Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Six Powerful Reasons Direct Mail Should Be Part of Your Spring & Summer Marketing Plan

By Julie Escobar

One thing for sure is that our world has become more connected than ever because of ever-evolving technology, and that’s terrific.  We do live in a digital world certainly, but we also live in a world where people still appreciate personal touches, tangible visibility and human interaction. Done right, direct mail helps connect you to the customers and future customers in your market in much different way (and without any spam filters to fret about!)

In fact, according to a study done by the Direct Marketing Association,  56% of consumers think print marketing is the most trustworthy of all marketing channels. And here’s a stat that surprised me in the age of smartphones:  56% of consumers think print marketing is the most trustworthy of all marketing channels.

In an article put out by Sappi Fine Papers, “Print has more emotional pull for consumers than digital, according to scientists. A neuroscience study commissioned by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and conducted by Millward Brown discovered that paper-based marketing—i.e., direct mail—leaves a ‘deeper footprint’ in the brain than digital—and that difference can even be pinpointed on functional MRI brain scans. The physical act of handling tangible material feels more “real” to the brain, the study claims. It produces brain responses that trigger emotional reactions, which get internalized in your memory. In other words, the printed piece itself becomes part of the subliminal messaging.”

Here are six reasons direct mail is both relevant AND results-producing!

  1. It’s targeted.  Advertising is one means of reaching out to consumers in your market, but it’s expensive Do it Yourself Real Estate postcardsand casts a wide, but not specific net. With direct mail you can match your marketing pieces specifically to your market or niche dramatically increasing your response rates. You can even now find the mailing lists for those you most want to market to by taking advantage of the specialty data selects from our friends over at Nielsen or look for our Lifestyle Interest data like the one suggested in this week’s Master Marketing Schedule for Do-It-Yourself fans. Head over to our Mailing List page to learn more about all the affordable list options available to you.
  2. It’s personal.  Direct mail is your canvas.  You can address your customer by name, share specific offers, communicate information that’s specific to your area, and begin to create a top-of-mind awareness and trust. All of our marketing tools are editable, from postcards, to newsletters, to SaveDownPayment_thumb (1)brochures — and you can be as creative as you like.  Offer fair trade offers such as Free Reports, lists of homes, a CMA and more – and lend your personality and voice to each piece.  Note:  review your edits carefully for spelling errors before moving to the next option!
  3. It’s flexible.  From postcards to flyers to letters to brochures, your direct mail options are extensive.  Add direct response offers and timely information and you again increase your response rates.  Some agents wisely choose a campaign with similar branding to send month after month or quarter after quarter that helps consumers develop a recognition of their brand more easily.  Others mix and match their marketing messages – preferring to keep consumers alert and eager to see “what they’ll send next!”
  4. It’s tangible. The truth is, as human beings we’re tactile people. Engaging different senses is just smart business.   If I get a message from a professional I touch via email for example, it registers in the moment – but not necessarily long term.  If I get a message that’s directed to me and offers something of importance to me and my family and I can feel it, touch it, put it on the refrigerator or tack it to my bulletin board, etc. – then that message has a much longer shelf life-right?  And a better chance of getting a response – not just once but again and again. 
  5. It’s measurable.  Direct mail is one of the few media channels that give you the ability to track your success.  Use a unique URL or make a specific offer on a direct response piece and keep tabs on how many people click or call on that offer.  Adjust future mailings based on that response rate.  I always recommend making a direct response offer on every piece of direct mail as opposed to just a generic, ‘here I am’ type mailing.  Give people valuable reasons to reach out to you and they will!
  6. It’s easy and cost-effective.  Direct mail doesn’t have to mean big bucks.   Now with Every Door Direct Mail costs are low and market saturation is high.  One of the things our customers appreciate most about our services in fact is that we do have the ability to provide short-run orders at extremely affordable rates unlike big mail houses which require you to order thousands at a time.  Not sure what pieces will work best with your budget?  Give us a call-our team is terrific about helping agents match their marketing to their market as well as their budgets!

Hope that gives you some insights into why direct mail is on so many agents to-do list this season! If you need help finding the right pieces for you at the right prices-we’ve got you covered.  Call our marketing team at 866.405.3638 or email us at pmc@prospectsplus.com to learn how we can get your production hopping this next quarter in a very budget friendly way! 

And Generating New Listings

By Julie Escobar

You know, a very long time ago, Floyd Wickman founded his company on a concept that “We Get by Giving.”  He was on the mark then, and that concept is still on the mark today.  Times have changed, markets have changed, and certainly how we communicate and do business has changed.  But one thing that will always be a constant, I believe, is that people will ALWAYS be hungry for information.

