SFREI #4: Part 1: The 3 Categories of Seller Marketing, & Which Are Lowbrow and Thoughtful
For real estate entrepreneurs, marketing to property owners (Sellers) is a big part of the business, because that’s what creates opportunities to acquire properties. While there are many different forms and strategies for marketing, some are decidedly Lowbrow, while others are Thoughtful. This episode is the first part of a two-part series of episodes on this critical topic. In this episode, we discuss the two overall categories of marketing, and the three types of seller marketing that real estate entrepreneurs can choose from.
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Full Episode Transcript
This is Jeff from the Thoughtful Real Estate Entrepreneur, welcome to episode number four of Sleaze-Free Real Estate Investing a show for those of us who never felt at home in the We Buy Houses crowd. In this show we take a stand against what we call the lowbrow approach the mainstream guru seminar distressed seller approach that ends up giving real estate investors a slimy reputation. Instead we focus on discussing the strategies tactics and philosophies that we call the thoughtful way. and enlightened approach to real estate entrepreneurship that focuses on constantly sharpening the sophisticated real estate, entrepreneurs, three most critical capabilities, one seller relations skills to deal architecture skills and three opportunity vision. What all three of these capabilities are successfully in motion, you can make an excellent living today, and be building long term wealth, while creating value for everyone. You touch along the way.
Show Notes for today’s episode can be found at www dot thoughtful r e.com, forward slash E for.
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In the last episode we discussed why TREEs (TREEs are Thoughtful Real Estate Entrepreneurs), we discuss why TREEs work directly with sellers to buy properties, as opposed to working through realtors to buy properties. So go back and listen to that one if you haven’t already.
In today’s main course, we’re going to be discussing lowbrow marketing versus thoughtful marketing. The key differences between them and the different ways that you can look at all the different types of marketing. But first, as always, a little bit of food for thought.
After all this thought for real estate entrepreneurs we like to feed our minds very much with things to think about. And here’s what we’re thinking about today.
Today, we’re thinking about relationship capital.
My team and I earlier this week had an off site meeting, and we were talking in that meeting about how we can be more and more valuable to more and more people, as we look to build our network.
In our town and in our industry and TREEs know that you have to add value to people if you want to create a connection with them. And this goes for any type of relationship it could be your friends, it could be your spouse.
Currently could be your spouse when you were getting to know them in the first place.
Business Partners employers.
Colleagues, networking connections and not to forget the idea of sellers, and a lot of less thoughtful people try to get value in a relationship before they give value in a relationship. And so, and that doesn’t really work very well. Now, this is not a new idea and I’m certainly not taking credit for this idea of relationship capital.
But sometimes doing it is not quite as clear as it seems or, despite the fact that it’s simple you don’t see people doing it very well very often. And so, as I was explaining this concept to my team. I just used a simple analogy that I wanted to share with you. And I think you can consider this sort of tip. Think of each relationship that you establish as being like an account, just like a bank account. And obviously, at a bank account before you can make a withdrawal from that account you have to first make deposits. And sometimes, you know you know in the future that you’re going to need to make a bigger withdrawal. So you start making a series of deposits over time in advance of that, so that there’s money in the account when you need to make that withdrawal, and relationships are no different.
And this is why I think we can use the term relationship capital, because it’s like you are making deposits of capital into these relational accounts, before you can make a withdrawal. So let me just give you two quick examples of two different contexts that this could can show itself in, let’s say you want to connect with an influential person in your town you don’t know them, but you do know somebody who doesn’t know them so you’re two degrees away, and eventually you want to ask your contact your friend for an introduction to the influential person. But if you ask now, you’ll basically be trying to make a withdrawal from the account before you have made a deposit, there might not be enough of a balance in your account to make that kind of withdrawal.
So you start making deposits, you figure out how to add value to your contact. First, can you give them a great review online somewhere maybe you can connect them with someone that you think they would really benefit from knowing, maybe you could make a business referral to them. Maybe you could send them something thoughtful in the mail that they will appreciate whether it’s just a handwritten note card or a small gift.
The answer is that you may do multiple of those things that might be a sequence of those things.
And once you feel that there is a balance there in that account, you will be more able to middle withdraw, and ask for the favor and the intro that you’re seeking, then you are before you make those deposits.
