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My (Unconventional) Five Point Offensive Marketing Plan

by Brandon · 40 comments

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Do you market offensively?

No, I don’t mean using certain four-letter words and insulting your customers (I’ll leave that to K-mart.)

I’m talking about offense vs. defense. Football Style.

Like most sports, there are those who play offensively and those who play defensively. When it comes to real estate – the majority of individuals play defensively. In other words – they sit back and hope something happens.  However, it’s those who market on the offense that drive the most business, the most sales, and the most leads.

While technically this post is about the “Marcy House Flip” this post is actually much bigger than just that. Today I want to share all my thoughts on unconventional marketing of a flip. While this is specifically talking about selling a flip, the truth about offensive marketing runs much deeper than merely a single house flip and I hope you can use the information to take your marketing from defense (or sitting on the bench) to offense.

Hang on and prepare to go on the offense.

The Problem: Realtors Don’t (always) Sell.

When it’s time to sell a house, most individuals simply list the home with the Realtor.  I don’t believe there is anything wrong with this, and in fact I market almost all my house flips with a Realtor.  Getting your home on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) is one of the most important things you can do.

Newbie Tip: The MLS (Multiple Listing Service) is a giant list of all homes that are publicly available for sale.  However – only real estate agents can post homes to the MLS. If you search for homes online for sale, (using sites like,, or you are most likely just accessing the master “MLS” list for that particular area.

According to the National Association of Realtors, 87% of all home sales were done with the help of a Realtor and the MLS. This is a HUGE group of people that you don’t want to leave out. Making sure the properties you want to sell are seen by the most people is key in selling your home.

However, simply allowing your agent to list the home is not always enough.  In fact, less than one in ten homes are sold by the agent who listed the property. Usually, the home is available on the MLS and another agent brings their buyer-client to tour the house and write up an offer.

Real estate agents do offer many important services, such as:

  • Listing the home on the MLS
  • Helping you accurately price the property
  • Walking you through problems when they arise
  • Spreading the word to their clients and their co-workers
  • Some marketing

Clearly, there are significant benefits to using a real estate agent to sell your house. However, an agent can often be listing dozens of properties, all clamoring for marketing and attention. As a result, most agents simply rely on posting the property to the MLS, setting a sign in the yard, and (if they are good) pushing the listing information to sites like Craigslist.

Back when the market was hot and multiple offers were common, simply putting your house on the MLS with an agent was enough. In some areas, this is still enough. However, if you want the highest chance at selling your property for the greatest amount – I believe it’s a necessity to step up your game and market on the offense.

This is exactly what I am going to do with Marcy. The property is “listed.” The sign is in the yard. It’s time for my five-part offensive marketing strategy.

Math Nerds, Statistics, and Making a Lot of Money

If you’ve been reading my blog for any length of time, you’ve probably come to the conclusion that I’m a bit of a math nerd. I love numbers, love statistics, and love probability.

Nerd, I know.

So, when I look at a task such as selling a home, I break it up into math and statistics.

For example,

  • if 90% of home sales are done using real estate agents, I am improving my odds by listing with an agent.
  • if 11% of homes are found by buyers from the sign in the yard – I am improving my odds by having a sign in the yard.
  • if 90% of people hate wood paneling, I am improving my odds by either painting or changing out the paneling.

As such, everything I can do to assist in selling the home – I want to do – within reason. Obviously I could stand on the street corner in a Big Bird costume with a “for sale” sign to point buyers to my house – but that is getting a bit ridiculous (maybe it will work for you? Send me a picture if you end up doing this!)

There are easy ways, however, to market a house to improve the odds of selling a home. Today I want to share with you my FIVE part offensive marketing plan for increasing the odds of selling the Marcy House.

Offensive Marketing Part One: Dedicated Website

Did you know that 88% of home buyers are using the internet to find their homes? This is huge! Obviously – the internet is where it’s at when it comes to marketing.

As I mentioned before, there are a lot of websites out there that will show your home to prospective buyers. However, your listing is just one in a sea of thousands. Have you ever been looking at a listing on the MLS and seen a link to another property in a box that shouts “Other Nearby Homes?”  This is common for real estate websites because it is in their best interest to sell ANY home, not just yours. However, it is in my best interest to sell the Marcy house – and the Marcy house only.

