Episode #262 – Automating Your Land Investing Business with Joe McCall, Part 2

In this episode, host Dan Barrett continues his conversation with land investing expert Joe McCall. They discuss the importance of taking action and making offers in real estate investing, the current state of direct mail response rates, and the strategies for effective direct mail marketing.

Joe also shares his insight into using automation in real estate investing, including the use of AI, and offers a sneak peek into his Saturday workshops where he walks through setting up a land investing business in a new market in real-time.

If you’re interested in learning the ropes of land investing, this episode is a goldmine of practical insights and strategies from an industry expert. Tune in now.

Show Highlights:

  • Do you know why 80% of people never finish coaching programs? [01:04]
  • Do this to maximize your income. [03:05]
  • Here is what you need to know about direct mail. [03:23]
  • The significance of consistency. [05:02]
  • How can you grab attention with a crumpled letter? [07:20]
  • Looking for a game-changing CRM for real estate? [09:57]
  • Discover the ways of utilizing AI for your business growth. [12:22]
  • Wondering how to ace negotiations with sellers? [15:51]

For more information about Joe McCall go to https://joemccall.com/

To get the latest updates directly from Dan and discuss business with other real estate investors, join the REI marketing nerds Facebook group here: https://adwordsnerds.com/group

Need help with your online marketing? Jump on a FREE strategy session with our team. We’ll dive deep into your market and help you build a custom strategy for finding motivated seller leads online. Schedule for free here: https://adwordsnerds.com/strategy

Read Full Transcript

You're listening to the REI marketing nerds podcast, the leading resource for real estate investors who want to dominate their market online. Dan Barrett is the founder of AdWords nerds, a high tech digital agency focusing exclusively on helping real estate investors like you get more leads and deals online, outsmart your competition and live a freer, more awesome life. And now, your host, Dan Barrett.

0:39 Hey, guys, welcome back. You're listening to the second part of last week's episode? Let's jump back in. I do think it's a I mean, you mentioned like coaching programs and stuff, right? It's, and like one of the kinds of statistics that always blows my mind. And you probably know this better than I do. Because you've done so much online educational work, where it's like, do you buy a program, but like, 80% of people never finish it? Right? They don't watch all the videos like they paid for it. But they didn't actually get it. Right. And I think a lot of times we use knowledge, like the learning of something or you go to an event and you feel cool, and it feels fun and interesting. And it's exciting. That's actually like a defense against changing anything. Right? It's like, well, I did the you know, I did the work in my head. And it kind of excuses you on some level of, like you said, needing to sit down at the phone and just make the calls that maybe you don't want to make. Yeah, so I think that's I think that's very true. Well, let's, let's talk about you specifically, then, because I do think you're right, right. It's every market is hard in its own unique way. You're doing like pretty much all direct mail is, which is kind of my understanding, just from our brief conversation. So talk about what you're seeing in mail. Like, what, how is mail changing? Or how has it changed? Maybe it hasn't changed? Right? Maybe that's maybe that's his strength? I personally don't know a lot about it. So I would love kind of your take on like, what's going on in direct mail right now?

2:10 The the direct mail response rates aren't as good as they were in land maybe three years ago. And you hear people talking about that? And yeah, it is. But again, compared to what? Yeah, it's still three or four times better than houses. Yeah. But we're, you know, I used to now in this one county in Florida, I'm looking at my numbers right here, I have a three and a half percent response rate with the same mail, I would have gotten five or 6% response rate, maybe 10%. response rate five years ago. Yeah, but dang it, like 103.5% is still really good, right? Yeah. So I don't, what number doesn't change is the number of the amount of deals per offers that you make, or the amount of offers you need to make to get a deal. And that's always going to be in my world 20 to 30, let's say 25 offers per deal, right? So it's just a numbers game. And I often say this, your speed to income is directly proportional to the number of offers that you make. Yep. So just focus on making offers make five offers a week one offer a day. And if you don't have the money for direct mail, you'll find a way to find a deal to make an offer on it. Alright, so direct mail, I am always testing and tweaking new things, you know, letters, postcards, I do find the thing that I love about direct mail better than any other marketing strategy is I can target the specific type of property that I want, I can target one to 20 acres in these zip codes owned by these kinds of people. So my favorite list is point two acre if I'm in Florida, maybe point two acres to five acres. People who own have owned that land for over 10 years who live outside of the county. So they're more distant, dammit, they're farther away from it. They don't they bought it a long time ago.

