LinkedIn is a very important part of social media marketing. So how can you stand out from the crowd as an influential leader within your industry, and still reach your intended audience? In order to maximize some of the benefits of the platform, we need to build a foundation and understand how it works, what results in better engagement, and how you can use some of the tools and options to maximize your impact. Keep in mind that we can spend hours and probably have 100 tips that could help, so we’re going to start with the five we tend to get the most questions about.
Post often and consistently, but don’t overdo it
Putting in a process in place of when and how often you post may seem like a basic step, but it’s where you should start from. There has been enough research that confirms that there is more engagement with an influencer that posts 30 times a month versus 50+ times a month. So what does this mean? The recommendation is to post enough that you can be consistent with, but not too much. If you’re able to post 3-4 times per week, but 5-7 times a week is too overwhelming, then stick with what you can commit to. In addition, limit your monthly posts to no more than 30 in order to take advantage of maximizing your engagement. Don’t forget, when you post is also extremely important on social platforms. For instance, typically on LinkedIn, it’s best to post in the mornings and late afternoons, but always be sure to look at your analytics
and experiment so you know what’s best for your audience and according to your and their timezone.
Pro Tip: Do a few things and do them well. Why set goals up for yourself that will either burn you out or disappoint you for not achieving them
Share videos and visually appealing content
Did you know that posts with images get almost 95% more views than those without? This isn’t limited to images alone, you can and should also add videos (even animated text or moving images zooming in or out are also helpful and considered “video”). Apps such as Adobe Spark Post and Canva can be very helpful for these additions and quick editing of words and images to create simple videos. If you’re not comfortable with videos yet or not able to for whatever reason, then add images in a series called a carousel that your viewers can swipe through.
Pro Tip: We typically have only 7 seconds to keep a person’s attention, so make your content and imagery/videos with a “wow factor,” so people will stop the scroll and pay attention to the story you’re telling.
Keep people on the social media platform
Many don’t realize that when you take someone off of a specific platform from your post, you’re doing something the social media channels do not prefer. For instance, you post an image, then tell people to check out a YouTube link so people click and are no longer on LinkedIn. Why would LinkedIn like for you to take people off of their platform? It’s like a real estate agent who’s selling a home, and he/she tells a prospective buyer to go check out another real estate agent’s listing to purchase instead, thinking they’re growing their business. It just doesn’t make sense, right? So be sure to upload your content directly to LinkedIn whenever possible, and keep people on the specific platform you’re posting to as much as possible so you can increase your reach.
Pro Tip: How can you create similar content that would cause someone to click and leave the platform and check it out (as described above), to stay on your post and inside the social media channel, and interact with you?
Share others content too
Have you ever heard of the Pareto Principle? Many know it as the “80/20 Rule,” but the main point of this principle is that 80% of consequences come from 20% of the causes. It’s like the saying: “80% of the work gets done by 20% of the people.” The rule is not limited to 80/20, but can be 90/10, 60/40, or the like; and it all depends on the circumstances. Have variety in your posts, and don’t only share your own content, but also share what others who are respected and have followers and exceptional engagement are doing. Find some influencers on LinkedIn (some who are in your industry, and some who are not), and properly share their articles and posts. Also, be aware of what these other top real estate agents and trainers are sharing. Then share some of what they’re doing, and also get ideas from them on what you can now produce and post on your own without copying. The algorithms know when you have a variety of content when people are engaging when you’re sharing others’ posts and articles when you’re commenting and replying to your own and others’ posts and messages…and when you are not. Putting effort into making the experience on their platform more enjoyable will increase your chances to get more reach.
Pro Tip: Ask yourself: “Is my post-self-serving, or does it bring value to my followers and prospects?” And don’t forget to tag the person whose content you’re resharing; you may be surprised at the interaction you could bring to yourself.
Who’s the superhero in your content?
Most don’t realize it, but what they share is usually all about themselves. There’s a time and place for this, but how does this make the consumer and prospects feel when they see your content? If you’re only sharing your real estate listings, then stop. What are some of the best parks in the area you can help people know about who are looking to move to the area? Where are the off-leash dog parks? What events are coming up that would benefit someone to know about? When you make your audience the hero, you actually then become their hero for helping them. Some may need to reprogram the way they’ve been doing things to better reflect this in the story they’re telling online and on social media.
Pro Tip: Don’t forget the 80/20 Rule.
LinkedIn is a social media platform that continues to grow and be used by more and more people and influencers, and it’s not “just a professional network for job searches.” This is an opportunity for you to bring some positive content into a world that needs it right now when there is so much uncertainty. Take advantage of these tips and hacks, and influence those around you by what and how you’re sharing, how often, and when. Remember to not overwhelm yourself, but do a few things and do them well. Also, be ready for new opportunities to open up for you as you intentionally interact with people and not just push information out there without engaging. If you’re not getting any likes or followers, there’s a reason. If you practice these 5 LinkedIn tips, we’re certain things will start to turn around for you. Maximize your potential on LinkedIn (and other social media channels) by putting these steps into place.
How Do You Deal With Bad Social Media Reviews?
This is a difficult question for a lot of real estate agents and a lot of them handle bad online reviews really badly! I know most agents who are taking their career seriously try and please their clients and when they get bad online reviews it is really like an arrow to the heart. It’s so easy just to reply to this unfair online review quickly and semi emotionally we all been there?
However, “STOP” and think the whole world is going to be able to see how you handle a complaint, also the idea that you don’t have to respond to a bad review is a terrible idea and really show possible new clients that you really don’t care about your online reputation.
In this show, both Robert and I discuss what are the best strategies to handle bad online reviews, and hopefully, you will find this discussion helpful and insightful?
Robert Newman: Welcome back to the Mail-Right Show ladies and gentlemen, we’re on episode number 308. John and I have both had really hard weeks when it goes comes to, customers and some things going on. So, you know what we decided to talk about this show. We also had a guest, an amazing guest lined up and we had the saddest news ever in the sense that this guest, is dealing with some, health-related, elements with his family. And I don’t wanna mention the name of the guest or what his personal situation is, out of respect, but I will simply say that, we here at the Mail-Right Show. Our heart goes out to you. We’re, wishing the best for you, and we’re hoping that you recover quickly.
So then the thing that, John and I started to lament about is when things go horribly wrong inside your business. And we both kind of had a few of those situations come up for ourselves. Well, guess what? That gives us a great opportunity to talk about reputation management. This is something that every single professional, whether you’re real estate or your digital entrepreneurs, like John and I, is something that we all have to talk about these days because what goes online, stays online. It stays online forever. It’s hard to get it removed. It’s hard to do all these different things. So, I suggested to John that we talk about reputation management. He said, okay, so he’s so beat up today. I don’t think he cares.
Jonathan Denwood: I’ve got so much abuse over the last four days, Robert, I don’t care anymore.
Robert Newman: Right? So, what I’m gonna do is talk a little bit to John and everybody else about the things that you can do to help preserve your reputation. The things that you can do long before something goes wrong. And the things that you can do after something goes wrong.
Jonathan Denwood: I think the first thing we’ve gotta point out. It doesn’t matter how expert you are, how customer-focused you are, how committed you are. Things still will go wrong. Won’t they, Robert?
Robert Newman: They absolutely will. They absolutely will. And oftentimes, and for those of you in real estate, you’ll understand this. Oftentimes it’s something that doesn’t necessarily have to do with you. You send a home inspector out, he arrives with mud on his boots and tracks it into your client’s home. And the list goes on, John and I have similar experiences, just the things we talk about our project managers and developers, but it doesn’t make a difference. The moment that you’re a service provider that relies upon other service providers, and I’m using that umbrella term very broadly, to service your clients is the second that each one of these people brings an element to the relationship of something that can go wrong. And you know, the funny thing is about reputation management, John and everybody that’s listening. And thank you for listening is that when everything’s going, right, you never hear about it. You don’t really hear about it. Okay. There’s just, silence. How was your project? Great How was the home inspection? It was fine.
The only time you hear about it is when something goes wrong, your, your inspector was an hour late, Bob. Okay. Everybody loves to call me Bob when they’re angry at me. All right So, Bob, your inspector was an hour late. So we get thrown under the bus because of things that are quite literally outside of our control. But since we are claiming to be experts in our field the expectation is, is that we’ve vetted the people that we provide service with. Here’s the problem everybody is human and balls can get dropped, right John? Like everybody’s human balls can get dropped. Things, go to s**t. And when they do, if it’s your name on the door, you have to take responsibility for that.
It doesn’t really matter whether or not you dropped the ball or somebody else, because your client doesn’t care. They don’t give a s**t. Sorry. And for you in real estate, it’s the same thing. If your real estate assistant goes to an appointment, smelling of weed and unable to focus, guess what you, who is the employer of that person gets held responsible for the condition that that person showed up in to show a property. Even though you didn’t know you weren’t there, you probably, you, certainly don’t condone the behavior, but that doesn’t mean that you don’t personally get thrown under the bus because you’re expected to know. So what I’m gonna talk about today with a little help from John is what we can do for the inevitable derailing of some of our relationships. What can we do?
Jonathan Denwood: I think the other thing we really gotta concentrate. It doesn’t apply to my circumstance at the present moment. But’s really very relevant to real estate agents is what, and I’ll be fascinated to hear your advice here Robert is how to respond to angry, fed-up pissed-off clients that post on social media on Zillow. What’s your advice to your clients about, because I know what I would say to people about, how they should respond to negativity on social media and other web portals I’m fascinated to get your insight in it as well Robert.
Robert Newman: Okay. First and foremost, you have to have somebody that has, a non-biased view respond to, or you have to achieve a non-biased view when you look at the client’s concerns and complaints. some clients get emotional and they come from an emotional place and it, if they come from an emotional place and they’re being negatively emotional, and they’re using triggering words, such as these guys were such bulls**t, things like that. If they’re basically not professional, I would call out first the unprofessional tone of their review as the person responding. If there’s a core element of factual relevant information where we really drop the ball, my, tendency online, offline, it doesn’t really matter. I just acknowledge completely in 100% the validity, not only of their feelings but of the complaint itself. If, for instance they said, you delivered this project eight weeks late, you told me it was gonna be here then. I say you’re absolutely right I did.
Because if I did, I did and so I acknowledge the mistake right upfront don’t try to immediately diffuse the mistake. It depends very greatly on what the remaining elements of the situation are. If part of that eight-week delay was the fact that they got sick or they stopped communicating. I will then say, you’re absolutely right. I said the project would be due on X date. It was not. We delivered it on X date. Part of the reasons for that. And then I’ll factually break down what I feel the reasons are. now That’s assuming that we just haven’t s**t the bed, but we do every now and again, we just s**t the bed. We don’t get results that we said we are gonna get or, or something goes, every element of a project goes wrong. And there is nothing that tracks back to the client that says that it should have gone wrong because they didn’t submit poor information. They weren’t untimely. They did everything right as a client, everything that we asked them to do.
Jonathan Denwood: My, only question about that Robert is how you said if there’s some element of responsibility for the client on the client-side, and this applies to our audience, real estate agents, and that just as well, do you find that you, even if you do it in a very calm, you’re pointing out, don’t you find that that can inflame the client even more, even though it’s truthful?
