Episode 131: The Best Real Estate CRM - REI Black BookSep 22, 2022
In this episode, David Dodge and Mike Slane together with Josh Arras Director Marketing of REI BlackBook. Josh share how REI BlackBook works and also give knowledge to other tools of REI.
Things you will learn in this episode:
- Who is Josh Arras?
- Josh Arras shares how REI Blackbook Website work.
- How to use different kinds of tools in REI Blackbook.
- Why CRM makes the business job simpler.
- How and when to start in REI Blackbook
- Talks about REI Blackbook Application
Links mentioned in this episode:
You can connect with Josh Arras on:
Mike: Alright guys, welcome back to the Discount Property Investor podcast. Your host Mike Slane joined with my co-host David Dodge.
David: Hey guys.
Mike: How you doing today?
David: I'm doing good, buddy, doing real good. We are sitting close today, hopefully not too stinky.
Mike: Was a gym day this morning so you never know.
David: That's right.
Mike: So today we have Josh here, right?
David: Josh Arras. Did I say your name right?
Josh: That is correct.
Mike: How do you spell that?
Mike: My brother in law is an Arras, don't know if you're related or not?
Josh: What's his name?
Josh: Jim Arras? Spelled the same way?
Mike: Uh huh. My sister's last name is Arras too.
Josh: What's your sister's name?
Mike: : Liz, Elisabeth.
Josh: I don't think so. I was trying to think, I don't think I have a cousin or anything named Elisabeth.
David: I always get the candid screen shots for marketing purposes. Guys, we are here today to talk about REI Black Book. So Mike and I just published an episode yesterday or the day before on dispositions. And what we are using REI Black Book for, for the most part, a majority of the use we use is for the dispositions. However we are getting away from all other CRM's, and moving everything we have into REI Black Book, so I am really really happy we were able to get Josh to come out today. Fortunately for us, REI Black Book is stationed, and they are located--.
Josh: Right down the highway.
David: Right here in St Louis, so it's really awesome to be able to get one of their guys in. Josh is a friend, I have known Josh for probably three and a half years give or take.
Josh: At least.
David: From coming to some of the events that you guys have. Either way I am really happy that you are here, thanks for coming.
Josh: Absolutely, thanks for having me on.
David: Absolutely. I just wanted to have some conversations with you today about some of the other features we are not really using that much, but we are going to start, but I want to not only have you educate Mike on I on these, but obviously all of our audience as well too.
Josh: Kind of in a nut shell with REI Black Book is, we've made a ton of improvements over the last two or three years. We completely rebuilt the CRM from the ground up. For those of you that don't know what a CRM is, sometimes I take this stuff for granted because I talk about it everyday. A CRM stands for Contact or Client Relationship Management. It's literally where you are going to manage the relationship with all of your prospects and your leads. So we have a CRM built in, and the core functionality of REI Black Book, then we have built a lot of the tools that investors need to run their business around that CRM. So things like websites, landing pages, trackable phone numbers, all those phone numbers, you can text message as well. We have got property management marketing which I know you guys are using--.
David: There's a lot of things in there, it's cool.
Josh: There is a lot of stuff in there, so it's tough to explain it. It's tough-- give me the elevator pitch. The easiest way to say it, is it is all the tools you need to run your real estate investing business in one place.
David: That's such a good point though, because it is all the tools. You don't need to go out and find five, six, seven, eight softwares. You can go with that one.
Josh: Yep exactly. You can-- a lot of people will ask me, do you guys have a dialer like Mojo? Well okay there are some things that we don't do. But, there are still ways to integrate your leads from a system like Mojo into REI Black Book. A lot of times you will have your list of what we call prospects. So in our mind you have prospects and you have leads, then of course you have leads that turn into contracts and deals. But, a prospect would be like a list that you buy from List Source or something like that. Or you get it from the court house. Then you go skip trace it, and now you have 2000 names you can cold call. You wouldn't necessarily want to upload all of those into your CRM.
David: -- prospects, because they are not qualified?
Josh: Correct, so they would just be prospects, just a bunch of names on a list. You haven't contacted them, you don't know if they are motivated, if they are not motivated. If you uploaded all of those into your CRM, and you did that every month. Next thing you know you have 20,30,40'000 prospects in there. You turn around in a couple of years later and you would have a total log jam in your system. So you know-- the point where a prospect becomes a lead is typically when that contact record is entered into REI Black Book. That can happen automatically in the form of somebody calling one of your phone numbers. in REI Black Book our system is called Profit Dial.
David: Just have to stop you right there. This is one of the main reasons Mike why we are moving over because right now we have to manually input those when the calls come in.
Mike: Uh huh.
David: Me and you are not doing it obviously, we have people we have put in place to do those. Boom, awesome, very cool.
Josh: Same thing with postcards let's say. You have a list of prospects, 5000 names on a list, and now you are sending postcards out to people. So you put your Profit Dial phone numbers on your post cards, and you can have multiple numbers. So depending what plan you're on, you can have ten or twenty numbers. Some people have 60, 70, 80 phone numbers inside of REI Black Book, because they have a bunch of different places they are marketing. So now you can track all of your marketing. No matter where you are marketing, whether it be billboards, I know you guys did radio ads for a while.
David: We are again now too.
Josh: Sounds like they were working pretty well.
David: Yeah they were doing real good.
Josh: Regardless whether you are using billboards, bandit signs, radio ads, post cards, Google Pay-Per-Click, Facebook ads, it doesn't matter, you can have a unique phone number for each one of those ads, and they all go to the same place. So all of those leads kind of have that experience, so when they call in, they are still talking to the same person, going to your call answering service, or however you guys are managing inbound leads. But on the back end, they-- a source is being applied, a tag is being applied. So now you can go back and locate 30 days back, 60 days back, you know-- take a snap shot from the last quarter and you can say, where did all of our leads come from? What was our best lead source? Then you can look at-- at one place. You can say, hey this quarter we closed 14 deals, where did those 14 deals come from? It's easy to identify it because the first time they contacted you, they are automatically tagged and sourced. So you don't have to think about it.
