The House Flipping Mentality As It Applies to Dental Marketing

time is moneyHouse flipping: Buying real estate and quickly reselling for a profit, either because of renovations or rising housing prices.

Marketing campaign flipping: Trying different marketing campaigns in rapid succession in an attempt to maximize returns.

Given the recent economic situation, particularly the burst of the housing bubble, it’s a good time to examine some common pitfalls associated with the “flipping” mentality. Everyone knows what house flippers do: purchase homes at a below market value, fix them up a little, and sell at a profit. Preferably in the shortest amount of time possible, all while capitalizing on favorable market trends. Sounds good right? Right! Until the bottom falls out of those favorable market trends.

This isn’t a piece on real estate investment. (However, you will see more from us on property management and real estate as it pertains to dental practices!) Here, I’m going to look at what happens when dentists apply the house-flipping mentality to marketing their dental practices.

Your marketing plan is a vehicle to generate return on investment, but it needs time to generate those dividends.

Time is absolutely critical when analyzing your return on investment (ROI). House flippers traditionally try to maximize their profit margin by turning a house over as quickly as possible. Some dentists try to maximize marketing returns by quickly switching to a new marketing campaign if they don’t see immediate results from their current one. Just as flippers are now suffering from time running out, some dental practices suffer from not allowing enough time for their marketing plan to generate a significant positive return on investment.

It’s important that you give your marketing campaign time to succeed. It’s also important that you spend enough time to effectively structure your marketing plan. Without time, your campaign will be doomed to fail. As a busy dentist, you might enlist the help of professional consultants, or you might have staff specifically dedicated to the task. Regardless, it is imperative that you allow enough time to develop a solid marketing strategy that will work for your practice.

The flipper mentality need not apply to your marketing plan. Sure, you might see relatively quick returns from signage or a referral program. But other marketing vehicles take more time. Starting a website, airing a commercial, or launching a direct mail campaign for six months “just to see what happens” is not a smart investment. All you will do is lose money! It’s simply not enough time to gauge success.

Think of a flipper who bought a house at the pinnacle of the market, and is now left with a devalued piece of property. That investment just became an asset – one that loses money. That is exactly what any marketing venture will do if not given the adequate time to develop into something profitable.

Of course there are exceptions to the rule, but those exceptions are not the foundation of your marketing plan. Your attention and oversight will allow you to effectively factor in the exceptions and local geo-specific variables to further tailor your plan in the future. Do yourself a favor and invest the time educating yourself, before investing a dime showcasing your practice. Don’t become a campaign flipper!

Written by Chris Barnard

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