And it's in these specific areas where there's a whole lot of activity for houses you know, you can pull a list of, you know, built after 1950 If it's even in Florida, you can pick sometimes stick construction or block constructions like so depends kind of that can determine the type of construction quality and hurricane season and all that well you could say I want only want properties that are between 1002 1000 square feet or three plus bedrooms, you know, so it gives you a with a garage or some areas you could say I only want properties that have a brick facade, not siding. Yeah, like St. Louis you could do that. So that's the great thing about land is you can target specific properties and specific areas and specific owners and then get responses from them. After that, it's just a lot of testing you know and with anything, the with direct mail, you've got to be not just one and done you've got to be consistently with it. You've got to be if you're gonna if you found a grid. A good county You're Not You can't just mail Then once you need to mail them every two or three months, and then once a lead comes in, you need to follow up with those leads every 30 days forever. That's where the money comes in, it comes in from that momentum, you know that that's the third time they've seen your letter, it's the fourth time they've seen your offer, they're like, This guy must really want my property. I'm gonna call them, you know, so you're always there in front of them. And I like I like boring, plain, direct mail, right? Like, the less the more professional it looks, the worse it performs. Don't want the glossy, colorful photos. You just want plain boring, typewritten, like tight old typewriter font style, yeah, ugly postcards. They just worked better. One of the postcards that we've been doing recently, it's called the third notice postcard you just Google it. And you'll see that caused a lot of controversy.

A while ago, maybe five years ago, because so many investors, we're sending it out. And it's, it's looks like a spammy postcard. I've softened the language a lot. So I don't get as many angry calls, right. And I've been doing that and letting postcard now for land. And I'm seeing double triple the response rates that I normally do. And so it's just a matter of whether it's a postcard or a letter. Try to do try to be different try to make it a pattern interrupt. And when I say different, don't don't think oh, well, Joe's doing plain, boring, ugly postcards. I should do colorful, glossy photo picture postcards. Don't test it if you want, but I'm telling you the giant waste of money. Yeah, and you know, I get you get junk mail, and you want that we want that seller to open it. And I'll tell you one thing too. This is working the best if you can get a yellow. If you have a tight budget, yeah, you can, this letter works really good to handwrite 10 or 20 or 30 of these every day, or print them on a on a printer with a yellow legal pad of paper and crumple it up, then open it back up and fold it into fourths, put it in in wedding invitation style envelope, oh, handwrite on that envelope with a stamp, make the stamp a little crooked and send this out. And what this does, is it's curiosity. They're like they get the envelope. And it's kind of thick. Yeah. And they feel and then, you know, they open the envelope. And there's crumpled up letter in there. And they're like, What is this? And they're going to open it, they're going to read it. They're gonna say, oh, and then it says, Hey, don't throw me away at the very top, you know? Yeah, it says, Hey, Jim, my, my husband and I are looking for some land to buy in the area. If you're interested in selling your 2.4 acre vacant lot, please call this number. Thanks, Victoria. Yeah, so it's a letter from a woman. And it says my husband and I are looking to buy some land. And this, this now it's it's your this is manual. But if you have a tight budget, and you're sending 10 or 20 or 30 of these a night, while you're watching Yellowstone, you're gonna get you know, five to 10% response rate on these things. Yeah. And 20 You're gonna get one to two leads a day from this thing. And it works really, really well. Yeah, that's, that's why I like direct mail.

8:10 I mean, I get it. It's like you said right at the it is about no matter what your obstacle is, like said you don't have a budget or whatever, not letting that be an excuse not to take action, it reminds me of I remember, I don't know if I read it, or saw him do this live. But it was like Dan Kennedy as well. Like one of the great, like, direct response copywriter guys of all time, you know, I remember him being asked, like, you know, if you're gonna, if you just had to start over today, so you don't have any more, you know, you're starting over today. Like, why would you? And it was like, you know, you only have $10 for somebody or whatever the question is, and he's like, I go down to the store, I buy stamps, and I buy envelopes. And then I'm just writing letters by hand and putting them in the mail. And that's what I'm doing, you know what I mean? He's like, it's not, it's not rocket science, you just got to send out offers to people and there's not a lot stopping you. Like I said, you have some time you write it by hand and say it doesn't have to cost a ton of money. And you know, we were kind of talking about this too, you know, I'm an online marketer person, I love marketing online, you know, I'll do that probably forever. But I do think there's something to be said for we are so digital.

