You know, with all this talk about making money online, it had me thinking – what happened to the good ol’ bartering system? There’s something about being able to trade and item or service for another; the thrill of the haggle. I started thinking recently: what if I used my existing blogging skills to get myself free rent – and what if I took it a step further to create an entire business around it!
I’ve was apartment shopping lately – spent a couple hours looking around to see what everyone had to offer. One thing I saw right away is that a lot of the bigger apartment businesses listed their vacancies online – but one thing I noticed, as well, were that few smaller ‘mom & pop’ apartments weren’t represented.
After searching a few hours, I landed on a smaller apartment that offered everything that I was looking for and had the bonus that the Realtor ran his own small business – it’s a mom and pop operation; perfect!
Never underestimate the power of your skills
We, as bloggers, take a lot for granted. When I was talking to Dino Dogan recently, he mentioned that we often assume that just because we know something that others do as well.
Think about it for a second – you understand how to setup a website/blog, write content, generate traffic and everything else that goes on behind the scenes. You know who doesn’t? A shitload of people.
Take that idea and zoom out for a second; what does every business owner want but can’t seem to get enough of? Leads! Well, more specifically, money. But leads!
By setting up small websites for business owners, you can effectively haggle with them – you have the leverage because you have the skills. Don’t worry if you don’t understand every aspect of their business because all you need to do is show results – and this is easy because you’ve done it time and time again. See what I’m saying?
Get Free Rent, Create a Business and More
Preword: Much of the post will be from my perspective as I did my research and development – just replace I with you and you’re good to go!
After doing a bit of additional research, I found that nearly 90% of all listings on Craigslist within local apartment searches were for companies that operate apartments across the state. The mom and pop joints weren’t being represented (as I’ve said) and that if someone were to just offer the same service to them, it could greatly benefit both parties – that person, is me. That person, could be you.
The idea, in theory, is to create a small niche website within the town to showcase apartments, drive leads to the business and for each tenant that signs up through my referral – it will drive down my overall cost of my rent – maybe even earn me money once I go past it!
Additionally, as you’ve heard me mention before about repurposing content – after I get done filling up the apartment complex, I can take the website (which I’m going to tell you about) and start doing the same for other apartments in my area – I could charge for leads! How’s that for thinking outside the box, eh?
Allow me to explain this the best that I can (feel free to replicate this as well in your area).
Step 1: Create a niche website around my [town] + [apartments]
The location of my apartment is within Leesburg, FL. It’s a quite little town and is only about five minutes from my friends and 15 from my work. Businesses in my area generally don’t have websites and if they do; they look dog-awful and aren’t very effective.
The plan is to first buy up the domain LeesburgApartments.com or something akin to it (.net, .biz, etc).
Besides the general keywords which I’ll be focusing on – through research – I’m going to be using the Estate Theme by Elegant Themes – I already have a subscription there and have used a few of the themes on other sites of mine.
(Btw, I would highly recommend Elegant Themes for niche blogs – the themes are great, there’s a ton of them, I haven’t been let down yet – if you buy through my affiliate link, I’ll love you log time).
Once the site is up and running, I’ll create content and build backlinks like you would any other site; a bit slow at first but then step it up and dominate the competition – which, btw, is going to be a breeze since other sites aren’t very optimized and barely have backlinks.
Step 2: Establish the site first and then levarge the hell out of it
I like to have swagger; I like to go into situations where I know I have the upper-hand – not in a dickish way but because I like to have proof of my work before trying to pitch an idea to someone.
Once I’ve established the website, I’m going to present it to the owner of the apartment complex and tell them my plan: essentially it will be that for every one person that begins renting, I get $100 – $200 knocked off my lease.
I know what you’re thinking – how in the hell would they agree upon that! Well, let’s think about this for a second:
- If (1) rental = $700 a month, than that means within a 1 year lease they will be paying $7000.
As a business owner, would you trade $200 a month to have someone pay $700? That’s a $500 profit you didn’t have before – of course you would! You’d be stupid not to.
- If I step it up to 5 new rentals – I’d be earning them $35,000 a year which they didn’t have before.
Would you trade $700 a month for $3,500? You bet your ass you would. And that’s the idea.
Additionally, once I effectively hit my target of free rent – I could leverage my skills to continue filling up the apartment complex which, if we work out a great deal, would effectively pay me!
Step 3: Make once; use over and over again
Let’s say that I fill up the entire apartment complex – that’s good and all but what happens with the website? There wouldn’t be a purpose for it because there would be no reason to send any more leads to the business.
Ah, but wait, let’s get crafty here.
Doing a quick search, I notice at least 20 other apartments areas within the general area within Leesburg. Taking a look, I see that many of them are mom & pop (one of them owned by my friends’ parents as well – I love networking).
So, you then contacting these businesses and ask if they’d like to set up a similar deal. Because you can show that you’ve used the site to drive leads to the previous business, you can easily snatch a new client – social proof baby!
Now you’ve become the authority in driving leads to apartments in your area. If you’ve set up a deal where you get paid for the referrals (which most apartment places do) – than you’ve just created an amazing business for yourself.
Taking the ‘online landlord’ idea a step further
I was talking about just ONE town in my area – there are five others surrounding it. Go 20 minutes in any direction and now you’re talking about dozens more. You see where I’m going with this?
Create niche websites specific to your town; then rent them to local businesses or use them to drive leads in exchange for a commission.
Sounds a lot like affiliate marketing doesn’t it? You know why it’s better? Because these are real businesses that people NEED – not some ebook that someone would LIKE to buy.
If someone needed a plumber and went online, you bet your ass that they’d be in a buying-mode; especially if their toilet is spewing shit all over the place.
Start looking around your own area and think: [town] + [business]
Just looking at my area; I could do (for example):
- etc, etc, etc
It’s not a new concept but it’s a niche opportunity that I think a lot of people are missing out on. The best part? There are thousands upon thousands of small businesses in the country and there are thousands of towns & cities.
Even if you only did your general area, you could create an UBER business – you’d solidify yourself as “that website guy/gal”, the “one that drives tons of leads to my business”.
One more thing: Every site that you create becomes another piece of your portfolio – it builds upon itself. You’ll get to the point where people will literally won’t stop calling because they want you to do the same for your business.
The idea is to ‘own your backyard’ - you don’t have to create sites that compete on a global competition and you don’t need to go after areas all over the world; just focusing on your area is enough to create an UBER amount of passive income.
But this isn’t about theory and bullshitting
I want you to do this right now – as your homework.
Type in: [your town] + [an 'in demand' business]
Look at the competition there – it’s probably just aggregator sites that try to cover every town in the world – they don’t have backlinks, they’re often generic, could you do better? Yes, yes you can.
You already have the skills to put together these small lead generation websites; all you need to do is take action.
Who knows? Maybe you can get your own rent for free, make a few extra bucks, haggle with other business owners for products/services.
Remember, you have the leverage here. There probably aren’t a lot of people with the same skill set in your area and if there are – than they’re not doing this type of niche.
I don’t know about you but I think this is a fuckin’ awesome idea. What do you think about this in general, is it something you’d be willing to try?