Today on the Listing Agent Lifestyle podcast we’re talking with Michael Weissman from Maine about getting started in real estate.
He's been a realtor just since November, and he’s very excited to establish himself as a ocean front listing specialist in Maine after hearing about and listening to the episode with Kenny MacCarthy who did just that in Cape Ann.
We have an established model for taking and applying our Getting Listings program specifically to ocean front homes, and that's what we spent a lot of our discussion on today.
I'm excited for you to hear this, especially if there's an area, maybe not ocean front, but an area that would be a high end portion of your market that you'd like to take over.
It’s a big philosophy around starting with the most desirable thing and building backwards from there.
You're going to enjoy this episode. It will get you thinking in a different way.
Transcript: Listing Agent Lifestyle Ep072
Dean: Michael Weisman.
Michael: Dean Jackson.
Dean: Hey, I'm good. How are you?
Michael: I'm doing fantastic. I'm fantastic. Thanks so much for setting up this call.
Dean: Well, I'm very excited. I love doing these. It's almost fun to talk about real estate and lifestyle and all the cool stuff.
Dean: We got the whole hour, and we can go in any direction we want. I'd love to hear how do I say your last name, Michael?
Michael: It's Weisman.
Dean: Did I say it right?
Dean: Weisman? Okay, great. So let's hear the Micheal Weisman story so far, and then pick up from there.
Michael: Perfect. Well, I have been a licensed real estate agent since November '18, last November, right after Thanksgiving time.
Michael: I came into real estate, doing my own buying and flipping and investing in the year and a half before that. I'd say about two years ago we decided to go with the real estate. I've been a long time follower of you and the podcast and Joe Polish and Dan Sullivan and that whole genre, and everybody that sort of runs together in that path, and the 10X Talks to your everything, so it's been an avid consumer of all your content.
Michael: I don't know how far back we should go, but back in the late 90s or early 2000s, I was with a major brokerage firm on the retail side as a financial advisor, vice president. Basic retail, managing mini-bond portfolios. I left that in '05 and since then went to private wealth management, just for a very select few families, working with families. And over that ensuing 10 years, went into different businesses. I've always loved marketing. I've always loved sales, marketing, and communicating.
Dean: Me too.
Michael: It's been my focus. Film and video production has been a passion of mine over the years and that's made its way into things. We actually spent time overseas from 2015 until really No, 2005 to 2015 we were in Israel for 10 years.
Dean: Oh, really. Wow.
Michael: We have six kids. We raised six kids. My oldest boy is actually also an agent now, just started with Keller Williams in New Jersey. I have a future GoGoAgent for you in the works there.
Dean: Perfect, I love it. There we go. I like it, I like it.
Michael: He's also an avid consumer of all this content, all the marketing. I haven't had my car radio on in three years, I mean, it's just been podcasts.
Dean: All podcasts, yeah, that's great.
Michael: It's just consuming content. So coming into the present future, present past as it were, the near past, about two years ago, we were living in Beverly, Massachusetts where my wife grew up in the North Shore of Boston.
Dean: You're kidding me.
Dean: I have a really good friend, Kenny, that lives in, he's in Gloucester.
Michael: Correct, 15 minutes from us.
Dean: Those guys were all from Beverly.
Michael: Is that right? My wife grew up there and so that's just her family home, her parents still live there. We were there for a couple, two years. It's getting more crowded there, we wanted to find a place with a little more space. We like land, we like the sea coast, so Maine was an obvious choice. So, we bought a place a little over a year ago, started buying properties in Maine. I own three places now in Maine, for better or worse.
Michael: It's awesome. The one I'm speaking from right now is a house with a rental unit, a little cottage on the property off the Kennebec River in a place called Richmond, Maine. We own a place also, it's a flip where I finished it with a partner, it's going to go to market in about two weeks. Own a little place in Friendship, Maine, which is up by the coast, a sleepy little town that we're doing as a vacation rental.
As I got to buy these properties, you know, I've always wanted to go into real estate in a more purposeful way. I don't think I really understood what a real estate agent did except for writing a few contracts and make you offers. I thought of some of the ones I worked with that I wasn't so pleased with over the years, so I looked into it more, bought my license, like I said, in October, and quickly realized that this could be a great way to bring a lot of my skill sets. I love starting businesses, I'm like a serial entrepreneur, if you will.
Dean: Right, right, are you a quick start too?
Michael: Yeah, yeah, I'm a quick start, not always a quick finish, unfortunately. I'm really good at spotting, really good at systems, putting things in play, getting things going, and just got to keep other people bring on to keep it going.
I got my license and quickly realized from all the podcasts and listening to reading all the books and Garrett Keller's book. I picked Keller Williams before I picked even being an agent, I've always loved Garrett Keller's material. One thing that settled on my life like that. I realized that a listing agent was the only way to do it. If you’re going to do it, it was the way to go, so that was the high leverage.
