You're listening to the “REI Marketing Nerds” podcast, the leading resource for real estate investors who want to dominate their market online. Dan Barrett is the founder of AdWords Nerds, a high-tech digital agency, focusing exclusively on helping real estate investors like you get more leads and deals online, outsmart your competition, and live a freer, more awesome life. And, now, your host, Dan Barrett.
Dan: All right, hello everyone, and welcome to this week's episode of the REI Marketing Nerds podcast. As always, this is Daniel Barrett here from AdWordsNerds.com. How are you? I hope you're having an awesome week and I hope you’re enjoying this wonderful springtime weather that we are currently coasting into here in Connecticut. [01:03.6]
I wanted to talk to you this week about something that is simultaneously very tactical, so something that is directly meant to get you more deals and make you more money, and increase your bottom line and all that good stuff, and something that is almost kind of simultaneously philosophical.
What I'm going to do here that I'm going to try to do this week is very quickly and very succinctly tell you why I think I and the team at AdWordsNerds.com have been successful in finding motivated sellers online, and in online marketing, in general.
I'm going to tell you literally exactly why I think we have been for almost a decade now the leading agency in this space and how I think you can literally immediately turn around and apply this exact secret to your real estate investing business. Whether you're an online marketer or not, whether you do any kind of Google Ads for real estate or motivated sellers, whatever, it doesn't matter, you can immediately turn around and apply this to your own business. That's the goal this week. It's going to be interesting. [02:21.8]
Let me start by explaining a conversation I have a lot. Okay, this is a conversation I have. I talk to real estate investors every single week all over the country, big and small, people spending tens of thousands of dollars on online marketing every single month, people spending $500, between my coaching and my agency and whatever, all this stuff that I do, being in masterminds for investors and so on, and I'm talking to investors literally multiple times a day, every day. [02:54.1]
There's a conversation that I will have a fair amount of the time and going to have that conversation whenever things go wrong. Whenever things go wrong, whenever things don't go well, when someone spends a bunch of money on Google Ads or they spend a bunch of money on Facebook ads, or they spend a bunch of money on whatever and they don't get the return on that investment that they expect. They don't get the return on the investment that they expect.
One of the common things that people will bring up to me, because we'll get into these conversations and we'll talk about why I think it's not going well and what I think their issue is with people who are coming to me for consulting, but also people who are my clients—so people who I set up their stuff. I'm doing their stuff, right? So, it's not like they're coming to me from outside all the time. Sometimes they are. Sometimes they're not—and I’ll say, I think we ran into this and this and this in this market, or this number is not what we expected, so we're going to experiment with XYZ. We're going to try a different landing page, try a different ad or to try a different bidding strategy, try a different channel, try a different whatever. [04:02.7]
One of the common things that people say to me is, Dan, I hired you because you are the expert. I hired you because AdWords Nerds has been doing this for longer than anyone else. You have a bigger data set than anyone else. You only focus on real estate investors and so you should know my business and my market. I hired you because you guys know the most. So, why is it that now you are talking about experimentation? Shouldn't you already know what's going to work? And that is a fair question.
It's a fair question, but inside that question, there is a core misunderstanding about what is going on that is going to fundamentally screw that person up and prevent them from making money—and that is the misunderstanding of how online marketing works. [05:07.0]
I'm going to use Google Ads as a specific example, but this is true about being on Facebook and YouTube, and anything else you want to do, okay? It's going to be true across all these systems and I'm focused on Google just to make this podcast a little easier.
What is Google Ads? When we come in and we say, We want to run Google Ads and I want to get motivated sellers, I want to put together a system that's going to produce that outcome, what are we really doing? And when you take on this kind of project, there are two types of basic environments you are entering into. There is a complicated environment which requires expert knowledge in order to be successful in. [05:53.3]
A complicated environment, might be, for example, cooking. Cooking is a complicated environment to really cook well, you've got to know the recipes inside and out. Not only that you've got to know the rules of thumb, the heuristics about what kinds of dishes work and which ones don't, you've got to understand seasoning and temperature. You've got to understand the application of heat to food and how that changes the outcome. You've got to have expert knowledge, right? Maybe you could just come into the kitchen and you’ve got no idea what's going on and maybe you can put together something great, but to be truly great in that complicated field, you need expert knowledge.
Now, the fundamental misunderstanding that I referenced when I said this person says, Hey, Dan, I hired you. It's like I hired you to be a chef and you're supposed to know how to cook, and this dish didn't come out the way that I wanted and now you're talking about experimentation. I don't get it. The problem is that Google Ads, online marketing for motivated sellers, it isn't complicated. It isn't complicated. It's complex. [07:05.5]
There might not seem on the surface to be much of a difference between complicated and complex, but there is, so to review complicated environments, they’ve got a lot of moving pieces, but if you have expert knowledge, you can routinely produce the result that you want. That's like cooking, a complicated environment. But complex environments have systems interactions. A good example of a complex environment would be the stock market.
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Now, the stock market has some basic rules that you’ve got to understand. Buy low, sell high. You buy Stock A at $10. You sell it for 50. You made 40 bucks. It's not that difficult, in theory.