Let me give you a second example here as well. A real estate example so let’s say you’re working with a seller, and you’re trying to buy their property, and you have a feeling that if you’re able to get this property under contract after your inspections. There’s a decent chance that you may find some problems with the property, and you may need to ask for an adjustment to your deal to reflect those findings.
So during the courtship period in which you’re, you know, discussing the purchase with them, you deliberately build as much goodwill and personal connection with them as you possibly can you introduce them to your spouse. When that when the time is right. You you introduce them to your kids maybe your dog you certainly talk about your kids and your dog, you send a handwritten thank you card, after every meeting. You take them to lunch once as part of your conversation. And you talk about the things that you have in common, not the property.
In the last episode we discussed the idea of off ramps, so you you follow the off ramps and you talk with them about things you have in common, but not the property, so that way when it’s when it’s time to nicely present your findings from due diligence and work with them to try to renegotiate a bit to address those findings, they will already feel like you are a nice fair reasonable person that they already like they’ve already decided they like you. They’ve already decided they’re emotionally committed to working with you, and they’re going to want to give you the benefit of the doubt and try to work it out with you.
So my thought is you should make a list of all the relationships that you are trying actively to cultivate your life personal ones business ones and simply ask yourself, one at a time by each relationship. How much relationship capital is on deposit right now. And how could you make more deposits.
All right, that is today’s food for thought.
Alright we’re moving on to the main course of today’s episode, and I gotta be honest I’m really excited. This is a topic that is near and dear to my heart, and one that when I started drafting this outline for this episode I realized there is just an awful lot to say. So we’re actually going to break this into two parts, you’re going to get two episodes, out of this topic. And so again, today’s topic is the three types of seller marketing, and which ones are thoughtful, which ones are low brow.
It’s just such a critical topic. Overall that we don’t want to rush through so many of the very important points so today you’re getting part one. And our goal here is to pull apart the many different categories in the forms of marketing to sellers. Take a look at each one and discuss which ones are sleaze-free and fit best into theThoughtful Real Estate Entrepreneurship approach.
First I want to take note that we are talking about marketing to sellers here when we talk about marketing in the context of real estate in general. That could mean multiple things right it could mean marketing house for sale. It could be marketing for tenants. It could mean marketing for wholesale buyers if, you know, wholesale situation. But what we’re talking about today is marketing for sellers and creating acquisition opportunities.
So, as I mentioned marketing is very near and dear to me, my degree from college is actually in advertising. And my first jobs were in advertising and marketing and I was going to be a copywriter and I thought that working in a big advertising agency was exactly what I wanted to do and what I was meant to do.
And my first real job was in the marketing department of a bank, and that was a good experience. And after a couple years of doing that, though I left, and I started my own marketing agency freelance.
And then it kind of evolved from being a freelance thing to being a little bit bigger of a small business eventually we had about nine employees and we did over a million dollars a year in revenue. And so we had this business for about 11 years and we specialized in branding strategy for community banks and credit unions we had clients all over the country, in Canada and Jamaica.
I got to speak at conferences all over the country, even once got invited to the Baltic region of Europe Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, to speak at a conference so it was a really great chapter sort of in my professional life and marketing is very familiar to me. Overall, but there is a kind of a I think a surprise here, marketing for sellers I have found is kind of a unique animal. And while I’ve had a lot of experience with marketing professionally over the course of my career. There are things that I have experienced now as a full time real estate investor for many years, that are a little bit unique about seller marketing and that’s a, we’re going to unpack that in these episodes here.
I’ve spent a lot of time kind of reflecting and trying to figure out why seller marketing is kind of unique, and I think it’s mostly comes down to this.
Most marketing is meant to try to get people to buy things. Right. Think about that that’s that’s an obvious statement. But in our case we’re not trying to get people to buy things we’re trying to get people to sell things. And the dynamic is just intrinsically different. Now you might say, we’re trying to sell them. We’re trying to get them to buy the idea of working with us and that’s absolutely true but we’re not actually asking them to send us money in exchange for something like most marketing propositions are instead we’re actually asking the opposite. We’re asking them to let us send them money, and sometimes getting them to say yes it’s not as easy as it seems like it would.
