- Books Given Away: 80-100.
- Listings taken with the help of the books: 5 listings and 1 buyer.
- Biggest benefit of using the books: “My book is setting me apart as an “excellent” Realtor with the high-end clients. They add that element of credibility. One client said she would have gladly paid for the book. She couldn’t believe I was giving it away for free.”
Here's how the books have helped Liza get high-end listings.
An Expired Seller received her book and called her to list her $2.8 Million Dollar House.
“They talked to me for a little bit on the phone. Then, what he did was he said, 'Send me an email.' He said, "'f you agree to this, this, and this,' which were great terms, he said, 'You've agreed to these things, then you can just bring by the listing agreement. When you show up, we'll sign it.' So it was really like a meet and greet. It was very simple. That was for a $2.8 million property, which sold in about 60 days.”
Listings #2 & #3:
“One book netted me three transactions. I have two listings from it and one sale. The owner bought a property from me. She has two homes, two vacant homes, we're working on selling. That market where she lives is a little slow. The one book got me three transactions. Those transactions were a million-dollar sale, a $1.5 million property, and a $500,000 property.”
Listings #4 & #5:
“I'm currently working with somebody, and his house is going to be around $900,000. We're just getting it ready for market. I have another house coming on for about $2.5 million from the book.”
Liza said the books give her respect.
“My sense is that the higher-end client is impressed by the book because they're used to excellence, so in their own career, or whatever. I think a book for those people is setting me apart as excellent. That's where the relatable factor is. The book has gotten me more high-priced, higher-priced homes, than lower-priced for sure.”
Listen to the Interview Audios below for more details.
Here are the Highlights of the Audio Interview.
Here is the Full-Length Audio Interview.
Here is a transcript of the interview with Ben Curry and Liza.
Ben Curry: OK. One of the things that was kind of fascinating is you mentioned for you, the book seemed to work really well for the high end, but they didn't work as well for the lower-end customers. Can you tell me a little bit about some of the listings. Have you sent the books to less-expensive houses?
Liza: I have. I'm not quite sure. The only thing I can think of is that perhaps the market here on the lower end, the ones that I've sent it to might not be as savvy of a seller. It's not to label those people as any lesser than, but I ... my sense is that the higher-end client is impressed by the book because they're used to excellence, so in their own career, or whatever. I think a book for those people is setting me apart as excellent. That's where the relatable factor is.
The book is solid. If anybody were to look me up, they'd see that much of what's in there is actually what I do, and I really go beyond that. I think ... that's a good question.
Fewer people respond to the book than I can understand. What happens is I'll send that book out to an expired a lot of times. They list, but they'll list with somebody totally different after I've given them the book.
I'm trying something new with that because they take my advice and they use it somewhere else. But the book has gotten me more high-priced, higher-priced homes, than lower-priced for sure.
One didn't even ... one did not even ... they did not even have me to their house before they hired me, by the way.
Ben Curry: So they just said, "Hey, this good stuff. Come list our house?”
Liza: They talked to me for a little bit on the phone. Then, what he did was he said, "Send me an email." He said, "If you agree to this, this, and this," which were great terms, he said, "You've agreed to these things, then you can just bring by the listing agreement. When you show up, we'll sign it." So it was really like a meet and greet. It was very simple.
That was for a $2.8 million property, which sold in about 60 days. And then he thought he paid too much because he had been on the market two years prior, I guess, and had a bunch of showings. But all I did was show it one time and it was sold, but that was due to the marketing. Anyway, so that's how that went.
Ben Curry: That does happen. So how many books do you think you've given away so far?
Liza: I'm trying to remember. I think my initial order was 80. I probably have given away at least 75. Yeah, about 75 books at least.
Ben Curry: Yeah. The initial order I think was 84.
Liza: All right, that's what I was thinking.
Ben Curry: OK. I mean it's close. You've given away just the 80. I think you got another 20 after that. Have you received those yet?
Liza: I have. So that's why I'm saying about 75 because I figured it was 80, 84 and I probably have about ... I gave away probably most of those, and I have about 10. Maybe I gave away more. I have about 10 or 15 left, and I've actually just put together ... we just did an inventory, so I'll have to reorder some books.
Ben Curry: OK, cool. How many listings do you think you've gotten from using those books?
