Real estate investing is a venture that anyone can take if you want to make decisions and start growing your own business. Join Chris Arnold and Matt Bristow as they delve into brand recognition for sales growth. Matt shares the health problems that made him fearless now. 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. Let’s find out how he made $380,000 in a year. 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 scored throughout his professional journey.
From Losing A $300k Salary To Achieving Explosive Success As A Real Estate Wholesaler
Health problems made Matt 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.
As always, I’m excited that you guys are with us. 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. I see some of the stuff he posts on social media. I’m like, “This guy is unconventional.” He’s off in left field using a lot more creativity than what I see most people do. We’re going to talk about how he’s taken marketing, had a lot of fun with it and do some cool stuff to help grow the brand recognition of what he’s doing. That’s what we have in store. He’s utilizing radio as well. We will talk about that he has been up a little bit about the $181,000, closed out on the books and another big deal is about to close, which can be about $80,000 to $130,000. It depends if he hotels it or flips it. Matt, what’s up? Welcome to the show.
Chris, thanks for having me. I appreciate the opportunity. I’m excited to be here, chat with you and catch up on this stuff.
Let’s do it. This is going to be fun. I was laughing at some of the stuff that you’ve come up with already. For those that don’t know you, how long you’ve been in the game? Since we’re talking about creativity and the fact that you walk to the beat of your own drum, give us a little snapshot. How did we end up with the Matt Bristow that we’re talking to now?
It’s crazy. I started having health problems years ago. I didn’t realize then that I had Crohn’s. I was diagnosed in 2020. I’m on Remicade chemo treatments. A few years ago, I was too sick to work. I was in the financial industry and worked for US Bank. I was too sick to do it anymore. I needed a break. At that point in time, I decided to dive into real estate investing, needing more flexibility in my life and dictate the amount of money that I could make on my own instead of working for somebody else. I did something crazy. I quit my corporate job. I was making six figures a year.
I sold my house, cashed in my 401(k), went off to try and make as much money as I could while I could because I wasn’t feeling well. It made me do some crazy things that maybe I normally wouldn’t have but that’s what led me to do the things that I’ve done and making the decisions that I’ve made. It made me a little bit fearless. That’s how I ended up here. I didn’t have any experience or anything like that, to be honest with you. I had done a couple of personal deals. It’s been crazy ever since. It’s a lot better now than it was when I first started, thanks to many wonderful coaches all over the US that I’ve paid for advice, experience and mentorship from you being one of them. Every time I do, my business grows, things get better, and so does my personal life. It trickles into my health as well.
First of all, may I applaud you for your vulnerability in sharing that. It’s interesting that particular challenge built the framework, gave you a different lens to look at things through and then the word that you used was fearless, “I’m going to 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 have as much physical energy.”
I’d built my business sick from my bed and couch on Facebook networking. The first mentor I hired was in Boston, Massachusetts. Nobody around here wanted to teach me because nobody wants to create competition for themselves. I said, “Screw it. I can’t let anybody get in my way.” I went wherever I had to go to get the job done. I didn’t have a choice.
People reading right now have different challenges. It could be health-related or anything because we know that whether it be pain or a tragedy, all of those things do have a commonality. That is that they drain energy. They require you to focus on other things that become a priority like health. Anything you’d say to the audience like 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? I feel like we have something to learn from you here.
Failure wasn’t an option. I quit a six-figure job. I had a ten-year career that I left. I was going crazy. I couldn’t do it anymore. I remember being in my job and not feeling good and saying, “This cannot be it. This can’t be my life. There’s something else that I’m supposed to be doing. I broke.” The experience made me realize that I had to do what I needed to do. This is where I ended up. I’m thankful, grateful and happy that I made that decision. 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. I was sick. It was before I started chemo. I had a choice. My aunt works for Zoom. She’s one of the first 25 employees hired there. I was working on getting on 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. 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. I had three kids sick. That moment was a defining moment for me. Have you heard of the book, Three Feet from Gold?
You made that choice. It’s that analogy, 2 feet from gold, security or to take the risk. You take the risk and it paid off for you.
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. I was the first newbie that they allowed at Carrot Camp. 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. That stuck with me so much. I didn’t even read the book all the way through. It’s just him explaining that concept was enough summary for me to understand it. I lost all my money trying to figure out this business. I was down to $15,000 and that next twelve months, I made $380,000 back. I lost it all and made it back.
Invest in paid advice, experience and mentorship as they can help your business grow.
