Wednesday, May 24, 2017

With Geographic Farming Done Right

By Julie Escobar

Geographic farming has roared back to the marketing forefront for agents in our industry in ways we haven’t seen in years. Why? Because – when done right – it works.

And what exactly is “done right”? It’s when agents who are committed to consistency step up to make themselves known in a neighborhood in real and meaningful ways – getting out into communities, shaking hands, meeting people, making introductions and making a difference.

To talk about one creative tool for geographic farming, the Market Dominator, I sat down with Dominator Director Todd Robertson to learn a little more about the system, the agents who are using it and what it takes to really make an impact on a market area.

Q: Todd, you work with agents across the country who are growing their market share by doing smart geographic farming. Can you tell us a little about the Market Dominator?

A: Sure! This product evolved out of necessity. Agents around the country were asking for a consistency final-ops-proof-december-dominator-frontprogram that would allow them to truly dominate a neighborhood or piece of geography. After six months of research with our team, we came up with the product for our agents called the Market Dominator, which utilizes Every Door Direct Mail with the USPS. At 12” x 15”, it’s the largest legal size that can be sent through the mail, so it doesn’t get overlooked in the mailbox. The content is created every month by our team of writers, who do an outstanding job of weaving in the eight best practices of direct mail. And agents love it because it’s either 100% done for them or 90%, meaning they can make some changes to the back. And with our national sponsors on board now, we can literally send it for the price of a first-class postcard. The other great thing about it is that it’s a two-year campaign… kind of like joining the gym, your personal trainer makes you go.

Q: We both have been in this industry for a long time, and we both know that marketing alone is not what takes agents to the top of their game. It’s follow up and relationship building. Can you tell us some of the powerful ways Market Dominator members are going above and beyond to support their marketing mailing efforts by connecting with the folks in their farm final-ops-proof-december-dominator-backneighborhoods?

A: In terms of what our best agents are doing supplementing the Market Dominator to increase their success rate in their numbers, we’re seeing them do things like canvassing their farms with door hangers,  introducing themselves to everybody in the neighborhood, being consistent in sending out new on the market or Just Listed postcards when they get a listing and holding open houses in their carrier routes and making a splash in the area with signs and balloons on every street, every artery when they do. That way, when the Market Dominator shows up in that mailbox, the homeowners will see it and say, “Oh yeah, that’s Susie. I see her all over the place; she’s the neighborhood specialist.”

Q: We’ve talked about the tremendous opportunity agents have to reach out to the businesses that surround or are in their farm area to build reciprocal referral relationships. Can you share your thoughts on that?

A: Some of our Market Dominator members have given us ideas that we never thought about before that we try to share with our new members. One of them is to go after the local businesses in and/or around that carrier route. It’s really an outstanding strategy, because they can utilize the extra 20 Dominators that we give them each month in a clever way.

One of our great agents up in the Northeast simply takes her 20 and goes to every business where people have to wait, such as a hair salon, oil change shop and restaurants. She said the best was actually auto dealerships. What she would do in auto dealerships is first go in and make an introduction to the general sales manager that goes something like, “Hi, I’m Susie with XYZ Realty. I’m the neighborhood real estate specialist in this area. Would you mind if I leave a couple of these in the lobby of your service department?”

What’s great about that strategy is, number one, she’s prospecting the service manager, who becomes a mover and shaker on her SOI list – meaning she visits every month and has offered to let him or her know if a great listing comes on the market. Think about how most cities have what they call “auto dealership row,” where several dealerships are all on the same street. If you’re like Susie, you go right down that strip and pass out two or three Dominators in each dealership, meet some incredible new people and start establishing relationships in a pretty short period of time.

Number two, she’s leaving valuable content, with her name, face, contact information and calls to action in a place where a lot of people congregate. Think about when you have to have your car serviced, and you’ve had to wait anywhere from an hour to a full day in the guest services lounge. What are most people doing when they’re waiting? They’re looking at their phones or whatever magazines are sitting there, right? Imagine if two or three Market Dominators were sitting there with Ritz Carlton quality, filled with great information for people to peruse. Agents who are utilizing this tiny local business strategy with consistency, who have mastered their presentation skills and aren’t afraid to follow up, could find themselves with anywhere from two to 20 extra closings per year.

Q: What about agents who are afraid to follow up, either in person (door knocking) or on the phone? Any advice for them?

A: Some agents just want to send their marketing out, then sit back and see what happens. In my mind, to be great in real estate you have to be obsessed, or you end up being average. By “obsessed,” I mean you’ve already made a commitment to your neighborhood farm, so why not stretch yourself a little and go make an introduction? One way or another, knowing that you’re simply providing a great service to help these people buy or sell real estate is powerful motivation to meet people.

