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Over 6 years of developing and building a owner finance real estate investment company. Starting from scratch he has figured out the best way to create and sell real estate notes. He currently “flips” 75+ houses and notes a year and are shooting for 100. He’s been in real estate for over 15 years and have done a little bit of every kind of investing. His passion is in the creation of real estate notes because it affects the most people. You are helping the seller by buying their house. Then the neighborhood by rehabbing it. The buyer by offering owner finance and the investor by creating a good quality real estate note.
Erik was on episode 27 where we talked about Finding and Working with the “Right” Contractors
Erik is on track to do 100 deals this year. Obviously, to do a 100 deals in a year, you’ve got to be good at marketing for motivated seller leads. While Erik does do direct mail to find motivated sellers, he also uses other methods.
Today we talk about those other methods. We focus today’s episode on using bandit signs. Disclaimer: Check with your local city offices to make sure it’s legal for you to put signs out. They are illegal in a lot of places.
He shares a great tip on getting 4×8 sheets of corrugated plastic that he cuts down into bandit signs that have odd shapes. These signs grab much more attention than printed signs. He then writes on them with giant markers.
This is the way to go to get maximum benefit out of bandit signs.
The next thing we talk about is using newspaper ads to generate motivated seller leads. While print newspapers are dying and don’t get the readership they used to, you can still get ads displayed in them and online as most have a website now.
The great thing about online newspaper classifieds is that you can now have your ad show to visitors that might not even go into the classified section of the newspaper. There are a lot of possibilities here and not a lot of competition.
We also talk about using Facebook to target the exact demographics of people investors normally buy from. This varies greatly by area and also by investor, so it’s more up to you to determine which demographics you should target.
Facebook is just another medium to have your message displayed in front of people that might need your services. Why not take advantage of the power of Facebook ads to generate motivated sellers leads for your real estate investing business?
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Danny Johnson: This is the Flipping Junkie podcast episode 49. [music] Welcome to the Flipping Junkie podcast. My name is Danny Johnson; former software developer turned house flipper, flipping hundreds of houses. Each week, we bring you interviews, strategies, stories, and motivation to help you get started flipping houses and on your way to becoming your own boss and achieving financial freedom. Thanks for spending time with me today. Now, let’s get to it.
All right, today I’ve got a good friend in San Antonio that I’ve known for years. An expert house flipper, his name is Erik Saengerhausen. He was on episode 27. You may have heard of him then where we talked about finding and working with the right contractors. Erik really knows his stuff and if you enjoy this episode and you didn’t hear episode 27, be sure to go back and check that one out. You can find the show notes page and listen to that podcast at FlippingJunkie.com/27. Show notes for this episode that we’re recording today will be found at FlippingJunkie.com/49. That’s episode 49 now. We’ve almost got a whole year of these episodes. Just a little bit about Erik before we get started. Basically he’s been spending over 6 years of developing and building owner financed real estate investment companies starting from scratch. He figured out the best way to create and sell real estate notes. He currently flips 75+ houses and notes a year, and they’re shooting for 100. The last time I talked to him they’re pretty much on track for that. So, that’s awesome. He’s been in real estate for over 15 years. He has done a little bit of every kind of investing. His passion is really in creating real estate notes, he told me, because it basically affects the most people. He’s helping the seller by buying their house, the neighborhood by rehabbing that house, and the end buyer by offering owner financing so that they can own a house where they may not be able to due to damaged credit or other things. So it’s awesome. He’s got a great business set up. We also did talk with his business partner, Mike Arch, another episode as well so be sure to look for that one on the Flipping Junkie podcast.
Just a quick note before we get started also is that we’re doing more to share information about our own house flipping business, Melissa and myself and Grayson on our team. But I was thinking like we do a lot of the podcasts, we share information about how to flip houses. We’re doing the software for real estate investors and basically I built software for my own company to use. And then got enough requests that other people needed something similar so we started providing websites for investors and also CRM system for contact management, lead management for investors. Those obviously are Leadpropeller.com and REIMobile.com. And doing all this with the podcast, the blog at FlippingJunkie.com and then the software, I guess people would get so busy with all of this that I’d stop to think that there’s people that don’t really know much about our actual flipping that we do and we are very active investors aiming for close to a hundred deals this year and we’re posting some more information, some behind-the scenes kind of stuff on Instagram and we’ll start doing some more of that on Facebook as well. You can go to Instagram.com/flippingjunkie and see some of the properties. Melissa does a lot of the design work for the rehabs and takes those real dumps of houses and turns them into a beautiful home so you can see some of the stuff that we’re doing with that. Then we have some pictures from like in the office and stuff like that so you can see where we’re at, where all of this is going down and how that’s all happening. Then we’ll be sharing some more of that and answering questions and things like that on Facebook.com/flippingjunkie. So be sure to like us and obviously subscribe on iTunes. Follow us on Instagram because we’ll be sharing a lot more of that stuff. I think that’s a lot more of what you guys out there are interested is finding out the real world stuff that we’re doing. So we love to provide the education but we also want to get back to sharing more of what we actually do with our house flipping in San Antonio. So be sure to check those out on Instagram.com/flippingjunkie, Facebook.com/flippingjunkie. Please like and follow us and all that kind of stuff. [music]
All right. Hey, Erik, are you there?
