Today on the More Cheese Less Whiskers podcast we're talking with Brian Diaz from Long Island, and Brian is a mortgage broker with a great target audience of working with first-time buyers, who are Spanish speaking, and who live in Long Island or the areas right around there.
Brian's building relationships with real estate agents he can collaborate with to help these clients get homes using grant programs, and it's a really great, well thought out system, and you're not going to believe some of the numbers, the lead costs he's getting because it's such an on-target campaign.
This is what happens when you are really specific and compelling in your messaging with your audience, and we talked about the longevity of this approach and the real value of being in it for the long term.
We had a great conversation, and you're really going to enjoy it.
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Transcript - More Cheese Less Whiskers 149
Dean: Hello Brian.
Brian: Good morning, Dean.
Dean: How are you?
Brian: I'm fabulous. How are you doing?
Dean: I'm so good. Hey, how do I say your last name?
Dean: Diez, okay. Welcome aboard.
Brian: Thank you.
Dean: It's all very exciting. We're recording right now. We got the whole hour to have some evil schemes here.
Brian: Awesome. I locked the door. Let's do this.
Dean: Yeah. Where do we start? Tell me what's going on in your world here.
Brian: All right. Let's get you caught up. I recently got my banking license. I formally started as a broker in 2003. I saw the meltdown coming. I started a credit repair company to assist my clients. When the meltdown hit, I was making more money with credit repair than I was with mortgages. So, I focused full time on credit repair. About a year ago, I was speaking with a mortgage company, a mortgage bank. They said that I could come in and have a desk in there, but I had to have my license.
When I got my banker license and then some loans started falling in my lap, just because of my presence there, I started focusing more and more on building the loan business. I hired a mortgage coach Doren Aldana. He has a great system for partnering with realtors, finding realtors and developing that relationship. He introduced me to Chris Reale from digital marketing, digital agency, something like that. He does Facebook marketing for loan officers. He's been doing like a lot of first-time homebuyers, the idea being, if I can bring in first-time homebuyers, get them pre-approved, then that's a great way for me to segue into the realtor that offer them referrals.
Dean: The relationship with the realtors. Sure.
Brian: Exactly. We're doing great. I'm getting a tremendous amount of leads. I do focus on the Hispanic market. I speak Spanish. Basically, the process is they fill out a form because they're interested in becoming a first-time homebuyer, and seeing if they might qualify for grants, so they don't need any money for down payment.
I take them. Our CRM engages them through text messages and voice drops. The ones that respond are channel directly into my my Google Voice so I can text back and get on the phone with them. I take an application and we have a great, high percentage rate for taking applications, but what we seem to be melting down is getting them to come in with the documentation.
Dean: Right. The first step, you get them to fill out a full application as the first step? Is that the way it goes?
Brian: Yeah. What we usually start out...
Dean: You're using that to kind of qualify them?
Brian: Right. We start out with a text message back and forth. And I tell them, "Look, the first step you to find out if you qualify for a grant or even to apply for a grant for a first-time homebuyer is you have to be pre-approved. So, I'm going to ask you some questions about your income, your assets, your credit and your goals. Based on your answers, I'm going to tell you what programs you could apply for."
We go through a full application. At the end of the application, "Okay, based on what you're telling me, I would say that you qualify for $450,000 property. In order for us to apply for the grant to assist you with the down payment because there is a grant in that area that you do qualify for, it looks like you qualify for, I need you to come in with your financials so that I can review them and make sure that it supports everything that we discussed on the telephone. Then, with that I can issue a pre-approval and then I will help you submit your application for the grant. Is it okay?"
I'll come in next week, next Saturday. Saturday comes, I text on the day before. Are you coming? Sometimes they respond, sometimes they don't, but a very high percentage of them just never show up, and then never get back on the phone with me.
Dean: Right. How long in the process is this? If we're saying, if we lay this out from the profit activators, let's say we call this the before-unit of your business there, and you're transitioning people into it, once they bring you those documents and everything is set up, then they're in your during-unit, where now you're moving forward on helping them get the loan. It's that transition all through the first for-profit activators to get them there. You've selected a single target market of first-time buyers. Are you doing it in a specific geographic area?
