Posted on: October 25, 2021
WI 804 | REI Software

 

The Data King, Jesse Burrell is with Lauren Hardy for today’s episode. They are going to talk about how real estate software has changed over time – since its inception all those years ago! Jesse got some great insights on what you need for your business now. He used his knowledge and expertise when coming up with this awesome product called BatchLeads.io which does a lot of great things for this industry today.

He is going to be shedding some light on how technological advancements can greatly help entrepreneurs with their goals. A few years back salespeople basically started with direct mail and door knocking until PPC marketing, cold calling or text messaging were a thing. Now, things changed with just a click of some buttons on software.

The Evolution Of REI Software And How It’s Changed The Way Wholesalers Do Business

Episode Transcription

I am with the Data King, Jesse Burrell, owner of BatchLeads.io. We are going to talk about the evolution of how real estate software has changed the way wholesalers do business. We’re going to go back and talk about how it was and how it is now. BatchLeads.io is a software company built for investors by investors because Jesse started out as a wholesaler. He knew all the things we needed and used his brain to develop some crazy, awesome product that I use every day. We’re going to talk all about that. Without further ado, Jesse, welcome to the show.

Thank you so much for having me.

I’m glad to have you. We’ve known each other for a couple of years now. I was a loyal Batch customer. Let me tell you how I learned about Batch. Back in the day, if you haven’t been doing business for, let’s say, you haven’t been in wholesaling for five years or more, this is how it used to be. When I wanted to get data, I would have to buy the list from one source from one software. If I wanted to get phone numbers, it was impossible.

You had to go to some company and they would ask what type of business you’re in. They would come to do a physical inspection in your office. You had to have a separate office with a lock on the door and a file cabinet with a log. They would send someone down to your house. You’d stress out to get these phone numbers and you pay a lot of money for the service. I used to have to do that to get the phone numbers. Someone told me about this company called Batch Skip Tracing. That’s how we met and we got started. When did you first get started as a wholesaler?

2014. I’ve been around for a while. When we first got started, it was direct mail, door knocking. Luckily we got in the early back with the first wholesaling company I had with a couple of friends. We got early in on PPC, but that was it. There wasn’t cold calling, text messaging, any of those types of things, sending RBMs, direct mail wasn’t automated at all to where you could click a button on the software and send out a mailer. None of that stuff was there. It was difficult and it was pretty archaic on how the marketing was back then.

It was very expensive. Direct mail is still expensive but back when I first started, I was spending $5,000 a month on direct mail and my reach was not even that much. I don’t remember, off the top of my head, how many actual customers I was reaching. It wasn’t much where $5,000 a month now goes a long way in cold calling and texting. You started wholesaling. Tell me more about how you were wholesaling and what led you to be a software company owner?

WI 804 | REI Software

REI Software: We’re glad that we’ve been able to be a part of helping wholesalers streamline their businesses better.

 

The first company I was with, we were one of the first that I knew of to go virtual. I know you have a virtual wholesaling program. What we did was we were in Phoenix, but the PPC to us at that time was expensive. What we did was we just said, “Nationwide went from $100 a lead to $12.” We’d never known where a lead was coming from. Luckily, I got onto BiggerPockets back then. We get a lead in an area. If we’ve thought it was a deal, we underwrite on what we thought, but each market is different. I know you teach that on.

You need to know the market to buy it properly. That was our biggest struggle, but I would get on to BiggerPockets. What I would do is start reaching out and DM all those people. I got spammed multiple times. They thought it was spamming, but I was messaging so many people trying to figure out, get boots on the ground. “Are you a flipper? Are you a wholesaler? How can we work together?” That was pretty successful back then because that was before Facebook groups and any of those things. I had to get pretty creative on how can we find deals. We had a lot of success doing that. It was a shit show because it wasn’t scalable. We never knew where a lead was coming from.

I’m not a big proponent of the nationwide model. Even though data is so easy to get ahold of, it’s still very difficult because you don’t even know what a deal is in Banana Ville, Arizona.

