Today we are talking with Scott Tonges from Pagosa Springs, Colorado, close to Durango, where my good buddy, Jeff Walker, lives.
Scott is in a situation that a lot of people find themselves in. He has lot of specialized knowledge over a lifetime of helping people in real estate as an investor and as a broker with commercial and investment real estate. He has the heart of a teacher and he really wants to share that information with people.
He just didn't know where to start, where to focus his attention, because he COULD do so many things in so many different ways to help people.
We had a great conversation about where to start, how to think through the process, and I think that you're going to find this very valuable if you're trying to narrow your focus to a single target market.
I started by asking Scott, what would be a dream come true for him.
Listen in as the conversation unfolds.
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Transcript - More Cheese Less Whiskers 059
Dean: It's Dean. How are you?
Scott: Hey, Dean. How are you? Good to speak with you.
Dean: Nice to speak with you. How do I say your last name?
Scott: It's Tonges.
Dean: Tonges, okay perfect. Scott Tonges.
Scott: You only need to learn once, right? You only need to learn once.
Dean: Tell me, where are you calling from?
Scott: I'm in Southwest Colorado, near Durango, a little downtown called Pagosa Springs.
Dean: I know all about Pagosa Springs, it's funny.
Scott: Do you?
Dean: I do. I have a good friend, Jeff Walker, who lives in Durango.
Scott: Yes, I know Jeff and his launch programs.
Dean: That's right.
Scott: I know of him. I don't know him but I know of him.
Dean: Yeah, there you go. Well, I am excited to talk to you. I've got the whole hour here to hack some evil schemes, so why don't you kind of fill me in on what you've got going on and where you think we might be able to have the best impact.
Scott: I think my biggest issue, I think my biggest issue Dean is trying to figure out what I am.
Scott: So much of the ideas from folks like you and everything are about growing a business and I've kind of reached the point in my career that I'm not sure what business I'm in anymore. What I'm trying to do is shift more into the information marketing business as a teacher. I've been in the commercial real estate business and done everything from brokerage to management, some light investment and I've done houses later in my career. I've done about everything you can do with real estate.
The dilemma I've got is like right now I'm doing a newsletter and I'm trying to ramp up where that goes and maybe get some form of advertisers to help supplement a larger distribution but even then, I'm looking and I'm thinking, I think my message is very confusing because I can do about everything from brokerage to coaching people and maybe that's more of the new investors, I'm just at a dilemma. I guess one way would be to pick the largest profits for the least amount of effort area, but again as I'm moving from investor to teacher or to information marketer, I guess I find myself trying to do both so I don't want to leave anything on the table, which is probably suicide because if you send a mixed message to people, they don't know where you fit into their world.
Dean: Right, exactly, and that's all anybody cares about is how you fit into their world. That is an important thing to realize, even the only person having multiple target audiences is convenient for or relaxing for is you, and even then it's confusing because you don't know how to, it's like you're trying to ride several horses at one time, right?
Dean: It's easy when you're on one horse, when you're on one horse and it's going in one direction, that's the easiest thing, but let's start. We could pretty much, a lot of times, people come into this with a business that's operating, that's going, that is we're looking to improve stuff or to make an impact but it sounds like you're kind of at a crossroads where we could invent whatever it is to figure out what we want to do.
Scott: That's a good term, the crossroads.
Dean: Now do you have a business that's going on right now? Where does your, what are you doing right now that generates your-
Scott: Right now, I send a newsletter out to income property owners. I've been doing that for about six months and the first client I got from that was the first mailing, actually it wasn't even a newsletter, it was a letter and he calls me, actually he's based in Durango and he's a great guy and we get along, in fact I just had breakfast with him two days ago, and he's pulling $6 million out of a refinance but he's like a lot of guys that are in that league that own multiple properties. They're very self made and he loves my books. He loves my approach, blah blah blah but then he is so used to doing things on his own as an entrepreneur. He's sort of in that league where I could help him but he's going to probably go his own way no matter what.
Scott: Either I agree to one year's worth of breakfast once a month or I don't make any money. I think, I look at that dilemma so I'm mailing the newsletter out, and basically the newsletter low key kind of shows me, I'm basically teaching people all sorts of tricks on property. But then, I don't know if they know what I do. I mentioned brokerage and then I mention investor and I think maybe, and I offer something, I offer a free book and I've had two takers on that out of, I'm just mailing a couple hundred folks and we had already gone beyond that because I didn't do a follow up letter and such so that was my stupidity. I'm trying to work on the back end of my system but again, I get back to the area.
