S3 E2: Fast Rising Superstar
Meet Mega Agent Dusty Cole from Orange Beach, AL. Dusty is on YEAR 3 and his goal this year is 270 transactions. – 100 himself personally for $600k and 170 transactions from his team for $1M in commissions. We look at the strategies of getting to high volume without having built up a big database of past clients and sphere.
Ren Jones (00:01):
Welcome to Roadmap, how to take three listings a week until you’re ready for more. Each week, we interview a great agent who’s consistently taking two, three, four listings a week, and we have an exciting guest today. We encourage you to take notes and apply as much of their knowledge as quickly as you can and then use the copycat principle.
If you’re watching on Vulcan7 or on the Lead Gen Facebook group, you’ll have an opportunity to ask questions during the broadcast. Get the questions in early folks. Start typing the questions early. As soon as you think of something, write it down. Let me introduce my co-host from San Diego, Carley Hathaway. That’s carleyhathaway.com.
Hi, Carley. How’s the real estate business?
Carley Hathaway (00:47):
Hi, Ren. The real estate business is fabulous in San Diego, all over California, in fact, so great time to be a listing agent.
Ren Jones (00:55):
Good. Fantastic, and congratulations on your four listing appointments.
Carley Hathaway (00:59):
Yay. Thank you so much. I’m really excited.
Ren Jones (01:01):
Good. That can be really good.
Carley Hathaway (01:02):
I think so.
Ren Jones (01:04):
Wonderful. Before I introduce our guest today, I want to remind everyone that we are also simulcasting the show on the private Lead Gen group on Facebook. They have 49,000 members, so we have a large audience there as well today. We’ll be pausing for a commercial message during the show as a thank you to the Lead Gen folks. Let’s welcome our guest today from beautiful Orange Beach in Alabama, Mr. Dusty Cole.
Dusty Cole (01:33):
Thank you for having me.
Ren Jones (01:35):
Thanks for being here, and what a wonderful place to do real estate business.
Dusty Cole (01:41):
Definitely. I’m from here, lived here all my life, and it’s a great place to live and do business as you say.
Ren Jones (01:47):
Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, and you get to meet people that come in especially in February.
Dusty Cole (01:56):
Oh, I lost you.
Ren Jones (01:56):
A lot of second homes down there, I gather.
Dusty Cole (01:59):
Yep. Sorry. I lost you for a minute. Yes, we have a second home market, condo market. We also have just a little bit of, of course, the primary home market also.
Ren Jones (02:09):
Good. Mobile is over here and Pensacola is over here. You’re right along here in the rim and doing mostly the Alabama shore and a little bit of Florida and then-
Dusty Cole (02:18):
That’s correct. Yeah. Mobile, Pensacola, we’re down south of that on the coast and also work just across the line in Perdido Key, Florida.
Ren Jones (02:26):
Great. Great. If someone wants to refer, because that covers a wide area, if they want to refer some business down there, second home, maybe it’s just time to get out of Pittsburgh entirely and get down there, what’s the best way for them to reach you, send you that business?
Dusty Cole (02:44):
Yeah. Email probably is best, dustycole, D-U-S-T-Y C-O-L-E, @ymail, the letter Y, mail.com, dustycole.com, and find me there also.
Ren Jones (02:58):
dustycole.com is also a website? Okay.
Dusty Cole (03:00):
Yeah, it will redirect you to a-
Ren Jones (03:06):
Okay, and they can look at great pictures of wonderful places and reach out to you as well, so good. Let’s do it, folks. Everybody, sign up for… Get a beautiful home there. That’s wonderful, wonderful, and then fairly new in the business, hey, when did you start?
Dusty Cole (03:24):
This is my third full-time year, and then I was licensed the year before that when I did double duty with another career, so, yep, third full-time year this year.
Ren Jones (03:36):
What’s the goal for this year?
Dusty Cole (03:38):
We have a team. This year, the goal for me personally is a hundred transactions, 600,000 gross commissions, and the team, 1 million gross commissions and 170 transactions.
Ren Jones (03:49):
170 total or is that a hundred and then that one?
Dusty Cole (03:52):
Yep, a hundred for me, 70 for the other two agents.
Ren Jones (03:54):
Gotcha. All right. Okay, a total of 170, so not bad for year three.
