On the Listing Agent Lifestyle podcast today we're talking with Jeffrey Higgins from Beverly Hills, Michigan, and Jeffrey is a now a pure residential real estate agent having been a commercial real estate agent for several years.
He's just getting started in an area, and running his Getting Listings program to establish himself in a new, targeted neighborhood.
We talked a lot about this whole idea of selecting an area. How to choose the area, and how to parlay your beginning into something that can grow with the profits you make from the early transactions.
This was a great conversations, and we talked a little about the psychology of why the offers we make in the Getting Listings program are so responsive.
Jeffrey is an idea guy just like me, and he likes to take something that's supposed to be a turnkey solution, and use that as a jumping off point for even bigger results.
I appreciate Jeffrey being able to share, because we can use his story to talk about how we all work through the beginning stages of getting established, before looking at Finding Buyers for the listings you're going to get as a result of the Getting Listings program.
Transcript: Listing Agent Lifestyle Ep039
Dean: Jeffrey Higgins.
Jeffrey: Dean Jackson. How are you this morning?
Dean: I'm so good. How are you?
Jeffrey: I'm doing really well. Doing really well. I'm excited to be on. Thanks for having me.
Dean: I am too. Good to have to. Where are you calling from?
Jeffrey: I'm calling from suburban Detroit. Detroit, Michigan.
Dean: Okay. Perfect. What area in Detroit? I know the suburbs a little bit.
Jeffrey: Okay. I have an office in Birmingham.
Dean: Okay. Birmingham. Great. Love it. I love that we are here to chat. I'll start, as I know you were going through the thought process of kind of picking an area for getting started with your Getting Listings campaign. But can you tell me a little bit about your Jeffrey Higgins story here? Up to this point? So we get a little context? Yeah.
Jeffrey: Absolutely. Absolutely. Yeah. I have been licensed since I was a teenager, and dabbled a little in residential coming through college. I worked for an agent doing some open houses and stuff. After college, I got right into commercial real estate and was there for years and liked it, but I always had a calling. I did real well at it, but I always had a ... kind of residential always at the back of my mind, and-
Long story short, I'm still doing a little bit of commercial, but not much. I transitioned to residential maybe going on a year and a half, maybe two years ago.
Dean: Okay. Perfect.
Jeffrey: And I think for me, getting into this is that, in residential, is that I tried everything. And too much. And really now, in taking a step back and seeing what has worked and what hasn't, I'm all in on the Dean Jackson program.
Dean: Okay. How did we get connected in the first place?
Jeffrey: How did we get connected? I was in Strategic Coach for years and loved it.
Jeffrey: And a friend of mine named Michelle Brosmer was also in my program at Strategic Coach.
Jeffrey: The first time I met Michelle, she was singing your praises. And I started listening to the I Love Marketing, and then I actually was on More Cheese Less Whiskers last year. And then the Listing Agent Lifestyle, that podcast to me was like the complete horoscope effect. Because I just, I listened to every episode. Well, I should say that the most recent one I'm only about halfway through, but everything else I listened to and some of these more than once.
Jeffrey: Yeah. That's how we got connected.
Dean: Great. So here we are. And-
Jeffrey: Here we are.
Dean: ... I remember now that ... the conversation we had about your commercial real estate business.
Jeffrey: That's right.
Dean: Yeah. Okay. That's why it was sounding all so familiar. Now, how far along are you on the Getting Listings path so far here? What have you done so far?
Jeffrey: I joined the community last April, and I started my first oil well in May. And I stuck with it. I was actually trying to load last night into the forum so you could see, but ... see the evolution of the post cards. But I started it last May, and it was a really pretty post card. Nice kids on the front. It was a farm of about 600 people. I got comments from my friends that live in the neighborhood, Jeff, this is so great. It doesn't even look like a realtor. Which I think is maybe part of it, but when you swing so far, yeah, it was not good.
I ran it from May to October. And then just got inconsistent November and December. Didn't do it. Through that, I had 12 leads. Through the end of the year. I was also mailing the jumbo post cards, which I don't think had any rate of return on them, meaning any bigger delta than the smaller post cards.
Jeffrey: I ran the same large post cards, the jumbos, from January, February, March, April, May, June. Similar style. Photo on the front. Back was white. They were not yellow.
In July, I switched to the smaller post cards. Yellow front. Still not exactly like the Dean Jackson, but close. Closer. And I got three respondents. Which, I got caught up into not only reinventing the wheel, but let's reinvent art. Let's just make art that much better, finer, nicer.
And then in August, I sent 'em out a little later, but I literally copied ... I think it was the Georgetown one. I'm almost certain it was. I copied that verbatim. I just copied it, put it right into ProspectsPLUS. I sent it a little later. It only went out last week, and I've already gotten one. And then I'm going to stick with it.
I have been relatively ... Well, this year I've been very consistent about giving the update. What I'm doing is the first respondents get the bound book, and the mid-month updates get really just a stapled version of the actives, pending, and just sold over the last 30 days.
Jeffrey: And I kind of have it down now where it's actually, other than the reports, it's super easy to get out. The post cards are-
Dean: Yeah. Are you sending the Get Top Dollar newsletter and the cover letter that we've got for you?
Jeffrey: I'm sending the cover letter always. Newsletter I've been inconsistent at.
Jeffrey: And I probably should include it, I just, you know?
Dean: Jeffery, let me have a conversation with you about this. What is it about the Jeffery Higgins mindset that leads to we have to change this, or I need to do this this way?
