Category: Sphere of Influence

Episode 034: Using Video to Build & Maintain Relationships. Covert More Leads With Video Branding

Mike Cuevas has been in the real estate business for over 12 years and specializing in real estate lead generation. Mike believes that every office, mortgage company, and title company should have a “marketing dude” on staff. He has set out this mission in 2015 and will not stop until it’s complete.

When Mike Bjorkman met Mike Cuevas, Mike was the short sell king of the world!

What’s the difference between Chicago and San Diego? Lifestyle! It’s always sunny in San Diego.

What are Mike’s thoughts on video? Video is a brand strategy. When you use video to market your brand, you subtly remind your clients what you do/who you are and you will start building your audience and build trust around yourself. Video is more memorable and makes more overall impact. Video allows buyers to see you as an agent and envision themselves working with you or not; We’re even using it to recruit; It’s a constant interview: Use video!

A lot of our new agents who are brand new and have been crushing it and killing it by doing everything we say, especially video. They are authentic, realistic with their videos, and we watch them sell a lot of houses.

The importance of branding. Mike Bjorkman knows this, he’s built an entire world around this. And it’s so important to do this. Branding creates mind awareness. Mike even wears a HomeSmart shirt. Your logo is what people will remember and stay top of mind. And be consistent with it. Think Nike!

If you want your facebook ads to start working well for you, understand what your brand is and who you resonate the most with. That way you can better target and learn your demographics. Make the test and ‘target yourself’. The people who you will resonate with are the ones that are ‘just like you’ in the end, and who you want to go get a beer with.

Logo: The more people start seeing it, the more it sticks in their mind. This is how Egyptians told stories! They did it with pictures instead of text and this stayed longer in people’s minds.

With your whole marketing package, you do more than the status quo and create an experience for your future clients, which makes your clients feel amazing after meeting with you.

What is Mike noticing in his own company’s success?  Their mentality is similar to the one Mike and Julie have: to empower agents to build their own brands, versus having them relying on one of the companies.

The biggest mistake in his career Mike Cuevas ever felt he made was to give away his relationships to his team agents during his highest volume years, when they were doing very good in the short sales years ago. These leads become part of your audience and, ultimately a referral source, and that’s ultimately how  you build a brand.

What are Mike’s thoughts on video emailing, such as BombBomb campaign, and his database? Mike believes that everyone should be using video email. There is about a 30% open rate on emails. The whole point of sending emails is to stay on top of a mind. The only goal of emailing is to nurture your relationships; People will call you if they want to work with you. Keep the videos below 90 seconds and make the video a little bit exciting!

If you have a certain database of clients (e.g. A’s, B’s, and C’s) and want to communicate with all of them, should you use a BombBomb campaign or a regular campaign? BombBomb for all! There is a  total difference in a video campaign to your relationship list as opposed to your lead list. The content of your video in a lead list is going to be less personal than your relationship list. Because on a relationship list you are nurturing a relationship. So we want to separate those two lists.

Now to determine who goes on your relationship list, do something very simple: Go on your facebook feed and look at the names that are on that first list. Imagine you were on facebook and you just saw a picture of that person with their keys to their new house and you get a sick feeling because they didn’t use you, then, yes, they should be on your relationship list!

The impact of video in Mike Bjorkman’s career. Mike sends them a video presentation before the meeting. Typically half the people watch the video. The ones who did watch it are generally ready to jump into the paperwork. The ones who didn’t, even if referrals, are more cold, on their guards. So he makes them watch the video while walking through their house. On his way back, the dynamic has completely changed and they are finally more confident, relaxed; To see the mindset changing is heaven! So there are instances when professional videos are very important for your business! People are hiring you for the experience and part of it, is the education.

Authenticity of the communication level. Be yourself, don’t act like a robot. Speak the same way you speak to your best friend. The more unprofessional the better. At the end of it, that’s all people want; They want to ultimately trust you, more than anything. And you may turn some people off and that’s okay.

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Episode 031: What’s Up With Social Media Part #2 Must Know Changes

A few other things we need to embrace as real estate agents:

  • Which other social media platform should we be using? Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, Pinterest!? Deanna is not particularly a fan of Snapchat but if you do love it, they have just opened up new advertising abilities and there is a bunch of different tutorials circulating online, opening up new opportunities that we can now better afford.

Instagram is finally finding a place into Mike’s heart with their feature Instagram Stories. How should we, real estate agents, utilize Instagram?

If you are already doing native advertising on Facebook, make sure to link your account to Instagram to add tons of extra eyes on your ads! It is also a no brainer for real estate agents to make your Instagram account business and personal.

You can now already upload pictures you’ve already taken to an Instagram story, so you will never run out of ideas to post and you will look like a fun person to follow!

So if you really want to make an impactful story, just take 20 minutes to curate something creative from the photos you already have!

