To close good deals during covid-19, your real estate marketing needs to be persistent. Nobody truly knows the full effect of covid-19 on the real estate market yet. We can make predictions based on history and what we know so far, but we still have unknowns.
With this uncertainty comes risk. When you buy a house today, do you know what its true value will be in a few months? 2-3 years? Your guess is likely to hit the mark, or probably be wildly off.
We know that the real estate market is cyclical, and with this covid-19 pandemic, we can guess that house values will likely drop. This is likely to happen sooner rather than later.
What does this mean for real estate investors when they are buying houses?
There are fewer cash buyers
Covid-19 has created an opportunity for real estate investors by creating a buyers market where more buyers have pulled back than sellers, tilting the market to favor buyers.
Sellers have been used to calling the shots for several years. They’ll have a hard time accepting that they now have to accept lower offers than just a few months ago.
Because of this uncertainty, many real estate investment lenders have frozen their lending. With record unemployment rates, a freeze on evictions and massive rent defaults, lenders are bracing for loan defaults.
They also see big opportunities coming up and want to be as liquid as possible. Smart!
But this also means cash buyers who rely on hard money and similar sources don’t have the cash to buy.
With fewer cash buyers, wholesale real estate investors are likely to suffer. Some will probably drop off.
But this also comes with an opportunity to buy lower for the savvy real estate investors who know how to make the best of the situation.
This is an opportunity to buy lower
With this uncertainty created by covid-19, now is the time to buy lower than you normally do.
And to buy lower you must offer less.
This will give you a cushion because you don’t know what direction the real estate market will take.
Even as a wholesale real estate investor, whenever I buy, I think like a rehabber with the exit strategy for fix, buy and sell, or rent. I make sure I offer low enough to cover any unforeseen costs. When I wholesale this deal, I make more money.
Currently, I’d buy at around 60% ARV – repairs to cover any unknowns. I’d rarely go above 65% in the worst case scenario.
But here’s the problem – sellers are not yet used to getting such low offers.
This is why FOLLOW-UP is paramount as a real estate marketing strategy.
Real estate marketing strategy – Be there when motivation changes
Over the years, I’ve learned that people who don’t want to sell today may be motivated to do so in future.
Most motivated sellers are in denial, and some will wait with hopes that things will get better. For example, someone who’s behind in making mortgage payments might file for bankruptcy. This will buy them some extra time, but only for a while.
Then they’ll get real motivated when they no longer have any protection.
When their motivation changes, you want to be the first person they think of. And you’ll get a good deal.
This is only possible if you follow up with your leads.
I once got a $20k wholesale deal from a lady I’d talked to more than a year before when she couldn’t make any more mortgage payments.
At the time she flatly refused my offer. Seeing that her house needed a lot of work, and she had a lot of equity, I knew she couldn’t sell it on the open market.
So I kept her on a follow-up sequence by email on my real estate investor website. I set it up so she’d receive an email once every month.
In the meantime I also kept her on my post card follow-up during this time, sending her a postcard once a month.
I ended up getting this deal because I’m the one who came to mind when she really had to sell.
Because I followed up.
There are 2 types of follow-ups you should employ in your real estate marketing:
Real estate marketing by personalized, automated email follow-ups
Most people will be ready to do business with you after seeing you 5-12 times on average. This principle also applies to real estate marketing.
How do you get emails from motivated sellers?
You need a real estate investor website optimized for SEO to attract leads for you.
When you send out your direct mail (if you do), always give them your website URL.
It should also be direct response – to compel your leads to take action on the website, such as provide their email for automated follow-up.
With interactive real estate investing websites, when a lead lands on the website, they are given opportunities to sign up that they can’t resist.
They can provide name and email and property address to get a no-obligation offer:
This form automatically adjusts on a smartphone.
- Easy to fill out conveniently and easily on smartphone
- With Google address autocomplete, they’ll fill out their property address fast and easy
Or they can also request a free Ebook, such as “How to Sell Your House in 7 Days or Less” or “How To Stop Foreclosure”. They must provide an email for this.
Once they provide the email, the website automatically sends them carefully timed follow-up emails that are fully personalized for them.
This makes them more effective – they don’t sound like automated messages.
You have control of these emails from the back office – you can add, remove or change anything.
These messages are loaded by default when you receive the website.
When the leads start flowing in, your follow-up marketing kicks in automatically.
Who do you think motivated sellers will call when they need to sell?
Old school real estate marketing – Follow up with direct mail
Even though this is the internet age where most of your leads come through your website, direct mail such as postcards and letters still work like magic.
Since most motivated sellers don’t even know they can sell to real estate investors, I like to be proactive and send them nice postcards (or letters).
I’m able to reach them when they’re just getting into trouble and are possibly just thinking about selling.
I end up with more leads than I can handle.
Since I only go for the lowest hanging fruit, I filter them to the best leads, then I put them in a follow-up sequence.
- Everyone gets 2 postcards spaced by 2 weeks.
- If someone responds, they’ll get into my follow-up email sequence and they’ll receive postcards every 2 weeks for 2 months. If I don’t buy their house, I don’t usually follow up after these 2 months.
- Probate leads who have inherited property get postcards and letters for a total of 6 months. This is because the probate process can take long. Some of my best deals have come from probates.
I get these deals because I follow up.
My follow-ups are personal and don’t feel like automated messages. They create a connection with these sellers building rapport until they feel I’m the best person to buy their house.
They call me when they get ready to sell their houses.
If you want to implement this follow-up system:
- Get an interactive real estate investing website. It comes with these follow-up messages already pre-loaded, automated ready to go, and personalized to sound authentic.
- Download the free ebook “How to Attract More Real Estate Investing Leads Than You Can Handle”. It comes complete with postcards you can use for your marketing.
Buy houses cheaply now
Whether you choose to buy your houses now will depend on some important considerations during this covid-19 pandemic.
To get your low offers accepted, you’ll need to ramp up your real estate marketing by following up tactically.
Then you’ll be first person sellers will think of when it’s time to sell. Best part – most real estate investors don’t follow up this way.
Get out there and buy those houses!