How to Write a Real Estate Agent Bio

Writing your real estate agent bio is, perhaps, one of the most challenging writing projects you’ll undertake. Your goal in creating a compelling bio is to attract the right clients and to lead them to the conclusion that you are the best real estate agent to suit their needs.

How To Use Canva Wedding Templates For Your Wedding

Canva is a great tool for bloggers. As a ‘mother of the bride’ myself, I recently discovered Canva has an amazing library of wedding templates including Wedding Planning Checklists, Invitations, Save The Date cards, and more! I’ve posted a few of my favorites.

What Does a Real Estate Agent Do?

A Real Estate Agent’s job description may be very surprising. They do a lot more in fact, than drive people around looking at houses and opening doors. If you have wondered what does a real estate agent do, this article is for you.

Hyperlocal Marketing | Easter Blog for Real Estate Websites

In this guide, you’ll learn how to create a hyperlocal marketing blog for real estate websites. Lori Ballen is a real estate agent in Las Vegas, NV. She is the creator of The Ballen Method Courses and Coaching.In this guide, you’ll learn how to create a hyperlocal marketing blog for real estate websites. Lori Ballen is a real estate agent in Las Vegas, NV. She is the creator of The Ballen Method Courses and Coaching.

What Are Longtail Keywords?

There are numerous situations in life when size just doesn’t matter. There are also situations when less is far better than more.The term longtail keyword is a metaphor for the long, bottom end of a distribution curve representing search engine frequencies.

Getting To Know Your WordPress Website

So you have a brand new WordPress site, but where do you begin? You need to get to know your WordPress site and how to navigate it so that you can get started with your online marketing through WordPress.

What is Web Hosting?

In simple terms, web hosting allows you to publish your website online and keep it live. Web hosting service providers offer servers that store your site in a way that’s accessible to internet users.

Link Whisper WordPress Plugin For Internal Linking

In this guide, you’ll learn how to install, activate and use Link Whisper for an improved internal linking strategy on your real estate agent website. Grab your Link Whisper software here, download the zip file and follow the instructions below.

The Definitive Guide to Semantically Related Keywords

Semantically Related Keywords are a new key component of SEO. For internet marketers, success is decided by the invisible hand of the Google search algorithms and their frequent, unpredictable pattern of updates. In fact, rarely do we see the updates coming, and depending on what he updates target, they could be detrimental to rankings.

WordPress Redirect Plugins and How to Use Them

If you are looking to redirect pages on your website, there are many plugins to choose from to help you with this process. In this article, I will be discussing two that I use on a regular basis, and how you can use them on your own WordPress website.


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What is a Redirect?

As defined by, [su_highlight background=”#ffe966″]a redirect is “to change the direction or focus of.”[/su_highlight] In the case of websites, to redirect is to change the direction from one web page to another, so when someone tries to visit that original page, they are then taken to the page you redirected it to, instead.

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Why Would You Need a Web Page Redirect?

There are many reasons for redirecting a web page. Here are some common reasons for setting up a redirect:

Old Content

If you have old content on your website, and you’ve already created a new page to replace that old content, it’s important to drive traffic that is coming into that old page to the newly created page.

Broken Pages

If you have a broken page, you can redirect that broken page to a newly created page or another page on your website that makes sense based on what that original page was about.

Temporary Sales, Discounts, Promos, etc.

If you have a landing page for a product and you want to redirect traffic to that page to a special landing page for a deal, promo, special, etc. you can set up a redirect from the original page to the special landing page. When the sale or promo has ended, you can simply remove the redirect to allow visitors to return back to the original page when they visit that URL.

[su_icon_text icon=”icon: question” url=””]Orphaned Content | Remove it, Redirect It, Or Revive it![/su_icon_text]

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Using Yoast SEO for Redirects

Yoast SEO provides a redirect feature with their premium plugin. You can purchase their premium plugin here. Below,  you can learn how to install the plugin and set up redirects using Yoast SEO.

Installing the Plugin

To install Yoast SEO Premium, you will first need to visit the Yoast SEO website to purchase the premium version of the plugin. Once purchased, you will receive an email with your download code and activation key.

  1. Go to “Plugins” on the back-end of your WordPress website
  2. Click “Add New” at the top of the page
  3. Click “Upload Plugin” at the top of the page
  4. Browse your computer for the downloaded Yoast SEO Plugin and select it to begin the installation
  5. Once Installed, a button will appear to activate the plugin on your website. Click the activation button to complete this process.
  6. Once activated, you may be prompted to enter an activation key. This key can be found in the email sent to you by Yoast directly and is necessary to be able to use the premium features of this plugin.
Setting up a Redirect from a Trashed Page

If you have a page on your website that has been linked to from other pages, Yoast SEO should automatically prompt you for a redirect when moving that page to the trash. Simply paste the URL of the new page you would like the trashed page to redirect to, save it, and the redirect will become active immediately.

Setting up a Redirect from Any Page
  1. Click on “SEO” on the left menu bar on the back-end of your WordPress website
  2. Click on “Redirects”
  3. Here, you will see a list of existing redirects (if you’ve set redirects up previously), as well as a form at the top of the screen to set up your redirect. Complete this form with the redirect details, and save to activate your redirect.

Redirect Type

For the redirect type, it will be rare that you will have to select anything other than “301 Moved Permanently” which is displayed by default.


The old URL is the URL for the page that you no longer wish to use and would like to be redirected elsewhere.


The URL is for the page that you would like the old URL to redirect to. This is the page that people will now see instead of the old URL provided in the previous form box.

To Remove or Edit a Redirect

If you wish to remove a redirect and make both pages active as their own live pages, again, simply hover your mouse over the “type” number and two buttons will appear to either edit or delete the redirect. Click “edit” to adjust the Type, Old URL, and URL or click “delete” to remove the redirect entirely.

[su_icon_text icon=”icon: star” url=””]The Knowledge Box, or zero position on Google is all the buzz. Learn how to earn these featured rich snippets. [/su_icon_text]

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Using Quick Page/Post Redirects

The Quick Page/Post Redirects plugin is a free plugin available on WordPress for redirecting pages on your website. You can view more about the plugin directly and download it here.

Installing the Plugin

To install the Quick Page/Post Redirects plugin:

  1. Go to “Plugins” on the back-end of your WordPress website
  2. Click “Install Plugins” at the top of the page
  3. In the upper right-hand corner, there will be a search box. Type in Quick Page/Post Redirects and it will appear at the top of the list for you to download. The plugin is by anadnet.
  4. Click “install” to begin the installation
  5. Once installed, click the “activate” button to activate the plugin
Where to Find the Plugin Once Installed

Once the plugin has been installed and activated, you can find it on any page/post under the content of the blog post.

How to Use the Quick Page/Post Redirect Plugin
  1. Visit the page you wish to redirect to another page
  2. Scroll down until you see the Quick Page/Post Redirect plugin
  3. Check the box that says “Make Redirect Active”
  4. Enter the URL that you want this page to redirect to in the “Redirect/Destination URL” Box
  5. Leave the type of Redirect 301 Permanent, unless you have a reason to select another redirect option.
  6. Update the page to save the changes

Your redirect should be active immediately.

How to Remove the Redirect

If you no longer want a page to redirect, simply find the page that is currently redirecting to another page on the back-end of your website. You can do this by:

  1. Go to “Pages” on the back-end of your website (or posts if it’s a blog post that is redirecting)
  2. In the upper-right hand corner, use the search box to find the page you are looking for. You can also manually look through the list of pages to find the page you are looking for.
  3. Once the page has been found, click on the title to view the edit screen for that page.

Once you’ve found the page that you wish to remove the redirect for, scroll down to the Quick Page/Post Redirect plugin and uncheck the box that says “Make Redirect Active,” then click the “Update” button to save your changes. The redirect should stop immediately.

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How Do I Know Which Pages Have Redirects?

If you’re not sure which of your pages have redirects set up and which ones don’t, both the Yoast SEO and Quick Page/Post Redirect plugins provide an easy one-glance area to see which pages are redirecting, and where they are redirecting to.

If You Are Using Yoast SEO
  1. Click on “SEO” on the back-end of your WordPress website
  2. Click on “Redirects” on the sub-menu that appears under “SEO”

This will take you to a page where you can easily see the redirect type, Old URL, and New URL.

If You Are Using Quick Page/Post Redirect
  1. Click on Pages or Posts depending on which you would like to see the redirects for

From there, you will see a column for “redirects” which displays the type of redirect and the URL that the page is redirecting to.

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Rich Snippets, Structured Data and Schema Markup

In this article, you’ll learn how structured data markup can improve your appearance on the search engines. It’s important to note that with each search query, results change. There is no guarantee to how your markup will affect your results.

Categories SEO

Real Estate Images

Real estate images are a critical element of an agent’s online offerings. Images in a real estate website or blog don’t only need to pertain to properties an agent represents. They can also be used in community pages, articles for buyers and sellers, and hyperlocal blogs. Images can and should be used in any content designed to gain rank in the search engines.

How To Hire A Virtual Assistant [Professional]

Learn how to hire a virtual assistant for your real estate business. Lori Ballen in Las Vegas has been using virtual assistants for years in her business. Listen in to the interview with My Out Desk (MOD).


Our Virtual Assistant is a key team member. She shows up every day and does the work. We couldn’t image working without her. She’s as much a part of us as our local team members.

I’m Lori Ballen of Lori Ballen Team Real Estate in Las Vegas.

I’ve been building teams and working through leverage since I was in elementary school and recruited my first team members to my candy bar sales team. 

Today, I own 3 companies, and all 3 have given up the bricks and mortar offices to work virtually. 

What is a Virtual Assistant?

A virtual assistant, or as My Out Desk calls it, a virtual professional, is someone that works for your organization from another location outside of your office. In my case, they are out of the country. 

In many cases, as it is with MOD, the company I use, the virtual assistant is actually an employee of the company that hires and trains the assistants wherever they live such as the Philippines.

In other words, we are hiring the company as a subcontractor rather than hiring the virtual professional as an employee. The company handles everything from taxes to health insurance, and we simply pay the standard fee based on the amount of time we have chosen to book that assistant.

Selecting Your Virtual Assistant

The company charges a finder fee to help select potential candidates for you. They have talent that can be used for everything from marketing your listings (real estate), to database entry, to cold call prospecting, to blogging and more. 

Once you submit your request for candidates and pay your start-up fee, the company will select several individuals for you to interview. The standard DISC personality is offered up for each candidate. 

The interviews are done virtually over a computer where you can see each other and have a normal conversation like you would in person. 

You can ask interview questions, ask for work samples, test their thinking skills, listen to how well they communicate in various languages and so forth. 

It’s for someone that thinks that they could be doing something more valuable with their time getting on the phone, talking to their past clients and could use just a little bit more leverage in their life.

The Leverage Conversation


I want to talk about what I think the way I envisioned leverage in my life or especially as it relates to a business.

This is something that I’ve learned, you know, immensely from Ben Kinney. My mom is an agent now on Ben’s team and I’ve gotten to watch her over the last year and a half really utilize leverage in her business.

I think back to like 2000, 2003, four when the mortgage thing was blowing up.

Everybody was getting a mortgage and anybody could get a mortgage and they had option arms at that time. 

I remember hearing a pitch from a mortgage broker about how the option arm was such a great vehicle for somebody. It allowed you to save a bunch of money each month on your mortgage payment.

Then, you could take that money and you could invest it somewhere else and you would end up over this long period of time having a much better return because you’d had that extra money to be able to invest somewhere else.

What ultimately happened in the mortgage crisis as people didn’t take that money and invest it somewhere else, right? They took that money, they went out and bought a new car. They bought new furniture. They didn’t invest that money back into their livelihood.

When I think of leverage, I think of it in these terms. It’s basically allowing you to get back your time so that you can take it and invest it somewhere else, right? Some were more profitable for you.

And by the way, there’s some of that time you want to invest back into your family and your kids and your relationships. Because that’s going to make you a better person. But the majority of that time you get back from somebody like Noel (Virtual Assistant), at least for me, has to be invested back into the business to really see the dividends of having brought leverage into my life.

How do you see leverage?


For me, leverage can be a system, a process or a person. In my world, all three of those things have freed me up to do more.

When I say a system, it can be technology, like what you guys do (at Activerain); and it could be a process, meaning we’re going to have a faster way of converting leads into money now.

[For Real Estate] This process is proven to take the time it takes to close a deal from 90 days to 60 days for example. We provide virtual talent to the top talent across the country. We have been in business with some for almost a decade, which is really cool because I’m serving companies and helping them grow 100 percent.

Leverage helps professionals get to the next level.


We talk about talent our in our office all day, every day. It’s really all we talk about [with Ben Kinney]. His job as our CEO is to go find talent.

I think for any entrepreneur looking to grow their business, their job is to go out and find talent.

Why hire a virtual professional versus hiring in-house? 


Well, I just can speak from my own experience. I’m a real estate broker, licensed for 14 years and when I hired my first virtual professional, I was swamped. I had hired an assistant in-house and we’d had a team but I needed more help and I just couldn’t find enough fast enough.

Imagine having that problem, having more business than you can handle. I was working seven days a week, not because I wanted to, but because I had that many people calling me. I realized that if I didn’t get help, I was going to drop some balls, and never going to see my family, have vacation time, work out, and my health was going to suffer.

That’s why you might consider virtual professionals. You can hire one person to singularly focus on that one thing that you need in order to get to the next level.


Okay. So let’s dig in here a little bit.  I’m going to speak on behalf of Ben’s team. I’ve been around his team for eight or nine years now and really ingrained in it in the last three years. 

I’m also going to speak from the perspective of my mother who started as an agent in September of 2016 and in 2017 did 79 transactions as an individual agent. Now, she wasn’t out there all by herself. She had a lot of leverage in the Ben Kenny Organization. About three months in, she went to Ben and said, I need a virtual professional.

She was getting to the point where she was getting so many listings and had so much stuff going on. She basically went and said, I need my own. I need a dedicated professional in my business.

Daniel, talk to me for a minute about some of the ways that a virtual professional can help a real estate professional with that Admin side of the business, That side that’s not necessarily out there selling and finding new clients, but that stuff that kind of you “got to do.”


That’s perfect because that lines up with my story. So I was selling a property in northern California and it was a brand new neighborhood, but it was a high fire neighborhood. The fire chief had to do an inspection. It’s like a weird new rule in wilderness areas. 

Well, we failed the inspection and I’m selling this house and my virtual professional coordinated with the fire department, coordinated with the city because we had to get a permit coordinated with a contractor coordinated, you know, enter the listing in the MLS, got the fliers created.

She did all of that work and at the end of I got a thank you card addressed directly to my virtual professional because the agent on the other side, the buyer agent, he had no idea she wasn’t actually in my office.  

Other than me taking the listing it was a hundred percent handled by our virtual professional. And that didn’t happen overnight. I mean, we’ve got to be realistic here, you know, we had to put what you said systems and processes in place, but literally, I mean I have the thank you card over here.

The reality is everything that isn’t a dollar productive activity, everything that isn’t hunting talent and everything that isn’t growing your net assets should be given to a virtual professional.

Daniel Ramsey


You can sign that listing. That’s a process, right? There are certain things that have to happen. The CMA has to be generated, the listing presentation has to be generated. Maybe you doctor it up with some images of that person’s house or whatever, right?

There are certain things that you do every single time you do them. What happens the way, if you don’t have a process, is that you end up one time doing eight of those things and the next time you do three of them and the next time you do six and your wildly inconsistent and so you get wildly inconsistent results.


I’ve got a friend of mine. I’ve known him forever and we travel around together from time to time. He calls me last week and he says, Ramsey, I need a virtual professional. I’m like, okay, cool. What’s going on?

He’s got 30 years in the business, he’s had a database of 5,000 people and he thought every morning he was sending them Monday morning coffee with him [newsletter]. It turns out his in-house assistant was pushing the button, but around 4,000 of the emails were either bad or bouncing or not getting sent.

And so he thought he was sending emails to his past clients. He wasn’t sending them and the system didn’t report it. And his assistant didn’t do it, so he’s hired us to come in and this is another admin job, right.


On Ben Kinney’s hub team, they’re undertaking this process of database management. It’s cultivating and weeding. When we get a bounce-back email and we have a phone number, we reach out and say “Hey you, we were trying to send you an email and it bounced back. Do you have a new email address?

It’s those kinds of things where you’re down in the weeds where it gets messy. 

I get from agents around the country, inviting me to their open house. They need help managing their database because they should know that I’m in Seattle and they’re in Maryland. I should be tagged appropriately in the database.

On my Mom’s team, two days a month, one of the virtual professional, will go through that entire database. They might not get through it all each month.  They just keep going and they’re just weeding through it and they’re looking for, for blanks: “Oh, do we not have an address for this person? But we have an email and a phone number.”

You know, as a real estate agent, you shouldn’t be entering it into your database. You shouldn’t be the person that goes to LinkedIn and requests a connection. You shouldn’t go to Facebook and request a connection.

Those aren’t jobs that drive revenue or, or hire talent. That’s a virtual assistant job, a virtual professional job. 

Let’s say that I’m driving around, and got buyers with me.

We will literally text our virtual professional and say, here’s the address, here’s the offer, and here’s the condition that the buyers’ want.

They will compile the offer, put it in a or , a system, and send it back to me. And so I’m right there at the property. And my buyers are saying, yes, yes, yes. And then signing. And then my virtual professional can deliver it to the listing agent. Then she or he will text me the cell phone number of the listing agent so I can call and just say, hey, but I just wanted to let you know you’re getting a really great offer from a really great couple, and they’re preapproved. I super hope the sellers are excited to get their property sold.

When people get into real estate, they think they are getting into real estate because there’s tons of flexibility. They don’t realize they’ll be canceling dinner with the because they have to be doing all this “stuff” that agents do. 

So lead generation is one of those things where you can spend a lot of time. Craigslist is a great example. And for years, you know, craigslist had these ebbs and flows where lots of agents are on there and then they do something like take away the links and then there are very few agents on there.

It’s still successful for the agents that are on there. Craigslist is a great example. My mom’s VA posts their eight to 10 craigslist posts every day and every day they get a couple of leads that come in from craigslist and she doesn’t have the time to do that stuff.

In my mom’s world, her virtual assistant feeds all of those social media animals for her. She doesn’t just abandon Instagram. The interaction with Instagram is the fun stuff she likes to do – Kids, grandkids and all that stuff. 

When you go to MOD and you say, I want to bring a virtual professional on, you get to interview these people. You get to check out their resume, they give you writing samples left.  I didn’t go in blind hiring Noel [who blogs] thinking, man, I hope this kid can write

He writes all kinds of blog posts on right now.  I’d seen his writing samples and they were really good. We’d get on a zoom call just like this. And I’d say, “here’s what I’m thinking, man”. And he’d take notes. Let’s say I wanted to say this, this, I’d maybe to send them a couple bullet points written out and I’d say make that, make that piece of content. And he would do a better job than I would. 


The first step is to make a plan. There’s a plan that says that “these” posts go into Instagram. There’s a certain post that goes on to . There’s a certain in , there’s a strategy for each.

There’s a different strategy when you write a blog, there’s a different strategy when you send an email, there’s a different text message strategy,  message, you know.

So if you’re, if you’re thinking I want to do content, you’re going to have a strategy. Do you know anything about that, bob?


Yeah, we don’t. We know a little bit. I totally agree. You have to have a strategy now. It doesn’t have to be your strategy.

We have a concept in Ben Kenny’s world called R and D and we do a lot of it. We rip off and duplicate.

There’s a guy named Dusty Baker who’s a really great guy and so we, we feed a lot off of the stuff that we see him doing and we’re like, oh man, that’s a really great way to go on and talk about your business. Like he’ll always post these photos from, you know, his listing and it’s not like, Hey, here’s my list.

Getting Started

  • We’ll let you know if, if we would be a good fit
  • We’ll create an outcome that is measurable.
  • We’ll spend 20, 30 minutes together and maybe we work together and maybe we won’t.
  • We’ll do a future org chart.
  • We’ll talk about the outcomes to grow your business.
  • We’ll talk about what the constraints are to grow your business.
  • We’ll talk about what talent looks like for you 

Biggest Challenge


First of all, there’s this, there’s this j curve, and anybody that’s that has a math background or a finance background or an engineering. You’ve heard of curve, right?

So in the beginning, Bob, it was work to get Noel to understand the business. The biggest mistake that people make is thinking they are going to hire somebody and then never going to have to deal with that again.

That might be true three years later, two years later, but in the first six months you have to pour love, attention, and detail. You have to provide a vision and be a coach and a mentor to this person because they want to win with you. They want to be successful because your success is their success and you’re tied together. 

When’s the last time you were able to get 10 qualified applicants to interview in 24 hours? If you think about how much work it takes to even get 10 people to come in and interview, you’ve got to go through 100 applicants. We remove all of that work for somebody as a business owner you require to grow your business. Right now.

Real Estate Blog Ideas | Light Up the Holidays

Real estate blog ideas generate the content you need – not only to draw in leads through your content, but also to gain rank in search engines as an expert in your area. Check out these real estate blog ideas to generate hyperlocal content that can generate leads.

real estate blog ideas | content marketing strategy

If you don’t yet have a content marketing strategy for the upcoming year, this is the perfect time to get started. Here’s an overview of how it works:

  • Create a hyperlocal blog post about seasonal events in your area.
  • Include a valuable offer to prompt user registrations to generate leads.
  • Import leads into a database.
  • Initiate email marketing campaigns for the leads you generate.

Understanding hyperlocal strategies

Hyperlocal content is content specifically targeted to your area. Publishing hyperlocal content accomplishes several goals. You can use hyperlocal strategies to generate real estate blog ideas.

First, the hyperlocal content draws in website traffic. Second, hyperlocal content adds search engine authority based on the number of visits your website receives, and the number of actions (clicks) each viewer takes. Third, hyperlocal content helps build and nurture relationships. Even if a person isn’t currently looking to buy or sell real estate, the more often they find your website in response to their searches, the more trust they invest in you.

Examples of hyperlocal content include:

  • Best Restaurants in ____________.
  • Best Free Things to Do in ___________.
  • Best Bars in __________.
  • Best Coffee Shops in ___________.
  • Best Golf Courses in __________.
  • Best Spas in __________.

Creating Offers to Prompt Registrations

Your content may be off-the-hook in terms generating website traffic. One article on your blog could generate hundreds if not thousands of page views. But if you don’t have an offer on your page that prompts registrations, then you’re making motion without progress. Web traffic is good. Web LEADS are better.

To convert a website viewer to a real estate lead, you must offer the viewer an item of value for which they’ll “trade” you their information.

An “offer” can be almost anything downloadable, such as:

  • A list of resources
  • A checklist for completing specific tasks
  • An ultimate guide to…
  • A toolkit
  • A worksheet
  • A workbook
  • A map

You create an offer that compliments the blog post, convert it to a PDF, and offer that PDF in exchange for a name and email address. When you succeed in obtaining a name and email address, you have converted that viewer into a lead.

working your database | Creating campaigns

Once you capture leads from writing a killer blog post, you must then nurture those leads. When your content marketing strategy is constructed around seasonal content, you can create an email campaign with the same “flavor”.  Here are a few ideas for seasonal campaigns:

  • January: Health
    • Best gyms
    • Best health food stores
    • Best meal plans
    • Best nutritionists
  • February: Things to Do for Valentine’s Day
    • Best Restaurants
    • Best Chocolate Factories
    • Best Flower Shops
  • March: St. Patrick’s Day
    • Best Beer Crawls
    • Best St. Patty’s Day Parades
    • Best places to get Corned Beef & Cabbage
  • April: Easter
    • Best Places for Easter Egg Hunts
    • Best Restaurants Serving Easter Dinner
    • Best Places to Spot the Easter Bunny

You can build an entire year’s worth of relevant content providing local resources for seasonal events. How’s that for real estate blog ideas? And here’s the good news: You don’t have to do it all at once! When you launch your hyperlocal content marketing strategy in December, you can then work out one month at a time.

Publish the blog post, use a compelling description and link in an email, then shoot that email to everyone you pulled into your database from your first hyperlocal piece. By year’s end, you’ve got an entire campaign you can then use year after year.

But wait! There’s more database magic!

When you have the right database and the right tools and accessories, you can work serious magic with your database.

Infusionsoft is a database that not only houses contacts, but can sort, filter, tag, and task leads for timely follow up. Within Infusionsoft, you can build out email campaigns that trigger at the right time to the right audience. Boom.

When you tie Infusionsoft together with an autodialer such as TurboDial, your database then has the capability to text message and place outbound calls to leads.

Then, there’s the mother-load: Autopilot ISA. Autopilot ISA is an automated inside sales agent that works in conjunction with Infusionsoft and Turbodial to INTERACT with leads until a lead is prepped, primed, and ready for a human touch.

Let’s talk real estate

Yes, you’re providing great local content that builds trust, nurtures relationships, and feeds your database. But why stop there? The whole idea is to sell real estate, right? Right!

At the bottom of each hyperlocal blog post, consider pulling in IDX registrations. IDX providers such as IDX Broker can pull listings right into your blog post. You can include:

  • Homes for sale in _______.
  • Homes listed in the past 24 hours.
  • Foreclosure list

Soup up your blog post with a grid, carousel, or table of houses.

You can also opt to include home valuations.

You may also enjoy: Using IDX Systems with IDX Broker

FORMS for lead capture

Listings to Leads  offers landing pages designed specifically for real estate agents to capture leads. You can also use Wufoo to capture leads. Additionally, Constant Contact offers forms. Find the form that works for you, then plug that in to your holiday hyperlocal blog post.

‘Tis the Season to Light Up Your Real Estate Blog!

Unwrap the gift of real estate blog ideas and content marketing for lead generation with the launch of your first hyperlocal holiday post: Best Places to See Christmas Lights in ___________.

Here’s an example: Best Places to See Christmas Lights in Las Vegas!

Step 1 – Create a Blog Post: Find the Gems. Use resources like YouTube and Google to find particular houses or neighborhoods that have already caught the attention of viewers and journalists. They’re out there. All you need to do is look. Virtual assistants are great resources to utilize for this type of research. You can also make use of video marketing by adding embed codes to your blog post.

Step 2: – Assemble the List in Order: It’s most convenient for viewers to be able to run down the list in an order that makes sense, such as geographic location.

Step 3 -Create an offer: The offer could be a printable version of the list in addition to an Interactive Map. (Click here to learn how to create an Interactive Map).

Step 4 – Include Listings: Use an IDX provider to pull in listings to your blog post.

Step 5 – Embrace Your Database: Don’t just let captured leads get cold. Have a plan for follow up email campaigns.

Step 6 – REPEAT: Use follow up blog posts to create email marketing campaigns to nurture the relationships of leads generated from your Christmas lights blog post.

Noteworthy tidbits

  • Odd numbers out-perform even numbers, so consider titling your blog: 11 Best Places to see Christmas Lights. You can always change that number later as your list grows. Note: Your blog title is NOT the same as your blog URL.
  • Do NOT use the number or the year in your URL as the URL cannot be changed as the post is updated year to year. Instead, consider including a URL that reads: Best-Christmas-Lights-in-Las-Vegas.
  • Consider adding a form for “Add Your House to this List”, and another for “Remove Your House from this List”.
  • Find out what other tools are used by Lori Ballen and the Ballen Brands team at

Outsource Those Bad Boys

Just because you understand and appreciate the importance of hyperlocal blogging doesn’t mean you or your crew have the time to work that magic. However, our crew does! The Ballen Brands Team can research and write your blog post, design your offers, and even set you up with powerful technology like Autopilot ISA. We can even help with pay-per-click advertising to promote your posts! Reach out to Ballen Brands today to let us handle your heavy lifting.

How to Build A Real Estate Agent Website on WordPress with AgentPress Pro

When you follow the steps provided in this guide, building a real estate agent website on WordPress with AgentPress Pro isn’t very difficult. My name is Lori Ballen and I’m a real estate agent in Las Vegas, NV. I also build my own real estate agent websites and founded a digital marketing company called Ballen Brands which my brothers now own. They also build real estate agent websites on WordPress [BREW].

Door Knocking Scripts

Most agents aren’t crazy about door knocking. Having your script and knowing what to expect can address some of the challenges and concerns. Successful real estate agents handle objections with memorized scripts. They predict the questions before they are asked and are prepared to answer them.

Here’s a video by Josh Snyder, real estate agent in Phoenix-Scottsdale, AZ on door knocking.

9 Times out of 10, I get a great response through Dress, Demeanor, and Preparedness

**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.


  • Dress for Success, not too formal, but sharp. Josh suggests a nice button-down shirt and slacks.
  • Be positive. Shake off whatever happens today. The goal is to meet the neighbor and get to know the houses.
  • Be prepared. Know your Numbers.

Door Knocking Script

Step Back a bit and smile. Say Hi or Hello. Wait for them to respond. Don’t pitch instantly. Introduce yourself and say “Hi, My name is (insert name here). I work with (company), just a stone’s throw away on (street). We’ve been selling a lot of houses here in (neighborhood) lately this season and we are trying to sell a few more and I was wondering if you could help me out. (Stop).

You are explaining who you are and that you are licensed. You explain you are a neighborhood specialist. Then you are offering the “out” with helping me out.

More Scripts

Hyperlocal Real Estate Marketing

What exactly does Hyperlocal mean? Hyperlocal is basically a specialized focus on a small local area with the message and product and content target marketed on that audience. Hyperlocal marketing can include traditional geographic farming or more digital methods like we are seeing now on social websites like Nextdoor.

How To Promote a Real Estate Listing On Pinterest

An untapped channel for real estate marketing is Pinterest. Ads are cheap and the potential for REACH and exposure is massive. People can find your pins in multiple ways and by promoting them, running Pinterest ads from a Pinterest for Business account can be very beneficial for traffic and generating real estate leads.

Generating Real Estate Leads Through Craigslist

In this video, Dustini Nulf shares how he generates 200 real estate leads in a month from Craigslist. Hi! I’m Lori Ballen owner of Lori Ballen Team in Las Vegas [BallenVegas]. I generate all of my real estate leads online. I enjoy featuring videos and training from fellow agents that figure out how to rock a particular area of lead generation.

Real Estate Writers

Want to grow your real estate business and improve your status as an industry expert? Are you looking for innovative, low-cost ways to promote yourself as a leading real estate agent online? You need a great blog, possibly written by a great ghostwriter.

The 5 Year Plan

I keep comparing where I was 1 year ago today to where I am now because of the 50-pound weight loss. I’ve been doing it all wrong! This pic popped up in my Timehop today and I had to step back and take a look at this past 5 years from when that photo was taken.

WOAH!!! I remember how I felt that year. It was the best year of my life (so I thought). I created The Ballen Method, was touring and teaching, and had my largest real estate year.

Now that I look back, I was overweight (213 pounds), struggling with my marriage, and very unhappy in my Las Vegas real estate business.

I had no savings, no investments, and was focused just on making ends meet. The IRS was at my door, and I was struggling to help my X-husband find “his thing” which was beginning to cause a major divide in our business and marriage.

I remember the stress, well.

Fast forward: I’m on my own, feeling significantly less stress, made a huge dent in the IRS debt plus created installments so they are no longer at my door.

I began investing, on my own.

I created a passive stream of income that is dependable, sustainable, growable, and secure.

I found the model I love for real estate.

I launched my marketing company that has indirectly built that passive income stream I know can depend on.

I shed 50 pounds, got very healthy, and began transformational coaching with Keto for weight loss as a focus. I got licensed as “Lori Ballen Coach”.

I began my publishing websites (affiliate marketing).

I partnered with Monat for my 7th stream of income.

I spend quality time with my kids, often. I’ve been on that always talked about, always dreamed out Alaska Cruise (TWICE, with a 3rd booked already for this summer).

Got a couple of my cosmetic surgeries that I always wanted since I was young and more as I aged. (this was a me, personal improvement thing).

I finally accepted who I am, and who I’m not, and where I do my best work. I let go of the “expectations” of others and found my own footing. Now, “I do me”, not what others think I should be doing. (This doesn’t mean I’m not sensitive to criticism, it means I don’t change what I’m doing because of it.)

My 5-year plan may not have wound up like I thought it was going to. It looks very different. And, it turns out, it might just have turned out better.

When Did I Stop Making Progress with my Goals?

With most goals, We start off with great initiative. We have momentum. We take massive action. Over time, the momentum fades. The discipline weakens. The desire is still strong, the activities are weak.

One day, we wake up and ask ourselves why we aren’t more or making better progress to the goal. In most cases, it’s because we stopped doing what moved us forward in the beginning.

Be it boredom, time, finances, laziness, distractions etc. – at some point, we stopped.

Easy answer? Get back to what was working in the first place. No Regrets, Only Resets.

Time and Money Ben Kinney and Christopher Suarez notes by Lori Ballen

Time and Money is a seminar created by Ben Kinney and Christopher Saurez, 2 icons in the real estate industry. The seminar is designed to teach you how to make the best use of your time and money.

Notes by Lori Ballen, Las Vegas Real Estate Agent. Please attend a live event near you in the future. There is nothing quite like sitting in the room during an event like this.

Chris Suarez has built a solid reputation — and an empire — by executing the models and systems found in Gary Keller’s Millionaire Real Estate Agent. Not only is he considered a true “MREA agent,” one who nets more than $1 million a year, he has also used the book as the foundation to expand his business into 30 cities across nine states and two countries. He is building a strong team culture through coaching, consulting, collaborating, and commitment. He is passionate about empowering others to build huge real estate businesses while still living “Xperiential” lives. The result, Xperience Real Estate partners are achieving record-breaking per agent productivity.

