Working with estate agents to help you source property deals can prove very fruitful but be aware you’ll face a lot of competition. Mark lays out some innovative strategies to help you overcome the competition and be the sourcer all the agents call. You'll learn:
Get the free resource that accompanies this segment. Working with Agents Cheat Sheet
The property sourcing space is lagging way behind in it's knowledge and use of progressive and cutting edge online marketing strategies. In this episode Brad gives you a solid foundation and introduction to the fundamentals on online marketing that’ll immediately put you streets ahead of your competition. You'll learn:
Get the free resource that accompanies this segment: Beginner’s Guide to Online Marketing Cheat Sheet
9:06 - Facebook Q&A Intro
12:10 - Reality Check on Sourcing
13:20 - Tapping into our Experience
16:20 - Harsh Reality
17:20 - Creating Systems
19:00 - Summary
19:20 - Hitting the End Goal
21:25 - Sourcing with Mark Intro
22:58 - Building Relationships with Agents
27:10 - Gifts and Conditioning
29:05 - Educate the Agents
30:32 - Summary
34:10 - In The Lab with Brad
36:04 - Back to the Foundations
37:12 - 6 Buckets of Online Marketing
39:02 - Facebook and Google Ads
41:05 - Content Marketing
46:10 - Summary
To follow is the transcript of the Facebook Q&A, Sourcing With Mark and In The Lab With Brad.
Mark: Welcome to the first ever property podcast produced by Goliath Sourcing Academy! What we’re going to do today is go into Akinsola’s question from the Facebook group. So again, just a quick reminder, if you do have any questions that you want answering, join the group, ask in there and we will come back to you. So, the question this week is absolutely incredible. I’m so glad it was asked and it’s a subject very close to my heart.
The question itself was, “If I join the Goliath Sourcing Academy, can I make £10,000 in a week?” We’ve heard this a lot before haven’t we, Brad? How much could I make? How much can you do in a week? How much can you do in a month? How much can you do in a year? And I’ll be honest; the answer is you can do a lot. You can earn a very good living from property sourcing and deal packaging.
What I want to do is go into a bit more detail about how it’s not as easy as some people may think and I want to dispel any myths about how you can just quit your job tomorrow and set up a deal packaging business overnight and start making money from property, earning £120,000 to £200,000 a year because it’s not quite as simple as that. That is very realistic in terms of the future goal and with the right sort of actions and processes in place, but if I told you that you could leave your job tomorrow and earn £10,000 next week, I would be lying. I certainly wouldn’t say that it is the norm. I mean it’s completely possible but (not that I like to refer to luck because you make your own luck) the chances are very, very slim that you could make £10,000 a week.
Obviously making £10,000 in a week can be quite straightforward in the sense that if you have three deals averaging £3000 a deal then you’re going to earn £9000. If they all complete in a week then clearly you would have earned £9000 in a week. Now, that would be great, very nice! I’m sure everyone would be happy with that but where the problem lies is - what if you don’t earn that again for the next 24 weeks? And that’s the problem that a lot of people getting into sourcing property and deal packaging don’t really consider until the reality sets in. The reality being that you can still have a very good week, you can have a very good month, you could earn £20,000 - £30,000 in a month which is great, but then people expect that to be a consistent level of income and it’s not necessarily as easy as that.
So, in answer to this question, I want to just quickly run through a few pointers and give you the reality check on property deal sourcing, deal packaging and the income that you can earn and obviously just quickly run through a bit of how to set those systems and processes up in order to achieve that.
The first really important thing is that you’re going to need to learn the right systems and processes in order to start generating leads, which are then going to turn into deals, which you’re going to progress and you’re going to get a fee for. In terms of getting the systems and processes in place, the quickest way to implement those and deal with those is to learn from people that have already been there, done that and set the systems up. The Academy draws experience from both Brad and I, from across the range. I’ve been in property for 12 years. I’ve been in sales and direct sales; consumer to consumer, business to consumer and business to business for three years before that so a good 15 years in sales and marketing, and then Brad has been doing marketing forever.
