Successful real estate investors tend to focus on offering solutions. Sometimes, those solutions are straightforward, such as buying a home from a distressed homeowner or helping a burned-out landlord exit ownership of a chronically troublesome rental property. If you can clearly convey to any potential lead, business partner, buyer, or seller exactly why working with you in your investment strategy is a solution to problem that they are having, you will find more opportunities in your lap than you know what to do with.

Sometimes, being “the solution” involves looking outside the bounds of real estate and homeownership, especially around the holidays. For example, while many real estate professionals will tell you that the holiday season, starting in October and ending in mid-January, is their “slow season” because people do not tend to want to move around the holidays. This is a great time to start cultivating leads. People may not want to pack up and move over Thanksgiving or Christmas, but they are certainly feeling some financial pressure as the season of giving looms. That pressure starts much earlier than December 1st and may have homeowners thinking about how to remove cost burdens from their budget, such as a hefty mortgage payment, once the holiday is over.

Hefty Holiday Spending Takes a Toll

According to LendEDU, the average American will spend more than $165 on Thanksgiving this year, while host households will spend far, far more. This means that pretty much as soon as Halloween is over, and the last treat is consumed, U.S. homeowners start thinking about Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the associated costs of celebrating them. That’s after the $9.1 billion that the country just spent on Halloween in 2017 according to the National Retail Federation (NRF). Add to that the $700 per person the NRF predicts Americans will spend on Christmas this year, and you have some serious financial stress and pressure building up on homeowners who may already be considering downsizing or moving to take a better job in 2018.

“Americans certainly don’t seem to shy away from getting into the holiday spirit,” wrote Motley Fool blogger Maurie Backman in early November. Backman estimates that holiday shoppers spend closer to $900 on gifts for the holiday season. She added nearly two-thirds of shoppers say they have created a holiday budget, and more than three-quarters of those shoppers also say they will exceed that budget by the time Christmas rolls around. “All that spending can really mess up our finances,” she said.

Being a Solution Can Build Your Real Estate Business

Real estate investors can tap into the holiday spirit of giving by providing solutions to homeowners who may have found that their spending has outpaced their current living situation or who simply may resolve in the New Year to reduce their expenses (a common resolution) and downsize. Get started by thinking about where you are marketing for leads. For the first time ever, the NRF is predicting that 2017 will herald the beginning of online shopping outpacing physical shopping, with 59 percent of holiday shopping being conducted online (compared to 57 percent in retail stores). This means a good internet marketing campaign could help you reach people who will be eager to sell once the post-holiday blues (and bills) set in.

Offer Solutions to Assist Those in Need

Of course, not everyone feels holiday pressure because they broke their budget or the bank. Many investors work with individuals who rely on their real estate portfolios to solidify and secure their futures. These people often will spend a joyous holiday with family. Then realize their financial legacy matters more to them in 2018 than ever before. If you offer services to assist landlords, turnkey rental investors, or other retirement investors, then make sure you are visible to your target market starting during the holiday season. This way you are at the top of their mind immediately thereafter. Depending on your investment strategy and business structure, this could mean promoting your services on and offline, networking at investor meetups and meetings in December and January. Even sending out postcards or making phone calls to generate new leads for your business.

Finally, no matter your strategy, remember that the best solutions are simple ones. Think hard about how you can provide a solution to a potential problem for your target market and audience. Then create marketing materials that clearly convey this message. The simplest solution is frequently the best. Make sure your message to homeowners and investors is concise and clear for the best results.

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  • Carole VanSickle Ellis

    Carole VanSickle Ellis serves as the news editor and COO of Self-Directed Investor (SDI) Society, a membership organization dedicated to the needs of self-directed investors interested in alternative investment vehicles, including real estate. Learn more at or reach Carole directly by emailing

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