I have to admit, even in my “Mike Ferry-ite” trained brain, it is becoming even more obvious to me that we are living in strange times. Social media’s impact on businessess (even other than ours) is hard to ignore. We live in a world where it is entirely possible for one man, with access to the right information, to talk to another person, and share said information on the world wide web, virtually instantaneously. The power of that information and the people who wield it can be used for good, as well as ill. Imagine this same scenario in the capacity of Edward Snowden. Access to millions of documents on the Internet able to change the way the NSA now operates to some degree.
So what does this mean for you and I? Well, in a world where the average consumer is able to surf the Internet for practically anything you can imagine. Want to know how to drop socks? No problem! How about How to Show Fewer Than 5 Homes? Got you covered! How about that cruise to the Caymans you got coming up and want to perfect your Underwater Basket Weaving technique? The Internet has you covered! If the average consumer is able to look up practically anything on the Internet today, then isn’t it true, they can look up you?
Now, before I lose you, let me throw the “Four Basic Ideas” past you for your consideration!
- They do not look for you by name.
- They look for what they need.
- Be where (or even bettter, what) their need is, then…
- You won’t need to sell so hard to them.
If you are a Realtor® who is an Investor or a Wholesaler then you naturally know how difficult it is to find the motivated Seller. The one that is willing to sell the property at a discount due to their circumstances, condition of the property, or other factors. So what do you do to find that “one in a million” guy or gal who is in a situation where they would like to sell to you at a discount? Increasingly, we see the ubiquitous “bandit sign” or direct mail piece as a solution to your “Motivated Seller ” problem. The challenge with that, aside from the clear illegality of a bandit sign, is the cost.
The greatest challenge to the Realtor®/Wholesaler or Investor today is controlling lead cost. When leads purchased from Pay per click campaigns, from squeeze pages can run into insane amounts of cost per lead (bids up to $20-$30 per click are not uncommon in some markets) to conversion, to signage, it makes it very expensive to find new leads. The recurrent cost of mailings month after month, combined with the direct cost of signage, (lost, stolen, damaged or otherwise defaced)
While direct mail has some advantages, bandit signs others, one thing is clear. Blog posts, Google, and YouTube today remain available on every single smartphone-enabled consumer. Now if you are thinking to yourself, “that’s all great and good, but getting a motivated SELLER to make contact with me?” then please allow me to share these “Four Basic Ideas” with you!
1. They do not look for you by name.
According to the National Association Of Realtors® Statistics report a full 90% of homebuyers start their home search on the Internet. Yet with this staggering statistic, almost 1 in 3 Realtors® (actually 32%) do not make a single dime from Internet marketing or lead generation. To look at it another way, a full 86% of Realtors® attribute less than 50% of their business from the Internet. All I can say is “Whaaaaaaaat?” How is it that 90% of your customers can begin their home search on ANY platform and we cannot generate more sales from this arena? The answer is very simple. Looking at the typical practicioners website is akin to looking at a high school photo. Nothing much has changed on MOST agent’s websites from being other than a digital business card online. A typical overpriced photo that has been heavily retouched to “wipe away the grey” (and that’s just us guys!) and a simple contact form. I’m sorry to tell you this. The consumer does not care about your dog, nor do they care about the fact that you were the number one listing agent for your two agent office for the past three years straight. What does Mr. and Mrs. John Doe and Susie Q-Doe interested in? WIIFM. (What’s In It For Me?)
2. They look for what they need.
The typical homeowner has a need. The average guy doesn’t put his house on the market for absolutely no reason. If they did, then that’s not a customer you want anyway. However, for the motivated Seller, (whom it is we seek) then what do they look for on the Internet? Guaranteed it’s not the typical terms Wholesaling Realtors® are taught to use. Terms like “Sell My Home Fast Tucson” or whatever, will certainly rank well when trying to accomplish deals with Pay Per Click. However, countless studies have shown that content marketing will produce up to THREE TIMES THE RESULTS of pay per click. What does that mean? If you put out content that is useable, or curate data that is useable on your blog that your potential customer could use, then you will naturally have more engagement on your site.
