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Our guest is Dennis Plintz, a successful real estate business owner in Calgary. His major strength is the investment that he does in his customer database. He gives us insight into his exact practices regarding this, from sending anniversary cards to having a Red Seal chef sent to a client’s house to cook a meal. Dennis also talks about the two books he has written and the differences between them.

Timestamped Show Notes

(click the timestamp to jump directly to that point in the episode.)

[1:51] Tell me a little bit about yourself and how you got into the real estate business.

  • I went to university and studied business.
  • Me and my wife bought a foreclosure house.
  • I was selling pots and pans door-to-door.
  • I transitioned into real estate in 2004.

[5:30] How has it been going now that you’ve been full-timing this for the past 14 years?

  • We’re growing every year. I feel excitement and passion.
  • I like the excitement; “What challenge? What call? What email?”

[7:58] What kind of stuff are you guys doing to really farm your database?

  • The one thing we can count on is that we own our database. Despite political changes, lending changes, and rate changes, if we are loyal and faithful and caring about people, all those other changes don’t matter.
  • We call them and say “it’s been three years. This Friday or Saturday we have a Red Seal chef that’s going to come to your house to cook you and three or four couples dinner.”
  • We’ve been doing it for our one-year anniversaries.
  • We send an anniversary letter every single year.

[13:03] Give me an example of something unusual that has happened from your anniversary outreach.

  • When one customer sold with another realtor, I phoned her and she said “you never fixed my fridge.”
  • The more common one is “so-and-so” became a mortgage broker or realtor.
  • I phone, text, and chase the people who sell without us more.
  • If you’re newer, the opportunity is perfect to make these efforts.
  • The biggest and best people I’ve talked to are always on the phone.

[18:32] What do you budget per year per client?

  • $100-$500.
  • I did an Instagram post where I asked “have you ever had a bad mortgage broker experience?”
  • A lot of people say “you make way more money, so you can spend way more money on clients.” Not true.
  • We spend a disproportionate amount in gifts vs. something like 10,000 flyers to a community.
  • Should you give gifts? Of course you should, but not if they’re bad gifts.
  • Our average commission is around $6,000.
  • People who are successful know that they’re got to invest in their clients.

[25:24] I’m curious about the chef’s dinner. What does that run you?

  • We have a standing reservation at the two busiest restaurants in Calgary. If you’re closing, we send the client a message and give the table to them on our tab. It costs around $200.
  • The chef’s dinner one is somewhere between $400 and $800.

[29:09] You said there were two strategies that you had shared at the conference. One was the Instagram question where you asked if they ever had a bad mortgage broker.

  • I messaged every person that said “no” and told them who they should call.
  • Asking the question about a different industry is an amazing way to get feedback.
  • The other one is the standing restaurant reservation.

[31:18] What other things are you doing on your client-for-life program to invest in your past clients?

  • Emailing our database is probably our best return. We always give something of real value.
  • We print off the list of people who didn’t open the email and I text or phone them.
  • We try to segment our database. It’s not one message for everybody.
  • We don’t do movies.

[35:13] What does a team connector event look like?

  • We’ve got a big team. My team is 150 people.
  • We have the loyalty that I can get a mortgage broker to take a call at midnight if we have to.
  • I’ve always said “don’t pay me, just take care of them.”

[37:52] What are you guys doing for video and what’s working?

  • The first thing that’s working is being a professional.
  • Visual judgements get in the way of what we offer for value.
  • The videos we produce are meant to be informative, professional, and narrated.
  • We ask “who is the for and is it actually helping?”

[42:08] You’ve written two books. One of them was for potential people listing and one was for sales.

  • For the first one, Hustle, my wife said “you can’t give this to your clients.”
  • I talk in this book about my brother selling my mother a stolen car when he was 17, and I talk about me selling my brother’s Star Wars collection door-to-door when I was 7.
  • The second one, Positively Sold, I highly recommend to mortgage professionals that are mid-career and want to grow.
  • Clients I’ve given it to have said to me “I’ve read your book, so is this the part where we negotiate commissions?”
  • Your book is your business card.

[46:10] Any last comments?

  • I assure you that anyone who tests us out in Calgary that we’re responsive and reliable. Responsive is our thing. I think it’s the future of the business.
  • I’ve learned to not over commit. Accurately commit and accurately promise.
  • Get on the phone with the mortgage broker and learn about who you’re being connected with.