Real Estate SEO Case Study with Bret Wallace – 10x Return

Founder of InboundREM an inbound marketing lead generation company focused on SEO. Blogger. Real Estate SEO expert. Real Estate Lead Generation expert. Real estate online marketing fanatic. Podcaster. Occasional public speaker and frequent vlogger.

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“You’re half my digital marketing guy, half my business consultant.”

This quote encapsulates why my clients enjoy fantastic ROIs. Yes, I’m a real estate digital marketing expert. And yes, I infuse that expertise into my real estate technology and service packages. 

Just as importantly, I coach proactive clients on the most effective digital marketing tactics. In the case of Bret Wallace, that meant a 4-pronged approach. Bret is quickly becoming a real estate lead generation powerhouse in his own right through YouTube, Google My Business, paid hyperlocal search packets, and his website. 

We’ve been working together for a little over 2 years now with exceptional results. As with all my case studies, he represents a typical or average client in many respects. I didn’t cherrypick him.

The reason he’s the focus of this case study is not because he’s wildly more successful than other clients. It’s because he tracks his metrics pretty well, which makes for an accurate case study. 

Before we met, Bret had plateaued for multiple years with an annual GCI of around $175,000 using standard lead services like Zillow. After one year with me, he hit $224,000. His second year totaled $320,000. 

That’s a GCI increase of 70% after about two years. Here’s our story.

From Typical to Exceptional

Bret Spent over $10K on Zillow before he spoke to James “The ZillowKiller” Rembert, who advised him to stop spending money on short-term lead generation. Instead, he encouraged Bret to produce valuable content and let the leads come to him. 

I doubled-down on this game-changing advice by instructing Bret to make hyperlocal video content. The production value can be low because what’s really important is putting your face in front of target leads while providing unique value.


Bret got to work, and the results have been impressive. Check out his Fort Bend, Texas Real Estate YouTube channel, which is among the most successful YT channels among my clients. 

The Fort Bend Real Estate YouTube channel has over 70,000 total views. In 2020 he received 20 high-quality lead calls, and in 2021 he received 50 more. His conversion rate hovers around 20%, which equals 14 converted transactions. 

For his area, the average transaction is $325,000, which equals to $4.5 million in sales. Estimating his GCI with the average commission of 5.7% for realtors in Texas, that’s $256,500 over two years just from a YouTube channel. 

At the beginning, Bret’s videos mostly consisted of driving around neighborhoods while his wife filmed on an iPhone 11 as he talked about the market, local community, and homes. That’s it. One shot iPhone videos with virtually no editing. 

Did I coach him about how to optimize his videos so they actually get traffic? Absolutely. But the bulk of the filming, at least for a long time, was little more than talking to his wife just like he would a client. 

I don’t want to oversell YouTube real estate lead generation because it does take work. Bret worked. He’s got 150 videos on his channel. But it’s not as daunting as many people think.

It’s not insane to think of it as touring around a new, information-greedy client that wants to see every corner of your market. Then you follow the highly detailed advice of a video marketing expert while uploading your content. Presto! 

The end effect is a lead generation machine that’s easy to corner because your competition is probably scared to death of getting on camera. It’s a machine that would likely continue to produce Bret 10+ converted leads a year for several years even if he produced little new content. 

Google My Business Profile

Bret’s Google My Business profile generates 100+ calls per year. Of those, about 25 have become converted leads. 

In a way, GMB is a one-time setup that takes a couple of hours of verification and data entry. On the other hand, it works best when you have numerous excellent reviews. Obviously that takes time. Bret has sixty 5-star Google reviews. Only 5 star reviews. 

That’s because he took my advice to actively seek Google reviews from satisfied clients. Then he reflected even more appreciation back than he received. It takes years and deep client service to build that kind of profile. As with YouTube, it takes insider knowledge to know how to rank well for your market. 

At its core, however, it’s a byproduct that comes naturally from great client service. You set up your account, you ask clients for reviews, and you reflect gratitude back. It’s a free marketing tactic with a very low time cost that will produce Bret 25 converted leads a year for the foreseeable future.

Sponsored Ads in Hyperlocal Search Packet

Bret has only spent 8 months using the paid Google hyperlocal search packet at the time of our 2-year case study interview. It’s hands-down the best method of paid advertising in the real estate world. 

The first few months Bret used the service were the very first months Google implemented this system. There were ups and downs as many new realtors signed up and Google had to continually reprioritize the paid subscribers. 

Overall, during that period, Bret received 20 calls. He spent $1000 in paid advertising with one completed transaction with a $13,500 commission. That’s a 12.5X ROI. There’s another lead deep in the conversion process, which would result in a 25X ROI.

You can read more about this PPC marketing tactic in my guide to hyperlocal search packets. Like the Google My Business profile, the setup is one-time and not complicated. But there are also plenty of behind-the-scenes actions that make a huge difference.

We at InboundREM handle those actions to ensure our clients have a large competitive edge over their competition.

Website Traffic

Bret’s Homes of Fort Bend website is the cornerstone of his digital marketing strategy. Does it produce mad leads? No. Bret has received a few calls from direct organic traffic to the website. That’s opposed to leads that found his YouTube videos and then were redirected to the site. 

For complex reasons that I’m not going to get into now, his website is essential to his overall strategy even though it’s not generating lots of organic search traffic right now. 

InboundREM rebuilt his website as part of his $25K spend over the last two years. As you can see, it’s a nice website that’s easy to navigate, makes use of his excellent reviews, and encourages contact without being pushy. 

One thing I’d like to highlight is the website’s excellent authority score. His homepage has a 29/100 URL rating, which is fantastic for a real estate website. That’s especially true considering the small size of his team.

It is important to note that the metrics below from Ahrefs aren’t accurate. The Domain Authority (DA) and URL Authority (UR) are correct, but the traffic is much higher because Bret drives lots of direct traffic from other sources. We configured his website to interact with these sources in such a way that greatly improves their efficacy. 

Return on Investment

Bret has a $22-$25K total investment with InboundREM, including website rebuild and the original cost of the entire first contract, plus an increased budget upon contract renewal. His 2020 GCI totaled $224,000, his 2021 GCI totaled $320,000, and his total GCI while working with me is $544,000. 

I’m going to continue my highly conservative method of calculating client ROI and say that only $240,000 of his GCI came through marketing tactics I taught him. So officially we’ll say that’s a 10X ROI, but it could easily be significantly higher, probably around 15X ROI. 

What about 2018 and 2019? Bret has never completed a year with more than $200,000 in GCI. During the two years before he hired me, he had plateaued at $175,000. After two years with me, that jumped up $145,000 to $320,000. 

I’ll say that one more time. Bret has enjoyed a 10X ROI and almost doubled his GCI after 2 years with InboundREM. You can read about another 10X ROI Case Study with Dean Short

I’d love to talk with you about how you can enjoy similar success. Book a consultation with me using the link below.

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  1. Alex Schwarz

    A 70% increase in GCI after just two years is really impressive! Way to go!!

    1. Robert Newman

      Thank you, Alex! We thought it was pretty impressive ourselves.

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