Many entrepreneurs go into their business thinking they can do it all and do it better. What our guest for this episode reminds us of is to Get Out of Your Own Way! Digital marketing expert, Bob McIntosh joins Kevin Shortle to talk about this common pitfall among entrepreneurs. The key to success is not by holding on to perfectionism, but by being willing to let it go. Find out what Bob means by this as he dives deep into the concept of perfection versus excellence. Discover how you can transform your processes through automation and outsourcing. Plus, learn about how Bob works with entrepreneurs to make them more successful in their businesses by utilizing technology. Tune in to get all of these great insights and learn a thing or two or more about lead generation and SEO.
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Interview With Digital Marketing Expert, Bob McIntosh
I’ve got a great guest. I’ve been doing a series with speakers who are going to be at the REUP event in Columbia, South Carolina on July 29th and 30th, 2023. If you’re in that area, remember you can go to REUPMeetup.com website and put in notes if you want a 20% discount if you are going to attend that event.
The speaker lineup is great, and it’s been a lot of fun to be able to invite some of these speakers on so I could share them with my audience because I do think they bring you tremendous value and a lot of value now too. I’m excited to have Bob McIntosh with me in this episode. He is an expert in digital marketing. He owns companies and real estate, and affiliate marketing.
He’s a business coach and he also has some good, strong opinions about entrepreneurs and how they need to get out of their own way to become more successful in the changing environment that we have in businesses. In fact, the name of his book that you guys can find on Amazon is Get Out of Your Own Way. He is working with entrepreneurs throughout the United States to make them more successful in their businesses by also utilizing the technology that’s in front of all of us with the internet. Bob, welcome.
Thank you so much. That’s a fantastic intro. I appreciate it. For all of you tuning in, I appreciate your time. It’s the most valuable thing you can give, so I don’t take it lightly.
We have a lot to get into. I’m intrigued by the internet, marketing, and social media stuff because I’m one of those people who didn’t grow up with that technology. When I first started in business and in real estate notes, I had to go to the courthouse and look through books and look through microfiche, and those sorts of things to find potential leads and do follow up and all my follow-up was direct mail.
I come from that world and when the internet and all these things come on, some people, myself being one of those, feel a little left behind. With Facebook, I post things and all that but don’t get into the understanding of what I can do to help grow my business. As we get into that, what put you on this path and what was the wake-up call? You reached a point where you had to break through something and say, “I got to change my outlook on this business. I got to approach it from a different way.” That opened up a whole new world for you. Can you start there for us?
We are in the real estate side of our business, and I also own a marketing agency but on the real estate side, it’s my dad and I. The short version of what happened is I bought a house. I’ve read some books because this was even before there were a lot of coaches. You had maybe Ron LeGrand and Robert or whatever his name is. I’m forgetting now. There are a couple of people out there, but it’s not like it is now where there are a lot of coaches. There’s a lot of support. There are a lot of masterminds and groups. That didn’t exist back then. I read some books. I was a cocky 28-year-old. I said, “I can do all this.”
I flipped our first house. I lost a bunch of money, but my dad got interested in the process and we figured it out from there. We started doing business in Buffalo because that’s where we grew up. That’s where he was living but I ended up moving to Los Angeles. I said, “How is it that I can provide value for this business from 3,000 miles away?” Mind you, for those of you right now, you might be going, “That seems easy,” and this is 2010. We’re talking iPhone 2 or 3 at that point in time. You were still Skyping people. FaceTime didn’t exist. The front-facing camera I don’t even think was a thing yet.
You have to understand it was a very different time. I was like, “How do I provide value?” I got good at digital marketing. I built all of our digital marketing for our business and I also got good at raising money because when you tell someone in Los Angeles that we’re buying, fixing, flipping, and selling an entire house for what’s a down payment for them, their eyes light up as to the possibilities.
