Buying Real Estate Leads vs. Finding Them Yourself

Buying Real Estate Leads vs. Finding them Yourself

If you are a real estate agent, it is essential for you to continuously find clients in order to build your business and thrive. Leads are prospective clients who may be interested in selling their property, and they may need a real estate agent to help them with the sale in the future.

With the power of the Internet today, there are countless ways for you to generate and gather leads. One way to gather leads as an agent to is to gather them for yourself. This can require a fair amount of hustle and relying on strategies to connect with people who are thinking about selling their property.

Another popular way is to buy real estate leads from a source. When you buy leads, you purchase a list of people who are likely going to be selling and need and agent.

There are both benefits and drawbacks to both strategies, and it can help to understand both in order for you to determine the best way for you to grow, run, and maintain your business. Read on to understand more about the difference between buying real estate leads and finding them on your own, and which route can benefit you more.

What does it mean to buy real estate leads?

If you are an agent looking for leads, one possible option for you is to purchase a list of leads from a resource that has compiled or collected them. There are many, many sources available that has compiled lists of qualified or verified leads, which agents can then connect with and offer to represent.

When you buy real estate leads, you are purchasing a list of prospective clients that have in some way indicated that they are likely going to need to sell. This list can have a wide range of clients that are in a variety of situations. Some of these can include:

  • Owners who are divorcing
  • Owners in pre-forecluse
  • Property owners who have announced relocation
  • Homeowners who are about to become empty nesters
  • Homeowners who just had a child
  • Homeowners who just got married
  • Probate leads (people who just inherited property that are like to turn that property around via a a sale)
  • People who have applied for or looked into home loans
  • People who have clicked on Pay-per-Click ads regarding selling property
  • Internet users who have searched for the value of their home or property
  • People who search for home listing on search engines (and are then targeted with PPC advertising campaigns
  • Homeowners or commercial property owners that have responded to surveys about selling their home or property
  • Homeowners of a certain age, who are likely to have equity or are in positions to sell or invest
  • And more.

You can choose the type of qualified lead that makes the most sense for your market and your business, then purchase from a source that provides that types of lead list.

The Benefits of Buying Real Estate Leads

There are many benefits to buying real estate leads in order to find potential customers. Some of the best benefits include the following.

Save Yourself Time and Energy

Being a real estate agent is hard work. You have to constantly work for your clients and work to gain new clients. You can reduce some of your workload and save yourself time by buying qualified leads. Instead of having to work to build your customer base, you can be handed a list of potential clients that you know are in some way interested in selling. That way you can devote your time and energy to working hard for your clients and making them happy with your service, and not to hustling to drum up people who may or may not want to work with you to sell.

Make Contact First

When you buy a list of leads, it is likely that you are going to be the first agent to make contact with them. This is especially true if you are purchasing a list of leads that has simply expressed some interest in selling their home, but hasn’t necessarily made any decision about doing it. When you are the first agent to reach out to a potential seller, you are likely to nab them as a client, since you have made the process easy and convenient for them, and you have displayed your enthusiasm and eagerness to work with them.

Long List of Clients

When you generate your own leads, you constantly have to work to keep feeing up your list of potential clients. When you purchase a list, you have a long steady stream of people to check in with about possibly represeting them during a sale.

Get Established and Build Your Reputation

When you buy a list of leads, you may be able to make sales quickly, since you’ll likely be working with people ready and motivated to sell. When you make these customers happy, you can help generate a great reputation and positive word-of-mouth marketing for yourself, which will help you naturally grow your business. This can be especially helpful if you are new to an area or a market and need help getting established.

What Does it Mean to Find Your Own Real Estate Leads?

If you choose not to buy a list of real estate leads from any resource, it is up to you as an agent to compile your own list of potential sellers. This can take some hustling on your part, but there are a wide variety of methods for finding good clients. Here are some of the most popular ways that seller agents find their own leads.

  • Referrals: Referrals can be a great source of leads. Ask happy and satisfied customers and clients to recommend you to other sellers.
  • Partnerships: Partner with relevant organizations or businesses in your area to help bring you people that are looking to sell property. Some business that make sense are cleaning services, home staging companies, moving companies, and more. When people inquire with a relevant company about moving or selling their home, you can have them recommend you as a seller’s agent. In exchange you can also recommend these businesses to your clients.
  • Building strong relationships: Keep up relationships with old customers. Send regular holiday cards or check-in emails. By keeping strong ties with people you work with, they may become repeat customers down the line or refer you on when people they know need a seller’s agent.
  • Advertisements: Place ads for your services or business with local newspapers, radio stations, television stations, and more. Consider advertising in other relevant publications like local real estate listings or magazines. Also, social media is a powerful and popular place to market today. So don’t overlook the power of social media ads
  • Social media channels: Social media in general is an effective technique for establishing your business, thanks to the popularity of social channels today. Create your own social media pages and post relevant, interesting content. You should have a Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter (and more, if you’d like). If you use relevant hashtags, you can bring in the business of people who were looking on social media for an agent like you.
  • Place sold signs on properties you sold: When you successfully sell a property for a client, make sure to put a sold sign on that property, in addition to your name and contact. People thinking about selling will see that you’ve been sucessful there and consider getting in contact with you.
  • Nurture, nurture, nurture: Don’t give up on old leads. Even if a person didn’t get in back in touch with you about selling or dropped out of contact, it can’t help to keep in touch with anyone who once indicated that they may need your help with a sale. Gently and politely nurture your leads by checking in with them and providing them with helpful, relevant information. This can keep you at the forefront of their mind in case they change their mind again and decide that they do want to sell their property.
  • Get in touch with people with properties that are currently “For Sale By Owner”: Some people choose to go their own route of representing and selling their own property. This can be a tough route, and many people, if they don’t succeed, will turn to a seller’s agent to help. Get in touch with FSBO property owners with your contact information, and let them know that you are there to assist them should they need it. They’ll know that they can turn to you if they decide they need some support or guidacne in the sales process.
  • Search for foreclosures and vacant properties yourself: Pay attention around town and in the newspaper for foreclosed and vacant properties. Get in touch with the owners yourself. You can nab the client by offering to help them sellf the property and get into a better financial situation. They will appreciate the initiative you took and the help you are offering to handle a challenging situation.
  • Have a great website: Build a website as a seller’s agent and optimize it for search. Make sure you’ve used the right keywors so you come up high in Google search results. That way, people can find you and your services when they are looking for an agent like you to help them

The Benefits of Finding Your Own Real Estate Leads

As you can see above, there are many, many routes to finding your own real estate leads. Going this route has benefits including the following.

It can be cheaper.

Some methods of finding your own real estate leads is free. It can be expensive to buy leads. So, if you are looking for cost effective lead generation, this can be a good option.

Connecting with the community.

Real estate is all about who you know in your market. By doing the work to generate your own leads and get yourself and your name out there, you can get to know more people and establish yourself as a more well-known name in your area.

Be sure your leads are interested.

Buying qualified leads is a smart way to connect with interested sellers. But not everyone on your lead list is actually interested in selling. If you do the work yourself, you can have a good gauge of where potential customers are and whether they’re actaully worth investing time and energy into nurturing.

At the end of the day, there are benefits to finding your own real estate leads—but it takes a ton of work. If you don’t have extra energy or time to expend, solely focusing on your own lead generation can be risky and lead to burn out (or a lack of clients and income).

Buying or Finding Leads: Building the Business that’s Right For You

As an agent, it’s important to regularly take steps to bring leads into your business. Take some time to learn what it means to buy leads, and what it means to find your own leads. Then, consider the nature of your business, the time you have to spend, and which avenue makes the most sense for you as an agnet. Once you’ve determined which method will help bring your more potential clients, devote your time to pursuing that avenue. When you bring in more potential clients to your business, you can help more and more people sell their residential or commercial property. Not only will you help more people reach their real estate goals, you’ll also develop a reputation for being a reliable and effective agent. This is another way to help build your busines via word-of-mouth, and to become an even more trusted, relied upon agent if your market.

