How a $10 Million Agent Generates FREE Leads With Facebook

Spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on online marketing is a great way to obtain quality real estate leads. However, some real estate professionals – and I would say especially those who are just starting out and are strapped for cash – implement creative strategies to reduce or even eliminate their marketing budget, either out of necessity or to just increase their overall bottom line. But regardless of your experience level or spending capabilities, all real estate professionals and investors should be actively searching for ways to decrease their cost per lead.

 

Trish Williams, an agent and broker out of Las Vegas, started her real estate career in 2014. She devised a FREE marketing tactic which accounts for 90% of her $10 million in real estate transactions. Trish’s primary source of new customers are through referrals from Facebook. Essentially, she offers intriguing content on her personal Facebook page on a consistent basis, building up her credibility, so that whenever someone is ready to buy or sell their home, or personally knows someone who is, she’s the first person they reach out to. In our recent conversation, she explained her process for obtaining referrals through her personal Facebook page. You can apply these techniques to your business, regardless of the real estate niche you pursue.

 

How to grow your Facebook friend’s list?

 

One of the main focuses of Trish’s referral process is to build and grow your personal Facebook friend’s list. The more friends you have, the more potential direct and indirect referrals you’ll receive (as long as you’re posting the right kind of content, which will be discussed in the next section).

 

Besides organic growth, she has two active methods for adding new friends. First is through networking…EVERYWHERE. She said, “Every time when I meet somebody, if I meet you at the grocery store [for example] and we have a conversation, I ask you your name and I’m going to add you as a friend to my Facebook.”

 

Two is through her business page. She said, “I haven’t really figured out how to convert those people or grab them, so I add them as friends. I just add them to my personal page, because I have such a better conversation rate of converting people through that.”

 

Both of these tactics can be applied to any real estate niche. When you’re out and about, talking to people with passion about your real estate business, ask them for their name and add them to your friend’s list. Also, you should already have a business page or group on Facebook, so every time you receive a new like or a new member joins your group, add them as a friend.

 

What should you post?

 

The key to Trish’s referral process is the type of content you post. Since the goal is to establish credibility and trust with your followers, she said, “I’m not marketing. I don’t ever want to sound like a commercial. I’m just talking about what I do.” So, your content should be natural, genuine, authentic and add value, as opposed to gimmicky marketing or obvious advertising.

 

The specific content you post will vary depending on your niche. Since Trish is a real estate agent, her posts simply show what she is doing on a day-to-day basis. One approach she uses is to post pictures. “If I have an experience, if I’m out at a house and it has an amazing kitchen, I’m going to post it. If I see something that has great investment potential, I’m going to post it,” she said. “If I get an award, I’m posting a picture of me with the award, or if something happens – every success I’m posting about.”

 

Another approach that has a great response rate are videos. Trish posts videos all the time. She said, “If I’ve been out door-knocking, I post a video. I show people the yard of the neighborhood or the view of the street. If I’m at a new construction home, grand opening for a model home, I post a video of it.”

 

The video approach is a great way to build relationships without actually having to meet people in person. “People get used to seeing me,” Trish said. “They know me because I’m always posting videos, and they’re not professional videos. Sometimes my hair is crazy or whatever, but I’m still a person and people really like that.”

 

Since it is her personal Facebook page, not everything she posts is business related. She will post things about her personal life too. However, she did recommend that you avoid posting about divisive topics. She said, “I stay out of politics. I stay out of any kind of things that are controversial. I never ever post about anything that has to do with those. I don’t want to alienate people whatsoever, so I always keep a neutral stance, stay positive, and try to be that person that people really want to work with.”

 

When should you post?

 

Trish posts the type of content outline about at least every other day.

 

On top of that, she is on Facebook every day, commenting and liking other people’s content. However, that doesn’t mean she’s mindlessly scrolling through her news feed, liking and commenting on every single post. Remember, the goal is authenticity and genuineness. If you like every post, eventually people are going to catch on to what you are doing. Instead, Trish said, “I take interest in what other people are doing. I see what’s going on in their life and that helps me too to know who may need assistance. I do just make it a habit every day to scroll through, take a few minutes, see what people are doing. Whatever is at the top of my newsfeed.”

Finally, she always reaches out on birthdays. “Just Happy Birthday! If there’s something I know special about them, or what’s going on in their world, I mention it.”

 

Conclusion

 

Trish attracts the majority of her real estate business through Facebook referrals. She accomplishes this by networking to build her friend’s list, then posts genuine, natural content at least every other day, as well as likes and comments on other people’s posts and wishing people happy birthday.

 

Besides being simple and low cost, an advantage of this approach, as Trish mentioned, is that you’re establishing rapport with people before meeting them in person. It’s a completely different conversation when someone already knows you prior to sitting down or jumping on a call with them, compared to being complete strangers and then have to build up from nothing.

 

What FREE marketing tactic have you used with success in your real estate business?

 

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The 3 Pillars for Building Relationships with High Net-Worth Investors

As any type of entrepreneur or real estate investor knows, relationships are one of the keys to scaling a business. With that being the case, how much time are you spending on sharpening your relationship building skills?

 

Jason Treu is an executive coach who specializes in teaching his clients how to strengthen their relationship building skills. Through his coaching, his clients have built relationships with industry titans such as Tim Cook, Bill Gates and Richard Branson. In our recent conversation, Jason provide his expert opinion on where to find high net-worth individuals and outlined his three pillars for building relationships with them.

 

Where to go?

 

Building relationships, like building a business, is all about strategy. You need to have a plan, which starts with knowing where to go to maximize your chances of meeting the high net-worth individuals or entrepreneurs who can help you along your real estate journey. Jason said, “I’ve found through a lot of research [that] some of the best people to meet are in charities and non-profit groups.”

 

Not only are these places where the attendees will have money, but they will also likely be altruistic. If it is a nonprofit or a charity, the whole premise is built around giving. “When you’re around people that have the mindset of giving and you build a relationship,” Jason said, “they’re much more open to helping you.”

 

Jason recommends Googling terms like “young professional,” “charity,” and “non-profit,” building a list of organizations and places in your local market and attending the ones that fit your interests the most. Go one or two times and determine if you like the people, the cause and spending time there. If the answer is yes, get more involved. If the answer is no, find somewhere else.

 

I can back up Jason’s advice with my personal experience. I’ve found that volunteering at local non-profits and charities is an effective, long-term approach to building relationships with high net-worth individuals. And I’ve raised millions of dollars through these relationships. You can read more about my specific strategy here.

 

Now that you know where to go, what are you supposed to do when you get there? How do you approach the conversations? Instead of winging it, follow Jason’s three pillars for successfully building relationships: 1) rapport, 2) likeability and 3) trust.

 

1 – Rapport

 

First, you need to build rapport. To build rapport, you need to focus on your non-verbal and verbal communication skills.

 

Strengthening your non-verbal skills – like body language – is time intensive, but well worth the effort. Amy Cuddy, a social psychologist, specializes in non-verbal communication. Here is her TedTalk, where she introduces her ideas. For a more in-depth explanation, Jason recommends reading her book “Presence.”

 

Effective verbal communication is all about asking the right questions. Whenever you’re meeting someone for the first time, instead of the standard “how are you doing,” Jason advises that you ask questions like “What’s the most exciting thing that’s going on in your life right now? What are you passionate about outside of work? What projects are you working on that you’re passionate about?”

 

Asking these types of questions will “connect them to their emotional side,” he said, “and we’re all emotionally-driven people.” Have them talk about the thing that they’re most interested in. Then, draw something from your experience or interests to find common ground. Jason said, “that person will instantly like you significantly more because you found some common ground and you’re discussing something that they want to discuss, not what you want to discuss.” At that point, the conversation will flourish naturally.

