Regardless of what type of properties you buy or how you prefer to conduct your business, you need to market. Marketing, for all intents and purposes, is the lifeline of any good real estate investor. Sometimes a marketing campaign may only consist of direct mail and leaving business cards at various locales. However, they can be as complex as an online automated email campaign. It is important to note that the manner in which you market is not nearly as important as staying consistent with your approach. If you have had success with direct mail, by all means, stay with it until you feel you need to change. Every investor has different budgets and backgrounds. Anyone can find a different niche that works for them. The type of marketing is important, but often over looked is the consistency. Real estate marketing requires a consistency, and it doesn’t hurt to utilize your strengths.
The goal of any marketing campaign is to either attract business or to increase your local presence. Your budget and level of comfort will go a long way in determining what you can do. Ideally, your business will get to a point that it is solely referral based. Essentially, if you play your cards right, you no longer have to pay to grow your business. However, getting to that point takes time and plenty of hard work. All of the networking meetings you drag yourself to or the investment clubs you attend will pay off. This may not seem like marketing, but you are always marketing yourself every time you meet someone. How you act in the 45 seconds you have in front of someone can leave an impression that lasts weeks. If you are comfortable with meeting new people and getting on the road, this should be the manner in which you market.
Many seasoned investors have an established way of doing things. They may like going into real estate offices or sitting down with distressed homeowners. If this works for you, continue to do so, but know that the internet and technology have made things much easier. A majority of buyers, sellers, realtors and fellow investors use the internet as a starting point when buying or selling a property. Leverage it to grow your business. The best part about using the internet is that you do not need to be a tech expert to take advantage of it. There are many individuals and companies that you can outsource your internet marketing to for less than what you pay for lunch every month. Even if you don’t know the slightest thing about the internet or social media, you can still use it in your marketing.
If you do have a basic understanding of the internet, you will know just how powerful social media currently is. A couple of weeks of blog posts or comments can quickly give you the exposure you are looking for. Between Facebook, twitter and LinkedIn, you can reach a lot of people every day. If your post is shared, re-tweeted or forwarded, it can reach another large group of people. Before you know it, you will have a bit of a following. All of this can take as little as a few weeks to gain traction. Instead of spending hours figuring out the best way to market, you can spend that time writing up a quick blog or shooting video. Even if blogging isn’t your thing, staying active on social media will keep you on the minds of potential clients. The best part about social media is that it is free. There is truly no greater time and nothing better you can do if you are on a shoestring budget and want to get your business out there quickly.
Reputation is often referred to as the key of marketing. It is impossible to judge your marketing based on one batch of letters or a few emails to realtors. You need to stay consistent and do the same thing over and over again until you can make a fair determination. Most new contacts aren’t gained until the fifth or sixth time you reach out to them. This works whether you are sending emails or letters directly to distressed homeowners. You can certainly try different things, but before you give up on something, you need to give it an honest chance. If you get discouraged, you need to stick with it a little longer. Eventually your phone will start to ring. When it does, you will inevitably hear that it is because of the consistency of your marketing. Whatever and however you market is not as important as doing it with consistency.
Successful marketing does not depend on the size of your budget or the amount of letters you mail. If something as simple as leaving business cards at your favorite local pizza place gets your phone to ring, stick with it. Whatever works for you and your personality is what you should continue to do. There are different ways to market for every different personality and skill set. Find something that works for you and stick with for 90 days. If you stick with it you will start to see success.