This is episode #439, and my guest today is Reed Lattin.
Reed is a Phoenix-based wholesaler that’s done over 1,000 deals. He’s a Pay Per Click expert, and that’s where most of his leads have come from.
Today Reed shares his knowledge on getting started with PPC for your real estate investing business. Many of us rely on search engines for our day to day life, but using them to generate leads for your business is a totally different animal.
Let’s get started…please help me welcome Reed Lattin to the show!
Mike:This is the FlipNerd.com Expert Real Estate Investing Show, the show for real estate investors, whether you’re a veteran or brand new. I’m your host, Mike Hambright, and each week I bring you a new expert guest that will share their knowledge and lessons with you. If you’re excited about real estate investing, believe in personal responsibility and taking control of your life and financial destiny, you’re in the right place.
This is episode number 439, and my guest today is Reed Lattin. Reed is Phoenix-based wholesaler that’s done over 1,000 deals. He’s also a Pay Per Click expert, and that’s where he’s generated most of his leads.
Today, Reed shares his knowledge on getting started with Pay Per Click for your real estate investing business. Many of us rely on search engines for our day-to-day life, but using them to generate leads for your business is a totally different animal. Let’s go ahead and get started. Please help me welcome Reed Lattin to the show.
Hey, Reed. Welcome to the show.
Reed:Hey. Thanks for having me on.
Mike:Yeah. I’m really excited to talk about Pay Per Click. We actually don’t talk about it a whole lot on the show. I guess we talk about a lot of things, and this one is 439 episodes, so there’s very few rocks unturned at this point. But you’re an absolute beast with Pay Per Click, and you’ve got so much knowledge on it. I’m excited that you’re willing to come on and share it with our listeners.
Reed:Yeah. Thanks, again. Yeah, so that’s always kind of been my bread and butter so to speak. I never did a whole lot of direct mail. I wish I did learn more about direct mail. But, you know, I started my business back in 2005, 2006, and somehow I magically stumbled upon Google Pay Per Click. So that’s always kind of been my forte, so to speak.
Mike:Yeah, yeah. Well, tell us a little bit more about your background. We were talking about and joking with you a little bit. I started in ‘08. But it’s funny now, you know, you’re a member of our Investor Fuel Mastermind, and we’ve got some people on there that are beasts that are buying, you know, 100 plus houses a year. Some people are buying 300, 400 houses a year even, but some of them have only been in the business for a few years. And so they kind of look at you and even me sometimes and they’re like. . .you know, they think we’re like veterans. And it’s like we feel like you know, hey, it kind of ages you, right? You’re like, “No, I’m not that old.” But you’ve been doing this for, gosh, I guess 12, 13 years now.
Reed:Yeah. Yeah, I did my first wholesale deal I think it was either the end of 2005 or early 2006. I think I just mentioned it last time that I read a Ron LeGrand book at Barnes & Noble.
Mike:Yeah. And now you’ve gone in a market, like, you know, Phoenix which we look at a lot like Dallas. Just pretty competitive markets, a lot of real estate investors, a lot of people that want to be real estate investors. And in a challenging market like that, you’ve been able to do over 1,000 deals, mostly through Pay Per Click, right?
Reed:Primarily through Pay Per Click. I used to do some auction stuff, you know, foreclosure auctions, but 95% of it is all, you know, [inaudible 00:02:56].
Mike:Yeah. So tell us something more about your background, kind of how you got started, and maybe even why you got started.
Reed:Yeah. So I went to ASU and ASU in 2001 and did corporate finance and realized I hated sitting in a cubicle. So I’m a social . . .
Mike:I was going to say I was a finance guy too. What was your first job out of college?
Reed:I worked for Boeing. Right out of college, I got hired at Boeing doing corporate finance and I hated it, so . . .
Mike:Yeah. That sounds familiar.
Mike:A familiar type thing, yeah.
Reed:Yeah. No, I like people. I like being around people, I like talking to people. I’m a social guy, so I just kind of realized that, man, sitting in front of a cubicle all day long just wasn’t my thing.
Mike:Yeah. How long did it take you to figure that out?
Reed:I worked for them for two years and then transitioned into new home sales with Pulte for a couple of years. And then kind of realized the corporate world wasn’t my thing, and then decided to do real estate investment, and then this all kind of just progressed from there.
Mike:Yeah. And how did you kind of stumble across Pay Per Click, which was very different 12 years ago than it is now?
Reed:Yeah. It entirely is. You know, I think I was, like, renewing my . . . I was just thinking about this the other day. I think I was renewing my real estate license, and some guy was like, “Hey, you ever heard of Google Pay Per Click?” And I’m like, “What the heck is that?” So, yeah, like I said, 2005, 2006, I signed up for an account. I’m, like, magically people are emailing me to say they want to sell their home. “Wow. This is nuts.”
