You're listening to the REI Marketing Nerds podcast, the leading resource for real estate investors who want to dominate their market online. Dan Barrett is the founder of Ad Words Nerds, a high tech digital agency focusing exclusively on helping real estate investors like you get more leads and deals online, outsmart your competition and live a freer, more awesome life. And now, your host, Dan Barrett.
Dan: Hello everybody. Welcome to this week's REI Marketing Nerds podcast. As always, this is Daniel Barrett, here from AdWordsNerds.com. Hello. How are you? I hope you're having an awesome week. It is, where I am here in Connecticut, we are transitioning into beautiful fall weather, the best weather, which is of course, hoodie weather. It is hooded sweatshirt season, everybody, and I hope you are enjoying it where you are. [0:01:09.5]
This week, we have an incredible guest. We have, this guy blows me away on multiple levels, and I'm so excited for you to hear my conversation with John Martinez. If you are not familiar with John Martinez, he runs a coaching program called The REI Sales Academy. Basically, what he is doing is taking real estate investors and modernizing how they close. This guy has incredible social proof, incredible feedback from the highest possible level of investor. I mean, I was in a room with, I don't know, maybe 300 or so real estate investors, all of whom are doing, you know, over 100 deals a month and they were raving about John Martinez and what he does. So I was so excited to get him on the podcast. Not only that, he has managed to build a business that he runs and this is literally true, what he told me, in about four hours a week. So he is out there living the life and helping real estate investors everywhere close more deals. I'm so excited. So without any further ado, here's my conversation with John Martinez from the REI Sales Academy. [0:02:21.8]
Alright. Hello, everybody. This is Daniel Barrett, and I am here with John Martinez from the Midwest Revenue Group. You may know him from his coaching program, which is called the REI Sales Academy. John, how are you, man? Welcome to the program, show, whatever you want to call it.
John: What's going on, Dan? Good to be here. Good to be here.
Dan: Yeah, and I'm super happy to have you here. So we kind of got sort of reconnected at Collective Genius. We were down there and sort of met and got to talking a little bit and I've been very, very fascinated by you and your program and definitely looking forward to kind of digging into it a little bit, but for people that aren’t immediately familiar with you and don’t know your work, can you give me kind of like some context for you - like how did you get started in real estate investing? What was your in to this weird world that we're all part of? [0:03:12.8]
John: Yeah, yes. So, good question. I'm not… I didn't start in real estate investing. I actually don’t invest at all myself. I bought probably a couple hundred houses, but that… I'll tell that story in a minute. But I've been a sales trainer my whole life or in sales in some form or fashion. So, at a young age, started in all commission sales and I kind of just climbed the corporate ladder, just bigger companies, higher dollar products, went from insurance to software to IT infrastructure and managed services. Then eventually, rounded out my career in corporate America building and training sales teams. About five or six years ago, I wanted to do just my favorite part, which was the actual sales training piece, so I launched a company. We were in a whole bunch of different industries, but we got into real estate investing, and it really took over the business. So, we have been exclusively sales training, acquisitions people, and investors in this industry for about the last four years. [0:04:06.8]
Dan: Why do you think it was real estate investing that took off? Because it's interesting, because I had a similar story, where it's like you know, I started the agency, was doing a lot of different industries and sort of settled on real estate investing. I'm curious why you think that happened for you guys, specifically?