Ben Kinney is an entrepreneur, professional speaker, author, real estate agent, and owner of multiple real estate franchises with Keller Williams that started in Bellingham, WA and now operates across the USA, Canada, and the U.K

Lessons from Childhood

Chris was born and raised in New York.  Chris said his Dad grew up, went to school, work at Xerox and then retire. He worked there for 50 + years. His dad raised a family of 5. In year 5 and year 45, he made the same amount of money. 

Chris remembers one family vacation to Disney World. His parents saved box tops of cereal cartons to go to Disney World. They stayed at the Swamp Fox In, he said.

Chris was 8 and journaled about how amazing the hotel was. They walked to Dominos to get pizza. Chris thought the shag carpet was pure luxury. It was the families’ first big vacation. The lack of “extras” didn’t matter. It was about the experience.

Chris learned from his Dad that he would never make a million dollars. His Dad told him to forget about because he would never make a million dollars. Yet year 2, in real estate, he made 1 million.

After Chris was grown and married with kids and financially stable, he invited his parents to Spain and they declined based on issues from being older and having surgeries. Chris decided then that this was unacceptable.

He didn’t want to work his whole life for retirement just to discover that he couldn’t enjoy life once he retired.

He then set out to find how to live before it was too late to do so.

Read more

$400,000 in closed commissions from Expired and For Sale By Owner Real Estate Leads

My name is Lori Ballen and I have a real estate business here in Las Vegas, Nevada. We serve Las Vegas, North Las Vegas, Henderson and even into Boulder City, Nevada.

I always tell people I could go sell 10 houses in one day, take 11 listings, but if I didn’t lead generate I just feel dirty. ~Aaron Wittenstein

Lead Generation

My main source of real estate leads is from internet marketing, so I am a big SEO girl, I like to rank on the search engines, I drive a lot of traffic through social media, through real estate agent referrals online, and through pay per click  marketing, both regular paid search and paid social.

I am very, very passionate about lead generation. So passionate that I opened a marketing company called Ballen Brands, where we now build real estate agent websites and create blogs and real estate market reports, manage all that pay per click for agents.

So I am now out there interviewing agents who are really rocking out a particular lead generation activity, a particular source. And today we are very fortunate to have Aaron Wittenstein from Westchester County, New York, who specializes in prospecting. Welcome to the show, Aaron.


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About Aaron

Last year Aaron’s real estate team closed about 50 units in New York. Based on it being an attorney state, he likes to point out that the workload is about double what 50 transactions would be somewhere else.

More than half of his business last year came directly from cold call prospecting, expired, for sale by owner, circle prospecting, which we’re going to dive into, and that equates to about $400,000 dollars in commission from that source.

Aaron offers a program called Expired Mastery which is a four-week course. He offers group lead generation coaching as well, which is a weekly call on Tuesdays at 1:00 to 2:15. It’s called Trajectory. You can check that out at



The first question is: how many days a week are you prospecting?

Aaron W.:                     Five days a week. Realistically, yeah, I’m at five days a week right now. I don’t miss a day. It’s ingrained in me over the last four years where if I don’t do it I feel like I didn’t shower. I always tell people I could go sell 10 houses in one day, take 11 listings, but if I didn’t lead generate I just feel dirty. I just feel like I did something wrong.

Lori Ballen:                   That’s a great start to this interview, I love it. Okay, so if you don’t lead generate, you feel dirty. Totally got that. I’m a very similar way although I can say I’ve never probably described it that way. Okay, how many hours a day, then, are you committing to or is your goal for the day to make those calls?

Aaron W.:                     On Mondays, I take my son to school in the morning, so I don’t start till 8:30, and then I’ll roll till about 11, so two-and-a-half hours on Monday. Then Tuesday through Friday I do eight to 11, that’s unless something family-related or health gets in the way. So, it’s pretty much almost 15 hours a week is what I’m doing right now.


The Goal

Lori Ballen:                   There we go. 15 hours a week, okay. And in that 15 hours a week, do you have either averages or goals as to how many contacts you’re hoping to make or how many appointments? What’s your big goal? You go for appointments, I assume?

Aaron W.:                     I go for appointments, that’s the main thing. Well, actually, I should say it’s a combination of either appointments or leads. I call them callbacks, someone that says call me back at some point down the road. So, what I found is if I do 20 contacts, that should equal out to one appointment or four leads is what we should be looking at. And then every four leads should turn into one appointment eventually.

Yeah, that’s a two-way real estate related conversation. That’s not somebody who hangs up the phone on me, tells me to forget off, someone who our house already sold. That’s not a two-way conversation.

Lori Ballen:                   Okay, so out of 20 contacts that you actually speak with, your goal is to turn one of those into an appointment or four of those into call-me-back leads?

Aaron W.:                     Exactly.

Lori Ballen:                   Okay, perfect. Are you using dial software?

Aaron W.:                     I use Seize the Market.

Lori Ballen:                   Okay. Does it track how many dials a day you’re averaging?

Aaron W.:                     It does actually. Oh, there’s a way to figure it out but I’m going to wind up sitting here forever to do it.

Lori Ballen:                   That’s alright. That’s okay. That’s okay.

Aaron W.:                     Yeah, it does tell me how many dials I make.

Where are you having the best success? Is it for sale by owners, expired, circle prospecting?

Aaron W.:                     It’s a combination of both. I’m sorry, expireds and for sale by owners. I don’t personally do circle prospecting-

Lori Ballen:                   Okay.

Aaron W.:                     Just because it’s kind of like throwing a needle in a haystack almost. So, not a bad idea, not for me.

Lori Ballen:                   Okay, so you’re doing expired and for sale by owners?

Aaron W.:                     Yes, ma’am.

Lori Ballen:                   Okay. Where are you getting the numbers to call those?


The Phone Numbers

Aaron W.:                     I use data from Vulcan Seven is where I get for sale by owners and expireds. I also use another program, that I also get some for sale by owner data from as well.

Lori Ballen:         

Aaron W.:                     I’m averaging 105 dials an hour.

Lori Ballen:                   You average what?

Aaron W.:                     105 dials an hours.

Lori Ballen:                   Oh, 105 dials an hour, perfect. I knew you had that number. Okay, amazing. Okay, so Vulcan Seven, that’s a paid service. Is a paid service?

Aaron W.:                     It’s really cheap, it’s only $75 bucks a quarter.

Lori Ballen:                   Okay. How accurate do you find the information on those two lists?

Aaron W.:                     Extremely accurate. Extremely. I wouldn’t be using them if they weren’t, so extremely accurate data.

Lori Ballen:                   Do they filter through the Do Not Call list?

Aaron W.:                     Yes, they do.

Lori Ballen:                   And do you find these are mostly landlines or cell phones?

Aaron W.:                     Both. With the expireds, the Vulcan Seven winds up getting an obscene amount of data from people. They’ll typically get two to five phone numbers of different … Whoever the contacts are. And then FSBO Hotsheet will give you usually whatever phone number is listed on that ad.

Lori Ballen:                   Okay, perfect. Okay, so you throw these lists into your dialer, your dial goes to work, I’ve seen you do your Facebook Lives and stuff, it’s really cool. So then once you get a live person on the phone, that’s when you jump on and go into script mode. So, scripts. Are you using any kind of specific scripts for these?

Aaron W.:                     Yeah, I create all my own scripts, so the answer is yes.

Lori Ballen:                   Oh, you create all your own?

Aaron W.:                     Yes.

Lori Ballen:                   Did you start off that way or did you use some other ones in the beginning?

Aaron W.:                     I started using other ones. I kind of went between Mike Ferry, Kevin Ward, stuff like that, some Bold Scripts, all over the place, until I really started tweaking them to myself. I found that I took this from here, this from here, and I liked this one that one said, and I made my own scripts.

Lori Ballen:                   Perfect. Are those scripts part of your program that you … ?

Aaron W.:                     Yeah, the Expired Mastery program. For sale by owner, I really don’t have it written down on that one, but my expired script is pretty killer and I do that on Facebook Live all the time.

Lori Ballen:                   Okay, cool. I have an idea on that, I’ll message you after the fact.

Aaron W.:                     Okay, cool.

Lori Ballen:                   I love scripts even though I’m not a cold caller. I love to … Scripts is one of the most popular Google searches for real estate agent businesses, did you know that?

Aaron W.:                     I had no idea.

Lori Ballen:                   Yeah.

Aaron W.:                     That’s good to know.

Lori Ballen:                   It is really good to know. Somebody like you could really take advantage of that. Alright, so. Okay, so, you’re making these calls … What do you think that somebody just starting off on this, what is the goal of the call? So they get somebody live on the phone, obviously, the goal’s the appointment, but are you going right into, “Hey, I hear your house is expired. I’d like to list it.”? How does that kind of go?

Aaron W.:                     Oh, it’s pretty simple. First off, I think when people are starting brand new, and this is kind of a side note here, is they should really focus on time that they’re on the dialer for. So in a perfect world, every brand new agent should be on for three hours. You don’t focus so much on context because you’re not going to be very good at the beginning, yet you can count on the amount of time that you’re actually making the phone calls for.

Lori Ballen:                   Why is that matter? If they’re not reaching anybody, why is the focus three hours on the dialer?

Aaron W.:                     It’s doing the activity. It’s getting ready … Not saying getting ready, it’s actually doing the activity upon activity upon activity because you’ve got to get used to in the habit of doing on a regular, consistent basis. Because you don’t have to be the best person making the phone calls, you just have to be the most consistent person doing it. And consistency will lead to … Leads, I guess is the best way you could put it. And it will lead to money. I may not be the best person there, but I’ll tell you right now I’ll consistently beat anybody else out there.

Lori Ballen:                   Oh, I love that. Basically what you’re saying is focus on the system, not the goal, although-

Aaron W.:                     Yep. In the beginning.

Lori Ballen:                   We all have set goals. Yeah.

Aaron W.:                     In the beginning because you can’t control how many people are going to pick up the phone every day. That’s out of your control completely, okay? Yet, you can control the number of hours that you’re doing it for. And, if you have time, for example, like I’ve only hit 10 contacts today because I was only on the phone for two hours, I’ll pick up for another hour and see if I can rip through those this afternoon.

Lori Ballen:                   Okay. Is there a best time of day to … I’m going to come back to your script, but is there a best time of day to call, do you find?

Aaron W.:                     8AM for me. Monday through Friday. Eight to 11 is when I make the phone call. The thing for me is I have a young family, I got a six-year-old and three-year-old twins. Keep in mind, with all the work I do, I’m home every day by four o’clock.

So the reason that I call first thing in the morning is that it’s the most convenient time for me because I’m in the office, I’m ready to go, I got energy, and I don’t care when the best time to call is. All that matters is you’re going to do it and what’s the best time for you.

Lori Ballen:                   It’s so funny to hear you say that because I interviewed Robin Mann a few weeks ago on door knocking and she said the exact same thing. I asked her if there was a particular time and she said, “You know what, whatever time’s the best time for me to do it, it’s just being there and actually doing it.” So there’s a common thread there.

Aaron W.:                     Oh, yeah.


The Scripts

Lori Ballen:                   Okay, that makes sense. So you’re calling an expired and, like you said, originally the goal is just make sure you’re putting in the time and you’re there three hours. So somebody answers the phone now and you’ve got an expired. What’s kind of your approach?

Aaron W.:                     First I … Lori?

Lori Ballen:                   Yes.

Aaron W.:                     Okay, so the reason I ask a person by the first name is because that’s the way a friend’s going to answer the phone. What I found is if you say, “I’m looking for the owner of,” or you say, “Hello, is this Jim?” Then they’re going to kind of wonder who you are calling and it sounds much more business related that way. So, like Lori it’s, “Hi, Lori?”

Lori Ballen:                   That is so smart. Yes, hi.

Aaron W.:                     “Lori, hi it’s Aaron, I’m a local realtor,” I don’t use my last name and I don’t use Keller Williams because too many Keller Williams’ agents call. “I’m the local realtor. As you’re probably aware you’re property came off the market last night. Did you sell that property privately or do you have it up for sale by owner?”

Lori Ballen:                   I was listed with an agent.

Aaron W.:                     “Got it, so you were listed with an agent for it, got it.” Now, the reason you ask that question is because it’s a real pattern interrupter because no one’s asking that question and it really throws them off their game.

Lori Ballen:                   Yeah, that’s interesting, because it did … I had to stop and process because if we’re doing an expired it would’ve just … Yeah, that’s great. Okay, so now I tell you that it was listed with an agent.

Aaron W.:                     “Got it. So I’m trying to figure out how in the world did that place not sell?”

Lori Ballen:                   The real estate agent didn’t market it correctly.

Aaron W.:                     “Got it. So you had poor marketing, is that correct?”

Lori Ballen:                   Yes, absolutely.

Aaron W.:                     “So, what happened?”

Lori Ballen:                   Well, there weren’t very many open houses and didn’t seem like we got very many showings so … I’ve kind of called the real estate agent several times to see what was happening with it and they told me it was in the MLS but I really didn’t see much else beyond that.

Aaron W.:                     “Got it. Now, are you living in the property or is it vacant?”

Lori Ballen:                   I’m living in it.

Aaron W.:                     “You’re living in it?” Because the reason I say if it’s vacant is that I’m not getting off the phone without that appointment if it’s vacant. Then I’ll be like, “Okay. Well, what my team actually does is we specialize in selling homes that are on the market for extended periods of time without selling. I’ve taken homes that were on the market for as long as 1,039 days and flipped them around in an average of 29. I’d love to stop by and have a conversation. What works better for you, late morning, early afternoon or Saturday?”

Lori Ballen:                   I got to call my husband first. I’m not really … He can call you back.

Aaron W.:                     “Sure, sure. So you want to talk with your husband first?”

Lori Ballen:                   Yeah.

Aaron W.:                     “Alright, when do you think you’d have an opportunity to speak with him?”

Lori Ballen:                   Probably tonight after work.

Aaron W.:                     “Okay, so why don’t we do this? Why don’t get a tentative appointment down in the schedule and that way you can chat with your husband, we can firm it up to make sure the time doesn’t get booked by somebody else? So what works better, late morning, early afternoon or Saturday?”

Lori Ballen:                   Okay, that’s good. Alright, so now we booked the appointment. So I like what you said, going back a second, I like what you said about the vacant. So you paused there and said, “I’m asking that question because if they’re in the house I’m not missing the appointment”?

Aaron W.:                     No. If the house is vacant, and it’s expired, it’s like a slam dunk right there.

Lori Ballen:                   Oh, gotcha, because it should’ve sold. I noticed you also did not respond … You acknowledged the fact that I said it was the real estate agent that didn’t do any marketing, but you didn’t really respond to the fact that the real estate … You didn’t try to counteract that or prove your value or any of that kind of stuff. You went right into your next close for the appointment which was, “We sell homes on average blah, blah, blah.” So, you didn’t address that. So, does that mean no matter what objection I would’ve thrown out right there that would’ve been your next line?

Aaron W.:                     Well, yeah, because what happens is people get so tied up in objection handling when the goal is not to handle objections.

The goal is to three R is what I call it: repeat, reaffirm, redirect with another question.

So any objections that you give me I’m just going to take it, I’m going to be like, “Alright, cool. I understand,” I’m going to repeat what you said and I’m just going to do one of my objection handlers that just move on to the next question. And then I’m going to ask my next question and a series of questions that I have.

So, I’m a for sale by owner and you’re calling me.

Aaron W.:                     With for sale by owners I don’t have a full and firm script to really rationalize … What’s the word? Not rationalize. I don’t have a firm script that’s set up. The main goal of the for sale by owners is to find out information and just dig a little bit and keep in touch with them on a regular basis. So, it’s more of a long-term nurture on a for sale by owner. So I’ll call and be like, “Hi, I’m looking for,” this one use I don’t have first names, “I’m looking for the owner of 123 Smith Street.”

Lori Ballen:                   Okay.

Aaron W.:                     And then, I’ll be like, “I’m looking for the owner of 123 Smith Street.”

Aaron W.:                     “Hi, my name’s Aaron. I’m a local realtor, I just want to get that out of the way right off the bat. And I’m just curious, how’s everything going for in the process so far?”

Lori Ballen:                   I’m not listing with an agent.

Aaron W.:                     “Totally respect that, totally respect that. My intention isn’t to help you list the property, it’s just to kind of stay in touch with you, everything’s going.” Now, I never use the “I have a buyer” script or anything like that. So, what I’ll do, depending on what it is, I’ll just dig. I’ll be like, “So, got it. So are you planning on staying in the area?”

Lori Ballen:                   No, we’re going to be moving to a nearby smaller town.

Aaron W.:                     “What type of a timeframe, in a perfect world, would you like to be out of the home by?”

Lori Ballen:                   Well, in a perfect world it would be yesterday, but we don’t have any specific reason we need to move fast.

Aaron W.:                     “Got it. Okay, so what my team actually does is we specialize in helping for sale by owners that had their house on the market for whatever period of time because what I found is that is who can net you more money. Alright, so the question is, if I can get you the same amount of money that you could for your property, would be open to sitting down and having a conversation?”

Lori Ballen:                   Sure, if you can show me how I make more money.

Aaron W.:                     “Okay, so let’s say this. Hypothetically speaking, alright, let’s say that you wanted a million dollars for your property, alright? And I found somebody that’s willing to pay the million dollars and I charge you another million dollars, alright? So, therefore, we’re at two million dollars. And I can find some idiot to pay the two million dollars for your property, you’re still getting the million, I make a million, and we can even split the difference. Does that make sense?”

Lori Ballen:                   Yes, sure.

Aaron W.:                     See, I usually do one dollar and a million, I just messed it up right there.

And then the reality of it is is that I’m never locking down an appointment right there in that first week. What I’m going to do is I’m going to follow-up within a week, “Lori, hey, it’s Aaron Wittenstein over at Keller Williams Real Estate, how are you?

Great. Just wanted to catch up on the property, see how everything’s going.” And then by … You just do the same thing on the next phone call and the same thing on the next phone call and then by the third phone call they get to know you a little bit and then you can sense their frustration as you go. So it’s almost just staying in touch, staying in touch, staying in touch, staying in touch, because most … 80% of for sale by owners will list within six weeks of putting a property on the market themselves.

Lori Ballen:                   I heard that. I was at the Keller Williams Family Reunion convention and Jackie Kravitz was doing a presentation and I’ll tell you, when I heard that stat, I forget what she said if it was they list in the first 90 days or something similar to what you said, I was blown away. I’m like, I need to go start chasing for sale by owners.

Aaron W.:                     They’re great. It’s just people don’t want to stay in the long haul for it, they want the one and done, one and done, one and done. It just doesn’t work that way.

Lori Ballen:                   Yeah. So, expireds you’re going right for the appointment, and for sale by owners are more of a nurture, trying to build trust and relationship through follow-up calls.

Aaron W.:                     Exactly.

Lori Ballen:                   Which one do you find the most success with? I would imagine there are a lot more expireds than for sale by owners, right?

Aaron W.:                     Expireds I had massive success with last year. This year we’ve been having a lot more success with for sale by owners just because there’s not a lot of expireds, that’s what we’ve be challenged with and a lot of them are just re-listing with the same agent, which I just don’t understand logically in my head whatsoever. So, I’ve been shifting a lot of my work to for sale by owners.

We actually went back two years on old for sale by owners to get some really old stuff which has been working out really well so far.

Lori Ballen:                   Oh, I love that. We’re the same way with Internet leads. The best opportunity is to go back through web leads that are two years old and start calling them because, just like for sale by owners, if they didn’t sell and they decide to sit on it you’ve got a year of this cultivation time or two before they put it back on the market or, with an Internet lead, before they’re qualified or have their credit approved so I love going back through old leads. I think that’s really smart.  If they didn’t sell, right, you’ve got a gold mine.

Aaron W.:                     Well, no one else is touching them too, that’s why. They’re not getting inundated. The brand new for sale by owners get killed, but the old ones really work well.

Lori Ballen:                   Yeah, I love that. Do you ever back that up with any kind of direct mail or anything?

Aaron W.:                     Yeah. We have an Eight by Eight email campaign that we use and we’re actually implementing, as soon as the docs come in, we’re going to be implementing a 10-day blitz for expireds. A mailer every other day for 10 days on top of an Eight by Eight expired email campaign.

Lori Ballen:                   I love that and I’ll be fascinated to know what your results are after the fact. When I was doing direct mail, let’s see, it was 2007 to 2010, we were doing a ton of direct mail, and that’s where I was getting a lot of my business from expireds and it was through direct mail. And that’s exactly what I did, as soon as it expired the first day I sent a card, like a full on greeting card so there was a financial investment. But, everybody’s going to open a greeting card.

Aaron W.:                     Yeah.

Lori Ballen:                   That’s not something they’ll throw away, so I wanted to make sure that that landed. And then I set that up on a series to where it touched them seven times. Or, actually, I think it went 10 or 12, but seven was my average. It took about seven … So, if I was spending a buck apiece, it was like a seven dollar investment before I got that call. But I didn’t find over time that that was … It seemed like direct mail was waning. But I think with your calls and piggybacking on that direct mail, I love that brand reinforcement and trust. Oh, there he is again. Oh, there he is again. Right?

Aaron W.:                     I’m just going to bomb them for 10 days and I figure I’ll give it a try. I bought enough for 500 houses, so we’ll see how that goes. I figure after 500 we’re going to know if it works or not.

Lori Ballen:                   Yeah, I love that. I think that’s a really good idea. What else … So, anybody, that’s listening here in our last five minutes, what advice would you give somebody … You gave us great advice that one, they just need to stay on. They just need to be there for their three hours and do their dials. What else might help them be more successful?

Aaron W.:                     Realize that you’re not going to be very good for a long time.  Because basically, you’re going to suck, is the best way to put it.  What winds up happening with most people is like I say, you consistently dial for 15 hours a week.

So you talk to someone that’s brand new and they’re like, “Cold calling’s not for me.” I’ll be like, “Interesting. Why is that?” And they’re like, “Because it didn’t work last week.” I’ll be like, “So let me get this straight. You dialed for a week, right?”

They’re like, “Yeah, we dialed for a week. It didn’t work.” I’m like, “So, you dialed three hours a day, right?” They’d be like, “Well, no, we did more like two hours a day.” “Okay, got it. So you cold called for 10 hours last week?” And I’ll be like, “How many times were you going to the bathroom? Did you stop to talk to somebody? Did you grab a glass of water?” They’re like, “Ah, well, maybe half.” “Alright, so let me get this straight.

You lead generated for five hours last week and you wonder why you suck?”

[su_note note_color=”#fbfabf” radius=”4″]What winds up happening is people start off really bad. They just suck, then they kind of suck, then they just suck, then they’re like way below average, then they’re below average, and then they’re just average. They may never become better than average, but as long as you’re doing the consistent work day in and day out you will completely average your way to success.[/su_note]



Lori Ballen:                   I love it. You’ll average your way to success. That’s genius. How do you handle the rejection?

Aaron W.:                     You can’t be rejected by someone that doesn’t want to call you in the first place and somebody you’re not even looking at face-to-face.

The way that I look at it, rejection is like back in my single days or something where you go out and someone says, “I don’t want to have anything to do with you. You’re ugly.” That’s rejection. Rejection is like my wife telling me  (I don’t have any hair) but saying, “Your hair looks horrible.” That’s rejection. But these people, they never wanted to be called by you in the first place. So they don’t know you, they’ve never seen you, so how can you be rejected by someone that you’ve never seen and doesn’t want to hear from you ever? It’s not rejection.

Lori Ballen:                   Okay, well, how about if I’m worried that I’m disrupting somebody’s life?

Aaron W.:                     You are.

Lori Ballen:                   Yeah, you are.

Aaron W.:                     No, but here’s the thing though. The way you come at it is that I’m really good at my job. Like I’m really good. And I’m calling to help you out. Because you have this mindset that you’re helping to make a contribution, whatever you want to say, is that if you have that mindset that these people are just normal people that are pissed because if you think about it, your house just expired from the Multiple Listing Service, alright? And you had an agent for six months that didn’t do their job, and the next thing you know, you’ve got 37 million agents calling you? I would be pissed too. That’s why you’ve got to be the first one that makes the phone calls.

Lori Ballen:                   Ah, love it. Okay, so if anybody wants to send you a referral, do you have a team or is it just you?

Aaron W.:                     We actually … Like last year it was just me and my operations manager, so the transactions we did was just the two of us. Now I’ve got … The two of us, we’ve got a virtual assistant, we’ve got a buyer specialist and just brought in a listing specialist last week.

Lori Ballen:                   Whew, you’re about to go through some growing pains.

Aaron W.:                     I know, I’m looking forward to it, I think.

Lori Ballen:                   Ah, I remember that. Okay, so they would … I’ve got your number here, 914-406-6483, and I will put that in the write-up. You’re Aaron Wittenstein, Westchester, New York. And you told us the links to your training programs so we will put those in there as well. Is there anything else I didn’t ask you or any leaving thoughts for our audience?

 I think that whether it’s Internet marketing, whether it’s for sale by owners, whether it’s expired, whether it’s door knocking, whether it’s database, whether it’s whatever it is, just whatever you’re going to do, take the time to figure out what that is and consistently do it.

Contact Aaron

Keller Williams White Plains
120 Bloomingdale Road, Suite 101
White Plains, NY

Aaron Wittenstein
Mobile: 914-406-6483

Instagram Stories Real Estate Leads, Early Adopters WIN!

We ran an ad for $25 for four days and got 5,000 views,128 clicks, and 12 registrations.

Hey everybody. Welcome to this week’s show. I’m excited to have you guys all on here. For those of you that are listening for the first time, this post is from an original podcast. I also have a blog video series that goes along with it where we are talking specifically about lead generation for real estate.

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[su_button url=”” target=”blank” style=”soft” background=”#ff8f7e” color=”#000000″ size=”7″ wide=”yes” icon=”icon: hand-o-right” icon_color=”#000000″ text_shadow=”0px 0px 0px #000000″ onclick=”“]Sign up once for Instant Access to all Free Webinars[/su_button]

I don’t know all things about lead generation. My specialty is generating leads from the internet, specifically through Search Engine Rankings and Social Media. But there’s a lot out there that I haven’t learned yet.

So by bringing on other real estate agents on that specialize in a specific type of lead generation or have had some success with something new that they’re trying, we all learn.  I like to bring them on to have them share with us what it is that they’re doing.

Some of the agents that we interview are doing 24 transactions a year, and some are doing several hundred a year. And today happens to be one of the several hundred.

I have John Verdeaux on the call with me today. He is partners with Holli McCray. They are actually married and they are the number one real estate team in Tennessee.  Last year they did 406 transactions, which is super exciting. They’re big, big producers, and John is somebody a lot like me, generates a lot of his leads on the internet.


Lori Ballen:                   All right. This is very interesting. I know you guys personally, so it helps me a little bit with knowing how your team is wired a little bit. You guys have several streams of leads coming in, several different sources, and web is one of the larger ones that you guys do.

You also do radio. You have an ISA team, and of course, you’re doing sphere of influence and agent referrals. Is there anything major that I missed? Oh, pay-per-click marketing. Is there any other type of lead gen I didn’t mention?

John:                            No, those are the top sources. Those are the places we generate the vast majority of our business. I think you pretty much covered it there.

Lori Ballen:                   All right. You told me that 20% of all of your buyer leads are coming from social media ads, and 6% of your listing leads are coming from, also from social ads, which is also huge.

For the people that might hear 20% and 6% and automatically favor the buyer side, but most of us would raise our hands all day long for 6% of the listing side to be generated, because that’s, we all know, is where the money is, so that’s also really incredible.


Instagram Stories Ads

Specifically, we focus mainly on Instagram and Facebook. We create our own ads on both platforms routinely. We have our own system of generating buyer and seller leads.

We treat each as its own almost apartment per se because the value proposition is completely different and the ad structures are completely different when you’re focusing your attention to try to generate buyer or seller leads.

But like I said, we are very consistent and we’re very focused on those two platforms for lead generation.

Instagram works a little bit different because there are ways of doing it. If you’re going to, the way that a lot of people do it is they promote posts. They post a video of their listing or they post some sort of content on Instagram.

Then you can promote that post directly from the post, but you have to go through Instagram. Now once you created that ad, you can go to your ads manager account and then edit it from there. But in order to create the ad you’ve got to go through Instagram, put the post on Instagram and then create the ad. Now that’s one way of doing it.

The other way of doing it is actually creating a campaign like you would for Facebook ads, through your ads manager account on Facebook, and you can set up campaigns and ad groups for things like Instagram Stories, which we started doing too.

If you go into your account and you’re looking at it,  there are those little stories at the top of your account. They are like little circles and they show different people that you follow.

If they’ve posted an Instagram story, you’ll see it up at the top of your account there. They’re a popular way of getting information out to your followers and to keep in touch with people.

What Instagram has done fairly recently is allowed you to create ads that run specifically with those stories at the top, and the reason being is because there are a lot more eyes on Instagram stories than there are on the traditional posts based on the statistics.

Instagram has now monetized that, or Facebook I guess, they’re one and the same in terms of the paid business portion of it. You can run those ads on the stories and get a really great audience in terms of eyes looking at those ads on Instagram as opposed to just Facebook for those ads.

Instagram Stories ads work just like Facebook ads. You can create a specific audience that you can get that ad out to. Same structure, you’re going to go through the ads manager, create the campaign, you’re going to create your audience, just like you would on Facebook.

The only difference in that is instead of your placement being on say Facebook mobile, or the audience network or something like that, you’re going to specifically be creating an ad for stories. It’s going to say Stories on Instagram when you’re creating the campaign.

Everything for that campaign is done through ads manager, and then you’re just basically creating that campaign specifically for Instagram Stories.

Your audience could be whatever it wants. It can be location specific. It can be demographic specific. All of the tools that are available on Facebook for refining your audience are available for these ads too.


How it Works

How it works is someone’s scrolling through their Instagram account. They go up to the Stories. They click on one and they start scrolling through their Instagram Stories by swiping left or right, and they also scroll through on their own.

So you’re scrolling through your Stories or you’re looking through your daily updates from all of your followers or the people that you follow, and then within that action of moving through the different Stories, your ad will pop up, if that person fits the audience that you’re targeting.

Instagram Stories ads aren’t that old in the world of sponsored ads. We’ve been A/B testing a lot and we’re running buyer and seller ads.  I can tell you based on the last 60 days of data, the buyer ads that we’re running are doing much better than the seller ads.

Our seller ads on Facebook do very, very well, but so far we haven’t quite found the secret sauce on the Instagram Stories ads for sellers. But for buyers, we’re getting a lot of registrations from our Instagram Stories ads.


The Ads

When I started, I just googled Instagram Stories ads and looked at what some of the top companies out there like Coke, Pepsi are using for their ads, and kind of get a gauge of structure from there.

It’s very simple. I mean, for instance, the one we’re running right now just says, “Ready to buy a home? Search now.” It’s got a nice picture of a kitchen, and then there’s obviously the swipe up option at the bottom that’ll take you to how the ad works is a swipe.

So they swipe up and it takes them right to whatever site you’re generating, you’re trying to get traffic to. It’s the home search site for us. It doesn’t need to be wordy. It doesn’t need to have tons of content. Far less content than Facebook ads, but it’s just very basic, it is very right to the point.

So you want a high resolution image. We tried the video and it did okay, but the high-resolution picture of a kitchen or a really nice home and then basic text, like for instance, search now, ready to buy a home, that’s all we’ve got. You can do a little more, a little less.

On the click, we’re basically going to send them to a very generic link that’s going to get them to start searching for properties within the audience area that we’re targeting.

For instance, we live in Knoxville. So the link that they’re going to go to will take them immediately to homes that are for sale in Knoxville. We don’t want to get too specific because we don’t really know, unless what the price point they’re looking at, but you got to make sure that wherever you’re sending them it’s giving them immediately what they’re looking for.

For home search they swipe up, homes to look at, and should have the search customization features on your IDX page available so they can start customizing.

The campaign set up is almost exactly the same structure and everything, except you’re running in the Stories ad. The setup part is almost identical in terms of setting up the audience. If you understand how to do that on Facebook, this should be a breeze for you.

Where it gets, it’s different is actually when you’re creating the actual ad. The size of the photo is a lot different. You’re going to have to keep that in mind when you’re creating your because you’re going to have to do some Photoshop ahead of time. If you’re going to do a photo for example, you’ve got to put your text on that photo and Photoshop it on there before you actually upload it to your Facebook.

Canva is perfect.

I’ve run all sorts of different ads at this point. Just like Facebook, every few days you got to change them up anyway because they get stale.

We don’t run an ad more than or we don’t run the same ad more than five days. After five days we’re going to change it up with a new photo and a new value proposition maybe. Because what happens is the same people are seeing those ads a lot of times, and if it’s the same thing over and over again, its effectiveness begins to deteriorate. So you want to change it up.

💡 In yourAds Manager, in the delivery option, you can view your frequency score. The number there reflects how many times on average your viewers are seeing the same ad. Some Marketers will change their ads when that threshold reaches a certain limit. Ad Frequency can also affect your relevance score, which in turn can affect your ad costs.

We’re using professional photos in our ads from our own listings, the nice ones.


Costs And Time

It’s infinitely cheaper. I think that’s because there’s not a lot of people doing it. You have far less competition.