Robert Newman: It really just depends like yes, sometimes being straightforward is not the solution that they need. It’s never really slowed me down in terms of, but I mean the first thing, I think if you’re talking, because you’re talking about two different things, you’re talking about the written word. And you’re talking about talking to a client. The first thing that I’ve learned about talking to clients that are upset, which there is sometimes there is no solution. Some people get upset, they have anger problems and they’re not gonna calm down. When that’s the case I say let’s take space and reconvene in a week or two. Okay. If for some reason, no, I think that, there’s simply a lot of wind in their sails. I will listen. I, at this point, especially if I’ve given them reason, the way that I, my mind thinks about it is all right. I f***ed up, you’ve earned my ear for many hours as you need.
Jonathan Denwood: I’d like to add listeners and viewers. I’ve not earned the ear of Robert for a long time.
Robert Newman: And I will you had to say that really upfront like I’m really close to the microphone. All right. I will say that.
All right. So I will listen. I will listen until nothing is left to say. And then if it seems like there is no point continuing the conversation, I’ll simply say let’s take some space and have that conversation in a few days because here’s what never, ever, ever, ever does you or anybody else any good. If you feel yourself getting angry, stop talking, stop talking, arrange another call. If you feel yourself, getting defensive, stop calling and take another call. I think one of those things that entrepreneurs and business owners and sales managers and leaders of all stripes have the hardest time doing it when everybody, somebody messes up or somebody feels like you messed up and you get held accountable. Oftentimes everybody comes from a defensive place. And if you start to come from a defensive place, you need to stop the conversation and you need to have it at another time.
In terms of written the written word because we’re talking about reputation management, that’s customer service, two different things. The written word reputation management is all about acknowledging that you have a problem. So somebody takes your argument, their dissatisfaction with your public, okay? They say you messed up. And these are all the reasons why you violated your contract, your salesperson, just literally sold me a bill of goods, whatever it is, right? You acknowledge the problem. You say you’re absolutely right, this, this, and this happened. And I’m terribly sorry. I always come out for that first. Then you go, I understand that you’re upset beyond recovery. These are the things that I’m doing to make sure this doesn’t happen again. All right. You must respond no matter how angry, how upset, how unprofessional somebody may post, you must respond in writing.
If there’s one key element that I see people really miss in terms of online reputation management is they let bad reviews pile up unresponded to, by any agent of their company, which blatantly tells your customers who are researching you, that you are out to lunch, that you don’t care that the complaint is valid, or you have no idea what’s going on with your reputation. And none of those things is very good. If you are a person that, understands where your reviews are being left and you chase them down and say, you’re absolutely right. And these are the things I’m doing that tell a savvy consumer that you care about your reputation. And that very element refutes what somebody might be saying to you like, oh, these guys didn’t care. They treated me like s**t. And yet here you are online taking the heat, responding to their review. There is enough there that people are gonna be like, yeah, I don’t know if that’s true because here this company is actually responding. So if you said, like, for instance, these guys don’t care, they don’t care. Give as**t about their customers.
Jonathan Denwood: Wait, also, I totally agree with you, but before we go for our breaks and that it also, you’ve also got a listen to what robs just said about the way you reply, because I’ve seen people reply and they’ve done it in such a horrible way, Robert, that they would be best not to reply if you know what I mean.
Robert Newman: Correct. I do know what you mean. And I definitely, agree with that. You probably don’t necessarily want to, reply to each and every single well, never mind. I lost my train of thought. What’d you say?
Jonathan Denwood: Well, it’s the way they’ve replied in a very like, like they’ve kind of, well, you were you like, well you said we could sell just example. You said we could sell the house for this price and we’ve had two reductions and you’re not being, I can never get hold of you. And they’ve just replied. Well, you are also a useless client, you know, you never gave it. And it’s a kind of back and forth. And I don’t think then, you are the one that’s gonna suffer as supposedly the professional. If you get into that kind of social media back and forth,
Robert Newman: I agree. You should never get into, a debate with your client that says that they were bad clients. It doesn’t really, really matter what they’re saying about you. The way that I would say that somebody is a bad client, like the way that I would illustrate that is I would go, these are the deliverables that you said that you would deliver. Here’s a message on such and such date. The only way to manage your reputation is to take the time and energy to show that that you care. And one of those ways that, so let’s just say that you have a client that did s**t the bed, that they weren’t a good client. They really didn’t. And then they decide to hold you accountable anyway, and they take your dispute online because maybe they’re trying to blackmail you. Let’s, turn this conversation, not neutral, but ugly. Now you’ve got a client that you knew was jerking you around on offers that never seemed to be serious about buying the home that you drove to 16, different houses kept calling you at all hours of the night, then left you a bad review online. Right? Let’s just say that. That is the circumstance. How to do-
Jonathan Denwood: A lot of agents face that don’t they?
Robert Newman: Yeah. So how do you deal with that? So there’s a few different things that you should do.
Jonathan Denwood: Well, I think we need, oh, you to answer that. And then- Yeah. After the break, Robert.
Robert Newman: All right, so we’re gonna be right back. Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, real estate agents of all, ages and experience levels. We really appreciate you tuning in to the Mail-Right Digital marketing podcast. I’ve added that last bit. That’s not what John decided to call it, but I’m gonna say it’s a digital marketing podcast. We’re really looking forward to sharing the rest of the information with you. We’ll see you right after the break or you’ll hear us right after the break.
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Robert Newman: Welcome back. It’s episode number 308. John and I are talking about reputation management. Before we went to the break we were talking about, I was about ready to give some solutions about protecting your reputation. I was also giving an example of a really, really bad.
Jonathan Denwood: I think your, what we were talking about not entirely was how you deal with that semi-crazy client that is out to get you?
Robert Newman: The one Well, I’m gonna back it up three steps, because the way that you deal with them is to be prepared for the fact that you’re gonna come across somebody like that eventually, no matter what. You and me, everybody doesn’t matter. You will get somebody that is outrageously egregiously horrible. Okay? That’s it. Everybody who’s listening to the show understands that most of you are sitting here nodding in your cars and on your, you know, on your little headsets and everything. I know you are. I can see you. Okay. Right, John nearly puked his water up right now. For those of you who can’t see it, you will on YouTube. There’s your special bonus content right now. Watch John puke up his water. All right.
So what do you do? So, first and foremost, when you’re on your reputation management platforms, you need to make sure that you plan for this in advance. So that’s the first step collect reviews from everybody, your aunt, your uncle, your brother, your mother, your sister, and put them in the places that people are looking for real estate. That is Yelp. That is Google my business. And that is Zillow. Those are the places that people. Check your reputation as a real estate agent. My favorite of those is Google my business. You need to have 30 to 100, five-star reviews. Does everybody hear me? But you can get them from anybody that can attest to your character. You can get them from the people that paint your house. You can get them from your, your Gardner. You can get them, from me and John. You can get them, anybody, that knows you. Okay, knows you a little bit. I would be willing to have a conversation with you for an hour. And if I think you’re a stellar human, I will leave you a review that says, Hey, I talked to you for an hour. You seem like a stellar human.
Jonathan Denwood: Would you give me five stars, Robert?
Robert Newman: I dunno about that. No, I’m just kidding. Yeah, I think I have reviewed you somewhere and I gave-
Jonathan Denwood: You got 5 stars on my website I never, asked you.
Robert Newman: There you go. There you go.
Jonathan Denwood: I would’ve, I would’ve taken it down if you hadn’t been happy with it.
Robert Newman: so here’s the thing we’ve so, so that’s number one because when somebody does go out to lunch and leaves you this horrible review, you don’t end up. If those of you listening, don’t have a lot of reviews anywhere. And this egregious, really sad person decides to leave you one of these horrible reviews. Guess what? All of a sudden, you’ve got three stars on every review platform, because here’s the other thing about egregious people who are really angry humans, they’ll search out every single review platform. They’ll go to Yelp, Zillow, and Google and leave bad reviews in every single one. Some of you have already experienced this.
So the way that you get out in front of this is making sure that you have 3 to 100 reviews on each one of those platforms. And guess what? One bad review or even two or even three does not move the needle. Now, the rest of what you do is, is as follows. You highlight point by point. When you get these really angry, sad people that, these are the things that you have done to address the problem. And if it’s them, if you drove around six, 10 times in your car, if you woke up in the middle of the night to take their calls, if you got up early and worked late and, and never made a, a commission, and yet they still reviewed you poorly, you say all that.
I took 32 calls from you from such and such a date to such and such a date. I drove you around 15 times in my car. We spent 20 hours together. I’ve made no money off this relationship. I understand that you’re not happy with our interactions, or if I started to check out a little bit at the end of the business relationship, because of all the things I just mentioned, you’re right. Maybe I should have acted with a higher degree of professionalism, but to be honest, I lost patience. All right if you feel like you have really been abused by a customer, and most of us have been at some point. You need to take the time to spell out to anybody reading anything online, what that looked like and let them make their own evaluation of what a good or bad business relationship looks like.
In my case, John’s case, most of the cases of the people I spend time with, we’re making legitimate efforts to try to make somebody happy. We’re making legitimate offers to try to satisfy dissatisfied clients. We may have missed the mark with this client or clients. It happens. You say what you did so that everybody can see it. If the client wants to like, really be crazy and say that like a factual thing is not factual. You can always, create a video with all the documentation on it and create a link to it. I personally would. There is nothing, in my opinion, that is going too far to try to preserve your reputation. You only have one online, especially as a real estate agent, you’re not gonna get another one it’s probably connected to your name. There is no bridge too far, in my opinion, for a real estate agent to go to protect their, their reputation that I include. Like, this is all the documentation. These are all the emails. These are screenshots of the text. And just put ’em into a video without like blur out the names, go through all that effort, create the edited video. Especially if you think you’re being wronged by the like client, the court of public opinion is the only one that you need to care about. Because if somebody does leave you something is written or something on YouTube or something that is terrible you’re boned, and you must come back at them hard. You must.
Jonathan Denwood: Now, I’ve noticed also and I want your advice before we wrap up the show. Because I think what you’ve just given is fantastic advice, Robert. Is that I’ve noticed with a lot of agents that I’ve interacted with, but they haven’t adopted your advice about getting that volume and reviews, which always helps. I’m talking about the average agent that I’ve been involved with. They’ve got about between 5and 10. And when we look at their Zillow, we look at the Google business, you know, whatever the platform is, they always zero in on that one really negative. And you can see that their body language change as they reread that bad comment. It’s not that I don’t care. Robert. I just have learned that if you are online and or your business can be, you’ve gotta treat it a little bit like water on a that, that back, you’ve gotta respond in the ways that you have so well explained, but on the. You idiot, you, you have to watch why I’m laughing listeners and viewers he’s a bit of a comedian Robert right.
But on the other hand, you’ve gotta learn. I dunno, what it is about bad reviews. I, these are, I’ve noticed these are not new agents. These are agents with 10, 15, 20 years of experience. And they still, when they see that bad review and in my opinion that they seem to know what they’re on about, and they seem to be effective real estate agents, and they have the right professional attitude, but they only have to read that one bad. They zero in on it as well. And there’s all this emotional reaction to it. Does this make any sense, Robert?
