#234 Mail-Right Show – How To Market Yourself Effectively In Difficult Times
We Discuss All Things You Should Be Doing To Keep Yourself In front of Your Clients In These Difficult Times
We have a number of doable things you should be considering doing right now that will not cost a lot of money doing but will help you still grown your real estate business in 2020.
Jonathon: Welcome back folks to the Mail Right Show. This is episode 234. It’s going to be an internal discussion between me and Robert. We’re both still well we haven’t met the plague. Obviously in these strange times listeners and viewers we thought it was the best time on the episode where we discuss how we, if we were an active agent, how we would be dealing with circumstances that we are facing at the present moment. So I’ve got my great cohost Robert with me. Robert, would you like to quickly introduce yourself to the new listeners and viewers?
Robert: Sure. I’m going to do a little bit of a different introduction. And it is going to be a second longer than usual John. Because I think that we’re in unusual times. And what I’m going to say is that I’ve been a professional salesperson in the real estate marketing space for 13 years. And the reason that that’s relevant today is I was actually in this business when the last market slowdown happened in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011. And some of the things that I’m going to share with you throughout the show and that I’m going to reference in the show today. It is going to be tips and tricks that I’ve created based upon that incredibly unusual experience.
Because I’ve really been here since actually things were much worse for real estate then than they are now. I think that real estate is going to end up being a linchpin of our current economy. We just have to figure out how to encourage people to do business digitally. And that’s what we’re going to talk about this show. So with that, John, I have lots of other things I can say about myself. I don’t think it’s relevant for this show. You go ahead and introduce yourself and let’s get off to the races.
Jonathon: Yeah, sure. So I’m the CEO of Mail Right. Mail Right offers you a number of online tools to promote your local business, real estate business. And also I get quality leads. We’re offering a free one-page marketing plan which will be personalized for you. Go over to the Mail Right site and you’d be able to book a session with me personally using zoom. And we get that marketing plan developed and given to you for free. So like what Robert says, we live in unusual times, but we’re here in this episode to give you some great advice. So, Robert, where do you want to start off with?
Robert: So I’d like to follow the format that I did in my letters to my clients. And the format we’re going to follow folks is we’re going to follow the following format. First we’re going to talk a little bit about messaging. And then we’re going to talk a little bit about the tools to deliver this message virtually. And create a sense of comfort and stability in times which people might not be feeling comfortable or stable. And then we’re going to end, we’re going to wrap up with some very specific tips about not only how you can survive, but maybe even thrive in this particular marketplace. So, John, if you don’t mind without any further ado, what I’m going to do is I’m just going to get into it.
Is that okay with you?
Jonathon: Yeah, sure.
Robert: Okay. So in terms of marketing and messaging you know, it’s funny to me because I remember so vividly the last marketplace .and what struck me at that as two similar things that are happening right now is those, a lot of people that are basically climbing onto their roof and they’re saying the world is on fire. I mean, effectively they’re going, Oh my God, Oh my God. Oh my God. And you know what? It is definitely something to be concerned about. But here’s the thing, you take the precautions that you can take. You do business virtually. You socially distance yourself from other people.
And then very quickly people right now are going to realize that beyond those things that they need and should be doing to keep their family safe, they also need to keep their business safe. They need to keep their livelihood safe and everybody’s going to realize that. Your qualified real estate investors, those of you that have them, those people are going to realize that they’re looking finally out of the market where there’s an opportunity and there hasn’t really been a lot of great opportunities.
I had to look really hard for the opportunities that you’re going to find. And right now there’s going to be a lot of opportunities right in front of you. Especially already I’ve seen a pickup, a deep pickup in the real estate investment, the real estate development section of real estate. I have clients that are not just doing well, they’re doing extraordinarily well deals that they’ve been working on for a while have closed. So how do you position yourself in such a way that is responsible and proactive? So the first thing is, I strongly suggest that you have to acknowledge in a very transparent way exactly what’s happening in the world. Nobody knows what’s going to happen with real estate. All we know is that real estate is not seeing the impact that the stock market is seeing. Right now currently as we speak, real estate prices are still remaining static. And they probably will for the next 30 or 60 days is people try to figure out what’s happening in the market.
