So, are you seeing your leads slow down right now versus the volume of cash buyer or motivated seller leads you saw in the summer? Well, you’re not alone. It’s a seasonal thing… and here’s what you can do about it to make up some of those lost leads with other types of marketing.
There’s an interesting phenomenon happening right now that some investors are noticing and I wanted to write a blog post about it to make you aware of it:
Some investors (maybe even you) are noticing fewer leads right now… have you noticed that? (It’s not happening to everyone but to some).
Maybe you’re seeing this happen and you’re wondering if something is broken on your website or if Google changed their algorithm again. So I’m writing this blog post to let you know: it’s actually very normal…
What’s happening is kind of like what happens with the stock market:
Look at a chart of the Dow Jones over a period of years and you’ll notice that it trends generally upward.
But look at a chart of the Dow Jones over a period of hours or days and you’ll notice that it has a lot of peaks and valleys.
The same thing is happening to investors: While Carrot users are noticing a steady increase in the number of leads they get online when you implement what we teach and stick with it, some are also noticing that there are peaks and valleys… and in the winter months leads for some types of prospects (like motivated house sellers) tend to take a bit of a dip.
Well, the simple answer can be summed up with a meme from the TV show Game Of Thrones…
Winter is coming! Well, actually it’s HERE in many parts of the country.
No, I’m not joking. The season and how cold it is outside can affect the number of people out hunting for someone to buy their house.
Let me ask you a question:
If you live in an area of the country where it snows, when do you think about a snow shovel?
Chances are, you probably don’t think about it at the height of summer, when you’re sitting on the beach and watching your kids play in the surf.
Chances are, you probably think about it when the forecast calls for snow… or (more likely) after you look out the window one morning and see the ground covered in snow. That’s when you think, “Oh, I hope I have a snow shovel!” and then you go searching for one in the garage.
The Home Depot knows this.
That’s why, during the summer, you probably won’t find a lot of snow shovels (you might find one tucked away in a discount bin somewhere), but during the winter, the snow shovels are front-and-center… probably the first thing you see when you walk in into the store.
There are seasonal fluctuations in many types of businesses (including here at Carrot) and smart businesses know this and they plan for it and deal with it.
The same is true for your real estate investing business
The exact same thought process that occurs with you and your snow shovel also occurs with the motivated seller and cash buyer leads who come into your business.
Here’s Why Real Estate Investing Lead Volumes Can Fluctuate During The Year
Motivated sellers might want to sell throughout the year, but there are months when they are more motivated to sell than other months.
Cash buyers might want to buy throughout the year, but there are months when they are more motivated to buy than other months.
Not surprisingly, lead generation trends correspond to the months of increased motivation, which corresponds to increased search activity.
In short: during some months, motivation to sell or to buy increased, which increased searches for related keywords, which increased leads generated.
We first reported to investors on this phenomenon in 2013, in the post Are There Less Real Estate Investor Leads In Holiday Months Than Summer Months? We showed that motivated seller leads tended to fluctuate through the year, with a noticeable spike in the summer and a noticeable decline in the winter. The same phenomenon holds up year-after-year!
The same is true for cash buyers as well. We showed that cash buyer leads tended to fluctuate through the year, with a noticeable spike in January.
There are many reasons for this, and we explore those reasons in the blog post Behind The Data: Why Spring Is The Perfect Time To Ramp Up Your Online Motivated Seller Leads. But to summarize those findings, we can draw the following conclusions from the data:
- Motivated sellers are looking to sell when it’s nice: the summer months; with July being an ideal time perhaps to get the kids settled in a new place before school starts. December tends to be a slower month because of the holidays and people in general just have so much to do in December that they often put their sale off until the new year.
- Cash buyers are looking to buy when they’re thinking about their financial future. This often happens around January when we all think about New Year resolutions and the year ahead.
Some investors might get frustrated by this knowledge, and feel tempted to shut things down in the quiet months while they ramp things up in the busy months.
But I believe that investors have a massive opportunity to grow their business by ramping up their efforts in the quiet months!
Here Are 10 Things You Can Do This Month If You’re Seeing The “Winter Lead Slump” That Some Investors Experience
The solution to fewer leads is a two-pronged approach:
You should level up the amount of marketing that you do to increase your leads right now, plus you should put some pieces in place to ensure that your leads remain stable throughout the year.
If you’re seeing fewer leads right now, here are a few ideas to help you shore up those lead numbers and not settle for a dip in volume:
Show up to our weekly Carrot Coaching calls (for Content Pro members):
Each week we’ll share with you our very best strategies for building your online presence and generating more leads. Our focus is to help you get more leads.
