#007: Rake in the REI Deals with Online Lead Generation

Welcome to The Accelerated Investor Podcast with Josh Cantwell, if you love entrepreneurship and investing in real estate then you are in the right place. Josh is the CEO of Freeland Ventures Real Estate Private Equity and has personally invested in well over 500 properties all across the country. He’s also made hundreds of private lender loans and owns over 1,000 units of apartments. Josh is an expert at raising private money for deals and he prides himself on never having had a boss in his entire adult life. Josh and his team also mentor investors and entrepreneurs from all over the world. He doesn’t dream about doing deals, he actually does them and so do his listeners and students. Now sit back, listen, learn, and accelerate your business, your life, and you’re investing with The Accelerated Investor Podcast.

Josh:    Hey, this is the accelerated Investor Podcast with Josh Cantwell. Welcome back. Recently I had the opportunity to sit down with my friend Danny Johnson from Flipping Junkie. So I wanted to introduce you to the interview and I hope you really enjoy it.

Josh:    So hey everybody, welcome back, Josh Cantwell and excited to be back with you again with another one of our Strategic Real Estate Coach Podcast, an interview series I have with me today, Danny Johnson. And Danny is a longtime seasoned real estate investor, but also an expert at online lead generation for real estate investors. Danny, thanks for jumping on with us today. How are you?

Danny:    Doing great. Thanks for having me on Josh. Really appreciate it.

Josh:    Yeah, yeah, you bet. You Bet. So, Danny, for those people in our audience that may not be familiar with you or some of the different trainings that you run or some of the different done for you, lead generation services you provide, just give us a little bit of color, a little bit of bit of background about you and your real estate investing journey.

Danny:    Oh, awesome. Yeah, I love telling the story. So if I run along on this, just tell me because I can go on and on about it. Yeah, so I started out working for a defense contractor here in San Antonio, there’s a lot of defense contractors here as a software developer. And I was working in the skiff, which is basically a locked room, it’s like a vault where you have this unnatural light and no windows or anything. You can’t have a cell phone, all that kind of stuff. And I was bored out of my mind, you know, I was doing the same stuff in the software development over and over again. And the people in the o and the office with me and that skiff would listen to this one CD.

Danny:    And they played the song over and over. It was like background noise, but it was driving me nuts. Because this, it was like one song I think. I don’t think it was the whole CD. It was like the one song, that Proclaimer song, I would walk 5,000 miles if I ever hear that song again, I’ll flip out. You know, if I hear it in the car I’ll yank an oncoming traffic or something. But so I was working there and while I was working there and kind of feeling my, my energy drain every day even more and more. My father got into flipping houses and just talking to him and hearing about his fun every single day, he was just so excited. Like he just completely changed his life. He was so thrilled with every day and all the adventure and all the kind of stuff he was driving around telling me about all the deals he was doing.

Danny:    And I was like, man, I want that. You know, I want that. That’s exciting, that’s awesome. Yeah, there’s a lot of passion there. And growing up he was a contractor for a real estate investor for rehab here. And I remember as a kid helping him do demos, so I was a little bit familiar with some of that and it was super exciting. So we started doing that part time and you know, I couldn’t have a cell phone. So that made it pretty tricky for me to be able to, because I was doing the off market, you know, marketing, doing postcards, driving for dollars, looking for houses that needed work, doing bandit signs and I’d have to go and look at these things on my lunch break and in the evenings and you’d think I would be pretty exhausted from working fulltime job than doing all that stuff.

Danny:    But it didn’t feel like work. That was my fun time. I couldn’t wait to go do those things. And so we got into the business and it took me about three years to go full time just because I was kind of nervous about the consistency consistently getting deals, even though I was losing money by staying at my full time job. So finally they decided to let me go because they found out I was focused more on my outside work at work than I was, you know, in the work that I was doing there. And so they kind of kicked me out and forced me to go full time and in real estate investing. So anybody out there listening that’s struggling with that right now know that it’s pretty common in a lot of people struggle with getting rid of that safety net of that job.

Danny:    But we were flipping houses, we were doing quite a bit of business, doing about 35 deals a year and we took a vacation on the West Coast going from San Diego up to Seattle for about three weeks. And on that trip we stopped at this place in Oregon that has the Spruce Goose. Howard Hughes big flying, boat thing, the wooden one from World War II. And I told my wife, I said, when we get back, I’m going to take flying lessons, I’m going to get my pilot’s license. And so we got back I just was all in on that. I was super excited about it. In two months of training and I got my pilot’s license and we were still getting leads and doing some deals. But basically what I found was all the marketing that we would do would produce results mostly about three months from when we did the marketing.

Danny:    And so that residual of the three months before prior doing all that stuff was still bringing us deals. But I had stopped because I was so focused on the pilot thing kind of playing semi-retired. And so everything kind of dried up after that. And I was having trouble getting motivated. I just want to go flying all the time and all that kind of stuff. And so I was like, man, I need to get motivated. And I was working with a buddy of mine and we were kind of doing these accountability meetings together and trying to just figure out like, how can I get motivated to get everything cranked back up? And you know, he was wanting to know how to get into the business. So I was like, well, why not just instead of just helping you, why don’t I start a blog? And that became Flipping Junkie and I can teach people how to flip houses, right?

