#177 Mail Right Show: we discuss 6 of the best online real estate online marketing solutions in 2019
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Are you a real estate agent professional looking at developing a better online lead generation strategy for 2019 this is this the show for you!
Jonathon: Welcome back folks to the Mail Right Show. This is episode 177 we’ve come back from our Christmas, New Year break folks. We are reenergized. My great co-host Robert has been doing some spells and potions. And other stuff through the holiday period. Would you like to quickly introduce yourself to the new listeners and viewers Robert?
Robert: I’d love to since Jonathan has been so kind to call it out. I guess I’m the show`s resident pagan or something like that. But anyway, yeah, it’s I’m excited to be back. And excited to be doing this with Jonathan again. And to hit 2019 with my feet firmly pitter pattering on the little earth. Right. And John’s doing that for those people who can’t see the video you’re going to miss out. John’s doing a clippie clap horse impression. So yay. Ah, yeah. Anyway, so I am excited to be here Jonathan, and if I am excited to see what 2019 brings us, I’m going to plug you dude. I’m going to say for those of you that you don’t know, I think the 2019 is the year that John probably starts to kick out kinks in his SAS product. He`s got.
Jonathon: There are no excuses. We got new features then I’m going to be plugging it a bit more in 2019. And am talking to a few people. So trying to rustle up some answers in the next couple of weeks to see who and how we can be moving well right forward.
Robert: I’m excited about that. I’m excited to see what you do with that. And as a matter of fact yeah we should talk about that a little bit sometime soon in the upcoming year. Soon as I am out of my backlog.
Jonathon: Your back log or your spells back log do you mean?
Robert: No, no. So guys, to all our lovely listeners. We’re going to talk a little bit about what a lot of you’ve been thinking about, which is a lot of you wait until the end of the year or the beginning of the year, do your marketing contracts at this time of year. In other words, you’re looking for new websites. You are looking for new marketing agreements with companies. Like Ylopo or Bold Leads or Agent Fire. And there is the list of them is like huge.
Jonathon: I wouldn`t say huge. I think there’s hundreds.
Robert: There’s hundreds, Jonathan. There’s only about 10 or 15 good ones, but there’s hundreds.
Jonathon: There is about, I would say to start off. Actually we going to start off with a slight disagreement here, this is unusual. So we’ve had a couple of weeks break.
Robert: Oh right.
Jonathon: I consider it as when you really look at it, Robert, there are about a dozen main players that have any kind of. I would consider as real players in the market. And then I would subdivide those 12 in those that are really aimed at brokerages because of their price point. And those that are aimed at the individual agent. Or a power team of maybe one or two free agents that are working in a team. So in those 12, I think there’s a real sub divide between the products and services that really aimed at brokerages.
And aimed at individual agents and power teams.
Jonathon: What do you think about that statement?
Robert: Like your cued list try to start a match with me? I don’t disagree. There are 10 to 12 main ones. I would phrase it different. I would use different language than you and I think I did. And that’s probably what rung your bell a little bit. Which is I would use the language that there’s 10 or 12 of companies that you can spend money with that will actually be effective and get your result of any kind. Most of the marketing companies that I know of, you’re going to spend your money and get nothing. For whatever the dollars are that you have spent.
Robert: And there are hundreds of those. Which is what is frustrating as a real estate agent. Because I’m sure there’s some good startup companies out there doing good work. But they’re not doing it enough volume to hit my radar. And so now you as an agent who are trying to look for a deal and stay away from the 30 or 40 grand you’d have to spend with real estate webmasters or somebody like them that’s proven and effective under deal with and not cheap. Then you’re like, you’re looking at this other guy and you’re going, wow, these guys say hundreds of people don’t know, waste your money and so on and so forth. And I agree with that. But however, we’re going to give you some tips right now in negotiating these contracts. The small guys and the big guys, it doesn’t matter who it is that you’re dealing with.
