Today I’m talking with online marketing expert, David Corbaley.
David is a genius internet-marketing seller and a lead-generating machine. In today’s episode, we’re talking about not only how to generate seller leads and buyer leads using the internet, but David also shares with us the marketing that’s working today and what isn’t working. He’s always on the cutting edge, so this guy knows what he’s talk about.
We also cover the one thing that holds people back from jumping into REI: fear. You’ll hear how fear got in the way of David’s success, how he finally overcame it and how you can too.
Listen and enjoy:
- 3:19 – How David began his REI career after 10 years in the military and the infomercial that inspired him
- 5:15 – David says this is the #1 thing that stops people from starting REI – and Joe agrees
- 10:55 – What David says people forget about REI – the ‘why’ we’re in this in the first place
- 12:03 – When David realized how important marketing is, that it must be done consistently, and the need to be different from everybody else
- 18:20 – Why David still does direct mail marketing even though most of his marketing is done online
- 20:00 – What has and hasn’t changed with online marketing
- 27:10 – Why David still does SEO for his local real estate businesses and how he does it
- 30:35 – David weighs in on whether you should use LinkedIn and Google Plus
- 35:00 – David’s thoughts about getting leads through Facebook
- 40:25 – The text and graphics David puts on his Facebook ads
- 48:28 – David’s advice: If a new investor had $500 and was planning to start REI, they should do this
Mentioned in this episode:
- Alex and Joe’s Fast Cash Survival Kit: Real Estate Investing Mastery
- David’s free kit download for you: 7 Ways to Get Motivated Seller Leads
Intro: Welcome! This is the Real Estate Investing Mastery Podcast.
Joe: Hey, everybody. Welcome! This is the Real Estate Investing Mastery Podcast. Glad you’re here. I’m Joe McCall. Alex couldn’t be with me today. I’ve got an exciting episode for you. First, I want to tell you, go to RealEstateInvestingMastery.com. Get our fast cash survival kit. A lot of you have already gone through that. We hear great stories and testimonials from that but in there, Alex and I tell you how we do our businesses. How Alex flips property with equity, I flip properties without equity. Actually, I’m doing both. But how we run our businesses, how we do our marketing, how we do our outsourcing, how we’re able to travel the world and do deals. It’s a great time to be in this market. I’m excited about this market.
You’ve heard me talk about this before, we just got back recently from a 3-month trip in Europe and we were able to flip deals from Prague, in the United States and three different markets. What other business can you do that with, right, without huge overhead, without a ton of staff? Just from a laptop and a computer. That’s why I’m passionate about this business. And that’s why I’m passionate and that’s why I do this podcast, to share these kinds of stories with you, this incredible content in this podcast, etc., etc. So, we’ve got a good episode today with David Corbaley who’s an internet-marketing seller, lead-generating machine. We’re going to be talking a lot about how to generate seller leads and buyer leads using the internet, which is always cutting edge.
The cool thing about what David is doing, he always has to be on the cutting edge and understanding what’s working today, what’s not. And we’re going to be talking about that. Cause the stuff that works two years ago maybe isn’t working today. Or maybe stuff that was working two years ago is still working today and people aren’t doing it still. And there’s a huge opportunity if you had been getting burnt by low response rates in direct mail, this is something that you definitely want to pay attention to. One more thing and I’ll start talking to David here.
Please leave a review in iTunes if you like the show, if you like the show and you want us to keep it going. I mean there’s very few podcasts out there in the real estate investing space that had been doing it as long as we have and consistently as we have and I’m proud of that. We have listeners in over 170 different countries. Well, over 1.3 million downloads so far. So if you like the show, please leave a review in iTunes. Go to iTunes, subscribe, leave a review. It helps us in the rankings and we really appreciate it. All right, David. How are you?
David: I am fantastic, Joe. Thanks for having me.
Joe: You live in Denver, Colorado, is that right?
David: Currently, yes.
Joe: I love Colorado. Gorgeous. So, what do you do? Well, actually, let’s go back a little bit. Where and how did you get started in real estate investing?
David: Well, I spent 10 years in the military and after I got out, I was a Jack of all trades for a couple of years and doing just odd jobs here and there to make a living. And then, I got hired on Shell Fire Department. And this was January of ‘99. So I got hired on Shell Fire Department, great career. I did that for a couple of years and then as a firefighter, you actually have, this was one of the great things about it is you have a lot of time off because you work 24-hour shifts. So you might work one shift and then you have two days off. Then you work another shift, you have three days off.
So you have a lot of time off. Most guys would just enjoy their time off, there’s nothing wrong with that because they had a career. Well me, I just had this feeling that there was more that I wanted to do. I wanted to do my own thing so I started looking in to what I could do for a business and ended up seeing… It’s a turn of events and it’s interesting how it happened but like Steve Jobs said, you can look back and connect the dots but you just can’t do it going forward. So I saw a Rich Dad, Poor Dad infomercial one day and I don’t know why I was watching this things in the middle of the night but I saw it and I ordered his course for $197 bucks and learned all about the different quadrants and business and stuff like that and I realized that I needed to be in real estate.
And that started the process of researching real estate. I got a really good point here that I think is going to be good for a lot of you listeners but… Started the process of researching and I have bought like a Carleton Sheets course. This is a while back, whatever it was, 15 years ago or something. And then, I started getting on forums and stuff like that and figuring out… Anyway, I got my first lease option deal in 2002. That’s basically how I started.
