Al Lewis Broker/Mentor
Marketing Professional Since 1975
Real Estate Professionals World Enterprise Marketing
Real Estate Prof's Allstate Marketing
You'll find I'm very opinionated about things that affect the sale of both new and resale housing. Because of that and to establish credibility with you as a sales and marketing professional, I'd like to tell you my story.
Following is a brief outline of my experience, the work spanning five-decades from which my opinions and programs have grown.
Everybody Starts Somewhere / For me it was about thirty days after birth. By that I mean about a month after graduating with a degree in Education from San Jose State University, historically known as San Jose State Teachers College, May of 1975. Beginning teachers at that time earned less than $15,000 a year. That didn't interest me nor my wife (we married while in school) so we moved home to Orange County the day after graduation. I studied for a real estate license, passed the test and joined a sales company in Whittier.
The Broker put me to work knocking on doors, thousands of them, prospecting for buyers and sellers. I started at the bottom, in the street, but have always been thankful for the experienced I gained beginning that way. It is the foundation upon which all our programs for assertive grassroots sales and marketing at Real Estate Professionals World Enterprise Marketing and Real Estate Professionals Allstate Marketing are built today.
The Whittier Board of Realtors had just over 2,350 members at that time. I worked hard to outsell each of them my first year in the business. Even though I didn't get a whole year in, I came in 3rd.
Ambitious and restless I began the new year (1976) with a move to Huntington Beach, got my Broker's license, started my own company and joined the Huntington Beach/Fountain Valley Board of Realtors. I continued to work as a listing and selling Broker. During that year I still didn't make #1, but I was designated the 5th highest producer among just over 3,500 Realtors.
Other minor but enjoyable distinctions of the time are that I was the youngest Broker-member of the Board of Realtors and the youngest owner of a national franchise real estate office in the nation, Realty World California Previews. I'm not the youngest anymore (thank goodness).
Then I Began Working with Builders / It was just prior to my third year in the business that I began buying and selling homes for an investor that was also a builder. One of many projects he built was a 98 unit condominium development in Santa Ana called Cambridge Green. We discussed the project occasionally, but not with the objective of my handling sales. I was, after all, to use his words "a little too young and raw" for the undertaking. I didn't disagree.
He hired Walker & Lee (the largest development sales company at that time) and an advertising agency to handle sales and marketing, but they had problems selling right from the start. So after a few months of trial and error he asked me for ideas. I gave him ten ideas hand written on a yellow piece of paper. Half the ideas were sales oriented, the other half marketing. I then boldly informed him that his project would succeed if he followed my advice and that his project would fail if he didn't. It was just intuition based on my experience up to that time. I also suggested he give the ideas to both of his agencies for their use, free, but under my breath recommended he let me implement them for a fair and reasonable percent of the sales prices.
We had a good laugh.
The executives at Walker & Lee and his ad agency thought my ideas were unprofessional, even laughable, as I remember. They said the ideas had come from someone who just didn't know. Well, I didn’t know that they weren’t right and whether my client did or not I'll never know. Whichever the case, he fired them and hired me. While setting up the sales office ten days later, Friday evening the night before I was to begin, my predecessor, Walker & Lee's top agent happened by to see what I was doing that was so different and after a good look told me in no uncertain terms that I would surely fail. To tell you the truth, I didn't know that she wasn't right as well.
As it turned out, they and she were wrong. My staff and I sold seven homes our first weekend on the project and approximately that many every week until sold out (they hadn't sold any in weeks). You can guess what happened. Other builders began asking me to work for them. I liked that and soon added New Home Sales to my portfolio of real estate oriented sales and marketing services.
That was over three-hundred "Sold Out" projects ago, each personally signed for "Marketing" and listed for "Sales" at an average rate of about one every six or seven weeks forty-years running representing many thousands of homes, all overseen and closed out by me personally, and many more upon which I consulted regarding the sales and marketing process: countless thousands of homes throughout southern California.
Go to Builder Sales and Marketing (.com) to overlook my builder-oriented sales and marketing programs, services and history.
I am Proud to Have Sold Most Every Type of Housing.
