As a Wholesaler with just over 3 years of experience, Tom has had explosive growth. As head “Rhino” of the most successful Tribe of Wholesalers on the planet he has had the fortune of meeting true Go Givers and being a part of some of the best real estate deals in the industry.
When he’s not writing, podcasting or creating courses that force others to succeed, you’ll find him spending time with his wife and 4 children or vacationing in favorite spots like Key Largo, Hilton Head, Charleston and Savanah.
Currently he is writing his first book, working title “Wholesaling Real Estate Like A Rhino, A No BS No Fluff Step-By-Step Blueprint To Wholesale A House Right Now” is slated for release this fall.
In this episode, Tom shares his top 8 direct mail lists for motivated sellers as a real estate investor.
The best direct mail lists are:
Tom shares lots of pearls of wisdom in this episode that pertain to investing in general. One of these nuggets is from Jack Bosch. He says that you will get 5 no’s before you get a yes when asking people at your local government offices for each of these lists.
The first, second, third, fourth, and even fifth person you talk will tell you the list doesn’t exist or that they cannot give it to you. The sixth person will say, ‘Here ya go!”
Tom also shares a great tip from his friend, Mark Evans: ‘Data not Drama’ He is referring to keeping track of your mailing campaigns and the results you are getting.
We make this super easy in REImobile with our Direct Mail Module. Check it out here: http://reimobile.com
Tom also talks about how ‘Money is in the Database’. You have to keep track of your leads and follow up! …this is also exactly the reason why we developed REImobile…
I’m telling you, you’ve got to check out the system.
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Welcome to The Flipping Junkie Podcast. My name is Danny Johnson former software developer turned house flipper, flipping hundreds of houses. Each week we bring you interview, strategies, stories and motivations to help you get started flipping houses and on your way to becoming your own boss and achieving financial freedom. Thanks for spending time with me today. Now let’s get to it.
Hey everybody. Welcome back to The Flipping Junkie Podcast. Thanks for listening. I really do appreciate it. Today, we’re going to be talking about the best direct mail list. So if you’re going to be doing direct mail, you got to have a good list. A lot of what you’re doing, the benefits of it and the results you get are basically a direct reflection of the quality of your list. So obviously you want up-to-date list and lists that have people on it with properties that are likely to have situations where they would be interested in selling the house. The key is finding these great lists and there’s two ways you can get a list that a lot of other people are mailing to like absentee owners very easy to get, or you can work hard at trying to find more specific lists that are harder to get and therefore having less competition. So that’s usually a balance and a trade-off between each of those things when we’re building this list. Today, I’ve got Tom Krol on the episode here to talk about the best direct mail list. And he’s a wholesaler with just over three years of experience. That may not sound like a lot, but Tom has had explosive growth and has done an incredible amount in that amount of time and I highly respect him. He’s the head Rhino of the most successful tribe of wholesalers on the planet. He has had the fortune of meeting true go-givers and being a part of some of the best real estate deals in the industry. When he’s not writing, podcasting or creating courses that forced others to succeed, you’ll find him spending time with his wife and four children or vacationing in favorite spots like Key Largo, Hilton Head in Charleston and Savannah. My wife and I were just in Charleston about a month ago or a couple of months ago and had a blast. That’s a great place. But anyway, he’s currently writing his first book and the working title right now at the moment is “Wholesaling Real Estate Like a Rhino: No B.S., No Fluff, Step-by-Step Blueprint to a Wholesale House Right Now.” It’s kind of a long title, maybe he’ll shrink that down a little bit. But it’s slated for release this fall. So really excited to have Tom on the episode today to find out the best list that he finds and what’s obviously enabled him to grow and do as much as he has within three years. It’s going to be awesome to be able to hear from all the experiences and things that he’s gone through to do this stuff and really get a shortcut into being able to get a better list. So we’ll just get right into it.
Danny Johnson: Hi Tom. Hey, thanks for being on the show.
Tom Krol: Hey, Danny! It’s great to be here. It’s great to see you. Thank you for having me.
Danny Johnson: Yeah. What I wanted to do is just have you sort of talk about how you got started in the business.
You’ve been doing it for three years, done an incredible amount in three years. It’s amazing. I just want to talk with you about all of that and if you want to go and just give us an idea of how you got started, how you got interested and what you’re doing now.
Tom Krol: Yeah. So I was in the lawn care business and I was selling lawn care door to door in the heat of summer in Florida. It was a total nightmare. I hated my job. I really did not like it at all and I was fired from that job, and the Reader’s Digest version is I quit. I wish I quit; I didn’t actually quit, I got fired unfortunately. But I called my brother, Todd Toback and I said, “what should I do, what should I do” and he said get in to wholesaling. It is the fastest way to make a fortune in real estate and I am glad I listened to him. I got started right away. I made every mistake in the book. I know everybody says that they made every mistake in the book but if you listen to the people who say that, it’s always the people who’ve had a lot of success because it’s always failing your way to success and that’s the key. So that’s exactly what I did. Todd just pulled me from getting fired through my first few deals, just kicking and screaming the whole time like a little baby. I was whining, “I don’t know that the house value is, I don’t know what to do.” He’s like “just do it, just get it done” and I was like “okay, okay.” We did that and it’s been an awesome adventure. My first mailing was a total flop. I forgot to put last market sale date on my sourced list and it was a total, total disaster. I lost $2000 although I did find some cash buyers from that list and then I had to sell my golf cart to do my next mailing. Funds were rolling in and rolling out pretty quick and I wasn’t really doing anything, but then I got my first deal with Dorothy and since then it’s been an excellent adventure. I love every single minute of it. It’s like a blessing, you wake up, you do a deal. I love doing deals. Actually not me doing them anymore, which is great, but I love just the ease of wholesaling. If you could just get out your own way and that’s what I had to learn. Just get out your own way, follow a system that works and go from there and I love it. It’s been it’s been a great journey.
Danny Johnson: Awesome. How long did you think it took you to get from the very beginning with Todd to getting those first deals? How long did that take for you to get there?
