Are you waiting and hoping for the market to return to normal? Waiting for sellers to get back in the market, so you can pick up more listings? There’s a better way.
“The market has very little to do with your success,” says Jim Remley. “What has to do with your success is strategy. What is your strategy on a daily basis within the market that you work in?”
This week on The Walkthrough, Jim shares six creative ways you can proactively find new listings no matter how low inventory is in your market. Be ready to hear specific tactics, tools, and websites you can use to execute these ideas. This is part one of a two-part series!
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Links and Show Notes
- eRealEstateCoach – Jim’s coaching program
- Jim Remley at John L. Scott – Jim’s real estate website
- Cloud CMA – mentioned in this episode
- 99Designs – mentioned in this episode
- FlipHTML5.com – mentioned in this episode
- EZTexting.com – mentioned in this episode
- Join our Facebook community for The Walkthrough listeners
- HomeLight’s Agent Resource Center
- Subscribe and listen to The Walkthrough: Apple Podcasts/iTunes | Spotify | Google Podcasts | YouTube
(SPEAKER: Matt McGee, Host)
Ah, summer, how’s the forecast where you are? It’s hot here. Like really, really hot. This is the perfect time for a six-pack.
[Sound: beverage can opening and pouring into glass]
No, no, no, no, not that kind of six-pack, not that kind of forecast. I mean, the market forecast, real estate. As we just talked about in our last Walkthrough, there are small signs of change right now, but inventory is still really low.
That six-pack I mentioned? I’m talking about a six-pack of tactics you can use right now to find and win more listings. My guest today has seen these tactics work at the big brokerage he runs in Oregon, as well as with the agents that he coaches. What’s cool is that they’re not the usual run-of-the-mill stuff that you might be thinking of either.
So, if you like the thought of finding and winning new listings in this low-inventory market, you’re in the right place. Stay tuned. This is part one of a two-part series.
This is “The Walkthrough.”
Hello there. How are you doing? My name’s Matt McGee. I’m the editor of HomeLight’s Agent Resource Center. Welcome to “The Walkthrough,” this is HomeLight’s weekly podcast. We have a new episode that comes out every Monday morning. This is the show where you’ll learn what’s working right now from the best real estate agents and industry experts in the country.
Why do we do a podcast? Well, at HomeLight, we believe in real estate agents, and we’re on a journey to find out how great agents grow their business, stand out from the crowd, and become irreplaceable. If you want to get involved in the show or if you want to contact me, there’s a few different ways you can do that. And probably the best way is to find me in our Facebook listener community. Just go on Facebook, do a search for HomeLight Walkthrough, and the group should come right up. You can also leave a voicemail or send a text. The number to use is 415-322-3328. Or send an email, it’ll come straight to my inbox. The address to use is walkthrough [at] homelight.com.
Speaking of our listener community, have you joined us yet? If you’re hearing my voice right now, you should be in that group. It just turned a year old this past weekend. I’ve got to tell you, it’s been an amazing resource for everyone who’s active there. Agents like you get to connect with other agents around the country to mastermind business ideas. We’ve had some really great recent chats about how to get clients to write reviews across multiple sites. We’ve talked about lead conversion. We’ve talked about the new law in Oregon that bans love letters. That’s just some of what our recent conversations have been.
That community has also been a great resource for me. In fact, this series we’re starting today is a direct result of the guidance of the agents in that community. See, what happened is I connected, I don’t know, probably about a month or two ago with today’s guest. He gave me five or six different topics that he loves to discuss. So, I took those to the agents in the listener community, ran a poll, and the overwhelming winner was “how to attract more listings in a low supply market.” Makes perfect sense, right, with inventory being such a challenge all across the country right now.
Well, the guest I’m talking about is Jim Remley. Jim’s a real estate veteran. He got into the business at age 19. By age 24, he had opened up his own brokerage. He grew that company to 17 offices. It became the biggest independent agency in the State of Oregon. Jim sold that firm. Today, he runs a three-office brokerage that’s based in Medford, Oregon. They have more than 200 agents and they did about a billion dollars in volume last year. Jim also created and runs a successful coaching program that’s called eRealEstateCoach. He also has a podcast, does a lot of great video content, and more.
