Wait until you hear about "rank & rent" websites from Luke Van Der Veer. Luke was fresh out of college and working in HR when he realized the standard 9-5 just wasn't going to work for him. He found a way to rent out digital real estate AND help support small businesses, and created an empire in the process.
Luke started a side hustle and subsequently killed his job by using SEO to generate leads for local businesses (a process called "Rank & Rent"). In October of 2020, he started a coaching program teaching people how to do the same thing, and he'd love to share how ANYONE feeling stuck in the 9-5 can earn a residual income or kill their full-time job without a degree or any crazy technical skills.
Watch thefree webinar at www.websiterentalcoaching.com
21:25 I can't just sit around so that the whole you know, hang out on the beach for years is, is not something that I'm capable of doing. I immediately start feeling like I should be doing something and I go right back to work because I enjoy this now. You can certainly do whatever you want with your time.
23:14 I do believe not having all your eggs in one basket. And even though I don't believe Google is going anywhere anytime soon because they just keep eating up more and more market share, I think it is smart to have other means of income as well.
25:33 Like you're gonna come across roadblocks. That's inevitable. So you just have to have the mindset that when it happens, because it will, you just have to move past it. Ask the questions for support, raise your hand when you're stuck, don't just suffer in silence.
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Luke Van Der Veer (00:00):
It's consistency, right? Like, so you're gonna come across roadblocks. That's inevitable. So you just have to have the mindset that when it happens, because it will, you just have to move past it. Right? Ask the questions, ask for support, you know, raise your hand when you're stuck, don't just suffer in silence.
Welcome to the SideHustle Lounge. If you're looking for flexible ways to earn income, grow your mindset, and live the lifestyle you've always dreamed of, you are in the right place. So lower the lights. Grab your favorite beverage, and join your host, founder of NotaryCoach.com and Amazon bestselling author of “Sign and Thrive: How To Make Six Figures As A Mobile Notary And Loan Signing Agent,” Bill Soroka.
Bill Soroka (00:51):
Cheers and welcome to my next guest, Luke Van Der Veer Luke discovered early on after school taking an H a job a nine to five, that that was not his cup of tea. And after trying several different businesses, he's now landed on one that he loves and provides passive income. So that's what we get to talk about today, Luke, thank you so much for being here today.
Luke Van Der Veer (01:16):
Hey, thanks for having me on - pleasure to be here.
Bill Soroka (01:19):
I've been looking forward to this conversation because I think you, you you found something really interesting and the idea of passive income. I know we'll talk a lot about today, really appeals to me, but before we do that, I think you sound like you're a multipotentialite maybe a serial entrepreneur looking for the right thing. And I think you're in good company here, myself included, but a lot of people in our audiences have tried different things. So I wanna hear a little bit about some of the stuff you did before.
Luke Van Der Veer (01:53):
Yeah. I mean, jumping from side hustle to side hustle and I, I had never really thought out the goal. My initial goal was just replace the job, but I hadn't considered the idea of making sure it's passive. So I started with multi-level marketing. I did that for three and a half years. Wow. I, I know a lot of people don't make money on that. I made money with it. I actually did pretty good. I built up a team going to conferences and trainings all over the place. It was really cool to be around people that were super motivated and positive all the time. That was not, it was a change from the normal working environment, new yeah. People just complaining. So that was that was fun to be around and energizing. But the thing I noticed later on in meeting some of the higher up leaders that were making those crazy numbers, that everybody wants to get 20, 30, $50,000 a month was that there is no point where they can just walk away and just let the checks come in.
Luke Van Der Veer (02:49):
You know, as they're just hanging out, they could take a week off like a normal job, but if they leave for a month, their team looks to them for leadership and guidance. You lead by example in that type of business. So if you stop working, so does your team, and it occurred to me that I'll never actually have passive income if I do that. So I stopped that. I tried some other ones. I tried Facebook advertising. That was a cool one too, got to work with a lot of business owners. But again, no way to make it passive because you're constantly working on people's ads and picking up new clients and there's all this 'stuff' you have to do. And then sometimes in a market, you know, whatever ad you're running, just kind of fatigues everyone in the market's already seen it. So you have to come up with a new creative, launch something else. And it's just a lot of extra work
Bill Soroka (03:36):
And you've always gotta hustle customers, right? Yeah.
