Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Mastering the Merchandising Review

By Julie Escobar

Using visuals when giving presentations helps you effectively Merchandising Reviewcommunicate with your client or customers.  They lend an extra layer of authority to the conversation, appeal to the both the “listener” in the room and the “visual” person in the room (and if there are a husband and wife or more than one person who is a decision maker – there’s usually one of each!), and it help you and your ‘audience’ to stay ON TRACK.

Working with Expireds is almost always a great listing-generating activity. Granted, some are disillusioned, some worried and some flat out angry that they didn’t get the results they wanted the first time around.  But most of the time – they’re still motivated to sell.  One of the first things you have to do is to help them figure out the “WHY” for their dilemma.  Was it price?  (Many times!)  Was it condition?  (You can sell anything for the right PRICE.)  Was it the terms?

Whatever it was – the key to keeping that from happening again is to make sure your sellers are just as vested as you are in creating a successful end result – the sale of their home, preferably sooner rather than later.

Enter the Merchandising Review.  This handy dandy little form is great for walking sellers through the potential pitfalls that can happen if you don’t follow a success track when listing a property.  It helps put some of the “monkey” if you will on their backs – not just that of the sales agent.  And truly – it should be – right?

The Merchandising Review is a great way to sit across from the seller and say, “Listen, selling a home in today’s market is challenging at times, there’s no doubt.  But I like a good challenge and when you have the right tools, the right price, the right plan and the right agent – we can get you to your goal of getting this home sold.  Let’s do this – let’s walk through what I call a Merchandising Review and take a look at some of the top reasons that a home will sell (or won’t) in our market – OK?  That way we can make whatever adjustments we need to get you and your family to the next chapter of your life.  Sound good?  Here, I brought two copies – let’s go through it…”

It’s easy to use and easy (and free) to get!  Click here to go to our Resource Page – scroll about half way down the page until you see “Merchandising Review” – then just click download!  Easy, breezy!  Then if you really start wanting to drive up your production and attract Expireds in your market – use our ‘7-Series for Expireds’ – the messages are perfect for entering the conversation that’s already going on in the minds of these disappointed sellers. (While you are there, download the 6 Pitfalls of Overpricing free report – it’s a must-have for today’s listing presentation!)

At least twice a week, pull the Expireds in your market and send them a series of 3-5 postcards, mailing one every 5-7 days. Use the alternative back on the postcard to write a little more – and share that you have a very special tool that can help them first, determine what went wrong in the sale of their home and two, ensure that it doesn’t happen again and invite them to call you for a copy of their own.

It’s a great way in the door for these potential sellers.  Go for it!

Need help choosing the cards that are right for you?  Simply call our marketing specialists at 866-405-3638 today.  They’re smart, knowledgeable, friendly and just the folks you need on your side to ensure that your marketing is TIMELY and DONE!   Good luck and go get those Expireds!

It’s Not Too Soon to Create Your Plan

by Julie Escobar

Hard to believe it’s almost September isn’t it? Taking a cue from this week’s Master Marketing Schedule tip which is to send the Hello Autumn postcard from the Holiday series, I thought it was a great time to share some tips for getting a jump on staying connected with your sphere and farm in this fun way, because staying in touch and top of mind never goes out of season.  Before you buy a card, stick a stamp of figure out where your mailing list is — consider these eight great holiday tips!

  1. Be clear about your message.  Even when you’re sending holiday postcards, you can use the reverse side to send a great message to your customer base.  If you are sending to both your sphere and farm, you may want to consider altering the message slightly for each. Make it personal and heartfelt, with a note of thanks for allowing you the opportunity to serve them as customers — or in the case of your farm – the community.
  2. Serve two purposes.  Are you having a holiday open house? Customer event?  Charity drive? Looking for a good time to stop by with a small gift? You can include that information on the cards as well.
  3. Don’t be salesy.  Holiday greetings are not about the sale – they are about the connection.  Keep it warm and personable.
  4. Don’t wait for just Christmas.  Many top agents send a holiday message once a month to their sphere. Back to School, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s, etc.  There’s something to celebrate all year round, and it’s a fun way to stay connected and stand out as someone who is “there” more than just in the month of December.
  5. Have some fun with it.  Got a great team? Or just a great personality?  Take some fun pictures and opt for a photo-card rather than a more traditional card and don’t be afraid to get a little creative with your photos.
  6. Don’t leave anyone out! You know all those mailing lists you’ve been collecting throughout the year? For Just Listed postcards, or the stack of business cards that have been sitting on the corner of your desk collecting dust?
  7. Order early.  We suggest sending your holiday cards out at LEAST two weeks in advance of the holiday every month — and sending first class as opposed to standard-class to ensure timely delivery.
  8. Follow up.  Sending cards is a great way to easily stay in touch.  Pick a postcard, edit your message, add a list – and you’re done!  In a matter of minutes, you’ve created a connection.  However to really get the full impact of ANY mailing (holiday and otherwise) — be sure to follow-up – at least with the top 25% of your list.  There is no substitution for this step.  Imagine if you made it a point each year, every year, to speak with every single person in your sphere at least twice a year?  Touch base, see if they have questions, thank them for being great customers, and say hello.  Here’s what happens when you do:  they remember you.  They don’t list with another agent because your name wasn’t on the radar.  They are grateful that you take the time to call.  And one out of 12? Statistically, will do business with you or refer business to you.

Here’s to a great holiday season ahead – and to staying in touch with your sphere and farm!

Need help?  We’re here for you!  Call our team at 866.405.3638 today.  We’ll help get your holidays started and save you money at the same time! Have a great one!  

And Have Some Fun With Your Marketing

by Julie Escobar

Consistency is a powerful element in successful marketing. That’s why so many of our clients wisely choose to pick a postcard series to stick with for three to six months at a time. It’s also why you’ll see this strategy play out in our Master Marketing Schedule. We pick a series and make the postcards from it a monthly tip for reaching out to the consumers in your marketplace to build your book of business.

This week’s schedule strategy is to send the Waiting Could Cost You postcard from the Market Quote Series to at least 100 new prospects in an area where you want more listings. I love this series. It’s simple and effective and gives potential buyers and sellers insights into what is happening right now in the real estate market.

If you’ve thought about using it, here are some suggestions for the copy on the backside of the card. 

  1. Invite people to a real estate question and answer event. Have some fun with it.
  2. Offer something of value such as a Comparative Market Analysis, Home Price Analysis, or a Free Report.
  3. Share some hyper-local information such as listing and sale metrics, or even local event information such as school schedules, neighborhood event calendars, etc.
  4. Share your personal insights on what people need to know about real estate on a local level.
  5. Drive people to a blog post or social media page to learn more information.

Make sure you are writing your copy in a conversational and engaging way and don’t be afraid to let your personality show through! Be sure to spell-check before you finalize your postcard, then place your order. (It’s sometimes helpful to write out what you want in a Word document first and paste it into the system for less frustration and spell-checking.) Many of our top agent clients choose the first week of every month to spend 30-60 minutes to make sure their marketing is done and checked off the list for the month for each category of customers they want to reach or they break it down by week, based on the Master Marketing Schedule.  Be sure you are connecting with:

Need help putting your marketing in motion? Contact our team today at 866.405.3638! They are terrific at helping agents grow their businesses. 

The Difference Between Calm & Commission Chasing

By Julie Escobar

One of the biggest challenges for people getting into the business of real estate is the fear of NOT knowing when they will get paid.  Commission only? Are you kidding me?  While that’s a genuine concern when you’re brand new and haven’t learned the ropes yet, what’s interesting is how many people are STILL unclear about when and where their next commission will come from though they’ve been in the business for years.  The common denominator for that dilemma lies in whether they take a proactive or reactive approach to their business.

First and foremost?  You are an independent contractor, and as such you are running a business entity, so treating it as such is more than common sense – it’s a must.  Proactive agents know where their leads are coming from because they are putting systems in place to ensure that they are marketing themselves in the areas that matter most such as:

  • Their sphere of influence: Those folks that already know them, like them, trust them and would do business with them. They know that if they stay in touch monthly, contact regularly, and make these VIPs a priority, they can expect a referral, listing or sale from one in twelve each year. (Marketing methods of choice: Newsletter, Holiday Postcards, Recipe Cards, Content Cards, Annual Customer Appreciation events, and a phone call or visit at LEAST twice per year.)
  • Their geo farm: The market area they most want to dominate. Smart agents choose a neighborhood that already has some turnover, does NOT have another agent with the substantial presence or market share, and has a price point that makes sense for them to invest in marketing. (Marketing methods of choice:  Market Dominator, Just Listed/Just Sold postcards, Open Houses, Neighborhood luxury cardsUpdate/Free Offer Series and farm canvassing at least three times per year.)
  • A niche: That tribe of people or customers you most like to work with.  Maybe it’s first time home buyers, or seniors, or medical professionals, or boaters. Whatever group you feel connected with – make yourself known as the go-to agent.  (Marketing Methods of choice, Newsletters, Lifestyle Interest Postcards and attending or sponsoring events specifically targeted to that niche.)
  • Lead generation: Continuously casting new nets for new business as well as constant prospecting the three segments above. (Marketing Methods of choice: Reaching out to local businesses for networking and referrals, partnering with local PTAs and sporting teams, using Every Door Direct Mail to market to blanket a new carrier route, Listing Inventory postcards.)

