The following transcript could literally change your real estate career. It is quite lengthy (about 17 pages). I highly recommend that you print it out and read it carefully with a hiliter pen in hand.
At always, we’re committed to your success,
Audio Transcript – Internet Coaching Call with Stephen Raitt and Craig Proctor
10 Steps To $1 Million On The Internet
Welcome. My name is Steve Raitt. I’d like to take this opportunity to congratulate you on taking a giant step towards achieving a greater level of success in your business than you can possibly imagine. This program spells out everything that you need to know to bring your business to the Internet, and could be the key to the million-dollar breakthrough your business has been waiting for!
Before we begin, I’d like to quickly explain how this program was developed.
Several years ago, I had the good fortune of being introduced to Craig Proctor. Craig is an extremely successful real estate agent in a small suburb of Toronto, Ontario. In every year since 1995, Craig has sold over 200 homes and earned in excess of two million dollars in commissions. What’s amazing is that by most standards Craig only works part-time in real estate and even has time to run another highly successful business as well. Yet, every single day, Craig generates an average of 47 sales leads. How does he do it? He uses an incredible HIGH INCOME / REDUCED EFFORT SYSTEM that has customers banging down the door to do business with him, making him one of the most sought after sales gurus in the world.
In 1998, Craig asked me to use my Internet marketing and technical expertise to design a web site that combines the amazing direct response marketing elements of his system with the most cutting-edge Internet marketing tools to better service his clients. And, at the same time, systemize the web site so that his best students could implement it in exactly the same way.
How did we do? Well, in 1999, Craig used the Real Estate Success Website that we designed to generate more than $250,000 in additional commissions. Over 50% of his leads will soon come from his web site leading to commissions in excess of $1,000,000/year.
At last count, over 1,000 realtors from all across North America have implemented the very same Success Website system with equally amazing results. And now our system has been customized for many other types of businesses.
During the two years that it took to perfect this Success Website system, I’ve investigated and studied the strategies used by thousands of businesses on the Internet – from very large corporations to the smallest local businesses. I’ve compiled an entire filing cabinet of insider secrets and strategies that these people don’t want to share with anyone. It took me weeks to sort through the best of these strategies and compile them into 10 easy to follow steps that any business owner could implement in any market. It is remarkable just how simple most of these strategies actually are.
We recently brought to together Craig and many of the contributors to my research for a conference call where I revealed all these closely-guarded secrets and the 10 step process. We had a pro there to tape it all, creating this program. It’s been edited to keep the meatiest parts and lop off the fat.
I know for a fact that many of the participants on this call are experiencing million-dollar breakthrough’s in their businesses just by implementing the simple strategies revealed.
One last thing. I’d like to stress that the information presented in this program is applicable to nearly any small, local or regional business. Although many of the examples presented deal with selling real estate, the overall process and specific steps are the same for any local business.
So, without further ado, let’s get started…
Craig: Hello, how is everyone today? This is Mr. Craig Proctor. And is Mr. Steve Raitt with us?
Steve: Sure am.
Craig: Mr. Steve Raitt is the Internet genius. Steve, tell us a little bit about how you first got involved with the World Wide Web, and then how we hooked up and what we’ve been doing. And then what I’d like to do is I’d like to ask some of our memberson the line that have the Quantum Leap website to share some of their successes. And then we’ve got a whole bunch of stuff that we’re going to talk about here today, to take you to the next level.
So Steve, why don’t you give us a little bit of your background to get started?
Steve: Okay. My background, I’m a computer software engineer. I also have an MBA in marketing. Essentially, for the last 10 years, I’ve had my own software business called ConsulNet. I originally started out developing corporate software that we sold directly, using direct response techniques. And we’ve been involved doing that type of thing for about 10 years.
About mid-1990s, when the commercial Internet was starting to take off, a lot of our software ended up moving to the Internet and we started developing corporate websites. And again, with the idea of taking direct response to the Internet and using the Internet to its full capability.
I would guess it was 1998 that Craig and I met. And we were essentially approached to see what we could do to not only develop a site for Craig, but also make the site so it was replicable and build in some features so that we could take the Quantum Leap System to the Internet.
Since that time, we’ve seen a real explosion in both the number of people that are using the site and the success that these people are having. It really isn’t uncommon for me to hear now that there’s people making a quarter million dollars a year just from their website, in addition to all the other commissions they’re bringing in. In some cases, it’s actually moved to where people are doing as much as half their business from their website. I think that these are certainly goals that everyone on this call should be striving for and hopefully succeeding.
Craig: Thank you, Steve. When we first started out, and Steve is just a little bit modest, he was marketing using the website way back when most of us had never heard of the Internet. So he was one of the pioneers. I’ve always prided myself on trying to be innovative and being ahead of the pack. So when I got involved with taking all of my concepts and methodologies to the Internet, I wanted to make sure that I hooked myself up with somebody that was sort of like-minded, that was aggressive, that was innovative, and that was cutting-edge.
Now, when Steve and I first started looking at what I was doing in the newspaper and on postcards and on other mediums, and we started talking about transferring all of these ideas, concepts and methodologies to the Internet, like he mentioned, we always had in the back of our mind not just building something that Craig could use, but making it duplicable. Making it easy for everyone else that was in our coaching program to have the exact same website, and therefore the exact same success.
I know that we have on today’s call, we have some of you that are making $100,000, maybe even $200,000 specifically from leads that you’re generating from the website. I think as we become better marketers, as we become better at cross-promoting the website, we’re going to learn how to generate a ton more traffic. Because what I hear over and over again about the Quantum Leap website is the following: Once a prospect gets to your website, they can’t but help themselves to leave a trail, to raise their hands.
So if we know that’s the case, if we all accept that on today’s call, that once a prospect arrives at, looks at your website, most of them are compelled to raise their hand and leave you a trail.
Then the secret becomes how do you get more people to look at your website? How do you do a better job at cross-promoting the website? Steve has faxed me up here a couple pages, actually 10 steps that he wants to talk about today, and how we can accomplish better results. Some of you are doing so well and I’m getting testimonials from you on a weekly basis saying, “Wow! It just keeps getting better.”
