Mastering Leads: Tips from a Real Estate Investing Pro
Mastering Lead Generation: Insider Tips from a Real Estate Investing Pro: Bryan Driscoll
Recently the REsimpli Podcast’s host, Brandon Barnes, was honored to interview an awesome guest Bryan Driscoll, Co-founder of Motivational Leads and a successful digital marketer and real estate investor. In this podcast, Bryan talked about his motivational real estate journey, lead generation, paper leads, REsimpli’s importance, and much more!
Want to quickly expand your real estate investor’s portfolio by generating exceptional leads? We can help!
It is believed that true wealth comes from real estate investing. Bryan also thinks in the same way. What urged him to think so? Scroll ahead to learn!
Bryan Driscoll is a Co-Founder of Motivated Leads, a digital marketing agency that specializes in generating quality motivated seller leads for real estate investors. With over 15 years of experience in digital marketing, Bryan’s expertise lies in managing SEO and Facebook campaigns for a variety of businesses.
Despite his background in digital marketing, real estate is his true passion. After buying rental properties with his agency’s profits, Bryan recognized the value of real estate investing and began his own journey. He now owns 21 properties and works with other investors to generate leads for motivated sellers.
This experience allowed him to create Motivated-Leads.com with his partner Chad to help investors all over the country achieve the same level of lead generation success.
He is also a die-heart fan of REsimpli because it makes his life easier.
- The motivational and inspiring journey of Bryan.
- How to start and grow a business in digital marketing?
- How to become a niche SEO expert?
- How to generate leads for yourself?
- How is Bryan generating 500-1000 leads a month?
- How to market your business online with a paper lead?
- How to develop a lead?
- Bryan’s thoughts on buying and hold investing.
- How to approach a seller with a pay-per-lead service?
- Do pay-per-leads make sense for business?
- How to follow up with leads and sellers?
- How to build a lead on Facebook?
- What are thoughts of Bryan on the 4 pillars of REsimpli?
- How to approach Bryan?
Brandon Barnes 0:06
Hey, everybody! Welcome to the REsimpli podcast. I’m your host, Brandon Barnes. We have an awesome guest today, Brian Driscoll. How you doing, sir?
Bryan Driscoll 0:14
Doing well, man! Thanks for having me. How you doing?
Brandon Barnes 0:16
I’m doing fantastic! Just another beautiful day out over here in the in Charleston. Excited to have you on today! Excited to talk marketing! We haven’t talked a lot of that today, or we haven’t talked a lot of that on our podcast so far. So excited to dive deep into that! Bryan, tell us a little bit about yourself, where you’re from, and what you got going on.
Bryan Driscoll 0:42
Alight, so I’m up here in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Right about me, I’m 43 years old. I got a family, but I’m an investor, and I do digital marketing. So I got into investing. I got into investing. You know…
Brandon Barnes 0:50
I do, yeah.
Bryan Driscoll 0:51
Alright. So I got into investing back in, like, 1998, I think it was. My dad took me to a seminar.
Brandon Barnes 0:57
Bryan Driscoll 0:58
Yeah, I was, like, 18 years old, sitting in the room. They got me in the back of the room, pulled out my credit card, paid 1800 bucks for a course, which is a ton of cash for me, you know what I mean?
Brandon Barnes 1:05
Bryan Driscoll 1:05
And then I got into real estate, and I failed like crazy failed. I got a whole bunch of people calling me from our newspaper ads, and I didn’t know what to do with them, so it just didn’t work out. So then probably about 2002, I got into digital marketing. I started doing SEO, and I got involved with a platform called Odesk, which now is Upwork. And I was just consulting for people and doing SEO for them. I started, like, $20 an hour. Then I started getting really busy, so I kept raising my rate, and I ended up getting pretty good at it and had larger clients. I was billing, like, 100 and $5200 an hour for national ecommerce and things like that.
And that turned into starting an agency. It was a general agency, like ecommerce and lead gender for all different types of businesses. Well, I got back into real estate probably about ten years ago and bought my first property, and I saw the wholesale fee. I’m like, Jesus, man, this is crazy which the deal still made sense with that fee. So the wholesale fees are all right. I’m just wondering I was thinking with my skill set, I wonder if I could stick up a website and generate my own leads. So I stuck up a website, threw some traffic to it, and we crushed it.
So I got with my now business partner, but he was my buddy Chad Keller. Like, hey, dude, let’s see if we can do something here. We both stuck, like, a grand into ad spend, build a landing page, and started trying to generate leads for motivated leads, which is the agency we started, and we started getting investors that wanted to sign up, and it turned into a full blown agency. And we pivoted both of our agencies, we pivoted to motivated leads, and that’s what we do today.
Brandon Barnes 2:33
That’s super cool. So you got in this space real early with your dad bringing into a seminar. Now, was your dad in real estate prior, or was it both? You guys like brand new into it?
Bryan Driscoll 2:45
Yeah, my dad, he dabbles. He has a couple of properties. He just does it on the side. It’s totally passive. He’s got about four properties there, but he’s always been intrigued with real estate too. And I’m like, I was in the car, listen. I remember when I was younger, I’m listening to Tony Robbins falling asleep and Zig Ziglar. He was always listening to this on the cassette tapes. So I got introduced to that kind of stuff at a young age.
Brandon Barnes 3:05
Got you. That’s awesome. I hope that my kids pay attention to all the stuff that I listen to and do, because they do understand house flipping. Now at four and seven, we’ll go look at one, like, daddy, is this a house that you’re going to renovate and sell? I think it’s super cool. But you got into the digital space, and so when you say you were just general SEO for anybody that would hire you.
Bryan Driscoll 3:31
Yeah, when I started, it was just anyone who had hired me. Like, I had a jewelry client, we had t shirt businesses, auto garages, HVAC like SEO is just ranking the search engine. So I wasn’t really niche specific.
Brandon Barnes 3:42
Right, got you.
Bryan Driscoll 3:44
So it’s just basically anybody how hard.
Brandon Barnes 3:47
Was it learning different? Was it difficult kind of going from niche to niche, bouncing around?
Bryan Driscoll 3:53
No SEO….It’s not necessarily like that because SEO is more keyword driven. So as long as you find out, okay, what are the specific phrases that people are searching to find this type of business? Then you’re optimizing all the sites similar ways. You have to tweak each one of the industry.
