Wholesale Marketing Technique (Rank order of effectiveness)

57 Replies

Hi everyone,

I am narrowing down my ways that I wanted to get started in real estate investing. I started thinking about a week ago that a potentially good way to get going is by finding great deals and and selling them to other investors so I can build capital, build a network and learn how to find deals like a BOSS. Strange language aside; I am reading Brandon Turner's no money down book and he presents multiple marketing techniques. Can you guys rank order the best methods or even just tell me the top 3 ways(or combinations of strategies) and if you're  really an A+ student; the $$ cost of the methods as well?

1) Driving for Dollas

2) Direct Mail

3) Website SEO

4) Online Marketing -->Pay per click ads on websites,google,facebook,etc

5) Signs -->Apparently bad but what about billboards?

6) MLS

7) Craigslist


9) Empowering Others ---Get me some Bird Doggays!

Again you don't have to rank them all but a good top few or a comment on which technique not to use is much appreciated.

Actually, I like all of them.  However, I guess I'm not a big fan of bird dogs.  I'm not knocking it.  I've heard good stories about it.  I just don't want to do it.  

Not sure why you mentioned that signs are bad.  I think they are a good thing.  Although, you gotta watch out for the sign police.  

A lot of marketing will depend on home much money you have to spend on it.  Also, how much time you have for it.  All of them are effective.  It depends are your goals and resources.

Probably not what you want to hear, good luck.

I like them all as well (except craigslist), but I don't really find many deals on the MLS in my market. It depends on what kind of budget you have. Driving for dollars and bandit signs are going to be the most productive starting out on a lower budget. When hanging signs, set yourself apart from the other that are out there and experiment with different language and colors. Don't use your personal phone number....if you get a call from the sign police, just take the signs down in that area.

Direct mail is great.  Follow up is the key.  

SEO is a long term strategy.  It could take many months to see results depending on how competitive the market is, and it's important to have a good platform.  PPC will deliver immediate results but can be very expensive.  

@Mike Pastor

@Roland Paicely

Would you recommend starting out as a bird dog first? 

If not, My goal is to have 1 wholesale for 5000 profit by May. Is this anywhere realistic for a beginner? I have knowledge of ARV and that I should perhaps ask investors who would buy my deal what their target ARV is (70%?) And then shoot to get a house at 60% from a distressed owner and then profit off that difference. My girl says she would never buy from a wholesaler like me; shed use a realtor and I say yeah but the house is awful so they cant get someone to buy it but me.

Updated over 1 year ago

@Mike Pastor @Roland Paicely

The house doesn't have to be awful.  I've wholesaled a bunch of move in ready houses and multi units.  

You can't shoot for a percentage of ARV to get the house under contract at. It would depend completely on repair budget.

A general rule is ARV x 65-70% or whatever - repair cost - wholesale fee.....is the max you can offer

In general, your goal of $5,000 by May is very realistic.  Actually, I think you can do it much sooner than that.

I would suggest driving for dollars first. Call them. The call the FSBO. Keep an eye out for price reductions of 10% or more. That can signal motivation.

Craigslist set up saved searches so you don't have to be on it constantly. 

@Cody Evans

If you're an A+ student, I'd recommend a couple of things

1) Put together a solid list by doing some D4D

2) Use direct mail to target that list

3) Practice talking to sellers by calling FSBO and start practicing how to talk to sellers. You need to learn how to listen for DMF, build rapport, overcome objections, and how to effectively take notes.

Also, you should be communicating to everyone in your life your intentions. When someone asks you, "how are you doing?" don't waste the time saying "fine thanks you" say "I'm doing well, been searching for a 3/1 home in X neighborhood" or whatever your criteria is. You can test different ways of marketing but at some point you will need to focus and master the way that works the best for you.

If you want help with direct mail, a game plan, script, etc feel free to holler.

Best of luck.

@Ray Lai

Hahaha. Thank you for the advice. I'll keep you in mind for direct mail: What's the going rate for your direct mail  and what services do they offer? Are any services unique or are you for the most part just better than the competitors? 

Congratulations on your success. A script and game plan would be well appreciated.


@Cody Evans

You're welcome. Not allowed to talk about our businesses on the forum, the posts get removed. Only allowed to do so in the marketplace. I'll send you a direct message. I do post an ad in the marketplace once a week with our rates. 

This post has been removed.

@Cody Evans Great question man! 

Some great advice above as well. 

And what it goes to show is that there are lots of things that are working... some of it varies by market... by your budget... etc. 

@Peter Vekselman is spot on that that mix consistently works for people when they nail their DM processes (their list and pieces) and make sure you know your numbers so you're sending enough to get the response you need to turn into deals. 

@Mike Pastor nailed it as well on some of the other strategies. SEO is growing in effectiveness in a big way and PPC is probably the most consistent and fast way to get in front of motivated sellers online... it's just a matter of making sure you know your numbers, carve out a proper budget to see it through to success, and committing to make it work. 

