In our business of real estate, we’ve often been told that more than ‘what you know’, it is ‘who you know’ that matters. And yes, it is important to know the right people in order to fast-track your rise to success, but I think there is another critical element we shouldn’t forget, and that is ‘who knows you?’ It’s important to make sure that the right people know you. So, how do you get your name out there? How can you set yourself apart from the others so people notice you? After all, knowing is the foundation of relationship building, a key factor that will drive your business forward.
Marketing expert and Casmon Capital Group founder John Casmon and I had an informative discussion about this subject in one podcast episode. We talked about the importance of marketing in real estate as the main means of communicating to your clients about who you are and what you do. He shared how the right marketing strategies can help you build a network of contacts, attract more investors and deals, and scale your business faster. Let me share his ideas and pieces of advice so you can start strengthening your marketing efforts and enjoy the benefits and opportunities they bring. You may listen to the full podcast episode by clicking here.
Why is marketing in real estate important?
Marketing refers to the activities and actions a company undertakes to draw in and connect with clients and maintain relationships with them in order to ensure the profitability of the business. Your goal in marketing is to propel your company’s growth by attracting more clients and retaining existing ones. In real estate syndication, marketing will help push awareness of your business and your brand, build your investor base and keep you top-of-mind to prospective clients.
“Whether you’re a passive investor, an active investor, or an active syndicator, marketing is a strong component that can help you elevate your business and rise above the rest,” says John. So, real estate entrepreneurs should not overlook the marketing side of their business if they want to take it to the next level.
Building your brand
Before marketing, there is branding. Whether you know it or not, as a business owner, you have a brand. Your brand is reflected in your company name, your company logo, your mission/vision, your story, your promise, the cards you hand out, and the way you talk about your business. They are what marks you out from all the others in the same business. Your brand is what makes you recognizable and what will earn you loyalty and constant support from your clients. So, when it comes to developing your marketing campaign and pitching potential investors, you’ll need to offer your brand, highlighting the qualities that set it apart from all the other investment opportunities out there. Your brand is what will convince people to trust you with their money.
So, how do you do effective marketing?
John recommends starting with the following elements crucial in your marketing efforts. He also shared some advice on developing the proper mindset going into your marketing endeavors.
#1 Create an email list of prospective clients
An email list is a list of names and email addresses of people to whom you will send updates, promotions, and offers from your business. As a syndicator who’s putting deals together and bringing investors together, it is crucial to build this list. “You have to have your email list of people with whom you’re going to start communicating and building a relationship. Once you’re ready to raise capital for a deal, they’re the ones that you will contact,” says John.
Email marketing is one of the most cost-effective marketing strategies for small businesses that is easy to manage and allows you direct contact with your clients. You can build your email list inside an email marketing software such as Mailchimp, Hubspot, Constant Contact, Drip, etc., and send bulk emails to everyone on your list.
As you grow your email list and start contacting prospective clients, John also suggests having a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system. A CRM will make it easier for you to keep a record of your client’s contact details and keep track of your interactions with them.
“I started with MailChimp email campaign and then I’d meet a whole lot of people and at times I wouldn’t remember details about them or where I met them. So, I needed a CRM system and used Pipedrive to help me identify and stay connected with these individuals, and make it easier to access their records and make follow-ups,” shares John.
#2 Communicate with your target clients
Excellent communication in marketing is all about delivering your message and brand voice to your clients both effectively and efficiently. Consistent communication will introduce you to your target clients and will allow you to engage and create a unique bond. Once the relationship is established, you will gain new, loyal clients who will trust you and your business.
However, in developing a long-lasting client relationship, you have to cultivate it and keep it alive by regularly sending weekly or monthly newsletters and other valuable offerings such as free webinars, meetup schedules, video guides, etc. Focus on value and encourage recipients to share your content with their friends.
“When was the last time you talked to your clients? It’s great to send them a monthly newsletter or weekly newsletter. Make sure you’re communicating with these individuals as frequently as you can. Start there and then think about how you provide value,” advises John.
