Whether you market your real estate business with postcards, bandit signs or online marketing, you market for one thing: Deals.
Now, you can do marketing which sends a trickle of leads to your business, allowing you to close a deal every once in a while. There’s nothing wrong with that.
But if you want to flood your business with enough motivated sellers you’ll have to turn some of them down, you can’t do ordinary marketing—you need to create a buzz around your business.
Christian Fautz (of Sell My House Now USA & Core Real Estate Properties) has done this in the Fort Myers area in Florida. In this episode, he reveals how he not only dominates his local market, but turned himself into a local celebrity.
Show highlights include:
– How to stop competing on a level playing field and shift the odds in your favor by turning yourself into a high-profile investor. ([9:05])
– Do you hate making offers? Here’s how you make offers effortlessly and score more money on every deal. ([11:25])
– How to get yourself and your real estate business on TV—and why TV is so great for investors. ([11:40])
– The simplest technique for squeezing more potential out of every marketing asset you have. ([13:30])
– A reliable “set it and forget it” authority and conversion rate booster. ([13:55])
– The most undervalued marketing asset in the investing world. This is already popular in mainstream marketing, so leverage this now before other investors catch on. ([15:55])
– The one-sentence summary of how to become a high-profile investor in your market. ([23:40])
To get the latest updates directly from Dan and discuss business with other real estate investors, join the REI marketing nerds Facebook group here: https://adwordsnerds.com/group
Need help with your online marketing? Jump on a FREE strategy session with our team. We’ll dive deep into your market and help you build a custom strategy for finding motivated seller leads online. Schedule for free here: https://adwordsnerds.com/strategy
You're listening to the REI marketing nerds podcast, the leading resource for real estate investors who want to dominate their market online. Dan Barrett is the founder of Ad Words Nerds, a high tech digital agency focusing exclusively on helping real estate investors like you get more leads in deals online. Outsmart your competition and live a freer, more awesome life. And now, your host, Dan Barrett.
Dan: Hello everybody and welcome to this week's REI Marketing Nerds Podcast. How are you? As always, this is Daniel Barrett here from AdWords Nerds. I just finished my second coffee the day, I feel like this is a three coffee day. If you are listening to this, this is probably already done, but I'm flying out to St Louis. I'm going to give a presentation at the REI boot camp out there, which is going to be really, really exciting. I'm going to talk about deep marketing stuff, some new kind of retargeting things that we are experimenting with, and things I've never talked about publicly, so I'm really excited about that. I think in the next couple weeks I'm actually going to take that presentation, I'm going to a break it down and I'm going to give it to you guys in this podcast. You'll be able to hear the talk that I give, if you're not able to be at the REI boot camp live, I'm going to do it here in the podcast. So be on the lookout for that.
This week we're actually doing some a little bit different, I'm doing my first interview. I can't even believe it, I'm so excited, and this is a really, really interesting one. I think for a lot of podcasts where they do interviews with kind of people you expect and I'm definitely going to have some high level investors and people from the marketing world on this podcast, we're definitively going to do that, but I kind of wanted to go get into the weeds and talk to some real deal investors. I mean these are local investors that are out there doing deals, having success in their markets. These are not the people that everybody knows, the kind of famous names. I wanted to dig into it, like, "What are you doing that works? What are you doing right now that's challenging? What are things actually like on the ground?" So this week our very first interview, I'm interviewing Christian Fouts, is a really fascinating investor, he's down working in the kind of Fort Myers, Cape Coral area and he is doing some really interesting things that have got him on local television, that have kind of rocketed him on the Amazon bestseller lists, and this is just like a local investors. It's not somebody who is famous on the side. We talk a lot about how you can use that kind of positive PR to magnify and improve your search engine optimization, your social media, your advertising. We really get into the weeds on some really fascinating things. I'm very excited for you to hear that, so I'm going to just, I'm going to stop talking now, I'm going to let you get into the interview with Christian Fouts of Core Real Estate properties. I hope you're really going to take it, I think it's pretty awesome. So let's get to the interview.
