Posted on: June 03, 2022
WI 965 | Real Estate Deals

 

Long-term real estate expert Bill Rafter joins Brent Bowers to share his details of success in the industry over the years. In this episode, you’ll hear some stories about unique marketing tactics and sales strategies in real estate.

 

Key Takeaways

  • Bill’s transition from government to real estate expert
  • How Bill started teaching real estate
  • The tactics used in marketing partnerships

 

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Legendary Real Estate Deals Ft. Bill Rafter

Episode Transcription

I have an amazing guest. This guy is a servant at heart and he serves so many people. This guy, William Rafter or Bill Rafter, as known in the Rhino Tribe, has helped more people than I can even put a number on. He serves our Land Sharks community. Every single support call, he’s always on. He lives in the support group, and he is always answering questions for our Land Shark students. He doesn’t only support the land shark students. He also supports the Talk To People students with Brent Daniels.

We’re going to talk about the two things that Bill Rafter sees in people to make them successful. The two things that they are doing to be successful in their real estate business. He’s going to talk about his real estate journey, how he started out in this, his first investments, and his career as a real estate agent. I hope you enjoy this episode, and looking forward to jumping into it with you now.

I have the celebrity, Mr. Bill Rafter, on the show. I can’t believe no one else has gotten Bill Rafter on the show. I have a first off. How are you doing, Bill?

I know how to escape that, but it was always Tom, Cody, Darrin, and yourself to find. The whole purpose of Wholesaling Inc is I have my time in the sun and on the stage. It was time for you, Brent Daniels, Tom Krol, Cody Hofhine, and those guys to shine. That’s what Wholesaling Inc was all about. My role was to stay back in the background and support everybody. That’s what I did.

I love doing the welcome calls with new students that sign up for Wholesaling Inc because I always mention you. I say, “You’re going to see William Rafter in our support group. The guy is incredible. He’s done more deals than anybody I’ve ever known. It’s not one type of deal. It is multiple types of deal in many different states and legal sides.

You supported many with Wholesaling Inc. I know you’re working with Brent Daniels in TTP. You support the Land Sharks students. When they get a win, usually, it’s like, “I want to thank Bill Rafter or William Rafter and Brent Bowers. Many people owe you so much for their success. I want to talk a little bit about the first time that I walked into the Wholesaling Inc Summit. I had signed up as a student with Wholesaling Inc. back in 2016-ish. Back when Tom Krol was still doing the welcome calls and still signing people up.

I noticed you in the room in Salt Lake City, Utah. It was the second Wholesaling Inc Summit. You guys had had one in Memphis, Tennessee. I signed up when the Memphis was happening. I don’t know if you remember this, but I was like, “I’m going to sit next to the smartest guy in the room.” I sat right next to you the whole entire weekend.

I appreciate that. I hope something rubbed off on you.

I had the honor to be in being a Wholesaling Inc coach and got to teach the land side of things of Land Sharks, and many students are finding success. A lot of that’s due to yourself with the sacrifice of being there to answer their questions and doing all the research. I wanted to thank you for that. What are we going to talk about here? You’ve got many tricks in your bag for buying real estate. I know what we are going to talk about, and if you have anything else that comes to mind, please mention it. How did you start? When did you start? How did your story start? We all have a beginning as far as getting into real estate, but why real estate? What made you jump into this?

I was in the Navy for about ten years. I was inactive and I stayed in the reserves. When I got out of the military, I went to work for the city government in law enforcement and fire services. I spent four years in the military, and now I’m working for the government. It wasn’t something that I wanted to do for a lifetime. It was a good stop-gap to allow me to earn some income and decide what I did want to do.

I went to a real estate promotion for Century 21. I listened to their pitch and decided to get my real estate license. I went ahead and did that and got my real estate license, but as soon as the ink was dry on my real estate license, I quit the government and started selling real estate. I liked selling residential real estate, but I didn’t like working with residential buyers that much. I was more interested in the investment field.

Consistency, marketing, and follow-up are keys to success.

