Ep011: Connie Schiffert & Sarah Johnson

Welcome to the Listing Agent Lifestyle Podcast my name is Dean Jackson, and today we have Connie Schiffert from Edina, Minnesota just outside of Minneapolis and her daughter Sarah.

This is going to be a fun call, I’ve known Connie for almost 20 years. She been a money making website clients from the very early days, almost 16 years now, and one of the first people to start with the Getting Listings Program.

She has great experience of all of the things we talk about here and has built a really nice business around her money making website. We had a great conversation about all kinds of things including how to narrow an area in a meaningful way.

A lot of times people wonder, "Where do I focus... What area should I choose if I'm going to start a Getting Listings Program?” Or “How do I find my niche if I live in an area where there really aren't any gated communities, or named communities?" So, we had a really great conversation about how to set yourself apart, how to create something that will be compelling to the people who really want the particular thing an area offers.

We talked about some of these incredible ‘non-algorithmic’ searches as I call them.

So, if you’re thinking about how you can identify an area, you’ll really enjoy this episode.

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Transcript: Listing Agent Lifestyle Ep011

Dean: Connie Schiffert & Sarah Johnson

Connie: Hello Dean Jackson. How are you?

Dean: I'm so good. How are you?

Connie: Good. I have Sarah with me here too.

Dean: Oh fantastic.

Sarah: Hi, thank you.

Dean: Hey Sarah. How are you?

Sarah: I am good thank you.

Dean: Well I am very excited. Have you been listening to some of the podcast episodes?

Connie: I have, yes I have, and I feel very honored to be part of this with the likes of Chuck Charlton, and Tony Kalsi, and then there's me.

Dean: Oh yeah. That's so funny. Well listen I was thinking about this, how long have we been together here? Do you remember when we started?

Connie: Well yeah, I actually when I started in real estate I started by referral only, the same month in '98, and so I met you some time after that. Got one of your money making websites probably in 2002 or 2003 I believe.

Dean: I was just going to say, yeah you were very early on there so that's awesome.

Connie: Yeah, right.

Dean: And then you started getting listings right from the very beginning too.

Connie: Almost, almost, yeah. And I'm on a very, very small scale with my getting listings compared to other people. But I know that you like numbers.

Dean: I do, I love it. That's so great, that fills my heart.

Connie: So I did my best to pull what I could.

Dean: Good. Tell me what you know so far.  Yeah let's talk about what you're doing, what's working. What I'm super excited about is that this listing agent lifestyle context is really the thing I've been waiting for and leading towards all of this time. I think this is the, it's the  context that sets the tone, and all of those elements that we talk about, of the listing agent lifestyle, from getting listings and multiplying your listings and getting referrals and converting leads and finding buyers, all of those things, we have all the systems in place to do all of those things. And so what I'm very happy about on the podcast here, is that we get to talk to people who, a nice combination of people who've been with us for a long, long time, and people who are brand new to this, so it's both inspiring for them and it's encouraging for them, and so I really appreciate you being willing to share. And of course you know everything is attached to numbers. So I love that you've got some.

So let's do that. Let's talk about what you know, what you're actually... What the things you're working on, what the numbers you do know, and then we can maybe talk about what we can do to enhance what you're doing, or what the next steps are.

Connie: Yeah that's what we need help with, is knowing what the next steps and enhancing that. I have the money making website, basically for me that kind of went by the wayside if you remember when Google didn't like my particular domain name and-

Dean: I remember, yes.

Connie: So It's set up in Google but I have not utilized that yet. So that's one thing that is just sitting there not doing anything, so that's something that I do want to get up and running again. And the best postcard I've been doing that since 2011, February 2011, so that's seven years, pretty consistent with that. It started out with smaller numbers, right now we're sending to 435 people.

Dean: Okay, wow so you've ramped up. So you're talking about the world's most interesting postcard that you send to your sphere and everybody, your clients and the people who know you, like you and trust you.

Connie: Right. And we have kind of gone back and forth a little bit with that. Some of it, sometimes we're sending to people that maybe they're just... We've just met them and we just added them to the database and we probably shouldn't be doing that but right now we've tried to scale it down to just the people we know, that we if saw them in a grocery store we'd have a conversation.

Dean: I love it and what's been happening? What's been happening so far with this?

Connie: Well the first year that I did it, the first few months I didn't notice any change, and I wish I had the stats, and I could go back and dig them out, but I know that my referrals business has definitely gone up. Our last year, 73% of our business was repeat, refer and referral. Plus we had another 15% that was agent referral. So a good share of our business is that, and I think the postcard has really... I think it really contributes to that.

Dean: Yeah absolutely.

Connie: I've gotten a lot of positive feedback. I even had my cousin tell me she gave it to her daughter so her daughter could take it to her classroom at school and teach her kids off of it. So be careful what you put in there.

