Tuesday, April 24, 2018

“The holiday season is a perfect time to reflect on our blessings and seek out ways to make life better for those around us.” – Terri Marshall

What a perfect quote for Realtors.

You help people discover the place they embrace as home, where they raise children, nurture relationships, and seek comfort and peace – and that help truly makes life better.

So when you are reflecting on blessings, include the combination of characteristics and skills that you have, that allow you to help people in such a positive, life-changing way.

Then take some time to reflect on everything you have accomplished in 2017.

In the daily grind we get so close to what we are doing, the outcome we are after, and the high stakes associated with that outcome, we can lose sight of the bigger picture.

We forget that little wins throughout the year can add up to meaningful big wins overtime.

For instance, at ProspectsPLUS! we had an important goal of our own.

A committment to raising $50,000 for St Jude Children’s Research Hospital®. We matched contributions on our website, dollar for dollar, and offered 1, 5, & 10 optional donations at check out. With smaller donation levels you might think our goal is a bit too big.

But we achieved it!

Little by little, donation by donation, we climbed that hill to an incredible joint success with our amazingly generous customers!

That’s how goals often are accomplished…

In small steps – a few forward a few back – all the while keeping an eye on the prize until you get there.

Now it’s your turn, to take a look back at the goals you set last year and the effort ‘over time’ that went into achieving them.

It’s a great precursor to deciding what it is you want to accomplish in the new year.

Once you are done, take a few moments to celebrate your accomplishments!

…Then prepare your new goals for an explosive 2018!

Lisa

PLUS: Whenever you have a moment…here are 3 things to check out that will help you CRUSH IT in 2018!

1. The 2018 Online Real Estate Business Plan

Treating your business like a business is a vital component to succeeding long term in this industry. While some agents put together elaborate business plans, detailing every aspect of their marketing plans, business goals and budget needs, there is something powerful to be said for keeping it simple. Check out our one page Online Real Estate Business Plan.

2. The Sphere of Influence Calculator

Top real estate professionals state 66% of their business comes from their sphere of influence. So how many people do you need in your SOI? Check out our Sphere of Influence Calculator (from your desktop) to find out the answer.

3. A 12 Month Strategic Marketing Plan

The Master Marketing Schedule 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.

Remember, we are always here to help you in any way we can. Reach out to our support team at 866.405.3638 for help with new mailing lists and marketing materials for 2018. 

Get Their Hand to Raise

More often than not, today’s consumer learns everything they can about a product or service on the internet, before making a decision.

So how do you get them to raise their hand and turn to you for help?

By being the expert who consistently gives them what they want—valuable information that can help them:

  • Become more educated
  • Solve a problem
  • Make an informed decision

So whether you are delivering your content via phone call, email or direct mail – deliver what your customers want most.

3 success strategies

Make it about them – Think about the things that your customers want and are interested in most.

Make your interaction compelling, relevant and —honest. Our Newsletters and more precisely our Market Dominator are great marketing tools to use on an ongoing basis that highlight you as the expert resource to turn to in their area.

This type of marketing puts you in the position of educator, which innately denotes a level of trust. Once you are trusted you will be rewarded with happy, loyal customers.

Don’t establish trust and you have consumers who are wary of your products or services because you haven’t eliminated their fear.

Give something of high value – This can be a tough thing for some people. The idea of giving something away for free can be bothersome or make them feel as if they are de-valuing their product or service.

In reality, offering a product such as a Free Report can be an effective, value-boosting investment in your long term customer relationship.

When you consider acquiring a new customer remember it’s 4-6 times harder than keeping your current customers engaged, happy and loyal, giving value on the front end just makes sense.

Free reports are perfect hand-outs at your Open House

Make it ongoing – Before launching into this form of marketing, consider your long term goals and draw up a plan to consistently reach out to your clients month after month.

You want your customers and prospects to come to rely on your information and updates.

Become Their Resource

If they come to count on you for the answers and resources they need, it stands to reason they will turn to you for help when the time comes.