Danny:    And just show them what I’m doing. Because right at the time there were two types of blogs. This was about 2010 I think there are two types of blogs out there, one is where people would show you the houses they were fixing up, right? You would go to there and it’s like the daily, like we’re putting drywall in, but you didn’t know how they got the house. You didn’t know about the numbers, how they analyzed and all that kind of stuff you just saw the rehab.

Danny:    And then the other type was the type where they would say, you know, if you, you’re going to meet a seller, here’s what you do, here’s the top five questions to ask them. But then you didn’t hear about any real world like marketing and what the deals they were doing. So I thought, why not show people all aspects of it? And since I need to ramp this up, I got to plan out my marketing and do all this kind of stuff. So I spent 34 weeks where I actually documented on that blog every week, all the marketing I did, every single call I took. Why the people were selling what they were asking for the house, how I analyze whether I was going to go look at the house or not, just everything, you know, the deals that we got.

Danny:    And that turned into a book because so many people are fascinated by the whole thing of seeing just from A to Z, every single thing I was doing. And that’s called Flipping Houses Exposed. So, you know, a lot of people have read that in a lot of top investors that I know around the country got started with that book. And it’s kind of weird when I meet them and they tell me that. And it was like, wow, you know, you’re a huge investor now. But the thing that they were getting out of that was just the fact that the sheer number of leads, you know, we were going through. And I think some people don’t know what to expect when they get started.

Danny:    They think, well, if I look at 10 houses, I probably should buy one, right? One should be a deal. But then they see something like that and they see that I’m passing on 20, 30 of these leads sometimes. And that’s the reality a lot of times, right, depending on what kind of marketing you do and how savvy you are and putting deals together. And so that was really something and people were contacting me after reading the book or the, or the blog and in saying, hey, you know, you generate 495 leads in that 34 weeks and the majority were from your website. I want a website, where did you get yours? And at the time there was nobody really doing that. And I said, well, I created my, because I’m a software guy and I don’t really have the time, I’m sorry to create one for you. That’s just not my thing. And I don’t know why a light bulb didn’t go off, you know, it wasn’t the accident thing like, like you had in your story.

Josh:    It’s a business, it’s a business. You make money from that.

Danny:    Right, right, right. It took talking to my friend Brandon from Bigger Pockets. We were on the phone and in that came up, something came up about the website and he said, why is nobody doing that? And then the light bulb came on, you know, it’s like, why is nobody doing that I didn’t think about that. Okay, well, so we put together Lead Propeller and that was about five years ago. And just put those together in a way that people could get a website and have it running within minutes with all the right SEO, the right content, the two step opt in forms that we pioneered, you know, texting. So as soon as the lead comes in, you get that text message on your phone so you can call them right away. Stuff like that is huge because back when we were getting started in that, I had to get a Blackberry because it’s like I’d get an email, but I wanted to be my competition.

Danny:    I didn’t want to be checking my email every five minutes. I wanted to know when that email came in and you know, and then the texting stuff came out and we were able to get those texts that I could get rid of the Blackberry, you know, and find out. Because when, when we’re on Google, right? You’ll go to, if you’re looking for a service, you’ll go to a website, find out some things, some information about it. You might submit your info to it, but then you’ll go back and go to the next one, right. And so if you find out as soon as they submitted that form to you, right when they do it, you can likely contact them while they’re still on your website. And if you make that first contact, you’ve got a huge advantage and you could set an appointment and they’ll feel a lot more like they did what they set out to do, right. And mark that off to the to do list I don’t need to go back and hit another website already got a guy coming out to my house and then you’re going to.

Josh:    Lead Propeller is basically just this done for you service now, right? You can run this for five years. So if I’m an investor from Omaha, Nebraska or Portland, Oregon or Olympia, Washington, and I know that people are searching online and I also know that direct mail results are going down. If people are in front of their computers, their on their smart phones or on their IPads all day, they can just say, instead of me creating my own website and trying to SEO optimize it on my own, I can use a Lead Propeller account. So tell us about that. So when somebody’s on boards with you, like what are some of the key words that you’re optimizing for? Like what are people searching for that if I had a website of yours, it would basically show up there and I would be consistently getting leads? And also Danny second question is talk about the importance of once you’re on page one of Google that and you own that, you know, virtual digital real estate that you can stay there forever. Talk about that.

Danny:    Yeah, yeah. Yeah. And that’s a great question because a lot of people don’t think about or don’t understand the expectations of online lead generation and I think it causes a lot of people to try it and quit prematurely. So let’s talk about that because it’s huge. It’s a big reason why a lot of people don’t find success online. So with Lead Propeller you can sign up and choose one of our templates and then it’ll have the content that you need, all that kind of stuff. You just put in, you know, the company name, your name, contact information, you want to show, like the phone number for them to call, all that kind of stuff. And then it populates across the website. So you don’t have to go hunt on each page and change stuff. It just will be there. So you can have that thing published within minutes and have your website live to send traffic to.