Robert: Okay. So, I’ve been doing this for 11 years. Jonathan has, let me steal 10 minutes of the show to talk about how you negotiate contracts because it’s not a very exciting or sexy topic. But it is a very relevant one. So one of the things a lot of people don’t know about dealing with marketing companies is that there is a lot of flexibility when it comes to the template agreements that they send over to you. In other words, you can read the agreement, the terms and conditions that they sign you up with and you can negotiate them. For some reason. And this happens with me, nobody ever thinks to say, can I actually negotiate your template league leads? Can I get you to red line it?
Jonathon: Can I say something here?
Jonathon: Based on my experience in other business. I have got 12 to 15 years of experience of building websites for people.
Jonathon: Mostly in WordPress. Yeah I have got about 12 years’ experience. I would say that 99% of my clients never read the proposal contract properly.
Robert: I would agree with that number. And the only time that I’ve ever dealt with clients that negotiate contracts is for a brief amount of time, I was running for about a year and a half. I ran the sales team for one of the largest independent web developers in southern California Company that at the time was named Sitebots. And our contracts were $100,000, $200,000, $300,000. And when you’re dealing with companies that have an individual in place whose job it is to make sure that they’re getting good agreements and the agreements are that value. They definitely get red. In real estate. I’ve never, not one single time if I ever really had a client red line in agreement with me. Like look, read through it and then negotiate on it.
Jonathon: I will tell you what you are like Robert but I would prefer them to read it and actually show me that they had. And ask me questions about it. I actually would prefer that rather they sign it. And then if something does come up, and you say well this was in the agreement. Then they say to you, I didn`t know that.
Robert: Well I cover them fiduciary hooks in my agreement as part of my sales process. Which I think that is, I mean I don’t have very many, so it’s not very long add on to my sales process. But I think that everybody should understand. I agree with you and I wish they read everything else. And I wish that they would just have the habit of reading them because it would avoid a lot of pain and heartaches. Like Real Estate Webmasters contract is 12 pages long. Its 12 pages of fiduciary agreements with massive financial hooks. They will go after you legally. So you should read their agreement and the $30,000 or $40,000. So you’re buying like a car, you’re buying a bloody car and yet you don’t even read the contract language. So guys, what is my advice in terms of reading the contract language?
Robert: All right, so here are a couple of points for you. Number one, before you sign up with anybody. Me John, anybody, read the cancellation terms on the agreement. Find out if there are any hooks in the cancellation terms. You want to know what those are upfront. You just want to know like everybody has a great sales pitch. I do. John does. And if our products work right, you won’t be canceling in the first place. But if for some reason you’re unhappy or somebody dies or something happens and you have to get out of the agreement, you don’t want somebody legally coming after your bank account. You just don’t. So read what the contract terms are, what the cancellation terms are. And if you don’t like them, if they don’t work for you, instead of just saying, I’m not going to do business with these guys, see if they’ll change the agreement for you.
Robert: Because in many cases they will, even big companies will change their contracts. Now, if you’re a small fish for whatever the company is that you’re dealing with, it’s possible that they won’t change the agreement and that’s just something you have to deal with. So look at the cancellation terms. Number two, and this is just a, a weird little footnote, is you also probably want to look at your performance commitments both yours and theirs. I have a guarantee.
Robert: Most of my clients don’t even know that I have a guarantee. I guarantee my performance. Most companies like me though, don’t. And what happens is you’re going to get, like, you’re going to be confused about the difference between the contract language and the sales language in terms of product performance. The bare minim the legal minimum that a company is required to perform is in their contract language, not on the phone with a salesperson. 99% of the time most people are not meticulously honest, which is sad.
Robert: They embellish or they use language that is not as clear as it could be. I’m not saying that they’re lying; I’m just saying that they’re not as clear as they could because John’s squinting in front of me.