 

2 – Likeability

 

The second pillar is likeability. The easiest way to get the other person to like you isn’t rocket science. You just have to listen. “If you just look at someone and practice being present, and don’t worry about who else is walking behind them, around them, you’d be amazed at how the tenor of your conversations and interactions will change, because they can tell when you’re distracted in the back of their mind.”

 

This pillar is simple – when having conversations, act as if the person sitting or standing in front of you is the most important person in the world. Listen intently and then, following the advice in pillars 1 and 3, build rapport and trust from there.

 

3 – Trust

 

Finally, the third pillar for building relationships is trust. The key to building trust is by showing them that you care. The most effective way to show that you care is by adding value.

 

Jason said, “You add value in the conversation in ways by suggesting things like maybe there’s a book, maybe there’s a person you can introduce them to, maybe you can say ‘I may have some ideas, let me follow up’ and then follow up with some ideas. You can also introduce them to people at the event.”

 

One of Jason’s favorite ways to add value to others, which is specific to events or conferences, is quite unique – he introduces strangers to other strangers. He will start a conversation with a stranger and, after asking the questions outlined in the section on rapport, would then get the attention of another stranger nearby and say “Hey! You two should meet each other. I think you’d get along.” In doing so, next time he runs into either one of the strangers, they will introduce him to any one they know, or even other strangers. With this tactic, two relationships can turn into 10 or 20.

 

Another one of Jason’s favorite ways to add value is to invite a group of strangers out for a meal – again, this is specific to an event of conference, but it could also work at a charity or nonprofit event or meeting too. “[My] other option is inviting people to go and get together for brunch, for dinner, for lunch, and just inviting a bunch of people along, because everybody wants to meet new people.”

 

Even if nothing comes out of the actual meal (which is unlikely), by being the influential hub that brought all these people together, they will be more open to hearing your ideas and will likely return the favor by inviting you to other events. One of Jason’s friends used this tactic and met the nephew of Jerry Jones, the owner of the Dallas Cowboys. Now, he gets invited to a few Cowboy games each year and sits in the owner’s box!

 

What is your most effective tactic for building relationships? Where do you go and how to you approach conversations?

 

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meetup

To Source Real Estate Deals And Generate More Wealth, Start A Monthly Meetup

Originally featured on Forbes.com here

 

Having interviewed over a thousand business and real estate entrepreneurs on my podcast, one of the most valuable pieces of advice I’ve gotten is how to start an in-person meetup group. From a business development standpoint, the educational benefits, relationships formed and the potential for direct monetization have been instrumental to the growth of both the investors who attend and a business’s growth. In fact, it’s been so successful for my business that I require my clients to start their own in-person meetups within their local market.

 

In general, the advent of the internet has given us the capability to connect with like-minded strangers more easily than ever before. And while forums, blogs and social media allow you to join any number of virtual communities, other platforms promote the formation of in-person communities. One such outgrowth I take advantage of is meetup websites.

 

No matter how mainstream or obscure your interests might be, there’s a meetup group for you. Meetup.com, one of the more popular meetup sites, boasts a membership of 32.3 million people participating in over 288,000 meetup groups across 182 countries.

 

Interested in joining a community of psychic vampires? There’s a group for you. Want to relive a cherished childhood freeze tag experience? Don’t worry. There’s a group for you, too.

 

Of course, as a real estate entrepreneur, I’m not as interested in meeting vampires or playing freeze tag as I am in leveraging popular internet advancements to scale my business. Since online-generated meetup groups is a relatively new concept, and monetized meetups even more so, many people don’t know how to get started.

 

And starting a meetup can be nerve-racking — especially if you’re an introvert. This anxiety will be the No. 1 enemy keeping you from actually scheduling your first event. That’s why I advise you avoid spending an inordinate amount of time planning and structuring the perfect meetup event. Instead, simply focus on starting it.

 

A successful meetup group can be pretty informal. One investor I interviewed, Anson Young, has been hosting a meetup for over three years with very little structure. Once a month, Anson and about 70 other investors meet at a local beer hall. For three hours, they just drink beer and talk real estate. There’s no agenda or scheduled speaker. It’s just good old-fashioned networking, a time for investors to chat, solve any problems they’re facing, team up on real estate projects, and most importantly, learn from each other’s mistakes and successes. Even so, in just three years, Anson’s made six figures directly from partnerships and relationships formed at the meetup. That’s a return of nearly $1,000 per hour spent simply drinking beer and networking.

 

Starting a meetup group like Anson’s at a local bar is an easy and informal option, but maybe you’re a little more conscientious and orderly, like me. I created a meetup that’s much more structured than Anson’s, which is broken into four parts:

 

  1. Presentation: Each meeting begins with a short presentation from an active real estate professional or attendee.
  2. Share opportunities: Attendees have the opportunity to share deals with the group — maybe they’re trying to sell a deal, find a partner, or have questions on a deal under contract.
  3. Business updates: Each person provides a 90-second update on the latest in their business.
  4. Open floor: I allot the remaining time, about an hour, for networking, closing deals, sharing information and forming business partnerships.

 

Overall, the meeting lasts two hours.

 

Both Anson and I run our meetup groups on a monthly basis. Our primary objectives are to educate and build relationships — efforts that indirectly result in more deals, more business partnerships and more money in the long run. But if you want an even more direct avenue to financial gains from a meetup, create a rockstar-level meetup like real estate entrepreneur Taylor Peugh, and turn the group into a deal-generating machine.

 

Taylor hosts a meetup — not once a month, or even once a week — but four times a week. Three of the meetups are dinners and the other is a lunch. About 30 to 40 unique investors attend each meetup, which means Taylor networks with 100 to 150 real estate entrepreneurs every week. The result? Every rental property, wholesale, and the majority of the fix-and-flip projects he negotiates stem directly from someone he met at his meetup. For Taylor, a meetup group isn’t just a space to educate and build relationships; it’s the main source of his investment gains.

 

Want to replicate Taylor’s success?

 

Here’s the agenda for his meetups:

 

  1. Check-in: At check-in, attendees must answer: “What are you doing right now that will move you forward in the next 30 days?”
  2. Recognize wins: Each person describes what they accomplished personally, or in their business, that week.
  3. Needs and wants: Attendees have the opportunity to ask for anything they need. For example, “I need a plumber,” or “Does anyone know a good CPA?”
  4. Property pitches: This is where Taylor makes his money; anyone who has an active deal can present it to the group to see if anyone has an interest in buying, partnering, or funding it.
  5. Open floor: The end of the dinner/lunch is an open Q&A session where attendees can ask any questions they want.

 

Hosting a meetup is one of the best ways to create valuable relationships, learn about real estate from those active in the field, and find deals and create partnerships that generate wealth in other the short and long-term. I’ve provided three meetup examples above, ranging from monthly, informal beer hall gatherings to powerhouse groups that meet four times a week, but in reality, the sky’s the limit. There are an infinite number of ways you can structure your meetup group.

 

But don’t forget the most important step: Get over your fear or procrastination and host your first event!

 

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How to Make Over 6-Figures with This Simple Networking Strategy

Anson Young, a real estate investor with over 10-years of experience specializing in wholesaling and flipping, was able to net over $100,000 in profit by implementing one simple networking strategy – starting an investor meet-up. In our recent conversation, he explains the “structure” and benefits of his meet-up business so you can (and should) replicate his success in your market.

 

Structure of a Meet-Up

 

The reason why I put “structure” in quotations is because Anson’s meet-up is very informal. “It is a monthly pure networking meet-up,” he explained. “We don’t do any speaking or pretty much anything besides get together, … find somebody who does what you want to do or that you want to find out more from, tackle them and pick their brain as much as possible.”

