reiconversion website
 

Today we’re talking with my friend Jessey of REI Conversion.

I first met Jessey a couple of years ago when he had expressed some interest in learning more about the land business. I didn’t realize it at the time, but Jessey had some background in building websites that performed and were designed very well.

Last year he reached out to me and told me about his idea of building some WordPress themes for the land business (and eventually, for a lot of other real estate investing niches as well). He showed me some of the designs he had come up with – and I realized he was onto something. I pitched the idea of being an advisor to him as he built out these websites – I could be his test driver and let him know about all the stuff I would want my website to do.

Long story short – I now have two amazing WordPress sites that do everything I’ve ever wanted, and they’re run by Jessey’s company. What’s even better is that he actually provides outstanding customer service (which is unheard of in the world of WordPress themes). Jessey’s company listens, responds and takes user input and feedback seriously – and this is an extremely rare thing to find on the internet.

In this interview, Jessey tells us some of the most important things he’s learned about what does and doesn’t work for real estate websites. If you’ve got a website that isn’t performing, converting, or doing its job, you’ll get a lot out of this episode!

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Episode 65 Transcription

Seth: Hey folks, how’s it going? This is Seth and Jaren with the REtipster podcast and today we are talking with my good friend at Jessey Kwong of REI Conversion. So just a little bit of backstory here. I first met Jessey a couple of years ago when he had reached out and expressed some interest in learning more about the land business. I didn’t realize it at the time, but Jessey had some background in running membership sites and he had the vision and the team to build websites that were very well designed, very thoughtfully laid out.

And last year he reached out to me and told me about his idea of building some new WordPress themes for the land business. And eventually a lot of other real estate investing spaces as well, like house wholesaling and rental properties and that kind of thing. He showed me some of his designs that he came up with and a little light bulb went off in my head because I realized this guy had a lot of talent and he understood things that most website developers just can’t quite grasp. Like if they’re not actually in real estate, they have a hard time understanding what real estate investors need to have in their website.

So, I pitched the idea of, “Hey, Jessey, maybe I can be an advisor to you as you’re building out these websites and I can be your test driver and your crash test dummy and I can let you know about the stuff that I would want my website to do so you can tweak years and make it perfect basically”.

Up until this point I had never known anybody like that. I was just stuck working with other “Real Estate” WordPress themes that weren’t really designed for what I was trying to do. So, then I had to come up with these workarounds and hacks to make the site do the right thing. But Jessey was different. He could build a website that was pretty much customized for exactly what I needed for both my buying website and my selling website. It was kind of a new era for how my websites worked.

Long story short, I now have two amazing WordPress sites that do everything I ever wanted them to do and they’re both put together by REI Conversion, Jessey’s company. What’s even better is that, he actually provides outstanding customer service, which is unheard of in the world of WordPress themes. Usually you just buy the thing and you’re on your own, but Jessey’s company listens, they respond, they take user input and feedback very seriously. This is just a very rare thing to find on the internet when you’re working with a WordPress theme.

So, I’ve actually got a couple of very, very detailed tutorials, maybe overly detailed on how to do the either one of these sites from scratch using these themes. I’m going to link to those tutorials in the show notes for this episode.

By the way, this is episode 65. So, retipster.com/65 and you can find those. But even if you’re already all sit with your websites or even if you don’t want to monkey around with this stuff right now, I totally get that.

In any event though, I wanted to have Jessey on the podcast to talk about some of the biggest things that people typically miss in getting their website to do what it’s supposed to do. It’s one thing to just say, “Oh, yeah, I have a website. It’s all said”. That’s another thing for that website to actually do its job and deliver on that promise.

Jaren: Hey, Seth, I wanted to jump in there. I normally don’t interrupt you with your beautiful intros, but I do want to just say that if you don’t have time to monkey around with your websites, you should still reach out REI Conversion because I was in that boat and about, I don’t know, three weeks ago or so, Jessey’s team completely set up my entire website for me. I had to pay a little bit extra for that, but they will also just take charge and set it all up for you if that’s something that you need. I think that this is kind of the one-stop-shop for real estate investor needs when it comes to websites. I’m excited as well to have Jessey on the show.

Jessey: I’m really flattered. Thanks guys. I’ve never had such a grand intro before so I really appreciate you.

Seth: Are you crying yet?

Jessey: But yeah, thanks. It’s been great working with both of you. And Seth, like you said, it’s been great having you as an advisor and Jaren also. I bounce a lot of ideas through Jaren as well and appreciate both of you guys. And not only that, I appreciate a lot of you guys that are our current users who have really helped us mold who we are and what we are and the tools that we’re continuing to build. We’re not just focusing on launching a pretty looking site, but we’re there to figure out how can we continue to make it accessible and flexible for you guys to scale and save time. I know time is one of those things that we can’t get back and that is one of those things that we focus a lot of our energy now on is figuring out how do we again cut time for you guys and also provide customer support. We love chatting with you guys. We’re sort of a more of a boutique agency type of thing. But yeah, we love working with all of you guys.

Seth: Yeah. So, just right out of the gate, as somebody who deals with real estate websites all day, does anything come to mind for you in terms of whether they are using your themes or just something totally different? Like is there a common mistake you see people making either on the buying or the selling side? And by the way, just to preface that, when I see buying website, I’m talking about a website where a motivated seller can find that, submit their property information and request an offer on their property. And when I say selling website, I’m talking about a website where you can list your properties for sale with pretty property listings and pictures and all this stuff. So, we’re probably going to be making a lot of references to those two things throughout this.

Jessey: Yeah. No, I think this is probably most common things. So, I speak to investors that have sites almost on a daily basis and I look at a lot of sites as well. And a lot of people submit their site for us or their domain because they’re going to be transferring and I do have a peek at them. I think the biggest, most common thing is, I don’t think people even think about this too much, is their headline. Surprising enough. Their headline is probably one of the things that they think, “I can probably write whatever. It won’t make a difference in my conversion rates”.

Seth: When you see a headline, are you’re talking about the big bold statement that they see when they land on the homepage? Or is this the headline for a listing?

Jessey: Yeah, it’s the headline on the homepage when they land. And this is especially for the site that gets their motivated seller or you’re buying website. This is probably one of the biggest things that I typically see. Usually I’ll see things like slogans or “We’ve been buying land for 20 years” or something along those lines. They’re not really sort of catering that headline to their motivated buyers. So, you only have a few seconds to really get the attention of your seller and for them to clearly know what they’re supposed to be doing on your website. And every second counts. I did an A/B test and I think I posted this maybe a year or so ago now on your group, how I saw a 15% difference in the conversion rate of the motivated sellers that I had submitting on my site.

