What A Real Estate SCAM Artist Can Teach You About Marketing Better!
I hate crooks. Thieves. Thugs. Cons. Scam artists. Muggers. And the rest of them.
But I like to study their methods. Reverse engineer their scams so that my BS radar get sharper and goes off when I'm getting close to falling into a trap.
Recently, I've been looking for a new place to move into.
This takes up so much time, even with the Internet and "automated" tools… and I'm not even talking about driving around looking at places.
This guy I ran into reminded me of some fundamental marketing principles that many businesses ignore.
(By the way, it's not usually one guy. These are scams are run by large, organized crime syndicates).
I found a place that looked like what I wanted. Location, size, and budget.
I emailed if it was still available, then got on with another busy morning.
9:58 I got a generic text from an unknown number.
I ignored it because I get a lot of telemarketing calls. But since potential clients also call this particular line, I take a moment to look it up.
Lucky for me, one person reviewed this phone number online and marked it as "Do Not Trust." I made a mental note and got on with my day.
10:11 another text, same number. More explanation,"this is NAME… I own the property you are making inquiry at ADDRESS blah, blah, blah. Still available if you're interested in it THANK YOU"
I can't keep track of all the places I'm calling about so I look up the property.
Hmmm. They're asking much more than I remember. Another mental note.
My BS meter begins to hum.
10:32 I reply, "can I see it later today?"
10:33 his reply, "blah, blah, blah. Drive by and view from the exterior, walk around so you can see how lovely it looks like and I will be sending you all the interior pictures so you can see what beautiful it looks like from the interior okay."
10:34 I reply, "Email thanks"
My BS alarm is going off loud at this point.
- One bad review on the phone number.
- Much higher price than before.
- He wants me to look at it from the outside (his number does have an out of the area, area code, so that makes a little sense... just a little.)
This whole thing stinks.
10:34 I get the email pasted below:
>> Thanks for your interest and sorry for the late response was due to my wife illness but i thank GOD she is getting better. I must confess that I am very new in this landlord business. However, I own the house located at (ADDRESS). Due to my job as a missionary worker, we are going to stay in Dahlonega for an intentional Christian Followers crusade.that I decided to rent out the house and i will be here for (3-5 years).. However, the initial plan was to sale out the house. Which I tried, but sometimes the agents inflates the price and it takes longer to sell i am telling you this in case if you find the house on another website, that is the old advert. because of this reason and more we need rental agreement with a responsible person (With good credit) that can take very good care of it as we are not after the money , but want it to be clean and for you to take care of it as if it were yours. The rental fee is $2,100 and deposit is $1,500 included in all utilities and Appliances,you would not make any extra charges.... Air Conditioner Dishwasher Walk-in Closet Refrigerator Vaulted Ceilings Washer/Dryer Cable etc...
SO IF YOU ARE REALLY INTERESTED I WILL WANT YOU TO FILL THE RENT APPLICATION FORM BELOW.
PLEASE TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF
1)Your Full Name______________________________
2)Present Full Address:______________________________
3)(CELL)Phone & (Home)Phone:______________________________
5)How many people will be living in the house_________________________
6)Do you have a pet______________________________
7)Do you have a car______________________________
9)When will you like to move in?_____________________________
10)How long are you willing to stay in the property________________
11)When are you ready to Move In?________________
12)Name of pet: _____________?
13)Kind of pet: _____________?
14)Do you smoke ______________ ?
15)Do you drink ______________?
16)Do you work late night____?
18)How Soon Do You Want To Receive The Keys And Document____?
19)How soon can you make the deposit payment____?
20)Picture of occupant______If available?
21)Driving license/identity card_____If available?
I want you to know that you cant view the interior, i would have love to show you the interior through a friend or relatives but i don't have anybody that can do that for me at the moment.i can attached the interior pictures for you to have an idea how beautiful and spacious the inside looks.I tried to look for an agent that I could give the document & the keys before I left but i can't find any due to the matter of urgency so i have to take the key and documents along with me. And I don't want home misused in my absence that is why I took the keys and documents along with me. So I hope you will promise me to take very good care of the House always and i will like you to fill out the application form so we can proceed ASAP....
And God Bless You.....<<
Ha, ha, ha!
That did it. This is total junk.
10:38 he texts, "sent you an mail did you get that?? i have mail you already did you get that??
I ignore and get on with my busy day...
The marketing point is that he did his best to remove doubt/answer objections, build a human interest story, followed up, and each communication was designed to move the "sale" forward.
He a had a system. A funnel.
Do you use a process, system, or funnel to generate leads and then market and sell them your products and services?
Most businesses do not, or they use unproven systems.
And that's not good enough because of people like "Dave Dakota."
Your customers are extremely skeptical. You need to make your marketing and your marketing copy work harder than what scam artists use otherwise you'll get drowned out and ignored.
And you need to use a proven system to move the sale forward, remove doubt, build trust, and follow up until they buy.