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Real estate investing can be a complicated profession.
Even though there is incredible money-making potential, the process of actually making the money usually isn't fast or easy.
When you boil it all down, there are two important things you'll need to make this a massively profitable and sustainable business:
- The ability to buy properties at a very low price.
- The ability to sell those properties quickly, at a significant markup.
Sounds simple enough, right?
So why isn't everyone a real estate millionaire??
Have you ever wondered how the most successful real estate investors can build huge businesses and make such a killing?
How are they able to pull this off?
I've noticed a common theme in my interactions with some of the “big shot” real estate investors of the world (names you'd probably recognize).
The most successful real estate investors are masters at selling.
Whether it's through their slick verbal skills or their vast business network, these people have figured out how to sell their properties in a matter of days (if not hours), and they can do it without even creating a public listing.
In many cases, this works only because these real estate investors had the foresight to create a BUYERS LIST for their business.
In this blog post, we'll dive into how you can build a buyers list just like this for your real estate business.
Let's start at square one.
When I say “Buyers List”, I'm talking about a list of real estate investors actively looking for new investment opportunities in a given area.
It usually consists of their names, email addresses, and even phone numbers.
That's pretty much it.
This list should constantly grow, change, and evolve as new people find you – people who want to buy what you're trying to sell.
The Importance of a Buyers List
As a real estate investor, selling properties is something you'll have to do repeatedly.
This isn't a one-and-done kind of thing. You need to get good at it because you will ALWAYS have to go through these motions to get paid.
Unfortunately, selling real estate is rarely as simple as just putting a “FOR SALE” sign in the front yard.
It's also not as simple as calling up your local realtor and telling them to do all the work – because they'll take a painfully large chunk of your profit on every property they sell – and in my opinion, paying these kinds of fees over and over again just isn't a sustainable way to do business.
Selling real estate does require some marketing and promotion.
To some new investors, the idea of becoming a real estate “salesman” does NOT sound like fun (I get it, I used to hate the idea, too), but if you're smart about it – the sales process doesn't need to be difficult or time-consuming. When working with a solid buyers list, selling properties can actually be one of the easiest and most enjoyable things about your business.
With a solid buyers list, you'll have a captive audience that has already told you,
“I want what you're selling.”
In a sense, this list is like your “book of business.” Regardless of how big or small it is, this list is worth money – both to you and anyone else who wants to sell their properties to the people on your buyers list (yes, you can do that).
When you have a large, engaged group of investors who are hungry to see your next deal, you don't need to rely on selling websites or real estate agents as your only way to sell properties.
When you've grown your list long enough, you'll eventually be able to sell properties with one email, and it can all happen without listing your property on the open market.
Does this kind of power sound good to you?
How to Get Started
If you're starting from scratch, the first step in building a buyers list is to start with the list infrastructure.
You'll need a few things in place so people can learn about who you are and submit their information to be on your list.
When you have this infrastructure put together, it will save you a TON of time, so you don't have to manually type each new person's information into a giant spreadsheet and send out emails the hard way.
Create A Squeeze Page
The first step is to create a very simple website where visitors can see who you are, review some compelling information and why they should be on your list, and then add themselves to your list if you choose.
Once this website is set up, it will require almost no ongoing maintenance, and luckily, there are a few services out there that can make this process VERY easy for busy people like you and me.
Instead of spending days fiddling around with a confusing website interface, you can set up a website that looks incredible and gets results, all in a matter of minutes.
The system I use is Pebble (formerly known as REI Conversion), but there are MANY different ways to set up a single-page website like this. If you’re a subscriber to this service, it will be pretty straightforward to make it happen, but even if you’re using another WordPress theme or website builder, many of the same principles will still apply.
Note: If you aren’t already a Pebble user, you can sign up through the REtipster affiliate link. REtipster will receive a small commission at no additional cost to you, so we can continue putting out blog posts and videos like this.
Email Marketing Platforms
Text and Ringless Voicemail
- Textiful (use this for getting sign-ups by text and sending out text blasts)
- JustDeliverIt (use this for ringless voicemail drops)
- Hivemind (use this for texting, ringless voicemail, email, and a lot more)
Video Creation Services
- Lumen5 (a more expensive video creation service but easier to use)
- InVideo (a less expensive and more flexible video creation service, but also less user-friendly)
- Be sure to check out this review as well
As you can see from the video above, this process isn’t complicated. You can get your landing page set up in a matter of minutes.
This is where the fun begins.
Congratulations! Now that your website and list officially exist, this is where the real work begins.
If you want to succeed at building a buyers list, you need to know how to promote it.