I got good at those things. In the process of doing that to date so far, the number varies. Between 35% and 40% of all the deals that we’ve ever bought came from our digital marketing efforts. Even back in the day, it worked very well and even now, it works even better than it did then if you’re doing the right things the right way.
I was fortunate enough at that point to be invited to create the education, teaching, and training of how I built what I built for our business. A few years ago, I said, “Instead of just teaching it,” which I love doing, “I also just going to execute it for people.” It’s because I realize at some point people look at this and they go, “This is great, but I’m never going to do it.”
It’s either time or I’m not tech-savvy. I’m wearing fifteen hats and me closing this deal now is more important than figuring out how to put a blog on my website so I can get ranked. What fires now need to be taken care of? We do a lot of that but in that process, I also had a lot of moments because I came from a very tech background, which was to my detriment.
I tell people now, if you’re not techie, all the much better because I’m the guy that was like, “A website, I can build that. I know how to code.” Four months later, my site was “done.” I sent it to my mentor and he said, “It looks like crap. Are you sure it’s done?” I was like, “Oof.” That was a big moment for me to get out of my own way, figure that out, and grow from there.
Go a little bit more into getting out of your own way. Is that it? Trying to do it all and not understanding the whole approach, is it better to outsource? Is that a part of getting out of your own way or is it something deeper that you talked about?
In my book, I go into a lot of detail with this, but there are two facets as I look at it. They’re both mindset-related because the whole concept is very mindset related but the first is understanding that as entrepreneurs, we’re perfectionists. If you think about it, it makes total sense because if we’re unhappy enough with whatever’s going on with our life, our job, or whatever, we think we can do it better. We’re willing to trade our 40-hour work week for a 100-hour work week for the potential of having a 20-hour work week but never the guarantee. It’s always the potential.
Already, we’re saying we’re perfectionists because we think we can do a better job ourselves, or there’s something more out there for us. It’s that singular drive that creates the business that we build but at a certain point in time, what ends up happening is that perfectionism ends up becoming our own enemy. We get in our own way because we want things to be perfect and we’re unwilling to oftentimes let them go. I’m using us in a broad sense. It’s not everyone. There are certain exceptions, but for most of us, I find that we fall into that. That’s The first part is understanding where the root cause of a lot of that.Entrepreneurs get in their own way because they want things to be perfect and are unwilling to oftentimes let them go. Click To Tweet
The secondary portion of this is understanding that excellence is better than perfection. One of my favorite chapters of my book is talking about what makes something excellent versus perfect. We can achieve excellence even without perfection. I challenge everyone to go and look at what you’re doing and say, “Is it excellent?” If yes, then it doesn’t have to be perfect, and that’s okay. When we understand those concepts that done is better than perfect, that excellence will be perfection, and that it’s okay for us to admit that we were, as long as we admit that we also need to change, then we’re going to find ourselves figuring it out.
That could be outsourcing things or eliminating things completely. There are a lot of times, especially as entrepreneurs, we grasp at whatever deal comes our way. “This is a deal. I’ll grab it.” It doesn’t matter what it is. It could be a fire damage, a probate, a foreclosure, or a note. It doesn’t matter. I just want deals. As we grow, we oftentimes find ourselves saying, “I’m better at this thing.” Stop doing those things altogether or it could be outsourcing it.
I always like to focus on, “What do you enjoy doing?” What are the parts that light you up? Don’t outsource those. Focus on doing those because you’re probably going to be good at it because you like doing it and then outsource the other things. Oftentimes, for most entrepreneurs, the things that we need to offload first are going to be those admin tasks. The things that are repetitive don’t take a lot of time. It could be things like marketing, social media posting, or even managing lead flow. Instead of you answering every single phone call, can we outsource or get someone to vet the calls and I only talk to people who have raised their hands? It’s things like that.
It’s automation. You found a lot of your leads and such. When doing real estate, through digital marketing, you were able to find leads and opportunities to acquire real estate in a variety of ways. Digital marketing’s a broad term. Can you get more specific on how you did that? Is that through social media platforms like Facebook? Is it an old Craigslist style? Is it direct email? Do you buy lead lists? What are some of the ways that you did that?
