113 Mail-Right Show We Interview Courtney Brophy of Happy Turtle Agency
We have a really great show here with Courtney Brophy of Happy Turtle who was a champ and answered all our questions in great detail with some great insights, about using Facebook and we had a load of questions. Basically We talked all things Facebook with Courtney and how it can help real estate agent get quality leads in 2017
Personally, I make my home in Chester County Pennsylvania with my husband, our daughter, 2 dogs and 2 cats.. A few of my favorite things: making my daughter laugh, running & strength training, giving back to my community, swimming at the pool or the beach and walks along Downingtown main street just for ice cream.
Here’s A Full Transcrip Of Our Interview With Courtney Brophy of Happy Turtle
Thomas: Welcome back my friends to the Mail Right Real Estate Agent Podcast show. We’re on episode 113. My name is Thomas J. Nelson and my co-host is Jonathan Denwood and we have a fantastic guest today in Courtney Brophy from Happy Turtle Marketing. Courtney, thanks for joining us on the show and why don’t you say hi to our audience.
Courtney: Thanks so much for having me. I’m so glad to be here. Let’s talk Real Estate.
Thomas: All right. Well, we will definitely dive into that in just a moment. I want to give Jonathan a chance to say hello to everyone.
Jonathan: Oh, hi there folks. I’m the founder of Mail Right. We’re a company that provides services that will help you get more leads from Facebook.
Thomas: And I’m Thomas J. Nelson. I’m a Residential Realtor here in beautiful San Diego California where I’m never too busy for your referrals. And I’m excited to dive into some questions today with Courtney. Courtney, I wanted to ask you. I read a little bit of your bio on your website and it looks like you’ve had quite a background everything from working with Theatre companies to large marketing programs for Real Estate companies. At what point did you make the decision to go out on your own? And what was that decision for you like? When you decided to, “Okay. I’m going to leave the comfort of working for someone else and dive into Entrepreneurship”.
Courtney: Yeah. Entrepreneurship’s funny and your kind of born with it and if you don’t respond to it, it will never go away.
Courtney: I initially got into Real Estate back in 2010 which is about the worse time in the world to be a new Agent.
Courtney: And to keep myself afloat, I actually started doing Marketing even at that point for other Agents because they needed it, particularly in the online sphere. That was when Facebook business pages were like a new thing. So I very quickly found that there was opportunity there. And I wanted to make sure that if I was going to go out and really do it full-time that I had the education and the support behind me, that I knew what I was doing. So a couple years back when, the more that I spent time with Agents, the more I found that they really had a need for people that were focused on the tools and focused on doing it properly and not these fly by night vendors online that they’re getting scammed by because they don’t know the difference. So I saw a need and I had the skill and kind of the drive in my gut to do it and a couple years later, here I am.
Thomas: So let me ask you this because you obviously have a focus on Real Estate Agents. I know, just from being an Agent for almost 20 years now running networking groups that are both Entrepreneurial and/or Real Estate Mastermind focused, there’s one common thread that runs between small business owners and it’s the DIY mentality. I can do it all myself. How do you get people to get beyond the DIY mentality and the done for you mentality?
Courtney: I love do-it-yourself Agents. They’re some of the most dive in and get their hands dirty people I’ve ever met and I love that about them. However, I have a full-time job as a Facebook Advertiser and I spend probably 5 to 10 hours a week in training and reading and educating and learning. And I’m in dozens of groups and things as a full-time Advertiser. So it’s hard for me to believe knowing what an Agent’s life looks like. Those late night phone calls. Those 10 offers on one house in 24 hours. Those days happen. And they also have a life and have family and sports and things that they do. For them to be able to really proper leverage that tool in its scale, I very rarely see truly successful Agents doing it. And the ones that I do, my response is usually, “Well, you should probably be doing what I’m doing. If you’re really that good at it, why are you selling real estate?”. I know they’re Agents and some of them, that’s just their niche. That’s what they like to spend their doing. And then they hire teams to go out and actually sell houses. So if that’s the case, then great. It’s a difficult thing to stay current on.
Courtney: So if you’re willing to invest in the education and the tools to stay current to do it yourself, it possible. But I think it ends up a full-time job for people. Without even realizing it, all of a sudden all their doing is lead generating and then they’re not actually converting or selling any houses. So there’s always a trade-off there, right?
Thomas: Yeah. Absolutely. You’re talking about too, a small percentage of Agents with a team. Because the larger percentage are on their own. So I would imagine this greatly affects their best use of time when they’re trying to take on all these tasks themselves. I mean, for me, I’ve always tried to convey, how am I most valuable? And then everything else, how can I hire it done?
Thomas: And in talking to my service providers about this, I find that their biggest challenge is finding more Entrepreneurs like me with my mentality because they run into so many people thinking, “No, no, no. Why would I hire it done when I can just do it myself?”. But you brought it up earlier. What about the value of your life, your time? Your whole life, it can’t be the Real Estate business. I know some Agents that it is. How do you get people to realize, “Look. You’re at a point in your career where you don’t need to be doing this. That’s what I’m here for. You need to focus on what you do best and it’s not this”. But how do you approach that with them? Because there’s ego involved.