Erik Saengerhausen: Hey. How’s it going, Danny?
Danny Johnson: I still do that. “Are you there?” It’s like we’re recording video now. I don’t show the video yet but it’s just kind of ridiculous because I’m looking at you, you’re looking at me. I’m like, “Are you there?” It’s like obvious. It should be “Can you hear me?” Yeah.
Erik Saengerhausen: There you go.
Danny Johnson: Well, thanks for being on the show again. Like I said in the beginning of the episode, you were with us on episode 27 with finding the right contractors. Awesome episode. So I got you back on.
Erik Saengerhausen: The best one yet, right?
Danny Johnson: Yeah, it was the best one to that point. Since then, we’ve had some better so you’re going to have to bring your A game on this one.
Erik Saengerhausen: Oh, man. All right.
Danny Johnson: All right. But today, we had talked about the different ones that we’ve done before already. Most of it is sort of direct mail so I wanted to cover some of those other things that we hadn’t shared so much on a podcast. So you had mentioned Facebook, bandit signs, newspaper ads and a bunch of other stuff. So we’ll cover whatever we just get into talking about and doing that way. Before we do that though, do you want to share a little bit about yourself for people that didn’t hear the other episode?
Erik Saengerhausen: Yeah. We can do a quick run-through. I’ve been investing in real estate in one form or another since I was probably 20 or 21. I’ve slowly gravitated into the San Antonio market and then slowly gravitated into the owner financed model and that’s kind of what we’ve been doing in a very big way over the last I think it’s 6 years now. We’ve got a full-blown operation. We’re looking to hit a hundred houses this year. I think we’re at like almost 80 so far, so we’re on pace to do that which is a huge accomplishment for us. And yeah, we’re just really focusing on the owner finance niche and how to get better and better and better and produce better quality notes and how to find note buyers and things like that. So I still do traditional flipping on the side and I got a couple of projects I’m working on but mainly owner finance.
Danny Johnson: Awesome. Did you guys ever finish that new office?
Erik Saengerhausen: No. That’s a nightmare.
Danny Johnson: Yeah, that’s a big problem.
Erik Saengerhausen: This morning I had a meeting there at 9:00 with the contractors because it’s just with the old columns and we put a new porch on and the support wasn’t right and they’re worried about the whole porch falling in if it’s not done right. So we got to rip up the porch and redo that and I mean, when you start filling back layers on a house that was built in the 1900’s or earlier like 1920 I think is when it was built, somewhere in there, there’s just a lot of wildcards and we’ve uncovered every single wildcard you could think of.
Danny Johnson: It should be cool though when you’re done with it. So the story behind that is you got a nearly 100-year-old Victorian house that they’re going to rehab and turn into their new office, so that’s really cool. So for marketing, to get these deals, I know you work a lot with wholesalers and we’ve done a couple of episodes with working with wholesalers to get deals. Let’s start talking about some of those other things though, the things that people still do that generate deals other than direct mail and stuff like that. We can start with the newspaper ads because I think a lot of people sort of discount that these days.
Erik Saengerhausen: Yeah. It’s definitely something that a lot of people aren’t physically buying the newspaper anymore. I mean, I think it really eventually fades itself out over time. But whenever you buy a newspaper ad, there is an online version of that as well. So it’s still something that you want to do. There is not as much competition as there used to be because more people are gravitating to these other items we’re going to talk about, so it’s an easy way to kind of be the expert in that field, if you are on that form of marketing. It’s not very expensive. You can keep it simple, just a small ad “we buy houses” and I think you’d pay a little extra to get it online but I would definitely have online. I know the local newspaper here you can also, if you do it online, you can also pay to have it where when anyone is going through the newspaper online, they will do a pop-up ad here and there. I think that’s an extra charge. That’s another way to get your name out there if someone is not specifically looking in the classifieds, have some opportunities there to be seen.
Danny Johnson: Yeah, I didn’t even think about that. That’s pretty awesome. When’s the last time that you looked in the actual print paper? I guess they only have weekend ones now, right? No, they have it every… but the classifieds are only for the weekend, I think.
