The Highly Effective (Completely Free) Marketing Trick Newbies Overlook

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Marketing is the heartbeat of business. If you don’t keep it going, your business will die.

BiggerPockets is a wonderful place, but two things it has a lot of are beginners and information on direct mail campaigns.

Don’t get me wrong; direct mail, SEO, and social media marketing all have their place in a real estate investment business. However, they are far more complicated than the most powerful marketing tool, and they frequently stun beginners with analysis paralysis.

Related: Real Estate Marketing: How Much Should I Be Spending to Get Deals?

The most powerful form of marketing is you. Everything you do can translate into you marketing your business. A great place to start is to simply try to mention that you’re an investor to anyone you have more than a one minute conversation with. That’s it. Free, fast, simple.

Using Casual Conversation

Now, this doesn’t mean when you pass by someone, they nod and say hi — and you grab them and say, I invest in real estate. Or the waitress is trying to take your order and you decide to tell her about your real estate career. No, of course not. Find a way to slide it in the conversation like it belongs. You will get better at this over time.

A couple years ago, if I went through the grocery store line, was standing in line at Chipotle, pumping gas next to someone at the gas station… whatever it may have been, I wouldn’t talk to strangers. However, now I might ask a simple question such as, “What do you think of this neighborhood? I invest in real estate for a living, and I’m looking to buy a couple more rental properties around here. I am curious what you think of this area.” That one question will not only give you inside perspective on areas, it will open doors to further conversation about what you do.

If the conversation goes nowhere and they look at you like you’re a weirdo, you are in the same position as if you would have said nothing.

This simple tweak has landed me some of the best business relationships I have today. To show you the potential it has, I will share a couple of my own recent experiences.

How This Method Has Worked For Me

I went to buy a $75 dryer off Craigslist. A week later I bought a $85,000 duplex off that same guy with 90% seller financing at 5% interest over 30 years. I am now working on more deals with this same guy, and he is discussing future lending with me. I found a great off market deal, access to money for that deal, and future potential opportunity, all because I brought up the fact that I invest in real estate.

In another scenario, I had a garage sale and mentioned investing to one of the guys who came to browse. Now he is by far my best contractor and runs a crew of 5 guys on my flips.

Related: No Budget for Marketing? Here’s How to Best Use $5/Day to Bring in Leads

I did not intend to meet these people for any business reasons. This was not a scheduled networking event. I had no idea they could offer me anything. Yet simply throwing the connector out there sometimes makes a connection. Those few connections are so worth all the times it doesn’t work.

With so many beginners overwhelmed with learning about complex, expensive marketing tools, I felt a need to share this simple but highly effective marketing tool that frequently goes overlooked because of how truly basic it is. The successful investors do have direct mail, social media and SEO in their tool belts, but believe me, every single one still uses themselves as the most powerful tool to promote their business.

This blog is short because it doesn’t need to be long. The concept is basic. Get out there and start talking to anyone and everyone you can!

Investors: Have you ever landed a deal because of casual conversation about your business?

Let me know your stories in the comments section below!

About Author

Jered Sturm

Jered Sturm is co-founder and director of sales and marketing at SNS Capital Group. Jered began in the real estate industry in 2006, working for a successful real estate investment company as a handyman. From 2009-2012, Jered co-founded the construction company Sturm Properties. Using his background in contracting and construction, he began investing in “Value Add” real estate. Now, after co-founding SNS Capital Group, Jered has conducted over 10 million dollars in real estate transactions. He currently co-owns and operates a portfolio worth over 3.7 million dollars in investment real estate.


  1. Kellum Lewis

    So true. Thanks Jared! Last week I mentioned to my mechanic that I’d started investing in real estate. He asked me how it was going. I told him briefly what I was up to and how I’d gotten started, by taking a real estate education course. He smiled and said, “Yeah, I did that about 30 years ago.” So I asked, “Yeah, and…how did it go?” to which he slyly replied, “Well, today I own a lot of real estate.” Come to find out, he owns property nationwide and he’s now a hard money lender (not private; he’s part of a group of investors). I picked his brain for a while and when we parted, he told me he’d be willing to look over any deals I might like him to see and possibly lend to me. It was my intentional yet casual comment that opened the door. Thanks again!

  2. Andrew Syrios

    The power of networking, even in unusual situations, cannot be overstated. We ran a craigslist ad back in the day about selling your house and the guy who called on it ended up becoming our biggest private lender by far. You just never know where these connections will come from.

  3. Jerry W.

    When I started real estate I was very tight lipped about it trying to stay under the radar and be a quiet partner. I didn’t like folks knowing my business and would prefer to be the guy with a lot of houses that no one knew about. About 3 years ago I decided to change all of that. I had bought out the last partner in my business. Now by telling a lot of people I actually have folks calling me on a regular basis looking for houses and have bought at least 2 houses just by word of mouth and lets call Jerry. I was avoiding the best advertising available. I still get the slumlord comments once in awhile but that goes with the territory.

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