Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Month-by-Month Watch to Hit Your Goalsinfluence

By Julie Escobar

There’s an old saying, “there’s acres of diamonds” in your book of business.   But only if you’re willing to put in the work to make sure it stays on track.  The key to your sphere of influence is of course, influence.  That relationship you develop where they know you, like you, and trust you. That last one is vital.  In the words of Zig Ziglar, “Every sale has five basic obstacles: no need, no money, no hurry, no desire, no trust.”   It’s a great illustration of the importance of staying in front of the folks in your sphere until they are ready, willing, and able to buy or sell and trust you enough to be the one they call when they do.

Each month make an appointment with yourself to review for at least one hour where you are in terms of your book of business.  Ask yourself these four questions:

  1. How many past clients will I contact this month? 
  2. What is my focus? 
  3. Who can I add to my database?
  4. What’s working and what’s not? 

Then take action on your answers.  Top agents don’t worry about chasing their next commission. They know that a strong sphere, connected with month after month, will reap all the leads they want and more!

Here is a reminder of the 10 strategies you should always consider for creating and keeping a results-producing sphere of influence.  

  1. Get it all on ‘record.’  Whatever database management system you choose, be sure that you have entered at the very least the basic information such as name, address, phone number, email address, social media addresses if you have them for every past customer, friend, family member and acquaintance that you can think of.  Sound like a lot of work?  It is – but SO worth it.  And I’m not saying you have to do it yourself.  Delegate it – that way you can stick to what you do best – getting face to face with the folks in your market. Click here to get a copy of our BusinessBASE™. In it you’ll find a list of everyone who should be in your sphere of influence.
  2. Fill in the blanks.  The more RELEVANT you are – the more REFERRALS you’ll receive. So once you’ve got the basics down – take note of more personal information about the people in your database.  What do they do?  Where do they live?  What makes them unique?  What else do you know about them that you can reference?  Who’s in their family?  You know the old saying – the ‘devil is in the details!’ The more you know the easier it will be for you to connect with them on topics that are relevant and important to them.
  3. Clean up old records.  At least twice a year go through your database and cull old contacts, and clean up missed or incorrect information. Connect with your database and let them know that their business is important to you and that you’re just doing a little ‘housekeeping’ so that you can be sure they are always kept in the loop and double check their information.  You can even make them a fair trade offer of a free report or certificate of some kind.
  4. Data mine for ‘like’ minded people.  One of the best things an agent can do is to really take a good long look at what their ‘best customer’ looks like.  Who do you like to work with?  Seniors?  Singles?  First time homebuyers?  Expireds? FSBO’s?  Once you know that – and can determine who you both like to work with and the type of people you have the most successful relationships with – you can data mine to find more of the same.
  5. Add new personal contacts.  As sales professionals we come into contact with new people every day that are potentially great future clients or customers.  Make it a point to add at least one new person per day or 5 per week to your book of business – more depending on how fast you want your business to grow.  Many agents I know make this database building a positive habit by dedicating one hour a week to the health and maintenance of their list.  Every time they meet a new person at the local Starbucks, networking meeting, business event, PTA, restaurant – even the grocery store and have an opportunity to collect a business card or information – that person goes into the ‘book’ and the nurturing begins!  Some of the best agents spend an hour a week sending a personal note or firing off an email just to say what a pleasure it was to meet and if they need anything – just call.  (Making notes on the back of those business cards or in your phone after meeting a new person will help jog your memory for details when you are entering them into your database at a later time.)  Think about 10 people THIS WEEK you could add if you tried:  Teachers, Bankers, Restaurant Owner/Staff, Accountant, Attorney, Landscaper, Gas Station Owner, Grocery Store Manager…the possibilities are endless!  (If you did that EVERY week you’d be adding more than 500 people to your book of business each year!)
  6. Add past lists:  If you’ve sent out Just Listed or Just Sold postcards and have purchased a list of homeowners contact information who received those postcards – be sure not to forget those folks.  You can add them in and start the process of taking them from ‘prospect’ to ‘member’ of your sphere by building those relationships over time.
  7. SHARE with them.  Direct mail is a great way to ‘touch’ your book of business at least once a month.  From powerful sphere of influence postcards with relevant offers to a monthly newsletter packed with valuable content – staying in TOUCH is the key to staying TOP of mind.  We’ll even help you put the right pieces in place to allow you to put your marketing plan in motion and then focus on those personal contacts and the three tasks that are most important in your business:  prospecting, presenting and CLOSING.  Visit our SPECIALS page today to learn more about these options or call our team at 866.405.3638 for help deciding what might work best for you, your list and your budget!
  8. Invite them into the conversation.  Savvy agents are firing up their social media strategies on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and Pinterest and inviting their community of followers to join in the conversation.  Create a Facebook page for your neighborhood farm and post community information that’s relevant to your buyers and sellers such as school information, local business information, fun facts and more.  Agents are breaking out their iPhones and flip cameras and creating video walking tours of area hotspots, news for the week, reviews of local businesses, types of homes to look for in their area and all kinds of fun and interesting information.  Pinterest has people pinning and posting all about staging ideas, inspirational quotes, homes in the area, community events, blog posts and more.  Use our On the Web Series of postcards to drive your offline traffic to these valuable and engaging sites.
  9. Follow up.  Break your list up into manageable numbers and commit to follow up calls every week.  Most experts recommend scheduling a daily appointment with yourself to prospect.  Don’t underestimate the value of face-to-face connecting as well.  Community events, school functions, networking opportunities and just being active in the community that you service will help keep you visible, allow you a chance to arrange follow up conversations and ask questions, be the resource people need and you will generate referrals in the process! It can be as simple as letting them know that you are there to help anytime.
  10. Lather, Rinse, Repeat.  Well you get the idea.  Treating your database as the saleable, valuable resource that it is means not putting it away for 11 months out of the year.  Commit to these ten strategies monthly and your career will thrive – and you won’t have to always be wondering where your next commission will come from.

