Posted on: May 10, 2021

For many entrepreneurs, it’s difficult to operate your business like a machine. That is why you always should focus on creating systems and processes that are effective…and that work…rather than doing 8 million things in your business that you shouldn’t be doing.  Obviously one of the most critical parts of any wholesalers business is the marketing piece. Which leads to the question: “How big should your marketing list be”?

In this episode, Lauren gets micro as she digs deep into how to effectively run a wholesaling business, particularly the marketing side, and talks about which lists will give you the biggest bang for your marketing dollar, how big your lists should be, and how many lists you should be marketing to. She shares the “only” lists that she markets to and why it’s important to focus on a small group, rather than marketing to a ton of lists. She also shares her #1 source for the best lists and the company she uses in her own business.

If your goal is to build a thriving real estate wholesaling business that is fully automated, this episode is a must listen.

Key Takeaways

  • How to know when your marketing is WRONG…and how to fix it
  • What is “list stacking” and why this is dangerous for most wholesalers if you don’t know what you are doing
  • Why Lauren loves the vacant list and her exact targeting criteria
  • Which filters to focus on when pulling your lists and why most people get this part wrong
  • Is the absentee owner list a good list to market to?
  • A surefire way to get the tax delinquent list in your county and how to properly marketing to this list for massive results
  • Her thoughts on pulling leads from and why not all list companies are created equally
  • The importance of constantly monitoring KPI’s and an easy way to manage this in your business


If you are Ready to Explode Your Wholesaling Business, Click here to Book a Free Strategy Session with me right now!

