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WS768: Automate It To Do More With Less with Megan Brown

What if you could achieve more with half the manpower? Today’s guest is Megan Brown, and she specializes in streamlining businesses using automated software and the scientific method. We kick things off by taking a peek at Megan’s professional history, and how she transitioned into the marketing scene. Saturated with artistic minds and creative firms, Megan looked at marketing through a different lens centered around identifying the right key performance indicators.

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As our conversation evolves, Megan walks us through various methods that have helped her generate more leads and create a successful business. Listeners will hear about the value of Customer Relationship Management, and how she tailors automated software to help manage clients and appointments. As we chat further, Megan gives us a glimpse into her business process and tells us how she keeps herself up to date using advanced checklists and techniques known as webhooks. Stay tuned and you will find out about Megan’s opinions on overcoming the biggest marketing hurdles for property syndicators. She also touches on her daily habits for success, how she uses discipline as a tool, and why accountability is so important to running a business. Tune in today!

Key Points From This Episode:

  • Introducing today’s guest Megan Brown, and her ability to achieve more with less.
  • We talk about Megan’s background in marketing.
  • How Megan jumped in at the deep end by starting a company with no book of business.
  • Hear about Megan’s transition into real estate investing.
  • Why the scientific method can give you a competitive edge.
  • Megan discusses how her methodology works, using LinkedIn as an example.
  • Find out how you can achieve more with less manpower.
  • How messenger bots create a personable feeling around bookings.
  • Megan’s experiences using learning bots like Google’s Dialogue Flow.
  • The benefits of using CRM to improve the occupancy rate in multi-family.
  • Why Megan uses webhooks, email parsing, and software like Zapier.
  • Megan reveals the biggest marketing hurdles for syndicators and how to overcome them.
  • We look at Megan’s daily habits which contribute to her everyday success.
  • How Megan keeps accountability over herself and her colleagues.

[bctt tweet=”To date, I have only made $100 with financial advisors, so I knew I had to make a pivot, and that’s when I started to take a scientific approach. — @MeganlovesTexas” username=”whitney_sewell”]

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

Megan Brown

Megan Brown on Twitter

Megan Brown on LinkedIn

Megan Brown appointments

Calendly

Google Dialogue Flow

98full.com

Process Street

Zapier

Full Focus Planner

Michael Hyatt

Don’t Forget to Feed Me

About Megan Brown

Megan Brown is an energetic entrepreneur who loves to live and work in Cowtown. She enjoys marketing and automation and enjoys helping others to improve their systems and processes. Megan works primarily with small businesses to grow their client base in a measurable way. She helps them write overall marketing plans, increase their social media presence, create effective print and digital advertising campaigns, improve both paid and organic SEO, create responsive and attractive websites that encourage conversations, and target the right customers to effectively grow their business in the direction that they desire.

Full Transcript

[INTRODUCTION]

[0:00:00.0] ANNOUNCER Welcome to the Real Estate Syndication Show. Whether you are a seasoned investor or building a new real estate business, this is the show for you. Whitney Sewell talks to top experts in the business. Our goal is to help you master real estate syndication.

And now your host, Whitney Sewell.

[INTERVIEW]

[0:00:24.4] WS: This is your daily real estate syndication show. I’m your host Whitney Sewell. Today, our guest is Megan Brown, thanks for being on the show Megan.

[0:00:33.2] MB: Thanks for having me, I’m happy to be here.

[0:00:34.3] WS: Megan is an energetic entrepreneur who loves to live and work in Cal Town. She loves marketing and automation and enjoys helping others to improve their systems and processes. Megan, welcome to the show, I’m grateful to have you with us today.

You know, there’s systems and processes or something that I had to learn very quickly but obviously doing a daily show, we had to jump in and say okay, this is what has to happen and build that team, all those things but you know, even deeper than that, we’ve had to do a lot more in our business as far as the systems and processes and documenting those things and I know you have a super power in marketing also and just doing less with or doing more with less manpower, right?

I’m just looking forward to this conversation of the listeners are going to gain so much from that because we’re all trying to do that but Megan, welcome to the show, why don’t you give us a little more of just who you are and your background and your super power and how you can help us today.

[0:01:30.1] MB: Yeah, absolutely, my name’s Megan Brown. I have been doing marketing pretty much my whole career so I actually started out in the world of finance and I was the VP of marketing for a local investment firm here, it’s very niche boutique firm and then about four years ago, I decided I’d had enough with stability and decided to go start my own company.

