Today on the Listing Agent Lifestyle podcast we're talking with John Gluch, head of a very successful real estate team in Phoenix. But here's the thing. John lives in San Diego!
We had a really great conversation about everything he's doing, running a high powered team of 200 homes a year, remotely.
Some really great opportunities unfolded for John throughout the call. There's lots of things they're doing right and maximizing their approach to generating now business. They're a sales organization that will connect with people. They're getting people on the phone. They're getting people into appointments. They're getting people into homes. But there's a big opportunity behind that to continue a relationship with the people who aren't ready to convert right now.
We had a great conversation about how to take all the things he's doing well right now, and amplify them by laying on top, the things we talk about in the Listing Agent Lifestyle.
I think you'll really enjoy this episode. It's a perfect conversation about high-end branding and the service approach we talked about here.
Transcript: Listing Agent Lifestyle Ep063
Dean: Here we got. Lee's Chinese Dim Sum, how can I help you?
John: Al's Break Shop. I think I got the wrong connection there. How you doing?
Dean: How are you John?? I'm so good. I laughed at your impact filter that you sent me is the best.
John: Well, you know, you gotta really imagine how bad it's going to go.
Dean: Yeah. Oh, that's so perfect. So welcome.
John: Thank you.
Dean: Yeah, we're recording right now, we got the whole hour to focus on whatever we want. So, I'm excited because you're fitting into something that I've been paying a lot of attention to lately, and that's running remote teams. So I'm really interested to have this conversation and you're doing it at a high level; so this is great.
John: Yeah, awesome, yeah, thanks for taking the time. Yeah, I appreciate it.
Dean: How do I pronounce your last name?
John: Clutch, but with a "G." Yep.
Dean: Gluch. Okay, perfect. So let's start out and maybe tell me the John Gluch story so far about how a man ends up in San Diego running a team in Phoenix; I'd love to hear that.
John: Yeah, I graduated from ASU in 2003, and began to work with an entrepreneur, who really taught me entrepreneurship. And he really started a company training people on how to flip houses, and that was local and that was when that was a big thing. And it did really well and I became part owner of that company. And then we also help people buy rental portfolios, so it was a good old day.
Dean: So this was 2004 when everything was going great.
John: Yeah, so it was great until it wasn't, and then everything in 2007, 8 fell apart. And so we shut that company down, and we kind of parted ways, amicably; had a great partnership and friendship, but that business just didn't make any sense. And I still had a reputation as just in my friend group of knowing how to find good homes, and so at that point, people were still buying houses, they just were not investors, they were consumers; people living in homes.
And so I just started picking up clients here and there and enjoyed it just being a regular realtor as opposed to investment realtor. And started picking up some steam, and then joined a coaching program. Really a couple that I didn't know, I had no understanding that you could sell millions of dollars’ worth of commissions every year; and all that stuff was really new. I went to a few conferences and see all these people up on stage doing this, and I was very inspired.
Dean: You're "I could do that."
John: Yeah, I thought "Let's do it." So we went for it and that was about five years ago, I hired my first person, a guy named Justin, who is enormously helpful and just the perfect person to start the company and now five years later, well, I'll say this, I guess three years after that, we were doing I think a million and a half in commissions and had about six or so people on the team. And my wife and I just really had always wanted to move to San Diego. And so we began to take longer and longer trips here to test it, and we figured out, and again, part of the power of seeing someone who's already doing this. I had a coach who had moved to Quito, Ecuador for a year and continued to run his multi-million dollar team.
Dean: I love it.
John: They had actually grown during that time, and so I was inspired by him, "We can do this." So we, two years ago, took the plunge and actually moved to Coronado Island in San Diego.
Dean: Oh, I love it out there. Good for you, that's great.
John: Yeah, it's been awesome, it's great for my family, and I really enjoy it. And thanks to technology and kind of the awesome team we have, this really works. We sold a couple hundred houses last year and it's been really a fun way to do business, I loved it.
Dean: And so what's your role in the team now? Are you traveling back and forth, are you hundred percent in San Diego, what's your-
John: Yeah, I'm only there about once every two months, so I’m in San Diego. So, for me, I've heard you talk about the ghost realtor idea and I think there's a couple ways to look at that idea. For me, I could just implement your system and basically sell leads to somebody in wherever, Kentucky, and that would be kind of a ghost realtor market. But that's not really what this is, we really have a brand and the majority of our business is repeat and referral business. I'm still the team leader, I'm on every team call on Mondays, and when I do fly back, we have big client events. And so for us, we really-
Dean: So you're very present in the business?
John: Oh yeah.
Dean: In the terms of the clients and stuff? You're still the face of the business-
John: I'm the face, yeah. Yeah, I'm the face on videos and emails, and so I'm still connected to marketing. My three functions really our marketing, team leadership, and then system ideas and trying to figure out "Okay how do we approach these systems?" I'm a good system person, so I'm figuring that out too.
Dean: Okay, got it. So it's really interesting, I don't know whether you had a chance to listen to the most recent episode.
John: I did.
