The real estate market is an industry in constant change. Strategies and approaches that once worked lose their effectiveness all of a sudden, outdating your plans in the process. For that reason, it’s crucial to stay updated, network, and take part in webinars and courses. It will allow you to be alert and, hopefully, ahead of trends, to adapt faster – and win money in the process.
At Real Estate IQ, we know that the most important thing is to have a solid base to build a plan. And that base is information. That’s why we work hard to provide the best and freshest data in the market so you can work with off market properties. Nonetheless, having a pipeline of motivated leads coming to you isn’t enough to land the most profitable deals available.
“I was chasing the same motivated sellers as many other real estate investors, and I was sending them the same messages. At some point, I realized it was like white noise to them, just one more postcard in a pile full of them. Every time I went to somebody’s living room, I felt like I was interviewing for a job, and I knew there had to be a better way,” explained Max Keller, experienced real estate investor, teacher, and best-selling author.
At that time, Keller had a good point. It’s not enough to receive top-notch information. To work with off market properties, you also have to be creative. Though competition is considerably lower than when working with the MLS, the data isn’t exclusive. Therefore, you have to find a way to stand out.
And he did. He had two “Aha!” moments, which helped them focus on things that set him apart from his competitors. And since he’s been successfully implementing and teaching his plan during the last years, he explained it in his last webinar at Real Estate IQ, “How to avoid failure with the top REI survival methods.”
First, find your niche
By observing and studying the market, Keller discovered that local investors weren’t the most dangerous competition. That place was occupied by the big Wall Street companies – or ibuyers. The problem was that these companies didn’t need to make a lot of profit, and they were buying properties by the thousands.
So, he realized that the human touch differentiated him, a local investor, from a corporate agent. “I made a list of what was important for me in the deals I did and got three indispensable conditions to make a deal: a good profit margin, sellers who wouldn’t resist my offer, and the fact that I wanted to enjoy working with them.”
The analysis led him straight to his niche: senior citizens. They were people in need to sell (“what do 85-year-olds do with their two-story house in the suburbs when they haven’t been upstairs in three years? They downsize, sell it. And who’s going to help them?”) and they were the fastest-growing age group in America.
Moreover, he found out that they were picking him – even over higher offers – because they trusted him. “They weren’t coming from my normal marketing campaigns but referrals. And they stayed with me because I took the time to explain and analyze the situation with them,” Keller revealed.
Second, find something that gives you authority
Sitting with senior homeowners and their families and educating them about their options was key to building that trust. “Closing on a house isn’t something that I will ever do TO a senior homeowner; it’s only something I will do FOR them. Having that mindset created trust and is one of the reasons I get so many referrals from them,” the speaker pointed out.
However, he still relied on word of mouth. It was obviously working, but being the person who sits with senior citizens for four hours to answer their questions wasn’t something he could advertise, and in the long run, the model would have been hard to escalate.
His second “Aha!” moment came after a chat with a close relative of one of his deals, who suggested he could write a book. If his strategy was to have a little knowledge about senior housing options (both his and their competitors), educate sellers so they understood the situation, and capitalize on that trust, this idea would allow him to go even further.
Understanding his niche set him apart from about 95% of his competition. But having a book to hand over elevated his service – and his marketing, as well. So, he sat down, wrote every question sellers had asked him, every question they should ask, and the pros and cons of all the options available, and printed it.
The book gave me credibility and trust. It’s the ultimate business card, and I’m leading with value right at the very beginning of the sales process. I send sellers my book as soon as they contact me, and they call me after reading it. With the book, I positioned myself as the expert, and who wouldn’t want to do business with the expert?Max Keller, experienced real estate investor, teacher, and best-selling author.
Once he implemented it as a marketing strategy, he started to get more and more profitable deals. Yes, the initial investment is slightly higher than a business card, but the outcome is also exponentially better. The book transferred him value, he was the author, and he had all the knowledge to write it.
“In time, I realized that it doesn’t work just for senior homeowners but for lots of other types of motivated sellers, too. Nevertheless, even though the book helped, the secret was in the approach; it was about targeting and speaking to my exact customer. People can tell if you’re authentic. Marketing is about trust, and I managed to position myself not as a predatory house buyer or an overpriced real estate agent, but as their housing advisor,” Keller concluded.
Disclaimer: The blog articles are intended for educational and informational purposes only. Nothing in the content is designed to be legal or financial advice.