Steve: We are going to go through this step by step. And it’s sort of the first time we’ve done that – laid it all out in a way that’s step-by-step.
Craig: You called it an Internet roll-out. What do you mean by that?
Steve: When you’re talking a roll-out, you’re talking what are the steps in putting your site together. Obviously, step one is you have to develop your website. And obviously, what you want to do in step one is put direct response together.
But as you move up from step one to step two, step two is make sure you’ve got a follow-up system in place. If people are actually going to your site and actuallyresponding to you, you better have a way to follow up on them or you’re nevergoing to make…
Craig: We’ve seen agents making the same mistakes with follow-up, whether you generate a lead through the newspaper, a postcard, television commercial, or through your website, you’ve still got to follow it up.
Craig: But you’ve got some specific things to help out there?
Steve: Right. As we progress through the 10 steps, there’s different ways to get into promoting your sites. But essentially, the idea in a roll-out is to proceed through the 10 steps so that you’re not doing the things in step 9 that may cost you a little bit of money to do until you’ve got all the other things in place which didn’t cost you any money.
Craig: Why don’t we do this. Why don’t we have you take us through that roll-out? Step one right through step 10. Of course, we’ll have opportunity for members to jump in and ask some more questions.
Steve, why don’t you proceed with your 10-step roll-out, and we’ll stop from time to time and give our members opportunity to ask you questions?
Steve: Okay. Well, back to the first premise, the whole idea of what we’re talking about is we want to go through what you can do in a step-by-step fashion to make sure that you 1) develop a proper website, and 2) promote it properly to get to the point where it is successful.
I’m a little bit excited about this, because it’s the first time we’ve actually sat down and put it all into a very step-by-step format to make it so that anybody can succeed doing it.
So starting off, step one. And step one is extremely important. You have to develop your direct response website. Now, that’s the key. Direct response and using direct response properly is the key to step one. The Internet offers a non-threatening and hassle-free way for people to gather information. But if your website isn’t hassle-free or doesn’t use direct response, people won’t contact you. Generally, people do not want to be sold. They do not want to leave their name. So unless you’re providing them with tangible benefits and reasons to do it, they won’t. It’s as simple as that.
Craig: So you’ve taken care of that. You’ve identified that most real estate agents have image-type websites and image-type advertising, period. There is no direct response. You’ve designed a site that once people are there, they’re going to respond. You’re going to generate a lead. So that’s a given for everyone on this call. We’re there. We’ve purchased the Quantum Leap website. It’s totally different than 99% of the other websites out there by virtue of the fact that it is direct response.
Steve: The key to it is, one of the things as a web developer that we’re constantly striving for, is when you develop a website, there’s a concept called “top visitor response.” And what that essentially means is what do you want someone who goes to your site to do? What is the top thing you want them to do? Typically, I think most real estate agents would say, “Okay, I want them to go to my website. When they get off my website, I want them to send me an e-mail that says, ‘Come over and list my house right now. I don’t care what the commission rate is. Just come do it.’”
Now, realistically, most people are not going to do that. Occasionally, you will get someone that sends you an e-mail that says, “Come list my house.” But more realistically, the goal should be to get people to identify themselves and hopefully pre-qualify themselves at the same time. A good direct response site and the Quantum Leap site, what you’ll find is depending on what information they request, it is pre-qualifying. Typically, someone that’s filling in a request for a freeover-the-net home evaluation, you can be pretty sure 1) they’ve got a home,and 2) they’re thinking about selling. As Craig said, that’s a pretty qualified lead.
The idea is to use all the best direct response. The Quantum Leap website has essentially taken care of that. It provides multiple compelling offers. It uses proven copy and headlines, makes big promises, uses guarantees, makes it easy for people to fill in forms and provide the information you need, and it includes strong calls to action.
The real benefit is, by using the site, you’re leveraging all Craig’s materials and you’re getting a site that uses direct response and is continually improved, and always has the latest and greatest stuff on it.
Craig: Alright, what’s step number two?
Steve: Well, step one is totally for naught. Having a great website is next to useless if you don’t have a good follow-up system in place. So you better make sure that once you’ve got your site and getting leads, that you’re actually following up on them. You have to make sure that you’re checking your e-mail. You have to make sure that you’re adding the names and e-mail addresses and phone numbers into your contact management system. You make sure that you’re calling the prospects back. I’m continually hearing people say, “Well, can’t I just use an auto-responder to send people the report they request and leave it at that?” And the simple answer is, “Yes, you can do it, but I guarantee you, you’re going to lose a lot of business if you’re not making a follow-up call.
A lot of the people, someone that’s requesting a free over-the-net home evaluation, the odds are if you don’t give them that quickly, a week from now they’ll have probably listed their home with someone else, and you won’t even have had an appointment.
The way the over-the-net home evaluation works is “I can’t really give you a fair evaluation without coming and looking at your house.” So the key is to use a prewritten follow-up script to help establish top-of-mind consciousness. Craig, maybe you could just give us a quick example of how you follow up on those and what your phone script sounds like.
Craig: Well, if it’s an over-the-net home evaluation, what I’ll do is I’ll have my assistant pull off a computerized CMA, a printout of all the homes that have sold in the area. The first thing I get her to look for is the old listing when that person bought the house. Because if they bought the house a year or two ago, I can pull up that old listing. I have all the details on the house. I know what it was listed at and what they paid for it. So it becomes relatively easy to give them a pretty good idea of what their house is worth, because I know what’s happened with the marketplace in the last year or two.
Regardless of whether it’s easy for me to assess the value of the house or if it’s difficult, my objective is always to try to get in the door. Before you do that, you want to determine motivation. So I’m simply going to say, “Hi, it’s Craig Proctor. I received your e-mail request for the over-the-net evaluation and had a couple more questions.” Because they’re always wondering why you didn’t just e-mail them the information back. So I’ll ask them a couple more questions about the house. And then, “You’ve indicated that you’re going to be selling within the next six months. Are you going to be staying local or moving out of the area? When do you think you’ll be listing your house? I can give you much more specific figures to what your home is worth if I can drop over and have a look at it. When would be good, tonight or tomorrow?” And boom, I’m in the door.
