Today on the Listing Agent Lifestyle podcast we're talking with Cullen Wallace from Seattle, and this is a really interesting episode because Cullen had been listening in on the podcast for a while, kind of investigating and looking around, and he decided to jump in to the program after a recent episode, and hearing about the results Diane was having from implementing the Getting Listings and the World's Most Interesting Postcard campaigns from our office here.
It's interesting because I know from talking with people that it’s very inspirational to hear the results others are getting… ‘I’ve been listening longer than Diane has been doing this and all of a sudden, here's Diane getting all these results. That could have been me…’
That's kind of where we're Cullen was at, so now he’s on board, we built out a really great plan for him to completely take over a very high-end area of Seattle. We laid it out step by step, exactly what to do, and I think that you're really going to enjoy this.
If you've been listening in on the sidelines, and you're ready to get in the game, this could be a great inspiration.
Transcript: Listing Agent Lifestyle Ep068
Dean: Hello. Cullen Wallace.
Cullen: Dean Jackson.
Dean: There he is. How are you, sir?
Cullen: I'm very well, thank you. How are you?
Dean: I am great. Just got back from about 10 days of being on the road. I was out in Phoenix and Los Angeles and back and fully engaged.
Dean: I'm super-excited to talk to you. How long have you been with us, with GoGoAgent now?
Cullen: Officially just over, I guess, really over a week.
Dean: Okay. Perfect, so this is going to be a good time to jump right in then, to start at the beginning here and see what we can craft as a plan for you here. But tell me about your-
Cullen: Yeah. I've been a-
Dean: Yeah, your background, where you're from and all that. Yeah. Tell me about your background and where you're from.
Cullen: Okay. I grew up in Fairbanks, Alaska.
Cullen: Got into real estate there like I think a lot of people get in real estate, kind of by accident. My dad who's been a broker for a long time, and I come from a very large family, a very close family. My dad and I are extremely close. He'd been after me to get to go to work with him. I was very hesitant because I didn't want it to ruin our relationship, but actually it's made us closer than we've ever been.
Cullen: Then had very good success early on because of the small community. I grew up there and I knew a ton of people. I had a successful business without knowing how to be successful. Then my wife and I, we don't have any children and we decided to move. We moved a couple of times, but we ended up in Seattle a few years ago. I have really struggled to get my business going.
What I have found here in Seattle and part of this is an excuse I use, but part of it is there's some truth to it as well is Seattle's a big small town. A lot of people here are multi-generational. You know their grandparents grew up here. People I've met and interact with socially when it comes time to do business, they say, "Hey, you know I'd like to do business with you, but I have to do business with this guy that my sister went to school with." I said, "Well, do you like the guy? Do you trust the guy?" "No, I don't really like him very much. I'm not sure I trust him, but I don't want to fight with my sister, so I just do business with him." I've encountered that a lot here. It's just been a real slug trying to get business going here.
Dean: Mm-hmm (affirmative). It's really interesting because that, you're part of what really counterbalances that is having the business. We talked about being able to, if you're especially on a listing side somebody saying. That may be true, that they may decide that they need to list their house with their sister's friend. But if you had a buyer for their house, their sister's friend would be under the bus so fast that it would make your head spin.
Dean: That's why it's important to really, especially in a market like that, think about creating category triangulation that we talk about it being a market-maker. Yeah, so that's going to go a long way. Very cool. What have you done so far then in terms of trying to address the things that we talk about as the Listing Agent Lifestyle elements of getting listings and multiplying your listings and getting referrals and converting leads and finding buyers?
Cullen: Mostly I've concentrated on finding buyers. This is the first market I've been in where open houses are a really big part of the market. Not only are they a part of the market, but also this is one of the strange things they do here is, for example, I'm with Compass and you'll find a Compass broker who will hold a listing open for a Keller Williams broker. They go across offices a lot here as well.
Dean: That's interesting. Yeah, so more of a sense of cooperation or, yeah.
Cullen: Yeah. It makes sense because then there's less confusion with a buyer's mind of, "Who are you representing, and who's representing me?" It actually works out pretty well. But as a result of not being in this, and it's funny. My wife is an engineer. We are middle school sweethearts. We had our first kiss, it'll be 39 years ago in August.
