#134 Mail-Right Show With Special Guest Robert Newman of inboundREM

We Interview Robert Newman of inboundREM

It’s likely that Robert one of the most experienced Real Estate online marketing consultant in the U.S.

From 2007 to 2017 Robert has an estimated THREE THOUSAND one on one online marketing consultations with Real Estate Professionals from all over the U.S in every sort of real estate vertical.

These conversations have focused on Websites, Social Media, IDX, Lead Generation, CRM’s, Local Marketing, SEO, Blogging and of course Real Estate Lead Generation is a recurring favorite.


Here’s A Full Transcription Of Our Interview With Robert

Thomas: Welcome back my friends to the Mail-Right Real Estate Agent podcast show. You’re on episode 134 with us and our special guest today is Mr. Robert Newman who is the founder of InboundREM. That’s Inbound Real Estate Marketing, which is a full-service Real Estate Lead Generation company that focuses on SEO. And since I have no clue on what I just said, I’m going to introduce Robert, thank him for being on the show and Robert, give us a little bit of a 60 second commercial on who you are and what you do.

Robert: Sure my name is Robert Newman. I am a founder of an online marketing company in Southern California. I used to work for some of the really large Real Estate tech companies here in California like Agent Image. And over companies that specialized in Real Estate and I developed a specialty for a type of inbound marketing that is commonly known as Search Engine Optimization and in it’s simplest form Search Engine Optimization is, you provide an answer to a question that somebody hasn’t figured out how to ask yet.

So, you put up a lot of content on a website and you try to make sure that you have addressed a question that somebody might have. If you do that very very well and send the right signals to Google, Google will reward you with ranking and that is the heart of SEO.

Thomas: Nice. All right Robert. Well, we’re going to dive into some questions here in a minute but I want to give my co-host, Mr. Jonathan Denwood, an opportunity to say hi to everyone. Jonathan, take it away sir.

Jonathan: Hi there folks. I’m the founder of Mail-Right. We’re an online platform that helps Real Estate agents get more quality leads with an emphasis on Facebook. Back to you Thomas.

Thomas: Thank you. And I’m Thomas J. Nelson. I’m a Residential Realtor here in San Diego California with Big Block Realty and I’m helping folks, like the military, senior citizens and folks going through a difficult time with a divorce, make good decisions during challenging times. If you have a need for a Realtor or just a consultation with one, I’m happy to chat with you. You can reach me through my website at thomasjnelsonrealtor.com.

All right. Let’s get back to Robert. Now, Robert, I’ve been anxious to talk to you because, first thing I’m going to say right out of the gate, I’ve been all over your site and what I love about your videos or your vlog is you talk pretty plainly about the competition and the other companies out there, talking about the pros and cons of working with them. Have you had any blowback from anyone because of how frank you are about their performance?

Robert: Yeah. I have actually. So, Agent Image is owned by three guys, John and I know them all. And so, Agent Image is one of the 10 companies that I did a really in-depth review on and I got a call from John and John asked me to go to a dinner with him. John is a very very nice guy and his approach to basically telling me he thought that I could have done a different kind of job was to explain to me all the things that his company was doing differently these days because I worked for them for a while and I covered that in my review. And so, we had a real nice dinner and it was about an hour and a half long. Yeah, he had some things to say to me about the review I had done.

Thomas: But you know what I appreciated about it is you were just flat out naming a lot of the companies that I’m familiar with being marketed by and advertised to and it kind of gave me a reality check on that they all have specialties but they don’t all necessarily offer the full package. And I think that’s important to know because one of the thing that frustrates Realtors is we don’t understand technology as much as the people providing it and we have these expectations that are always not being met because these companies can do one thing really well but not everything that we’re hoping for and you have that top 10 list that you mentioned. Is there a company out there that is the full package?

