Welcome to the Listing Agent Lifestyle podcast. My name is Dean Jackson. Today we’re talking with a brand new agent, Brian Kiernan from Orange, Connecticut.
What's interesting about Brian is that he's actually been a GoGoAgent.com member longer than he's been a licensed realtor, but he wanted to get all of his ducks in a row, get his marketing set up, so that when he finally got his real estate license he was ready to go.
We had a great conversation. He's just started setting up Getting Listings. He's mailed out his first ones and had his first responses, so we talk about how to build on that foundation. How to start now really looking for the best thing he can do to convert those into listings.
It may be surprising what we end up talking about.
We then wrapped it all up with a little bit of talk about his after unit and setting up his top 150.
Whether you’ve been a realtor for years, or you’re just getting started, you’ll get a lot from this episode.
Transcript: Listing Agent Lifestyle Ep005
Dean: Brian Kiernan.
Brian: Yes, hey Dean.
Dean: How are you?
Brian: I'm great. How are you?
Dean: I'm freezing cold in Toronto right now. I just arrived here last night, and it is cold, with a capital C.
Brian: Yeah, today's kind of like the first day of cold here in Connecticut too. It's like 20 and blustery. It's freezing out there today.
Dean: Well there we go. Welcome to the podcast. I'm excited to chat with you and to get kind of up to speed on what's going on and then to maybe hatch some evil schemes for where we can go from here. I know it's all, made the shift last week on the podcast with Tony Fabiano, did you get a change to listen to that episode yet, or not yet?
Brian: Yeah, no I listened to it. Yeah, it was good.
Brian: Yep. Yeah, I definitely listened to all of them.
Dean: Oh awesome. That's the cool thing now is that we'll start to get into real brainstorming and planning and doing some market planning for you. Why don't you kind of set the stage a little bit here about where we're at right now, and then we can kind of build on that and see where the opportunities are.
Brian: Okay, sure. Yeah. I'm new to real estate, so I think you knew that. I've kind of...
Dean: I did.
Brian: My background is in remodeling, and I've also been studying a lot of marketing and direct response stuff since like 2007. My background is really, though, in remodeling. I got my real estate license just this year, and I haven't even done a transaction yet. I'm just starting to build up my business now, trying to get going. I have been trying to get out of remodeling for like about the past, I don't know, three, four, five years. I've been trying to transition into something, and I never really thought I would go into real estate, but just through listening to your podcast and More Cheese Less Whiskers and stuff like that, I kind of thought, "Maybe I should think about real estate." I'd always was looking for maybe a sales position and always wanted something that had no cap on commissions and they would let me generate my own leads and what not, and then kind of light bulb went off one day. I was like, "Why don't I go into real estate, that's like exactly what it is."
Dean: No cap on commission. You get to make your own, yeah, make your own way. This is why I said when, in this whole idea of the listing agent lifestyle and the, I'm just putting the finishing touches on the initial book for the Listing Agent Lifestyle, kind of setting that up, but the subtitle is, The Future of Real Estate is Better Than You Think. I said in the opening episode that I really believe that real estate, right now, is the business. There's so much opportunity right now to take all of the things that are available to us in this, the transition here, all the online tools, all the automation tools, all the access to outsourcing, all of those things, and yet still there's a downward pressure on commissions or things, so it's really been offset by the rise in prices. I just think it's such an amazing opportunity of a business. I'm just super excited about the things that we've got going on.
I love that you're brand new to real estate here too. Right? You've been hanging around here in GoGoAgent, in the lead up to actually getting started in real estate, right. You've been a GoGoAgent member longer than you've actually been a real estate agent, is that right?
Brian: Yeah, that's true. Yep. Yep, because I wanted to start kind of getting ready. I've listened to your More Cheese Less Whiskers podcast. I've listened to all the episodes, actually. I've been listening to that for a long time. I've kind of been around. Like I was saying, I heard you talk a lot, like when you're using metaphors or trying to get people to think and that about drawing parallels from real estate to their business, and you've had real estate agents on, you talk a lot about all the tools that you've created.
Brian: Then I was like, "Yes." Finally this one day a light bulb kind of went off, and yeah, I've been around longer, and then I got into GoGo, and then, yeah. Now I've started running you’re getting listings program, and that's kind of where I started and have kicked off.
Dean: Perfect. What's the update on that now? Take us through the thinking process because I want to hear about the target market that you've selected and what's happened so far, where is everything?
Brian: Yeah, that would be a great place to start because I think a lot of people kind of wonder like, "Is my market too small," or whatever. My thought process, when I started and was listening to everything was that my town was too small. I'm in a small town in Connecticut, Orange. There's only about 4600 single family homes, about 14,000 people. I was like, "Well, this area is too small." Even though you talk about starting with a thousand homes, I didn't think there would be enough, maybe, buyer demand. So I kind of started thinking, "How could I get more of that horoscope effect that you talk about, so I initially thought, "Well, maybe I'll just target colonial homes, and I'll kind of do a subset." Then you kind of, just in speaking with you about that, you were like, "You're thinking too micro. You want to think a little bit more macro, like of the bigger picture." My thought was, "Well, I want to expand into all of Orange, so why not just start with as much as I can afford to do."
Brian: Just start mailing homes and start generating leads and just kind of take it from there. I heard you say this once, like, "What if," I really think with the mindset of building my business now, and this has taken some time for me to get here, I didn't start like this, but, "What if my car, what if I never left Orange to do a real estate transaction?"
