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How to Nurture Your Seller Leads With Amazing Follow Up with Robert Syfert

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We spend a lot of our energy, as real estate entrepreneurs, generating off-market leads. But many of those leads will require long-term follow-up before they turn into deals. So how do you properly nurture those relationships over time, so that when the Seller is ready, you’re their first call? In this episode, Jeff interviews Robert Syfert of www.realestateinvestor.com, who shares experience and expert insights on following up with valuable Seller leads.

Robert Syfert is the founder of InvestorPO, Property List Manager, and USA Portfolio Real Estate and visionary for RealEstateInvestor.com. With well over a decade of experience in the industry, Robert has sold and managed hundreds of investment properties and is passionate about giving real estate investors their lives back through software, tools, and services that minimize processes and maximize both free time and profits. Robert’s a family man who believes that every real estate investor can achieve success and financial security in this industry—without compromising their free time.

Episode Transcript

Robert Syfert 

A conversation is a story. And the best things that you ever have or the best salespeople in the world are really good at telling stories. And more importantly, especially a relationship driven perspective, you’re really good at listening to stories and asking the right questions to entice someone to want to tell you their story, ironically, are perfectly suited. As you get people to talk about themselves, either story, they actually get to know, like and trust you more.

Jeff Stephens 

Welcome to Racking Up Rentals, a show about how regular people, those of us without huge war chest of capital insider connections can build lasting wealth acquiring a portfolio of buy and hold real estate. But we don’t just go mainstream looking at what’s on the market and asking banks for loans, nor are we posting We Buy Houses signs are just looking for “motivated sellers” to make lowball offers to. You see, we are people-oriented deal makers. We sit down directly with sellers to work out win-win deals without agents or any other obstacles, and buy properties nobody else even knows are for sale. I’m Jeff from the Thoughtful Real Estate Entrepreneur. If you’re the kind of real estate investor who wants long term wealth, not get rich quick gimmicks or pictures of yourself holding fat checks on social media, this show is for you. Join me and quietly become the wealthiest person on your block. Now let’s go rack up a rental portfolio.

Hey, thank you for joining me for another episode of Racking Up Rentals. Show notes for this episode, including full transcription of the interview you’re about to hear, are going to be at www.thoughtfulre.com/e73. Please do us a big favor by hitting the subscribe button in your podcast app. It really, really does, maybe more than you’d expect, help other fellow thoughtful real estate entrepreneurs to find the show. All right onward with today’s episode.

And in today’s episode, I’m really pleased to share with you a conversation in an interview that I had with Robert Syfert of realestateinvestor.com. Now Robert’s had a lot of experience in real estate in different ways, and he will share some of his story about how he got involved with wholesaling and turnkey rental properties. But what we ended up talking about a lot was the idea of following up with leads, nurturing those relationships. And I can just tell you transparently, from my own personal experience, that this is one of the things that is challenging, because we put a lot of energy into creating lead flow in our businesses. And a lot of times the sellers who we talk to, at that exact second, isn’t the perfect time for them to take action and sell the property to you. So much energy actually needs to go into properly following up with our seller leads. But it can be easier said than done. I just mean from the simple logistics of keeping track of who you’re supposed to call when all the way through a more, you know, strategic approach to what should I try to say to them in the next meeting? How do I keep trying to move this ball forward? And so Robert’s got some great tips in here about ways that you can do that. And just ways you can think about nurturing those leads moving forward, overall. So without further ado, I’ll stop talking and I’d like to jump right in to this conversation with Robert from realestateinvestor.com. Enjoy.

Okay, Robert, thanks so much for joining me on racking up rentals.

Robert Syfert 

It’s a pleasure. Thanks for having me, Jeff. I’m very excited to be here today.

Jeff Stephens 

Well, yeah, it’s awesome. Now me too, I think we’re gonna have a good conversation. And so you know, for context, give everybody a sense for, like what you’re doing now, what you’re doing that led you up to this point?

Robert Syfert 

Yeah, absolutely. So now, I live in Palm Tree City of Tampa, Florida. And I run an organization called realestateinvestor.com which is basically providing all the tools, services and resources to investors from everything that I learned along the way that I would make better back then, which is almost a decade ago now. I started wholesaling but primarily identified very quickly on that I was wholesaling rental properties. And I’ve always had an interest in rental properties all the way back to being 18 years old and watching a Russ Whitney commercial having a look around rental properties Ever since then, and then didn’t get started for a long time and real estate whole other story and topic. Finally did and in wholesaling those properties. I quickly realized I found my niche right and so my niche was rental properties.

