Lori Ballen: Blogging for Seller Commissions
Guests: Lori Ballen, Daniel Ramsey
Recorded: Jan 17th, 2017
In this webinar, our special guest, Marketing Guru Lori Ballen, will share her secrets and knowledge. Lori discusses why you SHOULD blog, and whether or not you feel like writing is one of your strong suits — you can always find topics you can talk about because all you have to do is pull your expertise. Lori also talks about how often you should blog. Establishing a cadence to your posts is another way to make you a reliable source to your readers. It also helps them keep you top of mind, like Taco Tuesdays and Throwback Thursdays. Your publishing schedule will turn into a habit for both yourself and your audience.
We also discuss SEO, why it’s important and how to optimize keywords. She talks about how these tools can help you boost traffic on your blog and your website and how optimizing these can bring you more commissions.
Lori is well-known in the Real Estate industry for her expertise in brand-building via many channels such as blogging, YouTube, and multiple social media outlets. Lori and her team empower business owners to take control of their marketing platform.
[00:03] (Daniel) Hey, everyone. Daniel Ramsey here with MyOutDesk. I’m really excited because we have a special treat. Lori Ballin has agreed to do a webinar. Thank you so much for being here, Lori.
[00:14] (Lori) My pleasure. Thanks for having me.
[00:16] (Daniel) You know, it’s crazy. So my audience is 11 years old. We’ve helped over 5000 real estate clients. And this topic is really special to me because it’s the one way a real estate agent or broker can actually exit the business, sell it. It’s the thing that builds value for a real estate team, and that’s why we’ve got the best of the best here today.
Now, again, Daniel here, Lori, she’s going to talk about blogging for commissions, which is cool. And we were just chatting a couple seconds ago and I’m like, Do you live in the Sutherland area? And she laughed out loud. And we were having this great conversation because she’s in Vegas. I don’t know anything about Summerlin, but because she blogged about it for like a decade now, I knew the name of her neighborhood, which is hilarious.
So she’s obviously an expert. She spent a lot of time doing this. And we’re just so excited to have you today here. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
[01:18] (Lori) My pleasure. It’s an honor.
[01:20] (Daniel) Yeah. So if you’re listening real quick, we like these to be interactive. We’re live on Facebook. So go ahead and just say hi to Lori. She’s here on video. Looking gorgeous. So just say where you’re from and just maybe what you’re excited to learn today so that we can focus on what would be the most valuable to you.
So and if you stay, like, what’s cool is Lori’s going to demystify SEO and show her strategy for ranking. She says she’s number two. Number two, the real estate website in Vegas, which is a big deal because as we all know, you know, Zillow is out there. Realtor.com, it’s huge. So she’s going to demystify that for everybody. And we’re going to just dove in.
So you’re getting a lot of really good stuff. Looks like we’ve got Valerie here from Georgia. I like it, but thanks. Thanks, guys, for joining us. Lori, thanks again. Let’s just dove in. Mike, why is this important as a real estate team and why do people kind of acknowledge that you’re the leader in this?
[02:32] (Lori) Well, those are two questions. So why is it important? I think I think content creation in general. I mean, I’m doing blogging and video and social media and all those things. But content creation in general is a way to create brand awareness. Brand recognition to show that you’re the authority in an area. So whether or not you’re doing it to rank on the search engines or you’re doing it to share on social media, it definitely creates brand awareness and shows your authority.
And that’s probably the number one reason why I focus on it so much is that exact reason. It’s I mean, every time I get on camera, every time I write a blog, every time I put a social post out that has specific training, education factoid, or something in it, it’s once again just reinforcing that I am the authority.
That’s why you knew I was in Summerland. That’s exactly the reason why I do it. It’s branding, you know. So and that’s why it’s important for anybody to do it.
[03:30] (Daniel) But it’s hard. And I mean, it’s not easy. And you’ve been doing it for, I don’t know, more than a decade. So that’s kind of the interesting thing. Like, why is that been a big factor in your success as a real estate broker agent?
[03:47] (Lori) You know, it’s interesting because I was a direct mail marketer for years and years, for decades before the Internet was here. I’m that old direct mail was everything. Right? And so the concept was, how do I identify an audience? So either your audience is identified because they were built organically following you somehow sphere of influence, friends, and family, church members, whatever it is, or you set out and said, there’s a demographic audience that I want to go target and that’s going to be my audience.
Then it was figuring out what are their challenges, and how do I help solve them? So let me create a product and a message that reaches that audience. Right? And back then it was dragged me out. So I would do letters, intro letters, fliers, all of those types of things, and mail them out. And I knew from as early an age as I could remember that telling a story attracts attention and telling a story.
People start to relate to you, right? They either go the opposite direction and they’re not for you anyway, or they start to like you and follow you and they’re intrigued and they’re curious or whatever. So I was doing this back then with letters, and then we had email come out and now we’re doing sales letters, right? And they’re digital formats of the, of the letter we used to mail out.
And then blogging came around and guess what blogging is? It’s essentially the same thing. It’s, it’s, it’s telling a story. It’s writing a letter. We’re just getting it from differently. So to me, I don’t change anything except the platforms. You know, the way we get it out is a little bit different. But I would still do the exact same thing on social media.