Jeffrey: Mindset wise, I am a, on the Kolbe scale, I'm a 3 3 10 1.
Dean: Okay. And you're a one person. I'm a one as well. I'm a 4 4 10 1. Yeah, that's funny.
Jeffrey: Yeah. I've never met too many ideas I didn't like.
Jeffrey: I don't say it's hard for me, but I'm really just trying to, well, focusing can be hard sometimes, but I think I love the marketing aspect, which frankly I think is one of the many reasons why I was attracted to the residential versus the commercial because it's just more of an area where you can market, and I love that.
Jeffrey: I also love tracking things, so I'm really tracking my stuff. Getting back to your question, in terms of mindset, I think part of it is just maybe is just to set it and forget it and not overthink, well, geez, there's... I just know because I'm friends with neighbors. I'm doing the first oil one. There's a lot of divorce in the neighborhood, so they maybe don't want top dollar. Just looking to sell quickly. Does the newsletter apply?
Jeffrey: In essence I guess overthinking it maybe.
Dean: Yeah. Part of the thing is that the ... Yeah. It's kind of funny. I guess as a type of quick start, we kind of view turnkey kind of ready to go, out of the box, kind of things as a jumping off point in a way. Right?
Jeffrey: Yeah. Yeah.
Dean: You look at it and say, "Okay. That's a good start. Now here are my ideas that we can wrap around this." makes this better.
Jeffrey: I was so eager to run my first Facebook micro targeting ad, and my wife said to me last night. She saw me kind of put my lap down kind of hard and just get up from the table and walk away. She's like, what's wrong? I'm like, I'm not doing it. She's like, what are you not doing? I said, "I'm not going to do this ad. I'm going to actually be patient. There's a 1:00 call tomorrow. I'm going to listen to it. I'm going to get educated on how to run the Facebook micro targeting ads. I'm going to follow the instructions. I'm going to do it. I'm not going to try to do it right now." And that took a while. And my wife she knows me well. She's like, well, good for you. I'm happy about that.
Dean: Yeah. Well, good for you. That's great. I've been super excited about that. That's really the biggest thing that I see, is that we've been running and testing the Getting Listings program now for 12 years, and yeah. The whole thing, it's beyond being able to kind of say, "Wow, that ..." It's not a question of whether it works. We've got overwhelming evidence that it works. Right? And it's just a matter of executing it that way, because every element of it is thought out, that has a very psychological purpose. Right?
And I'll explain some of the things, like the idea of offering somebody the free August 2018 report on Birmingham house prices is ... There's a lot going on even in just those words. Right? The psychological difference between find out how much your house is worth, which is very singling somebody out and personalizing it, so it's implying that I want to know what my house is worth, so people are very hesitant to kind of shine the light on themselves.
And the report on Birmingham house prices is a third party type of thing. Right? The psychology of it is that this report is already done, and I can voyeur in on this and see. What I really want to see is just all the data of what's happening in Birmingham house prices, and I can gather from my own investigation of it what my house might be worth.
That's the way that people look at it. Right? That it feels less revealing, less commitment, less sort of vulnerable, I think is the right word, when I ask for this report that's already done. There's that little bit of psychology that's going on in it. Right?
All we're looking for, the reason that we do that, is that we're not trying to convince somebody to list their house with Jeffrey Higgins at this point. Right? All we're doing, the biggest win that we can have, is to identify people who are going to be selling their house in the next 12 months, 24 months, whatever it is. If we can identify future home sellers ahead of time, that's the big win. Let me ask you, what was the offer on the post card that you were doing?
Jeffrey: It was the same one.
Dean: Beautiful kind of thing, you know?
Jeffrey: Right. The front had a picture of kids together in a park. And it just had the URL on the top, penbrookparkpricereport.com. And on the back, it had the exact same words, but was in white. And again, it worked, but A, it was labor intensive to get out. Much more so than the yellow post cards. And B, it really wasn't needed. Meaning, the bigger one. And now the yellow one that I'm using is exactly like ... I mean, it's yellow on one side. It's Georgetown's. I looked up yours. It's Georgetown's basically model.
Dean: Okay. Perfect. Okay.
Jeffrey: The old post card got 12 results. Well, the old post card got, over a period of 13 months, received 18. 18 people that raised their hand. It has not resulted in any listing appointments yet. I had one older lady call my hotline, and then she canceled and said, "I'm going to call you, though, in the future," and I said, "That's fine."
And the new one, in only two months, has generated two, in one month. And then here this month, I think it's still early, it's already had one. I think the, although, too, it has helped, the results I see, the yellow are going to be better, and I'll tell you that cause it's proven.
And kind of where I'm thinking, I'm not looking to get rid of this one. I'm looking to start another one. I'm going to stay the course with this one.
Dean: Yeah. Right.
Jeffrey: And then the question becomes, what do I do to kind of ... to leverage it? And that might be the Facebook micro ad. There's 500, 600 total homes this area. It's a highly sought after area because people are either ... There's existing home bungalows that are there that are really kind of more lot value, that'll sell for 225, and then there are people that are buying those and building houses that are ... They've been building houses like that for the last few years that are maybe a million, a million and a half. It's a good variety.
Jeffrey: So maybe leverage it through Facebook market. I'm also looking to try to do some market making. I have not started anything in terms of a guide to Penbrook Park home prices.
