Taylor Owens


Episode 58.

Taylor Owens, CMO at Lima One Capital

00:00:00 – 00:02:59

It is a marketing mini series for this weekend the next. Taylor Owens and I are fresh off of an a c LB a Massive broker conference in Vegas. Taylor shares tips and tricks to help brokers and really businesses of any size throttle up their marketing cr ms and LinkedIn sales navigator. Oh my, I’m Dalton Elliott. This is the Real Estate of Things. You’re listening to the Real Estate of Things podcast. Taylor Owens. Always good to have a dear colleague on as a guest. You’re the chief marketing officer of Lee Mollen Capital, so we we show up at the same same headquarters five days a week. Thank you so much for joining my friend Alright, happy to be here episode. Uh this is but it has been a year plus in the works. Uh. You’ve done a phenomenal job, Dalton. Happy to have my debut episode. Thank you, Thank you. I really appreciate that. And you and the marketing team, UH put so much effort into this. I I see myself as very much an ancillary player here and you and the team do all the hard work. I just get on here chat for twenty thirty minutes at a time. Uh to definitely appreciate everything you all do. Uh. As you can see, I’m I’m not at headquarters. I’m not at my house. I am all the way on the other side of the country in Vegas. It’s day number seven in Vegas. I still have a pulse. I’m still living, still breathing. You just flew back from Vegas a few days ago. We were at the n A c LB conference. Uh. We co hosted that conference. It’s our second year co hosting it the National Alliance of Commercial Lawn Brokers. UH. And you you spoke on a panel while we were there, but before we dive into marketing as a broker, How do you enjoy the conference? Conference was great? So this was my second n A c LB. You said they had twelve hundred individuals registered for the conference, nine hundred brokers. A lot of activity, a lot of engagement. UH, debut a new booth at the conference. UH. Unique opportunity or environment right now and having you at the conference. UH, that being a huge component of our marketing strategy here at Leman one. And then also recording the podcast. And we’ll talk about content here in a bit, but the content or the the conference was great. A lot of activity, a lot of new brokers looking to enter the industry, a lot of brokers that have been in the industry for a long time taking their quote unquote apprentice under their wings. So there was a large appetite for uh, for financing our products residential real estate. There’s just a lot of buzz and activity…

00:03:00 – 00:06:02

…there and a lot of these brokers just starting, uh, you know, they’re really interested in marketing um, whether they do it themselves, look to hire an intern, or look at third party resources in terms of an agency. So a lot of a lot of buzz at the conference overall. Yeah, I was talking with another colleague tail end of last week. Uh, you just asked what the vibe was at the conference, what the fuel was. You know, we’re in an environment where rates are going up, inflation is crazy, home prices are starting to flatten out or decline a little bit depending on the market. And one thing that was sort of a little surprising to me is just how optimistic everybody in the room was about where the space is heading. Knowing that you know, there’s there’s a big field that Look, this isn’t the No. Seven or oh eight, this is uh, you know you’re gonna count this in months not years, which is really good too to feel that vibe. You know, it’s all it’s all reading the tea leaves and uh somebody said that the two people who can be wrong and keep their jobs or weatherman and economists, so you know, who knows what’s going to happen. But the optimism was was great. How did you kind of come away with the same vibe? Yeah, I think you know, despite a you know, a changing environment, dynamic market, there’s a lot of folks still entering the industry. Um, you know, there are a lot of folks coming to the website shopping around. Uh, these communities online for real estate investors and brokers or continue to increase. Over the last few months, I’ve been to four different conferences that all emphasized marketing. So you know where deal flow might not be as good as once as yet last year, um, you know, less at acts in the space. Now is a really really good time to invest in marketing, figure out who you are as a company and as a brand, and what your niches. And I went I went to the Housing Wire conference. I went to a Customer Experience in Financial Services conference n A c LB had a half day Marketing Summit Housing Wire. Like I said at a full day marketing summit, So now is the best time really to again build your brand, build brand equity in the space, get yourself out there, figure out who you are, what your value prop is, especially for broker where it is understanding who your partners are and then what service that you will be providing to your customers. So again, now more than ever, marketing and customer experiences is a huge emphasis for brands and folks in the space, but also those looking to get their foot foot in the industry. Yeah, I really want to talk about kind of tools that brokers can leverage specifically from a marketing standpoint. But before we dive…

