When starting one of the biggest “problems” people can worry about is the cost of marketing. Can you really start sourcing property with little (or no) money in the bank? What’s the quickest (& cheapest) way to get my first deal. You'll learn:
Get the free resource that accompanies this segment. [thrive_2step id='3310']HMO Register Request From Council Template[/thrive_2step]
If you're juggling a work and family life balance or flip flopping between demanding full time job and your property business then you need to be as productive in the time you do have to spend on your business. Here's a lit of apps that'll help you achieve peak productivity. You'll learn:
Get the free resource that accompanies this segment. [thrive_2step id='3311']Productivity Apps List & Further Resources Part 1[/thrive_2step]
To follow is the transcript of the Facebook Q&A, Sourcing With Mark and In The Lab With Brad.
Mark: So again, just to reiterate the question. It was Andrea Webster and the question is, “I’m interested in knowing how you identify landlords who may be open to the idea of rent to rent.” Now, there’s two parts to this question really, two answers to this question. The first one is what we need to do is identify the benefits of rent to rent and then what we then need to do is identify the problems that a landlord might face in order to want the benefits of the rent-to-rent service. So rent to rent, very straightforward. We are offering a guaranteed rental service to landlords. So we are offering to pay them a fixed amount per month for a certain number of months whether that’s one year, certain number of years or months, one year up to five years usually is the standard practice and anywhere between one and five so of course the landlords who is maybe struggling with arrears or voids they’re going to be very interested in the guaranteed rent part. But with rent to rent you can be very creative. So what you can also do is you can throw in of course that you’re going to be dealing with all the maintenance. You’re going to be dealing with all the tenant management. You’re going to be dealing with all the marketing, the voids literally everything that is involved with running a tenancy at no cost to them.
So again, huge benefits and the landlord problems are going to be landlords that have had to show out a load of money on maintenance over the past last couple of tenancies. Landlords who have struggled with their letting agent, you know, you’re offering to in effect fully manage their property for in effect nothing needless to say the numbers that work out the rent to rent deal factor all this in but of course to them they are getting a hassle-free property management service. So landlords that are feeling the pain points of rent arrears, feeling the pain points of voids so again voids we tend to work out on the basis that one month a year the property will be empty. So a multi let is exactly the same as one full month. So even though the rooms might empty at different times is an average over the year. We use one month of voids so of course a landlord that suffers more than a lot of voids will want the guaranteed rent service because you pay that rent 12 months a year up to however many years you agree. So another pain point that is served by a benefit.
And another one is landlords whose properties are tired. So they need refurbing or they’re just generally from the era of magnolia and beach furniture. Those landlords who still think their properties are in great conditions, super modern and very desirable will be suffering voids and will not want to pay any more money for refurbishing the house. So of course what do we do on a rent to rent depending on the length of contract we will offer to fully refurbish that property and quite often if you’re selective with the properties that you take on, what you can do is find properties like the magnolia boxes that came from the early 2000s. We can just literally splash a couple of feature walls, a bit of color, dress it really nicely and it’s a different house but it cost very little but of course the landlord thinks that it got fully refurbished house. They’ve got the guaranteed rent, they’ve got the no maintenance cost to cover, they’ve got no voids to pay during their tenancy, why would the landlords turn that down? So but what you then got is a property that you did spend little money on getting refurbished and then your cash flowing a minimum of 500 to 600 pounds a month which is obviously what we all want to do.
