“I was totally blown away.”

Michael Walter:

The way I like to start everything out is if you could just tell me about yourself, where you're at in the country and how long you've been in real estate.

Gary Beck:

Well, I've been in real estate for 15 and a half years. I've been with Coldwell Banker the entire time. I'm in Boerne Texas, about 30 miles outside of San Antonio. I do farm and ranch as well as residential. I was looking for something a little different when I come across Authorify. You're always looking for something a little different to set yourself apart.

Michael Walter:

How long have you been a member of ours?

Gary Beck:

A little over a year. I was having some health issues. So while I was in the hospital, I worked on the first book going through editing and so forth. I always had my computer on the table there at the hospital and doctors would come in, nurses would come in. My first book came out and they'd always look to see what I was reading and they'd see my picture on the cover. I'd see them look at the book, they'd look at me and they'd look back at the book again. They'd say, "That's you on there." So that would lead into a conversation about real estate. It's funny, it helped pick up a lot of business for me.

Michael Walter:

Really right there in the hospital?

Gary Beck:

Yeah. I just closed with a nurse. Sold her home and they bought a newer home. I'm working with one of the doctors right now as well. I even, before I went in, I'd taken measurements and pictures of one of the houses I was going to list. Again, it was from some folks that I'd given a book to and that morning before surgery, I thought, "Well, I'm going to put all my pictures in and just get this thing going." By the time I came thtough, that afternoon I had two offers on it. By eight o'clock that night, we were under contract with a cash offer for $15,000 more than asking price.

Michael Walter:

Wow.

Gary Beck:

So that's a good thing.

Michael Walter:

When you were looking for something to really set yourself apart, what was it about the books and Authorify that stuck out to you?

Gary Beck:

Well, at first it was the novelty of being able to say, "Oh yeah, I have a book." But I learned that it's really important to go through and actually read the book because the book is written in general terms. One of the things that caused me to take a little bit more time is I had to write my biography. Hardest thing in the world for anybody to do. So, I sat down, opened it up and I started reading it and I'm like, "Well, this is easy." And it didn't take any time at all because of the way you folks have laid it out for me to be able to go ahead and fill in my biography and get it written, which led me into reading the rest of the book and making modifications of it.

It's so easy to do. When people say, "Hey, look, we've got this stuff done for you. You're going to have a landing page. We're going to do your social media. You're gonna have all of this stuff." And I'm like, "Oh yeah, right. And how much am I going to have to do?" I got to tell you, I was totally blown away. I've worked with Ary, very nice person, very patient to deal with this old goat in dealing with the digital world. She was patient, walked me through all of it, and actually did a lot of it for me. It made life so much easier to have all that done for me and to be able to personalize it and then be able to turn around in no time and put it out to potential customers.

Michael Walter:

Right. I think when a lot of people first get introduced to us, they think that it's really just the cover that they can customize. But really, we open up the entire book to you to customize.

Gary Beck:

Right. And that's something that you really need to do. You need to make that book your own. It doesn't take much time to do it because you need to read it anyway. So you know what it is you're putting out there. But it's so easy to customize and to put in your own marketing. With Coldwell Banker D'Ann Harper Realtors in Boerne and San Antonio, we have a weekly television program. So, I was able to put the plug for that in there a couple of times, as we're talking about our marketing.

One of the things I think that really surprised me the most about all this is, I hadn't anticipated was that it stirred the pot of past clients. It got a lot of them talking about, "Oh yeah, you send out a market report every month." Yep, I do that every month. But here is something different. "You wrote a book." Yes, I did, I got a book right here. And I was able to find a lot of people who were actually thinking about selling. Hadn't really committed to it yet. Here's one of the homes that I just sold, $800,000, beautiful home to some folks that I had sold this to a long time ago.

Had some other folks that I sold them a house and then had to sell it right away because they were moving. Called me back, wanted to know if I did farm and ranch and I'm like, "Sure thing." And they wanted to buy a ranch. We just closed on a $1.75 million dollar ranch. All because of this book. It just stirred something up in people and they realized that they actually needed to give me a call.

Michael Walter:

So these two particular listings, they were both past clients?

Gary Beck:

Yeah. Past clients. But when they saw the social media that I had a book, they were motivated to call me then.

Michael Walter:

That's one of the things we always tell people, especially as soon as they get their books is to send it out to their past clients because it will either stir something in those past clients themselves or become a great referral tool.

Gary Beck:

Exactly, exactly. It works just as you guys say it does, which is nice these days because there are a lot of things out there that are flash in the pan. But this is not, this works and you just have to get it out there and make it work.

Michael Walter:

So, as you were giving these books out and getting them into people's hands, what's the reaction been?

Gary Beck:

Well, at first it's kind of a shock because they don't know many people that have written a book or who've edited a book. There you are on the cover of the book and it's like, "Wow." And so they feel, I guess, sort of an obligation to read it. But it leads into a deeper discussion about something that they're dealing with in real estate, whether they're looking to sell, looking to buy, have an inherited home, know of some friends who've had a home that expired. But it's an opportunity to jump in and provide some assistance to people as they're trying to accomplish their real estate dreams.

Michael Walter:

Yeah. You mentioned the two listings that you've gotten. How else have the books really helped bring in business for you?

