If you’re a real estate investor in distressed assets or something you’re looking at, there will be many deals. You just got to put the work in to make things happen. That includes dialing for dollars – making phone calls to asset managers over and over again and working through lists of banks and asset managers off a couple of different sources. Today, Scott Carson breaks down some of the simple tools and tactics that he has used for over a decade when calling banks to find distressed and performing note deals. He also shares how he systematizes his calls and follow-up to maximize his schedule.
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Simple Tools And Tactics For Dialing Banks For Note Deals
In this episode, I want to get straight to the point. With everything taking place in the markets, the banks and having so many borrowers in default with them on the residential and the commercial side, I’ve already seen an influx of requests from other investors or other people. “Do you have anything in nonperforming notes or anything on the commercial, residential side?” I got people with deep pockets. I got an email and text from a person who I haven’t talked to in a few years now, “If you’ve got anything great in California, I want to buy it.” I chuckled a little bit because I’m like, “No.” God bless him, I’m going to do all the work to put the relationships in place and it’s going to come someday in a hot market like California and that makes sense. I’m not going to give it to somebody so that they can make money on it. It doesn’t work that way. No offense.
If we’re going to put the hard work in, we’re going to be making the phone calls. We’re reviewing the tapes and identifying the deals. I don’t need to feed the deal to somebody. There are plenty of buyers out there. One of the things that you should be tuning in to, if you’re a real estate investor in distressed assets or something that you’re looking at, whether you’re in God’s waiting room in Florida, whether you’re in Miami or across the country in San Francisco and everywhere in between, there are going to be a lot of deals. You’ve got to put the work in to make things happen. I’m excited here. We will be going on dialing for dollars in blitz. What does that mean?
One of the things that I did in my first couple of years in 2008, 2009 and 2010, multiple days of the week for the most part, at least one day out of the week. Usually sometimes 2, 3 days a week. I would be in my office or wherever I was at and dialing for dollars. I make phone calls to asset managers over and over again. I worked through lists of banks and asset managers off a couple of different sources and put things into place, built some systems and started dialing for dollars. I started getting listings. I started having bankers email me a list or calling me with their potential deal flow.
Let’s face it, back in 2010, America was underwater. Fifteen million homeowners owed more on a mortgage than it was worth. We had a default rate of over 8%. Over the last several years, that number has gone down at 2.5%, 2%. We know it’s going to rebound here, bounce back like Flubber, but who knows where it’s going to be in the next 60, 90 days? I might be dialing for dollars a little early but I wanted to get the foot in the door. I wanted to make sure, reach out and start seeing and talking to asset managers so I’m better prepared in another 30, 60 days when they do have something on their books. Maybe they do have the availability to move things. Many people are waiting to see what happens with the government and what happens with the economy and it goes from there.
As I’ve already reached out to asset managers on a regular basis, I see people open my emails. I see people responding, “We don’t have anything right now. Check back in 90 days. We’re not selling right now, but let us know what your appetite is.” I wanted to talk a little about what makes an effective call blitz. We’ve done a thing in the past called the Banking Blitzkrieg, where we had twenty investors that got together for a week in California for five days and making phone calls and dialing for dollars. At the end of the five days, we hit a good list. We’ve done it before.
A few years ago, I opened up 25 spots for people to dial for dollars. I’d give them a list of 50 or 100. I’d have to go through that list and then give me their call log back before I gave the new asset managers a call. There was no cost to that. A lot of people were all excited about it but after the first couple of days, the first week, they flaked off. It was a month-long program. A few years ago, we did the same thing, but we charged. It was $599 to make your calls. We’ll provide you a new list. At the end of the four-week period, we’ll give everybody the call list if they still stuck around. If they’re going to flake off, I don’t want to waste my time. That’s the cost. If you stick around, not only do you get the list, you’ll get your $599 refunded back.
Sending An Email Blast Out
That helped us build a big list, 3,700 plus names and contacts. It was a great thing. I was included in that list. I made phone calls. I reached out. I put the list together. I took the notes and it was a win-win. It helped us find some deals and assets. This time around, I’m not initially going to rely on people. I’m going to set out and spend four hours on an afternoon on a Wednesday and dial for dollars, start calling asset managers. Calling is a little more than a drop in the bucket. It’s one part of a successful banking blitzkrieg.