I also would say if somebody is still afraid or hesitant to follow up, spend a couple days and get so good at your listing presentation, get so great at overcoming objections, so great at your value proposition that you can’t help but have a relaxed sense of confidence. This will do a couple of things for you: It will get you excited to go out and meet people and prospect, which is the one thing most people hate doing (usually because they aren’t as confident in their presentation), and it will force you to fine-tune your skills, which will help you enjoy a long-term career.

Q: Consistency and sticking to a plan is a powerful combination for success in our business. Will you share why making the Dominator part of a consistent marketing plan is a smart strategy?

A: In terms of doing any marketing, consistency has to be part of the plan – whether it’s in real estate marketing, building wealth or getting in shape. The Market Dominator gives agents what they told us for many years they wanted: a two-year campaign. According to the National Association of REALTORS®, if your competition is going to do any marketing, history says they quit after the third contact. Yet we know that most activity doesn’t happen until after the fifth contact. So staying in the game for the duration is vital.  

Q: Any last words of advice for our readers?

A: First, I would say that if you’re reading this article or reading our magazines or blogs and looking for real estate strategies and insights, you’ve already separated yourself from the competition. Because for you and me to get great at anything, we must remain a student of life. So I congratulate you on taking that step. Whether it’s the Market Dominator, one of our other great products or you just want to call our home office and brainstorm, our team is always willing to help you find the real estate marketing product that best fits your needs, your market and your area.

Thanks for the information and insight, Todd!

If you’d like to learn more about the Market Dominator System, visit www.prospectsplus.com/dominator, or call Todd directly at 855-383-6646.

Inspired Insights from World-Class Real Estate Speaker and Coach Darryl Davis

by Julie Escobar

When you are looking for straight-talk strategies for building not just a business — but a successful book of business, it’s always a good idea to go to someone who not only knows how to help agents succeed at exceptional levels — but one who just tells it like it is.  For that? I reached out to my old friend Darryl Davis. He’s an Darryl Davis 06author, speaker, trainer, coach — and one of the funniest guys you can talk to.  His analogies and ability to weave a story into a message are epic. It’s part of what makes him such an effective speaker – it’s also why I wanted to interview him for this topic!

Q: Hey Darryl, thanks for sharing your insights with us again for this edition.  Our focus this time around is really building a strong business base.  Can you share some thoughts on  that?

A:  Building a business?  You know I’m a FSBO/Expired guy – but when we are talking about building a business foundation?  Know that there are two types of contacts to focus on.

First there is your geographic farm.  These folks don’t know you yet, so it’s your job to help them with that.  For this group, you’ve got to stay in touch monthly.  Your nov-domname, your face, your brand, your results each and every month.  Of course, you guys make that easy for them with products like the…

You’re building trust and establishing yourself as the agent to call.

Secondly, there’s your sphere – or those folks that know your name, face, what you do, and trust you enough to do business with. This breaks into people you haven’t worked with before, (family, friends, acquaintances) and those you have (past sellers or buyers).  For these folks to remember you, remember that you’re in real estate and that well, you know, they should call YOU before the guy down the street when they have a real estate question or need or an amazing referral, you need to stay in touch. I usually recommend at least 4-6 times per year with this crowd with things like:thanksgiving2016v6thumbsstnd

I’ll give you a great tip:  Every single January I’d send a copy of the HUD statement to everyone who has every purchased a home through me in the last year with a note saying, “Congratulations on owning a home! I’ve taken the liberty of making a copy of your HUD statement so you have it handy to give to your
accountant.  Hope things are going great! I’d love to hear from you if you need anything.”  Wow – see you just saved them time and stress and made a contact that personal to them. Win-win-win.communitynewsnovthumbsfront4

For every other client/customer of mine? At the first of the year I would send an updated market analysis to with a note that said something like, “Just as you would check your stock portfolio, 401K, etc., it’s also a good idea to do a check in on the market analysis of your home investment.  As always, I’m here to help if you have any real estate questions or needs!”

Stay top of mind with these folks by sending them something to help them stay connected to you and recognize that you’re there as a resource. And don’t be shy about picking up the phone and saying hello and asking if people need anything a couple times per year.  Or creating opportunities to see them in person.

Q: Darryl, I loved your message in our last magazine where you talked about listing INVENTORY being the name of the game, not just listings. Can you share a little more about that?

