Podcast: Play in new window | Download
Discover the ultimate comparison between Agent Image and Luxury Presence – two of the leading real estate marketing platforms of 2023. See how they compare features, pricing, customer support, and more. Get a full overview from us to make an informed decision about which one is right for you. Listen and watch this podcast/video now to find out if Agent Image or Luxury Presence is the best choice for your business in 2023!
#1 – Luxury Presence – https://www.luxurypresence.com/
$5000-$15,000 Setup and $300-$500/Monthly Licensing Fee. Luxury Presence is a meteoric new company with many satisfied, high-profile clients. When it comes to SEO lead generation, there are both positive and negative case studies. Luxury agents who want evergreen lead generation machines should consider Real Estate Webmasters or InboundREM for deep SEO expertise. All other luxury agents should seriously consider Luxury Presence.
#2 – Agent Image – https://www.agentimage.com/
Agent Image is a leader among providers of custom real estate websites, along with Luxury Presence and Dakno. Other companies that are focusing more on branded websites, especially for luxury real estate, include Real Estate Webmasters and InboundREM.
Their pricing plans are quite standard, although the monthly fee is a low $99. That’s because they do not provide an integrated CRM. You must set up and manage the CRM in-house, which can be a pro or con, depending on your needs.
#3 – Real Estate Webmasters – https://www.realestatewebmasters.com/
$5000+ Setup and $300-$5000 Monthly. No list of the best real estate website companies would be complete without REW. They are the jack of all trades, ranking #2 or #3 in different categories, including lead generation, IDX, and custom site-building. However, they suffer from many terrible negative reviews (as low as an average of 1.6 stars), poor customer support, and sneaky practices like sudden price hikes. They are also by far the most expensive real estate website company.
The Hosts of The Mail-Right Show
Jonathan Denwood & Robert Newman
Welcome back, ladies and gentlemen, to the Mail-Right Podcast. Today’s episode number is 387. And like so many other pieces of entertainment things that we all take for granted, it has been a Herculean effort to get this show off the ground. Jon’s been incredibly patient with me. I’ve flown halfway across the world to do today’s show and finish it on time. And I’m dealing with a sick animal and a very confused inboundRAM staff because we had to stop everything and just jump-started.
So, because of all this, ladies and gentlemen, we will do a really special show for you. Today’s show will be a conversation surrounding the two primary companies that make real estate luxury sites. And a couple of Honorable mentions we may even go so far as to mention Inbound rem on the air, the company that I founded. But we’re definitely going to mention real estate webmasters if we have the time because John and I get super verbose, and we may not have the time. But for those of you who may not know who my co-host is, this brilliant, patient, generous man.
Obviously, you don’t know me.
His name is… Well, I’m being generous with his time, not necessarily his money. All right. So without any further ado, for those that don’t know him, John is the founder of WP Tonic and Mail. He’s a double entrepreneur. He is a legendary force inside the world press world. He is creating.
The same reputation. Outside notorious.
I was being kind. So we’re going to say notorious, legendary. You pick your language. He’s building the same reputation for himself inside the real estate world. John, without any further hyperbolic on my part, why don’t you go ahead and tell people in your own words who you are?
It’s going to be an interesting show, folks. I’m the co founder of Bell hyphen write. Com. We build really great looking websites on WordPress. Plus, we provide a CRM and lead generation just like real geeks, but more flexible and a better value proposition. Back over to you, Robert.
All right. So you can’t talk about real estate websites in the luxury space without mentioning the two companies that literally built the vertical. Now, the company that actually built the vertical is Agent Image. They are the first ones to see a market specifically for a luxury website. They built up their entire company based on brand and brand alone. That is design principles. And what’s more, they’ve been doing it for over 20 years. And there’s some pros and cons about them doing it for that long. There’s some pros and cons about it being a company that, too, set a group of high school students built out of their apartment. I worked for that company, full disclosure, from the years of 2007 through 2009 or 10. I don’t remember the exact dates anymore, but I worked there for a while and helped become part of the legend that is Agent Image. I do believe that they’ve been doing it since about the year 2000, if not before. So they are extremely venerable and they have over 30,000 live website projects. Now, about seven, eight years ago, there was a company out there that saw the need to provide some competition inside the luxury space.
Agent Image had done some not such great things and damaged their own reputation and into that void stepped luxury presence. Now, Luxury Presence was founded by Malte. Malte was a former personal assistant to Jade Mills, who’s a legendary luxury agent in the real estate space. And Malte had listened to her enough times talk about how there was just such an incredible need for another luxury website provider. And being entrepreneurial, he decided to step into the space and actually, with a little bit of backing from Jade Mills, and he got into the space and created Luxury.
He’s a German guy, isn’t he?
He’s not German. He is one of the Nordic countries. I don’t know that I’ve ever asked him specifically.
Where he’s from. I might be wrong, but the couple interviews that I watched, he said he was German.
Oh, maybe he.
Is German. He got here on a scholarship, a basketball scholarship, and did the degree and decided to stay here. My understanding that he also had some other startup businesses and he managed to get $30 million of VC investment. And Tom Ferry is one of the investors. Oh, yeah? Yeah, which is my understanding. Robert?
That could very well be the case. All of that might very well be true. So that doesn’t surprise me if any of that happens to be accurate. And they’re doing a lot of interesting things over luxury presence, and they are definitely trying to go big inside the space. I appreciate their efforts, but they are also making some fairly dramatic missteps inside the space. They’re working at it, and I get it. But they are…
We’ll get into it. All right. So let’s pull back the curtain. First of all, John, you’ve obviously followed luxury presences socials more than I have. I’ve met the people over there. I’ve met the team. I’ve done a lot of conversations with them. It’s a great team. It’s a young team. They’re all extremely excited. They’re all extremely determined to build a foundational company inside a space that they consider to be fairly wide open.
Well, well, yes or no about that? I did some research because obviously I know that you worked for Ancient Image. So I knew I had to do some research on this particular episode because I would have much to say. I’ve got to be honest with you, the founder seems, the couple of interviews and the research I did, he knows his stuff. I don’t think he knows as much as you know, but he managed to get 30 million of VC investment. Good luck to him. Nice looking websites. They’re not built on WordPress. I think they’re building them on their own CRM. Great agency. Apart from that, I don’t see much there. It’d be quite truthful. I don’t know what the 30 million has been spent on to be quite frank about it. To me, it’s a very different, but it’s got a slight taste of place, sir, about it. I think they saw great opportunities there. The interviews I saw, they say that he said in the interviews that I saw that he had about 8,000 websites. Fantastic. I wish I had 8,000 websites. But I couldn’t cope with that anyway because it’s just me and my co host and a couple of free subcontractors.
I couldn’t do that anyway. That’s my basic reaction to it. Nice looking website by what he says, he understands online marketing. I don’t think in any shape or form he has the understanding of SEO that you do. Maybe I’m being uncharitable, I don’t know. I try and be balanced and fair.
I’ll tell you what my 10,000 foot view is. I have to be somewhat careful here because I have somewhat of a non disclosure with luxury presence.
I’ve got to be fairly careful about what I say and don’t say. But I will say this about growing a company of that type. In general, when you take on that much venture capital, John, there’s a certain amount of pressure that goes along with it. It says you’re going to build a certain type of company. And I think that luxury presence, everything I’ve seen, definitely suggests they’re under that pressure. To scale at max incredibly fast inside a technical industry is not that easy. And they’ve had to build a product where they can basically satisfy 8,000 different agents all over the country, and they’ve had to build it organically.
Now, every time you see something like that, I know the whole real estate industry gets super on fire about following along with what everybody else is doing. You’re always competing against the guy down the street. You see one of the really successful agents put up a luxury presence site, and then you go ahead and put up a luxury presence site as well. I’m going to say that while I know for a fact that they’re working on their processes, I know for a fact that they’re working on their SEO processes. I’m going to say that the results that I’ve seen so far and continue to see are not great at all, and that they’ve built some technology that is not going to support the work that they want to do. They did not build it correctly for some of the things that they are trying to do. trying to achieve? Might they be working on rebuilding it and getting it right so that it works well for SEO? It’s entirely possible that they are. But currently speaking, there are quite a few things that I’ve seen that are global. Some of them I’ve talked about, but some of their process work has to be broken.
Some of the ways that they communicate to clients about transferring SEO values appears to be broken. I don’t know if they fixed it. I strongly think that they probably have not. I have reasons for saying that because when the… Well, you know what? I’m going to leave all that. I’m just going to say that I have technical reasons from looking at websites that seem to suggest that the process is still not fixed in 2023. I have clients that have called me. I’ve seen other case studies and examples that have come up beyond the ones that I’ve published that all seem to suggest that if you were going to take an established website and transfer over luxury presence, that is a very iffy decision to do that. So for all of those listening to the show looking for a review, and if you’re a luxury agent now, if you’re a new agent looking to establish a site, sure, go with them. But if you’re paying for their SEO services, I would say that they do not have that dial in yet and that you are probably not going to see the return on investment that you were hoping that you would see.
But that’s some of the cons. And it plays deeply into this venture capital and the fact that they’ve got 30 million and they’re moving fast.
So in some ways, I was on the right track to link them in a way to play. Because I think some of places problems, they really liked their chief marketing, I forgot his name, came on the show. Really nice guy, very intelligent, very straightforward. But I think their problem was the same. They took all this venture capital and because of that, they had to go in a direction which wasn’t maybe on reflection the best direction. So that’s why I linked the two together, Robert.
I cannot say enough good things about Malta and the team that I’ve met. I want to separate a couple of things. My impression is, guys and girls, people listening to the show, it doesn’t matter who you are, but saying that you’ve been given $30 million to build the company and you haven’t necessarily built the company with $30 million before is a major upskill. It’s a major task. Malte seems to be a guy that goes out and collects information from people that have it, and he seems willing to invest in that information. So given enough time, I have faith in him as a leader. He seems to be doing all the things he can possibly do as a leader. But to say that he got it right straight out of the batter’s box, I don’t know that I would say that. I would also say he’s attempting to build three separate companies in one. He’s attempting to build a company that has a free product where they’re making them in mass for free. That’s crazy. He’s taking that $30 million and doing exactly what Placer did and trying to get the install base. And that failed with Plaster, it’s probably going to fail with Luxury Presence.
There’s a ton of reasons for that. But number two, he’s trying to build a mid range product, which is probably their most successful product, where they got a luxury presence and they’re doing a little bit of marketing. Actually, let me rephrase. Their most successful product is probably the one that they have a third product, which is a hyper luxury product and they’re charging 20, 30 grand for the site. And that product is the one that they still showcase that everybody sees. There’s a huge video element to it nd they did an amazing job when they built Jade site and creating a different presentation for the site. They had a great branding vision that’s probably Malte’s greatest skill that he brings to the table is he’s got an amazing branding vision and all the backing and support for the branding part of it that he could possibly need. But that’s a branding site. That is not a free catch all site where you’re telling people you’re going to get a result off it. That’s completely different product. And whether or not they’re explaining every single person that comes in that they’ve got three products with three different sets of expectations, I don’t see the fact from customer input, I don’t think they’re getting that part right.
They did the same thing that they did over at Placester, where they scaled beyond the ability to train a staff behind them to explain the product right to their customer base, which means their customer base thinks they’re buying something different than what they’re getting. And I heard that 50 different times from 50 different people.
Yeah, but before we go for a break, I just want to quickly go through the prices. Then when we come back, I’ve actually got something good to say about luxury presence, actually. So the information I got, it’s from $5,000 to $15,000 plus set up, and then from $300 to $500 plus licensing fees. So they’re definitely in the luxury side, aren’t they?
So I think we go for a break, Rob. What do you reckon?