I want to make Marcy stand out.

To do this, I created a website specifically for the Marcy house.  I want to drive customers to this site because I present the home in the best light without all the distractions of a real estate website. The agency that I use to sell my property actually does something similar to this, by creating a website with the home address in the domain name. For example, 123 Main street would be  I am appreciative of their efforts and the theory behind their efforts.

However, while this might be helpful – there are two problems I have with it:

  1. It’s a long, complicated domain name that doesn’t look as professional as I’d like
  2. The website is not aesthetically pleasing. I mean, they tried – but honestly, I know I can do better using a tool I’m about to tell you about.

By creating a website specifically for the Marcy House- I am able to drive potential buyers directly to that website that I created and give them a lot more information than typically can be found on the MLS.

Several years ago, websites were difficult to create and a lot of coding was needed to make anything look good. Even those who knew how to code generally needed to be modern design experts to make something worth looking at. The results were websites with a lot of sparkly graphics, terrible music, and horrible color (you know the type.)

However – the internet is a different place today. There are tools that exist that make website creation simple, easy, fast, and incredibly powerful.  I created the website for Marcy in just minutes using a website called “”

WIX is a “drag and drop” web design company that for under $10 per month you can have an amazing, high quality website with your very own domain name.


I seriously love WIX for how easy it is to create a sales website for a house.  Check out the website at and see what I’m talking about!

(In the spirit of full disclosure – I get a commission from if you click on any of these links. However, I don’t recommend them because of this, and even if you don’t use my link – I still recommend using them 100% for this purpose.  If you found this article helpful and want to support this website, I hope you do use my affiliate link. However – if you’d rather just go to and sign up – you can do that too! Thanks in advance!)

I will be teaching step-by-step how to go about making a website in the next several days. However, for now please check out the website I created for the Marcy House by clicking here, but make sure to come back and finish reading this article. I have a lot more cool stuff to share about my offensive marketing strategy.

Offensive Marketing Part Two: Paid Advertising

Do you use Facebook? (Shameless plug: come visit my Facebook page and “Like”!)


Of course you do!

According to Wikipedia, 69% of Americans use Facebook on a daily basis. This means that in your community there are thousands of individuals who are using Facebook. Each of these users are a potential customer, and Facebook gives you an amazing tool to reach them.

Facebook advertising (as well as Google advertising) allows you to target certain individuals based on certain characteristics, such as age, gender, job title, and interests.

They also allow you to target based on geographic location.

In other words, you have the ability to send an advertisement to ONLY people in a certain area.

The best part about Facebook and Google advertising is that it is “performance based.”  It only costs money when it works. This concept is known as “Pay Per Click” advertising and is the primary source of income for both Facebook and Google. Basically, an advertisement is displayed to thousands of different users based on the criteria set up and a fee is only charged when a user actually clicks on that ad and goes to the site that you specify.

I hope you see where I’m going with this.

You already know about the dedicated website I have set up.  I have begun creating simple ads on Facebook, targeting individuals within thirty miles of the home that are specifically designed to bring only potential buyers to my site.  I’m actually creating several different ads, specifically aimed at different criteria. (I will be focusing primarily on Facebook, but Google works in a similar way, but with less ability to set criteria for your customer.)

There are three important aspects that are key in running a successful Facebook advertising campaign:

  1. Specific and Defined Criteria
  2. An Eye-Catching Photo
  3. Targeted Copy

Let’s take a look at each of these below in relation to the ad I am running:

1.) Specific Defined Criteria.

Facebook advertising is terrific (and kind of creepy) because of the specifics in criteria that can be set. For example, in the above ad I am targeting individuals who live in the town of Aberdeen, as Montesano has a much better reputation than Aberdeen, who are older than twenty-five.

One of the neat features of Pay-Per-Click marketing is your ability to create multiple ads based on different criteria. For example, I also plan on creating an advertisement that focuses on the schools in Montesano, which I will target toward individuals between the ages of 26-40 who are married because they will be the type who are looking to move because of schools.  I could create an ad that is targeted just for women (Adorable in Great Neighborhood) or for men (Move-in Ready, Nice Garage for Tools). I can even target ads based on college education or job location.