Robert Newman: Well, I think what you’re saying is that you’ve noticed that real estate agents seem to get very personally connected. And despite what I’m saying about you having to address some, I would say a certain amount of professional detachment is required when dealing with your reputation. I guess what I’m trying to say, and John are trying to say is both are on two sides of the same coin, a client, a customer can be illogical and deceptive to you as an agent. The way that I perceive John’s comments. It’s not that you could be deceptive because all of our, our listeners of course are not deceptive. We’re gonna say though that you can be illogical, emotional, and irrational because everybody can including John and I, maybe John and I at the top of the list, I won’t talk about you. I’ll just say that John and I, can be irrational and emotional about something.
And that’s not really when you wanna deal with this stuff, but you do, you need to have a certain amount of detachment. Now, all these conversations about digital reputation, I don’t like to me, insurance is one of those products that is so useful to have because I don’t worry about things when I have insurance. Doesn’t matter if people leave me bad reviews, I’ve got so many, five-star reviews in so many places I legitimately don’t care anymore. It’s somebody can say pretty much whatever they want. I would respond in the same kind of detailed method that I just outlined to all of you here on the show. For real, should I ever get a bad review, but understanding what the depths of the problems are with bad reviews, I go, I move heaven and earth to avoid them as should you as a real estate agent.
But we are talking about the inevitable circumstance where you’ve already moved heaven and earth to avoid the bad review and yet you still get it. So what do you do then? That’s what we’re talking about. And if you happen to get irrational, it’s understandable, but don’t respond in that tone and keep coming back into it until you realize that just like sales, it’s a numbers game. If all of us do a thousand transactions throughout the course of our career, we’re gonna have, you know, 30 of them be atrocious and we’re also gonna have 30 of them be some of the best experiences of our life and people that go from customers to friends and we see them and have dinner and coffee and all those things. It goes both ways. It cuts both ways. And then the other 940 are gonna fall right in the middle. They’re gonna be average. And that’s the nature of being in business. You have good, bad, and the extreme on both those sides is very rare. And then you have what’s in the middle. And so
Jonathan Denwood: I think just to wrap it up, I think the main thing that I’m sure, hopefully, the majority of agents that listen to our show would join us in this. I know you take your business seriously and hopefully you, I would hope so. I’m not gonna ask you to, agree with me on this, but hopefully, you realize I take my business seriously and I’m sure the hope the people that are listening, take their business seriously. And we honestly want happy customers. You, me, and the people, the majority of the people that listen to this show, but things go wrong. Don’t they, Robert?
Robert Newman: They do prepare in advance very similar to an earthquake drill reputation management is about preparing in advance. If you haven’t done it and it’s too late and your reputation is already getting impacted, do not sweat it. Don’t freak out. Instead, start to apply the solution, go out, start collecting good reviews, address the bad ones, and move on with your day. It’s the most you can do. It’s all that’s within your control. So take control of what you can take control of and let the rest go by the wayside. Listen, thank you so much for tuning in to John and me for episode number 308 of the mail right podcast. This has been a discussion, all about reputation management, the good, the bad, and the ugly forgive, both and John and I, we’re a little bit punched drunk. We’ve both had a hell of a week. And, John, if, somebody would like to talk to, a little bit of a punch drunk you, how would they go about doing that?
Jonathan Denwood: Just go to the Mail-Right.com website, the revamped one, we’ve got a fabulous review for Robert’s audit. And we’ll build you a WordPress website that you’re not leasing that your own plus we’ve got a host of other digital products, services, and products that will help you become a wizard online. And what’s the best way for people to get hold of you Robert?
Robert Newman: You can go to my website, look at either the about section or the services section. They can get in touch with me there. There’s also a contact form, literally a huge button that says, get in touch. You can use that any of these things will, get you in touch with me. I’m kind of in the process of reorganizing my site. It’s very non-conversion-oriented right now. So everybody should just be aware of that. All right. So, stay tuned for the next episode. So it’ll be 309. We’ve got some huge surprises for you.
Jonathan Denwood: Oh yeah. Yeah. Robert’s gonna be doing it on his own folks. Cause I am going to a business conference. So we got a great guest for next week and you just have the pleasure of Robert’s voice with the guest.
Robert Newman: Oh dear God. Forgive me in advance, everybody. All right. Thanks a lot. We’ll see you on the next show take us away, sir.
How Pacaso Is Changing The Luxury Housing Market
Pacaso is one of the fasting growing companies in the USA in 2021 and you are also one of its most controversial companies in the USA. Started by two former Zillow executives they have managed to unite whole communities into action against them like nothing else seen.
In this show, we discuss Pacaso and their business model and what you as a real estate agent need to know and be able to advise your client on what are the positive and negative elements connected to doing business with Pacaso.
Robert Newman: Welcome back ladies and gentlemen, Today’s episode is 307, and I’m super excited to be sharing just the airwaves with my co-host. It’s just going to be the two of us. And we’ve decided to talk about a couple of things. Now we’re going to save the second topic as a surprise, but the first topic my fearless co-leader here, my co entertainer, my co real estate digital marketing geek has asked that we discuss Picasso. I’m going to let him introduce what Picasso is and talk about that a little bit, but I’m excited to have the conversation. I already knew who they were. I’m excited to get into it with him and talk about this idea. And I have a spin on this whole concept. I want to talk about how these guys got buzzed around their idea. Alright so without any further do this is Jonathan Denwood. For those of you who do not know him, and you should, he is the founder of Mail-Right. He is actually a mini-time entrepreneur. This is not his first go-round. He’s in the process of seeking for and achieving a really cool product aimed at a part of the marketplace that people don’t usually aim at. And I’m really, really excited for the direction that it’s going. So, John, with no further ado, go ahead and introduce yourself.
Jonathan Denwood: Oh, thanks Robert Thanks for that Great intro I’m the founder and CEO of mail, right? We build websites for agents, that agents own they don’t lease. Plus we offer a suite of digital marketing tools and services that get you in front of your possible quality leads. Like Rob said we’re looking at Picasso. They have become the fastest-growing company in America over the past year. They were founded by two executives, former executives of Zillow. And it’s a really interesting product, an extremely controversial product. And I’m sure we are going to have a great chat back over to you, Robert.
Robert Newman: My name is Robert Newman. For those of you who do not know who I am, and I’d be surprised if you didn’t, but if you don’t, I am, a long-term veteran of the real estate marketing industry. I’ve been around so long I’ve been our own since the last market slowdown and always focused on SEO search engine optimization, inbound marketing. Which is not, I’ve been a lone voice in the, for the entirety of my career. There really aren’t that many people that are credible that will talk to real estate agents about long-term strategies. Everybody always wants to talk to you about short, but that’s not what we’re going to talk about today. What we’re going to talk about is Picasso, we’re going to talk about this idea of taking second market homes, high-value homes, breaking them into pieces, and letting people as a group invest in these homes. If I’m not mistaken, John, that’s the core concept around Picasso, is that correct?
Jonathan Denwood: Yea it’s called fractional ownership. That is the term that they utilize. Like I said the two founders were executives at Zillow superb marketers as well. It’s Spencer Rascoff he’s the CEO and joint founder and the name of the other individual that found it escapes me. But like I say, it’s an extremely controversial company and idea which has stirred and to say stirred the opposition of a lot of people in the areas where they’ve been buying properties would be a slight understatement, Robert.
Robert Newman: So I think you’ve done a little bit more research than I have on what’s happening in the environments, in which they’re buying properties. I actually knew about Picasso before you said, hey, take a look at Picasso. I’ve been, I actually looked at Picasso as an investor strangely.
Jonathan Denwood: Did you?
Robert Newman: Yes. And they’re now not alone. Some people are copying their idea, but what I haven’t been tracking is the feelings of these people that might be owning homes in the same area. So why don’t you talk to us a little bit about that term?
Robert Newman: Well, I think before that, I think I need to explain and see if you agree what the basic business model is and why I felt it would be interesting for our audience, which are mostly real estate agents, some brokers, and some other people that are linked to the real estate industry, which are our audience, Robert. Fundamentally Picasso like I said they look for a group of investors to buy a property. There’s absolutely nothing new about what they are doing. It’s just the integration and the, the web app and doing this all in their kind of integrated process, but the fundamentals are this. They find a group of investors 12 of them. They should be you find the other investors so they can be friends, family, whatever, and you buy one 12th of a house of a property. They tend to their marketing spin and the way they position themselves, they are looking to buy luxury properties in highly valued areas like Lake Tao and the wine country or Samoa and other high class areas where there’s a dominance of secondary home ownership. So you buy 1/12th of this property. the property is bought by a limited liability company, which you own 1/12th of Picasso get a 12% fee on the price when the house is sold to the limited liability company, they get 12%, I think I’m boring Robert always, he’s already nodding off..
Robert Newman: No I’m just tired. I had to wake up early. I had to wake up at an inhumane time and wake up at eight o’clock in the morning.
Jonathan Denwood: I don’t know how he’s coping. So you buy 1/12th through a limited liability company, they get 12% of the cost of buying the home. And then they manage the property for you. They make sure it’s cleaned. The maintenance is done on the property. That’s on an ongoing monthly fee or a yearly fee. I think they give choices. Basically, you own the house. You can be, you can utilize that property for 42 days of the year with a 14 day period, one period, but it’s up to, 42 days in total for the year. You can also decide to sell the property or the 12 individuals that own the limited liability company can choose to sell the property at any time through agreement. I don’t know the specifics if it needs all 12 investors or it just needs a majority to make that decision. I do not know that, but that is the fundamental crux of the business and its business plan. Robert.
Robert Newman: So what do you think? So, oh, you know, what’s funny, John, is that I already said, I can’t remember if we’re on air or off-air, but I already told you, Hey, I was looking into this as an investor. And then you said oh, really, but I can tell you already that in whatever research that you did, you know, more about it than I know as a guy that was thinking of doing it. I don’t remember all the details. I think I remember.
Jonathan Denwood: I’m a quick learner you probably think you observe that I’m a quick learner.
Robert Newman: Yea I looked at the thing and I think I decided to add whatever the calendar division was like, this sounds complicated f**k it.
Jonathan Denwood: It isn’t actually when it gets to the nitty-gritty of it, just 12 people owned a house through a limited liability company.
Robert Newman: Right. But you got to share calendars, right? You got to get in there. Yeah.
Jonathan Denwood: They supply all that by the supplier. They supply all that functionality through their website and through their app.
Robert Newman: Okay. Well, I dated more than one woman at once before, and I can tell you for sure, that sharing calendars sounds like a nightmare. So it sounds simple, like so many other things about business do, but I, I feel like in, like, let’s say like Tahoe, have you been.
Jonathan Denwood: Well, I live 40 minutes away from it.
Robert Newman: So yes. Yes. You’ve been. When do you go through? You just said you live 14 minutes away from it, 40. When do you visit?
Jonathan Denwood: I visit in the summer and the winter because I’m a big skier. Why do you think I live here, Robert?
Robert Newman: So you’re a big skier. And I think they’re in is the problem with these factories. Each person gets 42 days over sped over 42 months on what is absolutely positively going to be a second market home. So you have to hope that those people that are getting those 42 days don’t all want the same 42 days, which of course they will.
Jonathan Denwood: I don’t see it as quite the problem because you get some people that are not skiers. Some people, you know, somewhere like Lake Tahoe is actually busier during the summer. I do go up there, but I actually wouldn’t want to stay there obviously Christmas, New Year, the upcoming Labor Day weekend that they are. But is that not the same if you are booking a hotel room or it’s certainly a better solution than a timeshare, which is to say is a scammy industry with a terrible reputation would be a slight understatement. Would it not?
