This week Ben spoke with Karen, a member who beat out a local celebrity realtor for a listing. She used her books to have the same celebrity credibility as the realtor she competed against.
The interview goes over:
- The competing agent had a realtor radio show and was super well known.
- The books made her and her team just as much as a celebrity.
- They leave books in waiting rooms and old folks homes as well.
- So far two listings - but more are coming since she thinks the books have lasting power.
Ben Curry: Okay. Excellent. So you did tell me a little bit, you guys had won two competing listing appointments with the credibility the books provided. Was this listing appointments for the sellers who are gonna be interviewing two or three or four agents?
Cathy: Yes. We always wanna put a unique spin on what it is we're gonna be able to bring to people. And, when we're coming from an education standpoint, it helps so much to have something that they can put their hands on, feel it's tangible, and let them know we're gonna bring them along in the education process all the way through the deal. And now, we've been partnered with a group that's published a book that helps you to think about the best way to get your home sold. And so, here's your book, and we just want you to know that while all the steps are here, we're here to do all the steps for you.
Ben Curry: Okay. So what do you say whenever you give the book away to somebody on a listing presentation like that?
Cathy: Well that's kind of the script I use, the we're gonna bring you along the path of understanding, and here's a book that we were partnered with. And I don't take credit for writing the book. I just say that we're partnered in the process so that gives a little, it doesn't overstate it, and still brings us in to being partnered in this process. And that our goal is to help them to understand the process but not feel like they have to do everything. The best sales happen when you bring your team together that's gonna help you get it done.
Ben Curry: Yeah. That's true. Okay. So, I guess you've won those two listing appointments. What was the lead? Was it somebody that contacted you or an expired FSBO? How did you get those listing appointments?
Cathy: One of them that we had specifically had the competing offer for came to two of our open houses in the same four block kind of radius, saw us successfully walk through completely renovating the homes, staging the homes, and in those cases get 65,000 over list price and 101,000 over list price.
So we had the proven success right in front of them of what my team of contractors, and stagers, and cleaners did to kind of restore and get these homes to great value.
But I was competing with someone that had a radio broadcast. So she had a celebrity position, and they were gonna go with her. And then I brought the book in and kind of that made me the celebrity too.
Ben Curry: Oh wow. That's pretty cool. Okay. Have you tried giving away the books to anybody that visits the open houses?
Cathy: We did give ... Well, we give the books away when they schedule an appointment with us. So, we want it to be something that's of value. So, we have something here for you. We're wanna send it home with you. So, if we've got an appointment scheduled with you, we're gonna give you this complimentary book, so that you can be getting a little bit ready for our appointment. We make it something that we're not just handing out like a flier. But, if they're scheduling a consult with us, we're giving it away.
Ben Curry: Ah, very smart. Okay. So have you used the book-
Cathy: Kind of a take away approach. Well, you know, I have these books here. And I save those for the folks that we're gonna be doing a consult with, because they're ready to put their homes on the market and ready to sit down and read about this.
Ben Curry: You guys are so much smoother than me at the way that you do this stuff. I'm kind of like, not in awe, but it's like wow I wish I was that smooth at saying stuff that way and stuff. So that's pretty good.
Cathy: The other place we do give them away a little bit more readily is to get people to just sign up for allowing us to give them a monthly update on their home value. We do that at places like Right Sizing for Seniors, which is a workshop that's put on, or the Seattle Home Show, where they're gonna be at many, many booths, and we aren't necessarily gonna get an appointment with them that day, but we want to at least be able to capture their information so we can stay in touch.
Ben Curry: Okay. Have you gotten any other business besides those two listing appointments you talked about from the books?
Cathy: Well, you know, we just started with the program this spring. So, I think we pretty much doubled the number of people we were able to capture at our four home shows this year to be able to stay in touch. We came out of the home shows with over 300 people that we're able to stay in touch with in the data base.
We didn't give books to every one of those. We did use the book when we weren't quite sure we were gonna ... kind of put it out there when they were getting ready to just walk down the hallway and not give me their information. Wait a sec, I've got something for you.
