Episode #17 – A Free Lead Generation Tool for Wholesaling Houses
Welcome to EarlToms podcast. Today we’re going to give you a free way to generate leads and build your build your brand that the majority of you are not using. I’m not really sure why, but it’s, but it’s free. And it’s offered by Google. And it’s called Google My Business, the little map section that you see whenever you type in anything on the internet shopping, we buy houses, any anything that’s got to do, they try to give local relevance to small business, you know, in those map results. So for whatever reason, a lot of a lot of wholesalers don’t know utilize this.
A while back they had a massive suspension of these listings because a lot of people were using them in a fraudulent way. Just And duplicate some of them and just trying to keyword stuff. So if your business was, you know, Baltimore investors, people were going in and creating listings, we buy houses in Baltimore Sell house fast Baltimore, things like that, instead of just using it the right way. So they did up my suspension, not just with with wholesaling, but across across the board with a lot of their listings in different industries. But this Google My Business, like I said, is the map results. So basically, what I’m going to do is tell you how to get it set up, how to get it verified, because you will have to verify it. And then once you do what you do after you after you get it verified, then they say it’s active or it’s approved. So like I said, it’s called Google My Business. GMB for short. You’ll find it in that little I think there’s nine dots in the in the right, top right corner. of your whenever you log into Gmail and whatever gmail account that you want to use for it. Once you click those dots, you’ll see a listing down that, you know, other Google services or whatnot. And I think it’s the top right result right there. But there’s also a free app that you can download on your phone, which is what I use most times other than going in and editing the the actual listing itself. And I’ll explain how to use the app in a little while. But the first thing you need to do is click on that, that I can honestly as Google My Business, it’ll have like a little blue storefront looking thing on it. Once you do that, it’ll, it’ll ask for the for your company information. It’ll ask for a phone number website and address all of those things. And then once once you get all of that filled out, then it’ll say where would you like your postcard delivered. So that’s how they that’s how they verify it is they send you a postcard to the address that you list. If you don’t have a storefront, you cannot use a post office, you cannot use a UPS box, they will suspend your listing and you will not be able to reactivate it. So, what I will tell most of because a lot of a lot of wholesalers work from home, use your home address, let them send it to your house because what you’re going to wind up doing afterwards is just using a service area. So you’re going to basically tell Google that it’s not a show up to the office type business that you travel to the location, which you actually do. So when you get in there and you and you put in your home address and you get the postcard you put in their little pin number. You mark your service area. So the cities and the counties that you work, you need to type that in to the service area. So that it’ll, it’ll tell Google Hey, show me in these results. Now, what happens, what happens after that is you’ll see a big kind of circle on your listing for every city, you know, it’s just gonna draw a boundary around it for every city or every county that you list. And that’s, that’s gonna, hopefully get you in the results. Now, there are certain things that you need to do afterwards that will help. But getting a getting a Google My Business is the easiest way to get some relevancy to get to the first page of Google, because a lot of people will shop that Google My Business map listing versus scrolling through all of the different results on Google because no one’s going to page two.
So most everyone One uses investor carrot for their website so you were not able to actually do a lot of your own technical things with your website. I would I would actually recommend everyone get a website get on Upwork it’s not hard it’s not expensive I paid $250 for model Upwork fully integrated I can send the leads to podio to Active Campaign through zaps. You’ve got certain little plugins on there that will actually tie into it. So you don’t even need to use apps with with some some of these things. Your your website developers will know what what plugins are best for it, but to have someone else control your business, I’ve never agreed with that. If investor carrot went out of business tomorrow or they had a problem with their servers or something like that. You have to wait for them to fix it. And you don’t have any control over it. So It’s, it’s running your business effectively. I know they do a decent job on their SEO. But eventually Google is going to figure out that it’s not all unique content. And they, they actually penalize duplicate content. Because all investor care does is basically changed the city in the name of the business, the state, what you work, things like that. So eventually Google’s going to figure it out. And everyone that’s been written, the website is going to be hurt, their business is going to be hurt. So I would recommend everyone just go and get your own. Pay your $10 or $20 a month to have it hosted whether you’re getting a hosted with GoDaddy or whoever it is, it’s still cheaper in the long run to control your own business. But like I said, once, once you get get on this, get in this map, pack, they call it it’ll put you on the front page. You may not be in The top two or top three, but you’ll still be in there because a lot of people are going to just that, Hey, where’s my local business who’s local here because a lot of people don’t want to deal with these national chains, you know, that are showing up in results. So whenever you’re in there and you’re, you get your you’re setting your your listing up, you basically put in, like I said, Put in your address, where wherever the postcard can come originally, but if you’re working out of your house, just use a service area. If you do have a storefront, then use it. If you’re using some sort of, well, they call it virtual offices to where you can just have mail delivered do not use that either, because Google already knows which one of these offices is a virtual type office and they’re suspending those two. So just do it the right way. Because like I said, if you if you violate their terms of service, you’re going to get suspended and you’re not getting better. So that’s that’s going to want to hurt your business in the long run. But when you get on there you put in your information, you know, you’ll you’ll have a way to this basically like setting up everything else. What does your company do? give a description about it give a tagline, give your phone number, your website address, things like that. So they have a a way when you get on there, it’s gonna be site.business.com forward slash, and then it’ll be a bunch of numbers if you don’t change it. So if your company is called Baltimore investors site.business.com forward slash Baltimore investors. If you’re if you will, we buy houses Baltimore, then you know site.business.com forward slash, we buy houses, Baltimore, whatever is available, just play around. Within say, what, what’s available for that area, because that in some ways is going to tell Google when somebody searches at your name, a keyword, whatever it is for your area to put you in those results. You don’t have to do that. But I would recommend you do that.
