Sunday, November 19, 2017

Strategic Marketing Ideas for Strong Agents

by Julie Escobar

As competition grows more fierce, you may find yourself like many agents asking, “What’s my next move?” Savvy sales professionals are negotiating the turn by investing in smart systems and tools that will help them compete long-term in today’s real estate arena. Who will take the lead in both listing and selling homes as we navigate this constantly shifting market? Those who stay strategically focused on one-to-one marketing, negotiating effectively up front, and committing to consistent business development through monthly prospecting.

1. Set Your Standards High: In any market, taking listings that just won’t sell is far worse than having no listings at all. While you may be tempted to take at any price, terms or commission to secure the listing, this is a recipe for failure. Consider instead, raising your standards using a strong, effective tool which spotlights the homeowner’s commitment to getting the home sold in the quickest possible time, with the best price and terms. We call it our Merchandising Review and there are three very successful ways to implement this valuable tool.

First: Make the right mutual decisions at the listing appointment. In all likelihood, throughout your MerchandisingReviewTHUMB
presentation your sellers will have an objection or two regarding terms such as price, commission, etc. Our suggestion is to agreeably shelve objection handling until AFTER you have obtained the signatures for the listing. Then close your appointment by going over the Merchandising Review to make certain everything is in order.

Sample dialogue: “I want to thank you for listing your home with me. Please know that I will do everything in my power to get it sold. To help me do just that, let me take a few minutes to go over our Merchandising Review. I use this the same way pilots use a pre-flight checklist. This list of 18 different seller-controlled factors actually will help generate a quicker sale for the best possible price and terms. What I need from you is a commitment to check off at least eight of these items. Let’s review.” Then simply walk them through the list and negotiate where necessary. If you struggle to get listings priced right or are looking for additional tools to help you handle objections you might hear, you may wish to consider reading 21 Ways to Get Your Listings Priced Right the First Time. 

2.  Get non-selling inventory back on track. Go through your inventory and red flag problem listings. Walk PricePyramidTHUMBthrough the problems using the Merchandising Review and the Five Most Common Mistakes tools. Contact your sellers by phone or visit in person to help them understand those review items that are hindering the sale of their home.

Sample Dialogue: “Mr. and Mrs. Seller, we’ve had your property on the market for ____ days now and we are not getting the results that either of us had hoped for. We have a new tool called the Merchandising Review that helps us identify problem areas, and I’d like to sit down with you to discuss those issues. I believe if we walk through these items we can get your listing back on track and help exact a faster sale for your home. Would tomorrow at 6:00pm be good or would 8:30pm be better?”

3. Data mine for the niche that’s right for you.  By targeting niche markets that are near and dear to your own interests, you’ll be better able to “speak their language” and let your passion for that market segment build the momentum you are looking for.  For example, do you love listing and selling waterfront properties?  Is boating the way you unwind?  Now, it’s easy to find and market to like-minded people and work not only with your sphere — but consumer interest groups that most resonate with you.  That way you are growing your book of business with the kind of folks you are most interested in working with. (And that just makes work, and life, a whole lot more interesting, don’t you think?)

It’s never been easier to do.  

Use Option 2 on our Mailing List page to search for the customer segments you most want to market to:

mailing

  1. Choose High Income Consumers for luxury or investment property.investor
  2. Choose the Lifestyle Interest option for a treasure trove of niche markets such as golfers (golf community property), Tennis enthusiasts (high end home with tennis courts, or communities with tennis centers), Boat owners (waterfront properties), etc.
  3. Look to High Income Renters for high quality first time home ownership options and communities that are high in amenities, low in upkeep.  lifestyle
  4. Choose baby boomers and elderly if working with seniors is your passion.  Very often this will lead to developing powerful, referral relationships with the seniors and their children.
  5.  Choose move up market for those who have been in their homes over nine years and statistically are a good candidate for a move.  Help them list their current home and find their new dream property!
  6. Empty-nesters are a great segment to market for downsizing move upopportunities.  With the right marketing twist, you could end up listing their current home, and helping them purchase their new home.

These market segments are just the tip of the iceberg.  Find the niche that most works for you.  Watch all three videos regarding the mailing options  that are available to help agents find the perfect customers.  From radial searches, to demographic searches to all new Nielsen Prizm Code data, the possibilities are endless.

Whatever strategy you deploy this season, make sure your message is clear and marketing consistent. Call, see or send something to everyone in your base of business at least every 30 days and you will find that your productivity, profitability, referrals and commissions will be on track all year round.

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

3 Great Strategies for Creating PRESENCE This Season

By Julie Escobar

It’s that time of year.  The holidays are here and with them much of your competition is settling in – for shorter days, slimmer work calendars and that ‘wait ‘till the first of the year’ slump.  Not you.  You’ve got your eye on a new year filled with promise and kicked off with momentum-right?

