Relationship Marketing with Luke Acree
Marketing is all about getting known and getting your product or service know to as many people possible. Relationship marketing expert and the President of ReminderMedia Luke Acree is a guru when it comes increasing your visibility both in the online and offline world. Luke talks about relationship marketing, all the social media avenues, and what you should do to compete in the world if you want to be around and not be extinct. With Facebook as the most popular and easiest platform out there, he shows you how to take advantage of its features as well as what drip marketing can do to your ads.
I’m with Luke Acree. We’re going to be talking about relationship marketing, all the social media avenues and what we can and can’t do and what we have to do to compete in the world if we want to be around and not be a dinosaur very shortly, if not already. Luke, I don’t think my school had a computer in it. They got one about the time I graduated. I’ve been chasing that bus with those computers in it ever since. I’ve always been about ten feet behind it. I learned quickly on that. I’m not going to catch onto this stuff. I get pissed off at my remote-control TV. I want one that turns the volume up, turns it off and changes the channel. That’s all I want to do. I don’t want to take a shower with it and have it rub my back or anything. I want to change the channel, turn it off and turn up the volume. It’s not that simple. That thing could fly me to Tahiti if I could push the right buttons. I give it to my fourth-grader who grows up in this stuff. They’ll tune me into Mars or whatever I want. What I’m saying is you got to learn to delegate. If it’s not you and you don’t get it, understand the theory you’re about to explain and get it done. You don’t have to do it and get it done.
The key to business is how do you delegate and pass off the things that you don’t do well to people that know them? I’m impressed. I don’t think I would’ve made it through college without Wikipedia, which is for those who don’t know obviously you basically find out anything. If you Google it, the first thing that’s going to come up is probably Wikipedia.
Our generation knows how to add, spell and remember dates and prep. Your entire life is in this thing and the minute they turn it off, you’re screwed. There’s not a truck on a run, not a gas pump going to pump, not a balance transfer are going to transfer and that’s how they are going to get us. Unless you’re a prepper, you got to figure it out. When they decide to cut you off, they’ll cut you off. With all that out of the way, let’s go figure out how to market and make our business successful.
I am 31 years old. I am the President of a company called Reminder Media. We’re based out of Philadelphia. We’re a little outside of Philadelphia. We got started years and years ago when I joined up with the company. It’s been several years now, but it’s been an amazing ride. We have about 220 employees here. We will work with about 38,000 clients across the nation. I say that because most of them are residential real estate agents, commercial real estate agents. I know we have investors. I know this podcast is big on investing. My passion is how do I help business owners realize that they’re in a relationship business before they’re in a transaction-based business?
Often we as business owners, the problem we have is we focus on the technical aspect of the job, i.e. if you’re a residential real estate agent, you’re focused on helping someone buy a home, helping someone sell their home and you try to get good, whether it’s the contract negotiation and all these things which are all well and good, you should do that. The key to a long-lasting business is that you have to first and foremost focus on building relationships with people and form relationships. If you’ve ever heard that corny saying, which is your net worth is in your network, that’s the key.
My passion over the last years that I’ve been doing this and Reminder Media as a whole has been how do I help people do this at scale with hundreds of people in their database and do it in a way that creates impact that I always say you want to create impact with your client base that leads to advocacy. Because if you can get someone to advocate for you, whether you’re an investor, residential real estate agent, insurance agent, guess what they’re going to do? They’re going to use you again. They’re going to refer you to people. They’re going to give you money. I can tell you are an incredible relationship-builder. That’s why people are throwing money at you because you’re able to connect with people on an emotional level right away. That’s what I’ve been all about and we’ve focused on this term, relationship marketing. That’s why we have focused on, which is to summarize it, there was an agent in Alabama that I got the privilege of interviewing one time called Ricky Kuru. He’s a big-time agent. He does over 100 transactions a year. He gave me this slogan, “Relationships over transactions.”
That’s what it is. It’s focusing on the people in your database and in your network to have a solid relationship with them, keeping consistently in touch with them, giving them value into their life so they don’t forget who you are, they use you again and more importantly they refer you. That’s what I’ve been about. There are so many ways to do it. Agents fail at it every single day because they get commission breath or they get on the hamster wheel where they’re trying to chase a magic bullet, which there’s no magic bullet out there. I shouldn’t narrow it to agents. That’s every business owner. That’s my passion. That’s what I love to talk about. That’s what we’re doing every single day here at Reminder Media.
