right now.

Chris Arnold:
But, you made that choice. And again, it’s that analogy, that two feet from gold.

Matt:
Oh yeah, yeah.

Chris Arnold:
You could go with security or take the risk and you take the risk and it paid off, for you.

Matt:
That’s where I was going with it. I learned that analogy from Trevor Mauch at Carrot. That was one of the things that when I was in Carrot Camp, he said to me, I was actually the first newbie that they allowed at Carrot Camp and I hadn’t done a wholesale deal before I had gone there. One of the things that he had mentioned was that concept in one of his presentations, and man that’s stuck with me so much, I didn’t even read the book all the way through. Just him explaining the concept was enough summary for me to understand it. That moment where I was literally, I went down, I lost all my money trying to figure out this business. I was down to 15 grand and the next 12 months I made $380,000 back. I lost it all dude and I made back.

Chris Arnold:
And then you made it back, man. Well bro, that’s, anyone listening right now, highly inspirational, what an amazing story. It really goes down to what we understand and sometimes it is, never, ever, ever give up, particularly if there’s a direction that you feel like you know you’re being led to. So, man I appreciate you sharing that, man. That’s just a very inspirational aspect in part of your story.
So let’s talk about this fun with marketing, right? So you picked up radio and I remember seeing some of your posts, right? And I was like, “This guy is about to do radio in his own way.” And so if we’re talking about brand recognition, again, we provide right away to do a radio ad and some scripts and Matt said, “Okay, I get that piece. But let me come in and layer on something that when people hear this, they’re not going to forget it.” And so one of the first things you did was you went out and you connected with Afroman and you guys came in and collaborated and did a actual radio ad. So tell us a little bit about what that radio ad kind of turned out to be. Was that like a song, what kind of twist did you throw on that with Afroman?

Matt:
Yeah. So, that was a country song. I buy houses everywhere. Yeah. And he worked out perfect for that one because he did the intro for me and he’s got a good, deep voice. But dude, that [inaudible 00:10:31] was crazy, legit. I was just years ago, sick on my couch, trying to figure out this stuff, you know what I mean? Trying to figure out how to build my company and then last year I’m working with Afroman, I got a producer now on my payroll, a music producer and the game’s just changed. So now being able to get really creative and make songs and all that stuff, when I was in high school, I used to rewrite songs and do that stuff as kind of a hobby. So when we started to look at the music or the radio stuff and implementing the ads and stuff like that, I really wanted to have songs. You know what I mean? We’re on the radio because some ads, they get overplayed and it’s just annoying as listeners. So [crosstalk 00:11:23]

Chris Arnold:
You came in and fundamentally added your own flare to that and played off the fact that radio tends to be heavy on music. And so I love that. And then you were telling me now you want to kind of do like a comedy take, right? So you’re going to have some person come in and do a little bit of an impersonation. So puts coming down on that particular piece, utilizing your creativity for like a kind of a comedy spot on radio?

Matt:
Yeah. So, we have our songs, right? So how can we mix it up as much as possible? Like I was telling you, we have certain things that we utilize for brand recognition and then we have certain things that we use for conversion, in wanting to get the phone to ring maybe a little more quickly. It might have more calls to action, right? So the songs, they still convert. The more call to action stuff converts probably a little bit better. But I think they go really hand in hand in that the person picking up the phone and calling it probably has heard our brand recognition geared ads as well. Now that we’ve done that with the songs, how can we take it a step further? And the next step is to bring comedy into it because I just love having fun. I love laughing. So we’re going to bring in a character. We think we have his name figured out Bo McDougall.

Chris Arnold:
You said Bo McDougall? I love it.