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Episode Transcription

Lauren Hardy:
Hey, what’s up guys? This is Lauren Hardy, and you’re listening to the Wholesaling Inc podcast. I love getting super, super micro on issues, topics, business discussions, marketing questions. The reason I like to dive deep and pick everything apart is because you are going to get very practical advice from this episode if you listened to the entire thing. So today we are going to talk about marketing and specifically we are going to talk about how big your lists should be when you’re marketing. So I’m talking about your marketing list. I got inspired because I had a student had come to me after about three months of doing their own marketing. And I’m not quite sure where we went wrong here because in that three months, the student was kind of doing their own thing. He was following things that he had heard on YouTube university had some other ideas, ideas that I didn’t give him.
So he comes to me and he says, “I’ve been cold calling. I’ve been texting for three, four months. I still haven’t gotten a deal. I don’t know what I’m doing wrong.” And I said, “Okay, let’s run some diagnostics.” This is my favorite thing to do. I call it running diagnostics. And it’s where I literally break apart your business as if it’s a machine. And I run diagnostics on the machine. So I start from the beginning and I go straight to, “Okay, tell me what list are you working on right now?” And he goes, “Well, I’m working a bunch of lists. I’m working at tax delinquent list. I’m working a vacant list. I’m working in absentee list.” I said, “Okay. So you’ve got all three of those lists. Now, are you working on them stacked on top of each other, meaning that for someone to receive a call or text from you, they had to appear on all three of those lists?”
We call this list stacking in our industry or, “Did you take all those lists separately and dump them into your dialer texting machine? What have you?” So if he took it separately, meaning his list is much larger. If he stacked it, you’re looking at a very, very small amount of people that are going to appear on all three of those lists. He goes on and says, “Oh no, I stacked them. So everybody that is getting a text or call for me has a tax delinquency on the property. They also happen to be absentee. And it’s also a vacant property.” And I go, “Okay, let me ask you how big is your list? A thousand people maybe?” If that he goes, “Yeah, actually you’re right.” And so I chuckle. I said, “Hey, where did you learn to do that? Because that’s not something I like to talk about or do.
That’s just not something I recommend. So where’d you learn?” “Oh, YouTube university.” Well, well, well, okay. So guys, this happens all the time with YouTube university. I love YouTube, you guys. I love influencers. I’ve learned so much from YouTube university, but the thing is, is sometimes you stumble on one video that gets you really, really excited. And it’s something that one person is doing that works really well for them in their specific target market and they make a video about it. That doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to work for you, but you get so super excited because it sounds like the golden ticket, right? I mean, you only have to market to a thousand people think of how much marketing dollars the sky is saving. Think of how many people he doesn’t have to reach out to. He doesn’t have to do as much door knocking.
He doesn’t have to do as much cold calling. He doesn’t have to do as much texting because he has this golden list of people that have seven areas of motivation. So he’s bound to make tons of money in less time. It sounds super efficient, right? But I’m going to tell you it’s not, because it’s not enough. You have to market to more people to get a consistent deal flow. A thousand people on a list is not going to do it. Now, I’m sure there are exceptions to this rule. “Oh, but Lauren, I did it or my friend so and so he’s been doing this exact same technique and he makes six figures a year doing this technique.” That’s great. There’s always exceptions to the rule. I’m not saying I’m right. But what I am saying is in my experience, the people that are doing regular deals do not stack their list to death.
So in this episode, I want to give you a clear idea of how big your list should be. And you guys can take these numbers and you can use them, use them with a grain of salt. Now I’m not in every single market. Your list might be bigger, might be smaller, but this is just an idea of what your list should look like. Okay? So let’s start with my three favorite lists that I recommend. I love a vacant seller list. I absolutely love an absentee owner list. And I really, really, really love a tax delinquent absentee owner list. Okay? Now I will get into the details of what each one is and I’m also going to tell you where you can get them and I’m even going to give you a discount code. So keep listening. Vacant list. What is a vacant property? A vacant property is empty.
A vacant property is a property that somebody recently moved out of. And it’s just sitting there empty, not doing anything for the homeowner, not collecting rent, not generating any income. It’s an empty house that has chances of getting broken into. It’s an empty house that you may not be able to get insurance for that you didn’t know that guys vacant homes do not qualify for a standard insurance policy. You actually have to get a vacant dwelling policy and they’re much more expensive. Okay? So it’s an awesome list to work. I love it. It’s usually a list of motivated sellers, sellers that have a reason to sell because the house is doing absolutely nothing for them. It’s just a liability at this point. Depending on the size of your market. Okay? So say your market is maybe 250,000 population to say a million population. Your vacant list might be anywhere from 1,500 addresses to 3,300 addresses.
Now take this with a grain of salt. Every area is different. Okay? But in my experience, this is just what I noticed is that these lists are about this size. So if you are looking for what is the first list I should really work. I recommend vacant because it is a small list. A lot of us are on a budget. A lot of us are pinching our pennies here to get started. I totally get it. So in my opinion, a vacant house is probably the most, I would say seller motivated type vehicle here. When a seller has a vacant home, it’s really doing nothing for them. It’s just sitting there. It’s a liability. It’s actually costing them money. So I recommend using that list first. The next list is just a plain off absentee owner list. So depending on your area, I’ve seen absentee owner lists.