Cullen: She knows me pretty well. She goes with me occasionally because she does all my social media stuff. She had gone with me to an open house. One day we were getting in the car and she said, "I got to tell you something. You're not going to like it." I said, "Okay. What's that?" She goes, "I don't know who that guy is that's at that open house, but I don't like that guy, and I wouldn't do business with that guy." I said, "Well, what do you mean?" She goes, "You know, you are, what you're really good at is you have a curious nature and you engage people and ask them a lot of questions about themselves and about their hobbies. You make friends really quickly. But when you're in an open house, you're so afraid of being that stereotypical, sleazy, used car salesman that you clam up and don't really engage these people at all." She goes, "That's not who you are." And she's right.
Dean: Oh, she was talking about you as the guy.
Dean: Oh, I was thinking it was another agent, but you're saying-
Cullen: No, no. She was talking about me. It was really eye-opening and really changed my perspective on how I interact with people in that environment. It's still not something I'm totally comfortable with because I don't have a lot of experience at open houses. It's just something I've been doing for the last year. I have picked up some traction out of it. But it's still not something I feel totally comfortable with.
Dean: Where are we at right now? How many listings do you have? You have any listings right now?
Cullen: I've had one listing since I've been in this market.
Dean: Okay, so you're primarily focused on, do you hold other agent's houses open? Is that what you mean?
Cullen: Yes. Yes.
Dean: Okay. Got you. Is there any area that you would like to get listings? Or are you focused on the buyer side? That's what you really want to do?
Cullen: No. What I really want to do is list. Having been at this a little over 20 years now, and I know that's where I want to be is on listings. The neighborhood that we live in, and I pulled up and was reviewing stats this morning in anticipation of our call. The neighborhood I live in is called Queen Anne. It's one of the oldest, more established neighborhoods in Seattle. It's one that holds very steady with values, not big swings up or down. That's where I live, and that's where I would like to have my business, where I'd like to work. I've been working with Diane. I've been in your orbit for a while off and on. I finally pulled the trigger and jumped in with both feet and being a good realtor I used the easy button known as Diane.
Dean: Yes, exactly.
Cullen: She and I have been working on getting my stuff out for this neighborhood.
Dean: Okay, perfect. How far along are you so far?
Cullen: I think the card's done and all the reports are done. Nothing has gone out yet, but I think everything is done and just needs to be sent out.
Dean: You got everything. All your ducks in a row.
Dean: Ready to go. That's an exciting-
Cullen: She's got the mailing list. She's got everything. Yep.
Dean: Okay, good. That's an exciting time. We're starting to see now everything's starting to fall into place now with Diane. It's been interesting to watch frontline here because that's why I wanted to do it with Diane right here in Winter Haven to observe. I think it really helps with her interacting with our GoGoAgents who they feel a little bit like she's right there doing the same thing, so she's got the real experience of it. Now, what's starting to happen is the people are starting to call, and she's starting to get listings now. That goes a long way.
Cullen: Well, and to be candid, the interview with Diane is the reason that I committed. Like I said, I've been orbiting around. Somehow, I don't know how I originally got with Joe Polish, but somehow I picked up in Joe Polish's orbit and have been listening to some of his stuff and reading some of his stuff, which, of course, led me to you. Then I've been around your orbit for probably six or nine months and listening to the pods casts and hearing stuff off the website. But saying, "Ah, I don't know if this works." I've been hemming and hawing around. Then when Diane did hers, like, "You know what? I'm going to do this because this is working for her and it'll work for me."
Dean: I think this is what's really interesting is I think you hit it on the head there that if you've been around for six or nine months and you listened to the podcast even periodically and you start to think, you hear about an idea, and you kind of say, "Okay. Well maybe. Oh, there may be something to that or maybe not." But then you hear of someone in that time start up from after you knew about it and now getting results that could have been you if you had done it.
Dean: I think you're right that that's a wake-up. That's exactly right. Here's what's going to happen then is that you're going to start the process of mailing to the neighborhoods. How many homes are in the area that you chose?
Cullen: The mailing list I sent her was about 675 I believe.
