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How to Create More Effective Marketing

By Sharon Vornholt

Today we’re going to talk about how to create more effective marketing for your business.

First of All…

It’s important to understand that hardly anyone sits down and reads an entire article without skimming it first.  People today are skimmers.

This means you only have a short time to grab their attention and every word matters.  That’s why it’s more important than ever that you spend time learning how to create effective marketing; marketing that gets you the results you want with the fewest words necessary.

#2 Get to the Point Quickly

When someone gets a marketing piece from you, it should be something they can consume quickly.  They should know immediately “what’s in it for them”.  What problem can you solve for them now? The days of folks reading a lengthy letter telling them how great you are, are long gone.  You will have time to tell your story later if you hook them with an effective marketing message.

This is one reason postcards work so well.  There is nothing to open. They see how you can help them immediately: “I will buy your house as is, pay all cash, and close quickly”. That says it all.  It’s short and it’s much more effective marketing.

Take a look at all your marketing and see if there are ways you can simply your message. Do you have words that really don’t need to be there to get your message across?  If so, take them out.

#3 Don’t Confuse Sellers with Too Many Options

When presented with multiple options upfront, this can be overwhelming for many people. What you will find is that when there are too many options people simply can’t choose. They will just move on to a simpler solution AKA your competition.

Have you ever come upon someone marketing a physical product that has a dozen of choices, versions, scents, colors etc.?  When faced with this decision you are likely to go to the next simpler option which is another product or company.

#4 Have a Clear CTA

Your marketing should have one clear CTA (call to action) like:

“Contact us today ….”  

  • For your fast, no obligation offer
  • To see how we can buy your house this week
  • To find out how you can have cash in hand by this time next week
  • And learn how you can be rid of that worry today! (Think pre-foreclosure, job loss, etc.)
  • To find out how you can be rid of that problem property this week.

The goal of your call to action should be to get them to take the next step which should be to contact you.

It doesn’t matter if they are looking at a letter, a postcard, your website or a video.  The desired result is the same.

#5 It’s all about the Presentation

The way you deliver your content is important.  Remember, people want fast information.  This is pretty easy to accomplish with postcards. The message is short by nature.

It takes some practice to write short, concise, direct mail letters, but it’s important that you learn to do this.  You have to tell sellers exactly how you can solve their problem, and tell them what to do next.

#6 What about Your Website? 

Your first paragraph of each page should accomplish the same thing as your other marketing pieces. Don’t assume they are going spend time going over your website and all the options you offer. They just want to know what to do next to solve their problem.

This means that the placement of your contact form is critical. It should always be located above the fold (on the top half of the page).

If your CTA is “contact us so we can buy your house”, providing them with multiple ways to contact you is important. I can tell you this; they aren’t going to search for your contact information so make it easy for them to contact you. This is one case where you want them to have a choice. Not everyone will want to call you, and some people won’t be comfortable filling out an online form.

Give them options.  Contact us:

  • By phone
  • Fill out the convenient form on the right side of the page
  • Email me at myemail@gmail.com.

#7 Using Social Media to Help You Create Effective Marketing Strategies

Social media is great for helping you get the word out about your business, your services and your products. The fact that you can share everything to such a large audience (generally for free) can’t be beat.

You spend a lot of time to create effective marketing, but it’s of no value unless people know about it.  Set up social media profiles on the major social networks.  Once that is done, you can share information easily which will start to build your brand.

#8 Final Tips

Here are some tips for connecting with your ideal customer.

  • Speak their language. Make your message simple to understand.
  • Tell them exactly how you can help solve their problem.
  • The best marketing connects with the customer, and it makes it clear that it’s “all about them”. Words matter.
  • Limit your ideal customer’s options. Effective marketing will always have a clear call to action and make it easy for them to say yes to your offer.
  • Offer a bonus for working with you. What might that be?  Find out what they need.  Ask them! There is always something else they want or need. It can be things like moving money, an offer to finish cleaning out the house, paying expenses they cannot afford to pay. To be clear, these “bonuses” are always accounted for in your offer.  Think outside the box and get creative. The best bonus is the one they tell you they need.  Having a happy customer AKA buyer or seller is just about the most effective marketing on the plant.
  • Always send them a thank you note after you’ve looked at their property. This is one tip that will definitely make you stand out as an investor.

Once You Have Closed the Deal…

As for a testimonial. This makes all your marketing even more effective.

Happy investing!


Sharon Vornholt

Sharon Vornholt is the owner of Innovative Property Solutions, LLC in Louisville, KY.

Sharon owned and operated a successful home inspection company for 17 years. She began investing in real estate in 1998 and became a full time real estate investor in January of 2008.

Sharon specializes in wholesaling, and is also an experienced landlord and rehabber.

In addition, Sharon is an internet marketer and also writes articles for several national real estate sites. Sharon is the author of a popular real estate blog called the “Louisville Gals Real Estate Blog”. For your FREE REPORT “Probates and Absentee Owners: Your Fast Track to Real Estate Riches”, stop by her blog at: http://LouisvilleGalsRealEstateBlog.com.

 

Uncovering the Secrets of Marketing To Motivated Sellers

By Kathy Kennebrook, The Marketing Magic Lady

Several years ago, I attended my first real estate seminar and decided this was the business for me. I could do it in my own time and at my own pace and make great money. Considering I was still working a full time job at the time, this seemed to be just the scenario I was looking for. One of the things they taught us in those seminars was that finding truly motivated sellers was going to be the cornerstone to this business because without motivated sellers there simply are no deals to be made.

After spending a number of years in sales prior to becoming a real estate entrepreneur, I knew that when the prospect contacts you first, you have a much better chance of making a good deal. At the time I didn’t have a lot of money to work with and needed to make every marketing dollar count.

I discovered the same theory applied to working with motivated sellers. A motivated seller is the key to all good deals, and if they contact you first, this significantly increases your opportunity to make a profitable deal. There are lots of opportunities for those who want to find sellers, and some are more labor intensive and time consuming than others. Learning to influence motivated sellers to contact you first will increase your profits immensely, help you make better deals and most importantly save you valuable time.