They can get really big, but kind of average, 10,000 to 20,000 addresses. So an absentee owner let’s go into what that is. It is a house where the tax mailing address, where the tax bills get sent are different than the actual property address. That is the only indicator that it’s absentee owned. You can add other filters. Some people like adding equity filters. I personally don’t. You can do years owned like the seller has owned the home for at least four years. That’s something I do. And that usually takes care of the equity issue, but I don’t trust the equity filter. And I’ve tested this for years. You can do age of the home, add some filters to filter the list down. You want to make sure these are homes that you would actually be able to work. So take some time to think about the filters that are important to you.
I recommend less filters the better. It’s going to be a big list, but you also don’t want to put too many filters because what could happen is the county tracks things differently. Every county tracks things differently. So if you put too many filters, you might chop off something on accidentally and it’s more of a nuance to that county. So I leave the filters as lenient as I can. I think I have about four filters and it’s usually age of the property building size, lot size. I don’t want like farms. So I make sure the lot isn’t any bigger than an acre in my area. I think I said, did I say age of the property? I said, age of the property, the years that the seller has owned the home, I usually do at least four years. That’s about it for myself. And then I make sure that I’m targeting these zip codes that have active buyer activities.
So that’s a big one. So if you do all those things, your absentee owner list is going to be about 10 to 20,000. Might be a little bit less, might be a little bit more depending on your territory. But as you can see, it’s a big list. I love this list because these are sellers that are usually landlords and they could have problem tenants. They could just be ready to retire and they just want to do a really quick sale. Sometimes you get a landlord who owns multiple properties and they sell multiple to you at once. So it’s a sweet list. I like it. I recommend it. Now the third list I really like if you can get your hands on it, is the tax delinquent list, but I make sure that I filter that they also have to be absentee owners. And there’s a reason I’ve tested this.
So a plain tax delinquent list is just people who owe back taxes. Okay? They haven’t paid their property taxes. They get on this list. What I have noticed is if they live in the property, they kind of don’t care. They know depending on the county that they’ve got several years before the house is going to be taken away from them. So they’re living in it. I mean, they need a roof over their head. So when I add a filter that they also are absentee, that’s an indication that this is probably a home that they inherited or for some reason still have, it’s not something they’re taking serious. They’re not like a professional landlord. Professional landlords keep up with their property taxes. This is probably something that they got stuck with at some point, they haven’t really gotten around to selling it, but they really can’t afford to have this thing because they can’t even keep up with the taxes.
So it’s perfect for you to come in and say, “Hey, I’m a cash buyer. We’re looking for homes just like this. Let me take it off your hands. Let’s do a deal.” So love this list if you can get your hands on it. The problem is certain counties report their tax delinquencies differently. And some of the list providers have a tough time getting it. So if you can’t get it from a normal list provider, then you’re going to have to go to the county directly and ask them for this list and do some ninja data scrubbing to compile a good Excel form because likely they’re not going to give you the list in Excel. They’ll give it to you in a PDF. So you’re going to have to figure out how to get that PDF into Excel. Maybe use some scraping tools, maybe find somebody who can do that for you on Fiverr.
Just some tips. The tax delinquent list, from what I’ve seen, are usually around 3000 to 5,000 records. Again, it could vary depending on the area. If you notice that it’s really low, like a hundred or 200, and your population is like a million population, even 500,000 population in the area, your list is incorrect. Your list provider cannot get tax delinquencies for whatever reason, that’s the indication. So if you see that the list is too small, it’s probably because the list provider isn’t getting the data, not their fault. It really goes back to the county. So, that’s it. Those are my favorite list. Those are approximate numbers of how big the lists should be and you need to work those entire lists throughout. Don’t overstack them. Don’t try to make them smaller because you need to make sure you are marketing to a lot of people.
You definitely need that volume of people to receive your marketing for you to get the leads that you need to get, to get the offers out that you need to make and to get the deals that you want to close. It’s all about getting as many people into that sales funnel. So let’s talk about where I get my lists. I get my list from a company called So if you go to, that’s where I get my lists. Now batch leads has several services. They have other things they offer. They have lists stacking. They have a list stacker, and I actually keep all my lists organized in there. The reason I love that stacker is because if you buy new lists from batch leads, they’ll know that you already have that record in your system and they won’t charge you. So I do really appreciate that.
It helps me save money, not re skip tracing or repurchasing records that I already have, because believe me over the years, I’ve purchased so many phone numbers, so much data, and it really does add up. So any way you can save money there it’s key. And if you guys do want to save some money, I’ve got a discount code. So my code virtual will give you a 50% off discount that first month, it also gets you a special skip tracing rate. So make sure you use my code, virtual. We’ll make sure we put all of that in the show notes. And that is it for today guys, I got super micro. I feel like I gave you a really good outline of a small piece of this puzzle. This is a big puzzle, our business. I like to look at any business as it’s a machine, and there’s all these different pieces to the machine.
And if one thing is off, the whole machine will break. It won’t function correctly. So if you can put that in your head and think about your business as a machine, and think about running diagnostics on your machine with a mentor, with a coach, you will be able to figure out what is that small area of the machine that’s broken. And if you make that tweak, everything’s running smoothly. So this is one area list size is a small component to the machine, but it is something that I see a lot of people get stuck on struggle with, don’t even realize that’s the problem. So hope I solved that problem if you were having it, hope you guys got something out of this. If you guys loved this episode, please share it with your friends. And if you want to learn more about my virtual investing coaching program, it’s Again, we’ll put all of that in the show notes. Thank you so much for listening today. And I will see you next time.

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