And that’s an amazing opportunity for real estate professionals to jump in and feed that need!  We’re asked all the time by agents – what can I do to get people to CALL me, CONTACT me, turn to ME for information, raise their ‘hands’ so to speak so I can tell who’s a prospect and who’s not  – and we try to make that as simple as possible.  Especially for agents who are eager to get more listings in their market areas.

One series that is very popular with our customers because it features powerful ‘fair trade offers’ that sellers are looking for is our Free Offer Series.  Sending three over the course of 2-3 months can certainly help you create the top-of-mind awareness and show potential sellers that you are the agent to ask when they have questions.

Here’s the order we would recommend…free home market

First –send the Market Analysis postcard.   The big question for lots of folks in a changing economy is “How much is my home worth?”  Between news headlines and short sale horror stories spanning the internet, people are curious and whether they are about to sell or not, they want to know where they stack up in terms of property value.

Second – send the Home Equity postcard.  This gives folks a free home equitysecond opportunity to learn how much they can count on when it comes to the value of their home and where they stand in terms of equity versus potential sales price.  Being a resource that can help consumers really have the big picture covered makes you a valuable resource in your community.

Third – send the Real Estate Consultation postcard.  This is a great opportunity to follow up free consultationon your campaign and provide a full-blown consultation so people can determine if selling is right for them.  Studies show it takes at LEAST three contacts for people to perk up and recognize a marketing campaign.  So, stay with it and FOLLOW up!

This is just one series that works for this purpose.  Our all new Content Cards are powerful article-based tools that answer many of the questions in buyer and seller minds today.  And our Neighborhood Specialist/Free Offer series allows you to not only offer a fair trade, but give folks the hyper-local stats that they are looking for as well.

And you don’t have to stop at these – we’ve got an entire spectrum of free reports, handy tools and additional fair trade offers available on our resources page for download!  Get yours today.

And if you want to try this campaign on for size, be sure to visit our Specials page for the latest in budget-saving promo codes!  Still need help sorting all of it out?  Just call us at 866.405.3638.  Our team is happy to assist you!  Google

Advice & Insights From Industry Leader Floyd Wickman

By Julie Escobar

Got a call from an old friend Floyd Wickman last week, and of course, had to ask, “While I have you on the phone, can I interview you for next week’s column?”  He graciously agreed and shared some terrific insights for agents eager to take themselves to the top of their game—and stay there!  Thanks Floyd!

Here’s an excerpt from our interview:floyd

Q:  Floyd, it’s great to see our industry come surging back.  Some agents are jetting all the way to the top in this market.   What do you think are the top common denominators of top producers? 

A:  It is terrific to see the resurgence isn’t it?  I guess if I had to say what I see as some of the top traits of the superstars are I’d say I think it first starts with a healthy respect for establishing balance between business and personal.  So many transactions these day come with lots of drama and stress, and the agents that have found the ways to stay focused and balanced are the ones who will successfully navigate their career path long term and avoid burnout.

Next, I’d say they are always in skill-building mode.  That hasn’t changed in all these years.  The goal is always to get voice to voice and face to face with people.  Top producers understand that selling involves as much emotion as facts and are always fine-tuning their skills and ability to turn inquiries into a voice to voice or face to face transaction.

Third, I’d say that most have a mentor or coach that they turn to when they want to take themselves to the top of their game – or when they are at the end of their rope and they need someone to help them “tie the knot” and hang on.

Q:  I agree.  You’ve always been a champion for mentoring and integrity partnerships.  Can you expand on that a little more?

A: Sure. Many years ago I wrote a book, MENTORING with Terri Sjodin.  In it we shared our firm believe that having a person in your life that is objective, knowledgeable and understands pain and gain – that you can reach out to is a vital component to taking your career and life to the next level.  As you know Zig Ziglar and others were that for me.  I know for a fact that I would not have had the successes I had or accomplished the things I have if it weren’t for them.  I’m living proof of the value in mentor/protégé relationships.  You know it’s not always your best friend of spouse that will tell you what you need to hear.  A mentor or coach is someone who will be that person to tell it like it is – even when that’s not the easiest thing to hear.

Q:  As we had into the last part of the year, a lot of wise agents are starting to put their plans in place to finish this year strong and hit the next running.  Do you have any wise words to share as they start that process?