Let’s break down our internet or web presence into two categories because this is very important to understand how and what you should be doing with your internet. The first is going to be the most important, especially if you’re a new investor but even if you’re an advanced investor too. That’s your core presence, which is your website and your social profiles. I’m going to tell you, 100% of people will look you up prior to ever selling you a house, doing anything in any form of transaction. They’re going to check you out.
Think about the first thing that you do when someone says, “Check out this company?” If you’re thinking about working with someone, what are you doing? You’re going to Google. You’re searching for them. You’re going to their Facebook. You’re going to your Yelp. You’re going to Google. You’re looking at maps for the reviews like the local business piece. You’re checking out who they are because you want to know, is this company legit?
Think about it. When we deal with real estate, we’re talking about generally multiple tens, if not hundreds, if not millions of dollars or hundreds of thousands. The stakes are higher. The level of trust that has to be earned in any capacity is generally higher. Think about it like this. Building trust with anyone in this business, whether it be an agent, a contractor, a seller, a buyer, a retail or investor, a private money lender, or whoever. Even someone who might have notes that we can buy or wherever we’re going to acquire these notes, there are people involved. If we don’t look legitimate, it hurts us.
I want you to think about trust like building a bridge. We’ve got the person that we want to work with on one side. We’ve got us on the other side. We’ve got to build a bridge and meet in the middle. If we don’t do that, we won’t have success. Your web presence, all that’s doing for you, and I say all as a joke in a way, but what it’s doing is saying, “How wide does that bridge have to be?” My web presence, if it’s well done, shortens that gap. It makes that bridge have to be a whole lot smaller because they’re meeting me more than halfway. I don’t have to build as much in terms of communication, conversations, and things of that nature. That’s part one.
Some people don’t have a whole lot to offer but they want at least a presence that gives a general idea. It could be a simple landing page.
Look at it this way. I often look at the web presence. In this capacity, I look at it as if you ever took the SATs or ACTs or any of those standardized tests. If you sat down and you put your name on the paper, you got a score. Just by showing up, you got a score. If you did everything wrong, you got a lesser score than if you did nothing at all. If you did something better, then you got a better score than just showing up.
Your web presence is the same way. If you don’t show up, you get no credit at all. If you show up, you do it all wrong, which means your site looks crappy. It’s bad. It’s dated and old design. It has misinformation, bad communication, or whatever it is, you hurt yourself. You’d be better off not doing anything at all in comparison to that. However, if you do it the right way, it’s super powerful to build that out. What we’re here to do is to help you do it the right way as easily as possible.
There are a lot of ways that we can do those things, but the most important thing is, “Are you communicating to all the people that you need to in your business?” As investors, we often have a lot of folks, more than most businesses do that we have to communicate with that want very different things. It’s like an agent is looking for something different than a seller, an investor buyer, a retail buyer, a contractor, and a PML. They all want different things. If you have a simple landing page, that’s great. That’s putting your name on the paper, but it’s not going to get you as far as if you communicate to all the people in the right way.
Web presence and then, on the social side you said was the other aspect?
The social side is part of that as well because they’re going to want to see who you are. The reality is, we’re not supposed to judge who we work with based on how they look and how they show up, but we do. We’re humans. It’s the way it works. If on your Facebook profile, you got a bunch of pictures of you doing beer funnels and lewd shirts or whatever, you might attract some people, but you’re probably going to detract more than you have.We're not supposed to judge who we work with based on how they look and how they show up, but we do. We're humans. It's the way it works. Click To Tweet
Show up professionally. I know it seems silly to say that, but put out a good presence. It doesn’t have to necessarily be the best content in the right way and all of that, but having content out there and showcasing, “Here’s who we are and what we do.” Ideally, if you can, showcase yourself. It’s because at the end of the day, while you are a business, they’re not buying your business, they’re buying you. You are the business as an investor 9 times out of 10 because no one’s going to work.