Dean: Okay. Perfect. What's the price range of the-
Cullen: The average price in that neighborhood is right at a million dollars.
Dean: Okay. Perfect. Good for you. That's going to be a nice thing. We mail into that area. Now, I imagine that it's not high turnover but high value, which is great. When you look at the ROI, it's going to mirror more like what's happens with Kenny in Cape Ann, because he did all oceanfront homes, which are all a million dollar plus kind of things up in Massachusetts.
Cullen: Actually, Dean, I hate to interrupt you. But average days on market over the last three years is less than 20 in that market.
Dean: Days on market. I meant turnover rate in terms of how many of the 675 are going to sell.
Cullen: Oh, okay, right.
Dean: Yeah, so it's not that they're not going to sell quickly. It's just probably there's not a 10% turnover rate of them like there would be-
Cullen: I see what you're saying. Yeah. Okay.
Dean: Because all of this, the thing that we look at, how do we evaluate one area versus another when you're looking to choose which area to focus on, we look at the total yield. Did you do the math on how many homes of the 675 sold in the last 12 months?
Cullen: Of those, none have. Where I got the list was I had this original idea was to do a seller class of taking people who had been in their house 15 to 30 years with the thinking that those were people that when the market collapsed, they were probably thinking about selling at that time. Then all their equity went away. They've stayed in that house. They haven't taken out a second on it, so now they've got a bunch more equity. The market has completely recovered. Plus, do you want to ride another wave down and back up again? Or do you want to think about getting out now? That was where I got the mailing list. I went to the title company and got a list of homeowners in this neighborhood who fit that criteria.
Dean: Okay, so probably this-
Cullen: That's who I picked.
Dean: I got you. Okay, so you're not picking a neighborhood, picking an area. But more the way that I look at this is like you're trying to be what we call a stock picker rather than the market. If you're fully invested in the stock market when all of the market goes up, you're on average 10% over the last hundred years or whatever it's been.
Dean: What you're doing and there's no right or wrong to this, but just to illustrate it, that you're trying to be what I call a stock picker where you're picking what you believe to be a more likely group of people than the general market.
Dean: Right. If you say like when we take all of Lake Ashton overall and rather than trying to cherry-pick out people that we think might have a higher likelihood of selling. When we look at it, there's a little bit of, perhaps, false comfort in that. The reason that I ask that is your hypothesis is that those people are more likely to sell than the general population. Right?
Cullen: Correct. Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Dean: My test for your hypothesis would be: Did you look at the last 12 months of all the people that sold in that neighborhood and have any indication that 80% of them matched those criteria? Or that they-
Cullen: I don't.
Dean: Okay. Because I think when you look at it that part of what you might find is that it seems like that. But the reality might be that that is actually a lower likelihood that people are going to sell than the more transient ones. That somebody who may be in there for two or three or five years might be the more likely person to sell. The person who's been there longer might be more entrenched.
Dean: Yeah? But that would be my encouragement to you is to kind of look: Are they all within the same neighborhood? Or, what's the unifying factor in how they would identify that this is for them?
Cullen: Yeah, so Seattle is very hilly and surrounded. It's all built on hills, and so Queen Anne is the highest hill in the city, and so it has great views. That's part of what makes it very appealing. What I had done was I took a big square basically of the top of Queen Anne Hill, which is overall is, I'm guessing, has got to be somewhere in the range of about 7,000 houses.
Cullen: I narrowed it down because I didn't want to, obviously, mail the 7,000 people right off the hop. That's how I weeded that down a little bit but still kept in that geographic area.
Dean: Yes. Okay. They would recognize that as what they would say, "Where do you live?" "I live on Queen Anne Hill or in Queen Anne Hill."
Cullen: Correct. Yep.
Dean: Okay. Perfect. Your postcard is going to say the offer of the report on Queen Anne Hill house prices?
Dean: Okay. Perfect. Yeah. What I would look at is, just to even do your analysis there, is to look through of all of the homes that sold in that area on Queen Anne Hill last year, just to do your analysis here. This is just a simple spreadsheet thing is to look through and see how long they had been in the home. Because if what you're saying is an advantage to you, if 80% of the homes that sold last year were people who had lived in the home for 15 years and longer, then you might be onto something there. But if not, then you may be better off in picking a quadrant of it as opposed to trying to pick out an attribute that might be higher likelihood. Do you know?
Cullen: Right. Yeah. No, that actually, I hadn't thought about that. That makes a lot of sense and I never thought about looking at what had sold to see where they fit into that. Just to see, like I said.
Dean: Yeah. Just to test your hypothesis because you may find out that 80% of the people that actually sold have lived in the house for less than 10 years. Maybe you've got the people that are lifers, and you've got the people who are buying and selling within 10 years there.
Cullen: Right, right.
Dean: Yep. That would a valuable thing to know. But I think that if we take the long-term view to this, like looking at three to five years in Queen Anne Hill, that's still going to be a popular area in three to five years. It's still going to be an area that you would love to be the dominant agent there. That's the mindset that we want to have going into this is: I want you to look at it that you're going in with a plan to dominate that area. By dominate I mean be the top recognized agent in that area. Is there anybody in there what you would consider dominant in that area with 10 or 20% market share?
Cullen: No. That's what kind of makes this just comes together as a perfect storm of opportunity here. There was a very dominant agent here. She was very much older and she passed away. Now that pie has kind of just been distributed out amongst everybody, and you might find someone who does maybe 3 or 4% up there. But nobody's really taken control of that market.
Dean: Okay. Perfect. I would say look for a multiple approach to this. That I would look at doing the postcards to whatever amount of them you can afford to start with. Then look for doing the whole area by Facebook with the digital targeting, like micro-targeting to take it’s all kind of contiguous geography. It's all in the same or is it broken up?
Cullen: No, it's all the same.
Dean: You could draw a circle around it and say, "This is the area right here?"
Cullen: Yep. Right. Yep.
Dean: Yeah. I would definitely do that with the digital version. Do the Facebook ads that we've been doing just like we do with Diane. Do the videos like we've been doing for Lake Ashton with Diane. Start to get to know, start to really get your foot in the door that way. Start generating the leads from the people who are responding right away. Then what we also simultaneously want to do is start looking for buyers who are looking for homes in Queen Anne Hill. Is it on or in? Is it a neighborhood or how do you-
Cullen: Yeah. People say, "I want to live in Queen Anne."
Dean: In Queen Anne. Okay.
Cullen: Yep. I agree to what you're saying on trying to find the buyers for that area. The other nice thing about this neighborhood is you have young families with small children and you have older people who just like the neighborhood and, like you said, are entrenched. The only way they're leaving is to be carried out.
Cullen: Because there's no high school up there. There was years ago, but that high school closed down. Families, they start. They have young kids and then the kids get to be about fifth or sixth grade. The families start looking to move to an area that has the high school close by.
Dean: I got you.
Cullen: It has this always built in turnover in addition to be a popular neighborhood and one that holds its value. It's got that, also, the family atmosphere that pushes people along.
Dean: Mm-hmm (affirmative). I like it. Are all of the homes up there over a million? Or just the ones that you-
Cullen: No. You'd be hard-pressed to find a starter home in Queen Anne is probably going to set you about 750 or 800.
Dean: Okay, so there's lots of opportunity there, lots of margin.
Cullen: Oh, yeah. Yep. But there's also houses up there that are $10 million, so it covers the gamut.
Dean: Okay. Yeah. This is great. Do they all have views? Is that part of what the appeal is?
Cullen: No. The ones that do have views are obviously big-ticket houses for the most part. Because it sits, it's kind hard to explain without looking at a map of Seattle. It kind of sits right on a corner where depending on how your house is situated, you get a view of the downtown skyline. But then you also get a view of Puget Sound, and so you watch the sun set over the water.
Cullen: It has that advantage as well. But it's close to downtown. You're 10 minutes, 15 minutes at the most, from being in the middle of downtown. It's just an old, established like the first real neighborhood out of the city. It's maintained its charm. It has a little Main Street that's got a lot of nice restaurants and shops. It just is the closest in neighborhood and is long-time established, and it's just the place people want to be.
