In the recently concluded mastermind, lots of marketing questions surfaced from students across the country. One of the hot topics discussed was on capitalizing on existing sources and looking for new ones. In this episode, Scott Carson shares some of the newest ways to market for assets that will drive more deals to your note and real estate business. He highlights the importance of using new sources, new listings for finding the right deals. There are many tools and apps that are commonly used for marketing businesses. Scott breaks down the sources he uses one by one and talks about how they are adding value to him and his investments.
Listen to the podcast here:
New Marketing = New Sources
Questions During The Mastermind
We had our Virtual Note Mastermind, which was all day of a Saturday, basically from 9:00 to 5:00 working with our Note Mastermind students that are spread out all across the country. One of the things that we always go through there, “What’s going on? What’s working? What’s not working? Who’s dealing with what issues? How can we help overcome that?” One of the most overwhelming things that we hear on a regular basis. This is not just from the Note Mastermind, it’s literally from about every investor that we hear, whether you’re reading things on BiggerPockets or LinkedIn or networking groups because people are always looking for new sources.
One of the biggest things that a couple of our Mastermind students aired was the fact that they’re tired of dealing and looking at the same recycled or low-value tapes that are showing up. It’s a lower contract for deeds, some bottom of the barrel first or second lien portfolios that have been making their way around it. It happens every year about this time is let’s get recycled. One of the things that we talked about is I went into and shared how we’re doing some things differently here to find deals. This is something that is not new. This is something we have shared with people out there on a regular basis. We’ve shared a couple of things that I talked about with our WCN Crew members. I’ve shared it before with people.
Using LinkedIn And YouTube As Sources
This is something that everybody who is reading this, everybody that’s in any type of sales or looking for new business, these are effective tools to use to help grow your audience. It automatically spawned new business for us. It’s paid off. We’ve used these tools for a while. They’re not free tools. There’s something that’s going to cost you on a monthly basis or you can use them for a period of time for free. One of the big things that we’ve always been an advocate is using LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a great tool to go out and find contacts. It’s also a great place to share your content. We share our podcast episodes there with our mini-blogs with links to our website. We’ll be sharing more videos there on a regular basis. One of the things that we’re doing is updating all of our previous articles with a link to the YouTube video for that episode. That’s not what I’m talking about here. I’m not going to talk about video.
If you’re an entrepreneur or business owner or in sales or in business, you’re looking for new clients and LinkedIn is a social media tool of choice. If you’re in any type of that business, why? It’s pretty easy to search on there to find people that are in your niche or that are in the niche that you’re looking for, typing in job title, typing in businesses and contacting individuals from there. Let’s face it, LinkedIn has had quite a few tools come over and a lot of people are using it incorrectly. They’re using it with a huge pitch and a huge push. I don’t need to have diarrhea of the mouth right off the bat when I’m connecting with somebody. That’s the thing that frustrates a lot of people is that it’s turned into a pitch fest a lot of times. With a couple of tools that I’m going to share with you that I’ve been using now for a few months, you’re going to find that they’re going to add a lot of value. I know that they added value almost immediately to our Mastermind members.
LeadFuze And Octopus For Your LinkedIn Profile
The first tool that I’m going to talk about is a tool called LeadFuze. LeadFuze is roughly about $99 a month. What this does is LeadFuze connects with your existing LinkedIn profile and it does a LinkedIn search to go out and find people any type of category that you’re looking for. Like with us in the note business, we type in special asset managers or secondary marketing department. There’s another office that we use called the Whole Loan Sales Department. It’s something that you might want to make a note of if you’re in the note business. Do a search there. What’s great is LeadFuze will go out and look for people, the banking industry in the United States, company size, you can filter it down.
You can also ask if the email is showing. You have a required part to leave that blank where their email doesn’t show. It’s important to leave the email off because when LinkedIn went in and adjusted their settings so that they now are hiding the email addresses from everybody, unless you purposely go on and check to allow your email to be viewed. You no longer export your contacts to show the full email address. The beautiful thing though is you will still export their LinkedIn URL. Mine is LinkedIn.com/in/1ScottCarson.
LeadFuze is a great way for you to run a search for specific categories, 500 a month for $97 a month. For $150 extra, you can add 1,000 extra leads. One of the things I use LeadFuze for is I did a search for special asset managers. I found 880 people that fall into the exact categories. I was able to save those as leads and export that list like first names, last names, business, their title, their LinkedIn URL, which is one of the most key components and a bunch of other stuff about their company and where they’re located and some stuff from the LinkedIn profile. Other stuff is not necessary but first name, last name, company, job title and LinkedIn URL is one of the most important things.
