Business minds think about ROI all the time, most especially with real estate. But how do you measure the value of your marketing and social media activities against the money you make? Jason Bible and Robert Orfino discuss what they do in social media that creates an impact on their business. They also share insights on networking and real estate education. See ROI on a whole new light in this episode.
Listen to the podcast here:
What’s The ROI On Your Mom? with Co-Host Robert Orfino
What are we talking about in this episode?
The theme of this show is funny stuff that has happened. I got invited to a little event that Eddie Gant puts on. There are about ten to fifteen people.
I had about nine seconds of jealousy then I got over it because I realized how much I had to do. It looked like it was a good restaurant. I’m like, “I bet that dude had a lot of shrimp cocktail right there.”
I had some serious appetizer envy. They came out and I got the salad. Everybody else got the gumbo and it’s a seafood joint right there in the Galleria. I’m looking over at Curtis. Curtis is sitting right next to the Bentley dealer there. I’m sitting there next to Curtis. You can’t park your own car. That drives me crazy. It’s one of those places.
That’s one of the perks of Vegas and California.
It drives me crazy. I get out and I’m like, “Please don’t get this car parked at where it gets stolen.” They look at me and they’re like, “It‘s parked next to these Ferraris.” I’m like, “No one’s stealing those Ferrari’s. I can tell you that. That’s why there’s like 1,000 of them left.” I’m sitting there and I look over and Curtis is sitting next to me and he gets the gumbo. I get the salad and I’m sitting there the whole time. That’s one of those restaurants where they’re nice enough to where you’d raise your hand and say, “I screwed up. Can I get the gumbo instead?” They’d rush an order out really quick and I’m like, “I should have gotten that.”Networking is about meeting people, not asking for referrals. Click To Tweet
We’ve got the main course and you can have salmon, steak or some chicken thing. I got the salmon. I like smaller filets. The guy next to me got the chicken, I got the fish and then Curtis got the steak. I almost said, “Do you guys want to split it up in thirds and then we can share?” That went through my mind and then I was like, “I don’t know.” Everybody was talking and stuff. In any case, Eddie puts on this little event. He’ll sometimes bring in one or two new investors, seasoned investors, career folks, folks who’ve got a lot of experience. He said one of the challenges with this event is it’s hard for him to get to network with a lot of people.
He sometimes has some challenges to be able to do that. A couple of years ago, he started putting this little meeting together once a month where he’d have lunch with some Jet clients and new clients. What’s interesting is it’s a lot of sharing of market intelligence. He had me start. He goes, “Jason, why don’t you start and talk about what’s going on in the marketplace?” I said, “Okay, fine.” I talked for a couple of minutes. We went around the room and about halfway through he said, “I want to know why you’re in Corpus. What do you think of these smaller markets? What do you think is going on?” We started sharing in the whole group. It’s a very interesting discussion.
We also had a lot of different investing styles. We had some flippers there. Robert was there and he does all the land stuff. There were some land guys there. It was a lot of fun. That’s what we did for lunch and there were four or five people there that I had never met before. That’s a lot of fun. Later, we did the show from the bar there. What I think a lot of people miss and this is a similar conversation I had with Mario when we were doing impromptu Happy Hour there before I got on the road to get back to Sugar Land. One of the things that’s fascinating is that people believe that their power team has to be 100 people.
I’m at 78 and 23 are attorneys.
It’s like half of them are attorneys. What a lot of people miss in real estate is that there’s only a small handful of real movers and shakers, real connectors and influencers. It’s not 100. It’s not 200 people. It’s 30 or 40 people. Once you get to know that group, if inside that group they don’t have the answer, they’re probably one or two degrees of separation. They’ll get it. It takes them a few years.
I agree with that, but there are probably multiple pockets of them. There is the title guy who works with this hard money lender who works with this guru who works in this world. That little pocket of four or five players is over there. They’re having lunch and they’re going to have lunch in Galveston. There’s another private lender, a pseudo. I love the private lender who’s our hard money lenders, the 15% guys who also have their title guy and their attorney. They work with their six or seven contractors and they’re going to have lunch on Friday. There are these little pockets. In our world, for sure, there are four or five people you have to know.
