Austin: Hey. And thanks for coming back to the Real Estate Marketing podcast. In this episode we’re going to be talking to Sam Beiler, the CEO of Boost Point. He created an awesome platform helping contractors and real estate investors grow their business through advertising on Facebook. Our conversation with Sam went so well it actually went a really long time, so we decided to cut this episode into two parts. Episode 1 is all about Boost Point, their journey and how you can start advertising on Facebook. Episode 2 is packed with tactical advice about how you can get started on Facebook advertising today.
And one last thing, if you wouldn’t mind giving us a 5-star review, maybe a comment and even subscribing to this channel, it would be super helpful as we’re trying to grow our podcast. All right, that’s all the notes I have. Let’s jump right into this podcast.
Adam: Hello, everybody. Welcome to the Real Estate Marketing podcast, I’m Adam Grim.
Austin: And I’m Austin Glanzair.
Adam: So today we’re talking to Sam Beiler from Boost Point, he’s the founder and CEO of Boost Point that focuses on Facebook marketing and Facebook Ads specifically and has done a lot of great work for the real estate market. We personally know some real estate agents here and people in the real estate space who have been profoundly helped by his tool and his knowledge in the Facebook marketing area. So thanks for coming to show, Sam.
Sam: Absolutely, guys. Thanks for the invitation, and I’m looking forward to this.
What is Boostpoint?
Adam: Great. So just for the sake of our audience because I know you and the work you’ve done, but can you tell us a little vbit about your background, who you are and a little bit about Boost Point?
Sam: Absolutely, yeah. So my name is Sam Beiler, I’m the CEO and co-founder of Boost Point and we are a … Boost Point’s a marketing platform for real estate agents, small businesses and we specifically focus on making Facebook and Instagram Ads where really anyone can manage their own advertising instead of taking six months to try to figure out the Facebook Ads manager platform or need to a marketing agency.
I’m really a marketer at heart, I was previously the marketing director at a company called Equipter and led the marketing team there, helped build Equipter into a national brand. So that’s like tact … tactfully like what I feel I do best, and so I really enjoy any type of marketing and advertising.
Adam: Got you. And can we get the origin story of Boost Point a little bit, like how’d you get the idea? Tell me about the start of the company.
Sam: Absolutely. So it was about three years ago when I initially had the idea for Boost Point, and that really just came from hearing a lot of the struggles from small businesses and individuals who had a small team and were looking to grow. I personally just really started diving into the opportunity of social media ads about seven years ago and just got phenomenal results with what I was currently marketing at that point. And then I just started talking to a lot of other small business owners, sales reps, people that were looking to grow their own companies.
And like everyone agreed with the opportunity, like, “Okay, yeah, I realize that social media ads can be a good thing to grow my business. The big problem was just I don’t know how to implement it.” Most people don’t have the time, the five hours a week for six months straight to figure out these ad platforms and optimize themselves. And then a lot of them don’t have maybe the confidence or the budget to go to a marketing agency for them to figure it out for them.
And so that’s kind of where the idea was born was like, “Hey, well, maybe we could provide a marketing software solution for these individuals that would do the heavy lifting of social media ads and just simplify the whole process to where anyone can get phenomenal results from these platforms and actually a positive ROI from social media ads.”
So rode on the idea for a while, I learned that I guess I’m kind of naturally an entrepreneur as well, I come from an entrepreneurial family, my dad started a couple companies and I just really enjoyed helping build especially Equipter, the company I was most involved with there. And then it just kind of aligned with my personal goals and just who I am to eventually actually create Boost Point as its own company. And so that was in November of 2018 when we initially launched Boost Point as a brand, as a company, and we’ve been building it since then.
How Have You Grown Your Business?
Adam: Awesome. So let’s talk about that build phase, what’s that look like, what’s the growth plan’s been for you guys? And I’ve seen you covered in the media, I’ve seen you guys growing clients and stuff. Tell me how you guys have grown your own business.
Sam: Absolutely. Well, for me it always comes with making our customers successful and just over obsessing over customer experience. And I mean, the first year, especially 2019 was like our first full year that we were in business, and a lot of that was just working really closely with our first customers and making it work and helping them find the results and then building a marketing platform that mirrors that, where they can easily implement the strategies but then also the tactics of getting a positive ROI from ad spend.