So, I was testing two different headlines. And if you’re using a headline that isn’t even about your motivated seller, you’re not sort of talking about how you’re going to be helping them. You’re going to sort of miss out on people that are going to submit their property to you. Now maybe majority will still come through, but when we’re talking about, we don’t get that many motivated sellers in general already. So even a difference of one or two people who submit their property to you and they decided not to because of their headline and they couldn’t understand what was going on your site. You’re going to lose a potential deal. You might lose right there. So, I think the biggest thing is the headline. I commonly see that one.

Seth: What’s an example of a bad headline and what’s an example of a good headline?

Jessey: I see a lot of slogans “We’ve been buying houses for 20, 10 years or 5 years” or something along those lines. Slogans is probably like the biggest ones that I see. I think everybody wants to sort of romanticize their website a little bit and dramatize it a little bit because they’ve got stunning imagery in the background. But at the end of the day, we’re not here to write a story or anything. We’re here to really just let them know exactly, “Hey, you’re here for one sole reason and that’s for me to buy your property” and you got to let them know. So, headlines that are like “Sell your property fast for cash” or something like that is going to definitely outperform something that is more about yourself and your company.

Seth: Yeah. Does this also translate to the selling website as well?

Jessey: Yeah, definitely. I think you always want to be using that headline to communicate exactly what you do. I mean, you could do an A/B test and see if that’s going to make a huge difference. I think with the selling site, we’re driving most our leads to our properties. But if someone’s going to find you organically through Google and they’re coming to your site in there, they have no idea exactly what you’re do. Like you’re selling discounted properties or off market properties, there’s a good chance they might balance. Again, you only have four to five seconds to exactly communicate or and get that impression out to them of what you actually do. So, if you don’t make that happen within those few seconds, you’re going to lose their attention. And you know nowadays the way we surf the internet, we expect things so quickly and we will bounce so quickly nowadays. So, we have to be sure that we communicate exactly with the benefit for our visitor.

Seth: Yeah. And is that headline thing, does that matter on the listing itself? Like it just looking at the REI Land List Demo. I mean I see the big headline read at the very top, first thing you see. And then you scroll down and you see the listings, each of which has its own headline.

Jessey: Yeah. I don’t think it counts as much. By the time that somebody is looking at that property, they know that they’re looking at properties. Same with if you’re sharing that property link on Facebook or wherever it may be the headline for that property. Yes, it’d be great to communicate some benefit in that headline, but I think by that time, they’re already understanding that these are properties you have for sale. I think this is more applicable to the main headline than anything.

Seth: I gotcha. I’m assuming the pictures are a pretty important aspect of the selling site, right? Especially with something like land. I mean it’s very easy to get pictures that are not that great. Would you say it’s like number one priority of the listing or what element matters most?

Jessey: So, when we’re getting leads to our site, we’re posting on things like, and especially like Facebook, right? That image is going to be a scroll stopper. So, there’s a lot of weight that comes on that image. Definitely having nice photos is huge, especially for advertising and grabbing those leads back to your site. I would say anything with a nice blue-sky. High contrast is always known to be a good scroll stopper. Even if you’re running, let’s say you’re running ads in general and that doesn’t even have to be for land, but anything that is high in contrast will always outperform something that is a little bit on the muted side. Now it might look cool to have a sort of a stylistic photo, but I mean it’s really hard to pinpoint exactly what you need to be doing. But I would say especially for land or property in general, something that is high in contrast and in general like taking just a nice photo, a nice quality photo will help a lot. It’s easy pretty much nowadays to hire someone to take nice photos for you in any area. So, it’s worth getting those nice photos.

Jaren: Yeah, it’s funny you mentioned that because one of the key things that I look for in a good land agent for those who might not know, my primary strategy when it comes to selling properties is to list with agents. That’s very different than most people because they’re running assumption in the land business is that agents don’t know anything about land. And it’s true for the majority of agents out there, but there’s this very obscure small sub niche of land specialized real estate agents that are really, really good. They’re just kind of hard to find some times. One of the things that I look for is on Zillow. I will specifically highlight the properties that have great descriptions and great pictures. Because you’d be surprised but those two things are like the 80/20 that you need to look for in a good agent because most people, whether they’re investors or agents or what have you, they might have one kind of obscure pitcher of the bushes or an aerial map screenshot. That’ll be it. So, it’s funny but it’s true. If you really want to move your property and you want to stand out from the crowd, something as simple as just getting good pictures can go a long way.

So Jessey, I wanted to ask you about when someone lands on the website, what are the biggest obstacles that keep somebody from submitting their property information? Because there’s a number of different pieces to this thing working, right? You got to have people to the website, then you’ve got to keep them on the website and then you got to actually get them to give you the information about their property. So, what the main factor is in getting people to actually opt in?

Seth: Yeah. Just to clarify, we’re talking about the buying website right now.

Jessey: This was sort of second on my list, it is making sure we have that opt in form and it’s super obvious making it exactly known what they’re on that site to do. A clear call to actions. Again, something that’ll stop them from scrolling and understand, “Okay, this is exactly what I need to do. I need to be submitting that form”. And the next thing I was going to say is the most common and other thing that I see is submission forms are usually hidden on another page. You need that on your homepage above the fold line. And the fold line meaning where the end of the website is on your screen once you first land on there before you start scrolling. You need it above that fold line and you need those huge call to actions, huge buttons, and to break that form up. So, I see a lot of people will have a form on another page and it’s a super long form that they’re going to have to fill out. Yes, somebody may fill it out, but if we’re talking about percentages, you’re going to have a huge percentage of people that do not want to fold out a long format first. So that what you want to do is you want to make sure you have a short form to get their foot in the door and not bogged down and not feel any friction to actually submit their property, capture their basic information, and then introduce them to another step. That’s what we call sort of a multistep form.

So I think back to your question Jaren, what sort of stopping a lot of people is not having that form and clearly stating for them these are the benefits of what you’re going to get if you complete this form, if you fill this form out and what are you going to get out of that. So, I think that’s probably one of the biggest things that is working against a lot of people with their sites. Just not having a form on the homepage above the fold line.

Seth: Yeah. I actually ended up doing this a lot as well, where people will make their buying website and send it to me and say, “Hey Seth, look at this. Tell me what do you think?” Which is always kind of a tedious task because there’s all kinds of little oddities that can be done not quite right.

Jaren: Please give me a free review.

Seth: Yeah. But I was looking at one just a couple of weeks ago and one of the things that jumped out to me aside from the fact that it was exactly what you said Jessey. It was sort of hidden on another page and it was just this massive form. So, the first second you see it, it’s just like, “No, I don’t want to fill that out”. But almost every single question on there was a required field. Like you had to fill it out including things like “What’s the parcel number?” And one of them was, “What is the vacant land properties physical address?” of which most vacant land properties don’t have a physical address. The thing was just design with all kinds of flaws in it.