I do take your point of view, but I think what can I say about, yeah, I don’t actually see it as quite such a problem. I think some of the problems have been the response of people in communities, in the wine area where Picasso, that was the first area where they started because the two founders are Silicon Valley, San Francisco digerati they live in their area. They mix with those people of the VC and they are totally VC backed. And they are true. The two founders are true digerati as I call it. So they actually knew the wine area and that’s where they started. And this is where they started is where they have got the most pushback to say that they have put their fist into the center of a hornet’s nest and then just rumbled around. Would it be a slight understatement, Robert?
Robert Newman: So I don’t know what this buzz is. What are you talking about? Like, so, okay, I hear you there causing problems in communities. What the big deal they’re buying, they’re buying homes who care.
Jonathan Denwood: The people in those communities don’t feel that way. They feel that these people are going to price, any normal people out of their communities totally. They feel that they are gonna cause these areas to become empty zones, where for the bulk of the time nobody’s actually gonna be living there. They have a host of complaints. In the show notes, I am going to apply a link to one of their websites. I’m just going to put it into chat for Robert to have a quick look at. So you can get a gauge on the kind of things and resentments that have been generated by this company. So is quite fascinating. I think we need to go for a break Robert. I think we’re going to take up the whole episode on this particular subject. Cause it’s amazing how almost 15 minutes can go isn’t it?
Robert Newman: Very much so. All right so ladies and gentlemen, thank you so much for tuning in to John. I, we really appreciate it. Today we’re talking about Picasso and I guess we’re talking about really like some bigger concepts that relate to second-home markets. So for those of you who are just really engaged with the concept, what’s going on in second-home markets, I think that maybe we’ve got some interesting things to get your wheels turning. We’ll be right back after no messages. Thank you.
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Robert Newman: Welcome back, ladies and gentlemen to the Mail-Right podcast today’s episode number is 307. I’m sitting with my co-host and we’re discussing Picasso. What we had discussed is that John is very intimately aware of, well, John has educated himself quickly on this company and they’re offering much more so than I have. I had heard some interesting things about them starting the company. And now he’s just shared with me a link that is connecting to a website where there is actually some big signs and apparently some protests for what is effectively people protesting Picasso, literally. And that they’re saying that it’s affecting negatively in fact just based on the signs that I’m looking at. I don’t, I don’t know
Jonathan Denwood: Their main beef with Picasso has leaned on local authorities. Is that in many areas, they are stirring up a festering soul that was already there Robert. Because these communities had a problem with BNB anyway, with people renting now on temporary lets cause of parties, nuisance, other things that had annoyed the community. then Picasso so they had already approached their local authorities and that had put in place local restrictions on people’s ability to temporary rent out their house into BNB and then Picasso comes on the scene and Picasso argues that the restrictions that have been put in place in areas like the wine country and even Lake Tahoe don’t apply to them because they are not in the temporary let arena. These locals and other people in these areas strongly disagree with that position Robert.
Robert Newman: I have very, very fast read this while you were, while you were talking. And so there’s a site that John links and, it says stop Picasso now. And it’s an advocacy site. It’s got links to places that people can go to stop Picasso. And here’s what its basic points are. So let’s, just cover them saying that Picasso is bullying because it’s been litigious and St. Karena decided that Picasso was a timeshare, told them that they have stopped buying homes and Picasso sued them. Picasso is bad for neighborhoods because it’s depriving cities of occupancy tax. And essentially, and I think this is probably the heart of the complaint. It would be the heart of the complaint from me, even if I get the strong, if I interpret this wrong, I want everybody listening to the show to understand that my position quote, more closely aligns with this than these previous two points, which is, this is a big startup founded by people that are deeply immersed in the venture capital world, of like Zillow.
So they have a lot of money. That’s what it comes down to, to throw at this idea. I think that the idea, the concept, the core of it solid, I think that with most ideas, they’re probably going to take it too far because you know, here, do you know what my point is, John, when you get great amounts of capital and I mean something more than you and I could ever dream of for our little agencies, you have to have a way to spend that. If I hand you $50 million, your job is to take that 50 million and turn it into 50 or 500 million. These are numbers that are impossibly big for your average business. So what do they have to do? In my opinion, I don’t know, Picasso, all that well, I know the guys that founded it, I’ve done some research on them. I know who they are.
I think that they now have to [Inaudible19:28 ] getting sued by St. Molina and they fire back while, you know what St. Molina is a small community may, maybe only has 10 or 12,000 residents total in it, which probably means it has 2 to 3000 homes. Theoretically, you look at that inventory and maybe they can only get a hundred or 200 homes and for them and where they’re at, they’re like, oh, these 1 or 200 homes in Santa Molina are not occupied. That’s a big problem. I don’t disagree with them. But if you look nationwide at every single luxury community that there is and say, how many of these homes are unintended as they claim in their actual foundational papers. That’s what Picasso is based on. How many of these homes are really unoccupied for long periods of time. I’m going to say the percentage has got to be 10 or 20%.
Jonathan Denwood: Well my position on this is a bit like yours, but it’s even more, my position is even more confused because there are parts of me that understand some of the complaints from locals because I think their main complaint is that they’ve already got a problem with second home or occupation or ownership affecting areas you see in the Lake Tahoe area where during the week areas are deserted and on weekends, they become just glorified parties zones, right? But there’s part of me that says for God’s sight, this is America. As long as you’re doing something legal, which I think Picasso is a totally legal company. It is controversial, but they’re not engaged in any shape or form in any things that is iffy or morally I think to myself, these people are NIMBYs, not in my back garden people, they, they are just living in a cloud, Picasso’s got every right to buy a house for God’s sake This is America. So I’m totally torn between those two rocks, Robert.
Robert Newman: I think it’s a great idea. And if it was done by some scrappy entrepreneurs that weren’t these two guys, I would be excited about it. But these two guys left their huge corporate jobs at companies that are already doing. I just don’t think that they’re doing the most conscientious business that exists inside real estates, like Zillow, and I could be wrong. You know, there is a statistic that I read recently because we talk oftentimes about the guy that is currently running Zillow and he used to run Trip Advisor or whatever the site was, Eastern Travelocity. That was it. Well, I’ve read a statistic recently that says, wow, in the first three or four years, that he redesigned the travel industry, the numbers dropped by like 50% in terms of independent travel agents. And now apparently that number has bounced back considerably. And there are now almost as many independent travel agents as there ever were.
Jonathan Denwood: Sorry to interrupt Robert, but because they adapted because the kind of independent travel agent you have now is a much more different animal than the ones where, when he entered the market. They are more about designing for kind of customer experiences for their clients. You know, building instead of just selling a package off the shelf, they customize the experience. And there’s much more of a demand for that helping hand that can advise and build a custom experience for the client.
Robert Newman: Which is an advance in travel services. So I’m going to say that that like mini free thinkers, this guy, he’s probably revolutionizing the real estate industry. And I appreciate that. What I have never appreciated and I never will appreciate, and I’m not appreciating about Picasso is that every single time you get enough money involved with somebody or guys that are savvy enough, they do kind of slap everybody around. And so these people kind of come along with their vision. I wasn’t a big fan of Microsoft when it was in the business, in the middle of interrupting and redesigning and creating the software industry. Is this to say that they were bad. No, it just is. It’s just, I look at a really big guy that is a bully. And my personality is such to kick that person in the nuts. That’s just who I am. That’s who I am as a human being.
Jonathan Denwood: I think most of us, but just we’ve got another three to four minutes before we got to wrap this up, Robert. Is the other thing why I wanted to bring this story out. Obviously, it affects specific high-class areas. And I think for a real estate expert, who’s got one of these homes as one of these clients to sell. They gotta be aware of what Picasso is about and that. but the other factor is as we spoke about a couple of weeks ago and with our guests last week we touched on this last week is that Zillow and Redfin, are planning to effectively follow the Picasso model that this is what they are planning Robert I am 95% sure on that, but to the wider market. But this is the model that Zillow and Redfin are going to pursue Robert.
Robert Newman: Yeah. So, and then, and I,
Jonathan Denwood: In a way, the bit that they won’t do is the ownership, the limited liability company, and the fractional ownership, but that is not what they are going to be doing, but what they are going to be doing is the wholesaling, the other parts of the Picasso platform. This is, I’m pretty sure this is what they are planning Robert.
Robert Newman: Here’s what I want to talk about. I’m going to take five minutes. All right. I want to take five minutes because here’s what I think that, that we haven’t talked about. Picasso is being operated by two guys that are brilliant as is Robert Redmond and many other people that are in the digital space that have these rapidly growing companies and you know, where they’re brilliant? They, take a lot of time to be digitally savvy, whereas others don’t right when they start their operation. And what do I mean by that? I mean that they take the time to meet with bloggers and they do press releases that are digitally focused, and they make sure that the spin, the buzz on Facebook and other places where content is getting shared and shared a lot that makes sure the buzz is exciting, Interesting, Awesome.
They’ve also made sure that their sharable posts are on their own website. Every single one reads like a press release. I’ve read through five since we’ve been in the middle of this conversation and they design them in 300 words, snippets that all read like press releases. So that if anybody’s sharing the content of the Picasso website, which is not heavy on content, it’s not what I do. They’ve just got this thing focused so that you’re not going to get a lot of deep information about the company, but you are going to get great press pieces every time somebody shares anything off any page on the Picasso website. This is by two guys that are really experienced with the way that the digital world works today. Right now, they’re not doing thin content. They’re doing strictly social and promotional content on their site. Understanding that as buzz grows, whether it’s negative or positive that people are going to come to this site and share their pages, they’re very clever about it.
Jonathan Denwood: This is already a 1 BNB valued company this like I said this is the fastest-growing company in North America Robert.
Robert Newman: Doesn’t surprise me I don’t know how they got that rapid evaluation, but it doesn’t surprise me that they did at all. As you say, you say that this is the, you know, this is what happens. It doesn’t surprise me and Picasso the website is already getting the 6,000 people to it. Its domain name is less than a year old it’s got you know, it’s obvious that this is a rapidly growing enterprise. And you know what you and I don’t what we don’t know is I’ve heard rumors that they’ve had 50, 60, $70 million in the direct advertising budget. I can’t prove that, but if that’s what-
Jonathan Denwood: I wouldn’t be surprised.
Robert Newman: So That means that you and I, and every single other person that’s searched for anything related to homes on Facebook, Instagram, any of those certain we’ve all come across Picasso. They probably have a number of major ad agencies handling their budgets. They are number one, with how like they’re number six for how the timeshares work on their blog. So needless to say, even though people are saying, Picasso is interesting because Picasso’s saying they’re not a timeshare yet. They have, a blog post on their website and is aimed at that keyword, which
Jonathan Denwood: Well my response to that is it is and it isn’t. It is timeshare amongst the 12 people, but some of its other practices and some other aspects of the business model are timeshare because traditionally timeshare, you don’t own the underlying asset. You are just buying a section at a time and then open out all the other problems around timeshare. So you are still sharing the property with 12 other people, but you also have ownership to a certain level, but in the mechanics, the way affects communities, yes. Is timeshare. And that’s why a lot of communities are up in arms about it Robert.
