We've talked about "influence the influencer" with my private clients, but I want to talk about this idea with you today...
Don't let the phrase confuse you. It simply means you want to sell to (influence) the people who can help you (influencers) sell the people you eventually want to sell.
For example, shingle manufacturers seldom advertise directly to the homeowner. However, they will spend time and money selling their brand to the people (e.g. salesperson, general contractor, architect, builder, etc.) who will then directly sell to the homeowner. They know if they can influence you to sell their brand, you will turn around and influence the people who will eventually buy their brand from you.
Here's the magic of "influence the influencer": They sell you once. You sell them many times.
All a manufacturer has to do is get you in the boat once to sell their product many times. They would rather influence you once than to go knocking on doors, buying extra advertising, and doing sales presentations one kitchen table at a time in order to get a homeowner to buy their brand.
They sell you once while you sell everybody else one at a time!
Sounds about right, huh?
Honestly, it's a brilliant strategy...one we should learn from...and we're going to right now while we explore "Selling Roofs to Realtors & Property Managers." Are you ready?
SELLING ROOFS TO REALTORS & PROPERTY MANAGERS
We're going to use the same "influence the influencer" strategy the shingle manufacturers use on us to help us sell roofing and repairs to homeowners and investors represented by Realtors and Property Managers.
Once we sell a Realtor or Property Manager once, our goal is to get them sending us all of their business. Obviously, these relationships take work to build and maintain. However, once they use us once, it should get easier for them to send us business again.
Connecting With Realtors
Realtors are like roofing salespeople in some important ways.
Most of them work on commission only, without a steady salary. They pay for almost all of their own expenses, including their cell phone. Most importantly, they usually put their own cell phone number on every "For Sale" sign they put out.
If you want to connect with a realtor, just call the number on the sign. You can usually talk directly to them without having to go through a gate keeper. If they don't pick up, it's simple to get them to call you back. I'll tell you how in the private Facebook group.
A Realtor's Motivation
The great thing about working with realtors is they're highly motivated.
If the house they've listed has problems, they want those problems fixed. The faster the problems get fixed, the faster they sell the house...and the faster they collect their massive commission check.
A traditional realtor will make anywhere from 2% to 3% of the selling price of the home. If they sell the home, and help the homeowner buy their next house, they also make another 2% to 3% of that house, too. Imagine, they sell a $150k home and help them buy a $200k home. That's a total of $350k!
What's 2% or 3% of $350k? You do the math!
Obviously, they would prefer for the the homeowner to pay for any repairs themselves, but they aren't completely opposed to paying for repairs out of their own pocket because they'll still make a lot of money on the sale. A Realtor wants to make money. If you can do the work, without it costing them, all the better!
It isn't very hard to find a realtor. Find a house for sale, and you've found a realtor. If the home is for sale by owner, even better. Just walk up to the door and tell them what you can do to help them. Here are a few other ways to find realtors and houses for sale:
- Drive the neighborhoods you like. Find the "For Sale" signs.
- Look in the Sunday newspaper for the latest listings.
- Visit the local Realtor offices and get their latest listings.
- Use an app like Zillow to explore houses for sale.
- Visit the donut shop to find realtor business cards on the billboard.
You can also find a step-by-step strategy inside the Roofing Salesman University for getting Realtors to call you back with hot leads.
Connecting With Property Managers
Property managers are not like roofing salespeople in many important ways.
A property manager might make some commission, but they usually get a steady paycheck for taking care of a portfolio of properties under their control. They usually don't pay for their own expenses. Their cell phone numbers are usually private -- they don't put their number on yard signs.
A Property Manager's Motivation
A property manager usually makes the same amount of money week-in and week-out. As long as they keep everybody happy, and don't rock the boat, their job is relatively safe.
If the person renting or leasing one of their properties has a problem, they aren't in as big a rush to solve the problem as the realtor. They want to keep them happy, but it's not going to change how much money they make one way or another.
When one of their properties has problems (e.g. blown off shingles, hail damage, leaky room, etc.), they usually take the call from the tenant about the problem. Sometimes they are pre-authorized to spend up to a certain amount of money to make repairs. However, if it is an expensive problem to fix, they have to call the property owner to get authorization to have the problem fixed. Once they get authorization, they'll either call their preferred vendor for that type of repair or they'll call around for estimates to present to the property owner.
WARNING: You'll occasionally meet a property manager who wants to make money on the side from authorizing the work. They'll collect several estimates, give the price of the middle estimate to the owner for authorization, and then use the cheapest estimate to get the work done -- pocketing the difference. Doesn't happen all the time, but if you get a slimy, suspicious feeling when dealing with a property manager, be careful because you don't want to get yourself in trouble.
Property Manager Prospecting
If you want to connect with a property manager, you'll usually have to call the office. There might be a gatekeeper, but usually they aren't that difficult to reach. There's a chance the person you want to talk to is the person answering the office phone. A property manager in a real estate office is usually a realtor who isn't very good at selling real estate, but needs a steady paycheck, so they manage properties, and answer the phone.
If you know what you're doing, you can use the advanced search engine on LinkedIn to find local property managers. If I have enough requests, I'll make a video on how to use LinkedIn to search for property managers and post it in the private Facebook group.
Since property managers work primarily with property that is available "For Rent" or "For Lease," your best bet is to find these types of properties and call the number on the sign. You can find them by driving around, in the local paper, online listings, or going directly to their offices.
If you find a good realtor or property manager, your job is to take care of them because they can be like a steady stream of residual income for you. You sell them once, do a good job taking care of them, and then they sell you to the people they influence.
A shingle manufacturer might buy you lunch, take you on a tour of their factory, throw some cool swag your way, or keep you educated on cash-making opportunities. They do it all because they know you're like a source of residual income to them. How much does it cost to buy you a cold sandwich and throw you a freebie baseball hat once a year? Doesn't take much to keep you happy, does it?
If you're still reading up to this point, you're getting excited because you're starting to understand how you can scale your roofing revenue up without significantly increasing your expenses.
That's a good feeling, isn't it?