Author Glenn Plantone

Real Estate Investing Basics
0 Strategies for Realtor Success in Today’s Marketplace

This past week, my Re/Max broker gave me an award congratulating me for having the 9th most sales in the region. In order to achieve this, I had to sell over a million dollars in real estate in each of the last two months. And I can tell you… you have to sell a lot of condos at $30,000 to sell over a million dollars in real estate. This got me thinking a little bit about what am I doing right. I asked myself, “What am I doing that has afforded me the ability to sell so much real estate in what some call the worst housing market in our nation’s history? What do I perhaps do differently than the average Realtor, that enables me to do a lot more business?

Thinking Like An Investor

The first thing I do, is that I think like an investor, not like a Realtor. I understand what the investor wants and I find it for him. Savvy investors in today’s market want good, new houses or condos at the lowest price possible, with the highest cash flow, and the greatest appreciation potential. More than ever, investors know what they want and they are able to make a good, fast decision about buying it provided you get them the necessary information in an expeditious manor. In today’s market you have to be ready to pull the trigger immediately if you see a good investment property. The key is to train both your investor clients and your owner occupants to be as aggressive as you need them to be in order to get the deal under contract and closed.

Real Estate Marketing
1 Following Up On Leads: the Most Important 15 Minutes You’ll Ever Spend

Today’s post is the fifth in my series, “The Investors’ Realtor.” In previous posts, we have discussed thinking like an investor in order to find and gain investor clients, as well as looking for current hot spots (not necessarily in your own backyard) and going to where the investor actually wants to buy. In the third edition I explained how to start and run a local real estate club in order to gain exposure for yourself, market your services, find prospects, and network with others in your local market place. My last post detailed how to find and generate quality, qualified leads for yourself using principles that apply to all business professionals, not just Realtors.

Building off the tips shared in last week’s edition for creating leads, I would like to discuss following up on the leads that you generate. Great marketing and great lead generation are useless if you do not follow up on your leads promptly and effectively.

Following up with your Real Estate Leads

The first step I perform is to log all of my leads into an Excel spreadsheet. If set up correctly, this spreadsheet can then later be exported to an email blasting service like Constant Contact or sent using a program like Microsoft Outlook (which is what I use) to send bulk emails to these potential clients. While Outlook allows you to blast up to 50 emails at one time, newsletter sites where you pay a monthly fee for their services allow much larger email blasts from your qualified list.

The Spreadsheet
In my “new leads” spreadsheet I create the following fields: Name, Phone, Email, Source of Lead, Date, Notes, and three columns to record each of the three times that I try to make contact with a new lead.

Real Estate Marketing
4 How to Generate Quality Real Estate Leads

In this, the fourth installment of my “Investors’ Realtor” series I would like to dive into how to market yourself and create quality leads. In my mind, quality leads are real, qualified prospects that are ready, willing, and able to buy real estate from you.

My BiggerPockets blog post from last week detailed how I use a local real estate club to generate leads. I realize, however, that starting a real estate club isn’t for everyone; this kind of marketing can be costly and very time consuming.

Press Releases for Lead Generation

The second tool that I use for lead generation requires less initial outlay of time and money. About two years ago, one of my local friends, Robin Jay (author of “The Art of the Business Lunch” and an accomplished public speaker) told me about one of many internet press release websites that allow you to write articles and press releases about any topic you like, and post them electronically on the site. They then distribute these articles to various internet ezines, blogs, websites and other publications.

I have used these services extremely effectively over the past couple of years to promote myself as the “Foreclosure Expert” in the Las Vegas real estate market. As I noted in my previous blog entries, in order to succeed in real estate it is important to pick a niche in which to focus your energies and efforts. Once you decide on your niche, you need to become an expert in that field through reading and doing. Once you are an expert, it is not that hard to sit down, write an outline on a subject that you know a lot about, and create an article that will be valuable for someone who is looking for information on that subject.

Real Estate Marketing
4 Starting a Real Estate Club: The Perks and How to Make it Happen
Real Estate Business Planning by Diane Flannigan
Image by JohnHallAssociates via Flickr

As the Investors’ Realtor, the success of my business hinges on continually finding new prospects that are interested in purchasing residential real estate. One of the avenues that I have found extremely effective in this regard is the real estate club that I founded 2 ½ years ago. The Real Estate Insiders Club of Las Vegas has provided me, through bad markets and good markets, with a consistent venue in which to place myself in front of investors in the Las Vegas area. Whether you are a real estate agent working to grow your client base, an investor looking to share ideas with other investors in your area, or another professional in a real estate related trade, starting a real estate networking club can provide a valuable resource for the growth of your business.

