While a perfect world would witness an abundance of real estate deals show up on your doorstep, it is not that simple. There are certainly plenty of deals out there, but you need to have a plan to obtain them. Developing a real estate marketing plan to generate leads is perhaps the best way to get things started. Having said that, simply mailing a few postcards or sending out a blast email to realtors will not give you the impact you are looking for. You need to have a defined plan in place for what you are going to do, how you are going to do it and who exactly will be doing it. The more actions you have planned, the better your marketing results will be.
Almost everything you do in business starts with a budget. Your marketing is no different. The first thing you need to know is how much you can or are willing to spend. You can spend thousands on a direct mail campaign or a few hundred dollars to be placed in a church bulletin. What you spend will dictate what you can do and how you can do it. It is also more beneficial to do anything multiple times than trying something only once. An expensive billboard on a highway one day a month may not be as productive sending a small list multiple times. This has to be factored into your budget. The costs of your marketing should be multiplied a few times in order to see maximum results. The price tag of your marketing is not nearly as important as making the commitment to stick with it.
Once you know how much you are working with, you can start to develop a plan of attack. As simple as it sounds, you need to assess what your goals for the campaign are. Most investors are hungry for deals and looking for their phone to ring. If this is your goal, you may be looking more for distressed homeowners who are nearing foreclosure and want to sell quickly. Your budget and goals will be the two greatest influences in what type of marketing you do and how you do it.
After you know what you are going to do, the next step is how you will implement it. Direct mailing campaigns can be effective, but they can also be much more work than you anticipated. Between composing the content, stuffing the envelope, writing the address and stamping the letter, you are looking at a fairly time consuming project. If you are slow and do not have other tasks to work on, you can justify doing this yourself. However, if you have deals in the pipeline, it can be a tremendous time commitment. In many cases, it makes sense to outsource this work to someone else and allocate your time more wisely. This should be factored into your original budget. If you do this multiple times, it can become all-encompassing and slowly become a burden. You can have the best marketing plan and the best list, but if you don’t put it into place you won’t get anything out of it.
Implementation should lead to getting your phone to ring. Being busy on the phone talking to people is nice, but it is not your end goal. Your objective when you market is to get solid leads that eventually end in deals. After you market, you need to have a plan in place that will help you deal with the increased call volume. This could mean having a dedicated phone number exclusively for the mailing or not taking on any other deals until the marketing slows down. You need to do something to capture all new leads. How you talk to these people, and if you have a system in place, will make all the difference. There is nothing wrong with developing a script or a list of questions you need answered on every new call. If you constantly try to get them off the phone so you can take the next one, you are not going to get anything out of it. Everyone that contacts you is a potential deal that you are spending money on to capture. You need to be able to turn these leads into deals.
Not every type of marketing will work for you. It is important to track what you do on every deal. If you find something that is working, there is nothing wrong with sticking with it as long as it lasts. Conversely, if something didn’t work, you should get to the bottom of why it went wrong. In some cases, it may be your fault or just the timing. The more you know about why something worked and why it didn’t, the better you can spend your marketing dime in the future.
The type of marketing you do and how you do it can quickly grow your business. It all starts with a plan and a commitment. No matter how many calls you get, you are going to continue with it for 45-60 days. The more committed you are, the better chance that your phone will eventually start ringing.