Luke Van Der Veer (03:39):
Just every single one of these models, it was the same idea. You could have time and money, but there was no way to get both until I found website rental.
Bill Soroka (03:50):
How do you define passive income before we jump into the website rental, how do you, how are you defining it?
Luke Van Der Veer (03:56):
I'm defining it as something that you build an asset one time that's generating an income. And then after that point, you don't have to touch it and it will keep paying you regardless if you work or not. So you're separating your ability to work from the ability to make money.
Bill Soroka (04:11):
Hmm. I love that.
Luke Van Der Veer (04:12):
I mean, most people are thinking, you know, real estate, if you have say rental property, you'll get paid from it. Or maybe you have, you know a large amount of money in stocks or something, and it's paying you a dividend, but you're not looking at those. I mean, rental property, obviously a little bit of management and maintenance, but you could pay people to do that. You could pay people management fee.
Bill Soroka (04:34):
Right? Right. The one of my mentors, Brock Thomas, he, he calls this horizontal income. It's something that pays you while you're horizontal or sleeping. Right. And I, and I love that definition as well. So you tried all these different things and now we've landed on website rental. And before we even define what it is, how did you even, I mean, is this something that you created, did you hear it from someone how'd the idea, get born
Luke Van Der Veer (05:04):
Pure frustration! So I was I was trying all these different things and I, after like four or five different side hustles, I was like, I, I can't, this is killing me. And I was just wasting time on YouTube. And I came across a person who was talking about generating leads for businesses. And it's kind of funny that it popped a up, it's just my search history for YouTube. It must have just suggested it based on all this other stuff I was looking at. Right. And you know, this, guy's standing on his, you know, million dollar mansion off the balcony in like California. And he's talking about generating leads for businesses and how you could, you know, build a site, essentially pretend you're the business, build a site, then take those leads and rent it to an actual business to fulfill the work. And I thought, well, this is this is genius. That's a cool concept. And I'm like, I wonder what's involved. So I started looking into SEO and all the pieces that are involved and ended up taking classes in SEO to kind of get this down and then created a whole process to be able to do this.
Bill Soroka (06:04):
That's pretty incredible. So tell me how, how does it work? Like when you say website rental, what does that mean? Yeah.
Luke Van Der Veer (06:11):
So you find a, a profitable opportunity in a marketplace. So there's a, at a research involved and a spot where, you know, people are searching for something on Google and it looks like there's an opportunity for you to swoop in there and take some of those leads. You build a website to generate leads, and then you move that website to the top of Google. So everybody sees it because if people, if it's not like on page one at the top, people aren't gonna see it. The majority of people don't go to any other page, right. They don't have time to look through 25,000 search results. Right. It's one of those first few spots. So if you take that over, the leads, come to you, and now with those leads in hand, your website's valuable. So now you can rent out that digital, real estate to business owner who doesn't have that, right. Maybe they're struggling to get leads, but now you have it, so you can make a deal, and just give them the leads and exchange for a fee. So it's like owning rental property. It's just online.
Bill Soroka (07:10):
You know, when you, when we first started talking, that's exactly what popped into my head, you know, cuz I often use the analogy that your, your domain name is just your address. Then you build a website and that's like your house on there. When I heard you saying website rental, I mean, this is like taking the idea of real estate and just putting it online like that. And I'm really curious, like I'm starting to, to really see the opportunity here, but give it, can you give us an example, like in the industry that you you've worked in or you wanna work in or that can just paint the picture for somebody listening right now?
