In order to keep up with the times and technology, the serious real estate investor should consider using the internet as part of their marketing arsenal. There are literally dozens of ways in order to accomplish this on the internet. I’m going to cover 10 ways (which is just scratching the surface) in order to do this and because of space limitations I’m not going to cover the specific logistics on how to do each one but I will point you in the right direction in order to do the research in order to accomplish that technique.
Some of these are pretty simple and others require some technical knowledge, which one can hire out if they don’t have the technical savvy to do it. A couple of such websites are Upwork.com or Fiverr.com but there are many others.
Let’s talk about these:
Paid per Lead websites. An example would be IBuyHouses.com. This is one of the websites that you purchase a territory, possibly add some parameters, they advertise all over the internet, and then get leads into your inbox. Because the service asks a lot of questions to the people that respond, you normally get quite a bit of information about them, so they can be quality leads. It’s very simple but can be relatively expensive and there is no guarantee that you will get the number of leads that you require. In most situations, if you don’t get the leads you need, you can cancel after a few months and move on to another type of strategy.
Active Participation. This would be websites like Craigslist and then calling the sellers like FSBOs (For sale by owner). I personally like FRBOs (For rent by owner) myself. I think these can be great leads as you are dealing with someone who normally has an idea of how investing works. These differ from the FSBOs as these can be folks that have an incorrect idea of the value of their house. There are software’s that can pull these leads out of the Craigslist system using keywords and then send the leads to you. It might be possible to create a script, gather what you think might be good leads and have someone else do the calls for you. You can also blast out calls if you can also gather phone numbers and use a service that will blast out a message. (Just Google Phone Call Blasts) These can be pretty effective and if they call you back they can tend to be pretty motivated.
Popular Real Estate Websites. Sites such as Zillow, Redfin, For SalebyOwner.com, and others can be useful can give you pictures, property taxes, and a lot more info. The downside is that you don’t get the seller’s information. You normally have to fill out a form and they get back to you. Sometimes a realtor is involved, sometimes not. If you do get a phone number, it’s normally a 1-800 number. I’m not sure if a call blasting service will work with these websites or not. This can be used to check out a property that was obtained through another lead source to get more information about the condition of the property, etc.
Apps. There are a good number of apps that might be useful for your phone or tablet. One of our favorites is SlyDial. This app allows you to call someone else’s mobile phone, and go straight to the voicemail. It has many applications in business. For other apps, just Google Real Estate Apps. There are a ton on lending, mortgage calculations, etc.
Realtor.com. This is a great site for MLS based deals. It’s basically the consumer version of the MLS. It can give you a lot of information about the property.
LoopNet.com. Works great for commercial properties such as apartments, shopping centers, industrial warehouses, and more. You can get it for free but it’s basic. The paid subscription which is around $40/ month gives you a lot more information. It’s always a good idea to contact the listing realtor on LoopNet and ask them, “I noticed your listing on 123 Main St. in Colorado but that doesn’t really appeal to me so what else have you got?”
Commercial Craigslist. Believe it or not, Craigslist has a commercial section which includes things like car washes, warehouses, multi-family, etc. The downside is there are not a ton of deals, but if you are looking at deals in multiple cities there is a website called SearchTempest.com that will allow you to put in multiple cities, multiple categories and also put in keywords such as “seller will carry”, “owner will finance,”, “apartment deal’ or whatever you are looking for. It will search constantly based on your criteria and will send you alerts to your inbox. It can be very effective.
Your Websites. It can take a while, time and money to build a website that becomes effective and starts to generate leads. However, it’s possible to create Niche Websites that are just one page. The opportunity with these is the ability to really dial down your leads with a name such as EnglewoodCoForeclosures.com or something like that. It allows you to be a bit higher on the Google search engines and may allow you to qualify for “Pay per Click” which can be cheap and effective. In addition, you should try WordPress. This is a free website that you can use to run and edit your website. You can write blogs and a lot more. This might take more technical knowledge than you have but websites such as Fiverr.com or UpWork.com might get you some good help for a couple of hundred dollars to develop this for you.
Facebook. If you have some specific information such as an unusual name. You can search this and maybe Private Message that person. You can also build a Facebook Business Page, which allows you the ability to do a LOT more. (There are a ton of YouTube videos on how to do this.) You can buy incredibly targeted leads at a fairly decent price to market to. You can also post properties you have for sale or other real estate deals.
USLeadList.com. This website is sold by counties and they limit the number of investors that they will sell to at any given times. They normally will send a list out quarterly and will provide some support in the way of example mailings you might send to your possible sellers. They are a great source of leads for Probates.
I advise using at least 2 to 3 or more of these methods in order to be successful in getting leads which should result in profitable deals for you. I also suggest having at least a simple website if not for any other reason for credibility as everyone feels that if you are in business, you should have a website. Also, it’s a great idea to practice your phone demeanor and negotiation skills so you are effective when you are talking with a seller.
If you would like to listen to the podcast for this article, please go to //www.legalwiz.com/podcast-episode-40-internet-real-estate-leads/
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Attorney William ("Bill") Bronchick, host of Legalwiz.com, has authored six best-selling books and is sought nationwide for his 25+ years of real estate and legal knowledge. He has been interviewed by numerous media outlets, such as CNBC, TIME Magazine, USA Today, Investor Business Daily, Forbes, and the LA Times, to name a few. William Bronchick is the co-founder and past President of the Colorado Association of Real Estate Investors and the Executive Director and founder of the College of American Real Estate Investors. Click on the "About" link above for more information on William Bronchick. Frank Pulley is an experienced real estate investor and foreclosure specialist. He is the director of William Bronchick's Coaching and Mentoring Programs. For more info, contact [email protected]