I tell a story exact same thing on video, tell a story, exact same thing on a blog, tell a story even if my story is how to know if you have bedbugs in your bedroom, which is a recent series that I’m doing right now, one, but it’s still story storytelling and that’s what people respond to.
[05:50:21] (Daniel) And why I mean, that’s a funny I mean why that just so people in the audience know I mean obviously that’s a very Nikki kind of thing. Like, why is that one of your stories?
[06:02] (Lori) Well, okay, so for me, there’s going to be some things that are not going to be your average real estate agent. I started blogging about real estate by saying how to sell a house, how to buy a house, how to sell a house during a divorce, and how to buy a house with the family member staging all of the traditional real estate stuff.
Right. And as I started getting traffic and learning what Google wants, I realized Google wanted more than that. So I got really into hyperlocal marketing and really I was a local specialist then my articles started becoming like how to patch up a hole in a wall and you know, those types of things. Well, before I knew it, I had enough traffic to monetize the website and I would ads on my Web site.
Well, bedbugs happens to be a high cost-per-click high traffic item. And I make money when somebody buys bed bugs spray now off my Web site. So for me it turned into something else over time and developed. So it still applies to a real estate website. Everybody wants to know about their home, their house. Yet using house at home applies when you’re building a website.
And if you look at what Zillow does and you look at Realtor.com, they’re just talking about their house, you know, everything from how to dispose of a Christmas tree to changing your air filters to what kind of appliances to buy, you know, how to clean, just all that everyday stuff. So I’m just kind of following that train of thought.
And since now I can monetize it, I look up strategically, which is going to make what’s going to make me money. And believe it or not, bedbugs is one of them.
[07:37] (Daniel) That’s awesome. So you’re making money from this even outside of the real estate space. But what we’re focused here on is a commission for blogging. So break I mean, what does that mean specifically to you and the Ballen method and like what you because you help real estate agents across the country, you have some of our virtual assistants kind of in the background doing a lot of the work, which is why we’re here together today.
But why? Why blogging for commissions and what what what are some of the things like let’s break that down, because that’s really why everybody came here today.
[08:10] (Lori) Yeah, well, for me, seller listings are driven by blog posts, so my listings come from agent agent referrals and primarily from blog posts. We’re not doing a lot of paid anything other than what our software costs and whatnot. So how it works exactly is this and this was not an overnight thing. Everybody should understand that there’s some time to build up the authority and get those rankings up.
But how it works for me, one of my top performing blog posts is what are closing costs when selling a home in Las Vegas. So I wrote a blog and broke down everything that they need to know title and escrow and commissions and yada yada and quickly climbed up the rankings and I started getting all this traffic to that post.
So I have software that shows me traffic and rankings and then I figured out, okay, now I need to find out how do I, how do I get their information? So I toyed with a bunch of offers, you know, sellers handbook and kids, and back when it was short sales, it was easy slam dunk. I took all the short sales, I ranked number one, we closed hundreds and hundreds, but equity was a little bit different.
So I had to get I had to keep testing and measuring until I found what it was. And I wound up putting a home valuation estimation tool. Just a quick little button. Find out what your home is worth in an evaluation. And that was the trigger. That was it. So as soon as I filled that out, then my systems kick into play and we have text auto dealers and all this campaign stuff that Chase is on and as soon as a person responds with any indication that they actually want to sell the house, now my agent kicks in and we go get there, we go get the listing.
So my listings are directly coming from somebody that somebody Googling something that has to do with selling their house. They have a problem. They have a challenge. My blog provides the answer the solution testimony yields, reviews, all of that, of course. And then that’s how we get the listing.
[10:14] (Daniel) That’s amazing. We’ve got Jeremy from Keller Williams Realty, White Plains, New York. Say hello. And we’ve got Greg watching live on Facebook, said great interview. So this this is great because we’re entering the new year that we were strategic about asking you to come and share because this is the one way you can actually by listing leads and it’s really important that everybody understands.
We’re talking about blogging for commission and we’re going to break down how you figure out what to write about, what tools to use to make sure that you’re doing it correctly and what the system should look like. So we’re going to give away a bunch of free stuff. But before we jump into that, you know what we do is we help people in the virtual assistant world.
We help real estate teams. We’ve helped over 5000 people grow their businesses. So right now, if you want more information, this is what’s really cool. MyOutDesk. And boy, we’ve decided to kind of share in helping people. This is the new year. We’re we’re looking for ways to get more listings. The market’s kind of shifting so if you go to my desktop com slash Lori Ballin is that yep Lori Ballin there we go and it’s l-o-r-i b-a-l-l-e-n.
[11:34] (Daniel) If you go there, we’re going to give you a we’re a giveaway, a bunch of free stuff. You’re going to get a consultation from both teams. We put it right here in the in the notes and we promise we’re going to help, right?
That’s all we want to do is help you guys grow. So that’s really important. So go to the website right now, schedule a free consultation. We are going to help you grow your listing inventory. That’s what this is about. That’s all we’re focused on. So, Lori, how do you choose what to write about in a particular area?
[12:07] (Lori) Okay. It’s a great question. So let’s break down seller specifically because this is the world that I’ve seen very few real estate agents actually get into and take seriously. And it’s actually pretty easy when now that there’s a map back in the day, it was okay.
