Welcome to the More Cheese Less Whiskers podcast and today I'm pretty excited. We've got a great guest in Bill Macintosh who's from Saint-Tropez, France of all places.
He is selling super high-end luxury homes with sea views all over the French Riviera, and we had a great conversation. Of course, real estate is one of my favorite things to talk about and we're able to hatch some evil schemes for Bill to really narrow in on a very specific segment of that market and you'll hear that as we talk you start to understand the value of narrowing things down, of getting into a situation where you've narrowed to a single target market and that's going to make it easy for us to identify those people.
In real estate, the great thing that Bill has going for him is he has a chance to be what I call a market maker, where he can not only find people who are looking for homes in Saint-Tropez, but he can also find people who are looking to sell their home in Saint-Tropez and that makes things pretty exciting when you are a marketer.
Enjoy this episode.
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Transcript - More Cheese Less Whiskers 017
Bill: Hey, Dean. How are you?
Dean: I am so good. There you are.
Bill: Awesome, yes. Thanks so much for doing this today, Dean.
Dean: I'm excited. We get to hatch some evil schemes about my favorite thing: real estate.
Bill: The more evil, the better. I know you're the man. When it comes to real estate, you're the man. If anyone can crack my dilemma and come up with an evil scheme for me, you're the guy. Great.
Dean: Awesome. Well, set the stage here for us. Tell us what's going on.
Bill: All right. Yes, I'll give you a snapshot of where my business is at and what I've identified so far, Dean, as my biggest challenge is. I've gone through the profit activator score card, and that was a really interesting experience, very, very, very educational. In fact, it led to the creation of a fourth unit in my business. A little thing I like to call "the Intensive Care Unit."
Dean: Okay, perfect.
Bill: If my before unit was a person, that's where they'd be. Going through the score card in the before unit, I came up with a 25 out of a potential 48 which is at 52%. The during unit was 23 out of 24 which is 96%. That's healthy and well. The after unit, I scored 16 out of 24 which is 67%. There wasn't any surprise in that exercise because I knew my before unit is where my biggest challenges lie. What was surprising for me, however, was in the fourth profit activator, the compelling presentation stage, that's really strong. I rated it as 11 out of 12, but it's not enough to really carry things forward because the well, especially profit activator number 2 and 3 are so weak that I haven't really educated and motivated prospects to really stay loyal to me. There isn't a relationship there.
Dean: Sure, I get it.
Bill: That was interesting to see.
Dean: Mm-hmm, so you're not on the typical.
Bill: Right, okay.
Dean: Yes, it's not untypical that you fall into a situation where, like many entrepreneurs, no matter what the business is, you're really great at delivering the result. If somebody shows up, well, tell people where you are and what kind of real estate you're actually helping people with because it's a unique situation.
Bill: Yes, sure. It's a very, very unique situation. I sell ultra high-end luxury real estate in Saint-Tropez on the French Riviera. I've been selling real estate off and on now for just over 30 years. As you said, once I get nose-to-nose, belly-to-belly with people, I'm extremely strong whether I'm working with a buyer or a seller. In the Saint-Tropez area of the French Riviera, and just to give listeners an idea of what that market looks like, looking at my figures for 2015, my average sale price ... I did 3 deals, which for me, 3 to 4 deals a year is a fairly decent year. The 3 deals average 2.2 million each. The average commission was 55,000 per deal, which actually is going to double now because just about a month ago, my wife and I, we got our own brokers license. I've been splitting the commission 50-50 with brokers up until now. That 55 per deal will actually become 110 instantly without doing anything else. That's the good news.
Dean: Yes, yes, good.
Bill: That's good, but yes. Ultra high-end luxury properties, they're all vacation homes. Once in a while, they're a second home for the buyer, but more typically, they're third, fourth, fifth homes. I mean I'm dealing with ... the buyer profile would be the top 20% of the 1 percenters, really.
Dean: Mm-hmm. Right, right. Exactly, yes, yes.
Bill: Yes, billionaires, people with extremely high net worth buying another one of several homes. The sellers are obviously typically extremely wealthy as well. Most sellers in Saint-Tropez are not motivated sellers. The typical seller attitude is "look, here's how much I want. I know it's probably over-priced, but so what? If I don't get it, who cares? If it takes me 5 years, big deal." That's the thing I come up against a lot, so I've got very strict criteria before I'll take a listing. With buyers, the challenges is that because ... Where do I begin? Well, first of all, in France, unlike in North America, there is no such thing as a multiple listing service where agents or the general public can look online, see what's currently for sale, see what's previously sold, see what's expired. I mean none of that exists. There's no central place to get that information. You just really have to learn as you go, in terms of house prices.
The typical system here for ... Again, I've been studying all your stuff, Dean. I know 3 techniques that you commonly use with agents in North America. You offer sellers either a price estimate, a room-by-room assessment or you talk talk to them about having a silent buyer. Well, the problem in Saint-Tropez is because they're all second, third, fourth homes, I can't do mailings here because the owners are never here. I mean they may use their house in Saint-Tropez 2 weeks out of the year. Dean, the mailers never land in the hands of the seller. It will be a housekeeper or a caretaker who sees it, throws it in the garbage because they have a friend who sells real estate that they'll pass leads on to to get a kickback. That's the challenge with actually trying to market to sellers here, in terms of getting listings.
