If you’re in the real estate world, you’ve probably heard a ton about Google Ads and working with their specialists to attract motivated seller leads. Today, you’ll find out why Google’s services can actually cost you thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours along the way.
Do you even need Google Ads as a real estate investor? Are you ready to find out what tools actually work for your business? Listen now!
Show highlights include:
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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 AdWords Nerds, a high-tech digital agency, focusing exclusively on helping real estate investors like you get more leads and deals online, outsmart your competition, and live a freer, more awesome life. And, now, your host, Dan Barrett.
Dan: All right, everybody. Welcome to this week's episode of the REI Marketing Nerds podcast. As always, this is Daniel Barrett here from AdWordsNerds.com and REIMarketingNerds.com, where you can go to get all the past episodes of this show, show notes and all sorts of other stuff. Welcome to the show. Super happy to have you here. [01:02.4]
This week I'm just going to talk a little bit about something that comes up a lot, in my coaching practice specifically. You may or may not know this. that I run AdWords Nerds and we're an agency that helps real estate investors find more leads and deals online, but I also coach and what I mean by that is what we develop in the agency, like the processes, the strategies, the tactics and things that we do, I then turn around and teach investors how to do them.
I teach investors how to manage their own AdWords accounts and, one or two hours a month, I show them how we set up accounts. I show them how we set up different strategies and all that stuff. I basically teach people how to do what I do for me. For me, it's fun. It's an important thing to do for the community and it also helps me work with folks that maybe they don't have the budget to justify hiring a manager, all that stuff. [02:02.2]
I'm working with investors every single day, very, very closely, and something that happens a lot is that Google will make suggestions and there are a variety of ways in which Google will make suggestions about ways that you could, for example, get more leads or lower your lead costs. They might do this in the context of an account. For example, in your Google Ads account, they will have a whole variety of suggestions and tips that will pop up.
In Google Ads, they have an optimization score and that optimization score basically says, How many of our suggestions have you implemented it? It's basically a gamified version of “Have you taken our advice?” Then, of course, they have had giant phone banks of people that will call you based on your Google My Business listing or based on the fact that you have a Google Ads account, and they'll say, Hey, we will look at it for free. We'll have a Google Ads specialist come in and help you for free. [03:11.9]
There are all these ways in which Google will try to give you advice, and I am on the record of saying this, I think I've said this before on this show, I'm going to say this again, the advice I'm going to give you right now is going to save you thousands upon thousands of dollars, hundreds of potential wasted man hours, woman hours. I'm going to save you time. I'm going to save you money right now. Are you ready? Here's the advice. Don't listen to Google's advice.
Don't listen to Google's advice. Okay, don't listen to their suggestions. Don't work with their ad people. Just don't. And I can end the podcast right there, but it would be very short, so I'm going to back up and explain why, because they don't think that Google is inherently evil and I don't think that they're out to make you spend money. [04:10.7]
They want you to have success advertising with them, right? Because that's how they make their money. They need you to stick around and I think they are legitimately trying to help you, but there are a variety of reasons that I think Google's advice is particularly bad for real estate investors. One is that much of Google’s [advice], many of their suggestions, much of their advice, many of the things that they suggest to you are going to be based on industries that have a much larger search volume.
Here's what I mean by that. If you are an investor and you are really zeroing in and niching down, and looking for motivated sellers, in most markets, there just aren't a ton of those people. We're talking about search volumes that are somewhere in the range for most investors across most accounts, somewhere between 1,000 and 10,000 impressions or searches a month. [05:07.2]
While that may seem like a lot, it is very, very little compared to, let's say, the restaurant industry or the clothing industry, or something of that nature. So, many of the tools and suggestions that Google wants you to use, for example, to allow Google Ads itself, the algorithm to optimize for conversions and set your bids for you. Many of these things work great in other industries because they have more volume of data, they have more stuff going on, and that algorithm gets smarter and smarter by crunching all those numbers.
In real estate investing, however, those numbers are typically much lower than expected and that means that those algorithms are constantly underperforming. In fact that we've seen this over and over and over and over again, if you can test, for example, Google's bid algorithm with a student that's gone through one of my coaching programs. [06:08.8]
My student will almost always outperform Google, and it's not because I teach some kind of genius method that’s smarter than artificial intelligence or whatever. It's simply that people, humans, especially investors with skin in the game, their own money on the line, are just much better at making decisions based on smaller datasets than a computer like Google is. I mean, that may not be the case forever, but it is the case right now.
