In the past couple of articles I’ve shared here, I have talked about marketing to absentee owners and about setting up successful direct mail campaigns. There is one more important piece of this puzzle that we haven’t really gone into.
How do I manage all of this information?
In order to be successful over time you have to have a way to manage via systems. First of all, no matter where you get your list of targeted people to market to, you have to have a place to keep this contact information. You also need to be able to make notes in this person’s file so that you will be able to access it quickly after each contact. If you speak to a non-motivated seller today and they call you back months later when they are finally a motivated seller, you will want to be able to pull up this information quickly while you have them on the phone. I always put a note in my system about the basic property information, repairs needed, the amount of any offer I made, and anything else I might need to be able to recall at a future date. If they have told me their “desired” price, I will note this in the file. Also, they will often give you clues about their motivation. I always include these types of comments.
I once had someone tell me that they needed “X” dollars for a house to help pay for their daughter’s wedding and another daughter’s tuition that would be coming up in the future. The seller wasn’t budging on price at this point. Months later when his daughter’s wedding date was closing in on him, he got a whole lot more motivated and we struck a deal.
The key to managing your direct mail campaigns
You also need to have a way to manage your direct mail campaigns. Once you have those contacts entered into your system, you need to be able to selectively print your direct mail campaigns. It will probably be a while before you can completely outsource this part of your business, so you need a system.
The system that I have been using for the past 4 or 5 years is a database by Sage called “ACT”. You can find the software online at ACT.com and it costs about $269.00. You can also buy it at your local office supplies store in most areas.
They have a demo and a free trial if you want to check it out on their website. ACT is not specifically for real estate investors, but it works great for me. It does everything I need it to do and a whole lot of things I haven’t even gotten to. It can be personalized to meet your needs.
This system is used by a lot of small businesses like real estate investors and huge corporations as well. You can now purchase an online version of this product which is very helpful if you are using a VA (virtual assistant) to do some of your work. I plan to upgrade to this version in the future so I can utilize a VA to help me with some of my work in ACT.
In my next post I will go over setting up the data so that it is easy to use and update for direct mail campaigns, as well as some additional resources to help you get started.