Brandon Barnes 4:09
Got you. Okay, so you did that for, sounds like maybe ten years, kind of. You built your agency kind of throughout, and then you started generating leads for yourself, just kind of see what happened. And then you all built your company that you have now.
Bryan Driscoll 4:26
Yeah, you know what? This interrupted too. When we were generating leads for ourselves, I was getting leads all over Pittsburgh, and I only buy in one zip code, so I couldn’t do anything with them. So what I did is I hooked up. I went on to the Facebook group in Pittsburgh like, hey guys, does anyone here want leads? And we’ll do a JV split.
And I got a couple of guys that came in and it didn’t work out, but then I found one guy, his name was Dustin, and I just started sending him leads, and it worked out really well on that side too. So that happened actually right at the early stages of motivated leads, trying to prove the model.
Brandon Barnes 4:57
Got you. And so I’ve heard that model work still works to this day where people are good at generating leads, but they don’t like sales and they partner with somebody who likes sales that doesn’t like to generate leads. And it works out really well for both of them.
Bryan Driscoll 5:09
As long as they have a good CRM.
Brandon Barnes 5:12
Correct. Yeah. And so obviously we’re on the REsimpli podcast, so we can be there for that. You built your agency now and you started kind of testing it. Were you doing it nationally at that point? Was it just specific to Pittsburgh? Like, how did you kind of start to grow it?
Bryan Driscoll 5:29
Yeah, we just started specific to Pittsburgh, actually just in our county, which is Allegheny County. Then when we brought on a client, we would target their areas for them.
Brandon Barnes 5:37
Bryan Driscoll 5:38
It’s all custom on that side.
Brandon Barnes 5:41
Cool. So you were able to reverse it and say, alright, somebody’s going to like, say, Charleston, hey, we got a client in Charleston now let’s start kind of going there.
Bryan Driscoll 5:48
Brandon Barnes 5:50
Got you. How many leads are you generating now on a month? Just roughly?
Bryan Driscoll 5:54
Oh man, I figure I don’t know, like 500 to 1000 a day. So whatever that equals in a month.
Brandon Barnes 6:00
That’s cool. That’s really neat. And are you pretty much across the entire country now?
Bryan Driscoll 6:05
Yeah, we’re in most major metros, so the way it works is we’ll bring on a client, so we do the paper lead. Now we originally started doing custom marketing, which we still do, but on the paper lead side, we’ll market and it’s constantly changing because people pause and unpause, but we’ll only market in counties that we have clients in. So it’s pretty much the major metros, but there’s still a lot of the country we don’t market to.
Brandon Barnes 6:27
Got you. And so explain to the audience, if they don’t know what paper lead is, exactly what that means.
Bryan Driscoll 6:34
Sure. Paper leads us. We do digital marketing. So there’s two different ways to market your business online, right. You can hire an agency to do custom marketing where you pay someone a monthly fee to run your Google Ads or Facebook ads, and then you pay the ad spend on top. Well, I found there’s two types of investors. There’s investors that care about brand and want to do that way, and then a lot of investors say, hey, I just want leads, I’m not trying to build a brand. So we came up with a program, pay per lead. There’s no monthly fee, no commitments.
You literally tell us which counties you want leads. We’ll market on our dime in those areas, send them through our website. When we get a lead in your area, we send it to you in real time. So they fill out a form on our site. We text you and email you within like 2 seconds. So this person’s waiting for a phone call, and you’re just paying per lead. It might cost $300 per lead versus spending $1,500 a month plus ad spending. You’re just trying to get the most leads you can, but you don’t know what the actual cost per lead is going to be.
Brandon Barnes 7:30
Yeah, and what’s cool about those are you truly can get a deal from the first lead?
Bryan Driscoll 7:37
If you’re lucky.
Brandon Barnes 7:39
But I’m saying that’s that type of it’s just any marketing, but it’s really cool. You can turn on, get a deal from the first one or not get a deal for the first ten, maybe. I mean, it all depends on how competitive, how good you are at sales, things like that. But I remember when I turned on paper lead the first time, I think we got super lucky and got, like, two deals out of our first six.
Bryan Driscoll 8:00
Yeah, that’s awesome!
Brandon Barnes 8:02
But they would come in. The first one we got was like, July 4. Nobody was answering the phone, nobody’s doing anything. And this guy just happened to be in town handling his mother’s estate on July 4. And I remember I sit in my hotel room, and the lead came through, and I told my wife, I was like, all right, I got to go. We got a phone call, and it’s a hot lead. The people pay the money, they get the lead. What qualifications determine a lead for you guys?
Bryan Driscoll 8:30
Yeah, that’s a good question, too, because a lot of people just say, name, address, phone number, email, done. That’s a lead. I’m looking more like I want to know why they want to sell, how fast they want to sell, how much work their property needs. Is it owner occupied, vacant, confirm? It’s not listed on the market. We’re putting them through multi-forms or multi steps to try to increase the quality of the lead. So I look at it like, say we run an ad, we send them to a website.
The website, in my opinion, is like the disqualifier. We try to make everything really direct so it’s like, sell your house fast. We buy houses where investors were not paying top dollar, but if you’re interested, fill out a form. So we want the people that aren’t serious to drop out right then. Then we ask name, phone number, email address. So now we captured their information, but we don’t consider that a lead yet until they fill out the next questions as well. Like, I was just saying, like, how fast, how much work, things like that.
Once that’s done, press the submit button that’s a lead sends to whoever’s in that area in real time. And then, like you were saying, you just got to drop what you’re doing. The lead comes in. Speed is key. You have to drop what you’re doing, call them, and try to make it work.
Brandon Barnes 9:39
You do? Yeah. It’s not a lead. You’re like, oh, I just got a lead. Let me put it down. I’m doing something. You see that? Because if they’re on the Internet, for those of you that may not run SEO or PPC, if they’re on the Internet Googling something to sell my house, they’re just going to go to the person who answers the phone.
Bryan Driscoll 9:59
Brandon Barnes 10:00
And so you have to just drop what you’re doing, make the phone call, and kind of have a little bit of imperfect action because you’re going to starting the conversation. I don’t know how much information you guys provide. It can kind of fumble through the first couple of conversations. So you get used to it.
