If I Started From Scratch Would I Start On Property Again?

iniartworksmallPretend On Property didn’t exist and I was starting from scratch. Would I enter the property space again or sell similar products? The answer is surprising.

Hey guys and welcome to another episode of Instructions Not Included with me, Ryan McLean, as I try and make a decent living online. Now, I am driving at the moment, heading from the Gold Coast to the Sunshine Coast, which is about a 2-hour drive.

I’m going up there to meet with and to spend some time with Ben Everingham who’s my buyer’s agent of choice that I am very closely partnered with. So we’re going to be hanging out, setting up some systems together, doing some videos for the On Property website and stuff like that. So it’s going to be a good day.

I’ve got a drive ahead of me and so I thought I would take the time to record an episode for you guys because it has been a while since I’ve given an update on what’s happening with my business and how I’m moving things forward.

First, let’s talk about On Property. So I’ve been asking myself the question, “If I was starting from scratch, would I start a property website again?” and I’ve also been asking myself the questions, “If I was a brand new start-up and I was deciding to get into the property space, what would I do to be able to generate X amount of income per year?” and I changed the figure based on how I’m feeling or the answer that I want to get.

So I say, if I am starting a brand new start-up today, pretend that On Property doesn’t exist and I want to earn $100,000 a year from this business – that’s the goal of the start-up. What would I do to generate that? Would I go down the path of property tools in which I’m selling low-cost software for property investors? Would I go down the path of selling educational courses? Would I go down the path of being a lead generation tool for people like Ben the buyer’s agent and potentially other people as well? Or would I go down the path of selling my own courses and things like that? I mean, would I go down the path of my membership site where I am showing people properties and things like that?

They’re like the 4 kind of options that I have because it’s what I’ve done. It’s the space that I know. And also, when I look at the property field, I can’t think of anything else that I would want to do because there’s a lot money to be made as a buyer’s agent or there’s a lot of money to be made marketing new build properties because they have huge commissions for them. But in terms of marketing properties, they’re generally overpriced – the new build properties. In terms of being a buyer’s agent, that’s a lot of work that I don’t want to do.

I love creating content. I want to be an education company, not a one-on-one sort of consultancy-type model. So they’re kind of out of the question and so, it just leaves me with kind of the strategies that I’m already using. And so, I just kind of think, “Okay, well, starting from scratch, what would I do?” So, property tools would be out of the question because I looked at the data, it started about a year ago, it’s probably made me about somewhere between $6,000-$10,000 in the space of a year.

Now, that’s not too bad as a little side income, which is what property tools is. But if I was starting a start-up, would I go after that cash flow calculator sort of market? No, I wouldn’t because it’s not going to generate me enough money. I can’t market and scale that at all.

Then, I look at the courses that I created. Okay, I started creating courses about a year ago as well and they’ve made even less money. They sell for about $100 a piece and they’ve made about $3,000 or $3,000-$4,000, something like that. So they’re not really a viable option either because they just don’t sell in enough volume and I have decent volume on my website. We’re talking over 100,000 people a month come to visit my website, which is quite high for an Australian property blog.

You have to remember, Australia only has about a bit over 20 million people, compared to America which has over 300 million people. So you’re talking about a much smaller market. In terms of courses, not something I’d pursue because you really do need to sell the high value courses. You’re talking $2,500 to $6,000 courses in order to make significant money in this industry.

So that leaves me with that lead generation and it leaves me with m membership where I am finding and sharing with people positive cash flow properties. And so, I looked at the revenue for both of those and from Ben, the revenue was roughly around $40,000 in the last 12 months and from my membership site, the revenue was roughly around I think it was $60,000 to maybe $80,000.

I didn’t do hard figures in the last 2 years, so kind of about $40,000 per year each. Though, I know those figures are wrong because I didn’t make $80,000 in the last financial year. So, I don’t know what’s messed up there or what calculations I’m doing wrong, but the takeaway from it is that they’re basically even.

And I was also thinking, well, they kind of serve 2 separate audiences. So my audience in terms of On Property or the product that I sell – the membership site, is really for DIY investors. People who want to go out there, find the properties, research the areas. They want to learn how to do it themselves. And my membership site is great for that. I show them properties, but I don’t help them negotiate, I don’t make decisions for them.

I provide them with the courses that they need to learn how to do different things. I provide them with the cash flow tool as well, so they can go ahead and use that to analyze properties and things like that. So I kind of give them a kit that they need to become a DIY investor in terms of positive cash flow property. But then, Ben’s offering is very different because these are people who don’t want to be DIY. These are people who want someone to hold their hand.

