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Monday, January 19, 2015

Marketing Boot Camp-Finding the Property

Real Estate Marketing is a two way street.   The real estate agent realizes the first order of business is finding a property to sell. Every agent learns early that you can't sell from an empty wagon. In order to protect their work and outline the real estate brokers duties and the sellers responsibilities to pay for real estate services the agent gets an agreement to sell or a "listing".

The same applies to the real estate investor.  The need is to find the property, put it under contract to buy and get the funds together to complete the transaction.  Your mission then is to put your investment hat on and turn your newly acquired property to work for you.

Here is a little tip:  When talking to the owner to make an appointment to view a property to buy, ask the seller,  If I make you a cash offer today can you make decision and sign the sales agreement now?   If they have to ask another person, anything can happen.  You can always put, "agreement subject to attorney as to legal form".

Actually the real estate investor has a much easier job than the agent. The real estate agent has the two way street to travel finding the property to sell, convincing the seller to pay a commission, finding a buyer and negotiating a purchase.  The real estate investor finds the property and immediately negotiates the purchase on terms that a profit is possible.

A real estate investor then goes on the same road as the real estate agent.  Moving from agents to finding an investment property to buy the investor moves to seeking directly to buy from an owner.  The places to look for properties to buy are many.  
"we buy houses, any condition, all cash"

Owner ads and for sale signs.   Real estate investors have moved to advertising to buy properties with signs also.  The investor can seek leads for property for sale by advertising in the usual venues.  Investors can drive around looking for run-down, distressed  and vacant properties to buy.  

Investors have " bird dogs", some may have business cards or flyers printed for posting in public places. This where the real estate agent has a definite advantage.  Most will be members of a Multiple Listing Service where they can keep track of properties that did not sell, expired listings and seek out a renewed sales agreement.

The real estate agent of course has another big advantage.  Those customers they have successfully served.  Periodically they will keep contact with them and request referrals.  Actually former clients may become a buyer or seller again.  It will pay big dividends for the agent to keep those contacts and turn them into Bird Dogs on the hunt for new business.

Direct mail, where real estate agents offer free comparative market analysis the investor can offer to directly buy the property offering immediate sale, quick closing, no mess with people running through your house. 

The real estate agent spends huge sums on classified advertising to sell houses but very little for the other leg, houses for sale.  Once in awhile you see open ended ads, "we can sell your house" which doesn't usually bring much response except for someone that is already acquainted with the agent and just didn't realize where to reach them.

A much better method of classified advertising for property to sell is the direct "I've got a buyer ad." ie  < 'Desperately searching for a 3 bedroom, 2 bath, double garage for transferred buyer.  Prefers Wild Wood School District, sale will  be all cash to seller.' >

With type ad the real estate agent has uncovered a prospective property to sell.   The agent is not just wildly shooting for a listing but serving one of their buyers.  The buyer doesn't need to be a transferee, but could be an existing client "just sold their home looking for..."

What the real estate investor or real estate agent are looking for are sellers needing assistance "to get rid of their property".  After some actual face to face with a prospective seller closing a sale, obtaining the listing, working on the seller's motivation will lead to profits.