Podcast

Episode #113 – What Is The Red Queen Effect?


Have you ever read Alice In Wonderland? Did you know it actually shows one of the greatest cutting-edge ideas about the marketing you do today? Without it, you’ll keep running with your competitors just to stay in one place.

If you want to discover the marketing that lets you catch your breath while still landing leads, listen now.

Show highlights include:

  • The “Red Queen Effect” and how it instantly traps your time, money, and business in one place. ([3:59])
  • Why being incredibly adaptable and overly competitive still drives all of your leads away. ([7:34])
  • Why even the best search engine optimization results throw you in a marketing conundrum. ([11:44])
  • How the basics of biology can map out the easiest way to dominate your market online. ([13:58])

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

Read Full Transcript

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:Hello and welcome to this week's episode of the REI Marketing Nerds podcast. As always, this is Daniel Barrett here from AdWordsNerds.com. Hope you are well. As always, you can get all the information on this podcast at REIMarketingNerds.com. Hope you do that. Give us a like. Give us some subscribed. I don't know, wherever you are, wherever you are listening to this right now, throw me a comment, a review, a like. I read all those and I really appreciate it. It helps other people find the show. [01:11.6]

Let's talk this week about one of my absolute favorite mental models and you know if you've heard this show before that I really do a lot of effort, or I put in a lot of effort, I should say, to try to make sure that the mental models I bring to you can directly apply right now to the marketing you are doing for your real estate investing business. This week is no different, but first, first, first, first, we are going to start not in online marketing, not in real estate investing. We are starting in evolutionary biology. So, evolutionary biology. Buckle up, people. This is going to be a fun one. I'm going to take even one more step back and before we even get to evolutionary biology, let's talk about Alice in Wonderland. [02:04.4]

Now, if you have never read Alice in Wonderland, if your primary exposure to Alice in Wonderland was the Disney cartoon, which it certainly was for me. I grew up watching them, the classic cartoon with the Cheshire cat, and Tweedledum and Tweedledee and all this stuff.

If you've never actually read the book, I actually highly recommend it because Lewis Carroll who wrote Alice in Wonderland was a really, really smart person. He's kind of an autodidact. He's a self-learner. He was reading all over the place. Inside Alice in Wonderland are lots of ideas that in Carroll's time were really kind of cutting-edge ideas about reality and about mathematics, and really put a lot into that book, and it's one of the reasons that the book is constantly referenced even today because people are going back and seeing these different layers of meaning that Carroll put into this, ostensibly, story for kids. [03:04.4]

One of the most fascinating characters in Alice in Wonderland is this character of the Red Queen and here's the scene that I want to set in your heads, so you have the background that you need to understand this episode. Alice runs into the Red Queen to have a conversation and they're talking, and then at one point, the Red Queen grabs Alice's hand and says, “We need to go,” and they start running, and they're not just running, they're sprinting. They are running dead out. They're running as fast as humanly possible, and they run and they run, and they run and they run, and they run, and then they finally stopped to catch their breath.

Alice looks around and realizes they are in the same place they were when they started. They've been running, running flat out. They're sweating. They're panting, right? They're exhausted. They are in the same place they started at and Alice asks the Red Queen about this, and the Red Queen says, “Here in my kingdom, the world moves so quickly that we need to sprint just to stay in one place.” [04:09.9]

I'm going to say this again. She says that the world moves so quickly that she needs to sprint just to stay in place. This is a really, really fascinating image. It's a fascinating idea, right? You can maybe think of or extrapolate to modern-day life with the sort of speed of information and social media, and all this stuff. The Red Queen effect takes this image and uses it as the central metaphor for something that happens in evolutionary biology.
Okay, so let's leave Alice in Wonderland a second. Let's go into nature and I want you to imagine a rabbit and a fox, and not just one rabbit and a fox, but all of the rabbits and all of the foxes in a given environment. [04:59.6]

All right, so the fox preys on the rabbit. The rabbit has to try to get away from the fox. If the rabbit gets away from the fox, it gets to live and spread its genes and reproduce. If the fox catches the rabbit, it gets to eat. It gets that extra energy and it gets to reproduce. They are competitive. They are competing with one another.

What evolution does is evolution tries all these different experiments in terms of mutations in the cells and all sorts of interesting things, and some rabbits are born with bigger ears and some rabbits are born with thicker fur, and some rabbits are born with shorter hamstrings or whatever—assuming rabbits have hamstrings. I'm sure they do—and some of those variations are going to have an impact on how likely that individual rabbit is to survive. [05:50.9]

Imagine for a second that that rabbit with the shorter hamstring can actually run a little bit faster than the other rabbits. That faster rabbit is more likely to avoid the fox and, therefore, that faster rabbit is more likely to go and spread its genes and, sooner or later, pretty much all the rabbits are going to be these short hamstring rabbits. They're going to be the faster rabbits. They are the more adaptable. They are the more fit. They live and they multiply.
Now, that's great for the rabbit, but it's bad for the fox. See, the fox and the rabbit were pretty much even, but now the rabbits have an advantage. They've got the shorter hamstring. Let's say that the fox, again, through this process of random mutation and experimentation by nature, the fox develops, let's say, longer claws and those longer claws allow the fox to grab onto the rabbits more effectively, and that fox with the longer claws is more likely to eat and more likely to spread its genes around. [07:03.4]

Now the same thing that happened to the rabbit is going to happen to the fox. The fox with the long claws is more likely to survive. It spreads its gene. Pretty soon, all the foxes have these long claws. What's happened now is the rabbits had an advantage, but then the fox has caught up. The rabbits had to put more energy into running faster, but the foxes had to put more energy into glow growing these long claws. They are both investing genetically in this competition and now they're right back where they started, at an equilibrium, a stable state.