Luke Van Der Veer (07:47):
Yeah, sure. I mean, one of the first ones I did was towing. So I, in my home market, the populations like 90,000 people, there's three cities that are all, all really close to each other. So 90,000 between the three of them and I picked the county name, you know, ranked a, built a website for towing, ranked it for towing. And then every time anybody in that counties finds or searches for towing, towing service, you know, flat tire, my car broke down any of this stuff. My website appears. So now all these people start calling me for towing services, but of course I don't do towing
Luke Van Der Veer (08:36):
If I could send all these people your way, can we work out some kind of deal? They're like, absolutely. What do you wanna do? So I sent 'em some leads, they checked it out and they're like, this is amazing. You know, what do you want? I'll take $500 bucks a month. You could have everything that comes in and that's it. Every single month they just keep paying and the leads keep coming in. As long as I hold that top spot. And the cool thing is if you pick the right market and niche, it doesn't really move. That's why it's passive.
Bill Soroka (09:04):
Yeah. And so you just change the phone number to that company phone number. So you get, or you still have filter all the calls.
Luke Van Der Veer (09:13):
No, I actually i have call tracking system that forwards the number to the business owner and it puts a little, there's something called a whisper message you could put on there. So it lets them know it's from me. So, you know, the business owner and the customer don't feel the difference when they're calling the customer just calls and speaks to the business business, connects to the customer. The only difference is on the business owner's end, they a little robot voice that says call from Luke or towing call from Luke, whatever it is before it connects the customer. Nice that they know how to answer.
Bill Soroka (09:43):
Right. okay. So that's brilliant. That gets my wheels turning. And what about, okay, so you just mentioned $500 a month. Was that random or is that kind of the, the going rate for a high performing website?
Luke Van Der Veer (09:56):
They're kind of all over the place. I mean, when I originally started, I, I didn't have the the guts to charge more, but you could certainly charge much, much more. I think on average, you know, $500 bucks to five grand is the range probably a thousand bucks for most of the sites, $1500. Wow. Just depending on the niche and how much value you are bringing.
Bill Soroka (10:17):
Yeah. I guess the niche would make a big difference, right? Like the, the ticket item that they're selling. Right. Towing's one of those things people gotta pay. Right. They're in a, they're in a situation they've gotta pay for that. I, I would imagine like roofing and air conditioning, right. Those types of high ticket items are probably on the higher end of that.
Luke Van Der Veer (10:35):
Yeah. HVAC, I gotta, I gotta site for yachts. Like those are five grand sites.
Bill Soroka (10:40):
Luke Van Der Veer (10:41):
Couple thousand. Yeah. The yachts one's rental yacht rental. Not not selling them, but right. That too, I suppose,
Bill Soroka (10:50):
Five grand a month. Yeah.
Luke Van Der Veer (10:52):
I mean, you know, one lead is four, five grand for them and you send them 30, 40 leads. You'd probably charge more. I just, my thought process behind what I'm charging is I'm gonna give them 10 X, at least whatever I'm charging so that I don't have to look at it because then they don't even think about it and they pay it like a bill.
Bill Soroka (11:11):
Yeah. It's a, no-brainer, you're packing it full of value. They've gotta be a part of that. Right. So what's the skillset required to do this and to do it well, I know you said you, you took some SEO classes and learned how to do that. Is that what somebody who wants to get into this should expect to do, should they already have that experience?
Luke Van Der Veer (11:32):
You don't really need you don't really need to have that, but I mean, coming in, if you have, somebody is gonna teach you the whole package, but the pieces you need a little bit of web design, you definitely need SEO. And then you also need a really good understanding of the rank and rent business model, because there's a lot of specific things like the call tracking and setup and just how you structure deals with the business owners to make it work. Yeah. I know a lot of people try to just figure it out and that never seems to work out well takes 'em a lot of time and a lot of money.
Bill Soroka (12:02):
Do you have because you, do you train people to do this?
Luke Van Der Veer (12:07):
I do. I do I have coaching program for it.
Bill Soroka (12:10):
How long have you been doing that?
