262 Mail-Right Show Why You Need To Develop A Digital Marketing Plan
All real estate agents need to develop in 2020 a digital marketing plan. Why? Basically a DMP will help you understand your local market and while you should be spending your hard-earned money to get the best results.
Robert has just published a great and very detailed post on how to develop a digital marketing plan that will really work for you. You can see his plan here: https://inboundrem.com/real-estate-marketing-plan-strategies-calendar
Jonathon: Welcome back folks to the Mail Right show. This is episode 262. It’s going to be an internal discussion between me and my great cohost Robert. We’re going to be discussing why you need a digital marketing plan. It’s based on a great article that Robert has recently written on his own website. There will be a link in the show notes to that article and on the Mail Right Facebook page. There will be all the details of our discussion. So Robert, would you like to quickly introduce yourself to the new listeners and viewers? And by the way, Robert, we had our highest listeners last month than any other time of the show.
Robert: That’s fucking fantastic.
Jonathon: We had 1500 downloads last month.
Robert: Nice. Everybody loves to hear me curse. That’s what it is. So for those of you who are tuning in for the first time, my name is Robert Newman. And I am a 13 year veteran of the real estate marketing industry. And I am a 35 year veteran of the sales marketing industry. I’ve run huge call centers and traditional marketing operations, such as door-knocking and canvas and crews. And about 13 years ago, I transferred my career into being SEO experts for real estate. And I’ve had the good opportunity to work with a lot of real estate agents and agencies that most of you listening will have heard of. I’m not going to name them. I am going to say that if you’re curious to know any more about me, you can go to my website. Inboundrem.Com, where I teach you as we are going to on this episode, many of the principles that you need to know about real estate marketing.
So with that beautiful transition!
Jonathon: And I’m Jonathan Denwood. I am the founder of Mail Right. I am the geek of the partnership. I’ve been a website designer developer for over 15 years now. I got into WordPress about 12 years ago. I’m a WordPress junkie. I run an agency now in the WordPress. And also I’m the founder of Mail Right, which is your marketing in one bucket solution. As a number of elements, we use fundamentally the power of Facebook to generate quality leads for agents and a lot more. So go over to the Mail Right Site. So, Robert, we’re going to delve into your article, your massive article. We’re probably not going to be able to do it in one show. So what would you say some of the key things that people should get from the article? Shall we start there?
Robert: Yeah. So let’s start with this, John. You’re right. We’re not going to be able to cover this today. Let’s cover, let’s talk about a few different things. First and foremost, Jonathan and I are both entrepreneurs. And I’m going to be honest with our audience. As I’m building up businesses, I don’t oftentimes do a marketing plan on top of a business plan. I kind of combine them together. And I’ll bet any amount of money, John, that 99% of the people listening to the show, even the massively successful brokers and agents that we have listening to the show they’re in the same boat. They could be making hundreds of thousands, even millions of dollars per year. And they’re probably still not technically operating under a real estate marketing plan. So why are we talking about it?
Well, here’s the thing about marketing plans for real estate specifically, I’m not talking about every other business out there. I’ve watched real estate go digital John. And digital has one thing about it that is unique to every other advertising medium that you can talk about. And what is it, you know, do you remember? Cause we’ve talked about it.
Jonathon: I might be totally wrong here, but I think society, you can get lost in the weeds lost in the shiny balls syndrome of the new app, the new marketing platform, tick-tock. We discussed last week that syndrome and getting lost in the fine, I of all the ins and outs of digital marketing, you can get really lost quickly. So a digital marketing plan can help with this, which we all suffer from really getting lost in all these different services offerings. Am I on the right track?
Robert: Well you’re bringing up an incredible point. You’re right. Getting lost in the absolute volume of options is probably one of the top things that most real estate agents call them up.
Jonathon: If I was a real estate agent who got my license a couple of months ago or a year ago, I would be overwhelmed with all the different digital offerings that will pass even from my broker, let alone from third party vendors.