So, yeah, I mean, the rest is just history, so to speak, from there. But, yeah, 2006, and as you said, it’s entirely different what you could do back then versus now. That’s why I’m in your group. I need to learn more.
Mike:Yeah. Well, there’s a lot of good strategies out there. And, you know, when you’re doing something that works, you should continue doing that as long as you can, right?
Mike:So when we were talking a little bit ahead of time about this conversation, and, you know, one of the things you said that a lot of people really kind of trips them up is they don’t really have a basic just understanding about how Pay Per Click works. And, you know, as a user, I think a lot . . . as just a consumer, I think everybody knows how Google works, like you search for something and it, you know, miraculously finds what you’re looking for or gives you some more direction. But talk about it like the . . . just give some kind of little basic guidance for people that are real estate investors that are listening to this. Some of the things that they would really need to understand before they jump into even considering doing Pay Per Click.
Reed:Yeah. I mean, the realm in the conversation like could go on and on and on and on. But I would say, I mean, the most common thing I see when people ask me my opinion and I look at their accounts, they have no clue on just the basic concepts of Pay Per Click, on like how it works, what you’re trying to accomplish there. I mean, I’d say one of the most common things I see is their cost for conversion is outrageous, meaning that they’re bidding on the wrong keywords, and all of a sudden they’re paying $800, $1,000 per conversion, and it’s very difficult to make money when you’re paying that much to make the phone ring. So, I mean, and we can go on and on. This is probably too long of a conversation, but the point being is that just get a basic understanding of Pay Per Click, and that will help you out tremendously. And, you know, like I said, there’s so many different streets and avenues we could go down as far, you know, this strategy, that strategy. We probably won’t have time for that today.
Mike:Yeah. You could have like probably a month-long training.
Reed:Oh much longer. We could go on and on and on.
Reed:The point being is just get a very basic understanding of Pay Per Click before you enter into that arena.
Mike:Yeah. And I think a lot of people too . . . You know, I’ve heard people talk about, just at a high-level let’s say, I’ve heard people talk about, “I’m getting really cheap clicks.” I mean, we all know that a click doesn’t matter unless they convert to something ultimately, right?
Mike:So a lot of times people will say, you know, they really want to target “We buy houses” or “We buy houses fast” or whatever, but the reality is those might be . . . You know, in our space, you have to try to separate yourself as much as possible from the retail-type sellers, right?
Mike:Yeah. So it’s really easy to generate a lot of those leads. I mean, the reality is, as real estate investors, we all generate more retail seller leads than distressed seller leads usually, because they just get caught up in the net. But there are some key things you can do to target words that you’re going after to try to distinguish yourself from realtors as much as possible, right?
Reed:Absolutely. Yeah, and you’re exactly right. I don’t really care what the cost per click is. That’s irrelevant to me. And, in fact, usually when you have cheaper cost per click, it’s not nearly as good of traffic. But, once again, you want to look at what does it cost to convert, not what the cost per click is. You know, for example, there are certain keywords in my market where I’m paying $70 per click, and I would much rather take the $70 per click than a dollar click, because two or three clicks with those $70 clicks is going to convert into a very motivated sell, if that makes sense, as opposed to paying 3 bucks for a click and it takes 400, you know, clicks for me to convert, and, by the way, that guy wants retail, versus the guy that’s converting at $70 or $75 a click on the third or fourth click.
Mike:Yeah. And that’s a combination I know we could have . . . again, we could talk about this forever. You could talk about this forever. But it’s like if you’re buying keywords and then they come to your site, and they don’t even see what they thought they clicked on, right? I think that’s one of the problems a lot of real estate investors have is they’re, like, you know, “Going through a divorce? We could help buy your house.” And then they come to a page and it’s like, “We buy houses fast.” You’re like, “No, where’s the divorce stuff at? I need to understand that,” right? So a lot of people are taking them to a page or to a website that’s just general and not continuing that conversation.
Reed:You want highly-targeted, relevant traffic. So highly-targeted and relevant. If you’re talking about divorce, then you need to probably have some kind of divorce information on your page. But, yeah, I mean, you definitely don’t want to be doing the bait-and-switch thing, because Google will eventually figure that out and you’ll probably get shut down.
Mike:Right, right. So given how much knowledge there is out there, any recommendations on where people can go to just kind of learn fundamentally? I mean, honestly, this is kind of going to sound funny, you could probably google it, right? But where do you go to just find some basic training on Pay Per Click and how that works?
