Welcome to your Smart Agents membership. You have the tools and the means to separate yourself from other agents now, here's what to do next.
Table of Contents
1. 32 Ways You Can Get Business From Books.
2. Planting these seeds is different than working leads.
3. The Easiest Way To Send Your Books Out
4. What to say if someone asks if you wrote the book.
5. What ghostwriting is and how it works.
6. Choosing multiple books.
7. Your Set-Up Manager and Your Member Site
8. Branding Yourself as an Author on Your Email Signature
Here Are 32 Different Ways That You Can Get Business From Books.
Strategy #1: Use them as a replacement for your business card.
Give them away to potential home sellers instead of giving away your business card. You may not get any leads at first, but it takes some time for these referrals.
Strategy #2: Give Them To Your Best Referral Partners.
Start with any referral partners you have. I would start with any family or friends who are involved in any aspects of home sales. Just let them know you have a new book that you want to give them.
A Smart Agents Member named Steve recently gave his book to a past client. They passed it along to their friends who were selling their home. The friends called Steve and asked him to list their house.
How To Identify Your Best Referral Partners
Go thru your contact list. Identify the people who have sent you business in the last year. Send those people a copy of your book. Send them two books! One to keep and one to give away. Tell them to read it if they want but give it to anyone they know who might be interested in buying or selling.
Mine the rest of your sphere of influence and ask them to give any copies out to interested people. Reach back out to them from time to time and see if they read any of your books or gave any of them out.
#3: Get More Business From Your Facebook Friends.
We built an entire system that markets your books to everyone you know on Facebook. Contact support for more information on how to set it up. But, to start out just offer out your book to everyone you know on Facebook.
#4: Use The Books For Lead Follow Up.
Send a copy of the book to all of your warm leads. The book will do the follow up for you.
Dropping a book off with them in person is the best thing to do. Call them before and say you are coming by and want to give them a book that will help their sale, no strings attached.
This is how you show them your value. Then they will call you when they are ready to list.
#5: Bringing books to listings presentations puts in you position to win the listing.
This is where a lot of our members get the most listings with the aid of their books. Add it to your listing presentation.
This is what Pearl, a member did and she didn't even have to open her listing presentation.
"The last two times I walked into a house, I laid my presentation down. I didn’t even open it. I laid out my five books, and I said, 'I’m an author and publisher of five books. I’m a five-star agent, and if I can’t give you a five-star experience, then I won’t work with you.", She said, "He signed right away. So my appointment went from almost an hour and a half to two hours down to five minutes."
It won't always be that fast, but they will follow up with you a lot of the time. Here's how one agent made sure he was the only agent to get interviewed. A new member, Tim, went to a listing presentation and beat out two agents.
"I was going up against three other agents, and the client said it was the book that made the decision easy to handle," said Tim, "It was someone that called me off of a postcard from a just sold. I had maintained contact with them for a few months. They called me, at the time I met with them I didn’t know he was meeting with other agents, but I had the book with me. I handed him the book and said, 'this is my book, and it’ll probably help you get your house ready to get the most money.' He took it home to his wife. They canceled two other agents that they were supposed to meet with and called me up and said I was hired."
Give the seller your book right when you walk in the door. It makes the presentation so much easier.
You should also use the books as a Pre-List Packet.
If you’ve got a listing appointment coming up, then send your book out as a Pre-Listing Packet.
#6: Farm Your Neighborhood.
Do you kick yourself when another agent’s sign pops up on your street? (I sure do!) Here’s how to stop that from happening:
- Door knock your whole neighborhood.
- Introduce yourself and give them your book.
#7: Hand Your Books Out At Your Open House.
It doesn't matter if it is your open house or not, these are a huge opportunity to network with your books. It works with buyer or seller books.
We've had members get listings from nosy neighbors that visited an open house and took the book.
For example, a Smart Agents Member named Raymond had a nosy neighbor visit an open house. He gave the man a book and thought nothing more of it. A few months later, the owner contacted Raymond and asked him to list their house.
#8: Give Away Your Books Anywhere That People Will Take Them.
Hand them out anywhere, neighborhood events, festivals and anywhere else people will take them.
#9: Offer books in your email signature.
We create an author website for all members. Use it and a banner ad on the bottom of all your emails.
Now when you send out any email, to leads, clients or partners, they'll see your offer for a free book.
#10: Turn buyers into listings.
You can get two buyer books we offer. In some markets, you'll find buyers easier than sellers.
