I have been a part-time real estate investor for 15 years buying rental properties. About 2 years ago I finally made the decision to ramp up my real estate business so I can do it full time and eventually quit my day job. After looking at different options I decided to focus on buying houses to flip and buying houses to wholesale. I have a lot of experience remodeling homes so this was a natural fit but adding the wholesale component would help me do more deals. So I had my business plan figured out and needed to decide on a marketing strategy. The days of finding discounted houses on the realtor MLS are gone so we have to find discounted properties on our own.
I started out marketing to motivated sellers using direct mail and google PPC ads. I started out running direct mail and PPC ads very broad across the entire DFW metroplex which is about 7 million people. I purchased lists from different list brokers for the direct mail campaigns but the lists were not as targeted as they should have been. I ended up spending $15,000 on direct mail without much success. My target audience was too broad and I was not able to send enough mail to get a decent response. Most experts say it takes 6 direct mail touches to start getting responses. The key to direct mail is consistency.
I also started running PPC ads on Google since I had a little bit of experience with it. Do not try that at home unless no one is using PPC in your area. I started running broad ads in the beginning and ran up a large bill on Google Ads $10,000 without much success. Again my target audience was too broad and was attracting the wrong type of customer. My customers are a very small segment of the population looking to sell a home so I had to figure out how to market to that group only.
So my first 9 months (2018) of my business generated 1 wholesale deal that we closed and lost money. In January 2019 I stopped all marketing to evaluate our marketing plan, budget, and new ideas. My number one goal was to get more targeted to attract the right customers and that made a huge impact. I hired an SEO company (J SEO) to help me develop a better website and rank organically on Google. I hired a VA to develop targeted lead lists directly cutting out the lead brokers and possible bad information. I added cold calling to our marketing plan. So our 2019 marketing plan looks like this: SEO, Targeted Direct Mail, Targeted Cold Calling. We narrowed our direct mail audience by targeting only foreclosure, probate and select vacant house leads in select areas. With these changes, our business began to see not only more leads but better quality leads. As of October 2019, we are on pace to close 10-12 deals for the year and gross over $120,000. Our goal for 2020 is 20+ deals which will allow me to step away from my day job and work my real estate business full time.
The key to marketing is to understand your customer then very specifically target that customer. The type of marketing is not as important as the consistency of it.
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