Whether you are a seasoned pro or new to direct marketing you need the tips that will teach you how to be successful and sometimes we focus so much on the end result we desire that we don’t see what we are doing wrong that should be plain and easy to recognize. That is why it is important to get back to the basics. Understand the foundation principles to marketing and review them often. Success lies in the basic details more often than in the advanced and complicated strategies we often try to find. Here are some tips to help keep you on track.


  1. Use a captive title, headline or call to action 
    A call to action get their attention and tells them what you are offering or what you want them to do.  Whether you are using a call to action or just a headline you need to captivate their attention in one to three seconds. Some examples are written here for you.
    -Get your money today!
    – Don’t sell your note! (then tell them they can get money without selling the note and it opens an opportunity to discuss a partial payment sale instead of a full sale.)
    -You Deserve it!
  2. It’s not about you 
    This is perhaps the hardest part for most new entrepreneurs to understand and to really internalize. It is crucial that you accept the crucial role of taking care of the customer first. If your only goal is to make money then you have already lost. You must decide to do whatever is needed to take care of the client. This means you need to know their pain. You need to know their desires and then you need to be focussed on bringing a solution to the table that will take care of their needs.
  3. Be clear about the benefits
    Use a quick, simple and concise list of possible benefits for them
  4. Don’t reinvent the wheel
    Learn about the basic rules of direct marketing and then follow those techniques and remember that they are used for a reason. They have been tried, tested and proven effective. There will be a need for some critical and creative thinking for images, logos and presentation but the basic rules that worked 10 years ago will still work today.
  5. Repeat market to your list
    This is perhaps another of those weak points for most. You come into the business telling yourself and others that you are ready for hard work but what happens when that first mailing that required a money sacrifice does not give a quick ROI? Most clients don’t make a decision from one marketing piece. It will usually take several attempts and contacts before you will realize a bite and the first bite you get may not be your first sale. You better be in it for the long haul and be ready to work your business for a while before expecting a return.

If you intend to be successful these are some of the basics that must be remembered. review the basics and stick to the basics remembering that you are in business to help the client and you will see more results in your business.

End of year special offer. From now until the end of November we are offering 20% additional leads to your order.*

*20% bonus offer cannot be combined with other specials or offers. The 20% bonus is added leads to your order giving you 20 more leads per hundred leads ordered. The bonus leads may or may not be within your order criteria though we will do all we can to find the additional leads within your criteria first.

Promissory notes are a great opportunity for many people and for many different reasons. Using a promissory note to sell your property allows you to maximize your return over time so as a seller it is a great investment tool or perhaps just a good tool to help you close a sale. The promissory note details the terms of the sale including the payment amount, interest rate and term of the payment. These are the important details that keep both buyer and seller safe and also spells out the obligation of the sale.

Promissory notes can be great investments to hold on to because they can offer a future cashflow. Many people like this cashflow and will hold on to the note for that purpose. Similar to rent being paid it offers that investment income on a monthly basis.
Others are not interested in holding the note long term but use it only as a means to an end to help sell a property they are trying to sell. For those who desire to sell the note there are opportunities to do so. It is best to receive some payments first to create some seasoning on the loan.  This seasoning makes the note more valuable to a buyer or broker who will purchase the note.

There are many templates and standard forms available on the net for promissory notes to help create this legal contract. You can modify the details to fit your circumstances and make sure the note meets your needs. There are some basic terms that must be present on any  promissory note created. These include the following.
  • Name of seller (Lender)
  • Name of buyer (Borrower)
  • Amount owed
  • Payment amount
  • Interest rate
  • Term of contract (number of payments)
The other details of the note can be adjusted to fit the needs of the bjyer and seller and are generally going to be pretty general or similar to the basic outline offered on eny promissory note template or form.

