Will my BRAND scare people away?

10 Replies

Hi family,

I'm stuck. I'm trying to finalize my branding (i.e. company name, marketing message, etc.) and I'm torn on which brand direction to take. Here are the options (but not the actual brand names):

A. "I Buy Houses": I like this approach because it's direct. In theory, people will only contact me if they're interested in selling. However, I'm concerned that (1) homeowners will perceive me as a self-interested investor and (2) when I get them on the phone, they will only want to know my buying price, not allowing me to build a relationship.

B. "I Help Homeowners": I like this approach because it's less about me and more about helping. I feel that I will get more leads and that people will open up to me more. However, I'm concerned that I may be misleading people of my ultimate motives as an investor. I also feel that I may spend an unnecessary amount of time dealing with homeowners who don't want to sell.

Which do you feel will work better and why? 

I'd particularly like to hear from those that invest regularly in marketing.

I'm thinking here from the other persons perspective. No matter which option you pick, the fact that you have an advertisement, sign, or a website means there is something in it for you. How could there not be? Everyone has a motif. So what you really want is to communicate mutual benefits for each party. Because I know what's in it for you, and you told me, I trust you more. And if what your doing solves my problem (ex. I need to get rid of my house), I'm interested. So go with option A. Plus option B makes you sound like a real estate attorney to me.

IMO, both A & B feel like loan sharking and fly-by-nights.  PLEASE, don't get offended, but you asked.  I don't doubt at all that you really do "...Help Homeowners", but being this direct feels just like "used car salesman" - - I'm sure you're not but more importantly, you don't want to be seen that way at all.

Your question is important, but wholesaling and flipping is a tender spot in RE and the wrong name can get you into all kinds of trouble.  SO, kudos for asking and best wishes.

From what you have listed I feel that I help homeowners is more personal and could appeal to a seller on a more personal level, however the I buy houses approach is more to the point of what you are trying to do. This is how you are helping the homeowner. Of the two that you have listed I would personally go with the I buy houses approach because it says exactly what you are doing and leaves less confusion on a sellers part. I foresee you getting several questions if you just say that you help homeowners.

Originally posted by NA Beard:

IMO, both A & B feel like loan sharking and fly-by-nights.  PLEASE, don't get offended, but you asked.  I don't doubt at all that you really do "...Help Homeowners", but being this direct feels just like "used car salesman" - - I'm sure you're not but more importantly, you don't want to be seen that way at all.

Your question is important, but wholesaling and flipping is a tender spot in RE and the wrong name can get you into all kinds of trouble.  SO, kudos for asking and best wishes.

What would you suggest as alternatives? 

Regardless of which direction you choose, make sure the follow up message is clear. Yes, people are going to assume you're looking to make some money and there's something in it for you, otherwise why advertise? But if you are going to have a website, make a nice "about" page that clearly defines what you are doing and trying to do to create win-win scenarios for both you and the seller/distressed owner. 

What I suggest is absolutely neither one!

1. Are you really going to buy houses or are you wholesaling, starting out with that little lie deceiving sellers? You don't need a "brand" to begin actually buying houses, just find them and buy them.

2. Saying you are in the "help" business is starting out with a perception problem of being a scam man. What experience or expertise do you have to help others? Law, accounting, financial planning, estate matters, real estate valuations, management, just how are you going to "help" anyone, how might you "help" me? 

The confusion comes when new dealers/operators think the need an identity to deal in real estate, "I'm a wholesaler, I'm a buy and hold investor, I'm a rehab guy"...... what difference does it make to Harry Homeowner who or what you call yourself?

"I'm in real estate" that works! I'm not "branded" to one niche, I can pull a deal off from many different directions, apply the strategy as you find the circumstances of the owner and property. All Harry wants is to solve is problem and get rid of a property for a good, acceptable deal for him. 

If you're doing the yellow letter thing, you don't really need to identify yourself as a niche operator. Say "I buy houses" and eventually, not ever buying a property, you may get nailed for false advertising, see what the FTC has to  say about that!

Learn real estate and then apply the right strategy that meets the circumstances! :)  

I'm in agreement with the others.. You always want to offer "help" or solutions..

I know in many cases, if you have a vehicle that says " I BUY HOUSES" Plastered on it, potential sellers do not want it in their driveway.  

Be careful of what Bill Gulley was referring to with your advertising.

Free eBook from BiggerPockets!

Ultimate Beginner's Guide Book Cover

Join BiggerPockets and get The Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Real Estate Investing for FREE - read by more than 100,000 people - AND get exclusive real estate investing tips, tricks and techniques delivered straight to your inbox twice weekly!

  • Actionable advice for getting started,
  • Discover the 10 Most Lucrative Real Estate Niches,
  • Learn how to get started with or without money,
  • Explore Real-Life Strategies for Building Wealth,
  • And a LOT more.

We hate spam just as much as you