Just like the retail industry has seasonal differences so does the property market. Seasons mean there are good and not so good times for property sourcing activity. Your strategies will likely be more or less successful dependent on the season. So which seasons are best? In this episode Mark gives you the low down. You'll learn;
Get the free resource that accompanies this segment. [thrive_2step id='3312']Property Seasons Annual Planner[/thrive_2step]
'What gets measured gets improved' Peter Drucker. Most property pros intellectually know they should be measuring and tracking their lead generation and marketing campaigns but many don't. But what should you be tracking and measuring? In this episode Brad takes you through the 8 essential steps to getting you tracking your campaigns and closing more deals for less marketing spend. You'll learn:
Get the free resource that accompanies this segment. [thrive_2step id='3313']Marketing Tracking Sheet[/thrive_2step]
Mark: Okay, everyone. So, as we alluded to earlier on, just to do this week’s Facebook Q & A is from Nick Russel. So, thank you Nick. And Nick’s question is, “When dealing with agents, at which point should you tell them you are sourcing for clients?” Now, it’s a really good question. And possibly one that makes newbies a bit nervous about going in and dealing with agents. When you go and search for properties for yourself, you feel comfortable because you don’t feel like, well, you’re not lying. You’re not pulling roll over eyes. You’re not trying to be sly. And actually, and what you do is you just go and look for yourself and you feel comfortable with that. Now -- which makes sense. When you’re sourcing, sometimes, what newbies get a bit nervous about is trying to cover up the fact that they are sourcing as a business. They’re trying to find properties in order to package themselves with an investor.
Now, my advice, first of all would be just get over that because there’s no need to be nervous. There is absolutely no need to worry about what agents think. And agents don’t assume that everyone is a sourcer, so, don’t think that either. And, but ultimately, what an agent wants to do is sell that property. Now, if they sell the property to you or they sell the property to someone that’s introduced by you, it doesn’t really affect them. The fee doesn’t reduce and if anything, it helps their chances of selling more property quickly. So, you know, just remember that when it comes to working with agents and don’t worry too much by the fact that you're sourcing for the clients because it really doesn’t matter to an agent. So, that’s a separate point.
With regards to next question, when dealing with agents, the point that which you should tell them that you’re sourcing can vary. So, if you are looking at building a relationship with agents from the start, so, let’s say you are working away through local -- around local agents in your local area and you’ve pinpointed, you’ve identified a couple that you want to work with closely, maybe they were helpful, maybe they have gone out their way to send you deals, maybe they are known to be a bit more acceptable, accepting of creative strategies. When you’re working with agents from the beginning, it makes sense to build that relationship on that trust level where you let them know, you know, you work on behalf of clients. You buy properties yourself but you also work on behalf of buyers and it’s going to be a relationship that you can build together, and that will ensure that that relationship is a strong one.
Now, in previous episodes of the podcast and also in the Facebook group, we go into building relationships with agents. And I only really recommend building relationships with maybe one or two. So, for the other agents, there’s no point trying to build up a relationship with regards to you being a property sourcer because you'll just waste a lot of time. What you want to be doing with those people is you just want to be finding properties. You want to be viewing properties. You want to be going into to those properties, as though, you are the buyer. So, always go in with the mindset that you are the buyer. And A, it will help you negotiate better. And B, it just means that the agents are still going to treat you as a buyer as supposed to a broker where they might not be quite as helpful.
So, yeah, so, and that is where telling an agent, when you’re sourcing for -- telling an agent that you’re sourcing. You’re going to tell them when it gets to the point where the offer's been accepted. You can then go and find your buyer. Ideally, you already have a buyer in your mind. If you don’t have a buyer in mind, you’re going to have to go and find a buyer for that deal. Once you find a buyer for that deal, that is when you can say, “Look, unfortunately, this particular property isn’t for me.” “I've not been able to --.” You can just say something along the lines of, "something else has come up," which just meant that "I'm not going to go through-- I can't purchase this one. But what I have got is someone else who is going to buy that property." And then, you introduce them at the point of inserting solicitors. So, the agent won't care, you’ve obviously sourced it and you package the deal to investor and the property sale will still go through. There’s no reason why that wouldn’t.
