A Goldmine of Real Estate Lead Generation Ideas

Here, I discuss two of the most critical aspect of any business, especially when it comes to real estate investing. Marketing is what helps you to attract business and create leads, while closing sales and signing deals is what makes your business money. That’s why I have collected some of my favorite real estate lead generation ideas.

Marketing: Finding Your Audience

Both sales and marketing are all about building authentic connections and growing your client and network base. Proper real estate investment marketing allows you to ultimately make more sales and build your business. Marketing can be through word of mouth, advertisements, direct mailing, or a variety of different options. The important thing to remember is making sure you know how to reach your specific target audience.

Sales: Learn the Tools of the Trade

Okay, so what do you do once you know your target audience if aren’t sure where to start when it comes to sales? The secrets of an award-winning closer may help, and forming a successful pitch is definitely invaluable. That’s why I have compiled this collection of posts - in the hopes that it gives you tons of real estate lead generation ideas by explaining exactly how others have used their marketing strategies and sales talents to build their reach.

If you have any great leads you would like to share with me, please complete the form found on my website. If you’re interested in working with me as a passive investor on one of my many leads, please complete this application.

Tips for Creating a Multifamily Marketing Plan

Tips for Creating a Multifamily Marketing Plan

The multifamily real estate market seems to continually adapt to the ever-changing borrower and investor needs. However, this can make real estate investing a bit trickier than you might expect. Over the years, it’s also possible that your idea of how multifamily property works has changed, shifted, or otherwise expanded.

For a real estate investor, this can impact how you interact with multifamily property, market rental properties, and multifamily homes to meet diverse tenant needs. So whether you’ve spent time successfully managing a single-family home and are ready to transition to a multifamily property or you’re starting your property management journey with a duplex, triplex, or even a fourplex, here’s what you should keep in mind about effective multifamily property marketing.


What is a multifamily property?

If residential property interests you more than commercial property, or you’ve always wanted to work with tenants, families, and renters, there are plenty of reasons to consider a multifamily home. At its core, multifamily housing refers to residential properties that hold more than one distinct housing unit. Compared to other single-family properties that are more likely to be standalone homes, this type of property is often an apartment complex, condominium complex, or similar residential building.

Multifamily properties like apartment buildings, duplexes, and townhouses are particularly appealing for real estate enthusiasts interested in generating passive income and cash flow from monthly rent payments. Multifamily spaces like townhouses and duplexes still have separate entrances to provide some of the added privacy perks of a single-family property. And while you shouldn’t buy the most oversized real estate parcel you spot, buying a multifamily unit is a great way to take the next step toward being a multifamily investor.

From small apartment units to townhomes, the real estate industry is full of multifamily investment opportunities to empower prospective property owners. Multifamily units can also give you experience working as a landlord or property manager, particularly if you’re not outsourcing property management services for your apartment building or condominium block. Managing a multifamily property from inspections to utility costs and investment property vacancies also gives you experience working with high-demand real estate needs. Of course, this also means that beginner investors need to leverage multifamily investing marketing to maintain consistent monthly income, high occupancy rates, and a robust bottom line.


Maintain more robust property management marketing materials.

No matter the number of units you have or how much rental income you currently generate, it’s essential that you consider all of your marketing touchpoints, not just the mailers, flyers, or direct marketing opportunities. Beginner investors across the U.S. should learn how to navigate social media, email marketing, and other digital marketing channels to create holistic marketing strategies that address diverse renter needs. To this end, any investor or property management company must develop a marketing materials suite full of practical materials, concepts, and test ideas.

It would help if you also considered how video content factors into your overall multifamily management strategy. While videos have some pros and cons, many of the best-performing investment firms leverage both pre-recorded and live videos to highlight multifamily properties, showcase investment opportunities, and post-digital tours of rental units. This provides prospective tenants with a more digitized, convenient house-shopping experience while empowering you to highlight the incentives of renting separate units. Video content also gives you a channel to talk directly to renters, real estate agents, and other key players to discuss different types of multifamily properties, housing unit occupancy levels, and upcoming properties or projects.

For starters, do some research on live video. A real estate agent or property manager that provides a virtual tour of a townhome or row-house is much more likely to find qualified applicants than a listing with blurry pictures of the bathroom and kitchen. It’s also essential that you have these materials to show lenders if any financial needs arise. Finally, you must regularly upgrade your property and maintain it from condo upgrades to standard area amenities. Consistent marketing and video content can encourage you to do that.


Develop a multifamily community identity.

The property manager is probably doing something right if someone can identify a multifamily property based on its logo, slogan, or amenities. When you establish a clear, understandable brand identity, it’s easier for your marketing materials to connect to your consumers and encourage tenants to sign leases for your units. Compared to single-family and commercial property, community identity is perhaps the most critical component of a multifamily property. Put yourself in the shoes of a recent graduate or young professional. If you’re moving into a new multifamily unit or condo, you probably want to live somewhere populated by similar individuals.

Different community identities attract other renters. Of course, this can have drawbacks, too. One drawback is that you risk shutting out other perfectly agreeable customers if you market too specifically to your supposed ideal customer. When you’re developing your multifamily community’s identity, it’s a good idea to individualize some of your brands and empower renters to fill in the blanks on their own. This can lead to a more tailored housing experience that generates positive word-of-mouth referrals, which can boost occupancy rates, prove tenant satisfaction, and even help you increase your net operating income. Plus, should you ever have to play the role of a seller, this pre-established identity can help you fetch a more excellent asking price.


Be authentic and transparent.

Modern real estate consumers have more ways than ever to connect to landlords, property managers, and building owners. Whether a customer wants to learn about your commercial real estate portfolio or how much a down payment at one of your multifamily property listings is, it should be easy for the said customer to navigate your site and your marketing materials to find information. So when developing a marketing strategy, think of ways you can leave breadcrumbs to guide your consumers, help them make more effective renting decisions, and create an authentic relationship.

Many savvy customers can spot staged photos and too-good-to-be-true deals from far away. As such, your multifamily property marketing tactics must reflect this commitment to transparency and property authenticity.

When investing in any type of property, be it commercial real estate or a single-family home, it’s essential to know how to turn a structure into a passive income machine. With the right marketing tips, housing tools, and platforms, it’s that much easier to turn your local real estate market into your investing playground. 


About the Author:

Annie Dickerson and her partner Julie Lam are founders of Goodegg Investments — an award-winning real estate private equity firm — and creators of the Real Estate Accelerator Mentorship Program. They are authors of the book Investing For Good and hosts of the popular Life & Money Show podcast: https://goodegginvestments.com/


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4 Investing Growth Strategies from a Real Estate Marketing Expert

4 Investing Growth Strategies from a Real Estate Marketing Expert

The familiar saying, “knowledge is power” is absolutely true when it comes to real estate marketing and investing. Lael Sturm gives us a perfect example.

Lael owes much of his professional success to his wealth of knowledge: how he gathers it and how he uses it.

Based in San Francisco, Lael is a real estate marketing professional as well as an investor. Over the past 25 years, he’s worked with companies of all sizes, including Microsoft, MTV, and Nokia.

LPSS Digital Marketing, the company Lael founded, helps real estate investors and other professionals grow their businesses.

Here are a few key lessons that Lael’s fascinating career can teach us all.


1. Learn Something New Every Day

In his work, Lael has always had to learn new things. During the mid-1990s, as an MBA student at Columbia, he began teaching himself all about a new technological and cultural phenomenon: the internet.

Soon, other Columbia students came to Lael for digital investing advice. Thus, he decided to become an online strategy consultant. Today, he helps businesses maximize their social media strategies, internet advertising, and digital content.

Given the rapid pace of technological change, Lael has had to constantly master new tools and methods. To that end, he’s developed a learning philosophy to stay ahead of the competitive curve. That is, Lael keeps two facts in mind: There’s always more to learn, and he doesn’t know everything. Consequently, he soaks up lessons from everyone he encounters: coworkers, bloggers, authors, podcasters, and so on.

If you keep seeking out new knowledge, it’s astounding how much you can learn. And some of that information should lead to business growth.


2. Learn from Customers

It’s worth noting one special group of people here: customers. So many businesspeople fail to obtain new knowledge from their clients. But customers are often founts of useful information.

Many entrepreneurs believe it’s their job to provide clients with all the answers. And to them, it’s a one-way street. They may also think it looks bad to ask customers business questions. They never want to appear ill-informed.

In truth, it’s healthy to ask customers questions to see how they view different issues. Many clients will then provide valuable ideas and pointers.

Similarly, it’s more than acceptable to tell clients you don’t know the answer to one of their questions. Just let them know that you will find out the answer. In such a case, a customer would probably trust you more. After all, no one knows all the answers, and honest people admit when they’re stumped.

By researching customers’ questions — and by discussing various business topics with them — you won’t just increase your general knowledge. You’ll increase your knowledge of specific topics that are important to investors and clients. As a result, your business will be better prepared to meet its needs going forward.


3. Thought Leadership Matters

Here’s another reason why knowledge is important: You’ll probably want to establish yourself as a thought leader.

A thought leader is someone who continually shares useful information and strategies. If you’re one of these influential people, it’s easier to attract investors.

To become a thought leader, you could routinely make high-quality content for an online channel. For instance, you could create podcasts, YouTube videos, or Medium blogs. Indeed, many leading internet platforms let you post content for free. If you keep showing your depth of knowledge, providing value to your followers, and finding creative ways to speak in your own voice, you could gain a loyal audience.

Providing value, by the way, doesn’t mean repeating platitudes or common industry knowledge. Instead, offer unique insights, actionable tips, personal stories, and precise business growth ideas. On top of that, never advertise your business within your thought leadership content. People will trust your messages less if they seem like commercials.

In all of this, pay particular attention to Instagram. Some businesspeople might see Instagram as unserious. In truth, it’s an outstanding platform for engagement, and its algorithm is sophisticated and powerful. You may have great success using this network to promote your thought leadership.

However, maybe you’d find it hard to keep producing beautiful Instagram images. Perhaps you’d feel more comfortable posting text. In that case, LinkedIn is probably the right network to focus on. It’s ideal for the written word, and LinkedIn also makes it easy to connect with the right people.

On the other hand, you don’t have to worry much about a website. These days, pouring time, effort, and money into a full website is unnecessary, maybe even wasteful. You may just need a landing page. And you might not need a business site at all, just your social media accounts.


4. Buy and Hold

In addition to his sharp advice about thought leadership and knowledge growth, Lael Sturm has many valuable business tips to share.

One helpful suggestion involves buying and holding real estate. Lael uses his San Francisco home as a case in point. After investing in it, he turned down many offers to sell it at a high price. As a result, this property has appreciated considerably.

With appreciation, you can build up equity. Thus, although it’s often tempting to sell residential and commercial real estate, try to hang onto your properties for as long as you can.

Lael’s buy-and-hold strategy is a terrific example of turning acquired knowledge into profitable action. It confirms the principle that’s guided his entire real estate marketing career: The more he knows, the better he can serve his clients.


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a podcasting microphone set up in front of an open notebook and pen

How to Grow Your Podcast and Master Negotiations

Travis Chappell’s career path has definitely included some surprise twists. As a teenager, he thought he’d become a youth pastor. In college, a friend introduced him to direct sales, which he found intriguing. He then worked in sales for several years.

Eventually, Travis discovered the personal development field, which helps people achieve their goals. He took to this industry immediately, devouring as many podcasts about it as he could.

In time, Travis established “Build Your Network,” his own podcast. It’s become a major thought leadership platform, and it’s now one of the top 25 business podcasts in existence. Additionally, Travis is a real estate investor, direct sales consultant, and professional connector. He’s based in Las Vegas.

How did Travis become so successful? In part, it’s because he mastered two skills that have proven instrumental to his career: negotiating and growing his podcast. Together, those talents have helped make Travis an unstoppable force.


Becoming a Better Negotiator

Travis believes that you should work in direct sales for a year if you want to become an effective negotiator. That’s because the job teaches so many valuable lessons in emotional intelligence.

For one thing, this position requires you to talk to 20 to 50 people per day. Soon enough, you’ll learn to read crucial nonverbal cues like body language and tonality. You’ll come to understand that when people say something, they’re often concealing their true feelings. For instance, customers might withhold their real opinions because they’re trying to be nice.

Eventually, you’ll be able to recognize the exact moment when you’ve lost someone’s interest or you’re about to be rejected. Thus, you can immediately go off-script and adjust your sales pitch, regaining that person’s attention. You’ll also get accustomed to different personality types. As Travis puts it, there’s no substitute for talking to people.

Today, whenever Travis is working on a real estate deal, he feels completely comfortable hashing out the details with other stakeholders. He points out that many real estate professionals never feel comfortable in such situations, especially when it comes to discussing pricing.

Because Travis is always at ease sticking to his terms, he has a real advantage at the negotiating table. And he attributes that comfort to his days in sales. After all, reading books about negotiations can be a great help, but books can only tell you so much.

For that reason, Travis compares conversing with customers to doing exercise repetitions at a gym. Reading about sales and reading about fitness could give you a solid foundation of knowledge. But books won’t give you real-world business experience just as books in themselves won’t build your muscles.


Starting and Building Your Podcast

Travis believes that creating media content is the best way for real estate pros to distinguish themselves from their many competitors.

However, although this industry is intensely competitive, few real estate agents have any desire to start a podcast or YouTube channel. Travis feels that’s a huge oversight.

He frames the issue this way: Real estate depends on trust — the trust of buyers and sellers. Trust comes from relationships. Relationships require spending time together. And producing your own content lets you spend time with people on a large scale.

Even a smaller podcast might attract 1,000 listeners, many of whom will find the podcaster engaging and informative. Ultimately, some of them will feel comfortable enough to do business with that content creator.

Many real estate professionals say that a thought leadership platform won’t help their business much. But, according to Travis, that’s because they’re afraid of failure. They secretly wonder: Who am I to pose as a podcaster? This inhibition is called imposter syndrome.

On top of that, many real estate pros realize that thriving podcasts and YouTube channels require a great deal of work. They must be built from scratch. And many successful people want to avoid the feeling of being a beginner again.

Travis would advise you to ignore such concerns, choose a content outlet, and get going with it. Also, understand that it’ll probably take five to 10 years to cultivate an audience and make real money from that channel.

Moreover, keep in mind that people want to connect with podcasters. When they’re listening to a podcast, they’re usually not thinking about the host’s resume. They just want information and entertainment.

If you’re not confident in your hosting skills at first, your initial podcasts could all be interviews. Contact experts and ask them if they’ll share some of their secrets on your show. This format takes the pressure off the host.

Furthermore, interviews give you a great way to learn about industry topics you’re less familiar with. Indeed, you could approach each episode like an investigative reporter. For example, if you’re involved in commercial real estate, you could invite an accomplished commercial real estate investor. It’s amazing how much you could learn about commercial real estate investing in just an hour or so.

When he started podcasting, Travis didn’t know as much about networking as he would’ve liked. But having networking authorities on his show helped him fill in those knowledge gaps.