2.) An Eye- Catching Photo

The photo used in your advertisement is meant to do one thing – get noticed.  There are a lot of distractions on the wall of a typical Facebook user. Your photo needs to draw their eye from their wall to the ad.  I chose my favorite picture from the Marcy remodel as my photo – as it looks like something out of magazine. The photo is not real large – but with the travertine tile and wood floors – it’s bound to attract attention.

3.) Targeted Copy

“Copy” is a marketing term for the words you write. Just as the only goal of your photo is to attract attention to your ad, the only purpose of your “copy” is to get people to click on the ad and visit your site.

People tent to ignore advertisements – but when they see a “local” ad it often results in a much higher percent of people clicking the ad (called the “Click-through rate.”) The downside of this, of course, is that many people will see their hometown in an ad and click just out of curiosity.  This can add a lot of costs to your bottom line, but if it works in selling your house – it is all worth it!

Finally, a brief message on price. What do Facebook ads cost? The question is actually a bit more complicated than it would seem – but basically, Facebook ads are paid for by a “bid” model, in which you state how much you would bid, per click, to get your ad shown. If your bid is one of the top bids, your ad gets displayed. This is a very simplistic explanation, but just know that Facebook Ads will actually tell you about how much to bid.  For the above ad, Facebook gave me a suggested range between $.38 – $.89 cents. I set mine at $.50 and will adjust accordingly. I’ll plan on a daily budget of $5.00, which means ten people per day can click my ad at $.50 before Facebook stops displaying the ad.

To read more about using Facebook for real estate investing – check out my blog post over on BiggerPockets titled, “Using Facebook Advertising to Super Charge Your Real Estate Investing.”

Offensive Marketing Part Three: A Super-sized Pricing Strategy

When you order a Big Mac at McDonalds – what do they always ask?

Would you like fries with that?

The same goes for ordering a value meal.

Would you like to super-size that?

The same pricing strategies are found throughout business at nearly every level – but the real estate world is significantly different. In real estate, a price is given – and people offer a price that they would rather pay – and through negotiations an agreed upon price is found.

I want to try something different.

Marcy was listed at $109,900.00.

Would you like to super-size that?

In the “Agent Remarks” of the listing (the information written by my real estate agent and viewable only to real estate agents) as well as on a poster I created and placed on the kitchen table I have included something I have never seen done before: different pricing packages. For the Marcy property – I included three different pricing options that the buyer can choose from:

  • $109,900: The Base Package. It includes all the great parts about the home that the person sees when coming in. Remodeled, new roof, new counters, new flooring, new paint, large lot, etc.
  • $114,900: The “Upgraded Package.” This includes an energy efficient “ductless heat pump” which are very popular in my area of the country as well as $2,000 toward the buyers closing costs. These heat pumps can save a lot of money for the homeowner and keep costs down significantly in the winter (as well as cooling in the summer.)
  • $119,900: The “Envy Package” : This package includes all the items in the “Base Price” and the “Upgraded Package” but also includes new Granite Countertops.

As I mentioned before – I’ve never actually done or even seen anyone else do a pricing strategy like this on a home. I don’t know if this will help or not, but I believe that there is a reason McDonalds and every other business offers upgrades. To me, it seems like an experiment that can’t hurt but could help quite a bit.  The homeowner will benefit by the ability to include these upgrades into the cost of the loan, and I am able to offer amenities that were above my budget.  Additionally, by offering three different price points, I am hoping to shift the mindset of the buyer from “should I buy this house or not” to “which option should I take?”

Will it work? We shall see!

By the way – I formulated this pricing strategy after reading “Pricing Strategies You Might Not Know But Can Learn From” from  By far the best article I’ve ever read on pricing strategies. While the article doesn’t specifically deal with real estate investing – my theory is that I should be able to translate the same psychological strategies from the retail world and apply them to real estate investing. Thanks to Peep Laja for such a great article!