Here are three things you can do to create vital PRESENCE now that will carry you through the holidays and long into the New Year with powerful, forward, full-steam-ahead strength.

Commit to Consistencythanksgiving cards

You know what you see a lot of?  Agents who ONLY send a postcard or greeting card once a year.  Start now and make it a point to ‘touch’ your sphere and farm at LEAST once every 21-30 days for the duration.  Consumers today are savvy – they’re not swayed, influenced or impressed by the ‘one-and-done’ marketing efforts.  From their perspective?  If you’re that lax in how you market YOURSELF – how will you be at marketing THEIR property?  Show the consumers in your market place that you’ve got the chops – and the commitment to be front and center not just once, but again and again and again.

Community Countsworkshop cards

Want to be known as the neighborhood resource or the market specialist?  Get out of the office, out from behind your desk and out in FRONT of the people in the community you serve.  Make it a point to calendar at least ONE community event in your market per quarter – or even per month.  It’s an edge that will set you apart, win favor and create a presence that you’re the top agent to talk to. Team up with your local schools, libraries, chamber of commerce, or even a network of like-minded business professionals to help create awareness, increase attendance and bring a wide spectrum of information to those who want it most.

Think AHEADlisting inventory1

The smartest agents in the business are never satisfied with doing things the ‘same old way’.  They’re keeping their ear to the ground, eyes open, and thinking ahead.  What can you do to make a splash?  How can you best keep the ‘buzz’ going?  I love Tony Robbins who has served up the motto ‘Constant And Never Ending Improvement’ for years.  In a 24/7, 365 world, you can’t let your skills, your top-of-mind awareness, or your passion to coast or slip to the back burner.

Need help?  Call us at 866.405.3638.  We’ve got answers you can count on.  From direct response postcard marketing that keeps you top-of-mind, to Holiday messages that make a difference, to real world resources that you can adopt and make part of that empowered new marketing and business plan for 2017 that we know you are ALREADY working on!  Have a great week!

 

 

Insights and Strategies from Real Estate Coach Darryl Davis

By Julie Escobar

Since the dawn of real estate, it seems we’ve been hearing phrases such as, “Listings are the name of the game” or “List to last.” While those sayings are as true today as they’ve always been, we caught up with our old friend and real estate coach Darryl Davis to learn why “just listings” aren’t enough to propel your way to the top and stay there anymore. Today’s agents need to focus on building listing INVENTORY if they want toDarryl Davis 06 stay in the game and compete at the highest levels. Here’s an excerpt from our interview:

Q: Darryl, you’re teaching your students and coaching members that they need to step up their game in terms of building (and keeping) listing inventory. Can you share a little more about that with our readers?

A: Sure! First, I like to share the WHY – WHY it’s important to build and maintain listing inventory. I’m a big analogy guy, so I sometimes ask agents to think about their friends, family members or neighbors and what they make. You know, a lot of times you don’t know exactly how much other people make, but you have an idea, and sometimes you think to yourself, “I know I make more than that, but they have more than I do or don’t seem to struggle as much as I do.”

Two words explain that: cash flow. See, those other folks are usually salaried people with consistent income, so they can budget and plan their lives around that. In real estate, we don’t have that. Most agents run their business in surge-and-drought mode – right? But it doesn’t have to be that way. If I asked every agent reading this if he/she had a consistent $5,000 (or whatever your number is) every month, would it make your life less stressful? The answer is 100% yes.

Q: That helps put it in perspective, doesn’t it? So there’s the WHY. Can you tell them HOW building inventory solves their surge-and-drought problem?

A: Yes. I like to tell agents to focus on listing inventory rather than listings like this: Imagine you’re selling shoes listing inventory 2instead of houses. If you want to sell shoes for a living, you’ve got two choices: One is to get a store, some racks and some shoes, and promote your store… right? The second is to find a buyer who wants to buy shoes, put him/her in your car and drive around to every shoe store in town until he/she finds the perfect ones. Get the picture?

Here’s the thing: Every time you put a buyer in your car to show a listing that’s not your own, you’re basically taking that buyer to another agent’s “shoe store.” You’re essentially becoming an “employee” of sorts for that other agent. Bottom line? No inventory = no business.

Q: Great analogy. Can you expand on that?

A: Think of it like this: You’ve got six listings or, for this purpose, we’ll go back to shoes. So you’ve got six pairs of shoes, and you put four under contract this month. YEA, right? That’s terrific! Well yeah, it is – BUT dominator marchlook at your inventory. You went from six to two. When you close on them, you’ll have a surge of cash, of course, but if you don’t replenish your inventory, then you’ll head into a drought. To create continuous cash flow, you have to at least MAINTAIN or, better still, INCREASE your inventory.

