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268 Mail-Right Show With Special Guest Tristan Ahumada of Lab Coat Agents

Everything You Need To Know About Facebook Groups

Tristan Ahumada Realtor has been in real estate since 2004 and focuses primarily on building relationships with clients and focuses on Luxury Real Estate. Tristan Ahumada still practices Real Estate in Los Angeles County and Ventura County. He works in the Malibu, Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, Calabasas, and Westlake Village areas.

Tristan Ahumada teaches and speaks throughout the year at different events, to small groups and larger groups of up to 20,000 people. Tristan teaches how to have a higher lead conversion through long-term follow-up and building deep relationships with clients. Tristan Ahumada has been married for almost 2 decades and has two children, lives in Southern California, and loves to spend time with his family. He is the creator and co-founder of the largest closed facebook Real Estate group in the United States. His favorite charity is a charity to help stop bullying, primarily cyberbullying.

Robert: Welcome back to the Mail Right show. Today’s episode is 268. We are meeting with Tristan Ahumada and we’re super excited about it. Tristan is the captain CEO of a massive Facebook real estate Facebook group called lab coat agents. And he’s got many, many, many, many other credits to his name. But we’re going to start talking to him about lab coat agents first, and then see if we have time to talk about something else. So with that without any further ado, Tristian would you mind?

Jonathon: You are going to introduce me are you?

Robert: Sorry. Okay. And then I have my lovely cohost Jonathan. And Jonathan, why don’t you go ahead and tell the new listeners and the new audience members a little bit about yourself.

Jonathon: Yeah, and I just want to thank our new listeners and viewers. Last month was our biggest month ever for the show. Over the past year, we’ve tripled the audience size. Thank you, Robert, and our guests. We’ve had some fantastic guests on the show. And we have provided some excellent value for the listeners and viewers. And that is shown in the figures. Who am I? I’m the founder of Mail Right. Mail Right uses the power of Facebook to get you quality leads. If you’re a real estate agent that sold your 5-6 homes houses, and you’re looking to increase that next year to 20, where the ideal product for you. Go to the mail right website, and you can learn some moreover to you, Robert.

Robert: So I think that most people that listen to show that already know, man, I’m really excited to get into our guests. So Tristian is he still here?

Tristian: I’m here.

Robert: So Tristian if you can go ahead and introduce yourself to the audience that would be lovely. And then while you’re doing the introduction, if you could kind of maybe educate me a little bit about what in 2014 you were thinking when you kind of got Lab Coat Agents coming.

Tristian: Yeah. I love it. Thanks for having me guys appreciate it. You guys have been doing this for a while, so glad to be in this 200th somewhere episode. I love that. I love that. So my name is Tristian and I am the CEO of lab coat agents. I’m also a real estate agent out in Ventura County, Los Angeles County. And lab coat agents are an organization that provides free education and media for the real estate agents of our world here. We’re the largest online community. So we have all different brokerages engaged on a daily basis, which is fun. So you get to see all the good and all the interesting and weird stuff that happens in real estate. But the whole goal is to just elevate the industry through education. And they’re showing them what’s possible through processes and systems and interviews with some amazing agents.

So that’s what it is. In 2014, I created this community because I was thinking of creating a blog, but my wife said, you know, why you don’t look into a Facebook group, those things, those look like a kind of cool, kind of interesting, and a good place. It was all kind of new to everybody. So I jumped in on there and I was speaking nationally for realtor.com at the time. And so I thought, well, that’s a kind of a good mix. I’ll bring in everybody from the audience to an online audience. And the transition happened really well. It was timing and the right value. And then we just continued to grow massively and then finally got the attention of Facebook. And so now we’re directly connected with Facebook and help them and give them advice as to how to touch and connect with real estate agents across the world. So very fun!

Robert: This sounds like a hell of a ride. So let me see if I can tie this in for everybody. So I know something that a lot of our audience will not. Realtor.Com is actually headquartered here, actually headquartered right where you are literally in Westlake and you are in Westlake as well. So does your location have anything to do with the symmetry of working with realtor.com?

