Welcome back Discount Property Investors! Thank you for sharing some time with us today. In this episode Mike and Dave discuss Marketing Properties to Sellers | Episode 19. We go over the exact formula that we use to sell our deals; Step by Step. Listen in and find some new ways to sell your deals!
David: Alright guys, welcome back to the Discount Property Investor Podcast. This is your host David Dodge, with co-host Mike Slane.
Mike: Hey guys.
David: Today we are going to be talking about marketing your properties to buyers. Mike, this is a very important part of the business, isn't it?
Mike: Absolutely man, if you can't sell your deals you -- you are not making deals basically. So if you are first time listener, I just want to say thank you so much for joining us. Go out and check out our free wholesale course at freewholesalecourse.com. There you are going to be able to get jump start, quick started into wholesaling as well as kind of -- catch up with us. So right now today we are going to talk about marketing the properties and one of the ways that we do that is on our website, discountpropertyinvestor.com. So if you are looking for deals in the St Louis area we would encourage you to go and check that out as well.
David: Yeah, absolutely. Subscribe to our e-mails guys if we are looking to buy some deals in St Louis, we have tons of them.
Mike: Alright so let’s go ahead and get started the, let’s talk about marketing properties, Dave. We kind of use a pretty formulaic method -- we typically, we have done this enough times now that we do the same thing for each property. Isn't that pretty fair to say I think?
David: Absolutely it is, absolutely. We have a check list that we use and there is really no reason to -- deviate because it works.
Mike: Let’s just go ahead and talk about what we do. The first thing is obviously you have to have the property under contract. So once you have your property under contract, the first thing you are going to want to do is secure the property. And what I mean by that is, obviously putting it under contract, but also get a lockbox on it and make sure the other doors are locked and all that stuff. I am sure the homeowner will have it locked up as well. So the key there is getting that lockbox. You need to get a lockbox on it so you can easily show the property to your sellers -- and if you didn't do this when you were out talking with the seller, you are going to go out there and get the lockbox on it. Take photos and maybe videos of the property so that you have something to present to people -- so they can get a look at the house without having to go out there. They want to be able to get a feel for the condition and everything. Yeah, nothing too advanced right? So what is our next step Dave? What do we do next?
David: So after we get a lockbox we get photo and videos of the property. Not always do we get video, typically we will get video if it is a really nice place, or doesn’t need a ton of work. Nothing really wrong with video, photo is really what is most important.
Mike: Photos are the staple and videos are a little bit more labour intensive because you do have to walk through the house filming, which is a little bit more of a challenge and sometimes it doesn’t turn out as well when you are using a cell phone camera. Sometimes a little shaky so people don’t really like that video as well. Got to be careful when you go out there and do that.
David: Yeah but get photos of the property. I always tell -- the guys that we are working with, our interns, our junior buyers, or even myself. When I am out a property, you can’t really get too many pictures. I probably average between 60-80 pictures of every property that I go and look at. The reason is that you can always go back and delete photos -- let’s say you have four pictures of the left side of the house. Well you can delete three of them. But once you go back to the office, if you only have ten photos, sometimes that is not enough to sell that property. So, I recommend taking as many pictures as you can, or are willing to and once you get back to the office and you are editing those photos you can kind of take out the ones that aren’t necessary.
Mike: You do a pretty good job at taking the photos. I'll be honest I have gotten a little bit more laxed. I average maybe 30-50 photos. I do sometimes thinking that's enough, I wish I got another angle of this. So don't be afraid to shoot one, two, three in the same room at different angles, because you are going to see things differently. I would be a little bit wary of zooming in too much. Always try and stand back as far as you can when you are using you camera on your phone, so you can see as much of the room as you can.
David: Exactly, if you are using your phone absolutely. If you have a nicer like DSL camera and you have a wide angle lens -- that will open up some doors for you.
Mike: But if you are just getting started, camera phone -- most of the cameras on the cell phones these days are excellent, good enough pictures for what we are trying to accomplish. So the next step, we got the property under contract, now we have some photos of it, it’s on a lockbox -- the next thing we are going to do is start telling people about it. It is easy as that.
David: It's not going to sell itself; you got to market the damn thing.
