This is episode #423, and my guest today is Trevor Mauch, CEO of Investor Carrot.

Trevor and I have become friends over the past several years, and he’s really become my go to person for what’s working now in online advertising. In fact, that’s what we talk about today….how to stand out in a competitive market, even if you’re new to the business.

No matter how competitive you think your market is, most investors will postpone some relatively simple steps to make themselves stand out online, and generate more qualified leads. If you’re ready and willing to take action, that’s the first big step in taking your investing business to the next level.

It’s a great show, packed with solid info…so let’s jump in.

Please help me welcome Trevor Mauch to the show.

Highlights of this show

  • Meet Trevor Mauch, CEO of Carrot.
  • Learn how to differentiate yourself with online lead generation.
  • Join the conversation on how to stand out from other real estate investors, regardless of how competitive your market is.
  • Learn immediate action steps to start generating more real estate investing leads today.

Resources and Links from this show:

Listen to the Audio Version of this Episode

FlipNerd Show Transcript:

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 423, and my guest today is Trevor Mauch, CEO of InvestorCarrot. Trevor and I have become friends over the past several years and he’s really become my go-to person for what’s working now in online advertising for real estate investors. In fact, that’s what we talk about today, how to stand out in a competitive market even if you’re new to the business.
No matter how competitive you think your market is, most investors will postpone some relatively simple steps to make themselves stand out online. They put it on a shelf and they just get to it when they’re going to get to it, which a lot of times isn’t fast, but if you do it right, you can learn how to generate more qualified leads, sometimes even quickly, sometimes even in some of the most competitive markets in America.
If you’re ready and willing to take action, that’s the first big step in taking your investing business to the next level, and that’s what we talked about today. It’s a great show packed with solid information. So, let’s jump in. Please help me welcome Trevor Mauch to the show. Trevor, welcome to the show.
Trevor: Mike, what’s up man? Thanks for the return visit. I almost feel like David Letterman’s show on some of those guys where they have the return guests continually. I always love coming on FlipNerd.
Mike: Yeah, I think one of the previous shows we have a picture of you with, like, bell bottoms on, so it’s been so long ago.
Trevor: That’s right.
Mike: It’s funny, this is actually . . . we’re just talking about this. This is actually the third time you’ve been on, but if folks say, “Well, I could hear an old one like, you know.” What we do now is, honestly, I have a lot of folks on the show now that are in our mastermind, our Investor Fuel Mastermind, coaching students, people that have been through our programs, and people that have become really good friends with over the years. And we’re not . . . you know, when I first started, I always wanted to have somebody new.
Like, I think the first couple hundred episodes, we had, like, all new people, there were no repeats, and then I realized man, you and I get energized talking to you every time we talk, and so I think our listeners do too. And just to give some context, you were on in December of 2014, January of 2016, and now here we are. Hard to believe, I had to do the math. I was like, man, that’s been two and a half years ago since you were on the show last time. So, hopefully, you got a couple of new things to talk about today.
Trevor: We do, we do, and I’m excited for it. One thing too, I’m definitely bummed I missed the last Investor Fuel, but I’m pumped for the next ones, and whether . . . if people that are listening to this, this isn’t a pitch for Investor Fuel, it is, but it isn’t like, join a mastermind. This year I’m in two or, kind of, three masterminds right now, one real estate, and then two that’ll help me build my business. And dude, it’s so valuable in surrounding yourself with amazing people. So, kudos to you for what you’ve built and thank you for letting us be a part of it.
Mike: Yeah, we’re all excited to have you as a part of it. And Adrian too, right? So, today we’re going to talk about . . . I think like you said, you, kind of, said the phrase, I say this all the time, “The elephant in the room.” Right? We know it’s competitive right now. Hey, before we jump into that, I want you to introduce yourself, but we’re going to talk about, like, how to really separate yourself online with advertising and lead generation and building your brand, and there’s probably nobody better to talk about that then Trevor. But Trevor, before we get started, for those that don’t know who you are or don’t know you yet, maybe take a minute and just introduce yourself.
Trevor: Yeah, Trevor Mauch, own a company called Carrot. We mainly work with real estate investors and now some agents, helping them really, kind of, crack through that clutter online. How do you generate more leads online? Motivated sellers, cash buyers, tenants, land, people, houses, the whole thing. A little over 2 million leads our clients have pulled in, online leads in the past 36 months or so, and they’re growing, man. So, if you Google any phrase for motivated house sellers in any state in the country, you’re probably going to find three to eight Carrot clients dominating page one.
Mike: That’s awesome. That’s awesome. So, let’s talk about this market that we’re in a different market right now, a different part of the cycle. It’s more competitive. We’re not going to sugarcoat it. Let’s talk about it. Kind of, give your thoughts on where we are in the market cycle.
Trevor: You know, first of all, so we had our little tiny event called Carrot Camp out here. And one of our clients, Brian, actually from Dallas, where you are, I want to tell the story first because it’s so important that if you’re a newer investor, if you’re, kind of, struggling right now, I don’t want you to feel because it’s a competitive market that you’re disadvantaged, like, there’s more opportunity in this market. You just have to go, kind of, sift through a little bit more competition during it. So, it’s still an amazing time to start investing, or ramp it up, or anything.