As an interviewer, every time you host a well-respected guest, your reputation will get a boost. More outstanding guests will want to come on, and each one will further improve your credibility. In fact, when Travis began his podcast, it was exclusively an interview show. But, over time, his listeners told him they wanted to hear more from him personally. As a result, he now does one show a week by himself.


No Time Like Right Now

Travis Chappell’s most important advice is to just get started.

If you want to be a great negotiator, get a job that forces you to talk to customers constantly.

If you want to be a content creator, ignore your insecurities, find interview subjects, and record episodes.

If you want to be a commercial real estate investor, find partners, scrape some money together, and make your first commercial real estate investing deal.

It’s true that experience is the best teacher. And, if you can learn its lessons, success will soon be headed your way.


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The Three Pillars of a Deferred Sales Trust Marketing Campaign

In a previous blog, I explained what the Deferred Sales Trust™ is and how it works. But how do you unlock the power of the Deferred Sales Trust to unlock capital from new sources and from existing ones? In this blog, I’ll explain the three pillars of creating a Deferred Sales Trust marketing campaign and how this tactic will inform your current investors about your strategy and attract a sea of new accredited investors.


What kind of investor will a Deferred Sales Trust marketing campaign attract?

A Deferred Sales Trust marketing outreach campaign will allow you to attract ultra-high net worth investors from a diverse set of investments. By ultra-high net worth investors, I’m referring to those who have estate tax challenges (net worth above certain limits). For example, a recent ultra-high net worth Deferred Sales Trust client of Capital Gains Tax Solutions who has a net worth of $25M was selling a multifamily property in Colorado. They felt stuck since they had next to zero basis, $1.8M in capital gains tax liability, did not want 1031 and overpay for a property and they were facing a 40% estate tax if they just kept 1031 exchanging. They decided not to sell, that is, until they learned about the Deferred Sales Trust because it solved problems for them and moved them one step closer to their ideal wealth and estate plan.

By a diverse set of investments, I’m referring to those who own other asset types, other than real estate; such as cryptocurrency, businesses, artwork, collectibles, and public stock all of which are not 1031 eligible. Yes, all kinds of asset types, not just real estate. Also the ultra-high net worth investor.

Since a Deferred Sales Trust marketing plan focus allows you to attract the ultra-high net worth investor from a diverse set of investments, you will increase the amount of money you can raise and open up a blue ocean opportunity. The more investments you raise from ultra-high net worth investors the bigger deals you can do. A Deferred Sales Trust marketing campaign is a key to scaling, raising capital for your syndication business, and serving your current investors who want to sell the other assets they own and invest with you.


The three pillars of a Deferred Sales Trust marketing campaign.

Now that you know the benefits of the Deferred Sales Trust marketing campaign, what are the best practices to create and grow one? I find that there are three pillars to a Deferred Sales Trust marketing campaign.


  1. Attract the ultra-high net worth investor from a diverse set of investments.

To attract the ultra-high net worth investor from a diverse set of investments you have to identify the problem, ask them to clarify their ideal outcome, and deliver a proposal to solve their problem while helping them unlock their ideal outcome. Be specific here. What assets of all kinds do they own now? What is their capital gains tax if they sold? Why haven’t they sold? What would cash flow mean to them? What would diversification mean? How much more impact will they have on their family and causes they believe in by moving funds outside of their taxable estate?

Step one is to attract ultra-high net worth investors from a diverse set of investments. Pro tip: start with your existing investor base and then branch out to new investors.

The second part is capturing their interest in the Deferred Sales Trust. Create a landing page with a free e-book and title it, “Eliminate the 1031 exchange forever: how to defer capital gains tax of any kind and invest passively with NAME OF YOUR COMPANY.”


  1. Host live hands-on workshops to educate on the Deferred Sales Trust. 

Once someone has shown interest, you need to help them take the next step by walking them through step by step how this works.

The more clarity and deal stories you provide through Deferred Sales Trust content, the more they will see the benefits and be attracted to use the DST.


  1. Scale your business.

After attracting the ultra-high net worth investor and delivering the Deferred Sales Trust and your CRE investment opportunity to help them reach their ideal wealth plan, the investors’ confidence in you will grow and they will invest in your deal with you. But this isn’t the end of the strategy. As you convert more and more of your existing clients using the Deferred Sales Trust, referrals will come and a new blue ocean of investors will come.

To benefit the most from a Deferred Sales Trust marketing campaign, you need to capture their story and then share their story. My favorite is via a video/podcast which I post on Youtube, Itunes, and Spotify to name a few.


Would the Deferred Sales Trust marketing campaign work for my business?

Overall, a Deferred Sales Trust marketing campaign is a great way to efficiently scale raising capital for your syndication business. The strategy is to attract ultra-high net worth investors with a lead magnet and develop the relationship through providing a solution to their capital gains tax problem which helps them take one step closer to their ideal wealth plan. Then, as existing investors are converted to Deferred Sales Trust investors, capture their story on a video/podcast to scale even more.


About the Author:

Brett Swarts is considered one of the most well-rounded Capital Gains Tax Deferral experts and informative speakers in the nation. His audiences are challenged to create and develop a tax-deferred transformational exit wealth plan using The Deferred Sales Trust™ (“DST”)  so they can create and preserve more wealth. Brett is the Founder of Capital Gains Tax Solutions and host of the Capital Gains Tax Solutions podcast. Each year, he equips hundreds of high net worth business professionals with the DST tool to help their high net worth clients solve capital gains tax deferral limitations.


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3-Step Process to Automatically Raise More Money from Passive Investors

In a previous blog post, we explained how a thought leadership platform is a key to scaling your commercial real estate syndication business. We outlined what a thought leadership platform is, what it will achieve, and the three pillars of a thought leadership platform (attract, develop, and scale).

Once you have attracted your ideal avatar to your website using your thought leadership platform, the next step is to capture leads. Then, you want to develop your relationship with them. More specifically, you need to build substantive relationships with prospective passive investors. Keep in mind, I am not a securities attorney. However, if you want to raise money using the 506(b) exemption, you must have a pre-existing and substantive relationship with your investors. The way to scale this process is to use automation.

In this blog post, I will outline an automated process a 506(b) apartment syndicator uses to develop substantive relationships with prospective passive investors.


1. Create a lead magnet

The best way to capture leads automatically is through a lead magnet. This is the main call-to-action on your website and should be “above the fold” (i.e., visible without having to scroll down) or a “pop-up” on your home page.

The type of lead magnet will depend on your ideal target. As a syndicator, your target is passive investors. Therefore, the lead magnet should be a piece of content that is valuable to accredited investors.

Here is where automation comes into play. Whenever someone downloads a lead magnet, they get tagged as “downloaded” in your system. People who are tagged as “downloaded” will not only automatically receive the lead magnet, but all future educational emails as well, like your weekly newsletter.


2. Join the club

After they have downloaded the lead magnet, the next step in the funnel is to get the investor to join your club. To download the lead magnet, they just provided their email address. Now, the action item to join the club is to fill out a detailed questionnaire.

After they download the lead magnet, send an automatic email asking them to complete your questionnaire. Example questions to include are:

  • First and last name
  • Email
  • Mobile phone
  • Accredited investor status
  • How much are you looking to invest?
  • Tell us about your investing experience and what you are looking for?

If they remain tagged as “downloaded” after receiving the initial questionnaire email, continue sending automatic follow-up emails every week or so until they either fill out the questionnaire or unsubscribe.


3. Schedule a call

At the end of the questionnaire, include an option to schedule a phone call with you or someone on your team. If they do not schedule a call after completing the questionnaire, send an automatic email asking them to schedule a call until they either do so or unsubscribe from the list.

When they call, tag them in your CRM as “deal ready” to trigger an automated action adding them to your email list of investors who have been vetted to receive emails about actual deals.


How to automatically raise more money?

In the 3-step process above, besides the upfront time investment to set up your automation system, your ongoing time commitment is low.

Once someone is attracted to your website and downloads the lead magnet, they are automatically sent the questionnaire. They continue to automatically receive emails until they complete the questionnaire. Once they complete the questionnaire, they are asked to schedule a phone call. They continue to automatically receive emails until they schedule a phone call. All you need to do is check your calendar and hop on the Zoom call or phone. Once the phone call is completed, you change their tag to “deal ready” and you have a potential investor reviewing your deals.

With this process, the number of investors you have isn’t limited by manually trying to get people on the phone. While a person is moving through your funnel towards the phone call, you can focus your energy on other tasks, like marketing your thought leadership platform in order to attract even more investors into your automated process. Hence, automatically raising more money from more investors.



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Top 7 Productivity Tools for Syndicators

Top 7 Productivity Tools for Syndicators

If you are into real estate and want to boost your results to another level, consider using productivity tools to reach your goals. Productivity tools let you work much faster and reach the outcome for which you have been searching. If you don’t know what productivity tools are best for you, keep an eye on the latest trends. You should have no trouble uncovering a tool that works for your passive investing system.



Evernote is a powerful resource for any real estate agent, and you will be happy when you see what it can do for you. You have several sections you can use to organize your notes and optimize your passive income. For example, you can keep your passive income plans in one section and your wealth building strategy in another. Evernote lets you add pictures to your notes so that you can bring your plans to life. Your passive investing plan goes to new heights when you use Evernote with your investing plan.

If the other benefits are not enough, consider that Evernote works well with a range of other apps. Evernote easily integrates with other productivity apps to give you even better results than you once thought. You can view and update your notes from a range of other tools, allowing you to work from any platform. One of the best features is document scanning. If you want to save a hard copy of your notes to Evernote, take a picture of them from your smartphone or another portable device. Evernote automatically saves your notes to your device for later viewing.


Google Tasks

Google Tasks is simple and straightforward when it comes to your wealth plan. With it, you create to-do lists and check them off as you complete them. You can update your list at any time and add more items if needed. Google Tasks connects to your Gmail so that you can add tasks as they come to you.

The simple layout makes it easy for anyone to use no matter their experience. You pin your tasks to your desktop to ensure you don’t forget anything during the day. In addition to working on your desktop, Google Tasks also works well from your smartphone or another portable device.



Calendly is a fantastic scheduling tool that lets you schedule meetings, events and appointments with ease. This tool lets you set up meetings with your clients or your team when you want to reach the goal you had in mind. Your wealth building plan works well when you schedule with confidence.

This application works with up to seven calendar tools to ensure you get appointment reminders and other alerts that keep you focused and on track. Calendly makes it simple for you to boost your passive investor strategy. You can set up appointments and let it take care of the rest, and you will be happy with the outcome you get.



As far as many people are concerned, Trello is one of the top passive investor platforms you could hope to find. It lets you set up tasks and schedule appointments without much trouble, making your life easier than ever before with a few clicks of the mouse.

Trello lets you stay on track with rule-based triggers and workflow automation tools that do the job right the first time, and you will be pleased with the outcome. You add tasks to your calendar and update your appointments with peace of mind. Trello works wonders for your wealth building system. Watch your profits rise to the next level when you use this tool to keep your company on the path to success.



MeisterTask is a task management platform with plenty of extra features. With MeisterTask, you manage your appointments and other business tasks without the hassle. You can even set up recurring tasks so that you don’t have to keep implementing tasks you do all the time. Some task management platforms don’t carry over to other devices, making it hard to work when you are away from your computer.

MeisterTask defeats that issue and lets you work from almost any device. You get trusted cloud services that store your tasks on a remote server. This lets you access your tasks from any location. MeisterTask lets your team collaborate from different locations so that they complete tasks with minimal disruption.



Expensify is a tool you use to track your expenses. Use it to track the things you buy online and in person, and you will be glad you did. From the mobile application, take a picture of your recipes to load them to Expensify. You can then create expense reports and track your deductions.

Expensify is a great platform for businesses of all sizes, but it’s even better for small businesses that don’t have the budget for more expensive software. If you run a small business, Expensify has everything you need to manage your business without much trouble. You get the tools you need without breaking your budget along the way.



Zapier is the next tool you are going to explore. Its simple interface works well and takes your productivity to a whole new level. When you use Zapier, you connect it to other applications for the best results. You set triggers that automatically load Zapier and perform the tasks you have in mind. For example, set it to load when you get important emails or text messages, and you ensure you never miss an important task.


Final Thoughts

If you have an investing plan and want to get the most from your real estate business, it’s critical you follow the correct path. You also need productivity tools that do the job and make sense for your bottom line, and you will be pleased with the outcome when you see the results you get.

Productivity tools keep your projects organized and make sure you don’t face unnecessary problems along the way. Review these tools with your needs in mind for the best results possible, and you will be glad you did. You enhance your wealth and earn the outcome you had in mind, and you will know you made a wise investment.

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How to create content to attract customers

How to Create Content That Attracts More Customers

You are on the market for a new property management software. You find two separate marketing pieces.

Marketing Piece #1: We offer free customer support 24/7

Marketing Piece #2: No matter what time, what day, or where you are in the world, there is always an expert available to offer the troubleshooting support you need

Which one is more appealing?

Most, if not all, find the second much more attractive than the first.

But why?

The first one tells you what you get (i.e., free 24/7 customer support). The second, better one tells you why it is valuable (i.e., get expert support anytime, anyplace).

In other words, the first tells you a feature of the product while the second tells you a benefit.

In this blog post, I will outline the differences between features and benefits and how you can improve your content and attract more customers by focusing on benefits rather than the features.

What are features?

A feature is something that describes a product’s appearance or capability.

As an apartment syndicator, my company’s product is a passive real estate investment. Here are examples of some of our features of our product:

  • Preferred return and/or a share of the profits
  • Completely passive
  • Monthly recap emails
  • Investing in a physical asset
  • Direct access to sponsor (or an investor relations person)

What are benefits?

A benefit shows how a product is useful and adds value to the features.

Here are examples of benefits of passively investing in apartment syndications:

  • Hassle-free process
  • Convenience
  • Peace of mind
  • Time freedom
  • Being able to relax
  • Low risk

Each of these benefits can be linked to the features I outlined in the previous section. For example, the benefits of being a completely passive investment are hassle free, convenience, peace of mind, time freedom, being able to relax, and low risk.

Features vs. Benefits

Content that focuses on the benefits more so than the features of the product will attract more new customers.

Therefore, as an apartment syndicator, focusing on the benefits of passively investing in apartment communities will attract more new passive investors more so than focusing on features.

The features are important to highlight, but what people really want to know is how that feature will benefit them.

A good practice to implement when creating copy is to ask the question “so what” after every sentence?

Let’s take the following two statements as an example:

Investors in apartment syndications receive a monthly preferred return and a profit split. The apartment is actively managed by a sponsor, making it an entirely passive investment.

So what? How does receiving a passive preferred return and profit split benefit me?

A stronger statement would be:

Investors in apartment syndications receive a monthly preferred return and a split of the profit. The apartment is actively managed by a sponsor, making it an entirely passive investment. You increase the amount of money you make each month with no ongoing time commitment, allowing you to spend more time doing what you want to do.

The features are preferred return, profit split, and completely passive. The benefits of the features are more money each month and more time freedom.

How to Apply?

The first step is defining your product. As I previously mentioned, my company’s product is a passive apartment investment.

