289 Mail-Right Show With Special Guest Aaron Norris of PropertyRadar
We Discuss The Market Trends in 2021 & How This Should Effect Your Digital Marketing
Robert Newman: Welcome back ladies and gentlemen, to episode number 289 of the mail right real estate marketing podcast. I’m here with my amazing co-host Jonathan Denwood. And today we’re going to be talking about three different topics. All of which we feel are very timely and very important. So topic number one is what to do and what not to do in terms of major marketing decisions in the middle of a super overheated real estate market. And number two, John and I are both going to take each of us. There is a lot of conversation in the digital space about, basically consumer trackability and it’s hitting both Facebook and Google in different ways. Jonathan is going to share his viewpoints on the Facebook side, and I’m going to share my viewpoints on the Google side. We’re really excited for the show today. We appreciate everybody tuning in Jonathan. If you’d like to give some additional information about yourself, that’d be great.
Jonathan Denwood: Oh, that’s great. Thanks for joining us on the show. If you’re new to the show, I’m the founder of mail right founder and CEO. Mail right is a platform that offers a number of digital tools in one package. We also utilize the power of Facebook to try it, or we do get you quality seller leads for your real estate business back over to you, Robert.
Robert Newman: All right, lovely and, for those of you who don’t already know me, and I think most of you do, but my name is Robert Newman. I am, one of the only SEO experts in the country that focuses on real estate. And not only that, but I’ve been doing it for 14 years, which makes me one of the more seasoned voices that you can listen to in terms of things that are related to organic or inbound marketing. And I’ve been around long enough to have seen the last market heat up, which is going to be a nice segue into our first topic today, which is, what to do and what not to do in the middle of just a crazy overheated market. So, Jonathan, I’m curious to know, have you been having any of your sales conversations, have any of the people that you’ve been talking to have started to tell you, Oh, I only want to focus on seller leads.
Jonathan Denwood: All of them.
Robert Newman: Okay. And I’ve been having the same experience, every single realtor that’s calling me right now and saying, Oh, focus on seller leads, like focus on seller leads, focus on seller leads. And here’s the thing If you’re talking to a guy like John who is doing Facebook marketing and theoretically has an Avenue or a channel that he can follow that might get you in front of a seller, that is a direct advertising solution that is certainly something that you could and should do. Okay. If you’re going to go directly-
Jonathan Denwood: Not really Robert because it’s going to be a bit shorter than maybe using organic, search, or content management, or however you want to call it. but it’s still gonna you know you might be lucky some of those people might come into that funnel through Facebook advertisement might be they are ready to trigger, but they might be more normally a lot of them you know, it’s gonna be like two months, three months, four months out, you know? So it’s going to be shorter, but what, in some ways, it’s the same problem, isn’t it? You know, if you want seller leads right now, those seller leads will only come from the marketing activity that you’ve done like three months ago.
Robert Newman: Sure, Okay Well, that’s a different perspective. That’s not what I was expecting you to say. So you wouldn’t necessarily do seller leads if you’re focusing on Facebook marketing right now, is that what I’m hearing you say,
Jonathan Denwood: We are But, they do generate some right now, but I think that this whole business about using, you know, direct markets, you know, paid to advertise, I think in this particular industry at this particular moment, I think saying that it’s going to get people to do what it normally does, to the extent that it normally does, would be a false sale.
Robert Newman: A false sale. Okay. All right Well, I would agree with that-
Jonathan Denwood: To some extent because this market is so crazy at the present moment. So overheated, so in many areas, not all areas of America, but in many areas it has got to the level of total madness that what would normally apply I think at the present moment no longer applies.
Jonathan Denwood: I would agree with that. So ladies and gentlemen, what my experience has been, and I manage a very large catalog of real estate websites, probably over maybe between a hundred and 150 at this point. And I’m looking at these sites most of the time and the traffic patterns are crazy because of COVID. And what I mean by that is that month to month, you’ve got different things happening on the sites and that’s very unusual. You always have seasonal elements that affect real estate websites and traffic, which in turn affects conversion on websites. Like, what do I mean by seasonal elements? Well, half of my client base is in very cold parts of the US for half the year, such as anywhere on the East coast or the South. So when it gets freezing cold outside traffic goes up at appointments, go down, which is a weird thing.