We’ll be right back, ladies and gentlemen. This has been Episode 387. We’re having conversation about agent image versus luxury presence. And we’ll come back to you with some additional information. We’re going to focus the second half of the show a little bit more on agent image. We’ve been talking about luxury presence a lot. We’ll have another conversation about agent image at the end of the show. I’ve got some good things to say about them, and I have a lot of good things to say about luxury presence. They’re both companies that are being run by teams with good ideas. So stay tuned. We’ll be right back. Do you want quality leads from homeowners and buyers right in your own neighborhood? Then you need Mail. R ight. It is a powerful but easy to use online marketing system that uses Facebook to generate real estate leads at a fraction of the cost you’d pay from our competition. We stand behind our work with a no question asked 30 day money back guarantee. So don’t delay, get started today. Go to mail. R ight. Com. Welcome back to Episode 387. John was fearless today. He set a topic matter for Agent Image and luxury presence for two real estate website companies in the luxury space, making luxury websites.
It’s a fascinating conversation. I’ve got a deep, deep, deep amount of experience with both companies, or at least a deep, deep level of knowledge for various reasons. I’ve essentially done contract work for both of them. Anyway, so it’s an interesting dialog. So, Jon, when you took us to break, you said you had some good things to say, so why don’t you share that with us?
I think the before I start is that both companies are reputable. I don’t want to give any impression that I think before you went to break, you laid out some of the problems, which really communicate in effectively to your customer base what exactly they’re going to get. And I think it’s tricky. I think it’s probably even tricky for you. It’s tricky for me. It’s tricky for anybody. It’s not easy. I think the good news, which is bad news for agent image, but I’d be really interested to see how your reaction to what I’m just about to say. The good news for luxury presence is their websites in general are much better looking, in my opinion, much better design. The problem with Agent Image is I think they’re a bit tired, their designs, their design language, their image language. I’ve got MA in UX and graphic design. I’ve also got a degree in computer science and I got MA. So I got a little bit of knowledge. It was a few years ago because I’ll be old now. But the problem of age and image, when you look at their examples, and their examples should be their best work.
It’s tired looking, it’s old, it’s tired, as far as I’m concerned, it’s lazy design based about eight, nine years ago. Luxury presence, their designs, their demos, what they’re presenting is much better, in my opinion.
I agree 100 %. I don’t disagree. And there’s a reason for that. Agent image, which has changed the name of their design and development back end team, which is all in the Philippines, three or four different times. Last time it was August 99, and I recently talked to an old friend over there, and I believe they renamed it again and rebranded it again. It’s now something else. And I don’t know, I forget what he told me the name was. But I will tell you this, as far as I know, it’s been the same core team built up the four or 500 people that work on the back end for Agent Image. This is a very, very large team out of the Philippines. You have a handful of designers that really were award winning, incredible designers that they managed to get their hands on, usually out of school. And then these people built up the branding reputation of Agent Image, all based on the back of really two or three really talented designers. Now, to your point, though, most of those people that were leading that charge were doing it 10, 15, 20 years ago. So Agent Image has been plagiarizing off its own design concepts for 15 years.
Only very rarely do you see something original, and it almost always comes out of the team that’s been assigned to the Imagine Studios brand or Agent X brand under Agent Image. Now, put simply for those listening to the show, if you don’t have a budget of 10 to $20,000, you don’t get access to those designers. You get access to the B team or junior team of designers that do all of their other products, and my custom, everything else. So when you’re looking at a couple of sites that they built, they are using outdated technology, but I would say that the handful of Imagine Studio or Agent X sites that I’ve seen still could hold up against lecturer presence, in my opinion.
Well, you know more about it. You work for them. You work for both companies. You know better than me. I’m just giving the outside perspective.
I think your perspective is incredibly astute. For those listening to the show, John’s experience, which he’s humbly downgrading, I would say it’s as good as anybody’s that you’re ever going to hear, except for somebody maybe like me who’s worked for all the companies. And there aren’t there 10 guys, girls out there like me. There’s almost nobody anymore that’s still in the industry. Everybody left real estate and went and did other things with this. There’s a couple of people that still work for Agent Image that have been doing it for 10, 15, 20 years. That’s one of the guys I talked to. Everybody else, John, left the real estate space. So there is nobody left that has this ancient history and can talk. But you’re looking at the product from an outside view with the degrees that you’ve got is correct. They haven’t updated to Web 3 technology. They haven’t gone completely mobile friendly. They’ve got to do certain things that they shouldn’t be using anymore.
I’ve got to be honest, unless you’re going with the higher tier of what age and image is offering, or you go with maybe the higher… I don’t know what you get for $5,000 from luxury presence. I’ve got to be truthful, but I’d imagine you’d be better off going because the $10,000 mark plus, even with them, you’d probably be better off going the WordPress route and going with a designer. We offer semi custom, but there’s plenty of people in the WordPress real estate that can do you a custom website. What we’re trying at MailR ight is to offer that flexibility, but also provide a CRM and other marketing tools. That’s what we’re trying to do. Because people tend to underestimate the amount of back and forth, the amount of Zooms, the run around to get material content, the back and forth. If you go in the full custom route, there’s a ton of time that’s taken up and you will be charged 10,000 plus. If they’re based in the US at all, well, even if they’re offshore in it, because to make any decent money, it’s a real runaround, isn’t it? It’s a time consuming process if you’re going the full custom group, isn’t it?
They don’t build them on WordPress then? They’ve got their own custom?
They build them on WordPress. They’re building on WordPress. They’re just not like, You build on WordPress, and we could have gone with headless concepts and things like that. Companies out there that have really young teams and are getting really excited about what’s possible, like luxury presence, they’re using some of that to make all those visuals consumable. Unfortunately, though, the vast majority of Luxury Presence websites are completely unreadable by Google, which means that it’s a no go for search engine optimization. Once again, I don’t fault those development teams. It’s a complex subject. You really have a decision. Do you play it safe and make sure that Google can read the sites, or do you get really super advanced about it and try to appeal to those branding clients that just want something that looks.
Really good? It’s funny you brought this up because some of my other business, I’ve got a major client, their national client. And their ability is really because they’ve done audits. They had to audit because they’re a federal government supplier. So they had to do accessibility audits, and we didn’t build the original website for them, but we have been working with them for the past nine months. Because it’s a very, very large website. It’s a non real estate website, but it’s a very, very large website with a lot of content. And we could have just put a sustainability plug in, but you had to be done right. And it’s taken a ton of time and they’ve paid for it. And it’s the same thing. If you really want to get it up to top tier accessibility ranking, you end up with a very, very blind looking website. So we’ve just said to them, we’ve got you up to a stage that’s in the upper to middle ranking when it comes to accessibility. But if we push this any further, you’re going to end up with a really plain Jane, throw back to the early 90s looking website.
So it’s not quite the same scenario, but it’s got the same… I thought I’d throw that in because it has some linkage to what you just said, doesn’t it?
It’s a conversation that I have almost daily with my clients, like almost daily. There’s really only 14 fonts that Google claims inside its actual manuals, like its technical manuals that it reads correctly. There are thousands of fonts available, but they don’t promise you that they can read any of them. They say that we’re ready to read 14 because they’ve created a spider that crawl s billions of websites and they had to have a quality standard. So the quality standard is we can read 14 fonts correctly. And anything else they’re telling you there’s a margin of error that we won’t read this page right. It’s not very exciting for all those people out there that are interested in branding and appearance and things like that. And the big companies that set the branding standards, like Apple, Apple doesn’t give a rat’s ass if Google can read their sites. So they do all sorts of things with branding that you look at and you go, Oh, my God. This is incredible. And then I have people come to me and use Apple stores, Apple websites, Apple everything. And they’re like, I want my thing to look like this.
And I’m like, Great. So you don’t care if Google reads it.
Let’s wrap this up because you’ve had a long flight and you got things to do. So let’s get to the nitty gritty of this. If you were looking at a agent image or luxury presence and you had a budget of five to 10 grand and you wanted a top tier, you’re a real estate agent, and you, apart from going to your company, you’re in bad area, which I suggest that people should go and have a discussion with you before. I noticed that Tom doesn’t have you for interview. He has some other people to interview on the Tom Ferry. I suggest, Tom, that you should have Robert on your show for interview. Robert, I think that would be an interesting discussion. So apart from choosing your own company, which they should look at, which of these, if you did know about in Banda, which one would you choose? I do.
Think that what you just said is 100 %. Those long time listeners will know I don’t plug myself that much on the show, but I’m going to be honest.
You have to bounce a bit. You have to have that. You have to.
You have that. These two providers and I’m still taking calls, you need to call me. If you have a budget of $5,000 to $10,000 or more and you’re going to put it into one of these two companies, you need to call me. But being reductive and answering John’s question, not calling me and just playing along with the scenario that’s been painted, I still probably go with agent image. Their sales staff, their support staff are more experienced in taking orders than lecture presences is. And I have some signals that say that while they’ve got maybe a really good sales guy in charge of luxury presence, I’m not seeing the signs that he is technically getting his team to adhere to active information when they’re on the phone with agents. They’re not training, retraining, and training again.
If you got about 8,000 websites, you’re not like me. You got your own book of business, and I’ve got a lot less than you. But when you’re talking about 8,000 bloody websites, it’s a totally different scenario. You’ve got to have everything running sweet because otherwise, it’s going to soon get messy, isn’t it?
Yeah. But having said that, there are products that luxury presence is making that I would look at. If I’m an agent, I’m looking at their free site and I just want to prop up something that is nice looking, I would say that Luxury Presence is something to look at. Branding needs to be your only concern and you need to assume 100 % you will never do a transaction off the site. It’s just a place for listing agents to have a sexy site for low cost and for agents that are newer into the industry and just are trying to compete with all the big name agents in their area that are luxury agents. This is one way for you to at least have something that on the surface looks like it does the job. After that, it’s going to be your determination, drive, and your ability to network and go to the places where these people have money and get your name out there another way and do the transaction another way. It’s not going to come from your website. Your website will just be a tool that you send people to that you’ve managed to generate through other methods, but you want to look professional when they get there.
That’s my luxury presence commentary. I don’t really have that much to say, but I want to make sure it’s clear to everybody and you, John. I’m not throwing luxury presence under the bus. I think that there are just things that you should need to know about them. And for anybody who’s willing to place a call or who’s got the $10,000 to spend, I highly recommend that you call me and go through the pros and cons because there are a much deeper list of pros and cons with both these companies and things you need to be aware of. If you’re going to walk in with a big budget and hire them, you’re going to spend $10,000 on a website and hire these guys. There are things that you need to know before you outlay that capital.
That’s it. I think it’s time to wrap it.
Up a little bit. All right, ladies and gentlemen, thank you so much for attending our conversation. We ended up not getting into real estate webmasters. I did mention my company but in a very limited way. John, thank you so much for putting together this show and being patient with me. I sincerely appreciate it. John is an incredible voice for those of you who are looking for a different opinion. Do you want to hear somebody who will give you his mind and speak a bit outside the box? I recommend you call John and get into a conversation with him. And what’s more, I’m becoming more inaccessible. As my company grows, conversations with me will get harder to have. You can still get me on the phone for the next six months, but I just returned from the Philippines from training a team. And here’s my recommendation for everybody listening to the show. John is another great guy to talk to. He doesn’t have the same experience that I have, but he has a lot of forward-facing web development experience that you can leverage to get an opinion from somebody about what you should be doing.
And I will tell you this; John will be honest.
And we can do this show because you’re looking at luxury presence, agent image, and real estate webmasters. My target is real geeks and Sarah E. I’m quite open about it. And a few bold leads with a few real geeks and Sarah actively mixed up. That’s what my offering is, Robert. I think your target audience is what we’ve… But we’ve been very honest without being cruel or disparaging in any way. I think we’ve been very honest and sincere in our comments in this episode.
I agree. Now, John, if somebody did want to reach out to you, how do they do it?
Just go over to the mail hyphen write. Com website, have a look at what we’ve got to offer. Like I say, if you’re looking for a better-looking website, some of the key functionality, real geeks are very interactive at a fair price and have some individual hand holding where the people that would probably fulfill what you’re looking for. So go over there, and you can book a demo with me in a direct chat. Over to you, Robert.
