So, is your number of leads decreasing compared to the number of cash buyers or motivated sellers you saw during the summer? You’re not the only one experiencing this seasonal change. Here are some things you can do to make up for lost leads with other types of marketing.
There’s an interesting phenomenon happening right now that some investors are noticing and I wanted to write a blog post about it to make you aware of it:
Some investors may be noticing a decrease in the number of leads they are receiving. Has anyone noticed this? It is not happening to everyone, but it is happening to some people.
If you’re noticing a change in your website’s ranking or traffic, it’s most likely not due to a problem with your site or an algorithm change from Google. These changes are normal and to be expected.
What’s happening is kind of like what happens with the stock market:
The Dow Jones is a stock market index that generally trends upward over a period of years.
The Dow Jones has a lot of highs and lows when you look at it over a period of time.
Some investors are seeing a stead increase in the number of leads they get online when they implement what is taught and stick with it. However, others are noticing peaks and valleys, with a dip in leads for some types of prospects during the winter months.
You could say the simple answer can be summed up with a meme from the TV show Game Of Thrones that says “Winter is Coming.”
The chilly weather has arrived in many parts of the country, bringing winter along with it.
No, I’m not joking. The season and how cold it is outside can affect the number of people who are looking to buy a house.
Let me ask you a question:
What is the earliest time you can remember thinking about using a snow shovel?
You probably don’t think about it when it’s hot outside and you’re watching your kids play in the water.
When it is snowing or after you see the ground covered in snow, you probably think about needing a snow shovel. You hope you have one and then you go look for it in the garage.
The Home Depot knows this.
When it’s winter, you’re more likely to see snow shovels out in the open at stores than during summer when they might be hidden in clearance bins.
There are ups and downs in many types of businesses and smart businesses know this and they plan for it and deal with it.
The same is true for your real estate investing business
The motivated seller and cash buyer leads that come into your business have the same thought process as you do with your snow shovel.
Here’s Why Real Estate Investing Lead Volumes Can Fluctuate During The Year
There are certain months where motivated sellers are more inclined to sell than others.
Cash buyers are more motivated to buy during certain months of the year.
There is a correlation between lead generation trends and increased motivation, which results in increased search activity.
In other words, when people were more motivated to buy or sell, they searched for related keywords more, which led to more sales.
In our 2013 post, “Are There Less Real Estate Investor Leads In Holiday Months Than Summer Months?”, we showed that motivated seller leads fluctuate throughout the year, with a noticeable spike in the summer and a noticeable decline in the winter. This same phenomenon occurs year after year!
There are many reasons for this, and we can draw the following conclusions from the data:
- Motivated sellers are looking to sell when it’s nice: the summer months; with July being an ideal time perhaps to get the kids settled in a new place before school starts. December tends to be a slower month because of the holidays and people in general just have so much to do in December that they often put their sale off until the new year.
- Cash buyers are looking to buy when they’re thinking about their financial future. This often happens around January when we all think about New Year resolutions and the year ahead.
Some investors might get frustrated by this knowledge and feel tempted to sell their assets during the quiet months and buy assets during the busy months.
Investors have a good chance to improve their business by working more during the slow months.
Here Are 10 Things You Can Do This Month If You’re Seeing The “Winter Lead Slump” That Some Investors Experience
The solution to fewer leads is a two-pronged approach:
You need to increase your marketing to get more leads, and put some systems in place so that your leads don’t drop off during the year.
If you’re seeing fewer leads right now, here are a few ideas to help you shore up those lead numbers and not settle for a dip in volume:
Although there are fewer cash buyers and motivated sellers taking action right now, there are still some people who fit that description.
So keep marketing.
Don’t stop marketing just because it’s the end of the year. Some people might think that all cash buyers have gone away for the winter, but that’s not always the case.
Integrate your offline marketing
It’s amazing how many times I see people with GREAT offline marketing that convert very poorly because they don’t test their URL first. We recomment that you integrate your website with your offline marketing as one of the first things. It’s amazing how many times we see people with GREAT offline marketing that convert very poorly because they don’t test their URL first, so we tell them to test their URL on their postcards/letters, radio ads, TV spots, etc.
Try to find ways to connect the marketing you do offline with your website.
Accelerate the timeline
The demand for cash buyers tends to increase in January as this is when buyers are typically thinking about their financial future. Therefore, marketing that gets them thinking about their financial future before January would be beneficial.
It’s not too late to get a jump-start on the new year. You can still do the same thing for motivated sellers. Remind them that now is still a great time to sell and they can get cash in hand before Christmas!
Launch a direct mail campaign that markets…
“Cash In your Hand Before Christmas!”
…and convince them to start thinking about selling their business sooner than they had planned.
Market more to motivated sellers who don’t need to move (2nd homes, inherited, etc.)
While winter might not be the ideal time to move for some people, there are still motivated sellers who are not impacted by the weather. This includes owners who live out of state, probate/inheritance owners, landlords, etc.
You can use the fact that these absentee owners may want to sell their property before the end of the year to your advantage.
Do more of what you’re already doing (ramp it up!)
