If you’re a real estate investor or real estate agent this Evergreen marketing article could change the way you think about marketing your business. My aim with this article is two-fold:
- My story and how I came to realize all leads and marketing aren’t created equal. The mainstream real estate world teaches us all marketing that is accidentally structured to keep us trapped in a never-ending marketing “hamster wheel”. Yes, it works to get leads and deals, but at what cost to our lifestyles and stress level?
- Show you how a shift in the way you market
It was 2011 and I was worn out.
I was running my previous company before Carrot and was second-guessing whether this “entrepreneurial dream” of true freedom & impact was real… or whether it was just something the late-night infomercial pitch masters sold to make a buck.
Financially my company was doing great when you looked at the profit and loss statement at the end of the year, but I was tired of the “boom and bust” cycle my income and leads were on.
One month our outbound marketing would hit and bring in a bunch of leads and sales…
… the next month my business partner and I would take our “minimum draw” of $1,500 each.
So, we’d hop back on the “marketing hamster-wheel” and crank out some more outbound marketing, get customers coming in, and the cycle would repeat every 3-4 months.
My business was successful in all of the normal metrics people would use to grade it, but it felt like the way I was doing it wasn’t sustainable and for sure wasn’t giving me the consistency, predictability, and momentum I craved.
In 2012 I finally sat down and asked… “How can I get more consistency and predictability so this business can support me rather than me support it?”
Are you tired of needing to get a gazillion unqualified leads to close a deal? More leads = more time and expense to sift through the tire kickers. Inbound online marketing with Evergreen content is the answer. It attracts your most qualified prospects who are motivated to solve their problem. It builds trust and credibility with them 24/7 365 through your Carrot Authority Hub.
They convert from visitor to lead between 2-4 times higher… and lead to deal closed from 2-3 times higher. Resulting lower lead volume but more profits and less hassle.
Timeframe: 90 day period in 2020 | Source: Carrot Member Site Google Analytics
“My goal for the year was $200k in profits and I’ve already almost passed that in the first quarter of the year.
You were right when you said I wasn’t thinking big enough”
eXp Realty Tucson, AZ
Evergreen marketing is what we focus on the most here at Carrot. We then amplify it with paid marketing and even hamster wheel marketing.
We’ll also talk about hamster wheel marketing in this post and the difference between it and Evergreen. To us, it’s not one or the other. It’s both. But you want to grow more and more into the Evergreen side of things because that’s where you create your consistency, your freedom, your flexibility.
You can make a greater impact with your business, but also that’s where your most valuable and highest converting leads come from is from that and then we amplify it with the hamster wheel approach.
What is Evergreen Marketing?
Evergreen marketing is essentially creating content and getting online in a spot where it’s going to be there forever, your website, or your “authority hub” here with Carrot, and then amplifying that on social media.
Where a lot of agents and investors go wrong is they take content and they just put it on Facebook or Instagram.
That to us is what’s called “hamster wheel” marketing.
If you’re creating a piece of content and you just put it up on Facebook or Instagram, it’s going to be there for 24 to 48, maybe 72 hours before it gets pushed down, forcing you to get back on the hamster wheel and post again, and post again and post again, because the life span of that content is so short.
The lifespan of that content is so short that you have to continually be on the hamster wheel.
If you get off of the hamster, if you stop doing those postings, if you stop doing direct mail, if you stop cold calling or doing RBMs, then your leads will eventually dwindle down to a stop and you’ve got to restart and get back on the hamster wheel.
Now, the other way that we like to focus outside of the hamster wheel is Evergreen. But it does take work. Evergreen is more like picturing a stack of bricks.
Here you see the hamster wheel and the hamster wheel looks amazing because it’s easy. You can hop on it. You can take a step and it immediately gives you feedback.
It immediately gives you a result. But the problem mentioned earlier, is you have to stay on the hamster wheel forever or plug somebody into the hamster wheel for you in order for it to keep giving you the result.
