Is it effective to use list building, emails, and content marketing to find note holders and turn them into sellers?
Recently a note broker asked a series of really great questions and you’ll want to read the answers!
“I understand the concept from your article 7 Essential Tips For Marketing Your Note Business Online but how do these ideas fit with a note broker or consultant?
Who are you actually gathering names from for your list? Would they be note holders who you hopefully could turn into note sellers?
I am wondering if the tips mentioned in the article are relevant to the note business in the way other online businesses are when a website is built?
Don’t you feel that note sellers usually have one note to sell and will probably not be a returning customer? So, I wonder if building a list will be necessary.
What additional value can I provide to them to keep them coming back to my site? How can I provide a service or more information where they see value in their support of my site?
Also, I would want to set-up affiliate products to sell, but I cannot think of any that would benefit the note seller, especially once he sells his note.
I tend to see the note broker’s site as more static rather than a blog, where I can build a list, write relevant articles, rank in the search engines, provide great value and sell products.
I have tried to figure out how this can be done with a note broker website, but have not as yet been able to. Please give me your comments to these questions and concerns.”
Southeastern Funding Company
(Editor’s Note: Name is used with permission. If you ever want to ask a question please know we won’t share your name unless you say it is OK!)
These are great questions with serious depth! You deserve a thorough answer – so here it goes!
List Building and Email Marketing in the Note Business
I agree that the average note holder has just one note to sell. Every once in awhile you will hit the “mother lode” and find an investor that regularly takes back a note on real estate but that’s not the norm.
However, there are still benefits to building a list. Many note holders will receive a letter or post card for years before they ever make a call. We just had someone call in on a postcard they had last received in 2009! If you can email them with updates or offers you can save on the expense of regular direct mail communications.
In reality, the majority of note sellers will not sign up for a newsletter (but the ones that do are displaying a high level of motivation). They are more likely to check out your site and give you a call or send an email if they like what they see. However, over time I think note holders will become more inclined to participate and early adapters will be ahead of the game.
Today an even better use of list building in the note business is networking with professional referrals. Email marketing is great for working with real estate agents, attorneys, or investor groups. Most list management companies let you create different list categories so you could send separate communications to sellers versus referrals when the topic warrants.
Static Note Buyer Website vs. Blog Updates
For years companies got by with the brochure website. It was static and only updated when an address or criteria changed. Then came the influx of content marketing made simple through the use of blog platforms.
Adding new content to a website has two main goals:
- Provide helpful and engaging information to customers or prospects; and
- Improve search engine rankings for increased traffic.
When it comes to increasing traffic to your website you have three basic options:
1. Offline Marketing
Using direct mail, referral marketing, networking, and print materials directing people to you website.
2. Pay Per Click (PPC)
Fast but expensive, these are the ads in a shaded box to the top or right of search engines like Google™, Yahoo™, and Bing™.
3. Organic Search
These are all the search results outside the paid ads. Ranking well for organic search is time consuming but can be very valuable over the long haul.
(Note: If we are talking professional referrals I would add Social Media as the 4th option, but that is a tough nut to crack when it comes to targeting note holders).
If you want to rank well in organic search results for the note business (or any industry) it takes content…and lots of it. This means consistently adding new unique information to your site using search engine optimization (SEO) best practices. The WordPress platform makes this a breeze which is one of the reasons we use it for Note Buyer Websites.
Bottom line, it will be very difficult to rank well in the organic search engines unless you add new content.
If you asked me to choose right now between building a list or adding new content when marketing to note sellers, I would go with adding new content.
Start by targeting your new content for local business. For your website at www.southeasternfunding.com I would suggest the main keyword of Georgia Note Buyer along with related keywords (check out the free Google Keyword Tool for ideas). Commit to writing just one new article each month for your blog and track improvements in ranking and traffic. While you want national business too it helps to focus your SEO efforts local and then expand from there.
Encouraging Return Visits From Note Holders
So what type of information would be helpful to note holders? Here are several ideas:
- Tips for important end of year tax filings like the 1098 Mortgage Interest Statement
- Friendly semi-annual reminders for checking to see that real estate taxes and insurance are paid current on the property by the buyers.
- Provide a mortgage interest calculators or amortization schedule for keeping track of the balance they are owed. A great option for Word Press sites is installing a free calculator widget.
- Offer a free annual analysis that reflects the current fair market value of their mortgage note.
- Sample collection letters in case the payer is late making payments.
- Ways to improve the value of a note including ledgers for tracking payment histories.
- Details on what is happening in the real estate market, especially if it is specific to the area where the property is located.
Think Twice About Affiliate Marketing To Note Sellers
I don’t see note holders as being good candidates for selling affiliate products. It is a distraction that results in very small dollars. Even worse, it can be a turn-off to sellers and jeopardize their trust. The closest fit I can think of is offering a link to Amazon for a book on seller financing. Even better if that book is yours!
With professional referrals there could be more opportunity, but again I would tread carefully. Be sure to check out the quality of any product you are referring. It should improve and not hurt your reputation.
Can your note business survive without list building, email marketing, and adding new content? My honest answer is “Yes, but…you will need to rely heavily on offline marketing methods to find notes like direct mail, ads, and in-person networking.”