You are now entering THE MATRIX!!! A cluster of notes about property and follow up calls you need to make. That is the system many of us start with and it can be a tangled web for sure. In this episode Mike and Dave share with you how to sort out your tangled web of a Matrix and turn it into a true follow up machine. They discuss how they started and progressed over time. The same way you should. Crawl Walk Run in Wholesaling and in diving into your CRM.
David: Alright guys, welcome back to the Discount Property Investor podcast; this is your host David Dodge, co-host Mike Slane.
Mike: Hey guys, welcome back to the show.
David: Hey Mike, how are you this morning?
Mike: I'm doing great, I am a little sore; started working out again...whoo! Not really enjoying the aftermath so... two days in, my legs don’t work and my arms don't work.
David: Hey, I hear that, man.
Mike: At least my voice works so I can job on here on the podcast.
David: That's right.
Mike: Alright guys, welcome to the Discount property Investor Podcast. If you haven't listened to our show before; we always encourage you guys to go back and listen to the first ten episodes, and check out our free wholesale course. One of the things we are passionate about is building a real estate investment business for yourself, if you don't have anymore; wholesaling is the best way to get started.
Mike: So check out the freewholesalecourse.com, there we have pretty much everything you need to get started, laid out, 100% for free, so check it out... yeah...
David: It is an awesome course.
Mike: Yeah we are excited about it, we are still excited about it, we keep getting good feedback about it. So again, if you haven't invested in real estate at all before, looking to get started; you really need to check that out. Again, thank you for listening.
Today we wanted to talk a little bit about... follow up, and how important it is.
David: It's the most important thing.
Mike: Right, so what we want to talk about is how you can't do it on your own, and how there are tools out there to help you essentially.
David: You can do it on your own until you get to a point; then the follow up becomes a full time job, I think that's what you meant, Mike.
Mike: Sure, you can't remember to follow up with everyone...
David: Oh yeah, absolutely.
Mike: Unless you have... even if you have... I have never heard of anyone who can remember to do something on a specific day.
David: Not only that but nowadays we have e-mail, we have text, we have Slack, we have phone calls. There is so many different ways to communicate with people. People will send me Face book messages about properties they are trying to sell. It comes from so many different channels.
Mike: That is a good point; I am so guilty of getting a Face book message about a property and forgetting about it. Again, I don't know if there is a way, if there is a way let me know, how to just tag it, unread it...
David: That's why you have to use a CRM. You have to, you have to have some sort of... process or a system put in place to know what... where you are at in your business; what leads you are working, what leads you have under contract, what leads... you were not able to close for the most part that you either need to send an e-mail, call or text back at a later time so...
Mike: Right, so that is why we are talking about the matrix today.
Mike: Because it is overwhelming as Dave said; we have so many different ways of communication with people, it can just be super overwhelming. But the matrix; you don't have to build yourself something that complicated.
David: No, not at all.
Mike: You don't have to start out that complicated.
David: Let's start with how we started out, Mike? I know for me for example, when I first started out; I literally had... an Excel sheet, actually I used Google sheets which is the exact same thing just cloud based. I had a couple of columns, property address, name of seller, phone number and maybe an e-mail and that’s it. Every lead that came in from the leads and the bandit signs I was sticking out... I would go there first and then I would get their information. From there I would jot down some notes about the property and if I could go see it. But I would always start very simple; name, phone number, address and maybe an e-mail.
Mike: Yeah. So I am... very guilty of having a poor memory. My spouse will admit that, I will admit that.
David: I am right there with you, Mike.
Mike: I just don't remember things very well, so always when I am on the phone I take notes. That is just a habit I have always had. So I started out with a... notepad and kind of like a sheet... was like a salary info sheet. So I just basically had these sheets in a notebook, I took notes and quickly realized...
David: We have those in the free wholesale course by the way.
Mike: I quickly realized though that for me; that was going to be too overwhelming. I am not a paper person, I didn't like that. So I went out and bought a CRM, it was a monthly CRM... it was pretty good. I used it and I could set follow ups for myself and it was great. It worked out very well when I was logged into that one... for settling follow ups. That was about the only thing I enjoyed that CRM for.