Bryan Driscoll 10: 16
Yeah, what I see too, that works really well. Like a lot of guys, especially newer guys, get caught up on price when they’re talking with sellers. They’ll call them up and they try to get into price. Right? Initially…Online leads I found. So we ask you some of the information, like how much repairs, things like that, but find out what their problem is. Everyone calling has a problem. It’s like, okay, and they’re going to lie to you.
Normally when you try to find out the first time and you keep probing, it’s like, why do you want to sell? What’s going on? Why aren’t you listing on the MLS? And then they’re going to tell you. And then once you dive into it, then you just need to think and think creatively. How can I help them solve the problem if you can figure that out? You make money, they win, and it’s a win-win, you know what I mean? Versus just trying to get properties under your belt all day.
Brandon Barnes 11:00
Was it buyers or liars sellers or worse? Is that the saying? Is that how it goes? Yeah, they’ll tell you anything they can. One question I’ve always had as somebody who has used a pay per lead service, obviously there’s no branding. So my company, we live by our brand in Charleston. I have a cartoon picture of me on all of our vehicles, on our trailer. Everybody knows who I am, but for these leads, I can’t say, hey, I’m the Charleston house guy, or something like that. How do you best you just go straight into them in their house instead of worrying about a company and all that kind of stuff?
Bryan Driscoll 11: 35
Yeah, normally we’ll just go into it and say, hey, you just filled out a form on one of our sites. And if you call them immediately, there’s no disconnect. Like they literally just filled out a form and you’re calling. So it makes sense. Our brands are generic anyways, cash offer, things like that. So it’s not like it’s a name that they’re going to remember. But yeah, it’s just like, hey, you just filled out a form on one of our sites. Just calling. Is now a good time?
Brandon Barnes 12:00
Got you. So that’s simple because I know I’ve talked to some people and they get caught up and like, what company? And I’m like, I don’t think it’s that hard. I think it’s just you call them, hey, I just saw you filled out a form. Just want to connect with you about one, two, three, main street, and kind of see how things are going.
Bryan Driscoll 12:15
Right. And you figure, too, you think about the sellers. If it’s a motivated seller, they fill out a form. They’re not concerned on the brand. They’re concerned, hey, are you local? Are you going to really buy my house? Trustworthy and reliable. Can you actually do it?
Brandon Barnes 12:30
Yeah, it is. Can you perform? Are you real? They’re not going to worry about any of that other stuff, right? That’s really cool. I think that space, that SEO online space is really neat. Well, cool. So you talk to the lead, you get to them and just make it really quick. How much do you see if the follow up with these leads once you kind of get them?
Bryan Driscoll 12:53
So here’s what I see. Out of ten leads, realistically, six of them are going to want too much money, are not going to be a fit. So it does make sense if you have other disposition methods other than just wholesaling and flipping. I know a lot of guys have success with Novations, or if you’re an agent, you can give them a top dollar offer and a cash offer and just list it if it’s too much.
So six of them expect that six are going to want too much money. They’re just not going to be a fit. Four of them end up being deals you’d want. Usually lock down one of those. Mean, what was the question you just asked again?
Brandon Barnes 13:23
How often do you have to follow up? Do you see even these super motivated leads coming from the website? Are these something that you’re building long term follow up with or they’re usually making stuff pretty quick.
Bryan Driscoll 13:35
Yeah. So the one out of ten is going to be not needing long term follow up, usually.
Brandon Barnes 13:40
Bryan Driscoll 13:42
Well, it depends if you have the Dispo message for the six or not, but the other nine, you’re going to want to follow up. I just talked with a buddy of mine. It’s April right now. He just closed the deal he had coming in October last year. Like the lead came in October. So you want to follow up with these guys. I think on average, you’d probably know better than me, Brandon, but I think it’s like 8 to 13 touches on a lead to actually convert.
So if you don’t have good follow ups, things like that, through text and email, which REsimpli can handle. But that’s so important because all you’re doing is taking if you’re not following up with your people, you’re following up for a couple of days, you’re losing a ton of money on the back end.
Brandon Barnes 14:16
Yeah, I also saw I’ve heard people talk about how much they follow with somebody, like the first week as well. What are your thoughts on that?
Bryan Driscoll 14:25
I think it’s preference on how your systems are built. I know I would hit them a couple of times in the first day. So here’s what I do and here’s what I found. And this may help people also. So I’m a marketer by trade and I just happen to invest, right? I got like 20 something properties. I’m not like these guys doing 100 deals a year.
What I found is when a lead comes in on our site, we shoot an automatic text message immediately out to them, even if it’s three in the morning, saying, thanks for filling out a form on our site. Here’s a link to our calendar to book a time for an appointment for us to come give you an offer. And I word it that way. I want them knowing we’re coming to your house. I do that for two reasons. Number one, I want to gauge their motivation. Who’s booking an appointment with a stranger to come to their house without talking to anyone, right?
Brandon Barnes 15:12
Bryan Driscoll 15:14
And number two, what I’m trying to do is I’m trying to cut that follow up out. Because like you were saying earlier, if someone’s on Google filling out forms, they go to the first one, then second one, and third one, they’re filling everyone out. I want to pull them away from that, get them to book an appointment. So now they feel like they’ve accomplished what they needed and they quit filling out the competition. So what happens, though? So we booked that. That solves that one problem initially, so it will save you on some of the follow up.
The other people, though, you might have not called them quick enough, and they hooked up with another investor that’s maybe a little greener. Yeah, definitely follow up with them. Number 130 days later with a message like, hey, just following up. I know you wanted to sell your house. Actually, I guess this is a different follow up.
This would be one that you did talk with and they went with another investor follow up in 30 days to see if it closed. A lot of times those fall out, but follow up is key. Like, I’d hit them a couple of times in the first day and just gradually get longer spaces between them because you don’t want to be spamming people.
Brandon Barnes 16:08
Bryan Driscoll 16:09
That first day is crucial.
Brandon Barnes 16:11
Got you. And that’s what I remember when I first started. I wasn’t super aggressive in the first day. I was just kind of like, hey, I’d give them a call and they didn’t answer, and then just kind of go off on my day. And then I talked to people who are having much more success and like, yeah, we’ll call somebody or text or email, and I consider all forms of their contact email, text, phone call. He’s like, well, we might hit him up six or seven times in the day and then kind of taper off from there.
