Trevor Mauch started investing in real estate when he was 21 years old by purchasing a four-plex. Trevor has continued to invest in real estate, but admits real estate is not his main business. He runs a software/internet company that helps investors build websites to find motivated sellers. Trevor started his business after using online marketing to successfully buy houses himself, other investors saw what he was doing, and they wanted him to build them a website. Trevor started a company (oncarrot.com) to help investors and agents build websites to generate leads. Make sure you listen to everything Trevor has to say on this episode of the InvestFourMore Real Estate Podcast.
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How did Trevor get started investing in real estate?
Trevor went to college to become a doctor, but he decided that he wasn’t going to be successful in the medical field when he fainted during school. Trevor changed fields and also became very interested in real estate. The problem Trevor ran into was he had almost no money as a college student. He knew he could use his father as a cosigner, but did not want to put his dad in that position. He ended up finding an investor who was willing to seller-finance a four-plex. Trevor bought the property with a small loan for the down payment, the seller financed the deal and he had his first real estate investment.
How did Trevor’s real estate investing career progress?
Trevor continued to invest in real estate by bird-dogging (finding deals for other investors). He learned to find deals through Craigslist, sending out letters and other traditional off-market techniques. Trevor was able to find many deals, but knew as soon as he stopped marketing the deals would stop coming in. He decided he needed to figure out a way to automate his business, without having to actively work all the time.
How did Trevor bring in motivated seller leads without actively marketing?
Trevor decided to use the internet and his marketing skills to create websites to market to motivated sellers. He learned to build his websites to gain search engine traffic and he had sellers calling him, without having to send letters, search Craigslist or actively look for vacant homes. Trevor had found a way to market to motivated sellers in a way that would bring in constant leads, without actively working.
How has Trevor transferred his online skills into a business?
Trevor began to have other investors ask him how he had built his online lead generators. Trevor began to help a few real estate investors build their own sites, and he saw a huge opportunity. Trevor started oncarrot.com in 2013, and it has taken off to become one of the largest lead generation sites. Trevor has built a site that helps investors and agents find motivated sellers. Trevor also discusses what traits he sees in the most successful investors they work with.
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[00:00:58.9] MF: Hey everyone, Mark Ferguson here with InvestFourMore. Welcome to another episode of the InvestFourMore Real Estate Podcast. I have an awesome guest on today, Trevor Mauch. He is a real estate investor, been investing since he was 21, and also is a software developer. So he’s going to talk with us about his investing, how he’s built a software company that kind of caters to real estate investors, and then some other really cool stuff he’s done.
Trevor, great to have you on the show. How are you doing?
[00:01:28] TM: Mark man, I appreciate the heck out of the invite and doing great. I live out here in Southern Oregon, it’s funny, what is it? Very near summer now and the past week, dude it’s been raining which I think most people who don’t live in Oregon probably think it rains out here all the time, but today it’s a beautiful 80 degrees so I cannot complain whatsoever.
[00:01:49] MF: Nice. Well I’m in Colorado and it’s 45 degrees and raining the last two days. We’re used to sunshine and 80 degrees this time of year.
[00:02:00] TM: We’ve flipped flopped a little bit. So nothing to complain about at all man. Life’s good and I’m glad to be on this call. It’s going to be fun.
[00:02:08] MF: Awesome. Yeah thank you for being on. I know I’m interested to year your story and hear how you got to where you are today. I always ask my guest, you started investing when you were 21, what drew you to real estate and how did you get started with that first investment property?
[00:02:26] TM: Oh man, that’s a great question. So a little bit of my background, I grew up in a small town here in Oregon and my dad and mom, I think it’s when I was around 5th or 6th grade maybe, my dad was kind of forced with his own decision to be an entrepreneur or to get a job. And I remember him going through that circumstance himself. I remember vividly when I was a little kid sitting in the back of his car and my dad was without a job and my mom was a stay at home mom at that time and the company my dad was working for, he was a manager at this company, went out of business.
So he built up this skill set and then he was going to make a decision, “Do I start something myself and take that risk on myself, or do I got get another job where you have the potential of that company going out of business of getting fired or maybe hitting that glass ceiling that you can’t get through?” So that was definitely one of the really influential things that I remember way back when was not necessarily about real estate, about that decision that my dad and mom both ended up making. They both ended up starting companies and how they worked their butts off those first 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 years. I remember myself as a little kid, slave labor, diving in and helping them in their two companies and working.
But what really stuck with me was that decision that you can go out there and make the life you want to make, that you can go out there and build something yourself that the success or failure of it is based on what you do in it versus being at the mercy of someone else or at the mercy of another company of your employer. So that was one of the first things Mark, was just growing up in that mindset and just really having that positive outlook. Another things I kind of think is funny, looking way back, this is same thing – grade school, I remember my dad and I talking and the first time I was ever even introduced into the concept of real estate investing was my dad and I were sitting there talking when I was in grade school and I remember him saying something, he’s like, “Hey, did you know you can buy houses” – cause I was always the kid who was always working with my dad on a project, was always kind of eager to learn stuff. I was always pretty good at math. My older brother was, love him to death, but he wasn’t any of those. So my dad and I would have conversations at a young age that my older brother didn’t, but my dad brought up real estate and I think he saw some of those late night infomercials and them talking about getting foreclosure properties at the bank for $500 bucks. And he’s like, “Yeah you can get them and you can rent them out.” And I go, “Dad, well I’ve got $500 in my bank account. Let’s go down and buy a property.”
