We’re chatting about Google My Business today, and you guys have probably heard of this. I’ve been hearing nothing but success stories of people all over the place that are using Google My Business and getting listings, getting buyers, getting clients, and it makes a lot of sense. The problem is I don’t really know how it works. So we’re bringing on a returning guest who’s been on here if you guys followed the show, we talked about how to dominate your sphere of influence through Facebook groups and stay in touch with them.
Will Penney has been a real estate professional since 1988, Will has overseen the purchase and sale of more than $250,000,000 worth of real estate in Stow, OH and its surrounding communities. Be sure to check out his website for more information.
Three Things You’ll Learn in This Episode
- How to use Google My Business
- Is it better than Zillow reviews?
- How reviews help your business
So how do you attract new business? You constantly don’t have to chase it. Hi, I’m Mike Cuevas a real estate marketing. This podcast is all about building a strong personal brand people have come to know, like trust, and most importantly, refer. But remember, it is not their job to remember what you do for a living. It’s your job to remind them. Let’s get started. What’s up ladies and gentlemen, welcome another episode of real estate marketing, dude, podcasts, what we’re chatting about today is going to be something that I’ve been hearing quite a little bit of buzz about. But I’ll be honest with you, I have no idea how it works. So anytime that happens, we bring on guests that are experts in different areas of different aspects of real estate marketing, and then we have them, school us on what we need to know about it. And what we’re chatting about today is going to be Google My Business. And you guys have probably heard this, and I’ve been hearing nothing but success stories of people all over the place that are using Google My Business and getting listings, getting buyers getting clients. And it makes a lot of sense. The problem is I don’t really know how it works. Exactly. So we’re bringing on a returning guest who’s been on here if you guys followed a show, we talked about how to generate dominate your sphere of influence through Facebook groups and stay in touch of them. That was Mr. Will Penny and will Penny is back with another piece of content that he’s having a lot of success on. So my kids get it on the show was become a good friend. And he knows his stuff. And he’s just sort of tells it how it is. He’s blunt. He tells it and doesn’t BS people. So I appreciate that and appreciate you coming back on the show. We’ll How you doing buddy?
I’m glad to be back man. I always appreciate listen to your podcast. And you’re right, we have become good friends. I like the relationship we have. So I started listening to your podcast because you all you talk about is relationship marketing, through video and other you know, other tools and our business is about 70% referrals. My little team of five we do about 200 deals a year. We’re just south of Cleveland, Ohio. I’ve been a realtor since 1988 34 years ago when I was 1953. Now so dinosaur on oldest shit. I look about my hair. But anyway, that my 35th year in the business and we just cut Zillow out completely I paid them $40 a month now for a crap zip code just so I can keep my premiere agent profile. Because we got 557 reviews on Zillow on Zillow. About two years ago, I predicted that Zillow would eventually shut down their find an agent page. And the reason is, is that they’re going to the FLEX program throughout the country where they’re charging referral fees, especially now that they got out of the eye buyer world because that was a complete debacle. Richard Barton missed the mark there. So anyway, I think that’s his name, isn’t it Rich Barton,
some, the guy who started the Travelocity,
whatever. So anyway, I figured that they would end up shutting down the Find an agent page, because you can’t get you can’t ensure that you’re gonna get referral fees. If you allow a if you allow consumers to search for agents, it kind of makes sense. They haven’t done it yet, but they’re gonna. So I had all my Zillow reviews, because we’ve been all in for reviews for a long time. I’ve done a bunch of interviews on how to get 500 reviews on Zillow, but I don’t have anybody review me on Zillow now. So two years ago, I started looking into Google, you can have a Google profile for free. It’s starting to get saturated. So the key is that you need to have a lot of reviews, you need to respond to the reviews. So I just started having my clients review me on Google, then, about a year and a half ago, I, I was made aware of their GLS program, Google Local Services. And basically it’s a Google Pay paid ad. So they promote you, you have to get background check. They do. You know they check to make sure you got insurance to check to make sure you’ve got no weird history. And then they give you a nice little green checkmark saying Google verified and then you have to pay a budget. You can pick the budget, but then they promote you. If someone puts in top real estate agents or top Realtors near me, you show up, you show up. So
this is Google My Business.
It’s just Yeah, I mean, I don’t know. Google Local Services is a sponsored ad program. They actually have a program called GLS Google Local Services. And you can Google that. And anyway, you can get you can you you can set up your own profile, but then they set up another one for you for the GLS program because that’s all paid it’s not ordered.