They want someone to lead them, someone to help them. And so, that’s a different market segment, I guess you would say, a different type of customer. And so, it kind of works perfectly that those 2 would be aligned with each other – that I’ve got this audience of general property investors. A portion of them will want to be DIY, which will be my membership site. A portion of them will want the helping hand, which will be recommending people to Ben.

So I guess the answer that I came to when I thought about if I was to start from scratch, what strategy would I take? And it would probably the dual fold strategy in terms of marketing my membership site as well as marketing Ben’s service for people who don’t want to be DIY. So that made me think, “Okay, let’s try and re-vamp On Property.

Let’s try and again bring it back to this membership site concept.” and I was thinking, originally, “Okay, people just want the properties. Maybe I should strip the membership site away and just sell people the properties again.” which is a path that I’ve taken in the past and it kind of works.

I don’t really know, I haven’t tested it enough, but people are happy to sign up just for the properties. But then, I was talking with my wife, Kelly, about it and talking about the different products that I have, talking through all of this. And she made me realize that the properties themselves aren’t just what people need. So people want the properties, yes, that’s probably what most people are paying for. But then, people also want the calculator so that they can calculate those properties or so that they can calculate their own properties.

They also want the courses so that they can learn how to be a better and more confident investor. So, rather than seeing my membership site as all these different things, like you’ve got property listings, you’ve got tools, you’ve got courses, I see my membership site now as one complete package that helps people invest in positive cash flow properties if they want to do it themselves.

Every little bit forms an entire solution to help people find positive cash flow properties and if I only shared the properties with them and I didn’t provide the tools, then I wouldn’t be providing that complete package for people and they wouldn’t be getting everything they need in order to succeed. So it made me realize that, okay, probably not best to break it all up, but probably best to leave it as a membership website.

We also talked about subscription versus on-off payments. We were talking about the comparison between Netflix, you’re paying, in Australia, it’s like $8-$12 a month for Netflix. You’re like, “Yeah, I’m happy to pay that subscription.” Easy to sign up for that because it’s so cheap. You hardly even notice it and you can cancel any time. So when you’re making that decision, it’s not a big decision that you have to make. However, when you’re signing up for something like On Property membership and you’re talking about $300 per year, the thought that goes through people’s minds is very different to that. So they’re thinking, “This is quite a large commitment that I’m making, $300.

I need to think about whether I can afford this now as well as whether I can afford this in 12 months’ time.” So the question is, would it be better to sell it as $300 per year and just get less people, but get them as subscribers or would it be better to sell it as a one-off payment of $300 and then, they just get 12 months access. And at the end of 12 months, they’re not re-charged, but they’ll obviously have an opportunity to sign up again if they want to. And after some discussion, I’ve decided to at least test the fact that it’s just $300, it’s a one-time payment.

And I put myself in the mindset when I’m making business decisions and things like that, if I’m signing up for a subscription that’s a yearly thing, I need to think about that. I need to think about, “Will I be using this product in a year’s time?” I remember there was a product, Countdown Monkey, that was $79 per year. And when I signed up for that, I had to think, “Okay, will I be using this in 1 year’s time or not?” And then, you’ve got to schedule in time to cancel it if you want, so it is a much bigger decision.

Whereas, when there’s software that I purchased, like once I purchased the SEO Yoast Plugin for videos, right, and I think that was the same price. Like $79 or something like that and it came with 12 months of free updates and support. Then, after 12 months, you don’t get any more updates. So it’s in equivalent the same sort of thing that I’m going through and I was like, “Yup, okay. I can purchase that.

I know it’s going to be good for 12 months.” And then, the service didn’t actually end up working for me. It didn’t end up being what I needed. And so, when 12 months came around, I didn’t renew. But the decision to sign up with Yoast versus the decision to sign up with Countdown Monkey was so much easier because you’re just doing a one-off payment, there’s no commitment. And so, I’m hoping that by changing On Property from an annual subscription or a monthly subscription to a one-off payment with 12 months access, that I will gain more members.

I also wanted to change On Property from being a blog that also sell products into a product that also has a blog. So, the membership site is going to be more heavily featured. I’ve created a new sales page which will go on the homepage. And then, the blog will be kind of separate link that people need to click on.

Most people come to the individual pages through the blog, anyway, and return customers are there, but they’re not huge. And so, basically, I wanted people to think On Property – that means positive cash flow properties. So if I want to find positive cash flow properties, I go to On Property. Not, I go to On Property and it’s this property blog/video/podcast and, “Oh, look, they have products as well. Maybe I’ll check them out.”

