I am going to come clean here, I did not send direct mail until I joined Fortune Builders, I am doing now and getting some traction but I believe that the best marketing is face to face and when I began this business I was absolutely broke, not even enough money for a small mail campaign, so I went the free route: meeting realtors in person.
Ways to meet and build a network with Realtors
We rehabbers are really marketers, we suppose to do direct mail, bandit signs, advertising in other ways, etc., guess who does exactly the same? Realtors! If I jump directly at them I am leveraging their advertising dollars. These are ways I have used to meet with Realtors, all of them are free and all of them have given me very good results.
1). Sunday morning and on the weekday that there are “Brokers’ tour” I attend a ton of open houses. Sunday morning I buy the newspaper, while drinking my coffee I circle the houses I want to visit per city, I plan a driving route, get business cards and heat out. When I arrive at the houses I analyze the house on the outside and as fast as I can, literally within 10 seconds, the first room in the house, I introduce myself to the agent and clarify I am not a potential buyer (unless it’s a flip potential, then read below), give the elevator pitch (watch the video in FB Mastery site and practice it). I get a flyer, walk around the property and tell him/her that I will follow up by email that evening. If I see things that are wrong with the house I share my expertise in a kind way by saying something like “wow, your client is not making this easy for you, using their own furniture vs. staging, or upgrading the appliances and countertops would help a lot…” This way I show I know what I am talking about, commend her/his effort, build trust and rapport. I leave and head to the next one. That evening I do follow up with an email that I have saved using Gmail “canned responses” so each email takes me like 5 seconds to send. The subject of my email is “Follow up address of open house”. On the email I say how nice it was to meet, remind that I a easy to work with, buy cash, quick escrow, will provide clear offer parameters and supporting documents, plus I give addresses of recent flips so he/she can check them online, I mention the addresses I am currently working on and I attach a pdf presentation with a summary page, before and after pics of a recent project. This works guys! Realtors are all over the place, a few weeks ago I met a Realtor at an open house near my house ($950,000) listing, within 3 days she sent me two of her listings in a city an hour away from me at $350,000 each and another one that I ended getting under contract and assigning to a FB student. This system works, and its free!
2). In the above paragraph I said that I buy the Sunday paper, really old fashion right?. I want to see which Realtors are spending money on advertising, why? because I am going to call them to try to meet them at Starbucks. I call them and I tell them I saw their ad in such and such newspaper, I compliment them for their listing, give them my elevator pitch and try to schedule a meeting in person within the next week. (Right now that my budget is better I have my call center girl from Jamaica make this calls, I scan and email her the ads)
3). I also use zillow, realtor.com, etc. to look or Realtors. The Realtors that show when you type an address pay to have their info and picture there, again, Realtors that are spending in advertising. I type the address of a house I made an offer on, I see the Realtors’ names that show and I call them but here the technique is a bit different, I introduce myself very briefly and tell them I made an offer on such and such address, that I am an active real estate investor that has done X number of projects (newbies, leverage somebody else’s experience and numbers on this) and I ask them if they are familiar with “my” property. Since they paid to be tied to it advertising wise they should be familiar, if they have actually seen it I ask for their opinion, if they have not I describe it to them and ask them what’s their opinion on the ARV assuming is rehabbed very nicely, with permits, quality craftsmanship, etc. I close the call saying something like “so as I said I am a very active investor but I am not familiar with your area and have no agents representing me there, I think it would be valuable if we meet for coffee….” I follow up with the same email I used for open houses. This is a great way to meet new Realtors and expand your geographic area plus the fact you are calling with an address, in an area you are not familiar with, etc, is great leverage for them to pay attention to you.
Lastly, Realtors are in the business, they know other rehabbers, wholesalers, etc. two Realtors have introduced me to two of my private money lenders, one was a Realtor that had represented me several times, that investor funded 5 deals for me, then became a Fortune Builder and has have his own very successful business for about 3.5 years. The other was a Realtor I have never met but he had seen two of my flips, was impressed with them so he called me and set up a meeting with a wealthy cardiologist he knew, this Dr. has lent me about $1M in the past 18 months.
I strongly suggest you go to at least six open houses this coming Sunday and schedule in your calendar 30 minutes of calling Realtors three times a week for the next month. I promise you, your business will grow and you will feel way more comfortable talking with people about your business.
Lastly, if you want access to the whole Google Drive Folder I created to share all the tips, some of my documents, presentations, investor package, nutrition and exercise advice, etc. Please send an email to my VA at firstname.lastname@example.org, use as email subject “Access to folder please” and type your email in the body of the email, thanks!