Dean: Oh, that's great. Cool. I think this is going to be the thing that when you start this process now, you're going to start generating leads. You're going to start building this inventory of future sellers just like you probably have already kind of looked back at the expired listings from there over the last few years that haven't relisted. I put those on a Google Map layer so you see where all of the potential inventory is here, all the potential sellers. Add, every time we get a new lead for a new seller, we'll put them on that map as well. Now you've got this visual evidence of how much impact you are taking on there. You know?
Cullen: Right. Right.
Dean: That's going to be a really good thing that's going to help once we start finding buyers who are looking for those things. I think I know there is Homes & Land Magazine in your area there, too?
Cullen: A similar kind of thing, yeah. I don't think it's a Homes & Land, but there's something along those lines. Yep.
Dean: Okay, so, print, there's somewhere that you could do some print ads?
Dean: Perfect. Yeah. Part of the thing I would start looking at this strategy for finding buyers, I would also now look to put together the guide to Queen Anne Hill house prices for buyers so that you've got something now that you can offer for somebody looking to buy in that area.
Dean: Have you seen in GoGoAgent the ads that we've done for South Beach? Zach just did the one for the in-town condos.
Dean: Yeah, so those, like where you're taking part of what would be the iconic thing that somebody who is attracted to Queen Anne Hill would recognize? Is it the view from there? Something, not that we're looking at a house there per se, but we're looking out as if you're living there looking back out what your view would be or what is that at least one of the reasons why people like to be there? Is the views? Or?
Cullen: Yes. At the bottom of the hill is the Seattle Center, which is where they have the arena for the basketball and hockey teams and the concerts and all that stuff. But it's also where the Space Needle is. If you're on Queen Anne Hill and you have a view, the first thing you're seeing out your window is the Space Needle.
Dean: Yes, and so that's-
Cullen: That's what I did and one of the nice things is at the top of the hill, they have a very nice city park that has a nice vista. I took a photo from the vista looking at the skyline with the Space Needle right in the front. That's the photo we're using.
Dean: Oh, that's awesome. Okay. That's the kind of thing when you're saying, "If you're looking for an amazing view home on Queen Anne Hill, read this." That's the model that we would look for there. I would test that same thing as a Facebook ad for where are the buyers coming from who are buying in Queen Anne?
Cullen: As strange as it sounds at that price point, we do find some first-time home buyers. But a lot of them are younger couples that are coming out of condos or townhouses that are moving up into a single family home.
Dean: Uh-huh (affirmative). They're living in the area?
Cullen: Yes. Yep. It's rare you get someone who's not from here who buys in that neighborhood.
Dean: Okay. Perfect because they know that's the area.
Dean: Yeah. Got it. Okay. That even more solidifies my mindset then for that. That you start triangulating this looking for the buyers for Queen Anne Hill. Then just like you're starting is for anybody who will let you do the open houses. Or, it's funny how some people go either way on open houses. They think, "Well, it's not a big thing." But I personally have bought two homes from walking in on an open house. You know?
Dean: I know and as a realtor had lots of experiences of people buying the home they walked in on. Or meeting them as buyers that I was able to help them find another home. I look at it as a high probability thing if you can do that. Do you have some of the realtors in your office or other offices that would allow you to do an open house but also to advertise it?
Cullen: Yes. Mm-hmm.
Dean: Yeah. Or even putting together a little tour of homes for a weekend. Like thinking about doing a three or four homes on a Saturday or a Sunday. Just stage them out 30 minutes apart or however you would do that. Because that would be something where you can use as a lead-generator for people to get the map, today's daily, the Saturday tour map. That would be a-
Cullen: Right. No, I like that idea. Yeah.
Dean: Yeah. Because all what we're really looking for is we want to be consistently scanning the area for the people who are looking to buy the homes in Queen Anne Hill so that as we're generating the leads for the sellers, as soon as we're showing homes. As soon as you're working with a buyer who wants to go out and look at the homes. Then you're able to email the people who've responded for your postcards or your digital ads from the listing side. That you're able to email them and say, "Hey, I'm showing houses this weekend to a couple, and we're looking in your neighborhood." That kind of the market-maker message that we talk about of being able to say to them, "Just thought I would check in and see if I could tell them about your house."