If you’ve got a list of emails, you’ve got a list of asset managers, the first thing that you can do that’s helpful is send an email blast out. I’ve already sent an email blast out. I’ll send it in the morning or the afternoon. I’m going to follow up tomorrow and send a reply email to go back out because I hadn’t opened the email again. Right now, I’m sitting here, it’s 7%, 8% open rate which is pretty decent. It went out to 3,000, 4,000 asset managers. Those couple of hundred who have opened, I’m going to export that list and it’s going to be my call list.
For four hours, I should be able to get somewhere around 50 to 100 phone calls and depend on the conversations, the voicemails, how many times will get transferred over. If I can get 100 phone calls in four hours, it’s effective. If I get 50 phone calls in and I have several tapes or lists of people who have reached out to me back and forth, that’s worth it as well. The thing we all need to keep in mind too more so than anything else is that’s the first step. If you’re reaching out to banks for the first time or asset managers the first time, realize 80% of sales come after the fifth contact. The first initial email is the first contact.
Many of these asset managers have gotten an email from me a month ago and a month before that they got to list. I’m further up the ladder closer to the deal flow. I’m closing up the food chain. We’ll dial for dollars. After sending an email list out, email blast out, we got our list of 200 or whatever who have clicked on that link and have opened my email. That’s a great thing. I will then take that list and ballot those that I come in contact with throughout the day. I’m going to make sure and go back in at the end of the evening and follow up with those that I leave a voicemail and say, “I wanted to touch base with, I called you.” That’s the voicemail.
It’s the same thing with, “It was great. I’ll follow up on LinkedIn,” with those that I came in contact with if I’m not connected already on LinkedIn and reach out to them directly. You don’t need to have a paid version of LinkedIn. You don’t need to have the expensive version of LinkedIn. You can do the free or use the free version of LinkedIn. The most important thing that you have to have is you need to have a filled out profile. You’re going to have something about real estate on there for asset managers to take you seriously.
You need to have a website too, which makes sense these days versus where you don’t have to but the most important thing is not to give up. If you dial for dollars, you want to have a clear voice, you want a smile. If you’re leaving a voice message, which you have to expect to leave a lot of voice messages, leave your number twice, leave your voicemail or email twice. You want to have something very clean to say. If you’ve got a complicated name or complicated email that doesn’t come across well, you probably need to look to change it and make it simple like Scott@WeCloseNotes.com. It’s a simple email address.
Get in a habit because you’re in dialing for dollars. I expect to leave a lot of voice messages tomorrow. I’ve already started getting some off out of office thing like, “We won’t be back until May 11th.” That’s fine, May 11th. I’ll call them then, but I’m still going to leave a voice message. That’s the thing that you start with email and then follow up with another email, 24 to 48 hours later. The phone call was number 2 or 3 depending on what you have in your series. LinkedIn is number four, contact that way. Five is that other email. Maybe it’s a follow-up email a week later or follows up 48 hours later.
Am I having some people that are unsubscribing? Yes. Am I having some emails bounce with people who left companies? Yes, that happens. The idea here though is to keep connecting, keep adding to your database. I’m going to spend some time on LinkedIn and some of the asset managers list going, “If anybody’s got a buyer of nonperforming notes, I’d love to visit with you. Contact me directly.” Another thing that we’ve set up to is a simple email or a Calendly link, TalkWithScottCarson.com so people can schedule 30 minutes with me in the voicemail. That’s the thing.
Reaching Out On LinkedIn
Besides dialing and voice messages, you’ve got to know what you’re looking for. This is why if you don’t have time during the day or you’re still working on a full-time job, you may not want to jump on the dial for dollar aspect of things. You may want to email and reach out on LinkedIn to asset managers because of the fact that you want to be able to control those conversations. You want to be able to control what you say. If they throw something out, you’re like, “What does that mean?” Be able to fall back up and communicate as you get questions answered about, what did they say?
