EP 212: The Biggest ‘Driving For Dollars’ Mistakes You Can Make + Creative Deals During COVID w/ David Lecko of DealMachine

The Biggest ‘Driving For Dollars’ Mistakes You Can Make + Creative Deals During Covid w/ David Lecko

Try what you haven’t tried before. Move. Get feedback. Then adjust and keep doing what works. You won’t get that feedback if you just wait and see.

– David Lecko

The Biggest Driving For Dollars Mistakes You Can Make + Creative Deals During COVID-19 w/ David Lecko of DealMachine

We’re all dealing with some crazy times right now, but that doesn’t mean business has stopped. Many of us are “locked-down” but that doesn’t mean people are hiding out in their homes all day every day. The world is still moving, just at a slower pace. 

We’ve done some great episodes recently with top investors like Mike Hambright, discussing the ways investors and agents can change their strategy during COVID.

Today, we sat down with David Lecko to talk about some amazing strategies you can use when driving for dollars and how you can use DealMachine and Carrot to amplify your success rate. 

Read the Full Show Notes Below…


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I first met David about a year and a half ago and I am blown away by his app, DealMachine.

It’s one of those things that was created from necessity – David is an investor himself, who was looking for a way to simplify the driving for dollars process. His app does just that by quickly loading all of the data you need to learn about the property, find seller information, and even reach out to them right there on the spot.

Some investors and agents are pulling back, but it’s times like these when entrepreneurs, investors, and agents need to pivot. They need to take advantage of what is out there right now and find ways they can add value for the people who need it most. 

What is Driving for Dollars?

Before diving in, what exactly is driving for dollars? It is a term used to describe a real estate strategy for finding deals on houses. The investor drives around neighborhoods until they find houses that fit the vacant or distressed category. They then attempt to buy that home from the owners.

The simple part is driving around looking for houses. The hard part is the process of buying the home. It can be difficult to find the owners of a vacant house. And, if the home is bank-owned, it is almost impossible to buy it and many homeowners do not want to be bugged.

Creative Strategies for Investors

Right now, some of David’s best clients are using DealMachine to find the worst looking homes out there. Whether or not it is an absentee owner or a vacant house, they are adding them to their list and getting in touch.

The use of direct mail through the DealMachine app is way up – savvy investors out there know that the competition has slowed down, people are feeling pressure to sell, and let’s face it, after sitting home all day, opening mail can be pretty exciting.

A few ways to up your game would be to: 

  • Hire someone to “bird-dog” properties on your behalf. You can pay them by the hour, adding incentive for each qualified property added to your contact queue. 
  • Change up your mailpiece, letting people know how you can help them during this scary time. 
  • Use Zoom whenever possible and offer incentives such as staying in the house until the virus has passed. 
  • Double down on your marketing efforts. Your competition is slowing down, advertising is cheap, and people are looking for solutions now more than ever. 
  • Don’t quit right away. According to David’s numbers, if you are mailing to 200 homeowners, you will need to mail to them 3 times over 3 months before you begin to make something happen. It can take time to get a deal! 
  • Remember you are building your pipeline now. In 3 months when the market is back and you aren’t closing deals, it will because you didn’t do the work today. 
  • If the deals have slowed, find a skill you are really great at it, and help other investors who need to master it – cold calling, social media, negotiations, etc. 

No matter what the competition is doing, it is important that you stay consistent and follow-up. You can be the perfect solution for a homeowner when they need your help the most. 

Creative Strategies for Real Estate Agents

Just like investors, there are a lot of agents who are slowing things down now, when in reality, it is a great time to help those who need to buy and sell. DealMachine can also help agents find more clients with the implementation of a few creative strategies. 

  • After selling a home, get in touch with the neighbors. You can find contact information and mail a postcard right from the app. 
  • Adjust your content to be Coronavirus specific, letting people know how you will handle the buying and selling process. 
  • Look for vacant or distressed properties and become a hybrid solution by either listing, investing, or partnering with an investor to help a homeowner in need. 
  • Look for landlords or absentee owners who may be struggling to keep up with their own bills because their tenants aren’t able to pay the rent. 

There are many ways agents can connect with the buyers and sellers who need them during these difficult times. By becoming a community resource and not shying away when others have stopped, you’ll be able to connect with and ultimately help more people. 

Mistakes Investors and Agents Can Avoid

Right now, we are seeing two types of agents and investors. We see those who are crippled by fear and we are seeing those who have paused, pivoted, created a plan, and accelerating. Whether you are driving for dollars or launching a PPC campaign, now is not the time to sit around and “wait and see.” Don’t be afraid to double-down, capitalizing on this time when your competition has taken a break. 

As things get back to normal, make sure you have taken this time to: 

  • Get out the content that is going to connect with people
  • Get DealMachine and drive around your neighborhood
  • Find new ways to pivot within your business and get creative

Now is the time to try things other agents and investors are pulling back on. Try the things you haven’t tried before and take action. Then you can adjust and do the things that work best for you. Guys, we’re going to bounce back here soon, and it will be those who doubled down who see the most success as things begin to ramp back up. 

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