Dean: Yeah, right, right, right. That's so funny, but it's... That's the fun thing. Even just the information that's on the postcard itself, just the interesting fun facts are very informative. I learn things every time I read one. I get one delivered to my house. I know a few people who I'm on their list, so they mail me the postcard. But I'm always amazed. There's always... My instruction to the writer who writes those for me was that I want in every issue of that card, I want to at least two or three times, audibly go "Huh, I didn't know that." Or do something that's just like "That really is interesting."

I found it amazing for instance that China has one time zone, and that was fascinating to me. If they were participating like everybody else, the size of Chine would accommodate six time zones, but they only have one national time, which I thought was fascinating.

Connie: Yeah I did not read that one.

Dean: Well there you go.

Connie: Yeah, I've got some catching up to do here. For the listing next door we have done a little bit with, and we've got all set to go, and just need to implement it and go for it on a daily basis, just check the pendings and send them out.

Sarah: That will be part of our questions.

Dean: So the great thing with that, yeah with the listing next door, Tony Kalsi has been kind of the beacon for that. The guy who has executed it as perfectly as you can execute it. Because we had that conversation about sometime even to the point of hiring a runner who goes and delivers the cards on a daily basis to the... He picks, usually three listings a day that have just sold and she'll come and pick up the cards and go and deliver them to the 50 homes around... The closest 50 homes to that house, and on the blog, in the GoGoAgent members blog, there's a whole breakdown of everything of how he executes that.

Including, he has them use an app called Map My Run, or Map My Walk, that they know that it'll show where they actually walk, so he'll be able to see that they actually covered the ground of the 50 homes right around it. And that's their check-in form for getting paid, the evidence that they did it. And that's been a really valuable thing over time. This spring will mark I think four years for this and we'll have another info graphic like we had for his getting listings thing.

And so the ROI on that has been really high. So you're just getting started with that or you've done it sporadically? Have you had any results from that?

Connie: We haven't done anything with it other than we got it set to go, we just need to print it up and send it out so that we'd like to start that this week.

Dean: Okay perfect.

Connie: Or next week.

Dean: What I'll do is... Actually if you just search in the member blog, up in the upper right hand side there's a search function, and if you just put listing next door in there, all the posts about the listing next door will come up, and one of them is a super post about the listing next door, including the add that Tony used to find the runner. So everything is there for anybody to execute it.

Connie: Oh, okay, okay, awesome. Yeah the information I have I got a while back, so I don't know maybe it's not as updated so perfect.

Dean: Well the good news is not much changes about that. That system has been... We've been doing it for that long without really much need to change it, 'cause the psychology is still the same.

Connie: Right, yeah.

Dean: So very exciting. And then you've been doing getting listings as well periodically? Or have you done that consistently all the way through?

Connie: Well periodically and very, very, very small scale. What I started with back in, I guess it was May of '06, so I think you had started it up a few months before that or-

Dean: Right, yeah.

Connie: I don't know. And we don't have the ideal of subdivisions of 1000. And so I chose the largest, closest one that was most familiar to me and it had 179, so that's what I started with. And I did that for about five years. Pretty much doing it consistently, I mean there was a few times that I just didn't get it out. The not so good news is I got appointments, but that was just at the time when the market started going down here and people didn't want to list.

Dean: They were going to lose money.

Connie: Right. Or and then some just couldn't. And so I did that for about five years. The thing that really impressed me about it however was for a 179 size of neighborhood I had approximately 30, 35 people respond that I was sending packets to every month. And-

Dean: Right. So you were dominant. I mean you knew about all the people.

Connie: Right. And then I stopped in I guess it was August of 2011, which I should not have done, but I did.

Dean: Right as the market's turning around.

Connie: Yeah, yeah exactly. But I started up again in September of 2014 and so now I've had it for about three years. Interestingly enough, only a few, not all of the people that were on it before, wanted to be on it again, and several had moved, and are gone. So just been on it for about three years, I have had a couple listings, I have had I think three listings in that area. One decided not to sell and is renting. One canceled and then I sold another one, and actually I've got another listing, one or two that are pre-MLS right now, but-

Dean: Right gotcha.

Connie: So not near the business that I would like, but again it's very, very small scale. One of the things that I did is, and I don't know if I should have been doing this or not, but I did. We sent a just listed, just sold and on the back of it. it has the option for people to get a getting listing.

Dean: Here, the getting report exactly.

Connie: So it's kind of complicated things because I'll get from around say one listing, I'll get maybe one, maybe two people. And so then we have getting listing packets for one or two people in a bunch of different places, and so I'm not sure what to do about that.

Dean: I gotcha.

Connie: But consistently sending to them, none of that has been profitable yet. Then I added three condos. All three of them were because I had listings in them, and I just decided to maximize that.

Dean: Sure.

Connie: What I have found out is that those condos, when I do talk to the people, a lot of them are older, and a lot of them will say "I'm not selling until they drag me out of here, put me in a box." The other challenge is I may have a relationship with some of those who say they want me to sell when they die, however family comes in when they die and takes over, and so it goes in a different direction. They don't know me and they know anything about me, and so I'm just hesitant as to what to do about that.

