#168 Mail-Right Show Using NextDoor App
We Talk About How To Build Your Local Tribe Through Using NextDoor App
Building your local network is all important if you want to become a successful real estate agent. In this episode of the Mail-Right show, we discuss how you can use online communities to help you build a robust referral network in your targeted local communities by using Facebook groups and the popular app NextDoor. Also if you want to learn more about creating a healthy local referral network listen to our interview with Jonathan Zabrocki.
Jonathan: Welcome back folks to the Mail-Right Show. This is episode 168. I’ve also got my great co-host Robert Newman with me. Robert, would you like to quickly introduce yourself to the listeners and viewers?
Robert: I would love to. I’m the founder of InboundREM which is a website about Real Estate Marketing and happy Monday morning to everybody.
Jonathan: Oh great. It’s Tuesday.
Robert: Tuesday morning.
Jonathan: You’re losing track, Robert.
Robert: I am losing track. I need a cup of coffee. I need like 3 cups of coffee actually.
Jonathan: All right. There we go. So, what we’re going to be discussing in this episode, well, we’re going to have a discussion about how you can build a community online. Just like you build a network in your local community, face to face, you should be doing that online and me and Robert are going to be discussing a couple of platforms and a couple of methodologies that will help you do that and build up a powerful online tribe who will then start to refer people to you. That doesn’t sound bad, does it, Robert?
Robert: It does not at all.
Jonathan: That wouldn’t be bad at all for a Real Estate Agent starting off or he’s like 18 months, 2 years in, isn’t it?
Robert: I agree. You’re going to do the heavy lifting on this one though my man because I know we’re going to talk about Nextdoor and I haven’t experienced a lot with Nextdoor and nor have I ever built up my Facebook group, though I can say on my Facebook stuff, it’s been part of my to-do list for about 2 years.
Jonathan: To start off this and then I’m going to come out with some folks and then see what Robert thinks of it and get his feedback on what I’m just about to say.
So, I’m going to start off with Facebook. Obviously, Mail-Right uses Facebook a lot to get leads to the landing pages that we set up for our clients and then get them on a list which then we email and text Drip messages to them to hopefully, at some stage, convert them. So that’s the kind of using the power of Facebook advertising to get you leads, but there’s a separate methodology that also really works very effectively and the beauty of it folks to you don’t have to cough up money utilize this methodology, but it does take time and effort. It won’t happen instantaneously. But like I say, the beautify of it is won’t hurt your wallet, it just hurts the time that you can spend with your family and friends, right? There’s always that balance, isn’t it Robert? Either you pay or you’re going to have to do it yourself and then you’re going to utilize your time up, aren’t you Robert?
Jonathan: So, how do you utilize Facebook effectively? Well, you use groups, but specifically, this will probably work if your marketing, we’ve discussed this before, to nichify. I use the word nichify, to niche. If you’re looking at geo-targeted markets, areas in your market, specific areas in your town, city, that you’ll specialize, you want to build, as the Agent, that people should come to if they’re thinking of selling or buying a house in that specific area.
Your niche doesn’t have to be geo-targeted. You could aim at specific groups based on age or specific people. Let’s say in Reno, a lot of people are moving to Reno because of the Tesla factory that has been built in Northern Reno so a lot of people outside of Reno are moving in. So I know that there are some local Agents that have done some research, found out where the majority of these people are coming from and they’re marketing specifically to that audience that is moving to Northern Nevada.
But let’s say you’re aiming at a geo market as I said. So, you’ve set up a Facebook group with a title of the geo area that the group is going to be about and then on that group, you invite people you know that live in that area to join your group but before that, you’ve got to set up the Facebook page semi-professionally and have a nice banner graphic, make the title so anybody would understand that it’s about that particular geo area and then you should have built up some materials that you are going to populate the page before you start inviting people to that page. And what should that content be? That content should be about that geo area. What are the best schools? What are the activities coming up in the area? Anything that you think anybody in that particular area would be interested in. Is this making sense Robert?
Robert: Sure. Yeah. I’m with you so far.
Jonathan: Right. And then you start inviting people. Your main aim is to produce content, ask questions, asking questions using little, populate it with as many questions as you can because you’re trying to get people to engage with you, monitor it every day on your phone using your Facebook app, start building discussions and then depending on the area, ask those people to invite other people if they think they would find it useful, the information. Normally, you’ll get people joining the group if you’re publishing information that is really useful. Don’t get disheartened if it doesn’t take off straight away. It will take time. But keep publishing that content, building up people joining it and then what I would say is do not be aggressive. Do not say, “Have you got any leads?”