Thanks to his access to those 200 agents at the brokerage, plus all of his coaching clients, Jim has some really interesting strategies and tactics that you can start using today to find and win more listings. We’re going to go through six of them in our next two episodes.
On today’s show, we’re going to be talking about things like getting in the right mindset to find and win new listings. Jim is going to share some soft sell scripts for approaching homeowners in a creative way. He’s also going to share some creative ways to turn your database into advisors as you actively search for new listings.
Hey, we’re going to get in the weeds a bit today. Jim is sharing not only strategies, but also really specific tactics. You’re going to hear some scripts. Jim’s going to give out some websites and some tools that you can use as you execute on these ideas. So, maybe have your marketing person listen to this episode as well. Maybe be ready to take some notes, you know the drill. This is how we do things on “The Walkthrough,” right? Substance, not surface.
I’ll also have a One More Minute segment at the very end of the show, but enough preview. Let’s dive in and learn some unique ways to find and win new listings in this low-inventory market. Here’s my conversation with Jim Remley.
Matt: We are hearing stories of record-low inventory all across the country. Can you kind of give me a snapshot of what’s going on in Medford at the moment, in your market?
Jim: Yeah. Our median market time right now is under 10 days. It’s been hovering around five, six, seven days, depending on the month. So, it’s definitely been our lowest in, I think, recorded history for sure. You know, the market is just suffering from years and years and years of low supply and it just got, you know, definitely worse over the last 12 months for sure.
Matt: What does that do in terms of an agent’s mindset? I mean, I know we’re going to get into specific tactics for helping agents find new listings, but what are you coaching your agents in this kind of market where mindset is concerned?
Jim: Well, you have to understand that there’s a lot of seller pent-up demand right now. So we always talk about buyer pent-up demand, but there’s seller pent-up demand. What that means is there was a recent study actually done by Realtor.com of homeowners across the country. It showed that 68% of homeowners, when you interview them, think it’s a good time to sell right now. And when they dove deeper into that, they found that there was a massive amount of homeowners that are actually preparing to sell actually relatively soon. So, when we think about this kind of persistent low supply, you know, all markets cycle, and we’re about to see a super surge, in my opinion and according to the market data, of listings coming to market over the next 12 months. So, the question mark for all of us is, what are we doing about that, right? What are we doing to prepare for that? And when you talk about mindset, you need to let go of this idea that this is gonna last forever. That this is just the new normal that’s going to last, you know, for infinity. It’s not. It’s a market cycle that’s about to end.
So, the idea here is, what are you going to do about that? Like, what is your strategy? The challenge for a lot of agents is they get into a market-driven mentality. So, market-driven mentality means a high tide floats all boats. They do really well for a little bit. The market starts to fall and they get overly concerned about the market. Like, what’s gonna happen with the market? The market has very little to do with your success. What has to do with your success is strategy. What is your strategy on a daily basis within the market that you work in? Markets will affect you, but they do not determine your overall outcome. What determines your overall outcome is your strategy daily.
Matt: Is this the sort of market where an agent needs to maybe be more active in going out and looking for opportunities to get listings instead of sitting back and waiting for the leads to come to them?
Jim: Absolutely. It’s gonna be a long, long wait if you’re just waiting for something to happen. And it may never come. And, you know, that’s the difference between being passive and being active. Active means I’m physically going out and talking to people. I’m physically on the phone or texting or throwing all sorts of video. Passive is I’m just waiting and hoping for something to happen. You can’t do that. You’ve gotta be active in this market, for sure.
Matt: You just mentioned the need to have strategies right now in place, to go out and find listings. Let’s dive into some of the things that are working with the agents at your brokerage, some of the things you’re teaching in your coaching business, why don’t you dive into some of them? I think the first one that we talked about, you called it the unsolicited CMA. Tell us about that.
Jim: So…and all these ideas are not my great grand revelations. These are the things I’m pulling from top producers as I’m coaching from across the country that actually work. And that other coaches and I, you know, we integrate and we talk about what’s working, what’s not working.
So, the first one actually I took from one of my own agents that I work with who happens to also be a certified ninja coach. So, she talked to me about this idea of doing CMAs for every single person in our database, right? Just to update them on their home value. So this is a really interesting idea. And then I had a little bit of a twist on it from another agent that I coach who actually applied the same thing. But before I tell you the idea and kind of walk you through it, I want you to understand the results of this.
