Saturday, October 21, 2017

Three Powerful Means of Engagement for the Fourth Quarter

By Julie Escobar

You’ve probably heard me say a time or two (or more) that the business will go to those who show up not just once, but again and again.  To succeed in sales today, professionals have to dig in, refuse to cut corners, commit to consistency and the big key?  FOLLOW UP.  Engagement of your customers, your sphere, and your farm – isn’t something you can take a ‘stand-back’ approach to.  You can ‘warm’ the call, set up the stage for prospecting, and share the information that people need to see to consider you the expert they should turn to when they are ready to list or sell their home – but you have to go the EXTRA step – and follow-up.  Voice to voice.  Face to face.  Belly to belly.

Is that always easy?  No, for many–not at first.  But for those who dive in and get it?  That their real job, true passion is to help people?  And they practice getting outside their comfort zones?  That’s when the game-changing happens.

So here are a few ways to engage, follow up and make the difference between what could be and what will be a great fourth quarter. 

  1. SEND! For most agents – from the brand new to experienced – warming that prospecting call is something that puts them at ease.  Luckily, ‘tis the season!  Send a holiday card (and don’t wait for the winter holidays – go ahead and get the jump on fall holidays and be different than your competitors.) Even recipe cards that feature great appetizers or dishes that people can share at upcoming holiday gatherings are good.  You may want to choose to offer a great free report or fair trade item to FSBO’s and Expireds who might be more than anxious about getting their homes sold as we head into holiday season.  Be the resource that goes the extra step for them and it will be appreciated.  Get something in front of your prospects and sphere that gives you a great ‘reason’ to follow up.
  2. CALL! I can’t tell you how many agents I talk to that just have a hard time getting past this one.   It’s ok.  Make the call.  ENGAGE.  Talk to people.  Be yourself.  Be helpful.  Ask questions.  It doesn’t have to be scary and it doesn’t have to be “salesy.”  It can be as simple as this:  “Hi!  It’s Julie from ABC Realty – just wanted to wish you a great holiday season and to see if there is anything at all I can do for you?  There are lots of questions out there right now in our market – and my passion is to help answer them!  Is there anything I can do for you?  Any questions you might have?” Then LISTEN and respond to what they say.  Some won’t need anything but odds are in your favor that some will.  Be sure to let people know that you’re expanding your business and that not only is every referral APPRECIATED, but you realize what an honor everyone is – and you can promise that each will be treated like royalty.  Is there anyone you know that might be looking to buy or sell now or in the near future? Break your calls down into manageable numbers so you don’t get overwhelmed – 10-20 a day – and commit to making it happen.
  3. SEE!  Get out there and SEE people.  As a professional real estate agent – meeting new people and adding to your sphere is a MUST DO not a SHOULD DO.  Walk your neighborhood farm and share some great collateral pieces like the Market Dominators or Door Hangers. Attend your community garage sales and meet the folks in the neighborhoods you service.  Go to the fall festivals or winter carnivals at the schools.  Wear your name badge, bring your business cards, and shake some hands.  Stop into local restaurants, delis, shops, and businesses in the community you represent and get to know the people there and let them know you work on referrals – and you’d love to refer your clients back to them as well.  Share your stories about a great meal, terrific new shop, amazing customer experience, incredible health care providers and more in your area on your social media, blog or newsletter.  You’ll not only make new friends, you’ll gain new customers (and respect for being pro-active and a resource people can trust).  Be sure to SEE those in your sphere at least twice a year as well.  Take your top referral customers to coffee or lunch or stop by with a special treat.

The truth is, to stand out as someone who presents themselves as someone who will go the extra mile for their customers and clients – you have to SHOW that characteristic in everything you do – INCLUDING marketing your OWN business.  It’s that simple.  Ultimately it’s not the business of HOMES that we’re in – it’s the business of PEOPLE.  So show up again and again – and follow up over and over.   The results will take care of themselves!

Need help?  Call our marketing team to help get you started, restarted or fired up this fall at 866.405.3638.  They’ve got the experience, knowledge, and solutions you need to succeed.  And they’re FUN!  Can’t beat that!  Have a good one and happy follow-up!

