Building Your Real Estate Investor Network Online
By Adam Gower Ph.D.
With millions of people fighting for attention online, how can you actually find and attract high net worth prospects and convert them into being investors in your real estate projects?
Social media, SEO, and content marketing are strategies that work. If you put them into practice in your own business, you'll be on the road to success. The key is to start doing it and work with what you’ve got until you’ve found a good balance for yourself.
If you’re looking to expand your investor network, here are a few insights you can use to help.
Algorithm Shifts - from Organic to Advertisement
A natural progression exists in social media platforms. They start out in growth mode, trying to increase their users exponentially. Once they’re large enough to compete, they slow down organic reach in order to begin monetizing it.
Without the same level of reach as you had in the beginning, it’s difficult for you to spread your messages as far and wide as you would have before. You’ll find that your inbound traffic from that platform is reducing, the number of unique views is decreasing, and your overall reach statistics start to tank. While the platforms come up with many reasons for it, the decline in reach comes from their desire to generate revenues from ad sale.
Advertisements on social media are highly targeted. If you want reach, especially reach within communities that might be interested in your projects, you can get it through ads. Paid ads are not organic reach, and they have the unfortunate problem of seeming disingenuous because of the label of “sponsored” or “advertisement”, but they can still be massively effective.
The shift is open algorithms that allow strong organic growth to algorithms that create a need for targeted advertisements. This is how social media is often monetized right now, though the strategy could change again in the future. Right now, it’s difficult to build an audience organically without help from multiple different channels and some strong SEO work.
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SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the term used to describe the practice of designing and running a website in a way that helps it to rank higher on search engine results pages (especially Google), without the need for paid advertisements.
There are two main parts to SEO:
How would people find you if there’s nothing to find? You need a strong content strategy to do well in SEO because content is still king online, and people simply won’t go to a website that doesn’t offer them something of value. Social media content is also part of a well-rounded SEO strategy, because social media accounts can link people back to your website.
2. Behind the Scenes
While there’s little you can do behind the scenes on social media accounts, your website has a lot of technical needs you have to meet for the best results with SEO. Content may be king, but the technical side of your website can give you an advantage in a tight playing field. If you’re trying to outrank other real estate investment companies, better on-site SEO will help.
Working with SEO is all about playing the long game. Whereas social media might start producing some results more quickly, SEO takes upwards of 6 months to start showing positive signs, even if you’re doing things the right way.
SEO won’t bring investors to your social media, although it may point them to one or two accounts if you’re hooked up well and they search for the right keywords. The process of using SEO to draw traffic is one of the new ways to combine with social media to create a larger list of prospective investors for yourself overall.
Evolving Email Marketing
Email open rates are steadily declining, with no indication that they’ll work their way back up again. The fact is that people don’t like spam messages. Even if they signed up for your email list, your messages may eventually become something like spam to them, no matter how useful or relevant they are. You could be really good at email marketing and still lose out on views and traffic.
One way to adjust to this is to pursue a similar strategy through social media messenger apps like Facebook Messenger. Connect with people through messenger and give them similar opportunities as you would your email marketing list. You can build a base of prospects that way and may get a better open rate than you would through traditional email messages.
Adapt Quickly to Change
Change is part of the game online. Nothing on the internet stays the same for long. Social media is a great example of this, as every platform tends to evolve with new features and complete revamps every few years. All the platforms are competing and trying to be the most relevant to modern audiences. This just leads to new systems, changed aesthetics, and updated algorithms.
If you get too comfortable doing one thing on social media, eventually you’ll get left behind. New features get the most attention and promotion while older features tend to die down. Eventually, many features you use now may not exist in the same form or may be eliminated entirely. Be on the lookout for changes, stay ahead of the curve, and adapt as quickly as possible when things do change.
Always stay light on your feet. Develop the mindset of being always a little paranoid of change coming so you can work through it more effectively.
Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. If you’re bringing investors in consistently through one method alone, you need to start thing of a second way you could be generating bringing even more interest. Once the second method is set up, look for a third. Keep this up and you’ll be well on your way to a stable, resilient stream of inbound prospective investors.
The point here isn’t to spread yourself too thin, but to keep up with what works and have a backup plan when your main strategy starts to fail.
Social media isn’t magic. By doing what’s worked for others, focus on providing value, and create accounts that you’d want to follow, you’re likely to see results. Invest time and sometimes money into doing it the right way, and you’ll find your investor network grow and your capital raising efforts flourish over time.
If you have only just started in real estate development, have completed no deals, have no email list, but know you want the freedom and wealth being a real estate developer brings, then I suggest your first step is to start evaluating deals so you can recognize a good one when you see it.
Here’s where you should start. You’ll learn everything you need to know – the different types of real estate, different development strategies, how real estate cycles influence the market, and all about due diligence.
If you want to find deals and raise money for them so you can start your real estate development business, then learning how to conduct due diligence so you can pitch your deals better to investors is a great place to start.
If you’ve already purchased one or more real estate project and are seeing more opportunities than you can finance, then now is the time to start building your investor network so you can finance all your next deals quicker.
You’ve already got some momentum; now start finding and educating prospects about what you’re doing so you can build an email list of people to pitch to when you’re ready to raise money for your next deal.
This is what we build for private clients all the time – it’s called the Investor Acquisition System and you can access the entire program right here so you can find prospects, and convert them into being deep pocketed, repeat investors in your deals.
If you are a seasoned pro with multi-cycle experience, a substantial portfolio, a decent deal pipeline, and find yourself spending too much time raising equity capital because you’re still doing it in-person, then it’s time you put technology to work for you.
The wonderful thing about doing this is that you’re not going to be doing anything different than you’re already doing and, guess what, you’ll never have to sit through investor meetings again.
Sounds crazy I know, but I lay the whole thing out for you in this white board workshop where I personally show you exactly what it takes for you to transform your equity raising into a fully automated, capital raising machine so you can find new investors while increasing commitments from your existing network.