Dean: Jason Gruner. Yeah, so it's kind of funny to do these back to back, because Jason's very much not the face of the business, but running it, remotely, from Nashville. So you'll meet him in Orlando, he's coming too, so-
John: Oh great.
Dean: That'll be great. So this is fascinating to me now, I don't know how deep you've gone into the Listing Agent Lifestyle elements, or the way that we kind of approach things. Yeah, what's the overlay on what you're currently doing or where do you see kind of the opportunity there?
John: Yeah. So I think one of the things I'm really interested in being is that I understand unbranded marketing and a lot of the tactic. But I'm just starting to get after maybe 100 hours of podcasts and calls, the revelation I had yesterday was all I have. You had said to one of the guys on the call yesterday, you just want to serve people. Once you can get these leads, you want to serve. And you had talked about having home buyer workshop and things that. And I realize in the Gary Vanderchuck language, he talks about "Jab, jab, jab, right, hook, serve, serve, serve, serve." All I have is right hooks.
Dean: Ah, got you.
John: That's all we do, so when we get a lead, we call the crap out that lead and "Hey, do you want to have an appointment?" And we're really pretty good, I mean, at doing that. So having really a mindset shift, and I love that, I really love repos. I mean a big reason we're wanting to jump into your program is some of them are really new, but the ethos is totally new, and it's very exciting. So a lot of my thoughts and questions for you surround how do we change a little bit what we're doing to make it more of a service based model, instead of "Hey, we have your information, now let’s have a meeting about that."
Dean: Okay this is a perfect, let's do this, then. Because you're doing it at a high level, you're already at the top. You got a team, a machine, a model, an engine that's doing 200 homes a year right now. And so let's kind of go through the elements and let's see what you're doing on those, and where I would philosophically blend with that or where it might be the opportunity.
So the first element, of course, is getting listings, because if you're going to have a listing centric business, it's important that you have a system for getting listings. Well, first of all, do you take a listing centric approach to the business, or are you more balanced on buyers; what's your thought on that?
John: We're 50/50 and mostly because we do not have, while I understand unbranded lead generation, we don't do any; everything we do is branded. So we are the number one. If you Google "Best realtor in Phoenix." Like somebody from out of state would do to find a realtor, we are on the first page. We're very well reviewed. If you Google me, we've got hundreds and hundreds of reviews. So a lot of our business comes that way. And a lot of those buyers; people moving from California, In particular. And so we love them because we enjoy the work, but also those people become referral sources, of course.
So we have 50% of our business there, the other 50% is listings, but a lot of them come the same way; either repeat referral business or someone who just didn't know a realtor in town or someone maybe who lives in California and had a rental Arizona that they sell for two years. So yeah, so we are not doing unbranded marketing, all we're doing for listing generation is, basically, reputation based marketing. And so that's all of our listing service.
Dean: So you have a brand. I mean, you have a brand name. So more often than not, if it gets all the way to the point where somebody is thinking about selling their house, and they don't have a personal relationship with somebody that they can call to help them sell it. Then of course they're going to look around they'll go "Well who's the best?" And then you're going to show up on that list; and you get opportunities. That's part of the thing of being a celebrity brand; that you're going to get that sort of awareness If they're going to call somebody, they may as well call somebody who they see everywhere, seems like they're going to do great job.
Now the good news is that you've got that going for you in that when you start coupling it. And it's almost like I have a different kind of language around unbranded or not; I'm not against branding, I think it's amazing; you've got it and let's capitalize on it. But I look at it as more what I call 'outwardly focused marketing' as opposed to 'inwardly focused', where it's not shining the light on you to get your brand out there, it's providing the service and valuable information that people who are entering the process of thinking about selling their house are going to identify themselves to you.
So this is where I see the opportunity for, you as an advantage here. Is that once you generate a lead through that unbranded or outwardly focused, just information offer, once they then find out that it's you, now you're both a valuable service provider, and you're also the brand awareness that they have too. So they go "Of course, this all makes sense." Yeah.
What I would love to see is that we start getting you on the radar of people who are just entering the process of selling their house. And we used to do big real estate seminars Joe and I did that for 15 years, we did big seminars. And one of the things that I did at those, is I would have people say, "Let's imagine that this audience represents a 500 home subdivision, and every person in here owns one of the 500 homes."
And I would give somebody a chance in the front row I would say, "Listen, I'm going to give you a chance. You can come up on stage here for two minutes, tell everybody all about you and why they should choose you, I'll give everybody one of your business cards, and I'll help you get your name out there. Or you can stay right there in your seat, and I'll have someone bring you an envelope, and in that all envelope will be a piece of paper with the name, address and telephone number of the 50 people in this room who are going to sell their house in the next 12 months. Which would be more valuable, which would you choose?"