We know that money is very cheap and for some people that’s scary and for other people they’re looking at it and going, Oh, that’s a huge advantage. My advice is not to push one thing or another, but to give the message as you understand it, do your research, look around, see how what, how people are talking about real estate. Maybe talk to some of your other compatriots. Like other real estate professionals, I know that usually you guys all stay far separated because you view each other as competition most of the time. But this would be a time to let go of that and talk to other people and ask them questions about are they seeing an impact in their business. Most of the people I’m talking to aren’t seeing much of an impact in the real estate business. Maybe that’s just yet, but it hasn’t happened.
So telling your customers first and foremost whatever the factual reality of your marketplaces. Like I sent out an email to my customers saying that right now digital traffic for real estate is down about 15 to 18% but on all my lead-generating campaigns, we are still seeing leads come in. Not at the clip that we were previously, but they are still coming in. Traffic is down not as much as I personally thought it would be. I thought it would be more impacted, but apparently it’s only about a 15 to 18% decline. And not only did I do my research on my own 50 or so real estate websites, but also Neil Patel who has a much bigger audience to compare with. He did an analysis and his analysis showed the exact same thing that my analysis did in terms of real estate, which is that traffic was only currently down about 15 to 18%. So getting that message out to your customers, maybe linking them the reference sources would be step number one. Basically doing a market update, and talking about how what you’re seeing become a voice of reason and logic inside an illogical world. And I think that it’s very important, John, that people do that first, that they be the first voice that that is hearing. What do you, what do you think?
Jonathon: Well I think you are so right. And probably a lot of agents. I am not going to do that, which is interesting, isn’t it? But this is to the time to send out an automatic report, market report, which a lot of brokerages will get their agents to sign up for. This is the time to spend a little bit of time on something personalized that has some real value to the people you’re representing, isn’t it?
Robert: It is. It is. And that’s a great segue. So let’s just say that you’re going to listen to this podcast today and you’re going to try to figure out, all right, I’m going to listen to these guys. And you’ve probably heard the same message from other voices inside the industry. I know that two of the guys, one of the Facebook marketing guys, Tom Travis that I follow, he’s been saying the same thing. Tom Ferry has been saying the same thing. Christoph Chu has been saying the same thing. So guys, every top producer know in real estate is taking the precautions that they can take for their family. And then they’re moving on and doing business with social districts and taken into account. So how do you do that? How would you, the average real estate agent, not somebody that has the kind of audience that Tom or Christophe does?
How do you do that? So John and I had been talking about these things for a long time. And we’re going to talk with you about a little bit about him today and we’re going to, we’re going to talk about our favorite tool. So the tool that we’re using today that I’m going to let John talk about a little bit because he’s way more familiar with it. So first and foremost in terms of virtual communication, the tool that you’re looking at us shoot the bird, those of you that watch the videos, we’re using zoom, zoom to film these videos. John, just real quick, can you please tell the audience like how long does it take to set up, how much does it cost, and what is your experience been using this tool? Because I know you’ve been using it a lot longer than I have.
Jonathon: Yeah, I think, you know one of the attractions of zoom is its very rock solid. But there’s been so much additional people signing up for zoom and general traffic that I understand from some people that it’s been a little bit iffy. Funnily enough, the podcast and I’ve been doing today because I do another show early on in this. Thursday is my podcasting day. I mean it’s still being rock solid. So the main attraction is its pretty rock solid. Secondly, you can sign up for a fully functioning version of zoom for free. Its only restriction is that the meetings are limited to 45 minutes. Thirdly the paid version is not expensive really. And you can get a very good deal, a sizable discount if you pay yearly. The monthly paid starter plan is around $15 a year, but if you pay yearly, you get that reduced to $12 a month.
Which works out or something slightly below $150 a year. Considering what you get for that $150. I think it’s a very good investment and much better than, than Skype. And some of the other browser-based conference by systems which utilize this technology from Chrome, from Google and the Chrome browser. What I’ve personally found is that technology stack can be a little bit flaky at best. The other beautiful thing about zoom is it’s compatible with all devices. And it’s rock-solid from iPhone to Android to iPad to Mac and to PC. They have a downloadable application that it works and works well.