Me and a couple of other guys started a company called Real Estate of America. We had a seminar that was attached to that to train agents, and we got a lot of clients that way. They wanted to buy investment real estate. I became an acquisitions manager for about five years in Southern California, buying and selling properties. All I did five days a week was present offers and negotiate deals. We were successful at it. After that, I’ve always been interested in education. As an adjunct to my real estate business, I got involved in a real estate education. I was associated with a company called the Lowry Group.

We did two-day events seminars all around the country. I would do that once or twice a month on the weekends and do my real estate during the week. We did traditional real estate listings as well as doing investments. I’ll never forget this. This was one of the best lessons and it applies to real estate investments.

This was in Huntington Beach, California. I sat down with a seller, and this was a real sharp guy. He was in sales himself, and he was reeling listing agents, so the property to decide which one he was going to hire to list his property. We sat down, and he said, “I want you to tell me ten things you’re going to do to sell my house.” I smiled and stroked my chin. I knew this guy had an ego as big as the Earth. I said, “Sir, let me ask you a question. What are eight things that you think I should do to sell your house?” He gave me eight and he laid them all out. I only had to come up with two.

That’s not something we could breeze on by. The guy pretty much sets you up for failure because you don’t know what the right answers are for that person. I’m going to come up with eight different things that the next-door neighbor is probably going to come up with completely opposite. I love the fact that you answered his question by asking a question to see what was important to that seller. You only had to come up with two. That’s handling and doing all those acquisitions, in the beginning, And taught you how to talk to sellers, and it’s already showing.

They were good ideas. what I did from that point forward, and I fine-tuned it, is I use that presentation on every listing appointment from that point forward in my real estate career.

You started it by asking them, “What are the eight most important things for me to do to sell your house on every listing appointment?”

I came up with another 2 so it was a total of 10. When I do my presentation to other sellers, I go, “Here’s what we’re going to do to sell your house.” It would be a checklist. I did a whole presentation off that checklist. I gave it to the seller and told him, “Check off each item as we get it done.” You can use that same theory whether you’re buying land from a seller, working with a buyer for your land, or whatever it is. These are the things that we’re going to do to go ahead and close the transaction and do what we promised we were going to do.

That’s where you need to know your seller or your buyer to present the facts and all the things you’re going to do to work hard that are important to them that you do it. I appreciate you sharing how you got started. I know we all remember our first investment property. Can we talk about that?

WI 965 | Real Estate Deals

Real Estate Deals: Whether you’re buying land from a seller or working with a buyer for your land, there are things you could do to go ahead and close the transaction. Just do what you promised you were going to do.

 

It was the beach area. Condos and townhomes in that area were a good investment. I could see the water from my condo. It was most land and I could see the state beach. I bought a lot of condos, whereas some of my first investments in Santa Ana, California. They would cashflow. We ended up setting up a property management company to manage those and other investors in the condos. It was about fifteen condos that I bought.

Do you remember the first one?

This was the time when the Vietnamese people were coming over. All my tenants were Vietnamese, and their big thing was they wanted the carpet clean. They didn’t do flooring like we do now. Every unit has carpet, and they wanted it clean because they laid their mats out. That’s where they slept at night. They didn’t have checking accounts or any of that stuff. We would have to go over there and physically collect the rent.

There would be about 6 or 7 of them. Each one of them would pay their person for the rent. They would stand in line, we collect the rent, and I’d give them one receipt. They would bow and I would bow when I was on my way. That’s how we collected the rent in those days because none of these folks could speak English. They were both people that had come over as part of the Vietnam thing.

We’ve got it easy now. I remember when my great-grandfather would go and collect his rent. He would have to do it in person and I get the ride along with them. That seemed like it was time-consuming. Especially with my land investing, sometimes they’re paid multiple times a day, and it goes directly into the bank account. I couldn’t have imagined having to go and collect over 100 and something payments every single month. That seems like a lot of work.

Condos were lined up one after another. I go from one condo to the next and collect cash. What was funny is there was a whole custom thing too. They came from a foreign country. They didn’t know our customs. They jumped by boat and came over here without a transition period, where they learned our customs, what’s acceptable and what’s not.