You made a comment before the show that you’re not sure how it’s going to fit in with investors because I’m an investor and my audience is investors. I’m like, “How does it fit in?” I want to set this preface because I’m trying to figure out how to do something myself and do it better than anybody on the planet. You’re my guy. You’re the guy that’s going to tell me how to do it. I have my own ideas. I’m going to talk to you about my ideas. Maybe we can interject all your knowledge along the way, but I’m going to be very selfish here. I’m going to try and get my money’s worth because this is right in my daily wake right here. You’ve got real estate agents and they’re trying to stay in touch with their customers so they can sell houses or list houses. What we’re doing is we’re trying to buy houses. The hardest part of this equation is buying a house. You can’t do anything else until you buy a house in this equation. We need to get good at that. Do you know the company, HomeVestors?
I was good friends with Ken D’Angelo before he passed away. I was offered the second franchise ever after his daughter and his son in San Antonio, Texas. I didn’t go because I had done 450 houses already and I had my own colors and my own signs. I’m always too entrepreneurial down the road to change my colors. He was a great guy and had a great concept. One thing he did better than anybody in the world was you couldn’t tell anyone you’re in the house flipping business without someone replying to you, “Are you one of those ugly house guys?” This guy is good across the country. It’s unbelievable. It’s almost a sure thing. When you say, “I’m in the house investing, house flipping business,” the next sentence out of someone’s mouth around you is going to be, “Are you one of those ugly house guys?”
Here’s where I’m headed. I don’t have the money nor the will nor the reason to brand my company in San Antonio. I’ve bought four to five houses a day in San Antonio, Texas for many years. It’s about 2,000 houses in my own hometown or surrounding little area but not far. It’s not across the nation. I want to be known for that. I look at these guys on the radio, these lawyers that spend millions. There’s a guy in town, Jeff Davis. I don’t even need a lawyer. I know this guy backward and forwards. I have his number memorized. I got to thinking. Now we got lots of avenues in our house flipping business. We got outbound phone calls to the delinquent taxes and all this stuff.
Wherever there are signs of chaos, we’re trying to get ahold of these people. We’ve got skip tracing ability. We can find lost owners. That’s my favorite thing because once I get there, no one else is there. I want to open up this one other avenue. I’m going to do it with an intern and this guy that I’m mentoring, this young kid. He’s 6’5″, 293-pound football player from college. He’s big, friendly and is personal as you can be. This is my idea. I can’t afford to brand a city of two million people. That could cost $500,000, $600,000, $800,000. What I thought is I could damn sure brand myself to the 17,000 realtors. I could either take the top half of that or only have to brand myself to 8,000 to 9,000. I could drop off the bottom half that isn’t doing anything. However, a lot of the realtors that aren’t doing any things are the ones that call me and give me houses for great prices because they don’t know what they’re doing.
I’m reluctant to take out the bottom. They’re also the ones that are the hungriest for the business and will put up with some of the things we got to do because they’re not overrun with business. I don’t know that I’m going to take out the bottom half. Here’s my point, I want to set up this media marketing thing. I want my audience to figure out how can you brand yourself so you’re as famous as that lawyer that spent all that money, that millions of dollars, but you don’t need to be famous across the city. You need every realtor in the county to know your name and what you do.
It’s brilliant. You’re touching on if I point out the people the high-level principle, what you’re touching them from a marketing perspective is targeting. Your marketing is going to be as good as your targeting. It’s like if I give the analogy to people fishing, you got to ask yourself, “What type of fish are you fishing for?” Because you can fish in the creek, you can fish in a lake, you can fish in a pond, you can fish in the ocean. You’ve got to ask yourself, “What’s the gear you need? What is the tackle equipment? Depending on the fish you’re after?” Your idea for you and your audience, “Where do we get deals from?” We get deals from real estate agents. What do we want to have happened? We want to make sure that every single freaking real estate agent that wakes up in the community where I live, when they think of selling a house, I don’t know if you buy rundown houses exactly what you’re trying to buy.
We’ve got to teach them what they want. We need situational properties, those ones that are going to be lost in a few days because of some backpressure. Either the person has a situation or the house has a situation or both. There are usually huge time pressures and these are normally listings that they would walk right past because they can’t list it and sell a house in a few days on a new loan. The house won’t qualify for a new loan. This guy has got judgments against him. There are all kinds of problems. They say, “I can’t help you.” I need them to know, pick up the phone, give me that man’s phone number and if I buy that house, I’m going to send you $1,000 or $2,000. You don’t have to find me. You don’t have to have an agreement with me. I will find you and pay you. I don’t care if it takes me a few months to clear up that title issue. When I do, the first thing on my CRM says, “This lead came from so-and-so,” and that’s the first thing we handle when we buy the house. That’s why I buy 100 and 120 houses a year because people know they can hand me a phone number and long after they forgot about that house, a check comes in the mail saying, “She finally passed away and the estate finally settled it,” or whatever took so long.
