Today on the Listing Agent Lifestyle podcast we’re talking with Monsieur Henri Cousineau, from Montreal. Henri’s a real estate broker focused on leasing office space in the Montreal market.
He's been a realtor for a very long time and online since 2000! We talked about some of the evolution during that time, and focused in on the chain from getting eyeballs to his website, then people leaving their name and email address, then bonding with them over time, and finally meeting with them face-to-face. We discovered the weakest link for him is in getting people, once they come to his site, to leave their name and their email address.
We focused on that because from there, he's really got a great business dialed in and has been very successful in helping people once he’s able to be in contact with them.
This is a really good episode with a lot of transferable takeaways. You're going to enjoy it.
Transcript: Listing Agent Lifestyle Ep041
Dean: Monsieur Cousineau?
Henri: Yes, hello. How are you?
Dean: I'm good. How are you?
Henri: Fine, thank you. I listen to a lot of your podcasts but never had the chance to talk to you.
Dean: This is wonderful. Here we go. We've got a whole hour to do nothing but hatch evil schemes.
Henri: Good, good.
Dean: It's all very exciting.
Henri: Yeah, I'm ready.
Dean: Tell us what's going on for you. How do I pronounce your name?
Henri: Cousineau, Henri. Henri Cousineau. My first name is Cousineau, which is like Henri and my family name is Cousineau.
Dean: Okay perfect. You are in Montreal?
Henri: In Montreal, yeah. I've been in real estate since 81, which is about 37 years.
Dean: You've seen some changes.
Dean: All right, so tell me what's going on? What are you focused on and what can we chat about today?
Henri: Okay, well first I went on the internet for my business in 2000. A friend of mine showed me how to build some websites so I built a website and then I went on vacation and as I was on vacation, I got an email asking for office space, so I told the lady that I was on vacation and if I could get back to her when I went back. As I went back in Montreal, she decided to use my services so I did the transaction and I realized how the internet could be good for me.
Dean: This is okay. This is working out, yeah.
Henri: Yeah, so about 100, 150 domain names, so I got all of them and everything related to Montreal. At the time, I was the only one online. Still today, some brokers don't even know their email addresses by heart, so I built about 18 different websites with different keywords and I've never done a single cold call since I'd say 2001.
Dean: Right, oh that's awesome. That's nice when you can get people calling you.
Henri: Yeah, fantastic. They had become lazy so in three years ago, I started to realize that I should collect email addresses. I never did that, so I built some landing pages and then after that, I listened to a few podcasts on marketing and you educated me and that's it. I've been doing, my business is very good. I've been on AdWords. It was good the first six months, but after that, the quality came down.
Dean: Well it's been and it's gotten more competitive and it's more expensive for sure. What are you, are you doing AdWords right now?
Henri: Yeah, I stopped in July. I stopped AdWords because I was spending more than I got in and now, about a month ago, I started again but lower, I'm not spending much. I used to spend about $750 a week and now I spend about $300 a week.
Dean: Okay, and what do you get for that right now, so you're spending about $25 a day or so or $30, $30 a day? What do you get for that? How many visitors do you get to your site?
Henri: I get about 50, in just a second, I have all of that, since the beginning on AdWords, I got 10,000 clicks, 10,618 clicks and to almost 4 million impressions at a cost of $35,718, so at a certain time, I was making a lot of money with AdWords for the first three months. I don't know what happened. I never changed my ads.
Dean: It's a marketplace. I started out on that and then they turned into Overture and they were bought by Yahoo!, and Yahoo! kind of controlled the pay per click game until Google came out with their AdWords product and then that dominated, but early on, just like you said, it was very few people in the real estate world who were online. Now what you're dealing with is every, you know you've got Zillow and Trulia and realtor.com and all the big companies. They're all bidding for the same terms that you are, so it's very much more competitive in that arena and of course Google has gotten more and more stringent in the way they apply their policy guidelines. When I ask you, so you're spending this money right now, let's talk about the $350 or whatever that you're spending now, how many clicks do you get for in a week or how you measure it that way. Are you paying a lot?
Henri: Mainly I started again about 15 to 20. My cost per click is $1.50.