Danny:    But then that’s the second part of the story, right? Just having a website doesn’t mean that you’re going to have motivated sellers find you all of a sudden it just, it does not work that way. And that’s where these expectations come in. And it’s one of the three things that I see a lot of people making a mistake on. So with expectations with your website, you know, basically there’s different ways to do this. You got to drive traffic to it, okay. So you can either, do you know where you’ve got it on, on a bandit sign or you can do it where you’ve got it on, you know, your, your postcards or direct mail and different things like that. You can post on Craigslist, you can do these different things to drive some traffic to your website, but if you want to do it all online based, you’re either going to do SEO, which is search engine optimization to rank your website for certain keywords.

Danny:    And I’ll get into those keywords in a minute or you can do paid traffic. So that’s pay per click using Google ads or Facebook ads or Bing ads and stuff like that, okay. So with the pay per click, you’re paying to have your website show up where people can see you’re paying for those clicks and for that traffic and display those ads on Facebook, which is great if you know what to expect for that, right? So there’s expectations on SEO for time it takes to rank and paper per click for cost of actually getting leads and deals.

Danny:    Okay, let’s start with PPC. This is a big one where people don’t typically understand what it takes to generate one of a great lead that becomes a deal through pay per click, where you’re showing your ad in Google at the top there, right at the top of the results, they’ve got four, I think of those ads. And to be up there, you’ve got a bid for that spot, okay. So you’ve got to bid for that spot and people don’t know what to bid, right? The keywords and it’s per keyword.

Danny:    Some of them the most competitive keywords because they work are, we buy houses in your location or sell house fast in your location. Like San Antonio is where I’m at. So it’d be sell my house fast San Antonio. And to pay for those keywords and to bid that up to where I’m up at the top and I prefer actually to be at number two spot, not number one because I think you get some tire kickers, see what number one, what is this about? And number two then they go and actually submit and call you. So that’s a good tip. Save you a little bit of money where you don’t, you’re not paying twice to get twice as much as just to get to number one if you’re already number two, it works just as well.

Danny:    But the way to figure out what that might take in your market, and this is just an estimate, you know, to give you an idea of how this works is we reverse engineer what we’re likely going to make on that property and what we’re willing to spend to get it, okay. So if we’ve got a house, you know, if we typically will rehab and we’re going to average like $25,000 or $30,000 grand on rehab, okay. And then we’ve got to look at, okay, well how many, how many leads do I typically need to get to be able to get that one rehab, right? So if you’re pretty good, you’re going to do maybe like one out of five of leads, you know, or one out of 10 let’s just do one out of 10 for simplicity.

Danny:    So we’re going to need 10 leads, right, to get that one deal. So we had 10 people on the sell, I end up buying one of them. We’re going to flip it and maybe make $30,000 grand on it. So now I know I need to get three or I’m sorry, 10 leads to my website and pay per click usually you find that they’re actually quite a bit more motivated because you’ve targeted those keyword showing that they’re looking for you right.

Josh:    Searching for that term, right. They’re looking online for a solution to a problem.

Danny:    Very specifically.

Josh:    I want to sell houses fast, we buy houses, etc. So it’s not like you’re sending it to just an absentee owner or mail piece that may or may not be motivated. This person online specifically searching for that term, which indicates that they’re probably looking to sell.

Danny:    Absolutely. So you find that you get a lot more motivated sellers through these methods and that also is why you want to be able to speak to them right away because they’re more motivated. If you don’t find out that that lead came through your website for several hours your competition, if they got the same person could have talked to them and been at the house and made the offer and got the deal. Because the people are ready to sell a lot of times. Okay, so we’ve now figured out we need 10 leads, okay. So how many people need to come to my website for me to get those 10 leads?

Danny:    In a typical conversion rate for a website, depending on the traffic you’re sending to it can be anywhere from less than 1% up to as much as 20%, 25% conversion rate. So if you, let’s just use 10 again just for simplicity here. So if we got a conversion rate of 10% of these people click on our website? Every 10 people that click on our ad will become one lead. And we need 10. Remember when you 10 leads, so we need a hundred clicks because out of the hundred clicks we’ll get 10 leads in and then we’ll get that one deal to make us $30,000 grand. So how much those clicks cost?

Danny:    Now typically, you know, for some of these keywords you’re looking at least about $25 a click, okay. And that’s big because when people don’t know that they’re trying, like they hear, oh, Ad Words PPC, it’s now called Google Ads, by the way I’ve just been doing it for so long, it’s like Ad Words. But they say, well, with PPC, you know, you can bid a $1.50 per click. Well, it’s like you’re not going to be seen anywhere. You know, your ads got to be up at the top, you know, and Google, even still, I’ve seen people show me in their accounts where Google is telling them, if you want to be at the number one spot, $5 is enough.

