Greg has been a real estate agent for almost five years.
- Length of time using the books: 1 year (on and off; started pushing them at the beginning of 2018)
- Number of books given away: Between 200 and 225
- Listings received with the help of the books: 3
- Biggest benefit of using the books: “It’s made getting those connections and making those connections a lot easier than without having [the books]…I have the ability to capture some of these high net listings that I have not had previously in my business.”
Charles did an interview with Greg. Here are some of the highlights:
- With the help of his MyBooks, Greg landed a $2.2 million listing, which went under contract in less than 30 days. Then, the buyers bought a new $1 million property within a week of closing. Previously, Greg’s highest listing had been in the mid-$500s.
- Greg also got a $1.275 million listing and a $399,000 listing, as well.
- The $2.2 million seller appreciated that the book was something different than what other agents were sending. He looked through the book, which acquainted him with Greg when he followed up.
- Now that he’s sold higher-priced properties, Greg has proof to give other potential clients.
- In addition to the books, Greg sends a package including letters about the book and himself, some marketing examples, and testimonials. The letters are personalized to the homeowner’s property. Greg addresses the packages personally and hand-signs the letters.
- The book turns cold calls into warm calls because when he follows up, people have already seen his face and know his name.
- The books are a good value in terms of cost per lead breakdown.
- Greg likes the guidance within the My Books program and suggests following that while making whatever small tweaks are necessary for your market and your business. It takes work, but it’s a good vehicle to improve and grow your business.
- Greg’s advice for new or struggling agents: After sending the books out, be consistent and persistent with following up. Also, start a marketing plan early.
Here’s how Greg gets his listings:
#1. He sends books to expireds and follows up.
#2. He reached out to a single builder in a new community. He sent the business card book, then followed up, which made a good impression on the builder.
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 a transcript of the interview with Charles and Greg:
Smart Agents: So, it sounded like you had some good success with the books. Is that right?
Greg: Yeah. I guess it's been about a year since I kind of started the order, and then kind of did some things in the tail end of last year, and then we really started pushing them out in the beginning of the year because I was in just at that time. I was in the process of getting my broker’s license, so we didn't want to ... We wanted to be able to market that on the book as well, and yeah. I've actually had some good success on a few kind of high net worth properties, and client that kind of worked out from the books, and I know ... I've seen previous testimonials and stuff like that and wanted to see what I could help contribute.
It's funny, right at point, I said we need to get back at it ourselves just as overall season slows down a little bit. You need to get back into getting some more out there. For sure.
Smart Agents: Yeah, definitely.
Greg: Yeah, yeah. I think I reached out a while back but I wanted to wait. Everything's now been officially marketed under contract and closed so they're all the real deal, so that's why somebody had reached out to me last week and said, “Hey, we saw this open ticket!” So that's really funny, the last property out of a couple here we just closed. I guess whatever I need to do or, if you lead the conversation, I just answer the questions.
Smart Agents: Alright, so the first question is: How many books have you given away?
Greg: Oh, god. How many books have we given away? A couple hundred. Let's see. We've been through two large boxes. I don't know off hand... my partner, my wife, maybe better...
Smart Agents: Probably two hundred?
Greg: Yeah, yeah. 200 is probably accurate. Probably 220-225.
Smart Agents: Okay, cool. No problem. And then, how many listings have you gotten from the books?
Greg: From the book that we've gotten three listings.
Smart Agents: Nice, and what was the price range on those.
Greg: Yeah, so that was kind of the most impressive part. One of them was listed for 2.2 million, and the other one was 1.275 and the other one was 399.
Smart Agents: Nice.
Greg: What was really nice about the one, the 2.2 million, was they immediately went and bought another property for a million right after. Within a week of closing, they had purchased something else, so it kind of parlayed into another transaction there pretty quickly.
Smart Agents: That's cool. What type of leads did you give those books to, to get those results?
Greg: Yeah, so two of them were expired.
Smart Agents: Okay.
Greg: And then the other one, I can't remember the name of what you guys call, it was the business card book and that was contacting a home builder who was building homes in a high-end gulf community — which they had the property up there for sale, it was still under construction — it didn't sell. So I found it through an expired, but I sent them the business card book.
Smart Agents: And so you sent it to someone who was developing a new community, a builder.
Greg: Yeah, and he was just a single builder in a new community. So I contacted the builder directly and said, 'Hey, I see you had this listed but it didn't sell. I see that it's still under construction' I kind of went through the whole pitch, but I think the biggest thing was that they kind of setting up a process there where I sent them the book and then followed up is what really captured their attention. As opposed to just getting some sort of mail or something like that. I think I called them two or three times as my standard follow up. On the second call, was able to make contact.
Smart Agents: Did they say anything specific about the book when you made contact with any of those prospects?
Greg: The one for 2.2 did, yeah. He just said, “Hey!” It seemed a little bit different from everything else that he was receiving. Most other things they were getting were just phone calls and postcards, so at least he had the opportunity to look at the book and flip through it and then when I made contact he was just a little more familiar with who I was and the reason I was contacting him.
Smart Agents: Yeah, that makes sense. That's one of the things we hear the most. It's a little bit different, is what they say mostly.
What else did you do besides just give them a book? Did you put anything else in the package? I know you mentioned that you made two to three follow up calls. Did you do anything else like send any letters or emails?
Greg: Yeah, we had some letters. So really what was included there was kind of just a reason for contacting them. A little bit about the book, a little about myself. The other one just had a brief marketing examples of some of our other materials that we use and then the third piece and there was just testimonials. So there was a letter that had three pages that was included in the packet. So those same things put into a bubble mailer along with the book and so when they opened that up they would've opened up the package, seeing nice letterhead addressed directly to them and it was typed out but hand signed, so that it was just a little bit more personal in that sense. And it was able to address them more personally.
As opposed to 'Home Owner at 123 Main Street,' I think kind of helped. Because I would investigate each property and try to personalize the letter enough to those particular properties. Especially those higher net properties, wanted to make sure they knew knowledgeable about their home specifically and not just a generic letter.
Smart Agents: Yeah, that makes sense. A personalization always helps your marketing efforts a ton. Like if you can put the name in there or something specific in regards to them, that's unique, that gets their attention.
Greg: Exactly. Yep.
Smart Agents: What do you say if someone asks if you've written the book?
Greg: I just say, “Hey, I worked with a team that helps put this together. I didn't write it personally, but I worked with a team to compile some different strategies and things that may help them,” and really kind of right there. They didn't have further questions beyond that.
Smart Agents: Yeah, no. That makes sense. Perfect. That's what I tell people to say.
Greg: Yeah, I think I only had one guy that actually read it front to back.
And poked out a few different things here and there, that maybe didn't one hundred percent relate to our marketing at this time. And I said, 'That's fine. It was just more...I think more of it's just that icebreaker which has worked for me on a few things there. This gives me that opportunity when I do call, as opposed to cold calling it's almost warm calling. Because they've seen my face, they've seen my face on the book, they've seen my name. So when I do make that phone call, it's a little bit easier for me to engage in that sense.
Smart Agents: Yeah, no. That makes sense. What do you feel the number one benefit of using the book is?
Greg: Well, for me, I think it was “Hey, I've got this box of books here that need to go out,” so it was really just helping me and my team here. I have partner, now my wife, of just having a little bit of organization and going after these things and “Hey, we have these materials here that should be a catalyst in helping us get these properties or at least engaging a connection.” And that's I think the biggest thing that I've found. It's made getting those connections and making those connections a lot easier than without having it.
Smart Agents: Okay. What would you say to someone who's really struggling to get their first listing or struggling to get a listing or even their first listing and it seems like nothing's working. What would you, one of our members that has the books, what would you tell them to do?
Greg: Just say, have a consistent follow up and be really consistent and persistent follow up on that. Just mailing the book, it might work, but I think you need to have little steps behind that. Whether it's an additional follow up letter, phone call, email. However you're using your way to contact those folks. You still need to have several points of contact after you send that book out. It's numbers. I call it turning over rocks. You might sent out five. First five, you might five. You might send out your first hundred, you might get none. But I think it's just being persistent and consistent.
And what I found, that we do, many other advertising in forms of lead generations and we look at our cost per lead breakdown and I think the book is of value, in that sense. Online, you might be paying twenty bucks or more per online lead. It just depends on how people are handling that the price of just doing. Through a book is something that's just different. It gives you an opportunity to... I had for sale by owner, actually we didn't get the listing, but same thing. The lady was very inviting into her own, we [inaudible 00:11:24] chat with her about and share. But having something to work off of, I thought was very helpful to do.