Dean: Okay, so you're spending $1.50 per click, which is not bad. Now at that level though, here's what's important is that we're looking at this and I started out with a basic formula for this and this is still the same formula for internet marketing is it's eyeballs plus emails plus heart equal faces, and that's what we're looking for is to actually meet people face to face. Each of these is an objective that we have to reach. We have to have a strategy to get eyeballs on your website. Now you're using AdWords for that and you're getting clicks for $1.50 so it's costing you $1.50 to get somebody on your website. Now here's where it's interesting is that what's on your website has no impact whatsoever on your strategy to get them to your website. Does that make sense? They don't know what's on your website. It was just the words that you used in your AdWords to get them there. What does your ad say? What's the offer that you're using to get them to come to your website?
Henri: Just a second, I'll pull that up. I don't remember by heart.
Dean: The thing is that, the AdWords is that there's no branding. There's no image. There are no pictures. It's just literally, it's a level playing field. The only variables are the words that you choose and how much you're willing to pay to get in the ranking.
Henri: Yeah, my opt in stands, it's the same thing as my AdWords ad.
Dean: Your AdWords says-
Henri: December 2017, oh no sorry, that's because I started some buildings for sale also. It says that office space, I stopped the English one. It's in French but if I translate it, it says that office space for lease, Montreal. See list of available spaces.
Dean: Here we go. Montreal, yeah, office space for lease, Montreal. Is that your headline?
Dean: Okay, office space for lease Montreal. See list of properties available. Is that what this is?
Henri: Yes, yes.
Dean: What's the URL that you use for that?
Henri: Montreal, just a second.
Dean: The reason I ask it because the way, Google has made some changes now that maybe give an advantage. Here I'll share a strategy with you but you can use, yeah.
Henri: It's location-bureau-Montreal, sorry my ad says Bureau in the end, so it's office space for lease Montreal, see list of available office space according to your area.
Dean: Yes, I like it. Then the URL, you've got a long URL, location-
Henri: With the keyword, location-, it's not my best website but it's the one that I could set in the ad because a lot of them are long tailed.
Dean: Yeah, I got you. This is great. You're good at this game. What I was going to say was that since Google switched to all center line, now there's no right hand column ads. They've moved everything into the center line, that the URL display line allows you to have so many more characters than what most people use and that really does lend itself to long hyphenated domain names as the display URL, which gives you almost another headline, another line of text that you get so you're using that wisely. I see why you're getting your clicks for $1.50, so far so good. Once you successfully get somebody to click on your ad, which you spent $1.50 to do, now they come to your landing page and how many people out of 100 visitors will leave their name and their email address. That's the only thing that matters now.
Henri: Okay, I got 257 sales since the beginning, 257-
Dean: Let's isolate for a specific amount of time here, so you're saying like if we look in the last-
Henri: Since six months.
Dean: The six months is coming, yeah, hello.
Henri: Yes hello.
Dean: Oh sorry, okay I must have unplugged something there. I have to, in the six months, it's the same ad and the same landing page for the whole six months?
Henri: Yeah, that's it.
Dean: Over that six months, you got, you were getting the clicks for $1.50 and you spent how much in total?
Henri: No, sorry before that, before July, I was paying up $3.
Dean: I'm not worried about, I don't care about that. I want to talk about this most current one. I want to thread it all together in a cohesive thing so we're comparing apples to apples to apples.
Dean: Since July, you've been getting clicks for $1.50 and you've had how many clicks?
Dean: Okay, so that's been overall, you said, right? That's not in the last six months.
Henri: No, sorry. I'd have to go.
Dean: Here's how we measure. The reason that I'm asking is do you know then how many names and email addresses you have?
Henri: Yes, total or just from AdWords?
Dean: Yeah, just from AdWords in the last six months.
Henri: I'd say about half of that.
Dean: About 100 and?
Henri: Maybe 110.
Dean: Okay, so 110, what I'm trying to get a sense of is what percentage of the, we want to connect all the dots here, so it's like we're putting the puzzle together and all the, you have to have something in all the boxes here. The two numbers that I need on the site here, if you're spending $1.50 per click and you got 110 people to leave their name and the email address, that doesn't tell us how much it costs. We need to know how many people came to the site to give us a context for the 100 people who left their name and email.