 

After three years of consistently hosting monthly meet-ups, the attendance has grown to an average of 70 people each meeting.

 

Over the years, Anson has hosted the event at multiple locations and finds that a local beer hall works best. “We got a pretty good deal going [at the beer hall],” he said. “Monday night was just a slow night for them, and so they love having 70 people coming on an off night. They don’t charge us. They don’t hassle us… We just take over their area and have fun for about three hours.”

 

Since 70 people is quite a large gathering, to help facilitate the meeting, Anson will try to pair up like-minded individuals he meets while working the room. For example, he said, “If I know that you are a fix and flipper and you’re having a hard time finding a contractor on the East side of town, and I go across the room and I find somebody who knows somebody, or somebody who is a contractor, I basically try to link everybody up, so that you’re not just blindly walking around with 70 people there. There’s at least one or two of use who’s walking around and trying to connect people who have needs.”

 

Benefits of a Meet-Up

 

Over these three years, Anson said he’s made $150,000 directly from deals from the meet-up. “I like to say that I’ve easily made six figures just by running this meet-up,” Anson said. “Probably in the neighborhood of 15 deals that I’ve done.”

 

$150,000 from 15 deals in three years may not sound like much, but based on the Anson’s minimal time investment, he was basically paid to hang out with friends and chat about real estate. Besides the three hours spent at the meet-up, Anson said, “I basically post a note saying, ‘Hey, this is all the dates that we’re meeting up for the whole year.’ Every month I just create a new thread [on BiggerPockets], I show up for three hours, and honestly, my voice is gone. I’m exhausted because I talk to a lot of people, answer pretty much any question that anybody has about nearly anything, and provide that value. But at the same time people come back to me and say, ‘Hey, yeah, you helped me out and I’ve been driving for dollars or I’ve been knocking on doors or whatever it is, and I came across this deal and I don’t know what to do with it.’ So I’m more than happy to partner up with them, help them with ARV, help them with repairs, contractors, whatever they need to be successful, and a lot of times we partner up and do that deal together. It’s very beneficial.”

 

Aside from finding deals by hosting a meet-up, other benefits include learning long the way, creating relationships and perhaps even friendships, and becoming more valuable to the deals that you are working on. Then, the relationships formed and lessons learned through conversations with investors at the meet-up can result in additional business opportunities, such as partnerships or entering a new real estate niche.

 

Overall, Anson’s success is a testament to the effectiveness of starting a meet-up from a financial, learning, and relationship standpoint. Anson said, “I always say, if you wish something like [a meet-up] was in your area, why don’t you just start it? I’m living proof that it works. I have friends who I’ve met just through there, and we’re friends or we’re partnering up on things now. We wouldn’t have that opportunity if I didn’t just say, ‘Hey, let’s just see what happens if I start it up.’”

 

Related: How to Effectively Network at a Real Estate Event

 

 

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The Secrets to Starting a Relationship with Someone You Don’t Know

As real estate investors and entrepreneurs, we likely want to gain access to people, get to know people who we don’t already know, and to grow our network. In order to grow our network, we need to approach conversations and outreach in a way that will get us a much traction in those relationships as possible.

 

One of my all-time favorite books is New York Times Bestseller “The 48 Laws of Power” by Robert Greene. Many of the laws can be applied to relationship building, but one law in particular stands out amongst the rest – Law #13.

 

Law #13 states “When asking for help, appeal to people’s self-interest, never to their mercy or gratitude.” Robert Greene wrote, “Self-interest is the lever that will move people. Once you make them see how you can in some way meet their needs or advance their cause, their resistance to your requests for help will magically fall away. At each step on the way to acquiring power, you must train yourself to think your way inside the other person’s mind, to see their needs and interests, to get rid of the screen of your own feelings that obscure the truth. Master this art and there will be no limits to what you can accomplish.”

 

How is Law #13 applicable to real estate investing? Whether we are having an in-person conversation with an investor at a meet-up group or reaching out to an investor who was a guest on a podcast, the more you “make them see how you can in some way meet their needs or advance their cause,” the more successful and fruitful the conversation and relationship will be.

 

I have investors reach out to me all the time. Some completely fail to adhere to Law #13. Other’s follow it completely. Others are somewhere in-between.

 

Here are examples of messages I have received that I’ve put into three categories: Bad, above average, and outstanding.

 

Example #1 – Bad

 

“Good evening. I must say I listen to your podcast daily and it is amazing. Thank you for what you do there. I am a senior finance major that is living in the XXX area. I have emailed numerous people from your podcast (Not too many responses sadly). I was wondering if I could gain some knowledge from you about the real estate industry. I know you’re extremely busy. Maybe we can grab a coffee or something. If you ever have time, please don’t hesitate to give me a call, text, or email.”

 

Why is this example bad? Because it didn’t follow Law #13. The first two sentences were fine. They appealed to my self-interests by praising my podcast and stating that they are a Best Ever listener. But then it was downhill from there.

 

Rather than offer to add-value to my business, this individual did the complete opposite – he asked for value from me. Then, he acknowledged that I was extremely busy, but contradicted himself in the next sentence by asking to grab a coffee, which would be a time-consuming activity for me, especially since we live in different states.

 

Based on this message, it is understandable why this individual hasn’t received many responses from the guests on my show. There is very little appeal to my self-interests, so they didn’t give me a reason to reach out.

 

How could they have structured this message better? Let’s take a look at an above average example to see what they were missing.

 

Example #2 – Above Average

 

“Joe. It was enjoyable and educational to listen to the BiggerPockets podcast you were a guest on. In addition to purchasing and reading your book Best Real Estate Investing Advice Ever, can you recommend a few other books on multifamily investing that you feel are invaluable to a new investor? Thanks for any help you can offer.”

 

This example may seem extremely similar to the “bad” example above, but there is one main difference: this person appealed to my self-interest before asking for me to add value to his business.

 

Rather than only ask for a book list, they explained how they are a current listener of the podcast, that they listened to my interview on BiggerPockets, but most importantly, that they purchased and read my book.  Praising my podcast definitely appeals to my self-interest, but not as much as actually purchasing something from me.

 

However, the reason this is only slightly above is because it was only a one-off appeal to my self-interest, rather than adding value on an ongoing basis. Listening to a podcast and buying a book is great, but if you want to be outstanding, you must go above any beyond…which leads us to example #3.

 

Example #3 – Outstanding

 

“I recently listened to you on the BiggerPockets podcasts and have started listening to your podcast on YouTube every day when I cook. I just wanted to reach out and hope that we could get in touch. I currently live in XXX between Fort Worth and Dallas so I was interested in hearing about your investments within the area!”

 

“I am sure you have many people in the area that report to you but I would be willing and would love to help you if you ever need any type of service on your properties in the area! I also work as a leasing agent for XXX in a XXX-unit apartment community in XXX called XXX so I have experience in knowing what people want when they are looking for a new home and I have a good feel for the market and terminology for multifamily…”

 

“Again, I would love to provide any service that would be helpful for you within the area whether it was fake shopping your communities, taking pictures of possible investments for you, shopping your competition, being there while a contractor is getting some work done, getting rid of trash left by a contractor, or even cutting grass! I would be grateful just to be involved.”

 

“Let me know if I can help and I would love to keep in contact.”

 

The only thing keeping this message from being perfect is its length. When initially reaching out to someone, try to get the message to 2 to 3 paragraphs and 2 to 3 sentences per paragraph at a maximum. But besides that, this is an outstanding example of how appeal to someone’s self-interest.

