<img height="1" width="1" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=139797240013274&amp;ev=PageView &amp;noscript=1">
Call 1.800.323.9974
Free Strategy Call

How Mark Callender Increased His GCI By $100,000

By Elizabeth Stormberg in Client Story on Sep 10, 2020

SUMMARY: Mark Callender joined Vyral back in 2016 and his business saw the most successful two years it had ever had. Mark went from a GCI of $186,700 to $309,500 in 2017. Mark decided to quit Vyral because he couldn't directly track his business. The next year, his GCI went back down to the levels it was at in 2016. The only thing he had taken out of the equation was Vyral. Now, he's back as a client and doubling down on staying in front of his database.

[Full Transcript]

00:00 Introduction

01:20 Mark tells his story of how he first encountered Vyral

03:15 Q: Where were your primary sources of leads coming from?

08:05 How Vyral helped build up Mark's business

09:52 Why Mark decided to quit Vyral

11:51 Why Mark's GCI dropped after dropping Vyral

12:41 Why send videos out to your database

13:29 Mark started back up with the Vyral program

15:28 Mark chose to work his past client database through his years as a realtor.

17:26 What brings the business?

18:19 What Mark likes most about working with Vyral

18:58 How Vyral can improve

19:57 Mark's advice to someone thinking about hiring Vyral

22:10 Final notes, Conclusion

Frank Klesitz:

Hey everyone. It's Frank Klesitz with Vyral Marketing, quarantining here in California from my home office. It’s good to see you. Thanks for joining me today. We're just going live here on Facebook and you may be watching the replay here if you're not watching it live. But interesting story to share with you. Mark Callender is one of our clients in the Twin Cities of Minnesota, client of ours for quite some time. Five, six years ago he started with us a client for a couple of years, GCI went up, but as with anything kind of database marketing, since the people are already in your list, versus someone brand new, that's easy to track. It was kind of hard for him to figure out, maybe like, “am I really getting return on what you're spending with us?” So he quit. Totally cool. You know, let them go.

Frank Klesitz:

And his business went down. I think Vyral was the only thing he changed. And we'll talk about that here today, but he, since rehired his back, got going back on the program his GCI is doing well. Even 2020 in the year of COVID. So I want to welcome Mark today. You're going to hear a story and hopefully we get some good nuggets on what you can do to help get some more business and business from profitable sources from past clients and sphere. Mark's going to be someone who can really talk to that because you have mean he been selling real estate for 19 years, right? 19 years. And how many past clients do you have?

Mark Callender:

Oh, gosh you know, probably three, 400 past clients.

Frank Klesitz:

Okay. So let's go back a couple of years ago when you heard about us and you decided to use us, there is no lack of vendors out there competing for your money to help you get business, right? What was your decision to pull the trigger? Initially to start ramping up what you're doing with your current list. Just take us back to that point and tell us the problem that we solved.

Mark Callender:

Yeah. I think we were in a time, like 2013, 14, 15 market’s coming back and ongoing, but with real estate, I've always heard that you got to get out in front of people, you got to get out. BombBomb came out, I think about that time. And so I just really started researching what was going on and what other agents were doing. My research brought me to Vyral Marketing and I watched some of the videos that the agents were doing. I watched some interviews that were similar right now and I thought, you know, I have to give this a try. I have to get out of my comfort zone.

Mark Callender:

My comfort zone was to not be in front of videos. I hated my picture being taken. And so it was a struggle for me at first, but once I got used to it, it really started to work. I felt much more comfortable and it, it, it works, you know, looking back, I can say it worked really well. I was doing something that nobody else was doing. And I shouldn't say nobody else, but very few agents really get out there twice a month, put a video out. I don't see it. I rarely see it in my market even today.

Frank Klesitz:

So you worked with us for a couple of years, your business has grown and you're making money. Let's talk about at that time, how you get your business. So what are your main lead sources of how buyers and sellers come into you? And let's go back to the time when you were currently a client, where did you get your business from?