I don’t know how many times I’ve done that, but again, we’re getting three or four of these every single day. I will make hundreds of thousands of dollars from leads generated directly from the website this year. That’s up from last year. I think next year will be better.
Steve: Right. And then certainly, the holy grail of follow-up is you’re really trying to develop your referral network. You’re trying to get people’s names and e-mail address, and you’re trying to get those e-mail addresses into an automated e-mail follow-up system. The automated system is so important, I’m going to actually leave that to step five and we’ll get back to that.
At this point, having gone through steps one and two, you now have a good direct response website and you’ve got a system in place for following them up, tracking the names, building your database. Step three is the one that everybody falls down on.
Craig: And it’s the easiest thing.
Steve: It’s the easiest one of them all. Essentially, you want to supplement everything that you do, all the current marketing that you’re doing, with your website. So the golden rule is you want to put your website address on everything and you always want to include a tag line that provides a strong and compelling reason for someone to visit your site.
So the first thing we say to do is put your website on your stationery, on your letterhead, on your business cards. But if you just put your website address, that’s not good enough. You want to put something along to the effect of, “For a free over-the-net home evaluation or for free information on buying or selling a home, absolutely with no obligation, visit www.CraigProctor.com.”
Craig: Now, it used to be, maybe at a certain point many years ago, that if you had a website address that might have been enough to do it, because not everyone had one. But today, when everyone has a web address, it’s like everyone has a phone number. So simply stating your name and your phone number would be like renting a billboard next to a busy highway that has your name and a phone number, and no benefit.
Steve: You want to use your best USP’s to do it. If you’re doing a guaranteed-sale program, “Your home sold in 90 days or I’ll buy it for cash. For details, visit www.CraigProctor.com.” And it’s as simple as that. You have to always tie a benefit to the website or it won’t work.
So you start with your stationery, your letterhead, your business cards, correspondence. Anything that you send out should have a note or a PS that says, “If you want more information, there’s all this great stuff, there’s more on the web,” with your website address. Your telephone, voicemail message should have something in there that says, “If you’re simply looking for information, sorry I’m not here. If you’re looking for information, please visit CraigProctor.com. There’s new information, free reports, and all sorts of good things there.” Add that to your voicemail message.
Listing signs and sign riders. One of the best things to put on a sign rider is, “View this home on my website.” Put your website address, and you’ll be surprised the number of people that won’t… certainly people on the same street… that have no intention of going in and looking at the house will go, they’ll pick up your website. They may have a friend. They’ll use some of the viral marketing techniques, and they’ll e-mail it to a friend that is interested. And by doing that, you’ve made it easy and you’ll generate more traffic.
The whole thing with all of these things is it really doesn’t take a whole lot of extra effort. Like I said, for $5, you can put a sign rider on all of your signs. It’s free advertising. Everybody that lives on that street or drives by that house that has any interest in all of buying or selling real estate, all the nosy neighbors are going to go to your website. And you can bet the guys who are interested in finding out what that house looks like and how much it sold for, find out what the house down the street sold for, you can bet that they’re pretty good candidates to be selling their home in the next little while.
Craig: Good stuff. Just think in terms of anything that you do, whether it’s a property ad, whether it’s a For Sale sign, a postcard, a bus bench, you should be cross-promoting your website and giving people the option of either using your hotline or responding via the Internet.
One of the things that I purchased about a year ago were 10 benches, bus benches around town, that don’t just have www.CraigProctor.com, but they have the benefit attached to that. You’ve probably heard me say that before. But obviously, you don’t want to just promote your web address. There’s no benefit for the prospect to visit your website. That would be like me running an ad that said, “Craig Proctor,” with my phone number. That would not work. We know that. So you have to have a benefit, a direct response component.
All you need to do to understand which ones will work is if you turn to your home page and you look at some of the stuff we’re offering on the home page, like distress sale and bank foreclosures, CraigProctor.com. Or buy a home with no money down, CraigProctor.com. Or free, quick, over-the-net home evaluation, CraigProctor.com. Those are the types of things my benches all over town say. And then I do the same thing with billboards.
In fact, Steve, I just faxed you down an ad that’s coming out in tomorrow’s paper. What I got to thinking was when prospects look at my home page, when they actually visit my website, we pretty much established that they can’t help but raise their hand and ask for some of this information. So I thought, “Well, I’m going to design an ad in the newspaper that basically just looks like my home page. So that’s what this ad said. The headline says, “On-Line Real Estate Information, www.CraigProctor.com.” Then underneath it, verbatim, I’ve just copied off exactly what people see when they go to my home page. And that’s what we’re going to be testing in tomorrow’s paper.
So there’s many creative ways. Probably the most least expensive way promote traffic to your website is using sign riders. I know I was talking to Brian this morning, Brian Moses. He said that these little sign riders cost you about $5 a pop. They’re working so well, he’s got two of them on each sign. So everyone should be doing that. Everyone should be, at a minimum, on all your print ads, you should be including your website address. Not just the address, but a direct benefit to go to that web address. And the same thing with all your sign riders. If you use billboards or benches or outdoor advertising, the same thing. Even on your business cards. Everything that you produce needs to help you direct traffic to that website.
Karl: Hey Craig?
Karl: This is Karl. Steve’s people added a nice couple of links when they view your homes for sale. There’s one where they can click and e-mail that house to a friend.
Craig: I really like that.
Karl: I’ve been getting e-mails, about three or four every couple of weeks, people e-mailing my houses to somebody else.
Steve: And of course, when we do that, they’re not only e-mailing it to the friend, we’re also copying you as the agent as well. So that’s how you get to see it.
Karl: I didn’t know what it was at first, until I realized that the message each time was the same.
Steve: That’s actually a technique called “viral marketing.” Or essentially, everything you do, you try and promote the idea of getting you to e-mail this to a friend. Or if you think a friend is looking to buy a home, sure, forward it on to him. And you make it as easy as possible for him to do that. That’s actually step four in this roll-out that we’ve got. What you’ll find is if you are using the Quantum Leap website, you’ll actually see that a lot of the steps are done for you. It makes it really easy. So when you get through the actual roll-out, you can actually start doing things. You’re up doing step eight and nine kind of things. But that’s probably because in the most part, step one, two, four, five and six have been done for you.