Need help?  Call us at 866.405.3638.  Our team of marketing professionals can help you put your plan in place for success. 

 

Advice for the New Year from Floyd Wickmanfloydspeaking

by Julie Escobar

‘Tis the Season to ring out the old and bring on the new.  As we head into a new year filled with more opportunity and possibilities than we’ve seen in a long time in our industry, I tapped our good friend and industry icon Floyd Wickman for his take on some top shifts agents can make to increase their competitive edge.  Here’s his sage advice:

SHIFT #1:  Know Your Competition.  If you think about the major sports leagues; baseball, football, hockey, and then think about the most successful teams, you’ll find that they have one thing in common. In order to be successful they view and review videos of their games and those of their competitors. They look for strengths and weaknesses so they’ll know how to defend and compete effectively. It’s the same in the real estate business. You have to know what you’re up against in order to outpace the competition. Here are a few questions that agents will have to answer in order for them to achieve market-share dominance:

  1. Who are your top-ten competitors?
  2. If you lose a listing, to whom do you lose it in most instances?
  3. How many agents do each of your primary competitors have?
  4. What is their average experience level?
  5. What is their annual per person production?
  6. What is the average number of listings in each office?
  7. What is their list-to-sell ratio and list-to-sale time-frame?

There are other questions that agents could ask, and it may be a great exercise BEFORE January for you and your team to take some time and write out all the questions that would help you to know precisely what qualities buyers and sellers are looking for and to understand how you stack up against your competition.