In addition to managing my units, we also manage the complex, and we get a call about a whole bunch of unclothed women sitting around the pool drying their clothes because that’s what they do in their country. They wash their clothes and hang them all up. They wait for their clothes to dry. That’s what they did.

We had to bring the translator lady. Each unit had a washer and dryer in it, but they didn’t know how to use them. We had to train them on how to use the washer and dryer, and the pool was not for dipping clothes and hanging them up to dry. It was a real experience. That were some of my first rentals in Santa Ana, California.

This business is all about relationships. People like to do business with people that they like and trust.

We had a great conversation talking about interest rate changes. You had mentioned the word “bring it closer to a neutral market.” Prices and interest rates have skyrocketed. We get used to a low rate and it almost doubles. It is shocking. What are your thoughts on that?

It’s gone up about 75% in a year because of the rise in the rates and prices. In some cases, people’s payments went up to $1,000 a month in comparison to what they could have bought in 2021 and what they can buy now. In some areas, home prices have fallen. I was looking at an article here. Here’s where home prices are falling the most, Toledo, Ohio, Rochester, New York, Detroit, Michigan, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Springfield, Massachusetts, Tulsa, Oklahoma, LA, Memphis, Tennessee, Chicago, Illinois, and Richmond, Virginia.

It sounds like it might be turning into a buyer’s market in those areas soon.

All of these areas are areas that have lower-income properties. We’re not talking about Downtown LA or Beverly Hills. Most of these areas have lower-income properties like Tulsa, Oklahoma, Detroit, Michigan, and places like that. They’re more susceptible to price changes and also to effects by working in unemployment and stuff like that. A lot of those areas are lower-income areas. Those people are getting hammered by the high gasoline prices and everything hat’s associated with that, like food, gas, and everything else. I had a note from a friend. They filled up their SUV, and it was over $100.

When the machine shuts off because you hit your credit card limit of $100, that’s when you know gas prices have gotten a little out of control. We’ve had high gas prices now. I’m already getting used to it. It’s amazing what you can get used to. If they come back down, that’s incredible. If they go back up, that’s going to suck. It’s amazing how we can get used to anything.

We’re shifting gears a little bit. Bill, you’ve trained so many people, just that I know alone with Wholesaling Inc and prior to that, when you’re doing your two-day seminars traveling the country to do that, and also new real estate agent. What would you say is the number one thing that you see most often in people that win in real estate investing and business? What would you say is one of the action steps or attributes? What would you say is the number one reason for success for all the people that you’ve trained, mentored, helped, and supported?

Two things. Consistency in marketing and follow-up.

Those are two things that seem simple, but I’ll tell you the consistency in marketing was one of the things that I struggled with for years because I would mark it like crazy, spend a bunch of money, send a bunch of mail, and my phone would blow off the hook. I get maybe 2 or 3 deals. I put all my effort and my resources into working these deals, and guess what wouldn’t happen for a couple of months? Marketing. I would restart completely every single time. I know what helped me, and I’ll talk about it. What is the way to get around that to where you stay consistent in marketing?

WI 965 | Real Estate Deals

Real Estate Deals: Areas that have lower-income properties are more susceptible to price changes.

 

Everybody faces that, especially when you’re getting started and have nobody else to depend on. One of the first things that you need to do is you need a part-time person. You need to get some help. Even if you start out paying them part-time and you train them on exactly what you want them to do, “I want these letters sent out every Monday. If I’m yelling at you to stop, keep sending them.”

No matter what. I don’t care if the credit card gets declined. If you’ve got a hand writes them things, get them out. Ours is every Thursday. The reason why is because one of my acquisition managers complained. She’s like, “I’m having my wine at 5:00 PM on Friday. You send these mailers out every single Monday. Guess when the phone starts ringing? 5:00 PM on Friday. Stop it.” Sometimes, you want to keep your team happy, especially the person that’s answering the phone. We changed it the Thursday. That way, the phone calls start on Monday or Tuesday.

When you watch your team happy, they get the marketing out. The key is to have somebody help you get the marketing out consistently.