It’s going to depend on the asset class that you’re involved in. For us, and Eddie was the magnet in this group. They’re having a conversation with all the different people in there, most of which are single-family. Some people are getting a commercial. I can see having a conversation with our banker, “Let’s do a lunch.” They bring their contacts over. This is something I’m trying to work.
That’s the way it’s supposed to work. Networking isn’t, “Jason, I need a concrete guy. Can you give me your concrete guy?” Networking is, “Jason, I’m going to lunch and my concrete guy, do you want to come out and meet him?” That’s how it’s supposed to work. People miss that all the time.
I’ll tell you what they missed. I did a Facebook Live with Curtis at one of his job sites and he introduced me to a couple of his contractors. That’s real networking. Plans and permits were at our little get-together. That’s networking. I always find it fascinating when people are looking for the big bang, the huge group. It’s not that those are wrong, but I’m telling you it’s the smaller interactions, it’s the smaller groups that are crazy, wicked powerful. I get invited to lunch every month and I can only make it about once a quarter. There might be ten guys there, but there are somewhere between 3,000 to 6,000 doors in single-family and small multifamily. It’s a powerful group. That’s what a lot of people miss. There are somewhere between 75,000 and 150,000 people that read this blog every day. The secret’s out. The reality is we’re going to end up working with about 250 of them. We’ve got to throw this relatively wide net, but that funnel, that net gets small quick.
It’s a phone call. How much money do they have in the bank? How much money to work? Is your wife on board? If any of those don’t fit, I’m not sure what I can do for you.
When I get asked, “Why are you guys doing X, Y and Z? What’s the ROI on that?” I’m like, “You don’t understand. The show we did, the other Facebook Live I did, the luncheon I had, I’m looking for one or two people.”
That was a joke? Someone was being a little snarky to you and said, “Jason, you’re on Facebook Live. Do you get any work done?” My comment was, “He’s not on Facebook enough.”
We’re looking for one or two people. We’ll probably bring in five to ten people a month to our little mastermind and at $250 that’ll be it. That will allow us to buy $100 million in real estate. We’re already at about $15 million. It’s fascinating for me to watch, especially in the social media space, that everyone’s trying to build this gigantic following. I’m like, “If that gets you to your results, great.” I’ll tell you being an actual real estate investor and not a person selling a real estate education program or being an anti-real estate guru to get them to join my group or to do the destination masterminds. I’m not selling that. We’re selling essentially a, “Come join us in a partnership role and let’s go buy a bunch of real estate.” The reality is that there are millions of people across the country that would love to be able to do that. At the end of the day, it will be 0.01% that becomes successful at it.Social media is still so new. Nobody knows how to really quantify its impact. Click To Tweet
The people that want that big following is because of the churn. Kent Clothier needs a massive following, probably a million people on his email list. You’ve gathered this and trade it and swapped and all that other stuff because he churns. Once you’ve been through many months of his mastermind and if you’re successful, then you might move on to another mastermind. He might be the guy to tell you that, “You need to go talk to Roland. You need to go talk to Jason. You need to go talk to these guys.” There’s a churn there. We’re not looking to churn. We’re looking for 250 people who want to work with us for the next few years to become millionaires. That’s what we’re looking for.
Gary Vaynerchuk has this little quote, “What’s the ROI of your mom?” It’s a cute little quote. He’s famous in social media marketing. It is probably the easiest way to describe what old GV does. What he’s saying is he gets in these rooms with corporate executives, big companies, top 500. They start having discussions of, “What’s the ROI on my Twitter page? What’s my ROI on this? What’s the number of views on Facebook worth to me?” How do you come up with that number?
“How do I quantify your existence in this room?” is what they’re asking. We‘re paying you a lot of money. Why am I paying you a lot of money? The answer is you’re paying me a lot of money because you don’t know why you’re paying me a lot of money.