[12:25] (Daniel) Hold on. We were talking about this. Nobody else does it. You’re one of the only people in the country that kills at this y.
[12:34] (Lori) There’s very few, like we said and I think because it part of it is because we live in a world of instant gratification and nobody wants to wait long enough to see the results come in. They don’t do the work. They don’t do the time. And when I started doing Internet marketing in 1992, when AOL said, You’ve got mail, I had no clue, but I was willing to poke the box, test it, push it, whatever.
And over time, now it’s easier for me. Like it is grueling when I start a new project. Like right now I’m doing Pinterest and this is new to me. Pinterest is pretty new, but I think there’s a huge SEO component to Pinterest that is untapped. So I went, Okay, I need to go do this now. It’s grueling right now because I got to make all new boards.
I got to do all new pins, I got to test it, whatever. But I know that if I do the work and I tested and stay with it and not quit 5 minutes before the miracle happens, it’s going to work. So part of it is that people just aren’t willing to do the time they want, easy. They want to paper like, let me throw 500 bucks and see what happens.
But that’s the quickest way to put your money down the toilet, too, because, you know, so that’s part of it. And I’m going to say also that even though people are technologically savvy today, meaning especially the younger generation that’s born with bones in their hands, whatnot, that doesn’t mean that they get SEO and analytics and numbers and all that.
So they don’t want to do it, but you don’t have to know any of that to create content. None of it. You could leave all of that to people like me and my company. You don’t have to know what you have to just create content, right? And I don’t know what your question was, but there’s your answer to whatever.
I started going down another trail.
[14:17] (Daniel) I think it’s good because what you said was, we’re setting the stage for if somebody wants to do this, it’s a way to actually buy listings, like because they’re you can’t buy them. You can’t go put $500 in the pay per click and get listings. It’s just it’s a very difficult, long, tedious process to buy listings. But this is the shortest path to doing that, creating good content, putting websites out there, measuring and analyzing like what’s working and what’s not working.
And I ask the question so that somebody who’s listening can say, Well, this is how long it should take before I start getting results. So that was that’s really the question. Well…
[14:56] (Lori) It depends. That question is loaded because it depends on the person. Now, me, I can get up. I’m insane. I will get up and create 20 videos in one day. I can, I’ll build a website and one day I’ll launch a new company overnight. That is not typical. So I tell everybody it, depending on how well you follow the strategy and how much you don’t cheat because everybody tries to cheat.
It’s you could start seeing some bubbling stop in about six months, but you’re probably not going to start seeing a real return for a year and it keeps going. It’s a gift that keeps on giving afterwards. So this is why people don’t stay with it, because there’s a time thing here for sure. It’s there’s no it’s not like running a Facebook fan.
BLEEP, bleep, bleep. You get Joe Schmo leave, come in. And that’s what people are used to. So there is a map to get there. And as long as you follow the strategy to get there and I’m not sure did you ask me what that map is or that’s.
[15:55] (Daniel) What we’re going to go through it? Yeah, but here’s and in fact, one of our giveaways for anybody who does go to the website and request a consultation is basically your guide 16 topics to write about and something we’re calling the repurpose thing. So I hate doing webinars where we’re not giving more value because everybody who’s listening right now is spending their time.
The only asset that you can’t you can’t get more of. It’s it’s finite, you know, you know, you and I, we know that right now. But I think you made a great point. And it’s really important. I equate because again, we’ve served 5000 real estate companies and we’ve seen good ones and we’ve seen not so good ones. And we’ve seen people just leave the industry right where you get off.
And the difference between somebody who’s doing SEO and not it’s like renting versus buying your house if you want a successful real estate practice. And we were talking about this S.O. building a website branding your company is like owning your own home versus going and paying Google or Facebook or one of the large listing to get buyers who want buyers.
Nobody, nobody wants buyers. I want listings. So that’s why this is important. And that’s why you’re here today sharing all this good value. Paul Johnson said, We love everything I’ve heard. He’s already signed. Oh, wow. That’s amazing, Paul, thanks for that. I love Paul already. He’s my new best friend. Okay, Lori, so let’s break it down for him.
Let’s get into the meat and potatoes. What has to happen to win in blogging? You already said pick topics. How do you do that?
[17:39] (Lori) Okay, so first thing is not pick a topic. First thing is pick your strategy. So for everybody it’s going to be different. There’s actually more ways to blog than you would realize. The old fashioned sit down, grab a keyboard, just type everything out. Isn’t the only way to do blogging anymore, right? So I tell everybody that especially most real estate agents, real estate agents typically are more vocal.
They’re more they can tell you an answer, but they may not be able to sit down and type out the answer. Right. Especially the real people. People.
[18:11] (Daniel) That’s me. Oh.
[18:12] (Lori) Okay. If you can get on video or you can do an audio, you can actually have your blog transcribed and that can become your blog post. Now there’s in the in the giveaway you’re giving the repurposing the blog post. There’s a strategy for how you want to have that optimized, but you can have a virtual assistant optimize your blog post using my formula, it’s not hard.
So if I were talking to James Smith, the real estate agent, and Jane’s a people person and she but she’s never set down a typewriter. It’s a Jane. When you get back from your listening appointment today, I want you to sit down and grab your phone and press the record button and say whatever question you were asked today, what?
