September 5, 2017 in Marketing
Today’s article is about how to implement solid marketing strategies in your business that will put more deals in your pipeline and more cash in your pocket. I’m also going to go over exactly how you can do that.
Whether you are a rehabber or a buy and hold investor, having a steady stream of leads is going to be important to you. Buy and hold landlords will most likely add properties to their portfolio over time whether they only have a few properties at this time or they have a larger portfolio. In the same way, rehabbers depend on these leads to put new properties into their inventory.
Some of you might work with wholesalers that bring you properties and there’s nothing wrong with that. I’m a wholesaler. There’s no doubt that wholesalers can be a very good source of deals. But if that’s your only source of leads, what that means is that you are limited to what they bring to you and that’s not really a great place to be.
Why Should You Be Marketing?
Marketing will put money in your pocket and give you a source of off market deals.
Whether you are a landlord or a rehabber, I want you to think about how you can implement some marketing strategies so you will have deals coming directly into your pipeline. When you are in this position you effectively eliminate the middleman (AKA the wholesaler). Now I’m not telling you not to take advantage of deals that come from wholesalers. You absolutely should continue to take advantage of those leads. But I want you to begin to create your own pipeline of leads.
This puts you in the enviable position of being able cherry pick deals from the leads coming directly to you. Now I know some of you will say that not all the leads that come in will be a fit for your business and that’s true. Once you have some marketing strategies in place and the inevitable happens, what do you do with properties that might not meet your buying criteria? You pass those on to other investors. You wholesale them for fast cash.
Now this might take a bit of a mind shift for many of you, but I want you to think about it this way.
You can use those chunks of cash to pay down your rentals or to fatten your bank account so you have a cushion for your rehabbing business. Wholesaling just a few properties a year in addition to your main investing strategy, can put chunks of cash in your pocket.
What if you are New to Marketing?
I can help you with that. Here are some of the things I will cover today.
- Lead channels or marketing strategies
- Why you need more than one way to get deals
- The difference in inbound and outbound marketing strategies
- The components of a good marketing plan and what that should look like
- Why outsourcing will actually help you make more money
Inbound and Outbound Marketing Strategies
Before we go any further, I want to talk about inbound and outbound strategies and what the difference in those is.
Outbound marketing. These are things YOU need to do on a regular basis. They include direct mail, posting daily Craig’s List ads, cold calling, driving for dollars, the MLS and bandit signs. They are also things like the MLS and the Commissioner’s Sale.
Inbound marketing. This is marketing that attracts your prospects so they come to YOU (instead of you contacting them directly). Things like ongoing print ads, social media posts, websites, networking, and content marketing. Content marketing includes things like articles, videos, podcasts etc.
Most people will ultimately do a mix of both inbound and outbound marketing. Once you decide on your marketing strategies you are able to create a marketing plan for your business. So let’s move on to that.
Let’s Talk about Lead Channels
You need 3 to 5 lead channels or ways of getting deals. There are a dozens of ways to find deals, but today I want to talk about what I believe are the top 3 ways of finding deals. These are definitely my top 3 marketing strategies. They are websites, direct mail and networking.
Strategy #1: Websites
Let’s just cut to the chase on this one. You MUST have a website. Here are just 4 reasons you need a website:
- It gives you instant credibility
- It’s the new business card- every successful investor has one
- It’s a lead generating machine that works 24/7 for you and never asks for time off
- Folks that wake up in the middle of the night who are worried about selling their house, will search for help online. You want them to find you.
When you have a website, sellers also have a way of “vetting you” or checking you out, and you can be sure they are going to do that. Here is how this works.
This is my #1 website choice, Oncarrot. Check it out and you'll see why. They are pretty much “done for you” websites. Want content for a blog? They have that too.
The Old Way vs the New Way
It used to be that someone would get your direct mail piece from you or they would hear about you in some other way. The next step would be for them to contact you to find out how you could help them. Typically they would pick up the phone and call.
That’s all changed today. There is an extra step sellers have added.
Once someone hears about you whether it’s from direct mail, from networking or any other way, they are going to look you up online. Before they ever contact you, they will be looking for your website and for evidence online that you are someone to be trusted. A strong online presence will make them trust you more than someone that doesn’t have one. Truthfully, if you don’t have a website, you may as well be invisible.
You’ve probably heard me say that marketing is how you get leads, and branding is why they choose YOU. Think of your website as one way to brand yourself; of setting yourself apart from your competition. Networking is also a form of branding when it’s done properly, and I’ll talk more about that.
It’s up to you to build your brand so you get the most bang for your buck when it comes to marketing and the different marketing strategies. You can start with a website and a couple of social media profiles. The important part is to get started.
