7 Steps to Raising Equity Online
By Dr. Adam Gower
I learned exactly how to sell real estate assets online during the last recession when I sold over $1 billion of distressed deals across hundreds of transactions for banks and private equity funds, and I did it entirely using proprietary automated email systems that I developed and that were state-of-the-art at the time and very effective.
The digital marketing world has come a long way since then.
Today systems and campaigns are incredibly sophisticated but have never been of much use to real estate professionals because it was prohibited to use them to solicit investors.
As you know, recent changes in the law (JOBS Act) have caused a transformational shift in real estate capital formation.
Now savvy real estate developers are using advanced digital marketing systems to raise equity for their deals.
Here is a 7 step process I developed based on those I developed during the great recession for some of the biggest banks and private equity funds in the world. They leverage best-of-class practices used by the digital marketing industry and that I implement for sponsors today.
You can use it to access the capital you need now and have enough to harvest all the distressed deals you can handle during the next downturn. The first thing you do is
1. Claim all your digital real estate
You are a real estate professional. You understand the value of hard assets. Well,
Here’s a simple fact.
Some of the most valuable real estate on the planet is the real estate that exists ONLINE.
Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and others are all worth tens if not hundreds of billions of dollars. They have spent gazillions building the digital infrastructure to create the most powerful marketing and traffic generation machines in history.
You are going to leverage those tools by staking your claim to your own pages on all the major platforms.
If you don’t already have a Facebook business page, set one up – they have 2.23 billion monthly users.
If your LinkedIn profile reads like a resume, turn it into a
FREE billboard promoting you and your deals
to their 500 million users.
Sync your messaging across all of them, strategically add CTAs, and funnel visitors to landing pages for more information. Then using precise data analytics, identify your ideal investor and put your message right in front of them.
It’s insane how sophisticated this methodology is, and it is standard practice for selling just about anything.
Whenever a prospect visits your website, they will pick up a small amount of tracking code that you install.
In your advertising campaigns, you instruct Google or FaceBook to show the investor your ad whenever they perform an action you define. It’s like you can
Read your investors’ minds.
You can serve your prospects with valuable, useful information right when they are most interested in hearing from you and learning about what you have to say.
and it's all done in a completely natural way that syncs perfectly with predictable online behavior.
Now that you have established your online foundation, it's time to...
2. Get your prospect’s name and email address
It’s crazy how much information is out there about all of us and you can use that to provide tremendous value to investors by giving them exactly what they want right when they are looking for it.
Whenever we hit ‘I agree’ on any website we are permitting the website to access everything we write and do.
By mining that data through sophisticated online searches you can locate your ideal investors and provide them with high caliber educational materials explaining what you do and encouraging them to interact with you.
It is an incredible untapped resource you can use to help investors sort through their online searches so that they find YOU.
There are 11 million accredited investors each worth $1 million or more. That’s nearly $11 trillion of wealth here in America alone, and yet
there are only 300,000 accredited investors who have invested as an accredited investor according to the SEC.
And a lot of them are looking for deals to invest in.
They’ve never had access before, and you can give them that access.
Investors are actively looking for deals to invest in.
They want to know how much money you are going to make for them, and they want to know who you are and why they should trust you with their money.
To start this process, give them something of value the first time you ‘meet’ them and they’ll give you their name and email address in return.
It’s a digital handshake.
You do it by installing a ‘Call To Action’ (CTA) button on your website or in an online ad you run. Behind that button is your lead magnet that provides immediate value to the investor.
For example you might do this
With a free guide to investing.
Key is that whatever you provide has to be compelling and of value to your prospects.
It should intrigue them enough to want to know more and positions you as an expert in your area of real estate development.
The next step is to
3. Introduce yourself and start the dialogue
Most investors are hesitant and distrustful.
Your current investors know, like and trust you. Or they wouldn’t invest.
There is every reason to believe that once new investors come to know, like and trust you, they will invest too.
The difference is that whereas your usual way of meeting and greeting investors and building those relationships took hours of meetings and phone calls, now you can
Completely automate the process.
It’s done by setting up a sequence of emails that are delivered at pre-set intervals.
This sequence of emails is triggered the moment an investor completes a contact form.
The first thing they get is the handshake document you created.
Then you provide more information about yourself that explains to your prospect who you are and why they should invest in you.