January 3, I got my subscription to my dialer and with a system laid out, and went into my production data, what I call it, and since then I picked up 14 listings as of yesterday, from that. Basically all those efforts, it's basically, making the calls, making the appointments, listening to presentations. People tell me I was crazy at the marketing center, some of my coaches were a little bit, maybe skeptical, if you will. But I said, that's it, I'm going to go get listings, I'm going to be a listing agent.
Dean: Yes, of course.
Michael: So, that brings us to where we are today. Now I have 14 listings in five counties in mid-coast Maine. Which in some ways, it felt like being the octopus on ice. It's not too far that I can't get to them. My house is sort of in the center where I'm speaking from, my office is in Portland. But there was an agent in this area that was with you guys at one point. But I'm in the Portland office and I have listings from Boothbay Harbor out to Augusta to towards the west down to Green, towards-
Dean: How far is that? How far a drive is it for you from your previous-
Michael: It's far enough it's an hour drive from here to my office is about 35, 40 minutes. There's no traffic, obviously, because it's where we are so it's not a horrible drive. It's a fair amount of driving and I realize that it's too scattered. I've known all along that my philosophy was, I have to get out there and take the listings and prove the concept, if you will, that the listings are there that I can get.
We have one sold, one under contract, it's really in the last 10 weeks that people come online. We're hoping that as spring is picking up here now, more showings are picking up and whatnot, we'll get some more under contract and get them closed. At least that's the lift off, right?
Michael: All the energy to get the aircraft off the ground, right?
Dean: Yeah, perfect.
Michael: Now we got to get it into orbit and to do that. I remember in your podcast, you and Joe's podcast. Gosh, I remember Dean was in real estate. Because I've used your nine word email in numerous businesses over the years and, my wife's a nutritionist, we have an online fitness coaching program that she does. We'll build about 5,000 names just from Facebook advertising in there, and we'll throw that email out and it always brings in people, right?
Dean: Of course, yeah.
Michael: So that nine word email, so I said, I remember that from real estate, he's still looking for a house in Portland. So I did some searching and got back and found a GoGoAgent.
Dean: And here we are.
Michael: Consumed probably about that I haven't gotten through all of the Listing Lifestyle Agent podcast but probably, 70 percent of them. Listened to them on one and a half speed, because you can do that. Got a pretty good overview and it just makes so much sense.
Dean: That's the thing, that's what we look for is having a structure and a system and kind of a model, a duplicatable model that you can repeat.
You're off to a good start here. I like to kind of build a plan based on the elements of the Listing Agent Lifestyle.
Number one, of course, is getting listings, so you're already on board with the idea of building a listing-centric business and you've got 14 listings right now. What's your model for getting listings? What are you doing to get the listings right now?
Michael: Right now, it's really the old school basics. It's a three-line dialer, calling expireds and FSBOs. Which I don't want to say, I'll never use the mindset that I've taken all that you can take from it. In the counties I'm working in, which is basically from Augusta to Portland Market. Most people in Portland, you tell them you're taking listings in Augusta and they look at you like, what are you doing?
For me it was when I started making my phone calls, and you have a three-line dialer, I knew what county I was calling in but that was it. The towns, I had never heard of, very frequently. That's what Maine is like, a lot of small towns. It's all been expired, I would say, two or three listings have "Sale by owners", probably eight or 10 are expired, and one is already on another referral I'm working on now from listings.
It's all been two, a couple hours a day. I can take that, but it's like 5900 dials through the dialer, which gets you about 500 and some odd contacts, and X number of appointments, and that's it. It's the numbers game, if you will. But the low-hanging fruit has certainly been harvested. I on my second, third time through that list, and who's answering the phone isn't answering the phone anymore are going to be the much harder ones to get. It's definitely time to now apply your types of strategies, so that's why I'm on the phone.
Dean: I get it, and that's the thing. Congratulations, because that's something that a lot of people are not willing to do. I went down that path when I first started, I started in November of 1988. That was one of the things that I was doing, was doing cold calls. I was making 100 calls a day and it takes three, or three and a half hours to make that many calls. We didn't even have automated dialers, which help keep you on track. All you have to do is just tap and tap and tap and keep going. We would have to actually dial the phone, each number. It took some discipline to get myself to do that.
It worked, but I quickly saw that there is no leverage in it, that it's literally real time.
Michael: Which you have off days and whatnot, but that's not practical.
Dean: On that foundation, now that you're going there, I would look now to focus, where do you really want to focus? Where do you really want to be? Start now the track of building that baseline. If we could say, are you on the water? Are you on the ocean? What area if you could say, I'd like to build the foundation on, where would that be?
