Real Estate Wholesaling (assignment of contract) has been an income-producing activity for real estate investors for nearly 100 years. The ability to assign your interest in a contract isn’t anything new.
Ironically, so many people, including real estate professionals who are licensed to practice real estate act as if they’ve never heard of it before. It’s fascinating. On top of that, some consider it illegal. All it takes is some education, and understanding of how the process works to be armed for life with the knowledge on how to make money assigning your interest.
The point here is that the legal process of assigning your interest in a contract may never change. There are certain elements to the real estate contract law that will keep this process the same for many many years.
What changes in the process that we use, as creative real estate investors, to generate the leads that we need to get a property under contract to begin with. Or does it???
Over the years, we’ve seen many different methods being used to strum up motivated sellers. We’re always looking for the “next big thing” or that new shiny object that will work better than the last.
One of the best methods of generating leads has always been direct mail. This seems to be the most affordable, and sustainable method for getting results. However, when the market heats up and a lot of new people show up on the scene, the direct mail club becomes highly competitive.
2019 was the year for change in the way real estate investors are generating motivated seller leads. A new technology hit the scene like a storm, and every real estate wholesaler seemingly got swept off their feet by a method referred to as “RVM”.
What is RVM?
RVM is also known as ringless voicemail – or Voicemail Drop. This is a method in which a pre-recorded audio message is placed in a voicemail inbox without the associated telephone ringing first.
Here’s a video explanation of how robocalls work.
How can a real estate investor use RVM to generate leads?
While the concept seems simple, the process that has to take place before an RVM ever drops is quite sophisticated. We won’t get into tutorials in this article, rather a summary of steps that should be taken before a voice mail drop hits the wires.
- Purchase a List with owner name, and property address data included
- Scrub the List Against the Do Not Call List
- Scrub the List Against the Litigator List
- Submit the list for Skip Tracking (to get phone numbers)
Once you have possible phone numbers for your leads, you can upload them into a Robo Dialer. A robo-dialer is software that automatically dials telephone numbers that you’ve uploaded. Once the call has been answered, the autodialer either plays a recorded message or connects the call to a live person.
Commonly used RoboDialers:
In the case of RVM (or ringless voice mails), the robodialer automatically sends a voice mail to the person’s voice mailbox without ever ringing their phone.
The message this is played is typically one that states “Hi, my name is Joe Dirt. I’m looking to buy houses in your area. If you’re interested in selling, give me a call at (999)555-1212.
If the person is interested in selling, this could generate a lead.
Pros and Cons of using Ringless Voice Mail to Get Deals
Robodialing is all the hype right now. As you probably experience several times per day, everyone has been taking advantage of the convenience of using robocalls to get their message out.
PRO: There’s an advantage to using robodialers, whether you’re dropping voice mails or text messages. After uploading your list of names, and phone numbers, you can push one button and send thousands of messages at once.
PRO: The cost to send voice mails or mass text messages is just a few cents per number. So, it’s CHEAP Compared to other forms of lead generation, it’s merely a fraction of the cost. This can significantly increase your ROI on marketing dollars. This is one of the main reasons so many real estate wholesalers are attracted to this method. They LOVE CHEAP.
PRO: The process of sending mass messages through the use of robocalls can easily be outsourced to a Virtual Assistant.
CON: The use of robocalls is extremely annoying to the recipient.
CON: More people complain about robocalls than any other form of marketing.
Using RoboCalls as a method of lead generation can get you into BIG TROUBLE!
With anything new, it seems legitimate at first. Then, you start to realize the issues with it.
The Heat Gets Turned up on Robocalls
Real estate investors aren’t the only ones who were using this technology to their advantage. Thousands of companies jumped on the bandwagon and created their own robodialer campaigns.
According to RoboKiller, (who called RoboCalls an “epidemic) 4.17 billion robocalls were made in December 2019. That’s nearly 18 spam calls for every person per day. That’s 1,558 robocalls every second!
Robocalls are considered “spam” and when you’re receiving 18 spam calls per day, this doesn’t play well with most people.
Trump Signs Robo Call Bill into Law Dec 31, 2019
President Donald Trump signed a bill on December 31, 2019 that imposes stiffer fines of as much as $10,000 per call on robocallers who knowingly flout the rules on calls.
Using Virtual Numbers and Fictitious Names
So with all of the information that’s out there about Ringless Voice Mail and its ability to annoy the heck out of 95% of the human race, how can you use it without getting the heat turned up?
Real Estate Investors are taking precautions to conceal their identity when it comes to using RoboCalls as a Lead Generation technique. If this isn’t a red flag, I don’t know what is!
Most Robodialers will allow you to “rent” virtual phone numbers that can be used for the mass broadcasting of voicemails and texts. Some even allow a totally different number to be shown as the Caller ID. They even get as smart as to “closely match” the caller ID with the phone number of the recipient. This makes the recipient feel compelled to answer the call.
Robodialing campaign are also using fake names to prevent them from being linked to any activity that is forbidden by the FTC.
If you have to conceal your phone number and/or your identity to generate a lead, then YOU SHOULD NOT BE USING THIS METHOD IN YOUR BUSINESS.
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What are the Risks of using RVM?
The biggest risk USED to be making robocalls to people that were on the Do Not Call list. That’s why so much emphasis was put on scrubbing your list against the Do Not Call Registry, and the Litigator Database. There wasn’t really any enforcement in place to make the penalities seem dangerous.
With the new laws that have bee implemented, you have much more at risk. You can face a fine of $10,000 PER CALL by using Robodialers and/or Robocallers. It doesn’t matter if you’re recipient is on the Do Not Call list or not. This technique is short-lived, and is NOT a viable solution for anyone who wants to sustain themselves as a real estate investor.
