Real Estate Investor Marketing Plan – Find More Deals!
The Ultimate Real Estate Investor Marketing Plan: Find More Deals
If you have been investing in real estate for any time at all, then you know one of the most common frustrations is a lack of motivated seller leads. For most investors, this either results in them not looking at enough houses or meeting with homeowners that don’t have an urgency to sell. Either way, the result is the same – not enough deals!
What if you had enough deals in your pipeline to obliterate your financial goals? Whether you are a flipper, landlord, or wholesaler, we’re positive that’s what you’re looking for! So how do you generate enough motivated seller leads to close real estate deals consistently? The first step is to generate a real estate investor marketing plan! As the saying goes, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.”
Once you determine which marketing strategies you plan to use and who your target audience is, you can move forward confidently and make tweaks as you see necessary. But only until you implement your plan consistently will you begin to see results.
This article discusses the major marketing strategies that real estate investors use as well as some that aren’t as mainstream and saturated.
Take these tips and implement them in your business today to start finding and closing more deals!
Why Marketing is Essential for Real Estate Investors
A real estate investing business lives and dies with lead flow. And unfortunately, not every lead is created equally. Many marketing channels generate tons of leads, but none are really looking to sell, especially at any sort of discount!
As a real estate investor, you must determine which marketing strategies will work for you to bring in motivated sellers consistently. Otherwise, you will have a hard time maintaining consistent cash flow.
The tricky part about real estate investor marketing is that it’s constantly changing. What worked last year might not provide the same returns this year. Also, different markets respond differently to various marketing campaigns.
You must constantly be tracking your performance, developing new ideas, and tweaking your approach to be successful.
What is Direct-to-Seller Marketing
Direct-to-seller marketing is precisely what it sounds like. Instead of going through a real estate agent to find deals, you market directly to homeowners and personally work out deals with them.
This is where real estate investors typically find their best deals, and that’s for two main reasons.
- There aren’t any agent commissions to pay.
- The conditions and situations of these properties typically make them ill-suited for the MLS.
In many markets, the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) is completely saturated with buyers, so savvy real estate investors decide to look outside of it. They might choose any of the marketing strategies listed here, but they all have the same goal: to get in touch with a homeowner that needs to sell and work out a deal that suits everyone.
Most of the ideas presented here are direct-to-seller marketing strategies because these are what most investors are looking to do, and they often require the most creativity. After all, talking with a real estate agent and having them send you listings doesn’t take much hard work on your part.
However, the work required to market directly to homeowners often results in much larger paydays!
Real Estate Marketing Plan for Investors
1. Decide What You’re Looking For
As you develop your real estate investor marketing plan, you must thoughtfully consider what types of properties you want to target. Otherwise, you could end up generating a ton of leads that don’t meet your criteria. Ouch!
Here are some things you should consider based on your preferred exit strategy.
Flippers generally like to focus on starter homes, especially as the market cools down. Most house flippers like to stick around home values at or below the city’s median sales price. Since flipping a house involves investing money to renovate the property and raise its value, you’ll likely need to look for homes with a decent amount of equity.
One real estate trend is that when home values go up, rent rates typically follow – but not as fast. Because of this, most landlords prefer to invest in lower-priced homes because they provide higher cash-on-cash returns.
In many cities, certain pockets are highly saturated with rental properties because they provide landlords with the best bang for their buck. It’s your job as a real estate investor to find these areas and market to them.
Creative financing allows real estate investors to work out deals when no cash investor could. This is because they’re typically not paying large sums of money out of pocket. Instead, they are creating financing with the seller that pays them over time instead of a lump sum at closing.
Because of this, low-equity properties can be a gold mine for real estate investors specializing in creative financing.
2. Generate High-Quality Leads
A professional website is one of the best marketing strategies for real estate investors because it builds upfront credibility with potential home sellers and establishes you as an expert. Many people do not want to deal with a fly-by-night real estate investor, and an engaging website that answers their questions shows them you know what you’re doing.
The great part about a website is that the leads are completely inbound, meaning they are reaching out to you. However, the tricky part is actually getting homeowners to land on your site. That’s what the next few sections will cover.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Do you ever wonder when you search for something on Google how the results on page one got there? Chances are the websites enjoying the traffic from the top spots have performed a significant amount of search engine optimization.