This is not an eCommerce store where they show up to my site and they go, “That widget looks cool. Add to cart. Purchase.” We’re not doing that. No one’s coming to your houses and going, “That’s a beautiful house. Here’s my AmEx. I’ll take it.” It doesn’t work that way. They want to know you as a human being. Showcase you, if you can. For some of us, we can’t. Maybe we have a full-time job still or some reasoning that we don’t want to be out there or maybe it’s uncomfortable for us.
If that’s the case, go get my book, Get Out of Your Own Way, and start getting out there because I promise, you will see better results when you show up as you. That’s the first part, which is credibility, showcasing who we are and that’s great for all marketing. If you’re doing outbound marketing where you’re putting direct mail, doing bandit signs, driving for dollars, going to the courthouse, cold calling, texting, or any outbound marketing because they’re going to ask who you are and then they’re going to check you out. The other side, which is where you do lead generation, that’s inbound marketing.
Before you get into lead generation, on the social side like Facebook, is it just all the obvious ones?
It’s everywhere. It’s omnipresence and here’s the thing. It’s June 14th, 2023. Right now, Facebook personal pages as either a personal profile or a creator profile are crushing it. Why? I don’t know. Facebook changed the algorithm recently. They were realizing that there was a severe decline in user base and time on site so they adjusted the algorithms and it crushes it.
Right now, Instagram is the hardest by far. LinkedIn is great. They are crushing it right now. I read a stat that says only 1% of LinkedIn users post more than 3 times a week, whereas 69% of Facebook users post 3 times a week or more. Let that sink in for a second. If only 1% is posting three times a week, LinkedIn could be a great resource for potential private money lenders but not so many sellers. They’re probably not going to be on there a lot, but PMLs for sure, other investor buyers probably, and people that you might want to meet with.
That’s good to know. I’m one of that 1% then.
Very few do. Your posts will get a lot of traction on LinkedIn but you got to understand. I’m not going to find motivated sellers on LinkedIn. They’re not there reading LinkedIn because they’re freaking out and whatever. The reason that I share that is that’s what’s working right now. A week from now, a month from now, a year from now, it will probably be different because a year ago, it was very different. Instagram was all the rage. Facebook was useless, and LinkedIn was okay. Now, here we are and it’s different.
Here’s the thing that I’m going to tell everyone. Don’t worry about the platforms and which is better and whatever. If you want to use social media to the best of your capacity, simply create great content that can be posted across all platforms and then post the same content. If you have the time, ability, a team, or whatever, we can get more directed content on more specific platforms but if it’s something versus nothing, you’re better to post the same thing across all the platforms because people will have the ones that they use.
Kevin, you said you used LinkedIn a whole lot more. It’s not like me. Even though I know it, I’m rarely on LinkedIn. I do a lot on Facebook probably because it’s where my most engaged audience tends to be me personally so I spend more time there. I also grew up with Facebook. I was there since 2004, so it’s been almost several years now, which is mind-blowing to think about. Understand that being everywhere is the best option. If you have a preference, show up there. Wherever you show up the best is going to be your best ROI.
What I started doing, and you can tell me if I’m on the wrong course or the right course. I have to thank my wife for this. It’s the same thing. I was in a situation of, “I do so much content already writing blogs and newsletters and doing so much stuff. Now, I got to sit there and think of something for Facebook or this and that.” I walk every day probably 2 to 4 miles and she’s like, “Why don’t you do something while you’re walking.”
I started doing these little Note Investor Tips of the Day, and I would up upload that to Twitter first, and then I’d come home and put it on YouTube, and then from YouTube, I could put it on the other platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, and those sorts of things. It was the same thing going out on multiple platforms. So far, I’ve found that to be the easiest. That’s what you’re saying to put good content out there to all of them. They’ll sit where they sit.