Tristan: I would assume it, it kind of does. Because the initial relationship started because I purchased their leads at the time 2012, they had this new product, zip codes, and I purchased them all in our area. They were new and I did really well with them, converting them at a high level. And they’re like, who is this person who converts our leads at such a great rate? So they said why don’t we put you on camera? And you can explain to us for our audience what you’re doing. So they got me on camera. That’s when I found out they were in the same building that I was in. I was like, no way. I had no idea you were even in Westlake. So that’s what started our relationship. And so now anytime I had a question, I would just open my door, literally go next door and say, Hey guys, what do you need? So that definitely helped our relationship, man.

Robert: And you leveraged that slightly. I mean, this is, it’s so funny because everything has changed so much and it’s, it’s changing like Light speed inside the real estate industry. I mean, to say Facebook group, six years ago, people are going to be like, ah, that would be a waste of time. Say Facebook group today And people are, yes. Please give me the URL and the information, because I need more virtual groups to be a part of. It’s a crazy evolution. But so you’re doing these six years ago, they were having you sit in rooms with agents. Like where they were having you talk to their employees and try to like, get your input on.

Tristian: That was part of it. The other part was right after I recorded that whole video for them showing them the process that I had, right. The technology that I put in place, the processes, the scripts and everything to convert, these leads at a high level, they said, this is really cool. Sent it over to their exec, exec said, this guy knows what he’s doing. We hadn’t heard anything like this before nationwide. Ask if he can go and speak for us at NAR with 22,000 people. And they called me and they said you want to go speak there? I’m like, yeah, let’s do this. He said all I need is just for you to cover my family flight so that we can all go there together and experience this. And that was the beginning of that journey, because then they started taking me to all of their big events and having me speak to the audiences on how I was converting the online leads and having success with them. So it was both internally to their sales floor, to their sales team, which I’m still friends with them. And it was also external to all of the real estate agents across the nation.

Robert: You were doing this so early. And John, I’m going to open up the floor to some of your questions. But you were doing this so early, that I feel like you may have been the first one. Because everybody copies this model, now why Lobo has what they call a Facebook success group. And they have actual agents in the success group that are teaching other agents how to use their product and service. Jeff, the founder of real geeks started off his service about it would have been right around the same time, seven, eight years ago. And the way that he got it started as he’d find people using the real geek’s website and then ask them specifically like what ads they were using and how they were doing it. But it would be agent-focused to be like, this agent is using this product this way to be successful. But it sounds like you may have been either right at the same time or the first guy to be, Hey, I’m an agent I’m using this service and this is how I’m doing it well.

Tristian: You’re right, man. I was actually the first that the first agent that became an influencer off of using a product at an extremely high level, and that has to do with the timing. You know, there’s timing involved with Facebook and the groups, right. It just all happened at that time. And then we grew so fast as a group that everybody started jumping on board and then all of the vendors started getting to know us. And then once Facebook jumped in, then it was a whole different world. So that has a lot to do with it. And now, because of it, we’re able to duplicate what we’ve done in group communities. And we’re able to take it to other companies and say, hey we can do the same thing for you. So let us know if you want us to help you. So now on the side, we’re also consulting companies and helping them create communities of their own.

Robert: So now you’ve packaged your success into an actual product, like a, Hey, you want to create an interactive community with your users. This is how you would do it is if I’m understanding it correctly.

Tristian: Yeah, pretty much, pretty much, but it does take a lot of our time. So we do go deep and get involved. So we have to talk to all the people involved on their company and we’re having good success for these companies that are coming in and needing help. That happened by accident. Somebody approached us and they’re like, can you do this? I’m like, I’m pretty sure I can. Let’s figure it out.

Robert: All right, John, if I feel like that is a fertile field for lots of questions. So why don’t you take it away?

