SOTM 46: Coronavirus’ Impact on Real Estate Search Patterns: Dissecting the Data

May 4, 2020
More homeowners are searching for information on selling property now than before COVID-19 caused the U.S. economy to come to a standstill. On today’s podcast with Trevor Mauch of, we discuss what the data shows when it comes to coronavirus’ impact on real estate search patterns. In addition to data, Trevor shares his strategy for creating evergreen real estate content and getting it ranked higher in search results for more organic traffic and easier lead conversion. Plus, he covers paid marketing ideas and explains why you’ll get the best bang for your buck running Facebook ads right now.
SOTM Listen to today’s show and learn:
  • About Carrot [3:23]
  • How to get ideas for relevant evergreen content [7:55]
  • Why iBuyers are creating opportunities for investors [10:15]
  • How sellers’ Internet searches have been impacted by COVID-19 [13:34]
  • The type of content agents should be creating right now [23:13]
  • Organic traffic vs. paid traffic [27:54]
  • How to increase conversion right now [31:44]
  • Why now is NOT the time to scale back marketing efforts [34:58]
  • Inexpensive, effective marketing ideas for agents [37:58]
  • Major takeaways from today’s episode [42:38]
  • The need to be a local authority [45:33]
  • How to break through your goals.
  • Plus so much more.
Trevor Mauch It sounds corny… but what fuels Trevor in business and life is impact and being that spark of positivity and possibility that helps amplify leaders to better make their greater impact in life and business. Trevor is fortunate enough to have never had a real job for anyone else… but that also means that along the way he had to make a ton of his own mistakes. Those mistakes and a handful of core operating principles on how he lives his life has helped him do some pretty fun and cool things in business up to this point. Business wise his main gig is the Chief Experience Officer (CEO ? of Carrot, a software as a service company that helps small businesses more easily create a website to generate inbound leads through the internet that is growing fast and well into the multiple 7 figure per year revenue range… 100% bootstrapped. In addition if you talk on the phone you won’t be able to shut Trevor up about how important wrapping mission and impact into your business are. So he is sharing what he learned along the way and help amplify other leaders to do bigger, better, greater, and more impactful things that go well beyond adding some extra zeros to your bank account… … but make a lasting difference that starts a ripple of awesomeness in the world. Related Links and Resources: Thanks for Rocking Out Thank you for tuning in to Pat Hiban Interviews Real Estate Rockstars, we appreciate you! To get more Rockstar content sent directly to your device as it becomes available, subscribe on iTunes or StitcherReviews on iTunes are extremely helpful and appreciated! We read each and every one of them, please feel free to leave your email so that we can personally reach out and say thanks! Have any questions? Tweet meFacebook me and ask Pat anything. Don’t forget to head on over to Bare Naked Agent for Pat’s answers, and advice. Thank you Rockstar Nation, and keep rockin!

Aaron Amuchastegui: Real Estate Rockstars. Rockstars, today I get to introduce you to a good friend of mine, the guy that founded Carrot. I know a lot of you guys are probably Carrot members or have heard this before. Trevor Mauch, he’s got– I’m going to let him tell the story of the website. The funny thing is Trevor and I go way back, we grew up in the same town, he used to sit next to my wife in school, and it’s just been so much fun that we’re in the same space.

One of the reasons I really wanted to get Trevor on here for you guys is he is been looking at so much real estate data since this COVID thing happened. He can tell you a lot of stuff behind the scenes about what people could be expecting with people interested in selling your houses, things like that. Then also just the activity that he’s done since COVID. I have seen you totally turn it up, Trevor, and just put out so much content every day. We’re going to talk about that today. How’s it going? Tell everybody where you’re at and what you’re doing.

Trevor Mauch: Dude, I appreciate it, man. First of all, too, I never take it for granted to be able to hop on with somebody and just really be able to chat and connect with the audience. Dude, I appreciate you. Thank you. Thank you for the invite. Where we are, so to give the context, I live in Southern Oregon. We grew up in Southern Oregon in a different town. I live in a town called Roseburg now, a few hours south of Portland. Dude, it’s definitely interesting.

My office is downtown and we’ve got a big 8,000 square foot entrepreneur co-workspace that I own. I’m the only one in it right now. The only one in the building, so I’m still quarantining because there’s no one else here. It’s odd. It’s the time I think we’re all going to remember for years. Also, it’s a time where you talked and alluded to it, and we’ll get into it. It’s a time where if you take certain actions right now, you can actually really get ahead, not just business-wise, but you can really help people in a big way too. We’ll talk about some of the data, we’ve got some of the things that we’re doing, some of the things that you guys can do to really get ahead and build authority through this time.

Aaron: Yes, so much of the stuff that we talked about, even offline before we came on, is during this time too, it’s encouraging people to look at some of those habits that we were doing. We can decide now like some of the things as soon as they let us go outside again, we’re like, “We cannot wait to go do this, this, and this.” There’ll be plenty of other business habits that we used to do that maybe we’re realizing, wow, that actually wasn’t productive, or that was a waste of time, and so getting this come out of this with a new plan and a new everything. Most of our listeners have heard of Carrot, but for the ones that haven’t, tell us what Carrot is and how it came to be.

Trevor: Cool. Awesome, man. Carrot, just you all. Man, we’re in our sixth year now. It’s crazy. I don’t know if anyone can relate to this, but previous to Carrot, I was like every two to three years, I had decided to create a new business because I was on a two to three-year cycle. I would get tired of the business. I didn’t know how to grow it further and also the way that I was doing my marketing was wearing me down. It was all this boom and bust marketing. It’s something I call hamster wheel marketing, where you get on the marketing machine, whether it’s like cold calling, or doing direct mail, or having to do a bunch of promos, or whatever it is, you get on the machine.

