Knowing which radio stations to choose is crucial to your marketing accomplishments. And it’s been a given that the REI Radio program has been of great use in helping students grow and scale their radio negotiations. And there is no doubt that the REI Radio team is always one step ahead in meeting your goals and needs.
Your voices have been heard, and now we’re taking REI Radio to the next level! Serving you new elements that could significantly help your radio advertising experience. In today’s podcast, Chris Arnold is back at it again with Grace Mills as they point out the four main reasons that could guide you in stepping up your radio negotiations to get the best market value possible. They also lay out everything you have to do to set up your radio. So you can apply it to whatever market you want.
Tune in for more tips, exciting news, and big revelations!
REI Radio 2.0 – 4 Reasons Why Every Wholesaler Should be Advertising on the Radio
We have some big news. We are launching REI Radio 2.0. You might be asking yourself, “Why 2.0?” We’ve been doing radio for years and have learned a lot. When you’re running a program like this, most of the things that you learn come from the students who are going through the process of setting up radio. Over time, we started to make a list of things that students were requesting and saying, “It would be cool in the future, as you continue to grow and expand, to add these new elements into radio.”
What you’re going to get in this episode is this. I am going to be sitting down with Grace Mills. She and I have been doing REI Radio together. I’m the one that talks about it but Grace is the one that does all the fulfillment. She knows way more about the nuts and bolts of radio and all the markets than I do. She’s done an exceptional job.
If you hear students rave about REI Radio, a lot of times you will hear Grace’s name more than mine because she’s the one that comes in and helps the students walk through this process and get this successfully set up. What we want to talk about are the new elements of REI Radio 2.0 and what you can expect to see with this new program.
There are a few things in here that you are going to be excited to know, whether you are the one that requested it or you’ve been thinking about it, wondering at what point might this adjust and shift in a way. We’re excited to talk about this with you. Grace Mills, welcome to the show. I’m glad to have you with me.
I’m super glad to be here. Thank you so much for reading. I always love to be able to hop on the show and talk this out. I’m super happy to be here to talk about Radio 2.0 with you.
Are you excited about REI Radio 2.0? Some of these ideas also came from you as you’ve been working with the students.
Yes. A lot of time, we’ve taken to collect feedback as we were testing things out. I’m happy to share. I’m excited to be rolling it out.
You don’t want to jump into radio and pay high market value prices. You want to get the super deep discounted prices. That takes time to negotiate.
Let’s hop in. Let’s get right down to the meat with REI Radio 2.0. What’s different? What can you expect? Number one, we are building or have for students moving forward a Done For You system with a media buyer. Traditionally, Grace, the student would go in and negotiate with the actual radio station.
Now, the student can do that but we have a media buyer that will do everything for you so you don’t even have to negotiate. Let’s talk about this because this has come up a lot with students going, “I wish that I didn’t have to call the radio station myself if I don’t want to. I’d much prefer someone to negotiate.” Break this down for us. What do we have? Who do we have working with us?
We’re working with Dave Sturgeon who has many years of experience in radio from broadcasting to media buying and has a great understanding of radio in general. We’re bringing Dave on. He is going to hop in. It will give you the option. Maybe you don’t have the time or you prefer to hand it off to someone else. In terms of your negotiations, that’s something that Dave can hop in and do for you as a media buyer.
As you’re understanding what a media buyer is roughly responsible for, once you get to the particular point of you’ve nailed down what stations you’re potentially looking at, Dave will get in contact with those stations and follow up with them for as long as it takes to get you the rate you need. He will negotiate all of your stations for you. It doesn’t matter what company umbrella they’re under. He’ll contact all of them and maintain those accounts for you as a media buyer.
I’ve known Dave for many years. I was working with him directly. He was a media buyer for me back in the day when I was utilizing radio to advertise for listings on the retail side. I always remember thinking to myself, “Dave is the smartest guy that I’ve ever come across in the radio world.” Grace, he’s the type of person that knows managers of radio stations in every market in the US.
He is so well-connected. He’s like, “I know that person that runs that market and the manager that works over there.” Somebody that’s been on radio for many years, you can imagine the number of contacts and insight he has. When he calls up a radio station, it’s not starting from scratch. He already knows somebody that’s working there because he’s already negotiated at some point in the past with those different markets. He has helped set up people in every single market around the country. It was cool to call up Dave. I was like, “Dave, I haven’t talked to you in years. What’s going on? Where have you been?” He’s like, “I’m still doing radio. I’ve got my company doing media buyer.”
I was like, “Would you be interested in stepping in and working with us? We have students that would love to have a media buyer. There is nobody else in the country I would rather have doing this than you.” We were able to come together and create a partnership for him to help you do that. Grace, the hardest part with radio is negotiating with the stations if you were to ask the students. Talk a little bit about that and why this is important because of the challenge sometimes of negotiating with radio stations if that’s something you’ve never done before.
