The Real Estate Law Podcast

Generating Motivated Seller Leads with Digital Marketing Pro Brandon Bateman

June 07, 2022 Jason Muth + Rory Gill Season 1 Episode 53
The Real Estate Law Podcast
Generating Motivated Seller Leads with Digital Marketing Pro Brandon Bateman
Show Notes Transcript

We have an awesome discussion about generating motivated seller leads with digital marketing expert, Brandon Bateman.

Brandon Bateman is the CEO of Bateman Collective. He’s personally been involved in and managed projects totaling more than $100M of digital marketing spend.

Digital Marketing requires lots of testing, logic, and trust. Brandon has spent more than 10,000 hours perfecting the process of generating motivated seller leads online using PPC, Facebook Ads, and SEO. He’s successfully generated leads in more than 100 markets across the United States.

Learn what best practices separate Brandon's best clients from everyone else (hint - one of them will get you to re-evaluate using a virtual assistant to pre-qualify leads...) and how Brandon has taken the time to really understand his the culture and mindset differences within his clients' businesses, and how they handle the leads that he's in charge of generating on their behalf.

Things we discussed in this episode:
- How Brandon scaled his real estate marketing business with wholesalers
- Working with The Bateman Collective and vetting potential clients
- Self-managing digital marketing versus working with an expert
- What are most investors doing wrong in digital marketing?
- What channels make the most sense for someone getting started?
- When should a real estate investor switch from self-managed to working with an agency?
- The difference in quality between PPC leads and Facebook leads.
- Understanding when a marketing system is broken as opposed to undergoing natural variability
- The significance of consistency in marketing
- Brandon's data-driven testing methodology
- Why you should always be A/B testing and reacting to the data
- How involved should you be with the agency's day-to-day decisions?
- The benefits of data aggregation and applying findings to campaigns

Get in touch with Brandon:
Website - https://www.batemancollective.com/
Linkedin - https://www.linkedin.com/in/brandon-bateman

Join Jason Muth and Attorney / Broker Rory Gill of NextHome Titletown and UrbanVillage Legal in Boston, Massachusetts for another episode of The Real Estate Law Podcast!

#realestatepodcast #nexthome #humansoverhouses #realestate #realestateinvesting #realestateinvestor #realestatelaw #realestateinvestor #realestatemarketing #realestatemarketingtips #realestatewholesaler #realestatewholesaling #searchmarketing #ppc #digitalmarketing #digitalmarketingtips

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Brandon Bateman:

One thing that I firmly believe, like a lot of people would say, well, it's not as expensive. Don't hire professional and do it yourself. But you know what's really, really expensive? Is marketing that doesn't work. And in this kind of stuff, the money you pay the professional to do it is usually your smallest expense. The largest expense that our clients have is the money to pay to Google, the money they pay to Facebook, that kind of stuff.

Announcer:

You found The Real Estate Law Podcast, because real estate is more than just pretty pictures. And law goes well beyond the paperwork and courtroom argument. If you're a real estate professional, or looking to build real estate expertise, then welcome to the conversation and discover more at realestatelawpodcast.com

Jason Muth:

Welcome to The Real Estate Law Podcast and we are here for another excellent episode with a really smart guest. And I love it when we get to talk about digital marketing because that is my forte. I've referred to my kind of real job even though real estate is you know, more and more of a real job these days. And I do digital marketing in the real world. Rory defers to me for digital marketing decisions, I think, is

Rory Gill:

That's right. And I'm you know, I'm looking forward to that right? this conversation. But I know you Jason really are because when we've dug deep into the legal world. I've been there to translate it for everybody else. But now this is your language. And I'm just here to make sure that if I can understand it, then our podcast listeners can too.

Jason Muth:

Yeah. And it's not even just my language. I mean, we have an expert here. We have Brandon Bateman from The Bateman Collective, and he specializes in digital marketing, specifically in the real estate industry. And we're gonna let him kind of dig into the types of business businesses that he works with and the types of digital marketing that he does. But first off welcome, Brandon. Welcome to the podcast.

Brandon Bateman:

Hey, thank you happy to be here.

Jason Muth:

Excellent. We were just talking offline before we hit record. And I've seen a couple of episodes that Brandon has recorded with some other excellent real estate podcasts. And he just has so many great things to say. He's really smart. He gets Pay Per Click advertising, he gets digital advertising and just eager to hear what he has to say in this space and how he could add some value to you the listener in how to generate some leads for your business. Brandon welcome like let's let's just start learn a little bit about you and The Bateman Collective how you guys got going and and what brought

Brandon Bateman:

Yeah, all good questions. I'm kind of like a you here today? digital marketer first real estate guy second. And I think that's, that makes me unique in this industry. Some people will think that's a bad thing. Get don't get real estate. Some people think it's a good thing. Because you know, turns out digital marketers are better at digital marketing than real estate, people who learn digital marketing, usually. That's kind of my, how I got started. So I once upon a time, I was a sophomore in college, and I decided I want to start a company, I decided I wanted to learn about marketing. And I couldn't find a better way to do it than to start a company, we started doing this stuff, I eventually ran into a company in my local area and they were wholesaler. And I thought it was super weird. And I was used to selling things for people. And they said they wanted to buy things. And I just didn't really get the whole idea of like marketing for that and what that was going to entail and all that kind of stuff. But you know, over time for that company ended up being being really positive. And more than a million and a half last year, from digital marketing leads in their business, in terms of just gross wholesale assignment fees, how their business model works, and throughout the whole process that just kind of dove deeper and deeper into into real estate and learning about how this industry works. And that's kind of where we got today. So The Bateman Collective now is a company that basically does specialize digital marketing work primarily for real estate investors, specifically wholesalers, flippers, occasionally hedge funds, or different things like that, and are doing this in over 100 different markets across the United States. And I have officially spent more than 10,000 hours doing that exact little niche thing, which I am proud and also not proud of. Because of the number of years I've done that you have to work a unusual number of hours to actually do that. Happy to be in the industry and kind of find our home, you know, working with the types of clients.

Jason Muth:

You know, I heard in some other interviews that you've done that you started out as a bit of a generalist, and then you found this niche through one of your clients. And, you know, we used to say in the media world, like narrow focus broad results. I mean, this was something that we said back in the 90s. And I think it leads right into this. And I think it's - if you're listening to this trying to build your real estate business, it makes complete sense to try to figure out what you want your niche to be and try a bunch of different things out and realize what you don't want and then process of elimination might find your way to what you do like but you know this sounds like a situation where you didn't think you were gonna specialize in the real estate world, Brandon, but after you got a client or two and then you got recommended around and then next thing you know you have a lot of clients in this space. Did you go all in on the real estate side?

