Misti Dobson: Hello local leaders! If you want more leads for your real estate business then you’re going to want to keep listening. Because on today’s episode of Real Estate Resources, we have Jim Sullivan with www.alltheleads.com [All The Leads]. Hi, Jim.
MD: All The Leads is the number one provider for niche real estate leads. They help you find all the leads that you weren’t even looking for and didn’t know you needed. Along with those leads they also provide you with a complete training and marketing system to make sure that you turn those leads into deals. Now here to explain everything way better than me is Jim Sullivan.
JS: Thank you. I really appreciate the opportunity to be here, Misti. Without telling you my life story, I was an active realtor for over 40 years. I actively sold about for about 30 years; I coached for some international trainers and my wife and I were full-time investors.
When the market crashed in 2008 we found ourselves upside down with a lot of properties and we started a short-sell company by doing our own short sales and for others. And this company really came about after I was at a real estate convention and I saw a booth across that had a line of people looking to buy leads. When I got back to my office I googled and I saw that there were a lot of complaints that they were essentially just expensive buyer leads.
Honestly, that’s what gave me the idea of finding seller leads. Seller leads are great because you put up a listing and you have ten thousand agents working for you. That’s really where the idea came from. That’s how All The Leads was born.
MD: That’s awesome. I believe when we first talked you told me that you have had your real estate license for 50 years, am I right?
JS: Yeah. People tell me I shouldn’t admit that about my age. But I did. I got it the day I turned 18, actually. So it was 50 years ago last month that I got my real estate license.
MD: That is awesome. And you know what, I wasn’t going to let you off the hook. I was always going to make sure that was in this interview, Jim.
JS: I kiddingly tell people after 40 years in the business I finally had a good idea. A lot of them haven’t worked, but this one has worked very well.
MD: That’s awesome. Well, thank you so much for joining us on Local Real Estate Resources. Our agents are very busy, so we’re going to get right into it and showcase exactly how All The Leads can help grow their business.
JS: Absolutely. Just to backtrack a little bit. When I was an agent, Misti, I used to make 100 prospecting calls a day. I would call for sell-by orders, expireds, and past clients; back then people used to answer the phone. Today if you pick up the phone and you call 100 phones, you’re probably lucky if three of them answer.
What is so unique about probate is that probate is our flagship product that we’ve been doing for over 10 years and what’s really unique about probate leads is that you’re contacting someone who isn’t local. You’re contacting someone who just inherited a property they weren’t planning on owning. And their phone’s not ringing off the hook.
In most markets, our agents tell us that there are one or two where they may be the only agent contacting these people. But even in the busy markets, they may be getting a lot of mail, but you might be one of a handful of people who are actually contacting them.
So they do answer the phone. They’re typically pretty motivated because they just inherited a property they weren’t planning on owning. There’s usually more than one heir, so they need to sell the property to divide up the proceeds. So it really is a very unique niche that not very many agents work.
MD: Right. So that’s one of the big things we like here is we like to share solutions to the problems that our agents face. So if we go deeper into that problem that your company solves, when our agents find All The Leads what are they thinking, feeling, and experiencing?
JS: Probably the biggest misconception is that they say ‘somebody just died and I don’t want to be an ambulance chaser.’ Honestly, nothing could be further from the truth. We teach them: don’t call and say ‘hey I can sell your property, I can buy your property.’ That is a little bit predatory.
A much better approach is to say ‘I know it’s a difficult time for the family, how can I help you?’ We teach our agents to put together a team of support staff: a contractor, an estate sale company, and a clean-out crew. Just to ask the heir questions like ‘what’s been the most difficult part of this so far, and how can I help you?’ And nobody else takes that approach. It really stands out.
I can honestly say when I had this idea I tried it myself for six months. I did not have a single person get upset at me for calling. It’s not like the death occurred a couple of weeks ago. Typically by the time the person has passed away the probate is filed and they have an attorney and it becomes a matter of public record. It’s usually three, four, or five months down the road. So the families may still be grieving, but they’re past the grief enough that they’ve made the business decision that ‘hey, I need to deal with this.’
So don’t feel that way that you’re bothering people. We actually teach a two-step approach and it’s pretty simple: send a letter and follow the letter with a phone call. Send a letter to introduce yourself. I will say that we do have agents in some of the smaller markets that do really well just with the mail. But you’re going to do exponentially better if you follow that letter up with a phone call.
MD: That’s a big thing that you offer. That system; that coaching. It’s not like ‘hey, here are some leads, see you later.’ It’s ‘hey, here are real people that need support, and here’s how to help them.’ That’s what I loved when I learned about www.alltheleads.com.
JS: Thank you, and we do have a whole series of four dozen templated letters, postcards, and email marketing campaigns. You can just take one of our templates and do it yourself. If you really want to go on autopilot you can customize the template. We’ll actually print and do the mail for you.
If you say ‘hey, Jim I would never pick up the phone and prospect.’ Well, that’s not a good attitude for a realtor. But if that is the way you feel, we do have the ability to make phone calls for you. So you can do as much of this or as little of it as you want, yourself.
We really recommend picking up the phone yourself. But if you’re just not going to do it, then hire an ISA to pick up the phone and make the calls for you.
