Today I'm going to show you the 5 steps to build the Rank & Rent business, the same steps that have allowed me to create a $52K per month in passive income.
So much easier than e-commerce, affiliate marketing & other things I tried online.
Each site makes me $500 to $2000 per month but creating sites that rank in local search was the magic key, so scalable & repeatable.
Let's get into it.
Why Do Rank & Rent
Client retention is one of the biggest issue with doing SEO, and it really sucks to lose that monthly payment from the client when you spent all this time to finally get their site to page 1.
Rank & Rent solves this problem.
Why risk all of your time ranking other people's sites? When you can rank your own sites and simply rent it out to a client, so that they have to pay you monthly like a tenant and if they don't. You can kick them out and replace them with another local business.
As long as you own the digital property (Website ranking high in Google plus highly ranked GMB) then you will always be able to collect monthly payments on it.
Above is an example of one of my rank & rent properties, we also call them our lead generation sites, which is essentially what these sites do.
My client is "renting" out what this site produces, which are the phone calls it generates.
We use tracking phone system to keep track of every lead we generate.
I own the domain & hosting, my client simply gets the phone calls (leads) forwarded to them. (above shows our internal system that records & keeps track of every call)
Results for this site: https://www.grandrapidstree.com/
Generates around 300 calls per month
My client pays me $2000 per month to continue to receive those calls. (Like a tenant that's paying monthly rent)
My client is happy to pay that because 300 calls are turning into far more revenue for them. (an average tree removal job can go anywhere from $5000 to $10,000)
The coolest part though is that the same client has been paying me $2000 since 2015. (to "rent" out this lead-gen site)
I've hardly ever touched this site since then.
To this day, I've not had a SEO client stick around that long, because when you don't own these digital properties, there is no hook keeping that client to stick with you long-term. Once they get the rankings, they begin thinking, why should we keep paying?
I will never do SEO for someone else's site ever again. At this point in my career, its just a waste of time.
I want to own every site that I rank in Google, and simply rent out the results.
The key to passive income is owning income producing assets.
When you own these sites, the client's have no choice but to keep paying you monthly because they know that if they don't, I can easily start sending the leads to their competitor.
What's cool is you can keep building more of these properties, this is my limo site that's been paying me since 2015 as well.
So get this.
Imagine what happens when you own 30 of these properties. (I own about 80 today in 2020)
Now you're talking about reaching high six figure to 7 figure income on the internet that's mostly passive.
I've tried affiliate marketing, Amazon FBA, dropshipping, FB Ads... you name it.
I've made money in all of them.
I'm telling you right now. Nothing has beat the income of what these Rank & Rent properties have produced over the long-term.
I'm here to explain how this business model work, the step-by-step process & how you can become a pro at this and start your own digital real estate empire.
Step 1: Finding a Niche
"The Riches Are in the Niches"
I've been doing this rank & rent business since 2014, here's the top guideline on finding the right niche.
First the Niche consists of "Phone Driven" businesses plus a city.
Phone driven businesses are any type of service based business where the client goes to the customer location to do the work, such as your plumbers, roofers, electricians, handyman, etc)
We create a huge list of rank & rent or lead generation niches that our students are commonly getting into.
Once you pick a niche, pick a city.
You should also target city sizes that are at least 75,000 to 250,000.
Any city size below 75,000 may be too small to produce any substantial amount of leads, and any city size above 250,000 might become too competitive for you as a beginner.
It's better to rack up quick wins when you're first starting off so that you can build to at least around $5K per month in residual income, before you begin investing the money & time necessary to compete in bigger markets.
What I like to use is this list by Wikipedia that ranks city size by population.
So then you just begin doing Google searches picking a niche & city such as:
- plumbers columbus oh
- tree service ann arbor mi
- limo service grand rapids mi
- electrician albuquerque nm
Here's what you're looking for:
You want to see top 3 map pack with some weakness, I like to see 2 listing with 15 reviews or less.
Avoid markets like these, where the top 3 map pack is filled with listings with huge amounts of reviews.
I use Ahrefs toolbar to find out how powerful the sites are on page 1.
Because Map Listing is just 1 part of the equation, if you want a high-ranked map listing, you also need a powerful site that ranks on page 1 attached to that map listing.
