Welcome to the listing agent lifestyle podcast. My name is Dean Jackson and today, we have Ron Reed with us from Madison, Wisconsin.
Ron is finishing out our Getting Listings trifecta of shows that we started with Tony Kalsi and his four year case study, showing the ROI from doing Getting Listings in one neighborhood. And then Chuck Charlton who showed how continuing with the program for 10 years works out.
So today we have Ron Reed who joined us just over a year ago and in that one year, he really took off. He got his first listing in the first month of following the Getting Listings program, even before his free trial of GoGoAgent.com, even ended, and he's gone on to parlay that into a bigger area that he's mailing to.
Ron's a disciplined executor and I love that about him, but he's also very astute in measuring and tracking results of everything he does.
You're really going to enjoy this conversation.
Transcript: Listing Agent Lifestyle Ep003
Ron: This conference is being recorded. Dean Jackson.
Dean: How are you Ron Reed? Did you hear the announcement?
Ron: The announcement?
Dean: This is being recorded. This is being recorded. We are live. I can't tell you how excited I am, I've been ... You're the third podcast I've recorded in the last two days here. I've got the ultimate trifecta. We had-
Dean: I had Tony Kalsi on, where we talked hot off the press the four year case study infographic to show, talked everything about that. Then I just before talking to you, wrapped up with Chuck Charlton, and we talked about what it looks like 12 years later, because if you remember, Chuck was the person who got the very first listing from the getting listings program. That was back in 2006. Then, now, I get to talk to you because you've got an interesting story that stood out for me, that you've basically just finished your first year running the getting listings program.
I want to revisit that. I've been impressed just in the time that I've met you and gotten to know you a little bit. You are a doer, so welcome. I'm excited.
Ron: Excellent. Thank you, Dean. It's been a wild ride all the way up to this point, it's only been a year. I can only imagine and looking forward to the next decade.
Dean: Tell me the Ron Reed story up to this point here. What are we ... What's been happening for you? Where are you, what's your history in the real estate business here so far?
Ron: Yeah. Absolutely. I started real estate, always a perpetual interest of mine. I had started the customer service world in my early 20s. Perpetually just had an interest in real estate, and then my boss at the time had left where we were working, and went to work with a local real estate company. She was looking for her first employee, asked me if I'd be interested. This was more of a corporate role within the largest real estate company in the area at that time. Of course, I jumped on that. I said I'm all in with this.
That was my first introduction to the real estate world, was more of a corporate role to help. This was what, 2004? 2005? I was still in my early 20s. This was to help build up an interest referral branch within the local real estate company, because I didn't really have much of an online presence at that time. Not really a whole lot of people did. Specifically the real estate industry.
As I was helping build that up, my interests in selling started to take a hold of itself. I went through, got licensed, and jumped right in. Here I am in my mid 20s, jumping right into real estate, and I just kept my nose to the grind, if it were. I didn't have any tie downs or anything of that nature, I wasn't married, didn't have any kids. I really didn't have anything that was going to prevent me from giving it everything I possibly could, not to say that those things would, of course. In that particular time, being of that age, I was just really ambitious and still am to this day.
At that point, I just hit the ground running. I became rookie of the year within the brokerage that I was working with, and then started to get more national accreditation from that, started getting some notice from that level. I was featured RIS's media's magazine is one of the top realtors in the nation. Then I was also selected as a semi-finalist of what would've been the real estate apprentice program back then.
Dean: Oh wow.
Ron: Yeah, as part of that, they sent just a ton of stuff to me. I got tape measurers and calculators, but one of those things that they had sent was a couple different memberships to things, and one of those is by referral only, which led me to you, ironically.
Ron: That's kind of where it started off. Since real estate was growing and I was growing, I got into internet marketing as well. About 2007, I think it was, when Evan, they put out his altitude program, you were one of the guests on there. As I was going through, it was more of a business thing for me, but when I had seen you speak as one of the panelists on there, you were obviously talking real estate, which was totally my language at the time.
That's how I got introduced. Here we are.
Dean: Wow. You've been in it for a while. I didn't realize it had been even that long, 10 or 11 years for you. That's good.
Dean: Now, fast forward then to the last year here, because what I'm excited about is your experience with the getting listings program, and what happened, because the greatest story I remember was that you had actually gotten your first listing while you were doing your free trial of GoGoAgent, which is kind of exciting. Maybe tell me that story about how you came, how that all happened.
Ron: Yeah. Absolutely. Yeah, it was great, I had signed up for the free 30 day trial, which you're so graciously giving out to the members. Going back to Evan's altitude program, one of the first thing she talks about in that is speed of implementation, which is basically the difference between the time that you hear something and the time that you take action.
I immediately went in, started researching my first neighborhood, found that one. I just settled on it, I didn't really know what to expect. I wasn't really sure, I was only basing this on really turnover rate, the average sale price in that neighborhood, but I set up my GoGo landing page, I set up the postcards, and I mailed out to the neighborhood. This was at this time, it was only 400 hopes in this particular neighborhood.
I thought, let's start here. Let's just start with this one, that way I can get an idea of how this whole system works. It generated 20 seller leads, which blew my mind. I had never actually mailed anything, and got that kind of a response. Nothing even close to that response.
One of the leads that responded had responded back to me immediately. I just opened up a little bit of a dialogue there. I had moved that dialogue to appoint ... To where I scheduled an appointment went him, went over, listed the house, and that was all right within the 30 day trial. I'm thinking to myself when the trial lapsed, I was like, this is a no brainer. Of course it's a no brainer. Interestingly enough, a couple weeks later, another seller, which ironically was the very first lead that I had generated, contacted me as well.
Now, I've got a listing in that neighborhood. Now they're seeing the traffic, they're seeing the sign, they're seeing what I'm doing to get that home sold. They contacted me and said, why don't you come over, take a look at the house. It was just rinse and repeats at that point. Ended up getting another listing within that 60 days, all while I was thinking to myself, I think it'd be a good idea to research another neighborhood, start another oil well.
This particular one was only about 150 homes or so. It was the same thing, set up the landing page, got the postcards set up. That one only generated about three leads on those 150. It was a little different. However, again, it was one of those situations where I opened up some dialogue with the seller. It was a little bit offstandish than the previous two, but he was asking really good questions. I could tell that they were thinking about moving.
When I went over to drop the package, which is something that I've gotten in the habit of, is actually physically dropping these off, that way I can meet them face to face, they were in the process of moving some stuff into the garage. Opened up that dialogue, set the appointment, got another listing, got that sold. I'm just sitting on cloud nine by this point. I think I've only paid for one 30 day window of GoGoAgent.
A lot of really early success there, for sure. Of course, fast forward to today, I've now got 16 of those neighborhoods set up. Obviously, there's going to be some that I started, maybe nine months ago, that haven't produced a listing, but definitely have produced obviously the leads that come from it, and then it's just fortunes in the follow up, as they say.
Dean: Yeah. We did, when you look at the infographic from the four year case study that we did with Tony, the thing that's really interesting about it is that he mailed from September to February before he got his first transaction. That was five months, he had gotten the listing 30 days before that or whatever. Still, four months of mailing to get the first listing, and then it sold and he got his first commission there.
The really fascinating thing to see is that when you take this out for the four years, what we were able to do was to trace back all of the transactions that he did, and go back to find out when they had actually responded to the postcard. What was really incredible was that 21 people who listed and sold over the four year period, came from the first year of mailing the postcards.
Some of the, in every year, people who responded in the first year continued to list their house. Some even three and a half years later. The asset that you're building there, if we were to set up, and I'd love to do this actually for you, is if we were to set up that infographic for you, it would be amazing to track that path. You looked at all-
Ron: Yeah, I would love that. I think I'm seeing the same thing. I've got two listings in that first neighborhood that I'd set up, and they're from that first mailer. They're from a year ago. I just kept in communication with them, sending them the monthly reports, sending them some emails, just keeping in touch.
Yeah, I'd love to do that, because I think we're going to find the same thing with mine.
Dean: What do you know so far? I think you've shared with me some of the numbers. Do you know what you spent and what the commissions were for the first year so far here?
Ron: I know what the commissions were. It was just a little over 55,000 from just the getting listings campaign. Then when I break those off, some of them start to bleed in with each other. The infobox flyers, I'm seeing some of the same sellers. It's really interesting, you stack these things, because I start to lose a little bit as far as where the ROI is coming from, but yeah, from that first year is about 55,000 from just getting listings in that first year.
Dean: Perfect. How many homes does that come from? How many homes are you mailing to now?
Ron: Yeah. I'm up to a little over 4000 right now, which is not a lot, which is interesting. Of those 4000, like I said, I've got 16 neighborhoods. My goal by the end of this year is to get that to 5000 over the next month here, month and a half.
Dean: Yeah, but you're doing the right thing. I think what you've got, if I could just, if we could push the pause button on the retelling it, let's do a sidebar on the things that I see that you've done right so far. First of all, you came in and speed of implementation, you hit the ground running, you picked one thing, which was the getting listings, and you implemented it. Now, I see that there's a lot of people come in, and when it's new, it's not ... When you do the free trial of GoGoAgent, you had access to everything.
You could've done any of it. I think that what happens is sometimes people get like a kid in a candy store a little bit. They're like, oh, I could do this, or I could do this. Oh, I'm going to do that, or I'm going to do this. Then, they don't actually take action on anything. What you did, getting going, and getting your first mailing out, and starting that process, was really a smart thing, to get that going.
The second thing is starting with 400 homes, which is completely manageable. A lot of times, people bite off more than they can chew initially, that they think bigger is better, and they may start out with 2500 or 5000 or go big or go home, kind of thing. I think there's really something to be said for parlaying this. When you look at you, how long did it take to get that first one closed? You got the first listing in 30 days, but how long was it before you actually got your first commission?
Ron: Yeah. That one was scheduled, it was only a 28 day between contract and close. I ended up getting that, I guess the accepted offer, right at an open house. Right when I launched it, basically. Right when I took on the listing, went through, took about a week, maybe a week and a half to get it staged, to get the photos done, to kind of get everything built up. Then I used Apple's marketing from an aspect, I'm going to let this simmer on the internet, simmer online, and then launch it at an open house on a Sunday.
That's what I did. I had everyone show up, 1PM sharp instead of a one to four, one to three, I said 1PM sharp. Got everyone there at the same time, which just created chaos, for one, but it was also a controlled chaos, because in the aspect that those that came through the door, they could see that there was other interest in the home. If they were already interested, they knew that they needed to act fast.
That's what ended up happening. The person who had come through wrote an offer, and like I said, it was only about 28 days after that, and I had a check in my hand, which is awesome.
Dean: There we go. You had mailed, you had maybe done two mailings before you got your first check? You mailed 800 postcards. What did you do with that commission, do you remember how much the commission was for the first one? Roughly?
Ron: Yeah. I want to say it was around $7800 for that first commission check, which obviously was my investment. It was through the roof.
Dean: Now, you've reached what we call escape velocity with that, where now, you had your seed investment of the two 400 postcard mailings, one month of your GoGoAgent membership, and you have a $7800 commission. Now, you are self-sustaining. That's when you saw then the opportunity to add another 150 homes, and then a couple of months later, add some more, and you're all the way, you're up to 4000 now.
How long have you been mailing 4000?
Ron: Yeah. I just hit 4000 or just a little bit north of 4000, it was probably I would say maybe about 45 days ago, because I really put some emphasis back in August, I think it was only at around maybe 12 or 13 neighborhoods at the time. Then I started to play around with the dials a little bit. Now that we're playing with house money, I thought, okay, it doesn't cost me anymore to mail into a higher average sale price, and then I started looking at that dial, and I thought, this is interesting.
Looking into the future, I have yet to really go after the lakefront. Got a lot of lakefront golf properties as well.
Dean: Oh wow.
Ron: I haven't really touched condos. Yeah, playing with those dials, this is going to get even more exciting.
Dean: Yeah. I'm super excited about that. We've got your, I would say that you've got your getting listings, which is the first element. You probably haven't heard this yet, because I just recorded the episode zero, of the listing agent lifestyle. I outlined the eight elements of the listing agent lifestyle. Element number one is getting listings. That's where it all starts. You started in the right place. Let's secure that system, so that no matter what, you've got your baseline system running in the background, generating listings for you. Then, element number two is multiplying your listings. That's something where you've really excelled. You really took to that too, this spring, when we really started focusing on those, on the listing multipliers. I want to talk a little bit about that, but I'll share with you the rest of the elements.
The order that we go in is getting listings, and then the second element is multiplying your listings. Then the third is getting referrals. Getting the world's most interesting postcard setup, getting your top 150, establishing what your baseline return on relationship is, and then converting leads, and then finding buyers. Those are the five bankable results that we focus on business-wise. Then the lifestyle portions are the three elements of daily joy, abundant time, and financial peace.
When we look at turning those nobs and dials to really create your version of what a perfect life is, this really becomes a fun game to be playing.
Dean: Yeah, I'm super excited to see how you've really taken to this. Let's talk about a little bit about the listing multipliers now, because that's something that I know you're pretty focused on. What's your current listing multiplier index? What was it when we started here?
Ron: Yeah. I'm sitting at 2.8 right now. My goal before the next GoGoAcademy was three, and I have no doubt that I'll hit that and then some. I'm just shooting for the moon with that one for sure. When we went last year, it was at 2.2. It's one of those where I've noticed that, it's one of those that doesn't go up very quickly, but it's kind of like a hockey match if it were. You don't need that many points to be able to win, kind of thing. In this particular case-
Dean: Right, exactly. That is the whole thing about an index. To move an index requires your whole, your last 10, to move on up, your newest one is replacing the oldest one, so you get this opportunity to keep that momentum going.
Ron: Absolutely. Yes. Like a graduated scale that comes with it. It's really exciting to go back in, because last time I had looked at it was I believe in August, I was sitting at 2.5, and now here in November, 2.8. I'm seeing it definitely go up. It's definitely going in the right direction.
Dean: That's awesome.
Ron: Yeah, it's almost counterintuitive, because when you take on a listing, the goal is to sell it, get it in the MLS, sell the thing and then move on. That's how, being in the industry for 10 years, that's how everyone teaches it. That's the goal. When I looked at the listing multiplier index, and the reason I got so excited about it was because you can move dials. It's not all about just getting that listing. That's still the goal, but there's so many other spinoffs you can get from it.
Dean: It's really interesting, because what you were sharing that it is the culture that we've created of this launch culture, where we've built up this idea of doing the pre-staging, doing the pre-marketing, the coming soon, all of that. Then, launching it onto the MLS and getting a bunch of activity, and hoping that it sells quickly and celebrating that. That's really the culture that we've created and celebrated.
What I end up hearing is that, I hear people saying when I'm asking them about their listings, they'll tell me, we got a really great system, and I don't have to do just listeds, or I don't have to do infobox flyers, or all those things. I'm like, dude, it's so different, it's not about have to, it's about get to.
Because you have the listing, and when I speak to a group and I have them go through and calculate their listing multiplier index, with this idea that turning those points into real dollars of what their actual average commission is, if it's $5000, and their listing multiplier index is one, that means that if they do 10 transactions, they make $50,000. But they've lost $200,000, by not focusing on the other opportunities.
That's always, I find, motivating to people when they realize they've been sitting on a goldmine.
Ron: Absolutely. It's just the easy way to daisy chain deals together as well, because they are somewhat seamless. For example, one of the real big dials that I use from my listing multiplier index is getting another buyer from that listing. I can do that through open houses, through infobox flyers.
A lot of times, that introduction to that individual was through that listing. A lot of times, it's not necessarily, it's the catalyst of it, it's not necessarily the end all be all. Even if they're not interested in that listing, you could pick up a buyer from that and work with them, and then that can daisy chain deals as well.
Dean: Yeah. Are you doing any of the buyer multipliers? Are you doing any of the things like using the buyer to find another listing?
Ron: I have, yeah. I've done a couple of those. I actually, took one of those postcards from Chuck and repurposed that, because I had a buyer that, just having a struggle trying to find a home. Things were just selling so quickly in the spring. It was just a low inventory. It was kind of a struggle. I had brought up this idea, they were very much open to it. When we launched that out, we ended up finding a house before it even was delivered.
In my mind, and they were apologizing, sorry for wasting your money. I was thinking to myself, no, this actually will have benefits for me as well. It did.
Dean: Yeah, of course.
Ron: I got told from other sellers, thinking, wow, that's really creative marketing.
Dean: Yes. It's really interesting too, because so much of the ability to use your activity to evidence your activity to the people who are thinking about maybe listing their house with you at some point, when you look at, you've got these 16 areas with 4000 homes, and you know, you've got secret information here. You've got information of people who have raised their hand, that indicates that they're likely to be a higher probability candidate to sell their home, than the general population, because they responded to your postcard initially.
Have you done anything with the Google Map overlays?
Ron: Of, of course. I wanted to-
Dean: Oh, okay.
Ron: -get that uploaded on the blog, because this is phenomenal. When you look at it-
Dean: Yeah. It's really impressive. I was sharing that with Chuck today, because that's a real opportunity. He's got 1700 people who have responded-
Dean: -yeah, to his getting listings mailings. He's got a big juggernaut, kind of thing, of all of these people. I was explaining to him how that, you can export that data and put pins on where those homes are, and when you're showing homes, you get that opportunity to be a market maker.
Ron: Yeah, that market making activity for Mondays, that by itself has just been obviously a juggernaut in and of itself. I've got an interesting story for you. I was just thinking about this yesterday in anticipation for today's call. I was at home watching some football, and got a call off an infobox flyer. I went into the system, and I just, I texted the lady back and said hey, can't meet you out there today, but let's meet tomorrow morning, take a look at the home.
The interesting thing that happens when this happens as well is that when I'm going through to show the home, if it's not a match, I know of so many other potential sellers, because of the getting listings activity, in that neighborhood. I can say hey, I've got a couple others if this one's not the one, that might potentially be a fit, that no other buyer even knows about. That just perks buyer's ears, because they want to know about homes that are not on the market yet, specifically top market-
Ron: It just draws attention in. Then on a flip side, it was interesting because whenever I go through a listing appointment, I'm able because I'm doing so much open houses and collecting the buyers through the infobox flyers within that neighborhood, then I can use that on the flip side as well. Look at this list of buyers that are looking for homes in this neighborhood right now. It's really that Molson Beer example, which is great.
Dean: Right. Here's the thing, when your communication with these potential home sellers, with your communication being hey John, I'm showing houses in River Run this Saturday, and it looks like those might be a match for your house, I wondered if I could maybe tell them about your house, that kind of a communication by email is so much more powerful than just checking in with, hey, just checking in, you ready to list yet? That's really the difference, is that you are demonstrating to them that you've got buyers, which is what they really want.
These buyers, you're cementing yourself because you've got this secret inventory, that they don't even have access to, which is phenomenal. It's very, very exciting.
Ron: It is. Yeah. One thing that I noticed throughout the summertime, that just came out of nowhere, that I didn't really put two and two together on for whatever reason, but whenever you're doing a really tight geographically niched focus, I would do open houses in that same area. I would see the same buyers weekend after weekend come through the open houses at different homes in that area, because I was doing such a tight geographical area, where they just start to work with me, saying this is our agent.
There was no real communication of whether or not I would be their agent, they just kind of assumed, because they'd seen me so often. Then I have this list of secret inventory.
Dean: Yes. I love it. There's a new one that's coming on that they have access to. That's pretty cool. Let's talk a little bit about the opportunity that you were talking about with the higher priced ones, because I want to help you see the potential there, or maybe help you out any way I can with that.
Ron: Absolutely. Yeah. The next step where I'm taking this beyond the 20, once I hit the 20, is to really narrow down that lakefront category, if you will. We've got quite a few lakes where I'm at, and they're higher end homes. There's only so much real estate as you can around a lake. The interesting thing about where I'm at as well, Chicago's not too far away. A lot of these lake homes, specifically a little bit more north than I-
Dean: Weekend homes.
Ron: Weekend homes, exactly. Second homes. There's just a huge potential there.
As well as we've got golf courses as well. That was kind of my foresight. The one thing that I'm, it's just on the top of my head at this point, but the more I dig into it, I've got a, obviously a little form of ADD as well as I overthink things. When you tie in a little bit of procrastination with that, that's why I definitely want to take action immediately, because it's very easy to get overwhelmed and get into it. The how to put together a list of lakefront owners, I guess, I haven't really thought about it too much. The more I...
Dean: I'm glad you asked, because that's the toughest thing. Now, we did, with Julie Matthews here, the lakefront homes in Winterhaven. The great thing about it is that it takes a little effort to get the list. I say that the great thing about it, is because that's often a disqualifier for most people. They're not willing or able to do that. Basically, we hand built the list from tax records and plats, to be able to match up and show that this actually is a lakefront house, because one street could have homes across the street from the lake, and the other ones that are truly lakefront.
We had compiled this list, and we've used the tax records, because a lot of them were absentee owners, people who, they own the house but the tax address is the real, the address that we go to.
That took a little bit of effort. There were 2100 lakefront homes in Winterhaven. It was such a valuable asset. How many do you think there are in your area there?
Ron: Oh, I would guess well north, I would say well north of 4000 in this area.
Dean: Wow. All true lakefront?
Ron: There's quite a few lakefront.
Dean: True lakefront homes.
Dean: You're going to be rich. This is great. I love it. Okay.
Ron: Yeah, there's a lot of smaller lakes, there's some bigger lakes. Some of them are some monsters too. As far as the average sale price, four, five times higher than what I'm doing now.
Dean: Okay. You've got, this is the original Molson moment here. This is exactly, I've already blazed this trail for you. It's going to take a little bit of time, but you can find somebody who, what's your team look like right now? Do you have assistants or do you have some administrative help? What does that look like?
Ron: I do, yeah. This sounds like a perfect job for that, actually.
Dean: Absolutely. You're going to have to compile that list. Once you've got that, you have that as an asset. You're going to put that in there, because the good news is, that the lakefront homes are the lakefront homes. Once you get that list, you've got it. Now, you just update whatever as the tax records update.
But, the effort that goes into that is going to be completely worth the effort. Because it's such highly specialized, focused. What's the price range of the lakefront homes?
Ron: Yeah. I would say that they're going from probably 600 all the way up to 1.5 here.
Dean: Oh my goodness, that's even better than here. Here, it was, they were averaging around, they would go from say 300 to $1 million, but mostly in around the six range. Yeah, wow, this is even better. This is part of that thinking that it costs the same amount of money to mail to the lakefront homes as it does to mail to the trailer park.
The commissions are so much higher. You're talking about now a minimum of 15 or 18 or $20,000, for just one side of it. Okay. You're going to get that, and start with it. Now, you don't have to have all 4000 at once. You can start with 1000, and you still mail ... What's the name of the area?
Ron: Yeah. I'm in Madison, Wisconsin, and then there's just some adjoining smaller areas, such as Middleton, Wisconsin, that butt up to it. Right, Madison's the state capital, so we've got the state capital, imagine, on this aisle that sits between these two big lakes. Obviously, there's homes that just surround these two big lakes. Those two are just two of probably about maybe a dozen different lakes around the area as well.
Yeah, it could be Madison, or one of them's Lake Mendota, we've got Lake Monona. Each one of them has its own name, obviously, as well. In my mind, I'm thinking maybe having each one have its own name, like Lake Monona, and then maybe another one, let's say it's Lake Ripley, for example.
Dean: Yeah. You can do that when you're doing the postcards. Whatever makes sense. If it's the November 2018 report on Madison lakefront house prices, that's the main thing. Or, if it's a big, big lake, you could still even go with the name of a lake, house prices. Because we do the digital variable printing, so you can change the, you can do ... You can mail 4000, but every one of them should have a different lake on it, if you wanted to.
Dean: Which makes it very specific, that people get that horoscope effect. All that while, you're going to be finding people who own lakefront homes, who are thinking about selling. You're building that asset of potential lakefront home sellers, and this is where we've mentioned this Molson situation. I'll tell this story, because for people listening, they don't know what we're talking about.
What Ron's talking about is Molson, Canadian beer, has one of the greatest ad campaigns ever. What they did was, they would run an ad, full page ad, in Cosmo Magazine, and they would put a picture of this dreamy model looking guy with the long hair, the sweater and the puppies in a field, and the ad would just say, "His address, the intersection of masculinity and sensitivity, his beer, Molson Canadian." They would run that ad just so that they could run an ad in men's magazines, that said, "Hundreds of thousands of women pre-programmed for your convenience." They showed a picture of that ad that they were running in Cosmo, and said, "While you're reading this ad, hundreds of thousands of women are reading another ad, a completely different ad, scientifically designed to increase the attraction they feel to men who feel Molson."
It was just so fascinating. I've got pictures of the ads in the member blog on GoGoAgent, so anybody who wants, you can check those out. But, the general idea here, is that we've got an opportunity to do that same thing. While Ron's running postcards to find people who own lakefront homes in Madison, who are thinking about selling, he can also in the homes and land magazine, and on Facebook, and on Bing or on Google, be running ads offering the free guide to Madison, Wisconsin lakefront houses.
Having the lakefront guide as a thing that anybody who's looking for a lakefront house in and around Madison, be completely interested in it. That's what we've done in Winterhaven with the lakefront homes. We've done that same thing with Kenny McCarthy just north of Boston in Cape Anne, he runs the getting listings program for oceanfront homes, but then also runs print ads looking for buyers who are looking for homes on Cape Anne, oceanfront homes. We do the same thing with oceanfront condos in South Beach, and Paradise Valley view homes in Arizona.
That triangulation, at the highest level, is like a ... That's really the pinnacle of what we could do.
Ron: It's the perfect matchmaker. It's really the definition of broker. Taking two different parties and bringing them together.
Dean: Yep. You're absolutely right. I'm super stoked about that, for you, because you've already got-
Ron: Yeah, I've got that...
Dean: You've already got the mature foundational getting listings program going. I always recommend to people, if we look at it, that a lot of times, people want to start out with the high end of the market too, which is great, if you've got capital, and you've got money to invest in marketing, it's always great. You might as well start at the top. But, I like a strategy exactly like you did, of patiently starting on where I always recommend to people to start, is to start on the front side of the bell curve distribution, of the price ranges in your market.
Meaning, if you take your median price of the top of the bell curve, that the homes in that swath leading up to that is a great place to start on the up slope of the median price.
Just out of interest, where would the first 400 homes that you started with, have fallen?
Ron: Yeah. It would've fallen in that category. It was the average sale, here, that 250 or so. The only reason I had really chose that area, I shouldn't say the only reason because there was quite a few, but it had a nice turnover rate, but it didn't show how many leads I would actually get from that, from turnover rate, or average sale price or any of that. It was more of a geographic thing.
I kind of chose everything within a specific zip code, with the idea that a year or two later, I would then start creating my buyer funnels that would then tie back into that part of town. Yeah, it was on that bell curve, like you were saying. It was a good activity, it definitely, that price range gets a lot more showings than some of the other price ranges.
Ron: That's another thing.
Dean: It turns over faster, yeah. There's a lot of good reasons to start out with, if I were instructing someone, that where to start. That's why I have the elements, the final element is financial peace. I want people to start where they have a peaceful level. I don't want people to start off with adrenaline, that rush of, I'm putting my last dollars into this, because that can be stressful.
I like that you started out with something completely manageable. For a few hundred dollars, you can mail 400 postcards, and that's just patient, be patient, and it's going to multiply itself, and then you can reinvest. You've taken a really good stable grow it as you profit, kind of model.
You're totally ready now to, I would expect, you can just right into the lakefront ones.
Ron: Absolutely. Once you start to see the results too, it brings a high level of competence to it, that you can, this is, I know what to expect from this. I know where it goes from here. Then once you've got, what I've noticed too is, and I've been in the industry for a while, but when you see results and the results start to accomplish their own results and start to be more self-sustaining, it's where that confidence really comes in.
With the lakefront properties, I have no problem obviously with listing those, but sometimes, it's a different clientele as well. With that, I always wanted that in the future, because I knew that's where it would end up going, and then taking it through there. Absolutely.
Dean: I love it. Now, the other thing that you're totally hitting on how all of these feed into each other too, that when you take a listing into a system that you know has a 2.8 listing multiplier index, that you know that not only is it going to be the one listing side commission, but you're on average, every time you take a listing, creating 2.8 transactions. It just makes it that much, even better.
Ron: Yeah. Absolutely. That definitely fills up a little bit more...
Dean: It's pretty amazing, right?
Ron: It really does, yeah. It's all part of the evil scheme, Dean.
Dean: Then, when you look now into your after unit, when we start to look into getting referrals, that now, you know that over the life of your career here, that you're coming into a system where you're going to have a yield on your relationship portfolio, right? We're starting to measure your return on relationship. How are you doing in that area? What's going on in your after unit?
Ron: Yeah. I've got the world's most interesting postcard setup running on autopilot. It took me a lot longer to get that one set up, as I was more concentrating and started to become a little bit more laser focused on that listing multiplier index. Looking back at my-
Ron: Yeah. As I looking back at it, my goal was a 20% yield on return on relationship. I haven't gone through before the call here to see where those numbers are, but one thing that I've really hyper focused on, specifically since I really started to get into the Monday market maker activities, it's really seeing the opportunities, and seeing which clients are well connected themselves, which ones are more open to let's say a home party than others might be, and really just looking at those dials.
I wish I would've been able to put that together and give you a number on that. Yeah, something that I haven't focused on, laser focused, but it's definitely top of mind, for sure.
Dean: That's okay. This is all your, it's not a race. You've had an amazing level of accomplishment over the first year of implementing all these things. You look at it, you're a young guy, you got a long career ahead of you here. This is really going to build a solid foundation. Did you have any trouble getting your top 150 together, or did you already have that? Where were you at with that kind of thinking?
Ron: Yeah. I was fortunate because I do have the background in real estate that I already had the 150. It wasn't one of those where I really had too much of a struggle with those. I think it was more, I had a system in place ... I shouldn't call it a system at all, actually, but I had a habit, let's say, or a routine in place. Pumping in the world's most interesting postcard really was just setting it on autopilot.
Once that has got going, I do ... I got this idea through some of the other people within GoGo as well, about doing a Thanksgiving pie, as well. Adding and layering in some of those different things as well.
Dean: That's cool. How long have you been doing the world's most interesting postcard now?
Ron: I would say ... Yeah, I just got it fully implemented in July. July is when I got the thing set. It's been just a couple months. I've gotten comments on it. Obviously, people are like hey, I got the postcard. It's one of those similar to the monthly reports for getting listings, it's just making sure that it's there every month, that consistency you have in there.
Dean: Yep. Oh, this is all very exciting. That'll be good, if you start looking back, now, what we're looking to gauge is the improvement on the actual metric. I think, I've been stressing as I talk about these elements, that they're not just mindsets or things that are philosophical, they're things that have an actual metric attached to it, that you can show that you're directionally improving, that you're going in the right direction with it.
In our after unit, I mentioned that our gold standard and the goal that you had stated is to manage that for a 20% annual yield. Now, that takes some doing. That takes, I look at the world's most interesting postcard as the first layer of that, that's happening on auto pilot, whether you do anything else. When you layer on top of that, the market maker Mondays, thinking about the opportunities that you have, communicating with the right people. Do you have a map for them too, for your top 150?
Ron: I do, yeah. Yep, within my massive Google.
Dean: That's so perfect. I just think that too is such an amazing thing that we have access to.
Ron: It is.
Dean: Knowing and looking at that as your opportunity to be in contact with those people, and then layering on top the things that match your personality and your relationship with the people, whether it's however you acknowledge or celebrate their birthdays, or however you acknowledge or celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas, and whether you do client parties or however you nurture the relationships with people. There's lots of different ways to do it, all focused on getting the outcome.
Ron: Absolutely. I was looking back through my notes from the GoGoAcademy, and one of the big things that I have written down here is, no deviation, dedicated determination. I got that through my head as we were going through with Tony's results, about how I noticed that he didn't really need to deviate from anything. My perfectionism mind was thinking okay, I don't really need to change anything here, I just need to implement it and move forward with the action on that, and just being determined to go through and dedicate it, to it as well.
Dean: Yeah. I think that's the mindset that I've used for this is, thinking about layer, not switching up. Like you were saying, either you're going about it completely the right way with getting listings in, starting in this area, then layering another area and layering and now layering in the lakefront, not starting out here and then jumping over here and then jumping over to this area. You're layering and building all of it, that all of the sudden, you've got this enormous footprint of things that are happening on autopilot. It's pretty amazing what can happen.
Ron: Absolutely. Now that I'm a year into it, and you've talked about this before in a couple other calls too, Dean, is that I don't look at this as an expense anymore at all. I never really did, but I can see how someone could, specifically if they're not getting results right away. Like you were saying with the culture, a lot of the real estate culture is put some money in, cross your fingers, hope it works, if it doesn't work, cut it and move on.
That obviously has no real foresight to what could come. Now I see it as much more of an asset, really building that asset and really investing in the future.
Dean: A capital investment. That's really the thing, whatever amount of money that Chuck invested in building up his getting listings responder pool to 1700 people, that asset of that 1700 people throws off listings every single year. Again and again and again. There's a lot to be said for that, especially when we look even at the infographic from the case study with Tony, that all of those people that responded, 21 of the 60 people that responded in that first year, he sold homes with them. Over the four years there.
That's pretty astounding, when you think about it.
Ron: Yeah. Absolutely. The other thing too is, you start to predict, I was looking back at some of those, I used to get hung up on let's say if I generate a seller lead, and then they'd go list with another agent, I think it was Penny on the forum, I'd get beat up over that. I'd beat myself up over that. What did I do wrong? Did I not say something right? Now, you look back at all of the leads that I'd created, but going back and looking at even those that did list, is I was able to almost accurately predict through this getting listings program, those that would list. It's almost a, I'm starting to see a little predictive analytics on software companies.
This works even better, which is great.
Dean: Yeah. Imagine now, when you start this whole, and you'll see it more than ever when you do the lakefront, because now you're doing a category. When you look at the categories and taking that CT scan approach to slicing up Madison into the categories of lakefront and townhouses, and condos, and whatever the different categories could be for your market there, you start to see where all that opportunity is.
Ron: Absolutely. Yeah. This is really what we should be doing all the time anyway. As far as a broker, matching buyers and sellers together, sometimes I think with the culture that we've created in our industry, that we lost focus on that a little bit.
Dean: Yeah. You're going to love some of the conversations that we've had in the first few episodes here. I know you haven't been able to catch up, because none of it is out yet. As you listen in, to hear us talk about the fundamental things, like we were talking about how technology really has made such a difference, but then it's also not changed very much. The analogy that I used was, that from 1990 until today, the average driving distance on the PGA Tour or the leading driving distance went from 279 yards to 336 yards, through advances in technology, and golf ball technology.
It increased 57 yards. The fundamental thing, golf is a game of scoring. The scoring leader category has improved by one quarter of one stroke.
Dean: You think about all the advancements that have happened in golf, and that fundamentally, it's still about getting the ball in the hole. You can't digitize the last 100 feet of a golf hole any more than you can digitize the last hundred feet of a real estate transaction.