One of the primary reasons for failure in this business is trying to create a deal with unmotivated sellers. It’s like trying to push a rock uphill. You spend all your time chasing dead end leads and getting nowhere. This is discouraging and can cause you to quit the business altogether before you ever get to see the long term benefits it can bring you.

Locating the truly motivated sellers is the key to your success as a real estate investor. Your money is made at the point at which you purchase the property, so an effective marketing plan is essential to your business in order to create profitable deals. The key point to remember is that most sellers are not motivated. The biggest mistake you can make is to try to make a deal with someone who doesn’t want to sell to you.

Effective marketing is the process of delivering your specific message to a targeted audience through the use of various types of media. Using this method enables you to find the sellers who really need to sell, as opposed to those who just want to sell. When you find the sellers who really need to sell, you’ll end up buying a lot more houses at much better prices and terms. The secret to the really great deals is to find them before anyone else even knows about them.

A lot of the deals you should be finding won’t even be actively marketed. These sellers have a variety of problems they simply don’t know how to solve. Their motivation comes in a lot of forms. Some of the reasons motivated sellers need to sell have to do with the sellers themselves, such as  age, health problems, financial difficulties, change in marital status, liens and judgments, job transfers, landlords who are tired of having their properties abused, or change in family size just to name a few. Other reasons are more directly related to the property itself, such as estates, properties needing extensive repairs, code enforcement violations or properties that have been vacant for a significant period of time.

So how are you going to find these sellers and how should you market to them? As a real estate investor, you have lots of choices. You can use classified ads, flyers, the internet, signage, websites, business cards, billboards, radio and TV ads and direct mail.

You should pick at least three to five ways to market your business. Put them to work for you simultaneously in order to promote your business and draw as many different sellers to you within your market. You must begin to understand a seller’s motivation for selling a property in the first place. This is going to be important for you because if you try and reach sellers in only one way, and you don’t find a property in a relatively short period of time, you may become discouraged and quit. You really don’t want to do this, trust me. There is more business out there than you can imagine! Accept the fact that you’ll need to do more than lay some flyers and hope some motivated sellers call you.

One of the first things you need to do is to identify your market, deciding where you want to buy and what types of properties interest you. Then develop a marketing plan that fits your personal needs and budget. This way, you eliminate the need to call sellers; you want them to call you first.

Marketing is a numbers game, the more leads come in, the more opportunities you have to make deals. You won’t buy every deal that comes your way, but when you develop a machine that you can control that brings in quality leads, you’ll be able to pick and choose the kinds of deals you want to do. As a real estate investor, you need to find a seller who is either flexible on the price of the property or on the terms of the sale. If a seller wants full price and all cash for a property, it’s almost impossible for you as the investor to make a good deal. The investor who wants to help people and make money should be looking for a seller who is flexible on the terms of the sale. Many of the people I send direct mail to practically beg me to take their properties off their hands for a variety of reasons. These are the kinds of motivated sellers you want to be dealing with.

The best way that I’ve found to “niche” market to motivated sellers and control the number of leads coming in is through the use of direct mail. The BIG secret to doing direct mail successfully is mailing the right letter to the right list and then mailing to them over and over. As you will discover, given time, almost every potential seller’s circumstances change and make them more motivated to sell. You must let the world know you buy real estate. The best thing about direct mail is that you can specifically target the types of sellers you want to reach and cultivate quality leads to work from.

I also find these mailings are very residual. These potential sellers will hold onto your direct mail pieces until their circumstances dictate that they contact you. When they are ready to sell, they will contact you first, since they probably haven’t had any contact from anyone else. Usually their properties aren’t even being actively marketed, therefore there is no competition for these deals. In the meantime, you’ve gained credibility with these sellers by doing repetitive mailings.

The biggest part of the secret is to find the sellers who really want to sell. I use different direct mail campaigns to locate different types of motivated sellers, such as out of state owners, properties which have been quit claimed from one person to another, expired listings, burned out landlords, and pre-foreclosures, just to name a few. The best part is that you can customize your marketing to reach exactly the kind of motivated sellers you want to deal with. This can best be done by locating mailing lists and refining them to meet your individual criteria and then mailing to them again and again.  Investors often neglect to market to sellers in this way because they think the list is just too difficult to get or they only do the mailings once and quit.

Let me tell you, these are some of the easiest lists for you to get and it will be very profitable to you to do so. You can go to a list broker or your local property appraisers’ office and ask them for a list, or you can create the lists yourself. It’s fairly easy to do. You can go to the courthouse and research the divorce cases, death notices, liens and judgments, tax liens, marriage licenses, bankruptcies and notices of default, which is the first step toward foreclosure.

Another way to find motivated sellers is to cultivate relationships with individuals who can help you find deals. One of the ways to do this is to write letters to attorneys who handle family law, estate planning and probate law, divorce and marital law, and corporation and business law and let them know you are in the business of buying houses. Once you develop relationships with these attorneys, they will call you when they have a client who needs to sell a property quickly. This is just another way to build another lead source using direct mail.

Another way to find motivated sellers is to write letters to the owners of vacant houses or houses that look like they need a lot of repairs. If you can find the owners of vacant houses, these are usually deals waiting to be made. The harder the owner is to find, the better deal you will make. There are lots of ways to find the owners of vacant houses, the easiest of which is to simply use a skip tracer to locate them for you.

You can also work with realtors who can give you expired listings. The longer a house sits without selling, the more motivated the seller will be. If you get expired listings for out of state owners, these sellers are usually even more motivated. You can often make a deal with a realtor who will supply you with the list. Tell them you will use them to make the offers for you, or simply tell them you’ll pay them a fee for their services.     

Mail these potential sellers a personal looking and sounding letter. Let them know that you are interested in helping them find a solution to their problem. Even if you don’t get a response right away, repeat your mailings at least every thirty days until you do get a response.

The main reason that direct mail works so well is that you are reaching targeted sellers, and you become the seller’s first option when they need to sell. Even if you are on a limited budget, direct mail is an excellent source of leads for you since you can buy more houses from fewer leads, thus maximizing your marketing dollars. As your business grows, you can increase the amount of mailings you do. You can also target specific neighborhoods or dominate certain parts of town. In doing so, you become a “property value expert” in those areas, which makes the offer making process that much easier for you.

