My next guest has sold everything from gym memberships to retirement plans, and enjoyed every aspect, except prospecting. In real estate, they saw the outdated tactics such as cold calling and paid advertising, and how ineffective and time-consuming they were. However, my new guest and his partner turned to YouTube to do something different. It gave them everything they needed — exposure, opportunity, and clients who would benefit most from their service.
Welcome to the Author Hour podcast. I’m your host, Hussein Al-Baiaty, and I’m joined by author, Levi Lascsak, who’s here to talk about his newest book called Passive Prospecting. Let’s flip through it.
Hey, friends, welcome back to the show. I’m here with my friend Levi, who just dropped an amazing book called Passive Prospecting. It’s really interesting because it’s not what you think in the real estate world. It talks about dominating your market without chasing clients and spending money on ads. He and his partner, Travis, have created this amazing book because it’s like a guideline, a strategy, and I’m really excited that he’s here because I’m interested in talking to him about all these little points that I have. So, Levi, thank you for coming on the show, my friend.
Levi Lascsak: Yeah. Thank you for having me.
Hussein Al-Baiaty: Yeah, man. It’s really exciting. I got to say, reading throughout your book, was really easy, and straightforward. It wasn’t anything crazy, super real estate talk, or anything like that. You guys really did a great job with the language of the book. I found myself really flowing through it, man. So great job on that.
Levi Lascsak: Well, thank you.
Hussein Al-Baiaty: Yeah, absolutely. So, let’s start by giving our listeners an idea of just who you are, man. A personal background, perhaps? Where you grew up? What led you down this path of real estate? Or maybe someone that just inspired you growing up? And you’re like, “I’m going to listen to that person,” or this situation that happened to you that maybe helped you grow on the path that you’re on? Yeah, let’s go back in time a little bit and share. What do you think?
Levi Lascsak: All right, well, back in time. Yeah. My name is Levi Lascsak, and I grew up in a small town called Stephenville, Texas. It’s about two hours south of Dallas. And if you’re not riding bulls, milking cows, or drinking beer, there’s not really much else to do there. So, my parents didn’t go to college. My two older brothers didn’t go to college. And I pretty much grew up my whole life also believing I would never go to college. Something my parents always said was, “We can’t afford that. We can’t afford that.” And no matter what it was, we couldn’t afford that, and college was definitely one of those things where my parents said, “We can’t afford that.” So, we just assume that that’s not going to happen.
I worked about a year after high school mopping floors and stocking shelves until I realized, “Okay, this is not what I want to do with the rest of my life, and I’ve got to get out of here.” And most country boys, you know what they do, they join the military to get out of a small country town. So, that was my thought process. Now, that was 1999, so the world was at peace. The last Gulf War had ended nine years earlier, and it ended in nine days. So, I thought, “Man, the world is a safe place, nobody’s going to mess with us. I could go into the military, get some money for college, get out, and move on with my life.” I really thought it would be that simple, and I thought I could handle the military, no big deal.
Two years later, September 11 happened, and shortly after that, I found myself deployed in Iraq. When I got out of military training initially, I moved to Dallas because I didn’t want to go back to Stephenville, and I started selling gym memberships at a health club called Bally Total Fitness. So, that’s where I kind of got my start in sales, and I was still in the reserves. So, I didn’t get deployed until 2004, and I was activated for 18 months and was literally given four days’ notice. At that time, if you were in the reserves, you got deployed. For those that can remember back in the early 2000s, pretty much every soldier that was in the military got sent to Iraq or Afghanistan.
I ended up spending 18 months on deployment. Twelve months of that was in Iraq, and whenever I came home, I just had to get my mind off of everything and move on. I sold cell phones. I actually sold cell phones at Costco. If you’ve ever been inside of a Costco, that little cell phone booth, I sold phones there back in 2006. That led me to get recruited to a pharmaceutical company, and so I was able to upgrade my life and sell pharmaceuticals with this company for about eight years until I got extremely sick because I came home from Iraq with a digestive disease. And it took about eight years to catch up with me. But finally, in 2013, I ended up losing fifty pounds in a single month. And I became completely bedridden and disabled, and that nearly killed me.
I ended up losing my pharmaceutical job because I had to go on medical leave, and after ninety days, they wanted me to come back to work, and I wasn’t physically able to do that. And that’s where I started my first business because I thought I was never going to have a job again. So, I moved into financial services. I got licensed and started a business where I ended up working with teachers at schools and helping them with their retirement planning. And that went really well. I ended up getting better. Finally, I found a natural doctor that was able to completely heal me of my digestive disease. So, it’s been ten years now, and I’ve had zero issues with that. But I started a financial services company and started working with teachers. I got contracts with all of Dallas’s independent school districts, so I was helping them everyday work on their retirement planning.