David: Speaking of a lead sheet though; we recommend using a lead sheet... I still use a lead sheet to this day. The reason I use it is if I am in a car, or if I am not near my laptop... if I am near my laptop we have a [00:05:02.10] we are going to talk about in a minute here... that we just pull up, and essentially it is a lead sheet on the computer, you just type in the information. But when you are first getting started; it is rare that you are going to get the seller lead right when you are the computer. You are going to be out in the field, you're going to be driving, you are going to be at the gym, you are going to be anywhere else other than near you computer.
Mike: That's true.
David: So having that lead sheet handy is something that is helpful. But what recommend that you do is when you fill that lead sheet out, then put that into the CRM of your spreadsheet, or so on and so forth. So you can have the system set for follow up.
Mike: Here is a great tip; this works for me really is when i am out, I forget things, right? So when you are doing 100 things like Dave said, the gym or whatever. If you really can't take the phone call, or even if you can; what I will do, I will take the phone call and say, "Hey, do you mind texting me your name and property address, then I remember to get back with you." So I will take it one step further if they don't do that. If I don't answer the call... not if I don't answer the call, if I do answer the call and say, "Hey I will call you back." I will take a screen shot of the phone number, then I will e-mail to myself with their name and what they were calling about so I will remember. That way it is in my e-mail so at least I will see it again.
David: If you use Google voice there is a feature that will allow you to record the call... it will announce it to both parties that you are doing it. So you make sure that you tell the person that you are going to be... asking, "Hey do you mind if I record the call? I am in the car driving/at the gym." And I will listen to this later and all the information or all of the questions that are answered I can just jot down at a later time. I think you press 4 on Google voice to do that. So another tool you can use in the event you don't have the lead sheet in front of you.
Mike: Obviously we are both adamant about picking up the phone.
David: You got to pick up the phone.
Mike: Even if it is just to say, "Hey I will call you back." At least you are human; you have made a human connection, so they are more likely to answer it when you call back at three. Is that a good time?"
Mike: They are more likely to... oh that's the number I called. Then again you are just creating that connection. Anyways we are off topic.
David: So we started with... have a lead sheet. If you don't have one, go to freewholesalecourse.com, we have one available in there for you, it's a great tool to use when the calls come in and you are new to this business. From there; we recommend putting that into some sort of a system. Excel or Google sheets is a great way to start. Keep it simple, get their name, number, e-mail and some information about the property; property address, bed, bath, square foot and some on and so forth. Once you start to get a good sized Google sheet or Excel sheet, you are really going to want to get a CRM. What is a CRM, Mike? What does that stand for?
Mike: Customer relationship management, I think...
David: Exactly. So a CRM allows you to... make notes on a particular person or property. But the two most important things about a CRM is the fact you can update it, you can share it with other individuals, and most importantly you can create tasks to remind yourself to do a certain activity at a later date. So we use several different CRMs. We have one main one and it is called Podio. P.O.D.I.O.com. We used Podio every day all day. It helps us stay organised. We really like Podio because it is a free CRM and it is kind of a blank canvas. When you first go into Podio, at least for me... what is this? I want a CRM, this is not a CRM. However, it is one of the best CRM's out there because you can build it and design it exactly how you want to use it. So it does require a little bit of in front investment and time to... go in and design it. But the beauty of it is you are not having to learn something that is already put together, you actually get to create it.
Mike: So that is two reasons why I think Dave and I really hit it off too. Two points I want to bring up from that. One is Dave said, after you get so many you need to follow up. Well one of the things that we both have the very same mindset on is... we follow up until that person has either died, then we are going to follow up with their kids.
Mike: They sell the property, or they tell us to stop calling.
David: If they tell us to stop calling, we still call, we just don't call as much.
Mike: We follow all laws.
David: Here is an example; if we call an individual weekly for two months, and on the 8th call which would be... every week they say, "Listen I am not interested in selling right now, please stop calling me." We will respect their wishes, however we are going to set up a reminder in maybe six months, maybe even a year to shoot them another call, text or even an e-mail to say, "Hey I know it has been a while, I know you told me to stop calling. I just want to reach out and let you know I am still interested. If you are not ready to sell; disregard this message for the most part." But by having a CRM you can do that. We can put a reminder to call somebody five years later and... when that date arrives, it is going to pop up a motivation on our... as long as you are using that CRM. Hey there is a task created for this date and time.