This technology is still new. We don’t know how to quantify it. Facebook comes up with some tools, so does YouTube. You can look at Social Blade and all that but at the end of the day, this thing is new still. It’s like cable TV was many years ago. We don’t know how to quantify what the impact is. I’ll give you a great example. Go read Wendy’s Twitter feed, Wendy’s the restaurant, the franchise. Read it. It’s hilarious. All Wendy’s does, whoever runs their social media, just trolls other brands. They troll their customers on there. It is brilliant. What’s the ROI on that? I have no idea. Here’s what I can tell you, it stays at the top of my Twitter feed because it’s great.
We’ve gotten away and that was the thing that we had introduced to our sponsors. It’s like, “You want a table and you want your 30 seconds in front of the room, but you don’t track the leads from that.” We’re telling you it doesn’t matter. The table is a waste of your time or at the very least, it’s one piece of these seven other things that were floating around out here in this awareness cloud. That’s it. You can’t put an ROI on it. I’ve said it before, famously a large wholesaling company in the city said to me, “I don’t see the value in your Meetups,” and I got fired up from that. We’ve done $100,000 in wholesale deals.
We’ve probably over $1.3 million in wholesale properties and we’ve made about $100,000 on it. That’s the value and it’s not because you were at a table. It’s because of all these other touches we keep doing. It’s hard to put an ROI on. I get it. I know that I can send out 10,000 postcards. I’m going to get 150 phone calls at 1.5% on that. On those 150 phone calls, I can set up 25 appointments and 25 appointments mean I get two deals. I can quantify it. Stay in that lane. That’s fine, but here comes your competitor who says, “I can do the same thing but I want to do more.” We say, “Here’s how we do more. Here’s why you should have sponsored us for a lousy $20,000. That $20,000 would have produced $100,000 in fees for you and you chose not to do it in a few months. You chose not to do that, that’s fine. I get it because you can’t quantify. You don’t see the value in it.
The problem is we’re getting into a world where you’re getting touched everywhere. You’ve got to be more touches. You’ve got to be everywhere. The line I said to you is like, “You don’t do enough Facebook Lives because people watch at different points of the day. People only stay for three seconds. People stay for 30 seconds. People stay for three hours. You never know. We can’t figure that out. There’s going to be an algorithm in several years that will have everyone’s pattern of their life and we’ll be able to tap into that but right now, it’s all guessing. This is why Kent, Frank and all these guys are pummeling us with emails every single day because they can’t quantify where their actual leads come from. They may get it from an email, but it may be because you’ve watched fifteen YouTube videos. You get an email in your box, you’re like, “Who’s Rob and Jason?” You go on YouTube, watch us, “I like these guys.” Come back and hit the button.
What will happen is they’ll come back, they’ll watch us for a few months, then they’ll respond to an email, “I’m interested in your mastermind.” We’ll go, “How did you hear about us?” They’re like, “You sent me an email.” You don’t find out until later that, “It was an email from a patent title that they sent a million years ago and then you all started watching our videos.”
“I realized you guys are the same guys I listen to in the morning.”
I don’t think people get that. The social media landscape is unsophisticated. We’re making numbers up to say that there’s value here because you have to be able to support your activity some way. You’ve got to answer to someone who says, “We’ve got this many views. How much do we sell? I don’t know. We sold a mastermind.” What is it that’s driving traffic? Let’s go back to your postcard analogy because here’s a great analogy. I will buy twice as many deals in 2019 than I ever did in the same twelve-month period. I spent $100,000 a month on marketing. I spent over $1 million a year in marketing and all I’m doing is talking to agents on Facebook and wholesalers. That’s it.
When that thread got a little snarky there, that’s what I realized. I’m like, “You aren’t real estate investors. You’re selling guru packages. You’re the educators and you can’t figure this out? It’s why you’re telling me you’re wrong because you’re spending a zillion dollars in marketing or a zillion hours in time. You see my little post up there and you see we bought another house or another duplex and you don’t understand where that’s coming from. Based on your metrics, we can’t possibly be that successful. That’s what’s fascinating. You all can’t possibly be that successful.” Ask our vendors. Ask Jet. It’s all about getting out there. It’s about working with that hand. It’s not 1,000 people. It’s not 10,000. It’s working with the 50, 60, 100 people that are closest to being able to get you to your goals. Hopefully, that makes sense. For all the people that are on social media are like, “What are they talking about?” It’s fine.