And I never had anybody say "Oh, I'd rather get up on stage and let everybody know who I am." Because everybody immediately sees that the reality is, even in a high turnover neighborhood, 10% turnover is going to be a lot of turnover; mostly you're looking at 4, 5, 6% turnover rate on most neighborhoods. So it would be super valuable if you could know who is going to sell their house before anybody else knows. Because what you're getting right now, is you're getting people who are saying "We're thinking about selling our house, can you come over and give us a price or talk to us?" You're getting it in the moment, it's a very short gestation period; they're in action when they call you. You're not getting people who are saying "We're thinking about selling our house next spring, can you keep in touch with us?" That's not the call that you're getting.
And so what I'm going to do is because it takes all the same principles of branding. The way I look at branding is that all branding is is holding that position in their mind that you're the only logical choice for them to get the result that they want to get; and everybody's got that position. It's like Al Ries and Jack Trout had years ago Positioning, that book where you've got a position in people's mind, and you happen to hold the number one position in their mind as realtor. Now, if they have a relationship with somebody that they know, like and trust, that's going to take precedence over you; that's what going to happen.
But the reality is most people don't keep in touch with the people that they help buy houses. So that's why so few people, even though they say in exit polls that they would be happy to use the realtor that they used again, only 20 something percent of them actually ever do, and it's because nobody keeps in touch with them; so they're orphans.
Yeah, so I would love to see, and the way that we take this approach now is to put aside the idea of getting your name out there and focus on getting their name in here. Meaning I want to know who are the people. What areas do you primarily focus on, are you all across the city or are you?
John: Yeah that's what's interesting about being so good at, for lack of a better term, SEOs people who Google "Best realtor in Phoenix." Are all over the planet. We get listings an hour and a half apart from each other.
Dean: Okay, no if you could, if we could choose right now, if we had the opportunity, to along with that, you've got this great system that's working; we're not going to change anything about what you're doing now. But if we could choose the area where you would like to really dominate, to go a little deeper in, where would that be, what would be kinda?
John: Yeah I mean it would be between Old Town Scottsdale, which is where our office is and those are in the $400,000 range of homes, which is the entry level for Scottsdale. Or Arcadia, which is just to the west of us. But I would probably run turnover numbers and just see where, it’s kind of inexpensive, not multimillion dollar Arcadia. So one of those two and I would probably lean towards the Old Town Scottsdale, if the numbers worked.
Dean: Perfect, so if we said that, how many homes would there be in Old Town Scottsdale?
John: I mean thousands. So we would have to narrow that to one of those particular little sub divisions in there.
Dean: Perfect, or all of them. I mean, you know, you're already doing big volume, we can think big here.
John: So we could make the higher volume.
Dean: Yeah, exactly. So, but let's say getting it down to a specific neighborhood within Old Scottsdale, is there one that stands out or?
John: Yeah so Southwest Village is one I own a house in.
Dean: Okay. Perfect. Okay. So there you go, so how many of them would be in Southwest Village?
John: Oh it's probably 1,000.
Dean: That's perfect. That's what we're talking about. Okay so now, this is where we kind of narrow that focus because everybody who says Phoenix is broad, everybody's saying that's not as interesting and specific as Southwest Village which is exactly where I live. So when we offer people the report on Southwest Village house prices. There's a subtle, psychological difference between the levels of sort of sophistication that we're using here. So when most people think about advertising, the first thing they do is they get their name out there. So they'd start doing personal promotion things, everybody knows who that John Gluch is a realtor.
Now, so they're shining the light on themselves. Then the next level, once they start to discover unbranded as you say, or the outward approach, they'll start running things like "Find out how much your house is worth for free on the phone, or over the phone, or over the net." Or all that stuff where we're isolating them and for them to respond is indicating that they are thinking about selling their house; it's offering ads like "Sell your house in 90 days guaranteed." Or those kinds of things where you're now making an offer, you're trying to convince people to list with you, but doing it in a direct response kind of way.
And then this third perspective is offering information to people who are just entering the process of thinking about selling their house. Because I took it all the way back to what's the Genesis thought of somebody who's thinking about selling their house? The first thing they think is "Well how much can I get for mine. What are houses going for right now, how much is my house worth?"
And so to offer the information, it's like we're taking that light, and we're not shining it on you and we're not shining it on them, it's we're shining it over their shoulder and highlighting information that's valuable to them, that feels they can voyeur in on this without having to commit themselves to anything or without having to say "I'm thinking about selling my house, come over and talk to me." Because they might not be ready for that yet. So we offer the information, which feels like it's already done and feels like they're not obligating themselves by having somebody do work for them.
There's just saying "Oh, I'd a copy of that." So they can voyeur in and see what's happening. Now, though, the thing about having it narrowed down to Southwest Village, as opposed to Phoenix, is that you get this horoscope effect. That people who live right there in Southwest Village, that's relevant information for them. Because it's not going to really give them anything to see about, general Phoenix information; that's really the difference there.
So what we end up doing is the people who respond, we are finding them way ahead of anybody else. And now we've got the opportunity to brand yourself to those people who are now much higher likelihood of selling their house in the next 6 months, 12 months, 24 months. Chuck Charlton just texted me last week that he just listed somebody who responded to his first postcard mailing 14 years ago. Do you believe that?
John: No, that's incredible.
