Today on the Listing Agent Lifestyle podcast it's black Friday, November 23rd, and that's a very important date because November 22nd, 30 years ago, 1988, I got my real estate license, my first listing in real estate, and my first sale.
The intention of the six months to six figures episodes I've been sharing with you is my way of revisiting what would I do now, knowing what I know after 30 years being in real estate, and applying all the marketing knowledge I have.
What still works, what's still relevant and what's being amplified because of technology, because of the Internet. There really are so many exciting things going on right now.
This is the last episode in the current mini-series with LJ so I hope you really enjoy it as we wrap up, and we'll continue the journey with some new twists and new developments in future episodes.
I'm excited to share it with you.
Transcript: Listing Agent Lifestyle Ep052
Dean: Mr. LJ.
LJ: Good morning Mr. Jackson, how are you doing?
Dean: I am good I’m back from a long array of journeys and planes, trains and automobiles and here we are.
LJ: Well did you have a good time?
Dean: We did, we had a great GOGO agent academy, missed you there. Hoping next year we can get you out there.
LJ: I know. Absolutely.
Dean: Yeah it was-
LJ: My two-year-old and my 10 months old make it difficult for me to do anything like that.
Dean: I guess. So, let's catch up here because it's been a little bit since we chatted last. I think it's good now. I got the stuff you sent over for the golf guide and that's more than enough for what we need. We can go with that and start this process of starting to look for buyers, people who are looking for golf course homes at the same time we're continuing the process of identifying people who are selling their golf course homes.
LJ: Okay, sounds good. Good.
Dean: So, catch me up on the latest stuff that's been going on. If I can kind of set the stage of where we are in kind of laying the foundation here. When I look at this, my intention is that we're laying a foundation for you to really address the bankable results that we need to be able to get for the long term and the short-term success of your business. So, one of our focus is to look at your after unit and look at your return on relationship. So we've got your top 100 or however many that number is now, in your GOGO agent and we've got the world's most interesting postcard on autopilot, kind of going out to them every month. Is that right? We're kind of on that track?
Then so far, you've got the one people that you are working with. Has anything else happened so far from that, or kind of catch us up with what's going on with those people.
LJ: Right. So, they're still kind of looking, trying to get their finances in order and actually I've shown them a few places but in fact, they did put in an offer on one and I told them that, I said that I didn't think they, I thought they needed to wait because they didn't really have enough ready that they needed to meet the vendor.
I did get a referral from them and I met with her. She's looking for a condo in a pretty low-price range. Condo or mobile home. Anyways, so we'll see. I don't know if we'll end up actually doing anything with her that way or not but I'm sending her any properties that happen to come up that do fit her price range. We'll just go from there and that again.
Dean: Right, and that's great. So that's the kind of thing, when we start getting people on the board here. What we want to start looking at is just kind of having that awareness and seeing how things will spur off to other things. So, you ended up, you got that one client that, they will buy, it's just a matter of time sounds like. Then from that, that spurred off a referral to the lady who's looking for the condo here.
Then anecdotally are you noticing anything else? Are people commenting or has anybody said anything to you, hey we got your postcard, or any kind of just awareness like that?
LJ: Yeah, I've had quite a few people now mention they've seen the postcard. A pretty regular basis. I think I was at church a few weeks ago and I had three different people all mention it that day so, yeah. But yeah-
Dean: That's great. So, you're on their mind. So that's laying a really good foundation here. It's kind of an interesting thing because that's one of the main things that as you're getting rolling here, it's important that not all of those people would otherwise have a context that you're in real estate now. So, we're laying that foundation, we're planting those seeds every month and now when they're in conversations about real estate, then you certainly will get to a situation where when they hear someone talking about real estate, they will think about you and then it'll just be the right time.
So, I'm excited about that. We've got that kind of on autopilot for you. We can talk now about some of the other opportunities that come with that. I look at that as sending the world's most interesting postcard as the baseline that we're constantly, that that's the minimum thing that's happening there. You look at this as an investment over a period of time, that's a very very high yield capital investment. So, there's all of that.