 

Like the previous two examples, they stated that they follow my thought leadership platforms, but the difference is that in this example, they specified that they listen every day.

 

Then, rather than ask for something from me, they offered to add value to my business. However, they didn’t simply say, “let me know how I can help.” They specified their experience and what it is they could actually help me with. Since I don’t know this person, unless they outline their real estate experience, I don’t know what they are capable of doing. In this case, they said they have experience in knowing what people want when they are looking for a new home and have a good feel for the market and terminology for multifamily. Now I know which areas of my business this individual can add value to.

 

The third paragraph is extraordinary. After providing me a high-level overview of their experience, they provided specific examples of ways they can add value to my business.

 

I actually waited to respond to this message. I wanted to see how organized this individual was and if they would follow up. A few weeks later, not to my surprise, they sent a follow-up message.

 

With such an outstanding message and after following up, I reached out to this individual and he is now conducting boots on the ground work for me in the Dallas submarket.

 

Conclusion

 

When reaching out to someone that you want to start a relationship with, follow Rule #13 from the 48 Laws of Power and adhere to the following:

 

  • Appeal to their self-interest by offering to add value
  • Outline your background and your unique strengths and abilities
  • Offer specific examples of how you can add value to their business
  • Follow-up a week or two later is you don’t receive a response
  • Don’t ask for something until you’ve offered something in return

 

 

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Three Ways to Cultivate Word-of-Mouth Referrals

Word-of-mouth referrals is one of the most, if not the most, powerful marketing tool to develop. According to a 2016 Nielsen’s Harris Poll online, 82% of Americans say they seek recommendations from friends and family when considering a purchase.

 

I can attest to this fact because word-of-mouth referrals is also one of my top sources of new private investors for my multifamily syndication business.

 

Mac Prichard, who is the founder and publisher of Mac’s List, an online community for people looking for rewarding, meaningful work, was able to create and grow a $600,0000 a year business through word-of-mouth referrals. “I started my business as just telling people about job openings,” Mac said. “I didn’t realize how valuable the information was that I was sharing, but the people that I shared it with did, and they shared it with others. That power of word-of-mouth and the relationship that I built as I grew my community has just been a huge part of the success of Mac’s List.”

 

In our recent conversation, Mac outlined the 3 ways he cultivates word-of-mouth referrals to generate $600,000 a year in revenue.

 

#1 – Collecting Testimonials

 

One way Mac generates word-of-mouth referrals is through creating testimonials from his satisfied customers. “We find that collecting testimonials from both employers and job seekers helps promote that word-of-mouth [referral business],” Mac said. “It also adds authenticity to our work because when we do publish testimonials on our website, we ask job seekers to share success stories on our blog, we ask people if we can publish their full name and their photos, and people who read these stories or see these testimonials, they see people who look like them, or are chasing jobs they want, and they can identify.”

 

Social proof is another powerful method of attracting and retaining customers, so testimonials not only result in word-of-mouth referrals, but has the added benefit of social proof as well. When you are seeking out a new restaurant, for example, not only do you ask friends and family for their thoughts, but you likely use services like Yelp! to see others reviews of the restaurant. Same thing when you are buying a book or product on Amazon. Your real estate services are no different. People will be much more likely to work with you if they can see others who have been successful with you in the past. And creating testimonials is the best way to show the success your service had with past clients.

 

Mac’s testimonials are simple. He just uses text and photos (click here for an example). However, if you want an extra level of engagement, consider creating video testimonials. Videos create an extra emotional connection that can be much more powerful than what you get with the written word alone.

 

#2 – Personalized LinkedIn Messages

 

Whenever Mac meets someone at a networking event, dinner, etc. and has a meaningful conversation (not just shaking hands and saying hello), he will connect with them on LinkedIn. When he sends the invitation, however, he will include a personal note, just a sentence or two, reminding the person how they met and what they discussed.

 

Sending these personalized LinkedIn requests results in word-of-mouth referrals, Mac said, “because so much of business … is about building relationships and getting to know people, and eventually liking and trusting them, and that’s how deals are made.”

 

In Mac’s specific business, most jobs get filled by word-of-mouth referrals. “There are estimates out there that up to eight out of ten jobs are never advertised and are filled by conversations between peers,” he said, which is in alignment with the 82% statistic I provided in the beginning of this post.

 

Mac said, “There’s no conspiracy here. You don’t have to have gone to a fancy school, it’s just human nature. People tend to want to work with people they know, like and trust, or who are recommended to them by people they trust.”

 

Another advantage of the LinkedIn personalized message is that LinkedIn will save all the message. That way, if you need to reach out to that person in the future, you can go back to the original message and remind yourself where you met them and what you talked about. That added personal touch will go a long way!

 

#3 – Never Turn Down Meetings

 

Mac gets approached all the time with people asking him for advice. He has always made it a point to never turn down an opportunity to have a conversation with someone. “If somebody wants to meet with me, even if I don’t know them, I will make the time,” Mac said. “Sometimes it takes a while to get on my calendar, but I will see people, and I do it without any expectation of getting anything in return.”

 

In doing so, Mac finds that he gets so much back in return. He said, “The relationships and connections that I make through those conversations – and I’ve been doing them for years now – keeps paying dividends for years to follow.”

 

Mac has the same approach for aspiring competition as well. He said, “I’m often approached by people who say ‘you’ve got a great business here. I think I’d like to do a job board like you’ or ‘I’d like to be a career coach.’ Some people might say ‘gosh, I’m sorry. I don’t have the time to talk to you,’ but for me, my response is always ‘the waters fine, jump right in. Let me share with you what I’ve learned about building this business online.’”

 

With this approach to speaking with the competition, Mac said two things will happen. “One is if they’re going to be successful – the person I’m meeting with who wants to get into this space – they’re going to specialize. They’re going to find a niche that I’m not serving. The other thing that’s going to happen is they’re going to be a partner and an ally down the road.”

 

I whole-heartedly embrace this approach. I raise money for apartments, so everyone I meet is a potential investor, either immediately or sometime down the road. Also, I have conversations with other investors all the time on my podcast to add value to my business, but my listener’s businesses as well.

 

Conclusion

 

The majority of a business’s new clients come from word-of-mouth referrals. The three main ways to cultivate word of mouth referrals are:

 

  • Collecting and posting testimonials from satisfied customers
  • Sending personalized LinkedIn messages to new people you meet
  • Never turning down a meeting, if with competitors

 

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Two Ways to Gain Direct Knowledge From Experienced Investors for FREE

 

Almost every investor stresses the importance of education. A common solution they offer is that you need to go out and hire a mentor. This can be costly, especially for newer, broke investors. Josiah Rosebury, who is a wholesaler that completed 2 deals a month in 2016, provides similar advice, but in our recent conversation, he explains how he discovered two approaches that allow you to learn from experienced pros without having to spend thousands of dollars for a mentor.

 

Strategy #1 – Be the Boots on the Ground

 

First, instead of just paying someone money, Josiah offered to be the boots on the ground for an experienced rehabber. “My exchange to him was I was able to go view properties that he may not be in the state or he may be out of town at the moment. When he found a property that he just couldn’t get to right away, he would call me and I would get there right away. I would take excellent pictures, excellent videos, everything to the T, and be able to send that back to him.” And what did Josiah get in exchange for his efforts? – “I not only got to go out there and start viewing more properties, doing walkthroughs, [but also, the experienced rehabber] was able to get on the phone with me at least once a week and tell me what I needed to do to improve my business.”