Whatever strategy you deploy, make sure your message is clear and your marketing consistent. Connect with your base of business at least every 30 days through phone calls, visits and direct marketing, and you will find your profitability, referrals and commissions right on track year round.

Related: Marketing That Pays for Itself

Need help?  Call our team today at 866.405.3638 to put the best marketing tools in place to build your business easily, and cost-effectively.

The Success Mind-Set

Success begins with the right mindset. Real estate sales is not just a job; it is a business. A business that requires planning, organization and systems to maintain balance, accountability and forward momentum. The following details the 3 steps to epic success.

Step 1: Have a Plan

Planning is critical to realizing your goals, generating consistent income and creating an exit plan. The proper exist plan ensures you have a valuable “book of business” that you can sell when you are ready to retire. Your plan should:

  • be written out and clearly defined
  • have a realistic and comprehensive budget
  • be based not only on your goals, but also on your family’s goals (very important to maintaining the support system necessary during long days or tough weeks!)
  • outline the number of transactions you need to reach those goals based on commission dollars, list-to-close ratio and fall-through rate
  • outline the number of contacts, appointments scheduled/.attended you need to realize your transaction goal
  • break your numbers down into daily, weekly and monthly activities so that you ALWAYS know where you are in relation to your goal

Be sure to share your plan with a manager, coach or partner so that you can set up a system of accountability.

Step 2: Employ Smart Marketing

In today’s competitive arena, effectively marketing yourself and your business requires both consistency and laser focus.

Countless agents send single marketing pieces to thousand of consumers, with no intention of following up. This approach is a waste of time, energy and valuable marketing dollars.

The truth is, you should be in contact with your sphere of influence at least every 30-45 days. One month, send a postcard, letter, newsletter or flyer. Many of our customers find the Listing Inventory Series, Content Cards, and Market Dominator among their favorites.

The following month, call with a friendly event reminder, helpful hint, or just to say hello.

During the third month, arrange to see them via a networking event, social gathering or in-person visit. Drop off a small token, informational item or card. Then start the “rotation” over again.

Such consistency creates vital ‘top-of-mind’ awareness. This awareness becomes “the key to the kingdom” when growing your referral base and creating a reliable income.

Gone are the days when agents could afford to take a “shotgun” approach-casting a wide net in the hopes of “catching a few”.

Response rates increase dramatically when you speak directly to the needs and interests of a particular group.

Wise agents seek out demographics or geographics that they relate to or have a history of success with.

The more comfortable you become speaking to a particular group or segment, the more you become recognized or thought of as a specialist in that field.

Related: Niche Marketing and the Law of Attraction

mailing list
Targeted marketing examples:

  • First-time homeowners – Try MapMyMail to quickly create a list of local renters. Send a postcard that explains the advantages of home ownership.
  • Builders – Offer to help builders eliminate their #1 worry: standing inventory. Create a list of every builder in your area and send a flyer explaining how you can find their perfect customer.

lifestyle

  • Find a new niche – With our Lifestyle Interest data, you can reach consumers who are just the demographic you want to work with. Think Golfers, Boaters, Fitness Lovers and more.
  • FSBOs – There are many effective search products for this demographic. Fear leads many agents to steer clear of FSBOs, which eliminates at least a portion of your competition.

real estate fsbo marketing postcards

  • A New Geographic Farm – Find an area in your market that is beginning to see turnover, but doesn’t currently have another agent with more than a 10% market share.  Start connecting month after month using the Neighborhood Update/Free Offer series. This series will present yourself effectively as the turn-to agent in your market.
Step 3: Put Solid Systems in Place

Without systems, you’re like a hamster on the wheel-spinning without really getting anywhere. Systems are the only way to maintain the delegation, automation and streamlining that will continuously work on your business. Systems allow you to:

  • manage your time effectively
  • create a consistent standard of service
  • assure clients that their needs are being met by a “team”
  • provide checks and balances for fine tuning your business
  • promote efficiency and accuracy
  •  reduce training time when bringing on new team members

What systems should you have in place?