Ladies and gentlemen, if you’d like to learn more about me and still get my experience, go to inboundREM.com and look at the about our services pages. Those have the most information about me in the company. The site’s big. It has a lot of advice for new and veteran agents alike on various subjects. So if you’re looking to learn more about websites and marketing options, I do actually always recommend the Inbound RAM website as a place to go check out. Last little comment here. I’ve made it a couple of times. I really do mean it. A few times, I have said that access to me will be more difficult, or I’m going to hold off on having my conversations with only veteran agents and people that have been in the industry 10 years or longer. That change is going to occur in 2024. In 2023, you still get me on the phone for most of the calls. So if you want to speak to me directly and have $10,000 or more to spend, I strongly suggest that you talk to me directly.
Well worth the money.
Podcast: Play in new window | Download
Are you looking to stay ahead of the competition in real estate lead providers? Our podcast review of some of the best real estate leads providers in 2023 will help you make informed decisions and stay updated with current trends. From innovative customer engagement strategies to automated sales processes, we’ll be covering it all! Don’t miss out on this chance to get an edge over your competitors.
#1 – Zillow Premier Agent – https://www.zillow.com/premier-agent/
The top real estate portal in America and one of the most visited websites in the world, Zillow makes most of its money from real estate agent advertising. It has multiple options for agents and brokers looking to purchase leads, including a pay-per-lead option and a pay-at-closing option.
Starting at $200+/mo
#2 – Realtor.com – https://www.realtor.com/marketing
Realtor.com’s Connections Plus
$200+/mo. Realtor.com is the second most visited real estate website in America. Realtor.com is owned by Move.com, which is in turn, owned by the Murdoch family (Fox, Wall Street Journal, and more). They are also partnered with the CRM Top Producer and lead generation OpCity. Realtor.com is a solid source of buyer leads for real estate agents.
#3 – SmartZip – https://smartzip.com/
$1000+/mo. SmartZip combines the high-tech tools of AI and predictive analytics with the old-school tools of direct mail. They use their predictive marketing to identify likely home sellers and then mail those home sellers personalized pieces designed to get them to call you. It is the tech-savvy way of running your direct mail campaign and focusing on listing leads. SmartZip is worth considering for those who are farming with a direct mail component. And like all leads, they are only as good as you are. You have to work it
The minimum monthly cost is about $350. Many agents report their typical SmartZip spend is about $1,000 a month. SmartZip also requires a 12-month contract to get started. The base entry cost gives access to Smart Data (the results of the SmartZip algorithm for your market) and the SmartZip CRM.
#4 – Offrs – https://offrs.com/index.cfm
$200+/mo. Offrs is a real estate lead generation software mostly designed to generate listing leads using predictive analytics. Offrs uses big data to guesstimate likely sellers in the next 12 months.
10 cents for each lead
20 cents for each exclusive lead
$400 per month for leads in one ZIP code
$600 per month for exclusive leads in one ZIP code
#5 – Market Leader – https://www.marketleader.com/products/real-estate-leads/
Market Leader is an affordable CRM + website combo for real estate agents and teams. They own HouseValues.com, from which they generate many of the primarily Facebook leads they sell to their users. Their system is simple, functional, and one of the easiest solutions for an agent who needs a platform on a budget.
Price – $129+/mo
Market Leader pricing is straightforward and easy to understand. For $139 per month, users get all-inclusive access to a website, CRM, and marketing center. A la carte pricing for individual tools is not available. A six- or 12-month contract is required.
For real estate leads, the cost is $25 or more per lead, depending on your market.
#6 – SetSchedule – https://www.setschedule.com/
Contrary to the name, SetSchedule is not a calendar app, showing service or anything of the sort. Instead, it is a lead service (you “set a schedule” with your listing appointments). It does this with a rather novel concept. Instead of paying monthly, you can pay per lead. It includes a dashboard that lets you spend as much or as little as you like. It also has a premium access option that gives you unlimited access to all leads.
Price – SetSchedule charges a 20% referral fee on converted leads.
Jonathan Denwood & Robert Newman
Podcast: Play in new window | Download
Are you a real estate agent looking to supercharge your email marketing and lead generation in 2023? Then this podcast/video is for you! Learn how to use modern strategies like automated follow-ups, personalized content, and segmented lists to increase your email open rates.
Discover the most effective ways of targeting potential buyers with an online presence so that they can find you easily. Discover why focusing on customer relationships is key to success in today’s digital world.
#1 – Don’t use your normal email address/domain
#2 – Subject lines
#3 – Email warm-up tools
#4 – Positioning your brand and nurturing relationships (having a real niche will make your email marketing more effective)
#5 – Increasing sales and conversions. (divide your emails into lists)
#6 – Email scraping tools combined with paid social media retargeting campaigns
Warmup Inbox – https://www.warmupinbox.com/
MailShake – https://mailshake.com/
Lemwarm – https://www.lemwarm.com/
Alex Berman – https://alexberman.gumroad.com/
LeadPost – https://leadpost.com/
GetEmail – https://getemail.io/
Welcome back, folks, to the Mail Right, show. This week we will discuss everything around email marketing, lead generation, and everything you need to know to make your email campaigns and getting prospects and leads more effectively. I’ve got myself and my great co-host with me, Robert Newman, and we will do a deep dive into this subject. I’m sure you’re going to find it really interesting. So, Robert, would you like to introduce yourself to the new listeners and new viewers?
I’d love to. So I’m the founder of Inbound Ram, Inc., Which is just an abbreviation for inbound Real Estate Marketing. We build websites and do real estate SEO campaigns.
Thank you, Robert. I’m the founder of Mailwright.com, and we build great WordPress websites and provide a great CRM-based solution that gets you leads a great competitor to real geeks and similar system platforms. So, Robert, I thought we’d talk about email marketing in 2023. It’s still recognized as one of the most effective ways of marketing yourself, generally and in real estate as well. But I know. No. Well, SEO? There are a lot of general fallacies and misinformation about digital marketing in the real estate industry. But one of the areas that cause a lot of confusion is email marketing and how to do it effectively. First of all, would you agree with that broad sub-notches of what I’ve said?
Yeah, I absolutely do. I think email has been a strong way to market for almost 20 or 30 years. What is a steady, consistent, go-to fallback email as the world gets more cluttered in terms of all the marketing options, AI and video, and all this different stuff? Is it we’ve mentioned it in the last number of shows, and it’s great that we’re dedicating an entire episode to it.
The number one I’ve got is a shortlist here. I think the number one you got to be aware of is that, obviously, Google, through Gmail, dominates this area. You don’t want your email to end up in the promotional folder because when’s the last time, folks, that you checked? Are you aware that your Gmail or your Google Workspace has a promotional folder where emails that are marked as marketing and promotional can end up? It’s not quite like your junk folder, but it’s a similar graveyard where your email will never be read. So the main thing is there’s no point in sending out email campaigns if they really end up in people’s junk mail or promotional folder. Would you agree with that, Robert?
Not entirely, but I feel what you’re saying. I do check my promotional folder, especially the ones that come from an individual. I don’t usually click them out of promotional into my standard email inbox unless it’s like a really exceptional circumstance. But for people that I have made an impression on me, that I follow, I have moved quite a few of Brian Dean, Neil Patel, Ricky Carruth, and a handful of other people out of my promotional folder into my standard inbox. So I pay attention to what’s going there and I occasionally move stuff around. But if something gets buried in a large sequence of emails and I haven’t opened up my email in a bit, I would agree with you then, which does happen a lot. I’d say 80% of the time that’s likely that could happen.
So let’s start off with number one on my list. Don’t use your normal email address and domain for sending out bulk email campaigns. And the way I kind of work this out in my own mind, Robert, is there’s one to one email where you’re sending a one to one message to individual. There’s what I call micro email campaigns, and I’m utilizing language that I made up, but what I mean by that is not one to one, but we’re not sending out to a large list, we’re sending out to what I call a micro list, which could be anything between 200 and maybe 500 email. And then there’s bulk mass email marketing, that can be anything over 500, and that might be thousands. And what you don’t want to do is to get your main domain, like mine is Jonathan@mailwright.com. I don’t want to get that email address and that domain blacklisted if I can avoid it, because I need that to be really clean and be able to send email to people and have a reasonable confidence that it’s going to end up in their inbox. So what do you reckon about, first of all, the three ways that I’ve subdivided email marketing one to one micro list mass, and what I’ve said about not utilizing your domain to send out hundreds of email on your normal domain.
Well, I send out about half a million on my normal domain over the span of about a quarter to a list. And it has occasionally impacted me in the way where if Robert inbound RM is what I’m using as that email, so it’s on my prime domain under my own name. And occasionally I’ve noticed that my email goes into people’s promotional folders if they’re not expecting my email. So I agree with what you just said, saying that if you do this X can happen. I can absolutely attest to the fact that it does indeed happen that way. I don’t know whether it’s positive or negative that when I’m sending out a warm email that somebody click like, and I tell them, check your promotional folder, and then they move it over to their inbox. But I do know that that happens quite a bit, and I don’t have an overwhelmingly large case of people telling me that it hits their promotional folder. So perhaps it’s just maybe the first time I send it to an email address or something. I don’t know. I honestly don’t know.
Well, I think it really depends where you got the email from and if you got double option on your list, people have opted in. And I think what I said is people buying lists or doing cold email, your kind of email hygiene habits, because you have been a marketer for a very long time and you know what you’re doing, the risk of you getting your main domain blacklisted on a blacklist where you’re treated as a spammer are greatly reduced because you know what you’re doing well.
Yeah, which is the following for those listening to this show, here’s what my rule is with everybody, my clients, myself, everybody that’s listening. I don’t send out low value emails. Everything that I send out is connected to either a high value blog post with an extremely small intro and I don’t sell anything via email. I am always very conscious of the fact that it could for some people be a cold door knock and nobody likes a cold door knock where they’re just getting sold something. So instead, what I always attempt to do for myself and my clients is be helpful. And it, generally speaking, works. I have not been blacklisted in the way that John’s talking about, none of my clients been blacklisted in the way that you’re talking about. So generally speaking. But there’s a differentiation between that and saying I got a million names of people that I think might be interested in my stuff and I want to send an email to everybody at that point. A lot of the advice that you’re giving is excellent advice and I’d say go to a bulk email provider and send out those emails because a lot of times you send out a million emails, you get the 200,000 people or more likely the 17 to 20,000 people that are truly interested in what you have to say.
You get rid of the other 990,000, whatever the number is, and you have a good list.
Yeah, and Roberts really put it really very clearly. That’s what I was talking about. If you’re going to buy a large niche which probably only might affect a very small element of the listeners of this podcast that are on brokerage level a large city, a region if you’re individual agent, what we’re going to discuss is probably the one one and especially the micro email when you’re sending out to smaller list size. But you got to be aware if you’re buying a larger list and your email your best not to send it from your normal domain because you don’t want that to have any problems with it. The other thing is if you’re utilizing your Gmail, you shouldn’t utilize your Gmail to send micro and definitely it’s the wrong service, they won’t allow you. But there is a gray area where you can send so many email per day. I personally wouldn’t utilize your Gmail, I would just keep your normal email and your Gmail for that kind of one to one communication, really, but that’s my stance on it. Number two, the elephant that will mark up your email as being spam and junkie is utilizing certain words in your subject lines, emails.
The services know what normal phrasing that spammers utilize in their email, and if there’s certain patterns of wording in your subject line, that will flag it up and probably get it in the junk folder and not in the inbox of your targets. What’s your thoughts about that? Robert um.
I’m gonna leave that one alone.