John: Yeah. So I think there's a couple of reasons. One is just the customer, which is for us, the real estate investor. The customer is really easy and simple to do business with. Most real estate investors I work with, they move quickly. They take massive action. They invest in themselves. All of this lends itself to.. like they're trying to get a leg up, an advantage over their competition, so that means hey, they buy the type of stuff we're selling, which is sales training. So just the customer is perfect for kind of the business I have. The other reason I think we got so much traction so quickly or were so attractive to real estate investors is because I want to say this the right way - I don’t want this to come off the wrong way, but what I've noticed is most investors were using sales tactics and strategies and the same with negotiation, definitely negotiation tactics and strategies that were 50-100 years old. [0:05:16.9]
Just not very effective. It was extremely old school, and you know, it's not their fault - right. It's just the way they were taught and a lot of that information is regurgitated. There's even some, some of the I guess, I'm not going to say best sales trainers, but the most well known sales trainers out there today still teach these really outdated, ineffective strategies. So when we got into real estate, for me, these were sales tactics and strategies of the sales process that I thought were newer in the sense of 10 or 20 years old, but to the industry, it was the first time a lot of people had heard these different tactics and strategies, so they were extremely effective against the competition, who were using old school type stuff, and just simpler, easier to understand. So I think it really caught fire because of all those things. [0:06:04.0]
Dan: So this is really interesting, and I will say, to kind of go back to the beginning where you said, I think, investors who are good at what they do or are really motivated, I don’t think you could ask for a better type of client. I think that's totally on point. I am curious - so you kind of mentioned that the industry has been kind of using these tactics that are pretty old school, and I have noticed this kind of across the board, that investing in general is relatively slow to change, slow to adopt new practices. I'm wondering why you think that is - like why is sales for investors, which is this really high ticket sort of transaction with a lot of stakes, why is that been slow, so slow to change, where you see other industries adapting their sales processes a lot more quickly? [0:06:56.3]
John: Well, it's kind of funny because - you're right, the industry as a whole is typically slow to adopt. However, some of the higher level investors are early adopters with any technology or systems or processes. They jump in quicker than I've seen most. I've never really thought about it before, but if I was to try to think of why that it is, it is a pretty simple industry. So, it's kind of … real estate investors are in this weird position where they're being tugged all different kinds of ways. So let's break this down: First of all, usually those organizations start pretty small - often times, a one or two-man show - husband and wife, a solopreneur or that type of thing. In order for them to start to scale from when they first begin to scaling up revenue and going from one house a month to five houses a month or whatever it is, they've got to keep things really, really simple and rudimentary. Right? Pick up the phone, call someone, ask if they want to buy - try to buy the house. If that doesn’t work, try it again. So I think because the solopreneur atmosphere and that type of stuff, that's why it starts like that and they're really slow to adopt. [0:08:00.3]
The other piece is then you've some more mature organizations - right? They've made it through those stages. They're hiring. The owner is pulling themselves out of the business. They're thinking higher and higher level. Here's the thing though - the funny thing with real estate now, I see when a new technology comes out, everybody adopts it if it's easy enough. So if you think about things like ringless voice mail or text messaging, this is too easy to adopt. So now I see the more mature investors not really jumping on that ship too quickly. They let others kind of vet it out. They let others kind of come up with script and best practices and if that… and they double down on what they know is already working. They go, hey, let everyone do this - waste time, money and effort and then I'm going to keep doing what I do. I'm going to do it better than anyone else. I'm going to focus on these one, two or three marketing avenues, and then once the early adoption is over and we know if there's going to be legal ramifications, once we know some best practices, they'll jump in and dominate that too. So kind of two different completely different reasons, but I think that's why we have some slow adoption. [0:08:59.9]
Dan: I'm curious like what do you define as kind of old school sales tactics? If you had to describe the most traditional investor guy or gal, kind of out there and using the classic approach - what is that approach? Like what defines that approach to talking to a motivated seller?
