As an investor, generating new leads is one of the most important things you can do. Even if things are going great, you must constantly look for potential leads. Neglecting this aspect is almost certainly going to hurt your business. Subsequently, some investors claim they do not know how to reach new sellers. Either way, you need to do anything in your power to find hot leads. Sometimes the easiest and most inexpensive ways to find sellers are the most effective. All it takes is a little persistence on your end and the ability to think outside of the box. Finding buyers is a numbers game, but it is essentially one that you can be successful at if you diversify your marketing efforts.
The newspaper industry, and almost all print media for that matter, has taken a step back in the face of new technology. There is a whole generation of young people that don’t even know what their local newspaper is, let alone read it regularly. That being said, there are still many people that will read it, even if only on the weekend. The classified section of your local newspaper can be an inexpensive way to reach sellers. By placing a four or five line ad acknowledging that you buy houses with cash or in any condition, you can potentially reach thousands of readers on a given weekend. If the ad is placed near the real estate section or merged with the classifieds, you can hit two audiences for the price of one. Doing this for one week may get you some calls, but like any other type of marketing, your response rate will be increased the more weeks the ad runs. For the price and coverage provided by your local newspaper, print ads are a great place to start your marketing efforts.
Not only can you use the newspaper to promote your business, but you may also be able to find subsequent deals as well. Take a look at every property that is listed for rent and reach out to the owner. You will find that there are many landlords that fell into the property either because they lived there and were forced to rent or have been doing it for a while and are looking for a way out. If you contact 10 of these owners, nine may be upset that you called looking to buy, but one of them will want to talk to you further about selling. If you are willing to take the heat on the other calls, it may be worth your time.
Aside from newspaper print ads, bandit sign campaigns are a popular form of marketing that investors need to take advantage of. For those unfamiliar with bandit signs, they are typically representative of an upcoming event or, perhaps even more so, an election. They are essentially mini billboards placed in strategic positions to gain the attention of those driving by. You can buy a large number of these signs for a relatively inexpensive amount. If you can find a busy four way stop sign or similar high traffic areas to place your signs, your information will be read by dozens of people throughout the day. The downside is that they are generally generic and don’t offer much space to say too much. They also may be illegal in some areas and the town may take them down every week or so. Before you take on a bandit sign campaign, make sure you are in compliance with your local municipality.
There has been a dramatic increase in the number of real estate websites. Subsequently, their advertising strategies have evolved considerably. Some of these sites offer marketing options that may be in your budget. If you can commit for a certain number of weeks, you can get a good deal on a popular site. Even social media sites like Facebook and Twitter have advertising packages. If you can produce a short, catchy ad, it may be an option that works for you. However, with all advertising, you need to make yourself available. You can play around with your marketing and see what works, but unless you are ready to field calls you will be disappointed with the results.
Another way to find motivated sellers is to keep your eyes open when you are in the car. Any given area can have potential leads. One indicator is an unkempt yard. It isn’t necessarily an automatic sign the owner wants to sell, but it could be a clue. Track down the owner and send them a letter, knock on the door or find a phone number. Just like calling owners from classified ads, there will be many sellers that will be angry with the thought of them selling, but there will be a handful that will hear you out. All these leads take is the time to find the owner and the willingness to call.
Finding sellers doesn’t have to mean spending thousands on a direct mail campaign. While effective, there are more strategies than direct mail. The best marketing is usually the result of many different things at once. However, you need to commit yourself to each for a prolonged period of time, as persistence pays off. The more things you do, the more sellers you will reach. Seeing as how real estate marketing is a numbers game, more sellers will work in your favor. Finding motivated sellers isn’t always the easiest thing to do, but if you try new things it doesn’t have to be that difficult either.