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The Art of Negative Thinking

A syndicator will be much better off thinking about why prospective investors have not chosen to invest in the status quo.

Anyone who has ever raised (or even spent time with) a young child will tell you that the best way to get them to do something is to tell them not to do it. Children, who are in the process of becoming self-aware for the very first time, relish the realization that they have the agency to define authority.

While our behaviors might change as we grow older, our basic instincts remain the same. If we do want to do something, we will want to do it because we say so, not because some external authority is instructing us to do so. This basic instinct can be applied to many aspects of our lives, including for those marketing real estate syndications.

Unfortunately, many marketers do not understand that our thought process is instinctually negative. These marketers will assume that if only the targeted buyer knew more, they would surely agree that the given product or investment being proposed is something that is sincerely in their best interest. However, while information plays an important role in marketing, the lack of information is one of many obstacles will clearly need to overcome.

Watch Adam Gower discusses with Dave Seymour of Freedom Venture Investments why it is important to be authentic no matter what your message may be.

Rather than thinking about why others have decided to invest in the past, a syndicator will be much better off thinking about why prospective investors have not chosen to invest in the status quo. By starting with the “negatives” and working backwards, those trying to crowdfund real estate projects can find what is needed to inspire positive action.

1. Don’t Push

People do not like to be sold to. Period. And yet, so many real estate pros will be convinced that they are somehow the exception to this general, nearly universal rule. Syndicators of real estate and most everything else, will consistently think to themselves, “I know people don’t like to be sold to, but my offer is so great that that simply doesn’t matter.”

Maybe your offer truly is great. But that isn’t enough. People hate being sold to because, until you can prove otherwise, they assume that you are only selling because it is in your best interest, not necessarily because it is in their best interest. This creates a lopsided relationship that will be difficult to draw success from. Rather than pushing, sponsors need to show what they are doing, provide objective information, and use various strategies—such as sustained digital marketing campaigns—to show that, with or without the investor, great things are actually happening. Then, it becomes the investor’s choice whether they want to get involved.

2. Self-Selection

Naturally, in any market, the people that are most likely to buy will be the ones that on their own accord have demonstrated some sort of interest. In the digital world, there are countless ways to get someone to visit your website. If you draw someone to your site through a shady redirect, a popup, or other invasive means, you might earn yourself a “click,” but you very rarely earn the trust of a prospect.

On the other hand, if you can get someone to land on your page via their own free will, your total click count might be a bit lower, but the quality of your self-selected leads will be significantly better. By asking someone to “Click Here to Learn More,” you are asking for their consent and, consequently, they will be much more likely to listen to what you have to say.

Additionally, potential investors will also want to feel as if you are not targeting them, but instead are providing information that is generally useful. For example, avoid saying things like, “this is why I think this would be a great investment for you.” Even if you have an existing relationship with the person, it is unlikely you really know what’s in their best interest and, inevitably, these sorts of statements are presumptuous. Instead, consider saying something along the lines of, “These are the kinds of individuals who could benefit from an investment like this.”

If the prospect’s own definition of themselves aligns with your “ideal investor” description, they might consider taking action. While the differences between these approaches are small, they remain incredibly important.

3. Investor Empathy

Ultimately, as a marketer, it is up to you to overcome the obstacles all individuals have built around themselves. In sales, there is nothing more important than having empathy. Smart investors are careful with their money and will not hand it over unless these obstacles have been demolished and you have proven your proposal superior to the alternatives.

Doing this is no small task. There are many shortcuts you can use to inflate your leads, on paper, though these shortcuts only occasionally lead to lasting success. If you can master the art of negative thinking—sincerely understanding why someone might not want to do something—the most effective paths forward become much clearer.

Adam Gower Ph.D., builds digital marketing systems for real estate professionals who want to find more investors so they can raise more money and do more deals. He is known as the creator of the Investor Acquisition System and combines a lifetime of experience in real estate investment and finance with best-of-class digital marketing tactics, techniques, and strategies to help crowdfund real estate syndications.

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