Monday, June 18, 2018

Lisa Gray

Lisa Gray
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Lisa is an accomplished marketer with years of expertise in direct response marketing, digital marketing, data analytics and business development working with both B2C and B2B.

Time For a Head-to-Head Comparison

When it comes to marketing for leads, diversifying across more than one advertising medium is never a bad idea. One form of marketing piggybacks on another creating a more powerful impact on your target audience.

However, with a limited budget, understanding which form of lead generation will provide you the best bang for your buck is just smart business sense.

With the continued growth of online lead generation companies, a new and seemingly endless supply of leads are now being made available for the busy agent.

However, agent reviews tell a different story. Many complain of bogus leads and feeling scammed, yet other agents sing their praises.

With good marketing dollars at stake, what’s an agent to believe? Time to take a deeper look at online lead generation versus the long-standing favorite direct mail lead generation. Let’s see if we can figure this out. 

Online Lead Generation

Online lead sites typically generate leads by using various forms of digital marketing to drive traffic to landing pages and websites. When new leads funnel in they’re pushed out to the paying agents.

The average monthly cost for these services starts at around $500. Now let’s look at what you are getting for this investment.

The upside: You’re putting your marketing dollars and more importantly your “time investment” in another’s hands. It is now their job to try and target the right audience, develop ads, launch campaigns and maintain them. You have just saved yourself a significant amount of time and effort (hurray!).

The downside: You are also effectively putting your “marketing message” in the hands of a third party. And hoping “their” message represents you in the right way to your potential audience. You’ve saved time, but you have also lost control over how your audience is marketed and what their user experience is like.

In addition, if a lead they furnish you has a bad experience with them, this bad experience is now attached to you as well (yikes!). Their reputation becomes your reputation through association.

Furthermore, you have no idea what journey your “lead” has been on up until the point they were handed to you. Which may be why many agent reviews about online leads convey such a degree of frustration and disappointment. When they actually reach out to the lead, they’re often confused about why they are calling or angry to receive a call from another agent.

Now let’s take the same $500 per month investment and spend it on a targeted direct mail campaign. 

Direct Mail Lead Generation

Let’s say your goal is to generate more listing inventory. So you select a specific, target market that you want to pursue – we’ll call it your “dream audience”. Now you create a targeted mailing list. This list includes a certain neighborhood zip code, specific home values, and maybe even years of ownership or possibly just renters.

Upside: For 100 targeted homes, your “dream audience” mailing list will be an investment of approximately $8.00, at 8 cents per record (yippy!).

Furthermore, you actually know where your lead came from (no 3rd party mystery). And you know that the people who “really want and need your help” are more likely to exist within this targeted group.

Now you choose a postcard to send your “dream audience” from a series that have been proven effective for “generating listing inventory” (designed by an advertising team with years of experience in real estate marketing). The investment to send 100 of these postcards to your “dream” mailing list is $95.00 (double yippy!).

Continued upside: For a total investment of $103 you put yourself in front of 100 of your potential “dream” clients. And you’ve given them powerful, compelling information about you that they can hold in their hand, put up on their refrigerator, or save for future reference. Hey, and guess what? You still have $397 dollars of your $500 monthly budget leftover.

Now that is powerful marketing!

But what about some facts?

Direct mail marketing sure sounds good based on the above analysis. However, as my mother used to say, “The proof is in the pudding” (meaning the proof is in the actual results).

Here are some statistics from the professionals who make a living out of scientifically studying marketing, the DMA (data and Marketing Association), InfoTrends, and International Communications Research.

  • Direct mail marketing outperforms digital marketing response rates by more than 700%.
  • The average ROI for direct mail is 15 -17%.
  • 62% of consumers who responded to direct mail in the past three months made a purchase.
  • 59% of U.S. respondents agreed with the following statement, “I enjoy getting postal mail from brands about new products.”
  • 73% of consumers actually prefer snail mail over other advertising methods.
  • 40% of consumers try new businesses after receiving direct mail.
  • People read postcards in greater numbers with a 3.9% year-over-year increase per a USPS Household Diary Study.

Conclusion

By actively controlling your marketing dollars and knowing the history of the potential client “lead” that you have paid hard-earned money to generate, you are comfortably situated in the driver’s seat.