Okay so broadly, we’re going to start by talking about at the highest level, there are two buckets of marketing. Two big buckets now this is not specific to real estate to sellers or any industry, but it’s really important to just think about this at the hundred thousand foot level. First, the first bucket is what we call push marketing. The second bucket is pull marketing. So in push marketing. You take your message to them you take your message and you push it out to them. You’re being more proactive and you’re taking your message and you’re trying to put it, it right in their ears. Pull marketing is when you try to pull them towards you, like a magnet, so if they are looking for something specific, you are trying to make sure that they can find you. When they are looking, and that you seem like the right choice to them so when they are looking. You are a magnet this drawing them towards you.
The key difference is, who initiates the contact between push and pull. If it’s you initiating the contact. It’s push marketing, if it’s them initiating the contact. It is pull marketing for you. So let’s just break these down a little bit, push marketing.
A few examples might be running an ad. So you place an ad in a publication you place an ad online, perhaps, and you are trying to take your message out to the crowd. Sending direct mail, certainly a, a example of push marketing you’re taking your message very proactively and putting it in front of them, sending email.
Cold Calling door knocking things like that, where you’re being very proactive.
Now, one of the things about push marketing is by its very nature.
You may be almost certainly are pushing your message to some people who don’t want it.
Some people who aren’t in a position to take you up on your proposition. And you’re interrupting them in what they were doing. They weren’t looking for your letter to slide through their mailbox. That day, but you you sent it anyway. So you might be finding people that you don’t actually have a fit with but that’s push marketing you’re being very proactive. Examples of pOH marketing might be a website. So if you have a website for instance that has a tab that says, sell us your property, and they somebody clicks on that there’s a form, like a lead intake form and they can fill out their name and phone number and property address and all of that. That would be a form of pull marketing, especially then number two here if you’ve done search engine optimization so that that person is searching for, you know, sell my house fast in you know town. Then you want them to find you and push them to that lead intake form on your website so SEO would be a form of pull marketing Google Search Ads would be a for a form of pull marketing as well because as they’re searching for their search terms they’re around, being able to sell their property. You want them to find you. Yellow Pages is a bit of an outdated example but it is a perfect actually example of that concept, over time, you know, it used to be of course that when people needed something they would go to the yellow pages, and it was very important that you could be found easily in the yellow pages so you might buy a visual display ad, instead of just having a listing, or you might strategically name your business so that people find you easily when they get to that section. I don’t know if you’ve ever noticed that there seems to be a lot of locksmiths named triple a locksmith or aardvark locksmith. They named their businesses that way so that in an alphabetical list of what is pretty much a commodity service, they show up at the top of the list because they have so many letter as at the very beginning.
So, with pull marketing when they’re ready to buy you want them to be able to find you easily that’s kind of the main idea there. And by its very nature.
These people are already in a buying mode. So a sense they’re pre qualifying themselves before they ever actually even reach you.
So here’s the big question. What is the more thoughtful approach is a push marketing or is it pull marketing.
Okay, cliffhanger Hold that thought for a few minutes we’re going to come back to it and just a few.
Now, that’s marketing in general so let’s switch now and let’s talk about Thoughtful Real Estate Entrepreneurs marketing for sellers. More specifically, and for this I want to give you an analogy that I have found personally just really helpful when it was first sort of introduced to me. And it’s an analogy of fishing. Now, I’m not a big fisherman. And you don’t have to be a big Fisher person to get this analogy trust me, this this will make sense. And, and you’ll get the message. So we’re going to look at three ways that you might go fishing. If you are trying to find something. Okay. The first one is fishing with bait.
This is probably the first thing you think of when you think of fishing, you go to a place where you think there are fish. You put some bait on the end of the hook. And you dangle the hook on your line out there where you think a fish might want to might find it and might want to bite your, your bait. You’re waiting for them to come to you, and you’re trying to attract them, if they do if they are kind of swimming by looking for something to eat. You want them to find you.
Okay, so that’s fishing with bait. Number two is fishing with a net. Okay, fishing with a net is where you would go to a place where you think there are fish.
And you would take a big fishing net, and you would drag that net proactively through the water now by the way, I don’t know if anybody does this with real life fish in real water but you’re going to get the, the analogy here.