It’s amazing because it gives you immediate results. Then after a while, you got to get off the darn hamster wheel because you’re either tired or you’ve got to go fulfill the clients over here. Then what happens is that the hamster wheel starts to slowly come to a stop. Then you got to get back on the wheel, do that marketing again, and then it’s this perpetual cycle, and it burnt me out and so leading into, let’s say 2014, which is when Carrot started. I had some other businesses in the past. I really learned how do you attract really, really high-quality prospects online, the best ones. The ones who are the most motivated. They are the highest margin clients. They convert the fastest and the quickest and the easiest.

How do you get in front of those people? What I had found was, it was always this one method that works the best for me that was not a hamster wheel, that didn’t wear me out, that actually built momentum over time. It actually got easier over time and more effective over time. It was evergreen. I would do a marketing piece today and it’ll still be working two, three, four years in advance. It was always content.

I’d always pull back and go, man, the stuff that worked the best for me long-term was the least stress out of the most predictability, consistency, and built momentum was I would find out what my prospects are searching for online. I’d find out what problems they have or opportunities they’re looking for. I’d create a good piece of content. I put it on a website that works well to get ranked in Google. Then I’d start to get people landing on it, my ideal clients. I figured out how do you make them convert into a lead. That all became Carrot in 2014.

Today, we have just shy of 7,000 active real estate agents, active real estate investors that we work with all across the country. Generate just shy of 100,000 leads a month, organic leads is most of them. I’ll show you guys some of the cool data in here in a second. If you were to search “sell my house fast’ or any phrase like that in any city in the country, you’re probably going to find somewhere between three and eight Carrot sites controlling page one in Google and pretty much every market in the country.

If you’re looking for motivated house sellers and the best ones online, we control that right now for the real estate agent and investor space. I’ll finish it with this fantastic back your way is, well, that’s what we do. Man, the thing that I’m the most passionate about, which we talked about a little bit before we hopped on here, the thing I’m the most passionate about is, honestly, how do you build a business that gives you freedom? How do you build a business that gives you flexibility? How do you build a business that grows your finances, but really helps you make an impact? That’s the part that I’m most pumped about with what we are able to do here at Carrot, for sure.

Aaron: You even have a little video series you recorded that you’re pushing out. It’s about the different businesses that are in that workspace that you created. Is that available on Facebook, YouTube?

Trevor: Dude, yes, Small Town Hustle. It would have been a year and a half ago. One of my buddies is amazing videographer. He followed three of us around, three of us who have seven-figure companies, just on our journeys. They’re all separate but connected like I say in the thing. Yes, you guys can find it. It’s a mini-documentary series, eight episodes. We’re getting tons and tons of cool comments on it. Just find it on my website,, M-A-U-C-H.

Aaron: Well, I just thought about that when you said your passion is growing businesses that we can get around. In your point about the hamster wheel versus content, if we’re just going to break that up a little bit, the idea, again, is what you said so, hamster wheel is like sending out a letter or creating an ad or knocking on a door or calling somebody and saying something, and that evergreen is something that you do today, that will be around a year from now, two years from now, five years from now. It’ll be around forever, essentially, potentially.

The more evergreen things you create, then 5, 10 years from now, there’s a ton of them. When you’re saying create content, like what Carrot does, and even what you did with your other businesses, you’re saying with that content, it’s figuring out an answer to a question. Just putting it on a website, or putting on a blog, or putting it somewhere where if somebody googles like, “How do I sell my house before foreclosure?” They’re going to find you guys, and then go through that way.

Trevor: Dude, 100%. Anything that the thing that I’d like to do first thing is I like to pull back and go, number one, who is my ideal client? Who is that? Number two, I’ll go to Google and use these free tools for this. I’ll go to Google and start to type in what my ideal client would probably type into Google. If they were searching for an answer to their problem. Then you’ll see the suggested searches that pop up there. That’s a really good indication of Google saying, “Hey, enough people search this thing every month that I’m going to show it to you as a suggestion.” That’s what we search to create content based off of.

There’s a lot of things. It could be like your general high level, sell my house fast in whatever city you’re in, or cash homebuyers, insert any city, or if you’re an agent, a North Umpqua river homes for sale. We’re able to execute certain things with really well-put-together pages and content that are beaten Zillow and Google. We can show examples but beaten Zillow and Google all day long for that stuff. The more niche you get the content, the more highly targeted it is, and also the easier it is to beat the big boys. I think the big thing here is this, man, is this mindset shift that I’d love to see agents and investors make.

We’ve been talking about this for a few years where there’s this fundamental shift that’s happening right now in the real estate world. For years, there’s been the traditional retail MLS side of it over here. Over here, you’ve got the wholesale side or the investor side. They’ve all been very separate for a long time. Now, not to say that there aren’t people who do both. You guys are an example where Korina had been an agent for a long time, you’re on the investor side, and I’m sure there’s ways you guys collaborated with that. In general, most of the retail side of the world, in agents, poo-pooed the investors over here, going, “What they’re doing isn’t ethic.” Whatever it is, which it is ethical.

Aaron: They didn’t work together for sure.

Trevor: They didn’t work together at all. Then same thing with the investor side. They’re like, “Oh, I can’t find any agents who are friendly to investors, or I can’t find anyone who know what they’re talking about.” Now neither one of them are correct. They just didn’t find, they weren’t actively trying to find the right people, educate them how we can work together, and what we’re finding, especially with the iBuyers, which as of right now, as of today, of course, all of the four major iBuyers have stopped buying as of right now, they’ll come back in.