Matt:
Bo McDougall, yeah. Bo calls and he’s like, “Hey man, how you doing? I got a house here that I need to sell, really fast.” And he just got a funny voice-

Chris Arnold:
So, like a funny kind of country kind of hillbilly type play on it as well. But here’s the thing I wanted you guys to hear this, you’re listening to this. Again, it’s always about setting yourself apart from all the noise. There’s a ton of noise out there on social media. There’s a ton of noise, I mean, even if you’re sending direct mail, there’s a ton of noise in somebody’s mailbox. Are you taking that extra step to do something that’s going to get you above the noise? And I definitely want to summarize Matt what I heard you saying, I use the creativity, the comedy, the Afroman to set the brand apart but I also balance that out with some traditional call to action ads because one helps build the brand quickly upfront, make it recognizable, and the other is kind of the more practical type of ad again that I’ve always used over the years. And you’re kind of playing those two together to build brand recognition while simultaneously making sure you maintain great conversion, right?

Matt:
Exactly. Yep. And then at the same time, entertain people because that’s why they’re listening to the radio.

Chris Arnold:
That’s true.

Matt:
You have to remember, they’re there for entertainment, they’re there to listen to music, they’re there for something. It’s not necessarily to listen to your business’s ad so how can you really catch their attention and then not tune out? And that’s where the creativity comes in. If you can write a catchy song or you can have something funny where it’s like, they stop thinking about whatever it is that they might be stressing about and then they’re thinking, “I have this house that I want to sell and I can’t stand it and this guy sounds like fun. So I want to call them.” You know what I mean? So it’s just different than just the average business just very scriptive, the same thing over and over. You got to mix that in there and really get into the mind of your audience. They’re there for a reason so how can you get them to smile? And I have recordings I can share with you. I have people that just call in as fans just to say that they love my ad. That’s it.

Chris Arnold:
Now, that’s interesting. They’re not even calling to sell their house, they’re calling to really compliment you on the fact that you ran a great ad that entertained them. So, this reminds me of Matt, if we want to say, okay, how valuable is this, who does this any better than Geico, right? Geico has done a great job via their commercials to layer in that entertainment and regardless if you use Geico or not, I always sit back and I go, “Man, I really appreciate the comedy that they brought into that ad,” because it does. I think what you’re saying is in the midst of everything going on, not only are you educating people about their business, but you’re also taking a time and a moment and just making somebody feel better. Feel better with entertainment, feel better because you made them laugh. And so I imagine for you then your marketing has a bit more meaning, right?
Because not only are you growing your business and your brand, but you’re also in a way just making people’s day just a little bit better. So it’s funny as I sit here and I process this with you, I see the bigger picture of why you see it this way and I stepped back and I go, “Man, that’s really valuable. That’s really looking at the bigger picture.” So I have a question, I know you’ve been doing real estate for about five years, you’ve been advertising on radio now for about 10 months. What have you enjoyed about radio versus some of the other marketing channels that you were doing? Why is radio a great fit for you? For

Matt:
For me, it’s been a great way for people to get to know me. It’s funny, I have a recording of a conversation I had with a lady that it was a direct mail campaign that I was doing. And she received a postcard from me and thought I went into her mailbox personally and put it in there, there’s a lot of F words in it. So just my customer interaction in radio versus outbound stuff is completely different. It’s way more enjoyable , and like I said, I enjoy focusing on inbound marketing and having people call me because it’s just a better experience and radio provides a great tool in outbound marketing for me. So I enjoy it. It works.

Chris Arnold:
It’s kind of like a better canvas, right? It’s a more high quality canvas to really come in and paint with your creativity and what you want to do. So, I like that aspect, right? You’re able to connect with the audience and allow them to really get to know who you are much easier than let’s say a postcard. What might something else that you’ve really enjoyed about radio so far over the last 10 years?

Matt:
I think it’s put a definite staple in my business and in my brand and helped its correct ignition because we are professionals. But when you’re marketing on the radio, there’s no questions about it. I don’t have people question whether I can pay cash for a house or anything like that. I don’t have any of those real hurdles in any of my radio leads that are coming in. They understand that I’m a professional in the industry, I’m on the radio, they trust me. It takes a lot of that flack out of it. They just want you to buy their house and they know that you’re not going to screw them over because you’re on the radio. You know what I mean?