If you want to rely on a tool that can provide you with qualified leads to help your business grow, check out ProspectNow. ProspectNow is a tool that connects residential real estate agents with people who are likely to be selling their homes. It also has a database of commercial leads, so that commercial agents can build their base of potential sellers. This database also helps other people who have a hand in the commercial sales process, including commercial mortgage lenders, building management service companies, real estate investors, tax professionals, insurance agents, and roofing companies (and more).

How to Get Real Estate Leads Using Modern Technology

How to get real estate leads

 Every business must market themselves and the real estate business is no exception. As in any industry, it is necessary to know how to obtain leads. Of course, these methods have evolved over time and now involve the use of modern technology. So exactly how should a real estate business go about using modern technology to obtain leads? That is precisely what this article will discuss. Also included will be a segment or two on how to ensure you reach the decision-makers directly. Please continue reading this article. 

 

Create a Website for Your Business

 This is a must-have for any business in today’s society – you need a website. The average website can generate more than 30,000 visitors each month. Of course visitors can lead to clients if you have the means to collect data on them. Instruct your website designer make your site SEO-friendly. The higher your business ranks in searches, the more traffic you will have. Once your website starts to attract visitors, it is crucial you initiate contact with them. You want to show these visitors you appreciate them checking out your site. This can be done via email or telephone call, but do be sure to do it in some fashion. This is a sure-fire way of generating leads. 

Link Your Website to High-Traffic National Sites

 There are several nationally-known high-traffic real estate sites in use today. It is a good idea to link your site to one or more of those. We shall expand on this later in the article. For right now, we will say that your website will gain quite a bit of exposure from linking to them. Exposure of any kind is helpful in generating leads. Sites like these are even helpful when you want to increase your breadth of knowledge on real estate in general. 

 

Utilize Social Media Sites to Advertise Your Company

 Social media sites are no longer used solely for keeping in touch with people. Nowadays they are also a prime source of exposure for businesses of any kind, including real estate companies. Most of the social sites allow you to place ads on their site for a minimal fee. These social media sites have instructions on how to place your ads, as well as how to begin a live chat with new prospective leads. The more sites your company is on, the more people will know you exist. 

Ideas for Addressing Home Sellers

 When you are looking for real estate leads, you naturally think of home buyers. However, home SELLERS are an extremely important part of your market. Make sure to have some lead generation techniques to find home sellers too. One way to do this is to utilize online data from sources that focus on home sellers. Do an Internet search and you can find some of these. Not only can you obtain real estate leads this way, but you can offer prospective clients another service. That service is the ability to check the value of their home through YOUR website. That is such a valuable service. You can discover how to incorporate a home valuation site into your company website online. Check into that today.

Make Use of Video Technology

 These days videos are such a popular way of attracting business leads. Look into affordable ways to produce informative videos for your real estate company. Start by telling people all about your company and your key personnel. You can then go on to make videos of homes you are already selling. Not only will it help you get leads for that client, it can allow other home sellers to see what you can do for them. Make certain you include a contact method for prospective clients to reach you.  Then do not forget to follow up with them.

Use Lead Generation Software

 Along with the information age has come inventions that can capitalize on technology. One of those inventions is lead generation software. There is a segment of lead generation software that focuses on real estate. Check into using one or more of those today. Several of them can be found on the Internet market. Do a search for them and a little homework prior to investing to find out which are the best products in this genre. You want to look further than the price, it is important to be able to gain the most use out of it. You want your software to be versatile and comprehensive. Some real estate lead generation software products are geared towards different sized businesses. Select the one that most fits YOUR company. If necessary, call the software company and speak to an expert.  

Make Use of Informative Blogs and Articles

 There is another way to use modern technology to gain real estate leads other than statistical data. That way is to avail yourself of the plethora of real estate information out there. We are speaking of all of the informative blogs and articles on generating real estate leads. Included are all sorts of general tips on real estate and related topics. You can find the most current material from expert sources. Because it is so critical to understand what you are talking about in order to secure leads, you should check out any general articles on real estate topics. Those are also available on the Internet.

Tips on Reaching the Decision-Makers

 In any marketing campaign, one of the keys to success is to speak directly to the decision-makers. This can be difficult. More often than not, you will get the gate-keeper who will do everything possible to prevent that. Therefore, this part of our article will focus on the best tips to reach the boss of the home. This information is completely relevant to the real estate business too. One pertinent tip is to call the home owner later in the day. That way you are more likely to directly reach the decision-maker. When you do, keep your message short and to the point. Do not ramble! Do some research on their home requirements before you call. That way you can tell him or her about all of the benefits you can offer them. Remember, you want to make a positive impression.

 

 

Mutual Connections Are Valuable

 The best way to speak to the key person at a company or at their home is to find a mutual connection. When you do, arrange for an introduction. Casually mention all of the excellent ways YOUR real estate company can help them. Whether they are looking to buy or to sell a home or business property, be prepared to let this person know what you can do for him or her. 

Another way to establish a mutual connection, using today’s technology, is to send them a connection request on your social media site. Not only will this enable you to contact them, but you can build a lasting relationship with them. Many times, you and this person will already have mutual friends on the social site in question. This is even better and will give you more to build on. If possible, arrange to have direct chats with the person on your social site’s direct messaging platform. Keep in mind NOT to immediately try to sell them your services as it might completely turn them off to you.   

Become Friends With the Gatekeepers

 If it is impossible to avoid the gatekeeper of the home, become friends with them first. Take the time to build lasting friendships with them and get to know them. This will likely lead to an introduction to the decision-maker. You can casually let your new gatekeeper friends know about your real estate business. Who knows, perhaps the gatekeeper needs some real estate services too. If nothing else, ensuing conversations with the gatekeeper will allow you to learn the concerns of the homeowner. That way you can better address these concerns when you do speak to them.  These methods we just discussed can be applied to online communications with prospective real estate leads. 

Keeping the Attention of the Decision-Maker

 Okay, so you have reached the decision-maker of the house, now what? Well, now you have to keep their interest. You ought to be able to do this by being concise and on-topic. Stick only to the points of how you can help them instead of taking up their time with chit chat. You might need to try different approaches. If you fail to keep this person’s interest in the first conversation, try approaching them in a different manner the next time. You may be dealing with someone who hates using the telephone. Therefore, try an in-person meeting. It is better to do this in a social setting than to show up at their front door uninvited. DO NOT make a pest out of yourself. Instead, just “accidentally” bump into him or her at neighborhood gatherings. This will work wonders.

Turning Your Leads Into Clients

 First rule, DO NOT make your leads wait!!! You have a hot lead that you just acquired. They are obviously interested in your real estate business. Make sure you follow up with them immediately. Not doing this will result in a complete drop of interest in you, then you will lose them. There is no excuse possible that will regain that person’s interest in your business once you lose them. Contact them exactly at the pre-arranged time and method you discussed. 

  

 Utilizing Software to Follow Up With Leads

 If you find it difficult to remember the details of all your potential clients, invest in some software. There is specific software available for customer service communication. It is critical to ensure this software has the ability to receive and record communications from leads. You must thoroughly understand how the software works so you can get back to your leads ASAP. DO NOT allow a robotic caller to return your prospects’ calls. Be sure this is done via a live person every time. 

Always Ask for the Sale

 This may seem obvious, yet you would be amazed how often it gets forgotten. The real estate agent does everything except ask the potential customer for his or her business. How many times have you heard somebody say, “the sales person never asked me if I wanted to be a client?” Do not demand they be your client, but sincerely ASK them if they would like to be. It is incredible how many times they will say yes. Remember, if you fail to ask them, your competitor will. 

What Are Some Good National Sites to Link To?