Tom Krol: That’s a good question. You know what, I don’t remember. I really don’t. I don’t want to give anybody who’s a rookie any information that’s not 100 percent accurate. I don’t remember but I will tell you it felt like a long time. It was probably much shorter than it actually was but what happened was when I got started, like a lot of people, I fell into that trap of thinking that the reason I wasn’t doing deals was because of a lack of information. I think what happens is it’s like that process is long and painful so it probably was shorter than I thought but it was – I honestly don’t remember now at this point because it was three years ago but it was a painful process and I had to remember just Todd would call me up and I’d ask him stupid questions like how do I figure out the price of a house, which now I know is a silly question, what do I do when the seller has this question or what do I do when I do this. What really I learned was just go and get the deal. Just go and get the deal and kind of go from there and that’s what I did. So there was a lot of learning curve in the beginning, it was a little while but it wasn’t too long. I think I had my first deal relatively quickly. I’m trying to think of how long it was but I really don’t remember.
I wish I could come up with that, but I could probably look that up.
Danny Johnson: Yeah. It’s just I’m just always interested in finding that out because a lot of people I think after two months or three months, they feel like they’ve looked at hundreds of properties and maybe made offers on 20 or 30, are wondering what they’re doing wrong. And really there’s nothing wrong, it’s just that you don’t have the confidence and the experience to know what you can offer and so you’re offering, you’re being way too conservative and all that kind of stuff.
Tom Krol: Well I think the other massive problem that I see is that if you look at 200 or 300 properties you should make 200 or 300 offers. People are like “well what should I pay for the price” or “how do I figure valuations” which is just a ridiculous question because the bottom line is if you need to know how to do valuations, if you make an offer and you feel good about it, you’re too high. If you make an offer and it’s embarrassing, you’re right where you should be. If you just keep doing that – and you have to remember the most important thing about this and really it’s just no matter what your exit strategy is whether you’re wholesaling, rehabbing, or land-lording the bottom line is it’s all about finding a good deal and that has nothing to do with real estate. Nothing. It has to do with the situation. You’ve got to go in there, build a rapport, find out what they actually want and then make them an offer. It’s not the offers, this whole thing of it is a numbers game it’s not really 100 percent accurate. It’s not really a numbers game. If you went to 200 or 300 hundred houses you definitely will have some deals. If you’re building rapport and they’re speaking more than you’re speaking and that kind of stuff, just some of the basic rules.
Danny Johnson: Yeah, that’s true. What you mean is some people go on thinking that whether they get the deal or not is solely based on what they’re offering for it.
Tom Krol: Right.
Danny Johnson: And you’re saying it’s these other things, so what are these other things that you found people have sold to you because of other than price?
Tom Krol: Oh, brother! Danny, this is a great question. This is a great question because I just want to be crystal clear for all of your listeners out there. Wholesaling especially or finding a discount of property has nothing to do with real estate and it has nothing to do with price. If it’s a price problem, you will never win…ever, ever, ever, ever win. We are not price people. You need to hold sellers feet to the fire. You need to say “Listen, if you’re looking for highest the best, I’m not your guy.” The key is you have to understand you’re not in real estate. It’s a pawn shop. Well people don’t sell their houses for a cheap price, that’s not true at all. Nobody will sell Super Bowl ring for $300; oh really, go ask the people who run a pawn shop and they do it all the time. So here’s the thing, we have nothing to do with real estate. Do not make the mistake of becoming a real estate expert in finding out that half-inch granite costs more than one inch – I mean I don’t even know what people are talking about. This has nothing to do with it. So the key is you have to understand your value and what you bring as a cash buyer as a wholesaler. If you’re worried about the term cash buyer, you could just use transactional funding which is freely available – or not freely, but it’s available everywhere. But you’re a cash buyer, you have to understand what that means. You have to understand your services. When you say I can pay cash and close fast, when you say I buy as is. These are meaningless terms. If you don’t know that when you say you can buy as is that that means that you can buy as is meaning, seller -don’t worry about anything. You don’t have the money, I get it. I have a relationship with you now. I understand you don’t have the money. Leave everything as is. Don’t even pick up the dirty socks. Leave them. I’m going to pay everything including the closing costs. What does it mean that you’re a cash buyer? It means that you can close quickly. Why is that important.? You have to understand your services. The reason it’s important that you can close quickly is because they need cash right away just like a pawn shop. We can do things that other people can’t do as investors. We can say to the homeowner or the problem tenant “stay in the house after closing, don’t worry about it. I’m going to take on all the responsibility, the heartache and the burden and all of that.” So if you don’t understand your services and you make it about numbers and you’re playing games like “well, they’re a little bit high and I’m a little bit low and they’re at 5 and I’m at 6” and whatever it is or vice versa, you’ve already lost because what we do has nothing to do with price. Every single time, as an investor, you will lose on price. Every time. I mean occasionally there’ll be some low hanging fruit here and there, but you certainly can’t build a business off of that. So I think that’s really the key, knowing your services is absolutely the most important thing as a wholesaler or as an investor.
Danny Johnson: Right. And I think that speaks into what people have. Like some people have a hang up with dealing directly with sellers, right? They think that it’s like an ambulance chaser sort of thing, you’re the lowest of the low out there taking advantage of people. But that’s just because you’ve never spoken with a seller that’s facing a situation that wants nothing more than to be done with that problem–
Tom Krol: Right. Absolutely.
Danny Johnson: –and that’s a house that typically cannot be put on the market. Even if it gets so quickly listed with an agent, they don’t want to do it.
Tom Krol: Right. Absolutely.
Danny Johnson: –just because they’re so fed up. Anytime people say something about that or dealing with motivated sellers, that’s what I say, it’s like “well you’ve never talked with any.”
Danny Johnson: Right. I literally had a house where the girlfriend was getting beat by the boyfriend and he was a truck driver. He was out on the road and he was going to a trip to California. We had to do this deal quick. There’s no way that other people could have did it and we turned it around immediately. And the other thing when people say “oh, you’re an investor, how do you sleep at night,” here’s the other thing you have to understand. I mean well it’s true because I went to a party once and somebody said it like “oh, you’re an investor, how do you sleep at night?” Here’s the deal. The other thing that you don’t realize is that you’re not leveraging the homeowner. In almost all of our deals, the homeowner gives us the price. We don’t even give the price but beyond that we’re leveraging the cash buyers when our assignment’s fees are 5000, 10,000, 15,000, 20 or 25.
I mean we have a person just yesterday in the tribe who did $45,000 in one or two days. When that happens, we’re leveraging the cash buyers. That’s the other major mistake that people forget about. They always think it’s about the deal. Well rookies say that you make the money when you sell the deal and seasoned investors say you make the money when you get the deal and the contract. None of that’s true. The truth is, a smart business owner who has a business that runs without him or her makes money when the deal is sold on both ends of the transaction, the front and the back. So you’ve got to leverage your cash buyers. These guys and gals who are running around with 3, 4, 5, 6, 7- cash buyers. It’s totally ridiculous.
