There is a lot of syndication, or leverage to be found when you start to look at the other relationships your ideal client already has, the people they are already working with.
Today on the MoreCheeseLessWhiskers podcast we're talking with Jerry Levinson, who runs a small family business, as he likes to say, in Arizona. He loves to joke about that because everyone in the family is under five foot six.
Jerry runs a great a carpet and flooring business, that he's driven by marketing. He loves marketing. He's a legitimate marketing lover, and I got to spend three days with him here in Orlando at our Breakthrough Blueprint event last week, and then today we're doing the podcast. It's usually the other way around. People come on the podcast and then come to a Breakthrough Blueprint, so it’s fun to do it the other way around, and have this conversation on the back of the event.
As you're listening, you'll hear how we really start to think about developing the program he's got, a program that focuses on a specific segment of the market, people who are selling their homes need to get new carpet but can't afford to do it right now. They'll help them get the carpet right now but pay for it from the proceeds of closing the sale.
We get the idea down to the core. We're looking for the scale-ready algorithm. How can we connect with people who Jerry’s perfect customers and in that situation through their relationship with the real estate agent?
We had a great conversation and I think you're going to see there's a lot of stuff that’s applicable to similar situations in other businesses, especially if you're looking to create something you can syndicate.
Want to be a guest on the show? Simply follow the 'Be a Guest' link on the left & I'll be in touch.
Download a free copy of the Breakthrough DNA book all about the 8 Profit Activators we talk about here on More Cheese, Less Whiskers...
Transcript - More Cheese Less Whiskers 099
Dean: Jerry Levinson.
Jerry: Good morning Action Jackson.
Dean: How are you?
Jerry: I am wonderful.
Dean: Well this is a unique treat, because normally people come on the More Cheese Less Whiskers podcast, and I meet them for the first time, and then they come to a Break Through Blueprint, and we get to spend three days together. And here we are, we just spent three days together, and now we're on the podcast. So this is a unique experience here. I'm excited.
Jerry: Well, I take advantage of every opportunity available.
Dean: Well that'll be neat, because we can amplify the things that we were able to work on in Orlando here for the three days. But let's start with, because not just you and I, even though it'll feel like it, let's give people the Jerry Levinson story so far, and where we can jump off and focus all of our time here. Then we can focus on just you and me.
Jerry: Okay, great. So I started off in the window covering business, and really, at one point it was 2009, when the economy crashed I realized that my knowledge in the industry didn't get me where I wanted to go. Went through DK like a lot of people, but I knew that it was masking the real problem.
The economy was just masking my real problems, I didn't have the knowledge I needed in marketing, and sales and business operations. And sought out Chet Holmes, and then found Joe Polish, and the I Love Marketing, and that's kind of where my new life began, and all this amazing information, and I was home. I realized there's a different way.
I took that business up to over a million a year, which is good for the blind business, and sold that, and I started the flooring business a little over three years ago now with no knowledge or experience in flooring. And we are just running circles around the competition, just because my knowledge is in marketing, so.
Dean: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Well that's kind of cool. How did you happen to choose the flooring business then? So you don't have any background in it, and yet you said, "flooring."
Jerry: So it may not be fair to say I don't have any, because I was working inside of a flooring company, so I was operating Blind Devotion inside of another company, and I offered to do some consulting work for him, and found out he was done. Of course, working within that operation, seeing the stuff, it's like God, this is a gold mine.
The whole industry, and this is probably most industries, they're so product focused. It's amazing that they don't listen to customers. They want to tell customers what they think should be important to the customer, rather than asking questions and discovering being more interested than interesting. And really learning about the customer wants and needs. And of course everybody does the same thing from a marketing standpoint, too. So that was pretty easy to beat them, because they're all doing the same thing.
Dean: Right, right, right. Get your name out there. All that stuff, exactly. Or sale, sale, sale. So what are the things that you've done that have kind of worked? You took over the flooring business then, you bought it from him, or?
Jerry: Well, I just bought some of his assets, and I bought his phone number, and his database which was kind of worthless. And I started with my son again, terribly underfunded, and so I struggled like heck for the couple years just financially, but tracking and understanding the marketing really helped me get to where I am today. Which, in our third year we did over two million dollars-
Dean: That's awesome.
Jerry: ... from basically scratch, and of having a ball. You know to me, one of the biggest accomplishments was having the ability to go to the three day mastermind with you. You know, fly out, spend three days in Florida, and that's the room I want to be in. That's the environment I enjoy, and I got a business that operates pretty much without me. So I can really build the business. I said one thing that gets in the way of growing your business is customers.
Jerry: Customers are always getting in the way of me growing my business.
Dean: Right, that's like most business. It would be great if it wasn't for the people and the paperwork. That's kind of funny. Well that's great. And bringing it back to here, what was your big thing that was the takeaway from the three days that we spent together? Maybe we can jump off from there, and expand on it for you, or help clarify it, narrow down.
Jerry: The one thing I failed to work on, which I always gravitate back to what I know and what I do well which is Carpets of Arizona, but my real goal is to take the Dream Program, which is my signature program, and take that national. I want to be the Uber of the carpet industry, if you will. Just have this process and system that's so easy and innovative that it makes it easy, and it's a good money making process.