How does earnest money work when somebody puts down an earnest money deposit? Do I get that or when do I get that? Or whatever their question is, right? Say the question and then you answer it. Then you have it transcribed. I pay $0.10 a minute to have it transcribed or a software company, and now you have a blog.
And even if you do nothing else, you have an audio that can go on SoundCloud or on a podcast or on YouTube or whatever. It’s embedded on your blog post, and then you have a blog post and you’re ahead of 90% of the other real estate agents in your market.
[19:25] (Daniel) Just for one day.
[19:26] (Lori) Just from doing that. Now you can get on video even better because now you can draw that right on YouTube. It can also be an audio on SoundCloud or on podcast or whatever have it transcribed. You can also hire out writers and there’s all kinds of broker houses and writing houses. Now I talked to people that say, Oh, but I’m nervous about all that.
You have choices, you can review it, you can send things back, you can pick your favorites, you can fire who you don’t like. There’s all kinds of options. You could pay more money for higher level if you want their language to be fancy. I don’t care about fancy. I like it. Simple and to the point. Yeah. And what I do now is I use some simple techniques to go on Google or in my software that tells me exactly what paragraphs need to be written in that blog.
And I send that all to a ghostwriter. Bedbugs. Perfect example. Let’s go back to bedbugs. I didn’t know what to write about bedbugs. So I went to Google and I typed in something like just any question, how do I know if I have bedbugs? Right. And then Google opens this little people also ask box and if you click it, every one of those is a question that you run your graph about.
There’s no more. We don’t have to guess any more. Google tells us exactly what does baking powder kill bedbugs is one of the top things that I write for. I never we would never have thought to write that, but people are searching it. So I made that a paragraph heading in and I just send those all to the ghost writer.
And the ghost writer knows what to write in each paragraph. Or if you are the expert you recorded on your phone, you know, whatever, about selling or buying your house. Then you just have a transcribe and each one of those becomes paragraph and you just go in there and clean them up. So it’s no longer hard to come up with topics we don’t have to guess anything anymore in this day and age.
[21:23] (Daniel) Well, I think I want to point out something that’s beautiful as you’re looking to solve people’s problems. And I think most of our clients and agents out there, they write about themselves, which is a mistake. Nobody cares what Daniel does. Nobody wants to hear about Lori. If you’re buying a home or selling a home. I’m sorry. Lori wants to hear about you, actually.
But if you’re buying or selling a home, you. You have to think about what their problems are, challenges or concerns or the opportunities that they’re trying. And you’ve got to get into their minds. And that’s the biggest mistake we see on blog posts. Right? I’m going to tell them why I’m the best. Don’t do that. Answer their questions.
Talk about their problems, how you solve somebody’s problem. That’s what people want. That’s content that matters.
[22:11] (Lori) What’s piggybacking on that? What’s interesting is there is a spot where you can bring your own talk about yourself, but it’s in the later phases, right? But you can do press releases or all these little news snippets where you’re saying, Lori Ballen just closed a home and Summerlin, Nevada, in the gated community of such and such, it was a 55 plus community.
And here was Lori biggest challenge in the process, and here’s how she solved it. Well, now you’re tying that back into somebody that goes, Oh, I had that problem, too. Oh, okay. She sold out in four days for this much. But how or why? Why was it why was that a different situation than Joe Schmo, realtor or this one?
You can still tie those things in, but you’re right, the blog has to be about them, their problems, their challenges. And would you sit down and think about how sell a house there are the the mistake real estate agents make is they buy or they create these can how to stage a home and it’s the staging at home that everybody is putting out the same stuff.
Now I’m not saying that that’s not good to still have a little library on your website of those types of articles, but they’re not going to rank on the search engines. But if you write about how to sell a house when you have nine cats, that’s going to appeal to people who have a lot of pets in their house.
I know that sounds funny, but these are these are real life challenges. How to sell a house. I don’t know what the word I’m looking for is when you’re a smoker. Right. What are true challenges that people have? Well, that article you’re going to talk about all the things it’s going to take to clear the smell of smoke out of that home.
And you’re not criticizing that person. You’re educating them. You’re informing them, how do I do this? Because they know it’s going to be a problem. They’re not blind. They know it’s going to be an issue. And they want somebody to help them. And they don’t want for the real estate agent to show up at their house, to tell them they want to go dig their own research up first.
Then when they find a specialist now they contact you because you’re already addressing their their issue. You know how to sell a house during a divorce. That’s a huge one. How to sell a house during probate. How to sell a house when you owe more than it’s worth. You know, there’s just so much how to sell a house in a flood zone, how to sell a house with power pools.
Next buyout, how to sell a house where there was a murder. These are all serious things that people search and every other real estate agents. 110 Tips to Save Your House. Like that’s crap. That’s not what they want.
[24:42] (Daniel) Huh? Well, you know why it’s sold is because there are these these content creation houses that they can get 5000 clients paying them 100 or 200 or 500 bucks. And that’s just not going to you know, you need custom content that’s specific to your market. It’s specific to the problems that you solve and how you can actually help people with their dreams, goals, aspirations.
That’s the key.
[25:09] (Lori) The best thing is it as we roll into 2019, as is getting harder and harder and harder and so most real estate just give up. But what’s cool about that, it’s getting harder and harder and harder is that people like us that do the work, that actually understand what is quality content for the user are rewarded. So it’s actually a benefit to us that it’s harder because less people get in, less people try less, people keep going, everybody’s giving up.