They’ll come back in once things get stabilized and stuff, but all four iBuyers came in and we were seeing Zillow launch iBuyer pages four years ago. We were seeing them go up online, then it would disappear and it’d go up and disappear. There’s something like game on, there’s something to be happening here, and all the iBuyers came in in 2019 stats show in some markets like Raleigh-Durham and things like that. Almost 10% of all home purchases were done though iBuyers in Raleigh and a bunch of other markets. The year before that it was half of that.

We’re going to keep on seeing iBuyers increase in how many homes that they’re purchasing. Now, here’s where I’m going with these, man, is this. This is why people need to shift and how they need to shift, is you’ve got the retail side, the wholesale side, you’ve got iBuyers trying to cut right in the middle of going, “Hey, we’re not really agents for sure. We’re not really the traditional investors. We’re trying to bring this mainstream, this whole direct buying thing mainstream. We’re going to put a ton of money behind it.” It is taking some purchases away from agents.

It is taking some away from the traditional investor, but I look at the iBuyer thing as amazing opportunity for investors because even though you’ve been doing it for decades, way before iBuyer was a term. What I see happening is like what happened with Tesla? It’s like no one wanted an electric car before Tesla came around. I was like, no one wanted an electric car. All of a sudden, Tesla did put together a great product. They made it mainstream by putting together something that was a really, really good product. Now, everybody wants an electric car. The whole electric car industry Rose with Tesla’s growth because they made it mainstream.

I think the same thing’s going to happen on the iBuyers’ side. They’re piling a ton of money and making a direct selling mainstream, which I think is going to actually increase the market share of people looking to sell their home directly to an investor, to a local investor, to iBuyers, of course, which then requires agents to shift. Everything doesn’t look into this nice little MLS box and they’re throwing away leads where the agents are saying, “No, they need repairs or they’re not serious. They’re not really, really serious to sell.” Like, no, you just need to serve them up a solution over here that an investor or an iBuyer could serve.

Investors they stop looking at leads that come through and go, “Oh, they’re not realistic. They weren’t retail.” Don’t throw those away, come over here and pair up with an agent or become one yourself and actually serve that seller in a better way, rather than throwing them to the wolves and saying, “Go figure it out yourself.” Agents and investors, you’ve got to shift in big ways, and the way to do that is by standing out from the crowd with content, building authority.

Aaron: Well, and especially right now, especially right now, while the big four iBuyers aren’t there, there’s a big chance for agents to mold their business, mold their brand into an iBuyer-type thing to go like, “Hey, even if your house isn’t show ready right now, let us help you sell it. Let us help you sell it during this time,” like people still need to sell it. If you don’t have time, you can’t put the painter in it because everybody is on quarantine. Here’s the ways to do it instead.”

I like right at the beginning of that, Trevor gave a great tip, for whatever neighborhood you’re in, whatever city you’re in, wherever you are in the US, being able to type in like, what do you think someone is searching for when they need your service? They’re searching for a real estate agent in Austin. They’re searching, sell my house that– Whatever they’re typing in there, see those suggested searches, and then try to say like, “Okay, how do I get there with that?” I know Carrot has some solutions and those are those ideas of content, but let’s switch gears a bit and jump into COVID statistics.

One of the really cool things that I saw that you had started placing online was you have all this data that comes in, and you got to look at and say, hey, as soon as they started announcing shelter in place in different cities, the number of leads and people looking to sell their houses, you’d see like stuff drop and then people looking again, sort of going up and down. Tell us a bit about that, just what you’ve seen on the buyer side, the sell-side statistics-wise?

Trevor: Cool. Let me see if I can share my screen, man. Is it going to let me? I think so.

Aaron: It should.

Trevor: Cool. I think so. Cool. Awesome. What I did, basically, guys, here is I’ve got a few slides where I ripped some of the data. Now, this is where the data comes from and none of it’s doctored, it’s just straight-up screenshots, so I don’t have to like navigate between all the different panes to try to find the data. This is over 10,000 websites in the real estate industry, a bunch of agent sites, a bunch of investor sites, but the vast majority are going after motivated health sellers. There’s a ton of buyers through this as well though.

This is all 10,000 websites. All the data comes in. Where did the traffic come from? How long do they stay on websites? Where did they convert? What is the conversion rate? What traffic sources are working the best? All that stuff. We can slice and dice it to say in Austin, Texas, what cellphone device converts the highest to a buyer lead? We can do all that stuff because we’ve got such a huge swath of data. The stuff that’s interesting for right now with COVID is this. This is a screenshot from that pane that you just saw there. This is as of today, this morning I took the shot.

This right here shows sessions, and sessions are essentially somebody who lands on a website on our system. This is pretty much every city in the country where there’s any real estate market. This right here is when the shelter in place for stay-at-home orders hit, and you can see immediately there was a little bit of a dip and then the next week a little bit more, and that lasted for a couple of weeks. Right there as soon as that hit, about a 10% dip in traffic is what we saw. That’s between buyers and sellers. It was about equally split about 10% different traffic.

Aaron: Just sorry to interrupt for a second. If you guys are just listening on the podcast, you’ll be able to see these slides on the YouTube page, jump over to the Real Estate Rockstars YouTube page, and you’ll be able to see all this, but if you’re one of the few people driving in a car or somewhere listening or just listening to it. Trevor’s showing screen sessions that are happening. It’s like, well, there’s one day of the week where a lot of people are searching and then it starts to go down again, and then it seems like it hits that same day of the week again and everybody searches. What’s that big day of the week that people are searching?

Trevor: No, for sure, man. Right here, I’m zeroing in on the analytics now that we get some kind of see, and we don’t really show this data usually, guys, but what we did is when we started seeing this all, we’re like, “No, let’s start pulling it out and just show people what we’ve got. It’s interesting. This is really useful outside of COVID. These are just normal trends. If I were to push this back for six months, it’d be the same thing. Monday and Tuesday, almost always the highest traffic pages on our client’s websites.

