Do Real Estate Investors Need Good Sales Skills?

Each week, we post a new question to the Best Ever Show Community on Facebook. The Best Ever Show Community is a place where real estate entrepreneurs of all stripes and sizes can come together to interact with each other, me, and the guests featured on my podcast with the purpose of everyone helping each other reach the next level in their businesses and their lives.

 

What better way to add value than to ask you, the community, for your Best Ever advice on a variety of different real estate topics. This week, the question was “is it important to have good sales skills as a real estate investor?”

 

Thank you to everyone who responded.

 

The poll is closed, the responses are in and here are the answers:

 

An overwhelming majority (26 out of 30) active investors said good sales skills are very important as a real estate investor.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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 utilized those 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, 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, business partners, among others – property even your significant other as well.

 

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.

 

Want to learn how to hone your sales skills? Here are over 25 blog posts on that topic.

 

What do you think? Comment below: Is it important to have good sales skills as a real estate investor?

 

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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.”

 

Conclusion

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

social network apps on smartphone

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.”

 

Conclusion

 

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?

 

 

Also, subscribe to my weekly newsletter for even more Best Ever advice: http://eepurl.com/01dAD

                       

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

 

 

 

city skyscrapers

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.

 

Conclusion

 

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.”

 

Conclusion

 

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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direct mail

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

 

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).

 

0.5%?

 

1%?

 

5%?

 

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

 

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 direct mailing campaign with a 57% cumulative response rate*, which is indeed 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 direct mailing campaign that results 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.

 

First, 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 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

 

“One principle of marketing,” Jay said, “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.

 

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

 

Conclusion

 

Jay Connor, an investor who fix-and-flips foreclosed SFRs, conducts an 8-step direct mail 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

 

 

Did you like this blog post? If so, please feel free to share it using the social media buttons on this page.

 

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city lights and traffic at night

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 guru 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.”

 

 

Did you like this blog post? If so, please feel free to share it using the social media buttons on this page.

 

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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.

 

Conclusion

 

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

 

Did you like this blog post? If so, please feel free to share it using the social media buttons on this page.

 

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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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podcasts

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 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 other podcasts, 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 podcast.

 

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 podcast hosts. 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 podcasts 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 shows that are real estate related. 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.”

 

 

Conclusion

 

While creating your own thought leadership platform, like a 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.

 

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working on a laptop

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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creek in autum

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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TV

How to Successfully Market for Real Estate Leads with TV Commercials

Direct mail, driving for dollar, door knocking, online advertising…there are so many marketing methods 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 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 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 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.

 

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 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. 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 TV 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 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.

 

Conclusion

 

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.

 

 

storytelling

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.

 

Summary

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

pitch

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.

wholesale

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


 

Phillip Vincent, who has completed over 500 real estate transactions, 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.

 

The Reverse Wholesaling Process

 

Instead of following the standard wholesaling 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, stating that he wanted to conduct their 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, Phillip was able to fill up his 25-investor roster in the St. Louis market. Each investor pays $2000 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 and has 19 more deals under contract.

 

Addressing Potential Investor Objections

 

The most common objection that rehabbers have to this 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 applicable 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, who stated that he would have paid $48,000, so Phillip probably could have squeezed a little more profit out of the deal.

 

Another problematic aspect of this strategy is that one investor could purchase all of the deals. Deals 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 strategy? What additional questions would you need answered before feeling confident enough to implement this strategy?

investing

Tax Deed Auction Investing and Door Knocking Your Way to $20MM in Sales Volume

Today, I bring to you two proven real estate strategies for two different niches: investing and broker sales. Bryan Casella, who has 3 years of real estate experience and is on track to sell $20 million in volume this year, has found a unique niche to invest in, tax deed auctions, and has created an aggressive lead generation strategy, door knocking. In our conversation, he explained, in detail, his approach towards dominating both investing and sales.