Think about it for a second. What would someone needing to sell their house to an investor type into Google? Perhaps “Sell my house fast [your city]” or “Sell my house without an agent [your city].” Or maybe they saw the “We Buy Houses” bandit signs and decided to figure out what that’s all about.
What if your website ranked at the top of Google for those terms – and not just those terms, but any phrases related to selling a house? The truth is it would bring you a ton of motivated seller leads!
Search engine optimization is not an easy task though. However, it is well worth the effort. And once your website is in the number one spot, the leads are essentially free!
Pay Per Click (PPC)
While your goal should always be to rank organically for the keywords motivated sellers search for, the truth is that SEO takes a significant amount of time. Even with deliberate effort, it can take several months or more to see results.
Fortunately, you can shortcut this time using Pay Per Click ads. Instead of waiting on Google to push you to the top of the organic search results, you can pay to show up in the ad space.
Compared to the complicated SEO algorithm that determines which website is in the top spot, PPC is much simpler. It’s still not a walk in the park, so it is wise to begin your journey by working with someone who can manage your campaigns for you.
3. Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing is a vast topic, so let’s start by talking about posting organically on your profiles.
As a real estate investor, you won’t likely get a ton of motivated seller leads directly from the content you publish on social media. However, it is highly possible to get a ton of indirect traffic by means of the people that see your posts.
Most people who follow you on social media are not your target audience. They don’t need to sell their house to an investor and likely never will. However, by staying fresh in their minds and letting them know what you do, they will undoubtedly refer someone they know your way when they need to sell a house.
One bonus perk of building a following on social media is that it will help you raise private money. Even though most of them will never be motivated sellers, many of them could fund your deals. Publishing consistent content will build enough credibility for them to feel good about lending to you.
While posting organic content on social media may not directly capture motivated seller leads, that doesn’t mean that social media is not one of the best marketing strategies for real estate investors.
A great way to capture motivated seller leads is by running Facebook ads. Just like with PPC, Facebook ads are paid campaigns that show your content to targeted groups of people.
Also like PPC, running your own Facebook ads is not recommended unless you are willing to learn all the nuances involved. Otherwise, it is best to work with someone who knows the platform’s ins and outs. They can help you target people based on hundreds of factors such as demographics, area, and interests.
One thing to keep in mind when running Facebook ads is that you will likely get a high volume of leads, but not everyone will be motivated or fit your criteria. For example, it is common to get leads from this marketing strategy in rural areas with little to no investor activity. Even still, Facebook ads can be a great way to fill your pipeline.
Although Facebook ads can pull a high quantity of motivated seller leads, the ad campaigns can be expensive.
How about a free way to find discounted off-market properties?
Did you know that there are over 10 million groups on Facebook? There is a group for everything these days. And there are undoubtedly people that need to sell their houses in many of them.
But how do you actually find these people? You obviously can’t just start joining random groups and asking people in them if they want to sell their homes.
You have to join groups that are at least somewhat relevant. Some places to start are online yard sale and buy/sell/trade groups. On top of being fairly generic, these groups typically have a large number of people in them.
The best way to generate leads from these groups is to make short and to-the-point posts. It can be something as simple as “Looking for a fixer-upper house. Anybody have something they need to sell?” That type of post with a colorful background typically generates much more activity than a long, elaborate post.
Of course, you must follow the guidelines of the group when posting. And if you use this marketing strategy at scale, you will undoubtedly get blocked from some groups. But find the ones that work and watch the leads roll in.
4. Direct Mail
Up to this point, we’ve focused on digital forms of marketing. But that’s not the only way to find your next real estate investment.
Although direct mail is a bit old school, it still works. In fact, many successful real estate investors see the bulk of their leads from sending postcards.
However, there are a few keys to success that you must consider when starting a direct mail campaign.
First off, you must send a high enough volume of mail pieces. Many investors send out a batch of a couple of hundred postcards and wonder why they can’t get a deal. The truth is that you can expect a response rate of around 0.5%. So for every 1,000 postcards sent, you can expect to receive five calls. And those are just calls! Not closed deals. Knowing that, you must send out thousands of postcards per month if you want to generate a significant volume of real estate deals.
On top of that, the list you send mail to greatly affects your response and conversion rates. Simply blasting an entire area will result in a much lower response rate than targeting specific homeowners that have exhibited some sort of motivation to sell. The best direct mail campaigns include lists that stack multiple pain points.