Brandon Bateman:

think, like, three or four clients that aren't in real estate right now. And they're pretty much clients that we've worked with before we focused on this side. And clients that we just think are cool. Like, we got like a baby clothes company and a military defense drone company. That's pretty cool. Like they have like these drones that like capture other drones to defend things for the military. It's sort of interesting. But anyway, just yeah, for the most part, we're relatively specific. And, and it's been really good to us. Like that's, that's where my company grew. Because when we really started focusing on getting really, really good at serving one type of client. And, you know, who knows what the what the future holds, because we were kind of growing to fill our shoes in the real estate space right now looking at potential other industries, as we're kind of running out of markets in the United States. But it's a whole different game than it was.

Jason Muth:

When you say running out of markets, are you market exclusive?

Brandon Bateman:

Yes and no. We will allow a certain amount of spend in every market. And sometimes that can come from many clients, sometimes it will come from one client that's really, really big. So there's a, we just believe in some sort of a point of saturation. Like, at some point, having multiple clients in the market is actually beneficial for us, because we have more of a 360 degree view of the data. And maybe like, yeah, competition is not good, but better assuming their competition is going to be there that they work with us and that they work with one of our competitors, because we can at least make sure that our accounts don't step on each other's toes. That makes sense. But it's, but there's a saturation point. Obviously, we can't handle like 100 clients in Utah, there's just not enough to go around. So we try to find the balance.

Jason Muth:

Right. You're based in Utah, right?

Brandon Bateman:

Correct. Yeah.

Jason Muth:

When you say a market like do you like, for example, Baltimore, would you consider the like the Baltimore DMA as your market? Or like the city boundaries? Or how does that work?

Brandon Bateman:

I don't think you know, what kind of can of worms, the opening here. This has been fun figuring this out. Because the thing is, our methodology is that targeting wider from a geographic standpoint, produces more lead flow, and true. So we always want to encourage our clients to target wide areas. And because of that, they often overlap in some way or another. Because you know, someone might do overall just DMV and Baltimore area, or, you know, maybe instead of just Baltimore city boundaries, it expands in some other areas of Maryland or something like that. So the way that we measure it right now is we pull aggregate data from over clients, not about where they're targeting, but how much money was actually spent in each county that we're targeting. And then on the county level, we look for a certain amount of spend per capita, basically, for each channel that we've managed. So, you know, a little bit funky. But the concept there is, let's just say we had three counties, and we have three clients, if those three clients each could target all three counties, collectively, they would have more revenue, than if we get one county to each of them. So in that, in that spirit, we want to encourage that. But through encouraging that we have to, we have to be mindful of that overlap. And it gets a little bit complicated.

Jason Muth:

So take us through your process, when somebody reaches out to you and says, Hey, I got your number. How can you help me? You know, like, really broad, maybe maybe some of that knows digital marketing a little bit. But where's your starting point? With a new potential client, when you're doing some type of analysis as to, you know, what the opportunity is? What can somebody expect when they make that first phone call?

Brandon Bateman:

Yeah, it's a good question. As of now, they can expect to talk to Noah from my team. He's basically our director of sales. And this guy's literally been marketing since I was in diapers, specifically, digital marketing. He's that old and I'm that young, and it somehow worked out. But but anyways, the the way that it works is that we're very much we take a consultative approach to it. So we want to figure out, is this actually going to work for you. So the first thing that we're looking for in a client is we want people with dialed in business models, because marketing is expensive enough that you can't really afford to just go out and pay for a bunch of marketing, if you're not going to be on top of your game. Meaning if you're not going to be ready to get to leads quickly, you're not going to be ready to monetize them well, through like, let's just say your wholesaling, having a strong dispositions process,. If I talk to you, and I know that your area averages $20,000 wholesales and you tell me that you average $10,000 wholesales, you're not really candidate to be a client of ours. And the reason being, I know that you're not the top of your game and your market and whoever is going to outspend you on marketing will squash, you want to work with that guy who would squash you, not you if that's the case. So so we basically we look for, we look for that kind of characteristic in our client, and we believe that they actually have potential to be the best, because ultimately with marketing, he who can spend the most to acquire a customer is who's going to win. And a lot of that comes in the backend business model. Of course, you want to make the marketing more efficient. But in a in a competitive game like this. That's that's important. So once we kind of verify those things we want to talk about like what kind of different business challenges you might be dealing with. Some channels are a better fit for our clients than others, depending on where they're at, for example, let's just say your bottleneck is on the acquisition side, you only have a certain number of acquisitions, people they're really busy with leads. Maybe Facebook ads isn't a good channel, throw into that, because Facebook produces cheap leads, yeah, they're not quite as high quality as some of these other channels, even though the ROI is good, because your bottleneck in your business doesn't align well with the channel. On the other hand, PPC, or paid search marketing produces a very high quality lead, and it could match that very well. Or let's just say you need revenue, quickly and your business to stay afloat, SEO is not going to be the play for you, that's going to be a long term play, that generates leads. But if you're not going to be in business to be able to generate or to be able to monetize those leads, and actually have value from it. And that's, of course, a waste of money. However, if you are in a good position, investing in our early is one of the best investments you can make. So I guess in summary, we want to make sure that the that you're ready to make good value out of the leads, and that we're we have a strategy that's going to match really well for what you're trying to do. And as long as those things are true, we have a green light.

Jason Muth:

How sophisticated do you find the people that reached out to you? But do you think that they understand all these channels and how to use them? Or are you finding people that have dabbled in A, B, and C, probably not all together, probably not all that well, and then it's your job to kind of explain to them really how they should be working with all these different potential lead sources.