 

Real Estate Investing Process – Tax Deed Auction

 

Brian discovered the tax deed niche after linking up with Mike Wolf, a big time investor from Canada that owns well over 350 properties in the US. Brian went on a tour with him to Houston, Atlanta, and Kansas City to experience, first-hand, how Mike was able to achieve such high levels of success. He discovered that Mike goes to tax deed auctions, which are held once a month, where properties were purchased for pennies on the dollar. On one occasion, a property worth $100,000 was purchased for $4,000. Needless to say, Brian couldn’t believe it. As a result, he learned the system and at his first auction in Houston, purchased two properties – one for $10,000 and another for $12,000 – with a combined market value of over $160,000. After minor rehabs, Brian is renting the first property for $900 and the other for just under $1000 a month!

 

The extremely low purchase prices are unbelievable, but the icing on the cake is that Brian was able to purchase these properties remotely. Once the initial structure is in place, the process is almost completely automated:

 

  • Three to four nights before the auction, Brian is sent a list of the properties that are up for auction.
  • Brian will select a handful of properties from the list, based on the following criteria:
    • Middle-class neighborhood (i.e. families, first-time home-buyers, etc.)
    • High potential (i.e. if he fixes it up, it is going to increase in value and is going to demand good rents)
    • Attract tenants that are going to pay, are loyal, and will stay for a while
  • Based on his research, Brian will send the properties he is interested in to a contact in Houston. This contact has access to the MLS, so he will send Brian sales comparables for more in-depth due diligence. The contact will also visit the subject property to take videos and pictures, which he will send back to Brian so that he can confirm the properties condition.
  • For the properties that Brian deems acceptable, he will send a list of properties he wants to bid on, as well as the max price he wants to offer, to his contact
  • His contact will attend the auction in person and bid on the properties from Brian’s list

Brian’s contact only charges him for properties won. If Brian doesn’t win a property, then the contact doesn’t get paid

 

 

Real Estate Broker Strategy – Door Knocking

 

Aside from purchasing properties at tax deed auctions, which he has commitment to buying 3 per year, Brian’s other passion is selling real estate. He has an athletic background – playing professional basketball overseas – so he applies the same competitive, disciplined, hard-working mentality to being a broker. As a result, he is on pace to rake in $20 million in sale volume this year.

 

Brian’s number one lead generator is expired listings. And his number one approach to chasing down these leads is door knocking. That is how he initially built his business and it is how he continues to grow at a rapid pace. Currently, since he has a team of agents working for him, the strategy has changed slightly, but the core essence is the same:

 

  • Starting at [8:00]am, one team member that Brian has trained will call all the expired listing
  • At the same time, Brian will go knock on the expired listing property’s door between [7:30]am and [8:30]am
  • If they weren’t able to make contact that morning, he will go back and knock on the door again that afternoon and the team member will call again as well.

 

Typically, if they talk to 5 to 6 people, they can usually get an appointment with 2, and will end up listing one of them.

 

This is a very simple, yet aggressive, in your face approach. As a result, rejection is inevitable. How Brian has handled this rejection has been an evolution over time. However, he believes that when you get to the point where you are confident in your ability, are genuinely coming form a point of contribution, and want to help people, they will see that. Therefore, when he knocks on a door, he reminds himself that he has no idea what this person is going through, so he doesn’t take anything thrown at him personally. Deep down in his heart, he wants to help them get rid of the negative situation they are in.

 

It was difficult at first because he was terrified because he had never done sales before. So the prospect of basically throwing himself into a pit of snakes was scary. But after a while, he built up some thick skin and his skill level rose. As a result, he believes that the person can pick up on his “confident and helpful” vibe.

 

Brian’s advice for those that may be afraid of the unavoidable rejection when door knocking is to come from a place of contribution, and not from a place of wanting to make a commission, because he has noticed that the person is able to tell the difference, which makes the interactions so much better.

 

 

 

 

 

 

sell yourself

Four Tips to Successfully Sell Yourself in Real Estate Investing

 

As real estate entrepreneurs, and in life in general, we are constantly selling ourselves. Whether it be to sellers, partners, lenders, or even our significant others, it is important to develop the talent of marketing ourselves as successful, reliable, persistence, valuable, etc. individuals. One such individual who has mastered this skill set is Gino Barbaro.

