Luke Van Der Veer came up with a concept called “Rank and Rent”. The premise is simple, build a local service website and get it ranking high in search engines. Once you get it ranking, you charge a local business a monthly fee for all the leads that come through the website.
You own the asset, and because you get to own it, you get to rent it out for passive income. This creates a residual monthly income for you!
Luke Van Der Veer used to have a job with General Electric in HR and has since quit his job with the Rant and Rent portfolio he has put together.
Who do you recommend looking into Rank and Rent?
Anyone can do this side hustle that wants to earn passive income on the side. Luke Van Der Veer recommends it to anyone because you don’t need to be technical whatsoever.
You will have to build a website, but you don’t need much experience with drag and drop builders. There are also tons of resources on the internet that show you how to build a website with builders like Wix and Squarespace, which are even less technical.
How long does it take to rank and rent?
You can build a rank and rent website within 5-10 hours per week. The time will depend on how competitive the niche is in the local area. The more competitive, the harder it will be to rank and rent.
After you’ve built the website, having an understanding of Google My Business Local Listings will help. In the next section, Luke and I outline the exact steps you can take to getting your rank and rent side hustle profitable.
What are the steps to rank and rent a website?
Most side hustlers think that choosing a domain name is the first step in the rank and rent process. This is not true. The first step is to choose a niche that you can compete in. Luke breaks down the step-by-step process he uses to find whether he can compete in a niche.
Identifying a niche
There are a lot of different factors. It must check the following checkboxes:
- Is the business phone driven?
You want something that is phone-driven because it is easier to track and generate leads. In this example, someone calls a contractor and they bring them in to do the work.
- How long is the sales cycle?
A long sales cycle means that it takes the business longer to get paid. If it takes the business longer to get paid, it is more unlikely they will rent out your website.
Pool construction is an example of a business that you may not want to go into. Typically, you need designs, permits, and the construction will take time. The business is not paid all of the money upfront, and it will take time for them to give you that money.
- Does the service have a sense of urgency?
Something that requires a sense of urgency is preferred. In the pool construction example, the client may shop lots of different designs and contractors. Now, let’s say the client has a leak in their house, they need a plumber. They will be less likely to shop around and go with the most available and easiest to contact.
- Is it blue collar or white collar?
Luke Van Der Veer prefers blue-collar over white-collar service businesses because they don’t have as good of marketing as white-collar services. For example, personal injury lawyers advertise like crazy and have great marketing departments in many cases.
How do you go about choosing the city?
Choosing a city to rank and rent a website doesn’t have as much of a science as the actual service. Once you narrow down the services you’d like to go after, you can start looking for cities.
Ideally, you want to find cities that have more than 50,000 people but not more than 400,000 people. If you can find one more than 400,000 that is not competitive, then that would be a sweet spot.
How do you get on the maps section of Google?
You need to have a Google My Business listing! If you do not register for one, then you cannot be part of the maps. In order to be part of the Top 3 in that search, you need to build citations and be credible to search engines.
Adding yourself to local directories like Yelp, YellowPages, etc. builds up your trust to search engines. By adding yourself to these trusted websites, you are increasing your trust.
Building your website
Once you’ve chosen a niche and city, you want to build a website loaded with content! You want to make it credible and post authoritative content.
Make sure you are not posting duplicate content, meaning you are copy and pasting from other sites. If you don’t know much about the service, you will want to hire someone or speak to someone in the niche.
The better you can speak to your target customer, the more leads you will generate, and the faster you can rent your website out.
When you’re building your website, be sure to check out Episode 60, where Jason Eland breaks down how to rank your website in search engines!
Weebly or WordPress for my rank and rent website?
Luke Van Der Veer doesn’t have any technical experience building websites, and you don’t have to either. His first sites were all built on Weebly, which were up and done in just a few hours.
If you are more comfortable building in WordPress, that is fine too.
Ultimately, it is up to you how to build your website!
How do you know how much rent to charge?
You can start off with some basic research. Figure out what the average price of the service is, how many leads you are attracting, and what you believe the contractor can close.
See the attached diagram for how much I would charge a contractor is earning if I am bringing them $6000 worth of work per month.
What is the maintenance required for this side hustle?
The best part of this side hustle is that you do not need to spend many hours on maintenance of the website. All you need to do is change the phone number and emails to go to someone else.
If the contractor stops paying you rent, you need to go in and change those back. This process will take a maximum of about 1 hour per week.
How do you track your calls?
When you first heard of rank and rent, you may have thought you need to track every lead that comes through your website. If we did this, the maintenance time would be a lot longer.
Luke Van Der Veer suggests you purchase a local phone number from CallRail. This not only allows you to get a local phone number, but it tracks calls and analytics. You can also listen to the recordings of phone calls to see how contractors are answering the calls.
What tools do you use for research?
Keywords Everywhere or Google Keyword Planner are both great tools to use for keyword research. Keywords Everywhere are paid, Google Keyword Planner is free.
These tools will give you a better representation of how many people are searching for the keyword, and how difficult it may be to rank.
You will also get a CPC amount, which is the average dollar amount that people are spending to pay for leads. If you can find a great niche in an area that has a high CPC, then you have a best-case scenario.
What can you charge to rent out a website?
It is all dependent on the area and the service you are in. However, Luke has seen everything from $500 to $5000 per month.
If we compare it to real estate, you can buy a $200,000 condo to rent it out for $1200/month. At the same time, you could build a website for $500, and then rent it out for $1200/month easily!
Where to find and connect with Luke Van Der Veer
Website Rental Coaching.com is Luke’s webinar that trains you on the exact steps!