And then the other one that I have I recently moved this year back in closer to the city, so there was a community out where I used to live, a beautiful golf course community with lovely homes in the midst of a hot seller’s market, they're in a buyer's market. Because there is so much new construction around, they're just the competition, and so I decided I don't want to market to them anymore. It's just too hard to sell in there. And so but I have continued... I've stopped sending the monthly postcards, I'm continuing to send the packet.

Dean: Yeah of course, the ones to the people who've responded. Right, cause that's an asset right?

Connie: Yeah.

Dean: What would be a really valuable addition to that, to any of these, is really a consistent to way to find the buyers for those communities. We talk about this idea of being a market maker, and the way I describe it is what we were doing in Winter Haven here, of running the getting listings program for the lakefront homes and then also at the same time running ads in the homes magazines looking for people who are looking for lakefront homes. So we were generating this buyer list at the same time we're looking and generating this seller list with the getting listings program, and we were able to be a market maker in a lot of situations.

We would know ahead of time who were the people who were going to be selling are, and every time we had a buyer who was starting to look now, we had the ability to connect with those potential sellers and say "Hey Connie, I'm showing lakefront homes this weekend and I'm showing the one for sale on Lake Ruby, but I remember looking up your house when we sent you the lakefront report. 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."

And that's the best kind of follow up call that you could ever make, or the follow up email that you could ever send is evidence that you have the buyers. And that way whenever they think about... At some point it may be that you had done at just the right time, that they'll say "Oh yeah, we were just talking about that. That we're getting ready now to sell. Yeah it would be great if you could tell them about it." That really helps.

Connie: That all makes sense to me. What the part that I'm missing is, because we're in such a large... The twin cities, it's huge here, and running an ad in a homes magazine, how does that work in a large metropolitan area when we're talking about a small community of 300, 400 people?

Dean: Well part of the thing is if we can get you to think a little bigger in terms of categories. So you're in an area... Your area, Chanhassen, right?

Connie: That's where I was, now I'm an agent.

Dean: Okay. So where are you now sorry?

Connie: In Edina.

Dean: Okay so you're in Edina, and describe Edina to me. Say Edina is a suburb of, or a part of the greater Minneapolis area right?

Connie: Right.

Dean: Okay, and what's the population of Edina?

Connie: Do you know what the population is Sarah?

Sarah: It is...

Connie: It's smaller. It's a first string suburb. It's a very influential suburb because they have a very highly rated school district, so homes are more expensive there. And it's very convenient to everything because it's first string suburb, so it's popular but a lot of people can't get into it or can't afford it.

Sarah: It's right around 50,000 for population, and it's a first string suburb.

Dean: Yeah, perfect. So that's good to know right? That's good to have a sense there of what you're talking about. So within Edina, and I love that you're that narrow focused right? That's kind of the thing because the person who's looking in Edina, specifically, is a more focused prospect than somebody who's thinking Minneapolis right? But they don't know where kind of thing. So we've got it down to Edina, but within Edina, now when we break up the target audiences, within Edina, if I remember there are a lot of townhouses right?

Connie: No.

Dean: Not, okay so what is there?

Connie: Mostly single family homes. Some condos but they're old. There are a few town homes but not a lot, and they're old.

Dean: So is there anything that would be a desirable category? When you've got an area with 50,000 homes there's going to be some distinction, even within Edina that is like this is the nice area of Edina compared, more desirable. Even in Winter Haven the market segments that we look at could be, there are lake front homes, there are golf course homes, there are gated communities, there are active adult communities, and there are townhouses, villas. So how would you kind of divide up what's available in Edina?

And you may have lake front homes as well, I don't... I mean are there a lot of lakes where you are? No?

Connie: No, not in Edina.

Sarah: It's not a large area, it's pretty condensed.

Connie: Yeah, it's pretty condensed. What we do have is neighborhoods. And so we actually, for one year now, we've been marketing to one of the neighborhoods, and that neighborhood has about... What is it?

Sarah: 612

Connie: 612 people.

Dean: Okay, so that's a good size yeah. And what's the name of that?

Connie: Lake Cornelia. The lake is very small and kind of meaningless.

Dean: Sure, right, right. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Okay and so you're doing the getting listings program in there now is where you're focused?

Connie: Right.

Sarah: And we'd like to expand, possibly within Edina.

Connie: We could add neighborhoods.

Dean: Yes. And that's great, because part of the thing is with the way that the printing, the way we do it for the postcards, it's all digital variable printing. So we can do one mailing that has... And this is what we do in Southeast Winter Haven, there is a collection of all these gated communities that might have between... Well Valhalla has 50 homes, and some of them Terra Nova may have 250 homes. So there's this collection of 1500 homes in the southeast gated communities that are the most expensive homes, but they are spread out over eight or ten different communities.

So we have eight or ten different versions of the postcard within the 1500 mailing. So everybody's getting... So I would get the Valhalla report and the people in Renaissance get the Renaissance report and the Terra Nova report and the Cypress Point report. So it's all the horoscope effect is working. But we do it all as one mail out. There's no more complexity in that once we get the cards set up initially.

