Today on the Epic Real Estate Investing Show, Matt Theriault interviews Alyssa Rispoli, a cold calling specialist! Find out why cold calling is the primary deal-finding resource for her team, who they call, and how they find numbers.
You can also enjoy our new podcast segment, Epic Field Reports, and find out how a property can be bought for $30,000 and sold for $42,500 in just 30 days!
What You Will Learn About the School of Cold Calling – Alyssa Rispoli:
- Discover the new segment of the podcast, Epic Field Reports
- Find out how a property can be bought for $30,000 and sold for $42,500 in just 30 days
- What Josiah Wilson, who made this killer deal, learned from it
- How he is going to celebrate this win
- How Alyssa Rispoli, the cold calling specialist, took her first steps in real estate
- Why cold calling is the primary deal-finding resource for her team
- Who they call and how they find the numbers
- How many numbers they dial each day
- Why it is important to track KPIs (Key Performance Indicators)
- The importance of targeted lists and motivators
- Why the “Do Not Call” list is a convenient tool
- The significance of being transparent, helpful, and tolerant when cold calling
- The importance of a mentor when starting a business
- Find about the cold calling course that Alyssa and her team have put together at epiccoldcalling.com
- Alyssa’s insights into the present and future state of the market in St. Louis
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Speaker 1: This is The Epic Field Report.
Matt Theriault: Hey, Josiah, what market are you in again?
Josiah Wilson: I’m in Austin, Texas.
Matt: That’s right, I remember now. So I noticed your Follow Through Friday post inside of The Epic Pro Academy’s private Facebook group. I just want to ask you a few questions about these deals that you’ve got.
Josiah: Most definitely.
Matt: Okay, cool. Well, congratulations first of all, because it looked like it was a very busy week. I’ll go ahead and read it really quickly here, and I want to ask a couple of questions. Put the same property under contract due to the seller not willing to negotiate due to “the market,” lower than expected appraisal. It took her a week, but she’s back and accepting your price, so congrats on that. You put four lots under contract for $3,000 total, met with the person who is interested in owner-financing at $20,000 and found out that they own a couple houses in town, so there’s a big win. This last one, you closed on a property that made $4,000. You made $4,000 and your two partners each made $3,000. And then you bought and sold that within 30 days. So, let’s talk about the one that closed and then maybe we can come back to talk about the other ones when they close. So, this last one, how did you find this deal?
Josiah: That was actually through a wholesaler.
Matt: You found it through another wholesaler? How did you meed that wholesaler?
Josiah: That one, I get wholesalers who call me a lot through my Craigslist ads that I have. So I have Craigslist ads in multiple different markets, and I’m the only one I think who’s very consistent it so I get a lot of wholesalers who call me and add me to their list.
Matt: That’s awesome. Yeah. Everything works as long as you do. And consistency is key, so congrats on that. What was your plan to exit strategy? Was this just a quick wholesale deal that you did?
Josiah: So we actually closed on it with cash. We bought it, took it in possession. I was gonna put it up on the MLS, I’m a realtor as well, and somebody, as I was putting my find in, they wanted to see it. My contractor was cleaning out the property, so like, “Okay, we can offer this much.” And it was like, “Alright, we’re going to make this much money without doing any work.” All we did was clean out the property. It’s like, “Let’s just sign it and walk away.”
Josiah: We don’t have to make anything more. We’re good.
Matt: Totally. Fast nickel beats the slow dime?
Josiah: All the time.
Matt: Right. And so, what did you actually walk away with on that one?
Josiah: So, we bought it at $30,000 and we sold for $42,500. So, I walked away with a little over four thousand myself, with the profit split I had with the partners. ‘Cause we all threw like $10K each.
Matt: Great. So, what would you say is the biggest lesson that you’ve learned in this transaction?
Josiah: Show up, make an offer. They didn’t like my offer at $25,000 and kept negotiating. I was like “Okay, where does it work for you?” My numbers look good and like “Okay, well let’s tackle this one. It’s just a no-brainer, so let’s go for it.”
Matt: So, just keep going after it may be the lesson, right?
Josiah: Yeah. Keep going after it, consistency, make offers.
Matt: Yeah. It’s pretty straightforward. So, let me ask you, how are you gonna celebrate?
Josiah: We actually just bought with the money, we’re going to Port Aransas in a couple weeks. So we’re going to the beach for two days.
Matt: Fantastic. That sounds way better than Disney Land.
Alright, buddy. Thanks for your time, keep doing what you’re doing and let me know if there’s anything I can do for you.
Josiah: Okay. [inaudible 00:03:14], Matt.
Matt: Alright, take care, bud.
Josiah: Thanks, bye.
Speaker 1: This is Theriault Media.
