Gary has been a Realtor for 33 years. While he works with clients of all kinds, he specializes in working with waterfront owners, condo owners, and higher-end properties in a resort market.
Number of books given away: About 100
Listings received with the help of the books: 4
Biggest benefit of using the books: “I have been competing with other high-end Realtors for listings, and the book is a turning point.”
Gary employs a variety of marketing techniques. He works for Christie’s International, so they do a lot of his advertising for him. However, he also works hard to get his name out in the community and surrounding areas by advertising on social media and sending out his own mailings regularly.
He’s found the books to be an integral part of his marketing strategy. He mostly gives them to people whose listings have been expired for a long time — a year or two. He researches their homes and sends the book out with a letter.
“I have had great responses to the book. Many people are surprised that I have a book out there. They say, 'Oh, yeah. It came with great ideas. That was well worth my reading before I list it.' I'm getting a good response.”
Gary feels the books offer a great ROI. He’s landed four listings but says even just the big listing was worth his investment — $1.975 million!
“[The client] has had another Realtor that she worked with in the past that has been her friend and she liked very much. She had another Realtor who does a huge amount of business nearby. She interviewed both of them ,and then she interviewed me, and she told me she likes my approach. She likes my ideas. She likes the direction I was going, and the book made her feel confident that I knew what I was talking about.”
Gary doesn’t just use the books to get clients, however. For example, he recently listed a $1.695 million home for clients he’d known for a while, so he hadn’t given them one. However, when the clients came to his house, they saw the book there.
“They said, ‘Whoa. I didn't get one. What is that all about?’ So she took one, and she's read it all through and so did her husband. So they're very impressed, very happy with me…I expect them to send a letter of referral my direction, by the way. They're impressed.”
And as we all know, there’s just nothing better than word-of-mouth marketing.
Gary also has some practical advice for struggling agents:
“What I've learned is, as long as I keep my nose to the grindstone, whenever I need the money, it's gonna be there, and that truly has been the case for me. Keep plugging away.”
Here’s how Gary gets his listings.
#1. Gary researches the expired home, takes pictures, and finds out how long the current owners have lived there. Then, he crafts a highly personalized letter based on his research, which shows the homeowners he’s done his homework.
#2. He includes a book with the letter. This combination gives the homeowners confidence that Gary knows what he’s talking about and will do all the right things to get their home sold for the best price.
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 the full Audio Interview:
Here is a transcript of the interview with Katie and Gary:
Smart Agents: I would love to know, how long have you been a Realtor and do you have anything you specialize in?
Gary: I have been a Realtor for 33 years now. I work in the resort market, and I do primarily work with waterfront owners, condo owners, some of the higher-end properties in our neighborhood.
Smart Agents: OK.
Gary: Although, I do it all.
Smart Agents: OK.
Smart Agents: Do you know how many books you've given away?
Gary: How many books I've given away? I would guess somewhere in the range of 50, maybe more than that. .... probably more than that. Let's say 100.
Smart Agents: OK.
Gary: Because I know I sent a lot.
Smart Agents: Cool, and how long have you been using the books?
Gary: I'm gonna guess about a year, probably.
Smart Agents: OK, great. Do you know how many listings the books have helped you get?
Gary: I can tell you that I've probably had four listings from the booklet.
Smart Agents: OK. Do you feel that you've gotten a good ROI?
Gary: The fact that I got the big listing was definitely an ROI, because that one will make a big difference when it sells.
Smart Agents: Got you. What kind of leads are you giving the books to?
Gary: Many of them have been expired listings-
Smart Agents: OK.
Gary: Also, I've been giving ... Most of them have been expired listings and most of them have been expired listings that have been expired for an extended period of time. They've been out there, not back on the market, for a year or two. Those are the ones that are making phone calls back to me because they're now rethinking their strategies and coming back.
Smart Agents: OK, great. So when you give the books away, how do you go about doing that?
Gary: I generally write a letter. I have letters that I have formed to speak to the home that I'm selling, that I'm trying to list. I do my research on the home. I get pictures of the home, and know a lot about it before I send the book so that my mailing is specific property. I'll have a history about how long they've been there. I do research before I send the book out —
Smart Agents: Right.
Gary: — so I know who I'm sending it to, and a little bit of what they're all about. Once it hits their door, they know that I've already done my homework since I've written that into the letter that I've sent them.
Smart Agents: Right. What kind of responses do you get to the book?
Gary: I have had great responses to the book. Many people are surprised that I have a book out there. They say, "Oh, yeah. It came with great ideas. That was well worth my reading before I list it." I'm getting a good response.
Smart Agents: Good. Would you say that big listing is ... Actually if you could tell me about the big listing that you got.
Gary: The big listing that I got is a six-bedroom, five and half baths, 7000 square foot home with 300 feet of frontage on the lake at 19 acres.
Smart Agents: Wow.
Gary: It's quite a substantial, beautiful home. Spectacular views. So it’s a great property to use year-round.
Smart Agents: OK, great. How much is that listing for, if you don't my asking?
Gary: It's listed for $1.975 million.
Smart Agents: Wow, OK.
Smart Agents: That's a good get.
Gary: Yeah, and worth every penny of that, I might add.
Smart Agents: Yeah, good. Do you feel that there have been any breakthroughs or any surprises with using the books?
Gary: No, I can't tell you that breakthroughs or surprises that ... Nothing comes to mind for that.
Smart Agents: OK. What other kinds of marketing do you do, besides the books?
Gary: Well I send out my own mailings on a regular occasion. Well, marketing. I do a lot of Facebook marketing, market the book on Facebook. I do Instagram. So, social media is a lot of the work I do out there. Getting my name out in the community, as well as around the countryside because we promote these larger properties in bigger metropolitan areas.
Of course, I work for Christie's International and they do corporate advertising throughout the world.
Smart Agents: OK. So, they do some of your advertising for you? Is that how that works?
Smart Agents: OK.
Smart Agents: OK. Do you have anything you've found over the years that have been the best ways to get clients, and/or to close deals?
Gary: I need you to ask me that one more time, please.
Smart Agents: Of course. Of course. Do you have anything you've found that really helps to get clients or to close deals?
Gary: My experience with the book has been a very good one. I have been competing with other high-end Realtors for listings and the book was a turning point.
Smart Agents: Great. Could you say a little bit more about that?
Gary: Well, in specific, for example. This house that I'm telling you about, the big one?
Smart Agents: Yeah.
Gary: She has had another Realtor that she worked with in the past that has been her friend and she liked very much. She had another Realtor who does a huge amount of business nearby.
She interviewed both of them, and then she interviewed me, and she told me she likes my approach. She likes my ideas. She likes the direction I was going, and the book made her feel confident that I knew what I was talking about.
Smart Agents: Gotcha. Awesome.
Gary: And I say all the right things.
Smart Agents: You are saying the truth. That's all I want. I'm glad that the books are helping you. It's great to hear this.
Do you have any suggestions for anyone that is struggling to get listings?
Gary: Books are a great way about getting your name out there and feeling substantial. I don't know the answer of anything special. I mean, I'm not doing anything that anyone else isn't doing it. Keep plugging away.
Smart Agents: Yeah. Yeah.
Gary: Keep working. Keep working. I had a client a hundred years ago when I first started who...I'm in the commission business as well. What I've learned is, as long as I keep my nose to the grindstone, whenever I need the money, it's gonna be there, and that truly has been the case for me. Keep plugging away.
Smart Agents: OK. That's good advice. Let me see if I have any other questions. Is there anything else that you would like to share? Any stories? Any experiences? Any feedback? Anything like that?
Gary: I have people that I, for example, I have people that I just listed their home for sale. It's $1.695 million. I didn't need my book to get that listing. I've known them for a while, but they came to my house, and she said, "Whoa. I didn't get one. What’s that all about?" So she took one, and she's read it all through and so did her husband.
So they're very impressed, very happy with me. I anticipate a great relationship with them.
Smart Agents: Awesome.
Gary: And I expect them to send a letter of referral my direction, by the way. They're impressed.
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