A "Secret" To Marketing
Before you get to all the tactical stuff of how to grab 100 quality sellers leads for under $500, it’s important that you read this part FIRST.
Because when it comes to marketing, most people in the REI industry have it donkey-backwards. Let me illustrate with a sob-story I read in wholesaling Facebook group:
A new investor was cold calling every week. And after a couple of months or so she expressed how she “Can’t find ANY deals cold calling”. I replied with this:
I can feel her frustration…
Because I too struggled when I first got started in REI. But it shifted when I started realizing that marketing is not about striking a deal. It’s about building a list of real leads. No… this isn’t a list of “leads” you buy from someone else. A list of random, cold address are never leads; leads = people who’ve “raised their hand” and said, “Yes, I want that”.
Let me drill it even further with an illustration:
To make steel, you don’t go into a mine and find “steel”. Steel is made from iron ore. And you first have to find and refine iron ore. You have to first create this whole operation to dig through rock, filter through all the non-iron ore, and collect all the iron ore efficiently. Then there’s a whole other process for refining the iron ore so it’s usable. Then, finally you can that iron ore and make steel with it.
And the process is the same for REI:
You have an entire process to “mine” for real motivated sellers. Then you have another entire process to “manufacture” (convert), those sellers into deals. In the steel business, there are consistent operations just for finding motivated sellers. Then consistent operations for converting those sellers into deals.
Now, I know this ain’t exactly the “NuNjA SeCrEt MaRkEtInG” tactic you’ve been looking for… but I promise that this little shift in mindset, will make sure you keep going when the going gets tough.
Because when deals are low… the problem is the lead flow.
At that point, the questions asked should be: “Am I getting enough quality lead flow? Are there enough leads here to make deals? Am I constantly adding and ‘farming’ for new leads into my “processing machine” (conversion machine) so I have enough leads to convert into a deal?”
I had to get that point across first… before I give you my 8 tactics to grabbing 100 quality leads with $500. Because that’s the real goal.
Looking for deals (when you’re supposed to be looking for sellers) is like building a stick-frame house before you even have a foundation or a location chosen.
So without further ado… let’s get to it and grab yourself 100 leads (and make sure you read the next section that explains how to use all these):
8 Methods to Building your seller list with only $500
- Buy/find a list of 1,200 owners (use the list strategies in this ebook). Afterwards, hang door hangers (Ballpoints affordable handwritten door hangers) then scrape for phone numbers and “warm call” all of them (when calling, always ask if they know anyone selling right now).
- Visit every property manager in your area, build rapport and relationship and ask if you can contact their list of tired landlords. Strike a JV deal with them. (This takes constant effort with managers; A “no” isn’t a “no” forever).
- Farm an entire “hot” zip code. If wholesaling, certain zip codes are better than others for motivated sellers (look for ones with the most cash sales). Farm that area by driving 4 dollars every day. Get bird dogs on your team and give them a stack of handwritten door hangers (promise a few hundred bucks for every deal that comes from a hanger). Mark down any distressed properties and knock the door, leave door hangers, mail, and call. Make weekly goals of door-knocking and cold calling (or “warm” calling if you’ve left hangers) the area. Anyone you come into contact, ask, “Do you know anyone selling a house?”, and leave them your card.
- Buy a list of expired listings and all FSBO’s. If they’re Owner-Occupants pay them a visit and/or a call. You can also hire someone for dirt cheap to place hangers on every door (then “warm” call them to ask if they’ve got your message). The great thing about this list is that EVERY SINGLE person is a seller. They aren’t all motivated sellers but there are some… (Advanced tip: Sometimes a plain cash offer isn’t enough. Instead, learn how to put together creative offers which are sometimes more appealing to these sellers. For example, with a seller finance deal, you might be able to give a FSBO’s price and still be a good deal for you.)
- Look in the classified ads regularly. There you can find not just properties for sales, but clues to people selling and moving like yard sales or selling off big items. Call them and don’t be afraid to ask, if they’re selling and if they anyone selling. If they are actually selling their home, get an appointment with them and place them on your list of leads.
- Buy a hot list of potential sellers (tax defaults, expired listings, seniors w/equity (everything we show you in our eBook)), place hangers on every door… then text blast them. For those that respond and are selling, add them to your list. Then call the “no answers” or mail them a handwritten letter, and/or knock the doors.
- Build a list of vendors/professionals and contact them: Every month make it part of your schedule to find and build a relationship with estate sale companies, locksmiths, property managers, estate attorneys, property/casualty insurance brokers, bankruptcy & divorce attorneys, abatement and preservation companies (the ones hired to board up vacant properties, drain pools, clean up vacant houses, etc), and even antique stores (sellers will be looking for places to sell off their items)… and strike referral deals with them. They come across many motivated sellers, and if you’re their “go-to” this can be a constant flow of leads. This, however, takes constant effort, and it’s the “long game” but well worth as referrals are the best and cheapest source of business.
- For every seller referral (after you pop the question, “Do you know anyone looking to sell?”), place them on your lead list and send them a handwritten letter, then call them (or better yet, pay them a visit). This is no longer a “cold contact” as you now have a source, for example: ” My name is … and John, your property manager said that you need to sell your property. I’m looking to buy one in … is it true that you’re selling?”
Your "Time Budget"
Now a lot of this ain’t rocket science, and there certainly isn’t anything “sExSy” about it. In fact, a lot of it is hard work. But that’s what sweat equity is. If you don’t have $1,000 a month to spend on marketing… the next option is time. You have to spend your time marketing with a consistent and diligent schedule. (NOTE: even with a low budget of $1,000 a month you should be adding some “guerrilla” type of marketing strategy that utilizes the tactics above. Here’s why: If you’re bringing in 6 leads per $1,000 a month, and your conversion rate is 1 deal for every 20 leads, you’ll need a lot more lead flow until you start bringing your KPI’s up).
You can combine these methods, mix-and-match them, or create your own… regardless of how you use them, the single most important part of all this that will make it work is:
Just like how people have “Marketing Budgets”, you too should have a budget for your time.
Put these methods into a marketing schedule. For example, Every week you hit xx number of door knocks, xx number of hangers, xx number of cold/warm calls, and talk to x number of vendors. Then you have a “follow up” schedule: Every week you try and aim for x amount of offers given out, x amount of actual sellers to talk to and book appointments with (this is “process” part of turning that “ore” into steel from our earlier example).
This is very important when it comes to “goal setting”. And there’s an entire article we’ve devoting to “The truth of goal setting here”. Most people have goal setting backwards, and they should be focusing on what they can control.
On a final note: If you try 1-2 of those methods for 2 weeks and give up… you probably shouldn’t be in the business. But, if you’re diligent and hungry, this can be a great business.
The single best marketing tool for $100
If you’re working with a budget of $500 or less the single best tool I recommend (other than your phone, your legs, and your voice) is:
Obviously, we’re a little biased (since we sell them), but they’re the cheapest way to send a personal handwritten message to people (they’re made with real blue pen, not printer font)
And they’re literally the world’s first handwritten door hanger (no other print shop has done it except us). We took our sophisticated robots and had them handwrite with a real blue pen a personal message onto door hangers. Sellers will call back thinking you wrote it.
And deals do come…
Like our client Donnie Mcgriff who in this video said”: