Are you tired of never having a consistent stream of business?
Are you overwhelmed by having to chase down listings because you don't know where the next one will come from?
You know that you need to get out of this vicious cycle of always having to literally beg clients to list with you, every day, every week, every month.
You've found this great niche that is easier to list but, yet you find yourself still chasing them down.
This has to stop.
Today Ben Curry and Joe Nickelson will show you a way to stop doing business this way and start having listings come in automatically without you having to chase them down every single month.
They will show you the secret that one of the Smart Agents members has been using that got her five listings in two and a half months.
In this Webinar you'll learn how to create a pipeline that brings you constant listings through the door without having to get on the phone and prospecting every single day, calling the FSBOs, the expireds etc.
Instead you'll learn how to establish a well-oiled machine that can bring you five listings in two and a half months.
No matter how the market is doing if you have a listing pipeline- you are going to get listings. You will thrive in your real estate business when you have a pipeline.
Now wouldn't that be sweet!
Watch the recorded Webinar here:
Replay of Vacant Home Listings Pipeline Training Webinar with Ben Curry & Joe Nickelson
Here is a transcript of the Webinar with Ben Curry & Joe Nickelson
Ben Curry: Hey everyone, its Ben Curry starting today and let me put starting now on my screen. I'm going to show you how to build a listings system, actually six different ways, five or six different ways that you can build a listing system that brings in listings automatically. Let's do a quick audio check, just type in, yes, I can hear you. Yes, the audio is working properly. Matt is letting us know, Joey are you there? Let's see if Joey, if the audio is working properly for him as well?
Joe Nickelson: I am here and I am ready to roll.
Ben Curry: All right, let us know if we can hear Joe. Yes, I can hear Joe. We got Troy, Steven, Debbie, Sue, Matt, Jim. All right, we can hear Joe, awesome. Let's get started, this is actually pretty cool because I know for most of us that have been in the business, we've spent our entire time in the real estate business chasing down business. It's kind of the rule of real estate unless you're really big and established, you're always chasing business. You never know how many listings you're going to get that month, next month. You never have a consistent stream of business, you never know where your next listing is going to come from and as a result you get used to always chasing down listings. What I'm going to show you today is a way to stop doing business that way and start having listings come in automatically without you having to chase them down every single month. I'll go through a couple of different examples, but this is actually an example from a realtor in Colorado.
Ben Curry: Cindy's a Smart Agents member, she's in Colorado. We actually did an interview with her and posted it on the blog. I could play the interview if you want me to. But she used the books and got five listings on two and a half months using the books. I'll actually send you a link to it. If you pull it up right here, this is Cindy, she did an interview. You can play the audio right there, just go to the website. I got to delete that, it's playing in my ears. That's the link to the audio for the interview with Cindy where she talks about what she did, how she did it and got five listings in two and a half months. What she did was she placed the books in waiting rooms, hospitals, car dealerships. I can't remember if she said dentist office or not, but she just started placing her books asking the office manager, the receptionist if she could leave her book there. And they said yes, she left it there. People who were at the hospital or car dealership, et cetera.
Ben Curry: And right through the book a client called and asked her to sell her house. Worked out pretty well for her in that two and a half months she got five listings. Pretty cool results, I do know the books for me made a big difference in not having to chase business down so much anymore. An example of that is this house I listed right here back in the beginning of 2016. I met with the sellers I think in December 2015, did my usual listing presentation, gave them my book. And in most cases, I would follow up. I guess it was just the habit I was in from before I'd use the books, it was chase down the business. But I was really, really busy and they were going to be putting their house back in the market I think in spring. I met with them in December, the market is slow even here in Florida during the winter. And they're like, "Ben, we're going to relist, but we're going to list in the spring. We're going to list our house with a new agent in the spring."
Ben Curry: I gave them my book, I was pretty busy. I think I made a note to follow up around in February 15th, never called them. There was just too much going on, I was listing a bunch of other houses, I was doing all sorts of different stuff. I saw the reminder, call these people, call these people, call these people and didn't get around to doing it. And then the wife called me at the office and asked me, "Hey Ben, we remember you. We had your book, we met with you and we want to hire you to sell our house." It's pretty cool where the book really positioned me so much better. I was able to get the listing without having to chase them down and follow up five times and ask when you are going to list the house with me? Are you ready to put it back in the market? It really got rid of a lot of that.
Ben Curry: That's the big thing, let's go into the nuts and bolts of all the different strategies that you can use where instead of prospecting or doing lots of lead follow-up because whenever your prospect, you got to do lead follow up on the leads that you get from prospecting. Instead, what you can do is go out and plant your books in waiting rooms and other you know spots around your city and get listings as a result. Here's idea number one, this is what Cindy did. Se placed her books in the hospital, you can put them in dentist offices because people go into the dentist, they sit in the waiting room. They need something to read. Chiropractors, car dealerships, we talked to an agent in California who got a couple listings from ... No, I don't think he got them from car dealerships. I do remember there was an agent I think in Texas, I don't remember his information, but there was an agent in Texas who placed his books in a car dealership waiting room and got a listing as a result.
Ben Curry: I don't remember his name, I just remember seeing that testimonial a little while ago. You can put them in the lobbies for people that are getting the oil changed in their car, places that replace tires, fix tires, et cetera. There's a lot of opportunities to do that. And I'm sure you're probably wondering, okay, that's a great idea, but how do I actually go and talk to the dentist or talk to the chiropractor or their receptionist and get my books placed in their spot? What you do is you go and visit the place in person. And my experience, you're going to get a lot better results visiting in person. You can bring the book with you. Everything just makes more sense, they get to see your face, they get to realize you're legit, you know dress nice. Your presentation is going to make a big difference, but if they see you in person, it's going to be a lot easier for them to say, "Yes, you can leave your book in our lobby so people that are visiting can read it."
Ben Curry: Visit the place in person, talk to the receptionist. Sometimes the receptionist can say yes. If not, then you'll have to talk to the office manager and just ask, "Hey, do you guys ever need reading material for people in the waiting rooms?" And they'll say, "Yeah, we do need reading material." "Okay, cool. I have a book about real estate, it shows how to sell your house for more money, how to do a better job at selling your house. Would you mind if I left my book in your waiting room? "No, I think that makes sense. "You ask them and go to your dentist, go to the chiropractor, go to all these different places in town that have a waiting room. And again, not everybody is going to say yes. But if you get three or four spots, these people can have a lot of customers. I remember bringing my dog to the vet about, gosh, 15 years ago and there were 20 people in the waiting room at the vet.
Ben Curry: You could probably add veterinarians to this list, but people go to these places, they sit down, they wait for hours or 20, 30 minutes. They're bored, they got nothing to do, they're reading through the magazines. If your book's there, you're going to get some business as a result from people who read through the book. Another place, assisted living homes. Again, visit the facility in person, talk to the receptionist, ask the same thing. And Bill has a good question, let me go through what Bill is asking. Let me back up one slide. Bill is saying, "Hey, when you're visiting any of these places that have a waiting room," which it can be oil change, tires, it can be a chiropractor, it can be a dentist, it can be a veterinarian office, do you suggest leaving more than just one book per location? Let's say a veterinarian says, "Yes, you can leave your in my office, in our lobby." If you're going to get a yes, that's a big deal. I would probably put two or three in there. And then the other thing that I will recommend you do is you go back and you check maybe every couple of weeks. You just visit the office and you check the lobby, you see if your book is still there. If your book is not still there, put another book there.
Ben Curry: I think it was Cindy, the earlier person I talked about who said that her husband would have to go around about every two weeks to all these different places and check and make sure that their books were still there because people would take them home, people would throw them away, sometimes the cleaning people.
Ben Curry: I know one agent who left them at a hospital in the waiting room. The cleaning people would think they were trash, they were left over by a customer and they weren't supposed to be there so they would throw them away. That agent, they had to get a little label and put it on the book and say, I don't remember what they put on it, but basically to let the cleaning people know that the book could be left there. There's just different stuff. If you're going to get the yes, once you've got a little source of business like this, leave a couple books. Go back every couple of weeks and check in and make sure that your books are still there and all the visitors are still going to be able to see them. Another opportunity, again, assisted living, retirement homes. These people have a lot of people that are going to moving into their place. And a lot of those people are going to be selling their house because they don't need their house anymore. They don't want it anymore, et cetera.
Ben Curry: Again, you can visit in person, talk to receptionist. Just ask, "Hey, do you ever have new customers that need to sell their house? Yeah, okay, cool, you do. Would you be willing to give them my book?" And you offer them the book. And sometimes they'll say yes and sometimes they'll say no. If that doesn't work, ask them if you can place your book in the lobby. And sometimes a receptionist, you can get it all approved from them, sometimes you'll have to talk to the office manager or the facility's manager or whatever in order to get them to let you either leave the book in the lobby or where they'll agree to give your book away to any new clients coming in the door. Adam is an agent who is in California, he did this. He contacted 21 different assisted living and retirement centers.
Ben Curry: Four of those centers agreed that they would give his book away to any of their new customers like, "Yeah, that makes sense. We'll recommend you to any of our new customers because some of them have to sell their house. Nobody's ever talked to us. Yeah, we'd be interested in recommending you as the realtor of choice. We'll give your book away to potential new customers. And if people want to contact you to sell their house, they can." That's how you can go out and build referral centers or sources of business where you're not having a prospect every single day for listings. And Janet has a good idea, break rooms. She said you could put one in the break room. Let's say you go to an assisted living facility, you could place one in the waiting room, you could also put one in the break room because people who work at the assisted living facility might need something to read or might be interested in that. You could also leave your book in one of their break rooms.
Ben Curry: I didn't think of that, but that's actually a really cool idea. Thank you Janet for sending that over. Guys and gals, I'm not here to pretend to be the smartest person in the world, but these are some really cool ideas. In fact, a lot of the ideas I'm showing you are ideas that customers came up with, implemented themselves, got results and now I'm telling you about what they did. Joey, do you have something to say?
Joe Nickelson: Yeah. I would just go put mine down, I wouldn't ask. We all have cars, cars or horses, we get oil changes. We have doctor appointments, we have dentist appointment and we have school functions if we have children or if we have nieces and nephews. And we're in all these public places, and I would always have my book with me in the car and I would take it in there. And sometimes I would read it, I was going through the book and making some changes. I'd mark it up sometimes and I would just leave it there. I would leave it at the dentist's office, at schools anywhere because there's always a place for a book. Magazines get thrown out, I never had any issues of people complaining about me leaving my books behind. I know I got leads from them, I got phone calls from them. I'm not God, so I don't know if some of them didn't get thrown away or not. But I would just leave them everywhere and I would leave one or two. And it just became a habit.
Joe Nickelson: For you ladies who carry a purse, put two or three in your purse and just have them with you. I was with an agent in San Francisco and we're walking around. And in about an hour, I told him 10 places we were at that he could have left his book. And he was just beating his head against the wall like, "Dang it, I should have brought my book here," because we were at coffee shops, we were at a print shop, we were at a assisted living center. And he didn't have his book with him, but he said, "Hey, it would have been perfect I would have had it with me." I would say keep the book with you and just set it everywhere.
Ben Curry: Yeah, that's true, I agree 100%. There's obviously different opinions, you can just leave it there when you're there. If you go to your dentist, you put it down on the desk on the table that has all the magazines at your dentist and just leave it there. Or if you want to get more of, not an endorsement, but more explicit permission, then you can ask the people. Or if you're going to a place that you've never been to, let's say you're going to a dentist office that you don't go to, maybe you go visit all the dentist's offices in your neighborhood and plant your book at all of them. I definitely think it's a good idea to go to the places you're already going to. But there's different things, you could just leave it in places you go to or if you want to go to a lot more places, you can ask them as well. There's no particularly right or wrong way to do it, it's just get your books out there and start getting business from them.
Ben Curry: Ernie is asking, "Do you recommend a small resume at the back of the books?" Yeah, I think it's a great idea to add a small resume or a bio at the back of the books. If that's something you want to do on your books, whenever you get them printed, we do have the option to add a bio. You can add a bio, which is essentially a resume to your books. And it'll be on. I think in the last chapter of the book. It's an option that we have for all the books that we get printed. Allan has a good question, let me answer Allan's questions and show you what I would recommend. Allan's question is, what book would you recommend leaving that people could use? Well, let me show you the book that I would probably use, one of the business card books. Maybe I'd order one of the more obscure titles, something like this or something like this.
Ben Curry: But I would recommend using the business card book with one of the different titles that we've got, Secrets Every Home Seller Needs to Know. The blue one right here My Proven System for Selling Homes Fast for Top Dollar. I would recommend one of these books, they're going to work the best. And then some of the strategies I'm going to show you today also have to deal with the home buyers. You're not going to leave a seller book for the home buyers, you'll leave a home buyer book. I recommend using the standard home buyer guide book or use the standard business card book. Joey, it sounded like you were going to say something for a second.
Joe Nickelson: Now, I'm just going to post a picture on the chat of some things I did with my book. I'll pull this while you're going on.
Ben Curry: Okay. Debbie and Alan, I think I answered both your questions. John, I'll answer your question later. Another thing, and this is strategy that this girl came up with on her own, it's really cool. She went to an event, let me go to the testimonial. I'll just stop, there was a customer, a Smart Agents customer. I can't remember her name, I think it was Sharon or Sherri who went to an event. And here's the article, this is where Chuck did an interview with I think her name was Sharon. She went to an event, she set up a table, she got two listings in two hours just by offering out her books in the event. You can play the highlights right there. Let me chat that real fast. If you're able to see the chat, the chat is not under the questions, the chat is under another part of the GoToWebinar interface. Here's a bunch of different events. You could set up a little booth, you could set up a booth at a farmers market, a concert, a home show, a rodeo, any kind of festival.
Ben Curry: Basically, any place where there's large quantities of people going somewhere for some sort of an event, flea markets, et cetera. There's lots of different ways, lots of different events that you can set up a little booth and give away your books. This is something you're thinking about doing. I would start with farmers markets. I don't know exactly how much it costs to get a booth at a farmers market, but it can't be that expensive. Let me tell you about what happened recently, I went and visited a farmers market in my area, the average price in this area in the city I live, in the neighborhood right around the farmers market is about $500,000. It's pretty high-end, it's not cheap. I went and visited the farmers market. And here's what I found, I saw a roofer. They weren't selling any organic homemade cheese or organic homegrown veggies, vegetables or special meat that's never had ... Or herbicides, and I don't know all the different stuff. I'm talking a little too crazy. As you can tell, I'm not a huge organic person. I just buy produce normally.
Ben Curry: Anyways, I'm at this farmers market. When you go to the farmers market, you expect to see organic produce and special homemade cheese and homemade soap. But I did see some of those people, but about half the people at the farmers market were selling other stuff. For example, I saw someone that was a roofing contractor and they did roofing and gutter. They set up a little stand, "Hey, are you looking to get your roof replaced, I'll give you a free quote." Then there was somebody else who was selling Cutco knives. I don't know too much about them, but some knives. They're giving you demonstrations, they're so sharp. They're the best knives in the world. And then I even saw a church, there was a church that was there trying to, I don't know, get members, spread the gospel, however you want to look at it. And they're setting up their little booth at the farmers market. I'm like, "Wow, this is kind of crazy."
Ben Curry: If you're a realtor and you set up a stand at a farmers market, you're not going to be a renegade that's doing some horrible thing that's bad and illegal. There's already people at these farmers markets that are not selling organic fruits and vegetables, they're selling Cutco knives, they're selling roofing contracting, lots of other stuff. It's not like you're breaking the law or you're breaking what's acceptable for society. In my opinion, you're fine going to a farmers market and setting up a booth and offering out your books. The reason that I would recommend starting with the farmers market rather than starting with something big and expensive is with a farmers market, the cost to set up a booth is not that expensive. I don't know what the cost is, I've never been a vendor at a farmers market, but I can't imagine it's going to be that much money because they're not selling their organic fruits and vegetables for thousands of dollars.
Ben Curry: There's a lot of visitors that go to farmers markets. One of them in my town, another one that's a little bit different part of town is slammed. You have to weave your way through all the people there, there's so much traffic. It's very popular, you get a lot of visitors. From what I gather, it's a pretty inexpensive way to get the experience, and it gives you practice. Before you go out and spend $2,000 to rent a booth at a home show, instead, what you can do is you can practice at a farmers market, spend 50 to 100 bucks to set up a booth that way. Get some practice, get the experience, get some business from that, get used to talking to people and develop the whole conversation starters and stuff like that so you know how it works. And then you go spend $2,000 and set up a booth at a home show. I do know also the booths at rodeos, at fairs, at concerts, some of those can be kind of expensive. Some of those can be 500 to 1,000. With a farmers market, you could target a high-end area of town.