Offensive Marketing Part Four: Agent Incentive

Contrary to popular opinion – real estate agents don’t actually make a lot of money.

According to “,” the majority of agents make less than $40,000 per year.

Also, as I mentioned earlier, nine times out of ten, it is not my selling agent who brings a buyer but the buyer’s agent. Because of this, I’ve decided to offer an additional incentive to whoever brings a buyer.

For the first thirty days that the Marcy house is on the market, I will be offering a $1000 bonus to whichever agent brings me a buyer that closes before the end of the year.

The reason for this is to create a lot of initial buzz. It’s not so much money that I can’t afford it – but it’s enough to hopefully peak the interest of local agents. I believe if only I can get people into the home – the home will sell itself.  Therefore, if agent’s are given extra incentive to show the home, they will bring more buyers through, resulting in a quicker sale.

On this same note, I also always put the best chocolate or other candy in a bowl in each home I sell. My reasoning is that agents will (consciously or subconsciously) associate a really good chocolate with a good house. I’m hoping that connection will make an agent think of my house more often and want to just “stop by and show it” when they are with clients. I know it sounds weird – but I honestly believe this little trick will help keep my house on their radar.

Offensive Marketing Part Five: Agent Contacts

Finally, the last strategy I’m using on the Marcy house flip involves reaching out to agents, individually, who have shown houses for me before. In my area (and most locations, I believe) it is customary for a real estate agent to leave a business card every time they enter a home. It’s a sort of identification letting you know they were there.

For every home I have sold in the past, I make it a point to collect the cards and keep them.

My final strategy is to simply email each agent (their email addresses are almost always on their cards) and let them know about the house. My goal is simply to be on their radar. Since there are hundreds of agents around and thousands of houses for sale – I never expect an agent to care about a specific house.

However, if I email them about the property and introduce myself – I am more easily put on their radar.  Yes, some agents may not like this – but what’s the worst that can happen? Although each email I tailor specifically for that agent, here is a general sample of what that email says,

Subject: New House For Sale with a Bonus

Hey  _______,This is Brandon Turner. Sorry to bug you, I know you are busy!

Last summer you showed my house up at  _____ Martin Street in Aberdeen and I kept your business card after the home finally sold (hallelujah, it finally went!)

Anyways, I’m just sending a quick note to let you know about our most recent house for sale. It’s located at ____________, which is MLS# ______ and listed with       (my agent’s name)   .

I figured since you saw my last home and the quality we put into it, you may have clients who would be interested in this new one. It’s actually just as nice, but much cheaper and quite a bit smaller.

Anyways, I just wanted to put it on your radar since I know you do a lot of business around the harbor and sometimes small houses like this can get lost in the shuffle!

Oh, and we are offering an extra $1000.00 bonus to any agent who brings us a buyer before date and closes before the first of the new year.

Hope all is well with you and keep rocking the real estate world 🙂



Brandon Turner

I’ll be beginning to send out these emails starting today. I’ll keep you all updated on how well this or any of these strategies work.

Final Thoughts

There you have it – my (unconventional) Five-Point Offensive Marketing Strategy.  I know this post is ridiculously long – but there was so much good stuff that I didn’t want to leave anything out! If you are still reading this – you rock! Seriously. I hope that you’ll be able to apply some of these marketing strategies in your own quest for financial freedom!

Let me know what you think in the comments below. Do you think any of my strategies will work!? Am I wasting my time? Comment below! I promise I’ll write back! Try me!

Also, this article took me hours and hours to write. If you could please do me a favor and share this on your Facebook, Twitter, G+, or whatever other social network you use – I would love you forever for it!

Photo Credits: Emergency Shelter,  40+133 Nerd,Apple iPad 3 iRail Telegrapher  Home Market:1941


About Brandon

has written 199 Awesome posts in this blog.

Brandon Turner (G+) is the Senior Editor and Community Director and owner of He is also an Active Real Estate Investor (Flips, Apartments, and Buy-and-Hold), Entrepreneur, World Traveler, Third-Person Speaker, and Husband. Come hang out with him on Twitter!