Another thing that is changing with Instagram is a new, easier way to promote content on Instagram, adding really cool ways to target people and look at statistics. So we want to encourage local businesses to make at least one story a day because they are becoming such an important part of advertising! And if you are going to be promoting through Instagram, you want to at least keep your feed updated and so post at least once per week to keep yourself ‘rolling’ on people’s feeds.

So make sure to connect your Facebook, Instagram and Twitter account. The great thing with Twitter is that you can real an entirely new audience with your advertising; there are people who get on Twitter because of how accessible and mobile friendly it is. Twitter is also trying to compete with Facebook, create all kinds of new advertising features. For example, they have made it easier to get followers, fast, with very easy and sharp ads, by improving for example targeting or potentially increasing the number of maximum characters per post, and opening up their API to a lot of different places and you can even actually now go live on Twitter!

As for Pinterest, it’s embracing video and making it easier in general for us! So if you love Pinterest, take advantage of this new feature. So pins with video or pins that lead to video get about 40% more interaction. They have also started improving their advertising. So you can now upload your amazing videos and create an ad around it and then turn around and look at the statistics from your videos! Pinterest also allows you to now automatically share your pins with Twitter.

  • If you are using a service that is ‘automatically generating content’ for you, you may not always be able to pick the images they will use, but try to get them into doing something that is a little more personal for you, or just take the time to do it yourself! For example, by using Adobe Spark Post or just
  • Another app that is great for video is Denoise, which allows you to cut off the background noise from your video. Typomatic is also another great app to add text to your videos and Quick by GoPro is great time lapses!

Episode 029: How To Get Your Offer Accepted Every Time! No More Bidding Wars!

“Mike, how in the world do I get my offers accepted?” Buyers are getting heartbroken because their agents can’t get them houses!

Writing The Offer, Negotiation, and Setting Buyer Expectations
If you’re going to work so hard showing homes, you might as well get it to the closing table.

Writing A Strong Offer
• Ask the listing agent what they want
• You should double app with the listing agents lender
• Fax machines screwed up our market! This turned into emails and so forth! Hand deliver and try to shake hands with listing agent, it just gives this warm fuzzy feeling and gives you a chance to get to know them a little bit. It’s important sometimes to use old school family values in our business.
• Give a small but yet somewhat valuable gift (‘guilt presents’) to listing agent with offer (wine openers for example are great!)
• Send a package that’s meaningful and fun
• Your letter about the buyers should include a FAMILY PICTURE – Nothing more powerful! This shows that you are a serious buyer to the listing agent! If the person has no emotional attachment to your home, how hard do you think they’re going to fight, to close this escrow?
• A second letter should be from a BUYER
• Point out what buyers love about the HOME or YARD
• Let the agent know the buyers have had the chat about not ASKING FOR NONESENSE REPAIRS.
• Buyers are willing to BE FLEXIBLE AND SENSITIVE to all sellers needs; this is always a breath of fresh air and makes your statement so much stronger, minimizing contingencies!

The Details Matter Most
• So, minimize contingencies
• None is best
• Pre approval subject to appraisal and clear title only
• Earnest money should always be 5% OR MORE

I like to think that deposits do matter; it’s another step on your ladder that proves that you do have the money and you mean business and, at some point, you could be risking that deposit. So the higher the deposit, the more it will mean to me, and the more it will mean to that seller.

• Make the deposit NON REFUNDABLE
• Write an as-is clause in the offer or some call it PASS OR FAIL within 48hours
• Write an ESCALATION CLAUSE; what we write is ‘Buyer has the right to pay $1000 over the highest offer, not to exceed ___’. You got to protect your buyers with that, so that they don’t find themselves in situations where they can’t afford the house anymore.
• Include a COPY OF BUYERS CREDIT REPORT; when I am a listing agent, I always want to see that! Obviously get buyer permission
• Always provide PROOF OF LIQUID FUNDS; this is a big one for me as a listing agent!
• Write in a DELAYED CLOSING PENALTY Try $50-$100 per day; If you really love that house, this is just another piece of that ladder to get to the top!

Costs Paid By Buyer
• Have buyer pay selling agents COMMISION; there is nothing wrong with the buyer paying the commission!
• Buyer to pay sellers CLOSING COSTS
• Listing agent bonus PAID BY BUYER; it doesn’t really matter how it’s done. Check with MLS and State laws however.

How To Write Full Price Or Above
• Set up expectations at the initial BUYER CONSULTATION
• Price you offer like you were LISTING IT FOR SALE
• Go over all 90 DAYS COMPS
• Prep buyer for MULTIPLE OFFERS
• Remind the buyer that just because today there is only one, tomorrow could HAVE MULTIPLES. There could be another family writing as you speak.
• Agents might not always TELL THE TRUTH! Agents want to double end homes and male YOUR COMMISSION; they need to understand that.
• This is one of my favorite lines: Remind the buyers that a couple grand to save their dream home is pennies over the life of a tax deductible interest rate. If you only went out to dinner one time less, it will only make up for the difference!

