I think you better pack a light snack for today's Listing Agent Lifestyle episode. It's a long one, packed with greatness!
Today we have another live episode from our GoGoAgent Academy, here in Florida just a couple of weeks ago.
In this session, we're focused completely on Getting Listings. We've got a mix of people in the room from people who've been running the Getting Listings program successfully for several years, to people who are just getting started, so this is going to give you a really great overview of all of the cool things we talk about around Getting Listings.
Transcript: Listing Agent Lifestyle Ep017
Dean: Hello, welcome to the listing agent lifestyle podcast. My name is Dean Jackson and today I think you better pack a light snack because we've got a very long episode for you, but it's packed with goodness, another live episode from our Gogo Agent Academy that we held here in Florida just a couple of weeks ago. And in this session, we're focused completely on getting listings and so we've got a mix of people in the room who are people who've been running the getting listings program successfully for several years. So we've got people who are just getting started. So I think it'll give you a really good overview of all the cool things that we talk about in the element of getting listings. So like I said, pack a light snack and enjoy this episode.
OK, so let's talk about it about getting listings. We're going to spend a whole session here. We'll go an hour and 15 or so. The whole conversation will be about what you're doing with getting listings, what's working with getting listings, any questions that you have around getting listings, any concerns that you have around getting listings at any blocks, any new ideas, anything, and everything within the category of getting listings. That's the whole goal. And what that means is finding somebody who says, “What, I'd like to sell my house. Can you help me?" Just getting to that point, that's what we're focused on. We're not talking about multiplying your listings or marketing your listings yet because that's what we'll talk about next session. This is everything to get somebody to agree to let you help them sell their house. Now, this is a puzzle that I have been working on since the day I got my real estate license because as everybody knows, listings are a major part of being a successful real estate agent.
And we've got to figure out how to get listings is what we're constantly focused on. And so, I started out making cold calls. That was my way of doing it and delivering flyers and doing all these things. Now when I first came up with this idea of trying to figure out a way to systemize the process of getting listings so that other people could do it, so that you could do exactly what I did to make that happen, is when I created the getting listings program. And I talked about it then that my provocation when I was setting it up, my challenge to myself, was what would I do if I needed to get listings and my phone only accepts incoming calls. I can't make any outgoing phone calls. What would I do? Because I knew that if I could create something that depended on ... That the only thing it depended on somebody else to do, the realtors who are using the system to do is, is nothing.
I could get close to a hundred percent compliance on that. That would be, everybody would happily not make any phone calls. That would be something that would be easy to get people to comply with. And so I set to work that, what are the puzzles that have to solve the micro puzzles that lead to that decision of signing the listing agreement with you. And so the first thing came down to, well, I've got to find the area where we want to, where I want to get listings. I've got to then have a way to get people who are thinking about selling their house to raise their hand and let me know that they're thinking about selling their house. Then I have to have a way to communicate and follow up for the long-term with the people who raised their hand because they're thinking about selling their house, knowing that not everybody that raises their hand is going to sell their house right now.
And these lessons, evolutionary lessons in my approach to experimenting with getting listings. I mean, we went all the way through the focus on trying to get people to call right now and to list their house, right? Getting the right now listings. And that led us to doing things like running postcards that said sell your house in 90 days, guaranteed. That was the offer that we would send out and that got people to call, but there are people who are kind of a ready now, but it got fewer calls than when we bumped it up to find out how much your house is worth for free over the phone. So making it feel like they didn't have to have somebody come out to their house right now, they can find out what their house was worth, not that softening it from the message of sell your house in 90 days guaranteed.
And then when we went to the specifics of find out how much your River Oaks home is worth for free over the phone, we got even more response because of the horoscope effect being crystal clear on who that target market was. But then the big breakthrough, the big win came in offering the free February 2018 report on River Oaks house prices. That was the big winner. Today is the control. That's the thing that gets more response than anything for a lot of reasons that have kind of come to see as an element of being able to get the information that they want. Realizing the cycle of thoughts and conversations that go on in the mind of somebody who's going to be selling their house. The first thought, the primary thought, is I think we should maybe look for a bigger house or I think we should maybe move or I might get a transfer or I think we should get rid of the big house, all that stuff's kind of starts percolating.
But the moment that it turns into something more than a passing thought, as it moves into action, the first thing that they want to know as well, how much is my house worth? Like I wonder what we could get for my house. And most people don't have real access to know what their house is worth. And they don't want to talk to a realtor right now. They don't want somebody to come over and because they're not maybe thinking that they're going to do it right now, but they're forming the thought of it, and so offering the free this month report on River Oaks house prices gives me a way to get the data that I need without obligating myself, without feeling. I'm not saying I'm going to sell my house. I'm just curious what my house is worth compared to other homes and that's why we even used those words in the postcard. Curious what your house is worth in today's market.
That's really a thing that makes it okay for people to call and they get this by voyeuring in on information that's already available, right? They're not committing to it. They're not saying, I'm thinking about selling my house in 90 days or 60 days or whatever it is a guaranteed. I don't need you to rush right out here, but it's okay to respond. And now we have the first advantage that we have, which is we've identified somebody who has a much higher propensity to sell their house over the next 12 months, 24 months, 36 months than the general population, and we get a chance to communicate with them on a monthly basis that we're constantly in front of them and acting as their advocate. We're giving them valuable information and that goes a long way and it's so much different even than just sending email updates. I'm talking about sending the physical get top dollar newsletter in somebody's mailbox.
It makes a difference when there's that physical mounting evidence that you are going out of your way for them. That triggers that reciprocation thought, right? That there ... You're all of a sudden in more contact with them over, especially when you do it for a several month period, you are in more contact with them than the incumbent real estate agent that helped them get the house in most cases. Because most people are not communicating with their former clients. They're not in and you now, every month, are sending them the valuable updated information that they feel like they owe you more of an obligation than the realtor that helped them get the house and then abandoned them, never heard from them again. So that's the whole premise of it and we see it work out again and again and again.
We've got all of the components in place. We've got everything for you. And now this, with Gogo agent, with all of the tools, we've got the whole thing. So you can mail the postcard, create your landing page, send them into your auto responder, then print out and mail the newsletters every month. Keep your Google Map with pins of where those homes are as your secret inventory to be a market maker. You've got all of that stuff. And then when people are ready, they will call you up because we've offered them the pinpoint price analysis, the room by room review, the silent market, and people call you up whenever they're ready. And it could take a long time. I mean, when you see the infographic that we show for Tony, the four year case study from September 2013 to September 2017, we show all of what happened there over that whole period of time and it's pretty phenomenal to see that there's a lot of lessons in that.
A lot of lessons to see and I love John saying he puts it up there and it's like, "Come on, Tony, perk me up here. What's the word for me here?" And it's motivating. And that's why when we're all using the same playbook with the same metrics, it's easy to keep up with there. Who's got some experiences, some, some questions, some conversation that we can have about getting listings right now? Remember, we've got the mics too. So we want to ... Everything we're saying, we're going to record. John, do you want to start? Here's the mic right there. I'm going to get this ... I'll find this infographic while we're going.
John: I don't know if this is appropriate to the getting listings cause it might be more about market maker, but I've heard you say many times, the ultimate thing to getting a listing is for me to walk into someone's home and say," I've already got the buyer." Where I'm stumbling, and we can either talk about this now or later, is if I'm doing market maker activities and someone actually calls me and says, "Okay, I'm interested to find out about this house and your secret inventory, or I'd like to see it, I'd like you to make an introduction for me," where I'm having trouble getting my mind around is how am I actually going to handle that introduction or do that and make sure I'm still covered. And if I could back up for a minute.
The biggest breakthrough I've gotten from being introduced to this group, I never realized it, the whole advantage I think everybody has in this room is our whole industry is centered around what's in it for us. at least in Florida. If you read the listing paperwork, it's everything is, to protect us, to protect us, to protect us and that we're going to get paid if this transaction goes through, we're going to get paid. We don't want to do this unless you gonna pay us. We're not interested in talking to you. Let's get paid, so don't even call unless you're gonna sign this first and commit to us. And the vast majority of agents that I'm exposed to think that way. And it wasn't until I got involved with this group where someone, I heard someone say, it may have been you Dean, would you be willing to go out and market someone's house for him and find a buyer for them without a listing agreement? Would you be willing to do that?
And I guess the answer in my mind is yes. And once you approach it from that side and you say I would do that and I act as a market maker. Now I've got a buyer and now I've got a seller. At what point do I introduce paperwork and how do I know these two people aren't going to get together on their own? So that may not be appropriate to this discussion, but I'm trying to figure that out. The actual time when someone says, "Okay, let's go look at 123 Main Street."