Jonathon: I could be persuasive, more persuasive than most people think. The reason why I was squinting is I think it`s also looking back at my many years of dealing with clients. Is managing expectations and really trying to come to a conclusion. Is the client really on the same payer sheet as I am on? Fundamentally, especially in the areas that we cover in the show, and the two businesses we run, Robert. What do they consider a lead and what do you consider a lead can be two very different things. Can`t they?
Robert: Sure. But I don’t put, I don’t think that I don’t have any contract language in regards to leads. And nobody else that I know inside the real estate marketing industry does either. You’re not guaranteeing performance in terms of leads. And I’m one of the rare SEO guys that even guarantee performance in terms of getting somebody onto the first page for any number of searches.
Robert: Because you can’t guarantee Google. You have to be really good at what you do. To think that you’re going to have a minimum performance bar in the first place. Now my opinion is that if you’re going to charge somebody 10, 12, 20, $30,000 you should be damn good at what you do and they should get a result. If you’re going to spend that much money in marketing, they should get a result and you should be willing to put something in writing that says you’re either confident they’re going to get it or you’re going to make sure that you work for free until they do, after they’ve spent that 10, 20 or 30 grand or whatever the number is. So that’s my opinion. I get to run my business anyway they want. But guess what? Most businesses don’t run that way. And the performance metrics that are putting aside these Robert: leads. Which most of the time is you get to pay us 50 or 60 grand and we guarantee you bloody nothing.
Robert: And I just like people to read that after getting off the phone with the salesperson so that they can see the dichotomy and they understand. You can learn a lot about the company that you’re dealing with and in their contract language. And skip the sales guy, skip everything. It shocks me that people don’t use that as a measure of who am I dealing with as a company. What is their philosophy really? Because when the pedal hits the metal, it’s what the lawyer wrote down on the terms and conditions that really tells you about whom you’re dealing with. Are you willing to take a risk with your business to make your customers happy? Or is it always going to be fucked the customer. I’m sorry. Excuse me. Sorry. Everybody. My bad on that. If there’s a problem, if we don’t do what we’re supposed to do, screw these guys. This is the one off, you know, forget you. That’s tells you a lot about the customer. Anyway, so you only gave me 10 minutes and I’ve taken two minutes too many of those minutes.
Jonathon: Well, no we will sit with the first off. But what I am engaging from this is that you have had discussions with possible clients and you’ve heard some real horror stories maybe recently about certain. Which you’re probably not going to name for legal reasons, which I totally understand. But you sense that there is a lot of over promising. And in the sales process which isn’t match with the actual language in the actual physical contract which these people sign.
Robert: I wish I could say it was strictly a matter of. Like I’ve heard stories but I’ve run sales teams. And it’s any, any guy or gal that’s ever been a sales manager, including a lot of the brokers that listened to our shows is going to understand this. When I say there’s only so much control you have over what people say and how they say it when you’re running a sales group. And I’ve run like really amazing teams. But you put up a guy against a wall whose falling short on a quota or as a handful of inches away from some kind of bonus based on performance. And Yeah, they might get a little bit slick with their language. And I’m not saying, again, I want to be clear, I’m not necessarily, and it’s not as black and white, somebody just out and outlying.
Robert: But if somebody obscuring a detail or maybe not being as clear as meticulous as they, they sometimes would be with describing something. And I’ve run these sales teams like in my sales guys and Gals, I love all of them, but they would’ve been on my team in the first place. But to say that they don’t occasionally get loosey Goosey with their language. We’d simply be false. They do. No, they just do. I wish they didn’t. What? What can you say it? They do. So that’s my commentary. It’s personal.
It’s not even like I’m not going to point any fingers companies, I’m going take it right on the chin and say, teams that I’ve run have gotten me into hot water before because of stuff that they’ve said. I’ve always come back at it. You know and you’re putting the position of, well Mr. Customer didn`t you read the agreement that you signed? And the answer is always no. So it’s like all right, well I get it that my Guy or Gal may not have been as clear as they should have been and I take responsibility for that. But you need to take responsibility as a customer and read the bloody shit that you’re signing.