So, Brian, there in Dallas, he started investing in Dallas, arguably one of the most competitive markets in the country for house flippers and wholesalers. And he started at the end of 2016, and he could have had that, kind of, same excuse of like, “Man, the market’s heating up. Everyone’s piling in here.” And he started and he just executed some things I’m going to be telling you guys today. All online, he didn’t do anything offline. Offline is amazing.
We just happen to specialize in online. We have a lot of people to do a lot of offline and amplify it with online, make their offline marketing work better with online. I’m going to talk about that here in a bit. But Brian chose, “Man, I’m just going to focus all online.” And he went through in a really competitive market, did some of the things we’re going to talk about today.
And he pulled over $600,000 in revenue out his very first year investing as a wholesaler in Dallas. So, I wanted to start with that. Not to vet Brian or myself, I’m like, I don’t want you guys thinking, “Oh man, it’s competitive. I started the wrong time. I should’ve started at four years ago.” The right time to start is now. It’s, kind of, like that analogy they said, “When’s the right time to plant a tree? Well, 20 years ago, but the second best time is today.”
Mike: Exactly.
Trevor: And so that’s amazing. But, you know, the markets are crazy competitive if you look market cycles. Of course, eight to 10 years, it’s, kind of, that real estate cycle. It’s, kind of, normal and we’re right about around that time. And there’s amazing investing opportunities in all different times of the cycle that you just have to, kind of, look at different types of opportunities.
You know, seven, eight years ago, it was like short sales, you know, then it was this and then it was that and now wholesaling is, kind of, the thing. Flipping was three or four years ago. Flipping is still amazing, but a lot of the guys who are big flippers are starting to do even more wholesale deals now while they’re still flipping on the side. So, they’re both amazing. But during that, kind of, up part of the market, a lot of people want to enter it as an investor and as an agent. And that creates more competition for us.
Now, that might sound like a bad thing, but it’s really decently easy to differentiate yourself from the majority of those people who are diving in because they’re not going to put in the work that I’m going to be walking through today that you guys should do.
Mike:Yeah, there’s a couple of issues there. One is, you can talk about when people were doing short sales, so I bought hundreds of deals and I’ve actually never done a single short sale. I never went after REOs. I didn’t do those things. I’m not saying that there won’t be a cycle when those come back around because there will, but the interesting thing is, like, the direct to seller marketing and a lot of the stuff that you specialize in is, it’s people that are in a situation that has always existed and will always exist. Death, divorce, inheritance, problem rentals, things like that. I mean, that’s not a market cycle issue. That’s a life issue and those things never change. So, there’s no more or less deals out there than there’s ever been. It’s just that it’s more competitive because there’s more people there trying to get them, I guess.
Trevor: Yep, I love it. That’s a great point, man. I love it.
Mike:And there’s one of the things that you just said that . . . oh, about the fact that most people won’t get it. Now, if you’re listening to this show, I want you to listen hard here, is that there’s a lot of people that aren’t willing to do the work. Trevor’s going to share some awesome tips with you today, and we’re going to talk about some stuff that could really change your business, but you got to be willing to do the work.
The reality is that eight or nine out of 10 people that are going to listen to this today probably say, “Oh, that’s really interesting.” And they’re going to put it on a shelf and move on. And so that’s what differentiates successful people even in a competitive market, is those that say, “That’s awesome. I’m going all in on it. I’m going to go do that.” So, if you’re listening right now, we want you to be successful. So, listen up, take notes, take some good notes here.
Trevor: I love it.
Mike: So, let’s talk . . . let’s, kind of, get started, Trevor. Let’s talk about how to effectively stand out from your competition in a competitive market like this, online.
Trevor: So, the biggest thing that we found as we’re, kind of, helping a lot of newer investors, mid-tier, and really experienced investors, is even a lot of the experienced investors, their marketing was all marketing towards the same part of the decision cycle that a seller has. They’re all marketing towards the front of it.
So, if you guys can take out a piece of paper, just, kind of, build a visual in your mind, we have a graph of this on our blog, but I’ll, kind of, paint out the visual. The path that a seller goes through to making decisions is this, first of all, they’re problem aware, okay? They have to be aware that they have a problem in the first place. “I just inherited a house. You know, it’s official, a divorce is happening, we have to sell it. We’re moving. I couldn’t sell it with the agent. It’s sat there for a while.”
Whatever it is, there’s something that popped up that made them aware of this problem that they now have. When someone’s problem aware, now they’re going to start to notice marketing messages that they didn’t notice four months ago. They’re going to see the billboard that they’ve driven by 100 times and didn’t take any mental note of it because it wasn’t speaking to them. They didn’t have the problem. They are going to do some Google searches that they weren’t doing two, three, four, five, six months ago, even a week ago because they didn’t have that problem that now they do.
And so at that point, they’re problem aware. People can start seeking out solutions. They’re going to go to Google and type some things. They’re going to ask their friends. They’re going to notice that billboard or that radio ad, or that direct mail piece that lands in their door, and rather than ripping it up, now they’re going to read it because it’s relevant to them.
And most people’s marketing markets to the problem aware person, and only to the problem aware person. It basically says, “Hey, here’s your problem. I can solve that thing and here’s some basics of how we do it.” And that’s your simple “we buy houses,” right?