Another advantage of having it is whenever you see the little tabs on their listing that gives you the choices – call, website directions and message you can turn messages on, because I get a lot of people from there that’ll just send a message. It’s almost like a text message and it shows up as a notification from the GMB on your cell phone. So they’ll say hey, do you buy such and such in this area? And I can reply back I do. You know, feel free to call or can I have your number? I’ll call you and we’ll discuss it what not like that. It’s a lot of people are getting To the point to where they get so many postcards and things like that, that the ability to kind of interact before you do business with someone is becoming popular. So whenever your own whenever you’re setting up your Google My Business, turn on the the messaging part of it, so that you can start receiving the little notifications. And then I would compare really to like Facebook, hey, somebody commented on your post, and you see that notification. So you can go and reply to it when you want to, you know, it’s not a direct text message that comes to your phone. So it, it actually helps because it gives you that interaction up front, while somebody is trying to determine who they want to do business with. The one other advantage of doing this too. And I do this in my automation email sequence because I’ll use my tags to where you know if it’s active, under Contract closed. Once I once I move it to closed, my automation is triggered to send the next email. Hey, give us a Google review. Currently, the company has a 4.8 on Google review, there’s only one four star review. No three to one reviews. And the only reason there’s a four star on there is because the, the guy that bought his house had another finger and he sent me a message and apologized as soon as he did it, because he didn’t he didn’t catch it until after he had done it. So it things like that can happen but when somebody is going in and they’re looking in those map results, you see the reviews in there. So if you’ve got a high review and you’ve got a lot of reviews, that gives somebody the confidence that you do business the right way, your trusted your brand is recognized, previous customers have rated you and said you do a good job, you can borrow the house, things like that. And instead of a woman, go look at the Google results, and then click somebody on a search. And I don’t know anything about them. I’m just hoping that they can do what they say they can. So it helps your brand. Build that trustworthiness from previous customers to be able to do that. Now you don’t have to set up an automation, I would tell everybody to do it. But once you close on something, you actually have a little a little tab inside the Google My Business listing that you can go to every single time to say get more reviews, and it’ll give you a link. You copy the link and it’ll you can send a text or an email or what I always send the text if if it if it’s not in the automation. Actually, I send a text anyway just to try to get it because a lot of people don’t read emails and do things off of emails. So I say In the text when I close on something anyway if I can remember, and that’s typically how I get my reviews is through the text instead of the email but it’ll say Baltimore investors would appreciate a review. Here’s the link click on it, you know, something like that. Whenever you copy that link, it gives you a good, it gives a shareable message I guess, along with it to be able to get that review. What you can do and how I use the the GMB that actually helps establish that that I do this is I actually post the pictures of of the houses that are bought with a little description and like a little hash tag that goes along with it. So I may say this is a recent purchase and Denver hashtag We Buy Houses Denver, something like That, you know, retail to tell Google there’s a way that you can geo locate the picture. So if you have an address, and you know how and you know, it’s kind of complicated, so I’m not going to get into it, and I don’t do it. But if you know, if you’re if your technology savvy, then you can go in and basically tag that picture to its exact location within the Google My Business so it knows. So if anybody searching in that in that neighborhood, it’s gonna pull that picture up. It’s gonna pull your GMB listing up because you just did business where that location was tagged. It’s called geo tagging. But you need to be tech savvy to be able to do that.
Now don’t have to do it. But you can do it and it will help if you do it that way. You can post videos on there so if you get a customer that has a video testimonial about you, you can put that on there to let you know visitors see it before they click on your website call you or you know send you a message. It’s a it’s kind of a unique, unique thing to do. You can also what I do is post your deals, because it gives you enough because they’re trying to get people to convert over to Google Shopping. So they give you a place to where you can post deals on there. So if I’ve got a house that you know, none of my typical buyers won’t upfront front. I’ll put it on there with the price, you know, things like that and just see if see if I can get it sold that way. I haven’t ever actually sold anything using that. I don’t think a may have not 100% sure, but it adds relevancy to that list. So even though if you sell something or you don’t sell something, it’s still adding to the relevancy of that listing because it’s saying, Hey, we sell houses.