Here's how they worked for Sheri, one of our members. She gave it to a random person she met at an event, who was interested in moving in her area.
"They reached out to me, and I got their business. They were impressed. Then they gave the book to their friends who ended up getting me a referral buyer."
#11: Leave your books in waiting rooms.
Go to doctor's offices, dentist, car washes and even hospitals and see if you can leave 3 or 4 books in their waiting room.
Then whenever people are waiting around, they'll see your face on the book. If they ever need an agent, they'll think of you.
If their friends or family need an agent, they could refer you. One of our members, Cindy, has five listings from this process.
"What I did was dropped off books for waiting rooms at the local hospitals and car dealerships and dentist offices, that kind of thing. And I’ve received phone calls. I think I’ve gotten a total of five calls and each one of them listed with me. I sold their house," she said, "They usually just say, 'I saw your book at the hospital, ' or wherever they saw it and depending on their circumstances then they just start talking to me."
Her books were doing the legwork for her. All she did was have to leave them in the right spot.
#12: Give Aways The Books At Events
Setting up a stand with a sign and giving the books to anyone who will listen and take them is another strategy. It worked for Sharon.
"Over the weekend we met up with some clients and then for an experiment, we sat a table where I knew absolutely nobody. I threw two books on the table, and people started picking them up and looking at them, I got two listings on Sunday for people I never even knew because of the books," she said.
#13: Work with divorce attorneys.
This is for members who want to target divorce leads.
Working with attorneys can benefit you and them. Work with them, and they may even recommend you to the divorce clients they have.
See if you can put the books in and around their office.
You can hand out your books at mixers and business events.
You can also hand out your business card, which offers free books. If you are going to be meeting hundreds of people, this is the way to go.
#15. Send or drop them off with expireds.
We have an entire guide here, on prospecting expired listings.
Here is one of our expired books. Dropping them off and meeting the owner leaves more of an impression.
You can see how we get expired leads here:
Our member Chris listed four expireds in one month with his books.
"I would say probably I’m hitting an average of about 70% every time I sent out six books. And I’m getting at least four to five, minimum four, listings in 35 days. Because I might say it this way. The listing you have to work for in front of the client, and the credibility and the credentials play a big role," he said.
#16. Target luxury owners.
Breaking into the luxury market in your area usually comes after networking yourself.
This is where the books can work great. Any agent we see working this niche presents themselves as the authority and brands themselves to this price range.
Look up luxury homes that are rented, expired or are interested. They don't even need to be interested.
Mail them your book or drop it off.
#17: Promote yourself on Facebook as an author.
You can set yourself up as an author and a realtor on Facebook. We have training on the member site here:
We create banners on your personal website you can use as the cover photo that offers free books.
Promote your books and yourself with free home valuations in ads there. The member training goes over it.
#18 Work high-turnover neighborhoods.
Look up what areas have had the highest number of sales over the last year or two.
Learn the neighborhood and go door knock the doors. Use the books to brand yourself as the area's expert.
After you become well known there, they will list with you when the time comes.
#19 Target FSBOs.
We offer two different FSBO books for you to work with. We have a giant FSBO guide on the blog here.
This is one of the main niches we market toward. Countless members have used the books to separate themselves from other agents and win over FSBOs.
"I’ve left at the door with the plastic bag with the letters before. I’ve sent them out. I think this is where the one I just got, she came from that lead gen off of a Facebook ad. A paid ad that I was doing. And I probably just looked. I’ll look and see where the property is and if it’s in the price range in the area that I would like to target, then I’ll send them the book," said Ray.
You can get FSBO leads from the Redx just like expireds.
#20 Old Expireds
These are a little different from regular expireds, because you have to approach them differently and look farther back for them.
Go back a year, two years, three years, even as much as four years back into your MLS and pull up expireds from four years ago. It makes sure they haven’t sold and they’re not active.
You will have little competition for these listings.
You know how on new expireds they get barraged with hundreds of phone calls as soon as their house expires? With these old leads, they’re not getting barraged.
In fact, you’re often the only agent contacting them about listing their house. So find all the old expireds. Hack the REDX to get the listing. Once you get those leads, you can use the smart agent system to convert those leads into listings.
#21 Delinquent Property Taxes
17% of delinquent property tax owners sell their home each year. A lot of these are high-end homes.
We have a tax book you can help these owners with. Most of these homes don't have a mortgage.
Pull the leads yourself.