Using all these technologies, using all the ability to gather all this information and data that we have, but it still takes the skill to match the people. You still ultimately have to find a buyer, and find a seller, and match them up for a fee. That's the brokerage business, like you said.
Dean: Pretty exciting.
Ron: That's exactly true, too. I love that analogy with the golf too, because you're so right. It comes down to the human putting the ball into the hole. Obviously, getting there faster or quicker is great, but if you can't putt it into the hole, then it did no good.
Dean: That's exactly the whole thing. I think that's pretty cool. What's the plan now with your, on the lifestyle side of this? How are things going if we talked about those three lifestyle elements of daily joy, abundant time, and financial peace? Where would you say the advancements or the things that you're working on to establish those for you?
Ron: Absolutely. One thing that I learned pretty young in age is that time is really the asset of our lives. It's not so much money. One thing, any time that you look at time, and I've heard of time management, at any time I think of time management, I think of more self-management, what can I do to myself to make myself more effective in that time?
Yeah, having time. Last week, my wife Trish and I, who you've met, we went down to South Carolina, a little relaxation, a little rejuvenation away from the harsh winters up here that are about to come, and obviously going down into Florida in February as well, and taking time just to release, away from the business.
My mindset is always on business, but yeah, taking the time to just really enjoy, I remember it was Frank Kern actually, going through a mindset shift, as far as, what is your perfect day. Let's start from right when you wake up, all the way until you go to bed at night. Let's design that so that your lifestyle fits that.
Real estate does really offer me that ability to be able to have that lifestyle, to where I can still have that entrepreneurial mindset, that entrepreneurial I guess focus, but also have the ability to be able to shut it off as well. That's one thing that I've seen in our industry, any time that you ... This happened to me right when I started in the industry, is that I would bring on a client and I'd bring on another client, and next thing I knew, I was nailed down in the minutia of appraisals and inspections and closings, and shifting paperwork back and forth, where I started to take my foot off the gas when it came to lead generation.
Whenever I closed a property or two properties, I'm sitting good with the money in the bank, but I didn't have anymore clients, and I'd have to start all over again. It was just up and down and constantly, and my emotions when with that up and down.
Whenever you sit down and create a plan, and that's one thing that I do now in my business, is really have a plan, have it in place. That way if I do see a shiny object or I see the squirrel so to speak, I can look down to my plan and say, is this part of that. If it's not, then let's put that onto another day, kind of thing.
Dean: Oh, that's so awesome. That's great. My friend Craig Valentine wrote a great book called A Perfect Day Formula. That's essentially the approach that he takes, is really, designing your perfect day. That's really what it comes down to, because that's really what we experience on a day to day basis, it's just your, you just get to live today at a time.
Ron: Yep. You got it.
Dean: I'm going to actually have Craig come on the podcast here too and talk about that, because I think that's really a big piece of truly the listing agent lifestyle.
Dean: Ron, it's been very exciting. I'm super stoked for the way things are going for you. I appreciate you sharing. It was kind of like I was sharing with Chuck and Tony, that it's like we've got the ghost of Christmas future, kind of thing. Tony's about five years ahead on that, or four years ahead, on that path, and Chuck is now 10 years in. To see the trajectory and the path that you guys are on, it's kind of exciting to see it so predictably repeating itself.
Ron: Yeah. Absolutely. That's one thing I had mentioned about with Tony as well, is seeing that there is that path, like three headlights on a car, so to speak, if I was traveling from New York to California at nighttime. I can only see what's just in front of me. He's laid, and you've laid that map to where I can say okay, this is where I'm going to be two months from now, or a year from now or two years from now. I'm a competitive one. With Tony, I'm going to be hot on his heels for sure.
Dean: I love that. That's the whole thing. We've actually, we've got now, this should be ready very shortly, actually. I've got a leaderboard function for our member blog.
Dean: Where we'll be able to show the listing multiplier leaderboard. Get that little competition going with people. I love it. We'll all get together in February in Orlando and we'll celebrate the annual winners of the categories. I love it.
Ron: Yeah. This is going to be great. I greatly appreciate you sharing what you know too, Dean. Obviously, you're laying the path for all of us here. This is great.
Dean: I love it. Thank you for sharing. I will see you in the forum.
Ron: You got it.
Ron: See you.
Dean: There we have it. I'm so glad you got to hear those three perspectives in a row with Tony and with Chuck and with Ron. I hope that encourages you that we can work with you and help you do exactly the same thing. If you'd like to come in and see what we're all about here, go to GoGoAgent.com, and come on in. We give a free 30 day trial, no credit card required, you can come on in, see everything that we're up to, pop in the forum, say hi, ask questions, get integrated into the community, and you'll see that we're really building an amazing group of people who are focused on building this listing agent lifestyle.
I'd love to see you over there. GoGoAgent.com, and if you'd like to be a guest on the show, you can go to listingagentlifestyle.com. We have all the transcripts from the episodes there as well, and you can click on the be a guest link. Tell us a little bit about your business, about where you are, and I can help you build a plan for your business.
Looking forward to meeting you, and I will see you on the next podcast.