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It's time for a....DEBATE! Old Skool Marketing vs New Skool Marketing... Let's debate! Shawn and Luna will face off to debate regarding New Skool Marketing Techniques. Let's kick it....New Skool!
Ashley Little: Hey everyone, It’s Ashley Little who is wholesaling out of the Box, and today I am joined by Shawn Bown and Luna Ankrom. We are discussing New School Marketing, we’ve got a battle of the ages and it’ll be debate style.
So we’ve got a rough outline and each one of our participants will have about two minutes going back and forth to advocate for or against our two new school styles of marketing. Which is text and social media.
Let’s go ahead and get started. Luna, you start us off. You have about one minute to tell us about your marketing experience.
Luna Ankrom: I come from the marketing world of digital marketing and I’ve been blogging, youtubing, and social media. Everything about digital marketing is just right up my alley, Video editing, anything that I can get my hands onto that’s online digital. That’s kind of where I’m coming from. I have a couple years experience on my own side of things and I just came out of college for this. I’ve had a couple of internships before regarding this, and this is my first full-time external job around this.
It’s interesting to see what I’ve learned into a whole new space and a whole new need. It’s just really cool to see digital marketing being used now in a different way. That's all the experience that I have in that field.
Ashley: Nice, and I think you used more time this time.
Luna: Yes - I did.
Ashley: The last episode you guys just really went through it.
Alright, Shawn -- Tell us about your marketing experience.
Shawn Bowen: Trying to do digital marketing, anything to do in social media space is just a total fail for me. I have tried it, I have played with it. What I thought I knew, what I thought I was doing and I just suck at it.
I am pumped, I don't know if this is going to be a debate because I am actually pumped that someone is here to help us. I know Ashley wants this, I do not have any experience with it and the limit I do have is not successful, because I didn't understand what I was doing. I didn’t know what to do, I don't really have the experience. The experience that I did have was frustrating because I didn't know what to do with it. So, that’s really the answer I got. Old guy couldn't find the new internet, what is the internet?
Ashley: What is the cloud? And is it inside?
Shawn: Exactly! That’s awesome.
Ashley: No worries, it doesn't have to be a contentious debate, just a back and forth.
Now, I will give myself one minute to describe what the first one we’re doing - which is text marketing.
What it is, I realized two minutes was too much, especially when I started giving answers away. So we’re going to see if one minute is better.
Text marketing is essentially when you get all of those sometimes annoying, sometimes helpful text messages from various companies that are like: “Hey! You bought this shampoo a month ago, I bet you are running low. Time to buy another bottle of the Shampoo.” You’re like “oh yeah, I am kind of running low, it is time to buy a new bottle of shampoo”. But in this case, it’s real estate, it will be things that look like “ Hey! Not sure iI I have the right person but is this John of 123 Main Street? I am trying to buy your house. Can you just give me a call? Just to make sure I got the right person and if not I am sorry for bothering you.” obviously a lot less words because texts have certain numbers of characters that you can use. That is essence text marketing.
I think that one minute worked better.
Luna: Yeah, I think so.
Ashley: Luna, why does text marketing work? And what are you trying to accomplish by using text marketing?
Luna: Text marketing, the conflict the goal you’re going for with text marketing is to have what is a personal sort of connection because you are talking directly to this person. Without a physical reach out, you can still use that digital kind of methodology but you’re still able to have some kind of personal connection. In terms, you’re speaking directly to them.
They know you’re addressing them directly, you’re talking to the situation at hand, but still managing to keep it in this way where it can be sometimes automated. You can set up an automated process in the back and it just helps because it does cut down on that time. But it is still that personal touch, I think it works well because of the fact that a lot of the time as much as no one likes to admit it. I think we’re always really on our phones and I mean what it’s kind of just interesting to have that at the front of our minds. You’re on your phone doing something completely different and you get that test, it’s in the front of your mind. Whether you get annoyed with it, swipe it away, whatever. It still brings it to that forefront and that's something that’s really important.
Just capturing that attention, even if it's just for a few short seconds. Given how much social media has kind of whittled down on our attention spans, it does have such a good impact on being able to get your message or what you want to say as soon as possible. You push that to the front of their minds. So that the next time they think about that kind of topic, in that field, you are more likely to come up in their brain. That’s my thoughts on it.
Ashley: Nice. Okay - Shawn, what are some cons to text marketing> and why do you think, if you think, it doesn't work as well as some of the old-school marketing techniques we discussed last week.
Shawn: I don't think I am going to have any cons to it because I think it works. This is not one I'm going to debate. It’s a bad side of things because I'll go with Luna on this and agree that it’s actually more of a connection.
Everybody is so connected to their phones. We talk about one of our other groups, where we get a text reminder and Ashley wrote the text and forgot she did it. It’s like the AD copy, I thought it was awesome! To the point where you were like “this is really cool!” I think it works, just as another level of connection, and because people are connected to their phones 24/7. I just need that little touch, it’s a constant touch, it’s easy. I am not going to go on the other side of this, I think it works and I'm looking forward to seeing what we do to grow it more than I am to con it. I don’t think it’s a bad thing at all.
Ashley: Okay - I am going to yield your time to the chair, which is me and I will list some cons here because I want you guys to be aware of it.
One of the cons, especially - is the over-saturation, how many of these texts, calls, and voicemails, etc are you guys getting? Because I guarantee it’s a lot Even if you’re on the “do not call” list, sometimes things slip through and shit happens. It’s fine, but you’re getting a lot and if you’re constantly bombarding something with text, I would get annoyed - I would block the number. So you run into the risk of that, you can run into the risk of someone reporting your number as spam to the phone companies. Then all of the sudden not only can’t text, but you can’t call from that number because people are going to see it as spam.
Just like making sure that you’re being careful because if you bombard sellers or buyers, it is going to make it more difficult for you in the future.
Okay - Thank you for yielding your time Shawn.
Shawn: I don’t even know what the hell that meant. You’re like “I’m yielding your time” and I am like “what are you talking about?”
Ashley: Were you in high school debate or Model UN?
Shawn: Yeah, that wasn’t part of those. You win that one.