Summer comes and appointments go up, but the traffic on the site comes down because people aren’t stuck in the house and I’ve lived on the East coast so I know what that’s like. For those of you who are listening to the show that is like in New York or Boston, what happens during the first sunny, warm day of the year? Cause you all know it, everybody gets out of the office building takes long lunches or takes the day off and goes out and enjoy the day. That’s what happens in those cities. Nobody is sitting inside their office on their computers anymore. They’re all outside enjoying the nice weather. And that’s pretty typical of real estate and real estate traffic on real estate websites. And that, of course, as professionals who are doing marketing, that affects all of us.
Well, guess what, right now, what I’m seeing across all 150 sites is for some reason, this month traffic has wildly depressed, which probably has a lot to do with the vaccination rates in the US and people finally get being able to get out of the house and socialize. So there’s that factor. There’s also the factor of, for every single house that I have in almost every single market, they’re getting five 10 offers on every single property. And so you’ve got such a high level of competition for each and every single property there’s a lot of people just getting frustrated and giving up. Additionally, you as a real estate agent are probably feeling like, oh my God, the competition is so high it’s so much hard work to get a buyer accepted to a house. It’s a crazy amount of work right now for lee-.
Jonathan Denwood: And I just want to slightly interrupt there is part of this market I Didn’t understand Robert, but I listened to a few resources and now think I got a lot better understanding. I couldn’t understand how people could offer 20, 30, 40,000 over the asking price, because I know for a fact that the lending standards, for average people haven’t been reduced. And yeah, it could be. But then I found institutional buyers have entered the market again, that there are groups where they can and these institutional either funds purposely developed by, domestic property or funds, various different funds. And they have the opportunity to borrow money at rates that the average person wouldn’t be able to borrow or have access to finance. And I understand they’ve been entering the market because even though- normally they wouldn’t enter the market like this because they’re bottom feeders. But the money is so cheap and the stock market is so inflated that they have actually entered it. Even this market is, is red hot. They’ve still entered it to some degree how truthful that is. I don’t know, but that’s what I’ve been hearing Robert.
Robert Newman: Okay. And that’s certainly another perspective, but I’m going to take it back and just remind everybody what we’re talking about, which is decisions you should and should not make inside of an overheated market. So what John and I are describing is strange traffic patterns. Okay? Unusual circumstances where even financial and institutional people are entering the market, overheated actions inside your local marketplaces. For all those people listening to the show, most of you are going to be nodding your heads along with this going, Oh yeah we’re seeing that. So what you should and shouldn’t do in terms of your marketing, John is saying, hey, things are slow to difficult with the direct marketing side. And I’m here to tell you that I’m turning away most of the campaigns that come to me that are talking about seller-only leads, not because we can’t do a campaign, but because SEO is a slow build and it’s going to take six to 12 months.
Now we could do PPC. We could do direct marketing into really good content on the site. The challenge that you’re going to have is that everybody and their brother right now is fishing around for the seller leads. And of course, they exist and you can get them. But in terms of making long-term decisions, in my opinion right now is probably the last moment that you want to be looking at your long-term marketing decisions. The market is just simply too unpredictable. We’re using other language, but we’re saying it’s hot we’re saying it’s this you know what, when you’re going to make a decision, that’s going to last you three years or two years. By two years from now, we’re probably going to be in a wildly different real estate marketplace. I mean, dramatically different, 50 to 100% well, yeah like a huge percentage different. Would you agree with that, John?
Jonathan Denwood: The difficult thing we’ve discussed is that it’s being controlled by forces outside normal economical patterns. This has become a political [Inaudible11:35 ] economical issue which is being controlled by the feds and by the federal government isn’t it? Biden, I understand he’s talking about Putting in a bar for repossession for until, until next year either. Then there’s the amount of liquidity that’s been pumped into the national, system, which is sizeable these are all factors that are kind of outside the norm aren’t they Robert?
Robert Newman: These factors are highly outside the norm. So ladies and gentlemen, like I am loving, I don’t want anybody to miscollect right now is, like for me and the people that I’m talking to is a perfect time to make a life for me in the SEO business, the perfect time to make a long-term decision, because while the market won’t be stabilized today, by the time SEO and like a properly optimized site is kicking in, the chances are like supremely high, that at that moment, the market would stabilize. And because everything is so uncertain and you’d have a hard time, like when somebody calls me and says, well, where should I park my money? And I do get that question a lot from very big agents and very big brokers, like, where do I go with my money?
