Tired of Prospect Letters? Here are a Few Alternatives for Finding Your Next Investment

Tired of Prospect Letters? Here are a Few Alternatives for Finding Your Next Investment

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Sometimes, you have to move fast to snatch up a great investment. What's better than buying a house as soon as it hits the market? Preparing to buy a house before it's even up for sale!

Table of Contents - Tired of Prospect Letters? Here are a Few Alternatives for Finding Your Next Investment

It used to be that investors would send direct-mail fliers or prospect letters to homeowners expressing interest in buying the house. Today, investors aren't seeing a great return on these efforts.

The goal of marketing is connecting with motivated sellers. Motivated sellers are eager to sell their homes quickly, usually because of time or financial crunch. If you are an investor or have a wholesaling business, motivated sellers are your bread and butter. The more motivated the seller, the better the deal you get on your investment.

If you have limited marketing dollars, you need to go beyond one expensive method of generating new leads. You'll find your next investment by being strategic and creative.

Digital advertising

If the direct-mail fliers aren't working, then it's time to reach people where they are: Online. A website with strong SEO will help people find you when they search "selling a house in City, Province." Social media ads are an inexpensive way to reach your target demographic without wondering whether your flier immediately went into the garbage.

Digital ads are also extremely affordable. The right combination of keywords could be very cost-effective for you, giving you a significant return on investment overprinting thousands of fliers.

Warm call

Cold calling has negative connotations, as telemarketing agencies have abused their access to consumers. The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has strict rules protecting consumers from unwanted calls.

Instead of cold calling, try warm calling. Warm calling is when someone opts-in to receiving calls from you. You can create a form on your website that allows people to enter their information with permission for you to contact them. You'll need to promise some kind of service related to your real estate business to incentivize them to opt-in, but if this makes sense for your venture it's worth a shot.

Neighbourhood canvassing

Take it a step beyond the cold call and introduce yourself to your neighbours. Bring your direct-mail fliers with you as you knock on doors so you can deliver your information with a personal touch. No answer? You can still leave the flier and save yourself the postage.

If you're uncomfortable knocking on doors, or don't have a team to help, consider renting a booth at a local event. You can meet prospective sellers and talk about your business while allowing them to come to you.

Build strong local relationships

A lot of people and businesses are involved when a house is preparing for sale. Everyone from the listing agent to the cleaning crew knows that there's a property coming on the market. Establishing yourself and your business as active members of the community is a great way to find these motivated sellers.

It's good for any community member to know who you are and what your business is when it comes time to sell their house. There are also a few local professionals you'll want to form relationships with:

  • Local bankers
  • Insurance agents
  • Staging experts
  • Cleaning services
  • Landscapers

Each of these people can help you identify motivated sellers and potential sale properties. They can also help you get your investment property ready for tenants or resale.

Become a regular

As part of your effort to build relationships, become a regular patron at local businesses. If you have a favourite coffee shop, restaurant or workout studio, see if you can post your flyer on their bulletin board. Getting to know the staff at these places will create people who know to refer motivated sellers to you when the time comes. Keep an eye out for places that have their advertising forum or that allow customers to leave out business cards, and make sure your information is there.

Join the local entrepreneur circuit

Chances are, your community has a local meetup for investors or entrepreneurs. No? Start one! Networking with like-minded individuals not only helps market your business, but it also helps you develop personally. Volunteer to speak on a panel at a local event or offer to teach a class at the local library. Sharing information with the community will help you reap both leads and great experiences.

Become an expert

Use your online presence to brand yourself as an investing expert. Respond to real estate investing questions on online forums. Write blog posts on your website sharing related topics that interest you. Create social media accounts featuring your name, but designed as a marketing tool for your business. When prospective sellers search your name, they'll find several instances of you demonstrating your expertise.

Develop a specialty

Brand yourself as being an investor specializing in a particular kind of housing. You might become an expert in certain types of property, like condominiums or duplexes. Your niche could be architectural; maybe you focus on homes that are Tudor revival or mid-century modern. Even if you're open to investing in many types of property, branding yourself with a specialty could help you attract new leads.

Throw a party

Nothing primes people for hearing your sales pitch like free food. When you've secured a new investment property, host a party for the neighbourhood. The benefits are twofold: Prospective tenants can take a tour of the place, and you can meet neighbours who are interested in selling too.

Send an old-fashioned letter

In today's digital age, a handwritten postcard is a sign that someone cares. If there are certain properties you've been eyeing, write a handwritten note introducing yourself. Include your contact information and note that you're eager to talk if the homeowner is interested in selling.

Identifying and connecting with motivated sellers is key to striking a great deal. Real estate investors and wholesalers can use creative and strategic marketing to secure the best deals in their area, without breaking the bank. All it takes is a little bit of thought outside the box.

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Scott Dillingham

Scott Dillingham

I have been investing and lending to real estate investors for nearly 10 years now. After thousands of successful deals between flips, rent to owns, student properties and commercial assets I have developed a deep knowledge of real estate investments and have a passion of sharing this information with the world! If your looking for a lender who specializes in rental property financing you're going to want to connect with me at team@lendcity.ca.