I hired a virtual assistant in the Philippines for that. She is the marketing director. Every single week, she sends the letters out no matter what. That is her main rock and the main goal to accomplish. She now missed it twice in the past couple of years. The first time, I threatened her job. The second time, she was not feeling well at all. We’ve let that one slide, but that’s huge. It’s the marketing. Did you have anything more on that?

If I hear the excuse, I don’t have the money. Sit down and write down every bill that you have. Do you need a $300 a month cable bill? Do you need to go down to Starbucks and pay $10 for a cup of coffee? Whatever it is. There’s a whole bunch of areas that you can slice off a little bit. I looked at my cable bill, and I’m about to collapse. I went, “This is insane.” I called up the cable company and we went over every single one of the channels and everything. I cut out about 30% of them that I never watch. It dropped my bill by $100 with one phone call. I dropped it from about $300 a month to about $200 a month.

We’ve got all these subscriptions, Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, and we had to get another Paramount to watch Yellowstone. I never looked at our personal account. My wife is in charge of that. She makes sure the household bills get paid. I saw $183 for Hulu. I asked Emily, “Did you pay for the whole year for Hulu?” She goes, “No, that’s a month.” I was like, “You have got to be kidding me for Hulu. How often do we watch Hulu?” Never.

It’s a little thing like that. People don’t even realize what they’re paying for all this stuff, and partially why I don’t look at our personal bank account anymore because it makes me sick. Little things like that cost us so much money. Let me tell you what costs all of us even more money is watching Hulu. Pay for it. Don’t even watch it and cancel it because you have better things you could be doing with your time than watching your TV on a daily basis.

I watched the University of Kentucky games during the football season, but after the season, I shut it up or basketball, but they still charge you for it every month. It’s insane. You can always find the money to go ahead and get the thing up and running. I write part of all the cable stuff off as a business expense because I got a fax line, internet, and all that stuff. I break that off from the cable bill. About half of the bill every month is a legitimate business expense. I break it off when I do my taxes. That’s paying for part of that.

Do what you love to do and farm out the rest.

I’m looking at buying a big boat, and I’m trying to figure out how to write it off as a business expense. If you’re telling me you can write off your TV as a business expense, I’m going to have to get with you to figure out how to ride off a boat. I know that’s possible if you can write TV off. I love it.

Suppose that your phone is set up on the boat and you broadcast one of the coaching calls every month on the boat.

You had mentioned follow-up as the second key to success. How do I be consistent in following up with these sellers? They don’t want to talk to me. They don’t want to sell but they want too much. How do I follow up?

You have to break the sellers down into categories. In other words, if somebody says they’re not interested in selling, why would you put that on your hot list? That’s going to be on a list that you’re going to follow up on once a quarter or every six months because they said they’re not interested in selling. What they’re telling you is, “I am not interested in selling now but maybe later.”

If you have somebody that says, “We’re going to be selling in the next 30 days.” That’s a hot lead. You got to be calling them every week. You want to try and get some information about them and their families, so when you’re calling them back, you’re not talking about the same thing every time because pretty soon, they’re not going to take your call. If they were talking to you about their kids at school and stuff like that, take notes of that and ask how the kids are doing, how the play went, and all that stuff.

I had a gentleman. For 3.5 years, I called him on the house and his dog’s name was Fidel. He told me, “When Fidel dies, I’m selling you this house because I don’t want the church getting it.” I would always ask about Fidel in a funny way, “You guys were heading to the vet. What’s going on? How’s Fidel doing?” Little things like that, we have amazing, beautiful conversations about his dog, his church, and his girlfriend, you name it.

This business is all about relationships. People like to do business with people that they like and trust. They sometimes sell the property a little bit less to you rather than the other person because they don’t trust the other person.

This is a relationship business that’s good. I hate that “fake it until you make it” attitude because that is non-congruent and not trustable. Be upfront and honest, “I’ve never done this before. I’m working with a mentor or a partner.” Be honest about it. I love that you said transparency and vulnerability. Going back to consistency in marketing, not having the funds, and canceling out things like cable or Netflix. There are also people out there that want to see you win that will partner with you and pay for your marketing. There’s a guy that I offered to pay for his marketing because I see all the steps he is taking. I know this guy is going to be a winner.