Ben Curry: Right here, in Jacksonville, they have a farmers market in Atlantic Beach. That was actually the farmers market I went to. In Atlantic Beach, they have a farmers market every single weekend, the average price is half a million dollars. The farmers market in Neptune Beach, which is about a mile down the road, I think they have it every week, and the average price there is about 4 to $50,000 dollars. If you go to Ponte Vedra, they probably have a farmers market too as well. I don't know, I've never been to it. The average price there is $800,000. There's a lot of opportunity to get your name out there with farmers markets. What were you going to say Joe?
Joe Nickelson: No, my microphone was just making noises.
Ben Curry: I'm out of town today so my microphone quality is way lower than it normally is. Let me go through a couple of questions. Ernie asked, do you recommend putting ... I think I already answered that question, do you recommend putting a resume at the back of the book. I already answered that question. Barbara has a good question, this is very smart. Barbara says, I am thinking of putting client testimonials in my book, what do you think? I think that's a great idea Barbara. Sometimes if you already have your books printed, you can just type up your customer testimonials in a word doc and then print that out and fold the paper in half and just put it into the book almost like a page saver or an insert. That's a good way to do it. If you want to, you can also add the customer testimonials to the contents of the book. You probably have to do a special request with your order. I don't know all the logistics of getting that set up. Client testimonials make a big difference.
Ben Curry: And I would recommend either adding them to the contents of the books or just printing them out in a word doc, folding that piece of paper in half and then just inserting it into the books, almost like a page saver. Karen has a question. Karen's like, "Why can't I see the chat?" Let me show you how to see the chat everyone. I'm going to drag this over, I guess I can't drag this over. The chat is another thing, if you look at your GoToWebinar thing on the left hand side of your screen, you'll see a little plus or a little arrow next to where it says chat. You should be able to find the chat there. Shanta has a great point, there's one agent in my neighborhood that sets up a table for Halloween and he offers candy to the kids and hot drinks and real estate info to the adults. It's a good idea. Halloween happened a couple of days ago, we're too late for that. But for Halloween, you could set up a thing and people can be trick-or-treating and you can offer them your books and stuff.
Ben Curry: And Karen has a question, what happened when you went to the farmers market? I've never done, I've never given away my books at a farmers market. But I wish I had when I was doing real estate. Here's a couple more things. If you're going to do the work of going and setting up a booth at a farmers market or at a concert or a festival or a fair, set up your booth and then put up a banner that says free real estate books. That's going to get people to come over, check it out, what are the free books? How does this work? Why are they free? Et cetera. Another thing you can do is when someone's walking past, you can ask them, "Hey, do you want a free real estate book?" I know somebody who did amazingly well at trade shows. And if someone walked past, he would ask them, "Hey, do you want some free info on what we do." And people would stop and he'd get more potential customers as a result. While you're there, while you're setting up or if it's slow, you can also talk to the other vendors.
Ben Curry: They probably make decent money, you give them your book and you might get other business from the other vendors as well. There's lots of other opportunities to get business from the other vendors. Put up a banner, it's going to get more people to stop rather than just walking past because I do know having gone to the farmers market, having been to a home show here in Jacksonville, a lot of people don't have a clear offer for what they're doing. They don't even put up a banner, they just stand there and they wonder why they don't get any business. You got to be real clear with exactly what you're offering. And you want to make sure that you do everything you can to get people to see your booth, to see what you have to offer and stop in and ask for a copy of your book. Let me go, I've got a couple of questions that I haven't answered.
Ben Curry: All right. And Ernie has a question too, he says, "I've got a bio, I want to add it to the book, can I add it as part of the book in the back of the book or should I just do the thing you recommended where you fold a piece of paper and put it inside the book?" Either way is fine. When you get the books printed with us, we have the option to add a bio to the back of the book and you can type it up in a word doc and send it to our team and they'll add it to the book. However, if you don't have a bio done, if you have books that are already printed without your bio, you could also put that on a piece of paper, fold it up and put it inside the book as well. This is a good point.
Ben Curry: Felix has another good point, he said the local mall has a real estate booth inside the mall from a competing broker, would it be a good idea to put a booth on the opposite end of the mall and offer the books there? I don't know the answer to that. I do know I went to one of the malls in our city recently. In our city, we have one mall that's super, super expensive and there's no real estate agents with a booth there, there's no real estate companies. And it's like the most expensive high-end mall in Jacksonville. However, three or four months ago, I was visiting the other mall in town, which is not near as high-end, it's not near as expensive. And there was a real estate company that had a booth there. But here's what else was interesting, from my perspective, malls are kind of dying out. The second mall was dead, there was hardly any people there. And I don't know if they got much business from setting up a booth in the mall.
Ben Curry: In my opinion, I think the malls are going to be a ripoff compared to getting a booth at your flea market. And if you get a booth at the flea market, you can target the areas of town that have money, that have high-end homes, give away your books there. And at the mall, you don't know who's going to the mall. From what I know about the mall, they're going to charge you a ton of money to set up a booth. I'm just telling you in my opinion, it's not worth it. Let's keep going. Idea number four, whenever you meet with somebody, you can use your book as a replacement for a business card. This was another agent that I interviewed, this guy is in Virginia. And he met up, had a basketball game, I guess a pickup basketball game at the YMCA. I think he'd just gotten his books a couple of days before. And he showed up, was really confident, had his books inside of his gym bag.
Ben Curry: And he meets a guy, they're going to be playing basketball together. He says, "Hey man, do you know anybody that's looking for some real estate?" Just getting out there, just asking people, "Hey, do you know anybody that's looking to buy a house? Do you know anybody that's thinking of selling their house?" Turned out the guy that he asked, he was going to be playing basketball with him was thinking about buying some investment property. And Fred, the realtor ended up showing him a $400,000 rental property, a multi-family property the next day. Just get out there and talk to people whenever you're out and about, kind of like what Joey is talking about. Carry your books with you all the time. I know a realtor, this is not what I was going to talk about today. But I know a realtor who said he got a listing because he was at the pool at his apartment complex. And he was reading his book or pretending to read his book, I don't remember which one he said.