Mike: So we have a large buyers list here, and that is one of our first things. There are three different types of approaches I would say. The first one we want to do is call our preferred buyers. Someone who has maybe bought a property from us in that area. You are building relationships with people, so if you call someone that you know and say, hey man I found another property in that area, are you looking to buy one? You might be able to sell it at that point. Send him out there, he makes an offer, it's done. That is kind of the way our check list works as well. As we kind of go down, just keep doing it if you haven’t got a contract accepted, or keep doing it to build your buyers list, because you have a great property and you want people to know you are finding great deals.
David: Absolutely and a lot of time you have buyers that have bought from you in the past, you call them up like Mike said, and you say, hey I got a deal down the street from one where you bought recently, or I know you own some properties in the area, I am going to give you first look. That is going to build a little bit of trust with that person, versus email or texting it out. It's on the list but it's later. It's like hey, that person thought of me and --
Mike: You are building a relationship.
David: It is going to help build a relationship with your buyers which is very important. So after you get the property secured, you get photos and videos, call the preferred buyers, call the people you have done business in the past with, and or people that you know are buying in that area. So pick up the phone and call those people. The next thing we have on the list here is text our buyers. We actually have a service that we use that buyers can opt into to receive our text messages. So when we text our buyers, typically that is done in a blast form, but it doesn’t have to be. You can do this manually by all means.
Mike: And I would just say if you are doing it manually, make sure you don't CC everyone on one text. Just doing it one by one, but copy and paste that text to five or ten guys you know that might be interested in that area.
David: Very good point Mike.
Mike: Make sure if you are doing it manually, make sure it is separate texting to each one of those people, otherwise -- we all know how much a pain it is being stuck on group text messages. Nothing worse sometimes when you get 50 text messages that don’t apply to you, you are not interested.
David: Story of my life.
Mike: So we are texting it, the next one is e-mail. So this is probably the least person, but it is a good way to get eyeballs on the property which is your goal here.
David: Well, the great thing about e-mail is that people can forward that e-mail. Typically e-mail is going to be your widest net that you are going to be able to cast. But like Mike said, it is going to be the least personal, so we always follow our list -- we are going to call the buyers that we know, we are going to give them first look, they would be considered our preferred buyers, going to help build that relationship. It is also going to help to build that sense of trust with them, to where we might not even need to get the text of e-mail blasts done if we can sell it someone we know and have done business with in the past. So secondly we are going to text blast that out to all the individuals who have opted in and want to receive out text messages. Then third and final, on the sender buyers list of it -- would be sending that e-mail. So after we do the blasting for the most part, or calling and texting, what is the next step Mike? What is next?
Mike: We are casting an even wider net, so we are trying to market to people who basically don't know. The way we recommend doing that is posting it online. So you are going to go out -- not just to Craigslist but use your personal network as well. Post it on Facebook, post it on LinkedIn, post it on -- any sort of networking site.
David: Bigger pockets is a great site, connected investors is a site we use often.
Mike: Take advantage --
David: Then of course Craigslist guys, you can't beat Craigslist.
Mike: You want to take advantage of all the resources are out there, we you are learning to do the deals to. There are other people who are more seasoned and are looking for deals to out there. They want to do wholesaling as well. So there is nothing wrong with sharing properties there. And posting on your Facebook, you can also post into Facebook groups -- a pretty powerful way. We have one, the discount property investors group. You are welcome to come and join that. It is an open group and we encourage you guys to come out and interact with some of our followers.
David: Absolutely. So once we post online as Mike said, we are going to cast an even wider net, and then we are going to share at our local REIA. Ok so what we would do is print a flyer and Mike and I are very active in the real estate investment clubs and associations here in St Louis -- so we are going to take a flyer, sometimes multiple if we have multiple deals at the day the REIA is going down. We will bring those flyers with us, and usually the REIA's will have a table that is called -- sell my deal, or check out my deal or just deals even. We will put that flyer or several flyers on that table. I have had success -- great success selling deals at REIA's because sometimes people will even be on my buyers list and they will my text message, or they will get my e-mail or both -- but they are just too busy to read it. But I will see them at a REIA and I will say, hey man I know you are buying in this neighbourhood and I got this deal. Giving them and actual flyer that has pictures of the property on it -- some of the numbers, like what we are asking for it, the repair estimate, cash returns -- simple numbers. It will intrigue them a little bit more to want to go out and look at it.