00:06:02 – 00:09:03

…into that, uh, you kind of jogged my mind thinking about okay if I am. You know, we worked we worked with tons of brokers, thousands of brokers over the course of our broker program at Leane Capital, and I’ve worked on the broker side, the table funding side, the whole on purchase side, and you see that in a lot of cases there’s uh, you know, a pretty hammered out pathway of growth. So you see, you know, brokers usually start off as one person shops and then you know, you’ll add some processors, some other brokers to the mix, but specifically, you know, I think this cross is not only the broker world, but just marketing in general. But real quick, as you’re looking to build out a marketing team, which you have, uh you know, you came aboard Lean one and you’ve built out a stellar team there. Um, you know, what are the first what are the first couple of marketing hires look like? What should they look like? What type of roles do you feel if you have a small business but you’re looking to bulsterout the marketing world? Yeah? Good questions. So, I mean we talked about this on the panel at any CLB. But the typical broker company sizes, I mean it’s oftentimes just a one man or one woman show up to maybe three to five individuals, processors, marketers, sales individuals. So it’s not necessarily the people first that you want to bring on board. I would say it’s more so the tools. And the tools are really going to help you automate a lot of your communications. They’re gonna keep you organized. And once you build that foundation of tools that automate a lot of your processes, communicate with your prospects and your leads and your customers behind the scenes, then you can look to make those hires. And the first tool that I would recommend really for any company, a large or small, is is get a CRM Customer Relationship management platform. And what that does is a lot of companies, even well established companies, use a CRM like a glorified Excel spreadsheet, which is not best practices. This is really something that you should leverage to collect your lead information. Put data around those for example, the no brainers, our first name, last name, email phone number, and then where did you source this lead? Right, so you can understand, all right, I’m gonna continue to go to home builders associations, I’m gonna continue to invest in Facebook because this is where the best quality leads are coming from. UM. You can also, I mean, if you’re a broker and you’re you’re working with multiple lenders, you can basically marry prospects or existing customers to those lenders so that when you get a new deal, you’re you know, there’s that seamless handoff to or hear the products I’m gonna pitch this person. Um. The CRM as well is basically you can bolt on a whole bunch of different marketing tools to this. So we use something called HubSpot. We brought this on a…

00:09:03 – 00:12:05

…year ago. It’s really transformed our business from a CRM and marketing automation standpoint, and we’ve used this to turn on email marketing right, so we can pull all of those leads from Facebook and send them a certain message. We can pull all of those leads that are interested in a certain product and and tailor our marketing message to that UM so we started this CRM. Another thing too, is it allows you to do marketing automation right, so you can create email templates, triggers that are working behind the scenes and we’ll send out automatically and you can tailor them so it looks like it’s coming from a real person, so that as you’re making outbound phone calls and your emails are going out there hopefully generating inbound and it’s the two of those that are really really going to help you accelerate your business before making a higher. Now, once you’ve brought on a CRM and you’ve built that foundation, really your first higher should be a part time resource to help you manage your CRM. Put leads in there, make sure the data integrity is good, there’s no duplicates, and then really managing your email email is really gonna be your best bang for your buck in terms of one to one return on investment. There. Yeah, you hit on a lot of pieces there, and I know even Yeah, the the natural progression of a CRM usually starts with Excel spreadsheets, right, and then it goes up from there. When I, you know, started building our broker program, it was an Excel spreadsheet and then you know we’ve gone through a couple of iterations of uh snails force uh. But yeah, the data integrity piece, that’s such a critical part because you know, a CRM isn’t, like you said, it’s not about just housing data. It’s really about having solid data that is then actionable. You can you can make decisions, you can make moves, whether it’s sales, marketing UM. From an executive level, you’re able to really turn that into powerhouse and HubSpot which you can bolt own uh to to just drive all the more so, the more the more clean, accurate data you can collect and put in the CRM UM, the better the more actionable it’s going to be. Yeah, I mean again, going back to what CRM stands for his customer relationship management platform. Right, this is something that you should be leveraging really to manage your relationships. Who are these people, where they come from? Where should I send their deals? So that will not only create help you create a better customer experience for your prospects and your current customers, but will also allow you, you know, over the course of ninety days to a year, to understand your best marketing UH tactics were and to pivot the money that you…