It goes down to what we understand and sometimes it is to never ever give up, particularly if there is a direction that you feel like you know you’re being led to. I appreciate you sharing that. That’s a very inspirational aspect and part of your story. Let’s talk about this fun with marketing. You picked up radio. I remember seeing some of your posts. I was like, “This guy is about to do radio in his own way.” If we’re talking about brand recognition, we provide right away to do a radio ad, some scripts and Math. I get that piece but let me come in and layer on something that when people read this, they’re not going to forget. One of the first things you did was went out and connected with Afroman. You guys came in, collaborated and did an actual radio ad. Tell us a little bit about what that radio ad turned out to be. Was that like a song? What twist did you throw on that with Afroman?
That was a country song. I buy houses everywhere. He worked out perfectly for that one because he did the intro for me. He’s got a good, deep voice but that’s crazy legit. Years ago, I was sick on my couch and trying to figure out how to build my company. In 2020, I was working with Afroman. I got a music producer now on my payroll and the game has changed. Now I’m being able to get creative and make songs. When I was in high school, I used to rewrite songs and do that stuff as a hobby. When we started to look at the radio stuff and implementing the ads, I wanted to have songs. We’re on the radio. Some ads get overplayed and it’s annoying as listeners.
You came in and fundamentally added your own flair to that and played off the fact that radio tends to be heavy on music. You were telling me that you can do a comedy take. You’re going to have some person come in and do a little bit of an impersonation. What’s coming down on that particular piece, utilizing your creativity for a comedy spot already?
We have our songs. How can we mix it up as much as possible? We have certain things that we utilize for brand recognition. We have certain things that we use for conversion to get the phone to ring, maybe a little more quickly. It might have more calls to action. The songs still convert. The more call-to-action stuff converts probably a little bit better but I think they go hand in hand in that the person picking up the phone and calling it 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? The next step is to bring comedy into it because I love having fun. I love laughing. We’re going to bring in a character. We think we have his name figured out, Bo McDougal. Bo calls in like, “How are you doing? I got a house here that I need to sell fast.” He’s got a funny voice.
I want you guys to know this. It’s always about setting yourself apart from all the noise. There is a ton of noise out there on social media and in somebody’s mailbox, even if you’re sending direct mail. Are you taking that extra step to do something that’s going to get you above the noise? I definitely want to summarize, Matt what you say. I used creativity, comedy, Afroman to set the brand apart. I also bounced that out with some traditional call-to-action ads because one helps build the brand quickly upfront and make it recognizable and the other is the more practical type of ad again that I’ve always used over the years. You’re playing those two together to build brand recognition while simultaneously making sure you maintain great conversion.
At the same time to entertain people because that’s why they’re listening to the radio. You have to remember that they’re there for entertainment, to listen to music and for something. It’s not necessarily to listen to your business’ ad. How can you catch their attention and not tune out? That’s where creativity comes in. If you can write a catchy song or have something funny where they stop thinking about whatever it is they might be stressing about. They’re thinking, “I have this house that I want to sell and I can’t stand it. This guy sounds like fun. I want to call him.” It’s different than the average business, very scripted, the same thing over and over. You got to mix that in there and get into the mind of your audience. They’re there for a reason, so how can you get them to smile? I have recordings I can share with you. I have people that call in as fans to say that they love my ad.
They’re not even calling to sell their house. They’re calling to compliment you on the fact that you ran a great ad that entertains them. If we want to say, “How valuable is this?” Who does this any better than Geico? They have 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, “I appreciate the comedy that they pry into that ad because it does.” 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 time and moment making somebody feel better with entertainment because you made them laugh.
I imagine for you. Your marketing has a bit more meaning. Not only are you growing your business and brand but you’re also, in a way, making people stay a little bit better. It’s funny as I sit here and process this with you, I see the bigger picture of why you see it this way. I stepped back and go, “That’s valuable. That’s looking at the bigger picture.” I have a question. I know you’ve been doing real estate and advertising on radio. 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 me, it’s a great way for people to get to know me. I have a recording of a conversation I had with a lady. It was a direct mail campaign that I was doing. She received a postcard for me and thought I went into her mailbox personally and put it in there. There are a lot of F words in it. My customer interaction in radio versus outbound stuff is completely different. It’s way more enjoyable. I enjoy focusing on inbound marketing and having people call me because it’s a better experience. Radio provides a great tool in outbound marketing for me. I enjoy it.
It’s a more high-quality canvas to come in, paint with your creativity and what you want to do. I like that aspect. You’re able to connect with the audience and allow them to get to know who you are much easier than a postcard. What might be else that you enjoyed about radio so far?
It’s put a definite staple in my business and brand. It helped its recognition because we are professionals. When you’re marketing on the radio, there were 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 want you to buy their house and know that you’re not going to screw them over because you’re on the radio.
