With a background in digital marketing, Bryan Driscoll is currently generating thousands of motivated seller leads, while still finding time to invest in the market himself. We’re talking to Bryan today about the difference in marketing for residential vs. commercial, when it’s okay to be direct, and how to choose the right platform for less competition.
Bryan Driscoll Real Estate Background:
- Co-founder of Motivated Leads — https://motivated-leads.com/
- 5 years of real estate investing experience
- Bryan and his co-founder, Chad Keller, are currently generating thousands of motivated seller leads for investors nationwide, still making time to invest in single-family homes themselves
- Based in Pittsburgh, PA
- Say hi to him at: https://motivated-leads.com/our-deals/
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Joe Fairless: Best Ever listeners, how are you doing? Welcome to the Best Real Estate Investing Advice Ever Show. I’m Joe Fairless. This is the world’s longest-running daily real estate investing podcast, where we only talk about the best advice ever. We don’t get into any of the fluffy stuff.
With us today, Bryan Driscoll. How are you doing, Bryan?
Bryan Driscoll: Hey, doing well. Thanks for having me, Joe.
Joe Fairless: Well, my pleasure, glad to have you on the show. A little bit about Bryan—he’s the co-founder of Motivated Leads. He and his co-founder, Chad Keller, are currently generating thousands of motivated seller leads for investors nationwide. He’s also an investor himself, and they are working with commercial real estate investors as well to generate leads for them… Thus the conversation with Bryan today. He’s based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and you can check out their company and their website by going to the link in the show notes.
So with that being said, Bryan, do you want to give the Best Ever listeners a little bit more about your background and your current focus?
Bryan Driscoll: Yeah, sure. So I have a really strong digital marketing background. I have been in digital marketing for almost 20 years; I switched focus about six years ago, when I got into real estate. I started investing in single-family homes. I was originally buying off wholesalers, things like that. And then I started seeing the fees, $10,000 to $15,000 wholesale fees, and I’m like, “Wait a minute, we can generate these ourselves.” My background – we were dealing with really big national and international companies, so I have a lot of experience there. Bringing that knowledge to local, we kind of dominated. So then now what we do is we just help people with generating leads and people that want to sell their house, and then also commercial buildings, things like that.
Joe Fairless: Alright, so you were working with national companies, and you said you started bringing it to local and started dominating. So what exactly did you bring to local? And when you say bring it to local, what do you mean by that?
Bryan Driscoll: On a national client, we’re trying to rank for keywords like “shoes” or “baby foods.” Really competitive phrases.
Joe Fairless: Okay. Right.
Bryan Driscoll: So that the tactics and tools that I was using to go after the national phrases – I was able to bring that to Pittsburgh, or even in a different city; it’s a lot less competitive, when you’re just focusing on a city versus national marketing in the world.
Joe Fairless: Got it.
Bryan Driscoll: So we had to bring that expertise into the local area and use the same tactics, and kind of crush it.
Joe Fairless: Got it. Okay, so you’re working with residential and commercial real estate investors… Really quick, talk to us about what you’re doing with residential investors that you’re finding effective, and then let’s talk the majority of our time about commercial.
Bryan Driscoll: Okay. So on the residential side, we do a lot of marketing on Facebook and Google pay-per-click. Normally, what we find is people can market on Facebook and generate leads if you’re very direct in your messaging, like “Sell your house fast. We buy houses, cash home offers”, stuff like that. You send traffic from a Facebook ad to a website, and the website has to be very descript also, saying “Hey, we’re investors, we’re not real estate agents. We can purchase your property, but it’s going to be at a discount, and it’s going to be real convenient for you.”
So what we found works there is if you’re very direct the whole way through the process, by the time you get someone filling out a form on your website or calling you, there’s a high likelihood they’re motivated and they want to sell their property, versus just getting like 100 leads that are looking to find out, “Hey, how much is my property worth?”
Joe Fairless: Right. Because you’ve already told them what you’re going to do.
Bryan Driscoll: Exactly. And even in our commercial or anything – I’ve found it’s way better to be extremely direct with your messaging and blunt… Unless you have a telemarketing team. Just focus on quality versus quantity of leads.
Joe Fairless: Let’s talk about it, because as you said, that ties into commercial and residential. So help me understand the thought process that you just explained of being direct, because you’re getting quality over quantity, versus—and it might not be versus, but in my mind, it’s versus, so educate me on this… Versus adding value multiple times to bring them into your funnel, so they get to know you better and then you have a more direct conversation, albeit it maybe it’s digitally, with them about what you’re looking to do.