Then, the challenge with the buyers is because they're spread all over the world, I wish there was a Facebook group called "ultra high-net worth individuals, looking for a home in Saint-Tropez." That would make my life very easy, but I haven't found one like that yet. That's the challenge from both sides, Dean. It's trying to meet sellers that meet the criteria of exceptional property priced properly and motivated to sell and meeting buyers. So far, my leads come primarily from a web portal based out of the UK. The only way they generate their leads is through investing a huge amount of money in SCO with thousands of properties from different locations around the world that attract buyers. They pass those leads on to me, and they end up getting 50% if I do a deal. The second source of leads for both buyers and sellers is through referrals because I'm very good in my after unit at nurturing the relationships and orchestrating referrals. There's room for improvement, obviously, but I'm pretty strong there because I have to be. That's where I'm at.
Dean: Okay, so that's not like ... I mean the mechanics of it are the same as what people, realtors in any market that have to go through it. You have to find buyers, and you have to get listings. I mean those are the 2 fundamental things, right?
Bill: Yes, exactly right. Exactly right.
Dean: If we talk about it in your before unit, you're clear on who you are trying to attract. You focus on the high-end. When you say that, describe, if you could just get the kind of listings that you work with. How would you define a target market there? Are they ocean-front properties? Are they villas? How would you describe what those properties are?
Bill: Yes, that's a great question. I've been thinking a lot about this along the lines of, as you put it, "where is your biggest check coming from?" There are definitely villas. Most of them would be ocean view, but not all sea view, but not all. There is a particular gated community or gated domain, as they're called here, that has 132 villas in it. Lowest price would start at around ... If it was an old fixer-upper or even a tear-down, it would start at around 8 million. They go up into the 9 figures. There's at least a handful that would be over 100 million. I have a couple of listings in there now. One at 75, another one at 30. Yes, that would be the biggest paycheck. Commissions here are 5%, so 5% on a ... Let's take the lower end. Even on a 10-million-dollar sale, that's still a heck of a good payday, by any standards.
Dean: Sure. Where's the bulk of the market? Even in that high-end, I imagine all of the real estate in that region is pricier than most, but is there a sweet spot?
Bill: In the area, you mean?
Dean: Yes, in the area. What cities or what places are you primarily in? What's the longevity of it, kind of thing?
Bill: Right, so there's a few villages, towns and a couple of cities dotted along the French Riviera which would start in the East with Monaco. Then, go as far West as Saint-Tropez on the other end. In between, there's a few spots which are billionaire's road. There's obviously extremely expensive villas in Cannes. There's a few villages dotted along the way, but Monaco and Saint-Tropez are the 2 that are considered the ultra high-end. I mean, just to give you an idea, you can't buy anything in Saint-Tropez, almost nothing under a million Euro. That's where prices would start, and that would be a 1-bedroom apartment in the village. The sweet spot of Saint-Tropez is this gated community that I mentioned with 132 villas because it's almost virtually the only gated domain that actually have guards at the gate. Security is very high, which obviously is of utmost importance to the very wealthy. Saint-Tropez does have a reputation for break-ins, but not in Le Parc de Saint-Tropez, which is the name of this gated community that I referred to. The security is very high, which is a huge selling feature for people.
Bill: That's the sweet spot of Saint-Tropez.
Dean: Is that one of the things that people would refer to by name?
Bill: Yes, it's very well-known.
Dean: What level of awareness into market? Yes, what's the name? How do you say it again?
Bill: Yes, yes. Le Parc de Saint Tropez, so the park of Saint-Tropez would be he translation.
Dean: Okay, Le Parc de Saint-Tropez, okay.
Bill: The people would refer to it as "the Park." I don't know. I mean it's like the Beverly Hills of Saint-Tropez or the Holmby Hills of Saint-Tropez, which is the little pocket inside of Beverly Hills which is primo-primo. Yes, so that would be an equivalent.
Dean: Okay. Now, expanding from the 130 homes in the park there, is Saint-Tropez the word that people would use to describe what they're looking for?
Bill: Yes, yes.
Dean: I'm trying to get to the specific things that people would ask for. The French Riviera is a broad area for us to have a sense of the region. I would imagine that people are very specific about the area. Monaco is very different than Cannes. Saint-Tropez is different than all of it.
Bill: Absolutely, absolutely. Saint-Tropez is very different from Monaco. Absolutely. A buyer for Saint-Tropez would not want to be anywhere else and vice versa. A buyer for Monaco would not want to be in Saint-Tropez. I've had a few clients who own in Monaco, but also want to buy in Saint-Tropez because it's just a completely different vibe, different lifestyle. It's more relaxed, but the unique thing about Saint-Tropez compared to any other spot on the French Riviera is Saint-Tropez is a luxury brand in and of itself. I mean there's lots of villages on the French Riviera I could mention to somebody I bump into at a bar in ... I don't know, in Marrakesh or just be somewhere else in the world, in Miami. They wouldn't have a clue what I'm talking about, but I think I could bump into anybody anywhere on the planet and mention Saint-Tropez. If they're wealthy, they'll know instantly where it is.
