Wow, with that kind of hype I have to chime in here.
Before you jump in too heavy with bandit signs, you need to research Houston's city codes and enforcement around them. Larger city's usually have well established protocol with bandit signs. If they take them down within a day or two, you might be wasting money on a bandit sign campaign. Some cities are also very strict about prosecuting people that put them up. There are even some cities that allow you to put them up if you pay a per sign fee.
As for cutting them or not, I think 12x18 is fine. I've had success with bigger and smaller signs, so I don't think its paramount. I actually don't like them too big because they end up bending in the Panhandle of Texas wind and aren't readable. You might not have that problem in Houston, though.
No matter what your budget is, I'd recommend you start driving your farm areas. Look for vacants and make phone calls and send letters to the ones with equity. Not only can you get deals this way but it will also help you learn your areas. You need to know your farm areas intimately or you will be wasting a lot of your time chasing deals that aren't deals.
As for a blog or evoice, I think both are a waste of your time right now. A vanity number has some value, but I wouldn't get hung up on it if you don't have one.
Your time and your money needs to have a laser focus. And that laser focus needs to be on finding MOTIVATED sellers and CASH buyers. Right now 80% of your focus needs to be on finding MOTIVATED sellers. 20% on finding CASH buyers. Once you find a deal, switch those.
Now as for specific marketing strategies of where to spend your money, I have to admit that I am not always as forthright on BP as I could be with this particular subject. This being a public forum and with several of my direct competition being on here (several of them I helped get started), I don't like giving up the goods on my specific marketing campaigns.
See with wholesaling, once you've established a good buyers list, the only real key to it is finding deals. The business becomes 95% finding deals. At my stage, this business is ALL about my marketing edge, so I don't really like to publicly discuss my edge. This is the first time in 4 years of being on here that I've even admitted this reservation. I normally just don't chime in when people are asking specific questions of how to spend X amount of dollars.
So point being, I still ain't giving it up. What I will tell you publicly is that there are no "golden" strategies to find deals. There are some silver strategies that will get you 3 or 4 deals a year, and there are some copper strategies that will get you 1 or 2 a year, and there are some that might get you a deal a year. The key to building a sustainable income from wholesaling is to start doing 2 or 3 strategies consistently and persistently. Then after you get those going, add 2 or 3 more, and then 2 or 3 more, and 2 or 3 more, until you have 15 or 20 different strategies that you are working consistently and persistently. Evaluate each strategy's effectiveness after doing it for at least 6 months.
Different strategies in different markets work differently at different times. You have to be open to experimenting with different strategies. Try them out for at least 6 months consistently and persistently and then evaluate their effectiveness. I have seen that some strategies will work for awhile and then fizzle out for months or even years, and some will not work for 6 months and then they will pop a deal or two. You have to be open and creative, consistent and persistent.
Also understand that many markets experience strong seasonal shifts in activity. My market dies in the winter time. Going to Vegas is a better investment of my money than spending it on marketing in the winter time. I've been told that not all markets are this way.
Kenneth, you are welcome to call me and I'll be glad to privately help you with some particular strategies for your particular market.
Ryan, you mentioned how driving your farm area is the best method to learning values as well as finding vacant/beat up houses that could possibly be deals. On the issue of learning values, would I have to schedule walk-throughs with realtors in that area? And after that, how would I find out what the houses are actually selling for? This would give me a good grasp of what they're listed for but I don't know that any realtor would want to tell me what the house eventually sells for. Is there anything else I should be doing, on the ground, to help with understanding valus?
Also, you talked about picking a few marketing strategies and doing them consistently for six months. When you say consistently, do you mean weekly, monthly, etc? For example, if I'm targeting probates with direct mail, I'd only be able to that once a month or so. If I'm putting out bandit signs (and in my area, northwest suburbs of chicago, they get taken down pretty quick), I'd only be able to do that once a month as well due to budget issues. So the only thing I could really do weekly would be looking at newspapers for FSBO's and driving the neighborhood. Is there anything else you could suggest that I should do on a weekly, or even daily, basis? Without giving your golden nuggets, of course :D.
Thanks in advance, your posts in previous topics have been very helpful!
So back to the topic.
So far, from this thread alone, I've learned what I can get for FREE. AWESOME!!!
I bought 100 bandit signs, but after doing a one day test.......signs dont stay up long here in Houston. So, I'm going to hit my areas with 25 bandit signs per week. $105.64 per month
Im doing my own yellow letters 200 of them right around $110.00 per month.....envelopes, kinkos copy guy...etc etc
For now, i'll be using Patlive........only because I know people want to talk to a PERSON. $160.oo per month
Im doing some other marketing, but its all FREE.
At this rate, I can go roughly 5 months on that $2000.00. I'm confident that just by doing what i've just listed, I SHOULD get a couple of deals.
What do you think guys?
Sounds like a great initial plan. I would get out to some real estate investment and business meetings like http://BNI.com Look for a chapter close to you and get involved with your Chamber.
Bandit signs don't work well in my area since they get taken down within minutes almost. Get out and network. That is what has been most successful for me in my business.
Kenneth, I was wondering-- what is your strategy regarding figuring out values and comps? Are you working with a realtor, using an online service?
Thats a totally different thread. Quick answer......zillow; har; last but not least.....knowing the area, if you've REALLY done your home work, you should know just by LOOKING at a house how much you're going to offer. I like to think its a talent.
Only because I want to keep the thread on this particular topic, i wont go futher into it. Start a thread on the question you want answered. I'm a newbie myself.
Ok.....again, lol. $2000.00 budget I'm right around $375-400 per month on marketing. At this rate I should be ok with cash for about 5 months.
Originally posted by Eugene Naroditskiy:
Ryan, you mentioned how driving your farm area is the best method to learning values as well as finding vacant/beat up houses that could possibly be deals. On the issue of learning values, would I have to schedule walk-throughs with realtors in that area?
I would schedule walk-thru's with realtors, homeowners, investors, and anybody else that will let me see the inside of their house whether they are selling or renting in those areas. You need to know what houses in that area look like inside and out. Do they have tile or vinyl, central hear and air or wall furnaces, garages or are most of them converted? You need to know what people in that area expect in a house.
And after that, how would I find out what the houses are actually selling for? This would give me a good grasp of what they're listed for but I don't know that any realtor would want to tell me what the house eventually sells for. Is there anything else I should be doing, on the ground, to help with understanding values?
List price obviously means little but normally its within 5% of sales price. Yes, realtors will give sold data information. More importantly, getting ALL the sold values from a realtor for the last year for that area is part of learning your farm area. Zillow or similar services are a joke. I wouldn't recommend using them to determine value. The MLS is what you need to use to determine value from comparable sales.
Also, you talked about picking a few marketing strategies and doing them consistently for six months. When you say consistently, do you mean weekly, monthly, etc? For example, if I'm targeting probates with direct mail, I'd only be able to that once a month or so. If I'm putting out bandit signs (and in my area, northwest suburbs of chicago, they get taken down pretty quick), I'd only be able to do that once a month as well due to budget issues. So the only thing I could really do weekly would be looking at newspapers for FSBO's and driving the neighborhood.
You answered your own question. If you can only do it once a month, then do it once a month EVERY month consistently and persistently. If you can do it once a week, then do it once a week EVERY week consistently and persistently.
Thank you guys/gals for all the helpful input. I'm off to a really good start.
Create Lasting Wealth Through Real Estate
Join the millions of people achieving financial freedom through the power of real estate investing