I hate prospecting. Yep, that’s right. I’ve done my fair share of it. In fact, I’ve been pretty good at it. I’ve even made a lot of money from it. At one point most of my income came from prospecting.
But, I still hated it. It’s true.
Which is why today I know that one of the biggest mistakes I ever made was…thinking that prospecting was the ONLY way to be successful in real estate.
It’s a lie. Anyone who has ever told you that prospecting is the only way to succeed in real estate lied to you. Yep, I said that. If prospecting were the only way to succeed, then how come so many successful agents don’t prospect at all?
I used to prospect all the time. I prospected for 2-3 hours a day, 5 days a week. I hated my job. I hated going to work. I hated the real estate business. Why?
The answer is simple. I hated prospecting. Then, someone suggested that I try to list homes using direct mail. They told me that other people were using direct mail to sell their products. Why not real estate? Hmm! I’d never thought of that. But, I was skeptical.
“Yeah right”, I thought to myself. I did not think anyone could list a house using direct mail. At least not on a consistent basis. Then they showed me a bunch of success stories.
So I decided to try it out for real estate. I built a direct mail marketing campaign for expireds. It took a lot of trial and error. I made a lot of mistakes. But, eventually I got it to work.
Here is how I developed a direct mail system that enables me to list expireds without prospecting.
Most of my efforts failed. I would spend days writing a letter and mailing it out. I would wait eagerly for the calls to come in. They rarely did. I started to doubt this whole Direct Mail Idea. I figured that real estate just wasn’t a business that Direct Response Marketing would work in.
Everyone knows a realtor! It seems like sellers usually hire the Realtor that they “like”, rather than the person that will do the best job. But, I really wanted to get this to work.
So, I kept on writing new letters to mail to Expireds. Some of the letters worked. But, most of them failed. The biggest problem was that the results were “hit and miss.” I had a hard time deciding if it was even worth it.
Then, I got a little fired up. I had just met with a home seller about listing their house. I was having to “sell” them on why they should hire me. They wanted to “think about it.”
I was sick and tired of dealing with people like that. With my track record and my marketing program, people should “want” to work with me. I decided to try something different. I hired on a full-time copywriter. He spent 2 years working on my marketing. The results got better and better.
For example, the best converting expired letter I use is 21 pages long. And it works. After he wrote it, we mailed 100 of them out. Two sellers contacted me right away. They both wanted to hire me before they had even met me.
Things started working better after that. We continued writing more letters and refining the ones that worked. Most importantly the results were consistent. I would mail a bunch of letters and list a house every single time. Even better was the quality of the calls. The people who called us were willing to drive to our office to meet with us. Would you like to run your business this way?
Now I list dozens of houses using direct mail. Running your business this way is SO MUCH BETTER than prospecting!
The customers I work with are better quality. They respect me more. The listing appointments are easy. It’s so much more fun to work with people who call you versus you calling them. They are easier to list. They are easier to sell. It just attracts a much better quality customer than prospecting ever did.
I have found that if you use direct mail properly, then you will list a lot of homes. I beat other agents who use fancy guarantees, such as: “I guarantee to sell your home in X days or our company will buy it.” I don’t use any gimmicks like that and I still get the listing.
In fact, I was on a listing appointment recently and the seller asked me about another agent who used the “I’ll buy your house” guarantee. He asked me if it was legit. Now, before I could even answer he said, “Don’t worry about it. It’s probably a scam.” Then, he hired me.
We have over 300 pre-made letters for Smart Agents members to utilize this with.