Marketing and lead generation are the lynchpins of any successful business. You can have the greatest product or service in the world, but if you are unsuccessful at getting the word out, and introducing your company to new customers, you are almost certainly destined to fail. In the real estate investing business, the leads that we pursue are usually in 3 important categories: motivated sellers, private money lenders, and cash buyers for wholesale deals. Though there are numerous effective marketing methods for generating these types of leads, there is none more fruitful and affordable than establishing quality lead sources.
Traditional real estate marketing is about employing numerous strategies and marketing methods in search for that single motivated seller to call you with a single house for sale. While this theory can certainly be effective, and has been used by real estate investors for decades, most new investors have limited budgets and need a more affordable way to generate a steady streams of leads.
In contrast to traditional marketing, guerilla marketing is about generating the greatest impact with the smallest budget. Guerilla marketers understand that the most efficient deployment of time and resources is to build strategic relationships with the person or persons who can bring you multiple deals. These are people who are entrenched in industries that come across motivated sellers on a daily basis, and can help funnel those individuals in your direction. Some examples would include probate attorneys, divorce attorneys, bankruptcy attorneys, pawn shop or title pawn store owners, just to name a few.
Here are some helpful tips to make sure the pursuit of lead sources in your business is a successful and profitable endeavor:
1. Be Selective – Make sure that the people your are “courting” as a lead source in your business are real connectors. If you cultivate your lead sources effectively, you will be investing quite a bit of time in building and establishing these relationships, including face-to-face meetings over lunch or coffee, e-mails, phone calls, and other strategic contacts. So you want to make sure that those you’re spending time with are true movers and shakers who can help you grow your business and generate a consistent stream of leads.
2. Send them Your Goals – Whenever you sit down and establish new goals, whether at the beginning of the year, or at the start of the each quarter, make sure you take time out to share your plans with your lead sources. This makes them feel a part of what you’re doing, and like a key contributor to your success. Recently, a marketing director for a local title agency sent out an e-mail regarding how many closings her office needed to meet her company goal. Instead of sounding desperate, and begging for more business, she incorporated her company contest into her e-mail pitch. This made the recipient feel like they were part of something fun and exciting by helping her achieve her goal.
3. Stay Engaged – People can’t stand users and abusers, and they can tell when you’re just stopping by every 6 months or so because you want something from them. Lead sources are people too, and they prefer doing business with their friends and people that they know, like, & trust. So don’t be a stranger! Be sure that you make a concerted effort to connect with your top lead sources at least every 4-6 weeks.
4. Share on a Personal Level – If you’re going to use social media to stay connected with your lead sources, then make sure it’s SOCIAL media. Don’t talk about business all the time, or you risk sounding like a commercial…and no one wants to be friends with a commercial. Take time out to ask them about their kids, their spouse, their 100-year-old grandmother…whatever! If you are genuinely caring and personal with them, you will not only build lasting friendships, but profitable ones too!
5. Allow it to Evolve – You must understand that change is the only constant thing in life, and you can’t allow yourself to get stuck on a certain group of people. Your inner circle of lead sources will evolve over time. Some people that started out as great lead sources will stop sending you business, some people you thought would be terrific will end up being duds, and then some guy you don’t even consider as one of your lead sources will just keep calling with a new lead. Your business is a living, breathing organism, and you can’t be afraid to let it evolve over time, along with the relationships you develop with your strategic lead sources.