What determines a powerful site? Backlinks... which are the amount of quality sites that's linking to your site.
This is what I look for...
RD stands for Referring Domains, aka the amount of other sites that's pointing a link to the site.
37 RD and 26 RD is very much doable to out do in about 3-6 months.
Anything above 50 RD and things are starting to get pretty competitive.
With the rank & rent model, I'd rather knock out 3rd grader than get into a bloody fist match with a heavy weight champ.
Here's what I DON'T want to see:
First page filled with local company sites that have over 50 RD... excluding sites like homeadvisor, angieslist, yellowpages.
Common Question: What if the search volume shows up as zero (according to Google Keyword planner) for a local search?
Estimated monthly search volume for local keyword is not accurate.
I have proven this to myself over and over again.
Just because Google Keyword Planner shows zero search volume for "service + city" type of keywords doesn't mean there's no search happening.
Remember, if I lived in Novi, MI all I have to type is "tree service" on my phone and Google automatically knows I'm searching from Novi, so not everyone is going to be typing the city after the service.
Also just remember that as long as you see business map listings in the area, 10 or more, that is all the evidence you need that there's customers needing service everyday to keep all those companies in business.
With local seo, I would not pay that much attention to estimated search volumes, because in my experience, even if it shows a number, its very inaccurate.
Step 2: Building the Asset (The Website & GMB)
Most people use wordpress to build their websites, and I've got plenty of those, but they do require a lot more time to design properly.
If you're a beginner starting off, I recommend using Weebly.
Here's my Weebly tree service lead gen site: https://www.grandrapidstree.com/
Here's some key points about these lead generation sites:
- At least around 1000 words on the homepage (This content should have all the keywords related to your niche sprinkled into the article, but you should never keyword stuff the content)
- Tracking phone number at the top left of the site
- Email quote form near the top of the site
I'll also show you what my wordpress site looks like: https://www.baycityasphalt.com/
With wordpress, you really need some skills in web design, there are themes you can use to make it easier such as Divi or Thrive Themes which allows you to do some drag & drop different theme elements, no need for coding, however compared to weebly, these themes are still quite bit more time consuming to construct.
In conclusion, if you're a beginner, I recommend using Weebly, there's plenty of free guides on Youtube
Creating your Google Map Listing
Go to: https://www.google.com/business/
Its a very simple step by step process to create the map listing, check out this video:
Now here's the thing about Google Map Listing.
You need an address where you can receive the verification letter from Google.
For your first few Rank & Rent properties, you can use your home address or use friends & family.
But what do you do when you want to create properties in cities where you don't know anyone?
UPS mailboxes no longer work very well anymore in 2020.
You can try using Craiglist and have other people receive the letter for you and pay them like $50. (I've done plenty of these)
In our lead generation coaching program, we have created a whole new system & network of people that can create these map listings for us and our students. This has made this business model 10x easier for us, because I have to admit out of all the steps in this business, getting the map listing is a pain in the butt sometimes.
That's the power of having a network though. We have over 5000 students doing the rank & rent model so there's a lot of crowd sourcing things we can do within our private group.
In addition to the community advantage, long time student Patric, in addition his 7 Figure agency, developed a CRM specifically for our local lead generation model.
It includes an absolutely sick heat map tool that enables you to track and visually display your google my business listing's rankings across town.
Learn more about his local rank tracking tool here.
Step 3: Optimizing the Asset (SEO, Citations, etc)
Now that you have your property built, you have to rank it. &
Most people immediately think backlinks, but remember, when it comes to Rank & Bank, there are other ranking factors.
Don't get it twisted, backlinks are still majorly important.
The more quality backlinks you have to your site = more votes in the eyes of Google and this is a popuarlity contest.
Not all links were created equal.
Think of high school... if you got a vote from the most popular kid in school, that 1 vote will mean whole lot more than a vote from 10 kids that no one really knows.
Creating Backlinks To Your Site
Use Guest Post Links
- This is decent way to get quality backlinks
- Make sure that the website & article is relevant to your niche (You can check out this guide by Backlinko)
Do NOT use Fiverr or Other Low Quality Backlinks
- This is a common mistake by newbies. You have to be aware that not all backlinks are helpful, you can get 100's of backlinks for cheap from places like Fiverr, but the problem is these types of spammy links will hurt your site.