That’s where agents or investors get burnt. Everyone tells them, “Do this method, do this method.” But two, three, four, five years later, they get burnt out because they’re still doing that hamster wheel marketing with no end in sight, no systems to make it Evergreen.
This is where we want to help make a change.
So each brick in the stack represents a piece of content, a page on your website, something that’s going to be there forever. It could be a video. It could be a location page of a neighborhood you do business in.
It could be a blog post that you launched through our automated blog post system, or that you wrote.
Or, a video post on our system where you can take a short video from your cell phone, uploaded it to our video post feature, and automatically turn it from a video into a written article for you that you can then publish.
So, get into the weekly routine. Pick up a brick and stack it, pick up a brick and stack it.
Eventually, you’re going to have a whole row of bricks. It was dirty. It was hard work. You might even pull back and go, “I’ve done a bunch of work here and I’m not getting the result yet.”
That one row is not a wall.
What would happen if housebuilders stopped building a brick house in the first row? They were like, “Man, that was a lot of work. My hands are hurting. It’s not a wall yet, I’m just going to quit.”
Well, there wouldn’t be a house.
That’s where most people quit Evergreen marketing. They do a few actions and want instant gratification as hamster wheel marketing gives them. But they didn’t shift their mindset to the long-term momentum building mindset.
So instead, get on the hamster wheel, get some leads and deals coming in, but then go back and stack bricks.
Get into a routine of creating content. Another piece of content this week, another piece of content next week, a blog post next week, a video post, a video post, a location page, and eventually you’re going to have a brick wall that does all the work for you.
Remember, it’s going to be slow going in the first three, four, five, six months potentially.
But as long as you’re consistent stacking bricks of quality content that answers real questions from your market, you’re entertaining in your own way, you’re going to start to pick up that momentum.
Hamster wheel marketing, you get a quick result, but then you get off of it and it goes down. Then you got to go, “Shoot. I got to get more business.” You get on it, get off, get on it, get off. This creates stress.
Evergreen marketing creates freedom.
Freedom or stress. You pick which one you want.
So how long does this take to work? This little graph is going to show you. Essentially the time and the results that we want to have you expect.
Evergreen Marketing Time to Results
The first one to two months is when you’re really going to be dialing things in. By now you should have already had your website or what we call an authority hub created.
Dialed means you have your logo on your site, changed some of the content, and got some of location pages created. Once you’ve got that dial, then this is where you’re ready to start to bring traffic to your website. Dial it in those first couple months, add credibility, and get your content started.
In months two to five, two to six or so, that’s when you want to start some of that short-term marketing. Paid marketing, quick traffic methods, things like that. And month five to 12 is when you really start to see this Evergreen content marketing pickup and get momentum.
So in the early months, that’s when you are going to be doing a lot of work on the Evergreen marketing but may not see the highest level of result that you see over on a hamster wheel.
So in the short term, once again, that’s where this Evergreen marketing works in tandem with the short-term or quick result marketing. In those first three months execute things from that short-term marketing to get traffic and leads coming in immediately.
- Quick traffic
- Traffic stacking
- Content + SEO
- Building + Adding Authority
While you’re executing short-term marketing, you’re going to want to be building the foundation, executing the long-term momentum building Evergreen marketing, which is just simply creating content on your website on a consistent basis that Google likes to answer questions for people’s problems.
A Shifting Real Estate Industry
With the shifting real estate industry, there must be a marketing shift that has to happen and in the tech disruption in general.
We’re going to talk about this shift, what Evergreen marketing is and what it is not, and how you can really start to like.
If you implement, stay consistent, and have patience, you’ll be able to get more consistent, more predictable, and high-quality leads.
People will be reaching out to you rather than you having to reach out to them. No longer will you need to rely on posting on Facebook 18 times a day. Instead, let’s get you to where you publish a piece of marketing today and it works for you in six months, in a year, in three years, in five years.
You might say, “Yes, I want that, but what is it?”
We’re going to walk through what that is, show a couple of examples and case studies to really connect you for how it works for buyers, and how it works for sellers.