And so, in answer to the question, just to summarize, with agents that you’re building relationships from the beginning with, I would say that you’re sourcing from the beginning. With agents that you’re not trying to build that long-lasting relationship with, so, just general agents with properties on the market, go and view the properties. And once you’ve had offers accepted, once those offers have been accepted and then you’ve got to the point of inserting solicitous, that is when you can explain that you’ve got, that you’ve sourced that property on. So, you’ve actually had found a buyer because you weren’t able to -- or you don’t want to see that one because the numbers don’t quite work, and so, hopefully, that helps, Nick.
Mark: Hi everyone and welcome to this session of Sourcing with Mark. Now, what I thought I'd do with this session, we're just -- in August, we’re coming into the summer holiday season and it made me think that the property market has seasons just like most retail environments. And knowing those seasons, knowing how the mindset of agents and sellers and landlords works will help you tailor your specific marketing messages to particular strategies in order to get the best return on time invested into your marketing activity. So, what I mean by that is by knowing the seasons -- that I'm going to go through in this session, you’re going to be able to focus your message specifically on those problems, which means you’re going to get a better response rate to the marketing that you put out, so, the letters or the emails or even just adverts, private ads, etcetera. You’re going to get a much better return. You’re going to be hitting people at the right time as supposed to catching them when they’re not going to be thinking about what you’ve got to offer.
So, I'll go into the different seasons, the general seasons. So, you know, this isn’t to say that for the rest of the year, I don’t bother marketing because that’s not what I'm trying to say at all, but what I am trying to say is that at certain times of year, you will get a much better response to certain messages, and equally, if you have a certain message at the wrong time of year, you’re not going to get very much response. So, and I'll run through a few of the big ones. I'll run through -- sort of a couple of the messages that you can put out there to your seller’s property owners, or your landlords and then, hopefully, this will help you get better results when you’re sending out your material.
So, I work my way through the year from January through to December. So, January, when I was in an agency, January was probably the busiest month we had in the lettings department because a lot of people split up over Christmas. So, some of you may be laughing, listening to this but I can tell you now that we were at our most busy in January for rentals with people who had split up over the Christmas break. Now, I don’t know what is about Christmas. I'm sure you’ve all had Christmases where it can get rather stressful. Well, while you and I may have fought our way through that and got over it, some people split up. So, when they split up, what they do is obviously part of them, part of the couple is going to be looking for a rental property because of course, they have to move out of the house. And then, what happens is the other property, the property owner, so, the person that stays in the property is going to struggle potentially with their mortgage payments.
So, we have a double whammy here. We’ve got property -- people looking for property to rent. So, of course, if you've got rooms, rooms coming available in the January period quite often will get filled with relationship breakdowns, but also, lease options are a great target for your marketing material in January as well. Now, of course, we don’t know which houses are more likely to have relationship breakdowns than others, but, what it does mean is that if you’re putting out marketing material over the end of December, beginning of January to properties that have maybe just gone on the market, as you may find that they’ve just gone on the market, they are the properties you want to be targeting. So, pull out a scraping for properties that have just come on end of December, beginning of January, can be a good sign that it’s a relationship breakdown.
Now, the other -- sort of, lots of people, is -- a student. So, students have got three main intakes. You’ve got the January, February normal intake. So, the beginning of the year is the normal student intake. You then have another one now which is in April time, round about Easter Time. And then, you have the last minute searches in August and September who are panicking because they didn’t sort anything out in January and of course, they’re rushing around just trying to find rooms. Now, what this means from a property point of view is that if you were trying to contact landlords in any of those times in HMO dominant areas, then, the chances are that that landlord is going to have an abundance of inquires which means that a rent to rent offering is not going to be of interest because they know that they’ve plenty of interest anyway. Why would they rent at less market rents when they could get full market rent from a bunch of students that are looking at that time of year.
So, trying to get rent to rent leads in January, February, April or round about now, August, September. You may get them but they are harder to come by. You may waste your time dealing with landlords who will just entertain you but actually they know they’re going to get the student intake. Now, if we flip that on the head, what we’ve also got then is we’ve got the period just after August, September. So, September, October time, where these landlords that were holding out for the student rush. The student rush is now gone. The university term has begun. The semesters have started. So, that means, they now have empty properties. What do we do, we send marketing material to those landlords with a very specific message with regards to empty properties. You’ve missed the student rush. We’re looking to offer guaranteed rental income, perfect example of how the seasons can work against you but then can also work for you as well.
So, and, now, the same goes, it’s not necessarily just, August, September at the April time rush, sort of, the February to April time where landlords haven’t rented their property for the next year. The more risk averse landlords, so the ones that aren’t prepared to wait until August, September, they are going to be looking at alternative solutions as well. So, just remember that March, April time, probably a good time to be -- well, just after. Sorry. So, April, May, time, send those letters out and hopefully you’ll be able to get some leads that way.