So you go to a place where you think they’re fish you put your net in the water, your boats moving forward. And you drag the net through the water, and you pull up that net every now and then. And you see, What, if anything is in the net. And you might find there’s a couple of fish you might find there’s one, you might find there’s none that time, but then you put it back down in the water. You keep the boat going forward and you keep dragging the net through the water to see if you can. net, some fish.
So you took your net to them. And you are proactively trying to get them into your net.
And the third time, third type is what we call spearfishing. Okay, so you go to a place in your spear fishing where you are sure their fish.
And you stand there with your spirit and your hand.
If you wait to see a specific fish that you want. And then you take the spear and you throw the spear at that exact specific fish, you’re trying to catch that one fish. Because, for whatever reason you decided that you like that particular fish. Okay, so you’re shooting at that one particular fish. So we’ve got fishing with bait number one. Number two fishing with a net. And number three, spearfishing.
Okay, so let’s now map these three types of fishing over back to our push and our poll marketing bucket so of these three, which buckets, would you put the three types of fishing into the push bucket or the pole bucket. Well, let’s talk about the push bucket fishing with a net and spearfishing are the two ways of fishing that go into the bucket that we call push, marketing, because you’re proactively taking yourself to them, they weren’t out looking for you. They weren’t out looking for a net to swim into or a spear to, you know, pierce the their side. They were just doing their own thing and you took the net and the spear to them. And you went and you grab them.
Bait fishing is more of the pole marketing strategy. So when your bait fishing, you’re making your bait available. And yes, you’re going to a place where you think there’s going to be some fish, but you’re making your bait available to them but they still have to take the first action of actually biting on to the bait, it’s more passive by comparison to spear fishing and Net Fishing, and you’re waiting for that fish to swim up to you. And if they do, then you know they were looking for your bait which is great, but you actually have to wait for them to initiate.
So let’s come back now to our big question.
What’s the more thoughtful approach. Is it push marketing, with its Net Fishing and spearfishing, or is it pull marketing, with its bait fishing. Now depending on how you have been hearing what we’ve said, up to this moment.
The answer to this question may surprise you a little bit.
If we want to answer this question, there is a route that we actually a route concept that we need to get to first, and the root question that we need to ask ourselves is what types of sellers.
Do we want to connect with.
Okay, what types of sellers, is it that we want to end up in our boat. At the end of the day, mixing metaphors here a little bit fishing and sellers but what types of sellers do we want to end up in our boat. At the end of the day. Okay. Now, generally speaking, the more traditional mainstream lowbrow approach to real estate investing.
The answer to that is this types of sellers they want in their boat at the end of the day, are motivated sellers distressed sellers, often, and others who are maybe in a bind. Who are desperate for some type of a solution, regardless of the location the low brow investors not quite as location oriented.
They’re not quite as concerned about the type of the property of the quality of the property as well, but that’s what the lowbrow investor is trying to get into their boat motivated sellers distressed sellers, things like that.
Thoughtful Real Estate Entrepreneurs though. On the other hand, the type of fish, the type of seller, that a TREE is trying to get into a TREE’s boat or reasonable people who happen to own an excellent piece of real estate, that the TREEs would love to own reasonable people who own a great piece of real estate, who are willing to engage the TREEs in a face to face conversation to the Explore to explore the idea of the TREE, buying their real estate.
So just let’s just step back and compare and contrast again here. The low brow investor the average sort of mainstream concept is you want motivated people distressed people doesn’t really matter what the properties like sometimes the worst the property, the better. And that’s the type of fish you’re trying to get into your boat whereas TREEs are trying to land in their boat reasonable people who are willing to engage in a face to face conversation about the idea of selling their property.
This is a very very very big difference between the two types of targets that the two different groups have okay so what does this mean.
So what this means from a marketing perspective is that low brow investors. Love pole marketing. Okay, they love the pole marketing bucket, which we defined as bait fishing primarily before, because when someone is motivated and someone is looking for a solution. Right, they’re looking for someone to buy their property, often quickly, as is, without contingencies for financing and things like that.