Which, based on the above evidence, appears to be the right place for the best outcome. Outsourcing various tasks that are a part of your business so you have time to focus on what’s important is smart business.

However, there is nothing more important than making the right first impression with the right targeted audience.

And there is no one who can do that better than – YOU!

The time to get in the driver’s seat and take control of your marketing starts now.
Send the More Buyers Than Listings postcard from the Listing Inventory Series to 100 prospects in an area where you want more listings.

Need help targeting the perfect niche of sellers or buyers? Use our mailing list tool to create the ideal list (it’s easy) or call our support team for assistance at 866.405.3638!

PLUS: When you have time…here are 3 free ways we can help you CRUSH IT in 2018!

1. The Free 2018 Real Estate Business Plan.

Treat your business like a business it is vital to long-term success in this industry. Some agents may put together elaborate business plans, yet there’s something powerful about keeping it simple. Check out our one page Online Real Estate Business Plan  – Click Here

2. The Free Online ROI Calculator. 

Consistency and automation are the keys to success. Discover how effective direct mail marketing can dramatically increase your bottom line. Enter your statistics in our Free online ROI Calculator and click the ‘CALCULATE MY ROI’ button to see your results instantly! – Click Here

3. The 12 Month Done-For-You Strategic Marketing Plan.

The Real Estate Marketing Planner is a powerful 12-Month-Guide that strategically defines what marketing to do when. Four key market segments are included, Niche Marketing, Listing Inventory, Geographic Farming, and Sphere of Influence – Click Here  – Click Here

Also…check out these cool tools 🙂

Three Click Postcards – Just snap a home photo & create a postcard all from your mobile phone

MLSmailings.com – Automated Just Listed, Just Sold Postcards

Market Dominator System – Become a neighborhood brand

The 3 May Contest Winners Revealed Below!

Thank you for the wonderful and thoughtful reviews we received in May! We really appreciate you taking the time to give us your feedback.

Remember, if your name isn’t announced in this month’s contest, a new contest starts in June with new opportunities to win!

Our First Winner of the $100 ProspectsPLUS! Gift Card is  – Tanzania Daniel

Tanzania’s shared her experience using ProspectsPLUS! with the following feedback.

“I love how easy it is to design a postcard on ProspectsPLUS and send it out to your clients or potential clients.”

“I really appreciate the option to send out as many or as few postcards as I would like. I’m not strong-armed into ordering a certain amount when I do wish to place an order.”

“This company also gives back to its consumers by offering different discount codes and promotions. You can’t beat that!”

Tanzania’s Latest Marketing Purchases – Listing Inventory Series, Market Quote Series, Fence Sitter Series, Just Sold Series.
Our Second Winner of Our $100 ProspectsPLUS! Gift Card is – Kathryn Marshall

Kathryn shared her experience using ProspectsPLUS! with the following feedback.

“The ONLY company I trust with my marketing materials.”

“I have been using Prospects Plus mainly for postcards for almost 3 years now, and I have received at least 15 sales from their products.”

“They have a quick turn around time, and tons of options to suit your needs.”

Kathryn’s Latest Marketing Purchases – Just Sold Series postcards.

Our Third Winner of Our $100 ProspectsPLUS! Gift Card is – Henry Schubel

Henry’s shared his experience using ProspectsPLUS! with the following feedback.

“I’ve become a bit fan of ProspectsPLUS too. No fuss, no muss, no bs.”

“I can design a flyer in a half hour with all my doodling and changes, lasso the specific area I want to target, then launch the order.”

“I get feedback when the order goes to processing, when it leaves their hands, and when it arrives at the local post office. A terrific tool for a busy Realtor !”

Henrys Latest Marketing Purchases – Just Listed, Just Sold Series, and Upload Your Own Design Postcards. 

Take the lead from Tanzania, Kathryn & Henry and send Just Listed/Just Sold Postcards to the areas around your current & sold listings. Start the process of declaring yourself the neighborhood expert now!

Need help targeting the perfect niche of sellers? Use our mailing list tool to create the ideal list or call our support team for assistance at 866.405.3638!

