Danny Johnson explains why website leads are better than other lead sources, including direct mail.
When sellers visit your site and contact you, they’re taking the initiative to find you and talk to you. These leads are much more motivated than someone who you sent a post card to because they took initiative first.
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.
Danny: Hello, I’m Danny Johnson. I blog at flippingjunkie.com and I’m also the founder of LeadPropeller and REImobile, and today I’ll be the host of the REI Classroom for you today.
And I wanted to talk first about how website-motivated seller leads are better leads.
Mike: This REI Classroom real estate lesson is sponsored by theinvestormachine.com, FlipNerd’s private investor coaching program and your blueprint to investing success.
Danny: And so most investors generate leads either through the MLS and things like that. They’ll hunt the MLS and constantly go and look at properties and compete with other investors. And then a lot of other house flippers will go and do motivated seller marketing, so doing direct mail and post cards or letters, putting up bandit signs, all that kind of stuff.
And I’ve been generating the majority of my leads online for the past 10 or 12 years, and I’ve just found that they tend to be better leads. And so maybe you’ve experienced before where you’ve done some direct mail and it’s amazing to me how ticked off people can get by receiving a simple post card in the mail to buy their house.
I think my lead intake just told me a couple of weeks ago that he received a call where the gentleman called in and said “F-you” 12 times and Landon had responded with, “Well, can I get your information so I can take you off the list and make sure that we never mail to you again?” And he just responded with another “F-you” and hung up.
So you don’t typically get that with people that submit their information to your website. I’ve never once had somebody submit information to my website, and I call them back and have them chew me out and say things like that. And I’ve had another gentleman from a letter before threaten physical violence and everything, and it was a good thing I’d put a P.O. box on the letter return address for that one. You know it’s funny because you just let them air it out and not say anything for like a minute while they go through all that, and then you ask . . . you have to ask what their address is or their name is so that you can take them off the list. And things change really quick when they find out that you have to get their information. They don’t want to give it after what they’ve said, but you don’t typically have that with the website leads.
And so some key differences between the two that make it that way are that basically leads that come into your website are inbound leads, and that’s where the seller was actually looking for somebody like you. Or maybe they weren’t, but they were searching for a solution to a problem that they have with the house or real estate and they ended up finding you. And so they were sort of coming from a perspective of needing you and your service, and so obviously they’re going to be more open to it.
And when you’re doing direct mail it’s more about the marketer. The marketer is trying to convince people or hit the right people with their marketing pieces, and obviously you’re going to get a lot of people that aren’t interested and aren’t the right fit for what you’re doing, and so you’re going to get a lot of those angry calls.
The other reason why inbound marketing is so much better is that, you know typically you’re dealing with motivated sellers. And when you do the direct mail, you might get somebody that responds to your direct mail piece, but it might not really necessarily have that level of motivation that you’re looking for, so that you’re not wasting your time by going over and making offers and following up and all that kind of stuff. You’re kind of focused on the better prospects to get these deals.
And another reason why they tend to work out so much better is that the visitors that come to your website have a chance to learn more about you and what you do before they contact you. And so it’s done some pre-qualifying for you. Obviously if they’ve reached out to you they’ve felt like there’s enough trust there to reach out to you, giving you their private information about the house that they’re selling, the fact that they want to sell a house.
And the other benefit of it is that your website can sell them a little bit through credibility boosters. And what I mean by those is your website really needs to have testimonials, especially video testimonials. Those are incredible because they get past the whole “who is this” . . . you know, if you just see like a written testimony, you’re thinking “Oh, this is garbage they made.” You know, “They made it up,” especially when you only see things like “B. Gonzales” or something like that, and there’s not even a full name on there.
So the more you can include a picture of the person, the testimonial, their full name, their location — not their address, but just the city or whatever — and then if you can get a video of them. So after closing or something, when they’re most happy about the service that you’ve given them, simply just ask if you can get a quick video and just shoot it using your iPhone or something and have that video testimonial goes a long way.
Another thing you can do is if you are a Better Business Bureau-accredited business which doesn’t cost a whole lot, I think it’s $300, $350 per year, that really does go a long way for people. And we’ve had people contact us and tell us that they contacted us because of that. I don’t know about you, but $300 over a whole year is definitely worth getting one deal that you could profit $20,000 to $25,000 from “As Seen On” logos.
So sometimes you’ll see this and you think, “Oh, this person wasn’t seen on ABC or NBC or any of these things,” but what you can do to do that legitimately is to do a press release. So if you have a press release about your company or the fact that you’re helping people sell a property that might not be sold the normal way, you can do a press release to have those picked up by websites, local affiliate sites for NBC, ABC, all that kind of stuff. And then you can legitimately put those logos up on your website.
And then the next thing is just having a clean, well-designed website. It shows professionalism and they’re more apt to contact you and be inclined to work with you and want to see what your offer is. And then if they’re even contacting other people and there’s competition, the website did so much more to set you above your competition than when you’re doing post cards and things like that.
So the post card can’t do all the things that a website can do, especially video testimonials and things like that where it gives you a leg up. And so that’s why the motivated-seller leads tend to be better leads for you.
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