That will just destroy that group. But on the other hand, you’re a Real Estate Agent, so post on there the latest houses you’ve got on the market in that area. It’s totally legitimate to post information about what’s going on around prices and how long houses take to sell connected to that area. What you’re trying to do is build yourself as the expert of that area. What do you reckon Robert?
Robert: Well, I don’t have any experience building up a Facebook, but I have a lot of experience building up reputation marketing, which is what you’re talking about. What you’re talking about is a Facebook group with an inbound marketing principle which is what I do as a core business service. So I can say that with reputation marketing, which is basically where you’re identifying I am an expert like I am a local expert. I know Reno well. I know all the baseball teams, the boy scouts, how expensive the properties are and I can tell you for sure that when it comes to putting in content like when you’re advertising through expertise, that’s the concept, right. So expertise is anything like a video of the area, a drone shot. You should and could be talking about local areas of interest.
My girlfriend’s father is one of the guys building one of the major developments in Reno and I know they’re having conversations about water rates and things like that that are going on up there that are very important to the locals, to the residents who have lived there for a while. So an example of something that you could do is be talking about the ongoing communication, maybe film a few minutes of a city hall meeting where they’re having a discussion, a lively debate about this. Why or how does that relate to property sales? It lets people know that your boot’s on the ground, that you are truly a committed local expert to this particular area, that you’re dedicated to the issues that resonate with people that already there. That kind of dedication is what’s going to get people to ask you questions that do relate to your area of expertise, the things that do matter to you.
Unfortunately, as you pointed out earlier in your conversation, it can’t be rushed. It can take a while. I’ve got people that have been following me for years through emails and other things and they’ve never talked to me and then finally something comes up and they bring up a conversation and it can take a long time. However, once that ball starts rolling, you’ll be very surprised and impressed, I think. I am, with my reputation. I’ve got people contacting off ActiveRain, which is a blogging platform. I haven’t blogged there in like 6 months but they still reach out to me for something I did previously. They look at my website and they go, “We can see that you have new content here, maybe not on ActiveRain, but here. So, here’s my question. I found you over here, but I’m going to talk to you here.” Same thing works with you, I would think. I mean, I don’t know. Like I told you, I’ve never actually done one of these groups. I established one for my company, but never post any content in it. So that’s what I know about inbound marketing.
Jonathan: Yeah. And the beauty of it, before we go for our break, is that people search for groups and inside Facebook, it’s quite easy to find. There’s an area in Reno called Arrow Creek. If they put in Arrow Creek group, once you tag up your group effectively, it will come up and people will join, they will look at it and as long as they see it’s active and the content is of interest to them, they will join. And the beauty of this folks is it’s not going to cost you money so that’s a beauty as well. We’re going to go for our break folks and when we come back, I’m going to delve into another platform that’s really effective but you’ve probably not heard of and that’s called Nextdoor. So when we come back after our break, we’ll be talking about Nextdoor. Back in a few moments.
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Jonathan: We’re coming back. We’ve had a bit of a talk about Facebook. Now, Nextdoor, it’s an app basically for iPhone and Android. It’s been going, I think, since 2010. They have slowly built up. It’s an app where if you’ve moved to a new area, most Americans don’t really know their neighbors, but they also want community, so it’s a bit of a contradiction there, isn’t there, like most things in life. There’s always these contradictions. But Nextdoor, you download it. They also will send you a pack of postcards. They use traditional marketing which you can then send out to your neighbors asking them if they would like to join you on Nextdoor and they’ve got other marketing aids to help you. And basically, you set up the page and you just try and build community and its power is if people have got questions about the neighborhood, if they’re looking for somebody, they’ve got electrical problems and they’re looking for an electrician, they’re looking for some tradesperson to help them, they can get advice from the people that they’ve networked in Nextdoor. Does that make any sense Robert?
Robert: Well, I’m a member, so yeah. Carry on my man. Trumpet loud.