We’re talking about, “What’s the ROI of your mom?” and that’s a quote from Gary Vaynerchuk. Let me explain this a little bit more in my world when I got started as a real estate investor. I spent $100,000 on real estate education. Some of the people that you hear on the radio show, I’ve spent that money with them. I’ve done it with the national programs. Some of them have books about dads being rich and all that stuff. All the famous guys you could name, I’ve probably at least been to their event or have signed up for their mastermind. I’d spent all this money. I bought a couple of houses.Social media and marketing are about dealing with people who don't act rationally. Click To Tweet
I’m sitting there and what I started to realize is if I could figure this thing out, the upside potential is enormous. You have to be careful with that because the first question you got to ask yourself is, “Do I have the aptitude and essentially the skillset to be able to be a good real estate investor? Am I using education as a crutch to make an excuse for my lack of performance?” I don’t think that was the case. When I started to become successful in real estate, I was like, “I’ve got an MBA. Why don’t I build a business plan like any other business?” That was one thing I found. I went to these weekend events and I’m like, “This is unsophisticated.” The business world is much more detailed than this. That’s when we built a business plan. I built Houston House Buyers and turned that into the monolith that it is.
However, I was trying to calculate the ROI of real estate education. I’d sit down and say, “I signed up for this wholesaling thing and it was $10,000.” I was a little mentee and I’m sending out postcards and looking at these houses in the ghetto and all that stuff. I sat there in the back of my mind like, “I don’t want to buy these houses. I don’t want to build a business that looks like this, but what am I learning?” How do you calculate the ROI on those experiences? It’s pretty hard, especially when you look at the amount of wealth that we’ve created in the last couple of years. That ROI is incredibly huge. The cost was infinitesimally small.
It was cheap for me to learn all these different things. Plus, it allowed me to go into real estate education and some other things that I wouldn’t be able to do if I hadn’t had done that. That’s the question is when I get into these pedantic discussions with some of these people online or in–person, it’s like, “Why are you doing this? Why are you doing that?” I’m like, “I don’t know because it works,” and I can’t explain why it works. Maybe in several years like you said, Social Blade will be good enough to say, “This is what’s driving your traffic.”
This is the cloud to build. You layout the six, seven platforms and things that I have to do and channels, that would be wonderful but we don’t know.
That’s not out there. Because so much of what social media is and so much of what marketing is dealing with people, they don’t act rationally. That’s what you hear in finance all the time. There are these rational actors. It’s why modern portfolio theory doesn’t work. It’s why a lot of the crazy stuff that happens in the stock market is not predictable because people don’t act rationally. You’re trying to build an algorithm to say, “You ought to be doing this instead of that because that’s going to give you this result, which is going to be better.” I’m like, “None of these people are rational. They don’t act rationally.”
Fear and greed is capitalism, “I’ve got to sell. I’m losing money. I’ve got to buy. I need to make more money.” It’s completely irrational. The whole stock market is just crazy people. It’s greedy people or people that are terrified.
When you look at, “Why do we do some of the things that we do?” I’m like, “I don’t know, but here’s what I’ll tell you. I get deals from wholesalers all day long. I get deals from real estate agents all day long. We’re buying deals. We’re building wealth. It works. I can’t explain why it works.” All I could say is there was somebody that grabbed me one day a few years ago and said, “You need to start doing videos in this particular group and posts and explain what it is that you’re doing and how you’re buying and being successful in real estate.” That’s how this whole thing started. It’s how the radio show started and all this stuff started. If I had not done that, there’s no way we’d be as successful as we are now.
Casey grabbed me a few years ago in California and said, “You’ve got to do Facebook Live every day.” I was horrible at it, joking and all this other stuff. Now, I throw it on, do it and go for it, lenders and deals.