Robert: So here’s what I was driving at though. It’s tractability. That’s what digital has that no other medium has ever had. Okay. Whether it’s Facebook, whether it’s YouTube, whether it’s Google SEO, whatever platform you care to mention, even Tick Tock. We’ve got this incredible wealth of analytics when it comes to who’s watching our videos. How old are they? What device are they watching these videos on? With all of this new data available to us as marketers, marketing plans have become more and more important for a few key reasons. If all of you were in an audience today and you’re listening to this show, here’s what I’d ask you to do. For those of you who are spending more than one to $3,000 a month on your marketing raise your hands. And then you guys would raise your hands.
And for those of you who are spending that much money, how many of you understand where are your prospects coming from? In other words, not just what, like what parts of the state are they in? What devices are they calling you on? Is there a common time of day? Why are these things important? Because if you’re spending that much money, making small adjustments to the plan that you’ve already gotten placed can mean huge differences in terms of the revenue that you’re gaining from the marketing, cause you’re already spending the money. So isn’t there some kind of desire to make sure that you’re spending it effectively and for this and a thousand other reasons marketing plans are important? But I’m going to walk you through everybody through John. And maybe you could do me a favor and open up the link that I sent you.
So there’s a calendar, a graphic, a marketing plan, and graphic that I produced and has these bullet points on the graphic. You can go and download the graphic from my website. Here’s what we believe in broad strokes. Because I had my whole team works on this one. This is what we believe in broad strokes. A current marketing plan should include everybody should have their pens out. If you’re in your car, you’re going to want to come back to this because if you don’t have a marketing plan in place, I really don’t care how successful you already are. You’re going to want one. This will make you more successful. And if you’re just starting, it’s insanity to start without a plan. So here we go. Step one, become an expert in your local market. Step two. Understand your client base.
Step three, scope out your competition. Step four set a budget. Okay. Step five, develop smart marketing goals. In other words, have yourself a destination for where you’re trying to get to with your marketing and guys. I don’t care. You can make it up. Step six. Decide your marketing channels. This is what John was just talking about. Step seven. Fill in your marketing calendar. Now, this is a blatant plug by me and my team because we have the calendar in the article. So in other words, we’re saying we’ve created this for you, use it. Okay. But there’s no cost. I’m not selling you anything. For those of you listening to the show, I’m just trying to get you to do something that I think is really going to make a difference in your business. Step eight-track important metrics.
Okay. And then important. I’ll discuss all this and step nine, tweak your marketing strategies. So that’s the steps, John. Do you think we missed anything?
Jonathon: No I think you have covered some important steps.
Robert: So now that we’ve covered the broad strokes, I’m not going to cover every, I mean, I’m going to let John decide if he wants to talk more about this with all of you when we’re like on a different episode or whatever it is. But I’m going to blaze through the top bullet points of all these steps. Okay. Becoming an expert in your local market these days is more like, be a digital pioneer in your local marketplace. So here are some things I want you to write down. Okay. Because me and my writers on my staff use these tools every day to become an expert in your local marketplace. And I understand that many of you listening to the show don’t get that you can be a pretty proficient expert with just a computer and the knowledge of where to go to look.
So here’s where to go to look. Number one, go to Quora. That’s spelled Q U O R A. QUORA is a wealth of information that you do not find on Wikipedia. And what you’re going to want to do is you’re going to want to do questions like living in city name. And you’re going to discover that residents have essentially been blogging on Quora for years about your area. That means that people that live in the city, I don’t care how small or remote or distant it is. There’s probably something on Quora about it from somebody that lives there.
This is going to give you an insider’s view on everything from traffic lights to find property tax. Okay. There are all sorts of stuff that people talk about in Quora. And it’s an unusual site. I’m guessing that every single person listening to the show right now is only like I wouldn’t have thought of that. So become an expert in your local market. Now next eight, just, this is a couple of other tools. The fuck is that travel website. I use the travel website a lot the blogging site. Shoot, I’m sorry. I’ve had a hard week John.
Jonathon: I think I am seeing the one that you mean, my mind’s gone blank. This there’s a muse.
Robert: It’s where everybody.
Jonathon: So you’re talking about TripAdvisor.