Like, I’ve been scratching my head and going, well, I don’t like any of the major services right now. I don’t like Zillow. I don’t like, you know, the best thing that you could do is stay away. Like all these guys are getting- like these marketing companies are getting an additional budget from their biggest clients. They’re getting more and more money from people as they try to keep their numbers high in this overheated market because they have the budget to do so. And the smaller guy is getting squeezed because he can’t keep up with these really big spenders. You just can’t. So you’re up against all these people with bigger pocketbooks in every single market that you’re looking at so what do you do? There aren’t that many great choices. And this sounds like a shameless plug, but either find small operators like me and John, that can pay a lot more personal attention. And by the way, I want to be clear. I’m not promising that even that is a perfect strategy. We are not magic workers. What you don’t want to do is give an unlimited budget to people that have your marketing campaign on autopilot. In my opinion, that will not be you will see a highly diminished return on your money, in my opinion.
Jonathan Denwood: Well we’re having to spend more time. We do, I wouldn’t say any of our campaigns on an [Inaudible 14:34] we tweak them for the agent. We have a library of different campaigns that normally work, but in this particular environment, if they’re really insisting, we’re having to spend more time on individual campaigns that might appeal to their local market, and spend a bit more time on those campaigns. It’s just cause it’s just that, because we’re in such an unusual scenario aren’t we? Can I repeat myself? This is a crazy market you know really this has gone beyond what we saw in 2005 up to 2007.
Robert Newman: Right? So I want to wrap up this part of the podcast and move on to our other topics because I feel like it’s going to take us a while to discuss this stuff, but here’s where I fall. Ladies and gentlemen, John can weigh in if he thinks I get any of this wrong. But for me personally, I would say for all of those people that are already involved in marketing agreements now is the time to call your provider and double-check the details of these agreements, make sure that your budget is being spent wisely, make sure that you are not over-investing in diminished returns. Make sure that if you are investing your money someplace that maybe you have a strategy in a place like you might not be getting a lot of conversions right now, as an example, but maybe like in terms of ROI, but maybe you’ve got something in place that is collecting a lot of names and numbers. Well, that is going to pay you for sure at some point.
So you want to make sure that what you’re doing is you’re looking at your second and third-tier marketing efforts such as your email campaigns and are you nurturing these leads the right way? So that would be what I would be doing in today’s market. I would be checking my agreement like looking at everything twice, making sure that my nurturing systems were in place because you may not be getting calls no matter what you do right now it may not be possible in the market that you’re in. I have clients like that, no matter what you are doing.
Jonathan Denwood: Just to finish off, cause we need to go. I totally agree with what you just said, but you gotta be realistic here. It’s swinging, roundabouts yeah you’re gonna get fewer commission checks. But those commission checks that you do get are going to be nice either you can’t expect the volume in, what we’re seeing at the present moment, because there just isn’t the homes on the market, you know, a lot of people because they don’t want people looking around their house that might have the virus. And also they think if we sell the sales, where are we going to move? You know, they’re the two fundamental things that are stopping people and the new home, production has seized. You know, they can’t get raw materials. New housing is stopped basically many out areas. And so all that demand is gone into the second secondary market well, it’s on fire, ain’t it?
Robert Newman: Yeah, Very much so. So ladies and gentlemen those are John and I’s thoughts about making marketing decisions inside an overheated market. We’re going to go to our break. And when we come back, we’re going to discuss, the recent changes in privacy laws, as it relates to cookies, and the way that both Facebook and Google collect data, which by the way, is going to affect digital in my opinion. And John and I are going to discuss from each of our INS about cause he focuses on Facebook and I focus on Google. So we’re each going to talk about our end of that. So stay tuned. We’re looking forward to talking to you at the second half of the show.
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Robert Newman: Welcome back, ladies and gentlemen, you are enjoying the mail right podcast, which talks about real estate marketing. I’m here with my amazing co-host Jonathan Denwood. And the second part of our show is going to be dedicated to discussing the recent changes in privacy laws, as it relates to both Facebook and Google. So John, why don’t you start us off?
Jonathan Denwood: Yeah, it’s just that, you know, iOS 14 for the iPhone the I pad has come out in that, Apple has decided that they’re going to put popups, you know, when, you are utilizing the Facebook app, like, Instagram and everything that Facebook owns, they’re putting up warning messages and you have to go into the settings of your phone and, active elements that would allow Facebook to retrieve data, which they need to be able to have their marketing platform be effective. So it’s a knife straight at the heart of Facebook. Seeing Tim and Mark had some conversations, at the end of last year, which didn’t go that well. They refute that it was a personal bus stop other people in the know say that there is personal animosity between Tim and Mark.
