Last week, I took the first step towards teaching you guys all about creating yourself an online presence in your local real estate market. In that post, I covered the reasons you might want to think about building an online presence for your real estate business. I also stressed the importance of creating profiles on various platforms, so when people are searching online for your business name and certain terms in your area, you’ll be the first search engine results. Want more articles like this? Create an account today to get BiggerPocket's best blog articles delivered to your inbox Sign up for free This week, I planned to talk about the process of putting things together, and why certain things rank the way that they do in search engines. I had so much stuff that I wanted to cover with you all today; however, I’m going to go a different route due to certain emails I received. After last week’s post, I was emailed by a few investors across the country who wanted my views on certain topics. They wanted to ask why they need online marketing to be successful when they’re already doing pretty well in the community. They have many properties and continue to do deals using the old, traditional way of real estate marketing. The marketing tactics they’re using are: Bandit Signs Newspaper Ads Cold Calling Driving for Dollars I had a few emails come in like this that were just inquiring as to why they should focus their attention on online marketing when the leads are coming in offline via a few marketing efforts they’ve implemented. I wasn’t surprised to get an email or two like this because I’m used to getting them from years of teaching real estate marketing. Related: My Single Biggest Real Estate Marketing Discovery of 2014 So, I figured that before I spent another second moving on to build your online presence, I first wanted to address the reasons behind why you might focus online and offline to grow your real estate business. Offline Marketing When I’m teaching real estate marketing, I focus on two categories: online and offline. First, I want to talk about offline marketing, which is what most of us will likely do when starting out in real estate investing. The tons of real estate courses out there that teach you how to buy and sell real estate creatively with or without money likely have a segment on offline marketing. Now, this has been going on since the early days of courses like this. They all teach the investing side for about 90% of the course. The other 10% of the course will focus on marketing the real estate business that you just started. What you will learn is the traditional way of how to find motivated sellers and hunt down those distressed property owners. Look, I don’t have to go over the tons of ways to do this because if you’re doing any deals today, then you know most of these marketing strategies already. However, what I will say is that in all honesty, these marketing tactics still work today, just as they did back in 1972. People still have overgrown grass, which is the first sign of a distressed property or a distressed property owner. So we know what to look for offline, and if done correctly, we can indeed produce tons of leads once we start the contacting phase. Maybe you find a good realtor who is young and hungry and seeking to find you the best deals in town. If you can connect with someone like this, then you stand to get many leads due to the foreclosures and expired listings of properties that didn’t sell. Even better, those bandit signs work well in any community that you’re trying to target. People are driving those roads every single day, and if you can get that sign in front of them, you up your chances of getting a hot lead. Done well, I’ve seen this become one of the top ways a lot of my real estate friends around the world buy their properties. The offline world of real estate marketing is in many ways still as powerful today as ever. I always encourage my clients to continue their offline marketing and never stop that — because, for one, it simply works well. You can still obviously make a good living in real estate without a website or online presence. But there are still limitations. Online Marketing Successfully implementing an online marketing campaign for your real estate business is like no other feeling in the world. What other place can I go and put my business in front of potentially thousands of people each month without stressing about leads? Online marketing is the reason I sleep well at night, knowing I’m growing a platform that is connected to all of my potential leads. If people search for the following, they could find me: Real Estate Investors in Shreveport, La Homes for Sale in New Orleans Houses for Rent in Phoenix, AZ Atlanta Realtors The power of being online gives thousands of people all over your local market ways to find you — if you do your part. Only if you create that awesome, SEO-friendly website, along with citations, profiles, and videos, and start producing awesome blog posts centered around your community will you benefit from this form of marketing. Only then will you see the power of being online, which will give you the ability to be found by countless numbers of people looking for your services. The thing is that this is 100x more effective than cold calling someone who may not even be interested in selling their property. You may call the homeowner thinking that the grass was high due to the fact that no one lives there, but someone may in fact reside at the property. Maybe the owners of the property are just a little lazy and haven’t done any lawn work in a few months. How embarrassing to make that call. The Unique Benefits of Online Marketing Online marketing is a lot safer to do versus using those bandit signs that in certain cites will get you fined heavily. You will never get fined for building an online presence. Another sad issue about just using offline marketing is that the realtors that are bringing you those leads today may not be so happy to do it tomorrow. Why? The reason for this is that once they start to see how the real estate business works from the investing end and how much money you’re making, they will start to become more distant because they will be keeping those properties for themselves. Oh yeah — and they’ll start bringing you what’s left over after the other realtors pick through them and after they get what they want out of it. Related: The Real Estate Marketing Mistake That Could Cost You Millions This leaves you spending more money on bandit signs and direct mail and wasting more gas on driving for dollars — which, these things are not bad at all, and tons of people still use these methods today, including many clients that I work with. Heck, I always encourage people to continue doing this if their budget can hold up. But the issue is that people just look on one side of the fence and never think about the online world. Don’t you know that thousands of people are actually looking for you online, wanting to find someone to buy and sell to? There is no reason not to be online reaping the benefits of free marketing. I’m not trying to steer you away from doing any form of offline marketing. I’m simply advocating for people to grow their businesses by utilizing both forms of marketing, which gives you the cutting edge over the local competition. If my local competitors are only marketing offline, then you better believe that I’m doing the offline stuff to compete with them. But even more so, I’m focusing online, so that I can have those leads also, which are more targeted and ready to do business. So, if offline marketing is something that you’re still doing, then keep up the good work. Just think about building that online presence even more. If this is something you want to do for your business, then joint me next Tuesday for the first edition of building an online presence to dominate your local marketing. Comment Time: Where is your focus? Online or Offline? Which do you feel brings you more value? I want to hear from you — leave a comment below!