Dan: Alright, hey everybody it's Dan here, I'm here with Christian Fouts, he's here Core Real Estate Properties, they're doing investing down in Fort Myers, in Cape Coral. Christian, what's up with you man, how are you?
Christian: Awesome Dan, thanks for having me. I'm excited to be on your podcast today.
Dan: I'm excited too man, you are you are actually my first official investor interview, which is pretty fun.
Christian: That's awesome.
Dan: Looking forward to it. Before we jump to, because we have got some strategic stuff I want to get into and I want to get into some marketing stuff, it will be pretty fun. Give me a little bit of background on you and your company, the kind of investing that you.
Christian: Sure, Dan. We consider ourselves one of Fort Myers premier real estate investment companies. We predominately work with area wholesalers where we find properties that are worth fixing and flipping. I teamed up with a local wholesaler, Steven Mangione, and him and I are working together and doing our own wholesaling deals in-house as well.
Dan: So you kind of teamed up with a wholesaler. Where was your background? And your background wasn't in wholesaling. How did you get started in the whole real estate gig?
Christian: My story goes back a little further. I have a law degree, and while I was in law school I worked for an attorney and he did bankruptcy and landlord tenants. I did a lot of the intake work and I saw people who were facing bankruptcy and their houses were going to be at foreclosure, and I saw that they didn't seem to have any route or avenue to try to sell their property before it got to that stage. That kind of originally planted the seed with me to get involved in real estate investing and working with distressed sellers.
Dan: It's real, like a lot of people in real estate seem to have been involved in law beforehand. Were you not into the whole lawyer thing, because like that seems pretty intense to get the law degree and everything.
Christian: Absolutely. I mean it's a ton of work, three years of additional schooling after college and then you sit for the bar exam, which is a grueling experience. I put myself through even further torture by taking both the New York, New Jersey bars which I passed. That kind of planted the seed. I had a background doing real estate law, and then on the side I had gotten involved with some friends who were doing fix and flipped back, you know back in the late 90's and we also got involved in buying some non-performing notes from banks where we were just flipping out some of those notes and some of the properties we were cherry picking and keeping those and rehabbing and putting those back on the market, which we weren't calling fix and flips back then.
Dan: Right. Yeah. It's interesting man how much that space has changed. So you've been in the game for a while, which is pretty awesome. What brought you down to where you're at now?
Christian: We wanted to make a lifestyle change, being up and hustle, bustle in the New York, New Jersey area, not to mention the cold weather that you have up there in the winter, as we were looking for a sunny location, and we found ourselves gravitated down to southwest Florida, we actually live on a beautiful island called Sanibel Island, which is right off the Gulf Coast there by Fort Myers, and we enjoy it and it's a great market. I mean the Florida market is booming, a lot of people are moving here because of the climate, and also the state has no income taxes as well.
Dan: Yeah, yeah. I mean Florida is one of those markets where there's a ton of activity all the time, it's always really interesting. One of the things I'm actually excited to talk to you about is, we were talking before we started recording, and you're actually doing some really interesting marketing stuff in the sense of ways you can kind of raise your profile. I know you said that you're number one Amazon Bestselling author, which is pretty amazing. So can you tell me a little bit about that? Like where did that idea come from, how did you get involved in being an author, just kind of give us some background on that.