Brandon Bateman:

There's a huge variety, although it definitely skews one way. We have clients that like or even like marketing agency owners that do a lot of digital marketing and other agencies, and they just are other industries and they just respect our experience in this industry. We have clients that self manage their PPC, before they start working with us, and then they just kind of ready to hand it off to an expert. So there's, there's a few kind of categories of our clients that are definitely know what they're doing, and kind of talk the talk. I'd say the most of our clients are not in that category. And sometimes it's almost better for them. Because you don't need to know all that stuff. You know, sometimes people have a hard time letting go, if they, in delegating, if they really like feel like they know a lot about something. And for the most part, we're kind of guiding our clients to those different things. In my mind, our ideal client is someone who recognizes us as an expert, and is willing to listen to our advice. And no matter how much they know about digital marketing, if they can check that box, they're good. Where we run into issues where the client says, do this, they come with solutions, not problems. And it's, we get in those tough spots where it's like we listen and campaign tanks, or we disagree, and you know, they want to fire us if we disagree or some like that. We definitely have those scenarios. So I think I think they kind of like I have a client that last month, I had to help them sign into their email. Like, if we're talking about like, level of knowledge of digital marketing, that's about as low as we can get, right? We work. We work with people really savvy. But the one thing that they need to have in common is that they trust us as the expert, and they're ready to just follow our guidance. And if you do that, you know, that's how we can find the most success.

Rory Gill:

Having a professionally managed digital marketing professional is just a it's a large expense, especially for a small business. For somebody who's building that small business. Do you recommend that they work on some of these aspects themselves with an eye toward growth and professional management later on? Or do they really need to jump in with a professional from the beginning?

Brandon Bateman:

That's a good question. Because one thing that I firmly believe, like a lot of people would say, well, it's not as expensive, don't hire professional and do it yourself. But you know what's really, really expensive is marketing, that doesn't work. And in this kind of stuff, the money you pay the professional to do it is usually your smallest expense. The largest expense that our clients have is the money they pay to Google the money they pay to Facebook, that kind of stuff. So like my opinion is dabbling is just not usually a good idea. If anything, people are okay with it, just because it costs so little that it's not super consequential, but on the other hand, it also produces nothing. So even a small amount of wasted money, in my opinion is just not really a good idea. I think if you do it, do it right. And the only reason being most of the expenses is the ad spend. So it's insane when we look at our fees for our clients with the average budgets that they're working with - if, and this is just average numbers across like, you know what the average deal sizes, our clients are doing average closers on the spend everything like that, on average, they need 4% better results working with us to break even on paying our fee compared to doing it with absolutely no management. 4%. So you think if like if a company is specializing in this and know exactly what they're doing and all that kind of stuff, can they do 4% better than you can, and that's all you need to cover the fees. The answer is usually yes. I would say the answer is yes. I mean, people usually come to the conclusion that the answer is yes. And so know exactly how much money to pay us. And like I was, if I save that, you know what all that advertising spend is the real expense. And poor performance is more expensive than any marketing check. It's an investment. Right? So I'd say, a high quality investment that's expensive is much better than a low quality investment that's cheap, like a lottery ticket, you know, I'd rather invest in multifamily real estate than a lottery ticket. That makes sense.

Rory Gill:

I've heard you explain well, before, it's just that when you use these different channels, the the leads that come in are very different. I'm not just talking about the quantity there. But a lead that comes in through Google AdWords is going to look very different than somebody coming in with paid social media marketing versus somebody who just came in through an optimized blog post. And in that, you know, somebody with Google AdWords is known, at least in our industry is a much stronger lead, because they sought you out and they're a little bit more ready to take action. But, leads like that require an immediate response. Otherwise, they're actively searching and they're ready to move on to the next one. Somebody in social media marketing is, from my understanding, going to have a longer time horizon that keeps you bit more passively and it's a lead that you have to nurture over a long period of time. I guess first off, am I kind of correct in that assumption? And then how deep do you go into counseling your clients about how to make best use of the leads that you're generating for them?

Brandon Bateman:

All good questions. And I think you're right on the right track with those leads. We still do preach urgency is really important with the Facebook leads, there will be more things closing on follow up. But Facebook leads actually close quicker than cold call leads, generally similar timeframe for direct mail leads, because the interesting thing about digital marketing is the process starts when someone reaches out to you. Versus if you look at, you look at like cold call marketing or something like that, it starts when you reach out to them. That's why it takes so long. So you sort of just like cut off the beginning of the process, if that makes sense. But yeah, we do we do some sort of interesting stuff. So one thing that's unique to us compared to other agencies is we collect data from our clients about what they're closing. And because of that, we see which clients are of ours are statistically doing better with closing leads compared to the others. And what we'll do occasionally is we basically separate out who are like the top 10%, of closers on leads, and we start asking them a bunch of stuff. And where I think people go wrong with this is they just like, look at what other people do. And then they just like, say that's the best practice. What we do is we basically build a big old list with each person with a deep interview, we interviewed at all that kind of stuff. And we talk about what do you do. Get that big list from everybody. And then we look at all of those top performers, what is the stuff that's on everybody's list, not just something that someone does, but the stuff that they all have in common. And that's what we call best practice. And those best practices can more or less be boiled down to three main things that differentiate our clients that are doing really well and those that aren't. And those are first urgency, you kind of touched on that a little bit. Our clients that are doing really well with these leads, they know it's important to get to leads quick. But it's not just that they have that knowledge, they actually take action on it. And if they have a team, they measure the performance of their team to make sure they're taking action on it. You'd be surprised how many business owners the way they track a metric because they obsess people like, hey, how long does it take you to get to leads, and the number that you're gonna hear there is always going to be lower than the number that you actually track. And that accountability is really important, right? So urgency, tracking the urgency, so you can make sure you're being fast with that I think is really important. After that, it's kind of a mindset around the leads, especially maybe it's a little bit different when you're in the agent game, especially in for investors. It's very common to, like acquisitions people, they like to cherry pick deals, who wouldn't like the last least effort, they like the most reward. And there's lots of channels that produce a lot of low quality leads, where you're kind of sifting through hings. The difference in the mindset with our clients that are doing really well with digital marketing versus not, is that they just have like a relentless mindset that every time a lead comes in, that's absolutely a smoking lead, that's going to be our next deal. They believe it, so it happens, they assume that someone's motivated until they can prove that they're not, versus our teams that do worse to kind of assume that someone's not motivated until they can prove that they are. So we're looking for the seller to tell them why this is interesting to them, instead of just assuming that even if that person says they want 300 for their house, you know, it's worth 250, assuming that there's motivation, just going on the appointment, building rapport and making it work. That's one thing that all of those clients have in common. And a lot of that comes down to the culture of the company. Like are they excited to do those things? Have they heard those stories kind of repeated within the company the times and that worked out really well. All that kind of stuff. And then the last thing is just who are the leads going to talk to? Our clients that have leads go to someone who's a lead manager like a VA that like goes through a script and ask some questions and stuff like that. They do significantly worse than our clients that have leads go directly to someone who can be a closer. I guess the difference here is just imagine imagine you're seller In this case, like a motivated seller, and you have this big pain, and you're going to Google, you're trying to solve that pain. When you search, what ends up happening a lot of times is you reach out to a company. And then instead of solving your pain, what they do is they schedule an appointment to solve your pain later. And the problem with that is that you still have pain. And whoever's the first company to get to the seller quickly, to build rapport in such a way that I know that like, even if Rory's not going to buy my house, like where's my guy, he's going to connect me the right person, like I really trust Rory, like, I feel like I have someone's back, I don't have to keep on searching. And the person who can basically build that rapport is the person who stopped the search, who makes the seller feel like the pain is gone. That skill of even though you haven't gotten the house under contract, yet, making the seller feel like the pain is gone, is something that the managers generally aren't very good at. That's a closing skill. So I think it's, you know, in a world where leads are becoming more and more scarce, but more and more valuable. I think it's insane that some companies pay their janitors more so than they do the person who takes the lead at the hottest moments in their company for their entire revenue generating activities. I think that's an investment well worth making, get quality people there.