Ben Curry: And he got a listing because somebody at the pool saw his book, looked at the book, looked at him, realized he matched the picture on the cover of the book, started talking to him about real estate. And their parents or somebody like that ended up listing their house with him as a result of just seeing him reading the book at the apartment pool. Just get out there, just having your books in public. Another customer, we've had a customer who's gotten 20 or 30 listings from the books and he's ordered 1,300 books and he says, "I just give them out to anybody. If I'm out in public, I always got a book with me and I just give them away almost like candy on Halloween. I'm just giving away my books all the time, and it's paid off."
Ben Curry: Another thing you do is whenever you're at a chamber mixer or any kind of networking or interaction event, give away your books. We talked to another member named Sherry. She met a woman at a chamber mixer, somehow they talked about, "Hey, what do you do? "I'm a realtor." "Oh, wow, I'm looking to buy a house." Sherry gave her her bio book, I think she mentioned she totally forgot about the woman, she didn't get her phone number and call her 10 times and chase her down. The woman contacted her a couple of months later and Sherry sold her a house. Having your books is a big part of it any time you're out in public, whether at a mixer or any other kind of event. Here's another idea, Joey came up this idea. And we haven't done it yet, but this is genius. Let me go through what you can do. Everybody knows that people that relocate to a city, the first thing they do when they come to town is they have to have a place to sleep.
Ben Curry: They come to town, they land at the airport, they get their rental car. They drive to their hotel, they check in, they talk to the front desk, they check in. And then they go spend the night, go do their stuff in that city, get to know the area. Maybe they're getting relocated to town, et cetera. We all know that a lot of people move to town without getting in touch with a realtor. They just decide I'm moving to Jacksonville or I'm getting relocated a Jacksonville, they go to the hotel and they show up in town and they start looking at houses before they've hooked up with a realtor. Here's what you can do. This is an example right here, this area near what is called Southside Boulevard 295. And Butler Boulevard is probably the biggest business district of Jacksonville, Florida. You've got businesses like Blue Cross, Blue Shield, which has 4,000 employees who are in the finance industry who probably make an average of 80 to $100,000 a year.
Ben Curry: You've got Deutsche Bank, you've got Bank of America, you've got Merrill Lynch. You've got all these super high-end, super high paying jobs in the finance industry right here in this little area of my map. And you've got all your hotels, you've got all those hotels that you could go to and plant your books with. Here's what you do. Go ahead Joey.
Joe Nickelson: What I would add too is you post a label on your book. I just put two pictures in the chat box, I don't know if everybody got those.
Ben Curry: Let me pull them up.
Joe Nickelson: I put two of the books that I used. And one, I just put a label on that said public copy, feel free to take the copy. And I would just have white blank labels with me and so I could put a label on the book to let people know that they can actually take this book home, it doesn't belong to the store or the hotel. And then on the home improvement one, I did it more after I would talk to the store manager or the clerk. And then I put a label on and say, "Hey, this is a free book for true value customers." True value was a smaller kind of hardware store. Then it would sit on the shelf or on the waiting area or by the front cash register and people won't throw it out. And it almost made it look I was endorsed by true value.
Ben Curry: That's pretty cool.
Joe Nickelson: And you'll find out managers and hotel owners are going to be really open to the idea because if you're a realtor and you tell them, "Hey, I deal with buyers who come into town," they see it as you are going to bring them people to stay at their hotel too. And if you ever have an opportunity to have someone stay at that hotel, I would make a point to tell the hotel clerk at the front desk that you brought somebody there. And I would go off of the rule of reciprocity a lot. I would bring a $5 Starbucks gift card and I would even put a label on it that I printed out my business card on. And I would give him a card and say, "Hey, go get some coffee today, go get some coffee on me." People were really receptive when I would talk to them, give them a book, give them a Starbucks card.
Joe Nickelson: Not only did they remember me, but they looked at the book that sat on their hotel counter. And it was like a freaking mannequin of me staring them down 24/7. They don't forget my face. And when they thought of my face, I don't think they thought about how beautiful my face was, they thought about that cup of coffee that they enjoyed at Starbucks. And I've never seen someone pissed or upset drinking a cup of coffee. I want them to remember me by that cup of coffee. And again, like Ben says, your books aren't going to do anything for you sitting on your desk. Get them out into circulation whatever way you can. If you have to, go set them on the back of a toilet in a bathroom stall.
Ben Curry: Don't do that. Joey, that's a bad idea on that one. You guys can see the pictures, this is what Joe is showing us an example of putting the books, free book for true value customers. And I know what he's talking about. And that true value, that place is slammed on Saturdays. He's talking about the one right here in Neptune Beach Florida. The average price, house price in Neptune Beach is about 4 or $500,000. It's a high-end area, there's no other hardware store for probably 5, 6 miles, 10, 15 minutes away. The place is busy so you would just put your free book for true value. That's the same picture for both of those. And then the one on the top is public copy, feel free to take this copy. That's pretty cool. Wow, that's neat. I've got a bunch of questions.
Ben Curry: Basically, the deal with the hotel, ask the receptionist. Just visit in person, ask the receptionist, "Hey, would you mind giving my book away to anybody who's coming in from out of town, looking at moving here?" Because the hotel receptionists are usually going to be talkative and friendly, they're going to ask people, "Why are you visiting town? Do you need help with anything?" Et cetera. And that could be a good way for you to get your foot in the door with people that are going to be relocating to town because I know whenever someone comes to town to go to work for Deutsche Bank or Bank of America or Merrill Lynch, they're probably going to be staying at one of these hotels right around the corner. And then if they receptionist gives them a book and then they're checking out the area they're thinking of moving here, they realize you're great realtor for helping them buy a house. They're most likely to call you versus any random person they stumble onto.