Jeffrey: What I'm thinking is, it's kind of ... We've got this oil well. I'm not abandoning ship. I'm sticking with it, but is there a way, between the micro Facebook, between market making through email, through a home guide, and through publicizing that on Facebook, is there a way to do the listing next door? Which I've thought about.
Jeffrey: So kind of those four ways to leverage that oil well and then just hang in there.
Dean: Yeah. All of those. That's a great idea. Part of that is the consistency of it. Right? That when you're sending the same post card every month with ... That's sticking even when people don't respond right now. If, in the meantime, they get that post card again, they get the same opportunity, so it's in their mind that, oh, I can get that report. I can get that report. I can get ... Oh, now I want that report. So it's kind of that equity of continuing to build on it.
And then the consistent newsletter and packages, there's something, the way we call the newsletter the Get Top Dollar newsletter, is part of it's sending a message that every time we see it, we're associating you with Get Top Dollar. Right? That's part of the good thing of it. That you're embedding that pattern in people's minds that they see that you are associated with that Get Top Dollar
And then the cover letters, of course, are always leading to the next step, whether it's a pinpoint price analysis or a room by room review or the silent market, so that they're rotating through addressing what are going to be the three motivators that get people to take the next step? Right?
Everything about those is kind of engineered so that when you think about it, what's going to spur somebody into action is they're either going to want to know specifically what their house is worth, or they're going to want to know, what do I need to do to get my house ready? They're probably getting everything prepared kind of thing. And maybe there's some reluctance or delay on that because they think everything's got to be perfect. Or they have some questions around it.
And then the apathy of, well, maybe if you had a buyer, we would sell. Right? That's all part of the way we address those offers so that it's okay for any of those.
And none of those offers, by the way, are saying, "Call Jeff and start packing."
Jeffrey: That's right. Yeah.
Dean: It's not about that. It's about offering valuable service rather than convincing them to list their house with you. Every step along the way is just to engage and to get them into a conversation with you.
I think you're on the right track. Just the consistency. I would suggest trying it for at least one oil well, where you're doing it kind of by the book, I'll call it. Right? That might be a thing where you need to kind of remove yourself from the ability to want to add on to it. Where it just happens in the background for you so that you ... And then to go ahead and try another area to innovate on top of these. To use that as kind of a jumping off point or a way to innovate.
I'd love it if you could figure out a better way, but right now, I'm the undisputed champion.
Jeffrey: Yeah. Well, there's no ... I'm not looking to compete on that. I'm just looking for a real. There's no reward at this point other than, I don't know, we have some deep, deep hidden joy of trying to reinvent the wheel.
Jeffrey: So I think with this one I surrendered two months ago and I finally said, "Okay. Let's make them yellow." And then the full surrender was when I said, "Let's just copy and paste the Georgetown."
And to my credit, I guess credit or not, I haven't redone the report, meaning it's just, it's very basic. I print off the stuff from our MLS. It's fine. The first ones are bound, and then the mid-months are there.
I think, too, with just being ... I have been relatively consistent, meaning kind of the same card, although with a break last November, December. But now I think with that same card, same report format, everything showing up will help. And I'm going to add in the newsletter, and we'll see.
And one of the things I was thinking about here and talking to a friend of mine about is that I had a listing in this ... I have a lot of friends that live in the neighborhood, or some friends. And one of the houses that I had listed was a very unique home that was a small little ranch that the seller added a back and then they kind of went up with a dormer. It was on a slab. It was all, when I say all, it was barn wood as much as you could see.
Jeffrey: And the seller, it was overpriced, and long story short, it took me a long time to sell it. Like, a year. And we had it on and off the market, and I don't know if that helped, but in the end, it ... At least maybe, I'm just ignoring it, but in the end, I don't know if that's really going to make a difference because if they weren't ready to sell, they weren't looking at my sign sitting there forever, and if they were ready to sell, they would've reached out through the post card. I'm not too concerned about that.
Dean: No. After the first little while of seeing it, it goes in the background. So that probably wasn't even ... Yeah. They weren't even conscious of seeing it, in a negative way anyway. But now you'd be a familiar ... You're a familiar name. For sure. And that helps. All of that.
Part of the thing is you ... I think in the forum you had mentioned a ... looking at maybe expanding into a village, a bigger marketplace in that. So-
Jeffrey: Yeah. Exactly. There is just south of Birmingham ... Birmingham's a city of about 20,000 people, and we have ... There's a little village just south called Beverly Hills.
Dean: Yes. I know about that. Yeah.
Jeffrey: And Beverly Hills has got 3,990 houses and condos. Last year counting, there was 220 were sold. Looked like a 6% kind of turn. 5.5, 6% kind of turn. And then average price was 322. And so that was my thought, and that still is my thought, because I like the idea of be able to use-
Dean: I do too. Yeah.
Jeffrey: ... Really, all of the tools, to dominate. From the home guide to the Facebook and the open house to the listing next door. And I gave you that.
One of the things that jumped out to me first, because the goal is to be market dominant, and in terms of investment at this point, I can invest another thousand post cards. And so one thought was to take this investment of a thousand post cards and say, "I'm going to put it towards Beverly Hills." Meaning I'm mailing to, oh, call it about 25% of the city.
Or there is an adjacent village, same ZIP code that has 486 houses. Very affluent. There's probably ... The state of Michigan has six billionaires. There are probably three that live in this little area. The average price point's 500,000 plus. I could just start domination now, meaning it's just, it's Bingham Farms. It's a similar ZIP code, so I feel like I'm not ... They're right next door. They share a border. There is some crossover between the two.