Ben Curry: I know exactly what you're talking about. That's very true. Yeah, people-
Cathy: We are definitely taking it and putting it inside our presentation folders though when we go to the listing appointment as well. So another gift.
Ben Curry: Okay. So, it's helped you get more customers from the home shows it was it sounds like, or prospects?
Cathy: More people in our data base, more prospects that we'll be able to stay in touch with at all of our exhibit locations, and also just a higher conversion rate in the listing appointments. --
Ben Curry: Excellent. Okay. Have you thought about trying it with maybe any type of lead generation, like FSBOs, or expires, or old expires, or anything like that?
Cathy: You know, and that was kind of what we were brainstorming. There's so many strategies to using this, that that's where I could use the most help, I think, is figuring out all the ways and maybe having a mastermind, kind of coaching opportunity, where we hear this is how people are using it, and begin to implement it even more. Because, I know there's greater opportunities out there and looking to use it and implement more of our prospecting systems. We have that constant challenge of 20 contacts a day. And the whirlwind gets in our way a lot of times.
Ben Curry: The what gets in the way?
Cathy: The whirlwind. Have you read "The 4 Disciplines of Execution?" It's a great book if you haven't read it, but it talks about how the whirlwind is the daily activity that has to get done, and yet if we're not working on the one or two things that are our big goals and staying focused on where we wanna be and obviously the contacts we need to make every day, become the conversions for tomorrow. But the whirlwind can get in the way and we turn at the end of the day and all we've done is the current transactions that are in the pool, and then you ride the rollercoaster.
Ben Curry: Especially in real estate. Real estate can be the most interruption prone business in the world.
Cathy: Thank you. I'm so glad to hear that, because it feels that way sometimes. We're putting on about six listings a month, right now, twice what I did last year. And my goal is 10 a month.
Ben Curry: Okay. One last thing, and then I'll let you go. It sounds like you probably have other stuff to do. But, you mentioned that you look forward to the fact that the books would have a long shelf life and maybe get you future business. Can you tell me a little bit more about your thoughts on that?
Cathy: Well, you know, people don't throw books away. And they, I think, are much more likely to pass it on than your business card or your flier or even your three fold brochure. Those things are all good, and they're part of our business, but I don't know people that throw books away. I just think that there's a potential for that. And that potential grows the better the books is.
Ben Curry: That's true. Okay. I see what you're saying. Obviously on our end, we gotta work to improve them, which we're doing. Which books have you used so far? Which ones did you order, if you remember?
Cathy: You know, I've only ordered the one. I took the advice of the first presentation. I did what you called, The Business Card Book, the general one, and made a large order of those. I think we ordered 200 books at the start.
Ben Curry: Oh wow.
Cathy: Just 'cause we're making a commitment, this is a program we're gonna use. I think a lot of realtors, and me included, get caught in the shiny object program. So, oh yeah, I can put that to use. And yet I'm working harder to take a few things and do it really well.
Ben Curry: Yes. That is true. There's so many things you can do. Okay. Do you have anything else to say or any other ways you can think of that the books have been useful to you?
Cathy: I just think that the continued focus on making the books better and better will be keeping and retaining your customers, and the group program where we can all interact on things that are working, that's the opportunity to be crossing our territorial boundaries and not necessarily be sharing ideas with our competitor, but sharing across the nation what's working and ideas.
And this privilege of being able to chat with you this morning and be part of an advisory group that helps to make a program better, I mean I feel like I've just subscribed to something that the more I help you, the more it helps me.
Ben Curry: Yeah. I appreciate that. Not everybody has the mindset to help. They just look at what they can get out of it. So I appreciate the willingness and the incentive to help. That's good.
Cathy: Good. Well, keep me posted on that advisory group program and what they're doing from the publisher's perspective. I'd love to be part of that. And I will this weekend sit down and read the book and highlight that for being able to sit down as I'm going through. I'll get my copy. I take the Millionaire Real Estate Agent Book when I'm meeting with agents, and it's a well dogeared version of that book, to help them become successful agents. I can see that I could do that with this book as well with buyers and sellers.
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.