Here’s how I did it:

As with any new project, the first step to success is creating a mission statement or a list of goals…what do you expect to achieve by starting a real estate related club?

I started the Real Estate Insiders Club with five goals in mind. The first was to network with other like minded investors. The second was to educate investors on the ever changing real estate environment through a rotating cast of speakers delivering talks on a wide range of topics. The third goal was for the club to provide a platform for presenting real estate opportunities to interested investors. The fourth was to turn a profit and add a stream of income for myself, and the last goal was to be able to put myself in the spotlight and use the platform for my own marketing purposes.

After establishing your goals you need to form a list of questions that must be answered in order for you to move forward. These questions should include things like: How often do you plan on meeting? Will you meet weekly or monthly or some other time frame? Where will you meet? What time of day? What types of attendees will you be targeting? How many people do you hope will attend? How many people need to attend in order to make the event profitable? How much money you can realistically afford to invest in the event? With a budget in mind it will be easy to decide on where you can allocate your expenses toward the club. If you have speakers pitching products or services, you will need to decide if you will be co-oping with them or charging them to speak. Will you be paying to bring in featured speakers? Will you offer monthly membership only or add annual memberships as well? Will you do other sponsored events and co-op with other seminar groups? Will you be providing food and drink as part of the event? Will you be filming the event and using the clips on Youtube and other marketing venues? Pay careful attention to all of these considerations…I lost money the first year of the club and afterwards had to make several changes in order to move forward and create a profitable meeting.

Real Estate Marketing
3 More On Developing Your Real Estate Niche
Paradise, Nevada
Image via Wikipedia

Last week, in my first post on the BiggerPockets Blog, I wrote about how I became the investors’ Realtor by being an investor myself, thinking like an investor, having marketing materials designed for investors, and being in the hottest spots for investor real estate purchases.  This week I would like to expand on the idea of traveling to the investment hot spots.  Being in the places where people actually want to buy, and are buying, will enhance your chances of becoming a leader in your field.  Specializing in a niche within a niche will also help establish your reputation as a leader in your area of expertise.

As you recall from our last article, I was heavily involved in several real estate markets over the 2003 to 2006 period. Where ever the hottest market… I was there. I was in Las Vegas, Phoenix, Albuquerque, and North Carolina just to name a few. I stayed tuned-in to where investors were heading, as I was one of them, and invested in all of these markets myself. Since the summer of 2008 I have specialized once again in the Las Vegas valley, but this time it has been foreclosures and REO properties… not new construction homes. I knew it was time to gear myself back up for sales in the Las Vegas area as I watched the prices of single family homes and condos drop rapidly due to the glut of foreclosures flooding the market. These lower prices created homes that could be purchased and rented for very good cash flow… better than Vegas has seen in decades. I took the opportunity to begin educating myself about this niche in this market, develop my marketing materials, and get ready to welcome the investors that I knew would soon come running into the Las Vegas housing market once again.

Becoming An Expert

I cannot stress enough how important it is to identify a niche and establish yourself as an expert in that particular area.

Real Estate Investing Basics
6 Becoming The Investors’ Realtor: The Keys to Agent Success

It is no secret that real estate agents, as a profession, have had a tough time of it over the last several years.  The recent real estate bubble created a feast or famine situation and many agents have not survived the famine.  Meanwhile, over the last 5 years, I have sold over 500 single family homes, condos, or lots to my clients…including closing on 30 deals last month alone.  This volume places me in the top 5% of all Realtors in the country (in both transactions and commissions.)  I am not telling you this in order to boast or brag about my sales (as I know other realtors who have done far more business than I have) but merely to propose that my success has not been due to luck but rather due to a particular mindset that has worked very well for me over the last several years.

The Realtor’s Success Mindset

This mindset has entailed thinking as an investor instead of as a Realtor.  I have never really considered myself a Realtor, in fact, but rather an investor who helps other investors.  It doesn’t hurt that I own 20 investment properties of my own and have a lot of experience in searching for and closing my own purchases.  But this is not a prerequisite to thinking like an investor.  In order to position yourself as an  investor Realtor you don’t have to own a lot of properties yourself, but you do have to develop a reputation with your clients for being more interested in their bottom line than you are in your commission.  I have been able to do this, and in so doing grow a large investor database by using the following strategies that I would like to share with you: