Today, Brian Meidam gets creative with ways to market your business with little to no money and also emphasizes one of the most critical factors in marketing.
Marketing is just about direct mail and social media. Brian lets us in on a few ways to get your name out there without breaking the bank.
Mike: Welcome back to the FlipNerd.com REI Classroom where experts from across the real estate investing industry teach you quick lessons to take your business to the next level. And now, let’s meet today’s expert host.
Brian: Hi, my name is Brian Meidam with Plan B Homebuyers and today I will be your host in the REI Classroom. And we’re going to be talking about marketing without a budget.
Mike: This REI Classroom real estate lesson is sponsored by VirtualStaffNow.com.
Brian: So you’re broke and have a limited marketing budget, but you need to get this real estate business off the ground. What can you do? So I want to share some ideas with you that will generate leads if you’re willing to get off the couch and take action. And one of them I’m going to cover with you may sound a bit extreme, but bear with me. It will put money in your pocket. So I know what some of your thinking right now. Well, Brian, the guru video I watched said that I could sit on the beach and money just rolls in. Well, sorry to burst your beach bubble, but that isn’t reality.
So if you’re struggling to generate leads right now, the thing you need to ask yourself every day is, “How many sellers did I talk to on the phone today? How many people did I talk to?” If it’s zero or if it’s a number that’s not generating you the business that you need, you need to figure out how to get that phone ringing so you can talk to those motivated sellers because you have to ramp up your business. It’s a marketing business. If you’re not talking to sellers, you’re not buying houses. It’s as simple as that. So let’s get into some things that that you can do without a budget. It’s going to take some time, but you’re trading time for dollars and let’s just jump into this.
And some of these things are like, “Hey, Brian, I’ve heard of this before.” Well, I may be adding a little twist to it and, again, there may be one thing at the end that you think it’s extreme. So hang on here with me. First one, driving for dollars. I know a lot of you’re probably familiar with it, but there’s a cool app out there. It’s called HomeSnap. And what you can do, if you’re driving around for dollars and you see that house that looks like it needs your love, it has ugly landscaping or the roof looks horrible or the yellow pages that were delivered three weeks ago are still on the front porch, use that HomeSnap app.
Take a photo of it. Eight out of ten times, it’s going to detect the address and it will allow you to type some notes in there and then you can e-mail that to yourself. So it’s a really a good way to keep track of your driving for dollars list. If you’re like, “Well, Brian I don’t have gas,” or, “I don’t have a car,” walk or ride a bike. I mean, you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do to break through this business and get the leads coming in.
Another thing you can do is put business cards on the top of all the gas pumps. When you go and pump gas, you know on the top of that pump there are usually those plastic holders for advertisements. Stick your business cards in there on both sides as well as the other pumps. And also, what I do is I put my business card in the credit card slot. And what that forces someone to do is before they put their card in they’ve got to take my business card out for their card to work and they’re going to look at my card. And if they need my service, they’re going to give me a call.
So at a cheap place where you can order, I know there are a lot of places out there. One place I really like. It’s GotPrint.com. I can order 5000 business cards at a minimal cost and they’re very good quality. So something you can check out there.
Another thing you can do is post Craigslist ads. I know a lot of people say, “Yeah, I’m going to do it. I’m going to do it.” But it’s very rare that people post ads on a regular, consistent basis. I buy a couple houses here from Craigslist ads. Is that a lot? No. But let’s look at it this way. So it takes one minute to post an ad. So that if you do that every day, it’s right around six hours per year. So if you buy one house that makes you $10,000, you just got paid about $1650 an hour to post Craigslist ads. So does it make sense to do? Yes. The thing is with Craigslist, you’ve got to post on a regular basis or your ad doesn’t get buried.
Another idea. Go to eBay and find someone to print you out an “I buy houses” vinyl graphic for the back window of your car along with a phone number. It’ll cost you about $10, maybe $10, $12 bucks to do that and then put an ad on Craigslist and offer people an incentive. “Hey, I’ve got these vinyl graphics that say, ‘I buy houses.’ I’ve got a specific phone number set up for you. If I get a deal off of this, I’ll pay you $1000 bucks.” And there are plenty of services out there you can go where you can get a phone number for about $3 a month.
And you can basically have all these moving bandit signs out there and generate leads. So if you get 50 bandit signs out there on the back of people’s cars, you’re going to get leads coming in. And $10, $12, it’s not the end of the world. But let’s just pretend you said, “Well, I don’t have $10, $12.” Let’s jump into the final point and this one some of you may think is a little out there. But it’s going to put money in your pocket.
I heard the saying once a while back is, “Do what others aren’t willing to do for three to five years so you can do what they can’t do for a lifetime,” and part of that is making sacrifices. And whether that’s cutting your budget bare bones to get your business off the ground or whatever it is, there are times you’ve got to make sacrifices to just get out there and get it done.
So if you don’t have a marketing budget, I go online and wherever you live and Google “donating plasma.” And what you can do is, on average, you can make about $200 a month donating plasma. So if you’re like, “Brian, that’s crazy. How bad?” Well, if you don’t have a budget, $200 is $200. That’s about 100 bandit signs. That’s about 200 letters. That’s close to 400 postcards. So there’s no reason why you can’t do that and make $200 a month to get your marketing out the door.
So the question you have to ask yourself at the end of the day is are you willing to take massive action and if you’re not willing to get over this little hurdle of not having a marketing budget, you’re not going to be successful in the business, plain and simple. Because you have to be able to market and you’ve just got to get through this.
So get some money in your pocket, donate some plasma if you have to, get off the beach and get into reality. And you’ve got to take massive action and just get that marketing out there. So thanks for joining me and we’ll see you soon.
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