So when somebody goes in and says Sell house fast there, that’s part of the key word. And Google uses synonyms a lot of times so when you go in and you rank for we buy houses, they’re looking at the synonym and saying, okay, we’ll sell house fast is the is similar to we buy houses, so we’re going to rank that website, or that GMB for the same terms. You also have something in there is almost like a mini blog. I mean, you can use it as a full blog. It doesn’t really have any character restrictions on it. But, you know, once a week, once a day, something like that, you go in and say, This is what’s going on with our business.
Some people use it of we’re headed out to Denver today to look at a house if you need to sell your house, give us a call while we’re out here, you know something of that nature. Some people go in there like I said and issues many blogs and do updates of we bought five houses last month or one house last month we need more, you know, just something something that gives your the people that are going to be looking at an idea of what you’re doing.
So it combines almost social media with a website for business. So it’s I mean, it’s almost like they figured out their their Google Plus wasn’t going to work. So they incorporated a lot of the Google Plus stuff into their Google My Business listing. So you’re getting you’re getting that social media slash website feel in your in your GMB listing and it like I said it As it helps brand loyalty, it helps build some some trust with customers before. They’re going to do business with you and it and it lets them kind of get a connection to you by seeing what you’re out there doing with your posts and your pictures and the videos.
To be able to just to get a feel of your business you can in order to actually increase your SEO on the back side of it. There’s a there’s something called an iframe. And a lot of people know how to embed a YouTube video. Well, you can also go embed your Google My Business listing on your website, thank you can do this with investor care, I’m not positive. If you can’t, that’s another reason to go develop your own. Because what embedding it, it’s going to give a map with your company name on it, you know, on that map, on your website. So what that’s actually doing is is telling Google, this Google, my business listing belongs to this website, because they’re sitting there looking at, they have these things called nap. So you know, let’s say that you’ve got a listing on Yelp or you’ve got something with the yellow pages.
That’s called NAP. They’re trying to figure out how many like if your citations, your nap is not the same. So if you’ve got different addresses across the board, it’s not going to help you. It’s actually going to hurt you. So if you go when you tell Google that this Google, my business listing belongs to this company, this website, this address, whatever it may be on your website, that’s going to help your organic search results too. And they’re going to start pulling in some of the keywords that are actually on your website. So if you started out ranked fifth element on the GMB listings You know, once it once they have a little time to kind of go through your website and see what’s going on with your website, then you’ll start increasing your your rankings on the map listings. So when someone’s searching, we buy houses Baltimore, instead of you being fifth and then having to click More locations, you may be second or third, maybe even first. So now, they’ve already they’ve got the button in front of them. Go to website immediately because they can already see your reviews, your ranking right there on that on that miniature section, that preview. But they also give the ability to call or visit the website right there. So it’s just an easy free lead generation doesn’t cost you anything except time to be able to do it.
You have an option. I don’t know if a lot of people would want to do it. Bigger companies may but they’ll ask only Their website around the GMB listings was an appointment URL. So if you use a kalindi, or something of that nature, you can let customers just basically get on there and set appointments directly from there without even talking to them. That’s an easy way to gather their information because when they set an appointment, they’re going to have to give their phone number and their email address with their name. So you’re going to be able to call them and get some more information, find out whether it’s actually a deal or not. But lead generation wise if you’re even if it’s not a deal today, and you can get them in the automation. It may be a deal in six months because you’re capturing their information.