So what the Dream Program is, I wanted a way to reach out to real estate agents, the best referral source for us. And so what we do is we found a way to help the realtor sell the house faster for more money. And what we'll do is, we'll put the carpet in, and we don't get paid until the house is sold, and it's going great for us here. So my target audience for our discussion is real estate agents and other flooring companies, because I want to sell the opportunity to flooring companies, and then we were going to manage the financial part of it, and that's where we can make our profit on that.
But I can also do a much better job attracting real estate agents, which is what I'm using the eight profit activators for, so I really hone in and make that system just fantastic. So it's easy for me to open up in Denver, in New Mexico, and go out to Florida, and wherever I want to in the country, and attract real estate agents, which is a really easy target audience to reach. So that's what's awesome about realtors.
Dean: They're visible, for sure, right.
Dean: That's kind of the thing of having a crystal clear target audience. You know who they are. So in a nutshell, explain the Dream Program so that people can understand what it is.
Jerry: So what we do now is we do market out to the real estate agent, and hopefully they have a customer that's trying to sell their house. They can't afford to replace the carpets, and they don't want to get a loan or get any more credit, because they're trying to buy another house.
So what we'll do is, and we changed it. It used to be free, now it's $100 down because we think we can reach more people with $100 than we can with free. So what we do is we take $100 down, we'll replace the carpet, and then we have a contract where we get paid when the house is sold. And we know that they'll be able to increase the price of the house, or not have to discount the price of the house, but bad, ugly, smelly carpets is a deal killer.
Dean: Yeah, of course.
Jerry: So we take that deal killer away.
Dean: Yes. Yeah, I like that.
Jerry: And then what we want to do is make a hero out of the real estate agent, so they're providing their clients with a resource, a product, and a service that they couldn't afford or couldn't get anywhere else. We really want the real estate agent to be the hero. We don't promote Carpets of Arizona as much, we're promoting mostly to the real estate agent. Then the other part of the marketing is we're staying in touch with that real estate agent to find out if the house has been sold. Not only to get paid, but just to build a relationship with them.
Dean: Yeah, and now you're a tool in their tool box. You're in their arsenal. I always like to break things down to the core element here. The core thing that has to happen is we have to have one house that has stinky carpets, or carpets that need to be replaced, and a seller who is appreciative of the opportunity to do that, and that we need a repeatable way of doing that all the time.
The good news is there are visible prospects all around. If we look at the process there, that we know that your target audiences are homes that are on the market, and it could be homes that have been on the market for a while, and they're looking for something to spruce it up or get everything in line so that it can sell. If it's so much of a problem that it's a detriment to the sale. Or you've also got people who are very proactive about things who might stage a house, you know. What are the characteristics of the people that this is most appealing to? Is it typically houses that are in all other situations don't show as well, do you know what I mean?
Jerry: And they're having trouble selling. Mostly it's houses with pets, because it smells.
Dean: Yeah, yeah.
Jerry: And they try to offer a credit, but people just can't get past the carpet. It's a deal killer. You know it's funny I never really went out that way. I mean, we've focused the marketing not on the home seller, but on the real estate agent.
Dean: But the real estate agent could be the hero. "I've got a relationship with this Carpets of Arizona. I'll be able to get carpets in here, they'll take $100 deposit, and then we can pay them when the house sells. But we need to get the carpets in here." That's really what the conversation that you're holding that the real estate agent will have with them, right?
And that makes them look good, because they're not selling them on it per se, they're establishing and offering it in a way that makes them feel like an insider. That it's because of me that you're going to get this situation. You're not talking about bypassing the realtor to go directly to the homeowner.
Jerry: Yeah, and here's a couple things that happen too, is one, if they do take us up on it and they do replace the carpet, now they'll go ahead and paint. Or they'll do some of the other things that may cost a little bit of money, but now they can afford to go ahead. This whole thing makes it easier on the realtor to sell the house, but then the other thing that happens is if we're too expensive, it's "Whoa, I would never pay that much," because we can get a premium on it. But they'll still end up replacing the carpet, which still ends up helping the real estate agent. And we do offer a cash price too, so we do get customers-
Dean: They can pay now.
Jerry: ... where we wouldn't have gotten them otherwise, yeah.
Dean: Right, I gotcha.
Jerry: So it's just win-win all the way around.
Dean: How many homes would you say out of a hundred, if you took a slice of a hundred homes that are on the market right now, how many of them would have that issue? That it would need new carpet.
Jerry: It would be a total guess. I mean, I would probably say it's a very small amount, maybe 10 to 15.
Dean: Right, that's what I'm looking at. It's going to be more on the lower end than on the higher end, probably.
Dean: If you look at the bell curve, it's going to be on the up slope of the bell curve, more than the down slope.
Jerry: Yeah, under $300,000 definitely, yeah.
Dean: So under $300,000 because that's where it can make the biggest difference, and the homeowners are less likely to have the money to do it.
Jerry: Yeah, exactly.
Dean: Okay, so we're narrowing it down. So you've got that under 300,000. Do you do that for condos or anything, right? Like it doesn't matter. Is there a minimum size kind of thing?
Jerry: No. No.
Dean: Condos, and up to $300,000 homes.
