who help their clients maximize their marketing dollars every day. However, if you hire an agency or consultant who does not understand your industry or who makes their recommendations based on their own comfort zones, then you could be in trouble. For example, if you are a turnkey provider who wants to reach real estate investors using their retirement accounts to purchase cash-flowing turnkey rentals; you must be visible in publications that capital-rich real estate investors are reading. If your professional simply recommends buying radio time because they used to be a radio ad salesperson and they are comfortable with the medium, you may end up completely missing your target market, especially if that professional stick with the stations they already know rather than reaching out to ones to which your target market is listening. LESSON LEARNED: Ask anyone who is selling you advertising some questions to determine why they think the ads they are proposing are a good fit for you. By explaining, they’ll demonstrate a knowledge or lack thereof of your business and needs, which will indicate to you whether or not they are a good fit for your business. MISTAKE #3 GIVING UP TOO SOON This is a tough one, because when an advertising campaign does not yield the results you wanted immediately, it can feel like throwing good money after bad to keep funding it. However, especially in real estate, consistency is vitally important to marketing success. Let’s take the example of postcard marketing, a common strategy for real estate investors. According to McCarthy & King, an online/offline lead generation agency and educator, a good response rate to direct mail marketing (i.e. postcards) is about two percent. However, that two percent is not likely to show up like clockwork. It may take

several months for those leads to trickle in. Meaning, if you are not consistent with your advertising, by the time you know it’s working you will have given up. You may not realize that, in reality, your postcards were a great source of steady leads. LESSON LEARNED: A consistent message and marketing strategy creates brand awareness and increases your chance of response, when implemented in the right medium for your industry. Keep your message clear, and give your marketing a chance to work. MISTAKE #4 SENDING CUSTOMERS TO A CONFUSING OR NONFUNCTIONAL WEBSITE If you do not have a good website that is easy to navigate, easy to read, and easy to understand, do not waste your advertising dollars sending people there! Not only does a poorly-designed website make it difficult for your target market to interact with you, but it actually makes them avoid you in the future. Of course, very few investors have poorly-designed websites on purpose. I bet your website makes perfect sense to you. So how will you know if your customers are having a problem? There are two telltale signs that potential clients are having troubles with your website: •  High bounce rate, when people click but cannot get to your site •  Low time on site, when people get to your site but leave immediately Other issues may include broken links, calls-to-action (CTAs) that are difficult to answer, and confusing, irrelevant graphics. Also, if you sell something on your site or offer clients the chance to contact you, make that part of the process as simple as possible. LESSON LEARNED: Your website is the


target market. We would identify various venues for advertising that might appeal to the target demographic, then he would leave and buy advertising on stations that he liked instead. He would say, “I love this show. Let’s be on that one.” (Free hint: If you’re saying that to yourself, consider it a red flag!) He continued to advertise in venues that appealed to him rather than to his audience, and he continued to struggle with his marketing because he was not positioning himself to reach his target market. LESSON LEARNED: Make your marketing decisions based on your target market, not yourself. MISTAKE #2 HIRING AN AD AGENCY THAT LACKS FAMILIARITY WITH YOUR INDUSTRY OR GOALS Please notice I didn’t say hiring an agency is a mistake in and of itself, but that hiring the wrong agency is a mistake. There are a lot of ad agencies and consultants

by Rodney Halford I

have worked in advertising for more than 15 years. In that time,

as you can on your customers, your target market, and then make an informed decision based on that information, not on what you like. REAL LIFE CASE STUDY: Several years ago, I worked with a client who made regular, very significant investments in his marketing. Periodically, we would meet and discuss his strategy, which involved reaching an audience of young-adults ages 18-24 years old. He was about 65, so not a current member of his

to their marketing and advertising. I’ve identified seven common, completely natural and entirely avoidable advertising mistakes that real estate investors make every day in their marketing that are costing them money. MISTAKE #1 ADVERTISING IN MEDIA YOU PREFER INSTEAD OF WHERE YOUR TARGET MARKET PREFERS Find out where your customer is listening, watching, reading, and living. Then, advertise there. Get as much intel

I have seen the good, the bad and the ugly in marketing campaigns. What I’ve discovered is that in most cases, the costliest marketing mistakes are simple, relatively small at the root, and easily avoided if you look at your marketing logically instead of allowing yourself to be driven by what “feels right.” Real estate investors are the best out there when it comes to separating their emotions from their deals, but the same does not always hold true when it comes

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