Carrot is a groundbreaking website that real estate investors and agents can use to automate sellers and buyers on autopilot. Its founder, Trevor Mauch, has been an industry leader for over 10 years. Trevor combines his years of experience in real estate and marketing to create this incredibly useful tool for real estate investors to find the most motivated leads online. In this conversation, he shares his journey with Julie and shares some tips on building a successful business while balancing it with a healthy personal and family life. Tune in for some great insights!
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Automate Sellers & Buyers On Autopilot With Trevor Mauch
I am excited. I am with someone that has been one of our industry leaders since I have been in this industry for many years. I’m excited to introduce Trevor Mauch from Carrot. I’m excited to have you. Welcome.
I’m pumped to be on here. It’s funny. I was thinking about Bob and Ed when I realized that I was going to be on the show. I haven’t seen those guys in years. I’m pumped to hopefully connect with them again. Those guys are some of the people I respect the most. They are amazing people, entrepreneurs, real estate investors, and great marketers. Everybody plugged in here with Julie. Julie is amazing in her own right. You guys are following the right people and continue to do so. I’m blessed to be on this show with you.
It’s our pleasure. You are too kind. Why don’t you tell our audience a little bit about yourself? What’s your background? How did you end up the Owner of Carrot? Give us the five second recap.
High level, for those of you guys who don’t know me yet, I’m an entrepreneur. I have been an entrepreneur for pretty much my whole adult life. I started buying real estate when I was in college. I had no clue what I was doing. My dad saw the whole Carleton Sheets infomercial on TV. I remember him saying, “I will get this thing for you. You don’t have to pay me for the course of the $500 if you buy a property using it within the next year. If you don’t use it to get a property, you got to pay me the $500.” I was nervous about buying a property, no money down, a four-unit apartment complex, literally TV infomercial stuff.
When I was in college, I didn’t have any money and credit. He literally put me up as a testimonial from that. It’s true. It works. In doing that, it got me latched into real estate. I also realized I didn’t want to do real estate on the daily basis for me. I knew real estate was always going to be a part of what I do but I thought, “It’s probably going to be more for wealth building. What am I going to do on a daily basis that fuels my fire, that gives me energy that I can contribute to the world?” I remember it was probably 2007 or so. I started to discover marketing. I started to dive into all the old-school marketers.
That’s where I met Bob in those years, probably in 2008 or 2009. Marketing can open up a whole new world. When you learn how to be a marketer, that’s the key to building almost any income you want to build in any industry. I was noticing myself doing this. I see it all the time. Many people focus on building the craft of that one industry, learning how to do a wholesale deal or how to buy a rental property. If you learn how to market and be an amazing marketer, it’s going to unlock everything for you. I will fast forward through the next decade now. We can dive into as much that as you want to.When you learn how to be a marketer, that's the key to building almost any income you want to build in any industry. Click To Tweet
I went through a few businesses that worked and some that failed. I built a business in 2008 through ‘12 that honestly sucked the life out of me. I made good money. I was making six figures a year as a twenty-something-year-old guy. Everybody looked at me from the outside and go, “He’s got it made.” Honestly, I wasn’t enjoying myself. I wasn’t having fun. I wasn’t fulfilled. My energy at the end of every week going, “I did a lot of work this week but I feel drained. I don’t want to do it again.” At that point, I had big crossroads. We can talk about what crossroads that was for me.
It could have gone 1 or 2 ways. I was going, “Should I get a job and go back? Maybe this entrepreneur’s dream isn’t real. Maybe it’s the grind mode all the time, and I don’t want to do that or maybe I’m doing it wrong.” I chose the latter. I said, “If I could find someone out there who seems like they are doing it right, who’s doing work that energizes them, that’s building something special, that’s creating value, and making a lot of money, maybe I can follow what they are doing and model them and build a business that fuels me and fuels my passion, makes great money.” That’s what became Carrot. We are an 8-figure-a-year business, 65 employees, profitable. I never wanted to have employees in my life, and here I am with 65 employees.
I couldn’t picture it any other way. We help real estate investors primarily and real estate agents, especially flippers, and wholesalers, find the most motivated leads online, the off-market properties, off-market sellers who are going to the internet and typing up phrases like, “Sell my house fast in Tacoma. Cash home buyers in this market.” Where Zillow owns retail buyer searches online.