It’s brilliant and as I think to myself because I dabble in flipping and I dabble in getting rentals. If I’m learning myself, taking some notes. I need to find these situational properties. Here’s what I would say to you. There are a couple of cost-effective ways you can easily do it. I also think you have to tap into the mindset of the real estate agent because that’s what you’re trying to create in marketing, especially from a principle of relationship marketing. You have to focus on giving value to the person you are reaching out to. If you can care and create value from them versus pushing your product, nine times out of ten, they will get an impact way more from that.
They’ll want to give back to you. It’s called reciprocity. They’ll want to help you out. They’ll want to use you as the person in this situational property situation. The first thing I would focus all you guys on right away is Facebook. If you don’t have a lot of money, you can advertise on Facebook. You can advertise cost-effectively to thousands of people. Depending on your community, you could probably hit 800 to 1,200 people a day on the low end for less than a cup of coffee. If you are willing to spend $25 a day, if you’re willing to do something like that, which is chump change in the scheme of marketing, you can hit thousands of people in your community and you can target real estate agents, people who are real estate agents off Facebook.
The reason why I know this is because who do you think our company targets on Facebook? We’re targeting using their audience tool, which you can go on Facebook’s ad manager and you can target people who have real estate interests, people who are interested in real estate, people who follow Realtor.com and stuff like that to narrow your list and you could very easily run a Facebook ad, very cost-effectively that showcases what. Here’s the value proposition you have. You have a value proposition that you can help in this situational property. When the situation occurs where there’s nowhere else to turn, you have the solution for this real estate agent with their client.
I have to brand that I’m not flipping contracts or wholesaling my paper. I will close the deal. I got money.
You want to showcase that. The thing on Facebook that you have to be careful of is when you put up your image as the ad, they don’t allow you to put a lot of texts in the image if any these days. You’re writing your copy above the ad or above the picture and you want a picture that draws people in. Obviously from this standpoint, in order to capture leads, Facebook gives you two ways. There are two ways you can do it simply. If you have a landing page or a website, which you know most people do these days, but if you don’t that’s okay because you can do it directly on Facebook with the second way. The first way is you want to send them to your landing page and you want to capture their email address or their phone number. You want to capture some form of information so you can track these people down and ultimately you can proactively reach out to them. That’s one of the second keys to marketing that we can get into. You want to be able to reach out to them proactively.
I own a company and you buy a little phone for $2 a month. When they call in to hear your recording, you can send it to a recording. You capture their cell phone number.
It’s beautiful. That’s a way you can do it. You can do it with a form on your landing page and just do something for free. At that point, the other thing you can do if you don’t have the ability to do a landing page or you don’t have the phone number thing that you’re talking about, Facebook will allow you to capture the lead right there on Facebook’s platform so they don’t even have to leave Facebook. They will give you the option in creating the ad to where you can capture the information right there on Facebook’s page. If you don’t have a website, if you don’t have the phone number thing, if you’re worried, “I got to set up all this other stuff,” you can run an ad for $20 a day and reach thousands of people. On the Facebook ad, it will allow you the ability to capture that person’s form data so you can make it their phone number, their name, whatever you want to make it. That lead will obviously come to you through Facebook’s platform and you can reach out to them. It’s very simplistic. That to me is a no-brainer.
We’re running an ad for my brother who does a lot of rental and flipping stuff. One of the things is that he’s running an ad that basically says we buy homes, not we buy ugly houses, but we’ll buy your home. He’s getting tons of hits off of that ad that he’s running. It’s a simple, simple ad that he created. It’s a picture of him and my other brother and showcasing with some bullet points of, “We’ll buy your home for you,” and he’s getting tons of people. You get two-fold here when you run that ad. One is you get to capture leads. The second is you’re branding to everybody who sees it, your branding that, “You are in in the community, someone who’s an expert on buying homes.” For you, it would be the situational properties that you would want to make sure they know.