Courtney: Yeah. Well, I think honestly, a lot of times my successful conversations are with Agents came from another industry. And we talk about, I was a Marketing Manager for a division of the ginormous company. And in our building, we had our Sales Director, we had our Sales Managers, we had myself, the Marketing Manager, we had sales people all over the country, we had an Operations Manager, we had a Warehouse and Fulfillment Manager, we had a Customer Service team, we had an Accountant. All of these job descriptions to run one business. And then in Real Estate, they take them all and expect this one person to be all of those things. It’s insane, right? When you say it like that.
Courtney: So ultimately, if one of those things is your sweet spot, all of those other things you’re probably doing B, C, D and F level work, right? If you’re really really good at this thing, your other business functions are suffering. And you know at the end of the day, everything you do in your business is a Marketing function. How well you take care of your people. How well you deal with your bookkeeping and your transactional management. It’s all part of your Marketing. So if you’re letting those things suffer, you’re actually doing a disservice to your whole business, whether you realize it or not. You don’t think about that. Agents are famous for their shoe boxes full of receipts at tax time, right? To save a couple hundred bucks a year on a regular Accountant that they could have do that every month and every quarter and actually pay quarterly taxes. That kind of stuff.
Courtney: Those are the most successful conversations usually that I have are people that when you say it that way, and they’re like, “Yeah. I remember”. Those 10 people were 10 very different people with very different skill sets and we invested in their education separately. We hired CPAs as in Accountants and MBA as in Marketing for Marketing Director”. You’re like, “To expect all of those to be compiled into one”, it very rarely works for one Agent to take all that on.
Thomas: Well, I would imagine too that even if they don’t have that background, which like for example, I don’t, but that totally makes sense to me when you break it down that way. And you touched on this and this is where I want to go with my next question. I do believe, like you, that Marketing is one of our number one priorities because, without the Marketing, nothing else happens. We don’t have anything to do until the business starts coming in.
Thomas: I run into people that make a mistake because they blend mentalities on this question I’m going to ask you. Can you explain to us the difference between Marketing and Advertising and Lead Generation for that matter? Because they’re three different things in my mind. Am I right or wrong?
Courtney: Yes. You’re right.
Thomas: All right. So in your mind, how do you discern the difference between your Marketing versus your Advertising? Let’s start with that.
Courtney: Well, if you start there, Marketing is about your holistic brand and it’s about what the reputation of your business is in your market. For Realtors, it’s a lot easier because you’re hyper-local brands, right? You’re not trying to blanket all of the United States.
Courtney: You get to say, “This 10 square miles is my turf. I’m going to own it. It’s going to be mine”. So when you’re thinking about Marketing that, there’s a lot of different ways that you can develop that reputation and that brand. There are people that are new Construction Agents and no matter where you are, you’re going to know their name. There are people that, like Rockstar, at community service. And they run these huge projects and it’s what their business is known for. So in a crowded space, Marketing can allow you to have a voice and to have a brand. And you have to determine what that it is. And it’s different for everybody. As a Consultant, you have to be open to that. Like, okay, maybe that’s not your thing, so let’s find something else. But if you have no thing, you’re going to have nothing, right?
Thomas: Right. Right.
Courtney: So then you go into Advertising which is like my go forth and conquer part of the conversation. Go forth. Find the people you want to do business with. In theory, the Marketing has already been working and when they see your name, there’s going to be some recognition there. But the Advertising, you’ve got to go find those people that need you. You’re in a service industry if you’re in Real Estate. You advertise because you have something to offer. And you’re saying, “Please come work with me. I want to help you”. If you start from that place, all of. And then you’ve got Lead Gen.
Courtney: Lead Gen is a totally different thing. There’s a lot of Advertising and Marketing that will never generate you a lead.
Thomas: Okay. Let’s talk about that for a minute. Because that’s a huge mistake Agents make. I see it all the time on my blog site on Active Rain. They’re like, “I just did all this stuff to my website and nothing’s happening”. So let’s talk about that. What are the mistakes Agents are making when it comes to Lead Generation?
Courtney: Focusing on Lead Generation as their only objective. That’s my first response to that. If you are only looking at the things that you’re doing by how many leads did it get me directly, you’re fighting a losing battle because you can’t track all of those things. The value of running that Peanut Butter and Jelly campaign for the local food shelter can’t be measured. But, you know what, when you ran an Ad and they sell your name, it had value. So you can’t just say, “This line item brought me 5. This line item brought me 2. This one converted one sale”. Obviously, that’s the metric, that’s the end of the pipe.
Courtney: But if you want to build a sustainable business, you really have to be thinking short-term and the long-term. So even with Facebook Ads, sometimes campaigns can take a little time to get legs under them before the leads really start to flow. And that’s on us as advertisers to get that happening as quickly as possible. But, in the meantime, you’ve still got thousands of impressions for a penny a piece or clicks to your website where they’ve gone and engaged in other content and you’re building a retargeting audience that you’re going to be able to send Ads to. There are layers to that value besides just that one metric in the screen. That clicked, check. And I think when you think about your business as a whole like that, it takes some of the pressure of each individual activity. While you should hold it accountable, you can’t necessarily equate everything to leads. Because your Advertising has to be happening, your Marketing has to be happening and hopefully, those will contribute to Lead Gen.
Courtney: If all things are working together, you’re going to have a short-term and long-term success, right? That’s my perspective on it.
Thomas: No. It makes a lot of sense. I’m going to ask you this. With that knowledge, are all three of these happening in concert? Or are you starting with, “Okay. Let me get my branding going before I start Advertising, before I start Lead Gen”. Is there an order to this? Or are they all happening at once? How does somebody brand new in the business today launch that program?