Erik Saengerhausen: I think the classifieds are only for the weekend. You know, I haven’t physically looked at the classifieds in a while. I go online if I’m going to look through a thousand contractors in there. So I haven’t bought a physical paper a long time. I’ll just usually go on the phone and go to the local paper on there. That’s where I said, you know, the pop-up ads and things like that that you can pay for, most people are going to be going on their phone and so if you’re going to do that, definitely pay the extra money to have your ad float around while people are scrolling through and looking at the news and things like that.
Danny Johnson: Yeah. So when you’ve been online, have you noticed how many people currently use that still?
Erik Saengerhausen: As far as real estate investors go, there aren’t a whole lot is what I’m saying. You can get in there and not have a lot of competition. I think it’s a marketing avenue that a lot of people just kind of dismiss nowadays and it’s still profitable. I think it’s still good, you know, for the money, it should be part of everyone’s investment marketing campaign.
Danny Johnson: When’s the last time you picked up a Southside Reporter or a Thrifty Nickel?
Erik Saengerhausen: Well, the Southside Reporter is what we market in off and on throughout the year depending on our inventory. If things get a little tough, we’ll start throwing ads in there. Thrifty Nickel, if I’m down on the south side getting some enchiladas or something, I may grab one just to thumb through but I have advertised in there, haven’t got a ton of results but I know a lot of people that do advertise for other things besides real estate investing and may have had great results with it. So again, it’s so cheap, it’s got to be part of your campaign.
Danny Johnson: Yeah, it’s been a while since we advertised. We used to do the Thrifty Nickel and Southside Reporter. I think we were doing just a 1 x 1 ad and we do it reverse where it’s all background of black and then you have the white “we buy houses” or something on there. Whenever you do do the Southside Reporter, what do you typically do? Do you do a display ad or just the text ads with like a border or something?
Erik Saengerhausen: Yeah, just keep it simple. It’s all about cost. So we’re keeping it low cost, simple. It’s just something you put on automatic pile and you forget about. If we can get it yellow and black, we’ll do that. I know a lot of those papers don’t do color or color can be quite expensive and we’ll do kind of like what you said where you either do one or the other. You can either do just a big bold black “we buy houses” or the reverse. But yeah, just keep it simple. You got to realize there’s all that text on that paper and people are going to just be kind of scrolling and they’re not going to take the time to read your ad. You got to have something that catches their eyes. So, real big “we buy houses” and a phone number is really all you need. I mean, no one cares about anything else and that’s what they want to know. “We buy houses.” Yes, okay, I’m going to call you. In my early days I used to try to get cute with ads and do all different things and have this or that. It’s just you go back to the simple “we buy houses” and a phone number and that’s what works.
Danny Johnson: Did you ever do the ads with the alien? The Ross Buys Houses. You don’t use that anymore, do you?
Erik Saengerhausen: You know, I don’t. I still have it. I still have some signs.
Danny Johnson: I mean, it’s good for branding though. I mean, so I guess the tradeoff sometimes.
Erik Saengerhausen: It worked. It was just one of those things. You stop doing it and then it doesn’t become a habit anymore. Like you just reminded me now I’m going to have to go out and go bust all the signs out. You’re going to be seeing aliens all over San Antonio again.
Danny Johnson: Yeah, it stands out. It got me calling, thinking who is this guy or whatever. But I think you had told me before you did it but… Yeah, I think the key with some of those print newspapers, the Thrifty Nickel and some of the smaller papers, and when we talk about Southside Reporter and Thrifty Nickel, obviously those in American classifieds, those are like the smaller papers that you find at the grocery stores and stuff like that and what I would typically do is look and see what kind of ads are already in there and then try to make my ad with the background color of black or white or whatever stand out based on what else is in there. So if everybody is doing that, you don’t want to do it.
Erik Saengerhausen: Exactly.
Danny Johnson: Try to get some white space I think is usually the bigger thing because it’s like a solid block of text and if yours has white space, it stands out.
Erik Saengerhausen: That actually brings up another point is if all the ads are small little 2 or 3 liners, it may be a good idea to do a double ad or something in there because people are going to just kind of start skimming over those and all of a sudden there’s a big box ad and then small ones against, you’ll stand out there. Then like you said, just try to differentiate yourself.
Danny Johnson: Yeah. And there’s a military one too, isn’t there? Because San Antonio is a big military town. So I think we do have a…
Erik Saengerhausen: I don’t know. I haven’t tripped across one.
Danny Johnson: Yeah, I think there is and obviously with military you got a lot of relocations so your ad could talk about that.
Erik Saengerhausen: Yeah, that’s a good idea.