Most agent website problems are easy fixes. Let’s take a look at the three most common agent website problems and see if we can get them fixed for you.

 1. Lack of focus

Many agent websites seem to reflect a common agent mindset: “I am a jack of all trades and master at none.” When agents are trying to reach every, last conceivable prospect, their websites end up with a vague and meaningless focus.

No, “Buyers” and “Sellers” aren’t target audiences – at least not in a way that sets you apart from every other agent in town. If you truly want these two, overly-broad groups as a target, create two websites, one for each.

Your buyer’s site can then be narrowed down even further. Are you looking to work with first-time buyers? Condo buyers? Move up buyers? Retirement buyers? Luxury or ranch home buyers?

The same holds true for the seller-focused site: first-time sellers, downsizers, selling the luxury or waterfront home, for instance.

“One of the biggest marketing mistakes is to attempt to appeal to everyone at once.”

Suggests Tom Hallissey at Fat Guy Media. “The most-efficient way to reach more qualified consumers is to target smaller, more specific groups.”

We once worked with a woman who specialized in mobile home buyers. Sure, one mobile home here and there seems hardly worth the effort, but this lady specialized and marketed herself as the expert. She made a killing in the mobile home market and, her website was one of her best lead generation tools.

2. Overly-focused on the wrong things

Real estate prospecting is all about building relationships and each visitor to your site is a prospect. What happens then when visitors are immediately bombarded by how great you are, how many homes you’ve sold and how much money you make?

Is the braggadocio the person you would want to build a relationship with? Of course not. Self-important bragging is unattractive and doesn’t tell your website visitor one thing about “what is in it for them”.

So, skip the hype about you and, instead, make your website client-focused. If your ideal prospects visit your website, what do they want to know? How can you help them find it? Use your knowledge of and experience in real estate to demonstrate why you are the agent they should hire.

3. Wait … isn’t real estate all about location?

We recently read a Facebook post from an agent who was complaining that, after six months, his website just wasn’t “working.” He was blaming the website company.

Yet, one look at his site points the finger right back at the agent. The only mention of his market – his geographic location – was in his email address, posted at the bottom of the page.

He bought a template website and did nothing to customize it, except to plaster his own name all over it. This, despite there being numerous opportunities on the home page alone to stick in at least the name of his town.

His neighborhood pages consisted of his IDX for the area. That’s it.

According to NAR’s 2017 study, Real Estate in the Digital Age, nearly half of homebuyers using the internet are interested in neighborhood information.

Many agents ignore this section (if they even have one) of their websites, and it’s a pity. What’s it like living in a particular community? What are the good points? Why would I – as a first-time buyer, a move-up buyer, a commuter, retirement buyer, someone with a family or any other type of buyer want to live there?

Use your website to show pictures, discuss local news and events in your blog posts and anything else that captures why this neighborhood is a great place to live.

If your website isn’t converting as you hoped it would consider tweaking it to be more consumer-focused and offer the information they’re craving.

Start providing your farm with the neighborhood information they crave today.
Send at least 100 Neighborhood Update postcards to your farm or an area where you want more listings.

Need help targeting the perfect niche of sellers or buyers? Use our mailing list tool to create the ideal list or call our support team for assistance at 866.405.3638!

PLUS: When you have time…here are 3 free ways we can help you CRUSH IT in 2018!

1. The Free 2018 Real Estate Business Plan.

Treat your business like a business it is vital to long-term success in this industry. Some agents may put together elaborate business plans, yet there’s something powerful about keeping it simple. Check out our one page Online Real Estate Business Plan  – Click Here

2. The Free Online ROI Calculator. 

Consistency and automation are the keys to success. Discover how effective direct mail marketing can dramatically increase your bottom line. Enter your statistics in our Free online ROI Calculator and click the ‘CALCULATE MY ROI’ button to see your results instantly! – Click Here

3. The 12 Month Done-For-You Strategic Marketing Plan.

The Real Estate Marketing Planner is a powerful 12-Month-Guide that strategically defines what marketing to do when. Four key market segments are included, Niche Marketing, Listing Inventory, Geographic Farming, and Sphere of Influence – Click Here  – Click Here

Also…check out these cool tools 🙂

 Three Click Postcards – Just snap a home photo & create a postcard all from your mobile phone

MLSmailings.com – Automated Just Listed, Just Sold Postcards

Market Dominator System – Become a neighborhood brand

Why They are so Important

Sure, you’ll have a chance to dance the night away, sightsee and maybe, if inclined, get tipsy when you attend one of the multitudes of real estate conventions and conferences held every year.

