The 24-Week Challenge: Week 2 – Getting Ready

So, we’re discussing this question for week 2 of our 24-week challenge with Zack Childress: How do real estate investors build real wealth and freedom without access to millions of dollars in capital?

Today’s topic is Getting Ready… it’s about having the tools in place to help grow your business. You should only get the tools you need to manage leads, automate, outsource, etc.—if you have the right resources.

But, even if you can’t afford these tools, you shouldn’t use that as an excuse not to get started. It is certainly possible to be successful without the tech tools.

The primary technology you need is for marketing. So much of what we do is manual… like research and negotiation. But marketing automation is key.

For instance, an auto responder (CRM) helps you keep up with your contacts and makes it easy to categorize them. And, it gives you the ability to broadcast info to contacts or automatically send them emails.

Also, websites are not that expensive and you need one. We’ll also cover direct mail in this episode.

Watch and learn…

Listen and enjoy…

What’s inside:

  • Why you need to build a solid foundation
  • How tools can assist with follow up
  • Why direct mail is so important
  • How to utilize Google Docs in your business
  • Plus, software that makes offers for you

Mentioned in this episode:


Download episode transcript in PDF format here…

So, the big question is this, “how do aspiring real estate investors like us escape from the rat race and build real wealth and freedom without access to millions of dollars in investment capital and start to live the life that we know we deserve? This is the question and this podcast will give you the answer. My name is Zack Childress and welcome to Real Estate Investing Talk Show.

You are on our Real Estate Investing Talk Show. This is Zack Childress. I am your real, real estate coach and I’m a real real estate investor. We are shooting this from my home office today. Sorry we’re not in the studio for those of you that like the fancy studio. But hey, I’m still bringing the message to you. So, we are engaged in our 24-week challenge. We’re on week two right now. So, if you missed week one, you need to go back into the videos in our Facebook feed and watch video one. It’s going to catch you up.

And so, video two, our training today is getting ready. So, what is getting ready all about? It’s about the tools, right? It’s the platform. What do we need in place to help us grow better? Now, let me put a disclosure out there for you really quick. Do you need all the tools to get going?

No, you don’t. And I say that only to parlay into this. If you don’t have the resources, then don’t say to yourself, “oh, I can’t get those so I can’t do it.” No, but if you have the resources, yes, get this stuff up and go. Get it running now. Not later, because why? It’s just gonna help your business, it’s gonna help your credibility. It’s going to help you lead flow. It’s going to help your automation. It’s going to help your outsourcing, it’s going to help you to acquire more in the business, okay? But do not allow yourself to become a victim. You understand what I’m saying? A victim to this business. So, what do I mean by that? Well, I’m about to tell you. There is a great quote that my team put up of me and here’s what it says – “blaming others for your losses is being a victim.”

Blaming yourself for your losses is being a leader. It’s hard for some people to understand that, but it’s all about the blame game, right? Who are you blaming? Why are you blaming them? So, let’s talk about getting ready. So, what are some of the things that we need to think about when we’re getting ready? We’re getting ready and we’re building a foundation, right? We’re building a foundation. Some of the things that are gonna help you become better at what you do – these tools, systems, right? So, let’s look at it from a point of view. What’s the biggest thing that we’re going to need for systems? Marketing. It’s it. Look, I don’t need systems and tools to do research, right? I just need websites. I just need to be able to go to my agent. I need to be able to go to Zillow and Trulia.

I need to be able to dig up data. When I’m analyzing, what do I need? Well, I could use an Excel sheet, I could use it, or I could use a calculator and a sheet of paper, right? And I can analyze numbers. When I’m negotiating, do I need systems and tools? No, not really. I need to have one and have a voice and need to have a phone. That’s what I needed to do. I need to be able to voice what I want to say and how I can help that seller over the phone. When I convert, do I need systems and tools? And I mean systems as in technology, not systems as in SOPs, standard operating procedures.

So, I want to make sure we differentiate systems versus procedures because all of these need procedures, right? That’s why you follow a lead intake. That’s why in our 30-day fast track, we have an entire lead intake manual in there that teaches you how to have a process to all these components of the business. But when I’m converting a seller who says yes or a seller of a seller says yes and I’m converting them into a contract to move into escrow. Do I need systems and tools? No, I don’t. I mean I could use like DocuSign, right? I could load my contract in there and send that out. That would be a tool, right? But when I closed it, I closed it, right? But now let’s say that the seller says no inside negotiations and I’m moved them into a converting phase. Do I need systems and tools? Yes. Yes, I do. I absolutely do. And here’s why. Because I need that seller to say yes eventually and I don’t want to keep following up with them manually.

