Thursday, July 27, 2017

And When Should You Put it Into Overdrive

By Julie Escobar

We are asked weekly by agents all over North America to offer sound real estate advice, and the one that often surprises us is, “When should I stop marketing?”  The answer?  When you leave the business.  Up until then, if you want to do do what’s right for your sellers, business, and bottom line — you’ve got to stay in the game.  Perhaps at different levels during spells of your career – but staying in consistent touch with your sphere and farm is right up there with prospecting, presenting, and closing in terms of generating income and referrals.

“But I’ve sent two mailings and haven’t gotten a call.”  We get it. We’ve even been there.  There are a lot of us on the team that have walked in your shoes listing and selling homes.  Here’s what we know, and what statistics and history tell us –it takes more than that.  One mailing. One phone call. One email — won’t ever get you the results you are looking for. What will?   Staying the course.  With mailings, and phone calls, and emails, and door knocking, and community involvement.  Statistics tell us it takes at LEAST three impressions for a consumer to recognize your name, seven to associate your name with your business, and twenty seven for them to like you, know you, trust you enough to do business with them.  But you know? Most agents stop after three tries, and most transactions or calls happen after five-seven.

So here’s a plan – this month, every month:  Take your targeted message, use direct response offers, stagger your direct mail with your email and CALL your prospects to follow up.  Check out our Master Marketing Schedule for fun “reasons” to call, or stop by every 3-6 months as well and you are well on your way to branding yourself as THEIR real estate professional.

What to send? Here are four ideas to get you started:

Holiday Cards: Every month you can add a seasonal touch to your marketing. Add a greatmessage to the back with free offers for consumer reports, lists of homes, comparative market analysis – or invitation to an event.  Be sure you are following up every few months with a friendly, “anything I can do for you” call.

Call to Action Cards:  These are a great direct response piece to send with free offers and the ability to share timely market-specific content.

Content Cards:  These powerful, content-rich cards have timely topics with the kind of consumer-friendly information that both gives people what they want and sets you up to be a knowledgeable resource in your market.call to action

Scale back or push forward?  As we head into holidays many agents will slow their marketing way down as social obligations gear up.  When that happens, it’s always a good idea to be the agent who takes the opposite approach.  That way, you’ll stay top of mind without any lag in exposure and hit the ground running come January when other agents are just getting restarted.

While it makes sense to look at your business as a whole and carefully measure your return and the necessity of each line item on your budget, what doesn’t 4 ways contentmake sense is to slip into anonymity by eliminating your marketing dollars.  In fact, Billionaire Bill Bartmann, and author of Eight Ways to Recession Proof Your Business recommends quite the opposite.  Slash expenses, indeed.  Take the waste and the “fat” out of your monthly and annual expenditures wherever and however possible.  With one exception:  Marketing.  Bill’s advice is to dramatically expand your marketing plan.  Why?  Simple – the time is now to swiftly capture the market share being left on the table by every other industry salesperson that has gone into conservation mode to the point where they no longer have a viable, VISIBLE presence in your market area.  Keeping expenses lean in every other area of your business will allow you to SURVIVE the storms.  Expanding your budget and actions in the arena of marketing will ensure you THRIVE not just today, but be the front-runner when the market does indeed take the turn for the better.

We all know it’s harder and MUCH more expensive to attract NEW customers than it is to keep and nurture our current book of business.  In fact, according to Gary Keller’s books, Millionaire Real Estate Agent, you can expect to do business with one out of ever twelve customers in your sphere of influence per year if you stay in touch with them consistently!  So, what are you waiting for?  Start making a great impression today, then do it again next week, next month, all year around!  Your business – and your bottom line – will thank you for it.

Want to learn more about how to generate the right leads for your business, thrive in ANY economy and make a wonderful first, second and twenty-seventh impression?  Visit Master Marketing Schedule today. It’s filled with new, innovative and outside the box ideas each and every month!  Need help?  Our marketing team is top of the line at 866.405.3638 and ready to answer your questions or help you create the marketing piece that’s perfect for your market.  

Your Bottom Line Depends On It

by Julie Escobar

An agent’s ability to earn consistently and continuously earn referrals is in direct proportion to their willingness and ability to stay top of mind with their sphere and farm.

Consistency. Since the beginning of real estate there have been agents that send one or two massive mailings and when they unsurprisingly get no results, stop marketing.  Many others take the “holiday” approach to staying in touch by sending an annual holiday card in the hopes that they are remembered. Both of these approaches are a waste of time, energy and valuable marketing dollars.