Dean: Okay. It's one of those iconic things. It's like South Beach, right?
Dean: Everybody, no matter what, when they think Florida, they think South beach. That's what that is.
Bill: Exactly. exactly right.
Dean: It's very similar to what we've been doing and trying to attract within the South Beach market high-end. This South Beach ocean front is the cream of the crop in South Beach.
Bill: Yes, I listened to that episode with great interest because again, the agent was faced with the same challenge of so many foreign owners who don't live there. If I recall correctly, the challenge was sifting those out from the owner-occupied units.
Dean: That's exactly it. Now, you would be surprised the level of the people who responded. I mean of the people, the actual individuals. You say that a lot of these are filtered which is true. We found that in South Beach, there were a lot of people who are LLCs with an address not with the property in another area at a legal office or an accounting office or somebody's office.
Bill: It's the same here.
Dean: Some of them did have their contact information, their mailing address at their office. The responses that we got were pretty surprising. People that you wouldn't think that you would have access to, like people that own big companies and are above ...
Bill: Very high profile.
Dean: High profile like a former ambassador to another country. These kinds of things. It's very interesting. I look at it that the visible prospects are the ones who own the homes in the area that you're looking for.
Bill: Own and occupy, right?
Dean: Not necessarily occupied, but some of them do occupy it. Not everybody in Saint-Tropez is a fourth or fifth home owner, right? There are some people who actually live there, I would imagine, right? Not in every market that this is somebody and would have, perhaps, their primary home there, right?
Bill: Right. Yes. Yes, there is a small population. Well, the population at Saint-Tropez officially on paper is 5,500.
Dean: Okay. Isn't that amazing that if you think about that, such an iconic thing cannot be such a small piece, just like South Beach and just like Cape Ann, North of Boston. Those are areas that are pretty not big population-wise, but big reputation-wise.
Bill: Yes, no, exactly, exactly. In the summer, we'd have 100,000 to 140, 000 people a day, going through the village. In the winter, that drops down to ... I won't say zero, but it would be a couple of hundred a day. I mean it's nothing. Most of the stores close up, and of the full time residents who have a home in Saint-Tropez and of the 5,500, I would guess about 10% are maybe living there full time. In the winter, they're typically not even ... I mean only a fraction of those 10% full time residents would be in the village. I have tried mailings in the past and got literally zero response.
Dean: Let's talk about that a little bit. If we were to stay, of the 5,500 or how ever many homes are in Saint-Tropez, how would you divide them up? I look at if we take South Beach, for instance, there's the ocean front condos. Then, there's the bay-front condos. Then, there's the interior condos and then, there'd be smaller homes and things within it. Then, you try out the key tap stones on Star Island and the other islands between South Beach.
Bill: Right, like pockets.
Dean: Yes, yes, but if you were to identify them, how many of them would be on the ocean front, for instance?
Bill: Right, so to actually get ocean front here, probably...
Dean: What would be the distinction if you were to categorize that?
Bill: The 3%, 2 to 3% of the homes would be considered ocean front or sea front. I'm no sure what you're trying to get at, but the hot button with potential buyers is a sea view. Very few houses are sea front because there, you're starting at 15 to 20 million and up. That's another level of buyer, but sea view is the hot button. 8 or 9 out of 10 buyers want the view of the sea.
Dean: Mm-hmm, okay, perfect. That's what they would say. It's "we want an ocean front." Is that what they call it? Sea view, or would they say it?
Bill: Sea view, yes.
Dean: How would they describe it? Sea view?
Bill: Yes, so that means it could be a half a mile from the beach or a mile even, but they can still see the sea.
Dean: Which is perfect.
Bill: Right. That's the picture.
Dean: What would be the price range if you view a home?
Bill: Starting at 5 million.
Dean: Okay, perfect. Now, here's the thing. This is what. When you look at the idea here, when you look at this, those are the sea view homes. Imagine there's not a lot of new development in Saint-Tropez. I mean I imagine it's been a rival organized a bit.
Bill: Almost non-existent, yes.
Dean: Okay, perfect, so it is what it is. You've got the inventory of the sea view homes in Saint-Tropez, is limited to how ever many of those homes they are.
Dean: How many would you guess that there are? Do you know, specifically?
Bill: I don't know specifically.
Bill: An educated estimate would be 15% of the total inventory would be sea view.
Dean: Mm-hmm, okay. How many homes would that be? Listed or unlisted.
Bill: Yes, so that would be roughly 600 if we say there's 4,000 homes.
Dean: 600 of them would be sea view homes?
Dean: With an average of 5 million as the price on that?
Bill: Yes, yes.
Dean: Okay. Do you get a sense of how many sell each year? What would be the turnover rate of the sea view homes in Saint-Tropez?