So, I need systems and I need tools, right? To be able to plug them into it, to keep that follow-up campaign going. So, what would that tool be? That tool would be what’s called an autoresponder, known as the CRM. You could literally go to and get it for like 19 bucks for the converting side. But then if we go all the way back to where I was at in the lead intake, the one thing that I skipped over was what? Marketing. Because marketing is, where all of these systems and tools come together because it’s so powerful. Marketing is like the thing that you’ve got to have in your business. Without marketing, you’re dead in the water, right?

But then what if someone says, “yes, Zack marketing sounds great, but I don’t have money to be spending on marketing. Well, you’re still going to market yourself. How are you going to do that? Where are you going to make phone calls, man? You’re going to get on the phone and you’re going to dial. We’ve got to dial for dollars, baby. But even then, what do I, I need systems. I need tools, right? I need a phone. That’s a tool. I need a phone. I also need systems. I need the ability to put that lead into some type of auto responder. So, let’s go through this. The first thing I’m talking about is autoresponder. You absolutely need an autoresponder in your business. If you don’t have the $19 a month to get it, I, it’s okay, right? But you need to acquire it eventually. And here’s why.

Because the auto responder, also known as the CRM platform, is by far one of the easiest things to set up that’s going to give you advantage really above anything else. And what do I mean by that? Here’s why. The auto responder allows you to keep up with all your contacts. If you have buyer leads, that go into your CRM system, which is a Aweber. If you have seller leads, they go in your CRM system. If you have agents that you’re working with, they go into your CRM system. Mortgage brokers, they go into your CRM system. You can even break up your buyers, sellers, from people in foreclosure, to out of state owners to burned out landlords, to probate, inherited. And so that’s the value of having a CRM system.

So, the CRM system basically plays out in buckets, okay? It’s in bucket so that you can add all your contacts in and make sure that you’re following the process of controlling those leads. Okay? So, what does that really break down into? That really breaks down into the understanding that I now have one platform to keep up with everything, right? And the other side, what a CRM or an auto responder service does is it gives you the ability to do broadcasting emails. So, like anytime that I get a property and I’ve got a property that I want to look at, or I want to send out to my buyers, I can easily go in there, build a flier of that property, and then I can hit submit and that flier is going to fire off to those buyers that I tell it to go out to. That’s the beauty of that.

The other beauty of the auto responder is, is that I can write a series of emails that just basically tranquil out to that prospect. And if you have the 30-day fast track, I’ve already written them all for you. I’ve already written all of your follow-up emails for a solid year. You just have to load them in. So, if I’ve got a for sale by owner, I put the for sale by owner lead in, I connect it to the auto responders and I’m done. I’m done. I’m done. Literally, every couple of weeks that seller gets an email from me, whether I’m in bed, I’m on the beach, I’m hanging out with the kids and playing in the snow. Whatever the case may be, they’re getting an email from me saying, hey, have you sold yet? I’m still interested in buying.

It’s like hiring someone in your office to do nothing but follow up with people. And if you understand the power of follow-up, then you know that money is in the follow up. That’s what you know, okay? The other thing that a CRM and an auto responder is going to do for you is it’s actually going to allow you to build what’s called web forms that you can stick into your landing pages or websites or anything really. So, when someone comes in to put their name and email in, their contact information, goes right into your Aweber account, your autoresponder, your CRM – they’re all the same thing – and it will start to trigger emails to that person to say, “Hey, look, are you interested in selling? So, keep that in mind. So that’s another great tool.

Websites, you need websites. Now, listen, back in the day when I got started, we were having to pay four to $5,000 for a website. Now, you can get a website for 97 bucks a month, and you can get several of them. So, it’s not that websites are as little of value anymore. It’s just there’s more people producing them, right? And you can get them a dime a dozen out there right now? Do you need a website? You don’t need it to do the business, do you? Should you have one? Yeah, you should have one. It’s your credibility. It’s where people get to know who you are. But you should never have website without what’s called a landing page. It is very important. It’s just a one page that basically maybe as a video on there that says, “look, are you trying to sell? Are you having a hard time getting rid of your property? Does it need work? Are you facing a divorce? Are you paying two mortgage payments? Is this property is taking you down? Are you a burned-out landlord? If you’d like to sell, put your name and your phone number and email address into the box below. I will reach out to you and talk to you about buying your property.” Literally that’s the landing page. It just a video, maybe some bullet points on how you buy it and then a box over to the side that says – name, phone number, email, submit. That’s what they do. Or it could say, name, phone number, email, property address. You know, why are you selling? How quickly do you want to close, how much you want. That’s what Aweber will do. It’ll build that forum. You can have it asked those questions. So now you’re getting a lead that’s automatically going into your CRM system, plus it’s emailing you. And the beauty of the landing page is when you have the landing page.