Christian: Sure, absolutely. It was definitely something further from one of my goals or ambitions, but I met a local publisher at my local REI that I'm a member of, and after one of the meetings I just got talking with him and his name is TC and he was telling me a little bit about what he does and how he helps real estate investors and other professionals control the narrative about themselves and their business, and him and I got to talking, and he learned a little bit about my background as an attorney and how I've kind of evolved into a real estate investor. He said, "Hey, you would be a great person to be a co-author in an upcoming book that I have called Expert Profiles, Influencers, and Innovators. You should write about what you're doing in your marketplace in southwest Florida." So that's what I did, and through his skill and effort, and I believe the overall content of our book, all the contributing authors, we hit number one on Amazon, and yeah, it's just an amazing experience and he took it a step further and sent out press releases promoting the book. My local Fox News station picked up and asked me to come in and talk a little bit about myself, my book and my company Core Real Estate Properties.
Dan: I think a lot of investor markets, you can get into a situation where everybody's essentially competing on a level playing field, and there's nothing wrong with that, but it can just be very difficult. Right? Especially if you're newer investor, you don't have enough money. I think this is really interesting because in a lot of ways it's difficult for investors to get a higher community profile. Right? I mean you see agents do that a lot, but for investors it can be pretty difficult. So I think this is like a really, really fascinating way to do that. What was the TV show experience like? Have you ever been on TV before? I mean for me that seems like, I don't know if I would get nervous or, I feel like if someone put me on an actual TV station I would immediately say something I really regretted, like I would tell everyone like, you know, my most embarrassing childhood story or something. So what was that like?
Christian: Yeah, I had the same exact fear, Dan. I was concerned that I was going to blur about something that had nothing to do with my book, the questions that they weren't going to be end for me. But fortunately I didn't put my foot in my mouth too badly. It was pretty cool being in the studio in the green room where everything is green, which I didn't realize it's really a blank slate other than the desk, everything is up on the digital. But the interviewer Amy Lynn that did the interview with me at the Fox News here in Fort Myers was fantastic. Put it at ease, we talked a little bit about my company and what I'm doing and some of the questions that she was thinking about asking, so yeah, it went pretty smoothly. The first taping we did was the presentation of me receiving my award for being a number one bestselling author on Amazon, and then the second interview we did on a couch, a little bit more relaxed setting, sitting down and kind of just talking about real property, what we're doing, how we're helping homeowners in our area, how do we work with them, how do we gain their confidence and their trust. It was a great experience, and you know, I think I got my point across on what we're doing and how we work with our sellers. I think the one main point was I found based on my experience that it's really not so much how high your offer is, it's more how you present your offer and you make, and you go through a process and you explain to them how you came up with the number that you can pay for their property.
Dan: I don't know a ton about the TV space, but I know someone told me once that local TV shows, they're constantly searching for content that is appropriate. And if you can provide it, you can get on TV a lot, and I think that's a really, really powerful. It's not paid media, it's not something that you are forcing down people's throat, they are sort of choosing to digest it, and I think that can be really great. So I know your question before we got on the call was about how to use that. Right?
Christian: Yeah, that was definitely, you know, I was very fortunate that I was asked the participate and the book did hit number one, and then another level was to be able to be on my local Fox News. I felt that that kind of distinguished me from other real estate investors, wholesalers in my market place, so I wanted to take advantage of that opportunity and see how I can maximize it through my online marketing, as well as my print marketing.
Dan: Yeah, that's a really great question. I think any time, especially as an investor, right, any time you get positive press, anytime you have something like this that is really very different from most of your competition, it comes down to how you leverage it and how you utilize it in as many ways as possible. I've got no shame about riding these things into the ground and using them everywhere, because it's like in reality, most of your audience is never going to see this, even if they saw it once, they probably don't remember it. So you want to keep resurfacing these things that give you authority, that give you a standing. And there's a couple ways that kind of jump to mind, I think right off the bat. I mean the easiest one is to just, man; I'd be using that "As seen on Fox" banner on everything. This is a real basic kind of landing page thing or website thing, but all these kind of little authority boosters, you know typically when I'm working with SEO students, people come into the mentorship program, I'm usually going to say like, "You're joining the Chamber of Commerce, you're joining the Better Business Bureau." not because I really care about those things because I think from a purely kind of like "did they send you leads" standpoint, they're probably not worth all that much, it's more about the authority boost. Because putting those logos, you know putting a "Better Business Bureau A+" rating or that "As seen on Fox News" kind of logo on the website increases your conversion rate. That's a very demonstrable, all very reliable find. Even a small conversion rate increase over time is worth a massive amount of money. I mean it's 1% increase over the course of, you know, if you're doing five years of marketing, that's a huge, huge number. So it's something that is...