One of my options Dean is I work multicity and I could be one thing in one city and another in another. One, I could be more of a teacher to a mail out group in one city and then I could be more of kind of an investor to another city and see which of those started to catch hold so that's one area, but again my ultimate goal would be more of an information marketer on making money in real estate. That would be out of focus on what I wanted to the most, but I'm hesitant to leave anything on the table.
Dean: Well, and that's okay. I mean given that spend here. Part of it is figuring out what you really want to do, what you're really fascinated and motivated by. If you could just wave a magic wand and set up any situation you wanted, what would you be asking for?
Scott: I would like to be a trainer and a teacher, and I've got a home study course and I'm putting together the monthly things behind the course. I've got, some of the key components are done, the book and the tapes and the CDs and whatnot. If I could do anything, I really want to get in to the information marketing business, deal less with people on an investor or broker level or even eliminate that if I could and really become a teacher and I think it was an article that became, somebody wrote a book about 1,000 fans and I could do great with 200 fans. I think then I have to ratchet down, I think my target market from the fellows like the one I just mentioned. They're full time real estate guys et cetera, to say probably younger folks or newer investors that are, maybe they own a couple of fourplexes or something, but I think those people probably need my service more and maybe that's probably where I need to start focusing. That's my goal as far as if I could wave the magic wand you mentioned would be to really be a trainer and teacher because I've got decades of experience.
Dean: Okay, and what does that look like? Dig in to this trainer future, what does it look like if you're in the midst of training and teaching? What are you talking about, doing big seminars, doing one on one?
Scott: I would not be averse to doing that, like I know you could do the monthly mailing and maybe have a couple or three tiers of price points of information, so I think my first step would be to get a monthly mailing to-
Dean: I'm not worried about that. Let's not talk about that right now. Let's talk about, I'm thinking about this is dumb. What are you actually doing here? Would you prefer to, on a scale, work where you're speaking to hundreds of people, where you're working with 12 people in a boardroom style or 30 people in a classroom style.
Scott: The latter.
Dean: One on one over breakfast. What's your, where's your-
Scott: 30 people in a classroom sounds like a good deal to me in addition to the monthly thing, and those are probably because of those people.
Dean: Yeah, so 30 people in a classroom and this, I just want to begin with the end in mind and let's get a clear picture purely for you. We're going to build it for you first.
Scott: I haven't done that yet. That's probably my problem but go ahead.
Dean: Yeah, so I mean it all starts like that. I'll tell you something really interesting in conversations like this because I had a conversation with Dan Sullivan. Do you know who Dan Sullivan is?
Scott: No, I don't.
Dean: He's the founder of Strategic Coach. His program has been a mentor of mine for a lot of years, and we had a conversation almost six years ago now, almost like this, of saying, he was talking about your unique ability and the way he articulated it was different than he'd said it in the past. We were having a conversation and he said, "What would be the thing that would fascinate and motivate you for the next 25 years?" It was pretty interesting to me because for me, what fascinates and motivates me is applying the eight profit activators to all kinds of different businesses. That is something that was great for me. We talked about, I preferred doing it in small groups that are interactive, and so I had this vision of doing a boardroom style event with 12 people and spending three days just applying the profit activators to their businesses and when we got off the phone, I went and I called the Celebration Hotel, which is right down the street from me and I booked the boardroom. They have a great boardroom there, and then I sent out an email and invited people for my first event.
I filled it up and I've done probably 60 or more of those events now all over the world. I do them nine times a year and it's exactly what I like to do is to spend three days. It's a great amount of time with a small group and we have great discussions and it's completely fascinating and motivating to me. It started with that idea of what do I really want it to look like. If I look at for you, these 30 people in a classroom, how long is that and how often would you like to do that?
Scott: I could do that at least once a month.
Dean: Okay, and when you look at it, would it be like a, would you see it being like a weekend type of event or an evening event or an all day thing?
Scott: I think you like an all day event and kind of an interactive, I would certainly be touching and then I would talk to them about what they didn't understand or explain things to them.
Scott: Like a one day training once a month, something like that would personally, that would be my preference.
Dean: That would be great, right? Okay, and that's a good start. Now when we look at this, then that's what you would love it to look like. Now you've got so much knowledge there from which to choose from in the things that you've experienced and the things that you've done and you're mentioning books that you've written so you've got a lot of wisdom to share. What would be the topic that you would love to talk about more than anything?
Scott: My principle, not my goal but my principle of teaching is to help people build a lifetime passive income with income properties.
Scott: Most people try to get into the housing arena and that's fine and you can make good money with that but there's no, they kind of avoid the small building, the small office, the small shopping center, that sort of thing and to create lifetime passive income basically and I can even teach people how to start without cash or credit. That sounds like a pitch from every guru in town but it is true and basically move them either first to start off into small commercial properties or to move or add from houses to small income properties, but the goal or the payoff to them is lifetime passive income from small property portfolio.
