Real Estate Lead Generation

Generating leads is an important part of the real estate investment process. To find the best real estate deals, you will have to do some digging. Today, marketing is more complex and competitive than ever, and to gain an advantage when it comes to real estate lead generation, you need to be versatile. To cut through all the noise and stand out above the pack, you need to outwork your competition and do what it takes to stay two steps ahead of them.

Since I began dedicating myself full-time to real estate investing, I have done what it takes to remain ahead of my competitors. Doing so has allowed me to gain more than $300,000,000 worth of real estate and help lots of people just like you achieve financial success.

With my help, you should be able to craft the best real estate lead generation out there. Through my blog, I am proud to offer you some industry secrets, as well as proven marketing approaches, advice on how to get a high response rate from your mailing service, tips on how to use your social media, and plenty more.

Once you have read through my real estate lead generation articles below, feel free to check out my podcast, The Best Ever Show—the longest-running daily real estate podcast ever—and both volumes of my book, Best Ever Real Estate Investing Advice. You can check out the rest of my blog posts, too, and you can peruse my various recommendations.

And when you feel ready to get in touch with me, you can schedule a planning session or apply to be part of one of the investment opportunities I offer accredited investors.

8-Step Process for Finding the Owner of an LLC

A great way to find apartment deals – especially in a hot market – is to conduct a direct mailing campaign.

Build a list. Create a marketing piece. Mail the marketing piece directly to the owner.

However, in order to have an effective direct mailing campaign, you must mail DIRECTLY to the owner.

When creating a list of apartment owners to mail to, you will likely come across a lot of properties whose owner of record is a limited liability company (LLC). When this is the case, an extra step is required – you must find the owner of the LLC.

If you were to send your direct mailing campaign to the LLC address, you are reducing the likelihood of a response. Most likely, the address of the LLC is a PO Box and not the home address of the LLC’s owner.

Fortunately, finding the owner of an LLC is fairly straight forward. Here is the eight-step process for finding the contact information of the owner an LLC:


Step 1 – Determine the state in which the LLC is located. Typically, the state in which the property is located is the state in which the LLC is located. However, that is not always the case (see Step 5 for how to determine the state in which the LLC is located).


Step 2 – Once you have determined the state in which the LLC is located, go to that state’s Secretary of State or Department of State website. The name of the website will vary from state-to-state, so just Google “(state name) secretary of state”.


Step 3 – Locate the business, entity or corporations search page. The name of the page will vary from state-to-state.


Step 4 – Use the search function to search for the LLC name.


Step 5 – If the LLC is located in that state, the name will appear in the search results. If the LLC is not located in that state, the name will not appear in the search results, in which case you will need to locate the correct state. To do so, perform a Google search, making sure to insert quotation marks around the LLC name so that the search results are for the exact name of the LLC. For example, Google “ABC acquisitions LLC”.


Step 6 – Click on the LLC name in the search results.


Step 7 – At this point, the contact information (i.e. the LLC owner’s name and address) may be presented. If not, locate the Articles of Organization.


Step 8 – Download the Articles of Organization. In some states, there may be a fee to view the Articles of Organization. Regardless, the name and address of the LLC’s owner/s will be listed on the Articles of Organization.


You must go through this process for every apartment on your list whose owner is an LLC. Take the time to find the owner’s name and address rather than mailing to the LLC address listed on the appraisal or auditor site to maximize your response rate and conversion rate.


Are you an accredited investor who is interested in learning more about passively investing in apartment communities? Click here for the only comprehensive resource for passive apartment investors.

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Four (Little Known) Keys To Finding The Best Multi-Family Deals In Your Market

Finding the best apartment deals can be a bit tough if you have no idea how to go about it.

You find yourself asking questions like:

  • How do I go about it?
  • Do I use a broker or not?
  • Where can I find the best apartment deals?
  • How can I get these deals when I find them?

It’s alright; everyone starts somewhere. And today, you’re going to learn a straight forward, direct approach to finding off-market deals in your area.

Let’s get started!


Start on the internet.

Sounds simple right?

That’s because it is…

No matter what your investing criteria, chances are you can find a list of matching properties on ListSource. From there you can skip trace to find the owner’s contact information.

Get in contact with the owners by sending them emails, using cold calls and sending text messages – using multiple contact channels increases your likelihood of getting them on the phone (which is where most real estate deals actually get done).


Buy directly from the seller if you can

I interviewed James Kandasamy, owner of Achievement Investment Group, who told us “Both of my first two properties were bought directly from the seller. We use our own strategy to get in touch with the sellers and work directly with them. That’s the primary point on why we were able to get it at a good price/door.”

It’s hard to depend on brokers because they have a responsibility to make sure that they get the highest price for the sellers as well. The best deals will typically come directly from the owner.

There are a lot of sellers out there with problems that they do not want to bring to the market, which makes it easier to get the best price directly from them.

The key is to build a relationship with the seller. Any real estate deal of this type needs to based on trust; without it, you’ll be lucky to get past the front door, much less to the signing table.

How do you build trust with a seller? By being honest and true to your word over time. But beyond that, the way you communicate and carry yourself throughout the deal will have a big effect on whether the seller feels they can depend on you.

As an example, here’s the text James Kandasamy sent directly his sellers;

“Hi, I’m an apartment investor in this region (Central Texas) and I saw your property at XYZ, and I’m interested in buying it. You can sell it directly to me, without any broker’s commission. Would you like to talk further?”


You have to be persistent.

Truth is you might have to send over 500 text messages to get a deal. The response you’ll get back will be about 1%.

But all the money is within that 1%. It’s a numbers game, like so much in our industry.

The key to building a stable deal pipeline is persistence in following up and staying in contact with the sellers. Most investors follow up once or twice and lose interest. See this as what it is: an opportunity. A truly dedicated and dogged investor can make headway, even in a crowded market.


Be a problem solver.

James Kandasamy advises, “The money you make is a direct correlation to the value you provide. For me, it’s always you have to solve some problem to get extraordinary returns. If you are doing a deal which is stabilized you may get a good deal, but you’ll get a much better deal if there’s a problem in that deal and you’re able to solve it.”

Be a problem solver and you’ll be able to handle deals that other investors will be forced to walk away from.

Let us know in the comments about some of the biggest problems you’ve solved in your deals!


Image credit: Pixabay

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resident appreciation parties

51 Resident Appreciation Event Ideas to Retain High-Quality Residents

In the blog post “How to Become an Award-Winning 5-Star Apartment Syndicator,” I explained how an apartment syndicator won two back-to-back Rental Owner of the Year awards by hosting frequent resident appreciation events. In this blog post, I want to expand upon this strategy by providing a list of 30 more resident appreciation event ideas.

Resident appreciation parties have massive benefits, with the foremost benefit being the fostering of an inclusive community. Hosting resident appreciation parties offer residents the chance to engage within the community. They get to know their neighbors, as well as the management staff, forming relationships that are deeper than merely being acquittances. And as a result, residents will likely stay longer, treat the apartment community with more respect, be more courteous to their neighbors and the staff, and pay their rent on time.

Hosting resident appreciation parties also motivate the residents to leave reviews (which is important for the reputation of the apartment community) and recommend the community to their friends and colleagues.

Overall, hosting resident appreciation parties will result in higher occupancy, less turnover, lower bad debt, better and more leads, and higher quality residents, which means a higher net operating income.

The type of resident appreciation party to host depends on the resident demographic. In other words, the type of event hosted at an A-class luxury apartment will usually differ from the event hosted at a C-class property in a working-class neighborhood. So, use common sense when brainstorming party ideas.

That being said, here is a list of 51 more resident appreciation party ideas:


Valentine’s Day Event Ideas

  1. Valentine’s Day Card Making Event: Set up a card-making station in the clubhouse.
  2. Speed Dating Event: For the single residents only!


Mother’s Day Event Ideas

  1. Flowers for Mom: Free flower pots in the clubhouse for residents to give to their moms.
  2. Mother’s Day Card Making: Set up a card-making station in the clubhouse.
  3. Gift Wrapping Station: Set up a gift-wrapping station in the clubhouse.


Fourth of July Event Ideas

  1. BBQ: Pool party with hot dogs, burgers, chips, and drinks.
  2. Fireworks: Most likely firework viewing, unless you want to do your own fireworks (depending on the local laws).


Halloween Event Ideas

  1. Costume Competition: Host a costume party and have everyone vote on the best costume, with the winner receiving a Halloween-themed gift.
  2. Pumpkin Carving Party: Host a pumpkin carving event and have everyone vote on the best Jack-o-Lantern with the winner receiving a Halloween-themed gift.
  3. Caramel Apple Bar: Set up a caramel apple-making station in the clubhouse.
  4. Trick-or-Treating: Door-to-door trick-or-treating.


Christmas Event Ideas

  1. Gingerbread House Competition: Host a gingerbread house-making competition and have everyone vote on the best house with the winner receiving a Christmas-themed gift.
  2. Pictures with Santa: Have someone dress up as Santa and take pictures with the children.
  3. Cookie Frosting: Set up a cookie frosting station in the clubhouse.
  4. Cookies and Hot Cocoa Party: Host a party where you offer cookies and hot cocoa.
  5. Ugly Sweater Party: Everyone dresses up in their ugliest sweater and offer refreshments in the clubhouse
  6. Movie Night: Watch It’s a Wonderful Life, A Christmas Story, or your favorite Christmas movie.
  7. White Elephant: Host a gift exchange party in the clubhouse.


Free Food Ideas

  1. Breakfast-On-The-Go: Purchase portable breakfast foods (burritos are the best) and juice and give them to the residents while they drive through the gate on their way to work. You could also pack brown bag breakfasts or lunches for the kids, or hand out bagels or muffins instead.
  2. Sip-N-Sweet Mondays/Fridays: Set up a coffee and donut station in your clubhouse.
  3. Wine Tasting: set up a wine tasting station with cheeses in your clubhouse.
  4. Take and Bake Pizza Parties: Set up a pizza-making station in the clubhouse. Residents can come in, make a custom pizza and take it home to cook.
  5. Pops(icles) by the Pool: Hand out popsicles on a hot day at the pool.
  6. Snow Cones in the Shade: Hand out snow cones on a hot day at the pool.
  7. Sundae Sunday: Set up an ice cream sundae-making station in the clubhouse.
  8. Taco Tuesday: Set up a taco-making station in the clubhouse.
  9. Pancakes and Pajamas: Offer pancakes on a Saturday or Sunday morning to residents who show up to the clubhouse in their pajamas.


Parties for the Children

  1. Back to School Party: Host a pool party for the kids on the weekend before school starts.
  2. Froyo Friday: Set up a frozen yogurt station in the clubhouse.
  3. Egg Hunt: Host an egg hunt on Easter Sunday.
  4. Back to School Bingo Bash: Winners get free school supplies.
  5. Teddy Bear Picnic: Picnic for the kids with their favorite stuffed animal.
  6. Game Night: Have the kids bring their favorite games to the clubhouse for a game night.
  7. Legos and Eggos: Serve waffles and offer Legos for the kids.
  8. Water Balloon War: Dodgeball, but with water balloons.
  9. Astronomy Night: Invite astronomers from a nearby observatory or university, asking them to bring along a telescope, and invite the kids to gaze at the night sky.
  10. Arts and Crafts: Set up craft-making or finger-painting stations in the clubhouse.
  11. Chalk Party: Provide children with sidewalk chalk to write on the parking lot or sidewalks and have a hopscotch competition with prizes.
  12. Superhero Party: kids dress up as their favorite superheroes.
  13. Princess Party: kids dress up as their favorite princesses and have a small fashion show.
  14. Pajama Party: Kids come to the clubhouse dressed up in their pajamas with their sleeping bags. Offer popcorn and smores, and have a movie or game night.
  15. Cupcake Decorating: Set up a cupcake decorating station in the clubhouse.


Competitions with Prizes

  1. Trivia Night: Host a trivia night in your clubhouse with prizes.
  2. Game Night: Host a game night in your clubhouse with prizes.
  3. Chili Cook-Off: Host a chili-making competition. Offer prizes (and maybe even a trophy) for the annual winner.
  4. Poker Night: Host a Texas Hold’Em tournament.


Other Event or Party Ideas

  1. Clean Out Your Closet: Host a community-wide closet cleaning event, collecting gently used clothing from residents. Enter the participant’s names into a raffle and give away a gift card to a clothing store.
  2. Yard Sale: Host a yard sale in the parking lot by the clubhouse. Residents can sell stuff and buy stuff from other residents.
  3. Pool Party: Host a pool party with a DJ.
  4. Fitness Classes: Host fitness classes, like Zumba, aerobics, pilates, or yoga, in your fitness center or at a nearby gym. Other fitness ideas are a run club, hiking club, or bike club.
  5. Nacho Average Tailgate: Set up a nacho-making station in the clubhouse on gamedays.


For more event ideas, a great resource is


What about you? Comment below: Have you hosted a resident appreciation event at your apartment community that isn’t on this list?


Are you a newbie or a seasoned investor who wants to take their real estate investing to the next level? The 10-Week Apartment Syndication Mastery Program is for you. Joe Fairless and Trevor McGregor are ready to pull back the curtain to show you how to get into the game of apartment syndication. Click here to learn how to get started today.

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Direct Mail Guide

The Ultimate Guide to a Successful Direct Mailing Campaign

So, you want to find an off-market deal? There are countless ways to generate off-market apartment leads, but one of the most common strategies is the direct mailing campaign.


A direct mailing campaign is when you send out a batch of letters to owners with the purpose of negotiating a sales price and putting their property under contract.


The two main aspects of the direct mailing campaign, which will be the focus of this guide, are the list and the letter. Read on for all of the tools you need to create a successful direct mailing campaign from scratch.


Creating a List


Before creating your list, you need to define your investment criteria. Your investment criteria should include factors like the market, property type, number of units and the construction date. Setting your investment criteria prior to creating your list will save you a lot of time, because you will know that every single owner on your list owns an apartment community that aligns with your business plan.


With your investment criteria set, it is now time to create your list. There are many sources that you can use to build your list. Listsource and CoStar are great tools for creating larger lists but they do not send out the letters for you. Postcard Builder and Open Letter Marketing are two full service direct mailing companies where you can create a list, draft your letter and send out the direct mailing campaign all in one place. Local title companies are also a good resource for obtaining a list. And if you are lucky and found the right real estate broker, they can create a list on your behalf, and maybe even send out the letters too!


Regardless of which resource you use, you will create a custom list of properties that meet your investment criteria. And, if you want, you can customize your list even further using hundreds of other factors like the amount of equity the owner has in the property, the demographics, the owner type or status and much more.


Additionally, to increase the chance of finding a seller that is interested in selling, you want to identify motivated owners. These are owners who are motivated to sell their apartment because they are distressed (i.e. have maintenance or capital expenditure issues, tenant issues, management issues, financing issues, tax issues, etc.), they are at the end of their business plan or they implemented a different business plan (i.e. they purchased the apartment for cash flow but didn’t add value to increase the rents).


