What the Kardashians Teach Us About Real Estate Investing
By Frank DeFazio
I'm ashamed to admit it but my wife has me hooked on "Keeping Up With The Kardashians." For those who are lucky enough to not know who the Kardashians are, they are a family of socialite reality TV stars whose lives are chronicled nightly on the E! Network. In addition to their reality TV success, the Kardashians have branched out to business ventures that include diet pills, women's perfume and even branded their own women's clothing line that they sell at the Kardashian boutique appropriately named Dash. Keeping up with the Kardashians may seem like a total waste of time, but I can assure you that buried somewhere in each episode is a business lesson that is relevant to the real estate investor. Here are a few pointers to help with your real estate investing compliments of Kim and the rest of the Kardashian family.
Use Social Media to Promote Your Product and Connect With the Consumer
Social media is now, and will increasingly become, one of the most important ways for business people to connect directly with the consumer. Often on "The Kardashians" the girls are using Twitter and Facebook to communicate with their clients and fans and millions of people, including my assistant, who awaits periodic updates every day. The Kardashians have successfully used social media to control how their brand is perceived by the consumer and also the frequency and type of message the consumer gets.
This translates seamlessly into the real estate investing world. We all know how people buying real estate love pictures and stories (see HGTV), and the flipper or developer could use this to his or her advantage. One use of social media for real estate investors might be be to engage the consumer at the beginning of a renovation project, using daily updates with pictures on the progress of a flip or construction project. Blogs, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram and virtually every other social platform could be utilized in this regard, and the end result will be that the real estate investor has more and better quality contact with the real estate consumer.
Don't Be Overly Picky
David Shafer recently wrote an instantly classic post about the dreaded paralysis by analysis. Often, would-be investors yearn to begin their investing careers but keep finding obstacles or impediments in highly improbable events. In this regard, Kim Kardashian can be thought of as an example to real estate investors everywhere. On the show, Kim is portrayed as someone who is not very picky about who she dates -- or marries -- and she doesn't let a little thing like being married (in her defense, separated) interfere with her getting pregnant with her new boyfriend, Kanye West. Sometimes investing in real estate requires you to take the plunge. Obviously, you don't want to jump in blindly so a certain amount of preliminary analysis is prudent, but you have to know where to draw the line.
Make Your Partnerships Count
Both professionally and personally, the Kardashians have forged meaningful partnerships with people and companies who make their brand better and more popular. Professionally, they have partnered with household names like Sears and Skechers, and this has given them more legitimacy and broader reach. Personally, they seem to date and marry professional athletes, celebrities and other Hollywood and music industry insiders who can help further their careers. Now I'm not advocating dating the best plumber in town or marrying the best roofer, but having a contractor list full of reliable, reputable, well-known partners can only help legitimize your real estate investing business. Remember, you're only as good as the people you rely on.
Don't Be Afraid to Mix Business and Pleasure
The old adage I'm sure you've heard a thousand times cautions you to never mix business with pleasure. The Kardashians indiscriminately mix business and pleasure, yet they benefit because it seems to allow them to "work" all the time. I too have found in my own life in real estate that the lines between work and play blur, and ultimately I'm doing something related to my real estate business every time I step out my front door. The good news is that work doesn't quite feel like work when you are able to mesh your personal life with your business, so don't be afraid to mix business and pleasure.
This article was originally published on BiggerPockets.com.
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