 The best kind of a national real estate-oriented database is one in which there are scores of available properties on it. They should feature a combination of residential and commercial properties on them, as well as enable a customer to screen for specific qualifications. An example of such a database is Prospect Now, the address can be obtained by doing an Internet search. Also available on this website is useful information on real estate. Sites like this one are a fantastic resource in today’s information age. Try it for yourself. 

Conclusion

It is hoped that you have learned a lot from this article. You can return to this particular website periodically for any new revelations that come along. You can also investigate websites like Prospect Now to learn all you need to know about real estate properties and how to get the best deals. We wish you the best of success!

How To Find Out Who Owns A Business

How To Find Out Who Owns A Business

Commercial real estate (CRE) has experienced a significant uptrend over the past several years. Although interest rates are on the rise and commercial building may decrease in 2019, there is an abundance of CRE opportunities on the market. With box stores closing and industrial businesses increasing, companies are starting to get creative with the buildings that already exist. According to a report from Deloitte, staying ahead in CRE will require a fresh approach to already-built spaces.

The key to finding the best CRE investments, however, is knowing how to identify who owns a business, or in some cases, a building. Gaining the edge on commercial investments or property sales means making direct contact with the owner. Many real estate agents or investors lose time with outdated or incorrect business information. Finding the most up-to-date information on business ownership can be as simple as knowing where to look.

Find Out Who Owns a Business

Business ownership is a matter of public record. The manner in which those records are kept, however, varies from state to state. There are several ways to track down the name of a business owner, but we’ve outlined the most effective methods.

Look up the business license

Some states require businesses to file for a business license in order to operate in that state. These records can often be found through the Business Licensing Services office. If you aren’t sure if your state requires business licenses, a quick Google search will resolve that matter, or you can search using one of the other options below.

Search state business records

Business owners must file paperwork for their assumed name, or DBA (doing business as), with local state officials. This allows a business to function under a name other than the name of the owner or owners. Business ownership data can either be found with the Secretary of State, the Register of deeds, or the County Clerk.

Check websites and social media

Another option for discovering an owner’s name is to review the company’s website and social media pages. Some businesses will readily share this information on their “about” page or through posts and tagged photos on social media.

Call the business directly

While this method isn’t recommended if you are trying to be discreet in your search, it can produce the quickest results. A simple phone call to the company can produce the information you need in a matter of seconds.

Use an online database

All of these search methods are helpful, but only up to a point. When it comes to finding business owners for commercial real estate, you are also trying to find the building owner, and the two don’t always go hand in hand. Buildings are most often leased to other businesses, and finding the business name and owner of the actual building is more ambiguous.

Using an online database like ProspectNow allows you to search for business ownership details based on a number of criteria, rather than just the business name. Finding ownership details for specific properties only requires that you know where the property is located.

Not only does the database include the name of either the business owner or a decision maker within the company, but it also provides email addresses and phone numbers, making contact with owners easy and straightforward.

Connect With More Businesses and CRE Opportunities

Determining who owns a business is just one step in pursuing great commercial real estate opportunities. With an online database, prospecting for deals is made easy with predictive analytics that help establish if a property is likely to sell, refinance, or nearing foreclosure.

ProspectNow offers access to over 40 million commercial real estate leads. On top of predictive data, the platform provides information for 14 million businesses and 15 million LLCs and corporations. CRE that is both listed and off market, as well as business ownership details, is incredibly accessible through these online tools.

As we mentioned previously, in their annual report on commercial real estate, Deloitte pointed out the importance of creativity and a fresh approach to CRE for the coming years. ProspectNow’s fresh approach uses analytics to uncover timely opportunities and the information needed to turn each opportunity into a deal.

Instead of just finding out who owns a business, search the most accurate collection of ownership details and properties and make direct contact with business owners and decision makers to close more CRE deals and leads this year.

Ten Best Practices to Find Motivated Sellers Now

Find Motivated Sellers

Real estate is constantly in motion, a seemingly unpredictable ebb and flow of trends, risks, priorities, and values. Because of this, it is important to stay on top of the latest data and find new and effective ways to keep their lead lists full.

In the midst of real estate’s ever-changing trends, there are some simple, yet solid ways to stay ahead of the competition, gain leads and specifically find motivated sellers. What is a motivated seller and how does finding one (or many) benefit your business? 

Motivated sellers are customers who are ready to do business, get their property sold, and even expedite the process. They represent potential business deals, real estate listings, and investment opportunities that are both accessible and timely. Finding eager sellers is a great way to increase, expand, or scale your business. 

Interested in adding some motivated leads to your list? 

We’ve compiled the ten best practices for real estate agents, investors, and brokers alike to locate and target the most motivated sellers on the market.

Defining the Motivated Seller

Most clients who are ready to list their property for sale are motivated to sell, but what makes a truly motivated seller stand out from the rest of the crowd? 

There are several key elements that help determine if you are dealing with a motivated seller. 

  • Timeline: the seller wishes to move quickly and is more focused on the timeline than other elements of the sale. 
  • Price: the seller is willing to list at or below market value in order to move the property. 
  • Terms: the seller is willing to be flexible and agreeable with the buyer, offering favorable sale terms. 

Identifying motivated sellers can be challenging, particularly if a seller says they are motivated when they are really just trying to drive competition and negotiations on their property. Using these key identifiers, however, can help you separate the motivated seller from other leads and potential investment opportunities. 

Why are some sellers more motivated than others? 

Now that you know what indicates a motivated seller, it also helps to understand why they are motivated.  

Every potential client has his or her reasons for selling, and the same is true of the more motivated contingent. There are some specific life circumstances, however, that make sellers willing to be more flexible on timeline, price, and terms. 

  • Finances: there are a number of financial situations that motivate sellers, including the threat of foreclosure or the possibility of having two mortgages if the seller has already begun purchasing a new property. On the other hand, those who own their homes outright could be motivated by finances if it is a seller’s market and they are looking to gain on their investment. 
  • Property Imperfections: Sometimes flaws in the property or building structure can motivate a seller to offer a lower price and better terms. If the home or land has issues outside of the owner’s means, he may be very motivated to sell, and quickly. 
  • Life situations: New jobs, relocation, family emergencies, separation. There are many things that can impact a seller’s need to sell quickly, quietly, and without the stress of negotiations and pushback.
  • Inheritance: Those who inherit homes and property may be more motivated to sell. If the estate has any unpaid debts, cash bequests, or is simply beyond the heir’s capacity to manage, she may be eager to sell quickly in order to finish probate and close the estate.
  • Business Changes: Residential property owners aren’t the only motivated sellers in real estate. Business owners who have expanded, merged, or closed their business can also be motivated to sell the property they formerly used as a commercial or industrial space

Motivation to sell a property comes in all different forms. Motivated sellers don’t always fit the mold, either. Sometimes property owners who fall into the above categories are not motivated and are unaware of how they may benefit from a more active approach to selling their home. 

Property owners who don’t fall into any category above, on the other hand, can be eager to part ways with their space and move on their next investment. 

Regardless of an owner’s reasons for selling, understanding what drives owners to sell can help you identify, and ultimately find, the most motivated sellers both on and off the market. 

Motivated sellers and your business

Maintaining a list of leads is an important aspect of running your business. Managing a list of leads who are motivated to sell can absolutely vitalize your business and the way you continue to do business in the future. 

Real estate can often be a waiting game, but with motivated sellers, you have the opportunity to move quickly, make worthwhile investments, broker deals, and stay ahead of the competition. 

Understanding who these motivated sellers are is the first step to building a great lead list and expanding your business.The next step is to find these motivated sellers and turn your leads into new clients using the best practices, tools, and tips available. 

Finding the Most Motivated Sellers

Make a list of targeted categories

In order to focus your energy on motivated sellers, list all of the potential categories of home or property owner that fits the description. Remember the list of reasons a seller might be motivated? Use that to help you decide which motivators might be most prominent in your community or region. 

