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It’s Time to Crank Up the Old Marketing Machine

by Sharon Vornholt on August 27, 2012 · 8 comments

  
business cards networking

For the past few years deals have been plentiful for real estate investors; so plentiful in fact many of them felt that they no longer really had to do any marketing. Foreclosures and bank owned properties were everywhere. A lot of real estate investors have had their pick of great deals. All they had to do in many cases was to cherry pick bank owned properties right off the MLS.

As the supply of foreclosures and REOs begin to decline, these same people are once again going to have to think about how to market for deals in their real estate business; how they will compete with all of the other real estate investors out there for those same great deals.

I keep reading in all the forums and in many of the articles I’ve seen that great deals are getting harder and harder for investors to find. And many real estate investors I come in contact with are saying pretty much the same thing.

Old School Marketing

I read an article last week about the expected decline in foreclosures over the next few years, and how this would affect every investor’s real estate business. In this article, the author stated that real estate investors could expect to go back to “old school marketing methods” to find deals like direct mail, email marketing, and other “old school” strategies.

I found this statement incredibly funny, because almost all of the really successful investors that I personally know never quit doing those “old school” marketing activities.

They may have added foreclosures to their other niche markets when looking for deals, and looking for bank owned properties on the MLS may have also be something they added to what they were already doing. But they never stopped their other marketing activities.

Do I need to make a change in what I’m doing?

I would say, “Probably so”. If you have stopped the “old school” marketing machine, it’s time to crank it back up again. Even if business is plentiful today working foreclosures, it’s inevitable that one day you will need a different stream of leads coming in the door. Getting back to basics should certainly include these 3 things:

  • If you are one of the many real estate investors out there that doesn’t have a website, make that your top priority. Before you spend the next 3 months trying to decide on a banner across the top and what colors you should use, just get one up to collect leads and get some basic SEO in place. You don’t look like a professional if you don’t have a website. Go back later and turn it into a masterpiece.
  • Be sure you have business cards. I went to my REIA meeting last week and believe it or not, there are still some investors that have never gotten around to getting business cards. One fellow told me that “He used to have some, but he ran out about a year ago”. Never leave home without your business cards.
  • Pull out a piece of paper this week and spend some time creating a basic marketing plan if you don’t have one. It doesn’t have to be elaborate, but is has to be one designed to get you leads consistently. Once you have your plan, you actually have to take action and work your plan so make sure it is doable for you. Make a decision to add at least one new marketing strategy to your business in the next 30 days.

If you have a marketing plan I would love to hear about it.

Photo: Greentech Media

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Mike August 27, 2012 at 8:18 am

Couldnt agree more. Never stop marketing! Even in the good times. We still old school collect business cards, upload them into our email manager and send then to the website – using it as a great way to keep in touch with contacts, send them helpful info and build relationships. All a part of the marketing process!

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Sharon Vornholt August 27, 2012 at 9:37 am

Mike –

It’s great to embrace all of the new things that come along; we should all do that. But like you, I know that the “old school” marketing works. this buisiness is indeed all about relationships. We should all take advantage of the best of both worlds.

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John Fedro August 27, 2012 at 9:20 am

Great advice Sharon.

Back to the basics and stay consistent!! I’ll admit I’m guilty of forgetting my business cards from time to time too.

Thanks for the article,
John Fedro

Reply

Sharon Vornholt August 27, 2012 at 9:42 am

John – Back to the basics indeed. We all need to remember the tried and true things.

I think we have all been guilty of forgetting our business cards at one time or another. I don’t have that problem anymore, because I keep an extra supply in my car now. It’s also probably a good time to look at everything and make sure none of your marketing materials need to be updated. I did that with my business card recently.

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Joshua Dorkin August 27, 2012 at 10:43 am

Great stuff Sharon. It actually amazes me how many real estate investors don’t have business cards. It is absolutely the first marketing tool that should be in your arsenal. If you don’t have a card, you may as well not have a business. While I don’t think a website is as important, I do agree that investors need to have one fairly early.

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Sharon Vornholt August 27, 2012 at 12:02 pm

Josh –

It just amazes me when folks don’t have business cards. Business cards will show people you are really a professional real estate investor; it’s all about “perception”. I think having even a simple website helps folks find you online, and it tells them once again you are a “legitimate” business person. Thanks for your comments Josh.

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Jason August 27, 2012 at 2:54 pm

This is exactly what my friend Joe did and he is killing it in real estate when nobody in there right mind should be in the business.

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Sharon Vornholt August 27, 2012 at 4:29 pm

Jason –

Are you talking about direct mail?

Reply

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