I keep hearing CEOs dead, CEOs dead only to that person because they didn’t understand how to pivot and what was required of us today. And there is a formula for success with this, and you got to be consistent and disciplined and purposeful and creating it. Right? It’s not hard. It’s consistency is is and specialty consistency and specialty is your key.
[26:01] (Daniel) Those are the two things in the strategy part. Okay. Now let’s jump in to what we talked a little bit about renting versus owning your home. Right. You’re CEO, you’re your main website, renting versus owning. But I want to also, you know, point out the only way you can ever sell a business or build any assets is through a database.
And you had some specific thoughts about why when you build this SEO funnel that drops into a database and then you’re you’re interacting, why that matters. Why does that matter?
[26:33] (Lori) Well, as the only generation is nothing without having a great follow up system and a way to cultivate, cultivate those leads. And I did a poll not long ago asking real estate agents what their biggest challenge was, and I was shocked at how many said they don’t have a database or they’re not using it. A lot of people have gone out and bought the bells and whistles and they’re just not using the database.
And I was mentioning to you that this is something a virtual assistant actually can do, is fill in the gaps and the holes. When you put somebody you’re a real estate agent, you’re busy, you’re running from one thing to the next. You should be able to grab that contact or it funnels in through your database from your CEO.
Throw it in there really quick and then you’re your virtual assistant should pick up from there and put in their Facebook and their LinkedIn and their email and their whatever. Add a tag, boom, everything’s firing. They’re getting text these listings that I get off of these blogs would never, ever happen if my database didn’t pick up the second half and start doing the things that it needs to do.
And I have had. Bates who’s with your agent, said her name is Everybody’s Going To Want Her and she’s mine. I am one of the Vas with your company. She she has always she does other things now, but the database has always been hers to make sure that she she helps track she tells us where the leads are coming from.
She helps put them on their correct campaigns, send them home searches. So anything that our our database doesn’t do or didn’t didn’t do automatically she would come in and do. And that’s one of my favorite uses of a virtual assistant, always has been helping having them help in the database because that is your gold mine. And I sold a company, by the way, for millions of dollars that I built in the night in the sold it in the in the nineties.
And it was because we sold the database. Now we had warehouses and trucks and catering equipment and all kinds of stuff that they also bought the database was that was the gold and that’s what they value. And on also recent divorce, I had to get my businesses valued and the database came into play. What are what are these repeat clients worth?
[28:37] (Daniel) Well, and that’s what I wanted to slow us down and just make sure, you know, if you’re listening to this and like I don’t know if I can do it for a whole year. I’m not sure if I have the tools. I don’t have the people. That’s what we’re talking about right now. We’re setting the expectation it’s going to take years for this to really pay off, but it’s going to be very valuable.
Number two, you need leverage. You absolutely need somebody to make sure that these leads drop into a database, because it’s the one thing that as a real estate agent, you’re actually building value it. We don’t have assets, we don’t have inventory. We don’t have a plan. We’re a sales organization and the database is the thing that is valuable.
So if you’re here right now and you don’t have some of these pieces, we want to help and it’s really important. Just jump on our website and get the help you need. I mean, I have we have a database person that is a virtual professional for us and she’s phenomenal. She helps hold our leads accountable. She helps hold our salespeople accountable.
When a lead comes in, I want to know how fast we talk to them, right? I mean, Lord, this is a huge area of opportunity for real estate people. You’re shaking your head. You’re like, yep. If you’ve been in real estate, the biggest challenge is getting your agents to follow up with the leads when they come in and you need help making sure that they’re accountable.
Right. I mean, you know, this.
[30:01] (Lori) We have so I custom built software, I use Infusionsoft and my marketing company. We’re actually Infusionsoft developers now, partners and I built in a system exactly because of what you just said, because we could not get the leads enough. And I had 15 people on my team at one time. We had round robin all the leads, and I’ll be darned if they still weren’t calling within the few minute requirement.
So we built in an auto-dialing text email system so that no matter what happens right out of the gate, that lead is getting contacted. Then the VA comes in. What are the blanks? Where do we need to fill in? Whatever hasn’t automated it or manual? And I personally believe that as real estate continues to shift and I do believe we are in jeopardy of our industry by what’s happening.
I’ve talked about it before as this continues to shift and grow and I think 2018 is going to smack everybody in the face really hard for people that are in their database. These are the ones that are going to survive. What’s about to happen with all these portals taking over and selling your house online? So there should be I have a scoring system and my VA help through this.
I have a scoring system. So if somebody buys a house for me and let’s just say it’s a $5,000 commission, they get a score of 5000. If they refer me to somebody else, whatever that commission meant gets added to their score. So at any time, I know who my VIPs are, who are the top people that are referring me business is they should get logged on the most instead of just a birthday card.
They’re going to get brownies instead of whatever. Like these little touches. That’s your VA should be doing that, helping you every time you close the house, give them a score. What was the transaction if they send you a referral? You know, I became one of the top referral partners in Las Vegas for that same thing. Every time a real estate agent with some referral, I’m in the database, we’re sending them brownies, we’re making a note, I’m assigning a score.