Michael: Perfect. I've actually been going through the steps that you outline in your book, in your thing of looking at the turnover rates in the market. So, the short answer is that, Maine is more water than every other state in the country, I think. There's water properties in the entire state, which we're definitely what you'd call "Mid-coast," if you think of Portland as like Saco Bay. It's basically mid-coast, there's a lot oceanfront, a lot of waterfront properties, certainly.
I've essentially identified it's the wealthier county, so if I'm going to build this the way I want to build it, the days I market, the incomes, the housing prices, all bring you into Cumberland County. Which is Portland, which is considered a very hot market. It's one of the markets now that if they ask the average agent out on the street, " They will tell you there is no inventory, there is no supply. We can't get houses to people.
Portland is the agents are somewhat spoiled, it's to put it on the market, the open house on Sunday, offers due by Tuesday at 5:00. A lot of where my listings are is not like that. I'm in 150 states of markets where some of my listings are because that's where they came up on the calling.
I have two listings in two markets that would be very, very good. One is in Cumberland, which is the wealthiest county, wealthiest town in the wealthiest county. Housing prices are easily 300 to 400 range, and some higher depending on if It does have a coastal section called Cumberland Foreside, and there's a town right south of it called Falmouth, which is another area, and it's Falmouth Foreside which is, if you look it up on Google Maps, you'll see that those two towns are just to the north of Portland. It's not just the highest per capita income, highest everything, education, everything ranks right up there.
I have my stats of that area and I have one listing that's coming online in west Cumberland. It's got a list of 440. I just spoke to her this morning, we're doing some paint and carpet and things like that to get it ready to go out. It's not in the MLS, anything's been announced yet on it. It's probably two, three weeks away. That really good listing I think to leverage off of.
I have a listing in another place that's just bare land, in a county called Scarborough, which is just south of Portland, but there's one team in my office that I wouldn't say they own that place, but they have a huge market share there and I have the next office to them. If I start mailing to their back yard, it's a little bit different.
When it comes to Cumberland, the biggest agent there is another firm, he's the biggest in Maine. Everybody knows him by name. He has market share there, in Cumberland and Falmouth.
Dean: If we took Cumberland as the area, are there oceanfront homes there? Is that-
Michael: Yes, so I have some numbers, actually real numbers if you want me to-
Dean: Yeah, perfect.
Michael: I have a spreadsheet in front of me I can just share with you.
Dean: I love it.
Michael: Let's look at it. In Cumberland County, which is two zip codes, in the last 12 months there were 147 closed sales on about 3000 total housing units. There's just under a 5% turnover, which in our area is pretty typical. You don't really find much higher than that. I thought there was a higher one at one point, but it ended up I wasn't working with all of the data. That 5% range is about the turnover right now.
Of the 55 active and pendings in Cumberland right now, and 147 closed, there was one agent that has about 12.9% market share, 19 closed in the last-
Dean: I never worry that, I never even pay attention to that. Because that's the past, right?
Michael: Cumberland breaks down to two areas. Cumberland Foreside is the ocean area, you're looking at 600,000 dollar-plus average price. 690 units, 15 active pending, 38 trailing, 12 closed, and 5.5% market share by one agent, seven of those. There's almost a 6% on almost 700 houses and those are very hard to get.
Where my listing is in west Cumberland, which is the opposite side of the county, the western side, and I have a listing coming on. There, the average price listed is about 327. 582 total units, 17 active pending, 38 closed, so 6.5% trailing 12. No dominant agent that when I pull up my MLF and I sort it by agency, there wasn't any dominant agent there. There were four listings by a flat rate company., but that was it. That works out well because that's where my listing is going to be in about two weeks, three weeks.
Dean: Between those two areas, how many you sold. There is 690 oceanfront, is that what you're saying?
Michael: Yeah, well they won't all be oceanfront, but Foreside is actually well, it'll be very close to the water. You know how the main coastline is sort of jagged, and you look at the Cumberland Foreside they will be few blocks from the water, or on the water. There will be houses there just a quarter of a million also, that it's basically the east side of 295 is called Cumberland Foreside. That could be narrowed even further to just waterfront, which then could include up to Yarmouth and down into Falmouth Foreside, because it's Cumberland Foreside and Falmouth Foreside. You could narrow that even further we'll have waterfront that I'm going to be selling out of Falmouth at the Portland Yacht Club, which is in Falmouth.
I have no real, what Keller Williams likes to call, they say "Call your SOI, call the people you know." I don't know anybody. I know people here now only because I've hired them to do work on houses and whatnot, but I don't have any buddies to call up in Maine and say, "Who do you know that wants to buy, sell, invest in real-estate," you know-
Dean: That you're starting to recognize. You're just getting started now. I got it. So, I think that what I'm looking for as I go through this is, I'm looking for the area that we can establish you as looking ahead now, that this is the area that you want to dominate, right?
