In today’s post, I thought I would take a few hours to try out a thought that I had. Now I know from personal experience that it takes a couple hours to post 100 Bandit Signs.
So I wondered… What could I do as far as building Targeted Pages for my town in a similar amount of time?
So I took 4 hours out of my day to specific, targeted pages for my market area as well as a short blogpost to gain ranking in the “We Buy Ugly Houses” keyword using my Investor Carrot Platform!
Bandit Sign Pro’s and Cons
For the licensed Realtor®, it’s pretty clear that you cannot use Bandit Signs with much effectiveness. (Article 12 NAR Code of Ethics True Picture Test). As a unlicensed investor, you may have some reservations about using them. While there are obvious pros and cons to using Bandit signs, the less obvious problem with using bandit signs is the “Law of Diminishing Returns.”
The Pros of Using Bandit Signs
- Fast, easily placed, and portable.
- Relatively inexpensive
- Extremely effective if used in mass
- Leads generated generally are good quality
The Cons of Using Bandit Signs
- For Realtors®, could cost you your license.
- Against the law in most situations.
- If used in too much quantity, can result in public backlash
- Can result in fines
- Generally must be placed at night (because it’s illegal..)
- You, or someone else has to do it.
- The sign can be defaced, cut down, removed, or stapled over with competitors sign.
- In order to be effective, must be used repeatedly, ensuring your “presence” in the market.
The Law of Diminishing Returns In Real Estate
You see, you never really begin to make any money in real estate until you understand one critical point.
Time is the only thing of value you have. Be careful what you trade it for.
I could have easily spent the four hours out in my car, or (paying someone else to do it) and put out as many bandit signs in as many areas as I possibly could. The problem is… you and I both know that those signs are not going to be there forever.
If I put 100 signs out in my marketplace today… sure, I would get a few calls. Some good, some bad. But, over time, the calls would drop off. My “returns would diminish”.
So if I was smart, I would want to figure out why! So I drive out there, and take a look to see what is going on with my signs and lo and behold… they are sprayed with spraypaint! ARRGH!!!
Infuriated, I would drive out to another spot… surely they all aren’t that way right? As I pull I up.. I imagine I would see the “Code Enforcement” Truck out there yanking down another sign. Damn!
This is soooo maddening! You would have put the signs out on Friday night.. enjoying the Saturday to sleep in from a long, late night/early morning’s work… Waking up and getting seeing messages….. returning calls Now it’s Wednesday, and 75% of your signs are either cut down, spray painted, or crooked on a pole because a nail came out?
At some point… all bandit signs come down. It’s just fact of life like death and taxes. When they do, whether it’s 2 days after you put them up, or 60 days later if you lucked out) when the sign comes down.. the magic stops.
How to Solve the Bandit Sign Dilemma
So taking the four hours that I would have ordinarily spent doing a bandit sign campaign, I instead created 13 lead pages, and one specifically targeted blog post. Unlike a 100 bandit signs, these 13 lead pages are 100% legal, and best of all, will NEVER be cut down, or defaced!
The Brass Tacks
So let’s break down into “manageable parts” what I did with my little four hour experiment!
First, I decided to focus on the questions that a typical seller would have. Ones like “How do I sell my house and buy another?” and “How to Sell My Home without a Real Estate agent“; and of course, everyone’s favorite “How Do I sell My House for Free?”
When you begin to answer the questions that your customer is asking, you begin to open up a dialogue with someone. A real live person is on the other end of what you type, just as you know I am a real person typing this.
As you begin to answer their questions in a meaningful way… giving them some information about how to do this, or how to do that… then you begin to gain credibility and trust from the customer in a way that you are unable to with a Yellow Letter or Bandit Sign.
Can you say “Commodity?”
13 Pages Of Fury
Like you do, I live in an area that has tons of little towns around it. So I simply took a lead page from my Investor Carrot site, and duplicated it using their edit function found on their “duplicate function”
Alternate Words and Modify Text
By quickly duplicating certain pages, I.e. Tucson, South Tucson, Oro Valley, you can quickly change wording (house vs. home) as well as pictures or keyword combinations.
Be sure to change the wording, as well as contexts as Google’s search engines despise exact duplicates.
The awesome thing about this is that so long as I am a member of Investor Carrot, these posts will remain online, and I will never have to touch them again… except to tweak language.