The LinkedIn URL is basically if I wanted to connect with them at a later time, I could try that. That’s not an effective use of my time. Pull a list of 800 names of asset managers for $97 has been a very effective use of my time because I can pull it roughly in five minutes and export that. Now I’ve got a nice spreadsheet. There’s another tool that we talked about that I got from my trip to New Media Summit and hanging out with other mastermind members on the podcasting side showing how they use a tool called Octopus with their LinkedIn profile. Octopus is a tool that is a Google plugin. It will link onto your LinkedIn and it will allow you to upload lists of either email or upload lists of LinkedIn connection lists and it can automate your connecting.
You can do a search for job title as well. Let’s say you want to connect with 50 or 100 people. It will go out there and make it look like it’s manually connecting you one at a time with other people. A big and cool thing to this is Octopus is a fourteen-day trial membership for free. You can mess around with it at no additional cost and mess around with it and see how much you like it. The website is OctopusCRM.io. The price is pretty inexpensive. You can pay anywhere from $6.99 to $14.99 a month. It’s basically going to bill you on an annual basis. You can do a search and export, auto-endorse, auto-view profiles, send automatic messages in bulk are one of the most beautiful things.
It will look at how many connections you have and what ranks in, but it will also do you the most important thing of auto-inviting. Instead of you sitting there at home at night, connecting one at a time and copy-pasting, this will automatically do an auto-insert. This has been extremely helpful. I don’t want to be too long. I did this and showed how to do this with Octopus. I uploaded that list of LinkedIn URLs from the 800 asset managers that we pulled. You only do roughly about somewhere between 80 and 100 connections on a daily basis before it will shut you down for LinkedIn to recognize and stop you. You wouldn’t often do because the last thing you want to do is lose your LinkedIn profile.
I’m going to upload 100 contacts of that LinkedIn. I imported them. I was able to customize an invite to those people. I was pulling their first name, last name and company name directly straight from their profile. It automated and knocked out roughly 80 invites in 1 hour, 1.5v hour because it would take twenty seconds up to a minute sometimes to connect with people and it was good. Basically, it connected me with about 80 new connections, send out the invite and this time says I was going to special asset managers was, “I was looking to see if you were the right person at your institution or at the blank company who handles your distressed note sales.” It was sent out on Saturday.
A lot of people say, “Scott, why would you send it out Saturday when most of the asset managers are probably not there? They’re probably at home for the weekend. They’re probably not going to see it until Monday or Tuesday.” I said because I had some free time to get it done. I always liked to be the person, especially when I’m testing new marketing things or doing marketing things that I’m teaching my students or my Mastermind members a tool, I’m endorsing a tool. I want to make sure that I’ve used it. That’s one thing you should know here if I’m endorsing a product or service is because I’ve used them or using them as a vendor. That’s the case with Octopus CRM. I don’t get paid off of this. I think it’s a phenomenal tool because in a matter of 48 hours from Saturday, which would have been on Sunday, it would have been sometime starting on Monday. As people started going into their LinkedIn, I started getting connections. I increased my connections and I also started getting emails from people responding to it since it was very personal.
I had three people respond that they are indeed the correct person at their institution to talk about note sales and to follow-up an email to them directly, which they gave me about what type of deals and notes they’re looking for. That’s a great thing. It worked out handy. I’ve got a couple of new tapes in my inbox from these asset managers or I should have some before the end of the week from the others that responded. I’ve had some people respond, ask me, “Yes or no. This is the right person to talk to or send me over your bio requirements. We’ll pass it on.” Not more than three referrals with resources for business. That was phenomenal. I closed one deal out of it. It’s going to make the whole cost of the $178 I had to pay because I had exceeded my fourteen-day trial period with Octopus.
I paid for the $14.99 and billed in a year. At $178, I have got a great tool to use that I’ll use for a variety of things. I’ll use it for special asset managers. I’ll use it for secondary marketing managers. I’ll use it for whole loan traders. Those are three of the job descriptions or job titles that I’ll pull from either LinkedIn or I’ll pull using LeadFuze at $97 a month to go with it. I’ve got about 4,000 leads in LeadFuze that I need to use because I paid for extra leads for a few months. I’ve been whittling those down for a variety of reasons. I’ve used that not only here for the note business, but I’ve used it to grow my database of real estate investors. I’ve used it to grow my database of note investors. I’ve also used it to grow my list of podcast hosts in the real estate side of things.