One Solid Strategy for Fall

by Julie Escobar

Successful real estate professionals will tell you that part of creating a continuous stream of referrals and new business is staying top of mind with the folks in your sphere and farm in consistent and creative ways. One popular postcard series that agents are using to kick start market-specific conversations is our Market Quote Series. This series of six postcards are perfect for agents who want to mail-market to their database every other month.

They are a fun way to remind potential buyers and sellers that you are a resource they can trust to answer their real estate questions or needs.

Step one:  Login to your free ProspectsPLUS.com account. (Or easily create an account and profile in a matter of minutes. Once your profile is ready – the system will automatically populate your information into all of the 800+ marketing tools on the site.)

Step two:  Select a card such as this week’s Master Marketing Schedule tip which is to send the Best Advice postcard from the Market Quote Series to at least 100 new prospects in an area where you want more listings.You can leave as is or customize to suit your marketing style.

Step three:  Add your mailing list or use our mapping tools to create a mailing list. If you need help with mailing lists – call our support team at 866.405.3638 or click here to see all of our comprehensive mailing list solutions.

Step four:  Place your order then track it. It’s that easy! Click here to watch a video on tracking your postcard order.

Making your job easier is our goal.  That’s why we created the Master Marketing Schedule to offer strategic and creative solutions for building your business faster, easier, more affordable and with way fewer headaches. In fact, if you’re in “marketing mode” – you may want to look at this month’s tip which is:

The weather is cooling down, and the market is heating up! Door hangers are a time-tested tool to help you get noticed, meet the folks in the geographic farm you’re working and market yourself and your listings. Learn three powerful ways to use them at blog.prospectsplus.com/door-hangers.

Putting systems for staying in touch in place don’t have to be tough – or time consuming.  Most of our top customers schedule 15-30 minutes at the beginning or end of every month to focus on what marketing tools they want to go out.  When they choose a campaign, it’s easy — they simply pick the next one in the series, order and get back to their high priority tasks. Some even delegate a member of their team to make it their priority that something is always being sent to their sphere and farm so top of mind awareness is always there.

Kudos to the agents that are working their systems and are willing to share their experiences with others. We so appreciate you all. Want to see what other agents are using to market themselves this season from the Master Marketing Schedule? Head over to our Facebook page to see their $10K Realtor Contest Entries! Perhaps one of these strategies will be part of YOUR contest entry!

CLICK HERE TO LEARN HOW YOU CAN WIN $10,000.

Have questions or need help developing the marketing plan that’s right for you?  Call us today at 866.405.3638 or email us at pmc@prospectsplus.com.  We’re here to assist!

From 21 Ways to Get Your Listing Priced Right in Any Market

By Julie Escobar

Ever have a seller who wants to WAIT to price the listing right?

Here’s a strategy that I call ‘The Waiting Game’ – see if it will work for you… 

Try this dialogue when a seller wants to wait to lower the price:  “Let me ask you, what do you think happens to an overpriced home that doesn’t sell right away? Do you think it eventually sells?  I’m afraid, more often than not, the answer to that is no.   Listings get the most traction in terms of buyer traffic, agent attention and offers in the first 2-4 weeks after coming on the market. If you wait, you’ll lose that traction. 

Worse than that, the longer it sits on the market, the more buyers will begin to wonder if there are more serious problems than price in terms of why it hasn’t sold yet.  Think about it…what’s the first question you would ask when you look at a new house? How long has it been on the market – right?  Long time on market = problem in the eyes of a buyer. In this market, or any market – that’s not a position that can give you any kind of leverage. Let’s price it right and get it sold.”

Agents and managers both –– One of the best ways to really fine tune your negotiation and objection handling skills is to get together once a month with respected colleagues and role play.  (I have the old Sweathog mantra in my head – “practice, drill, rehearse…”) Have everyone bring their best objection to the table. Then collectively come up with some dynamite dialogues, strategies and visuals for overcoming and handling those objections together.

If you’d like to learn more price objection handlers – check out 21 Ways to Price Your Listing Right in Any Market (Despite the Seller’s Best Objections!) at www.prospectsplus.com/21Ways.

Got questions?  Call us today!  Need help building your sphere or consistently marketing to your customer base?  Call our inside account management team at 866.405.3638 today!  They’re WONDERFUL!  Tell them I said hi!

