"I received my first order of books 72 hours ago. I went on 3 Expired Listing appointments using the book as one who knows why a listing hasn't sold. It gave me a leg up on the competition because I was perceived as an expert in the industry. All 3 Seller's glanced through the book. One signed the listing without reading the book. It's 7pm and I'm at my office with Seller signatures from the other 2 Sellers who read the book, were very impressed and my sign goes up on ALL THREE tomorrow!!! 3 for 3 in 72 hours?? YES!!"
This is the email we recently received from one of our members!
Bob has been a real estate agent for over 26 years. He lives and works about 120 miles north of Las Vegas. His degree and professional background are in marketing, and he recognized that the books could give him credibility and a leg up over the competition in his area.
- Length of time using the books: Around 30 days
- Number of books given away: 27
- Listings received with the help of the books: 7 (3 already under contract)
- Biggest benefit of using the books: You would think that after 26 years, it is easy for me to knock on anybody's door that's expired/For Sale by Owner, and I am scared to death…[the books have] given me a tangible self-worth that I can go to the door of somebody's home with confidence and competence and not be worried about the conversation…I don't have to [think], "OK, you can do this. It'll be alright." No, I just go up to the door and Ring! And just start talking away because I've got that [book], and it's literally been that powerful.
Katie did an interview with Bob. Here are some of the highlights:
- He genuinely wants to help people, and the books are a great addition to what he’s already been doing.
- He targets specific groups with his marketing, such as expireds or FSBOs. With FSBOs, he points out that there are 70-90 people they’ll have to work with in the transaction, helps them understand all the possible places there could be mistakes, and asks if saving a few bucks is worth all that work and worry. And he makes sure to present all this as fact, not as a way to scare the owners.
- Client care is the main focus. Bob and his team give the VIP treatment to every client. They go all out wherever they can, including presenting the books wrapped in a wide gold ribbon.
- The books have increased Bob’s conversion rate on listing appointments because they help potential clients realize he can offer so much more—both in knowledge and services—than other agents.
- Bob feels the books capture both his voice and his philosophy.
- His advice for struggling realtors: show your personality, be service-focused, get in front of people, use the books.
- Bob says, “These books are a game changer for me. [They’re] definitely in that top five or top ten area after twenty-six years of oh golly, I can't even count how many advertising mediums or marketing mediums that I've been approached by or used.
Here’s how Bob gets his listings:
#1. When he gives the books to owners of an expired listing, he says, "I am so sorry. You have not had a good experience, and I'm extremely sorry that you have not sold your home in a robust market that we are in. There's obviously a problem with what your experience has been over the last however many months you've had for sale. On behalf of our industry, I'm sorry, but I can fix that, and here's how.” Then he hands them the book, pointing out that this is information other agents don’t use and asks when he can follow up with them to review it.
#2. He mentions the books on social media and affiliated sites with Homes.com, Realtor.com, etc. He points out that you get what you pay for, and the plethora of discount agents don’t offer what he does.
#3. He’s partnered with a local woman on Facebook who has a Dixie Rock. It’s a rock she hides, and when people find it, they get a prize and post it to Facebook. His book is sometimes one of the prizes.
Listen to the Interview Audios below for more details on exactly how he does it.
Here are the highlights of the Audio Interview:
Here is a transcript of the interview with Katie and Bob:
Smart Agents: So, Bob, can you tell me how long you've been a Realtor?
Bob: Yes. I have been a Realtor for 26 years and some change.
Smart Agents: Gotcha. Great. And so, when you contacted us, it sounded like you got some really good results from your books pretty quickly. Would you mind reiterating that for us?
Bob: Be glad to. Interesting concept where, my background's been in marketing, and so my degree was in marketing, and so when this came along that I saw it, I thought, "You know what, this would give me a step ahead of the competition, and having some clout, some credibility, a one-up from the competition where nobody else would be able to come in and have something like that product that shows that somebody's in this for real and not just a fly-by-night agent."
We have over 100,000 residents here and about 1,300+ Realtors, and many of them just kind of trip on listings or are not real super ethical or professional, and so I wanted to utilize this tool as something that would give me some like I said credibility and some clout. And that's exactly what it's done. Not that the years of business has not done that — it definitely has — about 85% of my business is from past clients and past client referrals, but when I meet somebody new, like an expired or For Sale by Owner, or someone for the first time that's looking at buying or investing, this has been just huge to say, "Oh, by the way, I'm an author of a book, and I'd like you to have a copy of it."
They're like, "You are?"
"Yeah. It's just something that I've got here that I think would have some important tools and guidelines that will be of help to you."
Again, it's just brought a different perspective of not being an agent, but in a professional business in a professional industry to the various types of clients that I've dealt with, so that's been awesome.
Smart Agents: Great.
Bob: It's been a nice niche.
Smart Agents: Very cool. So, how many books have you given away at this point?
Bob: I have given away now, 27, and then I have also teamed up with a gal, who on Facebook, has what's called a Dixie Rock. Now, back in pioneer days, this was known as the western part of the United States called Dixie because we grew a lot of cotton here out west of the Mississippi before the rail lines came in and that kind of thing. Southern Utah is known as "Dixie," and so she's made this Dixie Rock, and she hides it different places, and when people find it, there's some sort of a gift card or affirmation or a prize or something that is with that Dixie Rock.
Smart Agents: Are you saying —
Bob: And she carries it with her every time where she goes. Well, what she has done is that she's taken one of my books and put the rock on top of the book, so in part of the times that she gives these gifts away, some of those gifts are my books.
Yeah, which is really kinda cool because she has gotten a huge following, and nobody knows what the prize is until they get there. So they comment about, "Hey, I found it! I won it! I won it! This is what my gift was. Here's what my prize was."
And so they respond back to her Facebook, and then we share it off to our Facebook and other things that we have with her social media, so it's been kind of a cool thing that we've done with piggybacking something that she has already got a large following on. So we're gonna be ordering a lot more books here soon.
Smart Agents: Oh, OK. Great. We like to hear that for sure.
So, you give them away, obviously, with this, you said Dixie Rock? R-O-C-K? I just want to make sure I heard you correctly.
Bob: Uh huh. That's correct.
Smart Agents: Cool. When you're giving them to somebody you don't know, is there a particular way that you do that?
Bob: Yeah. And so if they are an expired listing and I come to them and say, "I am so sorry you have not had a good experience, and I'm extremely sorry that you have not sold your home in a robust market that we are in. There's obviously a problem with what your experience has been over the last, however many months you've had for sale. On behalf of our industry, I'm sorry, but I can fix that, and here's how — Here's what I can I do to help fix that problem so that you can still achieve your goals."
Out comes the book, and they're like, "Well, what's this?"
I said, "Well, it's a book that I'm an author of, and it's something that I would like to present to you for free so that you have an idea and get the reasons why your home didn't sell. Now it has valuable information. It has information that other Realtors do not use, and there's information that if you really wanna sell, we need to talk again, but I would really like to have you at least review the contents of this book. When can I meet with you again to review it?"
So, it's a close. It's a gift. It’s, “I'm the man. I know it all.” It's "I'm here to help you." And I am. Sincerely. Genuinely. That is my mantra. That is what has kept me in business for so long, and that's why I have such a high referral rate. A pathfinder in our [inaudible], and so I there sincerely to help them, but it also gives me an opportunity to return to talk to them and see what do they think about the book? Did it open up any eyes? Did they see some follies in what they didn't have from their previous Realtor? And what I could bring to the table that they have not yet experienced in addition to what they find in the book.
Smart Agents: Gotcha. So, it looks like you've got three listings from at the beginning?
Bob: We're up to seven now.
Smart Agents: Oh, awesome. Seven listings, and you said you gave away twenty-seven books, and how long have you been giving away the books?
Bob: So, we are about thirty, probably forty days. Forty-five days at the most, and ten of those days are business days. That would be Monday through Saturday, and there has been ten days in which I have not been in the office. A net thirty days? Twenty-seven? That's almost a book a day.
Basically with seven listings and of those seven listings, three are already under contract.
Smart Agents: Great. Congratulations.
Bob: Thank you.
Smart Agents: In addition to giving the book, you said you specialize in marketing, so I'd love to know what other tactics do you use to help get listings?
Bob: A lot of what I do is look to not shotgun market, but to target a specific group. Like expireds, that's a specific group. The people that have been on the market. Didn't sell. Bad experience. Frustrated. Whatever. Then you've got the For Sale By Owners trying to save money. Think they can do it on their own. Think it's just about a contract, and one of the things I reiterate to For Sale by Owners, "You know what? If you try to sell this on your own, do you realize that there are between 70 and 90 people that are involved in this transaction from signing up to closing table? Are you prepared, as a individual, to represent yourself and work with these 70-90 people that you'll be involved with in this transaction, just to save a buck or two?