Luke Van Der Veer (12:12):
Coaching's been like two years. I originally I originally kind of learned the skillset and built an agency and I was working for clients. But the thing I quickly realized was I essentially just created another job for myself. Right. Which was not my goal. So didn't plan that one well. And you know, after I had had a client call me up on like midnight on a Sunday, complaining about the rankings. And the funny thing is they were number one for like 30 different keywords in a gigantic market. And I'm like, really dude, on a Sunday
Luke Van Der Veer (12:58):
I know in the industry, I'm like, listen, these guys are great at SEO. They'll take care of you. I'm switching to something else. And you know, after doing it for a little while they shortly came back to me and they're like, well, you know, since you're not working for us anymore, can you just teach us how to do this ourselves? Mm-Hmm and I was like, yeah, I suppose I could. So I started, you know, coaching program and originally it was one to one doing a lot of zoom meetings. But once again created another job for myself, another job, right. How many times am I gonna do this? Just can't learn. Yeah. So you don't have to be brilliant to make money with us.
Bill Soroka (14:00):
I, I love that. And I love that you have such a great attitude after learning the same lesson over and over again, I can totally relate to that. And that will probably still show up somewhere in your life too. Especially if you like good ideas. So with the students that you've had so far, what's your favorite success story?
Luke Van Der Veer (14:19):
Oh man, there's a bunch of these, but I probably the one that most closely relates to me, I had I have a student Morgan he's from Hawaii and he came in to the program with previous experience. He had taken other SEO courses. These like you, the cheap ones, like five, 10 bucks or whatever (inaudible). And the problem I find with those is that they give you a lot of information for information's sake and not all of it can be applicable. So you're like trying to figure out what can I use and what can't I use? And then if you have questions, there's no one to ask. So he's taking all these courses comes in with all this knowledge, but he's not getting any results cuz he doesn't know how to use the model correctly. And I was talking to him about it and we gave him a few things to implement, taught him a couple things about rank and rent and how to use it appropriately.
Luke Van Der Veer (15:08):
And he went from nothing to $6,600 bucks a month in the course of 90 days. Oh wow. Yeah. And it was only with three websites. That's the other crazy part. So he wasn't afraid to charge, you know, a higher fee. Like a lot of people are when they come in mm-hmm
Bill Soroka (15:57):
Well I think that's part of the benefit of having a mentor who shines the light back for you. Right. Cuz you had to fumble around and figure some things out. You figured it out and then you share that. So hopefully the students do get a, a faster return than you did. I love that. Yeah. Yeah, that's, that's a great story. What other, what are the most obvious opportunities that you see in an industry like this
Luke Van Der Veer (16:28):
Obvious opportunities? I think just in terms of the markets that have the potential for profit with the SEO skillset, you could rank any website anywhere, right? So you could, you could work on anything. You could generate leads for horse racing. You could, you could do anything you want, but if you want it to be specific to rank and rent and also to be fast you have to find markets that are lower competition so that you are competing against people that don't have this skillset. So, you know, take personal injury lawyers, for example, super high ticket niche. People are running Google ads and things for this $150 a click like crazy, crazy fees. If you're doing SEO three, $4,000 a month to try to rank, if you're going against those people, you are competing against other marketing companies all over the world. But if I choose something like excavation in like Dayton, Ohio I'm competing …
Bill Soroka (17:28):
I was gonna say, yeah, or Toledo.
Luke Van Der Veer (17:31):
I'm competing against family businesses that have no clue how to do any of this.
Luke Van Der Veer (17:35):
So if I put up a website and even have just a small amount of skill in SEO, kind of following the process and understand how to leverage rank and rent, you go right by all those people that have been in the business and you know, had a website up for 20 years with just a couple months of work because they just don't have that technical knowledge, a lot of … 99% of business owners don't. And even if they wanted to get it, they don't believe that they have the time to do it. So they don't even bother looking into it.
Bill Soroka (18:05):
Well, it's so overwhelming. Like if you were to Google SEO training or SEO your site it's I can see why people shut down with it, which creates this awesome opportunity. In fact, what occurred to me? You know, we're talking about Dayton or Toledo and you're based where, where are you Luke?
Luke Van Der Veer (18:22):
Well, I was recently in New York city. I just moved to upstate New York. So Saratoga Springs, New York. Right. Okay.