So Well, let me unwind this a little bit. You got pissed off at Zillow two years ago, because you saw what was coming down the pipe there. You’re going to flex programming and you had a lot of your social proof on Zillow 500 Plus Reviews. So two years ago, you just started figuring out I gotta find somewhere else for my reviews because Zillow is gonna backdoor me. And then you sort of just ended up getting more listings doing this, right.
Yeah, because where many listings you generate a
month off your Google My Business? And I want to go from the end of the back?
Oh, at least one. Great. And that’s you pay for that?
Is there any ad costs involved? Yeah.
So my, my spend is 1200 a month. So you figure my average commission check even in Ohio is about 6700. And the cool thing is because it’s social proof, by the time they call you, they’ve they’ve checked you out, I mean, you’re you’re attracting the type of consumer that values trust, and they value. They value a referral from hundreds of people versus aunt Matilda.
So how do you? How many reviews do you have up right now? And Google?
I think 212 212.
And that’s after the last two years of doing it, right?
Yeah, but we, we’ve made getting reviews part of our process since 2010, when I joined Zillow. So we had a warning to everyone, my little public service announcement, my RSA realtor service announcement, do not ask for reviews, unless you get your process under control. Because if you’re not answering your phone, or you only text or you like to just respond to emails, or if you, if you, if you delay, like how long it takes for someone to be able to get a hold of you, because you’re spending six hours a day watching Instagram reels and you can’t get anything else done, then don’t ask for reviews because the truth will come out, and you won’t like that. So we found that asking for reviews for us is the same as having a body cam as a police officer, you you tend to you tend to pay attention to what you’re doing. Because everyone’s watching. And when you ask for reviews, they’re gonna tell you No, they’ll either not give you one because they don’t want to be confrontational, or they’re gonna give you a really good one because they love you. So the key is to provide excellent service set expectations, communicate, be accessible. It’s not that hard. And then, you know, getting reviews on Google is probably in my opinion, the best place to be right now.
I get so how many reviews and but you’re paying $1,200 a month to get promoted. So when people search tourister that’s the local business thing. So they’re they’re pumping you out in the front, right?
Yeah. So what happens is you get you get impressions. So you, you bid for it. It’s all auction based, just like Zillow. And I say, and basically you can trust Google. I mean, maybe I’m naively trusting them. But you know, they, they want you to get you the most value for your money. That’s how they’ve remained where they are. So I just have it set up so that they get to choose how much I want to bid so that they give me the best possible value. I’m trusting. I mean, it’s a little wizard of oz easy for me, because I don’t know what it’s all tied to. But I don’t know what’s behind the curtain. But so far, you know, most of the weeks I don’t hit my budget.
Yeah. So I got to, let’s get into how to ask and how to get testimonials. Because this is always a problem with people. I still have it, I don’t think I have it. I know it’s in my home office. I still have. I have a binder, it’s a paper binder, and it was like this thick. So if you guys can’t see this, it’s about three inches, I’m making a three inch space between my fingers. I used to get all my I used to get I used to get all my testimonies on paper, and I used to ask them and then write them down. And then I would put the listing sheet next to it. And I would have this like binder ended up being like 15 pounds. And I would go to my listing presentations and I just dropped the binder on it costs $15 to create because there’s that many papers. And I put the binder on the listing table or on the table and be like alright, so here’s a bunch of my client reviews and all that. And some people would have me leave it but most people would never didn’t want to take like a 15 pound book of testimonials. But I’d have their phone number, their pictures and the listing sheet of the property they purchased. And I had to do that early on because I was young. And I was like 27 and my prime and real estate 2829 30. But even then people still are like, Hey, you got to still prove yourself like you got to do what other people say about you is more powerful than what you’ll ever say about yourself. And that’s why your reviews page is the number one visited page on your site. It is on mine. And there’s a reason why every website has a reviews page. It’s because of what other people say about you and regardless of what people are thinking about when they’re making a decision on on a purchasing decision. One of the thoughts that goes past their mind is like, well, what’s everyone else saying about him? And that’s what reviews are for. So like, you have to get reviews nowadays. The problem is, is that people get so excited about getting a commission that they forget to insert this into their process. And they don’t get the review. Because if you wait too long, are you ever gonna get the review? Will you get the testimonial three weeks after closing?