For more great ideas and fun tips  – be sure to follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/prospectsplus — we’d love to have you in on the conversation!

Sage (and Funny) Advice from Top Agent Steve Turner

By Julie Escobar

I love agents who take a walk on the funnier side of life. They’re fun to interview and amazingly good at sharing perspective and insights. Catching up with our VIP customer Steve Turner was a perfect example of
that. He has a great approach to business, life and staying on track. Here’s an excerpt from our interview:

Q: Hey, Steve! Can you please start by telling our readers a little about yourself?

A: I consider myself the rookie with 19 years of experience – and the Big Guy of New Homes Sales! Since 1997, I’ve been an employee of various homebuilding companies, leading their sales teams. About two years ago, I figured I could make it even bigger by being an independent agent, as I was sure I knew everything I needed to succeed. Little did I realize, I had A LOT to learn (or unlearn) about being a REALTOR®.

Q: It’s crazy competitive in most markets. What advice would you share with agents for staying top of mind and edging out other agents for branding and business?

A: Planning your work and working your plan is timeless advice that I continue to utilize. I make sure I have a plan such as what I am going to do this month, next month and even six months from now. Working the phone, sending emails, mailings and pop-bys are all in my plan. I’m also guilty of using the plan you publish in your magazine for my mailings. Then all I have to do is figure out when I think my postcards or mailers will arrive in their mailbox so I can plan my calls and follow-up emails around those dates.

Q: What is your go-to marketing tool for generating new business?

A: I have several that always seem to work for me. With first-time buyers, I love using door hangers to canvas certain areas to pull from. Also, memorable postcards to targeted homes help me get listings. Another one that helps me is postcards to just keep in touch with my settled buyers for referrals. Don’t forget your past clients; they truly are some of the best sources for your next clients.

Q: I know you’re a fan of the Master Marketing Schedule. It’s fun, right? What can you tell readers about how that works for you and what you like about it?

A: The Master Marketing Schedule is great because I don’t have to put much thought or effort into what message or theme I focus on during the different months. I can just pull from the monthly suggestions and then build my monthly marketing and follow-up plan around that. My energy is best focused on helping clients instead of trying to figure out my own marketing ideas, and the Master Marketing Schedule from ProspectsPLUS! gives me ideas for success without taking time from my income-generating activities.

Q: How often do you stay connected with your sphere and farm, and why, in your opinion, is that so important?

A: Working for builders over the years, I relied too much on their marketing and didn’t focus on building my
own sphere. That truly was my biggest mistake of the past. Imagine how amazing it would be to know every single owner in a community because you sold every home there with the builder? However, making calls years later saying, “Remember me? I’m the guy who sold you your home 10 years ago and haven’t spoken to you since! Are you looking for a professional to sell it now?” That conversation doesn’t go over well.

Really, I now try to stay in touch with my sphere on a monthly basis and more frequently, if possible. Social media helps make it easy to stay in front of them, but it can’t be your only way of staying in touch. I want to be on their Facebook feed, at their charity event, in their mailbox and a voice on the other end of the phone with them.

Q: Any fun, out-of-the-box ideas you care to share with readers?

A: I’ve been told that I have a good sense of humor, and I love having fun. As such, I tend to use a lot of humor in my follow up. I’ve designed a few memes on Facebook so that every time my friends and clients share it, my website address is watermarked across it. To get a good long life out of it, I’ve used the same meme as postcards too. These tend to get stuck to their fridge or posted to their pin board at their work cubicle.  

Q: I love that! What keeps you motivated and on track for your goals?

A: Nothing is more motivating than helping someone buy or sell their own home. Seeing their joy helps lift me up and keeps me wanting to go do it again, for someone else. There’s an amazing high that comes with getting my clients the offer or home of their dreams. I always say that sales is a job for a manic depressive – if you’re not one when you start, you will be!

Q: Last, how can our readers send referrals your way?

A: Brand-new homes and custom homes are still my specialty. I’ve built a network that has become the best team in new construction in Central Pennsylvania and Northern Maryland. My contact info can be easily found on my site: www.TheSteveTurner.com, or follow along on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/TopAGENTinCentralPA.

