Investment Real Estate Marketing Plan – Putting Details Into Action

Marketing is one of the most important things a real estate investor can do to grow his business. It is also one of the areas that is easiest to make multiple mistakes. From failing to properly plan, failure to track your results and even worse, failure to control spending; marketing is fraught perils that beginning investors and long time investors alike must be aware and prepared to avoid.There are 3 main areas of marketing to concentrate on when seeking to grow sales and revenues. The first is education, the second is planning and the third is tracking for adjustments and success. All three are important for investors to watch as they seek to grow sales and revenues and more importantly, build a business model that is sustainable through any real estate cycle.EDUCATIONEducating yourself as a real estate investor and marketer is absolutely paramount if you are going to have success and grow your business. There is simply no excuse for not understanding the basics of each as they both are extremely important for the longevity and ability to stay relevant and profitable. Here a few examples of places to become educated on good marketing techniques for real estate investors.1. Local Library – There may not be a better place to become educated on real estate marketing than the local library. Break the topic down into two subjects and you can have the basics down inside of a week. Under the real estate section there are multiple titles that explain the basics of real estate investing from beginner levels to expert levels. In addition, many of these books will give a basic outline of some simple marketing techniques and tools to get you started. When you combine that knowledge with a good Marketing 101 book from the library, you can quickly pick up the basic outline of why marketing must be done and how properly set up a marketing plan. The best part about an education from the library is the cost – practically free!2. Real Estate Investment Clubs – Often times, these clubs are referred to in the industry as REIA’s. Associations of local real estate investors who come together several times a month to discuss topics relevant to real estate investing. These are great sources for so many things related to real estate investing, including marketing ideas and plans. By attending and immersing yourself into these groups, it is easy to develop friendships, partnerships and even mentors who can answer questions and provide guidance. By paying attention to what the top performers are doing in the field and how they are marketing their businesses, you can pick up ideas and integrate those ideas into your marketing plan. It is called modeling and it is one of the best ways to educate yourself on what is working in a particular real estate market. The biggest upside to becoming educated at a REIA is that you are surrounding yourself with the type of people that are going to be vital to your future success. The costs are usually very affordable and you can often avoid mistakes made by other investors before you.3. Go it Alone – There probably does not need to be a tremendous amount of discussion under this heading. It speaks for itself and generally goes against all advice I could ever give any business person, especially a real estate investor. As far as education is concerned, it is an approach that many investors choose to take and often at a tremendous cost. Going it alone means deciding to jump into the deep end of the pool with both feet and learning as you go. Trial and error can be good and can sometimes lead to good results, but often after many hours and many ups and downs. Strictly looking at costs, many investors have experienced huge losses in the areas of marketing to learn what works in their particular market and often are a little behind the actual trends due to not properly learning to track and adjust.My suggestion when it comes to education to use all the resources available including those that come with little to no costs. When you are becoming educated on how to set up a proper marketing plan complete with tracking and adjusting, then I would make sure I was a part of a local real estate investors association so that I am always up to date with the latest marketing techniques.PLANNINGWhen I talk about planning and marketing, I mean to process of laying out the actual strategies you are going to use to market your business, the time frame you are going to use those strategies, the way you are going to track those results and the possible adjustments you are going to make as your results come in on your plan. One of the biggest mistakes that we see today in the real estate marketing world is not a complete failure to plan, but a failure to lay the full plan out from beginning to end. That being said, here are a few tips to properly develop a plan.1. Know what you are currently doing and what results you are currently achieving. Even if the answer is that you are doing nothing, you can not work on where you are going if you do not know where you currently are starting from. You should be able to pinpoint today any marketing you are doing and the cost of that marketing as well as any results