If you’re just starting out and you’re looking for a very affordable marketing channel, today’s your lucky day. Our virtual real estate investing coach, Lauren Hardy, shared a dirt cheap marketing channel that truly delivers!
In this episode, Lauren shared the truly affordable marketing channel she’s currently using that has given her lucrative returns. If you want to learn all the basics of this easy-to-manage and highly effective marketing channel, this is one episode you should not miss!
The Dirt Cheap Marketing Channel That Every Wholesaler Needs
I’ve got an exciting episode about my favorite marketing method of 2020. I’m going to tell you what my team is doing and loving, in 2020, that’s going to get us the best results. Are you ready for it? It is mass texting. In all the years that I’ve been doing this business, I have been only focused on direct-to-seller marketing.
I have not done any other type of marketing other than direct-to-seller. I’ve never purchased a deal on the MLS except for maybe the house I lived in. True story, I’ve purchased maybe 2 or 3 properties from a wholesaler in my career. I have always been the wholesaler. Even when I was a house flipper, I was the one going direct to the seller. My flips were extremely discounted because I was skipping the middleman.
If anybody knows direct-to-seller marketing, it is me. I am obsessed with it. I’ve been obsessed with it for years. I have to say that, by far, texting has become one of my favorite methods for a lot of reasons that I’m going to go into in the episode. In my episodes, I like to give tangible and practical advice. I want to be able to deliver value. By the end of this episode, you have some actionable steps that you can take to apply to your business that is going to multiply your profits. I promise you, I’m going to deliver. Let’s get right into it.
I’m going to keep the lesson macro. I’m going to give you an overview. If you want to deep dive, you want to learn more about texting, you want to learn all the details like what should you say, how many people should you text, what kind of lists and all the fine details. I will point you to that resource as well. For the sake of this episode, I want to keep it super macro. Let’s get into why do I love texting. I’ve tried everything. I’ve done SEO, Facebook Ads, direct mail, cold calling. By far, texting is a low-cost way to get a lead and it’s also an easy campaign to manage.
Once you get a possible lead, put them in your sales funnel and treat them like gold.
What do I mean by management? I personally have had a call center. I have had in-house cold callers and it was a difficult task to manage these people. There was a huge human variable. One thing that I found that would happen a lot with my cold callers is that they would start out strong, they would do well their first 90 days to keep their job.
After 90 days, they figured out how to manipulate the system and they would figure out how to make it look like they’re working but they wouldn’t be sticking to my script and they wouldn’t be trying that hard to give me good qualified seller leads. It took me forever to figure out what they were doing. I would have to go listen to their phone calls, which would take me hours to figure out why they weren’t a good fit for the company anymore. It became a revolving door with cold callers. I didn’t love it. It wasn’t my thing.
I moved over to texting primarily. I do still use some cold calling but it’s more for niche lists, more follow-up type stuff. I moved on to texting because it was easy to train and see what your staff member is doing. It’s difficult to manipulate the system and it’s easy to see what they’re doing wrong. What do I mean by that? I’ll get more into the detail and I’ll give you the names of everything I use, the pricing and whatnot. On the platforms that I use, you can see impulse stats quickly and you can tell that something’s wrong.
You can look quickly and look at your delivery rate. If your delivery rate is low, let’s say it’s below 80%, you know that something’s going wrong. There’s a good chance that one of your phone numbers got spammed or there’s a good chance that you are not doing the best practices to improve your delivery rate and that would fall on the virtual assistant that you have doing your campaign. If it’s not the VA and you’re doing it all yourself then it’s you and you’ve got to work on some of these best practices.
The KPIs, the Key Performance Indicators, to read in texting is very easy. It’s right in front of your face. If you have someone else doing the texting for you, let’s say you are scaling, you are at a level where you could afford to pay someone else to do the texting, you can open up their texts and read what they’re saying. You can see if they’re adhering to your script versus having to listen on the phone and hear what they’re saying. For that reason alone, I do love it.
To give you an idea of what a day looks like, I have virtual assistants that are texting for me. I find these VAs on Upwork and we pay them around $5 an hour, which for their country is a good rate. I also give them bonuses based on all the deals we close. I want to encourage them to take their job seriously because they will be compensated well if they do well. I have them send about 1,000 text messages a day. Sometimes it’s 1,500. Sometimes it’s less than 1,000. It depends on the day.
Sometimes you will get a lot of leads in one day and they’re busy and they can’t quite hit 1,500. Sometimes they don’t get as many replies and they’re able to get up to 1,500. I tell them, “Let’s shoot for 1,000 a day and try to stick with that. If you could do more because you have more time and you want more hours, fine.” For the most part, 1,000 text messages a day should do it to keep my team busy.
With the type or amount of leads you should be getting with 1,000 texts a day, it does depend on your territory. If you are in a major metro, you’re probably going to be competing with other investors that are using the same techniques so you may get fewer leads. What I’ve noticed is anywhere from half a percent to a percent of leads, your lead rate to texting is about right. If you send 1,000, let’s hope you get ten leads a day.
