#252 Facebook Rental Tool?

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Facebook has recently changed their ad platform to make it difficult for landlords to discriminate in ads on the platform, Boston is proposing a new rule for landlords and you might have money sitting on the roof of your rental.

Perhaps the most interesting tidbit is the small footnote that Facebook is working on a rental tool. This is a one sentence mention in the ABC News article below but could have big implications on the way renters find apartments.

Resources Mentioned on this Episode:

https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/facebook-agrees-hide-demographics-landlords-creditors-advertise/story?id=61792172

https://www.boston.com/news/policy/2019/03/20/boston-city-council-landlords-voter-registration

https://www.forbes.com/sites/stephenmcbride1/2019/03/20/this-stock-is-americas-5g-landlord-and-it-pays-a-3-8-dividend/#2a0488a46644

https://www.steelintheair.com/get-a-cell-tower-on-your-property/

https://www.rentprep.com/podcast/195-leasing-a-cellphone-tower-with-j-massey/

Show Transcription:

00:03 Hey everybody. Welcome back to another episode of Rentprep for landlords. I’m your host, Eric Worral and this is episode number 252 and on today’s episode we’re gonna be talking about two recent news stories that have popped up in the last week that you may find very, very interesting as a landlord and real estate investor. I’m going to be talking about how Facebook may be changing the game for the way that you can find rental apartments and a also a little inside scoop on what might become a developing trend on real estate. So, uh, we’re going to get to both of those stories right after this.

00:45 1,2,3,4 ya ya ya…. Welcome to the RentPrep for landlords podcast. And now your host, Steven White and Eric Worral.

00:45 All right, our first story of the day here comes from abcnews.go.com. Uh, this was posted by Anne Flaherty on March 19th at 4:38 PM for your people who really want to get the details. But the title of this post is Facebook agrees to hide demographics from landlords, creditors looking to advertise. So Facebook announced the previous Tuesday that old block landlords and creditors from using a person’s demographic data including a person’s zip code, gender, and age, to target certain groups in online advertisements. Uh, the reason this came about is that in the past there were some advocacy groups complaining that you could use a demographic targeting on Facebook. So if you had a rental property, you said, you know what? I only want to target people on this zip code who are this age or this ethnicity to be a renter. Here. Um, there are complaining that this was discrimination and creating an issue for people who weren’t seeing those ads for those, uh, rentals that may have been a good fit for them. So, uh, after a couple of years of going through this, because I believe the original complaint was filed in 2016 by ProPublica that found Facebook allowed advertisers to exclude anyone with an “affinity” for African-American, Asian-American or Hispanic people So, uh, what they did as it came out and said, you can’t do that anymore.

02:08 Interesting article, but chances are most of you are not using Facebook advertising to find, uh, to find your runners, right? You may be posting to Facebook, but you’re not actually giving money to Facebook to run ads is what this is specifically talking about. The one thing I think it’s a little strange though for this is you’re not allowed to target zip codes. I mean, I understand that you can’t target based on age, gender, but if you can’t target based on Zip code, has kind of like makes it futile to even try to advertise on Facebook, your rental property, because you’re going to want to target people who live in the same zip code. But I don’t know, maybe I’m looking too much into that.

02:47 But the most interesting part of this entire article and what I think you will find extremely interesting is that Facebook came out and said that it was also building a tool that would let people search for all housing ads in the US regardless of whether the ads are shown. So that I found very interesting because as we know, a lot of people are using Facebook marketplace, uh, to do essentially what they used to do on craigslist. Right? Uh, you could post on Craigslist, your rentals or if you’re selling something, you can do that as well. And now, uh, it looks like they’re creating some sort of aggregate tool where you can see all rental properties that are listed, uh, as it’s saying, well, I should say that correctly. It said that it’s building a tool that would let people search all housing ads in the US regardless of whether the ads are shown. I do not know if that’s all housing ads that are posted on Facebook or if it’s arrogating them from all over the place and putting them in one place. But I’ve found that to be really interesting, not a shock. You know, Facebook’s always gotten their hands on everything. Uh, and if there’s a new way that they can ingrain you into their platform, they’re going to do it. And, uh, I think that’s super, super interesting to see what rolls out with that. Uh, I do know somebody who works for the company. Uh, as I mentioned a previous podcast, Steve and I were invited out to Facebook headquarters. So maybe I’ll shoot an email and see if we can get some more information on that for a future podcast.