I was just with Tony Kelsey in Toronto and looking at the three-year numbers now as each year his referral base has doubled which is kind of a cool thing. Going from not doing anything in the after unit to now, that becoming a pretty significant pillar for him. So, we've got that in place.
Then another of the foundational things that we want to look at is getting listings. So, we've chosen the area of the golf course communities and there's room to expand with that but each month that we're doing that, you're adding people into the pool of people who are potentially going to be selling their house in the next 12 to 24 months kind of thing. So how many listing leads are we up to? Would you say eight or nine of those so far?
Dean: Nine so far?
LJ: Yeah, I have nine.
Dean: Okay. So that's a good start. Now where that will match, and I know it's kind of like, we keep doing it and I know at this stage of everything the thing that is we keep thinking wow, I want to get some of these, I want them to call me. Nobody's called me yet. Nobody's listed their house yet. So, with the spring coming, we'll probably see that this will be the time when golf course homes might be coming more popular. Do you have a lot of snow and stuff right now?
LJ: Oh, no. No.
Dean: What's the climate?
LJ: We don't get very much snow anyway.
Dean: Okay, so it's just cold.
LJ: Yeah. It's not even very cold. I mean it's been 50, 60 degrees. We're actually the same climate zone as Las Vegas.
Dean: Oh! Then what are these people waiting for. Are they out there-
Dean: Is everybody out golfing yet?
LJ: Oh yeah. Yeah.
Dean: …golf ball.
LJ: Yeah, the fruit trees are all flowering, it's nice.
Dean: Okay good. All right. So, part of this now is to get involved in this golf course property scene. So now we want to start getting the triangulation here of finding some golf course buyers. Whether that's looking at the guide that we put together. Cause now that's going to be a really nice, sustainable strategy here of looking to offer the guide to St. George golf course communities. That's going to be a nice pillar of the highest end stuff. You look at that, I look at that as, we're starting a long-term process of building you into the dominant player in the golf course communities among St. George. So, we've started with a small pillar of that. We've got 500 homes, I think you said we're starting with?
Dean: With the golf course communities. So, I think that is a, that's a good start now. What we want to do, and what's going to increase the number of responses, now the number of conversions that we get, is to start now the process of finding the buyer for their house before they're ready to sell. So that, the good thing is with the golf course communities, or any kind of specific community like that, we get a chance to find a category buyer as opposed to just a specific home.
Now in the golf course areas, what's the situation with your office? Are you part of a big office or are you part of a smaller boutique? Or how does that work out?
LJ: No, I'm part of, I'm with Keller Williams. I work, I think pretty the largest office in the area.
Dean: Okay. Are you, is there anybody in your office right now that has golf course listing? That has one in one of those areas?
LJ: Oh yeah. I mean there's tons of them.
Dean: Okay. So, yeah, there's the case that what we may want to start doing now is to start looking at how you can maybe, what's the policy in St. George in general about advertising other people's listings or I'm thinking now of we're going to hit the streets here with some specific strategies that we can use to maybe start finding some golf course buyers. But is there a blanket policy for your board that you can advertise any properties or that you have to get permission? Or is it default that you have permission unless otherwise instructed? Or how does that work?
LJ: I honestly have no idea.
LJ: I've never asked or checked.
Dean: Well most boards have their own policy on cooperative advertising. So typically, when you're entering a listing in the MLS, it's a checkbox of just, allow other advertising or not allow other advertising or with permission sort of thing. But if it's somebody in your office, there may be an opportunity to kind of put together a little "best of" kind of list. Do you have a way, would you say there are some of the best buys on the golf course right now or particularly even in the community where you are doing the getting listings postcards? Have you chosen just one of the communities to do it all? Coral Canyon is that the...
LJ: Yes. Yes. That's, currently that's where my 500 is. And I got-
Dean: And how many are there in Coral Canyon altogether? I mean is that, are we doing all of Coral Canyon or a portion of Coral Canyon?
LJ: No, we're doing a little less than half. There's, I think-
Dean: About a thousand.
LJ: I remember like 11,000. Yeah.
Dean: Okay, perfect. All right. So, with that in mind then, if we were to then narrow in on Coral Canyon as a way there, how many listings would you say are in Coral Canyon right now?