Courtney: The perfectionist Real Estate Agent. This is one of my favorite subjects. And when I get on the call with Agents they’re, “Well, I’m working on my website. Can we run any Ads?”. “Well, that depends. If I can run them without it, then, yeah. Let’s get them out here. You have no time to lose. You’re not getting paid, right? You’re commission only”. It depends on your need. If you’re a brand new Agent, the concept of brand, when you haven’t sold a house yet, is a really really big elephant to try to eat, one bite at a time, right? However, from an Advertising standpoint, you can get traction quickly and start getting those wins and those clients and those testimonials and those sales on your Zillow and those kind of things that give you sense of scale. Being a new Agent is really hard because you’re duking it out with that have sold 1,000 homes.
Courtney: And in some markets, 20 person teams. So you can start branding in the sense that establishing with your own sphere that you’re a Real Estate Agent now and developing your genius with them. Doing emails and Facebook posts and Lives and sending them things directly by text or however you can get in front of your sphere like, “I’m in Real Estate now. Please do business with me”. Because people are scared. You’re a new Agent.
Courtney: It takes a lot of time to establish that credibility that you actually know what the heck you’re talking about, right?
Courtney: So, from that standpoint, brand yourself with your sphere. But first thing you’ve got to do is start making a living, right?
Courtney: You have got to get some leads coming in the door or you’re going to be out of business in 100 days like so many Agents are. For a brand new Agent, I would sphere networking first, then focus on Lead Gen, like the things that you can do to bring leads now. Things like SEO. SEOs great. It’s almost magical the way that you could just have leads forever off of one post. But it’s not going to happen tomorrow. And you could be out of business before that.
Thomas: Right. Right.
Courtney: As a brand new Agent, you have to weigh those things against each other. They push open houses up. Houses are great. You’re literally standing in front of someone that wants to buy a house. Heck, yeah. Sell all the open houses you can. No dollars required there, right?
Courtney: Sorry. That was kind of a roundabout answer to say, “Focus on your sphere first if you’re a new Agent and then focus on Lead Gen. All of those other things will come when you have the budget and the time to deal with them. As a Real Estate Agent, you’ve got all the time in the world”
Jonathan: I wouldn’t worry about that at all actually. I’m notorious for my roundabout answers.
Thomas: I’m just going to digress. You brought up a couple things I want to dive into in a minute here because I do want to talk about Facebook and SEO. Something that popped into my mind while you were giving that good answer was what about the Agent, this is what I ran into. I’m just going to throw myself into this. I found myself in the last 3 or 4 years hitting a new price point. I went up in price point which brought up a different clientele level. But it also changed my competition. And suddenly, I’m going up against these massive teams that, I was under their radar at a certain price point. Now I’m dead set in a game of chicken with them on listing presentations. So with an Agent that’s already established, that does have a brand, does have a history of Marketing and Lead Gen going on, but now you need to tweak because your competition’s changed. Is there different advice for them? Or is it the same advice?
Courtney: Be better than them.
Thomas: Okay. But let’s unpack that.
Courtney: I don’t mean to be dismissive. That’s my sincere response. Especially, we’ll just go back to Facebook Advertising.
Courtney: When you’re doing awesome things on Facebook, there is a perception of you as an Agent.
Courtney: Because they think you’re cool. They think you’re tech savvy. And they think you’re going to do things that no one else can.
Courtney: So when you sit down in that listing presentation, unless that team has someone that’s as good as you, you should be able to show your value and show the things that you’re doing. Where it becomes you selling you, not you against them.
Courtney: If you want to know that you are better than them in certain things, you can focus on those things. So make it your business to be better than them at something.
Courtney: No. You may not be able to say, “I’ve got 7 buyers, agents that bring in leads”, and da da da da. But you can say, “I invest constantly while your home is on the market in Facebook Advertising. Last month I got over a million impressions for my clients”.
Thomas: Go ahead Jonathan.
Jonathan: I don’t know if Courtney would agree with this. But the other factor is celebrate that you’re smaller, that you’re a boutique. That your boutique you’re offering a boutique individual service. And some of those clients, that wouldn’t appeal to them. They would want to go with a massive team. But I would suggest, and I’d be interested if Courtney agrees, that a lot of those clients would also be interested in going with a boutique player. I don’ think it’s necessarily that you need to make out you’re some massive player against these big teams because be what you are really. What do you think?
Thomas: That’s great advice.
Courtney: I agree completely. We’ll just speak to my market specifically. There’s 4 or 5 of these gigantic teams that are 10 plus people. One of the original Keller Williams expansion teams started their own market. That’s who our Agents are duking it out against. And they don’t even try, not in a negative way. But they’re just like, “Look. I’m me. If you dial the phone, you’re going to get me. That’s my value”. And then they look at maybe outsourcing parts of their business to someone like myself so that they can say, they don’t have to feel like they’re doing it all, speak to who you are. And great evidence of that is the fact that on Zillow now, you can search by team or individual Agent.
Thomas: Yeah. That’s a good point.
Courtney: Because even Zillow has identified that not everybody wants this thing and not everybody wants this thing. The consumer gets to pick now. I’m right there with you man. Just be who you are and be great at what you do. That’s the best Marketing you can do, right?