Mike: Yep.
Trevor: “We buy houses” is a straight up problem aware marketing message. If you need a house, awesome, we’ll buy it. Now, that’s amazing. We have to let people know what we do, so they know that we can solve their problem, but most people stop there. So, the next stage is they go to solution aware.
So, after they’ve had a chance to do some Google searches, they, you know, Aunt Peggy gave them a referral to a real estate agent who might be able to help more over here. They drove by and saw that there were that bandit sign and they got some direct mail pieces. There’s probably six, seven, eight different options in their mind now of how they can solve this problem. One of them over here might be a real estate agent because like I said, Aunt Peggy knows an agent and houses are selling quickly now she says, and there’s the bandit sign. You took down the phone number that says, “We buy houses” on it, and you’ve done some Google searches and you started to get your first postcard or whatever in the mail, right?
So, now that’s your landscape of these solutions, and you start to seek out how these solutions work. And during the solution aware phase, we need to be educating them on how our solution works. Okay? That’s where on your website, you need to make sure that the very first thing in your website needs to address the problem aware mind. “Hey, we can buy your house or sell your house fast and all cash.” You know, the things that everybody says, right?
Mike: Right.
Trevor: That and then the solution aware part of your website or a part of your marketing offline needs to be okay. How does it work? Because at that point, people are going to okay. I understand that it looks like these five or six people have a solution that can probably solve my problem. They can buy houses. They all say they sell quickly, no fees, things like that. They all look, kind of, the same, but let me understand how they work. So, how does this service work to where someone’s going to buy my house? So, have a “how it works page” on your website, right?
Inside of your marketing pieces, if you’re sending six, seven, eight marketing pieces in a series to someone, don’t always send the same, “Hey, we buy your house, we buy a house, we buy a house.” By piece number two or three, they already know that you can buy their house. They probably have questions on how it works. How is it different than working with an agent? How is it different with working with investor number three over here? Right?
So, in that solution aware phase, we need to educate them on how your process works. We need to add transparency. And I want everyone to write that down because in this market right now, one of the biggest ways you can cut through that clutter from your competition is by adding transparency, because most people, especially a newer house flipper or a wholesaler, they are, kind of, afraid to add transparency in how they’re coming up with their offer price as an example.
Mike: Real transparency on who they are, right?
Trevor: Yeah.
Mike: I think a lot of people hide behind their company and they’re like, “This is my company.” I think you would probably agree with this. I’d be interested to hear your thoughts. I think a lot of people historically have tried to present themselves as being a big company, and I think there’s this, kind of, movement towards, “Hey, it’s me and my family and we want to help your family.” Right? It’s like a little more personal and I think the more people can do that, they’re like, “Hey, this is a real person. I prefer to work with them.” Right?
Trevor: Yeah, man. It can be, kind of, drilling down into the individual person or the individual family, but also you can do it with a big company. You just have to add humanity to your company.
Mike: Right, right.
Trevor: You know, and that’s the big thing.
Mike: Not faceless.
Trevor: Yeah, exactly. Not a nameless, faceless company. Have a company that has real core values that cares about people. Have a company that actually has a mission somewhere that helps the community, you know, things like that. And so that’s one of the biggest things that people can do to crack through in this market is add transparency. So, let me give you an example. A lot of people come to us saying, “Man, I want a website that looks like that Opendoor website or Offerpad, you know, or Express Homebuyers.” And Brad Chandler, a friend of ours, who’s out here at [inaudible 00:13:39] largest home buyers in the country.
And they all, kind of, have a very similar flow. It’s like single form field, it’s this and that. We’ve tested all that stuff and the reason we haven’t rolled out a single form field yet as a default option with Carrot is because out of the 25 or so sites we tested on, it didn’t conclusively win in the majority of them. It actually won . . . Tennessee crushes it for some reason with single form field then step two, or other markets have bombed.
So, what I’m getting at here is, a lot of people will look at these Opendoors and Offerpads, the big people out there in the, “Okay, let me emulate the things that look like or the things that I think are working. That single form field thing. This here, this testimonial thing here.” But with Opendoor as an example, one of the big things, one of the big reasons they are winning is because one of their unique selling propositions that differentiates them from a normal house buyer or wholesaler is transparency, is I can go on that website and there’s two or three things that add transparency.
One of the first ones is, I have no question how my offer got calculated. They actually have a thing at the very top of their website that says pricing on it, and I can click that and it gives an aura of transparency, anyway. How transparent is it? I don’t know. I’ve never bought or sold from Opendoor, but it gives an aura of transparency in pricing. It says, “The average Opendoor client pays whatever it is, 8% of retail value to us.” And it’s very clear. Here’s exactly how it works. Here’s how it compares to a real estate agent. Cool. I can add that up in my mind and I can go, “Okay, they’re going to calculate real market value based off of real stuff.” Okay, that’s something I can check. Like, I can ask a real estate agent, I can do that, and then they’re probably going to charge me about 6%, 7%, 8% of that number.
Dude, that’s sweet. It doesn’t seem like they’re screwing me over, right?
Mike: Right.