Carley Hathaway (04:00):
Yeah. No kidding. That’s a huge number for only three years in the business. That’s incredible.
Yeah, we’re all trying.
Ren Jones (04:06):
Where are you finding that business?
Dusty Cole (04:08):
Well, phone mostly. I’ve been a Vulcan7 user, and I’m a member of the Tom Ferry coaching organization, also coached by Betty Gales.
Ren Jones (04:19):
Dusty Cole (04:19):
Yep, so that’s been very instrumental in that rapid growth that we’ve seen. I mean, we’ve seen tremendous year-over-year growth. I do prospect using Vulcan7 daily, mostly expireds. I will say, because my team is watching me right now, so I have to be straight, until about a month ago, so they’ll hold me accountable and, eventually, I’ll probably explain, we got so busy and we had to level out over the last month, and prospecting has been interrupted. Maybe that explains how we got there.
Ren Jones (05:00):
You’re going to have to hire for the season-
Dusty Cole (05:02):
We just hired.
Ren Jones (05:03):
… to better to keep you on the phones.
Dusty Cole (05:06):
We did just hire another admin, a transaction coordinator.
Carley Hathaway (05:09):
Ren Jones (05:10):
Fantastic, at the rate you’re going.
Carley Hathaway (05:12):
Yeah, so you’re working with expireds mostly. Can you talk to us about your daily routine, your schedule, what time you get on the phone, role play, all that kind of stuff? What does a typical Tuesday look for you when you’re not on this show?
Dusty Cole (05:28):
Yep. I like to be at the office by 8:00 and on the phones from 8:00 to 10:00. Usually, the first hour, new expireds, the second hour, followups is an ideal morning for me.
Carley Hathaway (05:41):
Dusty Cole (05:41):
We use the Vulcan7 to manage the followups with an assistant, and then we also have Commission CINC, which is another CRM in which we use both. Yep.
Ren Jones (05:53):
Carley Hathaway (05:53):
Nice, and how many hours a day are you doing that? Is it one hour of expireds, one hour of followups or do you break it down like that or…
Dusty Cole (06:01):
I try to break it down like that. It doesn’t always work perfectly, but two hours a day. It was the discipline for about a year and a half that got me to business overload where we had to regroup and restructure over the last month. Yep.
Carley Hathaway (06:18):
Good. Good. Do you find staying on that strict routine five days a week helps you or what do you see a difference in?
Dusty Cole (06:27):
Yeah, most certainly. I mean, I think that’s what separates the people that do that from the rest of the competition to get listings as not everybody is doing it with that type of discipline, very small amount of people. That’s how you win over the year.
Carley Hathaway (06:46):
Let me ask you this. I like to start the show with this, and then maybe we can get into some more of your process, but can we talk about your mindset a little bit and how you stay on track and how you don’t get discouraged?
Dusty Cole (07:00):
I think that’s where I’ve improved the most over the last year and a half. Just really getting in and not being very good at it in the beginning and getting off the phone too quickly, so I’ve really gotten to where I’m not really bothered at all. I have fun with it. I just know that on that first phone call that it’s just a very few amount of times I’m going to book a listing appointment and go get the listing, that I’m really just trying to set up the next call a lot of times, so there was two, three, four, five calls. We also have a mail plan that we implement. I also farm heavily, so a lot of these people know my name when I call, which helps a lot.
Carley Hathaway (07:40):
Good. Good, so, basically, you just try to not let it get to you?
Dusty Cole (07:44):
Yeah. I mean, I don’t run into a lot of the angry people. I think the misconception in calling these expireds, I just don’t let it bother me and just move on.
Ren Jones (07:57):
Could it be you’re just really good at it and your approach is so disarming? Is that a possibility? Seriously, is that a possibility? I mean, what was it like when you started?
Dusty Cole (08:06):
I’m very relaxed with my approach. It’s just basically I just ask them what’s going on with their property. It’s almost like I’m asking for an update, “Hey, what’s just the status,” and they’re usually willing to tell me what the status is, and then I can ask more questions.
Ren Jones (08:25):
All right. All right, so you’re getting some really good responses. Is that right? Plus, it sounds like you’re working some geographic areas and really getting some name recognition going. You’ve zeroed in-
Dusty Cole (08:35):
We do. We use mail campaigns like certain farms, and then we have expired-specific mail campaigns that go out systematically.
