Starting out as a real estate investor, it can be tricky trying to navigate the scene. You can have all the right training, but with a lack of experience, you’ll need some way to find leads. Even seasoned investors go through winter lulls in action. Fluctuations in the market can also slow your client roll and freeze up your sales. Part of being a good real estate investor means knowing how to successfully find leads, even during cold markets. To ensure your success as an investor be sure to follow these tips when trying to lock down leads.
Know Where to Start
Like anyone who has just opened a new business or restaurant, often the first people you hit up to come down and stop by are your close friends and family. The best leads are not necessarily going to come from paid advertising. Rather the best leads are organic and come from people you already know. Begin looking around at your immediate network to find potential clients. Chances are, even if you don’t know someone directly interested, you may know someone who knows someone else. Personal referrals go a long way in the real estate industry as people want to go to reliable sources they can trust.
Build up Your Network
After you’ve exhausted your resources with people you already know, you’ll want to begin to expand your professional network. Like in any industry, networking is key for generating leads in real estate. Networking as an investor can be very similar to networking as an agent. In general its best to start by looking for like minded individuals and those in the same immediate line of work as yourself. Talking to others can be helpful in terms of knowing where to look for leads.
Building up a social media presence and buying advertisements is helpful, but it’s not the end all be all for getting leads. Begin the process by simply going out and meeting new people. Half the battle is just getting your name out. Utilizing tools like LinkedIn, Meet Up, Shapr, and other apps can be very useful for building your professional network.
In most cases, this is simply a matter of meeting new people. As far as meeting raw potential clients, it’s a matter of finding different ways to meet as many people as you can. Your personal brand is everything. Volunteering, attending Chamber of Commerce meetings, going to your local park, joining a gym, getting to know your neighbors, etc. Even becoming a regular at a restaurant can help build up your professional network.
Get to Know a Good Commercial Lender
One good method of streamlining leads is to find a good lender in your area. Lenders are privy to their client’s financial situations and have knowledge of their client’s who are looking for loans to buy homes. Having a good relationship with a lender can lead to a lot of business being sent your way.
Build Your Own Website
A difference between agents and investors is that agents are employed by a brokerage, while investors are not. Agents are typically given their own page through their brokerage. Even then, many still opt to create their own website to increase their client list. Creating an online presence is crucial for generating leads as an investor. A professional website allows you to create your own brand, highlight your specialties, and can serve as an excellent place to showcase testimonials and reviews of former satisfied clients. Websites allow investors to create an online presence within the market which helps the legitimacy of your business. It’s a great place to refer people and if managed correctly can be a main source for driving lots of views, many of which can turn into clients.
Attend and host Open Houses
Open houses serve as one of the best venues to meet potential buyers and generate leads. At an open house you’ll have access to large groups of potential buyers, most of which will not have an agent. These are the perfect occasions to introduce yourself to such people. Leave them with your business card and an offer to help them through the process. This will be a very effective way to land clients as an investor. Hosting your own open houses is also a good strategy to reach potential buyers in your market.
Be Active on Social Media
In addition to a personal business website, investors should also be active on social media as well. Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Youtube are effective tools for getting your name out and creating a recognizable brand. ‘Social selling’ is a highly effective way to meet new clients. According to a 2015 report, 61% of businesses that engage in social selling saw an increase in revenue. Interacting with prospective clients on social media, like meeting people out in real life, is very important to build up a client list.
Social media offers lots of different ways to interact with and reach potential clients, generating lots of leads. Things such as sharing photo galleries, sharing information about open houses, 360 degree image tours, highlighting past clients, and posting online videos can be incredibly effective social media strategies.
Advertise on Social Media
Along with being active on social media, advertising is also important. Invest in online advertising by purchasing Facebook and Instagram ads is a good tool for those looking to expand their pool of leads. With social media ads you can specifically target certain audiences and filter through to increase your chances of reaching people looking to buy.
Paid search advertising is another tool investors can use to generate business leads. Advertising with sites like Zillow can put you at the very top of the page on Google search results. Most companies these days have made it extremely easy to advertise with them.
Other forms of advertising worth investing in include; Google ads, LinkedIn ads, and canvas neighborhood mailboxes with your business card. Also consider blogging for local real estate websites, and answering real estate questions on Quora.
Look on HUD Foreclosure Listings
When a home is foreclosed the bank seizes the property. Initially it will look to sell it at auction. If that sale fails to go through it will then become owned by the bank. The US department of housing and urban development hosts a database of such properties. Because there is a pretty urgent need to sell, these homes are often listed well below its actual value. This opens up a lane for investors to purchase homes for well below what they’re worth and create flips. This is one way to buy up homes to sell to potential clients.
Using signs is a tried and true way to generate interest in your business as an investor. A “coming soon” sign helps generate anticipation and draws attention to your property. Likewise, “sold” signs can be effective at getting leads from buyers who don’t want to miss out on a property again.
Say “Thank you”
Don’t forget about your old clients. As with anything, you want to build off past deals and relationships. Once you have a satisfied client you’ll want to follow up with them. Even things like writing a letter written on your own stationary after receiving a referral presents you as personable and can lead to more referrals. Always thank your clients for working with you.