Robert: So that language full package is a little bit vague. Okay. But if I was to think deeply about it, I would say I don’t feel like anyone, myself included, really truly offers a full rounded like let’s say marketing offer. But it does depend on what you mean by full package because you’ve got Lead Generation. You’ve got Branding. You’ve got Email Marketing. You’ve got Social Media. There’s a lot of different ways that you can go in terms of what you mean by full package. But if you are saying like an all in one, which is something that Realtors seem to be obsessed with like a CRM, a Real Estate website and some type of transaction management system, the answer is unequivocably no. There is no such thing.

Thomas: Okay. Well, that’s an honest answer and I was kind of deliberately . . .

Jonathan: Can I actually . . .

Thomas: Because that’s how Realtors think where you’re like, “Why can’t I do it all?”, so I appreciate your answer. Jonathan, what’s up?

Jonathan: Yeah. It’s just that also it’s a bit like Realtors marketing to a specific audience in their own market. I think we all now agree that’s a good idea, don’t we Thomas? When you say Real Estate agents, there’s all different subgroups at different stages in their career that might need different kinds of different types of product and services, if you understand what I mean Thomas.

Thomas: Yeah, absolutely. I mean there’s people new with low budgets. People along in tooth with big budgets. There’s people that are focused on luxury and Robert covers that a little bit in some of this videos. So, yeah. That’s a great point. I think part of the disconnect, and maybe Robert you can comment on this, is that agents are being vague with the company and the company is not properly explaining the expectations maybe for fear of losing them. “Well, no we don’t do all that. Here’s what we do do quite well”. And is that maybe it’s going to take more than one company to satisfy one Realtor’s complete set of needs.

Robert: Yeah. So, in my experience, it’s always going to take more than one company. I mean, I’ve done this for 10 years and I’m always on the phone. Like I’ll be on the phone with a Realtor as soon as I get done with this interview today. So getting them to transmit the information to you is a little challenging but I do feel like it’s in the role of the provider to do so, to say, “Hey. These are the questions that I have for you to try to see if you are a good fit for whatever the offer is that we have”. My frustration and the reason that I put out my blog as you pointed is because so many people obscure the truth and a Realtor doesn’t have the innate knowledge because they’re not technology experts.

Thomas: Right.

Robert: They don’t know all the questions they’re supposed to ask right out of the box when they’re talking to a provider. They make the assumption sometimes and it’s really odd to me but sometimes they just assume that you’re going to provide leads. They don’t ask like, “What is the conversion rate? How many am I going to get? If I spend $1,000, what’s my actual lead generation expectation?”.

Thomas: Right.

Robert: They don’t even know to necessarily ask that question. They assume it, which they shouldn’t do.

Thomas: Right. And I think that’s what, I mean, that was my early frustration with technology and I’m going to date myself. I’m going back to like ’98, ’99 when I was buying my first website and talking the original lead generation companies of that day and it always falling short. And the thing that always frustrated me as a Realtor is they always got all their money upfront and all the risk was on me. You know, “Well, we’ll sell you these leads and then you’re on your own for what you do with them”. But they never really qualified the leads to begin with and it got frustrating. I personally started distrusting companies like that because they were getting my money upfront and they were happy but then I’m left with these leads and I don’t know, in some cases, if these were people that even wanted to hear from me based on the response I would get from some of them.

Robert: Right.

Thomas: Let’s start with that. What are some of the, you kind of touched on it, but what are like maybe like the best top 5 questions a Realtor should be asking a company like yourself when they’re hiring them? What should they be sorting and qualifying?

Robert: So, I’ll give you a couple of things. So, first of all, Realtors should have a least a vague idea of what their Digital Marketing plan is when they call a guy like me.

Thomas: Okay.

Robert: And what I mean by that is they should know when they initiate the call, “Do I want a Branding site or do I want a Lead Generation site?”, and what the definition of those two things are. Branding site, roughly speaking, is something that if somebody finds it on their own, it’s going to tell your story. That’s a branding site.

Thomas: Okay.