Mark Callender:

Referrals. Yeah, mainly referrals. Getting out there, talking to people and that's were still my main sources and I wasn't a big Zillow lead buyer or truly a realtor.com. I've done it in the past, but getting out there and giving somebody something of value was really where I was getting my leads from.

Frank Klesitz:

Be more specific. What do you mean getting out there and referrals? Where you lucky enough to have to just sit around all day long and people call you.

Mark Callender:

Yeah. When I just got licensed my phone started to ring. But no, what I was doing is I was staying in touch. I was doing the Keller Williams 36 touch. I started that right away in my career and I am a big believer in direct mail marketing. And so I was sending out a newsletter that would work. And so what I was doing, cause I was staying in front of people, you know, as soon as I would sell a house, those people were in my database. They'd be getting a call every couple of months for me saying, Hey, how are ya? I was doing some small client appreciation things where I would call, you know, five or six, seven of my clients and say, Hey, I'm going to a happy hour with my family. If you want to stop by, I'd be happy to buy an appetizer and a drink your family, you know, you know, and that was working. Was that actually working. And so I'm just staying in touch, making those calls.

Frank Klesitz:

How many calls a week would you be making, how many hours a week would you prospect? It sounds like you'd only call your past clients. Is that right?

Mark Callender:

I was not prospecting. Right. I was just staying in touch with my past clients and they liked it. They said, Hey, thanks for calling. You know, I never brought up real estate. I would call. And I would say, how's the family I saw on Facebook. Your son just went into college. How's he doing? You know, things like that. Never brought up real estate, but in the end of the conversation, they were always bringing up real estate, say, how's the market what's going on?

Frank Klesitz:

Or they need a little direct mail. I mean, who were you mailing? What were you mailing? How many people are you mailing? What were you spending on the mail?

Mark Callender:

Yeah, I was I'm mailing out about 450. It was letters and they were kind of a fun newsletter, four pages. And it has a trivia in there. You had some market updates, it had some ideas or winterization of your volume, you know, the new season's coming in, what you need to do to prepare, you know, information like that.

Frank Klesitz:

It was probably costs about 250 or 300 bucks a month.

Mark Callender:

Yup. Then plus the service was another 80, $90. It was a service that you could do a complete, you could do a complete newsletter on your own if you wanted to, or they would do it for you and you could just make subtle changes in it. And it worked, you know, people really liked it in there in the newsletter. I put in a trivia question, first one to answer the trivia question gets a $25 gift card to Starbucks, you know? And so it gets engaged people. And I had actually quit that for a while too, because I thought I'm not getting that many people responding to me. When I would send out the trivia and maybe get out of 450, I'd maybe get five to 10 people who called me or emailed me with the answer of the trivia. So I thought, you know, is this really working? So I quit for awhile to see if it was working. All of a sudden people are calling me emailing, say, Hey, did I get taken after database? I didn't get my newsletter this month. What's going on. So I started that right up. Started it back up and it worked.

Frank Klesitz:

It's interesting how you write that check every month you send that stuff out and people call you or they know who you are, but they never say like, Oh, the reason I'm hiring you is because of your newsletter. That probably prompted a discussion. There is a hiring cause I knew you. Right. So you're spending only, the only marketing you're spending initially in those years was about 250,300 bucks a month. Is that right? Okay. You're very database focused. I want to step up my game. You hear about Vyral, you get involved with us. Your business keeps going up.

Mark Callender:

It does. It did.

Frank Klesitz:

Yeah. And how, how did it go up? I mean, what else is anything else you'd change? Anything else new?

Mark Callender:

Not really. I kept going with my newsletters, added Vyral Marketing. And that was really the only change that I made. Again, I wasn't buying leads. I was sending out the videos and people would comment and I would get a phone call here and there people would respond on Facebook or, you know, wherever I was putting that video out, people were responding.

Frank Klesitz:

How many people will be sending the videos to at the time?

