In my conversation with Michael Del Prete, who has wholesaled more than 250 deals in the last 4 years, he provided a list his 3 go-to marketing methods, one being a low cost, low effort method that has resulted in 17 deals, with more to come in the future.
Michael uses three main methods to market for deals. The most expensive method is direct mailing campaigns. Currently, he sends out between 4,000 and 6,000 letter every month. Michael obtains his mailing lists from the following methods:
- Title Companies – Title companies want your business, so they will give you free lists if you agree to use them for your deals
- Online Lists – Michael purchases lists from online sources, including sites like MelissaData and ListSource
- Driving for Dollars – Over time, Michael builds lists of vacant land and distressed properties by simply driving around the city
- City data – Michael obtains lists from the city that contain the names of individuals that are behind on their taxes
- Property Radar – Michael uses Property Radar to obtain lists of pre-foreclosures
All in all, Michael’s direct mailing campaign expenses are approximately $3,000 per month.
Another marketing method that Michael uses is bandit signs. He is transitioning to focusing more on buy-and-hold investing, where bandit signs are not as effective, but he still has them out there for his wholesaling business. Since he lives in a hot, competitive market, he puts 50 signs up every week. When doing a bandit sign campaign, you need to be consistent and have a lot of signs out there if you want to have your phone ringing with leads.
While direct mailing and bandit signs have been successful, Michael believes the most in self-generating leads by building relationships. When you focus on building relationships with a handful of serious cash buyers that do a lot of fix-and-flips, not only will you have a go-to source to sell your deals too, but when they get into a situation where they have opportunities that they don’t want, don’t need, or if they are falling behind, they will send those deals to you.
Michael has gotten 17 deals just by building relationships with people. Simply having a good name and being out there building relationships will generate leads and referrals
Building relationships is easy. Michael’s strategy is to always schedule a meeting when someone calls, whether they are an experienced or novice investor. He will schedule a handful of ½ hour meeting all in a row, sit down for a couple of hours at Starbucks, and will get to know people, talk shop, and try to put a deal together.
To know where to go with the conversation, he will pre-qualify them on the phone prior to meeting by asking the following questions:
- How long have you been around?
- How many deals have you done?
- What are you working on now?
- Do you have any active projects?
- How long have you been in the business?
- When did you go your first deal?
Based on these questions, Michal can get a vibe for where they are at in their careers, which will let him know where to steer the conversation when meeting at Starbucks. For someone that is already an experienced investor, during the meeting, his outcome is to determine what they are looking for:
- What zip codes do they invest in?
- What neighborhoods?
- How much do they put into repairs?
He digs into what the investor wants so that he can go out, find a deal that fits their criteria, and deliver.
Even if they aren’t doing anything or are just getting started, that doesn’t mean that he doesn’t want to talk to them. But, he will steer the conversation in a different direction. If they are newer, his outcome is to try to educate them and be resource by:
- Providing them with local networking meetings to attend
- Telling them to go talk to local investors he knows
- Giving them “how-to” tips
- Letting them know what he is currently doing and what he sees is working in the market
- Providing them with specific action actions (i.e. bring a deal to the table, get a seller on the phone, start building a buyers list, etc.)
- Telling them that if they take his advice and act on it, they can feel free to reach out to him with further questions
When working with newer investors, Michael’s rule is that the more time they put into themselves and their business, the more time he will give them. 99% of the people he meets with will jump in, pick his brain, but are “time vampires” that quickly disappear. He used to give his time away all the time, but as he gained more experience, he started being more selective. But, as long as he sees them taking action, caring, and wanting to invest in themselves, he has no problem being a resource.
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.