The other day, while at the bookstore with my wife, I overheard a couple discussing uncommon real estate investing marketing ideas. My wife always teases me that I like to stick my nose in where it doesn’t belong, but, when it comes to real estate investing, I almost consider it a duty. So I walked over, introduced myself, and got nosey.
It turns out the couple had been trying their hand at buying, renovating, and selling houses recently, but their lead generation methods were falling flat. I told them it was their lucky day because, as a seasoned real estate investor, I was full of ideas. My wife smiled and rolled her eyes, then we all grabbed a bench outside to chat.
Uncommon Marketing Ideas for Real Estate Investors
Real estate investing is a competitive business and I’ve seen all kinds of wacky strategies for gaining an edge. But if you want to really distinguish yourself, it’s not a bad idea to try a few of the more unusual marketing opportunities out there. Here’s some worth considering:
Known for broadcasting pithy, and sometimes preposterous, celebrity comments, Twitter is a social networking tool with over 300 million users. Even so, most people don’t leverage its full marketing capabilities. Did you know that you can use the advanced search function to find people who are looking to sell their house fast? You can even drill it down to specific areas across the U.S. by specifying your region and language, then choosing keywords such as “foreclosure” or “short sale.” You’d be amazed at how many distressed homeowners “tweet” that they need help. Joining in on their conversation can create a solid lead.
Unfortunately, using Twitter to source leads will only yield results from a small sampling of homeowners in distress. Not every homeowner facing foreclosure or other hardship will have a Twitter account. Nor will they necessarily want to use it to announce embarrassing life circumstances like being unable to make the mortgage. Twitter is worth dabbling with, but don’t focus all your energies here.
Send handwritten notes
Yep, instead of those tired direct mail flyers that look just like every other investor’s, try sending a personalized note on stationary. The homeowner may be more apt to open it rather than immediately chucking it into the trash. Even after it’s clear that it’s not from someone the family knows, it’ll still look and feel more genuine–because it is. Handwritten notes are a rarity these days so, when you get one, you appreciate the amount of time and effort that went into writing it.
That’s, obviously, part of the problem with handwritten notes. You’ve got to make the time to sit down and write them on a regular basis. You also still need to find the property addresses to know where to send them. Lead lists are not always reliable and they can be expensive too. Let’s not forget the cost of stationery and postage, or the pain of hand cramps.
Invite homeowners to call a recorded line
Distressed homeowners get tired of receiving calls from investors and can get impatient, frustrated, or even downright hostile on the phone. It’s also awkward for you. But on a recording, you can say what you know about the property and that you are proposing to buy it. This is a low-stress way for you to pitch your value while not unduly putting the homeowner in an uncomfortable situation. They get to make the choice to come to you when they pick up the phone. And when a homeowner has the space to choose, they are more likely to be serious about selling.
But as is the case with handwritten notes, the time and energy you’ll need to spend recording individual messages for each homeowner may be cumbersome. You’ll have to routinely check, respond to, and change those messages, not to mention absorb the untold costs of managing multiple incoming lines. And, once again, you still face the task of finding leads on motivated sellers.
These days, there’s a big push to advertise online. Whether it’s through pop-up or pay-per-click ads or via social media like Facebook and LinkedIn, the internet is the place to be. And with so many people there for personal and professional engagement, it’s no wonder that having an online presence is considered important for building brand awareness. After all, you want as many people as possible to know you exist–especially if you’re a real estate investor looking to grow your portfolio and your business.
Of course, that’s also part of the problem with advertising online. There is so much noise created by internet ads that it can be difficult for homeowners to distinguish between legitimate real estate investors who want to help and those who might take advantage of a distressing situation. I didn’t want my business to get lost in a sea of online ads, nor did I want to get lumped in with investors who might not be on the up-and-up. So in spite of the low cost of being online, it wasn’t where I was going to focus all my efforts.
Stand out from the crowd of other eager investors by positioning your business uniquely in the market with strategic branding. Real estate investors often fail at this, then wonder why homeowners lump them in with everyone else–usually for the worse. A great brand name for your real estate investing business, however, can garner trust from homeowners. When distressed homeowners know a reputable company they can turn to when they’re ready to sell, it makes converting leads a little easier.
Except that building a brand from scratch is often hard, time-consuming, and expensive. To do so requires many of the more traditional marketing methods, as well as a good mix of some modern ones. Time in the marketplace will certainly help, but if what you want is to expand your real estate investment portfolio and your business, you’ve got to do more than bide your time. What you don’t want to do is take a shortcut by trying to mimic already-known brands because you’ll run the risk of getting sued.
The Real Estate Marketing Idea that Works
An easier, and less risky way, of marketing your real estate investing business is to align yourself with a brand that already has an integrated nationwide ad campaign that brings home sellers to you without the need for lead lists or cyber-stalking.
HomeVestors® is that brand. The “We Buy Ugly Houses®” corporate team has been helping independently owned and operated franchisees make uncommon strides in their investment strategies by giving them access to some of the best marketing tools available. My own real estate investment portfolio improved by leaps and bounds when I opened a HomeVestors® franchise years ago–and I tell everyone who’ll listen. My wife will tell you it’s the best idea I’ve ever had.
After our chat, the nice couple from the bookstore took my advice and called HomeVestors® about their franchise opportunities. If I can pass on one more uncommonly good idea, it’s that I think you should call HomeVestors®, too.
Each franchise office is independently owned and operated.