Next, list out the features of your product.

Lastly, list out the benefits of your product. Determining benefits may require more effort and creativity. The best approach is to come up with the benefits of each of the features listed in the previous step. Three questions to ask are:

  1. Why does this feature exist?
  2. How does this feature connect to human desire?
  3. What is in it for the customer?

At the conclusion of this three-step exercise, you will have a list of all the benefits of your product based on the features of your product.

The goal is to always focus on the list of benefits whenever you are talking about a certain feature of your property. This includes any content that is direct towards a potential customer, like blog posts, your website, company material, and communications with customers.

Where should you start? Here are a few recommended next steps to start your journey towards creating content that attracts more customers:

  • Perform the three-step exercise outlined above
  • Review your website and ask the question “so what?”
  • Review a recent blog post and see if you are focusing on benefits of features
  • Go to websites of Fortune 500 companies for examples of best-in-class copy


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Two Common Real Estate Scenarios: Communication and Protection

Two Common Real Estate Scenarios: Communication and Protection

In this blog post, we’re going to be looking at two niche real estate scenarios that can happen to just about any investors.

The first scenario involves dealing with older potential clients and original buildings. If you’ve been in this situation before, you know that it can be quite a delicate process getting older owners to sell.

Communication Issues

Imagine this: You just found a potentially amazing off-market apartment building deal. It has 150 units and a $4 billion portfolio. It was purchased back in 1978, just over the 39-year expiration of the depreciation tax benefits law. The owner is in his late 80’s and purchased these buildings when they were first built at the time. You give him a call and ask him if he has any interest in selling, but he has trouble hearing you. He hands the phone to his caregiver, who abruptly says no and hangs up. What solution is there?

What one should do in this situation is to get curious. Start asking yourself some questions, then draft a letter to them. This is how you can learn more about their situation while introducing yourself to them. This is your chance to say, “I’m not sure where you’re at in this stage of owning these properties, but I can tell you that you might be worried about tax liability when you sell them. I have experience purchasing these types of buildings and I’d be happy to talk about some solutions any challenges you might be having.”

Penning a handwritten letter shows care and integrity. Keep in mind that many people of a certain age are struggling to keep up with the constant innovations and growth in the tech and digital world. A handwritten letter could be a breath of fresh air and a means to communicate that potential sellers may appreciate.

Protection From Embezzlement

Now, think of this scenario: You’re embarking on a general partnership in the real estate industry. It is your first time committing to such a project, and you’ve heard horror stories from colleagues involving embezzlement, fraud, and massive loss of funds. The general partner controls the business plan as well as the financial account connected to the project. You’re wondering how you can protect yourself from them embezzling funds from the operational account, and what auditing protocol you can use to protect yourself as a passive investor from theft.

There are several ways to approach this, but we can look at the most tried and true method.

You can have some checks and balances before the deal is done, which won’t be very much. After the deal is closed, though, you can do a lot more. For this scenario, we’ll look mostly at what a beginner real estate investor can do preemptively to stay safe in a general partnership.

There is no money for a potentially untrustworthy or shady general partner to take before the deal, but you can do some due diligence prior to a deal. If a shady partner is going to steal money from the entity itself, then they would have to do it afterward. This is because that is when the money is physically in the bank account.

Before the deal closes, there are a few things you should do. First off, you should absolutely take the time to look at the overall structure of the deal to make sure that there is at least an 8% preferred return. Make sure that the general partner is getting paid an asset management fee if and only if they are actually performing. If they’re proving themselves and they’re returning the preferred return, they can get that asset management fee. Otherwise, they get nothing.

Obviously, these are things that aren’t going to outright prevent someone from stealing money in a general partnership. When it comes down to it, they’re just small things you can do to ensure that the deal itself is set up in the mutual favor of you and your general partner, so that you have an alignment of interest.

Those are some things you can do before the deal. Another thing you should absolutely be doing before signing on anything with a general partner is to check those references. You can absolutely not go into a general partnership blind with no knowledge of who you’re working with. Even if the hearsay is overwhelmingly positive, you absolutely need to still check in with the partner’s references. By doing so, you’re going to get a really good picture of what the partner is all about.

Call their references and listen to what they have to say. We’re talking about past partners, firms, project managers, any business colleagues or people who have worked with this particular partner. Even if you get glowing reviews, you should then Google your partner. Those are things you’re probably already doing, but it really can’t be optional if you’re a baby real estate investor. You can be seen as an easy target because you don’t necessarily know the signs and symptoms of a parasite real estate partner. When you Google them, look for the partner’s name or firm title. And don’t be afraid to dig deep.

This doesn’t directly answer the question of how to make sure they’re not embezzling money, and we’re aware of that. However, there is some prep work that needs to be done on the front end to mitigate the risk of getting in with a group that is known for criminal activity. Sometimes that front end research is really all you need to check out.

What do you think about these two scenarios in real estate? Have you experienced either situation in your career? Tell us your real estate story in the comments below!

Image courtesy of Pixabay

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51 Resident Appreciation Event Ideas to Retain High-Quality Residents

In the blog post “How to Become an Award-Winning 5-Star Apartment Syndicator,” I explained how an apartment syndicator won two back-to-back Rental Owner of the Year awards by hosting frequent resident appreciation events. In this blog post, I want to expand upon this strategy by providing a list of 30 more resident appreciation event ideas.

Resident appreciation parties have massive benefits, with the foremost benefit being the fostering of an inclusive community. Hosting resident appreciation parties offer residents the chance to engage within the community. They get to know their neighbors, as well as the management staff, forming relationships that are deeper than merely being acquittances. And as a result, residents will likely stay longer, treat the apartment community with more respect, be more courteous to their neighbors and the staff, and pay their rent on time.

Hosting resident appreciation parties also motivate the residents to leave reviews (which is important for the reputation of the apartment community) and recommend the community to their friends and colleagues.

Overall, hosting resident appreciation parties will result in higher occupancy, less turnover, lower bad debt, better and more leads, and higher quality residents, which means a higher net operating income.

The type of resident appreciation party to host depends on the resident demographic. In other words, the type of event hosted at an A-class luxury apartment will usually differ from the event hosted at a C-class property in a working-class neighborhood. So, use common sense when brainstorming party ideas.

That being said, here is a list of 51 more resident appreciation party ideas:


Valentine’s Day Event Ideas

  1. Valentine’s Day Card Making Event: Set up a card-making station in the clubhouse.
  2. Speed Dating Event: For the single residents only!


Mother’s Day Event Ideas

  1. Flowers for Mom: Free flower pots in the clubhouse for residents to give to their moms.
  2. Mother’s Day Card Making: Set up a card-making station in the clubhouse.
  3. Gift Wrapping Station: Set up a gift-wrapping station in the clubhouse.


Fourth of July Event Ideas

  1. BBQ: Pool party with hot dogs, burgers, chips, and drinks.
  2. Fireworks: Most likely firework viewing, unless you want to do your own fireworks (depending on the local laws).


Halloween Event Ideas

  1. Costume Competition: Host a costume party and have everyone vote on the best costume, with the winner receiving a Halloween-themed gift.
  2. Pumpkin Carving Party: Host a pumpkin carving event and have everyone vote on the best Jack-o-Lantern with the winner receiving a Halloween-themed gift.
  3. Caramel Apple Bar: Set up a caramel apple-making station in the clubhouse.
  4. Trick-or-Treating: Door-to-door trick-or-treating.


Christmas Event Ideas

  1. Gingerbread House Competition: Host a gingerbread house-making competition and have everyone vote on the best house with the winner receiving a Christmas-themed gift.
  2. Pictures with Santa: Have someone dress up as Santa and take pictures with the children.
  3. Cookie Frosting: Set up a cookie frosting station in the clubhouse.
  4. Cookies and Hot Cocoa Party: Host a party where you offer cookies and hot cocoa.
  5. Ugly Sweater Party: Everyone dresses up in their ugliest sweater and offer refreshments in the clubhouse
  6. Movie Night: Watch It’s a Wonderful Life, A Christmas Story, or your favorite Christmas movie.
  7. White Elephant: Host a gift exchange party in the clubhouse.


Free Food Ideas

  1. Breakfast-On-The-Go: Purchase portable breakfast foods (burritos are the best) and juice and give them to the residents while they drive through the gate on their way to work. You could also pack brown bag breakfasts or lunches for the kids, or hand out bagels or muffins instead.
  2. Sip-N-Sweet Mondays/Fridays: Set up a coffee and donut station in your clubhouse.
  3. Wine Tasting: set up a wine tasting station with cheeses in your clubhouse.
  4. Take and Bake Pizza Parties: Set up a pizza-making station in the clubhouse. Residents can come in, make a custom pizza and take it home to cook.
  5. Pops(icles) by the Pool: Hand out popsicles on a hot day at the pool.
  6. Snow Cones in the Shade: Hand out snow cones on a hot day at the pool.
  7. Sundae Sunday: Set up an ice cream sundae-making station in the clubhouse.
  8. Taco Tuesday: Set up a taco-making station in the clubhouse.
  9. Pancakes and Pajamas: Offer pancakes on a Saturday or Sunday morning to residents who show up to the clubhouse in their pajamas.


Parties for the Children

  1. Back to School Party: Host a pool party for the kids on the weekend before school starts.
  2. Froyo Friday: Set up a frozen yogurt station in the clubhouse.
  3. Egg Hunt: Host an egg hunt on Easter Sunday.
  4. Back to School Bingo Bash: Winners get free school supplies.
  5. Teddy Bear Picnic: Picnic for the kids with their favorite stuffed animal.
  6. Game Night: Have the kids bring their favorite games to the clubhouse for a game night.
  7. Legos and Eggos: Serve waffles and offer Legos for the kids.
  8. Water Balloon War: Dodgeball, but with water balloons.
  9. Astronomy Night: Invite astronomers from a nearby observatory or university, asking them to bring along a telescope, and invite the kids to gaze at the night sky.
  10. Arts and Crafts: Set up craft-making or finger-painting stations in the clubhouse.
  11. Chalk Party: Provide children with sidewalk chalk to write on the parking lot or sidewalks and have a hopscotch competition with prizes.
  12. Superhero Party: kids dress up as their favorite superheroes.
  13. Princess Party: kids dress up as their favorite princesses and have a small fashion show.
  14. Pajama Party: Kids come to the clubhouse dressed up in their pajamas with their sleeping bags. Offer popcorn and smores, and have a movie or game night.
  15. Cupcake Decorating: Set up a cupcake decorating station in the clubhouse.


Competitions with Prizes

  1. Trivia Night: Host a trivia night in your clubhouse with prizes.
  2. Game Night: Host a game night in your clubhouse with prizes.
  3. Chili Cook-Off: Host a chili-making competition. Offer prizes (and maybe even a trophy) for the annual winner.
  4. Poker Night: Host a Texas Hold’Em tournament.


Other Event or Party Ideas

  1. Clean Out Your Closet: Host a community-wide closet cleaning event, collecting gently used clothing from residents. Enter the participant’s names into a raffle and give away a gift card to a clothing store.
  2. Yard Sale: Host a yard sale in the parking lot by the clubhouse. Residents can sell stuff and buy stuff from other residents.
  3. Pool Party: Host a pool party with a DJ.
  4. Fitness Classes: Host fitness classes, like Zumba, aerobics, pilates, or yoga, in your fitness center or at a nearby gym. Other fitness ideas are a run club, hiking club, or bike club.
  5. Nacho Average Tailgate: Set up a nacho-making station in the clubhouse on gamedays.


For more event ideas, a great resource is www.apartmentlife.org.


What about you? Comment below: Have you hosted a resident appreciation event at your apartment community that isn’t on this list?


Are you a newbie or a seasoned investor who wants to take their real estate investing to the next level? The 10-Week Apartment Syndication Mastery Program is for you. Joe Fairless and Trevor McGregor are ready to pull back the curtain to show you how to get into the game of apartment syndication. Click here to learn how to get started today.

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Do Real Estate Investors Need Good Sales Skills?

Many people who are not in the real estate business might be surprised to learn that investing and real estate sales skills are two different things. Some sellers are real estate investors, as well, but not all of them are. This fact raises an interesting question: Is it important to have good sales skills to be a real estate investor?

A number of top real estate investors weighed in. An overwhelming majority (26 out of 30) active investors said sales abilities are very important as a real estate investor.

Marketing Knowledge? Yes! Sales Skills? Maybe Not.

One of the dissenting views was Harrison Liu, who believed good sales skills were somewhat important. In particular, he believes location trumps sales skills. Someone with zero or minimal sales skills will have more success investing in a good location with a good school district compared to a sales superstar that invests in a challenging neighborhood. Here is a blog post with a guide to evaluating and finding such a location.

However, he does believe the marketing skills are required in the current market in regards to finding, renting, and selling deals. Whether marketing and sales are two sides of the same coin is a conversation for another day.

Build a Large Portfolio and Properties Will Practically Sell Themselves

Joe Cornwell held an opposing opinion for slightly different reasons, using Donald Trump as an example. He said, “Trump doesn’t have to sell any of his units anymore, and he is arguably one of the most ‘famous’ real estate investors ever.” In other words, once you build up a large enough portfolio of cash flowing rental properties, buying new assets or selling off parts of your portfolio are no longer a requirement. Therefore, sales skills are not always needed.

Generating Leads with Great Real Estate Sales Skills

However, as a counterpoint, does an investor need good sales skills to generate leads and find qualified buyers and/or renters to acquire enough properties to reach the point where their portfolio is so large that they no longer need to utilize those good sales skills? In my opinion, and in the opinion of 26 other active investors that responded to the poll, the answer is yes.

For example, Nick Armstrong said, “I think building your sales foundation builds your negotiation skills, which is obviously a must in my opinion.” Negotiations occur more often than just at the offering table. If you are performing renovations, you are negotiating with contractors. If you are a passive investor, you are negotiating with a syndicator. If you are a small rental or apartment investor with good sales skills, you are negotiating with your tenants and/or property management company. And, as a real estate investor in general, you will negotiate with lenders, brokers, city officials, and business partners, among others.

To put it another way, in the words of Dale Archdekin, “I think that true sales skills are really people skills. The ability to hear and be heard. So, if you as an investor are dealing with people, then YES, it’s a good idea to have sales skills.”
In regards to raising money for apartment syndications, I commonly hear a similar question: “Can I raise money if I’m not good at sales?” My short response to the question is STOP BEING SELFISH! Watch this YouTube video for my full reasoning behind this answer.

Learn how to hone your real estate sales skills with this collection of over 25 blog posts on that topic!

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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.”




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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5 Ways to Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile to Attract More Business

Unlike other social media type sites, LinkedIn’s sole mission is to connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful. With a user base of 467 million professional from 200 countries across the global, LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network. And if you create the optimal LinkedIn profile, you can tap into this vast network of professionals to expand your real estate business.


Donna Serdula, the owner of LinkedIn-Makeover.com, leads a team of 40 writers who help thousands of LinkedIn users strategically write their profile to grow their brand. In our recent conversation, she outlined the top six ways you can immediately improve your LinkedIn profile to grow your business.


