Real estate investment can be a highly profitable activity for the savvy investor. However, when the time comes to either rent or sell the property, delays can cause real damage to the overall investment return. Mortgage payments, property taxes and utilities continue to march along and you need to offset those with income from rent or sale proceeds in order to avoid serious cash flow problems. Properly approaching the marketing of your real estate is as important as deciding where to buy and how much to pay. Yet, there seems to be a general apathy towards marketing real estate outside the box. By approaching real estate marketing in a disciplined fashion with specific goals in mind, you are likely to out-compete other landlords and enjoy higher performing real estate returns.
There are six things that the real estate owner needs to take into consideration when mounting a campaign to rent or sell real estate.
1) Gain Control of Your Own Marketing – Real estate marketing has previously been thought of as a relationship between the Owner and a professional service provider. Generally either a real estate agent or a property manager competes for the opportunity to represent the owner in renting or selling the property. We believe the owner should take back control of this process and act as the quarterback of the process. The Owner knows the property the best and can generally present it in the best light. The Owner is motivated and his focus is not diverted to other properties representing other owners.
2) Get the Prospect To Your Presentation – The goal of a properly organized marketing campaign is to persuade the Prospect to come to your presentation and listen to it. The Owner needs to present the property in an interesting enough light that the Prospect is intrigued. When you can get your Prospect to move away from the noise and confusion of the selling marketplace and come to your private presentation, you have the best chance to get a truly interested buyer or renter. Also, when you can get someone to come and see your pre-prepared presentation, you insure you are always presenting when you are at your best and the property is always being presented in the best possible light.
3) Out Compete Your Competition – This generally means you have the opportunity to market in a way very different from your competitors and can stand above them. By marketing persuasively using sight and sound as the basis for your presentation, you can compete on something other than price. Prospects will be willing to pay a bit more is they are convinced you have a unique property that demands a higher price. Your competition will be stuck in the old ways of marketing and will generally compete on price by default.
4) Present Your Product Correctly – This means you carefully consider what the benefits to your Prospect are going to be. It does not mean listing all of the features of your property, but rather, how those features are going to benefit your Prospect. No one cares how great you think your property is. They only care what it is going to do for them. By focusing in on the various benefits and then presenting them in an entertaining format, you capture the attention of your Prospect and get them to focus on just your property.
5) Avoid Wasting Time with Bad Prospects – This is the bane of real estate owners. When you can figure out how to avoid wasting time with these people, you become much more productive. Pre-filtering techniques include the use of pre-recorded 800 telephone numbers and information flyers that serve to educate your Prospect before they waste your valuable time. Your goal is to answer all of your Prospects’ questions well before they actually spend any time with you. At that point, you have an educated and motivated Prospect willing to shell out money to either rent or buy your property.
6) Get Your Presentation to the Right Market – You could prepare the most compelling presentation of your property, but fail because you didn’t get to the right Prospects. It is critical to understand where your best prospects are and then reach out to them and yank them to your private site. Performing a little due diligence on your marketplace to understand where your Prospects “hang out’ will do wonders for your effort. Most Prospects start out their search online. You need to determine where the “HUBS” are and get your hooks into those places. Then you can start to work your marketing magic on your target Prospects.
Real estate marketing can be and should be no different than marketing consumer products, high tech products or any other highly competed product. A game plan needs to be established that plots a path to your private marketing area. At that point you can present the best of your property in a compelling fashion that allows your best Prospects to make their own decision to beat a pathway to your property.