This may sound like a simplistic first step, but it will save money, time, and energy, in the long run, to understand where your target audience exists. 

  • Foreclosures: Have there been a string of foreclosures in or around the area? Make sure to include this on your list of property owners to target with direct mail, email, or phone calls. 
  • Pre-foreclosures: Sometimes the threat of foreclosure is enough to motivate a homeowner toward selling and getting out from under a stressful situation. 
  • Longtime homeowners: Find out who has been in their home for 15 or more years, as they are more likely to own the home outright and be motivated to sell if the conditions are right. 
  • Natural events: Were there any recent floods, mudslides, or other events that can impact a home or property? These types of events can often motivate owners to get out from under properties that they can’t afford to repair or rebuild. 
  • Commercial Real Estate: If you spend time investing in or brokering CRE, be sure to add this to your list of targeted property types. 
  • Off-market sellers: ProspectNow’s data analytics helps identify properties that are most likely to sell, allowing you to locate motivated sellers before they even know they’re motivated. 

Creating the list of your target audience—and potential clients—shouldn’t take too long, but will help you focus your attention and your resources as on the most motivated sellers in your area. 

Get to know your area 

Now that you have a list of your target categories, take some time to really get to know your area—with your list in the forefront of your mind. 

What does this mean, exactly? Pay attention to the empty lots while you’re driving around town. If any are in an area that is growing or developing, take note of the address so you can track down the property owner. 

If you are going after motivated CRE sellers, pay attention to business signs advertising closures, liquidation sales, or relocations. Not every commercial space is owned by the business that occupies it, however, so locating the property owner is essential to taking advantage of a potential lead. We provide access to 40 million CRE properties, including owner information or contact info for decision-makers for each property. The database also includes information about pre-foreclosures and our analytics scan for likely-to-sell business and residential properties. 

For motivated residential sellers, take some time to observe different neighborhoods, paying attention to distressed properties or vacant houses. While these owners can sometimes be more difficult to track down or approach, once you have an idea where these properties are, it is easier to find the correct data to contact owners who are motivated to sell. 

Network with City and County Inspectors

City and county inspectors are usually the first to know if a property is a prime candidate for investment. Inspectors are continually determining if buildings and properties are up to code or not. They red-tag properties that have issues such as zoning violations, un-permitted expansions or upgrades, un-permitted landscaping, or septic system issues or violations. 

If pursuing investment opportunities is your goal, networking with inspectors is a great way to locate properties that will sell for cash and significantly below market value. These owners, often hindered by a lien or multiple liens, may be very motivated to sell to anyone interested in helping them out of a tough situation. 

Contact Local Attorneys

Attorneys in the area are constantly working with clients who are needing to sell their homes due to divorce, probate, bankruptcy or any number of situations. Some attorneys are receptive to direct mail or correspondence, it also helps to network face-to-face at local business events and gatherings. Attorneys are eager to help their clients manage tough situations and these particular clients are often very motivated to sell their homes. Connecting with the right attorneys could produce some great, motivated leads. 

Focus your attention on lawyers who practice the following types of law:

  • Family law
  • Real Estate law
  • Estate law/Probates
  • Bankruptcy law

Review MLS Expired Listings

Motivated sellers are everywhere, including the MLS. Owners of expired listings are often ready to make some concessions on their price, terms, or timeline, throwing them into the category of motivated sellers. 

There is a multitude of reasons why a listing expires, from poor showings to unfinished projects and an unrealistic list price. Regardless of why a home doesn’t sell, the stress of having to re-list, fix issues, or repaint may cause an owner to consider anything from a lower price to an off-market sale. 

If you don’t have direct access to the MLS, our database provides all the MLS expired listings, as well as contact information for owners. Connecting with these motivated sellers is quick and easy, and can have a significant impact on your now-expanding leads list. 

Browse for Pre-foreclosures

Most Notices of Default are recorded with the County Clerk or County Recorder’s Office. Browsing their websites, or even newspaper notices can help you determine if there are pre-foreclosures in the area that would be worth pursuing. Many owners in pre-foreclosure—especially the most motivated—are more than willing to discuss selling if it will help them avoid going into foreclosure. 

While public notices and newspapers are a great place to start, online databases provide more thorough information, including contact information for the property owner. With a collection of residential and commercial pre-foreclosures data, you are bound to capture some very motivated leads. 

Use a Property and Owner Database

Finding a platform that gives you access to almost every category on your list is probably the fastest way to find and contact motivated sellers. The tools available on ProspectNow, for instance, allow you to search for target properties and sellers based on essential criteria such as pre-foreclosure and expired listings, as well as property type, owner type, and predictive analytics. 

The predictive analytics, in particular, help you filter to your most motivated sellers by finding properties that are most likely to sell or even likely to refinance. This data gives you direct access to some of the most motivated sellers, providing key leads and investment opportunities. 

Take Advantage of Direct Mail Marketing

Marketing is where your initial list comes in very handy. While the world’s digital trends are certainly growing, direct mail marketing still makes a big impact on customers and potential clients. 

Using your list, reach out via direct mail to advertise your services to your key motivated sellers. Whether you focus on clients in pre-foreclosure, longtime homeowners, or estates in probate, direct mail gives you the opportunity to get your information into the right hands. 

Not sure where to go to produce your direct mail content? The property and owner database also provides easy direct mail services. You can choose your target audience and send customized mailers directly from the platform, saving you the time it takes to design, print, stuff, and mail your content.

Get on Social Media

While direct mail marketing still has a higher ROI than paid ads, an increasing number of people are using social media to make purchasing, investing, and selling decisions. Before making a business decision (from finding a new dentist to buying a house) many people will look at a business’ social media profiles to make a determination about the company. 

This is important for real estate agents, brokers, and even investors. Even when you connect with a potential client in person, they will most likely review your social media profiles before deciding to work with you. The same is true of motivated sellers. 

Keeping your profile and activity up to date and engaging will help you feel more comfortable placing ads and drawing more motivated sellers to your page. 

Master Digital Marketing 

Besides social media, digital marketing trends are a great source for building your list of motivated sellers. Using ProspectNow, you can easily use digital marketing to target specific audiences with ads. Combined with the predictive analytics, targeted ads will ensure your information is getting to the most motivated sellers in your area. 

Email marketing is another great way to connect directly with motivated sellers and begin building rapport. While emails can be daunting, improving your email strategy to get higher open rates will lead to even more motivated sellers connecting with you directly. 

Build Your Leads List with ProspectNow

Motivated sellers are everywhere. Understanding what motivates sellers and why allows you to find motivated sellers even in the most unexpected places.

There are also many tools available to help you find and contact your new motivated leads, from researching in public records to networking with local professionals. The most effective tools, however, are the ones that save you time and garner the best results. 

ProspectNow gives you access to over 140 million residential and commercial properties that are in various phases of the real estate process. Among those properties is essential data to help you find and reach out to the most motivated sellers on the market. 

Growing your leads list and keeping up with real estate market trends can go hand in hand. Predictive analytics, digital and direct mail marketing, and direct access to owner contact information are all key tools to help you expand your business, find motivated sellers, and stay competitive in the constantly changing market.

How to Find Off-Market Real Estate Gems

Off-Market

Having off-market properties in your inventory can help make your clients see you as an inside source of information and win you more deals. But how do you find these hidden gems when they’re off the market? It takes a combination of old-fashioned hard work and a willingness to take advantage of new technology.

What Are Off-Market Properties, and What Are the Benefits of Working with Them?

Off-market properties are properties that aren’t advertised for sale but either are for sale or could be in the near future. There are a number of reasons a home could be off-market.

  • The seller may not want to deal with the usual process of tours and open houses.
  • The seller may have taken steps towards selling their home but not gotten around to listing it yet.
  • An owner may be open to selling for the right price but isn’t actively pursuing a sale.
  • An owner who is in the early consideration phase of selling their home and/or buying a new one might be willing to move things along more quickly if the right deal comes along.