Strategy #2: Direct Mail
As far as marketing strategies goes, this is hands down my favorite. Direct mail is the only way to get most off market deals. What are off market deals? They are houses that aren’t listed, aren’t in foreclosure and generally speaking no one knows about them. They are folks like absentee owners and those people in probate. They really are the hidden gems. Over the past 20+ years, direct mail has consistently been my #1 source of deals. This marketing strategy is a great way to find deals where there is much less competition than on the MLS and at the Commissioner’s Sale for instance.
Don’t let anyone tell you direct mail is “old school”. It is still very big in the real estate investing world. You can send either letters or postcards in most case. Postcards are an affordable, relatively easy way of doing direct mail. The cost is less than 50 cents for a postcard including the postage. And the mailing company will do all the work for you generally for about $30 bucks. Now that is a deal!
Strategy #3. Networking
Networking is one of the best ways to build your brand, to get folks to bring you deals (over time), and yet it’s one of the most overlooked and under-rated marketing strategies at the same time. Networking is a business activity. When you attend a networking event, go with a purpose; with a plan in place. That’s how you get the most out of this as a marketing strategy.
The most common place for real estate investors to network is at your local REIA, but you should also consider joining at least 1 non-real estate group.
Why is that important? Because these people may know someone that has a property to sell, and you will probably be the only investor in the group. Find one that feels like a fit for you and get known.
Now that we’ve talked about the 3 top marketing strategies, it’s time to move on to a plan.
Creating a Marketing Plan
Where do you start when it comes to a marketing plan? Once you have decided on your marketing strategies, then you can start putting together a marketing plan just for your business. There is a lot that goes into creating your actual plan, breaking everything down into steps, but here are the main components of a marketing plan.
What are the Main Components of a Marketing Plan?
Step #1. Decide on at least 4-5 marketing strategies you will be using in your business
Step #2. Break each one of these strategies down into steps.
Step #3. Create a budget for marketing.
Step #4. Schedule your marketing tasks on a calendar for at least the next 3 months.
Step #5. Decide what can you outsource and when you might be able to do that.
Those are the basic steps for creating your own marketing plan.
Once you have a rock solid marketing plan, you also want to put together a plan for implementing your plan. As you start getting leads in the door, an important piece of this puzzle will be figuring out what you can outsource. Outsourcing will help you grow your business faster and make money sooner. Just take small steps in the beginning.
Systems, Automation and Outsourcing
Not outsourcing is one of the biggest mistakes people make. They try to save money when the reality is you’ll never get it all done yourself.
You also need systems if you’re ever going to scale your business. You will need systems for tracking your leads, tracking your marketing, following up with leads, and you need systems for repeatable tasks. You will make more money by outsourcing and you’ll save your sanity when it comes to direct mail. Direct mail is one of the easiest things to outsource.
Where Can You Find Someone?
Here are a few suggestions:
- Upwork (I love Upwork)
- Students and moms that might need extra cash
- Your kids
- Outsource your direct mail to mailing services. The one I use only charges about $30 in addition to the actual mailing costs. What a bargain!
- Fiverr for simple projects
Need Help Getting on Track?
I’ve had a number of people contact me about the different ways they can work with me to help get their marketing on track.
If that sounds like you, here are a couple of options for you.
I have a one hour consultation where we will create your own Quick Start Marketing Plan together. This is a really popular service that I offer. I like to do video calls so we can really get to know each other. The cost of that is $297.
You really can change the course of your business in one hour! to learn more: Just click here for the Quick Start Marketing Plan.
90 Day Marketing Mastery Program
Need more than just one call? I completely understand.
Some of you want help understanding the bigger picture of marketing. Then once you have created your marketing plan, you want help implementing the plan. Or, maybe you need help with probates. I have a mastery program for that too. It works just like the Marketing Mastery.
If this sounds more like what you’re looking for, then check out my 90 Day Marketing Mastery Program. With this program we work together for 90 days (a total of 7 one hour coaching calls) to help you get on track and stay there!
Business Breakthrough VIP Days
No time for 90 day programs? I've got you covered. VIP days are the quickest ways to get to the finish line. Spend a whole day with me working on your business, and put yourself on the “fast track”.
If that sounds like what you have in mind, then you need to check out my Business Breakthrough VIP Days.
From now until the end of the year, I have a special price for this program too. Who would like to save $1500? The only problem is I have a limited number of spots left for this time period. You can Click Here to learn all about business breakthrough days to see if this is a fit for you.
There is an application process for this program, which I do with a 1 on 1 complimentary call. I want to be sure this program is right for you. To schedule your 15 minute (no strings attached) call, here is a link to my calendar. To choose a time Just Click Here .
Have questions about any one of these programs? Just send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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