I literally thought you could go down to the bank with that $500 and buy a piece of property because I was young in grade school and didn’t know any better. But I think those lessons stuck with me and then it wasn’t until college that I thought I wanted to be a doctor. Wen to a health occupations class, almost fainted you know it within my first rotation realized I wasn’t going to be a doctor. And had a professor who was an attorney and a real estate investor teaching business law and his name was Errie de Groot and this guy was just a great speaker very engaging and just in a class that should be boring as heck, he made a really exciting and fun.
And I’m going, “Shoot, this guy right here, I’m in en entrepreneurship and marketing track yes for my degree. And this guy right here man, he seems like he’s doing something right. He loves the real estate side, he loves doing legal.” My grandparents had a bunch of rental properties and my dad at that time had some rental properties. I go, “You know what? I’m gonna get into real estate and I’m going to start buying some properties.” And that’s kind of how it started just the whole mindset how that was moulded. I didn’t wake up one day and see an infomercial say, “Hey I want to buy real estate.” I think it was a mindset of me not wanting to settle, not wanting to go get a job and be at the mercy of someone else and all these people around me just happened the one thing they had in common was they were real estate and holding it as an investment.
[00:06:36] MF: That’s awesome, and it’s funny my parents well my dad was a real estate agent when I grew up, and so I kind of grew up the same way. A lot of people don’t think of agents as entrepreneurs, but they really are. They don’t really have a boss, they’re, you know, building their own business and I’m sure that had an effect on me not wanting to be in the corporate world, not wanting to have a boss telling me what to do. So I definitely get that concept. What was that first property like? It sounds like it was a fourplex. Is that right?
[00:07:05] TM: Yeah it was a fourplex, so this would have been – I was 21 so I guess that would’ve been junior year around there. But I remember in college I’m not sure, those of you – so I’m some 33 right now, so that kind of gives you time perspective but in college back then, which it doesn’t seem like it was that long ago, but it’s funny. So back then I didn’t use the internet for anything except for researching papers, right? I mean I literally didn’t. I had an email account, but I didn’t really used it, didn’t have a use for it, and we would just really use the Internet for researching papers. We didn’t buy stuff online or anything at that point.
So what I would do in the school library was, at first I thought I was going to want to wholesale or flip houses because I would go onto the online forums like Creonline.com that was the biggy back then. And this was back in the day when Bigger Pockets was just literally starting going. It was like they were just starting to become a thing. So creonline those forums were the big – popping around in there it seemed like everyone in there was flipping houses or wholesaling. There were some people buying and holding. And so I started doing a bunch of research on that.
I launched myself a little website that I hacked together on a free website builder for attracting sellers and for me as I dove into that I had realized and I had some kind of epiphanies myself after six to twelve months of researching in the library in the college in the Creonline answering every single – or asking each other questions, answering all kinds of things in there and just engaging with people and reading articles. For me I discovered that being an active real estate investor wasn’t for me ’cause I pulled back, and I remember going to the first year and then the second.
But I pulled back and I just took out a piece of paper one day and this was kind of the turning point for me where I wrote down, I said, “So what is it that I want to get out of real estate? What it is that I want to get out of business? What is it that I don’t want to have?” And I didn’t want to have that job and what I was finding was even talking to a lot of house flippers or wholesalers that I had met or conversed with online, a lot of them kept on saying, “Man, it’s really easy to get wrapped into a high paying job doing our business.” And to me I was like, “Man, I want to do what I want to do for my active income, and I want to use real estate for passive income and wealth building.”
And that’s when it switched for me, and I go, “All right, so my first thing is not going to be flipping a house, my first thing is I want to go out there and find a rental property.” And then I start to go, “Okay, so what are my criteria for what type of return or what kind of outcome I want on this property?” And I was going, “Shoot, so I don’t have credit.” It wasn’t that I had bad credit, I just didn’t have credit, like zero credit. I hadn’t had a credit card, never had a line of credit or anything. So I had no credit. I had less than a thousand bucks in the bank, so not much resources there.
So all those things I think a lot of people are when they’re getting started, you kind of count against yourself and go, “I don’t know any money, don’t know anyone, this, that. Can’t get a alone, how am I supposed to buy real estate?” So I went out and just wrote down all the criteria of what this first deal had to, absolutely had to look like. I have to be able to get into it with less than a thousand bucks of my own money, and without a bank loan. So which means I would’ve had to get someone who cosigned on the bank loan, which I didn’t want to do that ideally, so it would have been probably my dad, which I didn’t want to put him in that position. Or I would have to get the seller to carry back the note.
The property would have to cashflow from day one because I did have the cash to pull a negative cashflow. It couldn’t have a bunch of renovations because I really didn’t have the cash to put up a bunch of money for renovations, but I could probably pitch my way into getting some private lending from, some private money from a family member. And I wanted it to be more than one unit. I didn’t want to have just a single family house. So those were just the things I was looking at reading that, I didn’t want to be in a position where if that thing was empty for two months I was forking out money that I didn’t have. I wanted to make sure that if the property was only halfway full that it would still pay for itself.