You’re getting what we call that instant credibility. That also the fact that this Matt guy must know what he’s doing because he’s on the radio. He must be able to pay cash for these houses or wouldn’t be on the radio. This is a guy who is a professional and not like a lot of the other typical investors out there because he is on the radio. Those are all what I’ve experienced. Those ancillary benefits that you don’t get with the spam-based approach marketing that a lot of us have utilized in the past and are still utilizing now. I know I was talking to you before. 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 something like direct mail lead?
Creativity helps you connect with your audience and allows them to really get to know who you are.
They are ready. You don’t necessarily know what phase of the sales cycle the consumer is at when you’re doing direct mail. You could be mailing somebody that’s not ready to sell a house three years from now, who knows? The person who’s listening to my radio ad is ready now. They already have a house that they’re ready to sell. The motivation is different. It converts faster because they’re hot-ready leads. You can build a list. You can market however you want to. What phase of the sales cycle are they on? Are they even ready or real targets? That’s the difference that I’ve enjoyed. I wholesale these two houses.
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. 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 getting in my car. He opens his mailbox. There were six postcards in there from other investors. He waves them at me and goes, “Matt, I just like you.” He heard me on the radio.
He didn’t call the people that drop postcards in his mailbox. He called the personality that he began to know, like and trust that he heard over the radio waves. That was the two-home deal you did off radio and made $45,000 off that radio deal with those two homes. You did a mobile home. People always ask, “Is it just single-family properties?” No, you did a mobile home. You made another $40,000 on that. You and I were going through doing some math.
I did a multi-property too. It was two houses on one lot. It’s definitely not all single-family. We get everybody that wants to sell anything.
It’s a motivated seller. They’re calling you off radio to help an exit, whether it’s land, mobile home or whatever that looks like. In several months, you’ve done $181,000 off of radio.
No, that’s just 2021. I don’t even have my numbers from 2020. I still have one that I closed on it. It’s a flip that I’m working on. I can wholesale it and clear $80,000 on it. I flip it and clear $130,000 on it.
You’re getting some big pops off radio. How much is Matt paying monthly, if you don’t mind sharing that? What is your monthly radio budget? How much are you spending?
I added a couple more stations. It’s less than $10,000. Anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000.
How many stations are you on now?
You’ve ramped it up somewhere around $5,000 to $10,000 a month on that. You’re getting a solid return as you start to scale this thing up. This radio piece is interesting. I love doing these interviews because I was experiencing all of these benefits myself. It’s a quality lead and low maintenance. I feel like I’m being able to strengthen my brand, not hide my brand. I’ve been excited to come in and put this in all of the different markets that people are in. What market are you in?
I’m in Northern California.
Enjoy your business, have fun with marketing, and test out ideas upping your product’s creativity level and brand recognition.
In Northern California, some people might go, “If it can work in Cali, it’s going to work in a lot of states.” I know people with California always go, “That’s a much different market.” I’m seeing these same benefits roll out for the students that happen for us. For me, it’s exciting. It’s cool to sit back and go, “You’re over there reaping the benefits of what I’ve reaping benefits on the radio.” If you’re reading, curious and like, “This radio thing, I’d like to learn a little bit more about,” let us answer some questions for you and see if it’s a good fit. You can always check that out at WholesalingInc.com/ReiRadio and book a call, see if your market’s open and something that’s a fit for you. Matt, what is your goal? Honestly, you’re kicking ass on radio. You’re like, “The last thing that I want us to do and plug this in is now I want to force multiply with TV.” I feel like I can even be more creative over there because now I get a visual. You’re going to take what you’ve done on radio, start to create some cohesiveness and roll over into the TV?
I want to digitize all of our radio stuff. It’s going on TV.
I might have to bring you back in here about how that goes.
We’re going to bring everything that we have on radio to TV and implement that into our social media strategy as well so that it’ll be completely cohesive. I’ll probably be mixing in some more direct mail and bring it all full circle. I haven’t been doing direct mail because I enjoy inbound marketing but I’m going to do a little bit of it. Do the whole as heard on radio and as seen on TV type of marketing and implement that as well to staple everything together there essentially. If you hear me on the radio, it’s going to look and feel the same on TV, social media or on a postcard that you might receive from me. We’re going to take a multi-pronged approach in our targeting and make sure it’s cohesive.
That’s exactly what I like to say, tie it together and make it cohesive. Matt, I appreciate you coming on. First of all, thanks for your vulnerability. It’s very inspirational. Thanks for coming in and challenging us. I can’t think of a show I’ve done where we talked about having fun with marketing, upping the creativity level and the brand recognition. Out of all the REI Radio students I had, I’m like, “Matt is the guy over here that’s thinking completely different.” I applaud you for that and for pushing things to the next level. To the rest of you, thank you so much as always and we will 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!