The good news, we mentioned Kenny as an example in Cape Ann, as Cape Ann waterfront, and I'm sure when you listen to that episode you're listening because that's your backyard when you were over in Beverly, right?
Michael: Oh, yeah. Sure. Yep, yep.
Dean: This model here, now, of picking those waterfront or oceanfront homes and really starting the process now of getting listings program, just by the book, right there. You establish that now and start doing the mailings immediately. Just start that and know that you're going to start building now all of these people who are going to respond.
The great thing about this is, you're used to outwardly making outbound phone calls. This is all set-up to establish that people call you. The total leverage of it is that, you don't have to really have to do any of it, that's the greatest part. That the postcards are leveraged that way, that they're going to go out and they're going to get the responses and then the videos. Diane sent me a video that you had done for your thing.
You've seen the videos that Diane does outside of Lake Ashton and we've been doing this now six months in Lake Ashton and Cypress Wood and Ruby Lake, and everything is starting to come together now, but she's never made an outbound phone call, It's kind of a cool thing, we have gotten over 10% of all of those areas to respond, who are now getting the monthly newsletters. She's establishing herself in that area now, and it just takes a little bit of compounding. It's like a compound interest table, it just keeps getting more and more valuable the longer it keeps compounding.
That's kind of a cool thing, is that everything, when you're a brand new agent, the urgency is to get, right now business, right? You get it, that making those cold calls, and calling expireds and FSBOS makes sense because it's right now, potential right now business. But you want to, at the same time, be establishing yourself so you don't have to continue making those calls because it doesn't take very long for you to really start now feeling it in the listing agent lifestyle elements, where you start to think now. It's just as important when we talk about daily joy and abundant time and financial peace.
Typically, what happens is, if people are coming in and they're doing the cold calling, when they start making some commissions and have a little money, the financial peace rating goes up. Then they realize how, okay, I don't really enjoy this cold calling, so they stop doing it a little bit and then they get into financial trouble or need money again, so they have to go back to doing it. We're looking to establish an oil well that continues to pump and pump and pump. That's great.
How far along are you on that process? You're just now kind of choosing the area?
Michael: Right. So I've just been choosing the area. I'm also new to the areas. I've been asking agents in the office, "If you were the buyer, what would they be asking about if they want to find a place in Cumberland? How would they describe it, west Cumberland? Cumberland Foreside, et cetera," because the way the locals will refer to themselves. Like you say, you can get the horoscope fact like you always talk about.
Right, so that's what I've been trying to look for. Certainly in Cumberland, it looks like there's this west Cumberland. Even if you go through the Cumberland community page, the Dill, they're having a meeting of the west Cumberland residences, this is the western end of the county. Then there's the Foreside, which is all where the money side is and the water side. Then there's the central, the town center. When you map the closed sales of the active listings, you see them congregate around there. There's still a fair amount of open land as well. Maine has a fair amount of open land, new construction, and there's condos on the water, that sort of thing.
It definitely breaks into those three general areas. The central part of the county, the western, and then my listing will be in the western part, but that doesn't mean I'm locked into that. I can use the listing next door to leverage that as well, too. I want to just make the most of everything, the resources that I have.
Dean: This is good. What's really going to be helpful is to kind of establish the boundaries of the coastline that you are going to kind of focus on, like from here in the south to here in the north, that area. Then, literally, kind of work inwards to the coast, in land. But I would start with the oceanfront, waterfront, water view. When you think about Maine, those are really the things that people are going to do.
Now, the great news is you're coming in to what, I would assume, is the season now, that people are going to be most excited about coming to Maine and seeing the coastline. This is going to be a good thing that you start establishing both a list of people who own the waterfront homes. Those are visible prospects, right? Let's say, how many homes do you think would be on the water from the southernly boundary to the northerly boundary of where you're-
Michael: Well, a lot. It's hard to give you that number but I would say probably, I mean, if you went to Cumberland and you started going north towards Falmouth and Yarmouth, it's many hundreds, if not into thousands, because again of the way the coastline is set up in Maine. Maine is water, there's water everywhere. There's islands out there.
Dean: But there's the greatest thing, is that for people who are looking for that, that's going to be the only thing they want. Somebody who's looking for waterfront is not the same person that is looking for a cabin in the woods.
Michael: No, no. For sure not.
Dean: Right. So we focus with that, and especially, you talk about the horoscope effect. If I own an oceanfront home or a waterfront home, that's different, to me, than anything else. Even though I'm part of west Cumberland or whatever.
Dean: Foreside are, I'm more than I own an oceanfront home. That's the highest level thing, right? The great news is, you can take people who are literally on the ocean, and the people who are sort of across the street from the ocean, with the ocean view, and still send the oceanfront house prices because that's flattering to them and they would consider that they have a house on the ocean, even though they're not literally on the ocean.