Now I approached it from a not only buying and holding for myself, but also what’s called a turnkey model, which is I produced rental properties for landlords, and then I also manage them for them too. So I’ve seen every piece of the gamut from acquiring the properties, managing lenders managing the contractors on the property, managing the actual properties themselves with qualifying tenants Getting good people in place and maintaining those things. And from all of that knowledge is really what came to be realestateinvestor.com. And now we don’t do the management piece. However, we do have great property managers who we recommend. Because it’s just that right? It’s every piece of that puzzle. And how do you, how do you focus on the people? REITs are one of our core values as people first, how do you focus on the people and every one of those transactions so that everyone wins along the way?

Jeff Stephens 

Yeah, well, you’re definitely speaking our language there, because we have a people first kind of philosophy as well. And I always like to explain that, you know, it’s not just that we’re saints, and it’s just all about, you know, just simply doing the right thing. It’s very much about doing the right thing. But it’s also about a real practical belief that when we focus on people, it actually gives us better results, as well. It’s so it’s so funny, and try to guess to say, well, it’s a people business, not a, you know, not a real estate business. But I really feel like especially from an acquisition perspective, like we are, we really share that belief that it’s, I mean, I always say it’s people who sell properties, you know, properties don’t sell themselves. So it’s another human who’s got to feel good about what’s going on in order to say, yeah, so it sounds like we’re well aligned in that sense.

Robert Syfert 

Yeah. And there’s, there’s a story associated with each one of those properties in the story comes from the people. Yeah, I mean, there’s a story on the property to potentially but generally, it’s around the people.

Jeff Stephens 

Yeah. So I personally have never been involved with turnkey rentals. It’s intrigued me. And I’ve actually wondered, as it intrigued me so much on the investor side, but maybe more on the side of the person, as you mentioned, who is establishing the turnkey program and, and delivering those, you know, ready to eat deals, so to speak to investors who are looking for a more passive experience. But that’s not something we’ve talked about much on this show. Can you just kind of, for anybody listening? Who’s not super familiar with that? How does that model work?

Robert Syfert 

Yeah, so I mean, it came about two ways for me, right? One, I wanted to make real estate, my business so that it not only made me a passive income, but I actually wanted it to be the business that I grew, and so turnkey, a lot of people have heard it multiple ways, right turnkey to some people is just simply, hey, there’s a tenant in the property. It’s cash flowing, maybe. Right, to me, that’s not turnkey. That’s just another wholesale. And they’re using a coined phrase, a word that attracts the investor to what might actually be the worst thing that could ever buy a real turnkey. And the way that business model works is I’m looking just like any other real estate investor or flipper, to find a property that I could buy at some sort of discount, it’s in disrepair, has a bad tenant, there’s some situation, right, where there’s a story, there’s a person that needs and wants to not be involved in this property anymore. Same as any other investor. Right? From there, though, I have the slight advantage that I can pay a little bit more because most, most turnkey investors, or most people looking for a buy and rental hold, right? aren’t looking at it from the perspective of the general now that not saying they don’t use this math, but they’re generally not looking at the Hey, what’s my after-repair value minus my repairs? gives me the cash price that I can offer, right? They’re actually looking at the long term. And in the long term, those numbers are while still play a part in the equation are way less important than the actual return on investment, passive cash flow, right? So I’m really able to evaluate a property just like you would for buying and keeping from Hey, how, what is my return-on-investment number minus my maintenance, cost management costs, vacancy rate, right, and then I can reverse into Well, this is how much I want to make off of my money. This is how much work it’s going to take to make this house great house up front from A to number one attract the right tenant, right? A better-quality tenant comes to a better-quality property, have less maintenance over term, less vacancy as a result, right? And so I back out, what would I do to this house, and I would recommend your cookie cutter that right down to this is what I do every time and I replace all these things every time. Right? But at least a good turnkey provider does this and it’s what we did, right. And then from there, that tells me how much I can pay for this house. And I can do that on terms, I can do that in cash, I could do it multiple ways.