But that shouldn’t trivialize the value they offer you as a business owner and real estate agent. Building relationships, gaining new knowledge and soaking in inspiration—all in one place—is multi-tasking at its finest.

Learning new ways of doing real estate

The educational opportunities offered through the workshops and by attending the lectures from well-known trainers and successful agents are worth their weight in gold.

Think about it: how much time can you devote during a typical work week to bring yourself up to date on the various tech trends agents are utilizing in their businesses?  And also find out what’s coming down the pike that may relieve some of the pressure on your schedule?

Attending a real estate convention forces you to take the time to slow down and pay attention to ideas and trends that you can employ in your own business.

Then, there are the hands-on demonstrations at the trade expos where you can actually see new products and technology in action, rather than just read about them online.

Schmoozing is good for business

Most of us have a circle of colleagues that we occasionally socialize with over a drink or a cup of coffee. Typically, we discuss clients, rarely touching on and sharing new ideas (they may be friends, but they’re our competition as well).

Getting away from the office, out of town, where you can make new connections with agents from different markets, frees you to speak more candidly. You may learn new marketing ideas (or new twists on old ideas). You’ll definitely broaden your referral base and build new relationships.

Don’t limit your networking to the event’s venue, but “look out for vendor parties and other events outside of the main stage,” suggests Kayla Matthews at inman.com. “Those outside events are great ways to deepen the connection you’ve made with other professionals at the conference during the day.”

Get inspired

From motivational lectures by some of the country’s top real estate coaches to success stories from other agents, inspiration abounds at real estate conferences.

And, no, it’s not the same as listening to a motivation CD in your car. Being surrounded by like-minded people, the applause and bright lights ratchet up the excitement level unlike what you can experience listening to a CD.

If you plan on attending Inman Connect San Francisco this year (July 16 to 20), you’ll find a long list of speakers who are sure to inspire you to higher levels of tech use, to build a team, become a better leader and more.

Tom Ferry’s next Success Summit is happening in Anaheim, CA (August 6 to 9). There you can pick up tips on lead conversion, marketing strategies and get inspired to become more efficient.

If you’ve yet to attend a REALTORS® Conference & Expo, make it a point to attend this year when it’s held in Boston from November 2 through 5. Last year’s attendees learned about their successful competitors and what they bring to the table and information that inspired them to prospect “like never before.”

Or, step outside your box

If the thought of sitting in a room with 4,000 other people who work the same grind as you makes you want to curl up in a ball, consider different types of conferences.

For instance, if you want to utilize technology more in your business, get up to speed on what’s new and what’s coming down the pike at a Growth Hackers summit. While 2018’s was held in February, consider joining them next year. They promise to offer inspiration to “people looking to grow their businesses.”

Or, niche down even smaller and attend the next Traffic & Conversion Summit and learn how to convert your website traffic, content marketing, Pinterest promoted pins, Facebook video tests and more. The speaker’s list features leading minds from the digital marketing world. This is another that was held in February of this year, so make it a point to attend next year’s.

Attending industry and even non-industry conferences give you a chance to re-evaluate what you’re doing and find tips to learn how to do it better and more efficiently. Yes, they can be expensive to attend but consider it an investment in your business and don’t forget – they’re tax deductible.

To create growth in your business right now, send the Free List of Homes postcard from the Call to Action Series to at least 100 prospects in an area where you want more listings, today.

Need help targeting the perfect niche of sellers or buyers? Use our mailing list tool to create the ideal list or call our support team for assistance at 866.405.3638!

PLUS: When you have time…here are 3 free ways we can help you CRUSH IT in 2018!