SHIFT #2:  Fill Your Tool Chest with the BEST.   Throughout history all of the great competitors – from armies, to corporations, to world leaders– all got to be the best because they had the essential tools (and even a few extra) needed to do the job better than their opponents. Real estate agents today must have the right tools to battle the highly-skilled competitors they meet much in the same way. In our training programs, we teach agents to have everything they need to control their time, budget, and client meetings.  Objection handling techniques, visuals, stats, dialogues, powerful presentations are some of the tools we help them master and use effectively.  We often recommend your organization, ProspectsPLUS.com for the marketing tools that make all the difference, such as Just Listed/Just Sold postcardsdoor hangersfree reportssphere of influence tools and more.  And of course, these days, agents need to ensure they have social media resources at their fingertips – www.sproutsocial.com is a great tool we’ve found that helps agents save time and effort.  Take a look at your ‘tool chest’ at least once a quarter to make sure you have everything you need, lose what doesn’t work, and add new timely tools as they come to market that help streamline and automate your processes.  Anything you can use that keeps you focused on prospecting, presenting and closing and can systemize the rest—is a valuable asset to your bottom line.

SHIFT #3:  NEVER Stop Learning New Skills: In the more than forty years I’ve been in this business as an agent, manager and trainer, I’ve never seen an era where the necessity for high-sales skills was greater. In our 24/7 world, with the accessibility to communication and information as strong as it is, sellers and buyers are savvier than ever before and have more questions and concerns than ever before. We have to overcome more commission objections, “We want to shop around” objections, pricing, length of the listing, etc. The art of persuasion is in demand and critical in the field if you want to compete successfully. The real proof of this is seen in our training classes. We find that the average experience level of the students is almost four years, whereas, not so long ago, it was two years. It seems clear to me that being able to close the transaction is the difference between thriving and merely surviving in the business.

SHIFT #5:  LOSE What Doesn’t Work:  Too often we hang on to old patterns, old habits, old mindsets and old routines simply because that’s ‘the way it has always been done.’  Our world is moving WAY TOO FAST for that.  Before the first of the year take a good, long look at your daily, weekly and monthly activities.  Write them all down.  What can you lose? What’s costing you time, energy, money that isn’t bringing you a return personally or professionally?  Time to get of them.  Are there people in your life that drag you down?  Fuel the negative?  Cause you more grief and chaos than joy or help?  Then, give yourself permission to take yourself OUT of those relationship equations. Life’s too short to hang around those kind of people.  “Clean house” before the first of the year — you’ll find yourself with a whole lot more momentum and a great running start to January if you do.

SHIFT #4:  Develop a Competitive Attitude: Attitude is everything. It takes a certain mental toughness to be willing to convey to a prospect that you are the best person/company for the job. This mental toughness, added to the facts, tools and skills discussed above, add up to an enthusiastic response to the question, “Why are you the best?” It’s like you are saying, “You know Mr. and Mrs. Seller, there are 1,000 agents in our area. However, for what you want, need and are trying to accomplish, you really only have a choice of three: good, better and best. You see, we are all good. After all, you have to at least be licensed. Some are better than others. But for what you’re trying to accomplish – that is to get the most amount of money for your home, in the shortest amount of time, with the least amount of inconvenience, it seems to me that there is only one best agent, and what a coincidence that we should be together at this moment.”

There are many ways to answer the question, “Why are you the best?” Here are just a few:

  • “I’m the best because I am new in real estate and I’m not bogged down like those top producers.”
  • “I’m the best because my office is right on the corner. Where do you think the buyers are coming TO?”
  • “I’m the best because my office is clear over on the other side of town. Where do you think the buyers are coming FROM?

You need the mental toughness to be able to enthusiastically convey to the seller this message.

“Mr. and Mrs. Seller, if you were going to fly coast-to-coast and you had the choice of flying first class or coach, both at the same price, which would you choose?”   Seller: “First class, of course.”  Agent: “I expected as much. May I ask why?”  Seller: “Because I get more for my money and a more comfortable journey.”  Agent: “If you knew you could get more for your money and a more comfortable journey by choosing me over someone who might be considered coach, I’d be the obvious choice, wouldn’t you agree?”