Here’s the reality. Social media advertising is so ridiculously cheap for what value it brings that it’s insane if you’re not doing it. In terms of ROI and in terms of effectiveness for lead gen, it is the best deal out there by far.

[su_note note_color=”#fbfabf” radius=”4″]Lori Ballen:  Yes, so long as you’re careful still with, I mean I’ve seen people put some ridiculous amounts of money in lead ads and things or paying through the roof on lead ads because they don’t understand how to set the audience up correctly or they’re choosing too many demographics in their audience, they’re paying too much, or their landing page is terrible, so their relevance score goes down, so there is a little … You’re right. It’s definitely more affordable. You still got to have a little bit of a handle on what you’re doing.[/su_note]

Yeah, that’s true, and it takes a lot of TLC. That’s always good to get somebody like [eafl id=”12705″ name=”Ballen Brands” text=”Ballen Brands”] to come in and do that for you if you don’t want to fool with it because it does require a lot of attention.

Lori Ballen:                   Are you looking at this every day, once a week? How often do you visit your account?

John:                            Three to four times a week probably. On the side we’re always doing a lot of things. We’re running boosted listing video posts. Those are really effective for getting register-

Lori Ballen:                   On Facebook or Instagram?

John:                            Both, on Facebook and Instagram. We’re doing some other stuff while we’re doing these.

Lori Ballen:                   Tell me about that. What did you say, it’s a listing video, so it’s one of your current listings that you’ve got professional video-

John:                            Yes. So our photographer will do a video of our listings, the nice ones at least, the ones that garner, that would benefit from that. Then we’re just posting it on Facebook along on Instagram with the video along with a link back to the actual listing with all the details on our IDX site and-

We ran an ad for $25 for four days and got 5,000 views,128 clicks, and 12 registrations.

Our sellers are thrilled because they’re getting tons of exposure on their listing too, so it’s a win-win.


Ad Targeting

Lori Ballen:                   Okay, so let me ask you on those demographics. You’ve got a new listing and it’s in Knoxville and it’s, I don’t even know your guys’ price range, $800,000 house, whatever, it’s a nice one, and you do the virtual tour on it, you run the video ads. It has a link back to more information, and that’s where they register to become a lead, right?

John:                            Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Lori Ballen:                   When you run that ad, who is your target audience?

John:                            This is where the grinding comes in, and this is where having guys like you come in and do it for you is important because it’s taken a long time to figure out what the secret sauce is, and really it’s not any more difficult than … We’ve really just narrowed it down to a radius around the property …

Lori Ballen:                   How far?

John:                            Whatever the radius of the city is.

Lori Ballen:                   How far of a radius?

John:                            It depends on the city. For instance, if it’s in Knoxville we’re going to do 40 miles. If it’s in a smaller satellite city, then we might do more. It depends on where it is and what’s around it. Say we do 40 miles in Knoxville, and people who have … You have three options.

You have lived in, or recently been to, or currently in. We do people who are currently in, that area, and that’s it. I mean, there really nothing more complicated than that.

We’ve tried to narrow it down and refining the range and it’s absolutely killed our conversion.

Lori Ballen:                   Yeah, yeah. That’s what I was going to say. There are a couple things that I’m seeing with the target demographics, and I think there’s a time for it, I think especially with certain seller ones or you’re trying to reach, like if I want to reach teachers and I want to promote the Homes for Heroes program or the Teachers Program, I’m going to target firefighters or I’m going to target teachers or things like that here in Nevada.

But when you’re talking about people that potentially might buy a house, the second you check off that little box that says likely to move, the cost-per-click goes through the roof and it completely changes the demographic based on their lifestyle situations.

Then you add age. You add income. You add the male. You add female. Every time you add an audience you’re changing your cost-per-click for those demographics. Now you get fewer clicks, you’re not reaching as many people, and it doesn’t necessarily add up to a higher conversion rate either unless it’s a really specialty thing.

If it’s a specialty thing and you really need … If somebody’s going to market cat products, they really should choose people that have a cat.

But if somebody is going to buy a house, I think somebody in the area is your absolute best candidate. I mean, I do think to myself sometimes like, “Okay, if this is a million dollar home or even a $500,000 home in Vegas,” which is in the mid-range for us, I used to select all the income because I only wanted people that could qualify for that price range, but then I realized I’m actually shooting myself in the foot.

It’s kind of like if you sit at an open house you’re probably not going to sell that house. Your goal is to pick up the buyers that come in there and sell them a different one probably.  You’re probably going to sell them a different house because that house isn’t going to match something that they want.

Well, the same is true with these Facebook ads. If you don’t give them the ability to click through and start shopping for homes, even if they’re in a different price range, you’ve never gotten the opportunity to actually capture that person’s interest that might actually want to buy a house. They just might not be in that price range.

John:                            Right. And you never know if mom’s on Facebook and sees the house and maybe their kids looking for a house or uncle or relative, and oh my gosh. A lot of times you see people tag other people on your sponsored posts, and that’s because they know somebody who might be interested in that property.

Lori Ballen:                   Do you do anything with those tags? Do you communicate with the people that tag at all?

John:                            We try to respond to everybody. Sometimes those tags are a little weird because you really don’t know what their purpose is, but generally we’ll respond back and say, “Hey, if you need any more information about this property, or ones like it, let us know, and we’ll post, we’ll reply back to it.” I would say 2 to 3 times out of 10 we’ll get a response.

When you’re targeting your neighborhood think of the age range and the price range of your neighborhood because you’ve got to remember, Instagram is a much younger crowd. It’s fine, it’s great, but are you going to do well luxury homeless things on Instagram? Probably not.

A lot of people like it better than Facebook who are younger. I think that you listen to the people that are credible in the world, they think that it’ll eventually overtake Snapchat with the evolution, so not say that’s going to happen but I’ve heard that. So it’s important.

Again, now is the time to get in, get your feet wet and get smart about this because this is totally going down another road. But I think over time as larger companies realize that spending their marketing dollars on social media is better than spending it on TV commercials, which I think will happen in the near future, you’re going to start seeing the cost of this stuff going up.

And it’ll be like where pay-per-click is now. 10 years ago if you did pay-per-click it was next to nothing in terms of cost, but now it’s expensive. We’ve shifted a lot of money away from pay-per-click in the last I would say six to eight months into social because not only is it cheaper, but our conversion rates are starting to improve on social to the point where it’s not making less and less sense for us to spend the money on pay-per-click. It just depends.


Lead Conversion

With these types of leads, if you have a [eafl id=”11654″ name=”Auto Pilot ISA” text=”good follow-up system whether it be automated or through your ISA”] department and whatnot and a good touch program, that number goes up dramatically.

Lori Ballen:                   Yeah, still as industry averages it’s ridiculously low and I think that’s what people don’t realize, that there really has to be, there just has to be a system in place to actually see these all the way through. You wind up spending a bunch of money, you might be able to capture a lot of leads on one particular ad, but if you don’t have the systems and processes in place it makes it very challenging to get those to the closing table for the ads.

Listen to more of our Agent Success Series on Youtube, The Blog, and the Podcast.

John Verdeaux | Holli McCray Team
Keller Williams Realty, 5616 Kingston Pike, Knoxville, TN 37919
Phone: (865) 291-0355

5 Ways to Keep Your WordPress Website Secure

Hello everyone, It’s Kevin with [eafl id=”13612″ name=”Infusionsoft Demo” text=”Ballen Brands”], and today I’m going to introduce the 5 most important steps you can take to keep your WordPress Website safe and secure.

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[su_button url=”” target=”blank” style=”soft” background=”#ff8f7e” color=”#000000″ size=”7″ wide=”yes” icon=”icon: hand-o-right” icon_color=”#000000″ text_shadow=”0px 0px 0px #000000″ onclick=”“]Check our WordPress Powered, IDX Driven Real Estate Agent Website[/su_button]

1. Use Strong Passwords

According to Wikipedia, here is a list of the top 20 most common passwords from 2017.

  1. 123456
  2. password
  3. 12345678
  4. qwerty
  5. 12345
  6. 123456789
  7. letmein
  8. 1234567
  9. football
  10. iloveyou
  11. admin
  12. welcome
  13. monkey
  14. login
  15. abc123
  16. starwars
  17. 123123
  18. dragon
  19. passw0rd
  20. master

If you’re using a password that’s even remotely close to any of these, you should change them as soon as possible. The strongest passwords are those that have a random assortment of upper and lower case letters, numbers, and special characters.


2. Update Themes and Plugins

Outdated themes and plugins may have security vulnerabilities that put your website at risk. Check your themes and plugins on a regular basis and update them when updates are available.

If you use free plugins from the repository, it’s a good idea to occasionally check to make sure those plugins have not been removed. Sometimes a plugin is removed from the repository because of security risks, so if you find that one of your plugins is no longer available, or if the developer of the plugin has stopped releasing updates, it may be best to remove that plugin from your website and use an alternative.


3. Delete Unused Themes and Plugins

If a theme or plugin contains a security vulnerability, your website could still be at risk even if the theme or plugin is inactive, so it’s a good idea to delete items that are no longer in use.


4. Limit Login Attempts

One of the most common methods that hackers use to gain access to your website is through a brute force attack. This is where a hacker uses automated software to repeatedly guess your login credentials, over and over, until it guesses correctly. By using a plugin that limits login attempts, incorrect logins will be blocked from repeated attempts.

Ballen Brands offers managed WordPress hosting, which automatically has a Limit Logins plugin activated. You can view the settings for this plugin by going to Settings > Limit Login Attempts.


5. Backup Your Website on a Recurring Schedule

Keeping backups of your website files and database are an important step for website security so that if your website does become compromised, you can restore it to a previous version without losing all of your data.

Ballen Brands managed WordPress hosting includes scheduled website backups every day, and the backups are stored for 30 days. If you’re using an unmanaged web hosting service that doesn’t offer automatic backups, you can use a plugin such as Updraft Plus to schedule backups yourself.

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$2,000,000 in Real Estate Sales from One Knocked Door

Hey, everybody. Thanks for joining me today. Welcome to the agent success series where we focus on lead generation for real estate agents. My name is Lori Ballen, and I have a real estate team here in Las Vegas, Nevada, serving Henderson and North Las Vegas. All of my real estate leads come from the internet, from web marketing, real estate websites, pay-per-click, and from real estate agent referrals on social media.

Audio Interview

I’m out here interviewing top agents across the nation and even out of the country, talking about what they do and how they generate a large amount of real estate leads through a particular source.

Today, we have Robin Mann who is here to talk about Door Knocking and how she sold 2 million dollars in real estate from one door knock!

It’s a mindset. For me, I’m not bothering anyone. I’m not soliciting. I’m not selling anything. I am truly inquiring. I’m trying to be of help. I’m coming from contribution, which is, again, another Keller Williams thought pattern.


Today I’m here with Robin Mann, who got snow today, I understand.

Where are you at, Robin, where you got snow today?

Robin Mann:                 Well, I’m in Charlotte, North Carolina. I also serve the Fort Mill, South Carolina area, but Charlotte, which …

We get snow typically twice a year. We got snow today. Schools got closed, which literally we get four flakes, there schools get closed. But, yeah, we’re not used to snow, so we don’t have trucks or salt or anything. So, when it snows, it’s a big deal. Yeah, we were shocked to … It’s not like anything … It’s all gone now, but they just get afraid for buses and all that good stuff.

Lori Ballen:                   Yeah, that’s what happens to us in Vegas when it rains. Nobody knows what the heck to do when it’s raining. I’m surprised our schools don’t close. They probably should.

All right, so you serve Charlotte, North Carolina and Fort Mill, South Carolina, so anybody that has a referral, I’m gonna encourage you to remember Robin Mann who is gonna share with us today … You’re gonna talk about your techniques in door knocking.

Am I reading your bio here correctly that 62% of your business comes from door knocking?

Robin Mann:                 No. I do door knocking and I don’t know whether you want me to speak today about door knocking or whether about Facebook-

Lori Ballen:                   Door knocking.

Robin Mann:                 Okay.

Lori Ballen:                   Yeah.

Robin Mann:                 Door knocking, I got my largest client ever from door knocking.

Lori Ballen:                   Tell us about that. Tell us about that.

Robin Mann:                 It was phenomenal. I had sold a townhome in this little subdivision. They sold for 180. We had 20 offers in one day, had 42 showings. It was insane. So, that told my brain I needed to knock this neighborhood because obviously, it’s a hot commodity.

So, I knocked the neighborhood. I knocked on this beautiful older lady’s door and she answered the door. I told her what had just happened and I was looking for homes to sell and was she interested. She said, “Of course.” She said, “Yes, I am. Come on in.”

I don’t always go in, but I really trust my intuition. Read the vibe, it felt good. I didn’t feel like I was gonna get killed or anything, so went in and we started talking. She’s like, “Yeah, I want you to sell this townhome,” and she said, “But I really want you to sell the eight townhomes that I own with a partner up in Cotswold.”

Cotswold is an up-and-coming area of Charlotte, so as soon as she said it, my knees buckled. I lost all the saliva in my mouth ’cause I was like, “This can’t be real.” ‘Cause I knew it would be over a million at least, just from that moment, the statement.

Yeah. Ended up selling it for 1.2 and, again, multiple offers. Then ended up helping her buy a house. She was gonna not buy a house and then she called and she was like, “You know what? I’ve decided to buy.” So, one door knock led to about two million dollars in sales.

Lori Ballen:                   Oh, that’s gonna be the title of this interview. Holy cow, that’s an incredible start. [inaudible 00:03:54] I’ll tell you.

So, tell me, how long have you been in real estate?

Robin Mann:                 I’m in my fourth year.

Lori Ballen:                   Oh, fourth year? So you’re pretty new. Wow.

Robin Mann:                 Yes.

Lori Ballen:                   That’s really exciting then. So you got into real estate and you just started door knocking because somebody said you should door knock, or how did that come to be?

Robin Mann:                 Yes. My first nine months, I had another full-time job from 8:00 to 5:00 and I did real estate before work, at lunch, and then after work, and then, of course, all weekend.

I needed business ’cause I didn’t wanna take the leap of a full-time real estate position without feeling like I was gonna be successful. If I didn’t have an open house available, I decided I would door knock.

I just would pick neighborhoods that I like or that have good sales in there or they just seem like it’s a neighborhood that I would want to connect with people. Either they had good schools, or they’re in a good location, or I know that the probability of something listing will sell.

Yeah, I just started knocking. Of course, I’m with Keller Williams, and of course, that’s one of the avenues that they tell you to do if you’re comfortable with it. I make it very personal-

Lori Ballen:                   Tell me first. When it comes to door knocking, a lot of people that I know in real estate, including myself, would be absolutely completely freaked out to go knock on doors. That’s just not … Other people are natural at it, and then some just figure it out. Where do you fall on that spectrum? Are you naturally not afraid of that type of thing?

Robin Mann:                 No, I’m not afraid. I remember being in fifth grade selling whatever the school made you sell so that you could get points so you could get the prize stuff out of the magazine.

Lori Ballen:                   Oh, very nice.

Robin Mann:                 So, I remember doing that way back when. But, no, I don’t ever knock in a neighborhood that I feel unsafe in. I have knocked in-

Lori Ballen:                   I don’t mean scared like unsafe. I mean more like the fear of rejection, and getting shut down, and bothering people, and … You just never had any concerns about that?

Robin Mann:                 No, because it’s a mindset. For me, I’m not bothering anyone. I’m not soliciting. I’m not selling anything. I am truly inquiring. I’m trying to be of help. I’m coming from contribution, which is, again, another Keller Williams thought pattern.

I’m coming from contribution. My deal is that I’ve got buyers that wanna be in this neighborhood and I’m looking for people who wanna sell their home, so-

Lori Ballen:                   Okay, so that’s always your approach every time?

Robin Mann:                 Always.

Lori Ballen:                   Okay.

Robin Mann:                 Every single time, even if I don’t-

Lori Ballen:                   You say, “I have buyers in your neighborhood …”

Robin Mann:                 “I have buyers that wanna be in your neighborhood and looking to find out if you or if you know one of your neighbors looking to sell their home.”

Lori Ballen:                   Do you give any specifics, or is that it? “I have buyers looking to buy in your neighborhood.”

Robin Mann:                 I usually try to be as general as possible. If they go further like what are they looking for … Which I don’t know that I’ve ever had that. I knock a lot of homes.

I should say I knock a lot of homes and I have maybe … Let’s say I’ve knocked … We’ll just say low. I know I’ve knocked way more than this. Let’s say if I’ve knocked 100 homes, I’ve maybe had two people ever be rude. Ever.

So, yes, I always come from contribution. Or even, “Do you wanna know the value of your home?” But typically if I’ve sold a home in the neighborhood, I’ll obviously say, “I just sold that home down the street. I know you saw it on the market. I don’t know if you came to the open house.”

But I just try to let ’em know I’ve got somebody wants to be in the neighborhood and I’m looking to help.

Lori Ballen:                   How frequently are you … I know you have other sources. You mentioned the 62% is Facebook sphere and door knocking. How often are you actually door knocking?

Robin Mann:                 At least two times a month, and I should do more. I’m working on my leverage so that I can do more, but-

Lori Ballen:                   Yeah, because when you get busy, the first thing to go typically is lead generation, ’cause now you’re doing deals, right?

Robin Mann:                 Exactly.

Lori Ballen:                   Yeah. I totally get it.

Robin Mann:                 At least two times a month. It’s a non-negotiable that I’m doing it at least two times a month, because I know two times a month I need to be meeting people.

And some of these neighborhoods I’ve built relationships. They’re like, “Oh, you’re here. You still have buyers.” I’m like, “Yup, I’m back. I love what you’ve done to your plants. Your dog looks great.” So, I really, truly try to make a connection with the people when I am door knocking. It’s not just, “Hey, I’m Robin Mann. Do you know anyone who wants to buy/sell/invest in real estate?”

That’s not my spiel at all. My spiel is I knock on the door, I back up physically two or three steps from the door so I’m not all up in their space, I try to make-

Lori Ballen:                   Yeah, I’ve heard that’s a very purposeful strategy to back up when you knock on a door.

Robin Mann:                 Yeah. Yeah, ’cause then you’re not so in their face. I back up and I try to notate the house that I’m walking up. Do they have pretty flowers, or do I love what they’ve done on the porch? If I hear a dog, I try to look at the dog when it comes to the door.

Instantly I try to make some form of connection. I might even lead with that. Usually, I’ll say, “Hey, I’m Robin Mann with Keller Williams,” but then I might go straight into, “Oh, my gosh, your dog is so cute. What is he,” and try to get them to be in conversation about something. About their porch. “Oh, I just saw that pillow set at Lowe’s and I was thinking about getting it. I love seeing it on this porch. What else are you gonna add to the porch to make that color pop?”

Just try to engage them in some conversation. Ask them about the dogwood tree or whatever. I just really, truly pick out something to connect.

Lori Ballen:                   So it’s just like you would in a listing appointment. First thing you’re gonna do when you go in is you’re gonna try to create some sort of rapport, find something in common for a picture, something on the wall, or the animals, or … So, same idea.

Robin Mann:                 Same exact idea. Then I usually laugh and say something like, “Okay, not here about the dogwood tree. I’m here because I’ve got buyers who wanna be in the neighborhood. They love the neighborhood school. Do you know anyone that’s looking to sell, or are you, yourself, looking to sell?”

They’ll say yes or they’ll say no. But then I try not to even just leave it there. If they say no, I try to find out can I get their e-mail so that I can do a CMA for them so that I can put ’em in my database and I can build that relationship.

Lori Ballen:                   Are you carrying an iPad, or how are you gathering info?

Robin Mann:                 Just my phone.

Lori Ballen:                   Oh, your phone? Okay.

Robin Mann:                 Used to carry a notebook and I don’t do that anymore. I just carry my phone and I have the notes on my phone and I just type ’em in.

Even let’s say I knock on a house and it goes nowhere. Maybe I’ve met the person. I will go back and make notes. I think that’s the key for door knocking is to make notes as you leave. One to make the connection, but let’s say you get nothing, but you’ve met the person.

Here’s a story on that. The woman answered the door. She had a big, giant bandage on her arm and I was like, “Oh, wow. That does not look happy.” She was like, “Yeah, I just had shoulder surgery.” I was like, “Wow.” So, we talked about that a little bit. She doesn’t wanna sell her house, she doesn’t want a CMA, so I got nothing. Nothing. I got nothing from her, but what I got was that I know she had shoulder surgery and I know her address, and I know I can look up her name on tax records.

I looked up her name, wrote her a get well card, threw my business card in there. “Would love to talk with you whenever you’re ready to sell your house.” That happened in the spring. Last spring, last April. She had no interest in selling, and then we looked at her house and sold it this fall.

Lori Ballen:                   Wow. ‘Cause you took the time to be personal and send her a card and show that you paid attention and cared.

Robin Mann:                 Exactly.

Lori Ballen:                   Yeah. When you’re making all these notes, after you get back with your phone, are you transferring them to a database of some sort, or do you just continue to use your notes?

Robin Mann:                 Oh, yeah. No, I’m a beast on my database. I write the notes then I e-mail it to myself. From my notes section, I e-mail it to myself and then, once I get home, yeah, I enter ’em into the database.

Lori Ballen:                   What are you using for a database? What’s your system?

Robin Mann:                 I use Realty RealtyJuggler. RealtyJuggler is $99 a month. If you mention my name, then we both get a free month or something, but-

Lori Ballen:                   I used to use that database years ago.

Robin Mann:                 Yeah, I love that. It’s a great database, and for $99 a month, you can’t beat it. It’s a great resource.

Lori Ballen:                   Okay, so you’re door knocking, and when you go to pick a neighborhood, do you set any goals like, “Today I’d like to knock on this many doors.” Do you ever track how many doors it actually takes to get to a contact or to an appointment, or do you just do a time span and say, “I’m gonna knock for two hours?” How do you measure that or set goals around that?

Robin Mann:                 Typically I do a time span, and I’ll even do a quick time span. I’m like, “I’ve got 15 minutes. I’m gonna knock as many doors as I can in 15 minutes.” But the bonus is, if you do one door and you get a lead and you spend the whole 15 minutes, that’s fine.

Lori Ballen:                   Yeah. Well, I love that you said that, though, because in case anybody else didn’t hear that, that was a huge takeaway right there. If you’ve got 15 minutes … You don’t have to have two hours, or three hours, or 500 doors, or 100 doors. You’ve just got 15 minutes you’re gonna go door knock, that’s fantastic.

Robin Mann:                 Right, yeah, and that’s the way …

Well, I have a tracking system for myself that I have to do to keep myself accountable. I make myself contact 20 people a day whether it be via text, via Facebook, door knocking, whatever it is. I give myself 20 contacts a day. If I haven’t done that, if I’m at 15 and it’s 8:00 at night, then I’ve gotta get on something.

Now, there are days where I’ll only do 18 and so the next day I’ll do 22, but my goal is-

Lori Ballen:                   Are those new contacts, Robin, or are those … Can you touch base with a contact you already have?

Robin Mann:                 It can be both.

Lori Ballen:                   Okay.

Robin Mann:                 Every day I try to be intentional about putting new ones in there in some capacity, so at least five of the 20 are new. The other 15 might be database nurturing.

Lori Ballen:                   Okay. So you’re at least trying to get five new ones, but no matter what, you wanna talk to an average of 20 contacts a day.

Robin Mann:                 Correct.

Lori Ballen:                   Okay, so you’ve got 15 minutes, you jump on and you go door knock or you have other avenues. Is there anything else when it comes to door knocking …

I noticed on your little pre-interview, here, we did that you got some advice that you would give people that are starting off with door knocking. In one of those, you said, “Be authentic and not salesy.” Which, it sounds like that’s what you’re saying by coming from contribution and saying, “I’ve got buyers,” that you’re not just, “Hey, I’m with Keller Williams. Do you wanna sell your house?”

Robin Mann:                 Exactly. Well, be authentic, but then also know your neighborhood. If there’s a gas station coming in, be versed on that. Or if there’s a school rezoning, be versed on that, because they’re gonna wanna discuss that.

I do pick random neighborhoods on occasion just because I’m like, “Well, I know that neighborhood’s hot. I’m gonna knock it,” but I’m really good at winging it and saying, “I’m not clear on that fully, but let me research it and get back to you.” I do that on occasion, but I feel better and more confident when it’s a neighborhood where I know that, when they come at me with, “What do you think about the gas station coming in? Is that gonna hurt our values,” if I’ve already researched that, it’s a bonus.

Lori Ballen:                   I think what you just said is another huge takeaway for actually any type of lead generation that we’re doing in real estate where we’re targeting something hyperlocal or geographic farming or specific neighborhood or area. The more we know the homes in the area, what is sold in the area, what new construction is coming in, what that big pit is on the side that they suddenly started digging, how that’s gonna affect your home values, that’s huge.

Robin Mann:                 Yes, that is huge. It is huge, and it gives you credibility. It gives you validity, so yeah, I never try to be salesy, but I try to be real. I think part of that is knowing what’s important to them. You need to know that that gas station’s coming so that you can get them more information on it.

But let’s say they ask you something, it’s way out of your zone, your wheelhouse. You’ve got nothing on it. Say, “You know what? I’m so glad you asked that. I’m gonna research that this afternoon and get you more information on it.” That’s your opportunity to get their e-mail, to get their contact information.

Lori Ballen:                   Right. Are you-

Robin Mann:                 You can usually [crosstalk 00:18:21].

Lori Ballen:                   Are you geographic farming any of those? Are you doing anything else besides door knocking, or are you backing it up with any kind of direct mail or sponsored events or anything yet?

Robin Mann:                 No. I’m so organic. I’m so organic. I do Facebook organically, I’ll do the ads, I do door knocking organically. Not that any of that is not organic. I’m cheap. I’m really cheap as well, but-

Lori Ballen:                   You lead with revenue, right? You’re leading with revenue.

Robin Mann:                 Exactly. [crosstalk 00:18:50] $14 million in sales last year, 56 transactions. I just haven’t done any investments on the money because I just wanna do it this way.

Lori Ballen:                   That’s a huge thing, too, because I think a lot of people are under a false impression that they have to start off in their business with some large amounts of money to go out there and buy business, and it’s actually the opposite.

We wanna be lead generating, we wanna be leading with revenue, without dollars and costs attached to them as much as possible, especially in the beginning, and then add in marketing and pay-per-click, or direct mail, or [crosstalk 00:19:33]-

Robin Mann:                 Exactly.

Lori Ballen:                   … because that’s … You’re gonna-

Robin Mann:                 That’s wonderful. I need you to teach me all that, ’cause I don’t know that yet.

Lori Ballen:                   That I can do.

Robin Mann:                 Yeah. No, but yeah, you don’t have to. A lot of people get freaked out. They’re like, “Oh, I have to have a pretty, shiny, glossy flyer to go door knock, or a door hanger, or a goody bag.”

No, you don’t. You need you-

Lori Ballen:                   No.

Robin Mann:                 … and a smile, and a willingness to connect with people, and a willingness to go walk and do the work.

I have another colleague down in Columbia, South Carolina. She’s a beast at door knocking. She takes her son and they make a day of it. It’s beautiful and fun. So, I got inspired by her, too, by doing the door knocking.

Lori Ballen:                   I would-

Robin Mann:                 It’s a great way to do this.

Lori Ballen:                   … think some sort of consistency … You’re at the point, now, where you’ve got a big business and you’re doing a lot of transactions, so you’ve got several sources, now, of lead gen. But I would think when somebody’s just getting started …

One of the pieces of advice I often give people when they’re just getting started is pick something and do it consistently, even if you’re not the best at it, even if you don’t know what you’re doing yet and you gotta fake it till you make it and figure it out on the fly. Get out there and do it religiously. Do it systematically and through a process and consistently, and don’t stop. I think that consistency wins every time, even over strategy.

Robin Mann:                 I think you’re right. I think it’s harder, yeah, and I do believe follow up and consistency, and just being smart.

There was a guy in our office. He had three spiral-bound notebooks loaded, just loaded with door-knocking notes, but he never did anything with ’em. He never followed up. He just wrote the stuff down. He just knocked on this door, met Betty, but he never went back and talked to Betty or sent her a note or anything.

Lori Ballen:                   That’s where the system comes in, right? That’s where the system and process comes in.

Robin Mann:                 Right. Exactly. He just wasted-

Lori Ballen:                   And it doesn’t stop … Go ahead.

Robin Mann:                 I said he just wasted his hours. He just wasted his hours. He doesn’t have any way to follow up, he’s not doing anything to further his business. I’m like, “I can’t believe you do that.” He’s got so much business sitting right there in front of him and he didn’t utilize it.

Lori Ballen:                   Yeah. I see that all the time. I see that a lot with open houses. People sitting the open house, they put the signs up, but they only put four signs up instead of strategically mapping out the areas to put ’em in all the corners. Then people come through and they’re not talking to ’em and they’re not having ’em register or anything. They’re coming in the door and out the door without a big conversation.

Or worse, they’re collecting the data when people come in and then they’re not following up. They’re not doing anything after the fact because they feel like-

Robin Mann:                 Exactly.

Lori Ballen:                   … they’re going through the motions of sitting the open house.

And that is the consistency key, is being there, but then you wanna have a system and a process for what happens now. What do I want to happen when I-

Robin Mann:                 Exactly.

Lori Ballen:                   … door knock or have this open house, or do my pay-per-click marketing? How many leads do I hope to get and how many of those would I like to convert, and how am I gonna get them there?

That’s where your database comes in and a system and process around that. But, man, somebody can … I’m always telling people that they listen to every lead generation source and every shiny object. They wanna go buy this or go do this, and all of this works if you work it at a high level. If you just commit and be consistent, whether it’s-

Robin Mann:                 Exactly.

Lori Ballen:                   … Facebook, or open houses, or building websites, sitting mall kiosks, whatever it is. It all works.

I know a girl just killing it right now on the new Nextdoor social network. I know somebody else killing it on Instagram. I know somebody else that’s still killing ’em on for-sale-by-owners and expireds. Yeah, it’s just doing it at a high level.

That’s why I wanted to talk to you, because I think door knocking is one of those things still that there is a lot of fear around and there’s a lot of people that’ll say it doesn’t work anymore or that people don’t answer their doors. I think it’s nice to hear that this is still an avenue that works.

It doesn’t require a lot of money up front; it just requires time and the commitment and the process for how you’re gonna cultivate those relationships. Because if you hadn’t stopped and sent that woman a card who was in the cast, you wouldn’t have gotten that list.

Robin Mann:                 Right, exactly. And people are really nice if you approach them in the right way. Like I said, I’ve probably had two … If you said I’ve done 100 doors, which I’ve probably done a thousand doors. But no one has been mean.

Even the no-soliciting neighborhoods, a lot of people get intimidated by that. They’re like, “Well, it says no soliciting.” I’m not selling anything. I’m introducing myself and seeing if they need help. That’s what I said-

Lori Ballen:                   Well, that’s a good point.

Robin Mann:                 What’s that?

Lori Ballen:                   I said that’s a good point. I hadn’t thought about that. I would naturally avoid the no soliciting, but you’re not selling anything. You’re there to offer, to let them know you have buyers in the neighborhood. You’re not trying to sell ’em anything.

Have you found that there’s any better time to knock on doors than another?

Robin Mann:                 Yes. Well, really again, I’ve done it in the middle of a weekday afternoon and you get the stay-at-home moms, which is great, ’cause they always like to talk. But then weekends are great because everybody’s at home, they’re out in the yard.

I take full advantage of the guy in the yard cutting the grass. I don’t interrupt him while he’s cutting the grass, but I know he’s home. And most of the time, if you walk into his yard, he’s gonna say hi. So, yeah, weekends are great if it’s a nice weekend. Our weather here is fantastic, so I can door knock eight months out of the year and it not be uncomfortable weather.

I guess weekends are probably best, but then weekdays have been good, too. When I knocked on her door, it was a weekday afternoon. So-

Lori Ballen:                   So, essentially, any time that you’re willing to do it, go. Right?

Robin Mann:                 Yeah. Anytime you have, go, yes. Because either it’s gonna-

Lori Ballen:                   And-

Robin Mann:                 What’s that?

Lori Ballen:                   Sorry, there’s a lag over each other. When you knock on a door and somebody doesn’t answer, do you leave anything on their door?

Robin Mann:                 I do, I leave … Well, it depends. The majority of the time, yes, I will leave my business card if it’s a hot neighborhood. Yes, I will leave my business card.

Some people are like, “Oh, you’re just throwing it away,” but I have received several phone calls where they’re like, “Hey, I got home and your card was on my door. What do you need?” That gives me … I’ve got a phone number and I’ve got a person to talk to.

You don’t have to leave a card, but you can. If there’s something … It’s really about just being aware of your surroundings. If you see a big, blue baby ribbon on the door, well, there you go. You can look up their tax things, you’ve got their address, you know that they just had a baby. Send ’em a congratulations card. The card can say, “Was knocking on the neighborhood, saw the baby blue ribbon. Congratulations. If your house is too small now, call me.”

Lori Ballen:                   Yeah. Yeah, absolutely.

Robin Mann:                 So, yeah. It’s just about being aware of your surroundings and utilizing the things you have there.

Lori Ballen:                   The last question, when I asked you about your biggest challenge in door knocking, you said, “Competing with a bunch of other real estate agents.” Did you mean specifically door knocking, or do you mean in real estate in general?