Dean: That will be the kind of thing that's going to help you get over this everybody's already got a relationship kind of thing. You know?
Cullen: Right. Right. That's one of things that I've picked up from the various podcasts I've listened to. Is having that, "Hey, I know you're not thinking about selling now, but we've had the conversation and it's kind of on your radar. I've got somebody looking for something just like your house. Would it be okay if I bring them by?"
Cullen: You're right. As you always say, which I really love, is, "Even if Dean Jackson's mother was a realtor, if I came to Dean and said, 'Dean, I've got someone who wants to buy your house. Today, right now will pay you what you want for it,' Sorry, Mom, I've just sold my house."
Dean: Exactly. That's exactly what happens is that now they are going to have to have that conversation, I say that about your mother that that's the truth of how it would happen. But think about how much easier it would be to let down your sister's friend if you actually had a buyer? That's all people really want. Selfish desires are what drive everything. Having the buyer is going to be the magic key that drives your total domination of an area. You know?
Cullen: Right, right.
Dean: You're on the right track there. That's really the thing that is I talk about this scientific method. I talk about you sticking with a proven plan that you've seen and been around long enough to know we've been doing this for years and years. That this is not a hypothesis that I've got. This is a proven system for getting listings. That I would say to people, "The thing that, the danger is when people try to shortcut the process." I think it's just about the disciplined execution of sticking to the plan and knowing that this is maturing into something that is going to be great.
Dean: Yeah. All of that setting and forgetting of that, getting that rolling now, what about your relationships? What about your top 150?
Cullen: Yeah, I haven't started working on that. I do have my database, but I've not started working on getting that working with Diane yet.
Dean: Okay. That, I would bump that up to the very next thing on your list. Because of all the strategies that we have for you, that is the one that is the most set it and forget it reliable. You know?
Dean: In terms of you just need to get that list of people, and we do every other thing for it. In terms of the I write the postcard. We can get your list. We could do all of it for you. But it's just a matter of we don't know who the top 150 for you are until you tell us.
Dean: Those people are having conversations right now. Every day, they're out there having conversations, and all we want is that when they have those conversations they're going to notice that they're about real estate and they're going to think about you, and they're going to tell you about the people they had the conversation with. That's all we can hope for.
Cullen: Right, right.
Dean: Do you have 150?
Cullen: Yes. One of the things I don't do a good job of is here in Seattle I've probably got 120. But I've got a large database of people that I've met and tracks from around the country and other roles in life I've done that I've met people from around the country. What I don't do a really good job of is communicating to a, "Hey, Dean, if you're going to buy a house, I will find you a good agent. I know that you're in Florida. I'm not there, but I will find you someone who will take care of you and do a good job for you." I don't do a good job of communicating that with the people that I know, and I need to because I do have a large database of people all over the place.
Dean: Yes. Well, that's awesome. I would look at those as two separate things. You've got 120 in your local market. That's a really good start. I would definitely start with that because that's really the fastest-acting thing, too, because these people already know you and like you. You just need to be on their radar. The faster that you start that process, the faster they'll recognize the pattern of I always say to people, "They're not going to recognize a pattern when you send one postcard." They'll just see it, "Oh, that's interesting," and that'll pique their mind. But then the next time they'll remember, "Oh, yeah. I got one of those last time." Then the third one is the confirmation, "Oh, yeah. I get one every month," kind of thing. Now you're constantly on their mind, and you're evidencing the different types of people that you actually work with. Because each month is a different referral conversation.
Cullen: I know from having been in the business a long time that every time someone I know buys or sells real estate or refers someone else and they don't use me, it's because I didn't stay in contact.
Dean: Yes. That's exactly right. It's not their job to remember you.
Cullen: Yeah. It was me that dropped the ball every single time, and I know that. Yeah.
Dean: That was the fun thing. For Diane, she's gotten two listings already from people who referred her from getting the postcard. Yeah, that's a thing is they already know. They're having these conversations. You just need to get in front of them, and that's going to make a big difference.
Cullen: Right. Okay.
Dean: Now I'm curious about technically the second thing that we talk about is multiplying your listings. Do any of these people that would maybe allow you to do the open house, would they also allow you to do an Info-Box flyer and some of the other listing multiplier things that we talk about?
