Marketing is often baffling for new investors, so today I want to talk specifically about 5 marketing strategies for new investors. But before we do that…
What exactly is marketing?
Marketing is the process of reaching outside of your normal circle of people, to let potentially motivated sellers know what you do and how you can help them. It’s what you do to get leads for your business. Our business is all about helping people solve their problems that just happen to involve real estate. However, before they can do business with you, they have to know about you.
In almost every case, you will be marketing yourself rather than your company name. You are the face of your business. You’ll want to pay attention to how you do this because this my friend is your brand. You are your brand, and your brand is responsible for your reputation and your credibility, and ultimately for the success of your marketing campaigns.
Let’s Start with the Basics
This might be obvious, but since you are marketing yourself you need to be mindful of how you show up. This includes everything from the way you dress, your vehicle (it needs to be clean), to having business cards. (yes, you still need business cards). You can find someone locally or go to one of the bigger companies online. Vista Print is the company I use for my business cards, and I’ll put a link below for them. They do a great job, and they are very reasonable.
You always want to show up as a real estate investing professional ready to do business so that the person you are meeting feels confident that you can help solve their problem. Finally, always be prepared when you talk to a seller. Nothing reduces your credibility like a lack of preparation. Bring any paperwork you’ll need such as:
- An inspection form to use as you go through the property
- A Sales and Purchase Agreement just in case they want to move forward now.
- Bring any notes you took during your initial conversation with the seller; things you really need to remember about their situation.
- You should also know the comps for that area. This will allow you to have an intelligent conversation with the seller.
Remember, this is all goes back to trust and credibility which is a major part of your brand. Your most valuable marketing tool of all is yourself, so fiercely guard your brand. When it comes to marketing and branding, it’s not so much who you know, it’s more about who knows YOU.
One final thought is always to do what you say you are going to do. Nothing destroys your credibility like not following through. This can be a simple as calling the seller back when you say you’ll call them back.
5 Marketing Strategies: What are the First Steps?
When we talk about marketing strategies for new investors, one of the first things to determine is what is your budget for marketing? This will affect which marketing strategies you ultimately choose to implement in your business. For instance, direct mail marketing costs money.
Once you have decided on what your budget is, you can move on to choosing your marketing strategies. Everyone should have 3-5 lead channels (or marketing strategies) to bring deals into their pipeline. Here are some of my favorite marketing strategies:
1. Direct mail: This is how you reach probates and other off-market deals. There is so much less competition for off-market deals, and it’s always been my best source of leads. If you don’t have the budget to do direct mail from the beginning, you should still keep this as one of the top marketing strategies you intend to implement later down the line.
If you’re interested about learning more about probates which are a goldmine when it comes to off-market deals, you can check out my course, Probate Investing Simplified. Link: https://probateinvestingsimplified.com
2. Websites: You must have a website for credibility. This is how sellers find you when they are doing an online search. When these folks are up in the middle of the night worried about their current financial situation and the property they need to sell quickly, they will begin searching for help online. You must have a website in order for them to find you.
I use “done for you” websites in my business by a company called Oncarrot. You can have a website up in about an hour or less. It just doesn’t get any easier than that. If you’re like me, you’ll want to go back and do some customization later. There are tutorials on exactly how to do that. Oncarrot websites are built on a WordPress platform so they are easy to customize. They have great training for their customers. If you’re new to websites, this is the perfect solution for you.
I’ll put a link below to Oncarrot so you can check them out.
3. Networking: This is one of the most valuable yet underrated and underutilized marketing strategies of all. Remember what I said before; it’s not who you know, but who knows you. Get out there and meet people. This is a free or low-cost marketing strategy that works great. You should definitely be networking with other investors, but don’t limit yourself just to these networking groups. Check out other opportunities like groups for small businesses or entrepreneurs.
4. Content marketing (articles, podcasts, videos): You don’t have to be a blogger to take advantage of creating your expert status online through one of these strategies. Here are some tips for you.
- Once you have a website, you could write an article for your new motivated seller site
- Make a simple video the next time you walk through a vacant house. People will begin to see you as an active real estate investor. Locally, people in your area will take notice of you.
- Another thing you can do is to take before and after pictures when you rehab your first or next house
5. Free strategies: Cold calling and driving for dollars are just two things you can do that will just cost you your time.
There are actually a lot of other ways to find properties. I have put together a list of “25 Ways to Find Motivated Sellers”. You can find that link below and in the show notes.
I want you to remember that when it comes to marketing, you’re either going to have to spend your time or your money.
Once you decide on your marketing strategies, there are some other things to consider like these:
What Phone Number will you use for Your Business?
I don’t recommend that you use your actual cell phone number. This is especially important for folks putting out Bandit Signs. They are illegal in many areas.
Google Voice is free, but I think it’s somewhat inconvenient. You can set it up to forward to your phone, however, you won’t know until you answer it who is on the other line or if it’s a business call.
I found a solution that I like a lot better. I use an app called Sideline. This is an app that you put right on your existing cell phone. It costs a little less than $10.00 a month, and you get a separate phone number with your area code to use for your real estate investing business that rings on your existing cell phone. You would put this number on your marketing, your business cards, and your website instead of your personal cell phone number. It’s easy to set up and you always know it’s a real estate call coming in. Sideline makes it easy to keep your personal calls and your business calls separate because you have 2 different phone numbers.
How do you Keep Track of Your Leads?
This is a question I get all the time. Once you begin to get calls, how do you keep track of all those leads?
People often start out with an Excel spreadsheet. I have to tell you that you will outgrow that really fast. Ultimately, you will need some type of CRM to manage your contacts. This could be something free like Podio, or a paid service. I want you to think about it this way; If you can keep even one good lead from falling through the cracks, it’s worth getting some type of software to manage your leads. I’ll be talking about CRM’s in a future post.
Just remember that up to 80% of your deals will come from follow-up. That’s a pretty impressive number. You could be losing a lot of money by not being organized and by not having a system for keeping track of your leads for follow up.
One Final Tip … Get Social
Social media is a great way to get the word out about what you do. What can you post? You can post the same types of things you would post on your website.
- You can post about properties you’ve looked at; the good, the bad and the ugly. (People really love ugly)
- You can shoot a quick walkthrough video with your cell phone in a vacant house. People love those.
- If you’re a rehabber, you can do videos or post before and after pictures of your properties.
The point of this is to let folks know who you are and what you do. If you get started now, 12 months from now I can promise you people will know who you are. You will have a good start to building a rock-solid brand. Think of this as just one of your marketing strategies. Marketing processes with a long runway where one thing builds on another.
If you want to know how more about how this works, I recommend that you pick up a copy of one of my favorite books called “The Compound Effect” by Darren Hardy. It’s a short but powerful book that talks about how making small, consistent changes over time will make a huge impact in your business and your life over time. That’s the compound effect.
Always remember that marketing is how you get leads, branding is why they choose YOU.
I want to challenge you to start building the know, like and trust factor in your local market now even if you’re just getting started. Ultimately, your goal is to be the person that everyone thinks of when it comes to real estate investing and that will happen over time.
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