When, when there’s somebody in that situation, they find you lowbrow investors love that they love being at the pole distressed motivated sellers to them. And it makes sense because they’re kind of pre qualifying themselves. The only people it’s safe to say I think who Google something like, you know, sell your house fast in St. Louis, are people who need to sell a house fast in St. Louis, so they’re already raising their hands, and they’re identifying themselves as somebody with motivation and lowbrow investors love that and it’s easy to understand why it’s great when the phone rings and you know the person on the other end of the line already is has a desire to talk to you. It’s an easy to understand that TREEs on the other hand, love, push marketing and TREEs love push marketing which again is spear fishing and Net Fishing, because they want to be proactive in reaching out to certain property owners or categories of property owners. The TREEs are interested in buying or even assigning just any old sort of piece of junk property that they can make a quick buck on TREEs are not allergic to making money Don’t get me wrong, but they’re not just looking for anything that will do the trick. There, they’re not stuck in a desperate desire to just make money instead they’re focused more strategically with their acquisitions.
So the second important question that comes up here, right, our first important question we had to ask ourselves is what types of sellers. Do we want to connect with what types of sellers do we want to end up in our boat. The second really important question we have to ask. In order to determine the right type of marketing for, for us, is what is the dynamic that we want to set up from the beginning of the conversation. Now you might call this a pre frame right it’s that it’s the way somebody gets to know you. In the first place, or how they’re even introduced to you the context that already sets the tone for the conversation. Just to give you an example, if I am introduced to Susan by my very best friend who says Jeff, you and Susan need to meet you guys have so much in common.
She’s fantastic and all these ways, unbelievably credible, please go have lunch, and let me know how it goes. That is a very powerful pre frame Susan is already set up for success because of the way that she entered my world the pre frame, the dynamic was already there because of the way that she was introduced to me by my friend. However, on the other hand, if somebody who I didn’t respect or maybe even Susan herself who I don’t know at all, just comes up to me and says, I’d like to spend time with you. Let’s go have lunch I think we’re going to be a great fit. I’m obviously a lot more skeptical because the pre frame has not been established for me. So back to our question What is the dynamic that with the sellers that we want to set up from the beginning of the conversation, what is that pre frame.
So, the pre frame, when it comes to sellers really does one of two things. It either implies that one, you’re prepared to add value to somebody to a seller or. Secondly, you’re looking to exploit someone else’s circumstances, based on the two types of marketing that we’re going to talk about push and pull one sets you up that in a way that implies you’re ready to add value to them in order to get a deal done and the other implies that you’re looking to exploit somebody else’s circumstances, and maybe already you can guess, which is which lowbrow pole marketing tends to set up an immediate dynamic of a pre frame that that implies that the seller is motivated and desperate.
After all, they’ve gone out seeking a solution to their urgent problem, it, it, pre frames the situation and implies that the seller is willing to sacrifice a lot. In order to make the problem go away.
The dynamic that set up this way through pull marketing implies that the potential buyer has all the power in the conversation.
It implies that the potential buyer is going to use that power as leverage against the seller, probably, meaning they’re going to try to drive the price down the dynamic that’s created by pull marketing the pre frame is one that is opportunistic.
It implies from the beginning. This is not meant to be a win win in the biggest sense, it’s more of a win, lose scenario, the seller is resigned to the win, lose scenario and they are going to voluntarily sign up for the win, lose scenario because they just need to move on. But they kind of wish they didn’t have to. In the future, they’re probably going to regret needing to do what they’re going to have to do the pole marketing pre frame sets of dynamic that implies that the buyer is willing to buy any property that they can get a smoking deal on it implies that there is a low end kind of low class vibe. I mean, have you ever seen what you would consider to be an upstanding respected business advertising with bright yellow plastic corrugated science written on them with heavy Sharpie posted on telephone poles.
Probably not. I haven’t.
So in short, the the dynamic that already exists. Before, like with the second the phone rings with a seller responding to pull marketing before the first words or even spoken.
It’s a relatively negative and opportunistic dynamic that’s already established, and what it says is that you as the buyer you’re not really looking to create new value, you’re looking to exploit someone else’s desperate need for some value for some bit of a solution. Okay, so that is what pull marketing sets up in advance before you’ve even done anything, but let’s think about the opposite now let’s think about push marketing and thoughtful push marketing now when done correctly, it is possible to not do push marketing correctly so we’ll discuss that to thoughtful, push marketing when you do it correctly.