Bill: Right. Again, really difficult because there's no centralized information source. It's almost all word of mouth. X brand's every transaction by law, has to go through, well, in France, they're called a notary, but they're really, by American standards, more like a lawyer. From my personal relationship with those people, I would say that there's a turnover in an average year of probably 15 transactions to 20 per year.
Bill: That is divided amongst close to 500 real estate agents in the village.
Dean: Yes, lots of them matter. I'm not interested in math. Yes, yes, I don't care about them.
Bill: That's irrelevant, I know, but right, yes.
Dean: We're working for you here.
Bill: Yes, exactly, exactly. 15 to 20 transactions per year.
Dean: Mm-hmm, okay. That's not too far off of the situation with the lake-front homes here in Winter Haven. There's 2,100 lake-front homes with a 4% turnover rate. You've probably got 3 or 4% turnover rate of those homes there.
Bill: Right. Yes, it's just around there, right.
Dean: Part of this, so much of this, if you're looking at it, are you in the area for the long term? I mean is this your focus here? Is this another 10+ year business for you?
Bill: Yes, I was going to say "define long term."
Dean: Yes, I mean it's 10+ your ...
Bill: No. Right, my ultimate goal is to bank and put away, stash away 2 million over the next 5 years.
Bill: Then, I'll be ready to move on to other things.
Bill: That's my goal.
Dean: We've got a shorter window, in terms then of that. Here's the thing. It's that the 600 people, this is where you, now, if you narrow your focus here, one of the things that I really talk about with, profit actually with selecting a single target market, sea view homes in Saint-Tropez, that is the iconic cream of the crop. That's what anybody who is coming to Saint-Tropez would want, right?
Bill: Yes. 8 to 9 buyers out of 10 will want that, exactly.
Dean: Of course, okay. That's the hot commodity. Now, the good news is that there's only 600 of them, and that you, individually, with some level of effort could get a list of who those 600 homeowners are, right? You can identify. Do they have a registry office? Is there a tax records? How would you ...
Bill: Yes, yes.
Bill: Right, through the tax records at the town hall. I have acquired addresses and owner's names and addresses, mailing addresses that way before, but by law, they can only release 10 per week. I think I have to recruit more people to put in inquiries for me.
Dean: I got you, okay. There's the thing. It's that first of all, that's the starting point, right?
Dean: If you can get that list together, that is going to be the starting point. We do on our I Love Marketing podcast with Joe Polish, we had a great episode.
Bill: Yes, which I loved, by the way.
Dean: Thank you. We had a great episode with Richard Viguerie. Richard Viguerie is a guy who is a conservative fundraiser, a good marketer, but he saw in this business ...
Bill: Oh, yes, yes, yes. I listened to that one. That was a great one.
Dean: It really was because Richard started his whole empire on the thought that in the 60's, as soon as it was passed that campaign contributions had to be recorded and documented...
Bill: Yes, over a hundred dollars, wasn't it?
Dean: More than a hundred dollars to any political candidate had to be recorded. He went into the records office and started handwriting out the names and addresses of all of the people who had given a hundred dollars to the conservative candidate. They brought in 6 ladies to help him go through that process. At the end, he had 12,000 names of conservative contributors that was the foundation of everything for him. I would say that's your start right there, right?
Bill: Okay. That's really helpful.
Dean: There's your start. It's to get those 600 names because that is an asset that you have. Now, some of those people are going to have an address that's easy to get to. Some will be, if they're third or fourth home, some of them may have an LLC or some sort of veiled ownership. That would be more difficult to crack, but you can always certainly mail to the address there. Now, the card, the thing that we mail, and I've got a whole getting listings program that we do with real estate agents. The whole idea is not to send postcards or mailings that are trying to convince people to list with you, but that are offering the free October, 2016 report on Saint-Tropez sea view house prices, which seems like now, that is something very valuable that anybody who is thinking of selling their home would be interested in getting.
When you look at it, the idea that they are ... Even if the address is behind an accountant or behind an adviser or a family office, a lawyer, whatever it is, they probably have somebody. A household manager, somebody who manages the property for them, that they would view this as a resource, right? If somebody is thinking about selling, if they say, just like you said, they're never in a hurry, but they maybe let somebody know that they would consider selling or there is going to be available soon. That person would be wise to get their ducks in a row and have access to the information, especially if it's very difficult to get just like you were saying.
Bill: Well, that's the thing. That's right. That's what stopped me in the past team. It's that it would be first of all, I agree a hundred percent. It would be an extremely valuable resource that would definitely get people raise their hand out of curiosity, if nothing else. For me to get my hands on that information is again, because no centralized source, and the notaries, the lawyers who handle the sales are not allowed by law to release that information. They give general statistics for the country, but I tried working out an arrangement with a notary here before, and they said, "no, we can't, Bill. Sorry. I'd love to, but I can't. I'm required by law. I would lose my license. I'm required to keep that information confidential on individual sales." It's extremely difficult to get my hands on that, maybe impossible at worst cases.
Dean: Okay, so there's no registration?
Dean: There's no registry like in the States, the actual transaction is recorded as a trail.
Bill: Well, it is recorded when title transfers hands, similar to the US, but only the notaries can access that information. It's not public information.
Dean: I got you, okay.