Danny Johnson: I think we’ve tried that in the past, I’m not sure, I don’t remember. So that’s newspaper ads. I mean, like he said, we could sit here and come up with different what to say but like Erik said, it’s really just about getting that message that you buy houses out in front of people and not trying to say a bunch of things that are confusing or that miss the point.
Erik Saengerhausen: It’s kind of ironic because most of your other advertising that we’re going to go over, the idea is to be kind of cute and catchy and things like that. But in the newspaper, it’s just a matter of just being simple. Just a big block ad with “we buy houses” that when you get into other forms of marketing especially online, you need something that will grab their attention and you can start to kind of have fun and play around with different things and you can get “cute” with it and have some fun. But the newspaper, I would keep it simple. Now, in the newspaper whenever you have the online part where it’s actually on your phone, you can get a little more creative there especially in the pop-up ads if you want to get a little more detailed or you can do colors, you can do characters and things like that. Like cartoon characters or something, like if you want to do the alien popping up and then it has “we buy houses” or something. That’s definitely an idea as well.
Danny Johnson: Yeah. Have you done that before? Do you know how they do that with pricing? Is that for impressions?
Erik Saengerhausen: They have one at say a pricing and get to it. The newspaper is one price and to get it online is another price and obviously to have it follow around is an extra price. I do think it’s by impressions or you get so many impressions for this much money and then you’re done. But don’t quote me on that.
Danny Johnson: Right, yeah. So just check with your local newspaper about it. So let’s talk about bandit signs, that’s always a fun one. And we’ve got to do the disclaimer that in most places bandit signs are illegal so definitely check with your municipality and find out if they look down on the bandit signs. Obviously, bandit signs are the signs that go up on telephone poles. You see them all over the place.
Erik Saengerhausen: The higher, the better.
Danny Johnson: Yeah. The higher, the better. So what are some of the tips for bandit signs if you can do them or buy permits for them?
Erik Saengerhausen: You can buy permits. I see a lot of guys doing that nowadays. It is a process. It’s a cat and mouse game. You put them out, get them taken down. And there’s some guys here locally that have gotten popped for them and paid a big fine. So it’s just how risky do you want to be. Bandit signs are great, they work great. I think in some areas they’re a little over saturated and people will tend to just kind of overlook them. I know on the southside here, I don’t even notice half the signs anymore because they’re just everywhere. So you just to get creative with them like the alien thing, with the big aliens. Something that catches people’s attention. Everyone is using the yellow signs with the black writing and red and I think that’s getting a little oversaturated. So, be creative. You don’t have to put out a thousand sites. Just find a couple of good spots. You know everyone goes to H-E-B and Walmart on the weekends so maybe go out there on a Friday night and pop one in front of there and catch the guys going to the grocery store in the morning. But yeah, I mean there’s a ton of information out there on bandit signs. Like whenever we do it, there’s times of the month where it seems like every time we turn around, we’re getting a call from code compliance wanting us to go take them down and they’re threatening and then we’ll go six months without one phone call and the signs stay up. I guess it just depends on how the city feels about it at that point, how many complaints they’ve gotten I guess.
Danny Johnson: Right. It sort of cycles, right? They have their points where they go and crack down and then other times when they don’t and you don’t hear from them. So what are your preferred specifics for the bandit signs? So there’s a lot of the yellow with the black lettering and then you have different sizes usually, the 18 x 24 versus the half size which is the, what, 12 by whatever it is, I forget what the size is. We always use the bigger ones.
Erik Saengerhausen: I mean, we actually buy down pre-cut. We buy big sheets, 4 x 8 sheets. We buy them by the truckload and we use so many signs for the selling site. Then we used to cut them. So I find that if all the signs out there on the streets are perfect, so that is to say they’re all 18 x 24, perfect and they’re just your generic signs, we’ll go out there and I purposely don’t cut them square. I’ll have one side that’s 4 inches taller than the other and it looks like a kid with a pair of scissors is going to cut it for me and then just real crazy with a big marker, just black marker, maybe some red right on there “we buy houses”. And that seems to help out. What we do is all the houses that we own, we have such a big inventory that we use bandit signs in front of all of our houses that we own so we can’t get in trouble. We get a lot of calls off of those and that’s what we do. Like I said, just make it the ugliest sign –
Danny Johnson: One that grabs your attention, yeah.
Erik Saengerhausen: Like someone like “Oh, cut the godawful thing.” But all you’re trying to do is catch their eye and it works. We even do like a circle. I’ve never even thought about that but cutting a circle out. I have no idea. It’s just getting creative. Human nature is we get accustomed to things. We’re designed to run off our subconscious. We don’t think about a lot of things and as you’re seeing a lot of these signs every day, you just accustomed to them you ignore them. So you need something to trigger that person’s brain “Hey,” there’s something there, look at it.” We’ve been able to do that just by making ugly signs.