The only additional thing I would point out as is that for the shows and for some extent something that you could consider if you really going to really delve into the world of zoom is an add-on. They utilize to add webinar functionality and for doing presentations, bringing people in from the community into online. They are promoting you on Facebook and bringing guests in. It’s probably something worth considering even if you’re not going to do your kind of normal webinar. And for this additional webinar add on functionality, you have to pay an additional $40 a month. And they don’t offer any kind of yearly discount if you pay yearly for that. It’s best just to pay monthly at $40. So for $52 a month, you get a pretty solely communication group. A broadcasting platform that has a lot of functionality Robert.
Robert: Perfect. That’s excellent. So, guys, the zoom is one tool. Zoom is, as John has shared, is a screen sharing tool and I’m bouncing around between it. For those of you that are going to go kind of circle back around and watch this. Either you’re tuning in life and you’ve seen me do this life or you’re going to circle back around and you’re going to watch it on YouTube. And when John puts up the YouTube video under the Mail Right YouTube channel or on the Mail Right website. I eventually copy the content and put it on inbound REM, but I’m usually somewhere between two and four weeks behind where we are at in terms of shows. So for rapid, rapid digestion, which I think a lot of you are going to be interested in, you’re going to want to go to the Mail Right sites right now.
And if you just want to go through old shows, you can go to either one of our sites and do it. John has a great way that he puts on the texts, a part of our show into his show notes. And what I do is I rewrite the content and throw it up like in a slightly different way on my site. I don’t recommend like either one is good, neither one is better or worse. Like you should just decide where you want to absorb that content because a lot of you are going to be inside your home. So if you’re curious to know things that we’ve set on these topics in the past, definitely go to one of our two websites and look up old shows. But in terms of how do, you leverage these tools or actually let me rephrase. There are other tools that you could use too. So these, this is one type of digital communication and it has a higher cost, but it has higher functionality as well. Other kinds of tools that you could use where you could get a lot of free functionality and are as follows. For those who did it, you’re listening to the show and you’re listening to it after we’ve finished it. Grab your pen and piece of paper cause I’m going to lay some deep knowledge on you.
Jonathon: I’m going to interrupt. Actually this is a good moment for us to go for our break. And when we come back Robert will be giving some more great tips about some great free tools. We will be back in a few moments.
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Jonathon: We are coming back. I thought that was a good show before we went on break. Back over to you Robert.
Robert: All right, so WhatsApp, for those of you who have traveled internationally, you’ll know is, I know that this is the de facto communication tool that almost everybody uses for phone calls when they’re traveling internationally. You can be in another country and avoid carrier costs. WhatsApp is owned by Facebook. It is a rock-solid digital communications tool. I’ve already had my entire team download it as a backup option. I know a lot of people don’t know this, but Facebook has been building its own internet infrastructure in many parts of the world, which means that their network is using different things than other people’s internet, what networks is. This means that one tool may not work for you and another might, which is why we’re going to recommend more than one tool that does the same thing. All right, so WhatsApp, that’s a communication tool very similar to Skype in my opinion and a lot of other people’s opinion.
WhatsApp is actually slightly better than Skype. But Skype is definitely the more like use tool. Almost everybody that I know has some kind of Skype account. They’ve been in the market of overseas communication, internet communication for so many years. They got out in front of it a long time ago. So Skype, the second recommendation, you could do screen shares and Skype and do person to person communication. You can do video chats. You can do most of the same thing with WhatsApp. I’m not an expert WhatsApp user. I’ve only used it for text messages and phone calls when I’ve been traveling overseas. But I defacto switch over to it when I move overseas. So if any of you have overseas clients that have been talking to you about transactions in the U S actually WhatsApp is probably a better way to try to communicate with them than Skype is.
That’s why I’m bringing it up specifically. The other tools in terms of, and I know a lot of you don’t, aren’t aware of this, but anybody who’s under 40 years old has already in many cases, started to use tools like Instagram, like Facebook messenger. They’re oftentimes using these tools as what we, who are older, would have called text messaging tools. We used to use AME back in the day, but now people have moved over to Facebook and Instagram. And these things can be used for text chat Face Timing. Actually Facebook could be used for Face Timing. And the interesting thing is that actually Facebook separated out the tool so it’s not Facebook that you’re using. When you’re using communication, you’re using messenger. And what you want to do is you want to install messenger, which is a separate application than Facebook and you want to, then you can probably do face to face communication with your clients.
