RJ Bates Case Study – $2 Million Story and Real Estate Marketing Strategy

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Football season just ended.

A ripe 18-year old, RJ Bates woke up to his mom saying, “Football season is over. It’s time for you to go find a job. And I don’t want you to come home until you have one.”

RJ shot out of bed and went searching. His first place?

Pizza Hut.

After begging the manager for a job, he was hired as a delivery person. And making about $100 a day with tips, he felt like the king of the world. He progressed to store manager, eventually buying his own restaurant at 23 years old.

Then, in 2012, RJ’s niece got diagnosed with Leukemia and his dad passed away – a month before his baby was going to be born.

That’s when everything changed.

Watch RJ’s Bates CarrotCast

RJ’s Unusual Real Estate Marketing Strategy

Some people are wholesalers…

Some people are rehabbers…

Some people are rental owners…

RJ is whatever his clients need him to be.

With every lead, he asks the question…

“How can we make money from this lead?”

And that might sound like a selfish question to ask, but it’s actually one of the most selfless questions to ask. Because then, RJ doesn’t turn down clients because they need a specific service – he is willing to help them with almost anything they need. Whether that be rehabbing, wholesaling, holding a rental, or even roofing.

If someone needs help and they have money to pay, then RJ takes advantage of the opportunity.

Not, though, because it’s all about the deals for him, but because he’s running a business and his goal is to make money. According to him, there’s a massive difference.

“Aren’t we in business to make money, not complete deals? You could bust out a thousand deals and make no money.”

All of RJ’s goals are based on profitability… not on the number of deals. And the reason is simple: focusing on the number of deals can quickly turn into a vanity metric. Profitability, on the other hand, always leads to more money and a more successful business.

Plus, by trying to increase the profitability of each deal rather than just doing lots of deals, you can actually make more money with less work.

You could, for instance, make $20,000 by doing 3 deals, or you could make that in a single deal by optimizing your sales process and increasing your per-deal profitability.

Less work. More money.

How RJ Decides Which Markets to Expand into…

RJ doesn’t just randomly pick markets to take his business into. The primary factor he uses to determine which market to move into next is if he can build a strategic partnership with someone else there.

Some wholesalers and rehabbers prefer to build a completely remote business and outsource local tasks to someone in the area, but RJ prefers to have a partner with boots on the ground.

He looks for other businesses that he can team up with and build something even better than what either person currently has. On his own, he believes he can create something good. With others, he believes he can create something great.

Once he expands into a new market, he sets realistic expectations for that area. Each place has different cost-per-lead and cost-per-deal. And different marketing strategies work better (or worse) in different markets.

Today, RJ is in lots of different markets, has a goal of $2 million in profit by the end of the year, and is consistently looking for new partnerships that can help expand his portfolio.

RJ’s Marketing Strategy

RJ starts with an ambitious goal. In his own words…

“I don’t do well if I set small achievable goals. That to me does not excite me. I need to have the large goal because, in my mind, I can see what I need to do to achieve the large goal.”

His current goal?

To make $100,000 per month in passive income. If that’s not ambitious, then I don’t know what is. But it’s exactly that kind of goal that keeps RJ motivated.

In fact, he even said that he’s less likely to complete small goals because they don’t get him fired up – making him more likely to quit when the road gets treacherous.

Once he sets an ambitious goal, it’s time to start marketing his services.

Here are his primary marketing strategies…

  1. Direct mail – Even though this is a physical marketing strategy, RJ believes that it ties in directly with digital marketing. When someone receives a mailer, the first thing they do is try to find the website of the business that sent it. If that website isn’t optimized for conversion, then you’ve just paid money to lose leads.
  2. Facebook ads
  3. Instagram Ads
  4. Google Ads

With all of the digital advertising methods, he uses Carrot’s campaign tracking link system to make sure his ads are performing as he needs them to.

If they aren’t, he pauses the ad and figures out why it isn’t generating leads. Then he fixes it and tries again. His average cost-per-deal (which varies massively depending on the market) is $3,000 to $4,000. But he has massive profit margins that can support high-cost deals like that.

Image Credit: Speak2Leads.com

Also noteworthy is RJ’s five-minute policy, where he shouts “Five minutes!” in the office whenever a lead comes through. That means the team has just five minutes to contact the lead.

RJ believes that this policy is a big reason for their success…

Because when people opt-in, they’re probably also opting-in on the competition’s website – or they will soon – and the sooner he follows-up with leads, the better chance that he’ll make the sale.

RJ has also found that most sales happen not on the first or second contact, but on the 4th or 5th.

The more that you contact people, the more that they think about you and – somewhat surprisingly – the more likely that they will eventually buy from you.

Stay top-of-mind and they’ll buy from you once they’re ready.

Which is why RJ says that “with marketing, there’s no secret sauce. It’s all about consistency.”

Consistently getting in front of your target market…

Consistently reminding people that you exist…

And consistently working to stay top-of-mind for people who are on the fence about your service.

Over time, that consistency pays off.

(Image Source)

What’s your Real Estate Marketing Strategy?

How are you building your business?

Are you setting ambitious goals or small goals?

Are you sticking to one market or moving into many markets?

Do you have a website optimized for conversion to make the most of all your marketing dollars – online and offline?

This is RJ’s story. What’s yours?

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Mike Blankenship

Michael is a freelance copywriter who helps startups build bigger, more sustainable businesses. He’s been mentioned on Forbes and Entrepreneur for his expertise as a writer, and he's written articles for SUCCESS, SmartBlogger, GetResponse, AdWeek, Jeff Bullas, and a whole slew of other publications. You can learn more about him at mikeblankenship.org or connect with him on Facebook.

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