I am proud to have successfully sold most every type of housing: entry level, middle range and high-end homes and condos; custom homes; estates; resort-oriented residences; ranches; land; lots; mobile homes; mobile home lots; manufactured homes; stacked housing; senior housing and master planned communities; both new and resale.
In respects to marketing, even early on I was rarely satisfied with the strategies advertising agencies -- hired by builders -- undertook to bring buyers to the projects I was selling. Most agency owners, I found, had never sold real estate for a living and their account reps were usually 23- or 24-year old laymen that hadn't even yet bought a house.
In spite of that these were the people assigned the task of designing my sales and marketing strategies: ads, signs, brochures, multilevel referral programs (rarely), efficacious broker co/op programs (never), splayed signage (what's that), grassroots press (tilted heads), international emissary sales and marketing (your kidding), by auction programs (how), story-boarding (what would we say), etc. These also were the people staging sales and marketing sessions with my clients: people without the slightest sweat-earned ideas of what I/we really needed to succeed, especially in a troubled market.
Experience Counts / It's not the end-all, but it's close. Sometimes the winning difference between one recommendation or another, one plan or another, one ad or another can seem nominal and subjective or, even, insubstantial to a casual onlooker or inexperienced observer. The hard-to-see winning difference between one plan or idea conceptually might only be, maybe, a minor two-percent twist to this or that in the overall scheme of things; admittedly, a small difference. I call it "The Two-Percent Difference."
Imagine, though, running a multimillion dollar thoroughbred in the Kentucky Derby and coming in second by a nose. The winning difference between the finisher and the loser isn't much, but the rewards, well, that nose, that extra two-percent can be worth millions. Close is not good enough.
Essentially, I am talking about value judgments. Who decides or can decide or even knows what the two-percent difference -- the winning difference -- is relative to this or that, the many issues essential to a successful real-estate-oriented sales and marketing campaign is the issue. I am confident it is only someone with a great deal of experience specific to the task at hand.
To ensure "The Two-Percent Difference" for my clients, I began doing total project marketing (Advertising, Merchandising, and Sales) myself. You may be surprised to find, I hope in a positive way, that the graphic arts that make up the websites representing the Real Estate Professionals' overall program, including the Seller Services Portfolio, were created by my hand. I enjoy hands-on graphic arts and writing but have never pursued these interests outside the marketing and sale of real estate.
Go to Seller Services Portfolio (.com) for a snapshot overview of the Real Estate Professionals' resell-oriented sales and marketing programs, services and history.
At any rate I took to marketing like I took to sales. I linked and unified the two disciplines into one. What emerged over time was a total sales and marketing process I call "Fail-Safe Marketing, The 100% Solution."
Then an Interesting Thing Happened / I started sliding programs I created for selling new homes to resales (pre-owned homes in older neighborhoods) and back, modifying and blending the two even though they are distinctively different markets. I realized I was having unique experiences in "Marketing" that virtually no Realtors were having, that I was successfully creating what I now call "Bold and Enterprising Sales and Marketing Programs" for selling newly built homes in the largest projects and master planned communities irrespective of the conditions of the time, price or locale and that I could do that here and there at will: here in new homes and there in resales.
You may have seen me state -- a few places -- that you can get anything you want in real estate if you realize they are gained by bold and enterprising sales and marketing. It's so true. There's really no such thing as slow-sale real estate, only slow-sale marketing. Virtually all properties listed with me -- because of bold and enterprising sales and marketing -- become the first-sellers or top projects among all competition within their respective regions; even properties and projects that were dead-in-the-water prior to my taking over sales and marketing.
Let Me Reiterate One Thing.
All the while this builder-oriented sales and marketing activity was going on I sold resale housing as well and have developed a number of methodical systems for selling long-on-the-market Custom Homes, Estates, and Resort-Oriented Residences in a timely fashion irrespective of price, place, or conditions of the time. Outstanding among them are The Fast Sale Auction and Radiant-Outreach Net/Work Marketing.
