I’ve been spending a lot more time lately with some investors who are absolutely rocking their business in 2014. There’s a couple who I know through REIN and who also sit with my on the REIN Advisory Board, who attend our Edmonton Revenue Property Investors Meetup Group. One thing that I’ve noticed is that they all really understand the value of good marketing.
Some investors don’t understand when I say that marketing is a skill that investors need to develop. It’s not all about finding a deal or being great at renovations. Here’s three examples.
Fill Vacancies Faster With Your Website
Sure, I’m a huge fan of using online marketing for classifieds. I’ve written reports about online classifieds and use them tons as an Investment Realtor. But the key is making sure you also have a website for your real estate business that lists your properties, even if they’re not vacant. You’re multiplying the value of your ads, because prospective tenants can go from your classified ad on Kijiji to your website and see that you have another unit for rent that’s closer to their work. One ad, multiple products.
Share Solutions, Find Business Opportunities
Real estate investing is a business. You have a product, such as properties available for rent, or you provide a solution like forclosure prevention or rent-to-own services. The key in just about every business is making sure your potential customers are aware you’re open for business and what you have for them to buy.
By making sure you’ve got a solid home online, you give tenants, sellers and investors a place to see what you’re doing and how you can help them. They can come from all sorts of places: your business cards, your Facebook profile, an ad you bought in the program for your church’s silent auction, searches on Google or a Kijiji ad. The point is they can explore what you’re doing and make the appropriate contact when they think you have the solution to their problem.
Love List Building
The key to this process is keeping track of who you’re in contact with, who you know and how you can serve them.
The tenant in your 1 bedroom condo who just married is now a customer for your two bedroom. The professional couple who got the big promotion and a transfer is someone you could refer to a Realtor and get a referral payment.
To know when these things happen you need to keep a clear list of who has contacted you and be in regular touch with them. A monthly newsletter for your tenants can be a great way to remain visible and remind them that you’ve got other places for rent or you can offer referrals, or help buying a property. When you have friends or family who seem interested in real estate investing, make a note somewhere so you can follow up to nurse their interest along, either to support them in their own development or as a potential joint venture partner. Learn the meanings of the words cross-sell and up-sell.
I’m a big fan of computerized systems, though index cards, a rolodex or Excel will work. Personally, I use both Highrise from 37 Signals (simple and inexpensive) and SalesForce (expensive and very complex) for different roles.
Like it or not, business requires marketing. If you can’t or won’t then your investments are likely to under-perform. If you get it and are willing to learn and find the right tools or partners, you’ll be riding the crest of the wave.