But the point I want to make is it took me a long time to get started because I, whatever, in the fear factor. I didn’t, the belief system, I didn’t know if I could really do this or… And the reason I’m saying this is because after doing this for so long, I know that that’s the number one thing that stops people. So I’m telling you this right in the beginning of this call, the number one thing that stops people from being successful or even starting in this business is just the belief that, “Can I really do this?” and the fear that, “What happens if I fail?” or whatever. So…
Joe: Hmmm, yeah.
David: Yeah. So, it took me like, I don’t know, 8 months before I actually started marketing. And when I started marketing, I had my first deal, I think, probably in 4 to 5 days. So…
Joe: Ha-ha. So here’s the thing I get so excited when I hear people talk about this. Because there is that fear and I just did a webinar last week and I basically was telling people, I’m opening up the doors to a small group coaching program of just 12 people where you have to apply to get in. It’s just, and I filled it really quickly, it’s just serious action-takers. I was telling everybody on this webinar, and I was teaching wholesaling lease options but I was saying, “Listen, it doesn’t matter if you’re doing wholesaling lease options or whatever you’re doing. The number one thing that’s going to trip you up is fear.
And you’re always worried, if you’re always worried about step 7 and 8, you’re never going to start doing steps 1 and 2.” And I was intentionally telling everybody to… It’s okay to make mistakes. It’s okay to fail. And this group is going to be only specifically focused on doing what’s most important and that’s marketing and making offers, right? And so I’m giving everybody who’s in the group a scorecard. And we’re going to get on the phone every week for eight weeks and you have to report in new numbers. And I interviewed everybody and I said to them, “Get in. You’ve got to commit to at least spending 500 bucks a month in marketing and you have to commit to make at least 5 offers a day.
And if you can do that, then you’re in.” And everybody gets a scorecard. We’re just starting the group right now. I’m so excited about it. We were doing deal partnerings so they need to partner with me on their first 2 deals. I’m excited because these guys now are… I saw them, I said, “Listen, you have enough education. You know everything that you’re supposed to be doing. You just need to take action.” So I’m, in a sense, trying to kick them in the butt and get them accountable to a small group of people where they have to report in their numbers every week. Guess what happens, David, when you start making offers. When you start doing marketing and making offers, you do deals.
David: It’s amazing, isn’t it?
Joe: It really does work.
David: That’s great that you got that coaching program because you’re right. I mean, people, I think it’s human nature. I did it. I mean, when I moved from the Seattle area, I literally, I think I gave them all away. I did. I had a number of friends come to my house and literally go through my garage. I mean I gave everything away because I want to just get rid of it all and travel light. And there are probably six moving boxes, full size. Probably six or seven or eight of those, full of real estate courses. I mean, there were probably, $30,000, $50,000. They, what, run a thousand bucks, $1,500 bucks a piece?
Joe: Well, back then, yeah.
Joe: They were more expensive than they are now.
David: Over the course of my leaning career, I mean, I had spent a lot of money on stuff. And I’m telling you, some of that stuff. I never even applied because I was in learning mode, right?
Joe: Well, and we’re not mocking learning mode either. I mean, everybody…
Joe: You have to learn the stuff but okay, once you learn it, then what are you going to do with it?
David: Yeah, it’s like once you learn enough, start.
Joe: I’ve told this story a hundred times. I don’t mean to steal your thunder. I just get passionate about this because when I was getting started, I spent probably $30, $40 grand on real estate education. My back was against the wall. We were looking at doing a short sale on our house and I’m just really, really struggling. Couldn’t sleep at night with all of the stress and the bills and stuff. I remember looking at that thinking, “I’ve got to do something now.” I said I’m just going to buy one more course. I had to buy one more course.
But I said, “I’m going to buy one more course and I’m going to do what this guy says to do. I’m not going to question it. I’m not going to change anything. Come hell or high water. I’ll be damned. I’m going to do what this guy says to do.” And so guess what? I didn’t like his postcards. I didn’t like his phone script. I didn’t like the way his contracts were worded. I thought I knew better but I just did it anyway. I plowed through, I sent out the postcards, and guess what? I started getting calls. And then I started using the script and guess what? I started getting deals. And then I started marketing, I was just exactly what you said to do and I started doing deals. I could not believe how easy it was and how stupid I was for waiting so long.
David: Yeah. Yeah.
Joe: Not taking action earlier.
David: It’s so common. I remember, right along those lines, I remember getting a call, working my way, not the first one but still one I was very new, getting a call from a guy who sounded a little intimidating on the other line and actually getting an appointment set up and then just being so intimidated on the way to that appointment. Just, in my mind, I saw myself in the guy’s kitchen, standing on the other side of, like the island or whatever, and him saying, “Are you stupid? What are you talking about? Why would I ever want to do that with my house?” That was in my mind. The fear thing that people are just going to shoot me down.
David: But the reality is, people are just, they’re not like that. They are so receptive. And they, I think what we forget when we’re beginning is they are looking for a solution and if you can provide the solution that makes sense to both of you then they’re absolutely going to be receptive to that. We don’t realize that when beginning.
Joe: Well, my friend, Justin Williams who has a house flipping HQ podcast, talks about failing forward fast. And that’s okay. That’s why I believe in coaching and mentoring so much because when you’re failing forward, you’re moving forward and you make a mistake you’re falling forward, and that’s the only way you’re going to learn. By actually getting out there and taking action. So I’m excited with this small group of students that I’m now working with. We’re going to start doing deals because I’m telling them, “Only one thing you need to worry about and that’s marketing.”