Depending on your investment strategy, you may or may not be able to create a list of motivated sellers by solely using Listsource or similar list making services. Therefore, here is a list of additional ways to locate motivated apartment owners:


  1. Driving for dollars: If your target market is local, you can drive around the market and look for apartment communities that are showing signs of distress. Examples would be poor landscaping, obvious deferred maintenance, offering rent specials, broken windows, peeling or fading paint, or an apartment that stands out from surrounding properties. Find the owner’s contact information and give them a call or send them a direct mailer.
  2. Eviction Court: Locate your local eviction court and obtain a list of apartment owners that are evicting residents. Evictions are a major headache for real estate owners in general, so they may be extremely motivated to sell. Typically, the eviction list is located on the local county’s Clerk of Courts website.
  3. Building Code Violations: Locate a list of apartment owners who recently received a building code violation from the city.
  4. Delinquent Taxes: Locate a list of apartment owners who are delinquent on their taxes. Unless you are building a list from scratch, most of the automate direct mailing list providers will allow you to set “delinquent taxes” as a criterion. If you are building a list from scratch, information on the apartments with delinquent taxes can be found on the local county’s Clerk of Courts or Sheriff’s Office website.
  5. Out-of-State owners: Owning an out-of-state apartment community won’t necessarily indicate a motivated owner. However, there is a higher chance that an out-of-state owner hasn’t maintained the asset or managed the property management company effectively compared to an in-state owner whose apartment community is right around the corner.
  6. View the Profile Picture on A creative way to identify motivated sellers of value-add apartments is by looking at the profile picture on the listing. If the apartment was newly renovated, the owner would show off those updates online to attract residents. If there is only one picture available, that may indicate that the interiors and/or exteriors are outdated. If there are pictures of the interiors and exteriors available, scroll through them to see if the apartment is updated. If the interiors are old, you’ve identified a potential value-add deal.


Those are the six main methods, but other creative strategies include:


  1. Property owners whose tax assessments went way up this year: Search for an apartment on the local county auditor or appraiser site and locate the annual tax data. Most auditor or appraiser sites will list the annual taxes paid each year. If the taxes paid in the most recent year is significantly higher than the previous year, the owner most likely had a tax assessment. Taxes is one of the largest expenses paid by the owner, so if they had a significant increase, they may be motivated to sell
  2. Expired apartment listings: Expired apartment listings were listed for sale by a real estate broker and weren’t sold by the end of the period specified in the contract between the owner and the real estate broker. The best way to locate apartment listings that expired is on the MLS. Ask your real estate broker to send you a list of expired listing for the past 12 months.
  3. Properties that are owned without debt (purchased 20 to 30 years ago): Owners who own apartments free and clear may be willing to sell their property for a lower price, or may be willing to accept creative financing terms, like seller financing. There are a few ways to locate apartments that are owned free and clear. If you are creating a list with a service like CoStar, an automated direct mailing provider or the MLS, you will have the option to apply a filter for apartments that do not have a mortgage. Another approach is to locate the property on the local auditor or appraisal site and compare the “own name” to the “mailing name.” The mailing name is usually the name of the company that holds the debt. So, if they mailing name is the same as the owner name, the property is owned free and clear. Also, you can search for properties that were purchased over 20 years to 30 years ago, because the owner will have likely paid off the debt.
  4. Health code violators: The local Clerk or Courts website will have a list of all the properties in the county with health code violation.
  5. Owners facing foreclosure: The list of apartment owners facing foreclosure can be found on the local Sheriff’s Office website.
  6. Owners late on loan payments: The list of apartment owners who are late on their mortgage payments can be found in the same location as the delinquent taxes list, which is the local Clerk of Courts website.
  7. Section 8 approved properties: Locate the local city’s HUD website to obtain a list of section 8 approved properties. These properties are likely rented below market rates and, depending on the local regulations, can be converted into regular apartments.
  8. Properties with liens: A list of apartments with liens can be found on the local Clerk of Courts website. You might be able to use the criteria on ListSource to identify these types of distressed opportunities. But some of these strategies will require extra research – both online and in-person – on your part. If you are struggling to find the owner’s contact information, skip tracing is an effective solution. The top skip tracing services are TLO (the best and most expensive), Locate Plus and Whitepages Premium (least expensive option)


Creating a Marketing Piece


Next, you will create a marketing piece to send out to your list. There are nearly an infinite number of approaches to a direct mailing campaign. Variables include the message, frequency, letter type and color and envelope type and color. The most successful direct mailers A/B test different mailer types to determine which is the most effective. Therefore, select a few different mailer types, send them out to owners and record the success rates of each. Whichever one performs the best, continue sending. For the ones that perform poorly, change a variable and continue to send out and log the success rates. As time goes on, you will find the best combination of variables that results in the highest success rate.


For starters, here are two direct mailing templates:


  1. Template #1


Dear Recipient Name,


I am the acquisition coordinator for __________. Our portfolio consists of over ______ apartment units, all acquired within the last _______ months. With one of our principals based in ________, we are looking to expand to this area. We are familiar with your apartment complex, (name complex) and we would like to discuss purchasing this property. Please reach out if you would like to discuss further. My email is ______ and my cell phone number is ________.





  1. Template #2


Dear Recipient Name,


I am interested in purchasing your apartment community. Are you interested in selling?


I currently hold a portfolio of apartments similar to yours and am looking to add more.


Please contact me at your earliest convenience so we can discuss the sale of your apartment community.


Call me directly at _________ or email me at _________.


If you are not interested in selling at this time, please accept this inquiry as the highest compliment to your investment.


I look forward to hearing from you.





The important point you want to get across to the owners is that you are interested in buying their property and that you are an experienced investor who is able to close. If you don’t currently own any properties yourself, leverage the experience of your team. For example, “my property management company manages 1,000 units in the market,” or “my partner (who can be your mentor) controls 1,300 units across the country.”


Screening Calls from Owners


Once you’ve sent out the campaign, (hopefully) your phone starts ringing off the hook. Rather than freestyling, I recommend creating a script that outlines exactly what you will say when an owner calls. An example script is provided below:


Hi. My name is (your name). Thank you for responding to my letter. As I said, I work for a group of investors, (your company name). We were driving your neighborhood and wanted to know if there would be any interest in selling?


Now, you would think that because they called you, they are interested in selling. Unfortunately, some of the callers will, politely or aggressively, tell you that they aren’t interested in selling and/or ask to be removed from all future mailing campaigns.


If the caller is aggressively asking to be removed from the list, politely thank them for their time, hang up and remove them from their list.


If the caller is polite but says that they aren’t interested in selling at this time, find out a little bit more information as to why they won’t sell. Figure out why they aren’t interested in selling with the purpose of trying to identify a trigger or pain point of things that are holding them back. This will help you identify ways that they will benefit from selling the property. One example is to visit the property or perform some online research and make a note of something that stands out, like signs of distress. Then, leverage this information to identify a potential pain point.


For example, maybe you discover that they are an owner-operator who doesn’t like being a property manager. Or they won’t want to incur a capital gains tax by selling. Or maybe they aren’t interested in selling now, but they may be interested in six months. Depending on their response, there may be a creative way to structure the deal so that you can solve their problem.


If they still aren’t interested or you cannot identify any pain points, thank them for their time and hang up. However, you aren’t done yet. Unless they specifically asked you to remove them from future mailing campaigns, the next step is to mail them a follow-up letter saying:


Thank you for your time when we spoke on (date you called). As I said, I work for (your company name). I will follow up on (date) and I look forward to speaking with you then.”


Now, the next time you call them, you can start the conversation by referencing your previous call and the follow up letter.


If they are interested in selling, congratulations. But, you’re only partway there. Now, you need to extract more information from them about the property. At this point, the goal of the conversation is to get the owner to provide you with the trailing 12-month income and expense statement (T12) and the current rent roll. That is the information you will need in order to underwrite the deal and determine a fair offer price.


Regardless of whether the owner says is or isn’t interested, focus on building rapport. During the course of the conversation, make sure you talk in terms of their interests in order to begin building a relationship. If they are interested, this will help you during the negotiation process. If they are not interested, they will remember you when you call back.


Also keep in mind that this is an iterative process. If you’ve never spoken to an owner on the phone before, don’t expect to be perfect at first. Practice, specifically in regards to overcoming their objections, see what works and what doesn’t work, and adjust your script accordingly.


10 Reasons Your Direct Mail Isn’t Working


I asked Justin Silverio, the founder of Open Letter Markeing, “what are the main reasons why a direct mailing campaign would fail?” Based on his experience sending out his own campaigns and working with hundreds of other investors, there are 10 reasons why a direct mailing campaign isn’t working:


  1. Bad Messaging: Your messaging should be clear and concise. Otherwise, your content will not be read or will be confusing to your prospects, thereby reducing your response rates. Additionally, avoid using messaging that is the same as most other investors in your market; you want to set yourself apart. Finally, make the messaging about the seller, not you. Talk to them about how you will solve their problems.
  2. Low Quality Lead List: One of the most important aspects of a successful direct mail campaign is the quality of the lead list. If you are mailing to the same prospects as your competition, expect your response rates to be very low. Instead, seek out niche markets that no one else is marketing to. The general rule is that if it takes time to build a particular list, you will have less competition because most other real estate investors won’t take the time to create it.
  3. No Branding on Mailers: Branding is the number one most important thing that you should be doing and in many cases it’s a missed opportunity in direct mail. People can recall a logo much easier than a name so your chances of a seller remembering you is much higher. It’s a simple detail, but the payoff is big.
  4. Not Building Trust: One of the most important aspects of closing a deal is to build trust and rapport with the seller. Aim for this from the start with your direct mail by sending professional looking mailers with letterhead and company information. This shows your prospects that you are an actual company and not a fly-by-night operation.
  5. You’re a Copycat: If you’re mailing the same mail piece as everyone else, what makes you think you’re going to stand out from them? Step away from the copycat syndrome and use something else besides yellow letters or generic postcards. Use a mailer that will stand out and get noticed.
  6. Only Using Handwritten Letters: When sending handwritten letters, your messaging should be short and to the point. When you only send handwritten letters, you can’t fully explain how you’re able to help your prospect. Therefore, you should always incorporate longer, professional letters into a mailing campaign.
  7. Handwriting Doesn’t Look Authentic: Using handwritten fonts that don’t look realistic could have a negative impact on your response rates. Most people will read that as being deceptive and not call you back. Be sure to either handwrite your letters OR use a realistic looking font.
  8. Bad Campaign Sequence: A bad sequence will have a negative impact on your results. It’s important that you stack your letters in a way that build off of each other and create a conversation with your sellers. Provide more information as your campaign moves forward so they can learn more about how you can help them.
  9. Inconsistency: This is, by far, the worst mistake you can make. Direct mail takes time to build momentum because your prospects need to see you multiple times before most will start to call. You should budget to mail 5-6 times before expecting to see consistent results. Also, buying real estate is mostly situational so if you are not mailing your prospects consistently you may likely miss out on a deal when your prospect’s situation suddenly changes.
  10. Bad/No Follow Up: I can guarantee you are losing deals if you don’t have proper follow up. Many deals will come from consistent follow up with your prospects who weren’t ready to sell the first time you spoke with them. Make sure you have a system in place to remind you to follow up. A good solution could be as simple as a spreadsheet or calendar or as robust as a CRM.


If you avoid these 10 pitfalls but still aren’t receiving many responses from owners (say after 3 to 4 mailers), another strategy is rather than asking to purchase their property, invite them to your meetup group (or if they are out-of-state, a webinar).  Tell them you will be presenting information relevant that will add value to their business. For example, 10 ways to increase the NOI on your apartment building.  From there, build a relationship with them so that when they are ready to sell, you are the first person they reach out to!


Direct Mail Case Studies


Click here to read about a six-step direct mailing campaign with a twist – rather than only sending out letters, this investor will text the owner. As a result, he’s been able to accumulate a portfolio of over 300 units!


Click here to learn more about selecting a mailing service, creating a list and the best practices for creating an attractive marketing piece.


Click here to learn about how a fix-and-flip investor created a direct marketing strategy that results in a 57% response rate.


Finally, click here to learn about an direct mailing campaign with a twist – rather than only sending out letter, this investor cold-calls the owners on his list.


Are you a newbie or a seasoned investor who wants to take their real estate investing to the next level? The 10-Week Apartment Syndication Mastery Program is for you. Joe Fairless and Trevor McGregor are ready to pull back the curtain to show you how to get into the game of apartment syndication. Click here to learn how to get started today.

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high-rise apartments pictured from the gound

The Most Unique Way to Find Off-Market Apartment Deals

Last Updated 6/21/19


There are countless ways to find apartment investment opportunities, from common methods like building relationships with commercial real estate brokers to unique approaches like cold calling or creating a meetup group.

However, the most unique approach I’ve come across is a lead generation strategy implemented by James Kandasamy – who I interviewed on my podcast here. Using the following seven-step process, James found the majority of the assets that make up his 340-unit portfolio, including two apartment communities. What’s his secret? He texts the owners!

This process can be used to find any type of deal, whether you are a fix-and-flipper, wholesaler, SFR investor, etc. But for the purpose of this post, you will learn how to apply this approach to finding and investing in apartment buildings.


1. Identify a Target Area

First, select a target market. If you haven’t already, check out this blog post where I outline a step-by-step process for selecting and evaluating a real estate market.


2. Identify a Property Class

As a value-add apartment syndicator, I invest in class B property types. If you are a turnkey investor, you’ll pursue class A opportunities. If you are a distressed apartment investor, you will pursue class C or D opportunities.


3. Define Additional Investment Criteria

For me, my additional investment criteria are the number of units and age of the property. We want properties that are 150+ units and that were built in 1980 or later. Based on your investment strategy, what factors do you look for in a potential deal (i.e. equity, delinquent taxes, recent evictions, signs of distress, sales date range, etc.)?


4. Obtain a List of Properties

Using online resources like the county auditor site or ListSource, create a list of properties using the three pieces of information above (market, property type/class and investment criteria).

An additional factor you can filter by are apartment buildings that were purchased 5 years or more ago. James has found that owners who’ve purchased a property in this time frame will have likely built up enough equity to accept a below market offer price because they’ll still make a profit.


5. Find the Owner’s Contact Information

For properties listed in an individual’s name, you should be able to locate the owner’s contact information when you pull the list. If it is listed under an LLC name or a property manager, use skip tracing software to get the owner’s phone number and/or mailing address or look up the entity on the Secretary of State website. Here’s a good resource for how to track down owner information, JF1065: How to Track Down Vacant Property Owners with Larry Higgins.


6. Conduct a Marketing Campaign

Send marketing information to the list of property owners, either via direct mail, phone call, or text message. That’s right. A text message!

James actually obtained the majority of his deals via text messaging. His initial message is, “Hi. I’m a prominent investor in (insert target area). I saw your property at (insert property address) and am interested in buying it. You can sell it directly to me without any broker’s commission. Would you like to talk further?”

Standard replies he’s received and that you can expect to receive are:

  • If they are interested
    • You can talk to XYZ member of my team.
    • Can I have more information about you and your business?
    • What can you offer me?
  • If they aren’t interested
    • I am not interested in selling right now
    • I am not selling anytime soon

7. Follow-up

Regardless of the response, follow-up is key to investing in off-market apartment buildings. James said that most people will send out one batch of letters and then forget about it.

If the owner is interested, you need to obtain the rent roll and the trailing 12-month P&L to determine an offer price.

If they aren’t interested, James recommends following-up (via direct mail, phone call, or text message) every 3 to 6 months to gauge their interest in selling again, to build rapport and be top-of-mind for when the owner is interested in selling. It’s all about timing.


For every 500 marketing pieces James sends, he receives a 1% response rate. Of the 1%, he will close on less than 0.1%. But as long as you’re persistent and follow-up, you’ll find that 1% of owner’s who are interested in selling.


Are you a newbie or a seasoned investor who wants to take their real estate investing to the next level? The 10-Week Apartment Syndication Mastery Program is for you. Joe Fairless and Trevor McGregor are ready to pull back the curtain to show you how to get into the game of apartment syndication. Click here to learn how to get started today.

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Five Ways To Find Your First Off-Market Apartment Deal

Previously Published in Forbes Here.

In a previous blog post, I outlined the benefits of completing an apartment transaction off-market for both a seller and buyer, as opposed to on-market through a real estate broker. Although off-market real estate deals are highly attractive on both sides of the transaction, when it comes to ease, they lose the edge.