Cullen: I honestly can't answer. I don't know if they would. My first inclination is no. But I don't know that. It's just a guess on my part.
Dean: Well, I wonder. It would be an interesting thing maybe if you even did with how many agents are in your office?
Cullen: In my branch, there's about 80. In my overall company, there's about 350.
Dean: Yeah. Part of the thing that you might look at is bringing this idea of the listing multiplier index to some of these agents, the ones who are not doing anything other than putting them in MLS. Saying to them because as soon as when you present the idea of the listing multiplier index to people, the first thing is that when they do it and they realize that they're missing out on so many other options, so many other opportunities, they feel like, "Wow. I didn't really think that way." There may be an opportunity to partner with them even to do it with them to partner on doing it with them to get and so you're not taking away from something that they could do.
I could see how an agent might not want to let you put out an Info-Box flyer, because that would feel like that's siphoning something that they could get if they did it. But if you present that idea with them and are able to set up an instant open house to go along with the physical open house that you're going to do and offer to do some sort of share on the leads with them, that might be a good way to jump-start. You know?
Dean: Especially if there are listings in Queen Anne.
Dean: That's where I would start looking is how close are you to the agents who are already listing in Queen Anne Hill? If they're in our branch or you know them, that would be a really good way to build your long-term vision for this. Is to partner with them or to pay referral fee or pay some kind of a split with them on some of the strategies that you have access to. Whether the Just Listed cards, the instant open house, that physically doing an open house, or the tour of homes or those kind of things.
Cullen: Right. No, that's a great idea. I hadn't thought about it. No, I like that.
Dean: Because all we really want is we want you in the mix on everything that's going on in Queen Anne Hill. I think if you presented it that way to one of these agents, that they would be happy to work with you that way. You're saying, "Listen." You're going to go all the work and then you'll give me some of the money or whatever comes from it.
Cullen: Right. Because it-
Dean: They would be open to that.
Cullen: No, I think so, too, because being an older, established neighborhood, it has the agents that work in that neighborhood are mostly older, established agents.
Dean: I was just going to say, "Older, established agents who they don't have time or interest in going and doing Info-Box flyers and Just Listed cards. The most common thing I hear from people like that is they almost take pride in the fact that, "You know what? I price them right and our market's hot, and they all sell. I don't have to do Just Listed cards." Or, "I don't have to do an Info-Box flyer." That's the agent that you want. That's the one that you want to build the relationship with. You know?
Cullen: Right. Right. Yeah.
Dean: Because they're not going to do anything like that anyway. The other thing you might look at doing is considering yourself maybe as a potential exit plan for some of these more established agents who are looking to maybe get out but to work their relationships.
Dean: That might be an interesting thing. Some people might be open to that, too.
Cullen: No, and I can think of at least one right now who's a pretty major player just in this general area, not necessarily in Queen Anne but in the overall general area around here that is older and is probably thinking about how do I get out of this business?
Dean: Yes. That might be a good thing for you.
Cullen: Right. Right. Okay.
Dean: I like it. Tell me what else here? I want to make sure that we've talked about the basic things here. But I want to make sure that we talk about the stuff that you want to talk about. What else is on your mind?
Cullen: I think we've answered most of it. Because the big thing that's held me back after listening to your podcast and exploring around with your website was, again, this mentality of, "Well, I don't have time to build a listing inventory." One of the interviews I think with Tony Kelsey is, "I don't have 15 years to wait for some guy to respond to me. I need listings now. I need this now. I don't have time for that." Well, if I had done it six months ago when I first started exploring around with you, I would have listings now.
Dean: Yes. That's my point. I could not have said that better. That's exactly what happens though is that, and let's talk to literally the people that are in that situation right now. Because you're one of them. I know there are others because I see people. I run into people who say, "Yeah. I've been meaning to get that going." But when you look at it right now, I know that that's motivating when you start to see that, "Well, I've been listening to the podcast since before Diane started doing the Getting Listings Program. Now all of a sudden, here we are and she's getting all these listings, and that could have been me. I could have been doing that." It really just takes the time to get into orbit. You know?