LJ: I sent my monthly packets out yesterday.
LJ: But of course, I do all the, I put all the closed, pending and after there.
Dean: Right, of course. Yeah, yeah.
LJ: I think probably about 20, something like that. Maybe more.
Dean: Yup. 20 listings in Coral Canyon right now.
Dean: Yeah. And so, are any of them in your office or any, do you know any of the listing agents there?
LJ: I'm sure some of them are, yeah. I'd have to check specifically but yeah, I know especially there's one of the agents that sell a lot of them in there. So, I'm sure she has probably a couple.
Dean: Yeah, so interesting. One of the things where what I'm thinking about, and these are the things that require a little bit of time now, but might be something because you're in a phase of your getting started here, that you have some time to do stuff like this, is to start testing some both online and offline sort of stealth things that can get people to raise their hand as buyers.
So, one of the things that I was thinking about for you with this is doing some Craigslist ads for golf course homes. So really, if we look at the subject line out of the headline of the ad how people are searching is having those words Coral Canyon, St. George, golf course, golf property and having the ad for that. But along with it, in the actual body of the ad, having the information about that listing but also then a sentence where people can go and get your golf course guide.
You got to be, the way that Craigslist has sort of changed now, is really people have to copy and paste. They can't just click on an ad. It used to be that we could put a beautiful HTML guide ad that people could click on it and go and download your guide, but now they have to actually copy and paste stuff. But if we start thinking about that as an opportunity to test, and I would test this for, I might test it every day for a week and see if you put some of the properties, or one of the properties in Coral Canyon on there and do talk about the guide as an opportunity for people to go get the guide to St. George golf course communities.
Perhaps even do a talk about the golf course house tours right on Craigslist. I'm thinking outside of the box a little bit for you, to think about stealth things that don't require any money but require a little bit of time and kind of use the tools that we have. Cause you can set up the both the guide landing page and the tour of homes landing page in your GOGO agent and have that easily ready to go, kind of thing.
Dean: It might be just a situation of have in minimum, the thing that matters is really just the picture of the property. Remember it's not the intention of the Craigslist ad is not to convince somebody to buy this home but to attract the attention of somebody who's looking for a golf course community.
Dean: So that kind of thing, I'm wondering have you done any Craigslist ads or had any-
LJ: No, I mean I thought about it, but I went in there and I noticed that you currently also have to have, you actually have to have a property to put on there.
Dean: Yeah, that's why I was asking about what-
LJ: You used to be able to just offer list or something.
Dean: Yeah that was why I was asking if you knew anybody in your office who would allow you to advertise it.
LJ: Right, right. Okay.
Dean: Let me just look at real estate for sale, I just do a search on Coral Canyon. Yep there's a couple. I mean there's some that come up right there. Beautiful Coral Canyon three bedroom. Parade of homes gem in Coral Canyon. So, there's like one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine of them come up on there, so I think getting in the mix here might be a good thing here for you.
LJ: Yeah, are you looking on Craigslist right now or are you looking for-
Dean: I'm looking on Craigslist right now yeah, while we're talking.
LJ: Okay. Okay.
Dean: So, if we look at this, beautiful, there's one for 329, five. Beautiful Coral Canyon three-bedroom, three bath home. Canyon golf, Coral Canyon golf course community, great indoor and outdoor living spaces. Low HOA dues, large master bedroom, all that stuff, that I think there's an opportunity to even just have the pictures of that house, but to describe the situation there.
So, I think that the new Craigslist opportunity is really about key word loading, like looking for people who are, because let's be honest. The people who are looking on Craigslist now are more likely people who are scouring the market, let's call it, rather than casually browsing the market. What I mean by that is that there are easier ways to get information about houses, right? I mean if somebody's really just casually starting, they're going to go to realtor.com or they're going to go to zillow.com or whatever, cause they're going to have access to sort of all of the properties or they're going to be on somebody's IDX. But the mindset of somebody looking for a specific thing is, they're kind of looking for that needle in a haystack in a way. That's where I think this keyword stacking is going to be important here.