WI 965 | Real Estate Deals

Real Estate Deals: You can always find the money to go ahead and get your business up and running.

 

He’s working his tail off. He’s got huge why. He has two children that he has to send to a special school. He was like, “I’m now about to start doing some side jobs and side hustles.” He was planning to do them to pay for his marketing. I said, “I will back you on your marketing. I want to see you keep going.” There are people out there.

I highly recommend finding someone to partner up with, telling them your vision, showing them your why, and asking if they want to be part of the opportunity. You’re not asking and begging for this. You don’t have to go desperate. Educate them on your program like Jay Conner talks about. He says, “Educate them on your lending program. When they want to get in on it, you let them know when you have a deal. Don’t go to them with a deal because then you’re begging. Educate them first.” The same thing with your marketing and business. We don’t have to do this alone. The cool thing about real estate is you could partner on 1, 2, or 3 deals. This is not a marriage that’s going to be until death do you part.

One of the benefits that you have is a Facebook page. You can post up there all the time like, “Look at this deal. Here are the comps. It is worth $50,000. I got an under contract for $16,000. We can move it. Here’s the information about it. Here’s the acreage where it is located. I think we can turn this thing in about 30 days. We need to close on it. It’s one of those deals that you need to close now rather than trying to find a buyer. I need funds close on the deal, and we’ll put it back on the market, realtor, or whatever we need to do. There are probably $25,000 legitimate profits set here. I need $15,000 to close the deal.”

Go out there and share what you’re doing on social media. There are many more avenues, and we’ve come so far. Use social media to your advantage rather than the black hole that you sink yourself into while surfing and scrolling. Build scroll create, don’t consume create.

Use it as the vehicle. It was meant to be and that’s what the Land Sharks Facebook page is all about, the Wholesaling Inc Facebook page, and Brent Daniels. He encourages people to squat up as you do. Help one another out, and everybody will profit. We’ve got a lot of that going on the Land Sharks Facebook page.

Bill, thanks so much for taking your time. I can’t believe you muscled through this entire interview. Any parting advice or words of wisdom for that person getting started or maybe even to the Bill Rafter several years ago. What are the final words of advice from you? I know you have many golden nuggets. It’s probably going to be harder to pick one thing.

Find that point of the business that you like. Do that yourself and farm out the rest as soon as you can. If you don’t like to do marketing, farm that out to a virtual assistant. Some people don’t like to get on the telephone and interact with sellers. You need to do that early on so that you understand how to do it effectively but you could always train somebody to do that later on to step into your shoes if it’s not something that you enjoy doing.

If you enjoy going belly-to-belly to people or you enjoy being on the phone, make sure that you do that consistently if it’s something that you enjoy. If you can meet with people personally, you’re always better served to do that. Develop that relationship rather than trying to do out of business over the phone, but you have to operate as effectively as you can be based on where your market is and where your home base is. Do what you love to do and farm out the rest.

Bill, thank you so much for jumping on. Guys, if you felt moved that someone needs to know this, please share this episode with somebody. If you’re looking to get started in real estate, go onto TheLandSharks.com or WholesalingInc.com/Lands and schedule a call us at Wholesaling Inc. We’ll see what your real estate investing goals are. If we feel like we’re a great fit, I’d be honored to coach. Don’t forget. We’ve got our Memorial Day sale going on. Go ahead and book that call now and see what that’s all about. God bless. Thanks so much for reading.

 

Important Links

 

About Brent Bowers

WI 895 | Land InvestingBrent Bowers, is an investor and coach with a focus on buying and selling vacant land. As an Army Officer with over 8 years of service, Brent was spending a great deal of time away from his family, and he knew he needed to make some changes in order to be more present with his wife and children. In a short period of time, Brent was able to expand his business, hire a team, and (most importantly) spend quality time with his family while still working hard and helping others.

While Brent invests in many different types of real estate, his favorite investment strategy deals with buying and selling vacant land, and he enjoys sharing his expertise in this area with his coaching clients. Brent chooses to live his life based on Bob Burg’s quote, “Your influence is determined by how abundantly you place other people’s interests first.” He is passionate about helping other people find success in real estate investing, particularly inland investments

 

 

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