Craig: Is Brian Moses on the line? Brian was going to try to make it. He’s not in this coaching group, as you know. He’s in our grad program. But I was talking to Brian this morning, and Brian’s done something pretty unique. I know a lot of you have heard about it. But he got his affiliates to do is to contribute to pay for a lease. He bought himself a yellow lovebug, that’s all painted up with “Zero down,” and “Move up to one of my listings, I’ll buy your home for cash.” And he’s got his website address all over this yellow lovebug, which one of his assistants drives around town.
He’s done a wonderful job with sign riders and tiny classified ads. You see, the success is not in the website itself, because we’ve already proved that that’s successful. So your success becomes your ability to be creative, your ability to cross-market and generate traffic to the website.
Steve: As I said, there’s all these things as part of step three. Essentially, you want to think of all the things you can do. You can do the same thing on your billboards. If you’re doing Talking Houses, make sure you’ve got teaser copy about “See the home on the web.” Or if you’re printing flyers for homes, put one side with the house information, print the back. Do what Craig did. Take a screen print of your website and just put that on the back. It’s a great way people will go to your website. They’ll see all the great stuff on there, and they’ll be jumping all over your site.
Step three is absolutely key. There’s a zillion things that every agent can do. Anything you do, put your website on it and tie that tag line to it.
Craig: What’s number four? What’s step four?
Steve: Okay, step four is another step that is essentially taken care of with the Quantum Leap website. We like to call it “viral marketing referrals.” Once you’ve got your website out there and people…
Craig: It sounds like a disease.
Steve: Well, essentially, it is. The idea is that you want to leverage all the promotion that you’re doing, so that if I go to the website, let’s say I see a house on my street but I’m not interested in looking at the house. I see the sign rider that says, “View this home at ArizonaHomeSelling.com.” In all likelihood, I know my brother is looking for a house. He loves my street. So I’ll just go to Karl’s website. I’ll see the button “E-mail this to a friend,” and very quickly, it’s so simple for me to do, that I’ll do it. I don’t have to pick the phone up and call him. All I have to do is type in his e-mail address. And I don’t even have to worry about it. It’s gone. Karl’s going to get an e-mail message, so now he knows that not only did I see it, but my brother saw it too. He can follow up with my brother.
Craig: That’s a good listing tool.
Steve: If he’s smart, he’ll follow up with me, as well, and say, “Thanks.”
Karl: That’s a good listing tool, and I haven’t been using that. But I’m going to let people know that not only do we place their house on our website, but it’s easy even if they’re not interested in the house, if they know of anybody that’s interested in their property, how easy it is for that information to be forwarded on.
Steve: Well, even better than that, imagine a situation where I bought the house or my brother bought the house. What’s the thing that he can do now? Karl can explain to him or anybody could explain to him, “Okay, you just bought the house. Here’s a quick way to show all your friends the new house you bought. Just go to this thing, type in their e-mail address, and you can fire off the view for a friend, and it will go off to all of your friends.
The idea is you’ve turned one person who saw the listing selling into a whole pile of people that all possibly know someone that’s buying or selling a home or interested in the street. It’s a fantastic way. So we call it sort of, as I said, a virus. It spreads from one person to another without any work on your part. All you have to do is lay the seed.
Karl: If I get a hot listing and I know the e-mail addresses of a few of my prospects that may be interested, I can just go in there and do it myself.
Steve: Yeah, exactly. All these features you can use yourself. So it’s a very quick way to do it. Again, one of the things that I know you’re continually teaching people is right at the listing appointment, one of the best times to make people aware to get referrals is to basically say, “Look, you can do this on the site yourself. If you think you know of anybody that might be interested, why don’t you go in and pump their name in?”
Karl: Yeah, tell them about it, why they love it.
Steve: Tell them about it, why they love it. Tell them about it, because they’re the people that are going to have their radar on for other people that are buying or selling homes.
Craig: Any questions on that one? Viral marketing.
Steve: The other thing that’s happened, the other way you do viral marketing is in your newsletter. You make sure you have something in there that says, “Please forward this on to a friend if you know anyone that’s interested in buying or selling a home or if my services could be of use, please forward this e-mail on to your friend.” And, of course, at the bottom the other message it’s got in there is, “If this has been forwarded by a friend, here’s how you can sign yourself up.”
Again, the idea is that the one little bit you do, everything builds on itself automatically.
Craig: Like if you get one or two transactions a year from this, it’s built it. It didn’t cost you anything.
Steve: It’s amazing. It really is. Something as simple as the sign rider with a thing that says, “View this home on my website,” with the proper viral tools built into your site to make it easy for people to e-mail it to their friends, it can be a real windfall.
Craig: It’s also a big listing tool, as well.
Steve: It’s huge. Certainly, in your listing presentation, it’s something you should be promoting.
Step five is opt-in e-mail. Now, e-mail is the Holy Grail, as I said before, of what you’re trying to do on the Internet. You’re trying to establish a list so that you can send out relevant information, which are the reports and requests that people want, such as the Insider Real Estate Secrets Revealed, which is essentially an automated follow-up where they’ll get a new report every two weeks for six months after they sign up. You want to build a list, automatically send them an automated newsletter as well as automatic notification that it’s there every month, sent out by e-mail to all the people that are in your “stay in contact” list.
Again, it’s something that gets done automatically and you don’t have to do anything about it. So you know you’re getting a newsletter sent out to all these people every month, without even following up.
The key with a newsletter is you have to watch. Because if you’re sending a newsletter to your whole list every month, the vast majority of your list, after they buy a home, they’re not necessarily going to be interested in real estate information anymore. So your newsletter should contain information that is relevant to people that aren’t necessarily in the market at that given time.
So for example, you may convey in your newsletter a list of the top ten home improvements to increase the value of your home. Something that anybody with a home would be interested in, not just people that are looking to buy or sell at that moment. A way to save money around the home is another example.
Caller: And the insider course is good for buyers or sellers, correct?