Trevor: It’s clear. It’s transparent. But most real estate investors on the house flipping wholesaling side of things, they go into it saying, “We’ll make you an offer, but we’re not going to tell you how we came up with that offer.” So, the smart people are actually, when they make the offer, they’re walking you through all the details. Hey, here’s exactly how we made the offer. Here’s how we came to it. Here’s the value of the house, and here’s the things that we did. And we were talking about it actually at the last Investor Fuel that I was at, where John Martinez was talking about that exact thing.
And I’m like, “Oh, that’s it.” All real estate investors need to add transparency at the offer, but how do we add it in our marketing too?
Mike: Exactly.
Trevor: Another way that Opendoor is adding transparency is, if someone’s going to pick up the phone and call you, or they’re going to opt into your website, one thing that we always want to make sure people do is, we want to show them the experience that they’re going to have after they engage with you.
Okay? Here’s an example. So, someone lands on your website, they are in the dark on what’s going to happen after they submit their information.
Mike: Right.
Trevor: They don’t know if they’re going to get hounded by a calling center.
Mike: What are the next steps? Yeah.
Trevor: Yeah, what’s on page two? So, one thing Opendoor did, and we’ve started to do with a lot of our clients too, and I was doing this years ago in my other companies too is, we would record a video, in my previous companies, we would record a video of me going through buying the thing, showing them the order page, showing them what would happen after the order page, showing them the confirmation page, the email that they would get. We would say, “Just go to this page.” Now, they could see the process, all their fear was relieved.
Opendoor is doing the same thing. They have a video on their homepage that shows someone filling out that page, what the next form looks like, what the next form looks like, and what the offer looks like. So, someone can already see the process.
So, find ways in your business that you can borrow from what everyone else is doing, especially if you’re a newer investor, but then go, “Okay, where can I add transparency that they’re not?” Because if you add transparency that your competitors are not, you’re going to stand out big time.
And I’m going to accelerate through the rest of this. After the solution aware phase, then they start to go, “Okay, I’ve whittled it down to three or four real options. These two people have given me offers. This agent I’ve talked to. Who should I work with?”
And that’s where your about page comes in big time. Yeah, make sure you have an about page on your website that has a picture of you or your team. Add in core values, what do you believe in? Like, why are you running this business? Is it all about profit or you actually believe in something that’s greater than yourself? Add that stuff in there.
Brian Rockwell in Dallas, he added that in and his performance went up, like, not just conversion, but one thing that happens is by building a better credibility profile in your marketing, on your websites, in your offline marketing, all that stuff, it increases your close ratio of your leads. It doesn’t just increase your leads, it increases the close ratio of the leads that you get because they’re almost, like, pre-sold on who you are and that you’re a great person that you can solve their problem before they even talk with you.
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 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 a thousand 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.
Trevor: . . . page comes in big time. Yeah, make sure you have an about page on your website that has a picture of you or your team. Add in core values, what do you believe in? Like, why are you running this business? Is it all about profit or you actually believe in something that’s greater than yourself? Add that stuff in there.
Brian Rockwell in Dallas, he added that in and his performance went up, like, not just conversion, but one thing that happens is by building a better credibility profile in your marketing, on your websites, in your offline marketing, all that stuff, it increases your close ratio of your leads. It doesn’t just increase your leads, it increases the close ratio of the leads that you get because they’re almost, like, pre-sold on who you are and that you’re a great person that you can solve their problem before they even talk with you.
Mike: So, what if you’re not a one-man band or a one-woman band, and the “about us” might show your family, but there’s different acquisitions managers, kind of, going out. I mean, do you just position your “about us” and more about our team, or how do you do that?
Trevor: Yeah, here’s a great example. So, we bought a river home here in Roseburg, Oregon two years ago. And a year after that, part of our hillside fell into the river, like, literally, biggest rain in like 100 years, all in two days and 20 feet of our hillside below our deck fell in the river. So, I started to ask people, “Hey, who do I actually talk to about this?” People told me, “Well, some like earth moving and foundation repair companies.”
So, I started to research them, and then what I did was, I went to three or four of their websites. Two of more local and one of them was a regional player and I read the different sites. One of them was very, very clear . . . they’re all big companies except for one of them was a small local operation. So, one of them was very, very clear. It was a locally based company too, but regional, the largest foundation repair company in the Northwest, based here in Roseburg, Oregon, and I’m like, “Man, this looks really great.” I can see their process. It’s very clear, like, it shows before and after photos. There’s a bunch of testimonials on here that look legit, like real people that enjoy their service.
Mike: Right.
Trevor:And I go to their about page and it’s a big company of 150 employees, but I can tell what the company’s about. Like, they showed their core values. They showed some people, some of them, not all of them. They showed a picture of a bunch of the people in their office. They’re real people. All we have to do for your bigger company is you need to add humanity to the mix. You need to add humanity. So, it could be a picture of your whole team in front of your office. It could be a picture of select team members doing work, but they’re happy and they’re real people and maybe your leadership team.
Mike: Show the happiness shots.
Trevor: Yeah, whatever it is, right?
Mike: Don’t show the frowny face though. Yeah, you don’t want that.
Trevor:Yeah, something that’s candid, but one thing that was really cool, and this was a bigger company, and they totally added humanity to the equation, and they made it to where they were the last ones that I had an appointment for that week and I 100% had zero inclination at all to even consider the other two people’s proposals until I talked with these people because of the way they had prepositioned me.
