In this episode Shayne Hillier and Matt Cramer from Real Estate Marketing and Conversion Academy describe how and why they created the academy. They talk about paid advertising and how their academy helps agents in supervising the performance and conversion of ads. Shayne discusses the process of approaching and converting leads. Matt talks about the importance of the wants and needs of an agent’s potential clients in the process of conversion. Last, Shayne talk about some dos and don’ts with marketing.
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D.J. Paris 0:00
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Hello, and welcome to another episode of Keeping it real, the largest podcast made by real estate agents. And for real estate agents. My name is DJ Parris. I’m your guide and host through the show, and in just a moment, we’re going to be speaking with Shane Hillier, and Matt Kramer, from the real estate marketing and conversion Academy. Before we get to Shane and Matt, just a couple of quick reminders. Number one, please tell a friend think of one other real estate professional that could benefit from checking out our podcast and send them a link, you can always just send them right over to our website, which is keeping it real pod.com. Again, keeping it real pod.com. And also, please follow us on Facebook, we post all of our episodes that we do we even broadcast them live as we’re recording them. And we also find articles every day written to specifically help agents grow their business and we post them there so you can find firstname.lastname@example.org forward slash keeping it real. As always, we say thank you to everyone listening, we really appreciate you it’s because of you that we have this great following and we have this huge audience and we’re gonna continue to make episodes to help you take your real estate practice to the next level and now on to our interview with Shane and Matt.
All right, today on the show, we have Shane Hillier, and Matt Kramer, who are co founders of the real estate marketing and conversion Academy which offers an exclusive course for realtors and marketers that teaches you how to acquire high ticket clients in under 90 days. Hillier and Kramer have generated over 280 million in combined and closed real estate volume again 280 million. They are the founders of the fastest growing marketing group on Facebook. Now to learn more about their course please visit go dot r e m CME group.com Once again, go dot r e m CME group.com Shane and Matt, welcome to the show.
Shayne Hillier 2:49
Hey, great to be here.
D.J. Paris 2:51
And just for our audience so that they they can identify voice to name a shame. Can you please say hello? How’s it going, everybody?
Shayne Hillier 2:59
I’m Shane Hillier, and happy to be here.
D.J. Paris 3:01
Matt Cramer 3:02
how’s it going? Everybody? I’m Matt Kramer. And I’m glad to be here.
D.J. Paris 3:05
Well, you guys sound almost identical. So this is. But Shane is actually from Toronto. So there’s a slight Canadian accent there. But it’s very, it’s very subtle. But anyway, we’re glad to have both of you, you guys probably think a lot of the same thoughts as well, because you are partners in this Real Estate Academy. And, and this is really a unique episode for us. We, gosh, we’ve done I think about 250 episodes now and almost exclusively featured, you know, top producing agents, what we don’t often feature is some of the technology that that sort of supports them or the framework to which they go out and in your case acquire new clients. And the number one question we get from our listeners and viewers on the show is how can I generate more business on Facebook and other social media platforms. And we even have Facebook comes on once a month to talk about that. But we also love to hear you know, third party people like yourselves who specifically are teaching realtors, how to increase their social media presence and their ad spend for maximum conversion. And you know, right now, I know Facebook traffic has along with Zillow and and a lot of the other websites that cater to, you know, buyers and sellers have exploded in in traffic simply because of the pandemic has forced more of us to be online more often. So right now there’s such a huge opportunity to find buyers and sellers who are raising their hand and wanting to speak to a broker. But I would love to hear you know, what you guys what your thoughts are. First I’d love to hear about why you created the academy.
Shayne Hillier 4:39
Absolutely. So I can definitely get started with that. So the academy I mean, I’ve been doing marketing for some time. My wife’s actually a licensed real estate agents. So that’s kind of where I started. We were you know, did some marketing for her business, and just you know, dabbling in Facebook ads and trying to get her some leads and some business And then eventually started working with the brokerage that she was at. And that grew to a regional or like an entire region where we were helping some of the brokerages. And I guess I just, you know, I stumbled across an opportunity where, you know, they were teaching you how to build digital products and just, you know, teach what you know. And so we actually started a program a long time ago, which was, you know, something similar to what we’re doing now. But it was mostly about, you know, teaching what I knew about the marketing on Facebook and lead generation and so on. And then eventually I met, I met Matt through another Facebook group, and I actually hired Matt for to coach on our isa teams. So we actually built an ISA team. One of the big challenges we ran into is that real estate agents were having a hard time following up with their leads, not properly qualifying them. So we built a small isa team to do that for them. Our challenge was, we had no idea what we were doing. So being that Matt came from a real estate background, I believe he managed a team of over 35 isas he was doing lead generation, it just made sense to bring him in Bremen on the team coach isas, he rebuilt all our scripts, he helped our isas we went from a 10% conversion to a 40% conversion to appointment. And from that, we just I don’t know, it just kind of took off. We started, you know, talking more, we started producing more content together, we started producing more scripts and helping more real estate agents. And then eventually, we grew that into what is now known as the real estate marketing conversion Academy.
