Marketing is the key to any successful real estate business. If you don’t have a constant flow of new leads coming in, any success you have will be short lived. Not only does successful marketing produce greater gains, but it will make the business that much easier. The misconception with marketing is that you need to spend thousands of dollars to find leads, when, in reality, there are numerous things you can do that won’t break the budget. If you can handle a few easy tasks, you will have more than enough leads to choose from.
Start with advertising and promoting any existing properties you own. Moreover, advertise on said properties! You have all seen bandit signs that are very popular during an election season scattered all over front yards. These signs could easily say “house for rent” or “We buy houses cash” or anything you can think of. Even if the property isn’t located in the best area or in a high traffic zone, people in the neighborhood will see and take notice. You can get more calls from these signs on your yard than you could with a sloppily written direct mailing campaign.
The costs for these signs also make it an attractive option. Most towns don’t allow you to put them all over without getting permission, so you need to find out local rules and guidelines. Even if you aren’t allowed, you could certainly ask any friends or family if you could put them on their yards. Marketing is a numbers game. The more incoming calls you can get, the better chance you have of turning a call into a deal. Bandit signs shouldn’t be the cornerstone of your marketing strategy, but a complimentary piece nonetheless.
Even though Craigslist has been around for a while, many investors feel that they missed the boat. The reality is that more and more renters and fellow investors are turning to Craigslist to promote their property. If you are not spending 30-45 minutes a day looking for leads on Craigslist, you may be missing out. Every rental property listing could be an opportunity to connect with a property owner that may be sick of being a landlord and is looking to sell. There are many landlords who are doing it because they lived in the property and saw renting as a viable option when the market collapsed a few years back. If they get the right offer, they will gladly sell. You may get a few nasty emails or calls back, but all it takes is one deal to justify the time spent and the criticism received. There are also fellow investors, mortgage brokers and realtors that can receive an email that could lead to a possible connection. For the minimal time spent reaching out, this is a legitimate option that won’t cost you anything other than your time.
If you are someone who likes to write, or has a point of view on the market, why not share that with others through a blog? There are many real estate websites that welcome guest bloggers and would post your blogs. Done correctly, you can begin to establish a small following and your work can be shared to other sites. Soon enough, people will start to respond and all it takes is person in your local area to read it and contact you to get the ball rolling. You don’t need to be a great writer or even know how to run a website to write 200 words on a topic. The more you can get your name out to the community or online, the more people will feel that they know you and want to work with you.
It may be cliché and obvious, but if you aren’t marketing through social media you are doing your business a disservice. If you are in the investing business, you should let as many people as possible know. There is no easier way to do that than to use the power of social media. Between Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and many other sites,you can reach more people quicker and easier than ever. The key is to be persistent with your posts and make as many connections as possible. If you do have a property you are trying to rent and you make solid social media connections, they can share your link and reach all of the people they know. Over time you will start to see people contacting you about the business. Posting only when you feel like it will not have much of an impact. You need to spend time every day contributing to these sites if you really want to see the impact.
Other than a minimal expense for the bandit signs, all of these methods won’t cost you anything but time. While all of these options can work, the only way to truly see the results is to do them every day. This can be difficult since you probably won’t see the impact of your efforts for some time. If you can do these simple things for just a few hours a day, you will eventually start to see the results. Lack of a bankroll is no excuse not to do something to enhance your marketing every day.