 

Gino has 15 years of real estate experience. During his career, he has discovered multiple strategies and adopted a mindset that has allowed him to successfully sell himself to everyone he works with. As a result, Gino was able to grow his multifamily portfolio to 674 units in 3 years! In our recent conversation, he explain his secret – always do what you say and say what you do, put others first, build a credibility book, and ultimately differentiate yourself from the competition.

 

 

Tip #1 – Do what you say and say what you do

 

In order to successfully sell yourself to others, the first thing you have to realize is that if you say that you are going to do something, you have to do it. While this may seem like obvious and straightforward advice, it is actually the opposite. In a society that promotes instant gratification, self-serving and the need for results “now,” talking the talk but not walking the walk is the majority’s default setting. Therefore, doing what you say and saying what you do is the most important mindset to adopt if you want to standout from the competition.

 

Always be mindful of others time and their worth over your own, which transitions to Gino’s next piece of advice…

 

 

Tip #2 – Always put others first

 

Gino believes that we are all here to be in service of others. This piece of advice echoes one of my favorite Zig Ziglar quotes– “You can have everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want.” As long as you are in the real estate business, always be in the service of others. When you are taking action, always think of others. An example that Gino provides is that if you are in the arena of raising private money, don’t go to your investors only when you need something or when you have good news. Go to them when you have bad news. Also, go to them when you have no news at all. The same logic can be applied to all aspects of real estate – real estate agents and their clients, property managers and their landlords, etc.

 

Constantly think of ways to keep your clients, customers, investors, etc. in the loop. This will show that you genuinely value them and that they are always top of mind.

 

 

Tip #3 – Create a Credibility Book

 

Gino’s best ever advice is to create a credibility book. A credibility book is essentially a binder that outlines your business plan. It is great for anyone and for any real estate endeavor. The credibility book answers, in detail, the following three questions:

 

  • What do you do as an investor? (i.e. your specific real estate niche)
  • How do you do it? (i.e. your strategy)
  • What are examples of successful deals you’ve completed in the past? (i.e. case studies)

 

For example, Gino’s credibility book is a 15-page document that is entitled “Investing in Mom and Pops:”

 

  • What do you do as an investor? – “We invest in distressed, C-class properties that have motivated sellers, are between a 7 and 8 percent cap rate, and have at least a 10% cash on cash return.”
  • How do you do it? – “We buy the properties, force up the net operating income, refinance to pull out cash, and then repeat.”
  • What are examples of successful deals you’ve completed in the past? – They outline 3 case studies to prove their credibility. Each case study is unique and they explain how they added value for every property.

 

Gino finds that not many people have a book like this. However, when you are going to a bank and looking for a loan, if you throw a 15-page credibility book on the table, you instantly stand out. It is visual, in your face, and most importantly, it is written. Gino says that when you have something written down, it is much more credible than the spoken word. By coming in with a written plan, it shows that you are already prepared to take action!

 

Tip #4 – Differentiate Yourself

 

Gino’s first three pieces of advice – do what you say, always put others first, and create a credibility book – are both examples of ways you can differentiate yourself from the competition. You always need to be on the lookout for ways that you can differentiate yourself. A great question to consistently ask yourself is, why am I more valuable than the next person? That is, why would someone work with you rather than working with the next guy? Focus on providing as much value as possible.

 

 

sale sign

Three WET Sales Techniques to Maximize Lead Generation and Conversion Rates


In my conversation with keynote speaker, author, and master lead generator Chris Smith, he stated that the key to selling is “to create more value and more of an emotional buy-in than the cost during the time that the customer is in-front of you.” Therefore, he provided 3 WET techniques (works every time) that you can apply in order to maximize your lead conversion rate and add Chris’s “key” to your marketing repertoire.

 

 

How to Knock Down Brick Walls?