I could start right today and do that, and then ... So I've got 500 post cards, call it, devoted to Bingham Farms, and then the other 500 I could put somewhere into Beverly Hills. What are your thoughts on that?
Dean: Well, what would you say? Is Beverly Hills, would there be, if you were to draw the bell curve of the market prices there, and the median price in the area kind of being the peak of the bell curve, which side of the bell curve would Beverly Hills be on? Where would both of those fall?
Jeffrey: Above. The average price there ... We're probably average today, I'd have to check, but call it somewhere between 250. I'd even say call it 275. With Beverly Hill is 325 and growing. I mean, the market is up. But I think what's most appealing from Beverly Hills is that it still is viewed as relatively affordable to Birmingham, and it still has the Birmingham schools.
Jeffrey: Which was all kind of part of that. So-
Dean: Well, that's great. It's just to the right of the peak of the bell curve kind of thing. Right? So it would just be on-
Jeffrey: ... That's right. That's right. Yeah.
Dean: ... Just beyond the average, which is great. I like that idea. And you would say that, then, Bingham Farms would be further to the right of the bell curve of that. Okay.
Jeffrey: Right. With, for whatever that's worth, very little turn. And Bingham Farms, last year, there were ... There's 486 houses. There are currently 13 on the market. Calendar year 2017 was 29 sales, and the last 12 months there have been 18. It's not a ton.
Dean: Yeah. Right. I would focus initially on ... I just like the scope of this whole Beverly Hills thing in that there's-
Jeffrey: Okay. Perfect
Dean: ... You could parlay to the whole ... Ultimately where we want to get is to the full 4,000. Yeah. So you can start with the-
Jeffrey: Great. So-
Dean: ... You can start with the thousand that you can ... that you've got the budget to start with or whatever. That's fine. And how you pick those. Is there any distinction within Beverly Hills that ... Are there different sections within Beverly Hills? Is it naturally divided up in some way? Or is it all homogenous in the whole thing?
Jeffrey: A little bit. A little bit. There are three subdivisions where homes were built in the '60s. One of those, Nottingham Forest, has 216. Metamora Green has 77 homes. Georgetown has 157. And one of the things that I've been just kind of fascinated with this whole horoscope of facts and your results on the Facebook and just, and seeing that is, one thought I had, Dean, was to say, "Okay, if Beverly Hills is the one, you've got 1,000, let's just do ... Let's just really do Nottingham Forest home prices. Metamora Green home prices." And really do-
Dean: Right. Which are very small.
Jeffrey: ... Do it that way.
Dean: Very micro.
Jeffrey: Yes. Is that too micro?
Dean: It may be. Just in that there may only be two sales in there, or whatever, to really go from. I look at the overall element of it. That the price range, is it similar price range? It's not like one of them is substantially more than the other one.
Jeffrey: No. These are all between-
Dean: They're all kind of-
Jeffrey: They're all 350 to 450, those three.
Dean: Yeah. So they're just geographic distinctions more than sort of price distinctions or-
Jeffrey: That's right. Yeah.
Dean: Luxury distinctions. They're just-
Dean: Oh, I live in this little cul-de-sac, is this one, or this little neighborhood. I get it. Okay.
Jeffrey: There's another ingredient, Dean. Yeah. I'm going to stay away from now, but there's another area that is, it's not officially known as this. I mean, there's no sign. But if you look at every real estate agent's ads, they're all saying ... And it's called West Beverly. In that area, where I would loosely define "West Beverly," where people would know West Beverly. There would be a, I think, somewhat of a horoscope effect. That's 627 homes, and that's probably average, I didn't pull it, but if I had to guess, that's an over four average. Probably a four average.
Dean: Okay. Okay. So I mean, West Beverly sounds like there's more of a distinction there. But what we're looking for is for you to just kind of pick a portion of it that makes sense and then kind of start down that path and get to where this is self-sustaining kind of thing, and then parlay that into now expanding out to 2,000 then to 4,000 and ultimately to get to it.
I don't know whether you've heard me talk about Zipcar. You know about Zipcar? The car rental company. It's a membership program.
Jeffrey: I do. I do.
Dean: Okay. Do you have them in Detroit? You must.
Jeffrey: We don't.
Dean: Oh. You don't. Okay.
Jeffrey: Unless you can-
Jeffrey: Unless you can buy several new cars from one of the Detroit three every year, we don't want you in town.
Dean: That's so funny, isn't it? Right. Right. Right.
Jeffrey: I don't think legally you can even buy a Tesla here anymore. I know that may have changed a little bit, but that's a-
Dean: Gosh. So funny. Wow.
Jeffrey: ... Yeah. It's a little different story.
Dean: One of the things that Zipcars did, which was a really great sort of lesson here, is when they were rolling out, they had these visions of being this big national company, and they were trying to break into a lot of different markets at one point. And Boston was one of those, and what they found was that people didn't have the confidence in Boston that there would be a car available, because they would look on the map and see where the cars were, and it wasn't ... didn't look like an abundance of them.
So what they did was they took all of their resources that they had for Boston, and they focused it in one quadrant of Boston. And they bought and fully subscribed the cars that they would need to fully penetrate that one quadrant of Boston, and then they spent all of their marketing dollars in direct mail to that quadrant to fully subscribe northeast Boston, say. And then when that was fully subscribed, then they rolled over to the next quadrant and fully subscribed that using that same model, and then they rolled out and took the other half.
