Marketing is the backbone of any business. You can have the best product in the world, but if nobody knows about it your business will not be successful. Marketing often means different things to different investors. Some investors opt to blindly throw money at their marketing while others think up more organic ways to find business. What many investors fail to grasp is that the most important aspect of any marketing is YOU. People like to work with people they feel comfortable with. Instead of focusing on one-off deals that can be hit or miss, shift your marketing focus to yourself. The more people get to know you and how you operate, the more opportunities you will have. Here are four ways to shift your marketing almost overnight:
1. Business Networking: What you put into networking is typically what you get out of it. The idea of networking may be boring to many, but it is critical to your business growth. Networking means more than simply exchanging business cards at large events. It means reaching out to every attorney, realtor, buyer and even seller on every deal you are involved in. It means emailing or calling 100 local people who are in the real estate business every week. The best real estate leads are from people that are actually closing deals in your local area. Like everything else in business, this is often a numbers game.
If you put the work in and meet as many new people as you can, you will be surprised at the impact it will have. Start with local people who are in the business. Don’t stop with just one phone call or email. Most people don’t respond until the seventh attempt. If you really want to improve your profile and marketing yourself, you need to get your name out. There is no better way to do this than by gaining traction with local real estate professionals in your area.
2. Social Media: How many people know you invest in real estate? Regardless if this is just a part time hobby or a full time profession, people need to know about it. Social media can reach more people quickly than just about anything else you can do. A couple of Facebook posts alone can announce your presence in your community. In addition to Facebook, you can focus on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and any other social media site you are comfortable with. The more frequently you post about real estate investing the more people you will reach.
What you will find is that there are many people who have no idea you are an investor and may have an interest in working with you. It is important to recognize that everything you do on social media, good and bad, is there for everyone to see. While social media can help promote your business, it can also destroy it with a few posts or tweets. You control the content and the message you want to portray. Use social media to help get your name and business out to the masses.
3. Local Groups: One of the biggest areas of networking deals with local groups and clubs. Regardless if you are dealing with a 20 person breakfast club or a large investing group, these meetings help people get to know you. It is important to take advantage of these as a platform to grow your business. You may have to sit and listen to people unrelated to your business talk about things you have little interest in, but all it takes is one new contact to make it worth it. Don’t go to these meetings because you have to go because you want to. People inside the group will evaluate every action you make and form an immediate opinion of you. Whatever market you are in, deals are done by other local people in the area. By forming a strong base within the community, you increase your presence and reputation. These local groups may seem like a waste of time, but they may just be the most important thing you do all day.
4. Everyday Events: One of the biggest complaints among new investors is that they have a tough time finding deals. The reality is that there are deals everywhere you go if you know where to look. You may go kicking and screaming to a dance recital, but this can be a perfect opportunity to network with others. The same is the case for your second cousins wedding, your spouse’s holiday party and waiting to pick up a pizza on Friday night. Real estate investing doesn’t need to be the first thing you talk about, but inevitably you will be asked what you do for a living. The real estate business is one that is often met with curiosity and intrigue. Most people know someone that has invested or may be looking to. Giving someone your just met your business card can open a door for you that you would have never expected. This is how investors make their own breaks and get their name out there.
People will want to work with you because of your personality and your approach to the business. This is usually far more important than having access to capital or a slick sales pitch. Direct mailing and lead generation marketing can give your business a quick jumpstart, but what are you left with when it wears off? Place your marketing focus on you and you will grow your business one new contact at a time.