Bryan Driscoll 16:37
Yeah. And you know what else, too? That’s a good point. Because some people like phone calls, some people like text. Like, you’re going to get me on text message, but I’m not going to answer the phone and talk with you.
Brandon Barnes 16:47
Bryan Driscoll 16:48
But if you get me on a text message, we’ll talk for whatever. We can lock down a deal without talking. So it all depends on the person. So if you give them all the different avenues to communicate with you versus just calling or versus just texting, send all the messages, call, text, and email, you have a higher likelihood of connecting with people.
Brandon Barnes 17:10
I agree. And the funny you say that connect with text. I’ve had somebody try to call me this weekend while I was out of town. I didn’t answer any of it, and I never left a voicemail. They never sent a text. And then finally yesterday, we were having our business meeting and a text popped through, and I was like, hey, I’m looking to sell my or I want to talk to you about selling my house at sudden Stutt Street in John’s Island.
And immediately I sent him a text right back. And it didn’t work out, but it went from me not answering my phone because I couldn’t and I wasn’t going to that weekend to all of a sudden he sent me a text. And it was a wholesaler. But it just shows, like, had that text happened, if I was that type of seller, then you would have communicated with them sooner.
Bryan Driscoll 17:57
Right. And a lot of sellers online, at least in the digital space, some of them are just looking. They just typed in sell my house fast. Like they don’t even know investors are out here. So they’re just in the early stages. And that brings up something different, too, because there’s different types of leads, and all marketing channels are good if done consistently.
So I just happen to do digital, but say like phone calls from mailers need handle a little differently than digital leads or SMS leads or cold call, things like that. So you’ll want to think about the experience of how you connected with that or how they’re connecting with you.
Brandon Barnes 18:30
Yeah. And so do you do any other types of marketing or you just live in the digital space? Only….
Bryan Driscoll 18:36
Just digital. I used to do mailers, but the cost per lead and cost per deal was cheaper.
Brandon Barnes 18:41
It is, especially if you have the skill set that you have versus skills.
Bryan Driscoll 18:46
I know a lot of investors I talk to have a really good return on SMS. It’s kind of risky. It’s a riskier play. And it’s like you’re trading sweater, you’re trading money correct into SMS and manage it. You might get a cost per deal like $1,000, but you got to manage overseas. And then you’re risking like calling someone on a do not call list or texting them, I guess.
Brandon Barnes 19:04
Yeah, it’s not fun when we text. I definitely went through a couple of instances with I don’t remember what government entity we got the letters from, but we definitely got two or three letters. And then….
Bryan Driscoll 19:18
I got it from any government entity.
Brandon Barnes 19:20
Yeah, no, and it was funny. I called the lady. I got the letter in the mail, and I called her, and it wasn’t even from a text. It was from a postcard. And I was like, somebody had filed a complaint, and I guess it could have had some legal issues down the road. And so we talked, and everything was resolved. But then I asked her. I said, do people really get upset about a postcard coming to their house?
And she’s like, you have no idea. People call about Papa John’s. People call about Home Depot, all the little coupons that you get in the mail. And she’s like, that’s just what I do every day. I just listen to these people complain about mail that they can just throw in their trash can.
Bryan Driscoll 19:59
You know what’s crazy? When I used to do yellow letters, right?
Brandon Barnes 20:03
Bryan Driscoll 20:04
And I had the sheriff of one borough call me up. He’s like, hey, this lady says you’re harassing her. I’m like, Dude, it’s junk mail. Pitch it. And some people will send you a letter back. I don’t know if you got those.
Brandon Barnes 20:16
They’ll get pretty creative, tough. I’ve had them cut letters up. I’ve had them write stuff on it, write funny stuff on the front. No, we’ve definitely gotten some back.
Bryan Driscoll 20:25
Yeah, it’s crazy. But mailers work, too. Everything’s going to work. You just got to especially like the new guys, too. If you’re going to do something, do it consistently. Give it six months. Don’t send one thing of mailers…
Brandon Barnes 20:38
And answer this.
Bryan Driscoll 20:39
And answer your phone. Yeah, but when your phone rings, answer it. That’s money.
Brandon Barnes 20:42
Yeah, it is. We actually have my wife and I talked about it. I have a special ringer that rings, and it stays on at all times for our lead source. And when that ringer comes in, everybody in our family knows that means money. And I’m pretty diligent on hanging out with my kids and my wife, and we have times that we disconnect. But when that one special ringer comes on, that phone call is something that has to be taken at all times because we’ve learned we want to live the life that we want to live.
And so there’s days when I won’t do anything all day that involves in real estate, and some days I do. So I’m okay taking a phone call at 07:00 at night a couple of times a week if that’s what happens, right? Because when they want to sell their house, they want to sell their house now. They don’t necessarily want to wait and go to the next person.
Bryan Driscoll 21:38
Brandon Barnes 21:39
So I want to hear a little bit about investing. You only buy in one zip code?
Bryan Driscoll 21:44
Yeah, just zip code I live in.
Brandon Barnes 21:47
So do you manage your own stuff? Why is it so specific?
Bryan Driscoll 21:51
No, I managed it when I started, and that sucks.
Brandon Barnes 21:54
Bryan Driscoll 21:55
Yeah. I have two different property managers. It’s because I don’t want to drive. I’m so busy during the day. I don’t have time to drive more than 5 minutes to look at a property and then managing the crew things, which I have project managers now. Whenever we rehab, I just have time to drive there just, like, 10, 15 minutes there.
Then you’re talking with someone for a half an hour, and then you’re back. It’s a whole hour wasted. Not wasted. If you got to do ten deals, like, ten leads to get a deal, there’s 10 hours right there. I bought a property in a really nice neighborhood by me, and it was about a 25 minutes drive. And I’m like, Dude, every time I go there and I was managing the crew myself that time, I’m like, I’m going here three times a week, sucking up all my time.
So ever since then, I never bought a property, and I will not buy properties outside of my area for now while I’m focused on motivated leads, because it’s like, I got to be so structured and disciplined on time.
Brandon Barnes 22:45
That’s awesome! I think that’s super cool. And it makes your buy box and decision making very simple. Is it in such and such zip code? No. Alright, well, I’ll either send it off somewhere else or refer it out or do something else with that.