If you can find one of these properties, you get a chance for an exclusive listing or at least a head start over other real estate agents. You can also make your sellers happy by skipping or breezing through the parts of the sales process they were dreading. Your buyers who were looking for a home that was just right will also appreciate your inside knowledge and feel that you did more than look at the same websites they did.

How Can You Find Off-Market Real Estate

Unlike other deals where sellers come to you after seeing your advertisements, you’ll need to do some detective work to find off-market properties. It isn’t hard, but a lot of real estate agents aren’t doing it, so it’s a good chance for you to make a name for yourself in your local area.

Search Online and Offline

Even off-market properties could be posted on online and offline resources. Zillow and similar sites allow owners to post their homes before they’re listed on MLS. You may see for-sale-by-owner ads on Craigslist or in classified ads. Homeowners may also post about how they’re selling or considering selling their home in online forums or on social media.

There are two main downsides to this approach. The first is that you’re using public information that any real estate agent has access to. There’s a good chance several people in your area are doing the same thing. The second is that sellers posting these types of ads may have done it because they decided they don’t want to work with a real estate agent. You can try to change their minds, but it will be an uphill battle.

Use Your Network

While networking is always a big part of the real estate business, it becomes even more important for off-market deals. You should look both to other real estate agents and to your general network.

With other real estate agents, they aren’t just your competition. Maybe one of you has a seller and the other has a buyer looking for that type of home. An agent could also need help moving a house that a seller wants to keep off-market.

With your general network, don’t just use it as a passive source of “tell your friends.” People like home contractors, landscapers, and financial advisors may know when their client is thinking about selling or needs to sell.

Talk to Homeowners

If the demand exceeds the listed inventory in a given area, don’t be afraid to talk to homeowners directly. You may catch someone who is planning a future move or who may not have realized how much they can get for their home.

Of course, many people dislike door-to-door salesmen, but you can use less intrusive methods. You might try direct mail to a neighborhood or attending community events.

Use Data Signals

You may have seen news articles about how companies like Facebook and Google track everything consumers do. This is standard practice in modern marketing, and you can use the same type of information to help you find off-market properties.

In some cases, homeowners may have directly shown a willingness to sell. This might include things like searching for how to sell a home or visiting online listing sites. Predictive analytics can also show you who might be willing to sell in the near future. For example, someone might be approaching retirement in an area where most retirees sell their homes and move.

This type of data isn’t widely used in real estate, but it is readily available. Database companies collect the information from advertisers and other sources, combine the data, and rank homes according to likelihood to sell. You can then get the homeowners’ contact information and reach out to them directly, start a direct mail campaign, or target them with online ads.

ProspectNow Can Help You Find Off-Market Real Estate Gems

ProspectNow maintains a database of over 23 million properties that are predicted to sell along with an integrated suite of direct mail and digital marketing tools. You can use the software to lock in on off-market properties in some cases even before the seller knows they’re ready to sell. Instead of spending your time looking for properties that might sell, you can use your closing skills to make sure they will sell. To see how it works, start your free trial to see potential off-market gems in your area.

10 Real Estate Postcard Ideas to Catch Seller’s Eyes

Real Estate Postcard Ideas

If you’re willing to put in the legwork, off-market property can represent huge profit potential. The hard part, of course, is getting in touch with the current owners using a message that’s short, sweet, and memorable. The fact is, these owners are cold leads and they will not hesitate to toss your post card away if it fails to grab their attention. So, doing your research–like understanding the best practices established by these 10 real estate post card designs–will help you find more success on the first try.

#1 “Free Market Analysis for Your Home”

This first post card idea is proven to be highly effective because it entices sellers with a no-risk, free offer. You are giving them the opportunity to utilize your expertise and begin tossing around the idea of listing their home. A potential seller is very likely to reach out to you regarding your services, at which point you can begin explaining the local market and getting them interested and excited about the idea of selling their home.

The free market analysis they receive is usually the deciding factor. They want to know how much they can list their home for and how much they could potentially earn, so prepare the report in a very professional manner and offer to go over with them–perhaps over lunch if you think they will be very inclined to list with you after seeing the report.

#2 “Just Sold! It’s A Seller’s Market In Your Neighborhood”

This postcard idea can be used again and again. Every time you sell a home in the local area, make a postcard design centering around that home. This helps you prove your reputation as a listing agent while helping to reinforce the idea that the potential seller lives in a “hot market” where a lot of properties are being bought and sold.

In the postcard, tactfully explain how you got the house sold and, if you did quickly, share those figures as well. You can display the listing price, square footage, and the best photo you took of the home to help showcase how your professional services and expertise could help the recipient sell their home fast, too. At the end, your call-to-action (CTA) can be “Get a free market analysis for your home” or another offer to entice them to reach out.

#3 “Ready to Get Results?”

The next postcard idea is all about targeting recently expired listings. For this postcard, you must tap into the seller’s frustration in not being able to sell their home. Perhaps point out the unserious offers they have likely dealt with and all of the time wasters who are ultimately “just looking” and trying to get a feel for the market. Meanwhile, the seller is sitting on their home, anxiously waiting to downsize, upsize, or get away to a new location.

This postcard should feature your professional headshot and agent information along with a message along the lines of: “When you’re ready to get serious about selling your home, give me a call…” Try to pull in quantifiable statistics to make the statement even more powerful, like: “Over 82% of my clients accept a full-price offer within 45 days.”

#4 “Sell Your Home for $60,000 More”

In 2017, one study found that For Sale By Owner (FSBO) properties averaged a $190,000 selling price. Meanwhile, agent-assisted homes averaged $250,000. These numbers are a great selling point when using your postcard marketing to reach out to home owners who have their homes listed as “For Sale By Owner.”

This postcard is all about emphasizing how much more money you could potentially make the seller, which can be a tough point to get across since most people who list as FSBO think they are going to earn more by not having to pay for an agent.

#5 “Let Me Do The Legwork”

Since FSBO are a major opportunity for real estate agents, here’s another idea that can help you get new sell leads. When mailing to owners of FSBO properties, use a postcard that emphasizes how you get results. Tap into their pain points, like the hassle of scheduling showings and trying to market their home on local websites without being able to utilize the MLS and other agent-only platforms.

Try messaging like: “How many hours have you wasted showing people your property only to reach a dead-end or a bad offer? As an agent, I can help bring in the serious buyers you’re looking for–and I can do it in less time, without you having to lift a finger.” Having a strong call-to-action here and, again, including quantifiable statistics (like how long it takes your average client to close or how much your homes sell for) is highly effective.

#6 “The Family is Growing”

This postcard works to generate both buyer and seller leads, and you can send it anytime within your first year in office at a new agency. The entire postcard is dedicated to introducing you to the local community and to potential sellers. By sending this postcard, you won’t so much be convincing a person to list, but rather getting your name in front of someone who may already be thinking about it.

Introduce your background, qualifications, and what makes you the best agent to sell their home. Emphasize any past experience so they know you aren’t new to the real estate game or, if you are, try using words like: “Fresh market knowledge and a new approach allow me to utilize the most effective forms of local and digital marketing to get your home sold fast.”

#7 “You’re Running Out of Time”

This postcard is meant to target potential sellers who are sitting on the fence. They may have expressed some interest in selling in the past but they have not yet listed. The goal of this postcard is to tell them why now is the ideal time for them to put their home on the market. For instance, you might point out that: “Home buyers know interest rates will rise soon, and they’re looking to lock in a property just like yours.”

You can also bring in local market statistics, speaking to how recent listings have been selling for more and why you think waiting to list would be a bad move financially for the lead. The more localized knowledge you can bring in, the more likely the lead is to reach out to you for more information.

#8 “Happy Anniversary”

You already know that referrals are one of the top sources of business for real estate agents, so keeping in touch with your past clients is key. By sending a “Happy Anniversary” post card to home buyers on the one-year close date of their residence, you can check in with them and perhaps even generate some leads of people they know in the area that want to buy or sell.