Dean: I mean Tony, we are in the middle of it still, this is our sixth year of the case studies documenting everything. But in the fifth year, he had transactions listed and sold homes for people who responded in 2013, 14, 15, 16, 17 and 18. So every year of the case study, he got all these people. So that's what we're really building is this asset of gestating future sellers that we're managing that in branded way; where we're telling them all coming from John Gluch. You're acting as their advocate and they appreciate it, and you're not calling them up, "Hey, just checking in, are you getting the newsletters, is everything okay?"
What we do is now you've got the advantage that you would have is that we take that data, and we overlay it on a Google map where you could drop pins in Southwest Village of all the people who've responded so that you know where they are as future sellers. And every time you're about to show homes this weekend in Southwest Village, you can send a quick email to people and say "Hey, John, I'm showing houses this weekend in Southwest Village."
And so now they get used to and conditioned that every time they hear from John or somebody on John's team, every time it's because they've got a buyer for us. So why would we ever call anybody else when we are ready?
John: Yeah, totally, yeah.
Dean: So that becomes an asset, that you're gonna be looking at that and measuring a multiple ROI on the spend to generate those. So I would say that's really going to be an advantage, especially if you don't have kind of that pool of gestating sellers.
John: No we don't and it's what we do. It works great, but it's not super efficient, I mean, we're all over the place, driving all over town. So it would be great to have a centralized farm that we're really committed to and we know very well; would be wonderful, yeah.
Dean: And now the great part is, then, that you can start triangulating that and start finding buyers. You can do the guide to Old Town Scottsdale, is that's what it's called-
John: Yeah, Old Scottsdale.
Dean: Or Old Scottsdale. Old Town Scottsdale, so that you're creating this pricing guide and neighborhood guide for anybody who's considering Old Town Scottsdale. So now you're looking and finding buyers the same way.
John: Yes, right.
Dean: For that category.
John: Just sort of listening to you, I thought well this follow up idea where we're going to send people what happened in the last month in their neighborhood, so we have 100 plus seller leads who, for whatever reason, either didn't sell their house or they're still, as far as we know, is selling. And so we just "Okay, well everybody who." And we go on a lot of listing appointments where was we say "Well we're about 50 grand away or 30 grand away from what we need to sell the house." So they don't sell the house and I said "Okay, well let's put all these people on Dean's follow up program and keep adding." Is that a good idea, I mean, do you agree?
Dean: Yeah, absolutely, yes, of course. Everybody that you know is a future, potential seller, yeah and that's what we do. Every month we do the Get Top Dollar newsletter and a cover letter that is always kind of leading to the next step. So we package it, instead of just saying to people "You know, If there's anything we can help you with, just be a please feel free to reach out kind of thing, or ask us any questions." We have very specific offers.
So we talk about that. We know that the three things that are going to sort of motivate people or trigger them taking the next step are: they're either going to want to know specifically what their house is worth, they're going to want to know what to do to get it ready to sell, or they're going to want to. If you have a buyer, maybe they would consider selling. So we package those and offer a pinpoint price analysis, or we offer a room by room review, or we offer our silent market.
So by putting names on them and having them be a process, we get phone calls or emails from people "Can you tell me about your silent market or I'd to get a room by room review." So it makes it easy for people to kind of reach out, rather than 100% taking the initiative from a cold start kind of thing.
John: And do you guys publish that each month?
John: A new cover letter? Where is that? I haven't been able to find that.
Dean: So in the member's blog, each month we put up the world's most interesting postcard, we put up the cover letter, we put up the newsletter. So I'll have Diane send you a link to where that is.
Dean: But yeah.
John: Yeah, so then you're sending a cover letter, basically and then "Hey, here's everything that happened in the last 30 days."
Dean: Yeah, so that's the thing-
John: And you do it on a consistent monthly with that.
Dean: Absolutely. Every month for 14 years, and then they call.
John: Yeah right, and if you're me and you've got a brand typically we would put stuff on there like "Your home's fully guaranteed or we'll buy it and hey, Google us because we look good on Google." Would you add any of that stuff to what you're already producing, or is it better just to send exactly what you have?
Dean: The way that we go around that is it's better to have other people saying that kind of thing, how great you are. That we have inserts that we put in that we call Helping People on the Move, and you're telling the stories of the different people that you're helping; like testimonials kind of thing like that, yeah. But you when you got a strong offer like your guarantees and your things that, it makes sense to put those in there.
John: Yeah, okay. So yeah so that's something that we could, at some level, work together on? Maybe Diane can help us or you can help us.
Dean: Yes, absolutely.
John: With like "Okay, let's try that, we'll start here."
Dean: Yes, yep, yep, absolutely.
John: That's great.
Dean: So I think that's going to be a really great pillar for you is to now proactively let's narrow down the focus to start with both Chuck Charlton and Tony Kalsey and the people who are doing the bigger levels of it, both started out with smaller areas and then expanded. I think Tony's up to 25,000 homes now. But he's the top. He became the top realtor in his MLS district, so.
John: Yeah, so how big can you get to where you're adding 50, 100 houses for sale a year?