D.J. Paris 6:43
Yeah, it’s so interesting. And for everyone listening who does not know what an ISA is, essentially, this is somebody who is working those internet leads for you trying to schedule appointments on your behalf. A lot of times agents who are participating in paid advertising who are getting, you know, buyers and sellers who raised their hand, don’t have time to always immediately follow up with these leads. So they either hire an outside service, or they you know, have an assistant that makes these dials and just pounds the phone until that person’s on the calendar for it with an appointment.
Unknown Speaker 7:16
D.J. Paris 7:18
so So tell us a little bit more about the academy, you know, again, then we get so many people that say, Hey, I’m posting a lot on Facebook, I’m not getting a lot of organic people who are replying or wanting my business. And you know, agents, I think also struggle just with content with you know, only posting like just listed just sold. And I know we could talk all about content creation. But there you know, what we don’t talk about much on the show is really paid advertising, and how important it is and how easy it can be to find those buyers and sellers. So just tell us a little bit more about what the academy is trying to the problems are trying to solve for and what you guys offer.
Shayne Hillier 7:58
Yeah, Matt, go ahead, once you would describe everything that’s inside of the academy, so
Matt Cramer 8:02
the academy is, it’s got a lot of stuff, right. But to start with, it helps you get started with Facebook ads for real estate specifically. So there’s a lot of you know, courses out there, even Facebook’s got their own course, right? Where they’re teaching you how to run ads, how to set up a lead generation and different things like that. But they’re not teaching you how to do it for real estate. So basically, we’re teaching people how to set up the ads and run the ads for real estate. And then once they start getting those running, you know how to take a look at them find out if they’re performing well, what to change if they’re not performing? Well. Once you get leads what to do with those, where do they go once they get into Facebook as a lead or into your landing page software as a lead. So getting those into your CRM or wherever it is that you’re trying to put them. You know, follow up plans, email plans, different things like that, so that you can start to convert the actual leads into you know, a conversation, and hopefully from there and appointment. So we basically go beyond just you know, how to generate the lead. And we try to focus also on how to convert the lead because I think that’s something that a lot of people struggle with, you know, we’ll hear people all the time like, Oh, I’m getting you know, 60 cent leads, $1.20 leads different things like that. And it’s like, awesome. How many deals are you closing? I don’t know nothing. Yeah.
D.J. Paris 9:22
Right. You know, we Yeah, it’s it’s, it’s such, it’s such an important point with this idea of conversion, because here’s how we know that it’s actually not that difficult to generate leads using Facebook ads, because if you’re an ad for all of our listeners and viewers right now, if you’re like me, you’re getting the spam emails almost daily from these marketing companies. You know, typically it’s some sort of generic gmail account going, hey, I can get 15 to 30 buyers a week for you or a month for you. If you’re interested, please respond. Now if you’re getting those emails along with probably every other Realtor in in Canada and also the United States. That’s because it isn’t that difficult to generate the wheat. The hard part, of course, is the conversion. So, you know, this is there’s such a ripe opportunity. And these guys have kind of cracked the code. I mean, we have Zillow on our show once a month as well. And they talk about that if you’re converting, and these are Zillow leads, if you’re converting 5% to 7%, you’re one of their superstar lead converters. Now you guys are saying, Hey, we can you know, once we get that person on the phone, you know, we can actually possibly get them, you know, up to a 40% close rate, that is an insane, close ratio. And again, I mean, it really is a kind of a no brainer. So can you talk a little bit more about? Well, where should we start? Should we start with lead generation in using Facebook ads, because I suspect most of our listeners and audience has never used a paid ad, maybe they’ll they’ll promote a post, if they want to sort of, you know, do a just listed or just sold, but they’re not specifically running Facebook ads?
Matt Cramer 11:01
Well, real quick, I’d like to clarify just so we don’t have our inboxes blown up. And there’s 40% conversion rate, right. 40% was was to appointments, right? You still have to get the people to show up. You still have to convert appointments all that there’s a lot of other pieces beyond us getting them an appointment booked.