Robin Mann:                 Probably in real estate in general. As far as door knocking, we have a lot of real estate agents that do the farming, that do the postcards. The shiny, pretty postcards. Those are there and the magnets are on the fridge.

But what I have found is I’ve received this comment a significant amount of times where they say, “Wow, you took the time to knock. You’re the one out here doing the legwork. That’s impressive.” Something along those lines. So, they see you’re doing something different ’cause you’re out there doing the legwork.

But yeah, Charlotte, we have over 16,000 agents in the Charlotte Metro area, so the competition here is stiff. You have to do something to be different, or you’re gonna get swallowed up.

Lori Ballen:                   Yeah. All right, so you acknowledge that there is competition, but there’s not as much doing what you’re doing, and that’s how you’re standing out, which is always the key. Find the opportunity, find the gap and fill it, because that’s how you’re gonna stand out.

Robin Mann:                 Exactly.

Lori Ballen:                   All right, Robin, well thank you so much for joining me today. I think that there’s a lot of takeaways, here, that people can learn. I think the main ones just get out there. Even if you’ve got 15 minutes, get out there and do it.

I love you’re adding 20 contacts a day to your database. Hopefully, five of them are new; that’s fantastic.

Robin Mann:                 Thank you.

Lori Ballen:                   And just being consistent and authentic. So, anybody, if you’ve got referrals for Charlotte, North Carolina, Fort Mill, South Carolina, keep Robin Mann in mind. She’s with Keller Williams and would love your referrals.

Any leaving words for ’em, Robin?

Robin Mann:                 Just go make it enjoyable. You don’t have to put on a fancy suit. Just go be you and go be enjoyable. I would say that in anything you’re doing. If a fancy suit is you, great, you go do that, too. But I think for me, I think any success I’ve had is because of authenticity because that’s what I hear from my clients. “We liked you because you’re real,” or, “We liked you because you weren’t stuffy.”

So, yeah, just go be yourself. I love my job and I say that a lot. One, to convince myself, but one, because I do love my job. So-

Lori Ballen:                   Yeah.

Robin Mann:                 … just love it and go do it, and don’t be afraid. People are actually nicer than we give ’em credit for I would say 90% of the time.

Lori Ballen:                   That’s fantastic. That’s great advice. Thank you so much. I respect your time and I’ll let you get back to your snow melts out there.


How to Update Your WordPress Themes

Hey, this is Sabrina, lead trainer for Ballen Brands. Today I’m going to show you how to upgrade your themes in WordPress.

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Now if your theme is out of date, then you may notice that there are certain functionalities of that theme that may not work properly on your website at that time, and it also makes your website more susceptible for hackers.

To update your themes, you’re going to go to appearance, then themes from the backend of your WordPress site, and it will show you which themes are available for an update. From here, you can go ahead and just click on that update now button on any themes that need updated.

And I’m going to leave this one for now. And once it’s done, you’ll get these little green updated bars, basically saying that your theme update has been successful. After that, there’s nothing else that you need to do.



If you have any questions, you can contact us at If you liked this video, feel free to go ahead and [eafl id=”12782″ name=”Youtube Lori Ballen” text=”subscribe to our channel.”] And if you want to learn more about online marketing, go ahead and head over to and check out our online training course. Thanks for watching.

SCRIPTS that Convert | Keller Williams Family Reunion | Jackie Kravitz

This video is from the Keller Williams 2018 Breakout Session: Effective Lead Generation that Converts presented By: Jackie Kravitz. What a power-packed valuable session this was and I was happy to be personally present. We took away some incredible scripts.

50% of new expired listings relist in 48 hours; 80% of FSBOs list the property in three weeks.

Learn how to build your own systems and scripts to maximize your incoming leads to their full potential, as well as convert leads into appointments.

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There are so many companies selling leads and buyer leads. Just take listings, and you’re going to have more buyers than you know what to do with it.

Part 1: FSBOs and Expired Listings (Jackie Kravitz)

For sale by owner and expired listings are always available in every market. You are from all different parts of the U.S. and Canada, and it doesn’t matter what market you’re in FSBOs and expired listings are always available in every market. If you’re working in a hot market with very little inventory, you’re going to have more for sale by owners. If you’re working in a buyer’s market, you’ll have more expired listings. When I got a real estate license, I worked in both types of markets, and you may have more of one, more of the other. They’re available everywhere. So, you can consistently generate listings.

And one thing that you want to think about when you look at FSBOs and expired listings; the mindset is critical. You know, if you’ve taken both before, you know that 90% of success is up here in your mind. Yeah. And so, maybe you’re sitting here thinking, “Well, you know, there … there not that many expired listings in my market, or we don’t have a lot of For Sale by Owners.” FSBOs and expired listings, the ones that are coming out in your market every day, they’re going. The stats I gave you early, 50% of new expired listings relist in 48 hours; 80% of FSBOs list the property in three weeks. That is going to happen whether you believe it’s going to happen or not. Do you understand that?

That’s why mindset is everything. If you’re saying to yourself, “Well, they’re hard to talk to,” “I’m not able to set appointments,” they’re going to list with another agent. It’s going to happen. So, take advantage of the opportunities you have.

Just write down a couple of ideas on critical skills to be a great salesperson. When you hear an objection, the first step in being able to overcome that objection are your listening skills. So, make sure that you listen intently to what they say, and the best way to actually be able to close for an appointment is that’s the great questions that are going to lead to an appointment.

So, if we have an opportunity towards the end, we could do a little bit of role-playing, and can give you some examples of the questions you can ask that lead to one appointment. Did you want to add something?

Richard Shulman:        Yeah, so exactly what you’re saying. There’s another expression in training is that questions control the conversation, that go home or have a conversation with anyone, and if you continue to ask questions, two things happen. One, you’re controlling where the conversation’s going. The idea of scripting is that I’m going to meet you here, right? We start at the beginning, and I want to get to here, “Here is an appointment,” and I have to take you along this path. It’s a very automatic road we’re traveling on, and that path leads to questions, right? I’m going to want to know more about what’s interesting to you. Why didn’t your home sell last time? What do you think caused that problem? That will allow me to get to a close based on that information. I won’t spoil the close. We’ll have Jackie do it later, but something solving all the problems that I discovered along the way will allow me to say, “I have a solution for your problem. Do you want to meet with me?” Right?

Questions control the conversation, and then I add in here the ear-to-mouth ratio, very simple way to remember. The other key thing that happens here with questions is that if you go and speak to someone, try this after the class. Go. Go grab someone from here. Just ask them questions for five minutes straight. They will feel great about themselves, right? There’s nothing better than talking about yourself and having someone interested or at least pretending to be interesting in what you’re saying. By doing that, not only are you controlling the conversation, you’re building?

Jackie Kravitz:                Rapport.

Richard Shulman:         Rapport. The best thing I ever learned from listening presentations, which is not even this class, was that rapport building was the most important thing, that people hire people they like.

Rapport building was the most important thing, that people hire people they like.

Jackie Kravitz:                      Yeah, absolutely. Asking questions is critical, yes. You were all at the state of your company this morning, yeah? Was that amazing? Even if you haven’t taken Bold, John called Diana up to the stage. Diana is the author of “Bold.” One thing she is always talking to the coaches about is the person who asked the questions controls the conversation. Think about that relationship of who’s asking the questions, you or your prospects or your clients. You should be the one asking questions because you can direct it. This one’s yours.


Richard Shulman:         Okay. What I try to look at in scripting, what I want you to understand, is that there’s a lot of scripts you can memorize. We’re going to give you some. Jackie will give you more scripts than you can ever possibly learn, and long as I finish this by 2:15 or 2:45 or something.

The point is that I want you to also understand that there is a way to think about scripting that will allow you to answer objections that you’ve never heard before. And so, in general, the pattern of responding to an objection, now, first of all, you want to pre-handle objections as much as possible. That’s a whole other idea, but if you have an objection, you want to handle it with the format: agree, handle, and question.

If you have an objection, you want to handle it with the format: agree, handle, and question.

If the question is, “I’m looking for a discount in commission,” I would say, “Great. I understand.” I would then want to give them some type of handle, which would be something about, “I provide a really high-value service to you,” and then I want to end with a question. “If I can show how that marketing plan will generate more money for you on your sale, do you think you would hire me?” I’m agreeing with it, what they say. I validate what they say. I’m then providing a handle. The handle is going to be some answer to their question. It’s very brief and concise. The more that you dwell on an objection, the more that it validates them.

Using the commission example, just as a simple one that we’ve all experienced. Most people, when they ask a commission objection, are not looking to dwell on that objection. They’re looking for you to just tell them the answer, and then move along.

Another way to handle it would be just to move on to something that’s highly different and instead of saying, “If I showed you that way to get more money for your home, would you hire?” You could even go with something along the lines of, “Could I show you more about my marketing plan?” Just completely change the topic of the conversation.

When you’re looking at handling an objection, don’t just memorize the scripts. You have to memorize them. Don’t just memorize them. Learn the pattern of what you’re saying so that you can answer that next objection that you never heard before because I’ve done this for 14 years, and I had probably 100,000 phone calls from potential buyers and sellers, and every day I get an objection that I’ve never heard before or it’s phrased in a way I’ve never heard before, or it’s in a different situation than I’ve ever heard before. Work with that, and that will change the outcome of what you’re doing.

Jackie Kravitz:               All right. Write this down. When it comes to FSBOs and expired listings, I would imagine you would agree with a lot of this, no matter who you’re talking to. In order to be a great closer and set appointments with these FSBOs and expired listings, you’ve got to have the mindset of not buying to the objections you here. Would you agree? Most of you raised your hands when I asked if you have ever called a FSBO or an expired.

When you first call, within the first 30 seconds or 60 seconds of the call, what you’re going to hear is, “I’m not selling anymore. I have a friend in real estate. I don’t want to pay a commission. I can tell it myself.” You’re going to hear one of those objections from them very early on the script. Yeah?

I think the biggest challenge that agents have is we believe whatever it is they say, whatever the objection is, and it takes away all the way. You leave this class today or this session today and you’re really excited. “Okay. I’m going to call it.” The minute you hear, “Oh, I don’t want to pay a commission,” you’re like, “Oh, I thought it was going to be easier than that.” Be right. Be expecting to hear these objections. It’s just a small screen.


What you see up there is you’ve got to be relentless, bold and aggressive. Aggressive doesn’t mean being pushy, okay, because I would imagine none of you want to come across as pushy. How I view aggressive is having the mindset and the belief that hiring you is the best business decision they can make, and you’re not going to allow them to make the mistake of not hiring you. Yeah, you’re going to be aggressive in conveying to them that hiring you is going to be of benefit to them, and really is coming from contribution. It’s not even about you. It’s about them.  Okay. Yes?

Richard Shulman:        When people want an aggressive, I think-

Jackie Kravitz:                 I hundred percent believe that. Think about a motivated seller. A motivated seller is someone who has to tell their house or really wants to sell the house. Do you not think they want someone who’s aggressive? They don’t want a wishy-washy agent, for sure, yeah.

Richard Shulman:           They’re interviewing you, and if you give up easily, they validated their decision.

Jackie Kravitz:                   Absolutely.

Richard Shulman:            The more you push in a constructive way with good scripts, the better the outcomes is going to be.

Jackie Kravitz:                    Yeah, so don’t take no for an answer when a yes is still possible. How many times have you talked to anyone over the phone, and you hung up, the call ended, and you knew that maybe if I knew how to handle whatever. There was a way. You knew that you weren’t able to overcome it and somebody else might call right after and be able to get that appointment. Actually in “Bold,” Diana teaches us that 80% of the time or 80% of the yeses you’ll get come after asking five times. Think about that. How often are you asking one, two, three times, then letting it go?

80% of the time or 80% of the yeses you’ll get come after asking five times. Think about that. How often are you asking one, two, three times, then letting it go?

The most important correlate of word lead generation is next, yeah, because even you’ve got to. This is the challenge, too, that we have sometimes. You go through, and it used to happen to me, also, when I was selling real estate. You talked to ten FSBOs and expireds that hang up, say no, they’re rude. It starts messing with your head, yeah? You start to doubt that you could actually set an appointment, and you’ve got to have that belief that the next call you’re making is going to be that qualified appointment that you can list right now because otherwise, we give up on ourselves, actually. Motivated sellers definitely are looking for an aggressive agent. That’s what they’re looking for, so give them what they want. Okay.

Richard talked about this already. Never disagree with them. In “Bold,” we teach that everybody wants to look good and be right. Would you agree with that?

Speaker 3:                         Yeah.

Jackie Kravitz:                 Do you like being wrong? Do you like somebody to say, “Oh, yeah. No, no, no, no. I completely understand” Everybody wants to look good and be right, and the challenge is that. This is why the repeat and approve the agreement. Even if you’re not able to look great, you could always acknowledge that what they’re saying is valid because you may not agree, and you could always say, “I completely understand where you’re coming from.” Is that fair? Yeah, and I could. I can see why you may think that hiring a discount agent would benefit you financially.


And so, always, always repeat and approve because until you do, until they feel like you understand them, you won’t have the ability to influence them. You know why? Because without repeating and approving, if they give you an objection and you just jump to handle that objection without them feeling validated, in their minds they’re just waiting for you to be done, or sometimes they’ll interrupt you, and you do another one or the same one. It’s going to keep coming back at you until they feel like, “Okay, you’ve heard me. You think I’m right or you understand what I’m saying, so you are not going to be able to influence them without that, okay, and you end up actually. You could end up in an argument with them.

Watch our energy and enthusiasm. Logic makes them think, emotion makes them act. That’s actually a “Bold” lock. From this thought here, I want you to take away one thing. If you put an agent right here that is full of energy and enthusiasm, and know nothing about scripts, how to handle objections, all they are is super excited, okay, about what they are doing. They’re passionate. They’re enthusiastic, and there is another one here that is a master of scripts, and it’s totally dead, no energy whatsoever. Okay? They both present to the same buyer or seller. My belief is the highly energetic and enthusiastic one will win every time, okay?

Richard Shulman:        What does “Bold” say? What percentage of communication is nonverbal?

Jackie Kravitz: 93%, yeah, 7% from the words and 93% is your tonality and body language.

93%, yeah, 7% from the words and 93% is your tonality and body language.

Hey, the advantage you have with this, even if you have no clue what to so, this excitement and energy and passion, it’s within every single one of you. You could bring it out, and it’s going to cover up when you have no idea what to say. All right? Yeah.

Richard Shulman:         Yeah. This is one of the biggest things when we watch new agents on the phones or scripting. We see them, and the number one problem we see is this right here. What are the solutions, go back to the previous slide.

Jackie Kravitz:                 Oh, yes. Sorry. Yeah, there you go.

Richard Shulman:         She’s in control of the clicker.

Jackie Kravitz:                 Yeah, I know

Richard Shulman:          Wait. We just. You’re better at it than me. Some of the simple things, I would say you’re having trouble with the conversion.

Jackie Kravitz:                 Take off my shoes. I like that, yes.

Richard Shulman:          I take off my shoes.

Jackie Kravitz:                 Oh, yeah.

Richard Shulman:          Oh, yeah. I can’t leave my shoes, and I can’t leave the office with my shoes on, but in the office, shoes off. I have a standup desk, and I’m on the phone. When I do my calls, I am standing up. I am energized. Standing up is the simplest thing you can do. If you have a conversion problem, I would say start just standing up when you make the call because when you stand up, your volume goes up a lot, right? We’re standing up. You’re an example right now. You’re standing up. You’re pacing around the room, and you’re bringing a kind of energy, and that’s that person you’re describing, the kind of energy and enthusiasm that’s selling to the person.

Jackie Kravitz:                 Yes, absolutely. Oops-

Richard Shulman:          Now we have the clicker.

Jackie Kravitz: Yeah, right. Yeah, you take the clicker. Okay. Hang on, guys. I have no idea what button I … Okay, there you go. Okay, on to the next one because FSBOs and expireds, I already mentioned this in the beginning of our session today. They are some of the toughest. They’re some of the toughest prospects you talk to until you learn how to communicate with them powerfully.

[su_note note_color=”#fbfabf” radius=”4″]One of the things Diana says is it’s not that they’re difficult to talk to. It’s just that you haven’t mastered the skills that are required to be able to convert them. Would you agree with that?[/su_note]

Female:                             Yes.

Jackie Kravitz:              They’re learned skills. Write this quote down. I absolutely love this quote. Just think about this and what it can do for you and your business.

“One hour per day of study will put you at the top of your field, one hour a day within three years. Within five years, you’ll be a national authority. In seven years, you could be one of the best people in the world at what you do.”

How exciting is that? Just one hour a day, yeah?

Richard Shulman:        Who is going to go home and do an hour a day of training?

Jackie Kravitz:               An hour a day of practicing, yeah, your script. Skills, all that stuff, yeah? One hour a day every single day, just it’s. See, you’ve got to have a little patience with this because it’s not going to happen within a week, right? It’s saying within three weeks. Yeah, you’ll be at the top of your field. Five years, you’ll be one of the best. It’s so worth it. How many of you have practiced internalizing scripts, practicing the delivery, role playing, listening to it? How many of you have that on your schedule? Raise your hands.

Male:                                 A few.

Jackie Kravitz:               Okay, a bunch of you, probably maybe 10 or 20% of the room. How many of you, even though it is on your schedule, rarely do you actually follow that part of your schedule? Yeah, because the challenge is, it’s from what I hear from agents, is the number one thing that you have, when you’re really busy, “Okay. Well, I don’t have to do that today.” You leave it aside, and that. Just think about this quote, and don’t forget, and understand the importance of practicing.


I already mentioned this. Expired, the mindset of an expired, I feel probably one of the most common objections you will hear from an expired is, “I’m not selling anymore,” or “I’m not selling it right now,” or just because they’re frustrated. I want you to put yourself in their situation. You’ve had your house on the market for six months. It didn’t sell, so you couldn’t possibly be happy about this, right?  The day after it comes off the MLS, all sorts of agents are calling you and saying, “I can sell it. I can do it.” How many of these calls would you get before you’re like, right? You’re yelling and screaming, or you stop answering the phone.

That’s where they’re coming from when we call. Expect that they’re not going to be too excited, and remember, unless they think that there. They may not express it to you right away. In their minds, they have a thought as to why the house didn’t sell, okay? Unless they think it didn’t sell because of their agent, if it’s because of the market, even if they say it’s because, “Oh, my agent said it was priced too high, and I didn’t want to lower the price,” whatever it is, as long as it’s not about the agent, you want to create doubt. If they think it was the agent, then you can go along with that, okay? You can agree with that.

And then, you’ve got to give them hope. Yeah. I’m going to give you one line that’s very simple to give an expired hope, okay? Simply said, you’ve got to know your market stats. If you have, if you personally or your team sells a lot of homes, use that.

I’m going to give you a script. Even if you’re brand new to real estate, you could use the script, okay?

[su_note note_color=”#fbfabf” radius=”4″]Go in your Multiple Listing System. Find out how many properties sold in the last six months. By the way, the first week of every month, you should go on the MLS and get some stats, how many properties are on the market, how many sold last month, how many expired, because you want to be a local expert. Always know how many properties sold in the last six months.[/su_note]

Here is how you give them hope. “The good news, Mr. Seller, is in the last six months while your house was listed for sale, we have 2,500 properties,” or 500, whatever the number is, “in your market. Sell right here in our marketplace. I would like to sit down with you for just 30 minutes and show you what is it that I do differently to get houses sold in today’s market. Would 3:00 work? Would 4:00 be better?” Actually, the-

Richard Shulman:        Can you repeat that so everyone can write it down?

Jackie Kravitz:               Sure. Let me say this, and then I’ll repeat. This script is creating doubt and giving hope at the same time because when they hear, “My house didn’t sell, and yet x number of properties sold while my house was sitting here,” so it’s like, “God, okay. Well, maybe it could be sold,” and it gives them hope, also. “The good news, Mr. Seller,” is at some point right in the conversation, “the sooner you do it, the better,” because new expires, they’re not very patient. Okay? If you’ve called new expires, they hang up very quickly. “In the last six months, while your house was listed for sale, we had 1,000 properties sell right here in our marketplace. I’d like to sit down with you for just 30 minutes.”

It’s important that you say it like that because it’s easy for them to say yes. It’s not a two hour, three hours, whatever real estate agents do; just 30 minutes, and show you, what is it that I do differently? That’s the key word because they don’t want more of the same, so you emphasize the word “differently,” “What I do differently to get houses sold in today’s market; would 3:00 work or would 4:00 be better?” You’ve got to close because if at any point you. Do you want to know the biggest thing that gets sellers, FSBOs and expireds to hang up on you; that the number one reason in my opinion, hesitation. When you hesitate, when you stop to just take a breath and you don’t know what to say, “Okay. Well, I’m busy. Bye. Call me next week,” that’s it. You’ll lose them.

You’ve got to keep this conversation moving and close for the appointment, okay? Always end with, “Would 3:00 work? Would 4:00 be better?”

I remember in one of my Dominating The Market programs, somebody on the call said, “Gosh, you must have had a lot of appointments between 3:00 and 4:00,” because it’s always between 3:00 and 4:00, yes? Yeah. We don’t want to go appointments in the evening. If we have time, I’ll give you some other stuff later.

The purpose of lead generation is to find someone who wants to buy or sell a house. Would you agree? Preferably a listing. Did you prefer listings over buyer?

Male:                                 Yes.

Female:                            Yes.

Jackie Kravitz:              And so, when you think about it, that’s the purpose of what you’re doing. Why wouldn’t you call someone who’s selling their house without an agent? That’s a FSBO. You’re looking for somebody who wants to sell, and a FSBO wants to sell. Personally, that’s my favorite person to call because it’s a one-for-one, yeah?


Don’t believe them when they say, “I don’t want to pay a commission. I don’t want to hire an agent.” It’s all a smokescreen, so don’t buy into what seems to be a lack of motivation. Put yourself in their shoes. Have you been waving at me?

Richard Shulman:        No, no, because that was the first time.

Jackie Kravitz:               Okay.

Richard Shulman:       Go ahead. I wanted to know what percentage of FSBOs ultimately list.

Jackie Kravitz:              80% within three weeks, yeah.

Richard Shulman:       People think, “Oh, it’s going to be so hard to make an appointment. It’s going to be so hard if the listing expired.” An enormous amount number of these properties end up with an agent, and they’re not discounting, right?

Jackie Kravitz:              Yeah, absolutely, absolutely.

Richard Shulman:       They end up listing with a real full-service agent.

Jackie Kravitz:              Yeah. They’re going to list with someone, okay? If you don’t call them, it’s just not going to be you. Just as I asked you, think about these situations with an expired. If you had your house on the market for six months without selling you wouldn’t be very happy, right? Yeah.

How does a FSBO think? If you thought that you could sell your house for the same price that an agent would sell for, would you put it out there as a FSBO? Outside of the security issue of letting strangers in my house, I totally would. Actually, the reason why I got a real estate license, because 22 years ago, I put my house for sale as FSBO. It didn’t sell, and within a month or two I went to, I got a real estate license so I could save the listing side of the commission. Okay? Yeah, and I was not to have a real estate career, so it’s interesting, like those moments, defining moments in your life, right?

I thought that I could sell it myself. When you look at the real estate industry in general and how much real estate agents know or don’t know and how the industry is, it’s fair to think that most people are “I can do what they do.” Yeah. I thought the same thing.

They don’t know what they don’t know, and we’ve got to be able to help them understand that they have problems that we can solve. The number one reason why someone would put their house on the market as a FSBO is to save commission. Would you agree? They may have some other reason. Bottom line is it if they knew that selling on their own would actually cost them money, they wouldn’t do it. Yeah. Obviously, they want to keep as much money as possible. And so, I think about it this way. FSBOs are selling the house. If you call a FSBO and you’re not able to set an appointment with them, they out-scripted you. Okay? They sold you, basically because think about it. Most of you have called at least a FSBO in your real estate career. Do they sound pretty confident that they can get it done? Yeah. They’re really confident.

How confident are you when you speak with them because either you will convince them that they should hire you or they will convince you that I don’t need you. It’s one or the other. If you hang up without an appointment, yeah.

Richard Shulman:       Jackie, there’s a great quote from the movie. I’m over here now.

Jackie Kravitz:               Yes.

Richard Shulman:        There’s a great quote from the movie, “Boiler Room.” I only quote salesmen in my training.

Jackie Kravitz:               Yes, good.

[su_note note_color=”#fbfabf” radius=”4″]Richard Shulman:        The quote is, “When he was having cereal and the newspaper salesman calls him and he says, ‘On every phone call a sale is made, and it’s either you’re selling them something or they’re selling  you on the reason why they’re not buying.'”[/su_note]

Jackie Kravitz:               Absolutely, yeah. I think that applies really in any selling situation, and with FSBOs more than any other because their house is for sale, so it’s like, how could they possibly not? They want to sell. You just were not able to convince them that they not. You’re not going to convince them on the phone that they should sell it with you. You’re just looking for an appointment, okay?

I want you to write this down. FSBOs have problems. For those of you who’ve taken “Bold,” step three, you’ve watched Diana’s problem presentation. Yeah?

Richard Shulman:        Right.

Jackie Kravitz:                Here are some problems they have. Write this down quickly. A lack of exposure, they’re dealing with the types of buyers that are looking to save money. They’re dealing with unqualified buyers, which, by the way, so are every other real estate agent, right? They have no negotiating skills, legal liability and security.

Would you agree that these are problems that FSBOs have?

Female:                            Yes.

Male:                                 Yes.

Jackie Kravitz:               Yeah. Do you believe that these problems cost them money?

Female:                             Yes.

Male:                                   Yeah.

Female:                              Yeah.

Jackie Kravitz:                 Can you solve these problems for them?

Female:                              Yes.

Female:                               Yes.

Male:                                    Yeah.

Jackie Kravitz:                  That’s how you can actually benefit them financially. Did you put together the pieces of the puzzle? The challenge is they don’t think they have any problem. They think they’ve got it all figured out. Yeah, so being able to convey this in a way, right, that what are the scripts? What’s the language? What’s the evidence? How do we get in to see that these problems cost them money?

I’m going to quickly take you through some of the solutions. Exposure, simple law of supply and demand. The more demand you could create for any product you’re looking to sell, the higher the price you’ll sell it for. This is what happens in an auction. If you go on eBay and you’re bidding on something, you’re the only bidder, you … Starting bid, you pay whatever. Let’s say it’s $100. You make a bid for $100. You’re the only bidder. You’re going to pay $100. If there are three or four bidders, what happens to the price?

Female:                            Price goes up.

Male:                                 Up.

Jackie Kravitz:              Perfect example of how more demand equals more money, and it applies to anything and everything. When there’s more demand, prices go up, okay, and that’s what we can do for FSBOs.

One other thought I want you to write down briefly, according to NAR, 90% of all homes sold in North America are sold by agents. Did you all know that? 90% are sold by agents. That means that as a For Sale by Owner, they only attract 10% of the buyers on the market.

According to NAR, 90% of all the homes sold in North America are sold by agents. Did you all know that? 90% are sold by agents. That means that as a For Sale By Owner, they only attract 10% of the buyers on the market.

More demand equals more money. How are they going to get the highest possible price for this house within a 10% exposure? Yeah? We’ve got to be able to understand that.

Why is it that 90% of homes are sold by agents? Because we don’t charge buyers a commission. Okay? Seller pays the commission to the buyer’s agent, not the buyer.

Serious buyers only buy FSBOs to save money. Think about this. It’s a free service to use to buyers to use the services of a licensed professional experienced real estate agent. Would you agree? Free. What’s going to motivate a buyer to pass all of that up and go directly to a homeowner? It’s free, so why not? Do you like free stuff? Yeah. So why? Remember, too, real estate agents have access to 100% of the properties that are available for sale whereas FSBO is a very small percentage of properties. It’s to save money.

You learned this in “Bold,” that the different types of buyers, serious in a hurry. If you’re a serious buyer and you’re in a hurry to buy, why would you go to a FSBO? They don’t. Okay. Serious, not in a hurry, they want the services and the experience of a professional agent. Investors are the number one type of buyer that buy FSBOs. Why? Because they know they can get a good deal.

Female:                             Right.

Jackie Kravitz:                And then, there are the ones that are just looking around. Actually, according to NAR, only 4% of all the buyers out there that are contacting you, whether it’s from an Internet lead or and they’re walking into open houses, they’re calling on signs, they’re calling on FSBOs, 96% of them are not buying anything right now. Only 4% are ready, willing and able, which means 96%, they’re just lookers right now. Okay?


Is that a challenge for real estate agents to be able to determine which ones are buying or not buying? Can you imagine what FSBOs go through? “Oh, yeah, I’m getting a lot of people calling.” Yeah, good luck with that, right? Yeah, absolutely. 4% are the ones are the ones that are ready, willing and able; 70% have frozen equity. So, buyers let’s say someone is sitting in their house and thinking, “Oh, we should get a bigger home. Okay. Well, let’s go out this weekend and look at some properties for sale to see what we could buy, and then we could put our house for sale.” Their equity is tied up on the property they currently own. 11% can’t afford the house they’re calling on. They’re qualified for $200,000. They’re calling on properties that are $250, and 11% will end up renting.

And then, how you make more money, too, negotiating skills, okay? Sometimes a FSBO will say, “Well, I have an attorney that is going to negotiate.” Yeah? Yeah. There are so many aspects of the transaction.

First of all, we’ve got to be able to find the buyer that will pay the highest price. Attorneys don’t do that. Okay? Attorneys are going to look at a contract after you’ve negotiated the price with the buyer. They’re not going to get in the middle of that negotiation. There are a lot of ways in which you’re able to save them a lot of money by being a great negotiator.

The longer it takes to sell, the more money they lose. Time is money, and listings don’t have a shelf life yet. You could actually look this up. You could do a Google search and stuff, and you’ll see all over North America the houses that sit on the market longer, the list sales price ratio, the gap, okay? The gap is increased the longer they sit on the market.

I want to get to your stuff. There you go. Clicker’s yours.

Richard Shulman:        I was enjoying it.

Jackie Kravitz:               Yeah, right. Yes.

Richard Shulman:        more on that.

Jackie Kravitz:               Thank you.

Richard Shulman:        No, no. Yeah, there’s a movie quote up there. One thing I noticed, Jackie, in watching your presentation, I’m sure some of you caught this, is that you ask questions probably reflexively. Everything you’re saying is a question, or you’re making a statement and then using a tie down to get agreement from them, and it’s just a habit, I assume, of yours.

Jackie Kravitz:               Yes.

Richard Shulman:        You’re taking them exactly on the path to where you want them to agree with your premise.

Jackie Kravitz:                 Yes.

Richard Shulman:          You ask a bunch of leading questions to that premise.

Jackie Kravitz:                  Yes. You’re doing that, too, so thank you. Yes. You’re right, yeah.

Richard Shulman:           All right. I’ve already had a walk around room.

Jackie Kravitz:                  Oh, with shoes on, yeah.

Richard Shulman:           Yeah, and someone over there had his shoes off, and I was very proud of him. I don’t think I can walk without shoes. There’s a dress code here still.

All right. We’re going to talk about converting buyers right now. Like I said earlier, converting buyers is the same as converting sellers. It’s the same as converting FSBOs, expireds. All of the scripting is the same. When I teach these classes, a lot of those people are asking, “Well, are you going to teach about FSBOs? Are you going to teach about listings? Are you going to teach about this scenario, that scenario?” All of this stuff is ultimately the same, right? Everything I say is going to sound a lot like what Jackie said. Just specifically, we’re going to talk about buyers today.

I think that this is one of the, I would say a second level skill. Once you master the idea of calling people purposely once you master the idea of making appointments, I think for the majority of people setting prior meetings is a key skill that’s missing, right? We’re all trying to set seller meetings, but we’re not setting buyer meetings, so that’s what I’m going to talk about today.


Who here is consistently setting buyer meetings? Right? They work with a buyer, and you’re going to have a listing presentation with your buyer, right? Who’s working with buyers without doing that? One person’s honest in the back, two people. Everyone in here is signing buyer/broker agreements with their buyers?

Male:                                  Yeah.

Female:                             Yeah.

Male:                                  Yeah.

Richard Shulman:        All right, I like it. What will do better.

Jackie Kravitz:               Okay.


Part 2: Setting an Appointment (Richard Shulman)

Richard Shulman:        Okay. We’re going to talk about a step setting an appointment for those buyers, right? Before we get started, I asked all of you to text message seven people at the beginning. I’m going to give you permission to check your phones real quick. Just raise your hand if you had an appointment. Jen?

Jen:                                       I have five.

Richard Shulman:          I’m sorry. We couldn’t hear you.

Jen:                                        I have five.

Richard Shulman:          Appointments?

Jen:                                        Yeah.

Richard Shulman:           To meet with people?

Jen:                                         Yeah.

Richard Shulman:          All right. You’re done. That was the whole idea. Who made more than five appointments so far? In the back, I’ve got me ten.

Male:                                    Five.

Richard Shulman:          Oh, five, also? All right. That’s still good. Who made at least one appointment so far? All right. Is this something you could do every day, start your day with three text messages, you want to have coffee?

Female:                               Yeah.

Richard Shulman:           All right. We’ll circle back at the end and see how everyone did. The record for a single day, in seven hours two people did over 70 appointments in 70 hours of doing this, so keep at it.

All right. How does it buyers to appointments? There’s a lot of quotes from Glengarry Glen Ross which I do, I do use a lot. “They don’t walk on the lot unless they want to buy,” a quote which some of you heard earlier.

