Marketing; the “Magic Button” for Your Business
Do you know what the number one reason is that real estate investors fail? The answer is marketing. They don’t
understand how to properly market their real estate business, and even fewer of those same folks put together
even a simple marketing plan. How would you like to change that and significantly increase your odds of success?
Would you like to grow your business this year with less stress, have more free time, while getting more done and making more money? Then you are in the right place because I am going to show you how to do that. I also want to talk about the importance of looking at “the big picture” by having a marketing plan, and we will give your business a marketing makeover in the process.
Do You Know What Business You Are Really In?
If you ask investors what business they are in most of them will tell you they are in the “house” business. In
reality that’s not the business we are in at all. We are in the marketing business and the problem solving business
both of which involve houses. That’s it in a nutshell. If you can get folks to call you (marketing) and you are able
to solve their problem that’s when you have a deal.
At the end of the day, where marketing is concerned it’s simply a matter of doing the right things and doing them consistently.
What Are the “Right Things”?
Real estate investors are busy people. There is no denying that. But when you look back on your day, are you
doing the right things? Is your main focus on revenue generating activities AKA marketing? Or have you only
thought about marketing after checking email, hopping on Facebook and organizing your files?
If you are going to build a successful business, your marketing has to get done first. I recommend that you spend at least 2 hours a day marketing your real estate business. For some of you that have a full time job, this may seem impossible. It’s not impossible, but it just might be inconvenient. Watching TV in the evenings will probably have to take a back seat to your work for now. Maybe you need to get up early on Saturday and get it all done in one day. Outsourcing part of the work is another way to streamline the process. No matter how you choose to do it, just commit to getting it done. This is one piece of the puzzle that can’t be put on the back burner.
Without a steady stream of leads you won’t have any deals. And deals are what bring us cash in our pockets. That’s what we are in this business for isn’t it? We want to make money. So let’s dive into some of the basics.
In creating a marketing plan, you need to focus on 3 main things.
1. First you need to nail down your main investing strategy. I recommend that you master one strategy before moving onto another one.
2. Next you need to decide on 3-5 marketing strategies to use in your business.
3. The last step is to put it all together into a marketing plan, and schedule the implementation of your plan.
Let’s break it down now.
Choosing an Investing Strategy
One of the most important components of a marketing plan for your REI business is choosing the right strategy.
This is such an important piece of the puzzle. The strategy you ultimately choose will be determined by many things. Your knowledge, your skills and your background will play an important part in this decision. What your interests are is important, but not nearly as much as what you are good at.
What do you know that will provide a good background for your real estate investing business? You should know that what you know and what you really want to do may not always “mesh up” at least in the beginning.
The second thing that will greatly influence your investing strategy is money; specifically the amount of cash and credit available to you for your investing business. Different strategies require different amounts of upfront cash and this ultimately determine the strategy you start off with.
Here’s an example for you. If your investing strategy of choice is to be a buy and hold landlord but you don’t have access to cash or credit, you will need to put this particular strategy on hold. You might need a way to generate chunks of cash so wholesaling may be your initial investing strategy.
Maybe your dream is to be a rehabber which requires cash to purchase the property and also for the repairs. Banks will want to know that you can repay a loan before they fund your deals, so it’s important to have a job or a regular source of income at least in the beginning. Down the road if you have a good track record or your properties are producing good cash flow they will be more inclined to make that loan to you for additional properties based on that.
I really believe in the end that your investing strategy will choose you. It will be the one that you can’t wait to get up and dive into each day.
Next you need to get clear on your marketing strategies. Which ones are best suited for you and your business?
Once you know that answer, you can move forward and begin to put a plan together.
I recommend that everyone have at least 3-5 marketing strategies they use in their real estate business at all times. Why is that? The reason is that if you only have one strategy and that one isn’t working, then you will quickly find yourself without any leads.
A perfect example of this was when investors were working REO’s several years ago. There was a time when it seemed like they were dipping into an endless pot of gold. They had what seemed like a never ending supply of leads (and deals).
During this period of time, a lot of seasoned investors stopped doing tried and true marketing activities like direct mail. When the REO market dried up, they suddenly found themselves in a terrible position. They had no leads and no other lead generation strategies in place. They basically had to start from scratch.
Which strategies you choose will depend on a number of things, but the biggest thing to consider is whether you have more time or more money to invest. If you don’t have a lot of money you will have to commit your time to marketing your business. If you have some cash to invest, but you don’t have a lot of time then you will be spending your money. You have to invest one or the other (or a combination of both) to keep your marketing machine running.
Here are some common marketing strategies:
- Direct mail
- Badit signs
- Driving for dollars
- Cold calling
- Door knocking
- Local SEO
- PPC (AdWords, Bing, Social, retargeting)
- Internet Listing Sites
- Email marketing
You will notice that with some of the strategies like direct mail you will be spending your cash. Bandit signs primarily involve your time, but there is also an upfront- investment. A good lead generation website will generally cost you something each month. As you can see, some strategies require both time and money. Things like cold calling door knocking, driving for dollars, Craig’s List and many networking activities are free. They just involve your time. Once you have decided on which 3-5 strategies you will start with, it’s time to get down to business.
You Need A Plan Stan
You need to put together a simple marketing plan. This doesn’t have to be complicated, but you can’t skip this
step. Once you have decided on your marketing strategies, you need to break them down into steps or tasks. The
next part of the plan is where the magic happens.
You need to put them down on a great big wall calendar; not on something you stick in a drawer or on an online calendar.
This one thing; the big wall calendar staring you in the face each day will be the difference in success and failure with your marketing plan. Schedule all of your marketing activities for the next 12 weeks. As you finish one month extend your plan out for 4 more weeks.
To help you do this I recommend a great book called “The 12 Week Year” by Brian Moran.
If you are looking for a “magic button” for your business, creating and actually implementing your marketing plan comes pretty close.
Sharon Vornholt is the owner of Innovative Property Solutions in Louisville, KY. She has been investing in real estate for over 15 years. Sharon is the creator of the Louisville Gals Real Estate Blog and the popular podcast “Let’s Talk Real Estate Investing”. She is also mentor and coach who loves teaching others how to succeed in this business.