One of the things that you learn in marketing, is that you never give anybody your website. You always give them the landing page. So, the way that works is – this is your landing page. It’s got a video, an opt in box, some information right there. You send everyone to your landing page. Once they opt in, Aweber will automatically redirect them into your website. So, we send everyone to our landing page. Everybody goes to the landing page. Why? Because I want to capture their information. That’s the most crucial part of it all. I want their information. Once I have their information, then I let them go to the website, then they can see all they want, but as soon as I have their information, now I can market to them. Now I can follow up with them. I can see what’s going on. We can have discussions. There’s all kinds of things that we can do. So that’s the landing page, and hand landing pages and websites go hand and hand.

As part of your tools, the other thing that you need to start thinking about is direct mail companies. So, what’s a direct mail company? Well, a direct mail company is somebody that’s going to send the direct mail.

List source. List source is a direct mail company, right? You go to listsource, list broker. A direct mail company would be like a US printing. It would be like a click to mail. Click to mail is a direct mail service. US printing as a direct mail service. I’m a yellow letters or direct metal surface, but they want you to buy their list and their yellow letter. I would not suggest buying their list, I mean yellow ladder shirt, not their lists because everybody buys it. But those are direct mail companies if you don’t want to do it yourself.

Now, when I first got started, I believed that we should hand write everything. That was what I believed. And so I used to go down to the little nursing home in Vallejo, California, right there off of Solano and I’d go in there and I’d pay anywhere from 10 to twenty five cents per envelope that the residents there would stuff, sign my name on the letter, stuff it in the envelope, sign the address, sign the return, lick it, stick it, stuff it as we say, and then I’d come and pick them all up. So, it was all handwritten. That was something that I did. Why? Because then it looked more personal and they enjoyed it. It gave him something to do. Some of the ladies in that place and men, they hadn’t had visitors in several years. But that’s another way of thinking outside the box to get the job done. But direct mail companies are those.

You also need to be thinking about list brokers, okay. And this is on the paid side of things. So, when you’re going to get into paid marketing, you got to get list brokers. Why? Because list brokers are going to be like listsource, 1-800 done deal, US List, the Red x, that’s another one. So, these list providers are absolutely crucial to you. Because when we get into paid marketing, direct mail by far is one that you can actually control and scale. You have to get into it. You have to, it is a tool and a system that we have to put together to then deploy marketing on the paid side of things.

The other thing, if you’re going to be doing this in other markets is you need to get a company on board like It’s important that they have built a relationship or you build a relationship with them because you need them to go look at real estate for you when you’re out there in the world. Other tools and systems that I always suggest is Google Docs. I literally run multiple companies, millions of dollars of companies off of Google docs – spreadsheets off of Google docs, evaluations off a Google doc, a P and L’s off of Google docs, trackings off of Google dogs, performances off of Google dogs. I mean, you name it. I’m on Google docs one because I can access it through my phone. I can access it through my phone, I can be anywhere and pull it up and look at it through my phone. That’s why I like Google docs. Plus, it does Word, Excel, you name it, you can load it into Google docs.

If you’re not using Google docs, you need to be on Google docs. It’s literally probably one of the longest tools I’ve used in my business. So, you got to embrace that. So, when we’re talking about getting ready with tools, these are some of the tools. Now, are there lots of other tools? Yes. But what are some of the basic tools? Remember, I’m just trying to get you guys started here, advanced stuff comes down the road. But getting started, these are some of the basic things that you could get started with.

Now the other thing is you need, so if you don’t have it, you might want to call the office and talk to Joseph because I think Joseph’s the only one in the office. He can talk to you also about the offering software. It’s a tool that allows you to load your properties into this thing, set up your offering campaigns, set up your follow up campaign and literally walk away from it and it will literally make offers for you on an ongoing basis. It will just keep making offers – while you’re going to dinner with the kids and hanging out and doing whatever it is that you want to do – is just going to continually make offers for you. That’s the power of the offering software. So that’s another great tool that you can have in your business.

So, there’s the tools and systems, right? I’m not talking about processes today, we’re not talking about SOPs. Standard operating procedures, we’re just talking about tools and systems, right? You need tools and systems for marketing and you need tools and systems for converting no’s into yeses after the negotiation phase of the lead intake process. Those are things that we need. If not, we got to do it all manually, which I don’t suggest that you do.

So, just to get you going there, you’ve been listening to the Real Estate Investing Talk Show. Zach Childress, and I’m on a mission to create 10,000 real estate bosses over the next year. Will you be one of

them? Head over to my house website, class, and register for my free web class where you’ll discover how to escape from the nine to five grind and become my own boss in real estate. See you there.