Wonderful, Steve! Thank you so much for sharing. We hope everyone takes a little time to implement some of your terrific strategies and ideas.

If you need help getting started or implementing part of your marketing plan, call our team at 866.405.3638 today, or visit us at www.prospectsplus.com.

The Sum of Small Things

by Julie Escobar

The market is hot and competition is hotter.  One big secret to success is to stay top-of-mind with your book of business.  And while that doesn’t have to be a HARD process – it does need to be CONSISTENT.  That got me thinking about one of Floyd Wickman’s quotes, “Great results are the sum of small things, done well, repeatedly.”  Boy isn’t that the truth?  I once asked Floyd to expand on that a little for us – and here’s what he had to offer:  “That’s one of my favorite sayings too, and it’s so true.  In fact, nothing defines that more than a commissioned salesperson picking up the phone and making a simple call to folks in their book of business—even if for no other reason than to say hello.  There is no higher thing they can do to shift their results in this business than to create those conversations.  In fact, in our courses we teach agents that for every 12 conversations they have, they can expect a referral.  To me, that’s the number one way to stay top of mind AND build your business.”

Great advice.  Floyd also shared that you can’t ‘nurture’ everyone.  So every agent should have two lists – one which is their book of business – those folks you are building a relationship with over time.  Your second list should be your database. That’s a list of everyone who’s ever inquired, been on your mailings lists, or internet leads that you can send drip campaigns to until they are ready to make a move. Your database is your least expensive list to market to – but it also yields much lower results than your book of business.

So number one?  Take Floyd’s advice.  Pick up the phone to everyone in your book of business.  Decide how you want to break that up – 10 a day, 20 a day or as Floyd used to say, “Call until you get one.”  Block off that time just as critically as you would a listing appointment – because it IS that critical.

Number two?  Get out of stealth mode. I can’t tell you how many agents rarely leave the office or their homes but call us to say – how can I get more business?  Get OUT there in your community and get noticed!  Take part in charity drives, school events, and host Q & A sessions at the local library or coffee shop.  The more contentVISIBLE you are – the more likely people are going to say YOUR NAME when asked if they know anyone in real estate!

Number three?  SEND them something tangible.  For all the obvious reasons, we’re fond of direct response mail postcards– because they are easy to order, quick to send and don’t take up a lot of your valuable face-to-face or voice-to-voice time with prospects and those in your book of business or sphere.  Monthly holiday cards, recipe cards, newsletters, or our content cards are a great ‘touch’ each month that are budget-friendly, can be ordered in minutes, and allow you to stay top of mind.  Keep things mixed up as well. Check out our Master Marketing Schedule if you haven’t already for some creative and way outside the box ways to get in front of your clients in ways that are sure to have you REMEMBERED!

Number four?  Be HYPER-LOCAL.  There’s a reason this term is all the buzz right now – it’s because it is
EXACTLY what consumers are looking for in their resources. Home buyers and sellers need to know what is happening right there in YOUR market – rather than just get sucked into the national news of what’s happening nationwide or even globally.  What are prices doing in their neighborhoods?  What’s happening in the schools in your area?  What new businesses are coming in or closing?  Who are the trusted resources, business or service professionals in YOUR area that they can call.  Start being the one to consistently deliver THAT kind of information – and your name, brand, reputation and referrals will skyrocket.

Number five?  Expand your reach.  If you’re not saturating the neighborhood or market area you want to dominate, then turn to Every Door Direct Mail (which gets you literally into every mailbox).  Our Market Dominator System is becoming quite the differentiator for agents across the nation.  In fact, one agent just shared this experience with us, The monthly ordering process is easy. Some months I simply upload my photo and company logo and submit the already created newsletter. Other times I customize it. Either way, the newsletters are distributed to 527 of my neighbors. Over the 11 months since I started, the EDDM marketing pieces have resulted in 5 listing appointments. This month, I have a seller preparing their home to list with me and received a buyer referral from a neighbor who receives my newsletters. It’s great to see some fruit from the seeds I planted.” Our advice? Follow his lead and plant those seeds! 

Now, what are you waiting for?  Get out there and start getting your name, business and face recognized as the incredible real estate resource you are!  And if you need help – give our team a shout at 866.405.3638 for systems that can help you do all of that and more!