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The most important habits to avert failure in the Real Estate Investing Business. Simply put: Marketing

Is there anyone in your town that doesn‚Äôt know that you buy houses or that your are a real estate investor? If so, you aren‚Äôt performing as well at marketing or supplying real estate investing information about your real estate investing business concern as well you should be. I see real estate investors stating all the time that they aren‚Äôt getting seller calls and subsequently aren‚Äôt acquiring the leads they need to find the real estate deals they need to earn a living. I say  increase the marketing and the sellers will call. Not only that but if you are saturating the world (or at least your area) that you buy problem real estate properties, eventually you will be acknowledged for what you do and sellers will telephone you strictly on your reputation. this is what is called cost effective marketing.

One real estate investor was in a home, garden and hardware store a few weeks ago and passed by a couple of Guys in an aisle. A conversation was heard as he walked by, I overheard one say, ‚ÄúThat is the real estate man‚Äù. Now I had never seen either of those guys and have no idea who they are but that experience lets me know that I must be doing my job at letting the world to know my business is buying real estate in that area. There are many ways to let the world know that you are in the real estate investing business and getting information out there that helps people understand you buy foreclosures, distressed real estate, do real estate short sales and have a lot of real estate information and experience to flip properties. Some ways are cheap and some are more expensive. You are going to have to try many things and get a feel for what brings about for you the best results in your area to get the calls you need to transact real estate deals. I have tried many kinds of marketing techniques for real estate business concerns of all kinds and have come back to a few that constantly produce enough results for me to buy the 2 or 3 real estate properties and homes  I want to buy every single month. They are as follows:

Classified Ads

The classified advert in the largest paper in the area is by far the biggest producer of leads for local real estate investors that I have found. I know it is expensive and I acknowledge there are times it doesn‚Äôt generate calls but if you are going to remain in the real estate investing business just put it in there and leave it. Get used to it being part of the cost of doing the real estate business. You may pay about $300.00 a month for my 4 line ad and that is the commercial rate. I’d recommend running it 365 days a year to constantly remind everyone that you are a real estate investor and you buy real estate in their area.

Over the past five or so  years I have witnessed many ‚Äúreal estate investor‚Äù ads come and go. Most folks put them in for a few or even just a couple of weeks and then pull them or try just putting them in on the weekends. Real Estate Marketing just doesn’t work this way. Put your real estate ad  in the paper and leave it. It will more than pay for itself, believe me, and you’ll discover after you close your first deal. If you are concerned because there are real estate investors ads from several investors in there, don‚Äôt be. They are there because they are getting calls. Just be sure to and actually answer your phone and keep it on all the time otherwise you’ll be wasting money.

When a new ad for real estate investor information pops up  in my paper, I will always call on the ad. 9 times out of 10 I get a message recorder or answering machine. This is a big turn off to someone who needs a solution to their real estate problem now. They want to talk to someone who can calm their anxiety over their current issues with their property and tell them everything is going to be alright. Your answering machine won‚Äôt do that, they need a human being. As for what to put in the advert, you will have to work on this one. I have tried several idea and the one I have now hasn‚Äôt changed for over 2 years. I haven‚Äôt altered it because I get phone calls. My ad is:

In 48 Hours!
Any area, price or condition
Call Today xxx-xxx-xxxx

Now I have had other real estate investors jockey for position and alter their ad copy to be ahead of mine in the column but it hasn’t made any difference, at least as far as I can distinguish. Don’t worry about those things, just get the advert out there and leave it. It could possibly take some time, perhaps a few weeks to get going but sellers will call. Once you have your classified advert running, then you should start working on your other methods right away. If you only implement one idea a week, within a couple of months you will have a tremendously powerful real estate buying machine.

Ads in the Freebie Papers

You may also run ads in the freebie papers in your local area or the area you want to transact real estate investment business. These are the ‚ÄúThrifty Nickel‚Äù, or whatever they are called in your area. I run both a column ad and a display in this paper and spend about $200.00 or so a month for these. They pull in seller leads fairly well and have always justified the costs. Remember that these guys are usually open to negotiating on your rates and you’ll probably get a better rate if you commit to a longer advertising contract.

Bandit Signs or Road Signs

Bandit signs are great. They are some of the best lead generating tools around. I have yet to put out a bunch and not be bombarded with calls right after I did my marketing. I just don‚Äôt put them out that often. I might put out a few to a half dozen or so a month and the ones that remain and don’t get taken down continue to pull in calls. At an average cost of less than $2.00 per sign, they are one of the best real estate marketing and advertising values around. Check the internet for sign companies for discount signage prices. . I use 18 x 24 signs and place them at high traffic intersection points around the town I want to buy property in.

You may place a sign in the front yard immediately after buying any house. I have bought several homes in the same neighborhoods as a result of marketing this way.

You can either use wood stakes or the wire stakes with your signs. I like the wood stakes because they don‚Äôt bend like the wire ones, in addition, they are cheaper and you can find just about any reasonablly sized stick of wood or stake at your local hardware store for a really good price.  Just get long lengths and reduce to fit. Then just nail the sign to it with the roofing nails with the orange or green plastic tops or you can use screws. There are many variations on what the wording on the sign can say. Keep in mind that traffic will be moving so you want to keep your message short and simple so it can be read. Plus your number must be big, large and easy to read.  

