Sharon Vornholt discusses how to go about creating a marketing plan so that you have multiple strategies planned out that you can implement.
You need to list out the steps needed to implement each type of marketing strategy that you plan on using so that you aren’t left winging it and hoping for the best.
Mike: Welcome back to the flipnerd.com REI Classroom, where experts from across the real estate investing industry teach you quick lessons to take your business to the next level. And now, let’s meet today’s expert host.
Sharon: Hi, This is Sharon Vornholt with the Louisville Gals real estate blog and I’m your host today at the REI Classroom. And today, I’m going to talk about creating a marketing plan.
Mike: This show was sponsored by passiverental.com
Sharon: You know, your real estate investing business and the marketing that you do for that business is not really any different than anything else in life. It doesn’t work out so well, generally, if you wing it. So you want to have a marketing plan and I can guarantee you that if you have a written marketing plan that you follow in the next 12 months, you will see your business go to a whole new level. So let’s just dive right in.
So what are the components of a marketing plan? Well, the first thing you need to do is decide on three to five strategies to use in your business. Now, I know a lot of people that have one strategy and I like to think back to the time when REOs were the big thing. People were working REOs or bank-owned properties and then all of a sudden, they dried up and they had no source of leads. So you don’t want to be that person. Now, folks that know me know I love direct mail, but that’s not the only thing that you should concentrate on. Direct mail, I think, should certainly be one of your marketing strategies.
Another one that should be on the top of your list is your lead generation website. You know, it used to be that this was optional, but not so much today. You need a lead generation website, obviously, to get leads in the door, but for credibility. It’s your new business card and people will go online to look you up before they ever pick up the phone to call you.
This is a really important distinction in the way that things have changed in recent years. It used to be that people would get your letter or your postcard and they would pick up the phone and call you. Now, there’s a step in the middle of that. They’ll get your mail piece, they’ll read it, they may even come across your website online. But the next thing they do is they Google your name. So it’s very important to build an online presence and you can do that with your lead generation website. So that should be right there on the top of your list.
Now, from there, you’re going to go and you’re going to choose things that are we’re back to whether you have more time or more money. You know, networking is one of the best ways to get known in your business and get people to send you deals. You can drive for dollars, some people like bandit signs, you can do Craigslist ads. They’re all sorts of investing strategies, some take money, some don’t take so much money. Some are more painful, like cold calling, but they’re free. So you look at your budget, look at your business, look at your time and decide on a minimum of three to five strategies. Do not be the parson that only has one.
Now, once you have your strategies, you want to take each one of those and you want to break them down into steps. For this exercise, I’m going to talk about direct mail. The process is the same whether you’re talking about a website or you’re talking about driving for dollars. You know, you would have to have a procedure for doing all of these things. But if you were setting up a marketing plan for direct mail, you would decide on the people you were going to target. Maybe it would be absentee owners or probates. Then you’re going to decide on you know, “How do I get a list? How do I find out likely prospects to mail to?”
The next step would be to choose your mail piece. You know, is this a candidate for postcard or would a letter be a better mail piece? So the different niches, in my opinion and from 20 years of experience, require different mail pieces. You’re going to set a budget for your direct mail. That’s an important piece of this whole puzzle.
And then there is the implementation piece. Remember when I talked about putting it on the calendar? You’ve got to put it on a calendar. You’ve got to make a schedule and then decide if you want to outsource it, if you can, or if you’re going to do it in-house or you’re going to do some combination of those things. You know, some people will print the mail in-house and then I used to do that with probates. I had a girl who would do those for me.
So once you have done that, you’ve decided on your strategies, you have broken down each one of those, each separate one of those into steps, put the steps on the calendar. Decide how your budget fits in and here. Maybe you want to mail 2,000 pieces of mail a month, but you can only afford to mail 1,000. Look at your budget and figure out how you can increase that budget. You may have to make some hard choices here until you get a few deals.
And then implement your plan. That’s the big thing. You can have the best marketing plan in the world, but if you don’t put it into place, if you don’t implement it, you’re not going to go anywhere. So this is Sharon Vornholt and hit me up if you have any questions.
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