Brian: Yes, I'm in Long Island, New York. We focus on Nassau, Suffolk, Queens, Brooklyn, Westchester. That's it.
Dean: Okay. Perfect. Yeah. So, in Long Island, New York, there's plenty of them there, plenty of first-time buyers in that area there.
Dean: Okay. In profit activator two, the whole thing now is to turn those invisible prospects into visible prospects. What are you doing to get them to raise their hand? You're offering them a free report, a book? How do they identify themselves?
Brian: They're filling out a form for a free consultation to find out if they qualify for a grant for a first-time homebuyer.
Dean: The consultation is the thing that you're getting them to raise their hand for. How many of those are you getting? Let's kind of look through the math of this.
Brian: I think I'm spending $2 a lead.
Dean: You're getting $2 for a consultation lead. What kind of velocity are you doing with that? How quickly are you growing that? How many leads are you generating on a weekly basis or whatever?
Brian: I think actually the $2 for the actual engagement lead. I don't know what I'm paying per click. I haven't asked Chris. I'm spending $5 a day and I probably get about 10 opt-ins a day, of which about four of them will respond to my CRM when it comes to engage them in conversation.
Dean: Let's do the math on that because that seems very low, and you look at it, so you're spending $5 a day and you're getting 10 opt-ins which is 50 cents, right, per opt-in, meaning a name and email.
Dean: Which is phenomenal, really. Let's see. How are you targeting these people?
Brian: I don't know. I think he's using Custom Audience.
Brian: Yeah, based off of his own. He's got thousands of loan officers.
Dean: I got you. You're not just going to a general audience.
Brian: Right. My specific tweak is Spanish speaking, because at first we were running it in English, and I noticed that everybody I was speaking with had an accent. I said, "Hey, let's do Spanish." As soon as we switched over to Spanish, everyone was way more cooperative, and my cost per per opt-in dropped dramatically.
Dean: Perfect. That's great. That's so proof again that you've got even a sub-niche of a sub-niche, right? You've got first-time buyers that are Spanish speaking in a particular area. You're getting those opt-ins for 50 cents. How big is that list that you've generated right now?
Brian: I bet you bear with me, I will tell you exactly. Spanish homebuyers, 570 prospects, meaning opt-in, of which 371 responded to our CRM engagement attempts.
Dean: This is great. So that's about right on track, about 40% or so.
Brian: 66% engagement.
Dean: 66%, okay. Let's break this down. How long has that been going on? If we took lead number one and lead number 570, when was lead number one?
Brian: I want to say February, the last week of January. We'll call it February 1st, to make it easy.
Dean: We've got February, March, April. We're four months into it. Of the people, if we look at the way that this falls out, has it been pretty consistent like that, $5 a day every day.
Brian: Well, no, because the first month, month and a half, I want to say was, we were targeting just English, actually not targeting any specific language. It was only after about a month and a half that I made the realization.
Dean: By then we're in, let's call it April. The last 60 days is then you've been focused 100% on the Spanish.
Dean: Of the 570, how many of those are the Spanish ones?
Brian: I'm going to say 500 of them.
Dean: That's when you really cracked the code that that brought the cost way down.
Dean: The cost was way down then. Okay. Really, when you look at it now, that you've got so many of these are less than 90 days old, right? Almost all of them. When you look at this out of the 66% engagement, those are the ones that by engagement, you mean they respond to your text or your email, and then you get on the phone with them?
Brian: Correct. Some of them, they prefer to just text back and forth, but that's-
Brian: How people are now, right?
Dean: Just as valid. Just as valid. Then, how many people fill out the application?
Brian: How many actually complete that? That's a good question. I don't have that specific number.
Dean: Because this is probably we want to get down to the progression, right?
Brian: Here, let me check. I use two CRMs. One of them is just for engaging after they enter the form, because it's specifically designed to get them to engage. Then I use another CRM for follow up, and once somebody fills out an application, I stick them in the second CRM for the financial follow up. I should be able to tell you that way, if I look that way.
Dean: There you go.
Dean: This is all going to be valuable because you're building a formula here, just to know what we're looking at.
