If you want to light your money on fire, ignore this blog post. Some people will. They’ll read this post, they’ll think “oh, that’s interesting”, and then they’ll go on doing the same things they usually do…
… If that’s you, you might as well light your money on fire right now.
If you don’t like to waste your money, but would rather keep it to spend on a nice ham sandwich or a Lamborghini, then read this post and heed its dire warning.
Marketing your real estate investing business has the potential to grow it — to grow the number of deals you do, and their quality, and the money you make from each one. Marketing builds your buyers list and your sellers list. Marketing turns your kitchen table business into an empire.
Unfortunately, there isn’t a good marketing manual for real estate investors. (I’m working on one but it’s not done yet and I’m just one guy who is typing as fast as he can). And so real estate investors are often educated in the mechanics of how to do a deal but not in how to market their investing business. They end up making critical mistakes in their marketing because they don’t know how to do it.
Through mistake-filled marketing they end up flopping around like a fish that washes out of the ocean — flailing about in a strange world while gasping for breath… until they die.
That’s why I called this blog post “the 3 apocalyptic mistakes… ” because these aren’t just little stub-your-toe errors that you can walk off. If you make these 3 mistakes, it could be the apocalypse for your business, just as washing out of water is basically the apocalypse for a fish.
Here are the 3 business-killing mistakes that real estate investors make when marketing…
Apocalyptic Mistake 1: No Memorable Brand
A good brand performs three functions — (1) to hook someone in when they first encounter you, (2) to immediately and succinctly communicate your point of differentiation, and (3) to be the memorable thing that they can’t get out of their head long after they stop looking at your marketing.
- Hook: The people who encounter your brand are busy and overwhelemed with their own problems. Your brand needs to cut through the clutter in their mind and immediately communicate to them why their problems will be solved by you.
- Point of differentiation: When searching for a solution, your prospective buyers and sellers may encounter many options, such as other investors who offer the same solution that you do. Your brand should point out why you’re different, special, and “awesomer” (that’s a word, at least in my vocabulary) than anyone else.
- Memorable: Have you ever got a piece of sand in your eye? Nothing else matters until you get it out. The whole world is your eyeball for those few minutes. That’s what your brand needs to be. Not as annoying as a piece of sand but just as compelling for the person to drop everything and deal with it. After the prospective buyer or seller has stopped looking at your marketing, it should linger in their mind’s eye like a piece of sand.
If you don’t have a brand that does this, you end up attracting fewer people to your business, failing to convince them why they should do deals with you, and then being forgotten when they move on from you. That mistake will KILL your business fast.
SOLUTION: The solution is simple. You need a brand. It doesn’t have to be an expensive, slick brand that makes you look like a fortune 500 company. In fact, it’s okay (in some cases) if your brand is less than perfect. But it does need to be built around the three functions of your brand, above.
Oh, and you should expect to build more than one brand — probably at least one brand for your sellers and one for your buyers, because each of those audiences will have very different needs. You can make your brands related or you can make them very different. Both work.
Apocalyptic Mistake 2: Using Only Free Marketing Tactics
You blog. You post on Facebook. You Tweet. You write guest blog posts. You post videos on YouTube.
… And then you wonder why you aren’t getting droves of people flocking to your site, and why your phone isn’t ringing off the hook with people begging to give you their money.
The reason is simple: These marketing tactics work… but only to a degree. They perform what I call a “shotgun approach” to marketing, similar to when you shoot a shotgun. All the shot comes out but only a few pieces of shot hit the target. With this kind of marketing, you put in a lot of effort and only a few people come to you from it… and they can be the wrong people!
Hey I get it. Free marketing is attractive because you put out your message and sometimes people come to you through it but it costs you nothing.
But free can also kill your business if you rely on it because of this one reason that very few people realize:
There is no such thing as free marketing. You either pay in time and effort to post your “free” (no-money-cost) marketing or you pay in money to post your paid marketing.
SOLUTION: Use paid marketing. You can test it to find the best one and good paid marketing works really, really well. In fact, the difference in results is astounding: Free marketing brings in a few leads but most of those are going to be low quality leads, and you’ll pay a lot in time and effort to get those. Paid marketing seems expensive at first because there’s an up-front cost but paid marketing is almost always easier to target, which means you can bring in much higher leads. And, good paid marketing is also much easier to track, which means you can find the lead-sources that actually deliver the best leads.
The newbie looks at two marketing channels — a free one and a paid one — and chooses the free one. And then they spend time and effort to use that channel.
The expert looks at the same two marketing channels and they willingly spend money because it’s faster, more targetable, more measurable… and that makes it ultimately cheaper.
Note: There are good reasons to use free marketing. Heck, I’m blogging right now. And social media has its place — as a brand builder and a community builder. But not as a primary method to generate buyer or seller leads.
Apocalyptic Mistake 3: Not Having An Offer
You create a brand, you put out a mix of free and paid marketing… but then you fail to make an offer of some kind, and you fail to call your reader to act in a specific way.
It’s so common among investors and it’s a business killer, too.
Your marketing becomes “display marketing” or “brand marketing” and all it does is promote your brand and stroke your ego. It does not build your business.
SOLUTION: All marketing should have an offer — something that compels the reader to act right now because what you are saying is awesome.
It might be an offer to join a list or to download a report or to click to another page or to take out their wallet or to contact you for more information. There are lots of choices. But it should be something. Some action.
Putting The Pieces Together
If you’re new to real estate investing, you might look at these and think, “okay, I’ll be careful not to do those when I’m marketing my real estate investing business.”
But if you’ve spent any time building up your business, you’ll look at these three apocalyptic mistakes and you’ll realize: “Whoa. This IS my entire marketing effort… Heck, they’re my entire business.” Good realization.
These three things are your entire business. Your brand communicates the reason that people should do business with you, your paid marketing is a trackable way to get your message out there, and your offer is the way that you get people to act. If you miss all three of these things, you simply don’t have a real estate investing business. If you fail to do these three things effectively, you’re staring down a business apocalypse and it’s only a matter of time until your real estate investing business is flopping around, gasping for air.
Don’t be like the real estate investor who thinks they’re saving money by using only free marketing methods… and then wonders why they have no time or money and their buyer and seller leads are crap.
Instead, spend your real estate investing marketing dollars wisely. Invest a dollar and test it and work your marketing channels to that it returns $2.00 or $10.00 or $100.00 or more. That’s what smart real estate investing marketing is.
If you want to talk to me about making sure the pieces fit together (even if you don’t need any help creating the copy), get in touch with me right now. I can help to point you in the right direction to build a meaningful brand, to find affordable paid marketing channels, and to put some offers in place for every buyer or seller who comes to you.