David: I love it.
Josh: So then it is easy to run reports.
David: You can call these people back-- let's say if they call in and you don't answer, you chose the caller ID you want to call back from?
Josh: Yeah, so the system will default to the number that they called into or text--.
David: -- or they just know it if it's a recognizable number. Really why that is important is if you call back in three to ten minutes, right? If it was a day or two later-- but if they just dialed it, and they see it come back, they are going to be like, oh great another one. So that's really cool too.
Josh: Another thing too is we have got something called Call Flows and Work Flows. When a lead comes in, let's say you can't answer it. This is getting in the weeds a little bit, but-- this stuff is kind of fun to talk about, because it is really powerful. When somebody calls in and you are not able to answer, there is something in the system called Answer Branching. It says, if you answer do this, if you don't answer do this--.
David: Do that, okay.
Josh: You could send them a text message right away and just say, hey sorry we were unable to answer your call, when is a good time to chat? Now you are kind of picking up some of those leads that you might lose.
David: For one guys, if you are new to this game, you have to answer your phone. Do everything in your power to answer your phone. If that means that you are too busy to do it, then you need ot hire somebody to do it.
Mike: The thing I like about that though is that it is much more real life. Like, Dave, when I call you, if you're busy--.
David: I just did it two seconds ago.
Mike: You just click a button and it say, sorry I'm on the phone I will call you back. I'm in a meeting right now I will call you back.
David: It's awesome.
Mike: We are constantly doing that to each other, so it's just nice to be able to do that to-- people that are calling you. Better than something like, oh I got a busy signal, or oh I'm driving I can't answer. I know some of your parents turn on the--.
David: It makes you look like a real person and not just some automated system or big business, but also it gets that follow up started immediately. So they are not going off and dialing three to five other companies. It's like, oh they sent me a text, they don't know it's a system. They think it's a person most likely.
Josh: Yeah and you can chose what you say, so you can make it super personal. At this point you probably don't have their name, but if they came in from a web form, you can merge--.
David: Hey I saw you just called, I am walking through a property-- I am on an appointment, or can I call you back in a few. Don't even have to specify how far a few is. Again, it may prevent them from seeking that--.
Josh: You get an immediate alert that you have a call and that you can route those notifications to someone on your team, a virtually assistant or something like that.
David: Very cool.
Josh: The whole purpose of this-- and this is system-- this is really cool that you can do all this stuff on the app, but having systems in place to pick up all of the-- leads that traditionally fall through the cracks is one of the best investments you can make in your business, because-- I just did a training yesterday. The title of it was 'how to close more deals without spending more money'.
David: Essentially you can cut in half the cost per lead if you have a good system to follow up on all of them, and you are not dropping the ball.
Josh: Yeah because let's just say you are generating a hundred leads a month, and out of those a hundred leads you close I don't know, four deals, whatever the number is, right?
David: Yeah, sure.
Josh: That means there is 96 leads that you paid for, probably good money, and they express some sort of an interest. They would not have taken the time out of their day, there are a million other things you could do throughout the day than respond to a piece of direct mail, or click an ad on a Facebook stream. There is some form of-- motivation there or intent I should say.
David: That's it.
Josh: Some form of intent there. It might not be great enough that you are going to be able to buy their house right away, but that's why you can have these long term campaigns. So let's say there-- they are either-- completely ghost you, go cold on you and they don't pick up the phone when you call, you have tried three or four times. At that point most investors would say, hey this is a dead lead and kind of just move on. Why not put all of those people in a followup campaign that is just going to follow up with them every few weeks via text message, e-mail, ringless voice mail? If all of a sudden three months from now you have 50, 60, 70 people in a campaign like that, every month a couple of those are going to pop out, and those are going to turn into deals. Who knows? In this business sometimes the deals are worth $5000, but sometimes the deal is worth 50.
David: Sometimes it's worth 100!
Josh: Yeah you guys just did a big deal.
David: We did a big one.
Josh: Yeah exactly so you never know what you're going to get, and you have already paid for that lead, so why not take-- an afternoon or make a weekend to learn how to use this system like this to--.
David: A little upfront time, but then you don't ever have to deal with it. It's so great.
Josh: The cost of systems like this is minimal in comparison to what it can do for your business, right? So sometimes it's a hundred bucks, two hundred bucks a month, a lot of investors that I know that are not using REI Black Book, they have got three, four, five, six systems that they are kind of duct taping together.
David: Josh, we still have six or seven systems, and we are in the process of reducing all that as well. Mike has been a user for like five and a half years, I have been using it for like four and a half years, maybe a little more.
Mike: Something like that.
David: A long time, collectively over five years.
Josh: Right not you guys are just using it for disposition. It's still valuable that you are continuing to use it.
David: For the most part, we are transitioning though.
Josh: That's another thing too with REI Black Book specifically--.
Mike: I just want to touch on why though. Why because when we started using REI Black Book, it didn't have as much as it does now. Earlier you touched on the fact that it has built out a lot of stuff. It's because yeah we piece stuff together because REI Black Book wasn't as robust as it is now. So now we can move back to--.
David: It's not an excuse, it's a fact.
Mike: It's like, hey we went out and purchased this and you guys said, he it's coming. At the speed of business we are like, we have to do it now.
David: It's okay because they did it right versus just rushing it.
Mike: They have got everything we're looking for now which is awesome. Sorry I just kind of wanted to clarify why we wouldn't use REI Black Book for everything to begin with.
Josh: Absolutely. Every quarter we will roll new features out. Last year was a big push at finishing the new CRM so we rebuilt the CRM from the ground up. The old CRM was built on old technology, we couldn't improve it anymore. Was just becoming cumbersome to use with all the new stuff we were building around it. So that took-- it's kind of funny, it's like rehabbing a house, it always takes twice as long, and twice as much.