Dean: Yes, of course, Yeah, yeah, it's only logistics; it's the same thing. It's just what you can execute. Because if you look at it, collectively, all the agents that are doing this, it's hundreds and hundreds of homes. So it's just people. It's just the expansion of it is all it is.
John: Yeah, that's right. Awesome.
Dean: And we've been doing some cool things with Facebook micro targeting them too, so. That makes it really amplified, so I'm excited about that, there's an opportunity for you is a targeted listing campaign. Then what about your listings that you take now? Have you calculated your listing multiplier index?
John: Yes, yeah, it's embarrassing. It's like 1.09.
Dean: Okay. And that's-
John: And we got a lot of houses, so that's a real opportunity.
Dean: Absolutely. And there's the thing when I present that to people, you're right in the middle of the pack, by the way. When I present that to people for the first time, it ranges between .8 and 1.5; 1.5 for the people who think they're doing everything they can. And so the good news is that we're seeing the clubhouse leaders, as we call them here with this are 3.5 and up; and see what a difference that can make for you.
John: Oh my gosh, yeah.
Dean: With the kind of volume that you're doing if every transaction, even if we get it to 2 or 2.5, it makes a big difference.
John: Yeah, hundred house, that would be a big deal. Yeah.
Dean: What's your approach, now to when you get the listing?
John: Yeah, so, getting your perspective on some of these things we're doing. So we just began to work on implementing the fires the open house.
John: What we're doing now is we have the open house every day sign out there.
Dean: I used to, yeah.
John: Yeah, so do you what do you think of that idea? We get some calls from those.
Dean: Well I like to do is I like to get the most response that I can. So what I focus on that's why we use the info box flyer and use the instant open house. Because when we say that instant open house and then when they go to the landing page, they leave their name and their contact information; that is the focus; that's what I'm really looking at.
And that way, we can build a list of buyers who are looking in those particular neighborhoods. Because we can, at the landing page level, tag and flag the incoming lead as any number of things. We can put the specific address, you can also flag them as Old Town Scottsdale, and price range and things that. So that when you want to send a specific email to everybody who, in your list, is Old Town Scottsdale, specifically in this price range, so we just think ahead on how to tag the data so that it's the most useful going forward. And then, each week we send out a market watch email with updates on all the new listings. How do you how do you go about keeping in touch with all the future buyers, the unconverted buyers?
John: We don't. All we do is call them until we show them the house. So our strategy is they want to see the house, let's show them the house. So we call right away-
Dean: So you call, call, call.
John: Yes, get on the phone, yeah. And then we say "Hey would you like to see the house?" Because that's an easy sell, I mean, "Hey would you like come to my office and have a buyer meeting?" That's tough. So we say "Would you like to see the house?" And so that was another one of my questions is the way you set it up as "Hey, we're going to." Three days later, we're going to email these people and say, "Hey, would you like to see the house?" Why not let them know, "Hey, would you to see it in two hours?"
Dean: Well we do that anyway. I mean, there's the thing is that on the initial email that you send them. You're letting them know that they can kind of making those offers right there that they can. "We do daily tours of homes, we've got a home buyer workshop, we've got the home free home loan report." So we're letting people know all those things that we have for them and some people do reach out that way. But then we let this come behind two or three days.
The only reason we do it for three days is if they respond on a Friday, then it's going to be a Monday. Or if they respond. It's always the week day kind of thing that they're going to be able to say "I got people coming to look at the house this weekend, would you to join us?" That's the thing is just the short, personal, expecting a reply type of emails. And then they might say "Yes or tell me about that?"
We did this in Paradise Valley, and it was a $3 million house on Camelback Mountain and we had this big giant postcard sent down to everybody in the valley who were looking up at the house kind of thing. And then we had the info box flyer on the house, and we had generated 80 buyer leads, 80 people went to that website, left their name and their email address.
And then on the Saturday before the Super Bowl, we had 28 or 26 people come by to see the house, because we did that same thing. Yeah. And so that way, the great news about that is that you only then go and open the house for people who want to go and see it. So it's not opening it Saturday from one o'clock to four o'clock, it's let's get everybody to come at two o'clock.
John: Yeah, and would you send that to the text instead of an email if we have their number?
Dean: If you have that, because one of the things is, about 20% of the people who respond to the info box flyer will respond by text because we offer them the opportunity to either go to this landing page or text your email address to this phone number. And so if we have their text, then we do that.
John: How are you differentiating from a logistical standpoint with all these different listings; do you have different phone numbers for them on each one so the system knows?
Dean: You can have different phone numbers. What we do is we have the one with all of the things or which property, or have a text that's asking them which property. Which one are you?
John: Yeah. Gotcha.
Dean: Because all we want to try to do is engage with people.
John: Yeah. Okay. And then I saw on your landing page you're not asking people for their phone number; you're just talking for their name and email.
Dean: Right. Because we're email centric; everything that I'm doing, John, is predicated on that my phone only accepts incoming calls. And so we've set up the whole system around that, and we get more email addresses by not asking for the phone number than you do by asking for the phone number, in addition.