Robert Newman: Which makes sense. Well, I think that we’ve discussed this topic with a great deal of thoroughness at a minimum. I don’t know that anybody has as learned too much about this. What I would suggest to all of you is go to Picasso or go to stop Picasso now either one and then see what the pros and cons are.
Jonathan Denwood: All the links and there was a really large piece in the npr.org website. They did a data investigation into it. And they got their opinion, which was a bit negative towards Picasso and I’ll make sure that all the links are in the show notes Robert.
Robert Newman: Lovely. Well, listen, ladies and gentlemen, we really appreciate your patronage. You’ve probably been listening to us on whatever your favorite podcasting tool is. For many of you, that’s going to be iTunes. If you go into iTunes the actual service, you’ll see that there is a place to leave us reviews. We can always use more on iTunes. We had some when we originally started the show many years ago and we haven’t had any more recently. Yeah. And we would love to get a few if any of you can figure out how to leave them because I had a little bit of a hard time. In the meantime, John works really hard on these shows. So you can go to the Mail-Right.com website and drop him a comment. Anything you want about shows about starting your real estate career,
Jonathan Denwood: I think the main thing is to go to the Mail-Right Facebook page and leave us some comments or some suggestions of guests or topics that you want to hear during this show. We love to provide content that our listeners and viewers want us to interview or discuss I think that’s the main thing. And also tell your colleagues about the show. The show’s audience has really grown over the past six or seven months. We’ve become regular top spots in iTunes. If you do real estate agents, the audience is substantially growing and, we think we offer really great insights. And just tell all your other colleagues to come and listen to them and join us.
Robert Newman: So on that note one thing which I’ve never done before, and I probably will never do again, but we managed to get a top content marketer. One that when I say the top, I’m just going to say that top number one, content marketer that has ever existed inside the real estate space that I know about is going to be a guest on our show. We’re pulling them out of retirement. So stay tuned for a lineup in September. I’m not going to tell you which show is going to be on. You’re going to have to listen to all the shows in September to find him. But he is coming and I’m extremely, extremely excited about it and gratifying that I connected with him. And then he agreed to come on the show John is going to take an interesting position.
Jonathan Denwood: [Inaudible] a very polite post Robert
Robert Newman: Awesome. All right, everybody, listen, we think it’s been a great show. I hope, or at least I hope John does. We’ll catch you the next time John takes us off.
BrandFace® is a book series, speaking series, and personal branding program for real estate professionals who want to STAND OUT from their competition and attract their ideal customers so they can become recognized and sought after real estate authorities. Tonya Eberhart & Michael Carr are the partners behind BrandFace. Their mantra is, “People don’t do business with a logo. They do business with a person.”
Our mission is to help entrepreneurs, business leaders, and real estate professionals become the face of their business & a star in their industry. We help them discover (and get recognized for) their unique point of differentiation so they can upstage, out-market and out-sell their competition.
Tonya Eberhart is the founder of BrandFace® and Branding Agent to Business Stars. She’s also the author of four books on personal branding. Tonya’s humble career began while selling vacuum cleaners door to door to pay her way through college. That led to a job in radio, where she observed local business owners who were featured in their own advertising and positioned as local celebrities in the market. That’s when she realized the power that personal branding has on a business. Almost two decades and many successful brands later, she founded BrandFace®, a personal branding firm consisting of a book series, speaking series, and personal branding program that is designed to help real estate agents differentiate themselves.
Michael Carr is America’s Top Selling Real Estate Auctioneer and the Abundant Life Broker. During his 28 years of experience, he has been actively involved in over 78,000 transactions and licensed in as many as 31 states in the continental U.S. as a broker and an auctioneer. Michael first met Tonya in 2013 when he became a client. He immediately put her exclusive personal branding concepts to work at his own brokerage, and as a result, his real estate business quadrupled over the next year and continues to grow in recognition, revenue, and recruitment. On the heels of that success, they decided to co-author BrandFace® for Real Estate Professionals, which became the #1 international bestseller on Amazon. And today, he is a partner and the COO of BrandFace®.
Their mantra is, “People don’t do business with a logo. They do business with a person.”
Robert Newman: Ladies gentlemen real estate agents of all ages and stages of their career. Welcome back to the Mail-Right show. We’re super excited to have you, and we have a returning guest today, Tonya Eberhart. And I’m sorry Tonya, I did not as a, I dropped the ball on getting the name of your partner that you’re bringing onto this particular show.
Tonya Eberhart: I’ll just let him answer that.
Micheal Carr: Michael Carr.
Robert Newman: Michael Carr, so we have Michael Carr and Tonya Eberhart. And we think so incredibly highly of these two I’ve actually used face brand, the company that Tony and Michael established to recently give some guidance on branding. So we’re really happy to have you back on the show. Why don’t you both just introduce yourself in your own words real quickly for anybody that might be new to the mail right podcast?
Tonya Eberhart:-Do, I’ll start that if you want. Okay. I’m the founder of BrandFace and I started, my journey started out years ago, actually selling vacuum cleaners door to door. I did it to pay my way through college and that’s where I learned how important personal branding was because you needed a really good, concise story to tell somebody when you went up to their house because no one wanted to let you in. So I learned that and then
Jonathan Denwood: I would let you in Tonya.
Tonya Eberhart: Thank you Jonathan [Interposed talking 01:30] as long as you bought something
Jonathan Denwood: You are not the only charming attractive lady that said that to me.
Tonya Eberhart: Well, doing the vacuum cleaner sales, I was discovered by somebody on radio and asked to come on board their radio station in the sales capacity. And it was then that I really learned about personal branding. I saw all these business owners that were almost like rock stars in their community. And the one thing they all had in common was they were the voice and the face of their own business. They did their radio commercials in their own voice. They were in their newspaper ads, their TV ads. We didn’t have internet back then. I’m telling my age here. We didn’t have it. It wasn’t even invented by them. At least not, not on a, not to the consumer for sure, but I learned so much about that. And that thread has been a common thread, a personal branding through everything I’ve done up until 2013 when we decided to go all-in and came up with the idea for BrandFace to help professionals differentiate themselves. And most of our business right now is in the real estate industry. And then I’ll let Michael pick up from there and tell how we met and became partners.
Micheal Carr: Yeah my background was actually as an auctioneer and that was, my first love still is a great love of mine. And, but the guy that trained me to be an auctioneer said, go get your real estate license, make a little bit of extra money. And I did that for many years, opened up my own firm in 2000, still just bought my own stuff, helped my family and friends buy their stuff, made a little bit of commission income, not much. But then when 2006, when our mortgage debacle was handed to us I was approached by a company out of Irvine, California finding out I was an auctioneer real estate auctioneer to broker a deal in Atlanta. And we had a successful sale of about 300 properties back in 2006. And we went after the Bear Stearns portfolio, residential portfolio when they went under and got it.
Most of it we did better than 75% of it. I ended up licensed in 33 states and have been active in over 78,000 transactions. But auctioneers work themselves out of a job. And that’s what I was doing. The market began to correct itself a little bit around 2013, I came back home, north Atlanta needed something to do, bought a piece of property, met a lady that was a great agent. She liked working with me. She said, hey, you need to open up a brokerage in our small town here in North Atlanta. And I did so and then she said my marketing stunk and it did. And she said, you need to meet my niece and I did. And I hired her company for which I did not know was applying the brand-face principles that she had been working on for 20 years.
And our company has continued to grow since then. We had one transaction in 2013, a residential arm’s length transaction. And we have doubled or even quadrupled our business every year since using the BrandFace principles. She asked me to be a partner in the company. I was very flattered and I said, okay. And now we have clients in 41 states, many cities in those 41 states 4 other countries. We just love helping real estate agents do the very things that I did. And now my 23 real estate agents in Atlanta do. So we’re very happy to be on your show and share as much as we can for all audiences and help them hopefully with their careers.
Robert Newman: That’s an amazing introduction, Michael. I got to tell you, I love you, man. You’re a storyteller extraordinaire. The memory was a little bit dusty because we do, we’ve done 160 of these, me and John together. But I remember, I remember now. All right, so John you’re not going to match up to what Michael just did, but why don’t you go ahead and introduce yourself? I would match up to it by the way. I’m not knocking you. So go ahead and introduce yourself to our new users.
s I’m the founder of Mail-Right. If you’re looking to have your own website and a toolset of digital marketing tools come to the mail right website and see what we got to offer and book a free demo or chat with me, I’ll see you soon. Thanks.
Robert Newman: Let’s dive right into it. So, Michael since you kind of gave us a longer introduction in, at the tail end of the introduction, you said, hey, the 23 agents that worked for this brokerage that I established are using the principles that BrandFace epitomizes. That’s how I understood your comments. So first let me just check-in, is that actually true? Did I understand that correctly?
Micheal Carr: you did understand it correctly. I do want to quantify it. We have out of the 23 agents that I have, all of them get the benefit of what the company does. The brokerage does in BrandFace. And they have access to all the BrandFace principles. I have nine agents that are actually branded through the program. The interesting thing about it, and I don’t know where you’re going with your question, but I want to quantify it. The interesting thing is that the nine that are branded through our program, pick one of them and they outdo all of the rest of them combined if that makes sense. So everybody gets the benefit of the knowledge that Tonya taught me. And then I get to teach them the ones that have really applied themselves do even better.
Robert Newman: All right so like just a, and it cliffs note version, I’m going to hand this one over to Tonya. Tonya, if you had to say there were, let’s just call it three surface principles with that, or any number that you choose to share, like without diving in deeper, that you would tell, like say somebody is considering hiring BrandFace and they say, what would BrandFace do for me? And how would you do it? Like what, what are the things I’m going to need to do to become a BrandFace superstar? What’s your answer
Tonya Eberhart: Ok well you hit the Magic number on the head, Robert and that defines your personal brand, develop all the pieces that express your personal brand, and display that personal brand everywhere. That’s very top-level basic. Those are the three steps we take to define, develop and display.
Robert Newman: Okay. So define, develop and display. So going back over to Michael, Michael, you’ve defined, develop, and displayed for these nine agents. You said nine of these agents are your BrandFace clients. So I’m assuming that at the top level they’ve managed to achieve each one of these things, define their brand and display it everywhere, essentially. Is that true or is that inaccurate? Okay. Can you take a single example of any one of these nine agents that come to your head and explain what was their defined brand? How does an office full of people all in the same office, a small town, which is what you said earlier on how do nine people define themselves differently, but just use one example?
Micheal Carr: Okay. I’m going to use my executive assistant Sydney Peg as a perfect example of this. This young lady came to me from high school. It was about two miles down the road. And she said I want to intern. I thought she just wanted to skip school. I’m like, okay, that’s cool. Can you make me some coffee every now and then she she’s an amazing young lady. But she said she was 17 years old. She wrote me an email. I come to find out, I wasn’t the only brokerage she wrote an email to, I was just the only one that responded. And I said, sure, if I got anything to teach you, I’ll be glad to do that. Come on in. And we did that. She began to learn what real estate was like. I started off with spinal stuff. Obviously, she was nowhere near, even out of high school yet. So, she interned for about six months for me. She did really good. I hired her. I said, I’ll give you some money and give you a stipend to continue doing, building social media and helping out stuff like that.