What am I going to do with that list? I’ve pulled the list of podcasts and Austin real estate. I’m going to upload those lists to Octopus and go out and do the same thing to help book me on other people’s podcasts in 2020, hopefully before the end of 2019 and also beginning of 2020. What’s another thing that we added to the list that works well when you’re sending out to asset managers is when you’re reaching out to people, you want to try not to get diarrhea of the mouth. That’s the worst thing you could do, go on and off. Some people do that. You want your LinkedIn messages to be relatively quick. Otherwise, people aren’t going to read a lot.
One of the things that you might want to think about doing is inserting a video of some sort. I took the time with everybody that was here for the virtual mastermind to go ahead and record a short video that goes out to asset managers. What do I mean by that? What’s funny is it was a short lesson, a two-minute video. I’ve talked about this for podcasting where I send out a two-minute pitch video going out to people. That’s the thing that you want to keep in mind is when you send a video out, it’s going to tell a little bit more than what you can say in a written aspect of things. It says a little more about your personality. It talks a little more about what you’re using, what you’re looking for. That’s what I did. I took my smartphone and I filmed a 1 minute 45 seconds video talking about what we’re looking for. It’s 1 minute 51 seconds to be precise helping bank asset managers. I’ve got my smile on a basic creative thumbnail and I’ve got to go out as a link with my other contacts.
That’s the beautiful thing about Octopus. I can put a link in there and say, “To learn more about my entity or a little more what we’re looking for, here’s a quick little short video.” I don’t want people to do this. This is going through LinkedIn. It’s not going to get blocked by a mass email. The same thing I also do and I’m also taking that same video. I’ve sent that same video out via my email blast to the list of asset managers that I’ve pulled their contact information before, the 4,000-plus contacts that we have from banks. We include that same video as only that goes out to people.
It’s set to go out to the new contacts or the two 4,500 lists of asset managers we have from banks, from Lane Guide, from LinkedIn and from our years of dialing for dollars. That’s a pretty cool thing to do as well is include a little something personal, a little video about who you are, what the title is, how can We Close Notes help you clean up your fourth-quarter portfolio, your books, whatever. I’m excited because I put the video to private on YouTube or you can put it on Vimeo. The reason I leave it unlisted is that way those that watch the video, it will accurately track those that are watching a video from either my email that goes out or the link that we put in with our direct message out to Octopus, on our customized CRM.
“First name, last name, I wanted to see if you’re the right person at blank in charge of your nonperforming notes, sales. I would love to talk to you. Here’s a little link about what we do.” I can get to see how many people were watching, how many leads it leads to. It’s already leading the lead. These two simple things, these two simple actions can come in because it’s a necessary thing. Especially that we’re into the fourth quarter, banks are looking to move stuff off their books to clean things up by year-end. They want those books to look good, especially when they start to get into fourth-quarter earnings or first quarter, whenever their fiscal year ends. Start looking good when they’re reporting the reports to their investors, especially when they are filing their Federal Depository Insurance Corporation, FDIC reports that they’re doing on a quarterly basis. That’s a great thing.
Going To The County Records
Another thing that we did as far as finding new leads, which was also very fruitful. This is something we’ve talked about is I asked everybody in my Mastermind if they had ever gone to the county records and pulled a list of assignments. The thing is it didn’t surprise me that nobody had done that. What do I mean by that? If I’m selling a note, I’m going to have at the county recorder’s office or the county clerk, an assignment of mortgage is going to be filed. If it’s a first lien, if it’s a deed, the deed is going to be filed transfer. An assignment of mortgage is usually the easier thing to track to see what’s happening with notes and so it’s an easy thing to do.
What we did, we pulled up in Franklin County, Ohio, which is Columbus, one of the hotter markets in the country and that’s one of the things we want to search. We went on there and we did a search for assignments for 2019 and I pulled up 3,557 assignments. We can only view the first 1,500. It didn’t take long. It pulled basically about twenty a page, showing assignments from one institution to another institution. A lot of the bigger names around there, Bank of America selling to One or Fannie Mae selling to Goldman Sachs. There are a lot of the bigger names. We spent literally the last roughly two hours of the day going through that list and me walking my Mastermind members through those specific things. That’s the biggest thing. People were like, “Looking for new sources.” If you want to get new sources, you’ve got to do new marketing things.