The cool thing was, I had the teacher’s schedule, but five times the teacher’s income. So, it allowed me to start traveling the world. I went to twenty-four countries inside of three years. And then 2020 came around, and the whole world shut down, including the schools. So, my business shut down overnight, and I was sitting there over the summer of 2020, asking myself, “How do I start over without starting over?” Because I was forty-one years old. And I thought, what is this world coming to, first of all? In the beginning of 2020, none of us knew what was going to happen. It was very uncertain at that time. We just weren’t sure of what was going on. But I knew one thing is that if schools weren’t open, I didn’t have a business, and I didn’t know when schools would ever open. So, I thought, well, if I’m going to transition, this is the time to do that, and I started to watch real estate really kind of grow during 2020, and it was really one of the only industries that started to grow.
I’ve always had an interest in real estate. And I just thought, well, if I’m going to move into real estate, I want to attract business. I don’t want to have to chase it down. I knew that there were ways to do that without having to do it, the traditional methods of cold calling and door knocking and spending money on advertising. And what we’re discussing today really applies to all small business owners, and that’s the way we formatted the book as well. Even though I use real estate as an example, in our business, this applies to plumbers, electricians, financial advisors, stockbrokers, and doctors. I mean, for whoever wants to really build a business and increase their reach through video on YouTube, this book will apply to them.
I didn’t know at the time, but I just was looking for ways to attract business. But I didn’t want to do it by reaching out to all my friends and family or tagging them in a Facebook post or trying to dance on TikTok or something like that. I knew it would be through a social platform, but YouTube was my last choice. But I figured out that YouTube was a search engine, not a social media platform. So, then I started to create videos around the Dallas market, educating people on areas to live and things to do, and that ended up starting to attract people, and that’s what helped me transition into real estate.
Hussein Al-Baiaty: Yeah, man. That’s so powerful. What a journey. First of all, thank you for your service. I was part of the original Gulf War. I’m from Iraq, and so we ended up being refugees in 1990. So, we came to the States in ‘94. But that’s where sort of my life changed and how those things impacted my growth. So, there’s some overlap there in the sense of how we think things are going to go when we sign up for something or do something or whatever, and then how life and trajectory completely, sometimes opposes that, in order to open us up to some different opportunities, some different ways of looking at the world and realizing our own truth.
So, it seems like you’re going through the military, and it really kind of getting not necessarily what you were expecting, but obviously, you learned a lot, and that sort of navigated you through all kinds of different terrain. You get to now, where you have this extremely powerful media platform, Google, YouTube, all that stuff. I’ve been fairly interested in all that stuff. I remember when my friend first showed me YouTube in like 2000 – man, it was like very early, ’05, ’06, maybe. And I was just like, this is amazing. I don’t even know how to use this. You know what I mean? At the time, it was like MySpace.
We were so just kind of amateur to the whole thing. But now, the power of it and the idea It is a search engine, where did you find the concept of, “You know what, I’m just going to go on here and share X, Y, and Z, some knowledge, some wisdom.” You actually have a very unique story. I’d love for you to share that, how you started your YouTube adventure, if you don’t mind. And then we’ll kind of jump into some other things that you guys started doing.
The Power of YouTube
Levi Lascsak: Yeah, of course. I’m a little old school. I always start with books. So, if I want to learn something, I know, it’s funny. I thought, “Oh, if I’m going to learn to YouTube, instead of going on YouTube, let me buy some books.” But if somebody has written books on YouTube marketing, that they’re usually a pretty good expert in the field, and that’s a great place to start. Then, I’ll get down the rabbit hole of YouTube videos.
But I bought about eight different YouTube marketing books. And really, seven of them were not that great. They were just kind of very basic, and not very detailed. YouTube Secrets by Sean Cannell and Benji Travis was really the book that kind of hit home for me. And that’s what helped me understand that YouTube is a search engine, not a social platform. So, Benji had one little paragraph in there, that he started a real estate channel, when he first got on YouTube in 2009. And he went from a struggling agent of barely selling ten homes a year, to landing the HUD contract because of his YouTube channel in 2009. And ended up selling over one hundred homes the next year.
So, that kind of opened up my eyes. And I thought, “Okay, well, I’m not a great real estate agent, because I haven’t been a real estate agent for any amount of time, just a couple of months.” It just didn’t feel authentic to me to start trying to educate people about the real estate process when I hadn’t really gone through it with a client before. But what I found on YouTube was that people are not searching that — they’re not necessarily searching, “How do I buy a home?” Or “What’s the best loan?” I mean, people do search that, but what I really found was, the search volume was really high on suburbs, neighborhoods, and those types of things. So, that gave me the idea that people are searching these areas and wanting to see what they look like, because then I compared it with searches on Google, and YouTube had ten times the amount of search volume for suburbs and neighborhoods than there was on Google.