You are losing your shirt and you’ve really quit your job to get a job to be at what we call in my tribe is a CBE, a cash buyer employee, and that’s a huge, huge mistake. So it’s not even that you’re making your profit from the seller. In most cases, you’re actually making your money from the buyer and that’s the key. But if you understand that you’re a pawn shop and it’s all about speed and relationship and creating a bond and actually knowing your services, then you feel great about it. And people, when you go to the grocery store, they love you. They’re like “Hey Tom, he bought my house. He’s a great guy. Sell your house to this guy.” So it’s awesome. I love it.
Danny Johnson: Yeah, it’s cool. I hear it all the time from my father because he’s in a smaller town and he invest also. He works in some of the smaller towns and there you do know a lot more people and more people know you and so that kind of thing does happen at the grocery store it’s pretty amazing.
Tom Krol: Oh yeah. All the time. Yeah in ___ it definitely happens all the time for sure.
Danny Johnson: I have more people recognize me from Flipping Junky than I do from houses that we’ve bought. Let’s get into the direct mail stuff because I want to spend a lot of time on this and finding the list is a key to success in direct mail. Obviously we’ve talked before about being consistent, keep mailing to them, don’t just mail once and forget it, change your list, whatever. But you’ve got to have a good list. So what do you recommend for getting the best lists?
Tom Krol: I’m glad you asked me this question today and I know we just talked about it a few minutes ago but I literally just had a company meeting at the tail end of last week and we completely rehashed all of our list and then we went through campaign reports and what’s working or what’s not working. So I’m excited to be sharing this information because I’m going to give you a list and these lists are the best of the best of the best. So this is the list I produce. What we’re always looking for which is the highest conversion rate where if you talk to a lot of people they’re always talking about response rate, response rate, response rate. We do not care about response rate. We track it on our campaign report we’re after conversion rate and conversion rate just means for anybody who’s out there who doesn’t realize conversion rate just means money in money out. So how many actual closed deal is converted. That’s the key. From the response rate to the deals is your conversion rate. So let’s talk about the best list. The first list that we find in our tribe is absolutely the highest converting list every single time and this is something that I have to give credit to Jack Bosch from.
I went to a land conference to see Jack. The guy is a rock star. I can’t remember now if it was in Orlando or if it was in Atlanta but it was somewhere in the southeast and I went there, I met some really great guys and girls. Always go to those conferences, guys. They’re worth your weight in gold. He was talking about for a vacant land this one list which was the tax delinquent list. Long story short is we implemented it, it crushes. It absolutely is our number one producing list right now. So it’s the number one list that we have at our tribe pool. Here’s the secret to tax delinquent list. First of all, don’t buy it from a vendor. You got to get it for yourself directly from the county, the city, the municipality or the township. It can be anywhere to be found depending on where you are in the country. But here’s the key, one thing that Jack taught us was he uses the rule of five. What that means is when you go there, they’re going to say “This list doesn’t exist. There’s no such thing. There’s no such thing as taxes. I don’t know what you’re talking about.” They look at you like you’re crazy, like “Oh, I want a list of people who are behind in taxes.” They have no idea what we’re talking about. So you have to get five no’s until you get a yes. And I am telling you this is so true because this happens to everybody in our tribe. They’re like “I talked to the top, top, top person and they said there’s no such list.” I guarantee you, if you don’t pay your taxes you’re going to get a letter from somebody, that’s the person. So if you want a final, that might be the best way. But here’s the deal, the list exists and the parameters of the list are you want the homeowner to be at least two years or more behind on their payments, make sure that they’ve missed at least two years. You want to make sure that they’re still the homeowner, that’s very important, and then you just want to get your mail piece out to them whatever it is. But tax delinquent list two or more years behind especially single family homes, you want to clean it up. They usually have a little code that will tell you vacant land agricultural commercial things like that and you want to clean up the list, mail the single family homes. I would also recommend mailing the land if you can. One of our clients, Cody, he just did this and he actually bought a piece of land. It’s a record for land in our tribe. He bought that land for $4000. He resold it for – I know it was over $100. It was either $120 or $125 and I honestly don’t remember, but he just did that deal. Cody does a lot. He does over $100,000 a month now, but that was a great deal. So that was just on vacant land which is totally incredible so do the vacant land too, but single family residential tax delinquent two or more years behind, awesome list.
Danny Johnson: Nice.
Tom Krol: That’s number one.
Danny Johnson: What kind of message do you send to people like that? Just in general. We don’t need the whole letter or anything. Well, I’m sure some people would like that, but just in general, what kind of message.
Tom Krol: We have a proprietary one that we use for tribe members but essentially we have a series of pieces that we use. We have a sequence that we send out but essentially it’s the same old like I’ll buy your house and it’s just a mail piece although I have like tens of thousands of them laying around because they just continually come in and get thrown out. But I honestly don’t even remember what it says to be totally frank. But it’s basically one of those like “I’ll buy your house.”
Danny Johnson: And the benefits of selling for cash kind of thing.
Tom Krol: That’s one of the cards that we send out or in the sequence but actually the first piece I don’t think has any benefits except for – I think the first piece talks about the speed of the closing but I think that’s the only benefit that we talked about in the first piece.
Danny Johnson: Interesting. So it sounds like you go into a little bit more detail for each piece on each benefit instead of just like listing the benefits real quick without, right?
Tom Krol: Some of them we do. It’s actually surprisingly that I learned this from my buddy, Chris Chico, who’s a rock star at marketing and some of them actually we back away and give less detail like ”Hey, call me right away. I’ve been trying to get a hold of you. This is really important.”
Danny Johnson: Right. And like we said, we can get hung up on details like should we get details, should we not get details. It doesn’t matter. Just get the message in front of them to the right people at the right time is really the key.