P.S. looking for hard money loans in California? Be sure to check out my friends over at They have very competitive rates, can fund within a week and specialize in fix and flip loans and other hard money loans.

P.S. Looking for more real estate investing knowledge? If you are interested in a top-notch course to help you understand the nuts and bolts of creative real estate investing, I would like to recommend Ben Leybovich's Cash Flow Freedom University. Ben is a close friend and has been my trusted adviser for years. He's a smart guy and CFFU is pretty awesome. The course is waitlisted, but while you wait for an opening Ben will send you tons of FREE content. Seriously. Click here to check it out.

(yes, that's an affiliate link!)

{ 40 comments… read them below or add one }

Steven Roussey November 5, 2012 at 5:57 pm is a great choice for quickly building websites!


Brandon November 5, 2012 at 6:00 pm

I do like Weebly, as well Steve! Thanks for the recommendation!


Nick Johnson November 5, 2012 at 6:02 pm


I absolutely love the pricing strategy.. Why haven’t I seen this before?

As it is now, you set the price and people immediately try to figure out how much lower they can get the house for. What an awesome way to draw their attention UPWARD to all the possible upgrades they could do. I’m impressed by this idea. Where did you come up with it?



Brandon November 5, 2012 at 6:06 pm

Hey Nick,

Thanks! The idea actually came from an article I read online called “Pricing Strategies Your Might Not Know But Can Learn From” on By far one of the best articles I’ve ever read on the pricing strategies.

That’s my hope – making people compare between internal choices rather than external. It’s the same concept Starbucks uses to sell a $5 cup of coffee!


Jason Enger November 5, 2012 at 6:03 pm

Super epic post, Brandon! This has so much great tidbits of information. I’ve already read it a couple times and am taking notes. I’m sure your strategy will help sell that house quickly. Thanks for providing all this good info. Good luck!


Brandon November 5, 2012 at 6:06 pm

Thanks Jason. Let me know if you have any questions! I’m always just an email away!


Ryan Ferguson November 5, 2012 at 6:16 pm

Fantastic article, and great modern strategy Brandon. People talk about doing cart-sort mailing advertising and “bandit signs” in the typical real estate meetings these days and it’s always felt like clinging to the past. I love the adwords suggestion, the dedicated website (talk about cheap), the agent incentive, and the classic chocolate strategy. The house looks gorgeous in the way you’ve displayed it, I’ll be shocked if it doesn’t sell quickly with this strategy and the effort you put in.


Brandon November 5, 2012 at 6:29 pm

Thanks Ryan!

I’ll be surprised too. The battle I’m up against, though, is that its a small town – so there isn’t a whole lot of movement. I’ve had just one real “showing.” However, it only takes one buyer, right!? 🙂

The best part is – if it doesn’t sell, I simply refinance it using my partner and have a beautiful rental, great location, remodeled, and nice cashflow. Either way we win. It doesn’t get much better than that.


Trey November 5, 2012 at 6:27 pm

Great post! You used quite a few strategies that I honestly would never have thought of. Hopefully you will get a quick turnaround on this house and these strategies will benefit you in the future as well. Are you going to be able to track which strategies bring in the most people? Maybe just through inquiry when showing the home or something. Keep up the great work!


Brandon November 5, 2012 at 6:37 pm

I’ll be able to track users to the website and which ones were brought from Facebook and Google. I should also get some feedback from emailing real estate agents. I’ll find out when we get it sold which, if any, method worked. Most likely – the person will simply be brought by a Realtor who saw it on the MLS (Like 90% of sales are that way). I’m just hoping all these methods help to make up that missing 10%. We’ll see!


Seth November 5, 2012 at 7:44 pm

Great Article. Do you have your real estate license or do you hire a local realtor????



Brandon November 5, 2012 at 8:46 pm

Hey Seth,

I have an agent. I almost got my license twice, but after paying the fee each time (and doing the whole class the first time) I decided not to. Yet. 🙂


Carlos Garbiras November 5, 2012 at 11:07 pm

Brandon, this was a great article. I love the pricing strategy. It makes sense. Please, report back. Also, silly question, what kind of chocolate do you put out?


