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57 Motivated Seller Marketing Ideas

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The purpose of this post is to try to think up as many marketing methods to find motivated sellers to find more houses to flip. My marketing has slacked up a little and I wanted to consider some different marketing.

So here goes:

First, have you joined our private FlippingJunkie facebook group? Come network with us!

  1. Bandit Signs
  2. Real Estate Investor Website
  3. Flyers
  4. Door Hangers
  5. Postcards
  6. Dollar Cards
  7. Business Cards
  8. Code Compliance List
  9. Pre-Foreclosure List
  10. MLS REO’s
  11. REO Realtors
  12. MLS Fixer Uppers
  13. Evictions
  14. Driving for Dollars
  15. Car Door Magnets
  16. Business Card Magnets
  17. Business Card Stickers
  18. Large Local Newspaper Ad
  19. Pennysaver/Thrifty Nickel Ads
  20. Local Specific Paper Ads (military etc.)
  21. Billboards
  22. Television Commercial
  23. Radio Commercial
  24. Social Networking
  25. Old School Networking
  26. Local Real Estate Investor Associations
  27. Wholesalers
  28. We Buy Houses Apparel
  29. Webinars
  30. Brochures
  31. Blog
  32. Direct Mail
  33. For Sale By Owner
  34. Calling For Rent Ads
  35. Expired MLS Listings
  36. Tax Sales
  37. Probates
  38. Probate Attorneys
  39. Mortgage Brokers
  40. Bird Dogs
  41. Banners
  42. Yellow Pages
  43. Coupon Books
  44. SWAG
  45. Skywriting
  46. Sponsorship
  47. Public Transit Ads
  48. Bulletin Boards
  49. Divorces
  50. Courthouse Steps
  51. Delinquent Taxes
  52. Payday Loan Stores
  53. Pawn Shops
  54. Fire Damaged Properties
  55. HOA’s
  56. Realtor Referrals
  57. Mail Carriers

Some of these will obviously be easier to do than others and some will be more expensive but require less work.

I tend to prefer the less work marketing methods. The other factor to look at is level of competition. Foreclosures have A LOT of competition while targeting fire damaged properties has very little.

The main thing to remember is that each of these things can work if given the chance to. Don’t just send out 50 letters and then give up because you didn’t get any calls. THIS IS A NUMBERS GAME. PERIOD. Put in the work consistently and you will be rewarded.

I’d like to hear your marketing ideas. Please don’t be shy. Leave your ideas in the comments.

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Comments (48)

  • Jason Bible

    Danny,
    What happened to the sweet SWAG you had? My favorite “Slumlord Millionaire.”

    • Danny Johnson

      Are you talking about the shirts? Decided to take those down. The cafe press page is still there. Just not linked from here.

  • Brad

    Enjoyed this one and I will definitely share! Long list and I think you covered most of them – Drop cards – similar to bandit signs, but you place them in places with high traffic. I’d even go party ‘promoter mode’ as I like to call it…hit the parking lots with your promo card

    • Danny Johnson

      Good stuff, Brad.

      I like those drop cards that you can fold into a sort of tent so that they look like a little display on counters. Bright yellow of course.

  • clayton

    Why not target Bankruptcy homeowners who have a chapter 13 dismissals .

    • Danny Johnson

      Yes. Missed that one. Thanks.

  • clayton

    Also I like the many you have and really like fire damage . How would you go about finding about fire damage homes ?

    • Brad

      I’m thinking the city/county has to have a listing of reported fire incidents….seems like should be public information. For example – http://www.arlingtonva.us/Departments/Fire/prevention/FirePreventionObtainFrep.aspx

    • Rich

      Clayton –

      Fire damaged homes can be found by driving neighborhoods or having someone drive neighborhoods. Since fire damaged houses are usually harder to flip, you might want to let all of the wholesalers and bird dogs in your area know that you buy “fire damaged”. They’ll definitely call you first.

    • Danny Johnson

      Several ways that I can think of. First is the dangerous premises code compliance complaints. Check with the city to try and get these.

      Also, call the fire department and ask for a list. Read the newspaper and keep track of the houses that burn.