 

Chris finds that many sales people quickly give up in the face of a potential customer’s “brick wall.” A “brick wall” is the resistance that a customer has right out of the gate. For example, if you are a online mortgage lender and you call to ask if they are interested in refinancing a mortgage loan, to which they respond, “I am not interested in your product, I am just curious about what the interest rates are?”

 

The technique to overcoming this initial resistance is ARP, which is an acronym for Acknowledge, Respond, and Pivot. Here is an example of applying ARP to the online mortgage lender example from above:

 

  • Acknowledge the brick wall – “You want to know what the interest rate is? That is a great question! Let me look that up for you”
  • Respond – “The interest rates are the lowest that they have ever been in the history of interest rates.”
  • Pivot – “How much were you looking to save so that a refinance makes sense?

 

When humans communicate, it is 55% physiology, 38% tone, and 7% wording. If you are following up with leads on the phone, the 55% physiology is no longer in play. Therefore, acknowledging and responding to the customer’s question/brick wall is extremely important. However, the key is pivoting away to get the conversation back on track. The pivot comes in the form of a question that aims to create a deeper conversation.

 

 

How fast and often do I reach out to leads?

 

When responding to leads, Chris believes that the number one thing is speed and that the number two is tenacity. The impact of speed on lead conversation is staggering. There is a 100x decrease in the ability to convert an Internet lead between the 5th and 30th minute. Therefore, Chris advises that you call every lead that you get in less than 5 minutes. If you don’t, train yourself to hear a ticking time bomb in your head, because every second that passes will decrease your ability to convert the lead.

 

In regards to how often you should reach out to leads, Sales Force performed a study around the question “how many times should I try to call in order to contact as many leads as possible?” When Chris has conversations with people at his speaking engagements, he finds that most will call leads once, twice, or at most, three times before giving up. According to the Sales Force study, if you call a lead 6 times compared to 1, the contact rate will go from 48% to 93%. Therefore, you can almost double your contact rate by increasing your effort, tenacity, and the number of attempts per lead up to 6.

 

 

How to Prepare for Phone Calls

 

The Art of War states that you have to win the battle before it is even fought. The same applies to business and marketing. However, Chris finds that the biggest mistake his clients make is that they are winging it on the phone. They don’t have a phone script, a framework, or a list of questions to ask.

 

Winging it is a huge mistake. If you are a company that is spending money on lead generation, you certainly don’t want the guys winging when calling to convert the leads. You would want them to be sufficiently prepared.

 

When Chris is preparing for a call, he follows a 3-step process – the Pre-Call Stalk

 

  1. Google Search the Email Address

 

If you have an Internet lead, then that means you have their email address. By performing a Google Search with an email address, you will instantly have access to all of the social media accounts, blogs, etc. that are associated with that email address. Names are too common, but email addresses are unique to each individual. Therefore, 100% of the results from the Google Search will be about them

 

  1. Facebook Search

 

Next, repeat the first step, but using Facebook instead. You can either search the person’s email address or phone number, which will enable you to find their profile. There is a gold mine of information on Facebook, from their interests, to hobbies, to what they did that weekend.

 

  1. Charlie App

 

Charlie app will automatically perform the first two steps above. It syncs with your calendar, so right before you are scheduled to call someone, the application will send you a link with all the “Intel.”

 

 

The Ultimate Online Real Estate Marketing Breakdown


In my conversation with digital marketing expert Kasim Aslam, he provided a breakdown of an online marketing approach that a real estate investor starting from scratch can use to begin generating and converting on massive amounts of leads.

 

Start Basic – Google Ad Words

 

To begin the process, Kasim stated that all you need is $2,000 and access to the Internet. The initial goal is to bring in enough profit to cover the marketing expense of $2,000. The fastest marketing method, from a ROI and cash flow perspective is direct response. And Kasim finds that Google Ad words are the most effective direct response-marketing channel.

 

However, it is important to realize that the first month’s results are not an indication of the ROI that you will be seeing in the long-term. In this initial phase, you are essentially paying for education by using the data that you gain and then modifying the future campaigns accordingly.