Robert: A Lead Generation site is something like Real Geeks provides where there’s really not that much to the site. It’s plain. It’s got a search bar. It’s got areas. And yes, there’s information about the Realtor but it’s buried somewhere in the back of the site and you really have to go out and find it. That typically is a very common Lead Generation type of website, where really you’re branding the search experience and you’re hoping that somebody registers with the site and the two messages, the two calls to action are actually quite different.

It’s hard to get them both correct on one site. Usually, you kind of have to focus on one or the other. So that would be number one, “Am I looking for a Lead Generation site or a Branding site?”. Number two, “How am I going to drive traffic to it? Do I want to do Social Media Marketing or do I want to do PPC, do I want to do SEO or do I want to do a combination of all things?”. And if you don’t know what those are, if you have no clue what those types of traffic generation are, you should hit the pause button and not spend a single penny until you can at least figure out the basic language of what it is that you’re buying. Like, “How are you going to get traffic to my website?”. So that’s question number two. Question number three would be, “All right. Now that the traffic is coming into the site, how are you generating conversion for me? How are you going to take that and turn it into a name, email address and phone number that I can call today?”.

Thomas: Right.

Robert: What is conversion to you? For instance, Zurple doesn’t give you a phone number and every single Realtor that I know that uses them is insanely frustrated because they didn’t bother to ask, “Does my lead come with a phone number that I can call?”.

Thomas: Right.

Robert: So, what is a conversion to you? So, this is kind of like a three-part answer.

Thomas: Yeah.

Robert: “What is a conversion to you, the provider? And then, how many should I expect for how many dollars that I spend?”. Number four, “What is your recommended follow-up process system?”. So, a lead generation provider probably doesn’t provide follow-up, right? “But what’s going to happen after the lead is generated?”. That should be a question that gets asked. Because sometimes providers will have an answer for you. And then but not least, number five is, “Is there any automated follow-up included in this lead generation system?”.

What I mean by that is, “Does your IDX system, if you’re a Real Estate website provider, does it have email drip campaigns? What’s going to happen once my lead is actually generated?”. And I know four and five kind of sound similar but they’re really not. It’s like, “Are you getting automated emails? Do you get automated texts?”. Because that’s something that does happen with Real Geeks. Like the details of what happens after the lead is generated.

Thomas: Yeah. No. I think those are great questions. You know, it’s kind of ironic because we get frustrated with our clients for not asking all the questions and making leaps and then they’re throwing their hands up and having panic attacks when something happens during a transaction. And of course, we make the mistake of assuming they know better and then we turn around and do the same thing when we’re hiring SEO and Lead Generation.

Jonathan: Well, that’s also the point of this podcast, isn’t it Thomas?

Thomas: Exactly. Yeah.

Jonathan: This is why we have people like you on Robert. I’m not only just trying to plug my own service product. I’m trying with Thomas to educate people to ask the right questions and have the right expectations.

Thomas: So, Robert, on that answer that you gave, what I’m hearing is that I almost need two separate sites or can one site do both or should I have a Lead Generation site separate from a Branding site?

Robert: One site could do both. One site can do both but the job of branding yourself online, like I would almost say that even if you contact a service provider and they’re going to do high-quality content, I would even say that your branding efforts, like this to me, this whole podcast, you guys are branding yourself. This is a type of content that you two are producing and it brands who you are as people if somebody watches it. This is the type of thing that every Real Estate agent should do and have a channel to, not this specifically, but something of that nature.

Thomas: Right.

Robert: They should have a channel separate of their marketing company where they’re basically establishing their voice to their audience and I strongly believe that as independent business people, and with the technology that’s available to us, we should all be doing that at least a little bit. Take an hour of your time. Explain to somebody online who you are and what are your philosophies of doing businesss. See if they can connect with you. I believe that everybody should be doing that.

Thomas: Well, you know, it was effective on your site because, I mean, you’re living proof of it. When Jonathan sometimes invites the guests versus me inviting the guests so I have to go learn about the guest that Jonathan invites and I went onto to your site and you did that very thing. I mean, your videos brought me right into who you are, what you’re about, what your philosophies are. I got a very deep cut of who you are and it warmed me up to talking to you before I even got to meet you and I think that’s the effect that you’re suggesting that all agents do is put something out there that invites people into who you are and it gives them an opportunity to connect with you.