But generally speaking, I can pay more for a property than most investors, wholesalers and flippers can because I’m looking at the quick cash on it. I’m looking at the long-term play on the property. And so turnkey is the same thing. Now in turnkey obviously, as a business, I then have to buffer in what’s a reasonable profit for my operation to make for me to hand it to you so that you don’t have to go find the property. You don’t have to do all the marketing. You don’t have to have the salespeople to negotiate or follow up long term. You don’t have to have the contractors that are gonna do all the rehab, evaluate the property and get it done. And you don’t even have to have the management company that is going to go qualify the tenant, run their credit reports, check their income status, collect all the money, sign the leases, and then redo that and maintain it with the software right so with buffering a little bit of a profit, generally 10 to 20%, depending on price point, but it gives you a ballpark idea, right, and then finish the property in a great turnkey provider like we were actually does the management for you versus outsourcing it, because then they control the continuity of that property all the way through down to who’s in it, how they maintain it, that relationship with the tenant, because it’s another person, and it’s another relationship. And so if you nurture that, right, they stay long, they’re happy, and they take care of your property, right. And then we just find investors, hey, here’s a portfolio of properties we have available, and the investor comes in. And they’re the investor that generally, you know, unlike some, some or a lot of your audience where they actually want to buy, hold creative, do some of that work themselves to get a better return on investment over time, they just have enough money, they just want to put their money in, they don’t want to do any work, they actually just want the cash flow, right. That’s all they care about. And if they could get there quicker, they want to get there quicker. That’s where a turnkey provider really comes in. And the whole business model behind it.

Jeff Stephens 

Yeah, that’s, that is really interesting. And yeah, I guess, you know, those of us listening could be thinking, well, I could be a customer of a turnkey provider. But I think probably more people listening are, you know, their wheels are turning now about how, how could they become the turnkey provider, because we’re very acquisition oriented, kind of in this community and on this show, and if you love acquisition, that could be a really, you know, a really good way to just be really focused on acquisition, and then have this model that allows you to take that the inventory that you create to that acquisition and do something slightly different with it, diversify your business a little bit.

Robert Syfert 

Yeah, that’s really interesting, obviously, monetize your marketing dollars, right. So not every property that you’re looking at, you can buy, but every lead that comes in, that may not be a perfect fit for your portfolio still could be somebody’s perfect house for their portfolio. So if you went down that road, right, you actually then actually one of the best turnkey providers I know of, that’s exactly how he became the provider, he was actually doing it for himself. Other people asked him to help do it for him that turned them into the biggest turnkey provider in the country. But that’s it, it helps you, if you can sell one of those houses in a paid for your marketing expense to help you get two of your houses. As you know, it’s a no brainer. In that sense, you’re going to do it anyways. You’re just helping someone else, you’re helping another person, you’re putting people first. And from that you’re monetizing enough to pay for more marketing to get more properties for your own rental portfolio.

Jeff Stephens 

Yeah. Yeah, I like that. I like that. You know, one thing you mentioned in there was about the kind of the downstream effects of having a long-term perspective. And this is something I think about a lot too, which is, you know, most real kind of traditional real estate investors are very, very, very price focused, you know, just thinking like, Well, here’s the current market value, here’s the ARV, I need to have some kind of a margin. And, you know, the way that we buy things often we are, because we’re negotiating a lot of seller financing, and we just generally have a longer-term perspective, I would say we’re more focused on like, what the monthly payment is, and is it a retelling of a sustainable deal over time, and that does take a lot of the emphasis off of off of price. And I find that when you take emphasis off of price as the buyer, the speed of the seller senses that and they like that too, because now because oftentimes, you know, it’s not all certainly always their number one thing, but it is something that they tend to maybe assume that you’re there to just kind of undercut some something and you have to kind of battle that predisposed. generalization. And I always tell yeah, I actually say to my sellers a lot, as well as to listeners of this show. I have a long-term perspective, I’m not worried about every little dollar on the acquisition side, I just want to create something that’s going to make sense on a monthly basis hold its own, and we’ll go down the road from there.

Robert Syfert 

Yeah, I totally agree, Jeff. That is, it’s the number one thing and being great at sales in general, but it’s much easier from where you’re approaching it from the beginning with that you naturally are going to have that position, because you’re not you’re not concerned about the price, right? Price is secondary to cash flow in your math. So it’s a lot easier conversation. And I believe everyone that calls automatically, just like when you walk into a department store, right? And the sales guy that approaches you could be going there for something specific sale guy approaches you and says, Hey, can I help you because it’s what they do when you walk in? No, I don’t need any help. I’m just looking around. It’s not even true. We’re already pre conditioned to want to push away any salesperson, right? And so that helps instantly get the thing down. The unique part is even if you were going to wholesaler flip that statement is still true. And I teach people that do that to say, look, if you can learn to stop focusing on the price, and really start focusing on why putting the person first why they even called you to want to sell anyways, there’s a problem there that you could help solve. And it may end up being the prices the number you got to get to. But ultimately, if you’re not focused on the price, it’s a much better conversation. You can find out what problems you might be able to solve, you potentially could help somebody and still get the price that you need it to be at. Yeah, I totally love that. And that’s where the rentals that’s a big part of why I wanted to turn key one to build my own rentals, but also just to be able to approach sellers from that perspective, it’s more relationship driven business model, which I liked, right, I have a relationship with the seller, I have a relationship with the potential buyer, I have a relationship with the tenant, I have a relationship with my contractors, all those different relationships just feel good. Right from that perspective.

