Which Book Should I Order First?

When I started selling real estate many years ago in Jacksonville, Fla., I had no idea what I was doing.

I was lucky to have some terrific mentors who taught me a lot. But no matter how much I learned, I always felt like I was on the cusp of failure. I would sit at my desk and cold call all day, getting nowhere. I couldn’t escape the feeling that my job was essentially to throw mud at the wall and see if anything stuck.

After all, isn’t that what cold calling really is?

Every real estate agent knows about cold calling. There’s a reason it’s called “cold” calling: because it’s as hard as ice, as appealing as a blizzard, and as much fun as sneezing and coughing all day.

But what could I do? Cold calling is how real estate selling works. It's practically set in stone.

Then, one day, I had an idea.

I had a stack of business cards on my desk. I carried several with me wherever I went, handing them out like candy. How many of those business cards would get thrown away? Lost? Used to write another agent’s name and number on the back?

If only I could get people to keep my business cards for a long time; if I could make it so my business card was valued and presented me as an expert in my field, I would probably have to do less cold calling. But how could I make a business card appealing enough that people would want to keep it?

That’s when the idea for BookLeads (now MyBooks) came to me. If my business card was a book, people would not be so haphazard with it. Books have an inherent assumed value, and people tend to keep them for years and years. When you gift someone a book, they consider it something special.

I immediately set to work making this idea a reality. I wrote out everything I had ever learned on the topic of selling homes: how to stage a home, common negotiation mistakes, proven marketing approaches, etc. I printed up a few copies with my name and photo on the cover and started handing them out.

I was astonished at the results. Over the course of about eight months, I got nearly 50 listings directly from the book.

Suddenly, cold calling wasn’t taking up much of my day anymore.

Years later, I still highly recommend the original book I used, the business card MyBook titled, The Secret of Wealthy Home Sellers, as the first book agents should buy. It’s universally appealing to all types of home sellers, no matter what stage of the process they’re in. It worked unbelievably well for me, it’s worked incredibly well for many other people, and it can help you, too.

But how does it work? Take this hypothetical situation:

You meet a family expecting a new baby and thus looking to move into a bigger home. They want to sell but are thinking about doing it themselves to save money.

Rather than try to convince them right there on the spot to not go with that plan and insist they hire you, simply hand them the book. Tell them that the book has a lot of great tips that will help them on their journey, and if they ever have any questions to contact you.

You’re not pressuring them. You’re not making them feel like they don’t know what they’re doing, or are in-over-their-heads. You are merely assisting them by giving them the gift of your advice.

They will keep that book. Chances are, they’ll read it, or at the very least, skim through it.

And guess what?

Everything in the book is geared towards one purpose: to convince them that hiring you as an agent will make selling their home much easier and net them more cash.

At this point, one of two things will happen: They’ll call you and want to work with you, or the book will go on a shelf for them to stew over the possibility of hiring you. Whether they hire you or not, that book will stay with them, a constant reminder that you are available should they ever need your help.

That’s far more than you can say for any regular old business card.

And even if, in the end, they choose to sell without you, the book on their shelf could work for you. Maybe they have a friend who is thinking of selling their home, so the family gives them your book and says, “This book gave us a lot of good ideas; you should read it.”

Now, even though that family didn’t work with you in an official capacity, they’ve gotten you a lead.

The bottom line is that people see you on the cover of a book and see you as an expert in your field. Because the book has a perceived value, you have a higher perceived value as a real estate agent.

I run webinars where I am lucky enough to get to chat with people all across the country who use MyBooks to net themselves listings, and some of their results are simply extraordinary.

One person recently got a $225,000 listing, and another secured a $250,000 listing. I even heard from one agent who landed a whopping $417,000 listing from handing out a business card book.

One agent I had the pleasure of chatting with had some great success with the book, and ended up buying a bunch of them in bulk. He gave them away to everyone he knew and got 25 listings in less than a year.

You don’t have to wonder where to begin with this whole process. The business card book is the absolute best place to start when it comes to stepping up your branding and marketing game.

Of course, the other books are wonderful, too, and they’re a terrific resource if you have some more specific niches you like to work.

But for nearly every real estate agent out there, the business card book should be an integral part of your promotional strategy.

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