Jason Muth:

I think a lot of that comes from a lot of the productivity blogs and podcasts that are out there, you know, the four hour workweek, and, you know, outsourcing everything. So basically, you have a team of people doing all the work for you, and you just kind of sit back and appear on podcasts. And I'm sure that you don't do that, because you're actually in there doing some of the work yourself.

Brandon Bateman:

Yeah, it's a little bit different. For me, don't ask me about work, work life balance. I haven't figured it out. Four Hour Workweek sounds like a sounds like a myth to me. I'm sure it's achievable in some way or another. But, yeah, I think - well the thing is, it's not like, I believe that business owners have to do all these things. Some of the best closing teams that we work with, the business owner is - I just talked to one today. He just told me he spent a month in Puerto Rico, where he was working five hours a week.

Jason Muth:

Right, they do.

Brandon Bateman:

Yeah, but he's got also on that call was his lead acquisitions person who's an absolute rockstar, he holds the team accountable, and who has that mindset of every lead is smokin hot until you can prove that it's not. And they send the leads right to the qualified people. And, like, if you're looking at lead management as the value per hour activity, it's it's high value, right? And they do really well, they close better than their average client. But it's a, it's because they haven't tied operations. So it doesn't mean that the business owner has to do it. But you got to pay someone good to do it. And unfortunately, it tends to be expensive, but it's the single most important revenue generating activity in your business. So I think it's worth

Jason Muth:

It sounds like you've done a lot of work, it. understanding the other side of the digital marketing, you know, not just logging into Google AdWords, or whatever tools you're using, and optimizing and downloading keyword lists and analyzing Excel files and running pivot tables and all this stuff, like, you know, you speaking the language of the people that are your customers, and understand - I mean, correct me if I'm wrong, but it sounds like you understand not just their pain points, but their processes. You know, you've interviewed them saying what's working well, for all of them? You found some commonalities. Like have you? Did you intentionally go down that road? Like, did you go out with any of your customers and, you know, ride along with them on appointments, or listen in on things or follow along on zooms or, you know, how did you pick up all of the the other side of the equation?

Brandon Bateman:

It's a good question, primarily through interviews. I've never been on a seller appointment. I've talked to a lot of people that have been on a lot of them, I see the difference. And like, I can tell when I talk to an acquisitions person, if they're going to be successful with these leads or not, when I just talked to them about like, what's happening with the leads and stuff. And there's mindset differences. And we talked about the tactical stuff all day long. But this culture and mindset differences and companies that perform really well versus companies that don't. And it's a lot of that really just a lot of being really in the game. I mean, I've spent, I've spent 12 hours a day on Zoom calls with those exact people for a really long time now, so I just, I guess I just spend enough time in the weeds, that I get to know it, but I haven't, you know, I've never, I've never been at a seller appointment. I'm definitely like, not that involved. I'm not the guy to tell you how to close a deal by any means. But what I know is kind of like some typical lead management things that tend to make a difference. And to me, that's different than sales if that makes sense. It's process. And I do understand the process fairly well.

Jason Muth:

Right, the lead generation is one part of it. But then, you know, as they go down the funnel, where are they falling out? And it's optimizing all those points along the way.

Brandon Bateman:

Oh, absolutely. And it's about optimizing the business. Like I truly believe that that's the biggest thing to mark. If you look at all the biggest companies in the world, how did they get big? It's because they built strong value from whatever came their way. They increase their lifetime value per customer and in doing so, They made marketing more affordable to them. And they opened up new channels that otherwise would have been more expensive, and that kind of thing. And that's, I think that's like most of making marketing work. As much as the marketing side is really important. That's really important as well.

Jason Muth:

So Brandon, what do you think people are doing wrong with digital marketing? Because it's very easy to launch a Facebook ad. And it's very easy to launch a Google ad. They they give you credits, they want you to launch them. Look how easy this is. It's really difficult if you're not doing this all day, every day. Like what what are people doing incorrectly?

Brandon Bateman:

Yeah, good question. We can get, we can get a little tactical with it. First let's start on a high level, the biggest thing that I see people make a mistake on is they don't understand the difference between performance and results on a marketing campaign. And before you know, if we are to define those, you think of performance, let's just say we're flipping a coin. The performance is that that coin flips 50%. 50% of the time, we're gonna get heads 50% of time, we're gonna get sales. I'm sorry, Tails. I say sales too much, I guess.

Jason Muth:

We all want sales.