But the reason that the stock market is very difficult to understand in practice is because it isn't just to buy low and sell high. It's understanding how other people will interact with your actions. If you start buying low, other people might notice, and then they start trying to buy low as well, which itself raises the price and now that low price isn't low anymore. [09:04.4]
It isn't enough to understand the basic rules. You've got to understand human behavior. You've got to understand human psychology and, more importantly, how all those pieces interact with each other in a mind-numbingly difficult and complex web of interactions.
The human body is not complicated. It is complex. In your pursuit of solving, for example, a weight problem, you may create multiple different physical issues down the line that come from second- and third-order effects of the interventions that you’ve made to fix the weight problem. This is what complexity means. It means when you touch a domino, you don't just change one thing, but you end up knocking down dominoes in many different arenas, in many places you might not even be aware of, the butterfly effect, for lack of a better term. [10:07.0]
Now, to bring this back to real estate investing, online marketing, let's say, stick with Google Ads, what is Google Ads? It is a complex environment. It is literally a marketplace where you and other investors are competing. One of my favorite things to say to investors who say, Hey, you have more data than anybody else. You've done this more than anybody else. You only work with real estate investors, and so you understand my industry. How are you still having issues? I say, Yes, that is true. I know more than anybody about the Google Ads market for real estate investors yesterday. The thing I don't understand is today's market. [10:57.0]
Now, look, Warren Buffett is the most successful stock investor of all time and in no way am I going to compare myself to Warren Buffett really, but Warren Buffett, even though he is the most successful stock investor of all times, he still loses money in the stock market all the time. So, what makes Warren Buffett successful long term? Or to bring this back to our topic where I said I'm going to talk about why I think AdWords Nerds has remained at the top of the industry.
Look, I don't want to be boastful, but we've been around for a long time and we've been successful for a long time. There's a reason for that. What is that? If you're saying, Hey, Dan, look, you understand yesterday's market, but you don't understand today's market. Why are you successful then? this is the same exact reason that I think Warren Buffett is successful, and that is because not that I have some secret knowledge where I can predict complex outcomes. I don't. What I have is a willingness to admit when I am wrong and to change course. [12:07.0]
More than anything, what has gotten our clients results over the long term—and, again, we're talking about almost a decade in business now with this pretty much exact team—the reason we have got our clients results is I have zero, zero investment in any particular method, account build, campaign structure, keyword portfolio, nothing. I don't care. I don't care if it's the thing that I invented. I don't care if it's a thing that I put my name on.
In fact, the strategies that I innovated that were what got me into this business, they are dead and gone many years now. Instead, what we have replaced them with is essentially a variation on the scientific method. We simply say we acknowledge that this domain is complex and therefore it is impossible for us to predict with absolute certainty what is going to happen. [13:09.8]
Instead, what we do is we approach that environment with humility and we say let the data show us where to go. The No. 1 red flag—and, look, as a marketer, I am constantly looking to learn. I'm constantly hiring coaches. I'm constantly downloading everybody's program. If we have a competitor, I’ve read their stuff. I've studied with them. If there's a bigger agency than us, I have learned everything that I can from them. I am a sponge when it comes to this stuff because I love it. I'm constantly learning—[the No. 1 red] flag that I have found over time in this industry, and, really, in any other, is when I can tell that someone fundamentally misunderstands the environment that they are in. [13:57.8]
If you ever see someone who's going to do your marketing, that's trying to tell you, Look, this environment is complicated, not complex, by which I mean I have the secrets, I know what works and I will always reproduce the exact same results, the second somebody tells you that turn around and run the other way. Turn around and run the other way because that person will not be able to change tactics when the environment inevitably—inevitably—proves them wrong.
Guess what another complex environment is? It's the housing market. As an investor, you will be constantly faced with uncertainty in complex environments, the stock market, the housing market, the currency market, Bitcoin, futures, whatever. Anywhere you've got to deal with the actions of other people with the interactions of complex systems, uncertainty is the name of the game. [14:59.8]
To make it through in the long term, it isn't about always being right, and, in fact, it's impossible to always be right. Instead, it is about understanding that you will be wrong and adopting a mindset that allows you to change tactics easily when you find out that that's the case—and that is the secret to my personal success. I profoundly believe that and I deeply, deeply hope that you can take that into not just your business life, but your personal life, and live a more successful life yourself.
Now, look, like many people in the marketing industry, I learn as much from my clients as they learn from me. So, if you are a listener of this podcast and you have been here for a while, let me take this opportunity to say thank you because the people that comment on these episodes, send me emails, hit me up on Facebook, whatever it is, they're the ones that have taught me pretty much everything I need to know about this universe that you and I are both in, and I cannot tell you how much I appreciate it. [16:08.0]
All right. That is it. For this week's episode of the REI Marketing Nerds podcast. As always, you can hit up my team. If you ever want to talk about putting together an online marketing strategy for your market, AdWordsNerds.com/Strategy, set up a time and I will be happy to talk to you very soon.
Until next week, cheers.
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