Let’s say you’re brand-new, and you want to build inventory by one per month. You start out month one with one listing. Month two you get another. Month three you get another, but you close on one. So that means month three, you have to get TWO to make up for the one under contract and keep your inventory up. If the average commission is $5,000 per listing sold, and you start with zero and focus on building your inventory by one per month, you should be able to earn $100,000 within 12 months.

Q: It helps to put it in dollars and cents, doesn’t it? It’s more than just the money though – it’s about managing time as well, right?

A: Exactly. When you think like a businessperson instead of solely like a salesperson, you can balance your time. I’ll give you an example: I’ve got a student who earns a quarter million per year and takes two full months off every year to spend with family… two full months! Now if he owned a shoe store instead of a real estate business, would he close down those two months? Of course not. He’d hire a manager to handle things. In real estate, if you don’t have a “store,” or inventory, that can sell while you’re away, you can’t take time off. No inventory = no income, no time off. Lots of inventory = consistent income, ability to take time off.

Q: Love that… treating your business like a business. What a concept, right? Darryl, you’ve always been real estate fsbo marketing postcardsamazing at teaching agents how to succeed by marketing to FSBOs and expireds, but recently you’ve been sharing why it’s important to stay top of mind with a book of business and geo farm as well. Can you tell me more about that?

A: Because the worst of the housing market crash is mostly behind us, we’re going to see more and more people come into the market in the next few years. Because of that, it’s important for agents to have a consistent marketing campaign. People need to know your name, your face and what you do for a living. I still say working with FSBOs and expireds is a great way to generate listings fast – simply because they’ve already identified themselves as the hand-raisers. That said, think of your business like a wheel – the more spokes you have, the more efficient the wheel works. You eventually hit a point of diminishing return, or too many spokes, but it’s important to find the balance. One or two spokes isn’t enough to generate business momentum.

I’ll give you another example: I have a student named Marty who makes a six-figure income. He lives in South Carolina, but his business is on Long Island. He goes to Long Island once a month to take listings and meet clients. He can do that because one of his “spokes” is a mailing campaign that he sends out consistently to his sphere and farm promoting himself, his business and his listings – all while living in another state! THAT’S the power of staying positioned consistently with the right marketing tools.

Q: Wow! That’s incredible. One of the things our readers tell us is tough for them is following up. They’re either afraid of it (picking up the phone) or don’t make it a priority. Can you share some secrets to success in that area?

A: I would say 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.

Going back to the last question, one of the things I like best about consistently sending out mailings is that it helps agents “warm” those calls – which makes follow-up easier, because you have something right off the bat to talk about.

Q: I love the title of your new book, How to Design a Life Worth Smiling About. I just downloaded it and can’t wait to read it! Can you tell us about it?

A: Absolutely. It’s got a lot of fun content in it, and people seem to love it. You know, I ask agents all the time, “When a homeowner lists their house with you, what do you think they want as an end result?” I get a variety of answers, of course. “To sell the home.” No. “To get the most money.” No.

Tune in, and take it all a step further. When you’ve been in the business a while, you’ll often hear homeowners say something like, “If these walls could talk.” They’re not selling a house – they’re selling their HOME. Shelter is the second most important thing to people. They’re leaving the comfort of shelter and going into an unknown. When you’re the agent who can tune into that and realize that every client you help is heading into a new chapter in their lives – and you are a part of that – don’t minimize the powerful impact. Great agents help change people’s lives for the better. When you get THAT… you’re no longer selling.

Q: Darryl, any last words of wisdom? 

A: The money we make is actually the thermometer as to how many lives we’ve helped. Focus on the lives you can help, and the money will come.

Awesome insights, Darryl. Thank you so much for sharing with us. I look forward to reading your new book and, as someone who’s known you more years than we care to count, I know all of your students, coaching members and audience members are fortunate to learn from you. Your ability to help people both laugh and learn is extraordinary.

About Darryl Davis

Darryl became a real estate agent at the age of 19 and quickly climbed the ladder to become a top producer, averaging six transactions a month. He became a licensed broker and manager of a new office that became the #1 listing and selling branch within its first 6 months of operation. He’s been named one of the highest-rated speakers at the National Association of REALTORS® convention for the past several years and is the ONLY real estate speaker who is a best-selling author with McGraw-Hill Publishing for his book, How to Become a Power Agent in Real Estate. He is the founder of The POWER Program®, a yearlong real estate coaching program that has proven results of agents doubling their income over their previous year. He’s also the creator of the nationally acclaimed three-day program S.U.R.E. Results, where agents generate an average of $33,504.82 over their previous year. And as creator of the nationally recognized term “Next Level®,” Darryl strives to bring his students and attendees to their “Next Level®” of success by training them on how to have more fun and less stress in their business and personal lives. To learn more about Darryl and his training tools and services, visit www.DarrylSpeaks.com, or contact him at 1-800-395-3905.