Liza: One, two, three, four, five. You know, I don't have it in my head right now, but probably about six. So I've got ... one book netted me three transactions. I have two listings from it and one sale. The owner bought a property from me. She has two homes, two vacant homes, we're working on selling. That market where she lives is a little slow. The one book got me the three transactions. Those transactions were a million-dollar sale, a $1.5 million property, and a $500,000 property.
I'm currently working with somebody, and his house is going to be around $900,000. We're just getting it ready for market. I have another house coming on for about $2.5 million from the book.
Ben Curry: Wow, OK.
Liza: So, even though I have fewer ... like if you looked at it, if you were to look at how many responses, positive responses, I've gotten to date. If you looked at the number, it's very small, well, yes and no. It's about 10%. But if you look at that number, it might look a little small, but the price point is so high. It more than pays ... one of these transactions more than pays for the book investment.
Ben Curry: Yeah, that's true. OK. What kind of leads have you given the books away to?
Liza: I use them when I'm fishing for expireds. Sometimes, people here, they will withdraw property right before it expires, so it's the same thing. For sale by owners. I go after those too. I just gave one as a door prize yesterday. We also have these little boxes around town, the little libraries. Outside. I've populated those. I haven't heard anything. These are relatively new. How long have you had this program? I think I've been involved about nine months ago.
Ben Curry: Yeah, are you talking about those little libraries where someone puts a little thing in front of their house and it's a mini library where people can come get books and stuff?
Liza: Yeah, every once in a while, I'll put one in there. I've dropped them off at ... if I go to the doctor's office, I'll leave them behind.
Ben Curry: I'm writing down this: “little library thing.” That's genius. I know I've seen them. I always thought it was for kids because people want to have books available for children in the neighborhood and stuff.
Liza: They have everything.
Ben Curry: I've never even looked. I'd assumed, "Oh, that's something for my son who's seven, should go look inside the library." There's one just down the road from his school. With the books that you gave away, like with the expireds or with the FSBOs, did you just give them the book, or did you do anything else in addition to that?
Liza: Giving away all my secrets, but I'll tell you. Now, I primarily go after high-end listings with them because theirs seem to be working. I bought very expensive note cards, and I hand write a note. Then, I take that note and I seal it with a wax seal. I put it with the book, and I created a piece about what I do to sell a person's property, and I add that with the book.
Since I've had such a run of me sending that book out, and then it getting listed by somebody else, I have just created a certificate for a complimentary home market analysis. It's going to be a literal gift certificate that goes into the book so that they know that, "Hey, you can call me." Because obviously, they didn't get that message.
Ben Curry: I think what you're doing is working for you. I know we've had good success with doing a pre-listing packet, in a sense, where we put reviews, brochures that talk about better photos, our marketing plan, etc. with the book. Yours is a little bit of a different twist on that. Are you following up by phone, or you're just sending it out and leaving it at that?
Liza: Well, you know, that's been my biggest mistake, is because I've been extremely busy then, and it was all me. I just hired an assistant finally. What I would do is send it out. I made note of it, but then I forgot to figure out ... to write down which book that I sent out, and I did have the date. So what I have now is I have my assistant cataloging every time we send something out, the name of the book, of course, the date, and then I'm going to set up another, probably a follow-up letter to them.
Letters seem to do really well with me. I haven't ferreted out phone numbers yet, which would do very well too. I just hadn't gotten there. But I think I need to follow up with maybe a piece that says, "Hey, how'd you like my book? Did you receive it?" I find that when a person gets my book, they usually open it, and they look at it, and I receive an email from them within 24 hours.
Ben Curry: Oh wow, OK.
Liza: They might not have read it, but they usually email me. Sometimes, they will call me. And the minute that that happens, I get their email address if they called me, or respond to their email address, and then I have several links that I send out to them. I have my own video that's a meet me video. I have my own little URL that links back to my webpage for my company, my company web page, which has my listings, and a link for Zillow, with all my reviews because they're really good. In the body I'll say, "If you'd like to find out more about me blah blah blah blah blah," and put that in there. It's really easy. It's like a la carte. They can pick and choose what they want to look at.
Ben Curry: You've personalized it so it doesn't look like a big mass marketing thing. Our pre-list packet is probably good, but it also probably looks very mass marketed where people are like, "Oh, you put this together. You're sending it to 100 people. It's not actually for me," whereas you've really personalized it.
Liza: Yes, because the market ... I might have fewer people that I reach out to, but I'm strategic. I'm still building my business here. I've only been here three years. Actually, your marketing materials have helped me tremendously.