Mike: The CRM is like you guys were ripping out the foundation of a house and keeping everything functioning.
David: Getting it all to connect again.
Josh: Half of 2018, and kind of into the first half of 2019 was a very interesting time, we had half our users on the old CRM.
David: Oh no.
Josh: Half of our users on the new one. So people would write into support-- alright sir are you on the Client Genie, or on the new CRM. It was interesting. Everyone has transitioned over. Really now the foundation is that new CRM, then what we call Work Flows and Call Flows. You can build out-- basically all of these automated processes that are like the critical processes that you probably repeat in your business everyday, it's what happens when people call in and you're not able to answer. What happens when somebody accepts your offer? What happens if someone rejects your offer? So you have got all these contingencies points, and all these potential breaking points in the sale cycle of a real estate investor's business. So let's just say you are going and doing whatever kind of marketing. You are driving to a phone call. That's that first kind of-- in a process map it would be a decision diamond. Did you answer the call? Or did you not? If you did great, then we need to analyze that deal and make an offer. But, that obviously doesn't happen every time, right?
Josh: If you didn't then what happens? Well you could have a work flow that would basically follow up with these people every day for ten days via text message, voice mail, e-mail. After that ten days, did that follow up campaign get them back over-- into that-- line of communication or did it not? If it did then great, you are going back down and saying, hey we are going to analyze a deal, we are going to make an offer. But if it didn't, then you can automatically trigger a long term drift campaign. Once you set it up, it's basically just running in the background at all times. So you could-- those leads will be followed up with-- every few weeks forever. So you can set it up where it will be like a 12 week followup campaign that just goes on a loop, right?
David: Oh that's cool.
Josh: Just goes on a loop--.
David: And just starts over again?
Josh: Basically you are going to follow them until they call you and want to talk business. They call you and tell you to go jump in a lake, or they unsubscribe.
Josh: Either way, all you are trying to do, the entire purpose of followups is just to re-engage conversation. You are not going to buy a house from a text message, but you will get someone on the phone.
David: Yeah. Might call you back and be like, yeah I've been busy, sorry I haven't answered the last 18 phone calls, because I was busy, but now I'm ready.
Mike: Challenge accepted. Let's buy a house without talking to somebody.
David: Challenge accepted.
Josh: If you can do that I would love to hear it.
Mike: Front wheels spinning, I don't think we have done it without talking to somebody.
Josh: If you guys do, let me know and I would love to feature you as a case study on the blog.
Mike: Text message purchase, let's do it. I'm in.
Josh: So we have in our Facebook community, we have a private Facebook community for all of our users. So every once in a while you will see people post screen shots of their text conversations they are having with sellers. Sometimes they are funny, sellers will tell you to 'F off' and whatever. But every once in a while someone will post a screen shot of a seller that is thanking them for following up. Saying, yes I want to sell my house, sorry life has just been crazy, can't believe how much you followed up with me. It will be weeks if not months down the road, then somebody finally replies, right?
David: Josh, out average deal-- what is it, Mike?
Mike: Six to eight months, something like that.
David: I would say closer to five six months, but average deal. Do we get deals we can go get a contract on the same day they call us? Well yeah of course, but the average time that they hit our CRM to the time we get a contract on it, usually five, six, maybe seven months. It takes time. It's all about the follow up.
Josh: It's cool that you guys know that, because then you can look at a lead and say, hey this actually isn't a bad lead, it's just not ready right now.
David: And we just decided a while ago, like maybe three years ago, or at least I did, I think Mike is probably on the same page. Let's quit chasing leads, because when we do that, they end up being bad leads. We end up over promising.
David: When we make an offer we stick to that offer. We did an episode on this yesterday or the day before about determining our MAO. So we are never making offers at MAO, which is our maximum allowable offer. We are making below that but-- in our system we say, here is where we can go up to, and if they are way out of line don't go up to that right away, stay at our number. So later when they start coming down, then we have some room to come up and meet them in the middle.
Mike: That's not even--.
David: Our middle is 20 of us going up and 80 of the coming down, that's how we define middle.
Mike: I didn't even think that was what you were going to talk about; I thought you were going to talk about three or four years ago that leads in our system are not dead until basically what Josh just said. Till they tell us to go jump in a lake. We literally-- it doesn't matter if we don't go on an appointment, it's still a lead, in our mind it's still a lead that we are working forever until we buy the house, they sell it, or tell us to jump in a lake.
David: Jump in a lake.
Mike: We literally keep following up.
David: When I first started in wholesaling though, that was I think was one of the main mind shifts that I had that-- allowed me to go from one or two deals a month to like many more, because I just said, alright instead of trying to convert every single lead that comes in. Let's just focus on more.
David: Let's just focus on more leads. If it takes six to eight months to start to get that followup, to start producing three, four, five deals a month then that's fine. But let's quit chasing.
Josh: Once the scales tip and you get to that six or eight month mark--. Then you have the last six to eight months and every month there are those people that you have already been following up with for six, seven, eight months. So it's probably not the most exciting thing to hear if you are just getting started that yeah you can start marketing today, and close a deal in six months. That's how you build an actual business, right?
Josh: So a lot of wholesalers I think when they are getting started out are kind of like professional sales people, so they are just trying to go out and close deals. Which is great. You want to make money today. You could probably do a deal or two or three a month that way and be fine. But, those leads that are going to close fast are typically really expensive if you want to generate them on a regular basis.
David: So true.
Josh: Or you get super lucky.
David: Referral home run, or they are like a $250 ad word click. It's one of the two.
Josh: It is tough to build a business around-- a consistent business, a predictable one off of lucky leads. It is really expensive to run one off of hot leads, right? If all you are trying to do is follow up the hot leads. So like-- most of your time and attention should be spent focusing on talking to hot leads, but it is going to take some time-- like I said, six to eight months for some of those leads to warm up to the point where-- they are a hot lead. If you are the one following up--.
David: I love it.