Jonathon: We have to focus on the intermedia agent and helping them basically. It’s very confusing for people entering the industry and when they go out over the first year, they haven’t given up. And it’s still hard to find the power from. There’s a lot of contradictory information. What are your feelings about Facebook, the present moment .because obviously the screen, some fundamental changes around how somebody in the real estate industry, as an agent can use Facebook? Are you still very optimistic about Facebook and using it as a tool to get leads in general?

Tristian: Yeah, definitely. It’s still a great place to go to. It’s still the number one social media outlet out there for the United States. I mean, if you’re not counting YouTube as number one Facebook still has 210 million American users approximately, which is about 70% of the American population.

That’s how many logs on every, every month, according to a study that was done in June, this year. That’s insane, dude. That’s an insane amount of people that go on. And if you’re using the product in the right way, meaning not just throwing out junk and see if it can stick if you’re using it to retarget your database. Not just throwing it up for leads and boosting posts, I’m talking about using it to be able to bring back all of this database that you’ve got expireds for sale by owners, past clients, fear open house leads, Zillow leads, realtor.com, leads anything. All of a sudden, you just start creating this automated system. That’s touching all of these leads dynamically through the whole year. And now you’re starting to use technology to help you. So it just depends on how you’re using it. And I think it’s still an amazing piece and an amazing tool for businesses.

Jonathon: So your platform, you know, it sounds like you got a great way of judging what are some of the real concerns and real problems that a lot of our agents have. What are some of the most regular things our agents discuss in the group that you’re aware of? Is it, is it lead generation? Is that the fundamental number one?

Tristian: You know, it’s interesting that you asked that because it’s a big mix. I think there are a lot of agents in there that, that don’t have answers to simple questions of them simply being in under contract or an escrow. And they have questions that pop up and they’re like, well, what happens here? Or what happens here processes systems. And then you do have people coming in and asking, well, what’s the best CRM out there? Or what’s the best lead gen tool out there? So we do get at those questions as well. What we try to do in a community and it’s worked really well is to set the tone so that people understand what this community is about. So we have over 500,000 post comments and likes on a 28-day basis. So it’s highly engaged. And if we don’t continually put out education pieces like webinars on a daily basis, if we don’t continually post and let people know, Hey, this is the route we’re going.

There’s no complaining here or we’ll just boot you or mute you or just, you won’t be in this community. If we don’t do that, continually people won’t know what type of community it is. And so I do help out as I said, other communities grow outside of the real estate. And one thing that you can see, which is kind of what you were indicating a little bit as Facebook has changed. They are Facebook is taking a strong stance on really shutting down any type of hate, any type of fake news type of things. And one of the communities that I’m helping out is called leaving California. So obviously that leans more towards conservative, and republican. And so one of the things I’m noticing there is that Facebook has already warned them quite a few times, that they need to be careful what they let into this community. And not to let in what they would consider hate to go in as well.

So there are a lot of changes that are happening and Facebook has shut down a few groups. We’ve had that just, they think isn’t abiding by these rules. So I think over the next few months, you’re going to see Facebook change a little more, and that may affect some of those people that are on there. Because you’re seeing them, some people leave Facebook or not use Facebook as much. And they go to Instagram, not knowing that Instagram is still Facebook. Or they go to WhatsApp and use that more, not knowing that it’s still Facebook. So it’s a little funny to me, but at the end of the day, they control the social waves.

Twitter is still there, but Twitter just announced yesterday that they’re now going to do carousel ads, which is kind of cool. I’m like, oh, that’s a cool way to join the party on Twitter. Like Facebook does set the tone. The only one that’s come to, to change the way things are recently is Tik Tok. They are gaining and they have a good presence with a younger demographic. And that demographic is growing now into the late twenties, which is cool to see. Like, I want to know how that’s going to work for the marketing world.

Jonathon: What do you also notice? And it’s been an ongoing thing between me and Robert. We have been trying to push the power of video, and the power of content marketing free blogging and using maybe that for YouTube as well. To become a dominant and seen as a dominant expert in real estate in your local market. But in general, we don’t see many agents. We had an agent that came on the show a few weeks ago from Montana. And he’s been using video very effective in getting the leads from people outside the state that we’re looking to move to Montana. But we don’t see many agents really doing that very effectively. Have you got any insights into why that is actually?