D.J. Paris 11:18
So like the getting getting the appointment is everything and and if you if you we can get them to 40%. You know, with just appointment bookings. That’s an incredible number. Really incredible. But yes, I’m sorry, go ahead. So apologize for the inflating your numbers and making it too good to be true. But still, these guys have really mastered the art of taking that person from raised and which again, not that difficult to find, but actually getting them to the appointment.
Matt Cramer 11:45
Yeah, so I mean, really, you know, it’s different steps along the funnel, right? So the first thing is, can we generate the lead at the right price? Once we have the leads generated, then we have to work on our contact rate, you know, how quick are we reaching out to them? How many times? Are we reaching out to them? How many different ways are we reaching out to them. So a lot of agents aren’t even reaching out on Facebook, which is free, you can literally type the person’s name in and go look at their Facebook and reach out to them. You know, that’s how they reached out to you. So why not do that? Yeah. So we got to get that contact rate up, right? A lot of people when they’re first getting started, they have like a 30% Connect rate. And it’s because they’re calling the leads, when they have time to three days later, things like that, you know, you want to have an incident response. And that’s, if you don’t have the ability to do that yourself, then you want to make sure that you are working with some sort of an ISA company or team or one of those marketing agencies, like you talked about, I mean, they’ll they’ll handle it for a usually and get you set up with an ISA team, as well. But basically, the point is you want somebody reaching out to those leads right away multiple times, once you can get your convert your connection rate to a good place, then it becomes about that conversion rate to an appointment. And having a follow up plan because a lot of people aren’t going to book that appointment on the first call. And so I mean, there’s just so many stages as you go along, that you’re trying to keep all the balls in the air. And the less you drop, the more you convert, if that makes
D.J. Paris 13:13
sense. 100% I worked prior to getting involved in this business, I was in a market I was I’m basically a marketer, and I was in I worked for an IT company prior to this in the healthcare space. And we generated through paid and also organic traffic 1000s of health insurance leads people who needed to purchase health insurance, and we averaged about 15,000 leads a day. And so we had all this data from all and we sold those leads to insurance agents who wanted to talk to you. Yeah, yeah. And so we had all this data, and we were able to track over over several years. Like how quickly through the CRM that we offered, how quickly were people actually getting in touch with? Well, first of all, how long does it take the average person to buy a health insurance plan? What’s the really like, start to to close date for that? Like how quickly do they make a decision? And then how often is that agent following up. And so again, this isn’t real estate related, but what we found was that the average person when they raise their hand saying I need to buy health insurance plan, it took them about nine days to actually purchase the plan. But most of the agents who we sold the leads to would give up after day three, on kind of contact that person. So it was for those that just were able to consistently reach out to that prospect, over a nine day period had tremendous success. Most agents were either too busy or didn’t have a discipline practice in place to continue to call that person until they reach them. So that is sort of step number one is is really either hiring somebody to to you know, keep continuing to reach out to that prospect or you know, setting aside a certain amount of time every single day but but how important is speed to lead like the lead comes in how quickly and of course, instantly is always the answer. But how quickly do you guys feel it’s important to actually reach out to that consumer?
Shayne Hillier 15:09
Well, I can answer that I actually have some data. That’s so which is actually really interesting, because this was just, you know, a test that we ended up doing internally, with our own isa team. And it actually was was based on a conversation with Matt, about, you know, speed to lead and trying to see if we can increase our conversion rates. Now, one of the things that we notice is that, so when we were first getting into this, we were generating leads, and we were calling leads within 15 minutes to I would say, within an hour or so as we were getting the leads coming in. And part of that was just because, you know, we were getting a lot of leads coming in, and we just, you know, sometimes your conversations are 1520 minutes and trying to get to the next one, it just takes time, right? Of course. So what we did is we ended up switching up our process a little bit, and we went to from 20 minutes, or like average, maybe 25 minute to below five minute content or not contact rate, but reaching out to people, right, so under five minutes, and what we noticed is an increase of about 25 to 30%. Contact rate. And so that’s where we saw the big big change was the contact rates, we were able to increase those if we were reaching out to our leads a lot quicker. And what that meant was that it actually decrease our effort. Because now instead of having to reach out, you know, 567 times to somebody, we’re calling them immediately, we’re reaching 60 65% of our leads within that first five minutes. So we don’t have to follow up with them again, what we do, but we put them into our longer follow up process, as opposed to our short term, which is, which at the time was, I believe was 13 phone calls we were making? So the point is, is that, you know, there is no nobody really has any data on specifically around the really, because we’ve been looking for this data, and we challenge people all the time to show us the data, whether or not calling your leads within, you know, a minute to two minutes actually increases the conversion rates. So the conversion to national transaction, there is no data out there, nobody’s keeping track of that well enough. But what we can, what we what we what we do tell our clients is that it increases your contact rates, and sometimes by 20% 30% 40%, that’s huge, right? You know, especially if you’re generating, you know, say 100 leads a month, and you’re connecting with 65% of your leads, that means you’ve talked to 65 people.
