So, now you've got your books in hand. But how do you use them?
It's one of the questions we're asked most often — and if you don’t know how to use the books, you aren't unlocking their full potential.
The secret to getting more listings from the books is to make sure you get them to your leads.
Getting Your Books Out There
There are two main ways you can get your books into a lead’s hands:
- Drop Off Package
- Mailed Package
The drop-off method has several advantages over mailing the books.
The biggest advantage of dropping off the books is that you get to meet potential clients. You have the chance to connect a face with a name. Face-to-face conversations always beat out phone conversations and breed some sense of familiarity between you and the seller.
You get a chance to ask more questions, and you’re more likely to make a connection with the seller when you’re asking these questions in person as opposed to over the phone or via email. Face-to-face interactions enhance the element of trust.
Dropping off the books in person is simply more advantageous and will help you build a relationship versus talking to someone over the phone.
The Drop-off Method for FSBOs
When you drop off the book, do your best to have a conversation with the homeowner. Don’t be shy. While it may be easier to put the book in a Ziploc Bag and leave it on the front door, striking up a conversation with the seller will lead to more success.
So how do you strike up a conversation? What do you need to say?
Let’s imagine you’re dropping off a book to a For Sale By Owner.
Once you knock on the door, introduce yourself and let them know that you’re just dropping off your book and not there to list their house. Explain that you noticed they’re selling their house and your book has some good tips they can use to sell it for more money.
Say something along these lines:
"Hey, I noticed you're selling your house For Sale by Owner. My name is X, I'm a Realtor, and I'm not knocking on your door to list your house. I just wanted to see if I could give you a copy of my book that has some great tips to help you sell your house faster, and potentially sell it for more money."
Once you hand them the book, assess their mood to determine whether to keep the conversation going. The seller may be unfriendly or even rude. If this is the case, thank them for their time and walk away.
If they’re more friendly and seem interested in what you have to say, engage them further. It might just surprise you how many people are friendly and more than happy to talk to you. Keep the conversation going by saying something like:
"I was just wondering if the house does not sell, how long you think you’ll wait before you might consider hiring an agent to help you sell?"
Some will give you a timeline, such as a month, and others might say they’re not planning to ever hire an agent. Either way, don’t be offended. If they say they would consider hiring an agent at some point, jump right in and let them know that you’d more than happy to contact them then and talk through how you can help them out.
Keep in mind that the goal is not to get a listing but to introduce yourself to the sellers. So don't bombard them with information about your services.
Use the book to get the conversation started. And once they're talking, just see where the conversation goes. Have a friendly conversation for as long as they want to talk, and, if they're not willing to talk, thank them and get going.
The Drop-off Method for Expireds
When you're dealing with new expireds, you have to remember their house may have just expired in the last few days. They might be in an anxious or pessimistic place.
Again, knock on the door and to try to make sure you're talking to the owner. Here, we’re assuming you did some homework and know the person's name.
A good trick is to call the person who answers the door by the name of the listed owner. If they’re not the owner, they’ll be more than happy to go get them for you. And, if they are the owner, they’ll be curious to know who you are.
Once you have their attention, offer them your book and keep the conversation going, depending on how they respond.
So you may want to say:
"Hey, Sally, Sorry to interrupt you. My name is X, and I'm a real estate agent. I noticed you had your house for sale with another Realtor, and it didn't sell. I just wanted to give you a copy of my book that has some good tips to help you sell a house that didn't previously sell. Would you be interested in this book?"
If they say yes, give them the book, and continue to find out if they are still interested in selling their house. You could go further and ask them if you can stop by sometime to take a look at the house and go over some ideas on how to sell it.
Here’s a script to give you an idea of what to say:
"Hey, Sally. Sorry to interrupt you. My name is X, and I'm a real estate agent. I noticed you had your house for sale with another Realtor, and it didn't sell. I just wanted to give you a copy of my book that has some good tips that can help you sell a house that didn't previously sell. Would you be interested in this book? I understand your house didn't sell. Are you still interested in selling? Would you mind if I stopped by sometime, took a look at your house and gave you some different ideas to sell it?"
The idea here is to offer them your book, find out if they are still interested in selling their house and offer them expert help to do it.
Next, let's talk about an old expired. This is an expired whose house expired several months ago. Again, knock on the door say:
"Hey, is this John? (Just as with the new expired, you want to make sure you're talking to the property owner). "I'm an agent, and I noticed you had your house for sale a little while ago and it didn't sell. I've got a great book here that has some tips you can use to sell a house that didn't previously sell. I'd be happy to offer you this book. I also wanted to check and see, if you could get the right price for your home, you would consider selling it today?"
If they say yes, then that’s your cue to keep the conversation going. If they say no, give them your book and move on.
So what would you say if you're dropping off the book to somebody you know may be interested in selling their house (that you talked to at an open house or someone told you about), and they're not a FSBO or expired?
This is what you say;
"Hey, here's a copy of my book that shows you how you can sell your house for more money. Would you like to have a copy?"
If they say yes, continue:
“I’ve got some different strategies that might be able to sell your house — where it didn’t sell previously. Would you mind if I stopped by sometime to look at your home and see if one of those strategies could work for you?”
The goal here is to let the seller know you have tips to make the sale a success. Remember to be friendly and polite and never pester them to give you a listing then and there.
Mailing Your Books to Sellers
If you don’t have time to drop off the books in person, this shouldn’t be a reason to let the book sit in your office or home gathering dust. You can mail them to your leads. People love receiving stuff — that’s why direct mail still works wonders for Realtors even in the era of technology.
Because you don’t get to talk to the seller when you mail them the book, consider adding a cover letter to your book package letting them know why you’re sending them the book.
Here are some cover letters you can edit to fit your leads, print out and insert in your books:
- FSBO cover letter
- Old Expired cover letter
- New Expireds cover letter
- Vacant Home cover letter
- Inherited Book cover letter
- Divorce Book cover letter
Follow-Ups: The Secret Sauce To Getting Listings
Following up with sellers after handing them your books is the secret sauce to getting the listings you want.
There is no guarantee that the seller will read your book or even remember to call you a month later when they are ready to hire a professional to help them sell their house. To stay at the top of their minds, you have to make follow-ups with your leads.
You can simply send a thank you note, email them or call them. Follow up with every person you give your book to within 4 to 5 days. Find out if they have any questions about the book or the sale of their house.
If they are a FSBO, you can keep following up once a week until you get some positive feedback or the dreaded, “No, I hired someone else.”
For new expireds, follow up immediately and keep in touch every week. For old expireds, you can wait a few weeks before you do the follow up, depending on how long they said they wanted to wait until they put their house on the market again.
The goal of a follow up is to find out the seller’s pain points and what you can do to help them out. Some could be struggling to market their houses, others could be having trouble organizing open houses, while others simply don’t know where to find potential buyers.
The follow-up conversation is similar to the one you have with the seller when you drop off your books, except now you’re more familiar to them. Remember, you spoke to them in person and they have your book. You’re no longer a stranger — so simply re-introduce yourself and get right into business.
We have a couple of scripts you can use to make follow-up calls. Feel free to edit them to your liking.
- FSBO Follow Up Script (First Call)
- Old Expireds Follow Up Script
- FSBO Follow Up Script (Second Call)
- Old Expired Script – Want To Sell?
If you haven’t had any success with your books or you simply don’t know what you need to do with them, I believe this blog post will give you a better idea of what you haven’t been doing and what you need to start doing to make your investment worth your while.
Haven't taken the plunge? Check out more information about our MyBooks membership!
And if you really need help sealing the deal, you can order our Instant Listing Presentation, guaranteed to double your closing ratio on listings appointments!
Joe Nickelson is a real estate professional dedicated to helping home buyers and sellers achieve their dreams of owning property, and helping real estate agents stop using the sometimes-vicious tactics that weigh on their consciences. He believes that the Smart Agents books will, quite literally, change people’s lives for the better. Check out his full bio here!