Jessey: Yeah, I think that is what sort of cut you off. I think there’s sort of a fine balance of filtering out non motivated and motivated sellers. But you still want to have that wiggle room. Even though you’re super motivated, it’s not hard to go and find another buyer to be honest. So yeah, I think there’s a fine balance. I think if you’re making everything required it’s probably not a good idea. Yes, there are some required information. And actually, I wanted to come back to the first forum. One of the things that you don’t want to include on that form is the phone number. So, phone number has been always a hot topic with opt in forms. It’s just one of those things where you want to avoid that field at all costs, especially on your first form. If you’re going to break it form up into several steps, which we do here. So, we break it up into two steps and you want to collect your phone on the second form. Not many people like to have to call someone unless you feel like it is critical and that’s the only way to communicate. Again, I would put that phone number on the second part of the form. So, I do see that quite a bit too. And it is also one of those things people always feel like it’s required. I think I was looking at Unbounce. Unbounce is a landing page creator and they were saying that they’ve seen up to 50% decrease in conversion rates. So again, this is dependent on your market. I haven’t A/B test this, but it is one of those things that I’ve heard a lot about. Just not including that phone number.

Seth: Yeah. Switching gears little bit to the selling side of things. Maybe you can just correct me if I’m wrong here, but with a selling site, there’s sort of two goals in mind. Probably the first one is obviously, get people that click on your listings and inquire about buying them. But sort of like a sidebar goal might be getting people to sign up for your buyers list while they’re there. Is that correct? Am I missing anything else? Are there any other goals we want a selling site to do?

Jessey: Yeah, I think the whole getting them onto your cash buyers list is sort of a little bit underrated. I think this is especially a huge benefit in the long run. It is a long run game and it is something that I am putting a lot more emphasis on when I talked to a lot of people that are setting up their selling site. Some of the guests that we had on our podcast and it pays off over time. And when you can build a cash buyers list, that is something that you’re going to be able to reap the benefits a lot later. Again, it’s a long-term game. You don’t feel your energy as wasted. When you’re posting all those properties on Facebook or wherever you might be posting, you’re at least capturing those leads for later game, right along run game type of thing.

I think to me they’re almost like equally as important. If somebody is going to be highly motivated to buy a property, they’re going to probably buy it, but majority are not ready. A lot of them need to build rapport. A lot of them need you to nurture them along the sales cycle, to get them to become primed and understand who you are and trust who you are before they can actually purchase from you. So, I know you had Luke Harris on your podcast before and he’s come on a couple times now and talked a lot about his cash buyer list. I’ve gotten emails, actually we were talking before the podcast where I don’t hear much if there’s anything that I’ve heard, I’ve gotten feedback on, it’s on that episode where people followed his tactic to the tee and they were able to offload properties to the cash buyers.

So, it’s a really powerful thing. I think people have to start putting their selves in the mindset of thinking, “Hey, I’m not using this just only to sell the property”. But a huge important factor is to build your cash buyers. The earlier that you do it, the better because look at what happened to Craigslist, right? We used to always be able to list property there easily and offload properties there. Now a change in algorithm or whatever they want it to change you’re at their mercy. And who says Facebook isn’t going to change the algorithm? They’re doing changes on a daily basis, probably on an hourly basis too. So, it’s a safe bet to say you should really start thinking about building your cash buyer list.

Seth: One quick thing. You were talking about Luke Harris and what he did to add people to those cash buyers list. Is that something you can explain really quick for us or can I link to wherever he did explain that? Just so people don’t miss that.

Jessey: If you listen to the REI Conversion podcast, you can find that on iTunes and sort of make a plug here about it.

Seth: I’ll link to that episode in the show notes.

Jessey: Yeah, sure. It’s episode number seven. So, you can find that in Seth’s show notes. So, he talks exactly about how he built his cash buyer list. So essentially when somebody comes to your site, before they can look at any property, he gets them behind an opt in form so you have to enter in your email, your name so you get onto his email list essentially. And we do that with our site here at REI Conversion so our land list does that as well. I know some people have different feelings about that, some people are not comfortable about that. So, we also make an option where you can close that, allow your visitor to close that opt in form if you’d like.

Anyways, so that goes into your email list and then he will run a set of automated emails. So those emails will introduce himself, will introduce how he runs his business. He’s got a video. They’re talking about his business and the process. All these are our sort of strategic emails to kind of what you call warming up your audience or warming up your potential buyer or your lead so that they become hot enough to purchase from you eventually. The more trust that you can build with them, the more likely that they’re going to actually purchase your property.

In this episode, he also talks about the strategies that exactly what time of the week he blasts out his email and how he discounts his email. It’s a pretty in-depth episode and he shares this script with us as well. So, check it out. I think again, having that list, he’s selling up to half of his properties now to his buyers list. I know of several other investors that are doing that. And this is again planning for the future in case of… We’re at the mercy of Facebook at this point, right? Or whatever other platform you’re marketing your properties on.

Seth: So that whole issue of getting people to opt in and the issue of putting a gate where people have to either close the opt in or sign up before they can see the rest of your website. I’ve always felt kind of weird about that. I’ve never done it really where I force people to do that. However, I’ll tell you there is immense power in conveying the right message in that opt in form. Like, if you can basically help the visitor understand that, there’s like privileged confidential information behind this. You want to see what’s on the other side. For example, I actually experimented with this on the REtipster blog and made a pretty notable difference for years. My opt in form just said like, “Sign up for the newsletter”. Like yay, “Get notified of new blog posts”.

And then I changed it to “Free Subscriber Tool Box”, “Get access to free downloads and videos and guides, other digital assets for your business”. That was always there. Nothing changed. People were getting that before. But when I actually spelled out, “Hey, there’s something in it for you. You really want to see what you’ll get when you download this and everybody’s always super happy with it”. But I was basically hiding that fact and no wonder nobody’s going to sign up if they don’t understand what they’re going to get. So, if you can really help a person see like, and I think you’ve actually got some of this boilerplate language on your selling site template. Like “Purchase land at 50% to 80% below market value” or “See deals before anybody else in the world does”. I mean just that kind of messaging so people get, “Oh, I do want to sign up. There’s actually something in it for me”.

Jessey: Yeah. And from what I’m hearing, some of our users are now also, we call it the property content lock. Anyways, we build plugins that work with our site. Plugins are little add-on’s or features. That was what I was talking about earlier where we continue to build features. So, this is exactly it. The property content lock where it’s a pop up. Some of our users are now including video on that pop up to really drive home the point. They’ve got face to face contact now with them. They’re telling them exactly what the benefits are and you’re going to be able to explain everything a lot better. So, on our pop up there you can embed videos to make it even a stronger message or a stronger incentive for them to get on your buyers list so that they reap the benefits of being on that list.

Seth: Yeah, for sure. It’s a great idea.