D.J. Paris 17:36
Yeah, it’s a huge number. And so, and I think, you know, if I’m listening right now to the episode, I might think, well, you know, I come from the Brian Buffini School of Business or school of real estate, which says, Hey, we want to all work by referral, you know, we shouldn’t have to promote to strangers, we should be working sphere of influence? And of course, the answer is yes, of course, you should work your sphere of influence and continue to build your network. But this is an alternative stream of leads that that these guys have really crafted the process, right, it’s not so hard to put up a Facebook ad, and and to generate leads, but then to convert that stranger into an actual scheduled appointment is is is a bit of a skill, it’s, it’s easy when your best friend wants to, you know, buy a home, and they’re gonna choose you because they’re your best friend. But for people who do not know you who are responding to a Facebook ad, or an Instagram ad, let’s say, they do have to be you know, there’s a psychological process of priming that person, and putting them through a step to gain confidence trust, and that takes, that takes effort. And it really takes a particular skill set. And that’s what you guys teach.
Matt Cramer 18:49
Yeah, and I mean, what I find is that it’s very similar to the people that deal with expireds, right? People that can work really well with expireds can do really well with online lead generation. Because imagine, instead of having two expireds, every morning, and that’s all you get to call right now, in this market, like you’ve got 20 new leads every morning, it’s a completely different game, you know, and you’re getting in front of them before other people get in front of.
D.J. Paris 19:14
Yeah, and, and expires are really difficult because you’re gonna get a lot of hang ups, and hey, screw you, I used I used an agent, and they didn’t do a good job for me, for sale by owners, you know, have some can be a very similar sort of response of, I don’t want to work with an agent. That’s why I’m not doing it myself. So, but it’s a great opportunity to learn how to how to handle, you know, difficult objections, but what we’re talking about here is actually people who are raising their hand saying, Hey, I do want to talk, I have a real estate need, and they’re going to talk to somebody, obviously, it might as well be you. Look, can we talk a little bit about that conversion. So you know, this is a stranger essentially, right, who raises their hand. Do you guys have any any tips or suggestions for our audience, when they’re in that situation? Whether Send online lead or, you know, could just be, you know, a phone call comes into their brokerage office, somebody assigns them this this lead. But again, when it’s a stranger, what have you guys found that is really helpful to convert that stranger into somebody who says, I want to work with you?
Matt Cramer 20:15
Yeah, I mean, it’s getting them on the phone, right? Let’s say you get him on the call, you want to build a rapport immediately. So I really like leaning into mirroring and matching, when you get them on the phone, if they’re fast, you’re fast. If they’re slow, you’re slow. I mean, you’re trying to mirror and match that pace. And also the tonality. So that’s, that’s something you can do right from the first Hello, right? Because they say hello, as in, you know, hello. Or if they say, hey, it right, you know, like, you know what you’re dealing with, and you start there. From there, it goes into just the script, right? Is helping them out? Are you going to try and go straight for an appointment? Now, like you, you have to see like, what is it they’re looking for? How can you help that person? The one of the things I always say is, leads are people first, not people to write. So a lot of times everybody looks at the leads its name, email, and phone numbers, practice crap, right? It’s just crap. Because it’s just a lead. It’s just a lead. You don’t have anything yet? Well, that’s a person, they have problems, they have issues, they have desires, they have wants and needs and everything else, and you have to start to get to know them. On that call. What is it they’re calling in for? What is it they reached out for? Did they just want to look at the pictures? Perfect, that’s fine. Do you want to look at some pictures and some other ones, right? You meet them where they’re at? And and you don’t treat them? Like, you know, you don’t treat them poorly. here’s basically what I say. But there’s a lot of agents that will they’ll jump on? And they’re like, are you ready to buy a house? No. Okay, well, I don’t know what I can do for you. And that’s not what they’ll say. But that’s what they’re saying. Yeah, that’s the message.