Robert: I am talking about TripAdvisor. So TripAdvisor, once again, just putting your local area and then you get to see what people who don’t live there. Say about the site. Now, these are my two favorite sites, Quora and TripAdvisor. And we use them all the time to write unique, informative articles that make it sound like we’re living in places that we don’t live in. There are tons and tons of other things that you can do. You can go on a medium and go onto a blog spot. The list goes on and on what you’re looking for though. And I’ll break it out for all of you. What you want is you want to get the common person’s view of your area. That’s how you get to know it. People who’ve traveled there for the first time and people who live there, that’s it simple.
You just have to figure out where those people have in conversations on the web. Understand your client base, which by the way comes with part of this. Like part of what I just step one is going to move you in the direction of understanding your client base. Your client base is the persona that you want to do business with. John and I both have personas for real estate agents that we would like to do business with. Mine is an agent that’s been doing real estate for three to 30 years and is fairly successful making over a hundred thousand dollars a year and wants to work less hard and make more money. That’s my client persona. And the same thing goes for being a broker, a broker who’s trying to move their brokerage from three to five people to 50 to a hundred and wants to cover the entire marketing basis.
They got to go with SEO its they just got to. So those were the two marketing personas that I deal with. John has his marketing persona, which I’m going to guess is going to be a newer agent. Somebody that’s looking for a great marketing system that might be at the lower end of the budget spectrum would be what I would guess. John’s and he’s nodding. So I’m thinking I got it right. Okay. So scope out your, and I’m not going to just understand your client base guys and you should here be some of the ways that you can understand your client base. My advice is to go to your PTA. Its old school, go to the places your clients are, and then just sit down and have conversations with them about real estate. Bug the fuck out of them. And I hate to say it that way because don’t pitch them.
Don’t try to sell them, just get to understand them. If you’re living it, if you’re targeting a demo or a neighborhood or a building go to those places, those neighbors gathered, whether that’s PTA meetings or meetups, which is a website that you can go hit. There are always gatherings in an area. Community is almost always getting out of the house and meeting, or at least they used to before COVID. These days, these things are happening with zoom meetings, Facebook groups. That’s probably my number one suggestion is that most cities have Facebook groups now. And one of my favorite clients in the whole world is, is deeply, deeply, deeply as a member of all his local Delaware, Facebook groups. And he makes a ton of money just by posting shit inside his literal city, Facebook groups. Scope out your competition. This is something that almost all real estate agents do.
Anyway, it’s funny to me, but of all these steps, this is the one that I don’t think I have to talk about that much. Every single realtor I’ve ever talked to when they call me, they’re like, I’m like, and who’s your competition? They’re like, Oh, I got this. I know who it is. Here are the three people in the city I want to compete with. And I think they’re all doing very well with their website. Now nine times out of 10, they’re not, that’s the funny part. But you sure as hell know who your competition is. And then every once in a while I make somebody go into their MLS and check to see how much revenue.
Jonathon: Just a quick comment. I think a lot of us in those, the same in WordPress. I think I know who my main competitors are. But there’s a step further knowing how they became successful knowing their business model by heart is the next step up from knowing who your competitors are. Would you agree on that?
Robert: Yes, I do. I do. I do agree with that. We were long past due for a break. Do we want to?
Jonathon: I have a couple of minutes.
Robert: We’ve been online a lot longer than 15 minutes or no, we started that way.
Jonathon: Well, we might have started a bit late. Yeah, I think you’re probably right. We’re going to go for our break folks. And when we come back, we’ll be delving into this great topic. You need a digital marketing plan. And the great article that Robert and his team have written on his website. We will be back in a few moments’ folks.
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Jonathon: We are coming back. We’ve had a feast about digital marketing and why you need a digital marketing plan. And I think Robert really has been talking a lot of sense here. So back over to you, Robert.
Robert: Thank you, sir. I really appreciate that. It means a lot. So scope out your competition is number three. We covered that. Number four and this is a tricky one, set a budget. So I’m going to give you guys the math that a professional college of business school would give you. And by the way, I’ve taught a college class, but I’ve never really attended a college class after I’ve taught a few college classes. But I’m a high school dropout. And so I’ve read a lot of books on marketing. And so I’ve really never done the official study course. But any good course is going to say, take one year’s worth of your income and set aside 15 to 25%. That’s really kind of the window that it resides. Now for real estate that number should be 25% of that should be the entire marketing budget.