Joe: Everything else, I mean, marketing will practically fix every problem in any real estate business, because we’re not in the real estate business, we’re in the marketing business.
Joe: And that’s why I wanted you on the show, David, because you’re an expert at marketing. You’re an expert at online marketing. So, you start doing deals, right? Continue your story of your starting to do deals. When did you realize how important marketing is to consistently do it and to be different than everybody else?
David: So, here’s what happened. I actually really enjoy telling this story because, I mean, I remember just like yesterday. What happened was, I started doing the marketing, got that lease option deal, got a $4,000 option payment, I’m like, “Waaa! This really works.” It was a great time. But I kept marketing for, that’s what I had learned, is how to do lease options. It’s a great way, it’s still today. But I kept marketing for those and what I realized very quickly is I would get a few calls, a few calls here and there and absolutely not everybody, it was rare actually, that somebody was open to doing a lease option deal.
Now, they work well if you find somebody who wants to do one with you. So I thought, “Well, gosh, there’s got to be other ways.” So then I learned how to do subject to investing and there we go again, right. I’m, so, I’m sending my mails, I have bandit signs out, I’m doing ads in the newspaper. I even have a phonebook ad. I had a half of page in the phonebook. I think I probably ended up, over a year, getting one call after that dumb thing out of the phonebook. Hey, you do what you’re told, right?
David: Subject to, and then I actually got a rehab. I found, another firefighter, it’s amazing what kind of money these guys have sitting in savings. But anyway, borrowed $120,000 from this guy and bought a rehab and rehabbed it myself. Anyway, I was doing different things but no matter how much marketing I was doing, it didn’t seem like I was doing enough. Because, you know I would go to an event and there are other people that are just like me who wanted to grow their business. And the person up on stage is talking about all these deals that they were doing and I’m like, “Well, I really want to do that,” and I couldn’t seem to get it with the advertising that I was doing. So I thought, “You know what, there’s got to be something else that I can do.”
And one day, I’m telling you, it just hit me. I don’t know how it did, I don’t remember or even recall how this happened but I thought, You know what? Gosh, whenever I’m looking for something like a dentist or restaurant or whatever or an answer, I actually go online. I mean it’s not 1993. It’s like 2004, 2005. And so I go online and I do a search. I’m like, “Gosh, I wonder if that would work for real estate.” So I started digging in to different ways to show up online when people are searching. And that’s when I came across a way to do that. And so what happened was we started doing a paid advertising platform where we show up on Google when people search.
And we started using, figuring out keyword terms like people are using. Things like, ‘stop foreclosure’ or ‘sell my house fast’ or ‘sell my house without an agent’ or ‘sell my house for cash’ or ‘sell my house to an investor’. So many different terms that they were using. So we learned how to show up on page 1 of Google when people were searching those things. It was like we messed with this thing for probably about two years. And so over 4000, 2004, 2005, we just kept messing with it and tweaking with it as we were doing our business because I knew that this was it. And at the end of 2005, we hit it. And we figured it out. 2006 was literally a seven-figure year for us. It just…
David: Everything exploded and it was completely driven by online marketing. So, the story goes a little bit deeper. It’s funny because at that time, I had an office because we started really growing so I get an office, had an assistant, and then a couple of assistants. And one of our computers, basically, I had an issue one day so I just picked up the box cause I knew there was a computer repair place right across the street. So I picked up the box and carried it across the street at the end of the business day, dropped it off.
Guy called me a couple days, hey it’s ready. Went back and picked it up and we started chatting. It’s like, “What are you doing?” I’m like, “Oh, I’m in real estate.” He’s like, “What do you need computers for?” I’m like, “Well, we do a lot marketing and stuff online.” He’s like, “So, is that how you do your business?” We got in this conversation about lead generation and that was the struggle. As a computer repair guy, a good one, but he has his little shop in a remote area of this small town so he struggled for business. And we started chatting.
He’s like, “Yeah, I got a website but I just don’t get a lot of traffic to it.” I’m like, “Hmm.” So the next thing you know, David starts a side business helping this guy get leads for his business. And what does this guy do? Well, he deals with everybody in town who owns a computer. So he starts telling this people, “Man, this guy is doing all this stuff for my online marketing and stuff.” Next thing you know, David has a second business that is doing online marketing for chiropractors and dentists and auto repair and everything else.
David: Right? So, it just launched us into entirely additional business. The cool thing there, and I’m about done with this part of the story, but the cool thing there is you market for local businesses, the way you do that online, there’s multiple ways, local listings, and paid search and search engine optimization and videos and there’s all these different ways to market your local business online. Well as I was, as we were learning all these techniques and really honing them, it hit me again. I don’t know why it took so long but it hit me again.
What is our business? It is a local business. I don’t care if you’re in Tampa, and you’re investing in Phoenix, your business is a local Phoenix business because people in Phoenix or that have houses in Phoenix will look for you, locally in Phoenix. So we started marketing using all the same techniques that a Subway would use or that a doctor would use and we started absolutely just crushing it more. So that’s, kind of a long story, but that’s how we got so good at the online marketing. Because it wasn’t just real estate, it was literally doing all the marketing for local businesses as well.
Joe: So were you still doing direct mail at the time? Or was this replacing direct mail in your real estate business?
David: We never actually shut direct mail off. We still will do it from time to time. I don’t like putting all my eggs in one basket. We’ve heard that lots of times throughout our lives but definitely, it was the primary source, probably 80%, it was responsible for 80% of all of our deals, the online marketing. So direct mail was still a good way to get pre-foreclosures and stuff like that because we had a great way of doing it but yeah.