Dean: Yeah, yeah well I like that and that's going to be a, when you think about it now, it's kind of on point in a lot of ways. I mean people are uncertain about what's going to happen with shopping malls and strip clubs and commercial office buildings and stuff like that. Those are becoming less and less attractive I think, but even if no matter what happens, if people, if we move to be more of a renting society, that somebody's going to own the real estate that those people live in and we all would have to have a place to live. You don't have to have an office anymore and you don't have to have a retail storefront.
You're on trend, it makes total sense that way, so to keep that focus there is great. Do you see that you would envision doing these classrooms in one place or would you see yourself like doing the same class, doing a road show kind of thing?
Scott: Like a road show.
Dean: You like that idea?
Scott: Yeah, what I teach is universal, with minor exceptions that really applies everywhere but if I went, did one deal in Miami one month and a deal in Santa Fe the next month, that's fine with me and that would actually be my preference and not like I'm gone a week or so but that would be attractive to me and I think beneficial to them and if I had to say what, based on what you were saying about how the world is sort of unfolding here, apartments and warehouses may be the two things to focus on because maybe people will get used about where retail, brick and mortar retail is going and even office because as you say, we can all buy darn everything these days and don't have to be in a specific place.
Dean: Yeah, the robots aren't going to be Class A office things.
Scott: Warehouses because they'd rather store stuff that they're shipping even though they may have gotten the whole field.
Dean: All this office furniture, yeah exactly.
Scott: I wouldn't want to be in the office furniture business in the coming years though.
Dean: Well, exactly. Do you see this, what you could, how you could interact with the people as a onetime thing that they come to your class and then you wish them luck and off they go or do you see, would you want to or be willing to or be excited about an ongoing relationship with the people?
Scott: I love having an ongoing relationship and I think that all these people are just not going to learn everything in one day, but I think like a, what do you call, a seminar call maybe once a month to answer questions or have them send in emails over the course of the month or maybe once a month or twice a month. I answer a bunch of those questions and have a few people on the phone. That would be part of it and the monthly mailings where I'm kind of teaching them and giving them real world examples. I kind of see a mini ongoing relationship with these folks.
Dean: Right. You look at this, knowing what you know and with that kind of focus here, what would be the best thing that you could do for somebody? If we could just, if somebody would get out of your way and put themselves in your hands and say, "Scott, I'm going to do whatever you say.", what would that look like? What could you do for somebody?
Scott: I can teach them how to make money. If they don't have money to become an investor, first of all, I want them to be comfortable being an investor because a lot of people don't do this because they think it's complicated or whatever and in truth, it's actually pretty darn simple because after all the years I've been in the business, it wasn't until I put all these pieces together because I've been in every area of the real estate business and I spent about seven years in each specialty just because I got bored and I wanted to learn something else so I went from the shopping centers and the warehouses and I've done every one of them.
I came to the conclusion that they're all really simple and they're all based on the same couple of formulas so what I could help them do, if they had money to invest, $50,000 let's say or $100,000, I could help them get started and coach them into buying properties that allow them to expand the portfolio. If they didn't have money, I can show them how to, in fact, I kind of show that in my latest book about how to make money without any investment using options and contracts and things like that. I can take them from zero to being comfortable because I kind of throw a lot of stuff at them to show them that this is all the same game and they can choose whatever they want to do but the goal is to help them create a portfolio of small properties that give them passive lifetime income.
Other companies manage it, I mean even small properties can be managed and you can work multistate. You don't have to stay in your own backyard. Everything I do is out of state. Every investment I've ever made is out of state and I live in this little mountain town because I have the ability to live wherever I want and do business elsewhere and a lot of it without ever leaving my office.
Dean: Right, exactly. That's awesome, right?
Scott: I think there are dramatic features here but anyway, finding the right market for it, understanding their concerns and addressing that is kind of the challenge but I like what you're talking about what I can bring to them and then what business model I can set up that I like.
Dean: Yes exactly. When you look at this, let's take somebody, if that's, how confident are you in your ability to take somebody with no money to being, what could you do for them and what would be the timeframe, what would be the window of the timeline of what will happen? What could you do with them?
Scott: It's a year, in a year or so, I can help somebody generate, say $50,000 or more that they could use to start to get the small property investment. Let's say a year to, depending on their comfort, then they may decide that hey this is great, I don't invest anything to speak of. This is some mail out money, sending a few letters out. They may decide, "Hey, that's all I want to do." That's great but my goal is to let them start, get them to be property owners. I would say, I mean somebody can make a dollar in 60 days dependent on what area or what they were comfortable with, and that maybe with houses and stuff. I can help them. It's not like hey, in about a year, I'll help you make $50,000 if you can finally understand all this stuff. That's not necessary.