So what I mean by that is I’m talking about digital and digital should probably be about 20% of 25 these days. A lot of you are still going to do TV and newspapers and ads and mailers. And the list goes on and on, and you’re going to call me eventually and ask, should you be doing that stuff anymore? My answer is always going to be, I would personally go towards marketing that is trackable, regardless of whether it’s more successful or not. I at least like to know where my Mrs. or Mrs., because there’s more value in the money that you spend if you understand how it failed you. And so I would normally say to most people, digital is a better way to go. Not because it’s the best kind of marketing, but because it’s the most trackable.
And because we can learn more from it than we can a bus bench or other types of marketing. And that’s where I, as a marketer like to grow. And I like my clients to grow as well. But your budget should be, and let’s see you’re a brand new agent. And I think that John will appreciate this. Let’s say you’re first into the business. And you’ve never, ever, ever sold real estate. You’re transferring out of another career. Most of you have saved some money or have credit cards. I’ve never really, like, I’d say 95% of the people I talked to are lucky if they have even 10 grand as they transition careers. And that’s a huge number. Most of you don’t have anywhere near that. So guess what your marketing budget should be as close to zero as you can make it. That’s my advice.
You don’t start a new business and put a thousand dollars of 10 in the marketing unless you’re an experienced entrepreneur. You should be focusing on marketing channels that don’t require money or require a very small amount of it. Because even if you’re Amy zero and you do, you do like a Ricky car with course who doesn’t charge you, anything for it, you still have to get a dialer is still $200 a month for a virtual dialer right now.
So there’s going to be a budget regardless of what you’re doing. If you want to go door knock, you still need the supplies to walk out your door and go door knock. Whether that’s clothes, shoes, notepads pins pads, probably only a few hundred dollars, but it’s going to be a few hundred dollars. So set a budget. And I mean, if you’re new was getting it as close to zero as possible. Step number five develops smart marketing goals. What’s a smart marketing goal? Because it confuses the fuck out of people. So a smart marketing goal is deciding how much you want to make based on how much you’re spending. Would you agree with that, John?
Jonathon: I would, yes.
Robert: Okay. So let’s just say that you’ve decided that your budget for this year is a thousand dollars. If you’re spending a thousand dollars, the new agent who probably cares a lot more than about the thousand, then the experienced agent cares about 10,000 or a hundred thousand. And maybe you’re paying a lot more attention to where that money has gone. Maybe caring is the wrong word. But you’re paying a lot more attention to that than somebody who’s got a lot of experience and knows exactly where their next dollars are coming from. So what’s a smart marketing goal? A smart marketing goal is a return on investment, which is the same thing that investors look at the same thing that everybody looks at. If I spend a thousand, how much would I like to make? And the answer could be like, you can say, I want to make a hundred thousand.
That’s very unlikely. That’s unrealistic. That’s not a smart marketing goal. A smart marketing goal is going to be to say that if you spend a thousand dollars, you probably want a four to five to one return. If you’re doing digital, if you are doing traditional, such as door-knocking, you could easily say that your four or $500 in supplies to knock on doors could yield you as much as 40 or 50,000. So it’s a hundred to one return. But that’s because the primary marketing is going out and knocking on those doors. It’s not actually buying the supplies. If you’re spending a direct marketing budget, then the budget itself is supposed to yield you results. And like the best marketing company that I know of right now is returning six to one short term and long-term words returning anywhere from 10 to 25.
Jonathon: I’m just going to quickly say this. I would recommend any agent buy my product, Mail Right or any kind of digital marketing platform. Until they actually got their first one, two free clients for clients under their belt. And they’ve done the steps that Robert’s outlined so far. Because if you use my service and you haven`t done the things that Robert’s outlined in the first half of the show. And this is the second half. You’re just going to amplify your weaknesses. If you really do the steps that he’s outlined you are in a much better position to use a service like Mail Right. Or some other service as kind of gasoline on the fire. But you need to get the fire going before you put the gas remaining on. Would you agree with it?
