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Brilliant at the Basics 23 - Low-Cost Marketing Alternatives

Welcome to Part 23 of our Brilliant at the Basics podcast that focuses on keeping things simple. We like to remind you from time to time that in order to have your business running smoothly – you shouldn’t overcomplicate things.

Peter Vekselman, my business partner and friend, is with me again. He’s killin’ it in the Atlanta market.

And today, we’re going to talk about low-cost marketing. You should be doing direct mail – and these suggestions we offer are in addition to your DM marketing. Look, we know that many investors may not have a ton of money for marketing, so we are providing a handful of effective and inexpensive strategies you should try.

Get to it…

Listen and Enjoy:

What’s inside

  • 1:34 – Joe shares a profound statement from Peter
  • 3:35 – Low-cost marketing options you can do in addition to direct mail
  • 5:23 – The low-cost marketing strategy that Peter says he built his business on
  • 6:50 – Peter’s one main suggestion about bird dogs
  • 9:15 – The key to marketing is this
  • 10:15 – How many offers a day Joe says you should be making
  • 13:35 – Joe’s final 2 marketing options – one of which is super cheap

Mentioned in this episode



Download episode transcript in PDF format here…

Intro:    Welcome! This is the Real Estate Investing Mastery Podcast.

Joe:    Hey everybody, welcome to another fantastic, Brilliant at the Basics episode. Peter and I are trying to do this every week. This is a special series of the Real Estate Investing Mastery podcast that I think you guys are going to get a lot of value at. And if you've not listened to the previous Brilliant at the Basics episode, you've got to go back. Go to RealEstateInvestingMastery.com, just do a search for ‘brilliant,' or if you have trouble spelling like I do, ‘basics.' Just do a search for ‘basics’ and you will see all of our Brilliant at the Basics podcasts that we've done with myself and Peter.

And really we get a lot out of that. And I think you are going to be pleasantly surprised at how much money you can make in this business by just keeping it really simple, being really good at the basic things. And one of the things that I enjoyed working with Peter for years is how he keeps on pointing me back to keep it simple stupid. It's just a key principle of real estate. And in fact, Peter, I remember one of the first times that we talked, when I first interviewed you a long time ago on my podcast, you said something that was very, very profound. You can't go broke making money, right?

Peter:    That's reality especially in this business. If you are above that water, well, you are going to be happy. You just scale it from there.

Joe:   Right. You can't go broke making money and focus will make you rich. Focus will make you rich. I will add one more thing to that. Shiny objects will make you blind. Focus will make you rich. And so many people that we've talked to are getting, just chasing shiny objects and it's time to stop. It's time to come back to the brilliant basic things. And really good. So guys we have a book that Peter and I wrote, FreeBasicBook.com. You get it for free. You just pay shipping and handling, FreeBasicBook.com.

And we are also doing these weekly calls where we are going to be talking about our coaching partnering. It's not even a coaching program. It's a partnering program. We set up your systems. We do your marketing for you. You can partner with us on deals. You can use our negotiators if you want to partner with us on deals. You can use our funding if you want for transactional funding for deals. You get to hang out with us in Atlanta. If you want to go see Peter, if you want to see me in St. Louis, I do these workshops. You can get all of my courses and stuff. It's a really cool and awesome, impressive; I don't know anybody else is doing this like we are.

We set up your systems, give your business in a box, set up your Podio, set up your cash buyer marketing, your seller marketing, set up your websites, get you on track. You can use our systems, our VAs to do all of your follow-up for you, just crazy, awesome and amazing things. And if you want more information about that, go to PeterAndJoe.com or Peter and I do this weekly call, you can go to CallWithPeterAndJoe.com, CallWithPeterAndJoe.com. Listen to us talk about it.

It's a teleseminar, so it's not a webinar; you don't have to be at a computer at a certain time whenever we're doing it next. You can just dial in with your phone, listen with your earbuds, listen with your speaker phone. All right, so we are going to talk about today, low cost marketing. Some people may not have a ton of money for marketing. So what are some low-cost alternative forms of marketing that people should do in addition to direct mail? What would you say to that, Peter?

Peter:    Well, the good news is that this is one of the businesses where you actually can do extremely low cost, and really reality you can do so some free marketing that's just going to take you some time and is going to take you some effort. But they are very legitimate sources even at our level, which we spend quite a bit of money on the marketing side of our model. We are still doing the low-cost or no-cost marketing and get tremendous results. So, for instance, I think making offers on all the FSBOs, for sale by owners, whether you are going to Craigslist, whether you are going to BackPage, eBay Classifieds, pretty much any website that has for sale by owners on it, it's a terrific way to do it. And you don't have to complicate it.

Usually, all we do is we have people go to the for sale by owner sections of these websites. We come up with some very basic numbers like take 20% or 25% off the asking price and just hit reply and start firing off offers. So what that does, that strategy allows you to do when you go into masses that way, is you're identifying motivated sellers, okay? Because anyone that is going to do a price drop, that's a motivated seller. You know what I mean?