Jaren: Well, Jessey, just a follow-up question on, I like the word you use “nurturing your buyer’s list”. What content pieces do you see people implementing to nurture their buyers? It’s like, I know you mentioned in the interview, what Luke was saying is that he sends out certain emails at certain times and so on and so forth. But what is he sending in those emails? I want to go a little bit one layer deeper because a lot of people, they listen to podcasts, they know that they’re supposed to have a buyers list. But I know for me, the practicals of like, “Okay, I’m building all these emails up, but what do I tell them on a weekly basis? What do I do?” So, I just wanted to follow up with, do you have any insights on any kind of content strategy or what are the pros of doing with that? Like what are they doing on YouTube? What are they getting into?

Jessey: Yeah. I think the main one is introducing who you are. The first email that typically goes out is asking them exactly where they’re looking for property in. Now the key to that is, the main thing is to get people on your list to respond. When you get them to the respond, the higher chance that your email actually ends up in an inbox. So, when you’re blasting out an email, an automated email, that first one, your main goal is to make sure that they respond. So, ask a question. And the easiest one is to ask, “Where are you looking for property in?” Make it a simple, simple question and let them know, “Hey, just hit the reply button. Let me know in one word where are you looking for property in?” That’s the main goal so that you end up in their inbox for future emails.

And the next one, you want to delay this by a day. You want to let them know about who you are, what areas you’re working out of. And they’re going to drip out these emails. I would say anywhere from three to four emails, at least in the start before you send them your regular deals of the week emails.

So, your third one, another good one is having a video embedded in that email talking about how buying property works with you, the whole process. If you can have a video, I think that’s an easy way to build a lot of trust and rapport with your buyer. And then from there you can continue to create emails that again will build trust. Perhaps it’s an email that shows the recent properties that you’ve sold and some testimonials. And then they’re entered into your regular email sequences where every week you’re letting them know “The deal of the week” and sort of the discounts that you’re offering on those properties. But those would be like the first three emails I would say are very key to making sure you build a good relationship and for them to fully understand. The more ways you can get them to reply, the better as well.

One of the things about email marketing is “What are the chances of us getting into their inbox?” A lot of times our emails end up in spam or junk and it’ll get missed. So, getting them to reply is huge because then it shows their email client or their email program that, “Hey, this is an email that you want to see. So, we’re going to keep it in your inbox”. And in fact, I’m going to be running a free webinar on this exactly. I’m including some scripts that I’m going to be putting together. Some of the scripts that I’m also using and some other investors are using. I don’t have those exact scripts on me right now, but, if you’re interested, I don’t know where I’ll be blasting this sometime. Maybe inside the REtipster group about the webinar. Just to again give people an understanding of how do we go about nurturing it. And it doesn’t need to be anything complicated. I’m sort of going to go on a tangent here. Another big thing that I see with a lot of investors is them getting involved with huge systems without understanding the foundations of things. So, don’t think that you need this complicated automation of emails that go out. At the end of the day we are building relationships and helping people get the property that they want.

Seth: Yeah. It almost kind of makes me wonder, to your point, like this whole website thing and buyer’s list thing, I mean it is important I think for sure, especially if you’re going to build a land empire or a house flipping empire or whatever. But at the same time, it’s one of many things you have to do to run this kind of business. I know some people feel and I try to help them understand this is not a “must” to get started. Like this is a helpful thing. But I’m just curious in your opinion, at what point does it really make sense to have a website? If you just started yesterday, you haven’t done a deal yet, maybe you’ve started six months ago and you’ve done three deals. It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to build this huge infrastructure and email autoresponders for inventory you don’t even have. I don’t know, what is the tipping point when a website really starts to pay dividends?

Jessey: Yeah, that’s a great question. I really think that boils down to a couple of things. So, what are you good at? Where do your skill sets lie in? And then also the strategy that you’re going to be using. So, for someone like me, when I first got started because I had all this background in digital marketing and building websites and design, this was a no brainer for me. And it was one of those things that I got started really quickly. I don’t know if I’ve told you, but I think I flipped my first property within a week of listing my property. Yeah, it was crazy back then. But I think again it comes down to where do your skill sets lie in. If you’re much better at negotiation or obviously if you have a background on the digital side of things, this could be something that you can get up and running pretty quickly. And it also depends on your strategy. Are you going to be making blind offers while they’re not coming back to your website? If they don’t need to submit a property through your website, then this might be something you want to do later.

Yes. Eventually people might start Googling you and seeing who you are if you’re a legitimate buyer. So, there’s just so many factors. I really don’t have an answer for this one, but I always think if you can get it up sooner, the better. It’s great for SEO. It’ll help you start thinking in ways you can start automating, but automating slowly. I don’t believe in trying to get grand system up and running. Obviously, I think things take priority. Like getting out your mailers out there, driving for dollars or whatever it may be. I think having your foundations out first, understanding how your business operates and when you get a better understanding of that and you’re ready to start thinking about branding and having a home on the internet, now I would say it’s a good time to start thinking about launching your site.

Seth: One thing I wanted to touch on because this has been just a fundamental game changer for me, and it’s something I always wanted but I couldn’t do it until you, Jessey. It was this automated offer plugin on the buying website. Because I get a lot of property submissions come through my site, it used to be that I would literally one by one go through these emails, open them up, think through whether or not I wanted to send them an offer, send them an offer. They’d say no. All in all, it took me maybe like 30 to 60 seconds. Not like a huge problem but still it required me to sit down and look at it and think about it. With the automated offer plugin that people can get basically almost built into the REI land leads theme, you can certain metrics like how much you want the offer to be based on a percentage of their stated market value, what value range and what size range. Is it both of those that you can specify? I don’t remember.

Jessey: Yeah, exactly.

Seth: Okay. But anyway, it will basically just send out offers like this automatically. So, you don’t even have to think about it. It’s been insanely useful to me because I can just look through the responses. As you might expect many of them, tell me that all kinds of horrible things, but a few of them will say yes. So, I can just look for the yeses and pursue those. So, it’s a huge time saver and sanity saver. Can you think of any reason why a person wouldn’t want to use this? I mean just because it’s so convenient. Like, does everybody use it and is it working well for them?

Jessey: I know that some people who are getting started are a little bit intimidated to use something like that. You really got to get your feelers out of what you want to offer and at sometimes it’s just a mental thing. So, I know that on housing side now, in house leads, a lot of people were really excited about using that as well. So, it really depends on how confident you are and what you want to offer. I think it also can depend on the type of area you’re working out of. Yeah, it might work better in areas that are, I don’t know, geometrically segmented a little bit better so you know sort of the consistent value of that you’d want to offer. I leave mine on too. I came out of the REtipster training as well where you obviously based off your 32nd offer strategy. I think it really depends on the strategy and if you’re making blind offers as well or if you’re sending out letters that have an offer already on there, then this might be something that you don’t want to sort of use unless you can align exactly the percentages that you’re making an offer on those mailers so that you can have the same offer made on your site.