Now, from a sales point of view, the most popular time when I was an agency for putting properties onto the market is spring. So, round about March, April time, what will happen is the weather is technically meant to get better. It’s meant to be much easier to sell property when it comes in to -- we’re getting into lighter nights. People over the Christmas, over the winter, sort of spell, and now they're looking at what their plans are for the year ahead. And that is spring time. It’s probably the busiest time for people putting their properties onto the market for sale. Now, what that means is if you’re going to be going after BMV deals in the March, April time, properties that coming on round about March and April, again, I'm not saying they don’t exist but they are fewer because agents are going to be telling their clients that this is the busiest time of the year and they need to hold out.
So, again, let’s flip that on its head. What that means is that come May, June time, when properties have been on for few months, it hasn’t sold on the busy inverted commerce time, that means that we are going to be able to hit those people with a marketing message. You know, haven’t sold your property over spring, looking for solution, have you found somewhere else? Because of course, when people put their property on to the market, what happens is most people will start, go out and have a look for stuff as well. And they may have found somewhere that they like but they’re struggling to sell theirs. So, a quick solution that we offer could be on the card. So, remember that for spring time, just after spring time, send your marketing messages out and see if you can get them.
Now, equally with property sales, summer. So, the summer holidays, generally the month of August is a very quiet month when it comes to property sales. The reason being most people go away in August it's the school holidays, people aren’t really wanting to be doing viewings of their houses. They got all lot of stuff going on. So, it’s a really good time to pick up a few properties. If you get your marketing material out during August, if someone's had their property out for a little while, get those letters out and offer for a quick sale before the schools go back. And you may pick up a few bonus properties that way. What that does mean, though, is when people start coming back from their holidays in August, the schools go back and then, the property market has another peak. So, it just dips up again. Dips up, that doesn’t make sense, rises up again in September.
So, because people coming back from the holidays, they want to give it that push before Christmas, properties go back on the market in September. So, again, September time is probably not the best time to be looking for BMVs but come November time, again, we’re back into what I just discussed about and so, towards the end of the year. And again, December is a very quiet time. So, December is very quiet for sales, people are getting ready for Christmas. So, that means people that need to sell have less people viewing through agents. So, they’re more likely to be open to suggestions in terms of alternatives or BMV offers. So, that kind of goes on to and explain these seasons.
So, what we’ve also got to remember is we’re going to got -- we have to remember to tailor our messages to those seasons. So, you want to hit specific people with specific messages depending on the seasons that you’re writing to them in. And the reason for this is whatever they’re thinking at that time of year, if you can send a marketing letter that specifically addresses that point, you again, like I mentioned at the beginning, you are more likely to get a response.
So, just to summarize, what I want to do is just remember the property market has seasons. It does work the same as a retail environment, so you have got peaks and troughs. You got times where I would avoid sending certain material and times that I would promote hammering that material. You need to focus your marketing on specific strategies depending on what time of year it is. So, for those of you that are setting up, sourcing businesses who are sourcing for a variety of strategies, then, remember the years, use the downloads, the content upgrade this session as an annual planner to show you the seasons. And just remember that this sorts of knowledge will set you apart from other sources. You know, this knowledge will allow you to focus specific messages, get specific results and you will become a better sourcer for it. So, remember, keep all that in mind and as always, happy sourcing.
Brad: Hi and welcome to this episode's "In the Lab with Brad." Eight essential steps to tracking your marketing to generate way more leads for far less money. Now, have you heard the phrase, “If you can’t measure it, you can't improve it?” And, “What gets measured gets improved.” Now, both quotes are from a guy called Peter Drucker. Peter Drucker was one of the 20th century’s great business thinkers and visionaries. Now, what he meant by these quotes was that you can’t know whether or not you are successful unless success is defined and tracked. Now, with a clear metric for success, you can quantify progress and adjust your process to result in your most desired outcome. Now, without this, you’re always guessing. Personally, I hate guessing in business and particularly at property marketing campaigns.
It leaves me feeling like there’s a big canyon of the unknown if I guess. Now, it seems much smarter to me to make my decisions based on informed and intelligent data that I’ve collected up until that point. So, it makes the question as to what you’re doing to track or measure the KPIs, or the key performance indicators of your seller, landlord and investor lead generation campaigns, so that you can measure their performance and make clever decisions about how you can improve them each time.