Danny:    And I was like, oh, that’s garbage. Like you will not get the number one spot for $5 bucks and so $25 is a good number. Sometimes it’s more, some markets, Houston, Texas, some of these things you’re paying $40, $50 bucks a click, for some of the top keywords. And I’ll show you and tell you some about the keyword stuff too in a minute that will help you if you’re worried about that thinking, well, I’m going to be competing with these big companies on these keywords. There’s a tip here about this, but let’s say you’re going to pay $25 per click. We know we need 10 clicks to get 10 leads that make one deal to make $30,000 grand. So $25 a click at a hundred clicks is $2,500 bucks, okay? So if you want to do that one deal a month out of PPC and this scenario, which is pretty typical, you’re going to have to spend at least $2,500 bucks, right? Right. And so many people, I hear it, don’t tell me, well I’m going to try it out for $300 bucks a month. It’s like how many clicks are you going to get? You know, how many leads you likely to get?

Josh:    Well, it’s almost the same amount of traffic in a year, right? Like $300 bucks a month, $3,600 a year versus $2,500 bucks a month. It’s like, would you rather have that one deal come now this month or would you rather have that deal maybe come eight months from now because it’s just all about speed, right? You’ve got to speed the process up and if you want to do even one wholesale deal a month and make $8,000 grand, you know, and your wholesaling that stuff, again when you’re wholesaling, obviously you can spend almost to buy the property at any price as long as somebody else is willing to pay slightly more. So you can do a lot more leads there too as opposed to being maybe .70, .75, .65 cents on the dollar if you’re doing a rehab, but your wholesale is to basically pay the bills and pay for the PPC and then your big rehab.

Josh:    But yeah, I agree with a lot of times I see new investors, Danny come in with unrealistic expectation of their sample size, right. Their ad spent, whether it’s direct mail or online or offline. I had a coaching student I talked to yesterday and we were on the phone he’s like, yeah, I have eight campaigns that I’ve gone through. I’m like, wow, that’s great. How many people are on each campaign? He’s well, third between 13 and 84 so you know, I was thinking he had maybe, you know, sent out like three or 4,000 pieces of direct mail. He’s like, no, I’ve sent out about 300 pieces of mail and I haven’t gotten a deal yet. I said, well, you know, even if you’ve got a 10% response, which is astronomically high, you might have got 30 leads and you need about 20 to 30 leads to do one deal.

Josh:    So you’re like, the sample size is too small. So I think that’s a big part of the expectation for investors if they’re using Lead Propeller is they’ve got to come in knowing, like you said, reverse engineer, but also knowing like, I’m going to have to spend a few bucks based on my cost per click. So if you don’t have that expectation, you know, realistic timeframe, it’s like, well don’t do it at all, right. Especially if you’re on a PPC level SEO level, which are going to talk about in a second. If you take a little bit more time to get on page one and then once you’re there, you’re there forever. So just to touch base on that for a minute.

Danny:    Yeah I’ll do that in real quick about the PPC stuff. And it goes into like what you’re saying with the mail. A lot of times when people don’t know those typical numbers, you know what is typical for direct mail response rate. You know, if they don’t know, it’s kind of, it’s hard to, and so same thing with PPC same thing with SEO. You know, if you don’t know what to expect, if you don’t know what those numbers are, you can end up just dipping your toe in spending $300 here, $300 there. Next thing you know, your $1,000 dollars in, you didn’t put enough to actually get results. And so you’re thinking it’s not working and I threw away all his money. I don’t want to throw any more away so I quit I’m going to try something else. And they go and do the same thing with direct mail and they go and do the same thing with something else. Next thing you know you’re not going to be in this business because you’re just, you’re putting so little out everywhere and feeling like you’re throwing it away unless you get lucky and get a great deal for one of those.

Josh:    Death by a thousand cuts, right? It’s suicide by a thousand little losses, like with nothing converted, nothing converting, nothing’s converted. Lost $300 bucks here, $500 bucks there, $1,000 bucks here. Oh my God, I’m broke.

Danny:    Yeah, it’s committing, right? Because I’m sure you know, a lot of the top investors around the country are doing about two or three main lead gen sources. They become master of those, right? They’re not doing 20 or50 different things. They figured out the things that can improve the volume they need at the money that the price they need to, and they just become the best at it. And that’s the key here. And obviously with everything people going more and more online that’s what’s happening. So with SEO, SEO takes time, right? To rank takes time. And I’m sure everybody’s going to say, well, I’ve already got people in my market that are ranking for these keywords. So here’s the beautiful thing though. When you’re looking at your competition, you’re having to type in a keyword to find them, right? You’re typing in, we buy houses, St Louis, you’re typing, we buy houses, Cleveland, whatever it is, that’s, the keyword you’re typing in.

Danny:    Well, you know, my website right now ranks for, I think between 4,000 and 5,000 different keywords. People are typing all kinds of things to find you and in different situations, it’s not just those keywords, that one that you typed to find your competition, it’s, you know, all this other stuff. And the competition isn’t there for all of that, you know? So yes, we want those high competition keywords because a lot of people are searching them are motivated sellers. But you can start out with the lower hanging fruit that maybe doesn’t get as much traffic, but when you target a lot of them, that starts to add up and the traffic does build up and next thing you know, you’re generating these leads. And the way that people do that is through content marketing. How you rank for these keywords. You’re basically having blog posts written or you write them that contain these keywords and usually about one to two keywords per article is what you want to focus on.