Smart Agents: Yeah, that makes sense. What's been the biggest break through you've gotten from using the books? Has it taken your business to another level? Have you gotten more GCI this year than you expected? Anything like that that stuck out?
Greg: Yeah. I think so, I think I have the ability to capture some of these high net listings that I have not had previously in my business. Significantly, think my highest listing had been about mid-500's so to have a listing at 2.2 and that listing actually sold in less than thirty days, it was under contract in less than thirty days. That was significant. That rolled into that seller buying something else, as I mentioned, as well as just establishing a relationship with the builder of that other property I mentioned. We did that property, we marketed it, we sold. That closed last week and we're just getting ready to break down in the next couple weeks in the next project which will be a million three fifty on that property.
So it's helped me establish, trying to get out there and get listings and saying, 'Hey I'm tired of working with just buyers'. I think it was the catalyst to help doing that and then obviously your performance and everything else is going out there, but at least I have some stuff to show, 'Hey this is what we've done for other properties'. So it's given me the opportunity to get into the market and show them what we can do. Even though we've said we can do it, we've never really had a good history [inaudible 00:13:18] some of these other property types. So I think it just makes my next ones gonna be that much easier and that much more confident in my listing presentation. Etc. Etc.
Smart Agents: Yeah, makes sense. Giving you that more confidence and confidence is what sells, obviously. Homeowners like to see a confident realtor that's gonna get the job done, obviously, being positioned...that definitely helps. So, how long have you been in real estate, Greg?
Greg: Yeah, so this is going into my fifth year.
Smart Agents: Okay and if you started over today, what would you do differently?
Greg: Oh god, if I started over today... I'd start some sort of marketing plan earlier. I kind of came up under another agent kind of as a licensed assistant, if you will. And I think it was more of that not having the confidence to go out and do something on my own and really last year was that point where I said, 'You know what, I'd like to go 100% on my own' and that's actually when I find you guys or you sent me an email. I don't even know, but I said, 'I want to try this. I got to try something and stick to it' and I said, 'Hey, do it for twelve months, see what happens and just stay consistent at it and in twelve months you'll know if it's working'.
Smart Agents: Yeah, exactly.
Greg: So, I wish I would've tried to establish myself in the market as a good listing agent earlier than I did because I've gotten great feedback from my clients and I wish I would've started it earlier.
Smart Agents: Cool, yeah. That's a lot of good feedback, a lot of stuff you gave me there, Greg. That'll really, really be helpful. So anything else about the books or any other feedback about Smart Agents, anything else?
Greg: I think I see the training that's provided there's always something there and it seems to be even on a daily basis that I can open up an email and say, 'Hey, [inaudible 00:15:23]' It really gives you some guidance. As to, 'Hey what do I do, what do I say?' It's all kind of set up, but you just have to follow through the system. Make the tweaks that work for your market or you as an individual but for the most part there's a pretty good framework just with the program in general. And for the overall cost relative to some other things, it's a little more labor intensives but at the same time this is a business. If you want to grow your business it doesn't mean you just pay something and leads start coming in. It's gonna take some work, but I think this was a good vehicle for us to help improve and grow my business.
Smart Agents: Cool, that's awesome, man. I'm glad it worked out [crosstalk 00:16:22] Yeah, you got to get more out. What are you going to do with these next books? I know we got the twenty books that we're going to give you for free, do you have a plan on what you're going to do those?
Greg: Yeah, yeah. So actually now that my wife and I, my wife is going to join on the digital marketing end of things and some of the transactional stuff. We're gonna brand ourselves, both her and I, as opposed to just myself. And we found that she's received very well on the market and just trying to make that tweak. Sometimes people are comfortable with a men, some people are comfortable with a woman. Some people are happy to see a couple and we found that's been a good strategy for us. Some clients are just more comfortable working with a me, some are more comfortable working with her. They get the same level of service because we're both working through things on the back end, but as a point of contact, we feel there's a little advantage there. So that's what we're going to try to do with this next round because everything that we have is just been me on it, so we're gonna change that up and see if that makes a difference. Maybe people are even more willing to engage, so we're gonna try to do a little A/B Testing and see what comes back.