Brian: Here, I have 65 total. More probably filled that application, but 60 to 65 worth that they actually would be in the ballpark for obtaining financing. It was probably like a bunch of them that didn't have papers or anything like that. So, I didn't stick them in there.
Dean: Great. Have you done any loans with the people yet?
Brian: None closed. I have probably eight pre-approvals out. I'm waiting for them to find houses.
Dean: Eight pre-approvals. If we look at it roughly, if we say 500 of all of it, 570, 66% engaged on some level, then maybe 20% of those will go to the application level. Then you've got 20% of those, not quite 20%, 15%, say, of those that are approved and out looking at homes right now. When you look at that formula, that's pretty robust that you've got all of the pieces are moving, in that you've threaded all of the beads all the way through to the best that you can do right now. You've done your part, which is get them pre-approved, and they're out looking at homes. You're introducing those to the real estate agents?
Brian: Only when I have them pre-approved. There's only really a bunch of them that I've introduced to real estate agents.
Dean: That's what I mean, eight pre-approved and on to the real estate agents. Those are great. What you have is a really nice system to create that, if we just added zeros to it, if we just were to look at it that you get 5,700 of these and 3,700 of them reply, and we had 650 applications and 80 people out looking at homes. But that's going to be a nice system for you. How much is one of these worth in terms of the fees or conditions, or however you call, what you would earn from one transaction?
Brian: Let's say 5,000.
Dean: Okay. So, 5,000.
Brian: I'm making net about 5,000.
Dean: That seems if you could wave a magic wand, how much would you cheerfully pay for a loan? If you could just say, "Okay, I'll..." It's at the point where there are three approved and out looking. You get a guaranteed Loan. How much of that would you happily be willing to pay?
Brian: I would go to as high as 4,000, unless they were like, it was a big family, then I might go to 4,500 just to get all the referrals.
Dean: Right. Exactly. There's so much room here and you're well within that, because if you're looking at it, how much have you spent total on all of this?
Brian: Do some quick math. It's, what, February, March, April, May.
Dean: It's under $1,000, basically, so far, right?
Dean: The first thing I would...
Brian: No. $2,000, all in.
Dean: Okay. The first thing that I would look at is that. That's where the math kind of makes a little more difference then. If you've got 570 for $2,000, that's closer to 3 cents, $3 and something for the opt-in. But the majority, what you're saying now is that the Spanish ones are much less for you.
Dean: Okay. How many how big is that potential there? How much of the audience are you actually reaching? Could you spend $50 a day?
Brian: Conceivably. Although, Facebook is a funny animal. Last time, when we were running the English leads, after two weeks, I said let's increase this, double the ad spend, and my opt-in rate actually dropped off. Facebook is funny when you try to scale it.
Dean: Well, part of that is that when you're using an audience like that, or using a Custom Audience, you're only reaching the same people more often. You're not exposing to new people. When you're interpreting, when you're reading the results on the Facebook reports, what you're describing is that your frequency is going up, but the reach is not going up.
You're not exposing it to more people. You've got a fixed pool of people. I liken it, when you have a Custom Audience or a limited audience like that, it's like sending postcards, in a way, digital postcards that show up in their stream. When you reach gets up over 1.5 or so, that means that half the people that are seeing your ad now are seeing it again. When you get up over two or three in the frequency, that's where your ad costs are going up, up, up, because you're not really reaching new people. You're showing it again to people who were interested the first two times they saw it.
Brian: Great point. That was really helpful, actually.
Dean: It's good to know that and just kind of look at it to see if that makes a difference. But, anyway, the good news that you have is that, where you're really doing a good job is in profit activator two. You got a system that gets people to raise their hand, and then you have an engaging system that gets the ones who are interested now to engage and then go to the application stage. All of that is happening in the first seven days or so, right? You're looking at just a throughput system of, say, "Here's what you need to do. Here's how you go."
Dean: Now what happens to the people who are not responsive, are not engaged right now? What do you do? What's your long term followup?
Brian: I'm not tripping on them, but I have that same CRM, the engagement CRM. What I'll do is, after 60 days, I'll run something like your nine-word email, and then do it as a text message as well, and see if I can get them reengaged, "Hey, you filled out a form a short time ago about buying a house. Are you still interested?"