Danny Johnson: Yeah. They do really catch your eye too because yeah, I tend to ignore the ones that are printed and perfect and then the ones that kind of stand out or have like a little bit of branding on it so it’s just some kind of different message or something or something’s a little bit different.
Erik Saengerhausen: Like an alien.
Danny Johnson: Like an alien, yeah, though. I wouldn’t do that though. I don’t know. So phone numbers though for these things, what are you doing for phone number? I doubt you’re putting your actual cellphone number on there.
Erik Saengerhausen: I do.
Danny Johnson: Do you?
Erik Saengerhausen: Yeah.
Danny Johnson: For the buying of houses.
Erik Saengerhausen: For the buying of houses. Yeah, because there’s a lot of competition and I want to make sure that when that person calls it, they’re talking to someone and I can get out there as soon as possible to buy it. It can get overwhelming, sometimes I’ll forward to the office and have our secretary care of it but yeah, typically it’s just my cellphone on there. And really, there’s a lot of people out there that have the automated systems and I think those are good as long as you manage them and follow up properly.
Danny Johnson: What I was getting at though is more of like using Google Voice or something where you have a different phone number and then just having that forward to your cellphone.
Erik Saengerhausen: We’ve used Google Voice before, yeah.
Danny Johnson: Yeah. Especially with the city. If they’re collecting them all and they’ve got the same number on all of them, they’re going to go after that guy before they go after the one that they only collected maybe 10 signs from. I don’t know, there was somebody a couple of years ago I heard that got popped for those and it was like $440 per sign and they had something like 40 signs or something.
Erik Saengerhausen: Yeah. I think it was more than that. It was almost a $10,000 climb.
Danny Johnson: Yeah. It’s crazy. So be careful with it.
Erik Saengerhausen: I don’t know if I want to say their name on the podcast but it was a local company here. They were actually on the news board.
Danny Johnson: Yeah. It’s kind of amazing because there’s so many people that do it and then you only hear about those couple. So I don’t know. It could be like they got warned or they needed to make an example out of them so they got them. And there might be more people that just didn’t talk about it, so nobody knows. And that’s probably more so the case.
Erik Saengerhausen: We got hit once and we just turned it over to our attorney and nothing ever came out of it. They just kind of said, “Hey, don’t do it again.” We just laid low for a while and then we’re back out there and started doing it. But usually if you’re nice with them, whenever they call, I mean these people don’t want to sit there and mess with your signs. What we’ve realized is if you put them on just the wire stands where they can easily just remove them –
Danny Johnson: Yeah, you don’t get as much.
Erik Saengerhausen: You don’t get a lot of calls. If you don’t put it 20 feet in the air and they’ve got to get out of their truck, it’s 100 degrees outside. They’re sweating, they’ve got this big old long pole when they’re trying to knock your sign off, they’re going to be pissed and they’re going to call that number on there and give you some crap. But if they can pull up next to it, open their door and throw it in the backseat, we don’t get a lot of riprap from them. If they do go call us, we just apologize and we go pick them up.
Danny Johnson: So you’re basically just using the stakes then and putting them in the ground.
Erik Saengerhausen: I used to have the long extension stake where I do them up on the poles, but like I said, it’s just we tended to get a lot more angry phone calls rather than just putting them on just the wire stands.
Danny Johnson: This reminds me of one time I put out I think four of them on an exit ramp. They’re by 10 in New Braunfels I think. It’s like 4 or 5 in a row, just like space maybe 40 yards a piece or something down that exit ramp. It wasn’t but an hour later I got a call from somebody wanting to sell a house over there and I went immediately over there, I made an offer and put it under contract for $8000 or something and it had sold the next day for something like 14. Just a quick flip, you know, a piece of junk property obviously if I bought it for 8,000. But it’s nice to have like whenever you put the sign out and you can have a deal done within the next day.
Erik Saengerhausen: It can happen quick. It really can. And that brings up a point, you know. The staggering effect, we used to do that overall in the loop on 1604. We would go and we would put, we would stagger them because sometimes you don’t want to put them on a road where there’s people that are going faster than about 40 miles an hour. I think at 45 miles an hour, they can read it. Anything faster than that, there’s a fraction of a second and most of the time they can’t read all the way through. So another thing on the bandit signs, you really don’t want to have a bunch of words and everything on there. Again, keep it simple because people are driving. They need to look over, see what you’re offering a phone number and they’re going to have to try to remember all that while they’re driving or they’re going to turn around. So if you can pop a couple signs down a street, they may have been able to read “we buy houses cash” and they may be part of your phone number on the first one and then on the next one, half a mile down the road may end up catching the rest of your number. I know a lot of times I’ve driven past a sign and I’ve gotten halfway through the number and I’m past it. I’m too lazy to turn around and go back and get the rest of it so I just kept driving. So if they would have another sign or maybe had less above the phone number, just “we buy houses” and a phone number, I might have been able to take all that down. So keep that in mind. I’ve seen signs on the side of a highway. You’re doing 70 miles an hour or 80. You’re not going to be able to read that sign and take a number again. It’s just a blurb and it’s just a waste of time.