1 – Know your why


First, know the reason why you are on LinkedIn in the first place. This may seem like commonsense, but when creating a profile, most people will mechanically fill out the different fields with generic answers and that’s it.


“Why are you on LinkedIn? What are you really trying to achieve? What’s your goal?,” Donna said. “Some people are on LinkedIn for a job; others are on LinkedIn for prospecting and sales, and there’s others who are on it for reputation management, to be found and be seen as expects.”


Only once you know what you want to accomplish with your LinkedIn profile can you create a profile that directly pertains to that goal.


2 – Define a target audience


Next, you need to figure out who your target audience is. “Who is going to be reading that LinkedIn profile?,” Donna said. “Once you know who’s going to be reading it, who we need to target for, … we know what we need to say, because it’s not just what we want to say about ourselves, it’s what does our target audience need to know about us?”


Your why and target audience are used in tandem to optimize and streamline your LinkedIn profile so that you are attracting the results and professionals that you desire.


If you don’t know who your target audience is, here is a blog post I wrote about how I defined my primary target audience to help you get started.


3 – Understand your top keywords


LinkedIn is more than just a social network. It is a search engine. People use LinkedIn for a specific purpose, which is usually to either find someone who provides a service they need or to provide that service. That means that out there somewhere, someone is using LinkedIn to fulfill a need that your business is capable of solving. However, since they don’t know your name or the name of someone like you, they search for keywords instead. Therefore, you need to determine which keywords your target audience is searching for and make sure you’ve included those keywords in your profile. Additionally, these keywords need to describe what you actually do.


Donna said, “I want people to find me if they’re searching for ‘LinkedIn,’ ‘LinkedIn profile writer,’ ‘branding,’ ‘social media,’ – those are the types of phrases that describe what I do, so those are the words that I sprinkled throughout my profile.”


You want to always think in terms of your target audience, because sometimes your target audience describes you differently than how you would describe yourself. For example, Donna had a CPA client who thought her top keyword was CPA. However, they realized that her target audience (people in need of a CPA) were searching for bookkeeper, accountant and tax advisor more frequently than CPA. Therefore, you want to be smart and strategic when describing what you do, while always keeping your target audience in mind.


4 – Headline and Profile Picture


Now that you’ve determined the top keywords for which your target audience searches, you want to optimize your profile’s SEO by including these keywords throughout. Specifically, Donna said, “you want to make sure that you have a great headline – that’s like your tagline; it’s 120 characters and it really should contain more than what the default LinkedIn gives you, which is just your title and your current job, which is boring. So, you want to infuse it with your keywords, you really want to give a benefit statement.”


Additionally, since the first thing people will see is your profile picture, you want to use a great-looking picture too. Please no selfies people!


5 – Your profile isn’t a resume


When writing the rest of your LinkedIn profile, besides the best practice of including the top keywords, avoid reproducing your resume. Donna said, “What most people do … is they look at their LinkedIn profile and they say ‘Well, it kind of looks like my resume. Let me get out that old resume of mind, let me just copy and paste all those fields in there and I’ll be done with it.’” However, if you are on LinkedIn for more reasons than just a job, your resume won’t help much. And if you are using LinkedIn to find a job, a recruiter or prospective employer will be disappointed when they ask for your resume and see that it is the exact same as your LinkedIn profile.


“Really look at your profile not as an online resume,” Donna said. “Look at it as your career future. Look at it as a digital introduction. Look at it as a first impression and really write it like a narrative and just give that audience information that makes them respect you, that makes them feel impressed and makes them feel confident in who you are and what you bring to the table.”




To get the most out of your LinkedIn profile, optimize it in these five ways:


  • Know why you are on LinkedIn
  • Defined your target audience
  • Understand the keywords searched by your target audience
  • Input those top keywords into your profile, especially your headline
  • Don’t use LinkedIn as a resume, but as your career future


What is it that you are trying to accomplish with your LinkedIn profile?



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How to Build a High-Quality Sales Team That Consistently Brings You Leads

Are you having trouble finding quality leads? Or conversely, do you have so many leads that it’s impossible to contact and qualify them all? If so, hiring an inside sales person may be the solution to your problems.


A dedicated inside sales person can man the phones, contacting and qualifying incoming leads or cold-calling property owners to find off-market deals. However, you don’t want to bring on just anybody as your inside sales lead. Like hiring for any job, there is a specific process you want to follow to screen out the duds and only hire the most qualified individual.


Dale Archdekin, who has 10 years of experience selling and investing in residential real estate, is an expert at coaching and training real estate investors on building high-quality inside sales team. In our recent conversation, he provided his three step process for recruiting, interviewing and training candidates for a real estate inside sales team.


Step 1 – Recruitment


Like any hiring process, the first step is recruitment. And lucky for you, the internet allows you to complete this step with relative ease. When Dale needs to hire a new inside sales person, he simply posts advertisements on the popular job recruitment websites. “Just running different ads. Using Indeed, using ZipRecruiter, using anything that you have, pushing the ads out there just like any other job ad,” he said.


To maximize the number of potential candidates, Dale recommends that you do not only advertise for individuals with prior real estate experience. Instead, your ideal candidate only requires a background in any type of sales. He said, “That’s the one secret that I’ve figured out. A lot of teams get hung up on trying to find somebody who’s already licensed [as an agent], and in some states, there’s some very heavy requirements around actually getting a license. So, what we do is we look for people that just have sales experience, because we can teach them about the real estate process.” Dale finds that it’s difficult to teach sales skills, but learning the real estate process is much easier for most people to grasp.


Prior to conducting long-form phone or in-person interviews, in order to simplify the hiring process, Dale has interested candidates send in a verbal audition. “What you want to do is you want to get as many inquires as you can coming in, and then you want to streamline your process,” he said. “I prefer to have people calling to a phone number and leave a voicemail about themselves. I’ll just have an outgoing message that says something like ‘Okay, give me your name and your best phone number to reach you at, and then in your own words, tell my why you are the best fit for our inside sales department and why you are a sales rockstar?’.”


Once Dale receives the verbal audition, his team reviews the recording and determines if the candidate is worth pursuing further. This verbal audition approach will save you a lot of time. You don’t have to read through a bunch of resumes. Moreover, since the majority of their job will be spent on the phone, you can get a good idea of their communication style too.


Step 2 – Interview Qualified Candidates


The candidates that the pass the audition phase will move forward to step two of the hiring process, which is a role play over the phone. The first portion of the phone call is answering the standard questions about the job –  pay, location, and responsibilities. Once the candidate has an understanding of the job and are okay with the fact that they will be on the phone for over six hours per day, the role play begins. Dale said he will tell the candidate, “I’ve sent you a for-sale-by-owner script. You’re going to be the agent and I’m going to be the for-sale-by-owner. You have to set up an appointment with me. And the only way that you fail this exercise is if you let me off the phone before you ask all of the questions on the script.” In particular, they need to ask the two most important question, which are “are you interested in selling your property at this time and can we schedule an appointment to discuss this further?” When a lead comes in or when cold calling a lead, Dale’s main outcome is to determine if the lead is worth investing time in. So, if the candidate doesn’t achieve this outcome on the roleplay, they fail the interview.


The role play recreates the actual situation the candidate will be in if they are hired, so this approach will indicate if they are the right fit for the job. “If I give you explicit instructions that if you let me off the phone you fail, and you let me off the phone because you didn’t want to be too rough on me, you fail,” he said. “If you can’t do it when I specifically tell you not to get off the phone, you sure aren’t going to do it once I give you the job and I’m not listening all the time.”


Also, Dale said, “most of these people have zero real estate sales experience. So, going through that script with them … tells us what the level of sales skill they have. Because somebody with more sales skills can basically BS you through anything that they haven’t sold before. They will stay on the phone with you and they will set up an appointment with you even if they’re selling 3D laser prints and they have no idea what that is.”


If the candidate asks the money questions and passes the roleplay, Dale invites them into the office for a three-hour calling session. He said, “for the first hour or so, we teach them the script, and for the next two hours, we put them onto a recorded line and have them make real outbound calls to real consumers. Then we get to listen to that and see how they actually did.”


After making it through the entire process, which includes the verbal audition, roleplay and real phone calls to leads, Dale has enough information to make an educated decision on whether or not he should offer this individual a position.


Step 3 – Training


Once a candidate is hired, they are put through a training process. For Dale, he wants his inside sales person to be like an agent, so they are taught everything on which an actually agent would be trained. During this training, he said they’ll learn things like “How does the process work, how does financing work, mindset, time-blocking, understanding the types of leads that they’re calling and receiving, what the mindset of those leads that they’re calling and receiving, and then scripting.”


However, what Dale doesn’t want are robots that never deviate from the script. Scripts are to get them started and for them to have something to say when they call somebody. But at that point, Dale wants his sales people to use his three core principles – experience, process and outcome – to guide the conversation. He said, “For any person who’s trying to do anything or who’s objecting to you, that person has some type of experience that they’re drawing from [and] they’ve created a process in their mind that they think is going to get them an outcome that they’re trying to achieve. If you can ask enough questions to understand what their experience is, how they put that process together and what the outcome is and what it means to them, you can show them a different process that can get them to a better, faster, cheaper or easier outcome, and then you can say ‘Would you like that?’.”


Here is an example: You are speaking to a for-sale-by-owner and they say “My neighbor sold their home by themselves. They didn’t use an agent, which saved them a lot of money. I’m going to sell the house myself without an agent and I’m going to save a lot of money too.” So, an inside sales person needs to identify their experience, process and outcome. In this example, the experience is “my neighbor sold his house without an agent.” The process is “I am going to sell my house without an agent too.” And the outcome is “I want to save a lot of money.” Now that the three principles have been identified, the goal is to offer a different process that accomplishes the same or better outcome. A simple response would be “Hey, you’re absolutely right. You totally could sell this home yourself, and that’s great that your neighbor did that too. If I could show you how I could not only net you more money that it costs you to hire me and make this easier for you to do, would you consider meeting with me to discuss potentially listing your home with me?”


Who would say no to that?


How Much Do You Pay an Inside Sales Person?


It is important to understand the cost of having an inside sales team in order to determine if it is affordable. Dale pays his sales people around $2,000 to $2,500 a month as a base salary.


Since he is acquiring leads with the purpose of becoming the listing agent, his sales people are also paid percentage of the commission on a closing at the end of sale – between 5% and 10% of the gross commission income. On average, depending on the market, Dale pays between $60,000 and $120,000 annually.


Depending on your business model, your pay or bonus structure may differ – hourly, strictly commission-based, etc.




A great inside sales person will help you screen, qualify, and find high-quality leads. The three-step process for hiring this team member is:


  • Recruiting – posting ads online and obtaining a verbal audition
  • Interview – phone roleplay and in-person calling session
  • Training – teaching the experience, process, and outcome principles


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The 5 Secrets of an Award-Winning Sales Closer

Whether you like it or not, if you’re a real estate investor, you’re also an entrepreneur. And as an entrepreneur, you’ll need to be a proficient salesperson. You’re selling products and services, whether it’s an actual property, a rental unit, a consulting service, etc. You’re negotiating on deals with sellers, buyers and other real estate professionals. You’re selling yourself to sellers, buyers, accredited investors, brokers, and property managers. Etc. Nearly everything you do requires some variation of sales. Therefore, we can all benefit from learning about the most up-to-date best practices in sales.


Stephanie Chung, an award-winning executive coach with 25 years of team management, business development and sales experience, is an expert at teaching others how to improve their sales skills. In our recent conversation, she provide her top five sales tips for selling high-ticket items, like real estate.


1 – Ask, don’t tell


First, ask a lot of questions. Stephanie said, “the fact of the matter is the best people in sales are the ones who do a lot of asking and very little telling… You want to focus on asking your questions, and not surface stuff but getting down into the core.”


You want to ask a lot of questions because the more questions you ask, the more information you’ll obtain. “If you ask people enough questions, they’ll tell you everything you ever wanted to know about them,” Stephanie said.


There are also scientific reasons for why asking questions is the ideal sales approach. Stephanie said, “you and I can probably talk at a speed of – if we’re lucky – 300 words per minute. That’s how fast we can speak. But the brain can process anywhere from 1,000 to 3,000 words per minute. So, the reason why you don’t want to be the one talking all the time and you want to be the one asking is because you have the unfair advantage based on you being the asker and the buyer having to speak.”


Your unfair advantage is that as they are speaking, not only can you process the words they’re speaking, but you can also analyze their body language and tone, which helps you guide the conversation in the right direction.


Also, Stephanie said “another reason why you do it is when you ask someone a question, especially if you’re asking them a question about themselves, the fact of the matter is the brain produces like a dopamine effect. That’s why we all like to talk about ourselves; we actually feel good about it.”


Essentially, the more questions you ask, the more information you’ll obtain and the better the other party will feel, which are the keys to identifying their needs, building rapport and making the sale.


2 – Control your financial beliefs


Secondly, you need to gain control over your own financial beliefs. “We all have them,” Stephanie said. “We were brought up, and it’s a matter of how we were brought up in our home. Were we brought up where money was based on scarcity? ‘Turn those lights off, money doesn’t grow on tree.’ Or were we brought up where money has spoken about in abundance?”


Limited financial beliefs are rooted in fear that was instilled in us in an early age. But like all fears, they can be overcome. Here is a blog post with strategies on crushing these types of fear barriers.


We all have our own financial beliefs and must ensure that we never let our beliefs leak into the conversation. “Unless you grow up around money, which most people did not, it can sabotage the results and sabotage the sales, and you end up actually not selling the high dollar, but you come in and you settle for something less, because that’s where you’re comfortable,” Stephanie said.


To keep your financial beliefs out of the conversation, you need to focus all of your attention on the buyer. Stephanie said, “you really want to be about the buyer in front of you. The more you can focus on what exactly do they need – not so much what I feel comfortable selling them, but what they need. When you can focus on that, then the conversations takes a whole different direction.”


The example she provided was about a company who sold memberships between $50,000 and $100,000. Stephanie discovered that the top sales person would often times sell the $50,000 membership when the $100,000 membership would have better suited the customer. Their reasoning was that they believed they could get in the door with the less expensive $50,000 membership and sell the higher end $100,000 membership at a later date. So, they were relying on their own beliefs rather than the actual needs of the customer. Instead, they should have left their beliefs at the door, focused on the customer’s need and sold the $100,000 membership from the start.


3 – Exude confidence


Third, exude confidence. And this is mostly accomplished by knowing your product or service inside and out. “Long gone are those days that you could wing it,” Stephanie said. “What’s going to separate us [from the competition] is our ability to get the job done for our results, and knowing our stuff, and having that swagger, if you will; you’re confident.”


She said, “you’ve got to know your stuff, you’ve got to stand firm on whatever your price is, and you have to have that air about you – not arrogance, because nobody likes that, right? But you definitely have to have that air about you where they feel comfortable that you’re competent in what it is that you do.”


Your ability to exude confidence is also based on your psychological health. Here’s a blog post with five ways to enhance your mindset to become an unstoppable real estate entrepreneur.