Steve: That’s correct. Each issue has essentially two articles in it. One for buyers and one for sellers.
Caller: Steve, is the newsletter going to be changed every month?
Steve: The newsletter will automatically be updated each month. And each month, there will also be an automatic notification that will go out to all the people on your list that will say, “My latest newsletter is online. Here’s what’s in it. Visit www…”
Caller: And we can put ourselves on and get a copy, too.
Steve: Oh, absolutely. I recommend you put yourself on all of it. Why not? You’ll know it’s there. The information is going to be very generic, but it’s going to be targeted in such a way that it’s of interest to all people. There will probably be three or four articles in each issue. The one article would probably be very specific to buyers and sellers that are active, but the rest will be very generic. So it will be of interest to just about anybody.
Caller: I’ve got a question here. Is Craig still on the line here?
Craig: I’m still here.
Caller: Craig, the Market Watch Newsletter, is there some way we can maybe even do that? Because I know I send it out myself. If the Market Watch News letter was somewhere on here and then that was automatically e-mailed out to clients and prospects and buyers and sellers.
Craig: Absolutely. That’s what Steve and I are working on. We’re trying to make it easier for you guys to keep in touch and not to replace the phone calls, but to help plug the gaps in between the phone calls so the prospects are automatically going to e-mail you or call you when they’re ready, even if by chance you forgot to or couldn’t make the phone call.
Steve: The other thing is by doing it automatically, if you build in the step four with all the viral marketing tools, your list builds itself. It really does. If your list can pick up five or six extra names every month just because you’ve got some viral stuff in there, that’s great. Over the long term, that’s going to be a lot more business for you.
Craig: We better move to step six.
Steve: Okay, through step five, most of the stuff is done for you with the Quantum Leap website. Other than step three, which is essentially you cross promoting and supplementing all the stuff you’re doing, there really isn’t a lot of effort required yet.
Step six is where we start getting into very specific Internet strategies. Step six is specifically search engines. Now, as I said earlier in the call, to do search engines properly has gotten to be extremely labor-intensive. It’s very expensive to get it done properly.
Craig: You need to hire a full-time guy to keep on top.
Steve: See, what happens is there are a lot of submission services. World Submit and Pro Boost are a couple. We also do search engine registration for all of our clients. But typically, the registrations that are done in this way and what these submission services do is they basically take your pages, they’ve got automated software that submits your site to 1,000 search engines, and it basically goes off and does it.
The problem is in order for you to get the top position in each area, and a lot of the search terms are very expensive, what you find happening is if you’re advertising Arizona real estate, there will probably be 50,000 real estate agents all trying to get the same search term. When you do get to the top, someone will just copy what you’re doing and bump you. It’s very difficult to stay on top and there’s so many search engines, it really is a tough nut.
If you’re looking to get into hiring a really good search engine consultant to do it, to recommend the key words, to actually do all the tweaking necessary, I know of people that are spending $2,000 to $3,000 per month to get good search engine positions.
The problem is you really start competing with some really big firms. Like for example, Arizona real estate. Who else is interested in real estate? Well, a company like Home Depot, they have full-time companies. They spend probably $50,000 a month just doing search engine registrations that target real estate terms.
Caller: So what’s the answer? How do you deal with it?
Steve: The answer is you should be doing the registrations. In a lot of cases, something just as simple as having two companies do it may help.
Craig: As I said, we do the search engine registrations. Karl, for example, used World Submit at WorldSubmit.com. It cost him like $95 or something. And they’ll submit it again for six months to all the same engines. That has helped his positioning. So you want to register, but you don’t want to waste a lot of time.
Steve: The real bottom line on it is that any company that tells you that they will get you a top position, they’re either going to charge you a lot of money for it. And the companies that have cracked the search engines, they don’t sell services anymore. They actually sell clicks. So what they do is they actually go out and they will register Arizona real estate that will point to their company site, and they’ll forward the leads to you and you’ll pay them for each lead that you get.
Caller: So what you’re saying is anyone that’s got this figured out is not going to be satisfied with a flat fee. If they know what they’re doing, they’re going to charge you per click.
Steve: They’re going to charge you per click or they’re going to charge you a lot of money. It is very labor-intensive and it’s not uncommon, as I said, for companies that really want to rely on search engines to pay $25,000 a month.
Caller: That’s not really realistic for small businesspeople.
Steve: Right. It’s not. So all we really say for step six is you want to do it. You want to try to supplement it. You want to try and get yourself into the major engines.
Craig: It’s inexpensive to do it.
Steve: Yeah, don’t blow your brains out, don’t rely on it.
Craig: It’s not going to be a big jackpot for you.
Steve: Step seven is something that everyone can and should do. There are search engines out there that work on a pay-per-click basis. The top search engine that does that is an engine called GoTo.com. What GoTo does, essentially, they auction the search engine positions. For example, if you want to advertise real estate, say you want the term “real estate,” which I would recommend that nobody try and get, I think to get “real estate” the top position is probably like $1.25 per click. And you basically pay them money, and every time somebody clicks on your link and goes to your site, you get automatically billed $1.25. Obviously, you don’t want to do that. It’s a lot of money, and you don’t want to waste it. But certainly, you can regionalize. You can put “Arizona Homes,” “Phoenix Homes,” “Scottsdale Homes,” and all the little neighborhoods that someone like Karl or whatever in your neighborhood are, you can go and you can register those terms. And what you’ll find is for the more regional terms or the smaller terms, or even your neighborhood terms, you’ll find that you can probably get clicks for as little as a penny. That certainly is a good way to do it.
(Ed. Note: Since this call was recorded, GoTo.com has gone out of business. But the description still applies to other “pay-per-click” search engines, like Google’s AdWords. Read on. — Steve)
Craig: What you would figure out, I guess, is what percentage of prospects that visit your site actually end up leaving you a message, being a lead, and your conversion rate. If you have ten leads, how many of them convert to dollars?
Craig: And then you could figure out how much you’re willing to spend on a click.
Craig: Everyone follow that?