Tom Krol: You know, all of that when it comes to details – and this is really important, if you’re just starting out and you want to wholesale a deal or you want to do whatever you want to do in real estate, the reason that you’re not wholesaling deals right now has nothing to do with a lack of information. The way you could prove this, and I know this is going to sound like really silly and amateurish and a little elementary, but the bottom line is if you have children and someone kidnapped your kids and said “Hey, the ransom is you got to wholesale the deal” I guarantee you 110 percent you’d have a deal wholesaled by Friday and today is Tuesday. I guarantee it 100% because you’d stay up later, you’d wake up earlier, you’d skipped meals you tell [Crosstalk]
Danny Johnson: That’s not the tactic you use is it with your students? You kidnap the kids until–
Tom Krol: I put them in that mindset. Because really if they could just get out of their own way and believe that it’s possible and go without it with that kind of tenacity, that’s the only reason why people aren’t doing deals. It has nothing to do with the list in the mail because I mean that that’s all good information. You want the right foot but at the end of the day, if that really were true, you would knock on every single door in the whole county until you found somebody who’s willing to sell their home [crosstalk]
Danny Johnson: Yeah. It’s taking action for the things that you need to do right now, not what you might need to prepare yourself for. It’s the first step, right? Taking action, massive action on that first step.
Tom Krol: Massive action, progress not perfection, imperfect action. If you want the secret sauce to making a lot of money in real estate, it has nothing to do with the details. It has to do with going out and learning by making mistakes. The guy or girl who buys a course and opens up a module and has like a warm of coffee and puts a blanket over their shirt like “Oh this is really interesting, look at that, let me take some notes.” If you’re taking notes, we have a serious problem. That’s not going to happen to my tribe like “let’s go” like “get out, come on.” Don’t ask me like “Hey, Tom, I’m thinking about implementing this, what do you think?” It’s more like “Hey, Tom, I did this. I got this funky result. Why?” That’s a much better question. There is such a thing as a stupid question. This whole “no such thing as a stupid question” – no, no, no, that’s not true. There’s stupid questions all over the place. So that’s good stuff.
Danny Johnson: Awesome. Okay, so I was just thinking back when we were getting started and we just played the heck out of Ron LeGrand’s CDs while we drove for dollars. We wrote down addresses and knocked on neighbors’ doors finding out who owns this vacant house – Anyway, alright, number two, what’s the second list?
Tom Krol: Alright, good. I’m glad you brought that up about driving for dollars because I could save you guys a ton of gas money because there’s a much better list. Here’s what we found. So we were driving for dollars and what did we realize, right? We realized that every time we were driving for dollars, the things that we were looking for, there was already a list that existed, right? So here’s the deal. It’s called the code violation list. This is the best list out there. I know I said the tax delinquent list is great but this list is great too. The reason it’s in second place is because the code violation list produces some of the largest assignment fees. So what is the code violation list? Same exact thing. It’s a tax delinquent list. You’re going to have a hard time getting it. They’re going to tell you there’s no such thing, it doesn’t exist, there are no code violations. Let your grass grow, I guarantee you you’d get a letter. It does exist. So here’s the bottom line, code violations could be for anything. They could be for high grass, they could be for a broken down car in the driveway, weeds, unkempt landscaping, rubbish on the front lawn. I mean every single county municipality has different code violations. Here’s the bottom line, get the code violation list and mail it. It’s that simple. Have a virtual assistant because I will tell you right now Danny you and me as entrepreneurs and everybody else out there who’s listening to this podcast, you guys are entrepreneurs. You are not good at the low. You’re at 45,000 feet. So the stuff at 5000 feet, you shouldn’t be doing like data entry stuff that’s repetitive tasks, stuff like that you guys should not be doing. So get a virtual assistant to do this and have him or her go through the list and then get the mailing address for the homeowner and send your direct mail to the code violation list. It’s one of the best lists out there. Huge response rate, huge assignment feed; it’s tremendous. I mean some of the best deals I’ve ever done have come from the code violation list because those people very often are out of state. They do not care about the property or they want nothing to do with it, the property is just a pigsty. That’s always a good deal for us.
Danny Johnson: Yeah, nice. So do you ever have your VAs screen any of the list at all for equity stuff like that or you just mail all of it?
Tom Krol: Never. The reason we don’t do that is for a few reasons. First of all, we find that there’s a problem with accuracy. The other thing that we don’t do on the tax delinquent list, most times we find that there is equity. What we find is that these are people who own the house, the mortgage is already paid off. Because when you’re paying your mortgage, you’re paying your taxes. So typically, when there is a problem that happens, and this is just typical in where I live and where some of my tribe members, we find that the majority of time there is equity. The other thing that you can do is you don’t want to get distracted. But if there is an equity but there’s motivation, there’s other exit strategies you can do besides wholesaling, hoteling and buying and flipping and rehabbing and all that, so depending on who you are and where you are. But I find that if you’re going to run your county list against equity, you have to be really, really, really super careful that you’re doing that accurately because we find that there’s a lot of discrepancies on the accuracy of equity. So just be cautious. Plus I like to be more sloppy in the trenches with dead bodies everywhere like just ___. Later on, when you’re making even just like $20,000 a month, then if you want to refine stuff, start to refine it, but by then you’re going to be on vacation, you’re not going to carry [Crosstalk]
Danny Johnson: Well, you’re going to consider too the mailing pieces. How much does it cost to mail one letter; I mean it’s kind of worth it to see if it’s–
Tom Krol: Right. Absolutely.
Danny Johnson: But I guess if you’re getting nothing but calls where people have no equity maybe you want to revisit the list or something. If it’s a lot, if it’s 100 percent all no equity.
Tom Krol: Yeah.
Danny Johnson: Alright. Awesome. So any differences and maybe a message for code violation? Just any kind of a little tip for that?
Tom Krol: Every single one of our lists are on the same sequence. So yeah we don’t know nothing like that as far as changing the mail piece out.
Danny Johnson: And just real quick, you guys mix your sequences with postcards or letters or all letters, all postcards?
Tom Krol: I want to be careful because Michael Quarles is a friend of mine and I love the company “Yellow Letters.” We use YellowLetters.com which is a great company and we use other vendors as well, but Michael is awesome. But I don’t actually use yellow letters like the mail piece yellow letters. We used the vendor but not actual Yellow Letters. We send out mostly postcards. Actually, I think right now in our sequence, everything is a postcard. I don’t think we send out any like actual legal sized letters at this point.
Danny Johnson: That’s interesting.