Henri: The best way to calculate it, because remember I told you I stopped for a certain time when I saw that I wasn't reaching my goals, so if we calculate since the beginning, since the beginning, I had 10,000 clicks, I had 96 opt ins.
Dean: That's very, very low.
Henri: Yeah, that's very, very low.
Dean: That's less than 1%. That leads me to believe, that's where the opportunity is. Is that still do you think that low? Like if we sent-
Henri: No it's better.
Dean: It's better now?
Henri: Yeah, and my cost per click is a lot lower also, about half of what it used to be. I don't know why it is like that because I stopped and they want me to get back to bidding more.
Dean: No, it's just that you're, it's a marketplace that changes all the time. Whatever you're willing to bid, like sometimes you may have had your allowable maximum bid set higher than you have it now. It could be, there are a lot of different factors that go into that but I'm suspicious about this landing page now then. When people come there, what I would be looking for is how many of the people will leave their name and their email address and what you're describing is that you're saying get the list and then they come to the website, what I would be looking at is having an offer that's front and center that is the only option for them so they could see the report and leave their name and their email address to get. That's the whole thing, right?
Henri: Now, I have my phone number and I have the opt in on that and they can leave their phone number. It's hard for me to know if they call because if I ask them, they'll say from your website but they don't know-
Dean: Yeah, this is why we want to know, this is why you want to match.
Henri: I don't know what I should do.
Dean: Right, this is what you should do is you're looking, you got the ad that works, this is what they want to see is the list and then what I would do is I would have, I would create a nice looking cover graphic that has a picture of something office space or office building and I would put in big bold letters on the cover, I would put the Montreal property or office space reports and I would put the date, week of January 31st or whatever the week is and then have that headline, same headline that you used on the ad to get them there. Now they just leave their name and their email address to get it. Automatically, right away Henri, imagine what will happen if you go from 1% to 30%, that's going to make a big difference there. You've got this idea, you got the ad figured out to get them there so if we just kind of reverse engineer some of these numbers here, if you're spending $350 a week, is that about what you said, $300 a week?
Dean: Okay, so you're spending $300 a week and that's getting you clicks for $1.50 so that roughly means that you're getting about 200 clicks, 200 or 250 clicks. What we'll be looking for is imagine now if we start getting 40, 50, 60 people to leave their name and their email address for you.
Henri: That will be great.
Dean: Right, that's what's possible.
Henri: Can I remove the phone number?
Dean: Yes, so it's not, well you can put the phone number on there. I would put the phone number in the report. This is, when I talk about that formula for you, what we're looking for, remember it's eyeball plus emails plus hearts equal faces and that means we got to have a strategy to get eyeballs to your website. Once somebody's at your website, the only focus is now we need to get them to leave their name and their email address so that we can turn an invisible prospect into a visible prospect, and now the next step, heart is that we want to connect with them and sort of engage in a dialogue where we're bonding with them over email and then that equal sign represents the transition out of the cyber world and into the real world where we can meet them face to face. It goes like this for you. It goes AdWords, they come to your website. We've got a check mark there. You're absolutely doing a great job on getting visitors to your site, happily getting clicks for $1.50. Where we need to really shore this up is imagine if we could get 20%, 30%, 40% of the people that come to the site to leave their name and their email address, the way that we do that is we don't add any new information than what the ad offered.
All we're doing is we're confirming that they're in the right place to get what they click on and we've amplified it with a picture of what the report actually looks like and we've made it easy for them to leave their name and their email address.
Henri: Okay I see, okay.
Dean: We're totally focused on that and I think that inside, in gogoagent.com, we've got these landing pages that would work for you for that so you don't have or you have a way to build landing pages.
Henri: Yeah, I build myself my landing pages and recently, I've outsourced it, so now my landing page, I've got a picture of McGill College Avenue with an office building and it says you now have access to more than 485 office buildings in Montreal and then tour next spaces without having to get out of your office because of our videos because I've got over 800 videos. Then it says get the list, get the free list of available office space. I've got my phone number then I've got the email. I've got two videos on them.