Jonathon: Well, yeah, it comes down to overthinking the process because a lot of agents, when they see these amazing videos being done, they’re like, and I can’t do that. I just can’t. And they don’t know where to start. They over-complicate the process. They don’t realize that just simply picking up the phone and recording yourself is much easier to do than they’re thinking. Because it’s true if you go to YouTube and you see some of these amazing videos, I’m like, man, that’s a full-blown production almost. I don’t know if I can do that, but there’s also the other type. I mean, that’s why I brought up Tik Tok too. I think that you have those agents that are finally breaking through and saying, okay, let’s give this a try. It doesn’t look to be as difficult as I thought. Let’s do this vertical video, let’s record me or record my listing.

It’s only 60 seconds or less. And you’re starting to see people get used to that. And I mean, in the USA today, one of my friends was showcased that they sold a home through Tik Tok. They brought in a buyer because they did the exact thing. They just previewed at home and they sped it up, added music and it was sold. I was like, that’s pretty insane. So I think your question is a valid one. Why is it so difficult for agents to jump in? What are they scared of? It’s just that they’re not used to it, man. I always say if you can just Jonathan, if you could just record yourself on this repeatedly and not do anything with it, you start getting comfortable with the process. And then finally, maybe one of the ones that you recorded, you’re like, oh, that wasn’t too bad. I’ll post it up, but that’s just you getting used to you.

Jonathon: I think it’s time for our break Robert, do you want to do it and then do a comeback?

Robert: Sure. All right. So ladies and gentlemen, all those people joining us for the show today, first of all, we appreciate it. We’re going to go for a quick little break here. So we’ll be right back.

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Robert: All right, welcome back to the Mail Right show. We are in part two of our show. We’re meeting with Tristian Ahumada today. And Tristian is the founder of lab coat agents, which is probably the largest, if not one of the largest online networking groups for real estate agents that there is. For those of you that are not familiar with them, you can go to facebook.com lab coat agent, and you can find the group. I don’t know what the requirement is to join, probably be a real estate agent. I can tell you that have been looking at the group since the show started that there are hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of posts, all of which look to be good. And they cover topics from how to package up and sell homes, how to use rednecks, how to create better online processes, and a wide variety of things.

So Tristian, I think he may have.

Jonathon: Are you still with us Tristian?

Robert: Your video went out for a second there, we weren’t sure. So you brought up before we went to break, John was talking about content marketing and he was asking you some questions about video marketing. It is obvious to me that whether or not you refer to yourself that way, that you are deeply involved in content marketing. Because you have tons and tons and tons of content is part of your Facebook group. So one way or the other, you’re either moderating that content. I see in many of these shows that you’re participating in the content. So let me ask you a couple. So I’m a content producer too, and I have my loves and my frustrations with the medium.

So for those people out there that may, let’s just say, be wanting to start their own Facebook group. What would you say are some of the top takeaways that you’ve ever had about? Let’s just say, all right, I want to start a Facebook group in Montana and I want it to be about moving to Montana. Let’s just pretend that that’s the group. What would the advice be to that? Like what would you, as a really experienced purveyor of a Facebook group, what would you tell that person? Like what should you look out for? Like, and do like, what are the top three things you should do, and what are one or two things you really should stay away from?

Tristian: All right. Great question, man. The first thing is, now that you’ve got the idea. That’s usually the first thing I go for, but what’s the idea that you’ve got, are you going to be passionate about it? Or is it you’re going to let it fade out after three months? But you picked moving to Montana. Let’s say you’re really passionate about them. And I think personally, that’s an awesome one that you picked. So the next thing I would do is I would look at this long-term and I’d say, well, I want this to be a business. And I want to have this brand look and feel a certain way. What does that look like to me? What are the colors? How can I get the right logo to put it on a hat? How would it look on a shirt? What’s the messaging going to be like?

