Wow..I’m finally writing my first post here on BiggerPockets, which is by far, in my words, the best real estate investing blog in the world. But, before I get into the so-called juicy parts of this post, I want to first give thanks to someone whom I feel deserves more than just a Thank You.“
My man, Brandon Turner, is one of the first faces that you see when you join BP. I reached out to Brandon to see about contributing to the community to just add my two cents to this thing we call real estate. Brandon took the approach as being helpful, and willing to bring on people who he feels can bring another positive twist to the website.
So, after some back and forth the cement was laid for me to come aboard this platform to bring my insight into real estate marketing. Just wanted to say “Thank You” personally on all levels bro for giving me the opportunity to spread my knowledge of this real estate business to so many of the BP readers.
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Now..Enough of that
My name is Antonio Coleman, a guy who can say that he has seen it all when it comes to real estate and online marketing. From 2001 to present date, I have been educating myself on all parts of the real estate business. Back in 2002, I bought the most famous real estate course of all time which is the “Carlton Sheets No Down Payment Course.” Heck, I still have that course right here on top of my office desk staring me in the face everyday. Question: Is he still alive?
Anyway, if you know anything about real estate and started back in those days, then you somehow bought or heard of that course. From there I learned everything I had to learn about real estate from lease options, subject-to to land contracts. Plus, I went on to buy a number of other real estate programs back then to really take my knowledge of the real estate game to an all new level.
So, I took the leap of faith back then to go out and implement what I learned, from putting ads in the paper to using the good old bandit signs. From there I took on educating myself even more from staying in Barnes and Nobles and Books a Million until they closed. I was looking to dominate this market by not leaving any stones unturned, so that is what I did. Not to say that I’m some sort of guru, because I’m far from that, just saying that I feel as of today I can hold my own in any market due to constant learning.
After a number of deals throughout the years of buying houses with no money, to working with people behind on mortgages and such. I found that this real estate thing is a pretty cool deal and very profitable if you do it in the right way. But, I found out that real estate wasn’t my first love at all, it’s actually my second love and I treated it as such.
Let me explain
I Speck Marketing not Investing
Before that Carlton Sheet course came along, I was doing something even better than that. It all started back in 1997. These were the so-called beginning years of the internet. This was when Yahoo ruled the online world with the help of AOL, and the most forgotten search engine of them all Ask.com..remember them?
Basically, from 1997 to present date the internet has been my first and only love besides my family. There is almost nothing that I haven’t seen when it comes to the internet, from being one of the first users and Google and learned that if I create enough words on my page, then I can rank for anything. Back then, Google was as easy to rank in than it is today for sure.
To tell your age of how long you have been online is to remember people like Howard L Moreland, who came out with the first program that showed you how to place 50 million ads with just one click of the mouse. What about the guy who really changed my life, and took me as a marketer, to an all new level especially when it comes to my real estate investing career.
That guy I’m about to name may bring tears to your eyes, because I’m getting emotional right now thinking about it. That guy was Cory Rudl, and those who knew of him will tell you that his company the, Internet Marketing Center, was the first of its kind. They taught you how to start, and market your business to the massive back in the early 2000’s.
There was no business that you can start that he didn’t have the tools in place for you to succeed. He gave use software after software to use to make the marketing side of running a business as simple as clicking one button. With Cory’s internet company he helped millions of people just like me back then fine tune our ways of growing a business.
Sadly, on June 2, 2005, Cory was in a car accident that took his life. It was a devastating moment for me in my life, because it was like losing my best friend. I learned so much from him that it’s mind-boggling to put into words. Ever since his death, his company really hasn’t been the same, so as he passed, his company pretty much went along with it.
So, I had to carry on my learning and educating myself on the revolving internet on how to keep growing my business. What I did is that I made it my duty to learn everything possible about search engines, email marketing, website creation, creating products, networking and more to continue to not only grow my first love, which is the online marketing side, but also translate it into the real estate marketing industry.
I Say All This Because
My reason for this short little story is to not show off my expertise of the things I’ve learned over the years. Not to tell you that I know everything about this so-called internet marketing thing. I say this because I want to bring a new twist to the BP community that I see there’s a need for.
What I’m trying to say is that, I’m not here to show you how to do real estate deals. No, no no…I’m only here to educate you all on how to completely dominate your local real estate market. I care less about teaching the ins and outs of investing, because everyone else who writes for this blog can cover that. They can show you how they made millions from their deals, or how to deal with renters and such.
The angle I’m coming from will be the total opposite of the road they’re traveling. By now, most of you on this website know something on how to invest in real estate. You would’ve already bought “Learn to Flip Houses Like the Pros.” If you haven’t, then what are you waiting for… go get it toady.