Josh: -- they are probably going to call you, not someone who just send them a postcard three days ago.
David: Yeah you nailed it. Another thing that one of my mentors is, show me an expert at their CRM, and I will show you a broke investor. Which is so smart though. I mean it makes sense. It's like, put the systems in place, then let the systems do the job. Your job, and you said it a second ago, you are going to be the most productive out in the field, running the leads, talking to sellers, not sitting around entering data.
David: Put systems in place that will automate that for you, I love that.
Josh: You know depending on where you're at, depending on how much-- money you have to get the business going, I mean sometimes it is just best to hire somebody to put this stuff in place for you. REI Black Book is user friendly enough where you can go in, watch videos, we do weekly webinars, we have tons of training. You could set it all up yourself. Not everybody wants to nerd out on a CRM. We have people that you could go to and pay them a few thousand bucks, tell them what you want and they will set it up for you.
David: Build the whole thing for you.
Josh: It's like anything else, it's time or money. You can sit there and figure it out, a couple of weekends, or stay up late a few nights and your could probably figure it out, or write a check and tell somebody what you want and they will build it for you.
David: It's either time or money. We played the time or money game yesterday, didn't we?
Mike: We did. We frequently talk about it. It's time or money. Your leads, you are either going to work for it or pay for it. One or the other.
David: Let's talk about the-- route that the typical person takes when they are starting. I would think it would probably all be pretty similar, right? So when I first started, I had nothing. I had no business, I had no marketing, I didn't even have any money. You know-- you typically start out. Alright this is what I'm going to do, you go out and you get a business card, or you get an entity with your name. Then you need phone numbers, then you need a website, then you need an e-mail address. That is like the first three things I would suggest everybody do. Get a business, an entity, an LLC. You don't have to spend thousands of dollars with a lawyer, you can go file one yourself at the Secretary of State's office for like 30, 60, 70 bucks. It's cheap, right? But then you are going to need a website, an e-mail, and a phone number. When I first started out, I used Google for my e-mail, I went and got some third party phone number, and I got another third party company for my website.
David: If you are new, don't do that. Then you are managing all these things, now that is just a couple that I mentioned, right? Then let's say next year like, okay, I got my website, I got my name, I got my phone number, now I need to go get business cards. Next I need to set up a server to send out mass e-mails for marketing messages, then I have to go out and get another product to keep track of my leads which is the CRM which we just talked about. Next I need to have another website or a page on my website to sell those deals, then I need a system to capture e-mails, which may be the e-mail server, it may not. Before you know it you have a handful, I mean like a dozen services, unless you just have all the time in the world to manage on this stuff with a pad and pen, or a spreadsheet, I didn't. Most people don't.
David: So that's what I love about your system. In the beginning we were not using all of those things. Yet now we are shifting. Let's just talk about some of the features you guys have. It's truly the only all in one system that I'm aware of that has all this stuff in it.
Josh: Yeah to get started, we have what we call a jump start course. If you were to go buy REI Black Book today, you would get a few e-mails from us over the course of three or four days, and we would encourage you to set up your website, your business phone number. The easiest way to do it is set up a phone number in Profit Dial, that just forwards to your cell phone. That is the easiest way to get started. So website, phone number--.
David: I want to interrupt for one second, Josh, I apologize for that.
Josh: You're good.
David: That is so important, if you don't do that from the beginning, and here is why. I didn't do that in the beginning. I waited like a year and a half to do that. When I wanted to separate my personal cell phone from my business, it took me another year to separate it. Do it day one, get a business phone number, guys. Don't put your cell phone number on your business cards, it is not worth it. You are talking a few dollars a month to get a phone number, or it's included with REI Black Book. I mean it's a no brainer. You don't want to be at dinner with your spouse, or out at on the weekends with friends or at church. It could be anything, right? Then your phone is blowing up for the business, have the ability to turn that on and off.
Josh: Yeah, another thing too, it's a good point. When you have your cell phone, you can't forward your personal cell phone anywhere. You probably can, but then all your calls are going to go there.
David: All or none.
Josh: With Profit Dial phone number, you could forward it today to your cell phone--.
David: From 9-6.
Josh: You are a company of one, so right now you have to do everything. But let's say you close and deal and you are like, right-- like we talked about at the very beginning of the show, the importance of being able to answer the phone live, or if a lead is coming in from a website, you have to be able to contact them for five minutes, right? If you are doing everything that is really tough, and if you then have to go from using your personal phone number ot now you are going to get a business phone number like you said, it took you a while--.
David: Took me a whole year to wean off of it, and that's after I changed it. It's because I had it for a year and a half. I'm at a point now where it's like-- check this out, I don't mean to take over the conversation.
Josh: Go for it.
David: If I get a call from a motivated seller at this point, I know it's from a postcard I sent three years ago that they kept. It's like, did you get a postcard from me three years ago? Yep, sure did. Nothing else would make sense for that to happen now. But whenever that happens I know right away. Hey that's cool, because it also encourages me to send more mail, because I know it doesn't all get thrown away. 99% of it does, but not all of it.
Josh: Not all of it.
David: Go ahead, I didn't mean to interrupt.
Josh: If tomorrow you decide, hey I don't want to get calls anymore, I am going to go get a call answering service, or I now have an acquisition manager, I now have an inside sells rep, all you have to do is go in and change where that number forwards to.
Josh: And that's it. That takes less than a minute.
David: 25 seconds.
Josh: Super simple to do. When you build these systems and you as the business owner need to define what the systems are, and build those out. It's then easier to step back from a specific business function and plug somebody else in. The system is already built, you guys read E-Myth?
David: Uh huh. Right person right seat. You can do it all from the beginning, but you need to start filling the gaps.
Josh: You slowly start to remove yourself from the business and plug people in. It's hard to do if everything is just in your head, right? Or especially if everything is going to your cell phone. To answer your initial question talking about features; we have websites, and you can have like an umbrella website that we call and authority site that is kind of an all in one. I typically recommend going the route that you guys have, where you have a website for sellers that you are directing all of your motivated seller traffic to, and that website speaks to their--.