If you have been only relying on search engine optimization (SEO) and pay per click (PPC) advertising, then you should continue doing that but also do more. Increasing your PPC ad spending during this season or adding more SEO-friendly content to your blog are both options to consider.
PPC campaigns run by people who don’t have professional experience often have problems that could be easily fixed, resulting in much better results. Many people are also held back by having too small of a budget for their PPC ads. Here are some tips on how to make your PPC marketing more effective.
Add more marketing channels
If you’re thinking of trying out some new marketing channels, now is the time to add them so you have them perfected and running smoothly by the time spring and summer come around.
Craigslist is a surprise source of cash buyers and a regular stream of sellers for our members.
Some investors have been avoiding using Craigslist because it seems outdated and it’s difficult to market property on the site. However, we have a training program that teaches how to get leads from Craigslist. Additionally, we think Facebook is a great source for leads if used correctly.
Now is the time to start testing some Facebook efforts, and to continue testing beyond that.
Don’t give up and keep trying different marketing strategies until you find the ones that work best for you. LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube are all great places to start, but don’t forget about other options like BiggerPockets.
Sellers who are motivated to sell are less motivated to sell in the winter because they don’t want to move when it’s cold.
How can you help motivated sellers avoid pain? Does it mean getting creative by offering to cover a moving company? Some investors might scream at the potential cost, but it might make more sense to get SOME profit from a few deals than to get NO profit.
The leads you generated that didn’t turn into deals can give you insight into what needs to change.
Should we send a campaign to all of them to check if they have been able to sort out their problem?
You could send an email with a similar message.
I wanted to reach out and let you know that I have some exciting news to share with you.” Hi [name], I hope you’re having a great holiday season! I wanted to reach out and let you know that I have some exciting news to share with you.
We connected a few months back when you told us about your property on our website.
Hi! I was wondering if you had any luck selling your house? If not, would you like to talk about the possibility of me making another offer? I’m interested in buying a few more houses before the end of the year, and yours is in a neighborhood I’m considering. Let me know if you’d like to chat!
– [your name]”
It is likely that you will see an increase in the number of cash buyer leads in the new year, so use this time to build up your business capabilities (for example, train a new acquisitions person or estimator). This will enable you to do even more when those cash buyers increase in January.
If you want to improve your search engine ranking, now is the ideal time to invest effort (or money into hiring someone) to do so. This is because there is typically less competition for ranking during the winter, so it will be easier to move up the list than at other times of the year.
If you improve your search engine optimization now, it will take 3-5 months to really take effect. This will help position your site for even better results in the future. If you wait until March to try to rank well for a competitive phrase, you may not have enough time for the SEO rankings to mature.
What Are Motivated Seller Leads In Real Estate?
These are people who are interested in selling their property quickly, typically because they are facing financial difficulty.
A motivated seller is ideal for investors because the sale usually works more in their favor; the investor generally has more strength in this negotiation.
Sellers who are more motivated will be more likely to accept a lower offer, especially if it means the sale will happen quickly and easily.
Types Of Motivated Seller Leads
The following are four common types of motivated sellers.
People who do not live in their homes are less attached to them and more likely to sell their property.
Since the homeowner lives elsewhere, it is likely that they are not emotionally attached to the home. The house probably feels less sentimental than the one they currently reside in.
If a homeowner is not living in their property and it is vacant, they may get tired of paying taxes on it since it is not making them any money. Additionally, empty homes are more likely to fall apart or be trespassed, vandalized, or stolen from since there is no one occupying it.
Even if a property owner has tenants who are paying rent, the property may still be a burden. The constant communication, maintenance, and repairs required for a rental property can be tiring work.
Some people become landlords without understanding the full amount of work that is required. After some time, many of these people would prefer to receive cash and their freedom back.
Some sellers won’t realize how motivated they are to sell their property until you present them with the opportunity to do so.
Inherited Property Sellers
The new owners of the property (sometimes known as probate sales or trust sales) are often surprised by what they have acquired and feel overwhelmed.
For people who have just lost a loved one, the last thing they need is the extra stress of having to deal with a new property. This can be a financial burden as well.
New owners may feel relieved to have the option to sell the property for a profit.
Code Violation Lists
Houses that do not meet state and local codes can be expensive and time-consuming to fix, and the owner may be subject to additional fines, fees, criminal charges, or even jail time.
In most cases, there are additional issues beyond the obvious code violations. These homes may also be in poor condition, vacant, or going through the probate process.
Some of the most motivated sellers are those people who own code-violating properties.
Distressed Property Owners
Duress in real estate usually refers to property owners who are facing tough situations. This can be caused by financial problems or by personal issues such as divorce, death, or family growth.
The word “distressed” can also describe a home that has been damaged by a natural disaster, accident, or other event. The owners of these properties may want to sell them.
Seeing Your Leads Dip Unveils A Hidden OPPORTUNITY
Many investors express frustration at having fewer leads.
I believe this is a chance to grow a more varied and steady company by trying out new methods that you might not usually have time for. By implementing these strategies into your marketing, they will keep working to bring more customers to your business and make that trend line go even higher!