Oh, yeah. Now another one is email warm up tools. And what do I mean by this? Let’s say you’ve got a Pacific campaign. You’re running through Google or Facebook, and it’s going to a Pacific landing page. And it’s for a Pacific area. It’s targeted at a Pacific Niche market or Pacific Geo area. And they come into the landing page and it might be a new property that’s up for sale. And to get more information, they got to give you their name and email. Or it could be some other lead magnet that you are giving away to get this information from the prospect. That might depending on how much you put in the budget, that is probably what I would probably call a micro or lead to a micro email campaign. So you got this list and you want to market to those people, so I wouldn’t utilize them. You need to warm up that list. And there are certain services like Milkshake warm up inbox. And what they do is they set up a network of Gmail campaigns and they break up if you import a list into it, let’s say 250 to 500 email, and then they will send out the email, but Google won’t know that you’re utilizing it will be treated like a one to one email.
And they give you analytics as well. But it’s pretty guaranteed that those email will go to people’s inboxes, and you can utilize that. So it’s a micro focus email campaign aimed at a niche which should result from your campaign to get people to a specific landing page. And you do this to make sure that it does go into people’s inboxes your outreach after they’re given their details to get whatever lead magnet or information that you’re offering. Does that make sense?
Robert yeah, but I’d like to put my own spin on this anyway, so it’s been a long time since I’ve heard of Warm Up Inbox stuff, and I think the reason that it’s been so long since it’s come up is that Warm Up Inbox stuff like, I’m on Warm Up Inbox. For those listening to the show, none of you are there, but you should go there if you’re considering this. Essentially warm up. Inbox is talking about its case studies. Its case studies are both examples of very large companies sending out millions of emails cold to very large lists and how warming up the inbox on a select set of the list such as 20,000 emails, increases the chances of opening those emails in a dramatic way. My emails, without using this tool get a 17% open rate and less than a 1% spam rate. To give you an example, on one of the case studies, the spam rate was as high as 65%. Why am I pointing all this out? If most of you real estate agents are not engaged in mass email campaigns to cold or semi warm lists, you probably don’t have to worry about this.
Very few real estate agents that I know are involved in massive email marketing campaigns to relatively cold lists. Most real estate agents, at a minimum are sending out emails to a list where at some point, somewhere, somebody signed up for something. Every once in a while you get a real estate agent that is getting extremely aggressive, targeting a neighborhood or an audience, buying the list cold and then sending out emails to them. That’s pretty rare in my experience. And if those in that very rare circumstance, you’re one of those people listening to the show right now, by all means go check out warm up inbox it’s probably worth it before you send out your first campaign.
Yeah, I agree with you there. I’m just really kind of putting in options to people from experts that I listen to. One of the main experts that I listen to about cold email and utilizing it as a marketing tool, he’s a man called Alex Berman. I’ve read his book and followed his YouTube channel for years and he’s a pretty hardcore cold email seen as one of the leading cold email experts. And he talks about email warm up tools. But I do see where you’re coming from because the people, they’ve opted in to receive email when they hit the landing page. But on the other hand, if you send in out your email and you just don’t seem to be getting a lot of seems very low, the results you’re getting, it might pay off to look at one of these Walmart tools just to double check, because you get analytics as well that show you but you got to have the time. They’re not enormously expensive. You can pay for one of these tools month to month and it might make a difference. I’m just putting the option out there.
No, I agree 100% and I think I might have to give a listen to this resource. He is mentioning things that I haven’t thought of in a while, but deliverability. Like the second that you start saying, oh, I’ve got over 100,000 people that I’m trying to do deliverability to all of these tools because they’re very cheap in comparison to the idea that you’re going to have 10% extra open rate on 100,000 emails and you really want your emails opened because now you’re talking about 10,000 names. You’ve already spent all that money getting the names or acquiring them, whatever it is. And then these guys want to charge you somewhere between $30 and $150 a month. Pay it. Hands down. You pay it if you think you can get the result, but keep on my man. The original cold email king, Alex Berman is on his list, ladies and gentlemen. So he has included Alex Berman, which I think is very cool of you.
All right, we’re going to go for our break, folks. We’ll be back in a few moments doing a big dive on email marketing. We’ll be back in a few moments, folks.
Do you want quality leads from homeowners and buyers right in your own neighborhood? Then you need mailwright. It is a powerful but easy to use online marketing system that uses Facebook to generate real estate leads at a fraction of the cost you’d pay from our competition. We stand behind our work with a no question asked 30 day money back guarantee. So don’t delay. Get started today. Go to mailwright.com.
We’re coming back, folks, doing a bit of a dive in email marketing. It’s still one of the most effective ways to outreach when people land on the landing page or to do a search on your website. You’re utilizing Robert services, expert services around SEO, or you’re utilizing paid campaigns. You want to get them on a mailing list and then keep that relationship going.
Well, since he’s already introduced himself slightly, Jed, this is our live podcast. Why don’t you go ahead and say hi, since you just bumped into the back of it. Sorry, guys. All right, have a good buddy.
See you later.
This is the challenge of me operating my first office. I’ve never had to deal with these particular challenges where I had my staff in the actual well, previously.
It’s been your cats, isn’t it?
Right, it’s been my cats. They’ve jumped in the podcast a couple times.
Anyway, you’re non inferior friends. Yeah. There we go, on to number four, positioning your brand, nurturing relationships. The way I see this, Robert, it’s really linked to our previous podcast where we’re saying, trying to market, when you’re getting going, getting started, you just got to take whatever leads, whatever people that are selling a home, a property, you just got to take what comes your way. But as you grow in experience a bit, the quicker you find a niche and market to it, the better. And I think you totally agree with this as well, the better its fins are going to be for you. That niche can be a certain age group, a certain type of home, a certain geo farming. There’s numerous different types of niches. But the quicker that you find your niche. And that will then help with your email marketing, because the more you can provide value, which you mentioned in the first half of the show, the more that you can offer value in your email, your newsletter, your outreach. It’s going to be easier to offer value if you have identified that niche. What do you think of that, Robert?
I agree. I agree with that.
Right, well, we’re running a little short.
On time, but I can certainly jump in and expand. We’re both niche marketers. We’re talking to a niche. We’re trying to speak to the real estate industry as a whole. So when it’s like a niche for real estate, it’s going to be speaking to people in the neighborhoods or targeted five step marketing plan. My favorite leveraging of cold email right now would be in conjunction with like a multi touch marketing plan like Brian Tracy used to talk about, which is where, for those of you who may not be familiar, it’s where you take 3000 homes in a targeted area. You try to get name, email address, physical address, try to figure out all the names of everybody that lives in every home, and then you drop them a postcard and a magnet, and then you send them an email if you’ve got their email address. And then you may even have somebody go ahead and flyer their home. So physically drop something on the door. And then after you’ve done three or four touches, you place a call. You have somebody place a call to all these people, and you try to provide something of value inside that call and schedule a campaign.
In other words, through five targeted touches, you basically adopt an entire area and make it your own through extremely focused targeting. Which email would be one, then that would be a niche, in my opinion.
Yeah, that’s great. Onto number five, divide your emails into lists.
I told you, you wanted me to skip the question. Go ahead.
He’s giving me a bit of our time on this particular podcast. He was nice to be last week. You never know what you’re going to get with Robert. Increase sales conversion. Obviously a dubbit to PV up. Increase sales of conversions, basically. You can overdo this, but I think, like what we discussed during the show, I think you have your kind of bigger list where you send them your news monthly newsletter. You have your micro campaigns, which are linked to landing pages, and then you have your one to ones, which you could utilize a tool like Bomb Bomb, which I think we’ve had a couple of discussions about. Bomb Bomb is they’re really effective in when you might have a smaller list, but you’re utilizing you’re just sending off one or two bomb Bomb videos per day. So that’s real kind of custom email marketing. Then you have the micro list, as I call it, marketing. And then everybody goes if they show no interest, they go into a nurturing newsletter where they get a high value newsletter per month. What do you reckon about that? That’s how I kind of rationalize it.
Well, I’m going to tackle this as I oftentimes do, backwards, forwards, on number five. The way that you’ve got it is increasing sales and conversions. Divide your emails into lists. And so instead of doing exactly a response to your handoff, I’m going to say the following dividing emails into lists is something that we do do at Inbound REM, and we have a way of doing it, which I think is valuable to mention and didn’t make it up onto your list, which is this we multivariate test a lot. Ever since I handed my email over to the head of my brand and marketing campaign team, he multivariate tests every single email drop that we do and he’s slowly dividing our list into segments. A couple of those segments are high interactivity people who open up everything that we send and then he’s starting to divide into segments where some people open up some emails based on a certain topic that we talk about, such as lead generation versus website reviews and things of that nature. So taking these, I know everybody, this is my team, there’s many people here with me today, so you’re getting to meet all of them.
So dividing those listen to specific segments over time, I can’t really say for sure John, that it’s going to be hugely valuable, but I definitely think that there is value in targeting your list. Like people who are interested in for real estate agents, it’s going to be people who are interested in lifestyle updates or market reports versus property information. There’s all sorts of things you can talk about as a real estate agent and I think it would be really helpful to multivariate your test your list, find out who’s interested in what, and then segment your list out so that you can start to send emails to people on subjects that they’re very interested in.
Right, thanks for that. Rob onto the last one because I think you utilize this yourself. Email scraping tools combined with paid social media retargeting campaigns. One of these tools is a tool get email basically anybody that lands on your website. It won’t provide the data for everybody, but somebody lands on you, it can identify the IP address of the person and a lot of times it can identify few magic who that person is. And so a high degree of people that visit your website can be identified even if they don’t sign in to a lead magnet of some kind. And then you can put them on a list or you can upload that list into social media and by putting a little bit of money, you can retarget them through social media, through your posts and get yourself in front of that audience again through retargeting. What do you reckon about this one?
Well, this one you’re right. This is probably the cornerstone of one of Inbound RM’s own marketing campaigns. Scraping email addresses off our real estate, our website, our blog, which we attract in through organic traffic. There’s no doubt that the 11,592 people as of yesterday that we’ve scraped are some of our most engaged email respondents. We also acquired about 40 or 50,000 names, numbers, cold, and we’ve also gotten about another 19,000 names through our social media channels. So, in other words, they subscribe to us on Pinterest. We’ve looked up their information, we’ve acquired it and downloaded it. Believe it or not, the scraper information is absolutely, without question, the highest engagement way of us acquiring email names and them being responsive, which is crazy because we have old contacts that I uploaded. And believe it or not, these scraped email addresses are just as good as my actual Rolodex that I uploaded into these email campaigns. So people I’ve physically spoken to respond about the same as these people that got scraped off our website, which I find you could have blown me over with that information. Jonathan. So I love these strategies. I love social media retargeting combined with email scraping, because now somebody visits your website and they end up finding they’re getting emails from you, that they’re seeing you on social media.
I feel like if you were doing an omnichannel approach with that kind of lead, that there’s a very good chance that you could convert a medium person into a warm person through sheer persistence.
Yeah, it could work. So, to finish off with you, have you chosen to email them directly then with a newsletter or some other content, you’ve decided not to retarget them? Or have you also combined that with a bit of social media retargeting?
I tested retargeting, and at the time that I tested it, I don’t have the capacity to take more leads than I get organically. That’s my problem. That’s why I’m in the Philippines right now training a sales team. Jonathan, is that I literally ran out of the ability I can’t take more calls, can’t do more clients, can’t take more calls. So I had to get more salespeople before I can worry about any of this. But I’ll tell you what, when I did test the retargeting campaigns, they were splendidly effective, almost too much so. We got 5000 visits to the website in almost no time flat and did not spend that much money for that kind of traffic or interactions. So it was brilliant. And it was so brilliant, I turned it off almost immediately.
So just to finish off, I got the impression, I think you really like the last point. I think .5, you’re okay. I think the second half of the show, I think the first half of the show and I got most of this information from reading Alex book, and also some of it I’ve done myself. I think when it came to using up warm up tools and the subject lines and the first half of the show, I got the impression that you felt for our particular audience that a lot of the things that Alex and other experts doesn’t really directly apply to our specific target audience. Really? Would I be fair about that?