Reed:Man, I used to go to seminars in person, but it’s been several years since I’ve done that. So, to be perfectly honest with you, I don’t have any names that stick, you know, in the back of my mind. But, you know, there’s definitely seminars you can go and see live in your city and just type in Google. There’s tons of books, and then, of course, there’s online courses you can take. So I don’t have any particular names. But if you want to think of that, don’t try to be an expert. That’s not what you want to do. Just get a basic understanding.
Mike:Right, right. Yeah, I know there’s online places like Udemy you could go to.
Mike:So, honestly, there’s probably a ton of . . . I bet you there’s 100 plus . . .
Reed:[inaudible 00:10:14] I used to actually go to them live. I went to a couple of seminars live a few years ago. I haven’t done that in a couple of years, but [inaudible 00:10:21].
Mike:Yeah. And so you kind of recommend just getting a basic understanding, but you don’t really recommend that people try to do it themselves. You recommend they hire a pay-per-click manager or an agency, right?
Reed:Yeah. I mean, the way I look at it, and I kind of fell in this trap earlier this year. I thought I’d save some bucks and then start managing it myself, and what it comes down to is I’m not a pay-per-click manager. I’m not a pay-per-click business. You guys, you know I’m a real estate investor. [inaudible 00:10:49] I’m big on data. I like seeing all of the data. I like seeing how it works. But if you’re consumed by this whole realm of Pay Per Click all day long, it’s hard to do deals. You might as well just learn a little bit and then outsource it. Because why spend four or five, six hours a day trying to manage or figure out your Pay Per Click account when you could go hire somebody on and then be doing more deals?
Mike:If you’re an active real estate investor already doing deals and looking to double or triple your business, you should consider joining the Investor Fuel Real Estate Investor Mastermind. We’re a small group of investors that share our best practices, tips, and tricks with one another in an effort to all win. We limit our membership to only one to two members per market, so everyone shares their knowledge, tips, and tricks openly and honestly. Our members include some buying one to two houses a month up to some of the most respected investors and leaders in the real estate investing industry, some of which have personally done over 1,000 deals. If you’d like to be considered for our invitation-only, world-class mastermind, please visit investorfuel.com to request your personal invitation. Our next meeting is coming up quickly. Go to investorfuel.com now to learn more.
Reed:. . . doing it myself. And what it comes down to is I’m not a pay-per-click manager. I’m not a pay-per-click business. You guys, you know I’m a real estate investor. [inaudible 00:12:17] I’m big on data. I like seeing all of the data. I like seeing how it works. But if you’re consumed by this whole realm of Pay Per Click all day long, it’s hard to do deals. You might as well just learn a little bit and then outsource it. Because why spend four or five, six hours a day trying to manage or figure out your Pay Per Click account when you could go hire somebody on and then be doing more deals?
Mike:No doubt. Yeah, I think real estate investors are guilty of . . . you know, we’re all kind of cheap, right? I mean, most people are frugal. It’s all about buying stuff cheap. Like everything’s cheap, and you’re like, “Well, I’ll just do that myself.” I heard somebody recently talk about, you know, they paid a little too much for this house, and to save money, “I’m just going to do the painting myself.” And I was like, “Oh, my God. That defeats the purpose of what this is all about, right?”
Reed:Yup. Do you want to be a painter, or do you want to be a real estate investor?
Mike:Yeah. Or a pay-per-click manager, yeah.
Mike:Yeah, you could never . . . And what I found is it’s good to have an understanding so you know how to have the conversation with whoever you’ve hired, in Pay Per Click, for example, but I’m never going to be an expert at that. I’m never going to be on the cutting-edge.
Reed:Oh, I’ll never figure all of this out. I mean, I have a basic understanding, and I know more than most people, but that stuff in Google constantly changes and constantly expands. I mean, to keep up with that would be a full-time job.
Mike:Yeah. So how would you find a good manager? What are some recommendations you give on how to find . . . Are these like agencies, larger agencies? I mean, there’s everything, right? There’s big agencies, there’s individuals that say they can manage Pay Per Click, but a lot of them that say that, just like people say, “Oh, I can build a WordPress website,” or whatever, but the kind of . . . I guess the quality of people that say that, it’d lead from all over the spectrum, like they have done it once before to they’ve been doing it full-time for 20 years. I mean, it’s kind of everything in between, right?