Now, you can still see that there’s a ton of people that are still hitting on Sundays. If I’m showing this as– Anyone’s just listening to this, on this day, we had 32,526 individual unique people landed on our websites that one day on Sunday, March 8th, but then we go up here to March 2nd, 48,474 people landed. The reason I’m telling you this is the difference between 48,000 and 32,000 is a lot of numbers, but still, 32,000 people, like most people are still hitting these pages on every day of the week. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, it goes down, and look at this, Monday, Tuesday, Monday, Tuesday, Monday, Tuesday, Monday, Tuesday, this is a weird blip.

You can see how conversion rate went down there to– someone through a bunch of bad traffic that day, the same thing, that threw the blip. It was weird, but then we get back onto normal here, Monday, Tuesday. If you guys are doing marketing, what does this tell us? Outside of the COVID stuff anyway. If you’re doing cold calling, if you’re doing putting content online, all those types of things, try to see if you can put it on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. That’s when most people on our servers anywhere showing that people are seeking out the stuff.

Now, if you think of the psychology of it, mainly for house sellers, house buyers are going to be searching at night, they’re going to be searching on weekends too. They’re always going to be searching, but I’m wondering how sellers, especially someone who is highly motivated, they want to get through the weekend and enjoy their weekend. If they have a financial issue, the last thing they want to do is use their weekend to be able to research something to sell that thing.

They just want to get away from that and escape for a bit. Then the real world kicks back in on Monday and they’re like, “Ah, man, I really need to get this problem solved.” They’re hitting the internet on your Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday. They get close to Friday again. They check out, go into the weekend, bam, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, they’re researching again.

Aaron: That is great.

Aaron: Jump back to your slides, you had your COVID slide that– I’m sorry, I just wanted to , to be able to visualize.

Trevor: No, you’re good, man.

Aaron: You had that blip that you talked about, the stay-at-home orders hit, those first few weeks people are still searching, and this is something we’ve been saying on the podcast every week that deals are still transacting, stuff is still happening, you just have to up your game. What’s interesting, it looks like it’s dropping for the first few weeks but now it’s not.

Trevor: In fact, dude, it’s back higher than it was, and so anyone who’s just listening to this, a drop for the first couple weeks. If you think the psychology here, I’m a buyer or seller, whether it’s a highly motivated seller that an investor is going to be able to help or it’s a seller that’s willing to put it on the market or a buyer, retail, whatever it is, they’re still searching. The first couple weeks is that initial shock, right? It’s like, “What do we do?” “I don’t know what we’re supposed to do, let’s figure out what this is,” but then then two weeks in, I think people started to come out of that initial shock.

They realize, “Oh, we still have this problem or we still want to do this thing. We still want to buy the house,” or, “We still need to sell this house,” or possibly their problem is getting even more acute now. If it’s a motivated seller with a financial issue, they probably have an even worse financial issue now where they’re really actively seeking out a solution for that. As you see, the closer you get up into April and then up into where we are right now in mid-April, the searches are actually higher than they were at the start of March before all that stuff.

Now, the thing that’s the most interesting is the graphic on the right side of this. Also, I have a couple more slides that are really cool too. The graphic on the right side of this shows an arrow and I’ll explain if anyone’s listening to the audio part. It shows an arrow at the same time like, “Hey, here’s when the stay at home orders hit,” or, “the shelter in place,” but what we saw was not just like a 10% drop in conversion rate. That’s conversions. People who landed on a site versus the people actually converted into an actual opt-in lead.

This doesn’t include any phone call leads. This doesn’t include the people who picked up the phone and called. It’s only the web-form submits. We saw an immediate drop of about 25% in conversion rate, like immediate. Those of you guys that are watching it, you can see for the next two to three weeks it continued to edge down a little bit, and then down to a bottom about a week and a half ago, and then it got back up to a new level. I predict it’s going to keep going up slowly until the stay-at-home order’s lift. As soon as the stay-at-home order’s lift, I feel that your conversion rates going to pop back up.

Now, why is it? Why did traffic dip by about 10% for a week or two? Now, it’s bigger than ever. The conversion dipped by 25% and it’s still down a little bit. Well, number one, is most people are still submitting the forms. Once again, it’s not a 90% drop. Most people are still submitting the form, most people are still reaching out to you as an agent or you as an investor to solve their problem, but that 25%–

Aaron: When you’re saying submit forms, that’s like you’ve got a website that says, “Hey, I want to sell your house,” and they’re actually saying, “Here’s my name, here’s my number, here’s my address.” They’re giving you their info that says, “Call and make me an offer.”

Trevor: Yes. It’s like this right here like I’m showing on the screen, here’s one of our clients, he’s an agent and investor, he does the hybrid model, he goes in there with every client, “Hey, I can buy it, I can list it or I can fix it and list it.” This is his site, he converts it really good. He modified his form that’s on our traditional form, but it’s a property address, phone, email, that kind of thing, so it’s a full-on submit for sure.

Aaron: More people are hitting the sites, slightly less or converting, and actually saying, “Make me an offer or call me?”

Trevor: Yes. Here’s the reason and here’s the opportunity here is this, is the reason is some of those people are looking at it going, “Okay, I’m in a state where there’s a shelter in place, I don’t want someone in my house. I don’t know if I want to submit this or call and have someone come in my house because of the corona stuff,” or, “I don’t even know if I can sell right now,” or, “You know what? I don’t want to go through and look at houses right now. I’ll sit and wait this out until it’s all done.” They don’t want to start that off.