So hopefully, Andrea, that’s kind of sums it up in a nutshell but the things you’ve got to remember when you’re negotiating with a landlord and when you’re explaining a rent-to-rent deal with the landlord is the same as when you’re going after any sort of particular deal type. You need to identify their pain points. So what is it that they’re struggling with at the moment with their rental property? So not all landlords have all these problems, you know, some might only have the issue that it costs a lot in maintenance but they were fully let last year or they had voids but there was no maintenance cost. You need to identify these things when speaking with the landlords and then when the landlord identifies the problems that they’ve suffered or the headaches that they’ve had, you then need to sell the benefits of the rent-to-rent service to counter those negative. So you're solving the problem of that landlord with the benefits of the rent-to-rent service and a big mistake that a lot of people make is they will go into a negotiation and the landlord will go, "Well, I’ve had no voids and I’ve had no maintenance to pay last year. So actually that doesn’t cost me anything," and then the sourcer will go in and go, "Well, one of the key benefits is that we cover all maintenance cost and there’s going to be no voids" because of course if a landlord hears that he’ll be like, well, he or she will be like that. They will just say, "Well, actually, that’s no benefit to me except I’ve not got those issues." But what you might find is that they have a terrible letting agent that they’re paying 12% per month to for doing a terrible, terrible job. And actually when you start to play around with the numbers you can still benefit their needs. So hopefully that helps, Andrea. Hopefully that goes into a bit of detail about working with landlords and hopefully that will help you get your next rent-to-rent bill sealed up.
Brad: Great stuff. Thank you for the question, Andrea. If there’s anybody else that has got a question, just go to goliathfbgroup.com. Join the Facebook group if you haven’t already. Post your question out there and you know, well Mark will pick that out for either he’ll answer it there and then or we will pick one out for a future episode, right?
Mark: Yup, absolutely. And we love answering questions.
Mark: Well, hello everyone. Sourcing With Mark is back and in this very special episode, what I’m going to do is address probably one of the most common questions I get asked when attending networking events or by friends and family or colleagues who want to get started in sourcing but they do not have a huge budget to get going. So this Sourcing With Mark is going to be about starting to source very little money, where do I begin? So where do you begin?
Now, I can speak from experience here because when I set up Goliath right back gone two years ago now the biggest issue I had was I didn’t have a huge pot of money to draw on for a huge marketing campaign. I wasn’t able to spend hundreds of pounds a day on Facebook ads. I wasn’t able to spend thousands of pounds on direct mail. I was even struggling to pay, you know, a couple of hundred pounds for leaflets. So I do feel the pain. I do understand where you’ve come from and I had to get the business going but with very little money.
Now, one thing I will say is that when you’ve got very little money it may take a longer time to gather that momentum because needless to say you’re not going to be sending out as many marketing pieces as you might do with a larger budget and no matter what way we think about it, it is a numbers game. So the more marketing you do, the more people that you hit, the more responses you will get, the more deals you will create. But that is not to say that we cannot narrow down our approach and hit people who really need our help but hitting less people for a better result.
So one of the big things for doing this is you’ve got to know what you’re looking to get. You need to decide on the strategy that you’re going to source for. That’s the first tip and make sure that you’ve decided you’re going to be going for rent to rent. You’re going to be offering landlords a guaranteed rental service or if you’re going for BMV you need to know that that’s the specific type of deal that you’re going after, the reason being is that your marketing message is going to be very, very specific based on that need.
Now, because you’re specific what that means is that we’re going to list build very specific targeted lists for the strategy that we’re sourcing for. So again, because their niche list, because they’re focused lists and what that means is that those people – there’s going to be less of them that they’re going to be a little bit more qualified than just sending out thousands of letters to information that you’ve dragged off of the land registry database. And it’s not say that it doesn’t work but it is very expensive and it can lead to very little response and versus how many letters you send out. So the later targeted campaign really does work.
What you also want to do is you want to decide on the deal type that is going to be quick and easy to sell on. If we’re going to source and package these for a fee, you need to know that those deals that you’re sourcing are going to be sellable very quickly. So going for a BMV deal at 900,000 pounds you’re going to restrict the market that you’ve sell that deal onto whereas if you’re looking for a rent-to-rent property that’s going to net cash flow 500 - 600 pounds a month the chances are much higher that you’re going to sell that deal on very quickly.