So like golf course and Coral, Coral Canyon. There's, so it's interesting, St. George golf course homes, I just did a golf course thing and there's an ad right now in there, very similar, nine days ago. Your one stop search for homes on or near all southern Utah golf courses. Log on to, and there's the URL for it right there. So, I think we're on that right track there. Want to be on a specific track there.
So, I think the immediacy of keyword loading those Craigslist ads and being, leading people to the next step which is to go to that URL. The other two opportunities are to do the, promote the daily tours. To send people to a situation where they can raise their hand to do a tour of golf course homes. And to do very specific story ads like the ads that I have highlighted in GOGO agent where I talked about the, we need to sell our King's Mill townhouse in the next 30 days and we're willing to sell it for $5,000 below market value. That type of a situation where you're using it to tell the story about a particular listing is, I think, a great opportunity for it as well. It's a great testing-
LJ: To try to use a story ad like that in Craigslist?
Dean: Yeah, to use. If you imagine that when you take the picture that you've seen or you're familiar with the one that I'm talking about? The, we need to sell our King's Mill townhouse or, I need to sell these last sites ad that I've got in GOGO?
Dean: Those would be the ones. Let me see if I can find what you might search for it. I think I was listing, selling ads. But if you're in GOGO agent and you just click on the listings topic then I think if we scroll down we'll be able to find that on page two. So, you start having a conversation with the seller, with you have the subject of that post is called, two listing selling ads that worked. That's a post in GOGO and it's got two examples of it, of how-to kind of write these.
But I think that Craigslist really creates that kind of an opportunity because I think that the people who are kind of looking in Craigslist are, that's kind of like, well let me look in here too. I don't think they're going just to Craigslist as the place to look. I think they're going in there to look for things that they're already familiar with everything that's on the market and they're looking for these opportunities, you know?
LJ: Right, yeah. That makes sense.
Dean: And so I think trying that as an opportunity or even doing just all those, I think if we look at all the different approaches that we could have around the golf course examples and around Coral Canyon specifically, because right now what you have is you've got an inside track on nine people who at some point in the near future here are going to be potentially interested in selling their Coral Canyon golf property, you know?
Dean: Yeah. So that would be a great, I think a great opportunity here for you. What I might do, cause we've done now three months or so for that first 500, is that I might send the next postcards to the other 500 in Coral Canyon. The other half so-
Dean: ...yeah, to alternate. So that we're getting kind of exposed to all of Coral Canyon here in a way, you know?
Dean: Just start, with that kind of approach there, of looking at how can we get on the board here. It's either depending on if it's even, your brokerage or whatever, if somebody would allow you to work with them on one of those listings and they're not doing info box flyers. Or they're not doing an instant open house page to allow you to be able to do that, to help find a buyer, might be a, that might be something that they would be willing to do with you, you know?
Dean: If you said to somebody, because most people are not doing that, right? Most people are just putting it in the MLS and whatever happens, happens. If they're not going to send the new just listed cards or put out an info box flyer or do all of those things. That's perhaps an opportunity for you. That's one of the other foundational things.
I started going down this list of the things that we're trying to get a good foundation for, right? Like our bankable results. We talked about the return on relationship, looking to get referrals into your after unit and we're on track. We've got that established with your world's most interesting postcard. For getting listings, we want to do that. We've established your process in Coral Canyon and so we'll continue to send the postcards in there and now maybe alternate to the other 500 homes just cause we're coming into the spring here, to send, expose to the other half of Coral Canyon. So we're building that foundation, that list of people who are likely to be sellers in there.
Now, one of the other foundational things that we've talked about is multiplying your listings, right? And raising your listing multiplier index. But since we don't have any listings to work with, how can we do those things, use that kind of approach and try and attract buyers for Coral Canyon, even when you don't have listings like that. That's where the idea of the Craigslist ads and the triangulation of finding buyers with the golf course community guide. That's where when we start thinking about doing the things like info box flyers and just listed cards it's almost like you're ultimately going to get your first listing in St. George or in Coral Canyon. To have already a tool of buyers who are looking for homes in Coral Canyon, that's going to be a real advantage for you. That's what we really want, right?
LJ: Yeah, absolutely.
