Finding Off-Market Real Estate Deals: Part 1 – Your Marketing Plan
And your ability to find great off-market real estate deals will depend on your real estate MARKETING. Now, marketing comes in many forms and that’s what we are going to talk about in this post and ones to follow.
First we’ll develop your mindset and overall strategy.
Then we’ll dive into specific ways you can market and get leads flowing into your pipeline.
Real Estate Marketing is Extremely Important
If you’ve ever wondered: “Is marketing really all that important to real estate investing? What else is there besides direct mail marketing anyway? What the heck is a bandit sign? How do I even start marketing? ‘I want to be in the wholesaling business not the marketing business…’” I’ll put all this to rest and answer all these questions.
Again, Nothing is as important to the longevity of your business as consistently filling your pipeline with leads. It’s not optional. And it is one of the best tools to help boost your lead and deal flow is the age-old practice of marketing.
So today, I’m going to explain the importance of a real estate marketing plan and why it absolutely has to be a major component of your investing business. After I’ve laid that solid foundation for you so you’re able to grasp how vital marketing is to your success, then you’ll be ready to dive into the marketing techniques and tactics I’ll share with you.
See, today’s post is just the first part of an actionable content-filled 6-part series in which I’ll cover more than 10 lead generating marketing methods.
Many are free (yay!), some are paid, some involve working with a Realtor and building other relationships… and I’ve got even more helpful marketing tricks up my sleeve as well.
The fact that we have SO much real estate marketing info to cover should show you how important it is.
Look, because you’re an investor, I know that means you’re already a go-getter. And that’s awesome… you kind of have to be to succeed here. But, I want to caution you to not go all gung-ho and try to implement the ideas you’ll learn about all at once. That’s not the right approach.
You’ll want to pick just 1 or 2 ideas to start from and take action on those right away. Once you master those, you can eventually add more. And don’t worry, like I said, I’m going to give you plenty of options to choose from.
Remember, it’s all about taking action with slow but steady growth.
So, let’s first start with the basics of a real estate marketing plan and then build upon them from there, shall we?
Keys to Marketing Success
NEVER STOP MARKETING
First of all, make this your new motto: “NSM” (Never Stop Marketing). I can’t stress this enough – you have to commit to marketing as a core part of your business.
“Mediocre marketing with commitment is better than great marketing without commitment.”
~ Someone smart
The second critical piece is this – you must track and measure all of your marketing. If it can’t be measured, it can’t be managed… and if it can’t be managed, it can’t be improved.
At the very least, for each of your marketing campaigns, you must track:
- the response rate
- the number of deals that closed
- the return on your investment
What I mean is, if you spend $1,000 on yellow letters and you got 20 people to call you from those letters, that’s about a 2% response rate. And out of those 20 calls, you were able to close 1 wholesale deal and profit $5,000 – that means you just made a 500% return on your marketing investment.
Not too shabby, right?! (BTW – If you’re buying & holding, you can measure in terms of equity gained.)
Here’s the thing, you have to view marketing as an investment. Don’t think of it as something that is just sucking away your money because it’s not, it’s working for you… think of it as a powerful tool that will help you put profit back into your business and enable you to grow and scale up.
It is a fundamental investment. And, once you start tracking your returns, you will realize why it’s essential to spend money on marketing.
“Those who stop marketing to save money are like those who stop a clock to save time.”
~ Henry Ford
If you can’t track and measure it – don’t do it.
When you track, you’ll be able to know which real estate marketing campaigns to keep doing and which to drop. Ultimately, you’ll want to figure out what works the best so you can scale it.
Let me give you a scenario: A real estate investor tries a marketing campaign once and doesn’t experience many results. So he gives up.
Even though the struggle can be real at times, and hey, I’ve been there too, it’s important to stay consistent with your marketing efforts.
Let me use a little real-world illustration to drive this critical point home. If you’re mailing out yellow letters, for example, remember these key points:
- Be consistent: Mail to the same group of people at least a few times. And always track your results so you know which campaigns work best.
- Follow up: If someone responds to your letter, but maybe it’s simply not the right time for this person to work out a deal with you – touch base with them a few months later. Their situation may be different at that point.
- Generate interest: By reaching out habitually to the same leads and following up with them, you’ve already planted a spark of interest in their mind.
- Give it your all: You have to. It does you no good to try a marketing method once, and then forget about it. Be patient and unrelenting with your efforts, and you will begin to see results.
FOLLOW UP. FOLLOW UP. FOLLOW UP
Here’s the important fact you must understand about repeat mailings and following up: you are hoping to find motivated sellers through your marketing. But the particular owner you’re mailing to at a particular time may not be motivated right at that time. Now that doesn’t mean they’re a bad prospect. They may become more motivated in a week, or a month or a year. People’s situations change. They get divorced, their health declines, priorities modify.
Your goal should be to stay “top of mind” for every seller you contact. Chances are they won’t keep your letter or postcard. And when it comes time to sell, they’ll call the first letter or postcard that’s in front them.
If you follow up and mail consistently, you increase your chances of being the one they call when finally DO become motivated!
Hopefully, now you’re beginning to understand how vital marketing is for a successful investing business.
Laying the Groundwork For Your Real Estate Marketing Plan
Here’s the basic process…
Your marketing plan starts with your phone. Yep… by setting up your voicemail with Google Voice or a similar system, you’ll be ready to take phone calls (when they come in from the kick-butt marketing you’ll have done). Then, once your phone starts ringing, you’ll screen sellers to gauge their motivation, gather info about the property and start building rapport.
For instance, you’ll want to ask:
Why are you selling?
How soon do you want to sell?
What’s the lowest amount you can accept for your property?
If you can tell they’re motivated based on their answers, you can meet with them face-to-face. And – keep in mind – it’s okay for you to create a gap between what the seller wants and what you want. *Gasp* In fact, I strongly encourage you to this!
MAKE LOTS OF OFFERS, AND PRACTICE “LOW-BALLING”
Let me tell you something that might make you cringe: Every time you make an offer to a seller, you should be embarrassed. You should be so mortified that you blush! For real.
But just think of it as your strategy. I’m telling you to go low. You want to create a gap. See, you can eventually negotiate to close the large gap (with good financing terms, price, etc.) and reach an agreement with the seller.
My Challenge to You: If you’re still hesitant or embarrassed about making low offers, go to a pawn shop (or somewhere else where you can haggle with people like a flea market) this week. Make it a point to get comfortable lowballing the cost of items. Don’t be ashamed or on edge; it’s just the way that the property flipping business is done so get on board.
“Never Stop” Means It’s Time to Start
Well, I hope I’ve inspired you to get into the powerful marketing mindset. Once you understand the value of real estate marketing and how it makes an invaluable impact, you’ll be well on your way to upping the ante on your business.
Most importantly, remember: NSM – Never Stop Marketing!
No marketing = no deals.
No follow up = no deals.
No consistency = no deals.
I think you get the point by now…
So, if you don’t take away anything else from this post, remember this: Marketing is a critical investment in your real estate investing business. It’s a must and not a maybe.
How to Find Off-Market Real Estate, Read Part Two!
Okay, I have just barely scratched the surface of all the marketing goodies I have to offer you…
In Part two, I’ll cover some free marketing methods to help you find off-market real estate deals. (Everybody loves free, amIright?) So, go to Part 2 for tons of no-cost marketing techniques… here’s a hint – it has a lot to do with forming relationships with specific people.
Talk again soon,
Talk to Me
How have you started to develop a marketing plan to find off-market real estate? What roadblocks are you experiencing in the process? Talk to me in the comment box below.