And we're so online all the time. And we're so on our phones and we're all reading a million emails and all that stuff. It is actually a bit of a pattern interrupt, like you mentioned to get something in the mail, right? It's like you get you know, it's like this that different thing and it can be a lot easier to stand out than people tend to think I want to ask you, you know, you mentioned the follow up as being so critical which I totally agree you have long really been a very automation heavy kind of business owner and that's one of the things I really dig about your approach. You mentioned freedom Software Freedom soft used to be Infusionsoft is that right? No, they're completely different now they're completely different. Okay, so tell explain freedom soft to me that because I thought those are the same thing.

9:55 Now we have freedom soft is a CRM made for real estate investors. Okay. And Rob Swanson owns it. The guy named Preston Neely created way back in 2008, or some bull and Rob Swanson bought it maybe 10 years ago, he's done a lot to really, really improve it and make it better. It's very fast. It's not perfect, but you know, there's no CRM out there that is, yeah, I enjoy it. I like it, because it keeps me organized all my leads, I can send my direct mail through it. I can send text messages through it, I can make inbound and outbound phone calls through it. And it all keeps the conversation in the thread of that lead. And it gives you websites, the websites are okay, they're, you know, they're just a grid, they're a good place to get started. Yeah, the cool thing too, is if you have a current website or another website you've built of your on your own, through Squarespace or Wix or whatever freedom soft will give you embedded forms. So you could you could create a form or name, phone number and email and address or whatever, yeah, and then it gives you the code then that you could put that on any website that you have. And then when somebody inputs that information into that lead, it creates a new record in freedom soft and you could set up automation where it sends them a text right away, you can send them an email right away and if you get their address you could set it up where I don't know if it'll automatically send them a letter in the mail but you you know just a couple clicks of the button you could send them a postcard or a letter or something so that's one thing I like about it a lot. And if you're doing houses you can get lists of houses inside of freedom soft pretty soon land I keep on bugging Rob about this if any of you listening to this know Rob Swanson send them a text right now we're gonna email and say, Hey, Rob, when are you adding land in the freedom soft, but it's close he keeps on telling me it is better.

11:41 Let's find motivated seller leads online but don't know where to start. Download our FREE motivated seller keyword report today. AdWords nerds have spent over $5 million this year researching the most profitable keywords for finding motivated seller leads. And you can grab these exact keywords when you download our report at www dot AdWords nerds.com/keywords. I wanted to ask you because you're so you've been so deep in this for so long, and I am a big fan of automation and stuff. Have you been interested in or using AI at all in your business and your personal life? Like where does that fit in for you if anywhere

12:23 man I use AI chat GBT to help me maybe write a sales letter, you know, for my course or my programs. One thing I would I don't have yet that I would love to be able to get is one of the there's a software called priced try CD. Okay, gets data from data tree and you can download lists of vacant land. So if anybody's interested go to Joe mccall.com/priced P ry CD. And what they do is they'll get they'll give you land data, and then they will give you comps on each property based on other similar properties that are for sale are sold in that area. And so they have a formula and an algorithm that goes out and scrapes you know, hundreds and hundreds, if not 1000s of properties that are currently on the market and have recently sold and gives you an average price per acre. And so it every property it gives you it tells you hey, this property is maybe worth this and you could you should buy it for this. And so it's kind of like gives you the Zestimate value for land that Zillow does, right? Yep. So the cool thing about that is now I have 10,000 records of vacant land in this county and you know, their estimated offer price or estimated value will get you 75 85% of the way there, it's good. But it's so what I wish I could get AI to do for me is when a seller goes to my website, or maybe texts me the reference ID that's on the postcard, I send them every postcard or letter I send as a reference ID which links it back to that property, it could ask them, hey, we'd love to make you an offer on your property.

