JF2150: Using The Radio To Close Deals With Chris Arnold
Chris is the co-founder of COSA Investments, a wholesale company in Dallas, TX. He has 15 years of real estate experience and has closed over 2,500 deals using the radio. He shares his very own process he utilizes when creating radio ads for his business.
Chris Arnold Real Estate Background:
- Co-Founder of COSA Investments, a wholesale company in Dallas, TX
- The founder of Arnold Elite Realty and The Multipliers Mastermind
- He has 15 years of real estate experience
- Has closed over 2,500 real estate deals using the radio
- Based in Tulum, MEX
- Say hi to him at: www.wholesalinginc.com/reiradio
- Best Ever Book: the big leap
Click here for more info on groundbreaker.co
Best Ever Tweet:
“You buy your radio time like you buy your real estate at a deep wholesale price.” – Chris Arnold
Theo Hicks: Hello, Best Ever listeners, and welcome to the best real estate investing advice ever show. My name is Theo Hicks, and today I’ll be speaking with Chris Arnold. Chris, how are you doing today?
Chris Arnold: Theo, what’s up, buddy? Hanging out with you, man…
Theo Hicks: Absolutely, and I love it! Thanks for joining us, and I’m looking forward to our conversation. I think we’ve got a good episode in store. We’re gonna talk about how to find motivated sellers on the radio. But before we get into that, let’s go over Chris’ background. He is the co-founder of COSA Investments, a wholesale company in Dallas, Texas. He’s also the co-founder of Arnold Elite Realty and the Multipliers Mastermind. He has 15 years of real estate experience and he has closed over 2,500 deals using the radio. He’s based in Tulum, Mexico, and you can say hi to him at wholesalinginc.com/reiradio.
Chris, before we get into the radio strategy, do you mind telling us a little bit more about your background and what you’re focused on today?
Chris Arnold: Absolutely. As you’ve mentioned, I’ve been in the game 15 years. I got my feet wet actually on the agency side. I wanted to get into the real estate game, so I got licensed, became a broker, went that route and built the whole team… And then I knew what I wanted to end up over time was much more on the investment side. So I’ve been doing fix and flips, to wholesaling, to — you name it; you get in a business for 15 years, you do a little bit of everything, to see how it works.
Fast-forward now – we run a completely virtual model. No brick and mortar office. Although we do deals out of Dallas, Texas, I actually live down in the Caribbean, in Tulum, Mexico, full-time.
As you mentioned, we do a mixture of investing, to education, to running a mastermind… I like to actually call it a brotherhood, because it’s much more than that… So a lot of my time now is definitely spent a bit more on the people side of the business, which is building brotherhood communities and coaching and educating. And my team does a great job of running the actual wholesale company, fix and flip etc.
Theo Hicks: Perfect, thanks for sharing that. I definitely want to circle back to working virtually at the end, but let’s focus mostly on how you’re finding deals on the radio. So maybe just walk us through your strategy and I’ll ask some follow-up questions based off of that.
Chris Arnold: Let’s do that, man. So I like to call radio the barking channel that everyone knows about, but nobody is utilizing. The first question I always like to throw out there is I want you to think about whatever market you’re in as you’re listening, and ask yourself “Who do I know as an investor in my area that’s utilizing radio to find motivated sellers?” and you’ll probably kick back and go “I don’t know anyone.” So the great thing about radios is it’s wide open, and I started radio nine years ago; I’ve been doing this a really, really long time… And one of the reasons that it’s so valuable is because people that are buying properties from us – if you were to go and look through your closing, your avatar or demographic is primarily over the age of 50. So people go “Well, isn’t radio old-fashioned and outdated?” and I like to say “Yes, it’s old-fashioned, and so are your sellers, primarily…”, because they’re over the age of 50 and they listen to radio and they watch TV. They do not have Spotify downloaded on their cell phones. That’s just not the behavior of somebody that’s over the age of 50. So radio works really, really well for our demographic.
Theo Hicks: Well, I have to say, whenever I’m in the car, I listen to the radio as well, and I’m not 50… But I definitely know what you’re saying, I definitely understand that objection… And I think out of all the interviews that we have, from my knowledge, I think one other person out of the almost 2,000 episodes has done radio ads, so I’m looking forward to diving more into that.