So, with Shelly that I work with, of her, I think, 15 transactions at the time she was running, 13 of them came from this strategy, okay? So, this is a winner. The other guy that I coach, $11 million on his last quarter came from this specific strategy. So, these are winners, right? So this is not like, you know, we’re just talking in a vacuum.
So, the idea here, and you can put a lot of different twists on it, is you get up in the morning and you say, “Hey, you know what? I want to engage with my sphere of influence in a real meaningful world where I deliver value.” So you pick one of your sphere members that owns a home and you bring up Zoom and you do a quick CMA for this home. And we all have systems. I like Cloud CMA, but there’s a ton of CMA systems. You do a quick CMA on this person’s home. Now, they haven’t asked for a CMA. It’s unsolicited. You’re just doing it.
And so, the cool way of doing this is to start with Google Earth and then put in their address and let it zero into their address, and then bring up the CMA. And as that’s…Google Earth is kind of zooming in, you do a little voiceover and you’re recording all this on Zoom. And you just say, “Hey, guys, Jim Remley here. I’m doing something fun for all my friends. I’m updating everybody on their home value. Home values have just gone absolutely bananas. You’ve probably been watching the news. So I just want to give everybody a quick update. I know you’re probably not ready to sell your house now, but hey, listen, everybody should know what their home value is. So I thought I’d share it with you. And then if you know of anybody thinking about selling, I’d love to help. So let me show you what’s going on.” And so, now they zoomed into their house. Now you flip over to your CMA, share your screen, and you walk people through the traditional CMA.
Now, we know that we haven’t been in a house recently, right? And we talk about that. We say, “Listen, I haven’t been in your house in a bit. So you gotta look at this as being like within 5% probably of your home value, but pretty close. Way closer than Zillow will be, I’ll tell you that.” And so you walk them through the home value. At the end of it, you can also go one step further and bring up…a lot of us have access to local title companies, or even major title companies that have apps that will run a net sheet online. So, we could do quick net sheet. Bring that up and say, “Now, listen, I don’t know what your mortgage is today, but here’s what it would look like based on that sales price, what you can probably net, minus your mortgage. So let me know what you think of this. Love to talk you, guys. Love to chat. Let’s get together sometime soon. Have a great day.” Bingo. That’s it.
How long does that take? If you get in the rhythm of it and you start doing this every single day, it takes probably about 30 minutes total. It’ll take an hour or two the first time you do it. And you know, it’ll take 45 minutes the second time, but you’ll get into the rhythm of it. If you think about just doing this every morning, when you get up and you just crank one out, crank one out, look at what’s happened with these agents that are actually using this strategy. They’re crushing it. Because everybody knows the market’s gone up. They just don’t know how much the market’s gone up on their specific home. And when you do this, what happens is it starts conversations in the family, where they’ll be like, “Wow, I didn’t know it’s gone up this much. You know, this could be an opportunity.”
Matt: So I have a couple of follow-up questions. So, you record this video on Zoom and you talked about using the Google Earth and zoom in, and then you flip over to your…the CMA you put together. When you’re done recording, what are you doing to deliver it to this person?
Jim: With Zoom, Zoom has a cloud storage service that you could sign up for, which is what I signed up for. If you use the cloud storage service, then it gives you a link which you can then share through an email or even through a text. And then you just send, “Hey, here’s a quick update on your home value. Have a fantastic day. Let’s talk soon.” Bingo. They click it. It brings up your video. That’s one way to do it. Another way to do it is to download it on your local computer. And then put into some other level of cloud storage. Like if you’ve got, you know, G Suite or if you’ve got…you know, I have Dropbox. So that would be another example.
Matt: Right. Okay. That makes sense.
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Matt: And then just to confirm, tell me again about how you’re positioning this. Is it here, this is for your information, or are you specifically asking for the listing?
Jim: No, you’re not asking for listing because that would be really weird for you to just come out of the blue and ask for the listing. This is simply informational. I like to think of it as you’re positioning yourself as the absolute pre-eminent expert in real estate, and you’re trying to let them know that you’re there as a resource and you’re there to provide value, not asking for listing at all. In fact, I make a real point of that. “I know you’re probably not interested in selling, but listen, I just want to give everybody a quick update on your home value.”