Bryan Driscoll 23:00
Yeah, and it is nice. You’re right, because I can pretty much just buy site unseen a lot of times just with pictures. Even if I don’t have time to get there, I just send my guy like, hey, check it out. What do you think? Just because I know the market so well here. But you can’t scale something like this. Most investors, you got to be dealing the whole city or bigger.
Brandon Barnes 23:18
You don’t have to scale it. I talked about it with a buy and hold investor on our last episode to own 20 homes. If you pay those homes off in 15, 20, 25 years, whatever mortgages you put on them, you don’t have to work again the rest of your life, essentially. It’s a slow grow to it, but I like to look at buy and hold as, like, little savings accounts, and we own a house a five minute walk from my house, and then we flipped one, maybe an 8 minute walk from my house.
And I’d say those are two of my favorite deals because it was easy to check on them. They were right close to our house, and those were really nice, not having to get in a car and drive 30, 45 minutes traffic, dealing, all that stuff.
Bryan Driscoll 24:06
Yeah, and you’re right. Too, because I own a little over 20 properties as well in 15, 20 years, when they’re paid off, that’s crazy passive income coming in.
Brandon Barnes 24:17
Bryan Driscoll 24:18
And also, like, you look at Too with some investors. I don’t know if anyone’s interested in this, but you got two different ways of investing. I look at on a buy and hold, you got cash flow, heavy cash flow, usually CD neighborhoods, more like ghettos.
And then you got, like, neighborhoods I invest in, they have cash flow. You still always want positive cash flow, but they don’t have as much. But buy a property for, say, 100 grand, put 30 into it and appraises at 230. So I got crazy equity on that side versus I can buy properties in Pittsburgh for like 60 grand off, like twelve rent. But in 20 years, that’s still worth 60 grand.
Brandon Barnes 24:50
Yeah, the value of the home doesn’t change much.
Bryan Driscoll 24:53
Now you get your money as much. So there are definite approaches to each their own, you know what I mean?
Brandon Barnes 25:00
Yeah. And sometimes your portfolios evolve. Sometimes when you first get started, it is buying that $60,000 house to get cash flow, to get your first one, and then all of a sudden, five years later, you maybe pay it off or pay two or three of them off, and it’s like, all right, now I’m going to go buy a little bit nicer asset. Cash flow is a little bit less, but I’m in a better area now.
In your area and areas like that, that cash flow a little bit less. You also can get lucky and get a little bit of appreciation as well. So these same properties you own for 15 or 20 years, not only have you cash flowed for 15, 20 years, somebody’s paid off your mortgage. Hopefully they’ve all gone up in value as well. So your net worth and whatnot has.
Bryan Driscoll 25:43
Changed, yeah, they’ll probably double. And I look at it, too, because I do the burr method now. I couldn’t do it initially. I had to take a loan and put 20% down. But now I’ll buy it cash, put the money into it, and I get all my money back. Like, literally all my money back. So it’s like you’re getting free houses.
Brandon Barnes 25:56
Yeah. When you can get to that point, it makes everything a whole lot better. So let’s talk a little bit about marketing. If I was a brand new investor, I’m just kind of getting started. Where would you recommend somebody to kind of start with their marketing?
Bryan Driscoll 26:14
If you were brand new, I would start with driving for dollars, probably doing door hangers and just hustling. I’d probably talk with some agents and just see if you can get any pocket listings. But if you’re trying to wholesale, that’s tougher because they’re looking for the cash buyers. But yeah, I would mainly drive for dollars, use some of the software out there, like deal machine things like that and then the door hangers and just try to get in front of as many people. Also, Facebook groups are really good. Get involved in some of the Facebook groups say, hey, you know what? I’m looking to buy properties in wherever people will hit you up. And that’s free.
Brandon Barnes 26:51
They do. And surprisingly, they do it. The more consistent you are. People do reach out. I love my door hangers. I take them. We’ve been doing this seven years. I can see my case of door hangers sitting right here in my office. And what we do is we do family bike rides, and we’ll take them, and I’ll hook them on everybody’s bikes so that we have enough. And my kids will go up and we’re in areas where I’m completely comfortable with them doing it, but we’ll ride around and put 10, 15, 20 door hangers on. And a lot of times, a lot of people just call us back and tell us not to do it again. But we have gotten them from it.
Bryan Driscoll 27:30
Yes. So that’s what I would say for a start, notches, because and people just starting out, too. The biggest things I talked to some new investors. Just do it. I can’t get it. Doing the X, I got to make a website. I got to get a logo. No one cares about your logo. Just go out and start talking to people and find the deals and then worry about building a brand, things like that because a lot of people get tied up, and I got to make a brand. I need to set up an LLC, all this kind of stuff. It’s like, no, go find a house. Once you find a house, then you have a problem that you need to figure out how to do it. But you don’t need the LLC to start doing that.
Brandon Barnes 28:05
You don’t know, especially your first couple of deals. You can do them in your actual name. It’s not like it’s the end of the world. I remember the first couple of years my wife and I had our business people couldn’t even say our business name. We didn’t think through it. And I would talk to owners, and they’d be like, I have trouble even saying it. B and M homes. Brandon and Maggie homes.
And to us, it was great as our initials. Nobody could say it. It didn’t affect us buying any homes. And then once we got some traction and made some money, that’s when we created our brand that we have now. And that’s been a nice stepping stone to kind of go off of.
Bryan Driscoll 28:46
That’s a good point you bring up there, too, because a lot of people try to make if you think about this from a seller side, they’re looking for the local guy down the road that wants to buy their house. A lot of people I see try to create a brand that looks like a bank. It’s really corporate too. And it’s like if a seller sees that, what do you think, the bank’s going to come in and pound you?
They’re looking for Joe down the road to buy his houses. That’s a normal guy that’s going to come up and fix it up and flip it and just do his thing. So when you’re coming up with brand like that, too? You’re right. Keep it simple.
Brandon Barnes 29:17
It is. Yeah. Again, we wanted to invest just where we live within the Tri-County area where we live. So I was like, I don’t need anything that seems to go to another state or make us sound giant. I want to sound like the guy when you call me, I’m going to show up at your front door. And that’s exactly what we do.
And it’s like, I have people in the gym, hey, you’re the guy with the wrap truck. Or I’ll go to get my oil changed. And now it’s starting to kind of build and compound off of it. And then we added digital marketing on top. And so then everybody started putting two and two together.
