Michael Thorne has perfected the art of the unsolicited video CMA.
Sending a Comparative Market Analysis to past clients in the hopes of generating new listings is nothing new. Even the addition of video is no longer a novel concept.
But with a little magic, the unsolicited video CMA method is an incredibly effective prospecting strategy. Michael Thorne, REALTOR and popular video expert, joined us for a webinar to share everything a real estate agent needs to know to implement this strategy. Here’s what we learned.
First, a little background on the unsolicited video CMA:
The unsolicited video CMA method was popularized by Jimmy Burgess, Chief Growth Officer at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Beach Properties of Florida. Michael, a constant early adopter, studied Jimmy’s method, put his own spin on it, and now teaches other agents how to leverage his own video CMA method.
It’s important to note that this isn’t the traditional CMA for your buyer or seller. “What we're doing is much different,” Michael explains. “What we're doing is using CMAs as a prospecting tool, not necessarily prospecting to people we don't know, but prospecting to the people in our sphere of influence, in our past clients, in our database.”
How to implement the Unsolicited Video CMA method
1. Set a goal is for each past client to receive two of these emails per year. If you have 125 past clients in your database, that’s 250 video CMAs per year, which is just 5 per week if you stagger them throughout the year—totally manageable. Michael uses Realvolve to schedule and track this activity. Typically, one of the video CMAs is sent on a person’s purchase anniversary.
2. Create the CMA document in your software of choice. Michael uses Cloud CMA.
3. Use BombBomb to record a quick video of yourself going over the highlights of the CMA. You can do a screen recording right inside a BombBomb in your Gmail or in Realvolve. Because BombBomb makes a 3-second GIF of the first three seconds of a recording, Michael begins each video by holding up a whiteboard on which he has written the clients’ first names. This GIF is what the client will see when they open the email. “You will have a 100% open rate,” Michael promises. “If they see their favorite realtor holding up a sign that says their name, meaning this isn’t for anyone else but you, it has 100% success.”
“I start by recording just me on camera, saying, ‘Hey Karen and Peter, I hope things are going well with you. It’s been a while since we chatted, I hope the family is healthy and safe. In these strange times we’re living in, the market continues to change and a lot of people have been asking us questions about how COVID is affecting the market, so here is a quick evaluation of your property. I’m also going to include the PDF, so you guys can look at it in the future. But here we go, let’s look at your CMA.’ And then, by clicking one button, I can switch to this view that has their CMA on the screen along with myself.”
Keep the CMA walkthrough super simple. Ideally, the video should only be about 2 minutes long.
Before you end the video, switch back to the main camera and remind them that the PDF is attached, so they can go back and look at it anytime.
When you stop recording, the BombBomb video will automatically upload to your email.
4. Prepare and send the email. You can send the BombBomb email directly from Realvolve, but Michael sends his from Gmail. He uses Gmail’s snippets feature to automatically load his unsolicited CMA email script. The property address is always the subject line—that’s what will prompt the client to open the email. Then he just has to add the recipient’s name, and maybe a few friendly lines asking about the family, but the rest of the email is already written out for him. He finishes by attaching the document and clicking Send.
5. Receive notifications of activity within your email. In BombBomb, you can select to receive three types of notifications: when they open the email, when they watch the video, and when they click the link to the CMA. There's a good chance the client will open the email and watch the video the first day you send it, because you've made the subject line and email content so enticing. But because this email was sent based on your timeline, not theirs, that open probably doesn't mean they're actually thinking about buying or selling right now.
The goal here is to get this email in their inbox—and make sure they're aware of it—so they can come back to it later. That "later" is when the magic happens.
6. Be ready to reach out when, months later, a client sets off a trigger. “The magic is when they’re sitting, having a glass of wine in October six months later, and they’re saying, ‘You know what, it's time to move. What did Michael say the value of our property was?’”
And then they search their inbox for that email, and open it up, and you receive a notification. That’s when you pick up the phone and give them a call. That open or view or click is an indicator that they are thinking about something involving you. Maybe they’re thinking about moving, or maybe someone they know is looking for a real estate agent and they want to refer you.
“They’re going back [to that email] with intention. That’s exactly what happened with my clients Karen and Peter. In March, they clicked the email that I sent back in April of 2020. So, later that night, I called Karen. ‘Hey Karen, it’s Michael. I sent you a CMA a while ago, just as we were getting into COVID, to give you an evaluation of your property. The market’s really changed a whole lot between then and now. Would you like me to send you a new one to update you on what’s happening right now?’ And they’re like, ‘We were talking last night about how it’s time to put the house on the market because Peter’s three months away from retirement and we’re going to move to our retirement property in Campbell River.’”
“This is not hypothetical. These are real people with a real scenario. They’re the ones who told me [by opening the email sent a year ago] to pick up the phone and call them because they were ready to sell.”
So this time, Michael put together an updated and more detailed CMA, and met with his clients face-to-face. They listed with Michael, and just a few months later their home was sold and they were living in their retirement property.
The magic is in the triggers
Using BombBomb to send these video CMAs is key to the success of this prospecting strategy. Because it’s not about sending the CMA—every real estate agent does that. And it’s not even the fact that you’re sending a video walkthrough of the CMA—sure, video is great for being personable and grabbing attention, but that’s not the magical part of this strategy.
The magic, Michael says, “is having the triggers associated with those two activities.”
“It’s not about delivering them the information. It’s about them revisiting the information. That is the serendipitous magic of it all.”
To learn more about Michael’s method for unsolicited video CMAs, check out the full webinar recording!