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The Multi-Million Dollar Marketing Plan With Frank Leo

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There is one constant thing in real estate, and that is change. How can you maintain your place and, better yet, expand your reach in an ever-changing economy? In this episode, Frank Leo unveils the Multi-Million Dollar Marketing Plan that has consistently placed him and his team in the top ranks. Frank Leo & Associates is the #1 RE/MAX Team in Canada and across the globe. Jason Williford sits down with Frank to get his insights on how to make it big in real estate through marketing. The two give practical tips to help you stand out from the crowd. Plus, they discuss common marketing mistakes in real estate that are costing agents huge profits.

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The Multi-Million Dollar Marketing Plan With Frank Leo

Discover The Power Of Endorsement Marketing

I have another super special guest on. Mr. Frank Leo of Frank Leo and Associates. His team is the number one RE/MAX team in Canada and in all over the world. He joined RE/MAX in 1993 during the recession. He was an independent agent. He later created and exponentially grew Frank Leo and Associates, an amazing real estate machine that is composed of great team players within key roles of the organization including a team of highly skilled listing and buyer specialists. His multimillion-dollar marketing plan is well-known and highly respected in the top 1% real estate community. It has been most likely modeled by some of the biggest real estate names in the world. Frank lives and breathes preeminence. He has been a part of the highest-level mastermind groups in real estate and he is a leader amongst those groups. Welcome, Mr. Frank Leo.

Thank you for having me. To clarify, we have hit a lot of targets. We are the number one team in Toronto and the GTA. Toronto is the fourth-largest city in North America. We are blessed with a real estate population probably in excess of 70,000 agents in our market. There is a lot of people here. I saw a report that out of 59 jobs overall, 1 of them is a realtor. For every 59 people working, 1 is a realtor in our market.

We will get into that a little bit. I read an article in RealTrends that said that we hit the threshold of more real estate agents than has ever been in America. It’s probably the same way in Canada.

Everybody wants in on the action because they think it is easy. I have been doing this since 1988 before there were computers. We do our offers on stone with chisel and hammer. It is a little different back then. It was great. It is about helping people. We didn’t have computers yet. We used to have something called tear sheets where you would get an 8.5×11. You would tear them up and you have to file every day. If you didn’t one day, you were behind. Your data was not up to date.

That was where I started. It was belly-to-belly meeting people and you had to love people. Still, it is a people business but now there are people who want excuses not to meet or talk to people. My goal was always to help families achieve their buying and selling dreams. There were no teams when I started. They didn’t exist. You did it yourself. I was very fortunate to do well. I quickly got many people to use my services to the point where I didn’t have any more time. There was no time left. The month my son was born, I worked by myself and I had all these clients.

I was expecting my boy. I was waiting for that. I was working and trying to clear my table of all this. That was March of ‘96. In 20 days, I sold 20 homes face-to-face by myself. I was going crazy. I couldn’t do more than that. We were finishing offers at 3:00 or 4:00 in the morning back in the day. I realized if I couldn’t help these people, it didn’t make sense to let them go. I started getting some help. I hired one person and thought that would relieve the pressure of having too much business. That did but then what happened was I had more time to work on being more aggressive with my marketing. I had more people again so I hired more people. As the need arose, we kept growing and here we are in 2022.

You are not just a real estate agent. In my perspective, you are one of the best entrepreneurs and master marketers in real estate within the world. Do you love marketing?

I wouldn’t know about taking it that far. Marketing, you have to love it because it’s between science, art and being able to work in a way where there is a return for you. When you are in a market in a big city like we are, it’s not cheap. It was very expensive. I’ve made mistakes in marketing but you learn. I know that only 50% of my marketing works. I heard this somewhere before so it’s not mine. That is not true. What I mean by that is I’ve analyzed it. You will see 50% of what I do and someone else will see 50% of what I do but it’s a different 50%. We are reaching different audiences all the time. The key is to reach the largest audience as a whole.