Reed:Yeah. I mean, so, you know, you hit it on the head. So there’s two ways. I mean, obviously, you can hire on an ad agency, which is typically going to cost you a little more money, or you can hire on an individual. I’ve had success with both of them. Ad agencies tend to be a little bit more money, because they’re going to charge a percentage. I found some good guys off of Upwork. I just hired on some guys off of Upwork, and I had one guy who managed it for a couple of years who did a great job. So, yeah, I mean, you could definitely look on Upwork. Don’t be afraid of an individual. But, you know, this is going to circle back to the whole having a basic understanding of Pay Per Click, because when you interview these guys, if you ask them some basic questions and they don’t tell you the right answer, you know this guy probably isn’t the right fit for you. So that’s why, once again, getting some basic knowledge and understanding is crucial for this.
Mike:Yeah. And, really, understanding how to read the reports, right, of, “Here’s how much we’ve spent and here’s what’s working.” And so they understand . . . You know, what I found in the past, right, and we’re going to maybe talk about conversion here in a minute, but one of the challenges I’ve had in the past when I hire an agency is they’re really just looking at traffic, like the front-end of it. They’re like, “Well, we’re giving you a lot of clicks.” And then they kind of, like, “Well, they’re not really converting. Well, that’s not our . . . we’re not responsible for that. We’re just trying to send you traffic.” And you’re like, “Wait a minute. I don’t care about the traffic unless they’re converting. So I need you to kind of help me the whole way through.”
Reed:That’s exactly why you have to understand this, because they’re going to do what they’re supposed do, bring you traffic, but is it relevant traffic? Is it targeted correctly? Are they targeting the right areas correctly? So, once again, like, the whole, you know, crucial foundation is just having a basic understanding of it.
Mike:Yeah. Well, what guidance can you give on . . . I mean, how much of the role of whoever you hire is conversion and how much of that is your own responsibility?
Reed:Well, in the older days, you kind of went down that path is all they would care about is they brought you traffic. But now, more and more I see a lot of them are getting more into the conversion aspect of it. So a lot of them are taking more responsibility. But I think that, you know, if you’re going to do it, you yourself need to understand that as well. Nobody is going to understand your business, the intricacies of your business more than you. I mean, some guy from Indiana that doesn’t understand real estate, he may be an expert in Pay Per Click, he may know more about Pay Per Click than you can ever fathom, but he doesn’t understand the intricacies of your business. [inaudible 00:16:39]
Mike:Right, or who your customer is, yeah.
Mike:One of the things that Trevor Mauch at Carrot, who’s in the group too, says and he talks a lot about is kind of trying to insert yourself in the conversation that somebody’s already having. It’s like to become a solution to that. So, like we talked about divorce a little bit ago, but we could think of, you know, 10 or 15 common scenarios of why people sell their house at a discount, right? Death, divorce, inheritance, like, problem rentals, things like that. And then you run your ads off of that, right? Like, having a problem with rentals, hate tenants, whatever it might be, and you take them to a page about, “Yeah, I had that problem. I hate that too.” You know, “I’m getting tired of running this.” And you kind of introduce them to that conversation, and then you present how you’re the solution, right? So that’s what you’re talking about is that’s how you optimize conversions, right, is you take people down a path to say, “Are you having this problem? Well, we help people with that problem.” What’s that?
Reed:Give them some information. I mean, if you’re talking about landlord-tenant issues, maybe you could provide some information on landlord-tenant laws. Give them something.
Mike:Yeah. Share a little more of your kind of experience on conversion, like how to convert more traffic, other than some of the stuff we’ve just talked about here.
Reed:Well, okay. So I’m real big on videos. I personally like the personalized videos as opposed to kind of like the corporate-looking videos. I mean, you could probably make an argument for either way that will work well. But I think, you know, just having just a regular old selfie video that is shot in your city, when people look at that, they’re going to know you’re not a big corporation and you’re from whatever city you’re talking about. So I’m real big on videos.
I’m real big on testimonials. People love testimonials. If you can get video testimonials, that’s even better. Sometimes we’ll incentivize our homeowners. We’ll give them a, you know, $50 gift card and say, “Hey, give us a quick little 20-second video.” You know, when they’re happy when their home has sold. I think that’s awesome, because when traffic’s going to your website, you’ve got Mr. and Mrs. Smith glowing about, “Hey, XYZ company just bought my house. It was awesome.” I’m big on videos.
Mike:Yeah. And it’s easy too. I think it’s easy to create, right? I mean, I don’t know about you, I mean, obviously, this is show number 439. This has been easy for us. It’s easy for me to get on here and have a conversation with you or people like you when I create the show. But if I had to interview you and then write a 2,000-word blog about what we talked about, that would be like brain damage to me. But to just get down and talk. And I think one of the things that we’ve talked a lot about on this show, or we’ve talked a lot about in our Investor Fuel Group, that when you create content is just be yourself. I think we’re past the point where you have to have these videos that are, like, professionally done. It’s like just people don’t care about that. I think because of YouTube and because of a lot of the self-publishing stuff that happens, people just . . . they know it’s more real and they expect some imperfections when you just be who you are.