In addition, you create an ongoing relationship with your target market which makes it easy for you to follow up with past inflexible or unmotivated sellers. Because these mailings are so targeted and so residual, there is virtually no competition for these properties, and it puts your lead generating system on auto-pilot, leaving you more time to make offers.

The most important thing to remember is to be consistent in all your efforts. The successful real estate investor has a network of people and strategies at their fingertips at all times. If you don’t develop continuity to your marketing campaigns, you’ll see your results begin to drop off immediately.

When you learn to get motivated sellers contacting you and then learn a variety of ways to purchase properties, the possibilities become almost endless. If you use several different ways to get motivated sellers contacting you, you will have more opportunities than you’ll be able to handle.

Using direct mail to develop a “cookie cutter” system to accomplish this is one of the most affordable, reliable, and effective ways I know to build your business quickly and have all the deals you will ever need.

For more information on finding all the deals you need for your real estate investing business be sure and check out my website at www.marketingmagiclady.com. While you are there be sure and sign up for my FREE monthly newsletter!


Kathy Kennebrook

Kathy Kennebrook is the ultimate success story. She spent over 20 years in the banking industry before discovering the world of real estate. After attending some real estate seminars this 4 foot 11 mother of two got really excited and before you know it she’d bought and sold hundreds of properties using none of her own money or credit.

Kathy holds a degree in finance and has co-authored the books- The Venus Approach to Real Estate Investing, Walking With the Wise Real Estate Investor, and Walking With the Wise Entrepreneur which also includes real estate experts Suze Orman, Robert Kiyosaki, and Dr. Wayne Dyer.

She is the nation’s leading expert at finding highly qualified, motivated sellers, buyers and lenders using many types of direct mail marketing. She is known throughout the United States and Canada as the Marketing Magic Lady. She has put together a simple step-by-step system that anyone can follow to duplicate her success.

Kathy has been speaking throughout the country and across Canada for over 14 years and has shared the stage with Ron LeGrand, Dr. Phil, Dan Kennedy, Mark Victor Hansen, Ted Thomas and Suze Orman to name a few.

Kathy is going to share with you how she generates a seven figure income by mailing a handful of letters throughout the year to highly selected targets by knowing exactly what to send them, who to send them to and exactly how to deliver her message. She will teach you the secrets of pre-screening and automating your marketing and follow up systems to put your entire Real Estate business on auto-pilot.

 

Marketing to Motivated Sellers in Rural Communities

By Kathy Kennebrook

Since I am the type of investor who purchases properties in multiple counties and in multiple states, I have had lots of experience buying homes and vacant land in rural communities. In fact this is a part of our business that we find to be very profitable for us . I will share with you that buying properties this way is a science in and of itself. There are many different parameters and techniques you need to implement to buy properties in rural areas, but it can be a very profitable business for you.

First of all, if you like to buy vacant land, it can be a real challenge at times. For example, many times the parcels you are looking to purchase will not have a street address, making them more difficult to locate on public records to do a search. You will need plat maps and street maps in order to locate these properties. One advantage to buying in rural areas is that generally speaking the folks at the court house, the property appraiser’s or assessors office and the tax collectors office are usually easier to work with and very knowledgeable about the local area and property.

If you plan on buying vacant land, I would suggest getting a plat map book which shows the subdivisions and the properties in lot and block. The easiest way I found to do this is to go to the court house or property assessors’ office and ask if they have a copy you can buy. If this is not possible, find out if you can make a copy of the one they have. Sometimes they will let you borrow it, or copy it on the premises.

This is another main difference when working in rural areas; the folks at the Court House and Property Appraiser’s office are much more likely to be very helpful to you. Having a Plat Map Book available will make it a whole lot easier to locate the properties you are trying to buy. If it is possible, you may also want to purchase a computer program that shows this type of information so you have it at your fingertips. There are programs like Real Quest or Win2data available for this purpose.

The other thing you will also need is a street map of the community. Usually these street maps will also show subdivision locations. This also makes it easier to find the properties you are trying to locate. You can use the plat and the street map together to locate the specific properties you are interested in making offers on.

If you are looking to buy properties in rural areas there are three main ways to find motivated sellers. One of those is to work with a local Realtor. Usually, they are much easier to work with than those in larger cities. They are usually willing to share information for example on why a seller needs to sell. If the first Realtor you talk to won’t help, find another. You do need to be careful in one respect when working in rural areas with Realtors. Many times the Realtors themselves are investors, so you need to make sure they won’t snipe deals from you if you ask them for help with comparables before you have a property under contract. Also make sure the Realtor you are working with has access to the MLS because some of them do not. Sometimes there are MLS listings in these rural areas that can produce good deals for you as well. Additionally, if you plan to list properties with a Realtor, you want to make sure they get listed on the MLS.

The second way to find motivated sellers is to simply use signage. Usually in a smaller community, the sign ordinances are not nearly as strict as they are in a larger city. When you put signs up in the ground or on poles, they are likely to stay there for long periods of time, so using signage usually works very well to find motivated sellers.

The third way to find motivated sellers is to do direct mail campaigns to non-homestead exempt or absentee owners. The programs I use to do this are called Real Quest and FIS Data.  If you go to my web site at www.marketingmagiclady.com, you will find a lot more information on these companies. These programs can provide plat maps, sales information, property information, comps, and more. I personally use these programs to find motivated sellers in the community I like to buy in.

Another way I use to find all the motivated sellers I need in rural areas is to send direct mail to owners of vacant land whose tax bill has not been paid. This is an easy list to get and can be obtained from the tax collectors office. Usually these are folks who have inherited properties they really don’t want or need and this list is an extremely effective list source.

There is absolutely a lot of money to be made in rural communities and people sell for a variety of reasons. I find the main ones to be estate and probate and pre-foreclosure. All of these situations create wonderful opportunities for buying properties well under their value. Just remember that you will have to be a little creative when you resell or lease these properties since you are dealing in a very small market area. Usually I will advertise in the newspapers of bigger cities surrounding the rural area or work with a Realtor who can get these properties list nationally. There are lots of people who are looking for vacation properties in rural areas.