- You have to focus on quality which means that the domain has decently high DR (Above 20 on ahrefs) and the site title or article title has to have some relevance to your niche (If you're ranking a tree service site you do not want a link from a cat food article, there's absolutely no relevance)
Forum & Blog Commenting Links
- This may not be the most powerful links you can get for your site but creating variety in the types of links you have on your site is important. You will most defintely get some boost especially if your forum & blog comment links have some type of relevance in the backlink structure (keyword in the domain or site title)
- Just google for your Niche + words like "Forum" or "Blog" and create profiles on these sites and start linking back to yours, it is advisable to first provide value by giving props to whichever site your commenting on. Sometimes if its a forum, you may have to build up your profile first by commenting a few times in the community.
- This is probably one of the more powerful backlinks you can build to your property, you go to sites like Register Compass and search for expiring domains that's already got some power behind it, you buy these sites in the auction, then you can now repurpose those sites for your own backlinks.
- This is considered more grey hat but in local because you only need few of these types of links, you are safe if you do things correctly.
- Make sure that the domain doesn't have any spammy backlinks to it, but rather it's got some niche relevant pointing to the domain
- I like to target PBN's with at least DR 20 (on Ahrefs)
- Make sure that if you get 10 PBN's and you want to point them to the same money site that they are all hosted under different hosting companies (same hosting company = same IP = digital footprint, that Google might catch on to)
In our coaching program we have a system where our team gets the proper PBN's for our students to get backlinks from and...
We also leverage the power of our group to create "link circles" which is if you have a plumbing site, you post it in our private FB group and you can form a group with 5 other students with their own plumbing sites and get links from them.
This allows us to get a highly relevant links because now you're getting a backlink from a site that is in the exact same niche as you.
Step 4: Prospecting for the Tenant (Sending Free Leads)
Once you rank your property you will begin getting phone calls. We are using a call tracking software that allows us to forward calls, get email & text notifications, record calls & auto bill calls if you're doing pay per lead.
It has a lot more features that's designed for this rank & rent model than other call tracking softwares like CallRail.
What you wanna do now is begin forwarding these calls to local businesses for FREE.
Because that's how you establish trust with a business owner, by giving them free leads and having them close some of those jobs, they know you're the real deal.
We call this method "Results in Advance" see video below for more info:
When you do this, you don't need sales skills to get business owners to rent out your lead generation properties.
In fact, once they start getting leads from you, they don't wanna lose you to their competitor, they will do whatever they can to stick with you for life.
Because we own the properties, we have the control. They can't fire us, or decide not to pay because we can easily send the leads to their competitor. This gives you the advantage in the business relationship.
This is the golden hand-cuffs that will ensure you keep getting paid month after month on your ranked & rented lead-gen properties.
Step 5: Scaling the Process
This is after you have 5 to 10 properties rented out already.
And they're each making you $750 to $2000 per month.
You got solid cash flow coming in now.
It's time to scale.
Few Things I learned about Scaling the Rank & Rent Business
- Hire VA's (I like to hire VA's from onlinejobs.ph)
- Use Time Doctor to record the time your VA's work, this makes making payments to them easier & accurate. This software takes screenshots every 4 seconds of their work and stops recording time when they stop moving the mouse / keyboard
- Use Stripe or Ontraport to take care of payments from clients
- Create an automated prospecting strategy, I like having a VA scrape emails from different markets and emailing blast a screencast sales pitch videos to them everyday (the more people you tell about your service, the more money you will make in the longrun, this is seperate ways to get clients rather than waiting for your own properties to rank)
- Set a goal on creating a certain amount of new properties every month, so that way you constantly have new properties that are climbing up the Google's ranking
One of the ways in which our coaching program really shines is that we have a whole section of 25+ successful students that have figured out their own systems of scaling their biz past 6 figure mark and we go much more in-depth into how to create & implement these systems.
Because we've been coaching students since 2014, we have a lot of data on what to do and what NOT to do.
Each student has their own style & unique method of scaling.
Some students used Facebook ads & Facebook groups to acquire new clients & scale faster.
I took a different approach of mass producing properties.
Whatever method you decide to use, its important to get a system in place and stick to it consistently.