Finding on-market deals is a fairly passive approach: All that’s required is sending a real estate broker your investment criteria and asking them to subscribe you to their email list. Then, any current or future listing that meets your criteria will be automatically sent to your email inbox. However, you won’t have control over the number of opportunities you receive. Since it’s solely based on the number of owners who happen to list their property with a real estate broker, you could see a bunch of opportunities one week and then go a few months without seeing any.


The more active and beneficial approach is to pursue off-market real estate opportunities. Generally, there are two strategies regarding how to find off-market deals:

  • Speaking directly to the owner
  • Speaking to someone who knows the owner.


Your prospecting tactics should only target these two groups.Here are five methods you can use, whether you’re buying your first apartment building off-market or your 20th:

1. Direct Mailing Campaigns

One of the most well-known tactics for acquiring off-market real estate deals is through direct mailing campaigns. A direct mail campaign consists of sending out a batch of letters to a list of apartment owners with the purpose of sparking a conversation that results in the acquisition of their property.


There are two keys to a successful direct mailing campaign:


Mailing List: A high-quality mailing list will only include owners whose apartment communities meet your investment criteria and who show at least one sign that they’re interested in selling. For example, we only mail to owners who’ve purchased their property five or more years ago. They will have likely built up enough equity to sell their property at below market value while still making a sizable profit and/or they could be coming to the end of their business plan. Another option is only mailing to distressed owners. Indications that an owner is distressed is their inclusion on the eviction court, building code violations or delinquent tax list, or living in a state other than the one in which the apartment is located.


Mailing Frequency: Decide what frequency you will mail to your list of owners — monthly, quarterly, every six months, etc. — and commit to the system. Sometimes, you may receive a reply on your first mailer, while other times it won’t be until you’ve been mailing to the same owner for a year that you receive interest.


Related: The Ultimate Guide to a Successful Direct Mailing Campaign

2. Cold Calling

Part of learning how to find off-market deals is becoming proactive. Rather than sending direct mailers to your list of distressed apartment owners and waiting for the phone to ring, call the owner directly (or follow the unique approach of this apartment investor and cold-text the owner instead!).


With cold calling, compared to direct mail, you’ll have more control over the number of conversations with owners. It is also less expensive, as you are avoiding the costs of letters, envelopes, and stamps.


Cold calling can also increase your conversion rate. With direct mail, if an owner isn’t interested in selling, they won’t reach out. Whereas, with cold calling, you can follow-up by sending the owner a letter referencing the conversation, providing your contact information, and notifying them that you will call again in X months (2, 4, 6, whatever you decide) to see if they are interested in selling.


Related: How to Get a 57% Response Rate on Your Direct Mail Campaigns

3. Thought Leadership Platforms

A thought leadership platform can be a great source for off-market real estate deals. With an interview-based podcast, blog, or YouTube channel, you can form relationships with your guests and build a large audience, conveying to both your interest in purchasing apartment communities. With a meetup group, you can network face to face with attendees and handpicked speakers who are active in real estate investing.


Regardless of the platform you pursue, as a thought leader, you will be reaching and cultivating relationships with both apartment owners and the professionals who know the owners, which are the only two ways to find off-market deals.

4. Call “For Rent” Ads

Calling the apartment owners of rental listings on online services such as Craigslist,, Zillow, etc. or on “for rent” signs scattered across your local market to gauge their interest in selling is a great way to find off-market real estate deals.


If an owner has a unit listed for rent, you’ve automatically identified a pain point. The unit is vacant, which means they are losing money. You might catch them at a moment in time where they are motivated to sell.

5. Apartment Vendors

Anyone involved in the servicing of apartment communities, including electricians, carpet installers, roofers, plumbers, HVAC professionals, pool repairman, lawn care professionals, etc, is on the front lines and will likely have insider information on communities that are being neglected.


First, use their services or refer them to other apartment owners to build rapport. Then, ask them to notify you about potential distressed owners or neglected communities.


Related: Lead Generation Blog Category


Overall, I recommend selecting two methods from this list and focusing on generating leads for your off-market real estate deals from those for at least six months. We live in a culture of instant gratification where people expect quick or immediate results. In general, that isn’t the reality, and it’s especially true when you’re dealing with million-dollar properties. It takes time to perfect how to find off-market deals and generate apartment leads. It requires constant action, constant tracking, and constant improvement.


All of these tactics have worked, but all of them might not work for you because of your market or because of your unique skill set. You’ve got to find a tactic that aligns with what you’re uniquely good at, which may take some trial and error. During your six-month trial period, log your results for each of the marketing methods. If one or both of the marketing methods have poor results, either tweak it or try another tactic. Ultimately, it’s not about having five off-market real estate lead sources. It’s about finding the few that work best for you.


If you want advice on buying your first apartment building or you’d like to passively invest in one of my lucrative apartment syndications, contact me. Additionally, discover how you can make money by investing in apartments as part of your own business strategy by reading my new text, Best Ever Apartment Syndication Book.

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The Real Estate Lead Generation Secrets of a Direct Mailing Specialist

One of the most popular real estate lead generation tactics are direct mailing campaigns. But with its popularity comes a high level of competition. So, to separate yours from the tens, hundreds, or even thousands other direct mailing campaigns in your market, it helps to have a basic understanding of the best practices that experienced investors are implementing across the nation


Craig Simpson, who’s the owner of a direct marketing company that is responsible for overseeing 30 million pieces of direct mail sent out over 300 different promotions each year, is a direct mailing expert. In our recent conversation, we discussed the three important factors involved in a direct mailing campaign and the best practices for maximizing your response and conversion rate.

Selecting a Mailing Service


Since Craig built his direct mailing service from scratch, he has a behind-the-scene’s perspective on the characteristics of the good, bad and ugly direct mailing services. His advice on selecting a mailing service in your local market is “I would shy away from anybody who uses words like ‘guarantee’ or ‘ensure that you’re going to get the best kind of response rate’.”


There isn’t a one-size fits all method to direct mail. It depends on various factors like the target customer, the product, the market, etc. So, if a mailing services is “promising” or “guaranteeing” a certain outcome…RUN! They cannot know whether or not their service is a right fit for you until they understand what it is you’re trying to accomplish.


Instead, Craig said, “the things you’re looking for is people who talk about testing, because all direct marketing boils down to a lot of testing.” We will dive into the best practices for testing different mailer strategies and types in the sections below. If you decide to forgo the DIY direct mailing campaign, make sure the direct mailing service you use doesn’t offer guarantees, but focuses on testing instead.


Once you’ve selected the ideal direct mailing service, or made the decision to conduct your own campaigns, the next step is to understand the three main factors to a successfully direct mail, which are the list, the copy and the offer.


The List


The list contains who it is you are mailing to, and is the most important piece of any direct mail campaign. Craig said, “you want to make sure you have a targeted list of prospects that will look like the type of customers you want to go after.”


If you’re interested in distress property leads, make sure you have a list of distressed owners. If you’re going after property’s whose owners live elsewhere, make sure you have a list of absentee owners. It may seem obvious, but if you obtain a list from a bad source, you’ll be surprised at how much money you can waste by mailing to unqualified leads. So, make sure you’re getting your lists from reputable sources, like CoStar or the local auditors site.


The next natural question is, how often do you mail to your list? Like most things in real estate investing, the answer is that it depends. The frequency in which you send out your mailing campaigns will depend on the quality of your list and your response rate. The standard response rate for direct mailing campaigns is three quarters of a percent. For every 1000 pieces of direct mail, expect 7 to 8 owners to reach out for more information.


Let’s say you find a list from a reputable source of 10,00 distressed property owners. Craig said that if you receive the 0.75% response rate and a majority of those responses are very interested owners, you have a great list. With great lists, he recommends sending out mailers once a month. If your first mailer, or second campaign with a good list, results in a response rate of below 0.75% and/or a minority of the owners who do respond are interested in selling, you have a decent list at best. For these types of situations, Craig recommends that you send out direct mailing campaigns once ever 60 to 90 days. Then, if you continue to see poor results, scrap that list or send out mailers on a less frequent basis, find a new one and repeat the process.


The Copy


The copy is what is it you say in your mailer. The key point here is to create a copy that speaks directly to owner’s needs. Craig said, “When you’re talking to a prospect, you always want to talk about the pain points, the things that they may be struggling with … and then you can address the solution.”


If you’re mailing to absentee owners, for example, they will have renters. When formulating your direct mail copy, the theme should be about renters. They’re probably worrying about people destroying the house, failing to pay rent, turnover costs, cost of property management and other renter related headache. So, you can address their pain point by stating that you can take these problems off their hands and put extra cash in their pockets at the same time.


Once you’ve converted a few leads into transactions, another unique approach is to include testimonials in your copy. “Offer testimonials,” Craig said, “having past clients that you’ve worked with rave about you and sharing that with others. People are always convinced and encouraged when somebody else has had a good experience.”


To determine what does and doesn’t work, test different mailing campaigns. Use different letter types (yellow letter, handwritten, postcards, etc.), copies (i.e. the message), colors, etc. and track the results, ultimately getting closer and closer to the ideal mailer for your specific market and niche.


Overall, you want your copy to directly connect with the particular owner’s potential pain points, as opposed to a vague “We Buy Houses” message, and conduct tests on an ongoing basis to see what does and doesn’t work.


The Offer


The offer, which will be included in your copy, is what it is you want them to do. Do you want them the call, text or email you? Do you want them to visit your website or a landing page? Do you want them to request a free report or consultation? Whatever action you want an interested owner to take, make sure it is clearly stated in your copy. And you can also test out different offers to see which ones result in the highest response and conversation rates.


For those of you who have closed on a deal as a direct result of a direct mailing campaign, what the list, copy and offer did you use?


Check out the Lead Generation topic section on my blog for more than 25 articles on the Best Ever lead generations tactics and strategies.


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How a $10 Million Agent Generates FREE Leads With Facebook

Spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on online marketing is a great way to obtain quality real estate leads. However, some real estate professionals – and I would say especially those who are just starting out and are strapped for cash – implement creative strategies to reduce or even eliminate their marketing budget, either out of necessity or to just increase their overall bottom line. But regardless of your experience level or spending capabilities, all real estate professionals and investors should be actively searching for ways to decrease their cost per lead.


Trish Williams, an agent and broker out of Las Vegas, started her real estate career in 2014. She devised a FREE marketing tactic which accounts for 90% of her $10 million in real estate transactions. Trish’s primary source of new customers are through referrals from Facebook. Essentially, she offers intriguing content on her personal Facebook page on a consistent basis, building up her credibility, so that whenever someone is ready to buy or sell their home, or personally knows someone who is, she’s the first person they reach out to. In our recent conversation, she explained her process for obtaining referrals through her personal Facebook page. You can apply these techniques to your business, regardless of the real estate niche you pursue.


How to grow your Facebook friend’s list?


One of the main focuses of Trish’s referral process is to build and grow your personal Facebook friend’s list. The more friends you have, the more potential direct and indirect referrals you’ll receive (as long as you’re posting the right kind of content, which will be discussed in the next section).


Besides organic growth, she has two active methods for adding new friends. First is through networking…EVERYWHERE. She said, “Every time when I meet somebody, if I meet you at the grocery store [for example] and we have a conversation, I ask you your name and I’m going to add you as a friend to my Facebook.”


Two is through her business page. She said, “I haven’t really figured out how to convert those people or grab them, so I add them as friends. I just add them to my personal page, because I have such a better conversation rate of converting people through that.”


Both of these tactics can be applied to any real estate niche. When you’re out and about, talking to people with passion about your real estate business, ask them for their name and add them to your friend’s list. Also, you should already have a business page or group on Facebook, so every time you receive a new like or a new member joins your group, add them as a friend.


What should you post?


The key to Trish’s referral process is the type of content you post. Since the goal is to establish credibility and trust with your followers, she said, “I’m not marketing. I don’t ever want to sound like a commercial. I’m just talking about what I do.” So, your content should be natural, genuine, authentic and add value, as opposed to gimmicky marketing or obvious advertising.


The specific content you post will vary depending on your niche. Since Trish is a real estate agent, her posts simply show what she is doing on a day-to-day basis. One approach she uses is to post pictures. “If I have an experience, if I’m out at a house and it has an amazing kitchen, I’m going to post it. If I see something that has great investment potential, I’m going to post it,” she said. “If I get an award, I’m posting a picture of me with the award, or if something happens – every success I’m posting about.”


Another approach that has a great response rate are videos. Trish posts videos all the time. She said, “If I’ve been out door-knocking, I post a video. I show people the yard of the neighborhood or the view of the street. If I’m at a new construction home, grand opening for a model home, I post a video of it.”


The video approach is a great way to build relationships without actually having to meet people in person. “People get used to seeing me,” Trish said. “They know me because I’m always posting videos, and they’re not professional videos. Sometimes my hair is crazy or whatever, but I’m still a person and people really like that.”


Since it is her personal Facebook page, not everything she posts is business related. She will post things about her personal life too. However, she did recommend that you avoid posting about divisive topics. She said, “I stay out of politics. I stay out of any kind of things that are controversial. I never ever post about anything that has to do with those. I don’t want to alienate people whatsoever, so I always keep a neutral stance, stay positive, and try to be that person that people really want to work with.”


When should you post?


Trish posts the type of content outline about at least every other day.


On top of that, she is on Facebook every day, commenting and liking other people’s content. However, that doesn’t mean she’s mindlessly scrolling through her news feed, liking and commenting on every single post. Remember, the goal is authenticity and genuineness. If you like every post, eventually people are going to catch on to what you are doing. Instead, Trish said, “I take interest in what other people are doing. I see what’s going on in their life and that helps me too to know who may need assistance. I do just make it a habit every day to scroll through, take a few minutes, see what people are doing. Whatever is at the top of my newsfeed.”

Finally, she always reaches out on birthdays. “Just Happy Birthday! If there’s something I know special about them, or what’s going on in their world, I mention it.”




Trish attracts the majority of her real estate business through Facebook referrals. She accomplishes this by networking to build her friend’s list, then posts genuine, natural content at least every other day, as well as likes and comments on other people’s posts and wishing people happy birthday.


Besides being simple and low cost, an advantage of this approach, as Trish mentioned, is that you’re establishing rapport with people before meeting them in person. It’s a completely different conversation when someone already knows you prior to sitting down or jumping on a call with them, compared to being complete strangers and then have to build up from nothing.


What FREE marketing tactic have you used with success in your real estate business?


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Find Higher Quality Apartment Leads with This Proactive Marketing Approach

Dylan Borland – listen to my full interview with him here – is a fix-and-flipper turned apartment investor. He currently controls $10 million in real estate and is aiming to control $100 million of the next five years. His best ever advice and what he believes to be the key to his success is his unique prospecting approach.


The typical marketing approach for finding off-market deals is building a list of owners, sending out a direct mailing campaign and sitting back to wait for the phone to ring. While there is nothing inherently wrong with this tactic, Dylan prefers to take a much more proactive approach to finding deals. Instead of sending out mailers, he calls the owners directly.


Dylan obtains his list from CoStar. It includes the owner’s name, address and phone number. However, it doesn’t really matter where you get the list from, as long as it includes the owner phone number. Click here to download your free copy of 24 Proven Ways to Get Off-Market Deals, or check out all of my blog posts about lead generation to start building a list of motivated sellers.


On rare occasions, the CoStar list doesn’t include the owner’s phone number. If that is the case, Dylan finds the phone number by doing a reverse address lookup using either White Pages Premium or Vulcan 7.


When Dylan makes the phone call, he opens by saying, “Hey (owner name). I just want to introduce myself. My name is Dylan over at the Borland Group. We’re looking at buying properties in your particular area, and that’s how we found out about yours. We wanted to see if you have any interest in selling?”