You will also need to set yourself up with a title company who understands your business, even if you have to train them yourself. I know that the first couple of deals I purchased into land trusts I had to explain to the title company. I even provided them with the deed that included all of the duties of the trustee. Once you have them trained, they can be a real asset to your business, especially when it comes to working with out of state sellers.

Buying properties in a rural area is a real learning experience, but I will tell you that if you take the time and the energy to do it, there is a lot of money to be made, and there is almost no competition for these properties at all.

For more information on finding motivated sellers in rural areas and the Real Quest and FIS Data programs, along with all of the other tools you need to find motivated sellers, visit my  website at www.marketingmagiclady.com  I am one of the top Trainers in the country with regard to marketing and finding profitable real estate deals and I offer ongoing support to all of my students and customers. While you are at the website be sure and sign up for my FREE Monthly Newsletter.


Kathy Kennebrook

Kathy Kennebrook is the ultimate success story. She spent over 20 years in the banking industry before discovering the world of real estate. After attending some real estate seminars this 4 foot 11 mother of two got really excited and before you know it she’d bought and sold hundreds of properties using none of her own money or credit.

Kathy holds a degree in finance and has co-authored the books- The Venus Approach to Real Estate Investing, Walking With the Wise Real Estate Investor, and Walking With the Wise Entrepreneur which also includes real estate experts Suze Orman, Robert Kiyosaki, and Dr. Wayne Dyer.

She is the nation’s leading expert at finding highly qualified, motivated sellers, buyers and lenders using many types of direct mail marketing. She is known throughout the United States and Canada as the Marketing Magic Lady. She has put together a simple step-by-step system that anyone can follow to duplicate her success.

Kathy has been speaking throughout the country and across Canada for over 14 years and has shared the stage with Ron LeGrand, Dr. Phil, Dan Kennedy, Mark Victor Hansen, Ted Thomas and Suze Orman to name a few.

Kathy is going to share with you how she generates a seven figure income by mailing a handful of letters throughout the year to highly selected targets by knowing exactly what to send them, who to send them to and exactly how to deliver her message. She will teach you the secrets of pre-screening and automating your marketing and follow up systems to put your entire Real Estate business on auto-pilot.

 

Choosing the Road to Wealth

By Kathy Kennebrook (The Marketing Magic Lady)

More people are becoming millionaires today than ever before in the real estate business. So what makes these wealthy entrepreneurs so different? They chose the road to wealth and real estate as the vehicle to get there.

When choosing the road to wealth, there are some important distinctions that set the truly successful folks apart from everyone else. Some of those include the ability to visualize a specific outcome, pursuit of a dream, constant motion and a relentless determination to reach the goal. Giving up is not an option. Like the saying goes, “Quitters never win; winners never quit!”

I have found in the real estate business that there are two kinds of people, the “doers” and the “wannabes”.  There are truly focused folks who get up every morning with a clear and defined direction who want to make their business work no matter what it takes. They pursue their dream relentlessly and continue to grow on a daily basis, garnering all the education they can along the way to take them even further along in their business.

Then there are the people who go to seminars or buy books and tapes and do absolutely nothing with them once they get them home. I have personally witnessed this over and over again.  They have one excuse after another why they can’t do this business.  For them, the status quo is the easy way in any situation.

I used to be one of those people who did absolutely nothing. I continued to work day after day at a job I hated, and I had every excuse there was for not getting started in the real estate business.  So I can relate. You could say, “I’ve been there, done that.”

There were three main things that held me back:

  1. Lack of focus.
  2. A true desire.
  3. Abundance of fear.

You can absolutely tame all three. I am living proof that you can. The biggest change that occurred for me finally was the desire to succeed.  An even greater desire was to get back all the money I had spent on courses and seminars.  As I always say, “Whatever it takes to make you move forward!”

I discovered there were some very easy ways to get focused and get on track.  One was to define the specific reason I wanted to succeed.  For me it was to get back the money I had already spent on educational materials and to get rid of a job I hated.  At the time, my job entailed being on the road for long periods each week which resulted in my not being home much, something I very much wanted to change.  I spent many years in a “dead-end job” making a lot of money for other people.

For you, it may be putting money away for your kid’s education, taking a trip you’ve always wanted to take or maybe becoming involved in charities you want to support. Whatever that reason is for you, commit it to paper and out loud to those around you. There is nothing I know that will force you to take action more than committing to a goal out loud. Become persistent in the realization of your dream. Use the knowledge you already have and move forward from that point.

Visualize your success!  Every extraordinary, successful person has visualized their success in their mind and then on paper first.  Their dreams were put into action, resulting in a reality of success.  Bottom line, this is the outline of the road to wealth.  Unfortunately, most people get stuck in the “dreams” part of that road to wealth.

Enlist the help of your local real estate club or a mentor to stay on track. If there isn’t a real estate club where you live, contact other investors in your area and form your own group. This is a great way to network and get the support you need. I had a mentor early on in my business and I attended meetings of our local real estate club on a regular basis. I found this to be a great way to stay focused and excited about the real estate business.  I continued to work with other investors in my area who were already doing the business.

If people around you are telling you it won’t work, don’t let them “steal your dreams”. Only you can make the decision to be financially free. I know that lots of my friends and family members thought I was crazy to want to do this business. I’m glad I didn’t listen! Hang around with like-minded people, wherever you can find them. Learn from people more successful than you.  Hang around with people who make more money than you do. Decide what it is you want to do for your business on a daily basis and implement a plan of attack.

Enlist the help and support of your spouse and children or a partner while growing your real estate business. There are lots of things they can do to help and you’ll achieve a feeling of team work which will keep you moving forward. Write a specific list of goals you want to achieve, no matter how small. Set goals for tomorrow, next week, next month, next year. This is one way to create a road map you can follow toward attaining your goals and growing your real estate business.

Do whatever it is you need to do to keep moving in a positive, forward direction. Don’t let the “naysayers” get you down. They just want to keep you where they are. Don’t take advice from anyone who makes less money than you do. You have a right to live the kind of life you want, so be willing to do what it takes to attain it.

Real estate is one of the best ways I know to grow wealth quickly. If you believe you can’t change your attitude about the opportunity to create wealth through real estate, I assure you that you can. You just have to make the decision to choose the road to wealth.