The key to branding is a mistake we make in business all the time. All of us probably reading this have fallen to the same trap. You get into instant gratification mode. I’m telling you that when McDonald’s runs a commercial on TV, they don’t expect you to see the Big Mac commercial, grab your wallet or your purse, run out the door, run to the closest McDonald’s and go, “I just saw this commercial. I need a Big Mac.” That’s not how branding works. The problem is, as business owners, what happens is we run a commercial per se, we do a branding type play and we expect instant gratification. We stop. We’ve wasted our money. This is the flow depth of every business owner. You spend your way out of the business slowly because you don’t do things consistently.
You got to run that message consistently. People constantly think of Mitch, the guy who buys homes in a situation where there are no other options. You’re in Texas, so I’ve got to mention Gary Keller. Gary Keller talks about this idea of mindshare. If you’re not first in the mind of the client when they think of, “Who can I turn to buy this home?” 76% of the time, people will choose the first company they think of. If you’re not first, the chances of you getting the business are terrible. All this ramp to say when you’re running a Facebook ad, you got to do it consistently. Let alone a little tangent for you guys, with Facebook’s algorithm, you need to give it at least three to seven days to warm up. When it chooses this audience, it’s starting to test and see who’s responding out of the people that we could show this ad to, who’s engaging, who’s responding with the ad. Don’t end your ad too soon. You need to give your ad at least three to seven days to warm up so you can predict what the success of this ad that I’m running is.
Three or seven days don’t tell me anything because in a day, you can choose to hit 25 people a day or you can choose to hit 25,000 people a day. You’re saying three to five days, that doesn’t mean anything to me. How many people do we need to hit per day before we’ve run enough numbers to get warmed up?
The easy answer to that is as many possible people as you can with your budget, the more people you can hit on a Facebook ad like that in the grand scheme of the audience that you’re doing. The audience says, “I’m selecting people who are interested in real estate. I’m selecting people who are real estate agents,” that type of media. How big is that audience? That audience might be small wherever you’re at. In Bigfoot Texas, they might be small there. Unfortunately, your ability to hit people is dictated by that audience size. The other one that plays in is if you have an audience of 500,000 people, hit those 500,000 people if you can afford to. If you can afford to, what I tell people all the time is you want to at least have an audience of a couple of thousand people that you’re hitting to.
The two ways you’re thinking about it is, one is your cost per lead is going to dramatically go up the smaller audience you have unless you have a very engaged audience. More importantly, you’re thinking from a branding perspective. When you run this ad, “I buy homes,” those 2,000 people, you can see on Facebook’s ad manager how many times the normal person is seeing that ad or how many times on average is that ad popping up into those people’s feed. You can say, “I’ve touched these people on my feed X number of times.” You can obviously choose to continue running that ad or go, “I’ve seen him enough.” Ultimately, you’ve got to ask yourself, “Am I getting business from people in this community? Are people telling me they see my ads on Facebook as they should be?”
Why I wanted to tune into the real estate agent/broker market is because they’re not one and done. I’m not trying to catch them on that one time that they have a house for sale themselves. I’m trying to catch them in their daily life because there’s not one realtor in town that shouldn’t at least sell me two houses a year. If they had their eyes open and their ears in tune for what I’m looking for because they’re walking right past it and they’re not even getting paid for it. They’re throwing it in the trash. I like to say, “If you give me a little bit of your attention, I’ll get you some cash for your trash.” You’re throwing this stuff away. It’s good for you, but I can use it and I’ll send you a check. It’ll be money from heaven. You won’t even expect that anything ever happened. Here comes $1,000, $1,500, $2,000 check out of the blue because you didn’t water it up and throw it in the trash or at least before you threw it in the trash, you picked up and call me and says, “There’s this guy named Mr. Smith. He’s got a predicament. Here’s his phone number. He lives at 123 Main Street.” “See you later.” That’s what I’m going to pay you for, that one tiny little act right there.
My question to you would be why do you think the agents aren’t doing that for you now?
They don’t know and they can’t trust. They need to have a listing. Without a listing, your agreement has no teeth. You won’t get paid. Things will go wrong. I need to teach them that for many years I’ve sent my checks whether you remember it or not, I will find you. I also have skip tracing. If you’ve left the country, I will still find you. I don’t care where you’re at unless you’re dead. I’d probably find you if you’re dead.
It’s an attention problem, meaning we don’t have their attention. When I think of it from a marketing standpoint, how do you get the most known? The only reason they’re not using you is not that you don’t offer a value proposition. You can send them thousands of dollars and you can turn their trash into cash as you say. There’s a great saying that people don’t do business with the best product. They do business with the most known product, i.e. Starbucks doesn’t have the best coffee, but Starbucks is on every corner. That’s in my personal opinion. You got to be the most known. Facebook is one way to get known.
