Jeremy Brandt, the founder of the We Buy Houses, the most recognized name in residential real estate investing, has literally worked with millions of home sellers, so he knows a thing or two (and much more) about marketing and generating leads. In our recent conversation, he provided his three most effective marketing tactics, why and when he uses them, as well as his best ever advice on the importance of following up.
1: Internet Marketing
Internet marketing is one of the most effective marketing tools that Jeremy uses. “The reason I love Internet marketing is that the person has already showed intent. [With] most types of marketing, you are blasting out to a huge group and hoping that somebody responds. With Internet marketing, they are already looking for you as a solution. If you present your message correctly, they are going to connect [with] you and already be motivated to sell their house.”
The two main types of Internet marketing that Jeremy conducts are pay-per click and social media advertising. On the pay-per click side, someone will go to the Internet and type in something like, “sell my house fast for cash.” In doing so, they’ve shown they are the exact type of customer that you want to have if you are a real estate investor! “We’ve found lots of success on the pay-per click side, although [a downside is that] it’s expensive.”
On the social media side, Jeremy has experimented with Facebook and Instagram advertising and finds that it performs differently than pay-per click ads. “We haven’t found it has been super successful for finding home sellers, although it’s fairly good for finding people that want to buy your house, because, as an investor, you can put pictures of rehabbed properties and those types of things up, and people like to browse those and get some interest in the property. But on the motivated seller side, we haven’t found much success there.” Also, “on social media, you have a ton of power to do demographic based targeting – age, area, things they’ve clicked on, things they’ve liked, those types of things – but [unlike pay-per click] you can’t do keyword based advertising very effectively.”
So, when selecting which Internet marketing tactic to use, keep in mind that pay-per click advertising is the most effective, but also the most expensive. And success on the social media side is mostly on the home selling side rather than the home buying side.
2: Direct Mail
While much of Jeremy’s marketing tactics have moved to the Internet, he still does a ton of direct mail marketing. Throughout his years marketing via direct mail, he has found that “the difference between success and failure for most people in direct mail is there list.” In order to ensure success, Jeremy recommends, “targeting a really specific list of people so you don’t spend too much [time] sending direct mail to people who don’t care about it.”
3: Yellow Pages
With the increasing costs to advertise via pay-per click, Jeremy has sought out less traditional forms of marketing niches that many investors aren’t doing. One such niche is yellow pages. “We are in nearly every single yellow pages in the United States with a half page display ad for advertising. Yellow pages is definitely a dying advertising channel, but at least for us, it has been incredibly effective because you get a lot of elderly, non-tech savvy people, so you are not in a super competitive situation with 15 other real estate investors. It is a lot of people who have older, run down houses that need a lot of repairs, which is exactly what investors are working for.”
Best Ever Advice? Follow up, Follow up, Follow up
Someone can spend thousands of dollars and invest hundred on hours on the most effective marketing methods available, but once the leads start flowing in, if you don’t have a proper follow up system in place, you are doomed to fail. Hence, Jeremy’s Best Ever advice: “The number one problems that I see with real estate investors and real estate agents is poor follow up. We’ll spend hundreds of dollars to generate a lead that is a truly motivated home seller that we connect with an investor or an agent. If the agent doesn’t call them back quickly – and I’m not talking about an hour, I mean 5 minutes, 2 minutes, 3 minutes – that home seller is now looking for somebody else to solve their problem. Once they find it, they are not interested in talking to you anymore…when a lead comes in, you have 30 seconds to follow up with that lead, and every second after that, you are losing the chance to work with that person.”
But Joe, how am I supposed to know about the property value, market stats, property condition, etc. without conducting due diligence prior to qualifying the lead? Fortunately, I have Jeremy’s retort: “The second a lead comes in, pick up the phone, call them, start to build rapport and engage them. Do all of your research after the fact.”
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this blog post are provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as an offer to buy or sell any securities or to make or consider any investment or course of action.