Now, here’s some cool things that we did, is we immediately started taking action with our clients and testing things. We started testing, “What if we update the websites to specifically say,” and we did this very early on, “what if we have these websites to specifically combat that objection?” Those people obviously have some sort of a holdback. They still have the problem, they still want to do the thing, but they’re saying, “I’m going to wait it out.” For a seller let’s say, for real estate agents, what type of content should you update the top of your site within your Facebook ads and create videos for?

You should do something like this, you say, “Hey, I’m Trevor with ABC Realty.” This whole coronavirus thing in Roseburg is kind of crazy. We’re all in it together and dah, dah, dah, but you may be thinking about selling and buying a home right now and you might be going, “Hey, I’m going to wait it out until it’s all over.” Well, let me tell you why right now is the perfect time to list your home and don’t wait. Well, I really predict at the end of this for there to be a pop in demand, but here’s the deal, it takes some time to get your property ready, to get it listed, to get all the marketing prepped for it.

We want to make sure that you don’t miss that window of demand. We want to make sure that you’re not waiting until everything’s all good again that buyer demand comes back in which is going to be there, and then your week’s too late in the real estate market, dah, dah, dah, whatever. It’s like walkthrough something like that, get people going right now into the listings and educate them why it’s a safe thing. If you’re a house buyer, hey y’all, you’re probably asking, can you still sell your house right now during this COVID situation? Well, you can. We’re still making offers every single day. We’re a local homebuyer.

Now, all four iBuyers pulled out of the market because they’re not local to the area, dah, dah, dah. We’re local, we care about the community, we’re going to continue to help serve sellers even during this COVID downturn. Now, how can we help you and keep you safe? Well, we have a new way that we’re looking at a house. We’re either doing it through Facebook Live, or whatever it is, Facebook Messenger, or doing Zoom tours where you can actually pick up your phone, give us a tour of the home, we’ll make you an offer, and you know what? We’ll even wait. We’ll find a date that works for you after the stay-at-home order’s lifted so you don’t have to worry about moving out of the house right now.

We’ll start to put out content like that on your website, show them that you’re still making offers, show them that you’re still listing houses, show that you’re still selling houses, but how are you making it safe for them? Now, we’ll put those retargeting ads over on Facebook so they’re seeing it over there and continually pull them back over here, and then I can give you guys some ideas of content you can put online. I can show examples of exactly what some people are doing to rank really high in Google in such a short amount of time-related to COVID stuff in their area.

You guys need to be putting content out right now. Content is the thing that’s going to be helping you build that authority, building that trust during this time, so when those people that are holding back already, you’re already pre-seated in their mind, they’re going to work with you automatically because you’ve shown that you’re the expert in it.

Aaron: Rockstars, we’ve been talking to so many agents the last couple of weeks about this and that’s the first time we’ve heard somebody come out with this pitch as what you’re saying when you’re calling. We’ve talked a lot about calling people, seeing if they’re okay and telling them, but also now getting to say, “Well, we do think there’s going to be a heavy demand coming,” like yes we are going to come out of this, this will eventually end, and everybody’s going to get to come out. At that time, there’s going to be a huge demand.

Everybody wants to get their hair cut, everyone wants to go to their favorite restaurant, and the people that are wanting to go buy a house they’re going to come out, so you can’t wait till that day to get ready. That’s a great thing to tell them. Take this time now to get ready for it so you’ll be ready for that demand.

Trevor: Dude, on the buyer side too, like let’s say the retail buyer’s side, like here in Roseburg, the listings have dropped a good bit, but also close transactions have dropped a bit. We’re rural Oregon, we talked to people in Phoenix, and stuff, there’s hasn’t dropped at all, they’re still crushing it, it seems like, but here’s the deal. Even if I’m a buyer and let’s say I’m a real estate agent, I would say, “Hey, Marsha, I know you’ve been looking for homes,” or, “Hey, person on my website, you might be wondering is now a good time to buy a house in Roseburg.”

Well, here’s a couple of reasons why I think he should actually be looking right now. There is slightly fewer buyers in the market right now actually going out there making offers because of the situation, which could mean a lower price for you possibly. There’s some of the sellers that are worried about what’s going to happen after this, dah, dah, dah. You might actually have an opportunity to get a slightly better deal of slightly better price right now if you’re diving in while a lot of the other buyers are pulling back. You know what? By doing it now, too you can actually capture some of those properties that maybe would have had more competition or will have more competition in six weeks.”

Just do it, but do it in a way to where you’re serving them, you’re educating them, and find a way to make it so they feel really safe about the whole process. Once again, even if they choose not to start it now, you are then going to be the one that serves them so well during this time as the trusted voice that they’re going to want to work with you. They’re going to want to work with you when it’s all over.

Dude, here’s the second slide and this one’s cool for a reason is those of you that are just listening to this I’ll explain it, but those of you looking at it, it’s a really, really cool picture. It’s a screenshot from our stats that essentially breaks down the stats up above a little bit further, but this is for a little bit longer period of time. I think this is for a whole quarter possibly, but basically, it shows the number one traffic or the traffic source, but also on the right side of it, you’ll see these little blue bars that show the conversion rate.

Now, here’s one thing that’s really important. A lot of agents and investors really focus in on that hamster wheel marketing I was talking about before. Posting on social media 14 times a day, doing the coke, all that stuff works. I don’t say not to do and it works. We do some of it, but I don’t want to base my business off of that because you’re going to end up getting burnout.

What happens if that method doesn’t work? You don’t have consistency and predictability. It’s hard to build momentum off of that. The content side of things, putting things online really does build a lot of momentum. Also, it’s the highest quality prospects. We always hear from our clients, investors and agents, they convert the highest. It requires fewer leads to close into an actual prospect or client or deal. They’re our highest margin deals, they’re the most motivated, they’re the easiest to work with. It’s because they’re actively going to Google and seeking out a solution.

