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Michael Quarles

Marketing is the Key to Successful Investing

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I posted this on another forum and thought what the heck someone might find it interesting here too. If not sorry for the intrusion.


Marketing is the key to successful investing.... You need to learn what works and what doesn’t and then you need to understand the difference between sweat marketing and paid marketing... The following is an excerpt for my course Subject to Course..


Advertising and Getting the Phone to Ring!

By far, advertising and getting your phone to ring is the most important activity to make happen during your real estate career. It is extremely difficult to buy houses unless you locate a seller who wants to sell you their house.


When prospecting, or advertising for seller leads, there are a number of methods that work well. Keep in mind that there are two types of marketing:


1. Sweat Marketing

2. Paid Marketing


Sweat Marketing is marketing in which you contribute your time and requires physical action.

There are five basic types of Sweat Marketing:


1. Cold Calling

2. Business Cards

3. Networking

4. Bandit Signs

5. What You Wear


Cold calling


Yuck! Don’t be so hasty here. If you don’t have an advertising budget you have to do cold calls. I know this because I started out this way. It’s an acquired taste that you begin to enjoy more and more especially once you begin to see the money you can make from it.


Cold calling is an outstanding resource, especially for those with a limited advertising budget. It allows you to do three things:

• First, it puts you in front of prospects on a daily basis. Without prospects, you have no one to sell your services to.


• Second, it will tell you if prospects have sold, listed, or in the case of foreclosure, stopped the process so you can remove them from your mailing campaign.


• Third, it will give you more confidence than you can ever imagine. This type of confidence is important! You will be negotiating to buy properties at $50,000 less than value.


Cold calling is the most important task you can do to create wealth as you begin your career. Therefore, it’s important to treat it as your most important promotional activity when scheduling your day. There are two optimum windows of opportunity for cold calling: from 9:00 am to 11:00 am and 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm Monday through Friday.


Two hours a day is sufficient for cold calling when you’re doing everything yourself in your business. So, you could set a religious schedule that looks something like this:


Monday - 9:00 am – 11:00 am

Tuesday - 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Wednesday - 9:00 am – 11:00 am

Thursday - 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Friday - 9:00 am – 11:00 am


The reason you mix your days up is to reach those people who may not be home in the morning but will be home in the evening, and vice-versa.

On a side note, I understand that you may have a full time job and that cold calling during these times may interfere with your work schedule. If this is the case, the two days a week that you are not working at your full time job should be the two days you will call between 9:00 am and 11:00 am and use the early evening of three other days in place of the afternoon schedule. The most important thing is to put in the time necessary to meet your prospective goals.


As you make your cold calls, you should call prospects in the following prospect-type order:


1. Hot Leads

2. Expired

3. NOD


5. For Rent


Probate, Farm, and Absentee Owners are not prospects for cold calling.

Always have a script in front of you when you are doing your calling.


Rehearse your script aloud before you begin calling, each and every time. Do the same for the objection responses. The goal is to become comfortable with what you are saying and to make it your own, meaning that you should sound natural, not like you’re reading from a script. The scripts should serve as a guide for remembering what to say and not leaving out something important. It’s a guideline to follow while you speak with passion from your heart.


This brings up a very important point that can mean the difference between success and failure. You have to really believe in what you’re doing. The way someone feels about something is revealed in their voice. If you truly believe that you have something of value, something that your prospects need - whether it’s finding them a financially qualified buyer, helping them out of a foreclosure, and so on – it will come across the telephone. And you will close a lot more sales this way.


It is important that you only let the telephone ring three times before hanging up. Letting it ring more than three times will frustrate the receiver of the call—they may be running to get the telephone just to learn that a telemarketer is calling. And yes, you are now a telemarketer. Letting it ring more than three times will also slow the process for you.


In addition, stand up when making your calls. Standing up will give you much more energy, which will be conveyed through your voice over the telephone. Get a tall desk to work from and use a quality headset.


Track the outcome of your calls next to your prospect’s name/phone number. Record the time and date you called. If no one answers, write “no answer,” if you speak to someone, briefly note what was said, or happened, and so forth.