She went and got her real estate license right after she turned 18, which was the law’s requirement and is in most states. And she passed her test, got her license. And then she started selling a little bit of real estate. She was still working for me inside the office, helping us with office admin type of stuff. Got a couple of transactions with some family members, a little bit of experience behind it, and then she eloped with her boyfriend who had joined the Marines. All right.
Robert Newman: Like you do when you are young I’ve done similar stuff. Okay, go ahead.
Micheal Carr: She goes, Hey, I got it. Good news. I’m married. And I was like, oh, okay. That sounds wonderful. And she said I’m moving to Jacksonville, North Carolina. And I’m like, okay, that sounds good. What does that mean for us? She goes, I don’t want to lose my job. I said, I don’t want to lose my assistant. So we figured out how to do it virtually. Well, once she gets to North Carolina, she’s growing, she’s growing again. She’s an extraordinary young lady. She comes to us and she says, I want to be branded. And I want to go through the program. And we’re like, okay. So you might pause the story right there and think, okay, how are we going to establish a differentiation, a definition for a young lady that’s 18 and a half years old, married to a Marine that hopefully isn’t going to be deployed to Okinawa. That is in Jacksonville, North Carolina, we are in a corporate office, a home office is in North Atlanta.
Robert Newman: You’re reading my mind.
Micheal Carr: Exactly.
Tonya Eberhart: With this much experience.
Micheal Carr: With this much experience Like her parents’ house so we go to genius here and she goes through the questionnaire and we have a questionnaire that we send everybody through. We learn
Robert Newman: Michael, Michael, I’m going to pause you there for a second because, because just, just to break it up and keep it fair. Tonya Do you remember, do you remember this client? Do you remember this young lady?
Tonya Eberhart: Oh my goodness. Do I remember her? She said, yeah, absolutely. Yes does.
Robert Newman: So why don’t you, you, he’s saying that she went to you and she filled out a questionnaire. So why don’t you pick up the story where he’s leaving off? She picks up the questionnaire. She starts talking to you.
Tonya Eberhart: She has a lot of the same questions that set me apart. I don’t know. I’m so young people might not take me seriously because I’m so young. So we started looking at some of the things she wanted to achieve. What does she want her life to look like? Who was she as a person? What things in her life were important to her and who does she feel compelled to help? And so we figured out, okay, she loves the military. She is a military spouse. She loves working with first-time, home buyers, young people, her age, a little bit older millennials, so she really wanted to work with them. And so she is also extremely patriotic.
And so, in doing that, we gave her the brand identifier, which is like a tagline or slogan to kind of set the tone and direction for your brand. She is now known as the American dream agent. And as the American dream agent, she has the ability to tell her story. And inside of her story, it doesn’t really need to say I’ve sold 500 homes. Right. She has her broker to pull from, with that over 78,000 homes, she’s got the right broker to start with. . So she can rely on his expertise and experience and go with her heart. Like what, who does she want to help? What does she want to do in life? What things are important to her. And that’s kind of what we base that brand on. And I’ll let Michael pick up here and tell how she has achieved some success as a result.
Tonya Eberhart: That was, that was the defining stage, So once we got to that and what drove her, then, we created this definition. And then now she starts to develop that the storyline that goes with it. And like she just said, the elements that might be missing, like experience or things like that, she could rely on the brokerage. That’s what we were there for. And then during the development phase, we built out a website do all the things that come with that, all the peripherals that we’ll go about it. And she begins to live this will, of course, she’s a shoo-in right. She’s right outside of the base campus in June. Next thing she’s meeting other spouses they are wanting to buy property there that are other, other people that are being deployed to that base.
She ends up partnering with another agent that is down there because we looked at open up a brokerage. I’ve got a North Carolina license. I’ve had a North Carolina broker’s license for nearly 20 years and we could have opened up a firm there, but we decided to partner with another person down there before she ever comes back. And four years she’s got eight transactions underneath their belt in North Carolina, all from being the American dream agent and us developing that. And then displaying that everywhere that she went down to her cards, all of her peripheral stock you know down to her tag on her Jeep American dream agent we just put it everywhere and she lives it explicitly. Like she dreams of places to put it even down to putting it on the back of her Mac book. So when she opens up her Mac book, she’s sitting at the coffee shop, it says American dream agent, right across it with her logo, the company logo underneath it she’s carrying our brokerage logo everywhere. She goes, but she’s also promoting herself.
And because I’m a broker that believes that the agent themselves are the front line, they have to be out there meeting the people. I don’t get to meet all our clients. I wish I could, but my dreams are to have so many clients I can’t. So I said the ideal, they carry that their own brand and to have their own fame and success in it. And if we’ve done that with eight other people, they’re all different inside of my brokerage.
Robert Newman: Well guys, you’ve knocked it out of the park with the first half of the show. I don’t know about anybody else, but I’ve learned quite a few things I’m realizing in the course of this talk that I need to update my tagline on my own website. And, I’d like to think that I know that they get you about the brand, but you guys, I’m excited about the story. It was a great story. We’re going to go to break when we come back, John, I’m not gonna let you sit silently throughout the whole podcast. You are gonna have to be teed up with the next question for Tonya and Michael. Okay. All right. We’ll be right back. Stay tuned.
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Robert Newman: Welcome back to episode number 306 of the mail right podcast we’re here with the absolutely amazing Michael Carr and Tonya Eberhart. I hope I got both. Correct. We’re talking about the brand and they’ve shared some amazing stories in the first half of the show so if you didn’t catch it, please go back, rewind it. I promise you if you’re an agent anywhere in the first 10 years of your career, you could probably list lists, do to hear what they just said. And with that, my amazing co-host is going to pick it up and give these two brand experts, a question or two.
Jonathan Denwood: Before we went live Tonya, you were talking about a new tool that you have developed to help agents because I would imagine when you say we’re going to find your personal brand you kind of, you get that rabbit eye look of fear in their eye. So you’ve developed this tool to help the process maybe you can tell the listeners and viewers about that.
Tonya Eberhart: Absolutely. So a lot of people have this misconception of branding that if you have some good photos or a logo or a tagline that you’re branded, but that’s not necessarily true because a brand is so much more than those three things. There’s a fullness of a brand. It contains your story. And so we created this tool called BrandFace score to help score how someone’s personal brand is representing them. So is it representing you well, or could it use improvement? So if you go to brandfacescore.com, you can choose whether you’re a business owner, entrepreneur, or in the real estate industry, go in, fill out a short little form and it will score your personal brand and let you know where it could use improvement.
Robert Newman: That’s pretty cool. I love that. I love that concept and I’d never heard of it before. John, do you have a follow up.?
Jonathan Denwood: No it just sounds excellent because when I’ve consulted real estate agents that have approached me for the demo, but basically for the chat really about out their digital online marketing, I’m a strong believer in what you believe that you’re there to build a local strong local brand. If you don’t have a strong message, the digital marketing that only makes the situation worse because you are demoing a weakness a lack of where we succeed is when, when the agent really has sorted that out. So what do you think are some of the fundamental one or two things that agents totally misunderstood- I think you just touched them. Do you think they just do think it’s just a logo and a tagline and that’s it?
Tonya Eberhart: Yeah. I mean, I think a lot of people have that misconception because you think about a brand is very ethereal and then you and they think of it as more business branding than personal branding too. It’s like our saying is a great brand, doesn’t just help me figure this out, but for the profession[Interposed talkin19:54 ]
Micheal Carr: It’s not enough to be known for your profession, you must be known for being different-
Tonya Eberhart: In your profession. I couldn’t click with that today
Jonathan Denwood: To link this. I know there might be a specific area where this wouldn’t apply if you’re in a very isolated, rural area, but so you- I find with a lot of agents, I say to them, you’ve got to find your niche. You got a link, your brand with a niche, which will kind of place you outside of all the other agents that are bombarding people. And I get a lot of resistance, cause they say, well, we don’t want to reject anybody. We want, we want to appeal to everybody. And I say by appealing to everybody you are going to appeal to nobody. Dodo you have that conversation when a lot of agents initially approach you?
Tonya Eberhart: Every day, every day as new people come in and want to come into the program and learn about it, their fears that they’re going to box themselves in. And we tell them, I’ll just give you an example here. Let’s say, first of all your niche can be in several different areas. It doesn’t just mean your geographic area. You could have a niche in in a property type like waterfront property, like condos. You could have a niche in the type of customers that you want to serve, the attributes, some of your attributes, your niche could be in your type of experience. For instance, we have agents who focus a lot on divorced people, or what’s the other you know which one I’m trying to say.
Micheal Carr: downsizer, [Inaudible]
Tonya Eberhart: Yeah, yeah, so those specifics, so there are lots of ways that you can niche down into a specific, customer type or property type or whatever, be known for something specific. When, when people are looking at me, I don’t want to box myself in the thing we want them to understand is it’s not about boxing you in, it’s helping you focus. So let’s say for instance, if somebody says, my ideal customers are downsizers, I’ve been through that phase of life myself. I know it. I know what to expect. I can guide them through it. And we say, that’s fantastic. And, and they said, well, we don’t want to shut anybody else out. Well, here’s what you need to understand. It’s not about shutting out anybody else. It doesn’t mean you say no when a first-time home buyer comes around or a move-up family or anybody else. It just means that you don’t spend your time, money, and marketing efforts focusing on all those other people. You spend your time, money, and marketing efforts focusing on your ideal customers. You don’t have to turn everybody else away, but you do have to be focused because if you try to help everybody like you just said, Jonathan, you just help yourself right out of business.
Jonathan Denwood: That’s so well put over to you, Robert.
Robert Newman: I actually agree with that. Its funny guys While we’ve been on the phone here, I came up with a new tagline for my own company and I sent it off to my branding and content team, which by the way Michael and Tonya reached out to you. So when we first did the show, I didn’t have a team. Now do have a team, but I sent it out to them. An idea that I had based on the idea of a memorable tagline that you guys, my brand is pretty defined as an inbound marketing brand, but it could be better defined by a tagline. Anyway, I’m just saying that as an aside. So I agree that in terms of figuring out who your ideal customer is for you, I would say this, and I wanna, I wanna run this by you guys.
I think that something very helpful in developing a brand or another way another set of language to use in understanding the story of you. Who you are? Because that’s what I heard when you guys told me this story of the assistant. You helped her identify who, she was in marketing lingo because she’s a young woman married to a service member. So obviously that’s the patriotic thing. Needless to say, that’s her story. That’s not all of our stories. I would say that understanding what your own personal story is, it’s extremely important in identifying brand. How do you guys go about that statement?
Micheal Carr: Absolutely.
Robert Newman: Yeah. Okay.
Tonya Eberhart: Definitive yes of course.
Micheal Carr: Because she said it a long time ago, people don’t do business with a logo. They do business with a person, right. And that’s true on any level of business, All the way down to heads of state meeting with heads of state. People and if they understand, and we also know statistically speaking, NAR has already long since told us years ago that 85% of the people that are going to do business with you look you up online and your social media before they ever contact you. Nobody wants to commit. And especially in the world we live in now, they want to know, was this person, what’s it going to be like, am I going to get a leach? Am I going to get somebody to never leave me alone? Am I going to like, we have all these we’re taught to, I know whatever. Don’t let people in that sort of thing. So when they look us up, they need to see your story. What motives you to be the American dream agent or to be somebody who helps locate lifestyle or downsizers and people are attracted to that.