Reed:Yeah. They want it real and they want it authentic. Like, just if you’ve got a little video with just you in there or somebody in there that looks like it was home-shot, personally I think that’s [inaudible 00:19:52].
Mike:Yeah. And so on your site, do you create videos? Do you kind of think of a bunch of, like, use cases of, like, well, divorce or a problem with, you know, here where I’m at, we have a lot of problems with foundations. Or you try to think of, like, all of these problems that people have and then create videos around the potential solutions. Is that what you do?
Reed:You could definitely do that. I have a general video, but I’m big on the video testimonials. I think that’s really important. When you’ve got recent video testimonials of people and they can actually see . . . Like, for example, Phoenix. When you look at the background in Phoenix and you want to tell that it’s really shot in Phoenix, do it in front of a Saguaro cactus. You know what I mean? Like, they’re going to know that it was shot here and it’s not just some 1-800 number that’s like a national call center. That’s what I’m talking about. Or do something that’s, I don’t know, whatever’s prominent in whatever your city is. Do it with that kind of background in the back so it looks like it’s actually there. It looks like it’s real. You’re actually from that town.
Mike:Right. Yeah. Cool. And how has that changed over time, do you think? Like, tell me how Pay Per Click has changed over time with the way it was, you know, 10 or 12 years ago to how it’s evolved now, and then maybe like where you see it going in terms of a viable source for real estate investor leads.
Reed:Man, well, it’s gotten a lot more competitive and a lot more expensive. I can track my data from, like, 10 years ago, and it’s like, man, what I pay now versus what I did pay 10 years ago, man, it’s . . . Yeah, I mean, there’s just a lot more people in the arena, a lot more people doing it. A lot more people have figured it out.
As far as where it’s going, oh, man, I mean, I think Brian had mentioned that they’re doing behavioral data now inside of Google. That’s going to be launched very soon. So, man, I mean, it’s mind-boggling. It just goes on and on and on as far as where it’s going to go. I personally think it’s a bidding system with Google, so depending on market conditions, the cost per click will either go up or down. So, hopefully, they’ll start to go, like, down a little bit, but who knows. But, yeah, the whole behavioral data thing is intriguing with Google. I don’t want to . . .
Mike:We just had Brian on the show. So Brian Spitz is also a member of Investor Fuel. And you guys are like the two pay-per-click braniacs in the group. But when he was on the show — and for the folks that are listening now, I’ll add a link to that show in the show notes here — we talked a lot about kind of how to stand out against some of the big, organized buyers, well-funded buyers that have come to town, the big hedge fund-type guys, and how to stand out, you know, how to differentiate yourself to stand out from them. And they’re one of the reasons that costs have been driven up, right, because they come in with just massive budgets and are able to kind of squash people.
Reed:Yeah, the endless budgets. You can’t . . . It’s tough to compete against. There are ways to do it, but . . . Yeah, I deal with that here. Lots of them here.
Mike:Yeah. You got a bunch there. You got a bunch here in Dallas. So yeah, major markets really. So, in terms of . . . Do you just rely on Google? I mean, whenever we talk about Pay Per Click, we seem to only talk about Google, but there are other sources for online traffic out there. Do you only rely on Google?
Reed:No. So, obviously, Google, they’re the big 800-pound gorilla. They’re going to provide most of the traffic. But I’m a big fan of Bing. I really like Bing and Yahoo! You know, you’re not going to get as much traffic, but the cost per click and the cost per conversion is, like, probably half of what it is with Google.
Mike:Oh wow. Do you think that’s because there’s les . . . Most people are just saying, “Look, I’m just going to focus on Google because that’s 80% of the searches anyway, so I’m not even going to go there.” Is it just less competitive?
Reed:That’s a big part of it. But then I don’t understand why, but for some reason, if you ask a lot of people, there’s a stigma with Bing, and I don’t get it. I know that it’s definitely not as good of a system as Google. Like, for example, the geotargeting of Google is way more defined. Like if you want to be in a particular ZIP code with Google, they don’t bring in leads just for that ZIP code. The one thing I noticed with Bing is it’s not nearly as sophisticated. I will target Phoenix, and then I’ll start getting leads from 200 miles away from Phoenix.
Reed:You know what? I don’t care, because the leads still come from Phoenix a majority of time and the cost per lead is still significantly cheaper. The bottom line is I do deals off of it. That’s the way I look at it.