A secret to cold calling that improves results is to learn to “mirror” (mimic) the person you’re speaking to on the other end of the line. If they speak softly, you should too. If they speak quickly, adjust your speech pattern accordingly. If they have an accent, develop a similar one. You will be more successful if you use this technique. You want people to feel like they know you, and a surprisingly simple way to accomplish this goal, in just a few seconds, is to mirror their speech patterns.


Never speak in a passive voice, such as: “If you were to choose me to buy your house,” and “I would…” or “I could…” This sets a negative tone and allows the prospect to be in control of your destiny. You must speak in a commanding “This is mine” sort of voice. This has nothing to do with speaking forcefully and everything to do with setting the right tone and influencing the prospect. Use statements like "When I buy your house" or “When you sell me your house," and “Then I’m going to…” and so on. These types of statements are called embedded commands. They’re statements that cause the seller to believe in an outcome – your outcome. Use them to much success.


Understand what "NO" means. Realize that being hung up on or told “no,” is a good thing. Every “no,” “not interested” and “no thanks” brings you that much closer to a qualified lead and qualified appointment and a definitive “YES!”


Do not stop calling before your calling schedule time has expired, even if you have an appointment scheduled. You need to pre-set your appointment time around your telemarketing. Never deviate from your promotional schedule.


Don’t ever consider giving up on cold calling. This is, by far, the least expensive form of advertising and you should take advantage of it.


Cold calling Rules:


1. Never Stop before you're done

2. Practice your scripts

3. Let the phone ring three times

4. Track your numbers

5. Stand up

6. No means you're closer to the yes


Business cards


Business cards are yet another secret weapon in obtaining ample customers and beating out the competition that’s so prevalent in this industry. They come in many different styles and even in different sizes. A few people have tried to establish a few new sizes; some to success, some in vain.


A business card should leave a lasting impression, allowing for repeat referrals – in other words, getting the most from efforts, all of your efforts. In this e-book I will discuss a marketing method that will allow you to promote yourself with overwhelming results for just pennies on the dollar compared to other forms of advertising. Business card marketing is the most cost-effective, and more importantly, the most easily duplicated means of lead generation today—it is something you can do over and over and over again.


In another book I wrote I show you how you can build an army of people who are willing to promote you when approached by someone who needs the services you provide.


Imagine hundreds, even thousands, of people promoting you, referring you to their friends and acquaintances! This word-of-mouth technique is called viral marketing, and it’s what you can create with just a little effort, expense and know-how.


You’ve heard the expression, “You can’t make a first impression twice.” The way you deal with people is your ticket to making sure that your first impressions are well received. The way your business cards communicate is your means for a lasting one.


Anyone who has received calls from a friend-of-a-friend knows that there’s nothing like a referred prospect when it comes to the ease and simplicity of closing a deal.



Business Card Rules:

1. Hand out ten a day (to ten Different people)

2. Number them 1-10

3. Don’t be Shy

4. Everyone is a prospect

5. Hand them out yourself




It’s easy, it’s fun and dang it you have to do it. Join the local Lyons club or your 20/30 club, maybe even the young Republicans. Don’t join a bunch of real estate clubs. You want to be in front of prospects or people who will refer you and I haven’t met an investor yet who refers their competition.


Just join a club and start attending. Volunteer to give a presentation in front of the group. When giving your presentation cover the following topics:


• Who you are

• How to get a hold of you

• What type of houses you are looking for

o Those with doors

o Those without doors

Any house, as long as it fits into your business model.

• What type of sellers you offer assistance to

o Pre-foreclosures

o For Sale By Owners

o People who couldn’t sell before

o Probate

o Etc

• How fast you perform

• Mention your name again

• Pass out a card, or two, to everyone


Networking Rules:

1. Find a club you enjoy

2. Become active in it

3. Every event is a win-win

4. Always dress the part

5. Don’t be shy


Bandit Signs


Bandit Signs are a form of what is referred to as Guerilla marketing. These signs are like mini billboards and, although they work, I have yet to put one up. I do, however, buy a lot of houses because of them.

The sign only has three lines which are the most visible. Make sure you keep your message within them.

Bandit Signs are printed on corrugated plastic in a wide variety of colors. From personal experience and what I have seen, two color schemes seem to work the best; black/yellow and red/yellow. They can be printed in a variety of sizes too; 6” x 8”, 6” x 24”, 24” x 36”, 12” x 18” and the most common size being 18” x 24”.