Either way, you can help these people with as little or as much effort as you want to put into it. But you have to take action. You have to contact them.
MD: We always have to take action, right? It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in. If you’re not taking action, nothing’s moving. So that kind of explains my next question.
When one of our local leaders is interested: if they enroll and they want to experience and try out these probate leads, how does that process look for them?
JS: Just go to www.alltheleads.com and there’s a place called ‘check your county’ where you can search by county basis. It’s not by zip code, it’s by county. Then you’ll see how many leads per month we’re averaging in your market.
Then you can request that one of our salespeople call you, one of our account executives that will walk you through the process step-by-step. We do not require a contract. You don’t have to sign up for a year or anything. There’s no long-term commitment.
We’re pretty confident that if you follow the process you’re going to do well. We do have two full-time coaches as well. So as soon as you sign up to get any lead delivery you usually have a couple of weeks until your leads come. In the meantime, you’re going to do an orientation call with one of our coaches. You’re going to do another call with one of our marketing implementation specialists to kind of walk you through the entire system.
Then as long as you’re with us you’re entitled to a free monthly coaching call every week with one of our coaches. In addition, we do have an open forum call which I just got off on Thursday afternoon at one o’clock Eastern. We have a brainstorming session where we all get together and share ideas.
When we had the idea I didn’t want to just sell data, because I was a realtor and I was a real estate coach. Leads themselves without an effective and efficient system to work them are kind of a waste of money. So we really go out of our way to try to provide those.
MD: That makes perfect sense, and it leads me right to the next question. We love case studies at local leader. What works for one can probably be duplicated. So can you share a recent or favorite client success story?
JS: I’ll start with a couple of my own. When I had this idea about how I find seller leads. I remember that in my real estate business, some of my best and most profitable deals both as a realtor and as an investor were probate.
One in particular that I remember. I picked up the phone and the people were kind of at their wit’s end. There were three or four heirs and the house was scheduled for foreclosure in three weeks. They didn’t think the house was in good shape so they didn’t have a lot of equity.
I did some research and there was a couple hundred thousand dollars in equity there. So I had a local attorney who was willing to stop the foreclosure sale, and he was willing to wait to get paid until the transaction closed. So we did that – we listed it. They sold it quickly to an investor, who got a good deal. And they pocketed over $150,000 that they otherwise would have walked away from.
MD: I like that your focus is on the clients that you serve. Even above the leads, you’re really looking at the people that need to sell this property. Whenever a solution is created around a real problem: like they’re not local, they don’t have resources, they don’t have connections, they’re grieving, they’re struggling… I love that you’re really laser-focused on that. Because that means your system is built to really solve their problem which is going to set up our agents for success when they call them.
JS: 100%. We have a lot of realtors who are also investors. And they sometimes worry: ‘which hat should I be wearing? Should I be the realtor or should I be the investor?’ It really depends on the needs of the client.
A couple of these deals that I bought as an investor, it was because I was honest with the people. You know, I told them ‘you could get a whole lot more for it.’ And they said ‘No that’s OK. We just want to get rid of it.’ So don’t wear either hat.
Probably 80 to 90% of these are going to be free and clear. It’s not a distress situation. It isn’t always about selling as quickly as possible. So they’re probably not going to be way underpriced, but there will be 10 to 20% of them that say ‘mom died, we’ve got to get dad in a nursing home. We need to sell right away.’ Or the one I referenced, ‘it’s gone to foreclosure’.
So you just don’t wear either hat. Ask them questions and find out what their needs are and then propose the solution that’s best for them. Or give them two solutions and see what they think.
MD: That’s so cool. That’s 50 years of experience in real estate talking there.
JS: Cut it off, you’re making me feel old here [laughs].
MD: Well I’m so happy I’ve met you and what a cool company. Do you have any final words for our local leaders?
JS: You know, in my massive experience as both an investor and a realtor, I find the biggest mistake is that they want to know everything before they do anything. Don’t make that mistake.
Take action, pick up the phone, and call us. We have the lowest-pressure salespeople you’re ever going to meet. It’s kind of our philosophy. They’ll walk you through the process. And then don’t feel like you have to have all the answers before you get started. You’ll learn as you go.
Remember that no matter how inexperienced you are at probate (a lot of our agents say ‘well I don’t know anything about probate’) – remember: they have a probate attorney that’s going to handle all the legal aspects.
You’re essentially just working with a motivated absentee owner that needs help. So don’t be so afraid to take action. Don’t over-educate yourself before you act.
Take action and you’ll learn as you go. That would probably be my best piece of advice.
MD: Awesome, thank you. Thank you for sharing your knowledge with us today and being on the show. If anyone here and our local leaders want to know more about www.alltheleads.com we’re going to post some links down below, so make sure you check them out.
And if you know anyone who might benefit from the All The Leads system like Jim’s background, please share this interview with them.
Finally, if you want to stay up to date with the resources, tools, and technologies that can help you grow your businesses and become a local leader, then subscribe to our newsletter, YouTube page, Facebook, and Instagram, and turn those notifications on. Because I’m Misti Dobson the director of partnerships and I am going to keep finding awesome resources and awesome people like Jim to feature for you.