They find you, they find your content, they see a good credible website that works well in mobile and converts well, and opt in. On organic search, let’s say compared to paid search or social, social media traffic currently in the past quarter or so converts about 2%. That’s any page, no matter how crappy the social media post was that they made, no matter if they send to a blog post that doesn’t even have an opt in form on it. I’m talking high level, not even just a squeeze pages here. If you’re sending to a squeeze page, it’s going to incur obviously a lot higher, but on average 2%.

Now, paid search is just below that, 1.86%. Organic search y’all, 5.34%, and so almost three times higher conversion on organic versus paid and social. You can get less traffic, less prospects, but convert more and actually make more money with less work in the long term by putting content online that ranks well on Google. This is where that consistency comes, man.

You can close fewer deals and make the same amount of money, or close same amount of deals and make more money, or you can get fewer eyeballs and close more leads. All around organic search is the spot most agents ignore, and they’re posting 8,000 posts on social media and they’re just on the hamster wheel all of the time. Now, keep doing that stuff y’all, just don’t build your business on that. This right here is what people are looking for right now is content.

Aaron: That whole chat was super cool because it was saying, of all the ways out there, everything works, right? Everything works in different variations. Just emailing people, calling people, Google ads, the organic search. All of them when it talks to bounce rate, and it was like, well, most of them there’s these higher times in their reading. Even if you send an email to your list of a thousand, it’s saying 2%.

All these different versions give it right around 2% conversion. Some it’s 1/1/2, some it’s 2/1/2 of people saying, “Yes, give me an offer.” or, “Hey, list my house.” That is why obviously the organic search is the only thing that jumps away at. It’s twice as likely if somebody finds you on Google, they are more than twice as likely to give you the next step than if they find you as a Google ad on Google. That’s wild.

Trevor: We’ve got one more piece of data that I want to show you guys because it’s really interesting. This one isn’t it, but organic search took the same dip, it’s going back up, but I want to show you guys paid search really quick. Where did it go? Did I get that one out of here? Ah, I might got rid of the paid search one. Well, the paid search one I’ll essentially just– I’ll talk it through with you. The paid search one, we’ve put out a blog today, just, where essentially we saw paid search do nothing but increase. It didn’t decrease. Leads through paid search didn’t have a bump down, it just has gone up the whole time.

Looking at the data of the traffic that we control, so we run the traffic for a good number of big investors and some agents as well, and in some markets we saw our click costs go down, in some markets we saw our click costs go up, but at most every market, we saw the conversion rate go down like we already saw. When you couple even a slight click cost decrease with a conversion rate decrease of 25%, your leads are still costing you more money, right?

It’s like your pay per click leads are costing you, in general, more money right now if you didn’t make any modifications to your site than it did a month ago, except with this cohort. We took the ideas I talked about before and we said, “What if we update the homepage of the site? What if we update it to have a COVID banner there that specifically says, ‘Hey, here’s how we’re serving you right now. Hey, go look at this piece of content, this video that we recorded, how we’re still serving you, dah, dah, dah.'” Those ones, actually, their lead costs went way down and their leads doubled on four or five different clients in the same time period versus January to February.

If you’re adjusting your content, adjusting your message, building authority, trust and credibility right now in your ads, in your videos on your homepage of your website, we’re finding that is increasing conversion, while everyone else is just sitting there saying, “I’ll wait this out and hopefully my click costs will go back down later.” You guys get content out there. It’s making a difference right now.

Aaron: It’s such a good point to get content out there that’s even just relating to what’s happening. Every advertisement you see on TV right now is a COVID-related advertisement. The big companies aren’t out there waiting, but every single thing that you see on TV now it’s like they somehow have gone and gotten all these new things published and created. Every ad out there is focusing on what’s going on in COVID. I think that, yes, it’s a great point that if somebody goes and hits your website, and it’s not something you’re talking about, it has totally changed our podcasts last month, right?

We’ve interviewed and did a couple of normal recordings after the stay at home order started, and it became impossible to ask the same old questions, right? Everyone’s favorite episodes we do are our new shows. We do the state of the market, like, “Here’s what’s happening, here’s the actual stuff that have most listens.” Now, it’s like every day is like a state of the market. It’s getting to talk to agents in different places and saying, “No, you have to adjust your message to what’s going on now with the phone call with everything.” I love some of those ideas you said today.

What has Carrot done to– I guess you talked about some of those pivots and shifts. When this started to happen, agents– A lot of our agents listening out there right now are– Some of them are nervous. Some of them are cutting down on their expenses. They are deciding to not invest in websites right now, or in ads or things like that. What would you say to them? Did you get a lot out the first couple of weeks? How did you as Carrot respond?

Trevor: Yes, dude. It’s interesting because like I said, what we teach people to do is exactly what we do. Even though we’re not an agency, like a real estate brokerage and we’re not a real estate house flip or anything like that, exactly the way that we’ve grown our business to one of the fastest growing companies in America is exactly the way that we teach our clients, because it’s general marketing that works in any market for a high-margin service business. Kind of similar to that graph, the first couple weeks, we saw a decrease of about 10% to 15% of our incoming customers.

I think it was similar to those people that are going tapping the brakes and just want to wait and see what’s going on here, see how it all shakes out. Which I totally get that, especially if you’re a brand new agent or a brand new investor and like, “I got to trim these expenses. I’m not ready to do it yet, let me wait a few weeks.” The biggest mistake that any entrepreneur or any business right now can make is by cutting marketing. That’s the biggest mistake any of them can make. Because right now, if you guys picture how amazing race car drivers win races, right? It’s not the best race cars, the fastest race cars that win races, it’s the fastest driver that wins the race. What I mean by that is, there was a movie that came out as Ferrari versus Ford and-

Aaron: Oh, so good.