Ren Jones (08:48):
Okay. Well, a lot of those expireds, I imagine you have a fair number of people that you’re talking to all over the country that own property there.
Dusty Cole (08:55):
Yeah, so a lot of them are the second homes. It’s less of that, to be honest. Those don’t expire as much, so as the more primary residents in a little bit. Most of my listings that I’ve gotten their expireds were not the secondary home market to be honest. Those properties, they don’t come off the market as much.
Ren Jones (09:22):
I wonder why. What do you attribute that to?
Dusty Cole (09:28):
The condo market, they just… lower inventory, so they’re-
Ren Jones (09:34):
Oh, gotcha, so they’re selling, you’re saying?
Dusty Cole (09:36):
Ren Jones (09:37):
When they’re owned by an out-of-towner, typically, they’re selling because of the demand and supply for the resort.
Dusty Cole (09:41):
There’s a different supply-demand dynamic, absolutely.
Ren Jones (09:46):
Gotcha. Gotcha. All right. That’s fair. Fantastic.
Dusty Cole (09:47):
Can I ask you this? The first half of your calling is expired, and then you do followups. Can you tell us your process for followups with leads, and do you follow up more with stronger leads, and how often are you touching them and in what ways are you emailing, mailing, calling?
Yep. What we do just specifically with the expireds is, after I talk to them, I dump them into another bucket, wife actually, to filter through. I’ll leave a note as to when I want to call them back, and she will drop them back into my followup bucket on that day that I need to call them back. I’m not sure if that’s the best way, but that’s the way we’ve been doing it. We’ve just started to move those over to Commission CINC lately, the ones I have good conversations with, but, primarily, all the success we’ve had has been right there within Vulcan, and she’ll drop them back into my folder when I tell her in the note when I want to call them back. Now, if I haven’t talked to them, it’s every day, so it’s just until they answer.
Carley Hathaway (10:54):
Okay. When do you set yourself up to call them next? A day later? A week later? A month later?
Dusty Cole (11:00):
It depends on the conversation. I mean, if I didn’t reach them, it’s the next day. It depends on what I learned in that conversation is when I called them back.
Carley Hathaway (11:12):
Okay. Great, and then what about emails? Do you send emails?
Dusty Cole (11:16):
We don’t really have a systematic email plan, no.
Carley Hathaway (11:19):
Okay. Okay. Great. Let’s get into your listing appointments. How long does your average listing appointment take?
Dusty Cole (11:29):
30 to 45 minutes, I’d say.
Carley Hathaway (11:31):
Nice. Great. Good, and-
Dusty Cole (11:34):
I do that-
Carley Hathaway (11:34):
Dusty Cole (11:35):
Carley Hathaway (11:36):
Do you send a pre-listing packet out?
Dusty Cole (11:39):
We’ll do that via email. On most occasions, we’ll send out our testimonials. We have a map where we can let them see that we’ve been doing business in their market, in their little area. We send out a marketing plan. We have a document that… It’s just a what-separates-me-from-my-competition kind of a doc. We’ll send that via email for them to review before my arrival. I don’t do a hard packet like some do in the mail. We just do email.
Carley Hathaway (12:12):
Do you give a list price in there where you want to list it at?
Dusty Cole (12:15):
Oh, no, definitely not.
Carley Hathaway (12:16):
No? Okay. It’s still a negotiation?
Dusty Cole (12:18):
Yeah, so I try not to talk price or commission over the phone or an email if I can help it. I want to get in front of them because I know that, when I get in front of them, I can earn their trust. I can’t do that over the phone or the email.
Ren Jones (12:30):
All right, so how much do you charge? What do you say?
Dusty Cole (12:34):
What do I say? Well, I’d say, “I’d really like to speak with you about that in person. I’d really like to show you my value before we start talking about fees,” and most of the time that disarms them, but not always.
Carley Hathaway (12:53):
Can we do a little role play as if maybe we’re at a listing or it’s a pre-listing appointment and we’re going to argue about commission a little bit?
Dusty Cole (13:03):
Sure. I can do my best.
Carley Hathaway (13:04):
Okay. Do you want to be on the phone or do you want to be like it’s a listing appointment?
