At my real estate seminars I am often asked by my students what area of the business they should focus on first. I can relate to their concerns because I know how much there is to learn when you are building a real estate investment business. Unfortunately, some investors flounder the first couple of years in the business because they try to learn a little bit of everything without mastering anything. As a speaker and educator, I think the opposite approach is better. Instead of trying to dabble in every niche, I think you should spend the majority of your time studying the areas of the business that generate revenue NOW! You can learn the rest of the business as you go along, but what is important now is to get your phone ringing off the hook. You are looking for motivated sellers willing to sell you their properties at 50 to 65 cents on the dollar. In order to do this you must become a Master Marketer!
Your knowledge of marketing will be the foundation from which your business is built. Marketing is what makes the phone ring and generates leads. Leads are the lifeblood of your business. They are the oxygen your business breathes. The more leads you have the more money you will make. So how do you become a better marketer? First, you must understand the principals all successful marketers live by.
Real Estate Marketing Principal #1: Define Your Target Market
You must understand that only 5% of all sellers are truly motivated and will be willing to sell their property at a significant discount. Therefore, you will want to gear your marketing efforts towards people who have a reason to sell their property under market value. There are many reasons why someone would want to sell their property at a discount. Death, divorce, bankruptcy, and foreclosure are just a few of the many examples of why someone would want to get rid of a property quickly. You can find many of these lists through the public records with a little effort. Once your target market is located, you must then reach out to these people through your marketing efforts.
Real Estate Marketing Principal #2: Create a Compelling Message
Once you have narrowed down your target market you then must compel the prospect to take action. Distressed property owners are by nature procrastinators and thus unlikely to respond to a generic offer. Therefore, you must create an irresistible offer so compelling it gets the prospect off the couch and over to the phone. The message must strike an emotional chord within the prospect if it is going to be effective.
Real Estate Marketing Principal #3: Create Systems for Outsourcing and Deliver
Most prospects don’t respond to your marketing efforts until they have seen your message at least seven times. Successful marketers realize they need a system to accomplish this. It is virtually impossible for any investor to fulfill all of their marketing campaigns by themselves. Without systems you will continually be short on time and short on quality leads.
If you ever have the pleasure of visiting my office you will see that we have a system for every one of our marketing campaigns. For example, we mail to homeowners in bankruptcy every Monday. Every week my marketing assistant grabs the new list off the internet. She then downloads the names into our database for tracking purposes before emailing the list off to an intern. The intern then uses the pre-designed letters and postcards on file to fulfill the mailing. The mailings are then organized and mailed out on Tuesday. The beauty of the system is that I have nothing to do with the process and all I have to do is pick through the deals when they come in.
It is your job as the business owner to understand the importance of using systems that can be outsourced to other people. Otherwise, you will forever be stuck in your business and will never free yourself from the drudgery of WORK.
Real Estate Marketing Principal #4: Test and Track
One of the most common problems real estate investors make is not testing and tracking their marketing. When it comes to marketing and running a business the devil is in the details. Marketers are usually ultra-creative people and often times allergic to the bottom line. However, there is nothing more important when it comes to building a business. Your goal as a marketer is to have a system to concisely test and track your marketing and understand the numbers. Measurement eliminates waste and tracking your results will help you build a profitable real estate investment company.
I sit down every month and review my marketing expenditures. I look at how much was spent, how many leads came in, and which campaigns produced actual deals. I then make decisions for the next month shifting money from one marketing campaign to another so as to maximize the return on my investment. If you don’t have a tool for testing and tracking your marketing then precious dollars will slip through the cracks. I created a tool to track my marketing and it is highly effective and has literally saved me thousands of dollars over the years. To find more wealth building articles like this one go to www.ThanandPaul.com.
Than Merrill, CEO of FortuneBuilders, INC and CT Homes, LLC is currently a full time real estate investor, speaker, and one of the most successful investors in the nation. He is also the star of A&E’s hit TV show "Flip this House." In the past few years his company has bought and sold over 350 properties across the nation. Than’s clients are some of the most successful investors around the country as a result of the cutting edge marketing and wholesaling systems he has developed. Than is a graduate of Yale University and he currently resides in New Haven, CT. After college, he played in the NFL with the Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers before moving on to real estate development.Than Merrill is a regular guest speaker at CT REIA. Go here for the current list of upcoming real estate investing seminars in Connecticut.