Thomas: Yeah. That makes a lot of sense because not everyone is going to want the big mill. They’re going to want the specialized service. I mentioned being at a new price point. This year I’ve been in deals with three of those Agents I go head to head with. I brought buyers into their listings and I never once talked to them. I never once heard from them. I always talk to the gatekeeper and the assistant which for me, not a problem, but if I’m the client, I may want to hear from the actual man’s name or the woman’s name on the bus bench I called.
Thomas: Or wherever you found them. Now, the opposite of a bus bench Ad would probably be some Facebook Advertising here. So, let’s dive into that.
Courtney: That’s a good segue.
Thomas: I’m curious to know. My first real experience with Facebook Advertising was working with Jonathan’s company and with Mail Right. But what can Agents do to utilize Facebook Advertising if they’re new to it? Because it seems like a daunting thing. There’s so many mistakes you could make with how to spend your money. What’s a good basic way to get started?
Courtney: The best way to get started with Facebook Advertising is to find a good training resource. There’s a lot of them out there. I’m happy to share some in writing here about what, some good resources out there so that you can properly understand the tool. And I want to take a moment to pause here to separate between, “I’m going to boost a post”, and, “I’m going to advertise on Facebook”. They’re two very different things and they’re valuable in different ways. But, I just want to be clear that when we’re talking about Advertising, we’re not talking about putting $10 into your post. That is a visibility tool. It is a get eyeballs on your new listing or new likes for your page. There are a lot of purposes to do that. But if you’re really wanting to Lead Generate and grow your business, that ain’t it. Even Mark Zuckerberg will tell you that that’s not what that’s meant for. It’s not going to get priority in placement. If you want to do Facebook Advertising, do Facebook Advertising. It’s not to say there’s no value in boosting, but we’re just talking about two different things here. If you want to get started with Advertising, learn to do it properly. Find a real Facebook training program that’s going to take you start to finish because if you get in there and you see more than a couple levers that you don’t know what to do, you’re not ready to be running Ads yet.
Thomas: Okay. That’s good advice.
Courtney: It’s not a hard system. It’s not a simple system. It’s not difficult. Sorry. I said that backwards. It’s not difficult, but it is relatively complex. Each lever is kind of a yes or no choice in a lot of cases. So you just need to know what combination to put those in because you may well be doing things that’s crashing your results and you don’t even know it. Facebook has a ton of stuff out there. Just go to Facebook’s training, if nothing else, if you don’t have the resources to invest in a paid program. Just take it step by step. How do I set up the audience? How do I set up the targeting? Take it one piece at a time and be really really good at that because I think one of the things that’s dangerous in this industry is we go into Facebook groups and we exchange with our peers and it is so valuable. But then we take and we try to copy paste. And then we come out the other side and we say, “I don’t know why it didn’t work”. Well, that’s because you didn’t really know all of the moving parts.
Courtney: You didn’t know how their pixel was optimized. You didn’t get to see their audience targeting. You didn’t get to see their placement strategy. All they did was screenshot the Ad and say, “I got 50 leads in 2 days”. That’s only one ingredient of the soup. This simple answer, “Learn it properly”. Don’t start throwing your money at something that you don’t know how to drive. It’s just not a good investment for you. And there are a lot of tools out there to teach you if you do intend to do it yourself.
Thomas: All right. So read the instructions before you build it.
Courtney: Yeah. Read the whole recipe before you start making the soup.
Thomas: All right.
Courtney: For sure.
Thomas: I’m going to sneak one more question in before we go to commercial. And that is, I actually saw a pretty cool little snippet of an interview you did. And I wanted to kind of extract a little from that by asking you this question is, how does one that has had some Facebook Ad experience diagnose and treat their underperforming Ads? How do you determine, “Hey”, where’s the benchmark and where can it be improved?
Courtney: Yeah. We could do a whole hour on that one.
Thomas: I figured.
Courtney: I’ll sneak this one in before the commercial break. In simple terms, you have to be testing at all times with your Facebook Ads because what’s healthy one week might be ailing the next week and vice versa. Just because an Ad is bringing leads, doesn’t mean it’s healthy and just because it’s not, doesn’t mean it isn’t healthy. When you’re split testing and you’re saying, “My mobile versus my desktop. Okay. I’m getting way better results on mobile. Let’s test that”. Out of the gate, you should always be running 3, 4, 5 versions of your creative. See which one’s working best, then start testing another part of the creative. By always testing, you’re going to improve. Because I’ll have people ask me, “What’s a good click-through rate?”. “Well, that depends on about 1,000 different things”. What layer in your campaign is it? How big is your audience?. So my answer is, if you’ve got 5 creatives running, you can say, “This one’s getting a terrible click-through rate”, if you don’t have anything to compare it to. So the basic there is, diagnose where the really good things are happening, scale into those, treat the things that aren’t working and then let it heal. You have got to stop touching your campaigns. Let them run. Give Facebook time to be smarter than you. Give them a couple of days or a week, depending on how much Ad budget you’re putting into it. Just stop touching them because if you’re touching them every day, you’re actually making them worse.
Thomas: But I want it now.
Courtney: I know. And that, honestly with Realtors, that’s the uphill battle. I’m like, “Your Ads are live”. They’re like, “I haven’t gotten any leads”. “It’s been 10 minutes. Come on”.
Jonathan: 10 minutes? That’s a long time.
Courtney: Yeah. Right.