Robert: Yeah. That’s basically the philosophy of inbound marketing. It’s giving somebody enough information to, so, first, if they have a question that they need. You find a dilemma that nobody is addressing and then you address the dilemma and you do so in your personal voice and that’s the whole premise of inbound marketing. That is the premise of my site. I address things that I feel like, questions that Realtors have about technology, about Real Estate, websites in general and I address those questions but I do so in my real voice. Who am I as a person? That’s how I answer the question.

Thomas: Right.

Robert: And that’s usually kind of like a brutally honest, I was always this way. Even when I worked for these guys, I wouldn’t really back down. I would tell them, “Hey. I don’t think that we’re doing this right. I think that the Real Estate agent should own the website”. Real Estate tech guys hate hearing that. They hate hearing that. I’m like, “These guys should own the service that we’re providing them”. They’re just like, “That’s just not economical”. And I’m like, “Yeah. But it makes sense to the customer”.

Thomas: Let’s talk about that. That was going to be one of my questions. Since you brought it up, let’s dive in. Because Jonathan and I have this conversation all the time and we’re in agreement on it. We always talk about leasing versus owning and that’s essentially what you’re doing. If you don’t own your site, you’re leasing it from someone else and as you’ve mentioned in some of your videos, you don’t have full control. And in fact, in some cases, you have somebody telling you what you can and can’t post because they’re in control of the content that you’re posting. So, how does someone own a site when they’re new in the business and they don’t have a big budget? What’s a way for a new agent to get started with ownership of a site and a blog?

Robert: You could do a WordPress.org site. You could do a WordPress.com site. It really just depends on how limited your budget truly is because there’s out of the box solutions that come with Blogspot or WordPress and these are free. They cost nothing.

Thomas: Okay.

Robert: And I would suggest that a Realtor start there and at ActiveRain, which ActiveRain you don’t own but it does teach you how to blog.

Thomas: Right.

Robert: WordPress.com or WordPress.org blog. A WordPress.org blog, you also don’t own. So if you’re going to get to something that you own, you have to have at least enough knowledge to set up a blog. Now, there’s tons and tons and tons of how to videos out there that would make it a 6 or 7-hour process, including one that I did on ActiveRain. So you have all these case studies on how to set up a Real Estate website. Honestly though, if you have more time than money, that’s exactly what I would do. So if you have no money or very little money and you’re trying to get into marketing yourself, in my opinion, you’ve got calling expired listings and you’ve essentially got setting up a blog. You can inbound or you can go outbound, which way you’re going to go. If you’re like me and you want to do, you want to stick with the Internet, setting up your blog is really the best way to go and you just do a WordPress blog.

Jonathan: Can I quickly say something about that Thomas?

Robert: Sure.

Jonathan: I think the key thing, with Mail-Right we’ve got a kind hybrid because we’re using WordPress but we also got technology that we’ve developed. So our position is we host the sites for the client. But the actual look of the site, the actual branding, the look of it, they can take that out. They own all the content which they’ve produced. And I think any reputable supplier Thomas, what an agent’s got to ask is, “Can I export my content easily and can I get it into my own”, let’s say WordPress as an example, “Can I take my content, export it easily and get it into another platform with some chance that I won’t want to shoot myself after the process? I won’t want to kill myself afterwards”. And I think that’s the key thing you’re going to ask Thomas.

Thomas: Would that be for like an exit strategy or to have a duplicate site? Why would you want to export it?

Jonathan: Well, because if you get fed up with the provider, you get fed up with the service that you’re getting from that website provider. If you can’t do those things and you spend a lot of time putting a load of content into that website, you’re a bit buggered, aren’t you Robert?