And they're like, "What do you mean?"
I say, "Let me rattle 'em off for you." I've listed 73 that I can think of, people, from appraiser to inspector to title to underwriter to underwriter's assistant to the [inaudible]'s assistant to the inspector to the person that writes the report for the inspector. I mean, everybody that I can think of that would be involved in a realty transaction.
That's a lot of people. I deal with that on a daily basis. Are you sure you want to deal with it one-on-one, as a By Owner? Does that really save you money? And what if there's a mistake made? Everything falls on your shoulders. That 15, $20,000 commission is gonna end up being hundreds of thousands of dollars of a lawsuit. Do you want to take that on?
Not to scare them. It's just the facts. This is the way things are these days in our industry.
Secondly, is a lot of social media with the books, and in saying, if you're looking for or interested in investing, getting a second home, refinancing- before you sell it by yourself or try to- or if you're on the market right now, and you're not real happy.. so I've got different tag lines per book that we send out, and then we have shared off from our Bob Associates Facebook page and Instagram and that kind of a thing. That's also been very effective.
Another one would certainly be internet on our personal sites and also with our affiliated sites with Keller Williams, Homes.com, Realtor.com, that kind of a thing. We're always pushing for that personal experience. Having that and being able to author books and have that little extra expertise that is more than just what an agent is. A lot of discount agents right now in southern Utah where'll come in and do it for 1%, and it's more than "you get what you pay for," so my job is to share with them, you get more what you pay for than what the normal agent offers or thinks that they're gonna offer you or says that they do and don't do.
Then the client-care. That's really hardcore for me is that those on my team are very VIP/red carpet/Ritz Carlton- oriented in how we do our business, and so everything's packaged nice. It's presented nice. These books are presented with gold ribbon around them. They're not just, "Oh here. Here you go."
It's something that is very well and professionally presented in all that we do. Just half- baked is not the way we roll. We like to make sure it's a first-class experience.
Smart Agents: That sounds nice. I like the idea of the gold ribbon. It makes it stand out even more.
Bob: Yeah, it does. It adds value. If you just say, "Here's a book," and they're like, "Oh, where'd you get this? The library," but if it's with a ribbon, then it's a gift. It's got a nice bow on it. It's a thick ribbon. It's something that shows that it's a gift to them. It looks important, and it is, but it's fancy, and it's not something that somebody's just gonna throw on their coffee table. They're gonna actually unwrap or untie the bow. Just by human nature, they're gonna open it up and start at least glancing it, if not sitting down and actually reading it.
We've had many people, of those twenty-seven from what we can count, have at least read half, and about 30% have read the whole thing! Whichever book that's been given to them. So we know that it's brought us out and added value toward solution for them.
Smart Agents: That's great. Do you think that the books have increased your conversion rate on listing appointments?
Bob: Definitely has. It has brought me to the forepart of saying, "OK, if you wanna hire Joe Schmoe at 1%, then go ahead and do that. Or, if you want the professional, I'm your guy, and here's why."
Certainly in the listing presentation of the products and services that I offer, what Keller Williams has to offer, but then you pull that out and say, "Oh, by the way... and besides being in the industry for twenty-six years and having an awesome team, I wanted to share this with you as well."
I pull out every single book, and I say, "Here's the things that I've been working on, and I think it might be valuable for you, but I just want you to know that I'm in this for the long haul, and that there's some credibility behind me. If you need references, I've got 'em. But what better referencing than finding somebody who's an author of a book, let along multiple books, about real estate? Tell me that the people you've already interviewed have this kind of plethora of experience to have published a book."
They're like, "None of them."
I'm like, "How 'bout that 1% guy? Did he offer anything to you that shows that he knows the business and knows what it's all about and knows what's going to be done to sell your home?"
Literally, they just stumble and stammer because they don't realize that. They've heard every dog and pony show and then you come in with this kind of an experience for them, and they're like, "Whoa! This is huge! This guy's way different."
I get that a lot, and part of that, I attest to these books. It just, again, adds that higher standard, that higher credibility, and that higher rate of success.
Smart Agents: That's great. That's what we like to hear, for sure. I'm so glad they're helping you.
Have you ever had anybody ask you if you've actually written the book? Has that come up yet?
Bob: Never has.