Dean: So it's kind of an interesting thing to start thinking about those. Did I ask you about the, whether you have been doing or tried the listing next door in the golf course communities as well?
LJ: Oh no, we haven't really talked about that I'm from back to looking in the book.
Dean: From watching from Tony, yeah, we just redid, Tony just gave, it was amazing to see how consistent that is. Every time I get together with him, he shows me the new updated chart and just to see the long term, the sustainable ROI on it, it's kind of exciting to see it. So, I would immediately start doing the listing next door around the ones that sell in the golf course communities. So, picking out, tell me the lay of the land with some of these. Is it the kind of thing where you would be able to go and deliver just 50 postcards around a sold listing or flyers?
LJ: Are other properties close enough together to make that feasible or-
Dean: Feasible, yeah. If you were going to walk or have somebody walk that.
LJ: Yeah, it depends. It depends on the subdivision but Coral Canyon would work. Some of the golf course communities are gated and different things where it'd be more of an issue but Coral Canyon would work.
Dean: Yeah. So that, I would certainly start adding that to the mix as well. As a good way to kind of start the process of exposing to all the golf course community. Cause I don't want to lose track of the big picture of this. Like the big picture is domination of the golf course communities in St. George. That's where we're headed. Starting out with our little corner of Coral Canyon as the beginning, trying to get that foothold in there, that's really the, that's where the opportunity is.
So even though we can't do the getting listings postcards to all of the golf course communities yet, we can do sort of the listing next door things around the sold properties that are happening in the golf course communities, where it would be feasible for you to be able to do it. So we get those opportunities, you know?
LJ: You're talking about in those communities other than Coral Canyon?
Dean: Yeah, any of the golf course communities, right? Like we're looking at, what I'm looking for you is how can we create this stealth system where anybody who's thinking about selling a golf course home, we're going to be on that track. Everybody who's thinking, who's looking for a golf course home, we're going to be on that track. Now we'll have opportunities, we'll have things like, where could we get the word about your golf course community guide out. So if we look at doing stealth trainings like Craigslist ads and things that would be one of my favorite kind of stealth, zero cost things are public notice flyers in places like the grocery store and the Starbucks and the library and the community center. All of these kinds of things, but for specifically the golf course homes in all of the golf stores.
A lot of times there'll be, wherever there are bulletin boards is a great kind of opportunity. It's funny because it's like, one of these things where these sort of stealth, low cost things are effective and the only time people kind of think about doing them are at this stage in their career where it's like we're trying to bootstrap things and get things going. But if you were to find out like is there golf town or golf America or golf, any of the golf kind of places in St. George that you're aware of?
LJ: So, you mean, you're talking about golf stores, right?
Dean: Yeah, I'm talking about like, where would we be able to get in front. Where's the high probability that we're going to be able to get in front of golfers. If you were looking golf equipment or whatever it is.
LJ: Right, yeah. I mean there's quite a few different small golf shops. I don't know if there's, I don't know of any major brand names but I'm, to be honest not that familiar with it either. So, I probably need to check in on that.
Dean: Right. No, that's the thing, right? But being in those places, if there's a bulletin board to be on, if we did a flyer that is like a bright yellow flyer with a big picture of a golf course community, a smaller picture of your guide and then the URL where people can go get the golf course community guide and a tear off tab so they can take that URL with them.
Dean: Those are so inexpensive to do and they just require a little bit of time. But I think that it's really this business development kind of mindset around the stuff, is going to be as if you're kind of like running for congress or running for mayor of the golf course community. That anywhere that golfers are congregated so that they're going to know that we have something for them.
Dean: We're just kind of looking to see where we can be in front of people. That may be even that big, if you're looking for a great home on a golf course in St. George, read this, and talking about your guide.
LJ: Okay. Dean: Looking to really get our system for this. That's because we ultimately can replace these things with paid things. So right now, ideally the. money just speeds things up. That's really what happens, is that we've got the ability, if we had the ability to be sending to all of the golf course homes right now then we'd have more listing leads, more potential there. If we had money to do out full page ads in the magazine sort of, the publications where people are, or AdWords. All of those things, they're kind of, they just speed things up. But we can still get there with some ingenuity, right? Thinking in a stealth kind of way. Things that require just a little bit of time and effort.