Robert: You are. But I would humbly suggest that for you and most other, like whoever the Real Estate technology provider is, my opinion is that they need to be doing fully exportable WordPress installs. So you said you’re hosting for your customers. I host for my customers too. But when I say that I give them the ownership of the site, they can take the whole damn thing and move it. They don’t need to take the content. They can take the site and then they can move it someplace else.

Jonathan: Yeah. They can do the same with us as well. They can take the actual site.

Robert: Right, which is the easier way to do it and it does depend on where you’re hosting your clients’ sites. But I host on WP Engine and they literally allow for what’s called transferrable installs inside the same hosting environment. So if my client wanted to, they could bail on me and go to another pocket on the same hosting in same hosting provider and really, in terms of how difficult it is for me, it’s the click of a button, it’s one button. So that moving of the entire site and everything that belongs to it, if they get fed up with me, is something that could be done quite easily. And that’s what I think that I get frustrated with even Real Estate tech providers is that they don’t make it easier for their clients to bail and they should. We should hold ourselves accountable.

Thomas: Yeah.

Robert: We should say that if somebody’s not having a great experience with us, that they can leave without, for instance, another thing would be, if you make them change hosting environments, they have to do 301 redirects. So there’s things that they have to do or that they might have to do depending on exactly how they’re moving, where they have to maintain the ranking. So if you’re like me and you’re telling people, “Blog, blog, blog”, and then they do. They blog, they blog, they blog and they get rank on Google. Now, moving the site involves an added level of complication in order to keep that rank that you’ve got.

Thomas: Oh, yeah.

Robert: So, you can’t then say, “Oh, and now it’s also going to be extra difficult for you to move because you’re going to lose all that stuff that you’ve just got”. You’ve got to make it easy in my opinion.

Thomas: I see what you’re saying too. Because if you really believe in your service and your product, there’s no reason to hold people hostage. And that’s the number one thing I ask people when they call me. I talk to a lot of solicitors. I get a sick pleasure out of talking to other people that sell because I always love to hear their pitch. One of the first things I ask them is, “Is it month to month or a contract?”. And they always want like a 6 or 12-month contract. And I thought, “Well, what if I don’t like it after 3 months?”, “Well, you’re in a contract”. “Well, then I’m a hostage”. If you believe in your product, I can come in and out and I’m not going to want to leave, so why would you be worried?

Robert: Right.

Thomas: So, that to me tells me a lot about the provider in my mind, whether it’s true or not, that’s the leap I’m making. If it’s a 12-month, you don’t believe in your product.

Robert: And you know where the whole blog and everything else, guys, Thomas and Jonathan, you know where the frustration was with me? I talked to guys like you. Guys who had been in Real Estate for 10 or 15 years and everything single day you know what I have to overcome first? The actual complete and total 100 percent certainty that my prospect has that I am a crook. That I am absolutely going to make off with their money and provide no value because that’s what 95 percent of the people that they talk to do. And that’s why I started a blog. It’s really to just address the questions of what does, like what does legitimate service look like.

Thomas: Right.

Robert: What do the do the top providers of these services really do? Because unfortunately, a lot of them have really shady and short-sighted service packages.

Thomas: Yeah.

Robert: And you’ve experienced that. So now you’re frustrated. If you talk to me, I’ve got this massive hill to climb before I can even get to talking to you about whatever it is that you want to talk about.
Jonathan: I think we need to go for our break Thomas.

Thomas: Yeah.

Jonathan: So we’re going to go for our break folks and we’re coming back. We’ve had a passionate discussion with Robert already. So it’s going to continue in the second half. You don’t want to miss it. We’ll be back in a few moments folks.

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Jonathan: We’re coming back folks. We’ve had a passionate discussion with Robert Newman. A really fascinating discussion. To say we’re geeking out is an understatement. Back to Thomas.

Thomas: Well, you know, Robert, to pick where we left off, I agree with you. It’s funny. We both climb the same hill every day because I have to deal with the people that were exposed to 85 percent of my industry that are crooks or just complete imbeciles about the way they conduct Real Estate. So we, unfortunately, are thrown into the lowest common denominator when we actually do care about people and the service we provide and our reputations. We have such a hill to climb to get past people’s fears. But I think you’ve touched on some great ways to address that by blogging and some video that just lets people in on who you are and that’s kind of where I want to go with the next question.

