Marketing is the most important part of every business. Here’s my Top 10 List of Ways to Market Your Real Estate Investing Business.
I listed it in order with respect to your budget. So if your budget is small, you do the first few things on the list. When you have more money, then you add more strategies in addition to the ones you’re doing, in the following order:
1. Calling Ads
For Rent, For Sale, MLS Expired Listings, Foreclosure Listings, Evicting Landlords, etc. You can find many on Craigslist, in your local paper, on your local FSBO websites, etc. You can get an agent to give you MLS Expired Listings. Some of them will have phone numbers, and you could use a data append service to add phone numbers where needed. Same thing goes with foreclosure listings.
There are plenty of service providers on this one. Take the phone numbers and load them with the brief recording and blast it. (If you don’t have many numbers, it’s better to call yourself!)
3. Door Knocking
Get a list of foreclosures, go to their door, and offer help. Use Microsoft Street & Trips to optimize routes, so you don’t waste time driving around.
4. Bandit Signs
Buy or make bandit signs: “We Buy Houses” or “Sell Your House In 7 Days.” Put them on wood sticks and place as many as possible. Watch out for sign ordinances.
5. Direct Mail
Expired Listings – Get a real estate agent to give you Expireds, Cancelleds, Withdrawn, and mail a letter or a postcard. You need to do this in 2-3 steps. It is important to mail to them AS SOON AS they expire. Otherwise, they’ll re-list it and won’t be interested.
6. Direct Mail
Foreclosure Listings – Subscribe to a list provider. Some title companies or agents will give them to you for free. Filter to narrow down your list – that is CRUCIAL.
7. Run Newspaper Ads
Under “Houses For Sale” or “Real Estate Services.” Typical ads are: “We Buy Houses,” “Cash for Houses Fast,” “Sell Your House in 7 Days,” etc.
8. Direct Mail
Targeted Lists – This is where you totally eliminate competition, but it is more costly to mail than the above.
You can target 30/60/90 days late. You can do saturation mailings (every route in a ZIP – postage gets very low). You can also target different type of loans out there; different type of equity positions; divorces, evictions, owners with different type of liens, etc. Your imagination will produce an endless possibilities.
Google, Bing, and Facebook Pay-per-Click (PPC) advertising. Make sure your real estate investing business has a website with a squeeze page, so you can capture the leads. Optimization is the key here.
10. Social Media and Google+
Make sure you’re targeting local (the “diamond is in your back yard”). Don’t buy properties out of town–too many hassles.
A Few Tips…
Direct Mail is my favorite because it allows precise targeting – if you want houses in foreclosure, then you get that list. If you want free & clear houses then you get that list, etc. It’s the only method that allows you precise targeting, but it needs the know-how.
IMPORTANT: the most important thing with marketing is… tracking! It’s a must or you’re shooting blind. You will never get good at this if you don’t know what’s working and what’s not.
So find out what marketing piece works best for you. Is it a postcard, a letter, a check letter, a yellow letter, etc.
Be Creative – Get creative to increase the response. We mail “check letter” looking mailings, air mail envelopes, transparent envelopes, torn envelope in half w letter in it, lumpy mail with Alka Seltzer pills, million dollar bills, fridge magnets, etc. One of my best responses was the letter in a Ziplock bag. I mailed thousands of those.
Response Rate – It really varies from city to city. In bigger cities where there is a lot of competition, generally it is around a few percent or even lower. And your response will go down as the market is heating up.
But… I’ve made a fortune on 0.02% – 1% response. The key is to get your first few deals done. Then you’ll be able to spend whatever you want on marketing. For example, you’d spend $3,000 to make $30,000, right? Any day of the week. So if you sent out 5,000 postcards, and got 10 – 50 calls, and ended up doing one deal with $30,000 profit, would it be worth it? Of course.
Where Do I Start?
You start by calling sellers. Even if you have money for marketing, you need to start with calling first, unless you are already an experienced investor. That’s because every method listed will cost money. So when the phone rings, there’s a real cost associated with that ring. You don’t want to practice your phone skills on the calls that cost money to generate. That’s a waste of money.
My advice is to talk to a minimum of 100 sellers first before you start marketing. In addition to getting good on the phone, you may find a deal or more. So my friends, get busy! You’ll be glad you did.
Read the How-to Articles, this Blog, sign up for the monthly newsletters from this site–and talk to a lot of sellers! If you persist, you will change your life!
P.S. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t have any money for marketing! I was there myself, and I started out of desperation. You’re only one deal away from a nice marketing budget.
[Editor’s Note: Use the “Print Friendly” button below to print this and make sure you share it with your friends. This is top notch real-world advice from a pro.]