One of the forms that threw me off or one of the words that threw me off was when I was talking with Citibank or was it Wells Fargo back in the day and they said, “Have you filled out your QIB form?” I’m like, “Yeah, sure.” I had to go over and google what was QIB form? It stands for Qualified Institutional Buyers. I was like, “No, I hadn’t filled it out yet, but I’ll get it filled out.” I also learned that’s a great term to throwback if somebody comes to me and says, “I’ve got institutional buyers. Buyers with all this money.” “Have they filled out their QIB forms?” “What’s that?” “If you don’t know it, then you’re probably a joker broker.”
That was one of the things that as we start getting into it here, as I mentioned beforehand, you’re saying you’re a note investor, you bought some notes and you’ve got a database out there or you’re marketing on LinkedIn or a variety of things, don’t be surprised you start seeing people reach out to you, “Send us your list. Send us the good stuff.” “No, I’m not going to send you the good stuff.” This is a way to filter back and put it back into place. Another thing you’re going to see too is a lot of people coming to you, “I’ve got $20 million. No, you don’t have $20 million.” Please do not fall into that path of chasing the whale. Most of the trades that are taking place are $1 million or less, especially about $500,000, $250,000.
Calling Banks And Servicing Departments
It all depends on what you end up buying. You may be buying a lot of one-offs from banks. That’s fine. Most banks aren’t going to care. The bigger banks that can fund $50 million, we’re not going to be calling those banks. We’re going to be focused on calling not only bank contacts from a variety of things. Texas Savings and Mortgage Lending Department, we’re going to be calling servicing departments as well too. We’re also going to be calling some banks off the BauerFinancial list, which we don’t have an email to those individuals, but we do have phone numbers direct to the person in charge of the bank.
We’re making a variety of phone calls for four hours. The reason I said four hours versus two hours, four hours is quite a bit of time. I recorded myself making asset manager phone calls a couple of times, 3 hours, 4 hours here. I’ve done and record it or put it out in quite some time. I thought it was time to redo it. I might be a month early, but I’d rather get the word out and start sharing that with people that are serious about seeing them. What happens? What are you seeing? What are you not saying? Why do they ask that? I’m excited because I have about 60, 70 people that are registered to be a part of this call blitz.
They’ll be able to ask questions. They’ll be able to listen in and see what I’m typing, sharing and an opportunity for them. Am I afraid that they’re going to see what’s on my screen and steal stuff? No. Most people are not going to do that. People will watch, listen, take a few notes, but they’re going to be very busy doing other things. If it reaches out to an asset manager, great, fine. Nobody else does what I do. That’s one of the biggest things that I’m excited about is people are talking about, “You’ve got to spend $20,000 or $50,000 or $100,000 to sign up for our coaching to get access.” No, you don’t. You don’t have to spend $50,000 to sign up for a program for somebody to send you a note in here.
By just using LinkedIn, I’ve already found 32 other assets that I can cherry-pick from, 32 that are performing or nonperforming notes, that are individual assets that I can take a look at. I’ve made contact with several asset managers from simply doing some connections. Some people that don’t have the time to knock out 50 phone calls in an afternoon, it’s best to spend time on LinkedIn. Go in on, type in special asset manager or secondary marketing manager and start the process of sending out invites one at a time, copy, paste, sending invites to those individuals. It’s totally fine.
Making Short Videos
What do you say with that though? If you’re limited to 130 or 160 characters on LinkedIn, you want to probably keep it short, sweet and probably have a link to something a little bit longer. A link to a short video that you’ve recorded talking about what you are looking for. It doesn’t have to be a long video. Although we are pretty good at what we do, recording a short 1-minute, 2-minute video, upload it to YouTube or Vimeo in private so only those that have the link can click on it. That allows you to track and say, “How is that video performing? How is that video doing when I share it?” Whether I send an email out to asset managers or if I send it out in a LinkedIn contact request or I post it in different groups. The video will set you apart and it’s not going to be a hard thing to do to get people to respond to you.