Bill Soroka (18:27):
And you don't, you're not limited to Saratoga Springs, right? You can no, you can pick something anywhere in the world.
Luke Van Der Veer (18:34):
Yeah. Yep. I have a couple lead gen sites that are based in other countries. And then the rest of my sites are in 48 of the 50 states.
Bill Soroka (18:42):
Wow. How many do you have? Can you share ballpark?
Luke Van Der Veer (18:46):
Yeah. A couple hundred.
Bill Soroka (18:47):
Nice. Any plans to expand that?
Luke Van Der Veer (18:51):
Yeah. I mean I continuously add more to it. I've been a little bit more focused lately on just trying to implement a new fast track in my program to try to get people results as quickly as humanly possible. But it's the tough thing with this is it also kind of makes you lazy sometimes to be careful with it because after you have a few of these sites, like say you imagine you, you take your job, you gotta make, let's say you got a hundred thousand dollars job. You could replace that with five or six websites, right. Depending on what you charge, you now have those sites, you're making the same amount of money, but you don't have to go to work for 40 hours a week. Right. Maybe you're doing five or 10 hours a week. If that, what do you do?
Bill Soroka (19:56):
Right. Is that part of the reason you started your course? Is that part of the give back program or yeah.
Luke Van Der Veer (20:04):
You know, that, that was also kind of a, a personal one. I, of course, you know, it's nice to be able to, to make money from a skillset, you know, but I also did it selfishly for myself. I, when I had a job, the thing I liked was the people never really cared for any of the jobs I ever did, but I always missed the people. The colleagues were fun and working for myself for years and just doing website rental you're you're by yourself, you're just in an apartment doing whatever this work from home thing that everybody's doing for, COVID doing this for like seven years. So it's like, I, I was used to this. Everybody else is just starting to get used to it, but it's lonely, right? If you are not forcing yourself to go get out into the world and, you know, meet people and interact, you're just kind of by yourself. And I hate that. So the coaching program allows me to still get some human interaction and help people, you know, do what I did, which feels kind of good. Cause I live vicariously through them when they quit their job or they get some crazy deal.
Bill Soroka (21:01):
Right, right. That's great. So speaking of lifestyle, I mean, if you're running 200 of these sites and you've got a coaching program. What's the lifestyle, like a number of hours that you work and then your freedom and flexibility, like what do you do with your downtime?
Luke Van Der Veer (21:25):
Yeah. So, I mean, right now I still work pretty much a normal week. By choice, you know, sometimes I'll take, you know, a couple weeks off and go skiing. I, you know, I went down to Georgia in the summer to golf for a week. I can't just sit around so that the whole you know, hang out on the beach for years is, is not something that I'm capable of doing. I immediately start feeling like I should be doing something and I go right back to work because I, I enjoy this now, but yeah. You know, you can certainly do whatever you want with your time. Like, I, I don't have to ask for vacation requests or whatever. It's like, you're the boss. So, you know, no alarm wake up when you want work, when you want, you know, go, you wanna go home for Christmas for two weeks. So you could do that. Don't know if you'd wanna see your family for that long, but
Bill Soroka (22:15):
Love it. So you've got the website management, the online course. Do you have any other side hustles or investments that you're looking at or curious about or would encourage people at least look at?
Luke Van Der Veer (22:30):
Other side hustles? I don't know, but I will say from, you know, doing the lead generation, just having those checks come in, I kind of like anything I wanna buy or invest in, I calculate it by a lead gen site. So I'm like if I sell a lead gen site for a thousand dollars, how many of these do I need to be able to pay for what I want? Hmm. So if I want the fancy car and that car is gonna be a three grand a month lease, I need three websites rented out to be able to get that car to cover that. Right. If I need, you know, I need two websites, three websites to pay my rent. I need five to kill my job. I need three for the car I need, you know, half of for TV, whatever, whatever it is, I break all of it down based on that.
