By Mike Baird
Having a full lead funnel can make all the difference for your fix-and-flip business. With lots of leads in your pocket, you can keep your business moving consistently forward throughout the year. If you stack up your leads and deals right, you can have a constant workflow that will bring in income more evenly, all year long. So, basically, while you’re closing on one flip, you’re just about done with rehabs on the next. At the same time, you’ve just bought your third flip house, and you have another lead behind it to follow up on, too.
If you want to get to the point where you have that kind of regular workflow, you’re going to have to put in some work at the front end, and you’re going to have to continue to look for leads as you work on rehabs and close on other flips.
With so much going on, you might be wondering how you can keep it all going at once. All of a sudden, it might not seem like such a bad idea to pay a bird dog to go find leads for you. But is that really the right way to go?
When You Should Absolutely Not Pay for Leads
There may come a time when you need to branch out and have someone else take care of lead generation for you, but if you’re just starting out, don’t do it. In my experience flipping over a thousand houses, I think that learning to generate, collect and follow up on leads is one of the most important skills you can learn in this business.
Learning how to get leads and follow up on them will teach you a lot about the market you work in, and about the house-flipping business in general. You learn how to spot a good deal at a glance, how to spot deal-breakers without wasting a lot of time, and so much more. So, when you’re just starting out, don’t pay someone else to bird dog for you.
When You Might Want to Pay for Leads
As your business starts to grow, though, you’re going to have multiple flips going at the same time. You’re going to have to check on your contractors and project managers, talk to motivated sellers, make it to open houses and a lot more. You’re going to need some help, and that could include hiring someone to start collecting leads for you.
When you do take the plunge to pay someone else to help you out with your business, you can go with a bird dog and pay them on commission for the leads that turn into flip deals… But I’m really not the biggest fan of that approach. Honestly, I think it’s better to bring in an assistant, intern or flipping partner. Then you can work on either teaching them the business (in the case of an intern or assistant) while they take the weight off of you, or (if you go with a partner) the two of you can split up your flips and tasks to suit your strengths. Either way, you’re going to grow your business in a more efficient and sustainable way than if you just pay someone a commission for leads.
Basically, whether you hire an assistant, pay a bird dog or invest in a direct mail campaign, you’re going to be paying for leads in one way or another. In my experience, it’s better to pay for them in a more effective and sustainable way by growing your business.