Brandon Bateman:

Well, I guess that this is kind of true 50% of time, we're gonna get sales in this analogy, right. But the Yeah, but the point is, let's just say I flipped the coin twice, and I get heads twice. The result is that I got two heads. The problem is a lot of people look at that coin, and they're like, well, that's a crap coin, I'm going to get rid of that coin. Because it doesn't flip at 50%. Like I was hoping it would. And the thing is, there's a lot of variability in this. And this is especially true with the real estate investment industry. Because our clients are doing deals that are worth 20-30 grand, let's just say on average across the United States. And they're chasing them with five grand a month budgets, or something like that. And you know, the same could be said for agents where you're not - the point is nobody here is an ecommerce company that makes their money from 100 customers a day or something. Like these are businesses that make their money from sometimes a single digit number of customers on a monthly basis. And what that means is that you have huge data sparsity issues, and natural variability is really large. I cannot tell you how many people I've talked to that, say like my marketing campaign was working and now it's not. When in reality, the way I see it is like, they got tails twice in a row once and then now they have like three heads in a row. And they're like, oh, no, is broke, and the coin still flipping 50%. And they just need to hold it up. Consistency is the number one thing that people get wrong with with marketing, I think that's so important. One thing that we do to kind of drive this home to show the clients is we will we will look at like our average client budgets and things like that, and average results. And then we say like average results, maybe headed towards like a 5x return on investment. And we just look at given like the most consistent marketing campaign that would ever exist in the world and the kind of budget that our clients are typically working with, what is the percentage chance they achieve a certain outcome in a certain amount of time, because we build a histogram out of the potential outcomes that would have happened with clients. If you look like a three month period, 50% of our clients are expected to have no return on investment, even though they're averaging 5x, six month period 25% are expected to have no return on investment. You look at the 12 month period, there's a lot that fall into a 10x return range and a lot that fall into a zero or 1x return range, even though they have the exact same performance. And the idea is, I don't think anybody fully understands quite how powerful the natural variance of variability is in this campaign. I'm convinced that everybody's just running circles, constantly chasing things reacting every single time they roll the dice, and it just doesn't give them the number that they're looking for. And everybody thinks their die is broken all the time. And the reality is, we're all just flipping a coin, rolling the dice, whatever the case is. And if we truly understand the law of averages, and we understand benchmarks, what we can do is we can normalize that spread, we can see things with an even eye where the dips look normal, the peaks look normal, and we can recognize that most trends aren't actually trends. And most marketing campaigns do have success long term. That's the biggest thing. Sorry for ranting on our forever. But I just I'm convinced nobody gets it. When hopefully one of these days I'll be convinced otherwise, I'm still convinced that even if I explained it, people don't get it. I think it's just so hard to see like when it's like money involved. Right? Yeah, real money coming out of my bank account. That's what's hard about marketing. You need to be able to stomach it.

Jason Muth:

I mean, your your approach just seems so pragmatic and empirical, right? Like you're going off of data, you're going off of trends to make you're going off emotion at all, which I think a lot of people when they're making decisions will go off emotion, and you're finding best practices where things will work. It's not just the digital marketing. I know that we started this with a digital marketing conversation, but a lot of what you've talked about is what do you do with the results of the digital marketing and a lot of that will determine success or failure.

Brandon Bateman:

Yeah, and part of the reason I focus on that so much is because, you know, truthfully, I think on the digital marketing side itself, people should just let someone else do that because most business owners are not gonna become an expert in digital marketing. If you're like one of the few people that's like that actually inclined to that, and you want that to be your like main use of yourself as a business owner, then go ahead. But like, I think it could be argued that there's a lot of other skills that are a lot more worth building. And this is something that can be easily hired out. But yeah, that's, that's the biggest thing. And if we're gonna dig into some other things, I really think that people just aren't using data in this high quality of a way. I think if you are going to do digital marketing, you need to do tests, and you need to do really good tests. One thing that I'm really proud of is we have spent 10s and 10s of millions of dollars over the past few years in this industry, on advertising, not a single dollar has ever been spent, not on a split test of some type or another. Every single dollar has a goal of one producing a result, and to teaching us how we can better produce a result another time. And if we have that constant approach, we'll always be improving. And I think that's, I just think that's, that's really important. A lot of people with digital marketing, you're just kind of putting all their eggs in one basket thinking this is what's going to work and they do it. Yeah, that data driven testing methodology has served us really well.

Jason Muth:

Yeah. Isn't that like the click funnel approach too like, you're always making little tweaks along the way, you know, like if this if you're doing a B test, and this got a 4.5%, click through rate, and this got a 4.9%, click through rate, you know, you take the winner, and then you put it up against something else, and you try to keep optimizing upward.

Brandon Bateman:

Yeah, a lot of people will say, it's like going to the vision doctor, there's like one or two? Yeah, yeah. You just keep up, you'll get the right one.

Jason Muth:

You eventually reach a point where you're like, Well, I don't know, they'll look about the same. Just give me the glasses.

Brandon Bateman:

Well, that's the that's the kind of thing that a lot of people don't realize is that those split tests go poorly, or have no impact. If at some point, it gets really hard, like it's less about the testing. And it's more about having really good ideas of what the tests that are actually going to work better. So you know, there's quite a bit of pieces there. But that's the thing. If we look at, I almost use, like one of our clients like in an ad as the reason that it's not going to work, because for the most part, my opinion is that ads that people like or think will work well, not only are like, not more likely to work well. But I think they're actually less likely to work well. I'm completely convinced. We have friction with clients. Sometimes we're like, I don't like those ads and all that stuff. And I don't know what to tell them other than like, I can show you 100 ads that we tested that you would love, but they don't work. These are the ones that work. So there's a that's why you just have to follow the data and data testing,

Jason Muth:

We've looked at that also, like Rory was doing some You have to decide what the test. Like that's the point digital marketing now. And every so often, like, we'll get served some of the ads and, you know, our mindset into it was, well, let's let the system work how it's supposed to work. And then you know, we'll have conversations along the way. But then sometimes you just get either the ad or you see the copy. And you're like, alright, well, let's just, this isn't right. Like I get it like you want to let the system work. But like, you know, can we change this? So it's a little bit of sniff test involved, in my opinion, but I definitely where you like use your brain. And then when you're unsure you test them.

Rory Gill:

Rory has a question. No, I mean, I was gonna say I recognize a tension within our own business between advertisements that I look at, and I think our, you know, better looking or just sound better, as opposed to the ones that Jason might put together that are, you know, a little bit more targeted for SEO longevity. But part of it, I always wonder how involved should a business owner be if they've engaged professional services to manage this, how engaged should the owner be in the direction that their marketing is taking?