Similar to direct mailing or any other prospecting technique, the majority of people won’t be interested in selling. But, you are looking for the one that does. All the person has to say is “Yeah, I have a slight interest” or “What would you offer me?”


If there is any inclination that they are interested in selling, the next step is to collect the relevant information – profit and loss statements and rent roll –  to underwrite the deal and determine an offer price.


Dylan’s prospecting approach is easy and straightforward – just pick up the phone and ask if they’re interest in selling. However, he did admit that it can be frustrating. Generally, 99 out of 100 owners won’t be interested in selling. But, since we are dealing with larger properties, you don’t need to have a high conversation rate. You just need to hit 1 out of 100, or even 1 out of 200, especially since you can easily make 100-200 phone calls in a week.


An additional advantage of this strategy is that since you are taking an active approach, you control how many conversations you have, rather than hoping an owner calls you. And then it is also less costly, because you don’t have to pay for letters, envelopes and stamps. Besides the cost of his CoStar subscription (which he pays $350/month through his brokerage), Dylan’s overall marketing budget is $1000 per month. If you find that one deal out of 100, 200 or more, you’ll more than recoup your costs.


To add to Dylan’s approach, if a specific owner isn’t interested in selling, don’t give up just yet. Follow-up by sending the owner a letter. Reference the phone conversation, provide your contact information, and tell them that you will reach out again in X months (2, 4, 6, whichever you decide is best) to see if they are interested in selling.


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The Secret To Finding Real Estate Deals In A Hot Market

Originally Published on


If you’re having difficulties with finding on-market deals at the price points that meet your investment goals, you aren’t alone. In today’s competitive market, relying on available listings as your sole source of new deals is not viable or effective, as an investment strategy.


As of September 2017, the median list price of homes is up 10% year-over-year, while the number of days on market and inventory are down 10% and 9%, respectively, according to research by In hot markets, these numbers soar far higher. Fewer deals are available, and they are selling faster and at higher prices than just a short year ago. It’s a trend that shows no signs of waning soon. In fact, CNBC recently reported that 2017 will likely turn out to be the fastest housing market on record.


The inability to find on-market deals is a frequent concern of my clients and the listeners of my podcast, Best Real Estate Investing Advice Ever. It was also the number one challenge identified at the annual real estate conference I host, the Best Ever Conference, where I survey each attendee to find out the most difficult investment challenge they’re facing and aim to solve specific investment challenges.


Finding deals in a hot market is a challenge I have faced and overcome, and now I’m able to help others do the same. Here’s my secret:


For every on-market deal an investor comes across, they should reach out to the owner of the surrounding properties and attempt to purchase two properties: the on-market property and an off-market property. More specifically, they should pursue off-market properties that naturally complement the on-market deal.


I was sent an on-market opportunity in a Dallas sub-market: an apartment building with more than 300 primarily one-bedroom units. The property’s characteristics fit perfectly into our business plan. However, due to its high publicity and it being marketed by a broker, the building price inched higher and higher. We were not confident in our ability to manage the project in a way that would achieve our investor’s goals.


We found that there was another complex directly across the street from this on-market deal: a 200-plus unit building of primarily two-and-three bedroom apartments. Our broker contacted the owner of this off-market building, and after a brief negotiation, we secured a contract to purchase the property at a significantly discounted sale price. We were concurrently in negotiations to purchase the on-market deal and felt secure in offering a higher bid than we otherwise would have if it weren’t for the complementary off-market property across the street. As a result, we were awarded the on-market deal.


Aside from finding a deal in a hot market, here are three more advantages of this strategy: 


  • Economies of scale: One major advantage to this approach is the cost savings that result from economies of scale. For example, a major apartment building’s expense is the cost of a lead maintenance supervisor. Therefore, rather than paying an on-site maintenance function to manage one property for $50,000 a year, we can split that cost across both properties. Additionally, these economies of scale can apply to many other fixed and variable expenses, including advertising and marketing, salaries and commissions for leasing office personnel, property management teams, etc.
  • Referral source: Another advantage — and the reason why I advise you to pursue complementary properties — is having a natural referral source. This applied to my particular case because the on-market property is primarily comprised of one-bedroom units and the off-market property of two-and-three bedroom units. If a potential resident is interested in a one-bedroom unit, we are covered. If they decide instead that they want more bedrooms, rather than turning them away, we send them to our property across the street.
  • Flexible underwriting: Finally, the most obvious advantage I see is the ability to be flexible with the underwriting to create a competitive offer. Essentially, you are able to tap into the discount you are receiving on the off-market property — in combination with the previous two advantages — to offset the premium paid for the on-market opportunity.


So, the advice I offer to those who are having difficulties with finding deals that are compatible with their financial goals is to create your own opportunities. Don’t just look at the on-market listings. Instead, search for properties in immediate areas surrounding the on-market deal, reach out to the owners and work toward packaging two deals into one.


Ultimately, because of our willingness to create our own opportunities in this competitive market, we were able to add two cash flowing assets to our portfolio. By following this approach on the next on-market deal you come across, you can too.


What is your secret to finding deals in today’s competitive real estate market?


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How to Build a High-Quality Sales Team That Consistently Brings You Leads

Are you having trouble finding quality leads? Or conversely, do you have so many leads that it’s impossible to contact and qualify them all? If so, hiring an inside sales person may be the solution to your problems.


A dedicated inside sales person can man the phones, contacting and qualifying incoming leads or cold-calling property owners to find off-market deals. However, you don’t want to bring on just anybody as your inside sales lead. Like hiring for any job, there is a specific process you want to follow to screen out the duds and only hire the most qualified individual.


Dale Archdekin, who has 10 years of experience selling and investing in residential real estate, is an expert at coaching and training real estate investors on building high-quality inside sales team. In our recent conversation, he provided his three step process for recruiting, interviewing and training candidates for a real estate inside sales team.


Step 1 – Recruitment


Like any hiring process, the first step is recruitment. And lucky for you, the internet allows you to complete this step with relative ease. When Dale needs to hire a new inside sales person, he simply posts advertisements on the popular job recruitment websites. “Just running different ads. Using Indeed, using ZipRecruiter, using anything that you have, pushing the ads out there just like any other job ad,” he said.


To maximize the number of potential candidates, Dale recommends that you do not only advertise for individuals with prior real estate experience. Instead, your ideal candidate only requires a background in any type of sales. He said, “That’s the one secret that I’ve figured out. A lot of teams get hung up on trying to find somebody who’s already licensed [as an agent], and in some states, there’s some very heavy requirements around actually getting a license. So, what we do is we look for people that just have sales experience, because we can teach them about the real estate process.” Dale finds that it’s difficult to teach sales skills, but learning the real estate process is much easier for most people to grasp.


Prior to conducting long-form phone or in-person interviews, in order to simplify the hiring process, Dale has interested candidates send in a verbal audition. “What you want to do is you want to get as many inquires as you can coming in, and then you want to streamline your process,” he said. “I prefer to have people calling to a phone number and leave a voicemail about themselves. I’ll just have an outgoing message that says something like ‘Okay, give me your name and your best phone number to reach you at, and then in your own words, tell my why you are the best fit for our inside sales department and why you are a sales rockstar?’.”


Once Dale receives the verbal audition, his team reviews the recording and determines if the candidate is worth pursuing further. This verbal audition approach will save you a lot of time. You don’t have to read through a bunch of resumes. Moreover, since the majority of their job will be spent on the phone, you can get a good idea of their communication style too.


Step 2 – Interview Qualified Candidates


The candidates that the pass the audition phase will move forward to step two of the hiring process, which is a role play over the phone. The first portion of the phone call is answering the standard questions about the job –  pay, location, and responsibilities. Once the candidate has an understanding of the job and are okay with the fact that they will be on the phone for over six hours per day, the role play begins. Dale said he will tell the candidate, “I’ve sent you a for-sale-by-owner script. You’re going to be the agent and I’m going to be the for-sale-by-owner. You have to set up an appointment with me. And the only way that you fail this exercise is if you let me off the phone before you ask all of the questions on the script.” In particular, they need to ask the two most important question, which are “are you interested in selling your property at this time and can we schedule an appointment to discuss this further?” When a lead comes in or when cold calling a lead, Dale’s main outcome is to determine if the lead is worth investing time in. So, if the candidate doesn’t achieve this outcome on the roleplay, they fail the interview.


The role play recreates the actual situation the candidate will be in if they are hired, so this approach will indicate if they are the right fit for the job. “If I give you explicit instructions that if you let me off the phone you fail, and you let me off the phone because you didn’t want to be too rough on me, you fail,” he said. “If you can’t do it when I specifically tell you not to get off the phone, you sure aren’t going to do it once I give you the job and I’m not listening all the time.”


Also, Dale said, “most of these people have zero real estate sales experience. So, going through that script with them … tells us what the level of sales skill they have. Because somebody with more sales skills can basically BS you through anything that they haven’t sold before. They will stay on the phone with you and they will set up an appointment with you even if they’re selling 3D laser prints and they have no idea what that is.”


If the candidate asks the money questions and passes the roleplay, Dale invites them into the office for a three-hour calling session. He said, “for the first hour or so, we teach them the script, and for the next two hours, we put them onto a recorded line and have them make real outbound calls to real consumers. Then we get to listen to that and see how they actually did.”


After making it through the entire process, which includes the verbal audition, roleplay and real phone calls to leads, Dale has enough information to make an educated decision on whether or not he should offer this individual a position.


Step 3 – Training


Once a candidate is hired, they are put through a training process. For Dale, he wants his inside sales person to be like an agent, so they are taught everything on which an actually agent would be trained. During this training, he said they’ll learn things like “How does the process work, how does financing work, mindset, time-blocking, understanding the types of leads that they’re calling and receiving, what the mindset of those leads that they’re calling and receiving, and then scripting.”


However, what Dale doesn’t want are robots that never deviate from the script. Scripts are to get them started and for them to have something to say when they call somebody. But at that point, Dale wants his sales people to use his three core principles – experience, process and outcome – to guide the conversation. He said, “For any person who’s trying to do anything or who’s objecting to you, that person has some type of experience that they’re drawing from [and] they’ve created a process in their mind that they think is going to get them an outcome that they’re trying to achieve. If you can ask enough questions to understand what their experience is, how they put that process together and what the outcome is and what it means to them, you can show them a different process that can get them to a better, faster, cheaper or easier outcome, and then you can say ‘Would you like that?’.”


Here is an example: You are speaking to a for-sale-by-owner and they say “My neighbor sold their home by themselves. They didn’t use an agent, which saved them a lot of money. I’m going to sell the house myself without an agent and I’m going to save a lot of money too.” So, an inside sales person needs to identify their experience, process and outcome. In this example, the experience is “my neighbor sold his house without an agent.” The process is “I am going to sell my house without an agent too.” And the outcome is “I want to save a lot of money.” Now that the three principles have been identified, the goal is to offer a different process that accomplishes the same or better outcome. A simple response would be “Hey, you’re absolutely right. You totally could sell this home yourself, and that’s great that your neighbor did that too. If I could show you how I could not only net you more money that it costs you to hire me and make this easier for you to do, would you consider meeting with me to discuss potentially listing your home with me?”


Who would say no to that?


How Much Do You Pay an Inside Sales Person?


It is important to understand the cost of having an inside sales team in order to determine if it is affordable. Dale pays his sales people around $2,000 to $2,500 a month as a base salary.


Since he is acquiring leads with the purpose of becoming the listing agent, his sales people are also paid percentage of the commission on a closing at the end of sale – between 5% and 10% of the gross commission income. On average, depending on the market, Dale pays between $60,000 and $120,000 annually.


Depending on your business model, your pay or bonus structure may differ – hourly, strictly commission-based, etc.




A great inside sales person will help you screen, qualify, and find high-quality leads. The three-step process for hiring this team member is:


  • Recruiting – posting ads online and obtaining a verbal audition
  • Interview – phone roleplay and in-person calling session
  • Training – teaching the experience, process, and outcome principles


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How to Get Deals from the #1 Broker in Your Market

Last Updated 8-17-2018

If you’re currently active in the real estate market, whether you’re an experienced investor or a newbie searching for your first deal, you can relate with the fact that it is becoming more and more challenging to find deals that meet your investment criteria and return goals.

A great approach to generating leads in a hot market is to partner with a local real estate brokerage (here’s my ultimate guide for finding a broker). But not just any brokerage. Due to the nature of the current real estate market, to maximize your chances of receiving high-quality deals, you should aim to partner with the number one brokerage in your market. Someone who has an established track record and a market strategy that locates the best deals in the market.

Samer Kuraishi, a broker who manages a team of over 40 agents and has done over $800 million in sales since 2012, is the type of broker you want to partner with. Samer and his team have ranked number one in the extremely competitive Washington, DC market for four years in a row. In our recent conversation, he explained how he qualifies interested investors who want to leverage his team to find deals.

When interviewing a broker, regardless of the current market conditions, it is important to realize that the ensuing relationship will be reciprocal. Typically, they are interviewing you as much as you are interviewing them. However, when you are pursuing a relationship with the number one broker in the market, the pendulum swings more to the side of the broker interviewing you. Therefore, with Samer being such a high caliber broker, his investor qualification process can give you a clear understanding of the types of questions you should be prepared to answer when asking for a top broker’s business.

Here are the five main questions he asks when qualifying a potential investor as a client.


Question #1 – Have you completed a deal before?

Samer said, “my first question is ‘have you ever done this before?’ You want to kind of gauge who you’re dealing with. Everybody wants to be an investor, everyone watches the HGTV shows and everyone wants to make some type of money.”

If you haven’t done a deal before, you will probably have an issue working with the number one broker in the market. You may be able offset your lack of experience by leveraging the expertise of your team – property manager, mentor/advisors, etc. – and their past business success or by following the advice I outlined in my blog post about how to win over an experienced real estate broker. However, don’t be surprised if your lack of experience is a disqualifying factor in the eyes of the number of broker.

If you lack experience, a good place to start is to follow the advice I outlined in two blog posts here and here.


Questions #2 – Can you send me examples of what you’ve done?

For investors who’ve completed a deal, Samer said, “I usually ask them to send me some of [their] properties. ‘Can you show me examples of what you’ve done? What did you buy that for? What did you end up making? Were you happy with that investment?’ Because you have to understand what they are used to.”

Since you know these questions are coming, you should proactively address them prior to meeting with the broker. Review the numbers on your previous deals to refresh your memory, or – even better – create a print out that shows the outcome of your deals.


Question #3 – Do you understand the market?

Samer also wants to know the investor’s knowledge of the market. He said he’ll ask, “Do they even understand this market, or are they coming from a different city that’s across the county and they’re coming here? Do they even understand the price points?”

The number one broker in the market doesn’t have an interest or the time to educate you on the market. Therefore, performing a market evaluation, and maybe even preparing a market summary, is advised.


Questions #4 – How would you finance a potential deal?

Additionally, Samer will question an investor about their financing situation. “Is it your money that you’re deal with? What type of financing are you doing? Are you getting a loan? Are you paying cash? If you’re paying cash, is it your capital?”

Ultimately, the number one broker will want to confirm that you are capable of financing a deal and that you are the main decision maker. They likely won’t have the patience to work with someone who can’t close or to play the game of telephone to reach the person who calls the shots.


Questions #5 – What are your goals?

Lastly, Samer wants to know about the investor’s goals. This includes their overarching vision, but also their deal criteria. For example, if an investor is looking for distressed properties, Samer wants to know if they have their own contractor and construction crew, or is that something they will be asking Samer to provide? Or, if they want to invest $500,000, do they have realistic expectations about the property type and size and returns from that sized investment?