I want to make sure I remember them on their birthday on Christmas or whatever it happens to be. And that stuff that you 100% I’ve had a virtual assistant involved since we since we found you. Anyway.
[32:09] (Daniel) What’s funny, I so I’m helping one of the top teams in the nation and we’re looking at their marketing spend. Right. And they were spending some money on their database, but they were buying more leads than they were spending on their database. And this was a team that is like in the top ten. And I’m like, okay, so and if you’re listening right now and you’re an agent, it doesn’t matter where you are in this trajectory.
What Lori just said is the secret sauce. And I see it time and time again dripping love on the people who actually give you the business and actually refer you, and then just being in touch with them on a regular basis. It’s a rocket ship. When you do that. And instead of buying leads, giving people help you like build a real business, give them value, figure out what they want, and then give it to them.
We’ve got a couple questions. And I couldn’t I couldn’t. I mean, I’m looking at their Excel spreadsheet of all the leads that generated and how much money they spent on it. And I was like, Oh yeah.
Not the dollars on leads that suck. Yeah, this is what we’re talking the.
[33:20] (Lori) Feed their buyers agents or their seller’s agents instead of. I got I know.
[33:25] (Daniel) We’ve got a question from Suzanne. Is there a method or approach to reposting a blog post created by another author? That’s a great question for you.
[33:36] (Lori) Yeah, Suzanne, it was very good question, actually. Great question. Right. You want your content to be as original and unique as you possibly can, so you don’t just want to create a website that’s a bunch of fun content. You’re just regurgitating what everybody else has already said. However, there is a way to do it where you can use somebody, somebody, an article, an ad.
I would not ever paste their whole article. I would take excerpts and add your expert commentary, you know, so there’s an article put out about the Las Vegas real estate market and about the housing. You know, maybe it’s about the boom or about the short sale decline, whatever happens to be. And I pull out excerpts of the article and go in and put this and say, you know, Governor Mayer said such and such.
And then I could play underneath as a real estate agent that has been specializing in the Las Vegas area since 2007, closing several hundred short sales. I would say the decline is most likely due to pop up. And here’s what a seller today should be looking out for. But I’m going to add 1500 words. I’m going to I’m going to deep dove on that.
So I might write it. It’s a great idea. Right? It meaning they create, you know, a ride that wave that they created. But I’m going to put my own expert information and commentary, and I’m never just going to take the easy way out and just smack somebody else’s stuff. I’m going to go deep and then I’m showing why I’m the authority, why that matters to that person is reading the blog.
[35:02] (Daniel) And you can kind of piggyback on maybe an article that is getting national attention and is in everybody’s mind like, well, let me.
[35:09] (Lori) See, the best way to do it is to actually use video. So if you go if you put yourself on Google alerts for video or you go to YouTube and type it in or whatever and I type in Las Vegas real estate market, there’s a way you can actually set up a little alert on Google that it’ll tell you every time there’s a new video about the Las Vegas real estate market.
Well, video Google loves the you all of us love video. I mean, as a general consumption. So you could go take a three minute video, a five minute video, ten minute video, whatever it is you can actually with the share license on YouTube, you can legally embedded on your website with a quick button. Not hard to find ways to make it easy.
And then you have a little call to action button. Right underneath it says, Find out what your home is worth. That’s how you get the seller leads and then have your addition. You watch the video and now you say, I love when gyms said such and such, such and such. And and now here’s my whatever. So now you’re you’re you’re helping Jim because you’re sharing his video on your podium.
Don’t do this with another real estate agent. You’re competing with your own market. Like, I’m not going to take somebody in my market and use their video because now they’re going to be the ones that get the leads. But I’ll I’ll use the mayor or the news publications or any of that kind of stuff. I mean, the news is always broadcasting on real estate like daily.
You take that put it in there and then give your expert input. And then you never have to think about What content do I need to create? You could just be inspired by what you’re seeing already come out now. It doesn’t even have to be in your own market. It can be national news and then you can tie it into your local market.
[36:47] (Daniel) Yeah. Susanne also says she’s interesting in learning how to develop content for her farm research consulting business. What’s cool about my our guest is we’ve been branching out. So whether you’re in real estate or mortgage or title and you’re listening with we’re helping a lot of different businesses now. But I just want to Suzanne, I think first register get the free download and I’ll give you some ideas.
But I think earlier in the call, Lori, we talked about it fine. Figure out who you’re serving, what market you’re going after, figure out what their problems are, and then write content to, address their their their concerns.
[37:25](Lori) Yeah. Even deeper in that if you really want to rank well right now, the more laser targeted you can go, the better. So I would look at if I were a consulting with somebody today, a real estate agent wanting to rank for seller listings, I would say, tell me about your market. Tell me about your average customer. How old are they?
Are they empty nesters? Are they young parents? Are they college kids? Are they moving into your town or are they were they did they were they raised there? Because the way you talk to somebody that’s moving to Las Vegas or if we’re talking with sellers, obviously they live there. The way I talk to maybe somebody that’s moving out to downsize, you know, for me moving it’s going to sell their house in Vegas because they’re going to move to Florida is going to be different than that.
The little mom and the smaller families and what’s important to them, because they might be moving they’re moving up now around a school zone. So if that were the case, I would say let’s talk about school zones with a whole bunch of content around school zones, because you’re going to attract these these people, they’re going to be buyers, but that schools don’t have a house to sell first because they’re moving up.
