5 Reasons Your Motivated Seller Marketing Is Not Working
Maybe (hopefully) you've started doing some marketing to potentially motivated sellers to see if they would like to sell their house. As I've mentioned before, this is one of the best ways to get real estate investment deals that nobody else knows about. And what's great about that? I'm glad you asked. Without much competition you are much more likely to be able to buy the house at a price that makes sense to you for an investment. Seems logical.
If you've just started doing some of this 'we buy houses' type marketing or are planning on doing it, you might find yourself up against a tough situation most new investors find themselves in. It's a dreadful and lonely place. I was there and most of the investors I know have been there. You will likely find yourself there.
First, have you joined our private FlippingJunkie facebook group? Come network with us!
Don't Run Out of Gas
The place I am talking about is on a long stretch of road that doesn't seem to have an end in sight. So many people have told you there is a fabulous, heaven-like destination called financial freedom down that road but you just can't see it yet. You haven't gotten down the road far enough. Your concern becomes greater and greater the longer you are on the road as you watch your gas guage slowly fall backwards to left. You're afraid of running out of gas before you even catch a glimpse of your destination.
You don't want to start sinking a ton of money (gas) into getting to this place that seems so far away, especially if you are not seeing a returns yet. This is where a lot of people decide to go ahead and turn around and head back to where they were in life.
It can be very difficult when you don't have much money to start marketing and barely get any calls or leads. You've got to push through that and just let it be a way for you to focus on what works for you and eliminate what doesn't. Don't give up. Try new things. Market to different people. Change your message. Don't just do a couple things and give up because they didn't 'seem' to work.
One of the coolest things about marketing to find these great house deals to flip, is that it only takes ONE phone call to land an awesome deal. You might get 2 or 3 dud calls where the person is not motivated in the least and either owes more than the house is worth or is asking for more than the house is worth. BUT, the very next call could be a home run!
Once you get that first one under your belt, you'll have a full tank of gas and you could very well have a couple of 55 gallon drums worth of gas to spare from the profits that first deal generates.
5 Reasons Your Marketing May Not Be Working
So as you come to this place where you are unsure whether you want to spend another hundred dollars on an ad in the newspaper or whatever other kinds of motivated seller marketing you are doing, you might want to hang on a second and analyze what you are doing and what results you are getting. You will have some trial and error. Make sure you are doing the trial part and not just the error part!
Here are 5 things to look at if you don't think your marketing is working as well as you feel it should.
1. Your Test Size Isn't Big Enough
Beware of not using a big enough 'test' size. What I mean by this is not sending out enough letters before determining that the list or letter is no good. Honestly I feel you should send out at least 250-500 letters before trying to determine whether or not it worked. Many times it really is about WHO you are sending them to (see below).
This also relates to not using enough different marketing methods. Don't just put up some bandit signs once or twice and stick some door hangers on 100 houses and wonder why it's not working for you.
Here are some super rough ideas of how many pieces should go out to get a good idea of whether it is working or not:
- Bandit Signs - 100 (spread over a couple areas)
- Driving For Dollars Letters - 200
- Absentee Owner Letters/Postcards - 500+
- Code Compliance Letters - 200
- Doorhangers/Flyers - 1000+
The driving for dollars letters require less than the absentee owner list letters because they are more targeted (if you are truly just writing down the addresses to the houses that are likely vacant and in bad shape). Same thing for code compliance letters.
2. Not Displayed Long Enough
This one goes for things like bandit signs that may come down too fast (within a day of putting them out). If the signs stay up for 5 days or more, you are doing pretty good.
This also pertains to having ads in the paper. You really want to give it at least 3 months or more before deciding whether to continue. Look at the paper every week and see if someone else's ad is catching your eye and is standing out more than your ad. Look at major newspapers in other parts of the country. Who has the best ads?
Give it time. Don't pull the plug after one month. Many times it takes someone seeing your ad several times (most people say 7 times) before they will take action and call you.
3. Not Reaching the Right Audience
This is the one that I feel is probably most important.
Many times your message doesn't matter as much as who you are getting your message in front of.
REALLY LET THAT SOAK IN. READ IT AGAIN.
Motivated sellers will feel that you are a lifesaver. They NEED you at that certain point in their life and just need to KNOW about you. You have to get your message in front of them. They are out there...everywhere. There are usually ways to find people that are more motivated. They usually live in certain areas, end up in the same situations (e.g., having to evict people and they don't even want to be a landlord, inherited house and would rather have cash, getting a divorce and want to be completely free of the other person, etc.).
Some examples of not reaching the right audience are: putting signs in the wrong areas (upper crust areas), driving for dollars in wrong areas (same upper crusters), sending letters to the wrong people (people that have not reason to be motivated).
4. Not Using the Right Message
This one I don't think matters as much but could be a problem. I've seen some horrible ads before. :)
Some people don't have others look at their copy or ads before committing to use them. Sometimes the message is so unclear that people stop reading after 2 seconds of looking at it.
MAKE YOUR MESSAGE STAND OUT AND VERY CLEAR AND VERY TO THE POINT!
5. Not Having Faith and Persistence
Don't worry. It gets easier. In fact, it gets much easier after you've found a deal and are looking for the next one. This is because it's much easier to have FAITH. Many people struggle with having faith when they haven't ever received a call from a motivated seller that is begging for them to take their house off their hands. You have to have faith and use that faith to keep up head up and smiling knowing that IT WILL HAPPEN FOR YOU. I just can't promise you how soon. You can increase your odds by doing more and more marketing.
Have fun with it too. I found it fun to try and come up with new ways of finding motivated sellers. Who needs Luminosity?
Don't Give Up So Soon!
Many people have super high expectations when they start a marketing campaign. I did. When I put out that first batch of 25 bandit signs, I thought my phone would be ringing off the hook 24/7. It didn't happen. I think I got 1 or 2 calls and they were probably from contractors looking for work.
Understand that it doesn't take a million calls, just a handful and hopefully at least one that can turn into a deal before you run out of gas.