The other thing, of course, with the BMV deal, you have to go through conveyancing before you get your sourcing fee. Whereas with rent-to-rent, with service accommodation, anything really that doesn’t involve a purchase, that lease options if it doesn’t involve a purchase, the transaction time is much quicker. So make sure that you’re choosing things based on speed. Also, what you will want to do is if you’re working – so a lot of you will still be working full-time, part-time so your time is limited. You want to be focusing on marketing techniques that hit the biggest number of people possible for the least amounts to spend and also that don’t involve you having to be in the business five days a week, 40 hours a week, et cetera.
So what we will do is we will just quickly run on to how I did it and how I would certainly recommend that you do it. So rent-to-rent, rent service accommodation are probably the easiest strategy to source for at the moment. They’re very hot. They’re very in. There are a huge amounts of investors out there looking for these specific deals and again because for them the low cost to entry so, i.e., they don’t need huge deposits and they need the money for refurbs but often that’s less than what it would cost to buy an HMO for example.
Rent-to-rent is probably going to be the quickest strategy for you to source and sell on quickly with a limited budget. So where do you begin? So we’ve decided the rent-to-rent strategy is where we’re going to start. So what we’re going to do is we’re going to focus on – I’m going to give you four things to focus on. One of them does cost but the other three are completely free. So the first one which is free, free marketing are private ads. So what we’re going to do is we’re going to go onto Gumtree, Preloved, UKClassifieds, OpenRent, EasyRoommate, Spareroom.com. We’re going to go onto all the websites where landlords are likely to be trying to fill properties at themselves. So the landlords that are tight on money, that just wants to try and do it themselves, they will be advertising on these sites. So that means that we can contact them directly. So we’re contacting them directly and we’re going to offer them the guaranteed rent service and then of course we then progress that onto set packaging and selling the deal which is for a different episode and not one we can go into in the 10 minutes today.
So private ads. That’s the first place you want to go. Now, remember, private ads, free, means that everyone can do it, everyone is doing it so you’re going to have to make sure that when you speak to these people, you’re building rapport and you are speaking to them as quickly as possible. Don’t do the whole e-mail - is the property still available, e-mail back, yes it is, e-mail back, can I arrange a viewing, don’t do that. It’s a waste of time. Everyone does that. What you need to do is get over any fears of cold calling and just ring that landlord. You’re ringing them with an absolutely unbelievable offer. So just make sure you ring them.
Now, the second free method of finding leads is going on to Facebook groups or social media. So on Facebook groups there will be specific area groups so there will be groups like properties to rent in your local town or city. Often that’s private landlords. Again, exactly the same principle, just contact them directly from the Facebook groups. You could also post in those Facebook groups that you’re offering this guaranteed rent service. This is what you do. Get in touch to discuss further. Again, post in as many Facebook groups as you can. Now, remember, again it’s free so everyone is doing it so you just need to be absolutely persistent, consistent and work hard. When you do stuff for free, you’ve got to work twice as hard as you do when you’re doing something that cost money. Just the reason being that there are thousands of people doing it on the freeways but they don’t go up into the paid ways. So just make yourself stand out.
And also if you’re on LinkedIn or if you’re not get on LinkedIn because on LinkedIn there are landlords out there that equally look for services such as the guaranteed rent service, looking for landlord help so get on LinkedIn and post in the LinkedIn groups. So make sure you join the groups and then post in those groups about the services that you’re offering and just keep an eye out for anyone that might be posting that they need help, that they’re looking to rent property. It’s less likely they’re going to be advertising property on LinkedIn because it’s more business-based but you are going to pick up property investors and landlords on there.
The third way which is completely free of charge is eBay. So many of you might be thinking do they even sell houses on eBay? Yes, they do. They sell them, they don’t rent them but on selling houses with eBay what you will find is that the people that are selling on eBay they will be open to entertaining a rent, a guaranteed rent service or a lease option for example and the beauty of eBay is you can contact them directly because it’s contact seller, you get in touch directly and then you start a conversation. So eBay is a really good one and not many people are using eBay so get on there. There’s not many on eBay so there aren’t many properties on eBay for sale but those that are, get in touch with them. They are suitable and put an offer together.