It’s a different conversation. It’s a really specific target. Homes on the water, historic homes, Victorian homes. I mean, I would go as laser targeted as you can first and then go out wide from there.
[38:46] (Daniel) That’s awesome. We’ve got another question from Facebook. What is your advice to rank up in Google CEO amidst all the other information and content out there? That’s good because we’re going into tools right now. Lori, let’s talk because we use for MyOutDesk a different tool and you use another one. So we’ll be able to have a quick conversation about how to actually rank for SEO.
Once you’ve created that custom content, you know, what are the tools to make sure it was the right content? And my ranking is going to increase. To talk through a little bit of that.
[39:20] (Lori) You actually want to make sure you’re using the tools first before creating the content because you want what I do. One of the tools I use and I love to give you a link they could use at some point, but one of the tools I use actually has a and I think you said you’ve used one too. It has a competitive analysis in it.
Well, my content competitive analysis where let’s just say I want to rank for the term Las Vegas zip codes.
And I type that into this tool. It shows me who all my competitors are, how long their content is, how many words they’ve written, what their primary keywords are, and then can be this little bit of a map that says, okay, if you want to rank in the top ten, this is probably what you need to include. This is these are some of the things that there there’s a correlation between these top ranking things.
This is probably where you want to go or free. You go to Google and you do what I said and you type in, you know, what are the Las Vegas zip codes? And then you look at the people also ask Xbox and those are where you start building things on. So you can do paid tools, you can use free tools.
Quora dot com is another free go find out all the questions that people are asking, but then on the back end of it, after you create your content, these tools will evaluate. They’ll make suggestions, they’ll tell you if you have broken links, they’ll tell you, you know, you should be putting in pictures. You need to use video. Your, you know, make your description longer.
They’re kind of giving you all these best practices for and then we can even go deeper and deeper. There’s click through rate and all kinds of things. Once you get more, that will help you rank up once you start ranking at all.
[41:03] (Daniel) This is good and I want to respect the fact that you want to help our people. So going to share real quick and hopefully if you’re on a small device, go to my address dot com forward slash Lori Ballin and if you do once you register we’ll make sure that you get Lori’s tools in addition so we’ll make sure that that we’re giving away the tool and what you use to be successful.
Well again it’s MyOutDesk dot com forward slash Lori Ballin it’s really important for you to do that and why I have you guys here. This is the giveaway. So I want to make sure we’re giving you 16 topics that are hot, that are the things that you need to know, and then as well as the process of putting together a blog.
So Lori gave us her process. So you’re going to get that as a tool. And then we’ve got the repurpose system, which we’ll talk about in just a second to basically help you guys. So when you go there, you’re getting a a guide, the tool, the system and everything you need to make sure that this is going to be something you can focus on for for the for the coming years.
Lori, what’s the kind of leverage you use around? I mean, obviously use our virtual assistants, but in that process for everybody, let’s talk about the experts that you might use if you were getting started. Like you talked a little bit about a writer. Do you need a designer? I mean, what what other people do you need on your team?
[42:35] (Lori) Know, you want to have a good website to start off with that your blog. Now, you could be one of those people that goes and blogs on medium.com or some kind of channel that you’re just going to do all your blogging on a third party platform. The drawback is back to renting versus owning. You’re now building the ACL for somebody else.
That. It’s a much better strategy to build up your own own your own website, get your own content, build up your own ACL, and at least websites of any kind you don’t own. If you have a lease outside of hosting, you’re renting a website, you don’t own it. So all of those content you’re investing and spending money on and designing, if that relationship goes away, so does all your ACL.
So that’s scary. So I’m a WordPress girl myself as far as building. So you want to press girl? I like that I’m WordPress also start off with a good platform and I don’t I don’t use a ton of people anymore in the process because software has gotten so good and I do. There are certain things that I will do myself.
There’s other things I will leverage out. So the only content anymore that I personally am sitting there writing are more passion pieces, something that I know I’m the authority on this I’m really motivated by. I’m going to you know, I can do that. I leverage the use of video, like I mentioned earlier, to create a video and then have it transcribed and turn into blog.
I now did, just hired. I’m betting that you have somebody that could do stuff like this too, but I did just bring on an intern from a college that’s going to help take all my video. So when I because I could make some money in a day, I upload it. He’s now optimized in the title, the description, the tags, the thumbnail, the end screen, the info card, and then our dynamic automated funnel that doesn’t cost extra or maybe a little bit.
We use Zapier. It automatically sends the video to to my software that does the transcription and then I get an email when that transcription is done and we can go put that in. That’s a virtual assistant that would then take the content and put it on to the website. And then we have a virtual assistant optimize it based on the giveaway we’re giving you that has that little formula where the formula is repeated, it’s duplicate.
We’ll just do the same thing every time and you don’t have to like I’m the one that had to do the hard part and that was figuring it all out. And now you have a formula, you don’t have to guess. It’s it’s perfect. It is the perfect formula for mobile or for the user for engagement or interaction. So I’m primarily using mostly software.
I do own a marketing company. I’m but they mostly develop the website and build the database. And if I do want specific content, I’ll go to them and say, hey, I want you. I want like right now I’m ranking for all the gyms in Las Vegas because January is a new year. And I want to continue to show Google that I’m the local specialist.