Ashley: Luna, I know Shawn just kind of did this for you. If you want to go deeper into some of the pros of text marketing? Why does it work better than the old-school marketing techniques we were talking about?
Luna: I will double dip here and go rogue again, because when you were talking about the inundation of text. How many times have we seen those jokes pop up about “oh, we are trying to reach you about your car extended warranty.” The constant stream of spam that we get these days, and I think that there are ways to craft the ad copy of the text to where it doesn't come across that way. Especially when you take the time to ensure that the message you are sending out is more personable. It reads like a human, and not a machine. It just ties back into the idea that you can do digital marketing, and you can still be successful in making those connections with digital marketing.
If you just remember that at the core of every company is human beings. If you just write like a human being, and talk and interact like a human being, it makes it much more of an impact than sending out very automated messages.
That's kind of something that is lost when people talk about digital versus old-school marketing. There is this gap that no one realizes you can bridge by having that same genuineness, but using those digital methods.
I think that's kind of where the debate becomes more of a, well how can we put these techniques together to do something that's still very effective but utilizes new technology and opportunity to do something really cool. That's my thoughts on combining the two. I think that could be really powerful.
Ashley: Shawn, what are some alternatives? Especially some of the old school alternatives that we have talked about, to accomplish the same goal as text marketing. Personal touch.
Shawn: I think they were the automated voice mail that went out. Maybe you called a specific number from a piece of marketing, that it was a recorded line. That was the only thing that I can come close to in comparison to a text. It would be like “call one eight six six, blah. Blah, blah”. You would call this, and it would be a recorded line. Not exactly to you, but tailored to that specific type of seller.
If you were a tax delinquent person it would be “hey, give us thanks for calling us. We understand you’re in a tough situation. We are really interested in talking about how to help you with that situation. Leave us a message here at blah, blah, blah”. I mean it sounds so antiquated today where you can just get a message out to someone and be like “hey, saw that you might be looking to sell 123 Main Street. Interested in helping you there.” Opt-out, stay in, you know... That kind of stuff.
I think that’s really cool to see the old versus the new that way. Same thing through a message and a flyer in the paper. It would direct you to call a number, and that number usually doesn't go through somebody directly. It was to weed you through that lead you out through the next process. Click one, click two, click three, click four to opt-out.”
These are the ways we used to do it, and it’s crazy to think that works. Nowadays you’re like “I would never think about that”. It’s like, someone shot you a text because it’s so personal but now people don’t want to answer their phones or leave a voicemail. They’re like “text me again”, we are so connected into the virtual world, people aren't even taking this time for a 30-second message, I’d rather text or opt-out than it would to go the old school way. That's how we did it back in the day.
Ashley: Nice, I feel like you missed the parallel between texting and mail marketing. How texting is just like mail marketing evolved to this digital age. You still got that personal touch, someone has to open the text message. Especially if you’re someone like me and can't handle the red bubble, when it’s Shawn maybe it doesn’t - but I can’t handle it, so I have to open it. I’ll read it, but I don’t always reply but sometimes I’m like “ hmm, yeah. Interesting.” I think looking at that parallel between direct marketing and text. How this is what it has evolved into for an individualized approach.
Shawn: I like that, that’s a good rebuttal to that. I didn’t think about that.
Ashley: Spoiler alert, we are going to see that with our next one. Where social media marketing is the evolved version of Bandit signs. It’s on to me and I’ve got one minute to explain social media marketing to you guys. This would’ve been better for Luna, but she is going to be a very robust defenseman in a minute.
Social media marketing is exactly what is=t sounds like - It’s marketing on social media. You’re going to go on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, youtube. Anything that you can think of where you’re sharing things with other people, and using something as a connection to market them, This is one of those things where I said with Bandit signs, you draw a wide net. You’re putting a lot out there, so you are going to be getting a lot that may or may not meet your criteria.
These could be ads, paid ads, like you are going on Facebook, Instagram. Etc. It could be a post like this podcast and promoting it for free on your pages that you manage. That's what I have on social media marketing.
Luna, can you tell us why social media marketing works and what you are trying to accomplish with it?
Luna: Just like you said, social media marketing is definitely the evolution of the bandit signs. It’s out there to cast a wide net, you know when you post. You’re going to be pulling in more of a wider audience. Unless you’re some sort of paid marketing campaign involving targeting most of the time, if you’re organically posting to your page, to get the responses. It’s essentially putting abandon signs up on medians. Anyone can see it, anyone can interact with it, you can get any kind of response and because of this it helps you gain an audience that maybe you wouldn’t have thought you were before, but it also does have the same thing we described with the bandit signs.
The thing is with social media that helps, I think, it alleviates a lot of that is you can choose strategically where to put the “digital bandit signs” you can put them in groups that have already talked about having an interest in real estate investment. You can put them in groups that have an interest, you can put them somewhere, where people are listing “Hey, wanna sell my house?” or “Hey, I am in this situation”. You can find these places where people are discussing these things that make them a better candidate to be marketed. They can reach out to them in a way that’s still kind of broad, but it does help to essentially target in a way that's still very open.
Really the goal of social media marketing is to contact people via the social platform Essentially to not only market but also to build up that community, that traction, and really that response.
Ashley: Nice, with the added bonus that social media marketing is not for the most part illegal like bandit signs.
Luna: For the most part, because there are some parts that are not good.
Ashley: Yea, some parts that are not good but you have less of a chance of getting fined for social media marketing that you do for bandit signs.
Shawn, what are some cons to social media marketing? And why do you feel like things like bandit signs and other old-school marketing techniques worked better?
Shawn: I think, just what was available at the time. We were not in this world of social media, I make it sound like it was way back in the day. If you compare it to 15 years, I mean we’re 10 years behind me, 15 to 20 years ago the difference between now is still massive.
You have such a border reach with these social media sites, and they are way more connected with people. Before we only relied on the bandit signs and it was grunt work. You had to go out and print the signs, get them done, cut them, stake them, and put them in the ground. Compared to today, it’s so much easier, from a different standpoint. you look back into the day and it’s like “ Email this''. I was never a big email person. It’s more of a sign in a card or sign in a letter was my go-to and then I would just follow up with a phone call. That was definitely a big part of it, right? Leaving voicemail on voicemail machines, that's totally different from your message. You’re quick to respond versus a long-drawn-out call. That was just the big difference between now and then.