Dean: Right, okay. Then in the next, if they have $50,000 let's say we're starting with that, they don't have $50,000 and you can show them how to get to $50,000.
Dean: If they have $50,000.
Scott: Right, without borrowing or anything like that and or bugging their uncle or anything. The next tape, I would show them how to maximize and how to look for properties that will actually, if the extreme and it depends on their comfort level but I can show them how to get that, recoup that money out of their first investment, after they probably a turnaround property that maybe it's a 70% occupied warehouse or something like that, I can show them how to buy these things, typically distressed deals so that they can refinance and pull their $50,000 back out while keeping the property, this first property they bought and then they can take that $50,000 or maybe they pull a little bit more out of there, get some of their equity out that they created by turning the property around and then they could go buy the second property and repeat the process.
Dean: That process would take how long?
Scott: What I tell people I can show them how to do is in about a 5 year period without going full bore. This is like a part time endeavor. In a five year period, I think it is totally doable that they could create a $50,000 to $75,000 a year passive income depending on the turnaround opportunity with the properties they bought, so three to five years to build a $50,000 to $75,000 a year passive income, have created $600,000 or more in equities and have a small property portfolio. You only need a 20 unit apartment free and clear as an example to make $75,000 a year in a middle market, not San Francisco.
It's not like they got to go and end up with 15 properties. Three to five years, I'd say five years very comfortably. I mean they would start to see results within about a year, within months actually because I can help them get that seed capital as I call it, but there's really three steps to the process, earning seed capital if you don't have it, investing in a first income property wisely, and then third, to parlay that one property into multiple properties.
Dean: Different, wherever they are, different phase that they can graduate.
Scott: Yeah, and they should want it and choose the property type that you're comfortable with and the situation that you're comfortable with because there's a lot of ways to do these different things.
Dean: Now, how would that work? Have you done that? Have you helped people through this process?
Scott: I've done it myself. I've been involved in every stage of the process myself and I've worked with people at every stage of the process but it wasn't until I brought all this together with my own knowledge that I created sort of a game plan, a pattern if you will and that's the thing that I wish to teach people.
Dean: That's it. I call that an algorithm, like a scale ready algorithm. That's what you've got here. Now, the first thing would be how long would it take you, what level of time commitment and involvement with somebody would you have to have to get them to that level? Let's start with the person who's earning the seed capital? Show them how to get their $50,000.
Scott: It's sort of up to them. It's not like they need to devote a lot of time to it. It's a matter of knowing what to look for and that stuff is fairly easy. It's not like they've got to quit their job and I would never even encourage anybody to do that because you don't need to. I mean in the same way, somebody who's learning to pick stocks or play the stock market or whatever their investment interests are, they can devote some of that time to learning this process so probably, I'm trying to think, again my whole program to get them to at least $50,000 a year in passive income within five years or less, dependent on if they repeated the process, I'm assuming they start with one property and use that one property and parlay it into a few over five years. If they repeated the process each year, let's say getting the seed capital so that they could accelerate it, they could do even better.
My time commitment with them, I think a lot of that is, because I'm pretty self taught but not everybody, maybe look, I don't think I'm looking for needles in haystacks. I think there's a lot of folks that would pursue but I could basically give them the direction and answer their questions and I can say once every couple of weeks, I could speak with them or a group, a handful, I don't want 100 people on a call but maybe there's 10 or so people on the call and as I answered questions for one, others pick up, kind of get the answer to their problem or whatever. It's not a big time commitment on my part. I could probably help, easily help a dozen people that were actively interested in doing this. We could talk once every couple of weeks and again, they're studying the training materials that I send.
Dean: I got you. Now when you look at it, part of the way, one of the questions that I always ask as a clarifying question is what would you do with them if you were only going to get paid if they get that $50,000 in seed capital?
Scott: What would I do only if there's only a payoff?
Dean: No, part of it, and the reason that I say that is because so often, we start thinking about the things from a curriculum phase of what you need to teach them or what you need to educate them and there's a difference between being an educator and being a result getter, you know?
Scott: Okay, yeah it's different.
Dean: Right, and if somebody's paying you to educate them, you kind of take this sort of passive director of sharing knowledge and then they go out and do it and you answer their questions about it so you're there as a support but you're not invested in their outcome.
Dean: Right? I don't say that, I'm not saying or suggesting that that's how you do it. I'm saying this exercise of thinking that way really helps clarify, because you might take a different approach if, it doesn't matter how much time you spend with them as long as they get the $50,000 in seed capital. It doesn't have to take a year and you don't have to do 20 weekly or biweekly phone calls with them or this number of classes. You're not packaging it up and bundling it as an information course or package. I'm just saying to you what would you do if you only got paid when they get the $50,000.