I would pick my first thousands of those and start that ball rolling.
Michael: Right. Got it, makes a lot of sense.
Dean: Right. That way, you're establishing how much are the oceanfront homes, would you say, on average, in there?
Michael: They're going to be hard pressed to find under a million.
Dean: Perfect. That's what we're talking about, and the reason that I say that and part of the thing that I will start with the best thing first. It costs the same amount of money to mail postcards to oceanfront homes as it does to starter condos or mobile homes. It's the same thing and it's the same psychology. Let's start with the most desirable thing, let's establish that.
That category of oceanfront is really a great place to start, because you can also now, when we jump down to finding buyers, you can also now start triangulating this by running programs to look for people who are looking for oceanfront homes, and that's where the real leverage comes in. You get to be a market maker that way.
Michael: Exactly. I like that, I love that a lot. That concept, I think, a lot of the concepts that you bring up, the horoscope effect, the market maker one, that makes so much sense because even right now in calling, I have people that have properties like that in my database. Not many, but million dollar homes that don't want to list but they say, "Well, if you bring them out there." Most agents will just say, "Well yeah, right."
Dean: Exactly, but the thing is where one of your biggest advantages, when you start getting calls, because no matter what, I know, I've been doing this long enough to know exactly how it plays out, right?
You're going to start sending the postcards, you're going to mail the packages, you're going to send the top dollar newsletters, and pretty soon, you're going to get a call from someone that says, "Hey, we've been getting all your correspondence, we really appreciate it, we're ready to put our house on the market, we'd love to have you come and talk to us." Or they're going to say they want a pinpoint price analysis, or a room by room review, or tell me about your silent market.
Either way, it all ends up with perfect, let me pop by, I'll take a look at your house, but mechanically, logistically, what we want is that we're in the kitchen with somebody who's thinking about selling their house. That's the end-game of this.
Now, what most real estate agents end up doing in that situation is, when they're talking about their marketing, they're saying to people, "So, Mr. Weisman, when we list your house, here's what we're going to do. Here's our marketing plan. We'll put it on the internet, we'll do the virtual tours, we'll do all this. All these things that are after, once we list your house, we'll get it, all these things."
What you're going to be able to say, when you go in there, is, "I started looking for the buyers for your house 180 days ago. While we're doing this, we're running these ads looking for people who are looking for oceanfront homes, and I've got a list of 540 people who are looking, specifically for oceanfront homes, and I send them a weekly update of all the oceanfront homes that come on the market. And as a matter of fact, I sent out a message to them to let them know I was coming to see about a potential new one, coming on the market, and six of them asked me to send them info as soon as I find out."
That's where we'll start. That's kind of the thing that really makes a difference. That's that slight edge that you've got over any of the other ones, because the closest thing, the thing that would trump every listing presentation is, if you brought your checkbook, that's the first thing, but if you're not bringing your checkbook, that you bring somebody else with their checkbook.
Michael: Right, right, the mother effect.
Dean: Yeah, that's exactly it, that's going to replace their mother. So, that's what we want to start establishing. That's why these categories are so important, and the good news is that we've already got the system, so you just need to execute it now and it's time. Perfect time of the year of right now, this is, the next six months are the best time, for you, probably.
Michael: Sure, absolutely.
Dean: On the oceanfront there.
Michael: Sure, people are just coming back up now, they're just coming back in the next 60 days.
Dean: Perfect, and so the good news is, you come from a financial background and you've got the savvy enough to understand that, and look at this as a capital investment, rather than an expense. That you're looking that, even if we take this over the course of the year, you maybe are going to spend a thousand times, let's call it 65 cents or so 650 dollars, you're going to spend about 5,000 dollars or so, no, a little more than that, maybe 7,000 dollars, over the course of a year with those.
You look at that, that's a fraction of what one listing in the oceanfront would be worth.
Michael: That's right, that's an average listing.
Dean: That's what I mean, if you say it's a million, right. Yeah, yeah. This is the great thing, we've seen that doing it with Kenny, that people are people and they respond exactly the same.
Establishing that first, Now you said something earlier, that perked my ears, when you said there's islands. Is that enough of a category, that it could be its own category? Are there-
Michael: It probably is, in that, I think that there's obviously fewer houses on an island than there would be on the mainland. I don't have enough personal experience to talk about it. If someone asks me about it, I would have to look into it more. I don't have enough information to talk about the islands as an investment area right now, but I know that people I have spoken to there, that the houses there don't sell very fast, obviously. It's a very special buyer. You can't drive off to go to the store. Some of them there's a ferry. It's 10 ferries a day. It certainly is a segment of the market, but I don't have enough background.
Dean: That's smart to know, so I think that it's good for you to stay on track there. That's a good place to start. I have no doubt that you're going to be able to set-up this triangulation, and if we literally punch the clock right now, that it's April, and we check back in May, June, July, August, September. We check back in, in the fall and a lot of great things are going to have happened by just executing that plan.
