marketing

The Simple Marketing Plan That Grew 279 Contacts to a $90 Million Business

Raise your hand if you’ve heard this one before: “Your network is your net worth.”  

All of us, right? 

But despite the often-repeated advice to nurture your network, many entrepreneurs and sales reps would rather endure a three-hour route canal than approach their friends, family (or even dentist) with a business opportunity. Big mistake.

If you’re neglecting your personal contacts in favor of marketing to a wider audience of unknowns, there’s probably a bigger mindset problem at play. After all, if you’re not confident telling your current friends what you do, how can you build profitable relationships with brand new leads?

By ignoring your network, you’re leaving a TON of cash on the table. 

And we have proof. In real estate, most agents would rather cold call 100 leads than talk to someone they know about their business. But when the founders of the Graham Seeby Group decided to go against the grain and center their sales strategy around referrals, sphere of influence (SOI), and past clients, their business skyrocketed to $90 million in just 4 years.

Here’s how they grew a list of 279 contacts into $90 million

The light-bulb moment came when co-founder Justin Seeby realized he was getting phone calls from past clients, some of whom were ready to list homes of $800,000 in value, and was having to pass them on to other agents, simply because he didn’t have time to help them out. 

“I started to recognize that I was ignoring all my past clients, my whole database…I’m just basically pushing them off because I don’t have time for them,” he recalls.

Together with his partner Ryan Graham, the team leaders launched a simple marketing strategy: a four-part follow up campaign targeted at a list of just 279 contacts (some of which hadn’t heard from them in years).

Here’s how it worked:

  • On the 15th of every month, the team sent a postcard to everyone in the database.
  • On the 7th of every month, they sent a short 90-second video email.
  • On the 21st of every month, an email.
  • Once a quarter, all contacts on the list would get a phone call.

The lean real estate team started running this process in 2013, the same year they founded the business. By November of 2014, they started to see a noticeable uptick in transaction volume.

And that’s when they decided to start spending their time and money on attracting and converting new leads. The group launched their website and started getting in front of the ‘non-mets’ via Pay Per Click ads on Google and Facebook. By 2016, they had a 30-person, full-service company boasting revenues of $90 million.

As a cherry on top, they were also named the #1 Keller Williams Realty team in the southeast region that year.

Why simple beats sophisticated

Within 1 year of launching this simple marketing strategy, the Graham Seeby Group had employed a five-person team and had 100 new contacts, without spending a fortune on marketing.

But they couldn’t have done it without a consistent, repeatable process for getting — and staying — in front of leads. Supported by two simple metrics: Speed to Lead and Number of Follow Ups, Justin and Ryan decided to skip the complex lead scoring and set up a completely trackable system to help their agents focus exclusively on ROI-driving activities.

Because as great as it is to have detailed demographics and highly-segmented automated funnels, sometimes what matters most is simply staying in touch. 

Dave Lawrence is Head of Marketing at GrowthHouse by Follow Up Boss. Dave spends his days ‘under the hood’ of some of the top real estate teams in the world, helping them achieve their outlier sales results through a focus on simplifying their processes and tools.

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