Scott: Is it how I would structure what I'd do with them?
Dean: Yeah, what would you, I mean how certain are you first of all. If I gave you-
Scott: If I'm comfortable, actually that would be great because in my view, as I've done with some of, a couple of my investor clients, I let them pay for the mail outs and we've had results from those mail outs. I'm working on some things right now so I'm kind of doing the work and they're funding the activity but I think if somebody, I could certainly share in the profits with them of anything that we've stated. I don't have an issue with that. In fact, I would kind of like that so I've got 10 students, that's 10 more of me if you will who I'm directing because I have no employees at this point. I used to have a hunter but that was another, it was the management business but I think if I could, if they wanted to help me and I become a participant and really coach them as if it were my deal too but they would get the bulk of the deal, I've got no problem with that.
Some of it might be just want to be educated. Others might want to be educated and helped, those are two differences I think you were saying there, right?
Dean: Yeah, I mean they might want to be, the only reason that they want to be educated is so that they can get the results, right?
Scott: That's right.
Dean: That's really, that would really be the thing. I don't think that if people paid for the course that they're going to just take it for interest's sake and be interested in it.
Scott: I know a lot of people, I mean I've done it myself. You see a great idea and some guys teaching the course but you don't pursue that but you don't want to let go of the information.
Scott: I think not everybody will take advantage and they just buy the $90 a month course, which is kind of a training but those that want to do more and let me help them out within the limits of how many people I would feel comfortable doing. Maybe there's 80, or maybe there's 100 people on the monthly training and they can join the conference calls, monthly or bimonthly, biweekly, whatever they want, but then of that 100 let's say, maybe there's a segment, maybe there's a dozen people, let's say hey I really would like your help and I'll do, I'm going to do some mail outs and you tell me what to do next kind of thing. I would be fine with that.
Dean: Yeah, and that's kind of an interesting thing that perhaps, you could help the 10, taking a hands on approach and the documenting of it. The documenting of the journey is part of the-
Scott: It comes with the information stuff.
Dean: Course that people can observe exactly but they're observing through this and some people may want to graduate up to work with you in that way, so if we-
Scott: What they would need to do, I mean it take you know, not big money but they need to be able to do some mail out and stuff like that but nothing, not with me.
Dean: Right, exactly so when you look at that, you think what would be, if you were going to take, I'll start with one, if you start with one person, are you 100% confident that you could get that person to the finish line? Get them to the point where they raise 50,000 in seed capital.
Scott: They would follow the steps and work with me, I can do that.
Dean: Yeah, and then what about if you had 10 people?
Scott: Same thing. There may probably be a limit because I couldn't keep track for all the, well, I could. You know today, you can keep track of a lot of stuff that you couldn't 25 years ago, but yeah, I could do that with 10 or a dozen people.
Dean: Yeah, and there's kind of the thing so I think that when you look at it, this first group, the first thing that you're going to do is potentially the setting up the model, that has an outcome now that if you take people that have an interest and are very interested in pursuing this and set out to take them through a one year process here.
Dean: With the intention that they raise at least $50,000 in seed capital.
Dean: At the end of the 12 months. Now if I, Gary Halbert had a great way of thinking about this, you now. If I said to you that those, I will give you 10 people and September 1st, we're going to start with those 10 and on September 1st of next year, if any of those 10 people have not made $50,000 in seed capital, you're going to be beheaded.
Dean: How would you feel about that?
Scott: Gone to the head letter, is that…
Dean: Yeah, yeah.
Scott: I would feel okay with it.
Dean: Okay, I got it.
Scott: It's out there. I just can't be everywhere and don't want to be.
Dean: I got you, okay and so part of that now, with the technology and the ability to document everything that you do, the first time you do thisit's original work right. You're kind of creating it as you go. You're documenting everything and then the next group would be even easier because now you already now and you could, somebody could fulfill most of the time element of it, right?
Dean: Once you know what to do and you have demonstrated that you can work with 10 people and get them that result, that somebody else who knows what you did should take that recipe and work with 10 more people with your help with you overseeing the process, right.
Scott: Okay, no obviously you got 50 people in the mix.
Dean: That's exactly right so you're creating that as you go and then what the next level of that would be, of course is that you take the people with the $50,000 in seed capital and you take them on that next journey of turning that $50,000 in seed capital into $50,000 or $75,000 a year in passive revenue and three to five years or whatever. That turns out to be.
Scott: It's the place to be, I only need to work with a handful of folks. Again, there will be some that will be just information absorbers and then another…
Dean: Yeah, and you want to cut that out, you want to make this so if you looked at it, if your life depended on this, who are the 10 people? What are the traits or the commitment that the 10 people have to make in order for you to be comfortable with that.