You've got this man! Just get in hustle mode and drive for dollars, knock on some doors, hustle Craigslist for a couple months (even when you're discouraged by it), and if you have a budget for paid marketing... commit to either Direct Mail or PPC... connect with the resources that'll help you cut the learning curve... and make it happen. 

Report back on how things go! 

@Roland Paicely

@Peter Vekselman

@Trevor Mauch

Thank you.

Roland, you already answered this to a certain extent, but I'm trying to nail a specific amount of driving for dollars time a week: I know all our markets are different but do you guys think it would be realistic to find that deal for a $5000 profit by the beginning of May if I drive for dollars 6 or 10 or 14 hours a week? 

@Cody Evans the rankings are subject to change based off of a multitude of factors such as time available, budget, local market, and are ultimately very subjective.  

BUT at a first glance it sounds like you want to jump into real estate with wholesaling, which is the starting point for a ton of investors.  The advice I give all brand new wholesalers is to go driving for dollars.   I say this because it allows you to be much more targeted and get great leads without spending much money.   Mail, SEO, online, etc....all work, but they are passive.   Passive equals expensive which can be problematic for newer wholesalers depending on their budgets.  

An added bonus is vacant properties are so MUCH easier to deal with than occupied properties.

This reply I gave recently may be helpful in making the most of driving for dollars and explaining a bit more.   Whatever you choose, learn the ins and outs of it and execute the hell out of it.


Your goal is VERY reasonable.

I put direct mail at the top of my list. I get the best leads from sending letters. The cost per letter is approximately $0.54. I buy targeted lists from List source and mail to them monthly. Driving for dollars is next on my list. I use it to build my mail lists and get to know the neighborhoods I mail. I spend about four hours per week driving for dollars. Online marketing falls third on my list. I’ve done a lot of Facebook ad’s in the past, got a good response rate, but I’m not currently using it. I’m focusing on perfecting direct mail.

For the others on your list, SEO, Signs, CL, FSBO's, MLS…Deals are hard to come by on the MLS. For SEO, which is a long term play, you need to have a sizable marketing budget for the content creation and good website. I don't have experience signs. And calling CL and FSBO's is a good method of talking directly with home owners and landlords.

@Ken Konecny

Thank you.

I've decided to drive for dollars and deliver my own mail and leave notes on the door.

@Cody Evans

Your approach works to get your first deal, but once you get a deal going you should consider the opportunity cost of your time. Is your time worth $10/hr, $100/hr, or $1000/hr? If you build scalable processes, you can eventually make your time worth more. Good luck with your approach! Hand delivering notes once a month is only do-able with a small list. You don't want to be penny wise, pound foolish but if you are strapped for cash, your approach will work. Factor in the depreciation of your car as well.

@Ray Lai

This is a conservative approach I am taking. The big mistake I see almost all newbies make across multiple disciplines is they buy first and plan to work after. I am going to work first to test my will power and then invest in the easier options. I am essentially hazing myself. When I get my first deal and see how my market works I am going to reinvest my funds into a direct mail campaign; my current prediction is this will be around February but as late as May 1st or perhaps never. I want to get this driving for dollars 14 hours a week business over with as soon as possible because it is painful. I foresee my biggest issue coming from learning how to respond to calls. Do you have any scripts? I like your mailing company from the sounds of it because I want to see the CRM you are offering.

@Cody Evans

*thumbs up* I like it. Sending you the scripts and ping me when you run into snags.

Your on the right track. You want to start building your list into modifiable format like excel. Here’s mine

Property Address City Zip 

Owners Address City Zip

Lead source or Type


Month Year Added

As you work hard and expand your mind your list will grow   Eventually to increase your opportunities you will want to send direct mail. 

Don’t do it yourself. I started working with resimpli and it actually cost me less than doing it myself once I figure in my time 

Sending direct mail to a list of   distressed properties works. Sending to that list over a period of time works 10 times more.  I did my first wholesale ever last month on a lead I first sent out In June.   On the third mailing got the call   I have been investing off and on since the late 80s Direct mail done right is the best thing I’ve done to grow my business 

One more thing go first class mail Those returned post cards are gold. 

@Joe Davalos

Great suggestions. I am putting those in my google sheets this next week. 

Why first class mail? I've never mailed anything in my life so I don't understand what you are saying.

Cody I see you’re in Fairfield. I market in Solano County and to be quite honest direct mail is a waste of time unless you have at minimum $5K-$7K a month to put into it and even then you might only get a couple calls. If you don’t have that I’d definitely suggest driving for dollars and putting out signs

A bird dog is when you have certain people looking for deals for you. They could be friends, coworkers, taxi drivers, etc.. you could give them an incentive like a commission if a deal closes. Basically boots on the ground.

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