Thomas: They probably were only there on one cup of coffee. But if they let it go 10 minutes.
Courtney: And better when they’re looking at their own stats and things going, “Oh”. I’m like, “You’ve just got to trust me. That’s what you’re paying me to know is when we need to make changes”. So you’ve got to diagnose what’s wrong, heal it or treat it, then let it heal. And think about it like a doctor. This is a scientific process. Facebook Advertising is a Science. Maybe more so than any other tools we have right now. It is a Science.
Thomas: Well, just based on your answer, I mean, your answer alone made me realize that’s a full-time job doing that and that’s not what I’m getting paid to do. So just in that answer, I’ve realized, “Wow. That was so overwhelming to listen to”. So this is why you hire it done when you don’t know what you’re doing folks. Because your time and money is better spent on what you’re bringing the money in with and then hire your weaknesses. If you’re not good at something, is it in your best interest to train on it and spend time doing it? Or is it better to hire someone to do it? That’s my opinion. We’re going to come back with some more questions in a minute. But I’m going to toss it over to Jonathan and he’ll take us to a commercial break.
Jonathan: Oh, thanks Thomas. I’m really enjoying the conversation. And we’re going for our break folks. And when we come back, we’re going to be talking some more Facebook with Courtney and delve in a little bit deeper in this fascinating topic. We’ll be back in a few seconds folks.
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Jonathan: We’re coming back folks. We’ve had a great conversation with Courtney, all about Facebook. I’m going to hand it back to my co-host Thomas.
Thomas: All right. Well, Courtney, I wanted to dive into SEO because that is an acronym that’s tossed around daily. When we’re talking about Search Engine Optimization, has that changed over the years in how it’s effective? What are best practices for it today if it has changed? Or was that just a huge question?
Courtney: That was a really huge question. I will respond with, Search Engine Optimization is not something I spend time on full-time.
Courtney: So I will speak really briefly in response to that only to say that the very healthiest Marketing programs are doing both. Like Facebook Advertising, Search Engine Optimization changes very very frequently. So the things that you did that you were ranking for a year ago, you may just be off the radar now because you haven’t kept up with what you’re doing.
Courtney: Searching can be a great way to, you know what they want in a different way than you do on Facebook Advertising. So you can address those needs and attract particular kinds of people based on what they’re searching for. But like Facebook Advertising, it can be a very robust, very big strategy to really see results on it. It’s not a short-term strategy by any stretch. I think even SEO people will tell you that. SEOs a road you want to go down if you’re really trying to build for the long-term. That being said, make sure your websites don’t suck. That’s not an SEO strategy. That’s a business owner strategy. You, as listing Agents, purport to be Marking professionals. Build out your websites, put some content on them. It’s important, whether you’re working on SEO strategy or not, make your websites valuable because people, whether they’re a referral or not, are going to look you up. And first thing they judge about your business is your website in a lot of cases.
Jonathan: Would you agree with this Courtney, Agents have got to spend some love on their website and spend a few hours, have some time every week, like 1 hour, 2 hours where they’re actually actively working on their website around content. You see so many Agents just got this attitude, “We’ve got the website up and we’re just going to leave it”. Would you agree with what I’ve just said?
Courtney: It depends on the website, but, yes, as a general statement. If you’ve got blog posts on there that are dated from 3 years ago and that’s the most recent thing that you have on that website, it does not look good. It looks like you’re out of business. And if you don’t have time to maintain your own business, what kind of attention are you giving their listing?
Thomas: Great point.
Courtney: So from that standpoint, yes. It depends on the website that you’re trying to leverage and what your goals are. There’s a lot of people using those really out of the box websites that are very simple and they’re a great online business card and brochure and that’s all it’s doing. And if that’s the case, put your 30 bucks a month into it or use what your broker has given you, go to it. But if you’re going to do more, you have to do more. And that’s another one of those things that you can hire out. We write a lot of content for people that, on a weekly, monthly basis so that there’s just fresh content. They use it on their Facebook pages. They use it in email newsletters. There’s a lot of value to that work. So it’s not just a make yourself look good. If you come from a place of value, you’re always going to get better results.
Jonathan: Sorry, Thomas. Go on.
Thomas: I wanted to piggyback on that because Jonathan talks about this a lot too. We always talk about renting a website versus owning a website. And he’s always on me because I do rent a website right now. But I have customized it a little. But my question is, we were talking about expectations before with Marketing, like an Agent needs to give Marketing time to keep in and so you have to have a budget that can sustain and essentially probably no ROI in the beginning just so that it can get legs and get going. But with a website, if an Agent is to take the advice Jonathan’s given multiple times on owning one, in your opinion, what’s a good budget to start with to own your own website? Because I’ll be the first to admit. The computer age hit as I graduated high school. So I didn’t grow up with it, but I adopted it in my adult life. The thought of spending thousands of dollars on this kind of intangible digital thing out there was a tough sell on me in the early days of my career. So how do you assign a value to that and what is that value for launching a website?
Courtney: I’m going to admit. I haven’t heard all his comments on this, but I don’t necessarily agree.
Jonathan: All right. Go for it.