Robert: Sure.

Thomas: Not a lot of people bring up blogging like I would expect them to when we have them on the show and you seem to be pretty passionate about it. You obviously have a great blog yourself. I’m an avid blogger on ActiveRain so I’m in your camp. I have over 1,000 blogs out there or posts out there on my blog. Talk to me about the value of blogging in 2018 and more importantly, how to make your blog attract business. How does a blog bring in business?

Robert: Okay. Well, first of all, if we’re talking about 2018 specifically, you really can’t talk about any kind of online marketing in 2018 without saying video, video, video. Okay.

Thomas: Okay.

Robert: So I’m going to give a couple of super fast tips to why YouTube specifically is the way to go. If you’re blogging, you always want to include a video and there’s two things you want to do on that video. You want to transcribe it, which is a hidden way to get extra value out of YouTube.

Thomas: Oh.

Robert: They will use Google translate to take whatever it is that you said and they’ll put it on the video. However, what most people don’t know is Google reads a handwritten transcript as pages of content. So your video secretly can have pages of content that are connected to it which adds to how Google perceives it in search, how they perceive it on your website, everything. The other thing is geotag the video. It’s a very small little thing that you can do inside the video but Google uses it for their hyper-local search results. So if you’re doing these two things, if you’re transcribing your video and you’re putting in a geotag, you’re already way ahead of everybody else in terms of using video on your site. Then you use a video in connection with your blog post, which my experience has been, not only does it get Google ranking but in addition, people really connect much more deeply with visual, most people are kinesthetic learners. They want to see you or hear you or they want to see you doing whatever it is that you’re talking about. So use video. Use screen share. Record your screen but use video.

Thomas: Okay.

Robert: And when you’re blogging. Sorry, that connects into the blog thing.

Thomas: And these are both features that the average user can find and incorporate if they’re using YouTube if they’re pretty savvy with YouTube?

Robert: Yes. I think you’re going to have to actually educate yourself slightly. I don’t think it’s the average user.

Thomas: Okay.

Robert: I’ve given you two tips that I learned from one of the top gaming YouTubers that there is that’s out there and I just kind of threw them in my, threw these secrets into our little podcast here. And so, it’s not common.

Thomas: Okay.

Robert: It’s not common at all. But if you take the time and you follow up on it, it’s going to probably change your world even if you’ve already been blogging or vlogging.

Thomas: I would imagine if you want to learn how to do it you could find it on YouTube.

Robert: Yeah. You could. You can find almost anything on YouTube.

Thomas: Yeah.

Robert: You could find like change your headlamp in your car on YouTube. Everything is on YouTube these days. And if it isn’t, you should do it. If you ask a question and you don’t find the answer, I love that because then I’m like, “Oh, there’s something I can do a video on”. As soon as I figure out how to do it, I’m going to turn around and then do a video on it.

Thomas: There you go. So, just to be clear on what you’re saying though. I would still write a blog but then maybe in the blog embed a video that compliments the blog?

Robert: Yes.

Thomas: Okay. And then, just one more question on that. So, let’s just say my content is The Top 5 Things that Produce Curb Appeal for Your House.

Robert: Right.

Thomas: Then, what would I do in video different than what I typed into my blog? What would the bonus material be, for example?

Robert: If it’s increasing curb appeal, if that’s really truly the topic, you’re going to go to the house and you’re going to point out, so that could be paint the window sills. Put in a flower planter. Throw in cookie dough into the oven right before you show the home. You would show yourself doing these things.

Thomas: Okay.

Robert: You would go through those steps or if it’s something you haven’t done yet, you’d show where it would be done. Like you’d say, “Okay. Here’s the window sill and here’s my idea for curb appeal”. I love stuff like that by the way. The kind of video that you just described. If I was a homeowner, I would eat that up. A professional Realtor telling me how to potentially stage my home, “Oh my God”. That would be brilliant.