So writing about weight loss and gyms and all that in Vegas is smart as a real estate agent. And so I go to them and say, Hey, this is what I want. I want a 3000 word article and I want you to list every gym in Las Vegas and just follow my formula and you know, or I can go to a ghostwriter if I wanted to go to a ghostwriter for that stuff.
So luckily you don’t actually need any you don’t need employees to do any of this anymore. And virtual assistants to me are one of my favorites because subcontractors, I don’t have to pay their payroll. You know, we just have our you take care of all that stuff. We just train them and plug and play. And they don’t write for me, but they definitely can follow all of the other processes.
[46:17] (Daniel) That’s interesting. We had a question What’s the most effective way to post local market statistics for your area?
[46:26] (Lori) This is my favorite thing that we do, actually. So if I if you were to ask me whoever that was, good question. Whoever. If you were to ask me what one thing should everybody go if they were to start blogging? And I would say do a monthly real estate market report is the very first thing that you do.
Yep. And if you need to do a video or audio and then have a transcribe, that’s fine. And this is something that my company actually does is market reports, but it’s only because they saw how successful it was when I did them. So I started off by having an agent on my team because I don’t actually go out and sell real estate anymore, so I can’t talk about it super intelligently.
And so I had an agent on my team pull up a whiteboard and write down how many single family homes, how many condos, how many, whatever he would kind of break down. Is it a seller’s market or is it a buyer’s market? What do you need to know? He wouldn’t just say the data. He would interpret the data as a specialist, right?
Then we turned that into written content with a little screenshot of the single family homes and all of that. And now I think we’ve gotten more towards just pre written and we get a monthly report from the title company or from MLS or we can log in and get it and we just do that. We list out, here’s what you’re looking at.
We always say, Is it a buyer’s market or a seller’s market? And then we always say, Here’s what you need to know if you’re a buyer, here’s what you need to know. If you’re a seller, you know, just kind of interpreting the data. And then we ranked number one where we’re top for that and we get seller listings from that same article from those same because guess what sellers want to know what’s happening with the real estate market and what they’re thinking about a year from now, 18 months, two years from now, they’re following what’s going to happen, what’s happening in the real estate market.
So I put a home valuation offer on every one of those pages.
[48:07] (Daniel) Yeah, I’ve got another an interesting question and I have a follow up. Do you include like an ad feed, like an MLS search into your website? And is that something that you suggest people do for real estate if they’re looking to generate sellers through SEO?
[48:25] (Lori) I do, and I think it’s worth the 69 bucks or whatever it is you’re going to pay to have it on there because sellers do sell. Seems they want just one they want to see. You’re an authority in real estate. If you don’t have real estate on your website, that kind of doesn’t look so great. It also is good.
Braccio tells Google you’re about real estate, so it’s still reading all of those widgets, understanding that they are real estate related. So it still has SEO value and sellers come in as buyers. Oftentimes we even have a campaign that we built specifically when somebody registers to look at homes. One of our text auto dialer things says, Are you actually interested in selling?
And how many real estate agents don’t ask the buyers. And a lot of these either have a house to sell and they’re coming on as buyers. They haven’t thought about selling yet because they want to see what they can afford. First, write a listing.
[49:14] (Daniel) Right.
[49:14] (Lori) Or they’re trying to sell CMA. Well, let me just go look at what’s in my neighborhood. Everybody does that. I live in Summerlin. I want to sell a four bedroom house next to Palo Verde High School with pool. Let me go on this website and look at four bedroom houses in Summerlin. Next Palo Verde High School with a pool.
Your course registration has a register and you’re thinking they’re a buyer, but they’re probably a seller. So if you have. So yes, I like to have both.
[49:37] (Daniel) That’s awesome. And then what do you put in terms of a database when you’re collecting somebody is like if they sign up for an index feed or home valuation or, you know, they see an article and they do you get that content ever or is it always open and then if it’s if it is a gated any part of your website, what’s the CRM follow up situation that you typically use?
[50:01] (Lori) It’s not gated other than like find out what your home is, where they have to enter the info to get their home valuation. So that could be considered gated. But we’re not gating content that if you really think about it, everything is on the web. So it’s like, what could you possibly be writing that’s so good?
They don’t have to be gated. Somebody wants to register boards when things are cheap. Things have changed. They used to all register for any free report or PDF or whatever. Not so much anymore. So for me, after testing and measuring all the different tools and tricks and items of value for a buyer, it’s ideal. For a seller, it’s home value.
That’s what we want. So I’ll give them everything else for free. But I’m going to make those two offers and that’s what they’re going to register for.
[50:41] (Daniel) Perfect. Well, guys, this is it. We’ve been together almost an hour already. Lori, you’ve given a ton of value. And I want to thank everybody who kind of hung out again. I know your time is valuable. If you need more of it, please register and get a consultation. We want to help you win. We help people grow. Businesses or save time.
Those are the two things that we do here at MyOutDesk. My name is Daniel. This is Lori Ballen and it’s been amazing. Thank you so much for your time. Get on our website, grab our free giveaway and we’re going to help, I promise. Lori, thanks again for being here.
[51:16] (Lori) Thank you. It is my pleasure.