Now then when you're sending the report we centralize the report to be Southeast Winter Haven. So you could do that same thing in... I mean Edina's only 50,000, you could do the report on Edina house prices and be fine. You don't have to go so narrow down to 100 homes where you're doing all these custom reports. That's what your pinpoint price analysis would show.

Connie: Oh, okay.

Dean: Yeah, so you want to simplify as much as possible.

Sarah: Hey Dean, could you simplify even the getting listings postcard, suggest the Edina house prices as opposed to breaking it up by the neighborhood?

Dean: You could, but there's always some level of... That's why I always like to see if there's some way you can categorize. If it were Edina townhouse prices, or Edina lake front house prices, or golf course house prices. But Edina is not so big that... Because it's its own little community you could do the Edina house prices yes.

Connie: But we'd be better off breaking it into neighborhoods right?

Dean: I've always found being more specific is better on the front end. You get people's attention when it's the horoscope effect as opposed to just everybody. You're very kind of, we have this familiarity in a way. The "Oh that's me." That's kind of what we want to trigger. And so we can trigger that with the where you are. We can trigger it with the type of home, or the name of the community.

But when you look at that, what did you call it? What was the lake? Chastane or-

Connie: Lake Cornelia.

Dean: Lake Cornelius. So somebody who lives in Lake Cornelius... Is that a gated community?

Sarah: No we don't have any gated communities here.

Dean: But it's a named kind of community right? They would have a... It's a defined community, with boundaries kind of thing or?

Sarah: No it's not, it's very... No there's not even a sign that says... There's a sign for Lake Cornelia, 'cause that's an actual park within the community, but there's no sign for Lake Cornelia neighborhoods. Some of the people that live in the neighborhood don't realize they live in a neighborhood called Lake Cornelia. I mean that's kind of how it is in Edina. Yeah some people do know.

Dean: You could do that same... Because that's small enough. Edina, 50,000 is kind of like... It's a good sized small town in a way really is what it is. It's not quite a big city, so it has its own... enough if an identity that compared to the broader thing of Minneapolis, that this would be specific enough that you'd say "That's me." That's all we're looking for.

And we have a lot of people that do that just for the town, which certainly you can do. And you can do that on Facebook as well. We've been doing the... You can target homeowners in Facebook just who live in Edina, and that would be a nice appeal for them, that you're saying you're offering the free report on Edina house prices.

Connie: So the ad on Facebook was basically the Edina house prices for-

Dean: Yeah it's identical to the postcard. It's like running the postcard as a Facebook ad. In the forum, right now in the GoGoAgent, the member’s forum, there are a couple of examples of people we're running those ads with right now. And we're going to talk a lot about that at the academy at the end of the month here in Orlando. So we're going to talk more about some of those things too.

Connie: Would that be something to do in place of the postcards?

Dean: Well it'd be in addition to the postcard, but you can certainly... You could do either or, it's just a lead generation thing. What the advantage of the postcards is, is that you can pick the exact neighborhoods and people that you want to target, whereas with Facebook you lose that very specific targeting. But since you're doing Edina itself, that you're going to get people who are homeowners in Edina.

Connie: I'm just thinking of the cost to mail 50,000 postcards is above and beyond right?

Dean: Oh yeah, no, no you wouldn't do the whole town. I mean, you could start out with the best 1000. Where would you want to be? Which 1000 homes would you like to start with? Or you can start with... I look at the Facebook ads as the equivalent of doing EDDM, every door direct mail kind of things, where it's not as targeted specific as addressed mail, but you're kind of in the area. You can get that.

And it's less expensive than sending postcards for sure.

Connie: Right, right, okay. One of the challenges that we've had, and what we really need help with is let's just take Lake Cornelia, 612 homes, and right now we've had 37 of those people raise their hands, so we're mailing to them. And it's been just a little over a year, we have not had one request for an appointment.

Dean: Wow, okay. This is where you start to track, have any of those people listed their homes?

Connie: Yes.

Dean: Yeah so there's some of that right there. And this is where if there's some way that we can... Have you had listings in there that have come from other sources like in-

Connie: No.

Dean: In Lake Cornelia?

Connie: Not in Lake Cornelia. Mm-mm (negative), no.

Dean: And would that be an area that... How would somebody who's looking for a house in Lake Cornelia describe it? What kinds of houses are there?

Connie: Well the prices are anywhere from the probably just under four up to maybe a million.

Sarah: It's one of the lower priced neighborhoods in Edina, so it's more affordable per se for the city, and you get a little bit more space in your home compared to some other areas where you're going to get a tinier home for the money. And there's tear down models happening there too, so a lot of people buy the home because it has good bones and then they're doing massive remodels to them.

Dean: Right, exactly, and the big treed lots and all that kind of stuff right? Mature areas? Is that it?

Sarah: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Well yeah Edina as a whole is mature, yeah.