They may become interested in selling after I show them that number, which is happening a lot for these agents that are doing it. And more importantly, they’re getting referrals. It brings you back to top of mind, remember every single person that’s in our spheres of influence, that’s in our database, we often think once they enter our database, they’re in our corral. They’re not going anywhere else. Wrong. In America, the average person in America knows nine Realtors. So…and it’s probably gone up since that study came out because of the number of Realtors in the country has gone up so dramatically.
Matt: Yes, it has.
Jim: So, if they know nine other Realtors, you got a one in nine shot of getting their referrals, a one in nine shot of listing their house. Who’s going to win between you and the 8 other Realtors you’re competing with or 10 other Realtors? It’s going to be the person that offers the most value, the person that’s most visible.
And really quickly on that topic of visibility, visibility is so more important than ability today. And I’ll give you a classic example of this. So, we all have this in our markets across the country. So, you know an agent in your market, for the listeners listening to this right now, that sucks. They are not a good agent. They’re not ethical. You know, they’re not trained. They’re just kind of complete buffoons. They screw up every deal. They’re terrible with communication, everything else on between, but yet they’re crushing it in the marketplace, they’re outselling you 2, 3, 4, 5, 10X to your production. The reason why some of them are able to do that is because even though they don’t have ability, they have high visibility. So, within their spheres, they’re highly visible. They’re communicating, they’re talking, they’re reaching out. And on social media, super highly, highly visible. So, you can’t be a secret agent within your own sphere. You gotta be super highly visible. That’s how you win.
Matt: I love that. So that covers the unsolicited CMA idea. Another one that we talked about was using pre-listing kits to go out and find new listings. Why don’t you tell me how that works?
Jim: Yeah. So interesting, pre-listing kits are…we’ve heard about these in the industry for years. So, we know what our listing presentation is. That’s, you know, when we come out and do our visual listing presentation, we’ve all been trained in that. But a pre-listing kit is something that is sent to the client before you arrive to kind of introduce your services, kind of talk about you in a third person sometimes where it’s hard to brag about yourself in person. So, it gives testimonials, Zillow reviews. You can show off samples of a previous work. You can show off your personal stats against the MLS, like against the market, super, super powerful. But also your philosophy, you know, what you’re involved with, a little bit more about you as a human being.
So, the idea with your pre-listing kit is it’s a pre-emptive strike against competitors. Now, the reality is 67% of the time when you go on a listing appointment, you’re not competing, 67% of the time, you’re the one and only person going out. But that’s still about…so that’s about two-thirds of the time, but one-third of the time you are competing. And in this kind of intense market for listings, you have to assume every time you’re competing. So, you have to make that assumption, right?
So, the pre-listing kit in the old days would be mailed to the client, or it would be delivered to the client. Today, we’re going to electronically deliver it. So it’s almost zero cost. The cost is the build-out of this thing. And so when you build these out, they’re going to be 4 or 5, 10 pages max. They’re going to be, you know, visually stunning, less words, more photos, more photo-centric. But what we do with this, I’m going to give you several different kind of tactical things with this, is what we do with the pre-listing kit is we have them built by a graphic designer. Don’t try to build it yourself because it won’t look good, very good.
So, a lot of my coaching clients use 99designs, great company where you can have inexpensive graphic designers come in and really work with you. Then once it’s built, this 4 or 5, 10-page pre-listing kit is built, then we store it. And again, getting really tactical here, on fliphtml5.com, fliphtml5.com, that’s a free service, you can pay to upgrade it, but it’s a free service as a start. What that does is it puts it up basically on a shelf, so think of it like a shelf. And it creates a magazine out of any PDF you do. So, you can actually hear the magazine flipping. So it looks really beautiful, but more importantly, it will give you a link. And that link URL is what you can send out to people when you’re, you know, trying to get that listing and say, “Hey, here’s a copy of my pre-listing kit. You might want to check it out before I arrive. It’ll give you a lot of details about me and my services. Some testimonials. Love to have you explore it.”
So, the pre-emptive strike is once they’re looking at that, now they’re comparing the next agent they interviewed, if you’re not first in line, to you already and you haven’t even been there, right? So, if your marketing looks beautiful, stunning, you’ve got great testimonials, they’re already halfway down the road with you.