And of course, the best one with a little bit of financial input is direct mail. So with direct mail what you want to do is build a targeted list so you can go on to write move and any of the other portals, go and check any properties that have been on the market for longer than three months or rental properties that have been advertised for a bit longer than six weeks and find the address and write them a letter. The rental properties write them a letter that’s targeted at the tenants to give them an incentive to pass your details on and for properties on the market if you’re writing to the owners, again, you’re just offering a guaranteed rent service if they need to move on and you will get leads that way and needless to say with direct mail, it costs right about 45 pence to print, pack and send the letter so for 100 pounds you can send 222 letters roughly which is going to get – it should get a response if you’re hitting a highly targeted list. So out of those, you’ve got four ways there. One of which costs you about 100 pounds but you will get responses from these ways.
Now, we’re up to 11 minutes and I’m only meant to have 10. So hopefully you found that useful. Hopefully you’re going to go and put that into action but just to summarize it doesn’t need to cost you a fortune. Don’t be put off by the fact that there are people out there posting on Facebook about sending out literally millions of letters for a response. It can be done that way. We prefer not to do it that way because no matter what, you will always want to be saving as much money as possible and spending it wisely. So you can do exactly the same just on a smaller scale. Now, again, I’ve got reiterate you’ve got to remember that if it’s free, a lot more people will be doing it. So there’s going to be more competition. So the way to stop that is to contact them as quickly as possible. So if there’s a phone number, ring them. If there is an e-mail address, e-mail them asking for a phone call or trying to phone them. You want to get them on the phone as quickly as possible. And that is it really. So one of the content upgrades this week is actually going to be the e-mail template for contacting local councils for freedom of information request and just to tell you why I’ve done that, the HMO list is freely available from your local councils. Most of them will provide the licensee address but of course some don’t. But if you send this request they will send you a list of the local HMO at property addresses and the landlords, hopefully, and you can do the direct mail piece so 100 pounds get you 222 letters, remember. If you target HMO landlords specifically, you are more likely to get a much better response. So that is really, really quickly how to start your sourcing business with little or no money. That’s where you start. And just remember everyone, enjoy it and happy sourcing.
Brad: Hi. Welcome to In The Lab With Brad productivity apps for property sources and how to use them part one. Now, there’s never enough time to get everything done is there? Whether you’re juggling your work and family life balance or you’re having to flip flop your time between a demanding full-time job and your property business, there’s a seemingly never-ending list of stuff to do.
Now, there’s absolutely a solution though and it comes in the form of a mix of systemizing your business, delegation to team members as using the right productivity apps and softwares to automate and significantly cut out the time you’re spending on tasks.
Now, in this In The Lab, I’m going to run you through the first 10 apps. Well, there’ll be a follow-up to this, a second part to this but I’m going to run through 10 apps that I use now on a regular basis to massively increase my productivity in so many areas of our businesses and my own personal life as well. So before you start scribbling furiously trying to get all these apps noted down there’s a free downloadable list of all of them including links. Just go to goliathsourcingacademy.com/session11. I’ve also included in that downloads some useful links to other resources related to each app such as a quick start guide video or how to get more out of each of those apps as well.