Mark Callender:

I break down my database and the A's B's C's D's, but we were sending it to everybody at that time email address we can grab from your system right back then. And that's what that's, that's what we're doing. And I would say I was probably, you know, 1500.

Frank Klesitz:

Okay. Got it. So that would go out. And how much time would it take for you to shoot your videos? We would probably interview you on a webcam much like this.

Mark Callender:

Yup. I would say you know, we'd do a couple videos at the same time, you know, maybe an hour at the most. Okay. Alrighty. All set.

Frank Klesitz:

So you go from 186,700 to about 309,000 GCI and that's pretty good, man. I mean, did you have a, do you have any staff has just you

Mark Callender:

Back then I was just on my own. Yeah.

Frank Klesitz:

It's just you and about a thousand dollars a month of marketing, 12 grand a year on marketing and making 390,000 bucks.

Mark Callender:

Yeah. Pretty good. Pretty good return.

Frank Klesitz:

Pretty good return. It's pretty darn good on the database, but it's still hard to track, right? 

Mark Callender:

Yeah.

Frank Klesitz:

Well, tell me now you tell me now you get to this point, you know, you're writing checks to Vyral, you're writing checks to, you know, you're writing these marketing checks and you're looking at all these people you already know hiring you. It's like, is this stuff making any difference? And he got to this point where it's like, ah, you know, the hell with all that I'm going to quit. So tell me about that decision and why you made that decision.

Mark Callender:

Yeah. My business should be growing, not going down, especially when the market is going up, you know, from where we were done 12 years ago and it was actually dropping, my GCI was dropping. It's still making good money, but it was dropping. And I thought, okay, I really got to sit back and think about what changed did I make?

Frank Klesitz:

Well, hang on, hang on. Before you do that, I want to go back and ask you, why did you cancel when your business was going up?

Mark Callender:

That's a great question. I thought it was more based on our market rising. The market's coming back every year. And it was really starting to get geared up and the engine was moving and I thought, well, it's just the market. The market's getting better. I was around during the short sales and the bank owned stuff. I did both of those and, and you know, those were some tough times. And then I really saw that market going back in 2000. Well, it started basically 2012, 13 with us. It started with you about, I think 2015, you know, it has been going up ever since he hasn't stopped, hasn't dropped- nothing. And so I based it just on a better market.

Frank Klesitz:

Okay. So you stopped us. Did you stop your print newsletter as well? Or did you get that going?

Mark Callender:

I kept that going. Yeah. That's one thing I did keep going.

Frank Klesitz:

So the only thing you change is just your digital marketing, right? Videos. And then the story I remember when you emailed me because it was so impactful, the business went down, back down to 173, right. And you're like, what happened? So, I mean, obviously you stopped Vyral. I mean, anything else happened during that time that might've attributed to the loss in sales?

Mark Callender:

Nope. Nope. I have a great brokerage behind me. RE/MAX Results.

Frank Klesitz:

Yeah. They're like the biggest one out there. Aren't they,

Mark Callender:

They are the biggest franchise with Remax in the world. Now we have 47 offices. Our tech department, everything is, you know, we have free stuff at our disposal as agents. And if you can't make it here, you can't make it. I've always said that. And but the one thing that I didn't have was somebody pushing me monthly to get in front of the camera and make these videos.

Frank Klesitz:

Yeah. It's like having a personal trainer to get this stuff done. Right.

Mark Callender:

Yeah, exactly.

Frank Klesitz:

Okay. Now there's other things you could have sent out to your list. You didn't have to make video. Why video?

Mark Callender:

Well, everything I read, I read a lot and what's going on and in digital, what you gotta do. And so I thought, okay, well, I'm going to get BombBomb, you know, do a video email to my clients, never did one subscription.

Frank Klesitz:

I bought a gym membership and never went right. Or I just go to the jacuzzi.

Mark Callender:

Yeah. There was nobody there on the other end, you know, to help me with these videos and, and guide me through it, get me over my stage fright. It was really good, you know, it really helped.

