I started in this business in 1989 doing HUD open houses since the foreclosure business was the key to making commissions but later the market flipped to traditional real estate again so lead generation changes according to market demands and we need to read the tea leaves carefully because change in some respects, is happening faster. I do remember that I became fascinated with this new fad called the Internet in the 1990s and by 1996 I had my first website. I had always loved investment real estate and when the Internet came around I knew salvation for my real estate career was at hand. I segued into better sites and by the 200s I had what I thought was the best when Number One Expert came around.
Pre-blogging era I wrote a lot of articles about investment and investors and posted them to my website. I wrote about the millionaire next door types that were blue collar but invested and became millionaires. i wrote about doing the first 1031 tax deferred exchange that any title company had ever done in Oklahoma City because some crazy California investor moved here and wanted to buy investment property. The Internet has always been my friend and I was not one of those who liked listing appointments because they seemed like cattle calls and a race to the bottom on commission so connecting by giving people good information about my specialty seemed to be the right thing for me to do. There was no logic applied to this, just a gut instinct and a desire to teach. Then California came calling in 2004. The investment craze was full bore there and groups were starting to contact me because of my wen presence and articles. That turned into 166 homes sold in 2005.
Yes, investors flew the coop in 2008-09 but in those years I spoke in California at least 6 times a year to 300 to 400 investors. As we all know the key is to get in front of someone personally so our lead generation is just the means to an end. What was unique to me is that over 50% of the investors never came here. Now before you just write this off to the insanity of the bubble years it is happening again. The investment business is bigger and the investors are smarter. The key at this point is the reversal of what got me to here in the first place. I now speak first, then sell via the Internet and email.
Delivering information is to me the biggest key to successful lead generation marketing. The term I have for it is gratitude marketing. When you give people the knowledge they need to make the right decisions without asking for anything in return, the law of attraction works. People show their gratitude by working with you. I am now again speaking in San Francisco 4 times a year and in Israel once a year. The old school part of this is face to face connection then the "marketing" if you will, but the follow up for this idea of lead generation is the key.
First, I had my assistant in Romania design a three page spreadsheet done in Apple Pages that auto calculate the returns, GPS the locations, and have two more pages for pictures and floor plans. I also do a mapping program that I highly recommend called zeemaps.com. For $299 a year you have unlimited maps that use Google and you can create multiple color balloons with descriptions so that you can locate neighborhoods, schools, amenities, points of interest that give the client a view of what is around your recommendations. I also hire a national consultant that creates a new economic and demographic report on Oklahoma City every six months to update the investor on statistics. I scour the Internet for articles about Oklahoma City and put all of this in jump drives or send via Dropbox. Again, content put in the proper context is king. Finally I always go back to Seth Godin's book, Purple Cow. Marketing is just one part, the other part is that what you sell needs to be that Purple Cow that stands out from the crowd.
Whether you pay for Lead Gen or not, what you have to offer from your own personal knowledge and experience as well as a great property to sell makes any lead generation plan that much better. That's all for now and as the immortal George Burns once said, Goodnight Gracie.
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