If you look the sign advertisement content, you’ll notice that it is the same as my newspaper ad.  I like to brand my advertising because I think that helps with recognition that is probably why the two guys noticed me as a Real Estate Investor..You want to have contrast, so a white sign with dark blue letters usually is the best draw. Some folks swear by black on yellow or black on orange. Again, I say it‚Äôs not what or how you say it rather simply that you’re out there marketing and putting out signs that counts. You’ll build a ‘brand image over time if you stay consistent with your real estate marketing efforts.  When dealing with bandit signs, be sure that your local code enforcement laws are tolerant of them. In some areas or counties they can lax on them but a few miles down the road in another county or city, they can be super strict and will fine you in a minute, pull the signs down and start looking for your next postings to go after you again.  Some retailers in high tax areas can’t put out any A board signage without getting them sized and then fined.

Flyers and Bulliten Board Postings

Flyers and related collateral are another inexpensive way to get the word out that you are a real estate investor buy houses, foreclosures or distressed properties. Just create a flyer with any one of the free online flyer software sites telling people that your are a real estate investor and how to get in contact with you. Make copies for few cents apiece and you have some reallyy inexpensive real estate marketing and advertising. It reallyy is that simple. Then place these flyers on every bulletin board in your town or area you would like to buy your property, foreclosure or distressed home.. I also recommend that you place some of them in those plastic sheet protectors so the rain won’t destroy them and put them up on telephone poles around neighborhoods I like to purchase property in.. While not as large as the bandit signs, on poles actually in the vicinity they still attract calls. I carry a file with me in my vehicle and place them up whenever I stop at a grocery store or major discount store or reallyy wherever. Some of the other places to put them are:

  • Laundromats
  • Taped to the inside of Phone Booths.
  • On the counter of any business that will let you place them at.
  • Bulletin boards at any local or major discount store (lots of traffic)
  • Grocery store bulletin boards
  • Fax to Mortgage Brokers, call first
  • Fax to Real Estate Agents, call first and they may get a lot of these.
  • Take them Door to Door in target neighborhoods
  • Employment Center Bulletin board
  • County Courthouse or public office Bulletin board

These are just a few examples. Any place that will allow you to put one is a good place. You can never let too many people know that you are a real estate investor and are in the foreclosure market.

Imprinted and/or Promotional Items

Optimum Real Estate Investor Marketing Ideas – These no miss ideas are sure to get you top hits on leads and calls for your Real Estate Investing Business.

These are some of my favorites and most fun. While they are not the top producers of leads or the least expensive, they will sure set you apart from the average investor.

Pen Knives – These tiny Swiss army knives are the coolest. They are actually key chains engraved with your message, mine being: WE BUY HOUSES- All cash or take over payments within 48 hours! Call xxx-xxx-xxx I guarantee if you give one of these to someone they will keep it and if they think of selling, they will think of you. They are about $1.50 apiece.

Key Chains – I give these to all my buyers with the keys to their new house on them and leave them all over the place. They come in the shape of a house or #1 or whatever style you like and have your message on them. You can guess what mine says. Cost – about $. 25 cents apiece.

Pens РI use these all the time. Whenever I sign a sales receipt or anything I leave my pen. I can’t tell you how many calls I have gotten off of these things and since I always need one, I always have one to give away. My attorney even has a supply on his closing table. I have two types printed. One for sellers says We Buy Houses! and one for buyers says Everyone Qualifies. Cost Рabout $.21 cents apiece.

Coin Holders – These you hardly find anymore so everyone is surprised when I have them. I leave these things everywhere. Mine are bright yellow with blue letters and my message. Cost – about $.30 cents apiece.

I leave all of these promotional items everywhere, on the top of gas pumps, on end-cap displays in grocery stores and in department stores. I look at it this way, if I give away 100 pens, 50 knives and 50 coin holders a month, that is only a little over $100 bucks a month. That is still cheap advertising. And with the money you can make in a real estate deal, it is ‘no cost’ marketing strategy. You can get any of these promotional advertising products at many major promotion marketing manfacturer, and you can find companies online as well.

Business Cards

I order business cards by the 1000’s and you should as well, there are a lot of great places online that can print up nice (and cheap) cards for you and that specialize in real estate as well. As for business cards, well, they are cheap, mine are about $50.00 for 2000, and I pass them out and leave them everywhere I possibly can. I leave my cards everywhere, in pay phones, on restaurant tables, my kids even have their own supply to pass out. Try to get a box a week out. The card doesn’t have to be fancy, in fact the simpler the better. My card is bright yellow with blue letters and says:

Foreclosure? Need Repairs? Bad Tenants? Divorce?

Car Magnetics

Magnetics are one of those things where you spend once and get use for a long time. Mine cost about $75.00 and are yellow with blue letters. They say:




I have gotten several deals from these signs. Remember to order a smaller set for the back of your car/truck. People have more of a chance to read the message when they are riding behind you.


I like golf shirts and oxford dress shirts with my logo on them. There’s plenty of advertsing houses that will help you design a logo if you don‚Äôt have one or use the one you already have. There is no charge for set up and all items ordered include your embroidered logo free.

I pass custom imprinted hats out to everyone I know who wears one and have given away many shirts as well. They reallyy look nice and present a nice image for your business.

Other Advertising Tools

There are many other forms of advertising, some I have tried in the past such as billboards, door hangers, yellow pages, television and radio advertising. I even have a traveling billboard, an old SUV painted bright yellow with blue WE BUY HOUSES! and my phone number that I drive around and park overnight at different places. It gets the calls! Get the marketing going and let the world know who to call when they have a house to sell, a pre-foreclosure, distressed property or someone who just wants to get out of their house.. If that phone isn‚Äôt ringing, you aren‚Äôt making money so you need to get a good marketing strategy going and stick with it!   

I sincerely hope these tips will help you in your next real estate marketing efforts and get you the real estate investing deals you’re after.

About the Author

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