Jaren: So yesterday I just had Jessey take this feature off of my website. My reasoning behind it was I am doing Facebook ads and kind of just testing the waters out and I had a lead that bled over from the landing page of Facebook to my actual website. I was responding to him from my personal email jaren@ibuyland.org and the opt in goes to my staff email staff@ibuyland.org. I was like, “Hey, I can do this amount”. And then it automatically went like way under and then he was like, “What?! What kind of offer is that?!” He literally said that the market value of the property was $20,000 and then he was asking for $65,000. I assumed it was a typo and it was $6,500 and I was like, “Yeah, I can do $6,500 move to move”. But sometimes I like to have, especially with how the nature of my land business is evolving, I’m trying to have a lot more control. Systems and 80/20, you give up control for efficiency. When you have more control, you have opportunity for lack of a better term, you have discrepancies that you can capitalize on when you get in the weeds. You’re looking for a needle in the haystack, but you can find more needles when you’re literally moving each straw individually and looking for that needle. So that’s what I’m trying to really optimize and get as many deals as I possibly can for my marketing efforts. So, I want everyone to call me. I actually just turned my phones live for the first time. So, this is now all of my direct mail. Calls are no longer going to a prerecorded voicemail. And they’re either going to be picked up by me or my wife. So, we’re really trying to do all that craziness.

Jessey: Yup. Yup. Like you said, it really comes down to the strategy you’re using. And that’s a beauty of using WordPress, right? You have all this flexibility if you want to get into that area. We believe a lot leaving the power into you to figure out, “Okay, how can I get creative?” And then it’s another one of those things I talk a lot about is everybody is going to run their investing business differently. There isn’t one magic formula that is going to work. You won’t figure out your formula until you’ve gone out there and tried the basic and then go from there. That’s one of the things that we strongly believe in with our sites is with WordPress you’ve got this platform that you can install tens or hundreds of thousands of different plugins and tools that can help you automate or make life a little bit easier. Just don’t go down the rabbit hole of trying to do everything. Figure out one thing at a time, figure out where your skillset lies and every website is going to work differently in the end. Every successful website is going to work differently in the end. And it depends on, again, your skill set and where your skillset lies in and the strategies that you’re going to be using.

Seth: So, I wanted to ask a little bit about SEO or Search Engine Optimization. I know this is something we’ve sort of gone back and forth a little bit. SEO has been a fairly instrumental thing in getting traction on my buying website in particular where people will find it just randomly on the internet and submit their property info. Kind of like a free lead without having to do direct mail. And that’s pretty cool. However, I know some people might hear that and be like, “Well, I’ve got to do that too. I’m going to do the same thing”. So, I guess the question is, is search engine optimization even necessary? Like, does it even matter if our website shows up in search results? Or is it like, the website is just there so that if somebody wants to do research on my company, they can find that and get comfortable with me. But the purpose of it isn’t to drag on big swaths of people to submit their property. It’s just to be like an online show room to serve up the information people want to know about me.

Jessey: Yeah. So, first thing I want to disclose is I’m not an SEO expert. SEO is one of those things that you dive into it, you’ll see that isn’t nonstop changing world on a daily basis. I think people are starting to think SEO is this magical thing that or layer that I put onto my site and boom, like it’s going to work. It is absolutely anything but that. So, coming back to SEO and speaking with the people that I speak with and the podcasts that I listened to. I listened to a lot of Neil Patel’s a marketing school podcast and he’s a SEO specialist. He works with big companies like Facebook and whatnot. So, is SEO necessary? And I think this comes back to what I was saying earlier is first of all, it depends on your strategy. Is that your main strategy? Is that how you’re looking to get most of your leads? For most of us, SEO is a great benefit. I think it’s huge, but it’s not as instantaneous as most people think it is. Now, Seth, you’ve had your domain for how long now?

Seth: I think it was since 2011 was when I first started it.

Jessey: You’re coming up to 10 years, right? So, a lot of the ranking that you’ve built is just letting that site marinate and having it as an active site and you’re doing the basics. I would always say like if you’re thinking about SEO, cover your basics, making sure your site is running up to speed, your securities are up to par. Cover your basics, your images aren’t that huge. So, again, like is it necessary? I think it really depends on your strategy. I don’t think it’s a thing that somebody should be prioritizing. Definitely shouldn’t be prioritizing. The only thing is, and I’m not just saying like yes, launch your website out there, like the earlier you can do it, the better. Obviously, the people that are ranking now that you’re seeing, they’ve been around for a while. They’re listing properties. So, with WordPress, when you list a new property that counts as a new post, Google loves that. If you’re keeping your images small and compressed, Google is going to love that. And now I see a lot of people that are posting up images for their property on their website, but because nowadays, even our cell phones nowadays are, the image is so big, Google is going to punish that. I did a huge talk on our podcast, a couple posts in a couple of groups about making sure you have your SSL security setup, covering your basics. But I think for most people it isn’t going to be priority. It’s definitely not as easy as people think it is, where “Hey, if I’ve got SEO, I’ve got keywords in here and things that are going to magically work”.

Like for you, Seth, you’ve had your site for a while and you’re talking about almost 10 years where somebody who’s launching, you won’t even have your site start ranking until 6 to 12 months. So, use that time to start building traffic. If you’re going to generate content, go ahead. It’s one of those things like generating content is huge for SEO, but is it the best way to spend your time especially if you’re time limited? You’ve got a 09:00 to 05:00 or whatever it might be. And then should we be focusing on our mailers? Should we be focusing on marketing the property? So, it really depends on the strategy. It’s a hard question to answer.

Seth: No, I totally get that. So, if somebody decides, “SEO is not going to be a thing for me, I’m not going to mess with that at all. I’m just going to have this website and it’s just going to exist”. Is the point then to just have something to list on your mailers when you send out? So, like, “Hey, come check this out if you want to.” Or just to put someone’s your business card? And I guess maybe another question, tangential question to that is if somebody did want to prioritize SEO and try to boost the rankings of either their selling website or their buying website, which one do you think makes the most sense to invest their time and money into? Which one has the most ROI, I guess?

Jessey: Yeah, I definitely think your buying site is going to benefit a lot more with SEO then your selling site. Just because with your selling site, you’re going to be marketing a lot of different places anyways.

Seth: You are kind of going up against like LandWatch and Zillow and stuff, right?

Jessey: Exactly, exactly. That’s a great point as well. Your buying site is going to benefit a lot more if you’re going to focus on SEO. Again, that comes down to your strategy. Sorry, what was the first part of the question before?

Seth: Yeah. If somebody decides they don’t want to mess with SEO at all, does their website just kind of act like as an online informational piece for those who are interested?