So it kind of all starts with making it work for your customers. Just like any business, you have to first make it work for your customers if you expect to build a business. But then the thing that I like personally thrive off of most and was a big reason why I wanted to launch Boost Point was just building a team. So it’s been a great experience just a year and a half we’ve business to get other people involved. I have Jared Neff, he’s my co-founder and he’s a CTO, chief technology officer, and he’s been the one building our platform. It’s been just a great experience just building a company with him and then also just bringing other people onto our team to continue to build Boost Point.
Adam: That’s awesome. What about … and so over these past couple years it looks like you guys have massive growth, have there been any obstacles, any kind of hurdles you guys have had to jump over a little bit here?
Sam: Yeah, I think for me one of the biggest things has just been the speed of learning new things. And just as a growing business, always needing to learn new things. So again, I’m kind of a marketer at heart, also spent several years in sales so sales and marketing, they really go together, almost the same thing when you really think about it.
But there’s a lot more that goes into building a healthy company. Other things I really enjoy is like building a healthy company culture, building a solid mission, core values. And then all the other details that come with growing a company pretty rapidly from even needing to really dig into being a financial expert almost with that side of building a healthy business from a financial perspective. We’re also raising capital which is a whole new experience for me.
And I’d say like that’s been one of the … It’s one of the things I actually really, really enjoy, like just constantly learning, it almost seems everyday like we’re learning new things and needing to adapt, but it is also one of the most challenging things as well.
Platforms You Should Advertise On For Real Estate Investing.
Austin: So, yeah, I think it’s so awesome what you’re doing, and honestly like I’m looking up to a lot of what you’re doing because we have our own business, trying to do marketing for real estate people, more on the Google Ads side of things and website build, but what you guys have built is really cool and I’ve kind of tried to model some of the stuff off of that. So thanks for doing such a good job on it.
Now I have a question about, you know, this podcast is a lot about how can we help people practically who don’t know how to do ads, who don’t know how to grow their real estate business. What platforms do you see are converting well for maybe like even realtors, real estate investors, real estate agencies? What platforms should people be on?
Sam: Yeah, so I’m a firm believer in being in control as much as possible of your own brand and your own customer acquisition. And so that’s kind of like a rule of thumb as I consider platforms even for us to advertise on. So I usually steer people away from just like a lead transaction type of platform, so maybe platforms like Zillow or Realtor.com where, okay, sure, you can get leads but it’s all up to that business to what type of leads you get fed and you’re not like self-generating your own leads and opportunities.
So I really look at, okay, well, what are platforms that we can really build a brand on and be unique on and let that shine? And that’s often what I steer people towards is when they’re considering, okay, well, there’s so many platforms out there, which one should I actually be taking seriously and investing in? And for me one of the biggest opportunities right now is social media platforms, from an organic perspective but then also from a paid ads perspective.
So I mean, I know in the small business space like, yeah, everyone’s known for years that you can build an organic brand, but very few have leveraged paid ads where it’s just normal, sure, like postcards, I invest in that and it’s a physical like piece of paper and may even like a billboard and like we can actually maybe see our ads, whereas for some reason people feel maybe a little bit more uncomfortable with social media ads because it’s not something they drive by and actually see. So it’s a different way of measuring success.
But as far as like going back to your original question – well, what I’ve seen across the board like just even different industries, even real estate specifically, Facebook Ads specifically which is sponsored posts basically on Facebook and Instagram, if that’s done correctly you can get some of the biggest ROI.
Austin: Yeah, that is some really good advice actually even for me just to hear personally, like being in control of your lead generation as opposed to just doing something that will get you leads. I really like that mindset shift, so that was good for me to hear it, just even from my own personal business. So if you’re a listener out there, try to be in control of your own ads definitely.
Sam: The other thing I’ll mention too is like look for platforms where you can display your personality. So real estate is really a sales industry, and what sets you apart most of the times is not the broker you’re under – it’s really you, it’s your personality and how you can sell. So that’s one of the things I really love about social media ads, even YouTube, is you can let your personality shine. And it’s not just text on a page but you can use things like video and how you naturally communicate well with your clients, you can do that now through your phone and through a video.