Dan: Yeah. Is it a deuce, total no-brainer, I would definitely do that; I would put it on everything. I would get a T-Shirt; I'd wear it around the house if I had to.
Are you an investor who wants to dominate your local market? Do you want more leads and deals online? Then download your copy of the Motivated Seller Blueprint absolutely free at www.oldsite.adwordsnerds.com/gift. What are you waiting for? Go to www.oldsite.adwordsnerds.com/gift right now to get your copy of the Motivated Seller Blueprint
Dan: You know, second thing is, okay, so let's say you can get a video of your time on there. Is that right?
Christian: I have it, yeah. They actually sent me a link and I can put it on my YouTube channel or there were some other option they had given me if I didn't have a YouTube channel.
Dan: Okay, cool. So here's exactly what I would do with, this because I think video is a massively undervalued asset for investors. And it's something that actually behind the scenes at AdWords Nerds we are actually very, very interested in testing a lot. For SEO, video is a hugely valuable asset. Because you can use it in a ton of different ways. So here is like my general kind of content spinning process when I have a really good video. First thing I want to do is I want to take that video to rev.com, so and I want to get a transcript. I don't know, it will cost you like $5 bucks or something stupid. Actually they just came out with like a cheaper version that uses robots to do it, rev.com, they use people. It doesn't matter which one you do, but I just, I know rev.com, I can't think of the name of the other one, I'll have to look up. Rev.com is great, you just send them the video, it's all automatic, they'll send you the transcript, it's great. And the reason we want as because we want the text of that video to be, we want the audio of that video to be converted to text for pretty much every stage of this process. So for example, when you put the video on YouTube, YouTube will automatically create a transcript for the video. But their transcripts are kind of terrible. So generally, I'm going to upload the transcript that I want into the little transcript area on the YouTube video, because that makes that video much more searchable. When Google is trying to figure out if they want to surface a YouTube video for a given search query, they are going to see that video way more often if they have an accurate transcript. And then too, it's like for people who are hearing impaired or whatever, they get to post it on the video, it's awesome. Same thing when you post that video on Facebook, which I absolutely would. There is an area when you upload a video on Facebook where you can upload the... You know, Facebook will give you a transcript. The transcript is usually terrible, you can upload your own instead, and so then you can choose to have the text of that transcript displayed on the video. For Facebook, you always think that by default when you're scrolling through Facebook the audio is turned off on everybody video. And so if you can display text, that gives them something that they can clue into, makes them more likely to turn on the audio, etc. So it's better there. Having the transcript as well, you can put the transcript for example in the description of the video. So now the description area, which is just pretty long in terms of how many characters you can have, that's going to be able to have the entire text in that, that's going to, again, boost the search ability of that. You can turn that around, make that a blog post, 100% I would do a blog post on your site where I include the video, but also the transcript and the text in the blog post, and making that highly searchable, highly valuable. Generally when you post something on YouTube, that's going to get automatically picked up and put on a number of video sites, but there are a whole bunch of video sites you can do this basic process on, really spread it out. You know, something you might think about doing is making a special version of this. So you might for example go on Fiverr.com and just request someone to edit the beginning and the end of the video. So for example I might say like, "Hey, can you put my website and phone number on the bottom of this video." So it's still the Fox video, but you're displaying your phone number on the bottom. So someone sees the video and decides to call you, they can just do that straight from the video. Things like that. And then every time you're posting this, you're getting sort of a marketing asset up there, rather than just... They don't have to do any work to go find you; you're putting that right in front of them. Absolutely for social, I would make a post on your Facebook page for your business and I would boost this. Absolutely I would show this to all your retargeting audience. Anybody that ever clicks on your website for any reason any of your channels, they should see this video pop up on in their feed. You can do it in such a way that if feels more organic. So it's like you're not making like an ad, you're just saying like, "Hey, I was just on Fox News." And it's like that kind of thing which builds authority, building credibility, these are people that already landed on her site once, didn't turn into a lead for whatever reason, it just allows them to come warmer to you. I think one of the things that we miss when we're marketing for motivated sellers; I think most investors are very focused on that front end. They're very focused on, "I need to get the lead right away." In reality, where a lot of the money is in this idea of you pay to get that person in your audience, whether it's a retargeting audience or they're on your e-mail list or whatever, and you've got to warm them up to get them to the point to where they're willing to call you. Like the fact of the matter is, most people are afraid of calling investors. They're just terrified that I'm going to get you on the phone and you're going to convince me to sell my house to you for a dollar somehow and I'm going to feel weird, it's going to be like very pitchy and high stress. Right?
