Small Town vs Big City: What’s The Right Real Estate Investor Marketing Strategy for Your Area?

Real estate investor marketing in small towns is SO underrated…

Small town investors come to me often…and they are FILLED with questions about how to market in these areas.

“Cam, will real estate investing work in my rural area?”

I gotta say, it’s a fair question.

The vast majority of marketing strategies we tend to see are aimed toward the “big city” metropolitan centers. However, I’m about to share with you some MAJOR ADVANTAGES of working in small towns that just might be your key to success in these areas. Let’s dig into those advantages…


If you yourself are from a rural area, let me guess…you know half the town, all your neighbors, every best and worst place to eat AND the quickest route to get to almost anywhere in the area?

This is one of the BEST things about being from a small town: knowledge of the area. Most people who live in a rural area or small town have lived there for a long period of time. For some, it’s been a lifetime…

Not only do you know the people and the economy, but also the types of houses that people are actually looking for. And, oftentimes, investors in small towns are working with their relatives and close, longtime friends, which makes communication with buyers and sellers THAT much easier!

Trust me…that familiarity with the town and people can pay off BIG TIME.

Less Competition

Ever hear the phrase, “big fish; small pond?”

Competition in a rural area will be MUCH LESS than in a large city. Chances are, the number of serious investors in a small town is pretty slim.

This will DEFINITELY work in your favor.

Not only does this heighten your chances of executing more deals, but it also gives you the amazing opportunity of building a distinctive brand and, within a short period of time, a brand that will be recognized by the entire community. In other words, you will stand out in this “small crowd.”

Lower Prices

Depending on a variety of factors, the price of property is normally less expensive in a small town.

But what does this mean for you?

Well…this means thatyou can get into a deal for LESS money, yet still make BIG profit.

Less Time Spent Driving

Less people = fewer traffic jams. For you, this means less time in the car and more time making DEALS!

Not to mention, if you’re managing your own properties, you’ll have less driving distance. Everything in the community is close and easily accessible.

Extra Benefits

And of course, we CAN’T forget the other benefits of investing in a small town:

  • Lower taxes (maybe)
  • Less stringent regulations
  • Lower crime rate

ALL are necessary components to your success in small town real estate investing!

Planning Your Small Town Marketing

Just like in ANY area, you’ll need to experiment to see which real estate investor marketing strategies work and which ones are simply BIG FAT WASTES OF TIME.

For instance, in a metropolitan area, Craigslist could be a real winner, but…not so much in a small town. You’ll want to experiment with it.

Instead, buying ads in the local shopper papers is likely to take the crown. It’s also going to be less expensive than in a big city and again, since the competition is less, your ads are more likely to stand out!



Direct mail is another great option that will also be less expensive because there are fewer overall leads to mail to.

In fact, I manage all of my deals through an automated real estate investor platform called iFlip Real Estate that has a built-in mail manager tool, which allows me to send our direct mail with a simple click of a few buttons! Click here to test-drive iFlip for yourself today!

From my own experience, I’ve also found that the use of bandit signs works great in smaller communities. 

  • First of all, the regulations usually aren’t as strict (the “sign police” [aka Code Enforcement] aren’t out to pull your signs as soon as you put them out).
  • And secondly, your signs are more obvious due to less competition. 

One thing to keep in mind with small town marketing is that your brand matters. Be sure to include it as often as you can in your marketing pieces. If you’re brand new to investing and looking to leverage one of the most powerful and memorable brands in real estate investing you should check out

So…what are typically the real winners in small town marketing?

Keep it simple

When looking for sellers, keep your signs simple. Black lettering on yellow background has been a staple for investors over the years, but don’t be afraid to change it up and test some fresh colors as well.



Pointer signs!

These are simply signs that have a large pointer arrow on coroplast, which can be picked up at Home Depot or Lowe’s. Inside that large arrow, write the address of the house you’re marketing, place it blocks away if need be, and if your house is the best-looking one on the block, this will work like a charm!


Another thing to keep in mind is that, obviously, your customer pool will be smaller so, wholesaling might not work as well as buy-&-hold strategies.

Pro Tip: Every area is different so these methods aren’t set in stone! Experiment in your community to know the best marketing strategy for your area.

Word of Warning!

Keep a close eye on the ECONOMY of the area. If the town depends on one or two employers and they go under…you could be the one caught holding the bag.

You don’t want to be caught in this situation, so keep your eyes and ears open – don’t become lax just because things are going well.

Summing Up

I hope I’ve answered some of your questions on real estate investing in small town communities and the marketing that goes along with it.

Just because you’re working in a small town, does NOT mean you are at a disadvantage. You can be just as successful—sometimes even more so—as any investor in a cosmopolitan area.

Be aware and take full advantage of all the benefits I’ve given you here, adjust for the differences of having fewer houses and a smaller customer pool and success is sure to come your way!

So…What About You?

I’d like to hear from those of you who are making your mark in the more rural areas of the country. Let us know what WORKS and what DOESN’T WORK for you in your marketing strategies in the comments section below.

Best regards,

Cameron Dunlap

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