Scott: I'm going to ride the horse with them.
Dean: Yeah, exactly. You're going to put your life in their hands in a way, right? What would they, who would those people be? What would be the conditions that, I say you get the 10 people. How would you describe the people that you want?
Scott: I know a handful of those people right now who'd bought my books and stuff like that and actually, one has actually bought their first fourplex and I think that somebody like that who's actually demonstrated that they're, and that maybe, maybe that's the starting point is not people completely fresh out of zero but they need to raise the seed capital, but maybe they're somebody that's already owned a small, maybe they've just had a rental house or something like that and they want to do more with it. To me, rather than somebody that's working at Dunkin' Donuts, though those people pop up too once in a while, a guy working at Dunkin' Donuts that wants to do this, he may not be as good a candidate, or at least he would be a smaller percentage of those kind of folks would be the ones but maybe, that's the folks that's the target for me to get started would be gathered on to the rental house or two or the fourplex or something like that that's already demonstrated a willingness to take risk when really necessary. They've taken the first step. They don't quite know where to go from there. Those would be the kind of folks that I think would appreciate what I can do for them and they would be the kind of folks that I believe I could sincerely help and would like to ride the horse with them.
Dean: When you look at it that now you're narrowing the field, so they already own, they already own one investment property, is it?
Scott: They are.
Scott: Yeah, and I think that may be a really good target and that's when I was before I spoke with you, you kind of forced me to think when I was looking at your select a single target market, but again as I said, my mistake is I've been broadcasting too much and I think aircasting because now that you have kind of shown me what I want to create and then we've sort of reverse engineered who I start with, that really clarifies things a great deal. That kind of person that's already jumped off the diving board and is in the pool but didn't quite know where to go next, that's the one that I can help.
Scott: They're drinking a beer and looking at the diving board, he may be the one.
Scott: That really helps isolate, and my gosh, there's a ton of those people out there.
Dean: I get it.
Scott: I think they're the biggest market there is.
Dean: Perfect. I mean when I, we have a program for real estate agents and our sweet spot is not the brand new agent but the agent who has been in real estate for one to two years, who lives in a market of more than 20,000 people, who personally works with buyers and sellers, who's got time to work with at least two new clients starting next month, is friendly and coachable, that's the person, that's the characteristics of who we're looking for.
Dean: When you, even just from when we started the conversation to now, the clarity in the way that you have focused on a particular person is a big advantage because now, you know what you want to do. You know who's the best person that you could help with that. Now it's just a matter of how do we find those people. How many of those people do you already have in your sphere here, that already know who you are.
Scott: Probably, I don't know, probably 50 or so that know who I am and I don't know how many are at that early stage but I know where to get them. I could put together a list of fourplex owners. I've already got that. I've got 100 small property owners like that and I could put together in 24 hours if I needed it, so I know where they are.
Scott: I think if I broadcast, because I've been broadcasting, they get left in the lurch because they don't feel, they see me talking about things that may be a little advanced for them and so I realize I don't have a unique selling proposition to that specific early starter investor.
Dean: Yeah, there's the thing, what that narrowed down, your early starting investor, can the outcome of being able to describe to them what it is that you're looking to help them with and then just being able to see if those people would be interested or something like that.
Scott: That really clarifies a lot of stuff because I realize I've just been kind of going in every direction seeing what positive, but in reality, trying to narrow down who I can help and who will eventually fit in to what I most want to do and would be most excited about doing. That's a big step because I get frustrated with the guys like I've just said who's pulling the $6 million out. He's a great guy and I love to have breakfast with him and we talk and I might get rejected in a deal here to there whenever, but they're rare birds and they're tough to work with. They're pleasant but they've been doing this for years and they're so set in their ways that I'm not going to really teach them a lot.
Dean: You know, it's so funny, very similar, like when I break down the real estate world, we even have names for avatars, who they are. If I look at it, we break them into four different categories and our first category is Betty. Betty is the brand new real estate agent. She's all excited. She doesn't know what to do. She doesn't know about all the paperwork yet or how to actually have a sales conversation with people. She's all new but she's got high hopes. Then we've got Veronica, who's been in real estate for two years. She has made it. She's got her feet on the ground. She's working with clients. She knows what to do. She's turned into a competent real estate agent. She just needs more people to work with. She's going to be on their way. Then there's Ginger, and Ginger is the stereotype successful realtor with the Cadillac and the assistant and the buyer agents but it's all about Ginger. She's always busy. It's a whirlwind of activity around him.
Scott: I know.
