In 1999 I attended a free real estate presentation promoted on late night TV. Since I had been successfully buying and selling property as a full-time real estate entrepreneur during the previous 3 years, I was curious to learn some new ideas...maybe a new angle to help me buy more homes.
To my surprise, the presenter wound up telling the audience (consisting mostly of opportunity seekers) that finding good real estate deals was easy, and raising the money to buy them was the challenge. I immediately jumped out of my chair and screamed "BULL!"
Well, not really. But I wanted to.
This polished speaker went on to offer his program (costing several thousand dollars) to teach you how to go out and find those bargains. And they would graciously help you by putting up the money. What a lucrative and effective way to find good deals. For them!
Any experienced investor knows the opposite is true. Finding great deals is one of the toughest jobs for an investor. Funding or flipping good deals is easy. The market is full of bargain hunters and private investors who have money. So the real key to investment success is finding properties you can pick up at a great price, or with great terms.
There are plenty of opportunities for those who are willing to do what it takes to find deals. But some methods require more grunt work and than others. I discovered long ago in my 16 years as an entrepreneur that I preferred having customers call ME...asking ME to do business with them. I don't like knocking on doors unannounced or cold calling people on the phone (both proven ways to locate motivated sellers). My answer was to learn effective direct response marketing techniques.
On average, my company consistently buys 3 or 4 properties each month. This is accomplished by marketing ourselves as homebuyers. Sellers call us.
In order to build a lucrative real estate operation, I believe you must treat it as a business, whether full-time or part-time. The goal of any business is to generate profits. And you can improve your chances of success by understanding the vital role of marketing.
Effective marketing is the process of delivering a well-crafted MESSAGE to a targeted MARKET through the use of various types of proven MEDIA. The advantages of using marketing to get sellers calling you are numerous. A few include:
Everyone you talk to will be prescreened. That means they own a house, they're thinking of selling and they're motivated enough to respond to your message. You leverage your valuable time by speaking only to prescreened prospects. And you will buy a higher percentage of the houses you find for sale
You can educate the seller about how you buy houses and the specific benefits you offer BEFORE they call. That way you'll spend less time repeating your marketing message to every prospect.
You eliminate the need to call sellers. Homeowners with FSBO signs, classified ads, pending foreclosures, or expired listings will call you.
You'll talk to sellers who haven't done anything to publicize their desire or need to sell. That means less competition.
To develop your marketing strategy, break it down into three parts. First, clearly define your marketing message. Next, identify who needs to get your message. And finally, decide what media you want to "test" to get your sales message delivered.
DEVELOPING YOUR MESSAGE:
What are you offering the seller?
Why should they choose you over the other options they have to sell their house?
What are the most important benefits you can offer to a seller?
What problems can you help a seller overcome?
Why is it easy and safe to do business with you?
Why should they call you now?
What do you want them to do next?
IDENTIFYING YOUR MARKET:
Whom do you want to talk to? (sellers)
Whom can you help the most? (flexible sellers)
Who's more likely to need for your help? (foreclosure, divorce, transfer, landlords, etc.)
Who do you want to avoid targeting? (renters)
Where do you want to buy? (farm tight areas, become a big fish in a small pond)
What types of property to target? (single family homes are plentiful)
CHOOSING YOUR MEDIA:
Yard signs and billboards
Free recorded messages
Free special report
Radio and TV
Your goal should be to develop the most comprehensive marketing message you can. Intend to communicate everything that would be of interest to your targeted market. Tell the whole story. Deliver the entire message when it's cost effective (as with a detailed flyer, report or letter). When cost prohibited, use a two-step approach. For example, your sign or classified ad might direct sellers to call a free recorded message, or visit your web site, where they then get "the rest of the story."
Most beginning investors have more time than money...and a marketing plan requires a regular investment of marketing dollars. You can call sellers and knock on doors for free. And during the startup stage of your business, that's OK. But...consider this. A $15,000 profit from buying and selling ONE house can fund all your marketing efforts for an entire YEAR, even if you're spending up to $800 per month.
If you know how to solve seller's problems by buying their houses creatively, apply some of these ideas to buy more houses with less work and make more profits.
About the Author…
Richard Roop is a speaker, author and President of Bottom Line Results, Inc. located in Woodland Park, Colorado. He has been a successful marketing consultant since 1984 and today he specializes in helping entrepreneurs launch and grow their creative real estate businesses. He bought his first investment property in 1986 and became a full-time real estate investor in 1996. Today, he buys and sells 3 or 4 single family homes each month using creative financing and entrepreneurial marketing techniques. His "how to" articles and marketing pieces have been featured in various entrepreneurial, real estate and marketing newsletters. He is the author of "How to Sell Your Home in 9 Days" and "How to Collect 5-Figure Paychecks Buying & Selling Houses". He can be reached at 1-800-737-8582 or firstname.lastname@example.org