Thursday, March 23, 2017

Take the March Challenge! 

By Julie Escobar

Why leave all the “March Madness” stuff for the basketball fans?  This month, we’re looking at ways to inspire agents to take the ACTION they need to drive their numbers and build momentum.  That means being pro-active, and working ON your business as well as in it.  There’s no doubt agents are increasingly busy, but when they fail to time-block for business-driving activities like prospecting and database building, they often fall into the commission-chasing category as opposed to having a steady business and referral stream they can count on.

Statistics tell us for every twelve people in your sphere of influence that you regularly connect with, you can expect a deal or referral per year.  That’s valuable information to know. Yet, how come so many agents lose business because they failed to stay top of mind and connected with their sphere?  And when you find a farm that has the a healthy turnover and you’re NOT actively marketing to that area? You’re leaving money on the table.

Here are three pieces of great advice for getting ahead in this business:

International Speaker and Coach Darryl Davis: “I tell my students and coaching members to focus on the activity rather than the results. Why do people fail? Because they don’t see immediate results. So, they do what? They QUIT. When you switch your thinking to focus on the ACTIVITY, not the results, it helps you get past the fear. Think of it like baseball averages. Ballplayers know the more times they get up to bat and take a swing, the more likely they are to get a hit. After a while of playing, they know their numbers… their average. The same is true in prospecting – you’ll get to know your numbers. So maybe out of 10 calls, you get five connects and two appointments. I tell my students that their goal should NOT be to get the appointment; it should be about building relationships. Why? Because it takes the pressure off.  Focusing on getting an appointment is a win/lose scenario. If you don’t get it, your reaction is, “I lost. I’m bad.” When you focus on building a relationship, every call is a win. The truth is, you’re not going to get an appointment unless there’s trust. By building relationships, you build trust – and the appointments will happen by themselves.”

Power Agent Denise Buscemi, Florida:  “My advice? Several things. First, remember when you are meeting customers and clients, make everything you do be about that person and only that person–the rewards will naturally follow. Next, read more – be a lifelong learner. It makes you more competitive.  Be a great listener – not only does it make you a better communicator, buyers and sellers will tell you everything you need to know to help you close the deal.  Send the postcards that keep your name in front of them. Do your homework and always go the extra mile.”

Power Agent Kathy Casarin, Pennsylvania: “I would say first, there are no timeouts for replays!  Engage your client get back to them fast whether it is on Facebook, email, in person or a phone call.  Don’t wait or you’ll find they’ve already called upon someone else. Next, assure your client you are the professional. You are experienced, successful and know what works and what doesn’t. Earn your clients trust upfront. Become your absolute best at communication. Keep your client in the loop every step of the way, whether it is periodic emails as to how their listing is doing vs competitors.  Make that phone call to discuss price, home improvements, showings, open houses etc.  Regular contact reassures the client you haven’t forgotten about them or their listing or the homes they want to buy… so when you have to advise them on say a market adjustment on home price they agree and know it is in their best interest because you are always with them to get this SOLD. Stay current and do what works.  The truth is it all works–but only if you do it — so don’t forget to post on your social networks, answer real estate questions on Trulia, use ProsectsPLUS! to send out postcards, attend social gatherings to see and be seen and be that constant reminder to say, ‘Hi! I’m in Real Estate!’”

Our challenge to you this month? 

  1. Calculate your SOI. See how many people you need in your sphere to hit your goals this year by
    heading over to our SOI Calculator.
  2. Thank people. Send Thank You Postcards from our Customer Appreciation Series to at least 100 people on your sphere of influence list this month.
  3. Pick up the phone. Make at 20 calls per day to your sphere of influence. (100 per week is a big goal!) There are some really fun connectivity ideas on our Master Marketing Schedule if you’re looking for interesting reasons to connect! Consider Darryl’s advice above if you’re nervous about talking to people.
  4. Knock on at least 100 doors. Use door hangers so that even if folks aren’t home they’ll know you were there. According to the Master Marketing Schedule, March 12th is National Flower Day, it might be the perfect time to attached a packet of flower seeds to your door hangers and walk your farm! Have some fun with it!
  5. Add 100 people to your database. Now, this one may sound hard, but it doesn’t have to be. Some agents are on top of their game, adding new people all the time. But a LOT of agents that we talk to don’t really have a handle on their lists.  Hire a college kid or virtual assistant for a short-term project to get this done. It’s one of the most important things you can do as an agent. Here are some sources that you can pull from:
    1. Past purchased lists. (Think of all those Just Listed and Just Sold postcards you’ve sent out. Have you done anything with those saved lists you’ve purchased? Put them all in a database and use it to send Listing Inventory postcards or Neighborhood Update/Free Offer Postcards)
    2. Past buyers and sellers. Hand over those files to someone who can pull all those contacts and put them into a database for you. These people already have trusted you enough to do business with them.
    3. Get creative. Download our BusinessBASE, to see the 250 people who should be in your sphere and start adding.