Smart Agents: OK, great.
Bob: Never has. It's never been a question of, "Well, when did you do this? I didn't know you did this."
I did it from home, from 1 A.M. to 4 A.M. for three years. Nobody has ever asked or questioned about that at all, and it's written in a way that sings to me. It is me. It's as if I was in my office at home from 1 to 3 in the morning having written that. It fits me like a glove.
I am not a turn-and-burn agent, and so the way these are written really sounds like me. I mean it really resounds so much with my philosophy and the way I roll that I can't, "Oh, that didn't sound very good. Oh, I don't really do that." No, it's like my answer book of myself. I penned it myself. It's really good.
Smart Agents: Good. I'm so glad.
I feel like we've covered this a little. I am curious if there's been like one really big break through or surprise that has happened since you've started using the books?
Bob: So just my own personal self-confidence. You would think that after twenty-six years it is easy for me to knock on anybody's door that's expired/For Sale by Owner, and I am scared to death.
I rehearse. I do affirmations. I have a business coach. My dog licks me on face in the morning. It just gives me encouragement, and it's still hard for me to go to the front door and say, "Hey, I'm prepared to talk to you a little bit about your home." Or you're just like everybody else.
But what this book has done for me is that it's given me a tangible self-worth that I can go to the door of somebody's home with confidence and competence and not be worried about the conversation or what I have to present to them and again, provide some credibility in front of them for the very first time that I can then build the relationship on, rather than be just like one of the other 1300 Realtors. Or at least when I was at one of forty that's already been at their door.
It's definitely helped set me apart, but it's helped me personally to have a level of self-confidence that I don't have to, "OK, you can do this. It'll be alright." No, I just go up to the door and Ring! And just start talking away because I've got that, and it's literally been that powerful.
Smart Agents: Wow.
Bob: That kind of sounds like a duesy, but it's not. There's a reason for that, and part of that reason's because of the book itself. It just again shows that value added service to people rather than just "I'm a Realtor, or I'm an agent. Sign with me." There's just more. It gives you more skin in the game.
Smart Agents: That's awesome. I love hearing that. It's great to be able to help you in all different levels and to help the people that you're working with.
So, what would you say to someone who is struggling to get listings? Or maybe even a new agent who's just getting started in the business?
Bob: Tell me that again.
Smart Agents: Would you have any advice for someone who's struggling to get listings or maybe a brand new agent just entering the business?
Bob: Yeah, so much of the millennial generation is "I get it for free. What's in it for me?"
They don't last as Realtors for very long because it's never about the other person. It's about them, and so they think it's easy peasy business, that if they show a home, they automatically get a check.
Those that are a little bit more seasoned in the business will realize that as they see brand new agents, these agents need to find a tool or a way that establishes their personality, their way of doing business that is service-related and not what's in it for me related. If they find that service-related avenue in their business, they will do well as a Realtor for many years to come.
With information being so necessary now, where it's like two or three clicks away on a phone or an iPad, the level of service where you're going belly-to-belly with people has started to dwindle over the past number of years because it's all been by email or text or Messenger or Facebook or whatever.
But these new agents need to be in front of people, and these books, you can't email the book over and have the same effect as being in front of someone.
These books allow you the ability to knock on their door, introduce yourself, name with a face, face with a name and be able to then say, "I have information that I know will be of help to you as you consider selling your home, either buy yourself or if it is expired, I know why it didn't sell. In fact, I've got this book telling me why, or I've got an opportunity for me to invest in real estate and have been successful. In fact, I've got this book that has helped me, and I want it to help you as well or [inaudible] slips. I know what will work and provide the greatest bottom line for you when you go to sell and where not to spend your money because you're not gonna get it back. In fact, I've got this book that talks all about that so you guys don't make a mistake. Don't put in 20,000 and get ten back. You wanna put in 20 and get 40 back. I know how to do that. Here's where it says how to do that," and talk to them about that book.
So, as a new agent there's nothing that they can do more than obviously, get some training and some coaching and some things within their own brokerage, but to have that backbone of this medium in use for their future, that would really, I think, shorten their learning curve. They would get commissions faster, sales faster, and start growing their business faster than if they were just saying, "OK, I'm gonna go knock twenty-five doors today. Another twenty-five tomorrow."
There's no purpose. It's gotta have a purpose, and so these book provide that purpose because they're specific to specific target market groups that they could influence and be able to gain some business from.