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Wholesaling Properties: 7 Sure-Fire Marketing Methods

Aug 13, 2008
When your real estate investing business is in its infancy, dollars spent on marketing must be spent carefully. It's easy to listen to the advice of the gurus (who probably have much more expendable cash than you do) telling you to get a Yellow Pages ad, or to send out mass mailings, and on and on. It can get confusing.

The key to good marketing is not how much money you throw at advertising, but how well you manage your marketing. While a Yellow Pages ad may work well for others, that might not be the best investment of your advertising budget. In the beginning try marketing methods that are not highly expensive, but methods that can be tracked and measured. Let's look at a few:

1. Networking

One of the simplest, quickest and least expensive ways to advertise your business is to tell people. Attend business exchange meetings. Get active in your local Chamber of Commerce. See if there is a local real estate investor association (REIA) in your city or town. If so, join and get involved. No matter where you go, hand out your business cards and tell people that you buy houses.

2. Business Cards

That brings us to another inexpensive way to advertise - handing out business cards. You may hear conflicting opinions regarding business cards. Some say spare no expense. Get the best cards money can buy. But is this best for you at this time? If you begin with computer-generated business cards, it will give you time to decide for sure what you want your cards to look like and what you want them to say. After all, if someone is desperate to sell their house, do you think they will decide not to call you if your card doesn't have raised lettering? Do what is best for your business at this time. The point is not what your cards look like, but how they are used. Hand them out wherever you go.

3. Signs

Another controversial item is yard signs (or bandit signs as they are called because they are quickly stolen). These may be illegal in your area, but you can still place them in the yards of the properties you are selling. And you can put them in the yards of friends who give you permission. There are companies who, for a fee, will put out your signs on a Friday evening and pick them up on Sunday evening. Thus they are out for the entire weekend. This is an area where it's good to begin small, and decide from there if the investment is worth it. Like them or loathe them, roadside signs are effective in capturing a lot of calls and uncovering many bargain properties.

4. Classified Ads

The key to effective classified ads in your local newspaper is consistency. If you begin with a simple "We Buy Houses" ad in the "Real Estate Wanted" section of your paper, run it daily for several months. Don't just stick it in on a Sunday once in a while to "see" if it works. Budget it into your marketing plan and chalk it up to the cost of doing business. First of all, when readers see that same ad week after week, soon they begin to think of you as a reputable business. (Read that "trusted.") Secondly, if you skip a few days, that may be the very day a motivated seller is looking for someone to purchase their distressed property. But you missed it!

5. Mail Campaigns

Entire books have been written on the ins and outs of mail campaigns. In the early days of your business, use mail campaigns only for highly targeted groups such as absentee property owners, or expired listings. Writing good sales copy, printing and mailing letters is a demanding task. Statistical data indicates it takes 4-7 times before someone responds to an ad, therefore, consistency is a critical factor to your success when employing this marketing method. Again, assess your own business and see if this is the marketing method you are prepared to undertake.

6. Flyers

Bright colorful flyers can be an effective and inexpensive way to get the word out that you are buying distressed properties. If you have selected a particular neighborhood in your city, consider hiring a high school student to take flyers door to door. Or hand them out in local businesses in the area. Post them in places like grocery stores, mail centers, and Laundromats. When the advertising budget is tight, this method can be a real winner.

7. Internet

It costs so little to create a website these days it would be a waste not to have your own. Purchase a domain name that is your business name - or similar to your business name. (Some real estate investing groups offer inexpensive website programs that you can use. Check it out.) As you build up a list of possible investor/buyers, get their email addresses. When you have a property come available, quickly email your list letting them know. In this day and age no real estate investor should be without Internet capabilities. It's there and much of it is free. Make it work for you.

Conclusion

This is just the beginning of ways you can begin to market your business. As you get your name out there, another consideration will be your phone system. If at all possible retain an answering service so each call will be answered by a live person. That will speak volumes about the credibility of your business, and will capture more leads. Half the people who get voice mail will not leave a message, but they will talk to a live person.

Work on your marketing plan. Set it up to fit your needs at the present moment. Track all leads to know what is working and what is not. From month to month you can make the needed adjustments by using the tracking information you have received. Soon you will know exactly what works best for your particular situation.
About the Author
Iman Yusef-Yahya finds some of the very best
below market deals in the country.
Find out how you can
get instant access
to these below market deals now at http://www.ImanAnd
JoesWholesaleProperties.com
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