We’ve all been drawn in by the rise of real estate since the collapse back in ’08.
From becoming a realtor, to slinging mortgages, wholesaling homes, fix-n-flipping – the entire industry as seen a HUGE rise (almost too good to be true), caused by government intervention in the housing markets.
Sure, some people made good money over the past decade or so. But the sad news is that the roosters have come home to roost (I think that’s the saying…)
According to CNBC (& others), new mortgage application rates have fallen to a 28 year low!
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not sitting here saying real estate is forever dead.
What I AM saying is that any newbies thinking now is their time to get in and strike it rich are going to be sadly, sadly mistaken.
If you’re looking at becoming a realtor/broker/mortgager: you’re going to have a tough time landing clients that can actually afford to get a home, and an even tougher time getting those mortgage applications actually approved.
And if you’re looking to become an investor, the unfortunate reality is that now is NOT the time unless you can afford to buy those properties outright in cash. For all the talk about “creative financing” or whatever your guru might be shoving down your throat right now, the fact is newcomers are going to have a next-to-impossible chance getting investors (or even worse banks) to write loans that actually make sense financially.
Summarizing all that, there is one specific reason I wouldn’t get anywhere near real estate right now:
- There is extreme uncertainty in the housing markets. Rampant inflation, on-market house supply seriously on the rise, nauseating mortgage rates, mortgage applications at the lowest level in nearly 30 years… it’s only a matter of time before the other shoe drops and the real estate industry goes through a HUGE correction. If you’re Scrooge McDuck sitting on a huge portfolio that you own in cash, then you can probably weather the storm. But if you’re looking to get into the industry now… I’d consider something else.
So given all of those reasons, I want to expose you to a different business model that has been around for decades, is a proven way to make money online, and has the major plus of providing real value to real people across the world.
It takes the idea of physical real estate, but brings it into the digital world.
In this article, I’m going to review what I believe is THE SMARTEST business model today in 2023: becoming a Digital Landlord.
Whether you’re completely new to entrepreneurship, or have tried some things in the past.
If you’ve followed my blog for long, you know that I’ve tried most online business models out there, and that being a Digital Landlord is my favorite, hands down.
I’ve been doing it for years now (from home), and in this article, I want to break it down step-by-step.
So, What Is A Digital Landlord Business?
It works a bit like traditional real estate. You build a rental property, and then you place a tenant inside of the property, and collect a check.
As a Digital Landlord, the property here is a website, and the tenant is a local business owner.
Your website generates hot potential buyers for a local business owner, and they pay you rent each month to continue having those buyers sent to them.
What I really like is that you don’t have to do any labor or actual fulfillment. You just take a little cut to make the connection between the business owner and the person looking to have a service done.
I call it taking “a sliver to deliver”. You can learn more about how it works here
Why Would a Company Need A Digital Rental Property In The First Place?
Most business owners are good at one thing: their trade. They’re usually really bad at marketing.
And they’re too busy fulfilling the clients they have now to figure out how to actually do it.
The old methods of simply putting up an ad in a newspaper don’t work anymore, and they need the internet in order to grow their businesses.
If they can’t figure out how to do that, their business will eventually die out.
An Example of A Popular Digital Landlord: Home Advisor
Homeadvisor is a Digital Landlord, and they’ve spent millions of dollars to build their brand awareness and be the #1 search result for home services online all over the country.
You see, homeadvisor collects the information of the lead each time they submit a form or click through one of their ads. They then send that lead out to multiple businesses, who each pay a fee to receive it.
The crappy part is that Homeadvisor sells that same lead to 5 different people, and they all have to fight over it. Most business owners hate it, but they usually don’t have another option.
Why Is Being A Digital Landlord Such A Lucrative Business To Be In?
Most businesses have a lot of overhead: staff, rent, insurance, liabilities…the list goes on.
As a digital landlord, your overhead is almost non-existent. You’ll pay a few bucks per year for a domain name and hosting your website – but that’s it.
The margins are huge in that case, over 90%.