 

For example, Kasim’s company tested two key phases – “sell my house fast” and “sell my home fast” – to see which was more effective. Interestingly, both key phrases produced a similar number of leads that were equally qualified. However, the profit per lead from the sales associated with “home” was less than “house.” Kasim modified future campaigns to exclude “home,” which is know as conversation optimization. Although, without actually performing the test and tracking the results, how would he have ever recognized the difference? That is why trial-and-error during the initial education period is a requirement. Kasim compared it to throwing spaghetti on the wall and then seeing what stuck!

 

Add Sophistication – Content Marketing

 

Once you have a solid baseline from direct response marketing using Google Ad Words, branch out to more sophisticated, higher in the funnel marketing strategies. In Kasim’s world, this usually equates to content marketing.

 

To determine what content to create, pick a specific vertical that is heavily applicable to your geography. Kasim stressed the importance of not going outside of your geography. You want to stay close to home with digital marketing at first because you aren’t going to know the specifics of other geographic locations from a search perspective (i.e. certain geographic search tags). Little things like that make a massive difference when trying to relate to a specific demographic, so stick to a geography that you know.

 

Here is some example target verticals based on what is occurring in a specific geography

  • In a shrinking market = go after job loss demographics
  • In a growing market = go after relocation demographics
  • In a market dominated by a younger demographic = go after marriage, upsizing, kids, etc.

 

Once you have selected your target vertical, it is time to play the “empathy game.” You need to understand the target demographics needs, pain points, what they are looking for, what turns them on, what turns them off, etc. Then, create relevant, valuable content around that specific demographic AND try to find a way to connect it to your value as a thought leader.

 

If you are a real estate thought leader, you probably shouldn’t be creating content about the best way to raise their kids or what schools they should go to. Instead, you want to create content that connects back to real estate. Once you make that connection, you can speak to them as a thought leader and contextualize a message according to their needs.

 

Facebook Marketing

 

Kasim’s favorite channel for content marketing is Facebook. Facebook allows you to target people based off their interests – known as interest-based segmentation.

 

For example, let’s say that you select “golfers” as the vertical you are going to pursue because you are trying to sell a property on a golf course. Targeting people that are interested in Tiger Woods may not be the best strategy. He is also a celebrity and people may be interested in him but not interested in golf. Therefore, you want to select an interest (golfer) that non-golfers wouldn’t know. Then, you are in a position to deliver your message to a demographic that is perfectly and uniquely qualified for exactly what you have to offer.

 

Facebook allows you to be super creative. The more intelligent you are about how someone’s interests relates to their buying patterns, the more leads you will be able to mine!

 

6-Steps to Attract 100,000 New Social Media Followers

How impactful would an extra 100,000 social media followers have on your real estate business? That’s 100,000 more potential customers, clients, investors, and leads! Take the increase in referrals into account and you’ve expanded your network even more.

 

So how do you increase your social media presence?

 

In my conversation with Ryan Wallace, who is a social media enthusiast, he provided a 6-step process that allowed him to obtain 56,000 Facebook likes and 34,000 Instagram followers in just 12-months. While Ryan’s profile serves the purpose of expanding a photography business, with creative thinking on your part, the same process can easily be applied to real estate as well.

 

After starting a successful solar company, Ryan decided that he wanted to create a local presence on social media. He has a passion for photography, but taking photos by himself was too time consuming and took away from his other business endeavors. He decided that instead he would feature other local photographers on his page. Luckily, he made the correct choice because his page started exploding. And lucky for us, Ryan shared the process that allowed him to grow quickly for others to replicate and see similar success.

 

Step #1 – Start an social media page emphasizing your niche

 

The first step is to create a social media page and determine the niche you will pursue. For Ryan, his passion was photography and the social media platform was the image-based Instagram platform. Adding in his local market, New Mexico, and niche was “New Mexico photography.”

 

In regards to real estate, your niche could be the real estate strategy and the local or target market you are pursuing (i.e. Dallas Realtors, New York landlords, San Francisco Flippers, etc.)