There’s another way to get known with real estate agents, and I’ll give you guys a strategy that our mortgage brokers use. When a mortgage representative or mortgage rep signs up for our program, they send our magazine, American Lifestyle Magazine, our digital edition, they send it to their client base. They partner with real estate agents and also advertise in the real estate agent’s magazine, even though they know ultimately, “I’m probably not going to get a lot of business from the realtor sending this postcard ad or sending this magazine out.” What they’re trying to do is showcase to that agent that, “I care about you. I want to support you in your business.” They support the agent from a marketing standpoint.
One of the things besides the fact that you have an education problem on your hand is you’ve got to educate them that you can take these situations and turn them into money for you. You can do that through branding ads on Facebook. You can do that through postcards, cost-effectively. You can get the education out there. You could do speaking events at real estate offices where like my team, I have 100 1099 contractors around the nation. They go into real estate offices on Tuesday, Wednesday meetings, sometimes Thursday they present for ten minutes. You could have ten minutes where you educate all the real estate agents of how you can take their trash to cash. That’s the education play to get known. What you could also do is how do you take the key agents that you want to work with? Maybe not all 17,000 but how do you take the key agents and how do you support them in their business? How do you guys come together and maybe you do marketing together? Maybe you come up with a plan where you co-brand, co-partner.
I got to talk to nineteen people about buying their house to buy one. The other eighteen need a realtor. They want the market price. I can’t pay what they want. It’s an easy fix and it’s a perfect plan. If someone brings me a deal, I’m going to send them some listings. I can’t exclusive up with one though because I’m making this personal.
It’s ideas that everybody on the show can’t take advantage of.
Beyond that, my partner, Nathan, and I, we’re teaming up together to open up this avenue and we’re brainstorming how we’re going to make Cash4Houses.net famous in the real estate arena. We started cold calling them and they are getting beat up like crazy from investors calling them. They get to where they deny they’re in the business and hang up on you. “I quit a few months ago,” and then you find out they’re out on a showing. It’s bad. I took the approach of, “I’m just going to call all the ones I know and re-introduce myself to them. They already know me so I don’t have to introduce myself, but I need to start touching them more often. They’ll think of me because they’re obviously not thinking of me because they haven’t sent me a house in a few years.” I know they’ve seen one that I needed to know about.
Are you doing any type of drip marketing? That’s the key there. You have a huge database. There are 17,000 agents in your area. That’s a huge database. The key is how do you get their information into the database? The great thing for you is with real estate agents’ data, you can find it on the web so you can scrape it. You can get an intern to scrape the data off the web and put it into CRM for you. You set up a drip where you basically hit them at least once a month. I would encourage you more than once a month, but least once a month with an email. What you start doing right from a marketing perspective is you always want to think of it as a target and you’re trying to get to the bullseye.
If I’m drawing out a bullseye for you and you have those circles where you’re getting closer and closer, I see it as you have the unknown public, you don’t know them. You have your acquaintances. You have your friendships/relationships, and then you have your advocates at the center of that bullseye. I know it seems complicated and maybe as I’m saying it, but it isn’t. Your job as a business owner is to get these people into a database and get them going through this nurture funnel that leads them from, “I don’t know you at all. You’re unknown to me. You’re a real estate agent I’ve never met before. I’ve introduced myself. We become acquaintances, you know of me. I drip on you consistently so you know me, you like me, and trust me so we start developing some form of relationship and friendship.” Ultimately out of those people you have a friendship with, there’s going to be a 20% segment if you use the 80/20 Rule that is going to be the people that love you and they’re going to give you deals all the time.
We’re in on that. All we need is about 400 people max, maybe 200. You’ll find out one house from 200 realtors. I break my all-time record and smash it if I bought one house from 200 realtors a year, one house from 200 of them. I’m thinking, if you get 300, you ought to do some business. I want to find 300 people out of the 17,000 that once I identify them, they’re the people that will give me their birthday because we know them that well. “Can I have your birthday? You’d have to give me a year. If you’re worried about identity theft, give me a couple of days plus or minus on either side. The month, I’ll send you something for your birthday. It doesn’t have to be the exact damn day.” We were thinking about every three weeks, but mix it up a little bit.
They’re going to get a hard copy card in the mail every month. We went through the holidays and we figured out what those were. We’re trying to make funny real estate cards that have Cash4Houses.net in them always. The card is printed with Cash4Houses.net in it or there’s some high-quality stamp that we stamp it with, with our colors and everything. It’s got to be interesting enough that it’s fun to open. It’s always funny. It’s always entertaining. Don’t let that one sit. Open that one first. We’ll do the bills later.