Steve: It’s interesting. If you go to GoTo.com, you’ll see how the service works and you’ll see each click, it tells you exactly how much they’re paying for it. If you search for it, you’ll know. You’ll find out what their approximate value of a keyword is. You can start off for as little as $25, and you can be paying as little as a penny a click. It’s a very inexpensive way to generate some extra traffic.
Now, there is not just GoTo. There’s probably 20 or 30 search engines that work the same way. You can go to a site called www.PayPerClickSearchEngines.com. That’s PayPerClickSearchEngines.com. There’s a whole list of them. The same strategy that works on GoTo will work on all of these other sites as well.
Craig: Does everyone understand what we’re talking about here?
Caller: I’m not real clear on it.
Craig: Okay, what you can do is you can go to a site like GoTo, and you can pay per click. Let’s say, hypothetically, for example we’ll take Karl’s case. Let’s say that Karl knows that every 10 visitors he gets to his website, one in 10 are motivated to leave a message, to leave a trail. So they fill in their address to receive their special report. And he knows that maybe one in three messages or leads that he generates results in a commission of, say, $4,000 to $5,000. Let’s say $5,000. He has to generate 30 clicks to make $5,000. Do you think he can pay a lot of money to get a click? You take $5,000 and divide it by 30 clicks, you can pay a heck… I’m not a mathematician, Steve. Maybe you can figure it. What’s $5,000 divided by 30?
Steve: The simplest way to understand it is if you go to GoTo.com, type in there… So I just went there right now. I typed in “Phoenix homes.” It brings up a list of the number one listing under Phoenix homes says, “Find your dream home today.” And it says, right underneath that, it says the cost to advertiser is 16 cents. So anyone that clicks on that link… I could click on that link right now. I just did. And that guy just got charged 16 cents. But you can guarantee the number one position under Phoenix homes by spending 17 cents. But you’re not necessarily restricted to one search term. So you could do Phoenix homes, you could do Scottsdale homes, you could do Phoenix real estate. It might even get down to Phoenix distressed properties or Phoenix foreclosures.
You can actually check on GoTo. They have an inventory of keywords on the site, so you can actually find out, if you type Phoenix homes, it will give you a list of all the similars, how much each of them cost, and how many people clicked on that site. They make it really easy for you to register a whole pile of different terms.
I think typically, you should be able to find regional search terms that are certainly under 20 cents, especially when you get into the smaller suburbs. You type a the suburb name of Phoenix, I guarantee. What’s a small suburb of Phoenix, Karl?
Karl: Mesa, Tempe. They’re not small, but they’re the suburbs.
Steve: Well, here you go. This is perfect. Phoenix homes is 17 cents. Mesa homes is a penny. So you spend two cents, number one, on Mesa homes. There’s only two other people bidding, and they both bid a penny. Once you see how it works on GoTo, GoTo makes it real easy. But once you see how it works on GoTo, you can go to these other PayPerClickSearchEngines.com and they all work the same way.
Craig: If you’ve got confidence in your website, if you have confidence that when prospects get to your website that a high percentage of them are qualified, and they’re going to respond and you’re going to generate a lead, then it makes sense to pay per click. Where you would not want to do this is if you had an ineffective website, because you have lots of visitors but nobody responds. We better move to step eight if we want to get finished.
Steve: Okay, step eight is one everybody likes. It’s joint ventures and affiliates. The idea with this is you want to get your best affiliate partners to pay for as much of your website as you can. So you want your mortgage broker and your title company and your attorney. What you can do is you can put links to them on your site. Home warranty, painters, contractors, landscapers. And you want to get them to pay for your site for you. Typically, you want to choose partners that are well-known in your area, that provide good services, advertise locally, that have a website themselves. If they’ve got a good website, certainly get into doing things like trading links.
The idea is that you can essentially charge them for advertising on your website.
Craig: I’m looking at Brian’s right now. You go to BrianMoses.com, he’s got home inspections, he’s got real estate appraisers. He is getting paid either $3,000 or $5,000.
Steve: There’s two ways to get paid for doing this. The first way is you can charge these guys a fixed fee. So you can charge someone $50 a month or you can charge them $100 a month or $200 a month. The second way, and what Brian’s doing, which is really interesting, what he does is he says to his mortgage broker, “Look, I’m going to put a link on my website for you. What I want you to do is pay me whatever you think it’s worth each month. So he’s letting the mortgage broker actually decide.
Craig: Yeah, that was interesting. He played poker. Instead of approaching the mortgage broker and saying, “Here’s what I want,” he said, “What would it be worth if I linked your company to my website?” The number that the mortgage broker came up with was a lot higher than what Brian was going to ask for.
Steve: I think his mortgage broker came back and said, “I’ll give you $ 1,500 a month.” Basically, the guy’s paying what he thinks the value on the business that Brian’s getting him. He’s charging it as advertising. He’s got four or five. Actually, I think he’s got seven or eight actually now. He’s got guys paying him $3,000 to $5,000 per month for advertising on his site. So his website’s making money for him every month regardless if he sells a home or not.
So that’s step eight, basically doing joint ventures and affiliates. It’s partnering up with the people you’re already working with to help one pay for your site. But the other thing they will do, if you’ve got partners that have websites, it’s another way to get traffic from their site to yours. It makes it easy for them to recommend you, which is what you want to do.
Step nine is typically the paid links and the banner advertising, where you’re going out, you’re finding the top sites in the search engines in your areas. You’re then approaching those sites and saying, “Okay, where can I get a link and what’s it going to cost me?”
Craig: Karl, tell us a little bit about what you’ve been doing and some of the ways that you’re promoting and some of the links that you have now to your website that’s really helped this thing take off for you.
Karl: I initially decided that somebody out there was spending a lot of money to get a lot more people to their site than I was, and I wanted to find out who they were and link to them. So I ran a search on Phoenix, Arizona. The top two websites, one was AZCentral.com and the other is AZFamily.com. AZCentral.com is the Arizona Tribune, the newspaper in Phoenix, their website.
Craig: If I can interrupt for a minute, how did you know that these were the top two websites?
Karl: Well, when you run a search, they showed up first on the search engine.
