I recently got hooked up with a local investor as a property finder, or bird dog as is the less appealing term. I want to start doing a bit of marketing and networking, so I'm thinking about designing a business card for myself (I'm a graphic designer by trade).
My question is, will people even take me seriously if I market myself as a property finder? I think to sellers I should probably just say I am working with a group of investors, but to other investors I want to be straight up. However, due to reading these forums I feel that bird dogs get a bad name because, well, we aren't really putting up any of our own money (other than for this marketing!) and tend to be newbies.
What's a good way to market yourself to both sellers and investors when you're not actually a wholesaler or investor? FWIW, I have every intention of doing my own deals eventually, but for now the property finder / bird dog feels like a good place for me to start.
I think the best way to market yourself to sellers is the exact approach you mentioned in your post; tell them you work with a group of investors and that they're looking for a house just like the seller's.
The best way to market yourself to other investors is by networking. Attend any local REI meet-ups in your area and start introducing yourself as a property finder/bird dog. Introduce yourself to investors here on BP and reach out to them whenever you find a potential deal.
Personally, I don't care whether someone is a complete newbie or someone with years of experience. I care about results. Property finding is all about working the phones and pounding the pavement and just working really hard. You may talk to fifty people before you find one that's actually interested in selling their home. I've found that new investors tend to have the most energy to devote to this type of difficult work.
You are there to solve problems.
People need to sell quickly for cash you want to make it happen.
Rehabbers are looking for their next deal might as well come from you.
An associate of mine is looking for properties in your area Mr. Homeowner...
@Robert Williams I love your reply, great feedback. I actually enjoy doing the research, marketing, etc. That's part of the reason I don't mind being at this level for awhile, though many will argue if you're going to do all that work you might as well wholesale the deals yourself. I enjoy hunting down a lead, and not having to put too much on the line just yet.
I don't think there is anything negative about bird dogging. I have as many as I can find. What you are really asking is how to find the right people who want your services. Seek out any larger scale investors in your city, hedge funds, large wholesalers etc. They all want more houses to buy.
Thanks for the input!
I still wonder, more specifically, how I should refer to myself on marketing materials such as a business card. This would be something I'd hand out to anyone, both seller and investor, so I need to market myself in a favorable but honest way to both types of parties. Should I just put "Property Locator" and then give the relevant information to the person inquiring?
"Property Locator" is fine, or how about something more general, such as "Marketing" - that can mean a lot of things, but it implies that you are involved in finding and bringing people together for business purposes.
With that as your title, you could offer specific services, such as distribution of marketing materials door-to-door, event marketing & promotions, etc.
Investors generally suck at marketing - even guys that are doing pretty well (they are the first to admit this). Let them know you're an expert and help them think of unique new ways to get the message out there and generate leads.
@Dev Horn that's an excellent angle that I'm ashamed to say I hadn't thought of. It may also be easier that way, merging together my current job in design and marketing with REI, as well as it would allow me to do some overlap in networking. Even if an investor doesn't want to work with me on real estate deals, they may know somewhere my marketing services are needed! Thank you so much, I'm definitely going to take this approach.
I liked @Dev Horn response. don't forget the simple symble "/" it goes a long way.
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