Dean: So that's all knowable, so what it really comes down to know is where's the genesis point of this? That it's going to be what would be very useful is if you knew as soon as the house comes on the market that this would be somebody who could use this service. That this would be a useful thing, and so there's a number of ways to do that.
Even if you're sitting on the surface kind of waiting to see what happens here, one of the things would be to use the trigger of a new listing. So when a new listing comes on, that that triggers and email to them to reach out about that specific house, you know?
Jerry: How do I get the ... without being on the MLS, because we're not real estate agents. How do I find out when a house gets listed?
Dean: Right. If you go to any real estate website, the thing you can sign up for their updates of their automated home searches.
Dean: Where you could say, I want to ... yeah. Like if you were looking to buy a home, you could go and you say, "I want to get updates of all of these houses that come on the market here." You could even do it on the realtor.com, or on any of the ... if you just did a search in Arizona there, just in Phoenix, you could get alerted for all the new listings.
Or somebody in your team could even have that as a daily input that, are there any new homes that came on the market today over or under $300,000? To have a both direct mail and email situation to reach out to the real estate agent because you'll see who the listing agent is, you know?
Jerry: That's brilliant. So I'm thinking, but you taught us as a human automation, which makes a lot of sense.
Dean: Right, because you're looking to maximize, right? If you could, it would be very valuable to know the homes as soon as they come on the market, that they need new carpet, right?
Dean: Yeah. And so when you look at that, it's like seeing the scope.
Jerry: You cut out on me. I'm sorry, you cut out for a minute there.
Dean: Sorry. What's one of these transactions worth for you, so I can get a sense of the scope of this?
Jerry: On average, I'd say $4000.
Dean: Okay, great. So that's good to see here. So when you look at this now, I wonder how many homes come on the market in Phoenix that are under $300,000?
Dean: Do you have a sense? I'm trying to get-
Jerry: I don't have any sense at all. That's a good question.
Dean: But these are all knowable things, even if you just went to a real estate, I can point you in the right direction on where to go there in Phoenix to get the information, but it's some knowable number that there are x number of homes, some number of homes under $300,000, on the market right now in Phoenix, that's just our baseline, right? And of those, some smaller number of them have carpets that are a problem, a barrier, a block to them getting top dollar. Like the very serious issue of them, that they know they need to address but they can't. And you may say that that could be up to 10% of the market.
Like if we say there are 1000 homes on the market under $300,000 in a certain radius of your store right now, that of the thousand there may be a hundred of them that have that issue. But we don't know which those are, right?
Dean: Because it's hard to tell, but it's an interesting thing. How many homes have you done this for? Right now, how many do you have that are in process right now; how often do you do this?
Jerry: On average, about six times a month.
Dean: Okay, so you're already doing about 70 or 80 times a year right now, of all of them. Okay. How many of them if we broke it down the way we look at it; before unit, during unit, after unit. How many of them would come from realtors that you've already done business with?
Jerry: Oh, good question. Probably a small percentage, but we do get ... not only that, we get referrals from those realtors.
Dean: Yeah, that would be after. They're all relationships, sort of. Take that.
Jerry: How many do we get from people who have already used us? Even with them, we don't see the opportunity often. It's very few of those will use us again.
Dean: It's a very specific thing. It's not something that somebody's going to do just as, "Oh, this is a neat opportunity, I'll just do it." It's usually where you've set this up, it's a problem solver, more than it is a deferred payment carpet program.
Jerry: Well, and I could tell you this, too. The ones that have used it, usually come from a realtor that heard about it. They didn't hear about it from us, but they were referred by somebody who did hear about it, and they had a solution to that problem that that realtor expressed.
Dean: Okay. So what's your before unit method of getting in front of the real estate agents now? What are you doing to spread the word about this?
Jerry: Okay. So the methods that we're using: one, we do have an email campaign that is a list or service that we bought, and we use them. They go out to about 20,000 realtors about two or three times a month, and that has generated a little bit. Not a great amount, but one area where we're hugely successful is in everybody that works for me has to be in a networking group. And this is such an easy program to market and understand, that we've done really well within the networking groups.
Dean: Connecting to realtors you mean?
Jerry: Well not only realtors, but everybody in the networking group understand this process, but yes, mostly the realtors but also with the other people it's an easy lead to give for the people in the networking groups.
Dean: Somebody who's selling their house.
Jerry: Yeah. I mean, it's a cool idea, so they regurgitate it to their friends.
Dean: Yeah, yeah, that's what I'm wondering, is how often does it happen that it's the seller that initiates the process, or hears about the process?
Jerry: Very little. It's mostly the real estate agent. And we have done virtually nothing to go after the seller, we've really kept this kind of tightly honed to the real estate agent, because we know that's where we're going to get the greatest return in the future, too.
My goal is to build an army of real estate agents that just refer Carpets of Arizona, and then it's kind of game over for us, it's real easy.
And then the third way is we get opportunities to speak to real estate agents groups, and torus, and there are always opportunities that we're given about three times a month, just randomly different groups, that have asked me to speak.
Dean: And do you direct mail the realtors, or do you email the 20,000 that you have?
Jerry: No, I don't manage that.
Dean: What do you have, mailing addresses, or email addresses?
Jerry: So the two things I'm working on since coming back from Orlando is creating the marketing campaign to direct mail, and we're doing a Facebook campaign with the idea of creating a guide that's five home improvement items that will increase the value of your listing.
