A word-of-mouth recommendation is the best kind of referral any Realtor can get. It’s almost a guarantee that when a client recommends you to their friend, colleague or family member, you’ll get that listing.
So how do you get people to want to talk about you and your services to other people?
The secret lies in your books.
You've heard about the Smart Agents books, but maybe you haven't given them a try. Other Realtors are landing loads of listings with their books.
If you do have books, are you using the books to your advantage? Or, are they still sitting on your desk? If you haven’t gotten a listing from the books, it’s time to start using them.
Simply having the books won’t get you listings. They are not a magic solution. They’re a tool that you can use to grow your business organically. Simply hand them out and follow up. The books allow you to forego traditional hard sales and manipulation tactics.
When you give out the book, you give out something of value, and people value you because you have valuable information to share.
So how do you work with your books to get more listings?
1. Here's what you need to do to get one listing from your books.
Once you get a new book, make it a habit to read it and become familiar with the contents. Remember, your goal is to show clients you’re an expert in real estate — that you know what you’re doing and even went a step ahead in writing a book.
So, you definitely have to know what the book is all about. We’re not talking about cramming the entire book, but actually familiarizing yourself with what each chapter discusses. This way, if a client asks you a question about the contents of the book, you won’t be clueless.
Once you’re familiar with the book, hand copies to your most promising leads. These are a good place to start because they probably need just one more nudge to list with you, and what better way to seal the deal than to hand them a book?
Instead of leaving your books at the dentist’s office or even mailing them out, hand-deliver them to people who are highly likely to give you a listing. Give it to a person, if possible, instead of just setting it around town.
Even if you just knock on the door and hand out the book, that’s way more powerful than putting it in the mail.
While delivering the books, build rapport with the clients and showcase your authority by referencing points mentioned in the book. See why reading the book is important?
For example, if you're talking to a home seller and they're asking you questions about how you market the home, reference the chapter talking about how to market a house. You could say something like:
"Yes. I talk about that in my book in Chapter 5 — the different ways I market your house such as using professional photos, Facebook ads, virtual tours etc."
Doing this will leave most clients thoroughly impressed, so much that they won’t have to think twice about giving you the job.
Mariano, one of our book customers, goes door knocking and will often hand out his books to clients who are looking to sell their homes.
Recently, Mariano happened to come across a client who was selling his house FSBO. He handed him his book and advised him to use the tips in the book to sell his house. The client was so impressed with Mariano that he gave him the listing on the spot!
Mariano didn’t even have to come back for a listing presentation. The client was already convinced that Mariano was the right agent to work with. Check out his story here:
2. Now that you have a listing, how do you turn it into a second?
When you land that initial listing, give them an extra copy of the book and ask them to hand out a few copies to people they know who are thinking about selling.
This seller is already sold on you. And when you give them a book, it's easier for them to sell other people on you.
I did this a lot in Jacksonville. I’d give every listing additional copies of my book, and many of them passed on the book to someone else. These people contacted me later on about listing their houses.
So with each listing you get, simply ask the seller to pass on the extra copy to someone else. Say:
"Hey. Give this to anybody you know who's selling."
People hardly ever throw away books, so once you give the home seller two copies of your book, those books are going to stay on the kitchen counter, or the dining room table, or somewhere else in their home. And when their friends come over, chances are they might see the book and ask about it.
Do a quick follow-up with your new client a few days or a week later to find out if they shared the book with another lead, and get their contact information, if possible.
You could say: "Hey, were you able to pass out the book? Do you need another copy of the book? And in the conversation, ask them, "Who'd you pass it out to?"
Once you get the contacts, arrange for a meeting immediately and mention that you were referred to them by your client.
3. Too shy to go door knocking? Here’s what you need to do.
Getting cold feet every time you try to get out of your office and go door knocking is pretty normal, even among the most experienced Realtors.
Striking up a conversation with a stranger isn’t one of those things that come easy for everyone. If you find yourself struggling to knock on people’s doors to market your services, fret not — you’re not alone. Actually, studies show that roughly 48% of Americans consider themselves shy!
To break the pattern of work-related shyness, begin by knowing and working your strengths. Make a list of your best character traits. Knowing that you’re good at something will give you a confidence boost.
When you’re ready to go out and prospect door to door, put everything aside and focus on the conversation that will take place.
Speaking of conversations, what do you say to your prospects? The most important thing is to know how to start the conversation, and the rest will flow naturally.
Here are a few conversation starters you can use when you go door knocking:
For Sale By Owner
"Hey, I noticed you're selling your house For Sale by Owner. My name is X, I'm a Realtor, and I'm not knocking on your door to list your house. I just wanted to see if I could give you a copy of my book that has some great tips to help you sell your house faster, and potentially sell it for more money."
Keep the conversation going by saying something like:
"I was just wondering if the house does not sell, how long you think you’ll wait before you might consider hiring an agent to help you sell?"
"Hey, sorry to interrupt you. My name is X, and I'm a real estate agent. I noticed you had your house for sale with another Realtor, and it didn't sell. I just wanted to give you a copy of my book that has some good tips that can help you sell a house that didn't previously sell. Would you be interested in this book? Are you still interested in selling? Would you mind if I stopped by sometime, took a look at your house and gave you some different ideas to sell it?"
"Hey, I'm an agent, and I noticed you had your house for sale a little while ago and it didn't sell. I've got a great book here that has some tips you can use to sell a house that didn't previously sell. I'd be happy to offer you this book for free. I also wanted to check and see, if you could get the right price for your home, you would consider selling it today?"
Not a FSBO or Expired
"Hey, here's a copy of my book that shows you how you can sell your house for more money. Would you like to have a copy?"
If they say yes, continue:
“I’ve got some different strategies that might be able to sell your house — where it didn’t sell previously. Would you mind if I stopped by sometime to look at your home and see if one of those strategies could work for you?”
Check out our extensive blog post on how to drop off the books and what to say.
As you can see, if you work with your books, they will work for you.
Get these books and put them to work for you! MyBooks is a marketing tool for agents to license and promote themselves as published authors. With added authority, you can prepare to see a major spike in success.
Among other benefits, as a MyBooks member, you gain access to 14 licensed real estate books, a Google-ranked website, a blog with more than 100 pre-written posts and templates for effective social media marketing.
Use Smart Agents resources and begin building a solid system that works for you!
Joe Nickelson is a real estate professional dedicated to helping home buyers and sellers achieve their dreams of owning property, and helping real estate agents stop using the sometimes-vicious tactics that weigh on their consciences. He believes that the Smart Agents books will, quite literally, change people’s lives for the better. Check out his full bio here!