Darryl Reuter is one of those agents that is consistently busy. But he wasn’t always that way. He says one of the most frustrating things in the industry is when a busy month is followed by a lull. Real Estate is unpredictable. Sometimes it’s easier to find the perfect location to buy a home than it is to find the location of a qualified buyer or seller. That’s why Darryl started working with us. “I was looking for something that could provide consistency in the business” says Darryl.
Fellow co-founder Stephen and I sat down with Darryl Reuter to ask him about his secret to creating consistency in his Real Estate business. He’s given us permission to share his story with you, so you can learn how he is using systems, technology and good ol’ fashioned hard work to ensure he has a new deal in his pipeline each and every month.
Before we get started, here’s a brief snapshot about Darryl Reuter.
Darryl is a 12 year veteran of Real Estate. He’s won numerous industry and community awards including being a finalist for City of Kelowna Civic awards and Honours for Community Involvement and Leadership that was featured this year in REM online. Darryl is actively involved in the community, is passionate about helping others and he’s also one of the nicest people you will ever have the good fortune of meeting.
Darryl will be the first to say that he’s a normal guy who happens to like helping people find homes. “By nature I’m a very helpful person, and in doing real estate I get to help people make the biggest decision of their life financially. That’s my goal and that’s what I keep in focus when I am dealing with clients.”
What has been your biggest frustration in Real Estate?
“I think consistency. I think any Realtor deals with that as a problem where, I call it riding the wave, where you are busy one month and you are forgetting to prospect or to keep those prospects and then the next month you’re in a lull, and nothing comes after that in the following month. I think that consistency is the key to it and obviously it’s the biggest frustration for a lot of people.”
Darryl’s been with us for just over half a year now, so we asked him what his most eye-opening revelation about this process was.
“It’s funny because I’ve always seen a few agents around town, or in different towns, that seem to do really well and always have consistent deals coming through. And now I’m starting to realize it’s because they have something like StreetText setup. Doing some sort of online lead stuff. So it’s good, I’m glad to be getting that sort of consistency and getting that too.”
When was your best year?
“Last year was my best year and this year I’ve already done two-thirds of what I did that year, and it’s only four months in. I’m assuming this year will be my best.”
How many months was it before you saw your first deal from StreetText?
I think it took 4 or 5 months before I saw my first deal. A lot of it was tweaking the process and just the sheer number thing – a percentage of the leads work out.
In terms of marketing currently, where do you allocate your marketing dollars?
I do a little bit online through our own website. I don’t do a whole lot of print advertising, just enough to keep my name brand up there, some people still like that. I try now to put most of my money into lead generation with StreetText.
What’s the worst call you’ve taken?
“Give me a second to think about this… I don’t think I’ve had any really bad ones. I’ve had a couple people hang up, but I don’t think I’ve had anybody be overly mean. They are asking for information so you are just following up with them. A lot of times it takes a bit to break the ice with people if they are standoffish right away. That’s probably 80% of the calls. They act like they are busy, or they are this or that, or it’s a big inconvenience, but if you can quickly identify with them on a personal level they tend to chill out a bit.”
What’s the best call you’ve taken?
“I don’t know if it’s just one call, but there are a few I’ve been on where they are extremely happy that you are there to offer them something. ‘Oh I can setup this search for you to find whatever kind of home you are looking for in your price range and we can automatically email you the listings right away.’ Some people are just extremely happy that you will do that for them. It’s not a lot of work, obviously, but that’s a good call.”
What’s the process that you go through with your staff to handle the leads on the other end?
“Timing is always the biggest thing. You want to try to call them as quick as you can. I don’t call them at night or on the weekends. I will usually call on the next day, that way I know they have the information that I’ve sent them by then. So we do a follow-up call. Sometimes if we don’t get them with a follow-up call we will send them a text message. If that doesn’t come back to us then we send an email.”
“There’s a few people that we’ve gotten through StreetText where I show them a couple houses a month, where we physically go out and see some stuff. Those people don’t need to be harassed three times per week as I’m talking to them once every week or two at least.”
Can you talk us through the systems you have in place when a lead comes in?
“Basically when I show up in the morning there will be a list that my assistant has printed off. I can take that list with me and make phone calls from the car. I do my best to contact those people throughout the day. I mean you can get busy stuff can get dropped and that happens, but I will make little notes on the piece of paper and come back.”
“Then at that point we are putting them into a funnel. Whether they are going to go onto their own auto-email and I have their permission to do that or they stay on our weekly foreclosure list because we couldn’t contact them or I will follow-up with them again for whatever reason.”
How critical has your assistant been in the process?
“She’s been great, especially with the follow-up part. We send out multiple emails to hundreds of people now that get our stuff every week. So she does the search every week, sends that out. Sometimes she will write a little blurb to go along with it, and sometimes I will write it.”
How do you identify the leads that are worth following up with?
“Anyone that I’ve had a good conversation with. Anyone who has expressed gratitude that we are helping them out with this kind of information. Those ones are obviously good ones to deal with. We can phone them back with any good information.”
“Often we will try to identify if people are first time home buyers and then I offer to send them our First-Time Home Buyers Package with information on anything that they need to worry about. They appreciate that as they often don’t know where to start when they haven’t bought a home before.”
“I try to identify with somebody what their needs are, I try to get them some information tailored to that. I think that those are the good ones. You can tell the tire-kickers where there is not a lot of interest or, ‘Oh you know I’m interested in this, but we’ll see…’ They still get put in the funnel, we still want them getting our stuff, but we might not spend as much attention on something like that.”
What would you tell someone considering this strategy?
“I think you’ve just got to stick with it. It took 4 or 5 months before a deal came through, I’ve done numerous now and working with half a dozen A’s where these people are ready to do something.”
“Also, I’ve seen the backend of it start to snowball where we have a few hundred people now that are on the foreclosure list, or another list that we’ve setup for them, and that’s just starting to come back to me big time. People see the branding now, they see it every week. The ratio of emails I get back every week are starting to go up. ‘Hey, I noticed this one… what about this one… could you show me this…’ We are getting interaction almost weekly now where before it was just sending out the list to people.”
What are the timeframes of your database of leads?
“Some people will be ready in a month, some people will be ready in 2 or 3 months.”
“I have one prospect that is 2 years out. He checks his email every week and I talk to him every month… that is going to turn into a deal. I am going to need a deal in 2 years from now, same as I need a deal right now.”
Thanks very much for the interview Darryl, any final words?
“The biggest focus of my business right now, is building up my database. Everybody talks about how much money they are making per deal. The money has nothing to do with it for me. It’s how many clients I can get in there… and that’s another one from my database that I can get referrals from or a deal down the road. I’m in that phase of my career where over the next 5 to 7 years I want to keep that business growing. It’s good for me for that, I’ve got hundreds of people on there.”
If you resonate with Darryl’s Interview and would like to learn more about how StreetText can help you add consistency to your business, click here to visit our product page.
We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below. What are you doing to add consistency to your business?
Passionate about helping leaders grow their business, Jonathan Whiting is co-founder of StreetText. In addition to StreetText Hub, Jonathan has written for TechVibes and REM Magazine.