The other one is always be closing, right? You guys have heard that, of course. If you haven’t seen it, you should go watch it. Glengarry Glen Ross. I’ll just warn you, there’s a lot of swearing, so if anyone’s sensitive-

Richard Shulman:        There’s the quote. I think the first premise I try to work with people on, and I ask Jackie a few questions about it, is I think we have all these ideas in our head that people don’t want to do something, right? I asked you about FSBOs, right? I knew that most FSBOs. I didn’t know the number, but I knew most FSBOs end up hiring a full-service agent, right? I think in our heads we’ve decided people don’t want to sign a buyer/broker agreement. We’ve decided FSBOs don’t want to hire an agent if they say no the first time, or expireds, whatever it is.

I thought of this quote. I always really liked going back to it because the minute someone picks up the phone to call you, the minute someone contacts you through your website or through Zillow or asks you a real estate question, they’re interested in buying a home.

Now, interested in buying a home and able to buy a home are different topics. We’re not going to cover that, but “A guy don’t walk on the lot lest he want to buy it,” right? They want to give you their money. Are you going to take it, right?

The idea is that we really need to think aggressively about what’s happening. When we get an invalid lead, I see a lot of the new agents. They’re not trying to make an appointment right away. They’re not trying to set an appointment with that buyer or seller. They’re worried about asking too many questions, so I’m going to teach us a better way to do that, but I want you to start with the very basic premise that as soon as someone clicks on that Zillow link they’re very likely interested in buying something, right? They may not want to buy what they can afford. They may not be able to afford anything at all. They may not want to hire an agent. Right, fine, but the vast majority of them do want to buy something or sell something or knows somebody who wants to buy or sell something.

Okay. How do we do that? The first thing I want to teach you to do is on telling the appointment, right? We used to say asking, and I think I still use the word “asking” sometimes. We don’t want to ask for an appointment. We want to tell people that we’re going to make an appointment with them. Right?

What does that look like? You call me off the sign, and you say, “Can you tell me more about your listing on Main Street?,” right? What should is say right away to that person?

Female:                             Is that what you’re looking for?

Richard Shulman:        Was it? Great. Right. We’ve had a lot of calls about that property. What’s the next question, Jen?


Richard Shulman:        Tell the appointment. Let’s go take a look at it, and then what Jackie was using, the alternate choice close. We only do showings Wednesday at 3:00 or 4:00, right?

Jackie Kravitz:                Yes-

Richard Shulman:         No other day during the week.

Jackie Kravitz:                 Monday through Friday.

Richard Shulman:          Monday through Friday, but between three and four only. Okay? As soon as someone contacts you about real estate, I believe that the first thing that you should do is make an appointment with them. That’s why we’re going to text message exercise because I think in our heads we’re thinking appointments are so hard to make. It’s not very hard to make appointments. People want to meet with a professional about real estate.

Someone calls in. The first thing I do is I make the appointment. Then I will go and qualify them. We’re not going to talk about qualifying today. That’s a whole other hour of talking. It’s not as exciting as the second day.Then we would qualify them. If they are not qualified to buy that home, then we can deal with rescheduling that appointment, right?


Instead of saying, “Do you want to see the home,” and this is what Jackie did so earlier, I don’t say, “Do you want to see the home?” I don’t say, “Do you want to meet me?” I say, “Let’s meet at the house. Is 3:00 better, or 4:00? Are mornings or afternoon better?” That’s called an alternative choice close. It’s a very simple close. It’s in every training you’ve ever been to. The important thing is by structuring your close that way, the question is not, “Do you want to meet or not?” right?

Too often, I hear people ask me, “Do you want to meet with me,” right? The question is not, “If you want to meet?” Of course, they want to meet. They want to meet because they called you about a house. The question is, “What time are we meeting?” right?

When you change that around, our very primitive brains are really not very sophisticated at changing the direction of that. The only people who are sophisticated at the changing the direction are my children. When I try to use alternate choice closes on them, they just say no. Adults cannot do that.

Richard Shulman: Okay. I’ve covered this slide. I got so excited. You can see the, “Do you want to meet?” right? What kind of question is, “Do you want to meet?”

Female:                            Yes or no.

Richard Shulman:       It’s yes or no, right? There’s really not a lot of good times to use a yes or no. Jackie was doing a few yes or nos, but they were because she knew the answer was yes, right? When you know the answer is yes, it’s called a tie-down close, and you want to use that because you want to build agreement, right? How many have you got? What’s the number of yeses, Jackie? Is that-

Jackie Kravitz:               Five.

Richard Shulman:        Five yeses?

Jackie Kravitz:               Yeah.

Richard Shulman:        Okay.

Jackie Kravitz:               Get to 80%. Five closes get to 80% of those, yeah.

Richard Shulman:         Yeah. You want to keep asking questions. If you’re going to do a yes, no close, there has to be a yes coming, or it has to be an obvious no, and you want the answer to be no, but it’s better if you’re building agreement with yeses. Stay away from yes, no questions. If you find yourself asking questions that can be answered with a no, remember that people will probably give you a no reflexively because they’re not thinking about it, right? We have these primitive brains, and when we think someone’s asking us for money or time or they want to bother us or they’re a real estate agent and no one likes real estate agents, they’re going to say no as fast as they can, even though they called you for information about the house.

Instead, go with, “Which day do you want to meet?” Go with, “What time is better? Are mornings or afternoons better?” There’s a lot of ways to do that. I’d like you guys all to write down the third one. The next one for us to discuss is your search, right?

I think another big mental roadblock that we have, mindset limitations, is what I was looking for. I was trying to avoid mental roadblocks. The mindset limitations are that people don’t want to meet with us, and we have to know that we’re professionals, right? We’re the professionals that they came to for information, right? We talked about this.

Does your lawyer or a doctor or accountant ask your permission to do anything? Do they ask for your opinion on the next step? No. You call your accountant and he says, “Where are your taxes? It’s February. Send me your taxes. Send me your W2s and your receipts and everything,” right?

It’s the same thing for real estate agents. We want to tell people what the next step is. I think we’re not understanding that people want us to guide them, right? They want little push. They don’t want a huge push. They still want to make their own decisions, and we can help them with that, but they want a push in the right direction. Okay.

Remember the third one there again, and this is something. This is a script. We’re talking about buyers specifically right now, so there’s nothing up there that wouldn’t work for a seller or a recruit or anyone in your world you’re trying to sell something to. Okay.

Now we set the appointment, right? Now we’ve set the appointment, and we’re going to be going. We’re going to service level qualifying. I want to warn you, there’s a lot more that you can go into and qualify. We’re going to go service level on it because as a new agent. How many new agents the room? New, newer, few years. By the way, it’s always the new agents who make the most appointments.

Female:                            Hello.

Richard Shulman:      The two people who set 70 appointments in Portland in seven hours, one was not licensed, and one had her license for a week.

Female:                           Oh, my goodness.

Richard Shulman:       Because the new agents don’t have all the mindset limitations on who wants to meet.

Once we make the appointment, then we want to qualify the buyer, right? Remember, there’s a lot more to qualify than what we can cover today. You don’t want to start wasting your time on bad appointments. As a new agent, the reason I asked about new agents. As a new agent, I took every appointment I could get, and I went on appointments with people who said they were working with other agents. I went on an appointment with this one awful couple who told me that they, I showed them a home. They wrote an offer with another agent, and I had shown that to them. I know. I still showed them more properties. I didn’t know any better because I worked for a real estate company that had 15 minutes of training we week.

Jackie Kravitz:               Hey, Richard, could I just quickly say that

Richard Shulman:       Yeah.

Jackie Kravitz:               Where is the envelope with the business cards because-

Richard Shulman:        Oh, yeah.

Jackie Kravitz:                Yeah. Keep passing it around because at the end of the session, we’re going to take out and give the registration. Keep it moving, okay?

Richard Shulman:          Yeah. You have to be here to win.

Jackie Kravitz:                  Yes.

Richard Shulman: All right. I’ll give you two things about qualifying. The one thing I did learn at the real estate company was that my manager was okay with the one free look, right? It’s okay to do one free showing to a potential buyer without a buyer appointment and a buyer/brokerage agreement signed, or without necessarily getting all their qualification because in reality most people aren’t going to call a stranger off the Internet and then fax over their pre-approval letter or provide personal financial information, right?

I’m okay with one free look. That’s one time going out and maybe seeing two properties, not any more than that, don’t show them five properties, but with the expectation that you’re going to set a meeting either afterward or at a separate time in your office to meet with them for a buyer agreement, right?

The preference, however, and what you’ll find that most people are happy to meet with you first because you can script them into it. Like what Jackie was saying about providing value, the way you can do that is say, “Well, I’d love to show you this house, but what I’d really love to do is sit down with you, go over your search, learn more about what you’re looking for, and that way I can find the right home for you and save you time. How does that sound?”

Richard Shulman:        That solves a lot of problems for them, right? They want your help. They want you to run around looking out for them. Now, they still may want to see that house, and that’s okay, but I believe that a lot of people, even those leads from the Internet, want to have a meeting with an agent. They want to meet with you. That way you can sit down with them and put a brokerage agreement in front of them.

Here are the questions. You can write them down. It should be, are you writing them down? The questions in my mind are really. They’re a cover because there’s only two things I want to know from the buyer. Who knows what those two things are?

Female:                             Motivation-

Male:                                  Pre-approved

Richard Shulman:         There you go.

Richard Shulman:          All right, and we need microphones for everyone here, but that works better in a smaller training environment. I heard back there. Yeah, I only really want to know if they can financially afford to buy a home, or if they’re working with another agent, right, because who’s gotten a call that, “My agent’s out of town. Can you show me properties this weekend?”

Richard Shulman:        No? Just me. It happened to me a lot of times.

Richard Shulman: Yeah. Well, the problem is they don’t value us. They don’t value real estate, and so, sure, drive me around. Okay. The first question I want to answer is a very open-ended question. It’s what are you looking for, right? You could actually ask that question twice because they’ll keep talking. It’s very open-ended, and it will actually encourage them to answer. It will encourage them to answer what’s on the top of their mind.

Then, I want to know more about that. Why are you looking for that? Where are you looking for that; at what price? There’s a lot more you can go into here on motivation on what’s motivating the buyer, right?
Then I want to know if they’re working with an agent, and I want to know if they’re not working with an agent, what’s the importance of hiring me, right? Same as a listing, right? These are all identical to the questions of listing appointment.


I want to make it clear to them that I’m looking for them to hire me as the agent. And then, this is my favorite one. This one I don’t allow my agents to change. I’m generally allowing them to customize their own scripts. I’m okay if they want to internalize or make it their own. This one, whenever someone makes it their own, they screw it up. “Are you paying cash or financing?” The reason that question works is that the question of financing, it makes it seem like there’s only two choices, and it makes you feel like if you’re not one of those two choices, you feel uncomfortable, and it’s not making them feel directly comfortable with you. It’s making them feel like they’re not doing the right thing.

In the longer version, I’d ask them, “Which bank are you’re approved with?,” because they’re probably going to say they’re approved for a loan. They probably went on Quicken Loans or something like that, and that’s not probably what we want to work with me.

And then, again, telling. I’m telling them my lender’s going to call them. “You know, you’re not approved. You know what? Let’s hold off on the meeting for now. I’m going to have my lender call you right after this, and he’s going to pre-approve you, and then I can show you the home in a couple of days. Sound good? Great!

I can just easily walk out of that meeting with them and allow them to talk to the lender. Now I’ll follow up with the lender and find out that they never returned his call. I just saved myself some time, right? Okay. I think we’re all clear on that.

Okay, the buyer meeting. There’s scripting for the buyer meetings I want to go over. Now, the on the buyer meeting, it’s a very simple script. It’s just asking them to meet with you, just telling them to meet you. I still do it sometimes. It’s telling them to meet with you and giving them a reason why because I think people are unused to it. I think people are getting more used to the idea. I think that when we started doing buyer meetings, I remember watching videos on. What was the old website for training, like you? I can never find the link, and I search for it and log in.

I remember watching buyer meetings. This was probably nine or ten years ago I started doing that, and no one had ever heard of them. Now they’re more common. I think the buyers are more used to them, but I still want to show them the value of the buyer meeting.

I want to show them why we’re meeting. I’ll say, “I think it’s best if we sit down and talk about your search in my office. Which day is better?” How much pushback are you going to get on that? Who’s got an objection to that question? What objections would you get to that?

Male:                                 We’re not ready to

Richard Shulman:        What’s that?

Male:                                   We’re not ready to hire an agent. We’re just going to do this on our own.

Richard Shulman:         Okay. Yeah. That’s a very common one. I think a lot of the times any objection you get will probably be something like that, or, “Why are we meeting? What’s the point of meeting?” We’re very close now.

Jackie Kravitz:                  That’s okay.

Richard Shulman:           Do you want the clicker back?

Jackie Kravitz:                  Oh, no. No, I just want to see-

Richard Shulman:            Yeah, I just want to see the home. Yeah, I don’t want to do that. A lot of your questions will be in the same area. “I don’t see any value in the meeting,” right? It’s the same question, right? “I don’t want an agent. I just want to see it.” All that boils to, “I don’t see any value in meeting with you.” I would re-close that, right? We have to close up to five times. I would re-close them, and I would just go back to the same thing. It is, “Well, I think it would be really important for me to understand more about your search so I can help you. Are you looking for someone to help with your search?,” right, lots of ways to close that, lots of things you can say.

The idea is what you want to say, and I can give you several more, and Jackie can give you 20 more. It doesn’t really matter what you say as long as you get across the point that this meeting is about who?

Male:                                  Them.

Female:                              Them.

Richard Shulman:          Right. It’s not so you can protect your commission. It’s not so you can get them to sign a document that will lock them to you so you can go on vacation and hand them off to a showing assistant. That’s a different class. It’s because you want to provide value to them by meeting with them, understanding their search, and explaining how the market works, explaining the process of the market. Now, you may have learned some things in talking to them, “Tell me more about your search,” and they might tell you, “Well, we have lots of questions about the market.” “Great. I’d love to answer those questions at my office. Is Wednesday or Thursday better, or 3:00 to 4:00 p.m.?”

And then, yeah, I put it there a lot. I use a lot of repetition and I thought because I think the same things apply over and over again. About two years ago, I scrapped all my training with my team. That’s when I started on call. We were doing lots of training. Every week was a new topic. We had a CPA come in. We’d have an attorney come in on states. We’d do commercial real estate. I realized that it didn’t matter. None of that mattered, right?

All that matters is doing the basics, the simple things, over and over again perfectly. Gary’s been saying that at least for the last two years. He said it before. I probably wasn’t listening, but the same things over and over again, right? People want to meet. Everyone wants to meet with you, right? If they don’t want to meet with you, if you give them that line and they say, “No thanks,” great, they just saved you two hours of your life. Guess what? Pick up the phone and call the next person. There’s 5 1/2 million properties we’ll sell this year. We’ve got the time.

Jackie’s bored of me-

Jackie Kravitz:               No, no, no, no. We want to leave a few minutes for Q&A and be able to-

Richard Shulman:          Yeah, yeah. All right, but that’s 11 million commission checks will get cut this year. That’s a lot. I’m only going to get 200, 250 of them, so it’s still 11 million left for you guys.

[su_note note_color=”#fbfabf” radius=”4″]All right, so a quick recap. Gary said we need 11 appointments a week. I promise you, you’re not all doing 11 appointments a week. I’m not always doing 11 appointments a week. Actually, go and track your appointments. Make your one thing to do 11 appointments, blah, blah, blah, all the same stuff I said before. Repeat. Okay.[/su_note]

We’ll take a Q&A now. Do you have anything to add, Jackie?

Jackie Kravitz:                Just the Q&A.

Richard Shulman:        Yeah, so before-

Jackie Kravitz:                I don’t want to run out of time, and I’ll give you time for questions.

Richard Shulman:         Yeah. Before we do that, can we get the envelope?

Female:                             The last slide?

Richard Shulman:         This one?

Jackie Kravitz:                 It’s the last slide. They wanted the last slide.

Richard Shulman:          This one?

Female:                              Yes.

Male:                                   Yeah, that one.

Richard Shulman:        This slide, all right. Who has the envelope of cards?

Jackie Kravitz:                 I do. It’s right there.

Richard Shulman:         Oh, you do?

Jackie Kravitz:                 Yeah.

Richard Shulman:         Okay.

Jackie Kravitz:                Let’s do that first-

Richard Shulman:        Oh, yeah, Jackie, before we get to that, can you tell everyone what your class is?

Jackie Kravitz:                Okay, so dominate your market. FSBOs and expired.

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16 Million in Real Estate, Year 3, through Open House Real Estate Leads!

Hello everybody, it is Lori Ballen here with Ballen Vegas, your Las Vegas and Henderson real estate team, and Ballen Brands, your digital marketing company, and real estate websites. I’m excited today to be here with Dan Kenney from Keller Williams in Chicago, and today we’re going to really hit hard on generating real estate leads through open houses.

😲 Dan recently completed his third full year closing 39 transactions with a volume of over 16 million.

I thought to be a real estate agent you got your license, you joined a company, they gave you a desk and then people walked through the door looking to buy or sell real estate and you simply said hi, how may I help you? And I quickly found out that there was this other thing involved called lead generation

[su_youtube_advanced url=”″ width=”800″ showinfo=”no” rel=”no” https=”yes”]

About Dan

Contact Information
Email | 708-629-6452
Keller Williams Preferred Realty
16101 108th Ave, 2nd Floor
Orland Park, IL 60467

Prior to his career in real estate Dan spent over 20 years in the restaurant industry as a server, manager, trainer and customer service specialist. He worked in fine dining restaurants all over the country including several years at a top steakhouse just off the Magnificent Mile in downtown Chicago.

He also spent several years working as a professional stage actor performing on stages around the country and across the globe including performances in Stratford, England, and Japan.

In Chicago, Dan performed in productions at the Goodman Theatre, Victoria Gardens Theater, Lookingglass Theatre and numerous productions with the Chicago Shakespeare Theater.

Now I tell you all that because now you’re thinking hmmm, well why real estate?

Well, we’re going to let Dan tell you a little bit about that, but Dan recently completed his third full year, yes that’s right just three years as a licensed real estate agent closing 39 transactions with a volume of over 16 million.

He is now forming the Dan Kenney Group, has a full-time administrative assistant and is currently interviewing for other full-time admin and a buyer’s agent. The majority of Dan’s business comes from geographic farming and open houses, which we’re going to talk about today and he regularly teaches a class on high-level open houses based on the 7th level open house system from the book “Shift.”

Dan serves in the area suburbs of Chicago, Homer Glen, Lockport, Lemont, New Lenox and Orland Park.



Thank you, Lori, it’s a huge pleasure and privilege to be on your show. I actually first encountered you three years ago at my very first family reunion and you were teaching a breakout session on probably SEO or social media.

However, at the beginning of that session, you started talking about micro-farming and going hyper-local and I had just moved to a beautiful area in the Southwest suburbs of Chicago and I decided when I got back from that family reunion I was going to plant the seeds for a geographic farm using your techniques.

So you were my inspiration to start that and so it’s a great pleasure to talk to you and tell you how that’s turned out three years later.

Yeah, I’m sure that I was doing an SEO class or something and absolutely, 100% I believe that we can take hyper-local geographic farming strategies and apply those to our online efforts and combine them with physical efforts.

Maybe just talk to us about your steps into real estate and then where you’re learning some of your strategies besides my little inspiration there. And then let’s break it down for the listeners that actually want to be like you. So tell us why you got into real estate.


Why Real Estate?

MEME that Dan Uses in his Open House Marketing

I first got into real estate when we moved from the city to the suburbs because at the time my wife was pregnant with our first child and I didn’t want to raise our children in the city and I was also working very late hours in restaurants, which wasn’t very conducive to a family life.

And it was actually the move itself that kind of inspired me to get into real estate because I had one broker in the city who sold my condo and a different broker in the suburbs who helped us purchase our home and the experiences were night and day in terms of quality of the experience.

The agent in the city who helped me sell my condo was on top of his game, he was amazing, we had multiple offers within the first two weeks. I really felt well taken care of. In retrospect, I hired him because of his farming strategy.

I used to get a postcard from him every month, which I would throw away of course until I was ready to sell. And then I was like, hey where’s that guy’s postcard? And so ironically he had the farming strategy that I’m now doing.

Then we had a very different agent in the suburbs who wasn’t as on top of her game and I basically said you know what, I could do better than this and so I immediately got my license and joined KW. I didn’t interview with any other company, I heard they had the best training and I’m a very learning, training based person and dove right in. Have not looked back.

So that’s kind of how I made the transition into it and what happened at the beginning, so I started the farming as I told you being inspired from you.

However, that wasn’t going to get me immediate business, as you pointed out farming is a get rich slow strategy. It takes a while before you start seeing the fruits of that harvest. So I needed immediate business and I was in my first session of Ignite and that particular session happened to be on open houses.

And at the time I also found out in that first session of Ignite that I was suffering under a bit of delusion of what it meant to be a real estate agent. I thought to be a real estate agent you got your license, you joined a company, they gave you a desk and then people walked through the door looking to buy or sell real estate and you simply said hi, how may I help you?

And I quickly found out in that first Ignite that there was this other thing involved called lead generation and I started freaking out because I didn’t sign up to be on the phone all day, it was not something I wanted to do.

However, what I realized in this class was that open houses actually are a form of lead generation and they are actually kind of like that delusion where people are walking through the door looking to buy or sell real estate and you simply say, hi how may I help you?

So I immediately started doing open houses every week and for the first two years, all my business came from open houses. That was my only source of lead generation for the first two years in the business.

Lori Ballen:                   Wow, you know what I love, I love a lot of the things that you just said and I’m going to pull out all those nuggets when I do the transcript because it’s so true that people do get this disillusion of I’m going to become a real estate agent and the business is just going to be there.

And it’s just absolutely not true, you have to pick a lead generation strategy or two and give it everything you got. You have to model other successful people and you have to be so disciplined and so focused and not quit five minutes before the miracle happens. So all of that is 100% spot on.

So you’re saying that the geographic farm was going to be a long game and you knew that so you specifically went after open houses. In your first two years all your money came off of open houses, which is phenomenal, and something I would highly recommend to a new agent because, or an experienced agent who isn’t paying their bills, you know there are a lot of experienced agents could learn from this as well.

It doesn’t take a lot of money to do open houses, so this is something you can get really focused on, really sink your teeth into, create a great plan around and not have to put out a lot of money.

So tell me, you’re getting started in open houses, how did you know what the heck to do?


The Training

Meme used by Kenney in Open House Promotions

Sure. So, I basically did when I first started what I learned in that class in Ignite. And they used to have an entire session in Ignite on open houses, that’s no longer the case, but it was when I first started.

And what they looked at was something called the 7th level open house, which is from the book “Shift” by Gary Keller, I’m sure you’ve read it.

And there is a chart in there that shows the 7th level marketing system for an open house. And most realtors put a sign in the yard, put a balloon on the sign and that’s about where their preparation for the open house stops. That’s about all they do.

The 7th level system you’re starting a week in advance. You’re doing call-arounds on the house, you’re doing social media marketing for the open house. You’re doing mailings for the open house, you’re doing door knocking for the open house.

[su_note note_color=”#fbfabf” radius=”4″]Don’t be a secret agent. I kind of connected the two and I said, “Well, I don’t want to be a secret agent so maybe I’ll put my name on the side of my car. Why would I hide myself on the largest social media platform that is out there?”[/su_note]

The whole goal is just to get people to the open house and then you can convert them into clients.

And so I typically, when I first started out my first open house I had 12 people through, which I thought was horrible. My lender told me it was one of the best open houses she had ever been to. And now I average between 20 to 40 people for every open house and I typically walk out with my appointments set for the week.

Lori Ballen:                   Okay,  I’ve got an open house, I’m an agent, I’ve got an open house, it’s either my listing or maybe it’s somebody else’s listing that they have offered to let me go ahead and sit their open house. So first thing is, are you strategically planning did you say a week in advance?

Dan Kenney:                 At least, yes, you want to start at least in advance a week.

Lori Ballen:                   What’s your typical practice, how do you know like when you’re sitting down to pick open houses, first of all how do you pick them? Are they your listings or are they somebody else’s?


The Marketing Plan

When I first started obviously I didn’t have any listings so they had to be other agent’s listings. Now I do them with all of my listings and it actually starts earlier than a week before. It now starts at the listing appointment.

I set the expectation at the listing appointment that open houses are a huge part of my strategy to get their homes sold, and as soon as we sign those listing papers I pull out my calendar and I say when are we going to do the first open house?

So I’d start well in advance of the open house and get it on the calendar. And then it begins at least a week before we get it in the MLS so that it aggregates out to all the other websites as well.

Lori Ballen:                   How many open houses are you holding a week?

Dan Kenney:                 At least one per week.

Lori Ballen:                   Do you have a day of the week that you find is best for you for open houses?

Dan Kenney:                 I prefer Sundays only because Saturdays are the days that usually people, it’s the end of the week and they’re working around the house or they’re hanging out at home, working in the yard.

Actually, a great day for door knocking is Saturdays because people are usually home hanging out. Sundays are the days I have found that people get dressed up and go to church and go out to breakfast and go visit family. So they’re already out and about.

However, I’ve done Saturdays and Sundays, Sundays attendance does go down during football season around here though unfortunately.

Lori Ballen:                   Okay, so I’m assuming Sunday afternoons. Are you doing like an 11:00 to 3:00 or something?

Dan Kenney:                 Usually 1:00 to 4:00.

Lori Ballen:                   Okay, now next you set the date and you post this online. So are you first going into the MLS and setting an open house? And then what other online websites are you going to post your open houses?

Dan Kenney:                 Sure, so from the MLS it’s going to filter out to all the big ones, Zillow, Trulia and Redfin and all those. We also do a Craigslist posting. We also do a Facebook post that we’re going to boost or a Facebook ad and we’re going to boost that in the zip code around, not only the zip code where the open house is but the zip codes around it because we have people moving from other zip codes into our zip code.

We also do local buy/sell/trade Facebook groups in all the surrounding suburbs, I’m members of those and I always post the open house posts in there as well.

Lori Ballen:                   Great are you on, do you guys have Nextdoor in your area?

Dan Kenney:                 I think we do and that’s something I’m not using, is that something that’s been helpful?

Lori Ballen:                   Yeah, I just really started, I’m not doing advertising in there just yet because I wanted to kind of explore what the dialogue’s like, it’s a social network very much like Facebook, but it’s all specifically geared around neighborhoods.

And so the only way you can get into a Nextdoor group is to have an address registered that’s in that group, so it’s fantastic for like geographic farming if you live in that area. Or for an open house if you live in that area.

So you’re not just going to be able to go blast everywhere, but there is advertising, so I’m going to actually do a test on the advertising because you can advertise in a different group. And I’ll do some training and do some reports back on that, but I’m thinking for open houses this can be a pretty powerful platform.

I’ve just started talking to a couple people that are doing Nextdoor at a pretty high level and they’re swearing by it and being that it’s so local, so hyper-local I would think real estate could really benefit if we did it strategically not spammy, you know?

Dan Kenney:                 Absolutely, absolutely.

Lori Ballen:                   Okay, so your Facebook ads, your Craigslist ads and all that, are you able to track when your people coming in the door? When they come in the door are they signing in anywhere or using an iPad or what is your process once they get there?

Let’s start with, what’s your process finding out how they heard about you?

Dan Kenney:                 Sure, I usually ask them how they heard about us and I used to do a sign in sheet and I no longer do that. Simply because, well I do it as a formality and it’s really because I was finding the information people was putting down was not correct or they wrote it illegibly so there’s no way I could figure out what it was.

So what I do is have them sign in and then I ask them a question that I learned from Chris Suarez, do you know Chris?

Lori Ballen:                   Oh yes, absolutely. I know Chris Suarez.

Dan Kenney:                 Yeah, so I learned a lot from him about open houses and he has this wonderful question that you ask as soon as people walk in the door, which is,

are you out shopping for a home today or do you happen to live in the area?

And it’s a really simple question and they’re either going to say I’m out shopping for a home today, great you know you’re working with a buyer. Or they say no, I happen to live in the neighborhood, great you know you’re working with a seller.

At that point I basically kind of let them go, it’s very no pressure, I let them kind of walk around the open house. I tell them there’s food here, we have music and I’ll check in with you later. And then when I check in with them later,  I have a very natural non-pressure conversation with them that eventually leads to them seeking something of value from me.

Either a market analysis on their home or other properties that are for sale in the area. At that point is when I usually ask for their correct contact information and that’s usually when they give me the contact information correctly.

Lori Ballen:                   I have this little thing in my head going back and forth, these little voices and one is saying that’s so good and I love Chris’s question and Chris is the king of open houses, amazing. I love all that, I love your non-pressure approach.

My lead generation side, the marketing side of me is going oh my gosh, you’re not capturing their info, so you’ve got some people probably walking out the door that could be potentials, there’s no way you can talk to everybody in time.

I know that you get bogus information, it’s a numbers game. Same with what I do its web leads, we’re going to get Fred Flintstone and Donald Duck, we got to count on the ones that do end up giving us good information.

Have you done a giveaway, gift basket, gas cards or anything like that so at least, and then put a little mark on there that says how did you hear about us so you can track whether Cragistlist is working or if Facebook is working?

Dan Kenney:                 I have done a giveaway and you are correct, you are going to get more complete contact information that way for sure. I do still have them sign in and I do check those numbers, my experience has been though that the ones that I actually make the contact with there is when I get the highest correct contact info and usually book an appointment on the spot.

Lori Ballen: Well, your easiest to convert leads are always going to be the people that raise their hand in some fashion, it’s just like with web leads, it’s the people that actually call that we have the highest percentage of actually converting because they’re saying hey, I want to talk to you.

But yet I still want to get the info on the ones that didn’t raise their hand at that moment because they’re probably still potentials later on.

And my experience with open houses, even though it was forever ago, my absolute best ever was when we gave away a gorgeous looking gift basket that title or somebody would donate or a home stager or plumbers or the cleaners of the house or whatever would donate with their branding on it and whatnot, so it didn’t cost me anything.

Or a gas card and then the key for me was even if I don’t talk to any of these people, I want to know how they heard about us.

That was my goal back then, their phone number could be bad, their email could be bad, but I need to know how that person heard about us so I know what marketing I’m doing is working bringing in.

So that’s my marketing director hat on more than my salesperson hat on because I just wanted that info. So just it’s curious because when you wonder oh my gosh, well if it’s coming from Facebook, then I can actually check my reach and if I didn’t spend enough to reach everybody, but I know my highest traffic is coming from Facebook, I can throw a few more bucks at those Facebook ads and get another five people through the door.

Dan Kenney:                 Absolutely, absolutely and I do ask where everybody heard about us and to be honest, the majority is Facebook.

And that’s been the biggest impact really on my open houses, getting people there. And also on my farming strategy because something I do in my farm, I’ve actually grown quite a following on my Facebook page in this little area that I live in and people whenever I ask them how they heard about me, they’re all like oh, your on my Facebook feed for some reason, you always show up in my Facebook.

And if someone in my farm likes or comments on one of my posts, I immediately look up their address and I immediately go knock on their door that day or the next day. And I say hey, I’m Dan Kenney I live in the area-

Lori Ballen:                   How do you know they’re already in your farm when they like it?

Dan Kenney:                 Well I’ll look at what town they live in if I can find that information and then I’ll look them up in the tax records.

Lori Ballen:                   No, but you said when somebody likes your post and they’re in your farm then you look them up, but how do you know, are you looking up everybody who likes your post to see if they’re in your farm?

Dan Kenney:                 Absolutely.

Lori Ballen:                   Okay, gotcha.

Dan Kenney:                 Yeah I go door knocking and say hey, my name is Dan Kenney I’m a realtor, I live in the area and they’re like I know, I’ve seen you on Facebook. And I’m like really, awesome, and then we start a conversation from there and it’s a great way to get a door knock that is not a weird stranger on your front door.


Facebook Ad

Lori Ballen:                  It sounds like you’ve got this incredible strategy where it’s almost a full circle where your lead generating on Facebook, but then you’re capturing and cultivating through Facebook and then you’re going out on door-knocking with the Facebook branding behind you, which is marketing 101 when it comes to radio and television and Facebook is the same thing.

So you’re creating this brand awareness and it’s helping you in this full circle and then including your open houses. So you’re saying that you are asking people how they heard about you and you’re hearing the majority of them saying Facebook. So on that note, what is in your Facebook ad for your open house?

Dan Kenney:                 Sure, it is typically the best photo of the house, doesn’t necessarily have to be the front of the house, it could be that the kitchen is the best photo or they got a killer bathroom. I might do a couple different photos just to tease it and then it’s basically just open house this Sunday, 1:00 to 4:00, for more info and I usually have a link where they can find out more info on the property. And I also have the learn more button where they can go get a home value estimate and I capture leads that way as well.

Lori Ballen:                   Okay. So are you sending them to just your general real estate website that has that IDX page property info or do you have something special you’re sending them to?

Dan Kenney:                 So I’ve been doing the SmartZip thing for my farm and so I send them to that home pricing website.


The Reception

Lori Ballen:                 Okay, so now your people come into your open house and you welcome them, you ask them the key question there and then you let them walk around. You’ve got snacks out and I heard you say music, do you have something you play?