Robert: Correct! I totally agree. I even liked the analogy. There’s definitely no doubt about it that you should not be hiring anybody unless you have some kind of plan. And the more expensive the service, the less you should be hiring them unless you have a plan. So you’d hire John before you’d hire me for sure.
Jonathon: If you’re starting off you need to understand your neighborhood. You need to understand your target audience. You need to understand how you’re effectively going to position yourself in the market and in a way that’s important to your target audience. So they care if you do those things. And then you start that you prove that the business model it’s working, you start getting some sellers and buyers utilize you. Then you can look, but you got to prove that your marketing positioning is correct before you start investing in marketing.
Robert: Correct! So I couldn’t agree with all the things that John says, and I’m going to use an old analogy. Failing to plan is planning to fail. And it’s so true. If you fail to have a plan in place, when you start your real estate career, you’re going to fail. If you’re in the midst of your real estate career, and you think you’re doing pretty well, but you are not yet utilizing any kind of plan for your marketing. My answer to you is, hey, save yourself the $10,000 on a fancy real estate coach. And just listen to me right now, just follow my blog and do a plan. You don’t need to spend 80 grand or whatever it is on Tom Ferry. And it to have him tells you exactly what the hell I’m telling you right now. Just take a plan, make a plan, and make it happen.
So, and by the way, for my clients to follow the show, and I know that you do, I’m talking to you too. Okay. Get a plan, develop smart goals, and decide what your marketing channels are going to be. Now, this is an interesting conversation. And this is one of those ones, John, where we should circle back around and maybe have a deeper dive, but I’m just going to tell you how many of you are going to be going. I don’t even understand what a marketing channel is. So Facebook’s a marketing channel. Google is a marketing channel. YouTube is a marketing channel. LinkedIn is a marketing channel. Same thing to Tick Tock, same thing with Instagram.
These are all different marketing channels. Twitter. You can use any of them for real estate. You really could. Some of them were more established and successful than others. John focuses on Facebook. I focus on Google. And YouTube, both, but here’s the thing. You could literally make a career with any of these channels. Any of them on your own don’t need us. Don’t need us. It’s just a lot harder without people guiding you. That’s it. That’s what John and I have done is we’ve lowered the curve.
But one way or the other it’s decided your channels. And this could take you. Don’t rush through this part. What are you comfortable using? We’ll go into this more in another conversation. Because I want to deep, deep, deep, deep dive into this, but decide your marketing channels. Fill in your marketing calendar. Now, guys, I’m sorry. This is a blatant plug for the article. I apologize. I have a calendar on it. There is a link it connects you to a chart that I’ve created a Google chart. And it’s just basically a hundred-day real estate marketing calendar.
It is meant to be a simple plan creator for you. It’s not fancy. It’s just a digital download and you need it. And that’s why I put it in the article. I hate shit like this. I don’t usually create it, but in this particular case, I created it because I think it’s a hundred percent necessary to take action. As long as you’re going to read the blog post, you got to do something. So start to fill it in, immediately click the link and fill it in.
Track important metrics. And that we could talk about that forever, by the way, John, just the filling in the calendar part track important metrics. So tracking metrics is one of my favorite things to talk about because even if I encounter like the 5% of you that already have a plan already have a budget already decided on a marketing channel. Here’s what I have found that even that 5% tracking your metrics, you don’t bother to get access to your own Google Analytics accounts. You don’t bother to look at your Facebook analytics accounts.
You let your marketing people do that and you move on, which I find to be horrifying. Because listen, if you’re spending a thousand dollars a month with me, if you’re spending a hundred dollars a month for John or $300 a month or whatever the number is, or you’re spending 10,000 with Zillow. Guess what? You really should understand how many people did you get in front of? Like, it doesn’t matter.
It doesn`t matter that you sold some properties. If it’s not 10 grand, you know, because you know, you got to spend that 10 grand next month and you’re paying a lot of attention to how many properties you sold. Are you paying any attention to how many people you’re getting in front of? Because when somebody else approaches you for another marketing opportunity and it comes time to decide if you’re going to split that budget, how are you going to know you should be talking to that new vendor? How many people am I getting in front of? What’s the conversion metric like of those people I get in front of? How many do you think people are going to sign up? Those are the kinds of numbers that digital do provide that should be able to provide. John and I should be able to answer those questions or have at least an estimate, a ballpark.