So let’s get straight into it. The first one is Trello. Now, a lot of you would have heard of Trello but it’s totally free and you can find it at Trello.com. So what is it? Well, I use Trello’s own definition of what they are. They call themselves a collaboration tool that organizes your projects into boards. In one glance, Trello tells you what’s being worked on, who’s working on what and where something is in the process. So it’s primary purpose if for managing projects. Tasks are created in what they call cards which can be assigned to individual people or team members. Now, each card has a whole loads of info that it can hold such as check list and due dates and loads of different info. You can label each card. So what I love about it is that you can communicate directly inside a card so all communication is focused on the task associated with the card. So there’s no kind of no e-mails get lost or anything like that. It’s all focused on – the conversation is focused around the specific task on the back of the card. So everything actually that we do in Goliath hangs of off Trello. So and today I’m in London pulling Mark in leads. Eva, our VA is in Manila and we have various freelancers working all over the world. So all projects and tasks are managed through Trello and it’s all as if we’re really in the same room ultimately. So due to Trello’s simplicity I’ve started using it actually for my own personal to-do list as well. Now, it sits on my phone and on my desktop so it’s always a click or a tap away.
Now, Trello is so versatile that it can actually be applied to almost any area of your life or your business. So in the download that I’ve mentioned before camping the segment, I’ve actually included a link to a blog post where they’ve got great ideas on how you can use Trello in other areas of your life and not just the business as well.
Okay, so let’s move on to the second one which is Lastpass. Now, this is truly the unsung hero of productivity apps. Now, if you count up how many apps and softwares and accounts, et cetera that you have that require log-ins, it will really boggle your mind. The list slowly or quickly adds up. Now, it’s such a time and energy stop to sit there trying to either remember your username and your password and then actually when you’ve remembered it going through the process of logging in, maybe getting it wrong, trying again and going through the whole process again, just mega frustrating stuff so Lastpass does all of this for you by essentially remembering your log-in details. So that every time you create a new log-in so you’ve created account and you’ve created a new log-in, you ask Lastpass to remember it. So the next time that you go to the log-in, the user and password will be sitting inside the log-in field. So inside the user and the password field so you click on the log-in and you’re done. You’re pretty much done. So it’s super simple. So whenever you go to a website Lastpass fills in the form, you click go and you’ve logged in. So if you’ve got like a VA but you’re nervous about letting them have your passwords, Lastpass has a setting that allows you to share your passwords but the VA cannot actually see the password. So imagine they’ve got the password, the log-in box sitting in front of them and it’s filled in but they can’t actually see the password itself but they can still log in. So that’s a really useful and massively time-saving application.
So the third one is not strictly an app but I use it daily and I had to put it in here is the iPhone speech recognition. Now, this is the function on your phone. Now, I’m an iPhone user so I’m not sure if this is on Android but I’m pretty sure it must be. So when you create a new text or a Whatsapp message to send, there’s a little microphone icon that sits in the keyboard area, I think it’s next to the – I need to check, yeah, I think it’s next to the space bar. So press that and speak into your phone and the phone recognizes your speech and converts it to text. Now, variability you’ll need to neat it up. There’ll be one or two elements of the text but it’s amazingly accurate and I started using speech recognition years ago. It was terrible. But this is really, really, really accurate. So it’s well worth looking at.
Number four is something called Lucid Chart. Now, this is my newest and most favorite app and you can find this at lucidchart.com and it’s a Cloud-based app that allows you to really simply create mind maps and flowcharts. Now, we use it to create flowcharts of all the systems in the business so we can see at a glance what the process is for moving a new tenant into a property and so on and so forth. Some of the online marketing that I’ve created can quickly get a little bit complex or you can kind of forget the steps if you’ve been running them for a month and you know, they’re not top of mind so creating a flowchart of them really helps me to easily kind of see how they’re laid out and go remind myself of what actually goes on in the process. And also if I need to explain anything to a new team member about the process that we’ve got going on, it’s much easier to do that in a visual format like a flowchart or a mind map. So Lucid Chart is a fantastic tool to be able to do that.