#9 “Help Your Friends Find Their Dream Home”

Another way to receive referrals is to simply ask for them directly, which is something you can do once or more a year from past clients. In the referral request, be certain to thank the client first and focus on showing them how much you appreciated their business.

For the best results, offer a reward. For instance, consider awarding a $25 gift card to the recipient for each referral they send to you. Advertising this reward will help promote new leads but you can also keep it a secret, only sending it to the clients who go the extra mile on their own to give you a great referral.

An excellent postcard design will have a space on the postcard itself to turn it into a referral card, which the recipient can fill out and then send back to you or give to the person they want to send your way. When the person meets you, they simply have to bring the postcard and you know who sent them.

#10 “Here’s What’s Happening”

This final postcard idea is a type of “farm content” that encourages leads to keep the card and perhaps post it on their fridge or share it with friends. The content itself is not real estate related. Instead, it may include a recipe or even a calendar of local events. The idea is to offer something valuable to locals that also features a brief introduction to your work in the community and your contact information.

Hopefully, recipients will find the information valuable and keep it for future reference. Every time they look at it, they’ll see your friendly face and that will help improve recognition while also making it more likely that they’ll call you should they ever think about listing or know someone who is. You can send these postcards out monthly or annually to your list.

Looking for New Listings?

ProspectNow can help you discover which properties are most likely to get listed before they hit the market. Click here to learn more.

A Step-by-Step Guide for Creating a Commercial Real Estate Marketing Plan

Commercial Real Estate Marketing Plan

A Step-by-Step Guide for Creating a Commercial Real Estate Marketing Plan

There are many moving parts to consider for an effective commercial real estate marketing plan. In such a quickly evolving industry, it can be tough to stay organized and keep your priorities clear. The following system can be used on a rolling basis to identify properties, reach out to contacts, and close deals. Ideally, an agent will always be in one of these stages as part of their workflow. Over time, this system will become second nature, creating more ease and flow in your workspace.

Decide on a Property Type

Whether you’re looking to generate rental income or capital gain, there are several types of commercial properties from which to choose. This will depend on your level of experience, skill set, and specific goals with the property. Industrial buildings, hotels, office space, retail space, storage space, and multi-family units are just some of the routes you can take. Within each of these categories lies plenty of variation. Every type of property also holds unique risk, so assess these thoroughly before going all in.

If you’re looking to rent, consider whether you prefer long-term or short-term leases. Office space typically fills up more slowly than multi-family units, but leases are often longer. For multi-family units, the quality of the local job market, the size of the building, and whether it’s urban or suburban will determine the level of risk, time of occupancy, etc. In retail and office spaces, the health of each tenant matters, along with changes in the economy, which can impact how much the property earns. Industrial buildings are subject to unique patterns as well, like import and export changes.

If you’re an agent without a lot of experience, you’ll want to seek out properties that allow you to partner with a more experienced broker – one whose expertise lies in that type of property. This will protect you from what you don’t know, while giving you the chance to learn new things. In this scenario, you can provide leads, handle the deal, and give your partner a percentage in exchange for their knowledge.

Decide on a Territory

An idea popularized in macroeconomics is the velocity of money – the speed at which money moves through an economy. In regards to real estate, its useful to determine which neighborhoods have the highest velocity in your area of interest. This is the total number of properties sold compared to the total number of properties. The better the ratio, the better the market for making a commercial real estate purchase. Ideally, there will be at least 2,000 properties in the territory you select.

Also useful at this stage is data on the past, present, and future of your territory: What was it like 15 years ago compared to now? What is it projected to be like in another 15 years?

You’ll also want to get accustomed to pricing in different territories to assess what is appropriate for you. Each territory has its norms and fluctuations for commercial real estate. If you’re finding it overwhelming to narrow down a territory, or if you’re interested in several areas of a big city, create sections and tackle one at a time. If you’re working with an investor, they may have preferences for certain hot spots in your city.

Working with various property types in unfamiliar territories can become laborious, especially for newer agents. If working within a large territory, separate properties into relevant groups of 50 or 100. If you can narrow your focus even more to just a few streets in an area, even better. Once you are zoned in on a target territory, dive in. The last thing an agent wants is to just skim the surface and miss a great deal. Not getting acquainted with property owners can mean major missed opportunities.

Build a List of Every Property Owner

The most difficult part of creating a commercial real estate marketing plan is the gray area – the glaring obstacle of not having the information you need. You as the agent don’t know who is selling, what the name of the company is, or how to get in touch. It can feel like you’ve hit a brick wall at this step, and many agents often do.

You can’t simply do a quick search and locate the exact contact information for every property that interests you. Most commercial real estate owners don’t own their properties personally, but through companies such as LLCs or LPs. Furthermore, public records don’t offer phone numbers or emails for most property owners. And on top of all this, most property owners aren’t even open to selling. That leaves you to weed out the select few that are selling and dig up contact information without knowing a thing about them. It can be a time-consuming process that yields dismal results.

ProspectNow solves this problem for commercial agents by doing the heavy lifting. ProspectNow uses predictive analytics to identify the commercial properties that are most likely to sell. This cuts out the uncertainty and tedium typically present in this step.

Create a Call Script

Creating an effective call script is an art form – something that warrants its own separate blog post. But for now, let’s review the basics of creating a solid script that you can use again and again to build relationships with property owners.

You don’t want to waste mental energy rethinking what you’ll say each time you get on the phone with a prospect. A call script is a must-have because makes your calls uniform and efficient. In addition, it allows you to practice the same routine so that eventually, you won’t need a script.

Rehearse and be original. Don’t simply follow the rules of what you believe you have to say – People will find it easier to say ‘no thanks’ and dismiss your offer. Instead, come in fresh with the mutual benefit of your offer being obvious up front.

There should be a logical progression in your call script from greeting to ask (clearly asking what you want, whether it’s a phone conversation with a specific person, a face-to-face meeting, listing info, etc). Without this logical progression your calls with feel scattered and unfocused.

Empathize. People are immediately put off by robotic sales calls. Be a human. Be interested in their issues with the property or the deal rather than trying to sweep past them. You want to construct your call script in a way that offers a solution – Not in a way that asks a favor from the prospect. You are not calling to get something, but to give something. If you are prepared, confident, and genuinely enthusiastic about your offering, your call script will practically read itself.

Set a Goal: 1 Listing Per Month

To execute a goal of 1 listing per month, expect to get on 50 or more cold calls per day, about 2 meetings per day, and 3-5 listing presentations per week.

Generating leads is a huge part of this process and ensures the longevity of any real estate operation. In this sense, it’s important to become less rigid about the process of finding leads, cold calling, and making offers. Accepting it as part of the process without making any individual call mean anything is key. Getting used to objections and being shot down will only help you navigate the process more fluidly so you can move straight toward deals that are fitting.

Connect with as many prospects as you can and keep the relationship going. Get in touch in a friendly way periodically to stay top-of-mind. It’s also important to keep track of your contacts diligently – You don’t want a sloppy database full of names you don’t recognize. You won’t close a deal with each person in your database, but each person has an entire network of their own that can lead you to more opportunities down the line.

Double Your Listings

Once you have a decent list built, you can start generating more listings from the ones you already have. For each contact, start searching and marketing to all similar building owners you can find. To do this at the right times, it’s useful to pay attention to commercial property cycles. It’s likely that your specific location has its own patterns in when property owners buy and sell the most. Doing some research through property records can give you an indicator of when these cycles begin and end. Based on how long a property has been owned, you can also predict when property owners will be most interested in selling. Use this information to guide how and when you contact prospects. In listing presentations, you can use your ProspectNow data to show just how committed you are and how extensive your network is.

In the end, it’s about building relationships in the surrounding community. Getting to know the property owners, the nuances of your territory, and the communities that surround the property type you’re after will pay off in the long run.