Brandon November 6, 2012 at 2:12 am

I usually put out something I don’t like much – like something fancy with nuts. Otherwise I’ll eat them. Last time I put out Hershey Kisses with Cherry filling cause I didn’t like them… but then I fell in love with them and ate them all.

Every one.

It was bad.


Carlos Garbiras November 6, 2012 at 4:19 pm

LOL! I can see that being a problem.


Kevin November 6, 2012 at 2:14 am

Hey Brandon,
Great article and really like that pricing strategy, think it could stick in the real estate world!! Definitely gets there eyes off low balling the price, love to hear how it goes. I’m just getting started in REI and created a FB business page, figured its a good way to get your name out there!


Brandon November 6, 2012 at 4:28 pm

Hey Kevin. Thanks! I’m hoping it will take away the “I’m gonna snag a good deal” mentality and transfer it to a “I’m going to get a premium product” mentality. We’ll see! And nice job on the FB page! Send me a link here and I’ll “Like” it! 🙂


Keith November 6, 2012 at 3:08 am

That is some great ideas Brandon, I think I am going to have to borrow some. As a Realtor, I just had my client buy a fix-n-flip and I was thinking of creating a website where people can “follow the flip” where I would go in every Friday and show the progress. This may stir some interest before it finishes, and maybe a potential customer could pick cabinets finish or floor/carpet color. Just a thought.


Brandon November 6, 2012 at 4:29 pm

Hey Keith. I think a Realtor could really take advantage (in a good way) of some of these techniques. Especially the webpage. I’ve also thought of allowing people to pick their own stuff – but I haven’t done it because I fear people don’t have vision and will only see “unfinished.” I could be wrong, but that’s my fear! Thanks for the comment Keith!


Jeromie November 7, 2012 at 7:04 pm

Dude, Love it. Seriously the best article I’ve read in awhile. And are the shoes in the pic brown Sketchers? If so, I have the same ones, which would make me feel infinitely more awesome. Can’t wait to see how this strategy changes things, for you and potentially the industry!


Brandon November 8, 2012 at 3:10 am

Wow, thanks Jeromie! What a compliment. And sadly – the picture of the Sketchers was not my own, simply taken from Flickr’s Creative Commons license. But i think you should pretend you have the exact same pair and you are now infinitely more awesome.

By the way – I’m super stoked for your upcoming blog… It’s gonna change the world 🙂


Sabrina Laplante November 8, 2012 at 5:57 pm

Brandon, I love the way you think; out of the box!!!! People seem to be so stuck on the conventional way of doing things and get stuck in that rut, because that is what everyone else is doing. I bet before too long, many people, especially in that area will pick up what you are doing and duplicate it.
This last spring at a investing class I took, one of the mentors there from Utah shared a way that he sells his flips. He buys basic houses that do not need a ton of repair, and pretty much sells them the same in the exact condition he bought them in. He then puts a huge sign out front, “For Sale By Owner” type of deal, but makes sure it is very bold! He never puts a price on it though. Basically just the FSBO and his number. He has a combo key box on the door and when people call him about it, he gives them the info to get in so they can check the place out on their own. On the counter, he has a flyer that has the price when the house is finished (new carpet, paint, appliances, etc), and then a deal that says or take $10,000 discount to purchase the house as-is. Whatever the price is, he always makes it sound like a much better deal if they buy the place the way it is and does the work themselves. He then waits to have the buyers call him, and sets up an appointment with at least 4 or 5 potential buyers. He said when you get people together, it tends to bring the competitiveness out in each other and becomes a “who has the biggest down payment wins the house” strategy. He also has some type of cookie baking in the oven, which seems to be a typical open house strategy. He has never once had anyone turn down the discount price to take the house as is. I think depending on what market you are dealing with, you have to develop your own strategy. Have I personally tried this? No, but one day I might be trying a little bit of everything. I think you have an awesome thing going Brandon, and hope I can one day be half as successful as you and your wife! Take care, and keep us posted! Hopefully your response will be that the place is SOLD!
P.S. Now I am craving me some chocolate!!! How is the P90X going???