Dan Kenney:                 Sure so the way I look at it and this is what I talk about in my class all the time and why this is so important. I think there are two different approaches to an open house, you can either be what I call the furniture store approach or, and you’ve been to probably a furniture store before and you know what happens the second you walk in the door, which is your attacked by every sales person in there and then they follow you around the whole time. It never really allows you to let down your guard and relax.

Or you can take what I like to call the cocktail party approach and that is to create the atmosphere of this is a cocktail party in your home for your closest family and friends and then you treat everybody who comes through the door like that.

And I can tell you that the connections you make are so much more genuine, they let their guard down much sooner and yes I have music playing, I usually have some drinks and nothing fancy, maybe cookies and water, nothing crazy because they’re not there for the food. It’s just more of a something for them to do while we very casually chat and get to know one another.

Lori Ballen:                   Okay, great. And then out where your snacks and water are and stuff, do you have any printed materials out?

Dan Kenney:                 Yes, I usually have a brochure on the house or a flyer or something and then I usually have information about my business. Although interestingly, something I learned from Chris that he has done recently is he doesn’t have any printed material, he just carries around an iPad and shows them on his iPad and then says well, would you like me to send this to you? Great, what’s your email and your cell phone number? And then that’s how he’s capturing their contact info.

Lori Ballen:                   What does that conversation look like? So you’ve got somebody that walks around the home and they’re looking very interested and they spend quite a bit of time and then they’re starting to walk by you towards the front door to leave.

Dan Kenney:              Some people don’t want to talk to you and some people just pop in and they get out as fast as they can. Most people I find, I’ll circle back to them before they’re heading for the door and just check in and say how you doing, how’d you hear about us, what do you think of the house and you know, something very casual.

[su_note note_color=”#fbfabf” radius=”4″]I don’t talk much about the house either, I mostly talk about them, so like, do you live in the area? How long have you lived here, what do you like about living here? If you were going to move somewhere where would you move to? You know, things like that.[/su_note]

Lori Ballen:                   I see so you’re keeping it more cocktail party like and you’re just kind of bringing up, you don’t have a set script, but you’re bringing up a little bit of general conversation about them like do you live in the area and then you’re looking to see if they might bring up the conversation around buying a house rather than you’re not just coming right out and saying oh, are you looking to buy a house?

Dan Kenney:                 Precisely, I mean obviously they’re looking to buy a house because they’re at an open house. So I already know they’re either a buyer or a seller or both.

And so, I look at it more like dating, like people often ask me do I ask them if they’re working with an agent and I say well, if you were out at a bar or a club and you wanted to pick someone up as a date, would you go up to them and say hey, are you dating anybody?

You wouldn’t start the conversation that way. You know, you would find out that information because it’s very important information to find out because we don’t want to solicit another agent’s business. However, you’re going to go about it in a much more casual way, you’re going to get them to warm up to you.

Once they’ve warmed up to you, I usually find that in the open house situation, then they usually ask me well do you have any other properties or would you be willing to stop by and look at my house sometime?

I’m like great, what are you doing today after the open house, I’ve got nothing planned. I always leave time open after the open house because I have gone right into listing appointments right from the open house.

Lori Ballen:                   Yeah and how about showing homes? Have you ever gone and shown homes in the area right after?

Dan Kenney:                 Occasionally, I gave someone my app once and they took it and drove around the neighborhood and they found a house and then came back and said can you go show me this house? So, it’s a little dicey you want to make sure they’re pre-qualified and everything, but I have done that occasionally.


Open House Signs

Lori Ballen:                   Yeah. How many open house signs are you putting out?

Dan Kenney:                 I always tell people as many as it takes, so I look at a Google map of the neighborhood and I really make it like breadcrumbs to get to that open house.

And I do at least four major intersections around the neighborhood so four large branded, directional signs that I get out in advance so that people are seeing my name and my phone number three to four days in advance of the open house.

And then smaller directional signs through the neighborhood that are leading people directly to the open house so that it would be impossible for them to not find me.

Lori Ballen:                   Okay I love that you said that very pointedly, four key intersections with branded open house signs, which is so, so important especially if you’re repeating in your geographic farm, created that brand awareness and having signs that are consistent with your brand that people see over and over and over and over again. That’s key.

So about how many signs then?

Dan Kenney:                 It depends on the intersection and the layout, usually at least one for the four major intersections and it’s really a simple sign. It’s just my name, my phone number and a rider that says open house and a rider with an arrow pointing the direction of where it is.

And it’ll probably say Sunday 1:00 to 4:00. And what that does is people going to work or going to school get used to seeing that for a couple days in a row and go oh, there’s going to be an open house over there. And then the other thing in terms of brand awareness as you were talking about, every week the number of signs I have in my village goes up, doubles.

And so every week it looks like I’ve got so many more, such a greater presence in that area because I put out all these open house signs.

Lori Ballen:                   So about how many open house signs per open house?

Dan Kenney:                 At least 8, probably with often times 10 to 12.

Lori Ballen:                   Okay, yeah, I think we used to put up about a dozen, but depending on your areas and how many opportunities you have to put up those signs. And then when do those go up?

Dan Kenney:                 Yeah. So, the rider on the sign in the yard for the open house sign that we’re going to put in the yard of the house itself goes up a week in advance.

Lori Ballen:                   You’re putting an open house sign with the information with your yard sign right there on the house?

Dan Kenney:                 Absolutely, we want the neighbors to know.

Lori Ballen:                   Yeah, that makes sense. And then when are your directional signs going up?

Dan Kenney:                 Usually three to four days beforehand, the major intersection ones.

Lori Ballen:                   Three to four days, but what if, oh but they say the date and time on them is why you can do that?

Dan Kenney:                 Yeah they say Sunday 1:00 to 4:00.

Lori Ballen:                   That’s really smart, that has got to be helping your attendance.

Dan Kenney:                 Yeah, so what happens is that people are going to work or to the grocery store every day and either subliminally or whatever they’re seeing, oh there’s an open house there Sunday.

Oh, there’s an open house over there Sunday. Oh there’s an open house over there Sunday. And Sunday rolls around and they’re like what do you want to do today, I don’t know I think there’s an open house over there somewhere, let’s go check it out.

Lori Ballen:                   Yeah that’s smart. Now, are you paying somebody to put up your signs or are you doing it yourself?

Dan Kenney:                 Right now I’m still doing it myself. However, I am interviewing for a buyer’s agent as you said at the beginning who will hopefully be doing that for me and because I live in my farm, I literally can do it on my way home from work. And Sunday morning when I put out my balloons, I literally get up and I roll out of bed, I grab my coffee, I go get some balloons and then put them out. I’m home in 10 minutes. That’s the nice thing about farming where you live.

Lori Ballen:                   Are you putting balloons on every sign?

Dan Kenney:                 Strictly the major street directional at the major intersections and then on the house itself. It’s just sort of that added, I use those foil ones that shine in the sunlight, it’s that added, I call it cat advertising because you know it shines, it’s shaky and it gets people’s attention.

Lori Ballen:                   Yeah. How much are you spending on average when you do an open house? How much is it costing you to do your ads, your balloons, your refreshments?

Dan Kenney:                 Sure, probably $50 total between refreshments and the boosted posts and sometimes I’ll boost it a little bit more. I’m trying to get better with my Facebook ads as opposed to just my boosted posts because I know there’s more value in them, I just haven’t delved into them yet enough.

Lori Ballen:                   I’ll have to add a training video on doing Facebook ads for open houses, there are so many great ways we can do that. All right, but it sounds like you’re doing great and you’re getting good traffic.

You’re getting a lot of people to your door and you’re closing a lot of houses from open houses.

So Dan before we have to get off here because we’ve gone a little bit over time. Do you think this is a scalable lead generation activity? Either farming or the open houses?

Dan Kenney:                 Yes, farming without a doubt because obviously you just increase the size of your farm and that’s what I did, I started very small and it’s been just growing every year. I just let it grow out a little bit more and almost organically.

With open houses probably as well if you’re doing more open houses per week. I know Chris’s team, everybody on his team is required to do 50 a year. So they’re doing open houses every day of the week.

So, what advice would you give to anybody who wants to follow your footsteps in the open houses?

Dan Kenney:                 Sure, I would say follow the system. It’s all about the leading up to it. Look at “Shift,” look at that 7th level open house marketing system. And really that week leading up to the open house, that’s your job.

Every phone call you make, every email you send, every text you send, every Facebook post you do, mention the open house. And for a brand new agent, find a vacant house, go there with your laptop and your hotspot every day and make that your office.

Lori Ballen:                   All right Dan, that was very, very informational, I really appreciate you being patient and helping me break that down for people that they can learn from the best. You learned from Chris and people can learn from you and that’s how this whole chain works especially at Keller Williams with the training that we have here.

Dan Kenney:                 Thank you, it was a pleasure Lori.

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Real Estate Facebook Ads That Really Work!

I’m Lori Ballen, a Las Vegas Real Estate Agent, and owner of  Ballen Brands, a [eafl id=”12705″ name=”Ballen Brands” text=”real estate agent website development company. “] In this 2 part video series, I’ll show you how to make a real estate ad on Facebook that is bringing in results.

I got 24 Leads in 24 Hours for Less than Two dollars a lead ~ Regan Laughlin

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I got a Facebook message a little while ago from somebody that is implementing a lot of my strategies (Regan Laughlin), and she said that she got 24 leads in 24 hours at less than two dollars a lead from a video training that I did on one of our coaching calls, so I figured I would go ahead and make this video and add it to our Rank Like a Boss library.

Now, I have run these ads in Vegas, and I’m not getting this particular ad quite as low as that.

Misty Weaver originally showcased this strategy in one of my Facebook groups, and she was getting it for pennies a click.

I do have Facebook real estate ads I’m running that I’m getting for 15 cents a click, 16 cents a click. I have another one running for 13 cents a click, and those are non-targeted single image listing ads.

I’m going to show you how we do the one that is getting people so many clicks, so many low clicks, so many leads at such a low cost, but let me tell you a couple of things.

You need to have a listing for this particular ad I’m going to run.

The example I’m going to use today is a new listing, and we’re going to target a ZIP code.

Regan, who’s the one that messaged me this morning, said that she had to group three ZIP codes together because her area is much smaller.

I’m in Las Vegas. Vegas is incredibly competitive. It’s not as competitive as, say, Southern California, but there’s a lot of advertisers in our space, and so it might be that we’re going to pay more per click here.

We may pay more per lead as an average here because the competition is advertising and bidding on some of the same audiences. Bidding on that audience, such as a zip code,  could be more expensive for us.

It’s really going to depend on your market, your competition, and then also the listing that you have.

You want to use what I call, a bread-and-butter listing.

This means, it’s in the pocket, it’s in the average price range for your market or below. If you run a listing that is higher and it’s only going to appeal to a smaller group, you’re going to have a completely different result, and your cost per clicks are going to be different, and you’re going to have to probably include different targets for income possibly.

Keep in mind, that how good the listing shows will make a difference in your clicks. The pictures that you include are also going to make a significant difference. If you’ve got a listing that doesn’t show well or the photos are really dark, or they’re not great photos, you’re going to have a smaller click-through rate.

A lower click-through rate is probably going to result in a lower relevance score on Facebook, and a lower relevance score on Facebook is going to mean a higher cost per click overall.

I just want you guys all to understand this. When I show things like this, I’m just using examples, but they could vary from listing to listing, market to market.

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Step 1: Create a new Campaign

We’re going to go ahead and go through this the exact same way that we used in this other example, so my campaign name, I’m just going to call this one Frederick. Your campaign might be all of your listings, and then you’re going to just market your listings in that campaign, or you might be doing one campaign for each listing and then doing various ads, so depending on how you have yours set up

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Step 2: Choose Ad Type as Conversion

We’re going to go ahead and do a conversion ad, and we’re going to track those conversions with our Facebook pixel. If you’re not at that point yet where you’re tracking those, you could do just a traffic ad and send them straight through.

I’ve heard people say over and over again, “Don’t do conversion ads because they’re more expensive.” I got to tell you, the ads I’m getting for 13 cents, 15 cents, are actually traffic ads, so there may be something to that.

Unfortunately, Facebook doesn’t tell us how much you’re going to be paying. It all depends on so many variables once you get it posted, so you’re really just kind of guessing as you’re first going through this.

What you might want to do is run a conversion ad, run a traffic ad at the same time, if you’ve got the budget to do it. Then test which one performs better.

I always perform multiple ads at the same time around a listing, and then I turn off whichever one’s the most expensive or not converting.

Whichever one’s the most expensive per lead, not per click, because sometimes you get cheap per clicks where they’re not converting, and other times you’re paying more per click, but they convert better, so your cost per lead winds up being lower, actually.

💡 Check out this great article on Facebook A/B Ad Testing

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Step 3: Create a new Ad Set

Next, we’re going to create a new ad set. Our ad set’s going to be called Frederick, and we’ll call this one a Canva. I’ll show you why in a minute because we’re going to make a Canva with it.  Name your ad set and Save to draft.

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Step 4: Set a Campaign Budget

Let’s go ahead to set a campaign limit and say, “Okay, I’m only going to spend $150 on this campaign.” One campaign could be set up for marketing all listings under, for example. In this example, I’m going to give my whole campaign a $500 budget this month, and all of my listings share that one budget, but then each ad set will have it’s own spending limits.

If you put them all in the same campaign and you set a campaign limit, then you can’t overspend, but if you put each one at its own campaign and each one gets its own ad spend, you can find yourself in trouble. Putting them in the same campaign with a cap set on your spend can protect you from spending more than you want to.

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Step 5: Choose the Business Page you want your ad to run under

Next, it’s going to ask us to choose our Facebook business page that you want to be represented. All of our ads go with a Facebook page, so for my real estate team here in Las Vegas, I’m going to put this under Lori Ballen Team Las Vegas.

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Step 6: Choose your Ad Budget

Now you can set your daily budget for this ad, so you can have a campaign with a larger budget, and then each of your ads can have their own smaller budget.

Let’s just say you have a campaign for all your listings running, and you say, “No matter what, I don’t want to spend more than $500 this month on all of my advertising,” so then you go down to each listing ad and say, “Okay, this listing’s really hot, so maybe on this one I’ll spend 20 bucks a day, or maybe this one I’ll only spend $10 a day,”. That’s a daily budget for each ad.

I like Lifetime Budget, and I like to say I’m going to run this for 30 days, and I’m willing to spend $150 on it. You get a little bit more options, and the scheduling is a pretty cool thing too.  Let’s say you only want to run your ads when you’re awake and people can call you, so you might just do like 9:00 to 8:00 Monday through Saturday.  You can also choose to do it every day if you like.

Maybe you say, “Every day I want to run my ads from 9:00 to 8:00. I don’t want to run them in the middle of the night because nobody can call me, or maybe you get most of your leads in the middle of the night, so you only want to run it in the middle of the night.”

The benefit too, with running things in the middle of the night, I find this also with Google AdWords, is people’s budgets run out early, so you’re competing with a lot fewer people typically in your own country, if that’s where you’re targeting, because everybody’s in a similar timezone in the United States.  Within a few hours in the middle of the night, everybody’s budgets have run out. You’ve got less competition, so I’m getting clicks on my Google AdWords for pennies after everybody else’s budgets run out, and so there might be a strategic reason to do that for you as well.

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Step 7: Choose your Ad Targets

Now, my listing is in 89166, so what I’m going to do is, I’m going to run my ad in 89166.   What you’ll be able to see on the right-hand side is what the potential reach is. In this example, based on my zip code target, I could reach 22,000 people.

That’s how large my ZIP code is. This is why ZIP codes are such a big target in Las Vegas, because we have so many of them, and there are so many people in each ZIP code. For me, choosing one single zip code is plenty. I’m not even going to be able to budget enough to reach everybody in that ZIP code. I’ll only have the daily potential reach of 920 out of that 22,000 people because of my budget.

Now, if I increase my budget, if I double my budget, I can reach 1,800 people. If I triple it, I can reach more. That type of thing, but I’d have to be spending a lot of money to reach everybody in 89166.

Now, if you’re listening to other trainers and they’re teaching you to make sure that you click the people that are most likely to move, and they’re telling you to choose a minimum age, to only pick people in this age group or whatever, that’s not wrong. What you have to know is, the more audiences you target, the higher, the higher your cost per click is probably going to be, because you’re bidding on each audience you add.

On Google AdWords, you’re bidding on a keyword. On Facebook, you’re bidding on an audience. Each audience is an auction and the costs are based on the total people bidding on that audience, and their existing bids.

That’s one of the factors in how much you pay per click. Not the only factor, because then there’s still the relevance score that depends on how good your ad is and how well your landing page performs, and all of that plays in, but you have to know that the more audiences you choose, the more you’re going to pay per click.

That’s not always a bad thing because if you laser target your audience, and your ad is also laser targeted to match that audience so that your conversion rate is incredibly high, your cost per lead could still be low, even though your cost per click is higher.

For example, you might be retargeting, so you’re using a custom audience that you’ve uploaded. You’re doing a custom audience of retargeted people that have visited a certain page on your website or all the pages on your website, or they visited this page but not this page, like they visited the website, but they didn’t go to the IDX thank you page, which means they didn’t register to look at homes.

Now, I want to retarget that audience with advertisements, or people that did register for IDX on my website I want to retarget, because those people have raised their hands. You might spend nine dollars a click, but those are your warmest, hottest leads, and coming back and getting them on the website that might actually convert, so your cost per sale ends up lower.

You have cost per click, cost per lead, and cost per sale.

Cost Per Click = How much you pay each time someone clicks

Cost per Lead = Total spend / total number of leads

Cost per Sale = Total Spend / Total Sales

Example: $500 Budget

Based on your ad targeting, FB charges you an average of $1.00 per click.
You spend $500.00 and get 50 leads. 500/50 = 10. So you paid $10 per lead
You close one home. $500/1 = $500. Your cost per Sale is $500.00

Back to ad targeting. We’re bidding on a ZIP code, so if you’re bidding on a very competitive ZIP code, you might find you’re paying more cost per click than the neighboring town, than somebody else on here.

If you’re in an area that has a small, has ZIP codes that don’t have a lot of people in those areas, then you might need to include multiple ZIP codes. Yes, I know that there would be people outside of this ZIP code that would be interested in this property, yet I have a potential reach of 22,000 people, and I’m only going to reach 920, so why bother including any other ZIP codes in there today?

There’s no need to do that because I don’t have the budget for that based on the example that we’re using.

That is all we’re going to do on there is choose that one ZIP code.

Now, you have this optimization for ad delivery, and so you can choose landing page views, people that are most likely to click on your ad link and load the landing page.

You’re going to have to do a pixel for that one.

You can choose link clicks.

They’re going to deliver the ad to the people that they think are most likely to click.

You can also choose impressions. This is going to be where you pay for a certain number of people that see your ad, regardless of whether or not they click.

We’re going to go ahead and just do link clicks for this example.

Remember, if you’re trying to mimic what I’m doing here, and you want to try to get the $2.00 per lead like Regan did in the example this morning, or pennies like Misty Weaver who originally showed this example, then you’re going to need to make sure that you’re doing things identical to what we’re doing.

As soon as you change one factor, your testing is gone.

Next, we’re going to go ahead and leave the bid automatic, since we’ve already got a budget cap on there. We’re going to spend 10 bucks a day or whatever we’ve decided.  By default, this was set on per impression. I’m going to change that to cost per click.

Okay, so we’re going to do standard delivery type, and we’re going to review the draft.

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Video Part 2

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Step 9: Create your CANVA Graphic

Now, we’re going to choose ad with an image or video, ad with multiple images, and here’s the new thing I was talking about earlier, full-screen mobile experience, I’m going to talk about that in another video.

Let’s go ahead and do ad with image or video. Now, for me, personally, whenever I’m designing, I focus on mobile. I will always look at the mobile versus the desktop.

Most of my link clicks, and I think if you look at your analytics, yours are probably the same, are going to be for mobile, especially on social media. I’m going to focus on mobile.

We’re going to go over here to Canva and we’re going to choose a social media post. Once you do this once, you can actually set a template, then you can use the same one over and over and over again.

But there are lots of different kinds of templates in here. Canva has a free version, then they have a paid version, and I do have the paid version, but most of these you can do with the free version.

Okay, let’s use this one here. I likes one that has like these four images, then either a circle in the middle, or a square in the middle, but you can resize this square, so depending on how big we want that to be. I’m going to use this template, and I’m going to add some images now.

Next, we upload pictures of the property. I’m just going to go ahead and grab some random pictures here because I’m not actually going to publish this. Once I upload the picture, all I have to do is drag it right here into the little box. See that? And it will put it into the box, and if it doesn’t fit correctly, then you might need to go get a different image, you may need to size that separately.

Add the text of whatever you think is going to be appealing,  that your audience is going to like. So if it has a pool, or it’s waterfront, or it has special features etc. You may or not want to add the price.

Download the image. Save as the property address.

Upload the image into your ad.

Step 10: Add in your headline, text, and call to action


Nearly 2000 square feet and like new. Built in 2016. Single story, that’s huge here. Single story home in Providence, stainless steel appliances.

You’re going to do like three, one, two, three, four, five, three to five lines here.

Then, it’s up to you on the if you want to add in emojis.  I have not tested with or without emojis, so I cannot tell you whether or not these are going to result in a higher click-through rate.

That could be a very fun test. I’ll have to do it on my next listing since this one just sold. I have a new one, but I don’t have the pictures yet.

Now, the headline is Download Details.  This seems to be a hot call to action from what we’re seeing with this type of an ad, and what that means is you’ve got to be sending them to a page that allows them to download something if you’re going to use that call to action.

In my case, they can click through and view the photo gallery, and then that has a download, a printable listing brochure, or I could send them to my listing leads page that has download the brochure options.

Again, you could test your landing pages against each other, you could use lead pages, there are all kinds of landing pages that you could use to send them too, I do suggest testing those.

But most of you, most real estate agents aren’t really super advanced at Facebook Ads, they’re just starting, or just dabbling, so it’s a lot to ask you to split test.

Right at first, you’ll want to just get things going, but as you get more skilled, more experienced, and your budget gets larger and you can test more ads, then it’s nice to be able to test different things like emojis or not emojis, which calls to action perform better, which pictures perform better, which landing pages, you know, that kind of thing.

Okay. Now, this is interesting because in Regan’s example, she has no price. I may not want to put the price either, but then you’re going to get clicks on people who can’t afford the house. Another interesting theory of testing, right?

Step 11: edit the placements

I wanted to edit where this shows up in the placements. Let me show you how to do that really quick, we’re going to go to edit, I’m going to go to ad set, we’re going to edit the placements.

If you choose automatic placements, it’s going to show it on Instagram, it’s going to show it on its advertising partners like for example, this ad might show up on Pandora when somebody is listening to their music, and it might jump on their app.

That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but if you really want to test how well your ad is performing on Facebook, having those other channels doesn’t really give you a true test.

Once you have published your ad, it’s time to measure for results!! Good Luck!!

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How do I use my personal Facebook page to generate more real estate business?

Someone recently asked a great question. “How do I use my personal Facebook Page to Generate more Real Estate Business?”. With the recent news about the Facebook algorithm changes for business reach, many are thinking of focusing more efforts on personal pages. Here are a few ideas for you.

**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

  1. One strategy would be to use your Facebook Personal Page to create awareness among other real estate agents who might send you a referral.I’m an agent in Las Vegas, NV and do a lot of agent to agent referrals through Facebook Relationships. Checking in to places you visit, pointing out interesting things that happen in your town, mentioning crazy weather etc. can begin to create “your city + brand” awareness with other agents.
  2. Adding a Facebook call to action on your email signature (Check out Wisestamp), blog signatures, newsletters and so forth could allow you to connect with more potential buyers and sellers as well as cultivate past relationships. I interviewed an agent in Katy, TX this week who is doing some very Strategic Facebooking.
  3. Start a Personal Facebook group around the hyperlocal area you know and would like more business in. Offer value to this group by building lists like “best dog parks, honest mechanics, new restaurants” and so forth. Use the questions people ask in the group to create your “best of “ lists.
  4. Leverage Facebook Live and showcase fun and interesting things to do in your town. Tour new openings, holiday events, new construction etc. – Have your FB live videos captioned wherever possible for more views!
  5. Use your Facebook data for your CRM. Whenever I friend someone new on Facebook, I enter them in my Infusionsoft CRM including their birthday. Then, my birthday campaign sends them a text message on their birthday.  People are amazed and grateful. It’s a great ‘TOUCH’ that keeps you top of mind.
  6. Ask questions like, “What is the average price range where you are?” and state yours. It’s a great way to strike up a conversation with other agents and remind them where you are at the same time.

How to close 5 Million Dollars in One Year from Real Estate Leads

Reed Wilson in Virginia closed 76 homes last year after only a short career in real estate (5 years). His 3 lead sources:, Google AdWords (serviced by my company Ballen Brands), and Referrals.  

In this audio interview, we talk to Reed Wilson from Richmond Virginia about how he closed 26 transactions last year from, his ROI, and his conversion methods. Reed doubled his investment and didn’t work with any of the clients himself. He simply bought the leads and put the conversion process in place.

The key is to get on top of that lead immediately. Those leads are looking for instant responses.Listen to this Podcast to discover how to Rank Like A Boss with Leads.  

The Wilson Group

 9025 Forest Hill Avenue Suite 2-A
 Richmond, VA 23235
 1-804-396-4625 Leads

  1. Purchase a zip code or leads from a zip code
  2. Once you have a lead, Call within 2 minutes
  3. Have an automatic text cultivation system in place (like AutoPilot ISA)
  4. Convert and Close!

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[su_box title=”Is it Time for a New Real Estate Website?” style=”bubbles” box_color=”#FF9966″ title_color=”#000000″]Ballen Brands offers a special BREW of real estate agent websites. They are designed by Lori Ballen, a top real estate agent, digital marketing strategist and SEO who generates leads from the web. Built with an SEO focused strategy, this lead generation system offers a robust IDX, cornerstone content, drag and drop home page featuring reviews, community pages, calls to action, pricing tables, featured listings, top blog posts and more, custom templates for frequently used blog posts and pages, on the dash analytics and more. 702.917.0755. [/su_box]

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10 Steps to Success

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All right everybody, I’m Lori Ballen in Las Vegas with, your Las Vegas, and Henderson real estate team as well Ballen Brands, your digital marketing company where we “make you click”.

Today, I have the pleasure of interviewing a good friend and a client of mine, Reed Wilson, from The Wilson Group in Richmond, Virginia.

We’re going to let Reed talk to us today about his short journey in real estate. He’s only been in for five years and closed 76 homes last year in 2017, which is pretty amazing. He’s going to talk to us today about his lead sources.

Reed, welcome. Are you there?

Reed Wilson:                         Honestly, my background was in retail management. I was there, in retail management, for 12 years. Just got burned out of living in malls and not being able to enjoy any kind of life whatsoever outside of work and I knew that’s just not the way I wanted. I left retail after 12 years, took six months off because I’d been in sales my entire life, decided to give real estate a shot. I got into it basically when the market was tank it in. I got into it and here we are. Still loving it.

Lori Ballen:                             Fantastic. When I asked you about your real estate lead sources, and this is something I actually find typically amongst real estate agents, is that most of us have two or three lead sources that we’re generating most of our real estate business from. I mean, we all have some auxiliary and some additional but usually, when I ask, there are a few key ones. When you broke down your numbers, you discovered that … Well, you already knew, but leads that you actually buy are your number one source and your number two source is your Pay Per Click that you actually hired my marketing company, Ballen Brands, to do for you. Then, your third is referrals. Is that correct?

Reed Wilson:                         That is correct. Yes.

Lori Ballen:                             Let’s dive into this a little bit. Primarily, you’re getting your business like I do, which is through the internet. You’ve got some key strategies and conversion methods for working these web leads, which we’ll talk about in a little bit that I know everybody, will find very helpful, but let’s talk about How did you get started with

Reed Wilson:                         A great question. About two years ago, honestly, I was never one to pay for leads. I was always about generating a referral, but then I knew that I needed to do something to take my business to another level to keep building upon the momentum, so I reached out; I looked into and I just started in very small to get them and then convert them.

At the same time, I was also looking to build a team, so it was actually just a perfect match that I was able to hire a team member to serve as a buyer’s agent while I did the lead generation. That’s how it started and built upon the success we had last year with them.

Lori Ballen:                             How many years, did you say, you’ve been doing the paid leads with

Reed Wilson:                         About a year and a half. I started in middle of 2016.

Lori Ballen:                             Wow, and you …

Reed Wilson:                         2017 was the first full year that I had for 12 months.

Lori Ballen:                             And you closed $5 million worth of real estate sales last year after just getting started with them.

Reed Wilson:                         That is correct. Yes.

Lori Ballen:                             Tell me how this works. I know that … I actually … I’ve always done well with but I didn’t pay for it. My previous brokerage, they actually bought a package for us and somehow we weren’t buying zip codes but we had the ability to enhance our listings and all of that. I also found, at that time, that my highest converting web leads, actually, were but I’ve never paid for any of it, so tell me how that works. You’re buying zip codes, is that right?

Reed Wilson:                         Correct. Yes. What we did was we looked at the areas that we wanted to work, in or around our office, around price points that we were excited about. We really specialize in first time homebuyers, so we focused on zip codes that would be in those areas.

The way it works on the side is every zip code is broken into three or four different parts or shares, as calls them, so I buy into a share. Typically, they’re about 12 month contracts so you have to be prepared to commit it and I don’t like a contract, so it took a lot for me to do that.

Then, what happens is one part of a share or a zip code can actually be shared amongst whoever is paying for that zip code, so it could potentially be in-between four different realtors or brokers that are paying for one zip code or one share of a zip code. You can actually pay for one share or you can pay for the full four to have total control of that zip code.

Lori Ballen:                             Great. You have a 12 month contract, there is three or four shares per zip code and multiple agents could share a single share. How does that cost work out?

Reed Wilson:                         The account reps, they already have, based on their market, how many leads come from one specific zip code, and then they’ll divide that by three or four, however many shares they want to have. Then, depending on how many you want to have, will break that. For example, of a zip code, and I’m just speaking generically, let’s say a zip code costs $1,000 for the full share a month, but I don’t want to participate on the full share. If I want a quarter of that share, well, then maybe I will pay $250 a month but also because I’m paying less I’m also going to get less leads. If that zip code guarantees you 60 leads a years, well, I may be getting down to 10 to 15 because I’m reducing my cost as opposed to the full share. But that’s a great way to start and that’s exactly what I did. When I started, I bought into one share.

Lori Ballen:                             When you first started, you bought into one share … We got cut off there. Then, go ahead.

Reed Wilson:                         Then, my first share that I bought, I started off paying 60 bucks a month, and I think I was guaranteed 15 leads over the course of six months to a year, but I started very small with one share and one zip code.

Lori Ballen:                             Then, you’re working your way up. I didn’t ask you so I don’t want to put you on the spot, but I know that you’ve got, in here, the web leads typically convert at 1% to 2%, which I agree with. If they’re cold web leads, they’ve never heard of you before. We’re not talking about cultivating, sphere of influence on Facebook or anything like that. Cold leads, just Joshmo, you’re going to convert half a percent to a couple percent. I find it hard to find people that are even doing 3% and 4%, they can prove multiple sources of cold leads. Per source, sometimes they will covert higher. Do you know how much … How your leads are converting or you just know they’re the lion share of your closings?

Reed Wilson:                         Well, based on the … We did 26 transactions closed from We, over the course of 2017, we received 558 total leads, so that, I think, when we figured it out that’s about 4.6% rate of the closed transactions versus the number of leads that we got.

Lori Ballen:                             4.6% … Hold on, let me just do the math here, too. You had a … That’s a 4.6%, exactly right, closing ratio from That’s what I was saying that web leads can convert at a higher rate per source if you’re tracking that source. When we take an aggregate of everything: Craigslist, Facebook, Zillow, and all of those, that’s when we start off; that’s when we have lower losing percentages. I love that. That’s fantastic. Now, have you found, or do you have the ability to buy more space in your area?

Reed Wilson:                         Absolutely, and that’s how … When I say, in the very beginning, when I started with a $60 a month share, within 90 days, we had our first closing because I don’t like a monthly payment, so what I did was took the commission for the team back into and paid that contract off, bought into another zip code with another share and we just constantly keep reinvesting back into our large demographic of our area. Right now, current, I am participating in about 14 different zip codes and shares.

Lori Ballen:                             Wow, that’s amazing. Let me ask you, have you done the math on your cost per lead or your cost per sale actually? When you close one of these 26 houses, what is your average price range on those 26 houses?

Reed Wilson:                         Our average sales price is about $245.

Lori Ballen:                             Have you figured out how much you’re spending, then, overall? What your cost per sale is to what was your cost to acquire that, then, through Have you done the math on that?

Reed Wilson:                         Not to that detail yet. Basically, what we’ve been doing, we’ve just been tracking what we spend versus the team income. Not to that detail just yet.

Lori Ballen:                             Do you know, for all of 2017, what the total spend was to about?

Reed Wilson:                         Yes. It was $15,338.

Lori Ballen:                             Perfect. Now we’re getting somewhere. Let’s just say your average house was $245 … Now, everybody listening, I really struggle with math. This is hilarious but it’s a true story. I’m very authentic, you’ll find with me. I have to have my calculators and I have to do it very purposefully and strategically, so I tend not to do math live so this is very scary, but let’s just take a look here.

All right, so $245,000. Let’s say $245,000 … I’ll tell you what I’m doing, hold on a second. Commission is never standing. Anybody that’s listening, especially the new agents, there’s never a standard commission, there’s never an average commission, we’re not even allowed to talk about average commissions.