Dean: It's like getting that first one. Once you get that going, I use lots of different descriptions for it. But I live in Florida here, so planting an orange grove is a good example. That when you plant an orange tree, it's not going to yield fruit right away. You got to get to the point where it yields. But then once it starts yielding fruit, it will continue yielding fruit for a long time.
Cullen: Right. Well, the analogy I always think about is a train, a locomotive. If you put a two-inch block of steel in front of a parked locomotive, it won't get started. Once it's started, it'll run through an eight-foot wide concrete wall.
Dean: That's a great analogy. That's awesome. Yeah.
Cullen: But you've got to get it started first. With your orange tree, I want to put the seed in the ground this morning and have fruit this afternoon. Why doesn't it work that way?
Dean: I know. That's why when I was questioning your thing about picking the 15, I think what you are trying to do with that. It's no different than what everybody tries to do is you're saying, "If I'm only going to mail to 675, I really want to pick the 675 that are going to list now." That's really what's going on. I'm saying that overall that stock picking strategy is not as reliable as with a plan to dominate the market. You know?
Cullen: Right. Right. Yeah. You and I both know what's going to happen is if I mail to Dean Jackson's neighbor and then Dean lists them, "Well, why didn't you call me? I'm the neighborhood expert."
Dean: Exactly. You see, and it could have been.
Cullen: Because being Dean fit my criteria.
Dean: That's right.
Cullen: That's why because he didn't get a mail. Yep.
Dean: That's right. I think that's going to be the thing. But the good news is no matter who you're mailing to, you're going to balance it with the micro-targeting. We'll do the Facebook ads just for that area. That's like mailing the postcards. You know?
Dean: I look at them as like digital postcards. We treat it the same way. We only run it for until the frequency gets to 1.2, 1.3. That way you're not multiplying. You're not mailing the same thing over and over and over.
Cullen: Right. Well, and the nice thing is that in this price point, it doesn't take much momentum for this thing to become self-sustainable at a very large scale.
Dean: Well, absolutely. You look at that. Yeah. Think about the ROI, yes. Because everyone, the minimum it's a multiple of what it would cost to mail, so, yeah. It's a good high probability investment.
Dean: Very cool. Well, I'm excited. You're in a situation now where we're coming into the spring market, so you may have some good momentum around that, too.
Cullen: Right, right. Yeah. Again, part of that perfect storm of things that seem to be working in my favor.
Cullen: I just need to get working.
Dean: Okay. Cool. Well, any famous last words?
Cullen: No. I'm very excited and you already know this as well, but Diane is a rock star. She's awesome.
Dean: She really is. Yeah. Yeah, she really is, and I'm happy. The good news is today I think is we're shooting the videos for the Facebook ads for Ashton and Cypress today, so it's all coming together. It's all pretty exciting. She's excited about the way it's all happening, too, so that's good.
Cullen: Well, it's nice to be able to find someone who's just, like you said, getting into the process and following along with them going, "Wow."
Dean: That's what our like us doing one of these episodes a month with her to give the update on what's actually going on. I think that's encouraging for other people. I think you kind of confirm that. That that's what really what tipped you over the edge is hearing the success of what's actually going on with her, so very cool. Well, I really enjoyed it, Cullen. I really enjoyed chatting with you. I think we got a really solid plan to take over Queen Anne Hill. I can't wait to watch it unfold.
Cullen: Yep. No. Thanks, Dean, very much. I appreciate what you do for everyone, and I appreciate your time today on the phone. That was very beneficial to me. Thank you so much.
Dean: Thanks. We'll talk to you soon.
Cullen: Okay. Have a good day.
Dean: Thanks, Cullen. Bye.
Cullen: Thanks. Bye.
Dean: There we have it. Another great episode. It's kind of exciting to see that plan lay out and come together. The thing that jumped out for me about this episode particularly is this idea of choosing geography rather than trying to be a stock picker and trying to pick an attribute that maybe you think might have a higher likelihood to sell. Unless you back test it and find that to be true, everything we're doing is taking the scientific method for proving out something that is duplicable and able to work. I've got lots and lots of years and years of evidence that our model works, so exciting to see Cullen getting on track.
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