JF1265: Generating Real Estate Leads Using Facebook & YouTube #SkillSetSunday with Edwin Dearborn
Edwin grew up with his mom being a realtor in Orange County, California. He’s been around real estate for a long time, and spent 10 years in digital marketing. When the economy collapsed around 2007, he thought (correctly so) that social media was going to be how businesses grow in the future. Today he shares a lot of tips with us on how we can attract leads using social media. If you enjoyed today’s episode remember to subscribe in iTunes and leave us a review!
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Edwin Dearborn Background:
-CEO of Premiere Lead Systems
–Featured in the Huffington Post, Entrepreneur, Social Media Today and other national media outlets
-Author of Amazon bestseller, Power Branding Secrets
-Say hi to him at www.premierleadsystems.com
-Based in Las Vegas, Nevada
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Joe Fairless: Best Ever listeners, how are you doing? Welcome to the best real estate investing advice ever show. I’m Joe Fairless, and this is the world’s longest-running daily real estate investing podcast. We only talk about the best advice ever, we don’t get into any of that fluffy stuff.
I first off hope you’re having a best ever weekend. Because today is Sunday we’ve got a special segment for you called Skillset Sunday where you’re going to come away with a specific skill that perhaps you didn’t have otherwise, or if you did, then you’re gonna be able to hone it and take it to another level. We’re gonna be talking about lead generation via Facebook and YouTube, and we’re doing that with Edwin Dearborn. How are you doing, Edwin?
Edwin Dearborn: Great, man. Thank you so much for having me on your podcast.
Joe Fairless: My pleasure, nice to have you on the show. Edwin is the CEO of Premiere Lead Systems; he’s been featured in Huffington Post, Entrepreneur, Social Media Today and a bunch of other media outlets. He’s the author of the book Power Branding Secrets, and I’ve got his website in the show notes, so you can just click that and check it out.
With that being said, Edwin, before we dive into the specific tips for lead generation via Facebook and YouTube, do you wanna give the Best Ever listeners a little bit more about yourself and what your focus is?
Edwin Dearborn: Yeah, I grew up in Orange County, California, and my mom was a realtor back in the ’70s, so I grew up in real estate and got to see my mom go out and show houses and do all that stuff. This is back in the day of Yellow Pages and rolodexes, right? And canvassing and all that type. Obviously, the technology has advanced greatly in how real estate agents are able to build their presence and generate leads.
In the last ten years I’ve worked in digital marketing. When the economy collapsed in 2007 – about 11 years ago – Facebook, Twitter, YouTube were all emerging, and I really saw that this was gonna be the future of how businesses were gonna build their reputation, connect with important people and audiences, and so I delved head first into it and I just became engrossed and enthused from day one, when all of this technology became really in its beginning stages.
Joe Fairless: I love it. Yeah, I’m excited for our conversation, because I definitely understand and agree with you the importance of being able to generate leads and brand awareness through the digital environment. So Facebook, YouTube lead generation – how should we approach our conversation?
Edwin Dearborn: Well, the first thing I tell realtors, particularly if they’re 45-50 years or older – I’m 54, but I have a young mind I feel, so technology doesn’t scare me… But when you get with older realtors, I tell them “Your mind is not rigged to learn this or adapt to this technology. The first thing that you’re gonna have to overcome in using CRMs, YouTube, Facebook, whatever have you is you’re gonna have to be willing to learn new skills and do things you haven’t done before. The world has changed dramatically, and if you don’t change with it, you’re gonna be in a museum with a dinosaur, and your brand will become irrelevant simply because you’re not up to the times… So as I teach people and I coach people – and I’ve been to St. Louis, Seattle, I’m going to Seattle again in about a month to teach about 150 realtors how to use video… Las Vegas, Orange County – I’ve been all over the United States, teaching realtors about this, and I go “The first barrier is the willingness to learn.” Because I can teach you all the tactics, but if you haven’t changed your philosophy of how you’re going to approach your branding and lead generation, the tactics won’t do any good for you. You’ll resist the change.
So the first thing I tell people is you’ve gotta be willing to learn new skills, otherwise the tactics won’t mean anything to you.
Joe Fairless: Okay, noted. And since we’ve got Best Ever listeners listening who are choosing to listen and continuing to listen to this episode in particular, hook, line, sinker you’ve got us, now what’s the second thing?