The cool part? You can generate leads for pretty much any industry there is. Think about it: all businesses need customers!
So How Do Digital Landlords Generate Leads?
To be a Digital Landlord, you need to put yourself where customers are looking.
I’m talking about places like Google Search, Youtube, Facebook, Instagram, etc.
A recent study showed that over 60% of people looking to make a purchase click on the ads related to that purchase!
Think about it: if the pipe burst in your home and water was spraying everywhere, what would you do?
Most people would pick up their phone, go to Google, and type in “emergency plumber near me”.
They’re gonna click on the first ad where someone mentions that they can come out to their home RIGHT NOW.
Being a Digital Landlord means owning that Ad they decided to click on.
Not All Leads Are Equal
Location, Location, Location!
Just like with physical Real Estate, it’s super important that we place ads where they matter most.
What are people more likely to click on when they search for “roof replacement denver co”?
An ad that says: “Roof Repair Company in Aurora CO”
An ad that says: “Roof Replacement Specialists in Denver CO”
When your ads are hyper-relevant to the search term, you can send ready-to-buy customers to your client, and they’re glad to pay you for them.
What About Generating Leads via SEO?
Google updates it’s Search Engine algorithm on an almost monthly basis.
I’ve seen multi-million-dollar SEO marketing empires crash because of ONE update.
Most SEO agencies don’t play by the rules… they’re always looking to cheat Google, and it usually comes back to bite them… HARD.
It doesn’t mean you can’t do SEO the right way and see long-term success, but that takes a ton of time and investment to make happen.
I’m not saying don’t do it, I’m just saying I prefer quick lasting results, rather than leaving my income to blind faith.
PLUS: if you don’t have super fast hosting, that ALONE can tank your website rankings.
The Power Of Google Ads
It took me a while to get things right after I started generating leads through places like Google & Facebook.
But once I nailed it down, my financial success (& personal freedom) catapulted forward.
This concrete site makes me $1,500/month, and I haven’t touched it since I set it up!
The expenses on this site are pretty cheap. The domain name & hosting combined are about $15/yr, and the tracking phone number on the site is a few bucks per year.
Nowadays I specialize in certain “niches” like concrete, so I just clone this page over every time I get a client in a new city. It takes about 10 minutes to get setup.
I check it once every 45-60 days or so to make small tweaks.
Can you name another business that gives you 90%+ margins that you barely have to touch?
Success Comes From Taking The World’s Oldest Wealth Builders & Digitizing Them – Enter Digital Real Estate
Some of the largest fortunes the world has ever seen came from Real Estate. All we’re doing here is taking that concept and applying it to the online world.
Like I said earlier, these websites are like Rental Homes (or Apartments). Having your website in the 1st ad position is like having an Apartment in a wealthy part of town.
Since there’s tons of value in being there, people are willing to pay more to rent it from you.
There’s nothing quite like having a predictable, repeatable stream of income like you get with these Digital Rental Properties.
My life will never be the same thanks to this business model.
It’s kind of like what Airbnb has done to home rentals.
They just connect a buyer with someone that wants what they have.
Just like Airbnb, we have complete control over who we choose to work with.
If a tenant decides to stop paying, we can simply start routing the phone calls to someone else!
I can go over to their biggest competitor and say, “hey, I was working with Joe The Roofer and he decided to stop paying me. I was sending him about 3 roof replacement jobs per month… are you interested in taking these jobs instead?”
I can almost guarantee you he’s going to say yes.
Time For The Details… How Does This Thing Work?
Step 1: Pick A Niche & A City
For example, Concrete Repair in Colorado Springs.
Colorado Springs has a population of almost 500,000 people, so there’ll be plenty of homeowners here with money to spend:
And there are some handy-dandy tools out there that will tell you exactly how many people in Colorado Springs are looking to get their concrete fixed every month:
That’s 250 people a month, or almost 3,000 a year in just ONE city who need their concrete repaired.
The average concrete repair job costs $550.
So, if 10% of these people actually move forward, that’s:
25 x $550 = $13,750.