You seem like the kind of guy who can do the discipline execution, especially since you've been with the cold-calls for this long. This is easy to do, comparatively.
Michael: Well, not to say the hard part, but it's the more passive approach, obviously is, as you pointed out, it's an investment. You're always looking for the return, the ROI. You still have to be on the phone for an hour or two a day in the mornings because there's a certain expectation, I guess, especially within the company.
I'm taking their BOLD program right now. It's all about that, essentially, it's getting on the phone, and I believe in scripts, I believe in dialogues and having the conversations. You have to know what to say, when you're in a situation.
It's also getting over the fact that I'm not doing anything. Does that make sense?
Dean: No, I understand, but here's the thing now. I so glad you brought that up, because a lot of times, I'm such an advocate for not making cold-calls. It's low leverage, it's a very expensive way to get business, if you look at the value of your time and you look at what could do it. Time is time. You only ever get that hour.
If you spend it on something with no leverage, like that, it's gone. Now, collectively, what I look at, is to use this time, while you're establishing, to create assets that are going to have long-term value. If you look at while we're running the Getting Listings Program. I've already done all that for you, all the creative work there, so literally is just executing.
If you're taking this time, and instead of making cold-calls, you are going out and creating a beautiful guide to the waterfront. You're starting to create all these assets, that now you're taking great pictures, you're taking videos, you're creating media assets, that you have, that are going to be valuable for the next five years. Everything that would be helpful about the oceanfront.
If you're starting to do things like, you're good on video, if you start establishing yourself as the mayor of the oceanfront there, that's a good thing. There are things that are, probably, interesting about the coastline there. There are probably some small, local businesses. There's probably a lot of local history, there's probably things that go along with owning an oceanfront home that might be interesting for people. You're not doing anything. You're doing something that is going to create an asset for you that you can use again and again. It takes time to do those kinds of things. It's so good.
Now, let's talk about multiplying listings, because that's an asset that you have right now. You've got your 14 listings on board.
Michael: 12 active, because two are closing.
Dean: 12 active? So, let me ask you, on the ones that are closing, you've heard me talk about the listing multiplier index, so how many transactions did you get from the two that are closing?
Michael: As of right now, two, because-
Dean: So you got the listing? You just got the listing commission.
Michael: This is literally 14 listings, listed in 10 weeks. So the multiplier factor now is below one, and I don't even count that.
Dean: I only count on the ones that are completed. If you're saying that of the two that are completed, you only got one point, meaning, just for anybody who's listening for the first time, that we talk about for each listing, there's a potential five transactions that we're trying to accomplish. You can get the listing sold; you can find the buyer yourself; you find the buyer that buys another property; you get the next, or another listing in the neighborhood; and you get a referral from the seller.
When we look at each of these individual listings, your listing multiplier index is only a reflection of what happens on each of the individual listings that you have. If we've got two that have completed right now, and you only got the listings side of the commission there, there's nothing magical that's going to make that happen. What I want to know, and see, is what we are pro-actively doing to, on this next one, to get more of those transactions.
When I look at it, if we go down the absolute, simplest checklist of it, is do we have an instant open house site set-up for it? Do you have the info-box flyer? Those two things are the easiest, right now.
Michael: The info-boxes, I've ordered them and I have a bunch of domain names registered and I've built some of the flyers and It's ready to go. I'm starting in the areas that I think I wouldn't mind having more listings.
Dean: That's the other thing, is that you've got to have the discernment to know that you're not trying to build the business in the outer reaches of where you're going. You're just an opportunist right now in that area, that you're going to get it on the market and maybe it will sell and you're not looking to work with buyer’s way out there, or you're not looking to get more listings in there. You're looking to get commissions now. I totally understand.
But in the areas where you are, that are closer to you, this would be a good thing to start establishing.
Michael: Right. So I already have those. Like I said, I had some landing pages already constructed inside a GoGo Agent and I've used the PDF flyers and all that. I have them all ready to deploy in the listing box, just sitting here right next to my desk. There's a stack of them here, that I ordered. Just go put them out on my sign, so the first lot will be going out today on those. That's the plan.
Dean: Perfect. So that goes a long way. Then the next thing would be the just-listed postcards to the 50 or 100 closest homes there. Whatever makes the most sense visually. You'd see which ones are relevant to it. That would have the most impact, because part of this remembers, we look at each of our objectives, if we look at it that our objective is: getting it sold; the listing side commissioned. Everything that's happening is leading towards that, but, primarily that's about putting in the MLS and having it actively on the market and having it priced right. That's going to be what'll lead to it selling.
Finding the buyer and finding another buyer who maybe buys another property, those are proactive things that we going to do. That's why the info-box and the instant open house landing page are really about helping you attract buyers who are looking for that specific type of home.