So yeah man, I literally went out there and started talking to people, talking to people at the local real estate -it wasn’t really real estate investors club, it was more of like a landlord’s club, you know? It was like the local club where people go and talk about landlord/tenant stuff and it was this weird kind of rhea that was wrapped around landlords. And was talking people there I went down to the courthouse and pulled a list. And at that courthouse you could pull a pretty darn specific list. And this list was people who owned properties over X amount of years of X amount of units in this certain area, and I wanted to be out by the college and hospital. I pulled a list of people who owned their properties for eight years or more, was three units or more, and around the hospital and college.
And they were able to pull it for me and I sent out a bunch of letters, didn’t get hardly any replies. Went and talked to four or five sellers, ended up finding one seller who was retiring and wanted to get out of his rental properties and he didn’t want the tax bit. He owned the properties free and clear, didn’t want the tax bit, was completely willing to carry them out as long as I could bring $10,000 down and I got a private loan from my dad for the $10K and the rest is history.
So that was the first deal, just really worked it from all angles and I think the thing that I learned the most there was just having the confidence to know that if you’re very, very, very clear, one what you want the out come or what you need the outcomes to be and you use that to really restrict the way that you – the opportunities that you look at, and just really restrict the marketing you do just to dive very, very deeply into the deals that are going to get you that exact thing, not get yourself distracted by all the other clutter, it doesn’t matter your age or experience or lack of resources. As they say, it’s not your lack of resources, it’s your lack of resourcefulness usually that leads to failure. So man, that was the biggest learning lesson there, and it was fun.
[00:13:02] MF: Nice. Yeah focus is such a huge part of it. I hear a lot of people say, “Well,” they don’t even know what kind of real estate investing they want to be in. They just want to be an investor and somehow make money at it. But yeah, especially if you’re looking for deals, you can’t just look for a good deal. If you can be very specific on what you want, where you want it, it makes it so much easier to find what you’re looking for.
[00:13:22] TM: Exactly. And the key is, I’ll kind of feed off that really quickly here. The key is, and this is one thing that I’m glad that I made that for me early on, but also I wish that 2, 3, 4 years ago that I kind of had been sticking with the decision. But during those 2 or 3 year is really look at, once again, what everyone listening to this, what you want your ultimate outcome to be. Okay? Cause I think what too many people do is they look at what their current situation or scenario is, maybe you’re working a day job and you go, “Okay, I know this is not what I want.”
So then you just immediately go out there and start doing whatever in business or in real estate just to get away from what you don’t want. And they don’t think enough about the exact scenario of what it is they’re trying to go towards. So they’re running away from something they don’t want, and just diving head first into something without really mapping out exactly what they want that outcome to be. And I’ve talked to so many people, I’m sure you have too Mark, where they made that move, which is amazing.
It takes a lot of guts to do it, but then they ended up creating something that they hated as much or worse in real estate because they trapped themselves into a job that was possibly even worse than their actual job was before. So just be crazy, crazy intense on what you want the outcome to be with your real estate or your business, and make sure you build it around that and don’t waiver.
[00:14:51] MF: Right. No that’s a great point. And something you said earlier too about the wholesaling and the flipping, I flip a lot of houses, I’ve wholesaled a couple but wholesaling was never my core business. But it’s not really investing, like you said. It is more of a job than it is investing. And you can set it up as a business, when other people run it you don’t as much, but it’s not the same as rental properties, as passive income. It is, you know, it takes a lot of work.
[00:15:18] TM: Yep. Exactly, exactly.
[00:15:20] MF: Very cool. So you bought your rental property in college, what happened after college? Did you keep buying properties? Did you hold that one for a while and then how did you decide on a career? I know that’s a lot of questions right there, but how’d you jump off of that first property?
[00:15:36] TM: No man, those are great questions. Like I said, I think from the beginning in college I had this kind of outcome in mind that it was never about, “Okay, I’m going to use real estate specifically to do this.” It was about, “How can real estate be one of the tools in my tool bag to achieve this life?” And I think a lot of people, when we dive into something, let’s say it’s trying to start an online company or dive into real estate investing, or wholesale houses or flip house. It’s almost like we get locked into thinking that that one thing is the only way, that we have to flip houses until we’re financially free, or we have to wholesale them till we’re financially free, or we can just do rental properties.
Kind of the way that my mind has always worked is I’ll look at other income steams, I’ll look at other ways to create passive and active income streams that help to feed that ultimate lifestyle I want to live. To help feed that long term vision and help me really live the short term vision as well. So right after that man, I graduated college, my wife and I, we got married and we moved up to Portland, Oregon, the big city. And that is where I started to – I had that website that I launched when I was in college for motivated house sellers, and at that time the market was getting pretty crazy, and this was 2005/2006.
So I started to generate leads online for sellers using Craigslist, using my own website that I hacked together and I started working with some local investors, mortgage brokers, people like that who were just into real estate. And I started to take these leads and hand these leads over to these people that wasn’t the type of lead that I was going to buy that house hold it. So I made some pretty good [inaudible] there the first several years just sending those leads to people and kind of learning the game of how to generate leads and what not. Then like I said as I went with that, I just kept on realizing like, “Man this active real estate thing just isn’t for me, and I think it is for a lot of people and it just wasn’t for me.”