Danny:    And actually we’ve got, we did a bunch of research because they might be saying, well what keywords are these, right? Which ones are actually producing results? And with Lead Propeller we have services department where you can pay to have us manage your PPC and your SEO and all that kind of stuff. Well we looked at over, I think it was over $2 million of ad spent across a bunch of different counts to see which keywords people were searching and clicking in and then actually becoming a lead. So it’s like, which ones are actually producing lead, not just getting people to the website but actually then going on to say, Hey, I need to sell my house made me an offer. And so what we found was I think we put together a list of the top 50 of those. And then we’ve got that if you know, if I can, if you want me, I can tell them the URL where to go to get that list.

Josh:    Yeah. Where is that, where can they get it?

Danny:    It’s a SellerLeadHacks.com, SellerLeadHacks.com/keywords.

Josh:    Perfect. Perfect. We’ll put that in the show notes.

Danny:    They can get that for free. Just put in your email, you’ll get those 50 keywords and then after you click into that then there’s a little thing there for a special, for content marketing to find out how to use those keywords. So it’s pretty cool. So once you have those keywords, you can focus on writing these articles and doing this kind of stuff to be able to do that. Now I’m going to tell you another thing that works right away to, to have, and it’s actually something that I’m very big on and this is what a lot of people not focused on right now and they need to be because within about a year or two, it’s going to be pretty tough for you online if you’re not starting this now.

Danny:    And that is, I want to tell a quick story it will take two minutes to explain like the purpose of this. I was at my dentist’s office and I was walking outside of it. I was leaving dentist office. There was a couple standing right outside the door. As I walked past them, I heard the woman say to the man, I look for them online, but I couldn’t find them. And he said, okay, let’s well that’s too bad. And then she said, yeah, and checked Facebook and they’re not there either. And then he goes, oh, well I guess we’ll have to find somebody else, right? And it’s like what everybody’s doing, right? Everybody is, you’re looking for a service, you’re going online, right? You’re going online to find out about it. And it’s not just finding the website, but they want to find them on Google, on Facebook, all this kind of stuff. And they’re looking for reviews, right and we’re a service business.

Josh:    We don’t go anywhere, my wife handles sort of our, like our vacation planning typically. And I’ve learned that I shouldn’t handle it because when I look at it, I’m like, this looks awesome let’s book it. She’s like, please, looks awesome let me look at the reviews.

Danny:    Yeah. Bed Bugs.

Josh:    All reviews, right? She’s looking for someone that’s got lots of reviews and, and she’s really good. And then she’ll call the owner, like if we’re going on vacation and BRBO or Airbnb. So I’ve learned like, hello, what are other people saying as opposed to in the past, right. It was always like word of mouth. Like you found your dentist, you found your, you know, whatever through word of mouth. This is essentially digital word of mouth, right is reviews. And if you’re not online and you’re not in Google, you’re not in Facebook and there’s no reviews, you’re going to be in trouble. Even people think, well, I’m just buying houses. But yeah, sellers who are savvy, they know that they want to deal with a reputable company that knows a lot of garbage out there. And so it’s really important not just to rank, not just the call that lead within the first five minutes of it opting in, but then making sure that there’s content behind that, right? So just talk about that for a second. Like what kind of stuff should they have? What should they be to make sure that they have that social proof behind the offer?

Danny:    Yeah, that’s big. We can’t anymore ignore this either. This is not something where I don’t want to be online. It’s like you have to be, because if you’re sending direct mail, people are likely going to search for your company, your phone number, all that kind of stuff your direct mail piece online just to find out who is this guy who wants, who’s this guy who wants to buy my house and they’re going to go in line. If they’re not finding you, they’re finding your competition who’s got great reviews and why wouldn’t they just call them? Because there’s proof online. Whereas your postcard didn’t have any proof other than what you put on. And so there’s a lot here that we need to be careful of and pay attention to because if we’re not doing these things right now, and I’ll tell you those things that you asked me in just a minute and your competition is, and you go online and you look and you say, well man, this guy’s got 50 reviews.

Danny:    How am I going to how am I going to catch up to that? You know, I’m going to have two or one and people are going to want to always go with the 50 guy. I need to be a 50 guy. Now’s the time to be the 50 guy. You know, do it now. Build a system so that every person that you talk to and colleagues, business associates all them can do reviews too. Don’t have people lie and say that you bought their house, but they can review your integrity and all that kind of stuff and then have every seller going put it. Where do you want to do is a Google my business page, you need to put your business on there even if you don’t have a website, you should be putting that on there and fill out the whole profile.

Danny:    Put all the images, get an image of, if you’ve got an office or something or an indoor off like the inside of your office take a picture, get those pictures on there. Picture with you and some sellers and contractors, some ugly looking houses. And don’t use ugly in your marketing online either. You’ll run into problems, it’s trademark, don’t do it. We’ve gotten many letters in the past and they’ll take websites too, they’ll do it. So anyway, yeah, fill those things out. And for the images to, you can even create an image that looks like a bandit sign or even other bandit sign and it says we buy houses with a phone number and put that image in there. Because whenever I get my stats back from Google and they tell me the images, how many times they’ve been looked at, and they tell me the one that’s been looked at most and it’s that one that has my call to action with my phone number on it.