Robert Newman: So I’m gonna, I’m going to actually start to riff with you both a little bit and with John as well if he wants to throw it in here, because the kind of conversation that you guys are talking about, what you do for BrandFace. I have all the time with real estate agents, but digital and branding are slightly different, but in some ways they intersect. Okay. And the way that they intersect is having a strong defined message online is very helpful to generate leads. It’s just a good way to generate digital leads, which is absolutely 100% my business. So we meet in the middle and always people are talking to me about selecting things like verticals because every single real estate agent who has had a license for more than a year has heard from some professional like us, that you should have a vertical, right?
That you should focus on a niche segment, but that’s way easier said than done. It really is. Like, if you think about it as like, do I want to sell condos? Do I want to sell an oceanfront property? Do I want to,- I think that people who are giving this advice or giving it in the wrong way, and this is the part where it becomes open dialogue. I think that the way to identify vertical is first to have a conversation with yourself about who you are and what you like? Like I personally hate luxury. I know that’s weird, but I do. That’s where the money is at for sure in real estate, but I’m not a dude that wants to run around and talk to millionaires and billionaires all day long. I think that that would be a ridiculous waste of my time.
I want to talk to your average homeowner. I want to talk to real people or artists or creatives. And that’s how I’d start to define myself because I am creative and I want to talk to other creatives. So that would be something that I would enjoy spending my time doing every single day. If all you did was give me the opportunity to talk to creative people all day long, I’m going to die a happy dude. That’s fine with me. I’m good with that. If I happen to make some money along the way that would be even better, like if I helped some people made some money that would be great. So how would you then define that in terms of a real estate vertical? I have some ideas, but I’d like to let you guys share.
Jonathan Denwood: If they’re up for that, they can do that in our bonus content are you okay to stay with us for some bonus content? We need to wrap up. You can answer what Roberts just said. So, Robert, we need to wrap up the podcast part of the show and people can watch their replies in our bonus content.
Robert Newman: Did they say yes? Did you guys say, oh, okay? I didn’t see I’ve got a limited screen. All right Well, ladies and gentlemen, listen, guys, everybody, thank you so much for listening to the show. I’m going to speak a little bit for our guests, but almost all of our guests are the same as us. We really appreciate it when you listen, when you tune in. John and I do, for sure, we’ve had countless conversations about how grateful we are about how big the show’s grown and how many of you tune in to listen month in and month out. If you feel like being nice to us, go ahead and give us a thumbs up on apple iTunes. It makes a difference in how the show gets shown inside the apple iTunes search engine. It means a lot to us because we’d like other people to get help the same with that. Hopefully, we’re helping you. If people would like to look you up, Michael Tonya and guys, thank you so much for coming on the show. How would they go about doing that?
Tonya Eberhart: You’re so welcome. And thank you for having us BrandFace real estate.com for your audience BrandFace real estate.com.
Robert Newman: And guys For those a BrandFacescore.com, which actually goes to BrandFace tar hyphen score anyway, but anyway, score, that was a cool tool for those of you listening, I’m going to plug it for the sake of our guests here. John goes ahead. And how would people find you?
Jonathan Denwood: Yeah. Before that, help the show grow by telling your fellow agents, your friends, your office, about the mail right podcast. You’d be doing them a favor. And it’s the way that the show really grows by word of mouth. So please do that. And if you want to look at the fantastic product that we offer, we offer a website that you own you don’t lease, you own it. Plus a suite of amazing digital marketing tools goes to the mail right website, and we love to help you.
Robert Newman: Beautiful. My name is Robert Newman. I help agents get better leads by developing better content. That’s the tagline. I just came up with guys. Don’t know if it’s going to stick, but that’s what I just made up while we’re on the show. So if I end up using it for the next 10 years, you guys had something to do with that. Also, I’m going to do them, sorry.
Micheal Carr: That’s awesome.
Robert Newman: Also guys, I’m going to do the rarest of the rare, and I’m going to plug something that we’ve been doing at inboundREM. We actually just released a brand new product. It’s our first and only brand-based product for specifically for luxury agents, which is you guys don’t even know this, but that’s my history. That’s where I came from luxury. Building luxury websites is where I started 15 years ago inside the real estate marketing industry.
So anyway, the first example of this, if anybody wants to look at it and give me your thoughts, you can email email@example.com, and here’s the URL its luxuryCallsbadhomes.com. That is a brand new product. That’s the first branded website that I’ve personally built in over 15 years. I’d love to collect your thoughts. And when I say personally built, I mean my team, but they did it under my direction. So it’s all my guys, my gals that worked for me, which there are many and I’m super grateful. I think they killed it. I’d love to hear what everybody thought. All right for those of you who are still interested, stay tuned, we’ll catch you on the bonus section.
The True Power of Seeing Your Numbers With Special Guest Jack Tompkins of PineApple
Jonathan Denwood: Well I think, I think this is really fascinating. And one of the reasons why I asked Jack to come on is that one of the strongest areas of companies like Redfin or Zillow, and they’ve got weaknesses, their weaknesses are when a company gets to a certain size, it becomes very bureaucratic. It goes with the territory and people, at least you worked for a large company. You don’t realize how much slowness, endless meetings. And endless bullshit is involved in a company that gets to a certain size. And that’s why small companies can really outperform much larger companies with much larger budgets, but one area where Redfin and Zillow and some of this other wholesaler kind of quasar real estate companies, whatever they are planning to become, is they got access to data and a lot of data and they know how to use data to benefit themselves. And I think it’s an area in which a lot of real estate agents, those that are in small power teams, boutique brokerages, tend to underestimate the power of data. That’s my little commentary on that. Robert, what do you think?
Robert Newman: I mean, I don’t, I mean, John c’mon, you just, handed me a hot potato. I could take, I could take a full year of every single show that we do and do nothing, but talk about data and feel like I still hadn’t covered everything. Seriously we could have 10 shows on just me looking at the various types of traffic, how long people stay on each social platform, how they’re engaging, what kind of content they’re engaging with. And, and I would still probably have something left to say at the end of our show series. But, let’s, let’s go back over to Jack, Jack. I have a question for you. So, Jack, I’m a real estate agent and full transparency for our audience. And if you, and I’m going to ask if, if you think you answer this question, I will be the first thing that I do.
So I’m going to ask you if you think you can give some good advice in terms of what kind of data you to analyze when somebody was buying or selling a home. Now, if you feel like that, you’re not, because you haven’t done a ton of that kind of data analysis, is that correct?
Jack Tomkins: That is correct.
Robert Newman: Okay. But do you think that you could advise somebody with a degree of expertise on that subject?
Jack Tomkins: Yeah. So the beautiful thing about, analytics to an extent is if you have somebody like me, who is an absolute nerd and will live in Excel all day or Google sheets or whatever, and you have somebody who knows the industry, it works out really well. So I’ve had conversations again, haven’t really done the work, but had conversations around different growing areas, kind of like on the commercial side that we were just talking about other commercial examples. We were just talking about, the hot areas of town, whether it’s zip code streets or anything like that, is the population growing? Things like that are businesses forming there as well? So there, there is a whole lot of data that goes into it. And like I said, I’m, I’m no real estate expert by any means, but with somebody who has the idea, I’m sure that we could find the data and I could definitely make sense out of it.
Robert Newman: Awesome. So, so I’m going to interpret what you said. Okay. Let’s say that I’m a real estate investor. All right. Because I don’t know that I feel like the average consumer-based real estate agent would be able to conceptualize how they use that. I do however really easily think that a real estate investor, which there are a few that listen to our show, would be able to understand what the value would be of you being able to say, look at, Los Angeles. And look at them, let’s say that we’re looking at a radius of 80 miles circle around LA proper that’s downtown Los Angeles is the center of that research. And let’s just say that we wanted to say, I want to find the best medium price with the fastest growing population, with the least amount of people moving out of the neighborhood with decent business growth, excellent amenities, and a low crime rate. Would you be able to do that analysis?
Jack Tomkins: Absolutely. Yep.
Robert Newman: Okay. So that’s how somebody would, in my opinion, leverage a data analysis skillset. Right. Let’s just say, I don’t want to do that myself. I can. Maybe let’s just pretend that I could do that myself, but would you, as part of your analysis for somebody, would you put everything into a spreadsheet so that they could see what the data points were that you looked at or in the first place?
Jack Tomkins: Yeah. So now we’re getting to my sweet spot and I appreciate you framing it this way. Once the data is all in there, I love making it pretty more or less making it very visual, making it easy to understand. So they would pull out a few of those KPIs or key performance indicators that you just mentioned. Put them into a dashboard. We put some trends on there. We’d make it a very, very visual thing. So the investor, they’re probably fairly number savvy and fairly data-savvy to an extent, but doing the work is a whole nother story. Once it’s the individual dashboard, everybody from the top investor to whoever else works with the company, somebody, who’s nephew, who’s just doing the books or just running the counter or something like that. They can understand their overall picture with the dashboard.
Jonathan Denwood: Yeah. I think this is really interesting. What comes to mind was that I was watching a YouTube channel where the end, I won’t name the individual. Cause I keep asking him to come on the show and he won’t respond to my email. But, he was doing an analysis of what, in these very turbulent, difficult to judge times where would be good places to consider, to buy property in the US and what do the figures suggest would be areas where you might be wise at the present moment not to buy property in the US and it was fascinating when he looked at the historical data and the data that’s freely available. And what comes to mind being I’m English so negative aren’t I listeners and viewers. Is The two areas, one broad or one Pacific, where you really shouldn’t be looking at buying, retail or any type of property is the south of the US the Florida Carolina, Georgia, because the market there to say it’s hot would be an understatement.
And the other thing you would have for certain areas of California, and they are, I’m just going by my memory of the maps that he was producing from the data. Yes, definitely. certain parts of California, but they weren’t red zones. What was the rate zone was Boise. Boise was the area where you shouldn’t be buying any property because all the data factors that he was using showed that if you bought the property in Boise, as an investment at the present moment you are really exposing yourself to some considerable risk factors,.
Robert Newman: And with that ladies and gentlemen, I’m pretty sure that we have to go to our break. When we come back, we’ll be talking a little bit more about data with Jack Tomkins states.
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Robert Newman: Welcome back Ladies and gentlemen, to episode number 305. We are having a fascinating conversation with our guest, Jack Tompkins, Jack Tompkins is a data analysis specialist. I believe did you reach out to him or did he reach out to us?
Jonathan Denwood: He reached out to us.
Robert Newman: Okay. So I believe that Jack actually reached out to us and asked us to be on the show we said that, we said, okay, and what we’re talking about is we’re talking about how we might apply data to the real estate business. Now we’ve talked a lot about properties. Now, I’m going to take a leap or a gainer here, because this is definitely outside Jack’s, previous experience. But it seems as if correct me, if I’m wrong here, Jack, that if anybody approached you with a data consultation request, you’d probably feel comfortable and confident in doing that request Is that correct? Or am I-
Jack Tomkins: That is absolutely correct? Yes.
Robert Newman: Okay. So one of those things that somebody could do, and I’m asking a question is let’s just say that I am a real estate agent with a lead generation operation, and I’m getting a ton, like, let’s call it one or 200 registrations on a website that is like name, email, address, telephone number so on and so forth. Could you take that list of people and research where they had, where the lead had originated? Let’s say you’re given sort of the like all the core data to the clients like marketing operations. Like, let’s say they have three websites, but you can separate out where those leads come from. What part of the country was most prevalent to those people calling that, that real estate agent, and maybe even, figuring out which one of those lead sources had been producing actual deals. If you had access to their MLS and could see where their sales were coming from, is that all correct? Or am I incorrect with that?
