Quite a Few Questions About Starting Out

I have quite a few questions about getting started with investing. Some of them are probably pretty obvious to people and others no one might be able to help me out with but I just wanna put some of my questions down here to see if anyone can help me out at all. Any replies at all would be greatly appreciated. (I realize alot of these questions might be better asked separately in other forums but I figure since this is the beginner’s forum that a bunch of newbie questions would be better suited in here.)

First of all I was wondering if anyone can make some recommendations about which marketing techniques worked best for them when starting out. I was planning on doing a little bit of everything but my funds are somewhat limited right now and I’d like to get started with some of the more effective methods of marketing and eventually get into some other stuff when I have some more cash. I wanted to build up a buyer’s list for wholesaling first so I was thinking of running an ad in a few local papers saying I had some fixer uppers at a discount or some handyman specials just to get some investors’ names and info down for when I actually do find a good deal. I was wondering what section of these local papers I should advertise in as well. Should I advertise in the buying or selling section? I also heard that advertising in the money to lend section was a good idea. Any feedback on that would be helpful. I was also planning on purchasing a bunch of the “We Buy Houses” business cards with my contact information on them and an offer for a $500 or so for each referral that I close on. Does anyone think it’s a good idea to have like a few thousand of those made up as well as a few hundred actual “business” cards that aren’t as flashy that I can give to buyers and sellers that I’m making deals with? I figured that might make sense.

Another question I have is regarding mailing lists. I read somewhere that it’s a good marketing strategy to saturate your target neighborhoods with postcards stating your services and all. Can anyone recommend a good place to buy these mailing lists from that I can use to start this marketing technique? Has anyone utilized this and found it to be productive? If so, what did you include on these postcards and why?

I was reading one of Gerhard Cronje’s articles about marketing to attorneys and I was wondering if anyone had tried that out and if it worked for them. If so, what publications did you advertise in and what worked best?

Has anyone found that using promotional items has helped their number of referrals or to get the word out. Which promotional items (pens, keychains, etc.) seem to work best?

Does anyone have any recommendations on good answering and messaging services? I wanted to make sure I had someone answering any calls I received from any ads or flyers I put out because from what I’ve heard you’ll get a better response that way. Does anyone find that to be true or am I better off with a 24 hour recorded message? I work from 9 am to 6 pm Monday through Friday currently so I’m unable to answer the phone during those hours.

Another recommendation I’m looking for is some good web hosting. I’d like to be able to set up a website outlining exactly what I can offer people and a place where they can leave their contact information with me or email me if they have any questions. I’m looking for something affordable and reliable, considering I’m just starting out.

Does anyone know where I can find publicly recorded code violations for properties? I understand that this is a good way to find houses that might be abandoned or otherwise unoccupied. I was just wondering if there was a website or a county office I might be able to go to in order to find this information.

I’d like to set some realistic goals for myself regarding flipping and wholesaling properties. As I get further along with this and have a few deals under my belt I’m sure I’ll be able to set more accurate ones for myself. For now I was curious as to what the profits per deal are for most people who have gotten into wholesaling. Also, what the average time required is per deal. Any info on wholesaling in particular that can help me set my goals accordingly would be helpful.

Has anyone had any experience in going down to their local Section 8 office to find potential investors? How much does acquiring a list of properties to rent in order to call the owners cost? Has anyone found this particular method of building a potential buyers list successful?

Does anyone have any recommendations for a good information source provider that I can acquire a list of out of state owners from? What are the going rates for a list of this type and what do those rates depend on? I think I heard that the lists go for about 1 or 2 cents per name but I’m not positive. How many names can I expect to get with one of these things?

I’m a little confused as to how title companies work. Are these national or local companies or both? When looking for a good title company what qualities should I research?

Can anyone recommend any good hard money lenders? Are the local hard money lenders better than the national ones? Is it a good idea to research one of these lenders on my own or do it through a mortgage broker?

I was planning on getting a contractor list of prices from Home Depot in order to more accurately determine the cost of repairs. Does anyone know if you need to actually be a contractor in order to get this list or can anyone request one?