So, here are eight essential steps to ensuring that you’ve got your lead generation efforts tracked. Always improving and making you money with less and less marketing spent. So, step number one is develop a concrete definition of what a lead is. Now, a lead is not a lead until you define it as one. So, is a lead someone whose details you've scraped from Gumtree and sent them a message? Or is a lead someone who’s contacted you? You’ve spoken on the phone and they’ve shown a genuine interest in what it is that you have to offer. Now, a lead may also be defined differently, depending on which source it comes from. Now, it’s up to you what set of criteria you will use to define a lead. But, by having a set of criteria, it means that you can easily compare the effectiveness of future campaigns on a like for like basis.
So, step number two is track the lead source. So, you may have a few campaigns running simultaneously. So, knowing exactly where your leads come from is vital to understand what’s working and giving you the best response. Now, it’s important to try and be specific here. So, if you’re using social media to generate leads, then you should try to define which platform the lead has come from. Was it Facebook? Did it come from a post on your personal profile? A group you belong to or an ad you placed? You need to keep track of what actually caused these suspects to raise their hands so that you can better determine what works and what doesn’t. Now, if you don't capture the source, you have no way figuring out what’s working.
So, step number three, track the campaign that drove the lead. Now, at a high level, marketing starts with a campaign. A campaign is a collection of marketing activities, all grouped under one umbrella. So, a campaign can range from say a direct mail campaign send to 500 addresses or it can be that you decided to attend 10 networking events over two month period. Now, the resulting leads that you generate should be attributed and grouped under their respective campaigns. Now, you can see the effectiveness of the campaign and make informed decision whether to run with similar campaigns or not.
So, step number four is track the life cycle of the lead from source through to deal completion. Now, knowing where your leads come from and which campaign you created to generate them is one thing. Knowing what revenue and profit came from the lead source and the campaign is what’s really going to give you the info you need to make informed future decisions that get you a better return on investment. So, for example, you may have generated 10 leads from one direct mail campaign and think that’s a great result, but what income did it bring in? If it cost you 500 pounds to generate those 10 leads and you convert two and you make 6,000 pounds in fees, that’s a very healthy 1,100% return on investment. But, let’s say that you have another campaign that also cost you 500 pounds. You generated 20 leads but you didn’t close any. Now, without proper tracking, you can get easily lulled into thinking that the second campaign that generated double the leads was more successful. However, since you’ve tracked the life cycle of the lead from source through to close, you know the real numbers, and can make informed decisions moving forward.
So, step number five, systemize the data collection. Now, a big part of getting to grips with tracking your lead generation campaigns is to move from intellectually thinking and knowing that it make sense to do it, and is a good idea to actually developing your own culture of tracking. So, part of the process you go through whenever you set up a campaign is to know what you’re going to be tracking. How you’re going to track it. Where you’re going to recall the data and how that data is going to be useful for you. Now, it means every time that you get a lead, you ask how they heard about you. You make sure that you recall that information so that you can easily access it and more importantly, use it.
So, step number six, use one sheet to track everything. Now, your data inside a notebook or on 15 different post it notes dotted around your office, or where you’re working isn’t going to help you. You can initially make notes about incoming leads in a note pad or a post it, but you must transfer that data from one place. You must transfer that data from one place or to a campaign tracking sheet. Now, as the added bonus for this particular podcast, I’ve included a template marketing tracking sheet which you can go and get at goliathsourcingacademy.com/session10. That’s /session10.
So, step number seven, is use a CRM system. Now, a far superior solution to using a tracking sheet is to use a CRM system or a Customer Relationship Management system. Now, I won’t go any deeper into CRMs as I do that in session 7 which I highly recommend you listen to, so, you can find that at goliathsourcingacademy.com/session7.
And finally, step number eight, create accurate reporting to measure ROI and be better informed as to future marketing spent. Now, this is in a nutshell is why we track the data that I’ve laid out here. There’s no point in collecting all this lead and campaign data if you’re not going to actually use it. So, this goes right back to the central theme of the Peter Drucker quote that I mentioned earlier. “What get to measured, gets improved.” So, if you implement the previous seven steps, then you’ve cracked the measure bit. Use the data to make better decisions about where you’ll spend your time and your money moving forward and you’ve cracked the improved bit. That’s when you'll start generating way more leads for way less money. Anything else is just a guess.