Dean: So part of the thing is thinking about what could you do... How could we get to where we're triangulating something here? You may have heard on our GoGoAgent call with Brian Kiernan who we're talking about specific types of homes. He's in Orange, Connecticut, which is a small 4,000 homes in Orange. But the main types of homes there are they have either colonial homes or ranches. Those are really the three things. But people who like colonial homes, that's what somebody's looking for. For some people when they say "Describe your dream home." They might say "Oh I know I want a nice colonial... " And so it's attractive that way.

And so we've been testing ads for looking for people looking for colonial homes. And so I look at for Edina, what I'm trying to get is what would be something that would be the most desirable that would somebody would describe to you "I want a home that is this."

Have you seen the things that we've done in Cape Ann and South Beach and Paradise Valley where we go to the iconic best thing in the market, and we do the ads that are "If you're looking for an amazing ocean front condo, read this." Or "Condo in South Beach. Read this." Or "If you're looking for an amazing ocean front home on Cape Ann." And we have the iconic picture of the dream thing or the lake front homes in Winter Haven. What would be the most desirable thing in Edina?

Sarah: Well I'll tell you why my family moved here, was for the schools.

Dean: I was just going to say, and maybe the school districts right?

Sarah: That's number one.

Dean: Is there a particular school that is... Or is it just the Edina school district?

Sarah: Well there's only one high school, so that's the main attraction is the high school. So anywhere in the district goes to that one high school. There are several elementary schools and two middle schools. Now it depends on who you are or what you believe about the value of each elementary school. I know that I have my personal one that I guess that I would send my kids to, but that doesn't... Yeah I don't think it's the elementary school that brings the people in, it's the district, and it's the status maybe? Because people want their... Edina is a strange community.

Dean: Yeah it sounds like it.

Sarah: It's a very interesting place to live. But it's more of, you say, maybe if someone could find affordable homes in Edina, I mean that would be quick bait all over the place.

Dean: Okay so there we go, so maybe that's the thing is that they just want to get a foothold in Edina. That maybe that's the thing is they're... It's not that they're moving there for the most luxurious homes, they're moving there if they can get the affordable homes there. Okay so that's the kind of thing, okay great.

And so what would those be? How would you kind of articulate that for somebody? And where would they be coming from? Where are they now that they want to get into Edina? Where do they want to get there from?

Sarah: All over. I don't know that there's a specific city or anything, it's just kind of anywhere. 'Cause Edina offers convenience as well, I mean in you're in a suburb but you're practically in southwest Minneapolis, which is the most closest you can get without living in Minneapolis.

Dean: And what about the people who live there? Does it skew younger or older? Is there a retirement part of it? Do people move there to retire? They come out of Minneapolis and come to Edina? Or is younger families?

Sarah: It's younger white collar families moving in to Edina and it is older people moving out. Because it's a very established... The home I purchased for example this last year in Edina was, it's a 1953 rambler original owner that we bought it from. I mean literally they lived there for a while and sold it.

Dean: Wow, wow, wow.

Sarah: So that's kind of... The community was well established as a very high end community and now it's turning over, but in order to get into the community you've got to get an old house and then do something to it. That's kind of the idea.

Dean: Okay perfect so-

Connie: There's a lot of tear downs in Edina-

Sarah: A lot of builders.

Connie: A lot of builders are... So that's your competition where you're buying a home there too.

Sarah: There are builders going in and buying a listing and...

Dean: Yeah this is something... Yeah, so we did this with Zach in Atlanta. One of the appeals was people who wanted new homes in mature areas. And that was a very attractive segment of the market, and there's actually an ad example of that on the GoGoAgent, on the members blog that was exactly that format. If you're looking for a new home in a mature area in... I forget what the name of the... Virginia Highlands or some... There was a specific name for it. But that could be Edina for you. That would attract the right people.

Thinking about that again on Facebook as a potential segmented audience. Where there's really an opportunity here right now, especially with the Facebook things is to do sort of very specific non-algorithmic researches for people in a way. And if you think about it that what is very sort of difficult for the computers to do algorithmically is to do a little bit of human filtering. If you're looking at it that how many homes would there be on the market right now that are newer homes that were built in an established area? That have already been a tear down or a remodel or an extensive redo? Is that something that is you would call that a category?

Sarah: Not enough I don't think.

Connie: Yeah-

Sarah: A lot of them are done and then sold already when they've been bought.

Connie: The builder pretty much has kind of control over finding buyers. But the challenge is finding them on our MLS, because you can't do a search for new homes because they're not necessarily new because they start at the same foundation.

Dean: Right. So this is where kind of your inside knowledge, right? That's where that becomes. Let's say that there are... Even if there are ten of those homes right now that are on the market of all of the homes that are for sale,  if you had already... You've done that and you've found the ten best... This is where we can be very specific on this right? We say the ten best new homes in mature areas on the market right now, and offer that list as a pre-done search for people. Especially if that's something that is appealing to them.