To stay ahead of the curve, you should be in contact with your sphere of influence at least every 30-45 days. Using the popularlisting-inventory send-call-see approach (part of our free BusinessBASETM), you can easily set up a system for contacting your VIPs each month. Send a postcard, letter, newsletter, flyer, novelty or note one month.  Many of our customers find the Listing Inventory Series, Content Cards, and Market Dominator among their favorites.

One other series that is growing in popularity is one of this month’s Master Marketing Schedule tip which are our Call to Action Postcards which include powerful direct response offers call to actionthat help make your phone ring!

Once you’ve gotten in the habit of “touching” your sphere and farm once a month, be sure to deploy the call part of send-call-see.

Call with a friendly event reminder, helpful hint, or just to say hello the following month. During the third month, arrange to see them via a networking event, social gathering or quick in-person visit (with notice, of course) where you drop off a small token, informational item or card. Then start the “rotation” over again. Such consistency creates vital ‘top-of-mind’ awareness that often becomes “the key to the kingdom” when growing your referral base and creating a reliable income.

If you’re not sure where to start, our popular Master Marketing Schedule shares monthly Action Items that agents tell us help them stay consistently on track.

SEND-CALL-SEE.  Be the resource they need and want in a time where consumers have LOTS of questions regarding the value of their property, their buying power, investment opportunities, and what’s happening in their market.  You’re not bothering people – you’re providing a SERVICE.

What can you SEND?

What can you SAY when you CALL?

  • Hi.  I have buyers, the Smiths (insert real names!), that are looking for a home in the _____________ neighborhood, and I wanted to know if you’ve ever thought about selling your home or know someone who is so I can help this nice family find what they are looking for?
  • Hi!  Just checking in on you! We’ve got a lot of activity in our market, and I thought you might have some questions—do you?
  • Is there anything I can do to help you?
  • I’m expanding my business and I could use your help…
  • Have you thought about selling your house now or in the near future?
  • Have you been receiving my information?  Any questions?

What do you do when you SEE them? 

  • Create opportunities for appointments
  • Take someone to lunch
  • Attend a neighborhood block party
  • Organize a charity drive in the community
  • Sponsor a free workshop and invite everyone to attend
  • Get out there and be visible in the community you’re servicing
  • Walk your farm and start making friends

Working ON your business requires dedication and a commitment to the activities that earn you top dollar and allow you to “feed” the career you’re building. Never lose sight of the fact that prospecting, presenting and closing should always be at the top of your list.

Visit http://www.prospectsplus.com/ to get your FREE copy of our BusinessBASETM (Plus learn the 250 people who should be in your SOI), and be sure to bookmark our Master Marketing ScheduleTM .

Go for it. Remember that we’re here if you need anything. Contact our team today at 866.405.3638. 

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!

Creating Your Own New Normal for 2017

By Todd Robertson

If you’re like a lot of top agents, right about now you’re analyzing everything you did in past twelve months to get you to this point and asking yourself a few questions:

  • What worked and what didn’t?
  • Did my actions support my goals?
  • Did I earn what I’m worth?
  • Did I take personal responsibility for my success or failures?

By carefully analyzing the past you can discover the elements that you can take into the new year and create
your own new “normal”.  In other words – you can advance your game, play at a higher level, and avoid the pitfalls and hurdles you’ve already cleared to excel faster and with hopefully a few less headaches!

As you approach the new year, many of you are in the process of goal setting.  Let me share a four step system for goals that is used by some of the top performing entrepreneurs in the world.  It’s called the DOME strategy.  Here’s what that stands for:

  • D – Stands for Decide. If you look up one of the definitions of the word decision, you’ll find that it means to “cut off from”.  That’s step one for creating your new normal. What things should you cut yourself off from that aren’t working or haven’t
    dominator janworked for you this year?  Whether that be a mindset, a skill, or a system, what can you unplug, cut off, or change up that will increase your success in the new year.
  • O – Stands for Outstanding. There’s never been a more important time to play at an outstanding level.  That means to surround yourself with the best people, strategies, solutions and systems in our industry.  Model your choices on those of top producers.  Duplicate excellence.
  • M – Stands for Momentum. Now’s the time to take the stance that what gets scheduled – gets DONE.  That’s how you build momentum.  By cutting out the things that don’t work. By plugging in new systems and solutions that drive your business in smarter ways.  By blocking your time so that you can streamline your processes – as well as schedule those
    things that help you create balance.
  • E – Stands for Tell Everyone. Once you’ve set your goals for the next twelve months, it’s time to tell everyone. If you’re goal is 10 salable listings in your pipeline at all times or to own a geographic farm – tell everyone you know. Put public pressure on yourself to hit those goals. People will help you when you do. They’ll support you. Remind you. Work with you to make them happen. Then commit to doing whatever it takes to make those goals happen.