It’s a good month to go above and beyond. To stretch yourself, your goals, and your reach in your community.  Take some time this week to plan your calendar then go for it. We’d love to hear how you’re doing.  Connect with us on Facebook (and be entered into our March Contest), or leave a comment below.

Need help? Our marketing team is amazing! Call them today at 866.405.3638. They’ll walk through any questions you might have and help you get your marketing on track! Have a great month ahead!

Staying Top of Mind With Your Sphere

by Julie Escobar

Consistency is key when marketing, but agents call us every week to ask, “What should I send?” So, we put together three suggestions to get you started.

  1. Holiday Postcards:  This week’s Master Marketing Schedule tip is to send your St. Patrick’s Day postcards to your sphere of influence.  Agents love Holiday cards because they are timely, can be easily customized with a fun message, and the consistency (sending one per month) is just what the doctor ordered for staying top of mind.  Just be sure to order the first class option for speedier delivery. Our St. Patrick’s Day postcard and Daylight Savings postcards are perfect for reaching out to that top tier of customers on your list in March. 
  2. Animal II Series:  There’s a reason the internet is filled with puppies and kittens.  They make people smile. As our friend Darryl Davis talks about – that’s one BIG key to building rapport and making connections with people – giving them reasons to SMIILE! We’ve recently added this new series option to our offerings because of agent demand.  You can look for many additional cards to be added to this series over the next few months.
  3. Market Quote Series:  This series is growing as well and is an easy way to communicate some of what’s going on in the market right now, and have a little fun!

To get the most from your postcard campaign follow these steps: 

  • Pick a postcard.
  • Choose a size.
  • Choose first-class delivery for holiday postcards, and your choice of delivery options for non-time sensitive postcards.
  • Choose the pre-written copy – or better yet, customize the back of the card with a message of your own. You can offer an item of value, invite customers to an event such as a home buying or selling workshop, or just send them well wishes.
  • Upload your sphere of influence list:  those who know you, like you and trust you. This list is usually compiled from your friends, family, acquaintances and past customers.  Statistically, if you stay in touch with these folks every month, one in twelve should produce a listing, sale or referral to you per year! If you need a list of the 250 people who should be in your sphere, head over to our resources page and dowload our BusinessBASE.
  • Use a promo code to save 10%! Here are the top postcard promo codes for the current month:
    • VAL10S – standard size, mailed First-Class
    • VAL10J – jumbo size, mailed First-Class
    • VAL10P – panoramic size, mailed First-Class
    • VAL10JSC – jumbo size, mailed Standard-Class
    • VAL10PSC – panoramic size, mailed Standard-Class

Next, a fun tip to help you have more fun with your sphere and farm:  Be sure to check in weekly to our Master Marketing Schedule. In the next few weeks you’ll see Pistachio Day, Dentist Day, Salesperson Day, Doctor Day, Pi Day and more. What do these all have in common?  Each includes interesting and fun ways to connect with the folks in your market and differentiate yourself from your competitors! Find out how! 

Need more help? Call our team at 866.405.3638! They’re happy to assist! 

 

Dialogues to Help Get Your Listing Priced Right the First Time

by Julie Escobar

Getting past what the seller THINKS their home is worth to what the market will bear is sometimes a little tap dance in sales skill for agents. To help the cause, I pulled a few excerpts from our 21 Ways to Get Your Listing Priced Right eBook, and tapped a few friends for some powerful dialogues and strategies that can help you get sellers to sign on the dotted line.

Here are a few:

  1. The Waiting Game: Use when a seller wants to wait to lower the price:  Dialogue: “Let me ask you, what do you think happens to an overpriced home that doesn’t sell right away?  Do you think it eventually sells?  More often than not, the answer to that is no.  Listings get the most traction in terms of buyer traffic, agent attention and offers in the first 2-4 weeks after coming on the market.  If you wait, you’ll lose that traction.  Worse than that, the longer it sits on the market, the more buyers will begin to wonder if there are more serious problems than price in terms of why it hasn’t sold yet.  Think about it… what’s the first question you would ask when you look at a new house?  How long has it been on the market – right?  Long time on market = problem in the eyes of a buyer.  In this market, or any market – that’s not a position that can give you any kind of leverage.  Let’s price it right and get it sold.”
  2. Pick a Price: This is a good strategy to use when a seller says another agent would take it at an over inflated price.  “Mr. and Mrs. Seller, I appreciate that you want to get the most from your home, and I know the other agent told you he’s list it at that higher price.  Now, what I don’t know is how he/she could have gotten that number.  You know as agents, it’s not like we can really just ‘pick a price.’ When I brought you what I felt was the right asking price for your property it was based on many facts and factors such as what other similar homes in this area have sold for, the age and condition of your property, the location, etc.  So, it’s not a guess – it’s based on real market value. So, what I’m saying is as a Realtor who has your best interests at heart, I’m not going to pick a price out of thin air, and I can’t in good conscience just tell you the figure you want to hear in order to take the listing.  I will tell you that if you really want to get your home sold quickly, get the most money possible in this market with the least amount of headaches – we should ‘pick’ a price that’s based on those facts and figures.  Agreed?”  Have your comparables there to illustrate how you arrived at your suggested list price.
  3. The Dollar Bill Close from our friend Darryl Davis: When faced with this classic: “My home is special – I did all of these improvements myself, so it’s worth much more than what others are listed for! I would say, “Mr. and Mrs. Seller, I certainly understand how you feel. But let me ask you something. If I were to give you one hundred $1 bills that were crisp, clean, beautiful, and hot off the presses – and I sent you to the mall and asked you to sell them for 95 cents you’d probably sell them pretty quick wouldn’t you? And if I asked you to sell them at 85 cents even quicker – right? Now, what if I asked you to sell each for $1.10? You probably wouldn’t sell any – am I right? The point is that no matter how crisp clean and beautiful your house is, you can’t sell a dollar for $1.10. Now let’s say there are only two dollar bills – one crisp clean beautiful and one that’s ratty, old, stained and dirty. If you had a choice which would you choose first? The clean one right? So, what I can tell you is that while all the wonderful improvements you’ve made won’t mean it will sell for more, it does normally mean it will sell before the others.”
  4. Reduce the Price or Cancel (A favorite from Floyd Wickman.) Sometimes a good way to get a price reduction is by offering to cancel the listing. This is from Floyd’s 101 Dialogues.  “Mr. & Mrs. Seller, the reason I asked to come by tonight is that we had a meeting concerning your home in our office.  And I think in attendance we had collectively, about 70 years of real estate experience and we all agreed that if we were to keep your home on the market at the current price, well, it would be like not having it on the market at all. So, the reason I wanted to come by is that I brought over two forms for you to look at.  The first form I brought with me is what we call a Price Change Form.  It was collectively agreed that if you want to get your home sold, this is the price we have to adjust it to.  Now it’s not easy for me to say that after I’ve had the house on the market for a couple of months, but 70 years of experience agreed that this is the price your home will sell for. But before you say anything, I wanted to tell you that second form I brought over is a complete cancellation of the listing form.  Now, if you can see your way clear to signing this (price reduction) tonight then I’ll be able to get your house sold and get you into the new house relatively fast.  If you decide to sign this cancellation and assuming my broker will, this will free you up to list with someone who – well – maybe doesn’t care.  So, the reason I wanted to stop by is rather than keep you tied up the way we are I wanted to stop by and have you ‘OK’ one of these tonight.  Fair enough?” Be sure you have a copy of both forms with you and stick to your guns!  This technique is not for the meek!  You may want to practice the dialogue a few times until you’re comfortable.

Pricing dialogues and negotiation skills take practice, drill and rehearsing.  One of the most powerful things you can do as an agent is to know your market inside and out, know the numbers and practice the closing skills that will help you take more SALABLE listings each month. As Floyd would say, “Worse than no listing is a listing that won’t sell.” Don’t find yourself in that category.

To learn more pricing skills head over to read more about our eBook at 21 Ways to Get Your Listings Priced Right (Despite the Sellers Best Objections!  In it you’ll find bonus objection handling visuals and tips from industry experts.

Need more marketing help? Contact our team at 866.405.3638!

Three Click Postcards

Send Postcards Directly From Your Mobile Phone! 

By Julie Escobar

It’s no secret that being a real estate professional in today’s world can feel more like roller-derby pace than a stroll in the park.  Time-blocking and on-the-go resources (and for many a giant to-go cup of coffee) are staples for managing hectic schedules.  That’s why we are thrilled to announce a brand-new marketing tool designed to help agents get more done in less time.

It’s called ThreeClickPostcards.com and it is the easiest, fastest way to turn one listing into multiple.
How?  ProspectsPLUSPostcards_JMB_Teal01In a matter of a couple minutes you can market your listing and yourself with, well, just three clicks!

1.) Snap a picture of the property and upload it and the property address into the system.

2.) Pick a postcard template (Just Listed, Just Sold, Contract Pending). You can customize the header title, color, and copy in minutes.

3.) Send it the nearest confirmed homeowners surrounding your new listing.

Your postcards will be sent within one business day with 100% trackability. You will get a copy of your mailing list which you can then use to continue to send listing updates (contract pending, just sold, price reduction). These lists are extremely valuable as you continue to grow your geographic farms and sphere of influence. Top agents continuously add the homeowners on these lists to their drip-marketing campaigns to create referrals and new business, long after the listings are sold!