Joe: Okay. So do you still have that business where you do marketing for local businesses?
David: Not so much and there’s a reason, because back then, it was fun. But it got to the point where local businesses, they… We’re the marketing experts, right? We know what works. And as a business owner, especially when you’re dealing with like a doctor or something, they want to control things. So they wanted to kind of run how things were working, how things looked and I’m like, “Look, if you put this on your site like this, it’s going to work a lot better.” “Well, I don’t like the way that looks.” “Well, do you like clients and money or do you like a pretty site?” You know what I mean?
David: So, it just got to the point where it’s like, “You know what, I’m not enjoying this anymore.” So we started phasing it out and ultimately we completely phased that out. We work at different types of marketing in businesses but not so much local businesses anymore.
Joe: Right. Okay. Now, a lot has changed, hasn’t it, since 2005, 2006 when you were doing online marketing for leads? Or has it?
David: Some things have changed a lot; some things have not really changed at all. So, an example, using like paid search like something like Google ad words or something like that, it’s gotten a lot more powerful but the idea is the same. It still works pretty much the same. There’s more competition, for sure, but you can definitely beat that if you know how to do it. And then all the other things like… Things just change. Like Google Places became Google Plus, became Google Local.
I mean, it keeps morphing and so yes, it’s changed but it’s still the same concept. It’s Google Maps, right? So you have the same things. You have search engine optimization. It’s basically the same four big ways to get on page one of Google is its paid search, search engine optimization, its video and its local listings. So it’s the same four big things, they just changed and morphed because these companies get better and stuff at what they do. But now there’s online stuff that you can just crush it with like Facebook and Instagram and Pinterest and there’s all these new social media things that people are doing really well with.
Joe: Okay, Pinterest?
Joe: Seller leads, real estate?
David: Oh, yeah. It’s amazing. So, you would be surprised…
Joe: Do you want to hear a funny story?
David: Yeah, yeah.
Joe: Maybe this isn’t funny. Maybe I should even… Maybe I shouldn’t be sharing this but… Oh, but I opened my mouth anyway so I’ll tell you. Pinterest, I don’t get it, right? I had a Pinterest account or something but I don’t know, ever being in there. So my wife just got into Pinterest because we just moved in to a new house and she’s finding stuff for it, right? So, I go into my Pinterest account and I start looking at what’s on my boards or whatever and it’s like a bunch of weird stuff like…
I don’t remember if they asked me at one time what my interests were or but I start seeing these, there’s pictures of dragons and people with tons of tattoos. And then I find out later, and there’s a bunch of other things but, and then I find out later that Pinterest has some way to know what you’re interested in and what you like. My wife is looking at me, like you’re into dragons and tattoos and what, is there something I don’t know? I was like, “What?!” I actually have no idea how that got on there but it makes me look like I… It somehow knows that, or it doesn’t know, it thinks that I’m interested in dragons and tattoos.
David: That’s wild!
Joe: It is really weird. So I’m like, Pinterest is not for me. I don’t get it. I don’t understand it. So when I, my wife wants me to look at all her boards for things that she’s finding so I’ll look at her account. But anyway, I don’t know where I got on to that tangent from.
Joe: No, it’s… Yeah, talk about Pinterest. How do you get seller leads on Pinterest?
David: So that’s the thing, right? Now that I have a marketing team that does this stuff, I probably couldn’t even tell you how to get seller leads from Pinterest. Now…
Joe: All right.
David: Now, search optimization… See, I’m the older school guy so search engine optimization, paid search, videos, things like that, absolutely. But the new mapless things… And Facebook, yes, I’m good at Facebook too because I enjoy getting in there and working with the ads and stuff and it’s a challenge to me to make it work well so…
David: But, same here. I mean I don’t get on Pinterest or Instagram but my team does. They do all of that stuff. So…
Joe: Well, you better not get in Pinterest cause then you’ll find out things about yourself that you never knew.
David: Maybe I should log in there and take a look at least. See what the heck they’re doing in there.
Joe: Aw, geez. Anyway, all right, so a lot has changed but a lot has stayed the same. Do you still try to do SEO for local real estate businesses?
Joe: Do you still try to do videos with keywords and all of that?
David: Absolutely. The videos actually we just, one of my people just made a training video for that. It’s funny because on the training video, she basically followed my instructions and stuff on how to do it. She made it her own video to train people with. So you could… I watched the video and it’s funny because literally, I don’t know what it was, maybe 5 minutes, 10 minutes after she posted this video, she went to check and it was right there at the number one spot on page one of Google.
David: And it was funny because you could hear it in her voice. She’s like, “Uh, wow! Look at that, it’s right there!” She was so excited that it actually works!
David: So, absolutely. We have one, I would show this whenever I do presentations and stuff, we have this one, I was actually sitting, I was going to do, speak at a live event one day and I wanted to create kind of a how-to how I did this. So I sat in the little lounge there one evening and I did it. I made a video. You know you can make videos online using free software or maybe 5 bucks or whatever but I made a video, you don’t have to be on it or anything like that on camera, but I made this video and did all the little steps and tweaks and upload it and all that stuff. And literally, what was it, 3, 4 minutes later, it was right there on page one of Google. And that video, this is a couple of years ago, that video has 1900 views now and it’s still sitting at the top of page one of Google for that search term.
Joe: Now, you’re targeting search terms like ‘sell your house fast, Jacksonville,’ something like that, right?
David: Yep. Yep. This one was actually ‘stop foreclosure, town name.’ Yep.