You’re hitting on the key to any mailer you send out.
We use pre-scheduling text messages and send them updates on how we’re doing, what we bought. By showing them what we bought or making hypothetical, taking it as your own saying, “These are the houses that we buy.” Show them why you bought it, where it was, how much you paid for it, what the issues were, where I got the money. That is closed within seven days. Let them know that you’re a doer. If you have a big month say, “I bought fifteen houses this month. I want to let you know. I’m not out of money yet.” You’re taking the 17,000, like you said, bringing them down to a bullseye. There are only 200 to 400 people that I got to spend any money on at all. I may not be able to afford to brand like HomeVestors to a whole country of tens of thousands of people, millions of people, but I certainly can handle 200 to 400 people, 500 people on a monthly basis.
You have hit on so many good things from a marketing perspective. You can even take it deeper. When you think of that bullseye, let’s say it’s 200 people where there’s a bullseye within the bullseye. What if you get your top 30 people, your top 50? I heard this incredible idea one time of doing a happy hour at a hotel. The reason why it’s so brilliant is that you get to mingle with people. The brilliant part is you don’t have to worry about the food. You don’t have to worry about the drinks. That hotel is more than happy to offer their bar area. You get to show up, mingle with your friends, literally pay for the drinks and the food, the apps, and leave. It’s such a powerful thing to do with your top 25, 50 people that are giving you deals that solidifies them. Your marketing plan right there, if I repeat it back to you, is you’re trying to do letters. You’re doing prescheduled texts. You want to do an update on what your journey is, how many homes you bought through email.
You’re hitting people and if you’re doing that every three weeks or so, and let’s say you did one of these a month, you’re getting people three times a month, you’re hitting people consistently 36 times a year, which is phenomenal. Mentioning this Gary Keller Guy again, the Founder of Keller Williams, his big thing was 33 touchpoints. You want to talk to people 33 times. I’ve seen people have success with twelve touchpoints a year. I’ve seen people do way more, like 70-plus touchpoints. The key in it is where you’re touching on from a marketing perspective of how you talked about, “I want to make my cards funny. I want to give them a reason to open the card that I send them.” That is the 100% key in any marketing you do. In fact, I don’t know if they see the video on this show, but probably not.
Our magazine is the whole key behind it. The key behind it is that people don’t throw it away. They get this magazine in the mail and they go, “This is nice.” They bring it out of their mailbox. They are bringing it to their homes. Statistically, it lives for four weeks. People read it for an average of 44 minutes. You compare that to postcards where they read it for five seconds or so. The point being is when you send something to your database, the key that you have to think of is you’re getting either two things. One is you’re hitting them enough so you build that mind share. Even if it’s trash, if someone sees enough trash, they still remember the trash. That’s expensive to do. It’s very time-consuming. I never encourage people to do that.
The second flip side is how do I send stuff to people that create impact with them that’s funny? Think about it this way. Do something that’s funny. Do something that’s entertaining from the standpoint of, “It’s not just comedy but it’s entertaining in their life.” Maybe it’s local events, something like that or does something that’s educational that adds value to them from an education standpoint. “If you do landscaping, it increases your home value by 10% on average. If you’re a local real estate agent, here’s what the local market has done.” Stay in those lanes and you’ll have a lot of success because it’s adding value to people. I love what you’re doing here and think you can take it even deeper with like a local happy hour or something like that to create that much more impact.
Great minds think alike. As soon as someone made an offer, they moved to a different list. There was generic and then there were people that were friendly and open lead to us. Whether the lead was right or wrong or indifferent, it didn’t matter. The point was this guy was thinking about us, that guy we went to lunch with and maybe the top ten or fifteen or twenty, like you said, get them to a happy hour and buy their first drink or two.
If you buy someone a beer, they become a friend for life.
If you come by, I’ll buy you a beer. That works for everybody. No one expects you to buy everybody the thing all the whole time. Plus you’re up, they’re getting camaraderie. I’m convinced that this would work. I was a little bit daunted when Nathan and I started calling real estate agents. They must be getting pounded by real estate.
They are. Not only real estate, but they’re also pounded by marketing companies too. They’re getting pounded across the board.
I started thinking, “I’ll reach out within my sphere. That should be 30, 40, 50 to start out with. I can ask them to recommend me somebody so that I’m not coming in cold.” Who’s your partner? Who’s your broker? Who’s the top salesman in your office? Can I meet that guy? I don’t expect it to be fast, but in a year, you can get to 400 people and I don’t think you’ll have any problem finding houses after that.