Scott Carson said something to me that was brilliant one day and he said, “Jason, there are all these new networks coming. Microsoft will have their own network and all these. There are many channels now. The problem is there’s not enough content.” He told me that a few years ago and it’s been running around the back of my mind where if we wanted to be a part of something larger than the regular HGTV, this is what it looks like before, let’s pick one of these three houses and do rehab. If we want to do something unique in the space, then we’ve got to start building that online persona now, but it’s not going to be popular with everybody. It doesn’t make sense to spend 1,000 hours a year building YouTube channels and Instagram.
This is why it’s called the Texas Real Estate Radio Network. We’re the first piece of it. We know that we’ll have others come on and others do their shows whether it‘ll be on the radio or be a YouTube show or something like that. We understand that value of content for sure. We build out our network and then someone wants to push us in a bigger direction and give us more of a spotlight, great. There are other people doing Propelio, that’s all they’re doing. They’re trying to sell something at the end of the day as well, but they’re building content. It’s the same thing that we’re doing. We’re dropping $100,000 on our own studio. We know the value of this. The people who don’t get it, maybe you can keep door knocking. It works.
If door knocking’s working for you, that’s great. Whatever you’re doing that’s working for you, great. What I find fascinating is, is when somebody says, “Jason, I’m having a problem finding private lenders.” I’m like, “Start doing Facebook videos and walk through your projects.” They’re like, “I want private lenders.” I’m like, “You need to go start walking through your projects.” They’re like, “I need somebody now.” I’m like, “That’s not how it works. You need to start doing Facebook Live walking through your projects.” They’re like, “There’s an easier answer?” I’m like, “No, I do the same thing. Do you think I’m doing anything different? Do the exact same thing you should be doing. You can fight with me about it all you want. It’s not my checking account. It’s your checking account, not mine. It’s your balance sheet. Fight with me about it all you want.” I’m looking for good contracts. I’m looking for deals. How does your Facebook account look? They’re like, “I don’t like Facebook.” It’s bigger in most countries now.
We were down in Surfside. We’ve got a king bed, dresser and I finished the day bed. I got to put the kitchen together. I got to strip down the pieces of the shower because the re-glaze looks beautiful. It’s amazing. We put the bathrooms together and at the end of the day, we’re still missing a pullout couch and a TV. Everything else should be in place. I’ll do a welcome mat and stuff like that. That one should be ready to hand over to our property manager. The cleaner’s coming out so we should be good. The only thing we’re missing is a TV and the couch and the couch gets delivered soon so we can hump it up there and then I’ll order a big TV and get it on the wall. The two ones out in Texas City, we’re missing the king beds. They got lost in transit again. Stuff happens. We’re going to order four more king beds and get them out there as soon as possible, but we won’t wait for those. Those have rooms with queens. We’ll get going on those. We’ve got three more to bring in ASAP, two in the Heights and one in Bear Creek. We’re buying more stuff. We’re going to keep going.Facebook is bigger than more countries now. Click To Tweet
We ought to buy the Bear Creek and the Heights stuff because we get turn that one now.
We can turn them all now.
It’s going to be busy. Who was it that popped in like, “What do you guys do?
“What do you do on your holiday?”
We’re working. We’ve got a few more years of this and then it’s done. Wait until you have 100 Airbnbs across. If you guys want to join our Airbnb mastermind, now would be the time. It’s a whopping $7,500 a year.
It can’t be good if it’s only $7,500. Everyone else is $25,000, $30,000, $40,000.
They’re all out of Chicago and Jacksonville. They’re going to be helpful for Texas. Any case, if you want to join our mastermind group, it’s a small group.
It’s buy and hold single-families. It’s Airbnb and small apartments. If you want to learn how to do 300, 400 doors, we’re in it. That’s what we’re going to be doing. If you’re going to help us out in Texas, (281) 401-9008.
Join our mastermind.
That would be good too.
Thanks for reading.
Talk to you soon.