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The other reason that I think Google's advice is really, really bad across the board is that almost always Google's business models depend on volume. They need you to get a lot of searches, a lot of clicks, because, remember, they get paid when they generate clicks. You, however, as an investor, you do not get paid when you generate clicks. You need leads, and not only that, you don't just need leads, you need deals.
It is very important to understand that while the amount of clicks that you get and the amount of deals that you close are correlated. Those numbers are connected in some way. They are not causative and, in fact, in many cases, and I would venture to say in most cases, you will generate more deals by generating fewer clicks, assuming that you are targeting in a more specific, more exact way. [08:02.7]
Almost across the board, Google's suggestions sacrifice targeting. They sacrifice focus in order to generate volume, and while that makes a lot of sense, again, in other industries, it is typically disastrous for real estate investors.
We’ve got two reasons so far, right? One is that Google typically needs a certain amount of data that real estate investors don't have in order to actually outperform a person. The second of which is Google typically is going to preference volume over focus and that is bad for real estate investors.
The final thing I want to get at is when they give you a Google Ads specialist, someone to actually help you, and the reason that this almost never works out and, in fact, many, many, many of our clients come to us having built these accounts that then are completely terrible and they come to AdWords Nerds to have that fixed. We get a lot of clients from this and in many ways it's good for me, but the reason that these almost never work is twofold. [09:04.6]
One, there's so much churn behind the scenes at Google, these people that are doing the Google Ads stuff, they are not people with tons and tons of experience, by and large. They are generally new. They've generally gone through some training. They are there primarily to sell Google's features to you and to make sure that you use those features. But after test after test after test after test, we have found that most of those features don't work well for our clients. Their job is to just to kind of get people to adopt these features, not necessarily to drive leads in deals, so there's kind of a fundamental disconnect.
The other issue there is that many, I mean, the vast majority, you've got to think 99.5 percent of these people, they just don't understand what investing is. When you explain it to them, they're going to think it's some kind of variation on being a realtor or real estate agent or something. There's just a fundamental disconnect between understanding what you are really looking for. [10:05.8]
A seller is not a seller is not a sell, right? The bread and butter of the real estate investor for time immemorial has been the motivated seller, and it takes a lot of work and time and effort to really understand what makes a motivated seller motivated. It's something that we are constantly working on, and we've been in this business for almost a decade at this point only doing this type of marketing and it's still something we have to constantly come back to.
When you combine those two things, right, there's not a lot of experience. They're there to sell you features rather than get you deals and they don't really understand real estate investing. That means that generally the accounts that the Google reps set up for you, even if they say they are free, they actually cost you a ton in terms of lost cash, lost revenue, lost cash flow, time input. It is just a disaster over and over and over again. [11:00.5]
Now, look, there may be opportunity. There may be chances or instances where this really works out because, of course, I'm going to mostly see the people who have a bad time with it. The people that are wildly successful, obviously I'm not going to see them. But this has been almost universal in my experience that when Google makes a suggestion to you, whether it's in the account, whether it's via the optimization score, whether it's via Google rep, however they're going to do it, my suggestion to you is to say, understand it that you can read it, look at it, understand what they're telling you, but also say Google's needs, Google's drives, Google's goals are not perfectly aligned with yours.
Google has a very inexact and often a very incorrect understanding of what real estate investing is and what makes this industry so unique, and that is always going to lead them to make suggestions that are not perfectly in line with your best interests. [12:02.0]
You don't have to listen to me. You can listen to yourself, test on your own, ask other investors. Whatever you’ve got to do, just do not take Google's advice, and if you can take that on board and really internalize that, that advice below is going to save you thousands upon thousands of dollars and hundreds upon hundreds of hours of work.
Okay, that's it for this week's episode of the REI Marketing Nerds podcast. As always, I'm super happy to have you here and I would love for you to join our Facebook group. It's on Facebook. You just type in “REI Marketing Nerds” and you will find it. We would love to have you there. There are really incredible investors in there sharing tips and tricks every single week. I'm in there every single day, posting content, doing trainings. We would love to have you. Once again, go to Facebook and type in “REI Marketing Nerds” and you'll find us. I'd love to have you.
I will see you next week.
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If you’re in the real estate world, you’ve probably heard a ton about Google Ads and working with their specialists to attract motivated seller leads. Today, you’ll find out why Google’s services can actually cost you thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours along the way. Do you even need Google Ads as a real
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