Mike:Do you think . . . So, you know, we obviously buy houses from a lot of older people. Do you think that older people . . . I mean, in my mind — I could be totally wrong — an older person is more likely to still have an AOL account and maybe be using Bing because it came on the computer or other things than a Google user or no?
Reed:It’s possible. I’ve heard those . . .
Mike:Did I just stereotype older people or what?
Reed:No. I’ve heard that. And I guess maybe that’s true, but I still get leads from younger people off of Bing. I mean, like I said, it’s not going to be nearly as much traffic as Google, but it’s another pipeline and it’s a cheaper pipeline. Just pros and cons, I don’t know why Bing has a stigma, but it does. But bottom line is I do deals off of it.
Mike:Yeah. Ultimately, who cares if you get traffic and deals from it?
Mike:Now, in terms of your website, did you build your own site? I mean, obviously, a lot of people use Investor Carrot websites. Trevor’s in our group as well. My website is a Carrot site. Do you recommend people build their own site or use other sources like Carrot or . . .
Reed:Man, so, well, talking about my main site, the site I have now, that I still use today, is the original site I started with Pay Per Click 13 years ago.
Mike:Once you have it and you’ve been running it for a long time and optimizing it, you shouldn’t change, right, from whatever you’re doing.
Reed:Yeah. I mean it gets facelifts here and there to, you know, cosmetically enhance it, but I wouldn’t . . . Once again, it’s kind of like, “Do you want to be a website developer, or do you want to be a real estate investor?”
Reed:So I would definitely go with somebody like Trevor or somebody that’s building a site for you. I wouldn’t personally want to get to . . .
Mike:Yeah. What’s funny is I have a couple of web developers on my team because of FlipNerd, and we still use Carrot for our site, because when I knew my guys, they’re just not going to . . . they don’t really think like a professional real estate investor does, so . . .
Reed:Exactly. And then, Trevor supposedly, I don’t know that much about him, but supposedly he’s got all kinds of data proving that his site structure is beneficial.
Mike:Converts better, yeah.
Reed:Buy that. Why would you not buy that?
Mike:You told me that you had a problem before where somebody kind of hacked your site and then Google wouldn’t send traffic there anymore. So any kind of words of wisdom on how Google can . . . I mean, you spent all of this effort, you’re spending a bunch of money to drive traffic there, how you can kind of stay safe and make sure that your website stays safe?
Reed:Yeah. So, I mean, I’ve never had this problem, but obviously it happens. Fortunately, it’s rare, but, yeah, recently somehow some way, some . . . I don’t even know enough to even talk about this, but somehow malware was installed on my website, which was a real pain in the butt to get off. And the short of it is basically Google shut me down for several weeks. So the thing I try to make sure I have ready is a backup site, and, fortunately, I had a backup site ready to go. But if not and you only relied on one site, I would have been down for several weeks.
Reed:And I even have my own personal Google representative that will contact me because of my ad spend. She couldn’t even fix the problem, and this is inside of Google trying to take care of this problem.
Mike:Wow. That’s crazy.
Reed:The thing that helped me is just having a backup site, you know, because if one site goes down, you just basically plug in the next site. I mean, my account didn’t get shut down. It was just particularly they wouldn’t allow me to advertise that particular website.
Mike:Yeah. They don’t want any traffic to that URL. I don’t know for sure, but I bet that Carrot, you know, because they host everything and they, like, do everything. I bet that that’s a little less likely to happen with them, just because they manage that stuff so tightly, you know?
Reed:That might be true.
Mike:Yeah. Well, where do you think people should start if they hear this? Maybe you could answer one other question, and I have this . . . this conversation comes up all the time. Like, with direct mail¸ you know, it’s easier. There’s a little less friction to start with direct mail, right, because you don’t necessarily have to have a website. I mean, I think every business should have a website, but you don’t have to build a website. You don’t have to pay a management company that is going to charge, like, a fixed fee or irregardless of how much you spend maybe. So mail has a little less friction to get started. So what I’ve kind of told people in the past, “Hey, unless you’re going to spend, you know $3,000, $5,000 a month or more, you probably shouldn’t even get into Pay Per Click because you’re going to . . .” But I don’t know what the answer is there. What do you think?
Reed:I mean, there’s a lot of ways you can go around that though. Yeah, I mean, as you know, you can blow a ton of money with Pay Per Click. There’s ways you can get around that. I mean, if you wanted to keep, you know, a certain budget monthly, you could only target maybe a smaller portion of whatever city you’re in. You know, for example, Phoenix, maybe you only target the west [valley 00:29:12]. So you’re not getting all of that traffic if you can [inaudible 00:29:17]. Or you can set daily budgets. I mean, that’s one way you can do it. Just set your daily budget so it can’t exceed your daily budget.