Danny Johnson: Yeah. That’s why I always focused on intersections where people stop at lights for a long time because they have time to sit there, look at it, and take it in. I think with bandit signs like any other marketing where they talk about impressions, so people need to see your message about 7 times or more before they really pay attention to it or decide to do something with it.
Erik Saengerhausen: Yeah, we can use that and circle back to the newspapers. Let’s say someone did pick up and buy the newspaper. They see your ad but they don’t do anything about it. And they heard that neighbor was in a drive-by or something so they can go on the phone later and they’re looking at trying to find that story and boom, there’s your ad again. Now you’ve made more impressions. So you do want to have… and maybe they didn’t even do it then but then they leave their house and they drive down and they see your sign. So you do want to have a little bit of branding, marketing and like you said, most impression is to try to be in front of these people as many times as you can.
Danny Johnson: Right, right. So that’s bandit signs. It’s not really that difficult and there’s websites like supercheapsigns.com, you can look for local companies where you can pick them up like Erik does. I’m not sure where you get them but I’ve done it before and you just basically search for like coroplast signs because they’re corrugated plastic signs.
Erik Saengerhausen: Yeah. I think we used layered plastics in San Antonio.
Danny Johnson: I think I’ve used Royal over there off of Eisenhower before. Also has those.
Erik Saengerhausen: Which is a lot cheaper. I think we’d pay like 11 bucks a sheet.
Danny Johnson: For the 4 x 8?
Erik Saengerhausen: The 4 x 8, yeah. So you can cut those things up. You’re paying 50 cents a piece by the time you’re done, if not less than that. I’ve never done the math but we’ll buy 30 or 40 sheets at a time and just get them delivered to the office.
Danny Johnson: All right. So that’s bandit signs and let’s get into Facebook. I was curious I didn’t even ask you, but what are you doing on Facebook? Are you doing ads? Are you doing just posts? What are you doing on Facebook?
Erik Saengerhausen: It just depends on our property load. We’ve been in business quite a while so we get a lot of people sending us deals, wholesalers and things like that. If those aren’t panning out, then I’ll start moving into the Facebook realm. I just keep it simple. I’ll do just a “we buy houses” post and then you can boost it for like $40 and then you go on there and it breaks down the criteria of who do you want to target, what areas, things like that where you can really dial it in. I’ll usually spend the $40, boost it, try to reach 10 or 15 or 20,000 people. But again, I keep it simple. Just a banner just for that box right there. Just “we buy houses” and a phone number. You know, cash close in 7 days. I don’t really try to get too cute on there as well. I just keep it simple. Because again, people are just sitting there, scrolling through their phone. They’re scrolling through Facebook trying to get something that catches their eye and if it’s all just a bunch of text or just boring text, they’re not going to stop and read it. You may think it’s cool but they need something to call their attention. Maybe you can put on the stop “Stop!” They’re scrolling and all of a sudden they see “Stop!” Maybe they stop and then “we buy houses cash, call us.” So that’s an idea.
Danny Johnson: How do you target those for the right people? Because obviously you don’t – I mean, how are you doing that? Are you just saying like anybody in San Antonio? Or do you have criteria that you can set?
Erik Saengerhausen: You can get really dialed in on Facebook. It’s crazy, some of the stuff they ask. Like you can actually go on there and do okay, I want to sell houses to people that like this TV show or like this TV show or like this that are in this age group. I think they even have income on there. I don’t know how they know that. But then there’s San Antonio, so I’ll do San Antonio age group and then we typically are selling to or buy houses on the south side. Most of that area, majority is Hispanic so then I will go on there and do some like Hispanic radio stations and TV shows. The people that are in this age group, that live in San Antonio that like these pages on Facebook are who will see that ad. That’s what works for me.
Danny Johnson: That’s good. So you can kind of determine who you’re typically buying houses from.
Erik Saengerhausen: Exactly.
Danny Johnson: So it’s sort of the same thing that we went through with direct mail, with trying to dial in the demographics and typically are mailing to people over 45 years old and stuff like that. So yeah, I wonder if they’re able to show income on there and stuff like that. It would be nice if they started including whether they own a property. You know what I mean? And having all that kind of info, like how long they’ve owned it.