We never knew either if we were leaving me on the table because we didn’t have a big buyer pool. I got to talk to 5 to 10 people. It’s not like nowadays, on Batch Leads, you could pull a cash buyer list, get their emails, send an email blast or text blast, get their phone numbers, boom, you have instant buyers that you’ve never talked to. It wasn’t like that back then. What we’re going to get into later is the evolution. Wholesaling is lazy and easy now compared to what it used to be. Softwares changed that and I’m glad that we’ve been able to be a part of helping wholesalers streamline their businesses better.

How did you start Batch Leads?

BatchService, we have a bunch of products now. It started off as Batch Skip Tracing. We still have Batch Skip Tracing. You could go there. It’s free and you can get an account, upload a list and skip traces if that’s all you want to use this for. The company that you spoke of terminated my contract and I needed skip tracing. I didn’t have skip tracing. At that time, I had transitioned into owning a wholesale business on my own and all we did was cold call. That was the beginning of cold calling.

My business blew up in five minutes and I’m like, “What do I do?” Luckily my partner now, Evo, he’s like, “I got this great source to where you don’t have to do all these crazy things. I’ll give it to you at my cost.” He’s not in sales on this side of the business, but he’s like, “Here you go. I tested it and it was very relative to what we had then with the other product.” I was like, “Great.” Luckily, I found out within a week because my guys had leads dry up and needed people to call. I needed to get data and phone numbers.

By necessity, you figured out where that company got the phone numbers from and went direct to that source of where those phone numbers come from.

You want to be on the phones and generating leads. You don’t want to be creating all these marketing lists and that’s time wasted. You want to be doing money-driven activities.

Now it’s evolved into something different from proprietary algorithms, clean data, and pull from multiple vendors. There is so much crazy stuff that Batch Skip Tracing is the best for a reason because we do things that no one else does, but when we first got started, we found one data source. It has evolved into something else.

Can we talk about that? I hear it all the time. People will try to slum it, they go to a cheaper list provider and they end up not connecting and getting a lot of wrong numbers. It’s because it’s bad data. Maybe that company goes to one source. Whereas Batch, your data is the best so far. I’ve crossed tested it against other platforms and it is always the best. What’s the difference?

It’s what I told you. We’re aggregating and cleaning. We have data scientists and a whole team dedicated to skip tracing. Most people are either going to the source, getting it from one source, which we get it from multiples or the other thing is it’s just cheap data, bad data. You pay for quality data. We found a need and the most important thing is I don’t care if you use us for anything. We have the best skip tracing if you don’t want to use us for texting, cold calling, or even just lists. If they work for you, VA, sales rep or whoever, the phone numbers are the most important thing before anything else.

Honestly, you do pay for it if you get cheap data because you’re going to pay for it and miss an opportunity. I know, hands down, your guys at skip tracing are the best. It’s all I use. What else is with BatchService? What other services do you provide that help real estate investors?

We have Batch Skip Tracing what we’ve talked about. You can go there and get skip trace files. Now Batch Leads, we talked about earlier. You can pull the list, comp a property, send text messages in there. It’s your data management tool. We host all your data. It shows where all your lists are on the vacant properties.

You could stack your lists to where you want to create marketing campaigns and that also connects to one of our other products to Batch Dialer. You could cold call and send your list straight from Batch Leads into the Batch Dialer. You don’t have to import-export. We’re trying to be like Apple to where we exclude everything else. Everything is together. It’s used together and it’s able to make your life easier. We have tried to make that a simple way, so you don’t need a million subscriptions. All the software talks to each other, making it a simpler way for you to do your business.

I hated marketing and doing all this stuff for wholesaling when I was doing it. I was like, “How can we make this better for someone like me?” You want to be on the phones and generating leads. You don’t want to create all these marketing lists, which generates time wasted. You want to be doing money-driven activities. If you could get that done as fast as possible, get on the phones, or get the texting going, that’s what will generate your leads, which will generate your revenue.

WI 804 | REI Software

REI Software: We’re wholesalers and we’re coming from the perspective of an investor. We build what people want and what helps people make more money. It doesn’t mean we need to make more money.

 

I always say, “Focus on the money-making activities and not wasting time on things that don’t make us money.” When I heard about what you guys were building early on because I got in when it was early on with you guys, a light bulb went off. I started seeing in my head the tens of thousands of dollars that I was going to be saving because, in the old days, I would get lists from another company. Six months later, I needed to pull a new list. You need to pull a new absentee owner listing and a new vacant seller list. I would have to rebuy leads that I already bought six months before.