This is ridiculous because we’re talking about two enormous organizations, but business is always about emotion and personality. But what’s driving that essence, that conflict is basically Apple has a certain attitude towards private information. And Facebook has a certain attitude that’s been driven by Mark. I don’t think Facebook has responded to this very well. I think they should have been a bit more laid back about it. And just point out to people that when they had support tickets and people complaining and saying, well, you know, Apple does this, you need to go in and change the settings. the whole question about what data Facebook is collecting and that to me is extremely interesting, but I think for the majority of people that use Facebook, they’re extremely blessed at our website. This is somebody that markets Facebook, but I think most people’s attitudes towards, what Facebook is collecting is rather [inaudible22:39 ].
But on the other hand, I have a [Inaudible 22:44] attitude towards it, but it’s based on something. I think is probably a little bit more unique. I actually consider the American government is already collecting all this data in the background. Anyway, what a private company like Facebook does is nothing compared to what the American security services are doing which [Inaudible 23:11] pointed out and the American people have been very [Inaudible 23:16 ]about what [Inaudible 23:19 ] basically told us that the American government is collecting everything we do online and storing it and keeping it So I’m not that worried what something, what a private company like Facebook is doing Robert.
Robert Newman: Okay. Well, all right. I think that the more you know about online and the way that, that people collect information, the more that you understand it’s a double-edged sword. So for every single person listening to this show, you’re probably a working real estate professional. And many of you like myself, probably don’t really like the idea or appreciate the idea of your personal information being tracked and collected, but we all accept it, especially if you’re a real estate agent because your name and your phone number out there. So many different times, you have little choice, but to accept the fact that you could be scooped up and scraped, and every single realtor I talked to is saying that they’re getting 20, 30 offers a day from people, emails, text messages, phone calls. I believe it because your information in most cases is public. And so you got to, and in many cases, you survive on your information being public.
So we all consider this collection of information to be a necessary evil, in my opinion, in terms of the necessary evils. I think that coming from a top-down way, I think that Mark Zuckerberg is willing to go farther than most business owners in collecting data. Does that make me feel comfortable as, as an individual? No. Does it distress me higher or lower? Not really. I prefer Google. I prefer their collection policies, but is that to say that they are not collecting data? Of course, they’re collecting data. They’re, they’re just not quite as egregious about it as, as Facebook is.
Jonathan Denwood: I think you’ve put that really well actually I think Mark is his worst enemy he is not somebody that I personally am attracted to it. What, you know, I have no personal contact with the person. I actually do know some people that have actually met him and actually have worked underneath him in reasonably senior positions. And what they’ve told me in private is not that attractive Robert.
Robert Newman: Sure. And I’ve been in the tech industry long enough and had similar experiences with people that I know. And, the messaging that I get is that this is not necessarily human of that shares the quality traits of people that I respect and admire. And, and, and I’m, I am doing my best because both were online and because everybody deserves their own fair shake, in my opinion, like, so, and I’ve never met the man personally, I will say that when I look at his business decisions and his long track record of public stuff, I’m not in admiration of most of these decisions. I don’t like the way that Facebook was started. I don’t think it was ethical. I wouldn’t have done it the same way, but you know what? He’s made billions of dollars and he’s been super successful. And here’s, what’s more, important to all of us listening to the show.
I don’t think that you care, or if I get on a soapbox or not. I do think that what the commentary is about the tool is that since Facebook was so effective at collecting so much information if at each time that they get their hand slapped by organizations that slap hands, I think it’s more impactful than other types of advertising because they did collect so much data and they did get so good at separating the audiences. And they’re looking at all sorts of things that, like audience categories have already been impacted. Like, are you a young woman over the age of 15? You know, whatever it is like, there are so many different variations of data that they collected, that if you are an advertiser, Facebook has been somewhat of a dream because you could target your exact audience almost down to a finite detail because of Facebook, super-aggressive information collection policies. And as a marketer, that’s got to be very attractive because you can target your audience so definitively, but each time they have to change their rules. Their targeting becomes a little broader. Would you agree with that?
Jonathan Denwood: [Inaudible 27:58 ] screaming and kicking down there.
Robert Newman: Which just probably means that people are using Facebook are going to have to be more creative as advertisers get more into the commercial building business than just the straight-up targeting business. And what do I mean by that? You have to get a little more clever about your advertisements and you know, things of that nature, get, you know, become more involved in, in like a catchy ad because you’re going to be appealing to a broader audience. So the only way to define the audience is to do what TV has been doing for so long, which is creating really good, broader messages that subtly appeal to the audience that they want. Now, the problem is creating these messages tends to take more time and effort, and that means more costs to advertisers, but that really digital is just being backed off. Go ahead what, what were you gonna say though?