I’m excited to spend four hours from 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM Central Standard Time dialing for dollars and providing the follow-up aspect of things. What am I doing? What’s my step? What’s my next step? What’s my script? What am I saying? What am I being asked? How am I getting transferred? How do we do the voodoo that we do when it comes to nonperforming notes? That I am extremely excited about this is the start. We’re doing this. These types of activities are the ones that make the most amount of money in the long run because you’re going to make connections. You’re going to reach out to people that probably aren’t getting a lot of phone calls. They’re not getting a lot of lists. They’re probably not getting a lot of requests for this stuff. They’re like, “What do I do with this? What do I do with it? How do I sell this? How do I move this?”
Many banks went through that several years ago. That may not be the same case here now. Many of them are like, “Move,” but we still get a case like, “I’m not sure how to sell a nonperforming note. Let’s talk about this.” Let’s talk and let’s build a relationship.” One of the things that I was able to land years ago, I flew out and spent some time in a couple of banks. I advised them how to set up and sell some stuff. I put some things together and move some of the nonperforming notes software portfolios a few years ago, and that was pretty good payday and see what happens going forward here. That’s the first part.
Some of you may be thinking there, “Scott, that’s great, but I only have a limited amount of private capital to work with.” I had a conversation with an investor. He’s been to some other events and trainings. He’s been dismayed because it was a pitch fest and wasn’t a lot of content. Maybe he’s got limited funds to do some things. If you’re reaching out to banks and asset managers and you’re looking for performing notes, that’s great. Let’s find you some performing notes. If you’re looking for nonperforming, great, let’s find some stuff, but don’t let your limited amount of capital dissuade you from marketing for more deals.
Here’s the thing. When you’re dealing directly with a bank, let’s say like Fifth Third Bank or another institution like that, they’re not going to tell you to close in seven days. They’re not going to ask you to close in three days. Most of the time you’re going to be able to negotiate, depending on what you’re buying, 2 weeks to 30 to 45 to 60 to 90 days to close, depending on the size of the asset or what type of asset class. It may take two weeks for you to allow them to meet the loan committee. Part of the reason we’re planting the seeds now is we want to be ahead of everybody else when everybody starts, “I want stuff,” 30, 60, 90 days from now.
I want to be ahead of time and say, “Here’s what we’re doing. I want to be the go-to source when they need a bid.” I want to plant the seeds and see what they’ve got going on. That’s the important thing while dialing for dollars, it’s also one of the best things in making connections. A lot of people are already social distancing when it comes to marketing. I don’t want to talk to anybody. I don’t want to knock on doors. I don’t want to send out postcards or yellow letters and drop thousands of dollars on marketing that’s ineffective.
I want to get the biggest bang for my buck when it comes to what I’m doing marketing-wise. That is the email blast that is the video or the LinkedIn connection. That is reaching out to some of these asset manager group. That is pulling a list or paying for a list. That is jumping on Lane Guide and downloading a list. That is pulling the Texas Savings and Mortgage Lending Department lists and dialing for dollars from there. There are lots of things that you can do. There’s a lot of low-hanging fruit out there for people to invest in a little bit of time. There are more than enough asset managers out there for us all to go around. There are thousands of thousands of bank lending institutions out there. It would take me years if I made 50 phone calls every day.
If I made 50 phone calls once a day, 5 days a week, 250. At the end of the month, I would have talked to 1,000 phone calls with zero follow up. That would still take me 5, 6 months if not 7, 8, or 9, depending on if you start looking at bank, FDIC-insured or non-insured institutions or rates and things like that. You’ve got to look at those things and realize, “Am I worried about people calling?” In the multiple call blitzes that we’ve done in the past, there have only been maybe twenty total times that we had people say they got a phone call from somebody else. They got an email from somebody else. Most people won’t take action. They like the idea, but they won’t take the necessary action to make things happen. I’m going to put it out there, “I’m going to call banks for four hours.” I’m going to dial for dollars and let people be a fly on the wall. They can hear what I’m saying, can hear what the bank is saying. They can ask you or anyone on hold and they can see what’s going on because banks will sell assets to you.