And so that's what we're looking at there, is roughly, you're looking at let's take West Beverly as the one portion of it and then when that gets going and you do your first transactions, because if you do one, you're talking about, at a minimum, 10 or 12,000 just for the listing side of the commission, where we haven't even talked about your listing multiplier index yet, but just that portion of it is going to allow you then the profit to roll over into the 2,000 homes.
I mean, that's what Tony Kalsey did. Started out with I think 2,000 homes and now is up to 20,000 homes, and all just parlaying from profit. That's the place that we want to get.
Jeffrey: Right. If I were to look at, so let's say, West Beverly is 627 homes, I would have the budget to invest more post cards. I mean, I can do that. I would come up with a URL, westbeverlyhouseprices.com et cetera. Or the other area is a nondescript area, meaning their URL would be just beverlyhillshouseprices, and that area.
Jeffrey: You wouldn't necessarily worry about doing a west ... You wouldn't worry about being too micro here, meaning just if you're going to take over the whole market, just start with one URL-
Jeffrey: Got it. Okay.
Dean: That's right. That's exactly right. And then ultimately then, you want to now at the same time, start the process of finding buyers for Beverly, West Beverly, or Beverly Hills homes. Who's buying? What would be the thing that people would describe about Beverly Hills? What is it about Beverly Hills that would be kind of the attribute or the thing that somebody is looking for?
I'll tell you what I mean by that, is an attribute is like, oceanfront homes or lakefront homes or view homes or mountain view homes or ravine.
Jeffrey: Yeah. I think here, Dean, it might be like people that are moving there, it's kind of viewed as the ... Maybe or another kind of a first tier suburb closer to Detroit. Now you're moving to Beverly Hills because you got married, or you're living with someone, and it's ... You have a great location. You've got great schools if you start a family. Not all of Birmingham, but a lot of Birmingham is 50 by 150 lots. Here you're going to have everything from a quarter to an acre, so a little more room to spread out I guess is part of it. Location's big because it's close to freeways. I think location is really good.
In selling some houses in there, I've seen people that as the market in Birmingham has gone up pretty significantly, they've said, "Gee. I'm here. We need a little more space. Our home's too small. We can go in the same schools and be in Beverly Hills."
I've also seen people that ... I helped a family. They sold a home and then they were able to build a home in Beverly Hills, although there's not much new construction at all really, but they were able to find a lot and build because they just wanted to stay there. And it was schools, but it was kind of everything. It was like, we like the area now.
So I don't know if that answers your question.
Dean: Yeah. I get it. Have you seen the format, the ad that we did for South Beach? Oceanfront?
Jeffrey: I've got it right here in front of me, actually.
Dean: You do? Okay. Yeah. That's really what we're trying to do here is to get to a point where we can be like the Molson Beer ads where we're looking for what somebody's really looking for. I'm just picturing what Beverly Hills looks like from what you're describing. Are there tree lined streets and mature kind of areas?
Jeffrey: There is. I already have, like on the picture that I took for the URL that I set up, is a picture of Beverly Park, and it's this great park. There's fire pits. There's a phenomenal sledding hill in the winter. It draws from just beyond the city. And that's kind of, at least for some.
Dean: But that's an amenity. Right?
Dean: The fine line that we want to draw is not the amenity of it, but the actual thing. Like if you see the examples of what I did with those ads in the Go Go Agent blog, are the view from an oceanfront condo. And the same with the oceanfront ones in Cape Ann. We did that same thing. And with the lakefront homes in Winter Haven, it's that view kind of thing. And I'm wondering, is there ... And a great place to look for this is even on Google Images or on Flickr. Flickr.com. Do you know about Flickr? The photo sharing site?
Dean: Sometimes if you go to flickr.com and you type in Beverly Hills, Michigan, that there may be a situation where somebody has taken, at dawn, or on a ... with mist or something like that, this view down a tree lined street in Michigan, or in Beverly Hills, that would be just the storybook version of what somebody would imagine driving down their street to get to their home. But that's kind of the aspirational image. Does that make sense, what I'm saying?
Jeffrey: For sure does. Yeah. Because it's not an amenity.
Jeffrey: Yeah. Why would you live there?
Dean: It's I'm going to get to experience this. Right. If I lived in Beverly Hills, this would be kind of the neighborhood, the street, kind of area that I would be living in.
And then we can say that with the same headline formula, right? If you're looking for an amazing house on a tree lined street in Beverly Hills, read this.
Jeffrey: I think maybe the challenge here is that some of Beverly Hills is the 50 by 150 lots, or maybe they're 75 or a little bit wider.
Dean: Right. Right. Yeah.
Jeffrey: Some are older subdivisions. Meaning '60s. Some are on an acre and a half, built in the '50s. You get a real wide variety. Some are some newer homes. It's a real wide variety.
Jeffrey: I just, when you were talking there, I got on Flickr. I did what you said here, and what comes up is the first three pictures. One's flowers. Yeah. Flowers. Two sets of flowers and landscape. One is mushrooms near a tree. They're got two shots of the first 10 that are on there of the park. One is actually a picture of the stairs going up to the hill. And then one is just a picture of a house. One is a picture of a fall tree. I don't know. I don't know which way to take that.