To learn more about staying in consistent touch with your sphere and farm (as Darryl teaches), visit www.prospectsplus.com, or call our support team at 866.405.3638 today. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One Powerful Strategy Agents Are Using is Making the Phones Ring

By Julie Escobar

With listings fewer and far between, competition is fierce and creativity is kicking in to connect in the listing inventory 3right way with potential sellers.  One strategy that we are seeing trending right now with agents is getting very SPECIFIC in their marketing to show homeowners that they are serious about getting homes sold in today’s market.

Agents are taking the Listing Inventory Series and the Neighborhood Update Series and totally customizing them to share with homeowners that they are not bluffing about the desire for new listing inventory.

Instead of just sending the cards ‘as is’, creative agents are letting potential sellers know exactly what they are looking for and targeting homeowners who fit that mold. For example, they are taking the I Have a Buyer postcard from the Listing Inventory Series, then changing out the copy below the title to add specifics such as “My buyers, the Smith Family, are looking for a 3 bedroom, 2 bath home in the Double Branch area.  If you’ve ever thought about selling your home, please let me know.  They are motivated and ready to make an offer!”

The Neighborhood Update/Free Offer series is popular as well as it allows you to put the current Neighborhood update postcardslistings and solds data that people are looking for and helps to start the question in their minds, “How much could we get for OUR home?”

Delivering specifics that make your buyers REAL to potential sellers can make all the difference between your marketing and that of your competitors.  Remember to engage the 3-7-27 rule of marketing to stay top of mind in your geographic farm and with your sphere.  It takes 3 contacts to get noticed, 7 for people to put your name with your business and 27 to become a brand name in someone’s mind.  Most agents stop at 2 touches – most transactions happen after 5!  So what that tells us is that to get the results you are looking for and the new listings you want – you’ve got to stay in the game.

Have fun getting creative this month!  If you need assistance, know that our marketing team is a call away.  You can reach them at 866.405.3638.   Visit our Specials Page for this month’s budget-saving promo codes. The be sure to check out these two powerful series:  Listing Inventory Series and Neighborhood Update Series today!

 

Google

And Why It’s a Hot Ticket Item This Yearhot ticket

by Julie Escobar

Every Door Direct Mail® is definitely the buzz and the hot ticket item so far this year for three very good reasons:

  1. It literally gets you in EVERY door of the geographic neighborhoods you are looking to farm.
  2. At just 18.3 cents per piece for postage, it makes saturating an area much more affordable.
  3. It takes the guesswork out of your marketing – you don’t need a specific mailing list, can use direct response offers to increase your response rate, and you can let a company like ProspectsPLUS! do all the heavy lifting and work for you!

I caught up with Director of Business Development Ramona Williams to find out what savvy agents are sending this spring and why.  Here’s an excerpt from our interview:

Q: Ramona, EDDM orders are flying out of the print shop this spring – what would you say the top three TYPES of mailings agents are ordering when using this cool and affordable service?

A:  I’d say by far the most popular piece hands-down is the Panoramic Postcards featuring a new eddmlisting and the all new Neighborhood Update/Free Offer Series.  Both are sleek, beautiful, allow you to market new listings and are great ways to showcase an agent’s ability to get results.  Secondly, we’re seeing a lot of agents who are using a bigger piece such as our Market Dominator System to spotlight multiple listings, and really make an impact visually in the mailboxes of their target area.

Q:  Great – yes, I think the panoramic postcard and the Market Dominator are definitely the Dominator-FRONT-Largefront runner choices for our customers right now. How many routes, on average, are you seeing agents choose? 

A:  I would say most agents choose one or two routes.  With the average carrier route running anywhere from 250-500 homes, it just seems like a manageable area for most agents to not only connect with – but have the ability to follow up on.  And that’s really the key.

Q:  Right! So what’s the response been from the agents that you’ve talked to – is it working? 

A:  Absolutely, and I believe that most of the agents that are taking advantage of this powerful, yet affordable new option from the post office are using it in some very smart ways.  They are using them to break into new areas where they’ve maybe got a little name recognition but want more, or they are using it to really consistently cultivate listing saturation.  Both are really smart strategies.

Q:  I agree! Any last words of advice for agents considering EDDM?

A:  Just that like ANY marketing, consistency really is key.  If budget is an issue then I would say choose a smaller route and be consistent in sending to that route often. One-shot mailings – even ones that saturate a market area are not normally very effective.  The agents that are seeing the best results from this system are sending every one to two months for at least six months.

Thank you much Ramona for your insights.  As always – you’re very helpful!  If you are a real estate pro and you’d like to learn more about whether EDDM is right for you or whether another form of marketing might better suit your needs and market area – give Ramona and her team a call at 1.866.405.3638 today.  They’ve got the answers you need to kick your spring marketing into HIGH gear!