They will move notes, nonperforming and performing notes. No, you don’t have to have a $5 million fund to make this happen. If anybody tells you that, it’s a sales tactic to try to get you to sign up for their $50,000 program or $30,000 program. If you’re about to pay $50,000 for a program, you better include a note or two in there that comes along with that. If you don’t, what are you buying? A bunch of hot air when it comes to that. That’s what I’m saying. If you’ve got some time, great. The beautiful thing is I don’t know what to expect.
It may be a great day of phone calls, maybe leaving a lot of voice messages. It maybe people telling me to F-off. I’ve had that happen before, “Don’t bother us. Don’t call us. Quit emailing me.” I had an asset manager one time email me to complain about the email that I sent her. She said, “Maybe your marketing should do a little bit better. I’m still at work. You called me.” One person out of 5,000 emails and I got one bad phone call, fine. Don’t get me wrong. Most people when they send their first round of email blasts out or the first list out and they get 1, 2 or 3 nasty emails back, “Take me off their list,” whatever. That will dissuade them from doing anything. They’re like, “I can’t do this anymore. One person doesn’t like my email.” I have to laugh about that.
If you let one person that you are never going to meet in person dissuade somebody that you can easily hit the unsubscribe button on. If that’s as little motivation it takes you to accomplish your dreams, that’s as little negative energy coming at you that you fall over. This is not going to be difficult. Most people are worried about making bank, “I’ve got to know everything before starting to dial for dollars.” I’m probably going to purposely screw up a couple of times to show people like, “I screwed up. I lost my train of thought. Who am I calling? What did they say?” Going back and forth, but the thing to keep in mind is, “I’m a normal guy and a person on the other side of the phone line, an asset manager is a business development person, servicing company, the bank president, whoever you might talk to, got up. They put their pants or their skirt on or their underwear, whether it’s braced boxers, thong or granny panties on one leg at a time. They had to go to the bathroom and stuck it up a little bit. They brushed their teeth. They’re worried about the market as it is.
You may be laughing as I talk about that, but that’s the thing I’m thinking about. Everybody’s doing the same things that you’re dealing with on a regular basis. Everybody is going through issues, “Let’s have a conversation. Let’s have a phone call. Let’s talk and see how I can be an asset to you and maybe we create a win-win scenario. A win for us because we’re getting deals, a win for you as the banks because you are getting off your books.” It’s also a win for the borrower. Since I’m buying the note, you’re getting a bit of a discount, I might be able to negotiate something to keep them in their house. I might be able to negotiate something to give them a fresh start.
I might be able to save their neighborhood because the fact is now they don’t have to go to the foreclosure. The main big bank isn’t trying to break down their neck. I can keep them in their house. I can help save their neighbors’ value by keeping an extra $10,000 or $15,000 of value on it versus if we had to foreclose, the bank foreclosing out, the market value starts to drop. It’s a whole house of cards. It’s a string of dominoes out there. You’ve got to know how to interact in there. Are we looking to get a $50 million portfolio? No, we’re not. I compare it to a couple of things. If you’re a movie buff, The Big Short is a great movie to watch about this. Too Big to Fail is another great one. Wall Street, but that’s a little older.
Go and watch 99 Homes. Margin Call is another one. It’s a great movie to watch. Maybe you need a little funnier, a softer side, maybe watch Boiler Room, maybe watch The Pursuit of Happyness. Those are great movies. I wouldn’t necessarily watch The Wolf of Wall Street. It’s not exactly what we’re doing, but the whole dialing for dollars like Will Smith’s character in The Pursuit of Happyness start at the bottom, start at the top that you never get to the top of the end of the day. He started at the bottom and had to work his way up. He started at the top and then worked his way up and that’s what we’re going to be doing. We’re going to do an hour of calling contacts off the Texas Savings and Mortgage Department calling contacts from the email blast that we sent out, calling a list of the CEOs from banks, from our financial and a variety of things and seeing where the cards lie.
