Last year was a wash for me. I switched to postcards and they performed miserably. I struggled with a lot of personal elements in my life, and felt myself sort of go limp, like my toddler does in protest when she doesn’t want to do something. I am a master at looking busy while doing absolutely nothing, and that sort of self-sabotage happened a lot last year (in the form of research and planning).
I don’t have a lot of regrets about last year. Thankfully, I can have slow months or years because we don’t depend on this for our full-time income. But we might one day. And we also have financial obligations my business is responsible for, and my lack of diligence last year put us in a tight spot.
But we all have ups and downs, and those help with growth. At least,they do for me. It’s scary for me to do real estate – for all sorts of reasons – but building resolve and courage is what I’m shooting for (not for eliminating the fear).
So here’s how 2014 is looking:
- I still have my accountability partner. She means more than I can probably understand, and I know of at least two times when I was actually resolved to quit but she talked me into hanging in there. So I’m glad to have her help as I move forward this year.
- My husband will be helping. He’s already a big part of the business: he helps stuff envelopes when I’m behind, knows about every deal I negotiate and works out strategy with me. But this year he’s officially coming on board to help. He’s going to be in charge of tracking and mailing our marketing campaigns, maintaining our leads database, skiptracing, and basically anything related to data.
- Last year I blew through the marketing reserves that had built up from previous deals. So we’re back to leaning on our Freedom Fund for all marketing costs. A Freedom Fund is something I learned about from my friend Shae Bynes. It’s an amount of money that comes out of our personal budget to go toward the business. Right now we have it at $300. Once we close on a deal, at least $1000 or more of the profit will jump start a larger marketing plan.
My Marketing Plan
- For January, I scrubbed an existing list of Tulsa Absentee owners (by myself!) and I ended up with 101 leads. We also scrubbed all of the probate leads I had and it whittled down to 77. They all got a yellow postcard sent through Click2Mail.
- We created a follow up campaign so that all of these leads will automatically be sent another postcard each month for 4 months, and we created reminders to schedule 2 more rounds after the 4 months are over (Click2Mail only allows you to schedule 120 days in advance).
- For February, we’ll research probates and create a campaign of up to 125 leads. We send out a professional letter and create a follow up campaign of 6 yellow postcards. (This totals about $300 – my max budget for the month.)
- For March, we’ll see. There’s a good chance we’ll have a deal by then. If so, we’ll consider implementing our $1000 marketing plan (still to be finished). If not, we’ll probably repeat February’s plan.
It’s nice to have a plan. Everyone tells me how important it is. And I’m usually on board – I LOVE planning. But implementing is more important than a good plan, so I’m excited that I’ve already touched 178 leads, and without doing any additional work they will receive 4 more postcards.
I hope you’ve had a hopeful, productive start to the year as well!