Dean: Too much. I think that where you start, yeah because you're giving people too much to do on your website, too many other things to do besides leave their name and their email address. They're coming there, they're surfing around, they're doing all these things, they're watching these videos, they're doing all the things and they don't need to leave their name and their email address to do it. What I'm saying is just move all of that stuff on the other side so you could say, you can say all of these things where instead of saying take a video tour of all of these properties, click here. You can say take a video tour of all these properties and then say free inside, and then you could say get updates of all of the floor plans or building specs, more inside. You're saying it's all inside so you're putting up like a window that they're looking in the window and they could see all the stuff that's in there and all they have to do is leave their name and email address from inside. That will immediately increase the number of people who leave their name and email for you and that's what it's all about. Now that we've got somebody to leave their name and their email, now we want to engage in a dialogue with those people. We want to find out who are the five star prospects.
The first thing that we would do is when they opt in, then we would send them an email that welcomes them to the site, welcomes them, gives them a link to download what it was that they asked for and share what the next steps are for them. What would be the next steps for you?
Henri: Now what I do, after I get the email address, I've got an automatic email that goes back to them and says I've got access to 485 buildings. I guess they don't want the list of all of them so please tell me what you need. Just answer those five questions, how many square feet, what specter, what kind of office you want to have and the office space and as of when and how long a lease. They answer. Most of them, most of those who opt in, they answer that. They send me an email, reply to the email. Then after, when I'm a little bit different from the usual real estate is that I'm a tenant broker. I don't run after listings.
Dean: You don't represent the listings.
Henri: No. I represent the tenants so they give me an exclusive search mandate for a period of one week and I send them the explanation. As soon as they reply with my answers that I want, I send them another email saying here's how you give me a mandate, I'll put there for you a list of all the available spaces with pictures and links to video. Here's the mandate. If you feel comfortable with it, sign it and send it back to me. I've got a little more than half sign the mandate.
Dean: Okay, and what is an average transaction worth for you?
Henri: An average transaction, you mean in money?
Henri: Say $9,000, I don't have all of that go down for-
Dean: Yeah, but in the $9,000 or $10,000 range per client.
Henri: Yeah, about $9,000.
Dean: Right, and that's a one time at the beginning of the lease that you get paid that.
Henri: Yeah, and if they renew, let's say in five years, I get half of it.
Dean: Perfect, okay, which is great and if they move, then you get to do it again because hopefully you're still the one-
Henri: I'd rather they move.
Dean: Yeah of course right because now there'd be more space when they're out of it. I like that. You've got a pretty nice business there and I think that all the mechanics of it, I think part of it is if we can definitely increase the number of people who leave their email address, you've got that great opportunity there and then what we need to do is I think if you soften the initial approach in a way that makes it, that narrows the focus, you're soft and people use as a qualifying tool a survey or questionnaire or I've got to answer these questions for me where they can fill out everything and you kind of feel good that okay, that's kind of a qualifier that they took some time to do that and it's a time saver for you because now you know the answers to the stuff but it's sometimes, if you were to have some intermediate step that leads to that before it's just like hey, fill out this form, if you were to look at it that what we're really trying to discover is who are the five star prospects and you've heard me talk about five star prospects or people who are they're willing to engage in a dialogue. They're friendly and cooperative. They know what they want. They know when they want it and they would like you to help them.
That's a five star prospect. If they have to be all five then it just makes sense to start at the top. Let's just focus on are they willing to engage in a dialogue. If you were to say to somebody, if we imagine this was always a really good way to start this process of imagining how your email dialogue would go is let's imagine that they go to AdWords, they type in Montreal office space for lease, they come to your ad. They click on your ad. They go to your landing page. They leave their name and their email and let's imagine that that is a magic portal that as soon as they press submit, transports them into your office and all of a sudden, you get a knock on your door, they pop their head in and they say hi, I'm here about the office space report. What would you say in that conversation to them if it was one person? A real person shows up at your door asking for the report, how would that conversation go? What would be the first thing that you would say to that person?
Henri: The exact questions that I ask them with my automatic email, what are you looking for.
Dean: That will be the first one, what are you looking for?
Henri: Yeah, how many square feet, what specter, as of when and what's your budget. Do you want Volkswagen or you want a Mercedes?