I think that’s it for the questions for now. As you can see I’m pretty new to the whole investing scene here. Any answers whatosever are much appreciated. I realize these questions aren’t in any particular order and some of the questions might be terrible so just bear with me here. Anyway, I appreciate everyone helping me out on any of these things. Thanks.

Hi np - and welcome. I"m also a noob - and I’ve been studying the “Real Estate Marketing” newsgroup forum here on this site. Click on the link on the left side of the page under “Newsgroup Forums”.

There’s lots of info answering many of the questions you ask.

Best of luck to you!



Glad to meet you. It sounds like you are really ready to give REI a good go.

Starting out is a little scary, and you’ve got a lot of questions. I understand. Unfortunately, the truth is that very few people are going to take the time to read through a long post, and less still that will try to answer it. In fact, several of your questions have had whole books/courses written about them, so really, it’s going to be hard to give you a truly good response to them in a short post.

My suggestion to you would be to review and read through all of the forums and see if any of your questions are answered there. For those that aren’t, or aren’t clear enough, post a thread on a specific question or two. You’ll get them answered faster and better.

Good luck and I hope it helps,


Hey how are you?

There are alot of questions so I will start with the ones I remember.

As for the mailing lists I have done this and it is effective. The website to check out is www.salesgenie.com. At this website you can get a 7day trial and get a 100 person mailing list for free without having to give your credit card info. Also, if the properties are near you and since you money is tight you might want to consider making flyers and putting them on the outside of a mailbox of each property. DO NOT put them inside the mailbox this is a serious offense. Check your state laws. There are many different messages you can put on there it really matters if these are pre-foreclosures or the situation.

I would think about running a ad in the paper in the selling section from the location that you are targeting. And when people call say I just sold that property but I am always picking properties up in that area I can take you # and get back to you in less than a week.

Also, I would think about setting up financing. You might want to go with a private investor because I am a mortgage broker and if you are thinking of flipping then believe me it’s not worth the time and you don’t want to get hit with a prepay or something like that. Unless the loan you are getting is assumable.

I can’t remember any more questions. I hope this has been helpful but if you still have more questions let me know I would be more than happy to help you to the best of my knowledge.

I see the questions at the bottom now.

You should definetely check out a system called proquest this is a compant that will give you a 800# that is amazing. How it works is you will have 1000 extensions and you can leave a recorded message for each extension. Also, every time someone call you will recieve a text message on your sell phome with the name, number of the person that called (even if they have their number blocked) and you will see ext. they called on. After they here the message they can leave a message or they can hit the #3 and enter their fax number and the system will fax any letter/flyer that you attach to that extension. This is great also for selling property each property can have its own ext. and people love the fact that it is 24 hours and they don’t have to speak to a live person. You take away that fear and get the people that are scared to make that first step.

I appreciate everyone taking the time to answer some of the questions I tossed out there and all. In regards to this last post, do you really find that it’s better to have a 24 hour recorded message than a live person? I was under the impression people would be more willing to speak to a live person than leave their contact information with a machine. I understand that this would weed out potentially non-motivated sellers but I also think it would get rid of a bunch of people who just don’t like talking to machines or who don’t wanna listen to a long message. I really appreciate you helping me out though, I’m gonna look into everything everyone suggested.

Well to be honest I always hang up on a recording! I am running out the door right now I will answer your questions later if you would like!

Take your time, I’m just looking for any type of advice anyone can offer on some of those topics.

The reason I suggested recorded info was because I thought you said maoney was tight. If you have the money than go with an anwsering service. I would just anwser the phone myself.

Money is tight, however, I figured if I was putting a decent amount of money into anything it should be the line that all my potential buyers and sellers were calling. I want their first impression to be a good one and for them to know I have operate in a professional way. Does anyone use an answering service currently? Any recommendations for a particular service I should look into? I’d answer the phone myself but I work from 9 am to 6 pm Monday through Friday so I don’t really have that option. In the event that I’m able to quit my job and start investing full-time I’m not sure that I would stay home to answer the phone anyway. I’m gonna be out utilizing my time to find properties and make deals.