John: Always be closing, man. That's it. Always be closing. The last thing - you want to never be closing. So yeah, that always be closing mentality is old school, and it's ineffective and what's called a complex sale - anything more than three or four variables, which is real estate. The more times you try to close, it is proven the less likely you are to get the deal, but it's tough because they're being preached at from every angle - always be closing, be hard core. Right? Then, they get some feedback and they read it the wrong way. Right? They're always closing. They're pushing. They're pressuring. They get a couple of deals and they read that feedback loop as "Hey, I must be doing the right thing. This must be working." Not realizing that hey, sometimes even a broken clock is right twice a day. So because of those things, I think they're told that is how to do it, then they do it. They get a couple of deals. Then they take that as positive reinforcement. It's kind of hard to reverse that trend. [0:10:15.7]
Dan: Would you say that that approach is primarily characterized by sort of a high pressure …
Dan: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Okay. So what would you kind of… what's the flip side of that? If you had to describe a high level, the kind of approach that you teach or what you sort of you see as the new school approach - how does that differ? Because I do think… I think one of the biggest reasons people don’t … you know, like someone could Google "Sell my house fast," land on a page, spend five minutes reading about real estate investing, and not actually call the investor primarily because they're afraid of what's going to happen when they get on the phone. Right? So what is kind of the new school approach? How does that differ from that old school, high pressure approach? [0:11:02.1]
John: I'm going to duck tail it into exactly what to say. Right? There could be people who have a legit need, but for one reason or the other are scared to take that next step. I look at sales the same way. When I look at sales, I'm looking at it this way - I like to ask investors this question, "Hey, if you could read your prospects' mind - if you were on the phone with the home seller or you were face to face, if you could read their mind, meaning, you know every single reason why they would sell to you or to anyone else, you knew why that was important, how that property was impacting them or what they thought about or their loved ones or whatever, and if you could see in their mind and you knew every reason why they wouldn't take action - right - they wouldn't take that next step, scared about not getting the best deal, not knowing where to go next, relationships that could be impacted, different sources of risk and discomfort - if you could see all that stuff, could you close every closable deal?" And every investor I've ever asked that to said, "Yeah, of course. If I knew that information, if I could read their mind, I would know exactly what to offer, how to offer it, what to bring up, what we needed to work through, what we needed to talk through to close a closable deal, I'm closing that thing." That's how I look at sales. [0:12:09.2]
Sales is about open, honest communication and getting as close to that mind reading stage as possible, and the flip side of that is the high pressure, because when you pressure people, they shut down. When people feel pressure, when they feel any feeling they don’t like, they fight or they flee and it shuts down open, honest communication. So hopefully - that was kind of long winded - but hopefully, that explains it.
Dan: Do you feel like that approach, which, and you didn't exactly say this, but just kind of reading in between the lines, right - it seems like it's more of like a question based approach - you know, you're sort of eliciting things from them rather than kind of hammering them.
Dan: Do you feel like that approach… is that more effective because it works better or is it more effective because it just kind of puts people at ease and the problem wasn’t so much that old sales tactic didn't work, it's just that people have their defenses up and they don’t even want to really talk to you in the first place? I don’t know if that question makes 100% sense, but do you get what I'm saying a little bit? [0:13:11.3]
John: I think … and it's both. So one of the nerdy things I like to follow is neuroeconomics. Neuroeconomics is the study of really decision making, so how physiology, biology, all the social sciences including psychology, social psychology, all those things - how those roll up into how people actually make decisions. When we look at how people make decisions, we know that pressure causes people to shut down. We know that the more we talk about someone's preferred outcome or we call it "picture perfect situation" actually the biology in your brain changes - you actually are more apt to take action on something. So it's both of those. It's some old school sales tactics, I guess, would work in a zero pressure environment, in a zero discomfort environment, but you can't separate the one from the two, one from the other because old school sales tactics create more pressure, create more discomfort. So the answer is both and neither. You can't have one without the other. So I guess, yeah, you know, old school sales tactics - you do need to get to a point where you're closing the deal. So I guess that makes sense. But yeah, it's just … old school sales tactics don’t work for probably two dozen different reasons. You can pluck out some little things that on their own work just fine, but altogether as a whole it's just, it's not effective. [0:14:31.7]
Want to find motivated seller leads online, but don’t know where to start? Download our free 2019 Motivated Seller Keyword Report today. AdWordsNerds have spent over $5,000,000 this year researching the most profitable keywords for finding motivated seller leads. You can grab these exact keywords when you download our report at www.AdWordsNerd.com/keywords.
