As a real estate investor, you need to promote yourself. It should be the first item on your to-do list each morning.
“Without a solid marketing plan, you won’t have any leads coming in the door,” says Sharon Vornholt, a real estate investor in Louisville, Kentucky. “When you don’t have a steady stream of leads, you’ll go out of business in no time.”
Vornholt, a marketing and brand expert, has been successfully investing in real estate for 20 years and helps others create a viable promotional plan for their business. She suggests using several methods to make sure you reach as many potential buyers and renters as you can.
Real Estate Marketing Must #1: Direct Mail
Sending marketing materials to carefully targeted prospects has given Vornholt the most leads, she says, and it’s especially effective for reaching absentee owners and probates. It’s important always keep your contact database updates, vary your methods (alternate between postcards, flyers, and letters), and customize and message to the recipients on your list. “For instance, you don’t send the same message to someone selling a house in probate as you do to someone selling a house in foreclosure,” says Vornholt.
And be persistent; don’t give up after one or two tries. For Vornholt, the most deals come at or beyond the fifth mailing.
Real Estate Marketing Must #2: Your Website
Having an online presence is crucial. Even though sellers may contact you because of your direct mail efforts, chances are they have also visited your site prior to making contact. An easy-to-navigate website gives you credibility and motivates potential clients to reach out to you, says Vornholt.
“Seller leads that come through your site are often very motivated,” Vornholt says.
Because many people search online using smartphones, tablets or iPads, make sure to optimize your site for all devices. In addition, your site visitors should be able to seamlessly view your list of properties, photos, and take virtual tours.
Real Estate Marketing Must #3: Social Media
According to Vornholt, a strong social presence strengthens your position of expertise and authority. In fact, approximately 91 percent of all REALTORS® used social media for their real estate business, reported the 2013-14 REALTOR® Technology Survey.
In March 2016, Facebook tallied an average of 1.09 billion daily users, so you’ll absolutely want to make your presence known there. And, according to The Statistics Portal, LinkedIn.com reported 433 million users for the first quarter of 2016. Connecting with the potential clients and real estate groups on Linkedin.com lets you meet many investors virtually. Hint: Be sure to create a keyword rich profile you can use for all of your social media. Using the right words increases the chances your name will appear near the top in an Internet search.
Real Estate Marketing Must #4: Investment Clubs
“Belonging to your local Real Estate Investors Association (REIA) provides many benefits,” says Vornholt. “I bought and sold my first few deals there. Membership lets you learn from more experienced investors, conduct deals with other members, and make powerful connections.”
Which promotional endeavors will you add to your current plan?
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