Steve is a full-time managing broker who specializes in high-end expired and withdrawn listings. Since he doesn’t have a lot of spare time, he doesn’t actively pursue listings unless they are high-priced and conveniently located.
- Length of time using the books: 9-10 months
- Listings received with the help of the books: 6 listings, all over $500,000
- Biggest benefit of using the books: "On two occasions, they actually listed with me before I even sent them the books, just because I sent them the cover of the book. In other words, they never even got to read the book. They will have already listed it with me just by the fact that I authored the book."
Ben did an interview with Steve. Here are some of the highlights:
- Without a lot of effort, Steve has managed to get half-a-dozen listings all over $500,000 in only 10 months.
- He has a creative way of meeting potential (and interested!) clients face-to-face so he can do a more personalized and effective sales pitch.
- He modifies his strategy for out-of-state and out-of-country owners, which really works. He has an even higher rate of success with them than in-state owners.
Here’s how Steve gets his listings:
#1. He makes a photocopy of the book cover and sends it with a note saying homeowners should contact him if they’d like a free copy of his book—a $19.95 value.
#2. When interested sellers reply, Steve sets up an in-person meeting if they’re local and mails the book if they’re not. When they talk, he gives his customized sales pitch on how to sell the person's home based on research he’s already done.
#3. An interesting note: sometimes, he doesn’t even give away the books—people are so impressed by the fact that he has a book that they list with him based on that fact alone.
Listen to the Interview Audio below for more details on exactly how he does it.
Here is a transcript of the interview between Smart Agents and Steve:
Steve: I've been an agent for, it'll be 25 years in 3 months.
Smart Agents: And when did you sign up with Smart Agents?
Steve: Oh, golly I don't know. You should have that in front of you. I don't know. Ten months, nine months ago.
Smart Agents: And have you gotten any listings with the books? Or with the help of the books?
Steve: Oh golly, yeah. Half a dozen at least. Even though I don't try real hard. I send a lot of them out and I don't ... I've got a half dozen listings, but they're all over $500,000 because that's all I — because I'm a salaried broker and I don't really have time.
Smart Agents: So you only list high-end listings with this?
Steve: That's all I'm looking for.
Smart Agents: That's awesome. Can you tell a couple stories of how you got the listings, how you gave the owners the books, and what happened?
Steve: The first thing I do is i solicit them by way of either phone calls or emails. And I only solicit expired or withdrawn high-end listings. And the title of the one I have is, "How I Can Sell Properties That Others Couldn't." That's the book I have. And I send them out to expireds.
And I don't send the books out. I have a tendency of liking to hand the books hand to hand to people. And I have a color photocopy that I mail just the cover page. I mail them the cover of the book and I say "If you'd like me to come over and give you ..."
I tell them that the book has a $19.95 value, but I haven't ever sold one. I've given them away to people and after they read them, the people enjoy the information contained in the book, and if you're so inclined, you can call me at this number. And like I said in the past 9 or 10 months, a half a dozen people have done so.
Smart Agents: So, wow. So you just send a letter or a picture of the book and say "Do you want this?"
Steve: Yeah, and then they call me and then I go there and meet them.
Smart Agents: Wow. What type of envelope do you send that in?
Steve: It's a regular business envelope. It's a photo copy. I did glossy it. It's a glossy cover photo copy of the cover of the book.
Smart Agents: And what do they say when you get there and give them the book?
Steve: Well, that's when I do my sales pitch. I hand them the book, and I tell them "There's things in here that you can read through." And I go over some of them. I kind of by the time I meet them, I've done a little bit of homework on the house and tell them I kind of have a good clue on the true, real reason why their house hasn't sold.
Again, I'm only dealing with expireds and withdrawn listing where they've been on the market for usually 6 months. And I kind of have a handle from the description in the NLS. Some of them are impossible to show. When they say, "You can only show the house between 2 and 5 on Wednesdays," that's the reason it hasn't sold. I kind of go there very quick with that information and share that with them while I'm handing them the book. Typically, it's over-priced, of course — but not always. And we have the discussion about curb appeal.
And to be honest with you, also, I've been successful with a couple of out-of-state and out-of-country owners, also. I have a higher percentage in success for out-of-state and out-of-country owners. Especially out-of-country owners, they get less solicitations when they've expired because I guess a lot of people are reluctant to pay 48 cents for a stamp. They're definitely not gonna pay 98 cents for a stamp. And I got one from Czechoslovakia.
I have mailed a couple books, but on 2 occasions, they actually listed with me before I even sent them the books — just because I sent them the cover of the book. In other words, they never even got to read the book. They will have already listed it with me just by the fact that I authored the book.
I love it. It's a great deal. It really is good.
Smart Agents: So these are vacant houses, basically?
Steve: Yeah, they're investment properties. On one case, it was an investment property that expired and then another case, it was a vacant home.