Brad: Forever. Yeah, well I have two businesses that essentially run outside of Goliath that are pretty much build on outsourcing and systems, so I feel pretty qualified to talk about that stuff, really.
Mark: And he genuinely does, guys. He really does know that. He’s not just saying that. We wouldn’t be working together otherwise, would we Brad?
Brad: Yeah, absolutely. Hopefully, there’s a lot that we can offer in terms of showing people how to build these types of systems to get that level of consistency which ultimately is where people want to be really in terms of the resulting income from that.
Mark: Absolutely. And I think that the points to take from this is that Brad and I both been doing our own special niche skill sets for a long, long time so we’ve merged these together to obviously bring all this information into the Academy to help people on their journeys but obviously if you’re just starting from complete scratch, it’s going to be difficult to implement those systems and processes without the trial and error which of course is going to restrict the amount that you can earn.
It will slow down your earning capacity, your earning potential and obviously if you’re not earning the big numbers that some gurus are promising, you get frustrated, you get annoyed at that and so you stop and then when you stop, you lose momentum. When you lose momentum, you basically go right back to square one and it’s a never-ending negative cycle so you need to be on a path. You need to follow systems. You need to create the processes. You then need to outsource. You’re going to need to bring on teams and if you’re going to start doing three, four deals a month every month, you’re going to get tied up with a lot of administrative time progressing the deals, chasing solicitors and all that sort of thing. Now you can’t do all that yourself but you can’t recruit someone if you don’t know how to do the task yourself, because how are you going to teach someone how to do it if you don’t know how to do it yourself?
I don’t want to dwell on that but in terms of the question itself; yes, you can make £10,000 a week. The chances are very slim that you’re going to be making that within your first two, three, four months of property deal sourcing and packaging. But if you keep that action consistent; you do the right things and you’re learning all the time, you’re sending out the right mails, you’re targeting the right people, you start doing the right Internet marketing, you’re doing the right pay per click campaigns. If you do all of that and you keep it consistent, then you will achieve the income results that you want to achieve. So it’s a bit of harsh reality but that’s what we want in this podcast. Isn’t it, Brad? We want to be real with this.
Brad: Yeah. There is no push button. There is no magic bullet. There really isn’t and you’ve got to graft the way there.
Mark: Absolutely, absolutely.
Brad: When we talk about how to grow the business, one of our philosophies is to always think ‘This is the task that we’ve got to do now, how can we create the system out of that task?’ So the next time it’s done it’s not necessarily done by either of us, it’s done by our virtual assistant or it’s done by a project manager and I think that gets you to your goals a lot quicker as well.
Mark: Absolutely. Ultimately, we want the lifestyle. Well, I would assume that most of you listening want a lifestyle business where you can go on holiday whenever you want, you can do the nice things, you’re not tied to a desk in your business, the business isn’t running you but in order to get to that point, you do need to work harder, you need to get the systems and processes in place. You need to get the right teams on board because Brad will testify; you will kiss a lot of frogs along the way.
Brad: You really do. Yeah and I’m working on doing some notes for the next podcast and we talked about time management and one of the things I talk about is that you really need to keep at it and kissing lots of these kind of freelancing, outsourcing frogs, otherwise you will never find the princes. There you go.
Mark: Absolutely. And that could also be princesses for all you girls out there.
Brad: I don’t always kiss my frogs either.
Mark: No. Not always. But yes, to summarise that, Akinsola and everyone else listening that wants to be making a six-figure income from property sourcing. You know, it’s possible but it’s hard work but with hard work done in the right way, with the right systems and processes in place will get you to your goal a lot sooner. So really, that answers the question, the Academy will help you achieve your target of £10,000 in a week and obviously depending on w your income goals, you might only want to earn £3,000 a month, from property deal sourcing you may want to earn £50,000 a month from deal sourcing, deal packaging and the key to that then is the action that you take doing the right things and packaging the right deals, selling them quickly and moving forward.
