Steve Stewart Seminars

Steve Stewart Seminars

SYNOPSIS: Ariticle tells how one top producing Realtor® overtook an established neighborhood market with no calling, no knocking doors and only sending monthly postcards.

695 Words.

"I wonder if I could take that neighborhood away?
By Steve Stewart

I once shared a booking agent with a speaker who had retired from active sales in real estate. Actually retiring from real estate sales with sufficient income to fund an ongoing, long term retirement is an unusual event. Most agents "retire" by simply not showing up for work any longer. If there is retirement income, it comes from whatever rentals they have managed to acquire. That's just how it is.

But Jim was an extraordinary real estate producer who was one of North America's top performers for a number of years before his retirement. He took his bundle of cash, bought a cattle ranch and faded off into the sunset looking for whatever would attract and interest him next. Before his retirement, he continued to close over 300 transactions year after year with just himself and one part time assistant. I calculated his gross annual income was right around $1 million per year [INCOME, not production] before his retirement in the late 1980's, plus his earnings on income property. Jim was a systems guy.

By the way, put the notion of 300 closings per year along side the advantages of being an agent heavily focused on the listing side of the business and you have an average of one closed sale every work day whether the agent goes to work that day or not. I'm just saying that 300 paydays per year is extraordinary and enviable.

How did he do it?

Jim told me in conversation once that there was a neighborhood of tract homes in his general market area from which he never got any listings. Two women Realtors® from another company effectively controlled the neighborhood. As partners, they seemed to get a steady 90% of the available listings in that development. Jim will tell you these two women were excellent saleswomen. To the outside observer, they looked bulletproof.

But of course, Jim was pretty good too. The problem for him is that he never got a shot at any of those listings before they went on the market. Although a competitive man, he didn't appear to compete well with them.

Then one day, he got an idea. "I wonder if I could take that neighborhood away from them - without ever walking the neighborhood or spending any money in there"?

Being a systems guy, he wanted to keep the process simple. He never knocked on a door, never called a home, never bought any advertising to target the neighborhood. But what he did have working for him was an established presence in the city with all his other success, billboards, bus stop bench ads, etc.

So his method was determined by the problem, being that these two ladies were well known and respected in that large tract of homes due to their many very local neighborhood successes. If someone wanted to sell, they contacted the two ladies with all the yard signs first. The ladies came to the seller's house and made a perfectly good presentation that made good sense. Then the sellers signed a listing agreement. The commitment was made before Jim ever heard about the seller's interest.

How to change that?

Jim began mailing the same monthly postcard to every homeowner. Always, the text read, "When you are ready to sell, why not get a second opinion? Call Jim at XXX-XXXX." He didn't tell me, but his postcards could easily have added "Jim is the Number One producing agent within fifty miles of this postcard." That would have been true.

Soon, the sellers began asking for Jim's second opinion. Before signing with the ladies, they asked Jim to make his presentation, too.

In about 8 months time, the market share switched from 90% for the two ladies, 0% for Jim and 10% for all other offices combined, to 30% for the ladies, 65% for Jim and 5% for all the other offices combined. Clearly, Jim had a pretty good listing presentation, also. But now he had a chance to show it to sellers who had not seen him in action before.

Where is the lesson here for anyone who wants sellers to peek under the hood of your operation?

Happy Listing!

Steve Stewart is a popular writer/speaker from Southern Calif who has published 13 books on real estate sales and marketing. © Steve Stewart Seminars, 2012.

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© Steve Stewart Seminars. Steve Stewart has published thirteen books and audio series on real estate sales and sales mgt since 1986, including the best selling "Real Estate Book of Letters!" which includes all letters on computer diskette. Best known for his signature presentation, "Buy From Me, or Get Out of My Car!" he often speaks to Realtor groups on sales and management. He can be reached through his Southern CA office at (760) 298-8146.


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276 N. El Camino Real, #184
Oceanside CA 92058



(760) 298-8146
(760) 216-1353

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