A:  What I’ve been teaching is that agents need to look at their business as if they were running a store.  With a store, you’ve got a location, employees, and you’ve got to stock and manage your inventory. So, say you were selling candy?  You must have enough candy on the shelves when customers come in right?  Otherwise people are going to buy their candy somewhere else! So if you’re a real estate agent your inventory is real estate.  I tell agents to make a chart January-December on the bottom andneighborhood update series the numbers 0-20 on the left side.  Next, plot it out. Say your goal is to get four listings per month and build your inventory.  Now you have get four listings in January, but you sell two. You know you need to replace those two, plus get four more for February and so on.  Creating a visual to see whether your graph is going up (the right direction) or down (further from your goals) helps you think like a business person.  And that? Is a big key to success. Because there are a LOT of agents running around with a fly-by-the-seat-of-their-pants approach to their real estate career – which is fine if you want to always wonder where your next commission is coming from or if burn out is your thing. But top agents who want to be at this a long time and have a lot to show for it, understand that applying true business practices and mindsets is the win-win they need.

Q: You hit the nail on the head.  One topic that seems to come up a lot with agents is the idea that they just don’t have the time to focus on databases and marketing and details!  What would your advice be in terms of time management?

A:  First, I would tell them to be crystal clear on their priorities.  In real estate, it’s easy to get distracted with things that don’t forward your business.  I’ll tell you a little story. There’s a woman named Rachel Lust who is a Hula Hooper.  If you look her up on YouTube, you’ll see she has hundreds of thousands of views and likes. She did the halftime show for the Chicago Bulls.  She is the most famous person in the world of hula hooping.  She’s got a line of videos, hoops, clothes, you name it.  Do you know what Rachel does for two hours a day, six days a week, no matter what?  Yep. She Hula Hoops.  Why? Because literally NOTHING else matters if she’s not good at her trade.  It’s the same with agents.  If you aren’t prospecting, looking for listing inventory, and taking new listings – the rest doesn’t matter.

I’ll give you another example.  I ran the NYC Marathon. Now here’s what you might not know about me:  I HATE exercise.  Hate it. Five days a week, I had to get up in the morning and run, and one day a week I had to cross train. For five months, I had to do this.  Didn’t want to do it. Didn’t feel like doing it. It was uncomfortable. For me to meet this commitment I made, and log in the two hours of running every day, I had to get up two hours earlier to make it work.  Here’s the thing: I couldn’t fit running into my life, I had to fit my life around the commitment to run.

That’s how you’ve got to look at what it takes to make it at high levels in this business.  You see the agents that say, “I’ll get to prospecting after I check my Facebook, and my emails, and my this or that.” Time management is not the problem there.  Commitment is the problem. Everything you need to do lines up behind the commitment.

Say you’re having a party.  That means there’s cooking, cleaning, preparing all that has to be done. But you’re running late–right? Now you say you’ve got two hours of work to do in just thirty minutes.  Do you do it? YES!  That?  Is a BREAKTHROUGH. Because when you REALLY have to get something done you do it.  Manage your activities, and what dictates those activities is your commitment. People who are passionate about commitment don’t have time management issues. They are focused, clear, and committed.  They don’t just do commitments – they are commitment.

Q:  What additional advice do you have for agents who want to really knock it out of the park this year in real estate?

A:  That one is easy. Systemize your business.  Run it like a business.  Think like Rachel Lust. She has moves that she has absolutely mastered with that Hula Hoop.  Then she masters another, and another. It’s like dancing. If you only know five dance steps – you don’t look so good out there on the floor-right? In real estate there are definitely some dance moves to master. Moves like…

  1. Prospecting
  2. Listing Appointments
  3. Customer Service
  4. Working (playing) with Buyers (I call this a break from real work)
  5. Negotiating offers
  6. Use of metaphors and analogies (these are what set you apart – give you distinction)

All of these moves take commitment, solid commitment. Figure out what you real commitment is. What you really want to accomplish, then let everything else line up behind that goal.  I just caution you to make it more about the people – the lives you help – rather than the money. When you do it right and your passion is for the people you can help, the money comes.

Awesome stuff Darryl. Thanks for sharing.  If you’d like to learn more about Darryl’s training courses and products, please visit www.DarrylSpeaks.com – and read his bio below.

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. 

 

How You Can Beat the Odds

By Real Estate Speaker and Trainer Todd Robertson

There are many factors that lead to success in this business, and of course, many that can stop an agent in their tracks. This week, we wanted to share some of the biggest factors agents face when trying to dominate in a geographic farm, and what they can do differently than their competitors to come out on top.