David: I highly recommend you separate them. It's never really happened to me because it has always been separated, but I have heard horror stories of people getting properties under contract, when they have one site for both. For whatever reason, maybe they want to do some research on this company that they are under contract with, they see their own property listed for ten grand more than what you are willing to pay. Trust me, it is going to piss people off. So separate them.
Josh: That is a great point. I wasn't even going there, but that's a really good point. You can have multiple websites. One for your sellers and one for your cash buyers. Then people can go to that cash buyer site. Now if they are interested in a property, they can either inquire on that property, and they are automatically going to be added to your cash buyers list, which then goes into your CRM.
David: Love that part.
Josh: Or maybe they don't see any properties, or maybe you don't have any inventory, but you can still build your cash buyers list. You can say, hey if you want to get access to--.
David: We didn't even mention this in the episode we did about dispositions.
Mike: No we didn't.
David: We forgot all about that.
Josh: What's that? Building your buyers list?
David: Building our buyers list. That is like the coolest part of it, forgot all about it.
Josh: You can segment, you can build it out in a way where you ask them specific questions, and based on the way they answer the questions, like here in St Louis you might say-- when they go to join your buyers list, it's like, hey we can make sure you can only see properties that are relevant to you. Where are you interested in buying? North County? South County?
David: -- west, east. Under 100k, it could be anything you want, guys.
Josh: We just call that a buyer profile. We ask them to fill out a buyer profile. Every box they check, once they submit it, that's going to be a tag that's applied to their contact record. You can go search-- well now you have a property in North County, you can just send it to all the people that expressed interest in North County, and not blast your entire list.
David: Which is a great way to lose people on the list if you are giving them content, deals, e-mails, whatever-- that they are not wanting.
Mike: I love how much REI Black Book has evolved. A lot of the stuff was like, how do I do this? Well-- I don't really know how to do that.
Josh: It's coming, yeah.
Mike: Okay well I'll figure it out.
David: Mike you said it best, you did. When we were doing our podcast last week you were like, man, it's like our best kept secret. But we haven't really promoted it all that much because-- the things we wanted it to do didn't really do that for us when we joined.
Mike: Now they do.
David: They have been doing it for like three years. And we are late to the party, moving everything over.
Josh: It's because of guys like you that-- come in and say, hey does it do this? No, so-- but we add it you our dev board, and we-- every quarter we have a leadership meeting, we sit down and say, what new features are we going to work on this quarter?
David: What's on demand right now?
Josh: The list is a mile long and it's always growing, right?
David: I'm sure.
Josh: I wish we could hire ten more developers.
David: It's like laundry, it will never be done. Always going to be adding stuff on there.
Josh: That's the cool thing, we are always adding to it, and we are-- 100% software development company. I don't sit and flip houses everyday.
Josh: I work with REI Black Book as-- I am not a software developer, I run the marketing team. Talk to real estate investors everyday, and work hand in hand with guys like you to say, what do you guys need? We can go back and we can build it. We work on content and workshops to help people use the platform better, right? We are always building new stuff. In fact, we have right now, we are working on a mobile app. So Profit Dial will have a mobile app, so you will be able to access all of your contacts that are inside your CRM. When people call you, it will act more like you use Google Voice. So it will act more like Google Voice where it will show the phone call-- coming from the app. When someone texts in, it will be more like Facebook messenger where you can actually reply to texts in real time, get a push notification. So that's in development right now. I am not going to say any release date because I don't want you to hold me to it.
David: Sure. We know how it goes.
Josh: We are hoping it comes out on this day, but then all of a sudden there is bugs and things. We are super excited about that, people have been asking for an app for a long time. So that--.
David: It has to be hard to make an app and a website talk to each other, right?
Josh: It's not the easiest.
David: It's like totally different languages.
Josh: It's not the easiest thing to do. We have done-- a good job of making the platform as mobile friendly as we can. You can pull it up on a web browser and you can use it, but there are just certain things like push notifications, when you get a text message. Again, speed to lead is so important. If somebody texts you in real life, unless you are sitting in a meeting you are probably going to reply to them if it's important to you.
David: I love that.
Josh: Speed to lead is super important. You don't want to see a text three days later then reply all of a sudden. That is not normal. You don't usually reply to text messages three days after you get them.
Mike: I do to some people. I kind of take my time.
Josh: Not if someone is trying to sell you their house hopefully.
Mike: No you're right. Usually ten minutes, twenty minutes later at the latest you're going to reply to somebody so--.
Josh: Yeah, it's kind of interesting. Consumers nowadays, I say consumers in a general term in this example it would be sellers. Consumers are more and more willing to like-- have conversations now over e-mail and over text message, over Facebook messenger than they ever have been. It's kind of cool like-- we will send out text blasts to our data base when we have boot camp, like when we are throwing a boot camp and ticket prices are about to go up. We will just send a text blast to our data base, all of our users and say, hey ticket prices are going up in two days, if you have any questions just let us know. You can send it out to a few thousand people, and you can just sit there and have conversations with people via text message for hours.
David: My preferred method of conversation is text messaging.
Josh: For most people it is. Most people would prefer to text people. I very rarely will call somebody unless it is trying to figure out plans or something. If it is like, hey I am just going to have coffee with a friend or something, I am going to text them and say, hey meet me at this coffee shop at ten.
David: If a friend of mine called me and was like, wanna get coffee? I would be like, why didn't you text me?
Josh: Just text me, man.
David: No, because you called me, no I'm just kidding.
Josh: You can do two way texting into REI Black Book. The cool thing is, the entire conversation is logged. That again is the power of having it in one platform is, your calls are all logged and recorded. We have call recording built in. Right now it's included, so call recording is free. All of your calls are logged and recorded, all your text messages show up in that communications stream, all of your-- all of the e-mails that they have received from you that are like automated e-mails--. We don't have an integrated system with Gmail or Outlook yet.