Things change. The agents that are able to adapt will change and evolve with time because the economy and the technology changes. Click To Tweet

Connect and speak to the audience that you are speaking with. You are probably testing and measuring, especially earlier off. I know that you split test, optimize and see what’s working and not. I have a TV show called Agents on Fire. Agents are competing in that. I’m their mentor trying to help them exponentially grow their business in a rapid timeframe. Jay Abraham came on as the mentor. He said that a lot of people feel that marketing is an art. He said it’s not. It is some art but it is more of a science. That was funny that you said, “It is a science because of the experimental piece of it. Seeing what is working and not, testing and measuring.”

I was on a call with Chad Schwendeman and it’s amazing. He said about the similar thing that you said is why did he get in real estate. He said he sold 200 homes in one year by himself. I was like, “That is crazy.” Which is about as crazy as selling 20 homes in 20 days by yourself. I thought that was cool that it was almost similar stories. He has a similar perspective on what marketing is to him as well. Through the years, how many transactions and volumes have you approximately done through your career?

I lost track. At this point, there is nothing we haven’t seen but I’ve been surprised a lot of times. We are still learning and having fun.

How was 2021 for you?

We had a record year. We were up about 58%. It’s a crazy market. We are one of the most restricted regions.

Isn’t it in Canada where you are not able to prospect expired?

They have rules against cold calling. “Do not call this.” We are restricted that way. That is why what I have been focusing on for many years is good business. I know all the trainers are out there saying, “You go prospect.” That is like herding cats. That stuff works. You are chasing business but nobody wants to be chased. Bee is to honey. They are coming to you and you say, “I’m more than happy to help you.” If you can get that business model where they are coming to you and you take care of them, not only do you have to work less, you are working smarter but you are working happier. One thing that we have focused on is not only making more sales but also leading a better life of happiness because you have more time and deal with happier clients.

You are busy putting 20 homes under contract in 20 days by yourself. You probably had close to no life. You are working from 3:00 to 4:00 in the morning. Other than needing more people, why did you decide to build a team and not be independent anymore? Are you wanting to get back more freedom and time for you and your family or what?

I love what I do. I’m helping families with one of the biggest decisions in their lives. Financially, you don’t spend more than on a home. I felt the responsibility. I knew I could help. I figured if I was able to teach and help agents get to the level that I was with my clients, we can help more people. That is it.

It sounds like you may have even felt like you would have been disserving your community if you had stayed as an independent agent because you couldn’t have scaled and duplicated yourself and you could help more people.

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Multimillion Dollar Marketing Plan: We are reaching different audiences all the time. The key is to reach the largest audience as a whole.

 

We have economies of scale. We have leverage. What we do for our clients, an individual could never do. We have a big corporation. My marketing is multimillion-dollar marketing. The reason it’s called a multimillion-dollar market is because we invest multimillion dollars to make it happen. It’s very simple.

Can you unpack that a little bit more?

We have a lot of agents in our market. The average sale per agent in 2021 was 1.5 or 1.8 transactions if you divide all the number of agents by the number of transactions. Even though we have under $1 million or $1 million price point, which is a very good price point, I’m spending more in a week than the average agent will make in a year. They can’t do what we do. We market on all media. Marketing is from the stone age. It’s getting the word out. You have to master technology.

We started with no computers. Now computers are a big part of what we do. We are very big on the computer, internet and digital marketing but we also do the old school. We do print but it’s not just print of any kind because magazines take 4 to 6 weeks to come out and they are not distributed. We use neighborhood papers delivered to families that allow easier access to the homeowners. People who have homes, we are reaching them every week.

I agree with you that some things come back around full circle. Prior to real estate, I was in the remodeling industry. I worked up through the ranks through sales. I became the general manager for one of the locations of, at the time, the second-largest remodeling company in America. I had 20 to 25 telemarketers and 20 to 25 canvassers in the room. We spent about $300,000, $400,000 or $500,000 a month on big media marketing, TV and radio just out of that one location, 20 to 25 high polished ninja sales closers. They had to go through a two-week training course of approximately 60 hours per week. A disciplined sales system. A ten-step program. A similar system I learned in vacation ownership.

