"I really don't like cold-calling people because I don't like to be cold-called."
Jessica found that using the books was a much warmer approach.
"You're truly equipping people with information that they need to know, that they need to understand, in order to successfully sell their home and for top dollar."
Listen to her story here, and read her Q&A with our team below.
Smart Agents: How long have you been using the Smart Agent books?
Jessica: Since November of last year.
Smart Agents: Which of the books do you use?
Jessica: "Knowing Your Home’s Worth," and "Marketing Tips For Your Home To Get It Sold At Any Price." I've also gotten "For Sale by Owner" books. I haven't used those yet.
Smart Agents: All right, and how many books have you given away so far?
Smart Agents: Okay, and how many listings have you gotten from these 10 books?
Jessica: I have two.
Smart Agents: Oh good, and what type of leads did you give the books to?
Jessica: They were a specific neighborhood that I've been farming that's close to my home. It has recently started to have some movement after really not having movement in it for several years. So it led me to believe that, that was a property that when people purchase there, they do stay there for a longer period of time. So I just started marketing to neighborhoods that have that yield where the home owners have been there for five, seven, 10 years, and they're most likely to start renovating and selling.
Smart Agents: Which of the two books has been the most successful for you?
Jessica: Those are the only ones that I've used and both have been very useful. I have one listing on the book, "Knowing Your Home’s Worth" and then one upcoming listing on the "Marketing Any Home."
Smart Agents: What are some of the tactics that you use in handing out the books?
Jessica: Well, I haven't been in the industry that long. I've been in the industry for five years and since being in the industry, I've worked in different roles on high-producing teams, and also in real estate law. So in my listing package that I sent to these homes, I include what makes me different. So I included that expertise and that experience and having experience on many different lanes inside of real estate, which I believe evens the playing field for me compared to others that have perhaps been in the industry longer. But that time doesn't necessarily equal expertise or knowledge, or a capacity to have a successful sale or closing.
Smart Agents: What else did you do besides just giving them the book?
Jessica: Well, I followed the system provided by Smart Agents. So I looked for some neighborhoods that were close to me that would be easy to service, that had a higher probability of starting to generate more opportunity. Then, I sent my books, and then I followed up with a phone call about a week or so afterwards just to make sure that they had received the books. I don't like cold-calling at all — I think I mentioned that in the video. So it was definitely more of a warm phone call, which made it I think less intimidating for myself and it allowed me to probably come across more competently. So that just kind of opened a dialogue and surprisingly they didn't ask me a lot of like in depth questions from the book, like I thought that they would. They kind of just asked me more about my experience, how have I been able to overcome maybe homes that were slightly more outdated or that needed renovations, and those kinds of things, which the book touches on. But they didn't spend a lot of time asking me specific details. So I was kind of nervous that I was going to have a lot of the content of these books memorized in case they wanted to grill me or test me in some way.
But I think definitely having the combination of the book with my unique value proposition that highlighted, not just my fiduciary responsibility as an agent, like as a Realtor, I think that, I mean, people should already know. That's your job, and I shouldn't have to waste probably the only time I may have with these people to convince them they should work with me above anybody else, recapping that. I needed to just focus on what made me different and so I think with those two pieces and then you know with just some comps in the neighborhood, some of the things I've been able to do before and after. That was really all I needed to kind of cement their confidence in myself to go ahead and represent them.
Smart Agents: So you feel that the books were really a big part of your success in getting the listings?
Jessica: Yeah, just making me look as competent and as successful as my unique value proposition was that I included in my listing package. They went hand in hand.
Smart Agents: Do you feel like you get more respect from the sellers because you gave them the book?
Jessica: Yes, but again, I think it also ties into including a complete package — like I feel like if I would have just given them the book, I'm not sure how successful or what their perceptions would have been of me. But I think because I gave them something that no one else has given them, it's something that is meant educate them, and I also gave them something about me that makes me different on how I can help them. Not just as a Realtor, not just as someone that knows the details and the nuances of the paperwork involved, but also the lending side of things and the closing side of things. Then, just an overall recap of what is happening in the market, I kind of tapped into all of those areas of concern. So, I think definitely following the system for the pre-listing package, that Smart Agents provided, helped the most. Like every piece of that was important, not just one more than another.
Smart Agents: What would you say are some of your immediate goals for your business?
Jessica: Well, I'm with an agency and they have a cap and once you cap, you keep 100% of your commissions. So I have a goal to cap by June, which is three-and-a-half, or four months from now. So I definitely need to be aggressive in my approach and since I'm now starting to pick up traction with maybe some of those people that were considering listing in the spring or summer. By starting to hit them in the winter months, using these books and continuing to use the packages the way I've been using them and then following up, that I will definitely be able to reach my goal the latest by June.
Smart Agents: What do you feel has held you back from reaching these goals in the past?
Jessica: Well, I used to work a lot, for a lot of different people and then certainly being in real estate law, you just don't have the flexibility for lead generation during acceptable hours. I mean, you can't call people at nine o'clock at night saying, “Hey, you want to list your house?” So that and also just lacking confidence in myself, not thinking that what makes me different is truly valuable to other people, and that people that want to sell or buy would actually have an interest and see how important that is. Because you know, my office in particular has a lot of really successful agents, really successful teams and you know, feeling like you just kind of get lost in other people’s experience was something that I allowed to hold me back for a really long time. The books helped just kind of ignite that process of this is a way to differentiate myself from everybody else, and then that kind of opened the door to tapping into what else do I bring that other people don't have? That kind of evens the playing field for myself.
Smart Agents: Do you think the books will help you grow your business in future?
Jessica: I absolutely do.
Smart Agents: How many listings do you think you'll be able to get on a monthly basis if you continue using the books?
Jessica: I'm hoping five at a minimum, you know, but I feel like that's a pretty controlled pace that I can manage just on my own. But you know the listings that I've picked up, they have homes to sell and they also have to buy, so just two transactions has turned into four. So assuming that, that continues five listings can very easily turn into 10 transactions. That would be exciting.
Smart Agents: What kind of feedback have you gotten from clients about the books?
Jessica: Well, they've all said that they've never received anything like that, like ever, not in their whole experience of selling and buying. These are not first-time home owners; these are people that have done this before, so that definitely was something that stood out for them. Then, also the fact that I presented myself in a professional way. I mean, I think my headshot is a professional headshot and I know a lot of people in my office use professional headshots. But according to them, their experiences, it was a lot more professional and polished and put together than some of the other experiences that they've had with agents that they've worked with, which was surprising to me. That it's information that they'll be able to use over and over in order to continue selling properties instead of just only suitable for like their current property, or one specific kind of a situation. So it's multi-dimensional, which is something that they like.
Smart Agents: How does this feedback make you feel?
Jessica: It makes me feel like I've hit a home run, that I've tapped into something that other people don't know about and something that obviously makes me stand out. I think that's the most important thing, with technology and with how quickly things spread in real estate, I think you know personal touches are very lost. By leveraging both technology and these kind of more out ... I don't want to say outdated but like old school ways of communicating and getting information to peoples' hands goes a long way.
Smart Agents: Lastly, would you recommend this system to another agent?
Jessica: Yes, I have to two other agents. I've spoken to more agents about it, but these are other agents that have been in the industry for a long time and they don't necessarily feel that they would have a good return or maybe they feel it's gimmicky. But the other agents that I've spoken to about it, that it's really appealed to them. They're kind of closer to my age — I'm 30 — so they're like 35 and 40, so I definitely think there's a generational appeal to leveraging this kind of stuff in your business. So hopefully, they'll actually jump in.