Dean: Everybody knows a couple of Gingers. Then there's Martha, and Martha is building an organization. She is building a team with some structure, with buyer agents and specialists and leave managers, all of that stuff, building an organization. Our best spot, the thing we can have the most success with is taking a Veronica and having her build her organization with our systems, building on that to grow her team into Martha if that's her aspiration.
Scott: Or Ginger dependent on her aspiration.
Dean: When we sometimes run into more difficulty is when somebody's already Ginger to try and retrofit now our systems and things into an already busy system and already set in her ways of how she gets business now. That's always been a little more uphill than somebody like Veronica, who's got time and can really build on this. It sounds like that's kind of, what you're saying is that your ideal client might be somebody who's at that Veronica level in a way. You would have a different name for them but they've already got one dropper there. They've made that jump to not aspiring investor but they are an investor, a beginning investor.
Scott: I think your analogy, I think my career has been very often with the Marthas, if you will, of the real estate business almost exclusively on the investor level. I take everything I've learned over the years. I've kind of lost track of the Veronicas in the world because I've been so used to working with the others but they don't really need me. They're very independent people and it's like you're saying, Martha probably wouldn't give you the time of day because she's got the world by the tail but the Veronicas are desperate for that help.
Scott: That's who I've now, again you've helped me focus again in part because I'm reverse engineering what I want out of the world because I really love to meet these people.
Dean: Some has got to start with-
Scott: How often, if you're driving from Texas to here in one direction. I'll tell you where to stop and who to talk to and where to get lunch. I really like to show people what to do and in detail and meet them at their level too, but that's really been official. I mean it really changes my whole direction because I've really been confused by the people I work with versus the people that need my help.
Dean: That's great. There you go.
Scott: Because I haven't looked at my target of what I want too.
Dean: Yeah, it's got to start with you. What do you want from this?
Scott: If you're looking to just make a buck, I can make a pretty good buck working with these other guys but trying to get into their orbit is challenging because I mean I can know how to sort of differentiate myself but it's not the most pleasant work environment in my view and I've done this with those kind of guys for so long and I'm so worn out with it and it's not about how much money I could make if I rev that up but it's really about passing some stuff on too. I really do have kind of a desire to pass some things on because I've done all this over my career and I really do like helping people and giving people instructions. If it's listened to and they really benefit from it, because I own smaller scales. I've done this with people and they've made money so I have no concern about whether I can help them do it. I can. Then I'm not really awash with 500 people on my list that I've got to turn stuff out for but I've got the folks that absorb the monthly stuff and then the folks that want to jump on board with me. That's kind of level two and the folks I go speak with periodically, et cetera. That's a very idyllic business model for me.
Dean: That's awesome. Then it just becomes how do you get in front of those people. Like you just said, now that you know who it is you're looking for, it's easier to get those lists to people.
Scott: I have a really good idea what their needs are, and as I get to know them, in fact I can talk to a few of them now because I know a few, I can say let me, I can lay out my thinking and they can kind of tell me what would work and what their concerns are and what solutions they need and how to approach them and tell me what to do.
Dean: See? That's what's so great. Now you get this sense of you don't have to have all the answers when you start out on your journey. You just have to know where the destination is and that can really help. I would start with the 50 people that you know already who are in that situation and just say to them, I mean just to have that honest kind of conversation and just say to them, "I'm starting a new pilot program this fall and I'm looking for a handful of people, yeah I'm looking for a handful of people but here's where we're headed."
Scott: I got you.
Dean: Would you like to join us? That might be the best kind of interaction that you could have because you get a sense of, if it truly is, a dream come true for them. They'll let you know. Part of the thing is we've started and identified both ends of this. It's got to be a dream come true for you to keep you excited about it and fascinated or motivated by it, and then it really becomes how can we, within that parameter of what you really want out of this, just tap in to your teacher's heart and to really set up an environment that would be a dream come true for that beginning investor. If you think about it, it would be a dream come true if somebody would take them by the hand, show them exactly what to do, be there to guide them through it, be on that journey with them and fast track their progress, at the same time helping them avoid the pitfalls and the mistakes and watch out for the traps and all the things that could go wrong because you've seen all these things happen over your career. That just creates a win-win for everybody.
Scott: This has been very, very enlightening to say the least, because again I've been going in so many directions, so sometimes too much knowledge is a curse too because you can go in, there are so many different directions that you finally find yourself in a standstill and that's where I've been and thinking I'm just spinning my wheels and not getting results because I really was, didn't have a target market and such, which I don't feel like I really do now. I'm familiar with how to design a good letter and all that, so I think maybe this is, I can be off and running here. Plus it will take a big burden off me because I'm doing so many things it's like you drag yourself out to the office and think here we go again and where's the payoff and I'm not really helping anybody. I'm just writing information. Now, this has a payoff for both parties.
