You’re not alone if you’re unfamiliar with land trust affiliate marketing. However, it is quickly becoming a popular real estate marketing strategy—and can be a highly effective one at that!
Land trust affiliate marketing is a technique that involves using land trusts to market real estate properties. This post will dissect exactly what that means, how it works, and its benefits and disadvantages.
Are you ready to discover one of real estate’s newest marketing trends?
What Are Land Trusts and How Do They Work?
Land trusts are living trusts that are exclusively meant for real estate. They are legal entities that assume control or ownership of a particular piece of property at the property owner’s request. They make it so the property can be managed while the owner is alive. Land trusts are also revocable trusts, so you can change or terminate them during your lifetime.
In addition to the property, land trusts can also hold mortgages, notes, and other property-related assets. A land trust’s terms can be tailored to your needs, and while land trusts are primarily used for developmental properties and land conservation, you can use a land trust for any land type.
Like other trusts, land trusts have three key players:
- Grantor: The trust’s creator and the one who creates its terms. They’re also the owner who transfers the property.
- Trustee: The trust’s manager who manages it (e.g., maintaining the property, paying taxes, collecting monthly rent payments, etc.).
- Beneficiary: The one who benefits from the land trust.
Main Types of Land Trusts
Land trusts are as diverse as the people creating them. However, the majority of land trusts fall into one of four categories:
- Agricultural Land Trusts: These land trusts promote sustainable agriculture and protect farmland.
- Community Land Trusts: These trusts aim to improve the community or create affordable housing.
- Conservation Land Trusts: These trusts protect a land’s inhabitants and natural resources.
- Historic Preservation Land Trusts: These trusts preserve historic buildings, landmarks, and similar sites.
Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s dive into land trust affiliate marketing.
What is Land Trust Affiliate Marketing
Land trust affiliate marketing connects landowners with buyers, with the connector either earning a commission for the lead or for a successful real estate transaction. In that respect, it’s fairly similar to real estate wholesaling.
Affiliate marketing is a popular way to make money online because it benefits all parties involved. The landowner is able to find someone to buy their property, the buyer finds a property to buy, and the affiliate marketer earns money for making the connection.
Affiliate marketing programs fall into one of two categories:
- Pay-per-lead: You earn a commission based on each lead you generate
- Per-per-sale: You earn a commission based on each sale you generate
The Pros and Cons of Land Trust Affiliate Marketing
Real estate affiliate programs often come with advantages and disadvantages, and land trust affiliate marketing is no exception.
Benefits of Land Trust Affiliate Marketing
- Profit potential: According to Glassdoor, land trust affiliate marketers earn a salary of around $78,000 per year, but you can make substantially less based on your location, experience, and connections. Most land trust commissions from successful transactions are four-to-five figures. Pay-per-lead commissions are often lower, but you’ll make more of them.
- Relationship-building: You can foster long-term relationships with like-minded individuals and organizations and build a list of potential sellers and buyers.
- Gain experience: You will learn on the job and gain unique insights regarding how property owners and investors operate, which can help you become a better affiliate marketer.
- Flexibility: You can work from home and on your own terms and specialize in whatever you’re most passionate about.
- Make a difference: You can earn money as a land trust affiliate marketer, promote land conservation, and improve the world.
Drawbacks of Land Trust Affiliate Marketing:
- Lack of steady income: You only make money when you deliver quality leads or when connecting a landowner and a buyer, which results in a successful real estate transaction. You don’t earn a regular paycheck as a land trust affiliate marketer. You may earn a high commission one month and no commission the next.
- Must make connections: You need to build and grow relationships with potential clients, which doesn’t happen overnight. It can take you a long time to complete your first or second transactions, and some leads may take years to pay off.
- Experience is necessary: While it sounds like a catch-22, you need the experience to gain quality clients. To be successful, you’re going to need a lot of patience.
- Flexibility: The freedom of working on your own terms can come at a price. You’re in charge of managing your time well and wearing the many hats that come with business ownership. You’ll have difficulty making it as a land trust affiliate marketer without discipline and structure.
- Competition: You won’t be the only land trust affiliate marketer. You need to find a way to stand out from the rest.
What Are the Requirements to Become a Land Trust Affiliate Marketer?
Anyone can become a land trust affiliate marketer, but the business model isn’t for everyone.
First, you need to educate yourself by researching how land trusts and land trust affiliate marketing work. We recommend partaking in a land trust affiliate marketing program to get started.
Next, you should create a website or a landing page. Having a website proves to potential clients that you’re legitimate. Your website should highlight who you are, what you do, and why. It should also include a portfolio or case studies from previous transactions (if you’ve made any) and testimonials from past clients (if you have any).
Beyond the basics of learning how to do it, building relationships should be the cornerstone of your business.
Start by writing a list of potential connections that you already have. Be sure to include anyone in real estate on this list. While your real estate agent may not specialize in land trust ownership, she may know people who do.
Next, look for landowners, organizations, and potential buyers whose values align with yours. For example, if you’re passionate about helping your community, search for community organizers and nonprofits centered around affordable housing. A simple Google search can provide you with multiple potential leads.
Once you’ve got a list of potential leads, introduce yourself and explain why you want to help and how. Briefly include any experience you have, such as successful transactions, a shared connection, or a link to your portfolio. The keyword here is briefly. You don’t want to be verbose, especially if you’re sending a cold email or just started this relationship. Don’t be disheartened if you don’t get responses at first. Instead, try out different approaches and always look for potential leads.
Other tips for getting started
Here are a few more ways to help you begin your career as a land trust affiliate marketer:
Join an affiliate marketing network
There’s no shortage of benefits to joining one of these networks. You’ll gain access to a larger pool of potential clients and meet and learn from other experienced affiliate marketers. You’ll also be able to stay in the know about market trends and even gain access to exclusive deals and promotions.
Market on social media
Social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram provide excellent opportunities to meet and connect with landowners and clients. Create a consistent social media marketing plan targeting the people and businesses you want to meet. You can make alterations as you go.
With over 2,000,000 users, there’s no shortage of potential leads to get you started on your path to becoming a land trust marketing affiliate! Comb through the BiggerPockets forums, where you’ll have access to countless real estate professionals who can help you get started. We also recommend checking out our meetups, where there’s always something going on virtually or in your area.
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Note By BiggerPockets: These are opinions written by the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions of BiggerPockets.