David: You could just log that manually though if you're doing it outside the system. Really at that point those communications should be minimal, because the whole point of all this automation is to get them on the phone.
Josh: Yeah exactly.
David: If you are e-mailing them outside of it and they call, so what? You don't even necessarily have to record that. Just record that you got them on the phone, then what happened next. That's the meat and potatoes there, that's all that matter.
Josh: If you are making your outbound dials from a Profit Dial number, all those outbound calls can be recorded as well. The reason that is important is two fold. Number one, if somebody calls you and you are out in the field or something, or you're driving; you don't have to worry about stopping and trying to take notes. You can actually engage in a good conversation. You can go back and listen to it and take notes later.
David: Or even send it to the virtual assistant and say make detailed bullet points of all this stuff we just did. Sometimes these calls can be 20-30 minutes long you know?
Josh: If your calls are being answered by a virtual assistant, or even somebody in your office, or like you are out sourcing it to PatLive or something like that, all those-- any number the calls are forwarded to can be recorded so you can record those for quality purposes. Then you can listen to them, and those are coaching opportunities for your sales reps.
Mike: What is the legality on recording calls right now? Are you allowed to record it as long as one party is aware? Do you have to disclose it?
Josh: State by State. States where if only one party needs to be notified, that one party can be you. So you don't have to disclose that. We do have the ability to go in and have a record and place.
Mike: Like, this call is being recorded-- yeah.
Josh: You can upload your own recording, or we have default ones. That-- you just have to check whatever the regulations are. I am not sure what it is in Missouri. But, you can go in there when you kind of tag on call recording. Just say, hey I want this message to play before.
Mike: I guess like-- I bring up the legality, but what is the consequences to just doing it for your own information? If it's never going to come up in court, what does it matter if you record it? I mean obviously you're not supposed to, but-- you would never reall get in trouble for that would you?
Josh: Well if you get in trouble there is no problem, or if you don't get in trouble.
Mike: I can't ever see it being an issue.
David: I think the issue is only if you-- it's only in certain States that you have to notify both parties. I mean if you know about it, it's fine. I think California and a couple of other States, very few, you have to notify both parties, but usually, and I think you guys are very compliant with the rules. So it's probably a box you can check that says, in the beginning of the call make a little recording that pops up and says the call is being recorded. That way both parties are notified. If they hear it, great. If they don't, even better.
Mike: I just assume everything is being recorded by someone at some point.
David: It basically is at this point in time.
Mike: -- the other party, the government. At some point somebody is recording something.
David: At this point in time, 100%.
Josh: By default that setting is not turned on, that setting is turned off. You have to go in and turn it on. The burden is on the user to go figure out what the laws are. We do have some stuff built in where-- if somebody texts you or ops into a web form, or calls you past 9pm, the system no matter what settings you have won't respond to the next day at 8am. It might be 8pm to 8am or something like that.
David: It doesn't go after hours.
Josh: We have automatic cut off dates. You can go in and set your own cut off times if you wanted it to be like from 5pm to 10am or whatever.
Josh: But by default I think it's going to be 9pm to 8am. Just to keep everybody compliant. So-- yeah so-- websites, phone numbers, CRM. We have also got all your task management built in so you can do built in--.
David: That's kind of a newer thing.
Josh: No, we have had task management for a long time.
Mike: We just never played with it.
David: We never got round to using it. Again, as we move over it's like, damn we had the ability to do all the things here that-- we literally have five or six other places. So I am trying-- stress to the listener here, the audience, don't do what we did. Just go get the right produce from the get go.
Josh: I hear a lot of times--.
David: It's going to save you so much time, and really just as much money.
Josh: I know when you're first getting started, I hear it all the time, well I am just getting started, so I really don't need a CRM. That's partially--.
Josh: I can see why you might be saying that, but if you--.
David: If a student told me that, I would say, well you can get one or I am not going to coach you.
Josh: If you are investing in education, if you are sitting here listening to this podcast right now, it means that you are interested in actually building a real estate investing business. You wouldn't go build-- I say a regular business, you wouldn't go start a brick and mortar business and not have a way to keep track of your customers, right?
David: Or your inventory, or anything.
Josh: Inventory is a perfect example. Well I only sell on product so I don't need to keep track of inventory. How do you know if you sold that extra large shirt?
David: Your employee scheduling. You are not going to put together a system, you are just going to say come in anytime you want to work, then no one every shows up. You can't operate that way. You have to have a system in place.
Josh: If you were to buy into a franchise, one of the first things they do is they get your system set up.
David: I bought into one. They send you a book that is 600 pages long and they say, read it. You are like, okay--.
Mike: -- implement literally everything in it.
David: Then they come out, at least the franchise I bought, they come out and say we are here to offer support. But really what they are doing is just telling you all the things that you are not doing that you should be, instead of working with you to teach you. Yeah I get it, franchises are--.
Josh: What we talked about too, if you have got systems in place and you are able to catch some of those leads that you might consider-- most investors would consider dead, which we are just calling cold leads because they are not ready to sell today. Let's say your system cost a hundred or two hundred dollars a month. That is a couple of thousand dollars a year. If the system helps you close one extra deal a year, it might pay for it if it's a big deal, it might pay for your systems for years.
David: For years, that's what I'm saying.
Josh: That math works very well.
David: One deal at 20 grand, that is like nine years of software, it's crazy.
David: I love it, man. You guys basically have an all in one system. Mike, what are some of your favorite things we are using? I know websites, landing pages.
Mike: Websites I would say would be one of the bigger selling features for me when I first started. Just because-- having a lead capture website is so much more complicated than I ever thought it would be. It doesn't make sense just how complicated it is. As a non tech person, I just want a web page that can capture somebody's name, e-mail and send it to me. How do I do that?
David: Send it to me via e-mail even.
Mike: Yeah. Good luck.