Jeff Stephens 

Yeah. Yeah, I agree. You use an expression a few minutes ago, you said there’s always a story there with the seller. And I, I like the way you put that, because I agree, there’s all that that’s definitely the common denominator, even though that story obviously can vary tremendously from situation to situation. But I think what I wanted to point out there, I really like the word story in this case, because you know, there are a lot of investors who, in their marketing, position themselves as solution providers, like they might even say like, that’s Acme Home Solutions or things like that. I mean, that is always bothered me a little bit as it relates to our approach as thoughtful real estate entrepreneurs, because I find that most of the people I buy properties from, don’t feel like they have a problem. It’s not a problem in their mind, because we’re not targeting, quote, distressed sellers, or, quote, motivated sellers. But I would say if I send a nice letter to somebody, and they call me back, they are motivated. I always like to say, you know that the question isn’t whether they’re motivated, it’s just how savvy are we at uncovering that motivation, because they’re probably not calling back just because they’re bored, and they want to make friends, there’s probably something in their world that could be better about in relation to this property than it is now. And so I really like you know, just to kind of go back to that word story, because story doesn’t frame it as they have a problem, and I have to solve it. His story just says, like, there’s, there’s something going on, it could in their mind, because they responded, it probably could be better. Let’s understand that story. And then see if there is some way we can, we can help. Because I just think if I think if you show up and you say I’m a solution provider, then then you’re like, well, that that means you assume I have a problem. Because that’s, you know, if you think you have a solution, that means you think I have a problem. I don’t want to be thought of as somebody who has a problem. And then all of a sudden, it’s sort of like the guard is up, you know?

Robert Syfert 

Yeah, that’s a very good point. And so I approach from both depending on who you are, right? And so the, the problem and solution works well for a wholesaler or flipper, that is specifically targeting a distress, right? So in that perspective, whether we say it or not, I already know I only targeted you because I know for a fact you have a problem. We don’t have to talk about that. Now, here’s the unique thing. I know you have a problem. It’s why I targeted you in my marketing, and I’m trying to speak to solving any problem you might have. However, having said that, and just tying it into your specific approach, you know, you guys don’t have to approach that at all. And I love the letter you share there, it doesn’t talk about any problem. It doesn’t talk about just talks about let’s have a conversation, right? Well, the conversation is a story. And the best things that you ever have, or the best salespeople in the world are really good at telling stories. And more importantly, in especially a relationship driven perspective, you really good at listening to stories and asking the right questions to entice someone to want to tell you their story, ironically, or perfectly suited. As you get people to talk about themselves. Either story, they actually get to know like and trust you more, and they’ll want to do business with you because you were listening, right? And if you’re not, to your point, too many wholesalers listen to that. And they’re just problem problem, problem, problem. Here’s my solution, solution, solution, right. And they’re not actually ever listening. They’re just waiting. They’re listening with the intent to talk. If you’re listening from the intent to actually hear the story, meaning you care about the person, you will almost always it doesn’t have to be a problem, per se, right. But it could be an opportunity for you to help each other. Right? There are so many scenarios, right where that is like, yeah, yeah, they actually like cash flow. But they really hate being a landlord and managing a property. But they also don’t want a property manager, right? Well, that does they don’t necessarily have a problem. There are things within their story that they don’t enjoy. And you could offer a that’s perfectly suited for that that’s I set the stage for a perfect creative deal, right? But like, hey, how would you like to enjoy the cash flow on the property that you’re getting, but not have to manage any of the headaches, do any of the things with the property and let me work with you to take that over? That’s a perfect creative deal, right? They’re winning, they’re still getting cash flow, and you’re willing to because you know, you can do more with the property and maybe you enjoy managing it or working with property managers that will get more rent, which gives them what they want, gives you what you want, and everyone wins. And it all comes from the story.