 

Related: The Ultimate Online Real Estate Marketing Breakdown

 

Step #2 – Start searching hashtags based on your niche

 

Once you’ve selected your niche, the next step is to search hashtags for relevant and popular content. However, instead of simply searching #Dallas or #realtors, search for things that bring pride to the target city or region. The goal is to find gorgeous images of things that both you and your followers are passionate about.

 

For example, in regards to photography, if Ryan was creating a new account in Los Angeles, he would search for terms like #disneyland or #lalife.

 

As a real estate professional, this is where you want to be creative and search based on your passions. If you are having trouble coming up with ideas, a quick tip is to search your niche (let’s use #NYrealestate), look at the most popular posts, and see what hashtags they are using. Another idea would to search for the style of home you find the most appealing followed by “house” (i.e. #victorianhouse, #modernhouse, etc.)

 

Step #3 – Reach out to top profiles

 

Based on your search criteria, whichever profile has the most likes (on Instagram, they will be featured in the “Top Posts” section), comment on their picture. When Ryan comments, he writes, “hey, awesome picture! If you would like to be featured on my page, please email <email address> with the picture, picture information, and your Instagram name and we will feature it!”

 

The exact same message can apply for real estate as well. Comment on the top profiles in your niche and offer to feature their content on your page.

 

Ryan finds that the majority of the people will email you. Maybe 1 out of 10 won’t, but most are flattered and will welcome the free exposure, so they are more than willing to allow you to share their content.

 

Related: How to Use Your Personal Facebook Page to Generate More Leads

 

Step #4 – Create amazing social media posts

 

Once you have their image in your inbox, it is time to create a post. Be sure to include all relevant hashtags, but more importantly, don’t forget to give credit to the photos original author. You do this by either mentioning their social media handle in the post, tagging them on the actual image, or both.

 

The majority of the time, photos original author will comment expressing their gratitude, and/or share the post on their page, pushing it out to their followers. ALWAYS reply back to comments and follow up on shares.

 

Step #5 – Interact on the comment section

 

As your following grows, you will begin to receive a ton of follower comments. In order to maintain a nice engaging experience for everyone, Ryan makes the comment section as interactive as possible. Replying to comments and being very gracious is key towards an increasing follower base and ultimately, an increase in conversions.

 

Step #6 – Leverage your large following

 

Once Ryan was able to get his large following, he was able to successfully launch an app that had over 5000 downloads in 4 days. Also, he has some of the biggest brands in the state advertising with him. He is contacted by real estate agents who want to place their listings on his app. All the major media outlets in New Mexico have interviewed him. Finally, he was able to be in two main newspapers in Albuquerque.

 

For your page, you can start posting your content (blogs, podcasts, YouTube videos, etc.), services, deals, or anything related to your business.

 

After you’ve created your large real estate following, the benefits are virtually limitless, from lead generation to selling your products and services!

 

keyboard

3 Online Marketing Methods To Complete 400 Deals

In my conversation with Lolita Sheriow, who is a wholesaler, speaker, author, and podcast host, she explained the marketing strategies that have allowed her to complete 400 deals in 9 years!

 

Lolita is a huge proponent of having an online presence. The obvious reason is that everyone is online these days. However, Lolita applies marketing methods that allow her to stand apart from the masses and increase her overall visibility. By creating content that exudes her as an authority in the real estate world, she is able to generate massive amounts of leads. How else do you close on 400 deals in 9 years?

 

While Lolita does utilize direct mail to obtain leads, she has mastered three other marketing avenues that are entirely online:

 

Social Media

 

Lolita uses social media to mostly promote her brand. She is on all social media and keeps things consistent across platforms. If you go on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, you will find that she has the same picture, bio information, posts, etc. However, simply being on all social media sites isn’t enough, or else you will not stand out. To avoid being just another fish in the pond, Lolita makes sure she stays active. Again, this allows her to increase her visibility and display herself as an authority in the real estate market, which results in leads and deals!