I will go back to this, I’ll say it again. I think the world we live in today makes it way easier versus “ I had to walk up the hill and put up bandit signs” Like that kind of stuff. It was a lot of work, but now that we have all these virtual assistants and this internet world, it’s virtual. It's completely different.
Ashley: Nice, now I think was the closest anyone’s come to getting to that time.
Shawn: Wow! Nice.
Ashley: Okay Luna, Shawn kind of did your job for you. So let's switch it up a bit, why don’t you tell us a little about the cons of social media marketing? Because we sort of hinted that some of it was not good. Go into more details.
Luna: Yes, I’m usually an advocate for it, but there are some certain things about it that are just… They will take time to fix. I definitely think that for a fact and unfortunately there’s a lot that happens because of many factors. One of the factors is anonymity. Wow, I really couldn’t say that, people are anonymous on certain types of social media, and even if they’re not anonymous they feel like they can say anything because they are behind a screen. Whereas people do feel the same way I’ve noticed behind like a phone call or text message, face to face - you don’t really encounter a lot of that, you can but it’s not nearly as you know. Absolutely outrageous as you find online, that’s one of the other problems, you have to weed through what is essentially just a mishmash of trolling and people just taking out sort of things. As well as the fact that you have to be really careful with certain internet regulation laws. Basically, things have gotten more and more strict as the years have gone on and the internet has expanded. They have started to realize that they have to catch up in terms of copyright law and intellectual property, there's a law of copper that was passed for children’s protection. Certain states have certain laws regarding internet usage.
Certain countries all have their own. It’s really weird, kind of like a chess game, involving a lot of legal things nowadays. As long as you follow and guidelines for the social media platforms you’re using, you should be fine. But the problem is that someone, maybe just going into this, might not know all about these things and might make these mistakes, without knowing about it. It can be tricky and concerning to just dive headfirst into this.
Ashley: That’s really good information, that’s a really good point. I just want to bring up the algorithms too, I saw a page today who the facebook algorithms took down a post because it went against community standards and the post was a picture of a coffee cup that said “this counts as water” but where the glare was it looked like “C-U-N-T”.
So I think that’s why they did it, but also that’s really stupid. This is obviously something that's funny, it’s not going against community standards. Letting an algorithm that has shown bias in different words and stuff. It’s hard to make sure all advertising can go out.
That's it for us, I think, or did Shawn have one more- Nope, I lied. Shawn, I’m sorry, I almost cut you off there. What are some other alternatives to accomplish the same goals as social media marketing?
Shawn: That’s a good question. Other alternatives to social media marketing… I think networking. There is something to be said in the networking environment and knowing that we’ve been in this virtual world. These zoom meetings that we do, so that's another big one. We’ve reached a lot of people by being able to talk to them in a zoom setting or save a lot of time to not having to go meet them. So I think that's another type of marketing, another way of marketing. It’s always a really good one for us as a company. I don't know, I’m really trying to think. To think about things outside of digital marketing. I think I can just stick to networking. It’s really a good one, the business definitely is not about it, it’s about what you know because it opens up doors to go and meet those people. We recently talked about a thing called the who, not the who’s to show how to do the hows.
Luna: You’re about to go into Thursday lunchtime live.
Shawn: It's crazy to think that just talking to a few people about “hey, what do you do and how do you do it” can draw up business. It could be a “Hey, I’m literally jumping on my phone to do something”. But what if it just came from a phone call. It was a phone call that you merged somebody in to talk about back in the day stuff. That's old-school stuff, I guess.
Ashley: You hit time, that time.
Shawn: Ohh, it's cool!
Ashley: That’s really all we got for you guys today, thank you all so much for listening and watching - this sort of debate-style. Let us know if you liked it as-is r if you want us to try to be a little more strict about it. Not let people switch sides in between.
Thank you Shawn and Luna for participating, and for those of you listening - let us know who won. We saw last week with the old school marketing and now let us know with new school marketing, was it, Shawn Bowen, with his somewhat passionate defensive old school marketing techniques. Was it Luna Ankrom’s zealous promotion of new school tactics or again was it me, Ashley Little the best debate moderator/virtual bouncer in the R.E.I school of hard knocks. Vote on our Facebook and Instagram pages.
Check out our website www.wholesalingoutofthebox.com for resources and check out our podcasts episode for fun times and invaluable information.
Thanks again and we will see you next week.
It's time for a....DEBATE! Old Skool Marketing vs New Skool Marketing... Let's debate! Shawn and Luna will face off to debate regarding Old Skool Marketing Techniques. Let's kick it....Old Skool!
ASHLEY LITTLE: Hey everyone I am Ashley Little, with Wholesaling of the Box and today I'm joined by Luna Ankrom and Shawn Bowen. We're discussing old school marketing a battle of the ages, and it'll be debate-style so we've got to rough outline and each participant is going to have about two minutes going back and forth to advocate for or against our two old school Park techniques bandit signs and Direct Mail.
So let's get it started, Shawn you have one minute to tell me about your marketing experience and go.
SHAWN BOWEN: I started driving for dollars, and then I started doing mail and bandit signs. From all those, I had the best response from mail. The End.
ASHLEY: Wow you're really trying to push this, to get it out there.
SHAWN: I got it! This is a debate thing you guys. This is new to me, so I am figuring it out!
ASHLEY:: Alright Luna, you have 1 minute to talk about your marketing experience.
LUNA ANKROM: A lot of my marketing experience up until two months ago, was mostly theory. I had some applied to my own hobbies, but this has been my application of sorts. Then, of course, I've been doing other things. I am a digital marketer, I do video marketing, and social media marketing. Anything that involves the digital space, that's what I am a part of. As well as paid advertisements that exist. That's my experience with it.
ASHLEY: I have two minutes to explain what Bandit signs are. Bandit signs are those ugly yellow signs that you see strewn all over by Walmarts, 7-elevens, and on those medians in between streets. They are called Bandit signs because they are illegal, but people still do it anyway. It seems to work for people.