Brandon Bateman:

I think the the owner needs to make sure that the company that's managing things, understands the strategy of the company, and what they're trying to accomplish, and what's important to them at that given time. And as an agency, if you're all over the place, but that it gets really hard, like one day, you're like, we're not getting enough leads, I'm like, well, we can get more leads, but they're going to be higher cost per leads, like, okay, just do it the next day, you're like, the ROI is not good enough, like just always going all over the place. That's going to be it's just hard. You're like chasing in circles. And it makes it really hard to actually focus, like, as a business owner, you just have your agency run in circles for you all the time. What it might feel good, because you've like they're working really hard, but what realistically happens is they don't have as much time to spend on the actual strategy of your account and the things that actually matter. So I think like involvement, and making sure that they have the information they need in order to be successful, and know what's important to you, and consistency with that, but then you kinda have to let them do their thing to some extent if you trust the company. There are agencies out there where the fact that you email them every day and say what's going on with the marketing means that they work on your accounts. Whereas if you didn't they wouldn't. If you're working with a good agency, you know, no matter what you do, they're just gonna do their thing. It's just, it's just a factor of making sure you give them the right information.

Jason Muth:

I mean, it's the trust though, I'm sure you have clients on both sides of that, like you hear from everyday I gotta, here's your Here's Johnny. Yet again. We all have clients like that. Rory - he tells me, he talks about him all the time and people that message him and at hours, you know.

Brandon Bateman:

There's some of those for sure.

Jason Muth:

Trust is important. I mean, I think that in the space that you're in Brandon, there's a lot of people that all have a specific way they want to do something. And it makes it really difficult for a business owner to figure out who to trust, you know, a lot of it goes down to referrals. And I'm guessing that's where you get a lot of your business.

Brandon Bateman:

For sure. Yeah, a lot of that. I feel so bad for business owners rep to make these decisions. Because the reality is, there's a lot of agencies out there, and I think there's a lot of good agencies out there, but there's also a lot of bad ones. And for you to be able to look at them and say this one's good. And this one's bad, is something that most business owners can't do with their skill set. They don't even know what these companies do. So I don't honestly have an answer to that solution other than like referrals, and just working with people you trust and stuff, because it's so it's so so difficult to know, who's real, who's not. But the thing is, if you don't have that layer of trust, you're not going to achieve the outcome that you're looking for. It doesn't guarantee that you will, if you do have the trust, but if you don't, it can almost guarantee that you won't. So it's yeah, that's, that's really important to have like to say that you should marry your marketing agency. You know, it's not like you just kind of like, see, like, so many businesses have that mindset or like, oh, well, you perform or not, that's like, you're on the first date saying, like, is this gonna work? Or is this not? And if you do, we're good. And, like, it's things take time, and you just need someone who's going to not B.S. for that process and just tell you how it actually is.

Jason Muth:

Yeah. I have I have two final questions before we get to our final questions. So I guess I have five final questions. But the two I have are - Are you seeing anything different these days? Like we're recording this in the spring of 2022? You know, the a lot of real estate markets around the country these days are just going bonkers interest rates are going up now. Inventory is still so low. Are you seeing anything? Is that impacting the performance of any the pay per click or the social ads that you're running, as opposed to a year ago or two years ago?

Brandon Bateman:

That's a that's a really good question. Overall, we're definitely paying more for leads now than we ever did before. The general trend is increasing cost per lead. But if we're looking from an ROI standpoint, it's pretty similar to where it was in the past. And the reason being deals are big these days. For a lot of our clients that are wholesaling, or flipping, they're making double the profit, they used to, for profit per property that they get under contract. And that has a lot of value. So So overall, you know, this is, this is a really good time for us. In terms of this marketing, I think, I think this marketing also sustains things going the other direction, because there's becomes a lot more sellers available, but you know, leads get, there becomes a higher volume of leads, but they're just not quite as valuable. And you know, both sides of that coin, or are times when when marketing has value just in a little bit of different ways. But overall, we're doing well, I do know some companies that are just getting crushed. And the reason being like the business owners just not willing to accept what property values are now. So they're like not taking down things anymore, that they're just getting outbid all the time, because someone else is willing to pay more and like overly conservative, like, I have one client that is getting crushed by that, because he's just not willing to do properties are worth and we're just going to really have a hard time doing acquisitions that way. Or there's some people that like weren't on top of their sales game before, and they're just not able to do a good job now. And, you know, theoretically, other people are doing a really good job now and they're on top of it. If you're the one that's not, you're gonna get left behind. But for people that are on top of their game, this time is as good as any.

Jason Muth:

But like search, search volume is still there, you know, people are still looking for the keyword terms that perform really well for you. Or, the queries that perform well for you are still performing well?

Brandon Bateman:

Yeah, believe it or not search volumes have been on a steady rise without any real significant dip since 2004. And since 2018, they've more than tripled for our core group of target keywords. So I don't know why, obviously. But the search volume is higher than ever before, which is good.

Jason Muth:

Yeah, that kind of leads to my final question before our final questions, which is, where are things headed? You know, so the next couple of years or so like what what kind of trends are you seeing either in pay per click or digital marketing overall that people should be on the lookout for?

Brandon Bateman:

Well, I don't know how cheap you want to go on this, I think that marketing is becoming a lot more AI-driven. And because of that AI is so so smart if it has the right information. And the game more and more is becoming less about dictating how the advertising is done, and more about making sure you're giving the machine the information it needs to be successful. And with that, that's our play - were data aggregation company even before an agency, we're aggregating data from all these different markets, and we're feeding machine learning algorithms that are functioning across all the markets simultaneously. And in doing so we're making our algorithms smarter than anybody else's algorithm could ever be with the amount of data that they have. I honestly think that the companies that are going to be performing best in the next little bit for you, they're gonna be companies that are running high volumes. So they have a lot of data. And they're really good at collecting and optimizing based on that. Or companies that are aggregating across many different companies like ours. And they're going to just be exposed to digital marketing results that you just simply cannot get without that level of data.

Jason Muth:

Yeah, I mean, the, the longer you go, the millions of dollars that you spend, the more information you have, and the more you can make your campaigns perform better, you know, both current and future, and you must be getting a ton of reward points through the credit cards, huh?

Brandon Bateman:

Unfortunately, our clients have their own credit cards in the accounts. And I don't, I know, it's a real bummer. Yeah, we're gonna switch that around. But I still do get a lot of rewards.

Jason Muth:

Yeah. The good news about the way you have that set up is that you're not floating that money. You know, where I know that efficiencies, yeah, as some agencies will know, float a $10,000 a month spend or something, you know, plus their fee, and then they have to hope that they get paid back with, you know, net 30 or something. And next thing, you know, you know, that credit card comes due. Multiply that out.