Dean: Okay. Well, what you want to do is just kind of, when somebody's considering the ... moving to Beverly Hills, what is it that they've got in their mind? If you just look at ... What we're doing is you imagine the progression of narrowing that people do when they're in the process of looking for a home. Right?
If you look at the bigger context, we want to be in Detroit. Right? We're Detroit centric, so we want to be within 30 minutes or 15 minutes or however, what ring. You're a first tier suburb of Detroit, right? We want to be north of Detroit and we want to be within 30 minutes of there. Narrowing the band to these are the possible areas that we could be in.
And Beverly Hills might be one of those. Right? As they're narrowing it down. And what would be the distinction, or how would somebody either expressly or subconsciously be positioning Beverly Hills in their mind over all the other choices that they would have? So that we can call out to that as the thing, rather than a specific house.
Dean: Right? That's who's going to be attracted to the guide to Beverly Hills house prices.
Jeffrey: I think-
Jeffrey: Yeah. I'm kind of thinking out loud here because there's a lot of different, like I said, a lot of different things. There'd be a lot of reasons that people would be attracted to it, depending on where they're at, the whole. But I think one of it is a little bit of space. There is a river that runs through it. A lot of it is, kind of thinking about this, is trees and the river goes through.
Dean: Are there riverfront homes? I mean, are there homes on the river?
Jeffrey: There are. Not many, but there's one street called Riverside that's probably one of the better streets in the area that has, I don't know, maybe is it 30 homes on the river?
Dean: Okay. And that's all. There are only those 30 homes on the river.
Jeffrey: Yeah. Yeah.
Dean: Okay. So that's not enough.
Jeffrey: ... Yeah. It's not enough to really be exciting. But people do know it. I don't know if this is a powerful enough. I mean, the South Beach condo, the view is, to me, that's just like, it's very logical. It's easy. Right? It's just why you'd want to live there.
Dean: That's what you want. That's what I'm looking for. There it is.
Jeffrey: Right. And then so I'm trying to guess, and maybe with Beverly Hills, maybe it is just room to spread out. Maybe that is pictures of trees. But I don't know if that's compelling enough.
Dean: So you look at what the possible attributes that homes in Beverly Hills have, compared to other areas, like compared to Birmingham. That is what could be motivating somebody. Right? If these are attributes that are non-algorithmic.
This is something that you're going to be speaking to a different part of their brain than just a three bedroom home kind of thing. Or the things that somebody can search the MLS for. You're talking about what is going to be the reason. Right? If a big yard is important, that's going to be more likely that they'll find that than, in Beverly Hills than in Birmingham. Right? It sounds like. And I'm just saying how you go with what you have. Go with the hand that you're dealt there. Right? We want to make that seem the best thing.
Is there a nice mix of newer homes mixed in with the older homes? Like you were saying that ... I don't know whether it was Birmingham-
Jeffrey: Not yet.
Dean: ... Or West Beverly that ... Yeah.
Jeffrey: Yeah. There are a couple areas, Dean, where the east side of Beverly Hills has a lot of ... And it's really not east, west. I'm using it a little bit loosely. Those are the smaller homes. And some of those have seen some knockdowns and rebuilds, but it's not prevalent.
Jeffrey: And there was a couple of areas that were, over the last probably 10 years, there's probably a couple of developments where, maybe 15 years where a developer, they put in 10 homes. 15 homes.
Dean: But not like the tear down type of thing that you're talking about that's going on in Birmingham? Right. Okay.
Jeffrey: No. That's right. That's right.
Dean: The whole purpose for it, and the reason ... and maybe it's enough that there's enough built in motivation that just Beverly Hills is enough. If we were saying, looking on Craigslist, or whatever that somebody would sort by Beverly Hills, or by ... that that would be an amplifier for somebody.
Jeffrey: Yeah. It might be.
Dean: Because we're just too far away to find ... We're looking for a way to find people who are in the process of looking for a home in Beverly Hills without having to have listings to find them. Right? That's the thing.
Once you get a listing in there, then we switch and flip into doing all the listing multiplier things. We've got, now, a real thing to attach to.
Jeffrey: Which I do have one. Which I do have one, which-
Dean: Oh, you do. Okay. Perfect.
Jeffrey: Yeah. Let's segue to that. But I think first is that you ... I think that pointing out that it was the amenity and kind of tap into someone's emotion is key, and I've missed that, even in my first oil well. And I think there's a way.
Like, I just, look here, I just Googled why live in Beverly Hills, Michigan? And what comes up is it's affordable and all these things that are so quantitative and boring that's not going to get anyone excited. It's affordable and commute distances to the hospital. It's all good, right? But it's not going to tap into anyone's emotions, so-
Jeffrey: In some way, I need to think of a photo that is a little room to expand, but it's like somehow I've got to find a way to not offer an amenity in terms of showing that as your photo, but really kind of tap into what is that why. Yeah. I'll have to think about that.
Dean: It makes a big different. I'm glad we had that talk, because now that's the most important thing. When you understand why we're doing things like that. Now you can seek to find, at least from the right context, what we're looking for here.
Jeffrey: Yeah. Exactly.
Dean: Let's talk about your listing in there now. What's going on with that? How-
Jeffrey: I've had it listed for a while. There was an issue getting it from the former agent. But in earnest, I've probably had it since March. It was way overpriced. Couldn't talk the seller into a realistic price. We now have it realistically priced. Had an offer. Fell through for other reasons. Now we're getting ready to take the home off the market, and then relaunch it. I've already got a URL. I've already bought an Easy button. I just haven't ... And Diane's been so patient, like okay, I was so eager to send off for the Easy button, and then I haven't been able to get the information was to Diane, but I will today.
