Six Lessons for Success
By Julie Escobar
Back to School Real Estate Marketing
You can almost feel it — that anxiousness, excitement and uncertainty that envelopes us around this time year after year. Tens of millions of children headed back to classes, and even those without little ones can get caught up in the thirst for knowledge, need for more certain schedules and the never-too-old-for allure of new notebooks and supplies. All right, maybe that last one is just me, but you’ll have to admit there is something exciting about creating a clean slate, learning to the best of our abilities and growing as a sales professional as well as a person.
Ready to get started? You’ve had a healthy breakfast, donned your uniform (name badges everyone!) put on your thinking caps and you’re ready to learn – right? Here are the “classes” you must master in this market:
1. Direct response. Is your postcard asking your prospects a question? Are you raising their awareness? Are you giving them a reason and means to contact you? Are you just staying in touch or do you need them to take action? When you use your marketing to ask the questions that are already in the minds of your prospects, you create a connection that makes people want to reach back out to you.
Even holiday postcards can effectively raise awareness and include a message to not only have a great holiday but to call you should they need you or have questions. A Just Listed card too – is not just a just listed card. It’s an invitation to see a new listing, to get a list of other homes like it, answer questions or evaluate another potential seller’s ability to sell their home. Content cards offer valuable information consumers are looking for and offer an invitation for buyers and sellers to learn more or get free reports. The Neighborhood Update/Free Offer Series, a popular one for agents, offers free reports, valuable consultation, and other items of value to the consumer — as well as neighborhood stats that appeal to buyers and sellers on a hyper-local level.
2. Consistency. Again and again and again. That’s how often you need to “show up” in their mailbox, on their radar and in the lives of your prospects and customer base. Our market is too competitive and life is too short for one-shot wonders. Plus – it’s just too expensive to waste time, effort and of course, marketing dollars on a one-hit mailing. They don’t work. Never have, never will. And in today’s world – people want to see that you’ve got what it takes to stick with it and get results before they want to work with you. If you give up easily on your marketing – what message does that send to your customer base? Success comes to those who show up not once but over and over again. With the right message, the right attitude and the right promise of service. Show them you’ve got what it takes.
3. List care. Your mailing list is not just “a list.” It’s not just a spreadsheet of names and addresses. It represents the lifeblood of your business. It hosts the people that, if cared for, if catered to, if serviced right, if stayed in touch with, if impacted – will take care of you for the entirety of your career. In fact, studies show that one in twelve will result in a transaction per year of you consistently and effectively stay in touch. That said- how many do you want on your list and how committed are you to taking care of them like the VIPs that they are?
Find a database you’re comfortable with and don’t stop with names, addresses and phone numbers. Fill in the gaps. Who is their spouse? What are their kids’ names? What do they do? What do they like? When did they purchase/sell with you last? What referrals have they sent? What common interests do you have? It’s not easy at first – but once you’ve formed the good habit of contacting your list at least three times a year (not all at once, of course!) you’ll start to be able to feed the details into your database.
Don’t lose those lists you get when you purchase a just listed postcard either! Every time you send a postcard out with us and choose to do a radial or neighborhood search, that list is yours to keep so that you can continue to build your book of business. Add them to your list and start building a relationship with them as well. For more ideas of who should be in your sphere of influence – download our free BusinessBASE – and check out the 150 Questions to Help You Build Your Business Relationships. It’s a great ‘refresher’ course for remembering all the people you SHOULD be building relationships with!
4. Niche Marketing: Niche players fare better, earn more, usually are better at time management and can more quickly define themselves as an expert in their market area. Why? First, it gives you clarity of purpose, so you’re more efficient in the way you conduct your business, in the manner you build your skill sets and your knowledge base and in how you grow your customer base. You don’t need to be all things to all people. You just need to be the best at reaching out to, teaching and building relationships with that core group or niche. That not only builds your business faster, but it gives you a sense of certainty and confidence that you wouldn’t have if you were trying to work with any and all customer types.
So who do YOU want to work with most? Seniors? First time home buyers? FSBOs? Luxury Markets? Boaters? Golfers? Or maybe outside the box ideas like horse enthusiasts, Harley riders, yacht club members, golfers? Find the fit that’s right for you – then be the BEST for that niche! Now with new mailing list options that include specialty lifestyle interest data, or Nielsen Prizm codes you can easily find more the customers you most want to work with.
That’s not to say you ignore your sphere – just keep enhancing it by building niche markets that help it (and your business) to grow!
By the way – one really time-appropriate niche to start is working with your local school communities. The rewards are great – not just in your bottom line, but the experience you get and connections you create and the very real difference you can make in the lives of students and educators. Download our Free Report: 10 Ways to Prospects To and Support Your Local PTAs. (You’ll find it close to the bottom of the free reports page.) While you’re there – download a few more great reports to use in your fall marketing!
5. Leveraging Technology Tools: Leveraging technology and available networking to maximize your potential for lead generation, prospecting and keeping your pipeline of customers filled is crucial to your success. That means learning how to use Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and the social networking tools that are available today. It can also mean hosting weekly or monthly conference calls, webinars and workshops for those in your niche, community or sphere of influence. These are great ways to inexpensively and effectively establish and reinforce your niche. Technology allows you to be in many places and in front of many people at one time, which helps you build relationships by using these tools to share information on a regular, consistent basis.
Technology also allows you to put systems in place such as automating the marketing of your listings using systems such as MLSmailings.com, www.GettingListingsSold.com which can take some of the daily, weekly and monthly marketing chores off your to-do list, freeing you up to spend more time at what you do best – getting face-to-face with customers and prospects.
6. Work High Priority Activities First. Real estate agents get paid to build relationships and provide exceptional service. There are plenty of ways to be BUSY in this business- but the activities that matter most are the ones that are directly tied to your bottom line. You need to have absolute focus on scheduling the time to prospect, present, close and build relationships before anything else. That means making and KEEPING that appointment with yourself every day.
The last thing we wanted to cover in our time together is how, as sales professionals, we can create good study habits that will also contribute to our success. Got down time? In the car, on the treadmill, during your commute? Make the most of it by ‘plugging in’ to top speakers, trainers and coaches that you can listen to on the go.
Need help? To learn more about how we can help you fuel your business, streamline your systems and take your career to the next level, call our marketing team today at 866.405.3638 or visit our website www.prospectsplus.com.