Let’s talk about what exactly that means. Is it a commercial? Are you doing talk shows? How does that actual copy work?
Chris Arnold: Perfect. So what we are doing is you wanna run a 60-second commercial, which is a call to action. And in that 60-seconds, you’re primarily recording an ad that’s touching on the pain points of those that are listening. “Do you have a junky house? Do you have a house that you inherited? Are you a landlord that’s tired of dealing with tenants?” And what you wanna do is you wanna hit on all those pain points, knowing that those listing will go “Hey, that’s me, and I’m definitely gonna call this number, because this person’s talking to me, particularly about the solution that I’ve been looking for. I’m sick of dealing with tenants, I’m gonna sell my house cash, as is, to this guy, and he’s gonna come in and close on it quickly.” So it’s a direct call to action that makes the phone ring.
One of the things, Theo, I love about it is I love in-bound marketing. I love marketing that makes the phone ring, so all you have to do is pick up the phone and answer it. And then the other thing I love about radio is the fact that it’s set it and forget it. A lot of the other traditional marketing pieces out there require a lot of work and a lot of management. Radio is one of those things that you turn on, the station manages for you, and literally you just have to answer the phone.
It was funny, I was talking to one of my students yesterday and he goes “Do you know what I love about radio?” He goes “I don’t like the fact that when I launch a marketing channel, I feel like I just launched myself into a new job.” [laughs] Because sometimes these marketing channels are really heavy on how much time they take to work them… Direct mail would be an example of that. So I love radio that is set it and forget it, for sure.
Theo Hicks: Okay, so I’ve got my 60 second copy written down, and I’ve got my audio recording — well, let’s take a step back… Am I just recording this on Audacity, and then submitting it? Or should these be done professionally, with music and, the part where they talk super-fast at the end, with all the disclaimers?
Chris Arnold: [laughs] We highly recommend, particularly in the beginning, that you as the owner, the CEO of the company record those ads. The best way to do that is when you negotiate with the station and start advertising or get ready to, they literally will just let you come down and record in their sound booth. So they’ve got a sound technician, you go in there with your script, it takes about 10-15 minutes to know it out, and they clean it up, remove all the breaths, all that type of stuff, and then you are good to go. So it’s that simple.
Now, you can record it from home if you have the actual device… If you think about me – I don’t have a recording studio anywhere around Tulum, Mexico unfortunately, so I just bought the equipment myself and I literally record it in my bedroom. So it’s that easy.
Theo Hicks: Nice. How often do I want to refresh my ad? You said you started nine years ago… Has it been the exact same ad for nine years, or do you change it every year, every month?
Chris Arnold: You’re mostly gonna keep the same ad, because we’ve tested a lot of them, and the one that we educate people to utilize works really well… And the reason that we keep the same ad is the way that we run it really is kind of hypnotic and memorable… One of my favorite stories is we got a voicemail from a lady that called in, and she said “Hey, I just want you guys to know we are advertising on a classical station.” So she listens to classical; she said “I always have my two kids in the back of the car, and they can repeat your ad verbatim. I just wanted to let you guys know you’re doing a great job”, and she hung up.
Theo Hicks: Oh, man… That’s funny.
Chris Arnold: Now, you think about two kids, in the backseat (what kid listens to classical music…?), probably playing a video game, staring out the window, but they heard that same ad so long, for so many years, that they literally had it memorized. Not just the phone number, but the actual ad, which is awesome.
Theo Hicks: That’s pretty funny. Okay, so you kind of hinted at my next question. You obviously play your ad on the classical music station… So how do I know what station to play my ad on?
Chris Arnold: As I mentioned, the main demographic is over the age of 50, but really there’s three demographics that exist in the U.S. when it comes to people that sell their properties to us, usually at a discount. So over the age of 50, what I would call urban, and then the third would be rural. So based on your area and where you live in the country, you might realize that “Hey, my demographic are people more out in the rural area”, so you’re just gonna reverse-engineer the genre of music that they listen to… So you’d probably be advertising on country stations. Or if your demographic was urban, then you would focus on stations like R&B.