1. Fear and Uncertainty. In today’s world, fear is unfortunately an all too common and powerful headline that garners attention thanks to mass media. HOWEVER, in the real world of listing and selling real estate, consumers don’t want fear and they don’t want uncertainty. They want and need an agent who comes from a place of 100% clarity and certainty. They want an agent who is respectful, responsible, competent and CONFIDENT. They need to know that the person handling this big transaction in their life has everything it takes to ensure their best interests are cared for. Be that agent for them by ensuring that you have the right tools, systems, training and marketing plan in place.

2. Money. The old adage is true, it takes money to make money and marketing effectively costs money.nov-dom
Consistently. And that’s not something everyone is ready, willing, or able to sign on for. However, to brand yourself as the turn to agent in your geographic farm, there’s really no way to get around spending marketing dollars. Fortunately, you can spend smarter by using systems that are designed to capture market share while utilizing budget-saving tools such as Every Door Direct Mail. Our Market Dominator System does just that – and it allows you to send the very largest possible marketing piece acceptable for EDDM – 12×15, and puts you literally in every door in the geo farm of your choice for just $1 each. That’s smart marketing.

3. Impatience. One thing that seems to stop many agents from developing a successful farm is their inability to hang in there for the duration. When they don’t get instant results from their marketing, they give up. I get it. I walked in those shoes as an agent as well. But one and done mailings or marketing is never ever going to result in establishing a dominant position as a competitor. What does that? Consistency. Repetition. Showing up month after month after month. That’s the winning formula.nov-dom-2

4. Becoming a “Victim”. You know the drill. The ones who get sucked into the market doom and gloom around the office coffee pot and buy into other agents’ ideas of why your marketing or theirs just “doesn’t work”. Stop. Stay in your own lane in terms of mindset. There will always, always, always be people who want to drag you down, tell you that you can’t accomplish something, or root you in negativity. It’s up to YOU to stay focused on your WINNING formula of skill building, market-savvy tools and systems, and consistent, repetitive follow up and let others worry about their own track to success.

5. Not Having a Campaign. What’s the old Ben Franklin saying? “Fail to plan and you’re planning to fail?” It’s true. Without a viable marketing campaign plan in place, you have no way to gain traction in a market area. That’s why our Dominator Members commit to sending their 12×15 Market Dominators every month for two years – because they know that’s what it takes to truly own a market. To become THE brand in a geographic farm. They also know that if left to their own devices, most agents would have a tough time consistently researching, creating, and producing a powerful, direct-response marketing piece all on their own every single month. So they work smarter, not harder, and tap into a system like the Market Dominator where it’s all done for them.

6. Bogged Down in Busywork. Top agents know the highest and best use of their time is prospecting, presenting, and closing – not all the minutiae of busy work that can easily, and effectively be delegated to a virtual assistant or admin. It’s easy to be super busy being busy and not making any money. I know, it’s less intimidating to spend a day trying to design your own postcard than it is to pick up the phone and call until you get a listing appointment – but which one will get closer to those goals you just set faster? Delegate. Use systems. Use pre-designed, time-tested tools that are done for you. And yes – pick up the phone!

Give yourself your best shot at developing a geographic farm. Lean into a powerful mindset of certainty and confidence and put a strong campaign that works in place so that you can effectively brand yourself in that farm as the agent to call. If you need help with that, I’m happy to share some additional strategies. Email me, and let’s talk.

Need help? Contact our marketing team at 866.405.3638. They’re super knowledgeable, and ready to help get your geo farming and all your marketing on track to help make this your best year ever!   

Tools You Can Use…

By Julie Escobar

Back in the DAY…(ever notice how people always say that about what they did ions ago?) I used to love working with First Time Home Buyers.  They were excited, eager,  a little nervous and usually very appreciative of an agent’s experience and help.  Today’s consumers (even the newbies) are a lot more savvy than they used to be but I still find this niche a great source of prospects (and referrals) for agents today!

One great way to attract First Time Home Buyers is by hosting Home Buying Workshops in your market.  freeworkshopseriesMany agents find that holding them at the local libraries, schools (many PTAs or PTSAs would be happy to include a segment in one of their meetings for valuable information!)  In many areas, you’ll find clusters of higher end apartment complexes that you could easily target for first time home buyers.

You can even use our mailing list options to specifically search for high-end renters and create a marketing database to connect with this demographic.

Couple up with a mortgage lender and real estate attorney to help spread the word and bring more value to the table.  I’ve even known agents who invite local restaurants (especially start ups that are trying to market themselves as well) to bring in sample appetizers or refreshments in return for letting them share their contact information or coupons as well!  In today’s world, this kind of smart, intuitive shared networking is making a big difference for a lot of agents.