John: So that's intentional, got it.
Dean: Yeah. Oh, of course. But you can do anything. We do have people who do put that; you can put whatever you want on there. I'm just optimizing for turning as many invisible prospects into visible prospects as I can. And so the people who would leave their phone number, are a subset of the people who would leave their email address because that's feels get more, it's okay. It feels I can ease into it; but we're doing in such a friendly way that people feel comfortable; they let their guard down. Even when they give us their phone number, the fact that we don't call them like everybody else is, is a welcome thing.
John: If you even do that, would even recommend that for Zulily? Because we have their phone number, they're saying "We want to learn more information about this house." How do you handle those?
Dean: Well, Zillow, those are a different kind of thing. I would, if I could, look at doing everything we can to engage with people by email. And so all I'm looking for, anytime any kind of prospect comes into our realm, all we're looking to find out is are they five star prospects. And what I mean by that is that are they willing to engage in a dialogue, are they friendly and cooperative, do they know what they want, are they ready to get it right now, and would they us to help them? Those are the five things that have to be true in order for you to work with somebody. What most people do.
John: Yeah, me, I have a one star system. Are they breathing, are they alive. It's the only star.
Dean: Exactly. And so you're taking that's the biggest, you're taking the way that most people do, you're starting from the bottom up; your initial thing is, "Here's how I can help you, you want to go see the house? Let's go see the house, now's the time to see the house." Rather than just starting at the top and seeing are they willing to engage? And when they respond, we say, "We have another." We're trying to have a dialogue with them.
And then what you find is that by taking that approach by the second or third email exchange, back and forth kind of thing, they send you what I call the love letter. Which is now they've got the ear of somebody and they kind of lay it all out, "Here's what we're looking for, we're really frustrated, we've been trying to find this and we got to be in this school district, and we're this." And whatever else and then you can say to people, "I got a couple of properties that might fit for you, do you have time for a quick call? Here's my number."
Now you can get people on the phone when it's a natural thing, next progression, I mean, I've seen trainings where people are trained to call them once, and then call them from another number, and then call them again; all three calls in the first 90 seconds kind of thing. And I just kind of laugh how that must come across.
John: Yeah, totally. Yeah, no, no. Yeah. What would you on that initial... I remember when you talk about the initial… So now you've got someone who, in our case, we get a lot of people who literally are calling up because they want an appointment. "Okay, what do I do now? I'm ready, hi Mr. Realtor." So we have a process where we have them come on by the office and we have a nice meeting and all that; we get them all, we educate them and off we go.
John: Yeah, so is that okay, or what do you-
Dean: Oh yeah, no, listen, listen, listen.
John: What do you guys go?
Dean: John, I'm never in a position where I'm saying that is silly or anything like that. You are at the top of the game on that. You've figured out that system, your team is really good at it, you're selling 200 homes a year. What I'm saying is that in addition to that now what you may have is you may be sitting on a gold mine of all these unconverted leads that you've said "You're dead to me." Basically, I mean that's the thing. If they're not ready to come in now. That's why I was kind of asking about what do you do with them, then.
And so that's it "You're dead to me." Yeah. "You okay, you want to now? You're dead to me. How do you like that?" So I think when you blend this now have you ever sent a non-word email to those people?
John: No, not in that, but I'm familiar with it and I've used it in the past and had responses because I think it's a powerful idea, yeah. And then I think the part I need to have though is, I love the idea of the home buyer workshop or webinar. It's very simple, but if you look on my web page, we don't have any real resources for here. It's all sucker punches, right hook. There's no "Hey, come get to know us a little bit." And so, I love the idea of having a service like that that we provide there. Have you seen better luck with in person or webinar or did you test it?
Dean: So most of the times, it's been live workshops that are great. But there's a lot done well the webinar can be just as great or even a live stream of a live event; so you got a hybrid of doing both. But there's something about having it be the live event is really great because you get to now come out of the cyber world and into the real world and you shake somebody's hand, and you've gotten an experience on them and you meet them, and now you're a real person; you're not just this online or on the internet guy.
John: So what do you do to get a new lead? Now you're going to begin, we do have the number, so we text or email and then would you start offering stuff this buyer workshop or how would you handle that?
Dean: Tell me what your approach is right now. So I am responding as a Zillow lead and I've inquired about a particular property.
Dean: Okay, so.
John: We would call and say "Hey are you looking? We got your customer, are you looking to buy a house in the next three to six months?" And if they say "Yes." We say "Okay, great. Are you working with a real estate agent? We don't want to step on any toes." And most people say "No." But if they say "Yes." We say "Okay, great, are you still working with them? "Yes." "Okay, have them call us, we'd to be happy to show you the house, we just want to make sure they're present for that."
But if not, then we would say "Great, would you like to see the house?" And if they say "Yes." We'll go show them the house and in that process, we introduce ourselves and give them a soft pitch on it. "Hey, if this house isn't the fit for you, why don't we sit down and we'll get all your criteria and we can kind of get you going, we can help you. What you're doing now isn't working very well, we have a better plan." And we do that. And that's it. That is the whole plan, there's no back end.
