All real estate investors want to do more. Many are frustrated with where they are at, and are grasping at new opportunities, and wishing they had more resources to realize success. Yet, many are already sitting on a treasure trove of underutilized assets. So how can you get more by better leveraging what you’ve already got?
Waste is a huge problem in real estate. It doesn’t matter how much you get if it gets wasted. Look at giants like Zillow, which have consistently bled millions of dollars in losses. Pursuing growth and new marketing channels, systems, and tools is great, but a massive number of real estate investors and companies are sorely under-utilizing what they already have to work with. So how do you change things around?
1. Think: It might sound obvious, but in the rush to get ahead, the first time slot to be sacrificed is often quality thinking time. That’s the reverse of what should be happening. Albert Einstein allegedly said “If I had an hour to save the world, I would spend 55 minutes defining the problem, and only 5 minutes finding the solution.” The cards you are dealt are the cards you have. It’s up to you to figure out how to play them. In poker, even a pair of twos can win the pot, and the tournament if played well enough. It’s all in how you look at your hand. Block out time on your calendar just to think each week.
2. Personal Contacts: Like it or not, winning in real estate is still a lot about who you know. We can all constantly work on expanding our contact lists, and should. Yet, most sorely under-utilize the contacts they do have. If you try approaching venture capitalists and new angel investors for funding a real estate startup, one of the first things they are going to want to know is how much you have raised from your friends and family? If you haven’t, they are going to want a good answer as to why not. It doesn’t have to be capital either: prospective tenants, buyers, sellers, private lenders should all be considered. Leverage them.
3. Lead Lists: Any real estate and sales expert will tell you that if you give the same list to two people; one will find the leads the best ever, and the other will fail to generate anything from it. This often has little to do with sales skills. Improving sales skills is something everyone in the industry should be working on. Yet, often this disparity comes down to how the salesperson views those leads, and how they convey their belief in the value they have to offer those prospects.
4. Neglected Leads: One of the very worst types of waste in the real estate industry today is neglected leads. This isn’t just purchased lead lists, but people that have actively made the effort to contact Realtors, investors, sellers, owners and landlords, and haven’t been served. This isn’t just dangerous from the perspective of sabotaging your own real estate marketing ROI and giving the competition the money and market share advantage. It breeds seriously negative viral PR around your brand, and turns off prospects to the whole industry. There are at least hundreds of very qualified individuals, couples, and families out there right now that have given up contacting property sellers because they are fed up with not being answered. Why should they both to waste their time calling on another for sale sign or ad, or messaging a Realtor online if no one is going to answer them. This is pure gold sitting right in your inbox, your voicemail, and in your Facebook feed right now. What you do with these leads today could directly impact your future in real estate one way or the other. Which way will you take it?
5. Current and Past Clients: If you have any current or past clients, they are a gateway to numerous referrals and repeat deals.
6. Content: Content is still pivotal to success in marketing and generating deals. If you invested time and money in creating content, you already know that it costs. Yet, so many have sat there wishing they had more deals or options today, and have content they haven’t used or published. This may be articles and blog posts, images, video, or even whole real estate books. If it isn’t online or out on the shelves that’s just waste, each and every day. You just sank hours and dollars into something you are letting collect dust. Even if you have already published some, have you spun off blogs to all your social networks? Turned your blog posts into books? Sent out emails with links to it? That’s all marketing that you may be able to effectively do for free in the next hour.
7. Underutilized Assets: All of the above are types of assets you probably have at your fingertips. Then there are more specific assets like cash that is laying around, devaluing as you read this. How about empty apartment units or homes that could be rented? What about idle equity not being put to work? Put all of this into action and then grow…