It is not uncommon for relatively new investors to rush to get their first real estate deal under way. While this ambition is applauded, it may not be the best move for any business. Unless your business is set up as it should be, you may have trouble building on any early momentum. You don’t necessarily need a website or a LLC to make an offer, but you will have a hard time moving forward without them. Here are a few things that every new investor should be doing before they close their first real estate deal:
1. Have An Appropriate Name: Depending on what you do with your properties, you will probably get an LLC at some point. This will be your company’s name that should be on every email, blog post and mailing that you send in the future. It is tempting to use your last name as your investment company, but you should reconsider. Using just your last name makes your business sound small, and – in some cases – unprofessional. The name you choose for your business isn’t something that should be taken lightly. It will be part of your brand for as long as you invest in real estate.
2. Set Up A Business Website: Once you come up with a name, make sure it is available as a domain on the internet. From there, you can focus a lot of attention on your site development. In today’s business industry, your website is often a starting point for information. Everyone from local Realtors, attorneys and wholesalers will search your company name and see what comes up. You don’t need to be an IT wiz to establish and develop your website. For a few hundred bucks, you can get a domain name and a sharp looking site. You should also reach out to a couple graphic designers to see if they can come up with a logo. This is another relatively minor expense that will make you look like a real business. Once your logo is in place, you can use it on the emails you send and any direct mailing you use. You can also place your logo on your business cards, and all over your website. A professionally looking website with relative information is a huge step for any new investor, but necessary nonetheless.
3. Update The Site Regularly Having a website is a good start, but far from the end goal. You need to have your site updated and tweaked on a regular basis. An old, outdated site may be worse than not having a site at all. Conversely, a fresh site with all the bells and whistles can make your company stand out from the crowd. The difference between a video blog on the landing page and an article from three months ago is night and day. You should spend twenty minutes a day posting a written or video blog. You should have links of past or current projects readily available on the site. It should be as easy as possible to see before and after pictures of every rehab project. Every shared Facebook link or re-tweet post will eventually return the reader to your website.
4. Dress The Part: There are many successful investors who dress exactly how they want. However, they are the exception rather than the rule. You don’t need to dress like Donald Trump, but you probably shouldn’t dress like you are going to the beach either. When you are just starting out, first impressions are critical. By dressing down, you give the appearance that you are not as serious about the business as you should be. This may lead people away from working with you. It is typically better to be a little overdressed than the alternative. There is nothing wrong with looking sharp. The people you meet at networking events and investment clubs will appreciate it.
5. Network: When you are just starting out, you need to network as much as possible. Instead of spending thousands of dollars on mailings and marketing, focus on networking. Knock on twenty different real estate company doors a day. Find out where networking groups are located. Search social media to see where the investment community holds events. You can accelerate any growing pains you have by networking as much as you can. The internet and social media may change the way you network, but nothing beats face to face communication. By getting yourself in front of as many different people as possible, you will give yourself the best chance to be successful.