Chris Arnold:
Yeah. You’re getting what we call that instant credibility, right? And that also the fact that, hey, this Matt guy, he must know what he’s doing because he’s on radio. He must be able to pay cash for these houses or he wouldn’t be on the radio. This is a guy that is a professional and not like a lot of the other typical investors out there because he is on the radio. And those are all those Matt what I’ve experienced, those ancillary benefits that you don’t get with the spam-based approach to marketing that a lot of us have utilized in the past or are still utilizing now.
And I know I was talking to before we hit record, you were saying by comparison, it’s also been nice to pick up the phone versus a direct mail lead. What difference have you seen there on the quality of the lead versus let’s say something like direct mail lead?

Matt:
Well, they are ready. You don’t necessarily know what phase of the sales cycle the consumer’s at when you’re doing direct mail, right? You could be mailing somebody that’s not ready to sell a house [inaudible 00:19:34] three years from now, who knows? But the person that’s listening to my radio ad, they’re ready now. They already have a house that they’re ready to sell so the motivation is different. It converts faster because they’re hot ready leads versus like I said, you can build a list, you can market however you want to but what phase of the sales cycle are they on? Are they even ready? Are they even a real target? So that’s the difference that I’ve enjoyed. And here’s an example-

Chris Arnold:
I appreciate.

Matt:
Let me-

Chris Arnold:
Yeah, go ahead.

Matt:
Let me tell you this. I wholesaled these two houses, right? The guy owned them right across the street from each other, he wants to move out of state. Nobody likes California anymore, I don’t blame them, I’m helping them all get out of California as fast as they want. And at the end of my first appointment with him, I hadn’t signed the deal yet or anything. But we’re walking back to my car which is by his house, the one that he lived in, near his mailbox, and get in my car. He opens his mailbox, he pulls out, I (beep) you not, there was six postcards in there from other investors. And he waves them at me and he goes, “See, Matt? I just like you.” I didn’t even call this guy.

Chris Arnold:
Great story.

Matt:
He heard me on the radio.

Chris Arnold:
Man. That’s a great, great example and he didn’t call the people that had dropped postcards in his mailbox. He called the personality that he began to know, like, and trust, that he was hearing over the radio waves. So, that was the two home deal you did off radio and you made 45K off that radio deal with those two homes, is that right?

Matt:
Yeah, yes.

Chris Arnold:
Wow. Then you did a mobile home. So people always ask, “Well, is it just single family properties?” No, you did a mobile home, made another 40K on that. So you and I were going through doing some math. So in 10 months, you’d earned-

Matt:
I did a multi-property too. So it was two houses on one lot. I made-

Chris Arnold:
Two houses on one lot.

Matt:
45 grand. Yeah. So it’s not all, yeah, it’s definitely not all single family. [crosstalk 00:21:36]

Chris Arnold:
Yeah, it’s a mixture, right?

Matt:
We got the land. We got everybody that wants to sell anything pretty much.

Chris Arnold:
Yeah, it’s a motivated seller. They’re calling you off radio to help [inaudible 00:21:46], whether it’s land, mobile home, whatever that looks like. So we were doing the math together to make sure that it was accurate. And so in 10 months you’ve done 181,000 off of radio. And how much?

Matt:
No, no, no. That’s just this year.

Chris Arnold:
That’s just this year? Oh, that’s just this year.

Matt:
Yeah.

Chris Arnold:
I’m sorry.

Matt:
I don’t even know. I don’t even have my numbers from last year on me. That’s just from this year.

Chris Arnold:
My bad. All right. You just upped the game on me. I was like 181 in 10 months is good. No, that’s a 181 this year so that’s about five months in so that’s huge. And you got-

Matt:
I still have one that I closed on, it’s a flip that I’m working on. Well, I can wholesale it right now and clear 80 on it. If I flip it, I’ll clear 130 on it.