So I wouldn’t let that scare me off. You know, you definitely want to keep an eye on your budget, because it can get out of control fast if you don’t. But, you know, like I said, I would think just, you know, you could . . . And the other thing, too, is you could maybe set your ads they only run from . . . I’m just making, you know, throwing ideas out here. You set them so they run from 8:00 in the morning until 1:00 in the afternoon or whatever. It’s not running 24 hours a day.
Mike:Yeah. There are some people — I’m sure you’re going to kind of correct me here or clarify this — that I’ve heard in the past, maybe people are little more sophisticated than this now, but they would start their budget in the morning and they would run out of budget by afternoon. So kind of the leads would get cheaper towards the end of the day, because some of the people they were competing against, their budgets are out. Is that a myth at this point?
Reed:I think that probably was true several years ago. When you were competing against smaller guys like us, that probably was true. But, you know, now you’ve got . . . I mean, at least speaking on Phoenix, you have big, national funds and buying companies that have boatloads of . . .
Mike:Their budgets never run out, yeah.
Reed:It’s not going to run out. So, you know, that strategy could very well work in maybe like a smaller town. That might be a very good strategy. But I’ve never really done a small town. I’ve always just been pretty much in Phoenix. I’ve done some stuff in Vegas and a little bit in Texas, but . . . Yeah, I mean, these big companies, they’re not going to run out.
Mike:Yeah, yeah. So let’s kind of recap everything for people, because there’s a lot of information here. I want to make sure people can take some of this and go apply it. So, first off, you say understand kind of the basic principles of how Pay Per Click works, right?
Reed:Yes. And don’t overdo it. I mean, your head’s probably going to spin because it is a massive cyber world just within Google Pay Per Click. Just get some, you know, basic principles.
Mike:Yeah. You mean like the Cliff Notes? Like don’t try to figure it all out. Just know how to talk about it.
Reed:Yeah. Because, once again, when you hire out a pay-per-click manager and your ads are performing poorly, you want to be able to look in there and see if they’re even doing anything. I mean, I’ve heard some stories where you’ll hire out a pay-per-click manager, they don’t even do anything. I mean, they’re just taking your money. So, I mean, how are you going to know that . . . well, how are you going to know where the holes are at if you have no idea of what’s going on?
Reed:So, you know, some basic understanding is crucial.
Mike:Basic understanding, hire it out, don’t try to do it yourself. I guess if you’re using Upwork or a site like that, one of the beauties of that is people usually have ratings, right? So other people that have hired them in the past have reviewed them, and you should never . . . I used to use whatever it was before Upwork, whatever they’ve . . . a couple of companies merged and they renamed oDesk, and . . .
Reed:Oh, yeah, oDesk.
Mike:And Elance was the big one. So I used to use them, and, like, when I would do searches for stuff, I didn’t do it for Pay Per Click, but graphic design or something like that, I would literally just say, “Hey, they have to have at least 20 other jobs and they have like a perfect five-star rating.” Because there were 10,000 people, so there was always, like, some that had, like, a perfect score. Yeah, you should always kind of look for somebody that has a proven track record, right?
Reed:Exactly. And again, if you go into Upwork, you’re exactly right. There will be 10,000 people who will be “PPC experts.”
Reed:You can get some good ones. And if you filter it good, you’ll definitely find some good ones.
Mike:Yeah. Focus on conversion is the other thing. Like, at the end of the day, when you’re saying Pay Per Click, you’re going to pay a price per click, but traffic doesn’t mean anything if it . . . If you think of it like a retail store, right, like you could get a bunch of people to come out and come into your store, but if they don’t buy anything, you’re just wasting time and money, right?
Reed:Yeah. Forget about the cost per click. Well, I don’t want to say forget about it, but . . .
Mike:It’s an indicator, but it ultimately doesn’t matter.
Reed:It’s a small piece of the puzzle, but the most important thing is what does it cost you to bring in a lead? That’s the end of . . . What’s it going to cost for somebody to fill out that form on your website or give you a call. So, I mean, yeah, the cost per click is somewhat important, but, at the end of the day, what’s it going to cost for them to contact you?
Mike:Yeah. And then the last big thing is to kind of diversify yourself. And we all talk about Google, and, you know, the majority of us only use Google, but there are other search engines out there that people are using too and probably less competitive than Google.
Reed:Yeah. And I don’t think we touched on this, but Facebook. I’m newer on Facebook, but, you know, at the last meeting, there sounds like there’s some guys that are doing well off of Facebook. I’m doing some initial testing. I’m getting really cheap leads off of Facebook.