Bryan Driscoll: You know what? That’s a really good question. So there’s a difference if you’re an investor or an agent, or dealing with commercial versus a motivated seller; there’s a different strategy. So if you’re looking for someone that’s a motivated seller—what I mean by that, they’re trying to sell a distressed property, they either inherited it, it needs work; they don’t have the money, you can’t get it on the MLS, things like that. Those people are motivated and they’re looking to sell the property yesterday. So those people, we usually don’t build out a funnel. They’re looking for whoever looks reputable, who’s going to give me a fair offer and not rip me off and it’s not a big corporation – they want to deal with. So that’s like a super-fast process.
If we’re dealing on the other side – say we’re going after commercial real estate or MLS, stuff like that, if we’re trying to build a funnel there, we’re trying to do the branding, we might bring someone in and get their email address, and then we pixel them, put them on our audience and then start showing them and retargeting them through a funnel, building that credibility, so that they know us and trust us, things like that, even before we even talk to them. So two different ways you can go about it there… But with the distressed properties, they’re just looking to sell this property because they’re stressed out; they might be going into foreclosure and losing it anyways.
Joe Fairless: Yeah, I was having a close cousin conversation to this earlier, actually about 30 minutes ago, with someone on my team, and we were talking about how we’re generating leads – and this is accredited investor leads – and we could do a better job of converting those leads. And we were talking about, “Okay, should we just initially offer something that is very direct, and say, “Hey, would you like to invest in XYZ?” Or should we just – the second scenario that you just laid out, get their email address, and then have a drip campaign targeting them, and do some sort of formula of add value, add value, add value, add value, ask them if they want to invest. So it seems like these worlds are colliding a little bit for what you’re doing to acquire real estate, to what other companies might include it do to acquire investors.
Bryan Driscoll: That’s a good topic, though… So say accredited investors, or even my website, for example. You go to our site, motivated leads, and when you click the button, I have a page that pops up, and we have an 80% drop rate when someone clicks a button to taking the next step. The page pretty much says, “If you don’t have $3,000 and you’re not a seasoned investor, this probably is not the right fit.” And what that does, it weeds everybody out. Most marketers would look at that, they’re like, “You’re losing 80% of your traffic.” But whenever someone goes the rest of the way through that form, we have such a high close rate, and we can deliver a really good experience. It’s worth it for us.
So say in your space too, a situation like that would probably weed out a lot of your people… Because you’re looking for specific people – they’ve got to have money, they’ve got to be accredited to buy properties. So something like that would probably make sense. I would A/B test it. Go on my website sometime, you’ll see that. It’s a very aggressive page.
Joe Fairless: I’m on it. No, I’m on it right now.
Bryan Driscoll: But you could do something like that, too. It’s like, “Hey, here’s what it is. If you check these boxes, we can overdeliver, do a great job for you.” But if not, give them an alternative, “Hey, here’s a place we recommend that could help you out.” A lot of times I’ll send people to other companies that do pay per lead and stuff if they don’t fit, because I want to help everybody, it’s just you’re not the right fit for us.
Joe Fairless: Mm-hmm.
Bryan Driscoll: And then also, we do retarget; anyone who comes to the website, you can do the branding and stuff, but it really depends on your model what you want to do, because I’m not a big fan of—we used to get so many leads, and it’s like, how do you call these people?
Joe Fairless: Very early on I realized that it’s quality over quantity. I’d much rather be in a CEO role of a luxury brand, versus a dollar store product.
Bryan Driscoll: Right.
Joe Fairless: Give me a luxury brand all day long; I’ll cater to that audience and we’ll come up with a really good product and add value, but they’ll pay for that value because they’re able to and they want to.
Bryan Driscoll: Right. And the type of person you get from doing that, versus just an email grabber, is a totally different type of person at all.
Joe Fairless: Well, how do your clients work with you?
Bryan Driscoll: We pretty much do the marketing. So we offer turnkey marketing for real estate investors. So we handle design, we get them a website set up if they need it, or we use their existing website; we design their ads… Pretty much offer a turnkey service, where all they need to do is answer the phone, which is extremely important in this game… Whenever someone calls, don’t let it go to voicemail. And if you get a lead, call that lead immediately.
Joe Fairless: And you’re working with a client who is looking to acquire commercial real estate properties?
Bryan Driscoll: Yeah, commercial and residential.
Joe Fairless: Okay. What’s the approach? I know you talked about it a little bit already… But what are the nuances with commercial versus residential?