Episode 027: Online Lead Conversion

Let’s talk about Internet Leads. If you missed Episode 26, go back and listen to it, to better follow us on this episode!

So how are Internet Leads different form Sign Calls?

Internet Leads
• They can be expensive! These platforms (e.g. Zillow,, Trulia etc.) have made it almost impossible for me to get my leads directly, without paying for them! However, now I am a huge fan of buying leads; building a team requires buying leads, just so that you have a guaranteed slew of leads to go through and this helps you diversify your resources!
Just like in Vegas, it’s almost impossible to win with a little bet. So the more you spend on Internet leads, the higher your odds of converting are. If you only have, say, $500 extra to spend don’t buy leads! Now, Facebook that’s a different story; $500 could bring you 50K.
• They are much colder than sign leads
• They are pushing buttons like crazy; Because we want faster information right now!
• If they’re rude, it’s OKAY. They’ve only gone through a cold stage, they’re not serious yet and they’ve got bombarded. It’s kind of like door knocking; you don’t know what these people are going through.
• It could take 7-11 months to really cultivate these leads, to find the right timing to get a hold of them, stay consistent, follow up, and build the relationship with them. Know your personality styles!
• Now conversation rate is down to 5%. So, as of today, we are only going to close 1 out of 20 leads. The point I am trying to make to the agents out there is, don’t be like me and first completely discard leads. Instead, learn to understand them and use them wisely; It’s a whole new world of Internet leads for us!
• If you think they’re real buyers, set the appointment no matter what. If you don’t somebody behind you is going to have a better script and getcha!

In a normal call from an Internet lead stress to them, “did you know that 50% of the homes available are not even on the computer yet? So if you knew that you had an agent committed to finding homes that are not on the market all day and every day, would you like to come see some with me?” “Sure” “Fantastic!” “So one of the benefits of working with Team Bjorkman is that we do find better deals that are not on the market…” So those same scripts with sign calls, Foreclosures, Short Sales, and Not On The Market. Sometimes we have to tell a story to have people understand, but it’s important to pick up on the buyer’s drivers, when they indirectly say that they are keeping up with the conversation and are curious to see know how you will put your words into action!

Find out their hot buttons, and again it is super crucial to state all properties are not online! It depends where they are in the process and in their life. Pick up on where they are in the process so say, if they got water boiling, dogs barking in the background, life may stop them from having a strong buying position. That’s why I like online leads, because you need to find out where they are at in the buying process by talking to them.

Episode 026: Sign Call Conversion

Let’s talk about converting buyer leads.
It’s not that hard; you just have to know what to do, what to say, and when to say it!

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Getting To Know Each Kind of Lead
• Open House Prospects
• Sign Calls
• Internet Leads

Close the first time every time!

These are the three forms of leads that agents typically work with on a day-to-day basis. I wanted to help agents understand that these are very similar and different and so, they need to be practiced differently.

Theory of Sign Calls
• They are designed to get as many quality leads as possible
• They are a lot cheaper than buying leads. A way to do this is to put phone numbers that are tracked and usable by to an agent (e.g. with Proquest) or you can just put your own cellphone number on there. However you should be able to return a call in 30 seconds!
Force the phone to ring as much as we want. We can put out as much or as less information on the sign as we want (and obviously we would recommend little if you are going for buyers).
It’s very serious because they have seen this neighborhood already.
• This could be your only shot with this person.

Practicing a sign call; ”One of the benefits of working Team Bjorkman, is that we preview homes all day, everyday and specialize in short sales and foreclosures which aren’t yet on the market. Not to mention that our time is flexible, so we can make sure to accommodate you the best… Well this particular house is still available and if it seems to be a little bit expensive for you I could definitely offer a list of short sales and foreclosures that would be a better deal. If I could show you a home that’s not on the market yet would you see that with me?”

We want both decision makers to be present in the process as we don’t want to be wasting time if, say, one of the two spouses is not quite ready to take the step. We simply don’t want to be repeating things twice.

So there are a couple of things we need to worry about with Sign Calls, just to summarize:

1) I have foreclosures and short sales not yet on the market. Every time you say that, you’re going to get a ‘yes’. Unless they do not understand that there is a difference.
2) Better deals. And I am not only talking price wise; it might mean, “this one has a pool, this one has a view, a two car garage…” SO when I say a better deal, it may be better for them. So offering a better deal is having an open mind on what matches they are looking for, it could be better parking, or a bigger pool for example.
3) Setting the appointment, closing the first time. Remember this could be your only shot!
4) Prequalification letter. You might have not asked for a prequalification yet, so as to prioritize bonding time with them to make sure we are the first agents they meet. So just assume they have their prequalification letter and ask them to send it over to you, as ‘sometimes some of these sellers won’t let us in without that or the other agents’ and encourage them to spend 15-20 minutes with their lender to make sure they’re the most comfortable and beneficial payment wise.