That immediately told me that people are looking on YouTube because they want to see these places. And I thought, “Well, I’ve been in Dallas for twenty-plus years now. I mean, I could talk about Dallas all day long.” I didn’t know how to talk about being a good real estate agent. But I thought I can talk about Dallas. So, I just started to educate people on the neighborhoods, and really not even real estate related or stat related. It was more like, “Hey, here’s a great area; there are lots of cool things to do over here, do over here. This neighborhood has these priced homes. This neighborhood has that priced homes.” So, I just started walking people around town and breaking it down on the specific neighborhoods and suburbs, and it just started to kind of take hold from there.
Now, it took about ninety days to get the first deal under contract. But we ended up closing the first two deals in April of 2021. Over the last nine months of 2021, we ended up closing sixty-four home deals, sixty-four transactions. And we did right at thirty-three and a half million in volume from home sales, which got us about a million in commissions that last nine months in our first year. So, that was pretty cool. And then 2022, it completely compounded from there. In 2022 alone, we closed 156 homes from the channel and did right at 86.2 million in volume. So, we’re looking forward to 2023. We think we could go even higher even though a lot of people are uncertain about this current market. People are still buying and selling homes every day, and that’s the great thing about YouTube, is those people that are searching are still finding our channel, still finding our videos, and we’re still getting the phone calls.
So, this is the case with any small business owner. If you want consistency in your business, you have to have consistency in marketing. But pretty much every other marketing either takes your time or your money, which is hard for a lot of small business owners to give up. It’s hard for them to give up their time because they’re busy. It’s hard for them to give up their money because they’re stingy, and they don’t want to spend it. But that’s okay. It’s understandable, and they’re worried about wasting money, which is true. But YouTube, you can start for free. Now, it does take you time to make videos, but YouTube does not really take your time. YouTube makes you time. And not only does it make you time, it compounds your time. And if you look at this, and this is what I explained in the book. I showed direct snapshots from the back-end analytics of our channel, and one channel or one video, for example, it took me thirty minutes to make.
Think about this. One video took me thirty minutes to make. It’s been watched for over 11,700 hours. Now, just that alone, that’s like making a profit of 11,695 hours on my thirty-minute investment. So, if I offered you, “Hey, I will give you 11,695 hours for just a half-hour investment,” I think most people would take that investment. Take that option, right? But that’s the thing is that it prospected for us that amount, and when you divide that twenty-four hours into that 11,700, that’s equal to about a year and a half. So, that thirty-minute investment that I made gave me one-and-a-half years’ worth of prospecting. That’s how powerful that is.
So, that’s what you have to look at because you’re turning days into months, months into years, and years into decades worth of this. And since we started our channel, actually, just last year alone, I looked at the stats. We had, I think, right around 105,000 watch hours, which is equivalent to almost twelve years. So, last year, in 2022, our channel was watched equivalent to twelves years’ worth of time, which means our channel prospected for us twelve years’ worth the time in a one-year timeframe. And that’s why we’ve been able to grow and scale so quickly because we’re not tied to actively prospecting every single day. We just spend literally about two hours a week making videos. And once you publish that video, it starts working for you and not just hour for hour, it’s in a compound effect. Because one hour can return you ten hours, and ten hours can return you one hundred hours. So, it’s a true compound effect. And I think this plays directly into everyone’s fascination with passive income or compound interest, right?
Everybody loves the idea of passive income because you put in the work upfront, and then it continually pays you over and over and over again and over time, and with a lot less work down the road. Well, that’s the same concept here, we’re just doing that through prospecting. We’re making one video, we’re putting in the work upfront, and then publishing it and letting that video go to work for us and compounding over time. That compound of time is like getting compound interest if you were to invest your money into some sort of investment. So, same concept, just in a different format, and that’s why it’s so powerful.
Start Your Passive Prospecting
Hussein Al-Baiaty: Yeah, it’s incredible, man. I mean, you’re taking this valuable stuff that can really generate those prospects, can generate those leads, but you’re applying it to something that is incredibly powerful. I mean, again, it’s not just a search engine, right? It’s this idea that it’s evergreen. This idea that it compounds on itself, and keeps giving you those opportunities long after you’re done with it. I would say it’s like word of mouth, social proof, and value and entertainment, all combined, coming together to deliver back to you exactly what you need. I think positioning oneself to really create an opportunity in that space is huge. So, what advice would you give to someone who’s just starting out with this idea of going on YouTube, or perhaps another social media platform where they can utilize video, and those kinds of things to kind of get an edge in their market, and perhaps create more ways where they can connect with those potential clients?