Matt: Yeah. Hello, and welcome to The Epic Real Estate Investment Show, where we meet here each and every week to help every day people escape the rat race using real estate.
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Alrighty, so coming up soon, getting together with a medium-sized group of aspiring investors. That medium-sized group is getting a little bit bigger and we’re gonna turn them all into badass investors at the next Epic Intensive, so if you’d like to join us, go to epicintensive.com for all the details. Grab your seat, and I will see you in Boston.
I got a very special show for you today. What was once old has become new again and it’s been an extremely effective strategy for people finding deals and finding off-market deals and finding them before their competition. So there’s someone that’s making a lot of headway in this and doing this strategy really, really effectively. It’s probably been nine years since I’ve actually made a cold-call. I just prefer fishing with my marketing and having those leads call me first, but boy, it’s how I cut my teeth, was just picking up that phone and dialing every single day. And it’s interesting that it’s being treated as this new strategy, but you know what, in a competitive market, depending on where your market is, it could be necessary or maybe just give you a little advantage on the people that won’t do it. ‘Cause anyone can cold-call, not everybody will. And indeed, there lies an opportunity there. So I thought I’d bring this person on to discuss and kinda share what they’re doing and how they’re doing it, what their numbers are and how their results have been. And potentially see how they might be able to help you do the same.
So, please help me welcome to the show, Ms. Alyssa Rispoli. Alyssa, welcome to The Epic Real Estate Investing Show.
Alyssa Rispoli: Thank you so much for having me here.
Matt: Yeah, you bet.
I forget how we crossed paths. I don’t know if you sent me an email or if I saw you on social media, or I got introduced to you ’cause we have a bunch of mutual friends. Doesn’t matter, we’re here now. And you’re kind of heading up a topic that’s really popular right now inside of real estate investing and locating motivated sellers before anyone else and having to do with cold-calling and how you guys do it and you’re really effective with it. And I wanna share that with the audience, but first can you just kinda bring us up to speed with what you were doing just before you got involved in real estate?
Alyssa: Yeah, so before I got involved in real estate, I was in college, I got my business marketing degree. And when I graduated, that’s when I started. I found a really awesome mentor, Jason [inaudible 00:06:30] and I got a couple of partners, they’re actually sitting here with me, Gerardo and Josh. And the three of us kinda hit it off, so we started cranking out some deals and a big part of the deals we get are from cold-calling, so we have a lot of fun doing it.
Matt: Sweet, so how long have you been in the business then?
Alyssa: Almost two years now.
Matt: Two years? Okay, so not too long, and what market are you in?
Alyssa: We’re in the St. Louis market.
Matt: Okay. Would you say cold-calling is your primary deal-finding resource?
Alyssa: Yeah, it’s one of the best ways, we believe, in what we do, to get off-market properties really before anyone else. I mean, right now, it seems like, across the country, it’s a very hot market everywhere. There’s a lot of investors, a lot of wholesalers, a lot of people are doing direct mail bandit signs. And we do that as well, but we feel like we have an advantage by hopping on the phone and cutting through all of that and just getting direct to the owner.
Matt: Super, super. So, let’s start at the beginning. Who are you cold-calling?
Alyssa: So, we are cold-calling vacant properties that we have either bought lists on or that we have found driving for dollars, then we have quite a big bird dog army here in the St. Louis market, so we’re calling anyone that has a property that looks vacant, abandoned, distressed or has some sort of motivator behind it. We’ll hop on the phone and call up the owner.
Matt: Super. Okay, so, through lists, driving for dollars, what is your resource for finding the phone numbers?
Alyssa: So, for finding the phone numbers, we use a couple of different sources. We are good friends with Larry Higgins with Skip Genie, so we use Skip Genie a lot.
Matt: Mm-hmm (affirmative). We just had him on the show last week. So, perfect.
Alyssa: Okay. Awesome. Yeah, Larry’s an awesome guy.
Matt: Cool, so I thought this would be good to kinda have you guys here back to back. I think your two services go well together.
So, you’re skip tracing them through there. Great, so once you start calling, what’s your approach? Do you just say, “Hey, you wanna sell your house?” Or do you have a sneaky way or a tactical way or a strategic way of doing that?
Alyssa: Yeah, so we have a bunch of different scripts. I mean, we call on pre-foreclosures, probate properties. And we kind of approach every single one a little bit different because some leads that we’re calling on can be a little more sensitive, but generally speaking, for a vacant property, we’ll call ’em up and we’ll just ask, “Hey, can I speak to Mr. Bob?” And he’ll be like, “Yeah, this is Mr. Bob.” We wanna make sure we’re talking to the right person first before…because sometimes there’s a bunch of numbers or sometimes it’s the wrong number. So, we call up to say, “Hey, can I speak to Mr. Bob?” And he’s like, “Yeah, this is Mr. Bob.” And I just let him know, “Hey, I know this call is completely out of the blue, but I was driving around the area the other day and I saw a property I think you’re the owner of and I just wanted to reach out to see if you’d be interested in letting us make an offer on it, ’cause we’d really like to buy it.”