Thomas: Awesome. All right. Well, that’s good to know because I think sometimes we get probably too hung up on the process too. I mean, it doesn’t have to be this big elaborate film. It’s just you and an iPhone out in the field. It doesn’t have to be this big production, right? I mean, I think actually people appreciate more of the authenticity of that than something that’s overproduced.

Robert: 1 to 3 minutes with a Realtor on their iPhone is far more credible than one of those aerial shots with all the music. Because, you know what, we are advertised to so much. We’re commercialized. And I’ve made a very good impact myself just by doing this. Find something that you’re passionate about. Get on your phone and just talk about it. Just make it important to yourself, whatever that it. Like you were saying earlier, “Hey. I’ve got these other people that haven’t done this stuff”, right?

Thomas: Right.

Robert: What is it that your competitive Realtors aren’t doing right? Then, get on your phone and say, “I’ve seen other guys not do this right, not list the property right, not do the square footage right, not be at the property when the appraiser is there”. So that I can make sure that the property is getting appraised the correct way. Whatever it is, these are things you should be on your iPhone just to talk about because I feel like the passion will come through is my opinion.
Thomas: All right. I like that. Now, I’m going to ask you a very candid question and this is specific to me.

Robert: Sure.

Thomas: I blog all the time on ActiveRain and one of my frustrations is with the amount of blogs I’ve had and some of them have gotten me business. But in the 10 years I’ve been on ActiveRain, I’ve maybe done three deals because of my blogs, that I can attribute to my blogs. Yet, there are people on ActiveRain that are bragging multiple deals per year. What are they doing differently? And I know this is a vague question because you don’t truly know. But what could you conceive that they’re doing differently to get their blogs seen better than I might be doing? Because I’m just posting on ActiveRain and hoping and praying.

Robert: Okay. Well, the deals that you’ve gotten on ActiveRain, have they been mostly referrals from other Realtors?

Thomas: Well, actually, all three were from other Realtors but one was as a result of a Realtor reading my blog versus the other two that knew me from being on the site and had nothing to do with a specific blog.

Robert: Okay. My experience is exactly what you just mentioned with ActiveRain. The Realtors that I talk to mostly use it as an enlarged networking environment. You are mostly speaking to other Realtors. I’m actually talking, in the very early stages talking to ActiveRain where they’re asking questions about how they can get back to a place where their blogs are getting recognized better by Google.

Thomas: Yes.

Robert: So, you are really not getting a lot of external traffic. You’re mostly getting internal traffic from ActiveRain, which means that, how would you get more business from ActiveRain? The meetups that they do, you’d have to start networking using that platform as the basis for your network. But if you do that and other Realtors start to share your blog and as you see with the Nelson’s and Balan and other people that are on ActiveRain, what they’re doing is they’re becoming hyper proficient at networking with other Realtors. They’re sharing their blogs and that’s what you’d want to do. You’d want to get more into the social aspect of ActiveRain and quit thinking that people are going to stumble across your blogs. They’re really not.

Thomas: All right.

Robert: They’re really not. You’re going to have to get active on it and you’re going to have to sit here and share other people’s content and strike up a conversation with them. And that way, in particular, I’d be looking at other, like Eastern Seaboard Real Estate agents that might have snowbirds that are coming over here. I’d target my efforts. I’d look at those guys that are doing Coastal cities because you work in a Coastal city.

Thomas: Right.
Robert: So, focus on the influencers that also work in Coastal cities that are on ActiveRain because they might refer their migrating clients to you.

Thomas: Okay. Well, gosh. You really cleared up a lot because again, it’s about expectation. It’s like, “Why isn’t Google seeing all my great blogs?”. But you just layed it out. It’s kind of trapped inside ActiveRain so I have to refocus what I’m using ActiveRain for.