Mike: And that's the other big benefit to Podio. We haven't paid, there is nothing from this, is that it is free. It is always... well as long as it is around it will be available to you. There is tons of other real estate investors using it, so we are not really sharing revolutionary information. But it is a great system, this is the second thing I wanted to mention of why Dave and I hit it off so well is we liked building that.
David: We still work on that. Before we came on this episode we were looking at something we wanted to modify and make better.
Mike: We both enjoy tinkering with it. It is not necessarily our focus because it distracts us from our business of investing in houses. But it is kind of fun for us to build that out. We are working on and envetually we will release our platform, our behind the scene tools that we are using.
David: Give it to our students and people that are interested in our coaching program, we will show them how ours works, we will share with them our work spaces. The beauty is if they love it and like it and want to continue to use it how we use it, they can. But once we clone it and give them a copy, if they don’t like half of it, they can just go in and delete half of it and rebuild it and... it is very, very user friendly when it comes to... I want this here and this there, and I don't want that and I want this. So it essentially a white canvas where you can go in and morph it. Really though all it is, is a glorified lead sheet, guys. Just says...
Mike: That is exactly what I was going to say.
David: Just a glorified lead sheet. You can have two or three fields, or you can have 200 fields it just depends on what you want. But again, you can share it, it has the ability for you to collaborate. So if you have a partner, or a spouse, or a friend or an assistant, or a virtual assistant... we have all of those that are in there at this point. You can share an individual lead with them, you can share an individual app with them, or you can share an entire work space, which would consist of several apps with that other individual or partner. We even have other wholesalers on the market place here in St Louis Missouri that we might be working on a deal together. However, we may not want to share the 2000 leads that we have with individual, just for sake of... competition. So we can just share an individual lead with that person say, "Take a look at this, what do you think?" And so on and so forth.
Mike: What is great about Podio though, what is really great is that we mentioned from a lead sheet when we were on the phone to a CRM. Podio is our lead sheet, so the first... section of our lead sheet, sorry the first section of the Podio section is our lead sheet. So when we are training our VA's, or other wholesalers that are working with us, we just say, "Hey listen, this is where you want to track everything, if you look at it, this is the conversation you want to have with the seller. This is who you begin the conversation. Hi what's your name? What's your phone number?"
David: That's a great point, Mike. One of the things I noticed this morning when I got out of bed. I was looking at some leads that came in last night and... one of the questions we have is, what are you asking for the property? Blank space for whoever is imputing that lead to put the information in. The very next things says, if we pay cash, are you willing to take a lower offer? I saw one that came in this morning and the guy was asking $115,000 on the first time we asked him what he wanted for the property. We have virtual assistants that are a part of our team and take a lot of our calls at this point. But they then ask, if we pay you cash... will you take less? He said sure, if you pay me cash I will take 110. So he essentially came down $5000 by asking that one question.
Mike: If you think about it, it's really... you are really just asking again, can you do any better? That is really all you are asking. Again, when you get to the closing table it is cash or cash. It is just how you word it, and it is really neat to have.
David: You can morph it and create it and build it exactly how you want.
Mike: And edit it, exactly. Just keep adding, we are always tinkering with it. We finally got it to a place where it is relatively stable, at least 90% of our flows we have created.
David: Let's talk about follow up, that is the point of the episode. So we kind of got off topic a little bit. However, we are really building the foundation for follow-ups. So in order to have a good follow up system, you have to have a system in place. You can’t really just... when I first started, like I said, I was using Excel, I was using Google sheets, but I also had a bunch of lead sheets. I remember one day my now fiancée, back then was girlfriend; she came home and I had 75 pieces of paper stacked up in a folder and they are all hanging out the sides of the folder. I am combing through it and she is like, "What the hell are you doing?" I was like, "I am looking at my leads and seeing which ones I haven't called recently." I had highlighters, I had sharpies, they were all everywhere. She was like, "You need to get organised." I'm like, "I do, I definitely need to get organised." So at that point in time, that is when I discovered Podio, and I started imputing all these leads in there. Then she was like, "You need to have some sort of way to determine when you have called them last, how many times you have called them, and then create reminder to... say you need to call this person again in a week or two weeks or a month." Podio had the solution for all that stuff. So let's talk about that quickly now, Mike. How Podio... the beauty of the follow up system behind Podio. So once you get all your leads imputed in there... there is two main things that we used day in, day out in Podio that helps us to stay organised. One would be your comments area. The beauty of that is the time stamping. So if you do call an individual and you do have a conversation; you can record it. You can say I spoke with Bill, he is not ready to sell today, however in a month he is looking to move out of town. We talked about this, this and this and it time stamps it. So you can go in and leave comments. So in the event that you are following up with an individual several times over a course of several weeks or several months; motivations change and different things that he relays to you... you don’t want to be rude and ask him those questions ten times. So you can leave notes in there. So notes is number one of the two main things that I find valuable about Podio.
