When getting started in real estate investing, one of the first things you need to figure out is how to generate leads. You may ask yourself, what is it that makes the phone ring best or what is it that makes most of the leads come in? However, I would encourage you to ask a different question – because I think that’s the wrong question. The better question is: what’s going to make the phone ring with the RIGHT type of leads, the RIGHT type of sellers that you want to work with? Now that we’re taking the thoughtful approach, let’s discuss the two broad types of marketing you could use: pull vs. push marketing. Let’s talk about pull marketing first.
Pull marketing is where you’re putting a message out there and you’re trying to pull people towards you, like for example, running an ad in the newspaper; when someone sees the ad, it pulls them towards you because they will call you if they’re interested. Or, doing search engine optimization so that when people search ‘sell my house in this town,’ they find you. Bandit signs – common in real estate investing – are another example of pull marketing.
The second type of marketing is called push marketing; this is where you take your message and you proactively push it out to people. Great examples of push marketing are sending out letters, cold calling or knocking on doors. Pull marketing is about helping people find you, whereas push marketing is about helping your message get proactively out to people.
The question is, which one is right for real estate lead generation? It’s tempting to answer the question as pull marketing is better, because you might say, ‘Well, I just want to pull the people towards me who are interested in selling their property or who are interested in this type of solution that I can provide.’ But I’m going to tell you that as a Thoughtful Real Estate Entrepreneur, I greatly prefer and recommend that you do push marketing. Why? Because it creates a completely different type of dynamic between you and the seller.
When you do pull marketing, you are finding people who already feel like they have a problem, who are probably going to be shoppers. They’re probably going to be distressed type of people who are looking for a solution. While that might seem like the best thing for you, I would say let’s leave that to the low-brow investors, to all the people who want to fight over the distressed folks.
Instead, as a Thoughtful Real Estate Entrepreneur, you should focus on face-to-face negotiations with reasonable people and quality properties, because over time, you want to be creating a portfolio of quality properties. And I’ve found the best way to find these people and properties is through push marketing.