Beginning real estate investors spend too much time doing direct mail marketing

The beginning investor spends an inordinate amount of time preparing and mailing each marketing campaign. From the outset, a successful campaign requires anticipation of which market segments have the greatest potential for converting leads. Once determined, the marketer must access a marketing list, clean the data, and then prepare a mail merge campaign for distribution. Finally, they convert the campaign into hard copy, fill out and mail the completed letters to potential clients. Startups can handle this process for smaller campaigns, but they quickly find that it is not scalable precisely when trying to grow their business.

The new investor, who has no staff, is often responsible for every aspect of the business. The challenge is that any time spent marketing is time that is not spent on directly profitable activities like converting leads. To add more pressure, many have day jobs, which can limit the amount of time available to work on the business. While the established investor may hand off lower value activities to a third party or a member of his team, the initial investor does not always have the capital or experience to do so.

It is vitally important that business owners begin to simplify and automate any routine tasks in their business so that they can focus their time and energy on value-added activities. To simplify, they must streamline decisions and manual effort through processes and leveraging external sources. When starting out, it is profitable and conservative to work alone in the business. However, long-term growth is achieved when the owner works to his strengths and income-generating activities.

There are three actions to reduce time to market and improve business growth and scalability. The first is to leverage information from market trends to improve the process of choosing a target market segment. Investors should connect to a local real estate investor association and identify online sources for market information. This will minimize the time spent at the front-end of each marketing cycle to determine where it is best to expand.

Next, it is important to simplify your data collection and preparation practices. Many of the online marketing data sources provide complex and expensive tools, which provide flexibility, but then eliminate it by requiring the user to sub-package their data in awkward ways to fit their marketing budget. Once the data is collected, the most manual and detailed task is data cleansing. The insightful investor simplifies recurring data collection and cleaning tasks through easy and inexpensive means. Lastly, the task of preparing the mailing campaign for distribution should be outsourced as soon as possible, as it is the biggest time sink and is not scalable without help.

Following these steps will greatly minimize the time spent on marketing and free up more time for profit-generating tasks, such as working with and converting leads. Automating and simplifying is an important step in improving the scalability of business operations and preparing for business growth and expansion.

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