00:12:05 – 00:15:01

…do have to accelerate your marketing into those channels. Right. Another tool that I want to talk about is LinkedIn Sales Navigator. It’s great for prospecting, right you you it’s a bolt onto LinkedIn Right. LinkedIn is a social network, but it’s also a search engine. And LinkedIn Sales Navigator is something that you pay for and it allows you to get very very granular with your search query. Right. So I’m looking for fixing, flip investors or brokers that operate in you know, Riverside, California, UM and you can search by industry. You can even search what kind of content that they’re interested in to create lists and then message those individuals. UM. You can also look for realtors or title agents or general contractors within your market to not only go after your customer, but to go after the those that could refer customers to you. And uh, and that’s something that back to your CRM. Right. If you pull a handful of leads through LinkedIn Sales Navigator and you put those into your CRM, and the leads source was LinkedIn Sales Navigator and over the course of the year you’re generating deals and you’re generating revenue to your business, then you know what, you have the data to be able to say LinkedIn Sales Navigator was a great investment. I’m going to continue to make that in investment where other leads source did not you know, have any return. So therefore I’m not gonna waste any money there. Yeah, marketing you can get really, really, really expensive, and if you’re not careful, you can find yourself shovel and wheelbarrels of cat or moving wheelbarrels of cash in one direction and then just kind of setting them on fire and not getting much R O I out of it. And I think we you and I know this all too well. Uh, that you have to be able to attach a customer transaction to a marketing source. And for us in the lending world, you know, that’s that’s conferences, it’s web marketing, email blasts, um in person, you know, in in market events that we do. Uh. And if you if you’re just spending money on these things and you’re not really tracking the r o I, then it can be you know, it could be feel good to fly around the country, it can be feel good to throw these in market events. But if you’re not, if you’re not attaching a source to the dollar spent, uh, you can really find yourself in treacherous waters. Right. And you know, when it’s not necessarily to build the case to cut certain marketing tactics, it’s really uh, it’s really cold call out where you’re potentially underperforming. Right, So you’re paying a couple of thousand dollars a year, let’s say, to join your local home builders association to tap into a network of builders, and you know, maybe you’re you’re…

00:15:01 – 00:18:02

…breaking even where the opportunity there should be, uh, you should be ten xing your revenue. Then it gives you the power and the data to be able to say, all right, let’s approach the home builders association a little differently. You know, maybe we do some sort of sponsorship once a quarter as opposed to once a year, and let’s spend a little bit more money on that sponsorship. Or you know, maybe the Riverside h b A is great at building relationships UM, but the Bakersfield h b A is one that we don’t want to continue to invest in and at lean but one with we have sixteen different lead sources that we play around with and as a marketing leader now been here at LEA one for over a year. First order of business was get the data right because without having the data right, the data integrity UH, you can’t make decisions. And this isn’t just for larger companies to UM to put into practice. I mean if you are a small broker UH team of one to five, having this data will really just allow you to put together a playbook for next year and not make assumptions UM. And it’s very timely now in queue for this is where we turn. We look at our data and say, all right, where should we spend our money, where should we pull back or where should we optimize? So UM hub spot is cheap. UM. You can get a starter platform for a starter UM. The starter package for HubSpot for just a couple of thousand dollars a year, and again, this will really accelerate your business, not from just a data governance piece, but will allow you to bolt in landing pages UM which is just a form of your website that allows people to UM put in their information, capture emails to email, email marketing. Yeah, it is shockingly inexpensive. It’s like a couple of thousand bucks a year. It could sound like a lot, but it’s only a couple of hundred bucks a month. And if you can again, if you can attach, if you can close a couple loans off of it and close really just a couple of loans in our space based on the loan average and attach them to activity through HubSpot like you’re you’re you’re in the black on it, right And and that’s why I say, I mean, that’s where you start UM in terms of getting your CRM, getting your email in place, and then hiring somebody part time, whether an agency for five hours a week UM or an intern or against somebody part time. This is really gonna be your one to one attribution from a return on investment standpoint, where a lot of content and social media is more of a brand play. And if you’re spending fifteen dollars an hour on intern to come run your social media, right you’re just starting out. You’re probably not going to see the fruits of that labor or that investment for a year…