Jonathan: And also, Thomas, do take in mind that ActiveRain is great but it’s like putting content on anybody’s platform. You should really concentrate on the platform that you own and utilize other people platforms as a way of marketing your original content.

Thomas: Right. And that’s actually where I was going with my question Jonathan. So, thank you for bringing that up because what I wanted to ask you, Robert, is if you are an avid blogger and you want more SEO for your blog, would you actually do something like a WordPress blog first and then, as Jonathan said, maybe duplicate it on ActiveRain so it gets that exposure. But if you’re setting up an outside blog out in cyberspace there, are blogs attracting people on their own merits? Are you getting clients from having a blog or is that just furthering your brand once they’ve already met you some other way?

Robert: I can’t speak to what everybody’s doing but I’ll do half a million dollars on the service side of my company that was 100 percent generated off my blog.

Thomas: Wow.

Robert: Like 100 percent. My blog generates me anywhere from 10 to 30 inquiries per month. And right now, that number is ramping up significantly as one of the pieces of content that I have is starting to rank really well on Google. I believe what Jonathan said is 100 percent correct. The best method when you’re using external blogging systems like ActiveRain is to own your own blog, have primary content. But you can duplicate your content but you don’t want to do that all the time. You want to synopsis your content and then put it on another platform. Bait them into your primary content but say what you were going to say in a different way. That’s what I do on ActiveRain. I kind of summarize my longer posts. And the people that are interested in the deeper data, they can go. And if they’re not, if they’re just interested in a surface view. Like, “I don’t need to read your stuff for 10 minutes”. Then they’ve got an extremely 30 to 60-second thing that they can read on ActiveRain.

Thomas: Okay. Got you. So, in other words, I would have like my 2,000 words on my WordPress site and then maybe do a 500 word on ActiveRain that if they want to continue reading it, it drives them back to my content on my WordPress site.

Robert: Correct.

Thomas: Okay. Got you. And I’m just going to ask the question because it’s going to be a clumsy question but how is your blog generating that much, that many leads per month? What are you doing to get it out there and get it exposed?

Jonathan: Before Robert answers that, we need to wrap up the show for the podcast part Thomas and people can find the answer when they go and watch the bonus content, can’t they Thomas?

Thomas: Jonathan does this to me every week. So, we’ve got the cliffhanger question that you’re going to have to check out on YouTube or on the Mail-Right site or continue watching us on Facebook Live because the podcast is closing out but we’re going to continue on video. So, with that said, Robert, before we close out the podcast portion, could you let people know how to get in touch with you if they want to get more information?

Robert: Well, you know what, if they want to get in touch with me, just go to inboundrem.com. That’s the word inbound and then Robert, Edward, Michael.com. Really, that’s it.

Thomas: Okay. Wonderful. We’ll have all Robert’s information on the show notes folks. But again, it’s Robert Newman with InboundREM, as in Real Estate Marketing. And Robert, thanks for being on the show and hang out here with us a minute.

Robert: Sure.

Thomas: We’re going to keep going. Jonathan, if people want to get in touch with you, how would they do that?

Jonathan: Oh, it’s really easy. Just go to the website or go to the Mail-Right Facebook page. They’re the two best ways to get hold of us Thomas.

Thomas: All right. And if you’d like to reach me, Thomas J. Nelson with Big Block Realty, you can find me on my website at thomasjnelsonrealtor.com for all my social media and contact information and I look forward to connecting with you folks here in San Diego or if you have someone on their way to San Diego. I do enjoy your referrals. All right. We are going to jump over to the video now. So we’ll learn the secrets to Robert Newman’s blog SEO all on the video. So come join us there and we’ll see you next on the podcast. Bye-bye.

Our Guest Contact Details

Robert Newman Founder of inboundREM

Here’s Our Contact Details

Producer: Jonathan Denwood
Call: (775) 237-3884 8am-5pm PST) Monday to Friday
Email: jonathan@mail-right.com

Producer/Co-Host: Thomas J. Nelson, Realtor
Call/text: 858-232-8722 (Mon-Sat 8am-5pm PST)

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