Dean: Yeah, let's focus on that when we talk about finding buyers,
John: Okay, no problem.
Dean: That's the foundation of it is finding those kind of buyers.
John: So I'll table that until later then.
Dean: But let's talk about your experience of what's going on with ... Can you do that for me? Thanks. What's going on so far? You brought your actual postcards and stuff. So you're five months into the situation.
John: Right I'm five months in and all I did was copy everything that I saw on the Gogo agent page there. So I'm a shiny object person. I'm really trying to fight that. So I said, "This is the way. I'm going to just focus on doing this and do this." So I made the big envelope, I made the postcard and this is a copy of the monument, the little sign outside the neighborhood and I just put it on the cover of the book for the press report. So that goes out. That brings him in. This is my follow up envelope, which I just copied. This is my book, which is not very impressive. I feel, next to Tom, I feel really insignificant. But I did go and buy glossy paper at Office Depot and I just set my color printer to glossy and I bought one of these staplers that are this long so you can put it in and it creates the book instantly.
And so that's my booklet and then I just take my newsletters and I nag Diane, "Where's the newsletter? I need this month's newsletter." And then the cover letter I just put on some ... I had some old resume paper from really when I was in college. I found it. I said, well-
Dean: It sounds like a guy, "Why I just put this fertilizer and ammonium, this stuff lying around in the basement."
John: It's good paper. So I put the letter on there and then I do hand signs for everyone. So the long and short of it is, I've been mailing 617 of these for the last five months and I've gotten 32 hand raisers that are in my database, which is a little over five percent. And then the biggest question I have is on my market. I literally made this up because I really had no example, but this is my market report and it's got a table of contents on it and basically it just says a list of every new home sold in last 12 months, The number of homes sold by month for the last 12 calendar months, average sales price by month, average days to sell, average sold to ask, and every home currently on the market. And I just send this out every month. I update it one month and I don't know if it's over kill. I don't know if someone's going to take this and go, "Ah, this is kind of interesting one time, but you really need to send this to me every month?
Dean: You don't have to do it every month. So the thing is, what I would do in that kind of situation is that's the good report to catch everybody up, the first email where you get this is everything that has happened in the last 12 months. Then each month going forward, this is what's happened in the last 30 days, so you can actually put pictures of the properties and show what's actually happening. So far you're on the right track.
John: To recap my experience, I just said I'm going to focus on this program. It took me a long time to build this infrastructure just as Dean promised it would. But now I can do it quickly. I've done it enough times that I can produce the envelopes and I can get ... I got my 30 packages out at the front end of this month as my follow-up, probably in less than 90 minutes. Printed them all, did all the envelopes, folded them, got them and got them out. So now I'm at a point where I feel like I can take on another project because I've got this running. I've got the world's most interesting postcard is a piece of cake. I use post cards plus for that and I got this going and then-
Dean: Saying they have postcards plus too.
John: Oh sorry, prospects plus. So I'm now I've got room to fit something else in to this. I don't know that I want to set up another oil well in a neighborhood per se. I'm talking to Dean about another oil well that I'm very excited about, which is a probate and I've got a probate postcard that basically goes out to out of state personal representatives. It's a book and it's everything that you need to know as the personal representative and/or I'm an executor or executives and it's got a table of contents of what you would need to know. And I see that as a very long-term investment. If I were to contact you today that probably that wouldn't come to fruition for a couple of months just because of how probate works out. But I live in Pinellas County, Florida, which is loaded with elderly people and I am very proficient now going into the court records. I have access at home and there are 250 cases a month. There is a world of business there. That's my experience.
Dean: That's cool, that's a neat opportunity. The great thing is that what you're doing is textbook in the right beginning, picking an area, geographic area to a mail. But it can be something that is a category. What we're looking to trigger on that is the horoscope effect. We're looking to trigger that oh that's me. So when you're saying-
John: If you're a trustee and you happen to have real estate, here's what you need to know.
Dean: Right. And that battle is slightly different than going to home owners, but the area that you're doing right now, harbor-
John: Harbor Bluffs.
Dean: Harbor Bluffs. So people that live in Harbor Bluffs that's coming and it's the most interesting thing they're going to get in their mailbox that day. And that's why we always that yellow and nuts. I've spent a lot of time with those guys getting that exact yellow, the color coordination of that and so you're getting at that point where people are raising their hand and that's kind of base camp one of this. Is just get to a point where you can choose the area, mail out the postcard, and a lot of this is really ... It takes the kind of launch effort, like the most fuel that you're going to burn is getting something into orbit, right? Getting out of the atmosphere of it, learning the moves for the first time, finding the postcard, setting it up, doing all those things.
I was talking with Jim yesterday because I wanted to check in on how the status of the new html system is. And so a few months before to be ready, but just to be able to now set everything up and schedule your entire year of mailing the getting listings cards where it'll automatically change the postcard for the month, so you could set it up one time and then each month it'll go out without you even having to think about it. Which is kind of a cool hands off thing. So that's no problem to be able to get that kind of handled, get that set up for us. And then it takes a village just to even get the Internet access here.
Zac: I've got a question about the envelopes. You get the envelopes from prospects plus?
John: No, no. It was again, this is not a complaint. It was tricky to figure this out. It was tricky to figure this out at first. I literally went to the blog and I looked through it. And all this is an 8.5x11 label. That's all it is.
Dean: That's what we use.
John: It's all pasted on top of a-
Dean: Regular envelope.
John: You can see it. Well, that didn't work. But anyway, it's a label. So I went and bought these white envelopes at Office Depot. I went and bought the labels, and then I just stick them in the printer and they pop out and I slap them on. It's a little tricky to put them on, but it's not that hard once you get a little system going. And then same thing, I just literally swiped this from Dean. It's the same thing.
Dean: It's a half label. Success.
Zac: That's awesome you that you get that in the mail. I've just been using normal envelopes.
John: I showed this to my broker, and he was like, "There's no way somebody is not opening this. If you send this to them, they're opening it." And the postcard-
Dean: We called that whole process, the pimp my envelope process.
John: This is the follow-up. So you get the postcard, you go to the url, you say, I want the report. You get this report with their introductory cover letter, the newsletter, the book and the market report. Then every month thereafter you get this envelope with the market report and the cover letter for that month. Except for that, I'm going to compress my market. My follow-up market report.
Zac: And right now, you have 32 people that are getting it.
John: Correct, yeah. And I told us to Dean, this is the first month. Every month that I started, I got eight, 10 people is how it got to where I'm at now. I had got maybe one month with three, but bottom, I'm like 30, mid-thirties somewhere. I don't know the exact number and I've been doing it for five months, so it averages out to six a month. Did I do that right? Yeah. Six a month, so I think that's pretty good. As far as direct mail is concerned, that's pretty good to get five percent.
Dean: This is a typical pattern that I see people run into is that if we look at it, that when we start mailing, this is typically what happens because you've never ... You haven't mailed to this area before, so what happens is that the first month you mail, so we'll go one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, 10, 11, 12. That the first month when you mail, you'll get the most response because they've never seen it before and it's like pent up a pent up interest for this and then the next month you mail, you might get a few less than that one and the third month you may get even less, but then the fourth and the fifth month, you kind of all typically run into a stability pattern where you get kind of the same, um, number of responses all the way around. But what happens is that for new people coming in to something where they're not sure about this, it's something new, they're kind of doing it all online. That what you also see is that the money you've spent, whatever it costs to mail the postcards now, next month you've spent more. Next month you've spent more and people are seeing that their money going out is going up.
The responses coming in are going down it seems like. And when it kind of runs across this point, people abandoned ship or I need to switch to a new area and this area is not working anymore. And so it really struck me is that this is almost like, I know what I bet on is the macro. I bet on the whole thing. I'm betting on the total investment as a long game experience, right? So if I can just get people to think about spending this money this month with a 12 month lag on their expectation of a return on it, meaning that you've spent whatever the first month that you mailed costs, how many are you mailing?
John: 617. It's EVDM route. It's not that big.
Dean: So it's not much.
John: I went with you advice, which was just take what you can comfortably bite off.
Dean: Perfect, so there you go.
John: But once I get ... I mean, ideally, like I said when I introduced myself, if I can get this up and running where it was producing, let's just say five, six, seven listings a year or eight listings a year or whatever. I'd be happy with that. Then I'd move on and it will probably be more, but the turnover in this neighborhood is 10 percent. I did the calculation and the MLS.
Dean: So when I look at it is that now, if I can get people to think about ... What would be a really good way of thinking about this is buying a CD, a certificate of deposit that you put the money in now and it matures in 12 months. So you've invested $500, let's say, in this cd that is going to mature in one year. And let's look at what happens, not go for any measurement of it until that ROI.