Danny:    So it’s just, it works great. And then Facebook business page, you got to have that nowadays. Everybody’s on Facebook, everybody’s grandmother’s on Facebook, get a Facebook business page and fill that thing out and just do posts randomly. And like if you buy a house, post a picture of it, you know, if you’re looking at a house and be careful of this, I guess you wouldn’t want to put an address if you haven’t bought it yet, but just put what you’re doing on there.

Danny:    And I remember watching this plumber before on Facebook, he had these videos of him doing repair jobs and people were loving it. They were just like, you know, because he’s just talking through and say, Oh, I didn’t know you could do that. And so people might not need a plumber, but they remember him when they do. And you know, he taught you something. So you’re going to call them and be like, I like this guy, you know, and I’m going to call him up when I need some plumbing work. And that’s the kind of thing…

Josh:    (inaudible) Facebook, he’s go to be good because that’s like the most boring topic ever. But yeah, I mean I’ve got some of our members and coaching students that do a phenomenal job of like before and after photos or if they’re even in a house that they’re about to rehab, they’re like, they’re in a tile store asking their audience to give them feedback. Like, do they like this subway tile or this tile instead, this white design or this thing that’s got black in it, you know, vote for A, B, C or D, right. And then when they come back with the actual property that hits the market, Bam, that thing they have an open house, they’ve got a thousand people there and people are showing up and everybody wants to be in real estate. And I can tell my audience all the time, Danny, will probably say the same thing.

Josh:    Everybody wants to be in real estate. Even part time, own rental properties, just passive cashflow. It doesn’t have to be their main thing. Like they don’t have to be in software like you are in lead generation like you are coaching like I am and have a big portfolio. Everybody, I mean everybody around wants to do something in real estate. So just be interesting, right? And get that stuff out there, not only does it help with your brand but help you with deal flow. And then when somebody is opting in that actually wants to sell their house, see your Facebook page or your Google page, right? They’re more likely to be like, okay, this guy’s legit he’s been here for a while, he’s got reviews I’m going to call him. And even if I have a couple of different offers, maybe they go with you because they know you can close because you have proof and credibility online.

Danny:    Oh, and that’s big. That’s a huge point, right? Because how many times have you or your students bought houses when they weren’t even highest you know, offer?

Josh:    All the time.

Danny:    Because people liked and trusted somebody else or trusted them over the other people you know, even when and it’s crazy how many times I’ve heard that too. You know where people are like we just liked you more. We didn’t trust this other guy.

Josh:    Yeah. People want to do business with people they know, like, and trust, right? So even if the offer is better for sure.

Danny:    Go ahead.

Josh:    So Danny, so a lot of investors might say like, I love the idea of Lead Gen, but I don’t want to do any of this stuff myself. Like I just want to flip houses or I just want to build my portfolio. I just want to wholesale properties and I just want to cut a check or invest x amount of dollars and let the experts be the experts at Lead Gen. And that’s really your passion, right?

Danny:    Yep.

Josh:    Give us an idea of maybe a checklist or like what are some of the things if somebody did come and sign up for your service and they’re really interested, one sort of like the first 3 to 5 to 10 things that are kind of on your checklist that you guys actually do for somebody to get them leads, whether it’s PPC, whether its ranking, whether it’s Facebook, whether it’s Google, what does that look like, that process of onboarding with you and what are some of the things that you guys do for them so they know what to experience.

Danny:    Okay. Yeah, sure. what we do is, is obviously we have the websites and the next step there is we have a seller lead acts training, okay. And this is a 15 hours, I think it was, I spent two months just all the stuff that I learned myself to rank and then do PPC and all this kind of stuff went into this thing and it’s like 15 hours of training on online lead generation, PPC, SEO, all this kind of stuff. And the goal of that was, you know, if you’re into that stuff, it’ll shortcut you. You can do it all, but it really was sort of the roadmap or blueprint for you to hire somebody in your company to do it. So if you’re trying to do this on the cheap and don’t want to spend a high monthly amount to do things, you know, hire somebody in like maybe a college student that’s tech savvy or something like that knows internet and websites, and then they get that blueprint to follow.

Danny:    So that’s seller lead hacks. And we do a webinar every week on that. If you’re just wanting to hire us to do the management of these things, we offer SEO, Facebook ads and PPC and those are all separate, okay. Here’s the different things with each of them. SEO, Professional SEO that we do typically in a typical market of a decent size, meaning anything over close to a million in population, you know, you’re looking at typically between 9, 10 in about 12 months to rank onto the first page high enough to be generating these leads. And so the commitment needs to be there to last about a year, right. To be able to get there. But once you do, you’re there, right? It doesn’t take as much to maintain and stay up there as it does just to get there, okay. And I never had advise people to get there and then stop doing anything because other people will keep going and they’ll know that last year in dethrone you

Josh:    Well, it’s a real asset that too. So if you decide that you no longer want to invest in real estate, or you make it on a page one, that’s a significant milestone. I mean, go sell your business, go sell your websites because that digital space on page one of Google is really worth something that’s our real asset. So don’t, you know, if you’re not that somebody would get on page one and then stop, but some people do. Like you probably heard of Danny when people say, you know, we did this for so long, it worked so well that we stopped doing it. Don’t stop doing it. And if you do, stop doing it, sell your sites or sell your position, your asset to someone else.