If you want to find deals in a hot market, partner with the best brokerage in your market. However, unlike your typical broker conversation, the outcome depends heavily on your answers to their questions, rather than the other way around.

Samer Kuraishi, the number one broker in Washington, DC, asks these five questions when interviewing an investor who is interested in becoming a client:

  1. Have you completed a deal before?
  2. Can you send me examples of deals you’ve done?
  3. Do you understand the market?
  4. How would you finance a potential deal?
  5. What are your goals?

Expect these questions going into the interview and prepare accordingly.


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The Ultimate Guide to Finding an Apartment Broker

One of the real estate professionals you want as a part of your real estate team is a broker. A great broker is one that sends you deals, and more specifically, sends you off-market deals. However, like all relationships, it must be reciprocal. Most likely, the broker will have countless investors asking them for deals. Therefore, when approaching a conversation with a new broker, it is important to realize that they are interviewing you as much as you are interviewing them.


Read on for tips on how to approach these broker conversations. First, I will provide a list of questions you need to ask them. Next, I will outline how you can win the broker over to your side by focusing on coming across as a serious, credible investor who will close a deal. Finally, I will provide a list of questions the broker may ask and that you should be prepared to answer.


Questions to Ask the Broker


When interviewing a broker, you need to know your outcome of the conversation. For me, as an apartment syndicator, my main goal is to determine their level of experience and success with apartment communities that are comparable to my investment criteria.


To accomplish this goal, here is a list of 11 questions to ask during the interview:


  1. What is your transaction volume?
  2. How many successful closes have you experienced in the last year?
  3. How long have you been working as an agent? How long have you focused on apartments?
  4. How many listing do you currently have?
  5. How do you find deals?
  6. Do you offer both on-market and off-market deals?
  7. What stage is the local apartment market in?
  8. What is your specialty?
  9. What are the top three things that separate you from your competition?
  10. Will you please provide references?
  11. What haven’t I asked you that I need to know?


Ideally, we want to find a broker that will send us an endless supply of off-market apartment deals. However, don’t bank on this, especially in the beginning phases of the relationship. But after you’ve proven to the broker that you’re the real deal, successfully closing on a few deals, it will become more and more likely that you will be the first person who is notified when they have a new off-market deal. It just comes with time.


How Do I Win Over a Broker?


Again, when interviewing a broker, it’s important to realize that they are interviewing you too. Therefore, put yourself in their shoes and ask yourself “what are they looking for when deciding whether or not to bring on a new client?”


Since brokers are paid a commission at the sale of a property, their number one motivator is to close on a deal as quickly and as easily as possible. They don’t like tire kickers, wannabe investors who waste their time asking a bunch of questions but never close on a deal. Their ideal client is an investor who has a proven track record of closing on deals. So, if you don’t have previous investing experience, that will be your number one challenge.


To win over a broker during a conversation, you need to sell yourself and your business and build rapport. If you have past investing experience, you shouldn’t have an issue selling yourself. If you don’t however, what relevant experience do you have that will convey to the broker that you are serious about closing deals? Have you successfully completed projects in a non-real estate related field? Have you started a business in the past?


If you are struggling to come up with relevant experiences, this is where having a reputable team comes into play. Sell your team members. Talk about your real estate mentor or advisor’s real estate experience. Tell them about the number of apartments your property management company manages. And bring up any other relevant relationships you’ve formed (i.e. contractors, attorneys, CPAs, your meetup group or thought leadership platform, etc.)


Along with the asking them business questions, to build rapport, get to know something personal about them. Find out something that’s important to them and bring it up with genuine interest next time you meet. A quick way to accomplish this is to ask, after having already established yourself, “what’s been the highlight of your week?”


Finally, I recommend preparing an opening statement or elevator pitch. If you already have a deal in mind, you can say, “I’d like to discuss making an offering on ABC apartment.” Or, another example would be saying “I am working with ABC Property Management and will be buying a property in (city name) in the next few months.” The purpose of the opening statement is to grab the attention of the broker, come across as a serious investor, and address their “want” – which is to close on an apartment – from the start.


Questions to be Prepared to Answer


Don’t expect the broker to simply answer your questions, chat about their business and personal life and then get up and walk away. If they are seriously interested in bringing you on as a client, they will want to ask you questions as well. Therefore, you need to proactively brainstorm questions they may ask and have ready-made answers.


Here is a list of 9 potential questions an interested broker will ask you during the interview:


  1. Who is your property management company?
  2. How many units to they manage?
  3. Are they local?
  4. Have you (or someone on your team) purchased an apartment building before?
  5. What type of deals are you looking for? What markets are you looking in?
  6. How did you find me?
  7. Will you sign an exclusive agreement with me so I can get you the best deals?
  8. What are your expectations?
  9. Can I see a biography of you and your partners?


And as you interview brokers, if you are asked questions you’re not prepared to answer, make a note and tell them you will find that answer right after the meeting and send them an answer.


In today’s market, buyers are a dime a dozen. So, many brokers will simply brush off an investor who is looking to purchase deals. Ultimately, a broker will bring more deals to buyers that they like to work with, and the types of buyers that like to work with are the ones who will close and not lose a deal due to inexperience, laziness or passivity. However, by following the approach outlined above, you will come across as a credible investor who can make aggressive offers and back them up by closing the deal.


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To Source Real Estate Deals And Generate More Wealth, Start A Monthly Meetup

Originally featured on here


Having interviewed over a thousand business and real estate entrepreneurs on my podcast, one of the most valuable pieces of advice I’ve gotten is how to start an in-person meetup group. From a business development standpoint, the educational benefits, relationships formed and the potential for direct monetization have been instrumental to the growth of both the investors who attend and a business’s growth. In fact, it’s been so successful for my business that I require my clients to start their own in-person meetups within their local market.


In general, the advent of the internet has given us the capability to connect with like-minded strangers more easily than ever before. And while forums, blogs and social media allow you to join any number of virtual communities, other platforms promote the formation of in-person communities. One such outgrowth I take advantage of is meetup websites.


No matter how mainstream or obscure your interests might be, there’s a meetup group for you., one of the more popular meetup sites, boasts a membership of 32.3 million people participating in over 288,000 meetup groups across 182 countries.


Interested in joining a community of psychic vampires? There’s a group for you. Want to relive a cherished childhood freeze tag experience? Don’t worry. There’s a group for you, too.


Of course, as a real estate entrepreneur, I’m not as interested in meeting vampires or playing freeze tag as I am in leveraging popular internet advancements to scale my business. Since online-generated meetup groups is a relatively new concept, and monetized meetups even more so, many people don’t know how to get started.


And starting a meetup can be nerve-racking — especially if you’re an introvert. This anxiety will be the No. 1 enemy keeping you from actually scheduling your first event. That’s why I advise you avoid spending an inordinate amount of time planning and structuring the perfect meetup event. Instead, simply focus on starting it.


A successful meetup group can be pretty informal. One investor I interviewed, Anson Young, has been hosting a meetup for over three years with very little structure. Once a month, Anson and about 70 other investors meet at a local beer hall. For three hours, they just drink beer and talk real estate. There’s no agenda or scheduled speaker. It’s just good old-fashioned networking, a time for investors to chat, solve any problems they’re facing, team up on real estate projects, and most importantly, learn from each other’s mistakes and successes. Even so, in just three years, Anson’s made six figures directly from partnerships and relationships formed at the meetup. That’s a return of nearly $1,000 per hour spent simply drinking beer and networking.


Starting a meetup group like Anson’s at a local bar is an easy and informal option, but maybe you’re a little more conscientious and orderly, like me. I created a meetup that’s much more structured than Anson’s, which is broken into four parts:


  1. Presentation: Each meeting begins with a short presentation from an active real estate professional or attendee.
  2. Share opportunities: Attendees have the opportunity to share deals with the group — maybe they’re trying to sell a deal, find a partner, or have questions on a deal under contract.
  3. Business updates: Each person provides a 90-second update on the latest in their business.
  4. Open floor: I allot the remaining time, about an hour, for networking, closing deals, sharing information and forming business partnerships.


Overall, the meeting lasts two hours.


Both Anson and I run our meetup groups on a monthly basis. Our primary objectives are to educate and build relationships — efforts that indirectly result in more deals, more business partnerships and more money in the long run. But if you want an even more direct avenue to financial gains from a meetup, create a rockstar-level meetup like real estate entrepreneur Taylor Peugh, and turn the group into a deal-generating machine.


Taylor hosts a meetup — not once a month, or even once a week — but four times a week. Three of the meetups are dinners and the other is a lunch. About 30 to 40 unique investors attend each meetup, which means Taylor networks with 100 to 150 real estate entrepreneurs every week. The result? Every rental property, wholesale, and the majority of the fix-and-flip projects he negotiates stem directly from someone he met at his meetup. For Taylor, a meetup group isn’t just a space to educate and build relationships; it’s the main source of his investment gains.


Want to replicate Taylor’s success?


Here’s the agenda for his meetups:


  1. Check-in: At check-in, attendees must answer: “What are you doing right now that will move you forward in the next 30 days?”
  2. Recognize wins: Each person describes what they accomplished personally, or in their business, that week.
  3. Needs and wants: Attendees have the opportunity to ask for anything they need. For example, “I need a plumber,” or “Does anyone know a good CPA?”
  4. Property pitches: This is where Taylor makes his money; anyone who has an active deal can present it to the group to see if anyone has an interest in buying, partnering, or funding it.
  5. Open floor: The end of the dinner/lunch is an open Q&A session where attendees can ask any questions they want.


Hosting a meetup is one of the best ways to create valuable relationships, learn about real estate from those active in the field, and find deals and create partnerships that generate wealth in other the short and long-term. I’ve provided three meetup examples above, ranging from monthly, informal beer hall gatherings to powerhouse groups that meet four times a week, but in reality, the sky’s the limit. There are an infinite number of ways you can structure your meetup group.


But don’t forget the most important step: Get over your fear or procrastination and host your first event!


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How to Get a 57% Response Rate on Your Direct Mail Campaigns

How to Get a 57% Response Rate on Your Real Estate Direct Mail Marketing

If you are sending out direct mail on a frequent basis, what is your response rate (i.e. the ratio of phone calls, text messages, emails, or other forms of communication in response to a piece of marketing to the overall pieces of marketing sent)?




As far as I can tell, based on interviews on my podcast and from perusing the BiggerPockets forum, the average response rate range for real estate direct mail marketing campaigns falls somewhere between 0.5% and 5%.


single silver metal mailbox


However, what if I told you that you could increase that rate by a factor of 10 to 100?

Well, Jay Connor, who fix-and-flips 2-3 deals a month with an average profit of $64,000, created a real estate direct mail marketing campaign with a 57% cumulative response rate!* That is 10 to 100 times greater than the average rate!


*Cumulative response rate is the ratio of owner responses to the number of owners contacted. It is not based on the total pieces of marketing sent. For example, if 100 owners were contacted with 200 pieces of mail, and 10 replied on the first piece of mail and 10 replied on the second piece of mail, for a total of 20 replies, the cumulative response rate is 20% (20 replies / 100 owners), not 10% (20 replies / 200 piece of mail)


How does he do it? In our recent conversation, Jay outlined his 8-step real estate direct mail marketing campaign that resulted in a response rate of almost 60%**.


**Keep in mind that all 57% of the replies did not result in a deal. Angry responses count too!


RELATED: Success Blueprint – How to Direct Mail to Delinquent Tax Lists


Principle #1 – Multi-Piece, Intensifying Campaign

According to Jay, there are two keys to receiving such a high response rate for your real estate direct mail marketing effort and knowing how to direct mail campaign projects.


six white, empty envelopesFirst, you must send out a multi-piece campaign with each subsequent letter being an escalation of the last, as opposed to a single-piece campaign or a multi-piece campaign with each lettering being the same.


For Jay, he sends 8-different pieces of marketing to owners. He said, “Each message starts intensifying a little bit more and more. Each letter looks different; each letter is in a different envelope; each envelope is hand addressed; each envelope is a different color and different size. By the time we get to number seven and we get to number eight – we’re using a very big envelope on seven and eight – they actually get a gold tube with a rattle inside of it, just for the sake of curiosity. So of course, with each letter we also start talking about how time is running out and times is of the essence.”


RELATED: 3 Unique Ways to Increase Your Network and Generate More Leads


For context, that last part (“time is of the essence”) is in reference to the foreclosure date, because Jay’s main focus is on pre-foreclosed properties. Since these are pre-foreclosure properties, Jay said, “we also mail these letters three days apart. So here in North Carolina, from the time of a notice of default until the hearing day is typically about 4-6 weeks. After the hearing day, then the sale date is about two weeks after that. So it’s about eight weeks from the time of the notice of default. So, at three days apart we’re going through these letters about every 24 days, and we’ll keep mailing the letters until we have a response or until the house goes to sale.”


Besides making certain changes based on your target property, the messaging for each letter, Jay said, is an iteration of “if you’re interested in a solution and having some cash to put in your pocket, reach out to us and we’ll see what we can do.”


To summarize, you goal is to create a schedule to send multiple letters for your real estate direct mail marketing project with each being a different design and more intense than the previous letter and continuing to do so until the deal is 100% off-the-table (property was sold, owner asked to be removed from your mailing list, etc.).


RELATED: Three Marketing Methods to Wholesale 250 Deals a Year


Principle #2 – Offer Multiple Response Communication Channels

Jay continued, “One principle of marketing—whether you’re a real estate investor or in any other industry—is the more ways that you give a potential respondent to respond, the more response you get.”


Similar to the escalation of messaging, letter quality, envelope size and color, etc., for each letter, Jay offers additional ways for the owner to reply, and he has found that to increase his response rate substantially.


RELATED: How to Successfully Market for Real Estate Leads with TV Commercials


His progression is as follows:

  • Letter #1Cell phone number with an individual’s name (for Jay’s campaigns, this is a virtual assistant’s name) for them to call
  • Letter #2 – Cell phone number and email address
  • Letter #3 – Cell phone number, email address, and 24-hour recorded message hotline (because some owners are turned off by the prospect of talking to someone)
  • Letter #4 – Cell phone number, email address, hotline, and a tear-off where the owner can write down their information and mail the tear off back to Jay
  • Letter #5 – Cell phone number, email address, hotline, tear-off and (this will blow your mind) a fax number
  • Letter #6 and onwards – Cell phone number, email address, hotline, tear-off, fax number, and a number to text


Finally, for each letter, Jay provides a web address that sends them to a landing page. Overall, he offers seven different ways for the owner to reply for letters in his real estate direct mail marketing drive.


woman writing letter


RELATED: The Most Effective Lead Generation Tactics & Importance of Follow Up



Jay Connor, an investor who fix-and-flips foreclosed SFRs, conducts an 8-step real estate direct mail marketing campaign that receives a 57% cumulative response rate. Sometimes he receives a response on the first letter; sometimes he receives a response on the 8th letter; sometimes he receives a response with someone cussing him out.


In order to increase your response rate, Jay recommends following two marketing principles: (1) create a progressive, intensifying, multi-piece mailing campaign and (2) offer multiple response communication channels. To listen to the podcast that inspired this post, as well as thousands of other episodes full of valuable insight, tune into The Best Ever Show. Additionally, complete the application form to work with me on one of my real estate deals.

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How to Use Your Personal Facebook Page to Generate More Leads


As of March 2017, there are over 1.94 billion monthly active users on Facebook, which is more than WhatsApp, Twitter, and Instagram combined. Every 60 seconds, 510,000 comments are posted, 293,000 statuses are updated, and 136,000 photos are uploaded.


With the right marketing strategy, Facebook can be a goldmine for leads no matter what real estate niche you are in.