Mike: I think it is huge because again, people -- want -- they are nice to people in person, but it is super easy to ignore some of the text and the e-mails that we are bombarded with all the time. So it is a very good point, some of our buyers we will run into at the meeting and mention it to them, and we will end up buying it. Even though yeah, Dave is right --
David: They may have already seen it two or three times.
Mike: Or they saw -- have saw it but they were doing something else. So they are not really paying attention, they are not focusing on real estate. As when they go to that REIA meeting, they are there to think about real estate, so it is a great time to present them with the real estate that they might want to buy. So do that and yeah, again if you don't have one for two weeks -- find another one. There is lots in St Louis for us, we can probably find one every week at least.
David: Yeah, there are tons of them, probably 15-20 in our city alone.
Mike: So we are getting further down on the list, so it is definitely not one of those things you have to do all these necessarily. We don't do them on every deal. The next one is a great example of one we don't do a lot.
David: If we can call the buyers and sell it right then and there, then we don’t have to do anything below. It is great to have this list because it allows for -- you to do just keep constantly creating a larger and larger net.
Mike: And you are building your buyers list. So my point was -- as we go down the list you don't necessarily have to do all these and the direct mail. This is the next one, so we are doing a lot of direct mail on our business to -- find sellers. Well we can do the same thing to find buyers. Because you have got seasoned investors out there, that are maybe not attending the clubs. So they are not actively out there hunting for deals anymore, but they are going to buy something and it's a deal and it comes to them.
Mike: So sending direct mail, what does that mean Dave? Do you want to talk a little bit about --?
David: We have all heard people say, this just came across my desk. What is a better way to get something to go across your desk than to mail it them. So, absolutely, we -- will send direct mail occasionally for the deal, just like Mike said. So when we do this, we are going to use the MLS to find cash buyers around the property. You can also use companies like list source or listability to -- pull a list of cash buyers in a zip code or in a county -- near a property that you have for sale. So you are going to pull that list and you can go on several different websites, third party sites, and you can create your own little postcard or letter. Postcards are really -- probably easier for some properties because you just throw a picture of the property on the card. You just send it out cheaper; hit a wider audience that way to.
Mike: That's a great way to do it. Or if you don't want to third party it and you only have 15 people you want to send it to -- print it out from your printer at home, no big deal. Just print it and throw it in the mail to them.
David: You don't have to know these people. Sometimes we will send a postcard to 2000 people that we don't know. And it will have a picture of A, B, C, 1, 2, 3 street or whatever, and just say hey, here is a deal. We know you have bought something in the last three months or the last six months -- was a cash transaction in this area. Could be a similar zip code or county -- just say hey I got an awesome deal, it is off market, 30-40% discounted -- call me. And just keep it simple guys; you don’t have to complicate the marketing of the properties. Maybe put a couple of numbers in there but you don’t want it to be so -- cluttered with information that is just annoying so --.
Mike: I mean Dave you mentioned you don't have to know them. Absolutely you don’t have to know them, that is the whole point, you don't have to know them, absolutely you don't have to know them, that's the whole point, you don't know them. So if you knew them you would pick up the phone and call them. So you just -- my emphasis and focus on marketing properties is you have to get eyeballs on your deal. And I say that because you need enough people looking at it for them to agree that is a deal at that price. Super important, because I tell you what -- the property might not be a good deal to 75% of your buyers list -- but to 25% of them it looks like a pretty good deal and to one -- they are going to buy it. You can only sell the property to one person so --
David: That brings up a really good point Mike, I want to kind of reiterate that because -- a lot of the things here -- like for instance, sending direct mail as well as positing online. Those two for example. That -- those have tons of value to -- certain -- numbers of people on the buyers list but not all. So let's kind of jump into that just for a second. If you have an investor in New Jersey -- or San Francisco or anywhere in California, New York, Texas, Florida -- where their markets are much more expensive than what we experience here in the Midwest. You can't buy a property in San Francisco for $50,000 that will cash flow 400 bucks a month. It's like a cardboard box there; it's not going to happen. So -- you may have a savvy investor here in St Louis that can do better. So they may not like a particular deal that you have. However, by posting it online or sending a piece of mail to somebody that may be the best deal they have seen in six months. It is all relative to the market that you are in. So I just want to kind of reiterate that as -- let's say you call, text and e-mail your buyers list and you didn't sell your deal. It doesn't mean it's not a deal. All that means is that your reach isn't big enough.