04:10 So that’s enough on that topic. But, uh, I got a really interesting story. You know what, I’m going to give you a real quick story just in case if you’re from Boston. Uh, there’s a story here from on boston.com. Uh, it said that Boston city council proposal landlord should provide leases and voter registration too. So, uh, this has been covered before on the podcast. I believe it was Saint Paul or Minneapolis where, uh, you, the landlord is being required to provide voter registration cards to new tenants. This is up for vote right now in Boston that landlords are being required to do this. So if you happen to be from that area or own property in that area to something that, you know, good to know, uh, but don’t want to spend a lot of time on that particular story. Uh, but then again that comes from boston.com via Christopher Gavin and that, that article was posted on March 20th but this last article I think you will find pretty, pretty, pretty interesting. That was my own version of Larry David. I guess

05:12 It comes from forbes.com the author’s name is Stephen McBride. And the title of the article, how I found it is called This Stock Is America’s 5G ‘Landlord’, And It Pays A 3.8% Dividend . Now of course we don’t really cover a whole lot in terms of stocks on the podcast, right? But the thing that really caught my attention with this is we’ve had a guest on the podcast before on episode 195 if you happen to listen to that one Jay Massey talking about buying a cell phone tower. I was fascinated with Jay’s story and how he was able to lease out a tiny amount of space on the roof of an apartment building that he had and was able to make really good returns on his money leasing on a cell phone tower. So with this story is saying is that right now America’s kind of in this 5 G race and that we are lagging behind China right now, but apparently five g is the new lightning fast network. All of our phones will soon run on. I feel kind of pathetic because I look at my phone and I think I thought I had 5 G already. I, I have no idea what it’s running on at this point. I feel like once upon a time I used to keep up on that stuff and understand it and now it’s just like white noise. But five g is going to be the newest, fastest, best as you know how all that goes. So it apparently it’s going to be a huge leap because it’s going to allow things like self driving cars and next generation military equipment, whatever that means. But uh, the interesting thing is the five g network does not run on the same cell phone towers that current networks run on a current cell phone towers. You can probably picture them. And they’re these giant, you know, tall cell phone towers that you see in various areas that can be over a hundred feet tall. The 5 G a signal is actually built on this tiny tower, which is like the size of a trashcan. And one of the big differences is that the signal can only carry about a half mile. So instead of placing a giant cell phone tower every few miles, they’ll need to play small ones every couple thousand feet. So the, uh, AT&T in particular said that five g will need 300,000 new cell phone towers. And if you’re, if you’re counting, you know, and probably none of us are, according to this article, uh, there is 220,000 current cell phone towers in the US today. So there are more than doubling the amount of cell phone towers. And what I learned from Jay Massey and episode one 95 of our podcast is, the way it works is, uh, you can work through a third party contractor. In this particular article, they’re talking about a company that goes under the stock code of CCI I’ll see if I can find the name of it because I forget it. Uh, Crown Castle. Uh, yeah. Crown Castle was in the name of the company and what they do is they lease out the actual towers to AT&T mobile and Verizon because typically those cell phone providers don’t actually own the towers. Instead, they rent this space on the towers that are building owned by companies like CCI, which is Crown Castle. Uh, just paraphrasing here from the article, but it said in short, crown castle build cell towers across America. Then Lisa’s space on its towers to wireless carriers who installed their own antennas. Um, when it comes to the small a cell towers, a crown castle is lapping its competitors.

08:28 And that’s why this article is saying that they’re a great buy from a stock perspective. But I’m thinking in terms of a landlord, if you’re in an area and all of a sudden, you know, they used to be able to go a few miles with the cell phone tower and now they can only go a few thousand feet. Uh, that might be a great opportunity to see if you own a property, even if it’s on the top of a building or maybe it can be on the land, uh, where you have one of these five g towers. I don’t know what the payout on those would look like, but I remember from a Jay Massey just being shocked that, you know, he was getting thousands and thousands of dollars a year for essentially leasing out a tiny, tiny amount of space on his land. Or I think that one was on an apartment building, did a little bit of research because it is something that I’m kind of vague on. I found this website called steelintheair.com I’ll link to the article I’m referencing right now and in the show notes for today’s episode. Uh, but the article that I found from them said how to get your own cell tower and instead said it’s seven steps to get a cell tower on your property.