Mike: It is huge for us; especially in our business because we have so many people, so you can see who left the comments. So not only the time stamp and date stamp it, it also says who left the comment. When I go into leads I can see what date is set on it and we can communicate back and forth. I can tag Dave and say, hey I think this one is worth this, what do you think? So we are able to communicate.
David: And everybody in the team has a profile within Podio. So Mike may have taken the call originally, I may have followed up two weeks later. He may have had a virtual assistant call him every week or every other week for two months. Then another partner of ours, Ray [00:17:41.23] Ray to go out on. So Ray went out on the appointment, made the offer, got pictures, but they were not ready to accept; then maybe the virtual assistant made the offer again a month later... then our closing co-ordinate went in and... so everybody in the team can comment on the lead, then everyone can be notified and set up to date. So the comment area by far one of the best features; because it keeps you in the loop on what is going on with the lead, as well as... when certain things were done. Number two finally, is tasks. You have to create a task. So we have...
Mike: Again, this was the thing I mentioned before.
David: We have two things that we really want. We have one major rule when it comes to our CRM, every lead needs a task. We don't care if that task is five years away. It needs a task, because if you don’t have a task created; then it is going to fall through the cracks. You are going to lose it, you are going to forget about it and... the beauty of Podio is I can assign myself a task, or I can assign Mike task, or I can assign the same task to both of us.
Mike: It doesn’t matter, it is kind of hot potato though. You have to have a task, I need to put a task on there for Dave to look at it, what do you want me to look at? Whatever, I just have to tag them in a task.
David: That is where the follow up system... this is where it comes full circle; it is the most important part. So whenever a lead comes in, you obviously want to create some notes if it is outside of filling in the lead sheet itself. But then you want to create a task, and that task could be... call Bill back tomorrow afternoon, or it could be something as simple as... I went and looked at the property; he doesn’t like my offer, call him in 60 days and make him another offer, or see if the property is sold. It could be anything, but you have to have that task so you don’t forget about the lead... the offer and so on and so forth. So having that task on every single lead is super important. I was looking through a lead this morning that my virtual assistant had taken yesterday; he had tagged me Mike and Ray, the three of us on the lead and there wasn’t a task. I was the bad guy but I literally called him out. I go, "Hey why is there no task on this lead?" I am looking at it so it obviously didn’t fall through the cracks but once I leave this lead and there is no task; the possibility of it falling into the cracks is super high.
David: We need to have a task on every single lead.
Mike: Yeah so... this is real time, this actually happens with Dave... he comments on it and I saw it, I was like... oh yeah he set up an appointment for me, so I added my own task.
David: I figured that was the case.
David: But you still need to have a task that tells you to go on appointments.
Mike: Hey I don't think Dennis is even going to listen to this, don't worry about it. I went in and added my task for the appointment, then added up follow up notes after the appointment. Those are my tasks that I do every time I have an appointment, I just want to note that...
David: But if you don't have the task here is what happens; Mike knows this as well. Say you go on the appointment and it's a dud, it's dead, it was a waste of time, you get back to the office... if you don't see the task that says go on appointment, you will never go in and leave notes that essentially says this lady is crazy, she is asking too much money for a property, so on and so forth. We wouldn’t even then have the ability to contact her in six months or a year, because we wouldn't have even put those notes in.
Mike: What's huge for us though as a team is that... we all benefit from everything everyone does.