Jonathon: So we’re going to go for our break folks, but when we come back we’re going to be talking about the kind of lead generation online platforms. The half a dozen that Robert and myself are the ones that we think that you should consider in 2019. We are in January a lot of agents, brokerages looking at different marketing platforms. We’re going to be talking about the leads in half a dozen that we think do get results and you consider. And we will be quickly talking about their strengths and weaknesses. Well what Robert thinks their strengths and weaknesses are? We will be back in a few moments’ folks.
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Jonathon: We are coming back. Robert`s a bit pumped up.
Robert: Yeah 2019 baby.
Jonathon: He is a bit pumped up folks. I am going to try and become more American and be more pumped up.
Robert: I am not a common American. I am not a common American.
Jonathon: I have been told by friends living in America for 12 years and you are still down in English. You need to pump yourself up, right? So Robert.
Jonathon: What do you think are, if you were an agent looking around to sign up? With an online marketing SAS platform, whatever you want to call it. What are the half a dozen company`s out there that you think should be on the short list that you would even consider talking to you if you were an agent.
Robert: Okay. I’m super excited about this topic. All right, so we’re going to break these companies into sections. As we.
Jonathon: First of all give us the half a dozen.
Robert: Oh, for crying out loud okay. So Boomtown, Ylopo, Bold Leads. Inbound REM the company that I founded.
Robert: Real Geeks.
Robert: And in certain cases we’re talking about marketing companies, correct.
Jonathon: Well let`s face it. Our listeners just want to get leads. And they want a platform or company that’s going to.
Robert: There aren`t a half a dozen. There are five that I would recommend.
Jonathon: So you wouldn’t recommend Curaytor?
Jonathon: All right, fair enough. So let’s talk about these five then.
Robert: Oh, wait, no, I’m sorry, I missed a big one. I missed a huge one.
Boomtown. So there are six.
Jonathon: I think that was number one.
Robert: Okay. All right. So we’ve got to break these up into sections. First of all, oh no. Real Estate Webmasters, sorry, there are six and I didn’t say Real Estate Webmasters.
Jonathon: That`s six.
Robert: That`s six. All right, okay. So most of these are what I call direct marketing vendors. All right? That means that they focus on spending money on Google and Facebook ads in order to drive traffic into whatever platform it is that they’ve given you. So those vendors are Real Geeks, which is good for a single individual agent. So Real Geeks, if you’re an agent and you’re interested in a PPC strategy or you don’t care. Then Real Geeks with Facebook or PPC is a good lead converting website to have.
Robert: But you don’t own it. All right. Ylopo founded by my friend’s Juefeng Ge and Howard Tager. Guys, if you listen to the show, here’s your shout out. These guys have created a platform that is doing really cool things. Like Facebook marketing and they’ve got a website attached to it. I actually haven’t had a walkthrough since they’ve been developing the product of a lot. They’ve been really making leaps and bounds in terms of what they’ve been doing with it. But I have a great deal of confidence and faith in these two guys as entrepreneurs.
So on that, on the weight of their previous success with Tiger Leads because they basically, it was Howard Tager that founded Tiger Leads with a handful of other partners. But Juefeng Ge was his secret weapon. And you took, he and Ge decided to partner outside of Tiger Leads when they sold that company, which turned into commission team. And now they’re doing Ylopo.
Robert: And Ylopo is doing some really cool things with Facebook marketing. A little bit expensive what I can from what I can see and hear. But the guys that are doing that are behind the show, I believe in them. The other company Bold Leads is one of my favorites. They’re inexpensive; they’ve got a great back end. I’ve been recommending them consistently. I think that they are the cheapest, most effective lead generation system that’s out there. If you’re just looking for leads. Both Boomtown is neither cheap, but it’s super effective and it’s the only game in town. If you’re looking for high end team based lead management platforms. If you’re trying to properly feed and manage a team of 10 to 20 people or more hundreds, Boomtown is really the guys that built the back end technology, lead distribution technology, the integrations with the system.