So the marketing system is: Choose a property type, choose a territory, build a prospect list, create a call script, aim for one listing per month, and keep growing your listings. Once a deal is closed, repeat this system until you master it.

And finally, the step you’ve been waiting for – Cash those checks!

How to use IP Targeting for Real Estate

IP Targeting

Are you trying to increase your listings in an efficient way? IP targeting allows you to lock in on specific homes so that you can focus your advertising resources on the best prospects. Keep reading to learn more about how IP targeting works and how it can help you grow your book of business.

What is IP Targeting?

IP targeting allows you to show advertisements to specific people or groups of people. It does this by showing ads to specific IP addresses on your list.

An IP address is a unique number that identifies each computer network. It works much like a physical home address. Every house with an internet connection has its own IP address. IP addresses also contain geographic information including the following.

  • Country
  • State
  • City
  • Zip code
  • Area code
  • Latitude and longitude

This allows you to lock in on a specific home or target a group of homes in a defined area. You can see it in action by using an IP location finder. The location finder will automatically detect your IP address and show the publicly available information tied to it. This is the same type of information you can use for IP targeting.

How Does IP Targeting Work?

When you buy online ads, you can set who you want to show them to. There are a variety of options available including geographic area, demographic information, keyword searching, and IP targeting. For example, you might set your ad to show in the New York City metropolitan area. That would show your ad to a potential audience of 8 million people and eat up your budget showing ads to people who aren’t considering buying or selling a home.

If you target your ads by IP address instead, your ads will only show on computers matching an IP address on the list or range that you provided. This doesn’t mean that your ads are guaranteed to show. You still need to outbid other potential advertisers. But, it does mean that your ads will only show to people who you’ve qualified in some way.

What’s the Cost and Benefit of IP Targeting?

When you buy online ads, you usually pay for each person who either sees or clicks on your ad. Across the entire real estate industry, the average percentage of people who click on an ad is 3.71% for search engine ads and 1.08% for display ads on websites. Of those clicks, many of the visitors still won’t have any interest or need in your services.

Per ad view or click, IP targeting can be more expensive. Your advertising network may charge more for IP targeting, you may have to bid higher to win ads in a narrower market, or you may need to pay for a list of IP addresses. However, if you have a good list of IP addresses, the people you’re targeting should be more likely to use your services and more likely to sign with you.

As a way of simple example, say with a broadly targeted ad you expect a 1% conversion rate with an expected client value of $1,000. That means you need to spend less than $10 per click (1% x $1,000). The point of IP targeting is to increase your conversion rate and/or your expected value. Changing the above example to a 10% conversion rate gives you a budget of up to $100 per click. If your expected client value increases to $2,000, that increases your budget per click to $200.

In short, IP targeting may have a higher upfront cost, but you’ll win out by closing more deals at a higher value.

How Do You Get a List of IP Addresses?

There are several different ways you can get a list of IP addresses.

  • Track people who visited your website or clicked on your ad.
  • Purchase broad databases that show things like IP addresses tied to physical mailing addresses.
  • Purchase databases of specific consumer profiles such as people who have checked for mortgage rates.

This may sound complicated, but it’s no different than how you may have obtained direct mailing lists in the past. In fact, IP targeting can be combined with your traditional marketing methods so you can reach customers on multiple channels.

How to Use IP Targeting to Get More Real Estate Deals

The goal in real estate IP targeting is to find the people who are most likely to sell their homes or buy a new home in the near future. There are a few different ways you can do this.

Broad Approach

A broad approach targets groups of people with similar characteristics. This might include homeowners in a hot neighborhood who may be willing to sell to take advantage of recent market price increases. Or, it could be renters in an apartment complex who may be looking to buy. A broad approach works very similarly to a traditional direct mail campaign except you’re using online ads instead of postcards.

Tailored Approach

The problem with a broad approach is that you aren’t really narrowing your list down any more than you could have done with traditional marketing methods. You’re really just shifting to an online medium while your ads still reach people who have no interest in selling or buying.

A tailored approach lets you reach specific homes whose online behavior or consumer transactions demonstrate that they’ve shown some sort of interest in buying or selling a home. These users are also ranked by their probabilities, so you can only target people who are actively looking to enter the market or play the long game by targeting everyone who has shown interest.

Combining with Traditional Methods

As you’re aware from experience, it usually takes multiple conversations before you can convince someone to become a client. IP targeting can combine with your traditional marketing methods.

  • Send ads to people who you’ve met with in person.
  • Pair up digital ads with your direct mail marketing campaign as before or after reinforcement.
  • If you have business contacts who send you referrals, put them on your digital ad list so they don’t forget you.

With the right IP address list, there are no limits to what you can do or who you can target.

Use ProspectNow to Build Your IP Targeting List

ProspectNow offers a database of over 140 million residential and commercial properties including 23 million that are predicted to sell. We offer a full range of marketing options including digital marketing, direct mail, and phone and email contact information. Instead of worrying about how to find your next listing, you can focus on closing more deals. To learn more, start your free trial or contact us with any questions you have.

Property Shark Review

Property Shark

Gone are the days of manually pulling comps and searching endless records of properties to figure out your next move. The complexities of real estate are by no means gone, but with today’s powerful analytical tools, professionals like yourself no longer have to pour hours into searching and researching. Of course, knowing which tools to use is critical to your success. PropertyShark is one that might come up in your search, but is it worth the hassle?

Overview of PropertyShark

PropertyShark claims to have comprehensive property data for homes and businesses across the nation. However, it seems as though they are quickly being outpaced by other solutions that are more oriented on professional applications.

With the recent overhaul, the platform expanded to be more appealing to non-professional users. The update did declutter and simplify the overall interface, but existing users say it is now less effective for real estate professionals, investors, and others looking to perform in-depth research. Here’s a look at what the platform offers.

PropertyShark Features

  • See maps of properties in the platform along with recorded owner information.
  • Get property photos and comparable listings if you opt for the Pro tier or higher.
  • Foreclosure and pre-foreclosure information is available for the Elite tier or higher.
  • Unlock People Search and Branded Market Reports at the highest tiers.

PropertyShark has a slew of features, although many complain that the pricing does not include everything you’d typically need–at least not at the lower tiers. To access the majority of the features that PropertyShark boasts about, you’ll have to opt for Pro, Elite, or higher with plans going up to $199.95/month to access all of the features.

User Testimonials

TrustPilot gives PropertyShark a high overall rating, but many users frown upon recent upgrades. One of the top reviews, having just been posted June 2019, discusses the new comparable tool. PropertyShark took away some of its features and made it “more user-friendly” but less functional. The user concluded, “I guess PropertyShark is expanding to [a] market [other than] professional. Don’t subscribe if you are [a] professional user.”

Jonathan Held agreed that PropertyShark could be a useful resource, but even as a veteran user, he feels his opinions and suggestions have gone unheard. “For years … I have been suggesting that Propertyshark acquire NYC’s collection of 1930’s Tax Lot photos,” even with New York City being one of PropertyShark’s major focal points.

With this aside, another review summed up the challenges he faced with the platform and made some worthy suggestions: “Nassau County and Suffolk County are limited, lots of misspelling on the people’s names and company names. It needs to be more streamlined like LAVAMAP. I need hyperlinks for taxes and zoning. The worst are the comparables, there is no way of knowing which house is renovated or needs renovation.”

PropertyShark Pricing

PropertyShark allows you to get one property report for free to test out the service. If you only need access to data from one state, like Idaho, you can get started with the “Express” plan for as low as $19.95/month. However, the monthly pricing does change depending on the state you select. Some states, like California, have multiple tiers available, starting at $34.95/month.

If you opt for the site-wide plan, the pricing starts at $59.95/month for the Express tier, which gives you access to 150 property records per month, information on recorded owners, maps, and mailing/data lists. Other information, like verified phone numbers, is only available in certain areas and for the higher tiers. The platinum tier is required to unlock the “People Search” feature.

