Do you want to know what kills more real estate investor's dreams faster than anything else? That, my friend, is having no clients to use their creative techniques on. Real estate, like any business, is 90% marketing.
“I have always believed that writing advertisements is the second most profitable form of writing. The first, of course, is ransom notes.”
Unless you want to start writing ransom notes, you'd better stick with marketing mastery.
You'll see that not many people truly get advertising by taking a short look at online classified sites. Look at the ads and just see if it makes you want to open it to find out more. Odds are that the advertising hasn't exactly achieved its purpose–which is to get you interested.
Real estate investing is a business and the lifeblood of any business is marketing. You really need to be thinking of yourself a real estate marketer. Just imagine if other people knew how to market their homes effectively and how to write a creative contract. There would be no realtors for starters because people wouldn't require any assistance to sell and market their homes. Sellers certainly wouldn't need you, the creative investor. However, the reality is that probably over 95% of advertisements are not done effectively. You may even see huge companies with poor advertising campaigns. While their deep pockets may be able to sustain this loss, in real estate you won't do any business without incoming leads.
The first thing you ought to know is that if your headline doesn't grab the reader's attention then no one will ever see your ad no matter how well the rest of it is written. My advice to you is simple, have an attention grabbing or informative headline or don't write the ad at all because it isn't worth your time.
If you have a home under contract and you need it sold fast, which one of these headlines do you think will generate us more interest to get the home sold?
“123456 ABC Road – Lots of Amenities”
“Home Discounted $40k Below Market – Must Sell Fast!”
When you're building your wholesaling investor database, which one of these do you think is more likely to achieve the desired effect?
“123456 ABC Road – Needs Handyman”
“Investor Rehab Special – 17% Below Market Value – Won't Last”
We always need better results in shorter time. Marketing allows us leverage our time by having business find us. Make your ad stand out. First get the reader's attention and then tell them what to do after they read it. It needs to have a strong call to action at the end to either direct the reader to call this number, to email this address or to bring their coupon to this location.
Advertising in Any Business
Some people are so passionate about their business that it's too hard for them to look at things from the other person's perspective. Your reader doesn't yet care about your business, even though do. Not everyone is interested in hearing about what their company thinks they need even though they may sincerely believe that they have the 100 greatest products and services available. A lot of these real estate investors and individual business owners have the right motivation but they lack the knowledge to make their marketing accomplish meaningful results.
A motivated seller doesn't need to call you until they see that something about your ad is beneficial for themselves.
I use these companies frequently as examples to emphasize my point. Coca Cola and McDonalds are leaders in their respective fields. There are actually not a lot of people who love McDonalds as their favorite restaurant or there are not a lot of people who love Coke as their favorite drink when you actually compare it with their market share. They have huge market share without having insanely passionate customers about their products. However, they still sell the most of their product in their respective fields. The key to their success is their world class marketing machines rather than the products themselves. If you have a great business in every aspect but marketing, then you don't have a business at all.
The single biggest determining factor in long term success in real estate investing is marketing. When you learn to be a successful real estate marketer, you'll be able to make almost any business successful even without detailed financial or product knowledge.
Your business is like a tropical island where marketing builds the bridges, roads and airports that enable people to discover your island. Without those inlets, your island doesn't exist to the rest of the world. Would you build a great website and then never send it any traffic? I doubt it. So why do so many investors learn techniques to apply to sellers but then don't generate sellers to use those techniques on? Probably because they undervalue what is most important to their business.
With this in mind, here are some of the things you should and shouldn't do within your advertisements in any business. Yes I understand that some of these may be obvious points but look at various advertisements. Although they are obvious, they are often not adhered to.
- Have an enticing offer
- Get the reader's attention immediately
- try multiple mediums–including non-traditional ones
- Target your specific product for a specific audience only
- Avoid deception by clearly stating what the offer is
- Create demand by advertising even when you don't need the business. Develop a waiting list
- Be unique and catchy with your advertisement. Be identifiable where others are not.
- Provide incentives for customers to join with or refer your company
- Have joint ventures and partnerships with outside businesses that provide useful related services to your clients.
- Test your marketing strategies in small niche markets before launching a large scale campaign
- Get employee input to get valuable ideas before putting the advertisement out.
- Promote what you're willing to do for your customers. Make yourself the obvious choice.
- Have specific goals for your marketing targets. Put your ads out there and see what happens. Stir up natural curiosity about your company and its products/services. Figuratively, show all the cards you have so that the client can make a purchasing decision without meeting you. Demonstrate why your service is the best.
- Continually commit time and effort to successful marketing.
- Provide a thank you to past customers. It is word of mouth marketing gold.
- List all 250 products/services you offer.
- Design your ad so that they must see the whole ad to fully understand the offer
- Advertise using only the same mediums that everyone else uses.
- Make your marketing try and appeal to everyone at once (i.e. jack of all trades, master of none)
- Have fine print or subject to clauses. This only works for corporations like utility companies that have minimal competition in the marketplace
- Advertise only during the slow periods of your business.
- Look to everyone else for what they do. Most businesses are terrible at marketing, are you going to copy that?
- Provide negative consequences for customers to leave your business
- Take on the world yourself by not leveraging your time with other established businesses.
- Spend your advertising budget on something big before testing it to see that it even works.
- Decide you know what's best and don't consider other sources of input
- Slander the competition as a means to provide an alternative. Politicians do this and none of them are perceived to be any good. This is not coincidence
- State that your product is the best without demonstrating it. Which will come across as insincere.
- try it a few times and see if you get a response. If you don't, quit and don't re-evaluate.
- Forget to market to your already existing customer database.
If you're going to be the marketing leader in your field, you're going to have to stop copying what everyone else does because most businesses don't correctly comprehend marketing. Instead, look to their ideas to further build on them. It's going to take consistent effort in the beginning to build a strong marketing campaign.
However, when it's all said and done, you'll have an automated stream of steady business that does not take your active participation. The concept of a successful business and successful marketing simply must co-exist.
Develop some marketing goals and find a way to hit those targets. Remember, this is meant as a guide to build on not the 10 commandments of advertising. Grab the good ideas and build on them. Real life works when you make your own marketing objectives and you set the guidelines.
If you're willing to become a master at marketing, your success in your real estate business is inevitable.