So we wanted to create something to show them that you'll get a net gain from doing these five things, so obviously the first one's flooring. And then working with some other vendors, and stealing, cloning their idea of being this marketer.
Dean: Be the market maker, like we talked about.
Jerry: Yeah, exactly.
Dean: Okay, so who did you think of when you're thinking about your market maker syndicate here? Who else is in that circle?
Jerry: So there's a painter. We do window coverings, but more to the sun screens and window coverings, and then I'm looking at the counter tops, and I haven't built a relationship with anybody for that, and then also lighting. I don't have a relationship with that yet.
And I can tell you that we have added some of these things in the Dream Program like paining, and offered that, and what we've found is it messed up the marketing message, so we pulled back. It was adding more confusing than making it a more desirable thing, so that's where we pulled back and just made it ... even other flooring. We pulled back and just made it about carpet, because it made that marketing message so much simpler.
Dean: That makes sense, because then it's more complex otherwise, you know?
Dean: I got it, and that's one of those things that can make an immediate difference on some things. Something that has new carpet just makes it feel like a model home in a way, right?
Dean: That's the bottom line of it.
Jerry: Yeah, and the one thing I learned too is, you never show the carpet to the real estate agent. If I'm talking to a group of realtors, and they ask, "Well what's the carpet look like?" "Oh, I forgot the samples," you know, because there's always somebody in the group that doesn't like the color or something, and you're trying to overcome an unnecessary objection.
Dean: I get it. Yeah, you look at that as a neutral carpet, I would imagine. So the whole idea then, is really about getting in front of the realtors at the right time, or in a way preempting. Because once they know you, now if it's not a fit for this listing, it's a fit potentially for another listing.
Jerry: Yeah, exactly.
Dean: The next listing that they get, and that's an interesting thing. I think about this like a part of it that I never thought about for you, but when you think about like so my relationships with realtors, and I'll certainly turn you on to all of our realtors in Phoenix, an easy way to kind of run that thing, but I look at it that we're essentially looking for the same person there. If you think about that if you could ride along with my marketing to find realtors.
Like what I do right now, I have a book called "Listing Agent Lifestyle", that I use as a lead generator for starting relationships with real estate agents. I'll run Facebook ads, people download the book, we start a relationship with them, I do a whole "Listing Agent Lifestyle" podcast.
An interesting thing to think about in phoenix, if we were to see how we could collaborate that the "Listing Agent Lifestyle" podcast brought to you by the Dream Program, as a co-marketing initiative, you know?
Jerry: Yeah, I'd love to do that. Now, I've thought of that too, even again adding value for the real estate agent. I love to bring people in to my showroom for totally unrelated things. You know, just as long as they're in my showroom, they're in my showroom.
Dean: Right, and the bottom line is they're going to have people who are buying homes anyway. You've talked about this Dream Program as like the one isolated thing that you want to grow, but that doesn't stop the realtor then referring somebody who buys a home that happens to need carpet to have them come over to you as well.
Jerry: Yeah, oh absolutely.
Dean: So it all feeds, which is great. It's just how to collaborate with real estate agents to get introduced to people who are going to be buying carpet.
Jerry: Well the really cool thing about that whole Dream Program was we were never asking for referrals. What we did was offered something that would help them, rather than say, "Hey, we're really good company. Would you refer us?" Because everybody's doing that to them, right? So our program helps them. It's a tool that they can use, so it really changed the game, and so it was a great way for us to introduce ourselves. Yeah, I would love to offer great marketing to them.
Dean: Yes, and there's the thing, is that now you look at it that what realtors really want is listings. And so that's the thing that is going to endear you to them, is being the one that introduces them to this whole idea of the getting listings, and multiplying the listings that they have, and getting referrals. All of these things that are going to help them grow their business. That's a great thing. It's like Proctor and Gamble creating the soap opera. It's like that kind of a thing.
Jerry: Yeah, and quite frankly, I love this stuff. So talking about it, and I did a monthly mastermind for the people in the networking group, to bring them in and show them how to create a great customer experience with my program, but yeah, I would love to reach out to them and help them grow their respective businesses. So that to me is just fun, and get a good relationship with somebody that way, a person trying to make a sale, because obviously they're going to build a relationship.
Dean: That would be a really interesting thing is even to do a "Listing Agent Lifestyle" podcast, a regional episode with you, explaining the Dream Program as one of the things that realtors can do to multiply their listings, and get the maximum results kind of thing. That that becomes now your position in the wrapper of the thing that they really want, which is to get listings and to sell the listings that they have quicker, and maximize the opportunities they have within. That now you've become somebody they know that way. They hear about you more than from you in a way, that way.
Dean: That's an interesting thing. So I think there's some stuff that we could do that way, but how do you communicate with them now? You've got the 20,000 realtors, what's your outreach to them?
Jerry: Yeah, this is the area where I'm probably the biggest schmuck when it comes to marketing is not having built a good database. Having them, staying in front of them, and I've got them. I mean, I've got all the real estate agents that we've done work for. I put the customer in our database but we haven't pulled that real estate, and I've been saying it ever since I started this thing, and I know I'm doing it wrong. That's my kryptonite, I'm a two on the research-
Dean: Fact finder, yeah.