Robert: They’re really the ones that have really turned themselves into rock stars for team stuff.
Jonathon: I wouldn`t say rock star. But what I would say, if you’re looking from a team base, let’s say from 10 to 20 to 50. And you’re looking for a fully integrated system that has a track record and is reasonably ethical. They are the player in town aren’t they?
Robert: Yeah. I mean, to me they’re rock stars. They’re the only golden goose inside the entire real estate marketing industry. Their management team has driven the entire company from a graph, like a bootstrap kind of philosophy. They just took on the first round of financing at 21 million. Their team, their management team, their sales manager, their VP of operations, their CFO is all online. They’re all evangelistic about the company at every level. Glassdoor they are the only real estate marketing company whose glassdoor reviews are incredibly awesome.
Robert: Like when you start looking at all the puzzle pieces of the way that company operates, they’re really the only shining example.
Jonathon: Are we having music on the show Robert?
Robert: No hold on. I’m getting blown up because it’s the beginning of January and I’m a marketing company. So anyway.
Jonathon: But I agree with your statements there. But we got to keep this in context because we’re looking at certain price points. And we are also looking at other price points. And when you look at them, I’ve not used them in the real world. But I know their price points. Aren`t we?
Robert: Yes we are. Because Boomtown just for the license is $1500.00 plus you’re spending, it’s a $3,000 minimum monthly commitment in most cases.
Jonathon: When it comes to Geeks, what are we looking at?
Robert: We’re looking at about a thousand dollars a month is what you should budget if your universe. Cause its $239 for the platform. It’s a, if you let them manage your PPC campaign, they charge you $500 a month for that.
Jonathon: And Bold Leads?
Robert: Bold Leads is $600 a month at starting. So they’re the cheapest by far. You can move it up to a 600 or a thousand but you’re just getting a lot more with Bold Leads if you increase the budget.
Jonathon: On to the next.
Robert: Right. So there are two SEO companies. I’m one, Inbound REM and the other is Real Estate Webmasters. I’m not usually all that comfortable plugging myself, but honestly if you’re in the market for an SEO product, I really am at this point. Probably I’m not quite as good or as fleshed out as Real Estate Webmasters is. But I’m close.
Jonathon: Well on the other hand I have to give you some praise. And I am English so am not normally generous with my praise. What am getting from you is in some areas it might be a little bit more rough and ready. But you cancel that with the personal touch. Is that you and your team. We going to be honest here when you get to a certain size a client is just another client. With your team because of the size you can still talk to the founder of the company. You can still, you’re going to be still treated as a member of the family to some extent aren`t you?
Robert: Yeah true. And I think that’s going to continue through 2020 but beyond that probably not. We’re going to grow to the point where eventually I won’t be able to get on the phone with people but we’re not there. We’re not there for the next year or two. So guys still call me. We’re still very much there. So those are the two SEO things. There’s a vast price difference.
Jonathon: So what do you charge and what does Web Master Charges?
Robert: My contracts run from $12,000 to about $36,000. The average contracts and it’s complicated, not complicated. They’re just structured in different ways. Real Estate Webmasters starts at about 20 or 30,000, because they have three year agreements that are $500 per month plus a $5,000 website. And that’s no SEO, that’s not SEO. If you add SEO in it. It’s now two or $3,000 monthly agreements. So you’re looking at easily, easily a $36,000 to $40,000 contract. Just to start on the SEO side.
Jonathon: Right. So let`s start there and let`s talk about them and then we roll back to you. Do they get results without investment?
Robert: Usually yes. Yes, they do. Usually.