Most other marketers cannot answer these questions. And that is why I love digital so much. Tweak your marketing strategies. So once you do have something in place, guys, whether you’re doing traditional or you’re doing something else you want to continuously. Maybe once a year is a little much to ask, but at least once every other year, you want to walk in and you want to, because I don’t think that John and I tweak our marketing strategies. If we’re honest, like we probably don’t, we probably don’t re-engineer them once a year. I will say this. I do take a pretty deep look through about once every other year personally, I take I’m like, do I stop?
Like I at least analyze, do I still want to do this? Do I want to add something else? You know, I did it this year at the beginning of this year because, and I’m very fortunate that I did. Because I actually had a marketing plan for 2020, which makes it the first year of the five that have been running this business that I had a rock-solid marketing plan with a budget in place.
And it got screwed because of COVID, but it was there at least I had one and I have gone back and reactivated the marketing plan as things have gone up and down because of COVID. And at least I feel pretty good about the fact that I had a plan in place and I knew exactly what I was going to spend my money on. I didn’t have to think about it anymore because I’ve already done all the thinking at the beginning of the year. And I’m just like, well, if I have the money, this is where it’s going. Cause I already decided it at the end of 2019. Tweak your marketing strategies, okay. Look at them over and over again.
If you’re doing something long-term, you have to wait for the long-term to come into play. But nonetheless, as results start to trickle in, even from long-term stuff like video marketing, inbound marketing, content marketing, you’re going to want to take a look at those results and measure them against other things. My clients do it to me all the time. If I, if I ever lose anybody from a client base has always just because the marketing is too long term and we oftentimes don’t see results in the timeline that they want.
Jonathon: We are going to have to leave this to another episode. We’re probably going to go by my memory listeners and viewers. We’ve got a great guest next week. But we’ve got some empty spots this month and we’ll probably delve into some more detail. But I think the main thing I just saw the show is that also for the Asian is starting out we’ve extensively. And I mean, extensively, if you go through our catalog of previous episodes, I’ve talked about mythologies and methods that only require equity. Setting up your Google local business page and doing video. I’m really doing a lot of live videos at the same time every week on Facebook, putting a lot of video on YouTube doing open houses when you can, obviously in the present situation, you can’t do that. And there is just a load of things you can do to get the ball rolling.
A lot more opportunities than there were a few years ago. Because I can tell you that the bulk of our agents don’t do the things that we outline about using Zillow, the free Zillow, which you can sign up and filling all the information. And doing email@example.com, getting reviews on those platforms, all the things we discussed don’t require money. They just require a plan of action. But the majority of agents don’t do that. And that’s what the age you can have. So I just thought I’d mention that Robert. So Robert what’s the best way for people to contact you and find out more about you and also your great posts.
Robert: Guys, listen, I’m a digital marketer. I fill in the gaps where guys like Tom Ferry and basically every other real estate source that you can find, including your brokerage sources. I fill in that gap. I’m the digital guy. I’m the guy that talks to you about this stuff. You can find all that information out on the inboundrem.com. And my future plans are to increase the amount of information I have. They’re all for free. I’m going to flush out my university section. I’m rebuilding my website. I’m going to serve you guys better. And that’s where you should go to keep checking it.
Jonathon: And I’m building out my universe. You’ve been saying that for a few months now, but I’ve been a little bit ill. I’ve been suffering problems with my eyes. But I have successfully gone through eye surgery and I now have a 2020 vision. And I feel a lot better. I feel a bit more energized. I’m going to get some stuck finished. I need a marketing plan then I just, I put that in listeners and viewers. So we’ll be back next week. If you really want to support the show, go to our YouTube channel. Just put Mail Right into YouTube and you will find us and subscribe and all the interviews are there.
When we’re talking to a guest, we normally have bonus content as well. And you find that all on the YouTube Mail Right YouTube channel. So go over there. We’ll be back next week with either a great interview or another great internal discussion. We’ll see you soon. Bye.