You can get a list of people with tax liens from your local tax collector’s office. Contact the local tax collector and ask for tax lien information.
Most of the time you can get it right off of their website.
Or, they may give you a copy of the most recent list that was published in the newspaper.
Once you have a list of tax lien properties, then search for the owner’s name and mailing address.
You can get the owner’s information from your local property appraiser’s website.
Just Google “(Your County Name) Property Appraiser” and Google should pull up their website.
Here is an example:
A Quick Note: “Property Appraiser” is not the correct term in all areas. I have found that in some regions it is called “Tax Assessor,” “Property Assessor,” or another similar name.
Now, compile all of the information in your database. You can store it in Top Producer, Agent Office, an Excel Spreadsheet, or even a Google Spreadsheet.
#22 Targeting pre-foreclosures.
There were 714 foreclosures in our area in the last three months here. These are not targeted much either.
Look them up in the public records. Just like you can look up the tax leads.
You can buy these leads as well on a few different websites.
Then send them the tax or business card book, and follow up after that.
#23 Target divorce leads.
One of the earlier ideas was to target divorced attorneys, this is more to the point.
Pull the leads yourself.
A. Find the people that are getting divorced. Contact your county courthouse for information on how to get the leads. The people that work there will help you get the information.
You might also be able to get the information off of the county Clerk of Court’s Website. In some areas, it is called the Register of Deeds.
Just Google “County Name Courthouse” and the correct website will probably show up at the top of the results.
You will want to look up divorce cases and look for recent divorces.
We mail people with a finalized divorce and people who just started the divorce process.
You will get a better conversion from people that are closer to finalizing their divorce.
B. Find out if the divorcees own a home. Once you have the name of the people getting divorced, search your county’s property records to see if they own a home.
A Quick Note: “Property Appraiser” is not the correct term in all areas. I have found that in some areas it is called “Tax Assessor,” “Property Assessor,” or another similar name.
C. If they own a home, then put their name and mailing address into your database as a lead.
Then send or drop off a book, like you would any other lead.
24. Rentals that want to sell.
People rent out homes for three reasons usually.
- They don't have time to sell.
- They think they won't be able to sell it.
- They don't think they will get the right price.
They are the perfect leads to win over with one of your books. Finding them online is easy.
Show them how you are the authority in the market, the books will do that.
Convince them you will get it sold how they want it. It's low hanging fruit.
#25 Work with probate attorneys.
Offer to work with these attorneys to help sort out any inherited homes they know about.
Give them a referral fee. The owner will listen to their attorney's recommendations.
#26 Vacant Homes
You can get these leads from the public records just like divorced leads.
You can get a list of people with Vacant Homes from your county’s property appraiser’s office. Sometimes you can get it right off of their website.
Just Google “(Your County Name) Property Appraiser“ and Google should pull up their website.
Here is an example:
A Quick Note: “Property Appraiser” is not the correct term in all areas. I have found that in some areas it is called “Tax Assessor,” “Property Assessor,” or another similar name. If you can’t find the information on their website, then call them on the phone and ask for help. I’ve had a great experience getting help from them.
If you can’t find the information on their website, then call them on the phone and ask for help. I’ve had a great experience getting help from them.
Now, compile all of the information in your database. You can store it in Top Producer, Agent Office, an Excel Spreadsheet, or even a Google Spreadsheet.
When you contact these owners, be sure they understand the benefits of finally selling the vacant home.
#27 Work With Small Builders
These are smaller businesses that build 5-6 homes per year.
Give them your book and build your relationship with them. You can even help them find vacant lots in exchange for the referral.
They are going to have clients who need agents or lots who need buyers. This is a great place to build your spe
This is a great place to build your sphere of influence.
#28 Target Local Bank REO Departments
Give your book to these bankers and offer to help them find buyers or even sell these properties.
Another great place to build a huge business relationship.
#29 Put Your Books in the Library
Go to your local library and ask them to keep your books on hand as a resource.
Ask the front desk if you can do this. You can just leave it on the shelf, but this way is better.
Then the books will be in their system. If someone comes and needs to do real estate research they can be redirected to your book.
#30 Use Your Book as a Closing Gift
We offer a home improvements book that is perfect as a closing gift for either side of a transaction.
It's just a great chance to earn referrals from them and their repeat business.
#31 Offer Books on Your Listing Fliers
This is the same concept of giving your books away at open houses.
