There’s always something to howl about

Nobody Cares About Your M.O. ‘Till They See It’s Skinnin’ Cats Big Time

In almost every baseball game you’ll ever see, there comes a point when the starting pitchers run into a situation on which the game’s outcome will likely pivot. Take last night for instance — the Padres/Cubs game in Chicago. Padre’s starting pitcher Keven Correia had a rocky first inning. The first two batters hit safely, resulting in men on 2nd and 3rd with nobody out, and the heart of the order now due up.

Nobody scored.

Kevin went on to pitch shutout ball ’till lifted for a pinch hitter in the seventh inning. That first inning could’ve gone either way. But he skinned that cat in short order. He’s not Bob Gibson, in that he can’t overpower hitters. He gets batters out the old fashioned way — by pitching, not throwing. When the season’s over, Kevin will have won 13-15 games, a total which is distinctly in the upper echelon of major league results.

HIs fastball can be hit by high school players if not located well. His curveball reminds nobody of Sandy Koufax. Yet he keeps skinnin’ more of his share of cats. Why? Cuz even though his ‘stuff’ ain’t hall of fame caliber, he knows how to make the best of what he has, and consistently does what all winning pitchers do, regardless of what they’re throwing. He disrupts batters’ timing. I know this first hand, as I had the pleasure of havin’ the dish once when he was a junior college pitcher in San Diego.

It ain’t rocket science– but a helluva lot easier said than done. It’s analogous to success in real estate brokerage. Those who do what produces consistent results — skin the most cats — win. And to quote all of our grandpas, ‘there’s more than one way to skin a cat.

Last Thursday I wrote a post about a guy on the east coast who’s been skinnin’ cats at a pretty impressive clip, almost all on the buyer side. (He’ll close 70 sides this year.) Exclusive of any referrals, 100% of his business comes directly from his online efforts, which generate about 7-8,000 leads yearly, give or take a thou.

Greg Swann made an astute observation and asked a question directly related to all those ‘leads’. In fact, he was unwilling to even call ’em leads.

Here’s Greg

Here’s my question: If he’s converting only 1 out of 100, why do you call them leads? Those aren’t potential clients, they’re names — some of them with working phone numbers.

If you hear from 8,000 people a year, that’s 22 a day, every day, including Christmas. It’s got to take at least a half-hour per each one to connect, forge a relationship, gather details, set up searches, isolate likely properties and then decide whether or not to proceed. That’s eleven hours a day, eleven of the best money-making hours of the day.

This doesn’t make any sense to me, Jeff. If I had to talk to 22 new people a day, I would shoot myself before the end of the first day — especially if I knew I had to do that five days in a row to get to a paycheck.

Whatever. My thinking is they’re not leads. They’re obligatory sign-ups to an IDX system.

His comment made sense to me, so I said I’d be talkin’ with the guy to find out how he’s skinnin’ all those cats when the quality of almost all the ‘leads’ suck like a turbo charged Dyson.

The answer had me grinnin’.

He doesn’t call anybody with the hen’s teeth rare exception of the buyer wishing to purchase a home in the $1.5 Million range and above.

Not only does he not call 99.999% of those 7-8,000 IDX leads, he has so many of ’em call him, he has to have a full time assistant to handle the cherries that aren’t cherry enough for his time.

In other words, he let’s the serious buyers filter themselves onto his phone line through their effort, not his. By the time they do that, I imagine the conversation is relatively fruitful. 🙂

No drip marketing in the sense that he’s not sending periodic marketing messages to them in an attempt at building relationships. Just an automatic system givin’ them the listings they wanna see on a regular basis. When they’re serious, they call. Enough to close 70 sides this year.

Surely there will be buyer agents out there who will critique this M.O. Fair enough, to each their own.

70 closed sides, and they’re all callin’ him first.

Works for me.



8 Comments so far

  1. Sean Purcell August 17th, 2010 10:10 am

    Tie base goes to the runner!

    Greg’s right of course, those aren’t leads they’re just interested prospects (suspects). But that’s kind of like pointing out that John Kruk wasn’t an athlete, he was a baseball player. Yep, but the game is based on runs, not who’s got the most athletic bunch of guys in tight pants.

    Call ’em what you want, but if it leads to 70 sides a year, you’re gonna win a lot of pennants.

  2. Jeff Brown August 17th, 2010 10:31 am

    Lovin’ the Kruk comparison, cuz there’s a guy who, if picked out of a crowd would be most likely perceived as the locker room attendant, not a .300 hitter, and multiple time MLB all-star.

    Again, it’s about results.

  3. Greg Swann August 17th, 2010 11:12 am

    > In other words, he let’s the serious buyers filter themselves onto his phone line through their effort, not his.

    Got it. He doesn’t have 7,000 leads, converting 1%, he has 140 leads, and he converts 50%. That much is right. My take is that he should get rid of the forced registration, since it’s producing nothing but chaff, and since it is surely alienating at least as many monied buyers as he’s hearing from.

    Thanks for following up.

  4. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jeff Brown and Real Estate Feeds, My REALTY. My REALTY said: Nobody Cares About Your M.O. ‘Till They See It’s Skinnin’ Cats Big Time: In almost every baseball game you’ll ever… […]

  5. Jeff Brown August 17th, 2010 1:11 pm

    Hey Greg — We actually spoke about the whole registration debate. He’s absolutely in the forced registration camp. He made that abundantly clear. He also wondered about the difference between smaller and larger demographic areas when that decision is made.

  6. Greg Swann August 17th, 2010 2:07 pm

    > He’s absolutely in the forced registration camp.

    In through one window blow genuine cash-American dollar bills — not a huge number, but enough. In through the other window blow vast quantities of specious specie. Could not possibly make better sense than to mix them up, then sort them out again, rather than to close the second window. What was I thinking? 😉

    If you want, you can finger the agent by email. It’s possible I can find the other 70 deals.

  7. Dan Connolly August 17th, 2010 3:55 pm

    That’s close to what I do. The main difference for me is that I have no forced registration just to search. If you aren’t going to call them why in the world would you have force registration? On my site they have to register if they want email updates or to save listings.

    With that I get around 3000 voluntary registrations a year. I don’t call any of them or spam any of them with drip email. They call me when they want to see a house. Sold 63 last year (will probably do closer to 50 this year). Keeps me as busy as I want to be. I refer the ones I can’t handle.

  8. Jeff Brown August 17th, 2010 4:08 pm

    Hey Dan — That’s a lotta skins on the wall.

    I’ve pretty much surrendered to the idea that I’ll never understand about the forced or unforced registration debate. I’ve literally talked one on one with very successful agents using both approaches, and they all say their’s works best.

    The common thread, of course, is that they’re all getting big time results. Love it.