Once you built and ranked enough properties, then it just becomes a numbers game of getting more out there and you can mathmatically predict how long it'll take to grow your income to your goals.
Today I have over 80 properties ranking & making me money everyday.
1. Is rank and rent legal?
Rank and rent is a legal online business. For a more detailed explanation, read my article, Is Rank and Rent legal?
2. Can this business be built outside of US?
A: Absolutely, we have students all across the world building this business. As long as you have a laptop and internet connection you can be anywhere in the world and get clients in your country or get US clients. We know how to guide foreign students through this. In fact, some students are finding out that there's some countries out there with much less competition.
3. What if the business owner already has his own website?
A: Doesn't matter, most of my clients do have their own website but they're treating my lead gen site as a seperate marketing channel similar to owning another billboard property, they're essentially treating it as if they own two seperate companies in the same town, just like how Starbucks will have multiple storefronts in the same city. (More properties = more leads)
4. What is the cost of running these sites?
A: The great thing about this business is that the cost is so minimal and the return (revenue) is so great. We're talking about $15 per year for domain, and $12 per month for hosting, but these sites are making you $750 to $2000 per month. Sure there's some additional one time cost to rank these properties but that's something that's very flexible to manage. If you got more budget you can rank faster, if you got less budget you have to go slower. But once you rank 1 site, you have so much more cash flow now that you can deploy in ranking more properties faster. After few sites making you money every month, cost is something that I stopped worrying about.
5. Is this really the best business model?
A: I believe it is, just look at this quick infographic I made explaining what all the main things I love about Rank & Rent or we like to call it the lead generation business.
What Do I Get in the Rank & Rent Coaching Program?
Sure you can research all you want including using this guide to start your own rank & rent business, so why other reasons are there for you to invest in the coaching program?
Here's a quick run down of things that's only available to our students that I'm still benefiting from ever since I joined back in 2014. Making this investment worth its weight in Gold many times over.
1. Video Training - It's one thing to read about this business model and a whole another thing to watch 30 hours of video, that allows you to simply follow along the entire business step-by-step. We've been improving and updating this training since 2014. Everything is covered & more.
2. Private FB Group - We have over 5000 students inside our private Facebook group with daily testimonials for continued motivation & ability to connect & learn from other students that's much further along in this business. Also we are educating each other on the newest techniques & changes that occur in Google's search.
3. Full Time Support - On top of the coaches that's constantly available in the group, we also have dedicated full time support (former students) 7 days per week.
4. Lots of Experience - We have been coaching students since 2014, which means experience is on our side. We have so much data on what works and what doesn't in the Rank & Rent model plus you can use the search bar in our FB group to find answers to questions you may have that most likely have already been addressed. This leads to faster learning curve.
5. 2x Weekly Coaching Calls - We also have the coach Dan that's also very activate in the Facebook and he also does live coaching call twice per week, where you can ask questions to him directly, live. Dan's also an excellent motivator and has a great mind for entrepreneurship, I continue to learn a lot from him. We also continually innovate new ways to monetize this business such as creating a backend promotional products business with our clients.
6. Outsource Services Available - We have "done for you" services that can build out entire lead-gen websites & rank them for you, basically you can outsource every step of this entire business to us if you want.
7. Leverage Power of the Group for Backlinks - We have a powerful network that allows us to get backlinks you can't find anywhere else that gives us a massive boost in the search engines
8. Live Events - We have mastermind events where you can form lasting relationships and business partnerships with other students in the program (including regional events throughout the country and one big event we do every year in Vegas), I've achieved many breakthroughs in my business by attending these events & forming new connections.
Yes I am intereted in getting coaching for the Rank & Rent Business
We've been coaching students in this model since 2014, our group is more active than ever today in 2020, we didn't get here by accident, its because what we teach works.
Sure you can try to do this all on your own but to really ensure that you succeed, I believe having a mentor & surrounding yourself in a community of entrepreneurs that can help you along the way is a massive advantage.
On this page, you can see brand new FB testimonials from our students that we're updating few times per week.
No one has been teaching this business model longer than us.