Jonathan: So, they’ve been growing quite substantially, but quietly. One of the reasons why it’s quiet is that it’s a private network. What I mean by that is it’s not indexed by Google so that the conversations won’t be public. You have to be a member of Nextdoor and basically, they take the conversations quite seriously, the Nextdoor team that administrates the system. You have to sign or tick some documentation and what that says that if you broadcast these conversations nilly willy, there’s not too much they can do about it, but what they can do and what they do do is throw you off Nextdoor.
So they’re quite serious about keeping the conversations reasonably private as best they can on a social network that isn’t being indexed by Google. What does this have any relevance to you the Real Estate Agent? You’re not allowed to sell yourself on Nextdoor, but you can set up a business page and it’s quite legitimate to talk about the business page and send people to that Nextdoor business page. And on that Nextdoor business page, will have your contact details and a link to your website. You should have a website, folks. And you can give people advice. It’s quite legitimate to put up a house that’s come on the market that you’re the Agent for. It’s quite legitimate to talk about what you’re doing and help people. What they don’t like is you just advertising blatantly and just being a pain in the backside basically about how you do it. How does that sound Robert?
Robert: I mean, yeah. Sounds about right to me. As I said, I haven’t used Nextdoor. I have only been on the platform four or five times, so I certainly don’t feel like I’m qualified to make any comments or make any guesses how one would get leads off there. I can tell you that the one big issue that I found kind of funny is somebody was stealing our trashcans and defacing our public trashcans here. It was bothering some of my neighbors, which make me learn a little bit more about my neighbors. One of the issues that they brought up, I was like, “I would not have noticed that had you thrown the trashcan on top of me, like seriously just would never even occur to me to look. But one of my neighbors was quite concerned about this defacing of their public trashcan, which had all these other neighbors chiming in. The thing about that was like I was like, “Wow. My 75-year-old neighbors who’ve lived here for 45 years, apparently use Nextdoor.” That’s what I took away from that.
Jonathan: That’s an interesting thing in its own right, isn’t it?
Robert: Yeah. Yeah, it was.
Jonathan: Folks, I’m not an expert on Nextdoor. I have a person that I want to get on to the show in the next few weeks that is an expert on Nextdoor and I’ve had an exchange of emails with her and I think it’s a real resource very linked to Facebook groups. Both Facebook groups and Nextdoor, the beauty is it’s isn’t going to cost you any money. So you could build an online community and build yourself as the expert in your community by being active on these two areas and it won’t cost you money and that’s why I thought it would have been of interest to our listeners and viewers, Robert.
Robert: Yeah. I admire your creativity. I mean, anywhere there’s a group of people an enterprising inbound marketer can make a name for themselves. That’s the one thing I’m certain of. Craft your expertise, get passionate about something and anywhere you go you can, today online communities are the same thing as it would have been going to an art gallery or a community gather up back in another generation.
Jonathan: The reason why I pushed this is that at Mail-Right we supply content for your Facebook page and the Agents that are using our system do get engagement, but that is not it’s main aim because the truth is unless you boost some of those posts or utilize our system and do Facebook paid campaigns, very few people are going to see what you post on your Facebook business page. It’s between 1 to 3 percent of everybody you’re connected through your profile or has liked the page or has been on the page or you are linked through your profile. It’s evened out, but it’s a very low percent because they want you to spend money on their platform. But the beauty of groups is it bypasses that to a large extent, especially if you start also publishing some videos on that group as well, that has a bigger effect. Now, where I like to ask you, Robert, is when it comes to the Agent’s website and they should have a website, what your advice about the kind of content, the local news and information content they should be putting on their website?
Robert: Well, I’m not much of one for taking chances or guesses. I would usually use, what’s it called, AppSumo or and put in a keyword and find what has been the most shared content and simply share the same thing with my audience. So I would take a topic and I would put it in there and I would just do about 10 minutes worth of research and I would probably queue up widely share informational Real Estate content and just let my audience enjoy it. In the past, that’s stuff has been usually curiosity pieces like the most expensive property or some incredibly unusual thing that relate to Real Estate and then you share it with your audience which sticks within the vertical. Every now and again it’s local stuff. I’ll give you an example of stuff that I share on one of my client’s pages. They happen to be in North Texas and North Texas is just, I can’t explain to you how important football is to that community. There are no words for it. And a local Mom wrote a piece about her son who is a football player and it went viral, viral locally. I think almost every resident in North Texas probably read that piece. I shared it with my client’s blog and I think we jumped engagement by 3,000, 4,000. We tripled traffic. That’s how relevant it was. So, for them, for that local market.