The amazing this is, they're virtually free, because it's so inexpensive. The info-box flyers are cheap and they work.
Michael: Yep. For three of them, right now, that are in better areas, I have micro-targeted Facebook. I've done a lot of micro-targeting on Facebook with the businesses I've had. Probably spent about 1,000 dollars on Facebook in the last two years, just advertising with them. Pretty familiar with the Facebook. That'll bring in buyer leads. I'm using the Facebook leads so it's direct. You click from Facebook and what I find there, is I get, probably about a third of them are like, "I didn't mean to click that button" type of a lead, because it instantly sends over their information. They're like, "What did I just do?"
Dean: They've got to click twice. They've got to click to learn now, and then they say, "This is the information that you're sending. Do you want to send it?" So, there's no way, accidentally click it twice.
Michael: It does seem weird, some of them are like that. But it is generating, probably about, between three to five dollars incoming lead. And I've got a couple that has been pre-qualified to buy houses in the area. That will develop into something, so, but that is along the same lines we're discussing here. The info-boxes, I liked a lot also. Because also, your clients looked at it. They look at the front yard and they see, "well, I've got an info-box and a flyer and next door, they don't have anything like that." You don't see it around here. I've asked in the office, people look at me like, "Oh, we don't have to do-"
You've said it a million times in your podcast, they're so proud when the person up the sign, the sign's down in two days.
Dean: Yeah, they feel like they've saved the expense of having to send out just-listed cards or to spend any money or time on info-boxes.
Michael: But they've lost a potential five-times on their leverage.
Dean: That's exactly right. So, that's good. Not you! Not you!
Michael: Nope! But when I've told my clients I'll be coming out, I spoke to them yesterday, I'll be coming out with some boxes to put out there, send them a copy of the flyer. Fantastic. This guy's really working to get my house sold.
Dean: Right. And the neighbors notice that.
Dean: The neighbors notice that, too. That's part of the value, right?
Michael: Right. They probably take some flyers.
Dean: Right. Initially, that's exactly who to send. They're thinking this guy's very professional, he's really doing a good job for them.
Dean: Yeah, so we set it up so that the Facebook ads that you're running, you can have them go right into your GoGo Agent account so that you can trigger an auto-responder and tag them, that they came in because of this particular listing. That way, you've got a buyer, but you've also got it segmented that it was 22 Graystone that they were interested in.
Michael: Right, right.
Dean: So, that will help you flag them for a price range, an area, whatever flags you want to set-up that way, that make you able now, in your database, to be able to search for all the people looking for an oceanfront home, or looking for a whatever type of listing it was that attracted them. And you can send messages, particularly to them. But it's all about building your bigger buyer list.
Michael: Right. Right, and for the areas that are outside. I'm doing it even for the ones that are outside where I necessarily want to farm or build, I've been referring out, which is fine too, because every agent loves a referral for a buyer, which is in the area.
Dean: Well, that's the thing, and you talk about now, what else are you doing with the time that it might be a better use of the time, instead of the cold-calling. To go up a little bit further up the coast and meet some of the realtors who are trying to be you, north of where you drop off. Here you've got this whole oceanfront syndicate that you can refer to, a little bit further up. So no matter where, somebody's going, you've got an opportunity to refer them up there. And the same thing, if they've got oceanfront people who maybe want to be a little further outside of their area, that you've got the opportunity there.
So, establishing those kinds of relationships is a good thing, too.
Michael: So, a question on the oceanfront, as we draw the map out the mailings to the first 1,000 names, as it crosses town lines, for example, I'd imagine because it doesn't cost any more to customize the postcard.
Dean: Right! It's all one mailing, it's all digital variable, so, whatever we put in the database, you can customize it for whatever the name of the town is, what they would call it.
Michael: They're often named by beaches, as well. Whatever beach is closest to them, they'll call it that. We can have multiple "Get Your Guide To XYZ Beach.”
Dean: There's a line of relevance and creepiness. You want it to be close enough to be relevant, that that's meaningful to me, but then not close enough that I feel like you're isolating it to just me. Or that sounds a little bit too revealing?
Michael: Right, right. That's why Facebook pulled back their target. I could target where there was a point in time when I could send you an ad.
Dean: Yeah, exactly, right.
Michael: You would think you were getting stalked.
Dean: Right, that's bad enough.
Michael: So, I see what you're saying, so you want to make it so that it's the horoscope effect, but it's not crazy.
Dean: I think that's the thing, that it would seem big enough to give them good overview of it, but not so broad that they wouldn't feel like it's relevant to them.
Michael: Right. It's probably down to Foreside-
Dean: With Kenny, there was 1,000, 970 homes on the ocean in Cape Ann, so that was the Cape Ann oceanfront house prices. That's the relevant thing. So, when you're saying whatever the name of the area is, that would be enough. That's close enough.