We’ve got a terrific free report just for agents that’s filled with lots of ‘goof-proof’ tips on how to host a
successful workshop!  We’ve even got ready made postcard invitations that you can send out in a matter of kissyourlandlordgoodbyestdthumminutes!

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 “Free Consumer Workshops” – then just click download!  Easy, breezy!  While you’re there – also download “How to Save for a Down Payment” which is a great piece to share with those folks who WANT to buy but aren’t quite ready to just yet.  Having your mortgage lender there will be very beneficial as you can help folks sort out where they are NOW in relation to what they need to purchase a home.

Be sure to get everyone’s contact information – then put them on a drip direct mail campaign every 30-45 days so stillrentingstdthumbthat when they are ready to purchase – they’ll know JUST who to call.  Our First Time Buyers Series is perfect for that.

They really speak to the questions that these folks already have in their heads and keep you top of mind.  I always like to use the alternative back on the postcard to write a little more information and create some calls and response by offering a free list of homes, list of foreclosures, additional home buying tips, local school information, etc.  All great reasons for them to stay connected with YOU!

If you are hosting an event in your market – be sure to share that information on your social media networks, and in the rental communities you are targeting.  And if this is the demographic you want to OWN in your market, consider setting up  a Facebook page so that you can really continuously share news people can use relating to buying a home and your market.  Don’t JUST talk business though!  Share information about your local economy, schools, community garage sales, tips about new restaurants or businesses in the area.  You can spotlight standout community leaders, kids who are making a difference, teachers, local heroes, specials you run across, testimonials from happy customers and more!

Need help getting started? 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!

Give Them What They Want

By Julie Escobar

“Content is king.” You may have heard that throughout the years, but it’s relevance has never been more important than today’s fast-paced world of business marketing. More often than not, today’s savvy consumer takes to the internet to learn everything they can about a product, service or even destination before making a decision.

So how do you jump to the top of their attention span? Be the competitor who consistently gives them what they want—valuable information that can help them:

  • make a more informed decision
  • solve a problem
  • become more educated

The real differentiator here is to do all of these things WITHOUT the consumer feeling like they’re being
dom-octlined up for a sales pitch. So whether you are delivering your content via video, conference call, email, ezines, newsletters, Market Dominator, — or a combination of all of the above, put your best foot forward, your thinking cap on and deliver what your customers need most.

Let’s take a look at three smart strategies to consider when implementing “Education Based Marketing.”

ONEMake it about them. Put yourself in the shoes of your best customer and think about the things that they want/need/expect/are interested in. Make it personal, intriguing, factual, relevant and —here’s a big one—HONEST. This type of marketing puts you in the position of teacher, and that denotes a level of trust. Create the right level of trust and you have comfortable, well informed customers—clearly better customers. Create the wrong level of trust, and you have consumers who are wary of your products or services because you haven’t eliminated the fear.

TWO:   Give a high value. This can be a tough thing for some business owners. The idea of giving something6 move up market away for free can be bothersome or make them feel as if they are de-valuing their product or service. In reality, these loss leaders are an effective, value-boosting investment in your long term customer relationship. When you consider the average of acquiring a new customer is considered 4-6 times higher than keeping your current customers engaged, happy, informed and ultimately loyal, giving value on the front end just makes sense. Take a tip from this week’s Master Marketing Schedule, which is to re-purpose the content from our Free Reports to share valuable information with those in your sphere and farm. You can share bits and pieces from these on your social media platforms – and offer the entire report for free on your website as an opt in piece.  You’ll want to put many of them in your listing or pre-listing packages as well. They are also perfect hand-outs at your Open Houses.  Get them all here. Our
Content Cards are another great way to offer educational information, present yourself as the resource people can count on, while earning their trust and their business. What’s great is there are new cards every content 1month for this series!  You can find them all here.  

THREE:  Make it ongoing. Before launching into this form of marketing, consider your long term goals and draw up a creative plan to consistently reach out to your clients month after month. Choose your topics in advance if you possibly can which will allow you to “tease” the participants each month with “coming attractions.” This also gives you time to do your homework and add in as much extra value as possible as well as drive traffic to your next event. The bottom line is you want your customers, both new and old, to get to the point where they would miss the information if it weren’t there. If they come to count on you for the answers and resources they need, it stands to reason you’ll outshine your competition every time.  For example, if your SaveDownPayment_thumbgoal is to work with first time home buyers – you may want to consider hosting a webinar or teleconference once a month or once a quarter where you can share ideas for new home ownership. You can base a lot of content on the free reports and even have a loan officer on hand to answer additional questions.  You can then use the free reports as reference material that will help you get additional contact information or as terrific reasons to meet with you for an appointment to learn more.

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.