Above is a picture of me, in front of my first real estate purchase at 19.
When I started in real estate in 2004.
The game was totally different...
I was so excited, after buying my first home at age 19 and making over $55,000.
Here's a picture of me in front of my first real estate purchase 1 year out of high school.
SIDE NOTE AND UPDATE: I got an email from someone asking me what’s the 3 holes at the top of the picture. I guess the person was a ‘super young millennial.’ Before ‘digital cloud’ storage, we had to keep records in a three ring binder and that’s what I was doing. Interesting how things can change in little as a decade right? Moving on.
When you get your hands on ‘fast-easy money’ at a young age – typically this happens.
#1). You become humble and appreciate how great of country we live in.
#2). You become a pompous arrogant prick.
Guess what happened to me?
If you guessed #2 you’re 100% correct. 🙂
Just to prove it to you, here’s a picture of me ‘flashing money’ thinking it was cool and posting it on MySpace* (*MySpace was the ‘original’ Facebook).
When you get your hands on ‘fast-easy money’ at a young age – typically this happens.Then the ‘game changed’…
The real estate market crashed. I lost everything.
I’m sure anyone who was in the business that was doing anything… was impacted by this crash.
Then I went into the ‘transformation’ phase of my life.
The type of transformation not just in monetary stuff aka bank account but in character.
This is when I re-connected with my mentor who was considered one of the BIGGEST residential investor in Los Angeles during the 90’s.
He has since passed away but he said something to me that I would never forget on this one day.
It was a sunny August after noon…
We sat in the Jacuzzi that was on the roof of his Malibu home.
It had an amazing view, since his back yard was the Pacific Ocean.
My question to him was…
“How do you do more deals? I need more closings!”
He paused and stared into the sunset.
Then the next few words out of his mouth changed the course of my destiny forever.
This is when I made a conscious decision to STOP focusing on doing more closings versus focusing on marketing, lead generation, and systems.
Earlier I said…
I used to be victim of their time-and-money sucking vampires shenanigans ways.
That I’ve tried about every marketing strategy.
Don’t believe me?
Here’s a few I’ve done at scale.
I’m showing and telling you this to prove a point.
Here’s a quick punch list of things I’ve done.
Direct Mail: Sending post cards to ‘distress sellers’.
Yup I did this a lot.
Certain months I spent over $20,000 to get 2 to 3 deals (see the tracker below).
Did it work?
Yeah it did but ‘sifting’ the inbound calls become harder... when you scale.
I didn’t have the right system then.
We’ll talk about this in a bit.
I’m sure you probably have NEVER seen someone send out a post card like the one above (unless they where my client or student).
I was kinda proud of this ‘jumbo postcard’ since it worked REALLY well during the foreclosure crises.
Plus, I wrote it my self.
Yeah, it ONLY got a response rate of 0.87% but the people who called where ready to do business TODAY.
Why? I went after only Grade A and B sellers.
Then as the market shifted again in Los Angeles, this stopped working.
Does this still work?
Yeah, some of my clients and students still use this in their market today.
Simple Google spread sheets with stats can keep track of the number of mailers sent, cost, total calls, response rate, appointment rate, and closed deals.
You may look at the above spread sheet and say…
A.) This looks way too complicated!
B). Finally some other data nerd like me!
If you’re the first person…
Shame on you for not following the cardinal rule of marketing.
Which is understanding your data aka numbers.
Marketing WITHOUT data is like navigating a ship on an ocean without a compass.
You’re moving but you ain’t getting no where.
If you’re the the second person…
#HIGHFIVE I bet you’re probably doing waaaaaay better than most of the people in the industry.
Cold Calling: Yup, I did this too.
In the beginning it was terrible because I was ‘manually’ dialing the phone number.
Then I thought I got smart because I got really ‘technical’ and started using a cloud call center that dialed the numbers for me (see below).
After that, I even started to have my ‘acquisition team’ start getting on the phones to starts talking to sellers and buyers.
Did it work? Yeah it still does.
Here’s a dashboard example of campaigns I’ve done.
Here’s an example of an outbound call to a seller and how to qualify a seller lead. This is ONLY possible when you build the right system and team.
Backstory: This lead was generated from generated from the direct mail and we just happened to miss the call. This is the outbound call campaign that we set up on the ‘call center’. In this campaign we blanketed the whole community and generated the calls. This type of marketing is what I like to call ‘Blitz Marketing’, where we go into a pocket and we will hit the home owners by direct mail, door knock, online ads in that location, and outbound calling.