Dusty Cole (13:11):
Your call. That’s fine either way.
Carley Hathaway (13:13):
Okay. How about you’re just calling to confirm our appointment and I’m trying to get commission out of you?
Dusty Cole (13:18):
Okay. All right.
Carley Hathaway (13:20):
Dusty Cole (13:21):
Hello. Hey, this is Dusty Cole, RE/MAX of Orange Beach. Good morning.
Carley Hathaway (13:25):
Hi. How are you?
Dusty Cole (13:26):
Doing good. I’m just calling to confirm our appointment for this afternoon at three o’clock.
Carley Hathaway (13:30):
Mm-hmm, yeah, we’re looking forward to meeting with you.
Dusty Cole (13:33):
Excellent. I’ve done all my homework, and I was just making sure that you were ready for me.
Carley Hathaway (13:38):
Yeah. Well, I just wanted to actually discuss commissions, because we are going to be interviewing a couple agents and we just really want to go with the one that’s going to give us the best deal, like Redfin does 1%, something like that, to save us money.
Dusty Cole (13:52):
Sure. I know that’s probably the most important thing to you. I found in my experience, I’m taking a lot of listings in this marketplace, that a conversation goes a lot better whenever we’re face-to-face and I can show you what I’m going to do to earn that commission, so would it be okay with you if we discussed that at my arrival?
Carley Hathaway (14:14):
I guess, but would you take a cut in the commission because our house is so beautiful, it’s going to be really easy to sell? Would you be open to at least cutting your commission in half?
Dusty Cole (14:28):
Typically, I find that that is not in your best interest usually. I really think it’s in your best interest if you would allow me just the chance to come in and show you what we do to put the most amount of money in your pocket, because I know that is what you’re most interested in. Right?
Carley Hathaway (14:47):
Dusty Cole (14:48):
Yeah. Absolutely. I really think, if you’d give me that opportunity, it would be worth our time.
Carley Hathaway (14:54):
Okay. Sounds good. See you at 4:00.
Dusty Cole (14:58):
How was that?
Ren Jones (15:01):
Wonderful. Wonderful. Wonderful.
Carley Hathaway (15:03):
Yeah, that was good.
Ren Jones (15:04):
That’s fair. Yeah. Fantastic.
Carley Hathaway (15:07):
Yeah, I think getting in front of their face and just not giving them the answer is, you’re right, it’s disarming and it breaks their walls down a little bit.
Dusty Cole (15:15):
I mean there are sometimes when I will, if feel like I’m going to lose the appointment, I use my gut where I will say, “We start at 6%,” I’ll say. Where I like to start is 6%, but that’s like-
Ren Jones (15:32):
Then you go seven, eight, nine, right?
Dusty Cole (15:33):
Yeah, and I’ve asked that question. Can you go up from there or down from there? I just try to let them know that’s where I want to be, but they’re not locked in at that. Give me a chance to come talk to you.
Carley Hathaway (15:46):
Ren Jones (15:48):
Carley Hathaway (15:49):
You’ve only been in the business three years. Are there any tips that you can give for newcomers, because you really have moved fast in your career? Is there any, a couple of tidbits you can give to someone that’s just getting started and just starting out to call expireds?
Dusty Cole (16:03):
Yeah, I’d probably say just minutiae of the business. The hardest thing to do is to remove your mind from that minutiae daily. That’s the hardest thing. All the deals we have going on, all the little things that seem… Can you guys hear me okay?
Carley Hathaway (16:20):
Dusty Cole (16:21):
Okay, so we have the minutiae and all the day-to-day stuff that seems so important. If we can just every morning somehow remove or detach those calls, that’s the most important thing. Over time, it becomes easier because we know those problems are not emergencies.
Ren Jones (16:43):
How do you do that? Are you physically moving down the hallway? How do you just stay out of the conversations about the current listings and pendings?
Dusty Cole (16:53):
Well, one thing is, if you get to a point in your business where you can hire an assistant, then that’s a whole… That should be everyone’s goal is to hire an assistant to handle that, but one thing I’ve noticed is, if I come in and right when I open my computer, before I do anything else, I’d dive right into the prospecting and shut down the alerts and the notifications really immediately so that I may not get distracted.
Carley Hathaway (17:21):
Yeah, like no checking emails till you’re done with your prospecting.