LJ: Right, right.
Dean: Kind of challenging that way. It's fun, it's created into a game where now we're trying to play the game of getting in front of the people who are looking for golf course homes right now. Then as soon as you get one to be able to communicate with those nine people in Coral Canyon and say, hey John, I'm showing houses in Coral Canyon this weekend and I remember looking up your house. That kind of a thing where now, that's the kind of contact or communication we want to be able to have with those potential sellers. Way better than just, hey just calling to check in. Did you get the report, and are you getting the newsletters? Those kinds of things are just so what we want them to equate is when LJ calls or emails, he's got a buyer for us. So if we ever, when we do get ready for the time, then why wouldn't we call LJ.
LJ: Right, right.
Dean: Yeah, we want to equate you with selling their town home, their house.
So that's, there's those foundational things. The after unit, getting listings, multiplying your listings. We talked about finding buyers. Now the other things that you're doing, I mean we've been looking for buyers for a very specific thing, is the finding buyers for a more active price range. Like you've narrowed in on these homes under 250 thousand, as a target audience. So how's that been going? What's the latest with that? I know you were doing some Facebook ads for those kinds of homes.
LJ: Right, yeah. And I still have been and I've been, I think I'm up to about 30 leads from that.
Dean: Okay perfect. Yep. And that's kind of, it feels nice, doesn't it? To have a vending machine that you know that you can put money in and get some leads out and you can do that as and when you have a budget for it and control it. Kind of keep things rolling that way.
Dean: So now it becomes then our other foundational pillar is converting those leads. So-
LJ: That's where I'm struggling.
Dean: Right. Now, okay, so there we go. So now, this comes into now your weekly flagship communication that every week, you sending people updates of all of the new homes that have come on the market under 250 thousand and doing that in a consistent way. So, you've got all their names and emails, you got the ability to send a broadcast to all of those people. How long have you been doing that now? How many broadcasts out have you sent?
LJ: Yeah, I've done it for the last five weeks.
Dean: Okay, great. So, this is very consistent, right? So, the cool thing about this is you get a chance to kind of voyeur in on what's happening. You're voyeur-ing in on, you send out a broadcast and have you seen the broadcast statistics that you have in GOGO? Where you can see how many people have clicked on your link, how many people have opened the emails? Have you seen how that works?
LJ: No, I haven't. I don't know where that is.
Dean: Okay. So, if you go on your dashboard when you're logged into GOGO agent.
Dean: You can see that one of the first things that comes up is on the right-hand column there's a box called recent email blasts and it'll show you the last email that you sent and then there's a link that says email blast analytics. And when you click-
LJ: Okay, yeah. I clicked on it.
Dean: Oh okay, you're in right now?
Dean: So when you click on that then it brings you up all the stats. So, it'll show you how many emails you sent and then down on the right-hand column it'll show you if you had any bounces or spam reports or how many people opened the emails and then how many people clicked through your emails.
LJ: Right, right. Yep I see it.
Dean: So, you get to see who's, kind of week on week, if you see that certain people are constantly clicking on things, you know you're getting that engagement with them. You've got somebody who's really sort of engaged and looking forward to this. So, you look at that and if you, every time you send something out you're getting 25 or 30 percent of the people that you're sending it to are opening and clicking on your emails, that's a really healthy range.
LJ: Okay. Yeah, so for my last one right here it was sent to 26 people and 12 of them opened it, 7 unique opens which 26.92%.
Dean: There you go, you're right in the range. That's right in there. So that's good. That's what we got. Now the thing that we want to keep in front of people every time we send that email out, is the next steps. So I saw the email that you sent me, where you had the, you were offering the tour. I think that what we can do is set up your, set up a landing page for the tours. So you can say-
LJ: I actually, I already have a landing page set up for it.
Dean: Oh, okay perfect.
LJ: Are you talking about that email I just sent you this morning?
LJ: Okay. So that one was kind of an old copy on that. I actually, in my current one, I have those switched out with landing pages for the tour.