The only thing that I care about is the marketing side of real estate, because this is what I found that most people struggle with. They know how to put deals together by reading tons of courses, and information by doing Google searches. None of those courses will be talking about the things that I’m going to share, not only in this post but also in the hundreds of posts to come.
“Yea I said HUNDREDS”
Unfortunately, most real estate people that I know of, and believe me, I have talked to thousands over the years from brokers, investors, wholesalers, bird dogs, you name it. I have talked to thousands, and what I learned very quickly is that most of them have not a clue on how to market their business to gain leads. Maybe, some of them have a little knowledge from the YouTube videos they watch, or even that course they bought that taught them how to use bandit signs effectively.
Plus, maybe they did a Google search, and saw that having a website is a great thing to have so why not set one of those up. Some of them even heard about this thing called seo, where I can rank for a keyword, and hopefully it’s something like..
“Chicago Real Estate”
“Orland Homes for Sale”
“Dallas homes for rent”
I found out that a lot of real estate people heard that ranking for keywords was possible, but still decided that the old fashioned way was the best. From placing ads in the paper, and crossing your fingers hoping someone calls you to sell their house to you. Cold calling for dollars is the one that terrified the heck out of those who are not used to talking to people. These are just a few of the things real estate investing courses teach you to find leads.
Here’s the Plan…
My goal is to educate you all here on BP on how the use the internet, and some offline platforms to crush your local real estate market. The reason I talked at the beginning about my first and second love, which is online marketing and then real estate, is because I wanted you guys to see that I’m tackling this real estate marketing thing from all angles. I didn’t just learn how to flip a house, heck my almost 80-year-old grandmother can flip a house if I gave her the blueprints of doing it.
Everyone is not equipped with the knowledge of going out there starting today of building that online presence. I’m the guy who will take you by the hand to show you the whole system of marketing a real business from A to Z. No matter if you just started today or have been in this thing for over 10 years now. If I can show you just one thing that you’re not doing in your business today that will help you get more leads than the next real estate person, then I have done my job.
What’s crazy is that I’m already 1,700 words into the post, and still haven’t gotten into the meat of it. Crazy Huh
To sum this up, I’m here to provide you guys with over 15 years of real estate and online marketing experience, to help you guys get that cutting edge. Maybe there will be things you already know about, if so then that’s awesome but I feel as though I have to cover every single topic under the sun to help the newbie, and the seasoned investors.
Drop me in any city in the world no matter the country, population or culture I feel as though I can dominate that local real estate market within 6 months to a year by using the following tools. The way I will do that is to start with the tools that I have listed below that every real estate person must have if they want to dominate. With these tools, and some form of internet connection, and with the right marketing strategies, you can be getting unlimited leads by spending less money and working half of the time.
So, before I can show you how to dominate any real estate market, you first must have the right tools. Here I will explain all 10 tools and how they can help you rack in thousands of leads each year.
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One hard notion about this real estate business from the marketing side of it, is that you must be motivated. You have to get your mind-set to go out and tackle the market from all angles. Being a real estate investor must be a passion of yours, and it’s something that you eat, breath and sleep.
You have to love the business more than you love the money behind it. What I learned years ago is that you have to have the drive, and will stick with this even through the dark days. These are the days when the phone is not ringing, no money, no leads and potential properties that you want are all of sudden off the market because someone beat you to the punch.
Motivation is what you need before you really take your business to an all new level. None of the marketing that I’m going to teach you is going to be worth your time if you don’t have the drive and passion about this business. Understanding the process of marketing is slow and time-consuming.
Any one of the top investors will tell you that the process is long, and hard but over time it pays off. So, I listed “motivation” first in this guide of real estate marketing tools because it’s the main tool that everyone has. If you can utilize that tool like the masters and keep pushing that rock up that hill, then good things will come.
#2. Must Have a Website
Some people will tell you that you need a website for your real estate business, and I will tell you that they’re right. You need a website for a number of reasons which I can’t cover all today, but will in future posts. I have a motto..if you don’t have a website you actually don’t have a business. Now I know that is a sticky statement, but think of it like this.
What if someone told you that they don’t have a mobile phone. You would look at them side ways, and ask how in the world don’t you have a mobile phone in 2014. My grandmother even has a mobile phone, so why in the world don’t you. This is the same way I feel when I run across all people in real estate that give me a card with no website on it. How in the world are you running a successful business not being able to drive people to your site, so that they can learn more about you and your business?
Keys of having a website..
- Never ask for a day off
- Works 365 days a year “even holidays”
- Capture leads for you
- Educates your visitors
- Builds rapport
- Engages your readers
- Increases content sharing
- Getting found in the search engine
- Potential to dominate locally
- and countless of other marketing strategies
If you don’t believe having a website is powerful, then checkout out Chris Clothier’s post here on BP on “How To Attract 10,000 Visitors A Month To Your Real Estate Website.” Just think, you can’t even call up a potential 10k leads each month in hopes on doing business with them.
