Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Success Spotlight Q & A with Power Agent Jennifer Ingiald

By Julie Escobar

When you really want to know what’s working for your customers, you reach out and ask them.  We are so fortunate to have extraordinary customers who are willing and happy to share their experiences of what works, and sometimes what doesn’t with our readers.  Agents love to learn from one another and we love sharing their stories.  This week?  We caught up with power agent Jennifer Ingiald to see what she’s doing to knock it out of the park in her market.

Here’s an excerpt from our interview:

Q:  Can you please tell our readers a little about you?

A:  I’m a Realtor in the central Wisconsin area. I focus mostly on waterfront homes and condos in the Castle Rock Lake area and Wisconsin Dells. Being originally from Schaumburg, IL, my family always vacationed in the Wisconsin Dells area and Castle Rock Lake is the fourth largest lake in Wisconsin, so it’s a lot of fun to work with buyers and sellers purchasing or building their dream vacation home.

Q:  How long have you been using ProspectsPLUS! and what made you choose us as your resource?

A: I’ve been using ProspectsPLUS! for about a year and a half now. My broker had recommended the site as she had great success with it as well. She was absolutely right! The website is very user-friendly, and so easy to navigate and create awesome postcards.

Q:  Can you tell us what you believe is the most important part of your marketing plan?

A: Listing photos and direct mail campaigns.  I like to utilize a professional real estate photographer for listing photos which I can then import into ProspectsPLUS.com postcard templates for a “Just Listed” or “Just Sold” campaign.  The end result is a completely professional postcard that always yields amazing results.

Q: I know you wisely use Just Listed and Just Sold cards in your market – can you tell us what kind of results you are getting and why you are so passionate about using these time-tested tools?  

A: This is by far my most important marketing tool.  Every single time I send out a Just Listed or Just Sold card, I get at least one new listing.  With the last Just Sold card I sent, I received two new listings.  I prefer to use the Jumbo postcards as opposed to the standard size, as I think they catch the eye better and help me to stand out amongst my competition.

Q:  Any advice for agents eager to get more results from their sphere and farm? 

A: I would absolutely recommend a ProspectsPLUS.com direct mail campaign, especially for farming.  It may seem like more money than you’d like to spend at first, but if you get one listing, and thus one sale out of it, it is worth it!  I like to use the postcard templates with a lot of photos as I think photos grab a reader’s attention. I also think it’s important to consistently send out either a Just Listed or Just Sold once you have a new listing or sale in a particular area you are farming, as you will start to become viewed as the market expert in your area.

Q:  Awesome – thank you so much Jennifer! How can readers connect with you if they have referrals in your market?

A:  If anyone has any referrals in the Wisconsin Dells or Castle Rock Lake areas, please feel free to call me at 608-548-3307 or www.CastleRockLakeAreaHomes.com.

If you’d like to learn more about consistently marketing your listings and yourself in your market, call our marketing team at 866.405.3638 or visit us online at www.prospectsplus.com. We’re happy to help you develop the plan that can help you take your business to the next level.

If you are a ProspectsPLUS.com customer and would be interested in potentially being featured on our blog or in our next Master Marketing Magazine, please email me today and set up a time to connect!

Making Connections in Unexpected Ways

by Julie Escobar

While a firm believer in the power of consistent top-of-mind marketing using series such as our neighborhood update postcards or content postcards, I always like to remind agents to also include an element of surprise in their marketing efforts as well.  It’s terrific to keep people informed — that brands you as an expert and resource people can trust and call on for their real estate questions or needs.  When combined, however, with a genuine thank you and note of appreciation, you now also brand yourself as someone who cares about your customers — and about details!

This week’s Master Marketing Schedule tip is to send the Out of the Blue postcard from Customer Appreciation Series to 200 of your past clients.  What if you did that at least four times per year?  Or took a few moments to send these kind messages to a block of your sphere of influence VIPs per month?  Do you think it might be worth a few transactions or referrals?  You bet it would!