Matt: Hey, let me jump in here real quick. Jim is telling us about using pre-listing kits to give yourself a better shot at winning listing appointments. He shared a couple of URLs of sites that can help you do this. And I will put links to those sites in today’s show notes. Jim told me that at his brokerage, their closing rate at listing appointments, and I mean, listing appointments when they were, you know, competing against other agents, the closing rate jumped from about 50% to 84% when they started making and using these online pre-listing kits. But here’s the thing, at Jim’s brokerage, they don’t just use the pre-listing kits to win more listing appointments. The agents also use them in a creative way with the people in their database. They use them to find new listings. So, listen in as Jim explains how that works.
Jim: Now, how does that relate to proactively getting listings now, right? So here’s what you do. You make a commitment, number one, that you need a pre-listing kit, right? If I just told you that you can increase your close rate from 50% to 84%, every one of you listening should go out there and build this thing now. So…but once you’ve built it, what do you do with it? So you’re not gonna just use it only for pre-listing or for your listing presentations, what you’re gonna do is you’re going to send it out to your entire database.
Imagine you have 200, 300, 400, 500, some of you may have more than that, people in your CRM in your spheres of influence. Imagine taking that list, and let’s say you got all their phone numbers and we all should have their phone numbers, you load that into…I’m going to get really tactical again, you load that into a system like eztexting.com, which is a system we use a lot at my company. So, you load all the phone numbers up. So now you have a database that’s in eztexting.com. And now I can send one text to that entire list. And here’s what I’m going to say, again, very tactical here. I’m going to say, “Hey, guys, I just created my first pre-listing kit. I’m proud of it, but I want the people that I know and trust to really take a hard look at it and you just give me your thoughts and opinions. I really would appreciate you taking a look.” Now use … and in parentheses, “also, if you know anyone considering selling, please send them along.”
Matt: Right. Right.
Jim: You’re asking for the referral, right? And then you send them the link, which is your fliphtml5.com link. And it will be provided to you. Now, your 500 people now get your pre-listing kit. What have you done with that? What you’ve done is you’ve, again, gone from low visibility to super high visibility, and they’re going to be reading all your testimonials, all your success stories. They’re gonna be looking at your marketing plan, everything that you’re putting in that pre-listing kit. And if they have any interest in selling or buying, they’re using you number one. But way more important than that is they’re going to be much, much more likely to refer to you in the short term. So that is a great strategy that’s also crushing right now in the marketplace.
Matt: What’s clever about that is that you’re asking the people that already know you, that are in your database, in your sphere, you’re asking them … you’re positioning it as a, “Hey, can you help me take a look at this and let me know what you think as a buyer or seller?”
Jim: Absolutely. And that is such a great strategy I learned from a top producer years ago, that you always take the people that are around you and you elevate them to being your advisor and you ask for opinions. The reason why you do that is as soon as somebody gives you their opinion, they’ve just taken a little bit of an ownership position in your success. So, if you give me your opinion, then you say, “Oh, now I want Jim to succeed.” And guess what happens when you start giving those opinions is you, as a human being, are much more likely to be vested in my success. You’re much more likely to refer to me, to do business with me, to help me in other ways. So, I mean, it’s such a great, great position and you learn a lot. You do get a lot of great opinions. So it’s a great strategy.
Matt: What kind of follow-up do you do, if any, on this? The reason I ask, so I imagine you send this out to, say, 500 people in your sphere. You might get, what, 25, 50, maybe 100 if you’re lucky. The ones you don’t hear from, do you just write that off and say, “I’m not gonna worry about it,” or is there some sort of follow-up to say, “Hey, did you get my pre-listing kit?”
Jim: I don’t know that there’s a specific follow-up because you don’t want to inundate them. But it’s going to be the next thing that you’re sending, right? Because you have a whole strategy around your sphere. But what I will say is that you can use this in multiple channels. So, you have a channel that is just for, you know, your text channel, which you just used as one channel. But I could also follow it up with an email to that same database, same message, and say, “Hey, if you missed my text, I sent this out, you know, a week or two ago. Just wanted to follow up.” So, that would be an example of a different channel. I wouldn’t use a text channel, but I use an email channel. I could also use a social media channel and put it out on social media, “Hey, guys, here’s my pre-listing kit I just built. Check it out and tell me what you think.” So, it could be multiple different places where they’ve been touched by the same message.