Dean: Yes, exactly.
Henri: That's what I ask them in the email.
Dean: I like it. What I would just, the only thing, so you've got all these great criteria here, once you know all those things, you can certainly make some good recommendations for people.
Henri: I ask those questions, as soon as they fill up the form, there's automatic email that goes to them saying that I've got access to 485 buildings, all the buildings in Montreal. Please tell me in order to help you more, please tell me, please answer my questions and I ask those questions and with that, I usually have the website of the person because they send me the plan.
Dean: They send the email.
Henri: I go on the internet to look at them. Sometimes I even go on LinkedIn. I even see their pictures so I know who they are. If they're serious, I continue. If it's not, and that's the problem lately, at the beginning, I had good opt ins and then in July, I started having, instead of having people who are looking for five year leases in downtown Montreal and I had people looking for one year lease. I don't know how can the quality went down drastically.
Dean: That's interesting.
Henri: I didn't change anything. I always kept the same ads with a few variations, about three ads were the same but different keywords.
Dean: I mean some factor of that could be excluding some keywords. You may be are doing-
Henri: I do now.
Dean: With a broad match.
Henri: I excluded, at the beginning, I didn't exclude and then now lately, I excluded some keywords like people who are looking for short term. Those guys are driving up the cost of clicks.
Dean: Yeah I got it, and how many people fill out your questionnaire? How many people are filling that out when you send it to them automatically?
Henri: I'd say most of them. I'd say at least eight out of 10. Those that don't fill out, I know because I can check that easily, those that don't fill out, I send them another email just in case they didn't see it or something. I send them another email with a question.
Dean: Yeah, that's what we want, to see engage in a dialogue with them.
Henri: Yeah, I don't get an answer the second email, I forget about them. I keep them in my list and once a month, I send videos of some of the visits I made because remember, I don't have listings so I need some material to give them. I need some meat so I send them an email with links to video so that's my way of keeping contact.
Dean: Yeah, there's kind of a thing is that when you look at it, I think that if we can bridge the weakest link in this that I see is the step from eyeballs to emails. You've got, you're getting the eyeballs, we need to get to emails because once you get to emails, you're getting the parts, you're getting people engaged and sharing with you what they're looking for and then what happens when they fill out the questionnaire? How many people, when they fill out the questionnaire, will you end up connecting with, what's the next step after they fill all that out?
Henri: After that, I send them another email with my mandate, exclusive mandate, they sign it.
Dean: You're saying sign this and you haven't talked with them yet or just by email?
Henri: At the beginning, I used to talk to them, but after that, I realized that I had a better result if I don't talk to them.
Dean: Okay, yeah, it's the same. If you want me to work with you, sign this, sign here.
Henri: Up to now, almost everything is automatic.
Dean: Henri, maybe we should just start sending them your bank routing information and say please deposit $9,000 in my account just to see how far we could take this. You'll never know, you'll never know.
Henri: I do a one page for that, one try with the AdWords.
Dean: That's funny. How many will fill out that mandate then?
Henri: I'd say that most of those, I'd say three quarters, let's say seven out of 10 sign the mandate once I've explained to them the mandate because it's all explained in the mandate. At one point, I had so many calls from my website that I was tired at the end of the day explaining the mandate because all of my business is around my mandate. Everything is around them. I have to sell the mandate. That's the only selling that I have to do. When I did that, I wrote an explanation.
Dean: Mandate, just so to clear it up for people, it's like in the real estate world, that would be like a listing to help somebody sell their house. It's the same kind of thing. Your mandate is to exclusively represent somebody to find a property.
Henri: The mandate, they need an exclusive representative for two years for the building that I present to them. They have to pass through me for a period of two years. If they don't move now, I present them, I give them a list, we do some visits and for any reason they don't move and next year, they take my list, they have to pass through me.
Dean: Yeah, got it. It sounds like it's all, if we get that or if we get somebody to fill out that form, eight out of 10 people will answer your questionnaire, seven out of 10 will sign your mandate. Honestly I think if we can get six out of 10 to just deposit money in your bank account, we'll be on to something. Why stop there?