You can do what is essential if it if you’re an Apple user, you would call that FaceTime and you can use face to face communication. My advice, but how to use that is if people need to see specific elements in a home. You arrange a time with a homeowner where social distancing can be honored. In other words, they stay six feet away, but you come through the home with your phone using FaceTime or any of these tools and you start to cover particulars in the home so that the end-user, your contractor, whoever it is, they don’t have to.
You drive there. You respect social distancing, you use FaceTime and you move through to answering questions just like you would any other time. Except now you’ve created an appointment with somebody to do it. For appointment setting, you use Google calendar. That’s my favorite app. That’s what John and I use consistently. And it connects into all your other Google tools and reminds you that you have an appointment. So the way that you do this specifically is you’d say, do you need to see something in the home with the client?
Jonathon: I got a little tip there actually. A lot of agents use Gmail. And Gmail is a great service. But it’s not professional enough. And you certainly don’t want to have your email linked to your broker email address, which is allocated to you. So what`s the alternative? You want basically like Male Right. So you could email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. Now to get that setup, you don’t actually necessarily need a website, but what you do need is a domain name. And you can do this through another service of Google called G suite. I wouldn’t buy the domain name through G suite. A lot of people do that. I would advise you not to. What I would advise you to is buy your domain name. So what your business is known as in your area. I would go to go daddy and spend about $12 for a dot com or whatever your domain name in your local area is.
And buy that domain name. And I wouldn’t be tempted by the two year or free year plan. They will try and upsell you. They will try and sell you a website, whatever they’re trying to, just keep it one year for that domain. It probably cost you between 12 and $18. And then the two providers that can provide you with Jonathan at whatever your business name is, is Google G suite or another company called Zoho.com. And Zoho does a number of services, so you will have Zoho mail. Now with G Suite it will cost you $6 a month for one inbox. You can have multiple different email addresses going to that inbox. Like you could have firstname.lastname@example.org. You can have up to 30 different emails, but they all go to the same inbox.
If you want multiple inboxes, it can rapidly get a little bit expensive because each inbox will cost you another $6 a month. And I don’t offer a yearly discount. Now with Zoho, if you go with one of their free plans, they do offer a free plan, but it is a little bit crippled. But Zoho, you can get five in boxes for $1 a month. So you can get five in boxes for a team. So it would be Robert at inbound, RM, Patricia at inbound REM, five inboxes at five gig of space each for $1 a month. So it would cost you $12. And that’s how you get a professional email address because using g-mail is great for personal email. I have a personal G Gmail account but I do not use it for my business. Do you think I haven’t lost too many people hopefully Robert
Robert: I don’t think you have but I am going to move past the email inbox stuff. Because there’s a lot of other ground I want to cover and I don’t want to keep everybody here for forever. So guys that we’ve talked about email a little bit, but guess what? Some of you, a lot of you are going to have a sphere of influence. You’re going to have real estate clients that you’ve done business with for a long time and many of you have not yet done mass email out to these consumers. So my next tip is going to deal with how do you do that and not get charged, you know, a ton of money right now. And my answer to that is MailChimp. It’s far and away not the only service. The only reason I’m talking about MailChimp is that I use MailChimp and they’re an established provider.
They’re probably going to have better hardware and network infrastructure. The reason that’s relevant is that real estate has not been a wildly digital business. John and I have talked about this forever. Like we’ve in many shows who here are saying, Hey, real estate is behind other industries, but guess what? Real estate has to catch up real quick right now, like real fast. Because we’re forced to do business digitally, so talking about who has the infrastructure to handle increased traffic, increased emails is important. So I’m going to recommend MailChimp because they let you send out a thousand emails without charging you their first basic account is free. They have a lot of YouTube-like instruction inside. Their tutorials are extremely good and in comparison to other email providers, it’s a very basic setup. It might take you 30 minutes to just figure out how to do your email template, keep it real basic, maybe even just text and then it’ll take you very little time.