Jonathon: Right, I don’t think unless you’re talking about a very profitable power team of let’s say three to four established agents that are working in a boutique power team. That might really be the agent that’s really on the top the market. But would that also be Webmasters. You’re mostly talking about brokers aren`t you?
Jonathon: That buys into that. When, so let`s finish off with your products. So you are saying 12 to 30 thousand. That’s still a sizable investment for an agent. What can they expect for that investment and what time period do they have to really understand that they are signing in for before they will see those results?
Robert: My contracts are 18 months. I just increased them for 2019. They should start seeing results sometime after month number 12 of the siping live. They should see enough traffic and some should be considered leads. But they really shouldn’t think that their website is truly going to hit it pace until that 18th month mark. And that’s something I had to deal with, over the last year and learning as I was building these sites and looking at my client’s results. I realized that my 12 months just wasn’t long enough. There were some people it was plenty long.
Robert: That was fine, but there were other people that just took a little longer and I want every single, my objective as service providers is to show performance for every contract I take. End of discussion, every single one. So you have to look at the lowest rung on the ladder go, what does that look like? And some of them were taking longer, so I was like, all right, well we’re going to do, we’re going to do 18 months month agreements. Now Real Estate Webmasters, just three years.
Robert: I don’t think they’re doing it because at anything related to performance I think they’re doing it because they’ve been the only show in town for a long time. That does a really great SEO based website along with a reasonably competent backend. And there’s nobody else doing it. So they could charge whatever the hell they bloody wanted for however long they want it to. They are the only game in town.
Jonathon: Yeah, I think so. What you got to understand folks in what you are buying into with Robert and Webmaster. You have got to really understate what you are buying into. Because you are buying into something that`s going to take a little bit longer to get results. But when it does get results, its power and ability to constantly feed your funnel with quality leads is going to be substantial. But you got to understand what you are buying into. And you have got the ability to pay.
Jonathon: It’s a good investment. I would say that, not because Robert. I wouldn`t have invited Robert as my cohost in 2018 if I didn`t think he was reputable. And I extensively read his materials on his website before I asked him to become my cohost. And I knew where it was coming from. My own product, Mail Right is more the Bold Leads and some of the similar pliers. It’s does offer a website. It’s a basic website based on WordPress. And that enables you at some time to upgrade to something like what Robert offers and his team.
Jonathon: There is more about lead generation through paid advertising through Facebook. And then nurturing those clients through email and text messaging in a way that keeps you in front of those possible clients. Because most salespeople don’t realize is that they only touch base really effectively with 20% the clientele and 80% falls through a very leaky funnel system. If the, even if they’ve got one. And it’s keeping yourself in front of those 80 that you’re not doing a good job. Can lead to a lot more extra business because a lot of people touched base review aren`t in the position to buy and sell right now. And the industry is notoriously bad about keeping in touch with those types of people. The time’s flown. Actually I think we’re going to have to go back to this subject this month and they have a deeper, more time to discuss it. Because I’m looking at maybe looking at these companies in a little bit more detail. Would you be up for that Robert?
Robert: I would love to and I was going to suggest the same thing. Because let’s skip the bonus content today. Actually there’s, since we’ve been talking about platforms, let’s draw the show to close, but I, there’s a couple things I want to talk to you about before I have to move on to my next thing.
Jonathon: Yeah, sure. So we’re going to wrap up the show. It’s our first show of the New Year. I’m amazed am still here in 2019. For the amount of work and caffeine that I drink. I actually drink so much caffeine that I can’t even tell you folks because you would be absolutely shocked. But we’d be back next week. Driver. We will have a great guest or another great internal discussion between me and Robert. And we hope this has been great from me to you. And we hope that you get the results that you’re looking for, not only for yourself, but your family in 2019 in your real estate business.
Robert: Happy New Year guys.
Here a great article on Robert’s website that goes into a lot more detail on the strengths and weaknesses of each platform we review during our discussion today!