Is it Worth it to use RVM in your Business?
Maybe you’re thinking to yourself “I have nothing to lose, what do I care”? Or maybe you’re thinking “I’m making great deals and great money, I can’t stop now!!”
This is the type of thought process that will find you with your pants down.
The process for a recipient of a robocall to file a complaint is very simple now. The person you are calling is able to report you in 3 easy steps when they visit ftc.gov. In fact, there are people who are making a steady stream of income by collecting phone numbers, and information about the callers and turning it over to their attorneys. The attorney then forwards a form letter to the FCC, files a complaint, and then “settles” out of court for $2000 – $3000 PER CALL.
If you find yourself in a legal battle over robocalls, and you LOSE (which you will), then that judgment will attach to your name forever. You may not have any assets to worry about today, but one day you will. Then it will come back to bite you in the ass.
THE RVM Bandwagon
A lot of new real estate investors are jumping on the RVM bandwagon because they see their peers “crushing it” using this method of lead generation. Don’t let the ignorance of others cause trouble for you in the future. Just because you see someone else doing it, doesn’t make it right.
You may even get some tips on how to conceal your identity so you never get caught. Don’t fall for that either. Remember, if you even have to THINK about hiding who are to conduct business, then you shouldn’t be doing it. We’re not just informing you of the warnings with using Robocallers. We’re actually hearing of more and more cases of real estate investors who are getting the hammer dropped for using Robodialers and RVM. SO we want YOU to be educated on the topic and keep yourself away from trouble.
Some real estate investors are trying to use the theory that they’re not providing a service. That they’re actually trying to buy a house from the seller. OKAY!! ROFL ONce the FCC starts investigating your business model, your online presence, and the number of robocalls that you’re making, they’ll certainly determine something different. If it looks like a duck and walks like a duck, then its a duck.
How Can I Generate Leads without doing RVM blasts?
There are plenty of ways to generate motivated seller leads without using Ringless Voice Mail, or anything that requires a robodialer or robo software. Are they as inexpensive as Robo? No, of course, they’re not. In the long run though, you’ll be able to sleep at night knowing that you’re generating leads legally without the worry of someone filing a complaint against you and sending a notice to relinquish your computer hard drive to the State’s Attorney. If you’d like to discuss this issue with our member, he openly discusses it with Members Only.
One of our favorite, time tested methods to generate motivated seller leads is old fashioned direct mail! For the last few years, it has been highly competitive with response rates steadily decreasing. However, we did not falter from what we know works. The direct mail has continued to generate motivated seller leads for us.
So many real estate wholesalers have gotten caught up in the RVM hype, and the “cheap” method of marketing, that they’ve ditched direct mail campaigns by the droves. Lucky for us, we always choose to walk in the opposite direction of the herd. By continuing to send our direct mail campaigns out, we’re now seeing the highest response rates and the greatest ROI than we’ve seen since 2013.
It’s Always Better to Be Safe than to be Sorry
Taking risks is all part of being an entrepreneur. There’s nothing wrong with that. There is something wrong with using methods that could compromise your welfare. It really just isn’t worth it. There’s no amount of money that can make it worth the risk of being under scrutiny by the FCC. While you think it might not happen to you, just know that we have members that it has happened to! They’re not “big time” marketers, rather ordinary people who were trying to make something happen. The RVM landed int he WRONG inbox and opened a very packed can of worms. Anxiety levels are high now.
So, take our advice today. It’s better to be safe than sorry. You can still have a very successful real estate wholesaling business using numerous other ways to get the deals you need.
Proven Results with Direct Mail Campaigns
With the change in laws that took place on December 31, 2019, your chances of getting fined for using RoboCalls and Ringless Voice Mail has increased. This is a perfect opportunity for you to get on the right track with your marketing, and use a method that will bring peace of mind and five-figure closings to your bank account.
Property M.O.B. has been an advocate for direct mail campaigns since the beginning. We’ve never steered anyone in any other direction. For the fans and followers of the MOB, you’ve probably seen some significant changes in your campaigns recently. You’re welcome! 😉
This chart displays our REAL Results we have gotten from Direct Mail from 2014-2018.
If you’ve never executed a direct mail campaign, and want to create a very simple process for doing so today, then the time is right for now. We’ve created a Direct mail Campaign Training Course, with an emphasis on Automation. This will allow you to create campaigns that are running with the greatest of ease, little effort on your part.
The Switch from RVM to Direct Mail Campaigns
There are two groups of people who this article will apply to:
- People who are using RVM to Generate Leads
- People who are thinking about RVM to Generate Leads
If you’re already using RVM in your business as a method to generate leads, then most certainly some doubt as to it sustainability has crossed your mind. Maybe that gut instinct has been telling you that using RVM isn’t the best decision. I’m sure you’re taking advantage of the cost and conversion of this method. Now is the perfect time for you to start transitioning into a method of lead generation that can be implemented into your business for many many years.
Sometimes the thought of direct mail campaigns is overwhelming. Trying to come up with new mailing lists, following up, etc. That’s why the “Automating Direct Mail Campaigns” Training Course is perfect for you. Not only can you create an easy to follow system for executing direct mail campaigns, but it will help you understand the process of list selection. Start training on how to best use direct mail to dominate your local market, BEFORE the Robocalls are blocked by the phone companies permanently and you’re left with nothing!
If you’ve seen your peers and people on social media (what a joke) killing it with RVM, you may be considering doing some of that yourself. DON’T FALL INTO THAT TRAP! Stay on the right track with a lead gen campaign that isn’t going to put you and your family at risk. NO matter what people say, there’s never anything that crosses the line when it comes to sending direct mail. MAIL UNTIL YOUR BANK ACCOUNT IS FULL!