Matt: Sweet, so pretty darn straightforward?
Matt: Cool, so, what does your regimen look like? How many cold-calls? How many numbers are you dialing a day?
Alyssa: Well, it depends really on the list. And we have hired a couple of callers as well. So we use mojo dialers for the big lists, and then for the driving for dollar leads or any really hot leads, we will hand dial those. Each person on our team is trying to talk with at least 20 to 30 different homeowners a day. Each homeowner might have five phone numbers attached to it, so the actual number just kind of depends, but we’re trying to talk to at least 20 to 30 different homeowners a day, each of us. And then our cold-callers are just hammering it out making hundreds of calls.
Matt: Got it. So, 20 to 30 sellers a day, or property owners a day. Do you have any kind of numbers on that of what kind of deal production that you get out of that number?
Alyssa: Yeah, we track all of our KPIs, the number of calls we need to make to get a walkthrough and then from there we do how many properties do we need to walk through to get a deal or to get an accepted contract. And then, from there we just know this is how many calls we have to make to get a contract. And I am trying to pull up my Excel sheet because our KPIs are constantly fluctuating, I would say.
Alyssa: We kind of do a one and count, but I’m pulling that up right now. So I’m gonna give you that number.
Alyssa: And our numbers have definitely gotten better over time, with practice, and being able to handle the different objections.
Alyssa: Compared to when we first started, it was really bad. And sometimes we still mess up, but I mean, when we first started on phone calls, it was terrible sometimes. We’d be like, “Uh, I don’t know what to say.” Hang up and move to the next.
Matt: Right, I remember those days.
Matt: Terrified to pick up the phone and then you throw enough repetition in there, and you’re right, your numbers start improving.
Alyssa: Yeah, so overall as a team, ’cause we put all of our KPIs, you know, we track individual KPIs for every person on the team, and then a team total. And right now, our team total is we have to talk to 12 homeowners to get a walkthrough and then we have to walk through six properties to get a contract.
Matt: Got it, got it. Those are good numbers. Those can create a very predictable business for you guys, so that’s good.
Alyssa: Yeah, we try to do targeted lists, instead of just blasting out lists, so I think our responses are a little bit better because the lists we are calling have motivators on them. We’re not just calling the high-equity list and having to talk to 300 people to get a walkthrough.
Matt: Right, right. Good.
I have to play a little bit of Devil’s Advocate, I used to be a cold-calling cowboy. I used to do that all the time and that was probably nine, ten years ago. And I just pounded the phones all day long. And then, that was kind of like the emergence of where the Do Not Call list came out and so everyone kind of stopped doing that, but apparently everyone’s doing it again, so do you have any concerns or has anybody ever brought anything up with the Do Not Call list?
Alyssa: Yeah, so we scrub our numbers against the Do Not Call list. There’s a couple different software that we use and then I’m pretty sure you can also just use dnc.com and upload your list. So, we try to be 100% compliant and we’ll scrub our numbers against that list, and then if we talk to anyone that’s not on the Do Not Call list and they ask us not to call them, we make sure to add them to the Do Not Call list. We want to be respectful and we wanna follow the law.
Matt: I wish everyone was like you ’cause I’m on 17 different people’s lists and they call me every single day.
Alyssa: I get it, too.
Matt: I was like, “What happened to that Do Not Call list? That used to be a big thing that everyone was terrified of and obviously, not anymore.” But you guys are playing by the rules, so that’s good.
Gosh, is there something here I’m supposed to ask? It’s pretty straightforward. It’s funny how what was old is now new again and everyone’s saying this is the cool strategy to do and this is kind of how it’s been done from the beginning of time.
What am I supposed to ask, or what else should I know about what you guys are doing that makes it unique or different? Or is there anything?
Alyssa: I think some of the biggest things for any of your listeners or any of your followers, whenever you’re making phone calls, the biggest thing is to, when you’re calling people, to not come across as spammy. We don’t call people and say, “Hey, this is Alyssa from 1-800…we’re not trying to sound like we’re coming from a call center, we’re trying to call people and sound like we’re neighbors, we’re here in the community, we’re trying to make the community better and we’re reaching out to see what we can do to help. There’s sometimes where we call people and they don’t wanna sell their house, but they might have family or a friend that needs to sell their house. We’re just putting ourself out there and letting people know that we’re willing to help whether or not we buy their house or not. Because of that, people really like working with us.