Trevor: Dude, I think that might have been where I got that on quote. The fastest drivers, they see the turn up ahead, right? They see it ahead, they’re planning, they’re going, okay. They break earlier in the turn than the slower drivers. The slower drivers go into the turn at quicker speed and they got to break harder, okay. The fast drivers break earlier, and then they accelerate out of the turn way faster. They’re accelerating earlier out of the turn, and they get acceleration out of the turn way faster. The slower drivers come into the turn harder, they don’t see it coming, they brake harder, and then they have to hit the gas and they’re coming out of the turn way slower and they end up being way behind the driver.

The analogy here for businesses is if you’re still pumping the brakes, if you came into that curve and hit the brakes really hard because you weren’t prepared, and now you’re feathering the gas pedal and you’re starting to push it forward, your competition they’re already coming out of the corner, they’re already hitting it. They’re going to get ahead of the market, they’re going to get ahead of you unless you start to do the same thing. Don’t have the wait-it-out mindset. Don’t pull back your marketing budget, okay? Don’t do any of that stuff.

Even if your conversion rate’s lower right now, “Awesome. I’m able to get in front of more eyeballs.” On Facebook ads, dude, my Facebook ad costs is cut in half right now. Even though conversion rates are a little lower than normal, we’re able to get way more eyeballs at a way cheaper cost, get people exposed to our brand, get them in our retargeting sequences, deliver more of this content. We turned all of our COVID-related videos into ads now, and our most successful clients are doing the same thing. I’ve got an ad, I could even show you right now, where one of our clients, Robert Grand, that guy I showed you before–

I’ll share this really quick, because this is a really actionable thing that people can do. I’ll talk it through for anyone just listening to it. This right here, Robert Grand, he’s up in Eugene, and we have a good number of other customers who have done this and followed our guidance. We’ve said, “Dude, start to record videos out there on the field talking about the big changes, the iBuyers that stopped buying. Talk about buying and selling during COVID. Talk about all those different things and start posting them on Facebook. Get them up on YouTube and then post them on your Carrot site under our video post feature, which yanks all the words out of the video and makes it a full written content for you with the video in the top that Google loves.”

Now, he’s got this one video that went to YouTube, Facebook and his Carrot site which is going to help get it on Google. Then he takes it, plays it. Okay, he’s got a couple of hundred views almost on there, and then you make it an ad. Very low cost right now. You can get that that video ad for just penny views right now. I’m talking like on some of our views, man, on some of our stuff, we were able to get full playthroughs. People watched the entire video for like under one cent a playthrough, under one cent a full video play-through of a three-minute video. I’m just going like, “This is crazy right now.”

Guys, create the content, get it in all the different spots, and then put a little bit of a budget behind it. A $30 budget over the course of a week or two. $5 a day is going to work wonders with Facebook’s low ad costs right now and just get that in front of people. The next thing people can do if you’re an agent, here’s a client out of a Santa Cruz, Shemeika Fox. She’s going in, dude, she’s doubling down on content. I’m going to verbalize it for anyone listening to this, but those of you watching it, you get a little bit of a treat. She’s a really, really successful agent in Santa Cruz. What she did was she was like, “I’m going to hit the gas pedal early.” Now, I don’t know how this is working for her, but I can’t imagine that this is not building trust and–

Aaron: She’s publishing articles every day right now. It’s new content every day about what’s going on.

Trevor: New content. It’s Santa Cruz shelter in place 2020 day 12. The way that she’s doing it is how do you do it so it’s simple? Content should be simple. The way that she’s doing is she’s following our training. She goes, cool. I’m going to record a three to five-minute video. The average person speaks 120 to 160 words a minute. Google wants to see content that somewhere between 500 and 800 words in Google to be able to have a chance to rank well in Google for something. A three-minute video is about a 500-word article.

Now, a six-minute video is about an 800-word article. Somewhere between three and six minutes, and then she uploads it to YouTube. With a title based on what we talked about before, something that her prospects might be searching in, and then you slap it into video posts, which our system just takes the whole YouTube video, yanks all the words out, emails you two hours later and says, “Hey, your blog post is done.” That’s what this is. The videos at the top, she put in some pictures and stuff, and then the rest of it’s just the words.

Aaron: Your software grabs the words better?

Trevor: Yes, our software grabs all the words out of the video and makes a full written article for you with the video at the top and just says, “Hey, it’s done.” For those of you that are seeing this, that’s how she’s doing all these, they’re all short videos. This is 5 minutes and 43 seconds. It’s with her cell phone, she’s upload them to YouTube. Then our system will yank all the words, she kind of made them prettier. Now, here’s what I want to show you guys and why this is cool.

One of the ones that she started doing, one of the series she started doing, this works really great for agents especially, especially since Facebook ads are really cheap right now. Step one, get it on a Facebook, retargeting Pixel on your website so you can build an audience for all the traffic that lands there. Then one of the things that she started to do, she started to interview local businesses. This right here, interview with Adam Brouwer of EKM Metering.

Now, that one doesn’t look like it’s all that fancy right now, but here’s the deal. If I were to go through and Google this guy’s name, Adam Brouwer, EKM Metering what you’ll find is she is ranking number one in Google for his company name right now, other than his LinkedIn profile and his ad. Right here, Adam Brouwer, EKM Metering. You’ve got his own ad at the top for his own website. You got his LinkedIn and then it’s her website.

If you guys go out there and start interviewing these local businesses that need help, that need exposure and then start to publish their name and then the company name on there, put them in a video post type format. She’s doing it on Zoom. They’re sub-10-minute videos. She started to get traffic and starting to get in front of eyeballs in Santa Cruz that she never would have been able to before. Now, she can build relationship.

