The Biggest Loaded Question.. What’s the top Marketing Strategies Working Right now…
Welcome to the world of marketing.
As with every business, marketing will be the key to your success as a real estate investor. Not only do you have to find and sell your properties with marketing, but you must also market yourself and your business.
“I have always believed that writing advertisements is the second most profitable form of writing. The first, of course, is ransom notes.”
Ok, so just a quick note, that marketing IS the lifeblood of your business. I look back in my Real Estate Career, and the times where I had the biggest dips or valleys was the time where the least amount of leads were coming in. If you want to make the leap to a ‘FULL TIME REAL ESTATE INVESTOR’ then you have to have a constant stream of leads and opportunities at your fingertips.
***Quick disclaimer: This is not a how to manual, just a quick blog. So I’m just trying to briefly touch on these topics, BUT it should be a good quick read.
The reason why that question is such a loaded question/challenge, is there are a lot of things to consider.
There are a lot of free or relatively inexpensive things you can do that can implore that can generate calls, but it will require you to roll up your sleeves and pound the pavement. Bandit Signs, door knocking, networking, buying on courthouse steps, tax sales etc.
And there are some really effective marketing techniques that can give you a HUGE amount of leads, but it will cost you. Radio, Billboards, Print Ads.
And, if we have a lot of leads to look at, you will need a system in place in which to manage them otherwise you’ll be left with a ton of sticky notes on your desk, you’ll be disorganized, and you won’t get the results you are really looking for… which is to buy houses, and a lot of them. And trust me on this… the key to making money in Real Estate is the Follow up.
From here on out, don’t think of yourself as a real estate investor, but as a real estate marketer. The ideas here aren’t rocket science, but trying to implement them all at once can be overwhelming. I encourage you to take a step back and look at the bigger picture, then determine your entry point. There are many ways in which to market, so let’s look at some of the best.
I’ll break these down into the top 3 areas: Wholesalers, Rehabbers, and Long Term Rentals/Buy and Holds.
At the end of the day, you want the phone to ring, and your e-mail to ding. You want to market to folks that may not want their house anymore, and get them to raise their hands and say “Come make me an offer” You need to find those people when it’s starting to get really painful owning that property.
You also need to have a network of cash buyers that you develop personal relationships with. This is key so that you know what people buy and find those houses, and then you actually can sell the house when you find one.
For marketing for properties, you FIRST have to know why they would want to work with you, and then you can craft your message. Cash buyer, no agent commissions, no closing costs, close quickly, any home any condition, fast easy sale, junk in the house ok… things like that.
THEN, you pick your marketing medium and your deliverables. The top free to inexpensive ones are Bandit Signs, Flyers, Networking with Real Estate Agents, SOI, Door knocking etc. The top marketing ideas that cost money are are Direct Mail, Online and Radio. (Some people still do print ads, but I would suggest smaller local publications because it can get pricey)
Now you have found a seller to raise their hand, you meet them at their house, you give them an offer, now it’s time to market that property to your buyers. WOW, super easy… put a flyer together with pics, a pro forma, exit strategy and all the details and PICK UP THE PHONE. Call your buyers. This is key. Why? So you can get instant feedback on your deal. Don’t just send out an e-mail expecting the bucks to fly in. Well do send out an e-mail, and post to www.TheWholeSaleHub.com and do the postlets, craigslist etc etc etc, but CALL your top investors and get it to them first. Trust me, this is the best way…
SINCE THIS IS JUST A QUICK BLOG, and not a full training course, let’s leave it at that, and move on. BUT for each of these steps you need to create your own unique USP. Unique Selling Proposition. One of my favorite ones is Dominos Pizza. Back in the day they exploded on the scene because their USP was ‘Fresh Hot Pizza Delivered in 30 Mins or it’s Free’ Genius. Nothing about how good the pizza was, or the ingredients, or family recipe, or hand made etc. Just that it’s fresh and hot, and it will be there quick. So you’ll need a USP for marketing for Sellers, and a USP for marketing to buyers. This is where you can get creative. Work with the reasons why people may want to work with you, and then figure out a USP that solves that problem.