Mention your free books on listing fliers or direct them to your website. These are leads down the line who will see it.
Planting these seeds is different than working leads.
A lot of the ways to use the books we just went over won't lead to instant listings or even listings in the following weeks or month.
When you leave your books in waiting rooms, give them out to your neighborhood or work with other business, you aren't targeting people who are selling right then.
FSBOs and expireds can even take a few months to reach out to agents.
Patience is important, especially when building something like this.
This is how you build yourself up as the authority. It takes time.
You slowly build your sphere of influence. Then eventually the referrals start rolling in.
It all depends on the quality of leads when you hand your books. Know what type and who you are talking with.
Here are the leads that (usually) won't materialize that fast:
- Giving books to your neighbors.
- Brand new FSBOs.
- Divorced leads.
- When you give them to your referral partners.
- Open house leads.
This is relevant to situations like listing presentations or working with buyers, but it's a common concern we hear.
If you are confident in the leads and the connection you made, reaching out appropriately can work.
The best way to follow up any starts with offering value.
You have to do this for a number of reasons.
- Most agents just mention how they will get the home sold.
- The owner probably thinks realtors are worthless.
- Helping them is the goal here. This does that.
- It shows the owner you aren’t just it in for the money.
- Stopping by and meeting them while giving them something helpful will go a long way.
This is one of our favorite methods at Smart Agents. It is one of the most personable ways you can contact them.
The Easiest Way To Send Your Books Out
A book package is a marketing package you send out your warm leads to assist with your Lead Follow Up. Also, you can use it for a Pre-List Package.
Another big use is to send them to cold leads to get the business. (A cold lead is a lead that doesn't know you.) Examples of cold leads are:
- New Expireds.
- Old Expireds.
- Inherited Homes.
- Divorcing Homeowners.
- People behind on their property taxes.
- Rentals that want to sell.
- Foreclosure auctions.
- High Turnover Neighborhoods.
Here is a link to the envelopes we use. You can get them at Office Depot or somewhere in person as well.
Add your cover letter to the package.
You can find all your pre-written letters here:
There are funnels and a letter for each book and niche on that page.
The letters explain why you wanted to drop off or mail the book to these owners. Then it talks bout what is in the book and why you are different than other agents.
We just fold the letter in the first page of your book package. That's all you need to send a lead.
All you need is a first class stamp on the package. You can buy them from the post office for $3.03.
Or you can find cheaper stamps online if you desire too.
Here's what to say if someone asks if you wrote the book:
You can say that you are the author and you wrote it.
You can say that you authored the book with a ghostwriter.
You can say that you wrote it with a team.
All of these answers still position you as the real estate authority who supplied the information.
Ghostwriting is when someone is hired to write something that will be credited to another person.
It's something that happens with countless books, speeches, songs and many other things. So with the My Books membership, you are licensing us to be your ghostwriter.
Like we said earlier on this page, you can say you are the author, or you can say we wrote it with you. It won't make a difference.
We already have the content for the books ready to go. Just choose your cover and your title.
Remember to follow up with anyone you gave a book away to.
Contact anyone who got the book and ask if they have any questions.
Follow up 4-5 days later with a phone call or email. Ask them if they have any questions about the book. Try to find out their goal and how you can help them achieve it.
You can choose as many different books as you want.
We offer 14 different types. You can mix and match as much as you want to.
We print them and sell them in quantities of four. So you can mix as much as much as you want, it will just be a multiple of 4.
It's harder to test your market if you order 4 of each topic. It would be better to order 30 business card books and 20 divorce books for example.
Then get those into your leads hands.
Your Set-Up Manager and Your Member Site
These are two of the websites you use as a member.
The first is http://book-setup.smartagents.com/, and this is where you choose your books, upload your cover photo and track the orders.
You can't read them here, only pick them out and choose a title and a cover. It is an important step in getting your books.
You can read the books on the member site. You will create a login that works on both steps.
http://members.smartagents.com/ is the member site. Here you can access training and products you can use.
You also can view each book in its entirety.
Branding Yourself as an Author on Your Email Signature
This is where you make yourself the authority when people get your emails. Most professionals have their certifications on their email.
But people are used to normal letters and words at the bottom. This is how you stand out.
*They do not have to say you are an author. We send versions that just offer a free book.
This is no different, but it offers books.
We'll continue to post blogs on these topics for members.
Stay tuned for more strategies.
The most important thing is to keep getting your books into the hands of leads, associates, and partners.
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!