How many business owners would pay you $2,000 a month to make almost $14k back?
Yeah, pretty much all of them!
Especially when, on average, 2 of those 25 concrete repair jobs will turn into a new driveway or patio or some other high end job. That’s an extra $6k for the business owner.
So now, they’re making $20k for every $2k they pay you.
Step 2: Find A Business Owner That NEEDS Customers
Ok, so now we know the numbers.
You show these to any business owner, and they’ll see how much of a no-brainer your offer is.
Now we just gotta find a business owner that’s got money to invest and needs more customers.
We can check:
Or how about people already running ads…
You know how I know these businesses are ready and willing to pay money for customers?
Because they’re already doing it!
Groupon takes 50% of whatever the business owner makes from their site.
Thumbtack and HomeAdvisor charge as much as $60 for a single lead…
And they sell that same lead to 5 different business owners.
So they make $300 off a single lead…a lead that ends up getting pissed off because they’ve got 5 different business owners calling them all at once.
In either case, the only person who wins is Homeadvisor, leaving the customer and small business owner empty-handed and disappointed.
But with Digital Real Estate, YOU, the business owner, AND the customer all win!
Look: business owners know they’re getting a raw deal when they sign up with Groupon, HomeAdvisor, Thumbtack, and others.
But they don’t realize there’s a better way.
All you have to do is give them that better way and they’ll jump into your lap!
Step 3: Build A Super-Simple 1-Page Site That A Child Could Make
At this point, we’ve got a niche, a city, and a business owner ready to take what you can give them.
So let’s get to work:
We’re going to build a super simple 1-page website.
Just like this:
It’s not very pretty, doesn’t need A+ design skills, or even much time.
It needs 1 page with a bit of content & a phone number.
You can host it somewhere simple, like Bluehost.
You can build one of these sites in less than an hour
So let’s do the math real quick:
$1,500 x 12 months = $18,000
Let’s say I spend 1 hour each month managing it (which I don’t but just to be conservative here on the numbers) – that’s 12 hours per year.
That’s $1,500 per hour!
And that’s just for this one website!
Want to know exactly how I made this happen, not just once, but hundreds of times?
Step 4: Get In Front Of Customers
Once you’ve got your site up, and a business owner ready to pay you anywhere from $500 to $2,000 a month, it’s time to deliver the goods.
The faster you deliver, the faster you get paid.
So right away, you’re going to set up a super simple Google Ads campaign.
Google Ads are only seen by people who are actually looking for that specific thing.
They look like this:
And as you can see, the ads show up ABOVE the organic Google results (the top ad result is mine, btw).
The best part? The client is the one that typically pays for the ad spend!
And almost everyone who calls is a solid lead, BECAUSE THEY’RE ALREADY SEARCHING FOR THAT SERVICE IN THE FIRST PLACE.
So, let’s say it costs $30 in ads for each call you send to the business owner.
For $500, you can send them 17 potential new customers.
And you get to keep all $1,500 as pure profit.
Step 5: Get Paid!
Do I really need to explain this?
At this point, you’ve shown the business owner the numbers.
You’ve delivered results.
You’ve given them WAAAYYYY more value than HomeAdvisor, Thumbtack, or Groupon.
The only reason they won’t keep paying you month after month is because you’ve overloaded them with customers.
And if that happens, just go to one of their competitors, show them what you’ve done, and keep on keeping on.
Step 6 (Optional): Repeat
Look, if you can do this once, there’s basically a 100% chance you could do it 10, 20, even 50 more times.
Why wouldn’t you?
This is a step-by-step, repeatable process you can do in hundreds of different niches.
Especially with a good hosting platform, this process is quick and painless.
Why Is It Called Digital Real Estate?
Because just like traditional real estate, this has the potential to create generational wealth through semi-passive income…with none of the downside that comes with owning physical properties:
But on the plus side?
You have Total Control and Reliable Monthly Recurring Income!
Remember that you own this website. Like traditional real estate, nobody can take it away from you.