Dean: What I would recommend that you do is don't even add that preamble to it. Part of the thing about using the nine-word email would be to just send the nine words and say at 90 days or 60 days, or some amount of time, say to them, "Hey, are you still interested in buying a house?"
That is it because we don't need to say, "You filled out a form." You're not trying to remind them. We're looking to reengage with the ones who are indeed looking. That's just a matter of thing that most of the people that are interested in that are not going to do it right away.
I don't know how familiar you are with a lot of the lead conversion things that I talk about, but the general idea that we look at from a construct for lead conversion, is that I look at it that just half the people that inquire about this situation, any situation, really, are going to do something about that in the next two years. Right? So, I take a long approach to this. But only 15% of them are going to do it in the first 90 days.
Your system is very front-end loaded in that you're trying to identify the five-star prospects, the people who are ready to go right now and get them pre-approved and get them out looking at houses. But where the big value is, is to figure out the system that nurtures them beyond that 90 days, and goes whenever they're ready.
Dean: This is the thing, is that, what I've learned about lead conversion is that there's really only two timeframes. It's either now or not now. That's really the essence of it. Our goal is to be there when it's now. When you're engaging with these people in the beginning, they may be people who are looking for a new place that they have to rent and they're thinking, "Man, if we could just get a grant or if we could buy a house, that would be super."
Then this comes across their world and they're like, "Well, maybe we don't need to rent the place. Maybe we can buy a place and then they move forward," having the conversation with you and figuring out that, "Hey, maybe we do qualify for this." Then they are able to buy the home. But for some people they're renting right now. It may not even be on the radar that they would qualify or that it would ever be a possibility for them to buy a house. Right?
Now you've presented them with the possibility, and they move forward and you're kind of saying, "Yeah, it looks like you could," but they're not ready right now to do it. They're not going to just up and buy a home, but you planted that seed. If we were to look at these people and track them over the next two years that at some point, there's going to be an opportunity for them.
Brian: The ones that I'm engaging with, that engaged even though they didn't bring in documentation or they might not qualify right away, those are the ones that I'm dripping on a weekly basis with email and doing a monthly newsletter.
Dean: I think you should be dripping on all of them for the two years. I think you want to have two different layers of this, right? You want to have a system that is layering them, finding the right-now ones, and then a system that if it's not right now, you've got the long-term system of it. I think a situation like this would be really great for a podcast.
If you're thinking about telling the stories of people who have bought homes using a program that they didn't even know existed, and they're able to share the story, even if it's just a quick weekly, even a video, or an audio, either one, of telling the stories of people who are buying homes. They see people just like them who are buying homes. That makes it even more real for them. That's a nice ongoing way to keep in front of people like that.
That way, you've got the reasons to continue each week to be in front of them. Then, what they might be looking for then is the next steps. We need to have kind of like constantly in front of them. If you see all the emails that I send, have what we call a super signature that says, "Plus, whenever you're ready, here for ways I can help you." When you look at that same thing, if you're sending out those, whenever you're ready, there are three ways I can help you get a new home.
Dean: What would those steps be? Do you do any workshops or webinars or educational type of things where you could explain the whole process to a group of people so you don't have to do it, one-on-one kind of thing?
Brian: That's actually something that we're in the process of planning right now. It's a first-time homebuyer workshop in Spanish.
Brian: Maybe just before that and use that as a podcast as well, or is that overkill?
Dean: Well, I think it would be really valuable for you to experiment, but to actually do them live, like to do it somewhere. If you're saying, as you're building this list kind of thing, to do it at a library or do it at somewhere where people can come and see you and learn. But, yes, record it as well so that you've got a version of it.
Dean: But that would be a really valuable thing so that as you're doing this, people can see and hear that here's the way to get more information. We're doing a buyer workshop at the library, and maybe you do one in different locations or something, but I was looking at, for you, for the velocity kind of things as you're creating a system around this. That would be good.
Then you've got something that's an incremental step to steer people towards that if they see that, on the first Thursday of the month, or the first Tuesday, or whatever it is, you do a workshop at the library, and people can come and get their questions answered, and see the process. That may be you're introducing them to people who have bought homes. I just look at this building like the assets that you're going to be creating here. Imagine this as a mature system 18 months from now, where you've got all of these people that have already been responded and have been nurtured through this whole process.