Courtney: In the same way that we spoke earlier about those of us who that are full-time Advertisers, it’s a full-time job to keep up with the technology and the tools and the changes and the best practices. When you’re talking about renting websites, you’re paying for somebody else to do that work for you and because they’re, you’re getting a financial benefit from that, but that does not mean you’re not getting as good a tool. When you’re owning your own, you’re still paying for that time. You’re just paying for it individually. So it an incrementally more expensive thing. Now, that being said, my guess is that his argument is that tool dries up, you decide to make a change, you’ve lost all of your content value. Am I on the right track there as his argument on the owning your website?
Jonathan: Oh, I think you’ve done fantastic.
Jonathan: But I just wanted to say, I think leasing a platform at the beginning is probably the right choice. I think only having a site that you can really have more flexibility and more customization and making it more individual to your brand is a bit linked to what we’ve said during this conversation is it’s only worth doing when you’re in the position to build a brand. If you’re in a position to be really realistic to yourself that either you’re going to get somebody like yourself or other people maybe to write content for you and also write some of it yourself. I’m not saying you’re going to have to write it all yourself. I think there’s a sweet area, but it’s only worth going down owning the site as I put it, is when you’re prepared to put some love and care into it. That’s what I really meant.
Courtney: Yeah. And it’s got to be part of a more robust strategy.
Courtney: The concept of your SEO loss when change sites and that kind of stuff. I had somebody earlier this year pay me a lot of money to migrate all of their community pages and blog posts and all that kind of stuff. Now they weren’t as valuable because they were brand new. But he had paid for that content and he wanted it moved. It depends on the situation. I hate that answer. But it sincerely does. That’s where my actual recommendation is don’t pick the brain of the people that are selling the sites. Pick the brain of someone like myself or Jonathan that can give you some perspective on your situation. Those of us who know the industry from a Marketing standpoint, we pretty much know all the products that are out there. I have my favorites, but if it’s not the right choice for somebody, I’ll tell them something else. You’ve got to be careful with the hive mind of everybody’s jumping in bed with this one website product and let’s all go do this and they’re making lots of money, so I’m going to make lots of money. But again, you don’t know all the variables involved. Maybe they’re the only decent Agent in 100 miles. You don’t know. It’s not one size fits all I guess is my short answer to that. And if you’re not in a position that you’re going to be pushing into a hardcore website centered strategy, the own your website is a pretty big investment to make until you’re in a place to really go there. So I agree. I agree.
Jonathan: Thank you. Don’t get me wrong. There’s about half a dozen very quality kind of leasing. Curaytor. I’m a great fan of Chris Smith and Jimmy.
Courtney: Yeah. Me too.
Jonathan: I’ve spoken to Chris on a number of occasions. I’ve tried to get him on this show. He did say he would come on it, but he keeps escaping.
Courtney: I want to come that day.
Jonathan: That would be interesting.
Courtney: I had the chance to see Chris speak about The Conversion Code. That’s actually the gift I give all my new clients is The Conversion Code because it is a must read for anyone who . . .
Jonathan: It’s not bad, is it? It gets to the point at least. It’s not a ramble. He gets to the point, doesn’t he? Chris.
Courtney: He gets that it’s a Science. It’s not throw darts at the wall and hope one sticks. You need to treat your business like a business.
Jonathan: And that’s why I thought I would invite you because that’s what I love about you is I’ve seen you on other Podcasts. And one of your great strengths is you provide great value, but you also get to the point.
Courtney: Thank you.
Jonathan: When it comes to Facebook Advertising, one of the classics is a home variation lead magnet. It’s an old classic. Do you think that still has any life still in it? Or do you think your lead magnets and your objective for your Facebook Advertising is to get people’s name, phone number, email, isn’t it really? But it’s getting a little bit more difficult, isn’t it? So what do you think of that old classic? And what are some of your advice and insights about running, A, do you need a landing page and a lead magnet to have reasonably successful Facebook Advertising campaign?
Courtney: Yeah. Seller leads on Facebook are hard.
Jonathan: The toughest of the tough.
Courtney: I hope my saying that gives comfort to the do-it-yourselfers. I’ve got an Agency network around the world, a lot of them working with Realtors and it’s kind of an industry-wide, somebody crack this thing is right answer. I’ll pay for it all day once somebody figures it out. I have some things that work in some markets. But it’s been something that we’ve tested into really hard to find a sweet spot. I will say those home value Ads, in most markets, they’ve lost their mojo just because they’ve been oversaturated. And because, what I keep hearing from Agents that have used them, they buy one these $25 a month that they can use the tool. What ends up happening is they get an auto-generated home value and then they get on the phone with the Agent and the Agent ends up having to duke it out with whatever that report sent which is not licensed Real Estate Agent in their market. So they actually found that to be an uphill climb with those leads because they had already been given a home value before the Agent even got to speak to them. I think industry-wide that’s a subject that can be addressed is these auto value things, estimate and whatever. But I think the home value, wanting to know your home value does not mean you’re somebody that’s thinking about selling. So where you are in your selling process, it doesn’t mean anything to that. I’ve seen success marketing sellers as buyers, why they’re changing homes because that is hitting an emotional trigger. What’s your home worth is not, there’s no emotional trigger to that. The most successful campaigns are emotional triggers, right? So that doesn’t mean anything. You don’t know who you’re talking to. So how do you possibly write copy for that to make it really effective? And if you do catch them, you might be catching people that just bought their home and now they want to know what it’s worth. They’re not selling it. They’re going to refinance. You can help them with that, but it’s not valuable to you. Yeah. So that particular campaign, I think in most markets there are still Agents seeing some success with it. But I think in most markets, its run its course. We’re having to be more creative. It’s saturated now.