Jessey: Yeah. If you’re not going to focus on SEO, your website is not there just to sit static and provide information. Again, there is purpose to that. You’re going to find ways to drive traffic. So, it is an involved marketing. You’re going to be posting your website, you’re going to add it to your mailer if you’d like to drive them back to your website to make an offer. I followed what you’ve done in the past. Seth is on my voicemail. It’s like “Go to my website”. It’s just a lot easier for me to handle because I’ve got other things going on. I want to batch my tasks. So, your site has a clear goal. Whether it’s to collect a motivated seller or collect a buyer. I think those are two major goals of the site. You are there to also make it accessible for someone to buy a property on your site as well. But I think those leads, once you have that information of that contact or that lead, then you can start getting creative with what you want to do. And this is what I mean, like understanding your foundation, understanding your strategy, then building, taking bits and pieces from what other are doing and then forming your own strategy.

Jaren: So Jessey, I wanted to ask about kind of going on a kissing cousin rabbit trail to SEO. Let’s talk about branding for a minute. It’s also kind of in line with my question about content pieces that I brought up earlier. I always thought that one of the most advantageous things somebody could do with their selling website where they’re building their buyers list is to have a brand strategy. Because a lot of people, they just list their properties and they might make some videos and they might have an auto-response series. But if they were really strategic about, let’s say I wanted to become the resource on how to get into tiny houses, then I specifically as a land investor bought property that was suitable from a zoning perspective to have tiny houses. And then I built all this content and all of these different content pipelines about “The beginner’s guide to getting started in tiny houses” or “What do you need to look for in vacant land that can host tiny houses?”, etc. etc. And I started a podcast about like “How to buy tiny houses for Airbnb or whatever the strategy was?”

If I create these content pieces, I can have a lot more SEO, a lot more branding. I can really establish myself as an authority in a particular niche where people will come to me to learn something. And then by the way, I have properties that you can buy for this purpose and because they trust you as an educator and so on and so forth. I’ve always thought that that could be a huge game changer. Have you seen people doing stuff like that? Question number one. And then question number two, where do you think based on your current clients and so on and so forth, there’s the most opportunity from a content perspective? Like what would be a really good idea for somebody to make content around? Like mobile homes or tiny houses? What do you think?

Jessey: Yeah, great question. It’s definitely a strategy I’ve thought about previously and I think it’s a great strategy. Tiny home is one of those really popular ones, obviously with vacant land. We do have a couple of people focusing on specific niches and I’m trying to recall. There was one guy, he was focusing solely on desert land. So, we have a couple of users that have niche their branding. They have multiple selling sites, so that’s a strategy that they’re trying out. I have spoken to people who have said the same thing with camping. So, I have somebody that also runs an eCommerce store, selling camping gear and does camping content and also land for campers. And I’ve heard the same thing about tiny homes. Now I haven’t worked with somebody in the tiny home and I always thought that was going to be another area like you were speaking, generating content around tiny homes. I think that’s a great strategy, but it comes down to is this part of your skill set? Is that something that you want to build a business around?

Obviously, it’s going to encompass much more than selling land. Probably majority of your time is going to be spent on content creation. So, I think it’s to your benefit to find some different ways to also generate revenue from those to make it worthwhile. Obviously, if it’s something that you want to try, I think it’s a great strategy. I don’t have any hard stats on that, but I definitely think if you’re going into a niche where it’s like you’re going to become an authority where land it comes hand in hand with it, I think it’s worth it. Like I said, tiny home, actually what you were talking about was something that I had in mind a while back trying.

Jaren: Can I have conversion support that level of content and its theme?

Jessey: Yeah, so we’re actually getting to there. We’re launching a new plugin for the ability to blog. And then we’re also working on some different skins as well. So, it is in the works and it is something that we’re going to be launching I believe within the next quarter. We’re almost at the end of Q1. So Q2 is on our roadmap. I think we’ve already gotten started on that. But anyway, yes, it is something that you can do. And especially like blogging, be able to put your podcast on there or your videos. It’s definitely something you can do. If you are not on the property, you could even demonstrate how can you use this property for so on and so forth, whatever it may be. So, it is a very interesting area to get into. There’s a lot of these small niches that need land. And I think this is sort of from what I’m seeing, because I guess there are so many people in the land area, people are starting to look for ways to specialize in it and build an authority in that area. Because once you’re an authority, it’s going to be so much easier to move things that you want to move, whether it’s property or whatever.

Like I said with the camping, I forgot where this fellow is from, but he also cross-promote. So, he runs his e-commerce on a different, I think it’s on Shopify maybe, but he also pairs and puts land on there as well and it drives them back to our sites. So yeah, it’s happening.

Seth: Interesting. So on a selling website, but this is one of the first things I noticed when I started playing around with your theme is that you’ve got this ability to include a “Buy now” button like on the site so people could like check out and buy land right there. Which it was one of those things for years I thought, “Man, wouldn’t it be cool if I could do that?” But I didn’t really have all the things in place to make that happen. In your opinion, how important is it for a selling website to allow buyers to make payments through this site itself? Either to buy the property outright or put down an earnest deposit? Is this a game-changer or is this a nice little feature to have? And also, I’m just curious, how many people are actually using that, that you know of?

Jessey: Yeah, I don’t have any stats. I think most people are actually using it. It’s just a huge convenience factor. If they’re not buying the property outright on your site, they’re more or less putting a deposit down or a documentation fee on that property. I think most people are doing something along those lines or they’re setting up seller financing or terms through the site. So, it is a huge convenience factor if somebody is there already looking, you’re going to have a much higher chance to close on that deal if you make it available for someone to be able to purchase that property immediately or put money down on that property and hold that property for themselves. So, I think it is huge. It isn’t a “must”, but it is a huge convenience factor to have something like that.

So, a lot of our users are using a different software and it’s obviously, I’m kind of smiling a little that kind of smirk because it’s sort of in the gray area of what we can use to process payment for the property. But yes, a lot of people are. Some people are using something like Heartland and we integrate directly with something like Heartland. I don’t think a lot of processors do that. We work actually directly with Heartland now setting that up. I do know it might not be the best economically for someone to start out on Heartland. So, there are other platforms that other people are using as well.

Jaren: Are you thinking about coming out with something similar to GeekPay for seller financing?

Jessey: Not at this point. I think there’s just too many moving parts with payments and security that we’re not really comfortable with that. We haven’t thought about that. But again, we’re really focused on saving time. It is one of those things that can save time. One of the latest plugins, I think it’s going to make a huge difference for a lot of people is what we’re calling our Zapier property listing. So, going from whatever CRM you’re using and listing that property directly from your CRM. There are still some things that you’re going to need to do on your site, but it’s a huge time saver. I know I get a lot of people saying like, “Hey, is there any way we can go from Trello or Airtable, Google Sheets, a Podio?” Or whatever it might be. We’re about to launch a universal plugin that will allow you to go from that CRM directly to listing their property.

Jaren: That’s awesome.

Jessey: Yeah.