Jeffrey: So that's kind of my next step is with the relaunch is to do the instant open house.
Dean: Okay. Yeah. Perfect. That's where I was going with that. If you look at this now, let's look at the opportunities that we have here to multiply that listing. Have you had enough listings to ... that you've calculated your listing multiplier index already? Or are you-
Jeffrey: Yeah. I'm at 1.1.
Dean: Okay. 1.1. That gives us some room for moving up for you. I'm a real glass is half full kind of guy, Jeffrey. I like to look at the positive side here for you.
If we look at the objectives that we have here, right, with the listing that you ... that the listing gets sold. The first one. That we find the buyer for it. It would be the second opportunity that we have. That we find a buyer who buys another house because of meeting them because of this one. We get the next listing in the neighborhood, and we get a referral from the seller. Those are our five objectives here.
And we need to have a plan for each of those. Right? Some of them work together, right? When we're looking for a buyer on its own, we're really working on the first three opportunities here. Right? If we found a buyer, the house would get sold. If we find other buyers who maybe this isn't the house for them, but they maybe find another one. All of the things that we can do to find a buyer are going to be a really good outcome for us.
Because of the price range that we're in, it may even be that they have a house to sell in Birmingham or somewhere else. Move up to this house. Right? That could be another listing that we get.
Do people move around within Beverly Hills or do they move from another area to Beverly Hills? Where are the people coming from?
Jeffrey: I would say both. I would say both.
Dean: Okay. And so part of it is that we'll be able to get the info box flyer out there so that we can drive people to your instant open house page. And so now, when are you relaunching?
Jeffrey: We're probably going to do it, I'm thinking, run it as an open house with a coming soon, and then kind of put it on the MLS post Labor Day.
Dean: Okay. Perfect. That's good. Yeah. Perfect timing.
Jeffrey: Like a week or so coming soon and then-
Jeffrey: Yeah. And then MLS it on after Labor Day.
Dean: Okay. That's really good. And then have you done a neighbor open house, like to ... Have you done anything to the house, by the way?
Jeffrey: First of all, to list, to show this house, I had to be the one to show it. It's just the seller is very particular. I had to be the one to show it, so there's no lock box, no way. We've gotten kind of past some of that, meaning she will let other people into the house. At this point, I've kind of explained it to her.
She wanted no open houses. I got her to do an open house, and with that, we did have a lot of neighbors. This is a street with probably, I don't know, 40 homes. And probably, I mean, there was a bunch of neighbors that came by. I don't know if I would do a neighbor open house given that, but I probably would do another open house, for sure.
Dean: Sure. Of course. That's going to be the whole point of doing what I call the un-open house, where you're going to do everything we can to drive traffic to your instant open house so that people come and leave their name and their email address, and then we're going to follow up with those people on a Thursday and say, "Hey. Jeffrey. I'm meeting some people at the house this weekend. Would you like to join us?" Just to see if they would love to come and see the house now. Right?
And that is a way for us to not have to sit at the house for four hours just having it open, hoping that somebody kind of drifts in. We get this opportunity to have everybody that is interested in coming come to the house at 2:00 instead sitting there all afternoon, hoping somebody comes by.
Jeffrey: I love that thought. I just love the thought of that. I have not done it yet, but I just love the whole concept of the instant open house. It drives so many of the different levers in the listing multiplier index, and obviously, like you said, you don't have to sit there all day and hope that someone gets that and do these Facebook ads promoting the open house, et cetera.
Dean: Right. And as soon as somebody says yes, then you can do those other things. Then you can do the Facebook things and to let people know about. You expand on it. There's all those kind of opportunities. I'm excited to see what happens with the full execution of these. You've done enough. There are the videos and things from Tony Kalsey about the instant open house and about the info box flyers and doing all of that that you know how to execute that. And I think that's going to be a win for you.
Jeffrey: Yeah. I think it is. And I think, and too, with the way I've kind of looked at all of these things, like I said earlier, I said okay, we've got the area now, which you helped me clarify, which is awesome, in Beverly Hills. Now, how do we do everything towards that? Including, I've got the minimum out to be a premier agent on Zillow, and that's for Beverly Hills. Now how do we take everything, all, instant open houses, the listing next door, and really just focus it all on one area to go? I think is, too, that's exciting. I think that's much better than I've done in the past, which was kind of diluting those efforts as opposed to just being laser focused on one area.
Dean: Yeah. And we didn't even get to talk about your after unit, or your top 150, but have you got that group all organized?
Jeffrey: Yeah. I first sent the cards out in April. Is that right? Yeah. April. It was great. I sent them out. No, March. But for the April post card, I got a response from my mother-in-law, which was classic. She said, "Well, Jeff, how do you know if this stuff is factually true?" And I said, "I got to admit, I did not fact check this. I mean, this could be just like the most, just the most crazy fake news ever, mother-in-law. I don't know."
Dean: Right. Right. Right.
Jeffrey: But I think these are great. I have 226 people on there.
Jeffrey: Some of that might be duplicative because it's going to husband and wife, so brother-in-law, sister-in-law, for example.