Sometimes you go into markets — again, we help people do this all over the country, so I’ve seen so many different markets… Sometimes you’ll have a market that has one demographic, because it’s smaller… Or like Dallas-Fort Worth, where I’m at – we actually have all three demographics, so we advertise on all those genre stations; a little bit of country, a little bit of urban, and then some of that old, classic rock, like our grandparents would listen to. The old school stuff.
Theo Hicks: Yeah. So would you say that the ads work better on the FM music station, as opposed to the AM talk radio stations?
Chris Arnold: We recommend focusing on music in the beginning. The AM side does work, but you have to realize that people that listen to the AM stations tend to be more fluent by nature, so therefore they’re probably less likely to have a circumstance that’s gonna create a deal. So it’s not to say they don’t work, not to say you can’t get an ROI, we just find it’s always best to start on the music side, versus the talk radio.
Theo Hicks: Perfect. So then maybe walk us through how the negotiations with the radio stations go. So I’ve got my ad, I call up my radio station… How does that conversation go? And then on a similar note, because I’m assuming for most advertising things are packages; the lowest package is once every hour, or whatever; once every commercial break – in this one, every single commercial is just you. Obviously, that wouldn’t make sense, but you get what I’m saying…
Chris Arnold: I totally get it. This is the secret sauce. This is, in my opinion, why so many people, number one, don’t advertise on the radio… Because they assume it’s not affordable, which is not true. I recommend it for someone that’s brand new in real estate, because of how affordable that it is… So I’ll tell you what actually the average person would do, and I’m gonna contrast it to what we teach. The average person would just call the sales rep down at a local radio station and they would ask “Can you send me over your media packet?”
You have to realize, that media packet is the last thing that you wanna purchase. Not only everything they’re trying to sell you on in that, but also the retail pricing that they’re trying to sell you those spots at. What we do is we teach people to go in, and we actually pull reports on a station, so that we understand the value of that station based on the listenership, based on how many people are listening hour by hour… We draw all the way down to even homeownership on that station.
So when we call a station, we don’t ask for a media packet. We say “Hey, based on your stats, we understand that this is the size of your radio station and the value of it, therefore we are willing to buy our spots at X amount.” So we are telling them, based on reports, not asking them.
To give you an idea, every station we’re on, we want to run 100 times per month. That’s 25 times per week. So when we launch on a station, it’s 100 times. Theo, that’s really good frequency. But to give you an idea, the very first station I picked up was $1,500. I still have that station. That means I’m running 60 seconds spots at $15.
So this is where people are like “Are you kidding me, that you can advertise and get that deal?” And what I say is “Yes, you buy your radio like you buy your real estate, at a deep discounted wholesale price.” So people running radio stations out there don’t really want you to know that you can get prices down that low. And Theo, you know how it is – if you buy something right, like a real estate deal, all the money is made on the purchase, always. And the same is true with radio, and that’s why we get such a good ROI, because we buy at deep, discounted pricing.
Theo Hicks: Awesome. So I want to transition very quickly into you being able to work 100% virtually, and I’m gonna wrap that into the Best Ever question. So what is your best real estate investing advice ever for someone who wants to eventually get to the point where they can work 100% virtually, and as you’re doing, live in the Caribbean while they’re running a business full-time?
Chris Arnold: You’ve really got to learn to build and empower a team. I think one of the most difficult things for us as visionaries is giving up control. It’s our baby, it’s been our sweat to build it, and if you wanna run a virtual company and you wanna entrust your business with someone other than yourself, so you actually have a business, you’re not owning a job – man, you’ve got to be able to build up the team and empower them and raise that leadership.
And what I would tell you is that just takes time. That was definitely a long trial and error process to get the team and the caliber of people that I have now. But man, I’ve been doing this 15 years.
Theo Hicks: Okay, Chris, are you ready for the Best Ever Lightning Round?
Chris Arnold: Fire away, man! I like lightning rounds.
Theo Hicks: Perfect. First, a quick word from our sponsor.
Theo Hicks: Okay, Chris, what is the best ever book you’ve recently read?