Mike: So I go out on an appointment I now have pictures of this property. So even if it was crazy high at the time; Dave sees that, Ray sees that, if I am on vacation or he is on vacation and she calls in and our VA gets it, we know what happened with it. We can say okay, you want 190, that's 20,000 more than you were asking before, thank you.
David: Do you know what just came to mine, Mike? That is also another awesome tool that we take for granted? But the individual that is new to wholesaling and new to this business, this is so valuable. You can search Podio by name, by phone number, by address, pretty much anything that it is in a lead or in a comment. So not only... if somebody calls in we can pull up their name and phone number or address and essentially... we are right back where we were. But it also helps out... this is something we take for granted, Mike. But it also helps out with us knowing pricing in a zip code or pricing in a street. So if we get a property on a street here in town... a lead comes in, I can quickly search Podio for that street, no numbers, just the street. I can see other leads we might have been working or may have bought on that street. I can see we paid 28 grand for something on the street five months ago and 32 grand for something on the street 8 months ago. So already right then and there I know the values of the properties on this street are in this range. If they are asking 15 grand that is a deal, I am in the car driving there. If they are asking 65 grand... they are not very motivated. So you can use the CRM as a tool for many other things other than staying organised and following up.
Mike: Let's give a pro tip out here. So one of the things we did, and I am kind of excited about this. A lot of people copy a lot of the stuff we do I feel like.
David: That's okay.
Mike: Because we have a lot of good ideas.
David: We are happy to share that, it is one of the reasons we do the podcast.
Mike: So this is one of them I am happy to give to everyone else. So follow-up is extremely important, right?
David: It is the most important thing.
Mike: Dave, you probably know where I am going with this. On properties we get under contract; a lot of people call in... after we send it out to our lists say, hey I am interested in this property, can I go take a look? And you give them a lockbox. Well that's great. For years in this business, I just let that go.
David: I love where you are going with this.
Mike: I hope somebody makes an offer.
David: This is follow up 2.0, guys.
Mike: So this is what we do now, so anybody who calls in and asks about a property, we tag them in that property lead. So now they are attached to that property and we can see...
David: In the field that is called interested buyers. Like Mike said, when they call in, let's say we have... let's say we have Jim who says, I am interested in this property you have over on Ashby street. We will say, great, Jim now problem. We will log Jim as an interested buyer, first name, last night, phone number and e-mail. That is essentially all we need. Go on Mike, finish it.
Mike: That is essentially it. So then say a week passes and our inspection period is coming up and we haven't gotten an offer.
David: Haven't gotten an offer.
Mike: Well guys, if you haven't gotten an offer in your inspection period; you are either paying too much or... whatever. So what we will do is we will follow up with everyone that went through and say, hey we know you went through, what do you think of the property?
David: Comb through all your texts messages, all your e-mails, all your Facebook messages.
Mike: You know that's not going to happen.
David: It's not going to happen. But if you have let’s say 12 individuals that you have logged that called or e-mailed in about that property, and they wanted the lock box code; we then log all those interested buyers, and then let's say the inspection period is getting close and we don't have the offer yet. We can do a couple of different things; one we can call the seller and renegotiate a new price. If we do that; instead of sending out an e-mail to thousands of people again, we can literally have ourselves, or our virtual assistants pick up the phone and call those 12 interested buyers. Those people were the ones who actually want the property. We can say, hey we have a new price on this; we never got an offer on it. Did you go look at it? What did you think? Make us an offer. Or, hey we negotiated the prize down 5-10,000... we are willing to pass those savings along to you. Would you be interested in the property at this new price? It makes the follow-up on the buyer’s side just as easy as it is on the sellers’ side. Great point, Mike. Follow up 2.0.
Mike: I think that is one of the things... we just overlook a lot of the features we have built into our system at this point because we have so many of them. Even our podcast, guys. We have got a whole slew of automations that happen on the podcast. Dave and I record it...
David: We use Podio to stay organised with the podcast.
Mike: We click a button and it gets published for it. There is a lot of stuff you can do with Podio and it has really been...