Brian: Right. Okay. You think I have to really just invest more time in building across and developing relationships so that when they are finally ready to go, and probably it's moving them too quickly from the initial filling out of a form. I got to take an application and I'm expecting too much for them to just run them with that.
Dean: But you're doing great in terms of identifying the ones who that's the path that they are on.
Brian: Right. Okay.
Dean: Because that proves that there's a lot of life in it. There’s a demand for it. They want that information. The fact that you've got a system to help them and you've got eight people that are out looking at homes right now, it's just a matter of time until somebody's going to have bought a home, and now you've got the whole system there.
You've spent $2,000 and you'll have your first $5,000 from it, and you're automatically now into profitability of it. You've still got the asset of the other seven people that are still out looking at houses, and the 65 that I've taken the application and the 570 that are getting your weekly email, kind of educating them.
Another thing that might be great is with the realtors that you're doing to have an opportunity to highlight some listings that would be homes that you could buy with this program, to show people and make it real what they actually can get.
Brian: Right. Okay.
Dean: That's kind of a cool thing. You're doing so many of the right things here.
Brian: Thank you.
Dean: In the other side, they're trying to see how you could reach new people, too, It seems like what's happening is you're fishing from kind of a fixed pond.
Brian: You're saying I get another target audience?
Dean: Yeah, like Wonder, right? If you just go, because I think you might even start out, and we've been doing this a lot in situations, to start out with kind of a broader audience, and it's the kind of thing that people would share. Are you using a video ad or lead ads, or what ad products are you using right now?
Brian: I think it's just an image with some copy, "Click here to see if you qualify." They land in just a straight up landing page. They're filling out a form.
Dean: That's great. That's not broken. But what I might look at for you is, it's a pretty big step to go from nothing to a consultation, if that's what they're signing up for that you may be able to do the next thing of having a book or having something that they could get right now without having to talk to anybody.
Dean: Because part of that thing is knowing that, right now, as long as they're on that audience or whatever that you're going to, they are what we call invisible, right? The ones that are popping now are the ones that are kind of a higher propensity to want to do something right now. But the challenge with that is that, you don't have the ability to nurture your relationship with them in the same way over a longer period of time as you would if they were visible prospects. Meaning, even though it may seem like a softer offer that they don't have to talk to anybody right now, that they can just get the book or the directory, or the report, or whatever the thing is that you're getting all the people who are serious right now are within that list of people.
Brian: You're saying all the ones that haven't engaged or haven't thrown in their docs, like right now we're doing seven steps and trying to get engagement from them. After the seventh step, perhaps, maybe a week later saying, "Hey, maybe the time is not right now, but I compiled the list of the 10 most common questions."
Dean: No, I wouldn't change anything about what you're doing with the seven step connection process. You're doing that to engage and you're getting 66% of them to engage. That's working. You're not going to get a breakthrough there. What I'm thinking is that you're getting, generally, a person who is moving forward to talk to a person on the list of resistance to offers, talking to a person or a consultation or something that seems like a commitment, is a big step forward, and that there's a big pool of people.
Look at it as concentric circles, right? The biggest circle is the audience that you're showing these ads to. The only people that are seeing these ads are the people that are in this audience, right? The ones that you're getting now, people are going from, they're in that audience and you're showing them the ad, and the ones that are interested in the information and are willing to talk to somebody or get a consultation, or fill out an application and stuff right now are moving forward. Right?
There's that, the next layer in the circle. Now they've turned into visible prospects. But I'm saying that there's another layer just on the other side of the ones who are filling out your form that you have right now, that there's a group of people who are interested and curious, and would like to get more information, but they're not ready to talk to somebody right now, or they're not ready to take what seems like more of a commitment kind of thing. If they could get and download a book or a report or a guide or something about this process without having to talk to anybody right now, without making it feel like they're talking to anybody right now, you would have a bigger number of people who would be willing to do that.
Brian: Got you. I'm with you now.
Dean: Now, the advantage of that is that, now you've got them in your world and it doesn't cost you any more to keep in touch with them, to nurture them in your system, because you've got their name and email now. Whereas, if you have to reach them through the Facebook ads, you've got to pay to reach them every time. Right? You've got to pay to reach that audience every time.
Dean: That makes sense.
Brian: Sure. Sure.
Dean: It's more valuable. It may seem like you're getting higher quality prospects. That's the argument that people might make for this, is that, well, we're getting higher quality prospects because they've got more skin in the game when they fill in a form or fill in an application, which makes you feel like they're higher qualified. Right?
Dean: But if your thing is that, what you extend your range to realize that for every one of those applications that you get right now, there's probably five times that many over the next 18 months, if you nurture that relationship with that. It's going to be time that maybe they just moved into a new place, three months ago, and they're thinking, "Man, I wish I had known that when we got our lease kind of thing." Right?
Maybe at some point in the next 18 months, their lease is going to be coming due, and they're thinking instead of getting a new place or renewing our lease, maybe we should buy a place, that maybe you've planted that seed that it's a possibility for them. Then they start seeing people just like them who are buying homes and talking about how easy it was and how helpful you were in the process, and how you guys answered all their questions, and you, "Look at this beautiful house that we got," that they get inspired by that. They get educated and motivated. That's what profit activator three is all about.
Dean: Then if every time they're doing that, along with that, they see and hear an inspirational story about somebody who bought a house, and then you say to them, "Whenever you're ready, here's three ways we can help you." If you say, "Yes, join us for a tour of homes," where you maybe have your realtor setup that some people may want to see what kind of homes they can get for this.
Some people may want to get their ducks in a row, money-wise, which is what you want, right? You're kind of focused on, you don't want anybody out, looking at, hopefully, you know for sure that they're qualified. Right?
Dean: All that kind of thing. But it's counter to the way that most people go through the process, right? Most people get motivated by the house. Right? If you were to have and set aside an experiment with this that use the catalyst of join us for a daily tour, and maybe the realtor gets to meet them and show them a couple of homes that they are now, a connection there, and you can, in that meeting, be the catalyst to then getting the application and getting pre-approved and moving forward.
Dean: As long as you're keeping people moving.
Brian: The three ways I could help, so you're suggesting one would be like a join us for a tour of homes. Another one would be join us for our monthly or biweekly workshop. The third one will be like an online application or a consultation.
Dean: Exactly. We use something we call a free home loan report, where you monitor all the different grant programs and things to find the best programs available. That makes it feel like, "Okay, there's something there for me." That way you've got, I think, a really good system. I think you could send people two emails a week about this, where it's a weekly report of zero down homes, of all the things that they can get.
Then, the education one, what if you just look at a great way to lay out a six month content plan for this, would be to say, "What are the 10 questions that people most frequently ask you about this or about the process?" Then, "What are the 10 questions that they don't ask you, but they should be asking you that they don't even know that they should be asking?" Like the real important things that they need to know. Then each of the ways that you can help them; one about the daily tour and one about the homebuyer workshop, and one about the home loan report. That's a six-month followup process for you right there.
Brian: Yeah, I love it.
Dean: Pretty cool.
Brian: Yes, sir. Thank you very much. I was going to ask you about the content, if you had a strategy. That pretty much just answered my question for me.
Dean: Now, the other thing that you have an opportunity for is referrals in here, as people are doing this. One of the things that are you partnered with any particular real estate agent or a real estate office? How are you connected with the real estate agents on this?
Brian: I currently have three agents that I'm working with, but none of them are big producers. I recently just locked up with one office with the top producer. I didn't realize he had his own office, but he himself was a top producer last year, made the REAL Trends list, and he has an office. I'm taking over his marketing in the next week or so. Hopefully, I know I'm working with him, but I'm probably going to get the whole office as well.
Dean: Nice. That's awesome. Part of the thing might be that when they have listings that would be homes that might qualify for one of these grant programs that you're helping them highlight that with these listings, because there's another way of going around it that if somebody Is there a particular grant program that you're using? What's the best scenario for people? What's the no-brainer scenario that you're looking for right now?
Brian: Well, it depends on the county that they're looking in. There's a few that I have as far as go-tos. Some of them, sometimes, they run out of money. So, you have to move from one to the next.