Sticking With It
Where do they all fall and seeing what success we have? This is all planted. It’s all planning for us to plant seeds. This is me planting a lot of seeds in a short period of time and something that we will be doing regularly here. Stephanie, the VP of Operations, has done a tremendous job over the years making phone calls to banks and asset managers. Once she gets 10 or 15 in a group, stick with it. That’s a big thing that I see from students in the past. They get excited about making phone calls. They make 5 or 6 phone calls, but then they stop. They get sidetracked. They watch a movie. They let that phone turn into a 1,000-pound weight. They keep them from lifting it to their ears.
It can be intimidating to dial for dollars on a day in, day out basis. It is not fun, but if you are doing things that most people aren’t doing, if you’re doing that little extra, go beyond that valuable thing on making connections. Networking remotely in this 6-feet of separation. Why wouldn’t you do that? I’m excited about it. I’ll release the video later on. It’s probably going to be a while. I want to make sure that the people that are signed up at $49 that are part of the Note CAMP or part of the Virtual Note Buying Workshop, they get their money’s worth before we release this.
For those that are going to be a fly mall that has paid to have access to this, it’s going to be well worth it. I saw somebody else selling an hour for a webinar on the PPP for $49. I chuckled about that. An hour for $49 for listening to some PPP thing that’s being spattered all over. Let’s add some value. Let’s do something that most people aren’t going to do. Let’s take it to the whole other level and show that, “If you do the extra 5%, the extra little thing?” When you think about it, what’s four hours a week? It comes down to less than an hour a day. Four hours times 60 is 240 minutes. That’s not much at all.
If this thing goes to 5 or 6 hours, I’m going to be excited about it. That means things are going to rock and roll. If it doesn’t, 4:00 is still going to be valuable. Why? Now I have a list of 50 to 100 banks that I have called. I know where they’re at. I can keep them on my list or I can take them off or I can follow up with them. That’s the key in the follow-up is tracking it. It’s very simple. You can use Infusionsoft. You can use Mailchimp. You need to have something that goes out via the email, but the tracking, the call log is one of the most important things. I’ll be using basic spreadsheet, Excel, you use Google sheets to track it. Those that I leave messages on, I’ll make sure and drag their information over to a future date.
This is one of the things that I used to do. I used to create a 22-tabs spreadsheet. It was roughly sixteen pages because I would have Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and the next Monday. I have a date at the bottom. In that way, I would take an email blast, send it out to answer my emails from the previous week before, put them into starting and they’re my first 50 to 100 and it was rolled out. Those are who I call. I knocked those out, those I had conversations with or emails, I would tag them. It’s in a follow-up email at night. I left a voice message throughout the day on a Tuesday, but once I left the voice message, I would filter and put them over on the next 48 hours to follow back with them as well.
If I talk to somebody and said, “I don’t have anything this week. Call me next week. What day next week? I’ll give you a phone call. I would then go in and set up a calendar invite to them saying, “We’ve got a 10-minute phone call, a 15-minute phone call. It’s nothing long to touch base to see if you’ve got anything available and set the appointment. It went to their calendar. It was on their schedule, everything I talked about is free except your Mailchimp or your Infusionsoft. You need to have something together there and probably need to pay for your email systems so they use it. That’s the thing, copy tracking. If you can get through 50 phone calls in a day, great. If you can get throughout of that 50, if you can talk to 25, great. You put them in your follow-up email.
If you didn’t talk to them, if you left a voicemail to 25, those same 25 were the ones that we would call the next day or two days later. Eighty percent of sales are made on the fifth contact. It’s not harder to do with spreadsheets, Google sheets. The thing is everybody out there is clamoring to do things. Do you think how many investors are out there? There are hundreds of thousands of fix and flippers or wholesalers or landlords. There are not many note investors where the note investors are up at the top. They’re at that summit.
They’re at that peak of Everest because they’re close to God. They’re close to that aspect of it. They’ve got to know what to do, how to follow up, how to get up the mountain and how to get back down at as well too. I look forward to this calling bank’s episode. I’ll give you an update on where we go with specific numbers, specific details on what we were successful with, what we weren’t successful with. I look forward to sharing the results at a later episode here. Go out, make something happen, everybody. I look forward to seeing you all at the top.
- Lane Guide
- Texas Savings and Mortgage Department
- Note CAMP
- Virtual Note Buying Workshop
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