I was 18, I’d just left school and my whole life was ahead of me…
“Which University are you going to Mark?” The question many friends and family were asking after I’d finished my A-Levels.
But I wasn’t sure I wanted to go to University!
The idea of spending another 3 years of my life in education sounded AWFUL!
That summer, I took a job in a bar in the centre of Cascais, Portugal where I was living at the time, to earn some pocket money whilst I pondered what to do with my life.
Little did I know that this would be my first true experience of sales, upsells and customer retention (something I became incredibly good at)!
The wages were TERRIBLE which meant we had to improvise.
Bars compete heavily for tourists.
The more tourists you get into your place, the more money the bar takes, but more importantly the more TIPS you get.
But not all tourists are made equal! Some are great tippers and some, shall we say, not so great!!
This meant I had to attract new customers into the bar and then quickly identify which I thought were going to be the best tippers so I could make sure they got more of my attention throughout their day/night at the bar.
But it wasn’t just about getting them into my bar…
It was also about getting them to keep coming back to the bar throughout their holiday which could be days, a week or even a fortnight.
I quickly realised it was a lot less effort to keep the same people coming back than to be constantly going out to find new customers all the time.
Not only did the returning customers continue to tip well, they also bought us drinks when they saw us out and about on our days off and even came to night clubs with us after work!
It was bar work that really started my understanding of how to identify the most profitable customers, how to sell them what they wanted and how to ensure I maximised profits out of each customer I found…
I decided not to go to University and, whilst bar work was really fun and I was earning decent money, it wasn’t a career I wanted to pursue, so I returned to England
THE ART OF SELLING ON THE TELEPHONE
I still didn’t really know what I wanted to do with my life so did what every 19yr old does when they’re stuck…took a job in sales.
My first sales job was in telesales and I ended up being really good at it!
I discovered that the skills I’d learned in bar work also worked with people on the phone…
Understand their needs / pain points and offer a solution to relieve them and give them an outcome that improved their current position.
We were given scripts and objection handling training and whilst these were helpful at the beginning I learned that I was able to do my own thing and became the consistent top seller and made a lot of money!
SEVERAL SALES ROLES LATER
My early 20s saw me continue to develop my business development and sales skills working in a number of different roles and sectors including door to door sales collecting direct debit donations for charity, account management for an exhibition design and manufacturing company and then a number of roles within recruitment including executive search and selection and specialist rail engineering.
But there was an industry I’d always been interested in…
Moving around a lot as a kid had meant I’d spent a lot of time viewing properties with mum and dad and I LOVED it.
Seeing the different styles of property, the different condition, never knowing what you were going to find behind that front door.
And the agents always seemed so happy! And why wouldn’t you, driving around in the sunshine showing lovely (and some not so lovely) houses to people.
And now I had my sales and customer service skills finely tuned, I was confident I could build a successful career in property agency…
STARTING AGAIN AT THE BOTTOM
Unfortunately the one negative thing when I moved was that I had to start at the bottom of a new career ladder which meant a pay cut (big one) and I was out of my comfort zone again having to learn a whole new world of regulations, legislation and the art of dealing with a whole new breed of customer (tenants and landlords).
As before, I quickly deployed the skills I’d learned in my early bar work days and my previous sales roles and again, discovered very quickly that I was very good at the property stuff as well.
WORKING FOR SOMEONE ELSE JUST WASN’T FOR ME!
Over my 9 years in agency I worked my way up the ranks, helping a number of smaller agencies scale their businesses through new client acquisition and existing client retention.
I finally left my “employed” career as an Area Manager for one of the “big 3” corporate agencies, looking after 11 offices throughout Yorkshire and the North East and launched my own property maintenance company and investment consultancy in 2014.
THERE’S GOT TO BE A BETTER WAY TO FIND DEALS THAN THIS…
Whilst sourcing property investment deals for my clients I already knew that the best deals were always the ones that hadn’t made it onto the market yet.