Jeff Stephens 

Yeah, absolutely. And you know that that principle of listening is so important. I mean, I tell people like just as a real back of the napkin kind of rule of thumb, like, you should be listening about 90% of the time talking about 10% of the time. And those, the talking, the words that come out of your mouth should probably add in question marks, you know, because like, it’s more questions, it’s, I think it’s there’s also a part of listening, that is about reading between the lines to write someone can say, A and B, but you kind of see actually like the context of what they’re saying, they’re actually kind of saying something else. And, you know, one of the things we do in this, in this community, this approach is we talked about the difference between offers and proposals and offers are, you know, like, Hey, I’m the buyer, here’s what works for me, do you want to take it and a proposal is more like I’ve been listening? Here’s what I think we should do. It’s more like a diagnosis, I mean, a prescription for a diagnosis, right. And so, one of the things I really like to do is write is before I’m about to share the proposals, I say, let me just recap that I understand for sure what you sell or kind of wanting to accomplish here.

You know, I heard you say this, I think I think the goal is this, that and that. First before I share the proposal, like, Am I on track, because my proposal is going to be way off if I’ve misunderstood that stuff. And it’s amazing how then they like practically lean in and they’re just like, yeah, oh, my God, thank you, you, you listening, you really understood. And to me, that’s like the perfect pre frame that they’re going to like everything earlier, they’re more likely to like everything you say after that, because they know that you actually really did have your ears open.

Robert Syfert 

I like that a lot. And I’m going to share an acronym that we use in our own real in my real estate buying business. We so we have our sales team. And our dispositions team fully trained on something called lead, right. And so lead LED is our acronym that runs our strategy, and make sure that we’re framing every conversation correctly. And so what it is, is it starts with L which is listen, right, and God gave us two ears and one mouth for a reason. Right, we should be actively listening at least two thirds of the time, if not more, I like the 90% that you said, because that’s truer. And not listening to be able to speak but listening to identify, if we’re in sync or whatever, right. So we listen, we must listen actively to that seller or buyer doesn’t matter what the relationship is. But we must listen from listening, if we do a good enough job listening, and we can actually gather data from listening and asking the right questions. When we do speak. Now we have enough to be able to go to the next step, which is e educate. So then we want to educate the seller on what options they potentially have. Right? We’re very much going to great, there’s a sales tactic within this too, right, which is in that education, we’re going to present them an option that isn’t working with us, because it might be in their best interest. And we’re, we have another you know, core value that makes us live this way. But I’m not gonna buy your house just because I can or you’re ready to if I think you’re better off somewhere else. So we’re going to educate you on what options you have I your proposal right here some options that you have, if I’ve listened correctly, I verified that my listening was in fact correct with the data I have. Now let me take that information and educate you proposal per se, that the proposal is going to walk down that maybe you should work with somebody else and go list it and do this. Maybe we could creatively work together in some sirot. Because we like creative deals to me, we usually will hold those. Or maybe you’re looking for a quick out. And that’s where our cash price comes in. I don’t know which option is right for you. But here’s all the options that you have that are potentially something we could do or that you may have a need for a as we advocate for them, right. Hey, based on everything you’re telling me we really feel you should go this route. Right? So we’re helping them advocate for them in the story. They just told us so we’re using the story to their advantage. Right? And maybe hours, maybe not. But we win because we feel good if we advocate the right thing for them that is right for their situation. And then the last one is we do is decide. Now we’re in the decision process. Like we want to end every situation with a decision. So are you deciding that you want to move forward with one of our options that was working with us? Or if you decided that you should go do this and we can just refer you to somebody else? Or are you deciding to make no decision because indecision is a decision, right? And we’ve pre framed that all the way along the way that we’re going to end this conversation with a yes or no in some way, shape or capacity. In a note, okay, but I don’t want you to tell me Maybe I’ll think about it if really wanted to say no and you’re afraid to hurt my feelings can’t hurt my feelings. I want you to do what’s best for you. So that’s, that’s an acronym we live by. And it helps us focus on the story and then use as a story for every one of those steps.

Jeff Stephens 

Yeah, I like that framework. Yeah.

Robert Syfert 

And yes, even you know, like you said, deciding decided if they say, I need to think about it, the decision could be great. Then we’re going to talk again next Tuesday or whatever, like, but there’s some kind of non-ambiguous, we’re gonna decide that action.