#3 Always provide value to others
Show your clients and your audience how important they are to you by giving them something valuable without expecting anything in return. Whenever you attend events and meetups, write blogs, create content for your social media platforms, give interviews on podcasts, or meet a client, always offer and provide value. Here are some ways you can do that: share your knowledge and expertise, make an introduction, serve as a reference for a person or a service, recommend someone to your audience, or simply give advice or support when it’s needed.
This will also help you establish yourself as a thought leader in your field and will gain you credibility and influence among your target clients. “As we share value, we add credibility to one another. Your credibility increases with every single interview that you do, with every meetup that you host, with every book that you publish. It’s about leveraging credibility to influence others,” explains John, adding that high credibility and influence will help grow your brand further.
He stresses the importance of staying relevant no matter how highly credible and established you have become, lest you lose your influence over your client base due to your complacency. “Big operators still go out and do posts on BiggerPockets, still push out their content in order to stay relevant. It’s necessary to stay relevant and continue to draw that influence. Otherwise, there are other options and people might walk away from your brand,” says John.
#4 Think as your clients would think
The fastest way to attract people to you is to put yourself in the other person’s shoes and think as they would think. Understanding someone else’s perspective and way of thinking will give you a deeper appreciation of their circumstances and needs. This opens up the channel to connect to their human side and build that business relationship.
So, develop your listening skills and be more empathetic. Know what’s happening on the other side of the fence by listening to the other person’s story. Let them talk about themselves, their lives, and what’s important to them. You will earn their respect and in turn, they’ll be more curious to know about you. Listen with this overarching theme in mind: How can I help this person? The more you do this, the easier it will be for you to reach out to people when you need them.
“Make sure to think and speak about the investor’s needs. Think about things from their lens. I have one investor tell me, ‘John, that’s great but what I am focused on is my daughter in college. When you talk to me about how investments are going to help me send my daughter to college, that inspires me. But not you telling me about the 8% pref return’,” adds John.
#5 Utilize social media marketing
As social media has become an explosive marketing platform in the past years, you have every reason to take advantage of the opportunities it offers. Using social media platforms, you can further raise awareness of your brand, engage with your clients, and promote your educational content from your website and email campaign. Social media tools include blogging, microblogging, posting, sharing, and commenting. Link your social media posts back to your website where visitors can download resources for free after submitting their email addresses.
“You don’t have to be on all platforms at all times if you’re not ready. Figure out the platform that you like and use it to reach out to people. What you want to do is find ways to connect the right content to the right people at the right time,” says John.
Here’s more specific advice from John on leveraging social media platforms for marketing.
Instagram: If you’re going to be on Instagram, it is very visual. You want to engage people with beautiful imagery in addition to great copy.
Facebook: If you choose Facebook, keep in mind that it’s more for family and friends so it’s a little bit more casual but it allows you to tag people. You may also want to engage like-minded people in FB groups.
LinkedIn: It’s very professional and business-like. It’s where professionals are looking to network and connect with business people so you want to share relevant information and content worth their time.
In addition, consistency is key when using social media. Algorithms will favor your social media profile when you consistently use, post, and interact on the platform. Platforms also give you channels for contacting clients (and vice versa) via private messaging.
#6 Leverage other people’s value and influence as a marketing tool
We all know the power of celebrity influence on swaying consumer preference on a certain brand. The same can be applied to real estate marketing. If the client sees a celebrity or a key industry player associated with a business, they will have a better feeling about that business. That’s the strength of influence. So, if you do not have extensive experience or track record in the industry, associate with someone who has.
“When it comes to syndication, if you don’t have the experience, then what you can do is leverage someone who does have that experience. That can be a prominent mentor, a recognized property management company, or that could be another known syndicator that you can partner with,” recommends John.
“Ultimately, real estate marketing is about getting to know people and being genuinely interested in it. It’s about educating and helping other people achieve their financial goals. You follow up, you stay consistent, you communicate, and you build long-term relationships,” ends John.
A great marketing plan is all about the idea of “knowing and understanding people” built around strategies to develop a mindset of ‘giving’ that serves others not just yourself. It is your gateway to experiencing more positive, meaningful interactions that open up opportunities that could further increase the value of your business and your brand. No better time than now to start your marketing campaign!