Chris Arnold: I was gonna give you one that’s one of my favorites, but I actually just finished this book… And you know how it is when you finish something that really resonates with you… I’ve just read a book called The Big Leap. Have you ever heard of this?
Theo Hicks: Who’s the author?
Chris Arnold: By Gay Hendricks. It’s called The Big Leap.
Theo Hicks: It sounds very familiar.
Chris Arnold: Yeah. It’s about this concept of upper-limiting. For some reason, as we start to become more successful — we know that this happens with all of us, we tend to self-sabotage, to make us feel for some reason we don’t deserve to level up to that additional place; whatever fear, whatever is put in us at childhood, and so forth… And it’s just one of those books that kind of releases some of the things that hold us back from going up to that next level.
I read a ton of books, and I think that’s probably gonna be one of the best books I’ve read all year. I love it.
Theo Hicks: If your business were to collapse today, what would you do next?
Chris Arnold: If my business were to collapse today, what would I do next? I would go launch another business. Do you wanna know specifically what I would focus on?
Theo Hicks: Sure, yeah.
Chris Arnold: I really love the education side. I love the community side. So if my traditional real estate company stopped, I would be okay getting out of the property business and being full-time in the people business. I just find so much more fulfillment dealing with people and raising up people and coaching people than just necessarily doing real estate transactions. So I’d go launch something else around that, because that’s what fires me up.
Theo Hicks: What is the best ever deal you’ve done on the radio? Or I guess from the radio.
Chris Arnold: From the radio… [laughs] You’re so funny. My team does all the deals, so I’m not a deal guy… But if you’re asking profit margins and so forth, I definitely know some deals right around that 100k mark that we did on profit… So that would be probably the most sizeable profit margin that I can remember, is right around that six-figure. Right on the nose of like 100k-101k… Which is not bad for a wholesale deal.
Theo Hicks: Not bad. What about a deal you’ve lost the most money on? How much did you lose, and what was the lesson learned?
Chris Arnold: It’s funny, I was having that conversation with my business partner… This was a while back, this was years ago. We tried to take on this monstrous flip. It was one of those six-figure rehab flips, and it just ate our lunch. I think at the end of the day we probably ended up losing somewhere around 40k-50k on just one rehab deal… So it ate our lunch. I do remember that deal… And it took us forever. It took like three times longer than we were supposed to.
Theo Hicks: What is the best ever way you like to give back?
Chris Arnold: Man, I’m a one-on-one guy. I love sitting down for a cup of coffee with somebody that’s got great questions, that’s got excitement, and just looking for further clarity on how to find purpose, how to build their business, all those types of things. I just love those types of conversations. I walk away extremely energized from just those value-adding conversations. That’s what fires me up. But Theo, I’m also extremely social, so I’m happiest when I’m with people, for sure.
Theo Hicks: And then lastly, on that same note, what’s the best ever place to reach you?
Chris Arnold: A couple of things… If you’re listening and you’re like “Man, radio sounds really interesting. I’d love to learn more about that, see if that’s a marketing channel that I wanna plug in for myself for 2020”, you can simply go to wholesalinginc.com/reiradio and book a call; see if your market is open. And of course, just for free value, just go and subscribe to my YouTube, which is Chris Arnold Real Estate. Get free stuff there, and see what I’m working on, what value I’m adding out there to the masses.
Theo Hicks: Perfect. Chris, I really appreciate you coming on the show, and I’ve surely enjoyed this conversation. I learned a lot about how to find deals on the radio. Best ever listeners, you’ll definitely wanna go back and listen to Chris’ advice, because we went through, in my opinion, every single thing that you need to know in order to advertise on the radio – where to go, how to create the actual ad, the costs… Really, it’s everything that you need to know about advertising on the radio.
Then we also talked about how to work virtually, which was his best ever advice… Which was three-fold. One, you need to learn how to empower a team, two, you need to be comfortable giving up control, and three, this just takes time to get there. You’re not gonna be able to do it overnight, so make sure you have a plan in place to do those first two things if you want to, as Chris mentioned, run a business, rather than have a job.
Chris, again, I really enjoyed this conversation, I learned a lot. You are a blast to talk to. Best Ever listeners, thank you as always for listening. Have a best ever day, and I will talk to you tomorrow.
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