Since we’re supposed to be asking questions, you’ll show your confidence by asking high quality questions. “You want to be able to ask those questions that get your buyer to literally stop for a second and go ‘Huh? I’ve never thought of that before,’ or ‘That’s a good question.’ You want that awkward silence, and that’s when you know you’re really getting somewhere, because everyone else is asking the normal questions,” Stephanie said.


4 – Call out stall tactics


Next, do not crumble in the face of stall tactics. Stephanie said, “We always know it’s never about the money, but a lot of times people will use stall tactics – ‘Let me talk to my wife, let me talk to my investor, let me talk to my dog…’ That’s just stall tactics, they don’t need to talk to anybody, so always keep that in mind.”


When someone uses a stall tactic, she said your comeback should be “That’s great, it makes complete sense. Just for my own knowledge though, can you tell me specifically what is it that you need to think about specifically?” That way, you know what their true objection is and can work on addressing it.


“Don’t just let people off the hook when they say that. Always know there’s no such thing as next week,” Stephanie said. “So, narrow them down. ‘Great, would you like me to call you Tuesday? I’ve got Tuesday at 2 or 4.’ Narrow that next week stuff down.”


Regardless of what we are selling, most of the stall tactics we face as real estate entrepreneurs probably cannot be resolved by Tuesday. For example, as an apartment syndicator, one of the most common stall tactics I received from potential passive investors when I first started had to do with a lack of experience. When raising money, we are selling trust. And in order to gain that trust, the passive investor needs to know that their money is in good hands, which doesn’t necessarily happen overnight. Here is a blog post on how to overcome this type of objection or stall tactic when raising money for deals.


5 – Proactively address objections


Lastly, control the narrative by using what Stephanie calls the pre-emptive strike – proactively addressing your top objections. “We’ve all been in business, and that’s to know that we’re going to get the same one or two objections all the time. So what you want to do – this comes with your confidence and you being in control, and your swagger – is bring up the objection ahead of time.”


For example, Stephanie is one of the more expensive coaches in her area. When someone calls and asks about her coaching services, she always brings up her pricing. She’ll say, “Something you need to know is I’m actually one of the more expensive executive coaches in the area, but here’s why.” She brings up the objection to control the narrative. That way, she’s not on the defensive or stumbling over herself trying to answer it. “You bring it up, you’re in control, you’ve got the confidence, and it will usually go really well because they appreciate the fact that you brought up the objection.”


A good exercise is to create an exhaustive list of objections you could receive from a potential customer and write out a script for how you will answer them when they come up. It may seem tedious, but you will gain that trust factor more quickly than if you respond to multiple objections or stall tactics with, “I don’t know but I will get back to you.”




The five secrets of sales, especially for high-ticket items, are:


  • Ask, don’t tell
  • Control your financial beliefs
  • Exude confidence
  • Call out stall tactics
  • Proactively address objections



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How to Get a 57% Response Rate on Your Direct Mail Campaigns

How to Get a 57% Response Rate on Your Real Estate Direct Mail Marketing

If you are sending out direct mail on a frequent basis, what is your response rate (i.e. the ratio of phone calls, text messages, emails, or other forms of communication in response to a piece of marketing to the overall pieces of marketing sent)?




As far as I can tell, based on interviews on my podcast and from perusing the BiggerPockets forum, the average response rate range for real estate direct mail marketing campaigns falls somewhere between 0.5% and 5%.


single silver metal mailbox


However, what if I told you that you could increase that rate by a factor of 10 to 100?

Well, Jay Connor, who fix-and-flips 2-3 deals a month with an average profit of $64,000, created a real estate direct mail marketing campaign with a 57% cumulative response rate!* That is 10 to 100 times greater than the average rate!


*Cumulative response rate is the ratio of owner responses to the number of owners contacted. It is not based on the total pieces of marketing sent. For example, if 100 owners were contacted with 200 pieces of mail, and 10 replied on the first piece of mail and 10 replied on the second piece of mail, for a total of 20 replies, the cumulative response rate is 20% (20 replies / 100 owners), not 10% (20 replies / 200 piece of mail)


How does he do it? In our recent conversation, Jay outlined his 8-step real estate direct mail marketing campaign that resulted in a response rate of almost 60%**.


**Keep in mind that all 57% of the replies did not result in a deal. Angry responses count too!


RELATED: Success Blueprint – How to Direct Mail to Delinquent Tax Lists


Principle #1 – Multi-Piece, Intensifying Campaign

According to Jay, there are two keys to receiving such a high response rate for your real estate direct mail marketing effort and knowing how to direct mail campaign projects.


six white, empty envelopesFirst, you must send out a multi-piece campaign with each subsequent letter being an escalation of the last, as opposed to a single-piece campaign or a multi-piece campaign with each lettering being the same.


For Jay, he sends 8-different pieces of marketing to owners. He said, “Each message starts intensifying a little bit more and more. Each letter looks different; each letter is in a different envelope; each envelope is hand addressed; each envelope is a different color and different size. By the time we get to number seven and we get to number eight – we’re using a very big envelope on seven and eight – they actually get a gold tube with a rattle inside of it, just for the sake of curiosity. So of course, with each letter we also start talking about how time is running out and times is of the essence.”


RELATED: 3 Unique Ways to Increase Your Network and Generate More Leads


For context, that last part (“time is of the essence”) is in reference to the foreclosure date, because Jay’s main focus is on pre-foreclosed properties. Since these are pre-foreclosure properties, Jay said, “we also mail these letters three days apart. So here in North Carolina, from the time of a notice of default until the hearing day is typically about 4-6 weeks. After the hearing day, then the sale date is about two weeks after that. So it’s about eight weeks from the time of the notice of default. So, at three days apart we’re going through these letters about every 24 days, and we’ll keep mailing the letters until we have a response or until the house goes to sale.”


Besides making certain changes based on your target property, the messaging for each letter, Jay said, is an iteration of “if you’re interested in a solution and having some cash to put in your pocket, reach out to us and we’ll see what we can do.”


To summarize, you goal is to create a schedule to send multiple letters for your real estate direct mail marketing project with each being a different design and more intense than the previous letter and continuing to do so until the deal is 100% off-the-table (property was sold, owner asked to be removed from your mailing list, etc.).


RELATED: Three Marketing Methods to Wholesale 250 Deals a Year


Principle #2 – Offer Multiple Response Communication Channels

Jay continued, “One principle of marketing—whether you’re a real estate investor or in any other industry—is the more ways that you give a potential respondent to respond, the more response you get.”


Similar to the escalation of messaging, letter quality, envelope size and color, etc., for each letter, Jay offers additional ways for the owner to reply, and he has found that to increase his response rate substantially.


RELATED: How to Successfully Market for Real Estate Leads with TV Commercials


His progression is as follows:

  • Letter #1Cell phone number with an individual’s name (for Jay’s campaigns, this is a virtual assistant’s name) for them to call
  • Letter #2 – Cell phone number and email address
  • Letter #3 – Cell phone number, email address, and 24-hour recorded message hotline (because some owners are turned off by the prospect of talking to someone)
  • Letter #4 – Cell phone number, email address, hotline, and a tear-off where the owner can write down their information and mail the tear off back to Jay
  • Letter #5 – Cell phone number, email address, hotline, tear-off and (this will blow your mind) a fax number
  • Letter #6 and onwards – Cell phone number, email address, hotline, tear-off, fax number, and a number to text


Finally, for each letter, Jay provides a web address that sends them to a landing page. Overall, he offers seven different ways for the owner to reply for letters in his real estate direct mail marketing drive.


woman writing letter


RELATED: The Most Effective Lead Generation Tactics & Importance of Follow Up



Jay Connor, an investor who fix-and-flips foreclosed SFRs, conducts an 8-step real estate direct mail marketing campaign that receives a 57% cumulative response rate. Sometimes he receives a response on the first letter; sometimes he receives a response on the 8th letter; sometimes he receives a response with someone cussing him out.


In order to increase your response rate, Jay recommends following two marketing principles: (1) create a progressive, intensifying, multi-piece mailing campaign and (2) offer multiple response communication channels. To listen to the podcast that inspired this post, as well as thousands of other episodes full of valuable insight, tune into The Best Ever Show. Additionally, complete the application form to work with me on one of my real estate deals.

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6 Ways to Increase Your Website Traffic: Q&A w/ Online Marketing Expert Neil Patel

If you could snap your fingers and be granted one wish for your real estate business, what would it be? An endless stream of deals? More customers? Something else?


Since you aren’t finding a magic lamp anytime soon, the next best course of action is: what is the main driver of all the things on your wish list (more deals, more buyers, more private money, etc.)?


The answer: your website. If you can increase the visibility, viewership, and conversion rate of your website, then your wish list should take care of itself.


One of the best entrepreneurs out there that teaches business owners how to optimize their website is Neil Patel. He is a marketing and online expert with many distinctions, including Top Influencer on the Web (Wall Street Journal), Top 10 Online Marketer (Forbes), 100 Most Brilliant Companies in the World (Entrepreneur Magazine), Top 100 Entrepreneur (President Obama).


In our recent conversation, Neil provided his sage advice on how to drive more traffic to your website. In the following Q&A, you’ll learn when to focus on increasing traffic vs. increasing conversion, how to increase your unique visitors and optimize conversion, what to do when starting a blog, how to increase SEO ranking, and the common mistake made when establishing an online presence.


Be sure to visit Neil’s blog for even more marketing and online guidance.


1: If I had to pick between the two, which should I be focusing on: increasing traffic or increasing conversions?


“It depends. If you don’t have a ton of traffic, then you should focus on traffic. If you have a lot of traffic, then focus on conversion.”


“I usually say if you’re under 10,000 [unique visitors per month], focus on traffic. If you’re over 10,000, focus more on conversion. Unless you’re in a B2B segment in which each customer is worth hundreds of thousands of millions of dollars. [If that is the case], the moment you’ve reached 3,000 visitors, focus on conversion.”


2: What is an easy way to increase my number of unique visitors?


“One of the simplest ways [to increase unique visitors] is go look up all of your articles that you have written, or podcasts or videos that you have produced, go put in competitor ones or ones that are similar – you can google to find them – and put in that URL into search.twitter.com. You’ll see everyone else who shared it. Message them and try to get them to share yours. They already shared similar content, why won’t they share yours?”


“Little things like that work extremely well, and if you do those over time, you’ll get more social shares, you’ll get more readers, more repeat visitors, and your overall traffic will go up.”


In other words, find the competition, see who is sharing their articles, and ask those accounts to share your content too.


3: Once I have over 10,000 unique visitors per month, how do I convert those visitors into customers?


“The way I drive conversions is I use tools like Hello Bar, I do e-mail pop-up sliders, modal [window]


“I also do things like running A/B tests, I do user recordings to see mouse movements [to identify] where people are getting stuck, to see where the drop off is within your funnel, and that’s the area you probably want to focus on first.”


Related: Secrets to Increasing the Conversion Rate on Your Website


4: I want to create my first blog. What advice would you give me for maximizing my success?


“I would actually say use WordPress, and make sure URL structures don’t have dates in them; a lot of times WordPress likes putting dates in URLs. With one click of a button you can get rid of that.”


“When a URL has dates – I used to have that in 2016, and when I removed the dates, my search traffic went up by over 50% in less than 30 days, the reason being when your URL… Mine is NeilPatel.com, and then it’s /date/coast-title, Google associates it with the date, so then over time it doesn’t continually rank well. When you remove the dates, they realize that ‘Hey, this article is related to marketing (or real estate or whatever it may be) and not a specific date,’ then you rank better.”


“The biggest thing other than using WordPress is just focus on content and focus on what’s popular. You can put in competitor URLs on Ahrefs and BuzzSumo and you’ll see what terms and what content that your competitors are writing are really popular.”


“From there, what you want to do is write similar articles, but that are just more detailed and better. But the key is if you see what other people are.”


 5: What are the best practices for increasing my SEO ranking on Google?


More detailed and better content, and then from there, reaching out to everyone who shared all the other online marketing articles on Twitter and asking them to share mine.”


“Then cross-linking for my own posts. Anytime I reference online marketing, I link to that main ‘cornerstone’ content, which would be that guide on online marketing.”


“With cross-linking, what I mean by that is let’s say you write an article on how to sell a home and make money as a realtor. Let’s say you have a detailed guide called ‘The Beginner’s Guide To Being a Realtor,’ but now you’re writing this new blog post called ‘How To Make Money Selling Homes.’ Let’s say you talk about ‘Yeah, right when you get your realtor license and you’re just starting off…,’ you may want to link that ‘Hey, when you’re getting started as a realtor and you just got your license and you’re starting off’ – whatever that phrase may be, link it to that guide on ‘The Beginner’s Guide To Being a Realtor.’ That’s an internal cross-linking.”


6: What is a common mistake you see entrepreneurs make when they’re establishing an online presence?


“A big mistake that I’m seeing when people are trying to [establish an online presence is] they expect results right away and they don’t stick with things… The reason being is marketing in general – content marketing, or any form of online marketing – takes time to see results and build that brand. To build that brand you have to do different types of marketing; you can’t just be like ‘I want to build a brand,’ right?”


“Whatever you’re trying to do and you’re trying to market, it takes time, and its consistency. Most people, when they’re trying to build that personal brand or get more traffic or grow their business, they’re doing it for a month or two and then they just stop.”


“It takes six months to see some decent results, one year to see good results, two years to really start seeing it flourish and grow.”


“You need to be writing content multiple times a week, you need to be sharing posts on the social web multiple times a week, you need to be participating in the community multiple times a week. You can’t do everything; you should do SEO every week, content marketing, social media marketing… But pick one or two channels of those and then go from there. So whatever it is, do it multiple times a week and just pick two or one if that’s all you have time for, and then as you have more time, expand into two, and then expand into three etc.”



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Secrets to Increasing the Conversion Rate on Your Website

You’ve spent countless hours and dollars increasing your website traffic, but you are finding it nearly impossible to convert visitors into customers (whatever that happens to mean to you).


What are you doing wrong?


Well, when people visit your website, they need to be both guided and motivated to take action. According to Chris Dayley, who is a VP of a site testing agency helping businesses learn what users want on their website through psychology based testing and analytics, to ensure that you are converting as many people as possible, it is necessary to optimize what he calls “motivation factors,” of which there are three. In our recent conversation, he explained how improving your website’s content, value proposition, and call to action will dramatically increase your conversion rate.


1 – Content


One major driver of conversions is the content offered on your site. It’s also one of the first factors Chris analyzes when optimizing a client’s site. “What content do you have on your site, how much of that content is there, [and] is it relevant?,” he will ask. The type and amount of content you offer on your website is highly dependent on what your website offers (more on that in section 2) and the audience you are targeting.


For my website, my primary target audience is accredited investors interested in passively investing in apartment deals, and then secondarily, individuals interested in becoming apartment syndicators. Therefore, my content needs to be highly relevant to those specific audiences. For example, content about wholesaling and fix-and-flipping, while valuable to a large percentage of the real estate investing population, isn’t helping to convert my target audience.