Keep your lists easy and broad. Make them more niche, and you will need a more expensive marketing method.
I want to be clear about how I’m defining a lead. A lead is anybody that in a text message says, “Yes, I’d like to sell. Yes, I can sell within the next six months.” If someone is saying that in a text message, they are considered a lead. You need to get on the phone, pick up the phone, get them on the phone and take them through the qualification process you have. Put them in your sales funnel, put them in your CRM and treat them like gold.
It is also inexpensive to send these text messages in comparison to other marketing methods like Google AdWords. If anybody’s tried Google AdWords, talk about expensive to get one lead or direct mail. Direct mail is extremely expensive. I don’t even recommend it anymore because I’ve seen way too many people go broke on direct mail campaigns. It only costs $0.02 per text to send these text messages out. That is nothing. That is cheap in comparison to a lot of the different campaigns that you could be doing.
Let’s talk about where I go to hold my campaign, to send out these text messages. I use www.Batchleads.io. If you use my code, VIRTUAL, you will get 50% off your first month of the service. Use my code, VIRTUAL and give it a shot. Try texting out and see if you like it. You probably are wondering next, “What list should I use? What are the best lists to text to?” Honestly, texting is a data hog. You can text a lot of people if you’re texting 1,000 a day. You are going to blow through your lists.
I like to keep my lists easy and broad. You don’t have to go super niche. I always like to say, with marketing, the more niche the list, the more expensive the marketing method you could use. This is a very inexpensive marketing method. Go ahead and use a broader list. You can use a basic absentee owner list. If you blow through your absentee owner lists, you could even text message owner-occupied. We’ve gotten tons of deals from owner-occupied.
The only filters that we do are we make sure that they are in areas that we want to buy in. I do research the hot ZIP codes that I want to be in. I make sure that the house is the type of home that I would want to buy. Maybe it’s a bit older in age. Usually, they are smaller homes. They’re not above 2,500 square feet. My sweet spot is below 2,500 square feet older than 1995. That’s from my area. It could be completely different for your area.
When I do a broad owner-occupied list, I don’t just do any old house. I make sure that I do put some filters in there. You can buy these lists on Batch as well. It’s all in one place. At Batchleads.io, they have a list providing services within the platform. It’s awesome. You can buy the list. You can skiptrace to get your phone numbers. That’s what skip tracing means for all of you that don’t know. You can get your phone numbers from there. They are the best company for good data. That’s how they started originally. Their original software was all skip tracing. I personally think their data is the best. Once you skiptrace, you can upload into their texting platform all in one place. It’s pretty amazing.
Other lists that you can use and other ways you can use text messaging is to do your follow-up campaign. A secret list I like to talk about is called my follow-up cold. A lot of people don’t know what this is. I coined it myself. Follow-up cold is anybody that has ever expressed interest in selling when we’ve sent some marketing to them. It’s anybody that’s ever called us or responded to our marketing. A lot of these people are tire kickers. A lot of these people are the people that didn’t seem motivated at the time. Believe it or not, they turn around often.
Every time we do a follow-up cold list and I text them, it is usually good for 1 or 2 deals. It’s pretty amazing how, many times, what seemed like a tire kicker does change their mind. Make sure you’re always saving your long-term follow-ups in one central place so you can pull that list and you can upload it into your text messaging platform and follow-up on a regular basis. I like to do it quarterly. I feel like that’s about right for that list.
I know I got super broad. I haven’t got into the fine details of text messaging but I will tell you and stress to you that it is the best campaign in 2020. My company is scaling up and we are doing more texting because it is generating such good results for us. If you want to give it a shot, try Batchleads.io. Use my code VIRTUAL if you want 50% off.
If you want to get more micro on your processes if you want to learn more about how to set up a virtual wholesaling business, how do you market for sellers in a virtual territory and negotiate these off-market deals at heavy discounts all over the phone? Also, not having to go to the properties, not having to meet the sellers face-to-face, I’ve got a coaching program. My coaching program is amazing. It’s all things virtual.
I handle the newer investor to experienced investor but my focus is taking your business virtual. Check out www.VirtualInvestingMastery.com. If you like what you learned, I want you to subscribe to this show and read more episodes because we are coming out with content every day. I hope you got a lot out of this episode. Take care and take some action. Talk to you soon.
About Lauren Hardy
Lauren Hardy is a Virtual Investing expert and Real Estate influencer who owns multiple companies in the real estate industry including real estate investment, coaching, and software companies. She is also a Wholesaling Inc coach and co-host of the Wholesaling Inc Podcast.
Her experience in the last decade has been focused on real estate investing and creating products and services to serve the real estate investing community. If you are interested in investing in real estate virtually, house flipping, or virtual landlording, Lauren’s your girl.