Dean: What's the best one right now?
Brian: The best one right now is it's CHI grants. They give them 25,000, half of which could be used towards down payment and closing cost. The rest has to be used to improve the house. They have an income limit, which it's limited to single family homes. If somebody is looking for a single family home, they have to meet the income criteria.
Dean: Is it reasonable? What's the max income?
Brian: Yeah. It's a small window because everything's so expensive in New York that if you hit that head income limit.
Dean: Yeah, you wonder. You don't even qualify. Right?
Brian: Right. You have a very limited inventory to choose from.
Dean: Yes. But this is where your legwork can really come in handy, right? If you've got a situation that you've already found the homes that would qualify, so you know that there's a point where it's out of the question, because there's a maximum. When you look at what the maximum income requirement is, that there's a maximum actual buying amount that they can do. Are you doing like FHA 3% loans or what?
Brian: Yeah, for the most part. They're FHA program, 3.5%.
Dean: They need 3.5% down, which what kind of price range is the sweet spot here? There's got to be some exact sweet spot of homes that would fit there.
Brian: It's very, very near impossible to find a home for less than 300,000, a single family home, 300,000 in this area. A sweet spot is between 300 to 450. They still have the income criteria to qualify.
Dean: If that's the thing where if you know that that's the truth, are there any other requirements that would sort of filter out specific goals? They have to be in any specific neighborhood or do they have to require that work needs to be done.
Brian: The only requirement is that the owner has to occupy the home for 10 years. If it's an FHA, we do have the convention.
Dean: That's a big commitment right there, isn't it?
Brian: Yeah. There is also one conventional program that will allow for the grants as well. It only requires 3% down, but then we have an issue with most of them. Most of the clients that I'm dealing with don't have a lot of savings, which is why they need the grant. That 3% down only allows for 3% sales concession. We don't get to use it as often. With the FHA, it's absolutely FHA requirements for homes.
Dean: This is what I'm kind of envisioning for you, is that you have already pre-filtered the homes that would be matched up with these grants. Then that way, each week, you're able to send to all of these people this Christmas wish list, that they could get excited about this house, and this might be the one that would push them over the edge.
Brian: I see what you're saying, okay. I was trying to push-pull, trying to introduce them at an earlier stage, like once I pre-qualify them, but then I have the docs, I was trying to throw them at real estate agency if maybe the agents would show them houses, if that would excite them enough to get the documentation. But then that's a way, one time. Your approach is better. This way, we could just do it digitally, and we could do it on a bigger scale.
Dean: Yes, that's my point. That's exactly right. That way, I would be monitoring the way you get to meet different real estate agents, too, right? I would be on an alert for a specific area and when a new property comes on the market, that that could be your introduction to that real estate agent for that particular listing, and introducing yourself and that you're working with this grant program and these, and it looks like this house would qualify.
You can work together with them to do some collaboration on that one, because that's going to help them. If they can advertise that property as a zero down, that would be a cool thing. Even if you have to fully disclose who that's for, you know that you've already done the work that if somebody, whatever the requirements are, that they would have to make this much money, a maximum of this much money.
Brian: Right. I follow you.
Dean: That's a cool thing for meeting those people too. We got that same thing here in Florida. We've been doing the zero down loans as the USDA, the rural home loans. They have certain geographic zones that if the house is in this area, it qualifies. And some, you can be in one neighborhood, and one side of the street is qualified and the other side is not. It takes a little specialized kind of knowledge to know that.
That's where your advantage is, that little bit of legwork. If you've got the update that every email that these people get from you includes homes that actually they could get with this program, that's a big thing for you.
Brian: Good point. I like it. Homes to qualify.
Dean: You got such an asset there. That way if you put together something like that, that might be a great way for your realtors to introduce to their clients to say, to let them know that they've got a way to help their friends get homes with zero down. If you were to say to the realtors, if you were to put together a little letter or a little email that you could help them with, that they could send to their friends or their clients and say, "Hey, just a quick note, in case you hear someone talking about buying their first home. You know houses here are getting out of control, price-wise, but there are a couple of grant programs that will allow people to buy homes with zero down payment. If you know someone who's thinking about buying their first home, give me a call, or text me. I'll get your copy of the details of this program for them."