If you are not achieving your desired conversion rates, start by questioning your website’s content and making the necessary adjustments. One way to accomplish this through by A/B testing. For example, Chris said, “Maybe our audience wants a lot of content, maybe they don’t, so let’s ask a question – how much content do they want? And then let’s test three different versions of our site – one that has a lot of content, one that has a medium amount, and one that has hardly any.” Based on the results, you can determine which option results in the most page views, conversions, or some other metric. Then, you can conduct a similar A/B test on content type to work towards understanding which content results in the most conversions.


Related: Self-Publishing Your Way to Thought Leadership, Leads, Money, and Much More 


2 – Value Proposition


The second major driver of conversions is the website’s value proposition. “What value do you have for your audience?,” Chris said. For example, “for realtors, this is going to be you’ve got a home; people looking for a home, and you’ve got a home. Then it may be certain aspects of the home that you want to highlight. You’ve got a home that has a pool, you’ve got a home that has a great location, you’ve got a home that has a great view – whatever it may be. That’s your value proposition. Whatever value you have for the audience.”


The goal is for someone visiting your site to easily and immediately identify your main value proposition. If they can’t, then in their minds you aren’t adding value, so why would you expect them to contact you for your services? Figure out what it is the most valuable thing you are offering a visitor of your website and then figure out how to make highly visible and accessible. Similarly to optimizing your content, this can be accomplished through identifying and understanding your target audience, and then A/B testing different propositions or call-to-actions (more on that in section 3).


A common mistake people make with value propositions is distracting visitors with other offers. Chris said, “you might have a ton of other homes that people want to check out, or if you’ve got them to a relevant page that has a value proposition that will be valuable to them, you don’t want to take them to other homes, you don’t want to take them to other pages on your site. You want them to sign up or to reach out and contact you now. So we try to identify anything that could potentially be distracting.” If you are failing to convert visitors and your site is riddled with other offers, that may be your problem.


Related: 5-Steps to Build a Million Dollar Consulting Program from Scratch


3 – Call-to-Action


You’ve optimized the content to get visitors to your website and you’ve placed your value proposition front-and-center so visitors understand how they can benefit from your offering.  Now it’s time to convert them with a powerful call-to-action.


“The call-to-action is a critically important one because if you want someone to reach out to you, if you want them to give you a call, that needs to be the thing that stands out on your site more than anything else.”


Similar to the value proposition, Chris said the call-to-action “needs to be very obvious. It needs to be colorful, color contrast on the page. It just needs to be very obvious.”


To determine the ideal call-to-action, you will conduct even more A/B testing. Test different call-to-action designs, pop-up locations and timing, offers, etc. and see which one gets the most conversions.


Now, at this point you may be thinking, “Joe, the call-to-action and value proposition seem like they are the same. What’s up with that?” Well, according to Chris, you are correct in that observation. If you want to achieve the highest conversion rate, you want to combine the two.


He said, “I ran a test for a client of mine… It’s just a content site, so they want people to come and read content, read articles, engage with things, so they obviously want e-mail subscribers; that’s a big deal to them. We were testing for what is going to prompt people to actually give us their e-mail address. Will they just give it if we say ‘Get regular updates from us?’ or do we need to have some kind of an offer? I’m going suggest that you should always have an offer on your e-mail pop-ups. It could be something like Five Things That Every Person Should Know Before Buying a Home, or an e-book, or some kind of free content that you can offer people and say ‘Sign up now to get our free e-book on…,’ whatever.  That can be hugely beneficial to figure out what kind of content do people want there. That’s your call to action AND your value proposition.” In other words, you call-to-action is used to offer your value proposition in exchange for what you want from them (i.e. their email address).


The main mistake people make on call-to-actions is causing anxiety in their visitors. When analyzing a client’s call-to-action, Chris said, “we look at things that could potentially cause anxiety. The things that cause anxiety a lot of times are if I can’t figure out what to do, if I have to take multiple steps in order to actually do what you want. So if there’s a button that says ‘Click here to contact us’ and then I click there and then it takes me to another page and I have to click another button in order to get a form, that’s a high anxiety process.” To avoid that mistake, minimize the number of steps from the initial call-to-action pop-up and the submission of their information.




To increase conversions on your website, optimize the three “motivations factors”:


  1. Content – Attracts and engages visitors
  2. Value Proposition – What you offer that will add value to a visitor
  3. Call-to-Action – Guides the visitor to take an action step you want


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5 Tactics to Get Five-Star Real Estate Reviews

When browsing Amazon.com marketplace for a specific product, what is one of the first things you look at before adding the item to your shopping cart? If you’re like me, you scroll directly to the “reviews” section to see the number of reviews, the overall rating and to read customer feedback. If the product has too many negative reviews, I pass and move on to the next brand. These factors hold the most weight on my purchasing decisions.


The same concept that applies to Amazon products, and other online outlets, is applicable to real estate as well. When someone sees your rental listing on Craigslist, or if they search your apartment community online, they are going to see reviews. What do you want a prospective resident to see? Do you want them to read raving reviews, or the one or two people that had a bad experience? What’s likely to command higher rents – good or bad reviews? If good reviews can command higher rents, then that results in a higher cap rate, which increases the overall value of the property. Therefore, online reviews are paramount to a property’s success. However, I’ve found it incredibly challenging to get them.


A loyal Best Ever listener, Joseph, works for a property management company. One of his responsibilities is to get 5-star reviews for properties they manage. Lucky for us, Joseph sent me a list of the most effective ways to increase the number of 5-star property reviews.


1 – Hire a 3rd Party to Manage Reviews


The first method to get more reviews is to hire a 3rd party to manage your reviews. Joseph said, “if you can’t be them, get close to beating them. Yelp! is the hardest to control and seems to be an outlet for dissatisfied residents. We contract with a company called Modern Message, who has a resident’s rewards program that turns social media and reviews into a game for our residents. This allows us to get internal reviews and place them on an external site that has amazing SEO value.”


Basically, you hire a company, like Modern Message, that has a rewards program that makes leaving reviews like a game. Then when you get these reviews, you link them to your website, Facebook, or other online platforms, similar to a testimonials tab you see on websites. Since you are linking the reviews to these external sites, it increases the SEO for keywords for your company’s name. Joseph said that if you Google his company’s name, the first link is his company’s Yelp! page.


2 – Free Stuff in Exchange for Reviews


The second method is to give away a random gift to residents in return for property reviews. Joseph said, “We had $5 T-shirts for [a local sports team] and gave them away to everyone who came in on a certain day, along with a card that read ‘Thanks for being a great resident. Please share your experience on Google.’ And this worked really well.”


This is one of my favorite methods because when people expect something, they’re not as impressed with what you give them, but if they don’t expect something, you can give them something of a much lower value and it will be more impressive than the higher value item they were expecting. The only thing I would add is in the note, include a direct link to the reviewing site, which takes a step out of the process and will increase the chances of the resident leaving a review.


3 – Send a Satisfaction Survey


Another method is to survey your residents. Joseph said, “Send out a survey to your residents, asking for feedback on cleanliness of the building, maintenance response time and things like that. After you fix some of the concerns, send a survey out a couple of months later with a link to review at the end.”


This method is beneficial because not only are you getting more reviews, but residents may also bring issues to your attention that you didn’t know about.


A spin on this method is to take it to a more granular level. When there’s a maintenance request that doesn’t appear to be to a negative thing for the property, then after addressing it, send the resident an e-mail and say “Hey, did we fix it? Are you good with everything?” When they say “Yes,” provide them with a link to review. And what I mean by “a negative thing for the property,” you don’t want a resident posting a review if their maintenance request was that they had something like bedbugs. You want to use this method if the maintenance request is something small, like a leaky faucet or a malfunctioning toilet. If you follow this more granular, personal approach, you will receive a higher rate of reviews compared to sending out a mass email to all the residents.


4 – Be Responsive and Follow Up


The final method for getting reviews that Joseph provided was “be really, really good at answering the phone, expressing empathy, and following up.” This is similar to the previous method. You want to be responsive to your resident’s needs, and when you fulfill those needs, always follow up with a request for them to leave a review.


5 – Bonus Tactic


Along with Joseph’s four pieces of advice, another method to increase your property reviews is to host a community event (we do things like Taco Tuesday, Poolside Popsicles, etc.) and have an iPad or laptop available for residents to leave a review. Your residents are having a good time at your event, so they will be in the perfect mood to leave you a 5-star review!



What tactics do you use to get 5-star property reviews? Leave a comment below.



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The Ultimate Guide to Getting Booked as a Guest on ANY Podcast

We all know that real estate investing, and business in general, is a relationship game. However, it’s not only about who you know, but more importantly, who knows you. It’s about building relationships with people in the industry and getting your name out to as many potential customers and business partners as possible.


An effective method for getting your name in front of a large number of people is creating your own thought leadership platform, like starting your own podcast. But if that doesn’t align with your interest or busy schedule, another effective method is to be interviewed on other people’s podcasts. When you are a featured guest on a real estate investing podcast, those conversations can lead to new deals, to more people following you that wouldn’t know who you were otherwise, and to gaining more business.


About two years ago, for example, I was on Marco Santerelli’s podcast, Passive Real Estate Investing (click here to listen to my full interview). After the show, I received a message through the “Contact Us” page on my website from an investor who heard me on the podcast. After going back and forth, this individual eventually invested in one of my deals. Fast-forward to today and he has invested nearly $18 million in my deals!


Jessica Rhodes, who is the founder of a premier guest booking agency for podcasters, is an expert on how to get invited to be interviewed on other people’s podcasts. In our recent conversation, she outlined exactly how to go from a nobody to being interviewed on multiple popular real estate investing podcasts.

What to do Before Being Interviewed on Other Podcasts

Before even thinking about reaching out to podcasters, Jessica says there are three things you must do first.


First, you must position yourself as an expert in your industry. “If you’re a real estate investor and you want to be going on real estate podcasts to talk about your expertise and eventually attract investors to deals,” Jessica said, “you’ve got to position yourself as somebody who is successful and has a track record of success and is experienced.”


If you want to be perceived as an expert in your field, it starts with your online presence. Jessica said, “You should definitely have a decent website and an online presence that shows that you are somebody that’s actually in the business. Nowadays, if you don’t have a website, it’s like ‘What are you, dead?’ Everyone has a website if they’re in the business. So looking at your online presence, looking at your social media presence so people can actually connect with you.” People want to interview people with a story, not only people with a business or expertise, so make sure your online presence reflects this.

Related: 6-Steps to Attract Tens of Thousands of Instagram Followers

Once you’ve created your website and/or social media pages, the next step is to create a one-sheet bio. “A one-sheet is a branded PDF document that has your name and has your bio, and which is something short that a host could read at the beginning of a show to introduce you,” Jessica said. “Your bio might have something like how much money you’ve invested in real estate, what kind of rental real estate income you have every year… Maybe how many properties or how many states you invest in – have some of those facts right in your intro and right in your bio on your one-sheet, so it captures the host’s attention.”


In addition to your one-sheet bio page, you want to create another one-sheet with some interview topics or questions. Jessica said, “When you’re pitching yourself or you have an agent that’s pitching you to hosts, you don’t want to make them do all the work. You want to say, “Hey here’s what we’re going to talk about?”’ You want to make it as easy as possible for the interviewer who’s hosting you. Also, you want to show the host why your experience is going to be valuable to their audience. You accomplish both by preparing and sending this second one-sheeter to the host, or at least having it handy prior to or during the interview.

How to Find Podcasts

Now that you are prepared by framing yourself as an expert with your online presence, creating a one-sheet bio, and preparing a one-sheeter with interview topics and questions, you are ready to start reaching out to a host of a business, motivational, or real estate investing podcast. So how do you find podcasts?


First, Jessica said, “To find podcasts that are a good fit for you, the questions that you have to answer are: who is your target audience? What kinds of people are going to be the most valuable listeners for your business? What is your biggest pain points?” How you answer these questions will determine the type of podcast you will add the most value to.


If you are a real estate investor who’s had a lot of success, for example, and you want to start teaching other people how to do the same, you will add the most value to investors who are just starting out. If that is the case, find those real estate investing podcast whose listenership are beginners. If you are looking for more deals or more private money investors, look for shows that are more established, that are talking to people who have a lot of experience, or that are talking about higher-level real estate topics.


Jessica said, “Figure out what your goal is with the podcast interviews, what you want to get out of them, and then find shows that are a good fit.”


Related: 5 Tips to Achieving Internal Success While Pursuing External Goals

Once you’ve established your goals and what podcasts to pursue, Jessica said, “You just go to iTunes and search ‘real estate’ – in fact, you can actually go to iTunes and go through the different categories of podcasts. There’s business, then there’s investing, and there are subcategories, and I believe real estate investing or real estate is one of those subcategories.”


If you search “real estate” on iTunes, you will find a list of real estate investing podcasts. Besides finding podcasts that align with your goals, you want to also make sure that 1) they are currently publishing episodes (there is a huge iTunes graveyard full of inactive podcasts) and 2) that they interview people on each episode.

How to Reach Out to Podcast Hosts

Once you have a list of podcasts that align with your goals, are actively publishing, and have guests, you want to submit an interview request. For the majority of podcasts, this will be as simple as clicking on the link to their website, which should be provided on their iTunes page and going to the “Contact Us” page. If there isn’t a link or the link is dead, Google the podcast name to find a website. If there isn’t a “Contact Us” function on the website, try to find an email address on the website. If the website doesn’t have a “Contact Us” function or an email address listed, you can try to find them on Twitter or another social media platform.


Once you find out how to contact them, you will send them your pitch. Jessica said, “the pitch has got to be personalized, and it has to clearly communicate to them how your topic, how your content, your story is going to bring value to their listeners. You have to paint that picture for them because that’s a podcaster’s number one goal. They only want to bring on guests on their show if they believe that content is going to be valuable to their listeners. Because if it’s not, listeners are not going to come back for the next episode. That’s the one question you have to answer. Don’t worry in your pitch [about] listing out all your accomplishments and how great you are. Tell them how you find their show, why you want to be a guest, why your content would be valuable, and then attach that one-sheet to your email and hyperlink your name or your business name to your website.”

Follow up and Be Persistent

This is important to keep in mind when sending out pitches: follow up is KEY! Most people will not respond the first time. “If you pitch a podcaster and they don’t reply to you within a day, don’t give up,” Jessica said. “We follow up every two business days, and then it’s good to make the follow up personal and maybe include some additional different information. Follow up via social media because maybe they just weren’t getting your email.”


Finally, Jessica said, “I just think the biggest thing is being persistent and not giving up, and knowing that it’s a long-term strategy. So don’t just send a couple pitches to a couple shows and think ‘Okay, let’s just see what happens.’ If you want to get on four shows a month, you should probably be pitching 8 to 10 shows to actually make the goal of four shows a month happen.”


While creating your own thought leadership platform, like a real estate investing podcast, is a great way to scale your business, it’s even more effective to be interviewed on other people’s podcasts.


Prior to reaching out to podcasters, position yourself as an expert in your field, create a one-sheet bio, and prepare a one-sheeter with interview topics and questions that reflect your expertise.