Edwin Dearborn: The second thing is that device in your hand, that laptop or that mobile device more precisely, is your best marketing weapon, because with that mobile device you can create content and videos on the fly, and not only create it, but you can distribute it through Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter etc. What you have in your hand is not just something to make phone calls, which itself is important, but you have a content creation and distribution machine. It’s all right there. You don’t need fancy equipment, you don’t need expensive camera gear; believe me, an iPhone and your video apps, YouTube and Facebook – you’re in business right now. You can start creating content right now.
So what we wanna do now that you’ve got this instrument in your hand is we have to understand what audiences want. And what they want is they want information that answers their questions. Now, interestingly enough, when you become an author – and by definition in the dictionary, an author is a creator of anything, so you can author a podcast, like you do, you can author a book, you can author a video series, you can author a YouTube show… Anytime that we create content, we’re an author. Well, the word “authority” is derived from the word “author.” When you author content and you distribute that content, you become an authority, and I think you’ve probably seen this, where you get people listening to your podcasts and it’s like “Hey, Joe seems to know what he’s talking about, because he’s always talking about it and he’s putting up content.” I’m sure you’ve experienced that, yes?
Joe Fairless: Sure.
Edwin Dearborn: Okay, great. So what I tell realtors is what you wanna do is you wanna become your local authority about what you do. One of the drills that I have real estate agents do is I simply do this – all you wanna do is become the authority by answering questions. It’s called a search engine. People go to social media and they go to search engines to discover relevant, important information to them, information that’s relative to their lives.
So I go, “If you’ve been in the business for at least a few years, I guarantee you you can write down one of the top 20 or 25 or 30 questions that you get asked all the time.” It may be “How much money do I have to come up with for a down payment? What does my credit score have to be? What are the best neighborhoods to buy in my area?” etc. Write those questions down.
Well, you can get an inexpensive tripod, set up your iPhone, you can sit in your office and do Facebook live and go “Hey, on this week’s show I wanna answer a question, and the question is what does my credit score have to be for me to qualify for a home?” You may even have a guest, maybe you have a credit repair expert, or a banker, or a CPA, or whatever is relative — or it’s just you… And you answer that question, you take 3-5 minutes, and you go over some tips and some strategies about what they can do to improve their credit score to qualify for a loan. Well, you can take that Facebook Live video, go to your laptop, click on the video, upload it to your computer and then take that video file and upload it to YouTube and optimize it for local search. Because YouTube is owned by Google, and if you know how to optimize a YouTube video, it can actually appear in local search for keywords. Moreover, you can take that video link and share it on social media, you can e-mail it out to your e-mail database once a week, you do this one week show.
Well, believe me, 98% of the realtors are not doing this. They’re doing cold-calling, or canvassing neighborhoods, they’re going to these meetup groups and they may or may not be getting leads, whereas what we wanna do is have you grow your digital database and you start engaging it.
Somebody told me very intelligently many years ago, “Your net worth is in your network”, so what I tell realtors is 1) be proactive in building up your social network, get more followers on Facebook and LinkedIn, and then two, start putting out simple content answering questions, as well as putting out whatever your offerings are. As you engage with people, build up your e-mail database and send out that content as well to your e-mail database.
I give you one example of a realtor here in Las Vegas, Nevada… I was coaching this gentleman – he’s about 55 years old, never ever did a video in his life; one of these older gentlemen going “I don’t get it, I don’t get Facebook, I’m overwhelmed, I’m confused”, and he paid me to coach him on how to create video, because I said “Look, you just go around any Starbucks or airport, everybody is staring at their mobile device, and half the time they’re on Facebook and the other half they’re watching a video, so you might as well embrace video and Facebook, because that’s where the audience is”, yet that’s where the realtors are not.
So the opportunity for you to stand out as a brand is to create video. “Okay, I’ll take your word for it”, so he paid me, and I said “Okay, we’re gonna do a Facebook Live right now.” He’s like, “Right now?! We’re just gonna do it?”, I said “Yeah, we’re just gonna do it. So what’s a common question that you get asked all the time?” “Why should I move from California to Las Vegas?”, because if you’ve been to Las Vegas, there’s a lot of people that move from California because it’s less expensive, there’s no state income tax, there’s less traffic and less regulations in business. So a lot of Californians are moving over here.”
I said, “Great, why don’t you educate Californians on the benefits of moving from California to Las Vegas? Just tell me the top three benefits. We’re gonna make this like a 4-5 minute Facebook Live.” So we kind of rehearsed it a little bit, and I grabbed his camera and I put him right on Facebook Live, right on his feed. He looked as stiff as a board… He was like, “I’m doing this wrong…”, and I said “No, no, no. The only way you’re gonna learn is like riding a bicycle; you’re just gonna start doing it.”