No, no, I text them the day they get the keys. But here’s another major problem. And it goes back to what you do for a living. You know, retargeting if you don’t even have the energy or the motivation or drive to ask your client to do you a solid and give you a review, yet probably don’t have a system in place to stay in touch with them. You don’t I mean, it’s all tied together. Because the average we are paying no lead generation costs right now. Last summer when I was on talking about my Facebook group. And that business that I have, we we were still spending 1800 bucks a month on Zillow. Well, I can them two months ago, because they were they have flex in our area. They were taking my $1,800 they guaranteed me 2.6 leads a month.
What’s What’s that? Like? For 1800? bucks?
Yeah, what’s that? 607 100 bucks a lead? I mean, I would walk a whole neighborhood for you for 1600 bucks for two hours and get you two leads. You don’t I mean, it’s like, it makes no sense. You, the value is just horrible. So I just cut them out. But the reason I was able to cut them out, is because over 70% of our business is referrals from past clients, you know, then we have client events. We do some mailings. You know, that kind of stuff. I’m I’m starting to do more. I’m starting to do more videos. By the way, there’s a guy locally, Joe Tato, who is a client of yours, that kid is crushing it on YouTube, thanks to you. He I think that he’s, he’s, I think he puts he attributes you to his success more, more so than I think anybody so I just want to throw that out to you. Yeah, he’s right in my market.
Yeah, good. Good. You guys hear that? Like people get to know who you are when you work with us. It’s pretty nice.
Anyway, the reviews were I used to have that same book. I mean, the thing that people agents don’t understand now they go around griping about how hard this business is. They forget that. And I know you’re a lot younger than me, I’m 53. But, you know, when I started for the first 10 years of my career, we had no internet. I mean, I got realtor.com in 1997. So that was nine years after I’d been licensed. So we would have to present offers face to face. Well, you know, when I was 25, and I don’t say this to brag, I’m just trying to set some perspective on how easy it is. Now, we didn’t have a Google back then I had the exact same binder as you did, I had the mylar folders. And I would get someone to write me a letter or a card. And I’d stick the car, you know, the greeting card or the letter in there, I go pick it up from them, and say, Can I stop by four o’clock on Tuesday and grab a reference letter from you. If you don’t have a chance to do it, I’ll wait while you do it. And I go pick it up, stick it in there. And I bring that over. That’s your credit report. That is the that’s the currency of your business is what other people think about you we didn’t have there was no social proof, you would have to just get letters, or greeting cards talking about how amazing you are, and you had to get a ton of them. Now, you know, with all of the platforms, you can get reviews, I’ve just found that for real estate reviews, people aren’t going to Yelp because they think about food. Although Yelp is trying to promote themselves as a general platform, it’s still food. There was a time where I was on Angie’s List, and I had 34 reviews or something like that. And I was getting two listings a month for a while. But that kind of burned out. Google seems to be the place to go to get reviews, but you need to back up and make sure that you’re providing the kind of service that is going to make them want anyone other than a family member want to give you five star review. You got to you got to step all the way back and fix your business. Yep. And it doesn’t take that much, you know. So you just have to answer your phone be available. Everyone says, oh, it’s I can’t answer my phone. I don’t know who it is. Well, you know, for years we used to do that. The only reason you can’t do that now is because if you look at the screen time on your phone, and I’m just as guilty. The reason we become inefficient is because we spend so much time watching crap online.
Yep, everyone’s on their phone nowadays. Walk me through your guyses process and how you’re, you’re getting these like at what point in the transaction so that people can start making it part of their systems like you this is a checklist item guys so like when you’re at the final walk through, maybe you inserted at that time or at the closing, maybe you get your testimony deadtime. But I used to always have a certain time that I would ask for the testimony or get it so that it became habit. And if you don’t get into the habit, you stop asking for it. And if you don’t ask for it upfront, you’re not going to get it later.
If it’s a buyer, when you give them the keys, say, by the way, would you do me? Can I get weird with you for a second? What? Hey, remember, before I mentioned that, I’m going to ask you for a view, at the initial consultation, I tell my buyers and sellers by the way, if you ever decide to hate me, then the quickest way to ruin my life and make me lose three nights sleep is give me a bad review.