Dean: Right. That was it. I always say to people, especially brand new agents, that they would make more money in their first year in real estate if their license restricted them to only making sales in the city that they live in. That's it. If they were only restricted geographically to Orange, you would, it's kind of a constraint that helps you focus.
Dean: You start to pay more attention to it. Everybody wants to have the bigger pie, so the perception is, "I only need a smaller piece of this bigger pie, so my likelihood is more." But I've always said to people, "Let's just pick something that you can really make an impact in, and let's plan to dominate that market."
Brian: Yeah, for sure. I think, just to kind of finish on that thought, that I think going through the process and actually getting my license and then starting running the getting listings program and then starting to do all the groundwork, or laying the groundwork to start generating leads and everything, you start to realize that there's a little bit of work involved, and really focusing is really going to pay off in the long run. I really full heartedly believe now that I just stick where I am. I start looking at the amount of transactions and the amount of volume in the town, and it's a dominate. I don't know what you think a percentage is, but if I was to do 10% of the town, that would be the first person in the town, and that would be a very nice living.
Dean: Well, that's it. You look at Tony Kalsi, that's exactly how he started out, with a small area of a bigger thing. Now he does his whole MLS district and he's the top agent in that market. Then we had Ron Reed started out with 400 homes and parlayed that into $55,000 in his first year. You've got to start somewhere, and if you're going to be ... this is funny, I said this to Damon John, Joe Polish and I had Damon on our I Love Marketing podcast to talk about his book, which is a great book for anybody starting a business. It's called The Power of Broke.
One of the things that we talked about was everybody's got these aspirations to be the biggest rock band in the world kind of thing, but if you're going to be the biggest rock band in the world, you got to start out by being the biggest rock band in Orange, Connecticut. If you can't be the biggest rock band in Orange, you're not going to stand a chance in the world. You know? That's always a good thing. I'm glad that you've come around on that thinking. We'll get to watch it play out here over your first year. What's happened so far? How many homes did you choose? What's happened so far?
Brian: The way I went about it is I have done the EDDM route, every door direct mail route to try and maximize the amount of homes I can mail. What I'm able to start out and afford every month. It comes out to just under 2500 homes. It’s like 2486, which is seven carrier routes. I did a mailing like in the first part of November, and I generated 22 fish in my pond, if you will call it.
Dean: I love that.
Brian: Right. I did a mailing in December and generated another eight, so I'm up to 30 total. I just sent out, this week, my follow up for the 22 I got in November. That's where I'm at right now. I haven't got any inquiries or anything like that, but my mindset is really probably I won't hear anything until maybe February the earliest, but most likely in the spring.
Dean: Yeah, who knows? Right? You may be right after the new year, people might come in. It's an interesting and good time of year here to start getting your feet wet because now you've established yourself, broken the ice and you've got the moves down now. Right? You've got, the biggest thing that stops people is this, all this launch effort that it takes, right, to get everything setup, to get it all, choose your area, to figure out all the moves for how to get your postcard laid out, how to get your landing page set up and your recorded message and all that stuff. Now...
Brian: Right. Yeah.
Dean: ... each monthly mailing is effortless because now you've got that in orbit. It's like setting up a satellite. You've got to get it into orbit first, and then it becomes easier to maintain. So you stocked your pond right now, going into the new year here, you've got 30 fish in your pond, in your canal, waiting for you to just continue to drive up and down and shine the light so they'll jump in the boat. I love that.
Now, when you start thinking about being a market maker with this, what is the thing that would describe these homes? Is it that they're in Orange, or what is the commonality here, if we were going to look for buyers to match this out for you?
Brian: Yeah, it's definitely would just be Orange. Most of how Connecticut is laid out moving out from cities, Orange is a suburb of New Haven, and then there's several kind of small towns around it that essentially are kind of like neighborhoods, like the towns are small enough to where they would be a large neighborhood in a city, so I think the best category for where I am is Orange, for right now, for starting out, for attracting buyers. People would want to move into the area maybe because the schools are good in Orange, or the taxes are a little lower, because we actually have a nice tax, commercial tax base on this little strip of post word that we have, so our taxes are actually pretty low for being a bedroom community where usually taxes can be a little higher.
Anyway, yeah, so that's really the category I'm starting out with. I've actually started building, I was just working on it yesterday and today, I'm building my guide to Orange house prices
Dean: There we go. I was just going to say, so that's good. When you look at that, there's an opportunity to now triangulate and get the other side of this. The famous, I always talk about the Molson beer campaign, right, where they're running one ad in Cosmos Magazine with the beautiful looking guy that's the dream guy for the Cosmos girl, and then running the ad in the men's magazines that says, "Hundreds of thousands of women pre-programmed for your convenience," and showing them the ad that they're running in Cosmos on their behalf. That's really what we have the change to do here. You're laying the groundwork with your getting listings postcards, you're getting all these people who live in Orange who are potentially thinking about selling their house, and now you're going to, on their behalf, without needing their listing to do it, start looking for a buyer for their house, people who are looking for homes in Orange.
Let's talk about a couple of things that you can do that way because I think you're right on track already with getting listings. You're going to stay the course on that. You're going to continue mailing your postcards, you're going to continue mailing the newsletters. That's kind of in orbit, and you're established now. Now we start thinking about on the buyer's side. What would be some things that would be helpful to know about where the buyers are coming for homes in Orange? Are they coming from other neighboring communities into Orange? Are they coming from the city into Orange? I'm not sure where Orange, Connecticut is.
Brian: Yeah, right. You've driven through it if you've ever driven from New York to Boston, because we do have two main arteries. 95 runs through Orange on one side, and then there's the Merritt Parkway which runs through it. The people who move into Orange generally are from the surrounding areas. There's the city of New Haven, there's the city of West Haven, and then there's also the city of Milford, which kind of surround us. People, a lot of times, will move out of the city and into a more of a town setting for the schools. Generally it's people who are maybe have some young kids, who just had some kids, and now they're starting to go to school and they want to move into Orange because they know the school systems are slightly better than in the city.
Dean: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Brian: That's one category of person who definitely moves into the area. That's mostly the category I think is those surrounding cities.
Dean: Mm-hmm. How far geographically is it? Yes, there's not a lot of like they start out in condos and move up to a townhouse or a detached house and move up to a luxury home. There's not a lot of...
Dean: ... vertical moving around in...
Brian: No, very few condominiums, very few town houses. It's mostly all single family homes.
Dean: Okay. Perfect.
Brian: There are luxury homes, so there are homes all the way up to a million dollars. There's not many that move every year, there's only a few handful of sales every year up in that range, but there are definitely pockets that have some of the newer luxury homes.
Dean: Yep. What would be the sort of...
Brian: You asked me where it was geographically, like how far it was.
Brian: Is that what you're asking me? With no traffic, I'm 60 minutes from New York City.
Dean: Okay. Is it what you would consider surrounded by rural Connecticut, or is it like New Jersey where Orange is 4000 homes, but then immediately right next door is the next city that's abutting it, and then the next one, with no space in between? Or is it kind of standalone.
Brian: Very much like New Jersey. That would be a good parallel. Very much like New Jersey. You might be driving down 95, and then you'll get off in New Jersey on 95, and you drive five minutes and you're feeling in a different planet, like you're not even on the highway anymore.
Dean: Yeah, right.
Brian: That's very much what Orange is like. You'd be driving through on 95, you get off, you drive five minutes in and you're in a suburb, but it's very close and densely populated.
Dean: Okay. Got it. Okay. Then how far, like in terms of miles, would it be to like these neighboring ones, like West Haven and whatever the other ones that you're talking about? Is it a 20 mile radius, a 10 mile radius?
Brian: Let me just look here. I've got a map right here. They're butting right up against the town, so maybe it's a five to ten mile radius all the way around.
Dean: Yep. Okay. Okay. Now when you look at that, where would I look if I were looking for homes in Orange?
Brian: Like you mean where would you look?
Dean: Does Orange have its own, do you have ... Is there a print publication that everybody reads in town? Is there a home and land, are there local things that people do?
Brian: Yeah. Okay, typically, I think people would probably look online. They would probably go to like a realtor or Zillow. Now what we have print-wise, there's one ... There's no homes and land. There are print publications that they put in like the diners, so if I go to a diner, they have the publication that's sitting in a rack there, but they cover a very large area. They'll cover 20 communities, or 20 towns, or cities and towns all, so they're not very focused at all.
Dean: Yeah, that's not always the...
Brian: The Connecticut Home Navigator.
Dean: Got you. It's too broad.
Brian: To broad, exactly. Then there is the Orange Town News, which is a local publication that only goes to Orange residents.
Brian: Then there are two other papers that go out to kind of like Orange, Woodbridge, and Milford, which kind of expands a little bit. There's a local newspaper that hits all Orange homeowners only, and then there's one that hits the surroundings.
Dean: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Brian: Then New Haven has a...
Dean: Is it a weekly? Is it a weekly newspaper in Orange?
Brian: It's a monthly.
Dean: A monthly. Yep.
Brian: Yep. Then there's one, the little bigger one is a bi-weekly.
Dean: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Brian: The one that goes to Orange, the city of Milford, which is right below us, and then I think that goes to parts of Woodbridge also. That one I believe is bi-weekly. Then as far as other publications, there's like New Haven magazine, which is like a little bit more of a higher end magazine that targets people in a specific earning range in/around New Haven. That would be more of a luxury target.
Brian: As far as starting out, just in front of the bell curve, I think that those are the only print things that I was thinking about doing.
Dean: Okay. The reason I ask about that is because online stuff is easy. We're going to be able to get to the online stuff. Facebook is ... That's a no-brainer, we can do that. I always like to ... I always point to the off line things because right now they're still a bargain in terms of that they're still ROI very positive. We've keep pointing to different things that we're doing in GoGoAgent, I'll show you different print examples where we're running ads at 10 and 12 times ROI in an annual basis. In one case for over five years running the same ad in 30 plus publications. There's lots of opportunity there to start sweeping up, what I call, category buyers. I would say that people just looking in Orange, in this situation, would be a category. Not that we're looking to advertise specific homes. That's not what we're talking about.
Dean: It's not using like what most people use print ads for, but running ads that are, especially even on the high end of things, like we've done this in South Beach looking for ocean front condo buyers, and in Winter Haven for lake front buyers, and Cape Ann for ocean front again, and in Beaver Creek in Colorado for mountain view homes. Same thing in Paradise Valley. All those iconic things, if there's a way, and you and I talked one time on one of our GoGoAgent calls about that idea for the colonial homes, for instance, if that's something that is a category.
Dean: If people are in the market for a very specific thing, when they're looking through the print or the newspaper and they see something with the beautiful, the iconic, idealized vision of what they're looking for, just like those Cosmos girls looking in Cosmos magazine and seeing the image of their ideal guy presented for them right there, that's what we're talking about in the print ads. The people who are looking in there, they're scouring those ads looking for ocean front condos, or beach front property, or a colonial house, because people who have very specific taste, have very specific taste. That's what they're looking for.
Dean: If we can be that for them, and then when you look at the people who have replied so far of the 30 responses that you have so far, how many of those would be colonial homes? I think you said to me that that's the most common thing in Orange. Right?
Brian: It's the second. It breaks down, like popular is ranches. Ranches are one, about 2000. Colonials are second, about 1100, and then capes are third, around 550, and then there's a mish mosh of other stuff.
Dean: Okay. Yep.
Brian: I would say about half. It is about half. I was surprised I actually got some of them were very expensive, and some of them were just your small 24 X 48 ranch.
Dean: Right. When you look at this, when you start now going to work for the sellers, the potential sellers, before they've ever hired you to list their house, you're going to work to find what they're really looking for, ultimately down the road. What they really need is a buyer for their colonial house. Right?
Dean: Now, if you think about this, that you know 15 people right now who are potentially going to sell their colonial house in the next 12, 24, 36 months. Right?
Dean: Have you seen the video in GoGoAgent about how to set up your Google map? Do you know about the Google layer maps?
Brian: Yeah. Yeah, I did that. I've done that. That's really cool. I did it.
Dean: Oh, yeah, because you can export the data that you've got in your GoGoAgent, you can export that data and import it into a Google maps so you can see where these 30 responses are right on the map.
Brian: Yeah, that's really cool.
Dean: And you can color code them.
Brian: I have a separate question about that, but I don't want to derail you. Go ahead.
Dean: Okay, but you can color code them for the colonials, or you could even attach, if you wanted to, a street view photo of it. Right? You could upload that into the record of your, in your GoGoAgent.
Brian: That's really cool. I'm going to do that.
Dean: Yeah, because now you know, right. You're using ... The thing that you have now is this ability to use this as your secret inventory. You're the only one that knows that these people are thinking about potentially selling. Now if you go to work right now and you start looking for people who are looking for colonial homes, as an example, that you could have this idealized offer in the ... What's the Orange newspaper called? The one that just goes to the people in Orange.
Brian: The Orange Times.
Dean: The Orange Times. Okay. Is it something that, because a lot of times these community newspapers are pretty well read. Is that something that people anticipate and look forward to and at least take a look through to see what's going on?
Brian: Yeah, I would think so, especially ... yes. Orange is a mature community. I think that people would give it a look through to see what's going on in the town.
Dean: Yeah, and is it affordable? Is it a low cost for the ads? Is it a tabloid side or is it a broadsheet, or a magazine size? What size is it?
Brian: It's affordable. It's just kind of like a smaller version of your regular newspaper, so it's folded twice. It's folded in half and then folded in half again. It's very much like it's a newspaper that's, when it's folded in half, it's probably ... well, it's 8-1/2 by 11 folded in half, so if you unfolded it would be 11 by 17.
Dean: 11 by 17, yep.
Brian: Right. Exactly.
Dean: Perfect. How big is it, usually?
Brian: I got it right here now. Let's see. It's 24 pages.
Brian: it's not super thick. It has a little...
Brian: I don't know. Yeah, it's got some meat to it. There's definitely, there's other real estate agents who are advertising in it, but they're just advertising homes. Right?
Dean: Right, and there's the thing, this is like, that's ultimately like trying to find the needle in the haystack. Right? You're not looking for somebody who's looking for a category. What they're doing is they're trying to find somebody for this specific house. Now with the lead times and stuff for print, it's often that that house was sold before the ad ever comes out, so it's kind of wasted. Right?
Dean: If you look at it, if I were looking at something like that, I might look at doing a half page ad, or a quarter page ad, or even a full page ad depending on the cost and what kind of response you get, that is specifically like the Cape Ann ad that I show it GoGoAgent. That, "If you're looking for an amazing water front home on Cape Ann, read this." Same thing we did for the lake front ones. Have you seen those samples in GoGoAgent?
Brian: I've seen the ocean front condos in South Beach, and I've seen the Cape Ann one.
Dean: Okay, yeah, so there's one there, there's a post. If you just look in the members area on the post called Dominating South Beach, that's the exact sample that we're talking about. Right? If you did an ad like that, even if you did it one time to see what happens, what's even more important is that you have it in your white file, or in your book, in your things that when you can say to people who now have colonial homes, when three months from now somebody calls you over to interview as they're going to be selecting listing agents, that you show this, what you've been doing to find buyers for colonial homes. That makes a big difference. You've got, now, you've got the source, the category, and you don't need to have a listing to advertise something like that. That's a big piece of triangulation, right, of being a market maker, that you've got the opportunity to find the category of buyer that supports your getting listings. These are the ways that you get your listing multiplier index up to.
Brian: Yeah. I just had a little thought, so I'd just ask you a question about that. You know how a lot of times you'll see on TV, they'll say like, "See our ad in Red Book." And I never understand why they do that.
Brian: I'm watching the commercial, "Why would you say that," but in this case, this might actually be somewhere where you may put something like that in our getting listings follow up?
Dean: That's exactly right. So now you're saying just the same way. If you take the Molson example almost word for word. You take a picture or a cutout of a photocopy of that ad, and you include it and you say to people, "Hundreds of colonial home buyers pre-programmed for your convenience." Or, "Pre found for your convenience." You take that same thing that now somebody owns a colonial home, and they see that you're looking for this, and you say to people, as a market maker, right, on market maker Monday, you see where all of these things will start tying together.
Dean: Let's say that you were to run an ad like that, and you get some people to respond and you send them out a weekly email with updates on the new colonial homes that have come on the market. Right? Somebody calls you up and says, "Yeah, I'd like to come on the colonial house tour this weekend." You now look on your map and you see the 15 people, who have colonial homes, and you connect with those people and you say, "Hey John, I am showing homes, colonials, this weekend to a couple from West Haven. I remember looking up your house online when I sent you the report on Orange house prices. It seems like your house might be a perfect match. I'm not sure what your plans are, but I thought I'd check in and see if maybe I could tell them about your house." That is the perfect and only type of follow up that I would recommend doing to reach out to these people.
I would never recommend just calling people and saying, "Hey, just checking in. Did you get our report? Are you enjoying it? Are you getting the newsletters?" None of that. Don't check in on people. Don't do any of that. Just email them and say exactly that. Now they're going to reply and say, "Oh, we're not ready yet," or, "We're not going to be selling till the spring." Or they might say, "Wow, we were just talking about that. We're probably going to put it on in a few weeks. Let me talk to my wife and see what she says. Maybe you could tell them about it." Right? You're perceived as a guy that has, ultimately, what they're going to need, which is a buyer for their colonial home.
Brian: Yeah, very cool.
Brian: Yeah, I got you. Yes, I'm definitely following you.
Dean: Sometimes that's where it’s like sometimes ... Molson didn't care whether running that ad in Cosmos magazine, they would often do things where they would, they know that their real target audience is guys. Right? It's a guy's beer. They would do things like buy the back cover of a men's magazine with an alternate cover, so it would be like nothing but, when you flip it over, it would say, "Trust Fund Magazine," and it has a picture to make it look like it's this thing so that when instead of seeing like Maxim magazine, or whatever, if you've got a date coming over, you could flip over the magazine and it says, "Trust Fund magazine," on there, or "Private Jet magazine," that makes it seem like you're rich or you've got interesting hobbies or whatever. Then they would buy an ad in the magazine and say, "Think of it as a $90,000 investment in our relationship." They show a picture of the back cover of the magazine, and say, "You may have noticed that we've deployed our twin cover technology for this magazine for you because sometimes you might want to clean up when somebody's coming over," or whatever.
Dean: They would, laughingly put all of that in the magazine. I think that kind of thing, where you start looking at it now that if you've got all these micro triangulations going on, starting at the top, right, like you get the colonials, then you get the ... what were the other ones that you said?
Brian: Ranch, ranch homes.
Dean: Yeah, ranch was kind of the default one, right?
Brian: Did I lose you?
Dean: Nope, I'm here.
Brian: Yeah. Okay. There would be luxury, and then there's ranch, and then there's capes.
Dean: Capes, yeah, okay. So Cape Cod style would be another one. Right?
Dean: Now, when you're doing, now you can start doing Facebook ads within a 10 mile radius of Orange, like use the center of Orange as the thing. Go out to that, and advertise a guide to Orange, Connecticut Cape Cod prices, but you're finding now buyers now who are looking for those. Or advertise a specific tour of Cape Cod homes this weekend.
Brian: Got you. Yeah.
Dean: All those things, because that adds up. That adds to your exposure there to be the desirable guy to help them sell their Cape Cod home when it becomes time. You know?
Brian: Yeah, that makes sense. That makes sense Dean. You just talked a lot about colonials and being very specific, so you think almost just the Orange is a little bit too general? So if I just ran an ad saying something like, "If you're looking for a great home in Orange,”...
Dean: No, I think that you've got ... no, I think ... Yeah, I think it's okay. It's fine for on the listing side, but when you start to look at because you've got the opportunity to narrow when people are buying they're specific in a way, more specific is better. You can...
Brian: I see, okay.
Dean: Right, because now you get the people that that's what they want. They definitely want a colonial, or they definitely want a Cape Ann, or a cape cod.
Brian: cape Cod.
Dean: Yeah, cape cod.
Brian: Okay. That makes sense.
Dean: You're that.
Brian: Yes, I got it. So now just as they come in, they get flagged in GoGo as, "These are people who responded to the colonial ad, and these are people who responded to the cape ad."
Dean: That's exactly right.
Brian: Right. Now on that, you had talked...
Dean: Now guess what, as soon as you ... as soon as you go and somebody responds as one of those sellers who decides to list their house, or have you come over and talk about listing their house, guess immediately what you can do is then go to the people who are flagged as cape cod enthusiasts, and say, "Hey, I'm going over to see somebody about their putting their cape cod house on the market. If you'd like, I'll send you all the details as soon as I go and talk with them." That would be a...
Dean: Yeah, and then you're going in to see them and you say, "I already sent a quick message to ... I've got this list of people who are looking for Cape Cod homes. I've got these eight people who said, "Oh yes, send me the details, or let me know.""
Brian: That's cool. I want to ask you a question a little bit about categorizing.
Brian: In your call with Chuck Charlton, he was talking about how he categorizes people who are in his getting listings program, he just does it through the A, B, C, D, E, F, G price range thing.
Dean: Yeah. Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Brian: And then he actually said he went in and he created like all of that in his CRM so that he could kind of sort through those and only email those people.
Dean: Right. That's what I'm talking about.
Brian: I know we talked about in Google Maps about being able to do that too. So you could export that and then you could just kind of hover over it and you can see, "Okay, I've got all these people in this category, all these people in this category, that category." So how do you envision categorizing? What do you think is the best way to categorize in your CRM your listing secret inventory, or hidden inventory?
Dean: Right. That's the good thing is that when you are thinking about Orange, it's a good idea to have a time list thing, is to set up a pricing scale. Like, A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, where you say A is up to whatever's the minimum price that it is, and B would be from whatever it is to the next one. That way as the market moves up, you just need to change the numbers. If you put the value of their house today at $250,000, or $400,000 or whatever it is, and then two years from now that shifted by 10%, it’s not as relative as if you said it was in price range C.
Brian: Right. Because that can shift without having to go and change your whole database.
Dean: That will shift. That's exactly right. That was one piece of wisdom there. The other thing that you might want to pen your records with is with putting it on the map, which we always recommend, but then adding a Google Street View picture, or if you have the old ... whatever picture you can get, the MLS last time it was listed, or the Zillow profile, or whatever is available for that house, you start building your intelligence file on it.
Brian: Yeah, so that way you're super targeted so when you get a buyer and you're looking, I'm only emailing 15 people. Right?
Dean: That's exactly right.
Brian: Instead of 30.
Dean: Yes, that's exactly right.
Brian: Okay. That just creates some sort of ... I guess I have to do that manually, create some sort of, as the leads come in from getting listings, just as I enter them in just go in and include my legend and set the price range.
Dean: Yeah, it's not that much once you get the protocol for it set up, you've got your record map, your record, the way that you layout your records, you can set up pre-determined flags, you can set up dropdown categories so you can kind of quickly radio button things, "It's this, it's this, it's this."
Brian: Cool. All right, I got that. Then...
Dean: Good data hygiene, that's what that is.
Brian: Yes. I had another question about, I was thinking ... So I'm setting up my buyer stuff now. I'm going to do what you just talked about. I really like the idea of the print, and then I'm going to do Facebook, and I'll probably even want to dabble in some AdWords or something.
Dean: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Brian: The next program of yours I was thinking about running was the listing next door program.
Dean: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Brian: Now, you think I should do that in the same area that's running the getting listings program, or should I...
Dean: Yeah, I think you should do it for Orange.
Dean: That way whenever a house sells, that way you're just going with the ... Whenever a house sells in an area that you're interested in, then you're just going to even just the 20 homes right around it would be enough.
Brian: Yeah. Now the people who respond, do they just go into ... I was kind of thinking about maybe trying to do a little engagement with them just because I thought maybe with the getting listings we were trying to scoop up the next listing that's coming out in the neighborhood. I wasn't sure if you thought you might do a little engagement or if that was too pushy, or if you just take them and then just put them right into your getting listings follow up? How do you envision that?
Dean: Right. Yeah, I put them right into the getting listings follow up. The only type of engagement that I would say that I kind of endorse is the engagement of, "I'm show houses on your street this weekend." That kind of real thought, so if you condition people that the only time you reach out to them is when you've got a buyer for them, that when they're ready to sell and they need a buyer, you're going to be the first one they think of. If you're the guy that as soon as they respond, and you start immediately hammering them and you get on the phone and you're trying to close for an appointment, and then you follow up every week until they list or die, that whole mindset kind of thing of trying to wrestle them into submission, that's not the way to build a long term sustainable asset.
Brian: Got you. Yeah, that makes sense. That totally, when you think about it from the psychology of it, what you just said, I see where that principle is where the guy did the trainings with the dogs and he fed the dogs, or whatever, and then the day he didn't feed them, and they would start, or whatever.
Dean: Pavlov, yeah.
Brian: Yeah. What you're talking about is you're conditioning them to know that maybe they're not opening your email, or maybe they're not responding to it, but they see that you're actually being an advocate for them. You're not hassling them, you're just saying, "Hey, I'm around." Right?
Dean: That's part of why when we do the getting listings follow up stuff is physical direct mail, newsletter and report in their inbox. There's physical mounting evidence that month after month you're diligently and thoughtfully providing them with all of the information to keep them on top of what's going on in the market. That doesn't get the same kind of weight with an automated email update. You know?
Brian: No, definitely not. Outside of the scope of your getting listings follow up stuff, how do you envision the actual report of the MLS data? There's different things in my MLS where you could just do a single line, you could do thumbnails, you could do full page. What would you do?
Dean: Well I looked at, right when you saw ... If you look at the dominating South Beach, if you look at the South Beach post, there's the example there of the South Beach market watch. That format, that's what I would do.
Brian: Like a thumbnail with some details. That's what it kind of looked like, it was like a thumbnail picture of a condominium, and they have like, in my MLS, it's a little bit ... That one's kind of large. They have one that's a little bit smaller, so you like to have a little bit of an enlarge, a little image.