And the most effective way to do this is to
Identify and keep your investor’s priorities in mind at all times.
You have to earn a prospective investor's trust and because they are initially going to be hesitant (as they should be and as we all are). To do this you should showcase your expertise in a way that is informative, valuable and respectful, and not preachy or self-aggrandizing.
For example positioning with messages like these work well,
- The Importance of Sourcing Off-Market deals
- 5 Key Elements of Successful Due Diligence
- How to Tell a Good Deal from a Dud
This isn’t as difficult as you may think, because the way you create this high value sequence of emails is to
4. Digitize the process you already use
You're a pro; you’ve already done most of the work (and repeated it in person to every new investor you’ve met). So just
Re-purpose your existing materials.
Think about the sequence of communication that you have with any new investor you meet and reconstruct that process.
Take the same presentation materials you have that explain you, your company background, your investment philosophy and your deals, and re-purpose it as
- Pages on your website
- Audio versions
- Ad copy
And by using technology it is a LOT easier to do than you might imagine.
For example, to create my new book Leaders of the Crowd, I recorded conversations with the pioneers of the new real estate capital formation industry and transcribed those calls. These were reformatted to create a syndicated podcast series, and transcribed and edited to form chapters in the book.
The beauty of digitizing what you already do is that you only have to do it once.
And through these different media you can provide access to prospects to consume at their convenience without having to walk them through it each time.
Once you have set this up, it is time to
5. Build the relationship
Now that your investors are coming to know, like and trust you, you are ready to expand the relationship and prepare them for your next deal.
You do this by creating a linear communication campaign that provides increasingly advanced, sophisticated education to your new prospective investor partners.
Using active response analytics, you can tell if an
- investor has opened an email you sent them, or
- if they downloaded a document, and
- you can even tell how much of a video they have watched.
By using these advanced feedback tools, you can precisely tailor your automated messaging to fit with exactly how your investors are interacting with your messaging.
This keeps prospects engaged without making you seem overenthusiastic or pushy and it respects the time constraints of your investor by allowing them to learn about you on their own terms.
It is no different from the way you instinctively read non-verbal communication via facial expressions during a one-on-one meeting, only this time you let technology read those signals and automatically respond for you.
Now you are ready to
6. Pitch your deal
There is usually tremendous urgency in getting a deal closed, and a lot of frenetic work done to underwrite your deals and conduct due diligence in a timely fashion.
Investors are your partners in this process.
Provide them with sufficient information about you and your project so that they can conduct their own due diligence effectively.
Put everything in one easy-to-access location so investors can
act decisively to close the deal with you.
It’s the same for you as a buyer when you look at a deal.
A competent seller will have a deal room with every document, survey, and due diligence item you could want, ready for you to go in, review, and verify.
Using these same principles to offer your deal to investors will help them accelerate their own evaluation process so that they are moving at the speed you need them to - and faster if you do it right.
Once this campaign has been initiated and is running, it is time to
6. Close the deal
You do this by making it as easy as possible for your investors to act upon their decision to invest.
This means having an ‘Invest Now’ button, front and center.
Behind this button you will seamlessly
- Deliver deal contracts
- Grant access to deal presentation materials
- Allow for online digital signatures
- Provide an easy way to wire funds
AND you are going to do this while remaining fully compliant with all the relevant laws.
Bingo! That's all there is to it.
Now you might be thinking that you’ve
Got equity sources already
And that you don’t need to go online.
I hear you.
Often times there are too few deals and too much equity in the system.
I get it.
But what about during the next downturn when
Cash is king
Remember the last downturn when there was a flood of distressed deals but not enough money to buy them?
Those deals were all under-priced because there was too much supply and too little cash in the system.
But there were millions of non-real estate people out there who HAD CASH.
And they really wanted to invest in distressed real estate deals, but didn’t have the time, skills or access to do anything about it.
Then there were the developers like you who had access to deal flow.
BUT the usual equity sources were depleted.
And it was illegal to go to Joe Public and solicit investment.
But NOW YOU CAN
The ancient 1933 Securities Act prohibited you from soliciting from people you did not know.
You could only invite people to invest in your deals if you had a pre-existing relationship.
When the law changed it eliminated the general solicitation rules, allowing you to
Openly advertise to raise equity for your deals online.
