April’s first Keeping It Real Training offered by Real Geeks and hosted by Greg Harrelson and Frank Klesitz explored direct mail strategies for lead generation in affluent real estate markets. Featuring Brett Jennings, a real estate agent and team leader in the Silicon Valley, this episode provides direct answers to the question, “How can I generate seller listings now?”
Establishing credibility through sending direct mail to property owners and following up with phone calls, targeting mapped school areas, and circle dialing were all ways Jennings suggested staying in front of sellers. “All will sell at some point,” he said.
Recalling the words of his mentor Tony Robbins, “Wealth exists in the gap between ideas and their implementation,” Jennings explained that exploring that gap has been the key to his success. He sells real estate in a very affluent area, Silicon Valley, and has found that consistency as a team effort has allowed for predictable results. He targets an area of at least 2,000 homes and defines it by school district boundaries in his MLS. Using Remine or Realist, he then downloads the contact details of those homeowners and sends hand addressed, stamped letters to each. He mails one to himself so he knows when the letters are received. After they’ve been received, typically 3-5 days later, his team begins calling as follow up. This technique has allowed Jennings and his team to secure listings in a low inventory market.
Jennings said the direct mail campaign works alongside his digital efforts. Every lead also is set up to receive a monthly Corefact postcard, monthly e-market report, and he has seller alerts set up for his CRM, showing pending and sold homes within 2 blocks of the property owners’ address. In addition Jennings uses HomeBot for his entire SOI and reports a 70% open rate using that tool. Jennings said his focus is to become known in a variety of ways. “Not just digital, but do digital and print to make you unforgettable,” he said.
It’s More Than Direct Mail Alone – You Need a Team
These techniques alone are not the cause of Jennings GCI jumping from $3.9 million to $12 million, however. He had a plan to scale and said he only did that through hiring a “rockin’ admin,” scaling lead generation, scaling to 50 quality agents, and scaling quality support.
Listing Realtors Property Resource (RPR) as another tool, Jennings, Harrelson and Klesik discussed how this could be used to print out market updates for all buyers and send personal messages congratulating them on their increases in home values. The note could also provide the “most universal offer to sellers” which is the idea that you have a buyer. Jennings suggested leveraging your most committed buyers by finding out from the agents on the team who the buyers are and what types of homes they need.
As you mail to your farm areas, Jennings advised to intentionally choose a hand written font, even on the envelope. He explained that using a service such as Addressable, which uses a real robot pen to write addresses, can achieve a 50% open rate for mailings. Jennings then shared that his team accentuates results with mail and a followup call in a 3 tap system, “either call, mail, call or mail, call, mail,” he said. He also recommended using a short url for zoom to make it easy for people to get on a video call, such as zoom.name.com.
Jennings acknowledged that this approach is large scale and cost-prohibitive for soome, but encouraged agents to look for partnerships on the mailing. He suggested including a 2nd page with a referral to a financial advisor offering a seller tax implications webinar, and having them cover a portion of the postage.
Explaining that letter frequency mattered due to message fatigue, Jennings said that in his market, “the ideal cadence is every 3-4 months,” and explained that this way, “if you call behind the list, you may get advance news of seller plans so you can add them to CRM.” Harrelson and Klesitz agreed, with Harrelson adding, “Never do direct mail unless you’re willing to prospect behind it.”
Direct Mail Stays in the Home Longer
Harrelson spoke from experience saying he’s found that sellers take a letter and “put it in a property folder to access in 6 months,” and encouraged agents to do multiple things, as Jennings does, not only direct mail. Speaking of Jennings, Harrelson said agents needed to be more like him, “He’s not a dabbler. He’s a doer, he’s a get-it- doner. He goes deep.” Klesitz suggested more tools for agents to use if they need to find buyers, explaining that institutional buyers are available through multiple companies, including Offerpad, and Opendoor. Klesitz also mentioned Homelight as a trade-in way to access equity and then sell the property as an “Exclusive Partner.”
In wrapping up this episode of Keeping It Real, Klesitz mentioned his “Magical Seller’s Email” and offered it to agents. He recommended personalizing it and emailing the letter to an entire database as a way to get conversations started. Download it here.
This Keeping It Real episode shows you best practices for staying in front of potential home sellers.
Utilizing these concepts and tools with your Real Geeks CRM is sure to increase your seller leads and grow conversion in 2021. Let us know what works for you and reach out if you have techniques you’d like to share in Real Geeks training. We’d love to have you on LIVE event!