Matt: Sure. I can imagine.
Alyssa: Yeah, so people should definitely go into it with that attitude and also, you get a lot of angry people sometimes, and that was something big for me when I first started making calls. At first, I was kind of offended by it, but then you really have to just do kind of a mindset shift and understand that they’re not mad at you. The people that we’re calling are in distressed situations and you shouldn’t take it personally. You kind of just move to the next. And we’ve had a lot of people call back and say, “Hey, I’m sorry that I was rude on the phone.” And then they tell you the situation they’re in and it all makes sense.
Alyssa: You kinda gotta get a thick skin.
Matt: Right? No, totally.
Okay, so good. I think being authentic and transparent, being helpful, I think that’s the new sales strategy of the day. Just being a good person, I think that’s the best approach.
One of the things that we were talking about or we just kind of exchanged in email was you’re doing this for your own team, you’re doing this for your own market, and you’re doing it for your own investing, but you have a service of some sort making it available to help other people do this as well? Can you talk about that?
Alyssa: Yeah, so, when we first started in our first year, we did 50 wholesales and four rehabs, so we crushed it. Especially coming straight out of college, we knew nothing about real estate at all. We didn’t even know what an ARV was, we never even bought our own house, and so, we had a huge learning curve, but we did really, really well. And I think a huge part of that, obviously, is because we had a mentor, which as I said is Jason [inaudible 00:16:53] who just guided us, who taught us everything he knew. That was one of the most helpful things, but then also, we were making calls.
So a lot of people starting asking us, “Hey, can you tell us how you’re getting these deals? What are you doing? What are you saying?” And so, my team and I, we put together a course that teaches people how to do cold-calls. It gives you all of the objections, it gives you the best times to make calls. How to track the number of calls you’re making, how we set up our [inaudible 00:17:24] and our CRMs. It has all of our scripts and just all of the different things we put together in this course. It took us probably six months to put it all together and then we recorded a ton of live calls. We put those in there. So we have this course that we made so that we wouldn’t have to keep teaching people, they could just go to the course and they could dive right in and learn everything that we’re doing with our cold-calls.
Matt: Got it. Sweet.
Alright, so if people wanna learn more about that, what would be the best way for them to do that?
Alyssa: They can go to startcoldcalling.com and that is where our course can be found at. We went back and forth on pricing. Some people are charging $3,000, $4,000, a couple thousand dollars for courses. We wanted to make it as cheap as possible, less than the price of what it would cost to do a direct mail campaign or a bandit sign campaign. So, we really struggled, ’cause we wanted to make it completely free, but we put so much time into it as well as all the softwares we use to keep it up.
Matt: Got it. Sweet.
Cool, so startcoldcalling.com. You guys set up a special link for me, Epic Cold Calling. So, for the Epic listeners, if you could go there, just so Alyssa knows where the traffic is coming from, and then it pays us a few bucks to help us keep the lights on, so appreciate that.
Alyssa, it’s been an absolute pleasure. What’s in your future? What are you excited about most?
Alyssa: Oh, I’m excited about everything. Our team and I, we’re growing, we’re having a blast doing it, we’re making sure every day we’re having fun and helping people. We’re excited to see what comes next.
Matt: Alrighty. So, what do you see in the market in St. Louis right now? What are your predictions for the future?
Alyssa: St. Louis is a crazy market. It is super hot right now. It’s a great place for rental properties, ’cause the cost of living is low here, so cap rates are amazing and for the future, I think apartment complexes, multi-families seem to be on the rise quite a bit. Millennials are taking over in 2019, 2020, so it would be exciting to see what they do with the real estate market, as far as either buying or renting.
Matt: St. Louis is such an amazing market. I think three of my five best clients, my most successful clients are all in St. Louis. You seem to be doing pretty well. A good friend of mine, Jeff Garner, he’s had his business there forever. There’s a lot to go around in St. Louis apparently.
Alyssa: Yeah. I know Jeff and Jeff’s an awesome guy.
Yeah, I know St. Louis is amazing, we’ve got a lot of really awesome wholesalers, rehab-ERS, who try to all work together and help each other out. There’s an abundance.
Alyssa: That’s the great thing about real estate.
Matt: Totally, and it just comes down to if you’re doing the work, the opportunity exists in any market.
Good job for you guys. Congrats on your success. Thanks for sharing with us your strategy and how you’re doing what you’re doing, and let’s stay in touch.
Alyssa: Alright, thank you so much.
Matt: You bet. Take care and say hello to your team. Hopefully, I’ll cross paths with you guys soon.
Alyssa: Alright. Absolutely, come out to St. Louis. We’ll take you to a Cardinals game.
Matt: Will do. Take care.
Matt: God bless to your success. I’m Matt Theriault.