Regardless of which real estate investing avenue—rehabbing, wholesaling, or buy and holds—you decide to take, I can guarantee that you will need to implement some kind of real estate investor marketing campaign to be successful.
What is real estate investor marketing? In its simplest form, It is the act of creating a strategy that entices people enough to want to further explore your services or that allows you to find more deals. Keep in mind that you are your marketing campaign’s biggest resource. The moment your business is up and running, you are creating a brand. The way you hold yourself, the way you communicate with clients or other investors, and even how you design your business cards all say something about the way you run a business. Have integrity, be honest, and act professionally at all times, and people are guaranteed to notice.
One common misconception that tends to give real estate investor marketing a bad wrap is when people say that marketing campaigns are expensive. The truth is, you can put as little – or as much – into your marketing efforts as you want. Social media and networking, for example, are two free ways to get the word out about your business, and word of mouth is crucial. Your marketing efforts can only take you so far. Creating an impactful brand identity for your business, cultivating an articulate marketing campaign, and continuing to maintain meaningful relationships with past clients should be enough to develop a strong word of mouth network, which is every investor’s best asset.
4 Marketing Strategies For Real Estate Investors
For a real estate marketing campaign to be successful, it must either leave a lasting impression in people’s minds or target a specific demand. For example. If you decide to launch a social media marketing crusade, you need to do more than advertise your business. Instead, you must offer something of value, whether comedic, uniquely insightful, or legitimately helpful. On the other end of the spectrum, some real estate marketing campaigns focus on silent attacks. Finding off-market properties or targeting a distinct set of individuals are marketing strategies that allow an investor to ensure him or herself deals without launching a full advertising operation.
If you want to propel your business to the next level, consider one of the following real estate marketing strategies:
- Find Off-Market Properties
- Target Motivated Sellers
- Utilize Direct Mail
- Leveraging Social Media
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1. Find Off-Market Properties
The first real estate investor marketing strategy is to find off-market properties. If you aren’t familiar with the term, off-market properties – also known as “pocket listings” – simply refer to deals that are not listed on the MLS. If you choose to target off-market properties, performing market research and completing your due diligence are musts. Off-market properties are great for investors – especially those who focus on fix and flips – because they are typically priced below market value. However, if they aren’t listed on the MLS, how do you find these types of properties? Networking. Rigorous networking – and more importantly, networking with the right people – is the key to obtaining off-market deals. Network with everyone, but especially focus on estate attorneys, local builders, and wholesalers. Estate attorneys are beneficial because they almost always have a slew of properties with title issues or tax liens that need to be paid that will be on the market soon. Wholesalers are great because they allow you not to have to do any of the work required to acquire the property. They act as middlemen in a transaction by selling you the contract to a property. Befriending local builders is valuable because they are typically “in the know” about unfinished properties that you can swoop on, finish up, and profit from.
Attending auctions is another way to procure off-market properties. Both online and traditional courthouse auctions are great for finding short-sale, foreclosure, and bank owned properties (REOs). However, keep in mind that auctions tend to conjure up excitement and eagerness, which might cause an investor to get overzealous with their bidding. So be sure to have thoroughly researched the property and surrounding neighborhood before making an offer.
2. Target Motivated Sellers
Motivated sellers are individuals who, for whatever reason, need to sell their properties as quickly as possible and are therefore willing to agree to even the most outrageous of terms. Sounds like every investor’s dream, right? Motivated sellers do have the potential to make investors big profits, but they can be difficult to find.
The very best way to find motivated sellers is by acquiring your county’s “delinquent tax list”. This minute-by-minute updated list catalogs every individual who is behind – from two weeks to two years – on their property tax payments, giving investors the first look at properties that will eventually become foreclosures. The individuals behind on their payments are typically willing to sell you their properties for next to nothing because they are desperate. However, if they allow their properties to be taken away by the county, they receive nothing, which is where you come in and act as their knight in shining armor, offering to give them at least something (even 10 to 30 percent of the market value). These lists are public information but can cost anywhere between 100 to thousands of dollars, depending on the county. However, this is a great investment that will bring a generous ROI.
Once you’ve targeted your set of motivated sellers, you should proceed as follows: First, make sure that the individual is fully aware of their circumstances and understands exactly what will happen if they continue to not make punctual payments. Then, explain who you are, an investor who buys properties in the local area. Finally, leave them your contact information and let them know that you are willing to take the financial burden off their hands AND give them cash in return. Ultimately, you must act like you are there to help, not just to make a profit out of someone else’s misfortune.
There are other ways to locate motivated sellers, like working with a data provider; however, your county’s delinquent tax list is the fastest, cheapest, and most rewarding way to acquire great deals.
3. Utilize Direct Mail
Did you know that 92 percent of shoppers say they prefer direct mail for making purchasing decisions? In comparison, 56 percent of customers find print marketing to be the most trustworthy type of real estate investor marketing? The statistics proving the benefits of direct mail marketing are unparalleled. Not only does direct mail allow you to stay away from complicated analytics, but it also helps you and your business stand out from the crowd. Direct mail is physical. It is something that can be felt. A consumer who opens your piece of mail – as opposed to an email or social media post – establishes an immediate tangible bond with your business and is, therefore, more likely to utilize your service.
The first step of launching a direct mail marketing campaign is choosing your target audience. Are you a landlord looking for properties in a specific zip code that are less than 2,000 sq ft and built after 1975? Or are you an investor looking for probate, absentee-owner, or pre-foreclosure properties? The point is, you want to get as specific as possible when you create your list. Next, it is time to create your mail. When creating your mailing piece, it is essential to keep in mind that direct mail is not to inform, it is to create action. It is fun to get creative and clever with your mail design, but the most important part of your flyer should be the call to action component. Once you’ve created your list and piece of mail, you can officially run the campaign. The most critical part of launching your campaign is tracking your results. Once you start receiving calls, you’ll want to know which lists they came from to note which campaign is most successful. Not tracking your results so that you can better improve your next campaign would essentially be the equivalent of throwing darts at a dartboard with your eyes closed.
Remember to keep your first campaign modest. The only thing worse than no calls is too many calls that you cannot keep track of, which can ruin your reputation. Begin by sending out a percentage of your mail, tracking your results, handling the clients who call, and starting the process over.
4. Leveraging Social Media
Lastly, you will want to utilize social media as part of your real estate investor marketing campaign. Social media is ideal for building relationships with both partners and potential customers. You will be able to maintain your presence with multiple people and make connections in real-time. Social media is also a form of marketing that is incredibly affordable.
As a real estate investor, your social media marketing should not only be about your properties but about who you are as well. It is your chance to show potential customers you are knowledgeable, friendly, trustworthy, and easy to work with. If they can see themselves working with someone like you, they are much more likely to reach out.
Your social media platform should also be used to educate your following. These days, it is not enough to advertise your services. You want users constantly coming back to you for useful information. In turn, your brand will become a recognizable and trustworthy source when the time comes for your services will be needed. Therefore, be informative, friendly, and always willing to help others with your insight. That being said, you should actively engage with your followers by responding as often as you can. The more trust you can gain from others, the more successful your brand will become.
Finally, remember to utilize the right social media platform depending on your desired goals. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and TikTok all have their specific uses and demographics. If you’re having trouble where to start, try consulting a social media professional to find which platform is right for you.
No matter what area of real estate you are focused on, you will need proper marketing to maintain and grow your business. There are several real estate investor marketing campaigns that will help your business reach new heights. Off-market properties, motivated sellers, social media, and direct mail are great places for new investors to start, but you shouldn’t stop there. Consult other successful professionals on real estate investor marketing strategies you can utilize throughout your career.
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