I had the privilege of beginning my investing career working with the Father of Creative Real Estate, Dr. A.D. Kessler. Dr. Kessler had the wisdom of over five decades as a real estate investor and had seen several cycles of real estate ups and downs. One of my favorite lessons from Dr. Kessler is: “Fortunes have been made in real estate investing in good times, bad times, and in-between times. There is NEVER a bad time to be a real estate investor.”
After adding my 21 years of real estate investing to Dr. Kessler’s vast experience, I have realized that he was correct in this statement. And now as I work with many other investors, it is my opportunity to remind you that investing works best when you add a long-term perspective to the short-term one.
What goes up must come down, and what goes down must come up. These are the cycles in the real estate market, and no matter what the brilliant financiers and masterminds behind the Fed’s manipulation of interest rates may do, these cycles are still going to play out. The “crash” in 2008 was going to happen with or without the issues of subprime or dishonest hedge funds. It may have happened with a little different timing, or a little more gradually, but it was the result of prices rising beyond the ability of many buyers to purchase properties. And when it bottomed out, a reversal needed to occur because too much money was sitting dormant—it was “burning a hole” in people’s pockets.
I have the opportunity of speaking with numerous investors every day. Many are new to the process and concerned because the current market is moving rapidly. Prices are going up, and there are housing shortages in many areas around the country. This is what is called a “seller’s market.” These investors are concerned because it is more difficult to make deals on properties at low investor prices. For them, they are having a bad time in real estate investing. It is harder to get good deals. The funny thing is that if it was a buyer’s market it would be easy to get the deals, but it would be harder to sell the properties at a good profit. Gosh, it starts to sound like you can never have the ideal market.
My perspective learned primarily from Dr. Kessler is that it’s always a good time to be a real estate investor, and we just need to learn how to work with things as they are. The secret to success in a seller’s market is to become a Master of Marketing to find properties. Every business understands that they need to do marketing to find customers—the life blood of business. In real estate, our marketing is to find properties, and to find people who want properties. And the savvy real estate entrepreneur recognizes that they need to put together a diversified and effective marketing plan to find these properties and buyers. In a seller’s market, it is easier to find buyers than properties, so we need to create a successful marketing plan to find properties.
Unfortunately, many new investors think they can simply line up a real estate agent, let them do all the work and go home and watch “Dancing with the Stars” and wait for the properties to roll in. Well that will get you what most investors are getting—very little. That isn’t a marketing plan, and every business in the country would fail if they only had one way to generate customers.
I’ve had the opportunity to work with some of the most successful investors in the country—the ones who write the books and have the television programs. I’ve helped edit their books, and even been on their tv programs. So I also had an opportunity to ask how they find properties. Do you know what their answer has consistently been? “Every which way we can!” They know that in real estate, like every other field, there is no magic pill—no magic way of finding properties. They cite online classified ads, multiple real estate agents, wholesalers, other investors, property managers, driving for dollars in neighborhoods, door knocking, attorneys and insurance agents, resubmitting on rejected offers, foreclosures and pre-foreclosure lists, calling on rental properties, probate properties, and many other methods as the ways to find properties. Most importantly, they all have a marketing plan with at least a dozen or more methods that they use regularly, and they track their results.
Every investor must treat their investing as a business or it will wither and die. Marketing can never become an afterthought. It must be front and center in your investing time. The allocation of time blocks must be created and used effectively. If you need additional lists of ways to find properties, contact our office. We have lengthy lists that you can select from to create your marketing plan. Let me ask a few questions to see if you have begun to think creatively about how to “turn over more stones” to find off-market properties.
- Have you contacted any property managers to see if any of their clients are buying or selling?
- How many neighborhoods have you driven through in the last two weeks to look for properties that are for sale?
- Do you work from lists of foreclosures or pre-foreclosures to follow up on properties through direct mail, phone, or knocking on the property’s door?
- Have you spoken to any probate attorneys to see if there is a way you can assist people with estate properties that they are handling?
- Have you spoken to any administrators or marketing directors for assisted living or nursing homes? They often have potential residents who cannot move in until “mom or dad’s” house is sold.
- Do you have online sources that list properties for sale and also properties for rent that you check daily?
- How many wholesalers have you linked up with to see if you can do co-wholesaling together, where one of you brings the property and the other brings the buyer?
- Are you checking on tax delinquencies in your area?
- Do you have any bird-dogs finding properties for referral to you? I, at one time, had dozens of pizza delivery guys forwarding properties to me.
- Do you know which areas of town have the most boarded up houses? And when was the last time you spent a couple of hours driving those neighborhoods?
Real Estate investing is not difficult, but it does takes diligence and an organized plan. And at the root of that plan is your marketing plan. I challenge you, on behalf of the entire program, to develop a marketing plan within the next two weeks that will have at least one dozen different methods of finding properties. It may take longer to implement them all and establish tracking to make sure that they work, but a diversified and effective marketing plan will allow you to elevate and ramp up your success. And if you already have a dozen, move to having two dozen methods and make sure that they are all producing successful results.
You will discover that this process alone will not only provide you with more and better property opportunities, it will also keep you so busy with success that you will forget about whether it is a seller’s market or a buyer’s market or an in-between market, and you will be many steps closer to building your own fortune! Best wishes, and we’ll see you on the road to success!