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 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? Hope you are well.
Look, you know if you need help with your online marketing strategy to find more real estate deals and leads online, motivated sellers, you know where to go. It's AdWordsNerds.com/strategy. My team will help you out for free. [01:16.0]
Now, this week, we're going to talk a little bit about social media and you may be surprised to hear we talk about social media. Dan, you say, Dan, you are the man when it comes to pay-per-click advertising. That's Google Ads. That's Facebook ads. That's not really social media.
That is the case. In the past, I have not been super bullish on social media for real estate investors for lead generation, and that is primarily because real estate investing for the vast majority of this industry's history has been a direct-response industry—by which I mean, what you did was go out, find the seller and say, Do you want to sell me your house? and they say yes or no, and you just repeat that ad infinitum until you get the amount of deals that you want. [02:08.0]
Obviously, that's a simplification, but basically that's how this all worked and that's how it worked with direct mail. It works with SEO. That’s how it works with text messaging or SMS or whatever, whatever it is, right? Door knocking, driving for dollars, what have you.
However, you've probably heard me say over the last, let's say, six months or so that I see a real major transition happening, and in fact, I’ve done other shows about this topic, so by all means, if this is your first episode or you haven't been listening for too long, go back, look at of the earlier episodes because I talk a lot about the transitions that are happening right now in real estate investing—the biggest of which is our transition from simply a solution-unaware market to a solution-aware market. [02:59.6]
What that means is, in the past, all you had to do to market yourself as a real estate investor was to say, I am a real estate investor. I buy houses for cash. Do you want to sell me your house? Basically just saying what you do out loud, because sellers in general were unaware that the solution of selling to a real estate investor existed. Okay, we were solution-unaware.
Now, in today's market, people are solution-aware. They know that investors exist. They know that Zillow buys houses. They know that Tulia buys houses. They know that Offerpad and Opendoor and Sundae buy houses. So, they know the local real estate investors because they're getting the postcards; they see the bandit signs; they have HGTV; they know what a real estate investor is and does, and it is no longer a question in a solution-aware market of whether I sell to an investor or not. It is more often a question of which investor do I sell to? [04:07.8]
“Do I sell to an investor?” and “Which investor do I sell to?” are very different questions with very different marketing approaches, and so this transition from, hey, you’ve got to just decide if you're going to sell to an investor or a realtor or whatever, to which investor do you want to sell to? Do you want to sell to these big iBuyers? Do you want to sell to the sort of dominant local investor? Do you want to sell to a smaller local investor? That is the transition that all investors need to be thinking about.
The reason that I am more bullish on social media, the reason that I'm more pro-social media today—and, in fact, AdWords Nerds moved into the social media management space for real estate investors, so we do actually run some of our clients’ social media. We run their accounts and make the content, all that stuff—the reason that we started doing that was not because social media suddenly became amazing for lead generation. [05:09.5]
In general, I think social media is not great for lead generation for real estate investors. It can be absolutely great for other industries. For real estate investors, that tends not to be great, but where it does fill a critically important role is simply in maintaining a relationship with a potential seller over time, because when it comes to the moment where I, as the seller, have to decide which investor do I sell to, if I have a relationship with you—in the sense that I’ve seen your content. I’ve seen you around. I know, like and trust you. You are familiar to me. You are the kind of person that I am. You are similar to me in some way—I'm going to sell to you, and that is a massive, massive advantage that, quite frankly, is hard to reproduce because most investors don't put in the work. [06:01.3]
If you are willing to do some work or you're willing to hire someone to do it for you or you’ve got someone on our team or whoever, as long as you're willing to invest something in that process, I think it's incredibly valuable, that social media, building those relationships over time.
That's the background of why we're talking about social media. Let's talk about Facebook for real estate investors. Now, specifically, I'm not going to talk about Facebook ads. I have a lot of opinions on Facebook ads. Especially lately, Facebook ads have been all over the place, but we're not going to talk about ads. We're talking about social organic. We're talking about free stuff, building a following using Facebook as a way of interacting with clients.
First things first, by the way, I'm basing this off an article that we wrote for the AdWordsNerds.com blog called 13 tips for Facebook marketing for real estate investors. I'm going to include a link to the full article on the show notes for this episode. Just go to AdWordsNerds.com/podcast. Look for this episode. You'll see a link to this article, or you can just Google it. It's called “13 tips: 13 Tips: Facebook Marketing for Real Estate Investors.” Maybe throw in AdWordsNerds.com and you'll find it. [07:15.8]
All right, so I'm going to go over some of the big takeaways from this article, but you can read the whole thing on AdWordsNerds.com.
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Now, here's the thing. I think Some investors get sort of confused about whether to use the kind of personal or business sides of Facebook. You absolutely want to be using the business side of Facebook, so you want to make a page for your brand. You want to get a Facebook business account. You can go to business.facebook.com. You want to go that way because you're going to have access to a lot of different parts of Facebook that personal profiles simply don't get access to, so that's going to be pretty critical. [08:24.7]
The other thing I would point out is that unlike when you're doing, let's say, PPC, when you're doing ads, you don't actually want to be focused on lead generation a hundred percent of the time, okay? You don't want to be purely going after the sale all the time, purely going after the lead all the time, because, again, you want to start to reorient yourself around building that relationship, building a connection, building that sense of familiarity and that sense of recognition with the people in your market.