09:29 I granted this might’ve been written before talking about five g cell phone towers. Uh, but with this was talking about was to a step points to look for other cell towers within proximity of where you are, which would be probably tough to do if their five g cell towers and their size of a trashcan. Step Two is researching local zoning codes for cell tower requirements. Uh, so you can check out your local laws, zoning maps and see how everything works with that. Step three is check coverage maps to determine whether there is a need for a cell tower at your location. That would probably be tough because there’s currently cell coverage everywhere. So it’s not about cell coverages are about five g coverage. So that might be kind of tough. But step four is to put a sign on your property indicating that you are interested in leasing land for a tower. I can’t imagine that’s going to amount to anything, but what do I know? Maybe you know that Cell Phone Leasing Tower Guy drives down your rental property and was like, Hey, we want to put this on your roof and give you an extra 500 bucks a month. But step five, submit your property to the wireless carriers and tower companies via their websites for consideration. I said we know a very few occasions where this actually makes a difference, but it’s worth being thorough to submit your property for cell site builds. You will need the following information, your address and size of your parcel, a latitude and longitude coordinates, which you can find, you know, online pretty easily. Uh, zoning classifications of your parcels, which was mentioned earlier, distance from major roadways, which is probably helpful, right? Uh, if people are talking on their cell phones while driving and step five is um, you want to leave your contact information. So once they have that information, they may be able to reach back out to you. He has some sample letters on here as well. Step six, sit back and wait. And step seven, if you are one of the lucky ones, let us know.

11:19 Oh there you have it, the seven steps of which two of them are sitting and seven, they accepted it. So really kind of like five steps, right? Uh, I like to not include sit back and wait and my checklist steps because my checklist would get pretty long for everything. Uh, Eric’s checklists to make a podcast, step one delay making a podcast step two make a podcast. Step three, publish podcasts. Step four, sit back and wait for people to listen to podcast. Yeah, that’s a, that’s a great checklist. But a, I will link to this article or from steel on the air and along with the Forbes article talking about the five g network and why that there’s such an opportunity, uh, going on there for cell phone towers. And again, the article is more so a pitching you on why he thinks his stock is going to do well, which looking at the stocks growth, I haven’t seen anything crazy. Over the last year, everything kind of looks like the normal up and up for that particular stock. Um, but I’m just thinking if you happen to have properties that would be a good fit for these five g towers, you might be able to make a good buck without anybody even noticing what it even is on the top of your building. So take a look, check it out. Uh, if it ends up working out for you, send me a royalty check. I would love it. I’d really appreciate it. Uh, but more than anything, uh, I just want to keep you guys up on the news going on that’s affecting real estate investors and landlords, property managers and renters as well. Uh, if you guys didn’t check out last week’s podcast, definitely check that out. Uh, we had on Jay Papasan. Uh, it was a great interview, really excited. Uh, we are going to be launching a new program here at Rentprep.

12:59 It’s going to be, you know, kind of testing it out, digging a foot in the water, so to speak. But, uh, a good friend of mine who’s been on the podcast twice, Michael Sims rode a bike with him across New York state, uh, and this event called the empire state ride. A great guy, highly high motor. Like this guy is just like unbelievable the energy he has and he can really inspire other people. So what we’re going to be doing is a weekly post in the Facebook group on Mondays, I think like probably noon, one o’clock. And we’re going to ask people to share one thing that they want to accomplish that week. And I want to be sharing my goals as well. I’m not sure if Mike, well, he probably will, he’s pretty goal oriented guy, but we’re going to be using these weekly live videos real short, five minutes. Mike’s going to get us fired up. He’s going to yell at me, probably and we’re going to commit to one thing that we want to get done that week that’s going to contribute to a larger goal that we’re working on. And, uh, the purposes to get people involved in the Facebook group, get people, you know, feeling good about committing to a, some goals but also like feeling great because you’re getting recognized for that as well. You know, sometimes you might be working on a project and you finish it and you’re like, oh cool, it’s done. But you know, it’s nice if you’ve got some crazy lunatic from long island who’s yelling at you and saying what a great job you did with that. So if that sounds like something you’re interested in, check out the Facebook group on Monday, uh, will be our very first video, uh, where we’ll kind of explaining the project and I’ll be making some commitments and following up with it each Monday, uh, and having kind of an accountability program if you’re interested in that. So, uh, look forward to, uh, seeing the response on that. If you do have questions or suggestions on that, feel free to email me, [email protected]

14:41 Until next week guys, uh, any kind of stuff you come across, anything you think would be great content for the podcast. Let me know once in a while we get some, uh, uh, listeners given us some shout outs and things. And it’s a, it’s nice to hear you guys and, uh, it’s also nice to, you know, learn about things that maybe we weren’t aware of when we’re doing our research over here. So until next week, guys, have a great week. Take care.