David: So real quick we are at 25 minutes, I want to wrap it up here in a second. Podio is a free CRM. However, this is one of the reasons me and Mike love it so much, we are kind of techky and a little nerdy I have to admit. But there is a back end to it. This is a paid part of Podio; it's called [00:26:43.07] and we pay for it, because it allows you to automate Podio. It is not needed, it is not required, and you can use Podio for free forever without it. However, if you want to take it to the next level, you can pay for the backend part of Podio, which again is called [00:27:06.27]. What it does is; it allows you to automate Podio to the N'th degree. So as Mike mentioned, we have tons of automations, probably close to 300 at this point that we have built into Podio. So here would be a perfect example; when a new lead comes in, we have a lead sheet that is filled out for each particular lead. At the very bottom of the lead sheet we have several buttons that we have created that do certain things. So one of those buttons... is called create buyer task. Essentially what that does is; you click that one button and it auto generates three tasks from one click that says, Mike, Dave, Ray. New lead came in, make appointment or make offer. So it essentially saves you time from having to go in and create three leads, assign a member, assign a date, assign a note. There are already in the backend, you just click one button and they generate those individual tasks. So that is one of about 3... we have 232 right now.
Mike: I just pulled up our states guys...
David: 232 different automations, they are called flows, okay? Some of these flows are way more complicated than creating a task. Some of these flows for example can actually generate us a contract... and then send that contract via an e-signature platform to a seller.
Mike: Good work by the way, Dave. We have been working on this for a long time.
David: Once that seller signs it will pull right back into Podio, then automate multiple tasks saying this seller signed...
Mike: You got a contract, you guys better get this marketed.
David: Right. There is an infinite number of automations and things that you can do. As of today, it is July 19th 2017, we have 232 flows and... we have reached the grandmaster... five start on [00:29:11.13] but essentially we have saved 598 hours of work in the past 30 days. That is amazing, because you think each of these tasks may take anywhere from 30 seconds up to 15 minutes. If you can spend a little bit of time on the front automating them, then just click one button later to generate these. We have essentially saved... it's crazy. 595 hours over the last 30 days...
Mike: In a 40 hour week that would be 400 hours...no... that is a lot of hours, that is like two full time people maybe.
David: That is like a years worth of work essentially in the last month.
Mike: 600 hours... divided by a 40 hour week is...
David: 15 weeks.
Mike: That is crazy.
David: 15 weeks we have saved of work by building out these automations.
Mike: Three full time people.
David: It is. Three and three quarters. So we are getting a bit off topic, but I just want to mention [00:30:27.02] is there, it is paid, it does allow you to take Podio to the next level. So check it out if you are interested in it. But the main thing guys, keep it simple, if you are not using a CRM, Podio is what we would recommend. Follow up, follow up, follow up! That is the name of the game, guys.
Mike: That's the key. Don't get too lost in the matrix like Dave. Well do have it when you start out, have those piles of papers, but once you get to that point where you are kind of overwhelmed with it; plug it into a CRM, we recommend Podio.
David: 20-30 pieces of paper is manageable. 80, 200, 500 that is not manageable. Plug that into the CRM, Podio has an app too. I use the app a lot, you can use it on your computer, your phone, your tablet and it is all the same. You have different log-ins and different members in the workspace to share with. It's really great. But the name of the game is follow-up. Follow-up is where the money is at, you need to be following up with your sellers, also your buyers. If you are not following up, you are never going to build traction in this business.
Mike: Definitely our action item; follow up, you absolutely have to do that. Out quote, do you want me to read it?
David: Yeah, read the quote, this is a great quote. It goes perfectly with the topic.
Mike: "Not following up with your prospects, is the same as filling up your bathtub without putting a stopper in the drain".
David: So true, it is just going to keep running in and nothing is ever going to build. Put that stopper and you are going to have a tub full of water. If you don't, it is essentially like you are spending all your money on direct mail, all these leads come in and maybe only 1 in 20, or 1 in 30 you are going to be able to get signed up today, the other 19 or 29 or whatever it is; they are just going to get thrown away.
Mike: Between 21 and 30 if you are a good closer. I will close less than that in my first six months.
David: Me too. But the point it is if you get 30 leads in a month, over the course of a year you can maybe convert 15-20 of them, you just got to follow up with them. So guys don’t forget follow up, check out Podio, thanks for listening. Again if you are looking for a lead sheet; check out freewholesalecourse.com.
Mike: Thanks guys.