So, having a website is just the beginning, most people will just say that you need one but what the heck can I do with it. That is where all of the fun begins in this marketing world in creating a good-looking website, and marketing that thing to capture leads while you’re working on other important things.
I can’t say enough about Google. I’ve pretty much grown up with this search engine from the earlier days of using Google Adwords, which I wrote a book about, to learning how to rank in the search engines. From late 1999 to present day, I have been right there by good old Google side just to keep an eye on her. So, I can say with confidence that I know this young lady very well, which in human ages she is a teenager now.
By saying that, I want you all to listen up for a moment if you don’t continue reading this post. Google is your best friend if you can treat her right. She will take you anywhere you want to go if you just ask, and play by the rules. Even though, over the years she has gone through some changes from adopting all of these crazy animals such as the panda and penguin. She is still our friend no matter how hard she tries to steer us off the wrong track.
So, for this reason if you have a real estate business make sure you become friends with Google. What she can do for you is like no other, because she can put your real estate business into places that will just explode your leads. I will be writing an in-dept blog post on how Google can take your real estate business to an all new level. If you haven’t been using Google to market your business, I think today will be the time to start.
4. Google Keyword Planner
This tool from Google used to be called Google Keyword Tool, but they changed the name of it some time ago. This tool will become your best friend, and it has been mine for over ten years now. I started using the Google Keyword Tool back then for my Google Adwords campaigns. For those of you who don’t know what the Google Adwords program is, it’s a tool where you can pay money to be placed in their advertising sections of their search engine. You will have a chance to pick any keywords you want, and pay for per click.
So, it’s used for you to find the most targeted keywords for your Adwords campaign and for writing content on your real estate website. This is what I use it for, is to find targeted keywords I can write content around and rank for.
Basically, if you are looking to dominate your local real estate market, you must be willing to use Google Keyword Planner on a regular basis. This tool will give you all of the information you need to target your audience, and get your brand out there in front of those potential leads.
Example:I was talking to one of my friends who is a realtor in Shreveport, La, and I asked her how many people search for the keyword “Shreveport Real Estate” each and very month. Now, she paused for a moment, and said I don’t know. I told her that I did the research and found out that 1,600 people search for that keyword each month. She was amazed that first I knew that data, and plus how could she get a piece of that search traffic.
Unfortunately, most real estate people have absolutely no clue about searches like this. For this reason, I can come dominate your local real estate market by just doing the work. That work consists of finding those targeted leads, and catering my website content around it. I will talk more about that in a future post on How to dominate with Google Keyword Planner.
5. Google Alerts
When Google starts giving, she really knows how to make a brother happy. Google came along with a tool that really took my business to an all new level. Google Alerts is what every real estate person needs to be using every single day if you want quality leads. First, let me explain what this tools is, and how it can help your real estate business.
Google Alerts is a tool that allows you to track all activity on the internet when it comes to content. Now, that activity can be news, blogs, forums or even videos. So, the second some form of content hits the internet, you will have access to it. The way this happens is that Google will email you over the details. Those details will include the content that you’re looking to monitor.
So, lets say you want to track those people who come to a forum and type in “how to sell my house fast,” now they are on a forum just trying to get some answers to this question. Once that person clicks the button to post that information, it automatically comes to your inbox. Now, you can jump in and come to the rescue. This is a powerful tool if you know how to use it to dominate your local real estate market. I will create a full blog post on this subject, which will take you by the hands of getting the most out of Google Alerts.
One tool that I’ve used over the years, has been YouTube. I started using those guys from day one back in 2005. I once had a YouTube channel that had over 20 million views and over 174,000 subscribers. My channel at that time was all about marketing, and from all of my efforts of teaching marketing, I was able to grow my business.
YouTube is one tool that a lot of real estate people over look, powerful YouTube videos surrounding your niche can just skyrocket you to the top. Videos that are done in the form of educating potential leads, can just put your business on autopilot if you have your website setup correctly.
You have to look at creating videos to get your message out there to an even bigger audience. You have to use the right keywords with a catchy title and more to attract those who you want to do business with. Finally, I would like to say that creating videos are not hard at all when you know that you have the right tools.
The object is to create the videos, and start the process of sharing it to your local community and across the world. If I’m doing local real estate videos, and you’re not, then guess who will get those leads from potential clients who are searching from the video sites.
7. Social Media
Now, I would say most real estate people I talk to use social media as one of their tools of marketing. Nearly all of them have a Facebook business page setup. This is pretty much a far conclusion for them, because it’s the monkey see monkey do syndrome. Most people from what I notice in any industry besides internet marketing industry, just don’t quite know how to use social media as effective as they like.