So yeah, it’s absolutely possible but don’t be disillusioned in thinking that it will happen within a couple of months to get to that sort of level consistently. It is going to take you a good while but once that momentum has been gathered and that machine is moving forward, it comes a lot easier, the same as any new business start up. It’s a lot of hard work at the beginning and where you can get the short cuts, take them and in terms of your knowledge and using others that have been there already. But nothing replaces the hard work and the hard graft you’re going to need to put in it at the beginning and then as you persist, the results will start to come.
It will become easier and easier and then you can step away, earn your £10,000 £15,000, £20,000 a month - whatever you want to achieve and then go and do whatever you want. Whether that’s lying on the beach in Barbados or setting up another business, which is what Brad and I tend to do. You can do it. So hopefully, that gives you the reality check but also the promise that it can be done. You just need to be very realistic and make sure that you’re persistently taking action and you’re focused on the end goal.
Mark: Welcome to this week’s Sourcing With Mark and this week we’re going to be going into the concept of working with agents. So is it a dark art or merely a simple science? Now, agents are probably going to be the first port of call for most newbie investors who are looking at making money from property. There’s a lot of property being advertised by agents and it’s easy to go in and book viewings with agents and one of the big things is that you can access properties on Rightmove and Zoopla. But one of the biggest problems that I find with new investors who are looking to source with agents is they pop in, they do the rounds, they go in and visit all the agents once, maybe twice and then they expect to get the exclusive property deal straight away. Now, it’s not going to work. I worked in agency for nearly 12 years and to be honest, the number of times we had “investors” coming into the office, telling us what they were looking for which is basically good deals and then leaving and expecting us to call, it just doesn’t happen, guys. I’m not going to lie. It just doesn’t happen.
So what I want to do in this session really is run through a few of my tips from an agent’s point of view, how to build the relationship with agents, how to maintain relationships with the agents and obviously how to get yourself on that list of people that they’re going to contact with deals. In the current market, we’ve got the usual below market value property deals, buy-to-let deals which I’ll touch on, but what I’m also going to do in this section is just quickly run through just a couple of things on how to get the more creative deals so obviously rent to rent, lease options and they’re slightly more difficult to get with agents but they are possible. So, without further ado let’s move forward with how I think you’re going to be able to build those relationships and be the first, well, one of the first people that the agents call.
Now, the first thing is that you’ve got to really spend time building these relationships with the agents. My advice would be to focus your attention on building relationships with one or two agents. So don’t go for trying to build relationships with all the agents in your local area. It’s almost impossible to maintain a strong relationship, a strong bond with all the agents in the area. What you have to do is focus on one or two. When you first start, go and visit all the agents and pop in. If you’re a local, pop in, meet the negotiators, meet the lettings managers, the branch managers and what you’ll do is you’ll discover a couple of the agents that you really like. Ones that you’ve maybe found most helpful and ones that you may be found gave you the time of the day when speaking to them, ones that maybe received your concepts quite well and those are the relationships that you’re going to – those are the couple of agents you’re going to build the relationships with.
One of the big things – the other big reason for only building relationships with a couple of agents is when we move onto direct to seller, direct to seller marketing, obviously, a lot of properties are going to be on the market with other agents so you don’t want to build a relationship with every agent because it will cut out your potential marketing ability direct to seller and with most of those agents because you’ll just affect the relationship with them.
So make sure you build a couple of relationships and then we’re going to focus on those and one of the biggest ways to focus and grow build your relationship with those agents is going to be to constantly be in the back of their minds so this does take time but what will help, you know, things such as gifts. When I say gifts it’s always good to give the team gifts so little things such as boxes of chocolate, boxes of biscuits and another really good one is a coffee from the local coffee shop from Costa Coffee, Starbucks, Café Nero and local coffee shops and if you take them all and find out what coffees they like and then go and buy them, it is a really good way of building those relationships. Sounds really small. It will cost you maybe £20 but the point is, if you do this consistently once a month to take gifts to your chosen agents in the area and you will become known and because what they’ll do is they’ll associate. It’s basic conditioning. They will associate you with gifts if you do it once a month at around about the same time every month they’ll be expecting you and obviously you will start to become known and then obviously in time it’s just a case of they’ll start sending you deals through. It will happen.
