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Building A Buyers List

A very successful Wholesaler in my Market Claims to have over 20,000 names in his data base

He sends out a list of 2 properties every week. I asked him how he had created such a large database. His response was his list was built one name at a time. He is constantly refurbishing his list.

Some of his tips. He is a good networker. He goes to his health club early and on a regular basis. He networks while he is there.  He goes to Starbucks. He is there when they open their doors. He networks there as well. In both cases he does this on a consistent regular basis. This is where he finds people to invest with him and fund his deals. He also finds buyers there.  He has a target market that he in touch with.

Think about it.  Who do you find at Starbucks when they  open.  Mostly motivated business people.  Same with the health club. The old adage “the early bird gets the worm” certainly applies in his case.

He can be counted on to contribute to charities on a regular basis. He will have a booth at many events. When asked why he signs up for so many events, He laughed and said “I sign up for events that I have no intension of attending because I get the names and contact information of the participants. He clearly has identified his market. He exercises his list on a regular basis but does not oversell or “pound” his audience.

Another successful wholesaler for years did a fax blast once a week to his list. He was reported to have a list of 15,000+- people. How did he build his list. He participated in a number of events.  He made it easy to sign up for his “information” You could fax in a request to be added to his fax list.  He was very visible at REIA meetings, Workshops, Multi “speaker events” etc. He advertised in the appropriate newsletters. He clearly understood how to attract prospective customers.

A third successful wholesaler whose list probably exceeds 20,000 has been building his list for years. He was active in his local REIA. You could always find him in the back of the room networking with the members and GUEST. He was quick to exchange business cards with everyone he met and added folks to his list.  He became a little bit of a pest at the local REIA, so he left and started his own. He markets on a consistent regular basis. He spends money on advertising. Over 10 years ago he indicated that he was spending $5,000 per month in advertising. He was running radio and television adds consistently. He and his wife were good business people with a strong work ethic.

Another investor friend who consistently buys at the steps ( buys foreclosures) indicated that he does several things to build and maintain his contact list. He is looking for buyers and he is looking for money. There are a number of people showing up at foreclosure auctions these days. Many of them know nothing about the process and are intimidated by the players.  My friend goes often enough that he can instantly spot the new folks. He knows all the players. When he spots a “newbie” he approaches that individual , is friendly, offers a business card, and explains that he buys on a regular basis. He explains that because of his experience and contacts he can get good deals. He explains that he marks up some of these properties 10% and sells them quickly.  He asks if the newbie wants to be added to his buyers list. My friend also tracks what properties are purchased by the experienced foreclosure hounds. He then follows the trail through public records to see who they are selling to and who is funding these deals.

When an investor is starting in this business he is not going to have a list in the thousands. That type of list may take years to develop.

It would be nice to have thousands of people on your list but it is not necessary.

A  successful part time wholesaler who specializes in low end junker houses (fixer uppers) is preported to have 56 cash buyers on his list, another individual has 5.

So how do start developing a list? Remember the individual who said he built his list one name at a time. Each name is valuable. Once you have a name, place it in a databank and exercise that name. your “data base” may be as simple as a series of 3×5 index cards, or it may be a computer database such as Microsoft Excel. There are some powerful computer programs to store, categorize and manage your list. You may even start out by using the address book in Yahoo or Google. You might use an online Program such as Mail Chimp (mailchimp.com) It is important to determine what information to capture and store on each contact. At a minimum you should capture contact information (mailing address, E mail, and phone numbers). You should identify the type of property, geographic area, Price range and other pertinent information. It is important to identify where the contact came from and the date. It is helpful to log any contact with the individual and when that contact took place.

An investor friend who is a experienced networker tries to meet 5 hew people a day. He captures business cards like crazy. He has several very specific elevator speeches (one minute talk about what you do and what your are looking for).When he gets home from an event where he has met new people, he sends an e mail, or a brief mailed note to the people he met and immediately places them in his data base. He has a business card reader which helps him input the data but he adds notes to each entry, something personal from the conversation. He tries to have a card, an e mail or a phone call go out within 24 hours. He follows up on his contacts on a regular basis. It is preported to take a minimum of 7 contacts with an individual to have them remember you. It is interesting that an individual will go to a seminar, exchange business cards, speak to a multitude of people, come home put the cards on their desk and forget about them. Within a very short period of time they will not be able to remember anything about the individuals and the individuals they spoke with will not remember anything about them. What a waste of a golden opportunity. These people obviously shared some common interest, after all they were at the same seminar, they spoke with you and they gave you their contact information. A successful networker once told me “it’s not who you know but who knows you that is important”

When you have a property to advertise it is not just that property that is important it is also important to capture the names of those who contacted you about that property. They may not want the property you are advertising but they may want another. They are in the market or they wouldn’t have contacted you. Am investor friend is constantly advertising properties for sale, sometimes he even advertises a phantom property just to capture names.  He is constantly building his list. Remember people move in and out of the market. A part time rehabber might do 1 o 3 properties a year. So you need to catch them when they are in the market.