Jonathan Denwood: So I think surprisingly, you can still have- we encourage, especially the wording there are certain adverts that still work around a property that comes on the market, which will appeal that will get people’s interest about supplying the right level info in the advert, but not all the info. Why then would they be moving to a landing page? They are still very effective, but then, but you know, a lot of people don’t have a lot of property at the present moment so that’s why you got to get a bit more creative. You know, I’m a big mover towards video. But a lot of agents don’t like making videos well those that are prepared to work with us and do some video and be part of the Facebook advert and of the landing page, are getting much better results in this type of market at the present moment Robert.
So, but there’s not much Facebook can do. The only good thing about Facebook is I think the majority of people are using Facebook and especially Instagram because they are still growing. They know that is just a joke and all that’s still growing the growth in Facebook itself has slowed, but Instagram is just a joke and all. what Apple is doing, I think today’s that people like me, it’s really interesting, but I think for the bulk of people that are using Facebook, I just don’t think they’re that interested really.
Robert Newman: Well, I think that’s true too. And we can definitely delve a little bit deeper into that, but, but Google is also facing its own set of privacy issues right now. How close are we to the 30 minute Mark? John. John, how close are we to the 30 minute Mark?
Jonathan Denwood: Yeah, we’re getting close to it. So we really need to, wrap up and maybe have some bonus content. Robert
Robert Newman: Let’s do 10 minutes of bonus content and I’ll talk a little bit about Google. Okay. And we’ll go from there. So for those of you who’ve been tuning into the podcast, listen, John and I are just two little entrepreneurs, two independent guys, and we do our best to provide as much valuable information as we can, but you know what always we’re asking for this and I’m going to make this appeal again. If any of you have some thoughts about, show topics that you’d like us to do either you can tune into the life or find some of our shows on our Facebook pages really just drop us a comment on any public channel. And John and I are both wildly find-able. You can find them on the mail, right website. You can find me on the inbound REM website.
And if all you want to do is say to either one of us, Hey, I listened to your podcast and I would love to hear you guys talk about this. I know I would be very open to that. I suspect that John would be too. And, neither one of us will hound you for any kind of marketing service. We just want to try to make the show better for the people listening to it. So thank you for listening. We really appreciate it.
My amazing cohost, I’m going to let him give his, his contact information for anybody that wants to chase him down and talk about Facebook. I strongly recommend for those listening that you do consider a consultation. I, I’m not even necessarily going to tell you that I’m going to recommend that now is the time to pull the trigger, but you really should be talking to people that have a good understanding. John is an excellent resource and I recommend them strongly. If you can get them on the phone,
Jonathan Denwood: I recommend you as well, Robert, but, I think this is the time I think this is time to be talking to people. And if you’ve got the budget to start off your working with a particular vendor like Robert or myself, it’s a great time because those that sow the seeds in the next four or five months are going to get a fantastic return. I agree with what you just said. If you are with a present, then you are spending quite a bit of money. This is the time to really talk to the provider and see how that money’s being spent. I think you’ve got to be realistic. Well, whoever you’re spending your money with this is a really unusual market. And you gotta be realistic, but at the same time, this is, you know, as long as you’ve been reasonably effective before this crazy market, you should still be doing reasonably well.
This is not the time to start jumping ship and start running around in a panic. This is, this is a time to make sure that your systems, the way you look after your clientele, the way you keep in contact with your clientele is the best that you can provide it isn’t it. It’s not a time to be running around like headless chicken is it, Robert?
Robert Newman: Yeah, I agree with that. I agree with that. So John and I would love to have that conversation with you, ladies and gentlemen, I would also offer up my time and try to give the best advice I can. I am cautious, marketer believes it or not, I don’t, I don’t go overboard with my recommendations to people, even when it’s them using other services when it’s them using my services, it is a very significant thing to make large commitments to marketing companies. We have to be sure about what we’re doing and when we’re doing it and what the timing is and where the budget is going and what the predicted ROI is and all those different things.
So by all means leverage either one of us to have those conversations you can do. So with firstname.lastname@example.org, and you can just go to my contact form and I usually respond within three or four hours. Thank you, ladies and gentlemen, for tuning in, for those of you who were interested, please stay with us. I’m going to talk a little bit about Google in the last 10 minutes. The bonus content will be on the Mail-Right YouTube channel. Okay. And, of course, if you’re tuned into Facebook or whatever, you can find it on both of our Facebook pages. Thank you for, thank you for spending some time with us. We appreciate it.