I want it to be like, okay, this is what On Property is. All the marketing that we do is to support this and that’s to support the membership site. And then, obviously, there’s going to be huge marketing opportunities for recommending Ben through the email list, through the podcast, through the videos, through a whole different variety of sources that we’ve been talking about. It doesn’t distract away from the offering that I’m bringing because there’s so many people who aren’t interested in my offering that may be interested in getting the one-on-one help.

That’s kind of my new strategy for On Property moving forward. If I had the question in mind; Okay, if I wanted to start On Property today or start a property website today with the goal of making $100,000 per year in revenue… Then, it seems feasible now that my membership site could generate half of that. My referrals to Ben could generate the other half of that. And so, combined, they would make $100,000 together. Whereas, individually, I don’t think I could make $100,000 from either of those things. So, that’s cool. I feel like I’ve kind of got clarity on On Property again.

I’ve got some work to do to bring that to the point that I want it, but I’m very excited. And so, a takeaway for you guys with this is to really get rid of the idea of what you have now. So I’ve already built this thing, I’ve already got this traffic. For me, I’ve already got On Property that’s generating. Over 100,000 people a month are coming to that website.

That’s a pretty valuable asset, but if you just strip that all away and say, “Okay, if I was to start today, would I build the same thing or what would I build if I was to start today?” And so, I think doing the same activity for your business could be helpful for you because you can say, okay, get rid of that ‘sunk cost bias’ they call it because I’ve already sunk so much time or so much money into this, I need to keep going with it. Get rid of that and imagine yourself starting from scratch again. Starting brand new from scratch, what would I do?

That’s really helped to get me clarity and hopefully, it helps you give you clarity as well. In terms of other side projects, I was thinking of building on publicspeakingpower.com. I’ve kind of decided against that just because it’s not generating enough revenue and I don’t think it will. My niche website is doing pretty well. I think it made about $100 last month.

It’s probably on-target to make somewhere between $100 and $200 this month. So in terms of that niche website, that’s doing well. And there’s some other niche websites that I want to start as well. So rather than focusing on trying to grow Public Speaking Power into some big website, which is never going to make a lot of money, I’ll just leave it there. It makes like $50 a  month and it pays for itself, so I’ll just leave it there doing its thing and I’ll focus on On Property and I’ll focus on other niche websites that I’m starting as well.

My wife keeps encouraging me to start a review site to review all the things that I love to talk about. Things like microphones and phones and whatever it is I’m buying at the time, you know, tripods, adapters, all these sorts of things. Just a random website where I can talk about different marketing things, different software that’s just product reviews and so, I think I’m going to do that. I kind of did with pelt.co and I kind of do it with pelt.co, but Pelt is, I’ve realized, such a dumb name and it’s taken me so long to realize that.

I always knew Pelt was a dumb name, but I thought if I could make something big enough and exciting enough, then it would take on a life of its own. Just like Google has, but I think, really, at the end of the day, Pelt’s just a dumb name and I probably should’ve never created a website with that name. Oh, well, but anyway, so I’m think of starting a website. Something like Ryan’s reviews or reviewed by Ryan or something like that. There is a Youtube channel called Lachlan Likes A Thing, where this guy does really great reviews on headphones.

I’m not sure if that’s still running, but that sort of concept – that it’s just me, I like this thing. You’re coming because it’s my reviews. It’s not something that I’m going to scale into this big business like The Sweehome or The Wirecutter or something like that. It’s just me reviewing products in my own way. That’s something that’s on the cards, but I haven’t started at the moment.

That’s it for me today, guys. I think I have babbled enough and talked enough. I’ve talked about On Property and what I’m doing with that. I talked about also focusing on niche websites and really just leaving Public Speaking Power there. And I’ve also talked about creating a review site as well. And so, that’s where I’m at in my business. I’m still on the drive. I’ve just got less than 2 hours to go now because I’ve been talking to you guys for about 15 minutes. It’s going to be a good day on the Sunshine Coast.

It’s pretty sunny weather. Nice and warm up here for winter in Australia. It’s going to be a good day that I think we can create some good content with Ben and I think we’re going to strengthen our partnership and hopefully generate a lot of business as a result of this time that we’re spending together.

Hopefully, we’ll get either some coffee or some beer or both because I love coffee and I love beer. So, maybe coffee in the morning when I get there and maybe beer before I go in the arvo. Not too many because I still want to be able to drive. No drink driving, that is a terrible thing. I would never do that. So, yeah. So that’s where I’m at today. I wish you the best of luck in your business and until next time, if you want instructions, go and buy some furniture.

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