June 17, 2011 in Marketing
What’s the one thing that will cause certain death of your real estate investing business? A lack of leads.
Leads are the life blood of your business; without them your business will wither and die. There is only one way to get a steady stream of leads and that is through consistent and focused marketing.
Jump Start Your Marketing
There are literally dozens of ways that you can jump start your marketing efforts. You will find that most all successful real estate investors use more than one strategy. In my business, direct mail is my number one source of motivated sellers. I have a system for getting it done, and therefore I have great results with direct mail. But I have to admit, that I am not always as consistent with my other activities, and I have decided to change that.
I am committed to making these changes, and I would like to challenge you to “up your marketing game” by adding at least one new marketing strategy each month for the next 12 months. Now I know the thing that comes to mind is “that’s going to be a lot of work”. Yes this will involve some work, but the results will be worth it. I plan to work smarter and figure out how to outsource some of these additional marketing activities.
What Are Some Low Cost Marketing Strategies?
- Post “We Buy Houses Ad” on Craig’s List.
- Advertise on Craig’s List for bird dogs or property locators.
- Attend real estate auctions and network with other real estate investors. Find out who’s selling and who’s buying deals.
- Let friends and neighbors know that you are looking for a responsible student to put out bandit signs. Offer to pay them $1.00 a sign (gas money) and a bonus of $100.00 if you buy a house from one of their signs. One word of caution, you will have to do some checking initially to be sure they are doing the job the way you want it done.
- Spend a couple of Saturday mornings a month going to estate sales. Often the property is going to be sold as well as the belongings. Make them an offer that includes letting them finish cleaning out the house and having their estate sales if that is what they want to do.
Get Creative with Your Direct Mail Campaigns
When we are entering probates into our database each month, there are about a dozen or so probate attorneys who come up consistently as the person who is in charge of settling the estate. Probate attorneys are a great source of leads. I have compiled a list of those folks, and I plan to send them an introductory letter as well as a follow up letter every few months. I want them to remember me if they have a house they need to get rid at a bargain price like a house that needs work or just some serious updating.
Who else would be a candidate for a direct mail campaign? Think of someone that could send you leads and drop them a line.
Build an Army of Bird Dogs
This is another one of the activities that I am going to focus on this next year. I have had good luck getting interested folks from Craig’s List in the past. The problem was I really had no formal plan to help them along. This time around I am going to provide them with the tools and training to get them started.
I plan to put out a flier next month at my local REI meeting and see what happens. I will also be looking for folks that might be interested in an opportunity to earn some extra cash while they are just doing their job. I am thinking about appraisers, pest control people (yes they would be interested), and college students to name just a few. Any one whose job involves driving around all day, would be a good candidate.
Do More “Driving for Dollars”
I’ll admit that I have fallen down on the job where this is concerned so here is what I plan to do. Whenever I am out looking at property, I am going to always spend at least an additional 30 minutes to an hour driving for dollars. It’s sort of like killing two birds with one stone.
If I’m lucky enough to see the postman, trash collector, pest control person or other person that spends their days in the field, I am going to stop them and ask if they would be interested in earning some extra cash. Today I’m going to put a whole box of business cards in my car so that I am always ready.
Magnetic Car Signs
I’ll admit right up front that I’m not a big fan of these magnetic car signs when it comes to putting them on my car. But can you think of someone that would be willing to do this for a tank of gas a month? They’re driving around anyway and a lot of folks don’t mind the signs.
I decided to take action on this one yesterday, and the first person that I asked said yes. She has a cute little red Dodge Dakota pick up truck and gas is killing her driving to her new job which is about 55-60 miles per day. This gal’s new job is on a high traffic area and it’s just a couple of blocks from a major interstate and several major businesses. Surrounding this immediate area, are nice blue collar neighborhoods so it seemed like an ideal location. I asked her if she would be willing to put a “We Buy Houses” sign on the tailgate of her truck for $60.00 a month (about a tank of gas) and she jumped at the offer. She offered to back her truck up to the road so that her tailgate was visible to everyone that drives by.
Apparel with logos on it would work especially for the guys. How about suiting up with a polo shirt or a ball cap with “We Buy Houses” on it?
Finally, join your local Board of Realtors as an affiliate and get to know these guys. Find out who the folks are that deal with distressed properties and get to know them. Buy the way, this works for almost any type of business. Realtors buy things from and use all types of services from folks just like you and me.
How Do You Keep From Falling Off the Wagon?
Schedule your marketing. Put everything on a calendar. Schedule all your marketing activities.
Online tools are great, by nothing beats having a giant wall calendar staring you in the face every day. Have your marketing activities scheduled in advance for at least the next 3 months. I guarantee this one thing will change your business.
Last but not least, be patient. Change takes time. But if you work the plan every day, you will see big changes in your business; guaranteed!
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