00:18:02 – 00:21:02

…down the line. That’s a slow burn. But if you become obsessed with acquiring emails, putting them into your CRM, having the email marketing in place, that working behind the scenes, that’s what’s going to drive your inbound calls, UH deal flow, just all around inquiries. So again that’s where you’re going to see the return on investment. So, without without giving away any any trade secrets or any secret plans we have back at h Q, what are some of the high level things you’re focusing on next year from from marketing standpoint, just diversification. Um, we spend a good amount of time for each of our products, each of our sales channels, putting all the pieces on the board on the table that says, all right, this is where we can spend money either to drive leads, retain current customers, or build our brand presence in the industry. And based upon the budget that the financial folks that HQ give us, we figure out what the sweet spot is in terms of cost per acquisition. So what we feel like is a an acceptable cost to acquire a new customer, figuring that they’re gonna probably drive you know, three to five new deals throughout the year, and we put that budget across about twenty different lead gen or just brand, UM brand building marketing channels. So that’s something that we’re you know, it’s Q four. Q four came up really quickly. But again, where can you diversify your brand? How can you be seen everywhere? And this is what broker should be doing in their markets. UM. I, for whatever reason, I picked riverside Um. But if it’s you know, if it’s your h b A, if it’s your real estate investment association, is it different realtor group, is it local Facebook groups? Is it um billboards? Right, you want to be seen everywhere. And to go back to the first point that I made is you know, if deal volume is slowed down, people are being a bit more conservative. In today’s landscape, it’s it’s focused on brand and brand is being seen everywhere and diversifying your message. So UM we’ll be doing We’ll be figuring out what the sweet spot is in terms of lead gen versus brand. UH. Typically you want seventy of your budget to be around generating new leads and about of your budget being put into building your brand. And UM, you know that might change going into what that percentage looks like. It might be a little bit more of a brand investment, brand investments, content partnerships, sponsorships, video billboards, conferences. Um. So there’s no shortage…

00:21:02 – 00:23:23

…of ways that you could be creative in marketing, and it’s applicable to large enterprises and small shops. Yeah, finance team, let’s five x Taylor’s marketing budget for next year. More more money in UH in the marketing budget equals more leads. So I love it. Well, here’s the deal, Dalton h R O I right. First order of business was coming into LIMA is how do we prove our oy specific to individual marketing strategies? Because if you say, hey, investing in Google gave us a eight x return, you know, let’s continue to put money into Google. So Taylor, I know you have way more marketing tips tricks, UH, insight in that NAUGA yours for mortgage brokers and beyond. So come back next week. Let’s let’s do another episode. My friend yes, sir, happy to do so, beautiful Taylor, thank you so much for joining. Always a pleasure and I always learned something when I chat with you, which is for me, that’s the goal of this podcast. I hope if I’m learning that folks who are listening or learning, so thank you very much, my friend. Thanks thanks to everybody for listening. Tune in next Tuesday we’ll have Taylor back on gets more marketing tips and tricks for you. Take care. Are you a real estate investor looking for the right lender that can finance all your deals and help you scale. Lima one Capital has the best suite of loan products in the industry bar nine. Whether that’s fix and flips, fix and holds, building new construction, or buying rental properties, they have incredible financing solutions for it all. A reliable, common sense lender is one of the most important parts of your investment team, and that’s exactly what you get with Lima one. Let Lima one Capital show you how they’ve helped thousands of real estate investor scale and increase their wealth. Check out Lima one dot com or call eight hundred to five nine zero five nine five to speak with the consult and in preparation for your next project. Thank you for joining us today on the Real Estate of Things Podcast. Subscribe and tune in weekly for new content from the industry’s best while we continue to unpack the nuances of this dynamic market. Follow us across social media for additional insights and analysis on the topics covered in each episode, and remember to rate, review, and share the show.

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