Christian: Exactly, yeah, they feel uncomfortable.
Dan: Exactly, right? So it's like the more touch points you have where you're just saying like, "Hey, I was doing this, hey, I did this, hey, I'm at Better Business Bureau, hey, these are all my credibility boosters.", the more likely they are to convert down the line. And that is probably like 80% of the home selling market is like. Right? 20%, they're motivated, they call you right away, but the big money is in figuring out how to get those other people call you. This is a great way of doing that. I know I just through a whole bunch of stuff. You're actually working with our SEO team, so they're going to have a ton of ideas as well. Does that make some kind of sense in terms of a general overarching kind of framework?
Christian: Absolutely. A lot of the point that you touched upon, Dan, is exactly what I was thinking about of, as far as, you know, how to get the mileage, juice up the video from the Fox segment, and I love the idea about having somebody brand the video, the beginning and the end of it with our website, Core Real Estate Properties and our local phone number. I think that's going to go a long way to warming people up to click through, and you know, get in touch with us.
Dan: The great thing about what you've done here is you've created an asset you can use forever. You pop a video like this into your retargeting campaigns, whether it's on Facebook or YouTube or whatever, and you can show that video to everyone who lands on your website after they leave that website from now until the end of time.
Dan: The value of that, of putting that system in place is like the value of that asset is never going to go away. It's going to be there.
Christian: Absolutely I'm hoping to build upon it, too.
Dan: Oh yeah, absolutely, man. I mean if you can keep this snowballing, turn into more media opportunities or do the same thing with the book, right? "Hey, I was featured in this book." Right? Really, really valuable stuff, and I think this is just, you know, for everybody that's listening, the general idea here is to have a system that constantly surfaces your credibility boosters to your audience of potential motivated sellers.
Dan: It's all upfront, I got to get the lead right away, and obviously you want that. But the big money's in getting the lead over time, whether it's three months from now, six months from now. Even with our clients, close to like 30-40% of the deals are going to do, they're going to do three to six months after someone opts in. They opt in and they forget or they opt in and something changes, they are not motivated anymore, whatever it is. And you've got to stay in front of those people, and you got to stay in front of them...
Dan: Where you don't just bludgeon them with your offer. Right?
Christian: Absolutely. Exactly. You don't want to be intrusive, but you want to be at the forefront. I mean we see that with some of our
direct marketing, you know, we follow up with our skip tracing and they're like, "Oh yeah, I've got several postcards that I received over the last two weeks." I think the combination of with the online presence and building that credibility, like you said that boost, it's what's going to put a little bit above the competition. Also too with us, we're doing a lot of pre-probate and probate marketing, and just like what you said
Dan, those people, they may be in early stages of probate. They may not be seeing the opportunity to close out probate and sell their property two, four, six months down the road. Maybe they contacted us 30 days after their loved one passed away, but that property may not be ready to be sold for three or four months, I need to figure out how I can stay in front of them, keep us relevant when the final decision comes to sell that property out of probate.