When you're doing that, it actually makes it a lot easier, in my opinion, to know what to post and when to post and all that stuff because you're going to do what comes naturally to you. You're going to do things that you think are interesting. You're really going to put yourself out there as a person. [09:10.2]
Again, remember the ultimate game that we're playing here is building relationships over time, not necessarily generating a steady stream of leads directly from Facebook organic. You can actually do that, right? But in general, you want to focus on building the relationship.
Now, to do that, one of the things I like to do is focus on using lots of photos and videos, right? You want to kind of have a visual component to most of the things you are going to post. There's a technical reason for that, which is frankly that photos and videos tend to generate better engagement and Facebook is an engagement-based algorithm, by which I mean, the more people like, the more people comment, the more people share, the more people click, right? The more people engage with a given post, the further that post gets pushed into other people's timelines. [10:04.4]
The posts that get the most engagement show up to more people and therefore get engaged with more often, and it creates this kind of virtuous cycle where you're going to continuously drive more people to see your stuff. Think about what's going to get people to engage. Think about asking questions. Think about using photos, using videos, doing stuff that's fun and quirky, right? It doesn't have to be directly related even to what you do. It can just be something that reflects your personality or the local market that you're in. I think that's really important to think about, because, again, just think about lengthening that relationship with someone, strengthening the connections, strengthening that sense of reciprocity and responsiveness there.
Now, using calls to action, I think using calls to action, specific calls to action is really critical, but you also want to think that when you are on Facebook, if your goal is to generate engagement on Facebook, generally, you don't want to drive them off Facebook to your website. There is a place for that. [11:09.0]
But the thing to remember is that, generally, when you include a link that sends people off Facebook, Facebook lessens the reach of that post because Facebook's goal is to keep people on Facebook, right? Facebook has a metric by which they judge their own success and it's literally just time spent on Facebook, and so if you have a link to your website you send people off, generally, Facebook views that as a loss to them and they're going to decrease the reach of that post.
So, what kinds of calls to action are you using in these posts? You can say, “Comment below with XYZ. Let me know what you think about ABC.” You can have a poll. One of my favorite Facebook posts I’ve seen multiple people do this is just saying, “Hey, what are you reading?” “What are you reading?” letting people engage. That is a specific call to action and having a specific call to action, again, drives up the amount of engagement with your posts and that's really awesome. [12:05.0]
Now, to get a little bit more advanced, something that you could do is create and manage a Facebook group, and Facebook groups are really valuable assets if you can make them work. I will freely say that they are a lot of work. I run a Facebook group. Obviously, you can go there at AdWordsNerds.com/group to go to the REI Marketing Nerds Facebook group. I post in there every single day, but it's a lot of work. You've got to manage it. You've got to moderate it. You've got to make sure that people are posting things appropriately, yada, yada, yada. However, creating a local Facebook group can be incredibly powerful, especially if that group is locally-oriented.
I'll give you an example. I live in Connecticut, specifically in West Hartford, Conn., and there is a Facebook group, not something that I started or anything, but there's a Facebook group for the town that's called West Hartford Friends and Neighbors. West Hartford Friends and Neighbors is the kind of Facebook group where people get into extremely long arguments about what the best pizza place is. People complain about the bike lanes and all this stuff. It's just the typical local Facebook group. [13:11.8]
Now, if you own that Facebook group, if you manage that Facebook group, not only are you bringing together a community of people in your local market, but you also have a group of people that you can market to in a subtle and appropriate way whenever you need, and that can be incredibly powerful. So, I highly suggest, if you do have the time, to invest in this. That can be a massive, massive asset.
Another thing I love, and you'll see me do these a lot, are Facebook lives. I love doing Facebook Lives. You can do them very impromptu. People always want to say, What are the cameras? Do I have to be HD? What kind of program? Honestly, the Facebook Lives that tend to do the best are literally just off your smartphone, right, your iPhone or whatever, Android. Go into the Facebook app, do a Facebook Live. It's just holding it in front of your face, kind of selfie mode. Those do really well. They do really well and people watch them. [14:07.2]
Now, one of the things about Facebook Live is that, when you start, you don't tend to get a lot of views, and so people tend to kind of bounce off it, but they can be really valuable. Those videos live on Facebook for a little while. People will watch them and people like to interact with a real person, and you are a real person.
One of the things I always tell my clients to do is to just go live while you're walking around the house that you're thinking of rehabbing or you're working on or whatever. Talk about the deal. Talk about what goes into making up a house like that. Talk about the market. Talk about whatever. Talk about anything that you're interested in, but engage with people, because, again, when people see you, they see you as you really are, your face, moving around, talking, right? They see that you're local. They see that you're real. They see that you are a professional. They're forming a relationship with you over time, and when it comes time for that person to sell, ultimately they are going to sell to the investor that they know, like, and trust. [15:02.0]
Ultimately, that is what matters, and if you could start building that relationship now before you need it, you're going to have a much, much easier time converting that person into a lead and that lead into a deal when it's time for that person to sell.
I hope that makes sense. I hope this was useful. Like I said, this comes from a much longer article called 13 tips for Facebook marketing for real estate investors. I'm going to put the link to that article on our show notes. You can go there and find this episode at AdWordsNerds.com/podcast or just in the description. Whenever and wherever you're listening to this, they’ll probably have a description there where you can just click over it. Check out that article. It has got extra tips, more in-depth explanations and all sorts of cool stuff for you to check out.
As always, this is Daniel Barrett from AdWordsNerds.com. Thank you so much for listening to the REI Marketing Nerds podcast, and I will see you next week. Cheers. [15:56.1]
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