Vanity Phone Numbers and Banners: Yup I did this.
Matter of fact I used all kinds of vanity phone numbers. Here’s a screen shot from a video I made in 2009 where I was trying to get to 180 short sales.
The time we where 50 short sale files.
Many of these leads came from using vanity phone numbers, outbound marketing, online leads, and direct mail.
If you search on Youtube ‘Challenge 180 – Jeff Coga’ you’ll find this video.
UPDATE: Because people couldn’t find the video and I keep getting message from people ‘I want to see it’. Here’s the link. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JQcKDCmAe1Y and YES started doing ‘video marketing’ in real estate before everyone else. Now you just can’t stick a video up on YouTube with a crummy video and get leads like I did before. The market changed. Are you starting to see a pattern? You gotta move with the market!
These vanity numbers used to work REALLY well but as time went on, it has become a little bit harder.
Why? I don’t actually know but my data is based in Los Angeles.
I think it might be because people don’t want to work with ‘big investment company’ or ‘big I BUY HOUSES people’.
I’ve gotten more deals from people who just like who I am and assume that I’m not some multi-bajillionaire (Yes, I made that word up).
Here’s a banner ad I’ve done.
This one got calls BUT…
Not the RIGHT type of calls.
Can you guess why? :-)
If you guessed pissed of neighbors you’re 100% correct.
Don’t do this.
Totally obnoxious and didn’t work.
I can go on and on about other campaigns I’ve done.
But here’s the thing…
If you’re reading this right now and got this far – you might be thinking…
‘Jeff How Do I Get Your Help?’
The truth is this…
See …here’s the deal and I’m going to say this without sounding all high and mighty.
YOU are the only person who can take you where you want to go.
There is no Guru, teacher, mentor, author speaker, shaman, or whatever who can or will do that for you.
Sure, they can show you cool stuff.
They can show you what worked for them, they can give you encouragement and motivation …and they can help you keep your head on straight when the you’re facing challenges.
But the old adage of…
That adage is so true here.
And what that means in context of this post is simple.
SOMEONE has to work the leads, someone has to see communicate with the seller or buyer, or some way.
In a more ‘Non-Politically Correctness’ way…
DON’T F*CK AROUND AND EXPECT SOMEONE ELSE TO SAVE THE DAY.
Hell, they can’t!
Not even if they want to.
Only YOU can.
So whenever you’re considering buying advice, coaching, mentoring, seminar tickets, leads, or whatever – understand this:
UNLESS you’re bull-headed enough to immediately put what you learn into action.
Pig-headed stubborn NOT to quite when your first attempts inevitably present some challenges.
And if you’re waiting until you get some big amazing revelation before you actually do something, you’re going to be waiting for a long time.
There ain’t one.
Well, that’s not 100% true.
There is one…but it’s something you probably don’t want to hear.
Here it is:
And the stuff that’s worked for lots of other people will probably work for you too.
IF…you put in the effort.
See…that’s the key word there.
Let’s put a spin to this and add the word ‘educated’ to it.
Now we have ‘educated effort’.
THAT’s a powerful thing.
Add a little of ‘determination’ and you’re damn near unstoppable.
Then throw in a little bump of ‘strategy’ from someone who has done it before and you WILL get to where you want to go.
Hell, how much education do you need, anyway?
Imagine a guy wanting to lose weight (ahem).
How many books does he need to buy?
For the love of God, it’s easy!
Put the fork down and walk around for a few hours a day.
Do that for a month or so and you’ll weigh less. (Duh!)
That’s been the winning formula forever, right?
There’s a new diet book every 20 minutes or so it seems.
And the books aren’t the problem.
I’m sure they all work if the reader takes the education they just got, adds in a lot of effort, determination, and be pig-headed stubborn NOT to quite.
But that clearly doesn’t happen.
People just keep buying books and gizmos that go unused.
Same thing happens in the real estate marketing world.
We buy courses, seminars, and leads from vendors and then jump to the next one
…without implementing any of the stuff we just learned.
I have no IDEA.
Other than… that’s what I’ve seen.
It’s across the board the same, regardless if you’re an agent, broker, mortgage, appraiser, etc.
One person will take the information and actually do it and NOT quite.
They get results.
The rest, simply complains.
I know if you’re reading this, that’s NOT you.
So here’s my challenge to you.