Michael: It's probably the Foreside. The Foreside Drive runs through two towns on the coast, and that's why there's Falmouth Foreside and Cumberland Foreside. That's the richest zip codes, richest streets, probably, in most of the mainland in Maine.
Dean: That's what it would be, then. The April 2019 report on Foreside oceanfront house prices.
Michael: Right, right. One town for Cumberland and one town for Falmouth?
Dean: You could, yeah, you could, absolutely…
Michael: Probably it's different school systems so they probably have-
Dean: Okay, yeah, so that'd be great. So that's the main thing. That's probably as narrow as I would go with that. I would include, when you're saying oceanfront, I would include the homes that are right on the ocean and the ones that are directly across the street, because that's going to be flattering to them, but also, it's relevant enough.
Michael: They like it because they actually think that they're the smarter ones, because they've got the ocean view without the high price, higher taxes.
Dean: That's exactly right. And that's the kind of thing that is valuable when you're putting together your guide, when you're putting together your things.
It's almost like you're going to work, looking for oceanfront buyers. You've got a listing without actually having to have a listing. You're looking for these oceanfront buyers. That's a category.
When I first discovered that about the lakefront homes, that epiphany, that's a valuable thing. I'm super excited about it for you because we start to see Kenny established early on. It starts to work like anything, but the real value, the equity of it, starts to come in your two, in your three, in your four, where getting people who responded three years ago, and track you down to list their 2.4 million dollar house, and then, when that one sells, sell the one right next door, for 2.8 million.
That's where it's really exciting. That covers a lot of the investment.
Michael: Sure. Yep, definitely makes it all worthwhile. No, it's a great plan. I really appreciate you taking the time to help me map it out. Hatch the evil plan, or evil scheme.
Dean: Yes the evil schemes! Alright, so how did all that land? What's your recap, if I wasn't clear, or anything you'd like to…
Michael: I think it's super clear. Definitely, I've known that oceanfront property would be a focus, but you've helped, really, to clarify it and reinforce why that should just be the focus, right now. If you're going to start mailing postcards, why mail to the western side of it. You don't want to fight the people that live west of 95, or west of Route 1, but why not mail to the east of Route 1, that are on the water.
Dean: Gary Halbert always said, "If you're in a field full of coins, and there are gold coins and silver coins and bronze coins, the thing that makes sense is to pick up all the gold coins first."
That's really what this is. Let's start with the oceanfront and get those going.
Michael: Right. I think that's fantastic. I think there'll be a learning curve there, even for me to go and meet with them and understand them to a high degree. The video work's been on my list of things. That's on my master-plan to get out. I have all the videos here from my video production company for a while, one of my businesses along the way, so pretty well versed in that.
Dean: Nice! Well, I'm going to leave you with one more thing. That's your top 150 list. Now, since you're new there, the goal should be that you don't feel like you have to have 150 to start sending the world's most interesting postcard. Start with what you have. If you've got 10 people, or 20 people, or whatever it is. Rack your brain to figure out who are the ones that you do know, and then each month, make it your goal to really add people to that list as you're meeting them.
Adopt people into it.
Michael: Right. You include people out of the immediate area, or not so much?
Dean: I think, for you, we want relevant people, right? People who can be referral sources for you that, if they hear someone talking about real estate, that you would hope that they would think about you. Or that, if they had a real estate need, themselves, that they would think about you. Those are the people that we want to start adopting.
One of the great things is to start meeting the local entrepreneurs. Because, they're also business people. They're the ones who could be influencers for you as well. You can introduce people, or highlight their restaurant. You start looking to establishing, almost taking a Biz Dev mindset on this.
Michael: Yep. I was thinking about doing some little, local workshops too, introducing to people, I love marketing and I speak about marketing and if I can teach them marketing, then I've given them value.
I've thought about doing that. I'm glad you brought that up. That's fantastic.
Dean: Love it. Okay. Well, there we go, I'm excited to hear the six month update on this because I think we're going to have a great success on our hands.
Michael: Thanks so much. I really can't thank you enough and amazing to actually be in a podcast, I've listened to you for so long. One day I'll be in one of those podcasts, but, it's one of those things, so it's very awesome. Thanks, Dean, really, really appreciate it so much.
Dean: Thanks, Michael. We'll talk to you soon.
Michael: Okay. Take care. Bye bye.
Dean: And there we have it. Another great episode and if you'd like to continue the conversation, you can go to ListingAgentLifestyle.com. You can download a copy of the Listing Agent Lifestyle book, the manifesto that shares everything that we're talking about here and you can be a guest on the show, if you'd like to talk about how we can build a Listing Agent Lifestyle plan for your business.
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So, come on over, and I will see you there.