Let’s just say, though, for pulling a number out of the hat here, Reed, that your team is bringing in $7,000 a transaction. We’re just try to … A rough estimate here. If that’s $7,000 times 26 houses would be $182,000 in team income. Does that make sense?

Reed Wilson:                         Yep.

Lori Ballen:                             Holy Molly. That’s a return of $167,000. Now, I’m going to take this one step further, and you can stop me if you don’t want to drill down, but you have a team. Out of those 26 closings, how many of those homes did you pay out in agent commissions to? You didn’t work it, you have a team, you paid it out to somebody else. How many of those deals did you have a cost to sale for an agent expense on?

Reed Wilson:                         26. I don’t work the leads; those are specifically for my team agents.

Lori Ballen:                             Beautiful. Out of those 26 deals, you would have paid out to your agents what? 50% or do you have maybe a different model?

Reed Wilson:                         Yeah. It’s about 50%; it’s a pretty standard team for what we have.

Lori Ballen:                             Let’s just say out that estimated $182,000, you pay out $90,000 and you never leave the house, you never go work a deal. You have a $90,000 to your operating expense account. After your cap or whatever … I don’t know whatever your guys’ fees are. Let’s just take that down to a rough estimate of $70,000 and if you’re running a team that’s 40% profitable … I know I’m really drilling down here but some people will appreciate this, $70,000 times 40. Technically, you’ve doubled your money, in your pocket, at the end of the day without ever leaving. Did you see how I went through that?

All right, that’s absolutely amazing. You doubled your income, you kept somebody else working and they made money off you.

Reed Wilson:                         Yeah.

Lori Ballen:                             For you, strategically, this is absolutely 100% an investment worth doing. Now, I always tell people, I’m an SEO girl, search engine optimization. I love to get my leads by ranking on the search engines. I also love to get leads through Facebook and generating agent-to-agent referrals. But agent-to-agent referrals have a cost of sale because you’re going to pay out 25% to 30% on that referrals so you would do very similar math to how that all … That’s actually more expensive than your is. Even my sphere of … My SEO costs money. I have content that’s assets, I’ve got my website, I’ve got IDX fees, I’ve got tools that I’m using on the website, so nothing is free.

Reed Wilson:                         Right.

Lori Ballen:                             I hear people say SEO is free and … Yeah, right. I mean, you’ve got tools, you’ve got software but you’re still spending money. However, SEO is proven to have the highest return: ROI on investment, but when you can spend pay per click marketing and you’re converting at 4.6% of those leads, which I have all your tracking sheets so I see the evidence. That, to me, has worked … I would do it all day long. There is no reason why I would not do that. As long as I’m tracking, I can show the return.

Here’s what I do know, Reed, that you also do your pay per click marketing through Ballen Brands, which is my company and you also get a significant amount through that, but both of those strategies: pay per click marketing … They’re both pay per click marketing , essentially or pay per lead. Essentially, you still have to have a methodology for converting those.

Part of the reason you’re converting 4.6% of the leads is because of your systems and your processes, so can you tell us a little bit about what happens when a lead comes in? How does your team flow the life of that lead? How is somebody responding? When are they responding? Go through that a little bit with us.

Reed Wilson:                         Like I said earlier, I don’t work the leads. The leads coming to me, and as soon as I get a lead, then they’re rerouted to one or two of my team members. My requirement is they are to follow-up with that lead within two minutes. No exceptions. If I don’t get a response back, I’m sending it back to another agent to get on top of that really quickly. The key is get on top of that lead immediately. Those leads are looking for instant responses.

Our response is now, while you mentioned we do pay per click marketing , those automatically go into an Autopilot program provided by Ballen Brands, which we love, but because leads are converting higher and they’re typically hotter, ready-to-go leads, we make those initials phone calls upfront, quickly … The first initial phone call and then again once within 12 hours. If we don’t get a response either times and they’re put on our Autopilot program to, again, let that work smarter not harder behind the scenes for us to focus on the new lead that’s coming in.

Again, first, they’re required to respond within two minutes. We do the initial follow-up and then they get put on to our Autopilot and drip campaigns.

Lori Ballen:                             Let’s talk about that for a second. For those of you that are listening that don’t know, Autopilot ISA is actually a software that my company, Ballen Brands, built. We built it because of my personal pain with generating web leads 24/7, that’s what I do and having a hard time getting to all of them quick enough and responding fast enough, so we created a digital text dialer system that has tested and measured proven messages that fire from the second the lead comes in, it automatically dials them a text. It has these set of question and it’s a three campaign software: it has an arrival, survival and a revival campaign.

What I’m hearing you say, Reed, is that you don’t put them on Autopilot, like I do the second they come in. If they’re a lead, you have that separated so that your people can chase them first. Is that correct?

Reed Wilson:                         Correct. Yes. Those leads, we made a choice that because they’re warmer and were having success, we make those initial calls upfront before putting them on Autopilot.

Lori Ballen:                             Let me ask you this, in my experience with chasing these web leads, I’ve had a very hard time getting people to answer the phone. Do you or do you guys have … Are you measuring that at all as far as are they answering their phone or are you also texting them? Do you know how many people are answering the phone or?

Reed Wilson:                         Believe it or not, if you can jumble them within two minutes, you’d actually have a very good change. I would say about 50% of the ones, and I know that may sound high, but about 50% of the ones we call immediately, within two minutes, we’re grabbing them on the phone because they haven’t had time to get distracted yet. They’ve hit the button and requested more information, they’re probably still from their computer or owned a Smartphone so we have a better chance of grabbing them.

If we don’t get them, we don’t leave a voicemail. We’ll send them a text immediately, “Hey, this is Reed Wilson of the Wilson Group. Just got your information. Please, give me a call back,” and we go from there. But we do find that jumping on them really quickly will increase your chance of grabbing them on the phone.

Lori Ballen:                             Fantastic. The two minute window sounds like it’s the magic thing right there. It’s actually catching them instantaneously in having somebody to directly dial, and that was where my biggest challenge was is because we’re not really set up that way, so to call that instant is more challenging for me, for sure, that’s why we put Autopilot in play.

It’s cool because you’ve got this experience with Autopilot and you’re using it for your Google AdWords campaigns. We can just be working, doing whatever we do and all of a sudden a text comes back in that’s a response from a customer that we didn’t even know our machine was texting and all of a sudden we’ve got live bait on … Not live bait, that’s a terrible word to use, but you know what I mean. We’ve got somebody live now that we can start texting with, which is cool.

Reed Wilson:                         We love it. My team swears by it. I mean, I can’t tell you the number of conversions or the leads that have come back in that … Night text … We don’t have the time to text people nine times over the course of two weeks, so we swear about the program.

Lori Ballen:                             It sounds, to me, like you guys are handling arrival and you’re letting Autopilot ISA do the survival: keeps … Churn of them until it can incubate them until they’re at that point ready to go.

Fantastic. Is there any other strategies with conversion that we should know about?

Reed Wilson:                         Really, just the quickness is, even though we call within two minutes, I mean, we find that other agents have already contacted them. That is the biggest key: follow-up. Have a system in place is really what I suggest to increase your chances of conversion to have a system in place. Without that, you’re not going to succeed with leads. I don’t believe you can. I mean, you have to have that system in place to increase your chance.

Lori Ballen:                             I’m going to have to look up … I wonder if they have any kind of quoted conversion rate that they believe their leads as an average convert because yours are very high, that’s fantastic. I think we had a 3% tracking. That was, gosh, five years ago or whatever it was and before we were doing text and all that so I would assume higher now.

Now, your biggest challenges are going to be … I noticed, when I asked you on your pre-interview, your biggest challenge you said was that even when you catch people, oftentimes, they already have a real estate agent or somebody else has already gotten to them first, right?

Reed Wilson:                         Correct.

Lori Ballen:                             I actually think that is the reason why conversion rates aren’t higher. I don’t think it’s as much about just agents not doing a good job, I think it is the fact that a lot of people nowadays like to have their own control, and even if they already have an agent they’re still out there surfing the web for properties and they register so that they can get the goodies whether it’s photos or downloads or whatever else. I’m actually tracking this. I have graphs and charts on how many people call me that already have a real estate and that number is growing and it’s over 20%.

It’s a pretty incredible feat to take on web leads because you have to know that half of the web leads are not going to be valid; there are going to be bad phone numbers, there are going to be bad emails, there are going to be people that already have an agent, there are going to be people who don’t qualify: lucky, lose, that type of thing, so you’re really trying to convert the 50% that’s remaining.

Reed Wilson:                         Yes.

Lori Ballen:                             Go ahead, Reed.

Reed Wilson:                         You’re exactly right. That’s one thing that we know, it is absolutely a numbers game. We have got to generate 100 leads to get two appointments. That’s one thing, too, for anyone looking to get into this source that you’re not going to convert or close every one of them. We get it, we learn it so we just have to constantly keep increasing our shares, our zip codes, our leads so we can just, of course, have that better opportunity.

Lori Ballen:                             I can tell you guys, all of my business comes … I’ve an interesting model, so although I have a team, it’s not a traditional team. They’re people that work under my name and my brand but essentially I generate the leads and they go close the deal, so I’m not really … I’ve chosen people that work like I do that are honest, ethical, skilled, experienced and all of that, and so I don’t really have to be in the office every day with them coaching and training, they just do a good job.

For me, my full-time business is to generate real estate leads and primarily do that on the web, but I will tell you and, Reed, I’m sure you’ll agree that we also have to have excellent partners because, if we are counting on what we do whether we’re buying leads or earning leads, and there’s a sweet spot and combination for all of it, we have to know that whoever we’re handing those leads off to is going to be fantastic. We also have to know that we have lenders that we’re working with that are also going to get somebody qualified. There are all kinds of little … It’s like the baton race where they’re passing the baton, if anybody slows down or anybody drops the baton, you don’t get to the finish line.

Building a team and building strategic partners is key to converting these leads. Would you agree, Reed?

Reed Wilson:                         Absolutely. When you talk about lenders and other partners, when you send that lead to someone to get qualified, they’re a representative of us; we’re the referral, so you’re absolutely right. You have to pick your power team very carefully.

Lori Ballen:                             Absolutely. All right, so in closing up this interview, I want to let everybody know that Reed has given us his 10 steps to success with leads, and I can tell you, for the most part, these apply to any web leads. Reed, why don’t you just, really quick, tell us what those 10 are and then I’ll attach it for everybody to get access to the downloaded image.

Reed Wilson:                         Sure. First, like I mentioned earlier, you have to have a good CRLMO system. There’s not right now, you just have to have one that you’re going to work and works for you. Strategize on lead handling. Are you going to work them yourself? Are you going to have a team represent them? Then, the next one I put: show me the money. Have a budget. It’s okay to start small … That way, you can scale it to grow. Talk it out. I have a fantastic account rep that I’m happy to share his information if you wanted to contact me. Determine what’s happening in your market: the pricing for a zip code or shares. Commit to 12 months. You’re not going to convert 100 in the first month; you’re just not but commit to, at least, 12 months.

Follow-up and work the leads. Again, we talk about the two minutes. Our number one goal, with every lead, is to make the appointment. Ask for referrals. That’s actually very important because, if you can get a referral from a lead you paid for, that’s an extra incentive that you didn’t pay for. I mean, we really do ask for referrals for those leads that we did pay for. Pay-off. If you start small and you have your first closing, pay that contract off. Eliminate that expense while you still have the leads coming in, or invest that team income or your income back into another zip code or increase your opportunity. Then, be patient. It’s going to take time to build it up.

Lori Ballen:                             Those are fantastic. Absolutely spot on. All right, so you said you’ve got a great source for everybody. If they contact you, also, I’m absolutely sure that you would love their referrals out there in Virginia.

Reed Wilson:                         Absolutely.

Lori Ballen:                             Tell them how they can all put all your contact info also in the podcast description and in the write-up. How does somebody reach you?

Reed Wilson:                         Absolutely. You can reach me via phone or text at 804-396-4625. You can find me on Facebook: Reed Wilson, or a website: TheWilsonGroup

Lori Ballen:                             All right. Perfect. Thank you so much. You gave us some gold today and I really appreciate it, Reed. I’ll be seeing you actually very soon for our hands-on workshop, so thank you so much.

Reed Wilson:                         Absolutely. No problem. Thank you.

Lori Ballen:                             All right, talk to you later.

About Reed Wilson

Real Estate Is My Passion!!!

I truly enjoy working with my friends & clients to make the process of buying, or selling a home stress-free, and as streamlined of a process as possible. Of course, if we have a little fun along the way, no harm in that too right? As the Principal Broker/Owner of my own firm, The Wilson Group, I really do make Real Estate Focused On You. What does this mean for you? Your goals and best interests are held with the highest priority, and I will go above and beyond to make sure you are happy all the way to you getting the keys to your new home, or a SOLD sign is in your yard if you are selling. Earning your trust, respect, and building a long time relationship is how I measure the success of happy clients. ( and you will be happy with me!) Whether you are looking to sell, buy, or lease a home in the Richmond, Va. area give me a call, and I will take care of the rest.

As a resident of Richmond, and the Fan District area for over 10 years, and having a second home in Hampton Roads, I appreciate everything the Commonwealth of Virginia has to offer. As a reported “Foodie”, I especially enjoy the area’s vast variety of locally owned restaurants. I can usually be found at a VCU Rams Basketball game, a Flying Squirrels game, at the area’s local festivals, and most enjoy those that also cater to my eclectic music tastes. And when I am not working or breathing in our local culture, I also enjoy spending time with my Golden Retriever “Wesley”, volunteering with the SPCA and traveling the globe.

I am always looking for that next great vacation spot and my favorite travel destinations to date have been Italy, Puerto Vallarta, Dominican Republic, Belize, Sarasota Fl., and the Caribbean.

Real Estate Expired Script – LIVE CALL

In this video, Bryan Casella, a real estate agent in Los Angeles shares his expired listing script as he calls and lands the appointment.

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Here’s more Free Real Estate Scripts

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How to Integrate Facebook Lead Ads with CRM through Zapier

In this video, Sabrina will show you how to use the integration tool with Zapier in Facebook Lead Ads to connect your CRM for automatic lead flow.

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Hey, this is Sabrina, lead trainer for Ballen Brands. I’m going to show you guys how to integrate your Facebook lead forms with Zapier today. So, to find your lead forms, if you guys haven’t created one already, you’re going to go to your Facebook page, then you’re going to go to Publishing Tools at the top, and then there’s a Forms Library option on the left-hand side. Now, if you do a lead form through an Ad directly it does give you the option to create a new form from there. That will work, as well, but this is one way to find your forms, nice and easy, if you ever need to deactivate them, or create a new one, or duplicate an old one to create a new one.

From here, you can go ahead and create a new form, or you can duplicate an existing form. You’re going to, basically, follow the steps on here to set it up. So, you put in your headline, an image, you go to your Questions and determine what you would actually like to appear in your form. Then, you’re going to go into your Privacy Policy section, if you decide you want to add any information there, and then you can change your Thank You screen.

Once they register, there is a little description here, there is a button whether you want them to view a certain website or download, and then you have the button text and the website link, all available here. Once you’re done you can go ahead and hit Finish and your form will be created and ready for us to connect in Zapier. In Zapier, you’re going to start by making a Zap. We’re going to choose a Trigger App. Now, the trigger is what happens first that then puts them into our database. So, what’s going to happen is they’re going to fill out that Facebook Ad lead form, so I’m going to search Facebook. There’s a Facebook Lead Ad Options. Keep in mind this is only available with the premium version of Zapier.

So, you’re going to follow the steps here. It says, “When a new lead comes in that’s gonna be our trigger.” It asks you to set up your Facebook Leads Ads account. We already set ours up. If you haven’t, just hit connect an account and it will walk you through the steps to set that up. Now, it’s going to ask you which page the Ad is on. With this one we did Lori [Valenteam 00:02:39], and then here’s one of our forms that we created the other day. It’s going to ask you what page you’re writing the Ad on, and what form you’re using. We’re going to hit continue. It’s going to run a quick test. I’m not going to run a test on this one, I’m just going to go ahead and skip it but it is recommended that you run a quick test and make sure everything’s popping in properly.

Now, it says to choose an Action App, so the action is, “What do you want to happen after they fill out that lead form?” In this case we want to put it into Infusionsoft, so we’re going to choose Infusionsoft, and I want it to create or update a contact, because if they’re not a contact in our system already I want it to create a new one. If they are, I want it to update our system so we know that that person registered for this offer. I’m going to hit Save and Continue. It’s going to ask you to choose your Infusionsoft account. Again, if you don’t already have it connected, just hit connect an account and follow the steps to get that setup.

Then, it’s going to ask you to set up the Infusionsoft contact, so it’s going to give you all the field options here that you can set up. So, you’re not going to be able to pull a whole bunch of information from the Ad, but if you click on this little icon on the right-hand side here it’ll tell you what you can actually pull in from the lead. Now, it told me that I skipped this action, so there’s no data available, so it looks like I do have to go back and rerun the test. It only takes a second. Okay.

Now, I should be able to go back in here. There it is. Okay. So, it pulls from your form. This is all the information that you can pull from the Facebook lead. So, since this is an email field, I’m going to click on the email option from the Facebook Ad. I’m going to scroll down. “Has this person opted in to receiving marketing communications from you?” I would hit probably “yes” on that one just depending on what the form is. You want to make sure that you’re complying properly. First name, last name, so I’m just matching them up. If you want a tag to be applied, you can choose to have a tag be applied. These are all of our custom fields, and addresses, and billing information, so I’m just going to scroll down to phone number here and pull in the phone number. There it is.

Then, any of this other information, if you want to have it manually filled out you can, if it applies to every contact that might fill out that form. That’s the only time it would make sense. So, for example, we have a section on here for person type, so person type in our system may be buyer lead, so if I know I’m only using this form for Ads that buyers would register for, then I can put in buyer lead and it would pop that into my field in Infusionsoft here.

Once you’re all done, you’re going to hit Continue. It’s going to ask you to run another test, and then it’s going to complete it. I’m not going to go through that process here on video, because we are using this form for something else, and I don’t want to mess up where it’s already set up, but you just hit Continue, click the Yes I want to test it button, and then it will say, “Okay, your Zap is all good to go. Go ahead and turn it on,” and you’re going to flip the little toggle that it gives you, like what you see in the upper right hand corner here to turn it on.

Once it’s done, you’re going to see it on your … I have so many drafts in here. You’re going to see it at the top and it’s going to be one of the only ones that you have turned on, unless you have a whole bunch of Zaps in your system. It will show as turned on. You have the name here, which you actually create the name in the upper left corner here when you’re editing it. It runs pretty much immediately, so anytime anybody registers from the Ad it’ll trigger Zapier, Zapier will run and fill out all the information, put it into your Infusionsoft account, and if you guys have Autopilot ISA, which is our campaign system to follow up with leads, then you can actually, in your Zap under the template options here, you can have a tag applied, like what we have here, that triggers your Autopilot campaign. So, you can have it trigger the buyer, or the seller, campaign and automatically have follow ups going to them via text and email right off the bat, for a higher chance of getting those leads to follow back up with you and become a closing.

So, that is how to integrate Facebook Ad forms with Zapier so your contacts can go from your Facebook Ads into your Infusionsoft database. If you guys have any questions, you can always reach us at, and if you liked this video and want to learn more about online marketing, go ahead and follow our YouTube channel, and also check out our online courses at It’s our video course where you can learn everything there is know about online marketing, and we also have a real estate expansion specifically for agents where we talk about real estate processes, tools, and online marketing strategies for real estate specifically. That is all of that.

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How to Change the Facebook Video Thumbnail Image on a Personal Page

Here’s how to change a Facebook Video Thumbnail.

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**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

Steps to Change the Thumbnail:

  1. Upload Video
  2. Find Video in your album
  3. Click on the pencil to edit
  4. Scroll through thumbnail to choose the picture
  5. Save your edits


Okay. Here is how to edit a thumbnail on a video that you have uploaded to your personal page. Here you can see that I have downloaded a video, so let’s say I want to change the thumbnail that is appearing right there on that video. What I do, is I’m going to go over to my photos and then I’m going to find the albums and then I’m going to click on videos. I’m going to find the video I want to edit and I’m going to click this little pencil. Then choose ‘edit this video’ and here is where we can change our photos. Today the option that we have is to scroll through the thumbnails that they have selected and there’s not a way to upload a special thumbnail on your personal profile page as of the time at least when I made this video, but you can at least scroll through and pick the one that you like the best. That is how you customize the thumbnail on your personal Facebook business page video.

And here’s how to stop a screen recording on a mac.

How to Create a Facebook Carousel Ad with Photos

In this 18 minute video and step by step written guide, you’ll learn how to use the Facebook Carousel Ads to showcase up to 10 images. Lori Ballen, a real estate business owner in Las Vegas, and owner of a marketing company, shows you her best practices in setting up these great ads designed to generate leads.

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Steps to Create your Facebook Carousel Ad

  • Choose your Objective
  • Create your Campaign
  • Name your Ad Set and Ad
  • Choose your Audience, Budget, and time your Ad will Run
  • Enter the URL you want to send the user to when they click the CTA button
  • Below Images, click the button with the plus sign to add in your carousel cards. You can have up to 10
  • Pick a number  and Click Upload to add a photo from your computer, or Select Image to choose a pic from the library of images you’ve already uploaded while creating ads
  • Add a headline. Remember, if you design for a desktop ad, your text will be cut off on mobile. Better to keep your headline short.
  • Do this with each card and then complete your ad.
  • You can edit the ad in power editor to select a unique URL for each card if you like.

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Okay, today’s lesson is to essentially show you how to create a Carousel ad in Facebook. So regardless of your Facebook objective, whether you are optimizing for conversions or impressions or you’re doing a lead ad, any of the ads that allow for photos to be uploaded in a Carousel fashion, this is going to apply.

So we’re going to go ahead here really quick, and I’m just going to create a campaign, and I’m going to use real estate as an example today, so I’m going to do my cutting edge real estate listing, and this campaign is going to be my [eafl id=”12368″ name=”Listings to Leads” text=”listings to leads”] single property website. We’re going to focus on that in this campaign. I’m testing and measuring several landing pages right now so this is great. Let’s just go ahead and leave it for … Let’s go ahead and put it for conversions, for registrations. So don’t worry about those. Remember you’re focusing on how to make the Carousel. However you’re setting this page up is fine.

So then the first objective with my first ad set is going to be no demographics. I’m testing multiple demographics against each other to find out what is the lowest cost per lead out of all these different audiences that are typical for real estate right now so that we can come up with some best practices.

Okay, now we have to create the ad. So campaign, then the ad set, and then the ad, and the ad is just going to be cutting edge Carousel. All right. Now, we have to save this to a draft. This is a new step now on Facebook. It changes every day. Every day I log in here there’s something different. It’s just constantly changing. For right now, we’re doing objective is conversions. This is an auction. Campaign spending limit. I highly suggest this. Let’s just say I’ve already got a couple others running, so I’ll just do 100 bucks on this one for right now. Registrations, review draft. So what that means is no matter how many ad sets or how many ads you create in your campaign if you’ve got a budget set on it, then you won’t over spend that budget. It spreads out throughout all of your ads, not necessarily evenly, but it won’t exceed that, which is a nice little buffer you have there.

Let’s see. It’s telling me edit. Let’s go in here now and edit the ad. So next thing I have to do is choose what Facebook business page I want to show, and I want this ad to run under. So that’s done. All right. We’re at the objective of what this video’s about today. So here, your choices, whatever your choices are here depends on your objective was that you set up. So we’re doing a conversion ad. We could do ad with image or video, ad with multiple images in a Carousel, which is what we’re going to work on today. So let’s just focus on that one for today. Okay.

Now scroll down and choose manually choose images, videos, and links, but we’ve got to go down and put our URL in here that we want them to pull from. So I’m going to use the listing to leads single property page. Okay. That actually has a popup that forces registration, and I can change where I want that to pop up if I want it to be 15 seconds or 30 seconds. So I’m going to test this page now against some others that I’m using. Okay? That’s my concept here is to run a whole bunch of different landing pages, whole bunch of different ads against each other and demographics and come up with some best practices.

So here, I’m going to go ahead and grab that URL. I grabbed it up here. I’m going to paste it into here where the [inaudible 00:04:19] URL is. Let’s see. If I choose to grab the images automatically, let me see what they grab. Oh no. We’ll just upload them manually. So many options here, guys. It’s ridiculous. I mean so many options.

Here you’re able to preview what it looks like in a mobile feed and a feature phone, desktops. So here’s where I want you to be careful. If you view them in desktop, you have to keep in mind … See it pulled just the one picture. We’re going to replace those. If you view from desktop, you’re going to see a lot more text and a lot more … Well a lot more text. Then if you click down to mobile, you’ll see that it starts cutting it off. So for me, based on my experience, mobile gets the most traffic and leads off our Facebook ads, anyway, so I prefer to optimize for mobile, not for desktop. So what that means is less text. I don’t want a bunch of text cut off. So I’m a lot more careful with this. Okay.

So here’s what we do. First we’re going to put this text that describes this property. So whatever it is that you want to put here to point out a feature of that property. See how it puts it up here? Okay. Maybe I’ll add the location. This one is in … I think this one is in the northwest, 89149, so I’m going to put something like this. You could put emojis in here. So on a Mac, you hit control command shift bar, and you can grab these little emojis, or use your little emoji bar if you have one of the new Mac’s, and I’m not sure how exactly to do it on a PC, but there is a way to do it on the PC as well. But see, these little emojis are definitely eye catching. So then instead of this, maybe I want another emoji with little finger pointing, and I do something like this. Okay. Now you can see where this is going to show up on a mobile feed. Let’s see if I can space bar that down.

Oh I put it in the wrong spot. I can just cut and paste that right up here. See how it’s laying it out as we type in here? I’ll get it. Hold on. Have to kind of play with it until you get the right settings you like there. There we go. That’s what I was looking for. Okay, and then I’m going other put Las Vegas 81949, and I’m actually going to put northwest Las Vegas, 81949. Okay, that shot down to another line. Let me go ahead and make it another line. All right. We’ll go ahead and do another emoji here like a map or something. Let’s do a pin, like a little pin on a map or something. There we go.

Okay. Northwest Las Vegas. Maybe I don’t want these all capitalized. See I’m going to have full bathrooms. That’s really perfect in my opinion. I’ve got what I want there. If I was optimizing for desktop, I could, if you look at this, I could put in this great big paragraph right here. I think chunky text doesn’t always work well, and little emojis or bullet points and things where the eye can scan quicker since you only have just a millisecond to catch their eye as it’s scrolling past, these are helpful.

Again, once you do your split testing and figure out which images get more clicks, which landing pages get more leads, then you can test which emojis or which titles or which descriptions, you just test one thing at a time until you get your best performance. When you’re first starting out, you’re just running ads, but as you start to get more experience with it, now you can start testing them against each other. Okay? We’ll come back on another lesson and do Messenger set up. Today we’re just focusing on the Carousel ad.

All right, so here’s your pictures. Here’s your ad pictures. We have one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine. Nine, 10. So you have the ability to add 10 images at the time of this video. Again, they’re constantly changing things, so we may not do 10. But you have the option to add 10. I think 10 is a little much because what else do they have to look at if you’ve shown them every picture? If you show them pictures that may not be as appealing … Let’s say it’s got a great kitchen, and it’s got a great pool, and then you put in a bedroom or stairs or something that’s a turnoff, then you’re less likely to get them to click through on the advertisement, and if you give them two pictures, and they don’t think there’s necessarily more for them to see, they may not click through. We want them clicking through to that lead form or to the website page, whatever it is that you’re attaching on there.

So I like three … I’m testing this again, but right now I’m liking three images of property, if I have three goods ones, and then my broker logo, licensing requirements and a pitch for my team here or brand, my own brand. So here, let’s go ahead and select images. You actually can select video, too, but I’m just going to worry about the images. We’re going to select image. I’m going to upload image. Then what you can do here is you can either browse, you click here, and it’ll open your files. Or you can go ahead and scroll down. Oops, we lost our page there. Oh no, this is fine. So then we can go like this, so I’m opening my little finder, and what we can do is we can drag them in. So either way works.

Now I suggest putting the best picture first, but I’m going to show you something new that Facebook is allowing us to do now that’s really cool. It allows us to actually position the most popular picture automatically, which we didn’t used to have. So there’s my little kitchen, so now I’m going to click confirm. Somehow my page got shrunk there. There we go. And so there’s the picture. Now we’re not done with the picture. Right here, you’re going to put the destination URL. Okay, so we’re setting up that landing page. Now here is a chance to say something about that kitchen. So I could put something simple like large kitchen or quartz countertops. See where they show up here?

Now remember if you keep this on mobile, you’ve not optimized for mobile. If you change that to desktop and you put too many characters in there, now you’re going to see a bunch of stuff cut off on mobile, so it’s not really optimized for mobile. So I suggest that. Now your description here, this is completely up to you. You can use this to put something else about the kitchen like custom cabinets, large island. See where it’s starting to cut off, so custom cabinets. Or in my case, I’m putting my phone number.

What I have found is the more serious customers will pick up the phone and call, so I want to give them that option at any time. That’s one reason why I’m doing that. All right. So now we have see more URL, and a see more display link. Okay, now let’s go back and put our image two. So we’re going to select an image. Now I’ve already uploaded mine, so I’m going to go ahead and drop my own in there. Now same thing on image two. You’re not changing that destination URL, but you can now change that headline and whatever’s on the bottom again there. So headline in this case, I might put something like large loft. And then again, let me try to get this to scroll again for us. There’s the second one. Large loft and then upstairs … Let me see how this fits. It’s not scrolling for me. I’m going to keep it at two words. I don’t like … okay, then put the phone number.

See what that says about the fireplace. I’m assuming it’s a gas fireplace. So we’ll do … I really want those to be two words so I can keep them consistent. So there’s that one. Now let’s scroll down to the third image. For the third one, I’m going to do this bedroom, and up here, I’m going to put master also has a sitting area. Okay, so now we’re going to grab our fourth one. In my case, it’s going to be my company logo that is required by our brokerage. I want to make sure I’m covered there. Then number five is going to be some kind of branding for me. So I’m going to put my team info right there.

Now on those two, we can also put something here. In this case, I’m going to put Keller Williams. 2320 West Sahara. Okay, then on number five … Okay. Now the no button, you can choose send message, apply now, contact us. These keep changing, too, by the way, constantly. It’s amazing how much is showing up in there. So I’m going to put learn more for this particular ad. Let me see if this is going to let me look [inaudible 00:17:08]. Just not able to scroll on those right now. Okay. It’s the way my screen is set up. Here’s where it would show up on the Instagram feed if you want it to be on Instagram. So you’ll want to take a look at all of these wherever you’re choosing to show them. You’re going to want to take a look at how they’re showing up on there.

Really that’s it. I’m not going to go through any of the other items on here now because each one of these I’m covering individual, the actual segment so you know how to create all of the ads, what each one of the options means. So that is how you create your Carousel.

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👍 Learn more about Facebook Ads for Real Estate

How To make A Facebook Business Page Cover with Photo, Video and Slideshow

Facebook Business Pages will be the “brand” websites of the near future. Early Adopters will win BIG! With FB recommendations with business tags growing, your business page (and FB reviews) are more important than ever!

Here’s how to make a Slideshow Cover for your Facebook Business Page.

  • Find or Create your Business Page
  • Hover over the camera on the upper left corner
  • Choose Change Cover
  • Click Create Slideshow
  • Turn Off the button that allows FB to select for you
  • Click on the Pencil on one of the image selections
  • Choose from existing images or upload an image
  • Your Page’s cover photo, according to FB:
    • Displays at 820 pixels wide by 312 pixels tall on the Page on desktop computers and 640 pixels wide by 360 pixels tall on smartphones
    • Must be at least 400 pixels wide and 150 pixels tall

Congratulations! You now have a slideshow for your Facebook business page.

Here’s how to stop a screen recording on a mac.

Where are my Leads from my Facebook Lead Ads?

In this video, Lori Ballen, CEO of [eafl id=”12705″ name=”Ballen Brands” text=”Ballen Brands”] and Lori Ballen Team Las Vegas (Real Estate) will show you to find and export your leads that come in from Facebook Leads Ads.

After you watch the video, you might like to learn more about generating real estate leads online.

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I just returned from one last night and feel like all the pieces have come together and I have the confidence to get it done now. I am always open to learning more.

The SEO realm is a moving target that we have to stay on top of and in following Lori we can do that!

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How to Generate Real Estate Leads through Facebook Lead Ads

There are many ways to generate real estate leads online. One of these is through Facebook ads. Using Facebook Lead Ads, you can offer home value estimates, listing information, reports and downloads and so forth. The user can fill out the form without ever leaving Facebook.  You can integrate the lead ads with your CRM and even instantly forward them to the offer URL such as a PDF File.

