One day I wanted to go fishing to a new spot. I knew where it was but had no clue as to how to get there from where I was at the time. I could have used a GPS if I had the address. I could use technology but Google maps needs to know the general area where I wanted to go. Another option, I could just ride out in the general direction and hope to see something I recognized. I could go old school and get a folded map. My time is money so I needed to go out there and get the fishing done, have my fun and relax. Then get back in time to meet my coaching clients for a discussion of how to create inventory fast, efficiently (low effort high return), and effectively (cost effectively). I needed the most direct route to get to the fishing spot with no time to loose, which maximizes my efforts and gets to the sweet honey fishing hole fast. I chose the old tried and true method. It would get me there. The good news was the map was only 12 years old.
Well the fishing was great and the method of maximizing the fun worked. You are asking yourself "why do I care about your fishing"? Because fishing is similar to creating inventory! You must do the right presentation to get the fish to be interested in what you have to offer and catch the fish or land the deal. So if you are offering cash to the seller, they might be interested unless they have a big tax liability, have done a loan modification, and have 2 years before they can sell. If you offer fair market price in cash the owner will definitely be interested (however you will not be able to sell it or turn a profit). I use artificial bait when I fish (creative financing). I also do catch and release (wholesale). It takes a certain magic to look like the real thing, smell like the real thing, and get the fish to strike (close the opportunity and get paid)!
I have several people right now asking me for opportunities to buy houses. They want to be the first person I call/ email. Inventory is at an all-time low. The demand for the buy, fix, and sell is at an all-time high. Now is the time to jump in and get your share of the profits.
How can you optimize your chances for success? There are seven methods that I use to generate profitable leads.
Real estate is a relationship driven business. The first place you need to start is in your own phone. I can hear the excuses now. I don’t have enough people in my phone. Stop using excuses… they are just what they are EXCUSES. If you don’t try you will never know. A warm lead is always better than a cold lead.
The second method is the internet. You can call all of the people on Craig’s list, back page or any internet website to find your leads. You will make a bus load of phone calls before you will get one solid lead. You will leave more messages than you ever thought. Your ratio will be in the 1 lead in 150 calls range. There is a software tool you can use to get this done faster and more effectively. It is called a scrapper. I have one but I don’t use it often because it takes too much time to set up. I can offer my experience about which one not to use, because I have found the customer service to be very poor. The best way I have found to utilize this approach is by having my virtual assistant use this method and send me the leads to close.
A third method is paying for web-based leads. There are plenty of web based lead generators you can subscribe to utilize. Expect to pay about $1,000 for each closed deal.
Bandit signs work. This is a forth method but comes with some problems. Code enforcement will fine you for an illegal sign. The great news is this year, with the election coming, you can put your sign right next to the politician’s and when you go to court you can show the judge your sign right next to theirs. I will be out there this season. There are some methods to prevent this from ever occurring just ask your coach or mentor.
Being able to find hard to find owners is key to the serious investor getting lucrative deals with lots of profit. It you are able to track a vacant house and successfully contact the owner your chances of making the right presentation to get the deal is high. Are you good with social media? This is how most skip tracer’s work. Bill collectors are using social media to track the individuals who request services and don’t pay for them, very effectively. Social media is a fifth method for reaching out to those warm leads.
A sixth method that has recently been popular are the foreclosure lists. It is producing for me on a regular basis. I have noticed and had it confirmed by a very well-known realtor that Atlanta, inside the perimeter, is back to a normal foreclosure rate. The areas outside of the beltway are being foreclosed at a much higher rate due to the banks now cleaning up their mess from the great recession.
The last method is buying lists of names and mailing to them, which is another very effective way to get leads. Ask your coach or mentor for which list is the most effective and what criteria you should use. Spending your marketing dollars on a message which doesn’t reach the right audience can be painful. Look at Jeb Bush’s recent presidential campaign. He spent $150 million on a failed ad campaign (http://time.com/money/4231669/election-2016-money-spent/). I want you to know I have never spent that kind of money on a failed ad campaign.
The low cost method to finding inventory isn’t always the best. The serious investor will be trading your time for money. The serious investor will trade your money for time. My time is very valuable and I cram as much fun into it as I can. I am willing to spend my money to create leads.
I love to brainstorm how to create inventory! I use the methods I have just talked about to optimize my success and these are the methods that other highly successful real estate people use.
PS. This article was written by me while my driver drove to the sweet honey fishing hole and back!