So, I opted into their website. I get a call from them pretty immediately within an hour. I mean, it wasn’t like real estate investor immediate, but it was pretty immediate. And I talk to a nice lady. We set an appointment for that Friday, which was after the other two. And she goes, “Okay, so Mark, whatever, is going to be the technician that we’re going to send to your house and here’s what the appointment’s going to look like. He’ll probably be there about 30 minutes. He’s going to look at these things. I’m going to send you an email right now, or Mark will send you an email here in the next 24 hours, kind of, reviewing the process and introducing himself.”
That’s all automated. Like, she just, like, triggered the appointment with Mark and then they have an automated email from Mark that says, “Hey Trevor, this is Mark looking forward to meeting with you on insert date Friday this week, you know, and here’s a little packet that, kind of, reviews the process we’ll go through, attached PDF.” I’m like, “Cool.” There’s a picture of Mark on email. There’s Mark’s name. Mark actually showed up to my house. So, I felt like I knew him already. And I knew the exact process he was going to go through before he even got there. And he did the process.
And so to answer that question, the small mom and pops, they definitely have a cool advantage as in I can really, like, show that I’m just like you. I’m a person just like you. I’m a family person potentially, and I’m just here to help homeowners and I built the business out of it.
Mike: That’s awesome.
Trevor: The bigger companies have the same opportunity.
Mike: Yeah, the interesting thing is, I’ve talked about this with, like, some of our coaching students and our partners, even comparing them to me, like, you know, when you get bigger and you have a bigger team, or you’ve got other businesses, or you know, things get a little more complicated, you start to . . . some of the individuals or husband and wife teams, or whatever, small teams, can out navigate, you know, some of the bigger players in the market. Because a lot of the bigger players in the market, just naturally, they’re just throwing money at stuff. They’re trying to like do . . . they’re more like a cruise ship and the individual guy can just out navigate it because they’re like a little ski boat, you know?
Trevor:Yep.
Mike:So, I think some of the stuff that you’re talking about being personal . . . and truthfully, that’s what I would say is, like, you know, 95 out of 100 of the real estate investors out there in, 99 out of 100 are the small individual people, I mean, that’s probably who is listening to this show right now, right? And so they have a competitive advantage that they can be more nimble and show who they are because they’re the ones going on the appointments. They don’t have to have a bunch of software that’s merging and Mark and Mark’s image, and all this stuff. It’s like just be you, right?
Trevor: Yeah, 100%. And that’s a great point, man. And that’s a cool thing is be simple with it. And, like, I’ll, kind of, wrap this loop here is, is make sure that in your marketing piece, whether it’s an offline marketing piece, or an online marketing piece, or your website, or we’re going to get into it here in a little bit with some Facebook stuff we’ll teach you, make sure that you’re not just presenting, “Hey, we can buy your house.” But present how our service works, how it’s different, the transparency part of it, and then present, here’s who we are, we’re real people, add the humanity.
So, go straight towards what problem we can solve, and then how does it work, and give them a glimpse behind the machine on how you’re going to calculate offers and how the appointment’s going to work when they show up, and then go, here’s who we are, here’s the humanity side of it.
If you nail those sides of it, man, in this market, you know, 8 out of 10 investors aren’t doing that. You can offer less. Like, we hear from people all the time that, “Man, I offered $20,000 less than these other three investors, but this person told me that they trusted me more.” They’re like, “They couldn’t peg why. They told me they couldn’t peg why they trusted me more, but they just felt like they trusted me more and they’re then willing to take . . . “
Mike: Yeah, that’s awesome. On your website, one of the thing I’ll say, I know you would agree with this, and I’m guilty of this for sure, is we would run, you know, I hire a pay per click firm, they run my ads, so they’re running all sorts of copy, right? Are you going through a divorce? Right? And then we take them to some, like, generic, like, “Fill out your information here. We’ll buy your house.” Like, there’s nothing on the page that answers that question for that use case, if you will, right?
Trevor: Yeah.
Mike: I mean, probably . . . I bet you’d say, probably 80%, 90% of investors are doing the same thing, right? They’re taking them to a standard landing page that supposedly converts well, but they’re not answering that person’s question that . . . we talked about this actually two years ago, it’s, kind of, like inserting yourself in the conversation that they’re having, and they’re like, “I’m in this situation. Mom just died. I inherited this house. What do I sell?” We have, like, “Inherited a house?” like, click here to learn more, but then they don’t learn more. We just say we’ll fill out a form and we’ll tell you more later.
Trevor: Exactly. That page is marketing just towards the problem aware person at that point. Like, “Hey, you got to a house I can buy?” That kind of thing, but it doesn’t give transparency for why you should sell a house that you inherited to me, that I understand the probate process or that process well. I can help you navigate through it. I’m not just a person who can make you an offer and get the house. I’m also a person that can help you navigate this situation because I’ve done it before.
Mike: Yeah, yeah, absolutely. So, you just mentioned, kind of, Facebook advertising, so I know there’s a lot of discussion out there about trying to crack the code for real estate investors on social media. Some people say they’ve cracked the code. Some people are like, “I tried and it doesn’t work.” A lot of people are like, “Well, I haven’t even tried it yet.” But, kind of, share your thoughts where are we’re at with getting social media marketing. Maybe we just, kind of, limit it to Facebook for right now, Facebook advertising to work for seller leads.
