At some point in the course of your journey as a real estate investor, you’ll probably wonder what’s the best strategy for scaling your real estate business.
And it makes sense, if your real estate venture is humming along — and you’re seeing positive ROI as you go through the ins and outs of growing a new business — you might explore different ways to maximize your business potential. Perhaps by building a real estate team or investing more in real estate business strategies that can really move the needle in your business.
The trick is, as many new entrepreneurs have learned, is that scaling too quickly can often be more detrimental than not scaling at all. And perhaps the best tips for growing a successful business is to ensure things are working on the micro level, then scale your wins up to a macro level.
To guide you in your pursuits of taking your business to the next level, here’s a four-step checklist to ensure, when scaling your real estate business, that you’re primed and ready for success.
What You Need to Know When Scaling Your Real Estate Business
Interested in some easy to implement business growth tips? Look no further. The following tricks could help you more than you know:
1. Bulletproof Your Market Message
One of the best “growing a small business” tips one can come across is that of understanding increased ad spend — and additional resources — put into scaling a business won’t fix a less-than-stellar message-to-market match.
As real estate investors, in this way of thinking, “market” doesn’t refer to a particular housing area, but instead to the specific clientele that makes up our buyers and sellers. This will depend, obviously, on where you are on the real estate investor continuum; whether you’re dabbling in wholesaling, flipping, buy-and-hold…or a little bit of each.
But this means answering three important questions:
- Who makes up the largest core of my ideal customer? Gather as much data — website analytics, Facebook reporting, surveys etc. — to figure out the demographic and psychographic makeup of your ideal customer.
- What are the primary pain points of your ideal customer core? What keeps them up at night? (Not always about the money.)
- Which marketing channels provide the highest ROI to reach your customer core? For example, Facebook is great for creating a buyer’s list, but not so good for motivated sellers.
- How can I create marketing messages that appeal to my customer core? Doing what everybody else does, in terms of marketing, usually doesn’t work. How can you be different?
2. Automate and Outsource
Before you start investing more resources in your business — whether time, energy or money — it’s important you pick your real estate business apart and see where inefficiencies and bottlenecks exist, then remove them as best you can before scaling.
Areas to look at include:
- Opportunities for automation: From cloud computing to documentation of best practices — to setting up marketing systems that work while you sleep — do your best to look over your existing business framework and look for ways to automate and streamline the process.
- Cut the fat: Most businesses, early in their growth cycle, have a multitude of to-do list items the business owner thinks they “must” do. A better approach is to ruthlessly examine all current business tasks and put them to the ROI test. Is that two hours a week spent on Pinterest, or 30 minutes a day checking every LinkedIn group, leading to business gains? If not, remove the task from your business action plan, or outsource to somebody else. Speaking of…
- Outsource the non-essential: This might be the biggest, yet scariest, task for entrepreneurs, to let go of tasks they feel they must perform. Just remember, all those hours spent designing PowerPoint presentations and working on your sales copy is time that could be spent developing your investor skill set.
3. Stress-Test Your Branding
When you put the pedal to the metal, and start to scale things up in your business, you’ll quickly find you’re getting more exposure, publicity and motivated seller leads than you ever thought possible.
It’s important your forward-facing platforms are ready for the onslaught. This means going over, with a fine tooth comb, things like:
- Your website: Are all pages working? Is the site mobile-friendly? Are landing pages optimized for conversions?
- Your social media channels: People will check out your social media footprint, so be sure your Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter — and wherever else you plant your social media flag — are vibrant and updated.
- Your brand reputation: Your reputation as an investor online extends much further than your website and Facebook page. Encourage people you’ve done business with in the past to leave you testimonials on relevant review platforms, such as Google, Yelp, LinkedIn (even Amazon). Go a step further by publishing press releases about your accomplishments so your name comes up favorably in Google search rankings.
4. Test, Test, Test
No matter how you plan to scale your business, it’s recommended you make a plan for how you want to scale, and then test (on a small basis) to ensure your assumptions are accurate.
Before you send out 2,000 direct mail postcards, right away, to that probate list you just bought, try sending out 150, and track your results. Then, see if you can tweak either your copy, or the marketing materials — even list segmentation — and then send out another 150. Keep doing this until you’ve optimized as well as you can. Then…scale up!
By taking the slow, deliberate approach, you’ll avoid the classic “scaled up too fast” syndrome that plagues many businesses, and often make more money in the long run.
“It Begins With a Single Step…”
As real estate entrepreneurs we’re prone to yearn for immediate results and look for ways to take our business from zero-to-sixty, without taking into account whether a particular strategy is healthy for our business.
But it’s important to remember small adjustments, now, can make big impacts down the line. And when scaling your real estate business don’t be afraid to look for slow, steady progress during the next phase of your business. You might just find, approaching things this way, that your business grows quicker than you ever imagined possible.