Danny:    Yeah. And we stopped doing direct mail and all that other stuff because we didn’t need to, you know, our business is running at the level we want it to just from the website. And you know, it’s, it’s nice once you get that asset up there and it’s really nice that it takes that long. Some people say, oh well it’s on take a long time. Well that’s good because it keeps everybody, most of the competition is not real competition. They’ll be there, they’ll try to do it, but they don’t know it takes that long and they’ll give up at four or five months. That’s 95% of people trying to do these real estate investor websites. That’s what’s happening. So the next thing then is, and the other part of this too is with expectations on websites. If you’ve tried this before and you even got to the first page but you were down there at like spot seven, eight, nine and you weren’t getting any leads and you thought, well, maybe something’s wrong my website or people in my market aren’t searching for these keywords. That’s typically not the case.

Danny:    And so many people give up here and it’s crazy because they think about it. When you use Google, do you typically ever go to where you’re down at the bottom, clicking on those?

Josh:    Yeah never.

Danny:    Yeah. Most of the time you’re going to click on those top three tops. So if you’re not top three, don’t judge whether it’s working or not. You got to get to those top three spots. And that’s really the goal because that’s where most, I think it’s over 50% of all the clicks on those top three. And so you’ve just got to be there. And it’s odd because we do PPC and organic where you’re doing SEO and we’ll get different people just do different things. Some people do the PPC and then a lot of more people don’t click on those paid ads they click on the organic.

Danny:    So having both there. So with the PPC we do that and we can get you up there where you’re showing up within a week or two. Your already showing up at the top there. And so that’s sort of like if you’ve got the money to spend and you can put in that ad spend like we talked about maybe $2,500 bucks or something, it depends on the market. You can start generating those leads now, doing the deals, getting that profit and investing in your SEO. And that’s typically the way we like to do it with Facebook. And with those set up on those, we just make sure that your website lead pillar site is good to go and there might be a couple of tweaks. So you’ve got to make a PPC or setting up the landing page for that.

Danny:    And we help you with that here. Facebook’s a little bit different because we’ve got to set you up your Facebook page and make sure you get some content for it. So there’s a little bit more involved in the onboarding, but still not a ton of work. We just give you a list of stuff that you need to get us and advise maybe to make a video and stuff like that. And Facebook, you can get cheaper leads on Facebook, right? You do get cheaper leads. What we found though is that they’re typically not as motivated as PPC, so it’ll, it’ll…

Josh:    It’s generating the highest quality leads that you’re doing for real estate investors. Many years ago I used to own a real estate brokerage and I generated a buyer leads for my realtors and we did Facebook, we did Google and Google was more expensive, but those leads converted significantly higher, the return on investment was significantly better on Google because those people are actually searching for those websites versus it’s less of a search and it’s more like, well it’s in my face targeted by Facebook’s algorithm. And I might be looking, but I might not. So I might be less expensive but also less motivated in Facebook. So if you’re looking for cool quantity, Facebook might be better quality. I’ve always seen the same thing that Google has always been the better for me.

Danny:    Yeah. And I hear people talk about, well, PPC is this, it’s come and gone when this business that has it. And it’s funny because people say the same thing about direct mail, like a time has gone for that. Well guess what? Most of my friends that are top investors direct mail is there number one, you know, thing. And I’ve even been one to say here that direct mail is dead and it just depends on what you’re doing. If you’re willing to spend the money and do the volume it can work just fine for you. But anyway, so that’s interesting. Yeah. Those are the things that we do. And there’s a little bit onboarding for it, but you know, different ways to do Facebook and PPC to get those leads right away, to generate that revenue. Invest in your SEO for long term.

Danny:    And that’s really the way to do it. And then work on getting those reviews put up, you know, be that person that other people will look and see yours and say all, not even to try to compete this guy’s already got, you know, this many reviews. And most people are not that focused on trying to get those reviews onto Google and Yelp even Yelp, people are looking at Yelp all the time getting those reviews on Yelp. So those are the big tips to make sure that, you know, as we move forward, like I said, if even if you’re not online are interested being in line, you need to be getting those reviews.

Josh:    Yeah. Yeah. For direct mail and even a referral leads and you know, people that will look you up that are at networking groups and your REIA clubs, those guys that have lots of reviews are going to get more deal flow without a doubt. You know, Danny, I was thinking about what you’re saying and what came to mind was the idea of a bonfire. I don’t know why this just jumped into my head. But you know, if you build a bonfire you can either build it like, and this is the comparison, the analogy to SEO. If you build it with lots of like kindling at the bottom and those hot burning coals, that’s the analogy of SEO. You build it, takes a little longer to go, but once those are going, the bonfire stays all night and does it ever want to burn out, right?