So I would look at this as a full-on brand. That’s one thing after you’ve chosen the type of group that is going to be. Now, the next thing is, once you start this community, I would find people in the community, or if it’s for the whole state in the state that are pretty good at social media that understand it, that would want to partner with you in the community. That can bring value because those moderators that you bring in or admins are going to help you grow faster. And I always say, look, if you’re starting a community, you’re never going to grow if you don’t bring in the right people. Let’s say, Robert and Jonathon, let’s say, we’re going to start this group together. Well, the thing is, I’m going to say, Hey, Robert, so this is what I’m doing. I’m creating this amazing moving to the Montana community.

And we’re going to interview local shops. We’re going to interview agent’s insurance, people, attorneys, people that live here so that they understand what it looks like to live here. And I need you to help me do this. Once we come in and go live, I need you to bring in a hundred people the first week. Just people that you think would benefit from these friends that are already your friends on Facebook. And Jonathan, I go to the same thing to you and say, Jonathan, as a moderator, I just need you to 100 or 150 people in that first week, just to get it going. We need to already have some posts inside of the community. So people know what this is about. So let’s get a few going. And Robert you’re going to benefit from this. Jonathan you too, because as we grow, people are going to wonder who you are and what you’re doing, especially if you’re in the community posting and we’re interviewing people together, you’re going to get business from this.

So I want you to at least post or engage deeply three times a week. And that’s not that often. And if you ever get stuck, just let me know and I can help you because I have a long list of things that you can post or engage with. And so that’s what I do. I set the tone. I let them know these are the guidelines that you’re going to have as a moderator. And I let you know that there’s a benefit involved too if we do this correctly. And of course, as I start making merchandise, moving to Montana, hats, and shirts, well, I’m going to send them over to you. And then we’re going to have contests. And then after this picks up, we’re going to create an Instagram. And then all of the things that we create that are recorded, we’re going to put it into our YouTube channel.

And then we’re going to put money behind our YouTube channel. And then as we let people into the community, people are requesting to join. Well, we’re going to ask for their email addresses before they join. And then we’re going to have a newsletter. And then we’re going to drive more people to the webinar based on those newsletters that we sent. And the information that we have in Montana. And then we’re like, well, this is getting a little big. We’re getting a lot of people in this. Well, then we find the local people that have businesses and say, Hey, check out our stats. We’re on YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook. And we’ve got an amazing newsletter. It would only cost you about $2,000 a month. If you become a sponsor and we’ll interview you, here’s what you get. Now a year in, you’ve got a whole business, a whole brand. That’s not only feeding you leads as a real estate agent or whatever you are. You’ll also have a full-on business that’s producing money for you.

Jonathon: Fantastic outline. I love it.

Robert: That was true, that was way more than I was expecting man. You brought valuable information. I really appreciate it. So that’s how to get it done. And it was more than the top three things. It was basically a blueprint roughly out like drawing out a blueprint on how you would start a group. What are the top three? Like what is a couple of mistakes? Like you’ve already done this and yes, you just made it sound easy. But I’ve been in digital marketing for too long. I know it wasn’t easy. So I know you ran across some challenges at some point or another and learned some hard lessons. I would love if you share with me and the users, like what, a couple of those were.

Tristian: Yeah. The biggest challenge you’re going to find are relationships and your expectations of what those relationships should be. And I think the faster you realize that there are going to be a lot of ways to do the same thing because you’re only one person. The better you get along with more people, the better it’s going to be for your business. And so you have to be really careful who you go into business with. So the first thing that I look for when I bring in moderators, is why now we do a lot of research. I want to make sure that they’re emotionally intelligent. Because I don’t need a loose cannon out there? I don’t need them posting on their personal page that we never landed on the moon. Or that screw the whole world.

I hate this place. Weird stuff like that, man. So I’m really careful as to who these people are because it becomes a reflection of you. And then people are like, oh, she’s a moderator of that community.