Henri: Then after that, I've got, I do a search for them and I come up with a list of available spaces. What I do once, that's the stage that I talk to them. I call them, I say that my search is done. What I'll do, I'll send you an email with the addresses, you'll reply, just send me a reply. I give them the addresses, they send me a reply so I got them, they reply that they had the addresses. Then I send them the list with links to video, so they see the ad, the look and feel of the spaces. Most of the time it's not of the space that is for lease.
Dean: Yeah, but it's the building, the area.
Henri: Most offices look alike, like last time, they all have wooden floors, high ceilings, big windows, so I send them that, then after that, they send me an email saying that they want to visit and then I meet them for the visit. Now I'd say my results, from 10 visits, I sell people move in about three times out of 10, so I got to present to them.
Dean: It's a nice system. It's a really nice system, everything flows all the way through you. You've got the whole thing going and I think we've identified. I mean it certainly is the biggest piece. Now one, getting the email address, that's going to make the biggest difference because right now, you're getting 99% of the people are coming and leaving before you even know who they are, so that's a problem. That's going to solve it, having that landing page offer. Now when what happens with the people who don't ultimately want to go and look at properties yet or do you have a weekly report? Do you have a flagship kind of communication you send a weekly email out to everybody? Have you got a list of prospects that you're in constant communication with?
Henri: I think that's where I'm weak. I realize that I'm weak. I used to forget about them and let's say once a month, I would send them some information. Now I send them the nine word email about a week after and then after that, sometimes I send them videos of my visit.
Dean: Sure. What does that say, the nine word email?
Henri: Are you still looking for office space?
Dean: Are you still looking for office space? Right, and you get good response to that, I'm sure.
Henri: Yes, yes.
Dean: You're reengaged.
Henri: I have some reply.
Dean: Yeah, do you ever send it longer than a week? Do you ever send it at 60 days or 90 days?
Henri: I put them on my automatic list where I send out videos of spaces that I've visited, so some of them, they reply.
Dean: How often do you send those out?
Henri: I'm sorry?
Dean: How often do you send out the videos?
Henri: Now I send that once a month.
Dean: Once a month, okay. Here's the thing. I think you could bump that up to every week sending out the report on the new properties that have come on or some sort of market data that you can keep on top of for people. The reason that I say that is because what we want to include in that email that we're going to send is a super signature that I call it. If you notice, on the end of every email that I send, there is always a plus, whenever you're ready, here are four ways I can help you. If you look at that where if somebody is not ready right now but what would be the next trigger for them, if you said to somebody, plus whenever you're ready, there are four ways that I can help you get the, even if you said join us for a daily tour of office, daily office space tours, where you said we have tours every day at 10 o'clock and 1 o'clock, and that, the interesting thing is that what that telegraphs to your prospect is that this is already going on.
It sounds like I'm not having Henri go out of his way for me, where you can say join us for a daily tour of the newest office space or whatever is going on in Montreal and they just go and they can pick a time when they want to come on the tour, and that just starts that conversation where it's now, in order to go on the tour, we need you to fill out this questionnaire and the mandate kind of thing but it starts the ball rolling.
Henri: Yeah, I see, I see.
Dean: Then one other kind of thing would be a valuable next step for somebody. They may be they want to see, what other questions or what other delays or what other sort of, in the real estate buyer situation, the ones we use is join us for a daily tour of homes or come to a home buyer workshop at the library or come to or get a free home loan report and that sort of starts the ball rolling there is like are there any leased subsidies or grant programs or tax credits or anything about the money side of it that would be valuable information that maybe most people don't know. Is there any sort of money advantage that you have or anything you could educate yourself.
Henri: No, there's none. There are no tax advantages. There's no way to pressure them now.
Dean: You know what I do?
Henri: It's not about that.
Dean: Not about doing it now but about just that they might have a desire for knowledge about it. I don't know whether, if you work with startups ever, where people are, it's their first office space lease?
Henri: Yeah sure, but most, my best clients, my bigger check clients are, my client is about 40 years old. He has established a company. He's been in business for about 10 years. I'd say they'll rent about 3,000 square feet and they want long term leases. That's my bigger check. I have a lot of startups. That's where let's say in 60 mandates that I get in a year, the ones that won't do anything are the startups because they realize that office space is out of their budget. Even in Montreal, it's very cheap compared to Toronto. It's about half the price of Toronto.
