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5 Key Advertising Differences Between an Amateur and a Professional Real Estate Investor

Aug 17, 2007
Anyone can take a project to 90% completion. It's a real pro that finishes the job. And it's that same pro who gets to reap the rewards of a finished project.

Getting a tenant into a rental property is obviously worth a good sum of money to a real estate investor. And depending on the rental program used there may be an immediate windfall on the line.

For example, if you are renting out a singly family home using a lease option, the successful placement of a tenant is worth thousands of dollars to you on day one and possibley tens of thousands of dollars to you after a couple of years.

There are 5 important differences between an amateur real estate investor and a real professional.

And these 5 can mean the difference between selling a property at a loss to rid yourself of it and making very healthy returns.

Amazingly you don't have to be a marketing genius to fill a property with a good tenant but you do need to do these things:

1. Constant Presence - Let's say you advertise your property for a week in the local paper. Towards the very end of the week you line up a tenant for your property and set a date two days later to sign the lease and hand over some cash. You are excited and to save a couple of hundred dollars you stop advertising in the classifieds for the next week.

The meeting day rolls around and one of course it happens. One of you has a kid that is sick, or a dog that needs surgery, or a car that isn't behaving and you need to reschedule. Then for no reason when you try to meet up on the agreed upon rescheduled day the possible tenant vanishes. Calls aren't returned, their voice mail box is full and their girlfriend, who you called because you were smart enough to get a back contact number, has no idea where you are.

Frustration settles in.

You have no more possible tenant leads because you stopped your advertising. You begin to why people don't do what they say they'll do. You focus on the negative and it's a downward spiral.

Now the professional does the opposite. And that brings us to the next point....

2. Approach - The professional investor keeps advertising until the lease is signed and there is cash in their pocket. A two year lease can represent tens of thousands in revenue.

Why would anyone jeopardize that to save a few hundred bucks on advertising?

The professional investor KNOWS that we humans may not follow-up on commitments but does not focus on that. Instead they focus on having 3 or more possible backup tenants in the wings.

They continue to show the property to other possible tenants until the lease is signed. They attempt to sign the lease on the very same day that someone shows interest. If that person doesn't have the full deposit on hand they accept whatever it is they have in their pocket.

The professional understands momentum is key and works hard to create and maintain it. Taking a deposit of some sort up front goes a long way to securing commitment from the tenant.

3. Yard Sign - It's amazing that someone will buy a property for a few hundred thousand dollars and then invest zero or next to zero on a good yard sign.

You must but in a Yard Sign. A HUGE percentage of tenants for student rentals, regular single family home rentals and lease option rentals come from the immediate surrounding area.

It's either by a friend walking by the house that sees the sign and passes on the information, or a family member who lives in the area and is looking for a place for their extended family or someone out on a drive just scouting the area for a good home.

And those little 8" by 9" black and red "For Rent" signs don't count.

You need a big professional sign. The type a realtor would use. You want this thing to stand right in the middle of the lawn using a solid frame to hold it up.

Home made signs look home made, they fall down, blow over, deteriorate to mulch in the rain and just don't get the job done.

Invest is a solid sign. You're looking at approximately $100. Do it.

4. Massive Action - Now this is a biggie. So many people have been handed things to them their entire lives that when something doesn't go according to plan they break down.

Here's what I mean.

If an amateur investor doesn't get their property rented out quickly they will start blaming the tenant leads that came through the house. They'll blame the possible tenants for not "seeing" the value in the home, or for not following up, or for not having enough money to put together first and last month's rent.

The amateur blames everyone but himself.

If a professional investor doesn't get a home rented out within a reasonable time he/she goes into action, MASSIVE ACTION.

They do not just do one thing to try and fix things. For example if their yard sign was small they don't just go get a bigger one.

They go off and do 10 things all at once. A new sign, flyers to the area, improve the street appeal, work on their sales skills, change their ad, introduce a voice mail system instead of answering calls live so they aren't fumbling the phone in the car trying to answer calls, put up directional signs on street corners....

All too often the amateur investor will do one thing and think they've done enough. Nothing could be further from the truth. When the going gets a bit tough you need massive action to create momentum. Remember that, it's important.

And it leads us to the final point...

5. Analysis: Professional investors sit back and ask questions about the situation. And then adjust their approach immediately. Amateurs blame the tenants that came through the house and didn't sign up. The amateur investor focuses on everything but themselves.

The pro will always be asking themselves questions:

Am I getting the proper number of leads from my advertising in the paper?

Can I word the ad better?

Is my yard sign visible?

Can I improve the street appeal?

What is the feedback from the tenants who have been through the house?

Am I pushing people away with a hard pitch to rent out the home?

Are my price points set properly? Am I doing a good enough job explain the price and the value?

Where are people coming from to view the property?

Can I advertise more in that area specifically?

And they will take these answers and turn them into the massive action required to complete the job.

Remember, anyone can do anything up to 90%. It's the pro who takes it all the way.

Which one are you?
About the Author
Tom Karadza is a residential real estate investing expert in Canada. Tom and Nick Karadza publish step by step real estate investing guides at TheRealEstateRenegades.com.
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