Craig: Okay, does everybody understand what Karl did? Using the search engine, he finds out the most popular two websites as far as traffic in his marketplace. And then what Karl did, it’s so simple, but it’s so genius. Share with everyone what you did then.
Karl: Well, I e-mailed them and asked them if I could link to their site. AZCentral wouldn’t do a straight text link, but they gave me a web page on their site that linked to my web page, which was fine. That costs me $190 a year. I can put as many of those web pages in different areas of the region. So for about $700, $800 a year, I’m in about six regions on their web page, which drives people to mine.
But AZFamily, this was the better one. AZCentral.com gets three and a half million hits a month. AZFamily gets about two and a half million hits a month. But they were willing to sell me an exclusive text link on their news page, which is where most people from the area, if they want the weather or they want movie information or anything, people that live here, they set up a direct connect to that site. So that’s their second highest hit page. Their home page is number one. But for their home page, they wanted $1,800 a month for a text link. When I thought about it, I thought, “Somebody living in Phoenix is not going to go to their home page. They’re going to go right to the news, weather and movie page.” So I bought a link there for $400 a month.
My lender and my title company, because they advertise on my website, what they give me every month to pay for it, my hits went from 2,000 a month to this month, 15,200.
Craig: Can you just share with everyone how you know how many hits you’re getting on your website? Because I’m not sure that all of our members know how to do that.
Karl: You just go into your control page on your Quantum Leap website, and click on the “site statistics” link. And it will give you a report. The report is updated the last day of every month, so I just ran mine the other day, and I had 15,273 hits. But more importantly, I had over 2,000 visitors, 2091 visitors, which means 67 people a day are visiting my website. And last month, we had 70 report requests off the website.
Steve: Each report request is essentially a lead?
Craig: Karl, the leads that you’re generating, how would you rate the quality of these leads? Are they as good as the type you’d generate from the newspaper?
Karl: Every bit as good. In fact, in some cases better. The neat thing about it is that right on the website, they’re giving me their phone number, their address, everything. They’re putting it right on there. So all I have to do is pick up the e-mail, print it, give it to my assistant. I don’t need to go back and check my transcription or anything. It’s easier. The neat thing about it is that text link that I generated, AZFamily is doing all the work with the search engines for me.
Craig: You’re piggybacking on something that’s already successful.
Craig: And they keep it successful, which means they keep you successful.
Karl: They’ve got a lot more money than I do to spend for their TV station. And they’re driving thousands and thousands of dollars. The text links on their home page, Dodge, for instance, pays $15,000 a month for their text link on the home page.
Craig: Okay, so what advice would you have for other people on this call?
Karl: Run a search in your city. Run Philadelphia.com or Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Do a search on it. The top two or three search engines that come up, contact them and see if you can get a text link.
Craig: Okay, Steve, is there anything you want to add? When we’re looking at a report, is there anything else that we should be looking at other than number of hits and unique visitors?
Steve: The big thing is, obviously, you want to look at unique visitors. How many people are getting to your site. It’s a good gauge of whether you’re actually, in Karl’s case, whether what he did is effective. The big question is, Karl, of these 70 people you are getting, how many of those are you going to turn into deals?
Karl: We did five last month off the website. Five deals.
Steve: So there’s right away…
Craig: What’s your average commission? What does that mean in dollars to you?
Karl: The average commission is about $3,000 to $5,000. Say $4,000.
Craig: Okay, and you did how many? Five?
Craig: So about $20,000. The cross-marketing is paid by your affiliates, so it’s costing you what, $150 a month to write $20,000 in business?
Karl: Well actually, it’s not costing me anything. They’re paying everything.
Craig: Your affiliates are paying it all?
Karl: Yeah. So it’s free.
Steve: It’s not hard to do, but it takes a little legwork up front. Doesn’t it, Karl?
Karl: Yeah. You have to e-mail the people. And if they don’t respond right away, you have to try to get phone numbers. But once you’re done with it, you’re done with it. And now they’ll contact me.
Steve: You’ve sort of linked step eight and step nine together, and you’ve got someone else paying for it. And it’s generating lots of traffic and lots of business. It’s an easy strategy that anyone can do. The trick is you’ve got to negotiate them. And all you’re really looking for is if you get two or three good links up there, as Karl’s done, you’ve got lots of traffic.
Craig: That’s the biggie. What I would take away from this call for people that haven’t done any of the other steps is step nine. Go to the search engines. Find out who’s at the top and do exactly what Karl did. Approach them and try to find affordable links, and then get your affiliates to pay for it. It’s a no-brainer.
Karl: The amazing thing, both webmasters told me they had never been approached by a Realtor for an exclusive link. They would have given it. Nobody had ever asked. And I think that your people, the guys in the other cities listening to this, you’ll find out the same thing. Nobody’s ever asked.
Steve: Finally, step 10. Step 10 is getting out and replicating what you’re doing. So at this point, you’re looking at getting extra domain names. You’re looking at copying your site into a FSBO version of your site or a foreclosure site. Once you’ve done that, you can do the same strategy that Karl’s done with number nine, but you can do it with each of your different websites. Domain names are cheap.
Craig: Some of our grad members are doing a good job. Like Adam Robinson in Florida, he’s got like zerodown.com.
Steve: He’s got Sarasotaforeclosures.com. He’s got Sarasotaforsalebyowner.com.
Craig: Right. Distress sale and bank foreclosures, and then he’s got Sarasotaforeclosure.com. Anything to do with zero down.
Steve: But essentially, additional domain names cost $35 a year. They could all point to the same website, and we set that up for you.
Craig: Hypothetically, you could have a domain name for everything that you pitch.
Steve: Exactly. You could have a domain name for each neighborhood that you service. I believe, from the last time I talked to Adam, I believe he’s got 10 or 12 domain names that all point to the same website. What he does in some cases, they can actually point to a specific page within your website. So Sarasotaforeclosures.com may go to the “VIP buyer” page specifically designed for foreclosures and distressed properties.
Steve: There’s any number. Buyahomeforzerodown. There’s zerodown. There’s Sarasotazerodown can go to the “buy a home with zero down” on your website. And all that is called URL forwarding and it’s easy to do.
Craig: We have a question.
