Episode 398: Google Ad Strategies that Convert Leads to Clients For Real Estate Agents in 2023

Episode Timeline

On episode 398th of Mail-Right now, Jonathan Denwoon, Robert Newnan, and special guest Jarod Spiewak dive into things real estate agents or brokers should do when using paid advertising. Jared Spiewak is a real estate investor and the founder and lead strategist at Comet Fuel, which helps service-based and SaaS companies by turning clicks to CashTM. Jonathan Denwood is Mail-Right’s joint founder and CEO, a platform that builds WordPress websites and combines digital marketing tools in a streamlined, user-friendly package. On the other hand, Robert Newman is the CEO of Inbound REM, an inbound marketing firm, and has been in the real estate SEO business for over a decade. This episode dives into using Google Ads and result-oriented strategies that convert leads into clients.

Agents And Brokers Need To Understand About Using Google Ads

Google has improved in making proactive recommendations for anyone who opens a Google Ads account. All you do is follow the recommendations they’re making at AdWords. When you search online for Google AdWords and see how people discuss the automatic recommendations from Google or Google’s contractors, it might not all seem good. However, that doesn’t mean everything they suggest is bad, but you must think carefully— applying all of them and hoping for the best is not a good idea.

Some recommendations involve spending more money on your ads and might not significantly impact your ad performance if you choose not to follow these suggestions. They also suggest removing specific keywords. For example, there are recommendations for a real estate lawyer’s ad campaign where the term “real estate lawyer” was advised to be removed. But sometimes, these suggestions help you correct settings you didn’t intend to have in the first place. But it is advisable to follow only some of the recommendations. Look at each keyword and consider whether it will benefit your advertising strategy. If it’s a good recommendation that aligns with your goals, apply it.

Furthermore, in real estate, you’ll often encounter professionals like SEO and paid advertising specialists, which can be like purchasing insurance. However, when you hire somebody, whether it’s a freelancer, an agency, someone in-house, or a referral from your broker, it’s tough to tell them they’re doing an excellent job if you have nothing to compare it to. With that, a DIY approach is recommended, especially if you’re on the smaller side of agents or brokers. You can also go to YouTube, type in How to run ads, try it yourself, understand the basics, see what you can do, and then compare what you can do yourself before hiring someone else to do it for you.

It’s easy to go along with the recommendation when uncertain about something. For instance, imagine an obvious keyword was removed from a client’s advertising account. It might have happened because, without clear knowledge, someone thought, “Well, perhaps Google knows best, and there must be a good reason to remove this keyword related to real estate law or whatever it was.” Thus, you need to have a good understanding of what these experts are suggesting and be able to determine if their recommendations genuinely suit your needs.

Fundamental mistakes when making a DIY Google Advertisement

There are two questions for people who are already running ads. First is how much money they spent on advertising in the past month. Second is how much money did they make from those ads. The second question is trickier because most people don’t track the entire sales process after someone clicks on their ad.

Here’s why this matters: Sometimes, you might have a month where your ads generate a lot of inquiries, such as people filling out forms or making phone calls, and you might think your ads are doing great. But then, when you check your overall revenue, you realize that all those inquiries didn’t bring in much money. On the other side, there might be another keyword or ad campaign that didn’t generate as many inquiries, but it resulted in more actual business opportunities and, ultimately, more profit.

Thus, the first mistake many people make is focusing on the number of inquiries and not on the quality of those inquiries, which will make you spend a lot of money on ads that aren’t as profitable as they seem. It’s crucial to track which ads bring valuable opportunities, not just inquiries, to make your advertising budget more effective.

Close the gap between somebody filling out a form, someone qualified to be worth your time to interface with, and people who turn into customers. Because if not, it’s just a waste of money. Focus on optimizing that complete sales cycle and not just people taking that first step and reaching out because only some people who reach out will be a good fit for you.