Jonathon: Can I just interrupt you? It`s a very fantastic thing you are saying there. I feel I’m a pretty open person. I’m on podcast videos. There’s a lot of content out there. If you put Johnathon Denwood into your search, there’s a lot of stuff out there. I’m a pretty open book. I say to people I don’t put stuff out on social media that I wouldn’t be happy for my mother to read. My mother is dead, bless her heart. She died about 14 years ago. But that’s how I judge what I want out there on the public domain. If I wouldn’t be happy for my mother to read it. I don’t really want it out there for the whole world to see. What do you reckon about that Tristian?

Tristian: Yeah. That’s a beautiful way to live the life I think. Because if anybody sends something to my mom that I did or that I posted, and my mom comes back to me and says, did you really say this? Or did you really do this? I’m like what do you want your answer to be? It’s a great point. I mean, it’s tough when you’re out in the influencer world, a lot of the things that you do are going to get recorded. And you’re not always on your game, not always. So it takes time to get there and refine you. And that Jonathan, that has a lot to do with your routines. What do you do in the morning? What do you do in the evening? How are you setting yourself up to be the best possible version of yourself every day? Because you’re in the spotlight every day. And sometimes you’re only talking to a few people, but sometimes you’re talking to thousands.

Jonathon: Well I come across on my podcast as an extrovert, but actually I am an introvert by nature. I’m quite happy to be on my own work in my office. Some days I don’t need to interact with people. With Zoom, sometimes I don’t see another person apart from my partner. And  I’m quite happy about that. But I’ve come across. So you go understand in some ways it’s kind of like show business really isn’t it?

Tristian: It is, it’s a hundred percent like it, man. And I think that’s the world we live in right now. This is why social media, the internet, and eventually where we’re at now with the internet, which is social media, it’s changed the dynamics of how we engage with each other. And how much power has been given back to the general population? This is why we’re also so split where at least we virtually see such a bigger split in our country right now in the US. Because everybody’s so vocal about it. And it’s easy for us to post whatever we want. And everybody’s got an audience, even if it’s just one person or millions.

Jonathon: I think we need to go wrap up the podcast part of the show Robert and then tell people we can continue the discussion for a little while and where they can see that Robert. So over to you.

Robert: So we’re going to wrap up the podcast part of the show for those of you that are listening. We also do a video part of the show, and Tristian at the beginning of the show did agree to stay with us for a few more minutes. So we are going to have some bonus content. I’m going to leave it a mystery because I have some questions and I’m just going to continue to do a Q and A with him. And we’re just going to post that on the Mail, Right video channels. So Tristan, if people would like to find you or learn more about your, or maybe become involved in your group or get a consultation from you for their Facebook group, how would they go about doing that?

Tristian: They could contact me on Instagram. It’s just Tristian Ahumada. You can just find me on YouTube or just Google Tristian Ahumada. You’ll find my cell phone number. You can always reach me there. Or go to, Facebook and message me there as well. It’s easy to find me.

Robert: Excellent, that’s exactly the way it should be. And John if somebody wanted to talk to you about Mail Right or getting onto the Mail Right podcast how would they go about it?

Jonathon: Well, you can go to the Mail Right Facebook page and direct message me. Or you can email me at Jonathan at mail-right.com or go on the website. And we got the ability to do a demo for you where we’d go through everything we can do for you at a very competitive price. It’s a great platform. It’s taken a lot of time and, I think it’s excellent.

Robert: And I highly recommend that you talk to John and get a consultation if you have any questions about real estate CRMs. My name is Robert Newman. I’m the founder of inboundrem.com, which is content-based. Can you hear me still? I just hang up. A content-based website that you can find out all the information you ever needed to know about real estate marketing systems commissions Inc. I do really, really deep-dive reviews. And I’m probably one of the best guys in the country when it comes to inbound marketing or SEO. If I do say so myself. But I give all the way that information all the way up for free on my website. So go there. All right without any further ado, we’re going to take one more break, and then we’re going to do the extra 10 minutes. Thank you for joining the show. We appreciate it.

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