you are seeing.2. Know what results you are looking for before you begin. So once you know where you are starting from, the next question is were are you going? Lay out concrete results you want to achieve and be specific. One of the glaring mistakes in this area is not being specific enough. You cannot track abstract goals. Your goals must be specific and detailed so that you can verify if you are achieving them. An example would be a specific number of new leads you want to bring in from each marketing source.3. Give yourself set time frames to test your marketing. This is definitely the second biggest problem for real estate marketers and most marketers in general. Marketing plans must be given time to take shape and develop. Most real estate marketers are developing marketing plans which are call to action in nature. They are asking their target audience to take a particular action so that they can capture that action and develop a new lead. An example would be to “Call Today to Sell Your House Quick!”. This is a call to action marketing phrase. Often times, there will need to be multiple impressions of that message before the action is followed. Failing to plan a specific amount of time such as 60 days or 90 days, leads to a marketer stopping his action before his target audience responds. If you allow your plan to last longer and stick with all of your marketing pieces and techniques longer, you give yourself a greater chance for success in the long run. It allows for you to see over a longer period of time the results you are getting and that provides a clearer picture of what works and what does not work. DO NOT quit marketing after a couple of weeks simply because your phone is not ringing off the hook. Set your time period on the front end and then let your marketing plan work.4. Failing to get input from other experts can be costly. If you have access to other real estate investors, I would definitely get their input on your marketing plan before implementation. If they are able to give you advice and direction it can often times help you to figure out the best route to take or at least if you are on track for success. If you have taken your time and all the steps necessary so far to put together a quality plan, then take advice from other experts, but do not be persuaded to change everything. Simply let others take a quick look for feedback, but be prepared to move forward with your plan and any adjustments they think would make a difference.TRACKINGTracking means having a way to actually follow and measure all of the marketing activities you are doing and the number of results each gets you. Here are some examples of the things that real estate marketers need to track for every marketing action they take.1. What are the total number of leads generated per marketing technique tracked daily, weekly and monthly.
2. How many of those leads turned into qualified prospects daily, weekly and monthly. (qualified prospect means you were willing to invest more time to develop the lead)
3. The number of offers made to purchase property daily, weekly and monthly.
4. The ratios of offers made to where the original lead came from.I am going to insert a quick note here to make sure everyone understands exactly how to track. It is not enough to simply know how many calls you are getting or how many leads are generated or how many offers or deals are being done. When you actually purchase an investment property, you MUST know where that lead came from at the very beginning. Tracking ratios is extremely important to this. It is important to be able to track and measure not only the leads but the quality of those leads. You can have one lead generator that gives you a majority of your leads and another that gives you a majority of your transactions. It should be obvious that you would want to spend more time and resources with the marketing technique giving your more transactions unless you are in the business to simply feel busy and not necessarily to earn a living!5. What is the cost per lead generated, per marketing technique daily, weekly and monthly.6. What is the average income generated from each transaction generated by each marketing technique daily, weekly and monthly.When you are able to track your business in this way, it makes it much easier to make adjustments as you go and it definitely gives a clearer picture of how well you are spending marketing dollars. Often times, as legendary basketball coach John Wooden would say “we mistake activity for productivity” The entire reason for developing and implementing a proper marketing plan is so that we can determine what works, what does not work and what changes we need to make so that we are spending the fewest dollars possible for the greatest impact and result. If we fail to implement any part of this type of marketing plan, then whatever success we achieve cannot be measured against any activities and therefore cannot be duplicated.I am a big proponent of education and immersion as the best learning tools available and I believe that when it comes to marketing, it is simply too easy to learn the proper way to plan and track. When you have the basics down and solid plan to follow, success will follow.