Mike: Just good luck, you can't find anything out there that's simple. Again, REI Black Book had that, and it had a bunch of pretty websites, made it very simple. That to me was always my favourite thing. Again, it is probably one of the simplest things that has been around in the system forever. That was definitely my favorite.
David: I have to interrupt here. Bandit sign on wheels. This crazy SOB had like a hundred people on the street. Which isn't maybe that crazy compared to some of the users. That is a lot of people.
Josh: It's like having a hundred bandit signs sticking around.
David: What are bandit signs on wheels for those that don't know.
Josh: Bandit signs on wheels is a concept of-- using traditional bandit signs, but you print them out as vinyl stickers and put them on the back of people's cars.
David: That's brilliant. Bandit signs get ripped down.
Josh: The shelf life of a bandit sign is maybe a weekend.
David: Three, four, five days at the most.
Josh: It takes a lot of time to go set those things out, you have to do it every week, so you are doing 50-100 a week. What if you get 50-100 bandit signs that are not going away?
David: And they are moving.
Josh: -- on the back of people's cars, ad they are going all over the place, right? They are parked, these are parked cars at the local grocery store, they are parked on the sides of roads, you see them on the high ways. I see them on high ways all the time.
David: All the time.
Josh: Yeah where REI Black Book comes into the play, the phone number that is going on one of those stickers has a unique extension. So each car-- and the reason somebody would put a stick on the back of their car is that-- when you get a lead from their--.
David: They become an affiliate.
Josh: Basically an affiliate or a bird dog without having to do anything.
Josh: You buy a house from a lead that came from their car, and they get paid whatever, right? They get paid X amount of dollars, right? Then you know it came from their car because of the unique extension that was on their back window.
David: Mike, you did a ton of them.
Mike: I did. I have a few of them.
Josh: Are you still getting leads from them?
Mike: I imagine most of them are not on cars anymore. But I think one or two-- there are a few that trickle in here or there.
Josh: Yeah, I mean-- those are not going to stay on the back of cars forever either. We have some users that--.
Mike: If they don't get paid. That's the thing. I am pretty sure it was about-- maybe one or two years ago, I saw I guess it was Ruben and Damon, and they were talking about engagement with your drivers. That was something that I never did, which I definitely think would have improved the experience for them.
Josh: Some of these investors will create Facebook groups, or just some type of communities. Sometimes they will have meet ups like at a pizza place or whatever with all their drivers. What they inevitably end up doing is teaching them how to be a bird dog as well. They will give them some training on if you are driving around anyways, if you would like to increase your chances of getting paid, if you see houses that look like this, they need some work, those are the types of houses we are looking to buy. If you refer me those houses, we will pay you the same, or maybe we will pay you a little bit more or whatever. So what they would do is build Facebook communities, Facebook groups. Anytime somebody would get paid they would film it. So that is social proof that this is legit, people are actually getting paid. You might not have got paid yet, but if you drive around long enough hopefully you will.
David: It's all a matter of time. I know a lot of guys that if they couldn't locate a particular driver, they would either do a raffle or divide it up. Everybody in the group gets twenty, thirty fifty bucks depending on the size of the group. Lots of different strategies to-- yeah that was one of your favorites.
Mike: It was, man.
Josh: We have a few investors that have three to four hundred, and that's all they did. They went all in on bandit sign, they have systems in place for making sure all their drivers get notified and stuff. They went all in on that. Now they have got 400 cars on the road and they are getting calls everyday. But that's not something that happens overnight, right?
David: I had like eight at one time. I was like, man, I am rocking it. Mike is like, I have a 107, I'm like, Dude! Crazy, something crazy. Very cool.
Mike: All that is built on the REI Black Book software, which is awesome. What's your coolest--?
Josh: Thing that I like most about the platform is the [00:48:06.05 - inaudible] builders. That again is-- you could have eight different entry points into your business as far as leads. You might be driving leads online from Pay Per Click, and Facebook ads. You might be doing four different direct mail campaigns. You might be doing radio, you might be doing billboard. You want to test all of these different campaigns, see which ones are performing the best, where your best leads are coming from, because-- let's say you're spending seven or eight thousand dollars a month on marketing, you are closing X amount of deals a month. Let's call it eight leads a month. It would be nice to know if those leads came from radio, or Pay Per Click, because obviously Pay Per Click costs a lot more than direct mail does.
David: Night and day.
Josh: But if your Pay Per Click lead-- if five of those deals came from Pay Per Click, and none of them came from radio, then you might be like-- hey this radio thing is pretty cool, we just closed eight deals, but you don't know if it was radio or Pay Per Click. The thing I like about the call flows and work flows--.
David: Kind of built in analytics basically. KPI is built in.
Josh: -- built in capture and tracking. On one side if a lead is coming in from a phone call, then that is coming in from call flow. The only difference is how the flow is triggers. Call flow is triggered by a phone call. A work flow is typically triggered if somebody calls-- sorry if somebody goes to your website and opts into a web form, or they come in from a keyword text message. You could have the key word 'cash' on a postcard. If somebody texts 'cash' then they will get a text back and say, hey thanks use this link to get started to get your cash offer. Or, hey thanks what is the address to your house? So that will trigger a work flow. Inside of a work flow or a call flow, you can then assign tasks, tasks, tags, sources, text replies, ringless voice mails, e-mail replies. Let's say you are doing six different offline marketing channels, like three or four different direct mail, radio, even Pay Per Click. Somebody will click on your Pay Per Click ad and they will call the number from your website.
Mike: Happens all the time.
Josh: You might not consider that if you don't have a phone number to track that, you might not consider that a lead from a Google ad if you are just using one phone number for all of your marketing.
David: You have to have different thing for everything.
Josh: So that's why it sounds crazy at first, but that's why investors will have eight, nine, ten, twenty different phone numbers, because they have got a bunch of--.
David: I have probably eighteen or twenty.