That’s a great way to put it. So I said that say that one more time at like, cons that’s just like a close to that’s a really close. Yeah, walk me through the
beginning of the relationship on the listing appointment, I talked to them about how relationships are important. And I say, if you think I’m full of crap, Google me. And you’ll see that everything we do revolves around reviews, and our review of our reviews are the byproducts of excellent relationships. So if you if I, if I dropped the ball, I’m telling you right now, the way you get me back, is by giving me a bad review. If you really want to ruin my day or my week, give me a one star review. You know, just go do that. And I can’t do anything about it to remove it. So that’s what keeps me on my toes for 34 years. That’s why we do over a million dollars in GCI with a tiny little team. You know, that’s how we have a, we have a recession proof business. Because we’ve created energy around our tiny little shitty brand in Northeast Ohio. And, you know, at least 150 to 200 people a year find us. So I tell them about I tell them at the beginning of the relationship, the way you’re going to reward me is I’m going to ask you for a review at the end. So think about the service that we’re providing. I’m confident that we’re going to do a good job. But if at any point during the process, you feel like I’m not responsive, or you know, you I’ve ghosted you, whatever, it won’t be on purpose, I just asked you to please tell me because I will correct it, we are completely focused on you having a good experience. And I don’t want to guess what a good experience is for you. So I tell them about it at the beginning. And then at the end, I say, hey, remember I said I was gonna ask you for a review. Do you mind if we jump on Google right now and you just give me a quick review. And then if I’ve got a seller who’s closing, then I just text I call them don’t ever just text them. People want to feel important. Right? If you call them up, and I say, Hey, Mike, just want to let you know, the deed just recorded. And you say, Oh, that’s great. Well, thanks, dude. I really hope that you had a good experience with me. We really tried hard. I hope you feel like I proved myself to you. Oh, yeah, you did. Awesome. Well, hey, do you I hate to be weird, but do you mind? I said, I know, I’m an older guy. But reviews are important. Do you mind if I text you a link and you give me your five star review on Google? They’re like, No, go ahead. I’m like, Cool. And then I go into my my notes, my notes on my phone, and I just copy and paste that into a text. And I’ll read you, I’ll read you my read you what it is. Hang on, this will take just one second or you
pull that up. And then like, if you guys are getting to get a video testimony, then you have to do it when you’re in person. Because very same thing is like, Oh, if you get a video testimonial, do it at the closing table or at the final walkthrough. It’s when they’re all pumped and all jazz and it takes three seconds. He’s already given the keys. Yeah,
yeah, I get. I get a 32nd 45 second video and we use that for retargeting. So here’s I’ve got two texts that I saved in my notes. The first one says, Would you mind this is after a phone call. So you have to set them up at the beginning of the relationship and let them and give them the power that they can that they get to grade you. It really makes a huge difference. Yes. Then at the end, you say you call them and ask them for don’t cheat and just send them a text. If you’re just texting clients to say, hey, we just closed if you’re using that as your main form of communication. I’m here to tell you, you’re wrong. It’s a belly to belly business. And certain things should not be texted and emailed. You need to call them that’s what they’ll remember. So then I say would you know can I text you a link to review? Yeah, of course. And it says would you mind clicking this link to give me a good review on Google reviews are really important to me only takes a minute. Thanks again for letting me work for you then the link then if they say yes on the phone. Then I have another one. It says here it is only takes a few minutes to write something up. Thanks again really appreciate it. Reviews are very important in my world happy face, and then the link. That’s it. And we’ve got 212 And then every once in a while have a count if you’ve got a team listening to this. I have contests if I want to get to a new like to get to 200 we had like 187 and I I’m one of our team meetings, I said, All right, we got to get to 13, we got to get 13 reviews in the next week, I’m gonna give 25 I’m gonna Venmo 25 bucks to the to each review you get for the next 13 till we get to 200. And so I made a fun little thing with it for my agents, my four agents, and they all went out and started busting it to get reviews.
I like it, it seems simple, but most people won’t do it. And the reason is, because most people aren’t running a business, your salesperson, Jason Chuck, and you got to start thinking about these things in your business. Because your brand is going to be very important going forward, especially with this shift coming up, people are start looking at new things, the business is going to be as easy it was the last few years. And as we see the economy shift, as we see the recession coming into taking place, as of right now may 2022. How people are going to be a lot more. What’s the word cautious of who they decide to hire, they’re gonna look into it a little bit more, especially as the market shifts, it’s not easy anymore. And when it does people second guessed to you. So the more content and more reviews you have the better for you. Quite frankly, I just saw stat today from the Tom Ferry conference. francesi posted it and he said 40% of the licensed agents in the United States didn’t do one deal last year. Yeah. 40% How many agents are there? There’s like 1.2 million or something like that. 1.5. What is it?