Brandon Bateman:

Yeah, and I can tell you this industry is one where defaulting on payments seems to be more common than others. You know, investors tend to be cash poor at different times, just by the nature of the business. And, and yeah, so I don't know how well trying to collect those fees after the fact would work for us.

Jason Muth:

Well, with a monthly recurring revenue model, like you have, hopefully, you're taking people's credit cards down and not invoicing them. But you know, that's, that's your business, and you can figure out how you want to do that.

Brandon Bateman:

Yeah, we do that, thankfully. All right. So it's, yeah, we're, we're good. But yeah, this band would be tough to be alive.

Jason Muth:

So if you're listening to this, and you want to work with Brandon, make sure you pay him also, okay, like, you know.

Brandon Bateman:

We do prefer that.

Jason Muth:

These guys work hard. Can we get your final couple of questions, and then we will ask you to tell them where to find you. We'll put everything in the show notes. Obviously, the first question that we have for you is if you can get up on stage for a half hour talk straight about anything in the world with no preparation, not pay per click advertising. What would it be?

Brandon Bateman:

Real bummer you said not pay per click advertising, because I was about to say, I could go like 12 hours there. Yeah. So for doing something that's not just not just digital marketing. Splitboarding Do you know anything about splitboarding?

Jason Muth:

Nothing. Nope.

Brandon Bateman:

It is, so I'm assuming you snowboard is. Snow snowboarding is, of course, snow sport. I live in Utah, where we have all kinds of great mountains, tons of snow. Splitboarding is where you get a snowboard that you split in half. So basically splits into two skis. And then you put skins on those and you use it to basically backcountry ski to the top of the mountain. So you can hike like that. And then at the top of the mountain, you put them together and then you snowboard down the mountain. I'm actually headed later today to go do that. And I'm on the canyons out here. Absolutely love doing it. It's like a combination between snowboarding and hiking and

Jason Muth:

That is wild. Yeah, I don't think we have that in the Northeast. Do we, Rory?

Rory Gill:

I've never seen it and we don't have snow anymore. This this deep into April.

Brandon Bateman:

We just got a blizzard here. But it's uh, that's rare, though. It's, that's not normal. But you for sure have it you just haven't seen too, because people who do this, obviously are not in places that you would see them. Because they're in the back country. Unless you're just like trudging around in the back country pretty often. And you happen to see people there.

Jason Muth:

I'll have to check Google Trends and see what the volume is for splitboarding. And see over time how popular it's gotten.

Brandon Bateman:

You'll have to see. It's become more popular recently. Because historically, like ski touring was much more feasible. With a snowboard it was less feasible. This book was a kind of a cool way around that. So anyways, it's a lot of fun. I'm an adventure, adventurous person. So I love the idea of

Jason Muth:

Yeah, you're from Utah, you look the part. So I have no doubt.

Brandon Bateman:

Thank you. Yeah. Thank you.

Jason Muth:

Second question. Tell us something that happened early in your life or career that impacts with the work today?

Brandon Bateman:

Good question. So believe it or not, I am a person that's very risk averse. And through being very risk averse, I like my belief. I don't know where this was put into my brain. But my belief growing up in my early adult years was that entrepreneurship is super risky. And, you know, just don't do that if you don't want to be bankrupt. It's interesting, because at some point, I was talking to one of my clients actually, and because my plan by the way, when I started getting to this marketing, I wanted to learn a lot because I wanted to get a job in digital marketing. That's why I started my company. It was a way for me to - I had no opportunity cost practically I was making like $15 an hour somewhere else. And I started this on the side of that. And I was like I'll just learn stuff so that I can get an internship. That was my plan. And even come like my when I graduated from college. I was making like five or six times as much money from this company as like people do with jobs at college. And still, my plan was to get a job. I was like, Well, I want a job, you know. I didn't have an ounce of my being that was like, four hour work week. I hate working in companies. So like, that'd be like the perfect corporate employee. That kind of stuff. But I yeah, I was talking to someone. And I was just explaining this to them. Like, I don't know what to do with the company. And they're like, you understand, like, it's riskier to work for someone else than it is for yourself, like at least doing this, you control what's going to happen, you have more control over where you're at. And I never ever thought of it that way. And ever since then I can never go back. I definitely think like, I finally believe that what I'm doing now is safer than what I would do otherwise. And I see kind of like compounds and how I have so many opportunities to grow as a person. So I'm kind of a converted entrepreneur, if that makes sense.

Jason Muth:

Have your parents finally stop asking you when you're gonna get a job?

Brandon Bateman:

Um, yeah, yeah, they have stopped asking me when I'm getting a job. I don't know if they were asking. But we'll Yeah. I don't know.

Jason Muth:

People find their way.

Brandon Bateman:

Thankfully, I didn't have too much pressure from outside.

Jason Muth:

No. Good. Yeah. People find their way into what they're doing in lots of different ways. You know, so I'm not surprised to hear that. But I mean, if you're risk averse, and you're splitboarding, you know, those two things might not - it's feels very risky to go down a mountain, but maybe you're a little bit less risk averse than you think.

Brandon Bateman:

Yeah, not to mention, I also like paragliding. So I like the splitboarding avalanche danger like paragliding entrepreneur is, doesn't sound risk averse, but, but really what I, what I am is I trust myself. And I am very analytical about risk. And I enjoy risk mitigation. So it's not that I don't ever do something risky, it's that I control my risks very closely and operate in such a way that I don't expose myself with too much risk. But I still get to do fun things. And that's kind of like, that's interesting for me, like, you know, being out splitboarding and digging a pit and analyzing the snow layers and, you know, estimating the likelihood that this local avalanche and making decisions based on that is a place where I can trust myself. And I think it's fun. Also, I'm not one of those guys that just like goes out there and just like shreds anything and doesn't care. Like, I'm very conservative in all the things I do.

Jason Muth:

But you bet on yourself. And I think that's what that's what the moral is there, which is always good to do. People have the confidence bound themselves. You know, you'll go very far. Final question, what are you listening to?

Brandon Bateman:

Betting on yourself is good.

Jason Muth:

Betting on yourself is a great, great thing. Yes. The final question is, what are you listening to, or watching or reading these days?