Dean: Oh, nice perfect. Oh, there we go. So, then you can see who's clicking on what, if people have clicked on the through to the tours or people might just respond to it. You might get some engagement or they might just ask you about a specific listing that you've sent out information about. So that kind of routine of just every single week sending that out with your super signature like that.
One of the things that I might look at adding to it is your, is a free home loan report. Because if you're talking about people who are talking about people who are looking under 250, there's a good chance they're first time buyers. So, they're going to be curious about the home buying process and that might be a good thing that they might like to come to a home buyer workshop or to get a free home loan report, to show all the best loan programs that are available.
Now I would also, if I were you, looking at this price range of under 250. You were kind of saying that that's the very kind of entry level of the market, right?
Dean: So, what I might look at in this is finding what would be the sweet spot of sweet spots there? What would be the thing that could really be enticing to people? Do you have any bank owned homes? Do you still have some bank owned homes?
LJ: A few, not too many.
Dean: ...situations like that. That's kind of what makes them even more valuable, in that there's less of them that you have to kind of search them out. Are there any of those homes that might be in the USDA area in that they would qualify for zero down?
LJ: So, not in St. George. No, which is what I've been kind of, there are some areas in our county that I have but I was kind of specifically doing St. George, which isn't considered rural so USDA doesn't want that.
Dean: Well some of the things, you might be surprised. I don't know whether you have specifically looked up the boundaries but most people end up surprised that on the outskirts, like the boundaries are sort of out of date in a lot of ways. Like in Winter Haven here specifically, that they're not in the city but it's certainly practically in the city and there are certain subdivisions that are, in the last 10 years, that are sort of urban development kind of thing that fit, that are within the USDA boundaries.
So, when we ended up, and the reason that I know this is because when we were doing, when the stimulus package happened in 2009, the sweet spot of sweet spots was that you could buy a bank owned home in the USDA area with zero down payment and get an $8,500 tax credit for doing it. It was like, so there were maybe a dozen at any time that fit that criteria. But the fact that we found them and had that as a list. It's like now you have the opportunity here when you got people who are under 250, to be the lead enthusiast of properties under 250 in St. George, right? Sniffing out what the very, what the best opportunities are.
Dean: That might be one. Even if you were to preface it with saying, listen, because I know that there's probably the line between county and the city. You probably might find certain homes that would fit that criteria. If you looked at what the actual boundaries are. That even if you were to say to somebody, listen, just outside of town here, attached to town in this area and this area, there's I found there are seven homes right now under $250 thousand that you could buy with zero down payment. Do more of a kind of narrative, almost like you're an investigative journalist that's uncovered this opportunity and you're explaining it to people.
Dean: It's kind of like you've blown the case wide open here. There are these properties right here. Well I mean, it's almost that's really what it becomes, where you're telling that story and that becomes really interesting. Most people are so deathly afraid to ever say zero down payment and a monthly payment in an ad because they're so, oh RESPA you got to disclose and well, do the disclosure. Explain it to people how that works.
So, if you're saying right now there are seven properties under, between 230 and 250 thousand that you could buy with zero down payment and monthly payments of this to this. That means that for instance this one, and just tell them the whole thing. It's kind of like it's really a pretty amazing thing that happens when you start to be very detailed and specific about things. It kind of gets people excited.
If they're renting right now, the people who are responding to your 250 and under thing, if they're renting there's a good chance, because interest rates are so low right now, if they could get one of these zero down homes that they could live in that house for less than what they could rent it for often.
LJ: Right. Right. Yeah, well and that's one of the things that I have consistently done the weekly email but it's been challenging because I've been trying to do a video with it and I didn't want to just be boring and just basically say everything that's on the thing. On the list. But the amount of work that it took to find anything unique has made it, I guess somewhat prohibitively time-wise expensive.
Dean: Yeah, no I get it. I mean that's what I was saying before about the daily. I don't think at this stage, I was mentioning to you, I don't think until you get up to several hundred or a thousand subscribers that it would be worth doing a daily, switching to daily. I feel that same kind of way about the going too much about the videos. But with this kind of thing, that is the kind of thing you can take that over to Craigslist to and you can take that to enhance the Facebook ads that you're doing.