Tom Krol: We find that on the yellow letters you get a very high response rate but a very low conversion rate. Although one of our mail pieces is a high response rate and low conversion rate but the reason we use it is because we find that – and this is really important for anybody who is just starting out, what you’ll find is that when you send out mail 98 percent of the people who call in don’t want to do business with you. They’re either calling to say “take me off the list” or just because they’re interested they have no equity whatever it is. So the money is in the database. And that’s really important. If anybody is just starting out, you should write this down and put this on your desk. The money is in the database. That is where the money is. It’s in the follow up. The money is not always in the mail. Like I said, 98% of people who call in they want nothing to do with you and they’re not ready to sell their house at that minute. So if you can build rapport and follow up, that’s important. The other thing too of why we use one in our sequence that is like that is because what we find is that the RDOs come in much, much later but additionally to that we find that the people who call in at the tail end – and this is true of all mail pieces that we send out, the people who call in at the tail end like the last 20% are hotter than the people who call in like that day. So it’s the person like who holds on to your card and —
Danny Johnson: And stews on it a little bit?
Tom Krol: Oh, yeah. I’ll tell you, I know you know, but once you do like a lot of deals in 30 seconds you know like “this is not a deal.” “this is not a deal” so you get pretty good at that. But that takes thousands of hours on the phone, but good stuff yeah.
Danny Johnson: Yeah, that’s awesome.
Tom Krol: That’s the key.
Danny Johnson: Alright. In the code violation list, I think here it’s like neighborhood services or something is where we typically get it from. Is it called something else or is it a different part of—
Tom Krol: It’s exactly like the tax delinquent list. It could be anywhere. It might even be with like the judges. I can’t think of that like–
Danny Johnson: Yeah, the justice of the peace – no it couldn’t be that would it or maybe eviction or something.
Tom Krol: It could be anywhere. The thing is, you use the rule of five again. Same exact thing. Go out and find it and just make it happen but it definitely exists. Like I said, people who say it doesn’t exist, just let your grass grow high and you’ll get a letter. And that’s the key.
Danny Johnson: Right. It’s the Google search for a code compliance and then you can even do code compliance complaint and then your city will probably take you to the web page and then you can find who to contact or likely from that would be a good thing. Number three…
Tom Krol: Equity lists are great. Equity lists are great. We can get really, really granular on how we break out our equity list but here’s what I’ll just tell you in a little bit more of like 45,000 foot view. Danny, I hope you don’t mind if I talk about the tribe a little bit. Is that okay or–
Danny Johnson: No, go ahead.
Tom Krol: Okay. One of our tribe is so blessed – and I really mean this. We have in our tribe for list source the guaranteed lowest pricing in the entire country. We actually pay a penny a name for our names through the list source which is just incredible. This tribe is so blessed. It’s crazy. But the way we do it is, on our equity list which was what we pull from list source, we basically put three lists. We pool absentee owners, we pool owner occupied, and then we pool what we call our world list so that’s kind of like everybody who you can mail in your entire county. Then we have another little trick that we do to narrow those lists down if we have to, but if you’re in a small territory you don’t, and that’s like a 45-minute conversation on how to exactly break those three lists out. But what I will tell you is the key takeaway with equity is this, don’t make the mistake that everybody makes which they think absentee owners are the hottest list now. Now here’s what I will tell you, absentee home owners, well definitely you get the bigger spreads, but if you said to me “Tom, if you have to stop one form of investing, is it the absentee or owner occupied,” you can have my absentee owners and I want my owner occupied list. The reason is because the frequency, the people who are already doing deals who are like “man, I’m on a roller coaster and I don’t know how, I don’t know why” there’s typically only one of two problems with why wholesalers and any investors on a roller coaster with income or deals. The first reason is that they’re usually the ones doing their marketing which is ridiculous. The same reason why I wouldn’t hire you to do my marketing and you wouldn’t hire me because were entrepreneurs and we stink at that. We need people who are good at the detailed stuff. As entrepreneurs, we’re energetic, high energy. We have big ideas but we stink at implementing like small little details. So the first thing is if you want to get off the rollercoaster, hire a VA to do your marketing and just get over the fact that they’re going to make a mistake. No, they’re going to make a mistake and you’re still going to live. It’s not going to be a big deal. So who cares, let them make a mistake. But the second reason is that we find that those people are typically only mailing absentee owners the bulk number of deals and the bulk number of – and this is true in almost every area, most homes are owned by homeowners not by absentee owners. So the majority of your deals are with owner occupied. This whole like absentee owners are more or less motivated than a regular home owner is ridiculous. It came out in like the 1980s and people were like just pounding the absentee owner list. It’s like, no, that’s not at all accurate. The majority of the deals are with the owner occupied list hands down. So just be sure that that is really where you do the bulk of your mailing is in the owner occupied list because that’s the bigger list and there’s just as much motivation. People who own the homes they live in, they have just as many reasons to sell quickly for cash as the absentee owners do, so keep that in mind for sure. That’s key with that.
Danny Johnson: What kind of demographics are you looking for with the equity list?
Tom Krol: So in the equity list, we do a lot of different things. I can tell you one of the little tricks that we do is age because the criteria of all three lists are different. It kind of fluctuates. But one of the key things with equity list for sure is age. You will find if you go back to last hundred deals you’ve done, they’ve mostly been with any experienced investor will tell you, there are like 45-plus. So this whole thing of like wasting mail to people who are younger than 45 is kind of like not so hot. It’s going to cost a lot of money and it’s not as effective. Almost all the deals we do are with the people who’ve owned a home for a while. First of all, they have more equity. There’s all sorts of reasons. But we do equity percentages, we do last market sale day to kind of change from list to list. I have to look at all the criteria but age is a little secret pearl of wisdom that you can use to really focus that list least in on the people who are doing deals, and I would do 45 all the way to – I think ListSource has – the way they do it is like 45 to 54, 55 to 65, and then 65 plus and we select all the criteria pieces.
Danny Johnson: Awesome. Alright, anything else for demographics? Like maybe last sale day kind of thing?
Tom Krol: You do last market sale day from 1900 to 2013 which would be three years ago from today. So we always go three years ago from today.
Danny Johnson: Awesome.
Tom Krol: This is good stuff out there guys. I hope you guys are writing this down. This is liquid gold.
Danny Johnson: Yeah. I’m writing it down. It’ll be on the show notes page also at flippingjunkie.com/45 just in case you’re driving or something. I don’t want you writing it on your arms and stuff like that while you’re driving.
Tom Krol: Absolutely.
Danny Johnson: Alright. Number four, well first we have tax delinquent co-compliance equity, are you considering absentee owner, occupied and the global as three different lists or just as the one equity list?