If you look at it that what would be... What I started calling it were non-algorithmic searches that people would be, they would describe things that they want that you would have to do a little bit of digging to find. And that's what makes that information valuable. Because if you can tap into what people really want, you've got this sort of monopoly in a way with that information that's desirable to people.

So if you said that, that it's that these are the homes that have already been remodeled or are move in ready kind of thing, that are in the mature areas, that might be one thing. The other thing might be that the opposite of that is that here's the ten best reno ready houses. But if you look at it that these would be candidates of homes that are small homes on mature lots that are dated or really need to be or are prime candidates to be renovated, that, that might be appealing to somebody. Does that make sense?

Sarah: Yeah.

Connie: Right.

Dean: Tapping into the conversations that are already going on in the minds of the buyers for what they're looking for. That's why when we do lakefront homes, that's what somebody's looking for right? So if we already nail that down for them this is a shortcut. Or the same thing with the ocean front homes in Cape Ann, or the view homes in Paradise Valley. So in your area that's where it's really doing the detective work and the analysis to kind of think about, well what is it that people are really looking for that we can describe and do the search for them in a way right?

So Tony Kalsi, another example here of in Toronto, in certain areas where he is, there are homes that are, this is all over Toronto, that homes on 50 foot lots are already pre-approved for dividing into two. You can make two 25 foot lots from a 50 foot lot if you're in the city limits. So those are happening all the time. Builders are buying homes on 50 foot lots, tearing them down and building two homes on 25 foot lots. You understand what I'm saying?

Connie: Right, right.

Dean: And so that alone, when we look at that, that's the kind of thing where doing detective work, doing analysis is a proprietary advantage, because you're the only one who's done that. So when we looked at it, if we took all of Tony's marketplace, there's only so many 50 foot lots. And once they're gone they're gone. So all of the homes in the next ten years that are going to be sort of done like that, all the ones that are going to be bought and divided are going to be one of the x number of 50 foot lots that are available right? And so when you look at it like this for you, if it's the most desirable thing, is what are the... And I don't know Sarah, your rambler that you bought that was original owner since 1953, did they continually update it throughout the years or did you get it and it was a blank canvas, you bring your imagination right to it?

Sarah: Yeah, yeah. We were up against builders that wanted just the lot itself.

Dean: Right, exactly. So if you were to do that, if you start thinking that way and looking and doing a below the surface sort of analysis of what's on the market, that would be a preemptive advantage for you. Because if that's appealing to people, people who want to find a house in Edina that they can completely remodel or tear down, or a builder could do that, that's going to be an appealing thing for you.

And that may involve a physical inspection of driving through neighborhoods and making a note of the ones that are the best candidates for this, but when you do it you've got it. And so it's a little bit of these things that are things that seem like a little bit of effort but could be a big advantage.

Connie: Right.

Dean: And there's an interesting thought here that what you could have an opportunity to do there is that if you just imagine, I'll just talk out loud, how I might approach this if I were coming into Edina and I knew that it's very popular for people. They want to have a new house but they want to be in Edina. They don't want to do any work, they want something modern, and it sounds like there's not a lot of new development going on in Edina, that it's already all developed. And all the development is redevelopment now right? Is that what's happening?

Connie: Pretty much yes.

Dean: So there's not a lot of new subdivisions on virgin land that's being extended kind of thing.

Connie: No, no.

Dean: So all the new construction is happening as in-fill or tear downs or remodels.

Sarah: Correct.

Dean: So on both sides of that, when you kind of analyze this market, on both sides of that you've got people who want to buy something that's already had that done. They want to just buy a move in ready, new home, but they want to be in Edina and they want to be in one of these mature areas right? So those are the desirable things. On the other pole of that you've got people who want to buy something that is the worst house in the neighborhood so that they can add value to it. They want to be the one that does that. Whether it's builder or somebody who's sort of savvy or an investor or that kind of way. They want to buy the one and create that value themselves.

Well the thing that is valuable that you can do, and it's knowable, if you just kind of look below the surface is what are the homes that are the candidates for that? If I look at it, if I took a neighborhood, and I hired somebody or did it myself, drove through an area and looked at each of the homes and I'm looking for two things. I'm looking for the poles here. I'm looking for the homes that have already been renovated and are new homes, and I'm looking for the ones that look like they've not been touched. The ones that need, that would be the gems there, even though they're not on the market yet, and I would be making that distinction.

Because the thing about it is that those are not going anywhere. When you did that inspection you would have that data now for the next five, ten years. This I what I'm talking about, is looking at a ten year domination plan for it. And if I looked at that and I knew then I mark down the address and I have them input that into GoGoAgent and create a map on Google that has a pin over all of the homes that are the best candidates for remodeling or tear downs. That becomes now a valuable thing where you could target those people specifically with a getting listings campaign for their specific situation.

And the same thing with the new homes, and now when you're looking for the buyers, and even on Facebook would be the perfect kind of place for it because you can do kind of those article related type of things, where it's the ten best homes that are remodel ready or whatever. Or the ten best new construction homes in the older areas, where now you're kind of doing qualitative searches for people, that the algorithms can't do. You're kind of already searching out what they want.