John: I'm a believer, that's why I'm here.
Dean: I look at it because when I look at what happens here over the one year lagging of people, it's kind of crazy what can happen, and that you get the amazing, ROIs in that way. But where I see people run into trouble is they're coming into it and trying to day trade versus value trade, like take a Warren Buffet approach to it is buy and pick an area that over the next five years you want to dominate this area. If you could be the dominant agent in that area in the next two, three, five years-
John: It would be unbelievable. I have a dream of being able to run a MLS report on that market in 18 months and see that I've got three listings of six, which would be a 50 percent market share. I'd be very, very happy. The listings in there range from nice price, 375 up to one eight, two five on the water. So it doesn't take too many one eights or two fives. And it's a competitive market. There's-
Dean: This will never work million dollar homes, would it Kenny?
John: That would be great to be able to ... Because I pull a report on the neighborhood all the time and I look at it and it's a very disparate market. There's not ... You would think the big names in our market that Cindy and I both know would be dominating, there from all over the place.
Dean: That's the great thing. Tony Kalsi went to be ... He's the number one agent in his entire MLS district because now emails to the whole district. He's the number one guy from just doing two things: from doing this and the listing next door.
John: But the reason I picked a small market is because I figured out I would rather go for longevity than not. And I think the problem that most real estate agents have is this doesn't produce quick results. S
Dean: Sometimes it does though. Ask Ron Reid. There's the thing.
John: It's a 50-50 hit.
Dean: But we don't expect it too.
Dean: Can we get her the mic?
Speaker 5: Dean, do you find that there is any value with the market report that he's sending out? This one has a range of homes priced at 400,000 up to about two million for him. Have you seen with your testing, if you were to have this a little bit more customized? So maybe the homes that are a half million and under get one report, something like that?
Dean: Well, I think when you're doing an area, like this is all just in that area. So if somebody is in Harbor Bluffs, you want to give them that whole thing and maybe the kind of thing that the $400,000 person wants to stay in Harbor Bluff. But they might want to move up to a bigger house or move from inland the on the water or what I mean?
Speaker 5: Sure.
Dean: But you're absolutely right in that there's always a context that ties it together. And the context for this is Harbor Bluffs. How many homes are in there all together?
John: Well you got two neighborhoods: Harbor Bluffs, and Harbor. So I'm mailing all of these-
Dean: Oh yeah, we need the mic.
John: But 50 or 60 and that's just because those 50 or 60 aren't on the EDDM route. And I order a thousand postcards and I basically throw away 400. So, and second month that I did it, I took and I labeled the remaining 50 houses and sent them and I just don't think that they got delivered because I didn't get anything. And that was right at the beginning. So I just said what, I'm just going to write those 50 houses off and I'm going to do the program. I'm going to send my postcards, I'm going to be consistent and see what happens. And so I'm happy with the return I'm getting out of. If anyone would like to just take a look at this report. I have no fear of criticism. I have no idea if this is completely lame or what. I mean, I just made this up, I said I got to get it done and send it out.
Dean: This is where there's variation is that my preference is to always look. I standardize whatever I can standardize for you guys, like the newsletters and the envelopes and the whole everything about it. Whatever I can standardize, I do, but everybody has a different MLS system with different report formats and access or galleries or whatever. But the basic, the big picture thing of it is that they get every year that's happened in the last 12 months for the initial report. Just like the way you've done it, there's no right or wrong way to do it. And then monthly, the updates of what's going on. Now if you have stats or if you've got a way to have some charts and graphs that make something, but there you go. Perfect. Yeah, that's great. That's exactly it. That's all you need.
John: The only adjustment I'm going to make to this report is I'm going to do it double sided because it's just think.
Dean: But the most important thing is the cover letter and that you're asking, giving them the opportunity to take the next step that you got that pinpoint price analysis out there.
Mike: Excuse me. Question your system more generally the way you teach it, all of these leads coming through email, through the landing page.
Dean: Some of them called the voicemail.
John: I got the url harborbluffshomeprices.com. So when they see it, it's not coming from a realtor in my opinion, it looks like it's coming from a website like Zillow or some other place, which I think is key. Then super tiny mice type at the bottom, I disclose who I am. And then I use my Gogo voice touch extension. So anytime when it comes in, I know directly where it's from. I got quite a few from url.
Mike: What's the general proportion?
John: I would say this is purely anecdotal, 25 percent come, but I have an elderly population here too, so I get a lot of the "Hey, this is Edna Smith and I want the report," and she, she's never going to go on the url, she's going to call. And if I didn't have that set up, this would just go in the garbage if I just relied completely on the url and didn't have a phone number.
Mike: So a lot of the contacts you don't have an email for. I'm just curious for the ones you do have an email, the ones that came via online, have you done anything like a ... Not that, what I'm thinking of is failing me, but the video email things, Bomb bomb or something like that?
John: That's built into Gogo Agent. So yeah, you can do that, but some people try to be tricky. They think they're so smart, like I want to get this report but I'm not going to disclose who I am. They forget that I know the neighborhood they live in. So they say and it says right on the report, I have to mail it to you so they give me their address, like I can't go in the MLS and look them up. So I get this Steve and the last name period and then his address. I'm like, Okay Steve and I and look and see how long has he owned it and I just fill out my Gogo CRM page and now I've got him. So the only thing I sometimes don't have is an email address, but I always have mailing address, which is all I want.
Dean: By the way, his email brings up is Facebook. There he is, Hi Steve.
John: Exactly. But I don't really care. I'd like to have his email, but I've got his physical address and I'm hitting them with direct mail. So that's the thing. I really liked this. I mean I was listening to you talk about the cloud landing and everything, but I'm thinking another thing we're doing is kind of a pattern interrupt using this.
Dean: Absolutely. Their mailbox is much less crowded.
John: We're sending analog materials in what's becoming a digital world. And I think it's effective.
Dean: I do too. So that's great. You're on the right track. I mean, there's everything I would say stay that course. Keep that going.
Kenny: I just have a couple of comments that John made. The non owner occupants have the highest rate of listing with you. So you need to figure out how to get them there. And so you just need to put ... I use this one. You have a half page with your address. I just have this tiny one inch part down here that has the address. And so for the non owner occupant, we'll just put a mailing label over it, put our return address because we don't put a return address on anything, EDDM because I don't want anybody to rule me out because of where I am. So definitely do the non-owner occupant.
We send out just a summary page of the CMA out of the MLS. And one of the things that you need to do is you need to put your phone number on the summary page. We just listed a condo where the seller said, "I've saved all these CMAs you've been sending me, but I had to wait for three more weeks to get the next one because I throw the rest of it away and I didn't know your phone number." So you need to put your name and phone number on the CMA that goes out.
Dean: Listen to Kenny. I'm going to play this voicemail that you sent me, the guy up on the beach from Florida. This is what happens three years. I was just going to say. Watch this. So here's the thing.
Speaker 8: "Hey Kenny. You've been sending me brochures and stuff like that to my house in the area up there. I have a beach house up there at 141 Street Beach and I'm on the road up there near the castles, which we used to own one of them. Anyway, my brother said he might want to sell one, the house up there on the beach. The yellow one at 141 Street Beach. Anyway, give me a call back and I don't know if I got cut off the mailing list or whatever, but I hadn't been getting your stuff lately and had to call another realtor up there to find out and get your number and stuff like that to gets back in contact with you. Anyway, I'm down here in Florida. You send me stuff every once in a while. Anyway, give me a call back if you get a chance. I'm thinking about putting the thing on the market. Thanks a lot. Bye."
Dean: He's like wait. Did anybody see that boat that used to drive by?
John: I did get one of those also, and I've only been doing this for six months. I got one because I was a little behind one month. I usually send them out right in front of the month and I didn't get it out to like the tenth or the twelfth. But on the ninth I got a call from someone in this neighborhood. "Hey, I didn't get my report yet. Where is it?" Left me a message on my voice touch number. I was like, oh good. So I put a little star by that one.
Dean: Of course. Had you ever talked to Chester before? You never had.
Kenny: He got the postcards and he raised his hand and then for four years I was monthly or 10 times a year sending him the update every month. And I went through my list a couple of years ago-
Dean: When you switched companies, I think you probably purged.
Kenny: Yeah, it could've been. Yeah. And anybody that I hadn't heard from, I just dropped him off the list and then a year or so later I get that call from him and everybody went back on the list.
Dean: The Chester fund. They're all coming from the Chester fund. Wayward long time sellers.