But instead of having to fork over tens of thousands of dollars for a down payment, each of these “Digital Rental Properties” can be built for less than $100 (even if you outsource EVERYTHING, it can be done for like $300).
So your startup costs are low, meaning you can SCALE UP FAST!
How long would it take you to buy 100 houses?
10, 20, even 50 years?
Well, you can build 10 Digital Rental Properties in A SINGLE WEEK!
Imagine starting the week with zero dollars in passive, recurring income, and ending it with a potential $20k a month.
That’s the power of Digital Real Estate.
And you’ve got way more control than traditional real estate…
If one of your “Digital Tenants” stops paying or leaves, there’s no squatter rights or evictions.
Because YOU’RE in control!
You own this site:
And more important, you own this phone number:
When customers call that number, the call gets forwarded to your tenant.
But if they stop paying, you can cut them off in two clicks.
And find another business owner to pay you the same (or even more money) in less than an hour.
No damage, no showings, no rental applications, no lawyers, no renovations.
It’s just a few clicks, a couple phone calls, and the money never stops coming in.
How I Landed My First $1,500 per Month Digital Real Estate Tenant:
Me? Making money on the internet? LOL! I didn’t even have a Facebook account!
I simply followed the training of Josh & Sean’s Digital Landlords Program to the very last detail…
And I built this clean website right here:
Doesn’t necessarily look like the prettiest site in the world, but it sure does make my bank account look prettier 🙂
You could be 9, you could be 69, no matter how internet illiterate you might be, we have people at all levels succeeding. In fact, we have one older couple in our group that retired in style, earning more income than their day jobs ever brought in combined!
If they can do it, why can’t you? Anyway back to my Concrete Site…
(please do not call that number though & bug my client)
It didn’t take long to build.
Maybe 1 hour to build, I actually just copied the layout an existing site I found on the internet. The ad campaign probably took 2 hours to throw together.
The crazy part?
I haven’t touched this site since I made it and it’s still been dropping a cool $1,500 into my bank account every month.
Every phone call is tracked. I can listen in on them if I want to!
I also send my client a report of just how many calls I’ve sent him.
That way he knows how much he’s making from the leads I’m sending.
Why’s that important?
Easy, if they can see that my leads are directly leading to an extra 10-20k in monthly revenue for them, they’ve got no problem paying. I do what I’m good at, they do what they’re good at.
The key here is to not expect one client to make you a millionaire.
What you wanna do is take a small sliver from every niche (or city) you can.
Could you imagine how much you’d be bringing in if you got 100 clients?
Why would your clients leave? You keep bringing high quality jobs to them each month. Some pay a flat rate, others per lead, and some of the high ticket service guys will even give you a percentage!
Imagine having a % deal worked out with a commercial roofer that does million dollar roofs…
One of the roofing guys I work with gives me 30% of every job (I pay the ad spend). That client alone could make you a 6-figure earner overnight!
Look, I’ve tried all of the major “make money online” style business models out there. I actually made money with some of them.
But with every single one of them, I ran into the same issue:
I was spending too much time, and not making enough money.
In other words, I had just created another self-created job.
But that’s not why I was doing this.
I was in this for freedom, unlimited income, and the power to call my own shots 24/7.
And none of these other businesses gave me all that.
The only one that did?
Digital Real Estate!
The ability to achieve financial freedom by becoming a Digital Landlord is… insane.
Lawyers & Doctors have to go hundreds of thousands of dollars into debt to even HOPE to make the type of money you can make with this business.
But to be honest, I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for mentorship.
The idea of being “self made” is kinda BS to be honest.
Everyone that’s built true generational wealth, or achieved serious financial freedom, has had a mentor at various stages of their development.
Another thing you’ll notice is that millionaires tend to hang around together. That’s one of the best parts – being around a community of people doing the same stuff.
My mentors even go live in their private Facebook group every month!
I wasn’t born an entrepreneur. So I definitely owe the success to my mentors. They opened the door, I just walked through it.
Finding the right business model was important too.
Just like a driver and his car, the car is 90% of the race. Likewise, my success is thanks to the vehicle (digital real estate).