He’s got 700-800 people on Facebook, and he’s doing this thing live, going “Hi, my name is Gary and I’m with Keller Williams, and I will tell you three top reasons why you should move from California to Las Vegas”, and he went over these reasons. So we did it, we published it… He was sweating, going “I can’t believe I was actually on a live video.” I said, “Yeah, it wasn’t that bad, was it?” He’s like, “No.”
Two minutes later, while we’re sitting there after the video is done, he gets a phone call — we’ll swear on a stack of Bibles, this actually happened… He gets a phone call and this lady says “Hey, Gary… Remember me?” and he’s like, “Oh yeah, we were friends in Phoenix, like 20 years ago.” She goes, “Yeah, I just saw your Facebook live.” He’s like, “What?” “Yeah, I’ve always wondered what happened to you… We’re friends on Facebook, you probably didn’t know that, and I’m in Phoenix now. If you ever wanna come up in Phoenix to do business, look me up.” And she goes, “It’s funny, because I have a friend living in San Diego who wants to move to Las Vegas, and I’m gonna share your Facebook live video.”
Well, about 15 minutes later, we’re still in the coaching session and he gets this phone call from the friend, the referral of the lady who saw him on Facebook Live, and said “I’m looking in about two years to sell my home and buy in San Diego, and buy a home cash in Las Vegas. Could you help me find a home in Las Vegas?” He put down the phone and Gary told me, he goes “Edwin, if I did not see it happen with my own eyes, I would have never believed it.” Well, we took one of his videos that he did on Facebook live, we uploaded it to YouTube, we optimized it… In the last three months he’s at 600 views on his video, all organic. He was blown away.
We had lunch last week and I said “Gary, you’re almost up to 600 views on YouTube” and he goes “I’ve done nothing with the video.” I go “Yeah, that’s just people searching the keywords, and there you are; you’re appearing on page number one for certain keywords on YouTube.” He goes “I’ve gotta do more videos.” I said, “Absolutely.”
So we sat down and we listed out the 30 questions that he gets asked all the time, and now we’re gonna be creating those videos for him. I can tell you right now, I created a video on YouTube, and this is where it really, really hit me, about three years ago.
I did a video, I put it on YouTube and I put it on Facebook, and within about a day on Facebook messenger I get this doctor reaching out to me from Copenhagen, Denmark. He goes “Hey, I watched your video… Would it be possible for you to deliver this service in Denmark?” and I said, “Well, I don’t speak Danish.” He goes, “No, no, no, 98% of Danes speak perfect English. We started on English in the second great.” I said, “Yeah, if we’re gonna do the videos in English, sure. You’ve gotta fly me over there and pay for my airfare and everything.” So he goes, “Well, how much does it cost for you to fly over and do a video?” and I said “Well…”, and I quoted a very high price; it was about $13,000 for me to come over and do a couple days’ worth of videos, “And you’ve gotta pay for my airfare and flight of me and my videographer.” He goes, “Well, do you take credit card?” I said, “Yes.” He gave me the credit card, and I spent a week in Denmark, shooting videos for this doctor. And it hit me, I was like, “Wow, it’s like… My 4-minute video pretty much sold somebody halfway across the planet, and he gave me a credit card through Facebook Messenger, and I got to travel to Europe, all expenses paid.” I was like, “Okay, this is the future of marketing.” It hit me like a ton of bricks.
It’s amazing that more and more people have not adapted to it, and this is why I went over that first point – you’re gonna have to embrace the new way that the world works. And if all you do is create videos and distribute them, that answer their intent… And here’s the key – you don’t have to sell as a realtor, because if all your videos are about selling, then no one’s gonna wanna consume your content. But if your content fills a void somehow – it either entertains or answers a question or gives insight, or you provide news updates about what’s happening in your marketplace, or you interview other experts, what that does is you start to become the Huffington Post of your area.
So instead of being a salesperson, you wanna start thinking like a journalist and start providing information and updates and insights. By just doing that over and over to your database, you will become an expert. So when they finally do wanna buy, they do wanna sell, who are they gonna pick? Just any realtor, or the guy who’s an expert, who’s been talking about it, right?
Joe Fairless: Yeah, absolutely.
Edwin Dearborn: People buy from experts. That’s what content marketing and video marketing can do for you – it actually positions you as the go-to expert.