Our goal is to get you to shift your marketing mindset into what’s going to work amazingly well in the market ahead.
The industry is shifting and you can see with the industry shift there are two parts of the industry. There’s the retail side of the industry and then there’s the wholesale side.
The Shifting Industry
The retail side is working through the MLS, working with real estate agents. The wholesale side, of course, just like any industry, the auto industry, the grocery industry, all of those have retail and wholesale sides.
Both of them serve a great purpose. Some people just want to buy properties at a discount for investment and they don’t want to pay retail. Whereas some people just want to sell properties at a discount in exchange for speed and convenience with solving their problem. And many real estate agents don’t tread into the other side very often. Many wonder, “Why would that seller sell at a discount when they can sell it over here for a higher price?”
Well, oftentimes the seller wants to sell because of many reasons. They are needing to move fast or they had a bad experience selling it traditionally before, or they want cash quickly and they need it within 30 or 60 days and they don’t want to have to put up with showings and people going through and making offers and backing out or a variety of other reasons.
It’s a big market over there and it’s going to keep growing with the iBuyers. iBuyers such as Opendoor, Offerpad, and Zillow fall between retail and wholesale.
The big tech giants are starting to say, “Hey, I think we can do a little bit what agents do a little bit better, and I think we can do a little bit of what house buyers and professional house buyers do a little bit better. And we’re going to bring in better branding, better marketing, huge budgets, and try to shift the overall industry towards direct selling.”
Now, I feel that there will be more and more sellers selling directly to an end buyer through an investor or through an iBuyer service like this.
I still feel that real estate agents are going to be the backbone of house sales over the next several decades. But, there will be a change and we want to make sure that agents are not becoming a commodity.
We want to make sure that your commissions and your profits as an investor or agent are not being compressed. We want to make sure that you don’t die a slow death in your career because of this shift and getting left behind in this shift.
So the next question is this, how do you stand out in this market? How do you stand out when there’s a lot of agents when there’s a lot of investors and there are these iBuyers and tech giants coming in to try to disrupt the industry?
You stand out, not by creating fancier CRMs and fancier automation with text and email. That stuff is amazing. That stuff amplifies what you’ve already got.
The way that we actually stand out is by becoming an authority.
It’s an authority on a topic, on a neighborhood, on a certain type of a seller situation, in the area owned real estate, whatever it is, becoming an authority that people look to, to say,
“Wow, that person knows a lot about the subject. I trust that person and I feel less risk in taking care of better if I work with that person with this type of transaction.”
With the authority scale, it goes from the very bottom of the tactician.
- How to take the steps.
- How to do the basics of a transaction as a real estate investor or agent.
- How to close deals but their earning potential is going to be very, very low.
The tacticians influence is also going to be very, very low on those clients in that industry.
So in order to raise your income and become more stable as an agent or an investor, you need to start taking steps to become an expert.
- Well beyond just knowing how to do the tactics, shuffling the paper, knowing how to do the transaction.
- They are experts in niches such as experts in a neighborhood or neighborhoods, in a type of a buyer, a type of a seller, certain types of transactions as an investor or if you’re an agent you’re an expert in commercial property, investment properties and you’ve put in the time to invest into learning the expertise in that.
These things are going to increase your pay and it’s also going to increase your ability to influence your market to work with you so you can serve them better.
But, you need to move to be an authority to really win
There’s going to be a lot of tacticians in this next phase of the real estate industry that are going to get pushed out of the market. Technology is going to gobble up those people.
Experts are great, but the difference between an expert and an authority is an authority is an expert that a lot of people know is an expert. An expert is just someone who knows a lot of information, but no one may know who you are.
How do you get to have people know who you are?
The more people that know who you are and know that you are an expert on this topic, the more people will know you. The more people will be attracted to you and the sustained and consistent that business will be.
The way to bridge that gap between expert and authority and increase your pay, decrease your risk in the market, increase your ability to stay and thrive in this market change while these two segments, tacticians and experts, have a tougher time and they start to go downhill is you need become an authority.