      I think the key with these is to let the owners of the house know you buy houses and wait. The deals come when the owners receive the payout from insurance and don’t want to deal with the property.

  • chri

    A co-worker lead me to a good lead the other day. Locksmiths. They’re the first people at bank seized properties. A locksmith I hope to start working with soon works with a few banks in my local area, hopefully it will lead to some good opportunities.

    • Danny Johnson

      This is a great idea. Never thought of that one before. Thank you for sharing.

      • Brooks

        Unfortunately, I’d say that the locksmiths don’t have any pull. You really need to create the relationship with the REO agent who will have the listing (and the pull). But at least the locksmith can lead you to future REO listings!

  • LaToya and Dozell

    Great detailed list! Another one that works well for us in most markets is Craigs List.

    • Danny Johnson

      Thanks. I meant to add that one and I guess it just escaped me. Gotta love free!

  • Cliff

    Love the idea about business cards/signs in payday loan places and pawn shops. Probably plenty of motivated sellers walking in those doors!

    • Danny Johnson

      Yessir.

      • Brooks

        Great idea — what’s the best way to work out a deal with the place of business where you leave marketing pieces?

        • Danny Johnson

          Brooks!

          Was wondering when you were going to show up. Haven’t talked in a while.

          The few times I’ve done it, I just asked the clerk and they usually don’t care if I place them on the counters. Most of the time they will stay there for a while before being thrown away. One payday loan place actually asked for stuff to hand out and then gave me a bunch of their pens to give out. Even trade.

  • Jason Bible

    One idea I keep floating at my MM meeting is to pay some college students to stage a little protest downtown carrying signs that on one side say sell your house fast, stop paying your mortgage, etc. and the other side of the sign would have our website and phone number.

    • Danny Johnson

      LOL. I like it. 🙂

  • Shane

    Hey Danny! Great to see you back. How did I miss the newsletter that said Shane, We’re back!?

    I’ll read the post now 🙂

    • Danny Johnson

      Hey Shane.

      The email may have gone to your spam folder. I tried to just email people on the subscriber list to let them know it was back. Didn’t want to post on the forums because figured it would seem too self serving.

      I saw that you mentioned it on bigger pockets and I thank you for your excitement and comments. It is much appreciated.

      • Shane

        Hey, the forum post was honest excitement, no BS. I really LOVE your blog. And as far as the email…who knows. I got the rest of them as you know…I responded to a few 🙂

        • Danny Johnson

          I know it was and I sincerely appreciate it.

  • Danny Johnson

    This comment is from Silver. He emailed me and allowed me to post it for everyone to see here on the comments:

    Thank you for the list. We have a saying in our office that every real estate agent should have a good connection with a social worker. That will help with leads.

    Here is one more idea, Google AdWords.

    http://www.google.com/ads/offers/adwordsoffer.html

    You only pay for clicks.

    Learning curve is two nights, after that you can set it and forget it. For a while, hehe. When people google relevant words, your AdWords ad will be shown. They’ll click it and will be taken to your site. Hopefully then they’ll contact you 🙂

    Regards
    Silver

    • Shane

      Danny, in some of your past stuff, didn’t you talk about using AdWords? Now that I think of it, I’m pretty sure I saw your site in the Ads section when I search for We Buy Houses San Antonio, or Sell YOur House San Antonio…a good portion of the time.

      • Danny Johnson

        I do. It probably slipped my mind as the house buying website was included and was sort of lumped in with that. Now everyone will think I left it out on purpose. 😉

        But it was just an honest mistake.

  • DC

    Driving for Dollars is my favorite. I usually get about 100 addresses per neighborhood. As long as the house looks a little neglected, it goes on my list, vacant or not. One previous mailing was 110 letters, got 7 phone calls and doing 2 deals putting 14k in my pocket. The first house had tenants and my investor is letting their lease run out and then will fix and flip, already closed, made 6 grand. The second was an estate sale with a family friend living there, he’s out and we close Friday with a developer netting me 8 grand.

    As always, had the cash buyers lined up prior to doing the mailing. Another tip, if you see a house being renovated, find the owner, they may be a flipper/developer. Could become a future cash buyer.

    Do this technique…it works!!

    • Danny Johnson

      That’s a great response rate for a 100 letters! What kind of letter were you sending?

