For every investor that leaves the business, there are two more that enter. When the market collapsed last decade, a countless number of investors swore off the business and never came back. During that same time, many saw opportunity and dipped their big toe in the business and never looked back. This is just how the investing business works. There is so much competition and demand for property that in order to succeed you need to either do things better than everyone else or do something that separates you from the rest of the pack. In other words, your real estate business needs to stand out.
Grab a big cup of coffee, a blank notebook and start writing down things that you think you do well and things that you may have an advantage over your competition. Things like returning phone calls quickly and treating people with respect are nice, but they should already be part of your business and are par for the course. Think of certain niches that you enjoy or know more than everyone else. Tax lien auctions, mobile home investing, wholesale contacts; whatever your niche is you can thrive in it if you are dedicated and focused.
After a few cups of coffee and a few days of self-evaluation and brainstorming, you may be ready to take your niche and run with it. There are many investors who have been in the business for years without one specific niche, but they are the exception rather than the rule. Conversely, there are many who thrive by investing solely in their niche area and never stray from what has worked for them in the past. By doing this, they develop a sort of brand recognition that other investors and attorneys will recognize over time. If you market to your strength and cater to it, you will start to get referrals from people you may have never met, but have heard that you can handle their particular deal.
The next time you go to the movies, take a look at the posters that line the walls of the theater. You will see that most of them have a tagline for what the movie is about or what they want it to be. This is simply a one sentence description that gives people a feel of what they are going to see. If you are an investor you should develop a tagline for your business. If you specialize in tax lines, you could be the “tax lien king.” If mobile homes are your niche, you could be “your mobile home expert.” Whatever the tagline is, you should use it on your website, your business cards and the bottom of your emails. It may be a little awkward and silly at first, but over time you will stand out from the pack because of it.
You can either be one of many investors in a pack or you can step out of that pack and stand out. Think about where you want your business to be, what kind of deals you enjoy working on and make that your focus. In a business filled with many of the same people working on the same type of deals, you want to stand out from everyone else.