Trevor: Man, Facebook is interesting, right? Because if you had asked me two years ago, we were actively advocating and educating our clients to not use Facebook for cold seller marketing two years ago, and it was because, I mean, it wasn’t working that great. You could get leads out of it two, two and a half, three years ago, but the problem was, there were really high costs. You’re going to dump a bunch of money in before you figure it out.
And at that point, Facebook had fewer targeting options. They honestly weren’t aggregating and appending as much data as they are now to people’s accounts. And that’s one thing a lot of people don’t recognize is, whatever information you put into Facebook, you gave to them, but then they have all these identifiers. They got your cell phone number. They know your email address. They know all kinds of things about you because they asked a question here and there, over the course of years, you’ve given them probably dozens if not hundreds of data points. And so they go out and buy data from the big, big, big data aggregators.
So, it could be the credit card companies that aggregate all this purchase information about your net worth or housing stuff. And so they append all this stuff onto their contacts because they’ve got your phone number, email, name, location, all that stuff. They know who your family members are, your friends, all that. So, over the years, that’s gotten way better to where you can do targeting inside of their stuff and make it perform better. Also, they have also made it easier for you to upload your own custom lists and that wasn’t something we could do easily two, two and a half, three years ago.
So, today it’s working great. And I’ll, kind of, give you guys the three type of targeting that you should be focusing on in this order that’s working really, really well. And we actually have a free Facebook resource we can send you to that, kind of, outlines an ideal campaign.
Mike: Cool.
Trevor: But really, where you should be starting is this. Start with any lists that you bring to Facebook. Those are the most effective. Any lists you bring to Facebook, that could be a custom audience list from your website visitors, in other words, a retargeting list. So, someone lands on your website because you took the little Facebook pixel that they give you for free, you take that and put that on your website one time. And then you do, like, 5 or 10 minutes of magic inside of the back of your Facebook ads account.
It’s not magic. It’s pretty easy stuff, but you just create a custom audience based off of anyone who landed on your website and had that little pixel fire. So, you’re building that up. That’s one we always have people implement. I’ll tell you a couple of things you can do with that here in a second.
The next one is any lists you’re buying or aggregating yourself for your direct mail, for your cold calling, or anything like that. So, if you’re doing cold calling or direct mail right now and those lists are working for you, man, take those things and throw that data inside of Facebook. And I know that sounds simple. There’s resources and tutorials that can show you how to do that, but you’ll have to . . . let’s say all that you have is their address and name and you got the location in there, you can send those through the VAs or skip tracing services and get more information, get their phone number and things like that.
And Facebook’s pretty darn good at matching things up. Our, kind of, rule of thumb is if you’re taking a custom list, direct mail list, or cold call list and throwing it into Facebook, ideally, you have at least three data points on that person. If you just have name and town, there might be 14 Marks Smiths or 100 Mark Smiths.
Mike: Right, right.
Trevor: But if you’ve got Mark Smith’s name, he’s in Dallas, and I’ve got a phone number, or I’ve got a specific address or whatever, then you can really hone that ad into the real Mark Smith that you’re looking for that has a house that has a tax lien on it, or has a house that has fines or things like that on it, a code violation.
Mike:That’s pretty popular thing now that’s, like . . . If there was any trend for, like, 2017, kind of, back half of 2017, first half of 2018, it was around skip tracing and cold calling, right?
Trevor:Yeah.
Mike:That’s still pretty popular. Now, probably the big thing for 2018 is a lot more discussion about list stacking for direct mail, right? And you’re talking about the same thing. It’s just online. Like, stack up all these motivational flags or data about the person to say my list might be smaller, but I’m getting to the person that has many potential issues going on is much more likely to sell.
Trevor: Man, and the cool thing is . . . so this is where it gets exciting because with me, online marketing, I mean, you can crush it with just online marketing. Going back to Brian Rockwell, he was 100% online. He executed the plan, he did exactly what we told him to do and he crushed it. But the people who are doing the best are combining their offline with their online.
Talking about the lists stacking there, can you imagine if you’ve got your cold call list, or a direct mail list, or whatever, and you’ve like, you’ve done what you need to do to make it really highly targeted list stack. To, kind of, define that for people, that could be as an example, you pull a code violation list and you pull, you know, a past due taxes list, whatever it is. And these people end up on multiple lists, like, those are going to be really highly targeted.
So, can you imagine if you take those, you upload them into Facebook, you start to serve them up ads the same day, the same week you’re calling them on the phone and you direct mail drops in their box, and you actually take a picture of that direct mail piece that landed in their thing and you make that an ad to them?
Mike: Yeah, “Did you see this postcard we just sent you?” Yeah, you’re like all over them, right?
Trevor: Yeah, so that way . . .
Mike: Or as we say you’re like white on rice. You’re just like . . .