D.J. Paris 21:56
Yeah. And I’ve always thought, you know, real estate agents really, probably certainly would better serve them to call themselves consultants. Because what a consultant does, you know, in the corporate world, of course, is they go walk into a business who might need their service and say, you know, here are the problems we’re facing, can you assist us with this, and the consultant says, Okay, I’m going to do some discovery, I want to figure out exactly where the pain points are. And then I’m gonna come back to you with a solution. Again, that doesn’t happen instantly. But a lot of real estate agents, you know, and and other sales professionals as well go right for the sale. They, you know, I recruit Realtors all day, and I used to immediately go into, here’s all the cool stuff our firm offers, instead of I mean, I feel so silly, not knowing not doing this for years. But now I say, Hey, what are you looking for? Like, what’s important to you? What you know, and again, these are questions that are not specific to real to recruiting realtors. But you know, if you’re asking somebody, you know, you need to have an intake process. You know, I went to the dermatologist the other day, they had an intake process, they asked me a million questions before the doctor came in, and not too many questions, but they were wanting to get to know me. And that made me feel like, wow, they really care enough to actually give me an appropriate, you know, diagnosis or prescription for my particular situation, which, of course, is the same thing that real estate agents do.
Shayne Hillier 23:15
Yeah, I mean, that’s exactly. Yeah, that’s gonna add to that, to me, the other thing, you know, in terms of increasing your conversions is, there’s a number of different things that, you know, I think that really helped out. And I just, you know, thinking back to some of the customers that I’ve worked with, and the ones that have done really well, we’ve had clients, convert anywhere between 5%, I’ve had one client convert up to 14% of their leads generated from Facebook, which is unheard of wow. And, and what’s really unique about some of these, these agents is the way they follow up and how committed they are to the follow ups. So one of the agents that I’ve worked with, you know, would make a phone call if that person didn’t answer that, then text them, and then they immediately email them. And then they go on Facebook and friend requests them. And the other thing that they were doing is really leveraging social media. So there, you know, the personal private profiles were set up. So people, anybody visiting their personal profiles, would actually they know their real estate agent, right. And then there’s some videos on there, and they’re really leveraging the whole video marketing thing. And so that it really allows your leads to do want to connect with them right, just in a different way without actually having to talk to them. A lot of times too, one of the things that we typically do is, you know, you’re doing a little bit of lead generation, but we’re also tying a little bit of retargeting in there. And typically we’re doing retargeting with with video, so that when you are reaching out to somebody, that person has seen you at once, maybe twice on video, right? So they’ve connected with you or built a little bit of rapport with you, even before you’ve picked up the phone or before you’ve maybe called them the third fourth or fifth time.
D.J. Paris 24:47
Yeah retargeting with video is Boy, that’s such a such a great idea. And just to define what retargeting is, Shane, do you mind letting our audience know when you say retargeting what that entails?
Shayne Hillier 24:57
Yeah, absolutely. So you know when when you generate a lead, what ends up happening is that Facebook tags that lead, right, so they were able to collect that information. And what retargeting does is allows you to send ads or create an ad to specifically target those same people. So it’s very similar to, you know, if you go to Amazon, you start looking at products, and then you go back to Facebook, and you see all those products, what’s the exact same thing, right? So you’re essentially putting more ads in front of the same people that reached out to you the first time. And typically we do this with specifically with real estate agents, we’re doing this with video, because we want those leads to build rapport with the real estate agents.