 

Strategy #2 – How to Get Paid to Learn

 

Josiah’s second strategy was not only free, but enabled him to make money while getting educated. After successfully wholesaling 2 deals a month for about a year, his company began financing some rehabs for other companies. “That slowly was our way of learning. We put a little bit of money in the deal with other companies that are rehabbing and they [allowed us] to get a return on [our] money. But on top of that, we get to be apart of the rehab.” Josiah is currently involved in a rehab deal that he is financing. “We put some money in that deal and they’re doing a full rehab. They’re actually tearing off the top of the roof and adding another 1,500 square feet. It’s been very interesting getting to learn from those folks.” Josiah is able to observe a complicated rehab first hand and attain all the knowledge that comes as a result. On top of that, since he has his own money in the deal, he gets an annualized return of 30%!

 

 

How to Find Experienced Investors

 

Both of these are highly proactive strategies that will take some effort on your part. It is likely that you will have to reach out to multiple rehabbers (or whoever it is that is experienced in your specific real estate niche) before you find someone that wants to show you the ropes and/or take your money. Josiah stated that “it’s up to you to find the right person that you can build rapport with and build a relationship with that wants to take their time and show you the steps 100% of the way.” Then once you do find this person, it is also up to you to determine “how much time do you want to be [on site]? How much time do you want to devote yourself to be around the construction and understand the process of what they’re having to go through.”

 

To find these investors, Josiah says, “I associate myself with any club that is around me. [It’s] honestly [about] networking and going to these clubs and making yourself a regular face there every single week and people will start to talk to you. They’re going to want to see how motivated you are and how dedicated you are to this business…There’s hundreds and hundreds of people who want to be apart of real estate but they don’t want to do the things necessary to stay in real estate.”

 

Related Post: Four Tips to Successfully Sell Yourself In Real Estate Investing

 

Conclusion

 

Josiah implements two very unique knowledge acquisition strategies. First, he has a mentor, but instead of paying cash, it is an exchange of value. In return for advice and knowledge, Josiah performs walkthroughs for an experienced rehabber.

 

Josiah also has a strategy that is not only free, but actually pays him money. He does this buy investing money into experienced rehabber’s deals and then hangs around the construction site to absorb as much knowledge as possible.

 

These two strategies will require some proactive effort on your part, especially in terms of finding an experienced investor. Josiah recommends that you attend every real estate related club around you and commit to going every single week. Become a familiar face and build that credibility so that the club attendees know you are truly motivated and dedicated to this business.

 

Comment Below: What are some clever, inexpensive or free ways you’ve been able to gain knowledge from experienced investors in your given field?

 

4 Pro Tips to Building Rapport at the Town Hall

Today we welcome a guest post by Michael Sjogren of SNA Capital. Michael brings a wealth of finance, business, and real estate experience.


BUILDING RAPPORT AT THE TOWN HALL

Any real estate investor who wants to be successful knows that he/she must know their market, sub-market and property(s) better than any of their competition. There are many ways to obtain market information. The internet, local broker(s) and property managers to name a few. But one of the best ways to gather information about a market you are thinking about investing in, is from the local leadership.

No one knows a market like the local Town Hall. Most of the employees have lived there for their entire lives and literally make a living off of their knowledge for the city/town they call home. Assessors can give you up to date, filtered property reports to help streamline your search. Economic development leaders can give you the Master Plan, path of progress and population/job data. Building Inspectors can give you reports and trends for construction growth. The list goes on and on.   Working in tandem with a Town Hall can put you head and shoulders above your competition. So why not learn how to get the most out of your relationship with a Town Hall?

I have spent the last decade of my life in the construction business and a large part of my job requires me to work hand in hand with the local Town Halls in order to be successful. I’ve learned a lot over the years about how to work with them and have built many long lasting, productive relationships. People often ask me ‘Ed, I can’t seem to get anyone to respond to me at the Town Hall, how do you do it”?

The truth is, it’s easy. Just follow these 4 tips and you will be well on your way to solidifying a great partnership with your local Town Hall.

#1. Be polite and positive

Most Town Hall employees are on the phone or meeting all day long with unhappy customers. People only want to talk to them when there is a problem. Being polite and positive can go a long way. A “Happy Friday” greeting on a Friday morning or a “I really appreciate you looking into that for me, it’s a huge help” can go a very long way to someone that has just dealt with (5) customers in a row who are complaining about why their building permit isn’t ready for pickup yet.

#2. Follow up but don’t be pushy

Let’s face it, if you are trying to get information on a new project from the local economic development committee or attempting to acquire a property report from the assessor, you are just one of one hundred phone calls/emails that they received that day. It’s very important to follow up, but not be a hound. People like someone who follows up with a friendly reminder. For instance, “Hi Sue, thank you for taking my call yesterday, I just wanted to follow up and see if it would be possible to obtain a copy of the city’s Master Plan today?” If you send an email that reads “Where is the information you promised me!” chances are, your request is getting moved to the bottom of the pile.

#3. Go down to the Town Hall

Better than any phone call or email is simply getting into your car and driving on over to the Town Hall. I know technology is wonderful, but you will always have the most success when you go down to the Town Hall and meet with them in person. It’s easy to ignore a phone call but no one wants to let someone down when they are standing right in front of them. One time, I was in a real rush to obtain a building permit so I could start a construction project and I had a building inspector’s administrator tell me “we are so backed up today that I have a better chance of marrying Tom Brady than issuing you that building permit sweetie”. I drove over there an hour later, asked really nicely and she called the inspector on his personal cell phone who then drove to the Town Hall to issue me my BP. Like I said, in person is always better.

#4. Send em something

Assessors, development directors, building inspectors, everyone likes gifts. If you happen to be in the area of the Town Hall, drop-off some cookies or coffee. If you don’t live in the area send them a platter. Especially if you plan on working in that market for the foreseeable future and you know you are going to need support from the local leadership. If 3 people ask the local assessor for a 50-page property report and 1 of those 3 brings a dozen donuts to the assessor’s office, I don’t have to tell you who is getting that report back first.

 

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About the Author: Michael Sjogren is an active real estate investor and Co-Founder of SNA Captial. He is dedicated to helping people achieve financial freedom to pursue their passions. Get more content from Michael by visiting the SNA Capital blog.

 

investor

3-Step Process for Optimizing Investor Conversations

Having trouble finding private money for your multifamily deals? Well, we have all been there. However, by adhering to a simple 3-step process when approaching investor conversations, I have been able to turn my “luck” around and raise millions of dollars for my multifamily syndication deals.

 

 

Step One – Listen More, Talk Less

 

Mark Twain famously stated, “If we were supposed to talk more than we listen, we would have two tongues and one ear.” Therefore, when first meeting someone, whether you’ve already identified him or her as a potential investor or it is a “random” stranger, don’t instantly jump into talking about your real estate business. Instead, talk about them. Listen and discover that they are interested in. Learn as much as you can about them.

 

If you’ve already identified them as a potential investor, get to know them on a deeper level so that you can see if you two are compatible enough to be business partners. If you haven’t identified them as a potential investor, still take the time to listen and learn more about them. You never know where the relationship may lead.

 

 

Step Two – Become a Thought Leader

 

If you want to achieve massive levels of success in multifamily syndication, and real estate investing in general, you MUST have some sort of thought leadership. Personally, I have chosen to provide weekly YouTube tips for raising money and buying apartments. I have the world’ longest running daily podcast, as well as a weekly email newsletter, a book, daily blog posts, and a monthly mastermind group. So, I have ongoing thought leadership that allows me to keep in touch with my new friends and with the new relationships I am creating. It allows me to stay top of mind because I am constantly providing valuable, free information. And essentially, it has allowed me to network with people on a global level, all while I am asleep!