Dan: So, when you work with an investor that wants to improve their sales skills, right, I went through a sales training… when I started my business, I did all my own phone sales. I had to get my own clients. This was before I hired Lou, who is an incredible salesperson, now that's our full-time salesperson, and then went through sales training because I had no experience whatsoever. One of the things I was completely shocked by and just… I don't know … I didn't think about it or I just wasn’t prepared for it was the amount of different kinds of work that I needed to do. Right? Like I needed to … I had like a script - I needed to work on my script but I also needed to work on my delivery and I also needed to work on my own psychology and my mindset and all this stuff came up for like I couldn’t ask people for money and you know, I felt like I was in therapy half the time. Right? So, sales is this incredibly deep sort of thing that touches all kinds of different…every part of being a person and communicating with other people. So when you take on a new student or a new client and you have all this stuff in front of you that you can deal with, how do you start with them? What's a way that people can enter this world and start to improve when there are so many different things they could possibly look at? [0:16:27.4]
John: Right. So a good question. So we start by doing two basic things. The first thing we do is go into what's wrong with traditional sales today - like what have you done, what kind of results do you get - which ones of those results do you not like? You know, what makes you uncomfortable? And we kind of take whatever everyone is doing and we make a list of all the stuff we wish we could change. Usually, it's like prospects going dark or not getting back to you or misleading or lying to you or… you know, there's just a whole number of things. We outline all of those, and then we go through and we systematically go through every single reason why people do those things. [0:17:08.9]
Now, what happens is, as we go through those exercises, salespeople, real estate investors, acquisition agents realize, oh my gosh - those people, they're not like different than I am, they are me. They react to pressure situations the same way I do. They react to these feelings the same way I do. You start to realize they're the exact same person. So then we actually, once we get the buy in there, we jump into the training. We just start with basic structure, just basic sales process - nothing fancy, but step one, step two, step three. As we teach step one, step two, step three, every training call is separated into two parts. One is let's understand why this is important, what the underlying psychology is - not from the perspective of salesperson versus prospect, but you as a human being where you're talking about situations you have been in, not even just sales. Right? How you make decisions, what goes through your head, how you respond to certain situations. So we always start each lesson with someone understanding how they've reacted in a certain situation, how they feel, and then we translate into buying houses at discount and then we finish up with the easiest part, which is by the way, here's some training wheels or some simple scripts you can use to accomplish that. [0:18:18.4]
Dan: So, for people that want to check out the program, the website for …. So your coaching program is called the REI Sales Academy.
Dan: And what's the …the website for that, is that at MidwestRev.com or is there a separate website for this?
John: Yeah. MidwestRev.com or you could even go to the REISalesAcademy.com. It goes to the same place.
Dan: Okay, because I wanted to point this out because I think… so you know, this is a little bit of a tangent that I'm going to sort of change directions a little bit, but everybody that's listening to this, you have heard me talk to you, we're … I don't know… we're like in our 60th episode by the time this comes out or something … so you have heard me drone on and on and on and on about how low the bar is for real estate investors in terms of their online presence and their web presence and stuff. I want you to go to John's website. He said you can get there at MidwestRev.com or you can even go to REISalesAcademy.com. Go there and look at his testimonials page. [0:19:15.8]
So one of the things - I was looking at John's website before he came on, and John has one … literally, probably the best testimonials page of anyone connected to real estate that I've ever seen, and he does an amazing job of just … he's got screen shots of people on Facebook saying, "Hey, has anyone ever taken John Martinez's REISalesAcademy course," and there's like 5000 people that just comment, saying, yeah - it was awesome; yeah, I got great results. He does a perfect job of capturing social proof. So you can go there and check out the site. Check out the course. But also, just look at what he is actually doing in terms of … and think about how you can do that to improve how you show off the social proof for your investing business. I want to throw that out there because I thought… John, I thought you did an awesome job of capturing that, and it's very, very rare, especially in this industry. So that was pretty cool. [0:20:04.5]
Now, I wanted to ask … so we were talking before we jumped on the call - you were saying you have…you're a family man. You've got five kids - is that correct?
Dan: Okay. Five kids. Married. You have a wonderful family. One of the things that jumped out at me when we talked at Collective Genius was you have a really designed business that's a lifestyle business so it allows you - you know, I said what were you doing before we jumped on the call, and you said, I was just having, you know, I was grilling burgers with my wife. Right? And I think one of the most common refrains you will hear from people in real estate investing as they start to grow their business is just the business owns them rather than the other way around. Right? And even me, I struggle with that as well. So I'm wondering if you could talk a little bit about your experience in growing the business that you have - you're really successful, but you've also got a business that values your time and gives you a lot of free time. What was that journey like for you? Was it always like that? Did you set out to do that on purpose? Talk a little bit about your experience building that kind of business. [0:21:07.3]
John: Yeah. I think - happy to - I think that like anything in life, it's born for any great business even, if it's born from a need. And my time in corporate America and then launching this business over a number of years, my person life, hobbies, friends, all got pushed to the side. It was all a work, and that's how I valued myself… I'm the work horse, you know. I provide for the family and that's my identity and that's how it was for a long time just because … well, number one - I thought it was okay because everyone is always talking about grinding and how many hours did you work today and you've got to do this to … and I believe in hard work, don’t get me wrong, I worked my butt off for 20 years, but at a certain point in time, I realized that my life was suffering more as an effect of working my butt off instead of adding. Right? So as I worked my butt off to build my business, I added. I added revenue. I added opportunity. I added all kind of stuff, but it crested and there was a certain point where it took away more than it gave, and the take away was in time - time with my family, time doing things that I enjoy. [0:22:12.2]
So I noticed that my relationships were suffering. My family was suffering. My mood and mental state were suffering. So out of that need, I got really purpose driven to …I didn't want to lose anything I had built, but I had to do it in less and less time, and when you focus on something, you just, you know, you do more of it, you get better at it. And it's gotten to the point where it is today, where it takes very little time to run a business where I'm making more money than I have ever made before.