Kenny: Chester's paying for all those people. So I've been mailing for seven or eight years and I have found that the niche is huge. I don't use the EDDM. I'm going to look into that. Every door direct. We've gotten real specific because it's so easy to set up landing pages with Gogo that we're doing specific buildings and we just started one, the beach that just the Chet's on. There's a Wingar Sheek Improvement Association it's called. 300 people that are in the ... And I don't have a list of the people that are in the improvement association, but I do have the streets and we went through, I had somebody go through and pull out all the names in the houses from a certain price point up. And this will be the first month that we've done that particular list. But if you want the Wingar Sheek beach report, go to wingersheekbeachreport.com. W-I-N-G-A-R S-H-E-E-K or coffins beach. That's easier. C-O-F-F-I-N-S beach report.com.
And the landing pages on Gogo. And we just took a picture of the beach and put it up there. And I guarantee out of those 300 people, we'll sell a couple of houses in the next year. So that's one thing.
The other thing I noticed because you told me early on that the envelope, that first envelope that goes back, we need to create mailbox excitement and pimp the envelope. I tried the sticker that you did. I tried printing on the envelope. I bought some envelopes. What we've used ... Because it's already done its job once they've asked for it, right? We know who they are, but that first envelope, I use the post office next day, not next day ... Priority mail. Because I can stuff so much stuff into that. I can put this in there. I got a book, I can put anything that I think is going to mean something to them, I can put in there. So actually we don't put the book in there. We put very little about us in the envelope, but we stuff all kinds of things about them in the envelope, that first novel and I think it's 675 now, but it's that first one and I want them to open it.
If you get one of those in the mail, there's no way you're not going to open that. Yeah, you could put a snack in it too.
Mike: I'm trying to think what would be some good candy to put in there?
Kenny: Yeah. Regular white envelope, just a regular white envelope with the label. I have a label that I made up, a bigger label. It's got the label. It's a pimp label. Yeah. It doesn't cover the whole level of. Because I've got somebody else doing it too and it's gotta be simple. If it's somebody that we're paying an hourly rate to do it.
Dean: Mic, mic. You got it.
John: It was a hassle to set it up, but now that it's set up. It's not a hassle to run. Just as Dean said.
Dean: And that's a lot of things. That where part of this stuff, like the easy button as the great thing to help you get through that launch thing to just say, help me get all this organized and set up so that I've got all the pieces and then you can run it through your assistant or through your office whatever. But Kenny's, that's a good insight from someone who's been doing this consistently for seven years to this. Had everything that can happen is gonna happen by the time you've gotten seven years in it, right? You've lost a listing that you hoped that you were going to get. You mail the mail. Then they never called and they sold their houses with somebody else, but then you get the guy who you dropped him off the mail list and he starts chasing you down to, to find you, to help them sell his 2.7 million dollar house. It makes a big difference.
Barbara: Talking about pimping that first mailing. The way I started is the way I still do it because I don't set it and forget it. But what I do is I use a three ring binder. Everything goes in the three ring binder. It's got two pockets. You can put your booklet in there. And I do the priority mail with the splash.
Dean: So you send them the binder.
Barbara: They get the binder, splash label on the front, your Meadow Hill home prices, whatever. And nobody doesn't open a binder, what I mean. You feel it and you go, what the hell is in this? And I went to somebody's house once and she had had a relationship with a realtor. I mean, she told me the name of the person who sold her house. She was one of the top people around. And she said to me, "Anybody who sends me a binder is going to get my business." And I thought, well, Jeez, I buy these at BJ's in quantity. So the binders are pretty inexpensive. They come in a six pack. The whole package costs me under $10 and it's just a really huge wow when they get it.
And that's my whole focus is just to deliver the wow. And then subsequently everything that goes out is three hole punched. Whether they put it in a binder or not, it's their choice, but it's very easy for them to just slide it in that binder, so they're not losing the cumulative data as it moves forward.
Speaker 5: That's a great idea.
Barbara: And it's fun. And my assistant does it and I don't have to freak and touch it. And it makes me perfectly happy. That's something that is my kind of spin on the whole thing.
Dean: Yeah. That's a good idea.
Connie: I have two questions. One has to do with the ... I heard you say an auto responder email for the getting listings. What is that?
Dean: Chuck Charlton, we started doing this when the lists got up over a thousand people, he started supplementing the monthly report with a sold watch email that will go out saying the report is on its way and here's what happens. We would do a video, kind of recapping what had happened in Hawthorne Village or in Milton that month. And so now that's a nice thing to do in addition to the monthly mailing is to do, if you're comfortable doing a video or doing just an email recap. Just doing an email recap even to say that your report is on the way and have it so that it can be downloaded as well is a nice thing. But then you get the super signature items. Here's the three ways we can help you are linkable then, right? You can say...
Mike: I've got a question. So with that, it'd be great if I could.
Dean: Let’s give you the mic here, hang on.
Mike: I can get home. I want to do all this stuff. That's a great idea. What does it look like?
Connie: Okay. So the sold watch, I just, about a month ago, called as many people as I could that had phone numbers that were already receiving the packet asking if they'd be interested in the sold watch as well. And I was very, very surprised because to me, these packets, oh, in today's world, when everything's paperless, who wants a packet? I was amazed at the number of people who said "No, I don't need email, I love the packet, I keep them, I'm hanging on to them." And they were very impressed. So I thought that was a good thing. So the sold watch what you're saying is the only auto responder basically is then going out just before the actual report saying that there is one that the report is coming out as well as the MLS part of it.
Dean: Part of the thing is that now, what I typically encourage is that the phone calls or any phone call that you make is really about I'm showing houses this week kind of thing to somebody in that area, in that building or in that thing. If you can accustom people to only hearing from you when it's adding value or that whenever you do call, it's not, hey, just checking in. Are you thinking about selling or is the time now the spring markets right around the corner, trying to convince people to list their home or even if you're just checking in, it's not really a powerful position to come from in a way. It's awkward and so if you are, you're just busy and you're being the person who is selling homes in their neighborhood and you're showing homes and every time you go to show homes in River Run, you've got three people that responded and you're able to call them up or email them and say, is that the typical market maker message?
Just saying, "Hey, I'm showing houses this weekend to a couple from Atlanta and they're looking in River Run and there's only a couple on the market right now. I remember looking up your house online when I sent you the River Run report, so 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."
Connie: I love it.
Dean: Right. And then they're going to feel like, "Oh, what should we do? Should just think we should let them." I mean, if they're at all thinking about it in the summer or months from now, that's going to be like a thing. It's like a bird in the hand kind of feeling. If you're saying, "Are you ready to put up?" "Well we're, no, we're going to wait for the summer." But if you have an actual opportunity for them, they might consider that and say, "Yeah, what? Yeah, bring them. Bring them by."
Connie: And you would only do this if you actually had a buyer.
Dean: Yes. That's the absolute key. You can't do ... You can't go out and use the royal we meaning your industry. We're working with a lot of buyers that were looking in your neighborhood and justify that by saying, we meaning my colleagues in the real estate world. You're saying you and that way whenever, even if they let that they're not ready, they're going to appreciate that. And then months from now when they are ready, they're going to say, "Well, we better call Connie. She's constantly showing houses in here." And you're seeing in your, by the way, in your monthly mailing, is supplementing the helping people on the move insert that shows the people that you're working with and helping. Oh my goodness, yes, yes. Especially when you're showing that you helped somebody in their neighborhood. That's a really great a thing. We have a section in the actual getting listings. There a called helping people on the move. It's just a little banner for paper, which shows you put a picture of the couple that you help them tell the story. It's just like a testimonial type of a thing that you're inserting, telling stories of all the different people that you're helping.
These are all the supplements to your market watch mailing. So, the baseline thing is every month at least the cover letter, the get top dollar newsletter, the updated info on what's been selling. That's the baseline. You at least get that out there. Then you supplemented with helping people on the move or a matchmaker, being a market maker a type of thing or handwritten.
I think that is a great thing when you look at the ... When we showed the Molson Canadian situation. When we do that, this is a great opportunity. This ad right here. This was the ad that Molson ran in Cosmo magazine. They ran this ad right here that shows the dream Cosmo guy with the sweater and the model looks and the puppies in the field. And then the only reason they ran that ad, because women, Cosmo girls aren't their target market. That guy is their target market. So they ran this ad in men's magazines that said, "The miracle of Molson twin advertising technology. Hundreds of thousands of women preprogrammed for your convenience. As you read this, women across America are reading something very different and advertisement scientifically formulated to enhance their perception of men who drink Molson." And they show the ad and now how to trigger that attraction because they see the Molson and they triggered that attraction on you. Now, if you taking this same thing, that if you show them the ad that you're running for buyers who are looking for waterfront property, now you can do that same thing.