If you think about doing a Facebook carousel ad with these, if you find just even that there are three bank owned properties in the USDA area that would be eligible for zero down payment, all you need is one of them to get people excited about that, you know?
LJ: Yeah, no that's true.
Dean: The bank owned homes and the HUD homes are very, you've got a cart blanche that you can advertise to them. You can treat it like your own listing kind of thing.
LJ: Right, right.
Dean: Now be clever when you're just getting rolling.
LJ: Yeah, yeah. The other issue I've run into with just doing the weekly emails is if I do a video, I mean there are 30 homes. That's part of the reason. Does it make sense to somehow narrow that down, I mean I don't think anybody, very many people are going to watch a 20 minute either. You know what I'm saying?
Dean: No, no. And you know, no. It doesn't have to be that. I always look at what's the minimum viable thing that's going to make, what's the minimum effective dose. You don't need a 20-minute video for this. You just need something that's going to get people to raise their hand. You got to think about what step is it at? Where are you in the process?
LJ: Yeah. So, do you have any ideas on how I can make it more feasible to do it on a continual basis? I mean, maybe I just need to give them the highlights of what's in the big list, or I don't know.
Dean: Yeah, you could. I mean that could be the thing, even if you kept the video to an intro of it. You're saying, hey this is LJ here's what's going on. There are 17 new properties, there's 30 new properties this week and here's a couple that really stood out for me. Anyway, take a look. Here's the list and whenever you're ready, we're doing daily tours of homes this week, we're being personable now.
LJ: Yeah, yeah. Okay.
Dean: Being a host. Maybe highlighting-
LJ: It would be a lot easier.
Dean: Yeah, highlighting one of your offers. I think in the beginning if you just make it a thing to kind of keep your video to under three minutes kind of thing.
LJ: Yeah, yeah. No, I think that would be a lot better.
Dean: Yeah, I think that's great LJ I mean you see where now it's very, it's like you were laying the foundation here and we're touching all of these things. Now it's just when the foundation is laid and we're continuing to do these things, you're going to see that we're going to continue doing those things and that's what's going to pay off.
LJ: Right. Right.
Dean: We don't have to. That's the good news. We don't have to try and continue and reinvent. I mean you've got, we've seen on this track, you'd know where this heads. I mean Tony Kelsey was in exactly this situation starting out, getting things rolling and once you get that first listing, that first sale from these things under way, then you can expand on things. But we just got to be patient and go through it that way.
LJ: Sounds good.
Dean: I love it. Well I always enjoy your enthusiasm. It's good you're a good sport. I think I'm having fun. I mean it's good to even think that way, right? To think, because we can get lazy sometimes with just thinking to solve the things with money. So now to be able to think strategically and get out and actually man to man be a catalyst and make things happen, you kind of have to do that detective work and be remarkable, you know?
LJ: Right. Right. All right-
Dean: I love it.
LJ: I will keep at it.
Dean: Okay good. I got like I said, all the golf course things. I'll get with Diane. I think we can put that together and be ready to go with version one of what you already got put together there, that's enough to get people to raise their hand and then we'll switch the, send the next mailing to the other 500 in Coral Canyon just to expose you to that other half there. So at least we've got sort of Coral Canyon moving forward here.
LJ: Right, no. I think that's a good idea. And are we planning on doing just a digital version of the guide or will-
Dean: We can do both.
LJ: will I need to do it too. Okay.
Dean: Yeah, we'll do both. We'll do a digital version that we can set up on the landing page, like as a PDF. Then we can make a print version of that, that we'll send to people if they leave their physical mailing address for you.
LJ: Sounds good.
Dean: Okay, we'll pick up the pace of doing these calls here, now that I'm in one place for a little bit here too.
LJ: Sounds good.
Dean: Thanks LJ.
LJ: Thank you Dean. Bye.
Dean: Thanks, bye. And there we have it. Another great episode. If you'd like to continue the conversation you can go to listingagentlifestyle.com. You can download a copy of the Listing Agent Lifestyle book, the manifesto that shares everything that we're talking about here, and you can be a guest on the show if you'd like, to talk about how we can build a Listing Agent Lifestyle plan for your business. Just click on the Be A Guest link at ListingAgentLifestyle.com.
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