Joe: Yeah, so that still works? In fact when I was doing a ton of lease options back in ‘09, 2010, 2011, and 2012, I used to do, for every house I’d get, I would do lot of videos for ‘rent to own St. Louis.’
Joe: And I’d put that on the title, in the tags, in the description, with the link and I haven’t checked in a long time but I dominated St. Louis for those terms.
David: You’re probably still there.
Joe: Yeah. Yeah, it was, I got a lot of business from it. Even though they were older houses, people would find me, they’d go to my website, they’d see my current inventory of homes and it really does work.
Joe: It really does work. So, YouTube still is a hot thing. I mean, if you’re looking for deals in Des Moines, Iowa, somebody were to do a ‘We buy houses, Des Moines, put a video out there with good stuff in it not some stupid, cheesy stuff but good content, maybe a video of you talking to the camera or explaining what you can do, you stick that on YouTube and that can still get you some traffic if you do it right. Is that correct?
David: Yep. Absolutely, it can.
Joe: Wow. All right, now, what else? How do you do SEO? SEO is search engine optimization. I’ve heard from people that SEO is too much work, it’s too hard, it doesn’t work as well anymore like it used to. Is that still the case?
David: It is a lot of work but it just depends on the person, right? For me, I love it because it’s a challenge. It’s a challenge to beat out everybody else. So, SEO is a formula and when you stick to the formula, you’re going to get the expected result. And I think what happens is people… SEO is basically, just to clarify, is search engine optimization and it’s where Google, that’s how Google ranks pages. Google has software that basically goes through pretty much every single one of the billions and billions of pages on the Internet, someone’s week, someone’s an hour, someone’s every 5 minutes depending on the popularity of the site, to see what’s on the pages.
It’s almost like a little set of eyes and it sees what is on these pages and based on the words and specific things and alternative tags on the images and things like that, Google determines what the page is about, not the site but the individual page and that’s how they rank pages. So there is a way to manipulate your pages in a way to let Google know what the pages are about and that will cause them to rank. And the better you get at that, the higher your pages will rank. So now when people are paying for ads and stuff like that, which can be very effective as long as you get a good positive return on investment.
But when people are paying for ads and everything else, if you can get your search engine optimization down and show up for the same type of keywords and do it ultimately for free, the organic rankings, which is the ones with search engine optimization, get clicked about 8 times more, 6 to 8 times more than the paid ads. It’s just the fact. So you’re going to be a lot better off. So anyway, it’s challenging to get it right. Once you figure it out, you just repeat the formula and it does work and it works very well. It’s very well worth it to figure out how to do it.
Joe: Yeah, and that’s something that you can probably outsource pretty easily to a team of virtual assistants or to another even company that can do that for you, right?
David: Yeah. Absolutely. Well, the challenge there is a lot of companies say that they can do SEO or that they’re good at it and they just necessarily aren’t necessarily that good at it. And so that can definitely be a challenge. If I was to do it over and I was planning on hiring a company to do it, I think I would at least learn the basics myself and understand what it’s all about. So when I talk to them, when I spoke with whoever I ultimately hired to do it, I knew what I was talking about. And I actually do that with anything. I think it’s smart to do rather than just blindly hire somebody. I don’t care, good reviews or not, you need to understand their talk and know that they’re not kind of, pulling the wool over your eyes.
Joe: Okay. Good. All right. So what about, let’s take a look at LinkedIn. Do you use LinkedIn much?
David: We actually don’t use it much but I heard that it’s a fantastic place to get leads.
Joe: Okay. I know it’s a good place to find buyers too, right?
Joe: What about Google Plus? I mean, is that what it’s even called, Google Plus? Yeah. Do people use it or what’s up with that?
David: Yeah, Google Plus is, we definitely built campaigns there but I think Google Plus just kind of fizzled. It was going to be Google’s Facebook basically and they launched it a few years back and I don’t think it ever got the traction that they had hoped. So we definitely did campaigns on there and for a while, Google had it linked to their local listings which is that was a challenge in itself. Again, like I said, Google has progressed and morphed over time to make things better and Google is always testing. They’re always testing new stuff. So, Places became, Google Places became, they rolled that into Google Plus and then you actually, and I’m talking about basically Maps.
David: You know when you do search and you find a bunch of dentists on a map or barbers or whatever it is, Google Maps. In order to do that, you had to have a Google Plus account and you had to incorporate that in to your Google Plus account and so on and so on. And then it turned into Google Plus Local. And so the Google Plus part, we don’t really focus on it anymore. I think it’s kind of phasing itself out and it's now like Google has Google Business, Google for Business, stuff like that is what you need to focus on.
Joe: You know what I did about four years ago, maybe 5 years ago, when Google Maps was starting to take local businesses? By the way, probably for me personally, maybe my number 2 search engine when I’m on my phone, first is just typing in a search term in the Safari window of my IPhone but my second is opening Google Maps and searching in there for stuff.
Joe: Kind of like pizza or coffee or gas.
Joe: I’m constantly searching for places by the generic brand or whatever in Google Maps. So anyway, this must have been 4 to 5 years ago when it was really easy to put anything on Google maps, I put my business, I gave it a name, we buy houses in St. Louis and it asked for an address and I didn’t have it. I didn’t know my home address so I put an address of the St. Louis Cardinals baseball stadium, the Bush stadium. I put the address for Bush Stadium on my listing, because I was noticing whenever you typed in ‘We buy houses St. Louis’, the map would come up and would send her on downtown St. Louis.