The second problem is not clearly understanding who your customers are. What’s your ultimate goal? Are you trying to sell apartments, condos, or something else? Are you targeting high-end or low-end residential customers, first-time homeowners, or investors? Knowing your target customers is crucial because it changes how you communicate with them and what you offer. Defining your audience is essential to have a successful sales strategy.

Being specific about your expertise and who you’re trying to help is crucial to stand out. For example, suppose you’re trying to attract first-time homeowners, and your website or landing page has very vague information about you and the buying process. In that case, buyers will not feel confident to reach out because they don’t know if you’re a good fit.

When potential buyers see your ad or visit your website, they should quickly know if you’re the right choice. For instance, if someone is looking to buy a $125,000 apartment, buyers would not want to work with an agent who mainly deals with $800,000 single-family homes. They might not be as knowledgeable about the buying process for apartments in that price range as someone specializing in that area. Being clear about your target audience and expertise can help you attract the right clients and build their confidence in choosing you as their real estate agent.

Difference Between Digital Lead and Personal Recommendation

Another problem is many people in real estate think a digital lead is the same as a personal recommendation.

Every lead source is different, and lead attribution is very difficult. The more marketing methods you use, the harder it is to trace why and where your leads came from. Think about referrals – when someone recommends your business to others. For instance, someone ran an advertising campaign and thought it was responsible for generating many sales. However, upon closer examination, they realized that a significant portion of those sales came from people referred by others. These referrals happened because someone suggested to Google this keyword, and you’ll find this company. These individuals then clicked on your ad. So, while the sales were initially attributed to your ad campaign, digging deeper will make you discover that these customers were already actively seeking referrals. In response, the ad campaign was turned off, even though it drove many sales, and reallocated the budget to other marketing efforts instead.

When generating a relatively small number of leads, it’s essential to look at them closely and be critical about which strategies genuinely drive valuable leads to your business.
If you’re generating tens of thousands of leads, looking by each line item, it is hard to find where they came from. It’s a game where the more leads you have, the harder it is to keep track of their sources. But when dealing with a smaller data set, it’s easier to connect the dots.

Sometimes, it can be disappointing to realize that your lead-generation efforts weren’t as effective as you thought. This is where lead attribution comes into play. It’s essential to understand where your leads are coming from. It’s also important to recognize that a lead might have multiple sources. They could have found you through SEO, Google ads, or Facebook ads, and some of them might have already known about your business. It’s a combined effort of SEO experts, advertisers, and social media marketers working together to bring in these leads.

Lead quality has been rising. However, this statement is only true when considering all the different ways to generate leads, like personalized online videos and social proof. The strategies that agents use have evolved significantly. For example, when investing in paid advertising for web pages that have already been optimized, there’s a better result for the money spent.

Whether SEO is inherently better for lead quality is not a straightforward answer anymore. It depends on how well your marketing efforts are supported and where you direct your traffic. This, in turn, determines how effective your spending is and other relevant factors. There’s a smaller distinction between where the lead came from, whether from search engines, organic methods, email campaigns, or even traditional methods like direct mail.

How will AI affect Google Advertisement Over The Next 18 Months?

AI and machine learning have been a part of Google Ads for quite some time, even before ChatGPT became popular. Google uses AI and machine learning in advertising, like performance max campaigns and dynamic search ads. When you create a text ad, Google can suggest ad text by looking at your website. This makes it easier to set up ads because one doesn’t need to be an expert in writing ad copy. However, while it might be convenient, relying too much on Google’s suggestions can be risky.

Why? Because this automated system doesn’t fully understand your specific goals or business. So, overly using all of its suggestions might not be the best strategy. It’s like getting advice when you receive recommendations, whether from AI or other sources. Sometimes it’s helpful, and sometimes it might not be. It would help to be careful and not mindlessly use it. Using these suggestions as a starting point is good, but you should still apply your knowledge to ensure they align with your advertising goals and business needs.