Bandit signs, there are specific rules you have to follow. They typically look like, for example, Shawn has all of his that says "Shawn buys Houses!" There was a whole thing about we buy houses versus [Insert Name Here] buys houses. Which makes it seem a little bit more personal. I know people that use their daughter's name to make it seem more approachable.
Then they are brightly colored, so they attract some kind of attention. Sometimes they're smaller stickers that are on a lamppost. Something to get someone's attention as they are driving by to think "Oh, maybe I'm going to do this. They are going to buy the house in any condition. Might as well." They are just everywhere. You will see them with websites on them, but most of the time it's just a phone number.
You guys are going to do some defensive moments now. First thing is Shawn, as our resident old school expert.
SHAWN: Resident old guy, I like it. Go ahead.
ASHLEY: Slash spring chicken. Why did bandit signs work in the past? What were they trying to accomplish? And go.
SHAWN: Bandit signs were good back in the day because there weren't many online presents, it was just a phone number, nowadays the marketing is completely different. But their goal was a big broad net. You'll get some sellers, you'll get a lot of wholesalers calling it, you'll get some buyers. The goal with it was strictly to find sellers. It did a few different things, it really brought in a lot of buyers. You had to weed through that. Then, of course, you would get some of the sellers but then a good amount of retail. Going back to the number part of it, the main goal was to get sellers. It drew in a lot of other people, it was really good and did the job. The problem was it was just very time-consuming.
We would go out and spread three to four hours dropping hundreds of these signs. Then we would have to track where those signs were in case we got in trouble for putting the sign in public right away and not supposed to have them there. So, their job was to strictly pull in a large number of three different types of people: buyers, sellers, and wholesalers.
Strictly the game was to buy the house. We want sellers and the sign says "Shawn buys houses" any condition because it stated like we want to buy the houses.
It was Shawn, so it was personal and that was our goal. Instead of "We Buy Ugly Houses'' or'' We buy homes for cash". I saw that but wanted my name to be on it. So that people could be "oh, that's Shawn!" it kind of bit me in the butt sometimes. They would say "hey, where's Shawn? I'm going to kill him. He put a sign in my yard!".
That was their job, that was their goal.
ASHLEY: Alright, not bad. I will say this though, You know listing off a con and why it didn't work. You kinda did Luna's Job for her, maybe don't do that again for the next one. Luna, your rebuttal is cons to bandit signs, and why didn't it work then? and why doesn't it work now or anymore?
You've got two minutes.
LUNA: I think Shawn said it really well and when he was just describing the value of your time and having the best use of your time. I mean he's always talking about time, value, money and that is part of it is just knowing how long it takes to do these things. Versus publishing saying something to a social media page for example and it can have a very wide range. It's a push of a button versus you know setting up the signs and possibly getting in trouble for having them in places they shouldn't be or individuals getting mad if it's on their property.
There are a lot of cons on that side of it as well as you can be specific in one of those very broad posts and still have a broad net cast with it, versus a bandit sign where it has to be very eye-catching, so you can't put a lot on there. Other than a phone number or a catchphrase and it's not too much information. If you can be more specific when you're pushing something like that out you can save yourself the time of sorting through the retail and maybe the buyer's list that comes with what you're looking for, those sorts of things so instead of having all of that extra tasks be added to it kind of helps really just makes things more specific and it helps save that time, which helps save money and all about its connection.
ASHLEY: Okay, Shawn your next topic is to talk about the pros of bandit signs, and why it works? Give Luna a rebuttal
SHAWN: Okay the reason they still work is because maybe you're not catching that older person. Maybe you're not catching the older person, maybe you're not catching the clientele that's in the certain age bracket. That isn't on the phone, or maybe isn't on the computer, that's the old school style that I recognized, I've seen them for years. They didn't fit me, but now they do.
So it resonates with that clientele. I think it's a really good idea to keep those going. From a time, value, money standpoint. It's like nowadays I'd rather pay someone to do that because they work. You can get leads from it.
We've got guys that have gone and done stuff like this, almost a bandit sign. You know, the sticker on a window type thing. That says all the identical things, but I still think it works because you're going to catch the clientele with the age group.
They are always driving around on a Sunday. Cruising around and they see the sign. Maybe you drop the sign in someone's yard and it's the nosy neighbor. That's an older guy, just chilling on his porch, smoking a cigar. He sees the sign and he says "I know that guy, or I know that lady. I know who left that there, she will sell you that house! I know her, I will give you her number". I think it's the mentality that I keep in mind, that it still catches the older crowd. That's where I feel it works.
They're very time-consuming, and it does come to money because it's almost three or four dollars a sign versus you can get it done cheaper from your side. It's almost like pennies versus the time to go do it and pay for the sign. It's just way way cheaper.
ASHLEY: Nice, you've got like a second left. All right, so Luna this is going to be the final discussion on bandit signs. What are some other or newer alternatives that you would recommend to people? Where would they accomplish the same goal that bandit signs used to accomplish? And go.
LUNA: One of the big ones because of course, I am a social media Advocate. With the social media side of things and of course, I always advocate for that. I mean realistically, one it saves you that time and two, if you tap into the right niche or the right platform, you have this very good, very defined audience that you know, has certain interests and you know you can get them.
It may not include that older audience or more niche audience. That maybe doesn't social media or doesn't really get involved with all of the technology side of things. But there are even ways to reach them that are cheaper. Then doing the bandit signs, that aren't necessarily super time-consuming, either.
One of the ones I can think of off the top of my head, is there are like areas around locally. I mean, I know some cafes do this. They'll have these boards that you can put flyers and things on for local events. I mean, I know libraries do it for sure.
A lot of local businesses will promote these as well and it can lower the cost by doing something essentially. Like a flyer or an information strip that could go on that board. One that would be cheaper than a sign. It's just copying paper and then two it still gives you the option to be more specific because it's a smaller thing but someone has to come up to it to look at it. You can have something attention-grabbing, but it still has more information.
ASHLEY: That is all our discussion for Bandit sign and now we're going to move into direct mail so I've got two minutes to tell you guys about Direct Mail. Which I think is good since I'm the one that does the direct mail for our company.