Jerry: Right, like I'm a nine quick start, and all the other area's kind of suffer, but.
Dean: I get it.
Jerry: But building that database is something that I definitely need to improve on.
Dean: Okay. So do you have the mailing addresses, or email addresses for these realtors?
Jerry: I have both. I have their office mailing address, and then we have their email addresses.
Jerry: And phone numbers.
Dean: Yep, got it. Okay. And then the ones that you've done business with, how many realtors do you think there are that have already referred you, or already you've done the situation. If it's six a month right now, how many years has that been going on?
Jerry: We've probably got well more than 50. We've probably got about 70, 75.
Dean: Those are the realtors that are ... they would make up your after unit. That they know you, they like you, they trust you, they've done business with you before, so those are the ones that we want to manage that relationship portfolio for the highest yield. Whether it's on all the listings that they end up working with, or the referrals to people that they work with, or their existing homeowners.
There's so many ways, so many ways to get synergy with that relationship in a measurable kind of way. But it just is a matter of documenting it, and starting it. It's all there, you need a fact finder to get the data, to get the information. The data's there, it the information that we need.
Dean: Yeah, okay. And then how many realtors of those 20,000 would you say that you know? Some way they know who you are.
Jerry: Well, I would say all of them within the scope of the company. So some of the sales people have good personal relationships, get plenty of referrals. I'm not the boots on the grounds guy, so I do have several, but mostly my team are the ones that have nurtured a lot of those relationships.
Jerry: But again, with them, they're always out. You know the organization B&I-
Dean: I do, of course.
Jerry: Yeah, we're in like six of those groups-
Dean: You're a professional B&I.
Jerry: ... and we just had a huge party. Yeah, we just had a huge B&I party. I mean, talk about before, during, and after unit. We just had Wednesday night probably 60 people out to our showroom for a big appreciation party for B&I, and no sales, no specials, just thank you, and come out to the showroom, and it was an awesome party, and that's going to be far reaching for us, and we're just getting a ton of business. So yeah, we're in the relationship building business.
Dean: I love it. That's awesome. And so what kind of approaches have you tried right now with the real estate agents? Do you have anything that would be a predictable, repeatable thing that you've done?
Jerry: No. No, no, that's probably where I've failed the most, is doing something again, building the database. Only thing that we've done with them is, and we've only done this with a small handful, is after the house closes, we got this big Minnie Mouse bag, and a pillow that keeps your head cool at night, and a nightgown, usually something cute, Disney.
And bring it out to that realtors office and leave the bag for them. And we hope that they're not there so other people see the bag. We don't want to hand it to that agent, we want it to be put on their desk, and to build some curiosity. So we throw a little sales letter in there, thanking them, and hopefully we've been able to make this a dream experience for you. And just, I like marketing that's not marketing, you know. When you're not trying to sell them anything, but you're just getting...
The other thing that we do and that we offer is a buyback program. So if the person that bought the house doesn't like the carpet, we offer to buy it back, and replace it with other flooring. Now, we've never done that, but we market that a lot to the real estate agent because they love the idea. So I've placed emphasis on it, mostly because the real estate agent just loves the idea, the concept. But we haven't done that yet.
Dean: Would it make economic sense for you to do that?
Dean: Would it be something? Yeah? Okay.
Jerry: Yeah, because there's a ton of profit built in already, because we financed it, and we buy it back, and we get a new customer out of it. So we would still make money off of that, and it would be huge, it would be an upgrade.
Dean: So that could be as simple as a direct mail piece to the new buyer, once they move in, even introducing yourself saying we've put in the carpet, and hope you love it, and if you don't, we will buy it back and put in new carpet for you if you'd like to look at that. "Here's our website, or here's our thing, or come on in. Or here's a gift certificate, or gift card," or whatever.
Jerry: Yeah. Yep, and what we tried was like a little gift basket, so we go out there and we leave ... because we don't know the person's name that bought the house, so we go out there and we leave a little gift basket on the door, and a couple samples of some options, but a sales letter explaining. And we've only done that maybe two or three times, we haven't done that every time. You always come up with all these great ideas, and then trying to make sure you're implementing them, and taking care of the leads in business that you have coming in is ... I mean, we grew at a rate of 50% last year, so.
Dean: The big win is that for idea guys, is the definite need are through put. Where you've got the team in place that can take an idea from there and make it happen. Because it's so funny, I did an episode, I recorded two episodes on the days when I record "More Cheese Less Whiskers," so you're the second one today. The first one was another guy who is a remodeler, and he loves marketing. Doesn't like so much the remodeling but loves that. That's the entertainment. He's a quick start, same thing, right. Loves cracking the code thinking of all the possibilities of what you could do. Testing something, showing that it works, but then doesn't have the through put system, or the system to make it recur as Dan Sullivan would call it.
Like with the three, the progression is make it up, make it real, make it recur. So when you've got that, your strength and your love is to make it up, "Ah, we could do this, and we could this, and we could do that." You've made it up, right, and everybody agrees, yes, brilliant. That's a great idea," and then you may on your own or with somebody on your team make it real once, and then that worked, and then you've come back 90 days later, and you're not doing the thing that you made up and made it real, and it worked, but it's not being done consistently, even though you know that you should be, and could be doing it. Because you got excited, and moved on to the next thing, the new thing again.