Seth: Well, Jessey, I know our conversation is gone on long enough so I’ll bring this to a close. Unfortunately, we just can’t go all day, but cool. So, if people want to find out more about REI Conversion and that includes not just the land buying and selling themes, but also the house buying and selling themes and that’s an area you’re continuing to break more into. I think “can” and “should” and “will” be a pretty big deal. Because the market for house people is much, much larger than the land audience. I don’t know. I’ve seen them both and they both do an awesome job. I hope it’s something that the world will discover more of because it’s a great option and the best WordPress theme out there that I know of that can do what it does.

Jessey: I appreciate that.

Seth: But again, reiconversion.com. That’s the place you can go to check out all the themes that are available and the pricing and all that. I’ll have a link to that stuff in the show notes as well. REtipster.com/65. Thanks again, Jessey. I appreciate you coming on the show and hopefully, we can do this again sometime and get the news, I don’t know, maybe a year or something from now to see what’s changed and what new REI Conversion has brought to the table and how we can keep leveling up our real estate website game.

Jessey: Yeah, absolutely. Thanks for having me on the show guys.

Seth: So that was a cool conversation. I always appreciate what Jessey has been doing. It’s just been awesome to see somebody who really understands the real estate investing business and they understand the web design development thing. It’s hard to find somebody who gets both worlds, but he seems to be one of these unique individuals who has a good grasp on that.

Jaren: And his themes really work for real estate investors. I’m really excited that he’s getting into houses because for house slippers or wholesalers, I remember when I worked at simple wholesaling, that was one of the biggest struggles. It was to design a website where it was easy for us to put new properties up. We had a solution, it was custom made, it took a couple of months. I was actually the project lead on it and it took a while to get it to where it was functional and it worked. But at the end of the day when somebody clicked on view property details, it just brought up a PDF. It wasn’t really that great. And this works really, really well for all real estate purposes. I’m excited. I think he’s going to go really far.

Seth: Yeah, I do too. Well, it’s one of those things that I actually hear from a lot of people like this or startups who are trying to start a website or something, a product or service and they’re doing a really good job. It’s just that like nobody knows about them. And that’s like why they’re reaching out to me is because they want me to tell the world about them. It’s crazy how many really good ideas and really well-executed ideas there are out there. It’s just an exposure issue. So, I hope he’s able to get the word out and we can help them get the word out. And yeah, that’s kind of that hump that every startup has to get over. It is letting the world know you exist and actually delivering on that. And it’s surprisingly hard to do all of that well.

Jaren: Yeah, it’s really interesting. If you just think about the music talent that is on the streets, like a lot of homeless guys are people that are just street performers. Some of them are an extremely talented, man, but just nobody knows who they are. It’s really funny how in life it’s not just raw talent. A lot of the time, to be honest, it’s not even that much talent. I think a lot of the huge names and like pop music and stuff, they’re okay, but they’re not like world renown singers or something. But why they’re household names is because of marketing. I think it was Robert Kiyosaki that says in his, “Rich Dad Poor Dad”, somebody was giving him a lot of crap for his spelling abilities or something and he was like, “Look at what this says on the cover of this book. Does it say, best-written author or bestselling author?” And it’s true. Marketing really is what sells things.

Seth: I saw a documentary a while back, I think it was, I forget the name of it, but it was Jared Leto, the actor. He also is the frontman for a band. The whole documentary is the struggle that they went through with their record label because apparently record labels are really known for ripping off artists. Like they’ll take everything. And the artists can even go into debt to their record company because the record company takes so much. Basically, in order to do really well in music, you’ve got to be massive like Taylor Swift level huge. Like biggest name in the industry kind of thing. But I thought a lot about that. These artists who struggle and everybody assumes they’re making millions when they’re not. And a lot of these bands end up breaking ties with their record label and they tried to go it alone and they can’t do it. They just dissolve into oblivion because nobody knows who they are anymore because there’s no record label promoting them. It’s kind of a tough call man because I sort of see the value in that record label. Even if they are greedy and take all the money, it’s like the artists wouldn’t be anything without them anyway. So, it’s like you can’t totally dismiss that.

Jaren: Yeah. It’s same thing with books too, man.

Seth: Oh, yeah. For sure.

Jaren: I have dreams and aspirations of writing some books someday, but my goal is not to get rich or to even make any kind of real substantial income from books. My goal behind writing a book would be more for branding, more for authority, more for sabotaging trust. Because I think you kind of have to go in it that way. Or you could do the self-publishing route and learn Facebook ads and run Facebook ads to your book and have a whole funnel built out. But that’s marketing, that’s not being an author at that point. So, it’s this weird balance where you need talent and good content and you also need really good marketing.

Seth: Yeah. It’s kind of like a little miracle. Every time you see any company really that is working where it’s a good product and everybody knows it. I don’t know, there’s a lot of things that have to align for that to really work.

Jaren: Yeah. Interesting stuff, man.

Seth: As we record this, this particular episode is being recorded on March 17 about a month before this episode is actually getting it published. So, we’re like in the midst of the coronavirus melt down where everybody is hiding in their homes. Even over this past weekend, it felt like the situation was changing hour by hour. All these big measures were being taken to shut everything down. I’m really curious to see where things will be when this episode actually gets published. Is the quarantine still going to be happening? Will the economy start moving again or is everything just going to be completely destroyed? I don’t know.

Jaren: What’s your prediction man? Let’s see.

Seth: Oh, man. Predicting the future. Yeah. So, Jaren was asking me, this was before all of the shutdown stuff. So, it was basically the virus had just kind of started to hit the U.S. and the stock market was taking a little bit of a hit and he was asking me like, “So, do you think this is going to cause the next recession?” And I was like, “I don’t think so”. Because, the market fundamentals are pretty good. Things were going well when this virus just came out of left field and like sabotaged everything. So, I figured we’d just sort of get through this. But then everything shut down. Then you’re like really doing damage to the economy because nobody can make money anymore and nobody can go out and that’s a hard thing to get over. It wouldn’t surprise me if this causes, maybe not like a full blown several year-long recession, but it’s going to take some time to dig out from under this. I’m curious to see if it’s going to create opportunities in the real estate world. That’s already created huge opportunity in the stock market. If you’re into that sort of thing. Stuff is so cheap right now and it’ll probably get worse too. So, I don’t know man. I don’t wish economic hardship on anybody, but there will certainly be opportunities here. I’m just curious to see how much opportunity in the real estate world specifically.

Jaren: Yeah. I never thought that this recession coming up because for people that are new to real estate, this is over my head, so I’m definitely speaking above my pay grade. But the high-level economists say that the real estate world is on a cycle. It’s typically a seven-year cycle, where it goes up and then it has a downturn. It goes up and then it has a downturn. And the last downturn was a historically huge downturn, right? The 2008 crash, that whole thing was really, really, really bad. But I didn’t think that we were coming into. We’re now like, what? 10-11 years into a seven-year cycle. For whatever reason, we just kept on growing. We didn’t actually have a downturn seven years later. And so now I feel like a lot of real estate guys for the last maybe two or three years have been at the edge of their seat – “When is there a session coming? When is the downturn coming?”