Dean: I love it. I've enjoyed it Scott. What's going to be your action steps here? What do you think is the-
Scott: What I'm going to do, I will put together both a combination of people that kind of know me through emails or stuff like that. That's a handful, and people that I know too, and maybe a few that, as an example, the guy that I just talked about in Durango pulling out the $6 million. He's got two sons, one of whom is in the real estate business. He's a broker for one of the residential broker. He's a smart guy. He's been very successful there. Maybe his dad who I worked with and his son who I've kind of loosely worked around trying to bring in the things I do to teach him, he might be a candidate. It's always funny. The guy, when I had breakfast with him this very week. He said, "You know what you ought to do." He said, "You ought to package your information and teach other people this stuff that you know." I'm thinking, "What do you think I'm doing?"
Dean: Yeah, exactly. I love it.
Scott: I put on my broker hat for him in helping him look at things but then I have that other hat, which I never wore when I was with him, which was the training and stuff but his son is a perfect candidate because I know he wants to move. Anyway, long story short, I'm going to put together my list of folks, including some that I know are owners of fourplexes that mainly know me through my newsletter and I'm going to write a special letter to them, sort of early stage investors with the ideas and even the questions, say look, my goal is to find a few folks that I can help along and I'd like to know your concerns and what I could do to help you achieve what I'm trying to create for people, be it education or education with results. Let me hear from you and we'll go from there.
Dean: I love it.
Scott: Wow, this is fun.
Dean: It is, isn't it?
Scott: I'll get to work today.
Dean: There we go.
Scott: I've got a lot of crazy things I'm doing that aren't productive. That's even better almost.
Dean: All right, that's great. Scott, I have really enjoyed this. You do have a real teacher's heart and I think you're going to help a lot of people.
Scott: I've followed you for some years now and you and I met way back, I think it was in Atlanta event and you seem to have personalized, because I've listened to a lot of gurus and a lot of teachers and whatnot and still respect many of them but the way you bring things, bring material and information to people is so useful and to the point and certainly grounded in the real world results so it's an honor to talk to you and have this private one on one time, which I know your time is really valuable and I much, much really appreciate it. Believe me, at any level, because I've had a very good career, everybody can learn something new, everybody so I really thank you.
Dean: Absolutely and that's it. I think people are going to get, there's a lot of people listening who are in the exact same situation or need some clarity and I hope that this process of talking through how to get that clarity is definitely transferable to a lot of people. Thank you for sharing all of that.
Scott: I'll email you updates so you know how things are unfolding.
Dean: I love it, perfect. Thanks, Scott.
Scott: Thank you, Dean and have a great weekend and again, many, many thanks for the call.
Dean: Awesome, bye.
Scott: All right, buh bye.
Dean: There we have it. What are our takeaways from this episode? I was reflecting on it. I think it was very interesting to see how receptive or clarifying the exercise of starting with the end in mind, of getting a crystal clear picture of what Scott actually wanted this to look like, all the way from who does he want to help to being in a classroom style, teaching people about a specific thing, about taking first time or early stage investors and helping them ramp it up but the conversation to get to that clarity started with what do you really want and I would encourage you to think that through. That was a very helpful thing even for my own process, the way that I started my breakthrough blueprint events was through that conversation with Dan Sullivan that I shared with Scott.
To this day, spending those three days with people, going deep in applying the eight profit activators to a variety of businesses is fascinating and motivating to me. I love doing those events. I do nine of them a year and I love to see the light bulbs come on for people as they're thinking about how this applies to somebody else's business because they get the understanding of the principle, and so everybody leaves with a deeper understanding of how the eight profit activators actually work and in that way, understand exactly how they apply to their own business, plus we get to spend three days talking and imagine this conversation spreading out over three days, we've got clarity on who his target audience is. We've got now, imagine moving on and talking about how do we get those people to raise their hand and how do we get them to engage in a dialogue and find the five star prospects and what do we make as an offer to get them to start the first process with us, walking through all the way from profit activator one all the way to profit activator eight.
I hope that that conversation will help guide your thinking. If you're thinking about how to either start something or reinvent what you're actually working on right now, so that's very exciting. If you'd like to join us for one of the breakthrough blueprint events that I do, I'd love to have you. I'm doing, over the fall here, I've got two more events coming up in Orlando in October and December, so if you would like to join us or get all the details, just send me an email, firstname.lastname@example.org, or you can go to breakthroughdna.com and there's a video and you can download the Breakthrough DNA book and that will show you all about the eight profit activators. Then of course we'd love to carry on the conversation here at MoreCheeseLessWhiskers.com. You can download a copy of the More Cheese Less Whiskers book and you can click on the Be a Guest link to join us and be a guest on the show.
That's it for this week. I look forward to talking to you next time.