Dean: Okay. And so walk me through what might happen with 100 leads using that system.
John: Zillow leads in particular we're around 8% of those folks end up buying a house. So the rest either have a realtor or we lose touch or whatever.
Dean: Yeah, that's strong. I mean, that's from what I've heard, even those are strong numbers. So you're doing it in a disciplined, systematic way. So that's working for you, I wouldn't want to jeopardize anything like that. What I would be very interested in is what we could do with the 92% to get another 8% over time with them. So I would have that softer approach where everybody, at the very least, gets your weekly market watch update. Where every week you're sending an email newsletter about what's going on in the market, highlighting some specific homes that will give people-
John: Work harder the better, right?
John: If we have the administrative horsepower because we got, again, these houses all over the place. So, but we have a big admin team, we have a bunch of people overseas doing a really wonderful help us. So we could gather that information about Buckeye, for example, which is way on the west side. And I would imagine that the more targeted, the better, and maybe the more personal the better. I like your nuance of yeah, I showed these three homes and they were really, "This was great, and the others were not so hot." Am I trying to get your-
Dean: I know, you really are.
Dean: We call it bonding, we want them to bond with you; that you are a real person. You know, for years, the Chuck Charlton in Canada did a daily video of all of the new listings and get Milton daily homes. And that was a really valuable thing that people would immediately feel they know now, Chuck. And what they were getting and what you have, as you know, realtors, is an insight that is in addition to just the data. Everybody has access to the information now, anybody can get updates by email of "Here's the property data for this date, here's the new listings."
But what you can offer in layer on top of that is insight and commentary, and color; adding some personality to it. It's when you guys have this opportunity. You mentioned Gary V. If you know, Gary, I've known Gary for years and what he would say, and I agree with it is you've got the opportunity to create a reality show in Phoenix with your agents. I mean, that's the kind of thinking that if every week they got that kind of thing.
Who's also doing really good with that now is Ryan, he has a video blog that he's doing, and I noticed that the guy from LA too.
John: Is that why you suggest there's audio with the instant open house, are you still doing the audio too? Are we just having a hard time believing someone's going to...? I think it's what you're saying, which is you're giving a little bit of extra insights but here's what I'm telling you what's really great about this house.
Dean: That's exactly right-
John: But not to worry about the people. Are people calling?
Dean: What I found is that it's not necessary, it's nice. So I stripped down, I'm a big fan of what I call and what is called the minimum effective dose. And so what's the minimum viable thing that can get somebody to take that action? So when you look at the way we do the instant open house, the property PDFs are all the pictures of the homes, the simplest stripped down things. That's all we need to do, now would it be nice, also, to record a quick and I mean it could take is two minutes to do it. To say once you've got that property PDF, if you're just on there and walking somebody through the house the pictures, number the pictures and just say to somebody, "Hey, so let me tell you a little bit about it. First of all it's in neighborhood, and this was built in whatever." Just kind of the basic things that you would share with somebody and they get a chance to hear your voice and get to see you.
And I think it's just that people often overthink things that or think that it might be too much work to do it. But listen, you get the voice messaging, you get the voice touch within your Go Go Agent. So you may as well use it and it doesn't get long to do it at all.
John: Yeah. And I guess we can just have to see if anyone do it. We're I understand you use the PDF to make sure it shows up well on any format. But again we've got some back end to us; we have good developers. We're building this in Infusionsoft because that's what we use and it's not hard. It's doing what you have created in Infusionsoft is actually easier for us. So we can optimize for mobile and everything else and make it look great. So is there any magic to the PDF or if we can make it look great on any platform, should we just do it our way or yours?
Dean: No, I think, I think that's great. What I'm what I'm trying to do is make it easy for everybody.
John: Right, simple.
Dean: Not everybody has the access to technical resources that you do. So that's why I try and make it the minimum effective dose. You don't need the audio thing, but it's nice. It's the difference between a Motel 6, has a bed and bathroom and a room with a door with a lock; and you get the basic thing. But what makes up Four Seasons a Four Seasons is that extra things, the things that go along with it that you don't need, necessarily, but they sure are nice. When you walk in the lobby of a Four Seasons and the flower arrangement is remarkable, you know.
John: Yeah, right, right. Yeah. And then one other question too. I really like your philosophy on the seller stories; helping a seller understand "Hey I don't have to sell." Is a bad story.
Dean: Yeah, that's a losing story.
John: Yeah, tell why you list it. Now are you putting those stories, if there is a good story, are you putting it in the MLS remarks like in the Zillow profile?
Dean: No, not-
John: Or is it more the follow up if you want to show the house?
Dean: Yes, exactly. The thing is there's a story being told about the house. So there is going to be a narrative; everybody's making up a story. So we're all looking for the story and if you can shape the narratives about it, that's an edge; that gives you an edge. Yeah, you tell the story that they want to do. And you can take that silent delight with your sellers that it's okay that we're going to hold out for top dollar, but let's tell them the story that makes them feel like they're going to win. That's really what it is.