Dean: What's the price per square foot?
Henri: Let's say last time, office space in Montreal, which I do, I specialize 95% of my transactions are in office space, it's about $20 gross per square foot.
Dean: It's about what it is here where I am, so yeah cool.
Henri: Startups, I was thinking about making a newsletter with a designer, an appraisal guy and someone who does, for those who want to sublease, I was thinking about that and I'm trying to scratch my head to find things that I could tell them.
Dean: Listen, you've got a great throughput system and from what we're looking at, seriously, if we can just solve, just ramp up the number of people who convert on that front page, that's going to make all the difference for you right now because you've got a really great system for once they engage, it's all clicking on all the dials so really, that's the weakest link. What we didn't talk about was your after unit. You've been doing this for a while and how do you keep in touch with, I would really take this approach of leases under management, where if somebody's in a space that you help them move into, that I would sort of layer on top of that that you're as invested in their happiness in the space or their success in the space as the landlord is because you know that in five years, they're going to either need to renew or upgrade. How much of your business comes from these, you don't have to do anything for the renewals but for yeah, what a great business.
Henri: Yeah, since two years, it's half and half because now I have more renewals than I can take care of because I get in touch. I used to forget about them. I didn't send them emails and I didn't like doing that. Now I realize that by listening to you and I realize that I have to find ways to keep in touch even if it's only a video. Now I keep in touch and about every two months maximum, I send them.
Dean: What kind of businesses are these that you're working with?
Henri: Multimedia, internet companies, marketing companies.
Dean: What will be more interesting for you, what will be cool is for you to start an I love marketing meetup group for Montreal and invite all of your, because you've already got all these, you know all these entrepreneurs and business owners. You should be like the king of the marketing networking world.
Henri: Yeah maybe. Most of them are in that field because they all find me through the internet and it's not the 60 year old people. I'm 65. The internet's been 20 years but most people in my generation are not. It's the young ones, most of them they look on the internet to find office space and they find me.
Dean: That's pretty great. How many leases under management do you have right now?
Henri: 200, I just finished my documents for income tax, 262.
Dean: Okay, those are people who are in the spaces that you helped them rent right now?
Henri: I'm at invoice 262, so I'd say about half of them are still in business. Under "management" would be about half of it.
Dean: Great. There's the kind of thing that the referral opportunity there is something too.
Henri: It definitely comes with it.
Dean: How often do you communicate with that group?
Henri: With that group, I'd say about, now it's once a month and I send them videos and send them, if I see an interesting article on real estate or let's say they're going to do a facelift of St. Catherine Street downtown, which is a major street, they have an office on St. Catherine, so I'll send them a copy, link. I try to find things to send them. Now I get more referrals. Lately, since I keep in touch, even if it's only video, I get more referrals but I don't get much. Let's say I get maybe five, six referrals a year.
Dean: That's right. Imaging, we look at it that, I would love to see you manage your relationship portfolio, which is what your after unit is, for a 20% annual yield, where meaning that between VP and referrals, that you're getting at least out of your 150 people there that you would get 30 transactions from that. That will be a great aspiration for you. That can be as simple as sending the world's most interesting postcard to them where if you look at it that all we want is they as entrepreneurs going to be in conversation with other entrepreneurs and it's going to come up about leasing space in some of those conversations. If you had it so that every time somebody was in a conversation about office space in Montreal, that they thought about you and introduced you to the person that they had.
Henri: Yeah, recently. Now since a year when I do every time a client leases a space with me, about one month after, I send them an email asking if they like it, if they're happy and then about six months after, I send them another email, and by the way if you ever hear about people telling you that they want to move for a bigger space, please think of me. That's what I tell them. I have a lot more but the secret was to stay in touch with them.
Dean: Yes. I've enjoyed our conversation. You have a nice business there. I think just a couple of little things can make a difference here. Would you let me know what happens when you try what we talked about on the landing page because I think that's going to make an immediate difference for you?
Henri: Yeah, I think so. I would redo one in the next few days. Okay, thank you very much.
Dean: Awesome. Thanks, Henri.
Henri: Thank you.