Levi Lascsak: Well, if I were starting out, I would copy everything that we’re doing. I would get a copy of the book, Passive Prospecting. I would read it, and I would start putting that into action. I believe YouTube is the best conversion platform out there. I know people that do business from other social platforms, but long-form content really converts the best, and it allows people to develop a relationship with you, that’s a lot more intact. And that’s the thing is that, if they start going down the rabbit hole of long-form content, they’re going to develop a relationship with you a lot faster and trust you a lot more.
The people that call us want to work with us. They’ve already made a decision that they want to work with us. So, if you’re starting out, I believe you should have your base on YouTube, because guess what, you can chop up a YouTube video and distribute that to every other short-form platform. But you can’t make a short-form video and piece it all together. You can’t make ten of them and piece them all together and then add it to YouTube. It doesn’t work like that. So, I think if you really want to maximize your time and your conversion, starting on YouTube is the best place, then you can chop that up, and then distribute it to all the other platforms. But you’re probably going to end up finding that you generate more of your business from YouTube than the other platform.
Hussein Al-Baiaty: Yeah, man, very powerful. Especially, YouTube’s got it on lock. It’s been around for so long. It does give so much back to the creators because it is a creator based, I guess, economy, where there’s the ad revenue share. There’s so much opportunity for sponsorships. There’s so much opportunity for, of course, meeting and working with your potential clients. As you grow, everything is compounding. All those opportunities. Couldn’t have said it better. Honestly, that book is really powerful, man. Sean Cannell and Benji, they did such a great job. That’s the book that actually put me on as well. And I’ve always loved online content. I couldn’t get over it – I disliked how Instagram was set up, and Facebook. There was just so disengaging, meaning you put something up, and it’s gone within a day, two days. The whole flare of it is around ten minutes that you actually put that thing up.
But YouTube is kind of the opposite, honestly. I feel like some of the videos I’ve created in the past have gone up over time, especially around – we do this run, play, walk for refugees, and we do it every year, and I’ve done the videos and stuff for it. What’s crazy is like around World Refugee Day, around June, that video starts to populate even more, right? Because people are searching for how to do something in their community, or what they could do to contribute to the refugee community in a positive way. I thought that was so powerful. But I’m glad you kind of bringing those elements together. But also, man, writing a book while doing all this work is a journey in and of itself. So, what have you learned from putting this book together?
Levi Lascsak: I’ve learned that you can do anything, even whenever you think you’re too busy. I wrote the majority of this book last year, actually, all of it last year, when we traveled to twenty-five conferences and ended up speaking at half of them. It was very, very strenuous to do that. It was a lot. So, I just worked on this for a couple of hours in the morning — I get up early anyways. But the thing is, is that everything we do is one bite at a time, right? That’s how you eat the elephant. One bite at a time. But a lot of people are just even concerned or scared to take that first bite. But the next thing you know is — time is going to move forward. Time is going to continue. And when they say time flies, it does. There will be people that will listen to this podcast, and not take action. And there will be people that listen to this podcast and take action.
In six months, the next thing you know, it will fly by, and you’ll say one of two things. Either I’m glad I did, or I wish I had. You have to take action on something, and whatever it is, figure out what path do you want to go down. Now, video may not be for you. So, you have to, I think first, ask yourself, are you a people person? Are you a phone call a person? Are you a reader and writer? Or are you a video person? If you’re not a video person, you can be successful on video, it’s going to be a more difficult path to go down which, hey, I think you can do anything you set your mind to, but also, if you’re going to procrastinate and be concerned about it and not want to do it and put it off, maybe video is not for you. And if you’re a people person, look at your industry or your business, whatever it is that you’re working on, and think, “How do I maximize?” I want to meet people. I don’t want to be on video. I want to network or go to events, or in our case, in real estate, maybe it’s open houses or PTA events or community events, where you go to, and you want to shake hands and kiss babies.
Well, if that’s the case, then become the most successful you can be by maximizing your people and person skills. If there are people, there are agents, there are financial advisors, there are plumbers that would rather just make phone calls all day. They would rather cold call people and get rejected over the phone versus in person or stare at a camera and make videos. So, if that’s the case, figure out how to maximize your phone call capabilities, how to scale yourself, how to improve, how to convert those types of things, whatever it is you want to do. I believe you can hyper-learn any subject in sixty days.