 

However, I didn’t wake up one morning and tell myself, “I am going to start a YouTube channel, podcast, newsletter, blog, write a book, and create mastermind group today.” Rather, I took it one step at a time. So pick one platform and use that are your launching point. If you aren’t comfortable starting any of the things that I have, then at the very least, start by becoming more active on the BiggerPockets’ forums, by either asking great questions or providing great answers.

 

How do you know if you are a thought leader? By John Quincy Adam’s definition, “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”

 

Step Three – Have a Great Deal

 

Finally, once you’ve had the conversations and provided thought leadership, you need to actually have a deal that you can share with your new investors.

 

Now, you may be thinking, “But Joe, I don’t have people I can reach out to and share a deal with.” My response: see Step One and Two. Without the first two steps, you’ll have no investors to fund the deal. Although, if you have followed my advice – started listening and becoming a though leader – without having a deal, what the heck are your investors going to invest in? Therefore, you need all three-steps in order to be successful.

 

3 Unique Ways to Increase Your Network to Generate More Leads

 

Do you struggle with generating leads? Is direct mail or other standard lead sources providing you with a sub-optimal conversion rate? If that is the case, your lead generating and conversion strategy may not actually be the problem. In fact, the lack of leads and low conversion rate is likely a symptom from a deeper issue with your business.

 

Guy Gimenez, an investor that has completed more than 50 flips and whose current focus is on wholesaling and retailing, initially faced the same dilemma. However, he realized he didn’t have a lead or conversion problem, but rather, he had a relationships problem. Once you made that discovery and made the necessary adjustments, his business skyrockets.

 

In our recent conversation, Guy provided the three adjustments he made to increase his network, and in turn, his real estate business.

 

Adjustment #1 – Add a Marketing Team Member

 

Guy obtains the majority of his leads using online sources such as Google Adwords, SEO, and other pay-for-click services. However, marketing in general, but especially online marketing, is outside of his wheelhouse. Guy understands marketing is one of his many weaknesses, which is why he brought on a team member who can complement those weaknesses. He found such an individual at a meet-up he started (more on the meet-up later) – a millennial that worked for a major company in town. Like many in the millennial generation, this gentleman had a knack for online marketing.

 

Guy realized that marketing is the engine that runs the business. Yet, it is something he struggles with. He doesn’t want to take the time to learn it, so he leverages other people’s time and talent to handle aspects of the business, like marketing, and then they share in the profits. Guy has partnered with the marketing millennial, who handles all the back-end marketing – SEO, Google Adwords, and all the pay-for-click. He brings in the leads into the company website and then Guy takes everything from there.

 

If, like Guy, you are having issues with lead generation and conversion, considered networking to find a team member to outsource your marketing.

 

Adjustment #2 – Start a Meetup Group

 

Once guy realized his relationship problem, he started brainstorming potential solutions. The one he acted on was creating a meetup group. As a result, he has gotten many deals and formed many great relationships that would not have existed if it wasn’t for this group.

 

Guy started the meet-up group in mid-2014. He hosted the first meeting at his church because that is the only location he could think of. Going into the meeting, Guy didn’t even know if anyone would show up. Fortunately, 8 people attended.

 

As the host of the meetup group, he didn’t want to portray himself as a real estate guru. Rather, he was just someone that was looking to build relationships that would be beneficial to both parties. Guy had cash reserves, as well as real estate experience and knowledge, while many of the attendees lacked the funds and real estate proficiency. Consequently, the meetup was an ideal way for Guy to help others earn money while they learned the ins-and-outs of investing. In return, he has been able to increase his network, get great deals, and find individuals to add to his team, which include the marketing millennial.

 

Flashing forward to today, and due to Guy’s authentic, benevolent approach, the meetup has grown to over 500 members, ranging from 20 to 80 members in attendance per meeting.

 

For those that are ready to take on the challenge of starting their own meet-up, simply replicate Guy’s meet-up structure:

 

  • Pre-meeting, Guy will advertise the meet-up for a few weeks. His advertising approach is three-fold: (1) Put something on Facebook and then boost the post, (2) attend other local meet-ups in the area and convey what his meet-up is all about and (3) create an event on Meetup.com
    • The advertisement is fairly simple. Guy brings in different speakers each week so it consists of the speaker, what the speaker will talk about, as well as time (7pm to 9pm) and location
  • The meetup is hosted at a local restaurant banquet room. Due to the late meeting time, it typically begins with everyone ordering dinner
  • The meeting officially commences with Guy going over some housekeeping items (i.e. reminder to pay for your meals, overview of meeting structure, introduction of speaker)
  • Next, the guest speaker presents, which is immediately followed up a Q&A session
  • Following the Q&A, those in attendance have the opportunity to either (1) promote a deal they have or (2) explain any “need” they have (i.e. what they are looking for, like a flip in a certain zip code, advice on how to run the numbers, etc.)
  • Finally, Guy provides the attendees, specifically the newer investors, with an opportunity to tell a success story. Also, he asks more experienced investors to talk about a recent failure

 

Adjustment #3 – Network everywhere you go

 

While the first two methods were more specific, this final one is more of a high-level approach, but powerful nonetheless. Guy has the ability to form relationships anywhere he goes. And I mean ANYWHERE – walking down the street, restaurants, the grocery store, etc. Guy finds that so much of the population is frustrated. They hate their jobs, they hate their life, and are very apathetic. Therefore, it is amazing what you can do by touching one person everyday with something as simple as providing a compliment or telling a cheesy joke. You may not change their life forever, but you may change their minute, their hour, or their day. By doing so, you can absolutely build relationships and even find deals!

 

One such example occurred when Guy was standing in line at the grocery store. When he got to the register, he said to the cashier, “that is a very pretty dress. I have the same one at home but didn’t wear it because I forgot to shave my legs today.” She laughed and asked what Guy did for a living. He explained that he is a real estate investor, gave her his card, and went on his merry way. Within 1 hour, Guy received a phone call. It was the cashier. She explained that her mother was losing the house, that they already had a foreclosure date, and asked if there was anything Guy could do to help. All the stars were aligned on this one – Guy met her at the right time, the cashier had the knowledge of her mom’s situation, and the mom was actually relaying the situation to her daughter. As a result, Guy was eventually able to stop the foreclosure, get the house under contract, sold the property, and made a nice profit. But just as important, he solved a problem and took that 800-pound gorilla off of their back. That cashier and her mom will never forget it. It was the ultimate win-win scenario. However, what Guy did for her is what he does for everyone. He simply solves problems and makes a profit in doing so.

 

How many people do you know, including yourself, who reach out to strangers on a daily basis? No matter where you go, there is always an opportunity to touch someone’s life. And maybe, just maybe, they will touch yours as well.

 

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If you have any comments or questions, leave a comment below.

 

 

How to Increase Your RE Investor Network via Volunteering

 

A common question I receive, in regards to raising money for multifamily investing, is “Joe, I don’t have the right network to raise money, so what should I do?” Depending on your situation, this may actually be the case. At a time where the median income of the United States is around $55,000, statistically speaking, it is impossible for everyone to have one, let alone multiple trusting relationships with individuals that have $50,000 or more in cash to invest. So, for those that don’t have a network of investors or are looking to scale, here is a short and simple tip to increase your money raising network: Volunteer.

 

Find a nonprofit organization that aligns with your values, interests, beliefs, etc. and volunteer. Make sure that it’s something you’ll honestly enjoy doing. Tony Robbins famously said “the secret to living is giving,” and I am a firm believer in that philosophy. Therefore, the main purpose is to give back. However, your secondary, real estate related goal is to become a board member. It is likely that the board members are going to be affluent. That is, a high net worth individual. Once you’ve become a fellow board member, they will be likely be more interested in building a relationship outside of volunteering and learning more about your personal and/or business goals. This is a perfect transition into discussing your real estate syndication business.

