I’m sure you’d agree that no matter what the experience level, every real estate investor needs MOTIVATED SELLERS. Even more than that, they need to know how to find them.
Well...skip the search engines, put down the books. Here’s everything you need to become a complete rock star at consistently finding motivated sellers.
#1 GET ONLINE (Can be FREE or PAID)
First thing’s first. If you ain’t online, you ain’t in the game. Period.
This doesn’t mean that you look online to read articles like this one. This means being an active presence in the real estate world. So if you aren’t the most tech-savvy guy or gal in the business, make sure to grab the nearest millennial to show you a thing or two so you can conquer these:
Let’s start with the big guns here. We live in a world where people check their newsfeed and not their newspaper. Make sure you have a Facebook page for your business, an Instagram account, and Tweet your heart out. Let the world know you buy houses!
Writing a blog is more than therapeutic. It’s a money maker! If you write about dealing with foreclosures in California, and someone searches for what do when in California, guess what shows up? Well hello seller! Hello profits! Not everyone can write, that’s for sure. But you can hire someone to provide you with the content you want to pull in the leads you need.
The online classified site sees over 50 billion users each month. People... COME ON! This is a huge opportunity for free marketing! You can create ads looking for sellers and look at the ads made by sellers to get leads here. Most often, these are properties from homeowners who may be facing financial distress and are trying to rent their properties as a last effort to save them.
Websites and Squeeze Pages
Yes, you need a website, but wait there’s more. You have to make certain that you have a good website, and a squeeze page to coincide with it. Your website is the cover of your storybook. And while you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, we all do it. So get over it. Your website needs solid content, simple navigation, video content so people don’t get bored, and of course the ability to capture leads. It’s a good idea to offer a free newsletter and real estate information so that you can collect email addresses.
Then you also need a squeeze page. Your market is one giant orange and you want to squeeze all that juicey business out of it to create a nice cold glass of leads. Wait what? When a person visits a squeeze page, they are required to put in simple items such as first name, last name, email, and zip code. Once the information is submitted, it goes in your list and they receive an email. They’re all yours.
The cool kids call it “PPC.” Pay-per-click is an Internet marketing formula used to create a price tag for online ads. You probably would recognize these ads as those pesky sponsored links that show up when you perform a web search in Google, or on the side of a webpage. PPC allows you to reach the people you want and only pay when they are actually reached (when the ad is clicked). Heavy hitters like Google AdWords even show your ads on specific days of the week or hours in a day. This is an easy and cost-effective way to get leads flowing.
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#2 TARGET YOUR MAILERS (PAID)
Remember this: niches equal riches. One of the best strategies to find those juicy motivated sellers is to send direct mail sent to specific niches. When Mrs. Smith opens her mailbox the day that she’s decided enough is enough and sees your postcard stating “We Buy Houses CASH,” game over. She’s all yours. Define your list, and target it the right way.
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One More Thing: Make sure to keep it short and simple. You can’t target your mailers if they can’t understand what the heck you’re saying. Save the lengthy chit chat for your follow-up emails. Let them know you can help them. You can buy their house. And you can do it NOW. That’s all. Oh and of course your contact information. That would help.
#3 ADD SOME DOOR KNOB FLAIR (PAID)
While you’re working on targeting your direct mail, add door hangers to the list. Door hangers are exactly what they sound like. Powerful pieces of marketing that you hang on a door. These nifty little fellas are the kind of in-your-face marketing that works just as well as the “do not disturb” sign you use on vacation (hopefully).
Open up with a killer headline and include a catchy benefit phrase to grab their attention before they even pick up. Then provide the basic benefits they can relate to. This is definitely a task you can outsource.
#4 SPEAK BANDIT SIGN LANGUAGE (PAID)
Ah Bandit Signs. Cute little mini-billboards that mean business. There’s a reason these bad boys are still around. You know what they are. Those yellow and black or blue and white little signs you see in neighbor’s yards or on the side of the road that read, “WE BUY HOUSES.”
When done right, investors often face a flood of motivated sellers. Of course, that is if they stay in place. Location, location, location. You not only need to master the area you place bandit signs in, but how you put them up as well.
Aim to staple signs high up on light poles or available posts. This way, drivers can see it when they go by and they’re harder to tear down. So ideally, you want them where there’s a lot of traffic (perhaps that one light in town that seems to always be red) and high up so that the line of traffic can all read it.
Warning: Your first sign campaign may not work as well as you’d like. But don’t get your panties in a bunch. You're new, be realistic. Try again in the same area at least twice before moving on. If you think you’re the type to get discouraged, it’s a good idea to download our complete guide. The guide will show you our step-by-step process including how you can outsource the whole shebang and track the progress from your cell, tablet, or laptop. Better, right?
#5 INVESTOR’S BEST FRIEND: PROSPECTORS (PAID)
Considered to be one of the most useful tools for real estate investors, prospectors can be your best friend in this business. They are your eyes and ears. That means you can have someone else trying to locate investment properties for you, freeing you up to be able to multi-task. Everyone loves a multitasker.