And I bought another property while I was up there, which I still have those two properties today. And I really started to dive into marketing and just really becoming a student of marketing and learning human psychology and learning, okay, just having that realization that a mentor passed along to me, he said, “You know if you can become a great marketer,” he goes, “You can basically almost write your own checks, right?” Because a lot of people they’ll dive in and they’ll start a business whether it’s real estate investing or house flipping or whatever is selling toys and they’ll dive in because they want to do the craft.
They want to do the craft of investing. They want to get their hands dirty or they want to do the planning of some of these house flips or whatever and what they oftentimes forget about, we oftentimes forget, is that marketing is the lifeblood of your business and the cool thing is marketing is one of those core skills that carries over into every type of business you want to run. So if you become a great marketer, you can build up a really good real estate business because you know how to get the leads and get the deals. If you want to go sell toilets, if you’re a great marketer, you can sell the heck out of toilets. If you want to grow and online business, if you’re a great marketer, you can grow an online business.
That’s really what the next two to three years of my life entailed Mark, was just diving in and learning from so many different people that became mentors of mine and just really diving in and learning everything I could about marketing. We would do a lot of direct mail marketing for this mortgage company up in Portland that my worked out and we did a lot of Craigslist marketing. Man we were testing anything and everything. I was literally picking up the phone and cold calling Craigslist ads for entire days to try to sell them mortgage services.
And for me it was it was kind of one of those stories that people talk about going door to door knocking like the Craigslist cold calling for me was that door to door knocking and learning how to sell and learning how to, really how to actually provide value instead of just selling something and I think those two or three years were some of the biggest years in my life because I learned the most about the real exchange of value and and how important that is and that we’re not just out there selling something that we have but we need to sell as much value as we can for free to people and then get people to come back to us to want to work with us because we gave them so much darn value.
And at that time, I started a blog where I was kind of chronicling what I was doing in real estate holdings some of those rental properties. Man at that time, literally my cash flow did not really pay the bills. I was making enough cashflow to help, but I used the market consulting on the side to kind of have that active income to pay the bills, and just kept on really learning, and learning that marketing skill. Over the next three to five years I grew two online companies. I was very, very, very good at generating leads. Used content on the web to not only build a brand but also really build credibility and trust and attract amazing clients.
And that’s really lead us into what we’re doing today man, is just growing businesses, leveraging the web, becoming a great marketing mind, and taking that active income from those businesses, whether it’s my software company that we have with [inaudible], that’s going really, really fast and helping thousands of real estate investors. Or whether it’s in online publishing company that I used to have. Or another software company that we failed and completely drove into the ground three years ago.
Or a few investments I’ve had that some of them have done good you know start up investments, and some of them have completely tanked. But that’s in my strategy the whole time is, “Let me go out there and use this marketing skill because it’s so transferable between everything. And lets build businesses,” and with those businesses it’s great and it’s really fun and it makes a difference, makes a big impact based off of core values and let’s take that money as we get the extra cash flow and put it into real estate.
[00:21:48] MF: That’s awesome. And that’s really – I have a really similar philosophy too and when I’m flipping houses and I run a real estate team as well, it’s got six agents on it, and the same philosophy, take that active income I’m making from the real estate team or the house flipping, and you know I kind of pour it into rental properties to create that passive income. So yup, I know exactly what you mean.
[00:22:10] TM: Exactly. And the cool this is man, I mean like this is my path. I mean their are people listen to this call who would absolutely die to be a wholesaler everyday. They would just absolutely love it as long as they build that company to be the exact role that they want, Or with you Mark, I’m sure you probably really, really love what you’re doing. there’s things that we love about our businesses and jobs, there’s things we hate about them. But ideally we are doing more of the things we love and less of the things that we don’t love and we’re not good at.
And that to me is like the ultimate, is if we can grow businesses that are really energizing on the day to day. Because we’ve got to wake up and do something, right? You can’t – I think, dude even if I had thirty grand a month coming in on cash flow from properties and let’s say I had someone managing it, I would still be working because I would want to be. I want to be working, I want to be really using my mind and challenging myself, and providing value to people, not just from the time of 21 to 41, pushing and acquiring a hundred units and sitting back and sip a Margarita from the cash flow. I think that’s like – that’s almost a worse scenario than almost being broke and working your butt off but enjoying it.
[00:23:18] MF: Right. No, I completely agree yup. Awesome. So one thing I’m really curious about, I’m sure many of the listeners are is your company, On Carrot, tell us about that company, what you’re doing and how you’re helping real estate investors with it.
[00:23:37] TM: Yeah man so Carrot, we started that, we’re in our third full year now and it’s funny – so Carrot was kind of a side project in my previous company, a publishing company where we were working with real estate investors and because of the the little bit of skill that I had built up to that point in learning how to generate leads online and building websites that performed well, when all the failures that I had, the nights that I was up until 12 or 1 or 2 in the morning trying to change this one thing on my website and Googling, you know, “hex color code for X”, or, “html code for X,” or whatever, trying to move this over half an inch on the page.
All of those years a kind of a pain of me going through and doing something I’m flat out not good at. I’m not a techy, I’m not a programmer, not a web developer but I had a low low budget at the time and I just wanted to grind through learning it, I learned all that stuff. And we’re having real estate investors come to us and say, “Hey, if you set up a simple website like that for me too cause my other ones not working.” So I’m like, “All right, we’ll set these up for you.” And this was probably in 2012 or so, and we were literally setting them up for people, didn’t charge them at all and we would just charge them hosting, which was less than $10 a month and that kind of started to snowball.