What's the reference ID and it gives them they put in the reference ID Oh, or code or whatever. And he's alright. So you know, you could ask them a series of questions, you know, what's more important to you to sell this property for the highest amount or as fast as possible? And then walks them down this decision tree, and then says, Okay, well, what do you think your property's worth? Great. How did you come up with that number? You can have this conversation? And then it asks them, well, what would you want to sell it for? And if they say, Well, I'd want to sell it for 20 grand, it knows the number that I think it's worth, and then it could ask them questions based on that. Well, is that the lowest you could go? Well, if we're going to make you an offer, we would need to be around this right. Yeah. Right. Right. And so that would be super cool. And I don't know anybody that's, that can do that yet. But I think that's a game changer. And it's different than houses because houses you can get Zestimate values pretty easily, you know, you can't with land, but if there could be some kind of way where, you know, if the seller won't give you a price you could say, well, since you won't give us a price we might not be interested in this property we can get Have you the names and phone numbers of five realtors that sell land in the area?

Yeah. Would you be interested? And then maybe it could say then, well, if we gave you a cash offer, it would be around. This is what I like to say if they won't give me a number because it maybe they don't know it's some lady right husband died 10 years ago, he bought the property 30 years ago, she has no idea what it's worth. Yep, we could maybe the odd the AI could say, hey, what do you think it's worth? She doesn't know. We say, Well, if we were not saying we could do this, but if we were to offer something around this price range, what would you think? What would you do then? Or you wouldn't be interested, would you? And then if they get real mad, like, oh, that's ridiculous. I said, Well, good thing. I didn't offer that. Right. So what do we need to do to get you to that number? Yeah, this is why it's important to just talk to the sellers on the phone, right. But if there's a way you can automate that kind of that kind of a conversation by text or chatbot, or something, that would be super cool. And I bet you there's somebody out there smart enough to that's already built that or is working on it now. Please, I'll give you my cell phone number. Call me. I'd love to be able to talk to you about that. Because I think that's that's next level right there, isn't it? All right,

16:13 I actually have, I will give this to you off the podcast, I have a person who I think might be able to build that there. Because that's like, what what they do now is like, they basically build like conversational over the phone or a chatbot or whatever. And, yeah, I mean, that that technology is wild. And there's a lot of people doing really awesome stuff. So I don't know, again, I don't know. 100% Sure, because that's not my field of expertise, but I will connect you. And phosphatase please, please, please, please. I don't want to pay $5 billion to get this thing built either. But I don't. I honestly. I mean, that's the cool thing about it. I mean, it's like I use GPT a lot like I use it. Chat GBT version, I use the API version a lot. We we produce stuff at AdWords nerds with it. Like we produce explanations of account data like that we send to clients, right? Like, oh, stuff that we had, you know, reports being generated. It's like, it feels like I use it a lot to the point where I'm like, always worried, you know, because I'm, I guess a lot of, and then I get well, here's the funny thing real quick. We were on. I was on Zoom yesterday, and somebody had one of those bots, that takes notes. Yeah, I think it was otter. Yeah. And before the meeting ended, there in the chat was a four bullet point summary of the main items that we discussed.

17:33 Yeah. Isn't that cool? It's like the best thing. Yeah, it's like I use green for that. That's one of my favorites. But, but the thing that I love about it is like you get I get my invoice from open AI every month. And it's like, $2. You know what I mean? It's like, it's real. Those tools are really amazing. So I will connect you, I don't know what it's gonna cost for probably about five bucks. And if anybody knows somebody who can help me with this, and do it for me, then I just don't teach me how to do it. I am not that smart. Well, there's a lot of space. Hey, and if you're listening to this, there's a free business idea, right? Just figure this out. And there's a lot of space there. I don't want to keep you too long. I know we're coming up on time. You mentioned that you are now doing, you're doing stuff on Saturdays, if you want to go check this out into Joe McCall. So just in case you're in your car, whatever. It's JOEMCC a l l. So Joe mccall.com/saturdays. So what are you doing on Saturdays