Jeffrey: But I've got that. The 226 people. I think, although I don't have any way for certain, that my brother-in-law referred me to his neighbor who had a, what was a rental house, at one point, that he wanted to sell, and we closed on that last week.
Dean: That's perfect.
Jeffrey: Yeah. It's great. And again, I don't know if it came from that, but I mean, I'm counting that as house money at this point.
Dean: Absolutely. That's the part of the thing. But where I was going with that was, have you created the Google Map layer that overlays your top 225? All the people that you have there. Probably 150 households. On there to show how many of them and where they are in Beverly Hills? How many of your top 225 already live in Beverly Hills? Do you have a sense of that?
Jeffrey: Well, I don't know.
Jeffrey: What I did last month, Dean, is that I took my ... I think I was at about 250, and I added some people that I just missed that I should have had on there, and then I took a lot of people off that were just out of town. Out of the area.
Dean: Right. Right.
Jeffrey: So now I've got the list at least somewhat cleaned up, and now I think that's what I'll do, is I'll put it in Google Maps and see how many are there.
Dean: Right. That's going to be our advocate thing. Right? That every time you're showing houses in Beverly Hills, that you'll be able to drive your market maker activities. Right? Is that you'll be able to say, send an email just to those people saying, "Hey. I'm showing houses this week in Beverly Hills or on your street or right around the corner."
And that way you're able to present that for them every time. You got nothing but opportunities, Jeffrey. It's so great.
Jeffrey: Yeah. That's another way to leverage it. Yeah. There's a ton. I know we're coming up here on our hour, but one thing I wanted to ask about is the listing next door, which I tried for the first time yesterday. I did two. I did one for a listing I had, the one I sold, down ... It's not in Beverly Hills, but I wanted to try. I mean, it's so cheap to do just the listing next door or to do the listing next door post cards, and I sent them out. And it was so cheap to do. Well, if it's got the return. If I get one lead out of it for $52 or whatever it was, it'll be worth it.
Jeffrey: And then I did one in Beverly Hills in a ... That was my sale that was last week, and I did that too. I'm going to see how it goes. I'm kind of eager to get those results. And the Beverly Hills one, I've got a different URL, so I can track where that's coming from. As opposed to the post cards I'll be sending out next month.
Dean: Yeah. That's fantastic. I was just talking with Tony Kalsey maybe a month ago now when I was in Toronto, and that ... He's been going the farthest down that path of the listing next door, and so we just passed, I want to say, four years now, with doing that. The listing next door. And he's been running that at a, I think a 14 to 1 ROI on it, including having somebody come to his office, pick up the cards, and hand deliver them around the sold listings. I think he picks about 12 or 15 listings a week to do it. But somebody will come and pick them up and hand deliver them the same day. That he calls it as a runner. Yeah. Exactly. But he's got the whole system really automated. That's what's kind of cool about it.
We've got, just like that infographic that we did for the four year case study for Getting Listings. We're working on one now to show the four years for the listing next door.
I just like that as a concept. The consistency of it is the thing that makes that work. And I think as you're-
Jeffrey: Well, and yeah, it's-
Dean: As you're kind of parlaying, as you're kind of building into your area there, until you get to a point where you're mailing all of the 4,000 homes in there, that that's a good thing to do in those other areas, is to kind of highlight right around the ones that are sold in there. Right.
Jeffrey: So hit the areas where, if I'm mailing to 1,000 to start, hit the other 3,000. Just hit those-
Dean: Yes. Exactly.
Jeffrey: Occasional listings.
Dean: At every time a listing sells in there. Yeah. Every time a listing sells in there. That's the thing.
And then I'm super excited about all the micro targeting things that we've been kind of doing.
Jeffrey: Yeah. I'm super excited for 1:00. I'm very excited to hear this discussion today.
Dean: Yeah. That's going to be a cool thing. And then we've already got the next formats and everything lined out. And what drove it all, or what's driving it all, is we've figured out some really cool ways to really zero in on that audience, even when it's smaller than the smallest micro targeting allowed on Facebook. I think you're going to love it. It's going to be a cool thing.
Jeffrey: I will say, you've done a great job of promoting it, because you threw those phenomenal numbers out there, and there were a couple people on the forum that had kind of asked some questions. You didn't answer them. You gave a nice segue here, although this call will be over by the time this goes out. But yeah. You've done a good job. I'm super excited, because I think it's ... I look at something like the long term. Right? So long term, I'm investing in Beverly Hills, going for market dominance. But then there's then that, like for, in your case, $11 or even the listing next door where you can spend $50. You mail the post cards out.
Jeffrey: Where it's not a lot of money, and it just gives you ability to, even though it's long term mindset, to kind of just help in terms of increasing your market share in an area.
Dean: I agree. 100%.
All right. Well, that was an action packed hour.
Jeffrey: Yeah. That was awesome. That was awesome. Thank you.
Dean: And I'll look forward to talking to you in a couple of hours on the Go Go Agent call.
Jeffrey: That sounds great.
Dean: Thanks, Jeffrey. I'll talk to you soon.
Jeffrey: Thanks, Dean. Have a good day. Bye.
Dean: You, too. Bye bye.
And there we have it. Another great episode. I really enjoy these kinds of conversations. I love talking to people about the mechanics and the psychology of how our programs work. The reason behind the reason that we put certain words and the way that we present things with a very specific purpose in mind. That was a really great conversation. I think that we're going to have a really great followup story here with Jeffrey as he gets established and starts to get some results and slowly takes over Beverly Hills.
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