Molson was a great example because they would do things like they would buy the back cover of these men's magazines and put a magazine cover upside down. They would have it be a mock trust fund magazine, or private flyer for private aviation magazine or things that make you seem like you're a sophisticated gentlemen. So whenever you have company coming over, you could flip over your men's magazines and it's like trust fund magazine or flyer thing. And on the inside back cover they would run ads that say, "Think of it as a $90,000 investment in our relationship," and they're saying we like you so much that we're spending $90,000 for you to have something that is gonna make you look better.
So thinking about what their thing is. So when you're saying you're looking, you're sending this report to people who own those homes and you're showing them that you're running these waterfront ads or golf course or lake front or whatever the category is that you're the buyer. And then whenever you're ready, we've got all of these buyers who are looking for these homes and that's coupled with whenever you're showing those homes, now they're associating you with a pipeline to getting my house sold without even putting it on the market. That's what we're looking for. Zac
Zac: He's got to two of the three Ts every ad has to have.
Dean: What's that?
Zac: Terriers, tots, and tits.
Dean: Okay. There you go.
Zac: If you look at him in Cosmo magazine, so two of the three.
Dean: He's got his right there.
Barbara: Can I bring it back?
Dean: Yes, can we bring it back?
Barbara: On the getting listings postcards that I'm sending out on a monthly basis for over a year or so more now. Me, I have to have some change. So what ... Do I lose anything or do I add anything by putting in the offering for the pinpoint price analysis in the postcards one month, the room by room review another month and keep rotating it in with the standard getting listing postcard?
Dean: I like this idea that the first trigger is the report, right? That triggers the thing that you're anchoring that, that what we want to embed is the thought that as soon as I want to know, you want to find somebody who as soon as they want to know what their house is worth, that's an earlier thought than what do I need to do to get my house ready to sell? Or what do I need to do to ... do you what I mean? So I want to get at the entry level-
Barbara: I'm talking about after a year, stick with it, stick with the standard, getting a listing postcard for a year and then because we're still mailing to them and I expect to continue to mail to them, but they're so used to saying, "Oh, it's her again," and then throwing it away.
Dean: They're so used to that. So the question that I always ask is, and this is, I don't have a monopoly on the only way to do something, and so what I would encourage you to do ... What I do have though is I have a track record of being right. Yeah.
Barbara: That's the reason for the question.
Dean: Exactly. But so if you're willing to be a scientist, and this is everything that I do is based on the scientific method. We propose a hypothesis. Your hypothesis is that people are getting bored with the monthly offer of the same report, and that they may be more excited if we made varying offers to them. That's your hypothesis. So how do we experiment to see whether that's correct? What are the inputs and outputs that would have to be present? How do we set up a control situation so we have a thousand homes or 500 homes that you've been mailing to for one way for the entire year?
Then the next year, your experiment is we're going to mail a different offer to those people interspersed throughout to see if we get more response to see what happens and that's how everything ... You have to document stuff. So I encourage and applaud hypothesis and setting up experiments and doing it, but you have to back it up with doing the experiment. And that's part of the thing. If I didn't know that this would work when we first started doing it, the only way you can know that something works over the long-term is to have a track record of sending it in and recording what happens. So Tony was a willing participant in doing something exactly the same way under scientific conditions for four years in a row and turned $50,000 into $550,000. So that's a pretty good outcome from that experiment.
So that's the way I look at it. And I experimented with things like I took an experiment where, with Julie Matthews, we had ... I thought about can I because most people want to condense things. They want to get results now. And so I took a market that was in area of Winter Haven called Janfill Village where Julie had, it was an entry level, market. Like detached homes, the lowest priced detached homes. And we chose those homes and Julie had no listings in there, had no business in there and we mailed every week for 12 weeks in there against the curve of when ... So I look at it that in most markets, they're cyclical where there's a peak time, and a trough time, and then another little peek time. So we took the fall, we started mailing in August and mailed all the way through to November, 12 weeks through and she went from a zero to a 20 percent market share during that time. She got five of the next 23 listings that came on the market in that time.
And what we were doing was we mailed a different postcard every week that was what became the 12 cover letters now. So those 12 cover letters, imagine them as a postcard and we mail that for 12 weeks. I get very few takers on taking that type of a risk because you have to spend the whole amount. You have to spend to do a thousand postcards. You're going to spend seven if you condense it even in the 10 weeks, you're going to spend $7,000 in a 12 week period going all in on that. So when you look at it, I've very few people that are willing to experiment with that, but I think that that would still be a viable experiment,
So right around that year, I had a few people, but then what happened, some people would ... It's very difficult to have people that have the discipline to execute for 12 weeks in a row. Something. Yeah. That was a lot of years ago. That was probably in 2001 maybe that we did that.
Speaker 11: What's your rake in the house money and maybe go jump on that.
Dean: Yeah, right. Yeah. I mean that'd be a thing to experiment. But I look at if most people, you're setting up this oil well that you can imagine putting $500 in a CD every month. If I get people to think about it like that, about making an investment that it's a capital investment rather than an expense, where you're putting $500 a way, you're not having any expectation for 12 months from that. Next month you're doing the same thing and that's going to mature in 12 months. So when you look at it, it's like I said, the difference was between day trading. I don't know, sometimes it happens quickly like it did for you. Sometimes it takes five months. It may take more than five months. That is that way. But I haven't seen anybody that has done exactly the program for 12 months with nothing in return and going into 24 months, it's a certainty.
Zac: What about instead of on the back of the postcard, instead of offering a room by room review, offer a free book?
Dean: So part of the thing is that there is ... One of the things that I've learned about, this stage of the process. When I talk about in marketing, like when I talk in island marketing than when I'm talking to other types of businesses, everything is based on the eight profit activators that I talk about. Now, in real estate, the thing is, you don't hear me talk so much about the eight profit activators because I've already applied the eight profit activators to real estate and packaged up the turnkey solution for it. So I'm not trying to teach you how to figure out how to create what works, but to show you what I've done that works. But if I were teaching the mechanics of it, this is a before unit activity and profit activator one is select a single target market.
So that's where we get that horoscope effect. We're picking city place condos. Now, profit activator two is just about getting people to raise their hand. We just want to turn invisible prospects into visible prospects and we do it in the softest way possible. With sometimes even seemingly no commercial intent behind it. And when you start doing things like now offering people the booklet, the room by room review, and silent market, and all these things on the postcard that is just to answer their need to want to know what their house is worth? You automatically now are convincing. You're moving into the beyond just raise your hand. You're now showing your intention that you want them to sell their house with you.
Zac: I can understand that, but how about a book insider tips for getting the best price?
Dean: Right now you're saying that you're implying that they are going to sell their house. And I'm saying that where we're getting the advantage is putting your selfish need aside and just addressing what their desire is right now, which is, what's my house worth? I'm not saying that I'm going to sell it yet. I just want to know what my house is worth and that feels safe now for me to respond to this. That's why so many people respond. And as soon as you let them know that this is a real estate agent doing this, now you are ... We talk about my podcast is more cheese, less whiskers, right? So the whole idea is that if we use this idea that prospects are like mice and they're afraid and they're skittish. And when I say it, that the two prime directives of a mouse are get cheese, avoid cats. That's the life of a mouse pretty much set up.
That's why they use mice for experimenting because deep down in our brains, the things that make the decisions are much more like a mouse than like the cognitive part of things. We're not making logical decisions. We're making decisions with our mouth sprain, right? And so as soon as if a mouse senses some cheese, you don't need to convince it to try the cheese. If it's on the other side of that wooden door, it's going to chew through the door to get to it. But as soon as it senses a whisker, as soon as it senses a cat, it's gonna run away and it's the same thing. As soon as they sense that this is a real estate agent trying to get me to list my house with them, immediately they're on the defensive now and it hurts the response.
Zac: The name that you were talking about before, starting from day one was the report on Winter Haven house prices right?
Zac: So, you're saying is that does not have the same whiskers connotation-
Dean: No, because it's factual. It's information. So I give you example after example. In Toronto even. So I have a friend, Jay, he helps hockey players with a branding and social media packaging themselves, which seems like a luxury item. But if you have aspirations of playing in the NHL, the best thing that happened to you is to be born in Ontario because that's where they all come from. And so in suburban, in Toronto, in the GTA and even in northern Ontario, all of the hockey programs are viable paths to the NHL and the parents invest thousands of dollars for their kids to play in these pro like programs. And they do that because it's a viable possibility that they could get to the NHL, but they soothe themselves with the thought that at the very worst, plan B is that they'll get a scholarship to a US college.