The Fast Sale Auction / I'm proud to share here bits and pieces of my program for selling real estate by auction known as The Fast Sale Auction endorsed by top people in the industry and successfully used throughout the state to sell hundreds of properties in all price ranges: mostly long-on-the-market unsold properties that each needed an attention-getting promotional boost to get sold and the sellers to where they wanted to go
The savings and loan crisis of the 1980s and 1990s (commonly dubbed the S&L crisis) was the failure of 1,043 out of the 3,234 savings and loan associations in the United States from 1986 to 1995. Financing literally dried up.
This created some very special sales and marketing challenges in real estate, especially for the luxury home market, because there were just too many homes for sale among the few buyers that could afford to buy. The key to success, then, I figured, was to draw the few to a single standalone house among-the-many by some creative means to provide for its seller a stream of buyers that wouldn't otherwise bother to see it.
I decided to do this by means of an attention-getting "Auction" of most every property I listed at that time, but not by a one-day all or nothing effort typical of auctions tried in real estate by auction companies, but by a unique day-in, day-out sale by sealed bid program unique to real estate that I wrote and created to sell my listings "1st" among all others in the local market.
The upshot of all this is that during that time frame the largest-name companies in real estate were selling 20% to 30% of their listings during a normal listing period while at the same time, I was selling 70% to 80% of mine. I have sold hundreds of homes with it since for both home owners and builders alike.
Using it, I draw both buyers and agents to a property like metal shavings to a powerful magnet in greater numbers than any other program on the market. It’s not uncommon for a home owner to put a home on the market by auction with me that has been for sale for six months, a year or even longer, and then to sell it within six-to-eight weeks.
I give sellers an edge on competition in the market by making their home the first one a buyer will look at if they want to buy in their area: the value-buy message inherent to selling by auction demands that. We sometimes use it for the reverse purpose: to sell for more money than the asking price.
Radiant-Outreach Net/Work Marketing / I also am proud to share here bits and pieces of my program for marketing to what I dearly call Rich Overseas Buyers and Locals with Means: a program exclusive to my company called Radiant-Outreach Net/Work Marketing highlighted at a site I call The Listing Bank.
The Listing Bank is an outreach resource center used to create pathways for (1) Leads (2) Referrals and (3) Direct Sales among hundreds-to-thousands of brokers and agents with already-established business relationships inside sub-markets not accessible by any one standalone real estate company or agent. The outreach is global, of course, but also local with professionals tuned-in, tapped-in, and turned-on as they say inside the entertainment, sports, business, finance and legal industries, and others. It is a marketing program par excellence that extends reach exponentially by means of unique-to-the-industry collaborative marketing agreements and over-the-top incentives that skyrocket the potential for fast sales among long-on-the-market unsold properties previously listed with other agents -- that's what it's for -- and distinctively an unequivocal self-generated MLS for marketing Top of the Mark properties owned by sellers that seek to sell outside-of or independent-of mainstream Realtor-oriented methodologies; the only of its kind.
I emphasize Net/Work because effective network marketing is a hands-on activity requiring hard work week-in and week-out to be effective; with this program I am organized for doing that to the benefit of all: My Associates, Affiliates, and Clients.
My programs for marketing to Rich Overseas Buyers and Locals with Means (Radiant-Outreach Net/Work Marketing and The Listing Bank) are not colloquial franchise-like rubber-stamp marketing programs centered on posting properties on MLS (the Multiple Listing Service) and social networks like Zillow, Trulia, Facebook, Google, YouTube, MSN, Yahoo and the like, though I do that too, they are the real thing.
With these programs and others, I have sold homes and lots now reaching into the thousands that often were unsold expired listings of other agents prior to my taking over the sales and marketing effort. I look forward to sharing these and what I call the Secrets, Substances and Privities when we meet. Expect the best.
Trying to figure out what it is about my work or self that resulted in the broad range of experience and success I've enjoyed in real estate when so many, hundreds of thousands of agents, have come and gone during my time in the business, I have come up with this.
With me it's always been about the work, the listing and the selling, being overjoyed about every phase of it: the business development work; the listing work; the marketing work; the selling work; the closing work; working with staff, clients and customers; the detail work; even (especially) the paperwork. My goals and objectives were always -- and continue to be -- about the work: wanting to get the work, to do the work, being in the work, persisting with the work, etc. The money, success, the things I ostensibly wanted always followed, but it's the wanting to do the work, getting it, and being in it that got it.