In 2008. In Northeast Ohio, we had at the Akron area Board of Realtors, we had 2500 and something agents at the end of 2009, it dropped to 12 130. So here, what happens is if you look at the average income of a real estate agent, and they’re getting a check every, say, three weeks, and then as this market, you know, it’s harder to get offers accepted, you’re trying five, six times just to get one commission check now. And you’re buying leads. And then what happens is, the reason these agents get out is because their checks get too far apart. And then they have to get another job. So think about that. Now what can you do to secure your position in this industry, it’s a recession proof industry, this ball of energy during the worst market we ever had. And my market was better in 2009. And California trust me, because we don’t have the highs and lows. We lost 50% of the realtors. But we only lost 20% of the transactions. We went from about 5000 transactions to 4000. So we only so what happens is I went from selling 80 homes to 39 in one year. So even though I was like doing great, we I sold 39 homes in 2009. I went from making about I made about 200 grand a year throughout the 2000s. And then I made 87,000 gross and nine I thought my world was over we had two kids in private schools. Luckily cost of living here’s low 2010 was the first year I ever netted over 300 grand my account I went in there when everyone was losing their jobs. He’s like, do you know you netted 304,000 bucks. That’s what you’re paying taxes on? I’m like, Oh, no kidding. But it’s because we we only lost 20% of the transactions, but half the realtors. So the agents that are listening to this that are serious about their business, now is the time for you to be strengthening, developing and nurturing relationships.
Yep. And make sure you get your damn reviews on every single deal. You close.
Yeah, because people like you just said when the market tightens, they’re not just calling their wife’s friend. You know, I found in 2009 If they were moving out of state or chasing a job or whatever, they were calling them the well known agents, we had the top 10 agents in our county, you know, 12 130 that year, we went from? Well, the top 10 agents sold 14% of the real estate. So the good news is when these markets correct, the top agents get pushed to the top. The bottom agents stay where they are because they don’t rely on you know, they usually have a part time job or a spouse, the middle of the agents get just whacked. So now’s the time for you to be thinking about what you know, getting reviews, staying in touch with your people posting videos every day so that people don’t forget about you. This is the time to do it to to shore up your business before we have this big change. In my opinion.
I agree. I’m never gonna say it all the time. I don’t spike the football on this closing, I spoke my football and the third closing from the original closing rather than the referral and repeat client. So you only get that through building off the deals you’re doing today because today’s transactions are just future stepping stones to tomorrow’s. So you got to play a long game in this business. Appreciate it dude, this is awesome. Why don’t you tell our listeners about where they can find you? Will and I actually have a new tagline for you if you got a second. I was just looking because every penny counts.
You’re so good. Here’s your What did you bump your head? What did you did?
Because every penny counts. I just thought of it.
No one’s ever thought of that before
we fight for every penny, you do that you were penny loafers. Ah some brandings some branding content here for
you both C and N E Y. Yes.
Well, why don’t you tell everyone where they can find you website? You guys right as market. Look them up to
any great it’s p e n n e y real estate.com. You can look me up on Facebook at well Penny p e n n EY or you can you can find me on Instagram at Penny p e n n EY underscore group exp. That’s our Instagram thing. Don’t be prepared to be unimpressed. I mean, I do. I do what I can most of my business. I stay in my lane. I go, I get my past clients to refer me and I get the reviews to leverage the past clients to get the arm’s length people that don’t know me. So that’s Does that make sense? Yep. So that’s what that’s what we do. And hopefully it’ll be enough.
Appreciate it man, thank you for coming back on and sharing this stuff. Wills made his whole career he said 35 years not chasing leads but nurturing and developing and maintaining relationships. And everybody else I know successful in this business has is also successful in relationship development. So what we’re saying here guys is like there’s not a secret to the sauce, just follow the system, build more relationships, and you’ll start selling more houses. So appreciate you guys listen to another episode of the real estate marketing dude podcast. If you have any questions, please feel free to visit our website, especially if you want to get on video, we help you script that and distribute all of your video content so that you could get put on the map and nurture those relationships. So people stop forgetting that you’re in real estate. So very simple concept, create a lot of content. But if we’re on the right people, then people will come to you because a percentage of them are moving each and every year. It’s that simple. So you guys know where to find us if you wanna do that real estate marketing do.com And subscribe to our channel and leave us some reviews. So he goes on next week’s episode and thanks for listening to another one. Thank you for watching another episode of the real estate marketing dude podcast. If you need help with video or finding out what your brand is, visit our website at WWW dot real estate marketing dude.com We make branding and video content creation simple and do everything for you. So if you have any additional questions, visit the site, download the training and then schedule time to speak with a dude and get you rolling in your local marketplace. Thanks for watching another episode of the podcast. We’ll see you next time.