Jeff Stephens 

Yeah, yeah, that’s cool. Okay, so I want to pivot a little bit. And actually, if you think about the acquisition process, backup a few steps. So we, we do our marketing, and I guess we all different marketing approaches, but ultimately, then we have some, some leads. And we know that it takes a fair amount of energy in any business, right, it takes a fair amount of energy to get leads to the last thing you want to do is, is let him go cold, forget about and fall through the cracks, whatever little euphemism you want to use. And I know follow up is something that you, you know, consider a specialty. So can you talk to us maybe just to begin with kind of a generality about like, what is your approach to following up with the people who have kind of raised their hand and said, Yeah, I think I’d be willing to talk to you.

Robert Syfert 

Yeah, that is my favorite topic. It’s what got me to where I am today, from a guy doing, you know, a deal here and there. And any great sales organization is truthfully, if you look at the core underneath everything, they’re just really great at follow up. Because the challenge is most people think that when they do marketing, that they’re and I know you guys don’t, because you look at the relationship side, but most look at it from a perspective that a lead got generated, I must get a deal now. Right. And because of that mindset, they’re already pre framing themselves to not actually materialize the deals that are there from the from the marketing, you did do marketing is only intent is to get someone to raise their hand, understand that majority of people that raise their hand, have shown you they have interest, whether or not they’re ready to take that next step today is most of the time, probably 90%, or better of the time Not going to happen in that first conversation. So follow up becomes the most important, right, this is a big decision, they’re selling their house, or property or cash flow, or whatever it is. So you, you’ve got to be thinking of how to continue to nurture that relationship. For me, it’s forever, right, I’m going to nurture that relationship until they sell to me, or they sell to someone else, until one of those two things happens, I’m going to continue to nurture that relationship.

Now, in the very beginning, right, when a lead is new, and you’re trying to capitalize the most you can on your marketing expense. Of course, if someone’s highly interested, I want to I want to transact now, if they’re willing to and they want to, if not, they may want to within the first few days of meeting me as they get to research me and learn more about me. So I need to be following up and nurturing that in a few days, in another week, in two weeks, over time that needs to philosophically from my position start to extend itself. But you can never forget about that person. Right? So it may turn into like after the first couple weeks, okay? They’re not like hotly interested, this is not top of their mind, I obviously have new leads coming in, I need to focus on two just in case I don’t want to miss anything. Right. But at the same token, every couple week, every 30 days, every 45 days, some sort of message needs to go out with them. So that we keep this connection, we made a connection. And the very first time they said, I’m interested in what you’re sent to me, right, they’re already connected to something about me. Now, if I continue with that messaging down the line for time, I’m keeping that even if I’m not physically on the phone with them, or physically meeting with them, I’m keeping continuity of that connection. So I’m always Top of Mind I love a good guy said, you know, it’s only mind space I’m going to own space in their mind. So whenever they do think about or consider the fact that you know what, I think I’m actually ready to let go or part ways with this property now or stop managing it or whatever the scenario is. I’m there, I’ve always been there. I’m the guy they know like and trust about their property now they’re probably going to be open to another conversation and I have another opportunity to see where I can go and so for me, that’s follow up. If you’re doing marketing, and you haven’t first thought about what your follow up is going to be you’re already losing money on your marketing.

Jeff Stephens 

Well, okay. So I confession for me, I have definitely as relationship oriented as I am. And as much as I believe in all that. I have. I have definitely dropped the ball before I have definitely called a seller back and I said up, I let I sold that to somebody else. I thought you weren’t interested anymore. And there’s nothing that feels worse to me on so many levels. I first of all, I just feel, you know, irresponsible, I feel stupid. I feel like disingenuous all those things, and I feel sloppy. So you know, let’s talk a little bit about logistics. I know this is something you have, you know, expertise in as well. And you know, my method, which is not a method, it’s just sorts of what has manifested is what you call like the 18 million sticky notes bunch of legal issues. Cheap pieces of paper and some, some seller notes on the back of an envelope. And doesn’t work that great. But the other but seriously, the question I guess I want to ask is, how can we use something like technology to make ourselves better at that, but without sacrificing even, you know, a tiny, tiny bit of like the relationship-oriented side of things I, I like I like all my leads to feel like they’re the only person in the world I’m talking to. And I do not want to burst that bubble at all. So if there’s anything that sniffs of like, Oh, that sounds that looks like marketing automation. I’m personally super leery about that. So how do we how do we accomplish that, you know, using technology and things like that to be better, but without sacrificing?