Gary Beck:

Well, it brings up a lot of subjects that they hadn't really thought about yet. Yes. They know they've got to focus on curb appeal. They've heard that on HGTV a lot. And they understand everything they've learned from HGTV, but there's so much more in there of marketing, of negotiations, of things that they really hadn't thought about yet. And even if they've had their home listed, they hadn't really discussed with their agent anything about negotiations, how they're going to handle that, what they can expect, what they should expect in selling their home. It's probably been a number of years since they last had a sale or purchased their home and the real estate market has changed a lot since then.

Michael Walter:

You said you used the books on social media. How else are you getting the word out there that you have a book?

Gary Beck:

Within our company we have a drip campaign. We have a regular update and it isn't just an overall, you know, X number of homes sold, X number of days on the market. It allows us to customize for areas. So, you can click on your area, get an actual picture of what's happening in your area. Because here with Coldwell Banker D'Ann Harper Realtors, we go all the way from San Marco up by Austin. So, we cover quite a big area. So it gives everybody an opportunity to find something local. And I've sent this out in that campaign as well. I have about 1500 people that are getting this every month. So, it was a very inexpensive and easy way to get everything out, especially since the social media end of it is already done, the landing page is there, all they have to do is click on it and I know that I need to get back with those folks because they're expressing some kind of an interest in real estate.

Michael Walter:

Yeah, tell me a little bit about having that landing page and being able to receive those leads immediately. What's that been like having the landing page?

Gary Beck:

The landing page has been awesome because I know immediately that someone has clicked on it. I know that I need to get back with them. I've already got the phone number and contact information in there, and it's real easy to get back and initiate that conversation and ask them, "Are you wanting a digital copy? Would you like a hard copy?" One of my clients, I just sold their home and sold them a home on the river and she wanted me to autograph my copy. So, she got an autographed copy of my book. But, it often leads to discussions of what their friends are doing because everybody knows somebody in real estate that's doing something.

Michael Walter:

Yeah. I think one of the great things about the way the landing pages are set up. It doesn't provide you with the shipping address, so it gives you a built-in follow-up call or email, and it really does start getting that conversation going.

Gary Beck:

Right. Exactly. And of course, everybody always wants to know what their home's worth these days. And that's a, a good segue into, you know, "If you were to sell your home today, what do you think it might be worth?"

Michael Walter:

With the way that you're using the book and you know, you're teaching clients, the different things in the real estate world. How does that align with your particular business model? Being that teacher and that provider?

Gary Beck:

Well, it's really key. I've been in sales almost all my adult life and education is key to making a sale. You can't throw something out there. Yeah, you're going to have a few people buy it. But, if you really want people to buy into whatever it is you're doing, you have to educate them.

With real estate, everybody wants to be a realtor. You put a sign up in the yard, you open a door, you go show houses, open houses, all kinds of stuff. There's so much more to actually selling a house. Most people don't realize that. And by having the book for them to read through, they realize that there's a lot more involved than just putting a sign up in the yard and opening a door. 

So, education is key to being successful. And I think these books, you have such a plethora of books. I mean, expireds, divorce, inherited, buying, selling. You've got a lot of area that you cover with these books and having these books handy in a conversation, it really helps to educate the folks. It sets you up as the authority figure to be the person to talk to about buying or selling property.

Michael Walter:

For people that are thinking about becoming a member or have just started with us. What would you say to them about, you know what you did, really going through your book and customizing it for yourself?

Gary Beck:

I would tell them the first thing to do is pay attention to it and go through your whole program and then take a day and think about it for just a little bit and see how it's going to fit into your program. But come back that next day and go back into it again, because when you first hear it, it's hard to put all the pieces together. Maybe that was just me, but you need to have that opportunity to think about it, see how it's all going to fit, and then go back over it again and see what you put together and actually read one of those books and see how easy it's going to be to make that book your own.

I think you'll get excited about it once you see what it can do for you once you've had a couple of interactions with some clients. Whether they're new clients or past clients, it's going to cement the idea that, "Hey, this is a fantastic marketing tool." Nobody else in my company, or none of the other realtors around here are doing this. It's something that's unique to you as a realtor.

Michael Walter:

Just before we wrap up, what has having this book and having this new piece of marketing material really done for not only your business but also your confidence when, when going after a new client?

Gary Beck:

It has added a lot. Of course, as unaccustomed as I am to public speaking, I'm not shy about getting out there. But, having a book, it lends credibility to you as a realtor that you've got a book on the subject and, "Oh, by the way, here's a copy of it for you." It's really key.

One of the other funny things is, I've shared my book with other real estate agents and the look on their face when you say, "Well, yeah, I've written a book on selling a house, here's a copy of it." And again, they look at the book and see your picture and they look at you and they've kind of flipped through it. And "Wow, you've really got a book. How did you do this?" And so that always leads to an interesting conversation and I don't mind sharing it out there. I believe in sharing, the more you share, the more stuff comes back to you. Is everybody going do it out there? No, not at all. Most people won't take the time and effort to make this program successful. But those that do are really going to be rewarded from it. They just got to get out there and get their feet wet.

Michael Walter:

Right. With the amount of customization that you can do to the books, I mean, we even do the custom covers, they are really personalized to you if you take the time to personalize them.

Gary Beck:

Your right. I'm actually doing a custom cover on the book that I'm currently working on, Luxury Homes and using one of the homes that I sold the property and then found a builder for some folks. Beautiful picture from their outdoor kitchen, looking out over the valley. And they're going to use that on the cover. I even got motivated and went out and got a photographer to take me pictures, uh, for the, to use on the, uh, magazine. So, yeah, I'm looking forward to seeing a custom cover of one of my own books. I'm excited about that.

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