The calls came at 11 p.m. and 5 the next morning, hours reserved for a newborn’s alarming cries, and, unfortunately sometimes, real estate buyers...
It was real estate agent Cameron McClellan’s first buyer, who he was helping hunt for a home in the $1 million range. The high price point carried excitement, but the buyer’s wearisome hours and waffling drove him to the breaking point.
One year, two dozen property showings, and three broken contracts later, there was commission -- and the seeds of a conviction for McClellan.
“I’m never going back to buyers,” McClellan said.
That’s a bold statement from an agent who, five years into his career and new to a market, had never been on a single listing appointment. Following his wife’s job relocation, he moved to Denver last July from Phoenix where he was a buyer’s agent. He kicked off his listings-focused business in Denver.
Experiences with buyer clients like McClellan’s above wreak havoc on agents’ schedules and sanity, compelling many agents to prefer sellers over buyers. In addition to saner schedules, sellers typically come with a more predictable amount of work and countless local branding opportunities with yard signs, Just Listed and Just Sold postcards, and Facebook ads.
McClellan’s about-face worked.
He went from never having gone on a listing appointment last July to 17 closed listing-side deals less than a year later. He has five more listings currently on the market and more in his pipeline. He brought a buyer’s agent on in April to handle the buyer leads generated by his new team, Colorado Team Real Estate.
How did he do it? A system, elbow grease, and Curaytor.
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A winning listings gameplan
McClellan, 28, spent the first five years of his real estate career as a buyer’s agent on a real estate team in Phoenix. His wife’s job relocated her to Denver last year. He decided to use the change-up to flip his real estate work on its head: focus on sellers instead of buyers and launch a real estate team.
By focusing on sellers, and the more predictable schedules they engender, McClellan can hold to his weekday morning schedule that’s proved fruitful for generating sellers:
7:30 a.m. Arrive at the office and begin planning the day
8 a.m. -- 11 a.m. Call owners of homes that have been listed but didn’t sell (Expireds), owners trying to sell their home without an agent (FSBOs), and the leads generated from his Curaytor seller landing page. He averages about 75 calls each day.
Screen shot of McClellan's Curaytor seller landing page. He spends $500 each month on Facebook ads promoting the page.
Many of McClellan’s listings come from his Expired and FSBO cold calls. He uses the app Vulcan7 to locate, call and email these owners in the vast Denver metro area, which has approximately 2.5 million residents.
For each seller lead that comes in through Curaytor, McClellan prepares a comprehensive comparative market analysis (CMA) and emails it to the lead within 24 hours. He also mails out a copy of the CMA along with other useful Denver real estate information.
McClellan’s tips for other agents wanting to supersize their listings business
For hot leads, McClellan tries to get in the door the same day.
All other leads go into his customer relationship management tool, which comes set up and fully integrated with the Curaytor system. There, leads are placed on an action plan in which they receive automated market updates and at least one email and one call each month.
As soon as McClellan wins a listing, he knocks on doors of homes in the surrounding neighborhood to meet area homeowners and alert them to the pending sale. He introduces himself, asks if they know any buyers interested in the neighborhood, and hands them a flyer with info on the home for sale and a link to the Curaytor home value site. He estimates he knocks on 200 doors for each listing.
“There’s a big snowball coming,” McClellan said of the avalanche of listings he expects Curaytor to send his way soon.
He’s closed three listings generated through Curaytor since launching on the platform in January. Three more Curaytor-fed listings are on the market with more in the pipeline.
Curaytor’s sleek website design -- which features a clean, image-centric layout -- presents a sterling first impression of the team, McClellan added.
GIF of McClellan's Curaytor website homepage.
“That website is our portfolio,” he said.
Adapting Curaytor's suggested Facebook marketing strategy, McClellan runs three Facebook ads each week promoting Just Solds and Just Listeds with links back to his Curaytor site. He spends between from $500 and $1,000 on this per month.
Having a proven system in place like Curaytor greatly simplifies seller lead-follow up, McClellan said. It highlights a daily contact list of 15 to 20 contacts to reach out to, which he calls during his morning office hours. This eliminates the hassle of scrambling through his database.
The integrated Curaytor platform, which includes Follow Up Boss, the email marketing system Happy Grasshopper, and the cutting-edge website, makes McClellan’s tech life simple.
“It makes it easy to do our jobs on a high level,” he said.
Editor’s note: Cameron McClellan hired Curaytor last September to build a strong listing team. In McClellan’s words: “My mentor is great at getting listings and she is able to provide a good life to 11 other employees through the listings that she generates. I was always inspired by the amount of people she could affect by focusing daily on listings and I want to do same.”
What has it done for your business?
Made it boring. My success is their proven strategy, used day in and day out. I focus on a daily goal, and when I hit it every day, I exceed my quarterly goal. I want to create a legacy of great customer service and Curaytor’s customer relationship management platform, Follow Up Boss, allows me to easily stay in front of everyone I need to. Clients are never disappointed with the amount of communication they get.
My personal life is more fun than ever because of the business success.
What is your favorite feature?
Curaytor Home Values. It opens the door to provide huge value to someone I don't know, and I go all out on it. I do a full comparative market analysis for each seller lead I receive and email it to them within 24 hours of their inquiry. If we have a good email and phone number for the contact, I will mail a hard copy of the CMA to them with a personal letter about the real estate market in their area.
What is it allowing you to focus on now?
Lead generation and amazing customer service.