When you are getting started you may not have a big list or much inventory of property. That’s ok,  just borrow someone else’s. Find a wholesaler who will let you advertise something of theirs and split the proceeds. Get someone with a big list to help you market your property. Everyone will not do this but someone will.

There are list brokers who will sell you names or rent them to you.

You can purchase leads from a variety of internet sites as well as some of the search engines. Some will sell you an exclusive territory, others will sell you individual leads. Purchased leads can run the gammet from very good to very bad.

Look around you, emulate what the successful people are doing. Remember this is a numbers game.  Response rates vary greatly depending on a number of variables with direct mail rates as low as

½ %.

A recent article pointed out that one of the most important traits businesses are looking for in  leaders is creativity. Exercise your creativity in building your list, there are lots of ways to build list.

It is not enough to simpliy build a list your list need to be exercised on a regular basis. There is a fine line between exerciseing your list and becoming a pest.  When you are starting out you may not have property on a regular basis. If you don’t someone else will. Develop relationships with others in this business.

Start marketing to e list slowly. You do not want to be classified as a spammer. There is an excellent article on building a marketing list on MailChimp.com

BACK UP YOUR LIST. It would be a tragedy to expand the effort to build a marketing list and then louse it. Guard your list and be very careful who you share it with.

Why Can’t I Rent or Sell My House?

We have experienced an overabundance of rentals over the last 12 months and are continuing to find the rental market extremely competitive. Because of low interest rates, easy credit, and loans with very low down payment requirements most people who can qualify for a loan have done so.

It has reached the point that in some cases ownership is cheaper than rent. There is now a push to make home ownership easier for minorities to achieve, with lenders, real estate companies and agents tooling up to market in Spanish, etc.  The owner of a tenant screening network was commenting to me that an apartment group client of his was offering 3 months free rent for new tenants in several of their complexes.  A well-respected property group with upscale multi family rentals is offering 2 months free rent and other concessions to fill units.  Because of the time of year (Dogwood season), there are more lookers. But not necessarily more qualified tenants. The economy is not wonderful with 3700 pre foreclosure ads running in the 13 county metro area and substantial numbers of people going into bankruptcy.

In addition, Atlanta has recently won the distinction of becoming the Mortgage Fraud Capitol of the country with Fulton and Dekalb Counties coming in at a respectable number one and three nation wide!  So, with all this good news it is no wonder that the market is a little exciting. There is an old Chinese Proverb that says that chaos equals opportunity. There are a number of individuals that need help with their real estate/debt problems, a number of lenders sitting with bank owned properties and individuals needing to sell their homes as a result of job loss. Depending on whom you talk to, either these are great times or not. Sure there are lots of people trying to be Real Estate Investors in this market. But there are lots of opportunities for well-educated motivated investors.

The Metro Atlanta Area is growing, people continue to move here and we have a national reputation as an area of opportunity. We have a widely diversified economic base and a large housing stock that is suitable to investors. Builders are reporting a brisk market and the mortgage market is picking up. So how should an investor operate in this market? To use just one word, they should do so PRUDENTLY.  There are opportunities, just do your homework. This is a good time to buy. In fact investors in other parts of the country are purchasing properties here.  They feel that Atlanta real estate has better growth potential and is better priced then their home markets.

If you are selling or renting in this market remember the three rules of moving product:

1.  Price realistically. Check your competition.  The MARKET determines what you can get for a property, not what your costs are. Properties need to be properly priced.

2.  Make sure your property is Market Ready.  In a competitive market the property needs to be ready to sell/rent and properly staged for the particular market you are selling/ renting to

3. Properties need to be properly marketed for the TARGET MARKET you are selling/ renting to. Know who your market is and what media to utilize to reach your specific market.

If you buy right and manage your investments prudently, this is a great time to own Atlanta real estate.  The foundation of fortunes is being made right here in Atlanta right now. Don’t look back ten years from now and say I wish I had been active in the early 2000’s

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