And if you're saying that there's... And those are the kind of things where if you start to think about the things that would be more difficult to search. If somebody wants a home with an in law suits, or with a... Do you call them that there?

Connie: Yeah.

Dean: An in-law suite or a place where you could have a separate residence kind of thing, that would be one category of that, that you did a qualitative search on the best ones of those. Or the ten best homes with a detached workshop. The things that you're kind of pre-searching for the desires of people's hearts. What they're really looking for. That might be a really great way to kind of differentiate in a, sort of the way you're describing it, homogenous kind of market.

If you're saying there's not much distinction, it's not like there's... I've tried all the normal things. The lake front homes, there's no golf course homes, there's no gated communities, there's none of those traditional things. But what I'm looking for it always has to come down to, how do we find a distinction?

And that can make a difference because once you get that list... How big are the... Edina's not an urban community right? It's more of a suburban community. You're not like Toronto where the lots are 25 feet wide, is a good sized lot in Toronto. A 50 foot lot is giant. It sounds like in Edina it might be that 100 or 150 foot lots are possible too right?

Sarah: Yeah, well actually in East Edina it is much more urban I guess. It's set up very similar to Minneapolis where you do have a postage size lot, I mean a postage stamp. I mean we literally lived on top of our neighbors in our first house in Edina. And then when you go West Edina that's where you get more I guess land, although that's still laughable, it's not land.

Dean: Right, right, yeah. But is it the kind of thing where if you found a 100 foot lot that it would be automatically approved to split into 50 foot lots? Or would you have to...

Sarah: No I don't think there are any splittable... The city is very strict on everything.

Dean: So that's the thing, yeah, yeah. So that's not the advantage, but certainly what I've described for you about the looking for the outliers of the situation would be a valuable thing. 'Cause if you had a way right now that you could just magically know which of the homes in, if you just say quadrants, or you know certain areas that are more leafy areas than other areas for instance, that those, if you started with those and you had access to, just with the snap of your finger to know, which are the ones that are going to be the tear downs in the next five years, and which of the ones have already been torn down and are already newly constructed, that would be a valuable sort of distinction for you right?

Sarah: Yes. I think there's a lot more potential for tear downs than there are that are already constructed at this point. But I think there are certain parts of Edina that have a lot more, I mean definitely East Edina and definitely east of a certain road.

Dean: Right. So now if you looked at those things and you started doing a getting listing campaign for Edina, just mailing to homes that are the best candidates for tearing down, but you didn't even mention that to them, it doesn't matter. It's still you know that those are the people that are getting the postcards. That will be a valuable list for you. Then if you start making relationships with the builders or buyers, people who are looking for those kind of homes, people who want the new construction in the area because it's desirable, yet you're saying it's not as widely available right?

Sarah: Right.

Dean: That might be... Now you've got the buyers, you've got the sellers, because you know who they all are, and you can then potentially go with the... That could be you’re in to the builders.

Connie: Right.

Dean: That now you make a relationship with a builder and say "Listen, I know you want land. I know you want places to build. Well I've got some that might be a good thing." And if you're saying to the sellers "Listen, I've got somebody who is looking for a home in this area. I'm showing homes right now." That kind of triangulation would really be a valuable thing.

Connie: Right, right.

Dean: I like that idea. Let's kind of build on that in Orlando. You guys are coming right? You're coming to...

Connie: I am. Sarah's not going to be able to come.

Dean: Okay, so Connie you're coming. Sarah you came last year right? Yeah.

Sarah: I did, yeah.

Dean: So Connie, when you come let's explore that 'cause we're going to have one of the days is going to be about the Facebook stuff so I'm going to use that as an example. But if maybe between now and then you could kind of just do some kind of surface kind of research just to kind of see how big of a pool are we talking about here of how many of those homes would kind of fit for that. Just the sense, because that I think could be a really valuable... If that's a trend that's going that we could attach to there could be some really cool things that could come from that.

Connie: Right, right. And I think the most affordable, the ten most affordable homes might be a good thing too.

Dean: Yeah, that too. So that's the kind of thing that when you start to look at that is what are the desires? If we can't narrow it by attributes we can narrow it by desires, and that's really a good thing. Just kind of brain storm what kind of desires would people have. Is there a desire for something that would be suitable for in law suits? Would it be desirable for people to have a workshop or to have some area for that? Or have the big pool? Pool homes is one, entertaining backyards, those kind of things when you start to look at it that would be on people's wish lists kind of thing, that makes a big difference.

Connie: Right, okay.

Dean: I like it. This could be a good case study for us.

Connie: Yeah, and I had a question about the sold watch.

Dean: Sure.