When interviewing a prospective associate for my company I ask what their motivation or ambition is. I seek to discover whether they are merely money motivated or if they truly want to do the work. Those that succeed, I know, are those that want to be "in" the business, every phase and detail of it every day. It's they I seek to hire and to work with.
The Best Part of the Work is the Responsibility Itself / The best part of the work is when I am given the ball and expected to make the big score: the strategy, gambits, moves and maneuvers; the hits, rebounds, scramble and score. It's all very exciting. I look forward to sharing Success Stories, a program outline I call Talking Points, and the extraordinary features of my program that fall under the category of The Extra Mile with you when we meet.
The Pillars of Success of the Real Estate Professionals' program are (1) Strategic Planning (2) Intentioned Activity and (3) Records to Substantiate Effort and Progress. Altogether, a supernova of activity, planned, executed and accounted for by your listing broker. Working closely with me -- Your Listing Broker -- that's exactly what you will get week-to-week until we sell your property at the top of the market and get you to where you want to go: the Noble Cause underlying our intentioned activity and efforts.
What I Am Doing Today.
Today I continue to list and sell houses as an active resale Broker and I continue to work with builders. My unique expertise or specialty, you might say, is turnaround sales and marketing for home owner and builder alike. With one or more of my various programs I turn slow-sale real estate into fast-sale real estate. I bring the winning difference, the two-percent difference, to the table.
I am not bounded by area or locale, but conduct hands-on sales and marketing for home owners throughout southern California and for builders anywhere in the U.S. and Canada.
Once put to work within any particular neighborhood or locale, I, in no time at all, make the house or project I represent the main local attraction and I, myself, the dominant local agent and center of influence there. My programs, unique and proprietary, draw both buyers and agents to my listings like metal shavings to a powerful magnet or bears to honey: deal-making becomes the modus operandi.
I also am devoted to helping other agents succeed whether associated with me or not and to ensuring that the efficacy of my companies (1) Real Estate Professionals World Enterprise Marketing (2) Real Estate Professionals Allstate Marketing and (3) Matchmaker Realty Services is substantial and noteworthy the world over.
It's always a pleasure to receive an email from a broker or agent associated with a real estate company located in some faraway place like Indiana, Iowa or Florida, or Africa or France, advising me of their success using one part or another of my program found on the internet; and, of course, I am pleased when they request a license to represent the entirety of it in their market. World outreach is always part of a winning formula today.
There's more, lots more I would like to share with you, but there must be a limit to how long or detailed a personal profile should be. Whatever the standard, I'm sure I've reached it. I would enjoy meeting with you whether Home Owner, Builder, Broker or Agent to share more and to discuss your unique situation and needs.
How to Do Business with Me.
That's the Easy Part / Call any time to talk with me or to an initial contact Marketing Partner associated with my company that may have called on you to represent our program. That's it. We'll plan a visit and go from there.
Oh, yes, one more thing, back to years one and two, 3rd and 5th, you remember. Following that I have oversold my colleagues and competitors many times over, coming in first in sales within the regional boundaries of a number of different Realtor Associations in southern California. I strive to continue in that vein today.
Be Sure to Visit the Links on the Sidebar to the Left.
Particularly the Agent Profile.
Marketing Professional Since 1975
Real Estate Professionals World Enterprise Marketing
Lead the Field. Dominate the Market.
Al Lewis Broker/Mentor
Real Estate Prof's Allstate Marketing
Non-Local. Unbounded. Our Influence Extends
Mark of Distinction
Call Any Time to Talk
Al Lewis -- Marketing Professional Since 1975 -- is the Principal of Real Estate Professionals World Enterprise Marketing, an independent, standalone advertising agency serving the needs of real estate oriented sales professionals, owners and sellers throughout home state, California, the US, and numerous International markets; and Broker of Real Estate Professionals Allstate Marketing, a real estate company licensed with the California Bureau of Real Estate, License No. 00524259.
Both are headquartered in Orange County.