Tom Krol: Just as the one equity list.
Danny Johnson: Okay. Alright, number four then.
Tom Krol: So number four, I got to give a shout out to my two good buddies, Lance and Terry, over at US Lead List. We’ve tested a lot of different inheritance lists. They are the best. There’s nobody better than Lance and Terry. You guys tell them that I sent you and they’ll give you a good deal. I would call US Lead List, 100 percent. They are rock stars. Lance is an honest, upstanding individual, a good hearted guy who you can count on when he tells you something is what it is. I love that fact about it. Also the list absolutely produces massive results. The list is per name. It’s not cheap but it’s usually a very small list. There’s a waiting period, they only sell to three people. When I first met Lance, I didn’t take his word for it. We tested him on this and it is absolutely true. They only sell it to three people per county. If you call up and they don’t have your list, if it’s already sold out, put your name on the waiting list because people fall off and it will absolutely yield mega, mega results for you. Like I said, it’s a little bit pricey per name but it’s absolutely worth it. I think it’s like a dollar or something per name but the lists are very small so the ROI is through the roof
Danny Johnson: And that’s not just probate either. You’re getting actual things that are not probate. So this is different from the probate list, right?
Tom Krol: So here’s the thing. These terms get thrown around. When I first got started, I had no idea and that’s the key. Like the less you know, the more money you’re going to make. So here’s the deal, the bottom line with probate is probate means that the homeowner has passed but the home is still in the state of probate which means basically like creditors can get access to it or I don’t know what it means, but it really can’t be sold until it’s inherited. That’s not 100 percent true because you can plan to do something with contracts from state to state. But the bottom line is, the inherited home are hotter in my opinion than probate because the homeowner has the ability to sell right away. Now with that said, at the probate list, it’s not the next list that we mail but we do love probate too. There is a guy who we follow and his name is Rick Ginn. He knows all about probate and he taught us what we know about probate so Rick Ginn is an amazing guy. I would definitely check him out. What I would say about probate is probate can be very, very hot too because probate allows you to work with the homeowners and build the rapport before that whole process kicks in of the inheritance. Probate is number seven in our list so if we’re talking about it, we might as well talk about it. Probate, what I would do is just cut through all the fat and go right to Rick Ginn. He has a little program he could sell you. Rick Ginn is a rock star. We got the program. It’s awesome. It teaches exactly what probate is and how to get those deals under contract and whatever you’re going to do with them.
Danny Johnson: Nice. Any other recommendations for the probate other than just contacting Rick Ginn I mean as far as having somebody pull them yourself or does this Rick Ginn recommend a service or does he have a service?
Tom Krol: You know, to be honest with you, one of my acquisition managers does it but I will tell you that I just had this conversation with one of my partners about probate. Here’s what we found with probate; in some locations, like a city website or a county website, you need to build a relationship with an attorney who has access to that sort of information. Either way though it’s definitely worth it. The only other titbit that I can give you with probate which I’m sure Rick Ginn would say to you is you have to mail multiple people. There’s something called like an executor – but here’s the thing, the bottom line is we do a lot of deals and if you hear me stumbling over these words like when you’re asking me details like of what’s what, the fact that I legitimately don’t really know these answers right off the top my head is because we’re focused on revenue and first position on progress not perfection and imperfect action, right? This is the key to all of it is don’t become like if somebody is out there saying “hey probate is hot and there’s a guy who does it” just have somebody or you do it yourself implement that system and don’t try to like learn the system. There are people out there who’d do all the stuff for you gladly like title companies. They do all this stuff like “Oh, I want to double close on every property.” Great. Let the title company worry about all the paperwork. I don’t know what happens in the back. I don’t care. I have four kids that I want to spend time with so I don’t know all the stuff. But that’s the key. I think people get so caught into like mastering their craft but they don’t realize that the craft that they should be mastering is being a business owner of a business that runs without them not like how to sweep the floor. That’s the key.
Danny Johnson: Yeah. I think I even have some kind of bound course thing on, on doing title searches. I think I maybe read the first two pages like “Why the hell am I reading this?”
Tom Krol: Right, exactly.
Danny Johnson: Like I do not need to know all of this.
Tom Krol: Well even with Rick Ginn’s course, I had my acquisition manager go through it. I’m like “I don’t know” like I don’t want to learn this stuff. But he’s great at that stuff and he’s also a great marketer so he’s a good guy to know.
Danny Johnson: That’s a great plan. I’m glad you keep bring things up like that because it is important for people to understand what’s it all about, what you’re focusing on. If you’re spending all your time doing stuff that’s not generating you revenue quickly, you probably shouldn’t be doing it.
Tom Krol: The thing is, I think it’s human nature to go into that comfortable cozy mode because learning is very safe, right? It’s very safe because you don’t have to actually do anything, right? So if you’re like “Oh man, what did you do today” and you’re like “Oh, it was a great day. I spent the whole day learning about probing. I’m really progressing,” you’re not progressing. You’re going backwards. If you’re like “I spent the whole day out talking to attorneys figuring out how to get probate and then I ran out of time so I handwrote 175 letters before I went to bed,” that’s progress. That’s making it happen, taking action, talking to people, looking like an idiot. The whole thing of “act as if” is the worst advice I’ve ever heard. Don’t act as if. Go there and tell people “Hey, look, I’m just starting out. I have no clue what I’m doing. I could really use your help.” People will root for an underdog. When you go there with like your hair slicked back like a car salesman and you’re like “Oh, yeah, I do this. I buy homes…” like “No, what are you talking about, man?” Come on. Let’s make a deal happen. Be who you are. That’s the key. People will root for you, they’ll mentor you, they’ll help you. Don’t be afraid of the action. That’s where the learning is. It’s not in sitting there learning about – that’s the key just to be totally blunt. The more I get into this business, the more blunt I get.
Danny Johnson: It’s because you’ve dealt with it and people have all kinds of excuses.
Tom Krol: Yeah.
Danny Johnson: So US Lead List was number four. We talked about and jump to number seven Probate, but let’s go back to five.