Shared Web Hosting Service – Right For You?

In most cases a shared web hosting service is what you need. This is the entry level service offered by all hosting companies. Most also offer more advanced services like VPS and dedicated server hosting but these are more expensive and are only needed if site activity is high or security is important.Shared web hosting simply means that many users are hosted on a server and share the resources of that server (disk space, CPU etc.). Some hosting providers specify a monthly maximum for usage of resources such as bandwidth and disk space and others offer “unlimited” resources. Most have a range of packages allowing different numbers of things like domain names, sub domains, email addresses, ftp addresses and databases.The differences between suppliers are determined by:Quality of Service – How fast your site loads and how often it is down (best companies guarantee 99.9% uptime). Poor suppliers can load too many users onto a server resulting in poor performance. Good suppliers will closely monitor their services to ensure that users don’t abuse the service by talking too many resources.Quality of Support – If you have a problem you want to be able to contact knowledgeable support staff straight away but the quality of support does vary.Contract Terms – Although a monthly cost is quoted in most cases this involves paying 12+ months in advance. There are suppliers that will allow monthly payments but the cost is higher than the headline figure.It is now normal for providers of shared hosting to offer “Unlimited” services. This is basically a marketing term which is clearly meaningless and is best considered to mean “reasonable”. If your site gets big and starts using too many resources then your host will not be happy (and neither will the other users on the server). On the other hand using “unlimited” avoids setting arbitrary limits and can be of benefit to both parties. The hosting package becomes simpler and allows users to get through peaks without breaching pre-set limits. In practice there clearly have to be limits even if they are not well defined. The following is an extract from the terms and conditions of one host which state “…. service is designed to meet the typical needs of small business and home business website subscribers. It is not intended to support the sustained demand of large enterprises, internationally based businesses, or non-typical applications better suited to a dedicated server”.As a general ball park, it should be OK to run a site/blog receiving up to 10,000 visits a day on shared web hosting service (but bear in mind that if you are running a database powered site, like WordPress, you will have to be caching the site).

Wacky USB Gadgets That Are of Great Use

In the present era, each and every person uses computers. Not only that, along with computers or laptops, USB gadgets have become a mandate and more convenient too. Using the USB gadgets is that easy and simple. You just need to plug the USB gadgets on to your PC and can enjoy your time with some good entertainment or can play games or even can use the USB gadgets for some useful purposes like warming up your mug. Some of the wacky gadgets that are available in the marker are as follows.Toys: These are the musical instruments that you can play and it is easy to be learnt. Actually speaking, these are not real instruments. However, they can be called as a device which plays sounds. The user needs to activate the playing of this device by blocking the laser paths. It is fun to use this device and easy too. Thus the USB 2.0 Hubs are of great use.USB Shoe Dryers: Tired looking at your wet shoes? I can understand your frustration, when you have to use the wet shoes. It in deed takes a longer time to dry the wet shoes. These little cute pups can now help you in drying your wet shoes any time. You just need to plug in these pups or USB 2.0 Hubs to your USB port and place the pups in each shoe. These USB gadgets take very less time to warm your feet. They cost around 31 dollars.Cyber Pad: The cyber pad is one of the most important USB gadgets for students and those who need to take notes often in the classroom or during meetings. If you think that a laptop can help you take notes, you must also think about pictures or imagines which require free drawing facility. These USB gadgets make your cyber pad flexible for any kind of writing or drawing. You can scribble on the Cyber pad just like the way you scribble with a digital pen in these USB 2.0 Hubs. You can also save up to 32 MB of internal memory by using these USB gadgets.USB Easter egg Lights: USB lights resemble and will remind you of the Easter eggs. They are brightly colored and they come in clusters of 8. These USB lights are LED lights and each one is capable of changing its colors to 12 varieties of colors. These USB gadgets are ideal for holiday season or during ceremonies. The cost of the USB lights or USB 2.0 Hubs is around 13 dollars.The Light Saber USB Drive: The light saber can hold up to 1 GB of documents and to use them you just need to plug in to the USB drive. You can easily manage to store your files in the light saber USB drive. The storage does not take much space and the light saber begins to glow after you plug in. The cost of the light saber is around 20 dollars for these USB 2.0 Hubs.R2-D2 USB Humidifier: The humidifier can help you to refresh yourself during the cold winters when you get dried out. It is very small that you can keep it in front of your desk and it is very easy to use. These USB 2.0 Hubs are available at an average cost of 20 dollars.