Brandon November 8, 2012 at 11:17 pm

Hey Sabrina- thanks for the killer comment! I love long comments! I really hope this strategy works. I’ve already gotten quite a bit of Facebook traffic from the ad – so that’s good!

That’s an interesting strategy as well – offering a cheaper version. It makes people feel like they are getting a killer deal. I may have to try that too sometime! Thanks for the tip 🙂

I want some chocolate too. But P90X says no. I may cheat a bit today- cause I’m on a mini vacation 🙂 Other than that, it’s going well. I can see a difference. Two more months to go!


JL November 8, 2012 at 9:42 pm

Brandon, the Wix site is not allowing people to click and go to the next link to start building their site.
A “Java (void)” error msg appears on the bottom of the window (where the next function to do by the PC appears). At least, I am getting this error. I am trying to advance into the Wix site by modifying the URL that is created when I click the link in your column. There is a long wait to do anything in the Wix site.


Brandon November 8, 2012 at 11:14 pm

Hey, thanks for the heads up. I checked it and you are right. I had two links, so I switched it to the other and it seems to be working fine now. Let me know if you have any other problems. I’ll have a video tutorial on real soon Thanks again!


KK November 10, 2012 at 9:29 pm

Great post Brian! Glad to see fellow developers innovating in their marketing strategy. I see a lot of effort to try to pull in buyers early (use of upgraded countertops) and given them customized options, but do be careful about over improving for a buyer who doesn’t stick around. Perhaps making them pay an extra deposit for choosing the upgrade, or promising only cosmetic finishes that can be installed at the end (which seems to be what you’re doing) is safer?

Good use of new technologies for potential upgrade as well. Ductless heat pumps (or heat pumps in general) don’t work in my climate up in Chicago, but I’ve thought of similar strategies to pre-install high-efficiency furnaces and ACs, water-saving aerators, super-insulation, even metal roofing (saves huge on summer cooling costs and lasts way longer than shingle, but that’s a pretty expensive option). Do check in with your state energy department. They may have rebate programs to help out.

The problem I have with the Midwest market and my properties that have lower resale price points (around $140+k range) is that many buyers have chosen the cheaper option. i.e. they’d sacrifice the long term benefit of an energy saving device for short term cash savings. I don’t blame them given the tougher economy .. it’s difficult to convince them of the longer term benefit of an upgrade. I’ve made considerable effort to reduce the cost of installing these green devices, but it’s definitely still a premium. After awhile I’ve given up and forced installed these devices in whether they want them or not (my personal agenda). Thoughts?

I don’t want to give up on the cheaper homes and lower-to-middle income buyers. I personally think it’s really important that the green movement gets going in this group rather than with high-income households.


KK November 10, 2012 at 9:30 pm


My apologies on the misspell of your name, was just shooting off an email to one of my property managers named Brian =)



Brandon November 11, 2012 at 12:05 am

Hey KK- No Worries! I actually have a number of people who call me Brian, so I just figured you knew somehow! 🙂 And thanks for the great comment!

I do worry about putting in upgrades and then having the buyer back out – so I’ll be making sure that I get some kind of assurance before doing too much (maybe an increased earnest money deposit or something).

I, too, find some people just want the cheaper option rather than the one that makes the most financial sense. Which is okay too – the house is perfect as-is so they’ll think they are still getting a great deal because they didn’t add ten thousand the asking price. That’s my theory anyways!

Thanks again for taking time to comment!


Pam November 15, 2012 at 4:49 pm

Hi Brandon, greetings all the way from Singapore!
I found an article of yours on BiggerPockets, one link led to another and I found this post. Thanks for sharing these tips!
Truth be told, I’m a real estate agent, and we do things pretty differently on our tiny island. And flipping has been ruled out as that has caused prices to skyrocket in a very short amount of time since land is considered scarce here. Competition is fierce, and development in the country is progressing at an almost furious rate, building after building (residential and commercial) are mushrooming from the ground one after the other. Agents always need to keep up with the latest in trends and technology, and constantly come up with creative ideas on how to reach out to the market. I’m going to try your tips and await to see some fantastic results! Fingers crossed 😉

PS. Check out for some insight to the Singaporean property market. Who knows, you might consider investing in Singapore one day. At that point, you’ll know who to call!