      Thanks.

      • DC

        I wrote the letter myself combining some ideas I’ve seen in various books I’ve read. Represent my self as a cash buyer with no fees, commissions, repairs etc…

        I can email you the letter I use if you want to provide me with an email address.

        And thanks for this resource, very helpful.

        • Danny Johnson

          Great. Thank you for sharing.

        • gavin runkle

          hey DC, i was wondering if i could see the template you use for writing out your letters to owners of neglected properties ?

  • Bilgefisher

    The first 2 deals I ever did were with guys who cleaned out properties for the bank. They bid nice and low (sometimes at cost) and got to see the foreclosures before they hit the market. They also had an inside contact at the bank via that work. We flipped a house that was 6 months old. The builder was still building others on that very street.

    Jason

    • Danny Johnson

      Awesome idea, Jason!

  • Shane

    Hey Danny, I just remembered another one that I do that has netted me absolutely no results yet, but I like to think it will:

    My business cards have WE BUY HOUSES etc. on the back. I like to post them on bulletin boards everywhere like y’all are talking about, but I also like to put them in the “fish bowl contests”. You know the ones, “drop your card in the bowl and if we draw yours win a free whatever”. What I do, is put my card in the bowl, against the front side with the WE BUY HOUSES facing out. If I can get just ONE CALL from this, I’ll be ecstatic!!!!

    • Danny Johnson

      Great idea that doesn’t cost anything. I like it.

  • Chris Lipumano

    Hey Danny,

    I am starting a marketing campaign with a friend from work who is interested in partnering up with me. He is basically the silent partner/money guy.

    My goal is to do a direct mail campaign but I am having trouble choosing a list because I have a 75-100 % equity homeowners list and a absentee owners list. I am leaning towards the absentee owners list because the equity list is a kind of a shot in the dark.

    I am afraid to mail to my absentee owner list because I mailed out letters to 230 prospects but only was able to get 1 lead.

    Who do you think I should focus on or change?

    Thanks Danny for your time! Keep up the great work.

    • Danny Johnson

      You could try to split test and send to both and see which one performs better. You are going to have to mail out a lot to get decent results. The typical response rates are around .5 to 1 percent. You should get better responses from things like Driving For Dollars or Probates. Those of course require a lot more work though. So you could put in more work for the addresses or you can mail to the list but you will have to mail a lot of pieces to see a decent response.

      Please make sure you and your “partner” understand what each other’s role is and have all details worked out (exactly what you expect from each other). I hear about people all the time partnering with people that don’t really bring much to the table. You don’t want to be doing all the work and taking on the majority of the risk.

      • chris

        Split testing I like it. Thanks for the advice.

  • Mike LaCava

    Great marketing list! I am glad I stumbled upon it.

    I also think you really hit the nail on the head when you say “Put in the work consistently and you will be rewarded.”

    I remember becoming discouraged from time to time when I was just starting out in this business. Actually to be honest, I still do every so often.

    However just like you say remaining consistent and persistent always pays off in the long run.

    Thanks Danny and I’ll be sure to check out your blog more often.

    Take care!

    Mike

    • Danny Johnson

      Thanks, Mike. Glad you found the blog.

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  • Howie S

    Is there any particular way the business card should look, or any “good” words it should say to really gain buyers/sellers?

    • Danny Johnson

      I prefer to have ‘WE BUY HOUSES CASH’ as big as possible and your phone number very clear and large. The back can have benefits of selling their house to you (fast closing, buying as-is, no commissions, etc.).

      It’s also a good idea to put a referral program on the card. This is where you would say, $500 (or whatever) paid for any house you refer to us that we close on.

  • Patricia D Hatcher

    HI THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THE INFO JUST STARTED WITH BANDIT SIGN . ALSO DOING FLYERS , JOINED A WOMEN REAL ESTATE INVESTING GROUP. CONNECTING WITH OTHER INVESTORS IS ALSO GREAT. COLD CALLING BIRD DOG . DOOR HANGERS FACE BOOK GROUP.

    • Danny Johnson

      That’s great Patricia!!! Looks like you also have a LeadPropeller website. Great choice! 🙂

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