Friends, family relatives, coworkers…you name it. Anyone can be a prospector for you. Use business cards to spread the word and set up your payment plans to really take advantage of these money-finding friends.
To make this easy for you and start making money faster, try the only prospector-based software out there for real estate investors.
With this great software, you won't have to spend any money on marketing, yet still generate tons of leads into your pipeline, every day, every week, every month in any market you choose. How can you say no to that? You just can’t. That’s how.
#6 DRIVING FOR DOLLAR DOLLAR BILLS, YA’LL (FREE)
You ever just feel like taking a nice long drive? Well if you’re in the real estate business, you kinda have to. Driving for dollars, if you’ve never heard of it, is simply the process of driving targeted areas while trying to find distressed and or abandoned properties. Sounds fun, right? To make it more fun and actually efficient, define areas you want to drive in and map them out.
Create a plan and make up a schedule so that you don’t miss it. Again, this is something you can totally outsource but should definitely experience yourself. Especially if it’s a nice crisp fall day or something like that.
#7 KNOCK, KNOCK…WHO’S THERE? YOU! (FREE)
There is really nothing better than picking up a pre-foreclosure list and hitting the streets to knock on some doors, that is, if you can handle rejection.
Yes, you are actually knocking on the door of someone in a foreclosure situation. Yes, they get pretty mad. Yes, door knocking is an effective real estate strategy. Expect a healthy mix of doors slammed in your face, screaming homeowners, dirty looks from the neighbors, and of course some really good deals. Door knocking works best when combined with your targeted mailers. When you send direct mail before you door knock, the homeowners should be somewhat familiar with your services or at the very least your company name.
#8 OUTDOOR SIGNS ((PAID)
Advertising in the great outdoors is invigorating for your business. When you track your campaigns and really plan them out, they can be one of the most cost-effective means of producing some serious leads. It could be that very moment they drive by your billboard or see your car drive by.
Outdoor signs can also take many different forms, one of the most popular is the aforementioned bandit signs. Just like bandit signs, a vast majority of these will either be removed, or only exist on a month-to-month contractual basis. Keep your sign campaigns going and stay consistent if you are looking to maximize your return on investment.
Bus Stop Benches
We’ve all seen those corny advertisements on bus stop benches. But believe it or not, they do work when done correctly. As with most outdoor advertising, it’s all about location. Stoplights are your friend here, since drivers and passengers are looking for some entertainment. Other than that, just place them often. You want people in the neighborhood to feel like they see your business everywhere. When they need to sell their house fast, they’ll think of you.
The cool thing about billboards is that they don’t move –so your marketing goes out to the same person driving to work or the store every day. Make your message short and sweet here we don’t want people getting into an accident trying to read a book. Also, do some research and make sure you are truly appealing to that target market. These aren’t cheap so you want them to be worth your while.
Since you’re already driving all around from property to property, why not market while you’re doing it? Vehicle wraps are like mobile billboards and can be one of your best methods. During rush hour, in the parking lot, or in a driveway, vehicle signs are a clever marketing idea. The message should include your company name, phone number, and a simple message such as “WE BUY HOUSES.” If you don’t want to completely wrap your car, there are also removable magnets available.
Every time you buy a property, hang a banner on the front of the building while it is under construction. This can be a great form of marketing, especially if you have a lot of projects going on. With banners, it’s typically the bigger the better. Secure them high and tight on your properties so they don’t get stolen or swept away by a gust of wind.
As they constantly move throughout the city, transit buses are awesome for promoting your business and establishing credibility. It’s a big deal to be on the side of a bus. So you want people to think you’re a big deal! The only bad thing here is some bus companies require a minimum of anywhere from ten to 200 bus ads, so it can be expensive. The cool thing is you can buy the back of the bus, one side of the bus, or a full wrap of the entire bus
#9 NETWORK OUT (FREE)
When it comes to network marketing, the opportunities are endless. You can broaden your exposure, find more leads, and meet some really cool people in the meantime. The good news is, most every investor is super passionate about what they do and can’t wait to talk to people about it. Friends, family, contractors, attorneys, bankers, lenders, city officials, agents and brokers, talk to them all! Keep your business cards on hand at all times and make sure your website is on point because right after you talk to these people they’re going to want to learn more.
Take every opportunity to network and be proactive. Attend local Real Estate Investor Association (REIA) meetings, go to auctions and talk to people, local home improvement stores, anywhere you go just talk about what you do and let people know how to contact you.
#10 BROADCAST MARKETING (PAID)
Broadcast marketing means advertising on the radio and on TV. Keep in mind that this isn’t for the new investor. You have to really have a good grasp on your market and establish your identity before you can take advantage of this. Oh, you also need money.
So there you have it, 10 proven ways to pull in motivated sellers like a fish from a stocked pond. Because guys and gals, the pond is stocked. You just need the right bait to catch the big ones.
Have some ideas or personal experiences with any of these strategies? More to add to the list? Add it to the comment box below and share the wealth!