I left my nine to five job. I started MB Marketing back in January of 2017 and because I did work for finance, I couldn’t do what most people do where you kind of started on the side and build up some clients and get a little bit of revenue and then go out on your own. I just had to take a complete leap of faith and jump out into the marketing world and do my own thing, when I first started, I thought I was going to do marketing for financial professionals for those independent financial advisors out there because I understood all of the disclosures and everything that the SCC comes out within the regulations of what you can and can’t do and basically when the SCC tells you very vague overviews and opinions on things and that is where I thought I was going to start to date.

I had made a hundred dollars with marketing for financial advisors so I very quickly saw that I had to pivot into a new way and because I had that background in finance and because I understood numbers, I started to take a very kind of scientific data driven analytical approach, which got a lot of traction because most marketing firms today came out of the creative side. They are very artistic, they have that creative mindset but the problem is, marketing today is really a lot of numbers and analysis and understanding what you’re KPIs are and how you need to measure and do AB testing.

I use the scientific method to come up with a hypothesis, test it, look at the data, revise my hypothesis and go back again which is something that I’m not really seeing a lot of other marketing companies out there do.

[0:03:30.0] WS: Nice, it’s interesting to think about it,  like that about it, being more about data, can you dive in to that a little bit more and you mentioned like KPIs, maybe some things that you know, as an investor, trying to grow their business and brand, some KPIs should be tracking or data that they should be thinking about when they’re thinking about marketing.

[0:03:50.5] MB: Yeah, absolutely,  I would recommend just asking the question that I ask any prospect before I start working with them. Which is what is your objective? And I ask this because people who come to me with something in mind and frequently it will be, I need to be posting on Facebook every single day or posting on LinkedIn every single day and really, I want to dive deeper into well, why, what is your objective and almost every single tenant comes out that their objective is they want more leads.

Once we figure out that our KPI isn’t really number of posts our real KPI is number of leads or number of appointments book. Then we could start looking at okay, are there better ways to achieve that objective that we’re looking at. Do an analysis of, is your KPI surface level or is it something that’s really going to move your business forward.

I try to do those KPI’s based on you know, smart goals, I’m sure you’re all familiar with those but having a number, having a timeframe, to work into it and so you could have a number of different KPI’s so it could be, I have a KPI of posting on LinkedIn every day because if I post on LinkedIn every day, I know that I’ll generate three new appointments a week and I know that if I generate three new appointments a week, I’ll get two of those appointments to show up and if I get two of those appointments to show up, then I can close one of them because I have a great close rate of 50% and so looking at those numbers, those are all KPI’s and maybe the KPI of the action I need to do is the number of post or the number of messages I need to send on linked in to get the real KPI that I care about. Which is prospects closed.

[0:05:23.1] WS: Nice, you got to know where you’re going, right? What is your objective, that’s a great question, I mean, you got a better understand where you want to go if you want to know how to get t here and having those smart goals, KPIs or something that’s really, that term’s growing a lot of thinking just business and our entrepreneurial world. Help us to think more about how to do more with less manpower. I know that’s a specialty that you have and let’s jump in to that.

[0:05:51.0] MB: Yeah, I think automation is really a great way to do it so whenever I start out, I was a one man band and I had to figure out how to make this work a little bit better to do, again, more with less because the problem with growing is when you hire people, you kind of need to have to work in the revenue to get them there but if you want to hire a full person, you need a full person’s worth of work most of the time before you hire them.

How do you bridge that gap between one to two people, especially when you’re newer and doing it and that’s where having automations, having smart messaging can help you out to do more with less so a lot of people will have those smart messages that they send? A lot of people now will use cowardly or other booking options that they can use which is great but then it kind of takes away the back and forth and the rapport that you’re trying to build with a prospect and so then if you’re able to use AI to do that booking, what people can do is have a conversation. I use appointment booking because it’s something that everybody has to, right?

We all have to book appointments and it takes up a lot of time of back and forth if you’re doing it manually of hey, every Tuesday and Thursday at three, oh no, what about Friday at four, that’s where we have those booing pages that people can just kind of find a time and select but it’s very impersonal.

What we can do with AI is we can have that kind of messenger bot understand what people are doing. A lot of people have seen those on like Facebook messenger or many chat where you can provide options or other things like that but with AI, you can ask someone when are they available, the AI will then go to their calendar and then check it.