You need to let the world know you have some incredible real estate deals up for grabs.
If people sign up for your list, you'll deliver an insane amount of value with every email you send, which might just change their life.
The good news is that there are hundreds of ways to promote your website and buyers list. Still, some of the most effective methods are less obvious than others, so I'll give you a whopping 50 creative list-building strategies to start with (so if you aren't a fan of one of them, you'll have plenty of other options to choose from).
The great thing about Craigslist is that it's FREE, and it's a huge real estate marketplace, which makes it extremely effective.
Craigslist has changed a lot since I first started using it to build my buyers list. The original technique behind this approach used to be very easy and effective. Still, over the years (as spammers and other garbage posters started clogging up the “For Sale” sections), Craigslist has ratcheted down its posting criteria to be MUCH more restrictive than it once was.
At the time of this writing, there isn't a lot of flexibility in what you can write in your listings (no fancy HTML coding, no clickable images, no links to outside websites, etc.). This means you'll have to find creative ways to inform the world about your offering and how people can get in on it.
The most effective and noticeable ads have a few key things in common:
- A great headline
- Lots of high-quality images
- A brief explanation of what you're offering and where people can find out more
Here's one example of what you could write:
My Realtor friends think I'm crazy.
I've got a vacant lot that I'm told is worth $100,000, but I'm only asking $20,000 for it.
Why? Because I needed it sold YESTERDAY.
As you can see from the pictures, it's not a bad piece of real estate, and by anyone's standards – $20,000 is a steal for this property.
Even if this isn't what you're looking for, I'm selling several similar properties and ALL of them are starting at no more than *50% of market value* (there will be plenty more to choose from in the coming weeks).
If you have any interest, you can check out the full list of inventory at WEBSITEURL.com. You'll see what's available today, and you can sign up to be notified when the next deals come to market in the coming weeks.
For an example of how to do this, check out the video below:
2. Direct Mail
Direct mail tends to be a bit less effective when building a buyers list than looking for motivated sellers. However, it's still a great way to find targeted individuals and scale your marketing efforts to contact ONLY the people who fit the criteria you have in mind.
The most convenient way to get started with a direct mail campaign for finding cash buyers is through a service called ListSource.
When your primary goal is to find cash real estate buyers in a given area, you'll want to find people who have the following things in common:
- They bought in the past 6 – 12 months (which means they're active, and they may be looking for more).
- They paid cash for their properties and did not record a mortgage (which means they probably have plenty of cash resources to buy more, without the need for financing to slow down and complicate the transaction).
- They bought properties in the same general vicinity as where you're trying to sell (the same city, county or surrounding zip codes).
This nice thing about ListSource (and the many other data services out there) is that they can make it very easy to narrow down a list of people who fit these exact criteria.
To narrow down this specific demographic, you'll want to start by choosing the “Geography” of whatever market you're targeting (I'd suggest starting with the state and county), and pick the state and county where you're working, and add the specific county (or counties) to your list.
For example, if I was working in Polk County, Florida, it would look like this:
Next, you'll search under the “Property” tab and use the “Equity%” filter.
Then, instead of selecting a preset – type into the boxes below “From: 100%” and “To 100%”.
Then, under the “Options” tab, choose “Absentee Owned” (and leave both of the sub-boxes checked).
Once you have these items checked, you will have access to all the cash buyers. 🙂 Just click on “Purchase List” (lower-right corner) and you can download your list.
If it this sounds confusing, check out the video below and I'll walk you through the process.
And of course, once you've downloaded your list, you'll have to sort it and mail it – so here are a couple of videos to help you through those steps as well…
Once your list is sorted, the next step is to upload your excel file to Click2Mail, which will fully automate the printing, stamping and mailing of your postcards (and they'll do it for MUCH less money than it would cost you to do it all yourself).
If you aren't sure what kind of postcard should be sent to your recipients (i.e. – What should you say? What should you offer? How can you get a response from your recipients?), later in this article, I'll show you some highly effective postcard templates that can elicit a solid response from your direct mail campaign.
Free Promotional Strategies
3. Using the same approach explained in the Craigslist video above, join some local Facebook Groups (ideally, ones that are geared towards real estate investors) and pull new traffic into your website.
4. Include your website link in your email signature (make sure everyone you email knows about the opportunity to join your buyers list).
5. Include your website link in your public forum signature (make sure every comment and forum post you put on the internet includes a mention of your website URL).
6. If you have any other websites on the web, add an opt-in box or link back to your landing page.
7. Get out and place some bandit signs around your local market area (assuming it doesn't conflict with any local rules).
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