These agents aren’t shy about sharing their success rates either.  They use social media wisely, are active and visible in the communities they service and they broadcast their results via Just Listed/Just Sold postcards and online announcements.  Examples: Sold in TWO days!  Was on the market with another agent for six months. Now sold in just one week!

Reactive agents? Pretty much none of the above. They spend the bulk of their time working with buyers and usually only actively seek a new listing once the one or two they have in inventory sell.  I love what Darryl Davis shared in his last article with us.  “It’s no longer listings are the name of the game – it’s listing INVENTORY is the name of the game.”  He compares it to owning a shoe store and having no shoes left to sell.

Bottom line: When you are reactionary, as in, “I have no income coming in – let me go take a listing now,” your life is stressful. You worry about providing for yourself and your family.  You aren’t sure if you need to go “get a real job”.

When you are proactive, you make marketing and prospecting part of your daily routine.  You KNOW your numbers.  “I need to speak with X number of people each day to get X amount of appointments, to do X number of listings, X amount of sales, and X number of closings.”  You use time blocking to prioritize your time and activity. You use systems to automate your marketing or simplify the processes.

If you’re a brand new agent or are an agent that needs less stress, more business and are ready to get to the next level in your career – kick that reactive stuff to the curb and jump in with a proactive plan to build your business.

Need help working with your sphere, farm or niche? We’ve got everything you need to succeed at www.prospectsplus.com or call our team at 866.405.3638.

 

And Make a Difference for You Bothraf gift card

By Julie Escobar

Referrals as real estate professionals are a lifeblood of your business, we know.  They can make all the difference in expanding your sphere, increasing your productivity, and of course, turn into valuable commissions throughout the year.  In that, we are very much alike.  Your business is not just about real estate (buying and selling of homes) – it’s about PEOPLE.  Our business not just about real estate marketing tools – it’s about PEOPLE as well.  So it seems, we’ve got some common ground.  That’s why we recently implemented a new Refer-a-Friend system so that our valued customers can benefit from those referrals, as well as share the kind of tools that you know will make your friends’ lives a little easier in the process.

Let’s take a look of eight reasons to refer a friend today!

  1. You get $25! Each time you refer a friend to our ProspectsPLUS.com site and they register and make a purchase of any kind, we’ll send you a $25 gift card code use towards your own real estate marketing.
  2. Your friend gets $25! We know trying new things isn’t always easy so we will give your referral friend a $25 gift card code so they can try the site without trying their budget!
  3. No limits! You can refer as many friends as you like, and they can do the same!
  4. 100% satisfaction guarantee. Here’s our promise:  We’re so committed to continuously raising the bar and delivering the very best products and service possible for our customers. With that – should you (or your friend) have a problem with any order, please simply let us know within 30 days of placing that order. We will then work with you to the best of our ability to ensure that the problem is solved quickly and efficiently. If necessary, we will refund your order up to 100% or resend your order without any hassles or headaches for you.
  5. The right marketing tools for the right people at the right time. When you refer a friend to ProspectsPLUS.com – you can rest assured that you are sharing a site that is focused on delivering the tools that are specifically designed and written for real estate professionals, by real estate professionals.  The bulk of our creative team, like you, have been out there in the trenches listing and selling.  So we get you and your business in a way that many companies can’t.  And our customers tell us that is the differentiator they appreciate.
  6. New tools, strategies, and training opportunities each and every month. Our industry is constantly changing, and the marketing needs of our customers and the way they need to speak to their customers is in a constant state of change as well.  That’s why you’ll find new done-for-you tools available on our site each month.  From postcards, to flyers, to brochures and blog posts – all are designed to help you continuously move your business forward without having to ever reinvent any wheel.  We know that creating is hard – so we make it our business to do all the homework for you.  We keep tabs on what is trending in the market so you always have what you need to connect with your customers.  Check out our Specials page each month to see what’s new.
  7. Savings doesn’t end with your gift card. Our specials page always has the latest promo codes posted so that you can save additional marketing dollars on any order, and you can use these in conjunction with your gift cards.  Click here to see what this month’s codes are now.
  8. Customer service is at your fingertips. You never have to go it alone when choosing or ordering the marketing materials that are right for you. Simply call our team at 866.405.3638 or use our chat option to connect with our support team.

We hope you’ll take advantage of our new Refer-a-Friend program, earning gift card dollars for both you and your friends and enjoying marketing materials that are designed to help you grow your business with fewer headaches and greater success.  Click here to get started!  

Need help? Call us today at 866.405.3638.