Luke Van Der Veer (23:14):
And I think that helps me continue to motivate myself to keep working. Yeah. and I think it's a good way to kind of calculate what you want, but then any of that excess money straight into crypto stock and of course, buying real estate to create an extra stream of income because I, right. I do do believe not having all your eggs in one basket. And even though I don't believe Google is going anywhere anytime soon because they just keep eating up more and more market share. I think it is smart to have other means of income as well. So I've been purchasing rental properties and other things.
Bill Soroka (23:46):
All right. Thank you for sharing that. I really appreciate that. I think it's important to I'm a huge proponent of multiple streams of revenue, and I'm always curious as to what people do with that. And I'm glad you mentioned crypto too. Crypto's one of those things I don't understand. I read the magazines, I'm got all kinds of, of apps on my phone. I'm gonna figure it out, but just keeping my eye on it. So thank you for sharing that
Luke Van Der Veer (24:11):
Now. I, yeah. I mean, I think it makes a lot of sense.
Bill Soroka (24:14):
Well, I'm glad it does to you.
Luke Van Der Veer (24:46):
It's the people who don't have the right mindset. And I know it's weird to say, because you'd think maybe it's technical or something like that, but it's really mindset. Your mind is an incredibly powerful thing. If you believe you can't do something, you can't, you just give up. But if you believe you can do it and then you actually apply the things, you learn consistency, you will get results. It's just a matter of time. You just have to keep going. And I mean, that's really the only difference between the people who are doing, you know, 10, $20,000 a month with this and who've left their job. And the people who said it didn't work. It's not that it didn't work it's that you didn't work to keep going.
Bill Soroka (25:28):
So maybe they stumble, they don't get the results. They want it fast enough. So they just quit.
Luke Van Der Veer (25:33):
Yeah. And I mean, you just it's it's consistency, right? Like you're gonna come across roadblocks. That's inevitable. So you just have to have the mindset that when it happens, because it will, you just have to move past it. Right. Ask the questions for support, you know, raise your hand when you're stuck, don't just suffer in silence. Hmm.
Bill Soroka (25:53):
Great advice. But since you brought up mindset and I'm right there with you, I mean, I, I love the growth mindset and learning and constantly expanding. How do you, how do you do it? What's your method for growing yourself? Are you a reader? Do you take courses meditation? Like, what's your, what's your strategy?
Luke Van Der Veer (26:17):
Well, so I absolutely hate reading. So audio books, audio books, all audio books, all the books that people say, oh, you should go buy these. I'll just get audio books for everything. And then every time I'm in the car, anywhere audio book comes on. I listen to it an hour in the morning, just every day of one of them. And then anytime I'm traveling anywhere. And when you constantly have that kind of in the back of your mind, it's shaping the way you think, and you don't even notice it happening, but it's helping you.
Bill Soroka (26:44):
It's so true. If you could pick one book that changed everything for you, what would, what would it be?
Luke Van Der Veer (26:50):
Oh, geez. I don't know if it's a book, but Tony Robbins, it was actually a seminar. He, he said, model success. The idea was find someone who has what you want, you know, model what they're doing and you'll get the same or similar results. And I, I love that because it's, it's applied so well in every, you know, business I've tried find somebody who's where you want find a way to do the same thing.
Bill Soroka (27:18):
He he resonated with me as well. He said success leaves clues, which speaks to what you're talking about. There, there is, there's a little trail you can follow. So what a great way to end our time here together today.
Bill Soroka (27:31):
Guys, if you're listening to this, you're intrigued by what Luke is talking about here with website rentals as much as I am, check out the VIP room in the Side Hustle Lounge. I'll have links to the free training webinar that Luke provides on his website in there. It's completely free that you can take a look at and then get dialed in and get into Luke's orbit and learn more about this visit www.sidehustlelounge.com/VIP room.
Bill Soroka (28:00):
Luke, thank you so much for your time today and get in my wheels turning again, which is just what I needed.
Luke Van Der Veer (28:07):
Hey, no worries. I love talking about this stuff.
Bill Soroka (28:09):
Awesome. Well, I'm sure you'll be hearing a lot from me and our listeners.
New Speaker (28:12):
Thanks for having me.
Bill Soroka (28:14):
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