A few years ago, I attended a local real estate investing Meetup group. I’d already been investing in fixer-uppers by then, but couldn’t seem to get my business to the next level. Frankly, I needed better leads. In thinking about what my fellow colleagues might have to offer, I looked forward to what I hoped would be a good, old-fashioned brainstorming session.
The group didn’t disappoint. Though everyone had opinions, the consensus seemed to be that if I wanted to increase my odds of getting better leads on home sellers, I needed to become a marketing heavy-hitter. I was open to their advice, so we got down to business discussing which real estate investing marketing ideas actually work–and how to know.
Ideas for Marketing Your Real Estate Investing Business
Deciding where, when, and how to market a real estate investing business can be confusing for a lot of people, myself included back in the day. We have more platforms on which to advertise than ever before and multiple sources telling us which ones are best. That’s why consulting pros in your field who’ve had the kind of success you want can help you jump right into what works and skip over what doesn’t.
The guys at the Meetup group seemed to know their stuff. Many had been investing in real estate longer than me and most had tried just about every marketing tactic in the book to find, buy, and sell houses. This was exactly what I was looking for. I took notes and, by the end of the night, knew which direction to take. Let me share a little about each of the strategies I considered.
These days, there’s a big push to advertise online. Whether it’s through pop-up or pay-per-click ads or via social media like Facebook and LinkedIn, the internet is the place to be. And with so many people there for personal and professional engagement, it’s no wonder that having an online presence is considered important for building brand awareness. After all, you want as many people as possible to know you exist–especially if you’re a real estate investor looking to grow your portfolio and your business.
Of course, that’s also part of the problem with advertising online. There is so much noise created by internet ads that it can be difficult for homeowners to distinguish between legitimate real estate investors who want to help and those who might take advantage of a distressing situation. I didn’t want my business to get lost in a sea of online ads, nor did I want to get lumped in with investors who might not be on the up-and-up. So in spite of the low cost of being online, it wasn’t where I was going to focus all my efforts.
Buying lead lists
Theoretically, buying lead lists makes the process of finding homeowners who want or need to sell an easier endeavor. These lists contain information about divorcing couples, people who’ve died, homes in foreclosure, and other situations in which homeowners need to sell their home fast. So, assuming the information is accurate, investors know who to contact and when. They often pay a pretty penny for them too.
Therein lies part of the problem with these lists: others have likely bought them and used them. Who’s to say whether you’re the first, or just the most recent, real estate investor to reach out? How is your flier, or call, or knock on the door going to be any different than the last guy? In the eyes of the homeowner, it’s probably not. And because the quality of these lists can vary, there’s no way to know if you’re getting what you paid for. Personally, I didn’t like those odds.
Pounding the pavement
Pounding the pavement is a more traditional means of getting your name out there, and one that’s used by many real estate investors. The thinking goes that if a homeowner in distress can put a face to the name, they are more likely to trust you and to want to do business with you. It’s not an unreasonable assumption to make since investment deals can occasionally result from connecting this way.
But going door-to-door in the hopes of finding motivated sellers, then successfully convincing them to sell to you, is a crap shoot. You have to knock on a lot of doors to find someone who might be open to what you have to say. For homeowners in financial duress and potentially embarrassed about their situation, you may be the last person they want to hear from. Plus, some of the antics used by some real estate investors, like giving homeowners cash with their business cards, are just silly and unprofessional–and give the rest of us a bad name. Pounding the pavement is just too invasive and time-consuming for me.
The guys had taken turns extolling the merits of each of these marketing approaches and, admittedly, were somewhat convincing in spite of my initial doubts. But when I asked about conversion rates, the room got quiet. Though their ideas all worked to some degree, it turns out that none delivered the number of deals they hoped for. They were in the same boat as me.
The Best Marketing Idea on the Block
Luckily, there was one guy at the meeting who was doing quite well without having to spin his wheels on all this stuff. Seeing the exasperated look on my face, he took a moment to share the best idea I’d heard all night: becoming an independently owned and operated HomeVestors® franchisee.
He explained that HomeVestors’ nationally known and trusted “We Buy Ugly Houses”® ad campaign does the work of bringing sellers to you. Seen for years on television, radio, billboards, and in print, HomeVestors’® marketing techniques have helped its independently owned and operated franchisees rise above the noise with an established, well-respected brand. It’s also given homeowners the confidence they need to know where to turn when they decide to sell.
Later that night, I called the “We Buy Ugly Houses”® team and became a HomeVestors® franchisee. That decision hit my real estate investing business right out of the park.
Each franchise office is independently owned and operated.
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.