A lot of our students are not very well-versed in negotiations. That’s a new world for them. It’s not something they feel is a strong suit for them on one side. We have some students that are like, “I have so many things going on that I don’t have the attention span or even the time.” Negotiating for that best rate is going to take time.
You don’t want to jump into radio and pay those super high market value prices. You want to get the super deep discounted prices. That takes time to negotiate down. A lot of our students don’t have that type of availability. It helps in terms of feedback as we were getting like, “If I could have someone else come in and help me with this, it will make the process a little bit smoother for me.” That’s where Dave started coming in.
At 2.0, you have 2 options and we get 2 types of students. First are those who are tenacious like, “Calling a radio station and negotiating them down sounds fun to me because I love the art of negotiation.” If you’re that student, you can continue to go that route but if you are the other student that’s busy or getting in and negotiating with the station, it doesn’t sound like something you want to do. We have adjusted 2.0 as a Done For You system. I love this. This is all the feedback we got from students. We wanted to make these changes to take radio to the next level. Grace, let’s go to the second piece. With the first round of radio that we did, we wanted to beta test this thing. You have helped people set this up in how many states?
We helped over 40 out of the 50 states. We even had a couple of students from over the border in Canada set up radio as well.
We have all the data that radio works in about every market. There are a couple of small markets that don’t have many radio stations. That’s maybe less than 5% of the markets in the country but the other 95% have worked well. The next thing that the students were asking us is they wanted to be able to learn how to do radio, go and apply it in different markets, not just the market that they bought into. Grace, talk a little bit more about this and their ability to learn how to do radio and do it more virtually outside of their market that they purchased it.
With our initial rollout, we were testing it on a territory-by-territory basis. People were buying into those spots and then we were teaching it to them based on their territory. We, in terms of feedback, have been getting students go like, “I’d love to be able to take this somewhere else.” Some of our students had already taken radio into a market outside of the one they initially brought in.
That’s the ongoing feedback we got where it’s like, “Is there any way I can have a better understanding of how to do this in any market, not just the market that I’m in?” Especially because a lot of students are virtually wholesaling. They’re like, “I’d love to take this somewhere else. How do I do that?”
The real big transition that we are doing here is the fact that we are teaching you how to do radio. Where you go and apply it is up to you. Before you might have called in and said, “I want to do radio on this or that market,” and that market was, let’s say, sold out. What we are changing and adjusting for the students based on the feedback is, “Stop teaching us how to do it per market. Teach us how to do radio and we’ll apply it in the markets that we want.”
Even as we did try to come in and do per market, we found that students were taking it, going into other markets anyway. It wasn’t like we could self-police that. If you’ve called in before and you’re like, “My market was sold out,” there is no market anymore. We’re not teaching per market. We are teaching you how to do radio so that you can apply it in as many markets as you want.
That is huge feedback we got from the students. They kept bringing that to us again and again. We said, “We hear you loud and clear. We’ll adjust and shift this to more of how to do radio versus a market approach where you’re choosing one market and how to do it.” Is there anything else you want to say on that, Grace?
We got a lot of feedback on that. For a lot of students, especially those that were not able to get in with your initial market, I know what a relief that is. It’s like, “Finally, at least I can get a jump in and I’m able to learn about radio without necessarily having to worry about it on a territory basis.”
The third thing is we are teaching more of a comprehensive approach. We’ve already done everything. We’ve redone the modules and the whole thing because rather than coming in and doing this for you, we are doing a much more comprehensive approach where we’re teaching you all the ins and outs. Grace, talk about that. You are the one that’s come in, redid these modules and recorded them yourself. How much deeper is the how-to and nuts and bolts on 2.0 versus the original?
This 2.0 is the blueprint, a very deep understanding of everything that you have to do to get radio set up. It’s a deep understanding of why data is so important, the types of data you utilize, how to read and analyze it and then size it up to your actual target audience, the different ways that you can go in and negotiate, the things that should be said and not be said in there in terms of selecting stations and therefore negotiating them.
Radio doesn’t require a lot of maintenance, but you may want to do a couple of check-ins here or there in terms of the information you’re getting back from your station.
Once you’re at a station, where do you go from there? What do you do? What do you look for? What do you say in your ad message? Are there checking calls that you should be having with your sales reps or anyone at the radio station companies that you’ll be dealing with? It’s a much deeper understanding of a full-on blueprint from start to finish, how to understand, how to set radio up, what to do when you’re on a station in terms of check-ins. I wouldn’t call it maintenance. Radio doesn’t require a lot of maintenance but you may want to do a couple of check-ins here or there in terms of the information you’re getting back from your station.
That’s a big shift because, for those that haven’t done radio, the first way we were doing it is there was a lot of handholding. Grace was coming in, analyzing the radio stations herself and doing all of those different elements. We were doing that simply to make it easier for the actual student. What they wanted was, “Show me how to do everything myself so that when I move in years and I want to continue to grow my radio, I have everything I need. I don’t have to rely on the staff at REI Radio or on Grace at all to move forward and grow.