Bryan Driscoll 29:54
Yeah, everything does kind of work well together too. You know what I mean?
Brandon Barnes 29:59
Yeah. Once you can send a little bit of mail and do that kind of stuff, I think all avenues really kind of build off of each other.
Bryan Driscoll 30:06
Brandon Barnes 30:06
Do you do any PPC?
Bryan Driscoll 30:08
Yeah, we do. We’re heavy in pay per click and also on Facebook.
Brandon Barnes 30:10
Okay, I don’t know anything about Facebook, so let’s talk about that first. So you guys do like custom Facebook for other investors?
Bryan Driscoll 30:18
We do. If you’re not doing Facebook right now, you need to be, especially with your brand. Do you have a Facebook Pixel on your website? At least?
Brandon Barnes 30:25
I would say I do, yes. We don’t do any I hired an SEO company. They rebuilt my website maybe a month ago. I think we just kind of finished all of that whole thing, so I think but I’m not…
Bryan Driscoll 30:40
I’ll tell you why.
Brandon Barnes 30:41
Especially you because you’re doing a lot of branding, right? Like you’re doing.
Brandon Barnes 30:44
I legitimately spend $0 in marketing until we just hire this SEO company. And we’ll probably do 25 flips this year, all based on our brand.
Bryan Driscoll 31:00
Right. And that’s huge. Okay, so here’s how it works in a nutshell, without getting too far into the weeds, Facebook has something called a Facebook Pixel. Google also has a tag. And what that? Is that’s code you put on your website. So you know when you go onto a website looking at a pair of shoes and it’s following you around everywhere, that’s because of their tracking. So in this situation, you put the Facebook Pixel on your website and then you set up a retargeting campaign. Anyone who comes to your website, you now live in their Facebook feed.
So you can have testimonial videos sitting there for like $5 a day, like super cheap marketing. But you can stay in front of these people that aren’t ready yet. So Facebook works really well on a retargeting side. And it also works Facebook can work well and it can suck. Depends on how you run it. So if you’re running Facebook ads, you need to run an ad. They click it and it goes to your website. That has to have like multi step forms to kind of vet the people.
And you’ll get a good quality lead there. You might spend a couple of also has something called lead forms where someone clicks an ad inside of Facebook, it’ll auto populate your info that Facebook has and then call that a lead. You might get a lead for $20, but those suck. It might take you like you might as well Telemarket for the Facebook lead forms. The quality is just not there.
Brandon Barnes 32:12
Okay, I have heard of those.
Bryan Driscoll 32:15
Yeah. But if you’re doing any marketing, anyone that’s doing any marketing, because what’s going to happen is they get a mailer and they see your thing and they Google you. They come to your website and then they don’t do anything. You need to stay in front of them because the buying cycle is not there yet.
They’re just still research mode. But then what you can do is you can strategically put things in front of them. Like for the first 30 days, we’re going to put a testimonial video in front of them. Like three testimonials. Next 30 days, we’re going to do something else and strategically put things there to build that credibility while they’re in the info stage and staying in front of them until they’re ready to pull the trigger.
Brandon Barnes 32:52
So can you funnel them through? Let’s say they go to my website, Facebook, retargets them, they see my testimonial video on my Facebook. Let’s say the testimonial video is 1 minute and they watch 70% of the video. Can you then say, alright, people who’ve watched X amount of the video now get a second, like a different layer or….
Bryan Driscoll 33:15
Yeah, you can do multiple things. So you can do you can build audiences in Facebook based on a lot of different things. You can build it on people that come to your website. People that watch like 50% of your video or 70% of your video people. They called people that filled out a form. And then you get to segment them.
So you can set up in your example here, maybe we’d set up a campaign for 50% people that watch 50% or more or 75% or more in my testimonial video, but don’t fill out a form. We want to show them the next video. And once they cross that 75% threshold, they would now get the next video. And you can take them down a funnel on Facebook and Instagram. It would be Facebook and Instagram.
Brandon Barnes 33:55
That’s cool. Yeah, I’ve always been like archaic with technology. I can do a bunch of and so Facebook for some reason has always intimidated me. Facebook pay per click SEO. I conceptually understand how they work and how to do it, but then to go look at the site and go to the back end, it’s always been fairly overwhelming.
Bryan Driscoll 34:20
Yeah, it’s a little caught. Like, Facebook makes it complicated, too, because you have to verify your domain. You have to get a pixel set up, create a business manager. There’s a lot of steps, especially if you’re not tech savvy, to do it. But retargeting is going to be your cheapest cost per lead out of any channel. You have an ads to people that have been on your website already.
Brandon Barnes 34:40
Cool. So we may have to talk about that offline then, because it’s something, I think, the way I build my business, and we talk a little bit about it and how everybody builds them differently. My goal is in two or three years to just have everybody just calling me. They know who I am. They’ve seen my testimonials, my videos, and the conversation is much easier because I don’t like talking to a bunch of cold leads and going through this really difficult sales process.
I’m more just, hey, we saw your video. We saw that you’ve bought a couple of homes in our neighborhood, or we’ve done X. We see your truck all over the place. We want to sell our home here, and then we can offer them the options that we can provide to them.
Bryan Driscoll 35:21
Right. Do you get a lot of calls from the rap track?
Brandon Barnes 35:23
Bryan Driscoll 35:24
Brandon Barnes 35:25
And the calls I get from my truck are very urgent.
Bryan Driscoll 35:27
Brandon Barnes 35:27
They are. They’re like, hey, my listing just fell through. My client’s house is going through foreclosure. They have 15 days. Can you close now? Type thing. Generally, I don’t get a lot of tire kickers from my truck. Those people will come up to my window like, I’ll be at a gas station and, hey, I have a bunch of ideas, or I’d love to pick your brain. Those are more face to face. But when my truck calls come, those are generally a fairly urgent lead.
Bryan Driscoll 36:00
Honestly, how much does it cost to wrap a truck?
Brandon Barnes 36:02
So I have a four door F 150, and I did what’s called a partial wrap, so they didn’t color change it, but my whole truck is wrapped. But still you can see portions of the color. And I think I paid, like, $1300 or $1400.