It understands basically the way that humans would talk and so we might say, I’m available Thursday at three or you know, what about a week from today and so the AI would be able to understand that a week from today would be Tuesday at about 10 AM central time and check the calendar and go through, it’s a much more normal flow of what we’re used to in talking with humans and it removes that impersonal thing of well, here’s my booking link, go book a time.

[0:08:07.7] WS: Nice, you know, I’ve heard numerous times, people say, it’s so impersonal when I get that link, somebody says, I’d love to talk to you, here’s my link, right? I’ve had people do that to me obviously and sometimes it’s just the easiest way, you know? But it is impersonable, it does take that out, you know? That’s interesting, does that bot, I mean, I’ve seen those on websites as well.

Is it speaking to them like it is someone or does that person know that it’s like AI and a robot that they’re communicating with?

[0:08:35.7] MB: Yeah, I’ve been playing around a little bit with, it’s Google dialog flow and so it’s a learning bot and so what you do is you talk for the bot and then the bot learns the way that you talk and then it will be able to imitate that and understand what you’re saying to be able to send that back. They wouldn’t necessarily know that it is a bot because it’s not like the bot’s most people use where it will have the three typing dots and then it’s like here’s three times that are available, it’s much more conversational.

[0:09:07.6] WS: Wow, that’s so interesting and something maybe the listener and myself should consider looking into. Anything else, any other software, any other things that you use just to create that system or process that’s going to help us to do more with less?

[0:09:22.3] MB: The biggest thing that I’ve done is I’ve taken that bot and then integrated it into text message capabilities, right? We all – most of  us are on messenger but pretty much every cellphone now can do text messages and that’s a really good way to communicate with people and really good way to get response rates and so our email gets so junked up with all the things I think I have 43 unread messages right now but if we have that text back and forth then you can implement the bot with that.

Then it really allows you to be much more robust with your system and with what you’re able to do via text messages with people or even you know, if a lead comes in and you need to talk with them, having your marketing system, your software call you and let you know you have that lead to press one to connect to try to get on the phone with them as quickly as possible before they go talk with some other investor, right?

Because the normal flow of things is people decide okay, I’m ready to pull the trigger, I want to start investing and they’re going to maybe reach out to there people and most of the time, they’re going to go with that first person that talks with them.

The immediate response is very important if you want to book those appointments and close more of your prospects.

[0:10:33.5] WS: Can you elaborate a little bit more there on what is that system that will help us to do the taxing with the bot as well?

[0:10:40.8] MB: Yeah, it’s just a system for agencies that I license and use for my clients and basically, it’s called rail and text messaging and basic CRM and click files and landing pages and email follow ups all rolled into one that I can license it out to clients, I have follow ups already built. I work with a lot of multi-family properties.

Helping them book appointments to tour apartments and so I have a whole bunch of flows setup for them already that they can purchase their license from me to do it and so it’s just an agency software that we can build out and license and what people use and it’s very customizable. You can find out more of that if you want to at 98ull so that’s 98full.com and you can see how I’m using it for multi-family housing to help them improve their occupancy rate.

[0:11:32.7] WS: Nice, what are any other systems that you have just for systems and processes, is there way that you document those so the whole team knows how to do those things?

[0:11:42.4] MB: One that I really love is called process street and so that one is just basically a checklist on steroids and why I like it is because I can have information for that person and then it will prepopulate forms and then it will fill in dynamic content into an email that my team can send out from my emails, So, I have written the email and then we’re all familiar with the dynamic content. If one of you can fill in first name, last name but it could also be you know, what is their investment, what is their net worth, what do you need to know, what do we need to ask, you can fill in. I use it for my website clients when we need to send them their username and password.

So it builds in that dynamic content and automatically sends it out to them and they have a bunch of pre-built checklists as well that you can use and customize and so that one is really great for my team because we can use it internally and there is how to videos and so rather than having to train someone on our system and processes, they can just run through their first checklist and we have the video. “Here is how you do this, here is how you implement it. Go ahead and go.”

Or sometimes you don’t run it very often and you kind of forget it has all of your information and how to do it and also what you need to do to execute that all in one and so that is a really, really great SOP software that I like to use.

[0:13:00.4] WS: And that’s Process Street.

[0:13:02.6] MB: Yes.

[0:13:04.0] WS: Okay, I am definitely going to look it up. I know the listeners will be too. Any other software that you use Megan just on the marketing side, how you automate anything, how you’re communicating with clients, anything that would help the listener before we move to a few final questions?