5. Cold Calling
The marketing strategies presented so far are considered inbound strategies because the seller makes the first direct contact about selling their house. The benefit of inbound marketing is that most people you talk to will have at least some motivation to sell since they made an effort to reach out to you.
However, waiting for the phone to ring or for someone to fill out a web form can be disheartening.
That’s why many real estate investors opt for outbound marketing. The most obvious choice for outbound marketing is cold calling.
The keys to success when cold calling are similar to direct mail. One of the best ways to ensure great results is by maintaining a high volume of calls. Developing the skill of talking to people is obviously important, but consistency is arguably more essential.
When cold calling, you are simply trying to narrow your list to people interested in selling their house. Many investors try to close the deal on the first call, but that’s usually completely unnatural. The best approach is to introduce yourself, build as much credibility as possible, do some fact-finding, and set up another call or appointment to take the deal further.
6. Text Messaging
Remember how we said the number one job of cold calling is to get people to raise their hands to say they’re interested in selling their homes? What if you could do that without having to get on the phone with people and sift through the people that have no interest in selling?
You can automate this process with text message campaigns!
The best way to implement this marketing strategy is to use a robust CRM that allows you to set automated sequences. That way, you can set up drip campaigns to stay in touch with potential sellers and increase your chances of catching them at the right time.
One thing to keep in mind if you plan to use SMS marketing as part of your real estate investing strategy is that people have started cracking down on real estate investors lately. You should invest a lot of time and effort to ensure you stay compliant before launching a text campaign.
Sometimes the best deals can come from referrals. If you let everyone know what you do, you’ll be surprised how many leads come your way.
Here are two tips for networking:
Offer a unique value proposition. An example of this is knowledge about creative financing. Many people know of distressed situations where a cash deal won’t work, but a creative deal will save the day.
Think about what’s in it for them. If it’s another wholesaler or agent, plan to reward them financially. You might reward other people by giving them your business in the future.
Here are some real estate professionals to begin networking with today:
Wholesalers: They market for distressed properties and buy them at discounts. They also come across deals they can’t close that you might be able to.
Agents: They have the most comprehensive view of the market and are often the first ones contacted by sellers. However, some properties may not be fit for the MLS, and they can send those to you.
Property Managers: They manage rental properties for all types of people. Many of their clients are accidental or burned-out landlords who want to sell their properties.
Home Inspectors: They often inspect homes where the deal falls through because of hidden issues. They can send you those homes to buy as-is.
Probate Attorneys: They manage the transfer of property to heirs when someone passes away. In many cases, the heirs are looking to sell the house as soon as possible.
8. Work with a Real Estate Agent
Although finding good deals on the MLS is often challenging, working with a real estate agent should be part of your marketing plan.
A good agent will go to work for you to help you find your next real estate investment. If you give them the criteria of the types of properties you’re looking for, they can set filters and alerts to notify them as soon as something that might be a match comes on the market.
If they send you something, be ready to jump on it right away! The MLS is likely the most competitive arena for real estate deals. It’s not uncommon for a distressed house to come on the MLS and have people lined up in the front yard to look at it on the same day.
The Importance of Using Multiple Strategies
We’ve presented several marketing strategies for real estate investors here, and you likely have one or two in your mind that you plan to implement immediately. That’s great! Taking action is necessary to be successful in real estate investing.
However, what will really grow your business is implementing several strategies at once. Think about it like fishing. The more lines you have in the water, the higher your chances of getting a bite. The same goes for marketing in real estate.
Many real estate investing instructors teach that you can expect one deal per year from each marketing channel. In reality, you will likely see more deals than that from certain strategies, but it’s a good rule of thumb. That means if you want to do ten deals per year, you should implement ten marketing channels. If you do that, you’ll likely crush your goals and do even more than you planned.
Develop a Real Estate Investor Marketing Plan
Marketing is one of the most important, if not the most important, components of success for a real estate investing business. If you develop a strong plan and utilize several of the strategies presented here, you will undoubtedly fill your pipeline with motivated seller leads. However, if you slack on marketing, it likely won’t be long before you see your deal flow dry up.
We hope this article has sparked some marketing ideas you can quickly implement in your business. This is by no means an exhaustive list. The more creative you can get the better!
We wish you the best in finding new deals!