My advice to you is to become a competitor. Stay nice–but be a competitor. Put people first– but be a competitor. Care about what they care about–but be a competitor. Never verbally knock the competition–but be a competitor.

Well, you get the idea. Good luck and remember we’re here if you need us!

Thanks Floyd Wickman, for always giving us a solid foundation to help agents drive more production, fuel their branding, build their bottom line and COMPETE in our fast-paced world!  If you would like to learn more about Floyd’s training programs for real estate agents, visit: http://floydwickman.com/real-estate-sales/.

If you would like to learn more about how we can help you systemize, strategize, and even automate your real estate marketing, visit us online at www.ProspectsPLUS.com, or download our new online Master Marketing Schedule to stay on top of the latest and greatest tools we have available (and the creative content that helps you stay competitive as well!  Here’s to an amazing new year!  

Our Gift to You! Master Marketing Schedule for REALTORS 1st Quarter 2014

By Julie Escobar

As we head into a new year, we’re so excited to help our customers and real estate pros all over North America choose the systems, tools, and data to do just that is exactly what we’re passionate about. We get you. We’ve BEEN there!  Behind the scenes at our ProspectsPLUS.com team, there are collectively more than 90 years of real estate experience.  We know creating is HARD.  That’s why we’re so passionate about doing so much of the heavy lifting.

We’re thrilled to share the Master Marketing Schedule: Your Month-to-Month Guide for Strategic Marketing.  For our long time customers, you’ll remember this as a powerful calendar filled with strategic – “what to do and when” strategies that agents could put into play every month.  Instead of having to wonder how they could effectively grow their business – they simply turned to the calendar to see what tools to deploy when.  It made marketing more effective, less stressful and a whole lot easier than creating everything themselves.

And now?  It’s online a digital format – so that everything is easy to access, fun to use and keeps you ahead of competition creatively, effectively and affordably.  And you can even now download it to your Google, Apple or Outlook calendars!

And we’re giving you three months of strategies at a time so you and your team can plan AHEAD and we can always ensure that the content is viable, fresh and timely all year around!

Each month you’ll find six components to watch for:

  1. calendar that shows you visually what days you’ll want to take action.
  2. A color-coded legend that will easily identify different market segments for you to target such as investors, sphere of influence, geographic farm and more.
  3. An action item list that gives you at least four results-focused action items you can take to build a stronger book of business.
  4. tip of the month that will often feature outside the box strategies that get you noticed.
  5. Insightful how-to videos to walk you through new concepts, products or systems in a fun, step-by-step way.
  6. A new version of our fun days schedule that shares fun and sometimes quirky holidays that allow you to reach out to your sphere in fun ways and be REMEMBERED.

Statistics tell us that 95% of your business will come from Family, Friends, Close Acquaintances or Referrals from one of these three groups.  These are the folks that make up your book of business – and savvy agents will tell you that’s where they put THEIR marketing efforts, energy and dollars.

As we head into 2014, we’re thrilled to bring this vital and helpful tool back to the industry.  Brokers, managers and training directors have found the Master Marketing Schedule to also be an incredible addition to their monthly sales meetings and training courses as a way to spotlight unique and effective ways for agents to market themselves without breaking the budget!

Bookmark the all new Master Marketing Schedule page today!

Have questions or need help?  Call us today at 866.405.3638.  We’re happy to assist! Want to get on the list for a free copy of our print version of the three-month calendar?  Click here to register for your free ProspectsPLUS.com account! 

Kick Start Your 2014 Marketing BEFORE the New Yearprospectsplus cyber monday

Savings is serious business.  And for agents who are serious about growing their business to the next level and beyond aren’t leaving anything to chance.  While they’ll still probably revel in holiday festivities, they are putting together the groundwork and strategic plan to sail past their competitors in 2014, put more balance in their lives, and bring the best possible resources and service to the buyers and sellers they represent.