Next, understand what type of podcasts are the best fit for you based on your goals. Then search the iTunes store to make a list of podcasts, making sure they align with your goals, they are active, and they interview guests on each episode.


Finally, reach out to the podcast host and send them a pitch. Follow up and persistence is key. If they don’t respond right away, continue following up. Also, send out 2 to 3 times more pitches than the number of podcasts you want to be interviewed on. If you want to be on 4 podcasts per month, for example, send out 8 to 12 pitches per month.


If you’re an entrepreneur, investor, syndicator, or other successful professional with a deep insight into business and real estate, I have a daily real estate investing podcast and it’s possible my listeners would love to hear your story. Check it out and see if you think it’d be a good fit!

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How to Use Your Personal Facebook Page to Generate More Leads


As of March 2017, there are over 1.94 billion monthly active users on Facebook, which is more than WhatsApp, Twitter, and Instagram combined. Every 60 seconds, 510,000 comments are posted, 293,000 statuses are updated, and 136,000 photos are uploaded.


With the right marketing strategy, Facebook can be a goldmine for leads no matter what real estate niche you are in.


Rachel Adams, who hit the top 1000 agents in the country list for the Wall Street Journal, sold 58 homes last year from Facebook alone. In our recent conversation, she outlined her simple strategy that any real estate professional can instantaneously apply to get more leads.


Rachel’s social media strategy consists of 4 rules:


  • 3 to 5 posts per week
  • 5 categories
  • Ask questions
  • Follow-up on comments


“What I’ve done is I created kind of a business model around social media,” Rachel said. “I post 3 to 5 times a week. I make sure that when I post, I’m asking questions, and asking a question so that someone wants to interact with me. And I’m really intentional about what I put out there. What I suggest to people is to pick five things they are passionate about.”


Rachel finds that a lot of people have a hard time figuring out what are those five areas to post about. She said, “I always say take your five passions. Five things your passionate about. One of those – easy peasy – is your business, real estate investing. And the other four, that’s up to you. It could be your family, it could be sports. It’s really up to you.”


For Rachel, her passionate categories are obviously her business, but also, health and fitness, motivational posts, her relationship, and healthy eating. “For me, if you know me at all, you know that I’m all about fitness and health. [Also, I do] motivational posts. I’m getting married this year so I’m very intentional about my relationship and sharing some of the things that work for me. I love cooking so I talk about healthy eating, and I also talk about business. However, it’s not always ‘Do you want to buy or sell a house?’”


Rachel’s final rule is to always follow up with comments, or what she calls don’t post and ghost. “If you take the time to make a post and you ask a question and people take their time to respond to you, then it is your job to respond back to them, to engage with them. It’s not like, ‘Poof! I made a post. You just need to make 3 to 5 posts. I did it!’ That’s not quite it. Follow up with what they say because people work with people they like, and they like you, and they want to know you.”


Rachel received 19 referrals in May 2016 through Facebook by posting about a vulnerable personal experience where she was called out by her business coach. She was behind on her goals so her business coach asked her what she was going to do, to which Rachel replied, “I don’t know.” Her business coach said, “that’s not the answer I want to hear. What are you going to do?” After going back and forth with her coach, Rachel decided to print out 500 fliers and knock on doors. As a result, she received four leads in two hours, and three of those leads resulted in sales.


Rachel used this experience to create a Facebook post. She said, “I decided to just be honest and I was like, ‘Listen guys, I got called out. Just because you see this fancy mega agent persona, you need to know that if I stop generating leads today, I stop being a mega agent. And guess what? I’m behind [on my] goals.’ I shared my story and I also said, ‘By the way, if any of you want a copy of my script or a copy of my flier, leave your e-mail below.’”


As a result of this honest, transparent post about how she was able to turn a mistake into three deals, Rachel received 580 replies. “That’s 580 people I could add to my database,” she said. “Because I’m the type of agent who does what I say I’ll do, I wrote them an email, I gave them a copy of the script, I gave them a copy of the flier.” She received 19 referrals that month because at the end of the email, she said, “By the way, if you got any value from this, I hope you remember that I’m your gal in Northern California if you have any referrals to send my way.”


Another non-business related post that received a lot of engagement is when Rachel posted about radishes. Yes…radishes.


“I showed a radish recipe – grilled radishes, which is so bizarre,” she said. “I had 23 shares on that post. 23 shares. Not just comments. This is like people actually sharing my post. And you know that’s the most powerful thing. It’s one thing to have a like, even better to have a comment, but when someone shares it, then you have a whole other audience you’re tapping into.”


The main idea behind the Facebook posts are not what can I get? but I’m going to ask questions, give and then say by the way, I happen to be in the business of buying and selling houses.


“It’s all about leading. It’s also called stalking,” Rachel said. “I believe people want to be asked questions and they want to know that you care. If you’re that person who’s constantly contributing to their lives, giving back, and caring about them, you’re the person they go to.”


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How the Millennial Millionaire Next Door Finds Endless Streams of Deals


Wouldn’t it be amazing if you never ran out of deals? Well, by asking the right questions and presenting the right offers, your investment opportunities could be endless.


Whitney Nicely, who is a contractor, broker, auctioneer, investor and self-proclaimed Millennial Millionaire Next Door, coaches real estate investors on how to uncover the best deals in the market. The reason why she can teach this investment strategy is because she’s followed it herself. She’s purchased industrial land, single families, small multifamily properties, and large multifamily buildings putting little money down, using creative investment strategies, and at prices below market value.


In our recent conversation, Whitney explained how she approaches deals in order to continue to find an endless stream of highly motivated sellers.


Whitney’s Best Ever advice for finding deals is simple to say, but difficult in practice – Keep going! “Keep going,” Whitney said. “If it’s a good deal, keep going. If it’s a bad deal, keep going. Don’t stop, keep going. My favorite Bible verse is Proverbs [31:16], which says that she goes to inspect a field, and she buys it. So ladies, go buy it. Men, go buy it. Figure it out, get a plan and go buy it.”


Now you may be thinking to yourself, “Well obviously Joe. But what does she mean ‘If it’s a bad deal, keep going?’ We don’t want to buy bad deals, right?”


Right. However, when Whitney says, “keep going,” she doesn’t mean, “keep buying.” The goal is to always press the seller for their pain point. “Whenever I’m buying a property, whether I’m buying land or a house or an apartment complex – and I teach all my students this – you have to find out what the seller’s pain is,” Whitney said. “If you can solve somebody’s problem, you’ll never run out of opportunities. If you’re afraid to ask what their pain is, or if you keep finding people with no pain, you need to go find somebody else, because there’s plenty of people out here in the world with properties they don’t want, houses they don’t want to take care of, and they just want somebody to come through and take this headache away from them so they can sleep at night. So as long as you’re actually helping people and not trying to be sleazy or slummy or anything like that, you’ll never run out of buying opportunities.”


If someone is selling a property, they are doing it for a reason. Likely, the reason is to alleviate some sort of pain. Whitney said, “Another thing I tell my students is it may not be that a lump sum cash payout is what [the seller is] stressed over. If that’s what their pain is, then solve that pain.”


If you can’t find the pain point, or the seller doesn’t have one, then Whitney’s next step is to make an offer. Not just one offer, but three. Providing multiple offers is a good way to indirectly discover a seller’s hidden pain point (or another pain point). Whitney said, “When you go look at a house, don’t be a one-hit wonder. Don’t make one offer. Don’t solve just one thing and then be like ‘Poof! I’m gone.’ I want you to take a cash offer. I want you to take a five-year payout offer, and a ten-year payoff number. You’d be surprised.” For example, Whitney submitted these three offers on a past deal and walked away with a 15-year owner-financed deal with no money down, no down payments for four months, and a completely reasonable monthly payment. She said, “Be open for those and never stop negotiating.”


The cash offer would be so low that if the seller accepted, it would be the best deal ever. Then, the five-year payout offer is higher and the ten-year payout would be the highest. For the payout offers, you can either form the deal so that you must have them paid off or you can form it with a balloon payment. When that five or ten years is up, you’ll have a massive net worth and you can cash out, you’ll have private money investors or partners to cash you out, the tenant buyer will cash you out (if you signed a five or ten year lease option with your tenant), or you can renegotiate with the original seller and make another deal.


Whitney’s best ever deal was her last deal, which was a creative/pain point combo. “I had a house. It was three-bedroom, two-bath, and the backside of it had caught on fire a number of years back (pain point #1). I had it under contract for a lease option for $6,000 with $100 [down] and $200/month paid off whenever it was I paid off $6,000, so 5 to 6 years at $200/month,” she said. “I sold it on a lease option for $12,000, with $5,000 down and $300/month. So I bought it for $6,000, I sold it for $12,000. This morning, I was talking to my seller and he was like, ‘Well what if we didn’t do the lease option? How much would you give me just to cash out?’ (pain point #2) and I said, ‘I could give you $3000,’ and he said, ‘Okay fine.’ So now I bought the house, people gave me $5000, I’m giving it to my seller, and I get to keep $2000, and now I’m cash flowing $300/month on a $7,000 balance.” In this scenario, the seller just wanted cash now, not later, to be out of the property. Whitney gave the seller $3000 of the $5000 tenant’s down payment and won’t have to pay the seller another dime.


Related: Two Creative Rent-To-Own Strategies with NOTHING Out-of-Pocket


Whitney’s parting advice is to “Keep going. Find out what they really want, give it to them, and make sure you are okay.”


To hear about more of Whitney’s creative deals, including how she got two tenants to lease out a piece of vacant land, click here.



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How to Successfully Market for Real Estate Leads with TV Commercials

Direct mail, driving for dollar, door knocking, online advertising…there are so many methods for real estate investor marketing to choose from. How do you determine which is the most effective?


The short answer is that it depends on your investment niche and more importantly, your market.


Tony Javier, who has 16 years of real estate experience and does over 100 transactions a year, uses multiple marketing methods to find leads. He started with phonebook ads, and later added direct mail, radio, Facebook, and Google ads.


But in our recent conversation, he said, “TV is out number one lead source.” That’s right. Tony is the Billy Jean of real estate commercials (Remember those catchy OxyClean commercials).


Here’s how he does it.

Preparation and Execution of TV Commercials

Fortunately, Tony had an advantage in this real estate investor marketing niche because he was a well-known real estate agent in his market prior to airing real estate commercials on TV. He said, in regards to why he pursued TV commercials, “I just kind of wanted to ride that wave and put my face on the commercials so that people could correlate it. It’s really paid off because people that I haven’t talked to in years – or maybe went to high school with – are sending me leads because they’ve seen my face on the TV.”


Unlike most advertising methods you can do sitting in your pajamas at home, running TV ads takes more effort, and in Tony’s case, time. He doesn’t live in the market where his ads are aired. He lives in San Diego and runs ads in Wichita, Kansas.


“Every time I go to Wichita – every three months or so – I usually film another commercial,” Tony said. But once in studio, “it takes like 15 minutes for me to go in and shoot a commercial. I script it, I practice it a couple of times, I go in there, I take a few cuts of whatever it is I’m going to say, they cut up the commercial to make it look good, and then they produce the backend of it.”


Tony has a standard template for his real estate commercials where most aspects stay the same. “The message changes, but our jingle’s the same, our phone number’s the same, [and] some of the graphics are the same. It’s really just the message per commercial [that] changes, and really, our message doesn’t change that much.”


For the messaging of the commercial, it’s very similar to the messaging used for other, standard real estate investor marketing methods. “It’s pretty simple,” Tony said. “It’s ‘We pay cash, close quickly.’ That’s really what we do in any of our marketing methods: we look at the pain points that they have and make sure we hit those. A lot of people don’t want to do work to their houses. A lot of people need cash quickly. A lot of people don’t like the hassle of having to hire a realtor and go through that whole process. We say, ‘No hassle,’ in our commercial as well. We just hit the pain points.”


Now, if the prospect of speaking in front of a camera terrifies you, that doesn’t mean you can’t do TV commercials. It’s going to cost a little bit more to have someone else star in your commercial, but Tony said, “you can give them your ideas, they can put graphics in, they can put someone else’s audio in there and produce it for you… As long as you’re hiring the right person, you should have a pretty good product at the end to use”.

Costs of TV Commercials

Both the cost of production and the cost of the actual TV spot vary greatly from location to location. Tony airs his TV ads in Wichita, Kansas, and he says, “I’m in a smaller market, so it’s not as expensive as some markets. For example, I looked in Tampa, Florida and it’s just outrageous to market to that area because you have so many suburbs and a huge reach. So first of all, it’s expensive, so you can check in your area if you want to do TV [to see] if [it’s] going to be reasonable for you.”


For producing the real estate commercials in Wichita, Tony is only charged a few hundred dollars. “Every time we do a commercial, they shoot it, and really they just charge us the time to shoot it,” he said, “And then they produce it for us because we’re buying ad space from them.”


For the cost of the TV spots, it depends on what time the commercials air. When starting out, Tony bought filler spaces, but he bought some primetime spots and tested both to see if the cost per lead made sense to his real estate investor marketing strategy. The filler spaces were $1 to $10 while the primetime spots were $50 to $150.


Tony said the filler spots were the first spots he would fill since they were cheaper because the station “didn’t have that spot sold. If someone doesn’t buy that spot, then they don’t get any money anyway. Usually it’s like late night or some spot where there’s not nearly as many views.”


For those interested in doing real estate commercials, Tony said, “if you’re a little bit newer and you’re just starting with a small budget, you might start with some of those filler spots, [and] maybe just buy a couple of primetime spots. But you’re going to have to meet with the person that handles that in your area.”


If you are going to pursue TV commercials as a real estate investor marketing avenue, Tony said, “You have to have it in place for a certain amount of time to decide if it’s working or not.”


He added, “Fortunately enough for me, the first month we got a really good deal off of it, and we made some good money off our first deal. But then it was another five or six months before we got our next deal. Had I not gotten that first deal, there was a possibility I may have turned it off after a few months. But after talking to other people that have been successful on TV, … you really need to give it probably a good six months to be able to tell if it’s working or not.”


Nothing new here. Like all marketing methods, if you stop after a few months, you won’t really know if they it was effective or not.

Hiring a Media Buyer

Another aspect that’s required if you want to achieve good results from TV ads is hiring a media buyer. “We have a media buyer that we go through, and they know the trends and they know where the traffic is. They know the demographics,” Tony said. “You really need to lean on them if you’re going to do something like that because they’re going to be able to tell you better what spots they think you should buy and the demographics for those TV stations.”


Luckily for Tony, he found his media buyer through a friend at a poker game. If you don’t have a connection to a media buyer, that’s not a problem. Just Google your city name and “media buyer” and you’ll find that media buyers are everywhere. Like any other team member, interview a handful of media buyers and go with the best one.

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How to “Sell Your Face Off” as a Real Estate Entrepreneur

As real estate investors, we are entrepreneurs – we are creating the same thing that the typical entrepreneur create, which are businesses; therefore we are entrepreneurs. Kolby Kay, who has built, sold, and advised over 20 startups that have generated over 50 million dollars in revenue, has a lot of successful entrepreneurial experience in many different industries. In our recent conversation, he provided insider insights on how to successfully target, identify, and understand your audience.