Episode 016: 5 Tips to Your Best Real Estate Year Ever


On this episode of the Real Estate Marketing Show we reveal the top five things every agent needs to be doing in order to have the 2016 of their dreams. From training and practice, to marketing, to prospecting.

These are the top 5 things every agent needs to do to have their best real estate year ever.

  1. Training
  2. Practice
  3. Marketing
  4. Prospecting
  5. Previewing Homes

You get all this, plus Mike’s top motivational tips to take you into 2016, on this episode of the Real Estate Marketing Show.

1. Training to Have Your Best Real Estate Year Ever

Work with a trainer.

And there are tons of them.  Here are just a few.

Don’t have the coin for that?

Try these free options

2. Practice to Have Your Best Real Estate Year Ever

  • Practice effective time management. Try Steve Chandler’s Time Warrior.
  • Practice being positive. Go to and type in affirmations, self help, self improvement, or sales skills. Make a practice of reading for 30-minutes every morning.
  • Create a morning practice for yourself. We both like The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod.
  • You can join a network group. Either real estate or non-real estate related
  • Find a mentor. Even if it’s just someone who is really good at life.
  • Join a masterminds. What are other agents, in other markets, doing that you can steal and incorporate
  • Attend a real estate retreat like the Mike Ferry retreat. Or a non-real estate retreat like those given by Tony Robbins.
  • Practice good health. Holistic and natural health are important. If your health isn’t top notch, you won’t be top notch.

3. Marketing to Have Your Best Real Estate Year Ever

  • “We are marketing specialist with a real estate license.” – Shane Pendley
  • Take this time to re-look at your internet presence.  Are your blogs, landing pages, and websites all aligned and congruent?  Do they look the same, feel the same, and reflect the same attitude?
  • Review your marketing and giveaways for consistency of look and message
  • Be a subject matter expert.
  • Review your email campaigns

4. Prospecting to Have Your Best Real Estate Year Ever

You need to be prospecting. But you should choose something you’re good at and that you like.

Don’t like door knocking or cold calling? Then don’t do them.

Do what you like. Maybe that’s social media or sitting on a board of directors for a local non-profit.  The point is, you need to be “doing” something to prospect for new leads.


Whether you want to tackle your sphere of influence, expired listings, for sale by owners, or any other niche markets,
we recommend that you pick three.

Why three?  What happens if you perfected REO and then REO dried up?  You’d be out of luck.

So pick three.  Master them one at a time.  But spread that base.

5. Previewing Homes to Have Your Best Real Estate Year Ever

It may sound weird, but know your inventory, your market, your neighborhoods or tracts, or your new construction floor plans can make all the difference.

Here’s a video that Mike and his team shot on new construction.  Maybe it gives you some ideas.  Maybe you can record a video of your own on the subject.


Episode 005: Real Estate Niche Markets


In this episode of the Real Estate Marketing Show we talk about how to use real estate niche markets to propel your real estate business. One of the most effective ways to jump start your real estate business is to pick a target market. In real estate a target market is sometimes called a niche market.

Vincent Arcuri

Our guest for this episode is Vince Arcuri. Today he shares with us how he went from being a 28 year old janitor at a power plant to the number one agent in the world for ERA.

VinceArcuriVince discusses how he positioned himself as the local agent for celebrities. From WWE superstars, to NFL athletes, to Hollywood celebrities, to politicians.

Vince started by suggesting stories to reporters. And this is an important key. He didn’t wait for his phone to ring. He made someone else’s phone ring.

Fast forward to today and we call that content marketing. Giving value unconditionally knowing that some day the value given could be the value received.

How To Use Digital Marketing on Real Estate Niche Markets

Vince also shares that he is a huge fan of digital marketing. He finds the results much more trackable than postcards.

First you shoot a brief video. You can use your cell phone for this video. It doesn’t need to be highly polished.

Then put your video on Facebook. Vince gives us some tips about how to buy paid boost advertising on Facebook by zip code. It’s the new geographical farm.

Other Marketing Tips for Real Estate Niche Markets

We asked Vince to give us a few real estate marketing tips. What would he do if he were dropped in your town and needed to make sales. Here’s what he says.

  1. Ask for the referral
  2. Be top of mind with your sphere
  3. Shoot brief videos and boost them on social media
  4. Knock on every expired door
  5. Target direct mail to 20 houses a month

Also Mentioned In This Episode