You’ve seen Bandit Signs everywhere…For Sale, Lease Purchase, Lease Option, Garage Sale, Owner Finance, directional signs…and just about anything else you can imagine. It’s difficult not to drive down the road without seeing a sign.


Everyone uses them! Politian’s, builders, realtors, real estate investors, credit repair businesses, contractors, home buyers and sellers, etc. What seems to be unfair is that Politian’s do not have to adhere to the local sign ordinances and can put them out just about everywhere without worrying about fines. I have often thought to run for a local political seat and say I am the I Buy Houses Guy.


Bandit Sign Rules:


1. Learn the laws

2. Maximum three lines to text

3. What you do and your telephone number is the most important

4. Place at stop lights

5. Place in the areas you want to work

6. Understand that they will be removed


Dress for success

When you go on an appointment to buy a house, it is much like a job interview. You want to give the impression that you fit in. More importantly, you want to radiate confidence and the sense of ability to perform.

One way of doing this is to dress like a successful person would dress. I am not saying with a lot of “bling” but you should look the part.

I have to say, I have purchased houses wearing a $1000 suit, polo shirts and Levis, and polo shirts and shorts.



Follow the guidelines below when deciding what to wear:

• First and foremost, no matter what you wear, your clothes should be neat and clean.

• Keep your shoes in good condition.

• Your hair should be neatly styled.

• For women: makeup should be subtle.

• Nails should be clean and neat and of reasonable length.


What You Wear:


1. Look the part

2. Wear your company colors

3. Have polo shirts made with your company name

4. Wear T-Shirts with your company name to the Gym

5. Cause people to notice that you buy houses

6. The more you believe it the more others will believe it


Paid Marketing


Paid Marketing is the marketing that you will do once and if your budget allows. This type of marketing will take you out of working in your business and put you at the helm.



Examples of paid marketing include:


1. Direct Mail

2. TV Commercial / TV Infomercial

3. Billboards

4. Newspaper Display

5. Newspaper Classified

6. Researchers

7. Tithing


Direct Mail


I hold to the philosophy that a successful marketing campaign should use a variety of methods to numerous types of prospects to attract responses. In the case of real estate investing, the methods can range from billboards to television and radio ads to direct mail to getting your name out through promotional items like pens, key chains, business cards, etc. The top six prospect types (different audiences) you need to promote to are: NOD’s, FSBO, “For Rent” owners, Expired, and your “Farm”.


If you have a limited advertising/promotion budget, it might be wise to start with direct mail activities. In my opinion, direct mail, if done right, shows the most effective response in ratio to promotional dollars spent. Direct mail is simply promoting to your audiences through the mail.

Depending on your budget, you may want to advertise to one, or all five, of the prospect types mentioned above. If you decide to limit your prospect mailing to just a few prospect types you will have a tendency to have a rollercoaster lead generation campaign. A proper campaign will include all prospect types.


I like the following schedule for a campaign:


Mondays NODs

Tuesdays FSBO

Wednesdays FRBO

Thursdays Expired listings

Fridays Your Farm


What to Mail


Imagine for a moment that you walked into a convenience store to buy a fountain soda. If there were only two choices of soda brands it would be easy to decide which one to choose. The competing vendors would then have a 50/50 chance that you would decide on their product, if everything were equal.


But what if, when you got to the soda fountain machine, there were 24 products to choose from? How, then, would those vendors capture the largest market share possible? We could get very complex and crafty about this, but the fact is, the answer is very simple. The smart vendors would own as many of the choices as possible.


In terms of marketing to different types of prospects, in order to be successful, your message will need to be different with each type. This is because you have to appeal to the mindset of each type of your prospects. In other words, you have to connect with them by saying what they want to hear.


Different people respond to different messages, especially when they need something and you’re offering a solution. You’ve heard the saying, “Misery loves company,” right? Well, this is a very accurate saying. If you’re willing to “join the misery” and talk to someone about a problem they have, you’ll likely make a new friend who will often go from a speechless frown to a very interested chatterbox.


When it comes to marketing to others and getting them interested enough to call you, it all boils down to talking about things that are on their mind, being interested and letting them know that there’s a solution. This can be accomplished in writing through direct mail activities. The odds of getting a response can be increased through a series of mailings. Using both letters and postcards will increase the likelihood that your targeted prospect will call you.