Okay, number five. I’m sure everybody has heard of this and it’s Evernote. It’s been around for years. Massively popular. Millions of people swept by it but I must confess that I actually stopped using it for managing tasks which I know a lot of people do use it for and I found it hugely clunky and I just didn’t enjoy using them and I think you’ve really got to enjoy using an app in order to continue using it. So I now only use it for two things. I use it to scan and hold business cards which it's really good at doing and I use it to clip, file and store information. So that’s where I think it really kind of holds its own. So it you’ve ever looked across, you’ve come across a blog post and you thought maybe you want to refer to that in maybe a few weeks' time when it’s more relevant to your situation but you just don’t know where to keep that link, you can easily access it when you need to then Evernote is your solution for doing this. You’ll need to install the Evernote clipper in your browser to do it. So for example you’ll go to a website and you’ll think I want to store that post. It’s not relevant now but I want to read it later and it’s related to property sourcing. You can click the Evernote clipper button in your browser and you can click that and then you can go and store it. So you can store it inside of Evernote notebook. So you’ll set up multiple notebooks based on various different topics inside Evernote and you can keep them in there. So you can even go one step further and actually start to create tags for each of the things that you clip as well so it makes it ever more searchable.
Okay, number six is Jing. Now, this is another app that I use daily. I’ve spoken about this on previous podcasts as well. If you go to goliathsourcingacademy.com/session3 I’ve talked about this because I use Jing daily to communicate with Eva the VA, to communicate with Mark and Paul and the rest of the team as well. So Jing is totally free and it allows you to create a video capture of your screen while you talk over it or you can just take an image grab of your screen, add some notes and annotations over that as well. So it’s super simple. It cuts out loads of miscommunications if you do things visually and verbally and you recorded it as well and that’s what Jing does really well.
So number seven is another similar app called Awesome Screenshot. Now, similar to Jing in that it’s an image-grabbing function. Now, I use it if I need to take a screen grab of a longer page. So Jing allows you to only capture what you’re seeing within the window of your computer screen whereas Awesome Screenshot allows you to capture a scrolling page which I think is hugely useful.
Number eight, Canva. So canva.com. Canva is a game changing piece of design software. I heard it’s actually being described as an app that is democratizing design which I felt was a really good description of it. So almost all the images that we create for the academy and for solutions are created in Canva. Now, it allows you to create really, really nice designs for brochures, for banners, for Facebook posts, for almost anything you need to create design for. It has a full drag and drop functionality so it’s really easy to use and you’ll honestly you’ll be amazed at what you’re able to do on it. Stuff that you’d think would cost 50, 100 quid from a designer you can do for nothing on Canva. They have loads of kind of really nicely designed templates as well so you then have to start from a blank page so to speak.
Okay, number nine. Coming in for the final stretch number nine is Adobe Docu Sign or Hello Sign basically an asymmetric contract system. Now, if you’re still using paper contracts, you have to stop now. It is wasting hours of your time over the year. Now, we’re currently using Hello Sign for solutions, Goliath Property Solutions but in other business we’ve been using Docu Sign. They’re both great and the contracts are legally binding when signed through the apps. So you’ve got nothing to worry about. The great thing about these apps is they also integrate well with other applications and softwares. So as you grow and develop out your systems, you’ll be able to easily integrate these apps with other apps by their APIs which tend to be quite open.
Okay, finally, Feedly. Feedly is a news aggregator app. Now, I set the app so that it pick up any new posts and articles published by my favorite websites and feeds them into the app. I can then go into the app and see all the new content from my favorite websites all in one place. So imagine you like 10 different websites and you regularly read them but you don’t want to go to each of those 10 websites to go and check whether they’ve got new content for you to read. What you do is you set Feedly app and you say to Feedly, go and get the new posts in each of these 10 websites whenever they're published and put them in my feed, please. So once a day, once a week, whenever you like, you go into Feedly and you go and view the content that you want to see from around the web but in one place.
So that’s the final 10 and – sorry, the final 10, the first 10 I should say. Now, as I mentioned before, I’ve also included some useful links to further resources related to each of these apps as well as the links to the apps themselves. So these are some of the useful resources quick start guides, how to get more out in the apps, et cetera. So if you go to goliathsourcingacademy.com/session11 that’s /session11 you can grab your copy of that.