The title of this episode is New Marketing = New Sources. Most people are still going after the same old sources, the same list, the same people that are posting stuff on a regular basis. That is because they don’t have to lift a finger to reach out to those people. They don’t have to do anything and they’re still working full-time. They think if they drop an email out and get an old listing, they think they’re doing something that they don’t realize those older lists aren’t doing any new marketing. It’s not resulting in any new deals. That’s something to keep in mind. That’s why I spent the afternoon with them sharing LeadFuze and Octopus CRM too. Valuable tools are also taking time to create a little short pitch video to go along with their emails. I filmed the video straight from my smartphone. I uploaded it directly. They didn’t have to do any fancy production work. They didn’t have to do any fancy modeling or anything like that. It’s nothing difficult.
It’s talking about what we’re doing as a company. When I say about the link, that’s a link to my Calendly booking link so that we can schedule some time to talk to see what they have to feel for each other. It’s a little bit of a one-on-one conversation. It’s not meant to be a 30-minute. These guys and gals are all busy and we know that. It’s designed to say, “I’d love to visit with you. Let’s talk and see what you have, see if there is a way to do some business together.” It’s nothing difficult, including that link into the video, including that link to my calendar so they can book directly. Those are two valuable things that you want to try to be able to squeeze time out of their day.
They’re all busy. That video is embedded into my email at the very top. It’s the first thing they’re going to see when they open my email and hopefully, they’ll connect on it and be able to watch it. Those are two valuable things, but it’s the calling, the follow-up. Once you get to dive into, remember the county clerk is looking for an assignment of mortgages or assignments and doing a search through. On a Saturday, between 12:00 PM and 4:00 PM where you’re probably not going to see a lot, that’s what we did. I started when I would find a small entity, do a quick copy of an entity and do a quick Google search.
It would often pull up a website with that same entity and a phone number. I dialed for dollars in front of our audience. I cold-call these people and left a message on a couple. I was able to get ahold of one on a contract for deed. I noticed that the guy had bought it from Harbour Portfolio. He picked up his phone and I said, “My name is Scott Carson. I see based on county records, it looks like you bought some contract for deeds from Harbour Portfolio. I’m also an active note and contract for deed investor. I didn’t know if he had anything available that you were looking to get off your books even before the end of the year.” The guy is like, “We’ve got about $3 million worth of contract for deeds or notes you’re going to sell this quarter.” I was like, “Great.”
This was all done live. It wasn’t prescheduled. I exchanged emails with the guy and emailed them and I’m looking for that list. I’ll follow-up with a phone call to the guy and it was productive. Everybody that was there, I was like, “It’s easier than it looks.” It’s a matter of dialing for dollars. I made about five more phone calls and left messages with other people. One was a guy down in Fort Myers, obviously a real estate investor down in Fort Myers, Florida. He owned a note or two up in Columbus or bought a note up in Columbus. I’m looking for a phone call back from them. I’ll follow back up with them as well too.
You want to keep track. If you’re going to be doing this, there are 3,500 names, you’re not going to make 3,500 phone calls. In the matter of an hour, we went through four pages. We identified about 6 to 7 sources. One is a friend of mine, Lisa, out of Philadelphia. I dropped her an email and she responded back. I saw that she bought a note and it was a good little chuckle, but you will run into people that you know. When I Googled her entity, her face popped up, which is great. That’s the thing in those two hours of making phone calls and following-up, I did more than what most people will do for their own business in a month, a quarter, six months or a year. The information I was pulling was free. It didn’t cost anything. I had to log on to NETROnline.com and pull up the state. I want to look at when you decided to run with Columbus, Ohio. That’s Franklin County and John on Franklin County. Look for the county recorder’s office clerk. It’s called in other places. Click on it and look for assignments and did a year basically for 2019.
If you’re in an area that’s had a lot of notes, sales and assignments and things like that, could you reach out to your local title company and they pull that information for you? Usually, they could do that for you. Sometimes they’ll charge a fee to do that. We do that for a couple of counties, but it often becomes valuable information because now you know who’s bought or sold. If you google the entity, you can often find it. Sometimes we even saw personal like IRA companies that had an assignment done to it. The thing that you’ve got to keep in mind is this is not difficult work. It’s a little tedious work. Could you do a couple of things? Could you pull a list and have your VA for $4 an hour, go out and google these people and find a name and phone number? They could. That would be easy for you. You could follow-up with an email to them or check out on LinkedIn and see if they follow-up. If they’re available, you can.