Let’s take these steps that wholesalers take, but include 2 things.
The 1st is you are going to be networking with other rehabbers and wholesalers and real estate agents. Some of the best deals you will do will come from other investors and agents. NO ONE can rehab every house that comes their way. So network with other investors. Period. Do it. Ok, let’s move on.
The 2nd thing to include is marketing for RETAIL buyers. The marketing strategy will include things like ‘Modern Conveniences with old world charm’ ‘Like New Home’ ‘Fresh Kicks for and Old Trick’ Ok maybe not that last one, but you get my drift? Modern clean fresh design with modern amenities, with the charm of buildings from yesteryear. This is what buyers want. A move in ready home, where all they have to do is bring their stuff and move in. So give it to them, and make sure to market for those people by having a product that actually is that, and then market that message to them. Remember find your USP and use that to attract Retail Buyers.
Best way to market to them? I would say use an Real Estate Agent. Either be an agent, or use one. Sure Zillow can help you connect with buyers, but most of those buyers will have an agent, and ask you to pay that fee. (I loathe Zillow for a multitude of reasons, but it is where buyers are going) I know it all comes down to the bottom line, and you might not want the cost of an agent to be in the equation, but I’ve seen some hairy negotiations that are SAVED because an agent is involved. Sometimes having that buffer between buyers and sellers can save a deal. I’ve been a party to thousands of real estate transactions and I know this to be true.
Oh, and stage the freaking property will you? Geez, it works, period. It costs less than your 1st price reduction, typically takes less time to sell, and it makes the pictures look fantastic. Oh, and while I’m on the subject of pictures… DON’T skimp out here either and just use your phone’s pics. Hire a professional photographer, and get some good snaps.
Now if you are doing the Zillow thing, market for buyers AND for agents who have buyers and offer to pay their fee.
If you are marketing with an agent are your already are an agent, then MLS is king.
EITHER WAY, have a ‘Reveal Open House Party’ Get some pizzas, snacks soda and beer OR go upscale and do the wine and cheese thing, and have your friends family, colleagues, agent’s neighbors and such come over so you can show off all your hard work. Getting 30-40 people in will DEFINITELY help generate buzz for the house.
Ok, now on to Long Term Buy and Holds, Rentals, or what some people might call the Traditional Landlords.
You will use the wholesaler techniques, and you’ll also network with other wholesalers, rehabbers, and real estate agents to find deals. So not much different than the Rehabber, BUT since you aren’t selling a house, you need to change your approach up a bit. YOU ARE SELLING THE HOUSE, but you are selling it to someone to rent. So you still need a great USP. You are moving a product and a lifestyle. Clean move in ready with new appliances, freshly painted, beautiful hardwood floors, washer and dryer hookups, walk to parks buses and local shops. Play into the strengths of the location, style of building amenities and such. Also, I would suggest having a professional management company handle this aspect for you. Why? renters sometimes really appreciate that. They don’t want to lease from a deadbeat do nothing owner. They want to know if a pipe is broken that someone will come out there and fix it quickly, and not inconvenience them.
Ok, see why this was a loaded question?
Marketing is where you can be really creative, have fun and try new and different things.
I will say this, marketing works. Period. IF you try sending out 100 letters and get little results, and say ‘Marketing doesn’t work’ then yeah, you are right. That won’t work. You have to really think about a plan and strategy, and I’m here to tell you that plan won’t work.
And if you plan on hitting it hard, you will be up against some big players here. They spend 10s of thousands of dollars monthly to get good qualified leads.
The good news is, you can compete if you hone in on a few key and specific USP’s, Marketing Mediums and Deliverables.
So hope this was interesting, and hope you enjoyed it. Till next time.