[0:13:16.8] MB: Yeah, so if you are looking into automation, Zapier is the king. They have come a long way from when I first started using them and so it is much more user friendly. If you are trying to make your different applications talk so we also use Asana with my team. So if we check an item off on Asana, we can send that trigger. They call them zaps, over to Gmail or over to Process Street and integrate them in different ways and you can get a little bit more complex with Web Hooks.

If it doesn’t already have an integration set up but if you are trying to do more automation and have all of your apps work together, it takes time to set it up in the beginning but Zapier is amazing in the amount of time that it stays if you really do sit down and take that time to set up those automations in the beginning. So you are not just doing the same repetitive tasks over and over again.

[0:14:06.8] WS: Nice, that is a great piece of software right there. What was the other one you mentioned there, something hooks?

[0:14:12.0] MB: Web Hooks. I am trying not to get too into the weeds but Zapier, you are using Web Hooks without realizing it, anytime you use an API key for anything and so basically it just came out of website and whatever that pings then it tells something else to do it and so you can think about it like sending out a fishing line, it hooks the fish and it pulls it back. So that’s how different applications can talk to each other throughout the web.

And if you are familiar with Zapier and you want to get a little bit more intense, I love what’s called the email parsing. So what that does is if you get – say you get a lot of emails about properties that you might be willing to purchase and you want to put all of them in a spreadsheet. So if you get them in the same form, you can use email parsing to pull that data out and then send it over to Google sheets so you don’t actually have to look at all of those emails.

You can put them in a file folder and never look at it, run into Google sheets and maybe run your own information on it to see if it is something that would be worth pursuing or not.

[0:15:12.1] WS: Wow, another great platform. I appreciate that Megan and so Megan, what’s the hardest part about just marketing for say the investor or the syndicator like ourselves that are trying to reach investors, trying to show that we’re credible, you know build that relationship and all of those things. What do we need to be thinking about as far as, what’s a difficult hurdle that you see people trying to cross and can’t get there?

[0:15:36.0] MB: Yeah, I mean I think the biggest thing whether you are working with investors or even regular clients, I know I am guilty of doing this myself but not building up and paying attention to that know, like and trust principle, right? So making sure people understand who you are first. They have to know that you exists, then once they know that you exists, they have to like you and understand the way that you approach your investments and how do you deal with your investors before or after and during the investment process for these properties that you’re looking at.

And then having that know, like and trust principle and not running in and going, “Hey, give me all your money” but building that relationship, right? Because no matter how much automation we have and no matter how much we can have bought to doing these things, we are always going to need to have relationships and we make these decisions based on whether we like someone. We can pretend that it’s rationale but at the end of the day, we have to like the people that we’re working with and that is so important no matter how much automation and how many robots you have working for you.

[0:16:35.6] WS: Megan, I believe that anyone that’s successful in business must have a high level of self-discipline. How have you gained such a high level of self-discipline?

[0:16:43.5] MB: Yeah, I mean I think just always working on it and having that drive and paying attention to what are the choices that I make to get things done. Am I going to go out and have fun with friends or am I going to sit here and take another course to learn more and finding that balance and just trying to have that achievement. I think self-discipline is like any other muscle, you have to train it and just practice it on what are these decisions that we need to make.

And making those same things that you know whether it is eating or work or working out or whatever it is, making those good choices and thinking about how we’re going to get it further and visualizing what is this choice going to get me tomorrow, a week from now, a year from now.

[0:17:27.3] WS: Are there a couple of daily habits that you are very disciplined about or that have helped you achieve success?

[0:17:32.5] MB: Yeah. So if you are not familiar with the full focus planner, I love it. It is like the most intense planner I have ever seen that I need that to keep myself organized and so it lets me set up my annual weekly daily goals and so reviewing those goals on a regular basis, filling out what are the three most important tasks each day to help me achieve those big goals that I want long term helps me do that. So working within that full focused planner to think about what are my goals, what do I want to achieve and making sure that I am doing action items that move that needle forward on my long term goals.

[0:18:11.6] WS: That’s through Michael Hyatt, right?

[0:18:13.4] MB: Yes.

[0:18:14.5] WS: Yes, so yeah I’ve seen those and he’s got tons of great content just so the listener knows but the full focused planner, do you do that electronically? I mean I wonder since you are so tech savvy or do you do it on like a notebook?