That road to wealth is to stay focused and to never give up.  Success can be yours…today!

For more information on Kathy Kennebrook’s systems for the Real Estate Investor be sure and visit her website at www.marketingmagiclady.com. While you are there be sure and sign up for Kathy’s FREE monthly newsletter and received $149.00 of real estate tools absolutely FREE!!

Say Cheese! One Reason Your Brand Isn’t a Thing (Yet)

By Sharon Vornholt

A lot of people would rather have a root canal than actually have a professional photoshoot, but it is one of the top reasons your brand isn’t a thing (yet).  It’s time to schedule that professional photoshoot.

Remember that your brand is the way people feel about you. Pictures tell a story.

Good or bad, they tell a story.  Pictures are one of the most powerful things of all when it comes to telling your story and building your brand. People get to experience how it would feel to work with you through those images.

Before someone makes the decision to work with you, they first want to get to know you.  Great photos on your website and other marketing materials give these folks some insight into who you are. They also help set you apart from your competition.

Quality branding photos are essential for building your brand and the market perception that you are the authority in your marketplace. Perception is almost 100% responsible for how people view you, and it’s up to you to create your brand and that perception.

Remember that your brand is the way people feel about you.

Be Authentic When Creating your Brand

Pictures should always be authentic and show the real you when it comes your brand.  You’ve heard the saying, “You need to be yourself; everyone else is already taken”.

Here’s an example.

Let’s imagine for just a minute you are a laid back, jeans and boots type of guy (or gal).  You might put a jacket on for a meeting or event, but your “MO” is casual 100% of the time. You might put your “dress boots” on for the Christmas party, but that’s about as dressed up as you’re going to get.  Let’s call this person Jordan.

Jordan always shows up as this laid back, casual, very approachable person.  Imagine if Jordan suddenly shows with branding photographs in a suit and tie (or suit and heels). Can you imagine the reaction of everyone that sees those photographs?

They would be saying, “Who the heck is that”?

So just be yourself in all of your branding efforts.

Why Hire a Pro?

This one is easy.  Because you’ll look so much better than if you try to do it yourself.

You’re not just hiring someone with a better camera, but you’re hiring someone that can make you look awesome.  A good branding photographer also has the ability to take your version of you and mold it into something that speaks to your brand.  They will edit and retouch your photos and in most cases, they will be able to shoot you so your flaws are less obvious.  (We all worry about our flaws don’t we?)

Your New Look

Once you have your new photos, it time for a “makeover” of all your sites.  Add your new photos to your website and your social media sites as well as any marketing materials. When done properly, these new branding photo’s will help show people what it feels like to work with you.

Great branding photos will help you be seen.  

Here are Some Tips for the Photoshoot

Wear clothes that you feel comfortable in. This is really important.  You just can’t be relaxed for your photoshoot if you’re wearing something that doesn’t feel good.

Wear solid colors.  Black works well on the bottom. They style of your clothes should your brand personality.

You might want to use an interesting backdrop.  I love brick walls. (Go figure)

This one is for the gals.  Always show up in “daytime” hair and make-up.   (Think back to those old glamour shots). Yuck! No one really looks like that.

Do you have a prop that would make people say “Yes, that’s him or her”?

Think coffee cup, wine glass, golf club, or maybe your signature book.

What about your dog you talk about all the time on social media and always take with you?  Grab a shot with your pooch.

You get the idea.  Props are great for building a solid brand when they are part of who you are.  The most important thing is just to get it done.

 

 

Feeling a Little Lost? How to Get Your Groove Back

By Sharon Vornholt

Do you ever feel a little lost? Like you just can’t get your groove back?

That’s not too surprising. The world is full of amazing opportunities. There are so many ways to make money in real estate investing, it’s easy for us to jump from one thing to another. Generally speaking, shiny object syndrome is not your friend when it comes to business.

However, know that you’re not expected to have it all figured out right out of the gate.

If you’re like most people, you will go down a lot of different paths before you figure out your investing strategy, and how to be your best and most authentic “you” and that’s OK. It’s all part of the process. When you’re finally in the place where you belong; the place that’s right for you, you will know it. That’s when you get your groove back, and you’re ready to rock and roll.

How to Get Your Groove Back

So how do you find the right balance between jumping from one thing to another while you’re finding your way, and staying on your predetermined path? (The path you decided was right for you.)

You slow down a look at the big picture as you begin the adventure of building a business.  This is a little like following a map to get from place A to B.   When we take a trip, we almost always take little side trips along the way.  When we look back when the trip is finished, there’s rarely any regret over these detours and unplanned stops.  It’s all part of the process in travel and in business, and it makes for a much more interesting trip when it’s all said and done.

Building a Business and a Brand that Stands Out

You’re probably wondering, “What does this have to do with building your business and your brand”? 

A lot more than you think. 

It’s important for your potential customers AKA motivated sellers, to see authenticity in your brand.  All of these little detours and side trips you make along the way while you’re growing your business, influence who you ultimately become. That person you become will be the face of your business going forward.

This is the time that the collection of experiences you had along the way begin to pay off. It’s also one of the ways you become different from your competition.

Be Bold

My advice to you is to be bold when it comes to chasing your dreams.  Take risks along the way.  Dare to be different.  Go out on a limb when you need to take a stand.

Remember the movie, “How Stella Got Her Groove Back”? Let’s just say Stella had to really go out on a limb to find it.  She had to get way out of her comfort zone.

What will happen when you do this, is you will start to build your tribe. People will be attracted to your authentic self. These are the people that will follow you along on your journey. They will be your best cheerleaders, and they will refer people to your business.

Remember, you won’t be a fit for everybody.

This confidence you’ve gained will shine through when you talk to motivated sellers, and people will trust you to help them get where they need to be. They will feel confident that you are the one to help them with their problem.  When you can’t seem get your groove back, it’s almost always because you aren’t being your authentic self.

I love this line from the book Fascinate by Sally Hogshead.

“Different is better than better”. – Sally Hogshead.

Dare to be different.

How Will You Be Remembered?