Dusty Cole (17:24):
Or not even sit down. Sometimes, I would go in the conference room where nobody is with my computer and do it, just drop my bag off, take my computer, stand up and dive right in.
Carley Hathaway (17:35):
Good for you.
Ren Jones (17:36):
I think, yeah, that’s a huge piece.
Carley Hathaway (17:39):
Yeah, definitely. It looks like we have a lot of questions, Ren.
Ren Jones (17:42):
Yeah, they’re starting to line up here. Good. Let’s see. What are your thoughts about calling older expireds? Old expireds for a lot of people that are newer in the game is probably… I was talking about this the other day. It is probably the easiest way to build business because they’re friendly, nobody’s calling them and the skill level required is not as high, so a lot of people win out of the gate, but how you approach them is a little different because they expired six, 12, 18 months ago. How do you begin the call with an old expired?
Dusty Cole (18:23):
You can just ask if the property is sold. Don’t worry too much if it is already sold. Now, I would have my assistant check that data list for properties that is currently listed. Not in the world if we do ring one of those, but if you have an assistant, just have them check that the day before, try to pull all those out, but just don’t try to check every note. Just go down the list and call, and the script would be, “Do you still own such and such property or did you ever sell it?”
Ren Jones (18:52):
Okay, and I found that works, too. You’re just, “What happened to this?” and they tell their story and then, from there, you’re in rapport and you can-
Dusty Cole (19:02):
They just tell you. It’s really not that hard.
Ren Jones (19:07):
Those old expireds are gold. Michael Axelrad wants to know what your average selling price is. What price ranges are you typically working?
Dusty Cole (19:15):
Yep, good question. My average last year was 200,000 which is a little lower than our average in our marketplace. Most of my sales were not the vacation homes last year. It was the primary market because of what I told you. 25% of my sales were expireds last year. I sold some lots and stuff that pulled it down a little bit.
Ren Jones (19:42):
Okay, so a couple of hundred thousand in the-
Dusty Cole (19:45):
The average in our marketplace is 275 to 300.
Ren Jones (19:49):
Good. Good. Good. Good, and then April, she said something about expired mail campaign, but I don’t think you do that. Right?
Dusty Cole (19:56):
I do. I do a hard mail campaign, but not email.
Ren Jones (19:58):
Oh, hard… oh, expired… Oh, got it. Got it. Got it, the hard campaign.
Carley Hathaway (20:02):
What do you include-
Ren Jones (20:03):
We want to know how that’s working for you. I mean, what do you send them?
Dusty Cole (20:07):
It actually works well for me. I’ve heard a lot of people that I’ve talked to that they rarely get calls off that, but I do all the time. It’s seven pieces, a mixture of letters, personal notes and postcards. We just have those seven pieces lined out. When I call them, in the notes, I’ll say, “Start mail campaign,” and then they will start that the next day and start putting out the mail.
Ren Jones (20:33):
You’re getting a yield from them. Well, you must have quite the recipe with that because we don’t hear that that often. If you’re able to do it, yeah, don’t stop.
Dusty Cole (20:42):
Yeah. People call off that. Yeah, I don’t know if it’s just not as many people doing it here or what, but it works.
Carley Hathaway (20:50):
Yeah. Good. What do you say in the personal note, for example, on an expired?
Dusty Cole (20:56):
That might be a question for Heather. I’m not sure what it says.
Carley Hathaway (20:58):
Yeah. Okay. No worries. Okay.
Ren Jones (21:08):
Good. Well, now I’ve kind of knocked out all the key questions. Yep, come on, questions, folks, questions.
Carley Hathaway (21:18):
Okay. Dusty, in the beginning you said you have to get rid of all the chatter and you’re trying to get on the phones and, in the beginning, it’s harder to just say, okay, if these people aren’t… If the call is not going well, how did you shake it off in the beginning?
Dusty Cole (21:34):
I had just something I just thought of because I had a conversation goal every day. Working with Betty Gales in the very beginning, that was probably the most important piece is trying to strive to have a real conversation with a certain number of people every day. I was doing that daily, but I think another thing is, once you have a few huge wins, so that one time you do call, you book the appointment immediately, you go get the listing and you sell it within a week, you do it a few times, and the bad phone calls don’t matter as much.