Josh: Now no matter how they come in, they are automatically tagged and sourced. That's why call flows and work flows are my favorite feature, because that is really like the back bone of all of your processes. Processes at the end of the day is really what runs the business, right? Making sure that all of your processes are in order, they are efficiently doing whatever you need them to do. In this case, capturing leads, making sure they are being sent to the right person on your team, and that if that outcome you don't want to happen, right? If you are not able to get a hold of them, if that doesn't happen, then the next best thing happening is them being followed up with, getting them back in the funnel, and trying to get them back, engaged in a conversation.
Mike: That's awesome.
David: I love it.
Mike: I think that-- and Josh mentioned, the right person on your team, a lot of people listening are new investors, that person is often you.
Mike: Or your system. So some of those call and work flows, a lot of them can be follow up e-mails, follow up texts like he was talking about.
Mike: Follow up ringless voice mails. You are going to call them, leave them a voice mail without actually having to call them. It's actually really cool. It makes you more powerful as an individual or a solopreneur. Makes you more powerful.
Josh: The coolest part about it is then when you want to remove yourself from that function of the business, from answering all the inbound calls. The system and the process is already in place. You just change where the phone call is being forwarded to, and you change who the task is being assigned to. That's it. Now all of a sudden you have removed yourself and plugged someone else in. If that person doesn't work out for whatever reason, or if they leave. Well you just change where that phone call is being routed to, change who the task is being sent to, now you have a new person plugged in. That's the power of having a system in place.
David: You guys want to know my favorite feature?
Josh: What is it?
David: Been waiting for you guys to ask.
Mike: Well you talk so much we figured you would spit it out.
David: My favorite feature is probably one of the more simple features. You guys both had two things that were awesome and I love them both and use both of them. My favorite feature is simple. It's the buyers list. Basically we have-- I have created a couple of different landing pages. We just pulled the form that has the tags that go to the different buyer segments. I put it in that thing. In the beginning whenever somebody wanted to get on my buyers list, it was an Excel sheet. I would have to type it in manually, their name, their phone number, their e-mail address, then I had a field for notes. I couldn't categorize it. If I was going to search for all the people that wanted 63313, there was no way to do that. I had to manually go look through that.
David: So now what I can do is I can literally-- if someone says, hey I want to get on your buyers list, and I prefer not to opt people in. I prefer they do it them self, then it just prevents later-- any argument or any type of issue, right? So now I will literally text people when they say, I want to get your e-mails, I've got someone forwarding your e-mails to me. I will text or e-mail them; DiscountPropertyInvestor.com/VIP. That's it, that's the link. If you guys want to see what that looks like go check it out. DiscountPropertyInvestor.com/VIP. It is just a simple landing page that collects the information. It does it for me. I don't have to go find spreadsheets or take down a note, then give it to my VA or even go in and do it. It just automates it. It is one of the simplest things, but man, whenever I was really focused on building my buyers list, if you want to be successful at this business, and do eight to ten deals a month, you got to have a strong buyers list. You just have to.
Josh: If you are asking people where they want to buy, you can then go run a report and say, hey where is the most popular places that people on my buyers list want to buy?
David: That's where you put your marketing efforts in.
Josh: That is like a shopping list you just get to go-- it's like going to a grocery store with a shopping list. Okay, looks like 80% of my buyers list is interested in buying this part of town or these three zip codes. Like you said, that's where you focus your marketing.
Mike: One more question for you, Josh.
Mike: You're pretty tech savvy. Is this a forward slash or back slash right here?
Josh: That's a percent (%) sign.
David: I love that.
Mike: But would that be forward of back slash?
Josh: That's a forward slash (/).
David: It's okay. Well guys, again I really want to thank Josh for coming out. Josh, thank you so much. We are super ecstatic to be able to cut ties with five or six other softwares that we are using. We have been using REI Black Book for years and years and years. But we haven't been using it to its potential. So it has been awesome to be able to see you guys grow as a company, and add all the things that we have wanted to see since the beginning. Now that we are there, not only are we moving over, but we are recommending everybody that we talk to, all of our students, all of our subscribers to come check it out. It is an all in one place, guys. You don't need to go out and get-- Mike how many softwares do you think we had at our peak? I bet it was close to 15.
Mike: You sign up for a new software every couple of weeks.
Josh: It's fun to do.
David: I like to test it out, maybe not use it.
Mike: 10-15 softwares I would say for various different things, little things. Yeah we can eliminate almost all of those by switching back over to REI Black Book. Josh and the team over there have a really cool offer for our subscribers. If you go to REIBlackBook.com/DPI. You are going to get-- they ware going to waive the sign up fee. It is almost a thousand dollar sign up fee they waive. It's the setup, everything for your specific websites and for you. They waive that fee for you guys. That's huge. It gets you in there for a really low price. Check it out. Josh, anything else you want to add? Anything else you need--?
Josh: No I think it would be cool once you guys-- once we do get you guys over with everything in REI Black Book to maybe go back and we could do a training for all of your members of your free wholesale course.
David: I would love that.
Josh: To kind of show them here is what your system looks like now. Here is what happens when somebody calls in. Here is what happens when somebody comes to the website. Maybe we could do that together when-- when you guys get everything cut over. If you check out REIBlackBook.com/DPI, there is a video on there as well that I shot.
David: Yeah, you did that didn't you?
Josh: That will walk you through some of the-- it's about an hour long, but there are video chapters so you can kind of skip through. If you want to see some of the software in action, if you skip through to like the ten minute mark and on, we get into the actual software so you can check it out.
David: That's awesome. Josh thank you so much for coming in. It has been a pleasure. We are definitely going to have you come back out and do more of a walk through on how we're doing it. You are going to add so much value.
Josh: I would love to.
Mike: Josh, thank you, man, we appreciate it.
David: Guys, don't forget; they are going to waive the license fee. That is crazy, that is a thousand dollars you are going to save so go check it out. REIBlackBook.com/DPI. Guys we are signing off. Josh, thank you again for coming out. Until next time.
Josh: Thanks guys.