If you search like, “Homes for sale in Portland, Oregon,” it’s going to be Zillow and Realtor.com dominate in Google and every city in the market. If you type something like, “Sell my house fast, insert Portland, Oregon,” you are going to find Carrot clients, overwhelmingly dominating Google in every city in America and up into Canada as well.
That’s pretty incredible. When you started Carrot, you were married. How long have you been married? Has your wife been a part of this whole entrepreneurial road? I want to know this. Did she come in when you started, Carrot? I would love to hear that side. How did you manage the balance between having such success in growing such a successful company while being married and having children?
I’m married. She’s my high school sweetheart. We have been married for several years. She was there all the way through the whole thing and still is. She’s amazing. She’s the true superhero here. I’ve got three young kids. We started at the end of 2013 and the start of 2014. Two of my kids have been here the whole time. As I was birthing a company, we also were having kids at the same time. It challenging year and a lot of challenges. I can dive into tons of them here. The biggest thing that helped us as a couple but also enabled me to have better balance is the first thing I created a business this time around with care, and my other businesses are based on what I call evergreen marketing.
This is what we do with our clients too. My previous businesses were based on Hampshire Oil marketing. I have a business goal. I’m going to get some revenue, whether it’s a real estate business or whether it’s an information business or whether it’s whatever. You look at it and go the way that I get revenue or clients is I’ve got to do marketing. I’ve got to put marketing out into the world, and then there’s going to be a bunch of leads coming in, phone calls or whatever it is. I’m going to field those. I’ve got to do more marketing again, a direct mail drop or cold calling to have those leads coming in.
If I stop doing that marketing, let’s say I want to go on vacation or there’s something happens where that direct mail drop doesn’t go out, it stops working or it gets saturated in a market like happens so often, all of a sudden you start to have your income go down. You are on what I call a boom-and-bust business cycle. That’s stressful.
When you are on boom and bust, at the end of the years 2008, ‘09, ‘10, ‘11, and ‘12, we made great money. You look at our tax statement, and you go, “They made some good money,” but every single month, I was stressed out because I didn’t know where my leads were going to come from the next month. It wasn’t predictable, consistent, and building momentum.
It was just doing marketing to stay at the status quo and maybe grow a little bit. One month we would do $100,000 in revenue. The next month we would do $400,000, and we would have to split the profits between business partners. During that phase, I was looking at it. That’s when we had our first child in 2010 before we started Carrot. Vividly, I remember this. I was waking up at our old house. My wife was at work. My daughter was at the babysitter’s. It was 10:00 or 10:30 in the morning. I’m laying there in the bedroom looking at the ceiling, feeling sorry for myself and going, “I don’t want to get out of bed and go to work today.”
Work was literally at my kitchen table. I had built the business that I thought I wanted. I wanted to be able to work wherever I wanted. I wanted to be able to work when I wanted. I wanted to be able to have the flexibility to do the type of work. I built a business that trapped me. Many of you reading can relate to that where you are like, “I’m in that now.” I thought it was going to give me freedom, flexibility, and consistency and help me fuel my passion. It’s done the opposite. It’s caged me. It’s made it to where I have less freedom now than I did before when I had a job.
A lot of us have built businesses that way. For me, it was 100% because of the way that we were doing our marketing. As I was looking at that going, “How do I change my business into something that I enjoy, something that isn’t going to completely torpedo my family and my time?” I sat down and wrote down what I call my non-negotiables. This is something I highly suggest everybody reading do.
Sit down, grab a piece of paper, and write down the things that you do not like in your business now. If you have a business or all of your past businesses, “I don’t like this. This drains my energy.” My list was probably 7 or 8 things. I looked at it and prioritized them. One of the biggest was that I don’t like that it’s inconsistent. I don’t like my income going up like this, having boom and bust.
I don’t like that I’m not having fun anymore. Business should be fun like, “How do I make it so it’s fun?” I didn’t like that I was churning transactional income and wasn’t building an asset. I wasn’t building something that if something were to happen to me, there would be an asset there for my family that could take care of them. If I ever got tired of this business, I could sell it.
All of my years of hard work would culminate into something at the end versus saying, “I’m going to stop in this business because it’s transactional.” There were a couple of other ones in there that were key. I didn’t like that the majority of my work was draining my energy. I’m going like, “It would be amazing if I did work that gave me energy that worked within my unique ability.”
