James Transforms His Business With Authorify
“It's no longer me selling myself to them. It's me showing them how I'm going to sell their house and what price point they want to be at.”
James Smith started in real estate for over 15 years ago when he got out of the Marine Corps,
“When I got out of the Marine Corps, I actually became an electrician. When I was an electrician, I learned a lot of the other trades and commercial and residential, and then I started to get into flipping. So me and my wife started getting into the investment process of it. And that's where we started learning about flipping and real estate. And we did that for almost 10 years before we moved to Texas. When we moved to Texas, we couldn't find a good real estate agent that wanted to do what we wanted them to do.”
When his wife had the opportunity to change jobs, the pair decided to get into real estate full time to fulfill that need on their own.
“We both got our license about the same time. She went back to doing what she was doing before. I took to real estate like a duck to water. Real estate obviously was my thing to start doing and getting into. I'm a people person. I used to be in sales, like pretty much all my life, I was into some sort of a sales.
James was drawn to Authorify because he felt like he could have written the books himself.
“When I found your books, I stumbled upon them and I was like, ‘How ironic?’ Because I actually came from Florida.
“They really did feel like I wrote them.”
Providing Value to His Team
As he was just starting to build his real estate team, James says he was able to draw on the training available on the Authorify site site to pass on knowledge to his agents.
“It was a way that I can actually provide something for my agents and that we can give our clients to show our knowledge, and to help them out during the process.”
Beyond its value to potential home buyers and sellers, James says the book is also a valuable tool for agents.
“This also helped me as an agent by cutting down an hour conversation that we used to have — another separate meeting on the home-buying process. So I can say, ‘Hey, here's this book. Read it at your leisure."
“It's a quick, nice little quick read. It's nothing like too in-depth where it's going to overwhelm you because I'm overwhelming you with documents and everything else. And this kind of gets them into it.”
Leveraging His Books at Open Houses
James and his team use the books at open houses to set themselves apart and appeal to potential leads.
“It just gives us that authority. This is to show that we're the leading authority in real estate and our area.
“We have the new home buyer. We actually have three books set out during open houses. We have the first-time home buyer book, we have the buyers book, and we have the business card book — which is our listing presentation or the listing book — because those are the three people that normally come to open houses.
“You're gonna have the neighbors that are coming to check you out, which is really a job interview, which most people don't do. And I believe you guys teach that as well. When people come in there, it's not always the buyers and sellers. It's a job interview. You're pretty much talking to the people, and they're seeing you and what you can do and your abilities. So this is your time to shine, not just sell that house.”
James says every open house is another opportunity to get a listing and establish a connection with someone who could be a potential client.
“You're going to have the nosy neighbors that are walking in, and that impression that you make on them, who knows? Maybe next week, you might be getting a call from them saying, ‘Hey, I'm putting my house up on the market also.’"
Kevin says he also followed the training on the training site to drop off his book packages.
“You guys put in the materials that you guys provide, and I did exactly that. I went online, and I found these ziplock bags, so I can drop off my books to perspective buyers and sellers and things like that. And I have packages of those. So I do a lot of the things that you guys suggest to do, and it really works out a lot for us. So it's very helpful. And, it really makes the whole process a lot easier, so we can concentrate on doing what we do best — helping them sell their house or helping them find a house.”
“As far as listings, it changed how our listings went and our listing packages. So before, we were giving presentations and we were talking at them about what we can do and things.
“When I'm sending them the book, that's pretty much my listing presentation in a nutshell, and then I just send them my website and a couple of other things now just through an email. And when I follow up with them, when I set the listing appointment, it's no longer me selling myself to them. It's me showing them how I'm going to sell their house and what price point they want to be at.
“Where I used to have maybe an hour, hour and a half listing presentation, now it came to be a coffee table presentation from about 30 minutes of ‘Let's pick the right price for your house.’"
James said the books are particularly successful in helping his team convert leads who are on the fence about listing with them.
“The great thing is it's an actual physical book, so what they can do is they get to keep it and they just pass it on to the next person. Right? So when they have their friends and family, they're like... ‘Hey, my real estate agent wrote his book. Here you go.’ And I'm like, ‘Yeah, it is a great collaboration of thoughts and ideas. This is our team book. Here you go. Somebody in our team can help you out.’"
Simplifying the Listing Process
While he can’t pinpoint a specific number of listings or clients he’s landed because of the books, he says the main benefit to his team is the ease of sealing the deal.
“More often than not, it just makes the whole transaction or the whole process a lot easier. And then you're not fighting so much for the listings because now what you're doing is you're fighting just to get them to where they need to be.