It's you're not posturing and telling the story, you're not being confrontational and telling the story that is well, we're not giving it away, where we don't have to say all that stuff, it's like, you know, just let that go and be completely outwardly focused and let somebody else win, let them feel they're winning. Because the bottom line is market value is market value and the house is going to sell for what the house is going to sell for.
And oftentimes, we'll get more because if you're creating a winning story, more people are going to be on more people's radar, they're going to be more interested in it and then you still get into a situation where there's competing offers for something, and that's where you're going to get the highest price, anyway, so.
John: And this isn't a marketing tool necessarily at the outward level, it's more the communication with agents and buyers who are actually already looking at the house, the agents and buyers that we're showing the house to; so it's a little more targeted in that way, okay. Got you.
Okay. And as far as coming soon stuff goes I'm back to the listing idea, I think there's a real opportunity there. Is there anything specific or unique or special that you're kind of planning on or that you do to it to "Hey, let's get some traction here right up front?"
Dean: Yeah, all that stuff, everything that people do in terms of getting people to go to the instant open house, get the preview stuff, get all of that, you're just building up that momentum, that's really what it's about, is just kind of spreading that story that's where you're kind of getting all the word out getting all your ducks in a row, having the sellers be ready to get on board and spread it through their social media and from their perspective differently than just you doing it and tagging them, to have them do.
You'll see next week we're going to do a sample video with one of Diane's new listings to have the seller do a video for their Facebook page and that's the kind of thing is getting the sellers involved, equipping them to help.
John: Gotcha. That's awesome. If I'm hearing correctly, what I'm hearing you say is "Hey, John, what you're doing is working, so go for it." And although I think to some degree, I want to make some changes. I think we're calling people too much and kind of being.
Dean: Right, right, right, right, right.
John: From here-
Dean: Yeah, we don't want to alienate people but-
John: Right, so I think that I would probably change.
Dean: But I'm all I would say is that you've got all this stuff that is happening, you're this big boat that's going through and you're leaving big wake behind you and what I'm saying is, let's just kind of organize this wake and direct it so that we're capturing another 8% of the 92% who you're not converting right now. Just stay on their radar and that's going to be a really valuable portfolio that you're going to generate.
John: Yeah, yeah, that's great. Awesome.
Dean: Well this has been so much fun. I mean, it's I love it that you're really doing it at a high level. You sound super sharp and it's not easy to organize all of that to get to a level to do 200 homes, so, you're doing a lot of right things.
John: Thank you. I'm excited to meet you in Florida too. Is there any anything to best prepare for that time, I don't know a whole lot about it other than I'm excited to meet you and to be doing the program. Any good way to prepare?
Dean: Just come with an open mind. We create it as we go, it's in the mastermind format. So we're going to cover all of those elements and it's a great way for people to share what they're doing that's working, you get to see what other people are doing. And then we kind of all benefit from that by creating some new things that become kind of a best practice for it.
John: Awesome, I love it. Sounds great.
Dean: So I'm looking forward to it. Well, I appreciate it, I will see you in just a few weeks and, yeah, keep doing what you're doing and it's all just another layer for you. This is really it's all upside for you.
John: Yeah, really. It's really good. Well, thank you for the time it was really a pleasure. And yeah, we'll see you in a few weeks.
Dean: Thanks, John. I'll talk to you soon.
John: All right, same thing. See you, bye.
Dean: And there we have it, boy that episode went fast. So much to talk about, so many things that it was really great to get an inside view on what it looks like on the inside of a team that's doing 200 homes a year and their approach is very good disciplined execution of a pretty good sales approach. So the thing that I'm excited about is to see now layering on top of that all the things that we talk about with getting listings. He was saying they get a lot of listings, but they don't know or control where they're coming from.
So now when we can narrow that focus and start generating the listings from the ground up in the very specific areas that we want, it's nothing but opportunity here. I'm super excited to see how it all plays out, and I'm looking forward to meeting John in Orlando.
If you're able, we'd love to have you join us. We do our Listing Agent Lifestyle Go Go Agent Mastermind in Orlando February 22 and 23rd. It'll be a good chance for you to meet people who are on this path, who are deploying all of the things that we talk about in the Listing Agent Lifestyle elements, and really have a good time; see what other people are doing.
If you'd to kind of get a sense of what we're up to and join us in our community, we're building a really great community of people who are applying all of our approaches to the Listing Agent Lifestyle at gogoagent.com. And you can come on in and have a free trial, see what everything's about, take a look at our getting listings program, our listing multipliers, our instead open houses, our world's most interesting postcard; all the tools and the things that we need to really maximize all the elements of the listing agent lifestyle are right there for you at GoGoAgent.com.
And if you want to see how your business is being affected by the Listing Agent Lifestyle elements, try our listing agent scorecard. And you can do that ListingAgentScore.com and we go through all of the eight elements, and you get a chance to really find where you are in relation to what's possible with all of those elements of the listing agent lifestyle.
So that's it for this week, enjoy your week and I will talk to you next time.