I think once I sold my previous company and kind of went through a really massive mindset shift myself in my own life, which that mindset shift for me changed the game for me in a big way, which that’s a whole other topic for a whole other call. But over about a period of two years my life went from me kind of being miserable in the job that I created for myself making good money but really not feeling like I was making the impact, not feel like I was just passionate at my core and what I was doing. To now what we’re doing with Carrot we’re just insanely passionate about what we’re doing now. Our mission’s just so fun, we have a great team of people working for us and growing and that all launched in 2013.
So the quick 10 second version of it is we help real estate investors generate leads, leveraging the web through inbound marketing. So we help you attract your ideal prospects, whether it’s motivated house sellers, cash buyers, rent to own tenants, land sellers and buyers, note sellers and buyers, private lenders, we help you attract more of your ideal prospects through great content marketing and high performing websites. Right now our members are pulling in tens of thousands of leads per month just through the web. And it’s fun as heck man, it’s just really, really fun working with so many investors that we do and seeing them grow their businesses, leveraging the web.
[00:26:18] MF: Oh that’s awesome. And we were talking a little bit before the call too about what you were doing and you mentioned you guys have learned so much from the data you see and working with these investors about marketing. What are some of the techniques and traits you see of the really successful investors? What are they doing online or even in their – whatever marketing it is to be successful?
[00:26:42] TM: Some of it honestly kind of boils down to the basics. It’s just funny, we have a mastermind call for our customers every Tuesday with Adrienne on my team, who’s been an investor for years and years and does very, very well for generating leads on the web. We were on a mastermind call and there was someone who popped a note through there and said, “Hey, you know, had my website live for a month and I haven’t got a lead yet and I’m starting to get discouraged.”
And the thing that pops in my mind right away is the number one thing that separates people from success or failure in anything, not just getting leads on the web, is most people stop before they should. Most people stop right before that success would probably have arrived for them, and especially with the web. When we’re talking about search engine optimization as an example, if you’re wanting to rank your website high for a certain keyword phrase in the motivated house sellers type in Dallas, or whatever. It’s gonna take a while. That’s not going to happen in a month. That’s not going to happen in three months.
It’s probably not going to happen in six months with a really well put together SEO plan, because that market’s so competitive. You might need a 10 to 12 month effort with a really good SEO plan put in place. So that’s my biggest advice there is that the big guys, the guys who are just crushing it, they come in with the long term mindset. Those guys never ever start to work with us and go, “Okay, I’m going to test this and see if it works for a few months.” That never happens. Those guys are going into it saying, “You know what? We’re going to give this a solid year to two years and we’re going to hammer it because I know we’re going to crush it in this market.”
And that’s the biggest thing man, is you’ve got to go into it with a long term mindset because the way that online marketing tends to work, especially leveraging content as you’re finding with this podcast and with your blog, is the more stuff you put out and the more consistent you are, the more momentum you get over time. And with your podcast, the more people listen to it, if you would’ve stopped a month or two in because you didn’t get 18,000 listeners on your podcast that month, where would you be? But now you’re quite a bit further along, you’re starting to catch some of that momentum. Same thing happens with generating leads online through SEO.
The next thing that we’re finding is a really, really, really big deal for a lot of the guys who are pulling a lot of leads is – so make sure you’re thinking long term, the next thing is really localizing your stuff down. So here’s an example. This is probably three or four years ago, I remember searching all around the web, I was looking for investment properties. So I would type in “investment properties for sale in ___” and then enter whatever city you can come up with, right? So if you type in “investment properties in Portland” or in Duluth, or in whatever city, LoopNet.com was probably going to be in top two or three rankings in every city.
So I started to dig into that. At first I didn’t notice it. I’m like, “Oh LoopNet again, let me look at some properties and see if I can’t find something that fits my criteria, what I’m looking to buy.” And actually the only property that I’ve ever wholesaled was a mini storage property through LoopNet. I got the thing under contract literally did the $60 LoopNet ad and wholesaled the darn thing within two weeks on LoopNet.com, which was really cool. But LoopNet, the way that they get those rankings is those rankings are not on their home page.
So it’s not their home page that’s popping up for all those searches. It’s their page for Portland that popped up for the Portland market/ It’s the page they specifically set up for Dallas for Duluth. And three years ago or so we said, “Well shoot, we can do this on realty investor sites too for buyers or sellers or tenants or whatever type of lead you’re looking for because people tend to localize their searches based on where that property is that they’re looking to buy or looking to sell.
So that’s one big piece of advice, just sit down right now with a piece of paper, everyone listening to this, if you have a website and write down the five markets that are the main markets. Pick out your main markets and if you have to say, “Man this one market right here is my core market right now,” and then write down five cities or suburbs or whatever it is that surround that that you would also buy properties in or sell properties in or what have you. And then you need to create a page on your website for every single one of those cities and optimize those pages for the phrases that the seller might type in if you’re looking for a motivated house seller as an example.