The success mind-set requires dedication and a commitment to the activities that earn you top dollar and allow you to “feed” the career you’re building.

Related: 3 Tools That Drive More Business

Need our help?  Contact our support team today at 866.405.3638. They’re more than happy to help you.

Face to Face Real Estate Connections

In Step with Broker Lisa DiBernardo

By Julie Escobar

Some brokers have a knack for touching on the really important strategies that agents need to utilize to stay at the top of their game. One of our amazing customers, broker Lisa DiBernardo is an extraordinary example of that kind of broker. We caught up with her to learn what she is doing to thrive in her market and what you may want to do to get the same kind of great results she is getting.

Here’s what we learned in our interview:

Q:  Thanks for sharing your ideas with us! Can you first tell our readers a little about yourself?

A:  You’re welcome.  I became licensed and started working as a full-time real estate agent in 2004. Before that, I worked in the computer industry for about 24 years, the last dozen or so years managing network engineering and desktop support units.  I think my background and my education, I have a Bachelor’s Degree in business, has helped me succeed and get where I am today.  My experience with project management and logistics has been incredibly helpful.  Three years ago, I opened my own brokerage and it’s the best thing I’ve ever done.  I love it!  I work in both residential and commercial real estate and have completed the sale and/or leasing of a wide variety of properties; single family homes, multi-families, condos, town homes and vacant land, as well as office, industrial and retail transactions. On the personal side I am a New Hampshire native, I have one daughter, a fiancé and a naughty cat named Rondo.  I love New England and the beautiful seasons we are blessed with, even though it gets mighty chilly in the winter!

Q:  From your Master Marketing Schedule entry – I love that the Just Listed/Just Sold postcards are your go-to marketing tool. They are a time-tested favorite! Tell me why they work for you?  

A:  I send them out for every single listing I take on.  I think it shows my farm areas that I am not only active in their neighborhood but that I am successful at getting property sold.  I supplement with other types of postcards too.  Sometimes I’ll send out Under Contract or Pending cards and last month I sent out the football schedule cards for the first time.  I also use traditional advertising to help build name recognition in my market area.

Q:  You also use the Listing Inventory postcards, which are another favorite for agents. What drew you to them?

A:  I want to keep sending out “something” each month, whether I have new listings in my farm areas or not.  So, I supplement with the listing inventory cards and other types in-between listings to keep my name and company in the front of their minds each month.

Q: What are some strategies you use to stay top of mind with your sphere and farm?

A:  I stay in touch with my sphere by calling and/or emailing at least once a quarter and as I mentioned above, I send something to my farm areas every month.  I’ve been contemplating starting up a newsletter for my sphere and sending that out quarterly.  I’ve just been waiting for the market to cool off a bit, so I can figure out the best way to do that and maybe utilize a new technology that I haven’t used yet; maybe a mailing service or social media.

Q: One of the hardest things for agents to do is to follow up on their marketing. Do you have any words of wisdom for those agents?

A:  Well, it is a tough thing for most people.  It’s tough for me too!  But getting out there in the neighborhoods you farm and making face-to-face connections is the best way for them to remember you and it makes it personal.  I know some people make cold calls, but I don’t.  I only call the people in my sphere or people they refer to me.  It’s too time-consuming to try to figure out who is and isn’t on the do-not-call list for cold calls. I’d rather pick a nice day and walk around the neighborhood with door hangers.

Q:  What sets you apart from your competition?

A:  Well I like to think it’s my ability to follow-up in a timely manner and my professionalism.  I have a personal rule that no call or email goes unanswered for more than an hour, even if it’s just to say, “Hi, I received your message but I’m at an appointment right now.  I’ll be back in touch soon.”  I also think it’s my use of technology; it’s a strength of mine from my past career so I find it easy to develop and manipulate documents electronically and I’m able to use my phone for the majority of my work.

Q:  It’s a busy time in our business. Any advice for agents in regard to finding some balance in life?