Tom Krol: Number five is evictions. Evictions are super, super hot. Now don’t ask me how to get evictions. It’s exactly the same as code in tax. They’re going to tell you there’s no such thing. Sometimes you had to pull it up manually, sometimes there’s other ways to pool it. Go find out how to find evictions. Just to be clear, evictions just mean that people are evicting tenants. When that’s happening, those landlords are typically motivated so go and get that list and it’s really that’s all there is to it. One thing you’ll do is if you start to hang out at the county or the city or wherever those lists are, if you spend enough time there, you’ll start to meet people who pull these things for list companies. Those people can be a wonderful resource. That’s all I’m going to tell you. I’m not going to tell you to go in like steal from the list companies not that I haven’t done that or did it or I’m denying it. But here’s the thing, I will tell you that there are people who work for list companies that are at counties all the time and you could sometimes ask the clerk and say “Hey, is there anybody – Oh yeah, that’s Mary. She’s always over there at that corner. She’s here on Tuesday, just go and say hello to her. She knows how to pull all those lists.” Bam. You just gained an extra $500,000 this year by getting Mary. Just get out of your office and that’s the key.
Danny Johnson: Awesome.
Tom Krol: So evictions are number five. They’re super smoking hot.
Danny Johnson: Alright. Number six.
Tom Krol: So number six is another one. This one is like a little tiny secret list that nobody mails, nobody knows about it. It’s smoking hot and your letter is going to hit right at the same time when this person wants to sell very often quickly. So here’s the deal, when a tenant is behind in rent and running out of money and they need to move very often – and Danny I’m going to put you on the spot, I’ll let you answer this, so if a tenant needs a little bit of cash and they’re going to move and the landlord doesn’t know they’re moving and they’re behind in rent, what is one thing that they can do right in their front yard to produce some quick cash right out of the gate?
Danny Johnson: It’s a yard sale.
Tom Krol: Absolutely, guys. So yard sales and garage sales are killer. They are killer. You will not believe how many times people who are tenants will sell everything including the kitchen sink and your letter, it’s just about hitting your home owner when the neighbors are like “hey, do you know by the way that your roof just got sold for like 25 bucks.” It’s amazing. Especially if you’re out of state, if you’re on a really tight marketing budget, go to Craigslist, go to the newspapers online, find all of the garage else. What I would do is keep a master list of the garage sales because a lot of people have garage sales every single week just to have a garage sale. They do that for like an income. So keep a master list and then these lists are extremely time sensitive. You want to catch the out-of-state landlord usually before they fly down because once they fly down they’re like committed to solving the problem. So if you can catch them before they do that, it would be awesome I think the last one we did was this guy who owned this company called “Mystic Pizza” and he was just about to come down and we’re like “No, no, no, no. Don’t come down. Stay where you are. I’ll send them all ___. Everything’s fine.” So here’s the deal, when landlords are in a bad spot and the tenant just left, instead of calling the property manager they have to find a new tenant and all that stuff and fix everything that person broke. We’re like “Hey, we’ll give you cash right away. Don’t worry about it.” Fast close as is and it’s a great little list and nobody mails it. Even if they mail it, they only mail it for a short while. So here’s what I want to bring up that’s so important. When you have a small list, like inheritance, like garage sales – and this I learned from my buddy, Mark Evans, who’s down in South Florida. The guy’s an absolute rock star, rock star real estate investor. Everybody should look him up, Mark Evans. The guy’s amazing. Here’s the deal, when that happens, one thing he taught me was data not drama. 95% of people run their business off of drama instead of data. Here’s the thing, when you have a small list, what you have to do is you must, must, must have a campaign report so that you know your numbers. Let’s just say that your county and skill level at 1700 pieces for one deal, let’s just use a random number, if you’re garage sale list is only 100 a month, that’s going to take 17 months to get one deal. It’s still worth it to mail that garage sale list. So don’t cut short list short because if you do that, you’re not going to get the benefit of the remailings and of having that list in your corner all the time. So one thing I would definitely encourage you guys to do is keep campaign reports, track the basic numbers, how many mail pieces went out, how much did it cost which is your money in and money out ratio, the conversion rate, the response rate; track every list. All you have to do to do that is keep a unique phone number for each unique list and mail piece. I then call ___ like three bucks a number. It’s ridiculously cheap, but that’s the key. So when you have a small issue like “man, I mailed 16 garage sales, I didn’t get a deal” just know everyone is doing that. Just keep mailing the garage sales and keep mailing them and you’ll see that the numbers will definitely even out at the end of a year or a year and a half and you’ll say “oh man, I got three deals. It just took longer because the list itself is smaller.” Just it just a little side note there.
Danny Johnson: Yeah. Awesome. One thing that you can do also is set up – if you’ve used If This Then That which is IFTTT.com, it can set up one for like the estatesales.com or garage sales or whatever and then have those automatically put into a spreadsheet for you every day and then you have your VA use those. I’ll put something on the show notes page also because I think I wrote about that and a guide that people can download for free. I’ll put that on the show notes page. We did yard sales, garage sales, probate was number seven, and then your final list, number eight, what do you have?
Tom Krol: Yes. So this list is great. One of my tribe members came up with this list and this guy is a rock star out of Atlanta. He found this list. This is a great list. This is another list. It’s going to be a little tricky to get. You can whine about it or just go find it. I don’t really care. The bottom line is that if you want a hot list, it’s the recent arrest record list, that is for whatever reason a smoking hot list. When I say that for whatever reason, a lot of times I don’t feel like I did when I was a rookie that I have to find out the reasons why people are motivated. Because you can waste a lot of time trying to figure out to get over this hurdle like “why would anybody ever sell their home for pennies on the dollar when they could just do X, Y and Z”. That question is like a show stopper. Sometimes the best answer is like don’t ask that question. Just know that every single day, ___ houses sell in your neighborhood. They all list at $400,000. But for some reason, one sells for $60 and sells for $160. There’s really no rhyme or reason, it just happens. So just know what happens. You don’t have to really understand it because that will stop a lot of people in their tracks. But the bottom line is, recent arrest record list can be very easy to get or can be very challenging to get, but that is also another good list. If you could find out their home and then send them if it’s public information. With all this stuff, you want to make sure that you’re doing it ethically, legally and morally okay. Check everything that I’m saying out with an attorney first before we take any action on any of this stuff. But the bottom line is that recent arrest record list is a smoking hot list for sure.
Danny Johnson: Nice. And same sequence and same letters to all these?
Tom Krol: Yes. Same sequence for everything.
Danny Johnson: Or postcards actually?
Tom Krol: Yeah. We used to do differently for probate but then we just found no it’s fine to do everything. Some of our mail pieces are like proprietary to the tribe but they’re pretty cool.