According to CPA Practice Advisor the mortgage industry is seeing an increase in jobs recently compared to recent years. The industry took quite a hit in 2008 and many investors were left holding the bag, often an empty bag. Our government vowed to change the industry so that we would not see the terrible issues we experienced that year. Whether there is real valuable change happening or not is a matter of discussion. I hear of the same tactics in mortgage lending and banking today in the commercials that are played every day for these same big banks. Well not all the same because some were bought out when things got rough. Bought for pennies on the dollar I might add.

Legislation continues to be pushed to attach our little industry of private notes. It has always been a small niche industry compared to conventional lending and the banks who run our world would rather we not have the option of private financing. It’s important for us to stay vigilant and be sure that our right to create private financing and to trade and broker in private financing be kept alive.

Direct Mail Marketing Improvements

We see thousands of marketing pieces and materials in an average day
in our busy lives. They come in the mail, they come to us online, on our
cell phones on billboards, newspapers and magazines. It seems that
every aspect of our lives is filled with the advertisements that seem to
bombard our senses. There is so much marketing happening to us every
second of every day that we tune most of it out. This is important for
you to understand as a marketer because it lets you know that you have
to become more creative in order to get results from your marketing

If you don’t give most of these pieces a second glance do you think your
prospect does anymore? Most likely they are even more bombarded than
you and they have become pros as tuning those ads out and so when you
send them another one they may not even stop to read it. This is your
first goal. You need to get your prospect to stop long enough to read
the material you are sending them. It can’t be dry. it can’t be the same
old thing. It must be something different and eye catching. You are
going to have to get creative. Fortunately there are many ways to
improve your marketing.

Captivating images

Let’s start with an image that will grab their attention. They are
seeing smiling faces all day long. Images of beautiful places and other
aspects of marketing meant to put them at ease. They know that most of
these things are only there to sell something. They don’t give them a
full glance before they are tossed in the garbage. Yours needs to be
different. Give them a reason to read it. Give them a reason to stop and
do a double take. Then give them a reason to hold on to that piece so
they can give you a call back about your offer. One way to do this is
with an image that looks off. Perhaps a split image with  the beautiful
eyes and face of a woman on the top and then split to a rough man’s chin
on bottom. It takes them a moment to figure out what they are looking
at. It causes them pause. There are many ways you can do something like
this. I’ll give you a few ideas.

Creative image ideas

I had a question come in from a new note broker today about how to effectively market the note business. This individual indicated they had sent out 500 post cards to note holders with little response. I felt my response would be valuable to many so I have decided to create a post here with the details.

I started my reply discussing what I saw as the primary source of pain. Expectations. “The most important thing I can say about starting any kind of business is that it is not an easy or fast process.” I have done a lot of coaching over the years with individuals who are starting a new opportunity often due to an infomercial or other resource that is made to sell the idea but not give all the details of the work needed. That’s my job right? This is the first pain point for most who are just starting a new business. they expect it to show results right away or they feel that their small efforts are big efforts. Sometimes there is no easy way to say, well you’re not quite 100% correct about that. So the first thing to do is educate yourself a little bit about what is really needed to be successful with the opportunity you are beginning.

With the note business this means a lot of marketing. What is a lot? Well I would say it starts with a minimum of 1000 direct mailers every month. Research any information about direct mail marketing and you will see that is a low starting point if you intend to be serious.

Consult a coach who can guide you in your business.
This is another important aspect to starting a new business. If you are new to the industry then it is a good idea to find somebody who is familiar with what is needed. If you are going to do what is necessary to make the note business work then you need to find somebody who can help you do it effectively. I don’t coach this business anymore personally but I would suggest Eddie Speed’s program to anybody looking for somebody to teach them. Eddie has been in the business longer than most who are still around and he knows how to make it work.