As the exact opposite effect, it sets up an immediate dynamic pre frame that is so much more positive and more powerful. Okay. Now again, if you do good, thoughtful push marketing and the second that phone rings before you’ve even said anything. And there are certain unspoken dynamics that are implied. Let’s run down through these this list. The first dynamic, that’s implied is that the buyer, you you’re acknowledging that the seller is not in a bind.
Your the tone of your marketing the dynamic everything about it implies that you intend to have a conversation with them on equal footing.
And if you are intending to have a conversation with them on equal footing, then that implies that any type of deal that you strike would have to be a win win, or the seller wouldn’t accept it.
This dynamic naturally implies, I’m not planning to make an offensive lowball offer anything that we discuss will be fair.
Without the right pre frame when a seller tends to call you, they’re expecting because of just the general sleazy reputation of real estate investing as a whole. They have certain expectations.
And those expectations are usually pretty low. and it does often involve offensive low ball types of offers so your pre frame by doing thoughtful push marketing changes that dynamic it just completely erases that that dynamic that is implied immediately sets the stage for an open conversation and a dialogue to explore the topic. Okay, it’s not the setup for an offer, you’re not you’re not even guaranteed you’re going to make a quote offer.
You’re, you’re setting up a dynamic where you can explore this conversation. And if it does look like you’re leading towards something where a deal might work out what it tease you up for is the opportunity to present not an offer, but a proposal.
That’s a key distinction that I believe we mentioned in the last episode to that we’re going to be talking a lot about that. Believe me, as we move forward with the podcast, the pre frame of thoughtful.
Push marketing shows the prospective buyer, that they shows that the prospective buyer is sincere, that they’re genuine and they’re interested, but they’re not desperate to buy something, just as the seller is not desperate to sell something. And this dynamic implies that it also implies that the buyer would love to buy the property but is not desperate to do so. So again, it just reinforces that these are two parties on equal footing, who, who are exploring, if there might be an intersection between what would be in the best interest of both of them.
It naturally implies, and I would like to buy your property. Not just any old property lowbrow marketing tends to say I’m looking for anything I can get my hands on, where I can make a buck. This type of marketing implies, I want to buy your property, not just anything.
So in short, the thoughtful push marketing dynamic that’s created immediately with before anybody even says anything implies that you as the buyer are prepared to work hard to find a way to create new value for the seller.
Okay. So guys, this brings us to just a really critical point, as we start to put a bow on this first little chapter of this conversation. What makes something thoughtful, or lowbrow is based on two things. It’s based on number one the medium or the channel that you choose. Right. Whether you’re, you’re sending letters or bandit signs or ads or websites or whatever it’s based on which medium and channel you choose. But secondly, it’s based very much on the way that you use that medium.
So let’s talk about I mentioned a moment ago, that you can actually screw up, thoughtful push marketing by not doing it in a thoughtful way so let’s talk about a couple examples, very real, real estate marketing examples of things that the medium isn’t necessarily lowbrow, the channel isn’t by its definition lowbrow, but you can do it in the low brow right way, and of course as a, as a TREE a Thoughtful Real Estate Entrepreneur you don’t want to be doing that.
So when a great example that comes to my mind is yellow letters and postcards. So if you’re not familiar with the term yellow letters, is, is the name given two letters that are sent on what looks like a legal pad. And because they’re literally yellow, and they’re often. Some people actually write them out but there are lots of services on the internet where you can have them print for you, letters that look like their legal pads, with fonts that look like their handwriting in that whatever color you want like read.
They have your fake signature on them, and they’re like postcards, a lot of these same companies also provide postcard so just very small, little postcards very inexpensive to print metered postage, things like that. So we are, as we and you’re going to find this as we talk about this here more the rest of this episode and the next episode, we are big advocates for very well done, direct mail letters. And, in fact, we believe that that should be one of the primary marketing elements that TREEs, use, but you can absolutely go wrong with letters to if you do it the wrong way, when I, when I first started, the second chapter of my real estate career right as you might remember from Episode Number one, the first chapter ended rather quickly rather abruptly. And I didn’t because of some trauma that I, I found from being from feeling sleazy, from what I was doing. And that caused me to stop just more or less be on the sidelines for like seven years and seven years like just down the drain that I could have been making progress but. Okay, I digress. So, when I restarted again a few years later. One of the things I decided to do was focus on off market leads. And I was looking for the most efficient way to get my letters out. And because I knew I wanted to do letters, but I didn’t think that made any sense to be like sitting around writing letters myself. So we did order some yellow letters from different websites that offer that service a couple rounds of Postcards as well. And what I found is that people would call. And they’d say, Hey Jeff I got your letter.