Now, in between the monthly gifts, you don’t want to just sort of leave it to that. What you do want to do is you want to also make weekly phone calls and again with the same principles of conditioning, what you want to do is you want to ring round about the same time, on the same day every week. I would recommend Monday afternoons are a really good time. Monday mornings tend to be where most agents will have their catch up meetings, morning meetings after the weekend. There will be properties that they’ve been trying to sell, trying to let over the weekend, maybe haven’t had as much interest as they’d hoped. Viewings will have happened at weekends and maybe there’s been no interest so what you’ll get is a lot of agents will then be on the case on a Monday afternoon trying to get interest, drum up interest in those properties.
If you can ring on a Monday afternoon just find out is there anything that’s struggled over the weekend, struggled last week and as you do this on a weekly basis you’ll actually start to build up certain properties that you’re chasing. The other thing that will happen is the staff will know that on a Monday afternoon at say 2pm, you’re going to make that phone call and you do it every week.
They’ll be expecting your call and generally when they’re expecting a call, they’ll start to think about properties before you ring. The first few times not as much but then as those calls start to regularly come through and you’re bringing in the gifts once a month, they will start to think about properties before you ring because you’re going to be ringing at that time. This takes discipline, everyone. You have to be consistent and the secret to building relationships with agents is exactly the same as you would build relationships in any other business, building your property network is the same as building any other network. It’s all about that consistency. It’s all about that rapport builds and it’s all about sort of working together for a mutual benefit.
As an investor, you need to explain that to the agents. The way I work it, especially for the more creative stuff, is you need to educate the agents and when I say educate the agents, you need to explain what you’re doing, how you do it but most importantly you’ve got to explain the benefits to the agent and you’re going to explain the benefits to the landlord/seller.
What you also need to do when you’re building the relationship for the agent is you need to explain the benefits to the agents as well and so what I’ve done for you for this section, there is a cheat sheet with five simple steps to building relationships with agents and on that cheat sheet I’ve just put a few of the benefits to agents on so that you can download it.
Use those benefits to build those relationships, educate the agents and what you’ll do is you’ll find that as they start to understand what you’re doing, they’ll start to send you more property details and then once you’ve got a couple of those have gone through and they’ve obviously benefited as well as their clients suddenly we’ve got an excellent relationship and the deal flow will start to come.
To summarise this section of Sourcing with Mark; we want to focus on a couple of agents, we want to be consistent in the approach, you want to make regular phone calls, once a week, every Monday afternoon at 2pm. Also, pop in if you’re local, every month. You want to pop in with gifts, biscuits, chocolates, coffees and then obviously educate them, explain what you’re doing, explain the property type that you need, explain what you’re going to do with that property and make sure you’re only doing this with a couple of agents and really the big thing, the most important thing is be patient. You have to be patient. You have to build the relationship slowly. You have to work on them. Don’t expect all the deals to flow within your first meeting. You’re going to have to regularly demonstrate that you are serious, that you’re there to commit, that you act on your word, you do what you say and like they say, good things come to those who wait so just be patient, build those relationships, follow the five simple steps and agents will start to send you deals a lot sooner than you think.
Brad: You’ve no doubt heard terms like online marketing, digital marketing, e-mail marketing and social media marketing. You’ve probably also heard people say that they generate multiple property deal leads for Facebook ads, Google ads, Paid Traffic and the list of terms goes on. Now, the fact of the matter is that the property industry is lagging way behind in its levels of sophistication when it comes to online marketing. So few property pros are sourcing deals through these more sophisticated online strategies and it presents a massive opportunity for you to find deals others just can’t reach. For those willing to embrace this online marketing strategy, the opportunity is huge. Now, if you are like most property pros I speak with, you know you should be doing this stuff but it all sounds like a bit of a minefield and quite a lot of overwhelming information. You’re probably at a loss to know where to even begin. So take comfort in the fact that you’re not alone. I can assure you of that but you do need to be deliberate and strategic in your approach to online marketing or it will come back to bite you on the ‘you know what’.