I 100% agree with you. The data backs you up too. If you look at all transactions done in 2018, the National Association of Realtors did this Buyer’s Trend Profile Report or whatever. All listings that happened and all buyers, if you looked at 64% of sellers and 54% of buyers, when you sourced how did they find their agent to buy the home, it was through a referral. It was through using the same agent they used in the past or through referral. Why am I making that point? What you’re saying is how every great business is grown. If you start like Dave Matthews, if you’re a fan of the Dave Matthews Band or if you hate him, it doesn’t matter, he’s known as being a great marketer because what he did is he started in Charlottesville, Virginia. When you study what he did with his band, he played at all the local bars and venues in Charlottesville. He went out a little wider to the bars outside, and then a little wider and he started by referral growing as a band. They’re one of the most successful money-wise bands of all time. I’m not even a huge Dave Matthew fan. I just know about him because I grew up in Charlottesville, Virginia. It’s the same in this business.
What’s weird about that? I used the exact same example, the exact same one. I didn’t know that Dave Matthews did that. When I was dreaming about a music career three lifetimes ago, one of the things you learned was you started really local and you moved out as you went. Some of the most famous Texas country artists, they’re not national artists, but they’re very famous about Texas, played in the seven colleges around in the circle. They only play those seven college towns.
What’s the business principle? The business principle is the same. Start with your sphere of 30 agents you know and get them to the happy hour. Start your drip program. Start your letters, your prescheduled texts, your update on how you’ve been doing, how many transactions you did this month. Take some of them to a happy hour. Buy them a beer. Start that process with the 30 you know, ask the 30 to give you one name. Now you’re at 60 and so forth, ask the 60 to give you another name. Now you’re at 120. It’s that simple. Where so many people that I see fail is they get this concept. I’m sure all these readers right now get this concept.
The problem is they stay in a passive state, and this is a pet peeve of mine. It’s why I always want to talk about it anywhere I go is they think, “If I set up the letters to go out, the prescheduled text and the update on myself to go out, the people are going to come to me.” It never works that way. You always have to take a proactive approach, which is, “I’ve done my due diligence. I’ve started the drip. Now let me go to them and ask them.” If you play basketball, don’t get the ball in their court so they have to make now the decision of what to do. Are they going to give you a referral? Are they going to recommend you to somebody else? Go and ask them. The power of asking is unbelievable, but yet so many few business people do it.
For the audience, the 30 people you know right now, have you asked them to give you the next agent? If you haven’t, shame on you because you’re expecting you’re staying in a passive state. The great entrepreneurs that I study and lead about and get the privilege of knowing, they never stay in a passive state. They always have control of their destiny. They’re always proactive. They’re doing what you do. They’re picking up the phone. They’re calling the agents to see what they can get. It’s that passive versus proactive is so critical but so few people do it because it’s hard. It’s awkward because you realize really fast, “These people are pounding on me if I call them,” that type of idea.
If you’re not a social person, this isn’t going to work because you have to engage. You have to converse, even person to person or through the media. It’s not for an introvert. You’re going to have to go hire someone to go out and do it for you. You have a giveaway for the audience. It’s a free eBook called Getting Started with Relationship Marketing. I want everyone to go to REInvestorSummit.com/relationshipmarketing. It’s long but it fits the thing here. They can find out about your company like can call for a consultation, whatever it is you want them to have over there, they’re going to have it. Go to that website. That’ll get you over there. You have a lot of stuff and we can talk about this for another week and never even take a breath probably.
I’m going to go ahead and get this book myself too because I’m going to hand it over to my assistant and we’re going to figure this out. Like everything else, it takes some planning. It takes some road mapping. It takes some diligence to get everything in its place. It’s going to be top-heavy. It’s going to be front-end loaded heavy probably with the expenses too. The expenses will be loaded upfront a little bit. You’re going to have to commit to spend a little bit of money and find out what’s going to work. You land on the budget. You’ve seen where it’s all going to level out at. You make a decision to stay with it like radio advertising. If you’re going to advertise on the radio and you’re not going to advertise three to four times a day during the traffic hours for eight months in a row, don’t even start.