Instead of being restricted to a small group of people you already know, or through haphazard introductions meeting others, you can freely contact everyone.
Now the law allows you to create automated digital capital raising machines that drive prospects into funnels, nurtures the relationship, and prepare the ground for investment.
These are digital marketing methodologies that every other industry has been using for years.
And now the you can use them too.
You can free up your time and put your fund-raising efforts almost entirely on auto pilot so you can concentrate on finding and executing on your deals.
It is perfect not just for now, but especially for when the market turns and deal flow outpaces your current equity sources.
But there is a problem with this.
Well of course there is.
Building these systems takes a lot of time and effort.
Effectively attracting investors and nurturing them to invest, requires finesse and timing and a commitment to building out sophisticated online real estate and executing on digital marketing campaigns.
The investors are out there, though, in their millions with their $trillions.
And any effort you put in today will be well worth it once the equity checks start flooding in.
If this makes sense to you then,
Here’s Some Good News
I really want you to benefit from this and not let such an opportunity pass you by.
For this reason, I’ve allocated some time to personally walk through your existing online presence and capital raising process, and
I will design a fully customized marketing plan for you… FREE.
I really mean it. I will do this for you absolutely
with no obligation of any kind.
Actually, it’s more than just the marketing plan blueprint I will design.
I will also describe in detail exactly what you need to do to be able to implement your marketing plan immediately. However...
There is a ‘catch’ as you might expect
To be really clear.
We simply cannot (and will not) work with just anyone.
The campaigns and processes that we are going to outline in your blueprint are very powerful and effective tools for raising capital.
But they won’t work for everyone to the same degree.
This isn’t for a first timer looking to get into real estate or for someone looking to online marketing as a last resort financing option.
In order for us to put in all the effort to making sure that you are successful in raising capital for your deals, and to qualify for the free marketing plan blueprint, you have to satisfy some key criteria, non-onerous, but very important nonetheless.
Here they are:
1. You have to have a track record of success that started and survived the great recession of 2007/8.
This doesn’t mean that you did not struggle during the last recession, I don’t know anyone who did not, but how you handled the recession and the challenges that presented will inform investors how you likely will handle the next downturn.
And we want to be sure that your story is aligned with our obsession with wealth preservation.
We only work with clients whose deals we feel confident presenting to our own investor network who require downside protections, even if their return expectations are tempered as a result.
2. You have to have a sophisticated understanding of the relative rights and responsibilities of sponsors and investors.
This isn’t for beginners or for sponsors who are either thinking of crowd funding as a last resort financing option, or an easy way to raise cheap capital with no responsibilities.
3. You have to have a long-term perspective otherwise there’s no point in building any of this.
If you think bunging up a website is all you need to do to see cash raining in through the ceiling, then we are not for you.
You have to want to build something that is long lasting, sustainable, and will not only see you deep into the future, but also provide you with the dry powder you need when the cycle starts to turn and distressed deals become abundant once again.
4. And you have to be willing to build a network with some targeting advertising.
Finding new investor prospects through online advertising campaigns is key to building a healthy network of active investors over time.
As long as you're experienced, realistic, and have a long-term perspective, then you are in the right place to start raising unlimited capital for your deals and qualify for a FREE online marketing plan blueprint with no obligation.
If this sounds of interest to you,
Here’s what to do next
I have put together a summary of what’s involved including a detailed description of everything you can expect when we walk through your marketing plan blueprint.
And I'll also candidly explain exactly why I’m willing to do this free work for you.
But don't delay.
I allocate a strictly limited amount of time each month to do these free marketing plan blueprints.
That’s so I can focus the rest of the time on ensuring we provide the highest value to you.
So, if you think that raising capital online is going to fit your goals for the future and you’d like to see the kinds of strategies I’m talking about, and you are ready to get going, then...
I'll set aside some time to take a look at your existing online presence, your website, and your deal flow and track record.
Then we can schedule an introductory call during which I'll primarily just want to hear from you, listen to what you want, and learn more about you and your business and your aspirations.
Following that I'll develop your FREE customized marketing plan.
I will personally identify the precise actions you can take, unique to you and your offering, so you can expand your investor network and start raising potentially unlimited capital online.
With no obligation whatsoever.
Contact me now before I book up for this month and we'll take next steps accordingly.
Thanks so much for taking the time out to read this. I look forward to working with you.