It takes a little bit to get used to, but once you kind of get over that hurdle of, okay, I’m just talking into a camera instead of talking into a person, you can get really creative with it and it works really well.
Getting Started With Facebook Ads.
Austin: Yeah, that’s really good advice. I think too many people tend to just like, “Hey, give me leads, give me leads here. Here’s my checkbook, give me leads.” But I think having personality behind that can actually help you grow, so that’s a really, really good advice for someone looking to start.
So kind of going along getting started, where should someone start if they’re in real estate when it comes to Facebook Ads or Instagram Ads?
Sam: Yeah, so basically if you know nothing about social media ads at all I’d start with talking with someone that maybe has done that before. And it kind of depends where you’re at as well, it’s like maybe you don’t have much time on your hands and you’d rather invest into someone figuring this out for you, even if you take that route, you get an agency to run your ads I would still really recommend knowing enough that it makes sense so that you can like understand the ROI and what you’re actually getting out of ads.
But most people they’re kind of in the shoes of like, “Hey, I’d like to try to figure something out myself.” So a good place to get started I’d say is start with a budget you’re comfortable with and be relevant to what you’re currently doing. So often like how I usually recommend an agent runs his first ad is like, “Okay, well, have you sold any your houses lately or are you putting any on the market?” And creating ads that’s relevant to stuff that they’re doing right now instead of just creating some super random ads in maybe an area that they haven’t ever done any business in.
But I’d start with you don’t have to go crazy. The other nice thing about social media ads is you can start with a small budget, it’s not like you have to invest in a billboard for 1500 bucks a month to get started. You can start with the campaign for 200 bucks.
But the other thing too I will say is you need to be consistent. The Facebook and Instagram Ads it’s really just a tool, and you need to figure out how to leverage that tool, how to communicate on it, how to write good ad copy, create good content. And you get better at it the longer you stick with it.
Budgeting Your Ads.
Adam: Cool. And on the budget, so you mentioned set a budget that’s comfortable for you, that comes up a lot for people. Is there like a barrier of entry where it’s really not worth it below this number for people getting into it? I mean, is it 500 a month, 100 a month, a thousand a month? Like, is there a number you tell people until you can afford X dollars per month just hold off and don’t get into ads yet?
Sam: Great question there. And I want to think about this one before I just answer. But I normally say that there’s really not, it depends what your objective is I guess and that’s maybe why I’m struggling to answer because I don’t think it’s like a one-off answer.
To me if your main objective is lead generation and, hey, like I need leads to fill my pipeline – probably anything less than 500 bucks a month in ad spend you probably won’t be that excited about the amount of leads that you generate from that, anything less than 500 bucks a month. At the same time you could put 5 bucks a day into starting to build your brand in a certain area, you can be very targeted, start doing some videos, start building your following and consistently like staying in front of people.
So there’s kind of two different strategies that I always like to keep in front of people with social media ads, and that’s one is the lead gen and it is one of the most cost-effective ways to generate your own sales qualified leads, but the second thing that you don’t want to ignore is just the brand awareness that you’re constantly building and that’s really important and that’s what in the long run is going to really make you successful, because anyone, sure, anyone can spin up an ad and start generating some leads even on Facebook and Instagram, and while that’s all great and you get some of that short term success you really need to also think long term of, “Hey, what am I consistently investing? How am I consistently investing into my local brand?”
And that also really ties into I always recommend like if you’re going to invest in advertising dollars on these platforms, you also need a consistent organic strategy as well. So this is setting up your Facebook page, setting up your Instagram account, maybe a YouTube channel. But if you don’t have enough of time I just start with one or two and being more consistent on one or two rather than not consistent on any.
But having a good base of an organic brand and then fueling that with advertising dollars is the best-case scenario and where you’re going to get the best results.
What Makes A Good Ad?
Austin: So here’s a question I have, a lot of our listeners I think are kind of in that like newer stage like they’re kind of established, they want to grow their business and what do you see people doing where they’re making like obvious mistakes when it comes to ads? Like, do you see ads that people are running that aren’t very good? Like, I guess does that question makes sense?