Hi and thanks for this! I notice you mention citations in your Step 3 subheading, but don't touch on it in the content section. If we are buying GMB addresses from people e.g. via a FB group, Craigslist, etc.—are we then also building citations to these addresses? Seems kinda funny to be building citations to like someone's apartment or something! 😅
Hi Drew-no you’re right. The address you use to create your GMB profile is the same one you use for your citations. Google does give you the option to hide the address on your GMB listing, so it doesn’t need to be public, but the citations need to be consistent. In my years of lead generation, I have never had any of my contacts receive mail or calls because I used their address in my citations. Our training program covers citations at length, so if you’re still not sure, you can always jump on a call with one of our coaches to ask any questions or get more information with this link: https://ippei.com/best/ I hope this helps, and all the best in your lead generation journey.
Awesome information, thanks for the writeup. For the ahrefs toolbar, I installed it from the chrome extensions but it doesn show that data. I assume you need a subscription package? Looking at their plans, its not exactly obvious which plan is needed for that toolbar to work.
Hey Chris! Thanks for taking the time to read and comment on my article, and glad to hear you enjoyed the post. ahrefs does require a basic subscription to access the toolbar but if you’re just starting out, their LITE plan is more than sufficient. Hope that helps! Enjoy your day.
Google now has a continuous scroll. Does that change anything?
No, just keep working on ranking your sites making sure the content is useful to the user.
Thanks for the amazing content. Felt so tempted to start the rank and rent site.
Hey Kakyn we would love to have you! If you have questions or want more information you can schedule a call with this link: https://ippei.com/best. No pressure or hard sales tactics-just a chance to ask questions and fill in any blanks you might have about the program or the methodology itself. Look forward to connecting.
I'm bout to start up my own rank and rent websites, but I have a serious question for you. How did you got about setting up your business? Like the legal task such as registering business with the government, state and federal tax requirements?
Great question! You have to look into what the requirements are for setting up a business depending on what state you live in. Each state has their own way of doing things so you really have to check out the requirements are.
Hi Ippei, this was a great informative article. Quick questions, what web building platform do you use for building these local rank and rent websites? Also, I am not very good in creating websites and writing content, do you recommend I use a web design agency to build my website?
I will appreciate you’re response 🙂
Amer, we have a purpose-built platform for our students to build and host sites. It’s easy to use and scale, regardless of experience or tech know-how. We’ve also added some secret sauce to the platform which speeds up the ranking process too. We don’t recommend hiring a web agency (too expensive) but many of our students do take advantage of our ‘Done For You’ lead gen site packages that allow them to focus on making money fast.
Great write up and read through, I loved it and quite interested. Based on what I read I have two questions though.
(1) If a person makes 5-10 niche sites like you suggested for one localundefinedcityundefinedtown should they use only one address or get one different address in that city for each site?
(2) Should a person post blog articles like regularly on a niche site (eg to help in ranking)? [I might have missed it while reading]. Your own sites in this article didn't seem to have any regular blog articles
1. you can have 2-3 businesses in 1 address
2. no need for regular blog posts for local lead gen
Nice work! This was very helpful and I love how well presented it is. Keep it up! 🙂
Great write up, population size is often overlooked as many people will just chase search volume.
Hey Ippei, this was a truck load of extremely helpful information for someone like me who is looking into starting blog and ranking it on Google.
What would you say are the main disatbsntsges to ranking a blog versus ranking a local sea website in 2020?
local is much easier to do for a beginner
Good day Mr Kanehara
My name is Sipho Duma Mahlangu, I am based in South Africa, Soweto, Protea Glen, I’m 33 years old.
I was reading your blog and I am highly motivated to get funds and learn digital marketing course to get a good background.
I would appreciate your help on being my mentor as I will be new to this exciting environment that I know it will be my game and life changer.
Sipho Duma Mahlangu
Seeing as I found you via Google you must be doing something right.
This makes so much sense!
I have been trying to run a successful digital marketing agency for over two years now. As soon as you do all the hard work for clients by getting their site ranked or advertising their products/services on social media, then they drop you. And then you have to start all over again for the next client.
Rank and rent makes a lot more business sense: own the asset!
Can’t believe I didn’t figure this out for myself…
Thanks for sharing. I am definitely interested.
Super value here-thank you!
Loved how you have broken down the steps and will definitely be signing up for that coaching call to learn more about this business.