Joe Fairless: This is such a practical guide for our Best Ever listeners to follow to get up and running, and I’m so grateful that you talked through not only the process, but also a case study that reinforces the process, or is an example of the process. I love the simplicity – because this is a very simple approach – and the reason why I love the simplicity is because this is the exact approach that I take, and it works for me and my business, and it could work for anyone else… And you’re so right – I agree with everything you’ve said – but one thing in particular that stood out to me is, I’m not a real estate agent, but I imagine that the other 98% of real estate agents are not doing this, and 2% who are, are getting disproportionate results because of their time that they’re putting into it… Just exponentially more ROI, and return on time as well, because of this approach, so thank you for walking through this step-by-step approach for this, and then the reason why behind the scenes we should do it.
Edwin Dearborn: Yeah, and just to take it one step further, Joe, in my book – this is a plug for my book, the shameless plug – Power Branding Secrets, in the last few chapters I actually go over step by step, and I literally mean numerical steps of how to develop, create and distribute content. It’s like making chocolate chip cookies; it’s literally like “Grab a pound of flour, now mix in the milk…” I literally walk everybody through — and the reason why I did that is in my ten years of working in digital marketing, the number one challenge that I heard over and over, from hundreds of people, was “It’s all overwhelming. I’m overwhelmed with everything that I have to do. Should I be on Twitter, should I be on Yelp?”, and I just said “No, we’re gonna take one thing, we’re gonna have you do one thing.”
So I decided to kind of put a gradient there and go “Okay, here’s just some simple steps… If you just do this… No, you’re not gonna be everywhere, you won’t master everything, but if I can get you to do one thing really well, and – just as importantly – consistently… If you consistently do this, you will build your brand.”
If you take a look at some of the best marketers on the planet in real estate or just in digital marketing – Gary Vaynerchuk, Grant Cardone – what do they do? They put out content over and over and over. They find out what people have questions about, they bring on awesome guests, and they just keep doing it. It has allowed them to stand heads and tails.
Now, I’m not saying that your guys are gonna become a Grant Cardone or a Gary Vaynerchuk, but you can become the Grant Cardone of your city, of your neighborhood, right? You can become locally famous and still make a lot of money as a realtor. So if you’re out there in Poughkeepsie, Illinois, 60,000 people, there’s plenty of business to do just in that city. Well, become Poughkeepsie famous.
Joe Fairless: Anything else as it relates to this topic that you wanna mention before we close out?
Edwin Dearborn: People ask me “What social media should I be on? Where should I be promoting?” and I said “Well, what is the one that you already know how to use?”, and they usually say Facebook. I say “Good, start with Facebook.” Don’t worry about the others. Don’t try to become everywhere. Take one platform, learn it well, practice with it, use it over and over, become comfortable with it, then you can go and do other things. Don’t overwhelm yourself with too much. Find one thing that you feel you can do well and then become proficient at it. That’s all you have to worry about, and you will grow in your ability to use digital marketing to grow your brand.
Joe Fairless: I’m really grateful for our conversation. This is probably the most practical advice for getting a thought leadership platform started that I’ve heard before, and the step-by-step process… I have two computers on my desk; one is the computer where I type notes, the other is my other — my other computer has just got e-mail and random stuff on it… But on the screen of my other computer – it’s got “Thank you, your order has been placed.” I’m on Amazon, I just bought your book, so I’m looking forward to getting into your book and reading that…
Thank you for being on the show… The step-by-step process – first, we’ve gotta be willing to learn… Checked that box; we’re Best Ever listeners, we’ve got that. Second, the mobile device is the best marketing weapon; we’ve all got that too, most likely. Third is know what our audience wants – and you answered that for us; they want information that answers their questions, so then the next step is to become your local authority about those topics or those answers, and you do that by answering the questions, so write down 30 questions that you get commonly asked… Answer those questions, put it on whatever platform you currently already know how to use, and do it consistently over time and you’re gonna see results, yes?
Edwin Dearborn: Absolutely.
Joe Fairless: Sweet. Well, Edwin, thank you for being on the show. How can the Best Ever listeners get in touch with you?
Edwin Dearborn: Our website is PremiereLeadSystems.com. They can also reach me at EdwinDearborn@me.com. My phone number (my personal cell) is 714-300-9566.
Joe Fairless: Sweet. Well, thank you for being on the show. I hope you have a best ever day, and we’ll talk to you soon.
Edwin Dearborn: Thanks, Joe.