According to Brendan Burchard, there are only 3 things anyone will ultimately be remembered for:

Character, relationships and contribution, so let’s talk about these a little bit.

Character

There is little to say about character that hasn’t already been sad a million times.  Your character will determine your long term failure or success in this business. You will be quickly found out if you’re not an ethical business person. You will become invisible to people that should be part of your tribe.

Relationships

Real estate is a relationship business. Whether we are taking about other investors, contractors or motivated sellers, this business is all about relationships. It’s about having conversations that build rapport with people you do business with.

If you’re one of those folks that struggle with this particular thing, contrary to what you may believe, this is something that you can get better at with practice.  Full disclosure here: you’re going to need to be prepared to spend a lot of time outside your comfort zone in the beginning.

Contribution

When I think about contribution I immediately think about giving back. How can we make the world a better place? There are so many ways.

  • We can do volunteer work for someone like Habitat for Humanity or other charity
  • I know an investor that wrote a book and donated the proceeds to charity
  • If you are a rehabber, maybe your mission is to revitalize neighborhoods
  • How about sharing your expertise with others?

Contribution isn’t just about money.  It’s finding a way to leave the world a better place when you’re gone.  It’s how you will be remembered, and it’s up to you to decide how you will be remembered.

Giving back could be as simple as mentoring folks just getting started in this business. Be bold, get involved, take a stand and get your groove back in the process!

 

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Don’t Stop Marketing when Times are Tough (and the Going Gets Rough)

By Sharon Vornholt

If there is one piece of advice I could give every struggling investor who is trying to stay afloat in today’s challenging market, it would be “don’t stop marketing”.

I know that’s what most people do. But it’s during these times you need to actually step up your marketing. You can’t stay in the game, if you don’t play.

Let’s put it another way.

When you can’t seem to get a deal no matter what, most investors stop marketing to conserve cash. But I can tell you that your business will die a quick and painful death if you do this. You may have to change the way you’re marketing, but whatever you do, don’t stop marketing when times are tough.

So What Can You do If Your Business is starved for Cash?

There are a lot of things you can do but here are some suggestions:

  • Networking is free (or almost free). Get out every day and talk to people. Be sure you have business cards. You can get affordable business cards at Vista Print.
  • What can you cut out to have money for marketing over the next couple of months for direct mail and other things that have a cost associated with them? Do as much marketing as you possibly can.
  • Can you partner with someone? Offer to go look at houses and make offers for someone that has cash for marketing, but maybe has small children and little time.
  • What about spending the day in eviction court? You’re sure to find some tired landlords there.
  • Get a list and call prospects. You’re already paying for your phone, so why not put it to good use?
  • Go driving for dollars. Do some door-knocking to find out who lives in that vacant house.

There are a lot of marketing strategies that cost nothing more than your time.

I can tell you this for sure; it’s these times when “average” investors close up shop. Just keep plugging away. Don’t stop marketing and you will come out way ahead of your competitors over time.

Spend Your Cash Wisely when Money is Tight

This is a time when you need to be smart with your money and your resources.

Here are some more tips for you:

  • Make sure your lists are laser focused. Don’t get too broad. You want to make each mail piece count since they are costing you money.
  • Don’t forget about follow up. Go back through all your leads in the past 12 months. Look at all those who said no. Maybe they are ready to say yes now at the end of the year.
  • Get to work on that stack of direct mail. Do you know someone that has TLO or another similar service that might split the cost for one month to check all of those returned mail pieces?
  • Are there additional real estate niches where you look for opportunities? Think tired landlords, pre-foreclosures, houses with code citations, etc.
  • Remember time and circumstances change all things. This is certainly true of motivated sellers. Just because a seller told you no before, they might just have meant “not now”.

Don’t Stop Marketing During the Holidays

This is probably the biggest mistake investors make. They stop marketing during the holidays. You can take advantage of that, but doing the opposite of what everyone else is doing. This is a good time to look for opportunities where other investors dropped the ball.

Final Thoughts

It’s great to do a marketing brain dump every now and then. Maybe there is something you used to do that you stopped doing. Do whatever it takes to stay in the game.

Get creative and see what you can come up with.

Sharon Vornholt

Sharon Vornholt is the owner of Innovative Property Solutions, LLC in Louisville, KY.

Sharon owned and operated a successful home inspection company for 17 years. She began investing in real estate in 1998 and became a full time real estate investor in January of 2008.

Sharon specializes in wholesaling, and is also an experienced landlord and rehabber.

In addition, Sharon is an internet marketer and also writes articles for several national real estate sites. Sharon is the author of a popular real estate blog called the “Louisville Gals Real Estate Blog”. For your FREE REPORT “Probates and Absentee Owners: Your Fast Track to Real Estate Riches”, stop by her blog at: http://LouisvilleGalsRealEstateBlog.com.

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Investigate 6 New Lead Sources for Your Real Estate Business

By Leon McKenzie, CEO, US Probate Leads

According to Forisk Research, US Housing starts are projected to continue at 1.5 million a year all the way to the year 2024. This tremendous growth is great for the overall economy of the country. However, it will likely increase the competition for the stakeholders within the real estate industry. If you are a realtor or real estate investor, this is something that you need to be prepared for. Everyone wants a share of the profitable real estate pie.

But you shouldn’t fear. Increased competition does not mean that you have to lose money. You just have to find new ways to get better real estate leads for your business. The higher the quality of these leads, the more revenues you are likely to generate when they pan out.

So, where do you even begin? How should you go about investigating new lead sources for your real estate business?

As it turns out, there are plenty of options if you look in the right place.

Possible New Leads Sources for Your Real Estate Business

  1. Your Local Attorneys

Whenever any major legal life changes occur, people tend to consult attorneys for help. We are talking about major issues such as bankruptcy, divorce, death and the like. And while these life changes may not be good for the clients of the attorneys, they can be very good news for your business.

Think about it: when someone declares bankruptcy for example, that person will need to get rid of some properties in order to comply with the legal conditions that arise from being in such a difficult situation. Some of those conditions may require one to sell a home in order for the creditors to be paid.

As a realtor or real estate investor, attorneys who handle major life issues for their clients can provide a steady source of leads for your business. Your business presents attorneys with the opportunity to further help their clients to sort out their financial problems in the easiest way possible.