Ben Curry: It's a good way to get your foot in the door with relocation business without having to go through all the regular channels. Let me go through all of our questions, I've got a bunch of questions over here. Let me start answering some of those.
Joe Nickelson: Somebody asked about having your book thrown away by your competing agent.
Ben Curry: Yeah, your competitors throw it away, that's how it works man.
Joe Nickelson: That's pretty dirty, but I would always like to leave my competitor's information around my book because my book would stand out above the crowd. And if there's no crowd, there's nobody to stand above. And for a real estate agent, the kiss of death, what I call the kiss of death is just being another realtor. If I ever became, oh, you're just another realtor, it was like I dug myself into a hole that wasn't possible to dig out of. With the book, it would make me stand out as different. I'm surprised how many agents do the same thing as the person next to them. And it's like they're doing something really hard too versus standing out, thinking out of the box and doing something different will get you way more listings than cold calling and beating your head against the wall all day to get one or two online.
Ben Curry: That's true. Let me go through some of the questions. Ernie is asking, what is the most generic book that I can buy in volume? The business card book, that's the most generic book. We've got like 12 to 14 different covers. Deborah has some good feedback, she said I gave up my books at open houses, people love free stuff. And I do know we've gotten a lot of feedback, a lot of testimonials from customers, realtors who've given away the books at open houses and gotten buyers, they've gotten listings. I know they work really well at open houses. Yolanda, that's funny, have you ever had any problems with the competition putting your books in the garbage? Yeah, I'm sure that's happened. It's just a cost of doing business I guess. Karen has a good question, at the hotel, how many books do you think you would give? I'd probably start out with 5 to 10 books and then check back in a week or two because hotels get a ton of visitors.
Ben Curry: Maybe you give out 10 books to that hotel receptionist and then check back in a week or two. And then once they've given away your 10 books, you check back in a week or two, they've realized, "Oh, my gosh, people are loving these books, this is pretty cool." You give them some more. at that point, if you check back in a week, you can determine if it makes sense to give them more books or not.
Joe Nickelson: And I would do even a letter in the book, just a word document letter that's welcoming them to the area. Fold it in half, put in your book. It can have a short little bio, maybe a testimonial in there. You have an 8 and a half by 11 piece of paper, you could do a short bio, a testimonial and have a title that says, "Hey, welcome to town, welcome to my town."
Ben Curry: Welcome to Jacksonville, here's five reasons I love Jacksonville and I'd love to help you find a house in the area. And then you label the five reasons you love Jacksonville. There's lots of websites, 10 things to seeing Jacksonville before you die, but a lot of those are hype. Someone legit who lives in the area and has legit reasons for why they love the area, that's going to be way more substantial and way more solid information than some stupid article on the internet, be creative. A lot of the ideas we're showing you today are ideas that other realtors came up with that were very creative. I'm always impressed, I'm always not just impressed, I'm always amazed at how creative some of our members are with some of the ideas they come up with okay. Let me keep going, this is pretty cool. What is really cool about what I'm showing you today is how this is how you can stop prospecting, this is how you can stop always having to chase business.
Ben Curry: Have you ever heard the story about the difference between hauling buckets and building a pipeline? Let me just tell you the story real fast because it really illustrates what we're showing you today because the average agent are so busy hauling buckets, they're so busy every single day getting out of bed, prospecting for two, three, four hours a day calling all the FSBOs, calling all the expireds, beating their head against the wall. Whereas you could do this, you could go plant your books at 100 or 200 locations and have way more business as a result knowing that you're always going to have a certain amount of listings coming in the door every single month because you've planted your seeds using the books. You've got five hotels that give out your books and you've got five doctors' offices with your book sitting in the lobby. And you've got five oil change places and five dentist offices. Every single day, you know what, it's more than likely than not someone's going to call and they're going to want my help buying a house or they're going to want my help selling their house.
Ben Curry: That's the difference between hauling buckets and building a pipeline. Let me just give you a real quick story that illustrates what I'm talking about. One point somewhere in time there was a village and it was kind of out in the desert, it was really dry, but there was a lake nearby. And the village needed water. What happened was this village had a well that supplied everyone in town with water. One day the well just runs dry, they're out of water, "Oh, boy, what do we do?" The village elders had a meeting and they agreed, "We need water, we'll agree to pay X amount of dollars to anybody who provides water to the village." They had a little meeting, they said, "You know what, if somebody hauls buckets of water or gets water to the village, we will pay them money if it shows up." One guy is like, "You know what, that's a good way to make some money." He goes out, he gets a little operation, starts hauling buckets of water every single day."
Ben Curry: Life is pretty good, he'd get up, he'd go down to the lake, fill his two buckets up with water, walk back to the village dumping it into their water storage, walked back to the lake, go back and forth all day long. Life was pretty good, he made good money, made decent income, made money fast. The day he started hauling buckets of water is the day he started making money. He started making money right away. Life was good, but it was hard work. It was like the agent who goes out and prospects for four hours every single day trying to get listings. Another guy came up with an idea, he did the same thing. He went out and got his buckets and he was like, "I'm going to haul buckets of water and I'm going to make money that way."