So if your main market’s Dallas, but you would also buy in Fort worth, maybe have your home page be Dallas if that’s your main core market. Optimize that for Dallas, talk about Dallas and then create a page that sell your house fast, Fort Worth, Texas and do the same thing for all the other cities. We’re finding when investors do that and really build out their websites and build out their web presence and create a page that’s specific to all those different markets that you’ll buy or sell houses in, over time your momentum picks up in a huge, huge, huge way. And then we’re finding it’s not like this little difference, it’s a massive difference where over time literally 60, 70, 80% of some of our investor’s leads come from those, what we call, city specific landing pages, not their home page. And that’s a huge deal.
[00:31:55] MF: Wow. No that’s awesome. That’s great advice. I’m sitting here writing down notes myself. I have one question for you too, which I don’t know, have you ever worked with agents who are looking for leads for listings or anything like that?
[00:32:12] TM: No man, we totally have. I think we probably have, if I were to look in our database, we probably have 2-300 agents who are also investing, that are using Investor Carrot. So on a daily basis we’re working with agents. Now are we really specifically working with agents in the agent capacity? At this point we really haven’t been. We’re working with agents who also flip houses or who also wholesale. But it’s something we’ve been testing a lot. We have a lot of agents who came to us and said, “Hey, I want to use this for my agent business too. Can you integrate IDX in or can you guys do this? Or can you guys have a home value thing up there?”
And it’s just not something we’ve really put the energy into really nailing yet, but that’s going to be coming this Fall for sure. We also have Agent Carrot that we’ve trademarked so we’re going to be pushing that direction this Fall and coming up with something specific for agents. But if you’re an agent and you flip houses and you do wholesaling, that’s very much the same as not being an agent. You just have to of course make sure that we take the disclaimers off the website that say we’re not realty agents. But that’s like the only difference.
[00:33:16] MF: Nice. Yeah cause I mean that’s one thing I love about my business. I don’t do as much direct marketing now as I used to. I do some, but when you get those leads that don’t quite work you can list them and help people sell their house anyway, and it’s kinds of a nice option to give them both. So I was curious, they kind of overlap being an agent investor in some ways though. Seems like it works just as well for agents.
[00:33:39] TM: Dude, they overlap in a big way and here’s one really, really important key about the current market we’re in. I was down in San Diego, so this was in January/February and we have a client down in the Sacramento area, I’m not exactly sure what is actual market is but it’s around that area. He’s an agent and an investor. He’s been using Carrot to get seller leads and he’s doing very well at it. But then he kept on emailing us and he’s say, “Hey, you know I just crushed it. I’ve done $90,000 in profits in the last two months from doing X with my website.”
And anytime we see that I always tell on the phone with our customers and I just want to hear their story, I want to hear what’s working, I want to hear what’s not working. And I was talking with Harvey and he said, “Man, the thing that is working the best is because I am an agent and I’ve got this method that I’ve kind of crafted and created.” He goes, “I’m able to on almost every single lead that comes in, unless they’re just completely lacking,” he goes, “In this current market I’m able to close on almost every single point that I set up because I offer them two options.”
And he said, “In today’s market where it’s a hot sellers market, the biggest thing that people are looking for,” and we’ve seen this in our data. I’d love to tell you this cool thing that we found in our data here after this. We’ve seen this in our data that as markets get hotter and as sellers have more options, marketing gets a lot harder for that highly motivated seller. Now that’s not groundbreaking, right? That’s something that we all know that if the market’s hot, it brings out more sellers, competition gets hot for sellers, more sellers want to get the most cash in their pocket, they might be willing to wait a little bit longer and they might probably enlist the house an agent.
What Harvey’s doing is going to these people and saying, “Hey, you know what? I know that your end goal is to put the most cash in your pocket, right? It’s to put the most cash in your pocket,” and there’s no way a seller’s going to say no to that. And he says, “Okay, I’ve got a couple of options for you and here’s option number one. Option number one is buying a house, and this might be exactly what you guys are doing. But option number one is buying a house and here’s what I can do and here’s the benefits of that. I can close within seven days and this and that, and here’s the price, and you don’t have to worry about fixing up, you won’t have to worry about any of that stuff, we’ll take care of it all, and here’s what you’ll net in the end. Or option number two, is I’ll do a listing.”
But the thing that’s working so well for them right now is he locks them down for a seven day listing, which sounds crazy. But he found that the main detractor that he was finding when he was working with sellers was they didn’t want to be locked down for a six month listing. They’re like, “Well I can go out there and let me ask my brother, my aunt, or my trusted neighbor on who they use for real estate agents instead of this guy that I just met.” You know that kind of thing. But what he does is he completely blasts that objection with a seven day listing. It’s like, “Here’s exactly what I’m going to do in this next seven days, or whatever it is, and here’s how it’s going to work, and let me show you how it’s worked in the past. And if I don’t sell your house for the price that you agree on by this time, it’s back to you.”
And it’s like there’s nothing to lose because they probably weren’t going to have the house listed or sold in seven days anyway. And he’s got an insanely good marketing strategy that he puts together and they get so many people at these open houses, it’s insane. I’ve seen videos of it, and they sell these darn things within seven days often times in this hot market. Often times the very day that it goes on the market they have a bunch of offers and a contract for sale. So being and agent and a wholesaler/flipper in this market man, I think it’s that double edged sword. It’s where you can cut the deal multiple different ways, you have multiple different exit strategies, you have multiple different ways to help the seller, and multiple different ways to really profit yourself. So either way the seller chooses, as long as you’re a good marketer you can profit and sometimes you might profit bigger with listing it anyway.