Regarding AI in advertising, you might use AI to create videos or images if you’re running display or video ads. However, there could be copyright issues, which means that many people can’t use ads made by AI right now. There are even lawsuits happening, like one involving ChatGPT. AI-generated text is generally less of a concern as it can be helpful. However, it would help if you didn’t rely solely on it. As stated above, you still need to use your knowledge and experience, but it’s a great starting point, and then build on it with more specific details that suit your needs.

Another thing you might run into is becoming dependent upon an untested tool, which is common in technology. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and techniques like behavioral marketing and machine learning are the way forward. These technologies have been around for a while and will keep improving. But the big question is, should you start using them right now? And if you decide to use them, what should you use them for? These are essential questions you need to carefully think about before diving in. Take your time using new tech tools with a solid plan and understanding of how they’ll benefit your needs.

Scaling Google Ads

The better you can measure performance, the easier and faster it is to scale. If all you know is what’s driving leads, but what’s not driving sales, what’s not driving qualified leads, it’s tough to be confident when to spend more money on what to spend more money on. But if you know you’ve spent a thousand dollars on X and produced $4,000 in profit, you can test the waters and go. What happens when spending $2,000 on that instead? It may go up to less than $8,000, but you may get $7000 or $6,000 in return. If this return on investment is still good for your goals, consider increasing your spending to $3,500 or even $5,000.

The process here is all about testing and adjusting. If your initial spending works and brings in profits, you can slowly increase your spending. However, at some point, you’ll notice that your results start to decrease because you’re no longer making enough money or you’ve reached everyone you can get with your current strategy. If that happens, make some changes. It would help if you broaden your target audience or try different keywords. If you’ve exhausted all the options for paid advertising, you could explore free marketing methods.

It is like a balancing act: you spend a certain amount, and if you’re happy with the money you’re making from it, you increase your spending to see if it boosts your profits further. But if you’re not satisfied with the results, you need to figure out the problem— is it because you’ve hit a limit in your current approach?

To improve your results, you can also work on making your ads more effective, reducing the cost of each click on your ads, and optimizing your sales process. For instance, if you’re getting leads but not enough are becoming paying customers, you can work on your follow-up process to convert more leads into sales.

Overall, it’s about carefully analyzing every step of your sales process, from when someone shows interest to when they make a purchase. By constantly assessing and improving, you can make your advertising more profitable and scale your business.

Influencers, Online Mentors, And Digital People To Follow To Guide You In Decision-Making

A name that’s getting more and more popular nowadays is Alex Hormozi. He’s become very large recently and released his second book, $100 Million Leads. His book has helped Jarod Spiewak form their lead generation massively, which took off after that. He explains his concepts and provides very digestible content that is easy to consume.

Another one is Mike Michalowicz. He wrote a book called Profit First, which is an excellent book on cash flow management that helps in scale-up. He also has great books like The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur and The Pumpkin Plan.

Think Carefully Before Copying Other’s Approach and Assess if it Fits Your Situation

Don’t compare your business to other people’s businesses. When you are getting involved in your communities and the people in the industry, going to events and conferences, and having conversations with people who are growing so much faster than you, have much more revenue, or have a much bigger team, you would start to look at, what are these guys doing that you don’t? How can you copy what they’re doing? Because what they’re doing that you don’t must be the secret to success. However, fast forward five years, and many are out of business. Therefore, focus on bettering yourself and don’t look at what other people are doing or how they’re growing their business.

Jarod learned from his experiences that attending events and talking to people can significantly impact how you do business. Sometimes, we change our approach significantly after hearing about what others are doing.

Jarod, for instance, often assumed before that if someone else had a bigger and more successful business, he should copy them. If someone talked about their successful business approach, he thought he should adopt that strategy as it seems great. But later, Jarod learned through a conversation that this approach didn’t work well for them.

According to Jarod, his biggest mistake was trusting too much what others say they’re doing successfully and not realizing that only some are honest about their business successes. So, it’s essential to take advice with a grain of salt and carefully assess if it truly fits your situation.