Bill: Even they have to request a specialized search to get their hands on that. It's not like they can just log online, put in an address and get the previous sale details.
Dean: Got you, got you. Whatever information you can gather or whatever, how do you value property then? How do you determine what the selling price is in one compared to another?
Bill: Yes, that's a great question. Yes, when I first landed here 3 years ago, that was my first question on the first day, I think in the Sotheby's office. I started it, and they said, "ask the seller how much they want." I said, "you're kidding, right?" They said, "no. Just ask the seller how much they want, and take the listing at that price." I said, "well, you know it's going to be an inflated price because every seller thinks it's worth more than it really is?" They said, "yes, but it's a place to start and then see how it goes." That was how I started. Today, now that I've been doing this 3 and a half years, now I've got a good sense of what is realistic and what isn't, in terms of pricing. I've got a feel for it. That's really the way agents do it here, is it's education through fire type of thing. You just burn as you go as you put in more time and as you go through dozens or hundreds of homes. You just get a good sense of what's what.
Dean: I got you. Then, how do you find the homes to show? How do you know which ones are available?
Bill: Typically, it's through referrals.
Dean: With other agents, you mean?
Bill: No, no. Agents here don't cooperate. That's the other anomaly in the French market, and especially in market is it's extremely cut-throat and competitive. Cooperation between is almost non-existent. Every deal I've sold, I found the buyer and the seller. To use the jargon of the industry, I double-in like 99% of my sales.
Bill: Not because I want to. It's just because it's the nature of the beast.
Dean: Yes, I got it. Where would somebody ... You've got the ability, I would say, to get those 600 to have ... That's going to be the most valuable thing that you can do. It's to be able to get a way to communicate with those people.
Dean: It's almost like you're building your detective or your asset. It's almost like filling out the record of these 600 homes and starting with whatever tax records are available and maybe through your own networks and through, there may be some property management firms that manage some of these properties, multiple of them. Some may have staff that are at the homes. Whatever you can do to really create this sense of "who are these 600 people?" That's the core. The more work that you put into uncovering those, all that detective work, getting a connection and into those 600, that's going to be a valuable thing. If you're able to identify what the property is like, to have a sense of how big it is, what the price of it may be, that will help you when you have a buyer to approach the right people. Often, rather than just trying to generate leads from people who are looking for information, you might get at quicker or a better response if you actually have a buyer who's looking. That's a different thing.
Bill: Right, right.
Dean: I think those 600, I would be doing everything I possibly could to build that connection to those 600 homes.
Bill: Yes, so that's really useful being because I was thinking more in terms of my single target market for sellers being a geographic area. In fact, that's too limiting. Why not just, as you said, focus on the single target market being the most sought after property, 80 to 90% of the time, which is the sea view properties.
Bill: Yes, that's really helpful.
Dean: Actually, my whole approach in profit activator 1 is the same as the approach of Procter and Gamble, which is plan to dominate.
Bill: Right, exactly.
Dean: That's why I'm targeting a single target market that you can dominate. You're saying you're doing more to find those, to attract those 600 than anything else. That's going to be helpful. Now, let's talk about the buyers because that's really, let's face it, the catalyst for everything. Nothing's going to happen until there's a buyer.
Dean: What most real estate agents do is they have this idea that they have to have listings to be able to find the buyers for the home. I'm saying let's take that opposite approach. Let's find the buyers in addition. We're triangulating here, right? You've got connections. You're building for the 600, and if we send out a postcard that gets people to raise their hands, you're building this pool of prospects, of people who may be, at some point, going to sell the house. That's all that matters, that we have a connection to somebody in that house. Now, where would a buyer who's looking for a sea view house in Saint-Tropez be looking to find that house? What would they be looking for? What would they be doing? How does that come about? You mentioned a website that you get leads from that does SEO, which means that some level, people are looking online for that information, right?
Bill: Right, 95%. That's the simple answer. 95% of buyers have identified which homes they're interested in before they even get off the plane in France. They find them online. The conclusion I came to was, "okay. Rather than me, trying to find the buyers, I have to look at it from the other side. How can I make myself visible?" Right now, I'm an invisible agent. How can I make myself visible where they find me? Does that make sense?
Dean: Okay. It does, absolutely. That's exactly where I was going, is what if you had the guide to Saint-Tropez sea view real estate? That's the thing for anybody looking for a sea view home. There's more than just the individual properties that go into this. There will be people who are interested in knowing there's different factors, probably, right, like some of the areas. There might be some neighborhoods different than others. Some are gated communities. To give somebody a CAT scan view of "these are where the sea view homes are," that would be a valuable thing for people.
Bill: Yes. No, I like it. I just recently created a pop-up opt-in form on my website which pops up on every page. It's a guide to buying a home in Saint-Tropez, which I cover general things. I can't give any results on that yet because it's too new. I actually got motivated to do it last week, knowing this call was coming up.
Dean: There we go. We're already lighting the fire. That's great.
Bill: The fire was already burning last week, Dean. It's too early to tell, but I love the idea of a guide to buying sea view homes in Saint-Tropez. That's even more specific.