Which leads to the natural extension to the question. “What would a motivated Seller need? What would they want?” Spoiler alert! It is NOT always the most money! Sometimes for a Seller, a speedy sale, or a hassle free sale due to the condition of their home, or perhaps a quick sale to settle a loved one’s estate to quell potential family problems can lead to the motivated Seller searching the Internet for solutions to their problems. And why not? They use Google to solve every other problem! Think about it! How did YOU get to this point? Do you not think that I sat here at my kitchen table and thought of the key words, or the phrases that you would use to find an article such as this? Now this article itself, becomes a sales letter of sorts (albeit a poorly written one). That leaves us with the obvious answer to the question then, what would a motivated seller need? Your clients typically will tell you, the subjects that they bring to you will form keyword tags such as:
- Sell By Owner Vs Realtor®
- Sell to Investor?
- Selling for cash?
- How long does it take to close escrow?
- Anything! Whatever your clients typically ask you!
Write articles about the things that your clients would be peripherally interested in. For example, for a Homeowner interested in selling their home quickly due to a transfer, may be interested in articles entitled “The Only Transfer Guide You Will Need For Your Home Sale!” Creating interesting titles to your articles will ensure they get read. Use Portent’s Idea Generator for ideas!
3. Be where (or better yet, What) They need.
What is it that every homeowner wants if their home is on the market? A BUYER! So be the buyer! Listen! If you are a Realtor®, you have been told your entire career to go buy real estate for your retirement! So BUY it! Now, believe it or not, there are a few rules for you to be aware of when buying and flipping property for your own benefit. That is not really the purpose of this post, but be aware, you can find more information specific about assignment of contract (aka “Wholesaling Real Estate”) on my podcast at The Red Pill Investor and also on HouseFlippingAgent.com. If the prospect is truly motivated, then you should be able to use our scripts and dialogues to help them with Selling the property. As you become what they need in this equation, whether it be the buyer who can arrange the entire transaction and buy it for yourself, or for later investment and flipping; all the way to the other extreme where you could potentially be the agent providing solutions to their problems. Either way, you have solutions, far more than the average agent.
4. When you are what they need, or are in the space of what they need, you don’t have to sell so hard to them.
I’ve discovered that Sales is a very Yin/Yang business. It has equal forces on differing sides of the equation, that amount to absolute importance to the selling cycle. Marketing cannot sell a home. Selling is dependent upon the Marketing to bring the customer. Likewise, when YOU (being the buyer for their home) is what they want, then you will not have to work to convince them. Chances are, your client has been reading your posts, or listening to your podcast for some time now. It is not uncommon at all anymore for me to talk to people regarding posts that I have done over the years on YouTube, or a Blog, or a podcast that once you start reaching a critical mass of people who are hearing your message over and over, it begins to sink in. You do not have to spend endless hours recreating the same message. You write the post, you write the blog, record the podcast, or make the video, and it is there for time immemorial.
So in conclusion, it is my belief that in this rapidly changing world, it is now becoming possible to use blogging, social media, and targeted “content-marketing” such as free email courses like our “FSBO Domination” course which is entirely free, auto-emailed course delivering nothing but value to your customers on a weekly basis. As we all know, it takes multiple “touches” or follow up calls to convert all but the most easily persuaded. Using value added context marketing to your customers will allow them to see your services in a positive light, allow them to see that you in fact will buy their house, they do not need to necessarily “list it”, but rather sell it directly to you. Why? Because you have been interacting with them in a manner that is respectful of their need, and their time, without forcing your sales style down another’s proverbial throat.
While I do not recommend a total replacement of your lead generation systems with blogging (Don’t be dumb), I would say that it wouldn’t hurt to put your thoughts to screen every now and again about the houses you would be willing to buy. Want to see mine?
I’m writing my blog to get my words down. How about you?