Like I said, it may not be for everybody because you may get 100 appointments a month, you might get none, you might get 10 It depends on in your area, but if you don’t have a system that will actually allow people to schedule appointments, you don’t really need to put an appointment. Blank on there. You just need to leave, leave that blank. So you’re not you’re not confusing anybody. But I would probably say half of my leads come in from this maps section because it’s right there, right under the ads. Most people aren’t really clicking ads anymore for whatever the reason for this business because a lot of your national brands will run an ad. They’re looking for more local people that are next to them. Businesses, especially right now with the with their Coronavirus, people have a heightened sense of responsibility to local small business. To try to keep trying to help them and keep them in business so you have more focus going to local small business right now then then you probably have and last couple of years but but go and look at at the Google My Business like i said if you’re online if the you’ve got nothing nine dots in the top right corner of Google’s main page, so google.com you’ll need to be signed in under whatever email you want to use or associate with that listing. But once you see that you just click on the Google My Business tab and set up your listing but do not use post office, UPS, virtual even if you’re at home, use that address to verify Denmark a service area and I thank you You can do 15 to 20 different combinations of like, like cities and counties. So if you put on there your top 13 counties, I mean top 13 cities and then wanted to use two counties or you wanted to just do all counties. If you want to do states you can do states as well. But what I would I would use it more for for local, not a we buy houses in Colorado, California and Nevada. That that’s not really going to help you because the Google My Business is geared for local business, not national brands. That’s that’s how they try to help but go take a look at it. It’s free is not going to cost you a single thing ever. I mean, you can run ads from your Google My Business, I wouldn’t recommend it but Go get your listing and then figure out a way to embed that listing onto your website. So that Google knows these two go together. Because once Google realizes that these two go together, it’s actually going to start pulling up your your organic. So if you’re on page two or page three and results first, you know a key word. It’s going to start pushing you up. So you may wind up being on the first page afterwards. Because the more Google sees that’s consistent, the higher you’re gonna rank in the organic and in the Google My Business so check with investor carrot, see if see if that’s possible. If it’s not, again, think about going to Upwork and getting somebody to design your website. It’s it’s not a hard now technology is so good. I mean, the website I used to use Gravity Forms. Now I use a an asteroid thing with an element or, I guess add on.
I don’t have to do anything to it. And even if I wanted to, I can’t even find my forms right now that are basically universal. But it’s all really a drag and drop. Do I want to put text in this area? Do I want to put HTML? Do I want to have a call to action? So every time I put another blog post on on the website,
I basically have it pre formatted. Because I’ve done it so many times. I’m just dragging and dropping and filling information and copying and pasting for the most part. So it’s, I mean, it’s just gotten so simple that it doesn’t really make any sense not to do it, and to pay somebody $50 to $100 a month. I mean, you can get these websites for $300, $250 in my case, all from places like Upwork.
If you spend $100 a month on investor care, you just basically spent $1,200, which is going to be four times the amount of money that you would have spent total for your website. Now you may update it as technology changes and things like that. But to rent it makes no sense whatsoever. You’re paying more for it. It’s the same principle. I’ve told you from day one. gurus just want you to come back keep spending money, business long term is controlling it for yourself. So if you can spend 200 even if you spend $500 getting your website developed and set up with a hosted and everything like that, you’re still half expensive as you would just pay him for a single year for investor care, or any of these other websites. So reduce your cost by controlling your business but that’s the that’s the Google My Business. It’s free is easy, doesn’t take a single better tech technology knowledge To set up and to run, you can, you know, if you wake up in the morning, drinking your cup of coffee put on there, we’re going to such and such today to look at a house to buy. If you’re, you know, if you’re if you need to sell your house, give us a call. We’ll be glad to come by and look at yours to hashtag. We’re buying houses in Denver, I mean, get your relevancy out there, build your brand. let customers see that you’re that you’re trustworthy, and let the rest take care of itself. But that is a free way to get you on the first page of Google that you just it’s too easy to pass up. So if you could get leads for free, that should be the goal. Just make sure you do everything the right way. You’re not violating violating any other terms of service. If you’ve got any Any questions about stuff like that? Google’s always got these I need help buttons. So read through them to set them up. But other than that, set your Google My Business, it will take you about two weeks to get your postcard in the mail to verify, set it out and just start running with it. embed it on your website, tell Google they’re the same company. And you’ll you’ll start increasing your search search results and and get more leads free. With the Google My Business and through organic if you do it the right way.
With that we’re gonna we’re going to draw it to a close utilize every free possible way that you can to get leads because you never have a deal problem. You always have a lead problem. It’s a numbers game. So the more leads you have, the more deals are gonna close. So free pay whatever it is. Get leads. I prefer the freeway, because that increases my bottom line. I think everybody wouldn’t would prefer the freeway. But Google, my business is probably the best freeway of online, relevancy visibility that you can that you can find, Facebook, Twitter, all these other places. They’re not going to give you the leads that the Google My Business is going to give because people are still looking for businesses, not social. So you can run ads, you can have a Facebook page, those kind of things. But when you’re over on Google in the maps as a legitimate business, people are more inclined to click on on your listing or call you or send you a message, even schedule an appointment if you activate that, that part of it. With that, we hope you’ve enjoyed this episode. It’s a one of those episodes to where we’re trying to get you away from the gurus because truthfully, there’s no need for them. Everybody’s going to learn through trial and error. You can do this business in an inexpensive way. But like I said before, the more leads you have, the more deals you’re going to close. So enjoy this free lead generation, set it up the right way. And keep it maintained, updated. And you’ll start you’ll start seeing yourself in that in that map pack to where you’re not having to pay for SEO or anything like that. People are just clicking on it and saying buy my house, or please buy my house.
We’ll see you again in a couple of weeks.
Go set your go set your Google My Business up today as soon as you as soon as you listen to this episode.