Just to stay on Facebook, Tracy created an awesome simple post on setting up your Facebook Real Estate Page. I like the post because it’s not filled with all of the fluff, it’s just straight to the point. Overall, once you have your real estate page setup you must be willing to put that page to work.
I can’t tell you how many marketing strategies you can be implementing with Facebook, but I can say that if you use it right you can have thousands of leads coming in no matter the size of your real estate market. One key tip that I would love to leave for you, if you have a place of business, is the check-in process of Facebook. There is a simple strategy you can be using that will allow you to put your brand in front of thousands just by utilizing the leads that come through your door.
This is extremely powerful
The #1 way I will go about dominating any real estate market is to make use of seo for local searches. Meaning, no matter what, if my real estate business is in Dallas, Atlanta or New York, I’m trying to make sure my real estate website is centered around my location. The only way to do this is through some form of SEO my friend.
But first…If you are new to the internet, and if you have been on here around 5 years or less, then you may be a victim to all types of wrong information. People will make you feel as though seo is a waste of time, and just completely hard to do. The truth is, that it is hard to do if you read the blogs that are out there today, talking about all sorts of crap.
Look people, the rules still apply as they did ten years ago if you believe it or not. Everything comes down to three factors.
- Quality Content
- Quality Backlinks
Brandon even took the time to give you guys 10 of the killer seo tips for getting unlimited leads through seo. I agree with all of the points that Brandon made in that post, but I would like to talk about #10 just for a moment.
Before you even think about hiring any seo so-called experts, because I feel as though the only experts in SEO, are those who are employed by Google. I say this because they know 100% what factors goes into seo, and we are only going by trial and error and lots of testing over the years. I can say this due to the fact that I’ve ranked for thousands of keywords, and I can’t tell you how many people rank online.
But what I’ve found is that, research shows us there is a pattern to the ranking process so that we can at least guess how long it will take for the ranking and etc.. But, do we know for sure if we can rank for keyword? Well, the true answer is no.
So, before you go out and hire someone to do your local seo to grow your real estate business. I first want you to search, and listen for one word on their website, profile or from them personally. If you come across this word I’m about to say, I will love for you to run as fast as you can because you just might save yourself thousands of dollars and lots of sleepless nights.
The magic word is “GUARANTEE”
If you see or even hear this word anywhere, take my advice and just end the conversation. The reason for this is because us as SEO people can rank for anything we want to rank for. No matter the industry or keyword if we have the right effort behind it, then we can get this ranked. Now, it might take months of doing seo, but we know for a fact we can rank somewhere.
But, what we don’t have control over is the search engines. Meaning, we know what goes into ranking that website, page or video, but we have no control over the search engines moving us to the top. The search engines say when we move, or if we even move at all. So, if someone guarantees this I would say seek other professionals for help.
What I do guarantee to people who I’ve done work for over the years, is that I guarantee my work, my effort and quality work. This is the only sort of guarantee you or I can give anyone in this seo business. But, like I said before, I’m here to educate and teach so I will be doing some well informed blog posts on how to do all parts of seo so that you can get found by every single real estate term in your local market.
9. Email Marketing Software
Real estate marketing is nothing without an email marketing software to house all those leads. For one, you need that website if you don’t already have one to get your brand out there, and when it’s out there you need a tool like this to make your life that much easier. Domination starts with having the right tools in place to out do the local competition. I can google many real estate companies, and look at their website and shake my head.
It’s really hard to see that even some of the top RE companies are not making the right moves to dominate their local market. So, this leaves the door opened for you and I to come through and soak up all of the potential leads in the city. The email marketing software is a must have, but most importantly you have to know how to use it effectively and productively.
Finally, I want to talk about a tool that has been around, OMG, forever. Millions of people know about Craigslist, but only a few use it to their advantage. Real estate people are posting that they buy houses on there, and many of the brokers are taking the approach to sell their properties on there also.
From a marketing stand point, this site can allow you to dominate if you use it right. Just posting something is not going to do the trick. You need to think outside the box on a teaching level, and then you will start to see the power of Craigslist. This is one tool that I say you need to be on every day for at least 15 mins to be able to start getting unlimited leads, all on autopilot.
Start the Journey
Almost 5,000 words for my first blog post, really took a lot of out me. But, I wanted to come out of the gate here on Biggerpockets to set up what I call the journey to success. You guys already have the tools to invest in real estate, and I’m not here to talk about that side. Like I said before, my goal is to provide the marketing side of real estate. On how you can use tons of the tools above to soar past all of the other real estate people in your local market.
I can tell you now that 98% of the people in your local real estate market, are not using all of these tools above. What I’m looking to do is to show you how to use them to your advantage, and over time you will become the head real estate guru in your city.
Stay Tuned for More
Comment Time: Tell me a little about yourself and how long have you been in this real estate industry?
Note By BiggerPockets: These are opinions written by the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions of BiggerPockets.