I can easily go in next week, and add 13 more. At the end of a month, I would have 52 individual lead pages on various topics that are related to home selling in the Tucson market.
Believe you me… I can get pretty creative. Best of all? They wont be cut down.. I won’t get nasty calls, I won’t get angry sellers saying “Take that damn webpage down!!” (Except for perhaps the occasional Realtor® bitching about the Sell Your house without an agent one…)
While it’s true, Investor Carrot does cost $99 a month, that is far cheaper than buying, installing and maintaining 100 bandit signs per month, and it requires no effort to keep up. Once it’s up on the “Interwebs…” it’s up for good.
Playing “The Realtor® Card.”
Okay, it’s not fair. But at the end of the day, someone is getting their mortgage paid. Now I won’t lie, I won’t cheat, and I damn sure won’t break a law to make a buck. In my mind however, there isn’t anything wrong with pointing out your strong suits, especially when facing a competitor.
As a Realtor®, you will notice that I have to disclose that fact. It’s just the law, and within the Code of Ethics. So instead of hiding behind the fact that I am a licensed Realtor®, I brag about it.
Here’s why. As a licensed Realtor®, if they want to sell that home, but not list it, then the unspoken, yet completely understood idea is that you are held to a higher standard.
If you are held to a higher standard anyway, why not use it to your advantage!!
Taunting The Seller
You will notice in the language of one of the pages, I am actually telling the seller in bold letters to negotiate for their best offer!
What self respecting seller could refuse that! Of course they are stronger negotiators than I am right? I mean, they have sold 2 or 3 houses in their life.. and I’ve only sold 2 or 3 HUNDRED???
Make Sure You Respect The Agents
Understand that not only motivated sellers will be reading your pages. Their Realtors® will be too! Establish good working relationships from the start by giving that Realtor® some “online love” and it will be a lot easier for you to convert that listed property!
It really is true, a little honey goes a long way!
We Buy Ugly Houses Review
Now, We Buy Ugly Houses is a huge franchise. Their web presence is massive, and the name of “we buy houses” or “We Buy Ugly Houses” in vain can almost certainly result in one of their kind representatives reminding you of their “trademarked status”.
As I reviewed the search results that were being suggested, (and through further keyword investigation) I discovered that the term “we buy ugly houses review” was a very popular search term.
Although they have testimonials up, there was no blog posts, or anything critical of them in a larger sense. So I looked deeper, and discovered that noone had posted anything in Tucson with that keyword…
Time to Fire Torpedoes!
Ugh… God I am soooo lazy!
I decided to write a short blog post about a We Buy Ugly Houses Review… In this blogpost, I am simply trying to “tag along” to the keywords that they have already dominated! By specializing in Tucson, I hope that the article will reach the guy or gal that is looking to sell their home to a We Buy Houses Franchisee, and sees my review… causing them to look at my article BEFORE calling them!
Now, since I personally know the owner of the local We Buy Ugly Houses Franchise, and he’s a great guy, I am not going to say anything negative about him. Obviously, when you do that; you naturally look like a jerk!
But you can point out facts that the common person would not normally know (the We Buy Ugly Houses is a franchise, not a nationally owned organization) as such, their ownership can be the best in the area, or the worst. Or somewhere in the middle.
Using “The Realtor® Card” I simply point out that they are held by a franchisee, and that obviously they would want someone who does the same thing, but is licensed, and can provide comparables, etc…
Pointing out my attributes, while ignoring my opponents attributes is not negative advertising. I’m just not saying anything about him… Positive or negative.
The point of the page is to get attention.. to get someone to see the page.
The purpose of today’s post was to simply illustrate how quickly you can deploy marketing in as specialized a way as possible, have it be the one true “non-diminishing returns” platform from which to advertise (so long as you keep your subscription).
You can easily do the same! Tell me what you think!
******Update!! **** 5pm SAME DAY!!! *****
As you recall, I devoted yesterday morning to writing the 13 lead pages and a couple targeted post. I spent 4 hours doing that. Then I wrote the blog post about it in the afternoon.
Meanwhile, about 4:30 or so yesterday, (8 Hours after I posted the first page, 4 hours after I posted the last blog) Pete decided to check out what I had written, and was converted through the Investor Carrot site! Thanks Investor Carrot!
In short, a lead created within 8 hours of my postings.. No sign required.
I will keep you informed!