Rachel Adams, who hit the top 1000 agents in the country list for the Wall Street Journal, sold 58 homes last year from Facebook alone. In our recent conversation, she outlined her simple strategy that any real estate professional can instantaneously apply to get more leads.


Rachel’s social media strategy consists of 4 rules:


  • 3 to 5 posts per week
  • 5 categories
  • Ask questions
  • Follow-up on comments


“What I’ve done is I created kind of a business model around social media,” Rachel said. “I post 3 to 5 times a week. I make sure that when I post, I’m asking questions, and asking a question so that someone wants to interact with me. And I’m really intentional about what I put out there. What I suggest to people is to pick five things they are passionate about.”


Rachel finds that a lot of people have a hard time figuring out what are those five areas to post about. She said, “I always say take your five passions. Five things your passionate about. One of those – easy peasy – is your business, real estate investing. And the other four, that’s up to you. It could be your family, it could be sports. It’s really up to you.”


For Rachel, her passionate categories are obviously her business, but also, health and fitness, motivational posts, her relationship, and healthy eating. “For me, if you know me at all, you know that I’m all about fitness and health. [Also, I do] motivational posts. I’m getting married this year so I’m very intentional about my relationship and sharing some of the things that work for me. I love cooking so I talk about healthy eating, and I also talk about business. However, it’s not always ‘Do you want to buy or sell a house?’”


Rachel’s final rule is to always follow up with comments, or what she calls don’t post and ghost. “If you take the time to make a post and you ask a question and people take their time to respond to you, then it is your job to respond back to them, to engage with them. It’s not like, ‘Poof! I made a post. You just need to make 3 to 5 posts. I did it!’ That’s not quite it. Follow up with what they say because people work with people they like, and they like you, and they want to know you.”


Rachel received 19 referrals in May 2016 through Facebook by posting about a vulnerable personal experience where she was called out by her business coach. She was behind on her goals so her business coach asked her what she was going to do, to which Rachel replied, “I don’t know.” Her business coach said, “that’s not the answer I want to hear. What are you going to do?” After going back and forth with her coach, Rachel decided to print out 500 fliers and knock on doors. As a result, she received four leads in two hours, and three of those leads resulted in sales.


Rachel used this experience to create a Facebook post. She said, “I decided to just be honest and I was like, ‘Listen guys, I got called out. Just because you see this fancy mega agent persona, you need to know that if I stop generating leads today, I stop being a mega agent. And guess what? I’m behind [on my] goals.’ I shared my story and I also said, ‘By the way, if any of you want a copy of my script or a copy of my flier, leave your e-mail below.’”


As a result of this honest, transparent post about how she was able to turn a mistake into three deals, Rachel received 580 replies. “That’s 580 people I could add to my database,” she said. “Because I’m the type of agent who does what I say I’ll do, I wrote them an email, I gave them a copy of the script, I gave them a copy of the flier.” She received 19 referrals that month because at the end of the email, she said, “By the way, if you got any value from this, I hope you remember that I’m your gal in Northern California if you have any referrals to send my way.”


Another non-business related post that received a lot of engagement is when Rachel posted about radishes. Yes…radishes.


“I showed a radish recipe – grilled radishes, which is so bizarre,” she said. “I had 23 shares on that post. 23 shares. Not just comments. This is like people actually sharing my post. And you know that’s the most powerful thing. It’s one thing to have a like, even better to have a comment, but when someone shares it, then you have a whole other audience you’re tapping into.”


The main idea behind the Facebook posts are not what can I get? but I’m going to ask questions, give and then say by the way, I happen to be in the business of buying and selling houses.


“It’s all about leading. It’s also called stalking,” Rachel said. “I believe people want to be asked questions and they want to know that you care. If you’re that person who’s constantly contributing to their lives, giving back, and caring about them, you’re the person they go to.”


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Three Ways to Cultivate Word-of-Mouth Referrals

Word-of-mouth referrals is one of the most, if not the most, powerful marketing tool to develop. According to a 2016 Nielsen’s Harris Poll online, 82% of Americans say they seek recommendations from friends and family when considering a purchase.

I can attest to this fact because word-of-mouth referrals is also one of my top sources of new private investors for my multifamily syndication business.

Mac Prichard, who is the founder and publisher of Mac’s List, an online community for people looking for rewarding, meaningful work, was able to create and grow a $600,0000 a year business through word-of-mouth referrals. “I started my business as just telling people about job openings,” Mac said. “I didn’t realize how valuable the information was that I was sharing, but the people that I shared it with did, and they shared it with others. That power of word-of-mouth and the relationship that I built as I grew my community has just been a huge part of the success of Mac’s List.”

In our recent conversation, Mac outlined the 3 ways he cultivates word-of-mouth referrals to generate $600,000 a year in revenue.


#1 – Collecting Testimonials

One way Mac generates word-of-mouth referrals is through creating testimonials from his satisfied customers. “We find that collecting testimonials from both employers and job seekers helps promote that word-of-mouth [referral business],” Mac said. “It also adds authenticity to our work because when we do publish testimonials on our website, we ask job seekers to share success stories on our blog, we ask people if we can publish their full name and their photos, and people who read these stories or see these testimonials, they see people who look like them, or are chasing jobs they want, and they can identify.”

Social proof is another powerful method of attracting and retaining customers, so testimonials not only result in word-of-mouth referrals, but has the added benefit of social proof as well. When you are seeking out a new restaurant, for example, not only do you ask friends and family for their thoughts, but you likely use services like Yelp! to see others reviews of the restaurant. Same thing when you are buying a book or product on Amazon. Your real estate services are no different. People will be much more likely to work with you if they can see others who have been successful with you in the past. And creating testimonials is the best way to show the success your service had with past clients.

Mac’s testimonials are simple. He just uses text and photos (click here for an example). However, if you want an extra level of engagement, consider creating video testimonials. Videos create an extra emotional connection that can be much more powerful than what you get with the written word alone.


#2 – Personalized LinkedIn Messages

Whenever Mac meets someone at a networking event, dinner, etc. and has a meaningful conversation (not just shaking hands and saying hello), he will connect with them on LinkedIn. When he sends the invitation, however, he will include a personal note, just a sentence or two, reminding the person how they met and what they discussed.

Sending these personalized LinkedIn requests results in word-of-mouth referrals, Mac said, “because so much of business … is about building relationships and getting to know people, and eventually liking and trusting them, and that’s how deals are made.”

In Mac’s specific business, most jobs get filled by word-of-mouth referrals. “There are estimates out there that up to eight out of ten jobs are never advertised and are filled by conversations between peers,” he said, which is in alignment with the 82% statistic I provided in the beginning of this post.

Mac said, “There’s no conspiracy here. You don’t have to have gone to a fancy school, it’s just human nature. People tend to want to work with people they know, like and trust, or who are recommended to them by people they trust.”

Another advantage of the LinkedIn personalized message is that LinkedIn will save all the message. That way, if you need to reach out to that person in the future, you can go back to the original message and remind yourself where you met them and what you talked about. That added personal touch will go a long way!


#3 – Never Turn Down Meetings

Mac gets approached all the time with people asking him for advice. He has always made it a point to never turn down an opportunity to have a conversation with someone. “If somebody wants to meet with me, even if I don’t know them, I will make the time,” Mac said. “Sometimes it takes a while to get on my calendar, but I will see people, and I do it without any expectation of getting anything in return.”

In doing so, Mac finds that he gets so much back in return. He said, “The relationships and connections that I make through those conversations – and I’ve been doing them for years now – keeps paying dividends for years to follow.”

Mac has the same approach for aspiring competition as well. He said, “I’m often approached by people who say ‘you’ve got a great business here. I think I’d like to do a job board like you’ or ‘I’d like to be a career coach.’ Some people might say ‘gosh, I’m sorry. I don’t have the time to talk to you,’ but for me, my response is always ‘the waters fine, jump right in. Let me share with you what I’ve learned about building this business online.’”

With this approach to speaking with the competition, Mac said two things will happen. “One is if they’re going to be successful – the person I’m meeting with who wants to get into this space – they’re going to specialize. They’re going to find a niche that I’m not serving. The other thing that’s going to happen is they’re going to be a partner and an ally down the road.”

I wholeheartedly embrace this approach. I raise money for apartments, so everyone I meet is a potential investor, either immediately or sometime down the road. Also, I have conversations with other investors all the time on my podcast to add value to my business, but my listener’s businesses as well.



The majority of a business’s new clients come from word-of-mouth referrals. The three main ways to cultivate word of mouth referrals are:

  • Collecting and posting testimonials from satisfied customers
  • Sending personalized LinkedIn messages to new people you meet
  • Never turning down a meeting, if with competitors


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4 Principles to Source Capital from High Net-Worth Individuals and Find Off-Market Deals

In February 2017, we hosted the first annual Best Ever Conference in Denver, CO. To kick off the conference, I gave a keynote address (to watch my address, click here).


The conference was unique in that I asked each attendee to submit the answer to the following question: What are current obstacles you are trying to overcome in your real estate business?Rather than create a conference the way I wanted to, I created it around the personal obstacles of each individual attendee.


After read over one hundred submissions, the common thread I found between everyone’s obstacle was two-fold: raising investment capital and finding more off-market real estate deals.


In keeping with the personalized theme of the conference, I formed my keynote address so that at its conclusion, all attendees would have practical takeaways for how to raise money and find off-market real estate deals.


Here are the four tactics I provided:

1 – Build Your Network

When I interviewed Robert Kiyosaki (listen to the full interview here), he said, “the richest people in the world build networks. Everyone else looks for work.”


The most important thing that we can do to play the long game in real estate investing is to build a network. I have found that the best way to do this (and what I attribute to the majority of my success) is to create a thought leadership platform.


A thought leadership platform can come to life in one of four ways: 1) a podcast, 2) a YouTube channel, 3) a blog, and 4) an in-person event.


The keys to having a successful thought leadership platform or network are:


Consistency – For example, I host the world’s longest running daily real estate investing podcast.


Identify what your unique angle will be – I have two clients with military background. One was in the Army and the other was in the Air Force. They created a lease-option business and YouTube channel called “Joint Ops.” Due to launching this brand, they now raise over $200,000 a month in private money.


Start within Your Sphere of Influence – When you are starting a thought leadership platform, you are not going to get instant results from people who don’t know you. However, your sphere of influence that already exists will begin to know what you are doing and you will start to become the thought leaders within that sphere. It takes a lot of time and consistency to get strangers into your sphere, but you’ll get instantaneous results from people who already know you (i.e. friends, family, work colleagues, etc.). That’s how I raised $1 million for my first deal.


Tie into a Large Distribution Channel – Don’t recreate the wheel. Leverage an existing channel with a large network. For example, with a YouTube channel, you have access to millions of potential viewers. With a podcast, you can tap into the billions of ears on iTunes. With a blog, post to your own website, but also to BiggerPockets, LinkedIn,, and social media to begin to create a following. With a meet-up, it’s a little trickier. However, someone in my network moved to Atlanta, partnered up with an existing meet-up host, and had 90 investors at his first meet-up!

2 – Ask Better Questions

Whenever I have a meeting with a client, I always ask them to tell me what is the best thing that’s happened to them since the last time we spoke. For some of my newer clients, their response will be, “oh, not that bad.” While that may seem innocuous, when we dissect it, what are they saying? They aren’t saying things are good, that’s for sure.


We have to be very careful with our language. Even though they are saying they aren’t bad, they are still using the word bad, a negative word. As far as I’m concerned, this puts us in the wrong mindset. The same applies to the questions we ask. When I was reading through the obstacles of the attendees of the conference, I read things like, “What happens if I raise money, but I don’t find a deal?” or “What happens if a deal doesn’t work out?” or “What happens if I can’t raise the money.” Instead, we have to ask better questions that don’t assume we are going to fail. Re-frame the question to “how do people who are great at raising investment capital and finding deals successful?” Model them, stick with them, and grow together.

3 – Create Opportunities

To find deals in a hot market, we have to be creative and create our own opportunities. Read here for an example of how I was able to find an off-market real estate deal while touring an on-market deal and added both to my portfolio.

4 – Partner Up

When I was a solo investor, I purchase four single-family homes and one large apartment building, and then my business remained stagnant for a few years. Once I partnered up with someone who complements my strengths and helps me with my weakness, my growth skyrocketed; I was able to added over $100 million worth of properties to my portfolio.


To find the perfect partner like I did, it’s important to know yourself. It takes a little bit of time and experience, but after completing a few deals, look in the mirror and ask yourself, “What am I really good at and what am I really bad at?”


Build a team around those answers and once you do that, your business is going to flourish.


Personally, after my first syndication deal, I realized I was great at raising investment capital and marketing, but I was terrible at underwriting and asset management. My partner has an institutional background, so he is phenomenal at the underwriting and asset management. Therefore, we complemented each other perfectly, which is why we’ve been able to scale so quickly.


In order to raise more money and find more off-market real estate deals, you must:


  • Build your network through a thought leadership platform
  • Re-frame your mind and ask better questions
  • Create opportunities rather than wait for opportunities
  • Partner up with someone who complements your strengths and weaknesses
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How the Millennial Millionaire Next Door Finds Endless Streams of Deals


Wouldn’t it be amazing if you never ran out of deals? Well, by asking the right questions and presenting the right offers, your investment opportunities could be endless.


Whitney Nicely, who is a contractor, broker, auctioneer, investor and self-proclaimed Millennial Millionaire Next Door, coaches real estate investors on how to uncover the best deals in the market. The reason why she can teach this investment strategy is because she’s followed it herself. She’s purchased industrial land, single families, small multifamily properties, and large multifamily buildings putting little money down, using creative investment strategies, and at prices below market value.


In our recent conversation, Whitney explained how she approaches deals in order to continue to find an endless stream of highly motivated sellers.


Whitney’s Best Ever advice for finding deals is simple to say, but difficult in practice – Keep going! “Keep going,” Whitney said. “If it’s a good deal, keep going. If it’s a bad deal, keep going. Don’t stop, keep going. My favorite Bible verse is Proverbs [31:16], which says that she goes to inspect a field, and she buys it. So ladies, go buy it. Men, go buy it. Figure it out, get a plan and go buy it.”


Now you may be thinking to yourself, “Well obviously Joe. But what does she mean ‘If it’s a bad deal, keep going?’ We don’t want to buy bad deals, right?”


Right. However, when Whitney says, “keep going,” she doesn’t mean, “keep buying.” The goal is to always press the seller for their pain point. “Whenever I’m buying a property, whether I’m buying land or a house or an apartment complex – and I teach all my students this – you have to find out what the seller’s pain is,” Whitney said. “If you can solve somebody’s problem, you’ll never run out of opportunities. If you’re afraid to ask what their pain is, or if you keep finding people with no pain, you need to go find somebody else, because there’s plenty of people out here in the world with properties they don’t want, houses they don’t want to take care of, and they just want somebody to come through and take this headache away from them so they can sleep at night. So as long as you’re actually helping people and not trying to be sleazy or slummy or anything like that, you’ll never run out of buying opportunities.”


If someone is selling a property, they are doing it for a reason. Likely, the reason is to alleviate some sort of pain. Whitney said, “Another thing I tell my students is it may not be that a lump sum cash payout is what [the seller is] stressed over. If that’s what their pain is, then solve that pain.”


If you can’t find the pain point, or the seller doesn’t have one, then Whitney’s next step is to make an offer. Not just one offer, but three. Providing multiple offers is a good way to indirectly discover a seller’s hidden pain point (or another pain point). Whitney said, “When you go look at a house, don’t be a one-hit wonder. Don’t make one offer. Don’t solve just one thing and then be like ‘Poof! I’m gone.’ I want you to take a cash offer. I want you to take a five-year payout offer, and a ten-year payoff number. You’d be surprised.” For example, Whitney submitted these three offers on a past deal and walked away with a 15-year owner-financed deal with no money down, no down payments for four months, and a completely reasonable monthly payment. She said, “Be open for those and never stop negotiating.”