I never thought that it was going to be a huge catastrophic, huge event like 2008. So, I really do think at this point that this is going to be the little blip that causes a downturn. How big is it going to be? I don’t know. But you can’t shut down entire nations and entire cities like San Francisco. Did you see that? I was texting Seth yesterday like, I’m hearing word on the street that they’re going to shut down Chicago for three weeks and no one’s going to be able to leave their house. I still haven’t seen anything in the news about Chicago, but I just saw that San Francisco, they implemented it last night at 12:00 AM that it’s a 24-hour curfew. Nobody is allowed to leave the house.

Seth: You can’t leave your house?

Jaren: Well, I don’t know, it said its 24-hour curfew. So, I don’t know what that means, but it’s a lot.

Seth: I saw on the news, Trump or the White House was saying no groups of more than 10 to 15 people. Like you can but it’s strongly discouraged. Like just stay away from any large group. It’s one thing to recommend that, it’s another thing to like literally impose martial law and have guards outside of your house. You’re not allowed to leave. You can get away with that in China because the government can do whatever they want. But I don’t know. I don’t know how that would work here.

We were talking yesterday like even now I feel this is such a fear based, like is it really that bad? Is it necessary to sabotage the economy like this? But then in another part of me is like there must be something they’re not telling us. Because if a lot of people high up in the government think that this is a better alternative than just letting the virus play out. It must be pretty bad if they’re willing to do this. But I don’t know. Not every government person is smart.

Jaren: It’s either we’re all massively stupid and emotionally driven or there’s something seriously going on. That’s like the only few options. There’s nothing in the middle.

Seth: Yeah. I kind of want to fast forward like 5 or 10 years and watch a documentary on all this to learn more about how did this all start? But we’re in the midst of it right now.

Jaren: It reminds me of 9/11.

Seth: Yeah, I know.

Jaren: I haven’t lived through a lot of big world events. I’m 28. The only thing that I can compare it to is how everyone kind of just stopped during 9/11 and that’s just how it feels. It’s like everybody universally, even the tenants next door. I saw them drive and I said, “Hey, do you have everything? Are you guys still working? Are you guys going to be working at home? Are you guys okay? If you need anything, like even if you run out of toilet paper or whatever, just let me know”. It’s just weird. It’s just making everybody pause.

Seth: Yeah. And it’s also weird how I think from what I remember of 9/11, I remember people shut down for maybe a day or two, maybe a week at the most. And this is like several weeks on end, maybe more. Who knows? And so, it’s basically like forest economic halt. Like nobody can do anything, which is, I don’t know, it’s so unprecedented. I don’t think we’ll ever see anything like this again. I don’t think this has ever happened in the history of the U.S. So, it’s just so nuts that this is going on.

Jaren: Yeah. But it’s funny though, it’s like not much has changed for a year in my lifestyle. I still wake up and I go downstairs in my base and then go to work.

Seth: If you’re a sort of virtual land investor or any kind of content creator, it doesn’t really change a whole lot for you. It’s kind of the same thing. It is kind of weird how you’re almost sort of being forced into antisocial-ness in a way. If that’s even a word, social distancing, I guess. Which is something I’ve always been great at. So, this is my time to shine. But this idea of lending a hand to your neighbor to help out. It’s almost like it’s subliminally discouraged because it’s like “Oh, no. They might have the virus. You don’t want to get it from them”. So, it’s just kind of a weird thing.

Jaren: I had to go get something notarized this morning. I have this older gentleman, he’s like, he dubbed himself the Lake County notary and I actually filed that name, which is really funny. So, he’s like the Lake County notary. And so, I go to his house and he’s like, “Well, I’m stopping my business Jaren for the next couple of weeks. I’m only going to be open for you and a couple of other people that are regulars. Everybody else, I’m turning away”. And I said, “All right, man”. I shook his hand. He said, “Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait”. I mean like literally bust out like rubbing alcohol spray bottle and start spraying my hand. He says, “That’s our new policy now. Have a good day”. It was weird. I saw something that’s going on in Kazakh videos and stuff on Instagram where my wife is from. They are starting to greet each other by tapping each other’s shoes. So, they’re like hit each other on the feet instead of doing the handshake or whatever. It’s funny.

Seth: Yeah. I saw something on a Reddit just yesterday. Somebody took a picture of, it might’ve been Thailand or somewhere in Asia where there are these new floor mats now on the floors of elevators, which basically are instructing people when you stand in the elevator, face the wall. Don’t face each other because that’s how the virus spreads.

Jaren: That’s so nice, man.

Seth: Yeah. There are these pictures of like three people in an elevator. They’re all with their backs to each other, just facing the wall. It’s like the weirdest thing. I would love it if elevators were always like that. So, it’s just kind of the luxury of being an introvert right now in this time we’re in.

Jaren: What’s crazy about this conversation is this isn’t a movie. This isn’t like make-believe. This is actually happening right now. I went to Myers yesterday and I’d turned a corner and legitimately the entire toilet paper aisle is just empty and it had a sign – “This item is in such high demand that we can’t keep up with supply.” This is like a movie level stuff and it’s not a movie. It’s so weird.

Seth: Yeah. It’s interesting where people are putting the hope for their future. Is it really in toilet paper? Is that really what you’re putting your stock in? We all need it, but it’s like, I don’t know. It is strange to me that that is the particular item everybody’s hoarding.

Jaren: I’m going to send you a video. There’s a YouTuber name, the Crazy Russian Dad and he grew up in Soviet Union. He made an entire video about essentially the Soviets guide to scarcity of toilet paper. And he’s like, “This is what we used to do back in Soviet Russia”. I will send it to you. It’s hilarious.

Seth: All right. I hope I’ll check that out.

Jaren: It’s really funny.

Seth: Cool. Well, I hope future listener in April, I hope the situation is vastly improved for you wherever you are. Hopefully your life isn’t too terribly affected by all this stuff that’s going on, but whatever’s going on, it’s good to be away that there’s always opportunity in the midst of crisis and there’s always a silver lining to everything.

Thank you again for listening. If you guys want to check out the show notes, again, this is retipster.com/65. If you guys want to join our email list to get that free subscriber toolbox I talked about earlier, you can do it from your phone if you want. Just text the word “free”. F-R-E-E to the number 33777 and you’ll see exactly what to do. It does not mean you’re going to get random texts from us, I promise. But it’ll allow you to…

Jaren: Well, maybe in two o’clock in the morning from Jaren.

Seth: Maybe I shouldn’t promise that, but you probably will not get those anytime soon. But thanks again everybody. I hope everybody is doing awesome and we’ll talk to you next time.

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About the author

Seth Williams is a land investor with hundreds of closed transactions and nearly a decade of experience in the commercial real estate banking industry. He is also the Founder of REtipster.com - a real estate investing blog that offers real-world guidance for part-time real estate investors.

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