How to Become an Online Authority
What is the only way to become an authority?
The answer is CONTENT.
What is content?
One way to do it is with your cell phone. You can record a video and upload it on Facebook. You can also take that video and upload it to your Carrot site (if you’re a Carrot member) and turn that video into a written blog post using our Video Post feature. That’s content.
When people see your content and they see your expertise and personality, they are seeing your authority on that subject especially if they see it over and over again.
It could be a written piece of content. It could be you in front of a chamber of commerce meeting. That is content, even though it’s in person.
If you’re showing up to those networking meetings or meeting one-to-one at a coffee shop, that’s amazing, but you can only scale that so far. What happens during situations where there’s pandemics, like America and the whole world has been through recently?
You can no longer show up to those big networking meetings. You can no longer go to the coffee shop and shake someone’s hand.
But what you can do is create content so people can find you online. Online is only going to get bigger and bigger. More and more people are going to the internet to make Google searches and that’s where we want you to be.
We want you to be rooted in this authority or maybe even eventually branch up to the “celebrity” authority in your market.
How do you do that?
This is where Evergreen marketing steps in.
Evergreen marketing is so amazing, that’s why we’ve gone all-in on Evergreen marketing, it’s what we’ve done since day one of Carrot.
We’re not a company that started out doing X and then we realized this opportunity and we’re shifting our strategy. We’ve been doing Evergreen marketing since day one. It’s what the entire business has been built on since the inception of Carrot at the end of 2013.
Millions of leads have been brought in through our system, mainly motivated sellers, but also a ton of buyers, a ton of tenants, land sellers, land buyers, mobile homes, retail listing houses, you name it.
How Evergreen Marketing Works And Examples Of Carrot Members Who Have Been Highly Successful Using It
- Buyers and sellers are searching online every day to solve their problems.
- You create valuable content and put on your website (Authority Hub).
It could be a video like we’re seeing here from Anthony Beckham. It could be a blog post. It could be a location page where you’re talking about areas and neighborhoods you buy or sell houses in. You can see this one from Anthony, he talks about the top five neighborhoods in Roseburg, Oregon.
He put it on YouTube and also created a video post. His video already has over 1000 views.
- If optimized well, your site ranks high. Searchers land on it and engage.
Search “North Umpqua River homes for sale”.
The number one result in Google is a Carrot site. One of their location pages they stacked a brick and created a bunch of location pages and it’s outranking Zillow and that produces leads every single month for them of people who are looking to buy in that luxury home area.
- Your content lives and works. It builds, trust, credibility, and authority 24/7 for months and years.
- Rinse and repeat over the long-term so your content is everywhere online.
- Amplify your content with social media, ads, and email.
You’ve got to start shifting some of your patterns, start shifting some of your thoughts on what marketing is for you. Shift some of your hamster wheel efforts into Evergreen efforts and then you start to stack more and more content pieces onto your website.
Then to really make it hum, those content pieces you get on your website, share them on social media, share them on Facebook.
Just like you see here with Anthony linking up his Carrot page with his video and he has over 16,000 views.
Once again, the whole strategy in your first two to three months is going to be the most work. That’s probably where you’re going to be putting three to five hours a weekend into creating the content, getting your marketing plan created in that first month or so.
After that first six months, then it’s probably going to be more like an hour a week and that’s your weekly marketing commitment as far as your content.
Here’s a case study for how Brian Rockwell, an investor down in Dallas, Texas is getting sellers through Evergreen marketing. There’s a full case study. We will link it up below on how Brian Rockwell has done that.
Brian went from school teacher to multi-million dollar wholesaling and house flipping business and multifamily investment company just from Evergreen marketing and amplifying it with paid marketing.
This is a text message he sent us. Six wholesale deals this month. If all goes through, $124,000. Four came from pay-per-click.
And then one came from organic and one came from retargeting.
So that right there is an amazing, amazing result for sellers motivated households.