Frank Klesitz:

Okay. So we put it back in place around the database to start sending the stuff out. So what do we do? We get you on video. You can make two educational videos a month. We send those out, post them on social media. Maybe if you want boosted a bed, five, 10 bucks into your website, visitors into your database. Right. All right. So everyone that can see you on social media sees you, we would also do a little piece of direct mail, but you were already sending out some direct mail. So you have that pillar handled. And then we also have the open and click report. So Hey, Mark, here's all the people that opened the email and then even took time out of the day, believe it or not to actually watch your stuff and click some of your call to action links, maybe such as finding out what your home is worth or searching for properties. Right. Would you ever work or look at your open and click reports? We'd send you

Mark Callender:

Yup. I do it. Yeah.

Mark Callender:

I'll stay in touch with them. You know, thanks for watching. I'll ask any subject that you like that you'd like to see, or can I answer that now for you? You know things like that. And so it's nice because people see me in these videos gives me an excuse to call them and say, Hey, did you see my last video? The subject I used was from another client. Do you have something that you want to know about? You know, but I can help you with whether it's in the video or can I answer it for you right now? And they're like, well, you know yeah, when's our market going to bottom out? When are we going to go back into this? You know? And so it really opens up a dialogue with my past lions and the more you can stay in front of them, they're always going to think about you. If they'd been a friend or family member or they're going to sell or buy you're right there, top of mind and your business went up, went up. Yeah. I started back with you guys last fall or late, late fall, November getting set up again in the first video, Michelle and my assistant, we did a happy new year video. And ever since then, I'm doing good.

Frank Klesitz:

You've been in the, you've been in this space for 19 years and just saying every fad and gimmick and method and team building and online and everything, you know, you've seen it all. And none of that's for you, you're just working your list. Why is that? How come you never went down that path? And you're, it sounds like your preliminary, pretty enjoyable life making a pretty significant income percentage wise as an American income. Cause you don't have much expense,

Mark Callender:

Right? Yeah. I mean the expense just isn't really there. Early on as an agent, you're getting bombarded with these shiny objects coming at you all the time. You go to shows and different things and, and after awhile you just get tired of it. You got to say, okay, what's working for other people. And that's when I found you guys, but on marketing and I, I watched the videos and it took me awhile to make the decision the first time, but it sure didn't take me long to make the decision. The second time when I came back with you guys on 2019, it's like, this is it. This is what's. This is the change that I need to make. I need to go back to Vyral maybe to get back in front of the camera and make these videos for my clients, stay in touch.

Frank Klesitz:

And there's nothing else you do just newsletters and emails to your list. Yeah.

Mark Callender:

You know, we have I don't know, I have not this year, but this would have been my fourth year putting on a charity car show classic. And yeah. And we did that, but I think it really get a lot of business out of it. We take pictures and send them off to my database, you know, invite all my database out. And it was fun. You know, it was a lot of fun. We do stuff like that. Michelle and I, my assistant, we get out, we do a lot of community work, you know homeless vets and things like that, but that doesn't really bring the, the business. We do that because we want to give back

Frank Klesitz:

What brings the business. What's your answer to that question?

Mark Callender:

I think it's honesty. And just the knowledge of the market and being, you know, having integrity and things like that. And I've always said, you know, you treat people, right. Everything else will fall. Everything falls in or falls, falls in place. And I think, I think just we're in such a, a digital era that, you know, the newsletters are great, you know, things like that are great. They work. But you know, people are online, on their phones on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram constantly. I mean that's the age we live in.

Frank Klesitz:

Great. What do you like the most working with us?

Mark Callender:

It's easy. Ashley, my, I call her my coach. I don't know if she's really a coach. Like she's

Frank Klesitz:

Marketing coach, not real estate coach.

Mark Callender:

Not real estate coach. But she coaches me through the videos. So she, for me, she's a coach and you guys just make it really simple, really simple.