Erik Saengerhausen: Every time I’ve gone on there and done it, they’ve added new stuff. So I haven’t done in a couple of months. We’re pretty flushed with properties right now but I’m sure they’re constantly adding different criteria that you could select. You can narrow it down pretty good.
Danny Johnson: What do you think you typically would spend per lead or per deal with this sort of marketing?
Erik Saengerhausen: Facebook is really cheap. Like I said, you can boost it for about $40 and reach a lot of people. So Facebook, you could probably get away with less than 100 bucks and possibly get lucky enough to snag a house. But usually, it’s something that you have to put on autopilot and you’re doing once a day, maybe once every other day. You can go higher than 40 and you can spend 100 bucks or whatever. So I would do it once or twice a week just depending on the response. I mean, it’s not very much money.
Danny Johnson: Yeah, it’s not expensive to test, right?
Erik Saengerhausen: No. 400 or 500 bucks a month, you get one deal out of it, I mean that’s nothing, it’s a drop in the bucket.
Danny Johnson: Do you ever see other people’s ads from other investors?
Erik Saengerhausen: Yeah. ___, I see him all the time on there. He’s very consistent. Very, very consistent. Every day I see one of his ads.
Danny Johnson: What is he posting about?
Erik Saengerhausen: It’s just a big yellow ad that says he buys houses and it’s got some red in it. Black is very catchy. It’s simple, it’s clean and it’s consistent. It’s something that every day it’s there. Every day I’m on Facebook, I’m scrolling through, I see his ad. Every day. Now, I would say he needs to dial in his marketing a little bit better because I shouldn’t be the one seeing his ad because he targets a different demographic for the houses he buys. But it’s consistent.
Danny Johnson: He told me he was just targeting you specifically so he will throw you and make you spend a bunch of money on Facebook. No, I’m just kidding. That’s awesome. I haven’t ever really even tried it and that’s something I think I’m going to start trying though. But for other people listening in San Antonio, it doesn’t really work like Erik said. San Antonio is not a good market for it.
Erik Saengerhausen: Not at all. It’s horrible.
Danny Johnson: But other than that, yeah, go for it. You had mentioned too before the show we had talked on the phone just a little bit. I think you said Craigslist. Are you doing Craigslist postings?
Erik Saengerhausen: Yeah. A guy that works with me, Henry, he does a lot of Craigslist postings, Craigslist ads. We used to have one of our office ladies just do it consistently. We’ve kind of gotten away from it. It’s one of those things you just get away from just like the newspaper, just like Facebook and you’re sitting there going, “Why did we stop doing this?” Then you go back into it. But it’s so simple to do. We will just have a generic ad and then we just copy it and just paste it and then you can just renew it. You can just press a button, I think it’s every couple of days you can press renew and it stays in there. We bought a couple houses off of Craigslist. You’re not going to get phone calls all day every day but it’s free. So why not do it?
Danny Johnson: Right.
Erik Saengerhausen: It’s stupid not to do it. It’s there, someone can see it.
Danny Johnson: Yeah. And setting up someone else to keep it up for you so that you’re consistent and constantly doing it is the way to go because like you said, most people start but then stop and quit.
Erik Saengerhausen: I think they even offer, I don’t know if that’s one or Backpage where you can pay and it will automatically renew itself.
Danny Johnson: Yeah, I think Backpage does that. I don’t think Craigslist does but maybe they do.
Erik Saengerhausen: Yeah.
Danny Johnson: So, what are you targeting on that? Are you doing specific situations or changing up ads? Are you basically the same stuff situations?
Erik Saengerhausen: Just simple. Well, on Craigslist I’ll do two. I’ll do one where it says “Behind on payments? Don’t lose your house” and things like that. Then the other one is just straight “we buy houses cash.” Then sometimes I’ll throw one in there where it says we assume payments just to try to see if we can find someone that’s fixed to go on foreclosure, something like that that’s kind of desperate out there looking for anyone that can help them. But mainly just the “We buy houses” is what I traditionally do consistently.
Danny Johnson: Yeah. I’ve heard of basically doing different ads for different people because different people respond to different messages. So one is sort of someone that doesn’t understand how it is that people advertise “we buy houses”, what it’s all about. So it’s more of an explanation of like here’s what this is, this is why we do this, this is how we do this. They’re a little bit more open to it. There’s some people that just see “We buy houses,” they have a situation and they don’t really care. They just call and want to find out and so it’s just approaching things from different angles for different people to get more response.
Erik Saengerhausen: Like I said, our demographic that we’re buying houses from is typically the Hispanic neighborhoods and so a lot of these ads I’m talking about, we’ll do them in English and Spanish. So if you are advertising in areas where there is a different language, then you definitely want to have your ads in that language as well. And that seemed to help. I think like in the Southside Reporter in the green sheet or whatever that thing’s called, we ran those in Spanish only and got a lot more response than the English side.