Dan: Yeah. What was the…can you look back on some big turning points in terms of like systems or processes or even just like moments of realization that helped you get from where you were to where you are?
John: Yeah. There were some very specific. So, you know, I'm in a lot of masterminds. You mentioned we talked a week or so ago at a mastermind. I think one of the great things about masterminds are you can copy your way to success. A lot of people have done stuff, failed, succeeded and you can copy them. I do think in order to … that gets you to a certain stage of success. [0:23:13.5]
So one big turning point for me was when I realized if I want to go any further, I've got to stop copying and start thinking by myself and being original. So when I started to pave my own way going, well, just because no one else has done this doesn’t mean it's wrong - it just means I don't know anyone else who has done this. I started trying those things and that's where I made some major progress. For example, I thought in order to scale, I needed to hire people. Right? Well, there's these processes that need to take place. There's these things that have to be done, so I have to hire a bunch of people to do them. When I went through this kind of change in thinking, I started challenging myself and going, wait, do I even need those processes - is there a better way - is there a better question I could be asking - is there some way I could re-engineer my whole, you know, my marketing and sales and delivery processes, and then can we find ways to automate all that. [0:24:04.8]
So when I made that shift, I realized I didn't need the five or so people I thought I needed. I realized I could create new processes and just revamp the ones that I had that didn't require the labor and things like that. So I think that one was a tough lesson for me because doing what everyone else does does get you to certain level of success. We don’t want to, you know, you don’t want to, what is it - bite the hand that feeds you. Right? But at the same time, I think you get to a certain level where you have to stand back and start making your own decisions and copying is just going to hold you back, and you've got to be original and figure your own way out.
Dan: So I think that's amazing advice and I absolutely think that that's true because it's like … I think it's a Tony Robbins quote where he says like greatness leaves clues. Right? You can follow that for so long but eventually you have to diverge from the path and kind of go your own way, and I think that's really amazing advice. You know, I know it's… you know, this kind of thing, it's never about the kind of tools and hacks and stuff. It's about these kind of big decisions that you have to make and I'm sure like in your kind of business life, you've had to say no to a lot of opportunities, right, in order to keep your business running the way that it has. Has that been true for you? [0:25:20.4]
John: 100%, absolutely.
Dan: Okay. Because I need help with this. So this is my… this is the selfish…I'm throwing it in there like it's a general question, but my big problem is I have a lot of trouble saying no, especially to money. I don’t know how often I have to get punched in the face before I realize that it's almost never a good idea to go too far off, like what we're really good at. So can you talk a little bit about like what that experience has been like for you, and kind of like what you've learned from needing to turn stuff down?