Next, remember to be BOTH a Hunter and a Farmer.  Top agents realize they have to both aggressively prospect as well as create opportunities for lead generation by branding themselves in a geographic farm.  In fact, I just spoke with a great new Market Dominator customer, who will finish this year with 100 closings.  I asked him why he decided to use the Dominator to brand himself in the markets he’s going after for the new year.  He told me it was because he needed to raise the bar.  Because he was capable of helping more people than he was currently helping and he was committed to doing that.  That’s why he chose to use the 12 x 15 Dominator as his marketing tool.  It’s a statement that tells potential sellers in his farm area that he’s serious about marketing.  Serious about getting results. Here’s what’s interesting:  90% or more of the agents in your market won’t be willing to make that commitment. Most will continue to do what has always been done and get the results that they’ve always gotten.  But some of you?  Will step outside the norm to create a new normal.  Some of you will raise your standards, raise your skill levels, and raise your commitment. And in the process – you’ll go beyond what’s always been done to develop a career that others will emulate.

Ready to create your new normal and put a plan in place to take 2017 by storm?  Go for it. Remember that we’re here if you need anything.  Call our team at 866-405.3638! That’s what we do best! 

Steadily Getting Ready for a New Year Ahead

by Julie Escobar

I love the Seneca quote, “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.” Or Floyd Wickman’s quote, “There’s nothing special about special people it’s what they DO that makes them special.”  What a great time of year for agents.  So many of our friends and clients are deep in preparation for the year ahead. Building marketing strategies, laying out budgets, meeting with mentors, and sharing ideas.  These are the folks that will not only finish out this year strong, but hit the ground running with a passion as we enter a new year and keep right on going to make 2017 their best year ever — long before it even starts.  How cool is that?

For our part, at ProspectsPLUS!, we are doing the same.  From our Master Marketing Schedule, (which you can download directly to your Google, Apple or Outlook calendars), to a line up of great new series, products and services for the year ahead.  We know that agents today need every tool they can get to compete in challenging markets, and we’re passionate about delivering those tools.

Now when you’re making your marketing list and business plan for 2017 (and checking it twice), please let us know how we can help you maximize your goals for the new year.  Here are just some of the things we can deliver:5 ways to build equity

  1. Fresh ideas  – Our Master Marketing Schedule is a strategic marketing plan specifically for real estate professionals which delivers powerful strategies and solutions every month to connect with your sphere, find cash buyers, work with investors, saturate your geographic farm, automate your just listed or just sold postcards, and even gives you some fun ways to stand out and be noticed in your market area.
  2. Brochures, Flyers and Free Reports — We know how important having the right collateral at the right
    time is when you’re prospecting, presenting and closing.  These tools lend authority, put stats at your fingertips, spotlight you as the resource, and give additional credibility.
  3. Postcards — We literally have hundreds and hundreds of postcard templates on our site that cover the gamut with over 22 niche marketing categories to choose from.holiday-cards-16
  4. Newsletters — Done for you newsletters which make a perfect ‘touch’ point for your sphere of influence.  You can
    customize however you want, or just run with as is.  All the copy is ready, timely and perfect for delivering relevant content to your customers.
  5. Market Dominator — Our powerful new system for capturing a 20% market share in a geographic area within a two-year time frame.  There’s nothing like it on the market!
  6. Business Cards — From cool new QR Code cards to branded cards — we have a wide selection at a great price to make sure you have what you need.
  7. Door Hangers — These are perfect for your geographic farm or for area FSBOs and Expireds. Easy to
    order and use and priced for any budget!fsbodoor hangers
  8. Data — Our MapMyMail system is amazing for finding the right list of prospects for what you need.  Investors, first time home buyers, move up market candidates — you name it.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg!  Visit our SPECIALS page today (and bookmark it!) — so you can always keep tabs on the latest promo codes, new marketing tools and fresh insights!  We add anywhere from 5-8 new pieces to our site each and every month!

We offer gift cards as well! Thinking about giving the gift of marketing this year or putting it your wish list? See the holiday specials now!

As always, we’re here to help.  Our marketing team is experienced and well versed in what today’s real estate professionals NEED, WANT and will make their lives and jobs EASIER.  If you’re creating your marketing budget for next year and would like some guidance on which tools might work best for you and what that cost would be, call our team today at 866.405.3638 or email us at pmc@prospectsplus.com!