Danny Johnson: I would run it and I would only be able to speak English when they call and so that would be a problem.
Erik Saengerhausen: You got to expand your horizons. You got to learn.
Danny Johnson: I can understand a lot, I just can’t speak it so it’s kind of difficult.
Erik Saengerhausen: You’d just be cussing, that’s what you know, right? Those words.
Danny Johnson: No, I don’t even know those. Actually, I should know them right from you, but no, I’m just kidding. Yeah, so this is really helpful. We talked about the newspaper ads, bandit signs, Facebook which I want to give a try and do more of that stuff and then some Craigslist ads. And really, if you’re struggling with what’s right for a Craigslist ad, why not just go to other cities and look for real estate section, see what other people are doing and just do the same thing, add your twist to it. But you don’t have to sit there and be completely unique for this kind of thing, it’s not really necessary.
Erik Saengerhausen: And you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Well, a lot of things, you know. Find what works and copy it, if you will. Like you said, put your spin on it. You know, your own little flair and if it works, it works. I mean, look at like Yeti came out and then right behind it RTIC. I’ve got an RTIC cooler right here behind the computer. It was $100 less. They didn’t go out and reinvent the wheel. They just made the same product a little bit better and a little bit cheaper. So, I mean, just find something that’s working and put your own spit on it.
Danny Johnson: Nice. All right. So Erik had just released a book that was Stop Flipping, Stop Renting. What is that about?
Erik Saengerhausen: It’s only in Spanish though so you quite can’t read it.
Danny Johnson: No, that’s not Spanish only. Are you trying to tell people that you just don’t want the competition? Is that what it’s about?
Erik Saengerhausen: What’s that?
Danny Johnson: You should stop flipping –
Erik Saengerhausen: It’s in Spanish so you can’t read it. It’s a book that my guy wrote. It took us about three years. It was a big project. It was something that was on our goal list for a long time. It lays out the entire owner finance; how we do it, we do it a little different than other people. We’ve been really successful at it and we just kind of lay out from start to finish how you can create notes, how you can leverage those notes so you don’t have to use a lot of your own money. How to find private investors and obviously how to find houses, how to rehab houses, wholesale – we go through all the different buying and selling investment strategies. But it’s just a very detailed look on the owner financed business model. We have a lot of people calling us and asking us how do we do it. There’s just not a lot of information out there that shows you or that teaches you how to create a note. There aren’t very many good books if you will that lay it all out. So we laid everything out on the table, we didn’t pull any punches and it’s all in the book. And then we’re following that up with an education course that will be coming out in probably the next 60 days or so, an online video course if you will that goes even into more detail actually where you physically go out to the houses and show you how to do this, how to do that and go for paperwork, things like that.
Danny Johnson: Awesome. And that book is not just about the notes because you also cover marketing and mindset, motivation, everything. See, both of us strongly feel that people that succeed learn to have the right mindset to succeed and usually when we’re together, we’re talking about Jim Rohn quotes and stuff like that. So he’s got the same sort of beliefs that we do that I do. Check out the book, it’s awesome. We’ll have a link to it on the show notes page at FlippingJunkie.com/49 and then you also provided that free chapter so I’ll have a link for that too.
Erik Saengerhausen: Sure.
Danny Johnson: You go to Flippingjunkie.com/49. Then if you want to go to his website and check that out, it’s Stopflipping.com. I thought he set that up just for me because he wanted to me to stop flipping in San Antonio, taking all of the deals so he doesn’t get any. But it’s not. All right, Erik, I appreciate you being on the show. Is there any other place that you want for people if they’re looking for you, want to talk to you, is there a –
Erik Saengerhausen: We’ve got some free videos and education on thenotefactory.com. People can go to it if they want to. But most of everything is going to be on the stopflipping.com website There’s actually a calculator course, how to use a financial calculator course on thefactory.com that’s free and very, very, very informative and if you’re going to get into the note game, you really need to understand how to use the financial characters. That may be a good resource for your listeners definitely.
Danny Johnson: Yeah. Check that out. Thenotefactory.com and I’ll have a link to that also in the show notes page. Just trying to take notes real quick. Well, I appreciate it once again, Erik.
Erik Saengerhausen: Always a pleasure.
Danny Johnson: And I’ll talk to you soon.
Erik Saengerhausen: All right. Bye.
Danny Johnson: [music] I hope you enjoyed the episode and like I said before, be sure to follow us on Instagram. Go to Instagram.com/flippingjunkie and check out Facebook.com/flippingjunkie and find out a little bit more about what we’re actually doing and what we do for these flips and more about the visit. So I hope you guys have a great week and we’ll see you next week.