I am a huge fan of using poor methods (where you have more time than money) to build your buyers list at first, but at some point you will realize that spending a little money on marketing to build a list of serious buyers is well worth the expense. That's when you should seriously consider using direct mail postcards to quickly and cost effectively build your buyers list.
First, I want to tell you that I and many other marketing savvy investors have built huge buyers lists with this method. It is not theory. It is a proven method to generate a list of buyers. Here's how to do it.
You need to get a mailing list of investors. The list you want is the Absentee Owner list, which is comprised of owners that have their tax bill sent to an address other than the address of the property that they own. This usually means that they are not living in the property and are probably investors.
So, where do you get this list? Right now, I get mine from public record data via my Multiple Listing Service (MLS) subscription, since I am a licensed real estate broker associate here in Colorado. However, before I had my license, I did not have access to the MLS and I got it from alternative sources. I have also used a subscription service like RealQuest. If you don't want to commit to paying the monthly fee for RealQuest you can also use a mailing list broker. Contact me for a current recommendation on what list broker I recommend when you are ready to purchase the list.
Once you have your list, you need a service that will allow you to upload your list and the message that you want printed on your postcard. This service should then print, address, and mail your postcards for you. Trust me when I say that you DO NOT want to do this yourself. It is cheap to have companies do this for you - but very time and labor intensive to do it manually. I have personally used the US Postal Service Click 2 Mail service and have been extremely happy with them. You should strongly consider using them.
I recommend you use a small 4 by 6 post card. You might see a bump in response from using a yellow card stock, which tends to cost a little more, but you will still get a good response from just using white with black text. You don't need to use fancy colors, photos, glossy paper or image advertising. I use a “typewriter" font message to my list of investors.
What does my message say? I've tried various messages over the years and many different mailings. If you have a particularly great deal (or have one you can borrow with permission), you can send out a message telling your list some very basic info about the deal and ask them to call you.
On the call, you can tell them about the deal, but be sure to tell them that you come across great deals for investors all the time, and ask them what they are looking for. Listen very, very carefully as they tell you what they want in a deal. These are the types of deals you must find to become a successful wholesaler. Once they tell you what they are looking for in a deal, then ask them if you can notify them of great deals as you, and other investors you work with, find them. With their permission, you can then add them to your buyers list.
Of course, if you are part of our wholesaler training program, you can add them, using your special referral link, to join our list. You can track this from inside your Wholesaler Control Panel and earn points that unlock special training materials, course downloads and more.
James Orr is a professional real estate investor, marketing expert and founder of the LearnToBeRich.com on-line investment game.
He works with a network of real estate agents, brokers and real estate investors across the United States through the AnalyzedDeals.com website.