 

The key is to really bond with the board members while, not expecting anything else in return. Again, you’re main goal isn’t to attend your first board meeting and pressure the members to fork over their cash. The goal is to contribute to the organization by doing something that you genuinely enjoy. Then, slowly and organically, get to know other volunteers and board members.

 

Volunteering and becoming a board member is a long-term approach. However, it is an approach that I have successfully implemented, so I know it works. By volunteering for causes I believe in, I was able to build relationships with others that shared my beliefs, which resulted in millions of dollars in multifamily investments. I am the board member for the nonprofit organization Junior Achievement in Ohio, as well as for the College of Media and Communications at Texas Tech University.

 

Google “Volunteer Opportunities in (insert your state) to get started. Make a list of 3-5 potential opportunities and see which one is the best fit based off what you are passionate about.

 

Networking

How Networking is the Key to Completing Real Estate Deals

 

In my conversation with Dion Johnson, who is in the process of closing on his first and second flip, he explained why he believes that “your network is your net worth.” By attending 3 networking events every week and surrounding himself with people that know more than him, he was able obtain his first two deals, one of which required him to have zero money out of pocket!

 

First Deal Through Networking and Lessons Learned

 

The first deal that Dion acquired was a lead from another investor that he met at a networking event. The investor didn’t have time to work on a handful of lead and offered them to Dion. After following up with the leads, he was able to get one of the properties under contract. When he initially ran the numbers, Dion believed that it would be a slam-dunk first deal. At a $152,000 purchase price, $15,000 rehab budget, and $250,000 after-repair value, Dion was expecting a profit of over $80,000! Unfortunately, like most first time fix-and-flips, there was a gap between the project expectations and the reality of the situation.

 

The main culprit for this gap was the fact that Dion had difficulties finding a general contractor. Many different “gurus” told him that he needed to find a contractor before securing a deal. However, he quickly discovered that unless he already had a project, contractors wouldn’t give him the time of day. Therefore, once he had the property under contract, he had to scramble to find a contractor. With only two weeks until closing and no contractor, Dion decided that he would subcontract out all of the work. As a result, the rehab budget more than doubled to $35,000.

 

Another lesson that Dion learned was the importance of conducting due diligence before diving into a deal. In doing so, you will save yourself a lot of time and more importantly, a lot of headaches. Dion didn’t perform his due diligence upfront, and went with the first hard moneylender that qualified him for a loan. He wasn’t aware of the lenders terms, so he didn’t realize until it was nearing closing that the lender would be the first position (for the purchase price of the property) and second position (for rehab costs) on the loan. This was a problem because Dion was utilizing private money to fund the loan, and the private money source wasn’t comfortable being in the third position on the loan. Therefore, Dion had to scrap the construction loan and pay for the rehabs out of pocket.

 

Dion didn’t have enough cash to handle the budget increase, so he had to leverage credit cards to purchase the materials and obtain cash advances to pay the contractors. The takeaway that Dion will remember moving forward: always talk to multiple hard money lenders, finding out their terms, rates, and down payment required BEFORE selecting a lender for a deal.

 

Second Deal Through Networking with Zero Money Out-of-Pocket

 

Dion’s second deal went much smoother than his first. For this deal, Dion partnered with an investor that he met through a networking social media group. He brought nothing to the table except the desire to learn and grow, while the other investor brought the deal and the funds. Dion was just responsible for managing the entire project from start to finish, including preparing the scope of work, managing the contractor, picking out the materials, and meeting with the architect on site.

 

They purchased the property via seller financing for $255,000. The seller had the property listed at $330,000 and was having difficulties finding a buyer. Dion’s partner found the listing and after seeing that it was on the market for a while, proposed a seller-financing offer – $255,000 purchase price to be paid at the conclusion of the fix-and-flip, plus monthly payments at 7% – and the seller accepted the terms.

 

The structure between Dion and the other investor was a joint venture agreement that was drawn up by their lawyers. According to the agreement, at the sale of the property, Dion would get 40% of the overall profits, all with zero money out of his own pocket!

 

Actionable Advice

 

Dion attributed his ability to successfully complete his two deals to:

  • His ongoing commitment to attending networking events on a weekly basis
  • Learning from the investors that were doing bigger deals than him
  • His willingness to admit that he doesn’t know it all

 

Which of these three mentalities do you need to adopt today?

 

 

How to Create a Win-Win Scenario With Your Contractors


In my conversation with Tom Olson, who is the owner of four different real estate related companies and is an expert in all things real estate including developments, creative transactions, and wholesale deals, he provided his Best Ever Advice on the importance of focusing on value.

 

There are three parts of any transaction, whether it’s real estate, business, or anything: price, cost, and value. If you focus on price and cost, you will have a linear business. However, if you focus on value, then your customers, contractors, lenders, and investors will come back to you over and over.

 

Tom defines “value” as what you bring that is emotional and builds upon your trust factor. Therefore, when he is doing a deal, he focuses on adding value to all the parties involved, like the community, the new buyer, and especially, the contractors. Tom’s main focus is on bringing value to his contractors. Many people believe that the opposite is true – that contractors should only be bringing value to them – but Tom finds this to be completely false. It is a win-win scenario.

 

Tom provided three examples of ways that he brings value to his contractors:

 

  1. Process and Systems

 

Tom puts all of his general contractors on his Podio platform. This gives the contractors access to Tom’s project plan so that they understand exactly how a project is supposed to be run.

 

Tom also has systems in place that help the contractor’s business run more efficiently. For example, he created automatic weekly payments that are paid out as long as the contractors submit their invoices by a certain time.

 

  1. Events and Speakers

 

Tom has events and speakers for his contractors that help them run a better business. Most contractors are hands on practitioners and know very little about business. The events and speakers focus on teaching them the business side, help them understand how to grow personally, and how to do their jobs quicker.

 

  1. Cost Savings

 

Tom brings value to his contractors by helping them save money in two main ways. First, they don’t have to spend a dime on marketing. They know that once they get in with Tom and successfully complete projects with him, they will never need to market their services. Tom will continue giving them jobs and projects.

 

Secondly, and this goes hand-in-hand with 1. Processes and Systems, Tom creates service level agreements with all of his contractors. A service level agreement explains exactly how long a project should take. This helps the contractors save money, because if they can get the project done ahead of schedule, they will save on labor costs.

 

 

 

The 4 Keys to Building Relationships Via Social Media

 

In my conversation with Katie Lance, who consults with real estate professionals on using social media to grow their businesses, she provided specific strategies for building more and stronger relationships within your RE network.

 

Be Intentional

 

The first, and most important strategy is to be intentional about building relationships. When seeking out Katie for strategic social media advice, many professionals ask questions like:

 

  • What should I post?
  • How many times per day should I post?
  • Should I be on Facebook? What about Snapchat?

 

While these are all really relevant questions, but the other part, in regards to building relationships, is the personal side of social media.

 

For example, as a real estate agent, (hopefully) you are connected with past and current clients on Facebook, which has become the online version of the water cooler where everyone hangs out and connects. However, when you are on Facebook, it is really noisy and polluted. Your newsfeed is full of cat videos, Pokémon Go, and maybe somewhere in the mix, you can find a post from a client. Therefore, one tactic that works extremely well is creating a private Facebook list that only consists of your clients. That way, when going on Facebook, you can bypass the noisy newsfeed. Instead, you can focus solely on your client list, taking a few moments to engage with them in some way (i.e. Happy Birthday wishes, congratulations on an accomplishment, etc.). These interactions may seem small, but they make a really big difference when added up over time. Relationships are built with small, tiny interactions over the course of time, so each individual interaction counts!