Frank Klesitz:

What could we do better? What would like to see us improve here? What could you do better? Do you say? Yeah, I'm the CEO of Vyral. You're in my shoes. What can we do better? What would like to see that? Would you think would improve your business?

Mark Callender:

I haven't thought of that. Just because it's been so good.

Frank Klesitz:

That was the question. I like the honesty.

Mark Callender:

Yeah. I don't think I've had one complaint, Frank. I don't think there's been anything that I could just pull out of the air really quick and say, this is what you guys need to do. I can't come up with anything right now, honestly. Yeah.

Frank Klesitz:

So what a last question, thank you for your time today, by the way, if you have any referrals for someone by what the, what are the areas you work specifically? The whole St. Paul, Minneapolis area?

Mark Callender:

Yeah. Twin cities. You bet.

Frank Klesitz:

Yeah, if you have anyone up there that has to be taken care of buying or selling a home. Mark will do a good job for him. What advice would you give to someone who's thinking about hiring Vyral?

Mark Callender:

The simplicity of it again. And the cost is very reasonable. The startup fees. And I looked to see what other agents are paying for cold leads. I mean, Zillow leads truly. I still call them full leads. Yeah. It's super expensive. What I like about you as you show how to do the videos you've got your direct mail which in fact I've changed, by the way I send the newsletter.

Frank Klesitz:

Yeah. We started adding. I want to add to that you know we try to reach everyone we can online, but you're only going to reach a certain amount. Then you have your top contacts. I believe you have a little over a hundred. Is that right? You have a hundred top contacts. They may not see the Facebook post and may not see the email, but we're going to make sure they get a letter right now. And it looks personalized. Where my old newsletters, they were, you know, had the label on them. Yeah. So you kind of paid attention to how I teach direct mail. So when you open it up, yeah. I just recommend a simple letter to your database, but those of you watching this that are clients or prospects that are from you, probably on my list. Yep. Just like that. Right. Exactly. Yeah. Cool. Anything else for advice to someone thinking about hiring Vyral,

Frank Klesitz:

You'll get over the camera shyness. Like I did, you know, the nervousness goes away. It's like, you're having a conversation with somebody just like we are right now, breezy really. And that's what we do for you at Vyrals. We interview on a webcam just like this and we extract the knowledge. So, and ourselves out and you're left with a nice video. Yeah. And you know, people ask, well, what are you talking about? Same as same things that you talk to your clients. Well, they have questions. That's a subject right there that you could make a two, three minute video on it. Because if they have that question, there's going to be a lot more people that have that same question. Yeah. All right, Mark. Well, thanks so much for your time. I appreciate the interview today. You're welcome. Your watch you. If you're watching this, you can go to our website, get Vyral.com and download our official video marketing plan.

Frank Klesitz:

It's the marketing plan we implemented from Mark that you can swipe and deploy for yourself on the homepage of our website. I also teach class every week. Mark. You're welcome to join those every Monday at 11. I'm sorry. Every Monday at 12 Pacific three Eastern, I teach a marketing class where we go super deep on something we do for you at Vyral. If you're interested in that to kind of really learn, you know, how to take what you're doing with us at the most, the highest level, then finally and you're welcome to come to those lessons. Anyone as you're watching this, you can register on a website or in a classroom. Then finally, if you're thinking about hiring us and you'd like to have an honest conversation, what it would look like if you were to start a video blog and sending videos out, doing what Mark's doing, you can request a free strategy, call on a website and you'll speak to my business partner, John, who started the farm with us. So Mark, thanks so much for attending.

Topics: Client Story

Elizabeth Stormberg

Written by Elizabeth Stormberg

Elizabeth is the Chief Marketing Officer at Vyral Marketing.

Official Video Marketing Plan

New to Vyral Marketing? Start here.
 Free eBook: How to Reconnect with Your Neglected Contact Database to Increase Sales with Video & Social Media 

Download Video Marketing Plan

Recent Posts