So now that's going on in their mind. Most parents, I'm already investing. They don't need social media and branding and all that stuff. It doesn't seem like they have a need for it. But what I encouraged Jay to do was put together a directory, the 2018 US hockey scholarship directory and advertise that in the hockey magazines and in the arenas on posters and all of that things. Now parents immediately, that's the prize. So they think I'm going to get that and then they get the directory and what it's got is all the contact information from the coaches, but it immediately brings up the next question and it's the next question that's the state that Jay wants them to be in. The next question is, well, what do I do now? I've got all the information. But then you realize that, well, this alone isn't going to get me the scholarship.
Now what do I do? How do I approach these coaches? How do I make my kids stand out against all the other kids? And then here comes Jay with the idea that here's how to make your kids stand out over all of the other kids that are competing for these scholarships. Hockey scouts are lazy and if you have a player that looks like a star, is branded like a star, has sizzle reels that make him look like a star, and his stats show that he's a star, that makes the job easier for the hockey scout than they have to go in and do all the research to find the stars from everybody else.
Zac: Dean, does he actually present that what's in that information?
Dean: So now the where does he present that information? It's not in the ad, right? Because these are invisible prospects. The only thing that we're doing, profit activator two, and the way we addressed that with the getting listings postcard offering the report is what is the first conversation going on in the mind of somebody who's about to sell their house? The primary thought, the first thought is, well, what's this place worth? I wonder what we could get for this place. That's the thought. Now all of a sudden, they're not ready to list. They're not ready to put their house on the market yet, but they see a postcard that offers the free February 2018 report on city place, house price, condo prices. That's exactly what I'm looking for. Who's doing this? Well, it looks like a public service. I can just get this information without having to talk to a real estate agent, without having somebody try and convince me to list my house right now.
So once they then raise their hand, now we're into profit activator three, which is to educate and motivate your prospects. So now that we know that they are much more likely than the general population to sell their house, now we can feed them all of this information. That's why immediately when we send the report, we send it along with the how to sell your house for top dollar fast book and a cover letter that says, "Here's your report, and by the way, whenever you're ready, here's three ways we can help you," because I know that when they get that report, the next question that they're going to have is, "Well, how much is my house worth?" Even though they've got all the info about the condos, they want to know, what's my house worth, or what should I do to get it ready to sell.
Or if maybe if somebody had a buyer, I could just sell it. So we address that with the pinpoint price analysis and we address the need to fix your place up the room by room review and the silent market is a viable way that we may be able to sell your house without even putting it on the market, but it's when we reveal these things. It's like a three act play. We don't have to reveal the whole play in scene one. It's just setting the stage that they're much more likely to respond if they think it's just getting the information. The parents are more likely to respond.
Another example in Toronto, had a company that did party rentals and what that is? Like dishes, and chairs, and tables, and linens, and all the stuff if you're gonna have a party and I asked him, I said, "What's the jackpot for you? What's the biggest, the best thing that you could get," and an outdoor wedding is as good as it gets for a party rental company. Because you get the tent and maybe another tent and you get all the chairs, both for the service and for the reception and the tables and the linens and the whole thing. It's the most expensive thing you can have, but it's not a sexy thing. When you're running ads, how do you run an ad for a party rental company? Nobody's putting party rental company ads in their hope chest. That's not what's going on in the mind of your customer. So when you think outside of your need to find people who want to rent stuff from a party rental company and really understand who your market is, which is a bride, and you realize, well, what goes ...Let's back this up. Where does the decision start?
So if you say that the entire timeline of a wedding is from the moment she says, "I'll marry you," so you get engaged, until the moment they say I do. And you could argue the honeymoon is all part of that same thing, that's the timeline and that could be six months, eight months, a year, 18 months, whatever it is. That timeline is the timeline. And if it starts with the engagement, where do you think the party rental decision is made? It's probably somewhere down here, right? What's the first decision that goes on as soon as they decided they're getting married? When and where? That's the two things. So now, if instead of a party rental company, you have a directory to 101 great places to have an outdoor wedding in Toronto, which is exactly the kind that they put together, and you advertise that in the bridal magazines and in the Toronto Life and in the newspapers, that's going to be much sexier than how to choose the best party rental company or how to avoid seven mistakes when choosing a party rental company.
That's not sexy or anybody. Ain't nobody got time for that. But you get this goal of now when you've got this directory, now you've got a bride, you've got the attention of somebody before they ever get to the decision. And he was able to turn that into a profit center. You said about college price to run a college pro franchise, and we set up a separate company outside of it called Name Droppers and Neil and I would hire college girls to go out to neighborhoods in the evening and on the weekends, name tag, clipboard, the whole, official whatnot. And we would have them do surveys in the neighborhood looking for people who are doing home improvement projects over the summer and we had a check list of things. Were you going to do a roof, or windows, or siding, or a landscaping, or fencing, or decking, or driveway, or a pool, patio painting? That's the one we wanted. All we're looking for are people who are going to paint their house, but we turned that into a profit center by realizing that it may not just be painting that they're going to do and since we're going out to the house anyway, who else wants to know about what wishes they could have somebody else doing that.
And sometimes we would make more money on referring a pool to the pool company than we would have made just painting their house. And we turned our lead generation into a profit center all by just letting go of myopically focusing on our selfish desire. And so when you realize that profit activator two, the reason that those cards worked so well, the way they work, is because we're not telegraphing the next step. It's like magic. You got to direct people's attention in one way while you're stacking the deck over on this side so that as soon as they turned their attention back here, you can create the magic. I probably haven't shared that before, but that's the reason and why it's just that. The only reason that you're thinking about doing that is because you're thinking that that might get people to respond, but you're bringing the convincing into profit activator two. And I want to focus on the compelling. People are compelled to respond to things that are in their self-interest.
Okay, where's the mic?
Connie: Dean, that's one reason I've heard you say in the past that USPs, like your home sold in 60 days guaranteed, or I'll buy it, which I've used. You're saying that that gives him too much information up front because it presumes they want to sell their house. So while it's okay to maybe have a business card or a marketing piece that says that, use that later in your relationship. Don't come right out front with, with a USP that presumes you're talking to me because you want to sell your house because it puts people off. Is that correct?
Dean: Yes exactly, and what I'm saying is that when you've chosen the target market, they're invisible prospects. You don't know. What we do know is when you pick an area and that there's a five percent turnover, is that what you said?
Connie: Inside 10 or 11 and half percent.
Dean: 10 percent. Yeah. So when you're looking at there's a 10 percent turnover rate, you've picked a thousand homes. We know that 100 of these people are going to sell their house. We just don't know which hundred and all we're trying to do is identify which hundred are most likely to be the ones to sell their house. Now, if you're saying sell your house in 60 days guaranteed, you're going for a very specific small subset of the thousand people. You're going for that group and by going find out how much your house is worth or the report on these prices, you're going out to what I called the minimum viable commitment level. That you're getting these people, the people who are going to sell in 60 days are a subset of the people who want to know what their house is worth. Sorry, Barbara. No, go ahead.
Barbara: Thinking about all this, I'm thinking, what if I were to say choose Oro Valley the Tucson area, it's kind of the highest dollar, but then if I were to invest in doing this exactly like you say, maybe the seven K in 12 weeks and then keep it going and creating a disembodied ... Doing this from the cloud.
Dean: Yes, right.
Barbara: Finding maybe local agents who would be willing to do showings for me.
Dean: Yeah, why not if that's possible. Can you give the mic back there? Kenny just went through an experience just like this.
Kenny: Ghost real estate agents. We started a year ago experimenting with sending postcards to Two Towers in Boston. I don't work in Boston, but I think the whole key to this is identifying the market, the target market and being ...Because I want to be of service to them. It's 3,500 years old. This is a Buddhist principle. It's called exchanging self for others. Don't think about yourself. Think about them and what they want. All right? And so that's why the cards work, that's why people raised their hand because we're thinking like them. And that's so hard for us, for anybody, not just real estate agents. So we started mailing to these two towers thinking that I can sell referrals and that's exactly what we've done. We've only had one so far, but I've had 50 responses that are 50 or 55 out of, how many are there? There are 500 and we mailed them for six months and then I stopped. I just wanted to move on. It's an experiment. I've still got the 50 and we've got one ... They're all getting the monthly. Those 50 are getting the monthly. We've got one listing out of it.
I did it again in another town that we don't work in and we've got four listings out of that. This is Newburyport, Massachusetts. I've got an agent in my office that saw what we were doing and I said, "Well, I'll ..." She said, "Will you teach me how to do it?" And I said, "No, but I'll do it for you. And then I'll sell you the leads, give me 25 percent." And then we've gotten four listings from her.