Sam: It does, yeah. Some of the most common mistakes I would see would mostly be in just the quality of ads. This is different than designing a postcard and sending it out in the mail. You really need to think about the context of where your placing your ad, like this is in … like imagine yourself as someone seeing your ad, you’re sitting at home, you’re scrolling through your Facebook and Instagram newsfeed and you want something that fits and that’s relevant to that person and that audience. So just a photo with your best offer and with a headline of, “Hey, contact me to buy your next home,” it’s not going to do well because that’s basically like you’re putting a billboard on Facebook and Instagram.
So you really have to get in the shoes of your viewer, that person on Facebook and Instagram, and write your copy, your headline and if you’re using a video or photo, create something that’s relevant to that person.
Formatting Your Ads.
Adam: Nice. A word on format, so you’re saying earlier about video ads and things like that, format and medium, do you recommend that people focus more on like video or photo or just do you have any kind of directions for people that are starting on which ad formats or which media they should focus on?
Sam: I do, yeah. That’s a great question because basically to clarify with Facebook and Instagram Ads it needs either a photo or a video for the ad, this isn’t like a Google ad where you can just you can put text and that’s all. So the base of it is a photo or a video.
And again, this kind of comes kind of back to the objective of your ad, the reality is that on average photo ads will usually see a little bit more efficient rate of impressions for your ad spends. So kind of a way of measuring your cost for your advertising as far as how many people see your ads is CPM, so cost per 1000 impression. And that will usually be a little bit lower with a photo ad than a video ad.
Now the other thing we have to realize is a 30-second video you’re capturing a lot more attention if you can have people watch that full video. So if your video is intriguing, instead of two seconds of them seeing your photo and glancing through your ad copy they could actually consume 30 seconds, 60 seconds of a video actually interacting with you. So it’s really you almost more want to think of like, “Well, what’s my cost for the attention and the amount of attention that I’m acquiring from a specific viewer?”
So again, kind of general rule of thumb is like, okay, well, if you’re looking to really establish yourself, brand yourself well, communicate well to some extent it comes to is like your strengths, like if you’re pretty good on video and you come across pretty well I really recommend video. Video ads they just … they communicate so much more, you can communicate so much better, you can bring in social proof, you can make that person comfortable with you as a person before you ever have a conversation with that person. So you can break down so many barriers through a good video than just a photo that pops up in an ad.
Now at the same time like sometimes like if we’re building campaigns for individuals and it’s like, “Okay, this specific campaign like I want to generate as many leads as possible.” So most times like with that objective we will look for an engaging photo just because, again, your CPMs are usually a little bit more efficient with photo ads versus video ads.
Adam: A type of video you’re seeing on there, I mean, is it like I really highly produced, I mean, are we going for like a TV commercial, are we going for like a really artistic video, is it a selfie camera photo? Do you have any kind of recommendations for people if they … but I think when people hear video a lot of times they get really nervous because they know that big brands will spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on a video. What kind of video do you working on these platforms?
Sam: Yeah, so video that … the guide here should be make it as authentic as possible. So sometimes you can have a very well-produced video that’s extremely authentic and it’s like, okay, that can do really well. But most times the easiest way to get a really authentic video is just pulling out your smartphone and like having a FaceTime conversation with your audience. So just picture that a homeowner that’s thinking about selling their home as you just be talking to them on a FaceTime call. So literally just pulling out your phone, selfie style home video and having a conversation in that way.
And you can get creative with this. I mean, maybe you just sold a home in a neighborhood and it’s like, “Hey, Lancaster. My name is Sam Beiler and I just sold this home, it was only on the market for two days and we got over $10,000 of the listing price for it. The homeowners are extremely happy. And while we’re here we ask if there’s any other homeowners in this neighborhood that are looking to list their home.” Something like that. Again, there you can bring in social proof, you can build trust with your viewer. And something like that is going to do a whole lot better.
And we’ve measured this too it’s like even comparison like of that type of video paired beside, to the same audience, paired beside a video that a brand spent about $10,000 producing that was more of like a promo style video with like a voiceover and some really great video production but it was more that promo style, something great for their website or for a TV ad, but it just didn’t perform near as well as that more authentic video when it came to Facebook and Instagram.
Austin: All right, I’m sorry we had to cut this episode short, but we are conscious of your time and we don’t want to make you listen to a full hour-long episode. So part two will be released next week, you’re going to want to be on the lookout for that.
I hope you have a great 4th of July and we’ll talk to you guys next week.