(Speaker: Matt McGee, Host)
So, there you go. We only got through two of Jim’s six strategies today. I promise we will dig into the other four next week. We’ll also answer some questions from our listener community, and I’ll have a preview of that episode coming up in just a moment. Remember also, there’s a One More Minute segment at the very, very end of today’s show.
For now, let’s do the takeaways segment. Here’s what stood out to me from part one with Jim Remley.
Takeaway number one, this is the time to be active, to go out looking for sellers instead of waiting for them to come to you. So you need a strategy to do that. I liked Jim’s quote, he said, “The market has very little to do with your success. What matters is your daily strategy.”
Takeaway number two, Jim introduced the concept of the unsolicited CMA. The idea is to go through your database and pick somebody and record a video updating them on their home value. You know, it’s not a hard pitch, “Are you thinking about selling?” It’s more about, “FYI, I thought you’d want to know what your home is worth now.” It’s that kind of approach. Jim’s agents are doing one of these a day. He has one agent who’s picked up 13 of her last 15 listings this way. And another agent did $11 million in volume last quarter from this tactic. Pretty darn good, right?
Takeaway number three, Jim also introduced the idea of using pre-listing kits creatively. Now, you know a pre-listing kit as the material that you send to a seller before a listing appointment. Jim’s tip is to also share that pre-listing kit, put it online, share it with your entire database, and just ask them for their feedback. Then say, “Oh, by the way, if you know anyone who’s thinking of selling, let me know.” Jim said, when you turn your sphere, your database into advisors like this, they become more invested in your success.
So, that’s part one. Next week, we’re going to continue talking about ways to find and win new listings in this low-inventory market. Jim has four more ideas to share. Here’s a sneak peek of one of them.
Jim: But what you’re going to say is, “In the next week or so, I’m going to be listing, or I will be listing one of your neighbor’s homes for sale. It’s actually why I’m reaching out today to you. I’ve done some extensive research in the area on home values and found some very surprising data. If you’d like a quick update on your home value or are considering selling, now would be a great time to talk. Based on recent market activity, when my marketing begins, I’m anticipating multiple offers and showing opportunities. I’ll be back in the area several times over the next few days. If you have a few minutes to talk, please give me a call or text and we can set up a time to chat in person or through a virtual meeting.”
Matt: So, that’s a taste of what is coming up next week. All right. If you have questions or feedback, you can do that in a few different ways. Number one, leave a voicemail or send me a text. The number is 415-322-3328. You can send an email to walkthrough [at] homelight.com, or you can find me and Jim Remley, he’s joined our Facebook listener community. So if you have any direct questions about what you’ve heard, come join us as well. Do a search for HomeLight Walkthrough and the group will come right up.
That’s all for this week. Hey, thanks so much to Jim Remley for joining me. Thank you for listening. My name’s Matt McGee, and you’ve been listening to “The Walkthrough.” At HomeLight, we believe in real estate agents. We’re on a journey to find out how great agents grow their business, stand out from the crowd, and become irreplaceable.
Go out and safely sell some homes. I’ll talk to you again next week. Bye-bye.
Welcome back and welcome to another edition of One More Minute. Today, I have a quick note about content marketing. It’s a favorite topic of mine.
Are you good at repurposing content? Are you familiar with repurposing? It’s something you should be doing with just about all of the content you create.
What I mean is this, that Facebook live video that you did showing off your latest listing? Record that and put it on your YouTube channel as well. Or vice versa — that informative YouTube video that you did about the pros and cons of living in your area, upload that to Facebook too. Also, turn it into a blog post. Use it in your newsletter.
When you’re making content, repurpose it across multiple channels. Don’t just do a great video on your Instagram stories or reels or whatever, figure out how to reuse that piece of content elsewhere. With some just very slight tweaks, you can turn one piece of content into three or four or more pieces of content.
That’s the whole idea behind repurposing, to squeeze as much juice as you can out of everything you create. It’s one of the building blocks of a great content marketing strategy.
That’s One More Minute. I’m Matt McGee. Thanks for listening. See you next week with another Walkthrough.
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