Brandon November 15, 2012 at 9:35 pm

Hey Pam, I love hearing about real estate in other countries. I have not yet been to Singapore, but it’s on the bucket list! Thanks for the comment, and yes – just “liked” your page!


Pam Sia November 19, 2012 at 6:47 pm

Yes, I’ve taken note of you “Like-ing” my Page. Thanks for the support! 🙂

Look forward to more of your write-ups! 🙂


Affordable residential properties Gurgaon November 19, 2012 at 7:44 am

Great post. Thanks for sharing…


Lee November 27, 2012 at 7:04 am


I’m late to the party here as I just stumbled across your website this evening. I think you are offering good advice concerning pricing, but I’m not sure how easy it would be to pull off the multiple price option strategy (unless you are marketing the house for less than you believe it is worth at $109,900). Let’s just say that you believe that it is worth (read: will appraise for) $109,900. If the buyers choose either of the higher priced options, adding a heat pump and/or granite countertops would probably not add $5k-$10k to the value of this house on an appraisal. I don’t know anything of your market, but unless granite countertops and/or heat pumps are common in this price range(and thus not including them could actually lower the value of the home on an appraisal), it likely wouldn’t affect the value at all with the new regulations regarding appraisals. I know the multiple price strategy is primarily being used in this case as a psychological “driver” to help people to choose, but financing in upgrades will likely be a very desirable option (especially in this price range where having extra cash for upgrades is rare). If you are marketing this house for all it is worth and the buyer opts for the higher priced upgraded packages then you you could run into a deal killer if the house won’t appraise for the upgraded price. Keep up the good work, and congrats on getting it into escrow.


Brandon November 27, 2012 at 3:37 pm

Hey Lee- Excellent thoughts. I pondered the same thing, and this is still just an experiment that could fall through, but here’s what I decided:
1.) I wasn’t pricing it at the highest. I’m fairly sure the appraisal could come in at 120k if it needed to, even “as is” without the upgrades. I could be wrong, but I’m confident I am pricing below market value (as I try to do on flips)
2.) Yes, the biggest reason for this is “anchoring” and psychological. In my area, everyone always offers significantly less than asking price because it’s a slow market. So, the idea for me is that this will be used as more of a negotiation strategy later on. My ultimate thoughts are – if I could get a full priced offer and then put in these upgrades – I’d be content. Which is almost exactly what happened (I just don’t want to talk specifics till it closes!)

Hopefully that makes sense. Thanks for the comment and thoughts – that’s exactly why I wanted to write this post. I love getting the opinions of others! Thanks and keep in touch Lee!


Zac January 16, 2013 at 4:15 am

Your first and last strategy are the same. 4 point strategy more like


Brandon January 16, 2013 at 5:49 pm

Hey Zac, thanks for reading and commenting. I think you must have missed number 5 – cause I think it’s pretty different:

Number 1: Make a Dedicated Website
Number 2: Paid Online Advertising
Number 3: Unique Pricing Strategy
Number 4: Increased Commission For Selling Agent
Number 5: Reaching Out to Other Agents / Past Agents

Maybe you saw my “wrapping up” paragraph which talked about the website and thought it was another point! Anyways, thanks again for reading! Come hang out with us over on!


Chad September 23, 2013 at 2:04 pm

Love to come across articles like this. Always refreshing to see different and unconventional ideas when it comes to marketing. Thanks for taking the time to post your ideas.


Rosanna October 23, 2013 at 8:51 pm

Hey thanks SO MUCH for this post! I’m brand-spankin’-new at this whole “market the house yourself” thing, and I’ve got three rehabs to sell NOW. I’m gonna employ each tactic you listed and expect the best!


Rosanna October 23, 2013 at 9:51 pm

Also, do you do open houses?


Brandon October 25, 2013 at 3:13 pm

Thanks Rosanna – I don’t do open houses often. I’ve done a few and never seen anything good come from it. But that’s not to say it couldn’t. It just seems they are usually more geared toward bring the agent new clients. Thanks for reading and commenting!


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