Last week’s article gave you an introduction to some low-cost, beer budget tools for finding motivated sellers. This week, let’s look at a few tactics to use when you have a bit more money in your coffers.
Online Marketing To Your Website
If you have a few hundred dollars to spend per month on marketing, having a website is a must. For between $49 and $99 a month, you can have an amazing website – one of the best in the business – from a company called Investor Carrot. They have spent thousands of dollars testing different techniques to attract and convert motivated sellers. Unless your website generates thousands of visitors per month, you wouldn’t be able to conduct the kind of conversion rate optimization testing they do. So working with them allows you to take advantage of their knowledge and abilities.
Carrot also has amazing training through which you can learn how to use free search engine optimization techniques to get your site to rank higher on the search engines. They even provide you with fresh content on a monthly basis. Buy a site, follow their instructions and you will start getting Internet leads.
Furthermore, a website gives you credibility with your other marketing efforts. These days, people automatically go online to research a company or product. If you send a direct mail piece to a homeowner and they search and can’t find your company, you are instantly discredited. Does it mean you can’t do real estate investing without a website? No, but not having a site certainly hinders your efforts. To find out more about Investor Carrot click here.
Once you have a site up and running there are several ways to drive traffic to it. These three are the most popular:
- SEO (search engine optimization) – While there are countless factors contributing to whether your site ranks highly or poorly with various search engines, there are a few that are way more important than others. The two most important factors are targeted keywords on your site and developing quality content that people share. Working with On Carrot, you’re covered in both areas.
SEO often takes months before you see results. But once you do see effects they’re often long-term. Understand SEO can be frustrating because it’s constantly changing as Google endlessly attempts to improve their search algorithms. One day you’re on the first page for a search term and the next day you’re buried two to three pages deep. The cost of SEO can run anywhere from zero (if you’re doing it yourself) to thousands a dollars a month.
- PPC (pay per click) – These are the ads you see at the top or on the right side of search engine page results. You’re only charged when someone clicks on your ad. Results with PPC can happen in a matter of minutes. Depending on your technical ability, it’s possible to set up and manage your own account. I wouldn’t advise you to do this however, as it’s a specialized field and could suck up a ton of your time.
The costs associated with having a third party company manage your account are a combination of the actual ad costs and the company’s management fee. Actual ad costs can vary from a few hundred dollars to more than $10,000. Management costs are typically 10% of the ad spend or a minimum of $500.
- Social Media – Similar to SEO, there are both free and paid versions of social media. The free component is posting content and messages on various platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. The paid component is running ads in those same spaces. The ads platform on Facebook allows you to target a very detailed demographic. Even with this targeting ability, finding motivated sellers on social media platforms has been a challenge for us at Express Homebuyers. But I personally know several investors who have had success with it. This platform can have monthly cost ranging from zero into several thousands.
You don’t need too much explanation for this medium. You pay a few thousand dollars to get the billboard created and then another few thousand dollars per month depending on the size and location of the board. We’ve never found them to be cost effective. In my opinion, they are overpriced and not targeted enough.
Bus and Bus Stop Advertising
This channel is almost exactly the same as billboards, just a smaller size. Because they are smaller and there are more locations available, the advertising companies typically try to get you to place several ads across different bus stops and buses. Again, I feel they’re overpriced and not effective.
Radio can be hit or miss. We have seen some success and some failures in our 12 years of trying radio. Spots are typically 30 or 60 seconds and can cost anywhere from $25 per spot to $500 per spot. Radio usually takes at least three months to gain traction, so if you’re budgeting radio advertising, plan your spend over several months.
In copywriting the actual spot, make sure you incorporate a strong call to action and repeat your phone number multiple times. Here's a spot we've used in the past.
While TV has been good to us over the years, I’ve spoken with many investors who have failed at it. Back in 2003, we were lucky enough to develop a catchy jingle that cost us $1,200. I often think that could have been the best $1,200 we ever spent! Since then we have invested nearly $10 million in TV ads in the D.C. and Baltimore Metro areas. Television can run from $50 a spot to several thousand. Monthly costs can add up to tens of thousands of dollars. Like radio ads, TV ads are commonly 15 or 30 seconds long.
Whether you have $100 a month or $50,000 a month to find motivated sellers, and no matter where you spend it, you might as well light your money on fire if you aren’t able to take phone calls and then properly follow up on your leads. We’ll talk about the importance and logistics of lead follow up in a future article.
Have you signed up to attend the DMV's premier wholesalers meetup yet? Meet other wholesalers and aspiring wholesalers and join the discussion of how to find and close more deals. See details at https://www.meetup.com/Express-Homebuyers-Wholesaling-Real-Estate-Meetup/