Yeah, I agree with that. Subject lines is one of those universal email strategies. Subject lines are definitely something you can play with. John, I’m just going to be straight with you. I have personally gotten very tired of kitschy grabby kind of email lines. And so instead, with me, it’s just like, does something look authentic from a person that I know to be what I call an authentic marketer, where I feel like they’re going to make some effort to provide something of value to me. And it won’t be a tricky subject line that will get me to click on the email anymore. It’s usually just very direct and very plain, like, this is what’s in the email. Because I’ve done the clickbait thing too many times and wasted too much of my time. I don’t respond to it anymore. I presume that other people are the same way. So subject lines for me are just pretty plain, like, this would be more effective with your email. That’s how I’d send out the email. It’s not all that clever, and it’s not all that Ben’s playing subject Lines, I don’t know that we’ve seen a massive difference in open rates based on clever subject lines, but I’ll have to check with them.
So I’m a little on the fence. And the rest of what you said is absolutely true. It didn’t necessarily apply to our audience.
No, you’ve made a good point there because Alex, I do listen to Alex, but he is a real hardcore marketer to his core. He really is a bit of an animal. And what you’ve just said is very relevant because I had mixed feelings about it myself. But he is seen, built up a tremendous YouTube channel, has been pretty successful in his own marketing agency, and has a track record, but he pushes it really far out. He’s really hardcore. And I agree with you that I have similar feelings, but it’s been a great discussion because it hopefully puts some faults in your mind about email marketing and puts some ideas into your mind. So Robert, what’s the best way for people to find out more about you and what your team is up to?
For everybody that’s listening to the show, I would love it if you go to Inboundrem.com and look under the About or Services pages to get a little synopsis of what we do here. That would be great. How about you, John? How would you like people to look you up?
Yeah, go to Mailhyphenwright.com, and look at what we have to offer. We’ve got a great platform, great value, and also get the freedom of WordPress. It’s a real lead-generated platform, text, email, and some other call functionality. And we love to have a. Chat with you. We’ll be back next week, either doing an interview or talking about another digital marketing strategy that will help you get the kind of results that you’re hoping for yourself and your family. We’ll see you soon, folks.
Podcast: Play in new window | Download
Are you a real estate professional looking to stay ahead of the competition?
Learn how to effectively nurture and capture leads in 2023 with digital strategies that really work. This podcast episode covers everything from setting up an automated response system, leveraging email campaigns, and optimizing websites for lead generation.
You’ll learn tactics that will help you generate more leads and increase your bottom line. Get ready to take your business to the next level – watch this video now and unlock the secrets of effective real estate digital lead nurturing!
#1 – Planed Digital Content (you need a real plan of action) Omnipresence Marketing
Are you that agent that everybody sees online everywhere connected to the agent’s local marketing?
#2 – Social Media With Paid Nurturing (you need to support your social media outreach with money)
#3 – Email – weekly or Monthly with real-value content
#4 – Google Displayed Adverts ( they’re very cheap compared to over forms of online adverts )
#5 – Monthly Webinars
Top Real Estate Branding Ideas and Examples For Agents
The Hosts of The Mail-Right Show
Welcome back, ladies and gentlemen, to the Mail Right Show. Today, we will talk about effective real estate digital lead nurturing strategies that will work in 2023. That’s a hell of a mouthful that we came up with. But here’s what you can also know about the show. We’ve done this 384 times. That’s right, ladies and gentlemen, the show number for tonight is 384. That’s just absolutely confounding.
It’s bonkers. It’s absolutely bonkers. And I’ve been doing this for about 160 of those times with John. So that’s bonkers to me, too, for that matter.
It’s amazing that you could put up with the 480 out the sides, really, right?
Or vice versa. It’s amazing both ways.
You’re more rational than me.
I won’t argue with that. But I’m going to say this; it’s been a true delight, pleasure, and honor to do all these.
Sometimes you wanted to kill me, really, didn’t you?
Well, any good relationships like that. If you’re not making the other person want to pull their hair out, you’re not really doing it right.
Well, you got some hair to pull out.
I haven’t. Right. So you’re automatically ahead of me. I can’t do the same thing because you have nothing to pull out.
I’ve got a little bit left. It’s getting a little bit thin now, but.
Still got some left. Make up your mind. First you say you’ve got no hair, then you say you’ve got a little bit left.
I haven’t got as much as you have, so there we go.
All right. So before we jump into the show, ladies and gentlemen, John and I always do these shows the same way. We sit here and talk about ways to get a hold of us, and so on and so forth. So I’m going to… Every once in a while, I like to mix it up. So I’m going to mix it up this show. John is an incredible WordPress guy. He’s got another podcast, WP-Tonic, that is a leader in the field. It was one of the reasons that when I did my research initially that I decided that I wanted to partner with John on the podcast in the first place is that he obviously knew how to build up a successful audience. To dig into a topic, draw people in, and keep them there. If you haven’t already seen that other show, go to it. If you want to reach out to John, you can do so on his website, mail hyphen right, and he will give you a website or an email address if he wants. But here’s the thing. John’s making a WordPress website. He’s making CRM. He has lots of experience building these tools.
He’s done a good job of it. He competes with services like Reelgeeks and other companies. He’s got a slightly more competitive price point and a much more competitive mindset because he’s still building his service. So if you’re looking for something like that, how would you like people to get in touch with you and have that discussion, Jon?
Thanks for the intro. Really, that was fabulous. Well, just go to Mel hyphen Wright. Com and book a demo with me or Adam, my co founder. And we’d love to help you out or have a chat, give you some advice. Back over to you, Rob.
Beautiful. And for those of you who don’t know or do know who I am, you can learn a hell of a lot more about me at Inbound R AM. Com. I’m a real estate SEO guy, an inbound marketer, a storyteller, and I believe strongly in the power of drawing people into you as opposed to pushing them in a particular place. And I talk a lot about that on my website. Give out tons. Actually, I give out a million dollars worth of free information on my site. No joke. So go check it out. Now, without any further ado, we are going to talk about real estate digital lead nurturing strategies that we think are going to work in 2023. N umber one on the list is planned digital content. I think I know what the heart of this was. I think I understood what you were trying to say when you put the subject down as part of this topic. But I’d love to hear exactly what you meant. What do you mean when you say planned digital content?
Well, it’s linked to the concept that we’ve discussed omnipresence marketing. That’s a mouthful, isn’t it, Rob? It’s been everywhere in your local market online, in person, and also online. When people… The buyer’s journey is returning to a more normal span timeline. Most of the leads you generate digitally aren’t going to become a commission cheque straight away because that time span, a lot of the people that are going to be approaching you are not at the present moment looking to buy, but in the next 6 to 12 months they’re going to be. So it’s important that you keep yourself in front of them. So when it and you prove that you’re the knowledge expert, that you’re not a commodity, that you actually have something to bring to the table. And that’s why what you offer, Robert, in your team is about helping agents prove that they got something to bring to the table. But you’ve got to keep yourself in front of that audience. And that’s why you need a plan of action. So you are omnipresence online is there. You’re in front of that audience. So when they are ready to hire a real estate professional, you’re that person.
Don’t disagree. The way that I read this planned digital content, so I’m going to take this in a slightly different direction. And this is just a matter of interpretation. It’s not what John meant. He just told us what he meant. But the way that I read it was a digital content plan, a strategy that you map out in advance. That’s how I read the subject. So the thought that I had walking into our podcast was I haven’t followed up entirely on the show that we did a couple of times ago, but John came up with a really incredible list of tools, some of which were tools to basically chop up and edit existing video content that you have and then redistribute it. So when you say planned digital content, I was thinking, It’d be really cool to do 10, maybe big pieces of media, 10 videos, that thing. But then if you could use some of those cool little tools and hacks and chop them up, you’d really then have a plan of distributing all that micro sized bite sized content in many different ways in many different places, social channels, just like you said, and drawing them back into maybe the long form piece of content.
Because what I’ve noticed, because I do long form, I do long form on my blog, I do long form for my clients, there’s no doubt that traffic is dropping the long form. Most of you would probably be surprised that a guy that does this for a living is going to tell you, Hey, interest and traffic drops to this. The thing about long form is that it doesn’t stop being effective. They have 10 people come and three read the whole damn thing. The three people end up being pretty sold on you and your expertise. It’s not about the high volume of numbers. It’s about getting a small handful of highly qualified people from beginning to end to an interest piece, something where you educate them on, let’s say, how to do a very specific thing. Maybe only 10 people want to know how to do that thing. Here’s the thing. All those little bite sized pieces of content that you planned, there are 10 lines in the water to draw people into that long form that are creative back in ways like Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest. You can get those little 30 second segments of a video that connects into a long form piece of content, you put them out there and have 10 different ways, 10 different little avenues to get somebody into a deeper dive.
And that’s what I was thinking of when you said planned digital content. So it’s obviously not necessarily what you meant, but it plays.
Very well. No, actually, the two are combined because I totally agree with what you’ve just outlined, but I wanted to give, in my own thinking, why you want to do what you have so well outlined. And that’s the omnipresence because you got to plan it and re utilize the content you’ve produced, but you got to be consistent as well.
But all this whole entire subject leads us really nicely into number two on the list, which is social media with paid nurturing. And John in particular, he’s put you need to support your social media outreach with money. So once again, I’m just going to say, hey, why don’t you kick us off and explain what you were thinking when you put this on the list?
Well, apart from Twitter, but also Twitter has just done some changes that directly support what I’m just about to say. In most social media places, platforms do your native reach. If you put a post or a bit of content on Instagram, Facebook, there’s a number of platforms. Every year, the organic reach of that content is being throttled down and is linked to point one, you need omnipresence. Well, you might put organically on these social platforms as much content as you like, but every month, every six months, every year, they are frottening down how many people see that content. So you’re going to have to put a little bit of money down and also use retargeting, uploading a list of names and emails and then retargeting those people. Friending somebody that just shown some interest on your website or some content is a bit creepy, but retargeting works if you can put that in a list and then retarget your social media. But you’re going to have to put some money in, not enormous amount, but you got to put some bit of money. So all this effort that you’re putting in to your plan of action to get omnipresent marketing actually works, Robert.
I don’t disagree. So I’ve talked about this before, maybe not on this podcast, but the best marketing, hands down, everybody hear me, is let’s just say that you acquire… I was talking to somebody recently, John, who is going to target a luxury neighborhood that has 3,000 homes. Older neighborhood, been there for a while, average home price, 1 to 10 million. But all the stops are coming out. There’s no limit on budget, no limit on what they can do. But they only are interested in those 3,000 homeowners, nobody else, don’t care about anybody else. So what are they going to do? Well, first, they’re going to do what we always talk about, blog posts, content, do YouTube videos, be useful, all that. But then they’re going to take it a step further. They’ve already acquired the 3,000 email addresses and all the information from those homeowners, which with very good information providers, you can get most of that information. Most of it is publicly available. So skip tracers have really great ways of getting information from anybody anywhere. If you’ve ever given your information to anybody publicly, you probably have had your name sold. It doesn’t matter how wealthy you are, what you’ve got going on, that’s probably true.
So all 3,000 of these names and numbers email addresses are going to get uploaded into every social media platform, Instagram, Facebook. And then he’s going to do retargeting and remarketing with pixels. And so the ads follow these people around along with mailers, along with YouTube videos, the blog content. So basically, there are going to be five or 10 different ways that these people are going to be advertised to. And a small handful of those people are going to probably see the email, see the mailer, go online, see the ad, and subconsciously, whether they realize it or not, the only real estate agent names that if they don’t really have one in place that they’re going to remember is going to be this guy, this team. It’s brilliant. It’s an omnistrategy, just like you’re talking about. It’s using every marketing method that there is really traditional digital. And hey, you could even back all that up by getting the phone numbers to all 3,000 homes and do an introduction campaign on top of everything else, a gift basket along with a phone call. If the money is big enough at the other end of this, it makes sense to do all that.
Makes sense to just completely dominate and take over market 100 % and then just reap the rewards over the five or 10 year period. When you say social media with paid nurturing, you don’t have to go that deep, everybody, but you could do a YouTube video with paid advertising. Brett Wallace just did a little experiment with this and spent $150 and got 2,000 views to a video. Didn’t really get any calls, but he’s got a heck of a lot of views for 150 bucks.
