It’s a special Thursday edition of Mailbox Monday — that means it’s time to open up the mailbox and answer YOUR questions!

Sometimes, I want to beat my friggin’ head against the wall…

I know, I know.  Probably not the best way to start an email.

But I get the same questions, over and over again.

And they all come down to marketing and selling basics.

I’m not trying to denigrate this reader who wrote in…

Rather, I think the entire “biz guru” world has failed you…

Because in the endless pitchfest of “easy button” success formulas, the truth has been buried.

Marketing and selling are simple:

  1. Find someone who has a problem.
  2. Create or source the solution to their problem.
  3. Tell them that you have the solution.
  4. Preferably, show them why your solution is the best possible solution.
  5. Make an offer.

Start doing that now, then do it enough times — pivoting if you’re not getting traction — and you’re likely to achieve some pretty dang impressive success.

Selling means you’re doing it one-on-one.  Marketing means you’re doing it at scale, through media.

Simple as that.

Reminder: This is Mailbox Monday — on Thursday…

Every Monday I answer reader questions in my emails, but I’ve grown my queue quite a bit in recent weeks and am playing catch-up.

So, here we are!

Today’s question…

I’m a new (7 months ) solo agent & don’t even know how to begin with successfully marketing on a budget.  I’m looking for something resourceful to help get leads.

Thank You

– A

Simple enough question: how to get leads on a budget…

The easy thing to do would be to point you at a bunch of push-button tactics and software packages I could pitch you that would be self-serving to the max.

But, instead of that, I’m going to break it down, real simple…

I think, from the “solo agent” language, that you’re in real estate.


Who hires a real estate agent?

Well, here’s a short list…

— Someone moving into town (buyer)

— Someone moving out of town (seller)

— Someone buying their first home

— Someone up-sizing their home

— Someone down-sizing their home

— Someone moving across town

— Someone buying their first rental property

— Someone buying their second or later rental property

— Someone looking for a condo

— Someone selling a condo

Et cetera, et cetera…

Not only that, there are specific things they may hire you for…

— They may want their current home listed and sold

— They may want your help finding a home

— They may want you to do both

And there are a pile of other specific desires they may have, depending on their situation.

The first thing you need to do is pick a specific market, with a specific problem, and  get inside their heads!

Let’s say, for example, that I’m sitting here in Lincoln, Nebraska, and I want to start a little solo agent real estate business.

Now, I happen to love my neighborhood.

It’s a historic neighborhood.

It’s under consideration for being added to the National Register of Historic Places, because it’s got mad-crazy mid-century modern style.

The houses aren’t the most expensive in town, but they’re also not the cheapest.

Plus, there’s a decent area around our neighborhood that appeals to the same general crowd.

If I were going to start this real estate business, I’d get really specific.

I’d focus on two audiences.

First, I’d focus on anyone that wants to SELL their East Lincoln home.

Then, I’d focus on anyone who wants to BUY an East Lincoln home.

To get sellers as leads, I’d brainstorm all the questions they might ask…

And the earlier they ask these questions in the listing process, the better — because you don’t want to be a resource for answering all the questions they ask AFTER they get an agent.

Now, I have a bit of an ace up my sleeve here.  I happen to know that one of the first things a seller wants to know is what their home is worth.

And so I might develop a monthly publication of East Lincoln home prices.

Then, I’d offer that for anyone who was interested.  I’d start by finding ways to offer that one-off, without any real marketing cost.  Such as making it available through social media, trying to find ways to target it to people who lived in the area I created the guide around.

I’d later use geo-targeting for hyper-localized online advertising, so I could constantly be putting this offer in front of qualified prospects without nagging people through social media.

(This is straight out of the Dean Jackson, I Love Marketing blueprint, to give credit where it’s due.)

When those people raised their hand, I’d send them this specific guide, along with an offer to do a price and pre-sale analysis of their home, free.

This would be enough to start the conversation with those prequalified leads.

To get buyers as leads, I’d brainstorm a different set of questions…

I’d think about who would be moving into this neighborhood.  I’d think about what they’d want to know.

For example, if I wanted to target families, I might source then offer an “East Lincoln school map, by neighborhood.”  Seems like something people would want to know.

Or I might test an offer for a “East Lincoln Homes for Sale Prepublication Alert List,” where I make the seller leads I have available to my exclusive email list before they are published on the MLS and other public directories.  This would give people who signed up as leads an opportunity to get in before the market, and potential bid and get the home under contract early.

Get creative.  And test a lot of things.

This applies to nearly any market…

Zooming out in the real estate market, maybe the idea is to only work with investors.  In that case, I may offer a “Lincoln, Nebraska Guide to Investment Real Estate, by Zip Code.”

I’d include things like average price-to-rent ratios by zip code, for the latest calendar quarter.  I’d include things like the location of universities, and other renter-heavy population centers.

Plus, I’d do other things to distinguish myself as the real estate agent  that exclusively serves this market, in this town.

Want examples from completely different markets?

How about…

— 2018 Women’s Hairstyles, and the Lincoln, NE salons that can pull them off

— 2018 Sedan Buyer’s Guide: What you need to know before you visit any dealership

— The 3 things you need to know before hiring any Facebook Ads agency

— 10 questions to ask your freelance SaaS copywriter, before you hire them

— The new parent’s guide to choosing a dentist

And so on, and so forth…

All you need to do is find out what VALUE they want, to start the conversation…

They have a problem.  You have the solution.  You have to get outside of your own head, and focus on their problem.

What’s bugging them?  What are they excited about?  What are they worried about?  What’s that one information roadblock that stands in their way?

Create some simple way of delivering that value, so you pique their interest.

Then, give them a way of raising their hand, so they can speak with you.

And, if you want more training to go deep on this:

The Value-First Funnel Strategy

The Client-Getting Blueprint

You get BOTH through BTMSinsiders membership.

It’s like freaking Netflix for marketing nerds.   You watch as much as you want, with instant, on-demand access to all of it for a monthly fee so low that it’s literally hard for many people to realize how much value it offers.

I don’t know that “BTMSinsiders and chill” will ever become a thing.  But at least you’ll get some really good ideas for how to grow your business.

Yours for bigger breakthroughs,

Roy Furr