If someone asks you what you do, you probably have one go-to response: “real estate investor”. While this may be true on the surface, there is a better answer: full-time marketer. The main goal of your business should be about generating leads. You can know everything about the business and have motivation to work, but unless you have leads coming in, it doesn’t do you any good. Instead of focusing on specifics, you should spend time figuring out how you are going to generate leads. This is done based on the type of marketing you do. The best investors make marketing a priority. Regardless of where you are in your business, you can always improve or implement new strategies. Here are some tips and advice for improving your marketing abilities:
1. Understand different types of marketing: There are many different types of marketing. When most people think of marketing, they think of direct mailing campaigns. Direct mail is an excellent way to generate leads, but it is only one of many things you can do. Social media has made advertising and marketing as easy as it has ever been. This can be an area that you can find success. There are also simple things you can do: word of mouth advertising, local networking, email campaigns, bandit signs, print advertising and more. You don’t necessarily need to be proficient at all of these areas, but you should have at least some understanding of how they work. Some of these options may not work for your budget or in your area. Others will be a lot more successful than you may have imagined. It is important to take time out of your day to understand all of the different marketing options available.
2. Pick one and start: After you know what is out there, pick one area and run with it. It can be tempting to try to dabble in as many different areas as possible. This will lead you to be a jack of all trades, but a master of none. It is far better to pick one area and make this your point of focus. If you are going to go with a Facebook marketing campaign, spend more time and money on just this one area. If you are going to go to or establish a local networking group, dedicate your time to meeting new contacts. There is nothing wrong with trying one thing at a time. For starters, you will get a much better response rate if you do one thing multiple times over a handful of things just once. Secondly, doing this will help you figure out what works and what doesn’t. It will also help you determine if you are on the right path, and just need to make some tweaks. The most important thing is to start. You can plan and prepare for weeks without doing anything. Pick one area and make it your own.
3. Consistency: This is the number one factor in determining marketing success. Whatever you do, you need to be committing to doing it for the long haul. Odds are that your marketing will not yield a bonanza of leads right off the bat. After a few batches of emails or letters without numerous phone calls, your instinct may be to scrap the whole thing altogether. If you do this, you aren’t giving yourself a fair chance. Studies indicate that it takes at least a handful of advertising attempts before someone will respond. One or two mailings are not a true indicator of the potential. This is why you need to commit to a designated period before you even start. If you stick with it, you will eventually start to see the results you are looking for.
4. Track your results: However you decide to market, you need to track the results. Without knowing what works and what doesn’t, you can end up wasting time and money moving forward. If you went with direct mailing, you should track the list you used, how much you spent, the quantity you mailed out, when you mailed them out, the response rate and the number of deals per mailing. Nobody will do everything perfect on their initial marketing campaigns. The more you track your results the better you will know what needs to be tweaked or eliminated moving forward.
5. Assess the results: Tracking your progress is important but you also need to assess the results. Look at everything you did and how you did it. Sometimes all it takes to turn your results around is just the wording of your advertising or how you address the envelope. Even little things like the font you use with your Facebook advertising or what you wear to a networking meeting can make a difference. Keep a dedicated file with every type of marketing you do. Don’t be afraid to get outside opinions from people you trust on where you can improve. It is not enough to start a campaign. You need to know how you did and what you can do better.
Every good business dedicates time and resources towards marketing. Real estate investing is a numbers game: the more leads you work on, the more deals you can potentially close. Marketing is the tool that provides you with these leads. You may consider yourself a real estate investor, but you should also be a full-time marketer.