Ryan Dossey, my brother and the founder of Call Porter, was just interviewed on the BiggerPocket’s podcast. A pretty exciting honor, considering that Ryan attributes much of his beginning success to the BiggerPocket’s forums.
Actually, I just dug up some of his old questions for fun (everybody starts somewhere!).
But I digress.
I’m proud of my brother and absolutely thrilled that he’s come as far as he has, securing well over 70 units per year in 2017 and 2018. And I think his interview on the BiggerPockets podcast was well-deserved.
But I also know that not everyone has the time to listen to an hour-twenty podcast episode. So I listened to it for you and jotted down some of my favorite takeaways. I hope it helps!
1. “I don’t do any grey-area marketing.”
When Ryan said this, the interviewer’s first question was, “What do you mean by grey-area marketing?” And that’s a valid question. As Ryan explains in the interview, he defines grey-area marketing as any type of marketing that walks an ethical line. In some states, grey-area marketing can even get you into legal trouble.
Bandit signs, ring-less voicemail, black-hat SEO, and “third notice” yellow postcards.
Look — I understand that some of you probably use these marketing tactics (Ryan has before) and we’re not trying to bash on your business. But I like the way that Ryan explained bandit signs: “I don’t think that you can say you’re trying to make a community better with your business and then actively litter in that community with bandit signs.”
He’s right. As far as the other grey-area marketing tactics go, Ryan knows one person who’s in legal trouble over using ring-less voicemails, and deceptive yellow postcards just don’t get as good of a response rate as the beauties he uses over at Ballpoint Marketing.
It’s cheesy. It’s cliche. It’s annoying to hear. You don’t want to hear it. But it’s true.
Honesty is the best policy. Period.
2. “We view our prospects like Amazon views its customers.”
I love that Ryan said this.
I think that, in business, we often forget that we’re dealing with real-life people — people with challenges, pains, desires, and fears. And in the case of real estate investing, pain and fear are particularly pertinent. As Ryan said so succinctly, “I’ve never met someone who needed to sell their house fast for cash because life was going well.”
No. More often than not, motivated sellers are people stuck in difficult situations. And rather than trying to profit from that pain, helping the person and educating them on their options isn’t just a great way to build long-term relationships, it’s a great way to close deals.
For Ryan’s business, treating sellers with respect and telling them the best options for their specific situation has profited far more than dishonesty or insincerity ever could.
3. “I have a 90% rejection rate.”
It’s easy to forget.
When offering a small amount of money for someone’s property, lots of people say “no.” Ryan goes so far as to say that a whopping 90% of people say “no” the first time that his team makes them an offer.
But that doesn’t bother him.
Read the below story from his Facebook page to find out why.
You see, it’s not really logical to expect someone you’ve never met before to accept your low-ball offer the first time that you offer it — that would be unreasonable.
And Ryan knows that.
Which is exactly why he takes his automated follow-up sequences (over text) so seriously. That’s where almost all of his deals come from and it’s where they will continue to come from. Many people will only want to sell their house to you once they have time to think it over, they know that they can trust you, and they even know you have their best interest in mind.
A follow-up sequence allows time for the natural buying and selling “courtship” process to take place. Don’t neglect that.
4. “You should run your scorecard which runs your business.”
Are you imprisoned within your business?
It happens all too often…
You, the entrepreneur, set out to build a business which runs apart from you. Sure, you’ll oil the hinges and replace parts every now and again, but you don’t want to be the machine. You want to build the machine.
Still, many entrepreneurs unintentionally work themselves into a corner and become the horse, driver, and carriage for their business. They have their hands in everything. That’s not just a recipe for a struggling business, but it’s a recipe for burnout and a personal mental-breakdown.
Instead of getting running before you even have a plan, create job descriptions for every necessary role in the business — even your own — with clear expectations, deadlines, and duties. With that, you’ll be able to plug the right people into each position and build a business worth running, one that doesn’t cost you 80 hours per week.
5. “FOCUS is what makes some investors succeed and others fail.”
At the end of the podcast, the interviewer asked Ryan this question: “What’s the difference between a real estate investor who succeeds and a real estate investor who fails?”
Ryan responded with a single word.
If you’re trying to do 10 different kind of deals with your business, operate in 5 different lucrative markets, all from the very beginning, you’ll be so sidetracked with each “thing” that you’ll do none of them exceptionally. The best way to build any kind of business is to focus on just a few things and do them really well, better than anyone else.
If you do, you’ll find yourself miles ahead of the competition.