Alternatives to PropertyShark

ProspectNow is one of the top alternatives to PropertyShark, offering a user-friendly platform that’s bundled with countless intuitive features. Here’s a look at how it compares.

ProspectNow Features

  • Detailed information for over 100 million residential properties, 40 million CRE properties, and 30 million companies. Includes an LLC database and owner contact information.
  • Predictive analytics allow you to identify off-market properties that are most likely to sell while giving you the contact information for the property owner.
  • Digital marketing and direct mail tools allow for each, time-saving outreach campaigns that demand results.
  • APIs and a download-enabled interface allow you to integrate your systems with the data provided by ProspectNow.

One of the primary advantages of using ProspectNow is the predictive algorithm, which focuses on all property types and uses comprehensive data to forecast potential listings. The guided search feature is also highly praised as it makes finding prospective properties extremely quick and simple. 

When looking for neighborhoods to market to, the predictive algorithm can identify all the homes in a given area that may go up for sale soon and, with the in-built digital marketing tools, you can easily limit your marketing to a hot neighborhood, saving thousands on advertising and ultimately getting better results with your promotions. 

User Testimonials

James, Senior Regional Account Manager who reviewed ProspectNow on G2 stated: “I like that in less than a minute I can get an entire database of owners in an area I’m targeting … I actually like the interface for prospecting and logging calls. I like being able to look at “How many units,” “Year purchased,” “Lender name,” etc all in the same screen. Every other Commercial Real Estate CRM requires multiple clicks just to see all this information when prospecting.”

Another reviewer from G2 said, “[Y]ou can not beat the analytics you get with Prospect Now. As a residential real estate agent, it shows me data on those neighbors that are most likely to sell in the next home. I can use that information to advertise to just those people. That saves thousands on our marketing budget.”

ProspectNow Pricing

You can start using ProspectNow for free with a 3-day plan that gives you access to the “Likely Seller” algorithm; national company and tenant data; and property searches in one county. You also get 15 credits to export information along with chat and email support.

The no contract Local paid tier is the next step up, offered at $99/month. This plan gives you the same features as the free trial, along with 500 credits to export data. If you need more, you can opt for the Metro plan at $119/month, which includes 9,000 credits and extends your ability to search properties in 1 county to 4 counties.

If you need a plan with team access, API access, and/or additional credits, you can choose a custom-priced plan that’s tailored to fit the needs of your work.

Try It For Yourself

ProspectNow is able to offer professional-grade features at an affordable price. When you consider the marketing tools and other aspects that make this a truly effective pre-CRM software, ProspectNow becomes the obvious winner–but why not see for yourself? With a free trial, you have absolutely nothing to lose. Click here to signup.

How To Find Out Who Owns A Property

How To Find Out Who Owns A Property

Determining the owner of a piece of property can be an important process for those who work in fields such as real estate, government, business, and law. Both the internet and old fashioned methods like going to a government office do provide some efficient ways to find out more about a piece of property and its owner. Individuals or businesses who need this information can find what they need if they are diligent and willing to use a number of different methods, even if they come across some dead ends or gaps in the available information from one source.

Here is a guide that functions as an overview of just a few of the best ways to find a property owner. For many standard real estate transactions, you will probably end up finding out who owns the property by dealing with the agent or business who represents them. However, there are many situations that require other means and a person needs to dig deeper and exhaust several methods of searching before they will find any useful information.

Online Searches

Because of the convenience of being able to search from anywhere, many inquiries about property owners will begin with the internet. While the term online searches can seem vague, this can consist of real estate websites that list all property for sale and prior transactions, search engines that can find a lot of info just by typing in the address, contact information for local real estate professionals such as agents and brokers, or government records that are tied to the property which may come up in various forms.

Search Engines

Sites such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing have pretty much mapped out the entire world along with the online presence of every individual, business, and government agency. If the property in question is owned by a business, simply typing in the address of their office or other physical workplace should bring up a website with contact information as well as other methods of finding the owner. Tools like Google Maps can also provide information by just clicking on the relevant location. Search engines can be a good starting point because they can save the cost and hassle of some of the more in-depth means of searching for a property owner if their name or corporation has some kind of searchable web presence.

Property Tax Records

A lot of governmental bodies such as states, counties, and townships will have online databases that keep property tax records. Information such as the property address, lot numbers, and former owners can be used to find out the tax history of a piece of land. Many times this may also include that name of the person who has most recently paid the property taxes. It is likely that the most recent person to pay the taxes is still the owner unless there has been a recent foreclosure or eviction. Some locations with more advanced websites can conveniently display this information in a map or other easy to navigate program. If anyone currently owns the property, you can be sure the government is trying to collect property taxes from them.

Premium Databases

There are a number of companies such as Lexis Nexis and WestLaw that maintain large databases of information that are commonly used by law enforcement, lawyers, private investigators, and other professionals who need access to very specific types of information. For someone who needs to regularly determine who owns a piece of property, these databases can be worth the investment. Most charge a monthly fee or have some kind of other paid membership options, but they are essential to any business that needs to constantly access ownership records and related pieces of information. There can be a bit of a learning curve for those who have never used similar databases, but they are not too hard to figure out and there is plenty of help available on their sites.

Old Fashioned Methods

When staying in front of the computer and using the internet fails, there are physical tools and records available with roots that go back centuries to find out more about properties. Keep in mind that maintaining records about property ownership is one of the original functions of government, and some of these operations have consistently been keeping property records for several generations.

Local Property Clerk Offices

Each local government subdivision will likely have either a city hall, county clerk, or other administrative body that is responsible for recording all property deeds and transactions that trace changes in ownership. When a piece of real estate goes through the closing process, it is required that the buyer to do their own title search and pay the recording fees to make sure the seller legitimately owns the property and can transfer a clear title to the buyer. This means that this local government office should have property records for everything within the boundaries of the city or county, including the name of the current or most recent owner.

Local and National Archives

Some states, towns, cities, or counties may have separate archives that deal with records for things like taxes, automobile registrations, and real property. These may be located in a physical office, housed in a library branch, or they might have been uploaded to the internet at some point depending on the area where the property sits. These government archives can also be used to obtain information about past property owners depending on how record keeping is divided by their local government. Today, there are state and national archives that can be accessed online, which contain volumes of historical information about properties. These large databases contain information about millions of pieces of land and transactions in print and digital form.

Title Search Companies

These businesses are usually at least somewhat involved in every real estate transaction. They specialize in finding out pieces of information such as if the property was subjected to any liens, repossessions, evictions, or finding records of when ownership has changed hands. Their services are commonly used during real estate closings and property disputes. By paying a title search company, they can usually find the owner along with any other person, bank, or business that has claimed an interest through a mortgage, or other means. At the beginning of your search, you should be able to contact a local title search business and ask if they will have access to any specific information you need to know about the owner before you pay for their services. They are essentially specialists in finding out everything about the history of a piece of property, and they can find out who the owner is in exchange for payment.

Historical Societies

This is a bit more specific to older properties or buildings that may have some kind of historical value. If a piece of property has been around for a long time and changed hands many times of the years, a historical society may have information about previous owners as well as whatever family or business currently owns and maintains it. Utilizing the local historical society may turn your ownership search into a larger research project, so this may be most beneficial if you need to know more about the property than just the name of the owner or if all of the more convenient methods have failed. However, if the building has some kind of obvious historical purpose, the society that keeps all of this information may be the best place to start to find the current owner.

Conclusion

Although it may take some time and effort, finding the owner of a property is now more convenient than ever because there is so much information on the internet and sitting in record halls. There are also many different methods are available to gain access to this wealth of information.

Before searching it can be helpful to decide exactly what your purpose is when trying to find an owner. This can help in both avoiding unnecessary time and expense, along with choosing the best option to make sense of where to start and what kind of information to look for.