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Article by Jason Van Orden

An Often Overlooked Secret of Marketing and Negotiating
for Real Estate Investors Looking for Deals

  When you call sellers, what do you say? When you sit down to write a marketing postcard to find deals, what do you write? When you go to negotiate price and terms, how do you present it?

  These are scary situations and it is not unusual to be at a loss for words at such times. In fact, you may avoid these situations all together just so you don't have to face the overwhelming fear.

  I want to help you erase that fear and find the words that will give you confidence to call sellers, write advertising, and present offers. The concept I am about to present is fundamental in developing a successful marketing message.

  Have you ever read an ad like this?

  The Braun® Multiquick Hand Blender offers a 200-watt motor, stainless steel shaft, five-blade chopper attachment, and aerator head." (Karen Thackston 2004)

  Why in the world would I buy the Braun® Multiquick Hand Blender after reading this description? Why should I care about a 200-watt motor or a stainless steel shaft? I am sure this is an accurate description of the product's features, but why do I care? What if it read like this?

  "The Braun® Multiquick Hand Blender is a priceless tool for any cook with a busy schedule. Its powerful motor enables you to chop, whip, puree and blend with lightning speed. Its stainless steel shaft holds up to years of use without bending or breaking. The Multiquick's five-blade attachment gives you the ability to finely chop or grate even the hardest cheeses and nuts with ease. And the specially designed aerator head incorporates air into the liquids and sauces you blend, making them light and fluffy. You'll create delicious meals with ease and be out of the kitchen in record time." (Karen Thackston 2004)

  OK. So if I want to blend at lightning speed and make my sauces light and fluffy or if I want to finely chop the hardest of nuts without breaking or bending my blender, then it sounds like this is the appliance for me.

  What was different between these two descriptions? The first only listed features. The second communicated the benefits. The first is more about the product. The second is more about what is in it for me.

  A feature is simply an attribute of a product or service. A benefit is what/how the feature adds value to the customer. Successful salesmanship communicates benefits.

  Let me give you just a couple more examples.

  "Open 24 Hours" is a feature.

  A benefit that speaks value to your prospect is, "When your pregnant wife craves pickles and ice cream at 3 a.m., you know where to get it."

  Here is a real estate example:

  "We buy houses subject-to" is meaningless. Try this: "I can take over your payments starting next month and help you avoid paying two house payments when you move." That speaks to what the prospect wants & what keeps him up at night. Communicate your benefit in a way that brings emotion, fear and desire to the surface.

  Now think about what you tell someone when they ask you what you do. Do you just say, "I buy houses"? Or do you say something like, "I buy houses in ten days or less without closing costs or cleanup for the seller."

  Do you see the difference? I often say that you are not in the business of buying and selling houses. When it comes to your customers/clients, when it comes to marketing, when it comes to negotiating, you are in the business of stress relief and solving impossible problems.

  With that in mind, what are the specific benefits that you offer? Here are five types of benefits to consider:

  1. Convenience: People love to save time, energy, and effort. Can you make someone's life easier and more convenient?
  2. Economy: People respond well to saving money or increasing how much money they have. Show them the money.
  3. Peace of Mind: We all have a tendency to seek pleasure and avoid pain. People like to relax. Can you relieve their stress?
  4. Ego: Can you appeal to the human desire for recognition or better image?
  5. Fun: People need a break. People like to form memories. People don't like to be bored or constantly work. Can you provide a diversion?

  Think about each of these categories. What benefits can you offer a seller or buyer in each of these areas? Use meaningful specifics when you write benefits. Don't just say that you can buy their house fast. How fast? How much money can you get them?

  To take it one step further, which of the benefits that you offer are unique to you? The key to cracking the marketing code and attracting volumes of leads and deals is to answer this:

  "Why should your prospect do business with you over any and every other option available to him/her?"

  If you have a good answer to this question, your business, marketing, and negotiation will become tons easier and you will increase the stream of money into your bank account significantly. This is the message that you must communicate.

  The answer to this question lies in the benefits that you offer that are unique to you. This answer to this question is what is called a Unique Selling Proposition.

  By better understanding and communicating the benefits that you offer, you will become a powerful salesperson. You will find that your marketing and negotiating become significantly easier bringing massive returns in your investing.

Jason Van Orden was the President of the Salt Lake Real Estate Investors Association in 2004. He also teaches investors marketing systems to find more deals and make more money with a minimum investment of their time and money. For more tips on how to market to get motivated sellers calling and begging to do business with you go to: http://www.find-real-estate-investing-deals.com
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