I’m not talking about a huge budget here. I’m talking about $100 to $200 a month. If you’re going to put the time… The other factor, which a lot of agents don’t understand, is the amount of volume of social media that you’re going to have to churn out to actually move the needle. It’s a lot more. That’s where having a scheduler, having a platform, having a plan, and then being proactive around commenting about more time related local subjects and combining it, but you’re going to have to knock out a lot more than you think.
Agreed. So next on our list is email. I’m in the Philippines and I’m recruiting a sales team, which is like making me relearn and request a lot of the basic sales principles that I talk about on the phone. One of the people that I follow, one of the influencers, said something interesting to me, not to me directly, just like in the span of teaching a course that I paid for, just emphasized again, 20, 30 years, ever since the advent of email, in their opinion, the most valuable thing that you can have is still an email address. And I don’t disagree with that. I think long, long term, over a five or 10 year timeline, email is still one of the most consistent, reliable forms of marketing they can do, which is why I’m happy to see that it’s number three on your list. Email, real weekly or monthly value content. So why don’t you explain what you mean by that?
Well, I totally agree with what you say, but it’s also the most abused bit of marketing in the real estate industry. I mean, it is really a totally abused child of marketing. I don’t send weekly or monthly newsletter with mail write, but my other business I do. And I personally write it. I write it every week. I have a list of news topics, and then I write personally about a specific topic. And I’ve been doing that for about seven years. It’s a 1,000 person list. I do cleanse it every year, and it goes up a bit, and then I cleanse it, goes down. So it stays around 1,000. So it’s not large. But they’ve been receiving my email for almost seven, eight years now. And I know that some of my biggest clients, some of my most profitable gigs have come from that list, Robert. One of my biggest clients that spent a lot of money with me came from their outreach. But when it comes to the real estate industry, it is so abused d. You need to provide some value and you need to spend time on it, or you need to pay Robert and his team to do something like that for you.
But it needs to be done in the right way and you need to provide consistent value. And if you do that, it will pay off.
Again, don’t disagree at all. Well, actually, I’m going to say this to everybody. When it comes to my clients, I’ve got my service built in tiers, John. The first tier is, let’s just build them a website, get them organic traffic, get them in front of YouTube, maybe get them ranking hyper locally, essentially get them some placement visibility on Google, right? Anywhere, any channel that makes sense. But then the second step, once there is visibility, is to install some more of the modern AI tools that are actually available that most people don’t know about, which are you can buy and install tools that will scrape traffic information and grab email addresses to people that have actually visited your website. It’s one of my favorite hacks in the world of marketing is that there are these tools that exist and you can probably collect 30 or 40 % of the traffic’s information that comes to your website and then send out emails to it. And then if you want, create further marketing redundancies because once you have the email information, you’re seeing who’s opening your emails. There’s nothing to say that you can’t create a list out of that, upload it to the social media channels that you like, and create retargeting campaigns around strictly people who’ve already engaged with your email.
And so now you’ve got a truly impactful multi string advertising campaign, which, by the way, we’re going to do here at Inbound rem as soon as we actually need more clients, which we don’t. I’m in the Philippines training additional salespeople so I can do some of these things because I don’t need to right now. But for our clients, it’s a really great tool conceptually, and it’s very low cost. When you have these targeted, highly focused people that you’ve somehow pulled down and then you’re sending emails and they’re opening those emails, getting an ad in front of them and keeping it there is really not that expensive. So really effective, really inexpensive, and starts with email. Email is an important part of that. So love to see that. All right.
Shall we go for a break?
Yeah, let’s do it. Sorry about that, everybody. So ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, John is going to say, Let’s do a break. I oftentimes forget, but we’re going to check out wherever you’ve seen us, wherever you found us, please do us a favor. Give us a thumbs up. Share any thoughts that you have about the show with us. Hit my contact form at inbound rm. Com. Hit his@mail hyphen write. Com, and we’ll be happy to have a conversation with you about the show. We’ll be right back.
Do you want quality leads from homeowners and buyers right in your own neighborhood? Then you need Mail. R ight. It is a powerful but easy to use online marketing system that uses Facebook to generate real estate leads at a fraction of the cost you’d pay from our competition. We stand behind our work with a no question asked 30 day money back guarantee. So don’t delay, get started today. Go to mail. R ight. Com.
Welcome back to episode number 384. We are talking about effective real estate digital lead nurturing strategies that are going to work in 2023. We just covered number 3 on the list, which was email, weekly or monthly value content. Number 4 on the list is Google display adverts. They’re very cheap compared to many other forms of online adverts. Why don’t you explain… Yeah, take us away, Jon.
Yeah, it’s one of the more foldable. It’s conversion is lower than word targeting advertising on Google. I’m not going to lie, it is no shape or form as effective in lead generation. But combining it with the other things that we’ve discussed, it should be looked at, especially in a local market like your example of those 3,000 households that you’re working with a Pacific agent on, it linked to the concept of omnipresence. It’s very effective and it’s very affordable. But I think it combined with some of the other things that we said, it’s something that’s forgotten. But if it is combined with some of the other things that we’ve talked about, it’s very affordable and it can work. But just doing it on its own, I would say it probably isn’t. But I’d be interested in your thoughts, Robert.
I’ve used Google advertising and adverts many times in many different ways, and I’ve always felt like in a specific circumstance, ads work really well. There’s never going to be a time that Google ads or adverts, whether it’s display advertising or text advertising, it couldn’t be effective. Ecommerce, real estate. I like the idea for advertising and real estate for something unusual. I dislike the idea of advertising and real estate, direct advertising, like search marketing advertising when you’re saying, I’m just going to say I’m up against everybody else that’s targeting the keyword homes for sale in Orlando, Florida as an example. I just don’t like it. So much competition, the bidding is really aggressive, the value of the traffic is diminished because you’ve got four or five other people that they can easily check out in the same keyword grouping. Now change that over to hit to to steal a little bit from John’s list here and instead say looking to learn about relocating to Orlando, I’m doing a free webinar on relocating from Canada to Florida on such and such a date and using that as a display advertising right up against the same keyword. So you’re advertising the same keyword, but your ad is incredibly different.
And so now you send people to a page, you have them sign up for a free webinar, and now you get in front of the traffic that’s actually interested in learning something. If that’s what we’re using these advertisements for, I love it. Bout it all day long. And it’s much better than organic marketing because organic marketing is too slow to pivot to that strategy.
I totally agree, but I didn’t mean that actually. But you’ve put a new face there and I totally agree with what you just said. But I was linking it more about pointing the agent’s face in the in front of the target audience. You’re remarketing to them on social media and it’s just reinforcing. It’s just putting yourself in front again at a very affordable price at that target audience. But everything you’ve just said, though, I also totally agree with. It’s another way that you can utilize these display adverts.
True fact. And last but not least, you got local search services, search packs, which Google separated out into its own category of advertising. So it’s actually completely separate from the entire eco sphere of other advertising products and services that they have. And it’s still a year into it being launched, it’s still the best deal available to a real estate agent in terms of price and acquisition price. You’re not going to get more than one or two deals a year because of how oversaturated it is. But seeing as how you only pay when somebody clicks on your ad or calls you, you can’t compare. Zillow doesn’t compare. Nothing compares. Every realtor in the country that has a license should be there because you get one deal a year, you’ll pay $150 acquisition price at most for that deal, and there’s no deal like that inside real estate advertising.
I don’t think still a lot of agents know about that or it’s traction. Do you think because it is Google and they’ve just been slowly rolling it out, why do you think the fact is why that hasn’t become more popular? Is it really just what you said? You get one or two deals, but it’s not enough to really move the needle a lot.
I think it’s the complicated sign up process, really. It’s not easy. It’s not a given. You can’t just do it. Like I am saying, a license, but you have to hold the license. They check the license. It’s complicated. It’s complicated to sign up for. And then at the end of the day, somebody’s looking at how complicated it is to sign up and understanding that they’re spending all that complicated time for a method of advertising they have to pay for. I questioned it when I put my first client in. I’m like, This is a lot of hurdles to jump through so that I can pay you money. You have to be Google to pull something like this off.
Yeah, that was my own fault as well because we did some videos on it and I do believe in it. But it does seem a bit painful. It’s very typical of Google, isn’t it?
Very. So last but not least on the list, and I preempted the subject, but it’s monthly webinars. I know so many people that still use this to such incredibly powerful effect. So, Jon, why don’t you share what you were thinking when you put it on the list?
Well, I’d like to expand it because I think it’s the concept that we’ve pushed over the past year and a half of becoming the digital Mayor of your local market. I link it to doing a podcast where you interview movers and shakers in your local community, and then doing a monthly webinar about market conditions, proving that you’re the expert, that’s why I do the podcast. That’s why we do this podcast and why I do my other podcast, which is up. I did it this morning and we’re up to 760 shows. I’ve been doing it for eight years, Robert. God, for eight years, Robert. But the reason why I keep doing it, Robert, is I can’t directly. I do know that it has led to other people in the WordPress space sending clientele to me. For me, it’s social proof that I’m serious in the word of spray. There’s enormous amount of benefits, and that’s why I’ve continued. And I enjoy doing this podcast with you is that I think it proves that we’re legit, not so much you, because you’ve got a much longer track record. But I have been doing this podcast now for almost four years, Robert, so I think I’m reasonably serious about male riot in the business, really.
But it proves that you’re doing the webinar. I would link it to podcasting as well. But the thing is, it’s all right suggesting all this. It’s just the time factor, isn’t it, Robert? It’s really difficult for real estate agents because it’s famine or it’s either you’re inundated or it’s famine. It’s very hard to get consistency. But if you do block up, you just need to block a bit of space to maybe do a weekly podcast and then do a monthly webinar about the subject. Block the space off unless it’s a crucial deal. Keep it blocked. And I think you’ll get benefits. What do you reckon, Robert?
I think it’s a skill just like any other. I love the webinar format because it truly is a teacher’s format. T hat is really my whole jam with the web is that I think it’s a great space for us to educate, tell stories, compel through knowledge, compel through experience. That’s the direction I think marketing is going is gone. I love any tool that does that. Webinars are incredibly powerful. They’re like the old infomercials where you found yourself, if you’re older like me, I’m 52, I’m not going to call John out, but he probably knows what I’m talking about. But there used to be infomercials and we.
Used to sell… I wish I was 52.
We used to sell… In Girls Gone Wild, we used to spend $7 million in infomercials per month. So we’re doing all this advertising. And we sold tens of thousands of DVDs. And it was really a compelling story that you were telling now. That was a really skill, not the proudest moment of my entire career. I didn’t really believe in that product. But I will say this, the storytelling format worked wonders. When you told a story and you drew people into it, you’d be amazed at how compelling that was and how many people stayed through to the end. A 30 minute commercial, really. And then they stayed through to the end and bought something from you. It’s all about how you do it, how you educate. So I love webinars. Same thing as an infomercial, really.
I think linking it, promote it through your podcast, promote it through your email list. It’s also something you can promote through social media. You can link the subject to somebody that’s really further on the sales journey. It can really generate a really a group of people that might be further on that journey and really get some really strong leads. So it’s definitely worth it. It’s just planning it out and being consistent. It takes… It’s not easy for Rob. You’ve hardly missed a session with podcast. I’ve hardly missed one. We’re very dedicated, aren’t we? A lot of people, they just don’t want… Like Einstein said, the sign of madness is you keep doing the same thing and expect a different result. But on the other hand, you’ve got to be committed and you’ve got to turn up. It’s a combination of the both, isn’t it? I feel. Yeah, I.