What I learned from them is when the national do not call lists came like in, it was 2003 or 2004, 52% of their business came from telemarketing. They are doing the branding through the TV radio so when we called people, they knew who the name was, which was very clever because everybody knew the name of the company, especially in Metro Atlanta. Where they were masterful, they say, “They did an amazing pivot.” When I think about pivots, I always go back to this that they said, “They don’t want us to call them anymore.”

What we are going to do is they went out and bought even for that one location, four canvassing vans, they wrap the vans and put 4 to 5 canvassers in each of the vans and set them on their merry way to knock on doors. This was 2003 or 2004, not 1972. It came back around full circle. It’s the same thing in direct mail. There is no direct mail. Everybody is on the internet. If you are going where everybody else is going, not saying you don’t want to go, you want to go internet but you can circle back around to some direct mail because there is not as much junk in our direct mail as it used to be.

You’ve got to surround yourself with great people. If you are the smartest or most recognized person in the room, you are in the wrong room. Click To Tweet

You got to stand up. Top of mind. You got to be there.

Stand out and be outstanding. My ADHD got me and I didn’t ask you how much volume and transactions you ended up in 2021 with 58% growth.

We were at 700 transactions in total. There are some leases there so we are about $600 million in terms of sales. We got to do more. There is more opportunity there. There is a lot more we could do and we can help more people. We are happy with the growth but we have a lot more to do to grow. You mentioned a few things that you circle back to because things change. The agents that are able to adapt, change and evolve with time because the economy and technology change, you have to be up for it. Anyone afraid of change should be able to gain real estate or any business. There is one constant in real estate and that is change.

I know that neither one of us have a crystal ball. I’m not sure yet. It’s hard to track projections and has been since COVID. Do you think there is going to be a shift coming in the market? If you had a quick 2022, what does it looks like in real estate? Do you think we are going to get more inventory in 2022 or not?

It’s coming. I don’t understand from economic principles what is going on because of COVID. We’ve had shut down to people not working and prices have been going up consistently. We have the lowest amount of inventory that we’ve had in history. We have about two weeks worth of inventory in our market. It’s crazy. It’s fast. They are coming for sale and then they are selling very quickly. What is happening is the cost of gasoline, food and everything else has gone up. It’s going to tighten up some budgets. That’s going to force people to sell. This is different than the States because I know you had a correction in 2008 that was very big but here we didn’t have that big correction. We had a little blip. Essentially, anyone 40 years old or younger would not have seen prices come down in real estate in our market. They have no safety net. They are going all in.

Not good or could possibly be catastrophic for those folks. That is our job as preeminent experts in real estate. How do you become an expert? Simply by educating the consumer. Getting into chapter nine, I want to take a deep dive with you because I do feel you are one of the best marketers in real estate in the world. Chapter nine in the book is about marketing mistakes that cause huge profits. Within the book, there are 29 marketing mistakes that real estate agents are making.

In optimization and I believe you do too, there is no finish line and everything can always be optimized. We are all making all these 29 mistakes some more than others and always will. Marketing mistake number three is running traditional brand-based advertising with no direct response marketing. What is your feel off of being, “I’m going to build my brand. I’m going to use a logo like Delta or Home Depot has and put it out there with no direct response marketing in there?” What are your thoughts on that?

Foolishness. It’s terrible. People think all these brands that are out there are just there. They have worked very hard to get that response. If the money is not coming in to pay for it, it is a temporary situation and you are in a business, you just don’t know yet.

Don’t be afraid of the person who does 10,000 things 1 time; be afraid of the person who does 1 thing 10,000 times. Click To Tweet

They spent hundreds of millions and even billions for some of the largest corporations in the world in marketing for them to be able to put a logo out there and get business from it or not worry if the campaign brings anything in or not. Marketing mistake number ten, not leveraging the power of endorsements because you have some amazing, high-level national endorsements with the best of the world. I’m sure you have some local high-level endorsements as well whether it be radio, TV or other folks. There are also cheaper things that when people think of endorsements, they think of those super expensive things but they can also be a well-known influencer in the community, that is the mayor, doctor, principal or whatever it may be. What do you think about mistake number ten, not leveraging the power of influencers and endorsements?