Bryan Driscoll: So commercial – you have to be extremely direct in a different way on what you’re looking for. So it depends, are you looking to buy buildings? Are you looking to buy big apartment complexes? Are you looking to buy warehouses? Whatever you’re looking to buy, pick a direction, or set up specific campaigns for each. So what I mean by that – say you’re looking to get office buildings; we’re going to have office buildings in the ads, we’re going to send you landing page that says, “Hey, we buy office buildings,” or “We buy warehouses,” and it matches the whole way through… Versus, “We buy commercial real estate.” It’s too general. If I’m looking for junky houses, I’ll put pictures of junky houses. So if we put warehouses in the pictures, they go to a website, say “Hey, we buy warehouses, here’s how we can help you.” You’re going to have a way higher close rate and a way higher appointment rate, than just going general, on “We buy commercial buildings,” or “We buy commercial property,” stuff like that. And then we take them from Facebook to a website, or from Google pay-per-click to a website, and then it goes to the client.
Joe Fairless: Got it. What is more effective, Facebook or Google click-to-play? And did you say, Google click-to-play? Am I—
Bryan Driscoll: No. Pay-per-click.
Joe Fairless: Pay-per-click. Okay. It’s like—I wrote that down, it’s like, I don’t remember that term. Pay-per-click. Got it. Yep. Google pay-per-click, or Facebook – what’s more effective with commercial?
Bryan Driscoll: Facebook. It depends what is considered most effective.
Joe Fairless: Leads to a transaction.
Bryan Driscoll: I’d say, it depends on your market. I’ve tested them, and most of the time, they are about equal. The reason is, sometimes on Facebook we’ll get cheaper leads; you may get more leads, and have slightly lower conversion rate… But the reason – on Google pay-per-click the conversion rate drops, because when you’re on Google, if you notice that when you search something, there’s three ads at the top. So a lot of these people will click out all three of those websites at the same time, and then you have two competitors, right off the bat. Versus Facebook, they don’t see that other person. So I almost put them as equal conversion rate there.
Joe Fairless: What if your client does not have a Facebook page that they maintain. Does Facebook still work?
Bryan Driscoll: Yeah. We’ll just build a page. You need a page. So clients come to us, they don’t have a Facebook page, we’ll build them one them; we’ll make the logos and everything.
Joe Fairless: No, I know you would build a page. The keyword, my question was “maintain”. So if they don’t have an active Facebook page… I know you have to have on, but if you don’t have an active one, does it matter?
Bryan Driscoll: No, not for paid ads. I don’t see it mattering that much, because no one ever sees the page. They see the page, the name of who’s posting, but when they click the ad, it doesn’t go to the page, it goes to a website.
Joe Fairless: Okay.
Bryan Driscoll: So most of the people don’t go to the actual page, on the paid side. Organic matters a lot.
Joe Fairless: Got it. And what’s the cost or investment for your client to work with you?
Bryan Driscoll: We charge $1,500 a month, plus ad spend. So we usually recommend minimum $1,500. It’s whatever aggressive people want to get and how much they can handle.
Joe Fairless: Got it. What’s a success story that you can share with us?
Bryan Driscoll: A success story… I actually just got one right now. I just picked up a property—I only invest in one zip code in my area. So it’s really—I get very low leads in such a confined area. But I just picked up a property two months ago, we got it for 100k, put 30k into it, and it just appraised at 215k. I just rent them out. But that was a pretty big—
Joe Fairless: Yeah, that’s great. That’s awesome.
Bryan Driscoll: Yeah.
Joe Fairless: Man…! Okay. Is that in Pittsburgh?
Bryan Driscoll: Yeah, it’s in Bethel Park, Pennsylvania. South of Pittsburgh.
Joe Fairless: When you work with a commercial real estate client who’s looking to buy apartment buildings, how do you get the list or the audience? Let’s talk about Facebook.
Bryan Driscoll: Okay.
Joe Fairless: How do you get the audience to target in order to find apartment buildings to purchase?
Bryan Driscoll: So what we do – Facebook limited itself a year a year and a half ago, so we can’t target as much as we could back in the day. So number one, the ads have to be real direct to get the right type of people to click it. And then what we do is we push people through the ads… Let me take a step back here. If we’re really direct with the messaging, we get the right people to click the ads; then they go to the website. Regardless of whether they fill out a form or not, they’re now on our audience list which we can retarget. But once we get enough people to go through and fill out a form also, Facebook’s algorithm can tell, “Okay, the type of people that are filling out your form are like this”, and then they can put ads in front of very similar people to them, too. So we’re retargeting them, plus basing on Facebook’s algorithm as well to get us in front of the right type of people.
Joe Fairless: Okay. But that very first ad though – is that very first ad targeted to all of Facebook, in US citizen or what?
Bryan Driscoll: Say if you wanted to invest in a 30-mile radius around your city, we’re going broad to your area.