Barbara: So 25 percent of her commission?
Kenny: Yeah, when it sells.
Barbara: Did you choose those markets because of a specific other purpose or did you target randomly?
Kenny: It was random. Because we have the system in place now to get the cards out and to get the follow-up out, we're just going to do some more of it because it's a machine. It's the flywheel.
Dean: And the great news is, I said to Kenny, it's like we've already proven that it doesn't matter. If you think about it, like on a meta level, that what I've done for all of you is show you how to send out postcards on your own and get people to call you when they're ready to sell their house.
I could do that for you or you could do that for somebody else that wants to. There's no-
Kenny: You've already done it. We don't have to reinvent.
Dean: That's exactly it. That Chester that called Kenny had never spoken to him. All he had done is the thing. Kenny ... I'll tell you something freaky, that the way my mind works. I heard about these ghosts restaurants and I've been following what's going on with AI and I saw online that this new AI photography thing is creating portraits of people that don't exist, but they take a thousand celebrities and they'll take features from all of them and they'll create portraits that are slight different amalgams of people that don't exist, but they're real portraits. And I thought to myself, okay then a couple that with the ghost restaurant situation and I couple that with everything that I have for knowing how to do this and part of my ... I probably shouldn't record this. That's okay, I will though. No, I will record it because I want to be on record. If I ever decide to do it, at least I'll be to point back and say, here's when I said it.
I actually had this fantasy idea of searching popular first and last name combinations. Finding a dot-com available first and last name of real person, having an AI portrait of the persona of that person registering a DBA of the Ashley Jensen team or Ashley Jensen Realty or whatever and running the getting listings program into an area for a year sending the postcards from the Ashley Jennings team, getting it all to the point where people call up and say, "I'd like a pinpoint price analysis." And then whoever we send that phone call to just says, "Oh, I worked with the Ashley Jennings team."
My fantasy was to term a realtor that does not exist in to the top listing agent in a marketplace.
Barbara: It's the Ashley Blue Man Group.
Dean: Yes. And I think I could do that. I think I could do that.
Barbara: So based on that-
Dean: What's the date today? February 23, 2018. This is on record.
Mike: You got the squeeze page.
Dean: Exactly. Let's look at this.
Barbara: Based on that possible disembodiment, how would you find the best market since that opens all markets? Right?
Dean: Yeah, it opens all markets and there's the thing. It's just not, it doesn't matter. How do you pick the best stock is kind of what people are saying when they're trying to day trade. That's kind of a day trading question. But I look at it that you can basically bet on the market that the market over time, you pick any thousand homes and there's going to be turnover in those things and if you pick homes that are $300,000 and up, say you've got eight or nine or $10,000 commission to play with, and if it's 500,000 or six or 700,000 or a million, maybe not get a fancy Southerby's avatar with a name like that ... boy The new marketing director. No. I love this. The marketing director at Churchill mortgage, her name is Whitney Blessington. What a name. It sounds like such a debutante name. That kind of thing to have like a Whitney Blessington team and have her look just like a Southerby.
That's what I'm saying. Yeah. It's to have that and go into a thing and have it be like, "Oh, have you met Whitney?" Have Whitney be the talk of the town, the talk of society. I could totally do that. I'm so excited. This has become my new top passion project. I just spoke it into existence. I'm going to Palm Beach or somewhere like that.
Barbara: There are a couple of people who want to comment.
John: Dean, I pulled it out of my notes that I brought with me how I picked this neighborhood. So I was saying I thought it was 10 or 11, but actually it's not that high. 6.37 percent turnover rate. So I just took your slide out of there, this is off the Gogo agent thing and I just did the math myself. So it's 600. I did this on August 18th. 675 homes, which is out now actually 617 when I took out the ones that are on the route. The average commission is 11569. 43 seller size for 497,000, 43 buyer sides for 497,000. I did the 1.2 that you said at 20 percent.
Dean: 18 percent of people buy a 20 percent more expensive home within 25 miles of where the one they just saw.
John: So at the end of the day, this market that I'm going into is a one ... This isn't gross commissions. 1.2, just round it down. 1.2 in gross commissions out of these 617, 18 homes. So that's how. And the reason I brought it up is that's how he decided what to go after.
Dean: That's just factual.
John: And I look at the slide and I said, "Well I got to pick a market." And the one thing that I was telling Cindy is I did not want to pick the market that was my hometown. I live in a very small town of about 5,000, 6,000 people and I didn't want to go to the grocery store and feel like if I ran into someone and they're like, "Why are you buying hamburger when you should be out selling my house?" So I picked an area that was away from me that I thought was a good market.
Zac: Wasn't there an agent in BRO years ago that had a Whitney Smith realty or something like that? Two fancy memorable names. They didn't really exist.
Dean: Yeah, but that was the broker. That was a broker name. Yes, it was. But that was just as a broker. That wasn't as a real like avatar and this. I can't stop thinking about this now. I'm fascinated by it. I have to do it.
Zac: I'd like to do that. Yeah, for sure.
Barbara: So then I would go and if I chose to sign, then I would go and find realtors that ... Would I look for the best possible realtors?
Dean: See, part of the thing, everybody is doing this, I don't think you would have trouble. You don't need to convince anybody. You don't need to find them in advance. Once you get somebody to raise their hand, you could find a realtor who would take your phone call real quick.
Barbara: But I want to make sure that the best possible agent would be doing this right. So just look for the top performers in that area kind of thing?
Dean: You could absolutely.
Connie: Thanks, I've got another situation in Edgewater waterfront homes. I’ve still got 15 or 20 that we're sending the reports to monthly, but I did a study at the end of the year and for the last 18 months, the whole thing as far as the waterfronts and the turnover rate has really changed. So out of 20 homes on the market in 800 and above market, there are 20 homes on the market and there have only been two sales the last 18 months. So I've got to switch because I've checked and it's been like that.
Dean: Yeah. That's where the diversity of having different places on the bell curve. You're at the top of the bell curve, which is as the tide's high that moves when the tide goes out. That's like slides things. If you're at the front of the slope of the bell curve with as the foundation, that no matter what, as soon as everything shifts, that becomes the focus that doesn't ... It's more immune to the-
Connie: Well, so I've got for my other community, we have a trace house prices and that's doing well. That's doing predictably what it's supposed to be doing and they're between five and six. So that's okay. But remind me again what kind of percentage of returns as far ... What are we supposed to look for? 500 homes and what kind of turnover rate?
Dean: Yeah, there's no magic to say that you need to be this. It's whatever it is. It is what it is. I just say I use the thing to compare one area versus another area as the thing, but once you're in the $500,000 range, it doesn't matter anyway because you've got enough money there that ... It costs the same amount of money to mail postcards to $500,000 homes as it does do $100,000 homes. So if you're looking at an area, the reason I did that comparison was in Winter Haven, the condos have a higher turnover rate, condos and town homes, but they're way less expensive than the lakefront homes, which have a lower turnover rate, but the total yield is so much more because the prices are so much higher. So even though you're fooling, you feel like there's more activity or that you might get more listings here at the end of the day you're not getting as much money.
Connie: Right, right, right.
Dean: That's the way I look at it. So I look at total. The big number that matters is the ROI on the long term that you're buying and holding and profiting from the market rising over time.
Connie: I had a question about going after kind of a vertical. So if you didn't go for a specific geographic area and I know you obviously have your hierarchy, like the most desirable would be obviously very specific. Have you ever had anybody go after something let's say the divorce market. I know you mentioned trust probate. Because, statistically it's the highest turnover. It's going to be highest turnover of any farm that you're going to have. Depending upon which stats you look at, it's anywhere from 20 to 60 percent of the time, that house is going to sell. I guess we're going to do it. It's kind of just another little vertical project we're working on. But would you ... I'm torn between sort of addressing the elephant in the room, like having a very specific type of marketing message. Obviously not like, hey, so you're getting divorced, but something that was more tactful in that vein or do you just kind of not address it just knowing the fact that a sale will occur at some point?
Dean: Absolutely. So part of that, I look at it that those people, there are so many different reasons why somebody might be motivated to sell, but all of those paths, they're just precursors to the next thought, which is, well, how much is my house worth? And all of those motivations, all those things when we do the pinpoint price analysis or the room by room review or the silent market, those are just to address the conversations that people are having in their mind. Somebody might be the kind of person that just wants to get everything perfect before they put their house on the market, so the room by room review is the thing. Some people, they may want to know exactly what their house is going to sell for, so they want the pinpoint price analysis. Some people, if you had a buyer, maybe they would sell, but they're not motivated to put their house on the market yet, but guess what? It doesn't matter because all three of those lead to the same thing.