For the reverse side of the card, I would recommend choosing the “standard back with message” – it has a little more room for a message.  Here are some ideas for customizing your message:

  1. Invite to a customer appreciation event.  Spring is a great time to host a party!
  2. Offer something of value.  We have some terrific Free Reports that are easily customized and downloadable that you can offer.  Nine Strategies to Get 17% More For Your Home or 10 Renovations That Reap Return on Investments are two great ones you can offer.
  3. Offer a service. Let them know that the market, and mortgage rates are changing — and that has a lot of people asking questions about what that potential means for their home value.  Offer to meet with them to share a home price evaluation and answer any questions they might have.
  4. Let them know when you’ll be in the area!  Schedule a time for you and your team, if you have one, to walk your geographic farm or be available for a meet and greet at a local coffee shop or community center. Then share that information with your fans and offer to answer any questions they might have and even tell them to invite a friend!

Then follow up.  Block time to connect with at least 25 past clients per week with a kind word, a thank you and an offer to assist.  We’re in the business of people, and when you reach out on a regular basis and let people know you genuinely care — you’ll be rewarded with new business and customers for life!

Need help with your marketing? Contact our team today at 866.405.3638.

How Some Agents Are Using This Tool to Get More Listingsreal-estate-door-hangerswe-have-buyers

by Julie Escobar

If there’s a tool that’s literally been ‘around the block’ (probably millions of them to date!) it’s the Real Estate Door Hanger.  Why?  They work.  They catch attention. They a great reason to canvas.  And they  are an easy-to-use leave-behind for potential clients.

Many agents are eager to get back out and work their neighborhood farms this month so we thought we’d share a few strategic tips other agents are using to help garner more listings and increase their market share.

1.  Content is key.  One series of door hanger that’s really popular with agents right now is the real-estate-door-hangers-expiredListing Inventory Series, designed specifically to help agents find more sellers.  But we also have hangers for FSBO’s and Expireds, which are handy to have in the car when you come across a FSBO that just popped up, or see an expired come off the market that’s close by.  You can use them to brand yourself, spotlight a new listing, advertise an open house.  The possibilities are endless!  Get creative! 

2.  Include a call to action.  Many times, agents will put a lot of time and energy into getting their message just right, and forget to direct their prospects as to what they want them to do.  With ANY marketing piece, always be sure to have a call to action that’s simple and direct!

3.  Keep them readily available.  Many savvy agents keep a ‘rolling tool chest’ in their trunk.  Filled with the forms they need on the fly, objection handling brochures, extra business cards, listing agreements, presentation folders, and door hangers.  That way they, just like the scouts, are ‘always prepared’.

4.  Going door to door?  Know how many homes are in the neighborhood you are canvassing, real-estate-door-hangers-get-your-home-soldbut don’t try to do it all at one time if you are flying solo.  You can visit our EDDM page here and look for the link on the right to choose your carrier route.  Even if you’re planning to use the door hangers and not Every Door Direct Mail – this is a handy tool to find out how many homes are in a given area so you’re sure to order enough door hangers! Wear your name badge, some comfortable shoes and your best smile and get out and meet some people!

5.  Timing is everything.  If you want to just get the hangers on the door without ACTUALLY talking to very many people, mornings (right after people leave for work) are good.  If shaking hands and making connections with potential sellers and buyers than early evening is good after people have made their way home.

6.  Make a block party of it!  Get a group together!  Take your team along for the day and break the canvassing up in a grid to lighten the load. Start at your local Starbucks for a caffeine fuel first and share your door hangers with the customers there!

7.  A little PRE-canvas legwork.  If you are planning deliver door hangers to a neighborhood or neighborhoods, it’s a good call to warm things up a little by sending postcards with your name, picture and information first.  That way when you are meeting face-to-face, consumers will be more likely to recognize you and realize you’re there as the ‘neighborhood expert.’  If you’re using the listing inventory door hangers, we have Listing Inventory Postcards that compliment them nicely. Find them here!

These are just a few great ways agents are making door hangers part of their marketing plan. They are a great addition to your spring or fall marketing – because of their low cost and high impact.

From Your Desktop Computer You Can Browse All Our Door Hanger Templates by Visiting: Prospectsplus.com/DoorHangers 

Need help?  Give our team a call at 800.287.5710 or click through to see the variety of terrific options for Real Estate Door Hangers that we have to offer!  