It’s the perfect on-the-go way to turn one listing into multiple opportunities.  Use your list to send:TCP_FourOpportunitie

The system is intuitive and uses your MLS number to populate your listings on the fly so you can market existing listings quickly.

You also have the ability to add a listing in a matter of minutes or send postcards for open houses and sales on listings other than your own.

TIP:  Another great way to use this handy tool is as an affirmative way to ask for the listing agreement during your initial presentation. Before sitting down to meet with the potential sellers, take a picture of the property, add it to the system, and create the PDF version of the Just Listed postcard.

During your presentation, you can share that graphic with the sellers to let them know that the marketing of their property will start before you have even left the listing appointment and that 100 (or however many postcards you’d like to send) will be on their way to potential buyers within two business days.  That differentiates you as a pro-active listing agent with the means to get the job done quickly.

We invite you to try this simple new service to get the most from your listing experience! Visit www.threeclickpostcards.com today to set up your free account. As always, your satisfaction is our top priority!  If you need help, please feel free to give us a call at 866.405.3638!  Happy Listing!

 

Leaving Nothing Left to Chance

By Julie Escobar

Competition hasn’t been this fierce in years so savvy agents are using every tool at their disposal to generate new listings, stay top of mind, and brand themselves as the neighborhood expert to call.  Staying in touch with the VIPs in your sphere of influence makes sense. Those folks know you, trust you, and are already willing to do business with you. But how do you cultivate new relationships in markets that you really want to make an impact?  You use smart tools that connect you with consumers in communities. You offer items of value. And you get out there and meet the people.

Todd Robertson recently shared five tips for making the most of your geographic farm and sphere:MD Jan

  1. Ask for referrals. Never be afraid to ask for new business. When you get comfortable with the level of service you provide, asking for the business gets easier. Get to the point where you KNOW that you have a marketing plan that helps sellers get the most from their house. Know that you can assist buyers in finding the perfect home for their family. Know that you are an advocate for consumers, and know that you are the best person for the job – then you have an obligation to let people KNOW that you are a real estate professional who can help.
  2. Mail consistently (3-7-27 law). We’ve shared before the 3-7-27 law of branding, which is that it takes three contacts for someone to recognize your name, seven to put your name with your business and twenty-seven to become a brand in someone’s mind. If you are losing business to other agents in your market area, is it because they are consistently md jan backmaking more contacts and staying more top of mind than you are?  It’s a tough question to ask, but if you can show up, and show value consistently, then sellers and buyers are going to consider you the brand to trust with their real estate investment questions and needs. Mind-share equals market share.  Our Market Dominator members know that they are showing up month after month with the 12×15 Market Dominator to ensure this kind of consistency and value are creating that mind-share and market share.
  3. Let people know what areas and price points that you service. Through your marketing and prospecting, let people know where you do business. If you’ve ever lost a listing because a friend or acquaintance said, “Oh, I didn’t know you worked that area,” you’ll get the message behind this step.
  4. Train on how you take referrals. Let folks know that their referrals are important to you and how they can best deliver that information to you. “Shoot me a text, an email – or give me a call if you know someone who is looking to buy or sell a home.”
  5. Thank your VIPs. Thank everyone for their referrals. Go the extra mile. Send a card or letter to them after the fact. Say, “Thank you for your kind referral. It’s the lifeblood of my business and no small thing, I know, so I appreciate it. Know that I’ll treat them with the highest possible level of care and you can rest assured they, and their interests, will be well taken care of. I’ll also keep you posted on how that referral is going so that you know your friends or relatives are in good hands.”   Stand out in every way. People want to do business with those who they know can get the job done with the least number of headaches and the highest return on investment. They also want to work with people who are service-minded and extraordinary in their client care.  That old adage, “they don’t care what you know until they know that you care” has never been more true.

Spring is right around the corner. Showing up in every way possible in your market place is critical to owning that market share.

  • Take the time THIS month to put your plan in place to ask for referrals. Can you make ten extra calls this week towards that goal?
  • Be consistent. The 12×15 Market Dominator is a powerful way to show up each month with value-added content and calls to action. Follow those mailings up with phone calls and door knocking in that geographic farm to help folks put your face with your name and know you are a resource they can count on.
  • Review your marketing tools, your website and social media. Are you letting people know the areas you serve?
  • Remember to let people know how to reach you if they have referrals. Review your business cards, email signature line, and marketing tools.
  • Send thank you messages weekly. We’ve got some easy-to-order Thank-You postcards that can streamline that process.

Make geo-farming a top priority this season and you’ll start to see returns on that investment. Stay strong, and let us know if we can help you. If you’d like to learn more about the Market Dominator, call Todd Robertson at 702-683-1967.

Need additional marketing help? Contact our team at 866-405-3638.