Dean: That's exactly it. What we do with the ocean front condos ... I mean we've been doing this in the highest-end markets in the United States. I mean the South beach ocean front condo guide and the Cape Ann waterfront properties guide.
Bill: Right, exactly. Yes, yes.
Dean: Yes and Paradise Valley view homes in Paradise Valley in Arizona. Those are all really high-end markets. What you're doing is you're finding people. It's not just having a listing that gives you 1 entry on the bingo card. Somebody might stumble on that particular property. What it gives you is the overwriting thing that anybody looking for a sea view house in Saint-Tropez or a sea view villa would be attracted to. They would say, "oh, I would love that." That gives you the opportunity to advertise in the magazines or the places where those people would be looking. Are there real estate publications?
Dean: Yes, so we're finding the luxury real estate publications are a great place to do a print ad like that.
Bill: Exactly because in response to your question, that's what I was going to say. It's that that would definitely be worth trying because I know from experience, being at the other 2 brokers I was with both Sotheby's and Coldwell Banker in France who had huge marketing budgets. I would say on average, they were spending 20,000 a month on advertising properties in the luxury magazines and online. They were generating almost zero results. This would be different because I think there would be a much greater chance of getting a potential buyer to raise their hand and say, "yes. That sounds interesting. I'm going to get that," rather than just looking at the catalog of properties.
Dean: Right, like just to give you benchmarks. Yes, just to give you some idea, the ads that we have run in South Beach and Cape Ann, you can get 20, 25, 30 responses a month to an ad like that.
Bill: Phenomenal, yes.
Dean: Right, and those are people who are looking for that specific thing.
Bill: Right. Right.
Dean: That's what you really want. It's that when you've got your list of the buyers, when you've got the people who are looking for the homes, that's the catalyst because now, you can go to those 600 sea view homeowners or their messengers or advisers or whoever it is with the opportunity that you're not just trying to get a listing. None of them want to list the property, but they might sell it.
Dean: Right? They might sell it if you had a buyer. You've got that opportunity now to treat those as like your silent inventory. The more that you know about those properties, if you've got whatever images or pictures or overview satellite shots or whatever you have to build the most comprehensive database of the sea view homes in Saint-Tropez, that's an asset. That's an asset for you. You can, in 2 or 3 years, when you go to move on, that's an asset that you could sell to somebody or have this system be run by somebody else.
Bill: Exactly, yes.
Dean: I'll tell you that some of these don't happen quickly.
Bill: No, that's okay. Yes. No, no, that's okay.
Dean: Yes, that's fine.
Bill: Yes, yes. No, it's not about a get-rich-quick thing.
Dean: Yes, it's just this year. Did you hear the episode with Kenny McCarthy from Cape Anne
Bill: I did.
Dean: Okay, so literally, in 1 90-day period, he had 3 people who had called him from when he was doing the ... He goes to getting listings from them every month in those areas, but 3 people called who had been getting it for 3 years and called him up. That's really ...
Bill: Yes, I know, I know. Including the old lady who said, "I've been getting your paperwork."
Dean: The paperwork, yes. "I get your paperwork every month."
Bill: The paperwork. Yes, that was funny.
Dean: That's to let you know. Yes, so when you look at that, there's the big opportunity because even at 5 million, to our commission opportunities are even higher than what your average was on the ones last year.
Bill: Yes. No, no, absolutely, absolutely. That's a 250k commission on one of those sales.
Bill: Well for putting in the time and effort.
Dean: Are you doing any pay-per-click advertising yourself?
Bill: I'm not. Yes. No, I'm not, Dean because I'm still in education mode. Not because I don't think I should be. I should be doing a lot of things, but here's my situation. I don't know if it's typical with agents in general, but I'm a phenomenal sales person in face-to-face situations, but I refer to myself as a marketing moron.
Dean: No, I got it, yes.
Bill: The world has changed, and when it comes to online marketing which is where all of us need to get really proficient and master, I'm in the process of learning as I go. I haven't invested money yet because I know I'll just be throwing it away on a wish and a prayer because I don't yet understand what I'm doing.
Dean: Right. Unless and until you get this guide together. You got something that's going to give.
Bill: Right, right.
Dean: I would take the information that you have on buying a home in Saint-Tropez and putting that into the guide that you put together, but I would make the cover of the guide and the context of the guide be more market data and a resource, rather than a sales type of piece. Like so, and you heard me, one of the words I use all the time are compelling and convincing.
Dean: The compelling thing is we want somebody to say, "oh, I need that guide." When you look at what would be the things, the information that would be in the guide that anybody buying a sea view villa in Saint-Tropez would love to have, without the subjective information of "how to buy a home" or the things that are more leaning towards how to choose you as your real estate agent.
Bill: Exactly, right, right.
Dean: That's not what you're looking for.
Bill: Non-salesy. Yes, yes, exactly.
Dean: Right. We want it to be market data to get them to raise their hand.
Bill: That's all we want, is to get them to raise their hand, yes.
Dean: Then, in profit activator 3, it's about compelling them.
Bill: Right, as you're nurturing the relationship, yes.