A:  You have to carve out down time or maybe it would be better described as offline time.  I try not to answer the phone or do work after 8pm and I don’t work Sundays unless I absolutely have to.  Of course, if there’s a negotiation in play, I’ll work all night long!  But I need to have at least one day off each week to unwind and to spend with my fiancé and family or I don’t feel balanced at all.

Q:  If agents have a referral for you, how can they reach you?

A:  They can call me directly at 603-809-3399, email me at lisa@dibernardorealestate.com, use my contact page on my website, www.dibernardorealestate.com or stop by my office at 100 Derry Street, Hudson, NH 03051.  Thank you!

Awesome Lisa! Thank you so much for sharing your strategies with our readers!

If you’d like to learn more about Lisa – visit her website and connect! If you’d like to learn more about the marketing tools she’s using to stay ahead of her competition – connect with our marketing team at 866.405.3638 today!

Be like Lisa! Jump into the contest!  

CLICK HERE TO LEARN HOW YOU CAN WIN $10,000.

Get on the Map with Kyree Gilliam, GRI

By Julie Escobar

One thing we know for certain is that agents LOVE to learn from other agents. What works, what doesn’t – and what strategies help real estate professionals stay in this business for the long haul, and thrive while they are at it. We caught up with one of our amazing customers recently who shared what he’s doing to make a difference in his business.

Here’s an excerpt from our interview:

Q:  Thanks for sharing your ideas with us! Can you first tell our readers a little about yourself?

A: My name is Kyree Gilliam, I’m a REALTOR with Coldwell Banker Gene Armstrong Inc. in Inglewood, CA. I’ve been a licensed REALTOR since 2006. I’m also a single parent.

Q:  You entered the Master Marketing Schedule contest – can you share your favorite strategy and what you think this tool can do for agents?

A: My favorite strategy to use is the ProspectsPLUS! Expired postcards. I like to use the drip method to get in front of new potential clients. This tool is great because it helps with getting you exposure in your market area and it’s easy to set up and use.

Q:  What’s your go-to form of marketing in this competitive business?

A: My go-to form of marketing in this business is to use social media, monthly postcards from ProspectPLUS! to my farm area and SOI. The expired leads are another form of go-to marketing in this competitive business because the client is ready to sell.

Q: Many agents neglect building a book of business and follow up. What advice would you have to share with them about why those two things are so important?  

A: By having an online CRM in place with different drip campaigns set up for each individual client to meet their needs of the task they’re trying to accomplish. It helps to have these things in place because in this business you’re going to need something to help keep you on track and on point at all times with your clients.

Q: What makes you unique in your market?    

A: I think what makes me unique in my market is my marketing with ProspectPLUS! and being a tech-savvy agent and the use of social media.

Q:  We like to give agents reasons to have some fun with their marketing? Do you have any fun ideas that help you stay on track and motivated to stay out in front with your sphere and farm?  

A: My fun marketing ideas include, personalized hand sanitizers, calendars, and pens with company logo and all of my contact information on all items. Also by keeping track of the seasons you can send or pass out things to your farm area. What a great way to get that face-to-face with a potential client in your farm area.

Q:  If you had one piece of advice for a brand-new agent in today’s market, what would it be?

A:  My one good piece of advice to a new agent is that YOU CANNOT BE A SECRET AGENT.  Get affiliated with a good office that has support, technology and a good training program in place and tools for the agents to use.

Q:  If agents have a referral for you, how can they reach you?

A:  If any agents have a referral for me I’m easy to get in contact with via: Facebook- Homesbykyree, Twitter- realtorgilliamk, Instagram- realtorgilliamk, www.kyreegilliam.com.

Thanks Kyree! You’re awesome. Follow Kyree online to learn more about his business.  If you’d like more information on how to stay on track with YOUR marketing, contact our team today at 866.405.3638!

Be like Kyree! Jump into the contest!  

CLICK HERE TO LEARN HOW YOU CAN WIN $10,000.