Bryan Driscoll 36:20
That’s cheap. I think it was an attorney marketing that did this before they got with Uber drivers and said, hey, we’ll pay your car payment if we…
Brandon Barnes 36:33
Bryan Driscoll 36:33
Yeah, you figure so you figure, okay, you spend $1,300 and you pay what’s car payment? $400 or $500 a month?
Brandon Barnes 36:40
Bryan Driscoll 36:41
And they’re driving around all day long.
Brandon Barnes 36:43
I tell anybody, I was like, I will wrap anybody’s vehicle in Charleston they want me to, and I will give them a specific number. I’ll go to REsimpli, give them their own number. And I have a friend in Kansas City who does it. He just does stickers. He doesn’t wrap. But yeah, we have one right now. I just bought it last month. The true net projected profit on is like, $95,000. And the guy called me, and I was pulling my truck and trailer, got a 16 foot trailer and my truck, and he’s like, you guys look you’re it looked professional.
I’ve inherited some money. I don’t want to deal with him and his son had a bad relationship, and he’s like, I don’t want to deal with kicking my son out. He’s like, I owe 105. If you’ll pay me 110, it’s yours. House is worth 330. And I was like, it just came in, but it came from our truck. I didn’t track it all in the beginning. I can probably say that we’ve done close to 200 plus thousand dollars in profit from my wrapped vehicles.
Bryan Driscoll 33:51
Yeah, that’s worth it. I think people should do that. I don’t see any wrapped vehicles around here in Pittsburgh.
Brandon Barnes 37:57
I’ve seen some trailers, but I don’t see too many cars. You get a couple. My wife has gotten some phone calls about cutting people off driving, but surprisingly, it’s not as many as you would think it would be. To me, it was a no brainer. We did our first deal. I used to have a little sticker on the back of my truck that I buy houses cash. And we did like, a $45,000 assignment from that sticker. So obviously it paid for itself multiple times over. And then when we changed our name, I was like, you know what? Let’s just do it. There’s no reason not to.
Bryan Driscoll 38:30
You have to send me a picture to check it out.
Brandon Barnes 38:32
Yeah, I do. I’ll send you one and show you what it looks like.
Bryan Driscoll 38:35
Brandon Barnes 38:36
But yeah, I definitely love learn more about the Facebook stuff because I think retargeting is so key with everything. I didn’t even think about taking them from our website to Facebook and following them there.
Bryan Driscoll 38:49
You know what? You need to be doing Google pay per click too.
And I have been burnt in Pay per click.
Bryan Driscoll 38:56
Here’s. Why I say that? I don’t mean you need to do broad, but if you’re doing what you’re doing, you have to put a small campaign for your name. Because what’s happening is these grandmas are seeing it. They go to Google, they type it in, and they think that first ad is mail. So your competitors are stealing your traffic.
Anyone doing mail or like, billboards or even the cars like you’re doing, just stick up a campaign for like, I don’t know, $10 a day or something and bid on the different variations of your name. Don’t even go for the target. Like the broad keywords that are expensive. Just at least control your brand.
Brandon Barnes 39:32
I didn’t even think about that because if somebody were to Google Charleston house guy. They’re going to get PPC leads at the top, and then we’ll come below.
Bryan Driscoll 39:41
That and they’re going to call that lead. Whoever they click up, they’re thinking it’s you.
Brandon Barnes 39:47
Bryan Driscoll 39:48
So they’re thinking they’re getting a hold. They’re trying to get a hold of you, and you’re just not there. So, yeah, I’d recommend at least do those. And those are cheap. They’re not super expensive. It’s not like building out a full blown campaign. You have to have a ton of ad spend.
Brandon Barnes 39:58
Yeah. PPC and me have a sensitive or a source subject with each other. It’s expensive. Everybody does it a little bit different. And it’s just like the pay per leads that you were talking about. It’s super time sensitive. But the problem is with the paper leads, at least if you get a bozo lead, meaning they don’t own the property or something like that, your company is going to give them some kind of refund where pay per click, you just lost a couple of $100. There’s no getting around that.
Bryan Driscoll 40:32
Yeah, pay per lead makes sense for people with larger ad spend budgets. Pay per lead, I’m talking larger, like 1020 grand a month or over. Pay per lead makes sense for most investors because the risk isn’t there like you’re talking about, because you’re doing pay per click campaign wrong. Some clicks might be $100. And if it takes you 10, 20 clicks to get a lead, like your lead cost is really expensive. And then it could be someone looking for find out how much your house is worth.
Brandon Barnes 41:00
Bryan Driscoll 41:01
Or something. Just a bozo lead.
Brandon Barnes 41:03
Correct. Now, the last pay per click company that we used, I remember we set up an Excel sheet and we went through and we would put every lead, I put all the information in and talked to them. And it took us like two and a half, three months to get our first deal from it. We finally did get a deal from it. We did well on the deal, but that was it.
Nothing else came after. Nothing else, because I was like, this is the perfect lead. Obviously, you could see what keywords they are, what they Googled, and some other stuff. But I know people who just crush pay per click, that’s all they do. They do very well with it. I know Google is constantly changing, and so it’s something you have to either understand yourself or hire an agency to stay on top of it constantly.
Bryan Driscoll 41:52
Brandon Barnes 41:53
Because if you just set it and forget it, it will burn that credit card and not think twice about it.
Bryan Driscoll 41:58
Google’s job is to make the most money for their company.
Brandon Barnes 42:01
Bryan Driscoll 42:02
The thing with Google that a lot of people don’t understand and why you can spend a lot of money. Google doesn’t know the difference between a motivated seller and someone wants to sell their house recommendations. When you’re running a campaign, if you click that apply recommendations. They’re adding keywords in there like sell your house, which isn’t going to get you the right audience. We need keywords like sell your house fast, sell it for cash. It’s really fine line there. On getting MLS leads versus investor leads.
Brandon Barnes 42:31
And I liked what you talked about to go back a little bit, having that kind of three steps of your website, disqualifying the lead because it’s like, hey, you’ve clicked on it, we’ve got some information. Then we’ve got your name, phone number, email, which if you capture on your website is great in general. But then it’s that third step.
Hey, we are not going to pay you retail. We’re not going to do these things. Are you still interested? How fast are you selling? Because hopefully that deters people from tire kicking and wasting a bunch of time as well.