It’s therefore in your best interest to take the time to establish a connection with the attorneys in your locale. Let them know what you do for a living, and then make it clear that you are available to do business with them and their clients. If you establish a good rapport with your local attorneys, you will become the go-to person when they need to help their clients get rid of their properties.

  1. Home Cleaning Companies

Some people hire home cleaning companies simply because they are not in the mood to clean their homes. But do you know who else likes to hire professional cleaners?

Sellers, that’s who!

When people are set to put up their homes on the market, they are more likely to hire professional home cleaning companies. Professionals are in a better position to clean the homes properly.

Once a home is put up for sale, then the chance for you to sell that home on behalf of a client as the lead realtor, is gone. If you are a real estate investor, then you need to be prepared for the competition from other potential buyers who may also be interested in the property.

Home cleaning companies are a good source of real estate leads because they will help you discover which homes may possibly be up for sale before the sign or listing goes up. This gives you the time to contact the homeowners and offer to either represent them or to buy the property off them quickly.

So, the next time you come across a professional home cleaning company in your area, pay them a visit, and start talking to the relevant parties. Leave your business card too. The casual chats you initiate may end up leading to a sale or two for you.

  1. Property Managers

Some homeowners are absentee landlords/ landladies. They want all the benefits of leasing out their properties without the headaches. For that reason, they hire property managers to manage their additional homes.

If you are a realtor or real estate investor, then property managers are good professionals to have in your corner – especially if you live in an area with lots of investment proprties. At some point, some of the homeowners will get tired of owning the additional properties and may end up selling them to recover their monies.

If you did your due diligence and established a good relationship with the property managers in your locale, when their clients need to sell their homes, you will be the first person to know. This will ensure that you get your pick of prime properties that will enable you to get the best value for your money.

  1. Consumer Loan Companies

When people are denied loans by banks, they tend to go for loans from consumer loan companies. In such cases, it is safe to assume that the clients of these companies have a high debt load, poor credit, and are possibly in financial distress. This assumption isn’t far-fetched at all. After all, according to the 2015 NerdWallet survey, the average American household has a debt of $130,922!

So, when someone in financial distress cannot qualify for a regular loan, it is safe to say that the person in question may be looking to make lifestyle changes. In the event that such a person has a home, he or she may be very eager to downsize in order to reduce the overall debt.

When you run a real estate business, consumer loan companies can be a good source of information on potential sellers or clients of homes, depending on whether you are a realtor or investor.

Take time to talk to the company administrators and inquire on the list of their clients. The worst that could happen is that you get a “no” because the company does not divulge information on their clients. Alternatively, someone working there may mention that they have clients desperate to sell their properties and want some help. Either way, it never hurts to ask.

  1. Nursing Homes and Retirement Communities

As of 2014, there were at least 15,600 nursing homes in the U.S. All these homes had a total of about 1.7 million licensed beds.

It’s important for you to consider senior citizens when you are investigating new lead sources for your real estate business. Many of the retirees living in nursing homes and retirement communities may have some property that they acquired during their working life.

When you consider that the average 55-64 year old only has $45,447 saved up for retirement, you can see why it would make sense for senior citizens to sell their homes to boost their savings. And this is where you come in.

As a realtor or real estate investor, you could take the time to talk to the members of the retirement communities within your area and create awareness of your services. Let them know how you can be of service to help them improve their financial situation. Leave a business card to anyone who’s interested and then adopt a wait-and-see attitude.

Do not be surprised to see multiple people contacting you to help them get rid of their properties. Many of them could have been waiting for someone helpful to come along and help them sell a home they had invested their time, money, and emotions in.

The Trouble with Investigating New Lead Sources…

Your local attorneys, home cleaning and consumer loan companies, property managers, and retirement homes and communities are all great sources of new leads for your real estate business. Most industry players who just happen to be your competition would probably not think of them. That said they do have their fair share of challenges:

  • Not every lead source will be willing or have the time to share the information that you seek. Some will cite client confidentiality issues while others just can’t be bothered. In such situations, all your attempts to find the best leads will be fruitless.

  • It takes a certain amount of social skills to network and form mutually-beneficial relationships with other professionals who can provide leads for your business. If you have social anxiety, prolonged contact to keep the relationships going can be a hassle. There is also the fact that it takes a lot of effort to establish the business relationships in the first place. If you have neither the time nor the energy, these lead sources won’t work out.

Probate Leads Mining Offer the New Real Estate Lead Source to Beat!

Have you ever taken the time to consider how many people actually die and leave their properties behind?

A lot as it turns out!

There are at least 2.6 million deaths annually in the USA.

And by 2018, there will be $15 trillion worth of real estate settlements that will run through the Superior courts. And 70% of them will be in form of real estate.

It’s also worth noting that 50% of executors live out of the county where the probate process takes place.

Think of the possibilities!

Probate lead mining companies offer you the chance to explore a new lead source that not many real estate industry stake holders consider. But unlike the other lead sources, you don’t have to deal with the hassle that goes into getting the information that you want. All you have to do is buy the already-qualified leads and you will find highly motivated executors at the other end of the line.

So, when looking for new lead sources, definitely consider probate leads. Probate lead mining companies like US Probate Leads offer the best solution if you are looking for new lead sources for your real estate business.

US Probate Leads

Leon McKenzie

Chief Executive Officer

Leon cofounded US Probate Leads more than 12 years ago and has witnessed its growth during that period from a one city lead provider in the probate space to the only national provider of probate leads for virtually every county in the country.

Leon likes to point out that US Probate Leads is the only company providing Probate-related Real Estate-related leads to Investors and Realtors based on data collected directly from individual probate courts in virtually every state. This has been achieved by building a National Network of Researchers that visit each county one time each month. Leon’s team processes this incoming data and makes it available to individual subscribers for their use in reaching out to highly motivated property sellers.