Connie: Is that something we should be encouraging the people that we're already mailing to? Or would that just be another touch-

Dean: Yeah, that is yeah. So you could that as a monthly, depending on how many... Chuck does a weekly sold watch email to everybody, just to show everything that's happened in Milton. And I think you could do that same thing for... I would stop doing it so narrow cast, in this 100 home community, and just focus on here's what's happening in Edina. Because the most important thing is that we have your super signature on each of those right? Where we're saying "Whenever you're ready, here's three ways we can help you." So that people get to ask for your pin point price analysis or room by room review or the silent market.

Connie: Oh right okay.

Dean: It's just another way, another touchpoint of getting those things in front of people.

Connie: Okay, okay. So those same three things that we put in the letter.

Dean: Yeah, always. That's right.

Connie: Okay.

Dean: Yeah. Except now all they have to do is click on the link to go to that page.

Connie: Right, right. And would it be going to that page and getting a download or would it be...

Dean: No just filling out the information. Saying or replying to you yeah. And of course the greatest thing is that in GoGoAgent we use intelligent links, so as soon as somebody clicks on one of the links you can flag their record that will indicate to you that this person clicked on the room by room review link. So now you know that they're interested in that.

Connie: Right, okay.

Dean: They don't even have to do anything, they just click on the link and that sets a whole chain of things into motion.

Connie: Okay.

Dean: Pretty cool.

Connie: Yeah, we just need to get some of these people to call us.

Dean: That's it. And I think one of the great things... This is now it's we need to just start some of the buyers so that we can reach out to them and let them know "Hey we're showing houses just like yours this week."

Sarah: And that is something we have plenty of in Minnesota are buyers right now. So that's not a bad thing to go after, 'cause we can find buyers, we just need to find them.

Dean: Perfect, there you go.

Sarah: So would you say that's our next step then Dean? Is to find...

Dean: I would, I think we've got the beginnings of a wonderful plan for you here. Is to really start taking that whole, the overview of it and start to segment by desires rather than attributes if we can't get the, if there's nothing distinguishable, then what would be the desires that people have that we can wrap around here.

Connie: And then put those ads on Facebook.

Dean: Yeah. You're doing the pre-searches for people, so you're going to strike a chord with people that "Yeah this is the thing. That's exactly what I'm looking for, yeah."

Connie: Okay, like it.

Dean: I like it. Well I am looking forward to seeing you in a couple weeks here, that will be nice.

Connie: Yeah, yeah.

Dean: Get my annual Connie visit. Yes. And then so hopefully yeah that will sink in, you'll probably listen to this podcast again and you'll hear it differently, because you were thinking as we were talking. So it's kind of you'll hear it again and may get even a little more clarity, and I'm excited to see what you come up with.

Connie: Okay, sounds great. Thank you Dean.

Dean: Well that was so much fun and painless.

Connie: Right, right. I really appreciate the opportunity.

Dean: Awesome. Well I will see you in a few weeks.

Connie: Okay, sounds great.

Dean: Thanks Connie. Bye Sarah.

Sarah: Bye, bye, thank you.

Dean: And there we have it. I think you can see the importance of finding something that people are looking for that you can then differentiate by finding what they're looking for. So it's kind of a real triangulation strategy, just like we talked about with Connie and Sarah here. Finding the thing that is going to differentiate you. No matter what it all comes down to matching up what people are looking for with people who have those kinds of homes. So with our focus on getting listings and finding the list of people who are maybe thinking about selling homes that would be great for either tearing down or remodeling and then through the advertising for buyers, finding people who are looking for homes that they can tear down or that they can remodel.

So lots of great insights there. If you want to keep this conversation going you can come to listingagentlifestyle.com and you can download a copy of the Listing Agent Lifestyle book. You can click on the be a guest link and join us on the show so we can talk about building a plan for you and your business. And then if you'd like to be part of the community where we're all focused on establishing these listing agent lifestyle principals you can join us as gogoagent.com. Where you can get a free trial no credit card required, come on and see what we're all about, meet everybody, get involved in the forum and let's all build your listing agent lifestyle together.


ou in a few weeks.

Connie: Okay, sounds great.

Dean: Thanks Connie. Bye Sarah.

Sarah:   Bye, bye, thank you.

Dean: And there we have it. I think you can see the importance of finding something that people are looking for that you can then differentiate by finding what they're looking for. So it's kind of a real triangulation strategy, just like we talked about with Connie and Sarah here. Finding the thing that is going to differentiate you. No matter what it all comes down to matching up what people are looking for with people who have those kinds of homes. So with our focus on getting listings and finding the list of people who are maybe thinking about selling homes that would be great for either tearing down or remodeling and then through the advertising for buyers, finding people who are looking for homes that they can tear down or that they can remodel.

So lots of great insights there. If you want to keep this conversation going you can come to listingagentlifestyle.com and you can download a copy of the Listing Agent Lifestyle book. You can click on the be a guest link and join us on the show so we can talk about building a plan for you and your business. And then if you'd like to be part of the community where we're all focused on establishing these listing agent lifestyle principals you can join us as gogoagent.com. Where you can get a free trial no credit card required, come on and see what we're all about, meet everybody, get involved in the forum and let's all build your listing agent lifestyle together.