Robert Syfert 

Yes, I’m going to give you two things. One, I’ll just forthright tell you it’s a product we offer, right. So get that out of the way right now, I’m not selling it to you, I’m just going to tell it to you. But first and foremost, I’m going to give you what you could do. leveraging the technology you’re already have available to you for free, right, and I totally get the yellow pads sticky notes, I still use yellow pads and sticking with certain things and then I convert them over. But I’ve I grew up being a yellow pad and sticky note guy. So it’s just a habit. every conversation starts there, then it gets put into technology. For me, at a minimum, what you should absolutely do is schedule in your calendar. Like I use Google Calendar, but all calendars do this, right? it’ll send you a notification on this day to do that thing. And in that you could continue to list like, hey, if I’m going to do follow up every Friday, follow up Fridays, right? Who should I be following up with this Friday and put that in the notes of the calendar. So when you get notified, hey, here’s all the people that I need to call and touch base with. And now to clean up your yellow pads and sticky notes.

You could either one depends on how many of these you have, of course, and not using technology. Number one, you could get a big ass whiteboard, right, which for 20 bucks, you can get a pretty decent sized one. And you can list all those names on that board with a little note or like a bullet point that’s for remind you on the next level of that I like and moved to from whiteboards and sticky notes I moved to my sheet got too big, right. So I moved into Google Sheets, and Google Docs. So I literally would have named contact property address and notes. And I can continue to just write my notes on a simplistic level, just using Google or Apple’s note system, right, whatever that is technology you’re already using. Anyways, if you have a smartphone, which we all do, right, you can keep track of the name, contact information and notes, and then calendar yourself in your calendar that every Friday, you’re going to do follow up. And here’s the list of people that I’m going to follow up with. Or if it’s two weeks from now, three years from now, four weeks from now, whatever it is, put that person’s name in your calendar, or list the names in your calendar so that on that date, you’re following up with those people? And you can you can send them a text, right that’s personalized, you could just call them and if they don’t answer, leave them a voicemail from you. Right, that’s the most simplistic free, easy way to do it. And would clean up a lot of what you just said. Right? It was the it was the first steps that I did before even building software and really leveraging technology.

Next Level is I built this right now, the first version of this in my real estate business was about 12 different software’s that I paid developers to put all together and spent a whole bunch of money to replace the people that I had doing what I just said, right. And so I learned that technology could do it. But my fear was, I don’t want to seem automated, don’t want this to come off generic, I still want to have that human response, right. And to know how you do that is touch that we develop the real estate investor calm at its core. That’s what it is. And so I’ll give you a couple of the things without giving our secret on how we do this. But a few things that make it humanized is number one, the ability to write the messages in a way that you know, they came from this marketing channel, right, I wrote them a letter that said this, all their messages need to be in continuity and congruency with that message. So always want to be speaking the same way in the same language. And so it needs to be written out that way. And to we have text message, email, postcards, and letters to in some sequences, but ringless voicemail drop. Why? Because there’s the human voice aspect tied into it, right. So it humanizes it even more. And then most importantly in that to make it not feel like technology. We actually have built in buffers, so to speak.

And so two things that happen within the system that we built is number one, when someone initially contacts you, we have automation that’s built in for that too, but it’s delayed. So most technology is instant, which is what people know and feel to be technology like Oh, I know that was fake because it came to me the second I filled out the form, right or the second I called their phone number, I got this message. So we delay it for several minutes on purpose, because a real person would have to take time to type in their number and text or call back. The second aspect of that, that ties into keeping it humanized. And more normal is the phone number that they called on the letter is the exact phone number, they’re getting all messages and sequences from so it stays congruent, right? It’s not some short code, or something that again, makes you know that it’s fake, it was technology that just sent me a message, maybe not a real person. So I’m able to keep that continuity through. And then the last part to it, that keeps it humanized. Besides the fact that you can control the messages to make sure it’s saying what you would say, if you were to follow up with that person to reengage them is that it follows up with them at the same time of day that they originally communicated with you because odds are, that’s the best time of day for them. Your most people don’t even think about that. And more importantly, there’s no way you’re going to follow up are they called me at 330 in the afternoon, on a Tuesday, I should follow up at 330 in the afternoon, no, you’re gonna go into whatever your time is five o’clock, six o’clock. And you may never get ahold of them from that one simple thing, that that’s just there at work at that time every day. And you’ve never even knew that, right? So we built that into the technology to make sure whatever time they reach out is the time the system will always reach back out to them at that time of day, because we know most likely is the best time of day for them when they’re free.