The cash offer would be so low that if the seller accepted, it would be the best deal ever. Then, the five-year payout offer is higher and the ten-year payout would be the highest. For the payout offers, you can either form the deal so that you must have them paid off or you can form it with a balloon payment. When that five or ten years is up, you’ll have a massive net worth and you can cash out, you’ll have private money investors or partners to cash you out, the tenant buyer will cash you out (if you signed a five or ten year lease option with your tenant), or you can renegotiate with the original seller and make another deal.


Whitney’s best ever deal was her last deal, which was a creative/pain point combo. “I had a house. It was three-bedroom, two-bath, and the backside of it had caught on fire a number of years back (pain point #1). I had it under contract for a lease option for $6,000 with $100 [down] and $200/month paid off whenever it was I paid off $6,000, so 5 to 6 years at $200/month,” she said. “I sold it on a lease option for $12,000, with $5,000 down and $300/month. So I bought it for $6,000, I sold it for $12,000. This morning, I was talking to my seller and he was like, ‘Well what if we didn’t do the lease option? How much would you give me just to cash out?’ (pain point #2) and I said, ‘I could give you $3000,’ and he said, ‘Okay fine.’ So now I bought the house, people gave me $5000, I’m giving it to my seller, and I get to keep $2000, and now I’m cash flowing $300/month on a $7,000 balance.” In this scenario, the seller just wanted cash now, not later, to be out of the property. Whitney gave the seller $3000 of the $5000 tenant’s down payment and won’t have to pay the seller another dime.


Related: Two Creative Rent-To-Own Strategies with NOTHING Out-of-Pocket


Whitney’s parting advice is to “Keep going. Find out what they really want, give it to them, and make sure you are okay.”


To hear about more of Whitney’s creative deals, including how she got two tenants to lease out a piece of vacant land, click here.



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How to Successfully Market for Real Estate Leads with TV Commercials

Direct mail, driving for dollar, door knocking, online advertising…there are so many methods for real estate investor marketing to choose from. How do you determine which is the most effective?


The short answer is that it depends on your investment niche and more importantly, your market.


Tony Javier, who has 16 years of real estate experience and does over 100 transactions a year, uses multiple marketing methods to find leads. He started with phonebook ads, and later added direct mail, radio, Facebook, and Google ads.


But in our recent conversation, he said, “TV is out number one lead source.” That’s right. Tony is the Billy Jean of real estate commercials (Remember those catchy OxyClean commercials).


Here’s how he does it.

Preparation and Execution of TV Commercials

Fortunately, Tony had an advantage in this real estate investor marketing niche because he was a well-known real estate agent in his market prior to airing real estate commercials on TV. He said, in regards to why he pursued TV commercials, “I just kind of wanted to ride that wave and put my face on the commercials so that people could correlate it. It’s really paid off because people that I haven’t talked to in years – or maybe went to high school with – are sending me leads because they’ve seen my face on the TV.”


Unlike most advertising methods you can do sitting in your pajamas at home, running TV ads takes more effort, and in Tony’s case, time. He doesn’t live in the market where his ads are aired. He lives in San Diego and runs ads in Wichita, Kansas.


“Every time I go to Wichita – every three months or so – I usually film another commercial,” Tony said. But once in studio, “it takes like 15 minutes for me to go in and shoot a commercial. I script it, I practice it a couple of times, I go in there, I take a few cuts of whatever it is I’m going to say, they cut up the commercial to make it look good, and then they produce the backend of it.”


Tony has a standard template for his real estate commercials where most aspects stay the same. “The message changes, but our jingle’s the same, our phone number’s the same, [and] some of the graphics are the same. It’s really just the message per commercial [that] changes, and really, our message doesn’t change that much.”


For the messaging of the commercial, it’s very similar to the messaging used for other, standard real estate investor marketing methods. “It’s pretty simple,” Tony said. “It’s ‘We pay cash, close quickly.’ That’s really what we do in any of our marketing methods: we look at the pain points that they have and make sure we hit those. A lot of people don’t want to do work to their houses. A lot of people need cash quickly. A lot of people don’t like the hassle of having to hire a realtor and go through that whole process. We say, ‘No hassle,’ in our commercial as well. We just hit the pain points.”


Now, if the prospect of speaking in front of a camera terrifies you, that doesn’t mean you can’t do TV commercials. It’s going to cost a little bit more to have someone else star in your commercial, but Tony said, “you can give them your ideas, they can put graphics in, they can put someone else’s audio in there and produce it for you… As long as you’re hiring the right person, you should have a pretty good product at the end to use”.

Costs of TV Commercials

Both the cost of production and the cost of the actual TV spot vary greatly from location to location. Tony airs his TV ads in Wichita, Kansas, and he says, “I’m in a smaller market, so it’s not as expensive as some markets. For example, I looked in Tampa, Florida and it’s just outrageous to market to that area because you have so many suburbs and a huge reach. So first of all, it’s expensive, so you can check in your area if you want to do TV [to see] if [it’s] going to be reasonable for you.”


For producing the real estate commercials in Wichita, Tony is only charged a few hundred dollars. “Every time we do a commercial, they shoot it, and really they just charge us the time to shoot it,” he said, “And then they produce it for us because we’re buying ad space from them.”


For the cost of the TV spots, it depends on what time the commercials air. When starting out, Tony bought filler spaces, but he bought some primetime spots and tested both to see if the cost per lead made sense to his real estate investor marketing strategy. The filler spaces were $1 to $10 while the primetime spots were $50 to $150.


Tony said the filler spots were the first spots he would fill since they were cheaper because the station “didn’t have that spot sold. If someone doesn’t buy that spot, then they don’t get any money anyway. Usually it’s like late night or some spot where there’s not nearly as many views.”


For those interested in doing real estate commercials, Tony said, “if you’re a little bit newer and you’re just starting with a small budget, you might start with some of those filler spots, [and] maybe just buy a couple of primetime spots. But you’re going to have to meet with the person that handles that in your area.”


If you are going to pursue TV commercials as a real estate investor marketing avenue, Tony said, “You have to have it in place for a certain amount of time to decide if it’s working or not.”


He added, “Fortunately enough for me, the first month we got a really good deal off of it, and we made some good money off our first deal. But then it was another five or six months before we got our next deal. Had I not gotten that first deal, there was a possibility I may have turned it off after a few months. But after talking to other people that have been successful on TV, … you really need to give it probably a good six months to be able to tell if it’s working or not.”


Nothing new here. Like all marketing methods, if you stop after a few months, you won’t really know if they it was effective or not.

Hiring a Media Buyer

Another aspect that’s required if you want to achieve good results from TV ads is hiring a media buyer. “We have a media buyer that we go through, and they know the trends and they know where the traffic is. They know the demographics,” Tony said. “You really need to lean on them if you’re going to do something like that because they’re going to be able to tell you better what spots they think you should buy and the demographics for those TV stations.”


Luckily for Tony, he found his media buyer through a friend at a poker game. If you don’t have a connection to a media buyer, that’s not a problem. Just Google your city name and “media buyer” and you’ll find that media buyers are everywhere. Like any other team member, interview a handful of media buyers and go with the best one.

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How to Find Deals in a Hot Market

I recently closed on another apartment building in Dallas, TX, and will be closing on a second building that is directly across the street in early April.


After completing a deal, I reflect to find a lesson I learned that I can apply to future deals, as well as share with other investors.


Here’s a link to an article where I provide the 15 lessons I learned from my first seven syndicated deals:


For these two most recent deals, I had one major takeaway. But first, I want to provide some backstory.


There was an on-market deal that was highly publicized and marketed by a broker. My partner and I loved the deal. However, due to competition, the price kept creeping higher and higher so we weren’t sure if the deal would make financial sense.


Directly across the street from this on-market deal was another apartment complex. The on-market deal is over 300-units and the majority of units are 1-bedroom. Whereas the property across the street was over 200-units and is primarily 2 and 3-bedroom units. Therefore, the two buildings naturally complemented each other.


Fortunately, we have a very good relationship with a broker in Dallas who also happened to know the owner of the apartment across the street. The broker reached out to the owner and since it was an off-market deal, we were able to negotiate and get the property under contract at a significant discount.


At the same time, we were in negotiations for the on-market deal. Since we were purchasing the property across the street at a significant discount, we were comfortable bidding higher on the on-market property because we would have the cost savings that comes from economies of scale.


One of savings that results from economies of scale, for example, is the lead maintenance person. Instead of having one person onsite and paying them let’s say $50,000/property, you can split that cost. There are also economies of scale for marketing and advertising, leasing staff salaries and commissions, and property management.


Also, since one building is primarily comprised of 1-bedroom units and the other is comprised of 2 and 3-bedroom units, we have a natural referral source. If someone is looking for a 1-bedroom unit, we’ve got it covered. If someone is looking for a 2 or 3-bedroom unit, rather than saying “no can do,” we can send them across the street!


Now, the lesson I learned is in regards to how to find deals in a hot, competitive market: create opportunities. Don’t just look at what the brokers are giving you. Instead, get creative. Look at what else is around the on-market property and maybe you can package two deals into one transaction.


I can almost guarantee nobody on the face of this earth was doing that for this deal. Everyone was looking at the on-market deal, but nobody looked across the street (or elsewhere in the surrounding area) and thought to themselves, “Hmm, I wonder if I could buy that property too?” Because if they had, they might have seen the same thing we saw – a natural opportunity to combine the two deals.


I can also tell you that this is the first time we’ve purchased two apartment buildings simultaneously. We had to self-reflect and say to ourselves, “Okay. If we get this one deal, then we can definitely pull it off from an equity standpoint, but what if we get two deals? We know we can do one, but can we really deliver on two?”


We had to have faith based on our track record of delivering on our previous deals. Lo and behold, we had one investor who’s invested with us in the past few deals put up all the equity that we needed for both deals (minus the money that we put in).


Overall, it was a learning experience across the board, from how to find deals in a hot market (you create opportunities) and also when to strategically stretch yourself based on the situation at hand.



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How a Yogi Finds Seller Financing Deals


If you don’t have a w2 job or have reached your traditional loan limit, how do you fund your deals? While there are many creative lending options, from private money to hard money lenders, one attractive strategy is seller financing.


Jeremy Jones, who has been a multifamily investor since 2012, has done 7 seller financing deals. In our recent conversation, he explained the best ways to find seller financing leads and the types of properties that are the best seller financing candidates.


Seller Financing Lead Source #1 – Word of Mouth Referrals through Relationships


Jeremy’s found his largest seller financing deal, an 8-unit apartment, through a relationship. “A broker friend of mind and then a broker that he was introducing to me,” he explained, “we were all in the car driving around and he said ‘hey the people that own that apartment reached out to me. They may want to list it, and they may be willing to carry the note.’” The broker ended up listing the property. Jeremy put in an offer immediately and was awarded the deal.


Besides the 8-unit, Jeremy found three other seller financed deals through relationships. He said, “[I] found [deals] through word of mouth, like a wholesaler, someone that I met at a foreclosure auction, and a broker who knew I was looking for seller financing.”


How did Jeremy create these relationships? “You have natural opportunities to talk about what you’re doing when you start to invest and it plants seeds in the mind of others,” Jeremy described. “Sometimes ideas come to them and they say ‘oh Jeremy might be interested in this!’”


During conversations, especially with brokers, Jeremy will say “I’m looking for multiunit buy-and-hold properties with the possibility of seller financing.” That way, when an owner approaches a broker with a listing and mentions that they are open to seller financing, the broker can respond by saying, “oh I know a couple guys that do this and that’s kind of their business – seller financing – and they have a good track record.” With seller financing, Jeremy explained, “a lot of times, [the sellers] don’t want to just put [their property] on the open market and just take anybody because they want a buyer they feel is going to be able to improve the asset, make payments, and refinance successfully.” In other words, since they will still own the property, they don’t trust an inexperience investor to control it. But in Jeremy’s situation, since the broker has already given him the credibility and social proof, the seller will likely be more comfortable awarding the deal to Jeremy over a random investor they don’t know in the open market.


Related: The 4 Keys to Building Relationships via Social Media

Seller Financing Lead Source #2 – The MLS


Obviously, Jeremy had to build up relationships over time before it was a reliable source of leads. So when he first started searching for seller financed leads, he used the MLS. “I have a broker that I work with who has set up an automatic [MLS] search that sends me an email with all the properties that meet [my] criteria,” explained Jeremy. At first, his criteria was all multifamily properties in his county where the seller was accepting seller financing.


However, for Jeremy’s first two deals, he followed a different strategy. Jeremy said, when discussing his first two deals, “it was multifamily properties that had been on the market for a little while. We figured maybe they’d do seller financing because they’re tired of having this thing listed.” Even if the listing doesn’t directly say “we accept seller financing,” that doesn’t completely eliminate the possibility, especially in situations where the property has been listed for a long time.


For the properties Jeremy purchased on the MLS, he said, “either it said on the MLS that they would take seller financing or it didn’t say that but they’d been on the market for a little while and it was a value add opportunity where they had a low enough mortgage balance that we could do seller financing and give them a down payment big enough to cover their existing debt.”


One of the reasons why properties with extended time on the market are great seller financing candidates is because the seller is asking above market value. So when Jeremy finds a listing that is 30 to 45 days or more, he’ll reach out and say “hey your asking more than the market is willing to bear right now, but we’ll get close to that if you can give us seller financing, so that we can leverage more on the property. Here’s our plan for value add and here’s our track record. We’ll get you cashed out in a year of 18 months.”


Like most investment strategies, this approach is a numbers game. “I’d say for every 10 that we ask,” Jeremy said, “maybe one says ‘maybe I’ll take seller financing.’ It’s not like we hit a lot, but if we can hit one or two a year, that’s a good growth rate for us.”


Related: Hassle Free Seller Financing Trick

Seller Financing Lead Source #3 – Property Won’t Qualify for a Bank Loan


For three of the properties Jeremy purchased using seller financing, the sellers didn’t have much of a choice but to accept seller financing because, for one reason or another, the property couldn’t qualify for a bank loan. These types of properties are the most ideal for the seller financing strategy.


For the 8-unit deal mentioned previously, Jeremy said, “it was an interesting one. The owners had completely paid it off. They were elderly, living in one of the units and only … one other unit was occupied. Six were empty because they just liked to have a quiet lifestyle. We got seller financing at a good price because we said ‘you can’t really finance it with a bank without showing income, so if you do seller financing with us for 18 months, we can get it healthy and then we will refinance.’ They really liked that.”


The owners of the first property Jeremy purchased with seller financing also couldn’t qualify for a bank loan. “The first one that we purchase had a buyer that was going to use a bank loan,” explained Jeremy. “The appraiser thought that the foundation needed work and that they wouldn’t loan on it until that work was done. It went back to active [on the MLS] and then I came in with the seller-financed offer. They thought ‘this is great because seller financing will go through and there’s no appraisal to block it. Then it’s these guys problem to fix the foundation and do their refinance next year.’”


Finally, Jeremy’s second seller-financed property was severely under-rented, relative to the market values, and wouldn’t qualify for a bank loan. Also, Jeremy said, “one of the units was empty and being used as just a laundry room. It was maybe earning less than half of what it could earn just by getting all the units functional and up to the market rent. If a buyer came in with a conventional offer, the bank would be seeing a very low income, so that’s why we said ‘well if you give us a year of seller financing, we will be able to refinance it the next year.’ They said yes.”