[0:18:28.3] MB: No, it’s a notebook and so you have one notebook per quarter and it is a notebook with pages and I write everything down and because everything is so electronic, it kind of helps me to focus and have it open on my desk and also I mean there is just no satisfaction like checking off all of those things on your list to get them all done each day.

[0:18:47.0] WS: Nice. No, I appreciate you sharing that. It is definitely something I’d like to look into that more myself. So tell me a way that you have recently improved your business that we could apply to ours?

[0:18:57.2] MB: I mean I think just reviewing and working with accountability groups on my goals and so talking through this is what I need to do and this is what I need to achieve has really helped me and so I have an accountability group and we meet on Monday evenings and we talk about what our goals, what are we doing and then you know you have to get it done because other people are going to be there and you’re going to need to talk about it. So having that accountability for these things that I want to achieve really helps to make sure that I get things done.

[0:19:26.3] WS: Accountability is important and so tell me, what’s your best source for meeting maybe new clients for you, right? Typically I will say how are you meeting new investors right now but for you, what’s your best source for generating leads?

[0:19:39.7] MB: I mean I think the answer there is obvious, it’s referrals. It is always the best way for me to get new clients as much marketing as I do. Nothing beats just having other satisfied clients send more business your way and that is definitely the number one way that I build my business.

[0:19:55.7] WS: What’s the number one thing that’s contributed to your success?

[0:19:59.0] MB: I mean I think – I don’t know, me? Just having that drive to get things done. You know I guess that is self-discipline to say no to fun things in order to achieve the long term goals that I want to hit.

[0:20:16.2] WS: And how do you like to give back?

[0:20:18.1] MB: So I am on the board of charity. It’s called Don’t Forget to Feed Me Here, it is a pet food bank. I spent probably way too much time helping them out with their marketing. I just completely re-did their website free of charge for them. It’s really great, I am super excited about it and I really love this organization because it is a pet food bank and so I love shelter animals. My dogs that you’ve heard in the background of this is a rescue.

But I really would prefer all of the shelters to be empty and so this pet food bank helps out people to keep their animals they already have and love in their homes so that they don’t have to surrender them when there is a global pandemic and times get tight, they can go and they can get that food and that support that they need for their animals so that they don’t have to surrender them to the shelters.

[0:21:04.0] WS: Megan, I am grateful for your time today and just sharing your expertise with the listeners and myself. Marketing is something where I am so focused on. It is such a big part of what we do in almost any business, right? But just walking us through just the data and how we should be looking at that and how it’s connected in marketing and you know asking our self what is our objective and having smart goals, KPI’s, you know our smart bots.

Our smart messages and messenger bots and you know different things that just really opened our eyes to even Process Street and email parsing, things I know I want to look into that I hope will just save us time and with less manpower to be able to accomplish more and so grateful for that. Megan, how can the listeners get in touch with you and learn more about you?

[0:21:45.4] MB: So I have a couple of websites. There is MB Marketing LLC and MB like meganbrown.com. That is my main website. I mentioned earlier for more real estate focused and automation, I have 98full.com or if people want to just talk with me, I do have a regular booking link like the rest of us and that is going to be book.mbmarketing.app. So all of those are ways where you can get in touch with me and find out more and learn more about what I do.

[0:22:17.3] WS: Awesome, that’s a wrap Megan. Thank you very much.

[0:22:20.1] MB: Thank you.

[END OF INTERVIEW]

[0:22:22.4] WS: Don’t go yet, thank you for listening to today’s episode. I would love it if you would go to iTunes right now and leave a rating and written review. I want to hear your feedback. It makes a big difference in getting the podcast out there. You can also go to the Real Estate Syndication Show on Facebook so you can connect with me and we can also receive feedback and your questions there that you want me to answer on the show.

Subscribe too so you can get the latest episodes. Lastly, I want to keep you updated so head over to LifeBridgeCapital.com and sign up for the newsletter. If you are interested in partnering with me, sign up on the contact us page so you can talk to me directly. Have a blessed day and I will talk to you tomorrow.

[OUTRO]

[0:23:02.5] ANNOUNCER: Thank you for listening to the Real Estate Syndication Show, brought to you by Life Bridge Capital. Life Bridge Capital works with investors nationwide to invest in real estate while also donating 50% of its profits to assist parents who are committing to adoption. Life Bridge Capital, making a difference one investor and one child at a time. Connect online at www.LifeBridgeCapital.com for free material and videos to further your success.

[END]

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