We heard that feedback. It’s completely comprehensive. We are showing you how to do everything you need to know to set up radio in any market. The fourth thing is the biggest news. For you guys that don’t know the background, Grace and I have worked together for years. Before we launched radio, Grace has been our Director of Marketing. I learned how to do radio. I got it up and going.
As a business owner, there’s a point at which you have to hand it off because you can’t give it the full-time and attention. There are so many other facets of the business that need to be focused on. Grace came in and did an exceptional job in continuing to grow our radio, getting us up to 7, 8 stations and an ad spend of $27,500 per month. There was a point in time when Grace knew more about radio than I did because she was managing it every single day as the Director of Marketing in our company.
When we launched REI Radio, the way that we started it was, “Chris, you’ll be the voice and the face. You’ll talk about radio but when students come on, Grace is going to be the one that helps with the fulfillment because she’s the one that knows every market who can tell you what names of the station is in this city and what’s the best genre of music to be on across the entire country.”
We’re at a point where you are so far beyond my understanding of radio and the how-to. The students in REI Radio know that my goal was to be the spokesperson and talk about it. You were doing the nuts and bolts. That’s true for any visionary relationship. A visionary knows what to do but it’s not your responsibility to know how. Particularly if you’re running a big business, there’s no way you can keep up with how everything is being done.
An example would be CRM. We should use the CRM and what CRM we should use but do you think I know how to get in there and move everything around? No, that’s not my responsibility. What we’ve decided to do with 2.0 is to give the mic to Grace and allow her to come in and take over, not just do the fulfillment but Grace is going to be the new face and voice of REI Radio 2.0.
She’s earned the right to come in and take over this entire program. She is best suited to do it and so excited to do it. She’s got a passion for it. Grace, you’ve worked in a lot of different positions in our company. I love to see that you’ve elevated to this level of coaching REI Radio because, as I know you, this fits your strength.
This is for anyone reading who doesn’t know much about my background. I love to learn. One of the highlights of being a Director of Marketing is being able to test things out and research them. That’s my wheelhouse. I love being able to do that. I love learning new things. I like testing and tinkering. For anyone that I’d spoken to, I would typically tell you that I’m a Director of Tinkering. I like to get in and play with different things.
I’m at a point where I’m super excited to be able to share everything that I’ve learned in terms of radio. I made a couple of mistakes. We had some pitfalls. If there’s anything that we can share and especially for me in terms of tips or tricks or knowledge in general, I’m super happy to be able to do so. I warn our students like, “I could talk about radio for hours. Anything in my brain that I can give away, I’m happy to do so.” I was learning to be able to share that with someone so that they can have a much more successful radio journey, based on the information that I learned.
The fact that we have teamed you up with Dave Sturgeon, I will argue that REI Radio 2.0 has more understanding about radio than probably anything else out there. Putting you and Dave Sturgeon together and your two brains with the amount of radio experience you have is unbelievable. I’m super excited about that because there’s pretty much nothing that we can’t do moving forward, combining you, guys.
I want to summarize real quick the changes and the new opportunity that exists with 2.0. 1), it’s a Done For You system if you want it to be. If your held back was, “I don’t have time to set this up myself,” we have a media buyer. They can come in and do all of the work for you. They’ll go in, set it up and manage it for you.
2), it’s not market–specific. Before if the whole back was, “My market’s not open. I want to be able to go virtually into other markets,” we’ll show you how to do it and you can apply it to any market you want. 3), we are teaching you everything about radio, how to read and pull the reports. Everything that before was being done for you, we are going to show you how to do that so that you are completely self-sufficient.
Lastly, you get the amazing Grace Mills who is going to continue to take it to the next level by not just doing fulfillment but you will hear from her moving forward on shows as she comes in, interviews students and their successes and continues to roll out more and more knowledge around radio itself. I’m very excited about these changes. Some of you reading are like, “I’ve been waiting for this.” It is here. That’s why we’re excited to drop this show for you.
If you’re interested and you’re like, “That’s what I’ve been looking for,” begin by booking a call. You can go to WholesalingInc.com/REIRadio. Book a call, ask questions and learn more about the 2.0 version that we have out. We do want to thank the students greatly for giving us all the feedback. We want to let you know we heard you loud and clear. That’s why 2.0 is here for you.
Thank you so much for joining us. Grace, thank you so much for all that you do. It is amazing how many people you’ve set up on radio and how much money you’ve been able to help students make by finding distressed sellers and opportunities through radio. I want to thank you for that because you’ve made a big difference financially in a lot of people’s lives with radio. Very well done.
It’s been awesome to see. I’m happy to be a part of students’ radio journey in their actual business journey, seeing what a difference a marketing channel can make for someone.
Radio has made a big difference for sure. Thank you so much for joining us. Until next time. We will talk to you soon when we add more value. Talk to you later.
- REI Radio
- Dave Sturgeon – LinkedIn
- Be sure to join the Wholesaling Inc Facebook group
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!