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Here’s how to place a Facebook Lead Ad

  1. Choose our marketing objective.
  2. Choose lead generation.
  3. Title the Campaign.
  4. Name the Ad Set.
  5. Choose the Facebook page associated with your ad
  6. Choose a custom audience or create a new one: Location, Age, Demographics
  7. Edit Placements
  8. Select Lifetime Budget, 30 days
  9. Choose your Schedule
  10. Choose Media (Images, Slideshow, Video, Carousel)
  11. Choose the Appropriate Button
  12. Select new image or ad image for the form
  13. Choose your custom questions for the form
  14. Include Appointment Scheduling if you like
  15. Add a link to your privacy policy
  16. Include a link to your item of value if it’s an instant offer
  17. Include a Call to Action to Visit Website
  18. Integrate CRM through Zapier so your leads will funnel into your database

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Transcript Verbatim:

All right, in this lesson, we are going to learn how to get more real estate leads through Facebook Ads and specifically today, we’re going to do a Lead Ad. For those of you that are wondering how that works with the form that the user can automatically fill out without leaving Facebook, this is going to be a walkthrough for you on how to do that. Technically we can use any page, we can use any concept if we want to market a real estate listing or we’ve got an offer that we’re making that people can fill out and receive something, a free eBook or a download or a list or anything like that. Okay, so we’re just going to walk through and I’ll go ahead and use one from my real estate business as an example.

Here, we’re going to go down here to, this is asking us what is our marketing objective. We’re going to go down under consideration and we’re going to choose lead generation. We’re going to title our campaign. Let’s just do a home value. Find out what their house is worth. Home value Lead Ad. Continue. Now we’re going to give the ad set a name. We could have a campaign that is all going to be home values and Lead Ads and then we’re going to change up certain things in there so we’re going to have different ad sets is the idea. We’re going to do home value with demographics. I’ll show you how we choose those demographics and this is a Lead Ad. We’ll start with that. Okay?

Now next we’re going to choose our Facebook page that we want to show when somebody selects that Lead Ad. In my case I’m going to find my Vegas real estate team. Next we’re going to have an audience. All right. Here you can select one of your custom audiences or you can create a new one. I’m going to go ahead and do it like this. I am going to say everybody who lives in … now your demographics may be better, so you don’t need to copy me verbatim where it comes to that, but for this particular Lead Ad, if I’m going to offer home values, I’m going to choose people that only live in Las Vegas. Not that are here visiting, because that doesn’t mean they own a property, so I’m hoping to find home owners.

Then I’m going to choose … I could do Las Vegas. I could do 10 miles around Las Vegas. That will include North Las Vegas and Henderson, or I can say only that city, which is what I’m going to do here. In fact this is a great one. Hold on. I’m going to go back to this ad set and change this home value, Las Vegas. Then what I’ll do is I’ll create another ad set and do the home value of North Las Vegas and create another ad set and do the home value Henderson. Then each one I can measure how they’re performing on their own.

Here I’m doing just Las Vegas. Now, age. All right. There has been some discussion for real estate agents on using age settings because of our fair housing regulations. To my knowledge, the fair housing regulations address people in the retirement age that you don’t want to be limiting what’s available to that particular age group. You’ve got to watch that higher number, but to my knowledge there isn’t anything saying we don’t want to offer home values to people that are under a certain age. There isn’t a challenge with, so in my case, I believe I can go ahead and say I’m going to show this only to people that are … let me do 35 and up. The reason for that is again, offering home values I’m looking for home owners. People that have owned their home long enough they’re looking to sell it. Right? I could go 30. I could go 32, but my market is huge, so I can laser target a little bit better so I’m going to go with age 35 and up, not discriminating against anybody there. I’m keeping that higher range untouched.

Now include people who match at least one of the following, and in my case I’m going to do this. I’m going to go to browse and I’m going to do demographics, home, home ownership, home owners. Again I’m offering home values so I want to make sure that I’m only showing this to homeowners. Now here’s another cool thing we can do. I can go down here to browse and I can choose behaviors, residential profiles. Actually hold on. Let me do this one instead. I want to get to homes. I’m going to go to demographics, home, home type, and I can say I only want to show this to people who own single family residences. Okay? Then I can laser target more from there but for today’s lesson we’re specifically focusing on how to create this Lead Ad. I’m not going to go any further than that for now, because I want to show this to you guys.

Expand interests when it may increase leads at a lower cost. You know these are always so tricky because every time you give Facebook permission to let it automatically do something, you’re really at the risk of spending more money. What I would suggest doing is always run one ad without allowing them to expand and then run a second one that allows them to expand and test and measure what your costs per lead is and how those vary. You don’t want to just let them do it every time. It’s the same thing with Google Ad Words. It can be really tricky when you just let them bid up for you and bid around.

All right, so if I wanted to I could click save this audience and this could be homeowners. Save this audience and this will be for home values and then I can come back and pull that again when I do the other two. Gosh, Facebook is always adding new stuff, aren’t they? All right, so here, we’re going to optimize for ad delivery. We can optimize for … Oops, let me go back up. Hold on. I’m sorry, we dropped it down too far.

Next we need placement. I always edit the placements and I personally take out Instagram for this. I have not found in my experience it to be a lucrative. I always just leave it under Facebook feeds. For now, we’ll get into Messenger as such later, but for now we’re going to just do that for our Lead Ads. Okay, I think I did that one all good.

Now I usually go lifetime budget and I say okay I’m going to run this ad for 30 days and I decide how much I want to spend for those 30 days. This date is in the past. It wasn’t. That’s bizarre. Today at 12:10, oh I see. Today at 12:30 we’ll start running it. There we go.

Leads, so we can say optimization for ad delivery. All right so we’re going to deliver your ads to the right people to help you get the most, so their optimization for ad delivery is to get leads. Here’s some more changes. Automatic bidding is now described by its main benefit of getting the lowest costs. It’s basically saying we’re going to automatically bid this up. Target cost is an enhancement. Lowest cost, get the most leads for your budget. You know I’m going to have to come back and dive into each one of these changes here.

Then you can set a big cap and say, you know what, I only want to spend $2 per lead. I’m okay to spend $10 per lead. We won’t bid more than this amount for any individual lead. These all make me so nervous. I’m going to leave those off right now. This is going to charge us per impression. They’re optimizing for leads here and it doesn’t look like they’re giving us any kind of option to turn that stuff on or off. Then we’re getting billed per impression. This is how we’re going to run this particular Lead Ad.

Then we can choose to run our ads on … we’re going to choose to run our ads on all the time or run them on a schedule. If I’m going to run them on a schedule I could say you know what, I only want this to run when I can be there to answer the phone. Well I know there’s a way to … There we go. I’m going to run it up until like maybe eight o’clock at night. Because I’m hitting everybody that lives in Las Vegas, so they’ll all be in my time zone. I’m okay with 8:00, so we’re going to do 8:00 to 8:00. Yeah, I guess I could have just done every day like this. I wasn’t sure, but yeah, I want it to run every day. I think that’s only available to do when you choose a lifetime budget like this. When you do daily I don’t think you have the option to show run ads on a schedule. That’s another why I do that.

All right, delivery type. I leave that on standard, not accelerated because that would spend the budget super fast. Then we’re going to hit continue. We haven’t even created the ad at all yet. All we’ve done so far is just the settings and the demographics. I’ll be breaking down what each one of those demographics are and how they compare and the different bidding strategies and things like that so we can kind of test them.

I believe paying for impression but optimizing for click. We’re going to pay every time the ad shows, but we’re going to optimize for that click through rate because the better the click through rate the lower the cost of the ad is, which I think is actually a better strategy cost wise. Then we have the option to choose a carousel, single image, single video, a slideshow. Let’s just do a single image. We’re going to do a home value, so let’s go to free stock images and see what they have. Home value. Let me just see which one I want here. I’m just going to kind of scan this. What I’m kind of looking for is a little less stock arty, a little less clip arty I guess. You know what? I’m going to try that little dog. We’re going to play with him. Okay, we’re going to click done.

Here’s your ad over on the side. Now I always look at the mobile newsfeed versus the desktop. Most of your clicks are going to come from mobile newsfeed or the phone, so I like to see how it’s going to show up there. Your text link, “Find out what your property might sell for in today’s seller’s market.” Now the display link is whatever you want to show up. You can just type in your URL there. Yes, that can make a difference on click through rate. Headline, “Receive a home value estimate by email.” Then here if you want to put anything else in this newsfeed description be careful, because it’s mobile and this will cut off quick. You could put in something, a branding, something with branding here. Oh that’s not even going to show up on the mobile. I’m just going to leave that one blank.

Sign up or apply now, download, get a quote. I’m going to put get quote. That’s appropriate. Who’s your business partner, so if you’ve got somebody that you’re co-advertising with, you can put them in your co-branding. I’m going to go ahead and choose my conversion pixel there. Now lead form. I’ve already got one in here. Home value request, but let me go ahead and show you guys how to do this. We’re going to click new form. Then I would title this. Lead, we’d call this, “Home value lead form. Get a quote.” You title it. Now intro is going to type up here what they’re going to get. “Tell us a bit about your property so we can best estimate” … “tell us a bit about your property for your home value.”

Now you can change the image here if you wanted to. “While seeing your home in person is the best way to create an estimate, we will send you a report with idea of what it might sell for.” Something like that. Now here you can create questions. I love this. Questions. The first thing I’m going to do is I’m going to put in I need their first and last name. I’m going to get rid of full name here because the way this imports with my CRM I want it to be first and last. Phone number. Street address. I don’t need their city or state because they’re in Las Vegas. I don’t need to know any of that other stuff there.

All right, next I can put add a custom question. We have multiple choice. We can allow them to schedule an appointment or we can make this conditional. Let’s do a … they can do yes/no, or it could be multiple choice. Let’s put conditional. No, sorry about that. We don’t want that. Let me take that back. Add custom question, multiple choice. We can type yes/no, so here we’ll put, “Do you own the property?” Yes/no. Then add another custom question. Multiple choice. “Are you thinking of selling?” Yes/no. Now you don’t want to put too many of these things because the more fields you have the lower your chances are that they’ll fill out your form.

Here, appointment scheduling, you can actually put, “Would you like to schedule an in home consultation with home value estimate?” Yes. This is confirmation. You know what? I’m not going to do this one on here because what I can’t see … Let’s look at it. “Thank you. We will contact you to confirm your appointment.” I guess they can type anything in there. It’s not a yes or no. This one I haven’t played with yet. Date and time available, Monday to Sunday, 7:00 to 9:00. Let’s just go ahead and go with this.

We have email, first name, last name. You know what I’m going to do? I’m going to move these around. Will they let me? Okay, hold on. I would rather put the address of the property on the top. It’s not going to let me do that. Let’s just go ahead and leave that alone. All right, and then we have privacy policy. What you want to do here is you want to have a privacy policy of some sort on your website. Here you would click privacy policy, link text, privacy policy. Now I have one.

By the way for privacy policy, you literally can just go here and Google free privacy policy. You’ll have a template there you can fill out. Just make sure you fill it out. This one right here works fine. Fill it out though correctly. If you sell their information, don’t say you don’t. If there’s cookies on the website, make sure you’re disclosing that, so make sure you do go through and read it and set it up correctly based on your own website.

In my case, I’m going to find my privacy policy here. There’s mine. Okay, see? Not real fancy, but it does the job. If you have to put in any sort of custom disclaimer for your office or maybe you want your real estate license number on there or something like that. Then we have thank you screen. Here you can put this whatever, “Thanks we are doing the math. Please allow one to two days for your home value estimate to be sent to you. Call any time. Call or text Lori Ballen Team anytime.”

Now you can put another call to action here. If you want you can allow … Let’s just say this was an offer. We were offering a checklist of nine secret strategies to sell your house faster, or nine different strategies to sell your house for more. 501 things to do in Las Vegas or best list of holiday lights in Las Vegas. Whatever. You’ve got a download, a PDF, a report. This is where you would now have an instant … a way for them to instantly download an item. Then what you’re doing to do is you’re going to put in a link to that media file. That PDF or whatever so they can grab it from right there. Then you don’t have to do anything. If you’re doing an instant home value like this, you’re probably either going to have to put them into your home value calculator or you’re going to have to do an estimate and send it to them. You’ll have to decide what’s the best strategy for you.

We’re going to put view website, and then here I could put something like, “Here’s what’s happening with the Las Vegas real estate market.” Almost. Let’s do this. “Las Vegas real estate market report.” Since we know they’re interested in their home value, they might be interested in checking out the home market report, right? Let me find that really quick. Las Vegas real estate markets. There it is. There’s my market report and I’m going to paste that there.

Now if I want to track this, I can put some parameters on this so I can better track this so I can see those website links, so I might do something like this. I’m going to go over to my Google URL Builder. Because it may say Facebook has to refer, it may not. Things are so tricky like that, so I like to be in a little more control. Here I can paste it here. Website URL is real estate market report. The campaign source is Facebook. We’re doing cost per click. The campaign name is home values. Lead Ads and this one is my Las Vegas ad. Then I can just convert that to a short URL. Copy that URL. Go back over here and we’re going to paste that in there. Good. Now we’re going to save our form and we’re going to finish it.

Now you would think we’re done with the ad, but we’re not. We just created the form, right? So much. All right, so there’s our ad. See here. Do you own the property? Yes or no. Are you thinking of selling? Yes or no. Would you like to schedule a consultation, they can type something in here. All right. You know what I did not see is where we have the option to make any of those required or not required. Then we’re going to confirm.

All right, you know what? I forgot one step and I’m going to have to make a separate video on this. Oh here it is. It’s okay. It’s after the fact that’s showing us. Okay, you actually can get your form responses instantly by integrating your CRM with your Facebook through the Zapier application. I’ve already done mine, so I’m not going to do it again here. I might have to go into my other account, set up a new video, and show you how to do it, but all you have to do is click to set it up in your CRM and it’s going to open Zapier, which is kind of the if this, then that formulas. It’ll have you pair up the fields that are in your CRM with the fields in your form and the fields in Zapier so that it automatically can drop these leads for you into your CRM, so that’s definitely something that you’re going to want to do before you’re finished with all that.

Otherwise, you’re going to have your Lead Ads show up in your Facebook account, but I don’t find that to be the best notification. If I get a lead I want to know about it immediately. I prefer it to funnel in and then have all of my conversion campaigns and everything kick in. That is how you set up a Lead Ad so that you can get more leads through Lead Ads. Real estate leads or any leads depending on whatever industry that you happen to be in.


How to Generate First Time Home Buyer Leads

Blogging for the first time home buyer is a smart use of your time, and resources. We know that first time home buyers are online, plugged in, and have questions. Where do people who have questions go? GOOGLE! And of course, you can also publish these blogs one social channels that also popular with this group.

[su_note note_color=”#f5ae9d” radius=”4″]Are you a first time home buyer looking for real estate information? Visit our real estate website and learn more. [/su_note]

In this article, I’ll show you how to market to the first time home buyer, by providing value.

[su_quote cite=”NAR Buyer and Seller Generational Trends Report” url=””]First-time buyers made up 35 percent of all home buyers, an increase over last year’s near all-time low of 32 percent. Sixty-six percent of buyers 36 years and younger were first-time buyers, followed by buyers 37 to 51 years at 26 percent.[/su_quote]

How to generate home buyer leads

  • Answer Questions
  • Solve Problems
  • Showcase Inventory
  • Be Value Centric
  • Offer Guidance

“The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.” — Maya Angelou

Attracting the First Time Home Buyer

In a recent study, NAR said 35% of all purchases are made by first time home buyers. This carves out a great niche for the savy, tech focused real estate agent.

We know that these early home buyers are online, surfing the internet for real estate listings, and investigating topics such as down payments, credit requirements, and loan programs.

How do we know this? 

Let’s look at some evidence.

[su_divider link_color=”#f5ae9d”] [/su_spoiler][/su_divider]

First Time Home Buyer Questions

Using the wonderful, free, and obvious tool, GOOGLE, let’s type in a search query (keyword) that could be something that would be used by a first time home buyer.

Out of the gate, we get some amazing ideas. Depending on where you are searching from and what device you are using, you may see an answer box on the top of the page.

💡This is also known as the zero position on Google and as a featured rich snippet.

Google awards this position to the section of a page that they believe best answered a question or provided a solution  (such as a recipe, steps in a process etc.). As a blogger, we want to earn that position. Yet, that’s another topic altogether.

What this answer box does hint to though is that a best answer would include a break down of what a first time home buyer could expect to pay out of pocket throughout the process and at closing.

Therefore, a blog post, video, social post, infographic, podcast etc. breaking down these closing costs would be of great value to your potential customer.

Here’s a fun example of a video we whipped up in a few minutes using a free online tool.

[su_youtube_advanced url=”″ width=”1200″ showinfo=”no” rel=”no” https=”yes”]

Continuing on with our Google Research, we can look at the “People also Ask” section and begin to view more questions we see typed into Google.

One question we see is: ‘How much does it cost for a lawyer when buying a house?’

While you may have answered that question in your complete topic break down, you may want to consider creating a separate video, blog, or social post around this one question. In the SEO world (search engine optimization), we call this a longtail keyword. Essentially, it means a larger topic drilled down to a smaller topic that can also be covered on it’s own.

Where general closing costs might be a very competitive term to rank for on the search engines, the smaller topic “how much does it cost for a lawyer when buying a house” may provide you with more opportunity for exposure. In Nevada, we don’t use lawyers for a real estate transaction.

💡We could still write the blog and answer it explaining how our closing process works without an attorney.

If we change our search query now to more standard buyer terms, like how to buy a house, Google suggest will begin showing us phrases other people have used in the past few months around that term. We can get many free ideas here.

[su_animate type=”bounce” duration=”1.5″ delay=”0.5″] In addition, while still on the Google SERP (Search Engine Results Page), we can scroll down to the bottom of the page and find even more suggestions.[/su_animate]

[su_divider link_color=”#f5ae9d”] [/su_spoiler][/su_divider]

Using my [eafl id=”11566″ name=”SEMrush” text=”favorite keyword research tool”], we can discover various topics that people use as keywords when searching on Google. This list includes phrases with the keyword “first time home buyer” in it. This tells us that they might be good topics to cover.

👇🏼Below, you’ll find a list of these keywords sorted by the highest search volume (most times searched) first. Each is searched a minimum of 1000 times a month in the United States.

First Time Home Buyer Topics

  • First Time Home Buyer Programs
  • First Time Home Buyer Grants
  • First Time Home Buyer Down Payment
  • First Time Home Buyer Tax Credit
  • First Time Home Buyer with Bad Credit
  • FHA First Time Home Buyer
  • Tips for First Time Home Buyers

[tweetthis remove_twitter_handles=”true” remove_hidden_hashtags=”true”]I am completely motivated to generate more #realestate buyer leads thanks to this #blog by @loriballen_[/tweetthis]

Quora Questions

Using another free tool called QUORA, we can see what other questions people are typing in related to buying a house.

[su_spoiler title=”Here are some of those Questions”]

  • What’s a realistic down payment percentage for a first-time home buyer?
  • What is the best size for a first time home purchase?
  • Are there programs for 1st time home buyers with special needs children?
  • What are good resources for a first time home buyer to become educated about the process?
  • Is buying a foreclosure smart for a first-time home buyer?
  • What should every first-time homeowner know prior to purchasing?
  • What mistakes to first time home buyers most frequently make?
  • How can I qualify for a FHA loan?
  • How Much is Mortgage Insurance?[/su_spoiler]

[su_divider link_color=”#f5ae9d”] [/su_spoiler][/su_divider]

Answer The Public

Using another great website called Answer The Public, we can see more questions asked by buyers.

  • Which is better to buy a house or rent?
  • What Credit Score do I need to buy a house?
  • How much does my salary need to be to buy a house?
  • How to Buy a house at Auction?
  • How to Buy a House with another person?
  • What are the qualifications to buy a house?
  • What are the Steps when Buying a House?

And there are many more where that came from.

[su_divider link_color=”#f5ae9d”] [/su_spoiler][/su_divider]

Once you become aware of what first time home buyers want to know, and what they need, you can become that source. Using video, blogs, and social media, you can position yourself as the first time home buyer specialist. And with 35% of home purchases being made by first time home buyers, why wouldn’t you?

Here’s a great blog post you’ll enjoy on starting a blog. And if you need even more ideas, check out my most popular blog post that contains a years worth of blog topic ideas!

[su_box title=”Is it Time for a New Real Estate Website?” style=”bubbles” box_color=”#edab9e” title_color=”#000000″]Ballen Brands offers a special BREW of real estate agent websites. They are designed by Lori Ballen, a top real estate agent, digital marketing strategist and SEO who generates leads from the web. Built with an SEO focused strategy, this lead generation system offers a robust IDX, cornerstone content, drag and drop home page featuring reviews, community pages, calls to action, pricing tables, featured listings, top blog posts and more, custom templates for frequently used blog posts and pages, on the dash analytics and more. 702.917.0755.[/su_box]

👉🏻 Check out Lori Ballen’s Reviews!




The Best Listing Presentation | Prepare, Produce, Present

The listing presentation is one of the top skills you can learn as a real estate agent. While there is more than one way to prepare, produce, and present your listing presentation, some of the basics will always Apply.

Know your Market (Data), Know how to Price a Property to sell (Data, Product, Presentation, Scripts), Know how to handle objections (Scripts), Know how to close (Scripts).

Prepare for the listing presentation:

Preparing for a real estate listing presentation is very important. The time and energy that you put into it are important factors to whether or not the homeowner lets you list their house. Seven seconds.

That is how long it takes to make a first impression, whether it be a bad one or a good one. A real estate agent first impression needs to be outstanding so someone that is selling their home will list their home with them.

The appropriate plan and preparation will give you an advantage over their competition and earn the opportunity to sell the house of people that contact you.

Send A  Pre Listing Packet

Make sure the “would be seller” is in your database completely. If you like, you can send a pre-listing presentation while you prepare. This is generally a packet about what will happen at the presentation, who you are, and how you are going to help them.

Sometimes people put them in a basket or send them digitally, even using video. In the pre-listing packet, you won’t include any

Prepare a CMA (Estimated Home Value)

Using the most recent sales and listings you can find, as close to the home’s location, age, size and style, determine what you believe the true market value is for that house.

Create a seller’s net sheet estimating costs and commissions so you know what the bottom line will probably be at that value. Consider preparing 3: low, goal, and high so that you are ready to present options if they don’t set the price “in the zone”.

It might be better to let the seller self discover the price based on data than it is to print the price on a piece of paper before you even see the property.

It’s a good idea to learn about the architecture of the home of their potential client as well as having knowledge of the homeowner’s neighborhood and the surrounding neighborhoods. Don’t forget the audience and remember to individualize your presentation to each client.

Tips for your CMA

  • Know your market. The better you know the neighborhood and the properties you are going to show in your presentation, the more skilled, knowledgable, and trusted you will appear. If you can, pop by the comparable listings. Consider taking video or photographs so you can show their upgraded appliances, counters, built in’s etc.
  • Throw out the extremes. A median is often better than an average. With an average, you are going to have those outliers in the mix that sold either way too low because of the sellers motivation or way to high because of something very specific the seller did to the home, or simply a motivated cash buyer was willing to pay more, for example. If you throw out the high and low or anything that looks suspect, you can reach a much closer estimate using the median price. Although again, it might be better to not set a price other than in your head, so you can help the seller self discover the price.
  • Focus on the neighborhood listings. If at all possible, use properties closest to the sellers house. There are some places where simply crossing the street changes the value of the properties. If you can’t find enough, consider using a square foot method. Take the listings and sales in that neighborhood and average the square foot price. Take that average (or median) and multiply it times your seller’s square footage. In a “cookie cutter” housing market where houses are very similar, this is a working strategy. If houses are more unique, this probably won’t get you where you want to go.
  • Use 90 day or newer sold properties. When you bring in sold listings to your CMA, that are older than 90 days, you may bring outdated pricing into your numbers. This is especially true in a seasonal market. Start with homes that sold within the last 30 first, then stretch to 60 and if you have to go to 90. If you have to pull in older than 90, you will need to explain why that sales price may not be what you achieve today.
  • Use like models wherever possible. The best listing comparables in the sellers eyes, will be homes most like theirs. Single story vs two story, victorian home vs. mid century modern, home with a pool vs. home without a pool and so forth. The closer you can get, the more likely it is that your seller will determine the correct market value for their property.
  • Consider the land. Square footage of the house is not the only thing to consider. People will often pay more for a property just for a bit (or a lot) more land. If you are including any listings that have a difference in lot size or acreage, adjust for it and explain it.
  • Watch for special financing. Homes that sold as a short sale, or foreclosure may have a lower sales price to be considered while a home that was seller financed may have sold for more than market value.
  • Keep your data simple. Bring your “proof” to the seller in formats they understand. An MLS full detail sheet may be overwhelming and even offer more data to “disprove”. Customize your comparables so they are easy for the seller to compare. A simple photo, quick property description: size, bedrooms, style, date sold is probably better than the detailed listings from the MLS print out.


Other real estate agents have asked: Where can I get the best real estate agent website?

Prepare to Present

You’ll want to have some sort of listing presentation that you feel confident with. This can be print, powerpoint, video, a one-sheet presentation, a binder, something you stack and so on.

The key is that you feel good about the flow of the presentation and how it will be used.

Products TO CREATE YOUR CUSTOM Presentation

  • Canva is a great tool for uploading pictures, adding text and icons, making photo collages, and making a real estate listing look very pretty.
  • Piktochart helps real estate agents make charts and graphs to show off numerical figures.
  • Google Slides is similar to Powerpoint but it has more capabilities and designs available to use than Powerpoint does which allows an agent to make their presentation look as professional as possible. P
  • Prezi makes it possible for real estate agents to show their listings, full background, and sales pitch to clients in a stylish and modern manner without any slideshows.
  • Powtoon makes it possible for you to create animated video of your services to entertain and teach your clients at the same time.
  • Present Me allows real estate agents to explain their presentation while a client views it on a mobile device. Slidedog has the capability of helping real estate agents create a playlist of their presentation, videos, and website so their clients can view them in a certain order and do not have to constantly switch in between screens.
  • Keller williams offers listing presentations you can print from the eEdge dashboard. These Include a pre-listing presentation, a listing presentation for a single agent, a listing presentation for a team, and a prelisting presentation letter. Log into your eEdge account, click on Create Marketing, then Marketing Center, then Print Marketing. At the bottom, you’ll see the listing presentation under Featured Products. Or you can simply search for “listing presentation”
    Here’s a Video on customizing your own Listing Presentation from the Keller Williams eEdge dashboard in MyKW


Practice your Scripts

You’ll want to be prepared to lead the presentation. Know how you want it to go, and have the scripts ready to get it there. If you allow the seller to lead the appointment, you’ll wind up with objections before you sit down at the kitchen table.

Practice role playing with friends, family, colleagues and be ready with whatever objections regarding price, commissions, timeline etc. that you may be hit with at the meeting.

Present yourself, not just the presentation

  • Impressions count. Take the time to prepare yourself first. The rule of thumb is generally not to underdress or overdress. The seller will be expecting a professional, yet the full suit may not be appropriate when going to a starter home listing presentation. If a suit is truly who you are, and you wear one all the time, then that’s what you should do. If you live in a very casual, laid back area and everyone in town wears shorts or jeans and a tank top to dinner, then dressing that way may be appropriate as well. You’ll have to decide what works for you. No matter what, be clean, sharp, and know that you are going to be sized up.
  • The first thing that a real estate agent should not do when meeting with a client is to be late. They should be early and treat it like they are being interviewed for a job-because they are. Avoiding any strong smells from cigarettes to a strong perfume is a good idea also. They also should not avoid doing their homework (finding out why the owners are selling their home, what condition the house is in, and what the homeowner’s to improve the condition of the home). Not paying attention to the client’s financial situation and not making their appointment important to them are bad ideas. A real estate should also have knowledge of the neighborhood and neighborhoods around the home and the architecture of the home.
  • Be Organized, high energy, and put your cell phone away.
  • Create rapport with the potential client.
  • Acknowledge pets and children


People who have read this article have also read: How to Rank your real estate website on the Google

Present Online

There may be a time when you can’t be together physically to do the presentation. Maybe the seller lives out of state and there is a tenant in the home. You won’t be meeting at the home and can do the presentation online. Possibly, your seller is in the military and is out of the country and wants to sell her condo she bought just out of college.

If you cannot meet with a client in person, consider Google Hangouts. Google Hangouts will allow you to show you presentation like they would in person. All that is needed is for all of the user’s (ten additional users can view the presentation) to have an internet connection and a Google account

Add on tips from Lori Ballen, Top Real Estate Agent in Las Vegas, NV

When I first learned how to do a real estate listings presentation in 2007, it was the following steps:

  1. Before the presentation, ask them how much they think their home is worth, or how much they would like to get
  2. Prepare 3 net sheets in advance: lowest price, medium, high.
  3. Go straight to the kitchen table
  4. Explain what you are about to present and how long it will take. Ask that they hold questions til the end.
  5. At this time, print advertising was everything. We had a “stack the value” process where we showed how we were going to market their home. We stacked magazines, and newspapers, and postcards so high that the stack was tipping over (intenionally). Now, we show more of how we are going to market their home on the web to get the most showings possible which can increase offers.
  6. Using a Pricing graph, after showing them the current listings, and recent sales, and home’s that did NOT sell (that’s key), ask them to place a pencil right about the price on the bar that they think their home will sell for. This allows THEM to set the price. If your data is delivered properly, they will self select the right price.
  7. Break out the net sheet that is closest to that price. Without breaking down every cost, show them the bottom line and ask them if that would work for them if you were able to procure a buyer, negotiate, and deliver that amount.
  8. If they say yes, stop talking and break out the paperwork.
  9. If they say no, you’ll begin objection handling.

– Lori Ballen

Facebook Recommendations Feature – Move Over Google?

Facebook is continuously launching new features that make the social media network even more useful in your life. Recently, they added in a recommendation tool that can help you discover new events, places, services and things to do in the area all by calling upon the advice of your friends.

Watch The Tutorial

Facebook makes the process simple and efficient. If you need to interact with the business, you can use one of the call-to-action buttons to connect in mere seconds.

Facebook Recommendations Feature

Instead of trying to scour the Internet in the hopes of finding something to do in the area, you can use this app to solve your problem and partake in an activity or event that you are sure to love. You don’t have to spend hours navigating through the boundless pages online. It’s all right there in front of you with the help of the recommendations tool.

Finding Something to Do

More than 1.65B people use Facebook every month. With that many people online during the course of the month, it should be hard to obtain the information you seek from someone who knows the area.

It doesn’t matter if you are looking to open a business, communicate with an existing business or book a ticket to an upcoming concert because you can do it all with the help of the recommendations feature in Facebook.

Planning a vacation, locating a hair salon or deciding where to go for dinner has never been simpler. You now can turn to recommendations from your friends to help you get the answers you need. And you can now work hard to have a great Facebook business page that is featured in these recommendations.

How to Use Facebook Recommendations

At this point, you are probably wondering what you need to do to use this feature. The answer is simple. All you need to do is compose a status update. Then, Facebook will analyze your words to activate the recommendations feature.

By typing in something like, “I’m looking for real estate agents in California” or “Where can I find a real estate agent in New York City?” the recommendations feature will be activated.

At that point, your friends can start sending you suggestions of where to turn to. If they happen to recommend someone who has a Facebook page already, the system will automatically provide you with a link to that page in the comments part of the reply.

With 60M pages online, there is a good chance that one that your friend recommends is going to be there.

Your friends can save their suggestions by tagging the Facebook page. Then, Facebook will recognize the object and put it into a map that is going to appear within the post. As others comment with other places that Facebook recognizes, the map will continue growing.

Depending on your privacy settings, the map might be visible to all of your friends or no one at all. Best of all, the map will stay there until you go in and manually delete it, so you can always check back later to explore more options.

What Happens When Someone Responds to the Facebook Recommendation Request?

This is where there’s huge opportunity for you as a real estate agent, business owner, or store. When someone types in a response, and the Facebook Page is tagged, it pulls in a snippet that includes total reviews. Reviews have had growing importance in SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and are being extremely relevant on social. People want to do business with trusted businesses.

People also ask: How do I run a Facebook Ad?

What do you need to Do to Improve Your Recommendations?

  1. Make sure you have an Active Facebook Page
  2. Be sure it has your bio, website, phone, address
  3. Set up a call to action button
  4. Put a great picture as the profile pic (It’s used in the snippet when your page is tagged)
  5. Get Reviews, Get Reviews, Get Reviews!

Facebook makes the process simple and efficient. If you need to interact with the business, you can use one of the call-to-action buttons to connect in mere seconds.

How to Find Phone Numbers for Leads

While lead capture and generation services are great, they don’t always provide the complete information needed to make an initial contact. Sometimes, software only fetches names or physical addresses. This can be problematic, as traditional mail communications are not as effective in a digital era. In order to get the most out of each lead, you need to have both a phone number and an email address. Use this quick guide to learn how to fill in these blanks the easy way.


One of the easiest ways to get contact information for a person or business is to use the free Google search feature. While this can take a long time if the person has a very generic name, adding modifiers can help narrow down the search. Try entering in the person’s name and a distinguishing feature, such as their company name or location.



If Google isn’t turning up too many results on your lead, you can try searching on social media. Use the information you already have to pull up a social media profile. With any luck, they will have contact information posted on the site.


Like 123 People, Spokeo is a people search that allows users to find publicly posted information online. Spokeo takes it a step further, allowing people to search by name, email, phone, or address. The website then compares public records, social networks, and white page listings to display complete profiles of your lead. Known for its speed and reliability, Spokeo is a preferred search for many lead generation companies.

US Search

US Search is a similar service that allows users to search using basic information. This unique people database tracks phone numbers, email addresses, social media, criminal records, age, and location. This is an invaluable tool for businesses looking to gather additional leads. A reverse phone lookup tool is also available on the website.