 

YouTube Videos

 

Lolita has also been successful using YouTube as a marketing platform. She started posting YouTube videos several years ago. She still get leads that trickle in on a weekly basis from people that viewed her videos. Lolita’s most successful video was on the topic of probate leads and direct marketing (click here to watch). It is approaching 25,000 views! Due to the popularity of the video, Lolita has had tons of people reach out to her. She has answered countless questions, generated a lot of leads that ended up putting money in her pocket, has gotten new coaching clients, and has sold different products and services that she provides. All this from a single, and informative, 15-minute video!

 

Also, Lolita has a separate YouTube channel that is used for the sole purpose of attracting motivated sellers. The content is different compared to her general YouTube channel and she features the videos on her third style of marketing, which is…

 

 

Squeeze Pages

 

Finally, Lolita uses squeeze pages to attract motivated seller leads. On the squeeze pages, she will post the “motivated sellers” specific YouTube videos. The squeeze pages and respective videos focus on attracting sellers from Lolita’s target niches: vacant property sellers, probates, delinquent property taxes, and delinquent mortgage payments.

 

Which of Lolita’s three marketing/branding strategies can you add to your repertoire to increase your deal pipeline?

 

direct calls for real estate deals

Three Marketing Methods to Wholesale 250 Deals a Year

 

In my conversation with Michael Del Prete, who has wholesaled more than 250 deals in the last 4 years, he provided a list his 3 go-to marketing methods, one being a low cost, low effort method that has resulted in 17 deals, with more to come in the future.

 

Michael uses three main methods to market for deals. The most expensive method is direct mailing campaigns. Currently, he sends out between 4,000 and 6,000 letter every month. Michael obtains his mailing lists from the following methods:

 

  • Title Companies – Title companies want your business, so they will give you free lists if you agree to use them for your deals
  • Online Lists – Michael purchases lists from online sources, including sites like MelissaData and ListSource
  • Driving for Dollars – Over time, Michael builds lists of vacant land and distressed properties by simply driving around the city
  • City data – Michael obtains lists from the city that contain the names of individuals that are behind on their taxes
  • Property Radar – Michael uses Property Radar to obtain lists of pre-foreclosures

 

All in all, Michael’s direct mailing campaign expenses are approximately $3,000 per month.

 

Another marketing method that Michael uses is bandit signs. He is transitioning to focusing more on buy-and-hold investing, where bandit signs are not as effective, but he still has them out there for his wholesaling business. Since he lives in a hot, competitive market, he puts 50 signs up every week. When doing a bandit sign campaign, you need to be consistent and have a lot of signs out there if you want to have your phone ringing with leads.

 

While direct mailing and bandit signs have been successful, Michael believes the most in self-generating leads by building relationships. When you focus on building relationships with a handful of serious cash buyers that do a lot of fix-and-flips, not only will you have a go-to source to sell your deals too, but when they get into a situation where they have opportunities that they don’t want, don’t need, or if they are falling behind, they will send those deals to you.

 

Michael has gotten 17 deals just by building relationships with people. Simply having a good name and being out there building relationships will generate leads and referrals

 

Building relationships is easy. Michael’s strategy is to always schedule a meeting when someone calls, whether they are an experienced or novice investor. He will schedule a handful of ½ hour meeting all in a row, sit down for a couple of hours at Starbucks, and will get to know people, talk shop, and try to put a deal together.

 

To know where to go with the conversation, he will pre-qualify them on the phone prior to meeting by asking the following questions:

  • How long have you been around?
  • How many deals have you done?
  • What are you working on now?
  • Do you have any active projects?
  • How long have you been in the business?
  • When did you go your first deal?

 

Based on these questions, Michal can get a vibe for where they are at in their careers, which will let him know where to steer the conversation when meeting at Starbucks. For someone that is already an experienced investor, during the meeting, his outcome is to determine what they are looking for:

  • What zip codes do they invest in?
  • What neighborhoods?
  • How much do they put into repairs?

He digs into what the investor wants so that he can go out, find a deal that fits their criteria, and deliver.