Jeff Stephens 

Yeah, that’s it, that that last point especially is really interesting and intriguing. I was, you know, before when we were talking about various aspects of this, I was thinking about the idea of mirroring, you know, how you, you know, if somebody calls you like, Hey, how’s it going, you know, you might, you might have a hard time, I’m pretty good. You might, you know, you might sort of use some of their words or their tones or back at them to match. And I hadn’t really thought about mirroring in the context of, you know, timing, for instance, yeah, like, gosh, if that’s when they tend to be free or available or like to talk. So it’s a really, that’s an interesting insight to Well, thank you for explaining that, you know, both conceptually, in terms of like, just what are the big ideas? And how can you do it with simple tools, as well as understanding how it can be really, really automated there as well. All right, well, so in order to wrap up a little bit, I wanted to ask you one of the questions is that totally, totally random? I mean, it’s not random for me and the things I think about and talk to people about, but I didn’t mention, I would ask you this question. And there’s no right or wrong answer. But you know, you are a real estate investor calm. And I chose to call what we do thoughtful real estate entrepreneur. And so in my own mind, there’s a difference between real estate investing and real estate entrepreneurship. When you hear me say that, do you think I’m nuts? What does that mean to you? Super random, open ended question.

Robert Syfert 

Yeah, no, that is actually a great question. You’re 100% on the money. from a marketing perspective, I can tell you that if and I think is already on our website, we have actually, while we own a great domain focused primarily on people who do real estate investing, right? Whether they’re buying to keep rentals, whether they’re buying to flip or to wholesale, right? They’re all the same. All the language that we’ve pivoted to on our website actually speaks about real estate entrepreneurs. So we come to the same conclusion that you know what, we don’t want to limit ourselves to someone who self identifies as an investor, because we actually service agents who might be looking at multiple different ways to buy or sell properties. And so they’re, they’re truly real estate entrepreneurs. And so I totally agree with that statement. It’s all of our languages moving that all of our articles are for, for anyone that understands SEO for SEO purposes, everything we say is real estate entrepreneurs now, that exact reason, so we can identify with the broader group of who actually is encompassed in real estate investing in different realms.

Jeff Stephens 

Yeah, yeah, that’s really cool. I, in my mind, I distinguish that like to meet somebody who would buy a turnkey rental is an investor, in my mind. I think of investors as people who assemble resources, and then they find a vehicle to place the resources into, whereas in my mind, are entrepreneurs out there, creating opportunity, and then they figure out how to get the resources they need to fulfill that opportunity. But to me, it’s Yeah, kind of a matter of like, is it resources first, or is it opportunity first?

Robert Syfert 

And I totally, totally agree with that. That thought process.

Jeff Stephens 

Yeah, cool. Just a fun little philosophical conversation. Well, that’s awesome. So, Robert, if people want to find out more about you, what you do reach out and connect with you? What’s the best way for them to do that?

Robert Syfert 

Yeah, the best simplest way is realestateinvestor.com. We make it very simple when you land on the website to learn anything you want to and take the journey that fits you.

Jeff Stephens 

Okay, awesome. Well, thank you so much for joining me. I really enjoyed our conversation here.

Robert Syfert 

I did to Jeff, thanks so much for having me.

Jeff Stephens 

So there you have it. I hope you got lots of good nuggets. I took a lot of notes, myself and just great thoughts about the idea of nurturing leads. I really liked his acronym for the word lead itself. And I appreciate those simple tips that he gave us too just for using basic tools we all have access to, to better follow up with our leads.

Well that’s it for today’s episode of Racking Up Rentals. Again, show notes for this episode, including a full transcript of this conversation, you just heard with Robert and I are at http://www.thoughtfulre.com/e73 . Please do us a big favor by hitting that subscribe button in the podcast app and take just a second to rate and review the show I would be super grateful.

Did you know also that we have a Facebook group for us TREEs? Well, you should be in it. It’s called Rental Portfolio Wealth Builders. We would love to have you join us over there. Just go to group.thoughtfulre.com. And the magic of the internet will take you write to the right page.

If you liked this episode, and I definitely hope you did please take a screenshot of that post that screenshot to Instagram and tag us, we are @thoughtfulrealestate all spelled out.

So I’ll see you in the next episode. Until then, this is Jeff from the Thoughtful Real Estate Entrepreneur signing off. Thanks for listening to Racking Up Rentals where we build long term wealth by being a win-win deal makers. Remember solve the person to unlock the deal and solve the financing to unlock the profits.

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