I went to my first investors’ club meeting several years ago when I first became interested in building my real estate business. The meeting room of our local community center was packed full of genuinely nice people who all shared the same vision of breaking away from the 9-to-5, while simultaneously hopping on the fast-track toward the hopes of a bigger nest egg. With coffee and cookies in hand, we slid our metal fold-out chairs into a circle and chatted for hours. I was eager to take in all their stories and advice, but I heard the same thing over and over again: “You need to develop a credibility package.”
Many tout the credibility package as a “must-have” or best marketing tool for new investors who are seeking to break the ice in prospective business relationships. It’s essentially a multi-page brochure, like a detailed business card, that you can give to buyers, sellers, or private money lenders. While there are no hard and fast rules about what a credibility package should look like or what information it should contain, that doesn’t stop everyone—online and off—from telling you the magic formula for creating the “winning” package.
At its core, however, a credibility package generally includes a description of your business, the services you offer, and your contact information. Since the purpose of this brochure is marketing, it also often says a little something about your business philosophy. A good package differentiates your business, highlighting how you’re unique from the many other investors in your niche.
There are three types of credibility packages aimed at different prospective real estate business clients:
- The seller’s package. This pamphlet is meant to show sellers that you are not just offering them funny money; you can offer a fair deal and follow through. It is supposed to build trust by showing that you understand the difficulties that homeowners encounter. This package also illustrates that you’re ready to guide them through a smooth sale process as they seek to relieve their financial stress. Often, a seller’s package includes case studies highlighting how you aided other distressed homeowners in the past.
- The buyer’s package. It goes without saying that this handout is like the seller’s package, except the target audience is buyers. It’s most useful for new investors who do not have an established reputation, as it’s meant to establish rapport with prospects and convert leads. By including case studies, you can emphasize that your home rehabs are quality work.
- The private money package. This is the most common type of package, designed to convey your interest in obtaining a loan and generating potential opportunities for the lender to receive a solid return. Getting private money is a competitive endeavor so this package is typically quite comprehensive. It often includes a business statement, your investing background and credit profile, as well as a detailed list of properties you purchased or sold. Some investors even include escrow closing statements, before and after pictures of their investment properties and a transaction flow chart to show how the money will be invested.
Compiling these credibility packages can be time-consuming and even expensive. This leaves many wondering if the return-on-investment is worth the hassle. Sure, it can take years for a new investor to build their reputation. It involves a ton of networking and closing deals to gain the trust and respect of potential clients. But, a credibility package is not a shortcut to developing the necessary relationships for building your investment business. Let me ask you this: have you ever been invited into a prospect’s house just to see a thick stack of these things on their dining table? You see, every other investor is using the same tired marketing scheme. If a prospect chooses to move forward in a deal with you, it’s probably not a result of your fancy print job.
After spinning my tires for over a year, I realized that credibility packages are no replacement for solid national brand awareness. This is part of what prompted my decision to become a HomeVestors® franchisee. Now, prospects know my business integrity before I even walk in the door. And, when I need input on a real estate investment deal, I don’t have to hang out at the community center hoping to glean tidbits of wisdom anymore. Instead, my network of experienced franchisees are happy to chime in and offer help. As independently owned and operated HomeVestors(R) franchises, our business models are built on collaboration.
We can be there for you, too. Feel free to get in touch anytime.
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HomeVestors of America® is the nation’s only real estate investing franchise, providing wonderful business opportunities to real estate and investment professionals across the nation.