 

Even if they aren’t doing anything or are just getting started, that doesn’t mean that he doesn’t want to talk to them. But, he will steer the conversation in a different direction. If they are newer, his outcome is to try to educate them and be resource by:

  • Providing them with local networking meetings to attend
  • Telling them to go talk to local investors he knows
  • Giving them “how-to” tips
  • Letting them know what he is currently doing and what he sees is working in the market
  • Providing them with specific action actions (i.e. bring a deal to the table, get a seller on the phone, start building a buyers list, etc.)
  • Telling them that if they take his advice and act on it, they can feel free to reach out to him with further questions

 

When working with newer investors, Michael’s rule is that the more time they put into themselves and their business, the more time he will give them. 99% of the people he meets with will jump in, pick his brain, but are “time vampires” that quickly disappear. He used to give his time away all the time, but as he gained more experience, he started being more selective. But, as long as he sees them taking action, caring, and wanting to invest in themselves, he has no problem being a resource.

 

 

How to Leverage Snapchat to Put More Money In Your Pocket

I had an extremely informative conversation with Michael Meier, who is a New York City based Real Estate broker, about different marketing techniques he uses to grow his business. I have a marketing background and I thought I had heard it all, until Michael explained how he leverages social media platforms, specifically Snapchat, to create a solid, expanding real estate brand that puts money in his pocket!

 

Michael’s best real estate investing advice, for both investors and brokers, is to make sure your marketing methods cast a wide enough net that reaches a large audience and that it is very personal. In the investing world, there are a multitude of marketing techniques, like yellow letters and postcards, which allow you to connect with people in personal ways. Regardless of what your business model is, the more personal you can be with people, the higher the likelihood is that you will receive a response or have an interaction with them.

 

For example, if you are looking to flip smalls homes in a certain area, by reaching out in a personal way, like a handwritten postcard or yellow letter, you are going to have a better chance of connecting with them, getting a conversation going, and ultimately finding out if there really is an opportunity. However, if you try a non-personal, commercialized approach that doesn’t speak to people, like a mass distributed printed white letter mailing campaign, you are not going to get the same amount of responses.

 

Michael believes that the best medium out there that allows you to cast the widest net and connect with the most amounts of people in a personal way is the social media platform Snapchat. Snapchat allows you to show people who the “real” you is. And if the “real” you is someone that can solve a problem for somebody, that is in a distressed situation, by purchasing their property, then that will shine through via Snapchat, and the person will be happier to give the deal to you than to someone they don’t know or don’t have a connection with.

 

If there is someone that has a larger multi-family building and you think that you can buy it, rehab it, and do an added-value purchase, and they see from your Snapchat that you are a strategic thinker that knows how to take properties and get the best value out of them, then in their mind, they may think that you are the type of person that will pay the most to purchase it. Regardless of whether or not you actually will pay the highest is irrelevant. The point is that when you get the person to trust you, you will have a better chance of getting them on the phone and talking so that you can evaluate the opportunity.

 

Michael specifically uses Snapchat to connect with real estate agents, brokers, and investors across the country. He does this by creating daily one-minute educational lessons in 6 snaps or less. He picks a topic and is forced to discuss the topic that might typically have taken him an hour and a half to explain in only one minute. As a result, he has a lot of interactions and people leaving comments the lessons he is posting. People are either agreeing with the information, relating a similar experience they have had, or saying “wow, you brought up a point that I had never thought about before, but what about XYZ?” And then he will use XYZ as the topic for the next day’s 1-minute lesson.

 

Not only does this allow Michael to hone his teaching and presentation skills, but he also learns from people communicating with him, and most importantly, he has met a lot of brokers and agents from across the country, which has resulted in referrals, and in turn, money is his pocket!

 

 

Why Don’t We Follow-Up?

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

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

First, let’s look at an example.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Me: Oh, what industry are you in?

She: I’m in payroll management.

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

She: Really?

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

She: Ok

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

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

Done and done. Right?

WRONG. She. Never. Followed. Up.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here are four questions to ask ourselves:

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

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

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

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

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