D.J. Paris 25:39
And you can also put somebody through a sales funnel at that point, because they’re, they’re being retargeted, you’re able to, to give them new content, you know, over time, based on their previous behavior. And in your case, mentioning, you know, having videos, so the person gets to see the agent talking, talking about what they offer, or whatever the content is, and you’re right over time, they start to feel like they know that person a little bit better, because they’ve now seen and heard them, and you’re able to push very specific content to that consumer based on on their on their previous, you know, buying or selling behavior or just browsing behavior,
Shayne Hillier 26:17
exactly. Like, I would always suggest any opportunity, you have to create video and get that person in front of video, then do it, you know, things like I mean, there are apps out there like Bom Bom that allow you to do that. So if you’re following up a text messages, maybe you’re following up with videos, instead, you can jump on Facebook, figure out like a lot of the CRMs now will capture the profiles, right? So the social profiles, so then you can get jump on Facebook, and maybe send them a video message over. Or if you don’t want to do video, even just a voice message, because now they’re connecting with your voice, right. So you could do that over messenger. I mean, there’s so many different ways of doing this, one of the little things that we do is, um, specifically with when we’re doing ads for homes, lists, I’m sure everybody’s familiar, like, you know, hey, here’s a list of homes under a certain medium price point, you know, come and get it right. And then they fill in their information. And then, so if we’re using, you know, Facebook, and we’re using the built in forms, there’s a page, the thank you page allows you to add a link in there. So what we do usually is we add a link that goes to a landing page that has a video of the real estate agent, and then a link back to the IDX website. So again, just every opportunity we have to put a video in front of these leads is typically what we try and do. Or at least try and suggest
D.J. Paris 27:29
video content is so important and also a great opportunity for everyone listening even if you’re not doing paid social advertising, you should be doing as much video as possible just as regular organic content inside of your pages and and your your profile posts because this is where people begin to feel like they know you, they want to watch you. They want to see what you how you how you speak, how you interact, what value you provide, especially if you’re offering advice, or just you know, education, about home buying and selling processes. You know, so many people, for example, go I don’t know what earnest money is, and they go to Facebook or YouTube and they type in what is earnest money and they watch a video. I bet more people do that these days than just go on Google and look for an article about earnest money, I’ll bet it’s more people are actually probably going specifically for things like that to YouTube, or Facebook and doing that search. And I see agents starting to do that more and more, which I think is so smart to really establish yourself as the authority to you know, the people that follow you. 100% Yeah, I would, I’d love to hear about some some don’ts. We’ve talked about some do’s, do you guys have any suggestions for obviously, we talked about speed to lead, meaning when a lead comes across your desk, you know, digitally, or even, you know, of course, literally as well, if someone walks in the door, you’re gonna immediately work with them, you’re not going to send them away and say, You know what, I’ll call you in an hour. Unless, of course, that’s the only option you’re going to talk to them there. So treat those digital leads the same way. But is there any any don’ts other than don’t wait several hours to call, you know, the lead back? Any suggestions of, of what you see agents doing that, that gets in their way of actually converting that lead?
Shayne Hillier 29:15
And the conversion process? I got a whole lot. No. So yeah, I mean, there’s a few little, you know, there’s a few things right? I mean, obviously don’t don’t get if you’re gonna, if you’re gonna go to the paid route, you have to make sure you have a proper system in place. Right. I mean, you know, I was just working with a client. We just set up some ads a couple of days ago with a client. And, you know, we’re always looking at that sort of, you know, three to $5 range for lead. In two days, we’ve generated somewhere around 36 leads we’re gonna be on pace to do 360 leads on a $300 ad spend budget per month. So my point with that incredible, which is crazy, right? But it just it just happens that And he had the right listing, and it just it worked well inside of his market and the markets getting a little bit stronger where they are. Anyways, my point is that, you know, we we made sure they had the system to intake all those leads, he’s got a built in dialer, he’s got built in text messaging, he’s got an email, drip, you know, text, message drips, and so on, we made sure that all of that was built out for them, right. So that’s one thing, like, you really want to make sure you’ve got a good system that’s dialed in, or at least a good process for the follow ups, right. So you don’t want to go into paid, you’re gonna waste a bunch of money, if you just don’t have that right system in place. So that’d be one. The other thing too, is if you’re going to go down the route of doing paid ads, it’s something you want to commit to, because what ends up happening is that, you know, a lot of these leads are top of funnel, right? Meaning that, you know, they’re three, six months, some of them are 12 months out, right, you’re not going to see, I mean, you might get lucky, and we’ve had, you know, we’ve had, we’ve worked with plenty of agents that have gotten really lucky. In fact, my first client, within the first two weeks, got an $850,000 cash buyer out of state, and it just but that was that’s luck, right? That like that doesn’t happen all the time. So what we tell real estate agents that we work with is, you know, really trying to set the right expectations. And so that when you’re going into this, you’re committing to, to, you know, six months to 12 months worth of lead generation. So if your budget is $500 a month for paid ads, then you want to, you know, take $500, multiply that by six or 12. And that becomes your marketing budget, right? Because otherwise, if you jump into this, you know, a lot of times what ends up happening is your leads really aren’t going to convert right away. So what we see a lot of agents doing is like, Okay, well, I tried to, you know, I built an ad, I generate some leads, you know, I wasn’t able to reach any of the leads, this is junk, I’m shutting it all down. Facebook never works, right. And like Facebook works, we have proof, we see agents converting leads all the time, the problem is that you need to improve on your process, maybe your follow up process is not dialed in. And maybe it’s the the automations that are dialed in, maybe it’s your ad and your leads are too expensive, right? So it just that takes time to improve and work on and, and plus the leads take three to six, sometimes 12 months to convert. So you know, if you jump in, commit, and stick with it, it’s like anything else, right? It’s like any other type of marketing, if you don’t commit to it and do it over a long period of time, you’re not going to see an ROI.