Carley Hathaway (22:11):
Yeah, I agree with you.
Dusty Cole (22:16):
Ren Jones (22:16):
All right, so now we got a bunch coming in. Let’s see. What’s the best time to call an expired? It’s good to remind people of this one.
Dusty Cole (22:23):
Yeah, 8:00 AM. I never call before 8:00 AM, but I start at 8:00 and go all the way to 10:00. I mean, you can do afternoons as well. If you don’t have appointments in the afternoon, what else you got to do? Call more.
Ren Jones (22:38):
Can you comment on a call you make to an expired at eight o’clock versus one that you make at 8:25? You notice a difference, don’t you?
Dusty Cole (22:48):
Ren Jones (22:49):
You don’t? Okay.
Dusty Cole (22:50):
I don’t, no.
Ren Jones (22:52):
A lot of markets, by then, they’ve gotten the seventh, ninth, 12th call, but maybe-
Dusty Cole (22:56):
I’m sorry. Yeah. The new expireds, yes, by 8:30, they’ve received a few more calls. Still, rarely am I getting the list on the first call anyway, so it doesn’t bother me really. It’s all part of the plan to call more than once.
Ren Jones (23:15):
When you get really good at it, and you’re getting good at it, there’s nothing that’s going to…
Dusty Cole (23:22):
Hand on me objections and whatnot.
Ren Jones (23:24):
Yeah. Now, you didn’t mention doing a lot of for-sale-by-owners, but they exist in every market. Are you at doing any at all?
Dusty Cole (23:35):
Not really, not by plan or by… not with any intentionality really. I prefer the expireds. I prefer the mindset of an expired over a for-sale-by-owner. I would actually prefer to circle prospect before I call for-sale-by-owners. If I run out of expireds to call, I will call a building or a neighborhood around a listing or something.
Ren Jones (23:58):
Gotcha. All right. What do you say to an expired who says, “We’re making some renovations and then we’re going to put it back on the market, oh, in a couple of months from now?” What do you say?
Dusty Cole (24:08):
Okay. I would still try to get that appointment. I would say, “Great.” First, I would say, “Do you have an agent? Have chosen your next agent? I’m going in that direction, but would it be okay if I stop by to see the house and to meet you, shake your hand and go from there just in case I may have buyers that may fit your home?” I always just try to see if I can get the appointment even if they’re not going to list for six months.
Ren Jones (24:42):
Gotcha. Okay. Jim Wicklund wants to know… Jim gets people on the phone and he finds that they are rushing to get him off the phone. He wants to know what some good ways are to stop people from hurrying him off the phone. What would you tell him?
Dusty Cole (24:58):
Yeah. I mean, I think a question you can ask is, “If you can sell your home, would you? Are you still interested in selling? If I could sell your home for what you wanted to sell it for, would you be interested in speaking with me?”
Ren Jones (25:12):
Okay, and they’ll take pause on that one for sure.
Dusty Cole (25:15):
Yeah, but, for me, I don’t try to be the perfect objection handler and try to advance every conversation. Maybe that’s a rookie in me, I don’t know, but I think I’m going to call him back again and just keep that level of approach with him. Yeah.
Ren Jones (25:35):
Good. Good. Good. Good. Eric wants to know… Eric, the answer is yes. Yeah, he writes, “Which one would you prefer, old expireds or brand new expireds?” Yes, Eric.
Dusty Cole (25:47):
Yeah, all of the above. What I love about Vulcan is you build this huge bulk of them over time, and so all the new ones become old and you have this huge bank of… so both, yeah.
Ren Jones (26:06):
A couple of people want to know how often do you take a no before you put them in your followup bucket? How many nos?
Dusty Cole (26:14):
Ren Jones (26:19):
It depends on the no?
Dusty Cole (26:20):
Yeah. Yeah. It depends. I mean, there are some people I don’t want to work with.
Carley Hathaway (26:21):
Good for you. Isn’t that a nice privilege to have?
Dusty Cole (26:28):
Yeah. I mean I don’t get too worked up over somebody who doesn’t want to work with me. I believe there’s an infinite amount of prospects, so I don’t try to bulldog my way into every home.
Carley Hathaway (26:43):
Yeah. Good for you.