Trevor: You’re just like, yeah. So, like, you’re bringing it into both modalities and you hope that you get them on the phone or on direct mail, but then for people in certain segments, I mean, they’re spending hours a day on Facebook. There’s some number that I saw that people log into Facebook or check their phone for Facebook 20 to 50 times a day. And so if you’re one of those ads that pops up in their stream and they noticed that, which postcard or letter do you think that they’re actually going to notice in that stack? It’s probably the one that they just saw on Facebook 10 minutes ago.
Mike: Right. Yeah.
Trevor: So, that’s really, really cool stuff you can do. So, let me give people a couple of really actionable tips on retargeting because it’s something everybody should do on their website. So, if you have a website, it doesn’t matter if you’re with Carrot, doesn’t matter if you’re with whatever, log into Facebook, go to the business ads manager, or just go to Google and type up “How to find my Facebook pixel.” Like, you’ll find a bunch of tutorials or articles on that. Find that Facebook pixel, go into your website and Carrot will make it really simple. There’s one box you plunk it in and it’s done, but you can find out how to put it on your website somewhere else. And that’s now going to place that on your whole website.
So, any people who land on your website now are going to get built into that audience. And here’s a few things you should do following what we talked about earlier in this call, knowing how a seller makes a decision. Create one ad that is direct to the person or direct to the mindset of the problem aware. It says, “Hey, I can buy your house in this area. Here’s the things I can do.” Like, we’re just saying, it’s a direct call to action ad, “I can buy your house. Here’s a service offer. Do this.”
One ad that is adding transparency to your process. It could be a video that walks through, “Hey, you know, you might be looking at selling your house in the Dallas market and you’ve probably looked at home buyers like me. And maybe you’re an a real estate agent. I’m going to walk you through in this really quick video, exactly how I come to evaluating your house. I’m going to show you exactly how I would make your offer. Just go here and you can get your own offer.”
That’d be pretty cool. I never see anyone doing that. And then the other two ads, so do four ads in retargeting sequence. The other two ads, our credibility building ads that are going to pull someone through the vetting and verifying phase to decision.
So, you’ve got one direct ask ad, you’ve got one . . . and that’s your “we buy houses” type of thing. You’ve got one ad that is transparency to process, then you’ve got two ads that are credibility pulling them through to decision. And write this down because this is, kind of, advanced, but I don’t want to ever speak, you know, below people. I want to pull people up.
So, this is, kind of, advanced and I was just on a call with one larger home buyers in Columbus, Ohio, a big turnkey guy, Dave Payerchin here just [inaudible 00:36:06]
Mike:Yeah, Dave’s a buddy of mine.
Trevor:He’s a good dude. And I was laying out to him because we’re going through the concierge process with him for Carrot, you know, really nailing his site, and I’m like, “Dude, we need some testimonials. They have a lot of them.” And he’s like, “Okay I can get you a whole bunch of them.” I’m like, “Before you do, I want to give you this action plan.” This is what I tell all my high end clients. I say, “Write these things down on a piece of paper. What are the biggest fears, frustrations, or objections a seller may have in working with you or a with home buyer like you?” And they’re pretty standard.
It’s your, “Are they going to low ball me or they’re going to give me a fair offer? Are they, like, legit and legal? Is this just a fly by night operation? Are they actually going to do what they say because I heard from this person over here that they just make low ball offers and they don’t close on them?” or whatever it is. You know, are they an ax murderer or a real person? Like, there’s probably four, or five, or six things, like, what’s the process like, whatever. And then write those down and then go, okay, find a testimonial that addresses each one of those. And that’s how your testimonials should be on your website, in your offline marketing, and in your ads.
And so in those two ads, pick a testimonial for each. One of those should blast through the biggest objection probably price, honestly, and can you actually close quickly? And the other one should blast through the second biggest objection, which is probably, are you legit? Like, are you someone who’s going to follow through with what you said and are you a nice person? And ideally video, your video ads are going to get a lot more play than image ads, but image ads are still working really well too.
So, that’s your four retargeting ads. You put that in there and you drive in traffic there from online, or from your direct mail, or from your . . . let’s say you upload that custom list of code violations and dah, dah, dah, you get them to click the thing in your original ad and goes back to your website. Let’s say they don’t opt in, now they’re on your retargeting sequence too and you served them up that sequence.
So, I know it sounds, kind of, complicated, but get that pixel on your website, create those four ads, have someone help you set up that audience in Facebook, and you’re set.
Mike: That’s awesome. That’s awesome. And did you mentioned . . . you said you had a resource to share. Do you know what that is on top of your head?
Trevor: Yeah, go to.
Mike: You can send it to me afterwards and we can put it in the page.
Trevor: We’ll give you the link, and it’ll be below whatever you’re watching this, so go check it out there.
Mike: Cool, man. So, folks, kind of, heard all this Trevor and they’re like, “This sounds like a lot of stuff.” But as time went by they’re like, “Holy cow, this is a little overwhelming.” Like, where do they start? Like, if you could give, like, “Hey, we just talked about a bunch of stuff here. We threw it at you, but just go do this first.” Like, what are the, kind of, top two or three takeaways, or, like what to go do right now, if somebody is listening to this, like, where do you go start?
Trevor: Yep, so the biggest thing, whether you’re a big investor or just getting started is honestly to shift your mindset that you can no longer just go out there and say, “We buy houses,” and think that you’re going to crack through that clutter and crush it. Now, you might be able to if you’ve got a massive marketing budget, but you need to go out there and go, “Okay, yeah, here’s the service we have.” But now, make the decision to sit down today and write down the different ways that you can differentiate yourself from the others. Is it your background?