But I was in the suburbs and so I wasn’t even on that map. So I said I need an address in the downtown heart of St. Louis so I picked Bush Stadium. And for a couple years, I’m not kidding. You type in ‘We buy houses, St. Louis,’ and I would pop up right there in the middle of the map with my pin right next to right in front of Stan Musial Statue. And you go to the Street View and you can see my business right next to the Stan Musial Statue right in the main gate of Bush Stadium.
David: That is fantastic.
Joe: And I got, I don’t know if I got deals from that but I know I was easy to find.
Joe: I looked about a year or two ago and I wasn’t there anymore. Somebody figured it out and reported me, I guess.
David: Oh yeah. And they changed it again because you could go, it was really easy to go and basically claim anything. You can look up businesses and if they had not claimed their page yet, because again what the Google, the automation did was it went through and it found all the businesses and it created the local listings for the businesses but the businesses actually had to go claim those. So people were going out and claiming those businesses and then contacting the businesses and saying, “Hey, we set up your Google listing and you can pay us to optimize it.” And so it just cost a big ol’ mess.
Joe: But doesn’t Google now, when you put in a business and you want it to list, don’t they send a postcard to that address and you had to put in a pin from that postcard or something?
David: Yes, now they do things like that. You have to verify it.
Joe: Shoot. I was thinking like, “Maybe I could…” I was thinking of like I could put a business of all of the major St. Louis landmarks, at the arch. But anyway, all right, so let’s talk about the big daddy, big mama, the Facebook. Are you getting seller leads on Facebook right now?
David: Yes. Facebook is and it’s just gotten better, just a couple months ago. Because the thing about Facebook is, whether they admit to it or not, Facebook knows. They know what you do. They know the other sites that you surf. They know. And this is my opinion but they know everything. They know your browsing; they know what bills you pay. I’m not saying that they get in, know the insides of your accounts and stuff like that but they know where you go. And they know your buying habits, right? And everything else.
So, my point is, with Facebook advertising, you can determine your audience. So it’s not like you make an ad, “Hey we buy houses”, and you put it out there, and whatever it is now, 26 trillion people that are on Facebook see it. You can tailor your audience and say “Well, I only want the people in this town or this area to see it. And I want it to be people that are homeowners.” So you can tailor your audience to directly market to the exact people that you want to. And that’s what makes it so powerful.
So, it’s just like anything, a repetitive message. Now, I wouldn’t necessarily call this inbound marketing. It’s kind of like outbound marketing but the chance is that they’re going to; it’s almost like a piece of mail, right? It’s not like they’re doing a search and finding you but they are seeing the ads and through repetition, if it’s somebody that is in that space where they’re looking for a solution and your ad happens to resonate with them, guess what, they’re going to click it and end up on your page. So yes, it works very well and you can target people on just a massive scale.
Joe: Now, maybe I shouldn’t be asking you this on a podcast cause if there is a way to do this, I don’t know if I want anybody to know it. All right, so, you know how you can create custom audiences in Facebook, right?
Joe: And you can create custom audiences by two ways: either an email address or a phone number. Is that right?
Joe: Okay. Is there a third way to create custom audiences by addresses that you know of yet?
David: Not that I know of. Not that I know of.
Joe: Cause here’s the thing, I mean, if you could get a list of absentee owners in your county and say, just upload those addresses and names to Facebook and say, “Show my ad to all these absentee owners.”, wouldn’t that be pretty cool? Is there a way to do that?
David: Well, there, I would think there is, yes. The challenge though is, now, if I have a list where… Let’s say I have an email list and I’m giving away a real estate course or something and people give their email to get the course. Now they’ve given me their email willingly. I can upload that list and create an audience in Facebook. Now if I go purchase a lease or get a lease from a title company or something like that, that’s a different story because I don’t technically have permission to upload this list to Facebook.
Now, that’s something I’m not clear on it. I mean, you’d have to read the terms of service of Facebook. But if you do something against their terms of service, you’ll get your account banned. So something like that, I would question whether or not that’s against their terms of service because if people didn’t willingly give you their information. So Facebook will allow you to target based on criteria you can find through Facebook but as far as uploading a list to create a similar audience, I think they have specific criteria on that.
David: But you know, do at your own risk, right?
Joe: So, if anybody knows anybody that works at Facebook, that’s in the ads department who’s listening to this podcast, if you can just bend their ear for like a minute or two and ask them if there’s a way that they could make us, allow us to do that, where you can just upload a couple thousand addresses, ten thousand addresses and show our ad to whoever has those addresses, that would be amazing!
David: Could be a phenomenal way to do it, yeah.
Joe: Oh, man. Because then you could say… Well, I mean just the possibilities would be endless cause then you can show your ads to people who own rental properties.
Joe: So if anybody knows of a way to do that on Facebook, let me know. Or contact, talk to somebody that you know at Facebook. But I bet you that’s coming. I bet you that’s coming down the pike. And maybe there is already a way to do it. They’re just worried about privacy. And maybe it’s a stupid idea and maybe some Libertarian out there who’s listening to me talk about this is really upset right now.
David: Right. And he’s going to report you now too. Don’t mention my name when you report, please.
Joe: Yeah. So, okay. But now with Facebook, your placing ads to people who are might be open to selling a house. You could say, “Show my ad to anybody who is over 30 who lives in these zip codes.” What’s the general text or context of your ad? What do you basically have on your ads? On Facebook specifically.