You’re not trying to be fancy and just get your message out to your customers, get it out first. Talk about the things that they can be doing to keep their family safe. And then of course, talk about the things that you’re doing to protect their interest in terms of being a real estate interest business person. Like I’m going to do social distancing. These are the things I’ve been doing for my clients that are under contract. Because I promise you there are people out there that are thinking about, wow. You know, everybody knows everybody that’s read a single business book in their life, knows that guys like more in buffet. They’re looking at this entire marketplace. There’s an opportunity, it’s sad to say, and I’m not trying to say let’s, let’s not be hawkish about it, but it’s just reality as the market sinks. People that have been sitting.
Jonathon: I totally agree. Can I recommend an alternative to MailChimp?
Robert: Sure, yeah.
Jonathon: I would also look at a company called the Mailer Light. They offer a good free plan that’s very similar to MailChimp, but one of the good factors is if you go above with MailChimp, if you go above the 2000 subscribers, it can get very quickly, quite expensive. With Mailer Light when you get to the limit and you have to pay it’s much cheaper than MailChimp. And they offer a very similar interface and products. And I’ve had quite a few clients that have been happy with it.
Robert: Excellent. I know nothing about it so I will not comment. But if John says it’s good, you should really look at it. Especially if you have more than a thousand people in your mailing list. I think that’s what I heard you say is that this isn’t a good alternative if you have a larger mailing list.
Jonathon: I think the main thing you got to understand and why we are both suggestions over MailChimp or Mailer Light is that you mustn’t use like what I’ve just described previous over your G mail, your outlook or your outlook account, your Gmail account. You must not utilize that for mass mailing. The limit they place is 200 people per day. And if you go any way above that, they can just close your account because you’ve broken your terms and conditions. And it’s very unlikely that those emails if you’re using your outlook or your Gmail account, it’s very unlikely that those emails will get into the main inbox of your target audience anyway.
It’s very likely they will end up in spam or the marketing folder of G mail. So you mustn’t use them. And the other factor is a lot of people use the hosting provider. If they got a hosting account with go Daddy or Blue Host. Now that is a better solution than using g-mail or outlook. But those services, in my experience, they mostly end up in the spam folder. So listen to what Robert says about Mail Chimp or look at Mailer Light.
Robert: All right, so we’ve talked about how to get messaging out via email. We’ve talked about how to call people. We’ve talked about how to do screen shares. At some point and John will kind of signal, but we’re going to make physical an incredible tip that was given on episode number two 32 of the male right show, which you can find on John’s website.
Jonathon: I think we are going to have to wrap up the podcast part of the show. And you’d be able to see that on the Mail Right YouTube channel and the Mail Right website and on inbound REM at some stage. So we’re going to wrap up the podcast, but keep on listening transfer to the quickest way. I normally publish on the Mail Right YouTube channel the quickest. So stay on to find out this great tip that Robert is going to give us on our bonus content. But we’re wrapping up the podcast part of the show. Robert, how can people find out more about you and what you’re up to?
Robert: We’re going to skip that today. How do we find out? Well, actually inboundrem/about. So I’m going to make a special offer for the times that we’re in. I don’t usually press this, but I’m going to do it right now. Hey guys, if anybody, this is very complicated information. If you want a personal consultation with no obligation, I’m not going to try to sell you any services. We’re not going to try to sell you a website. If you just need to talk to somebody to feel better about doing business digitally. Go to inbound REM, that’s the word, inboundrem.com forward slash about and you’ll see a link at forward-slash about forwarding lash. You’ll see a link to my calendar. Just schedule a call with me and I will give you as much time as I can afford to at least an hour, maybe more depending on the circumstance. But for no charge, no-obligation, no anything. And I’ll walk you through what you need to do like to do digital properly for your real estate business.
Jonathon: I will offer the same thing myself. If you will go to the Mail Right website and you want to book a consultation and go through some of the things we discussed on this, I’m always available. So both I and Robert are available to you as a resource for this. So that’s great as I think that’s excellent value. So we’re going to close the podcast about the show, but continue the discussion, which you’d be able to see on the Mail Right platforms. We will be back next week to help you some more with an internal discussion or a great guest. Stay for the bonus. We will be back soon folks. Bye.