I don’t like the big newspapers. They don’t work. They stopped working years ago. You may have noticed the real estate section of those papers has dwindled from a dozen or two dozen pages, down to maybe one page, back and front, even in the large markets.
Don’t use them, for that reason. However, small local publications like Penny Saver or Green Sheet, any community paper, are often far less expensive and still work. Because people actually look at that stuff. Again, in your property ads put in a little up-sell, or a cross-sell.
“Hey, by the way, if you look at this duplex, you should check out this free report. Click on www.freereport.com.” You’ll get a lead just from doing that. Trust me that am how you want to do the ads in these local publications. They’re very inexpensive.
Aside from joining an investor’s group or forming your own small group, the next most effective channel is direct mail.
Direct mail is a tricky subject. A lot of people do it wrong. They create a postcard and send it to thousands of people, because, guess what? It’s really cheap. Yeah, it’s cheap per person, but you might have to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to attract a wide audience of people.
And the thing is, with direct mail, you can’t just do one-and-done. If you only send out one mailing, you’ll be lucky if you get a phone call. It doesn’t work that way. Direct mail needs to reach the same people, repeatedly. Over and over and over again.
I have a group of people I’ve been sending to, every month, for years. The first call was in month three. I didn’t start getting calls on a regular basis until about the seventh month. But then it started picking up. It actually leveled off about month 12.
So here’s what you want to do. Don’t send postcards, okay?
You want to create a letter that looks specific to the recipient. The body of the letter is going to be the same copy over and over again. But the salutation, “Dear Name,” is going to say, Dear John, Dear Jane, Dear Whoever.
And you’re going to personally sign it. You can get a digital signature stamper that looks authentic. Sign a letter that way, or by hand. That way, it’s a personal letter. Even though a few hundred people are receiving it, it’s still a personal letter.
The envelope should be hand addressed. But the return address should not say, Bob’s Realty. Or Coldwell Banker, or ReMax, or Century 21, or Keller Williams.
It should say Gary Wilson. Well, okay it should say YOUR NAME! Put your physical business address on there. You can use stickers to do the return address. That’s okay. But the recipient’s address needs to be handwritten. Every single one.
Here’s how this works. You’re not going to send a letter broadcast out to every single person. If you want to get listings for rental properties for your Investors to buy, every county in the country gives you access to their database through their property ownership information. Most of them will send you a disk just for the asking (and a check for $60, for example).
So go online, find your local municipality. If they’re small, call them and say, “I would like to get the name and address information for all the property owners in this area.” It’s usually in a database that is segmented by the type of property. Single family home, 2- to 4-units, 5-to 19-units, and non-residential or retail commercial properties.
Also, because the information contains zip codes and the street address, you can sort this database on your computer so you’re only sending letters to people in a certain zip code. If you only want to focus on multi-units, then you’re only going to send to multi-unit owners in a particular zip code.
The database will typically give you the property address of the subject property, but you will also generally get the owner’s mailing address. That’s where your letter should go.
So you were sending these letters to the owners of multi-unit properties in these specific zip code areas. You may have a target area of only 200 people.
Keep mailing to these people. Every month. Don’t spam them. Don’t send every week, send every month. And every month, change up your letter, offer them something different. Always offer them something. “Hey, you know, call me for a half-hour free consultation, to help you solve a current problem, no strings attached. It’s a $500 value, why would you turn it down?”
Offer a free report. Offer a free e-book. Offer something in your letter. Give them a reason to call you. Keep doing that over and over again. I promise you will get calls from these people, and you’ll get listings. That’s how you do direct mail, people. It’s a huge way to get listings.
And you’ll get listings for all your Investor buyers, too.
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