Feel the same way. And I think that just depending on the webinar, the podcast, whatever it is that you’re talking about, if you take the time to understand your audience and how they’re responding, it’s going to position you very well. I’ve had the same experience, John, as I haven’t. I’ve probably acquired a couple of customers directly from the podcast, but what I have really acquired that is invaluable is a slightly more authoritative bent to my voice, the chance to have conversations with countless people that I really wanted to have countless those conversations with. And by the credit of having spoken to those people, when I mentioned that I have had conversations, it adds a lot of authority in even my sales presentations. It adds authority to my opinion about those competitors. It adds authority to it’s so So I wouldn’t say podcast directly has been responsible, but when I look at the ancillary benefits, there are many, many, many, and that’s why I continue to show up and do a million. I know we.
Need to end it because it’s late at night for you. I just want to quickly say this. It just occurred to me when you were saying that, Robert. Agents, do you just want to be seen as a redfin? I’m not having a go. I’m not being disparaging. Do you want to be seen as a redfin agent? Or do you want to be seen as a real knowledge professional that really brings value to the table? You’ve got two choice. Either you’re going to be turned into total commodity, a redfin agent, or are you going to be seen as somebody that brings real knowledge, real value for the table? And I think you’ve got the next.
Yeah, exactly the latter. I want to.
Be considered a real source of knowledge, help, and inspiration for agents, both new and old alike, like experienced agents and newer agents.
But as an agent, you’re going to be totally commoditized. You’re just going to be that red thing, or you’re going to be somebody that actually brings value to your local market. And you’ve just got to display that. And the beautiful thing about displaying it, doing a webinar, doing the things we said, is that you can utilize that to market yourself effectively.
True. Very, very true. Well, you called it correct. We will wrap the show up because it’s not so important that it’s early in the morning. It’s important that I have one more call to do, and I’ve got a team of people here in the Philippines now, so I don’t have the flexibility I often have with my schedule. But I’m going to say all of that and I’m going to say, John, how would you like people to… John and I always toss out their website addresses when we age the show. Sometimes it just feels like I’ve heard it a hundred times, probably because I’ve heard it 160 times. I don’t know. I did this the last time for you. Pick a method, not your website. Another way that somebody could find you. Do you have a Facebook page? Do you have an Instagram account? Yeah, join me.
If you follow me on LinkedIn, Jonathan Denwood. I post a lot of stuff on LinkedIn. I love the platform. So if you want to follow me and see what I’m up to in my other podcast, I’m really dedicated to Word of Prayer Press. My degree was in computer programming; my Master’s was in UX design. I’m not an active developer, but I have over 15 years of experience in WordPress. But if you’re interested, follow me on LinkedIn. What about you, Robert? I’m going to.
Do an unusual one, too. We will say today we’re going to do Instagram because I’m posting content to it for the first time. So it’s Instagram forward slash inbound rem. I post more business lifestyle stuff. I’m posting pictures of me and my team because I’m here in the Philippines, and taking shots with me. They call me Sir Robert and they all want to take pictures.
With me. Sorry to laugh. I’m sorry to laugh, Robert. What do you think they call me, Robert? Don’t try. We want to keep the show clean.
I don’t know.
I got some interesting pictures of these young Filipino people and me, and I’m uploading them to Instagram. So go there. If you want to see what I’ve been up to, go to Instagram. That’s the platform I’ve been on.
That’s what I will call you from now on, so Robert.
Just great. All right, ladies and gentlemen, we’ll catch you the next time. Thank you so much for tuning in. John and I really appreciate it. Stick around and we’ll hear you next show where you’ll hear us.
Podcast: Play in new window | Download
Are you a real estate professional wondering if traditional branding is still relevant? This show will help explain the shift in real estate marketing and explore how digital tools reshape the industry. Learn how to stay ahead of the competition and build a successful business by understanding what consumers want from their real estate agents. Discover why traditional methods may no longer be enough to succeed in today’s market and see which strategies are proving most effective.
Back, folks, to the Mail-Right Show. This is Episode 383. It’s me, Jonathan Denwood, and my co-host, Robert Newman. I’m doing the lead this week. We will discuss a great subject that Robert did a great video on, the death of traditional real estate branding. It’s a great subject. It was a great video. It’s going to be a great discussion. Before we go into the meat and potatoes of it, let me introduce my great co-host, Robert. Robert, would you like to introduce yourself to the new listeners and viewers?
I’d love to. My name is Robert Newman. I founded Inbound Real Estate Marketing, better known as InboundREM. I talk about real estate marketing, SEO, inbound marketing, and real estate lead generation, and have a company that builds done-for-you marketing campaigns in those categories. Over to you, Jon.
Thanks, Rob. I’m the joint founder of Mail Hyphen. You get the power of real geeks with the flexibility and branding power of WordPress with Mail Write. So go over there, look at what we have to offer, and book a demo. I’m sure you’re going to be blown away. So Robert, the death of traditional real estate branding. You could give us a quick synopsis of this video that you did recently and some of your key thoughts on the subject.
Yeah. I added this excitement, the really like, silly title to it because a day doesn’t go by, and you know this, Jon, where a realtor doesn’t call in and talk about branding. And then, when they start talking about branding, they talk about a traditional brand identity package. For those of you listening to the show that may not know what that is, that’s the letterhead, business cards, maybe throwing a sign on your car license plate, basically things that barely even move the needle in the digital age, things that are almost practically irrelevant and were almost entirely irrelevant during the pandemic. Because who is out there handing out business cards? Who is out there handing out letterhead? Who is out there doing any of that? So it got me to think that real estate branding has changed and hasn’t changed a little bit. It has changed 100 degrees. What people believe branding to be and what it actually is are two different things in my opinion. Now, you already know you’ve read the cliff notes, so I will ask you a loaded question here, John. Do you agree?
Yeah, I totally understand where you’re coming from. I think I do. There might be a slight disagreement on the fringes, but the fundamental to noxious, which you’re trying to outline, is. But it is tricky because some traditional marketing methodologies still really work very effectively in real estate, whereas others… Business cards, I still have some, and I still hand them out at local events. It’s more habit than anything. Many young entrepreneurs and business owners don’t have them at all. So it’s a tricky strange era that we’re in, isn’t it, really, in some ways?
Very much so. And so to go to your point about business cards, the only people that I’ve met or talked to recently are doing digital business cards, this metal card that you slap up against your phone and automatically downloads your information into somebody’s contact list. That’s what I’ve seen. I haven’t even seen traditional business cards. I have like 250 that I printed out when I started inbound rem, of which I’ve got about 50 left. And honest God, I think I’ve mostly lost the remaining 200. I think I may have handed out 25 business cards in seven years. But that’s not necessarily true of a salesperson selling real estate. But before we dive into that, I will give everybody the bullet points because I did this on a board where everybody could see it. I want to do the same thing in our podcast. So for those of you listening, here are the five points that comprise branding.
Today’s age is in the 2020s of the modern real estate marketing era. Social proof is more important than visually based branding elements. Social proof reviews, what people say about you, what past clients say, and sold homes. Knowledge is more important than glad-handing or charisma. Proof is more important than Well, proof is just more important than word of mouth or buzz these days. That used to be the way it used to work. But I’m going to get into that a little bit. Personal brand, personal brand. This is one of the huge ones I’ve watched in real estate. Specifically, big brands have lost almost all of their cash. There are a few exceptions in specific markets, but most of the time, big brands have almost no authority anymore, and they don’t move the needle in how people choose their vendors. And this is one of my favorites because nobody ever knows what I’m talking about. A mission is more important than a mandate. Now, to go back to the beginning, John, social proof. When I talk to people about how they’re making decisions, and I talk to them, I am still making two or three sales calls a day with actual real estate agents, and I’ve been doing that for 14 years.
And one of the things that really seems to have changed is that my dad, everybody I know who’s buying a home, everybody who’s buying anything, they seem to check out reviews. So my first question, before I even ask you what you think, when you go out and make a decision about, let’s just say you’re going to spend more than $100, maybe more than 200 on something, and you’re looking at a local service provider, whether that be a mechanic or a restaurant, you’re going to go eat out, you’re going to take somebody out on date, whatever it is. Jim, you’re going to sign up for do you read reviews?
Yeah, I do. It’s a it depends on the amount of money, obviously. The more the ticket price of the purchase, probably the more research I do on that front, basically.
Okay. So you look at social proof. When you read reviews, does it make a difference to your end decision?
That’s easily, well, obviously, if there’s a lot of bad reviews and they seem to be reasonably sane people. Being that both of us are service providers in the business to business sector. I’m not being flippant here. There are a minority of people that are unpleasable. Whatever you do, they will find some fault in it. And there’s a very small minority that I even question their sanity. So we’ve all been there. But if the reviews or the bad reviews are there’s a consistent pattern and they seem reasonable people, yes, it would influence me. Okay.
You’re not alone. When I talk to people buying and selling real estate, when I talk to realtors buying and selling real estate, when I’ve designed my marketing campaigns, the clothes that I have, John, is mostly on the About page where we install Social Proof. These days, when we talk to a realtor who’s doing a lot of business out of a specific neighborhood or building, we make sure to get that sold home data on the web page to show, to start to demonstrate their expertise. And we find that it makes a very big difference in the performance of the page and registrations on the page and things of that nature. So I believe that social proof is more important than what we used to acknowledge as branding. The proof is in the pudding. And I believe, personally, and I feel like I have a lot of data to point in the direction. Now, what do you think, though? Because I feel like you’re saying, I agree, but with qualifiers.
Well, it’s just there are a lot of reviews aren’t really legitimate, are they? Depending on different platforms, utilize technology to stop orchestrated reviews. In some ways, Yelp’s policies are quite annoying when it comes to your ability to leave a review. But in some ways, you understand why their platform has got some loops that you got to jump through. So do Google, to some extent, a lot of these platforms because a lot of these reviews are semi orchestrated, aren’t they?
Very much so. Now, 20 years ago, for those of you who are listening to the show who’ve been around that long, Century 21 was a dominant player because they had all these people in gold jackets that were on TV and all those…
Do you think I should get a gold jacket, Robert?
I definitely think you should not, Jon. I do not think that either you or I are fitted out for the old style of branding. Do you remember back in the day, IBM had uniforms? Nobody remembers this anymore, but they did. Ibm had uniforms, Century 21 had uniforms. The big way to establish brand was to get all your people like soldiers running around in similar clothing and selling your service. And you did national advertising campaigns on radio and TV and newspapers. And that was the way that people used to do branding. That’s what a lot of Realtors still think that branding is. And I’m saying branding doesn’t work that way anymore. These days that branding is much more about informational intelligence. In other words, how can we prove that you, John, are an expert in your category of business that you say you’re good at? Let’s just say that you do do a TV ad. It’s no longer enough that you have an ad. You will not get conversions off that ad. You will get traffic back to a destination. That’s what you’ll get. You will not get your phone ringing. And I’ve done a lot of TV advertising when I was I used to work for Girls Gone Wild.
We did about $7 million a month, and that made our phones ring off the hook. It was other things, though, that actually got people to sign up for continuity programs. So I speak from a relative level of experience in this category. Knowledge is the new branding. That’s what this whole video is about. It’s basically how do you prove that you know what you’re talking about? Social proof is certainly one way. Video is another way, which you and I seem to talk about almost every show at this point.
It does, doesn’t it?
Yeah, that’s another way. Demonstrating through video that you know what you’re talking about. And you know how you do that. You just put a video on a web page and start talking about what you’re good at doing. That will come across as more authoritative than a newspaper article that somebody else has written about you. Now, that is a huge, massive change. I’m not saying that a newspaper article that somebody has written about you is a bad way to advertise yourself at all. It’s a good way to advertise yourself, but it isn’t necessarily going to get you the same amount of calls that it used to. It’s not enough to get somebody to pick up the phone. What I’m suggesting here, John, is that what it would be enough to do is send somebody to a website or Google My Business page or Zillow profile and open up somebody’s mind to the idea that they’re going to research you. And they might read your bio and they might look at your reviews, and then they might also look at your past sales. And if all those things were online, they would then call you. What do you think about that?