Brian: My focus is I'm trying to recruit just no more than three top producers. I don't want to work with a hundred different little real estate agents, because my strategy is to become a marketing partner and handle a lot of the heavy lifting on their marketing for them.
Brian: So, I'm an asset that is too painful to let go.
Dean: Right. Well, this could be on the way because that's what they really want. Buyers are better than donuts, if you can bring them.
Brian: True. But listings are even better. I just got to figure out how to do that for them.
Dean: Amen. That's so funny. I have a whole program at gogoagent.com. That's one of our primary focuses, of course, is real estate. That's one of the programs that we have, is called Getting Listings, and that's exactly what it is, a whole system to get listings for realtors. You might want to check that out.
Brian: Maybe I should just start implementing that for them. I have a list of 200 of the top producers in New York, and when I contact them to try to tell them about I have pre-approved buyer leads for you and marketing systems to help make your life easier.
Dean: Call me when you have a listing.
Brian: Exactly. A good number of them are like, "I don't need any more buyers."
Dean: Buyers are liars.
Brian: They're pre-approved.
Dean: I know. That's the thing, right? That's the thing. They don't want that because the buyers could be slippery. They can get all excited, be out looking at homes with you, and then on their way home, they drive through an open house and fall in love, and they bought that house. The reason that agents love the listings is that people are coming to you then. You've got the contracts with the seller.
Brian: How could I as a loan officer use GoGoAgent?
Dean: Just like that, to partner with the realtors. You were talking about doing the marketing for them, right? You can have it so that you can have a GoGoAgent with a team. You could have three different accounts within it to set up for each of the realtors that you're working with, and run the program for them.
Brian: Okay. Yeah, will definitely take a look at it.
Dean: That's cool.
Brian: That's a game-changer.
Dean: We talked about a lot there, Brian. That went fast. What did you hear? How did it all land here? You do the recap.
Brian: Well, I'm rethinking as far as what my initial problem was. I was thinking that I'm just not getting enough documents it. But you clarified that it's really focusing more on developing the relationship and building rapport, and then building list. Over time, they are going to all come in. A lot of it is their experience and just making the whole process more relatable as far as showing them other people that are purchasing and their experiences, and helping them understand that they can do it too.
I'm giving them a smaller entry point as far as no one to talk to. Just downloading report is going to be another campaign that we're going to be launching, offering a workshop so there's that in-between step, and that really for a consultation, but they want to know more about the loan process. It was covered in the book, but, hey, I'd like to really ask questions and that kind of stuff without actually having the pressure of finding out if I qualify today or not. We'll start doing the workups.
The super signature, adding that to the campaign and building out a six-month campaign with the 10 frequently asked questions, the 10 things they should be asking, ways that I can help, and then maybe like a list of homes that qualify on a biweekly basis so that they can see that these are homes that they can actually qualify for. I can give them the criterias that they know before they even contact me to say if this is a home that they can own, but it helps them to actually envision that this is how they can own if they just take the next step.
Dean: Yes. Great.
Brian: Then checking GoGoAgent, see if I could find a way to get listings from my agents and make me the only loan officer that I've ever heard of that is giving away listings.
Dean: That's exactly right. You're on your way.
Brian: Awesome, Dean. I appreciate the help.
Dean: That's cool. That's so great. I had a lot of fun. That went fast. Stay in touch. Let me hear how it's all working out. If you come on in to GoGoAgent, I'll see you in there and I'll connect with you there too.
Brian: Awesome. Appreciate it, Dean.
Dean: All right. Have a great day.
Brian: You too.
Brian: Bye now.
Dean: There we have it. Another great episode. I love it when a good plan comes together. You just see all the moving pieces here. You see everything in terms of broadening the number of people that we can turn into visible prospects for him. We've got a plan to nurture that relationship over a longer period of time than just the first seven days, trying to engage with the people who are ready now. That's going to pay big, big dividends for him. I loved at the end we really get down to building a relationship with the real estate agents. What they really want is listings. Luckily, we have the whole system for them to be able to get listings, at GoGoAgent.com.
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