Thomas: That was a huge point you made about the emotional triggers. You’re right. If it’s not inspiring some sort of emotional reaction, it’s not going to get the juice that you’re hoping, especially if you’re using something that every other Agent’s using out of the box. When you said that, it brought up a question in mind, I want to ask you is, knowing what you just said, what is effective Top Of Mind Marketing then today? Do you target emotionally versus practically, if you will? Let’s talk about Top Of Mind Marketing and what’s effective today.
Courtney: That’s a big question. If you were an Agent in Dallas Texas or you were an Agent in Green Bay Wisconsin or you were an Agent in LA California, we would have very different conversations about that.
Thomas: Fair enough. Yeah.
Courtney: I was speaking to an Agent last week that he’s in a market where the 20 and 30 somethings are migrating out of this particular couple of zip codes and they’re moving out to this particular couple of zip codes. But we have a real opportunity there to market to them with things of value involving this market. Because he as an Agent is a smart Agent, watches his numbers, knows his numbers, identified that so we can be really specific to who they are, why they’re moving. Those are the best campaigns is where we can come from a place of value and that we’re actually giving something valuable. So something like expecting parents that are upsizing. You can target that on Facebook. It’s not about manipulating their emotions, it’s about addressing a pain. They’re thinking about, “Oh my gosh. They had their baby shower. Where am I going to put all this stuff?”.
Courtney: I mean, my daughter’s 2. I still don’t have room for all the stuff. Those kinds of triggers, it’s not about manipulating them, it’s about addressing them and really trying to help. Like, trying to help. When you sit down to write your campaign, start there. Who do I want to help? And how can I help them? And then work that backwards. And sometimes the answer is, “I don’t know”. And then maybe you have to move on to another idea. places of service is going to be your best.
Thomas: Yeah. What you’re saying is true. It would come from an authentic place in me. I wouldn’t sit there and target dog owners if I didn’t like dogs. But because I am a dog owner, I might want to go after dog owners. Because I know a great community where there’s a wonderful dog park. It’s a very dog-friendly community. The idea I got from what you just said is it’s got to come from a place of where you’re personally interested, you’re personally invested in this. Is that a viable market to go after? Just because I’m into finger painting doesn’t mean I’m going to find enough people to sell houses to that are into finger painting.
Thomas: So it’s got to have a practical market.
Jonathan: I think it’s linked to a previous question we asked Courtney. When you were asking about, when you were up against these big, gone up and you’re now facing some big local competitors.
Jonathan: And it’s a bit also linked to the home variation question I asked, is that I think for these campaigns to be really engaging, they’ve got to be what I call nichified. They’ve got to be aimed at specific target audiences. But the question I’m going to ask Courtney is, when it comes to Facebook you get a lot of these seminars aimed at Agents and you can really target an audience, really you know, micro-target. But the reality is, the audience has to be at a certain size really, doesn’t it?
Courtney: Which is hard in a small geographic area.
Jonathan: Exactly. I’m the terrible one of this. I’m going to ask you the real toughy questions.
Courtney: Bring it on Jonathan.
Jonathan: Yeah. I do it with a smile though. But what have you found your audience size really has to be to really get any kind of result from the campaigns in general?
Courtney: Yeah. Whenever I’m researching to start launching a campaign for a new Agent, one of the first things that I do is research the population density of their area. So if in their circle that they want to do business in there’s 10,000 homeowners and then we start niching that down, that’s not going to be an effective audience. You’re going to have to refresh that copy over and over and over and over again because those 10,000 people are going to see that Ad in a couple of months. Because Facebook tries to battle frequency as much as it can to help you, it’s much more of an uphill climb. So if you’re in one of those tiny little markets, it’s going to be a little bit more of a challenge for you. Whereas if you’re East of LA and you’ve got 250,000 homeowners in a 10-mile radius. So I don’t really like to work with a starting seed audience of less than 215,000 personally.
Courtney: I know there are those out there that would disagree with me on that. But I think by the time you niche that down and then you start retargeting it, it starts to get really really really small. And you’re going to have issues with frequency and showing the Ad too much to the same people and it’s a problem. So that’s just my personal threshold, 215,000 is about as small as I would want to go Top Of Funnel.
Jonathan: I totally agree with you. I actually think it’s got to be a bit higher. But I think it’s debatable. The fact that I was going to ask you is that I think you’ve got to understand a little bit about Facebook and what they’re looking for. And they’re looking for keeping people on their platform as long as possible and seeing engagement on that platform. So, I can’t pronounce today. It’s terrible. Relevance. They actually give you a score, don’t they, about, from 0 to 10. Can you talk about that a little bit and why that is so important and keeping an eye on that?
Courtney: Yeah. I mean, here’s the thing. Facebook’s free. And in exchange for Facebook being free and getting to do things like we’re doing right now and being live all over the Internet for free, we engage with Ads. However, when the Ads are terrible, it affects our relationship with that platform, right? You start running a campaign and it’s, Jonathan’s referencing the relevancy score. If you’re sitting at a 1 or a 2 and you can’t figure out why your Ads aren’t feeding out, it’s because your Ad’s terrible and Facebook doesn’t want to show them. Given the choice between a really good, healthy, helpful Ad and a really terrible ugly Ad that doesn’t help anybody except themselves, Facebook’s going to choose this one all the time. So when you’re looking at your relevancy score, there’s a combination of a lot of different things. Are you showing the right Ad to the right person in the right way? Because if it’s not, if you’re not accomplishing those objectives that you set out to accomplish, Facebook’s going to be like, “Okay. Then something in there is broken”, and it’s going to penalize you for that. It’s going to make your costs higher and it’s going to make your Ad show less. You’re not going to get the most desirable placement when there’s a 10 out of 10 sitting over here trying to bid against you.