With a caveat to what you just said, if you’re going to go and take the time to create content like that, that’s perfect and I want to make sure it’s clear. Uploading it to YouTube’s great, but don’t share it from one platform to another. Upload it natively into each platform. Let’s say you record a video while you walk, you’re going to upload that to LinkedIn and you’re going to go and upload it to YouTube, then upload it to Facebook, then upload it to Instagram, then upload it to Twitter, each one.
The reason is that all these platforms don’t want you to leave their platform to go to a competing platform. You will see that your reach is dramatically declined by sharing content between platforms versus uploading it natively directly into the platform on which you’re posting it. You’ll see a much better reach that way.
I get it. When you say that, it makes sense.
“I don’t want you to leave. I want to stay here.”
For me, if you click a couple of buttons, and you go, “Now, it’s all out there, but I’m not reaching my maximum.
By the way, tools don’t work either. Don’t use tools like Hootsuite, Buffer, or any of the third-party tools that post content for you. The moment you post content to social platforms through an API, your reach will drop as much as 60%. Don’t do it. It’s annoying. It’s frustrating. It’s time-consuming. It’s not as easy and I know that.The moment you post content to social platforms through an API, your reach will drop as much as 60%. Click To Tweet
If you’re going to spend the time and effort to create the content, you might as well spend the extra 10 or 15 minutes it might take you to output it individually. I always say this. If I’m going to spend the time to do something, do it the best you possibly can. That’s going to be the best you possibly can. The time difference between posting to one and sharing versus posting natively is fairly insignificant. Do it the right way. You will see better reach.
I had no idea. For convenience, I thought that was great. That’s a great way to do it. Presence out there socially and then you said the next step is lead generation.
When it comes to lead generation, it’s very different. We got to also break down within leads. Are we talking about PML leads, seller leads, or investor leads? What are we after? It’s all a little bit different, but for most of us, we’re usually looking for houses that we want to buy or notes that we want to buy, and things of that nature. In that case, generally speaking, SEO is going to be your best long-term friend. Now, let’s be very clear.
What is that?
It’s Search Engine Optimization. It’s the idea of using my website to get ranked on Google, Bing, Yahoo, DuckDuckGo, and all the other ones too but the reality is Google controls about 80% of all searches done worldwide. They’re the big player in the market. That’s where we’re focused. We can do things to get our site ranked on Google in the right way and it’s a super complex process. I’m not going to break it down here. There are 200 factors that determine where you rank, but the important things come down to putting out consistent content and knowing how and what people are searching for. This is where you want to hire someone to do this for you.
The reality is, even for us as a digital marketing agency, I don’t do our SEO because it’s way more complex than even I understand. I have team members who geek out on this stuff. They plug in. They execute that stuff as part of our team. However, understand this too. SEO or getting ranked on Google, long-term, I guarantee, will be your best bang for your buck in terms of dollars or cost per acquisition of a note, a deal, an investor or PML, or whatever.
If I look back over the last many years of our business, our cheapest cost per acquisition has always been SEO. The problem with SEO is the thing you have to understand and temper your expectations is that it takes time. If you do it consistently for a year, that’s about when you’ll start to see the results from that. It’s not going to be immediate. It’s not like a direct mail campaign where if I send out mail now, I’ll get calls tomorrow. It’s a long-term play.
However, the cool thing is, and the reason why I harp on this so much is that even though it takes a long time and you have to invest some money to make it happen, it’s not the cheapest thing out there for sure, but every year that you consistently do SEO stacks onto the year previously. Let’s say, for example, that you did our top of all package at $1,500 a month. Now, you’re at $15,000 for the year or somewhere around there. Let’s say $15,000 or $18,000.
If you get one deal in year one from that, you’ll probably make about your money back. You’ll probably break even. You might go, “That doesn’t sound great,” but understand that it’s just year one. Your effort from year one now carries over and, at the bare minimum, as long as you consistently keep doing it, it will get you another deal in year 2, year 3, year 4, and year 5. Let’s say ten years. It’s pretty easy to make $20,000 on a deal. That’s not impossible by any stretch of the imagination and a lot more in bigger cities too.