Another one that’s a smart thing to do, especially if you find somebody who’s at that company on LinkedIn, you could do a search and download them. That’s the nice thing about LeadFuze is you could do an individual search to find one lead and add that to a list so you can keep a rolling list of people. You’ve got a nice list to upload to Octopus CRM and reach out to you. If you’re going to do that much work with that, you might as well go ahead and find the phone number and website for them and they’ll probably find an email and reach out to them directly or add them into your email you send out monthly. Hopefully, it’s a monthly basis to find your deals.
One of the things too, as we get into the fourth quarter, I was talking to people and they’re like, “We’re getting ready to send the first email out. I’m like, “How often are you doing that?” “We’re only going to do that once a month.” I would increase that here in the fourth quarter. I wouldn’t do it every two weeks because people are going to be busy, especially through October, November and December for a couple of reasons. One, they’re trying to clean up their portfolio cleanup with the banks so it looks good at the end of the year reporting, but they’ve also got holidays like anybody else does: Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, whatever holidays you celebrate. You’ve got New Year’s. Christmas is on the 25th. If you can close by the 27th or worst case, the 30th before the 31st, you’ve got an opportunity but you’ve got basically less than 90 days to get things done.
These things worked out. We’ve got lists. We’ve got some new leads, new connections. It’s a matter of following up with them and doing it. Most people won’t make the first bit of reaching out and making a phone call, reaching out and doing a search and they can do this. I did this one Saturday afternoon and over a couple of hours, I find four to five new lead sources, pulled the list. I was able to upload the list and reach out to people and have stuff sitting in my inbox for me to look at, which these are leads that nobody else has seen. Nobody else was probably reaching out to them because most people, 95% if not higher, are inherently lazy. We’re all lazy at some point. That’s not a lie. It is what it is.
The Excitement Of Finding New Sources
We get tired. We get worn out or tired of doing the same things over and over again. I totally understand. Trust me. I’ve had ups and downs, peaks and valleys, excited and down in the dumps sometimes too. The thing that will always get me excited is trying to find new sources, reaching out and going out prospecting. I enjoy that. The beautiful thing is you don’t have to go out to a BNI network and go out to a Meetup group or go out to a local real estate investment club. You’re probably not going to find a lot of sources there for deals for yourself. Local business, that’s a different story, but for us buying in a lot of areas outside of Texas where many people are doing this on a part-time basis that they still have a full-time job or a full-time career. These are the little things that you can do to set yourself apart.
I guarantee most of the people that we’re reaching out to probably aren’t getting phone calls from potential buyers, from people asking them if they’ve got deals for sale. I almost guarantee you that because most of them, especially the ones we’ve talked to, email back and forth, they haven’t gotten phone calls or requests from people. That tells me that most people aren’t going to do the extra. Everybody likes to get started to get their feet wet and say they’re an investor. Going above and doing that extra work on the weekends or at night or adding a tool because somebody was like, “I’ve got to pay for that? I don’t want to use that. That’s the difference between something that you can get a free trial for two weeks. That’s a difference between success and failure. Sometimes it’s a free trial. Sometimes it’s $178 a year.
Those things are investments in your business that you’ll definitely use. Have you used them, you will find success. It makes no sense to pay for something if you’re not going to use them. What we’re seeing from people I’m talking to is most people aren’t doing the things they need to do and that’s no surprise if there is a wide gap. Everything else between those that are truly successful and those that continue to sit around and want success. It’s about a 5% extra. Do a little bit extra, do a little something more each day and you’ll have a lot of success in the long run. That’s one of my most impactful things I could tell you that are reading this. Check out those two cool tools: LeadFuze and OctopusCRM.io.
I highly recommended it. Those are two tools that are adding immediate value to our bottom line and hopefully going to add some value to yours as well. I wish you would go out and do something, take some action. I guarantee if you continue to take action, do a little bit extra, what’s two hours on the weekend when you’ve got the weekend off and it’s two hours closer to success? That’s two emails close to success. Two posts that are closer to success than the rest of everybody else because most people aren’t going to do the extra. They’re going to sit around and try to do the bare minimum to get by, and that’s why they’re not finding success. Go out, take some action and we’ll see you at the top.
- WCN Crew – Facebook group