You’ll either sink big sums of cash into Facebook ads or Google ads with little return on your cash or worst still, you will invest hours and hours of your most valuable asset of time with little to show for it in terms of deals. Now, many of the Facebook groups are full of investors who tell you that Facebook ads don’t work or they spend hundreds of pounds on Google ads but they get no leads. Now the fact is there are deals aplenty to be sourced from multiple online channels. After all, who isn’t using Facebook? Who doesn’t use Google?
Every single hour more and more people go online and spend more and more of their time on the Internet in greater and greater numbers. Now, the opportunity to source property deals online will only grow and grow. Deals online are absolutely everywhere but before you jump in and start to try and generate property deal leads online, you need to be clear on the landscape and the terrain that you’re venturing into.
In this In The Lab With Brad, I’m going to take you right back to the foundations of online marketing. I’ll give you a very clear outline of the terrain. By the end of this segment you’ll have a clear picture of the landscape so that you can begin the process of planning out an online marketing strategy that best serves your specific property goals.
The topic of online marketing is as deep as it is broad so let’s start by giving you a 10,000ft view of the terrain. We can break online marketing into six buckets if you like. First one is social media marketing. Then there’s PPC, then content marketing, e-mail marketing, organic search or SEO and then conversion rate optimisation.
I’ll briefly run through the first three now. Now, to accompany this segment in the podcast, I’ve also prepared a beginner’s guide to online marketing cheat sheet for you. In it, you’ll get a summary of all the key takeaways from this segment plus the key points you need to know on e-mail marketing, organic search and conversion rate optimization. So just go to the show notes page at the goliathsourcingacademy.com/session1 and you can download your copy there.
So let’s get straight into it.
Social media marketing refers to the process of gaining traffic and attention through social media sites. Now, you know the social media sites, the Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and the like, so I won’t list them all here. You can use social media sites in two ways. Use them to build relationships with others; whether that would be property investors you want to work with and feed you leads, or use them as a distribution platform to put your messages out there. By messages I’m referring to you producing content that engages with your target audience, blog post, videos, how to guides, how to info list and all that type of good content. Your content will begin to get likes, shares and engagement with your target audience and as engagement increases, you should be listening and gathering insights. For example, if you were sourcing BMV deals, you could create a series of videos that shows home-owners and vendors how to overcome the problems that you know that they’re going through.
You would then use social media to distribute and share that content. Social media is great for building a personal or business brand. Your target market finds your content and begins the process of getting to know, like and trust you. So let’s move on to the next bucket, which is PPC marketing. So what is it? PPC stands for Pay Per Click. It’s a model of Internet marketing in which you the advertiser pays a fee each time one of your ads is clicked. Essentially, it’s a way of buying visits to your website rather than attempting to earn those visits organically. For the sake of simplicity, we will concentrate on two of the most popular forms of PPC advertising. They are Facebook ads and Google ads or Facebook advertising and Google adwords.
PPC allows advertisers to bid for ad placement on those platforms. When someone searches on Google using a specific keyword, us as the advertiser can bid for an ad placement in the sponsored link section of those search results. For example, if we bid on the keyword ‘sell my house fast’, our ad might show up in the very top spot of the Google search results page. Now, every time our ad is clicked, sending a visit to your website, we have to pay Google a small fee.
When PPC is working correctly, the fee or cost per click is trivial because the visit is worth more than what you pay for it. So in other words, if we pay £5 for a click but the click results in a £3000 deal commission or property that will cash flow £10,000 a year then we’ve made a very hefty profit. Facebook ads work in a similar way but slightly different. People don’t use Facebook to search for stuff. They use it to find, connect and be social with their friends. So Facebook knows a lot about each and every one of us.