And it doesn’t have to be that you’re a big real estate person. It can be that you were a navy pilot for 30 years, or an airline pilot for 20 years, or whatever, it doesn’t matter. Like, there’s something in your background no matter what it is, is an advantage because no one has a background exactly like you. It doesn’t have to be playing towards, “I’m the most experienced real estate person.” It could just be that I have a lot of empathy because I’ve been working with children for 30 years, and I worked with someone who had a house problem, dah, dah, dah, and made me passionate how to help people, so they don’t have these house problems anymore.
Mike: That’s awesome.
Trevor: You know, so write down how you can differentiate yourself. If you’re a bigger investor, you can differentiate yourself with that experience. You know, put down there that we’ve helped 700 . . . you know, we’ve bought 700 homes in Dallas market, whatever it is. It could be your process. So, if you’re a newer investor, your process probably isn’t going to be it yet, but as you go, you’ll hone in and find out ways to make your process better.
Originally, 15 years ago, you know, probably a lot of people out there buying homes, but I bet close in seven days all cash probably was on everyone’s advertisement. Someone said, “You know what? All these people are buying houses, but how do I stand out? I’m I going to say I buy houses in a week.” You know, then it’s like everyone after that says I buy houses in a week.
Mike: Yeah, then it’s four days and five. This is like eight minute abs, like somebody then came up with seven minute abs, right?
Trevor: Exactly. So, sit down and write down those things and just brainstorm, dream a little bit, and give yourself credit for who you are, okay? Don’t worry about and stress about who you’re not and who they are. Give yourself credit for who you are because you’ve got a lot to bring to the table, no matter the real estate experience you have.
Mike: That’s good stuff. I’ve got a couple of new coaching students in our program, and there are teachers, like, two guys that are teachers and we, kind of, talked about, like, just lean into that. Like you’re teachers, and you’re helping people over here and here’s how you help people here, and it was easy for them, you know, and instead of them thinking, “I don’t know how to compete in this world.” We were like, “Be yourself, be who you are and just, kind of, lean into that.” So, yeah, that’s exactly what you’re saying.
Trevor: That right there, like, that’s a perfect thing in the about page. Let’s say you’re a newer investor, kind of, going down that route and you’re going, “Man, well, I don’t have any credibility, dah, dah, dah.” Yeah, you do. What about these parents that you maybe got close with because he had three of their kids go through there, hit them up and say, “I’m going into this new career. I’m really excited about it, and I know dah, dah, dah. Would you mind just, kind of, jotting down a couple words on your experience of me as a teacher for your children?”
And what they’re going to be writing is, you know, Mark, he was insanely patient with my kids and dah, dah, dah. He was whatever, like he had empathy, and he was a great teacher. You’re cool. Like, you could remove the teacher part of it if you want it to, and, you know, when Mark worked with us in our family, he had amazing empathy and patience and dah, dah, dah. Like, it doesn’t matter. Keep the word teacher in there and relay it back to how that now transitions over to how you are going to have the same qualities with you as the seller.
Mike: Absolutely. Absolutely. Awesome. Awesome. This is great information. So, Trevor, we’re, kind of, running at the end of our show here, if folks want to learn more about you, where do they go?
Trevor: Go to oncarrotdot.com. So, oncarrot.com. We’ve got a ton of blog posts over there for free. We put out two pieces of content every week that actually dive into everything we just talked about in more detail. And, I mean, we’re just pumped to . . . and the leads, the lead generation side of it is amazing. We love helping people. That’s our conduit for delivering our message. The part that we love is, like, really helping people build that predictable, consistent momentum building lead machine that finally gives you that freedom, flexibility, hopefully the finances, so you can make that impact you finally wanted to make in your business and that’s what pumps us up.
Mike: That’s awesome. That’s awesome. Guys, we’ll have the links down below the show notes here for anybody who wants to go check it out. Thanks for being with us today, Trevor.
Trevor: Hey, thank you, Mike, for the invite and due congrats on the new office.
Mike: Yeah, yeah. Trevor, is mentioning we just moved into a new office like 48 hours ago, so you guys can’t see it here in the . . . for those of you who are watching, but it’s an absolute chaos, kind of, put boxes and have five cables run all over the place. So, anyway, everybody, thanks for joining us. This is show number 423, with Trevor Mauch. Trevor has been a good friend of mine for a few years. Member of our Investor Fuel Mastermind and just a great guy, a real giver. So, we’ll add the links down below for those of you who want to check it out.
If you haven’t yet, if you’ve been listening to our show for a while and you haven’t given us a rating or subscribed yet, you can subscribe on iTunes, Stitcher Radio, Google Play even on a YouTube where you can subscribe and give us a rating. We appreciate that. After 423 episodes, that’s the, kind of, the fuel that keeps me going.
If you guys are, if you guys are keeping track, we don’t miss a beat. We publish a show every single week for over four and a half years now. We’re going to keep it coming at you if you just show us little love. So, I appreciate you guys. See you on the next one.
Trevor: Thank you.
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 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 a thousand 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.
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