Mike: That's my point. You got to get the eyeballs on it because -- just because -- when you are starting now your buyers list probably isn't big enough.
David: We all start with zero.
Mike: Exactly, so -- to begin with it's not big enough so -- especially if you are trying to wholesale it -- [00:16:33.06 - inaudible] buyer, you need someone else to look at it and agree with you this is a good deal and -- start cashing checks.
David: Absolutely, so one of the great things about these, and we have a couple of more items on our list here guys. We will have this list in our show notes so you can check it out. But one of the -- awesome benefits -- I am losing my words here today. One of the awesome benefits of following this check list -- even if you go through this entire list and you don't sell your deal, the odds are you are going to pick up a couple of buyers. Because people may call -- and or e-mail you and say hey I saw this property -- can you do better on it? Or do you have anything like it? If they are not already on your list, that gives you the perfect opportunity to add them, reach out to them, build up a little bit or rapport -- hey I'm Dave, yeah I have some more properties like this coming up, just not today. Would you be interested in getting some e-mails or text messages from me? Great, let me get that information from you.
Mike: Absolutely. So you are always buying a buyers list and every property you get a chance to market you are doing that. So you should be adding these people you make contact with as buyers, and building your personal network.
David: Absolutely, not always on just the marketing property site can you build your buyers list, but on the marketing motivated sellers site you can to. Here is a perfect example. We call the guy last week off Craigslist that had a house. It was somewhat of a deal, wasn't great so we said hey lets come out and take a look at it just in case. We made him an offer for about ten grand less than he was willing to accept, and he said hey no worries guys thanks for coming out, I own 29 properties. He said give me your card, I am going to start selling these eventually. Maybe not this year, maybe not next year -- but in a couple of years I am going to unload all of these. Boom I got his card, he got my card -- put them in my [00:18:19.14 - inaudible] and follow up with him in 12 months. Eventually that guy is going to need to unload 29 deals, and I am hoping to get all 29 of them. So you can always build your buyers list on both sides.
Mike: You always got to be thinking about it from both sides of it. You are doing both things all the time. So we are kind of -- we digressed a little bit. Let’s get back to the marketing of the property itself.
David: Sending direct mail was number five on our list here.
Mike: The next one is placing bandit signs around the property. Similar to your marketing for sellers, you are going to the exact same thing with this, except now you are motivated sellers. So you are going to put on your bandit sign that you have a property, so maybe 1, 2, 3 main street, put the address, the price so 30k or 35k -- or 135k whatever the price of the property is. And then put must sell and your phone number.
David: Isn’t that cool how you go from scouting motivated sellers to becoming one? Our business is -- 80% locate motivated sellers. And once we find them, boom -- guess who becomes a motivated seller?
Mike: Super motivated.
David: That's right. Good point.
Mike: So the next one is similar to the bandit signs -- is go out to the hardware stores and find one of the 'for sale by owner' signs, the red and white ones -- and the reason I say that, you put that one in the front yard, because as an investor -- to me that looks like an actual 'for sale by owner' -- as the yellow and black signs are a little bit more confusing, not a huge deal but --
David: A lot of sellers also realise that bandit signs are wholesalers. There really aren’t that many other people who use bandit signs other than wholesalers.
Mike: So I personally -- I don’t call all the bandit signs I see marketing properties anymore, because I know it is another wholesaler and -- I probably should, but I believe that I have probably spoken to that person before and I know --
David: We recognise a lot of the numbers at this point in our market just from doing it. If I see a sign that I don’t know I will call it, and I will pitch our letscowholesale.com which is a product that we have that helps other investors in our market sell their deals. We leverage their efforts for marketing, and they leverage our buyer’s list efforts. So definitely reach out to those people, but yeah Mike has got a really good point. Bandit signs around the property -- are great. But in the front yard, use a 'for sale by owner' sign.
Mike: I think that is the only way to go in my opinion.
Mike: Then I guess the next one, and this one I would say -- we do it a very small percentage of the time.