D.J. Paris 32:22
Yeah, and that, and that ROI is is obviously the end goal. And having all those systems in place to realize that this, this consumer that raised their hand, you know, unless you get the cash buyer two weeks out 850,000, which is you know, really the exception, of course, that proves the rule that most people of course, don’t do that, because we’re talking about how unique that was, you need to have a really specific series of, of behaviors that are already established, because you’re not going to remember step seven months later to make sure that email drip campaign, you know, the seventh email they’re going to receive, you want that all to be built instantly, or sorry, automatically. So that all of those those texts, those emails, and also the phone calls are all scheduled so that you know exactly how many times it takes the emotion out of the entire process. And all you’re doing is following process, right? You’re just basically following the system and making tweaks along the way. But just realizing this, like Shane, you just said this is a 612 month commitment. And you’re not looking for results in the first two weeks, what you’re looking for is can I effectively work this process? And can I or can I get other people to help work that process for me, because I’m simply too busy. And I can’t do all of those behaviors every day to nurture these leads, I’ll tell you just yesterday, where it’s just kind of a funny thing that happens randomly every few months. We have about 44,000 realtors in the Chicagoland area. And I don’t know how many I think I looked at once. And I think there’s about 500 real estate firms somewhere in that neighborhood. So once a once every couple of months randomly, one of the association says here’s a list of everyone that just passed the class to become a realtor. And we don’t know when it’s coming. But when it comes, it’s usually I don’t know, maybe 100 100 names that we got it yesterday morning. And it was 67 names. And I I immediately cancelled all my plans, because this is a speed to lead scenario. Now this is a little different than a home buyer seller, which we know takes a lot of possibly a long time to get to that closing table. But for people that are choosing to be a realtor and have passed their class that they need to join a firm immediately or hopefully pretty soon. So I had we scheduled 31 leads out of the 31 appointments out of the 67 people who who raised their hand and said I’d like to talk to some firms about which one I want to join. Now, it’s not because we have a magical script although we do have a good script and It’s a lot of Hey, thanks, and Oh, congratulations and all this stuff. But mostly, we were the first people to call. So I’m just going back to the speed delete thing. And the reason I wasn’t able to make 67 dials within the first 40 minutes, I have five cold callers. Although we don’t, they’re not, we don’t call them cold callers, but people who dial for me, and we’re able to call, so if you don’t have a system like that, as Shane says, generating leads is really not that challenging. There’s proven systems, these guys will teach you how to do it. But you also need to have the ability to make those initial connections quickly, because maybe that same consumers filling out another form and being jumping into some other other agents, you know, lead inbox, or CRM. So having a system in place, if I didn’t have that system, I probably myself would have only been able to schedule, maybe five to seven appointments. So having systems and then by the way, we sent them a text message, well, first thing we did is we send them an email, then we call them two minutes later, then we send a text message to everyone who we didn’t get on the phone, and then we call them again, today, this is all very similar to what you guys are teaching. But I would not want to have to rebuild this entire sort of process from scratch, I’d rather leverage you guys who knows exactly how to do this, you have the data, you have the clients and just say, show me the process. And then you know, you guys step in at certain points. And then then I just follow it along the way. I can, it’s taken me 11 years to build my process. I would not wait, if I was a producing agent, I would say Please, guys, you just you take care of a lot of this for me. So let’s talk more about the academy. So what actually do people get when they join?