Yeah, I got this letter and you know I it’s, it’s sort of like this supposed to look like it was handwritten, it’s supposed to look like a legal pad obviously it’s not but I got your letter, and let’s talk. And, on one hand you might say well that letter was a success but I’ll tell you. for me, the idea that they called me out on the inauthenticity of that letter, made me feel really disingenuous and that to me as a real driver like I want to feel like I’m being authentic to who I am. I want to feel like I’m being genuine, and it felt really disingenuous, and I also felt like it just absolutely started the relationship off with a pre frame that clearly said, Hey, I am not exactly as I seem. I am more than happy to try to trick you. And that’s not the dynamic that I personally wanted at all so after just a couple batches of like ordered online yellow letters done for you. I just could not stomach it anymore. And we had to stop and we found a different way a better way that I feel infinitely better about now that we use, like every day in our own business.
You can also do non yellow letters. These might just be printed letters, it might be a postcard or something like that, but with bad copy this would be another example of, it’s not necessarily a low brow medium but if you could do it in a low brow way it certainly comes across lowbrow. So, I got a postcard the other day that it was just exactly as unbelievably predictable as I could possibly imagine. Small postcard. The words as is fast cash quick offer are just like plastered all over it.
And that is the same thing so again the medium of sending somebody a letter, or in this case a postcard isn’t necessarily intrinsically lowbrow or sleazy, but when the message is in that category of lowbrow and sleaze, it certainly gives off that entire impression. A third example would be letters that you might send two lists of distressed people, so this could be a list that you get from a list broker or maybe you somehow make yourself of probate situations situations where someone has passed away and there’s an estate that needs to get sorted out a short sale, right, a pre foreclosure or a or a foreclosure situation. Maybe a list of people who are getting a divorce. So these are all people who are encountering problems or whose families are encountering problems that can lead to them needing to sell a piece of real estate, and again there’s nothing intrinsically lowbrow about that, and you could certainly say just from a strategic perspective that this is like fishing where the fish are right i mean if you if you want to catch fish you don’t go.
You know you don’t go to the mall and stand in the middle of the mall with your fishing pole there’s no fish in the mall right and so you want to go to where the fish are, and you could say yes you know if you if you’re marketing to a list of people who are facing pre foreclosure situation then you’re fishing where the fish are that I understand that, but it’s not so much about the fact that you’re doing that, that’s lowbrow, it’s much more about the tone. It’s about the pre frame that you set up it’s about the approach of the letter. Is it sensitive, is it polite. Is it not pushy. Is it not assertive, so many of these lowbrow letters. What’s so kind of gross and offensive about them is that they assume that they understand your situation.
And what it must be like to be you and the language is just very very subjective. And the truth is you don’t know anything about that person and you can absolutely set them off and turn them off by using language that implies that you do understand because everybody’s situation is different.
Are you approaching them in a way that implies you’re adding value, or that you’re looking to exploit someone’s circumstances if you’re marketing to one of those lists, it’s, it’s a slippery slope it’s very easy for it to come across as you’re looking to take advantage of the fact that they are going through a divorce. And you can quote help them, but it’s going to be sort of at their expense to solve this problem very quickly for them.
So there are certainly ways to take thoughtful channels and media and do them in a lowbrow way and so of course we want to avoid doing that.
So everybody that it concludes the first part of our discussion on the different types of marketing for sellers and which are lowbrow in which are thoughtful. Okay, so we sort of laid the foundation right now to talk next episode about the specifics of different media, which ones are low brow which ones are thoughtful and why, and some tips about how to do those well. So thank you so much for listening to Sleaze-Free Real Estate Investing. That is part one, and we’ll have Part Two for you next week.
Again, please do yourself and do us a big favor by hitting the subscribe button in your podcast app. So that way you’ll know the second that the next episode is released. And a reminder, you can find the show notes for this episode which includes a full transcript at thoughtful, our e.com, forward slash E for. Until next time this is Jeff from theThoughtful Real Estate Entrepreneur signing off.