Email: sales@usprobateleads.com

Web Site: www.usprobateleads.com

Contact Details: Leon McKenzie
8108 Penobscot Ln

McKinney, TX 75071

(877) 470-9751

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Best Kept Secrets To Get More Motivated Sellers Contacting You

By: Kathy Kennebrook, The Marketing Magic Lady

Getting motivated sellers to contact you first is essential to any successful Real Estate Investor’s business. A truly motivated seller is the key to a good deal; the more motivated the seller, the better the deal. You will find very quickly, as I did, that you will be able to buy a lot more houses at much better prices if you target the right sellers. You will also get the terms you want when the seller contacts you first, especially in some of today’s really hot real estate markets. You’ll want to target the kind of sellers who truly need to sell as opposed to those who just want to sell, including those sellers in pre-foreclosure.

Marketing to sellers is also a numbers’ game. The more motivated sellers you are able to locate, the more motivated sellers you will have contacting you, and the more opportunities you’ll have to make good deals. The secret is in learning how to find the truly motivated sellers.

Whom exactly are you going to be marketing to? Motivation comes in many forms. Sellers need to sell for a variety of reasons. Some reasons have to do with the sellers themselves, such as age, health status, job situations, personal situations, financial difficulties, change in family size or change in marital status.

Other reasons might have to do with the property itself, such as an estate, a property that needs too much work, or a property that has been vacant for a significant period of time. This would also include land lords who have simply had enough of tenants damaging their properties over and over again.

So how do you find these sellers and how should you market to them? The best way I’ve found to do this is by using at least three to five different marketing strategies at all times. One of the multi-pronged marketing approaches is the proper use of direct mail to reach these very motivated sellers. You always want to be reaching your market in a variety of different ways to draw the highest number of motivated sellers to you.

The BIG secret to effective direct mail campaigns is to use them over and over to the same potential sellers. As you will quickly discover, given time, almost every potential sellers’ circumstances change and make them more ready to sell.

I also find that these mailings are very residual. These potential sellers will hold onto your direct mail pieces until their circumstances dictate that they contact you, especially since they probably have not had any contact from anyone else, because usually their properties are not being actively marketed.

Since they are not being actively marketed, there is virtually no competition for these deals. And… if you take the time to actively follow up with your direct mail campaigns and with your sellers, these sellers will contact you first when they need to sell, even if they have been contacted by someone else in the meantime.

This makes it even easier for you to make a good deal. In addition, during the time you have been mailing sequentially to these potential sellers, you continue to build credibility with them. This will give you a significant advantage over your competition, since these sellers feel they already have a “relationship” with you.

The biggest part of the secret is to find the sellers who really want to sell. I use different direct mail campaigns to successfully locate several types of motivated sellers depending on what kind of deals I am specifically looking for in my business. The best way for you to build your business quickly is to use a number of different methods to draw motivated sellers simultaneously.

This can best be done by locating mailing lists and refining them to meet your specific criteria, and then mail to them over and over, cleaning your lists as you go. I find that I get the best results by mailing to my lists at least every sixty to ninety days. This is very easy to do if you implement a follow up system which will help you to track your mailings and your deals.

You’ll also quickly discover that different types of direct mail pieces and lists work better in some parts of the country than in others. Some of these lists might include mailings to out of state property owners, burned out land lords, quit claim deeds, military transfers, estates or pre-foreclosures. These are all sources of highly motivated sellers.

Be sure to give your potential sellers several different ways to contact you such as mail, e-mail, fax, phone and a website. The more ways you give these sellers to contact you, the more of them will contact you, especially when you make it more convenient for them by giving them several ways to reach you. This way they can contact you in the way that is the most comfortable for them and at their convenience.

When you learn how to get motivated sellers contacting you and then learn how to purchase properties using a number of different methods, the possibilities become almost endless. If you use several different methods to get motivated sellers contacting you, you will have more opportunities than you can even imagine. You get to pick and choose the deals that you want to do! Because you get to pick and choose the deals you want to do, you can also pick the exit strategy that most suits your needs, such as wholesaling, renting, selling or lease/options. There is no other marketing strategy that gives you this much control over your deals.

In addition, in today’s market, since so many folks are focused on pre-foreclosures, there is a whole other market of sellers who need our help as well, like divorces, estates and probate, military transfers, burned out landlords and Spanish Speaking homeowners. These are just a few of the types of sellers we need to be concentrating on to create great deals, including those that come with owner financing.

Using direct mail campaigns to market to motivated sellers and developing a “cookie cutter” system to accomplish this is one of most affordable, reliable, and effective ways that I know to build your business quickly and have more qualified motivated sellers contacting you than you will be able to handle.

For more information on Kathy Kennebrook’s marketing tools to find all the motivated sellers and lenders you need for your real estate investing business go to Kathy’s website at www.marketingmagiclady.com. While you are there be sure and sign up for her monthly newsletter and receive $149.00 of real estate tools absolutely FREE!!

Kathy Kennebrook

Contact Info:

Kathy Kennebrook
Dagger LLC
P.O. Box 14343
Bradenton Fl 34280

941-792-5390
941-795-6887 (fax)
kpaddler@att.net

Kathy Kennebrook is the ultimate success story. She spent several years in the banking industry before discovering the world of real estate. After attending some real estate seminars this 4 foot 11 mother of two got really excited and before you know it she’d bought and sold hundreds of properties using none of her own money or credit.

Kathy holds a degree in accounting and has co-authored the books- The Venus Approach to Real Estate Investing, Walking With the Wise Real Estate Investor, and Walking With the Wise Entrepreneur which also includes real estate experts Donald Trump, Suze Orman, Robert Kiyosaki, and Dr. Wayne Dyer. She is the nation’s leading expert at finding highly qualified, motivated sellers, buyers and lenders using many types of direct mail marketing. She is known throughout the United States and Canada as the Marketing Magic Lady. She has put together a simple step-by-step system that anyone can follow to duplicate her success.

Kathy has been speaking throughout the country and across Canada for over 14 years and has shared the stage with Ron LeGrand, Donald Trump, Dr. Phil., Dan Kennedy, Mark Victor Hansen, Ted Thomas and Suze Orman to name a few.

Kathy is going to share with you how she generates a seven figure income by mailing a handful of letters throughout the year to highly selected targets by knowing exactly what to send them, who to send them to and exactly how to deliver her message. She will teach you the secrets of pre-screening and automating your marketing and follow up systems to put your entire Real Estate business on auto-pilot.