The Sum of Small Things

by Julie Escobar

The market is hot and competition is hotter.  One big secret to success is to stay top-of-mind with your book of business.  And while that doesn’t have to be a HARD process – it does need to be CONSISTENT.  That got me thinking about one of Floyd Wickman’s quotes, “Great results are the sum of small things, done well, repeatedly.”  Boy isn’t that the truth?  I once asked Floyd to expand on that a little for us – and here’s what he had to offer:  “That’s one of my favorite sayings too, and it’s so true.  In fact, nothing defines that more than a commissioned salesperson picking up the phone and making a simple call to folks in their book of business—even if for no other reason than to say hello.  There is no higher thing they can do to shift their results in this business than to create those conversations.  In fact, in our courses we teach agents that for every 12 conversations they have, they can expect a referral.  To me, that’s the number one way to stay top of mind AND build your business.”

Great advice.  Floyd also shared that you can’t ‘nurture’ everyone.  So every agent should have two lists – one which is their book of business – those folks you are building a relationship with over time.  Your second list should be your database. That’s a list of everyone who’s ever inquired, been on your mailings lists, or internet leads that you can send drip campaigns to until they are ready to make a move. Your database is your least expensive list to market to – but it also yields much lower results than your book of business.

So number one?  Take Floyd’s advice.  Pick up the phone to everyone in your book of business.  Decide how you want to break that up – 10 a day, 20 a day or as Floyd used to say, “Call until you get one.”  Block off that time just as critically as you would a listing appointment – because it IS that critical.

Number two?  Get out of stealth mode. I can’t tell you how many agents rarely leave the office or their homes but call us to say – how can I get more business?  Get OUT there in your community and get noticed!  Take part in charity drives, school events, and host Q & A sessions at the local library or coffee shop.  The more contentVISIBLE you are – the more likely people are going to say YOUR NAME when asked if they know anyone in real estate!

Number three?  SEND them something tangible.  For all the obvious reasons, we’re fond of direct response mail postcards– because they are easy to order, quick to send and don’t take up a lot of your valuable face-to-face or voice-to-voice time with prospects and those in your book of business or sphere.  Monthly holiday cards, recipe cards, newsletters, or our content cards are a great ‘touch’ each month that are budget-friendly, can be ordered in minutes, and allow you to stay top of mind.  Keep things mixed up as well. Check out our Master Marketing Schedule if you haven’t already for some creative and way outside the box ways to get in front of your clients in ways that are sure to have you REMEMBERED!

Number four?  Be HYPER-LOCAL.  There’s a reason this term is all the buzz right now – it’s because it is
EXACTLY what consumers are looking for in their resources. Home buyers and sellers need to know what is happening right there in YOUR market – rather than just get sucked into the national news of what’s happening nationwide or even globally.  What are prices doing in their neighborhoods?  What’s happening in the schools in your area?  What new businesses are coming in or closing?  Who are the trusted resources, business or service professionals in YOUR area that they can call.  Start being the one to consistently deliver THAT kind of information – and your name, brand, reputation and referrals will skyrocket.

Number five?  Expand your reach.  If you’re not saturating the neighborhood or market area you want to dominate, then turn to Every Door Direct Mail (which gets you literally into every mailbox).  Our Market Dominator System is becoming quite the differentiator for agents across the nation.  In fact, one agent just shared this experience with us, The monthly ordering process is easy. Some months I simply upload my photo and company logo and submit the already created newsletter. Other times I customize it. Either way, the newsletters are distributed to 527 of my neighbors. Over the 11 months since I started, the EDDM marketing pieces have resulted in 5 listing appointments. This month, I have a seller preparing their home to list with me and received a buyer referral from a neighbor who receives my newsletters. It’s great to see some fruit from the seeds I planted.” Our advice? Follow his lead and plant those seeds! 

Now, what are you waiting for?  Get out there and start getting your name, business and face recognized as the incredible real estate resource you are!  And if you need help – give our team a shout at 866.405.3638 for systems that can help you do all of that and more! 

A Guest Blog About Every Door Direct Mail 

by Brian Fox. VP Business Development, Benutech

Okay, so you probably know about the value and benefit of mailing postcards via Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM) by the United State Postal Service (USPS)… They are plentiful.  The postage rate for delivery is attractive (17 cents a door).  The residences are all in a close, neat geographical location.  This allows you acquire the best postage rates for your mail marketing and when it’s time to walk your farm to meet homeowners – the residences are all in a neat geographical location for easy walking and knocking.

The challenge is… How do you find the “right” EDDM Group to deliver to?  Well, that’s a bit tricky – but not only is there hope, there are real data solutions to solve this tricky challenge.