Jonathan: Yeah. I follow you. The only thing I would say is that the two tools that you’ve mentioned are quite expensive and aimed at a professional like yourself Robert. So is there any advice on a much lower budget for somebody that can do some practical research around what they should put around local content connected to their website?
Robert: I want to say that AppSumo has a free version, but you know what? I’m not 100 percent sure about that.
Jonathan: I think they just reduce the number of queries that come up. I think that’s how they do it, don’t they?
Robert: Yeah and I know for sure, so, for sure, no doubt about it because I still have a membership, another way to go that’s cheaper, it’s not free, so I do like the researched version. I do wildly subscribe to not guessing about what you should share across your . . .
Jonathan: Can I give a tip?
Jonathan: What I would do folks is that most local papers now have a paid gate on their digital version. So what I would do folks is I would subscribe to your local paper’s website, like in Reno. Reno has one local paper that dominates the Reno market and you can read about three articles before the pay gate comes up and you can no longer read any more articles. But as a Real Estate Agent, invest and subscribe to the digital version and then go on to that website and see what are the trending stories, find a story that covers your particular area and then do a re-write, do not lift the article. That article is copyrighted and you’ll get in a lot of trouble, but you’ve got every right to write about that story in your own words and put in on your website.
Robert: Sure. You can also so the same thing with Inman. Inman’s not very expensive and it Real Estate specific. They do a lot of really great Real Estate related news, which if your audience is tuning into you as a Real Estate expert can be quite useful.
Jonathan: Yeah. I agree with you. The only thing I was focusing on your website targeting and putting information on the website that’s related on your geo-targeted farm area. So that’s why I suggested, but what you’ve just said if you’re also going to put some general stories that would show your knowledge around Real Estate. Let’s say you wrote an article about how you were using Facebook groups and what we’ve just discussed or you were using Nextdoor. You could write a piece about that and you’d be quite surprised that people will find that interesting, won’t they Robert?
Robert: Yeah. Well, influencer marketing, I have a single tip for influencer marketing. If you’re interested in becoming like local influencers or becoming a local resource for information, the beautiful thing about social is a lot of times we can just simply get away with sharing what other people’s stuff is and still build a very good reputation as a curator of other people’s information. So go to Twitter, put in your local keywords such as Reno Real Estate or Reno Homes For Sale or Reno Real Estate Information, just a wide variety. If you do enough searches, I guarantee you you’ll find a few people in Reno, maybe reporters or bloggers and that’s who I would look for, reporters and bloggers, not competitors of mine, but people that have a vested interest in local news, have a very defined reason to share it with you and maybe have boots on the ground in a way that you don’t have. In other words, a local reporter or maybe a writer for hire is going to be a lot more in tune with local issues. They’re going to be out there writing about them; maybe they’re following other people that you’re not. Local centers of influence like the high school football coach, maybe he’s got a Twitter account, maybe they know that, maybe he’s tweeting about the team, the game, whatever it is, that would be a person that I would follow and take a close look at their content looking to curate the pieces that relate to me and my business and like you said, part of curation could be a re-write.
Jonathan: Yeah. They provide the idea, you read the article, you re-write it, you add your view to it, you add your experience of the area as the Real Estate person to come to if you’re looking to buy or sell in that area and it saves a lot of time and it’s totally legitimate, isn’t it Robert?
Robert: Yes it is. I agree with you.
Jonathan: I’ve tried to provide some value and so have you.
Robert: I think you’ve done a good job.
Jonathan: Robert, how can people find out more about you and what you’re up to Robert?
Robert: Oh God. My blog always is doing some cool things. Just go to my blog InboundREM.com and I’ve got a new writer cued up. I’m getting ready to release another batch of content, my last for the year and I’ve got some cool things coming up, so you should check it out.
Jonathan: Yeah and if you want to find out more about the Mail-Right product, go to mail-right.com and also, if you go to the About Us page, you can book a free session with me and I can do a one to one with you and show you how the Mail-Right platform works and basically, I’m sure you’re going to be blown away about how it could help you get leads online using the power of Facebook and effective online marketing in general. We’ll be back with a guest next week and we’ll be talking about Real Estate and about how to make you a more successful Real Estate Agent, for not only yourself but for your family. We’ll see you next week folks. Bye.