John: Yeah. I mean I think, well just as you put it - when you have a client base and you serve them well and you get results, you know, people want to do more stuff with you. Right? They're like, hey, it was a pleasure working with you. I loved it. I got real results. Do you have …could you help me with x, y, z? Right? [0:26:08.1]
And it’s really easy to get pulled into that because you think, well, hey, I don’t do that, but they're willing to pay for it and this might lead to something bigger and better, but the reality of the situation is this - you end up working more for less. One off project, you're going to put in 20x the time because you're not used to doing it. You're building new things to support that one project. You got to come up … you got to think new ways. You got to deliver new things. It's just…it's a pain and you're never making any money … it's just…it's never worth the money. So we turn down stuff probably close to on a daily basis because we know that it's just going to take away. Right? It's going to take more to do less and then there's more of an impact that it's … it's an exponential impact because when you are spending stuff doing those other things, you are not focusing on your business, your core business. Right? And you don’t have to be working to focus on your core business. Some of the biggest jumps I've had in revenue and things like that have come from some of my more extended periods of time off where I could just sit and reflect and think and I get good ideas. [0:27:11.8]
So even if you're not actively working in your core business, if your mental faculties are taken up somewhere else and you're stressing and thinking about delivering something else, even if you wouldn’t be pulling a lever or turning a knob in your core business, it does take away. So what we do now is we just kind of catalog those requests and if we hear a lot of the same stuff from the same groups of people and they're all wanting the same thing, then we start to think to ourselves, okay - the market is speaking to us and then we say, can we deliver this at scale - is it worth it - what would that system look like. Then we'll beta test that system very, very easily - very, without having to build out too much - we'll just test the first part of it tested - will people give us money for it - if they do, then we go forward with it. Then we deliver it. And then we sit back and go, was the delivery good - did people think that they got more than what they paid for. Then we evaluate whether to continue on or still at that point, we might stop it. [0:28:09.4]
Dan: I mean, I think that's super, super useful to me, and I think for everybody listening, including real estate investors, right - it's very tempting. I think the entrepreneurial tendency is like I solve problems by adding things - like adding complexity, adding products, adding ways to market. There's a ton to be said for what John just said about just focusing on what really brings value and what you can do at scale. So that is super, super, super useful for me, and I thank you for that.
So, a couple of things. First of all, I highly recommend everybody go check out the Elite Sales Academy. You can also just find John's website at MidwestRev.com. Now here's the other thing - I've heard a lot about your social media presence and I know you put out a lot of free material on social media. So if people want to just follow you and figure out what you're doing and kind of hear from you on a regular basis, is the website the best place to do that? Are there other places that people can follow you online? [0:29:08.5]
John: Yeah. So everything comes from the website, but we have also got a YouTube channel called Midwest Revenue Group or the REI Sales Academy. It's one of those. I can't remember the name, but you can follow it there. We put out content on a regular basis, and then you know, Facebook is probably where I am most active. But yeah, that's it. But if you go to the website, hey, I'm going to follow you on Facebook anyways, so if you go to the website, you'll start seeing my stuff. So go to the website and I'll find you.
Dan: Well, that's a little threatening, John. I don't know how to take that, but …
John: When it comes to marketing, right - marketing is about, hey, if someone has an interest, maybe give them a little bit more. So that's all I'm talking about is retargeting. So you can be very lazy and still get everything you want without having to sign up for anything. You can join my email group. You can check out my YouTube channel. But if you show a little bit of interest by going to the website, I'll put some stuff in your social media feed that I think might interest you as well and you can watch them or not watch them, but…[0:30:09.0]
Dan: Well that's great, and so just for everybody listening - I'm going … definitely go to … so, John's website is MidwestRev.com. I will also have links to all of his stuff. We'll go get the links. We'll put all of the stuff in the show notes for this episode, which you can get at AdWordsNerds.com/podcast. But John, thank you so much, man. This was fascinating and I think you're really, you know, I have heard only the best kind of things about you and your training, and it sounds like you're doing really amazing job there at the Elite Sales Academy, so I really appreciate you coming on. Hopefully, we can do this again soon.
John: Yeah - it sounds great, man. Looking forward to it.
Dan: Alright. Thanks, John. I hope you enjoyed my time with John Martinez. I know I did. You probably heard me sneak in some personal questions that I am curious about in my life. So I got a ton of value out of it, and I hope you did too. As always, you can see the show notes for this episode. We have got links to all of John's stuff as well as all our past episodes at AdWordsNerds.com/podcast. That's AdWordsNerds.com/podcast. [0:31:16.1]
If you are not in our free Facebook group, what are you doing? It's a free Facebook group. It's amazing. We post high quality stuff there every single day and it's a really incredible group of a couple thousand real estate investors sharing their tips, strategies, tactics for getting more leads and deals online. You can get to that group at AdWordsNerds.com/group. Just head on over to AdWordsNerds.com/group. Ask to join the group. We will be happy to have you in there. As always, guys, this is Daniel Barrett signing off. I hope you have an excellent rest of your week. I will see you next week here on the REI Marketing Nerds podcast. Cheers.
This is ThePodcastFactory.com