In order to flip properties, you have to find them first

Bernadette Trafton, Chief ConnectorBefore we get into the lead generation portion of this post, I’m wondering if you are covering all of the bases?

Do you have a marketing budget?  I know, the late night gurus said you didn’t need money to flip properties.  But, they lied.  You need money for direct marketing, you need money if you are putting up signs, you need money for gas to drive for dollars.  Sorry…it is what it is.  Come to terms with it and determine how much money you are prepared to spend on marketing every month.  You have to look at this almost the same way you look at a car payment.  Expect to spend it every month so that your marketing is consistent.  The key to marketing is consistency.  So, even if it’s $100 a month or $25 a week, make sure it’s something you can financially handle consistently.

Have you set your schedule for working your business and set aside time to market for leads?  You have to set your schedule and work your schedule just as diligently, if not more than you would for a J.O.B.  If you have 15 hours set aside for your business, make sure of that 15 at least 5 are focused on marketing for deals.  Be sure to also set aside time for face to face marketing.  It’s key to develop a buyer’s list so that you have more options when you are considering the exit strategy for your deal.  Do you want to wholesale it?  Do you want to JV with a local investor who may have more experience than you?  Do you want to buy and hold?  Do you want to rehab and flip?  I kind of laugh with that term.  Our speaker for May 15th Ken Olson hates the word flip.  He would much prefer people say rehab and resell.  He will tell you why at the meeting, but, it really has to do with bankers’ perceptions of the word and how it can negatively affect how you are perceived.  But, I digress.

There are a variety of ways you can do direct mail marketing campaigns.  But, there are things that you should have in place.  It’s not necessary to have a website, but, it sure helps and nowadays it doesn’t cost much to have a website.  It’s good to have a site for buying and one for selling.  Nowadays, having some sort of online presence is key.  Also, when you are doing your direct mail campaigns, you can give people a place to go to look and learn about you before they have to get up the nerve to call you.  People buy and research everything online nowadays, so, give them something to search for where you and your real estate investing business is concerned.  It doesn’t matter whether you are wholesaling, “flipping” or buying and holding to find deals, it’s best to be online.  yellow letter campaign

Make sure your marketing is congruent so that your website matches your business cards an any marketing material matches the website and be aware that you are building a brand.  If your brand is muddled, people will be confused and even if they find you they may not contact you.

How do you build your lists?

The first list you want to build is potential business partners, become a regular face at local REIA Meetings Boston AREIA and others in the area, offer to help and become known in the group, use blogging and social networking offering tips and sharing your pursuits with others, be willing to step outside your comfort zone.  The people at these meetings are your buyer’s list, JV partners, lenders, contractors, Realtors and more.  So now what?  How do you get your phone ringing?
First, what type of real estate are you interested in? Buy/Hold?  Wholesaling? Rehabbing and Reselling (I did that for Ken, LOL)? What type of properties are you interested in? What areas do you want to work?
Are you willing to: Drive for dollars, knock on doors, hang Bandit signs, direct mail campaigns
Driving for dollars – Look for distressed properties, write down address, research owner and send them a letter…or….Knock on the door –  are you willing?  Most people won’t; Bring information packet with you showing how you can help the owner out of their situation, talk to them about what’s going on and how they got there.
bandit signs 4You can, of course hang bandit signs… , go online there is always a sale! Be sure you know the laws in the area that you want to work in, make sure you track areas and progress, use a tracked phone line
allot time in your schedule to post the signs and take them down.  OR…Hire someone else…
Direct mail campaigns, you have to acquire leads, see My Favorite Direct mail campaign
Send yellow letter campaigns -Send post cards -Use Send Out Cards -Make sure you track progress to estimate ROI -use a different tracked phone line number than bandit signs -allot time in your schedule to stuff envelopes or increase your budget to pay a teenager or your child to do it.
Rule #1 – you MUST BE CONSISTENT with your marketing!  Don’t expect to send out one group of letters and a huge deal will come to you!  IT MIGHT!  But, don’t expect it.  I got a note from Mike Fitzpatrick our mentee who is blogging in Diary of a Newbie Real Estate Investor.  “We sent our first direct mail marketing campaign a few weeks back and we finally got a response, it was asking use to remove them from their list…but, we got a response!”  Be prepared for those types of responses.  Most campaigns get 1/2 to 1 % response.  The key is being consistent and sending weekly campaigns.  Being consistent will generate leads, then its just a matter of following up.  But, that’s another topic for another day!
Happy Investing and as always, if you want or need help with a deal, feel free to reach out to me at
Yours in success!
Bernadette Trafton, Boston AREIA Chief Connector



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