EPISODE 327: We Interview Robert Newman, Founder & CEO of InboundREM
On the 327th episode of the Mail Right Show, host Jonathan Denwood spoke with Robert Newman, founder, and CEO of InboundREM, about his transition from call center manager to an SEO specialist. Robert Newman is an inbound marketing expert specializing in residential real estate. He is passionate about assisting realtors in becoming masters of the digital arena and generating leads for themselves through the use of YouTube and his website. Robert Newman is a co-founder of MailRight, a company that creates semi-custom or fully custom websites for real estate agents using WordPress. This episode delves into Robert’s quest to become the most seasoned Real Estate web marketing expert in the United States.
Before becoming “The Robert Newman,” who was he?
Robert Newman was born and raised in Southern California but has never been a resident. His parents are both in the banking and technology industries; his father began by monitoring data backup stacks at night until he could find a mentor and trade him into coding. His mother passed when he was 17, but she was also involved in technology, albeit on the management side. Robert was reared in a free love atmosphere and surrounded by people who believed in hazy logic. The most impactful aspect of his life and career is that media was not permitted in his home until he was 14 or 15 years old. And the only thing his parents made easily accessible to him was a personal library. Thus, technically, he possessed many books, particularly collegiate ones. This is particularly pertinent because he sought out books whenever he encountered difficulty in his job, professional life, or even personal life, such as high school troubles. Regrettably, it rendered him an outcast during his early years. That led him to constantly follow his route and do things his way because he lacked social support and relatability from those around him.
Fortunately for Robert, his father remarried and had a child when he was 22. His brother worked for him for three and a half years, and he mentored him on the SEO skill set. Now, he’s taking those techniques and applying them to land himself a job at a large white labeling SEO business, making a salary that inboundREM couldn’t afford.
Robert Newman is also an addict, but he didn’t set out to be one; he was never a drinker or drug user in the first place. Drugs had so surrounded him that the concept turned him off. Because his parents were doing precisely that, that was the prevalent culture. However, he got a divorce from his first wife, which coincided with the onset of his drinking and drug addiction problems. He has this principle that if he marries, it will be once and done. Thus, when Robert chose to end that relationship, he considerably shattered his own heart, and it took him seven years and a great deal of self-punishment to realize that he was essentially dealing with a broken heart that he had created.
Meanwhile, he deteriorated into a complete human wreck. He had numerous run-ins with the law due to drugs and alcohol, warrants in various locations, trips to jail, and a history of never completing the programs allocated to him by the state or city, instead constantly getting himself into problems. He lost business and relationships; in fact, all of the stories about addiction that people hear can be applied to him.
How did he progress from this to become a successful inbound marketing specialist and owner of an inbound marketing company?
When he managed to drink himself into homelessness and found himself in a shelter with no money, he had every intention of finding work, earning money, and immediately returning to partying. Not until he slept next to a man who appeared to have difficulty breathing at night, after several minutes, the man was dead. Following that, he clarified that unless he makes some significant personal changes, he will be this guy, whether tomorrow or 15 or 20 years from now. He got this strong confidence that he needed to stop drinking and mend his life.
He began as a call center manager, where he gained various skills, including how to overcome his introversion and deal with and manage people. His first mentor, Billy Halberstadt, introduced him to spreadsheets and the concept of calculating how many calls each agent made and the closed deal percentage. He also taught Robert about tone, which was one of the first times he realized how much it matters not always what we say but how we say it—until he built a career out of what Billy taught him.
From being an assistant to Billy, Robert began his career as a manager of some of the largest call centers in the Western US. He served as the unofficial CMO, overseeing all marketing-related activities. Robert understood he was in a diminishing industry when he used what Billy taught him about tracking statistics. When he was sacked by the owner, who attempted to rehire him, he declined immediately and opted to go digital. The problem is that after submitting 300 resumes, no one contacted him except John Crabb, one of the three founders of agent image. He snatched him away for an interview. He arranged for Robert to meet with the entire sales staff at agent image, and he convinced them all that he was a reasonable risk. Then they hired him for 30 days as a project manager and allowed him to launch a new division, the company’s internet sales division, as a salesperson. That is how he began his career as a well-known SEO specialist in the market.