There’s always something to howl about

Slugging Away. One E-mail Address At A Time

I’m on a quest to find 75 San Diego real estate agents.  I need 75 agents, to give me permission, to e-mail them weekly.  I told you about my plan to secure those permissions and I thought I’d update you as I get results.

Bill Lyons agreed to do a joint marketing deal with me but I haven’t taken him up on that yet.  I’ve been scrambling around with year-end stuff, and I took a holiday trip to Arizona, but I’ll do something with Bill next year. For now, I’m focused on the SDAR Officers’ Installation and Dinner as a magnet.

I held a drawing at the Downtown San Diego caravan.  Thirty agents gave me their cards and Debbie Neuman won the tickets.  This works pretty well because while she is a quality agent, with established lending relationships, she’ll sit at my table that night.  This will be a good chance to get to know her and pitch ourselves as her “number two lender” (I’m not proud).    The challenge with the thirty “new” contacts has been securing permission to e-mail them..  I have spoken with ten agents thus far and only five agreed to receive my newsletter.  I do have a drawing scheduled at the La Jolla REBA, next week. and those folks know me better.  I guess if I have 25-30 permissions, by next Friday, I can celebrate the fact that I have achieved one-third of my goal.

That means I’m going to have to grit it out for the final fifty permissions.  I’m going to start the “open house plan” after the first of the year.  The plan is to visit open houses and drop off a “care basket”, filled with snacks.  Agents get hungry at open houses so this is what I’ll give them:

A couple of bottles of water, three bags of snacks, and a couple of oranges (or apples, or bananas).

I’ll assemble them in my newly delivered TANSTAAFL lunch bags.  I ordered these from and 100 of them cost me less than $300.

I had my name, website, and phone number imprinted on them, along with the word TANSTAAFL.  The idea is that I can call later and play on the “There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch” idea and secure permission to email them.

The front pouch holds 20-25 business cards in it.  Agents can hand these to buyers,

I don’t LOVE the lunch bags.  They aren’t the best quality and I doubt they’ll be brought to the beach.  Agents could use them to keep a lunch and water cold so I’m hoping they keep these for future open houses.  Notwithstanding, I’ll spend $3-5 to be memorable to an agent and these bags are bright.  I think they make a cool statement too.  I’m pretty sure they will remember who I am when I call to follow-up.

Retail selling is a grind.  I’m always looking for short cuts, to make my marketing efforts scalable, but sometimes the one-off selling situation cements the relationship more easily than large numbers.  As always, your feedback and suggestions are appreciated.


5 Comments so far

  1. Mike Mullin December 28th, 2011 10:18 pm

    Brian, that’s awesome progress!! You only had to talk to 10 agents and got 50% opt in… and you are still enthusiastic. There’s no way you fail to reach your goal. I’ll bet less than 5% of the LO population is out beating the bushes as hard as you are.

  2. Jim Klein December 29th, 2011 9:04 am

    Thanks, Brian. You helped me realize something, that Greg has been trying to hammer home for decades.

    2012 is obviously going to be the Year of Destruction…but only for Destroyers. It’s also going to be the Year of Creation…for those who simply insist on bringing in the Dawn. Thanks for insisting, and Happy New Year to you, yours and all.

  3. Brian Brady December 29th, 2011 9:41 am

    Thank you, Jim and Mike. The good news is that I have 100 lunch bags to distribute so, unless I want to eat the $300, I have to get them in front of agents.

    I had a similar idea, two years ago. I bought 10 copies of Bill Glazer’s “Outrageous Advertising” and intended to mail them to agents. They sat in my garage, for 14 months, collecting dust. I confided to a friend that I never followed through with the plan and he said “Why not do it now?”

    Just last February, I mailed those copies out and invited all ten agents to a 3-hour seminar about marketing. Sean Purcell presented for an hour, I did an hour, and another agent did an hour. I think only four showed up to the seminar but it allowed me to cement the relationships and secure more business. The moral of the story is: “it’s never too late to finish what you started”.

    Mike, you are absolutely correct. I have a 50% opt-in rate rather than a 50% decline rate. Your optimism reminds me that, if I distribute 100 bags, I’ll reach my stated goal of 50 more people.

    Jim states the obvious in his year of destruction/creation comment. I’m choosing creation over destruction next year.

  4. Sean Purcell December 29th, 2011 7:07 pm

    Love this idea Brian; too many LOs and agents spend money trying to find the magic bullet or the latest shiny bauble, super secret, no work involved idea for attracting business, rather than taking actual, retail, belly-to-belly action.

    I’d like to pile on Mike’s statement with an observation borne of knowing you personally: your close rate is one helluva lot higher in person. Collecting cards from a give-away, and then follow-up calling your way to a 50% close rate is spectacular. But showing up in person – with a gift bag no less – is playing to your strength. They won’t know what hit ’em…

  5. Jim Wagoner December 31st, 2011 4:38 pm

    I’m a loan officer and market to Realtors all the time. I’m able to add new Realtors to my email list, but it seems the ones who are willing to hear from me are the ones who aren’t doing a lot of business, although that may be because most of them aren’t doing much business now. My thought is stay in touch now, get the occasional deal and when things turn around I’ll have a large list to market to.