Now, all of a sudden, in ten years, I’ve made $200,000 for an $18,000 investment. That starts to sound pretty good, but here’s where it gets better. In year two, let’s say I do the same thing again and I stack on one more deal. Now, I’ve got two deals in year 2. It adds up and here’s the great part. As you do this long-term in years 3, 4, 5, or 6, it starts to grow exponentially because Google is recognizing that you’re doing the right things and that you’re consistent. All of a sudden, what was getting you 1 before now gets you 2 in year 3 and maybe 2 and a half in year 4, and maybe 3 in year 5.
All of a sudden, 5 times 5 years, your deal flow starts to go, “Holy crap.” This becomes very powerful long term but you have to stay with it. If you stop at any point in time, you eventually lose that. It starts degrading, just like anything does. If you stop maintaining your house or your car, at some point, it’ll continue to run for a while, but the quality will decrease. The same thing is true with SEO. If you look at most of our deals, the majority of our digital deals came from SEO efforts done overtime over the last many years.
If I have this correct, I’ll make this note-centric. If I’m a note investor looking for the mom-and-pop note owner or a small company that creates and owns some notes, and I’m trying to find those people through lead gen, I’ve got to get my social aspect, which might be website and some of the other things we talked about building some content. The SEO essentially targets those eyeballs and will pop up almost like ads, sends notifications, or attracts them to social and/or websites. Is that how it works?
We’d want to look and say, “If I want to buy notes from the mom-and-pop type investor who might be selling them, I need to do some research or hire a company that can do the research for me to say, ‘What keywords are the mom and pops typing into Google?’” If they’re typing in, “How to sell my note, how to liquidate my note, how do I get rid of a note,” and things like that. I don’t know if those are actual keywords or not.
We start there. We type that in, and Google tells us, “That’s not a keyword, but this is something that’s very similar,” and we find those things. We create content that says, “My name is Bob. I own Arcane Properties. We are a note-buying company in Greater Daytona Beach in Buffalo markets. If you have notes in those areas, here’s what we do. Here’s what makes us better.” We might talk about things. You don’t want to make every single post about, “Here’s what I do. Come sell your stuff to me.” It’s like anything. If I go to a review site and the reviews are all about the same product, I don’t trust the review site anymore.
It’s the same idea here. You’re going to talk about the pros and cons of selling to maybe a big company, selling to a local investor like yourself, selling to wherever, or holding yourself or having to deal with the frustrations of holding a note. You want to frame it to your benefit so they call you or they reach out to you. Talk about those things. The keyword will tell you what you want to talk about.
If the keyword is saying liquidate a note, there’s probably some frustration in their play. They want to get rid of it. They want it gone. You’re going to talk about, “Here are the benefits of liquidating to a company like ours. Here are the cons of doing that.” If you give a fair and balanced approach to what it is, most people, especially in this case, will look at you and go, “That sounds like someone I might want to talk to. Let me at least put my information in. Let’s have the conversation.” That’s all I need. I need them to start the conversation with me.
It then all becomes a snowball going downhill where it gets bigger and bigger because now the presence starts to grow on that. What about the groups? Is that something that there are Facebook groups and things? Is that targeted as well or is that a part of more of the social side? Where does that fit into a game plan?
There are lots of ways. When we look at the bigger picture of generating leads online, we’ve got SEO. There’s paid advertising on Google, Facebook, and all the platforms. We’ve got groups that we can scour from there. We’ve got lists that we can buy and then upload and we can skip-trace them and text them or call them through a CRM platform like we have. We have a lot of different things of that nature.
I would say this. There’s no right or wrong answer. Every market’s a little bit different. For example, in Buffalo where we did a lot of our deals, I got maybe one deal ever in our history from Facebook groups. For whatever reason, it wasn’t good for us but at the same time, I know plenty of investors because we were doing groups that were getting tons of deals from groups. It’s very market-dependent.