Jerry: I made something new up.
Dean: Yes, "Look what I've made."
Jerry: Which I've done about 10 times since I've gotten back from Orlando.
Dean: Of course, and so the great thing is, is that just as natural it is for you as a quick start to come up with ideas, make stuff up, there are people who are nine follow throughs who love to just maintain a system. They want to follow the checklist of this is what it takes to make this system recur, and as long as nothing goes wrong, they know exactly what do to, and they love to do it, and they will do it to the best of their ability and not get tired of it.
Even though as strange as that sounds to you and me, as idea people, why would anybody just continue to do the same thing again, and again? But there are people like that, and you need to surround yourself with them to whatever degree is going to be required to support your vision, the vastness of your vision. How big are your ideas? If you're going to do this on a national level, then the first thing we need to do is we need to dominate Phoenix.
Jerry: Yeah, I agree.
Dean: Right. And dominate Phoenix in a way that is repeatable. If you look at it that that's just the thing, that you're dominating this realtor relationship model, that's really what it comes down to, right? Because there's there or four different ways that that could pay off, but this dream home thing being one of the most measurable, and probably the entry level thing that makes it easy.
Jerry: Yeah, yeah, and you're right. You build a system and dominate this market, and it's so duplicable everywhere.
Dean: Yeah, you get the scale ready algorithm for it.
Jerry: Yeah, it's easy. And you talk about it with the real estate agent, what is it the seller wants? They want a buyer, and that's what I think about when I got to the flooring dealers in, let's just say Denver, but if I have all the real estate agents, then getting the flooring dealer to buy and sign on is a piece of cake.
Dean: Yeah. This is great, I think we're getting in to a situation where your chocolate and my peanut butter is going to create some great things here.
Jerry: I think this is an uber product, it really is a game changer, 'cause it's simple, and what I love is the flooring dealers can't think of it, because there so involved in flooring, they care about the product, and they get hung up on the process and the financing of it, and that's where we get like 60% profit margins on this. Now we got to wait for our money, but I don't mind waiting a few months for a couple thousand extra dollars.
Dean: Well, that's exactly right, especially if you can move it from six or seven times a month up to 60 or 70 times a month. That would be a great thing, right?
Jerry: Yeah, exactly.
Dean: That's fantastic. So if you look at that then, you've got margin and stuff, it's all kind of happening. Have you ever done like a source analysis on this, where ... I know you probably haven't done anything that begins with, or includes the word analysis in it.
Jerry: No, yeah, right. It's my kryptonite, there.
Dean: I'm just listening to my thing, you're like, "Analysis, no, not analysis."
Dean: But looking just at your last 100 that you've helped and seeing how they came about, wheat was the source of it? How does it actually happen?
Jerry: Okay, so we do have in our CRM, but we don't list them. We put the marketing as home seller dream marketing, so it could have come from the networking groups, or the website, or it could have come from several different ways, but I've put it down as that because I want to show how this marketing has brought customers. Even if they don't use the program, I'm also trying to show other dealers how this marketing has brought us this much business.
Dean: Yeah, it's what you want to do.
Jerry: It hasn't been broken down from there.
Dean: Yeah, I gotcha. Okay, and that's in addition though to the six ... you're saying that you do six true dram home ones a month, and that there's additional things that happen from that. Is that what you're saying?
Jerry: That there's additional ... well, are you saying how much of that is part of the scope of our business?
Dean: I'm saying that I asked you about how many people do you do this for, or how often do you get to do it, and you said about six a month on that, and what I'm asking is that six a month, is that truly the six houses on the market, and you're replacing the carpet, and they're going to pay when the house sells? Like the true, core, dream home offer, or are you saying that about six times a month we end up doing business with somebody that I source as that?
Jerry: Yeah, that's how. About six times a month we get a client from that marketing, but they could pay us cash. Now I got a sale the other day from a real estate agent who heard about the Dream Program. The guy was moving in, he came in, was an easy sale, but this was a customer that we got from a real estate agent who used the program, and again they referred us, and that was one of the easiest sales I ever made because it was a strong recommendation from that real estate agent which it was their realtor, so that's kind of hard to say. I think that that originated from the home seller Dream Program, but it ended up they were buying just regular retail.
Dean: I gotcha. Well, that's not bad either, right?
Jerry: Oh, it's fantastic. So the Dream Program, we've done 150,000 out of $2 million last year. So it's still a relatively small percentage of our business, but empirically it's kind of like discovering how much business we're getting from the website. Well, we don't know how many people are looking at other advertising.
First, going to the website, and they say they heard about us on the web, because we ask. So you don't know how much business that we do have now that originated from the dream program. But we get a ton of referral and repeat customers. So that's a good 35, 40% of our business right now is referral customers, repeat customers.
Dean: Yeah. I got it. Well, there's lot of opportunity here. So part of the thing, like I think if you just get to the core, to go directly to the source when the new listing comes on, if you were to send a quick email to the agent, the listing agent, and introduce and share the program, or send a post card to them about their new listing, that that first wave would probably be a good chance to get in front of the right people who have a need.