You got to surround yourself with great people. If you are the smartest or most recognized person in the room, you are in the wrong room.

Marketing mistake number fourteen, can you go back to maybe a period in your career, which for you is probably years ago, where you didn’t know to specifically target your marketing and you were making that marketing mistake that you are one for all and there was no polarization in your marketing and you weren’t targeting your marketing? Can you think of a time in your career when you didn’t know what you didn’t know at that time and you weren’t targeting your marketing?

I made mistakes. I have hired the wrong people who didn’t deliver on their services and lost thousands of dollars. I can’t say I made mistakes. I did one thing. I’m going to share it with you because this is the secret to helping people who are starting. There are a lot of experts out there that are going to tell you what to do and how to do things. That is great. They may have some great ideas. When you are starting out, you have to understand the best market you want to reach. Do you know what that market is? It is you. What pulls you in? What makes you act? What attracts you to that brand? Does that affect you because then you can have the pulse and gauge and that will work because it’s working on you? You will attract similar people to you. Once you master that then you expand.

A lot of times, it starts out with writing the right ad copy. I love copywriting, which I believe is the number one skill to have within marketing. When you are effective at writing ad copy, you are attracting the folks you want to work with but also detracting the folks you are maybe not a fit for. Marketing mistake number nineteen, the last one that I wanted to hit with you. I would love to hit all of them with you because it’s fun to me and I know that you know at a high level what you are talking about.

Marketing mistake number nineteen is not having an integrated marketing and sales system. I know that we already discussed your multimillion-dollar marketing system. Do you also have a system in place that your team operates upon to help sellers get more money or help buyers find the perfect home at a great price?

The systems are key. I’ll be the first to admit I have lost millions of dollars by not capturing all the opportunities that have come in. Not because I want to but when it comes in that quickly and you are not able to properly handle them in the best possible way. Sometimes I was very successful at getting them to come in but when it is too much, if you have one client, you can do a great job of taking good care of them. 2, 3, 5, when you have 50, you can’t.

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Multimillion Dollar Marketing Plan: The reason it’s called a multi-million-dollar market is because we invest multi-million dollars to make it happen.

 

Duplicating training and having a selling system that is duplicable that all of your agents are trained on. We have a ten-step selling system that is simple. We train on the ten steps. They follow the ten steps. We practice, drill and rehearse over and over not on new stuff but on the wheel because the wheel works. The process works.

Mastery. Don’t be afraid of the person who does 10,000 things 1 time, be afraid of the person who does 1 thing 10,000 times.

Last question for you. What does the future look like for Frank Leo and Associates?

The future is bright. When we go to work, our goal is simple. It’s not to do anything but help buyers and sellers achieve their real estate dreams. The more people I can help achieve their dreams, I’d never had to worry about mine. They automatically get built.

I borrowed this from Joe Polish. He says, “Life gives to the givers and takes from the takers.” I know you do that at a high level. I sure do appreciate you being on. I’m grateful. I know your time is valuable. I want to ask you for agents that are reading that may have friends, family, colleagues or agents that may be moving to the greater Toronto area. How can they get in touch with you?

The easiest way is to the website. It’s GetLeo.com. We will be happy to reach out to them and answer any questions they may have.

That video is magnificent. I love the end of it. It’s funny. Whoever is reading, you will want to go to Frank’s website and check out that video. There is a blooper at the end. That made me crack up. It was funny.

I’m glad you liked it.

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About Frank Leo

Frank Leo  Frank Leo & Associates is the #1 Remax Team and in the World. Frank Leo joined Remax in 1993 during a recession as an independent agent. He later created and exponentially grew Frank Leo and Associates, an amazing “Real Estate Machine” composed of great team players within key roles of the organization including a team of highly skilled Listing and Buyer Specialists.

His Multi-Million Dollar Marketing Plan is well known and highly respected in the top 1% Real Estate Community..It’s been most likely modeled by some of the biggest real estate names in the world.

Frank lives and breathes Preeminence, he’s been a part of the highest level Mastermind groups in real estate and a leader amongst those groups.

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