I always tell everyone, “When it comes to all forms of marketing, there’s no right answer. The most important thing that you can do is have a great system.” This is one of the things that we do in our CRM. We can track lead sourcing. For every lead that I get, I’m going to put a source in for where that lead comes from. I’m then going to look at least once a quarter, if not once a month, and maybe more depending on the flow of your leads to say, “Where am I getting leads from?” However, more importantly, “Where am I getting closed deals from? Where am I buying notes from? What sourcing is getting me the end goal of what I want,” and then I’m going to adjust from there.When it comes to all forms of marketing, there's no right answer. The most important thing that you can do is have a great system. Click To Tweet
We looked at ours, for example, and I found that for us, bandit signs, even though they’re not digital, worked better than anything else. We did a lot of Facebook Ads back in the day. Facebook Ads for sellers now are very difficult because they’ve now changed the restrictions and it’s very difficult to make that work. When I was doing that, it was free for all. It was like the Wild Wild West. I could target a single person on a Facebook ad if I wanted to. It was that crazy. Unfortunately, it’s not the same as it was then but understand that be willing to spend the next 12 to 24 months trying a bunch of different marketing campaigns, tracking your results, and then saying, “What worked?” Let’s put more attention, effort, and money into the things that did.
, markets change. This is a direct digital marketplace, so it’s going to change. You’ve got to hire some pros on this because I know enough to know it’s complicated on the SEO o stuff and very challenging. By the way, I’ve got a couple more questions for Bob, but I’ve been talking with Bob McIntosh, and you can go to his website, The Bob McIntosh. Check him out.
You can also find his book which is Get Out of Your Own Way. You can find that on Amazon as well. Let’s take a shift then. We’ve been talking a lot about the digital side, but I know also have the mentality of an entrepreneur and you focus a good bit on that. What can you share with my readers about that mindset?
When I think about mindset and all of this stuff, especially as a real estate investor, don’t get discouraged or frustrated at the process because it’s a numbers game. I always talk about this. The thing that no one ever seems to think about especially if they’re newer is reverse engineering your goal. I’ll talk to a lot of investors like, “I want to close 4 deals this year, 1 a quarter.” Perfect. That’s a great goal, especially for a new person. “I want to buy four notes this year.”
Let’s reverse-engineer that. You got to look at your numbers. I don’t know the numbers for note investing specifically, but from a real estate standpoint, if I want to buy four, for everyone that I buy, I’m usually looking at between 10 and 15 to get 1. Of the 10 and 15 that I looked at, I probably talked to between 20 and 40. Of the 20 and 40 that I talked to, it probably took me about 100 that raised their hand. Out of that 100, it was probably about 2,000 to 3,000 that I contacted.
If I know that is, let’s say 3,000 prospects to 1 deal that I get. If I want 4 deals, I need 12,000 prospects. A prospect is simply a name, an email, or an address. It’s not them raising their hand. It’s one who might want to be interested in selling. “There’s a house here. We could potentially buy it.” If I need 12,000 houses, that means I need to find 1,000 prospects a month to hit my goal.
What happens is a lot of people are like, “I called 50 people.” I’m like, “Go call 50 or 500 more.” If your goal is four, reverse engineer the number. What it does for us though is this is. It helps get our mindset right. If I know I need 12,000 people to get my four deals, every single month, if I haven’t added 1,000 new folks to my list to contact this month, then I know I’m not on track to my goal. It helps us become more in line with our mindset. It’s easier to not get frustrated when I know, “It’s not that I’m not getting a deal. I’m not putting the effort forward to get what I said I wanted.”