Courtney: Facebook wants to stay free. And to do that, they have to keep their Ads as comfortable as possible inside of their user interface. That’s part of why they’re pushing Messenger so hard right now. You hit the nail right on the head. With all of the bots and I don’t know if you guys have gone there on this show or not. But all of the bots and the auto-responders and things that are out there, that’s the hot tool right now because they’re wanting to make Messenger the thing, that that’s where you communicate with each other. That the goal for an Agent could no longer be an email and phone number. They just need a Messenger engagement. That is all part of Facebook’s mindset of, “Make yourself good because we will show it for you. But if it’s terrible, we’re not going to show it”.
Jonathan: I think that’s a fantastic answer. I think we’re going to finish off on our Podcast. And if Courtney is gracious, can spend another 10 minutes, I’d love to continue this discussion on YouTube and we’ll delve a little bit more into some of the world of Facebook. I’m going to hand it back over to Thomas to kind of finish off.
Thomas: Sure. Well, I just want to give Courtney a chance to let our Podcast listeners know how to reach out to her. So Courtney, do you want to tell people how to reach you?
Courtney: Sure. Yeah. You can get all of my contact information on happyturtlemarketing.com. You can see some more information about the work that we do and you can actually schedule some time with me right on that website, that we can talk your business and see if there’s things that we can do to help grow. Or just send me a message in Messenger if you want. I’m available to Agents all over the country because I think when the industry does better, we’ll all do better. So I’m happy to help in any way that I can, client or not.
Thomas: Awesome. All right. Well, folks, you heard it. That’s Courtney Brophy with Happy Turtle Marketing. We’ll have her contact information up on the show notes as well. Jonathan, you want to let our listeners know how to reach you?
Jonathan: It’s really easy folks. You can go to the Mail Right Twitter feed. You can go to the Mail Right Facebook page. I’m around on both. Or you could email me or message. Email, firstname.lastname@example.org and I answer all my email that’s directly sent to me and we love your feedback. Have you found this discussion really interesting? I have. And what guests and what areas you would like me and Thomas to find an expert to interview and have a chat with and get some insights about the most latest Marketing and Real Estate things that people are doing that are getting them results. Back to you Thomas.
Thomas: All right. And I’m Thomas J. Nelson. You can find me on my website conveniently called thomasjnelsonrealtor.com here in San Diego California. I can also connect you with Agents throughout the country and Canada as I belong to a pretty dynamic network that is responsible for selling 1 out every 8 homes in the United States. I’m also found on Facebook, LinkedIn and you can do the old-fashioned thing and call me at 858-232-8722. I hope you’ll join us over on YouTube now. We’re going to ask some bonus questions of Courtney. But we’ll be signing off the Podcast now and we’ll see you next week. Thanks folks. Bye bye.
About Courtney Brophy
My path to Happy Turtle has curved through everything from public relations for a theatre company to real estate to running the marketing program for a division of a $6 Billion construction materials corpor and practiced my craft has been varied, my greatest value has been revealed through each new experience. I founded Happy Turtle Marketing in 2015 after identifying a need in the small business community for quality Marketing and Lead Generation services.
I take great pride in the ability to work with a business who already provides quality products and services and to allow them to scale and reach for greater objectives. My varied skills in branding, online and offline marketing, and business development present a perfect compliment to many business owners. In my experience, many of the companies who are super heroes in service to their clients are tortured by the idea of managing their own business development programs. By partnering with my team at Happy Turtle, our clients are able to focus on continuing to be experts in their field and know that their business development is in good hands. I invest constantly in education so our clients can be ation. While the arena in which I have learned
confident in our services and the results we provide. Some may take offense to the term “sidekick” but it is a title I have embraced my entire career. Sidekicks are not there to “assist” in the activities of their team leaders, but rather to bring their own talents and skills to the fight for success. I can’t wait to put my powers to work for your business!
What Your Favorite Motivation or Business Books?
I’m very driven by my goals and the goals of my clients. I spend time daily reflecting on the reasons we do the work that we do so we can sweat the small stuff less.
My favorite reads are The Four Agreements and Be Obsessed or Be Average by Grant Cardone. It is important to always come from a place of integrity- both with yourself and your soul, but also with those you encounter everyday. For those of us with an entrepreneurial spirit, it is important to honor that by being committed and driven towards our goals.
Can You List 3 to 5 Life Success or Leadership Principles?
1) Givers gain. If your business is focused on service to your clients, you will attract more great clients.
2) Always be learning. The “right” answer is relative to the moment you ask the question. Always invest in good, current education and you’ll stay ahead in all aspects of your life and business.
3) If nothing changes, nothing changes. By constantly taking action towards your goals, you will stay in motion towards them.If you expect big change and act accordingly, big change will happen!
Happy Turtle Marketing Contact Details
721 E Lancaster Ave, Suite 1B
Downingtown, PA 19335