So, with the amount of information that’s out there, figure out your path, understand what type of person you are, and how you want to generate your business, and then look for it, and study it. If you google anything, I mean, not Google, but go on Amazon and search generating business one way or another, whether it’s through people, phone calls, readers and writers, or video, there will probably be ten to twenty books on it on Amazon that you could buy it today. So, it’s just something that if you want to be the best postcard marketer on the planet, study postcards. And guess what 99.9 percent of business owners will not study postcard marketing. They will probably just copy somebody else’s campaign, and just think that that will automatically work for them. Instead of really understanding how postcard marketing works, and what days of the week should you send it out? How frequently, how many times per week or per month? What type of copy goes on the front? What should you put on the back? Where to place your content?
Trust me, there are books on postcard marketing. If you’re a plumber, and you want to generate your business through postcards, study it for thirty, or sixty days, become the best at it, and you’ll probably beat out all the other plumbers on postcard marketing, just because you took that extra step to do it. So, that’s what we teach in Passive Prospecting, the book, is that if you want to be the best version of your business on video through YouTube, then study the book. You can even pick up YouTube Secrets. But we give you the full blueprint. YouTube Secrets is more of the fundamentals and principles. Ours gives you the principles and the how-to. It gives you the whole process. So, the principles and the process. That’s very powerful. And if you apply that, then you can be successful on YouTube. Or, again, if you want to do it through postcard marketing, study it, become the best at it, and you’ll probably still beat out everybody in your industry.
Hussein Al-Baiaty: Man, I love that. So powerful. It really is in our hands, it’s in our thoughts, right? Like how we approach what we want to do. It’s about going deep into that niche. It’s about going deep into how you operate, understanding yourself, and where that friction is, maybe reducing the friction or changing it altogether. Where you’re flowing down the river instead of going up the mountain. I think I love that, when you started this, you were thinking about what’s the thing that I don’t really like doing? I don’t like cold calling. I don’t want to spend a bunch of money on ads. I want to get in front of people, and that’s where I can make the most impact. But how do I do that?
Well, there’s this video element, and then there’s the search bar, that if I can do the right things, maybe I can populate up to where I’m speaking directly to my potential client in a unique way. For you, that obviously completely took off and now has changed how you see not only your own work, but just the industry in and of itself, and then taking that and applying it to potential other industries. It’s so powerful. Did you want to add something to that?
Levi Lascsak: Yeah, I mean, well, I’ve been in sales for twenty years, and I love sales, but I hated prospecting. Because I spent 90 percent of my time prospecting. Now, I did it as a necessary evil. But I also became better than everybody else at prospecting, which is why I was typically the best salesperson, whether it was gym memberships, cell phones, pharmaceuticals, or financial services. I learned how to be the best prospector, but that took 90 percent of my time, and every single one of those businesses, is what I spent most of my time doing. And 10 percent of my time, actually speaking to clients about the services that I wanted to help them improve their business or their life.
Here, that’s why I called it Passive Prospecting was that whole concept, is because I made – I spend very, very little time. Actually, creating videos is the least amount of time I spend in my business now. So, I just spend literally less than two hours a week and make some videos, and it brings us so much business because it’s duplicating myself. If you’ve ever said, I wish I just had more of me, well, make a video of yourself, and you’ll have more of you. We’ve got 330 videos, I think on the channel now. And guess what, that’s like 330 me out there selling every single day. Yeah, educating.
Hussein Al-Baiaty: Yeah. And also, of course, this elevates you to become an expert in that field, right? You become, in a way, not only a person that a lot of people go to, for reference and help and whatever. The amount of prosperity that happens around that energy is enormous. I mean, I just, I just feel like it’s one of those things that when you really apply that pressure in that specific niche, I mean, the results show for themselves. And I can’t imagine in a few years where the ad revenue is going to be, where the growth of the channel is going to be, and what you’re going to be able to do with all of that.
So, congratulations again, man. I am very much going to read through this book, because I know I’m going to apply a lot of these tactics to what I’m doing. But Levi, thank you so much for sharing your stories and experiences with me today. The book is called Passive Prospecting: Dominate Your Market without Cold-Calling, Chasing Clients, or Spending Money on Ads. What a great title. Besides checking out the book on Amazon, where can people find you and connect with you?
Levi Lascsak: Yeah, of course, passiveprospecting.com is our main website. You can also search Passive Prospecting on YouTube if you want to find our YouTube channel. And you can search for Levi Lascsak on Instagram if you want to find me there.
Hussein Al-Baiaty: Well, thanks again, Levi. I appreciate you. Have a fantastic rest of your day. It was great having you on the show today, brother.
Levi Lascsak: You too. Thank you.