Aaron: She can build traffic forever. Anytime in the future somebody wants to know about that guy’s business, they’re also going to hit her site on, hey, here’s an agent over there. Those are some great, great things. We’re almost out of time for– I was glad you were able to give me so much time today that there is so much good info that Trevor just gave us today.

One of the great first points he made was there are more people that are interested in selling their house now that are actively searching, saying, “Hey, I want to sell my house now.” More people doing that today than the day before the COVID outbreak craziness started. That means more people are interested now. That’s a huge opportunity out there. People are listening. People are learning. Being able to reach out to some of those people and say, “Hey, you might not be ready yet, but I’m your person for when you are. Hey, why don’t we get started now? Because when all of a sudden everybody comes back, we’re going to need to be ready.”

One of the things we’ve been talking about on the podcast too, is buyers out there want to be buying too. They’re stuck in their houses. People are complaining more about the houses they’re living in than they ever have before, because they’re stuck there.

Trevor: Good point.

Aaron: You’ve got people wanting to sell because of financial stress. You’ve got people wanting to move up into something else because it’s for the first time they thought, “Wow, this house isn’t big enough. It isn’t what we need.” or any of those negativities have amplified and then being able to get in front of them. I was shocked to see those stats when you were like, “Hey, we had a dip, but now more people are searching than ever.”

Then also, those quick tips, and Trevor is a data guy. As he explains it, it may sound like there’s a lot of steps, but there’s really not. He said, create the Facebook page. You guys have it. On your website, add a Facebook Pixel, that takes 5 or 10 minutes. You guys have it. What that means now is anybody that comes to your website, you’ll be able to send ads to them.

Look at Facebook ads now because they’re cheaper than they’ve ever been because people are not doing them. It’s a great time to get out there and start going through there. Then just that idea of using a software what Trevor built, record the YouTube video and now that YouTube video also becomes a blog post. That one that you just showed of her interviewing local business, any one of you guys right now, we’re telling you like, call the people in your network and say, “How can I help?”

Calling other local businesses and saying, “How can we help creating a series out of that?” You will be the agent, the authority that say, “Hey, when times are tough, I went out and tried to help all the restaurants reopen,” and you’re that person. Trevor, anything we forgot to talk about? Anything to add? Then just in closing, people find you at Carrot. Where else can they find you? What should they be looking for?

Trevor: Man, one of my passions is my podcast, so just CarrotCast. We’ve got an entire COVID series once a week. I’m putting out a new episode that’s specifically on COVID and I talk about literally specific scripting on what to say in your videos. Exactly what marketing to launch, mindset shifts right now, all that kind of stuff. Go check that out. I think at the end of the day, and this is what I want agents and investors to get out of this though, is number one, we were already seeing some science for slowdown and we’re 12 years into a bull market.

I think the coronavirus though is potentially just kicking up that up a little bit. Of course, all markets are different, but what it’s doing right now is it’s highlighting the need for becoming a local authority. Because as the market gets more and more competitive with the iBuyers and with more wholesalers, more agents out there than ever because we’re at that top of that market, what happens is it gets harder and harder for you to crack through. It gets harder for you to really win in those markets.

If you really think about it, how do you crack through? Well, you don’t do it just by offering the same thing everyone else has. Hey, I can list a house. I can show you and here’s my commission and here’s my pretty face. That’s great for people that you know, but what about the people that you don’t know yet? You need to build authority. The only way to wade through this really well and to stand out is by building authority.

Now, the only way to build authority is with content, there’s no other way. There’s no other way to build authority other than content. It could be something like you and I are doing. It could be a one-on-one meeting at a coffee shop with a person, but the problem with that is it’s one-to-one. I can only build authority with that one person. I’m an expert. The only difference between an expert and an authority, is an authority is an expert. The people know is an expert.

Do as much as you can right now, guys and gals. Shift your mindset around long-term evergreen marketing stuff like we showed you that’s going to be up for months, years down the road. Then you’re stacking bricks just like Aaron’s got back behind him. I’ve got back behind me, stack bricks. This wall right here is like 150 years old. This thing lasts.

Stack bricks with content pieces, and then look at that hamster wheel and go, I know it works. I know hopping on the hamster wheel is going to work. It’s going to give me quick feedback, but I also know if I build my business on that. It’s going to wear me down and I’m going to look back in a year, two, three years going, “Man, I’ve got this unconsistent non-momentum building business model.” Do hamster wheel in a short term to get it working. Stack bricks with content that ranks well and I promise you, you guys are going to get more freedom, more flexibility out of your business.

Aaron: It’s so awesome, man. Yes, Trevor’s podcast is great. You record the truck talks, is that what you call them? You had a series of 10 or 15 truck talks of how to amplify your business. I had everybody on my team listen to those, we thought that was some great content you had been putting out. You can find Trevor on Instagram, you can find me on Instagram. You go to our podcast website Hiban Digital, you’ll be able to see Trevor’s interview there, on our YouTube page.

I’ll see if I can get some links to some of these diagrams and stuff. Maybe we’ll put those on the Hiban Digital page. Maybe it’d be a special link in there for you guys to go. Check out Carrot. Go find him online. Like he said, Trevor Mauch, M-A-U-C-H. We’re all over the place. Thanks for coming to join me today. Hopefully, everybody out there really enjoyed that data.

Trevor: Dude, I appreciate it, man. Like I said, just guys keep on tapping in the Real Estate Rockstars because you guys, Aaron, you guys are an amazing source of positivity and that’s what we need right now. That’s what we all need. I’ve got the darn t-shirt that says positivity because we believe in it. You guys keep tapping in Real Estate Rockstars, follow everything that they say. It’s an amazing community over there. Thanks, Aaron for letting me join you guys for a little bit.

Aaron: All right, right on. Everybody, we will talk to you later.

Trevor: Thank you.


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