David: Well the thing about an ad is they’re two components to the ad, right? There’s the written part and then there is the… My mind… There’s two parts about an ad. There’s the written part and then there is the graphic. And the graphic is used to grab a person’s attention. I think that’s where a lot of people get it wrong is they want to try in and you can only put, I believe it’s 20% of the graphic can be text. So people try to get that wrong and try to squeeze their message into that graphic.
And what you want to do is just make the graphic an attention-getter. Half-naked woman, maybe. But no, that’s against Facebook’s terms of service too. But anyway, you get my point. Something where people are “Woah!” and it grabs their attention. And then they look and the next piece is the headline, right? Like dollar-shaped club so you might have a picture of something that grabs your attention like a racer or something like that. Something that just looks out of the ordinary, grabs your attention.
And then it makes you look, “What is this?” And so you see, you naturally look to see who posted this but you see dollar-shaped club, right? So that would be the name and then the next part is the actual text. ‘Look, smell and feel like a million bucks without paying it’. ‘Join the millions who get amazing dollar-shaped club racers and grooming products for a few bucks’. That’s the message. So that’s what you want to do. You want to have the graphic, doesn’t even have to have text on it. But the graphic that grabs the attention and then the text itself which is sell your house, whatever that is, right? Whatever you put on in a short amount of space.
David: So, ‘sell your house fast for a fair price’. ‘We buy houses in your area.’ Or ‘we’re looking to buy three more houses this month, contact us now’. Whatever it is.
Joe: Are you finding that your cost per lead is cheaper or more expensive on Facebook as compared to Google pay-per-click or ad words.
David: You know, I think it’s probably similar. It is similar because the cost of ad words has gone up quite a bit just because people have learned about it. And so it’s definitely
more expensive than it used to. But I mean, not that it cost us but if it cost you, let’s
say it cost you 20 bucks a lead, right, and it takes you 20 leads to get, let’s say it takes
you 50 leads to get a deal that you close and make money on, so what is that, a thousand bucks.
David: So I spent a thousand bucks. If I made 2,000 bucks, I’m getting a 100% return on my investment. That’s pretty darn good. If I made 5,000 or 10,000, holy cow. I’ll do that all day long. So that’s what people don’t realize. “Well, gosh, it cost me like 7 bucks a click”. Well, okay, that’s not the part to worry about. The part to worry about is what’s your return on the investment over, immediately, but over time as well. How much money are you making from what you’re spending? If you’re making a positive return, keep doing it and just keep making it better.
Joe: And that’s good. I think a mistake a lot of us investors make is that we put all our eggs in one basket and not diversify into different marketing channels.
Joe: Postcard, it works. Direct mail is great. It always will work, it always has worked. But there are also other things that we need to do. I think sometimes direct mail go through cycles. It goes up, it goes down. When you can get leads from different sources, that’s going to be really important. Really important. I see this all the time, too. A big speaker comes into our town, sells a bunch of coaching. He trains all these people to go out and send postcards and pretty soon, through a period of one or two weeks or a month, you get a ton of people out there sending postcards and your rates just plummet. Your open response rates just plummet.
And then you go back and look, “Oh yeah, so and so was just in town and he trained a hundred people to go out, blast postcards.” Well, the good thing is, that stuff kind of fizzles and those people kind of give up and quit. Then it becomes easier again. But during those times when there is heavy competition in direct mail, you need to have something else coming in, another source for leads. And that’s why I think this is such an important topic. Understanding internet marketing, understanding how to find people that are on the Internet, looking for or maybe not even looking for, but you show up. People would want to sell their house.
David: Yeah. Everything is going in that direction. It has been for years and more and more. I remember doing trainings on this a number of years ago. And the numbers keep going up. The amount of people that actually use email and use internet and so on and so on, obviously in our country but around the world. And so, I remember a few years ago, there was talk of the US mail system shutting down because it cost and stuff like that. Well, guess what? They’re not out of the woods. I don’t know if they ever will be and that is a possibility someday, right? I mean the world changes. Let’s talk about Blockbuster, right?
So, the world changes and technology changes the world and mindsets and concepts change the world and sometimes people just roll with it and other times, they hold on to old things that don’t make sense anymore. Blockbusters in example, you have these Blockbuster stores and all of a sudden here comes Netflix and Red Box and all this stuff where it doesn’t make sense to go to this giant store and go look around through all these boxes anymore when I can just go online and get what I want and pay 8 dollars a month and push a button and it’s right there. I don’t have to take it back the next day or anything. So, my point is, in such a short time, that paradigm shift destroyed an entire industry. It wiped out the entire multi-billion-dollar industry. I think, I believe that’s what it was.
David: But, some of those stores hang on. You would see the rare Blockbuster hanging on the corner with half the lights on and empty as heck, right? But that happens. I think that’s the same thing that’s happening with the move to the digital world. Barring an economic breakdown or power grid failure or something like that. That changes; again, that changes the world. It’s going to keep going in that direction. Everything would be digital. And so I think people really need to think about moving in that direction because, don’t be a Blockbuster. Don’t be a Blockbuster when there’s this major shift and you’re standing there not knowing what to do because you haven’t prepared for it.
Joe: Yeah, that’s really important. And that’s why it’s really important to be educated, to stay up to date on podcast like this, to learn what’s working today. And you always need to keep your hands on the pulse of the market, of the housing marketing, of marketing where it’s going. That’s why I love podcasts so much too because I listen to a lot of podcasts in the business space, in the marketing space, in real estate, trying to get a feel for what’s working and what’s not. And I think, David, what you’re doing is really, really critically important as well.
