Finding off market properties can feel like looking for a needle in a haystack. Finding the next investment property through creative marketing helps a newer investor with a small marketing budget, but has more time to devote to finding their next deal. Here are 5 creative marketing strategies you can implement today!
- Start talking about what you are looking for. Every person you come in contact with, tell them you are a real estate investor, you buy off market, distressed properties - the clerk at the grocery store, the attendant at the gas station, the dry cleaner, your hair stylist. Make a point to tell everyone what you are looking for.
- Drive for investment properties - called driving for dollars. When you have another destination you need to drive to, take an additional 15 minutes, and drive a neighborhood looking for distressed properties that have overgrown weeds, broken blinds, in need of paint and repairs, or both. Don't forget to drive behind the house in neighborhoods that have an alleyway, the front of the house might look fine, but when you drive the back area might be a different story. When identified, I leave a "sticky" note on the house with the message: I am interested in buying this property - call me if you are interested in selling. Keep a list, and do a follow up every 4 weeks with the same simple message.
- Send holiday, birthday or other cards to your past sellers. Include with you message a "referral" statement. We offer our prior sellers a bonus for each referral they send us, and if the referral results in a deal, we also pay our sellers. The person who referred will appreciate that you remembered their birthday, holiday, etc. and it sets you apart from every other investor that contacted them in the past.
- Attend non-investing network meetings, and start cultivating relationships with like minded people, but who are not real estate investors. As you expand this type of network, you become the resident expert on buying distressed off market properties, and when they hear about or see a distressed property, if you have laid the groundwork, this network will be a source of referrals for you.
- Offer to speak at local chamber meetings, rotary, senior centers about how you solve solutions for people who need to offload a distressed property. Don't go into "sell" your service- your presentation should focus on adding value to the community or group you are addressing and positioning yourself as an expert that knows how to handle a problem property someone may need to dispose of.
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