The next document you could include is a résumé or personal brochure. Since the early 80s, the personal brochures have been a phenomenon in real estate. Pioneered by Hobbs and Herder, whom I respect and are friends of mine, the personal brochures grew to be works of art.
I can remember the Hobbs and Herder guys coming to my office to discuss ideas for advertising. They always believed that promotion was an important part of the business, as do I. You will have to make a decision here. I have included two samples for you to view. My résumé is simple but fact- heavy.
In my real estate brochure, I included numerous benefits to my clients. The features are fine, but benefits are what the clients seek. This is where Hobbs and Herder brochures really shine. While I was in real estate, I had a custom-written, personal brochure by Hobbs and Herder. Even though it was expensive, it was very nice looking and full of benefits to my clients.
If you are looking for a way to differentiate yourself, I must warn you that a personal brochure of high print quality is a very miniscule part of your success in a pre-listing package. Therefore, spend the amount of time on it, understanding that the rewards are small. Done over again, I personally would be very happy with just a résumé, numerous client testimonials, and a list of benefits to my clients.
I believe the testimonial section should be a vital part of your pre-listing confirmation package, because it provides examples of past clients who are raving about their satisfaction with your services, and these former customers look and sound very much like your potential seller. It is very important for you to categorize your testimonials based on demographics.
If you are going on an expired listing, you are to bring old expired clients where you were able to solve their needs. The same goes for FSBOs or people who are in the same geographic area. If you are going to see a doctor, try to find some clients who are in the medical profession in your area. What this may mean is that you will have one testimonial in many different files from many different types of demographics. Not only will this be important when you are trying to match the testimonials to the type of client to whom you are about to make the presentation, but it is also important for a potential client to be able to click on a testimonial from whatever section of the website is being viewed.
If prospective customers are looking at high-priced homes, it would be great to have some testimonials from well-healed buyers who were enamored with your services. I have included the tips and examples of the different demographics that I used to file my testimonials under and actual samples of testimonials that I presented to potential clients.
Next, you might ask how to obtain testimonials. It is important for you to understand that testimonials should be requested at numerous parts of the transaction. At a listing, you might let them know if you do a good job that you will be asking for a testimonial at the end of the project. The same goes when the first offer comes, when the first acceptance is negotiated, and of course, at the closing.
As far as a buyer is concerned, let them know about the need for a testimonial the first time you meet them, when you are showing property, negotiating your first offer, getting acceptance at loan approval, and certainly, at closing. Often, you will find you will get many positives from a client who never follows up in writing. This is where E-mails have increased productivity.
In my office, we were not allowed to take the files off the desk until we obtained a testimonial or the client actually said, “No, we are not going to give you one,” which led us to overcome their objections and solve any customer service problems. Please keep the files on your desk until a testimonial is received, and make time every week to call on unfulfilled promises of a positive written recommendation. It is always best to have a great testimonial on letterhead or personal stationery; however, I have found by consistently E-mailing your client and letting them know that the hardest part of the job is to find clients like them, you will readily receive an E-mail response to your testimonial letter request.
In our systems and checklists book, you will find many of the surveys that we used post-closing also requested a testimonial. This approach allows you to get a little more bang for your buck. In addition to finding out what areas in your system can be improved, you are receiving that great testimonial.
Agent’s Résumé/Biography or Your Personal Brochure
Walter S. Sanford
After over thirty years in the real estate industry, California real estate mega-broker Walter Sanford has seen it all. He has prospered in the real estate challenges that we face every day — challenges such as recessions then depressions. He has made three fortunes to remain standing as one of North America’s greatest real estate success stories. He will tell you why it took THREE times!
Walter joined the multitude of real estate agents during the ‘70s, when few mistakes could be made in the market. He quickly modeled his operations after the most successful agents in the business, and with several “out of the box” innovations of his own, he earned a major fortune before the age of 20.
Then the late 70s rolled around and the inexperienced Sanford found himself highly leveraged with negative cash flow on 409 apartment units. He promptly lost his equity and he was left with the dubious distinction of losing more money in real estate than most people had ever made all by the age of 22.
It was at this time that Walter graduated from USC with a major in real estate finance. He started his real estate career as a small independent real estate broker in Long Beach, California. Needing $30,000 a month to pay off his past mistakes, Sanford combined aggressive promotion, lead generation, and the systematic use of teams. Soon, he was closing more than 300 transactions per year. By 1982, Sanford was the dominant agent in California real estate and on his way to becoming one of the top agents in the nation.
Walter has developed numerous systems, technologies, and attitudes that have enabled him to build one of the top real estate careers in North America with more than $70 million in production as a single agent office PER YEAR! In today’s economy that equates to over $133 million in personal production per year!
A pioneer for personal promotion, the use of assistants and the effective research of hot demographic groups, Sanford operates a very profitable real estate system while building a respectable portfolio of properties for himself. An innovator and creator after over a quarter century in the real estate business, Sanford is one of the most requested speakers, parlaying vital and current information to beginning and advanced REALTORS®, governmental agencies, economic advisors, and national print and television media. No one gives more real, low-cost, profit-producing real estate ideas than Walter Sanford.
Tips for Testimonial Page
When putting together your testimonials, try to find ones that would match your client’s interests and demographics. I found this also worked well on the proper sections of my website.
- From the general geographical locations
- From expireds
- From FSBOs
- From shakers and movers
- From out-of-towners
- From neighbors of the potential listing
- From inside the real estate industry
- From Internet clients
- From the local university
- From the church
- From the major industry or business in town
- From the charities
- From the banks
- From the attorneys
- From the doctors
- From the relocation companies
Testimonials from Happy Clients
Wonderful Words from Walter Sanford’s Clients
“I will certainly be happy to RECOMMEND YOU to everyone I know in the Long Beach area. You are terrific!”
Leslie D. Bott
Palm Springs Real Estate Agent
“YOUR MARKETING EFFORTS REALLY DO WORK! We tried to sell the house last year with a different firm with no results. Your advice on a realistic selling price was what did the trick for us and an offer in only three weeks proves your methods.”
John D. McKinney
Herff Jones Yearbooks
“Sanford Systems will definitely be our ONLY CHOICE in the future and I feel totally confident recommending you to family and friends.”
Nancy V. Youngerman
Incredible Feast Catering Co.
“I would like to CONGRATULATE YOU ON YOUR PROFESSIONALISM AND YOUR SUCCESS on our recent transaction. You performed with diligence and conscientiousness throughout the effort. As a real estate lawyer of 14 years who has both represented and trained brokers, I have over the course of my career had considerable experience in evaluating brokerage performance. From my perspective, I appreciated your follow-through which moved the deal promptly towards closing.”
Shelly Jay Shafron
Rich & Ezer, A Law Corporation
“In this day of broken agreements and law suits, it is refreshing to deal with someone whose WORD CAN BE TRUSTED and whose handshake is as good as any contract.”
Long Beach Firefighter
Let’s create our own “good news”!
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