Yeah, I think you’re spot on. It’s the buyer’s journey. People pre qualify themselves to a much higher extent they used to. I wouldn’t say it’s totally, but depending on the price point, they do do a lot more pre research and pre qualify the vendor that they’re going to approach than they used to. And that process has only got more and more evident. And I think COVID even increased that, didn’t it? Because people just couldn’t went out there. They were at home and they were looking online, weren’t they?
Yes, definitely. Now, everything that I’ve said to you, if all of you followed our shows, so far, I haven’t said anything new. We’ve said this a few different times. Now, the last thing, the closer to this subject, it’s something that a long ass time ago, like two years ago, a couple of other branding gurus came on the show and they surprised me. I think, John, that I voted for them to be one of my top 10 shows when you and I were doing top 10 podcast. It was like this man and woman who were not husband and wife, but they were really witty and sharp and they were branding experts. T hey’re the only other people that’s ever mentioned this last line item in connection to brand. The mission is more critical than mandate. This is your extra credit. This is what everybody should be tuning into the show for. This is the gem in the content that we’re providing the thing that will really move the needle that not that many people have talked to you about. And that is, okay, so, John, let’s pretend that you have 100 great reviews online about you.
Let’s pretend that you’ve got a pipeline of way to drive people into those reviews. People are looking at them, so on and so forth. You’ve got somehow the reading them. You’re ranking organically. You’re driving them into paid advertising. Word of mouth, one way or the other, they’re arriving there. So all of that’s in place. But the person doing the reading has a friend, a brother, an aunt, an uncle, a sister who is in the same business as the one that they’re reviewing. They’re just trying to be polite and do their due diligence. They’re saying to themselves, Well, I’m about ready to spend $10,000 or $12,000. I should probably look around and make sure I’m finding somebody good. And they look and they go, Okay, this is great reviews. The pricing is a little high, but about in line with what my cousins is. Now, in that circumstance between those two people, I would submit that most likely the cousin is still going to get the business. But there is a way for you to tip the tip, the scales in your favor, and that is the following. It is something that Gary Vee and Chuck talks about a lot and does incredibly well.
Your personal mission, who you are as a human being and what you believe in. If you’re thinking that this is the only thing that’s going to really move the needle or sell you 100 homes, I would be the first to say no, probably not. But if you are in a very competitive market with a lot of other people doing a lot of what you’re doing and a lot of other really qualified professionals coming up against you, which happens a lot in the luxury space and to some degree in the upper middle class space as well, then what sets you each? What makes everybody different? Well, at that point, it comes down to do you have a mission or something relatable to these people? That’s what really can create a difference, such as… Christophe Chew’s mission is he sleeps on the streets with homeless people once a year, every year. He does a huge drive about it. Post the content all over his sites. He has his dogs. He has his favorite luxury causes that he supports, and he’s extremely vocal about all of them. Joyce Ray has her set also. So does Jade Mills. She supports the arts.
Christoff does the homeless thing. And guess what? I know from talking to all three of these people, or actually not Joyce Ray, I have not heard directly, that they end up doing business with people that also support the arts, that also believe that there’s a homeless crisis in LA. It’s not coincidental, John. I think that all things being equal when you measure two incredibly competent professionals who both have great reviews and you’re looking for something that may be the deciding factor, I think its mission is going to be more important. The mission more important, critical than mandate is what is the corporate mandate? The corporate mandate from Coldwell Banker is their tag line and things like that. And to be honest, I think that most people that are in the real estate business laugh at that shit. I think the prospects laugh at it. I think the people shopping for the homes. I just did this huge… What do you think, Jon? Do you think I’m out to lunch full of bologna, don’t know what I’m talking about?
No, not at all, Robert. But before we go for our break, I just want to comment about, which is true, a lot of people, I suppose it depends on where the market is at the moment. A lot of people, they do give themselves their home to either a relative or to a friend. And I would be totally the opposite, because employing a relative to sell your home initially might seem a good idea if it all pans out. But if it doesn’t, you’re in a really tricky situation. And it’s the same if you employed a reasonably close friend, it’s great. You want to be supportive, you want to that person, you want to be generous. But if it doesn’t pan out very well, you’re going to lose a friend. And business partnerships are totally different. I think a good business partnership can be very beneficial, but it could also be a nightmare. But it’s a totally different thing than employing a relative or a friend, because I think I would be reluctant to do it actually based on experience. I’d be happier just choosing somebody that I think is effective, that knows what they were doing, because if it doesn’t pan out, I’m going to have to get somebody else.
And that’s tricky if it’s a relative or friend.
I don’t disagree with any of that you’re saying. But, John, why don’t you take us to break and we’ll be back. But I do have to tell you and everybody else listening to the show tonight that I only have the 30 minutes allotted for the show. So that’s probably 10 more minutes after we come back from break.
Right, that’s great. We’re going for a break, folks. We’ll be back in a few moments.
Do you want quality leads from homeowners and buyers right in your own neighborhood? Then you need MailW rite. It is a powerful but easy to use online marketing system that uses Facebook to generate real estate leads at a fraction of the cost you’d pay from our competition. We stand behind our work with a no question asked 30 day money back guarantee. So don’t delay, get started today. Go to mail. R ight. Com. We’re coming.
Back, folks. We’ve had a big dive about this traditional real estate marketing dine or is dead. Robert said some great thoughts. We’re going to go back into it. So Robert, on we go. So what’s your next thought about this fantastic subject?
Well, so I do want to clarify, since we have a little bit of extra time and like my original video that I did on this, John, was 23 minutes and 21 seconds. And so we’re already 20 minutes into this one. And I really said what I wanted to say about the distinction between the two. But having said that, I do want to embellish so that people can get a full scope of what traditional real estate marketing used to look like. Bus b inches, geographic farming. There’s little elements here and there of traditional real estate marketing, traditional real estate branding that still work. Geographic farming, as far as I know, has worked about the same five years ago, 10 years ago. And what that looks like, so that everybody knows, you got to spend five or six years building up a reputation with the audience that you’re sending these postcards to. There’s no trackability, nothing like digital. You don’t know if you’re getting a visit or somebody’s looked at your card a hundred times or throwing away a hundred times. You don’t know until the phone call comes in. And so geographic farming is marketing in the dark is what I like to call it.
And so you don’t know for sure if you’re establishing your brand or not, which is probably why it’s one of the least popular types of marketing that there is. But it also seems to be pretty consistent from what I can gather from the people that I’ve talked to about it. So there’s that. There’s radio, which still is a thing that I’ve heard agents do. J ade Mills still advertises in the back of the opera digest. Places that she feels that really high net worth individuals spend their time, she still advertises directly and in print and does full page. The advertisements I’ve seen from her are full bios of her accomplishments as a real estate agent, along with a phone number to say, Would you like to have a consultation? That’s it. Full on, This is who I am, and she sponsors a lot of different stuff, a lot of the arts. S he is a very prolific human. If you’re enjoying the stage or a theater or opera, that’s where I’ve seen Joyce or Jade a lot. Those are traditional forms of marketing. I feel like what that does for you is it gets somebody to pick up their phone when they’re reading the magazine and Google you.
That’s because that’s what I did. I watched a couple of other people do the same thing. So likely, Jade Mills is in conjunction with this advertising, is getting a lot of direct traffic back to her website. That’s how it’s going to be identified. And now people are really starting to say, Let’s do the deep dive. Do I think anybody’s calling her off the back of those opera magazines? No, I really don’t. Do you have an opinion about that, John?
I’m not thinking. I’m doing it’s a branding exercise. And like all branding exercises, it’s hard to measure.
Fair enough. And my supposition here, one of the suppositions I’m going to make is, ladies and gentlemen, given the trend, all the branding that we used to do back in the day was branding in the dark. We didn’t know how many people watched our television. We were told by the Nielsen people, you’re going to be in 7 million households. Did we ever know for sure? No, we really didn’t. What I love about digital, and the reason I am a digital and the reason I am a digital market, it’s all trackable. If I spend $1,000 online, I get to see at least, did those people go anywhere? Did I get an impression? I may not get calls, but at least I know it happened. Do you understand what I’m saying? So one of the reasons I think that real estate marketing is legitimately slowly dying is as a newer generation takes up the mantle, they’re realizing some of these elements that I’m talking to you about, John. They’re realizing that marketing in the dark is a little harder to quantify your dollars spent. You just don’t know if they’re working for you or not. That’s the same problem that a lot of people have had.
So when you start being faced with two different types of marketing, one that has a big buzz like digital, plus it’s trackable like digital, I feel like traditional is becoming a smaller and smaller bucket, and it’s going to continue to be that way until it becomes 100 % niche. What do you think?
I totally agree with you. I just think it’s a really fascinating industry because all the data that seems, some level legitimate, is the appalling inability of most agents to keep in contact with their customer base to regularly continue any relationship. I can’t remember off my head what the figure is that most people selling the house don’t utilize the same age. And obviously, that’s down to between five and seven years before somebody buys or sells their house again. But the total lack of follow through and keeping any relationship going, which is easy to say, harder to do, but some attempt. And also a lot of people, and this can be down to totally unrealistic expectations, but it does also see that a lot of people’s actual experience of their real estate professional, a lot of them don’t have a great experience, basically. So I think there’s some fundamental problems. But if you can develop the skills, the service skills, and the internal processes, it’s going to reap rewards around having those reviews, having that relationship and reputation that I think you’ve expressed so well in the first half and in the second half, Robert.
Well, I think we’re in a court. So for those of you listening to the show, listen, we could just keep going on and on and on about traditional branding. So here’s what my overall 10,000 foot view, probably not going to change. Traditional branding used to be enough to get you a call on a deal. It really did. See your picture on the Coke can or bus bench enough times, somebody might call you and be ready to do a deal. I really think that 98 % of the business that’s out there has gone away from that. What you should expect is that they’re going to go to someplace else and research you. Maybe they Google your name, maybe they go to a website. So the close for me, if anybody was going to say, Well, Robert, how would you do traditional branding? I’d say I’d send them someplace digital. Zillow Profile at worst, my own website at best, and probably very specifically, my About page or our landing page designed to tell a story and try to make a connection the very minute they visited that space. That’s what I would do. And then once that was established, I’d send them someplace else in the site, or then I would go for my call to action, such as, are you ready to have a consultation or carry on the discussion?
Go down to the bottom of the website, use my calendar link. That’s how I would do it.
I think there’s just a misconception. I think obviously you’re in the content area of providing great educational content that you, with your clients and your team, you produce really quality content for their websites and attract people to the website through organic search. The thing with duck mail, we focus on paid Facebook, Google, on WordPress with our CRM and our email and text trips campaigns. But what a lot of people, I feel, don’t understand is that even if you’re utilizing paid advertising to drive traffic to that website, if they’re really serious, they’re going to look over that website. They’re going to have a good look over the website that they’ve been driven to by paid advertising. And you got to have all the things. You got to have reviews, you got to have video, you got to have a message that resonates with the audience. I think just driving them to the landing page, you’re going to, yes, get them, hopefully get their email or their phone number and you’d be able to make a call. But I think you also need some content, some branding, and some materials on your website, even if you’re mostly using paid traffic.
I think the most effective is a hybrid. But for various reasons, a lot of agents can’t. But that’s my big picture of the situation in a way. Hopefully, I’m not waffling, Robert.
Well said as usual, a little bit. But we both waffled. So people have made it this far into the show, they know that. John, I must go. So why don’t you sign up?
Yes, I’ll wrap it up.
Sign up. Yeah, sure.
Robert, what’s the best way for people to find out more about your thoughts and your insights, Robert? So if.
Anybody is interested in learning more about me or the company that I founded, go to inboundrem. Com. Just inboundrem. Com, look at the services page or the About page. Either way, you’ll learn a lot about me and what we do.
That’s great. And if you want to learn more about MelWright and how we give you the power of real geeks, but the branding ability and ownership that you can only get from WordPress, go over to Mel hyphenWright. Com. We’ll be back next week with a great either guest interview or another great topic. We’ll see you soon, folks. Bye.
The Hosts of The Mail-Right Show
Jonathan Denwood & Robert Newman