This meant I had to deploy all the lead generation skills I’d acquired over the previous years and consistently apply them to ensure I had the best chance of getting to the property owners before anyone else.
At this stage I only really had direct mail, door knocking and cold calling as my ‘go to’ methods, which worked well but were very labour intensive and also very difficult to track.
There were also a few areas where door knocking wasn’t the safest lead generation strategy!
And then I saw the light…
MY DISCOVERY OF DIGITAL MARKETING
Of course I already had a website (this much I knew about an online presence) but what I didn’t know was that you could pay Google and Facebook to put your adverts in front of people you wanted to attract.
Little did I know at the time, but this was the start of my obsession with the online marketing world and that I’d spend years learning everything I could about the art of online lead generation and marketing funnels.
Everything I’d learned in the physical sales world (identifying pain points, selling features not benefits, understanding your customer, identifying the right customers for your products and not wasting time with those who weren’t) applied exactly the same in the online world, only this time I could reach more people and get better results!
3 years after launching, we won the “Best Property Investment Advisory” award which was a fantastic achievement, with a big part of that coming from our digital marketing strategy.
We developed a process that enabled us to generate high quality leads online (both for new investor clients and property owners) on auto pilot so we could scale more quickly than we ever would have been able to just using the offline methods we used previously.
NOW HELPING YOUR BUSINESS DO THE SAME
2022 saw the launch of my marketing agency which focuses on helping businesses in the property sector (including agencies, trades, home improvement, suppliers etc) attract more customer leads via dedicated lead generation assets called funnels.
These aren’t your run of the mill websites!
They’re highly optimised web pages (known as sales pages) which are designed specifically to get a particular type of customer (your ideal customer) to purchase a particular product or service (usually your most profitable).
You can learn more about our process HERE…
Once your funnel has been built, we turn our attention to generating visitors to it (known as “traffic” in the marketing world) so that we can convert them into customers.
2 TYPES OF “TRAFFIC”
There are two ways to find prospects (“traffic”) for your funnel:
1. Free (also known as organic in the marketing world)
Needless to say, free traffic takes time and consistent hard work to ensure your prospects have the best chance of seeing your marketing efforts.
And paid traffic will shortcut your route to more prospects , however it will come at a cost.
You can learn more about how I can help you with both HERE…
WANT ME TO HELP YOU FIND MORE CUSTOMERS?
If you’d like to discuss potentially working together and how I can help your business generate more leads and close more customers then book a call with me via my calendar below and let’s chat about your goals and how me and my team can help you achieve them.
Over the past few years I’ve been fortunate enough to have been interviewed by several industry experts and have presented at numerous property networking meetings up and down the UK. Below are a few links to those if you’re interested in hearing a bit more about me…
The art of being an expert is to take what you know, and make it as simple as possible for someone who doesn’t know as much as you
Mark Dunsmore is an real estate agent for 10 years working for one of the big corporate firms until he realised he could achieve his financial goals working in sourcing property deals for other investors. That’s when Goliath Property Solutions was born. He sources property deals for our clients all over the world using traditional and creative strategies.
Anyone can pick a property off Rightmove and negotiate 5% off the asking price. You know that the REAL profits are made when you can reliably track down those elusive “below market value” or lease option opportunities… but where do you even start?
Mark shares in great depth how best to approach the sourcing of properties, deal packaging, and much more in an interview that goes much deeper than property.
Mark has had a passion for property from a young age, when he remembers the excitement of doing viewings around multiple houses with his dad. Like most of us though, he was distracted from this for a time by the corporate world, working telesales, then door to door selling, and eventually recruitment before finally returning to property in 2005.
This week I am joined by Mark Dunsmore who had a passion for property from a young age but like so many of us, he was distracted from this for a time by the pull of the corporate world working telesales, door-to-door selling, and eventually recruitment before returning to his real love of property in 2005!
How to go from successful estate agent to professional property sourcer, mentor and trainer. Many of us begin our journeys into property with a blank slate…