For this week's case study, Ben interviewed David, a veteran realtor who's had a lot of success throughout his career.
In the interview they went over:
- He uses the books so well, they work each presentation he does.
- How he approaches FSBOs.
- The books are simple, easy to use, and they work.
- This is a combination of the best ideas out there all condensed into one easy to use the system.
- What he says when he gives away a book.
- Never says he has a buyer. They know that’s not true.
- I’ve got a book that may help you sell your house.
- He thinks the “I’ll buy your home” gimmick has run its course.
- He has a great way to handle the “Did you write this book yourself” objection.
David: Anyway, so went with the Century 21 franchise down here, stayed away from the short sales foreclosure market, which seems to be 50% of the market, just focused mainly on relocation, building my trade, did really well with the top agent with that company for six years and that will go top 30 C21 franchise in the country. So, moved over to the ERA franchise about four years ago. Actually, bought a little part in the company, was the broker in charge and I'm like, "God, I'm going broke doing this." Went back, gave that up, went back to sales, which is where I belong. Really had blessed with a lot of success in life and real estate but just a lot of hard work too.
Went back, gave that up, went back to sales, which is where I belong. Really had blessed with a lot of success in life and real estate but just a lot of hard work too.
The last couple years, I've taken off, enjoyed the fruits of the labor and kids and grandkids and now I'm back in it to win it.
David: So then I came across yours, actually went on a Facebook ad I think, and I said, "Well that looks interesting." And I found out it was you, I'm like, "I know a Ben." You know, used to do stuff before. He's got some good stuff going on. So went ahead and joined David.
My initial order of sixteen bucks, one relocation and one agent machine lead and two other lukewarm referrals, since I've had the book. So four since I've got them in and really been starting to hit it hard. Went out on four and got them all. Each and every one of them said it was super impressive. I won't say it wasn't me and it wasn't the books but I tell you what, the books definitely add an edge that virtually nobody out there is using.
Smart Agents: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Okay.
David: It adds that extra step of, "I'm not just like everybody else out there. I put my money where my mouth is and I actually wrote the book on it." That's how I'm using it and I tell you what, it's working. It's working great. I just want to get more time to dig into more systems that you have on the site and everything. I think it's a great deal, it's a great site, the books are well written.
The next round at some point, I'll probably change a couple things in it, do a little editing to it but I think they're incredibly well written, I think they're valuable. I just think it's a great thing. I can't see moving forward, especially in a competitive market like it is now, I can't see moving forward without having that extra thing.
You can sit there and tell people, and you've been very successful in your business I know, there's only so much you can do about being a great guy and say, "I'm number one this, and four thousand homes." And yada yada, you know, people glaze over with all of that and I think the books really catch the attention of a potential seller.
Smart Agents: Tell me a little bit more. So what is your normal, so you went on four listing appointments, got four listings, that's pretty good, that's 100% conversion. What's your normal conversion on a listing presentation before you started reading books?
David: My normal conversion is 70%, 75%.
Smart Agents: Oh wow. Okay.
David: Yeah. So I'm a pretty strong player when it comes to listings. That's what I do. I don't really work with lot of buyers but I'm at that kind of mod, my claim to fame.
That's what I do. I did, I had the team. I had 12 members at one time. All of the inside sales agents and all that. At the end of the day, it's great to sell 100 million dollars worth of real estate or 150, but at the end of the day if you're not making the money out of it. So I scaled it back, and I said, "If it's to be, it's up to me." So I just scaled it back, I'm a one man show now, I have a couple of admin assistants and things like that.
You know, closing coordinators, that type of deal. But it's just me. It's easier that way, I can control what I do, what goes on with the team a lot better. I realize, everything's turning around and everybody's going big time team thing, trying to, and they think that holds more weight. But what I'm hearing with all the teams is that ... well you know, we have in our area a big realtor for years and years, Buddy Blake.
Smart Agents: Oh okay.
David: Yeah and you've probably heard of Buddy Blake. You call Buddy up, you say, "Dial this number." We'll sell your home, we'll do this, we'll do that. You never talk to Buddy. You talk to somebody in his office and then he sends out some 20 year old kid who's moonlighting.
That's what people are starting to turn around and say, if you're gonna represent me I don't mind if it's somebody else comes out and takes pictures or puts a sign in my yard but I want you to be accountable to me. That's the service end of it. I'm doing that now and like I said, the books, I see the light in there. It's instant credibility.
Smart Agents: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
David: I think that's the way you can give them numbers and everything like that. You lay a book down with your picture on it in front of them, instant credibility because just not everybody has that. I'm hoping nobody else catches onto it here for a long time.
Smart Agents: The sad thing is, a lot of people that do catch on don't implement. So if you implement, you're miles ahead of everybody else. So-
David: Right, right. You just gotta do it. We can teach it all day but unless they actually go do it, it doesn't matter. Again, business is fast and furious right now. Listings are gold and that's always been my thing. It is harder to get a listing because you have more agents coming into the field and everybody's uncle knows somebody. In our area, one in five peoples' a real estate agent. We've got a lot of golf courses and beach. You can throw a sand shovel and hit a real estate agent on the beach at any given time. It's just crazy.
At the same time, there's a big difference in quality of. In quality, I tell you, having the book out, just putting that right in front of them, it works. When I saw it working, I actually sat down and read them. I'm like, "Okay, couple little things. Couple little typos." But other than that, they're well written. At least the three that I have, they're well written. They're just great books, they really are.
Smart Agents: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Have you used the books for any other purpose besides those four listing appointments?
David: No, I haven't. I am getting ready to get up my primary mortgage lender and the attorney I recommend all the time as well as the other people on my service. That's the next phase, is like, "Hey guys. Want to do some advertising? This is not a bad place to do it." I wouldn't want to make them pay for the books but if they all set a good chunk of it, if I can get half of it or 60%, I'm not going to zero market it out. I may if I can but I'm not ... if you get half your book cost covered or 60%, then that's a hell of a thing. You know?
Smart Agents: Yeah. I know we just had a realtor order three, I don't remember, maybe it was 200. No it was more than this. $2,000 worth of books. I don't remember. He ordered like five or six or seven hundred.
Probably 500 books. He had his lender, his title company, he sold them ad space inside the books. So I think he used one of our inserts we printed out. It's an 8 1/2 x 11 piece of paper and just inserts it inside, almost like a page saver and that works just fine. So they're getting ads out of it because he's running to a lot of great people, sellers and buying a house.
David: Right, right. If you get it all set to a degree then it makes it easier, not as painful shall we say, to hand out a copy of the book. You know I mean?
Smart Agents: Yep.
David: You gotta pay to play in this business. You just gotta get them out there. I'm going to do any number of things with them. I think you've got some great ideas on the website. But I'm definitely going to be ordering, getting a ton more of them because I want to increase that visibility out there. I want to have that done, as door knock with them yet
Smart Agents: That's not a bad idea.
David: I'll do it. I don't care. Hey, it's just me. Get out, ride around, door knock. "Hey, saw your home came off the market. If you're interesting in relisting, I can sell your home. I'm the one who wrote the book on it." That's powerful. That's powerful. There aren't a lot of tools out there that level the playing field for folks that aren't there yet. I remember the story about your guy, hadn't sold real estate and got the books and boom, he's up and running.
That's a big field leveler and it's also great for people who have been in the business looking for a fresh jump start to their business for somebody like me who took ... you know, I didn't take a couple years off, still sold 50, 60 homes a year but to me that's taking time off. To really jump start it and make one last big grab. I'm 53 now, so I want to work a few more years then I want to retire, I'm done. This is my bridge way, so speak to getting to where I want to be in the next few years. I think it's the perfect tool. I really do.
Smart Agents: Which books did you order, which ones did you start out with?
David: I got the business card book and the one, How to Sell Homes [inaudible 00:16:08] and the for sale by owner guide.
Smart Agents: Okay, so business card expired in fsbo.
David: Right. Right. Which is my main source of, that's my wheelhouse. Yeah.
Smart Agents: Oh wow.
David: I've got a huge closing rate with fsbos.
Smart Agents: Oh cool. I wrote a blog post about that so you should check it out but I haven't seen very many top producers that do very well with fsbos, most of them ... fsbos are just more difficult to sell and it's a long conversion possibly.
David: They are, they are. I like the challenge, me, personally. It's probably stupid but I like the challenge. They're third on my list but you know, I have listed, oh my God, probably three, four hundred fsbos in my time. Of course, everybody's after it. So it is a lot more competitive now, so you do need some kind of an edge.
Smart Agents: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
David: The book is it. I'd say, I really haven't delved into the other books. I don't know which is, if you've got a particular favorite. This business card book is pretty solid though. That's a pretty one stop shop. You know?