There are three key components when prospecting via mailing out letters:


 Getting the prospect to open your letter

 Getting the prospect to read your message

 Causing the prospect to take the action you indicate


Large companies have gone to expensive methods to trick us into opening their mail. When we do, we find out we’ve won absolutely nothing or it wasn’t a real check inside the envelope after all. They will use every trick in the book and so should you.


Having your mail opened and your message read is the key to successful marketing! Without it you cannot obtain your Key Objective: GETTING A PROSPECT TO CALL YOU.


Today’s competitive market has home sellers bombarded with many offers from Realtors, lenders and investors, so you must use every resource available in order to survive. The more effective you are than your competition, the greater piece of the pie you will hold.


When you attend a presentation boot camp you will learn terms like “mimicking” and “embedded” commands. These are examples of powerful techniques you can use to persuade a seller to take the actions you want them to take. Your letters and postcards need to enforce those same techniques. But it can take years to perfect these techniques and a lot of wasted income trying them out with your mailings. So I’ve developed letters and postcards that contain effective techniques, embedded commands and other necessary aspects. By the way, an embedded command is a fancy word for putting a “call to action” within the body of the letter.



• Professional sales letters

• “Mary” Letters

• Postcards


The “professional letters” have been written in a series compiling seven different letters. They are written to obtain your key objective, which is a call from the seller to set an appointment with you to buy their property. I had professional copywriters develop letters that push the specific prospects’ buttons and persuade them to call you.


The postcards are in a series of four and have the same theme with a different message. It is important that the message is quick and to the point; which is getting the seller to call you. Another aspect that adds to the effectiveness of these three types of mail is the continuous flow to each prospect. I will explain this in more detail shortly.


The third method is our handwritten “Mary” Letters. We’ll discuss where the name came from later. First, I’d like to explain what “Mary” letters are.


The purpose of direct mail is to communicate and cause a desired reaction; your mail needs to be read and responded to no later than your last and final mailing. Because of this, we must, at times, trick the addressee into opening the direct mail piece. When all else fails in getting your communication opened and read by prospects, my “Mary” Letters will do the job. I have developed a very simple process to follow which ensures consistency and response.


Direct Mail


1. Two-eight touches to a response

2. Mail three different types of mail

3. Monday through Friday (No Weekends)

4. Don’t back up your mail

5. Stamps are better than Pitney Bowes metered mail

6. Start…




All I have to say is don’t do it until you can afford to capture the leads and fulfill them. Television produces results. However the cost of that result seems, at times, overwhelming. There are basic thought processes as far as when to run and what to run.


First, I like both the “Oprah” and “CNN” type shows and I like to alternate the schedule every 30 to 45 days between the two. So one month, I will run only Oprah type and next month on CNN type. The reason for doing this is that it will appear as though you are on all of the time in the mind of the consumer.


Only exception is the morning news and when you run your Infomercial. They should be run at the same time on the same channel every day. This will be a go to programming when the seller wants to remember your telephone number.


Side note, call the television operator and introduce yourself. People will actually call the television operator and ask them, ”Who was that company that ran an I Buy Houses commercial today?”


TV / Commercial / Infomercial rules


1. Hire an Ad Agency from the start

2. Run the infomercial at the same time each day.

3. Run the commercials on alternating schedules

4. Understand reach and frequency

5. Cheap time slots cost you more




A billboard is a large outdoor advertising structure typically found in high traffic areas, such as, alongside busy roads. Billboards present large advertisements to passing pedestrians and drivers. Typically showing large witty slogans and distinctive visuals, billboards are highly visible in the top designated market areas.

When you place a billboard make sure it is either in your buying area or in a high traffic area. Don’t place them on freeways out of town or in an area you don’t want to buy in. The only exception is the auto mall.


Only run ten small boards at a time rotating them every 45 days, or so. That way, when you rotate the ten boards, it will appear as though your small boards are all over the place when, in fact, you just have 10 up.


Billboards should be consistent with your bandit signs. They should only have three, very simple, lines and similar color schemes. In fact, all of your advertising should be consistent. Your business cards, postcards, billboards and bandit signs should look the same.