Like if you look at it that if you tested that with the next thousand listings that come on the market, and you sent a post card and maybe followed up with a nine word email after, that there could be a win. Even if you did a jumbo size post card that describes everything about it kind of thing to people. Let's say you spend a dollar per post card, that could be a thousand dollars for a thousand exactly at the right moment exposures.
Dean: Because if you're saying that if affects 10% of the population, or 15% maybe, that there's 100 or 150 of them are real ... it's an issue, that there's the potential there. I think that could be a big win.
Have you got any intended or otherwise research, or studies showing the effect of new carpet on sales price and days on market? Because you say that-
Jerry: You used the word research and study again, so that's kind of like analysis.
Dean: No, no, not that you've done, because it wail be better-
Jerry: I was just checked it out.
Dean: It would be better if it comes from NAR, or if it comes from-
Jerry: A different source. .
Dean: ... somewhere else.
Jerry: I haven't seen the article. If I did, it's made up, I mean, I always just make something up.
Dean: Right, but an irrefutable source like Money magazine, or something that is not me the carpet dealer saying, "Houses with new carpet sell for more money faster," right? You're not trumpeting, "This new study shows that houses with new carpet sell," and then, "Well who did the study?" "Well, Carpets of Arizona. My company, we did it."
Jerry: I mean the coolest thing is the text or the email from a real estate agent who gave that validation. But no, I know what you're saying. I haven't seen or done the research on those kinds of studies. When I have a question like that, go to Google, look first page. Didn't find any, "Oh, this is too hard."
Dean: "It's too hard," yes, exactly. If you can't find it in the first page of Google, it doesn't exist.
Jerry: Right, I just have to make something up.
Dean: That's my personal thing. They have a second page of Google?
Dean: Oh, that's so funny. Yeah, you think about that, I can't remember the last time I went to the second page of Google for anything, yeah. I do a new search rather than go to the second page.
Jerry: Yeah, I'm not putting in the words right. I'm going to ask people on Facebook.
Dean: Yeah, exactly.
Jerry: That's my research study.
Dean: Right, right, right. So I think that as a really predictable system triggered by, because every day there are new listings coming on the market. So it's as soon as that-
Jerry: Okay, you said post card-
Dean: Could be, right.
Jerry: ... to the home seller-
Dean: To the listing agent. To both, maybe.
Jerry: Oh, a post card to the listing agent?
Dean: Yeah, wouldn't that be great?
Jerry: Or to the homeowner? Or both? You're saying both.
Dean: Could be both.
Jerry: Okay, post card, and then an email will go to the listing agent.
Jerry: Will have their email, and okay. We've done this to some degree. I didn't have somebody hired that just did this, so I'm even thinking of-
Dean: But imagine this is through…
Jerry: You know, stay at home wives or something that can every day-
Dean: There, that's what I'm saying, is let's just do the math on what that can be, and it would be very easy to do a hundred. If you look at a hundred new listings, there's probably been a hundred in the last few days in Phoenix, if you look at it that way. And you get a sense of what that could be.
I always like to look at getting to a scope that is manageable, so rather than think about it in its entirety, is what would be the ... I'm not looking at this point to look for the most efficient way, or the most easiest way, what I'm looking for is, what's the most definitive way to really dig into what's happening with these 100 listings.
If we use this as our research thing, and there's a hundred listings, and we can approach. You said the air campaign of just having a great vehicle or post card that explains the whole process to them. If you have anything printed that explains the program, that's a good jumping off point here. But to be able to articulate that to them, and send the post card as if you asked somebody to give you five minutes. "Have you got five minutes?" And you explain the process to them, that way you're just using the post card in lieu of you.
Jerry: Right, and then the call to action, I wouldn't try to send them to a URL or anything, we want to just call in, and then somebody there can explain it further, and schedule an appointment, right?
Dean: We could. Right.
Jerry: Directing them traditional, name, email, and not looking for that as much as an engagement right there.
Dean: It could be, but you look at it like what could be the way to get them to get some information about it. That you now get the people who are interested in this, not so much that the only response is to, "Yeah, let's do it," kind of thing, but you want to know of the hundred how many of them are leaning forward about this, or interested in this in some way. That they have not just dismissing it out of hand.
Jerry: So would you send the same post card to the listing agent as to the home seller, because the listing agent-
Dean: I think you'd send different post cards to the listing agent and the home owner, probably.
Jerry: Because they can be receiving the post card, and it's like, "Well that house doesn't need it, but my other listing does."
Dean: Right, exactly, there's a leverage for sure. The realtors are the leverage.
Jerry: Yeah, and right now our marketing to them is, "Have you heard about this yet?"
Jerry: Because we make a lot of noise, we're good at that.
Jerry: So a lot of people have already heard about it, it's just not in the top of mind because they don't have a listing right now that needs it.
Dean: Right. I think that's a good thing. That would be a good way to start the ball rolling, because that if you figure out you're going to get some education from these hundred first to get a sense of whether they're receptive to it or resistant to it, or confused by it, or annoyed by it, or what's the reception that you're getting. If we can figure out how to maximize the process for a hundred, that becomes the scale ready algorithm to go to the thousand, and the 10,000, and the four million people a year sell their homes, right?
Jerry: Right. Okay, cool.