Dean: Yes. That whole process there, that's the gap. It's like you've got this gift in your profit activator score card. You're pretty clear on who you want to attract and that it dips down in profit activator 2 and 3 and then shoots back up. Once you get them, as we need to bridge that gap, you know who they are. we need to get them. If you get them to you, you're fantastic. It's just ridging that. That's what we're looking for there.
Bill: That's actually right. Yes. You're absolutely right, yes. You hit it on the head because in profit activator number 2, my score was 2 and number 3, my score was fourth, so that's a gap right there.
Dean: Right, right. That's exactly it.
Bill: It's sandwiched by 8 and 11 in profit activator number 1 and 4.
Dean: You know who you want. You can help them when you find them. Let's just ...
Bill: I just got to find them.
Bill: Well, I've got to help them find me, more precisely.
Dean: Mm-hmm, that's exactly right. You help them find you by shining the light on what they're looking for. What they're looking for is information on Saint-Tropez sea view villas. Now, you may have. Do you have right now anybody who owns a sea view home that ... Well, you've got 2 listings, you said, in there, right?
Bill: In the park, I've got 2 listings, but sea view properties in general, I have ... Again, because I just got our broker's license. I've started and restarted, and I'm slowly bringing on board some of the previous owner clients I've had. Of the 10 listings I have, 8 of those would be sea view.
Dean: Okay, perfect. There you go. That's your good start. Now, your sellers are going to be very happy to see that you've got a way to find buyers.
Dean: You've got it now. One thing that you can do, rather than having to apiece your seller advertise their individual listings everywhere you are able to get to a point where you can get the people at the level where Saint-Tropez and sea view is the level that they've narrowed it down to.
Bill: Right, right.
Dean: Your listings are a subset of that category, right?
Dean: You've got now those 8 or 10 of those properties that would be valuable, that's enough to give people a sense of what they can get. The fact that you have this comprehensive ... You know about all the 600, this encyclopedic knowledge about those 600 homes, that's what I would focus all my effort on. It's becoming the world's leading authority on those 600 homes.
Bill: On the sample page sea view homes, yes, yes.
Bill: Yes because nobody else is doing it. That's for sure. That's how I could dominate. Now, that's fantastic.
Dean: Exactly right.
Bill: No, that's fantastic.
Dean: That's a grey area that it would really lend itself to some video content as well.
Bill: Oh, absolutely.
Dean: You're aware, connecting with those people but not just about the properties, but about the lifestyle in Saint-Tropez as well.
Bill: Well, that's exactly right. That's the thing because that's why people are buying here. They're not buying a piece of real estate because their options are limitless literally. They can buy anywhere in the world. The reason they want to buy in Saint-Tropez specifically is for the Saint-Tropez lifestyle. Yes, there's tons of possibilities for which I spent many sleepless nights thinking about. Lots of possibilities to really compel people to put up their hand by creating compelling lifestyle pieces that are non-salesy, educational, entertaining. Yes.
Dean: By the way, what you may end up finding is that people who start out with an aspiration for a sea view may end up finding something that's not sea view, but that they'd be equally happy with. It's just a great place to start the relationship.
Bill: Right. No, absolutely. That does happen because once we're in communication, I obviously have a very clear set of questions that I go through with people in interviewing them to understand exactly what they're trying to achieve. What's the outcome they're trying to achieve and the type of lifestyle they're looking for in Saint-Tropez? Sometimes, they end up realizing through that process that what they thought they wanted isn't actually what they really want. They just didn't know any better before. That's always a fun moment where again, I set myself apart from my competition because my competition is just very happy to get them in a car and show them anything and everything whereas I am the opposite.
Dean: You can just sort it out.
Bill: Yes, yes. We sort it all out, and laser-focused on exactly what they're looking for so that by the time they get here, I've got a maximum of 5, 6 properties.
Dean: Very efficient.
Bill: Yes, and one of those is going to be the one. By the way, interviewing the buyers in terms of understanding their pain points, the number 1 pain point for people coming to the Saint-Tropez area, looking at real estate is that they get dragged around, looking at a bunch of properties that don't even come close to corresponding to the criteria that they're really looking for. My tag line, my promise to buyers is that "I will find your dream home in just 1 trip," which is huge for them.
Dean: Wow, that's great.
Bill: Yes, because time is everything to these people. Money is not an issue. It's time, and what they hate is wasting it with incompetent agents, draggingthem around. That's worked out really well. As you said, I'm really strong on the both ends, but it's the gap in the middle. Out of curiosity, Dean, on that subject, we've identified that other agents you work with in the luxury market use the luxury property magazines for their ads. Are there any other mediums that are working well for them like social media? Is Google AdWords?
Dean: Yes, well and pay-per-click. Yes, Google AdWords, for sure, but a good, maybe, way to start with that is Bing. I like to start with Bing because it's so easy to get started. Over time, we can get 25 or 30% of what you could get with Google. It's a good fast place to test things.
Bill: Oh, okay, okay. Probably cheaper?