Billboard rules



1. High Traffic Freeway billboards are the best

2. Place 10x30 billboards in the neighborhoods you want to buy

3. Auto Malls are great locations

4. Rotate your small boards every 30-45 days

5. Billboards are long term brand advertising

6. Keep them simple…

7. Red/Yellow Black/Yellow NO Blue



Newspaper Display

This will eventually set you apart from your competition and make you “Normal” in the mind of the consumer. When you have the budget, most definitely, begin this type of advertising. When you can compete head to head with real estate agents and their method of advertising, the consumer will give you the same professionalism they give the real estate agents.


One large caution, don’t start until you have your infrastructure in place. This form of advertising is by far the most expensive. Therefore, if you have leads that you cannot fulfill you will be costing your company money.


When you run your first full page advertisement in the Sunday newspaper at a cost of 11,000, your heart will lose a couple beats I am sure. However, it will pay dividends and pay handsomely.


Also buy placement ads when possible. The best place to run your ad is the front page of the classified section on a Sunday. If you do not have the budget for a full page ad, try to buy, at least, a half page ad. However, when running a half page ad, make sure that your ad is above the fold of the newspaper. That way, those that are thumbing through the unopened paper, they will see your ad. Always have the heading of your ad state what it is that you do to attract the most attention.


I like using what I call “Page killers.” These are ads that are so large the newspaper won’t put any other ads beside it, above it or below it.


Newspaper Display rules


1. Make Sure you have your infrastructure in place

2. Buy on Contract

3. Answer the Telephone

4. Run ads consistently with a few exceptions

5. Run Color ads

6. “Page Killer” Minimum

7. Run ads on Sundays Only

8. Buy Placement ads


Newspaper Classified


Classified advertising is a very valuable medium for the investor who hopes to find people in need of selling their house(s) as well as those looking to purchase houses. A properly designed, and properly placed, ad will outperform other ads in the classified section of the newspaper any day of the week.



On the other hand, although classifieds are fairly inexpensive to run, if your ads don’t pull (get results) at the rate they should, the money and time spent are simply wasted resources. With this said, classified ads are one of the first types of advertising you will do once you have the budget.


I like running two classified ads at the same time. The first ad will use my vanity number and the other will use my local number. One ad will be circled and the other ad will be upside down. I also run my ads in the Homes for Sale section of the newspaper, not the Houses Wanted section.


Newspaper Classified rules


1. Run ads consistently

2. Run in the Home for Sale section

3. Run two ads when your budget increases

4. Make your ads standout

1. Draw Circles around the ad

2. Place the ad Upside Down

5. Keep them simple




A "Researcher" is any person, or organization, that provides a referral, or participates in programs, that generate qualified referrals. There are laws in just about every state regarding them and the license activity in which they fall within. What a researcher cannot do is negotiate a real estate transaction for you without being a department of real estate licensee. Doing so violates the law. Therefore, make them a partner, or officer, of your corporation and you should be fine. Always consult with your attorney regarding all legal matters.

Researcher rules


1. Make them an officer

2. Make them a partner




It’s just a fact, the more you give the more you get.


Tithing rules

Just Do It!

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does your newspaper have the rental section in it. i have ran ads in the fsbo section with very little calls, once i placed the same ad in the rental section it seemed to get a better response.

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Here's a few marketing things to add to your



I wrote this for folks who paid some big bucks

at a very expensive seminar...




It's a step by step guide to selling/renting/marketing







Three free audios... that I used to sell for $29.99


1. NoNonSense marketing for Real Estate Investors...

That one is a live recording as I was talking to 400 real

estate investors about marketing....


2. Insiders Secrets to Using BanditSigns I recorded

to teach folks specifically what I do to get great results from



And btw... marketing with bandit signs IMHO.. is not

sweat marketing...


All marketing can be automated.. and we have had

our bandit signs put out by others for years...


3. The Ultimate Guerrilla Marketing Secret is simply something

that most people marketing their businesses seem to miss...







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Michael, It's always a pleasure to read what you write. How did I miss that you have an ebook. I'll have to check out your profile on BP (where I do a lot of studying). Soooo, your book is on Sub2 . . . those have to be some of the most motivated sellers!


David thank you for the resources!


Thanks for your contributions


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