Joe Fairless: So just everyone in that radius is going to get the ad… And then you’re very direct in the ad, and then based off of who clicks it and fills out those forms, then you can start getting an audience profile.
Bryan Driscoll: Right. And the reason is, Facebook won’t let us target in housing, employment and credit. You can’t target by age, sex, zip code, stuff like that. So they force us, due to discrimination laws, and all that kind of stuff. You can’t focus that much more if you want.
Joe Fairless: Okay. What about Google pay-per-click?
Bryan Driscoll: Yeah, Google’s a totally different animal. Depending on your area, Google works, or sometimes it’s super competitive. So the difference is with Facebook, we’re competing on impressions. We’re paying Facebook, “Hey, stick our ad in front of certain people in Pittsburgh, just anyone in Pittsburgh.” Versus Google pay-per-click, it’s like , “Put us in front of anyone who types in ‘need to sell my property fast’ in Pittsburgh,” and we’re in direct competition with other investors… Versus on Facebook – I’m competing against the bakery down the street that wants to show ads.
Joe Fairless: Right.
Bryan Driscoll: So investors are super aggressive. I was just looking, we had a client — we’re paying $90 a click for one click to the website, which is astronomical.
Joe Fairless: What city is that?
Bryan Driscoll: They’re down in Charlotte.
Joe Fairless: Huh. If I had guessed 10 guesses, that wouldn’t have been in the top 10.
Bryan Driscoll: Yeah, it’s crazy down there on a cost per lead side.
Joe Fairless: Well, on the flip side – because I know you would agree with this, that even though there’s higher competition, if someone is searching for that term, versus on Facebook, if they’re passively coming across it and filling out a form, Google’s likely higher to convert. Is that accurate?
Bryan Driscoll: Yeah, they have higher intent. So here’s how I like to use them. I like to have Google pay-per-click, we’ll go out to call people also because of that intent. And say you get 100 people to the website and say you have a good conversion of 10%. So we have 90 people that came to our website, we spent a ton of money to get them there; they have intent, they want to sell, they’re just not ready yet. We can retarget them on Facebook and scoop those leads up cheap on the backend. So kind of working both together. But yeah, I do agree with you on that, the intent, because they just searched “I need to sell my property fast,” or whatever it is.
Joe Fairless: I like that combo approach. What have we not talked about that you think we should before we wrap up?
Bryan Driscoll: Well, that’s a good question… Anyone doing marketing, one thing, just the basics, is — I talked to a lot of people who are like, “Hey, I tried Google pay-per-click or Facebook and it didn’t work.” And they don’t have the proper tracking on their website. So a lot of people don’t click just the Boost button. It’s called a Facebook pixel on Facebook, and Google has a snippet of code, too. If you’re going to try this on your own, make sure you have the code on your website, and then there’s an event tracking code; put that on your Thank You page, so that you can let their algorithms know who’s going through and filling out the form so they can work for you. It’s probably one of the best things I could say if you’re just going to try to start out and do it on your own, because otherwise it just won’t work.
Joe Fairless: Thank you, I appreciate that. Any other tips before we wrap up?
Bryan Driscoll: One other tip I can give you, too – what I’ve found here in Pittsburgh to increase my appointment rate… What I have happen is someone goes through my website, they fill out a form saying they want to sell the property. Once that form is done, obviously I get a phone or an email that we want to reach out to them… But what I implemented is I have a text message go out to them, which I know a lot of people do. The difference is what it says is it says, “Thanks for filling out a form on my website. Here’s a link to my calendar” and I give a Calendly link, “for us to come give you an offer.” And what that does is – say on Google pay-per-click, for example, you have all that other competition. If you just book an appointment with me, it kind of makes you stop in your process and distracts them from filling out for the competition.
Joe Fairless: Sure.
Bryan Driscoll: Plus it also shows me people’s motivation. If you’re going to book an appointment without even talking to me, you’re fairly motivated on what you want to do there. So I would set that up if you guys are trying to [unintelligible [00:22:15].00] And at two in the morning, people can book appointments when they fill it out.
Joe Fairless: Mm-hmm. Yeah, and the challenge that a lot of investors have right now is it’s tough to find leads. So this is a really relevant conversation, both for residential and then also for commercial real estate investors.
How can the Best Ever listeners get in touch with you and learn more?
Bryan Driscoll: If you want to reach out, our website is motivated-leads.com. So you can just go there, fill out a form, give us a call. It’s just motivated-leads.com.
Joe Fairless: And that’s also in the show notes for you, the Best Ever listeners. So Bryan, thank you for being on the show. I hope you have a best ever weekend and we’ll talk to you again soon.
Bryan Driscoll: Hey, thanks.
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