Dan: Yeah. I think you're in a really good place, man, it's going to be really excellent. We've got to wrap things up, but I want to...
Dan: You've been doing this for a long time, you got a legal background, you've got a lot of really interesting stuff going on. Give my listeners... You know, if you have like one lesson that you've learned since you've been in real state that you really wish you could go back and tell yourself earlier on, what would that be? The first one would be don't be afraid to make offers. Early on in my career I felt like my offer, I was embarrassed. I'm like, "Am I really going to offer this to these people, to the sellers?" But I found that by communicating with them open, honestly and walking through my process on how we came up with this offer, a lot of times more than not, I found them nodding their head, "Yes, I understand, I see how you came up with it." It wasn't pie in the sky, and looking back on hindsight, I had no reason to be embarrassed about my offer. That's from a business standpoint what we could do to help them out of this financial situation that they were confronting.
Dan: I thing that that's really amazing point, and it's interesting, man. The more upfront you are with your process and how you get your offers and the fact that you have an offer to begin with, right, the more accepting people are. It's when you try to hide that the people get weirded out. Right?
Christian: Exactly. And it goes back to that honesty, that upfront and open communication. You know, "Are you calling to buy my house?" "Yes, I am. I'm calling to talk with you to see if we can find a solution to help you out of your situation." I feel early on in people's career, and in my career as well in real estate investing, I found myself kind of dodging, "Yeah, you know, yes, we do that, we could provide solutions, but the solution is we need to provide a solution, you need to sell your house, you need to sell your property soon." Or whatever their timing may be on that, and that's what we're here for, we're here to offer them solutions, so don't dodge the point, you need to be upfront from the beginning on what your company is all about.
Dan: Yeah. I love that, man, that is fantastic. So hey, if people want to follow up with you and I want to find you online, what's the best place to do that?
Christian: Sure, hit us up on our website, CoreRealEstateProperites.com or you can hit me up at Christian@CoreRealEstateProperties.com. If you have any questions or anything I can help out, I'd love, love to it teach people, as far as lessons that I learned and make myself available. So please these, feel free to reach out to me.
Dan: Awesome, man. Well hey, it was a real pleasure, dude. I'm so excited for the stuff that you've got going on, I'm looking forward to working with you in the future.
Christian: Absolutely, Dan. Thanks again for having me on your podcast, it's been wonderful.
Dan: Alright, cheers Christian, bye.
Christian: Take care
Dan: Alright guys, that was it for my interview with Christian, I hope you got a ton of value out of that. I thought it was really, really fascinating. This guy's doing some really interesting things, and I think a lot of other investors can learn from. As always guys, if you listening to this please, give us a positive review, if you've got some value, subscribe to the show, that helps other investors find the show and I'd really appreciate it. And as always, you can find me at the Facebook group that we run, the REI Marketing Nerds Facebook group, that's at oldsite.adwordsnerds.com/group. I'm in there every single week doing free trainings and answering questions and all sorts of fun stuff. So guys, hope you had a great week, I hope you are going to have a great week going forward, be on the lookout for the next series of podcast where I'm going to break down my presentation, the REI boot camp, and as always, have an awesome, awesome rest of your day. Talk to you soon.
Most people get into real estate investing and try to do everything on their own. They try to find their own deals, put in their own money and even try to do the “sweat” work all by themselves. This is a recipe for disaster and burnout. If you want to clear 7 and 8 figures
The future of real estate is changing with technology finally catching up. With anything that technology touches, it leads to more efficiency. This scares many as old ways of doing things become obsolete and real estate investors fear losing profits. That’s the bad news. The good news? By embracing new ways of doing things, technology