One of the most common complaints among real estate investors is with the lack of consistency in their marketing. After spending thousands of dollars rolling out a new campaign they are left disappointed with their results. Instead of trying to figure out what the problem is they end up becoming frustrated and do less. In most cases, problems with marketing come down to a few common causes. The biggest one is that investors want the response rate to be through the roof on the first mailing. Anyone in marketing knows that this is often not the case. If your real estate marketing is stuck in the mud and you are frustrated with your efforts, here are some pointers to help you fight through it:
- Stay Consistent: Successful marketing does not happen overnight. Think about some of the direct response letters you have received in the past. You probably quickly discarded letters that did not appeal to you at the moment. The same is the case with your marketing. Assuming that you have spent the time to develop a focused list you are at least on the right track. From there, it comes down to how well you stick to a mailing schedule regardless of the results. You must fight the urge to throw your hands up after the first, second, or even third, mailing. Before you even start, you need to be committed to sending your letter or postcard at least a half dozen times. There will be times when you question what you are doing and if you are on the right track. The answer is almost always yes but you need to give yourself a chance to find out. Regardless if you get one or ten calls on your mailing, you have to stay consistent. If not, you will never have the success you desire.
- Know Your Target Market: If consistency is the most important attribute of a marketing campaign, the list is a close second. You can have the best presentation with the best letter but if it is being mailed to the wrong people, nobody will ever know. If you are having trouble generating calls, take a look at who you are marketing to. The recipients have to have a reason to call you. The best marketing lists for real estate investors are typically to distressed homeowners who are in foreclosure. The downside is that you are not the only one mailing to them. With distressed homeowners, it is especially important to stay consistent. Most people do not act until they absolutely have to. From the start of foreclosure, there may be a few months where they can exhaust other options. It may be the fourth letter at just the right time that prompts a phone call. Other popular lists are to absentee landlords, FSBO properties, and other cash investors. It is important to take your time and make sure you are comfortable with the list you’re using. A good list can make all the difference.
- Follow Up: Getting your phone to ring is just the first step in closing a deal. A very small percentage of all deals will be done from the initial phone call. It takes several follow up calls and meetings to make it happen. If you are having trouble converting leads to deals, the problem could be with your follow up. You need to be willing to answer every question that the homeowner has. Put yourself in their shoes when you talk to them. They may be going through a difficult time and need assurance before you move forward. If you are short with them or vague with your answers, you can bet they will find someone else to work with. You also need to follow up with everyone that calls you regardless of what they indicate they will do. They may not need or want your help today but a few weeks can change everything.
- Unrealistic Expectations: If you can get a 3% conversion rate from your marketing, you are doing pretty well. You need to keep this in mind when you are starting a new campaign. All real estate investing is a numbers game. The more leads you get, the better chance you will hit this 3% number. Your marketing may be working just fine but your expectations are too high. Not everything you do will yield extraordinary results. Some campaigns will just work better than others. If you keep your expectations in check, you will treat every incoming call like the deal it can be.
- Conversion: There is a process in taking a lead and turning it into a deal. Before you start, you need to have a plan for how you will handle incoming call volume. You should have a system for taking the initial application to how and when you will follow up. Meeting the homeowner may be intimidating, but you need to come prepared with answers to questions they may have. From there, you need to walk the line of moving the deal forward without being pushy. Even though you want to close quickly, you are ultimately at the mercy of the seller. You can’t get frustrated if they want to move slowly. A good majority of deals come down to how well you can convert. Getting your phone to ring is great but it is all about turning leads into deals.
Marketing is often the backbone of your lead generation. If you are having problems, think about how you can fix them rather than just giving up. The problems are usually a must easier fix than you may think.