Chris Arnold:
Wow. So you’re getting some really big pops off radio and again, everyone’s listening so how much is Matt paying monthly if you don’t mind sharing that. What is your monthly radio budget right now? How much are you spending?

Matt:
I don’t know, I just added a couple more stations. I could spend-

Chris Arnold:
Less than 5, less than 10?

Matt:
Probably around, it’s less than 10. Yeah, it’s less than 10 now. Anywhere from five to 10.

Chris Arnold:
And how many stations are you on now?

Matt:
Three.

Chris Arnold:
Okay. So you’ve ramped it up and now you’re somewhere around five to 10K a month on that. Which again, I mean, we can do that math right there and you’re getting a solid return as you start to scale this thing up. So, if you’re listening and you’re like, “Damn, this radio piece, it’s interesting.” I love doing these interviews because I was experiencing all of these benefits, Matt, myself, right? Just the stuff you’re saying, it’s a quality lead, it’s low maintenance, I feel like I’m really being able to strengthen my brand, not hide my brand. And so I’ve just been excited to come in and put this in all of the different markets that people are in. And again Matt, what market are you in?

Matt:
I’m in Northern California.

Chris Arnold:
Yeah. So in Northern California, some people might go, well, “If it can work in Cali, it’s going to work in a lot of states,” because I know people with California always go, “That’s a much different market.” And so I’m just kind of seeing these same benefits we allowed for the students to happen for us. So, for me, it’s exciting. It’s just cool to kind of sit back and go, “Dude, you’re over there reaping the benefits of what I’ve been reaping benefits on radio for the last 10 years.” So if you’re listening and you’re curious and you’re like, “Man, this radio thing I’d like to learn a little bit more about, let us just answer some questions for you and see if it’s a good fit and so you can always check that out at wholesalinginc.com/reiradio. Again, wholesalinginc.com/reiradio and book a call, see if your market’s open, and something that’s a fit for you.
So, Matt starting to wrap up here with the whole radio piece. What is kind of your goal, man? Honestly, you’re kicking on radio. I think, you and I were talking, you’re like, “The last thing that I want us to do and kind of plug this in is now I want to force multiply with TV. And I feel like I can even be more creative over there because now I get a visual,” and so you’re just going to take what you’ve done on radio start to create some cohesiveness and rollover into the TV, right?

Matt:
Yeah. So, I want to basically digitize all of our radio stuff and it’s going on TV. We’re on the air next Monday, so a week [crosstalk 00:25:21]

Chris Arnold:
Nice. Okay. So, well I have to bring you back in here about that, how that goes.

Matt:
Yeah, yeah. Well, a week from Monday is when we’re on the air on that. So we’re going to bring everything that we have on radio to TV. And then also, like I was saying, implement that into our social media strategy as well so that it’ll be just completely cohesive and then also I’ll probably be bringing in, mixing in some more direct mail and just bringing it all full circle. I haven’t been doing direct mail just because I really enjoy inbound marketing but I’m going to do a little bit of it. And do the whole as heard on radio and as seen on TV type of marketing and implement that as well just to kind of staple everything together there, essentially. So, if you hear me on the radio, it’s going to look and feel the same on TV, on social media, on a postcard that you might receive from me. So we’re going to take a multi-pronged approach in our targeting.

Chris Arnold:
I think that’s the way to go.

Matt:
And make sure it’s cohesive.

Chris Arnold:
Yeah, that’s exactly what I was going to say. And then tie it together and make it cohesive. Well, Matt, I really appreciate you coming on, man. First of all, thanks, in the beginning for just your vulnerability, very inspirational, and thanks for coming in and just challenging us. Right? I can’t think of a podcast I’ve done where we just talked about having fun with marketing and really just upping the creativity level on the brand recognition, and so out of all the REI radio students I had, I’m like, Matt’s the guy over here that’s just thinking completely different. So man, I applaud you for that man and really kind of pushing things to the next level. So, to the rest of you guys, thank you so much as always and we will catch you soon when we add more value. Talk to you guys later.

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