Do you struggle with generating leads? Is direct mail or other standard lead sources providing you with a sub-optimal conversion rate? If that is the case, your lead generating and conversion strategy may not actually be the problem. In fact, the lack of leads and low conversion rate is likely a symptom from a deeper issue with your business.
Guy Gimenez, an investor that has completed more than 50 flips and whose current focus is on wholesaling and retailing, initially faced the same dilemma. However, he realized he didn’t have a lead or conversion problem, but rather, he had a relationships problem. Once you made that discovery and made the necessary adjustments, his business skyrockets.
In our recent conversation, Guy provided the three adjustments he made to increase his network, and in turn, his real estate business.
Adjustment #1 – Add a Marketing Team Member
Guy obtains the majority of his leads using online sources such as Google Adwords, SEO, and other pay-for-click services. However, marketing in general, but especially online marketing, is outside of his wheelhouse. Guy understands marketing is one of his many weaknesses, which is why he brought on a team member who can complement those weaknesses. He found such an individual at a meet-up he started (more on the meet-up later) – a millennial that worked for a major company in town. Like many in the millennial generation, this gentleman had a knack for online marketing.
Guy realized that marketing is the engine that runs the business. Yet, it is something he struggles with. He doesn’t want to take the time to learn it, so he leverages other people’s time and talent to handle aspects of the business, like marketing, and then they share in the profits. Guy has partnered with the marketing millennial, who handles all the back-end marketing – SEO, Google Adwords, and all the pay-for-click. He brings in the leads into the company website and then Guy takes everything from there.
If, like Guy, you are having issues with lead generation and conversion, considered networking to find a team member to outsource your marketing.
Adjustment #2 – Start a Meetup Group
Once Guy realized his relationship problem, he started brainstorming potential solutions. The one he acted on was creating a meetup group. As a result, he has gotten many deals and formed many great relationships that would not have existed if it wasn’t for this group.
Guy started the meet-up group in mid-2014. He hosted the first meeting at his church because that is the only location he could think of. Going into the meeting, Guy didn’t even know if anyone would show up. Fortunately, 8 people attended.
As the host of the meetup group, he didn’t want to portray himself as a real estate guru. Rather, he was just someone that was looking to build relationships that would be beneficial to both parties. Guy had cash reserves, as well as real estate experience and knowledge, while many of the attendees lacked the funds and real estate proficiency. Consequently, the meetup was an ideal way for Guy to help others earn money while they learned the ins-and-outs of investing. In return, he has been able to increase his network, get great deals, and find individuals to add to his team, which include the marketing millennial.
Flashing forward to today, and due to Guy’s authentic, benevolent approach, the meetup has grown to over 500 members, ranging from 20 to 80 members in attendance per meeting.
For those that are ready to take on the challenge of starting their own meet-up, simply replicate Guy’s meet-up structure:
- Pre-meeting, Guy will advertise the meet-up for a few weeks. His advertising approach is three-fold: (1) Put something on Facebook and then boost the post, (2) attend other local meet-ups in the area and convey what his meet-up is all about and (3) create an event on Meetup.com
- The advertisement is fairly simple. Guy brings in different speakers each week so it consists of the speaker, what the speaker will talk about, as well as time (7pm to 9pm) and location
- The meetup is hosted at a local restaurant banquet room. Due to the late meeting time, it typically begins with everyone ordering dinner
- The meeting officially commences with Guy going over some housekeeping items (i.e. reminder to pay for your meals, overview of meeting structure, introduction of speaker)
- Next, the guest speaker presents, which is immediately followed up a Q&A session
- Following the Q&A, those in attendance have the opportunity to either (1) promote a deal they have or (2) explain any “need” they have (i.e. what they are looking for, like a flip in a certain zip code, advice on how to run the numbers, etc.)
- Finally, Guy provides the attendees, specifically the newer investors, with an opportunity to tell a success story. Also, he asks more experienced investors to talk about a recent failure
Adjustment #3 – Network everywhere you go
While the first two methods were more specific, this final one is more of a high-level approach, but powerful nonetheless. Guy has the ability to form relationships anywhere he goes. And I mean ANYWHERE – walking down the street, restaurants, the grocery store, etc. Guy finds that so much of the population is frustrated. They hate their jobs, they hate their life, and are very apathetic. Therefore, it is amazing what you can do by touching one person everyday with something as simple as providing a compliment or telling a cheesy joke. You may not change their life forever, but you may change their minute, their hour, or their day. By doing so, you can absolutely build relationships and even find deals!
One such example occurred when Guy was standing in line at the grocery store. When he got to the register, he said to the cashier, “that is a very pretty dress. I have the same one at home but didn’t wear it because I forgot to shave my legs today.” She laughed and asked what Guy did for a living. He explained that he is a real estate investor, gave her his card, and went on his merry way. Within 1 hour, Guy received a phone call. It was the cashier. She explained that her mother was losing the house, that they already had a foreclosure date, and asked if there was anything Guy could do to help. All the stars were aligned on this one – Guy met her at the right time, the cashier had the knowledge of her mom’s situation, and the mom was actually relaying the situation to her daughter. As a result, Guy was eventually able to stop the foreclosure, get the house under contract, sold the property, and made a nice profit. But just as important, he solved a problem and took that 800-pound gorilla off of their back. That cashier and her mom will never forget it. It was the ultimate win-win scenario. However, what Guy did for her is what he does for everyone. He simply solves problems and makes a profit in doing so.
How many people do you know, including yourself, who reach out to strangers on a daily basis? No matter where you go, there is always an opportunity to touch someone’s life. And maybe, just maybe, they will touch yours as well.
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Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this blog post are provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as an offer to buy or sell any securities or to make or consider any investment or course of action.