Caller: Steve, so these additional domain names, they’re $35 a year you said?
Steve: Yes, they are. If you go to ConsulNet.com, you can actually go onto the left side and there’s a link there that says, “Register additional domain names for your site.” And if you click on that, what will happen is you basically just give your credit card information. You can do a search to see whether the name’s available. You can try any number of names you want until you find one you like.
When you register it through that, it automatically gets set up on our server, so there’s no delay in making… A lot of times, if you do it somewhere else, there will be delays in transferring the domain from one ISP to us or to someone else. So if you do it there, it happens automatically. And then all you have to do is send us a quick note that says, “Can you please set up URL forwarding to have this page transfer so it all points to my home page” or have it point to a specific page. It’s very easy to do.
Caller: What are some of the domain names that Adam has? Do you know that?
Steve: He’s got, as I said, Sarasotaforeclosures, Sarasotaforsalebyowner. And then what he does is he actually runs specific ads. Like he runs foreclosure, distress-sale properties editorial-style ad. At the bottom of it, he doesn’t even publish a phone number. He just has it go to Sarasota…
Craig: He doesn’t want the phone to his hotline. He wants to direct all the traffic to his website.
Steve: No, he wants them direct to his website. And he actually gets tracking by using different domain names. The different domain names will show up in the reports on the web. So he gets tracking with it as well.
Craig: Just like he would with his hotline.
Steve: Just like he would with his hotline, exactly. So it really is a good system.
Craig: How many of you like that idea?
Caller: That’s good.
Caller: So if you’re doing a classified, like you said, zero down, you could just say, “Zerodown.com.”
Steve: Exactly. Usually, usually, obviously zerodown.com is probably gone. But usually like a Chicagozerodown.com or Phoenixzerodown.com, usually you can find one. It’s not hard to do.
Craig: Where Karl is the exemplifier of step nine, Adam Robinson would be…
Steve: Adam Robinson is step ten. He is doing that. He’s not doing what Karl is doing in number nine, but he’s going out and he runs specific editorial-style ads for each of his domain names. He was telling me they’ve actually got people in his area that call him “the domain name guy.” He probably is running 10 or 12 domain names. Most of them point to his Quantum Leap site. He’s got a couple that point to other sites he’s done. It’s a very easy strategy to expand.
Craig: What are you using, Karl? You’re not KarlTrommler.com?
Karl: No, no. I’ll use ArizonaHomeSelling as my website.
Craig: So if I go to KarlTrommler.com, it’s your site. If I go to ArizonaHomeSelling, I’m going to the same place?
Karl: Well, I don’t even use KarlTrommler.com at all.
Steve: The one thing I would recommend, Karl, is I would recommend that you do register KarlTrommler.com. What we can do is something called URL forwarding, which essentially lets both ArizonaHomeSelling and KarlTrommler would both point to the same website. It doesn’t really cost you anything extra to do it. But the benefit is that, obviously, anything you advertise, you’re going to advertise ArizonaHomeSelling. But the people that you’ve worked with before and are happy and want to refer their friends, they’re going to remember KarlTrommler.com a lot quicker than they’re going to remember ArizonaHomeSelling.
Karl: Good point.
Craig: You know, what we’re talking about here, I guess I would equate this to the tiny details that you would pay attention to when you’re running display ads in the newspaper. We talk about how important it is when you’re running your editorial-style ad to get the positioning correct, to mimic the fonts and the type size, and to very carefully fly underneath the consumer’s advertising radar. It’s all these small little details that make the difference with your newspaper ads. It’s the same small little details, taking the time to do exactly what we’re talking about today, that really separates those, as Karl said earlier, get a half a response a month to generating 70 or 80 qualified leads per month.
We have so many members that are really taking the ball with this and going in different directions. I think that’s the power with the coaching program. We’ve got guys like Adam Robinson doing very unique things like step 10. And we’ve got Karl doing things that are quite unique. If you just take a little bit of all of this and you just did half of it, you’re going to see a huge difference in the type of response you’re getting.
I believe the Quantum Leap website, for everyone on today’s call, can be your number one lead generator. And it can cost nothing. If you’re smart, you reposition this to your affiliates and get them to pay for the whole thing. This should be a huge, huge profit center.
The nice thing about it, like Karl mentioned, it comes to you in a form where the phone number is there, the home number is there, the work number is there, their name is there, their address is there. All the information is there. And now you’ve got an automatic way to follow up with newsletters. The potential with the website, I believe it’s really going to separate the agents that become involved with this from the agents that don’t become involved. Right now, about 25 percent of my business is coming from this. And that’s only going to grow as time passes and more people shop via the Internet.
A year ago, it wasn’t as good. There’s a distinct difference between today and a year ago.
Steve: It’s only going to continue. If you’re moving now to where you’re 25 percent today, it will be 50 a year from now as you start doing more of the steps and more of these things. No one’s saying go out and do all 10 steps at once. But once you’ve got steps one, two, especially three nailed down, then you can spend a little bit of time doing seven, eight and nine as you find time to do it. And it all builds on itself. And eventually, once Karl starts putting into effect some of the other strategies, Karl’s in a perfect spot to be going and doing the pay per click search engines now in step seven. He’s certainly in a good position to be going out if he’s got two good links and that’s working for him, I’d try and get two more. Why not? The more you can do…
Craig: That’s a good point. If it worked once, why not…
Steve: Roll it out as many times as you can.
Craig: Steve, before we wrap it up here, is there anything else that you want to say? Is there a way that our members, if they have specific questions, problems, concerns, success stories, whatever they want to share with you, what’s the best way?
Steve: Our phone number is 1-800-361-9527. 1-800-361-9527. A lot of this information is on our website at www.ConsulNet.com. Consulnet.com. You can always e-mail us. Sales@consulnet.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Craig: Anyway, on behalf of the group, Steve, I’d like to thank you for spending the last hour and 45 minutes with us.
Caller: Thanks, Steve.
Steve: You’re welcome.
Craig: Everybody give Steve a big thank you. We’ll talk to you all in two weeks. And Steve, once again, thank you on behalf of our group.
Steve: You’re welcome.
Craig: Take care everyone.