Danny Johnson: Awesome. Well this is a great list of lists that people should be mailing to. It’s nice to not just have the one because people like you so do just gravitate towards absentee owner and they call it a day and say “I’m just going to meet these” so as everybody else. So why don’t we try these other lists and like Tom said, the rule of five – five no’s until you get the list and don’t give up.
Tom Krol: Yeah. And I can’t take credit for that, that was Jack Bosch. I’m just giving credit where credit is due. Jack is the guy who came up with that and he told myself and my brother and we just flipped it around with that. It definitely works because I guarantee you, the first time you go there they’re going to say, “it doesn’t exist, there’s no such thing, we’re not allowed to give it out, it’s private.” And this other person will be like “Oh yeah, it’s right here.” It’s so funny as it happens every single time that way.
Danny Johnson: Yeah. It’s all about who you talked to. So when you go each time to these different places, you get to talk to somebody different. Don’t ask the same person and think that all of a sudden they’re going to say tomorrow like “yeah, yeah that’s available.” Awesome, Tom. Is there anything else you want to share with us about the lists?
Tom Krol: No. That’s it for the list. I mean this stuff is easy peasy lemon squeezy. Just make it happen. I think the secret sauce here to wholesaling or to any real estate investing is what we talked about earlier. If you want to be a learner and just learn about real estate, that’s great. You’re probably not going to make a lot of money but it’s an interesting subject. But if you want to be an earner instead of a learner, just know that the learning comes from making mistakes. I know this is like a crazy analogy and I know it’s very amateurish, but do this like when somebody you love was kidnapped and the ransom is you got to do a deal, and I guarantee you will do a deal. One thing my buddy Cody Hofhine say is “Doubt your doubt.” There’s no doubt if you’ve got to go save somebody, you’ll move a mountain. Just get out and stay out of your own way and just make it happen. Just double down, double down and double down and risk everything. It’s worth it.
Danny Johnson: And I think that’s why the people that do succeed quicker than others are the people that have the bigger reason why. If you’re comfortable where you’re at, it’s not so bad, you just want to do something different, you may not have that big enough reason to motivate you enough to do that mass of action.
Tom Krol: Tony Robbins, right? Everyone is moving from pain or going towards pleasure. I mean it’s so true. I mean I’m a Christian and so for me it’s like God is just like “aren’t you just exhausted” like it’s exhausting being broke. It’s exhausting. I remember my wife was in the shower crying one day, like should she buy groceries or pay the mortgage. It’s exhausting. You don’t want to live like that. So it’s just like don’t drink coffee and learn information. You haven’t earned that yet. When you’re tired, don’t take a break. If somebody brings you a sandwich, your spouse brings you a sandwich and they’re like “oh, you’ve been working so hard, take a break.” Slam the door in their face and throw the sandwich in the garbage and send out another offer, book another appointment, make a next phone call. Don’t stop. Your goal should be you jump out of a plane, you’re either going to be doing a big smiley check testimonial for a mentor or someone’s visiting you in the hospital because you die trying. But anything in the middle is a loss, like you got to just make it happen no matter what. If I could do it, anybody could do it. That’s 100%. I barely graduated high school, like forget it. I mean, if I could do this and I was fired when I was sales. I was fired from every single sales job I’ve ever had in my entire life. I think it was five in total until the time I started doing this. You don’t need to be a sales person, you don’t need to be super intelligent. There’s other people who would do stuff for you. Lean on them. Don’t try to learn title work in HUDs. People ask me questions about HUDs, I’m like “I have no idea. I barely know what a HUD is. I don’t know.” It’s just crazy the stuff that can get in the way. But if you just like lock down and make it happen, that’s the key where you bring in that victory belt for you. Where’s my victory belt?
Danny Johnson: Is that behind you?
Tom Krol: There’s one behind me and, oh, here’s another one.
Danny Johnson: That’s awesome.
Tom Krol: We have a rhino right there. Love it.
Danny Johnson: Alright, Tom. Well, thanks so much for everything that you’ve shared with us today. Is there a way that people can contact you? How can people find you?
Tom Krol: Yeah, absolutely. We have a website. It’s wholesalinginc.com. Anyone can check us out there. We have tons of great information. We also have a podcast which is in WholesalingInc.com where we talk specifically about deals like no fluff, no B.S., just all information that you can use right now to find a deal. So anyone can check us out there and it would be great. We’d appreciate it.
Danny Johnson: Cool. And I’ll put links to those on the show notes page also at flippingjunkie.com/45 if you’re driving or something and want to be able to find Tom, you can do that. So thanks again, Tom, and we’ll keep in touch.
Tom Krol: Thank you, Danny. It was great being on the show. Anytime, brother.
Danny Johnson: Yep. Have a good one.
Tom Krol: You too.
Alright. Another great episode. Thanks, Tom. That was awesome. Lots of great info in there and I really like the way he has motivational, sort of coaching things in there to motivate people to do what they need to be working on and focus on what they should focus on to really make a success in this business. There’s so much wisdom in that. I think following that advice would separate you from the 90 percent of people trying to get in this business. One thing that Tom talked about also on the show was that money is in the database, right? And it’s in the follow up and sort of like the secret there of everything that they’re doing so you’re maximizing the benefit of all the work you’re putting into getting these calls by having this database. The money is in the database. That’s the main reason why we use REImobile, why we created REImobile mobile, to be able to keep track of all that stuff so that we can have the automated follow-ups and just squeeze as much as we can out of each one of those leads that we get so that no marketing dollar is inefficient. You got to have every marketing dollar be efficient and that’s how we do that. So check out REImobile.com if you haven’t before. We just added a bunch of data for each lead also, so when you put an address in there, you’re going to get all this data aggregated from several sources for the property so you don’t have to go hunt down the county data all that kind of stuff. You’re going to be able to see it right there on the view lead page of REImobile. So it’s awesome. We’re adding some of the sales and deed record data in there shortly and all that kind of stuff so you’re going to get the benefit of all of that.
Alright, everybody. You guys have a great week and thanks for listening to The Flipping Junkie Podcast.
This episode was one of the best on this podcast! Loved it! Thank you for sharing!
There are a lot of factors that can make you the best real estate investor but let us focus only on the traits that will help you take control of yourself. You can never really change the situation around you but what you can change is your reaction to the situation around you. External factors may be very heavy but it is not impossible to counter or fix them with the right internal reaction.
Well said, Mark!