Brandon Bateman:

So I just finished a book that I loved, it was called multipliers. Not sure if you've read that. It sounds like a leadership book. Basically, what they did is they analyzed output that leaders get from their employees, not necessarily like how much their employees like them, or like those kinds of things, but what kind of output they get from their employees. And they found the commonalities between leaders that get the most out of their employees and those that don't. And they call those who get the most out of their employees multipliers, and those that get the least out of their employees diminishers because they basically diminish the natural talents and put that into a really digestible book where where you can basically learn how you can achieve more output from your team. And I thought it was, it was a, I thought it was really well done and really insightful.

Jason Muth:

It goes into the entrepreneurial spirit. I mean, now you're looking for ways to grow your business too, probably things that you never thought of a couple years ago when you were just doing this for fun to try to get a job.

Brandon Bateman:

Oh, yeah, it's way different. I went from like a, you know, that to like teaching other people to managing other people to managing people who manage other people like there's, there's like that whole leading, like, there's, there's like a whole journey, you know, your business can't grow any faster when you do personally. So I tried to do that, but I'm certainly not, you know, anytime my business has ever struggled, it's been because of some efficiency I have personally, and I'm very aware of that, as I tried to fix those things.

Jason Muth:

Yeah. And there's a lot of like, you know, skills that go into peoples skills with clients and with your own co-workers. I mean, like, you know, you're dealing with their lives, right, like people have kids out of work they have, they have to find childcare, they have to deal with COVID for the past couple years, they have to you know, pay their mortgages and everything and like a lot of the decisions that you make impact all those things from your clients and from your customers. So you know, I'm sure you're totally along the way

Brandon Bateman:

I'm definitely in a leveraged position makes it a little bit hard to sleep at night. Like see how much money we spend for our clients and how much money we our employees and all that stuff. I'm like oh, shoot hopefully you do this right!

Jason Muth:

Yeah, we'll keep having your clients give you their credit card numbers so they can pay for the actual digital marketing. You got to pay you for the service fee. So speaking with so Bateman Collective like why collective? I like that name. What's it where'd it come from?

Brandon Bateman:

I don't even I'm not even positive were like, I think I just thought of it. Like, at some point, it's honestly one of those things where like, at some point, I was just like, we gotta call this something. And it was like a 20 minute thought process, and it was done. Looking back, I like I don't like it because I want to get my name out of it. You know, because I don't want to be about me. But then of course, that's a mess, because everybody knows us as that. And you know, he built up really solid reputation and brand in this industry and stuff. So anyways, I guess that's just kind of where it came from. It's supposed to sound like professional and, and I created it when I was one person company. Maybe that's why it says Collective, we had to look big enough that people would actually pay us.

Jason Muth:

Yeah, well, you know, the way you'll get your name out of the company is when you get sold, you know, and somebody will acquires you, and then just merges you in with their name. But yeah, I think that shouldn't be That's it? Yeah, it is actually why Rory didn't do first, we're talking about the name of your law firm.

Rory Gill:

And we did. So yeah, I started off the law office of Rory J. Gill. And I realized that it doesn't, the brand doesn't stand for anything. It's just another name and a string of other attorneys offices down the street. So then I came up with UrbanVillage Legal to at least allow me some flexibility with practice area, but to kind of connote a business that I do - the real estate, the property oriented practice, so I retitled everything into UrbanVillage Legal and I never looked back, and I'm still amazed with all the small law practitioners, real estate agents who just name their business after themselves because you can't scale yourself.

Jason Muth:

But the collective part allows the collective

Rory Gill:

The collective is good leadership and a ability to grow.

Brandon Bateman:

So coulda shoulda woulda made some different name. We're stuck now. So we'll just roll with it.

Jason Muth:

I think it looks great. And it sounds great. And I'm guessing what's the URL is a Batemancollective.com?

Brandon Bateman:

Yep.

Jason Muth:

Okay. And how should people reach out to you guys like lead form there, direct email? Like, what are you

Brandon Bateman:

Yeah, I'm Bateman. collector.com is the looking for? place to go. If you want to look at the opportunity of working with us. That'll like I mentioned earlier, get you in touch with Noah who will kind of see if it's a good fit. And who is very much he very much has your best interests in mind. That's exactly what I was looking for when I was looking for someone for that role. And I think he does a really good job in that. If you want to reach out to me directly, for whatever reason, you can always email me my email is brandon@batemancollective.com. So pretty simple, first name, and then the website. And I'm more than happy to help out.

Jason Muth:

Great, we appreciate your time so much today. I mean, like we've had a lot of I probably could have talked for another couple of hours about this. And you know, I think that at this point, we'd lose a lot of folks, because when you talk digital marketing too long, you know, it's like getting a lot of attorneys in the room together. No offense Rory.

Brandon Bateman:

I'm definitely prone to that.

Jason Muth:

So yeah, that's about it shows you're passionate. Rory, tell us where everyone could find you.

Rory Gill:

People could test my search marketing and just search me online. Or if that doesn't work, find me at NextHome Titletown, nexthometitletown.com, or UrbanVillage Legal, urbanvillagelegal.com.

Jason Muth:

Based on some of our SEO work, I can guarantee if you search for NextHome Titletown, you will find us very easily at the top of that page. There won't be paid ads, but there will be organic listings. Brandon, thank you so much. We'll have to check back with you in another episode and see how things are going down the line because you know, we're eager to watch your business grow and to learn more about you as the digital marketing space changes.

Brandon Bateman:

So appreciate it. Great to meet both of you. Looking forward to connecting again soon.

Jason Muth:

Awesome. And if you're still listening to this, can you please give us a rating of five stars? Maybe four, but explain why you're giving us four or a thumbs up or just subscribe to the podcast or follow us on YouTube because we are building our audiences we respond to all of our comments. And we are eager to deliver more of these great episodes to you as as time goes on. So on behalf of Brandon and Rory, I'm Jason thanks so much for listening. Bye.

Rory Gill:

Thanks.

Announcer:

This has been The Real Estate Law Podcast because real estate is more than just pretty pictures. And law goes well beyond the paperwork and courtroom arguments. were powered by NextHome Titletown, Greater Boston's progressive real estate brokerage. More at nexthometitletown.com. And UrbanVillage Legal, Massachusetts real estate Council serving savvy property owners, lenders and investors more at urbanvillagelegal.com. Today's conversation was not legal advice, but we hope you found it entertaining and informative. Discover more at realestatelawpodcast.com. Thank you for listening