Think about the amount of info that you have on your profile, what you post on your timeline, what you like, what you share. Facebook collects all of this information about us and sifts and sorts it into very granular demographics categories and interest groups. As an advertiser, Facebook allows us to target the audience of people that make up these very defined elements. Facebook charges us based on either a click cost or for ad impressions. There are then multiple formats of ads we can choose to serve our chosen audience. You’ll have seen them in either your timeline or on the right side bar of your timeline. Our job as the advertiser is to create an ad with a message compelling enough so that when our chosen audience sees it, they’re compelled to click on it. Having clicked on our ad, they visit and come to our website where our job is to again compel them to contact us.
The next bucket; content marketing. You have no doubt heard the term content marketing so let’s give it a more defined kind of definition. The Content Marketing Institute defines it as ‘a marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience with the objective of driving profitable customer action’. Now, customer action for us property sourcers can mean investors who want to buy our deals or property owners who want our help.
Before I show you the different types of content marketing, it’s important that you understand why content marketing is important to your business. To do that, let’s take a look at the deal cycle from the perspective of a vendor or a landlord that you’re looking to target. So first is the awareness phase. Prior to awareness, a vendor may have a need but they aren’t aware that there’s a solution for it. The next phase is once a vendor is aware that there is a solution, they will do some research to educate themselves. Then comes the consideration phase. They’ll start to compare and contrast different solutions to their problem and who might be able to help them solve it. Finally, they’ll decide on who will help them solve their problem, who they’ll end up doing the deal with which ultimately will hopefully be you, if you’ve done the job of content marketing right.
Content marketing taps into the first two stages of the deal process by raising awareness of solutions and educating the vendor or the landlord about services they may have never considered before.
There are so many types of content marketing and far too many to mention here. So I’ll just give a very short introduction and these should get you thinking like a true content marketer.
The first is web pages. The difference between a normal website page and a webpage that could be classified as content marketing, is that the content marketing page offers massive value. For example, a page that offers a visitor a 2000 word step by step detailed guide on how to sell their house without the need to using an estate agent is a far cry from the 350 word that just lists say five ways to sell your house. That’s the key difference between simply putting content on your site and content marketing.
The next way is video. Videos are an incredibly effective way to communicate relatively complex ideas and concepts, so that they are easily consumed. For example, if you are targeting landlords for rent to rent deals, you could put a series of videos together that could take them step by step through how a typical rent to rent deal breaks down. Now, imagine having landlords watch you talking them through a case study of a previous deal. Maybe you could add a short interview with a landlord talking about how happy he was with the deal and how great you were to work with. Do you think they’d consider calling you if they were looking to solve a similar problem? I can assure you they probably would.
Case studies are the final one I’m going to talk to you about today. Case studies are an incredibly powerful way of demonstrating the value of what you’re offering. They are tangible facts. You can show vendors or investors how you’ve helped others as an example of how you can help them. Now, online marketing strategies tend to work in conjunction with each other. So content marketing is a very effective strategy but only really as effective as the number of eyeballs that get to see your content so once you’ve created your content, you’d be well placed to use social media to distribute that content and get it in front of as many of your target market as you can.
So in conclusion, no one size fits all and no one platform fits every sourcing strategy that you might be going for. Your job as a business owner and a property sourcer is to think very carefully about where your market exists, where do they hang out? What platform or strategy are you most likely to reach them with? Now, once you’ve carefully thought this through then you need to make a decision on what your plan is and stick to it. We preach it a lot at Goliath, but it’s worth saying again, there are no quick fixes. Commitment and consistency is key. Master one platform or strategy at time or you will become overwhelmed. As you begin to master your chosen route, you can begin to systemise and outsource much of the busy and time-consuming stuff. Now, we will cover systemising and outsourcing and all that good stuff in much more detail in future property podcasts.
As I mentioned before, I’ve also prepared a beginners guide to online marketing cheat sheet for you. In it you’ll get a summary of the key takeaways from the strategies that I’ve run through here, plus you’ll get the key points you need to know on the final three areas of online marketing which are; e-mail marketing, organic search and SEO and conversion optimization. So just go to the show notes page at the goliathsourcingacademy.com/session1 to download your copy.