So what you are doing with that strategy is that you are making tremendous amount of offers. You are going in with some kind of a basic formula. You have the ability to tie properties up, and then when you do due diligence, you are figuring out, the numbers are making sense, they not make sense. And if they don't make sense, you renegotiate them. But at least what that strategy allows you to do is identify sellers that are willing to do price drops which in my world makes a motivated seller.

Working with bird dogs, I mean, I think… I've built this business for years out of bird dogs, where we ran ads in the same websites I just mentioned, basic ads, “Real estate investor looking for help finding deals” or “Local investor looking for local bird dogs that have access to properties that nobody else has access to.” I mean, you could blow your phone up with ads like that. And what you are doing is you are basically letting people that are out there in the trenches everyday know that you exist. And guess what? Some of these bird dogs are very savvy; some of them are actually spending money on direct mail. Some of them are spending tremendous amount of time, effort and energy finding deals.

But for whatever reason, they don't want to go through that whole process. And sometimes it's the financial reason; it could be just a mental thing. It's just not for them. But they are very good at identifying deals. So the thing I do recommend and we've been on all sides of the bird dogs, from training them to working with new ones and all this, I would recommend trying to find bird dogs that have at least some kind of assemblance, some kind of experience in this business, because when you start working with people who have zero experience at that level, you can spend a tremendous amount of time educating a lot of people and in the end not really having a lot of results. So as it relates to bird dogs or locators, property locators, my only suggestion is to try to find those who are already active, already doing and are just looking for legitimate outlets. So bird dogs are a great way to do it.

Real estate agents, I mean what a great way to do marketing in this business. These are professional individuals that have access to databases that we as non-licensed people don't have access to. MLS is the world and things like that and so you connect with a couple of local real estate agents that are hungry, that are determined, that understand how the investor business works, meaning there's going to be a lot of offers made. There's going to be a lot of rejections and all this, and you let these agents loose. We let our agents negotiate on our behalf.

A big mistake that people make sometimes working with somebody like an agent is that they spend a tremendous amount of time in every single potential offer, painstakingly putting it together or running a lot of numbers ahead of time just to get that bull's eye offer, whereas we just let our agents loose, again telling some pretty loose formulas, give them some geographical locations, give them some basic numbers that we want to be at and then we let them go. We just give them the authority to make offers on our behalf, negotiate on our behalf, and sign contracts on our behalf, tie properties up.

And then so when they are bringing them to us, the number should be in line according to what we told them. The contract should already be in place, and during your due diligence period, again that’s when you are figuring out, “Are you in the right place? Or are you in the wrong place? Does it need to be negotiated further down or in the bull's eye? And you could move forward with it. So Realtors is a tremendous opportunity there to make a tremendous amount of offers without costing you anything.

Even cheap signing, if you know what I mean, you can make signs; you can go to Home Depot get some cardboard or whatever the board is called. If you can't afford professional bandit signs for $50, $60 bucks, $100 bucks, you can blank it in an area with some just basic signs. “We buy houses all cash at closing, in any shape, any condition,” and put your phone number in there.

Joe:    Yeah.

Peter:    If you do something like that consistently, they will generate a tremendous amount of business for you also. So those are some various ways of doing it. Again, they all worked, they all worked well. The key to them is you have to have consistency. One of the biggest mistakes people make in any marketing effort is that they try something. It may not work too well or it may not work to the level they wanted, and they stop doing it. And so I've seen plenty of people start-stop, start-stop, start-stop, and never make anything. I see very few people, if ever, start-continue, continue, continue, continue, continue over an extended period of time, and then not starting get the results down the road.

So the key with marketing is that you have to get committed to the process. You have to just put your blinders on, you have to give it several weeks, sometimes a number of months before you potentially can see results. But I tell you, all of these marketing efforts work. They work great. There is no cost to them or minimal cost. The key is committing to the process and stick it out however long it takes to start getting the results and momentum.

Joe:    Yeah, very well said. And I will say too, even if you do have money for marketing, you guys should be doing all this stuff in addition to the regular marketing that you are doing. I am telling everybody I am working with one-on-one in my own group coaching: “You need to be making at least 5 offers a day, 5 offers a day. Just start with that.” Eventually it should be getting you to making 10 to 20 offers a day. Can you imagine after a full month of making 5 offers a day, 150 offers a month, how many deals you think you could do with that?” That’s how this business works. You've got to make a lot of offers.

And so I will add to what Peter was just saying is well, I've been doing this for years. We contact rental properties in Craigslist. So for properties listed for rent, we contact the landlord and say, “Hey, we saw your rental on Craigslist. You wouldn't have any interest in selling, would you?” Along that line, you can also find rentals on Zillow; you can find rentals on sites like landlords. You can actually get their direct phone number on websites like GoSection8.com. In GoSection8.com, you can find all of the Section 8 landlords.