If somebody calls you up and says, I want to get a pinpoint price analysis." "Perfect. Let me pop by. We'll take a look at your house and see what it's all about. We'll prepare a report, show you exactly what your house is worth." Perfect. "But I'd like to get a room by room review." "Perfect. We'll take a look at your house and we'll go from the curb to the closets. We'll see everything that's up. We've got a whole checklist to show you what to do and not do." Or, "I'd like to talk about the silent market." "Perfect. Let me pop over. We'll take a look." I mean they all lead to let me pop over and we'll take a look. All paths lead to the same thing. We're moving directionally in the same way, but we're doing it realizing different people are going to be motivated in different ways.
So the precursor to I want to know what my house is worth is I want a bigger house or I want to move to this area or I think we're going to move out of town or I think we're going to downsize or we're getting divorced, which all lead to, well, how much is it worth? Which all of a sudden serendipitously free report on Winter Haven Lakefront House prices. Perfect. That's the whole thing. Yeah?
Barbara: I just want to share one thought. There's an Internet service that has listing leads that has actually a very high list of converting into listing. So I mean people inquire, whatever. And the challenge with that is, which is why it takes me back to getting listings and when the probate and the divorce are problematic for me is that it's all over. So what I found was I had to do market reports all over and the time is a killer. So all this beauty and elegance and simplicity is out the door. So that is you gotta ask yourself for the same return if you want an ass beating job. But that was the challenge is that all of a sudden you're not the market expert because you got somebody getting divorced and we live in an area of a million people, so 26 towns just forget neighborhood. 26 towns, so then you start having to go really global or else you've got all these little ... So that's what I found challenging. I mean that's what I would have you consider what that looks like in how scalable it is.
Speaker 3: We're trying to solve that problem. For instance, San Jose's a big city in one point, 2,000,000 people. So the offer could be ... You don't have to drill down as close. Now obviously you're going to trade off some of that specificity, the horoscope effect for the fact that at least you're touching on San Jose and then obviously for the report so we can kind of draw-
Dean: And it's harder. Part of the thing that you lose on that side too is that that's just the mechanism that's causing the sale and it's not helping you pre find buyers. It's not like you can run the ad in Cosmo magazine looking for their dream pin-up thing. Nobody goes out looking for a real nice probate house.
Speaker 3: They're always was so nice. Yeah.
Dean: I don't care where it is, but as long as it's a probate, I'm in. That's part of the thing is that there's just so much leverage in being able to be a market maker, try to corner of the market.
Speaker 3: We've actually kind of addressed that on the flip side because our market is so tight. We've run pay-per-click traffic toured landing pages, so I've actually got ... Getting buyers. If I wanted to, because we don't have anything, if I wanted to go pick a city or an area of San Jose and I could easily spend some money on pay-per-click, drive a bunch traffic to a landing page and now I've got a bunch of buyers that want that area of San Jose. So that part's actually, I'm not too worried about that. That's not cheap, but it's solvable.
Dean: Very good.
Speaker 11: Just want to give a quick testimonial. I have a friend for years she was working with a business coach, a lot of money, $2,000 a month and every time I'd see her I'd go like, "Dean's still out there." And she's an old BRO person, you know who she is. And her husband found out how much he was paying for this coaching, which he thought actually 12,000 a year. She didn't tell him the full amount and things had gotten a little tight, she's in a high end market and so she stopped doing that and she said to me "Oh my God," I said, "Just follow and just bite the bullet and do it and don't change anything and just go out there and do what I've been talking to you about for over 10 years." And she did. And this is a neighborhood ... She's in her neighborhood. She is known in her neighborhood. She probably sells the most in her neighborhood, yet she did that first mailing and she called me up and she's like, "Oh my God, nine people raise their hand." Second month, she got six more and a listing. So I mean, when you're talking about changing it up, getting bored, trying to fix something that isn’t broke, just don't do it.
Dean: Yeah. I couldn't have better closing thoughts than that. That's what I'm trying to say. Yeah.
Mike: I have a couple questions. So I've been sending out this card faithfully. Now I'm onto my third month and on the flip side-
Dean: What do you got on there?
Mike: Well in Canada, we don't have to have the blank address. I took the graphic that shows the map of my area, I blew it up and on top I put Markhamvillageprices.com and on the bottom I put Mike Englis Broker, Keller Williams referred realty comma brokerage, which is a legal requirement and really this is not an ad for real estate, it's an ad for reports. So I think I could even lose that. So my question is from a marketing point of view, does it make sense to take those whiskers right out of the picture?
Dean: Well, I don't know. That's kind of a gray thing, I would say. I look, and I always encouraged people, you need to do whatever is legally required to do. You are a realtor. But that's not hurting you in any way. And I think that's part of the thing.
Mike: I want to get into people looking at this and not seeing a name and thinking, oh this is oh, this is somebody playing tracks. It's really a realtor I know and I don't want anything to do with it. I don't want that.
Dean: No, no, not at all. This is great.
Mike: But I still want to put it out there.
Dean: No, this is awesome. That's a nice a solution for it because you don't have to have anything on the back. It's very good. And that's the thing. I always look at the well you need to put this on there and I would say to people there's a difference between required by law and desired by your broker. And there's a difference. Kenny knows what I'm talking about. This is required by law in the thing, but your broker sometimes may desire that you've got the company colors and the logo and that name big and all of that stuff, but you have to kind of assert yourself on what's legally required.
Mike: The yellow is arresting in a pattern disrupt. Does size enhance the results?
Dean: I normally will send like those sizes. Because of the yellow, it stands out. Now you're doing the bigger. When you're doing the DDM, you get the bigger space. But I look at that as I haven't seen the bigger postcard gets more response, but it certainly stands out. Yeah, absolutely.
Mike: Stands out in the stack. People might not see it or whatever.
Dean: Okay, so here's my 60 second best case scenario for the getting listings element of the listing agent lifestyle is I've worked very hard to get to a point where you can circle on a map and say this is where I want to get listings and we can do everything else for you. That's really what I look at doing that we can do that for you. We've got the capability to show you how to do everything yourself. But I look at it that I can do all of this for you. We can get your mailing list, we can do the postcards. We can set it all up, set up your newsletters, get all the assets created for you. Very soon we'll be able to schedule the full year of mailings. It takes just a little bit of time to get it all staged. But then to execute it, we can prepare your monthly newsletter or cover letter and where all you have to do is insert the market data, the updates for the month, which is really just involving printing out the galleries and putting them in the envelopes.
And that, with a set it and forget it mindset of rolling and then just continual reinvestment starting with the baseline and then when you get the house money, as we call it, reinvesting your dividends and going from 500 to 1000 to 1200 to 2000, to wherever you're going to land, think big. You might as well if you're playing with house money, it's just parlay. Just keep reinvesting and it's a great investment. I've never ... Compared to anything else and this is all part of this idea of the way that we think about money, with financial piece as one of our objectives with the thing that people often feel like this financial piece of seeing this big bank balance set off in the future for our future selves because we're in an industry that we've been taught that you got to store stuff away for lean times.
You've gotta be prepared so that you can weather a storm or whether a downturn and I look at it that it's such a good investment to take that capital investment money and invest in identifying people who are going to be selling their house at some point in the next two years, three years, four years. That's going to be a big advantage for you that's going to pay way higher dividends than any mutual fund or any stock or anything that you could pick. And so just that shift from thinking about what you're doing as an expense to a capital investment that you're going to yield on, where they're often going to track you down to pay your dividends. Like the guy that chased Kenny, it's like such an advantage.
When we listened to Chuck Charlton episode of the listing agent lifestyle podcast, he talked about that he hasn't mailed into the area in for the last few years because he got up to a point where he's got 1700 people that have responded and that still yields 10 listings a year without him spending any more money mailing the postcards. But he mailed for 10 years, so he's retired from them. It's a great thing.
And there we have it. Lots of really cool stuff going on in there. It's amazing to see the people in that room, some of them have been running the getting listings program right from the very beginning, from the first time we did it in 2006. And it's always amazed me how wonderful a program getting listings really is for getting listings in a way that you can literally set it and forget it. And so if you want to see what we're all about, you can join us over at Gogoagent.com. You can get complete access to the total getting listings program that everybody was talking about in this session, and no credit card required. Free trial, 30 days. Come on in and see what we're all about and hopefully you'll be able to be a long-term member of our community and maybe join us at next year's our Gogo Agent academy. So that's it for this week. Have a great week and I'll talk to you next time.