Ben Curry: But one day, he came up with an idea." He's like, "I'm kind of sick of this, I'm sick and tired of hauling buckets of water back and forth all day long. This is back-breaking work, why don't I build a pipeline? Why don't I build a pipeline that water can flow through and I can make some money without having to haul water back and forth every single day?" This guy came up with the idea and he didn't just think of the idea, he also implemented it. Every single day, he'd get up in the morning and he'd haul water back and forth in the morning. And then in the afternoon, he'd build his pipeline. He started building the pipeline, didn't stop what he was doing, kept paying the bills, kept hauling water, kept feeding his family. But at the same time, he also started building the pipeline. And then one day, six months later, six months of hard work built the pipeline that supplied a consistent stream of water to the village and supplied him with a consistent income from the water that the pipeline brought to village every single month.
Ben Curry: That's the thing, who do you want to be? Do you want to be the person hauling buckets every single day, getting on the phone and prospecting every single day, the FSBOs, the expireds, when do you plan on interviewing the right agent for the job of selling your home? Or do you want to be the person who has a pipeline? You've got your books, you've got five books at five of the top hotels for business travelers in your city. You've got five books at the best dentists offices in your part of town, five books at the hospitals and the car dealerships and all the other areas in your town that people are visiting waiting rooms and waiting in those offices. And they're bored and they need something to read, so they're reading your book and they're listing their house with you. That's what I want to do. I'd much rather build a pipeline than spend the rest of my life hauling buckets back and forth every single day.
Ben Curry: That's kind of the story. I know it's kind of crazy, a little bit of a drawn-out story. Let me change subjects a little bit, which book do I recommend that you start with? Again, I'd recommend starting with the business card book. I'm going to go to our website, it's book-setup.smartagents.com is the website. Hold on one second. And you can log in here. If you log in, it'll have your information. If you can't find the login, just go into your email and search for it, just search for an email from Smart Agents access whatever. If you can't get help, then you can also send us an email or you can call. If you can't get access to the website, you can email our support department right there. But anyway, once you've logged in, you're like, "Okay, I've got everything ready to go, which book should I start with?" Well, I would recommend starting with the business card book, pick from one of the different titles. Maybe you want this cover right here or this cover right here.
Ben Curry: And you can also change the background so you could have the background of this book right here maybe be a picture of something in your city rather than the background being the skyscrapers, the downtown skyscrapers we have right there. Another good book to start out with is the How to Sell Your Home for More Money book. We've got five different covers on it. One of them doesn't require your picture right there. Pick out one of these books, use one of those. I call these generic books because they can be used for just about anybody who's looking to sell their house. I'd recommend starting with one of the business card books. If you're looking for the buyer side of it, I know I said vacant home books. I forgot to change that, my bad. But if you're looking at the buyer side, then I would recommend starting with the home buyer guide, right here. We have a bunch of different covers, How to Find the Home of Your Dreams Without Overpaying.
Ben Curry: There are lots of different ones, Avoid Overpaying for Your Home, A Complete Guide to Buying a Home, et cetera. You can buy the general purpose business card book or buy the general purpose home buyer guide depending if you want to work with buyers or if you want to work with sellers. If you want to order the books, you can go to this website right here. I'll pull it up for you smartagents.com/order-books. Let me make sure this works, it has the pricing and everything broken down on it. That's some of the different stuff alright.
Ben Curry: And Ernie, I think... No, Deborah has a good question. Deborah is like, how do I get the cost down on my books? The best way to get the cost down is to order a bunch of books. For example, the agent that I mentioned earlier, he's ordered 12 or 1,300 books after he signed up. He signed up, he got a couple of listings, proved the books work and he said, "You know what, I don't want to stick around with 100 books or 50 books, he turned around and ordered 1,300 books.
Ben Curry: The more books you buy, if you're looking to get a better price, then start out with 100 books rather than starting out with 12 books or start out with 500 books or 200 books rather than starting out with 100. Obviously, you got to look at what makes sense for you, do you want to order 100, 200, 1,000. If you really want to go big, I guess you can order 1,000 books. But if you're looking to get a lower price, maybe start out with 100 books for $479 because the more books you buy, the cheaper the price per book. And then I'll go through a couple more notes. Once you've got these, you've planted seeds in these locations, you're going to want to go around every couple weeks and check on them because the janitor may think your book is trash was not supposed to be there. They may throw it away, et cetera.
Ben Curry: If you've got a doctor's office that's agreed to let you plant your book inside their lobby, go back and check on it every couple of weeks and make sure your book is still there. And if it isn't, put a new one there. And then if that one disappears, then put a label on it. That way, you can make sure that anybody sitting in that doctor's office has a chance to see and read through your books.
Ben Curry: Let me see, I've got a couple of questions. Sue has a good question, how can we change the background photo cover to a custom photo from our own hometown area? What you can do is whenever you place your book order under the last step, under the additional info or comments, you could put the information in. You'd put, "Hey, I want to use my own photo, please contact me," or whatever. And I'll email the photo and then you just email the photo to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ben Curry: Or maybe if that's what you want to do after you place your book order, contact support and tell them, "Hey, I've submitted a book order. I want to make sure I add this photo for the background photo on my books. And then they'll let you know if it's possible to change it out on that specific book. And if so, they'll process that for you.
Ben Curry: Howard has a good question, can we mix and match? Yes, you can mix and match just about as much as you want. You get 40 home seller books and 36 home buyer books and get the discounted price of ordering 76 books. Yeah, there's definitely that option. Let me pull up the order form again. But basically, you could order ... Hold on a second, let me get this ... Joey, did you need to say something?
Joe Nickelson: I was just going to say if you guys have any ideas, any objections, any questions ask us and we will help you with what we can. We've sold over $300 million in real estate, exploited tons of little niches that are overlooked by many agents. We spent hundreds of thousand dollars in advertising, we've made some stupid, embarrassing decisions in marketing and lost $100,000 in one month. Some really painful things to talk about, we have experience. We've experienced the struggle of cold calling of trying to get your listings, all of that. And so, we're here to help you. And the reason we're here to help you is because so many agents have said, "Show us how to do it, show us what you're doing. We need the tools, we need a book." That's how the book even came about. We tried it, other agents said, "How can I get this?"