Eager to do the same?  Save now!  You don’t even have to wait!  Meet us in cyberspace from now through midnight on Monday, December 2nd and save 13% off ANYTHING on the site!  What do YOU want to stock up on while costs are super low?

  • Direct Mail Postcards (Use promo codes:  CYBER-S for standard sized postcards, CYBER-J for jumbo, first class mailed cards, CYBER-JS for jumbo cards mailed standard class,           CYBER-P for panoramic postcards, mailed first class, CYBER-PS for panoramic, mailed standard class, CYBER-M for mega size postcards, mailed first class, and CYBER-MS for mega postcards mailed standard class for 13% savings, not including postage)
  • Market Dominator – (Use promo code:  CYBER-D for 13% savings, not including postage.)
  • Newsletters (Use promo codes:  CYBER for newsletters printed and shipped to you, CYBER-N for newsletters printed and mailed for you, first class postage and CYBER-NS for newsletters printed and mailed for you, standard class postage for 13% savings, not including postage.)
  • Marketing Kits (FSBO, EXPIRED, LUXURY) – (Use promo code:  CYBER – for 13% savings.)
  • Business Cards – (Use promo code:  CYBER – for 13% savings.)
  • Brochures (Use promo code:  CYBER – for 13% savings.)-
  • Flyers– (Use promo code:  CYBER – for 13% savings.)
  • Door Hangers – (Use promo code:  CYBER – for 13% savings.)
  • Presentation Folders (Use promo code:  CYBER – for 13% savings.)

We’ve got a little bit of everything to help agents streamline their business, work smarter, not harder and connect both creatively and consistently with their sphere of influence and farm.

Pre-sale starts now! Save now through Monday, December 2nd at midnight! Good luck and happy shopping!  (No crowds, lines or parking problems! You’ve got to love cyberspace!)

Need help deciding which direction to take?  Contact our marketing team today at 866.405.3638! 

With less than 50 days left in the year, top producers are stepping up their game to ensure a great fourth quarter and to hit the new year with more momentum and production than ever. Ready to do the same?

Here are four top-producer tips for staying top of mind – and more importantly – tops in your market by consistently reaching out to your sphere-of-influence and farm areas. What’s in it for you? More client business, more referrals and happier customers who know they can count on you as a resource!

Wish Them Well…with Our Holiday Series

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Hard to believe the holiday season is already upon us! Sending holiday postcards is a great way to wish your clients well and let them know that you’re thinking of them. They’re perfect for opening that door to a follow up call to thank them for being a valuable client all year round. They’ll feel special, you’ll pick up a lead or two (or more) and you’ll set the stage for a great end of the year! Can’t beat that!

Inspire Them…with Our Inspiration Series

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Let’s face it – the world we live in today could certainly use a little more inspired thought! Stay in touch with these beautiful and motivating postcards which will remind clients that you are thoughtful, insightful and eager to be there for them in a quickly-changing and often-challenging market.  You never know — this  may be just the thing to make someone’s day!

Drive Them to Connect…with Our On-the-Web Series

We all know content is king in today’s world of internet and social media. How do you get your sphere and customer base to FIND you online? These handy postcards are perfect for doing the trick! Set up a blog or fan page just for your market and fill it with the hyper-local information consumers are hungry for and you’ll not only create a strong fan base—but drive your productivity way up as well as they share you content with friends and family!

Give Them Something to Keep…with Our Recipe Series

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Solve the “what to cook” dilemma for you clients and they’ll keep your cards (and contact information) right where they can get to it for years to come. We have agents who even purchase recipe card holders for their special customers so they have a way to hold on to each postcard in one place! (Quick thinkers!) The recipes are always delicious – and you’ll soon find yourself with customers “hungry” for more!  Look for the terrific holiday recipes!

Get into the Holiday spirit and send out some Holiday postcards today Just Click Here. For help picking the PERFECT CAMPAIGN for you,simply call our marketing team at 1.866.405.3638 today.