I have to tell you that when I first got (to the new market), I could not figure it out, and it's the fourth time I've moved my marketplace. I could not figure it out, and I purchased those letters. They actually got me great results.
Ben Curry: Wow.
Liza: And that started ... and they were really good. I'll tell you where they're really good. They're really good for the low-end home. I would send those out and that got me started. Then, when you guys first created the book that we had to put together, I just could never put that book together. I actually wrote a book and never published it because I didn't clean it up and I had so much left to do. Your book has helped me. Anyway, the book itself is great.
I've had marketing pieces created for me by this gal who's brilliant. When you're talking about mass mailing, I think the fact that I hand-write the envelope, it's a beautiful ... it's just a small, white envelope. It's the size of the book. I have a marketing piece that I had created, which is a little bit larger than the book, but it's really a ... I'm going to say tri-fold, but it's a double ... it's a folded piece, and inside, it's got an insert. The inserts are tips on how to get your house ready for marketing, or how to get your house ready for showing, so they could pull it out and they could use that as a simple reference.
I think all these pieces together, for a discerning eye, just put me a step ahead of the other agents who'll maybe send them a note, or call them, or whatever. I think it's a much more professional look that I submit. That's why I think the higher end tends more to like me with the book, and why the lower end will respond to just a simple letter because they're not intimidated on the lower end.
Ben Curry: Yeah, that's true. OK. Do you feel like the books have positioned you as an expert?
Liza: Yes. I think what happens is that they grab people's attention, and give them time to pause, and then when they look at everything that I do, it solidifies that. Because the book actually goes hand-in-hand with what I already do, so yes.
Ben Curry: OK. I see what you're saying. All right. I'm going through some of my notes. How do you feel the books are going to help you out in the future? What are your future plans with them?
Liza: I'm using them for the higher-end properties more exclusively than not now, so a million and up, unless it's a great property under that. Because I really want to have that market share, so going forward, I would like to get back to what I'm known as anywhere else, is being a luxury marketing expert. That's my plan for those books. Those properties move much slower than usually, than other things. If I'm going to do this business, I need something more exciting than a hundred of $300,000 properties. Those don't excite me. That's where I see that going.
Ben Curry: I also know that in real estate, there's a lot of demand for people that are good at the high end. A lot of people are intimidated by it, but at the same time, it's a lot of people who don't really have the skills to do it and haven't taken the time to build those skills.
Liza: Yeah, we see a lot of that here. A lot of people though, still go with the good 'ol boy or girl that works here, which is a shame, because those are the ones who do everything very slipshod. I'm actually creating such a stir that the agents, most agents, are not really super happy with what I do because it makes them have to work harder. But, the clientele loves it. That's all that matters.
Ben Curry: It's the story of real estate. What do you feel is the biggest benefit of using the books? What have they done for your business?
Liza: I think they just add that element of credibility. I think that when anybody has a book that they've got their name on, it gives them that credibility. It just gives that person who's looking at it time for pause and hopefully gives me that added bit of respect. I think that that's what the book does. Now, that's what it does for me, personally. For the people who receive it, one of my clients said, "I can't believe you're giving this book away. I would have gladly paid for it."
Ben Curry: Wow.
Liza: Because she was so amazed. Now, what I do that's different is if the property is a little sad or semi-listed a couple of times, which I've seen in this market, I actually have the skills to go in and re-tool that property. I will, and I don't know where this came from except for I've seen thousands of homes, but I'll go in and have furniture moved, rooms painted, yards redone, and my photo shoots, I direct. I make sure that everything is on point for my photo shoots. I tell the photographer what I want and things like that.
I take everything to a whole different level. What it does, is in the book, when you're reading the book, it's telling you how to use these things, what you should do, but then I reinforce it by going in and helping them to get those things done. Because most people get overwhelmed with what needs to be done and they get stuck. I found out that if I go in and I make a list for them to do ... it takes me about 30, sometimes 60 days to get a property right for the market, but when I do that, the result is really good.
Ben Curry: Yeah, you're specializing in what you're doing. You're doing a really good job at it, so it makes sense. Not everybody does that. You can do volume, or you can do really good service. Do you feel like the books have made it easier for you to get listings? Like they've made a difference before and after?
Liza: I would say yes. In the high-end market, yes.
Ben Curry: OK. All right, excellent.
Liza: Because again, that credibility.