[00:37:35] MF: No, that’s awesome. That’s exactly the same thing I do. I don’t have the seven day listings, but I give them the two options. “You know, here’s what I can buy it for now, or if you list it here’s what I can get for it.” Another thing that does too is you don’t get that feeling in the back of your head of like, “Oh, I’m taking this house from them, or I’m trying to rip them off,” or anything. You’re giving them the decision and the option to do what’s best for them. You’re not trying to buy their house for 20 cents on the dollar or anything like that. So that’s one other aspect that helps me too.
[00:38:07] TM: No, totally man. And that’s the thing, that’s one thing I think if there’s new investors listening to this call, that’s something we’ll hear quite a bit from investors is, “Oh my gosh, how do I make the offers?” When you really go down into it, really drill down into the psyche of what they’re saying, the psyche of what they’re saying is basically they are afraid that they think that they are ripping people off, which that’s not the case. Some people are, but that’s a very small minority and hopefully it’s no one listening to this call.
But really what we need to understand is that as a wholesaler or flipper or just a professional home buyer, you’re offering them a really good service and that service comes at – there’s a value, there’s an exchange of value. So if that person just really wants to sell and they don’t want to have to do the repairs, they don’t have the hassle of any of that kind of stuff, that is a value to them and it’s worth something. For them it’s worth selling for a lower price in exchange for not having to deal with that stuff. When Harvey does these listings, like I said, they have this insane system going on in California, when I saw it in action it was crazy. But often times they actually have their seller put in $10-15 grand in minor, minor, minor rehab to make the property just show amazing.
So if you’re a seller looking at that and you’re going, “Okay, here’s option one, here’s option two. Option one requires no money out of my pocket. I could have a closing very quickly, no hassle, none of this, none of that, no commission on the top of that or anything. And yeah, I’m going to be selling for a lower price, but I know that that’s what I’m going to get for sure and I can get it by X date. Or option number two is I’m going to have to put in $10-15 grand to make this amazingly show ready,” in most cases, unless it’s just a dump, “and then we’re going to have to have an open house and have a ton of people come through here and then we’re going to have to deal with conventional financing and there’s the 30 to 60 day wait there.”
There’s all these hassles that build up, and someone might be just like, “Well shoot, for me the value is the selling quicker even if it costs me an extra 10, 15, perhaps 20% or 30% on the sales price.” So it’s a mindset with the new investors out there in a big way.
[00:40:18] MF: Completely agree. Awesome. So we’ve got a few minutes left here, but we’re getting towards the end. Real quickly we’ll talk about how to get in contact with you, but first, do you have any big goals, anything? I know you said you’re starting an agent program next year, you talked about one of them. Anything else big going on that you’re planning for the future?
[00:40:38] TM: Man, it’s funny. Like I said, with Carrot, the current business that we’re growing and we’re growing so fast, I think you may be able to relate with this Mark. You have your initial goal for your business, right? You start the business and there’s obviously some stuff, some financial goals in there, some other goals in there. And the question I’m going to ask everyone on this call is what happens when you reach that financial goal? What happens when you reach that monthly income level that you had set at the beginning that you said, “Man, once I reach this man, then I’ll be set. Then I’m living the life.”
I think we all strive to hit that point in our business and because of my previous business I hit that point and just blew past those goals and just didn’t celebrate them and I worked my way into a position that I hated in a company that I owned. I worked my way into a position that I despised and didn’t want to get up in the morning. With Carrot, literally dude, the big things that we’re doing right now is focusing growing a company that we’re just so insanely happy and fulfilled at to come to work every day and that our growth is not tied to hitting that extra number, cause numbers never end.
If we’re tying our happiness to a certain revenue number after you get your bills paid and after you’re back’s not against the wall, you’re never going to be happy cause numbers never end. But the thing that we’re really focused on right now is growing this company, is taking the money and actually here in small town Roseburg, Oregon this town is a pretty economically depressed town that has insanely wealthy people on one side of it from the timber years over the past six decades and has very, very poor people. And our downtown, we have an 8,000 square foot building downtown here in Roseburg that we took over.
I took it over well before Carrot, it was five years ago, and there’s other buildings down here man, there’s a lot of amazing things happening down here, amazing energy with the entrepreneur group that we started five years ago that’s just bursting at the seems with our angel investor group that we started three years ago where we’ve invested a lot of money with a bunch of other investors into companies here in Oregon. Dude, our mission is to grow this company as big as we can so we have this platform to spread our message out there, to amplify leaders so you guys can go out there and make your bigger impact in the world.
Which helps us grow our company so we can buy more buildings here in Roseburg and really re-envitalize and energize this small town and be a good example for other rural Oregon towns to show that you can use entrepreneurship to be that spark in your community. You don’t have to wait for outside businesses to come in. That’s the big thing that we’re working on. The crazy thing is dude, that’s going to be decades long, but we’re excited as heck about what we can do to amplify people to help us with that mission here locally, and to use growing this business to really make a big impact here locally.