One of the biggest benefits of Batch Leads is if you’re getting another list that will show you the new stuff that’s coming in. You’re not having to rebuy the same data if you’re buying lists in the software. What it also does is you don’t ever have to skip trace the same record again. It shows you already have that.

I was skip tracing records. I don’t even know how many times and how much money I wasted. That’s one of the biggest benefits even to a new person because it manages all your lists in one place and you know all the things that are together. It’s such a game-changer that people don’t understand the importance of managing your data and making sure that you’re not buying stuff over and over again.

Let me contextualize this because I did this before. I pulled an absentee owner list in a territory. The list was 18,000 records, so that was 18,000 sellers that I wanted phone numbers for and I need it. You have to pay for the record, the seller’s name and address. On top of that, you have to pay for the phone number. I put it into our Batch system. I already had 16,000 of those records in because I’ve been pulling this same list for years. It was only 2,000 that I needed. I didn’t have the phone number that I needed. Instead, I paid on 2,000 records, not 18,000.

That’s why I save tens of thousands of dollars every year because I was a beast. I was buying so much data and wasting so much money. It’s incredible what you guys built. What angers me a little bit is how come those previous companies were taking advantage of me, whereas you guys were like, “We don’t need to make that much money.”

We’re wholesalers and we’re coming from the perspective of an investor. We build what people want and what helps people make more money. It doesn’t mean we need to make more money. How do we help you make more money than we both win? Batch is all about, “You work with us, you get deals. If you don’t get deals, you don’t work with us.” I’m very self-aware that we need to give you the best resources that we can to where we’re all successful together. Deep down, I love helping people, but I’m not a coach. It’s not who I am. My way to give back to the real estate community has helped build stuff to help them get deals.

All the things that are together, it’s such a game-changer. People don’t understand the importance of managing your data and making sure that you’re not buying stuff over and over again.

Leave it to the coaches to do the rest.

It’s not my passion. I’m not going to do something where I know I have a lot of friends in this industry who care, too, but who are passionate about coaching students. I love helping people, but coaching is not for me.

It’s funny because some people are not good at teaching something. I have people even in my own wholesaling company where I’ve tried to say, “Can you train this employee? Train our newest acquisition manager.” They don’t do a good job of explaining stuff. Some people are natural, better teachers. I feel that’s something I’ve had in me. Maybe my dad was a college professor, so I got his style a little bit.

I’ve used a funny analogy. People still stick in their brains about dumb stuff. I’ll bring in dating and funny things like concepts where people won’t forget because I said something funny. Coaching is a skill, but so is developing software, leadership and building the company to the size that you’ve built it. It is a very inspirational story. I’ve been happy to be a part of this because, being your friend, I was able to give you guys feedback and you guys changed things. You were like, “That’s a great idea, I’m going to that.”

We’ve been lucky to have a lot of big coaches that have a lot of students that also wholesale. We want to listen to what people want and we want to help build those things. We didn’t build this on our own. We came up with the idea and everyone else in the community has helped us build this for the community. We pride ourselves on caring about what the customer wants and pivot when we need to pivot and make sure people are getting deals. That’s all it’s about. Change lives. Get deals.

Jesse, if anyone wants to follow you, where can they find you on social media?

It’s @JesseBurrell for Instagram, @Jesse_Burrell for TikTok, that’s about it.

Make sure you follow Jesse. If anybody is reading and you are interested in taking your wholesaling business virtual, I want to help you and see you get there. Check out www.VirtualInvestingMastery.com. That’s it. Thank you so much for reading.

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About Lauren Hardy

WI 810 | Virtual Wholesaling

Lauren Hardy is a Virtual Investing expert and Real Estate influencer who owns multiple companies in the real estate industry including real estate investment, coaching, and software companies. She is also a Wholesaling Inc coach and co-host of the Wholesaling Inc Podcast.

Her experience in the last decade has been focused on real estate investing and creating products and services to serve the real estate investing community. If you are interested in investing in real estate virtually, house flipping, or virtual landlording, Lauren’s your girl.

 

 

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