Direct Mail is exactly what it sounds like, it's mail that people are getting directly. Oddly enough some people use postcards for that, in particular, we use letters with an envelope and a peel and stick stamp. It looks a little bit less businessy, than some of the printed stamps. Less than some of the things that you get from other businesses, and so it encourages people to actually open up the envelope. Then they're invested there like "okay I'm going to take the time to read this" but with a postcard, you can go inside or you can toss it out.
Direct Mail marketing is important if you're trying to target very specific houses or people. Bandit signs you are just kind of trying to get anything that you can. you're casting a wide net with bandit signs. With the direct mail there are some people that do send letters to entire neighborhoods but most of the time for us, at least our Direct Mail is more targeted for looking at people that are on Code Enforcement list, are delinquent on their taxes, someone may have died, someone may have been evicted.
Things like that where it's a more targeted and more specific to someone that might have a reason for selling as opposed to the bandit signs which is just like anyone in their mother is going to see it and be like "I want to call and see what kind of offer they would give me you know everything has a price". That is direct mail.
Shawn, it's your turn to tell us why direct mail works and what was direct-mail trying to accomplish and I feel like I didn't think I had this kind of the answers.
SHAWN: Well, I think I noticed direct mail working because I didn't have the time to call, right? Again, it's a call to action on the mail piece. The one thing I realized was everybody was preaching postcards, right? Because it's cheaper, you can do it for like three or four cents a postcard versus sixteen to eighteen cents a letter. Then at the time, we were having to print these things, and then send them. It was a lot of work. So the postcards didn't get a lot of attention immediately.
So, I'm just going to put this letter out to see what happens. That thing went gang Blaster, it was awesome. The response rate, like you said to commit to it, was crazy because you can easily read this postcard in like flip it back and forth and read what is exactly the same thing in the letter. But you're just not as invested and then realizing that we just stuck with the letters. But it also was an inbound call to a warm or hostile lead. Let's put it that way, either somebody's happy to talk to you about selling a home or you get the irate seller Like " How did you get my information" or you get the really pissed off people that time to write something on it but its stamp on it and send it back to you man you had a lot of time on your hands.
So, yeah I think he's always been a niche for us because of what it does, right? It does get us a response and sometimes it's good and sometimes bad. No less it does get us a response. It's probably our best source of marketing for now. But mail marketing works, that is a real thing and people if you're not doing it, you need to get back because it does give you results. to it for sure.
ASHLEY: All right nice and Luna so what are some cons to mail marketing and why do you think it doesn't work as well anymore or not necessary why do you think it doesn't work as.
LUNA: Well, honestly With this one. I do kind of agree that it's a good form of marketing. Especially because it makes such a personal connection the way that it's being done. I agreed the postcards are too corporate and your immediate thought is "it's just Spam" and you throw it out. You don't think about it.
If you open an envelope that's a different type of interaction with it. Comparatively, I would say it's having a good home page on a website. If someone goes on to your homepage and it's something that everyone talks about and digital marketing has its bounce rate. That's exactly what the idea is behind the envelopes. They are invested at that point, it's more likely that you get some kind of response from them.
But as for any kind of Improvement. Honestly, I don't know other than maybe adding some sort of ease of access digital thing to it. Make it a QR code that they can scan. Something that's super fast. I know a lot of people nowadays don't like answering the phone.
That's a problem I have seen. That unless someone is going to text them, they are not going to talk to that person. So, I think making an outbound call for them would be an extra step as well. So, just kind of trying to see ways to merge the Two Worlds to kind of make these things more effective. Overall no, I don't think there's a lot of like heavy heavy thoughts to it
ASHLEY: Okay, Twist. Luna is taking a pro position. Shawn, now it is your turn. Can you tell us why you think this still works in such a digital electronic age? Especially with things like email and email marketing?
SHAWN: I think this works because there is still that personal touch in mail, right? It goes back to kind of bouncing off of Luna when she's talking about corporate feels.
So an email is not as personal. It can go to your spam folders, it can go to your regular. When you get a letter to your house, that again is a very personal thing, right? That's why I think it's still the world.
Also, we are all so attached to the digital world, you kind of get lost in that world. When you get something as personal as a letter that's written to you, It's addressed to you, it's talking to you, in a call of action to you. I think that's really personal and that is what makes it work. I think it's interesting to hear, even in this digital world we are in. People are reverting back to it.
I'm actually bringing up the idea of going back to the Pennysaver and doing an AD in it because I think it would cause traction, and I think it would get attention. It would go to the clientele of our avatar, right? We are always looking for the avatar of the seller. What kind of sellers are we looking for? And I think that's what it gets to. I think deals with those kinds of people are we want to try to market more to the older crowd. That's the people that have homes.
So, I think that's why it works. I think letters are very personal. I think that's why it's still effective and almost kind of making a comeback. Marketing is not dead in the mail marketing world. It's coming back! The new cool.
ASHLEY: new cool, old school
SHAWN: Oh - I like it!
ASHLEY: Okay, this is going to be our final comment about mail marketing. So, Luna - what are some other or newer alternatives to mail marketing? Can you accomplish the same goal of personalized sort of outreach?
LUNA: So, I do recognize that the mail works really well with the older target market. Especially, of what Shawn said with the avatar of the seller. That mirrors the marketing techniques about having a customer profile. You develop out a person that you would directly be marketing to with your niche, with your demographics.
Similarly, that works for that side if you're trying to bring in. Say maybe you're not targeting Shawn, it's maybe you're targeting a different subsection. One of those subsections that use for example Instagram. Then it would be good to do the direct messaging on Instagram. I've seen brands do this with good success in terms of getting a conversation as well. More than just a bot that pushes out messages, having some sort of customizable message to be able to send, that really just speaks to that person's situation.
Now, the other problem with that is finding that person's user profile. Kind of that sort of connection can be achieved in the messaging side of things and I think kind of email, but there is some of that genuineness lost when you go into an email format. So, that's kind of my closing thoughts on all that.
ASHLEY: Awesome, awesome guy, it's an awesome job! I thank you so much for being on. That's the time for our debate. Like I said, Thank you Shawn and Luna for participating. For those of you listening, let us know who you think won!