Ren Jones (26:44):
Good. Michael Axelrad wants to know what do you do if the seller is unreasonable in pricing?
Dusty Cole (26:53):
Yeah, so I still try to get the appointment because I have found that once the seller trusts me, okay, so once I get in the home and I develop the rapport and they trust me, then I will get there real… I’m just a sales guy. I don’t trust you when you’re on the phone. I’m not going to tell you when I’m going to sell because you’re the enemy, but once I’m their home and they trust me, usually, I can get it within one price reduction mostly. I’ll take a listing with a plan to at least reduce it one time and we can sell it.
Carley Hathaway (27:28):
You discuss that you will take it, but we will come back at a price reduction-
Dusty Cole (27:36):
Yeah, if I think we’re one level-
Carley Hathaway (27:37):
… at the listing appointment?
Dusty Cole (27:39):
Yeah. If I think we’re one level too high, I will tell them, “I think we’re one price reduction away.” In our marketplace, after 30 days, we could… Other marketplaces, it’s like three to seven days or something. In our marketplace, if we haven’t gotten a receptible offer in 30 days, then we need to do a price reduction, “Would that be okay?” and I nod my head.
Carley Hathaway (28:01):
Dusty Cole (28:01):
Yep, and they would say, “Yeah.”
Ren Jones (28:04):
It all boils down to do they have to move and do they have to move soon, and then there’s your-
Dusty Cole (28:09):
That’s exactly it, finding that motivation.
Ren Jones (28:12):
Yeah. If it’s no and no, then maybe it’s no.
Dusty Cole (28:16):
That’s right, and maybe I don’t want to work with them.
Ren Jones (28:21):
Here’s an interesting question from Kristen Henry, and there are like 200 answers to this, but if we can get a glimpse. In Vulcan7, you can set up folders and you can tag things and you can set up campaigns and things like that. She just wants to know if you have some basics on how you’re throwing things into different lead followup folders, some ideas.
Dusty Cole (28:47):
Yeah. We tried it at one stage where we had each part of the mail plan in a different folder, and that didn’t work for us, so we’ve just simplified it. I have a new lead folder and a followup folder, and Heather has a followup folder that she goes into every day where she mines through what she needs to do and then she puts it back into my folder. That’s as simple as we do it. I think they can overthink it a little bit. Just call.
Carley Hathaway (29:17):
Someone from Facebook is asking what is your followup script over the phone?
Dusty Cole (29:23):
I’ve talked to them once before, so I would just say, “I’m checking in about your house on 123 Main Street. I know we spoke before,” because they probably won’t remember me. “We spoke last week, last Wednesday in the afternoon. I was just calling to see if anything’s changed with the status of that property. Are you still interested in selling it?” It’s just another check-in. I’m not really trying to ask the perfect question. I’m just checking in with them and then they’ll give me something to work on. Does that make sense?
Carley Hathaway (30:02):
Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. You broke up a little bit, but I think we got the gist of it.
Ren Jones (30:06):
I think we did. Mark on Facebook, he wants to know, and it’s an interesting answer that you’re probably going to give him because he’s looking for a formula like what’s your followup timeframe for expireds like day one to day 30, and really, with expireds, you want to follow up, but you want to close because they don’t last long. Do you have a little strategy for how you play that game?
Dusty Cole (30:34):
Well, if I don’t reach them, of course, I’m calling them every day. For me, it’s depending on what that conversation is like, so if I can hear the motivation, like you said earlier, if there is a motivation and I can ask the right questions, but to hear it, I mean, is there a job change, was there a death in the family? Is there a divorce? If I get to hear some of that, I’m going to call them back much sooner than… But also the one I say I’m going to list in the spring and we’re talking in the fall, we get that a lot, I call them back in a week.
Ren Jones (31:10):
Yeah. Too many agents get into this check-in mode and check-in mode, and really you have to close hard and not really let those things go the way out. You’re just going to check in until a more stronger agent steals them from you. That’s all.
Dusty Cole (31:25):
Yeah. Go for the appointment.
Ren Jones (31:27):
Yeah, just get in front of them if they have to move, they have to move soon. Eric, yes, that’s true. He’s saying, “Do you try to stay away from talking negative about the previous agent?” Always.
Carley Hathaway (31:37):
Dusty Cole (31:42):
Yeah, nothing to be gained from that.