“We’ve got to get them pre-qualified. We’ve got to make sure their credit is in order. We got to make sure what timeframe they need to leave by, in order to get the next house. So they need to really concentrate on all that, and so do you. So this helps take that away. So that way, they can concentrate and figure that out.
“One of the number one things — which is our slogan — is we take the pain, anxiety and stress out of real estate, so you can concentrate on what's important. And that's kind of our little motto. My little niche marketing thing is that I treat every transaction as if it's my own, and that's why I have 5-star reviews. And that's why I've built such a good reputation in our community. So one of the ways that we do that is through the books and through the training materials, through the emails that we send them through the videos.
“We've taken some of the things in our books, and we shot videos on it, and we sent it to them. You guys provide so much material and content that it makes, it makes not only the sales process easier, but it takes a lot out of our marketing and advertising, time and effort. A lot of people spend a lot of time building CRM systems and touch-backs and stuff like that. And you can take a lot of that out of it just by using the books.
“I can say it's at least 20% to 30% in every sale that we get. So it's not just one or two of them. It’s an antiquated thing. It's almost every sale, which we've been selling a lot. So it must be really working, and we've been working with more buyers and sellers than I can deal with.
“We've been hiring people on our team just to try to take care of it all. I've been trying to hire, and we hired a third-party company to try and take care of all the lead generation, so we can just concentrate on just doing appointments.”
Confidence is Key
“I've been a real estate agent for a little bit more than most of the people that I deal with, and I'm also a real estate coach.
“And one of the things that we do is I turn them to you guys because this actually does a lot of the coaching work for me because this is the confidence builder. What builds confidence? Knowledge, right? The stuff in your books and the training that you have is the things that 90% — and I can tell you, I came from one of the largest brokerages around — training is one of the major things that they're missing as far as the individual, how do you do this, what do you do to get the advertisement, the lead generation, the stuff like that. You guys provide it all. It's amazing, which I really enjoy.
“My new agents, they can just walk in — my buyer's agents — they walk in as soon as they meet them and say, ‘Listen, we got this book, especially for you. We were thinking of you and we got it. And now this is my gift to you. Read it at your leisure. This is going to take a lot of your questions you have about buying and selling out of it. If you have any questions in addition to what you've already read in the information we've got in there, feel free to give me a call at any time and ask me.’
“I mean, quick, simple conversations, you have and the confidence in the agents is now really high. It's to the top level where they need to be, to be buying and selling. So now they're not questioning themselves about their knowledge or their experience, and the same thing with us. It's not even a second thought to me as far as confidence.”
James uses some of the anecdotes in his books to springboard conversations about what his clients should do in those cases.
“One of the buyer's books, they have the stories in it, about pitfalls of other people that have gotten into, and they were like, ‘Hey, I read your book. That was so funny. That story, I love it. That really spoke to us." And like, ‘I am so glad it spoke to you. Let's not do that. Let me show you what we were supposed to do."
“Reciprocity is a big business word they teach you when you go to business school, like I did. So when they say, ‘Oh, I already have an agent,’ you'd be like, ‘OK, well, I don't know if they've given you any information about being a first-time home buyer. I know you're represented by them, but just let your agent know that I'm not soliciting business from you, but I wanted to give this as a gift to you as a first-time home buyer.’ You may not get their business, but it is going to build. They will talk about you, and it's going to build your reputation. They may not use that real estate agent with their friends and family. They may go back to you. Or when they sell that house, they could be like, ‘Hey, listen, you gave me this book when I was doing that. By the way, I'm selling my house, too. I have that buyer's agent, but I have no one listing my house. Do you want to listen to my house for me?’ And I'm like, ‘Yeah, sure. I'll do that for you.’"
James understands that success in real estate isn’t about landing a singular deal.
“Everyone thinks of real estate as being a ‘now’ thing. It's not. This is not a sprint; this is a marathon. So, a lot of those people that are going to your open houses, they're not looking to buy right now. They're thinking about it. They're thinking about their future — ’We just got married. We're going to probably rent for another year and then buy next year. we're coming up with a plan.’ Great, let me simplify that for you and get your plan started. So I give this book to them and I say, "This is your first step. Read it at your own time. And then, periodically look at it as you're going through the home-buying process, or as you get closer to where you need to be to buy a home, let me know. Give me a call and let me know what your next step is."
One of the big things James recommends to other agents who use the books is to actually lean on them as training materials.
“Just as far as agents, physically read these yourself. There's a lot of training, and the information in here that is just great, great stuff. Besides the books themselves, you can take this all away and the additional support, the additional training you have — I believe it is worth the money. It was definitely a no brainer investment for me.”