Dean: Yeah, a little bit larger. That was, and most MLSs you can set up on a custom output. I think that was six on a page or something. That makes it readable and valuable enough. You can do, if you can do a custom gallery report like that, with the stuff that you want on it, that's a valuable investment of time too to get that kind of gallery together. That way then we put it with a beautiful South Beach picture with a cover, then the cover letter, and then here's the new properties, and then, "Whenever you're ready, here's how we can help you. Join us for a" or, "Get your," ... You're talking about for the buyers or for the...
Brian: No, I was talking about for getting listings follow up, that actual MLS report.
Dean: Yeah, the report I would do every month we get them the cover letter, the get top dollar newsletter, and the report of all of the properties that are for sale and sold.
Brian: For sale and sold, right, so you don't do...
Dean: Yeah. Updates. Just the updates. Right.
Brian: You're not, would you include, I think it's kind of a minute question, but would you include the expireds and the on deposits in the shows, or are you just doing active and closed?
Dean: I think just active, not active, but newly active. So ever month in the last 30 days, or in the month of November, here's the new listings that came on since last time I sent you the update.
Brian: Oh, I see.
Dean: Right, and here's what's sold since last I updated you, because the first mailing that we send has the last six months’ worth of data.
Brian: Yeah, it's got a lot of data. I'm asking because it's a pretty thick package that I've been mailing, so I just wanted to see the minimal viable dose. So the first package goes out, it's a big package, understandable. It's 8-1/2 by 11, great. Big package, everything. The follow ups, so you see the follow ups as closed 30 days, and new listings on the market, not all the active listings. Okay. I got it now.
Dean: Yeah, you don't need to send all of the listings every month. You just send them, "Here's the activity." If you've got a way of doing a monthly report that tracks, like a rolling average of what's been going on for the last 12 months, if you have market stats and stuff like that...
Dean: That's nice to...
Brian: Put something like that, yeah.
Dean: Yeah, that's nice to enhance your mailing.
Brian: Yeah, got you. Something that's kind of like a ... Yeah, was doing that. Just kind of shows the activity that's a little bit simpler and spells everything out. Yep.
Brian: Awesome. Cool.
Dean: It's all very exciting. I love everything. You're doing it all in the right order here. Tell me about your top 100, or your top 150. Have you got your relationship portfolio set up here?
Brian: I don't have it in orbit, as you would say. I did create the spreadsheet.
Brian: I'm having a little bit of a block there in the fact that it's like I just got my license, I...
Dean: It doesn't matter.
Brian: What's the block I'm having here? I'm trying to figure out what the block is I'm having here.
Brian: Do I send that to ... I truly am trying to have that mindset of my car does not leave Orange.
Brian: I don't know 150 people in Orange to send that to, I know like 23 that I think that do that.
Dean: I don't think you're trying hard enough. I don't think you're trying hard enough. How long have you lived in Orange?
Brian: Since 2005, like 12 years.
Dean: Okay. Come on now. If you think around, if you just look out your door, how many of the neighbors do you know by name?
Brian: Good point.
Dean: How many friends do you have? Do you have any family that live in Orange?
Brian: No, no family, but I do have people who obviously I've met at school and met through sporting activities with the kids and what not.
Dean: Yeah, that's it. Anybody, yeah, who are the parents of your kids friends. The people that you ... Here's the thing, and a good exercise might be just to go to the grocery store and stand there on a Saturday and see who you recognize. That's who we're looking for. On your day, between now and until you get to 100 people is just pay attention. Take a little notebook with you and as you see and recognize people, just write them down, "Oh yeah, them, oh, and them. Oh yeah. Forgot about them." You'll see that pretty...
Brian: Yeah, and it doesn't hurt to just get started with the ones I've got, right.
Dean: Right. That's exactly it. You've got to start somewhere.
Dean: If they're not going to refer you, who is?
Brian: I haven't done that part yet. I know, and it's just such an easy thing and it's really kind of a neat little tool.
Dean: Yes, absolutely.
Brian: I actually included that in my follow up. I put one of the world’s most interesting postcards in the follow up package.
Dean: Yeah. Listen, that's the best ROI thing that you can do. That's why I put that right up there at number three. It's getting listings, you got that settled up. Listing multipliers, well you don't have any right now, so you're not, nothing to multiply there, let's get your getting referrals established. Get your 23 for sure set up in GoGoAgent. Get their addresses. Look on your Facebook, see who's there that you recognize that's local. It doesn't have to be right in Orange, but in that general area there, and start with a goal to get that up to 50. Then get it up to 100, as you're meeting people, all of them.
Brian: I guess I have more than ... I'm just talking right in Orange.
Dean: Just start sending...
Brian: I definitely have more than just that because I have a lot of clients and stuff who I've done work for in my business that I have now that actually pays the bills.
Dean: There you go.
Brian: I have quite a few, but they're scattered all over the place.
Brian: That was kind of my block.
Dean: Yeah, no, just get the ones that would be helpful to your business, both that you would hope that they would consider you to be their realtor, if they have one, so you're just going to go out and adopt them, and that if they had a friend that was going to buy or sell a house, that they would think about you. That's all we really want, is to get those people so that when they're in conversations about real estate, they think about you and they introduce you to the person they were talking with. Right? If they don't notice that it's a conversation about real estate and you're not sending them anything to be present in their mind, they're not going to think of you when they hear those conversations. That's not going to lead to an introduction.
Brian: Yep. Yes, I get that.
Dean: You got to get that established as quickly as you can, because that'll be a big ROI for you. That's cheap for you.
Brian: Yeah, for sure. Yeah, it's not that much money if you get ... That's for sure. I see that. Yep. Great. That's great Dean.
Dean: It's all very exciting. We've touched all the bases there.
Brian: Yeah, I'm very excited about it. I'm just really looking forward to having something that can be affected by marketing. That's kind of been what I've been looking for over the past years where I can really set up something that I can, to do all the stuff that I love to do. It's very addicting. Its' very addicting.
Brian: When I got the first responses from the postcards, I was like, "This is like," I have an addictive personality anyway, and it was like, "This is very addicting." I was like into it and putting together the package, and actually as I'm putting it together, I'm thinking to myself, "This could be like an $8000 commission." It's like you don't want to leave any of them out.
Dean: Right. Right. Right. That's exactly...
Brian: Like, "Which one is it. Which postcard is going to lead to $8000? Is it you? Is it you?"
Dean: I love that that's what you're thinking. You've got to have that kind of reverence for it, right, rather than the way that most people think about it is that they might, by now even, they would have burned their phone out hounding those 30 people to find the people, and they would be saying to themselves, "Oh, these leads are no good. They're just fire kickers, report gatherers. They're not listing."
Brian: I know.
Dean: They would be missing out on so much. You're getting this asset. You've got to protect the asset. You've got to protect, which is the long-term viability of these people.
Brian: It's great. It's great.
Dean: I'm so excited. I get excited. I always love the ... There's nothing more exciting than being a brand new real estate agent, especially when you can come in with marketing behind you instead of ... What are new people being taught right now? Right? Go get your sold sign and set up at Starbucks in case people walk in. It's a conversation starter.
Brian: Oh my gosh, that's it. At the school I went to, the teacher just constantly hammered about cold calling.
Brian: He was saying, "You can make all the money you want.
Dean: Yeah, how to make 100 cold calls a day.
Brian: It's not that it's not effective, but it's like you say, it's soul crushing. The guy, just every day was just like, on every one, just talking about cold calling. I'm just looking around at all the people in the room and I'm just like, "You poor guys. You are so," because it's not easy. A lot of them are younger too, so they're just kind of starting out.
Dean: Yeah. You've got to hustle, got to get your hustle on, you've got to be crusher. You've got to be a crusher dude. Make those calls.
Brian: Got to get your name out there. Yeah, that kind of marketing actually, kind of keep me out of it. One of the top producers in the area has, on her website, I'll just share this. This is kind of funny, though, just of the branding marketing that people do. The picture's got to be 25 years old of her when she was like 25, but it's her literally standing on the second story roof of a house, and it says to the effect of like, "Hire me, I'll stay on top of it," or something like that. Like I'll stay on top of your house.
Dean: Yeah. In the video, I don't know if you've seen the getting listings video in GoGoAgent, that's one of those things. It's like, yeah, "Thinking of selling your house? Give me a call, I'll get right on it." That was one of those things, up on the roof, I'll get right on it.
Brian: It's crazy. I'm just so excited because I've always ... I understand the whole list, the thought of building a list and marketing to your list and how that is your asset, and I just never connected those dots to real estate. It's taken me this long to be like, "That's always what I've really wanted to do," and all this stuff is like, "Create a list of all this stuff and be able to do the direct response and do all the marketing," and now that I have this plan of action to do, I'm just really excited. Thank you so much for explaining what you do.
Dean: All very exciting.
Brian: All the stuff you do is amazing, Dean.
Brian: Thanks for all your hard work.
Dean: Keep us posted. I'll keep everybody up to date with what's going on.
Brian: I will for sure. Yeah, the first thing I'm going to do is finish up my buyer stuff and I'm going to put an ad in the Orange Times. I'll keep you posted.
Dean: Awesome. Okay. Thanks for that. Bye-bye.
Brian: Thank you Dean. Bye-bye.
Dean: There we have it, that was a great episode. I love how enthusiastic Brian is. There's nothing I love more than people who are excited about taking this approach of using marketing and building a listing-centric lifestyle business. Even in the conversations that we were having about buyers, they're really all centered around how is finding these buyers going to help the listing side of our business. That's really what is a big distinction there. I think he's going to be a tremendous success. We'll keep you posted on what happens here.
If you'd like to continue the conversation here, first thing you can do is go to GoGoAgent.com. Come on in and see what we're up to here, building an amazing community of real estate agents all over the world that are focused on a listing-centric approach to building a wonderful lifestyle business. We've got all of the programs that I talk about here to help you in reaching all of the fundamental things that we talk about in real estate, getting listings, in multiplying the listings that you already have, in getting referrals, in converting leads, and finding buyers, all the while focusing on building an amazing lifestyle that gives you daily joy and abundant time and financial peace. If that sounds like something that you are into and you'd like to build that kind of a business, then come on over to GoGoAgent.com. We've got a truly free 30 day trial. No credit card required. You can take a look around, see what we're up to, join in. We have a very active forum and you can see everything that we're up to. I'll look forward to seeing you over there.
If you'd like to be a guest on the Listing Agent Lifestyle podcast, you can go to listingagentlifestyle.com, and click on the be a guest link, and I can help you hatch a plan for your business.