BiggerPockets Podcast 218: Driving for Deal Flow and Remarkable Educational Marketing with Erik Stark

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Why is it some investors buy deals every single month, when others look for years without landing a single great real estate deal? Two words: deal flow. On today’s episode of the BiggerPockets Podcast, we sit down with Erik Stark to talk about how he consistently drives leads to his real estate business using “driving for dollars,” direct mail marketing, and a fascinating “education marketing” strategy that you’ll be excited to try for yourself!

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In This Episode We Cover:

  • Erik’s background
  • What exactly deal flow is
  • The importance of focusing on the strategy
  • The first step in driving for dollars
  • How to identify a distressed vacant house
  • How he tracks his mailers
  • What systems he has in place, including outsourcing
  • Tips for finding out if there’s existing mortgage on a property
  • The Smart Sell Book he authored
  • What R3 zoning is
  • What’s changed in the past two years since he was interviewed
  • His plan for the next years
  • And SO much more!

Links from the Show

Books Mentioned in this Show

Tweetable Topics:

  • “You need to stop chasing opportunity and start working a strategy.” (Tweet This!)
  • “I don’t want to spend my life trying to tell people why I’m better than everybody else.” (Tweet This!)
  • “If you are looking at properties and not writing offers, it’s like going to the gym and not working out.” (Tweet This!)
  • “Cash is everywhere now. There’s no shortage of cash; there’s a shortage of real opportunity.” (Tweet This!)

Connect with Erik

Show Preview

About Author

Thanks for checking out the BiggerPockets Real Estate Investing & Wealth Building Podcast. Hosts Joshua Dorkin & Brandon Turner strive to bring top-notch educational content and interviews to our listeners -- without the non-stop pitch prevalent around the industry. With over 180,000 listeners per show, the BiggerPockets Podcast has become the biggest real estate podcast in the world. But don’t take our word for it. We’re the top-rated and reviewed real estate show on iTunes — check it out, read the reviews on iTunes, and get busy listening and learning!


  1. Mark Limke

    Great podcast, worth a re-listen and note-taking. Terrific job by the guest host, too.

    May I offer one suggestion, which would be helping me now if you did it? Take a peek at Tim Ferriss’ blog, and see how he attached time tags to the annotation. Makes it super easy to jump to the portion of the recording that has that killer tip.

    Here’s an example from a recent interview of Tim’s. They’re all similar.

    Show Notes

    Introductions and “Victor” unmasked. [06:44]
    Reconditioning an overweight, out-of-shape 64-year-old with hip and shoulder replacements into a flexible 74-year-old capable of high-speed snatches. [07:33]
    What I need to work on. [14:48]
    What Naval has learned from Jerzy and Aniela. [16:26]
    Jerzy shares his age, weight, body fat, and other stats. [17:06]
    Naval and I recall our first meetings with Jerzy. [19:44]
    Jerzy tells the story about how The Happy Body program came about. [21:45]

  2. Terence M Sullivan Jr

    To track various marketing efforts, you could always include some tracking number to reference when the individual calls, emails or reply’s. Tracking number generated by using the month, year and type of marketing could help track different marketing efforts over time. For example, a mass mailing, which you give the number 45, mailed in January of 2017 could have a reference number, 012017-45. That way you can trace any leads to that mailing for better tracking of results. You can add any type of reference numbers to suit your different marketing efforts, even including the date you mail.

    • Kim Stofan

      From my understanding, he wanted to avoid mailing to homes purchased between 2004-2008 because they likely bought high and it’s less likely there’s much equity there. Homes bought 2008 and on (after the collapse) are more likely to have some equity built in.

    • Erik Stark

      Hi Ashley, when I do mailings I am looking for equity and motivation. Most people who bought during the markets decline are typically less likely to sell at a reasonable price as opposed to people who may have owned since say 1998. I have tested this and while we do get responses from mailing those who bought after 2008, we find the quality of the lead is not all that great.

  3. Nathan G.

    Excellent show, guys! I think Erik’s strategy fits nicely with the 80/20 rule. He has great advice for working smarter, not harder.

    Brandon asked if it is legal to charge more for adding a tenant. The answer is, YES! Fair Housing prohibits discriminating against families with children. It has nothing to do with a husband-wife, two best friends, or three co-workers. Check your local laws, particularly if you live in the People’s Republic of California.

  4. Lloyd Spencer

    Erik, you asked about tracking performance of campaigns after the first week. In an unrelated business we use a unique 8 digit leadid on each mail piece, so we can track performance in terms of response and conversion precisely. When people call the first question we ask is the leadid to pull up their record. Hope the helps, cheers.

  5. Jeromy Boutte

    Incredibly informative podcast BP and Eric. I’ve listened to it 3 times thus far… will definitely listen to it again and watch it on YouTube! Exactly what I’ve been waiting for!!! I’d love to purchase your book Eric.

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