What the Red Queen effect refers to, remember this image of you've got to run and run and run and run, just to stay in one spot. The Red Queen effect says when two animals are competing with each other, the advantages in one will soon be balanced out by advantages that evolve in the other, and they are caught in this constant state of running to stay in place. [08:09.8]

That's the mental model. It's a really, really valuable one. I highly suggest if you're interested at all in any of that stuff, go Google the Red Queen effect. There's a bunch of stuff you can read about it.

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Let's apply this directly to real estate investing in your right now. The thing you got to remember, and this applies, I think, most directly to search engine optimization for real estate investors, so if you are interested in SEO for real estate investors, let's stay in this channel and talk about that specifically. [09:09.2]

Again, if you're not familiar, SEO is just anything you do to your website to rank it in Google, so that shows up and people click on it and become leads for free. That's what SEO is. You're not paying anything. You're just making the best website possible, so that Google likes you and you get some leads.
All right, now here's the thing with SEO. There's a bunch of stuff that people do that they believe is good for their website to rank in Google. Let's say, something that you might do to your website might be, okay, I am going to put the keyword “sell my house fast” 10 times on my homepage—and, by the way, I'm not saying you should do this. I'm just joking. This is just a hypothetical example. This is not a real tip, but let's say someone thinks that. I'm going to put the keyword “sell my house fast” 10 times on my website. Let's say, this is an alternate universe where Google really likes that and they're like, You know what? Dang. You know that website with “sell my house fast” 10 times on the, on the homepage. That's a great website. We're going to make that person number one. [10:13.5]

What is going to happen? Apply this mental model for yourself right now. Remember the Red Queen effect. Remember the fox and the rep. If your competitor adds the keyword “sell my house fast” 10 times to his homepage and that makes him number one in your market, what is everyone else going to do? They're going to put “sell my house fast” on their websites 11 times, right? I mean, look, that person did it 10 times. It got him number one on Google. That's worth hundreds of thousands of dollars a year in deals for the right keyword in the right market. You think I'm not going to then put it 11 times? Of course, I am. Of course, I am. [11:00.9]

I'll give you another example. Let's say, a real estate investor says, Hey, I know that links. Links to my website are really important for SEO. Links are really important. What I'm going to do is I'm going to go on Fiverr, where I'm going to go to some low-cost service and I'm going to pay them. They say I can pay them 100 bucks and they're going to build me 20 links. For 100 bucks, I get 20 links to my website, and that makes me number one on Google. What is everyone else in the market going to do? They're going to pay the same 20 bucks, the same 100 bucks to the same low-cost service and get the same links.

See, the thing you need to understand about search engine optimization, particularly in real estate investing, because the stakes in real estate investing are so high. The value per deal is so high. The competition is so high. [11:52.4]

SEO for real estate investors is a Red Queen environment, meaning that, by default, what investors are doing is running and running and running, and competing and competing and competing, and spending and spending and spending, and all they are doing is standing still, because whatever they do that is easy to do their competitors also do.

Now, if you are paying attention, I know that you are, you can probably hear the answer to this conundrum. You’ve probably already gotten there, because think about what I just said. Anything that's easy to do, your competitors will also do, because here is the flip side of the Red Queen effect. Here is the flip side of this mental model that I'm giving you right now, and if you internalize this, you will crush the people in your market if you really get this. [12:57.5]

The answer is not to do what everyone else is doing. The answer is not to sprint and sprint and sprint, just because everyone else is sprinting. The answer is to do things that are hard to do. The answer is to get links or optimization services or content that your competitors are unwilling or unable to get.

It's not all about quantity. It can't be and Google understands this. If it was about quantity, it would purely be a money game, and a money game and SEO is bad for Google. That is not what they want. It is about quality. Quality is number one, not quantity.

So, if you are able to internalize the Red Queen effect, the lessons that this teaches us that we can learn from evolutionary biology and understand it's not just about getting in competition with someone and then doing red in tooth and claw until someone taps out. It's about doing the things that your competitors are unwilling or unable to do, and if you can do that consistently in your SEO, you will find it very, very easy to dominate your market. [14:20.9]

I've said this before. I will say it again. The bar is low for real estate investors. The bar is low, and if you can go out there and provide a better service, a better experience, better marketing, you will be rewarded. I've seen it time and again with my coaching students, with my clients. I have seen it time and again. So, remember the Red Queen effect and, remember, anything that is easy to do, your competitors will also do.

Hey, if you liked this episode, first of all, I really appreciate you being here and listening. It means the world to me. Secondly, come join our Facebook group. It's at AdWordsNerds.com/Group. You can go there and join. [15:07.5]

I'm in there every single day, posting content, doing trainings, answering questions. Awesome real estate investors in there from around the country. We would love to have you. Again, you can go to AdWordsNerds.com/Group to join or just go on Facebook, type in ‘REI Marketing Nerds.” You will find us.

As always, I hope you're having a wonderful day. Have a wonderful rest of your week and I will talk to you very soon.

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