Last I stated that there are many opportunities out there. If you are just looking to make money in some way and you are not sure what is needed or what is best for you then do a little research and see if there is something else that you may be more interested in or if there is a better option for you right now.
Find my full reply here

I often get questions from beginners in the mortgage note business wondering about how to make it work as a broker or investor in notes. I’ll go over a few things here to answer some of these basic questions. Hopefully this will give some answers to common questions and I hope it will help clarify the waters a bit about the note business. It is important that you understand the basics of the business you plan on working.

The first item I want to clarify is that I am talking about privately held mortgage notes. Generally speaking, banks are not interested in selling their notes. If they are going to sell notes they will want to do so in quantities often referred to as a portfolio of notes. You should also understand that such institutions will be less likely to sell good performing notes for much of a discount. this is their business. It is their bread and butter and they are not usually interested in selling those notes. that is why your focus will be to find individual private note holders. These private note holders are individuals who have sold a property and for whatever reason have decided to hold the note themselves and receive the payments over time.

Often these private note holders are not finance savvy and perhaps did not want to hold a note in the first place. This happened in the course of selling their home or property in order to get the sale to go through but was not something they planned on. Ultimately they want the cash and not small payments over time. These individuals are the ones you are looking for in order to buy or broker a note. When you look through public records, you are looking for lenders who are private individuals. Most of the data will be banks and big lending institutions. You will skip by these notes looking for those few that are private. The document you will look for will vary from one state or county to another but generally it will be a trust deed, deed of trust or land contract. These documents will often be abbreviated in the public record.

So why invest in private notes? What is the appeal and what secures it if the buyer stops paying? You must understand that a private note is a security instrument just like a bank mortgage note. The property is the security behind the instrument. If the buyer stops paying then you have the right to foreclose. Of course foreclosure is not the goal of most investors and brokers. It is not a fun nor cheap process. It can be a real pain with a lot of costs and hassle. the best option is to work with your buyer as much as possible to keep them in the home and making their payments. This is why an investor in this industry will do their due diligence and why they prefer notes with a history. If the property has a value higher than the note balance and there is a history of a year or two on the note payments then it makes a more secure investment. It is more likely that a note that is seasoned with a payment history will continue to pay and there will be no need for foreclosure.

I recently got a question about marketing the private note business. The question was

“Can you tell me besides purchasing your leads and mailing out letters or postcards, what do you feel is a effective way to market for buying discount notes, have started a website.”

I feel that over the years in this industry I have answered this question many many times but I want to get it out there again. I have many note holder marketing articles on my site about marketing this business and have touched on many of these topics. If any of you feel that there is information lacking on any topic as you browse through all those articles let me know and I will be happy to elaborate on any topic.

I’m not certain there is just one best way to market this business. There are always too many variables. As I have had conversations with some of the biggest brokers and buyers in the industry I feel there are two things that stand out as important. One is building your referral pipeline. This takes years to perfect and the first year or more it will not produce much but in the long run it is one of the best options for your business. You need to do all you can to develop relationships with professionals in many industries. This is especially important for those who deal with clients’ finances. Attorneys, CPAs and RE professionals are a great place to start.

The second strategy that Eddie Speed teaches a lot and does a very good job doing and teaching is to work with sellers to create the note to begin with. What better way to make sure you are dealing with a good note than to help create it? Of course if you are going to do that then you better know how to do it. You need to understand the industry inside and out. You need to be very familiar with what a good note is.

What about a website?

I have been doing website marketing for many years. It is not as easy as just setting up a website. I coach people every day about making this strategy work for a home based business and I feel it is a great opportunity. So will it work for the note business? Yes, it can but I don’t think it is near as important as all the different direct marketing strategies. One thing you must realize with a website is there is more to it than just setting up a website. Getting your website ranked in the search engines is a lot of work and requires quite an intimate knowledge of training about online marketing. I have toyed with the idea of teaching this and perhaps I will start it. Do I have interest? If I have enough of you express interest in learning how to make a website an effective part of your business then I will go into some details over the next few weeks on the topic.

Let me know if there is interest in any of these topics and I’d be happy to elaborate.