18:29 every Saturday for a while now I'm going to be doing workshops. Where I'm going to be Mike my thinking behind this was like, I love doing this like yeah, geek and nerd out over it. Yeah, where I'm gonna let the audience pick a market. Pellegrino baby. Alright,
I know, look, I'm dying. I'm dying over here. But yeah, I want the audience to pick a market. And then I'm going to go into that market. I'm going to set up a marketing campaign and we're going to pull see who the buyers are, we're going to pull a list of sellers I'm gonna set up a direct mail campaign we're going to start a cold calling campaign we're going to see who the buyers are. We're going to start calling Realtors maybe calling sellers and start making offers in three hours so my goal is like if I had to start all over again from scratch go into a brand new market and set up a lien investing business what would I do and I'm it's so it's more it's going to be teaching but also just watching me do it because I want to show people how easy this is and it's just seven bucks so if you go to Joe mccall.com/saturday You get to watch me go into a brand new market it'll be about a three hour workshop so it's an you're getting a ton of value and information in it and just watch what I do listen to me we'll we'll pick a mark I'll show you why I like these markets and not these markets or whatever and then we'll I'll set it I use freedom soft so you don't have to use freedom soft yourself either but i That's why I like it I use it we'll set it up in freedom soft will pull a list we'll start a direct mail campaign started cold calling campaign, get some leads. And I might I might call some realtors I might call some sellers will We'll call some people. Now sometimes it's hard because you get a lot of voicemails when you call. So we'll see what happens. I have no idea I might look pretty cool. I might have egg on my face like that might have problems. And I don't know what's going to be warts and all you get to see me go into a new market and set up. So I'm calling it the land Fast Start challenge. Yeah. And it's a lot of fun. And I like doing this. And sometimes what I do is I'll set this up for somebody who's on the workshop watching. So I might set this up really them. I

20:26 love that as a concept, because one is super practice. I mean, people always have this question of, well, like, of course, you're successful. You're Joe McCall. But if he had to start over, you know, so it's like you're answering that question, which is the coolest thing, too. It's totally practical hands on. Right. So you're seeing it done. I actually think the idea of seeing you run into problems is probably the most interesting thing, right? Because it's like, when you run into something that you don't expect, what do you do about it, you get to see you problem solve in real time. I think that's awesome. Do for seven bucks. That's really cool. That's a great idea. Yeah, well, you know, I have an ulterior motive. I'm not just doing this out of the kindness of my heart, I do have a program that I sell. And so you'll get an opportunity to hear me talk about it at the end. But yeah, it's for seven bucks is an incredible value. And it's a lot of fun. I'm giving it a shot. I've done it about three or four times before, and I'm gonna start doing it more regularly now on Saturdays. And yeah, check it out. If you can't make it live on Saturday, you'll get access to the recordings.

21:25 Alright, sweet. Okay, so that if you are listening to this, this is a no brainer. I think you should do this thing. I'm probably gonna sign up for this thing because I'm very curious. Joe mccall.com. So J O E, M, as in Mary C, C, A L L dot coms, or Joe MC cole.com/saturday. To go sign up for the Saturday workshop, or you can just go to Joe's website. He's got his products there. He even again, and I'll just say this, like, I've talked to everybody in the industry, talk to a lot of people I know a lot of coaches know a lot of people. I will say just if you're listening to this, I consistently get the best feedback about Joe's programs of pretty much anybody in the industry that hasn't been very consistent for years now. He puts a lot of effort into his stuff, which I really appreciate as someone who buys a lot of programs and stuff. So if you're thinking about it, go Chad seven bucks, go check it out. See if it's for you, Joe McCall. Thank you so much for being here. Man. This was a blast. It really taught me a lot. I'm curious about land myself. So this was awesome, dude, thank you so much.

22:27 Thank you, Dan Barrett. Appreciate you. I got real pumped after this episode. Joe is an incredibly insightful and smart investor. We're super happy to have him on the show. Hope you got a ton out of it. Hey, by the way, please, please, please, if you could go leave this podcast a review wherever you happen to download your podcasts. It really does help me out. I've been doing this podcast for so many years now. And every review helps new people find the show. I really deeply appreciate it. I appreciate you. Thank you for listening every week. I hope you continue to get value out of it. Hope you have a great restaurant and I will talk to you very soon.

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