Ren Jones (31:43):
Yeah. Yeah. Is it bad to be aggressive? Scott Henson, “Is it bad to be aggressive?”
Dusty Cole (31:48):
It’s not bad to be aggressive, but I kind of call knowing when to go in for the kill. I think, over time, you got to know when to go in for the kill.
Ren Jones (31:57):
Well, we’re in a unique situation. We’re modeling, we’re demonstrating what we’re selling to them as a listing agent is we’re going to be aggressive in getting your home sold, so why not?
Dusty Cole (32:10):
Yeah, so I think it’s how you want to be branded in the community, too. It’s a pretty small community here. It is not my nature and brand to be. I am known as aggressive and outgoing in my marketing approach, but I don’t want to be known as the sales guy that’s calling you, hounding you to get an appointment. I want to be known as the skilled market expert who takes enough time to get on the phone every day. It’s a fine line for me. Does that make sense?
Carley Hathaway (32:43):
Yeah, it does, so you want to be-
Dusty Cole (32:44):
I want them to appreciate my effort. That’s what I want them to do.
Carley Hathaway (32:47):
Yeah. Yeah, so I’m guessing customer service means a lot to you.
Dusty Cole (32:52):
It does, and word of mouth and whatnot.
Carley Hathaway (32:54):
How much of your business comes from referrals?
Dusty Cole (32:58):
The way my business last year was 25% expireds, 30% farming, and another 30% past clients and sphere, and the rest of it was internet and client calls and stuff like that.
Ren Jones (33:13):
Where’d that sphere come from? You haven’t been selling that long. Did it come from a previous life?
Dusty Cole (33:20):
I have a history. Our family has been in business in this community for a long time, so I did work those relationships.
Ren Jones (33:29):
Ah, okay, so you carried it over. Oh, nice.
Dusty Cole (33:34):
I leverage that, absolutely, and then I use Facebook to engage with those people pretty heavily.
Ren Jones (33:41):
Carley Hathaway (33:43):
How often do you touch your sphere?
Dusty Cole (33:47):
I mean, all my past clients, I try to touch quarterly at a minimum with a phone call, but I think Facebook is amazing for being able to stay in front of them without even trying. I’m into Facebook groups also. I’ve been growing Facebook a while.
Carley Hathaway (34:05):
Ren Jones (34:05):
Good deal. Bart, buyers, I’m going to answer your question for you. Bart wants to know what marketing do you do to find buyers. You take lots of listings and make them homeless and, when they’re homeless, there you go.
Dusty Cole (34:20):
I have found that, of course, sellers become buyers.
Ren Jones (34:23):
That’s it. That’s it. You take a listing. Get it sold. They have nowhere to live. Now you make your own. I want to read a couple little things because we have to close out. If everybody that’s watching on Vulcan7, if they want to get involved with the Lead Gen Facebook group where we simulcast, they’re at facebook.com/groups/gotobjections, and I want to thank Aaron Wittenstein who runs that group. He runs a program called expiredmasteryelite.com. Finally, if you’re watching on Facebook and you’re not yet involved with Vulcan7, make sure to sign up at vulcan7.com/leadgen for a special deal.
Now, I have a secret that Dusty isn’t sharing, but it is his secret, I promise. What happens is, after he has spent all this time calling people and setting appointments, he rewards himself. They have a little freezer in the back of his office, and he goes and gets some delicious Graeter’s mint chocolate chip, and that inspires him to do it again the next day, so look for a store near you.
Carley Hathaway (35:35):
Thank you so much for joining us, Dusty. It was a great interview. I think we all got a lot of takeaways from this. Thank you so much for being here.
Ren Jones (35:43):
Thanks. We appreciate it very much, and I hope everybody gets a second home down in Orange Beach or least goes down and says hi.
Dusty Cole (35:50):
Thank you. See you guys.
Ren Jones (35:52):
Carley Hathaway (35:52):
Bye. Thank you.
Ren Jones (35:53):
Thank you so much. We appreciate everything. I think there are a lot of good points here today, and there are some good questions. We’ll do it all again next week, folks. Don’t miss it.
Carley Hathaway (36:06):
Ren Jones (36:06):
You look sunny there as always.
Carley Hathaway (36:13):