NOTES with Jay Conner Success
The Ant Farm Strategy Find Hot Leads on a Shoestring Budget
I am a huge fan of guerrilla marketing in real estate investing. These are marketing strategies that don’t require a big budget, can be pulled off by real estate investors of any experience level, and produce big money in real estate. This month, I’m sharing the secrets behind a specific guerrilla marketing strategy we call “the ant farm.” Picture an ant colony: There are worker ants who go out to bring food back to the queen ant. In this analogy, the “food” represents leads and you are the queen ant — or king ant, if you prefer. When you use the ant farm strategy, you have different people all over town looking for leads in the form of “for sale by owner” (FSBO) signs. They send these leads to you, and you can start closing deals. When I started my real estate investing business back in 2003, I used the ant farm strategy and saw great success. It’s not a big investment, which means you get big returns, and the ant farm strategy brings you very specific deals you won’t find otherwise. This means you have a competitive edge over your competition, because you’re getting leads on deals other real estate investors often completely miss. The ant farm strategy is also one way of automating your real estate investing business. You know I’m big on automation. This strategy is very easy to systematize and automate, and when implemented, it brings in consistent seller leads every week. And as you may have heard me say before, having consistent seller-lead flow is critical to staying in business. Step 1: Choose the Neighborhood You Want to Target You can’t run a successful ant farm strategy without a specific target market picked out. I recommend targeting what we call a “bread and butter” neighborhood. These are first-time buyer homes with entry- level price points. Don’t send your ants through high-end, luxury neighborhoods. This is something I teach both brand-new and seasoned real estate investors. Entry-level properties are a better target because this market has the biggest pool of buyers. You’ll have a better exit strategy. Step 2: Hire Your Ants At this point, you’re probably asking, “Well, Jay, how do I find ants?” There are a number of places. I like to find ants in my warm market, people I already have some sort of relationship with. These are people I Here are five simple steps to launch your ant farm strategy.
go to church with, people I see regularly at social events, and people who are in my cellphone. You can also find your ants online. There are plenty of people looking for extra income. Jump on Craigslist or some other online job site and put up ads promoting “Part- time income. Set your own hours.” Remember this is a job, so when people respond, take the time to interview them and make sure they’re reliable. This strategy doesn’t work if you fill your ant farm with flaky workers who aren’t consistent.
Now, I want to share my secret about two awesome ants you need to have in your ant farm strategy: your mailman and your garbage collector. Both of these people travel on a regular, set route, stopping by almost every house in the neighborhood. Work on building a good relationship with your mailman and your garbage collector, and invite them to be part of your ant farm strategy. Step 3: Set Goals and Expectations for Your Ants If you don’t train your ants and set goals and expectations right away, you’ll have people flake out and do their own thing. The ant farm strategy doesn’t work when people only do it on their terms — I learned this the hard way. The first expectation is how often they will drive their neighborhoods. In my experience, an ant should be able to canvas their neighborhood really well in about 2–3 hours weekly. It’s important that your ants are canvassing their target market every week. FSBO signs go up and come down every week. It’s not a monthly thing; it’s a weekly thing. If an ant misses a week, you could miss out on several potential leads. Continued on Page 3 ...
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