Come up with your list of the things you don’t like. Oftentimes, the way that you find what you do want is to write down the list of the things you don’t want and then pick the opposite. I looked at those and go, “I want a consistent, predictable business. I want to work within my unique abilities and focus on 1 big thing, not 14 businesses. I want to have consistency and predictability. I want to have to build a business that’s an asset.”
I ended up having five non-negotiables. That’s what launched me into a better business model, starting Carrot and asking myself, “How do I build a business of consistency and predictability that’s an asset?” I looked at the business that I didn’t like and I said, “Let me look at my income and see where my income came from. What type of marketing was driving my revenue?”
There was this one-line item on there at the bottom. It was one of the least consequential line items on there for marketing. I’m like, “That revenue is still coming in today, 3, 4 years later from marketing I did four years ago. I did marketing 1 time, and revenue was coming in for 4 years. What if I did that? What if that’s all that I did and built my next business off of that?” That’s what I now call evergreen marketing. That’s how we built Carrot. That’s what we help our clients do now.
Did you have any fear when you jumped to go in this direction?
A hundred percent. The way that I started to look at risk and fear, most people, when they look at risk or fear, they fear, “What’s going to happen if I do this thing?” This is probably 2009, 2010 or so. I started to think about fear and risk differently. I started what I call flip the risk profile. Rather than asking, “What will happen if I do this thing and am fearful of change?” I said, “What will 100% guarantee happen if I don’t do this thing?”Rather than asking what will happen if you do this thing and be fearful of that of change, ask what will 100% happen if you don't do this thing. Click To Tweet
What will your life be like in a year or five years if you don’t make a change? You are guaranteed that scenario. You have to ask yourself, “Am I okay with that?” As I was looking at that scenario, I was like, “I’m way more scared of that scenario of my life being the way that it currently is and not changing because I’m not enjoying it.” I’m scared of that. That fear trumped the fear of change in trying something new.
Before we close, I got to ask, and I ask this frequently but I’m always curious because it’s different. If there is anyone that has been influential or made the most impact on your life, who would that be?
I will pick two probably. One is my dad. I’m literally looking at our core values across our wall here at Carrot. The first one is to be a beacon of positivity and possibilities. It’s one that I love. My dad, even when he was going through insanely tough times as an entrepreneur himself and going out of business once and building another one that has been around for many years now, he always approached things with positivity. That struck me when I was younger. I’ve carried that with me. It’s not blind positivity. It’s not hiding from reality or hiding from the challenges.
It’s a challenge. I’m going to address it but how do I approach this challenge with joy? I get to grow through this process. He’s probably the main one. Also, he’s the hardest worker that I know sometimes that is to his detriment, too. The other person influential-wise, this is going to sound a little bit weird, probably. I’ve never met him before but this book I’ve shared with and bought for probably more people than I’ve done any books. It’s the simplest book almost no one has ever heard of this book. I love Jim Rohn. I was literally listening to Jim Rohn. There’s this book that he wrote called The Five Major Piece Pieces to the Life Puzzle.
At that time in my life, when I was going through those challenges in 2010, ’11, and ‘12, I found that book. It’s 80 or 90 pages. That cover looks like it was self-published. It’s terrible looking. That completely changed the way I looked at life. I picked that book up yearly still. Even now, as we have a much larger business and we are on the other side of that hump of what “success” may have looked like to me back then, I keep picking up that book. That has been a huge influence in my life.
We are going to have to check that out. Trevor, I want to thank you for taking the time and being on the show. It has been such an honor having you on the show.
I appreciate it big time. For slightly more context, our clients bring in about 70,000 motivated seller leads a month through the internet. We help you guys find those off-market properties as you are going into a market shift. There are more challenges that are happening with sellers. The sellers are going to be going to the internet in droves. That’s where that evergreen marketing is. More people are going on a quarterly basis to the internet to solve their problems.
They happen to be the most motivated people because they are actively seeking out a solution. They are landing on your website if it’s set up correctly through our system, through Carrot, and you are pre-framing them to work with you. A couple hundred million dollars a year in deals come through our system from that method. We would love to be able to help you guys get off that marketing hamster wheel yourself.
That’s UnderGroundWealthSecrets.com/carrot. Trevor, thank you so much. It has been such an honor having you on our show.
I appreciate it, Julie. Thank you.
You have a good day.
You, too. Thanks.