How to Approach Uncovering and Fulfilling a Need


Kolby finds that there are two main aspects to approaching customers. First, you need to put yourself in their shoes. After you’ve done that, you need to understand what their pain point is.


Kolby says, “you need to be putting yourself in the shoes of somebody who is your customer and understand what it is their pain points are and not selling by features, because that is what sales people do. They try to talk about ‘look at my widget. Look at how great my stuff is.’ But people don’t care.”


What do they care about? The are about “what problem are you solving for me today and then do you have social validation that you’ve done it with somebody who looks and acts and feels like me? In other words, it’s all based on a need and somebody fulfilling that need.


Kolby breaks it down further into a four distinct pillars that he follows for all of his business deals:


  • “The first is identifying a group of people with a problem or a need”
  • “Second piece is coming up with creative way to solve that problem, whether that’s a product or service”
  • “The third piece is validation
  • “The last pillar is what I call ‘sell your face off.’


Kolby finds that a lot of people skip pillar three: validation. “This is the piece that many young entrepreneurs or even seasoned entrepreneurs will forget. Just because you found somebody that will buy something and you think you’ve found a problem, have you done due diligence on validation? Meaning, you’ve gone back to that group of people that you’ve identified that have a problem that you can supposedly solve and ask them: [does this] specific widget or software or service solve your specific problem AND are you willing to actually pay for this specific solution? That last piece of ‘is it something you’ll pay for?’ is very very important.”


How to Sell Your Face Off


When Kolby “sells his face off,” this is when he puts himself in the shoes of the person he’s trying to sell to and attempts to uncover what’s most important to them. This means asking questions instead of talking about what it is he does. The most important question that Kolby asks is, “What are the problems you are facing?” After leading with that question, examples of other questions would be:


  • What’s keeping you up at night?
  • What are you doing today?
  • Why are you doing it the way you are doing it today?
  • What would you change?
  • What would you keep?”


By asking about their problems and needs, it will allow you to gather enough information and get a feeling of what’s important to them so that you can turn it around and position/sell yourself.


When positioning yourself, Kolby recommends that you “touch on the points that they said were important to them vs. telling people how great [you are at approaching the] problem that you’re trying to solve. Taking a look from the side of the customer and positioning the problems your solving in their vernacular is key.” In other words, Kolby likes to follow the Art of Selling, which is “listen, ask questions, and then…regurgitate what the client is telling you vs. telling them how great you think you are.”


Kolby provided an example dialogue that a real estate investor or agent would have with a customer after identifying their needs: “What you told me was important was having a property that was in an up-and-coming development, that had not just amenities, but there was other developments that were happening. [Well, in this area,] you have a mini-mall happening. You have a school that’s happening. You [also] told me that schools were important based on the investment property you’re coming into. Let’s talk about that. How many kids do you have? What types of schools do they go to? Why is that important?”


As you can see from Kolby’s reply, he responded directly to what the customer stated as important, rather than babbling on about himself or things the customer wasn’t interested in.




When we are thinking about how to approach our audience or client audience, we need to put ourselves in their shoes and understand what their pain points are, rather than selling them a feature. People don’t care about features. They care about what problem you are solving for them today, as well as what social validation you’ve gotten from other clients that look, act, and feel like them. It is all needs based.


More specifically, Kolby has a 4-step approach to uncovering and fulfilling client’s needs:

  1. Identifying a group of people with a problem or need
  2. Coming up with a creative solution to solve that problem or need
  3. Providing validation
  4. Selling Your Face Off


When you are “selling your face off,” you must put yourself in the customer’s shoes and ask a ton of questions. In doing so, you will gather enough information to uncover what’s truly important to them so that you can turn it around and position (or sell) yourself using their language. In other words, you are following the art of selling, which is listening, asking questions, and regurgitating what the client is selling you.



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How to Go From Invisible to Irresistible via Compelling Storytelling

“Those who tell the stories rule society” – Plato


Yesterday, I outlined John Livesay’s – who is an expert at helping people craft compelling messages to get customers and investors – techniques for formulating a successful pitch. But that is only part of the preparation process. The most important aspect of a successful pitch, and successful communication in general, is being a good storyteller. Continuing from our recent conversation, John provided tips on how to become a Best Ever storyteller and go from invisible to irresistible.


Get Your Mind Right!


It is important to be in the right mindset before even going into a conversation with investors, clients, etc. If you go in with a negative attitude and think you’re going to flop, what outcome do you expect? So, before going into a pitch, John recommends that you perform this exercise:


Write down 4 or 5 experiences that met or vastly exceeded your expectations.


In other words, “write down 4 to 5 time where you knew you nailed it. You asked somebody out on a date and you knew you were going to get another date. You interviewed for a job and you knew you were going to get an offer.” It doesn’t matter how small or big, but whatever it is, “put all of that in your head before you go pitch somebody.” John calls this exercise Stacking Moments of Certainty, and it is a very powerful method of putting yourself in a confident, certain mindset where you believe you will succeed!


Storytelling Structure


Once you’ve got the mindset down, the next step is preparing an awesome story. A good story contains at least three things:


  • A problem
  • The solution
  • What happens when that solution happens


“A good story has a problem (there’s an obstacle to overcome), the solution, and then the final part is what happens when that solution happens.”


Also, a good story “has exposition, which is the who, what, where, and when. You have to be specific enough to paint a picture to put people in the story…you need enough to pull people in and not to much to bore them, but just enough to really get them a sense of why you’re there.”


One of the best types of stories to tell are origin stories. “Tell people why you’re doing what you’re doing besides just making money.” A good outline for an origin story, for example, is “I decided I wanted to help people invest in apartment buildings because I saw they were making all the wrong choices and I myself made the wrong choices at first and I want to help people avoid the mistakes that I did.” You can use this as a template, and put in your own personal twist by inserting actual mistakes (the problem or obstacle) you’ve made, what you did to fix them (the solution), and resulting lessons you’ve learned or positive outcomes you’ve had (what happens when the solution happens). Sprinkle in some exposition and voila, you’re well on your way to becoming the Stephen King of storytelling.


The reason the origin story that incorporates your past mistakes is the best is because, according to John, “the best way to build trust is to be completely candid and not pretend that you are perfect.” You get this point across when you say things like “I used to stumble at this but now I don’t, but let me tell you, this is a very common problem in investing in anything…and I’m not going to pretend that I haven’t made mistakes because I have. But the good news is, I’ve learned from them.” Once you’ve been a little vulnerable, people will trust you more.


Another example of a good story to tell someone you’re meeting, especially if it is someone you’re trying to help, is “you know, I was talking to somebody else who reminds me a lot of you and they were in a similar situation. They were deciding between buying something where they live or buying something out of the country, and I advised them to do [X] and then [Y] happened. A few years latter, they sold the building for [Z] profit.”


Most Common Pitch Pitfalls


John has worked with countless people to create and execute pitches and stories. A recurring, yet surprising challenge he’s encountered is that “people have a really hard-time being clear and concise and compelling. It’s amazing how much work goes into a 90-second, 2-sentence pitch, because they want to tell you everything.”


Another challenge: People think, in the case of start-ups, “that if they show you how cool the product is, that you’ll give them money…That’s not how it works. The investors invest in you, the jockey, and you’re idea is the horse.”


The solution to both these problems is two-fold: (1) stop jabbering on and on. “Just tell [them] enough to get [them] to say ‘tell me more’” and (2) when you do a little jabbering, do so about yourself, not the product, investment, properties, idea, etc. You really have to sell yourself first.




Get your mind right when preparing for a pitch by writing down 4 to 5 past experiences where you did something, anything, and killed it.


The best stories consist of (1) a problem, (2) a solution, and (3) what happened after the solution was successfully implemented.


Two amazing story types are (1) origin stories and (2) stories about past mistakes. Both show your vulnerabilities, which will result in building trust more quickly.


The most common pitfalls of pitches and storytelling is not being concise, clear, or compelling or only talking about the product. The solution is to only tell enough to get them to say, “tell me more” and instead of focusing on the product, focus on selling yourself.



Pick one piece of advice and in the comment section below, explain how you plan on taking action and implementing it into your business.









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How to Form a Successful Pitch


There is a big problem in the real estate world and business world in general: a lot of people don’t know how to successfully pitch themselves to investors, clients, etc. John Livesay, who is an expert at helping people craft compelling messages to get customers and investors, realized the existence of this problem and started a podcast, co-founded a company, and wrote a book that was aimed at helping people overcome this deficiency. In our recent conversation, he explained the overall framework of a pitch and the main questions that it must answer in order to be successful.

Framework: The Pitch Ladder


John compares someone’s investment or business career to a ladder. Everyone starts out at the bottom of this ladder:


“At the bottom of the ladder, you’re invisible. It’s also like dating. You maybe see someone you’re attracted to and they don’t even know you exist. Same thing is true when you’re thinking about ‘oh, I would love to get that person to invest in my start-up or my building or whatever it is’ and they don’t even know you’re around.”


The next rung up is where you’re insignificant. “They see you and that’s maybe where you have something but you’re not prepared yet.”


Then, you move to the next rung – the interesting rung. Back to the dating analogy, “maybe you say something clever or witty and they go ‘hmm, I’m interested. I’m not going to go on a date with you yet, but I’m interested.’ So that’s really where you want to start think about in terms of business. What can [you] do to become at least interesting?’” Obviously, the goal is to transcend the first two rungs and become interesting as quickly as possible. (More on how to accomplish this later)

The next rung up is the intriguing rung. John has “literally sent pitches to people or had conversation with them and they say ‘I’m intrigued, tell me more,’ and that’s really what you want.”


At the top of the ladder, you’re irresistible. “This is where you have multiple people trying to give you money.”


Think of this ladder as the high level framework of how you will progress in your business. So, now the question is, what can I practically do in order to climb this ladder as quickly as possible, going from invisible to irresistible? Enter, the pitch.


How to Create the Best Ever Pitch


For someone who is on the lower rungs of the pitch ladder, when someone asks them, ‘what kind of business are you in?’ or ‘tell me about yourself?,’ they are unprepared. They just wing it. But, in order to be at least interesting, John says that you need to have a prepared pitch that answers at least these two questions:


  1. Who do I help
  2. What problem do I solve?


If someone where to ask John to tell them about himself, he would say, “I’m the pitch whisperer. I help people go from invisible to irresistible.” These two sentences provide just enough information to let others know who he is, who he helps, and what problem he solves, and if it is done right, they will be interested and ask for more. “You just tell them a little bit to get them intrigued.”


Another example response that John would say is “I help tech CEOs who are struggling with their investor pitch to become irresistible by getting them in the right room with the right pitch and they get their business funded, and when that happens everyone scores.”


Let’s break this down:


  • Who do you help? – “I help tech CEOs”
  • What’s their problem? – “Struggling with their investor pitch”
  • What’s the solution? – Helps them become “irresistible by getting them in the right room with the right sales pitch”
  • What’s the outcome? – “They get their business funded, and when that happens everyone scores”


This pitch not only addresses the two-main questions (who do I help? and what problem do I solve?), but it takes it to the next level by addressing the solution provided and the outcome of that solution. And John pulled it all together into a “short and concise way that’s memorable.”


Advice in Action: Using John’s pitch advice, create your own 90-second pitch and leave it in the comment section below! Make sure that, at the very least, it answers the two main questions (who do I help? and what problem do I solve?). And if you want to go from “interesting” to “intriguing” or “irresistible,” address the additional two questions as well.


Tomorrow, learn John’s top tips and techniques on the how to become a better storyteller and why storytelling is the best way to pull people into your business as opposed to pushing your message out with a standard sales pitch.

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How to Wholesale 25 Deals a Month Spending $0 Out-Of-Pocket on Marketing

Wholesale Real Estate Investing: 25 Deals a Month Spending $0 Out-Of-Pocket on Marketing

Want to learn how to wholesale real estate? Well, then, meet Phillip Vincent, a wholesale real estate investing professional with over 500 completed real estate transactions. He created a business plan that allows him to wholesale 25 deals a month. In our recent conversation, he explained the strategy and how he is able to follow it while spending zero dollars out-of-pocket on marketing costs.


two story home for sale


The Reverse Wholesaling Process

Mastering marketing is important for anyone who wants to learn how to wholesale real estate! For example, instead of following the standard wholesale real estate investing model (market for deals, find motivated sellers, and then assign contracts to rehabbers), Phillip does the reverse. First, he finds rehabbers that want a consistent flow of deals. Then, the rehabbers pool together their marketing funds. Finally, Phillip uses the marketing funds to find motivated sellers. His only out-of-pocket costs are his time and the costs of any team members that he employs to help him with the process.


After 2 weeks of marketing his services to investors, Phillip was able to fill up his 25-investor roster in the St. Louis market. During those two weeks, he explained that he wanted to conduct the investors’ marketing and acquisitions for them, that he wanted to make $5,000 to $7,000 on every deal, and he wanted them to put up the funds for marketing. It worked! Under his arrangement, each investor pays $2,000 a month, with a 6-month initial commitment, so Phillip has a marketing budget of $50,000 per month to work with. He has been following this strategy for only 2 weeks, and he has been able to close 1 deal with 19 more deals under contract.


calculator and financial document


Addressing Potential Investor Objections

The most common objection that rehabbers have to this wholesale real estate investing strategy is, “why am I paying for the marketing?” When Phillip paid for his own marketing, he had to purchase properties at a deeper discount in order to make a $15,000 to $20,000 wholesale fee to cover the marketing costs and other relevant expenditures. However, when the rehabbers pay for the marketing, Phillip can pay the seller slightly more, which means he is walking away from less deals, and he can sell the deals to rehabbers at a lower price, since he is only taking a $5,000 to $7,000 wholesale fee.


For example, the first deal that Phillip closed following this method was a small ranch with a retail value of $80,000. The owner owed $61,000, she was a heavy smoker, and the house was full of items. If this were a typical wholesale deal, Phillip would have passed. However, since he found this deal using his investors marketing funds, and since he only needed a $5,000 wholesale fee, he was able to make it work. The seller ended up bringing over $30,000 to the closing table to get the house sold, and Phillip wholesaled the property to his investor for $42,000! The investor stated that he would have paid $48,000, so Phillip probably could have squeezed a little more profit out of the deal too.


business meeting with paperwork


Another problematic aspect of this wholesale real estate investing strategy is that one investor could purchase all of the deals, because these are on a first-come-first-serve basis. When Phillip finds a deal, he sends out a starting price and a “buy-it-now” price to the pool of investors. Whoever can hit the “buy-it-now” or highest-price first will be awarded the deal. This means that one investor could scoop up every deal.


But, to mitigate this, Phillip split his market, St. Louis, into 5 zones – with 5 rehabbers in each zone. One of the five investors could still technically purchase every single deal. However, all of Phillip’s investors do 8 to 15 rehabs per year, or approximately one per month, so none of them will be buying more than one property per month.


What are your thoughts on this wholesaling real estate investment strategy? What additional questions would you need answered before feeling confident enough to implement this strategy?

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