There might be fewer cash buyers and motivated sellers taking action right now… but they’re still out there!
So keep marketing.
Don’t wind down your marketing efforts just because it’s the end of the year and you’re assuming that all of your cash buyers have flown south for the winter.
Integrate your offline marketing
One of the first things we teach our InvestorCarrot members in our Carrot Guide is to integrate your website with your offline marketing. Test your URL on your postcards/letters, radio ads, TV spots, etc.
Find ways to integrate marketing you’re already doing offline with your website.
Accelerate the timeline
Cash buyer leads tend to spike in January because that’s one of the times of the year when cash buyers are thinking about their financial future. So create marketing that gets them thinking about their financial future sooner than January!
Start the conversation right now about how to get a jump-start on the new year. You can do the same thing for motivated sellers. Remind them that now is still a great time to sell and they can get cash in hand before Christmas!
Launch a direct mail campaign that markets…
“Cash In your Hand Before Christmas!”
…and get them to start thinking about accelerating their timeline to sell.
Market more to motivated sellers who don’t need to move (2nd homes, inherited, etc.)
Winter might not be an ideal time to move but not all of your motivated sellers need to move when they sell to you. Out of state owners, probate/inheritance owners, landlords, etc. – these people are still motivated to sell and they are not at all impacted by the weather.
Those absentee owners may want that cash injection before Christmas and the new year and may want to go into the new year without that burdensome property. Use that to your advantage.
Do more of what you’re already doing (ramp it up!)
If you’ve been relying on just search engine optimization (SEO) and Pay Per Click (PPC) then keep doing that but, of course, do more. Consider increasing your PPC ad spend during this season. Or, add more of our SEO-friendly content packs to your blog.
The majority of PPC campaigns by “do it yourselfers” that we see have glaring things that need to be fixed that would really increase the results from the campaign. And lots of people are being held back by a PPC ad budget that’s too low. Here are some tips on making your PPC marketing dollars go further.
Add more marketing channels
If you’ve been thinking of testing some new marketing channels, now is the time to add them so you have them refined and humming along when the spring and summer months kick in.
Craigslist continues to be a surprising source of cash buyers and a consistent stream of sellers for our members.
Many investors have been ignoring Craigslist for a few years because it’s old school and it’s gotten harder to market in the real estate sections. But we have a very powerful and effective Craigslist training that shows you how to still get leads from this source. And I believe that Facebook is an AMAZING source of cash buyer leads when done right.
So now is the time to start testing some Facebook efforts. And don’t stop there.
Motivated sellers are far less motivated to sell in the winter because they don’t want to move when it’s cold.
So how can you help them avoid that pain? Does it mean getting really creative by offering to cover a moving company? Some investors might scream at the potential cost… but consider this: it might make more sense to get SOME profit from a few deals than to get NO profit because you can’t find motivated sellers who are willing to move.
Also, you know all of those leads you generated in the past 4-6 months that didn’t turn into deals?
Well, send out a campaign to all of them to see if they were able to get their situation taken care of.
You could send an email that looks something like this…
“Hi [name], I hope your holiday season is going well!
If you remember, you and I connected a few months back when you let us know about your property at on our website.
I’m going through my notes and wanted to follow up to see if you were able to sell that house yet? If not, would it be worth chatting again to see if the timing is right for me to make you another offer? I’m buying 3 more houses before the end of the year yours is in the neighborhood we’re looking for.
I look forward to connecting with you!
– [your name]”
Chances are, you’ll see a bump in cash buyer leads in the new year so use this time to build some extra capacity into your business (i.e. train a new acquisitions person or estimator), which will allow you to do even more when those cash buyers spike in January.
Also, if you’re still working to get your search engine rankings higher… the winter months are the PERFECT time to put in the SEO time (or hire it out) to grow your rankings so your website is ranked higher when the search volume picks back up.
Search engine optimization can take 3-5 months to really take effect (or sometimes longer in competitive markets) so if you level up your search engine optimization game now, you’ll help to position your site for even greater search engine result greatness! Don’t wait until March to try to rank well for a competitive phrase by the summer “traffic bump”… if you do you may not be giving yourself enough time for the SEO rankings to mature.
Seeing Your Leads Dip Unveils A Hidden OPPORTUNITY
Most investors will tell you that fewer leads is a frustration.
But I think it’s an opportunity: it’s an opportunity to build a more diversified and stable business by deploying new strategies that you might not normally have time to try out. And once you build these strategies into your marketing, they’ll continue working for you to drive more leads into your business and push that trend line even higher!