Meeting Minutes: Budgeting (And VOTE FOR ME!)

Scott CostelloAll, Blog, Featured, Marketing 9 Comments


First things first, it is time for the second annual REI Club, Best Real Estate Investing Blog contest!!!

With the help of all you last year I managed to finish in 2nd place.  We actually almost pulled off the victory but got beaten by a final day surge for the winner.  So this year lets push for the top spot.

If you like my blog and appreciate all that I share, head on over and vote….

—-> Vote Here <—-


“Narrowing our Focus”

Last Friday, my partner and I finally had our annual meeting.  It went very well and we came out of it more focused and ready to take things up a notch.  The theme of the entire meeting was “Narrowing our Focus” and I believe that this will be the key to our growing success.

When having a meeting with your partner it’s very important to have a pre-written agenda.  It helps keep you on track and helps you remember everything you wanted to talk about.  Even still we both forgot some items, but we managed to cover all the big topics.

The items we covered in our meeting were…

  1. Budget
  2. Sweet Spot Areas
  3. Sweat Equity
  4. Mail Campaigns
  5. Education
  6. SI Lead Manager

There is to much info to explain what we talked about for each section in this one post so I’m gonna break it up into multiple posts.


What is Our Budget?

This is a big issue and one that I’ve touched on in previous posts (Here).  I’ve set our budget for 2013 at $5000 + whatever I earn through this blog, which isn’t more then a few hundred bucks.   This money covers all area from direct mail to my real estate license fees.

  • Direct Mail – $3000 (that is about 6000 letters)
  • Real Estate License – $ 1500
  • Education – $250
  • Internet Marketing – $250
  • Testing – $Extra Money From Blog
  • Bandit Signs – My Partner will purchase the next batch

Direct Mail Marketing is our bread and butter so far and thus gets the largest budget.  One of our biggest decisions was to scale back the number of towns we mail to and narrow our sweet spot areas to those spots that have the greatest chances of pulling deals.  We figured this out by taking a look at our best buyers and determined where they buy properties.  We then cross matched that list with the areas that are within reasonable driving distance from my partner.   This exercise eliminated about 40% of the towns we were previously mailing to.

My Real Estate License fees are a necessary evil in my book.  I’d love to get rid of those fees but we just can’t do that at this point because we need the MLS access.  It’s not just one MLS we are talking about here, it’s multiple MLSes which sucks.  The cost of each MLS is about $150 a year, which is very reasonable but in order to have the right to pay for the MLS access you have to pay the $1200 in sales agent fees!  The question now is, if we have to have the license, then how can we make better use of it?

Education.  This year I wanted to add a small budget for education because in the past I would see products that I wanted to read but didn’t want to spend the extra money to get it.  Having a budget for those types of things takes out all the guilt and promotes education I think.

Internet Marketing.  This year I want to start building up my internet marketing campaigns to pull in seller and buyer leads.  This small budget should help me get my foot in the door and prepare for a larger effort in 2014.

Testing. To run marketing tests (like the postcards) cost money and since my original budget does not have room for testing, I’m going to pull any extra money I get from this blog through adsense and affiliate sales and put it towards testing new marketing ideas.

That’s about it for our budget.  Some people might have really broken down how each dollar is spent, but I don’t have the time to do that and in the grand scheme of things it’s really not worth it in my view.  What do you think?

Scott Costello
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Comments 9

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  1. Pingback: Meeting Minutes: Sweet Spot Areas

  2. Pingback: Meeting Minutes: Sweat Equity

  3. Pingback: Meeting Minutes: Direct Mail Campaigns

  4. Pingback: Meeting Minutes: Education

  5. A little late to the party on this post, but I had a thought regarding your real estate license. I don’t know if it’s feasible for you, but if you could actually purchase one of the houses and renovate it yourselves, you would get a percentage of the sales commission.

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