Was it Shawn Bowen with his passionate defense of old-school marketing techniques? Was it Luna Ankrom with her zealous promotions of new school tactics? Or was it me, Ashley Little for being the best debate moderator, virtual bouncer in the R.E.I School of Hard Knocks? Vote on our Facebook page and Instagram page.
Be sure to check out our website: www.wholesalingoutofthebox.com for tons of great resources and to listen to old podcasts episodes for fun times and invaluable information.
Thanks again everyone, we will see you next week for our episode on new school marketing.
This episode was recorded as part of our Lunch Time Live! series. On these Lunch Time Lives (LTLs) Shawn goes live in the Virginia Wholesale Real Estate Group to talk about different wholesaling topics, answer questions, and give advice. If you're interested in joining in on these LTLs, or you want to get them early, join Virginia Wholesale Real Estate on Facebook.
You’ve been gathering ALL the information to start wholesaling, and you’re ready to go! But wait, are you? Maybe you need to learn a little more about subject-to deals first. There is so much information being thrown at you every day (these videos/podcasts included!) and it’s so easy to feel overwhelmed by all the data and information out there. Today Shawn will talk about how to take a breath, reassess, and keep going, even in the face of Analysis Paralysis.
This episode was recorded as part of our Lunch Time Live! series. On these Lunch Time Lives (LTLs) Shawn goes live in the Virginia Wholesale Real Estate Group to talk about different wholesaling topics, answer questions, and give advice. If you're interested in joining in on these LTLs, or you want to get them early, join Virginia Wholesale Real Estate on Facebook.
Today Shawn is talking about Subject-To (or sub-to) deals! Specifically, he'll go over what subject-to is, how to structure sub-to deals, and how to approach seller's about them.
There are two main ways to make use of a sub-to deal. You can either use it as a bridge loan for rehab financing or you can take it down for yourself to hold on to long term. Shawn will go over what all of that means today and answer your questions about it.
Committing to Real Estate When You're Short on Time There are only so many hours in the day, and so many things to do. But if you want to become a Real Estate Investor you have to put in the time. But how much time do you need to put in? The easy answer is that you get out of Real Estate what you put into it, but it isn't always possibly to spend 3,4, even 8 hours per day on Real Estate. Today Shawn will tell you about our hour-a-day method. We've broken wholesaling down to four 15-minute increments that you can do throughout your day. This method will help you get into the swing of things and create a habit of focusing on Real Estate every day, even if it's just for an hour!
Today Shawn's going over Owner Finance offers: what is owner finance, how to structure the offer, and what to look out for. Being able to structure owner finance deals is an awesome tool at your disposal. They're great for rehabs because you don't have to secure as much funding, or you can add them to your portfolio to bring in some passive income and get one step closer to your freedom number.
In this episode we got to talk to Ashley Little, the woman behind the curtain of Wholesaling Out of the Box. Ashley talks about going from getting her Masters in History to Real Estate Investing and what she does for the company now.
Shawn Bowen: What’s up guys, it’s Shawn Bowen of Full Circle investment Group and Wholesaling out of the Box.com. We’re here today with Miss Ashley Little. She's gonna speak to you a little bit about how she got into this industry, how her and I met each other, and then how she’s been a massive part of a Wholesaling out of the Box and Full Circle Investment Group.
So, Ashley, tell us a little bit about you.
Ashley Little: Hi my name is Ashley and I grew up in Hampton Roads, born and raised. And then I went to a small town in Western Virginia, not West Virginia, Western Virginia for college, went abroad and got my Master’s Degree and then came back and met Shawn via someone that I had worked with before who said that she had someone who was looking for an assistant and thought I would be a good fit and yeah, that's sort of how I met Shawn and sort of how I fell into real estate.
Shawn: Nice, so that will lead us into what got you started in this real estate, basically from where you were to where you got into it, how it got into real estate.
Ashley: It goes a little bit back. Like I said. I worked with Andrea, she’s our bookkeeper now. I worked with her at the local community college in the business office the summer before I went to college and that sort of transitioned me to working at the business office as an undergrad and working - I did two jobs. I worked in the business office of the school and as the office manager of a small restaurant.
And so she knew that I had that kind of business experience going into that, even though my degree, my undergrad degree is in history and art history and my masters in history. The question I get a lot is how does that even relate to real estate and my answer is, have you ever had to write a 75 page research paper and defend it.
My special skill is organization and I had to do that for my master’s degree on top of all the many, many other papers I wrote for undergrad. That’s sort of what I brought to the table. I had a little bit of that business experience but I really came in to help with organization and starting to get stuff in line so that we could grow the business.
I know it's kind of weird because I do have that history background, but it’s, it’s helped a lot. It helps me pick out what needs to be done and be able to prioritize that so that we can keep the business moving because there are some days where I may have a plan, that I'm gonna be working on one specific thing, but this closing is coming in and that needs to be priority number one and I have everything for that closing organized and so I can switch over pretty quickly to grab all that information, push it to the attorney or do whatever needs to be done.
Shawn: Nice. So organization taking the company from an idea and a little bit of organization to very defined organization and very well oiled machine. Very true guys, very true.
All right, tell us what your role is in wholesaling out of the box?
Ashley: My role in wholesaling out of the box is I like to say, I wear a lot of different hats. I’m sort of the man behind the curtain. It's whatever it needs to be that day.
There are some days where I need to be a cheerleader for the people that are in the group, other days where I need to be like the person behind the scenes, making sure that all of the systems work. They’re like, “Hey this button isn’t working, it’s not going to the Seller leads out”. Okay, let me go see what’s going wrong, and let’s fix that. It really does depend on that day and sometimes even that hour but, like I say, I'm the person sort of in the background making sure everything is running as smoothly as possible.
Shawn: Nice, nice. Hey guys she’s not always in the background, she’s at all the meetings, she is very, very in the foreground but yes, she does a lot in the background and makes it work.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given when I guess you could translate it into this real estate world?