Thankfully, our numbers are a lot better than that these days. I hear what you’re saying though, because it does come down to numbers. It is the same process though in the note side where we do have to look at several notes and run the numbers. Part of that same mindset is sometimes you’re not there fast enough. Sometimes you did everything right, you ran your numbers, then you said, “We will buy it,” and they go, “Sorry. Somebody else got here to you first.” I would much rather have someone miss out on a deal rather than jump in too soon, lose money, and force themselves into a deal.
That goes out mostly to the folks who are new to reading this. You’re new in the business. You’re anxious to get going, whether it’s real estate or real estate notes, but don’t force yourself into a deal for the sake of doing a deal because chances are you’ve overlooked something and you make some mistakes. The mindset’s got to be the right deal. The opportunities are there all the time. It’s one of those things. I love that definition where I wear my lucky hat.
Luck is the intersection of opportunity and preparedness. If you’re prepared, opportunity is always out there. You got to be prepared. If that means you miss out on 1 deal or 2 because you weren’t able to move fast enough, that changes with practice. That’s a part of that same mindset as well. Do you have any other thoughts or something I may have missed that you can enlighten us with?
The only other thing is when you talk to a lot of investors, no matter what they’re doing, notes, real estate, flipping, wholesaling, buy and holds, or whatever it might be, understand that your web presence is your first impression to most people that you’ll be talking with, even let’s say a note buyer. They’re going to want to know who you are.
They’re going to say, “Is this person going to execute what they say they’re going to do? Am I going to be left holding the bag and being frustrated?” The mistake that I see a lot of investors make, whether they’re new or even a lot of times in the more advanced ones who’ve been around for a while, because they’re like, “I’ve been successful without doing that. Do I need to?”
The answer is, “What would you have done if you hadn’t?” Understand that your web presence should not be some secondary thing that you throw to the side and say, “I’ll get a website.” Understand that your first impression can’t be undone, and if you’re doing it the incorrect way or not the best way, you’re leaving money on the table. It’s as simple as that. My business partner always says, “Your website may not always make you money, but it will cost you money if it’s not done the right way.”
You trigger another thought because I’m going through this right now as well. I look at my website and go, “That’s too dated.” How often do you think you need to refresh the website?
These days, it’s about every 3 to 5 years. Five is on the outside for sure. It’s like cars. Every year, there’ll be some minor change that we see here or there, and in about every 3 to 5, it depends. There’s usually some big shift in design that we do. For example, we have a template site that we do for a lot of investors that want to get something up that’s amazing. As part of that, every 1 year, 1 year and a half or so, it depends on what we see out there in the design asset. As long as you’re with us, we change the design for you because I understand too that 94% of visitors will leave a site if the design is unattractive within 30 seconds.
If you go to a site and you’re like, “It’s already dated and old,” you’ve got at best 30 seconds, in most cases, it’s about 5 to 10 and they’re going to be off to somebody else. About 97% of people will judge your business’ capabilities on the design of your website alone. You could be Kevin, an amazing note investor who has an immense amount of knowledge, but if your site’s no good, they’re going to look at you and say, “Your business is no good.” Even if you’re the best no investor in the world, it’s perception and we all do this. All of us as entrepreneurs want to say, “People don’t do that.” It’s like, “Yeah, we do.” We do it too.
I’m sure you do. There is no question. I almost do not do that is a weird way to put it, but you’re right on that. I’m my 3 to 4 here on the website.
That means you’re good.
I have that feeling because I’m looking out at it myself going, “This needs a little redo here,” so I’m getting that done. Thank you so much, Bob, for being on. I do appreciate that. I found it very enlightening. I hope all my readers did as well. I know you did. Again, you can visit Bob’s website. You’ll see him post in every place.
If you want to see him live and me as well, get out to Columbia, South Carolina and you can see a nice two-day event up there on July 29th and 30th, 2023 for those who’d like to do that. We have a lot of other great speakers that Christy and Noah have invited to come to that. That’ll be a great event. On behalf of Bob and myself, thank you, everybody, for reading. Remember, go ahead and click that subscribe and share the website. I do appreciate you. I look forward to putting together another episode for you real soon.
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