If you are a real estate investor and you don’t have a strategy for exiting your fix-and-flip projects, you could be moving your properties quicker – oh yeah, and making more money. Real estate investing is only successful when a marketing campaign is implemented. So, you need a strategic plan to generate leads to buyers or at least allow you to find more deals. If you approach real estate investing as a business, then your real estate business should have an impactful and cohesive brand identity. This identity will be the background of the marketing approach you’ll need to cultivate meaningful relationships with past, present and potential clients. As with any business, it’s crucial that your marketing campaign be comprised of valuable and factual information. And, if you don’t have a marketing strategy…well then you don’t have much of a business, do you?

There are a number of real estate marketing campaigns that will help your business reach new heights. Locating off-market properties, motivated sellers, digital marketing, and direct mail are great places for new investors to start.

1. Target motivated sellers. Motivated sellers need to sell properties quickly and are usually willing to agree to less favorable terms. Fortune Builders states that most effective method of finding motivated sellers is acquiring a county’s delinquent tax list. These lists contain every individual who is behind — from two weeks to two years — on their property tax payments. This should give you some insight into properties that are likely to default and enter foreclosure. The best method of contacting these motivated sellers is just to knock on their door. Using language and demeanor that is both helpful, humble and polite, explain that you are a real estate investor in the area, outline their circumstances and the consequences of failing to make payments. Tell them you are in a position to mitigate their financial burden. Leave them with your contact information and give them a chance to mull over the opportunity. It may sound insensitive but, in many cases, you’re actually doing them a favor.

2. Go online. The digital world is a vast, cost-effective marketing opportunity that should be a component of every campaign. Social media sites like Facebook offer the ability to target specific audience demographics by location and are an effective way to get in front of motivated sellers. Utilize pay-per-click and Google Adwords campaigns to generate leads. Well-optimized Google search and remarketing campaigns can be the most powerful tools you have in your box.

3. Off-market properties. Off-market properties are properties that are for sale but not listed in the MLS. Identifying these properties requires hefty market research, but they can be prime candidates for fix-and-flip projects. The best way to find off-market sales is by networking with estate attorneys, builders and wholesalers, or attending auctions (if the latter, make sure each bid is tied to a property that you have done the due diligence for).

Real estate investment is not just about knocking out drywall or learning to caulk a bathtub. You really have to understand your market, how to target buyers and sellers, and how to unload these projects quickly. Keep in mind that the longer you hold a property, the more those carrying costs add up, slicing right into your profits. So if you don’t have a marketing strategy for your real estate investments, you’re losing money. That’s the bottom line.