Ben's article question - Posted by Scott

Posted by Ben (IN) on May 19, 1999 at 10:25:49:


There are primarily two modes with direct response; lead generation advertising, and direct mail.

With lead generation you are advertising “for” your target seller. So the more your advertising identifies and gets response from your target seller, the better. If you want to do the option type deal you are basically offering cash. So make sure your ads stress cash and quick closing. There are plenty of cheap ways to get lead generation advertising out there. Flyers, bulletin board flyers in supermarkets, classified ads in local papers, business cards (with your message on it) handed out all over the place. They’re a little time consuming but are cheap and will get qualified sellers calling you (your voice mail).

Direct mail you have a list of target sellers that you contact with a sales letter. The effectiveness of direct mail depends on how good your list is. It costs the same to mail a bad list as it does a good list. A mailing of 100 letters costs about $40. 200 letters $80. Cheap. So make sure your list is made up of people who by their very circumstances, need to sell. And then mail them three or four times. Like Expired Listings. Yeah that’s something you’ve heard before, but have you done it, every month. Just think. These are people who have been trying to sell for at least six months, and have failed. The list is free, just hook up with a realtor and its yours every month. You can target by price range and area. I get 2-3 deals every month just from mailing to that list.
Another good list to mail to is out of state homeowners. Get it from your title company or wherever and then mail to it four times at 30 day intervals. You’ll get calls. Again, the list is free, and you’re looking at a cost of about $40 per hundred.

Considering that the deals you do from the responses you get will make you anything from $5K to $50K, I think its something that is worth your attention and consistent effort.

Scotty, packing a punch doesn’t neccessaily mean spending a lot of money. Just make sure your marketing is really focused on who you want to attract.

Regarding the option deal, unless you are working foreclosures where you know the loan balances and values of the properties you are targeting, there’s no way to predict what you will get from the marketing you do. Just try to focus your message the best you can for the types of deals you want to do.

Put a ton of stuff out there like flyers in high traffic areas like supermarkets, business cards, classifieds in local weeklies to generate calls. But also keep the direct mail end of things cranking. These are not expensive things to do. You may have to spend a bit of time on it, but you can get all of this done monthly for $2-300.

Hope this helps Scotty.

Ben Innes-Ker

Ben’s article question - Posted by Scott

Posted by Scott on May 18, 1999 at 20:42:23:

First of all, Ben, I really enjoyed your article. I’ll probably need to read it several times before it all sinks in.

It did create some questions in my mind… For someone limited in marketing funds, what is the best, least expensive ways to market for motivated sellers? Do you get more “bang for the buck” by running a “I Buy Houses …” ad, sending “I want to buy your house …” letters to FSBOs, etc? I’m mainly interested in flipping by optioning, sell with owner financing, and then sell the note. What’s the best ways to marketing for this side of the business?

Thanks to all,