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Article by Sean Flanagan

Guerrilla Marketing: How to beat your competition to the punch

  When it comes to marketing your real estate business, there is one technique that stands out from the rest. This technique is simply the best way available to get motivated sellers to call you before they call anyone else....period. This is a guerrilla marketing technique that has been touched on previously, but not as in depth as it will be here. In case you have not guessed yet, I am referring to street corner signs.

  18 x 24 Coroplast signs with stands are by far the best place to begin your marketing campaign. The most critical part of using signs is making sure they deliver your message i.e. WE BUY HOUSES CASH….although I believe you should be a little more creative since every investor in the world has used that phrase to market what they do. I have tried many other forms of marketing with variable results, but no other form compares to the use of signs. Television is the next best form, then radio and then billboards or bus stop benches. The challenge with television is that it is a long term producer and is quite expensive the first year or two (you probably will not turn a profit in your first couple years due to television expense). People expect to run one fifteen second commercial and get immediate results, but that is not the way it works. If you doubt that, try it for yourself. You can expect to spend about five thousand dollars your first month for a few fifteen second spots. Five thousand dollars is pennies compared to what can be made on one deal, but odds are very high that you will not get a deal from this type of advertising the first month. Do not expect significant results for several months to a year.

  As for radio, it is a less expensive form of advertising than television and less effective. That is not to say that this form of advertising does not work, because it does. The down side to radio is that it is still expensive and results will be minimal unless you spend a fortune running ads on the most popular stations. You will also have to pay for these ads to run more often than once a day, which can become costly.

  Billboards and bus stop benches are next in line, but not very effective. These methods of advertising will require twelve month contracts and possible credit checks. Billboards start at over a thousand dollars per month and bus stop benches are even less that. However, bus stop benches will typically produce less result than billboards.

  The main point here is that while the previous three forms of advertising can work, they should NOT be your main form of advertising (especially early on in your real estate career). With coroplast signs you can have a bright mini-billboard on every street corner in town. Believe me, if you put out a couple hundred of these signs, you will immediately get deals. The most exciting part is that while this is the best form of advertising it is also one of the least expensive. As previously mentioned, you should pay around one thousand dollars for five hundred one sided, two color 18x24 in. coroplast signs with stands.

  The only drawback I have found with street signs is that some cities have rules against placing them on the right of way. As a general rule, you should make sure your city will allow these type of signs to avoid being hassled or fined. However, there are a couple tricks I can share that will allow you to use street signs without getting your local code enforcement officer to bent out of shape. First, you will usually be alright if you place the signs on the inside of the median or walkway. While putting them on the right away is tempting, you will be better off to put them back farther from the street. The other trick is to put your signs out on Friday evening and pick them back up on Sunday night. Usually code enforcement either does not work on weekends or is more concerned with the sporting event on the radio than picking up signs.

  In closing, you should realize there are plenty of other tricks to marketing and they certainly can not all be discussed in one article. However, in my opinion street signs should never be overlooked due to the fact that they produce great results with minimal expense. I did over 30 successful "subject to" transactions my first year with signs being my sole source of advertising. My second and third year improved tremendously from my first, still using signs as my primary source of marketing. Simply put, the numbers do not lie and with numbers like those, I am a believer.

  Sean Flanagan

(c) Copyright 2003, All Rights Reserved.

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