Ashley: My best piece of advice is that your first try doesn’t have to be perfect. And so that’s something that we’ve been talking a lot about recently because I'm the kind of person that is like No, it is perfection, it will be done right, it’ll be done the first time and it will be done in a timely manner and that’s not always possible. Like I said earlier, there are times when I have to pull away from what I’m working on to make sure something gets closed and that means that that may not meet the deadline that I set for myself or that I set for the company and realizing that that’s okay, or maybe I have to “turn it in” in quotes because that’s not really a turn it in kind of system, but maybe I have to present what I have unfinished and say okay this is what I got done. And maybe, and crowdsource it a little bit, “What are your ideas from here?” So just reminding myself that first try it can be it, it doesn’t have to be amazing, it doesn’t have to be perfect, sometimes it’s better to just get it done and get it out there and then go back and rework it.
Shawn: awesome, so getting it done does not worry about being perfect it’s just making it happen. That’s awesome! That's a good one guys, that’s really good advice. Either get it done now or you’ll never get it done because you're too worried about being perfect. That’s a really, really good example like, just take action.
What is the best business book you’ve ever read?
Ashley: You guys haven’t heard this interview with Cam yet, we just did it too, but he said he doesn’t read as many business books that he reads a lot of mindset books and I'm kind of in the same vein, where I read probably about half and half.
So the best business book I’ve read has probably been Traction because, like I said, I’m on the back of the house so I do a lot of making sure paperwork gets signed and is put in the right file and I think Traction is really good at trying to make sure that you understand how your business works because when I first started working with Shawn he understood how his business worked but he didn’t really have defined systems in place and so that’s something that over the past couple of years we’ve really been trying to ramp up is to have those systems in place and to make sure you understand what your business is, how it works so that you can eventually give it someone else or give that position to someone else and you can start working on your business.
Shawn: That would be SOPs and delegation?
Ashley: Yes, I'm not good at delegation but I'm trying, I'm getting better.
Shawn: You’re getting better at it, I like it.
Ashley: One of the great, good mindset books that I've read is called Girl Wash Your Face.
Shawn: Ooh -
Ashley: It's basically about all these things that you tell yourself like, “I’m not good enough,” like “It has to be perfect,” things like that that I’ve already talked about and trying to teach yourself to not think like that and I know I definitely get stuck in that rabbit hole and just thinking “Okay, well, I’m not good enough to do this” or whatever the case may be so I really need to get out of that mindset and I think that book and then there’s a sequel but I don’t remember what it’s called. Those have all been really helpful.
Shawn: Good. Okay, so Girl Wash Your Face, and who was the author of that?
Ashley: Rachel Hollis
Shawn: Okay, and then Traction? Good. And do you remember who the author is?
Ashley: No, I was just looking at it though. You know Gina Whitman.
Shawn: Gino Whitman. Okay, all right awesome. Alright, so, let’s talk about what was your biggest setback since you’ve been in this world and industry? What’s been the biggest setback for you?
Ashley: I was thinking about this because I haven't done any personal investing really. So my answer, I think, is a little bit different because we've had these times where we said we were gonna close a deal and it just wasn’t closing for whatever reason and I'm losing sleep at night over that, but there was also nothing I could do in some of those instances. I don’t have the connections for dispositions or things like that like we do. That’s not part of my job in some respects, not that I'm opposed to doing things that aren’t part of my job but it's just, there wasn’t anything I could do to help.
So I think my biggest setback is weirdly enough, buying my own house. I know Shawn can say that there were probably two, maybe three months where I just, I was doing what needed to be done, but normally I'm the kind of person that’s like, ooh, but what if we do this too. There were just those months where I was so focused, my mind was so taken off with, “Okay, I have to get bank statements, I have to get pay stubs, I have to get this, this, this” to buy my own house through traditional financing, that it just sort of made my business creativity go away. And that kind of sucked, to see, especially when I got back into it after we bought the house it was fine, and then it was like, “Oh, this is what it used to be like. It hasn’t always been this awful.”
Shawn: So you would say your setback was probably just the downfall of the time not being able to commit to what you normally do creativity-wise in the business side of things, while you were personally buying your home?
Ashley: Yeah, and I think that’s gonna happen to everyone. There are always going to be personal issues that pop up and you're gonna need to take a step back. And it kind of sucks because you want to keep your business going especially because we were kind of starting to gain traction and this was all right around the time that COVID was happening so we closed and then two weeks later the country shut down which put all our real estate business, kind of at a standstill there as well. There were about six weeks that we didn’t close anything because we were waiting on judgment payoffs from the courts, from Capital One, from whoever, and because they were on skeleton crews and things we just weren’t getting them. So It was all right around that same time and, I mean, you have to forgive yourself a little bit. Like it's admirable for those people that are out there continuing to do their business, and we were fortunate enough to be able to do that, but you know, suddenly if you’re used to working - not working from home and you’re working from home, your kids are home, your parents are home, whoever is home with you it's like “Oh, my business I have to take a step back,” because it's just not gonna work right now.
Shawn: Yeah, okay, so definitely a different type of setback but very real, right, realizing that what you’re good at is not working at the moment because there’s really only so much brain space you can cram information into and then still be creative, so that’s a good one, I like that.
All right, so what was your biggest success so far since you’ve started real estate with us?
Ashley: I think some of my biggest successes have been Wholesaling Out of the Box. I came in and I started working with Shawn in January of 2018 and I think he had started WOB in November of 2017, somewhere around there and so I came in. I actually didn’t get involved with WOB until about April and that was the first time I met Shawn in person after working for him for four months. So then I started coming in and I was like, you know what this is a lot like what I just came off of with my Master’s program. I can set up courses, I can do this and that and that’s sort of what we’ve turned into and just to see where it’s so different from what Shawn was saying when they met up at Panera, you know, to discuss real estate the first couple of times to where it’s grown now. We have in-person meetings. We've got this podcast. We've got videos, and I think a lot of that has been what I've been doing in the background to allow Shawn to be able to help grow the business on the front side and so that’s been my biggest success.
Shawn: That’s awesome, it has been a really, really fast-moving, organized machine that’s been put together in the background by you and it’s been awesome. It's just, I can’t even speak to it because it’s something that it’s a vision I have had for a long time since I started the group and you’ve been able to bring it to fruition and it’s just a really cool thing.
Thank you so much for being that person and having that organization and those skill sets to be able to make that happen because it’s been awesome. All right, so what has been your favorite part of this business? There’s a lot of pieces to this business, so maybe talk to that for a second.