Smart Agents: Yeah. No the fsbos is great because I've seen in my area, when I was selling real estate in Jacksonville, everybody bombed the expireds and everybody would call fsbos one time but they'd never call back.
David: Right, right.
Smart Agents: Fsbos, nobody did well at them because expireds was the hot lead niche and fsbos was the broad lead niche.
David: Yeah and right now everybody's doing it. Everybody's doing the expireds. I've done Redex, I've done Mojo, you know, all the dollars and all that stuff. It's a freaking race. I didn't have a ton of success with it. I think I read somewhere that you wrote and it's so right, when that thing hits expired, 8 a.m. the next morning, they've got 75 phone calls waiting on them. That's crazy and they're just hammered. I'd rather just drive by, post their home, knock on the door and say, "Hey, I know you're getting killed here, let me save you a lot of time, a lot of energy, a lot of effort and a lot of having to say no. Here's my book. Here's my presentation. Here's what I do. Call me."
Smart Agents: Yeah, that'd be a good way to do it.
David: That just is gonna be a much more effective way. You'll hit less. Now I still do the mail out letters that I was doing for a long time. I've had a lot of success with the whole I'll sell your home in 60 days or I'll sell it for free. Then, asterisk, asterisk, asterisk. Got some good leads from that and never had to buy a home or sell one for free. I think that's about run its course. I really do. I started seeing the ROI on that just drop, so I'm actually using your three page letter now and that's the one I'm mailing out to people. So I've got about 100 of those out right now so I should be seeing something come back from those. Looking at, have you had a lot with Facebook ads, advertising your book? Or house value website? I've done a little bit of that.
Smart Agents: We haven't done a lot with them. The biggest thing the books do, is they do well at converting leads. There's other people out there that are ten times smarter than us at the whole Facebook ads thing and stuff like that. If you do want to run the Facebook ads, I'd look at some of the big successful players in that field and you can use their system or their training or whatever to generate the house value leads on Facebook and then you send them with the book to convert them into a listing.
David: Yeah, yeah. The book is just the ultimate conversion tool. I know I'm making you proud because you've perfected the child there but I just think that's the ultimate conversion tool. We still gotta know how to sell real estate but this just again, it's instant credibility of, I'm not going away tomorrow.
Smart Agents: Okay. Let me ask you, I've got two more questions. I've got somebody else I have to talk to at 1:30 but let me ask you a couple more questions. So what do you say, let's imagine I'm a fsbo. You drive by and you knock on my door. What do you say when you knock on my door. Knock, knock, I open up the door. What do you say?
David: Well the number one thing I don't say is, "I have a buyer." because they know that's not true. What I do say is, "I noticed your home's for sale. I do work with a lot of buyers but I also sell a lot of homes with folks."
Now I'm going to say, "Hey, I've got a book that may help you out with some information on that when you want to implement some things that are in the book but don't want to deal with it then I'm your guy." That's probably the way I would take it. Then try to set up a time to get inside the door. If you can get inside the door and talk to somebody in a very non invasive way, I think that's the ticket right there.
Then with the book, it gives you credibility that, "Hey I'm not just another agent calling the number on my phone saying I can sell your house."
Smart Agents: Yeah. Yeah. It's funny. So do you say you wrote the book yourself or do you say, "Hey, here's the copy of my book." Cause a lot of agents have had struggles with that whole I can't give away a book it's not mine. Which is another change you've got.
David: Yeah, I have no issue with that. I know you wrote it. It's just a little tag line and it will be even more truthful once I make some changes in it. But you know that-
Smart Agents: I love that.
David: It's business. It's business. A lot of the things that are in that book are things I have said, I have taught across the country, I have trained agents on, so to me it comes easy to say, "Hey." But to anybody, it's like look, here it is. I know what I'm doing, I can sell your home. In fact, I know I can sell your home because I even wrote the book on it.
One of the best methods we use at Smart Agents to separate yourself is books. Books have a huge perceived value. They don’t get thrown away.
They can get tucked away somewhere, but most people aren’t going to toss them in the trash. They’re worth something, and they’re worth something to the author’s name.
Do this and you will position yourself as the authority in your market. When you give away your book, it will separate you from your competition. That’s how a smart agent thinks!
Want to get a free sample of the book that will get you more listings? Click the link below.