The best way to get leads for properties that are seller finance candidates is through word of mouth referrals and relationships. Since relationships take time to build and grow, the best place to start is on the MLS. A few properties on the MLS will state that the owner is willing to accept seller financing, but properties that have been listed for 30 days are also great candidates.


The type of properties that is likely to be seller finance candidates are properties that cannot qualify for bank loans. These are properties, for example, that has major maintenance issues, has high vacancy rates, or is severely under-rented.


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How to Find the BEST Deals with the LEAST Amount of Marketing

As a wholesaler, one of the most important questions you can ask is “how can I get the best leads for the least amount of marketing costs?” Alex Joungblood, who does between 3-5 wholesale deals a month in three different markets, believes he’s found the most effective answer to that question. In our recent conversation, he outlined a 4-step process for targeting the best real estate investment opportunities while keeping a marketing budget to a minimum.

How Do We Find the Best Deals with the Least Amount of Marketing?

Alex’s process for finding the best deals with the least amount of marketing is simple. Essentially, it involves extensively researching your market first in order to determine the types of deals that are flying off the shelves and then only marketing to those types of deals. Seems obvious, but how do you approach it?

The exact, step-by-step, four-step process for how to find real estate deals is as follows:

Step #1 – Download a Property List From

The first step is to go to and pull a list. The search criteria that you’ll need to specify for the list are (1) your target market, (2) absentee owners, and (3) transactions of the last year.


Absentee transactions are when the address that the taxes are being mailed to and the address of the subject property are different. In other words, the owner owns the subject property and lives somewhere else.


Alex targets these types of properties when looking for real estate investment opportunities because he finds that the owners are more likely to be motivated compared to the owner-occupied property types.

Step #2 – Sort Through the List

Once you’ve purchased the initial list, sort it to see what property criteria is the most popular in the area. Alex sorts his lists by four different criteria: year built, square footage, property type, and value range. The combination of the criteria of the properties with the most transactions is what Alex calls the “property avatar.” In other words, the “property avatar” criteria would be the most popular property type and most popular year built, square footage, and value range.

Step #3 – Pull a Second List with the “Property Avatar” Criteria

Now that you know the most popular property criteria in your market, you pull a second list. For this list, you pull all the properties in a specified location (subdivision, zip code, county, etc.) that meets the “property avatars” criteria.


Alex advises newer investors or those who have a smaller marketing budget to focus on a single subdivision first. Once successful, they can then scale to targeting real estate investment opportunities within an entire zip code, and then an entire county.

Step #4 – Market to the “Property Avatar” Owners

Finally, you want to create a marketing campaign that targets the owners of the “property avatars” from your second list, and no one else. Eventually, when you get one of these properties under contract, since it is the most popular property type in your market, you’ll have no problem finding a buyer!


We pull a list from for all properties that have absentee owners, have been sold in the past year, and are in the zip code 12345. returns a list of 1000 transactions that meet our criteria.


When we sort the list by year built, square footage, property type, and value range, we discover that the “property avatar” with the highest number of transactions are properties built between 1970 and 1980, are between 1200 to 1500 square feet, are single-family residences, and sold for between $100,000 and $120,000, for a total of 500 transactions.


We input our “property avatar” criteria back into and pull a second list. Since we are brand new investors and have a small marketing budget, we decide to only target the real estate investment opportunities in the subdivision we live in. When we download the list, we discover that there are 50 single-family properties in our subdivision that were built between 1970 and 1980 and are between 1200 and 1500 square feet. We print out 50 “we buy houses” flyers and mail them to all 50 addresses.


Within a week, we hear responses from 5 homeowners and we are able to get 1 property under contract. We present the deal at a local REIA meeting, and after a brief bidding war, we’ve assigned our first contract!


The simple, step-by-step process to finding the best deals with little marketing expenses is:

  1. Download a property list from
  2. Sort the list to determine the optimal “property avatar”
  3. Pull a second list for all “property avatars” in a specified market location
  4. Market to the owners of the “property avatars”


There are multiple different variations of this strategy for finding real estate investment opportunities, but the foundation is pulling list #1, which is a market guidebook, using it to determine the most popular properties types in your neighborhood, and then targeting your marketing sights only on those properties that are flying off the shelves!

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Unique Lead Generation Tactics and Daily Routine Tweaks from a Master Real Estate Gatekeeper


Some of the most knowledge professionals in the real estate business are brokers. They are the gatekeepers to many deals, whether they are single-family or multifamily.


Commercial broker Stash Gelezinski, who is Certified Commercial Investment Member that has been involved in the syndication and disposition of thousands of apartment units worth more than $100MM, has mastered the “gatekeeper” process. In our recent conversation, he explains clever tactics he uses to generate leads, as well as two minor tweaks he made to his daily routine that resulted in maximizing his results!

The Best Approach for Getting Listings


Stash doesn’t focus on directly getting listings. Instead, he concentrates on adding value to build relationships. The purpose behind this approach is that when the time comes and an investor is interested in buying or selling, he is top of mind.


He has some creative methods for accomplishing this:


“If I see somebody’s name who is in one of the markets we are tracking and working in and I see that they’re mentioned in an article or something great just happened, I’ll snip that out and send that to them…I’ll say, “Hey that’s great. Let’s get together and talk about it.” When Stash says, “something great,” what he means is a piece of valuable information that has occurred in the market that would be of interest to a commercial investor. He has personally used this technique on me. A few years ago, Stash emailed me a link to a piece of news that happened from an employment standpoint. The goal is to provide something that adds value.


Another one of Stash’s approaches comes from an old saying in brokerage. “It’s STP. See the property. See the people. For me, the way I see it, [for] the markets I’m working in, I want to know about all the trades that are happening and have an encyclopedic knowledge so that whenever I’m calling somebody…I want to be a resource.” In other words, Stash strives to understand all the ins and outs of his market – the who, the what, and the where – so that he is the go-to real estate almanac for as many local investors as possible.


However, the glue that holds these two techniques (among others) together is Stash’s work ethic. “Honestly, I try and be the hardest working guy in the market. I don’t really know any other way to be.” This means, “A lot of meetings in person…and just pounding the phones…we try and burn up the phones to the best of our ability.” In between sending investors articles and news clippings and learning the ins and outs of his markets, Stash spends the rest of his time meeting investors in person or talking to them on the phone.


Two Tweaks to Daily Routine to Maximize Results


Stash wasn’t always the real estate juggernaut he is today. He always had the great work ethic, but at first, that wasn’t enough to generate results. So, Stash reached out to an experience consultant and after making two minor tweaks to his daily routine, he began to flourish.


The first tweak was simple goal setting. “Setting daily production goals of conversation – [number of] meeting goals – which would then translate into listings, which would then translate to contracts, which would then translate into closings.” In other words, he reverse engineered the process, broke it down into its independent pieces, and set goals that focused on the first step in the process. He flicked the first domino and the resulting chain reaction eventually lead to the end goal – closings!


The other tweak was finding a good database program. “I was fooling myself by thinking I could [track client information in] excel, even though I knew that you can’t. [As a broker], you’re going to be prospecting, which is what…I spend the majority of my time on You have to have a program that will support your efforts and function in a way that allows you to thrive. You [need to] keep good notes and I’m talking to hundreds of people a week sometimes. There’s no way I can keep all that straight in my mind, so we rely on a good CRM system.” The two CRM platforms that Stash utilizes are Realhound and Propertybase.



Stash’s best ever approach to getting listings is to focus on the question “how can I be at the top of investors minds?” so that when it’s time for them to either buy or sell, he is the first person they contact. He accomplishes this by:


  1. Sending relevant information to investors
  2. Meeting with as many investors as possible via in-person “food and drink opportunities” (coffee, lunches, breakfasts)
  3. Being the real estate encyclopedia, their ultimate resource
  4. Pounding the phones


Before becoming a Certified Commercial Investment Member, Stash had to make two minor tweaks to how he approached his days:


  1. Set daily production goals based off the first step in the process that ultimately leads to the end goal (in his case as a broker, closings)
  2. Find a good database program to effectively log client information



Advice in Action: Stash advises that if you don’t already, commit to having at least 5 meetings a week with potential real estate clients (whatever clients are applicable to your real estate niche) using one of the techniques described in the post. Comment below which technique you’ve chosen and how it is working out!



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How to Spend Less Than $200 per Motivated Seller Lead By Using The Radio


Radio is the leading reach platform. 93%, or 265 million over the age of 6, of Americans listen to AM/FM radio each week. And this trend isn’t slowing down soon, especially since 92% of the Millennial Generation listen to radio for a total of over 12 hours a week. For Kinsley Clecidor, who is a real estate investor, wholesaler, and agent, radio is his number on lead generator. In our recent conversation, he explained the rather humorous process of recording a radio ad and the astounding results he’ seen because of it.


How to Record a Radio Commercial


Kinsley got the idea to put out a radio ad from his partner. “I got my partner, it’s actually a broker, who got me a good deal on a radio commercial with a radio station we have here in Polk County and Lakeland.” The deal was a $650 to $800 a month subscription to maintain a normal, 1-minute ad that airs 3 to 5 times a day.”


Shooting a radio ad was an entirely new experience for Kinsley. He didn’t know what to expect, but he was rather confident going in. That changed abruptly. Kinsley recalls how he felt after his first recording: “I thought it sounded great coming out of my mouth. I [thought], ‘oh man this is it. I know I’m cool. I’ve got the style. I’ve got the lingo so I’m going to put this thing out there after the first hit. So [the producer] replayed it for me and I [thought] ‘oh my god, is that me? Is that how I sound?’…It sounded like I was dead.”


Moving forward after that first recording, the next few consisted of a continuous messing up. But fortunately, the producer was very helpful and encouraging. With a little editing magic, and 3 full hours later, Kinsley had a wonderfully sounding, 1-minute radio commercial that was ready to be spread out to thousands of distressed homeowners.


The Commercial’s Content – Call to Action


As for the content of the radio ad, Kinsley’s call to action was his phone number. His reasoning was that he didn’t “want anything in the middle. I wanted everything coming straight to me. They call me directly, [and] I answer my phone.” He is a huge proponent of always answering his phone, no matter what, which is a similar philosophy of this previous Best Ever Guest as well. “There is not a time where I don’t answer my calls at all because any call I get, whether it’s a real estate call or whatever, I see money. This has got to be money calling so let me answer money.”


Although, by blasting out your personal cell phone number to thousands of listeners, the amount of phone calls is sometimes overwhelming. Kinsley solves this problem by forwarding calls to a computer system that is available to him through is real estate office. “If I do get overwhelmed with calls, I will forward the calls over to the computer system. They will call in and they’ll leave a message and I’ll just call them back.”


But is the juice ($800 a month) worth the squeeze?


There is a reason why Kinsley was willing to endure 3 hours of recording, spend $800 a month, and be constantly bombarded with phone calls because he receives 50 to 100 calls from his radio commercial every month. Out of those calls, Kinsley will eventually close, on average, “5 of those a month. Closer to 10 if anything.” And for some of those remaining deals that he “can’t turn into a wholesale deal, being a licensed realtor gives [him] the opportunity to turn around and turn it into a listing.”


On the high end, Kinsley cost per lead is $160 ($800 / 5 deals) and $80 ($800 / 10 deals) on the low end. So as long as he is making more than a couple hundred dollars on the assignment fee or commission, everything else is pure profit!



Do you have a lead generation tactic that has a cost per lead anywhere near as low as the $80 to $160 that Kinsley gets from his radio commercial? If not, then it may be time to shuffle over to your local radio station and get started!


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Related Posts:


The Most Effective Lead Generation Techniques


3 Unique Ways to Increase Your Network and Generate More Leads


Three WET Sales Techniques to Maximize Lead Generation and Conversion Rates



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The Most Effective Lead Generation Tactics & Importance of Follow Up


Jeremy Brandt, the founder of the We Buy Houses, the most recognized name in residential real estate investing, has literally worked with millions of home sellers, so he knows a thing or two (and much more) about marketing and generating leads. In our recent conversation, he provided his three most effective marketing tactics, why and when he uses them, as well as his best ever advice on the importance of following up.


1: Internet Marketing


Internet marketing is one of the most effective marketing tools that Jeremy uses. “The reason I love Internet marketing is that the person has already showed intent. [With] most types of marketing, you are blasting out to a huge group and hoping that somebody responds. With Internet marketing, they are already looking for you as a solution. If you present your message correctly, they are going to connect [with] you and already be motivated to sell their house.”


The two main types of Internet marketing that Jeremy conducts are pay-per click and social media advertising. On the pay-per click side, someone will go to the Internet and type in something like, “sell my house fast for cash.” In doing so, they’ve shown they are the exact type of customer that you want to have if you are a real estate investor! “We’ve found lots of success on the pay-per click side, although [a downside is that] it’s expensive.”


On the social media side, Jeremy has experimented with Facebook and Instagram advertising and finds that it performs differently than pay-per click ads. “We haven’t found it has been super successful for finding home sellers, although it’s fairly good for finding people that want to buy your house, because, as an investor, you can put pictures of rehabbed properties and those types of things up, and people like to browse those and get some interest in the property. But on the motivated seller side, we haven’t found much success there.” Also, “on social media, you have a ton of power to do demographic based targeting – age, area, things they’ve clicked on, things they’ve liked, those types of things – but [unlike pay-per click] you can’t do keyword based advertising very effectively.”


So, when selecting which Internet marketing tactic to use, keep in mind that pay-per click advertising is the most effective, but also the most expensive. And success on the social media side is mostly on the home selling side rather than the home buying side.


Blog Post – 3 Online Marketing Methods to Complete 400 Deals

2: Direct Mail


While much of Jeremy’s marketing tactics have moved to the Internet, he still does a ton of direct mail marketing. Throughout his years marketing via direct mail, he has found that “the difference between success and failure for most people in direct mail is there list.” In order to ensure success, Jeremy recommends, “targeting a really specific list of people so you don’t spend too much [time] sending direct mail to people who don’t care about it.”

3: Yellow Pages


With the increasing costs to advertise via pay-per click, Jeremy has sought out less traditional forms of marketing niches that many investors aren’t doing. One such niche is yellow pages. “We are in nearly every single yellow pages in the United States with a half page display ad for advertising. Yellow pages is definitely a dying advertising channel, but at least for us, it has been incredibly effective because you get a lot of elderly, non-tech savvy people, so you are not in a super competitive situation with 15 other real estate investors. It is a lot of people who have older, run down houses that need a lot of repairs, which is exactly what investors are working for.”

Best Ever Advice? Follow up, Follow up, Follow up


Someone can spend thousands of dollars and invest hundred on hours on the most effective marketing methods available, but once the leads start flowing in, if you don’t have a proper follow up system in place, you are doomed to fail. Hence, Jeremy’s Best Ever advice: “The number one problems that I see with real estate investors and real estate agents is poor follow up. We’ll spend hundreds of dollars to generate a lead that is a truly motivated home seller that we connect with an investor or an agent. If the agent doesn’t call them back quickly – and I’m not talking about an hour, I mean 5 minutes, 2 minutes, 3 minutes – that home seller is now looking for somebody else to solve their problem. Once they find it, they are not interested in talking to you anymore…when a lead comes in, you have 30 seconds to follow up with that lead, and every second after that, you are losing the chance to work with that person.”


Blog Post – Use This Follow Up System and Have 30% More Offers Accepted


But Joe, how am I supposed to know about the property value, market stats, property condition, etc. without conducting due diligence prior to qualifying the lead? Fortunately, I have Jeremy’s retort: “The second a lead comes in, pick up the phone, call them, start to build rapport and engage them. Do all of your research after the fact.”

Blog Post – Three WET Sales Techniques to Maximize Lead Generation and Conversion Rates


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