Because, again, I’m just sounding like a broken record here, direct mail is good. It works. You should always be doing at least some but you need to be also looking at other sources for leads. Let me ask you, David, as we get to the end here, what if you were getting started all over again, knowing what you know with real estate investing and you had a little bit of money, maybe you have 500 bucks or thousand dollars and you were thrown into a new city and you had to do deals to eat, what would you start doing?
David: I would do 3 things. The first thing I would start doing and I think it’s a really overlooked way to get deals is I would start networking. You can really make things happen by networking. It’s not quite as fast but once you build your network, deals would just come to you on autopilot. It takes time but I would begin that right away. And the other thing I would do is definitely, start a direct mail campaign still. Because it does work and it’s cost-effective but that would be my best chance at quickly getting a deal.
And now, online marketing is fantastic but it’s like building your infrastructure. You’re not going to start getting deals in 3 days. Can you be very effective with it, and in a couple of weeks have a couple of things in place where they can start getting you calls? Yes, you can. A month or two? Yeah, absolutely. That’s when things really start rolling. But that’s what I would do is I would start networking, building my resources. I would start doing direct mail to a very specific audience and I would begin my online marketing campaigns, starting with getting my website up, doing some videos which are free, doing local listings which are free, Google my business which is free.
And then if I could afford it, I would start a lower price Google ad words campaign. Facebook is good once you get it dialed in but it is going to take some time to get it dialed in especially if you’re just now investigating it. So, Google Adwords is much quicker to hit it out the gate. So do that and then I would start SEO as well. So those three things: networking, direct mail and my online marketing systems. Start getting them set up. And literally in 3 to 4 months, you can have a machine going.
Joe: Excellent. All right. Now do you have any videos, any resources, David, that people can go and get more information about what you do, what you teach in your programs?
David: Yeah. I actually do. We have a great resource kit and it’s called 7 Ways to Get Motivated Seller Leads for Free. Some of these are online, some of them are not but it’s a great kit. Actually, people can go get one right now. Just go download it at TheMarketingCommando.com/JoeKit. So, I actually, we use your name when we created that link. So it’s one word, joekit, like resource kit.
David: So, TheMarketingCommando.com/JoeKit. They can go get that resource kit there.
Joe: TheMarketingCommando.com/JoeKit, J-O-E-K-I-T. I will have that in the show notes as well. And that’s a free resource, 7 Ways to Get Motivated Seller Leads. What are some of those seven ways, David? Can you just go through that real quick?
David: You know what? We have, one of the ways we have is on Craigslist. Craigslist is a fantastic way to get leads. It’s overlooked, I think people really miss, it’s not going in searching, going in searching the listings, it’s like that. There’s a way that we actually set up Craigslist where it would send us the most motivated seller leads and it’s really, really cool. So, Craigslist and then things like the newspaper carrier, really cool way to get them. I mean, these guys see every single house, every single day, right? So they’re going to know what houses are vacant or need repairs or whatever. So, just little things like that that are super simple that everybody overlooks.
Joe: Yeah. That’s really good. Um, something came up here. My friend just did a… Never mind. There’s a, I’m talking about the podcast; I’m looking here in my last podcast. I hired this company to come up with names and title my episodes and transcribe them and set up the web pages and all that. The last one, they titled “Why People Suck at This Business.” That was episode 131, interview I did with Nathan Jurewicz. I think you know him.
David: Yeah. Yeah.
Joe: We did this interview a few months ago and I just think, “Wow, that’s interesting title.” Where did they come up with that? But I’ll keep it. It’s “Why People Suck at This Business”. And I think the answer to, just to sum this up in what we’re talking about; your people suck at this business because they don’t do enough marketing. And if they’re doing marketing, they’re not doing the right kind of marketing. Because once you understand this, you can do deals in any market.
Joe: And you can do deals, a lot of deals, if you’re doing a lot of marketing. That’s what it all comes down to. David, thanks so much for being on this show. I appreciate it. Again that website guys is TheMarketingCommando.com/JoeKit. And on there, David has a free resource, 7 Ways to Get Motivated Seller Leads, to get free motivated seller leads, is that right? I wrote that down wrong.
David: Yep. Yep.
David: They’re all free methods.
Joe: Excellent. Anything else, David? Any other tips or advice you want to give to folks?
David: I think the biggest thing is just to get started. I think most people I talk to, I would say 80% of the people that I talk to and a lot of people who are “real estate investors” and 80% of those aren’t really real estate investors because they never done a deal. The biggest thing I would say is just start. Don’t be so worried about doing everything perfectly. Just get enough information and start. Send your mail or make some phone calls. Whatever you do, begin and set, just like Joe’s got a coaching program, set your sights on a weekly goal. “You know what? I’m going to do this this week and next week and next week.” Do it for a month, whether that’s go to Craigslist and call 20 people a week that seem like motivated sellers or what. I mean that seems very daunting but it’s an example. Just do it. Do something and do that every single week for a month and make sure it’s big enough. And you’re going to get results. But don’t keep waiting and keep learning. Just learn enough and begin.
Joe: Good. Good, good. All right, David, thanks a lot. Appreciate it.
David: Yeah. Appreciate a lot being on here, Joe. Thanks a lot!
Joe: RealEstateInvestingMastery.com. Go there to get the show notes and the transcription, believe it or not, of this podcast. Get a transcription of everything we’ve talked about. You can even listen to it from the website and fast forward it if you want, listen to it faster. Good! Thanks guys. We’ll see you later. Take care. Bye-bye.
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