If any landlord is going to be motivated to sell, it might be a Section 8 landlord, right? But you can call these people up and say, “Hey, we saw your rental.” Maybe it's a property manager that's listed on that rental property. Call the property manager up and say, “Would your client be interested in selling? Or do you have any other clients who might be interested in selling their rental property? I am in the market looking for deals.”

You can also make offers on HUDs. You go to HUDHomeStore.com. You got to submit offers through a licensed agent, but a big deal. Make offers on HUD properties. You can make offers on old MLS listings. Maybe you could just go into every single property that's listed over 90 days and make an offer or just go in every property on the MLS that you see from the pictures, that looks like it needs work. It needs updating that only an investor would love, then make offers on those as well, right?

The other thing that you can start doing. This is something I've got an idea from one of my friends, and he is doing really well with it. It's contacting, instead of expired listings, instead of going after the owners of those expired listings, go after, contact the Realtors of those expired listings, those recently expired listings. Contact the Realtors and tell them, “Hey, I would like to submit an offer for this house. Do you think you would be open to do that?” Why would you do that? Well, for a couple of reasons, number one is that a Realtor has that seller's contact information.

But if the seller doesn't want to talk to that seller again, they can usually, sometimes they'll just give you that seller's name and phone number. A lot of times the agent will be all excited, “Yeah, I would like to give them an offer.” And so you can either give that Realtor a cash offer, maybe a multiple option, letter-of-intent type of an offer that gives them a cash offer or seller financing offer or a lease-purchase offer or something. But get that Realtor to now come to that seller and present your offer to them, and then this Realtor now becomes one of your fans, starts selling you to the seller, “Hey, we got an offer.” And that agent will get a commission, yeah, but that's coming from the seller. It's not coming from you.

The final 2 things I will say, Post-it notes. You can get Post-it notes for super-cheap. And you can get printed on these Post-it notes whatever message you want. You can tell them, “We buy houses fair offer for your house. Give me a call.” Put your name and phone number on it, and then hire somebody to go put Post-it notes in your neighborhoods that you are targeting.

The final thing I will say and I am just starting to test this myself, Peter. I've been curious to know if you have ever done this before. I bought a sign and I am going to hire some sign spinners to go around on weekends to busy intersections, to malls outside the parking lots or even by busy intersections, and have these signs spinners just hold my signs as they walk up down the sidewalks with my contact info. Have you ever tried that before, Peter? The sign spinners?

Peter:    No, not even thought about it. I see them all over the place here in Georgia so I am curious to see what kind of results you'll get. I mean one thing about them is that they definitely get attention. Sometimes if a sign is standing there, it will stand there and people don't think twice about it. Those guys because of the movement obviously get attention. So I am very curious to see the results you get, very curious.

Joe:    I will let you know. I got the rights to 800-Sell-Now in my county, so it's a real easy website on the sign. It says 800SellNow.com or call 1-800-Sell-Now and the sign says, “Look, it has a big look in the 2 o's eye balls. It says “look,” and down below that it says, “You need to sell your house fast? 800-Sell-Now.” And my idea with that was as they're driving by; they don't have to write the number down. They can just remember that, call when they get home. All of those calls are going to be going directly to my assistant who is a Realtor and she is going to be doing the same thing that we were talking about in our last episode.

Our last episode, we talked; you guys have to listen to that if you haven’t yet; how we are working with Realtors. There are a lot of things you can do, but the fact of the matter is there is no excuse anymore for you not to be going out there doing marketing, making offers everyday. There is no excuse. And one thing that we don’t like doing is working with yeah but-ers. If you are a yeah but-er and you keep your day job, do something else, real estate business is not for you, right? There is no excuse. And we just gave you 6, 8 different really effective powerful, low-cost marketing strategies. Now get out there and do it. Get out there and do it. Anything else you want to add to that, Peter?

Peter:    No, that's exactly right. We are excited about expanding our business. We are excited about partnering up with people across the United States. We got a model that absolutely works. It's not on trial; it's not a hypothetical… We are getting tremendous results with our partners all over the place. So if you are at that point when you are ready, then take some serious action. You are ready to either get it started or take it to the next level. Then you need to apply. We need to talk and see what kind of… We can come to a mutual agreement and possibly working together.

Joe:    Excellent. So if you want our book, go to FreeBasicBook.com. Pay shipping; get a book for free about Brilliant at the Basics. We are doing a weekly call, CallWithPeterAndJoe.com. If you go to the website, you will see when the next call is scheduled and you can listen in. It's a phone call; it's not a webinar. It's real simple and easy. And if you want to just talk with us and apply to work with us, you just go to PeterAndJoe.com, PeterAndJoe.com, giving you lots of different options and websites you can go to. Hey, thanks, Peter. I appreciate it.

Peter:    Enjoyed it. Thanks, Joe.

Joe:    All right, see you later, guys.

Peter:    Bye.

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