[00:43:24] MF: That’s awesome. That’s really cool and I know exactly what you mean. You make those numbers, and whatever they are, they seem so big at the beginning but once you get there it doesn’t seem quite like it was supposed to be or as big as you thought it would be and you make more numbers and more numbers. But one thing I started doing was when I hit certain goals and hit certain milestones, I like to reward myself with something special or do something just to sit back and relax and realize things that have happened. Or I might buy a car or something like that. But yeah, I get exactly what you mean.
[00:44:02] TM: Yeah man. And it’s funny, I use this analogy quite a bit, and this is going into a whole different topic. I know we’ve got to wrap this up, but I get so excited when I’m talking about entrepreneurship stuff and mindset stuff and impact. That’s what fires me up dude. But this analogy, I hope this fits in people’s minds well. If you take nothing else away from this call, take this away from the call: piggy-backing off of what you just mentioned there, with having the goals like you said and you reach them and you just kind of blow past and you don’t really internalize the importance of what that meant, that’s something that I’ve done way too much in my past.
The equivalent is, we all are sitting here looking out on the horizon. And if you’re on a boat on the ocean and you’re sailing out there towards the horizon and the horizon is your goal, you’re never, ever going to reach your goal. Cause as you get closer to the horizon, the horizon keeps moving. It keeps on moving and you can never reach it. And if we’re basing our happiness off of that horizon line, after that horizon point knowing that the further we go the further the horizon keeps on going with us, then we’re never going to be happy. Instead this is three years ago that I started to kind of internally whenever I kind of start to get dragged down by my goals or if I was thinking, “Man, I’m not hitting these goals or this or that,” I’d really start to pull back and look at gratitude. I’m like, “All right, so what have we done? What have we accomplished? Let’s celebrate that.”
And the flip side of that analogy is when you’re on that boat in the ocean, and the horizon that’s still that goal, right? Your big goals are always – you’re always going to keep pushing yourself and keep pushing yourself to make a bigger impact and live a bigger, better life. But start to look at the islands. Don’t look at the horizon anymore. Look at that first island, that’s your goal. Hit that island, whatever that goal is, get off the damn boat and celebrate. Like literally get off the boat and celebrate. Don’t just hit the island and go by and wave and say, “Hey, nice to meet you. We’re going to the next one.”
Get off the boat and celebrate and have a party. And then, get back on the boat and look for that next island. “Okay now, we hit that, we’re amazingly grateful that we did. Let’s get back on the boat and let’s go over here now.” And you’re like island skipping across the ocean and you’re getting off and celebrating those wins we have instead of locking our mind into that horizon as our happiness point ’cause we’re never going to get there. So that’s something I have to reimagine that analogy myself multiple times a month just to get myself out of the goal of tying – or out of the mindset of tying my happiness to goals that will likely change and move the closer that we get to them. That’s been a huge help for me in my life.
[00:46:36] MF: That’s awesome. I actually read a book, I think it’s “The Power of Now”, same concept. Just if you are constantly thinking about the future or the past, you’re never going to be happy. And if you’re living in the US and listening to this podcast, you’re ahead of 90% of the world most likely in where you are. So almost anybody listening to this has something to be extremely happy about where they’re at right now. Even if they don’t have money or what they ultimately want in life, you’re in a great position to get it. So that’s awesome stuff.
I know we’re getting short on time. I know we’re probably getting past people’s attention spans, but what’s the best way for people to contact you if they want to check out your website or get in touch with you, how can they do that?
[00:47:23] TM: Man, probably the best way to contact me is just go to my personal blog, which is Trevor – and I’m going to start blogging a lot more kind of on my own entrepreneurial journey there, here are I go, both in real estate and outside. But it’s just TrevorMauch.com. Or you could always find me at OnCarrot.com, you can check us out there. We publish, I know we didn’t talk a whole lot about online lead generation, SEO, and pay per click and stuff today but we have so many free resources on our blog over there. You can just check out our blog and we put more free resources over there on how to generate leads and convert your visitors into leads than probably any other resource out there. So check out, its all free and we’d love to talk with you.
[00:48:17] MF: Awesome. And I’ll put those links on the website too. I always do a little write up on every podcast we do so people can over there and get those links as well. Awesome job Trevor. Really glad to have you on the show. You did a great job. I’m sure we’ll be in touch in the future and thank you so much for being on.
[00:48:36] TM: Well dude, I appreciate the invite again Mark. And like I said man, this podcast that you’re putting together is amazing. I’ve listened to other episodes, and for those of you who did not have a chance to listen to Daniil Kleyman’s podcast with Mark, definitely do it cause that dude knowns his stuff. I’ve known him for years and it’s just been amazing seeing him build his portfolio and dive into commercial and dive into single family, everything he’s doing guys. So listen to the stuff that Mark’s putting out. It’s a gold mine if you really dig into those nuggets and implement things that you can make a difference in your life and business. So listen to every podcast episode from Mark, and then you go and implement it.
[00:49:14] MF: All right, thank you for the free promotion. I love that. I do appreciate it. Daniil did an awesome job. I forget what episode. I think it was like 17? I can’t remember which episode, but yup he’s an awesome guy. Totally agree on that.
[00:49:27] TM: He is for sure. Well thanks a lot man, and have a great one. I appreciate the invite, once again.
[00:49:33] MF: All right. Thank you Trevor, appreciate it. You have a great rest of the week.
[00:49:37] TM: All right thank you Mark.