Josh:    Versus PPC is like taking that the lighter fluid on the fire and all of a sudden it’s like the fire’s massive but it burns out if you don’t add more lighter fluid. So it both approaches work online. It’s just a matter of what works better. Like how much patience do you have? Are you in this for the long tail or not? Or are you using other strategies and you’re looking to just pour some gas on the fire. And if you have other strategies already working, maybe like direct mail, maybe you have a campaign that you love that’s really producing results and you want to just add another thing, then maybe PPC’s the way to go because you can get leads right away. If you’re looking for long-term sustainability, then SEO has got to be your main thing. But you got to realize it might take 6 to 12 months and you can always add the PPC, the gas on the fire, right? But that seemed to make sense of that.

Danny:    No, that’s actually why we changed the name of our services. Lead Propeller Services to Lead Propeller Fuel.

Josh:    Oh there you go.

Danny:    So you got it. You nailed it. Took us five years to figure that out. And you figured it out in 30 minutes.

Josh:    Yeah. Well I’ve been looking at your website for the past couple of days getting ready for this. So maybe subliminally I saw it somewhere. But that’s fantastic Danny. So listen, as we kind of round up here and round third and kind of head for home, you also have a really popular podcast, an interview series. Tell us about Flipping Junkie. Obviously we did an interview for that. So, uh, you know our interview is going to be on your podcast as well, but tell people where they can find your a interview series. You’ve got tons of interviews on there. Lots of great reviews.

Danny:    Yeah, check it out on ITunes just to search for Flipping Junkie or Flipping Houses. And I think it comes up in the search when you search for either of those, you can also go to FlippingJunkee.com and that’s where I started doing those 34 weeks. And we’ve got a lot of other posts and we put all the podcast episodes on there. So check that out. And then if you’re interested in seller lead hacks webinar to find out more about that training, just go to SellerLeadHacks.com register for the Webinar. And then for the services, if you’re interested in Lead Propeller Fuel stuff, go to LeadPropellorFuel.com and check out the services tab so you can put an application in. Because we don’t for PPC and SEO, we don’t take on more than a certain amount of people per market. Because then we’re competing with ourselves, with everybody and so we only take depends on the size of the market. So we’ve still got a lot open. So check it out.

Josh:    Got It. Yeah. We’ll put all those links in the show notes as well and check those out as well. So Danny, any final parting shots or words of advice for our audience before we wrap up?

Danny:    Yeah, the biggest one is just to, to make sure that, you know when you’re looking at generating leads, which is the lifeblood of most of our investment businesses, is to pick one, two or three of your main focus marketing methods. Commit to those, become the expert in those and you’re going to find success. If you’re spreading yourself thin trying to try this, that and the other thing and finding the new magic bullet or the Unicorn or you know, whatever you want to call it, the magic thing to get you these leads, stop doing that. The tried and true stuff works, it’s still works. Top investors still do it. The reason why we do it is because it works and we’re not looking for some magic thing that nobody else has uncovered yet.

Josh:    Fantastic. Thanks so much for joining us today. I really enjoyed this interview and a for our listeners and subscribers, checkout FlippingJunkee.com check out the show notes and let us know how we did today. We appreciate you being here day. Awesome.

Danny:    Thank you Josh. I appreciate it. It’s fun.

Josh:    You got it. We’ll talk to you soon.

Danny:    All right. Have a good one.

You’ve been listening to Josh Cantwell and the Accelerated Investor Podcast. Leave a comment on our iTunes channel and let us know what you want to learn next, or who you’d like Josh to interview. While you’re there, give us some five star rating and make sure to subscribe so you can be the first to hear new episodes. Follow Josh Cantwell and his companies, the Strategic Real Estate Coach and Freeland Ventures on all social media platforms now and stay up to date on new training and investment opportunities to start your journey toward the lifestyle you’ve always dreamed of. Apply for coaching at JoshCantwellCoaching.com.

Driving for dollars, bandit signs, and direct mail are all great ways to generate leads for your real estate investing business. But the reality is… in today’s market, having a strong online presence is essential for building a profitable and successful REI biz.

That’s where Danny Johnson comes in. As a real estate investor with a background in software development, Danny started his company – Lead Propeller – as a way for investors to quickly create an effective, SEO-optimized website to maximize their lead generation efforts.

If you’re the type of person who likes learning about SEO and online lead generation, Lead Propeller offers resources for you. But if you’d rather just write a check and let the tech-savvy experts handle your online marketing initiatives, Lead Propeller can do that too!

In this podcast, Danny shares specific techniques his company uses to help investors not only generate more leads, but generate high-quality seller leads that are most likely to convert.

Even if you like to use offline marketing methods, the people who see your bandit signs or receive your direct mail pieces will still search for you online. And, if you’re not there, they’ll find your competitors instead.

Hear what Danny has to say about strategies for driving more traffic to your website, so you can score more deals.

What’s Inside:

  • How Danny was inspired by his father, who changed his life by becoming a real estate investor
  • How Danny overcame his fear of not being able to find deals consistently
  • How his company, Lead Propeller, uses search engine optimization (SEO) and pay-per-click (PPC) ads to optimize their investor clients’ websites 
  • How Lead Propeller onboards their clients  
  • Strategies for how to drive traffic to your website
  • Danny’s #1 tip for marketing/lead generation (whether online or otherwise)

Mentioned in this episode​