Let’s break the moves down step by step for you.   There are 4 very important steps in choosing the correct EDDM location(s) to farm and here they are:

  1. Locate EDDM Groups within a zip code or city by finding the EDDM Groups with the highest turnover rates available. In other words, the higher the ratio of homeowners that move annually, the higher the chance of finding more sellers within those areas in the future. Why?  Every real estate coach in the U.S. teaches their paying clients to find areas of “high turnover” defined as 7% turnover rate or higher.  Statistically, they have shown that finding areas where homes are selling provides agents with areas that will continue to sell at high rates.  This will help make your marketing more efficient.
  2. Once you have the EDDM Groups ranked from highest to lowest turnover rate – Locate the EDDM groups that have “Sales Price Points” that interest you. In other words, if two EDDM groups have similar turnover rates, but different home price selling points – it’s much better to sell a home that sells for $600K vs. $350K, right?
  3. Now, this is important: Compare the number of “owned homes” in the EDDM Group against what the USPS will deliver to in the same EDDM group.  Keep in mind – EDDM via USPS delivers to every resident (homeowners, apartment renters) within the EDDM group. Most agents don’t want to mail to renters – Agents mail market to find potential sellers.  So, you wouldn’t want to mail to 500 residences via EDDM if only 300 of them are “owned” properties.  If you did, you would be employing the USPS to deliver to 200 apartment renters in that EDDM Group that can’t be sellers because they are renting.   Look for EDDM Groups on the USPS Website that have a similar number of “delivery” vs. “properties owned within the EDDM group” – See the examples provided for zip code 98006 in Bellevue, a suburb of Seattle, WA.  Two EDDM Groups with similar turnover rates 7.95% and 7.84% – but the 7.84% group (Carrier Route C037) has 536 owned properties within the EDDM Group of 543 units that the USPS will deliver to. Therefore, Carrier Route C037 has a much higher “ownership deliver rate” than Carrier Route C028 – providing a better value for you as a paying customer.
  4. As a last step – look to see what the “average years owned” is for the EDDM group you select. Average home ownership rates in the 7-10 year range seem to indicate areas that folks purchase into and then sell rather quickly – possibly to upgrade to a larger home or to a home in a more desirable location – which results in higher sales rates annually.  Also, look to see what the Non-Owner occupancy rate is for the EDDM group.  Much of the time, Non-Owners will sell property more frequently than Owner Occupants, so high Non-Owner Occupancy rates could help facilitate more sales, more often.

In the example provided for Zip Code 98006 in Bellevue, WA – the perfect EDDM Group was found utilizing Benutech’s “Title Toolbox” data.  Carrier Route C037 had a high turnover rate (7.84%), it had 536 owned units within a 543 unit EDDM Group, it had one of the highest sales price points in Bellevue at $1.3M, and had an average years owned of 8.6% – indicating that this area could be an area where folks purchase and sell rather frequently. If you are farming in Bellevue, this would be the place to farm!

Okay, yes… This may seem like a lot… and it is… so just do this:  Contact ProspectsPLUS! and have them help you with this process.  They are mail marketing experts, and by utilizing Benutech data and their technology – they can complete these steps for you and place you in the perfect EDDM group to start your successful farming campaigns. 

Oh, but please realize, you are not done once you find that perfect EDDM Group to market to! Now it’s time to make you known to the homeowners within the EDDM Group.  Let’s go back to those Real Estate Coaches… Their expensive advice is to market monthly.  You have just located the perfect farming location – so FARM it!

Step One:  Get the mail marketing pieces out to this EDDM Group once per month.  ProspectsPLUS! will help you select the perfect mail pieces.

Step two: Once the mail is out… You need to get out.  Homeowners are not going to hire you to sell their
home unless they get to KNOW YOU. It’s that simple.  Having homes in EDDM Groups allow you to easily walk and talk to the homeowners within the EDDM groups.  Don’t rely just on the mail… You are way more powerful than a postcard… Meet the folks in the EDDM Group so that they can hire you when it comes time to sell.  Seize the day, meet some folks – and take new listings!

About: Brian Fox, VP Business Development, Benutech, Inc. Benutech, Inc. is a real estate data company out of Costa Mesa, CA and is the creator of “ReboGateway” (for Real Estate Agents and Investors) and “Title Toolbox” (for Title Companies and other property related business). To contact Brian Fox:  Brian@benutech.com or 714-580-8099.

Need help choosing the right EDDM piece for you? Contact our customer care team at 866.405.3638 today!