Ashley: Yeah, well, I actually wanted to throw this back at you a little bit. What do you think my favorite part of the business is? So I’m curious to know as to how it comes across.
Shawn: I think your favorite part is the systems and processes that have been built in the background, that you are able to make things flow and just make things work. That is because you’ve built them in this, almost to the point where you’re giving reminders every now and then. You’re like, “Oh man, I forgot we built that”, and then “Oh, we can use that”. Am I on point?
Ashley: Yeah, I really like building things and using that creativity to kind of, you know... it’s going back to my history degree which I know is weird but writing that paper from start to finish, having this idea, doing the research, implementing it and then tweaking it, and bringing it out to the world, whether the world is you and giving you another button to press in our system or putting it out for people to see on YouTube or in a podcast form, so just that building side of it is definitely my favorite part.
Shawn: Awesome, guys it’s a lot back there moving too and when she says she’s like the man behind the curtain it’s definitely like a Wizard of Oz moment because it’s a lot, there’s a lot of things back there that make us work as a company. Ashley has built a lot of things. Hopefully, anybody watching this, later on, that's interested in joining us, you’ll be able to benefit from this. It’s been quite a process of building. Definitely, something to look forward to there if you do join us.
So, what are you looking forward to with WOB in the next few months to come? What we’re trying to build, what you would like it to look like, slash what we’ve talked about. Talk to these guys and tell them what you see happening to WOB in the next few months.
Ashley: Yes, well, the podcast is definitely a big one we’ve been talking about for a little while and trying to play with Instagram a little bit more. I have a “word of the day” gift that I’ve been putting out on Facebook since October and now we’re about to expand into Instagram for that and just getting in front of more people because I think especially the last couple of months with COVID, it’s been hard to meet new people that are interested in real estate, meet new people in general, but just to meet these people because one of the best parts to is seeing people come in, get super excited about real estate and then there’s that period where it sort of sucks a little bit. You’re working a lot, you’re not seeing the payoff and then seeing your first deal close. Like that’s amazing to see people get super excited about that and sometimes I’m a little bit jaded because I also for our business and the closing coordinator - so I’m the one that has to deal with the Sellers being like “Glassware was stolen while the lockbox was on your house - $140.00” and that happened fairly recently. Sometimes I get a little bit jaded by that, because I’m kind of like, “Uh, this sucks.” But then when you’re like, okay the deal closed and people get that check and it’s like “Man, this works. This is real.” So I’m really excited to be able to keep growing the group and start seeing that in person again, start getting to see people’s excitement.
Shawn: That's infectious, it really is. All right, so, the one question I like to ask everybody is, what would you tell somebody that maybe is coming in to do the same type of position for somebody else, like coming into a company not quite organized. What is it that you could recommend to them to ask, look for, and/or be part of when they’re gonna maybe be in your capacity? What can you recommend that you would go back to the younger Ashley of a few years ago and say do this or don’t worry about that? Like what could you tell that person that’s doing right now, maybe move into that spot?
Ashley: Well I think one of the best things to say is to find the right person, I sort of fell into working with Shawn, but I think it’s been great on all sides. It’s worked out for both of us and a lot of that is because I'll come to Shawn and be like “Hey I want to do this”. He’s like, “Okay, sounds good. Come back to me when you're done”. Or “Come back to me when you're half done”, whatever the case may be. Finding the right person so you can have that creativity to do things like that, but also, back to the best advice I was ever given - just get started. I mean sometimes I look back at some of the stuff I did when I first started and I'm like, this makes no sense. Why would I have written it this way, why would I organize it this way? It’s a jumble but it’s because I didn’t know everything I know now and so I have to go back and say, “Okay, well now I have to fix it a little bit,” but that got things out of the way for me to be able to do something else and that works for them but now maybe we have to, I have to go back and fix it a little bit, but it’s fine.
Shawn: So find a person to work with that allows creativity to flow and just getting started, just get it out there, get it done, you know it’s gonna get broken, so what, go back and be ready to fix it. Those are the recommendations that you would tell somebody, right.
Shawn: Good stuff. Anything else that you want to share with the group or anybody that’s listening to this podcast. Anything specific that you - maybe we didn’t have questions for?
Ashley: I guess one of the things I’m really passionate about is, respect the backside of the house because we’ve had a couple of people we worked with semi-recently that didn’t really respect that. You know, the only reason half of this stuff, well at this point in our business, the only reason most of the stuff gets closed is because I’m, like once contracts are signed it all goes to me, and at this point, I looked up the numbers. In the two and a half years I’ve worked with you I’ve helped close/ coordinate 44 deals, so, at this point, even if you’re a big name in the business or you think you are, I've dealt with 44 closings, I have my own knowledge set. I know what’s going on. I can help. So there are always those people that are in the backside of the house that are doing that kind of thing and just make sure to, you know, respect that and to help them.
Shawn: Good stuff! Guys, this is an awesome interview with just a completely different side of the operation. For those that are listening on the podcast or those that are watching the video, this is talking to a piece of this business that is massive, right? So it’s the organization. It’s the systems and processes that stay in play. And then it’s people, Ashley is a massive piece like she said, the back of the house where people don’t sometimes respect that or don’t even think about all the moving pieces that go on in order to make this a smooth-operating machine. Every person has, we all say like everybody has their lane and try to stay in it, and don’t come over my lane because that’s what I do and it’s usually the best way it works,
So for those that are watching this and listening to this, really, when you’re bringing on somebody for your company and working with those people, let them be them. Let them grow, Let them do what you brought them up to do which is help your company.
Thank you so much Ashley for taking the time to be here and take some time away from operating the company and building the company to speak to whoever’s listen to this because it’s very, very impactful and I will always give my kudos to Ashley and say thank you so much for everything you’ve done for me, my company, the guys that work with us.
My life is made a lot easier because of everything that Ashley does and it just makes the business a lot easier.
Thank you so much for everybody that’s listening, thank you for taking the time to be here, we look forward to working with you. As always if you’re interested in checking us out, check us out over at wholesalingoutofthebox.com and reach out to us at Virginia Wholesale Real Estate on Facebook. otherwise, we’ll talk to you guys soon later.