 

Don’t Be a Social Media Creeper

 

Obviously, you don’t want to like and comment on everything that your clients post. However, by being intentional, you can still make sure you are able to connect on a personal level without coming across as a “creeper.” For example, you can take the online offline. Instead of being one of 300 people that wishes a client happy birthday on their Facebook wall, you can be one of a few people that sends them a private message or picking up the phone and giving them a call.

 

Content Creation Social Media Strategy

 

Katie can attribute the majority of the growth of her consulting business to creating consistent and informative content. She really likes to think like a media company in order to build a reputation as the thought leader and expert in her field. Therefore, her pillar piece of content is a weekly blog post. To support the blog post and reach as wide an audience as possible, Katie is also aggressive on building a large email list via email marketing and Facebook advertising. In regards to Facebook advertising, she believes that it is a really under-utilized opportunity. Katie finds that many real estate professionals are timid and only dip their toes into the Facebook advertising water. But currently, Facebook advertising is one of the most effective methods of targeting people to a high level of specificity. The level of targeting you are capable of doing does not exist anywhere else in the social media realm.

 

Create a Social Media Distribution Strategy

 

But she doesn’t stop there, because it is not just about creating the content, but distributing it as well. Like a media company, she brainstorms ways to slice and dice weekly blog posts in order to create additional, smaller pieces of content. For example, she can pull a week worth of Tweets and Instagram posts from one blog post. Depending on the blogs topic, she can create a few video clips to post on YouTube. Or she can go on Facebook Live and provide a 5-minute synopsis.

 

Katie also creates content (editorial) calendars. A mistake that Katie sees many people make is only thinking about what they will post today or tomorrow. If media companies had 2-day forecasts, they wouldn’t survive. Therefore, Katie advises that you think like a media company by creating a 30, 60, or 90-day calendar. To help schedule content weeks and months in advance, Katie asks herself questions like:

  • How do I want clients to feel working with me?
  • What is my end goal?
  • How can I create content that will support my end goal, to generate leads, and to generate business?

 

Overall, a effective social media strategy is about putting a content creation and distribution system in place and being very intentional, especially from a relationship building perspective – connecting a personal level is the key to it all!

 

3 Negotiating Tips Used Against Me

I’ve been involved in many negotiations throughout my career – both in real estate and just general full-time job circumstances. Here are three negotiating tactics that were used against me and worked. Only thing I ask is that you please use the following info for good not evil. Innocent

 

They are so damn likeable

Problem: Do you find it’s tough to negotiate against someone you really like? Boy, I do. It can be awkward at first. Maybe you don’t want to offend them but there’s some serious business that needs to be addressed.

Solution: Stick to the facts. Facts are emotionless. The facts do not have trigger phrases like “this is unacceptable” or “but it’s not fair” or “but I’ve worked really hard on this” or “but I’ve been here so long” or curse words like…well, you know.

When you’re a calculated surgeon at the negotiating table sticking only to the facts – your stance can’t (logically) be disputed.

They demonstrate they have more knowledge on topic than you (and gray hair helps)

Problem: They have more experience in the industry, more knowledge about the topic and are older. And, when they talk it’s clear they know more about the topic than you do. Quadruple wammy.

Solution: First, align yourself with people who can have all the things you’re lacking. Then bring them in to actively participate with you. If that’s not possible, don’t worry because here’s a technique to use regardless of if you have seasoned backup.

Another solution: Think like a lawyer. The opposition might throw a lot at you and, quite frankly, say stuff you don’t understand. Dismiss the irrelevant information (stuff they say to demonstrate their expertise but isn’t relevant to your outcome) and only focus on the outcome. I like to think of me going 1000 mph and all the stuff they are saying are the blurry objects  They might say a lot of stuff but only focus on the info that will get you to your outcome. It’s one heck of an exercise in concentration but it works really well once you master it.

They devalue your contribution (ex. payment, time, thoughts)

Problem: “For that price I’m basically losing money on this deal,” says the seller to the buyer. But then the deal goes through and somehow they stay in business and are happy with the transaction. Has that happened to you before? It’s happened to me many times.

Solution: Create a list of 5 reasons why the seller should do the deal. This helps you understand from their perspective why it is favorable. You can choose to bring up those points or just keep them in your head – regardless, once you have that list you’ll remind yourself of the value you’re bringing to the table. They wouldn’t be having this conversation with you if they didn’t agree you do bring value. Whether it’s money or time, you are adding tremendous value to this arrangement and don’t let them tell you otherwise.

What are some negotiating tactics that you’ve seen work?

Why Don’t We Follow-Up?

I have a problem. I am offered a solution. Do I take it? Yes. Well, usually.

But, why do some people habitually resist a solution when it’s presented to them?

First, let’s look at an example.

Last Friday I presented at the New York City Public Library. Topic was How to Be a Good Networker.  It’s the second time I’ve presented there and I LOVE doing it because I
can tell the info I’m giving them is useful. I know this because of the engagement during the class plus the reviews they fill out afterwards.

But, an interesting thing happened to me before the class started this time. I always try to engage the attendees before I begin to 1) warm me up and 2) build a rapport with them. Well, this time my pre-presentation engagement attempt backfired!

Here’s how it went down with a lady in the audience:

Me: Glad you all made it today considering the bad weather!

She: Oh yes, I’m glad you made it too. Was concerned it would be canceled.

Me: Ah, I’m only a 10 minute cab ride away.

She: DON’T SAY YOU TAKE CABS TO A ROOM FULL OF UNEMPLOYED PEOPLE.

Yikes. Now let’s pause here. My attempt to build rapport ain’t going well. But, screw that because my main goal is to serve the audience members and help them reach their goals. So, the #1 thing is to move past the dis and try and help her get employment.

Me: Oh, what industry are you in?

She: I’m in payroll management.

Me: Oh, wow, my brother is a payroll manager for Greyhound.

She: Really?

Me: Yep, and I’d be happy to introduce you. He lives in Texas but might have some contacts in NYC that could help you out.

She: Ok

Me: Cool, follow up with me after the class and I’ll be glad to make the introduction.

Boom. Problem? Unemployed payroll manager. Solution? Introduce her to my brother in payroll management to help her get a job.

Done and done. Right?

WRONG. She. Never. Followed. Up.

Now, why, why, WHY would she not follow up?

And, let’s take a bigger step back from the example. I actually offered to help and jump on a call with everyone in the audience. I’d say 30% of them got my card and of that only 3% followed up with an email afterwards. Nobody actually asked for help. And during my presentation I made it a point to say it’s important to follow up within 48 hours and to ask for help from others.

Now they either don’t believe I can help them out or they do think I can help and for whatever reason they did not follow up.

For simplicity purposes let’s assume they think I can help them. So, the question is, why didn’t they follow up?

This is an age-old question. And, quite frankly, I’m guilty of it too. I’ve seen things that could be the solution to my problems and I don’t act on it. I don’t do it for the following reasons:

  • Too busy doing “other stuff”
  • Don’t see finding a solution to my problem as a priority
  • Lazy

The common theme from all those 3 things is it simply isn’t important enough for me to act on. Because if something is super important to you, you follow up, right?

So the next time I teach a class I’m going to focus on ways to help people determine if following up is important to them.

Here are four questions to ask ourselves:

1. What good things could happen if I follow up?

2. What bad things could happen if I follow up?

3. Why do I want a solution to my problem?

4. Where will my life be in 6 months, 1 year and 5 years from now if I don’t find a solution?

After answering those you will know if it’s a priority or not. If it is a priority you will now have enough associated pain/pleasure to take action.