Bryan Driscoll 43:02
Yeah, here’s another tip for you too that can help even qualify them and educate the consumer on your thank you page after they fill out a form, number one, have a book, a call. Like, same thing for the calendar, but then underneath that too, make a video, say, hey, you know what, thanks for filling out a form on our site. Here’s what to expect. And lay it out like, hey, someone’s going to be calling you. The first call is to whatever, find out about your information.
If everything’s like a good fit, we’re going to set up a time to come to your house. Educate them because it pulls their guard down. They know that first phone call, you’re not going to be trying to hardball them. So things like that too. The whole experience, the whole way through, that’s a pretty good tip on that side because that people can implement. Just break it down for people because you figure sellers dealing with problems and they’re just trying not to get ripped off. So just educate them as much as you can.
Brandon Barnes 43:55
I think we do that on our website. Similar as like, hey, here’s our four step process. You fill out the form. I don’t know if it’s on our thank you page, but it’s like, hey, you fill the form, I’m going to call you, which we’re very specific that I am the person who’s going to reach out to you. Then we’re going to come to your house, we’re going to make you no obligation offer and then kind of go through that process.
Bryan Driscoll 44:17
But what are you going to do when you want to scale?
Brandon Barnes 44:21
I don’t want to scale.
Bryan Driscoll 44:22
Brandon Barnes 44:22
No. My wife has a really successful staging business and Airbnb installation business.
Bryan Driscoll 44:32
Brandon Barnes 44:33
So we have her business and then flipping. Honestly, I like to be the opposite. I would like to buy in one zip code and have a handful of homes a year versus doing it. We talked about it a minute when I had that brain fart. But truly what I love doing, I like the health and fitness side of the world, but I like doing crazy races. I did my Nashville marathon. I’m doing a thing called Hill in the Hill next month, which is the Hilliest half marathon. So real estate affords me the ability to do those kind of things.
Bryan Driscoll 45:06
What’s the marathon? That’s like 26.8 or something?
Brandon Barnes 45:09
Bryan Driscoll 45:10
That’s a lot of running.
Brandon Barnes 45:12
It is, yeah. My left calf still is. I’m paying for that there. But you get shin splints, all of them. I got shin splints, calf’s hamstring. So I was telling my trainer this morning, my first step in the marathon, I took a step and my right calf just like, nodded just a little bit in my little group that I’m in, that we do this stuff, the question isn’t will there be pain? It’s just how soon will the pain come? And you just kind of get your I was like, well, we’re hello at mile or at first step.
Bryan Driscoll 45:47
Good for you, man. Though, just for doing it. That’s some hard stuff.
Brandon Barnes 45:52
I appreciate it. Yeah, I did like, some hedge fund stuff. I’ve seen scale. It doesn’t interest me at all. I want to hang out with my kids, play golf and run races. That’s what it is. That’s why I loved kind of like the brand we built. Well, cool deal, man. Well, I’ve had a blast chatting with you.
So we do have this little thing that we do at the end, we ask for the four pillars of REsimpli, which are sales, marketing, data, and apps. And we want to kind of get your one thing. If you could just do one thing in those four categories, what would be your advice to a fellow investor?
Bryan Driscoll 46:37
Pick one of the four categories?
Brandon Barnes 46:38
No, I’m going to ask you one thing for each category.
Let’s do it!
Brandon Barnes 46:44
So for marketing, what would be your one piece of advice for marketing? Let’s say a newer type investor.
Bryan Driscoll 46:49
Start doing it?
Brandon Barnes 46:50
Start doing it.
Bryan Driscoll 46:51
Don’t think about it. Start doing it and start doing it. Really? If you can’t afford it, do something real small. Go buy door hangers. You can buy like 250 door hangers for maybe $100. Start really small and just do it. That’s my number one advice. Get out there and take action.
Brandon Barnes 47:07
Love it. How about sales?
Bryan Driscoll 47:09
Sales listen, talk 20% of the time, let them talk 80% of the time and try to find their problems and care. Give a crap about the person.
Brandon Barnes 47:19
I love it that care about it. And then how about data? What kind of data do you like to see and understand in your business or recommend to other people?
Bryan Driscoll 47:27
All of it. Take the data. What I would say, if you’re starting out and you’re an investor, track your KPIs intensely. And what I would do is track your KPIs back to the time that the lead came in. So a lot of investors will say, hey, you know what? It’s April. I just had a huge month. And they count that for April. Track the lead source back to the attribute it back to the first day it came in and always look at your mark and be like, no, that’s a November deal. What was I doing in November? And track it back so you can try to replicate where they came from and do it that way on your KPI sheets.
Brandon Barnes 48:00
Smart. Because everybody focuses on the month they made the money. Look at the month the lead came in.
Bryan Driscoll 48:04
Brandon Barnes 48:05
And then from growing your business operational standpoint, obviously yours. You have a digital one. What do you recommend? People that are trying to create systems and whatnot in their business, they start doing.
Bryan Driscoll 48:20
So for systems, I use Trainual, and I still have problems with this because we grew really fast and we’re still growing. But what I’ve found is have zoom meetings with your team over Loom meetings a lot. You’ll get a lot more out of that. Record them and record things. Whenever you’re explaining it, record it once and put it into Trainual, or wherever you want to store it so you don’t have to train again.
And then also we just started using predictive index. When hiring people, try to put processes in to try to get the right people in the right seats versus bringing people in and then finding out three months later. Predictive index is cool because it’ll kind of give you a little bit about their personality and how they’re built to see if people are built. Everyone’s built for a role, and if you get the right person in the right role for them, they’re going to crush it. And the right person in the wrong role, they’re not. So try to find out what that role is for that person and put them in the right place to start.
Brandon Barnes 49:15
Key right people in the right seats.
Bryan Driscoll 49:19
Brandon Barnes 49:20
Awesome, Bryan! Well, where can people find you? Where can they find your company? Like, where can they reach out to you?
Bryan Driscoll 49:25
Yeah, sure. So you can find me. It’s motivatedleads.com. And we also have for the newer investors, a Facebook group called Flip Club, like Fight Club, but it’s for Flip.
Brandon Barnes 49:35
Got you. Awesome, dude! I appreciate it! And we’ll definitely connect about some of this Facebook and some of this other stuff as well.
Bryan Driscoll 49:42
Sounds good, man! Thanks for having me!
Brandon Barnes 49:44