You’re waiting for people to learn who you are and have that circumstance cross their path when they are fully aware of who you are. That takes some time. If nothing else, it might take some time for them to find the circumstance that you were looking for. A lot of them won’t say, “I know exactly the house.” Although I suppose if we called all 17,000 of them right now and they answered the phone and took our call that probably 175 of them have something that we should go look at right this minute. I’m sure of it. They just don’t know what I want that. You’re looking for a house that’s on fire. I didn’t know there were people like you. Let’s go.
People buy from the thing they most know, not the thing that’s the best. You got to be the most known.
Is there anything you want to add here to the people out there that are maybe starting out and they’re trying to get a name? No one knows who they are. What’s the words of wisdom to a newbie out there?
The wisdom I would give to any newbie out there is that you don’t have a lot of money to spend. I totally understand that. Your best advocates are right next to you. They’re your friends, your family. I know no one wants to be the Amway salesman or the insurance salesman or something like that. Get over it and call these people that are your friends, your family. Let them know what you’re looking for. Often the mistake that I see small business owners make is they assume their uncle knows not only the business they’re in but more importantly what you need to be successful. Your uncle doesn’t know what you need to be successful just like you couldn’t probably name for your uncle right now what he needs at work to get a raise, get a promotion, whatever it is. It’s the most cost-effective because you can pick up your phone, text them. You can literally pick up your phone, call them, talk to them, see them at a family get-together, see them at church, let your sphere know, get that sphere into a system. Even if you’re using Excel, but some type of CRM and start dripping on them. That is what it’s all about.
The drip can’t be, do you have the have for me? Sometimes it’s going to be like, “Something cool happened to me. I walked down and I bought this four-plex. It had been on fire.” Tell the story. Make it conversational and give them some insight into your life. At the same time, subconsciously reinstating, “I’m out there doing this every day. No one’s talking about it as I am.”
As you play in your marketing, the three things you want to think of, which is not me, I learned it from Zig Ziglar. I’m not sure where he got it from, but people are going to buy and use people they know, they like and they trust. When you think about your marketing, ask yourself, how does it get me known? How does it get me liked? Which plays into what you said is stop asking all the time when you do marketing and stop asking, they won’t like you if you’re always asking for something from them. Give them something that’s what will get them to like you. How do you get them to trust you, not only as a person and a human being that’s critical but you want them to trust you as the authority on the subject matter that you do?
For you, it’s buying these homes and situational properties. For an insurance agent, it might be insurance. How do you get them to trust you as the authority in that subject matter? That’s done by sharing the stories of your successes and not only you sharing your successes, have some of your clients, but people also don’t care what you have to say about yourself. They care about what your clients have to say about you. Share the stories of the successes, share updates on the market and share updates on what happened to you when you flip this home. Once you do that consistently enough with people, they start seeing you as, “Mitch knows everything about flipping homes. If I need something for my kitchen renovation, I’m going to go to Mitch and ask him because he’s an authority on this subject matter.” That’s what you’re trying to do. Think about it that way, as you’re running your marketing, how do I get known, which is a lot of times the easiest part because you’re getting out there to get known. How do you get liked, which is a little bit more complicated and how do you get trust?
The question is when you don’t have a lot of money, you have to shrink your target down and be super consistent.
It’s shrinking your target. Be super consistent and leverage who you already know, grassroots. How do you win an election? You go to town hall to town hall, shaking hands and kissing babies. That’s how you win an election. It’s grassroots and that takes a lot of sweat equity. When you’re new, it’s not money equity. When you’re like Mitch, where you have some money to spend, you can spend the money equity. When you’re brand new, you don’t have any money. It’s called sweat equity. You got to get out there and you got to sweat. That means sunup to sundown, shaking hands, kissing babies to letting people know, how do I add value to your life? How do I get you to know me? How do I get you to like me? How do I get you to trust me? That can be done. You got to be willing to do the door knocking, do the phone calling and going into the real estate offices offering value, that type of idea.
People said, “How did you start out when you’re broke?” I said, “When you don’t have any money, you got to have the education and you got to put in the time.” When you don’t have money, you’re putting in the time and you’re trying to do it as smart as you can. Hopefully you’re learning from somebody what not to do so you’re not wasting your time. When you don’t have money, you’re putting in the time and hopefully you’re putting in knowledgeable time. I appreciate you so much. Get the free eBook and get started with relationship marketing. I want you to go to REInvestorSummit.com/relationshipmarketing. I’d like to say thank you to Luke Acree for stopping by and parting us with his knowledge. There’s a lot more to say. Go to that website. Find out more about him and his company. I’d like to thank you for stopping by to get you some Luke Acree. We’ll see you next time.
Mitch, it’s been a pleasure. Thank you so much.
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