Mark is a successful agent. But last year, he was averaging a 45% close rate on listing appointments. He started using the book and doubled his close rate to 90% on average.
Here’s what Mark had to say about that:
“I will tell you that from a year ago until today, the percentage of listings that I now get when I go on these appointments is up to about 90%, when it had been trending at about 45% a year ago.
So, yeah, I do think the book is an amazing tool to use, to help leverage and also to make sure that an agent interviewing stands out from the crowd, with regard to any other people they're speaking to. Without a doubt, it's basically taking my batting average to a whole new level. ”
Mark used to work as a Corporate Brand Manager, and he feels that the books reinforce his total brand.
In Mark’s own words:
“I'm a marketing professional, OK, and I used to be a brand manager, and the bottom line is that brand management isn't about one thing. It's about total reinforcement. It's the total package. It's the total marketing effort, and so to me, the book is what seals the deal.”
Listen to the Highlights Interview Audio below for more details on exactly how Mark is using the books.
Listen to the Full-Length Audio to get all the details.
Here is a transcript of the interview with Ben Curry and Mark.
Mark: I I put a post on Facebook with a picture of the book and I've already had requests for 18 books.
Ben: Holy moly.
Mark: Yep, and I just dropped off 13 of them at the Post Office, so they could be mailed out to the respective people that requested them and that even included some agents ... That I know, so that was rather interesting as well.
The basic premise is that I've been using the book as the final piece of my pre-listing package. So, when I come to them, meet with my potential listing clients, and I show them all the stuff I do to market their home, I throw in that we have a book as well, that shows you how we list homes and sell them for more money. That book is at their discretion to read, but it kind of fortifies the position that I'm not just any realtor out there. That I'm a realtor that now looks like I've written books on the ability to sell homes for more money, or the most money. Fortified by all the things I do when I'm marketing a home. I think it's a one, two knockout punch.
I will tell you that from a year ago until today, the percentage of listings that I now get when I go on these appointments is up to about 90%, when it had been trending at about 45% a year ago. So, yeah, I do think the book is an amazing tool to use, to help leverage and also to make sure that an agent interviewing, stands out from the crowd, with regard to any other people they're speaking to.
Ben: So, you're saying, that a year ago, your close rate on a listing was approximately 45%, now it's up to about 95%. You think the book has been a big part of that?
Mark: Yeah, I mean, listen, it's like ... Everyone comes with them, some kind of story of how they sell homes for the most money, so that's not unusual. That's not different than anybody else, but I can definitely show them things that I do, that most people don't even know about, that a realtor could do. I use re-targeted marketing, when most people ... They know what it is, but they're not using it for real estate.
Ben: You use targeted or re-targeting?
Mark: Re-targeted marketing.
Mark: Yeah, so there a lot of things that I do, but it's interesting, the conversation about all the things that I do are nice. The fact that I'm a social media instructor and do a lot of social media certainly helps, but I think the book is ... The difference is the book is a tangible reinforcement of what you do.
Ben: Yeah, I see what you're saying.
Mark: Even though ... Go ahead.
Ben: Have you gotten any listings directly from using the books?
Mark: I haven't actually been using the books yet to stir up or basically fishing with something on the hook yet. What I'm using, the book so far, is I'm getting enough appointments and I'm pretty busy and as a result, I'm using the book to reel the fish in.
Mark: Now, stage two will be to find the time and I have to get more books. I actually have a pending order, I don't know where it is. I thought I would have had it by now, but to get a ... To use the books to solicit more listings, in advance of having to call to say, "We're thinking of listing our home." I do want to go after people I've met with before I had the books, even as much as a year or two ago and see if they haven't listed, if they're now ready to list and I'll use the book as a tool for that too.
Mark: I'm more of a ... Like to be immediately relevant, kind of person. So, just basically throwing the books out there like spaghetti at a wall, is not what I intend to do. Now, I have brought the books, 'cause I do promote a lot of events, sponsor a lot of events, and I do bring some of the books and every time I bring the books to the events, the books are all disappearing. People are definitely taking them and hopefully I'm going to be getting the call sooner rather than later to say, we got your book, and we'd like to talk to you.
Ben: Yeah, I see what you're saying, okay. How many books do you think you've given away so far?
Mark: I would say that I probably have given away a total of about 30 books so far.
Ben: Okay. So, no listings directly attributable to them, but it's made it easier or it's helped you get a lot of listing. Hasn't been 100% of the work to get the listing but.
Mark: Listen, if you're looking for an answer that's tied to directly to your question, it's I only gave them a book and I got a listing, then you are correct. I don't ever ... I'm a marketing professional, okay, and I used to be a brand manager and the bottom line is, that brand management isn't about one thing, it's about total reinforcement. It's the total package, it's the total marketing effort and so to me, the book is what seals the deal.
Ben: So, you know a lot about branding and marketing and all that stuff?
Ben: Okay, awesome. What you've done, is you've used the books to get a lot more business from your existing sources. Where do you get a lot of your listings and other business from?
Mark: From having a pretty high brand awareness. Meaning that the advertising for my brand alone, let alone for my business, helps me to get a lot of leads. I have referral companies, referral agents that connect with me because of my profile. Once again, I still go back to the proposition, if I'm almost doubling my capture, I think the book is hugely related to that.
Ben: That's pretty damn good, yeah. So, you do a lot of branding. How long have you been selling real estate?
Mark: Nine years and we'll do 40 million this year.
Ben: So, you got into the business in 2009, if my math is working out?
Mark: Yep, that's correct.
Ben: So, you got in at the worst of the worst time and made it work?
Mark: Yep, that's correct.
Ben: There wasn't ... Yeah, it was definitely a different world back then. Wow, that's interesting. Question, what do you say if somebody asks if you've written the book? Someone gets a book and is like, "Mark, did you write this book?" What's your answer for that?
Mark: My answer has been that I co-authored the book. I think that was the terminology that was used. I don't take full responsibility for it, because that would be a lie.
Ben: So, you just say, I co-authored it with somebody. You don't tell them you had a ghostwriter, you just say I co-authored the book with somebody?
Ben: That makes sense. We've talked about a little bit of different things. What do you feel is the biggest benefit that you get from using the books?
Mark: I'm sorry what was that again, Ben?
Ben: What's the biggest benefit that you get from using the books?
Mark: Like I just said, increasing ... Basically, it helps me seal the deal.
Ben: Helps you seal the deal, okay.
Mark: I think it's directly related to sealing the deal. Without a doubt, it's basically taking my batting average to a whole new level.
Ben: Yeah, no kidding. I'm surprised ... A lot of people wouldn't really admit to that. A lot of realtors have enormous egos, but you're more realistic than most of them.
Mark: Yeah, I try to be more realistic, Ben. I try to be more honest and that's how I've built my business as well. I provide, try to provide, above beyond service to my clients.
Ben: In my opinion, I think that's the key to being successful at marketing or branding or anything. Being realistic 'cause you keep doing stuff that works and you stop doing stuff that doesn't work and that's what gets you ahead at the end of the day.
Ben: I got one last question, then I'll let you go. It sounds like you're doing well, but what advice would you have for an agent who's really struggling to get listings? They've tried a bunch of different things, it seems like nothing is working, what would your advice be for them?
Mark: What advice would I give to a new agent that trying to break out there?
Ben: Yeah, just somebody who's like, I'm trying to get listings, I've done this, I've tried all the things the guru's recommend, but it doesn't work. What would your advice be for that person?
Mark: A brand manager tells you that you have to have a point of difference and the point of difference for me, has become the book because we all talk about the different things that we can do to market your home. A lot of those things are the same.
We're all going to do professional photography and professional brochures and whether they do re-targeted marketing or not, that's a different story, that may be a separator. Whether they're doing social media in a small way, or in a large way, that's hard to be able to nail down.
But I look for the ability for the book to be the tipping point to say, "In addition to everything else, look at this book." I don't even have to say whether I wrote it or not, but here's my book on how to sell homes for the most money and my pictures on the cover.
It's beyond the tipping point, so what you're doing when you're young and you're new like I was, you had to be a local expert. I train agents on my team or I train the agents in my office and I tell them, "Somebody comes into an open house, you need to know what the inventory is, what the average price is, average days on market. You have to be the expert." This book. Makes you an expert.
Ben: Yeah, that's interesting. Question, before you used the books, what was your point of difference, maybe a year or two years ago?
Mark: Social media. I own and operate 29 open house websites that are town specific. The re-targeted marketing. Those were all things that I had been doing a year ago or even two years ago. Bottom line, nothing has changed in that regard, but the book happens to be something that seemingly has made a big change. It was like this, oh my God, secret sauce.
Ben: Yeah, okay, interesting. So, someone who's starting out or struggling, they gotta do what the book have helped you do, but also ... It's real estate 101, it's sales 101, is have something different. They gotta have a reason to hire you besides ... Mediocrity doesn't pay, you gotta have something a little bit different.
Mark: That's correct.
Ben: That's good to hear. Maybe other people are different, but it seems like so many people think that if they just call enough leads, they just knock on enough doors, they're going to get business. And, you can get a million leads, but if you can't convert them, then you ain't got nothing.
Ben: So, it's good to hear that from somebody else. Cool, well that's all the questions I had.