Shayne Hillier 36:38
Yeah, absolutely. So I mean, the obviously the entire so the academies, the academy originally was built for marketing agencies. And so all those people that that message you and send you cold emails, all those guys, many of them have been part of the academy. Not that we teach them how to, you know, real estate agents out there. But at the you know, there is some acquisition scenarios on how to work with real estate agents. The goal was always though how to properly work with real estate agents, because one of the things that, you know, I saw was that there were a lot of marketers out there just didn’t know anything about the industry, the real estate industry. And so part of the academy was to teach you a little bit more about the industry how to work with real estate agents, making sure you’re setting the right expectations, making sure that you know, like you don’t telling your real estate agents that you’re going to generate leads, and they’re going to convert something in two weeks, like that’s not what we want. And so for a long time, that’s what marketers used to tell the real estate agents. Now what we started noticing is that more and more real estate agents started joining the Academy because they want to figure out how to, you know, generate their own leads, how to build Facebook ads, how to work with the CRM, so you know what the follow up look like. And then we also had a lot of real estate agents jump in, that wanted to leverage referrals. And so we have a lot of real estate agents that are doing, they’re building more teams, or they’re, they’re attracting more agents. And then they’re looking for ways to, you know, generate leads, build CRM systems out, distribute those leads to those agents, and so on. So inside of the academy, you know, we have everything from how to work with Facebook, how to generate leads with, obviously, in Facebook, leveraging different types of strategies. So we have all sorts of generic strategies. So like listing campaigns, homes, lists and things like that, then we dive into some seller lead campaigns, we also dive into things like new construction, condo sales, pre sales, things like that, I do a lot of that, that’s one of it’s been one of my specialties for the past two years has been all new construction. And so we teach a lot of that. And then, of course, all of the follow ups. So, you know, we provide all the resources, so email drip campaigns, text drip campaigns, we have a whole program around how to follow up with your leads. So all the scripts that we use, we have live calls on there from our isa teams that have been recorded. And so you get all of that as part of the academy. Of course, you get there are dozens and dozens of different ad campaigns that we share. So you can just click a button, import those into your ads manager, modify it, and so on. And of course, there’s our private group where you can get all the support from us other real estate agents that are doing this, and of course, agency owners that are inside of those groups.
D.J. Paris 39:24
Well, I will tell you, as thank you for all of that. And I will tell you as somebody who recruits realtors, and has been running Facebook ads myself to recruit realtors in the Chicago area for years and years, I do not have a good system in place. I simply don’t. And this is the year that I am going to get better at recruiting Realtors through Facebook advertising, which in our market, virtually nobody does, which is very interesting. And again, this is public information and we have a lot of Chicago listeners. So there’s other people that can do this too. But this is the year that The agent should really be focused, we are still in pandemic mode, people are still operating virtually most of their life is virtual right now, right. So this is still an opportunity to really get that skill set in place, or to just start doing the ad spend, start learning about it. And the academy, of course, is the place that we recommend that you learn about paid advertising, for Facebook and other social media platforms. And really, you don’t want to try to reinvent the wheel. Here it is, it’s ultra, it can be ultra complicated to understand how to even use Facebook’s ad systems. It doesn’t look complicated. But you know, there’s all sorts of little tips and tweaks that these guys have already figured out that we recommend. So for everyone who is listening, please. And by the way, they do a free webinar where you can learn more about exactly what they offer, but you have to go to their website to sign up for it. So everyone right now you’re driving pull over. If you’re not driving, write this down or go visit the website is go so GE O dot r e m CMRE, M CME group.com Once again, go dot r e m CME group.com Sign up for their free webinar to learn more about what they offer. And then if you like what you see, definitely sign up these guys are the real deal. We almost never promote products on this on this website or services rather, in this case, this is a service we’re 100% behind, I’m going to be employing some of the tactics and strategies they use in my own business for recruiting real estate agents. And of course, you can do the same for consumers, buyers, and sellers, investors renters. This is a huge, untapped market. And again, here’s how you know how available this is, think about all those emails you get from people saying I can do this for you, you should really hire some experts that you know, you know, not just a generic gmail account that you get in your in your spam folder, these guys are legit and can do it for you and really save you so much headache and, and just a trial and error. So check out go dot REM CME group.com and sign up for their webinar and, and let us know how it works for you as well. And you know, we’d love to have you guys back on as well once once our audience starts participating with your systems, so we can learn even further what they can do to maximize those conversions. Shane and Matt, thank you so much for being on our show. Really, really appreciate it again, everyone go to go dot REM CME group.com. And then before everyone goes, please continue to support our show. The easiest way to do that tell a friend think of one other agent that could benefit who needs more leads and could benefit from hearing from Shane and Matt send them a link to this episode. Easiest way to do that, go to our website, keeping it real pod.com Or just have them pull up a podcast app and search for keeping it real should show write up and and send them a link to this episode. And also follow us on Facebook. We’re talking about Facebook all this episode, go to facebook.com forward slash keeping it real pod every day we find an article written online specifically to help agents grow their business, we post a link to it. We also post all of our interviews there. And that’s basically it. So lots of great information. facebook.com forward slash keeping it real pod Shane and Matt, thank you so much. You guys were fantastic. I loved having you on the show. And thank you so much for your time.
Shayne Hillier 43:16
Absolutely. Thanks so much for having us. Appreciate it.
D.J. Paris 43:19
All right. Well, we’ll see everyone on the next episode.