Let’s look at a real estate agent G Team for buyers. North Umpqua River homes for sale. Anyone who types up that phrase in Google now, it took about four to five months of doing the process, putting their heads down, doing the work, or you can hire our services team to do some of this work for you.
They’re ranking above Zillow and Realtor.
What does that equal? It equals leads. The G Team gets leads every single day from that one page.
Now, imagine if you started to stack on more of those pages, you get three leads from this one every month and two leads from this one every month and 10 leads from this one every one month and three leads from this one, none from this one, but six from this and three from this, you get the idea.
Here’s another example. So the niche seller leads. Let’s say you’re going after sellers who are in tight niches. They have a problem. They’re searching online. I want to sell my inherited house in Detroit, or sell my house in divorce, or sell my luxury home, or how to sell my house without a real estate agent, or how to sell my house with a real estate agent, phrases like that.
What if you were ranked really high in Google for that phrase, just like these Carrot members are and they’re ranked in front of those clients, what does it turn into? Well, it turns into leads.
This one came through Steve’s Carrot website. He put Evergreen content up there. That was a blog post that he used for a automated blog system and he used one of our plays in the playbook to modify those to give it a better chance to rank well in Google.
And you can see this one came from Google search and this one came in at 7:33PM. Carrot is working while you are eating dinner, while you’re hanging out with your family or while you’re sleeping, Carrot’s working. That is what Evergreen marketing is. We want it to give you freedom.
Lastly, the whole thing with the strategy of Evergreen marketing, is that it is a fundamental shift in the way that you do things.
If you want to be on the hamster wheel for the next five or 10 years and grinding away in five or 10 years and having to continue to post and continue to do things and continue to work five, six, seven days a week, then keep on doing hamster wheel marketing as your only marketing method.
We want to start to have you shift things over to Evergreen marketing, but it’s going to take work.
It’s going to take focus. It’s going to take effort, but in 12-24 months, you’re going to say “Oh my gosh, I’m so glad that I made this shift in my business because now I have freedom. I have flexibility. I’ve got this machine and authority hub that is continually attracting the right prospects that convert the best, that want to work with us.”
And this is what your site is going to look like essentially.
You have got your core homepage or Authority Hub. Then there are “core conversion” pages, niche/location pages, and the authority content.
Let’s dive into those a little deeper:
- Core Conversion Pages:
- Purpose: To convert visitors into leads and deals at a high rate
- What: Your home page, primary nav pages, reviews, About, FAQ, How it works, etc.
- All geared to guide people through a specific set of content in a specific order to answer questions, squash objections, and convert a visitor into a lead and deal.
- Frequency: You create these one-time but then update them as needed.
- Niche / Location Pages:
- Purpose: To attract new prospects who are searching for localized phrases.
- What: Pages specific to a location and/or niche that is created in a way to rank well in Google for those localized searchers.
- Seller: It’s best to duplicate a motivated seller lead gen page and localize it for each market. This may be a home page on our motivated seller sites or a seller page on an agent site.
- Buyers: Use the Locations page tool so we can populate in properties. And each location is unique so it’s harder to duplicate a page. These pages take more heavy lifting.
- Frequency: Ideally 5-10 per quarter.
- Priority “Authority” Content:
- Purpose: To build ongoing trust, credibility, and authority through small but hyper-focused pieces of content.
- What: Automated content pack blog posts, video posts, etc. These may be market updates, video posts answering common questions, etc.
- Frequency: Weekly. Ideally 1 automated post per week and 1 VideoPost.
That’s it. That’s publishing one authority content piece in under an hour a week, every single week. Then take your “Authority Hub” and amplify it by sharing it on social media and or paid marketing.
Over time, you’re going to see these stack up in Google and start to bring you traffic.
Eventually, you can start to get off of that hamster wheel and you can start to stack those bricks and get that freedom you’re looking for.
Hopefully, your mindset shifted around what to do. You understand what Evergreen marketing is now to crush it, gain that freedom, gain that flexibility and grow momentum.