Jack Tomkins: Yeah, That is absolutely all correct. I’ve done very similar things for non-real estate clients, but, you said mentioning like the form filling out again, Amy email, all that stuff. Google Analytics is a super great tool that has a lot of that stuff. You can go in there and I’ve used Google analytics, all over the place, and a bunch of different industries. So all that data real estate specific or not is totally doable, easy to get into a nice web-based dashboard.
Robert Newman: Gotcha. And then what you could do is you could separate it out into data points so that somebody else could, could then look at what you call KPIs, which is key performance indicators. And you could essentially at that point for the client would have a better understanding of what key point indicators a data specialist was looking at. Am I, again I don’t want to steer you down a path. Is that basically true or not true?
Jonathan Denwood: You never stop putting me down that path.
Robert Newman: I know you better. I’m trying not to get you any more complaints from our guests on my questioning style.
Jack Tomkins: Very well phrased Robert can definitely help with all that stuff. it comes down to things like in its simplest form, what’s working and what’s not working. So whether it’s different leads, different lead sources, marketing SEO, email campaigns, all that stuff, geography component as well, where are they actually coming from? And leads are converting and things like that. Totally doable love getting into that kind of data.
Robert Newman: Gotcha. All right. So having said all of that guys, ladies and gentlemen, boys, and girls, this is a guest that’s very similar to another guest that we had on the show. I’m going to say three or four months ago, what was his name? Christopher [Inaudible19:33 ] right. I’m getting that right. who was an actual performing COO of a major real estate team? Okay. That’s essentially what Chris did and does. And by the way, for all of those real estate brokers and small teams and people that have are outside of the phase of getting started in real estate and are in the middle of their career, or are already somewhat successful. This guy is probably the guy that can make you more money than almost all of the lead people that we have come on the show. Because past the point where you’re getting 100 leads of 200 leads or 300 leads a month, it’s no longer as important to get more leads.
What’s important is for you to understand beyond a shadow of a doubt, which of those lead sources is generating you the highest ROI. In other words, what did you spend for the lead versus how many of those leads did you sell versus how much did you make off the lead? And then it’s because that becomes the question that should then dictate where the rest of your marketing budget would go. Would you agree or not agree? And you’re nodding. So I’m assuming you’re going to agree, but these people are listening. So they can’t see me nodding. So like
Jack Tomkins: For the listeners, i have been Vigorously my head back and forth during that entire thing. absolutely that, it’s a really good point of great. We’ve got a whole bunch of leads and we’re getting conversions from it. We don’t know what’s the best source though. And that tells the full story there.
Jonathan Denwood: Just to put it in language. If you don’t know all these terms is that if you’re selling a widget for 20 bucks, but it’s costing you $30 to get somebody to buy it, you’re making a $10 loss. You can’t keep making $10, It’s fine if you’re selling 20 widgets, you probably won’t make a big difference. But if you start selling a hundred to 300 or400 widgets 1000 widgets and every widget, you’re losing 10 bucks, you can go bankrupt real quick. And that’s what happens if you don’t have a really good, it doesn’t really matter the beginning. But as the volume increases with digital marketing and using paid marketing, it can soon lead to problems, would you agree with that, Robert?
Robert Newman: Yes. Jack, I heard you take a breath. Go ahead.
Jonathan Denwood: I din’t know you were going to call it Robert, but I, I totally agree. there’s, there’s a big, obviously like the cost of acquisition. So how much does it take to actually get a client from all these different marketing things totally plays into kind of the marketing version of what you’re just talking about John, much like ROI too. How much time are you spending on it? Because your time is worth something. It’s got to factor that into. So a whole lot of fun math behind the scenes there, but it gets to that let’s figure out what’s working, what’s not working. And also can we do more of the good stuff and less of the bad stuff.
Robert Newman: So I’m going to say that, I’m really grateful that, John decided to accept you coming onto the show, Jack, and the reason I’m so grateful isn’t specifically because of you, but I do want to touch on something for our audience. I’m sorry. I didn’t mean that badly. I just meant like, I just meant that, that we hear in what we do in this world called real estate real estate is so overheated right now I have no language for it. I haven’t seen it be this overheated since 2006 and 2007. It is actually ridiculous. It’s it’s not funny.
Jonathan Denwood: I actually think it’s worse. Would you agree with that?
Robert Newman: In some ways, it is because even then in that market where the overheated part was coming in, was the, was the mortgage section of the business. So unqualified people were buying too many properties, which meant real estate agents were busy. This is different. We’re not seeing all those bad loans being written, but what we’re seeing is 35 qualified people trying to buy the same property. And if you don’t have cash and aren’t willing to offer 20, 30%above this you’re not getting the property, which is frustrating for the buyers. For the 34 people that can’t get their offer accepted for the real estate agents, all of the 34 real estate agents that are rep repping those buyers on a commission-only basis and are not making any commission even though they had a qualified buyer and man who had money to buy a home, but could not get the home that they wanted.
So now that same real estate agent is having to work, go do two or three or four of these processes before their buyer finally gets their home. This means that for the average real estate agent, and they’re literally working four to five times as hard for each transaction that they’re making. So I say this, and I want to encompass this all into a concept for everybody listening to the show. Many of you have been doing business with Zillow or doing direct mail or doing some kind of marketing that has been the same kind of marketing for 5, 10, 15 or 20 years. And you are assuming that this marketing is working for you. All of you. I know you are, I’m looking at you. Yes, you and those assumptions in this particular kind of marketplace might very well be bad assumptions. So how do you check it?
How do you make sure that you’re not actually losing money? That marketing, that used to be working for you is not working for you anymore, and you just don’t know it, or you spent $12,000 more on it than you’ve actually made from it. How do you know? Are you going to pour over spreadsheets and get into it for 20 or 30 hours? My guess is for most active real estate agents, especially in today’s market, the answer is going to be hell no. This is where a guy like Jack would come in. I am guessing that I don’t know what his rates are. I haven’t even ligated, they’re not really posted on the site, but most likely it’s not more than a couple of thousand dollars and that money, like let’s just say over 10 years you spend $12,000 a year on the same marketing source. That’s $120,000 over the 10 years that you’ve been doing that marketing, having somebody like Jack analyze what you’ve been doing over that 10 year period. And how does it compare to today, which might cost you a couple of grand could very well save you 10, 20, 30, $40,000 in the long run.
This is why data analysis is so important. This is why I believe in it above all other aspects of marketing. And it’s one of the things that we talked about, the least on the show. It is really, really important. Am I correct? In everything I said, is this the kind of analysis that you could do if, if the job was given to you, did I rampantly undersell or oversell your services in terms of pricing,
Jack Tomkins: You hit it perfectly on the head. I think that is very, very well done. Thank you very much for that, Robert.
Robert Newman: Perfect. we are coming up on the end of our time here together. And, I just want to tell you how much I appreciate you, reaching out to us, John before we wrap up. Is there anything else that you’d like to cover with Jack?
Jonathan Denwood: Well, I think if Jak is Ok, we have a quick bonus section and in that bonus section, I want to ask Jack how- Can we give some indication of how like Redfin or Zillow and some of the big players, how they utilize the data, which they are getting and then apply it to the decisions that they are probably making. But just to finish off, what you’re saying is so right, Robert, because I apply it personally because over the past several months before that, for another 7 months before that I was trying to lose weight and I wasn’t measuring anything. I was just instinctively trying to cut things out and my weight was going up, even though I was cutting things out. Now I weigh myself twice a day. I got an app where I put all the food that I’m eating in it and I have a break-off point in calories.
And I have another app where I measure the physical. I walk twice a day for about five miles a day and I’ll measure it. So everything is measured and in a six-month period, I’ve lost almost 40 pounds. That’s the difference. And you can just apply that to your business. Cause, I’m very instinctive, it is not naturally my tendency to want to measure, but you must measure if you don’t measure something, it’s very unlikely. You’ll get the result that you want.
Robert Newman: Agreed so I should’ve opened up with this, John, and I’m directing this to John Jack, and then I’m ready to take a breath and we’ll let you wrap it up. And then we’ll, we’ll head over to the bonus content. John, I have a 13 hour day today, a really unusual day where it started at eight and it’s going till eight or nine. This is one of the few sections of my schedule today where I can get a 10 or 15-minute break. So we’re in the-
Jonathan Denwood: I’ll do the bonus.
Robert Newman: Yes please,
Jonathan Denwood: Wrap it up. And then we go for bonus folks.
Robert Newman: Lovely. Alright, listen, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, Jack, you can wrap with whatever you want. this is for the podcast and then we’re going to move over to video. That’s how we do the bonus content. It goes strictly on the YouTube channel. And for those of you listening, it’s Mail-Right It’s YouTube Mail-Right And if you want to catch the podcast if for some reason you’re not on iTunes, go to the Mail-Right Website,Mail-Right.com. And you can check all the past episodes. I highly recommend that you do, we’ve put together, I mean, a couple of hundred amazing guests over the years and John’s done another a hundred beyond that with the guy that, apparently was legendary in terms of his-
Jonathan Denwood: Well the first 30 which you can’t see you on the website, but you can see on the YouTube channel, back then I had a couple of non-spectacular co-hosts before you,
Robert Newman: So there’s lots and lots and lots of content to go ahead and look at on the Mail-Right Show but Jack if somebody wanted to get in touch with you, how would you like them to do so?
Jack Tomkins: I would say head to my website, pineapplecf.com is the address. I know you mentioned earlier in the show, Robert, a lot of examples on there, transformations of boring data to exciting data, if you will. All sorts of ways to contact me and stuff like that. so yeah, pineappleCf.com. Where all that good stuff is at, and thank you both so much for having me, Robert, and John absolute pleasure meeting and talking with both of you.
Robert Newman: Thank you so much. And then, John, if somebody wanted to reach you, for anybody that might be new to the show, how would they go ahead and do that
Jonathan Denwood: They have to go to the revamped Mail-Right website It’s stunning looking at, I think, I’m so delighted by the new website and the message that you’ll get through it. And please go to it, see what we’ve got to offer you, and please contact us for a chat. And we see if we can help you.
Robert Newman: I agree with John, he has an amazing, website, funnily enough. he has, he has on his homepage. He has a testimonial where somebody who has the same, last name is me, but it’s not me.
Jonathan Denwood: But it is you I put it in your words I would have thought that you would have agreed with the statement. it’s Richard Newman I’m Robert You gotta change it to Robert. You gotta change, if that’s me, then you got to change it to Robert Newman and I’ll be happy to own that, that statement there. All right guys, I, of course, Robert Newman, I’m your fearless host. This is going to be my agent from this particular show. but you can find me if you firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ve been doing years and years and years of, content, talking about, the systems that you can use, which are the best for your lead generation. How to do SEO? And the list just goes on and on and on and on at this point, I have an amazing head of brand and content. I do the videos, he does the blog posts, but you will be amazed by all the shit that I have on there. I even tell you how to use postcards. All right. So thank you so much. We appreciate you tuning in we are so grateful. Have a great day.