Dean: Yes, it is. Mm-hmm. Not much, but I mean it is a little bit, but the volume. Everybody immediately goes to Google. I go to Bing just to test the market experiment and easier, too. Whatever you can get, maxing out Bing, you could get 3 or 4 times as much, rolling out to Google, but you're figuring out that.
Bill: Oh, that's a great tip. That's a great tip. I wouldn't have even thought of Bing. Thank you. Great.
Dean: You think about the keywords that people would be looking for, that they would search for if they were looking for a home in Saint-Tropez, the Saint-Tropez villas or listings or homes for sale or sea view. Any of those keywords. You'd be able to refine it and get that all down.
Bill: Of course, of course. There are tools that can help you identify exactly what keyword didn't. Search terms are the most popular, et cetera, so yes.
Dean: That's exactly it.
Bill: Oh, no. Yes. That's a great tip to start with Bing.
Dean: Mm-hmm. I really do like the print ads in that. There's a lot of longevity, and it's 1 decision. You don't have any management on it. You place the ad once, and it works all month long. You don't have to constantly monitor and adjust it and do all of these things. It's in the publication and the leads just come. It's a good start. If there's a specific publication, then that would be a good place to start.
Bill: Do you think a luxury lifestyle publication would be as effective, Dean, as a luxury property publication?
Dean: Yes. I start as close to the real intention as I can.
Bill: Okay, and then work out.
Dean: A real estate-specific publication is closer to the goal than a lifestyle publication. Ad words or Bing search is very right on target because you're only showing your ad to people who are searching those specific words.
Bill: Right, right. Got you. Yes, that makes sense.
Dean: They had to go there voluntarily, type in those words. They're not just stumbling across it in a lifestyle magazine.
Bill: Exactly. No, you're right. Yes, that makes a lot of sense. Great. Well, hey, this has been amazing.
Dean: Yes, I think you got some great opportunity there. It's all very exciting.
Bill: No, it is. It's very exciting. Now, I feel much clearer on exactly what I need to focus in on. I knew the problem. I've identified the problem and where the gap was, especially going through the score card, which was super helpful. It was just the solution that I was racking my brains on, and you've cracked it.
Dean: Awesome. Well, that's great. Have you seen our GoGoAgent community, gogoagent.com? That's where we've got all of those.
Bill: Yes, I took a look at it, to be honest, real briefly the other day. I haven't gone into depth on it.
Dean: Okay. That would be a great place because that's where all the community is of the people who are doing all of these things. The South Beach and Cape Ann and all of that stuff.
Dean: All of those tools will be around, plus the landing pages and the recorded messages and the whole, all the tools that go into the auto-responders and the CRM. All the tools that go into it are part of it.
Bill: Perfect, perfect, perfect. Well, one more thing to dive into, then.
Dean: Well, Bill, it's been fun. I love hatching evil schemes, and it's fun to think about real estate at the highest level.
Bill: Yes. No, it is fun when it's working. As you know, it's not fun when it's not working. I'll put it that way.
Dean: Right, exactly.
Bill: That's the censored way of putting it in a very nice way. Fun when it's working. Not fun when it's not. No, this has been a very successful evil scheme hatching exercise, Dean. Again, I can't thank you enough for taking the time. I really appreciate it. I'm going to take action on the great advice.
Dean: Awesome. Thanks, Bill. Have a great day.
Bill: Thank you. You, too, Dean. Take care. Bye for now.
Dean: There we have it. That was a fun episode. I want you to notice that one of the things that we talked about was this idea of creating an asset that requires a little bit of effort. I mentioned on the episode, Richard Viguerie. I'd recommend that you go and listen to the Richard Viguerie episode of I Love Marketing that Joe Polish spent time interviewing him. Richard Viguerie is an amazing, amazing story of just taking the extra effort to create an asset that you can use to launch your business. I think you'll really enjoy that. I mentioned, of course, to Bill all about that Richard Viguerie story. I think you should go and check that out if you're in a situation where creating a list of your ideal prospects would be a valuable thing.
A couple of things I've got for you going on this month and next. I'm just starting this week. Our e-mail mastery case study program. If you would like to work with me and a handful of people on your e-mail sales process, I'd love to have you join us. Just send me an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and put "case study" in the subject line. I'll get you information about the e-mail case study program. I've got a breakthrough blueprint event coming up here in Orlando in December. We're going to spend 3 days, just a small group of people, 8 to 10 people. We go deep in applying the 8 profit activators to your business. It's a like a More Cheese, Less Whiskers episode, except we spend 3 days talking about all of the 8 profit activators and your before unit, your during unit and your after unit. This is the last breakthrough blueprint I'm doing this year. If you'd like to get information about that, send me an e-mail, email@example.com and put "breakthrough blueprint" in the subject line, and I'll get you all the information about the breakthrough blueprint.
If you'd like to go and get your breakthrough DNA book, you can do that at breakthroughdna.com. That way, you can download the book that talks all about the 8 profit activators that we use to hatch evil schemes here at More Cheese, Less Whiskers. Of course, if you'd like to be a guest on the show, you can go to morecheeselesswhiskers.com and click on the "Be a Guest" link. I would be happy to hatch some evil schemes with you. Have a great week. We'll talk to you next time.