Reed:So Facebook might be a very good [strategy 00:34:07].
Mike:For cold traffic or for just retargeting or . . .
Mike:Okay. That’s great.
Reed:Yeah. You know, like, 60 bucks a conversion, 50 bucks.
Mike:Wow. That’s great.
Reed:Yeah. So look into Facebook.
Mike:Yeah. Awesome. Well, we really appreciate you sharing your knowledge with us today. And it’s a little bit of a black box for a lot of people that use it in their daily life, right? They’re searching Google, doing things with it. So when it comes to using it for their business, sometimes they don’t even know where to get started.
Reed:Yeah. It can be overwhelming, but just take it one step at a time and, you know, focus on learning. Focus on getting some basic understanding of it.
Mike:Yeah. Awesome. Hey, if folks wanted to learn more about you, Reed, where should they go?
Reed:I guess the best way, maybe just look me up on Facebook. And if you want to, you know, get in touch with me, feel free to message me on Facebook.
Mike:Cool. I’ll add a link. I’ll find your profile. We’ll add a link there for anybody that wants to connect with you, so . . .
Mike:Awesome, my friend. Well, great to see you.
Reed:Yeah. Thank you so much for having me on.
Mike:Yeah. Thanks for sharing, yeah. Yeah, Reed’s a fellow Investor Fuel member. We just had our kind of Fall Mastermind here. And, by the way, if anybody’s interested, we have just a fantastic group. Do you want to . . . I don’t know if I should ask you this. It’s a little bit of calling you out here, but any short little plug on the group from I say an unbiased plug, because I haven’t asked for this. I didn’t even tell you I was going to ask you this, but while we’re here, any thoughts on the last group meeting, big takeaways?
Reed:Oh, man, I mean, it was awesome. I love going to it. I mean, like I said, it’s almost like drinking from a fire hose, which is good, because I kind of feel like I’m an old dog because I’ve been doing this for a long time. So I need to constantly be willing to learn new things. But it’s awesome. I’m very happy with it.
Mike:Yeah. We love having you there too. And it’s great to hear that from a guy like you that’s bought over 1,000 houses. You still get value from surrounding yourself by a lot of other people that are doing a lot of really cool things in the real estate investing industry. And the reality is, like, nobody’s ever figured it out, right? As soon as you figure it out, somebody moves your cheese. And the reality is the only way you can kind of get ahead and stay ahead is to surround yourself with other people that are open and honest about what they’re doing and sharing their knowledge, right?
Reed:Yeah. You know what? What you just said is kind of exactly the mentality I had a few years ago. “Oh, I’ve figured it out. I’ve been doing this since 2006. I figured it out.” Well, guess what? If you aren’t willing to change and adapt, you’re going to get your butt kicked. Yeah, I mean, things change so rapidly and quickly in this environment. You have to be willing to learn. You have to be willing to adapt. And that’s why I love going to your group, because I’m, you know, constantly learning new things.
Mike:Yeah. Well, we’re happy to have you there. Yeah, if anybody’s interested, go to investorfuel.com and you can learn more or apply there. So, awesome. Reed, thanks again for being with us today, buddy.
Reed:All right. Thanks so much.
Mike:Yeah. Hey, everybody, this is episode number 439. We’re coming up on the end of the year here. Hard to believe. First time I’ve actually said this recently on the show, but we actually . . . right around the end of this year, around 12/31 roughly, within a couple of days, that will actually be the 5th year anniversary of this very show, so . . .
Mike:. . . hard to believe it’s been that long. Yeah. So we really, really appreciate all of the listeners and followers. We’ve been building something really special here for a long time. And by having people like Reed on, that’s done over 1,000 deals, coming on and sharing their knowledge with you and doing this all for free is really what’s kind of made this what it is. So we appreciate you guys.
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If you’re an active real estate investor already doing deals and looking to double or triple your business, you should consider joining the Investor Fuel Real Estate Investor Mastermind. We’re a small group of investors that share our best practices, tips, and tricks with one another in an effort to all win. Real estate investing can be a lonely business for successful real estate investors, but it doesn’t have to be. Investor Fuel members meet four times a year, but we talk to each other 365 days a year. And we focus on improving the profitability of our businesses. Improving the quality of our lives, that’s why we do this, right? And making an impact on those around us so we can truly leave a legacy.
We limit our membership to only one to two members per market, so everyone shares their knowledge, tips, and tricks openly and honestly. Our members include some buying one to two houses a month up to some of the most respected investors and leaders in the real estate investing industry, some of which have personally done over 1,000 deals.
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