David: Maybe one in ten, or one in fifteen -- or even less. It kind of varies.
Mike: But it is listed on the MLS, so list the property. I know that sounds kind of crazy like -- wait a minute I thought we were trying to sell off market deals and whatever? Yeah that is true but we are also trying to sell this deal for someone. So the key here is that you have to be the owner by contract. You have to and I think that is true of everything above, but I really want to emphasise it on this one. You have to be the owner by contract and you have to let people know that you are owner by contract on the MLS.
David: Don't you have to get the approval by the actual owner on title or not?
Mike: I don't believe so.
David: I thought you maybe have to have that. But I guess it varies from market to market guys.
Mike: Be careful with this one, talk with an experienced one, one that knows about investing as well. It's really important you do that one right, because you might get yourself in a little bit of a situation if you are not careful with that one.
David: If you own it, you closed on it, and then you can do what you want with it. So listing is not an issue, if you are an agent do it, if you're not find someone you can work with that will maybe give you a little bit of a break if you can bring them volume. If you are just going to do one off than -- you are going to have to pay you fees. But if you can bring somebody -- one of two a month, then they are going to be very eager to want to take on those listings and work with you on the prices.
Mike: So -- as we talked about, building your buyers list and casting a wider net for your property. There is no bigger buyers list than the MLS.
David: MLS stands for massive list of sellers? Isn't that what that means?
Mike: That is exactly right Dave. So it is the multiple listing service if you are not familiar with it.
David: That is the biggest list of motivated sellers out there. The motivating is going to vary among each person, obviously they are not going to have as many motivated sellers as you are going to be able to come up and find from all of the other marketing methods that Mike and I are doing and teaching. But -- where else are you going to find thousands and sometimes tens of thousands of properties for sale? MLS.
Mike: Exactly, and what we are talking about though is finding a buyer, marketing your property. So that's where buyers go to look for sellers. So it just makes sense if you -- if you are really getting down to your last resort, you are really trying to get this property sold, or like Dave said, we close on it. Then we are going to resell it on the MLS so --
David: That's right.
Mike: It's a great way to -- yeah to get more eyeballs on the deals.
David: Now that's -- so we have given you guys our list. It is basically broken up into eight little sections and there is multiple bullet points on each section. So there is probably -- I don’t know 12 or 15 different ways here that you can market your property. But just because this is how we do it doesn’t mean this is how you folks need to do it. So, this is a great place to start, but if there are others things you can do to market that property that are not on our list, do those by all means.
David: Just because we don't do those things and don't have them on our list doesn’t mean you can't do it to sell your deal.
Mike: We are always learning to so we will welcome -- to feedback, shoot us a call, send us an e-mail --
David: [email protected].
Mike: Shoot us an e-mail and let us know, we would love to interact with some of you guys and hear what you guys are doing to sell your deals. Yeah, Dave do you want to go ahead and wrap us up with our closing quote for the day?
David: Yeah, absolutely. Don't forget to check out discountpropertyinvestor.com, subscribe to the buyers list if you guys are looking for deals. And as always, we put together a super awesome course, freewholesalecourse.com. I have been getting a lot of slack lately from a lot of people in the market, as well as people online about us giving away a ton of information -- people are coming to me and saying, why are you doing this? And I am doing it because I want to provide value to our listeners and our viewers.
Mike: There is a lot of value -- we spent a ton of time, money, effort putting it together so --
David: Absolutely, but we want to help people -- build businesses and create wealth -- and the course is awesome. Some of the feedback I’m getting is, why don’t you do one tenth of that or one twentieth of that -- and start selling courses. Well guys we do have courses for sale. We are not going to sit here and tell you that we don’t sell courses and -- also -- offer our coaching services for a fee. We do, but the free wholesale course is where you should start. I don't know how long it takes to get through that thing, Mike? Four or five hours?
Mike: It is a little while.
David: It is very intensive but a ton of value there guys, so check it out, freewholesalecourse.com. I am going to close us out with a quote here. "For every sale you miss because you are too enthusiastic, you will miss 100 because you are not enthusiastic enough." So you have to be enthusiastic guys, get out there, do some marketing, check out the free wholesale course, and let’s do some deals. Thanks guys.
Mike: Thanks for listening.