Joe Nickelson: And there's a lot more things that we're coming out with too to help you with the book. I remember the first time we handed out this book, it was terribly written and still crushed it. And now, it's improved a lot, we've improved our printing presses and so we can spit these out, mix and match. The price is so cheap, you can't find these books cheaper anywhere else to print them. That's why we're printing them in-house for you guys so we can deliver on small batches. I just want to stress that we're here to help any way we can. If you have an idea and you're afraid to try it, heck, tell me and I will go try it and let you know how it turned out.
Ben Curry: Let's say that you do sign up and you get 100 books, you could get 48 of them as a seller book and then 52 as a buyer book or vice versa, et cetera. You can mix and match. You can also get 40 seller books, another 40 buyer books and then 20 of a different book like maybe the FSBO guide, et cetera. You can mix and match quite a bit. We've had some agents order 12 different books and they ordered 12 different copies of 8 different books. You can mix and match them quite a bit.
Ben Curry: Now, that you've got the idea of I'm going to go to my dentist, I'm going to go to my chiropractor. I'm going to do this and I'm going to go talk to the receptionist, but maybe you're a little scared to do it. Let's admit it, we all sometimes get scared of trying new things. I recently tried something new that realistically I had no reason to be scared of. I became a Cub Scout den leader, my kid wanted to join the Cub Scouts and I volunteered to be a den leader.
Ben Curry: And even though I've been a realtor and I'm fairly good, maybe not the best, but I'm fairly good at talking to people and meeting new people having been a realtor. I was still not scared, but I was uncomfortable with being a Cub Scout den leader. I didn't know how it worked, I didn't know what to say. What if I do a Cub Scout meeting and I say something stupid or I don't know how things work? I had to push myself, I had to say, "Ben, this is something you're going to do, let's do it and kind of push myself to get started rather than just say, "You know what, it's uncomfortable to be a Cub Scout den leader, I'm not going to do it." Some of the stuff in real estate, you have to push the boundary sometimes. And if you're not growing, you're dying. This is something you want to do, get out there and talk to some people. Just get out there and do it, maybe 10 of them say no, who cares?
Ben Curry: Get a couple of people to say yes. And then once you know that some people say yes, you'll be so much more confident and your conversion rate will be way higher on the next 10 people you talk to. That's a reality, every single thing we want in life, every single decent good thing we want in life, a lot of the times it's sitting on the other side of your fear. Here's a couple of other tips, sometimes the receptionist may be happy that someone's being nice to them. A lot of people walk into these offices, they're kind of rude, "Hi, you're the receptionist, you're not the doctor." They don't treat them with respect. If you're willing to go in and you're willing to schmooze a little bit, the receptionist will probably be way more than likely to help you out, let you put your books in the lobby, to present your case to the doctor or the dentist, whatever, the office manager and try to sell them on letting you put your books there because you were nice to them.
Ben Curry: It goes a long way to be nice to the receptionist, the office manager, et cetera. A lot of people are rude, a lot of people don't even talk to them. They just walk in, "Hi, I'm here for my appointment." Don't say anything and then go sit down. You can get a lot of traction just by being nice and friendly to the receptionist. Maybe if you are concerned or you are scared, maybe start with your own doctor, your own dentist, your own chiropractor, your own tire change place, your own oil change place, et cetera. Start with people you know and get your book in their lobbies and then go talk to all the other businesses in your town. Let me go through the questions, I've got a couple of questions. Allan has an interesting question. Allan, let me see if I can answer your question after the workshop. I don't know enough about it to be able to answer it right here.
Ben Curry: I answered Sue's question, answered Howard's, answer Deborah's question, Ernie's question, Will. Okay, cool. I don't see any other questions here, if you have any more questions, you can submit them now or if not, you email us after the webinar. I thought I'd get a bunch more questions. You can send me an email, my email is email@example.com or if you want to talk to Joe, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org. That's how you can contact either myself or Joe and get help that way.
Ben Curry: Here's the next step, go out there and talk to your dentist, your chiropractor, your doctor, your veterinarian. I forgot to add veterinarians. They have people visiting their offices, your tire place, oil change, car dealership, et cetera. Go talk to them and plant your books in their lobbies. And then you can get started getting business off of that.
Ben Curry: Bill has a good question, he says take a $5 Starbucks card to the receptionist, I bet they will help you. That's correct, a little bit of sugar and spice is a lot better. You always attract more flies with sugar than vinegar or something like that. Claudia has a good question, what if they ask you something about the book that you have not read, what is the best response? There's a couple of different things. First off, I'd recommend scanning through, reading through the book quickly. You can get the gist of the book in about 10 to 15 minutes just by reading the table of contents, scanning through it pretty fast. If anybody asks you, you could also say, "Hey, I partnered up with a team of experts at Smart Agents and they helped me write a book that will show you how to sell your home for the most money possible or how to get a great deal when you're buying a house."
Ben Curry: You can say, "Hey, I didn't write the book myself, I teamed up with a team of experts and they helped me write the book. And now, I'm providing it to you." There's different ways to handle that objection. This is about it, if we don't get any more questions or if I don't answer your question, you can send an email to email@example.com. Our support email for our friendly support department is firstname.lastname@example.org. And Joey, do you have anything else you wanted to add before I close out for today?
Joe Nickelson: No, I think we've done all of it.
Ben Curry: Okay, cool. If you have any more questions I did not answer, send me an email to email@example.com. And thank you so much for joining, I'm going to call it a day. And if you have any more questions, you can contact me there. Thanks for your time, bye-bye.