1. The Free 2018 Real Estate Business Plan.

Treat your business like a business it is vital to long-term success in this industry. Some agents may put together elaborate business plans, yet there’s something powerful about keeping it simple. Check out our one page Online Real Estate Business Plan  – Click Here

2. The Free Online ROI Calculator. 

Consistency and automation are the keys to success. Discover how effective direct mail marketing can dramatically increase your bottom line. Enter your statistics in our Free online ROI Calculator and click the ‘CALCULATE MY ROI’ button to see your results instantly! – Click Here

3. The 12 Month Done-For-You Strategic Marketing Plan.

The Real Estate Marketing Planner is a powerful 12-Month-Guide that strategically defines what marketing to do when. Four key market segments are included, Niche Marketing, Listing Inventory, Geographic Farming, and Sphere of Influence – Click Here  – Click Here

Also…check out these cool tools 🙂

 3 Click Postcards – Just snap a home photo & create a postcard all from your mobile phone

MLS Mailings – Automated Just Listed, Just Sold Postcards

Market Dominator System – Become a neighborhood brand

The Killer Tools That Make it Happen

Working with sellers of expired listings is almost always a great listing opportunity. Granted, some are disillusioned, worried and flat out angry they didn’t get results the first time around. But most of the time – they’re still motivated to sell.

One of the first things you have to do when working with Expireds is to help them figure out why their home didn’t sell. Was the selling price a factor, the terms, or maybe the home’s condition?

Whatever it was, the key to keeping a bad outcome from happening again is to make sure your sellers are 100% onboard and invested in creating a successful end result.

Using visuals aids while discussing an effective action plan can help you communicate with your clients more clearly.  In addition, they lend an extra layer of authority to the conversation, appeal to both auditory and visual thinkers and help you and your clients stay on track.

Killer tool #1 – The Merchandising Review

The Merchandising Review is the perfect visual tool for walking sellers through the potential pitfalls that can happen if you don’t follow a success track when listing a property.

It demonstrates some of the top reasons why a home will or will not sell.  Using this tool allows you the ability to make whatever adjustments are needed, with a sound explanation, to help get your clients on board.

Did I mention it’s free?

Yes, it’s one of many of our free resources available to you. Click here to go to our Resource Page and download the Merchandising Review now.

While you are there, download the 6 Pitfalls of Overpricing Free Report too – it’s a must-have for today’s listing presentation.

Killer tool #2 – Get Their Attention

Now that you have the perfect tool to guide you through the selling process with your clients, it’s time to make those Expireds aware of their neighborhood expert and get them raising their hands for help.

At least twice a week, pull the Expireds in your market and send them a series of 3-5 postcards from our Expired Series, mailing one every 5-7 days. Use the back of the postcard to announce that you have a “highly effective tool” that will help determine what went wrong with their home sale and ensure it doesn’t happen again.

Invite them to call you for a copy of their own. It’s a great way in the door to these potential sellers.

Begin to go after Expireds today by sending the Make Sure it Doesn’t Happen Again postcard from the Expired 7 Series.

It includes the perfect message to begin a conversation that’s already going on in the minds of these disappointed sellers.

Need help targeting the perfect niche of sellers or buyers? Use our mailing list tool to create the ideal list or call our support team for assistance at 866.405.3638!

PLUS: When you have time…here are 3 free ways we can help you CRUSH IT in 2018!

1. The Free 2018 Real Estate Business Plan.

Treat your business like a business it is vital to long-term success in this industry. Some agents may put together elaborate business plans, yet there’s something powerful about keeping it simple. Check out our one page Online Real Estate Business Plan  – Click Here

2. The Free Online ROI Calculator. 

Consistency and automation are the keys to success. Discover how effective direct mail marketing can dramatically increase your bottom line. Enter your statistics in our Free online ROI Calculator and click the ‘CALCULATE MY ROI’ button to see your results instantly! – Click Here

3. The 12 Month Done-For-You Strategic Marketing Plan.

The Real Estate Marketing Planner is a powerful 12-Month-Guide that strategically defines what marketing to do when. Four key market segments are included, Niche Marketing, Listing Inventory, Geographic Farming, and Sphere of Influence – Click Here  – Click Here

Also…check out these cool tools 🙂

 3 Click Postcards – Just snap a home photo & create a postcard all from your mobile phone

MLS Mailings – Automated Just Listed, Just Sold Postcards

Market Dominator System – Become a neighborhood brand