I received a question the other day that I felt was worth answering to everybody. I think the information provided will be helpful for all working the note business.

Q.I was given the name of your comapny by Donna Bauer as a source for leads, you say you have worked this for man years in your opinion what have you seento be the most
effective way to market the leads to be successful

A.The most important thing I have seen over the years to be valuable for an effective note business is repeat marketing. You need to continually market to your list on a quarterly basis. Here are a few tips to follow:

  • Be sure to create some kind of logo or simple image that will be recognized on each of your mail pieces. This will help the note holder feel like they know you as they see more of your mailings with that same marking.
  • Clean your list. As you mail to your note holders you will have some mail pieces come back undeliverable. Remove those items from your list so you do not mail to them again the next time you mail out.
  • Build your list each time. You should add more leads to your list each time you mail so your list is always growing with new leads.

Any kind of marketing is a numbers game and this business is no different. Ultimately, the most important thing to make sure you are successful is to communicate well on the phone when the note holder calls you back. You need to find their needs and help them achieve what they need.


I see real estate for sell by owner every single day all over the country. It is certain that there is not a slow down of seller financing and more likely in fact that there is more of it happening? The economy and the games played by the banks are causing this trend in seller financing. If you know where to look and how to look at things there is always a silver lining and for us in this industry that sliver lining is more seller financing and a need for more seller financing.

How can you benefit from this trend?

First make sure you are still marketing to your list. Let the note holders on your list know that you are still around and very active in your business and present yourself in a professional manner.

Continue to network with local professionals and build your referral pipeline. this is one of the best ways to build your note business. Make sure you are taking every opportunity to let others know what you can offer.

Invest yourself. Did you know that you can use your IRA or a 401K from a previous employer to invest in real estate notes for yourself? It is safer for you than the stock market as many are finding out and more and more people are making the switch to invest in real estate now days. One of the safest investments in real estate is real estate paper and if you have money in your IRA you can invest with no costs and grow your nest egg better than ever before.

If you are interested in learning more about how to use your IRA to invest in notes email me and i’ll introduce you to somebody who can give you the guidance you need.

I often get asked by new brokers what date ranges are best for the note business. The answer is not so much a blanket answer for every one as it is specific to your business and expectations. For most the answer is going to be the same. Work with leads that are not older than 3 years. This allows you to find notes that may have some seasoning while giving you some work to start on. In truth the answer varies based on a few questions you must first ask yourself;

  • Are you in this business for the long run or just “trying it out”?
  • Are you looking to buy notes or broker them?
  • Are you an experienced investor or broker?
  • Are you looking for notes with extreme seasoning?
  • Are you willing to receive fewer calls to find god seasoned notes?

These and perhaps a few other questions must be seriously thought of before you decide what age of leads you need to deal with. If you are brand new to the business and if you are anxious to start making money and unsure how it will work for you then you need to start with newer leads to get more calls. This will allow you to get some practice talking to note holders and allow you to ease into the business. You will have more potential deals when the leads are slightly newer. One of the things you need to accept as you start this business is that you are working a numbers game. You must be willing to play the numbers. If you do then you will see great results long term. If you are not willing to stick in the game when things don’t work out well in the short term then you need to grow a bit before this business will be right for you.

If you are an experienced broker or investor and want to find some good seasoned notes then working with leads that are older than 2 years may work of you. You should have the patience needed to wait for the note holders to call. You should have experience with the business and with marketing to be able to get the note holders to call. You will also realize that you will have fewer people contact you from these older leads. many addresses will be different from changes and moves over the years and many of the notes will already be gone. those few calls you do get may be great opportunities but you will need to send out more marketing pieces to make sure you have the numbers to make this work.

So, in conclusion, for most of you starting the business you need to work with leads that are not older than 3 years and plan on marketing to several thousand people before seeing a lot happen with the business. It takes time and serious effort to make the note business work for you.

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