Dean: I like what I'm hearing. I think it's pretty cool, and I'll connect with you next week, and let's see about some things that we can do to collaborate on that because I've got tools for listing agents that they would be happy to have help with, and for us to be able to collaborate to introduce those to them, in addition to being able to help that.
Because now you become the carpet guy that helps them grow their business, that's really what they really want.
Jerry: One of the things we do here that we probably won't be able to offer in other states is we do free snow shoveling for our clients.
Dean: Free snow shoveling, I like that.
Jerry: We get a lot of business for that, too.
Dean: Yeah, of course. That's so funny. Well that hour went by as fast as you can imagine.
Jerry: Yeah it did. I can't believe it.
Dean: What's your summary here, your takeaway?
Jerry: Well the big one is to, and again, I need to hire somebody to do this, but I'm thinking about who to hire to manage this thousand post cards to the listing agents, the home sellers, and the thousand emails to the listing agent as well. So that's pretty easy to put together and to hire somebody to manage that and just to exactly what I tell them to. I think I can do that pretty easily, and I can create a lot of noise with that, and attract a lot of customers that way.
I like the aggressiveness of that, and again that is simple to duplicate. So if I'm going after the real estate agents in a different city, because this is one thing that we wanted to offer is the lead generation as part of the program, I can still hire somebody in Arizona to do this in Denver, or another city or state-
Dean: Yeah, that's the whole thing.
Jerry: ... where we want to go out to next. So I don't need to hire people in that location, and that's really cool.
Dean: See part of this thing is that you could be a ... I mentioned to you while we were in Florida, that Empire, what happened to me is that somebody asked about where can I get same day carpet, and my brain immediately went to 800-588-2300, Empire. It automatically was smuggled into my brain right now. Does Empire have standalone stores, or are they a referral service to other carpet installers?
Jerry: No, no, they're their own company, but it's a marketing and selling company, and they carry the stuff in stock that they sell-
Dean: But you wonder about like the florists, like Teleflora, or 1-800-FLOWERS, or those things where they're not the actual provider, but they refer out to local fulfillers. If somebody calls in to order flowers or something, they'll go through their FTD network or whatever, and the florist will pay a percentage to get that job.
So what I look at it, is rather than even trying to have to convince the other carpet stores, the flooring stores to learn how to do this, or to buy it and you educate them on the process of how to do it, it could be that you could do it remotely for them and they get to just stay in the during unit, and actually go and install the carpet and pay a referral, or do a split on the revenue.
Jerry: Yeah, that's kind of what we're working on is that we'll carry the contract, but just to give you a quick example, the project will be $4000, that dealer will probably get $3000, and we're waiting on our money to get paid. So we're basically financing that deal for say three months to get the premium. But to be a part of the program, they'll be an entry cost, and they'll be a monthly fee. Probably something small just to help with some of the marketing and all that, and to keep them involved in the program.
But then we'll show them how to market it, and how to build and take advantage of the relationship with the real estate agent, so there's a lot of things we're still trying to work out with this plan, but it's definitely a national play that we want to make, and to get them involved in what's the simplest system, have a directory website, like you're talking about.
One area that people can call in, and we can direct them to a dealer in their area that offers that service.
Dean: That's exactly right. Very cool. All right, well this has been amazing. I like big ideas like this, and I'm looking forward to collaborating with you on this. I'll connect with you next week, and we can hatch an evil scheme.
Jerry: Okay, fantastic. Yeah, yeah, we can go more evil. We can get downright evil.
Dean: That's right. That's awesome. Okay, Jerry. Thanks so much.
Jerry: All right Dean, thank you. Appreciate it, great call.
Dean: See you soon, bye.
Jerry: Bye now.
Dean: And there we have it, another great episode. I really enjoyed that one. Nice to see how it all comes around, and then the realization that we should be doing stuff together. I have programs that help real estate agents, we're both looking for the same person. We're both serving the same client, so why not look for ways that we can collaborate on that?
And so I will keep you posted how that comes about, and we'll do some periodic updates, but this could be a classic example of how to do some collaborative marketing when you have people who are looking for and serving the same person. And you can ask yourself that question, who else is serving the people that you are already serving? And how could you collaborate to reach them better together?
So I think that's a really cool opportunity for most people. I mentioned that Jerry had spent three days with me in Orlando here at our Break Through Blueprint event, and I do nine events like this a year where we'll have 10 or 12 people in a boardroom, and we spend three days just focused 100% on applying the eight profit activators to your business. Some amazing breakthroughs happen, you can imagine how fast the days go. Like these podcasts go by very quickly, but that would be the kind of discussion that we have times three days, and it's energizing. People often leave just walking on clouds, and I do too because it's very energizing to me. It's never the same event twice. So I'd love for you to experience that and join us.
If you want to get the details, I'm just about to head off on our world tour here this summer. I'm starting out in Toronto, and go to London, and Amsterdam, and Sydney, Australia. Just send me an email, Dean@DeanJackson.com, and put any one of those cities in the subject line, and I'll get you all the details on when and where and everything that you need to know to join us for a Break Through Blueprint.
If you want to be a guest on the show, that's easy to do, just go to MoreCheeseLessWhiskers.com, and click on the "Be a guest" link, it couldn't be easier. I look forward to hatching some evil schemes with you. Have a great day.