A:  You know Julie, every business has a common denominator element of success.  In real estate it’s listings. I would say whatever plan you are putting in place you need to start by answering the question, “How many listing do I need to earn the dollar volume I need to realize my goals?” From there, you can break it down further. To get that many listings, how many appointments to you need?  To get those how many contacts do you need to make? How many people in your sphere?  How many in your farm?  How will you go about reaching those numbers?  Next, I always ask my coaching partners when they set a goal to find their WHY.  Why is that their goal? What’s behind that? What is their real purpose?  Because that underlying purpose is what drives them even more than the goal. Keep digging until you get to your real WHY and that will help fuel your plan – and your success.

Q:  One thing that hasn’t changed in our business is that, to succeed, agents have to be willing to put in the time and overcome the fear of prospecting.  What’s your best advice for that?

A:  I’ve found that joining or creating prospecting groups have been a great way for many agents to successfully commit to prospecting.  When we are left to our own devices sometimes, it’s easy to find the thousand reasons why now is not a good time to prospect right?  But when you have someone to answer to – a group, an integrity partner, or a coach, you’ll do it.  I know for me, with Zig as my coach, there is no way in the world I could live with myself NOT doing what I said I was going to do.  That’s where that coaching relationship can be vital.  You are held accountable for the commitment you make.  And the good coaches will ALWAYS ask for that commitment.  For my coaching members, and every member of my team for every organization I’ve ever been part of a core value has been to “Always do what you say you’re going to do, sometimes more – but NEVER any less.”  That’s powerful.  Integrity counts. So I’d say if prospecting is a problem for you – get an integrity partner or coach to hold you to your commitment to your career — one that can help keep you on track.

Secondly, I’d say have good tools and processes in place.  You guys sure make that easy for agents. Marketing is a vital component for agents.  It’s a whole lot easier to pick up that phone or knock on that door when you’ve got a marketing plan in place to “touch” those prospects on a consistent basis.  It’s often the difference between a warm call and a frigid one.  So thanks for what you guys do for agents all over North America. I know it makes a difference.

Q:  Awesome.  In your one-on-one coaching what do you think is the number one reason agents hire a coach? 

A:  First, as we just spoke of – they want or need that accountability.  That’s the first kind of coaching.  An accountability partnership.  Someone that can hold them to the things they need to do to realize the goals they’ve set.  Someone who will help them crunch the numbers to know exactly at any given time where they are in relationship to those numbers.  They also are looking for answers and strategies to be more skillful, more purpose-driven, and help them craft and keep the mindsets that will help them stay on track.  The second kind of coaching is what I like to call entrepreneurial. In other words, they just want someone they can bounce ideas off of, turn to with questions or problems – almost like a sounding board.  For example, I have a broker who I’ve worked with for two years who has both years doubled the production in his office.  He appreciates the ability to pick up the phone and say “Hey Floyd….” and strategize about the next idea or means to take his team to the next level.

Q:  Thanks so much Floyd for your time.  I understand you recently launched a new site where agents can learn more about your coaching, can you share that?

A:  Sure. One-on-one coaching is one of the most gratifying parts of what I do.  I carefully limit the number of coaching partners that I take on so that I can commit the time necessary to helping those individuals truly build their careers in the ways that make sense for them.  In my coaching partnerships we both have the same goal – theirs.  I am currently taking on just six new coaching members. If that’s something one of your readers are interested in have them head over to my site www.floydwickmanlive.com and contact me today. Before we ever get started, we’ll get on the phone and spend 45 minutes to an hour just discussing what is important to them, what they want from coaching and whether we are a good fit. If that sounds like something you’d like to do, let’s talk!  Thanks Julie.

Thank you right back Floyd.  We appreciate your time this week!  If you’d like to learn more, head over to Floyd’s site www.floydwickmanlive.com.  Floyd is a National Hall of Fame Speaker, CSP, CPAE and NAR Magazine named him one of the top 25 most influential people in real estate. 

If we can help you with the tools you need to take YOURSELF to the TOP, visit us today at www.prospectsplus.com or call our marketing team at 866-405-3638 today.  Our leadership team has more than 25 years’ experience in this industry and it shows.  We know what agents need to succeed and we’re happily providing it month after month, year after year.  We can do the same for you!

Strategies and Scripts for Getting More Listings

By Julie Escobar

Last week we sat down with Coach Todd Robertson for some strategies for dominating in a geographic farm.  This week, we wanted to take that a step further and find out his thoughts for agents eager to get a jump start on their fall marketing, especially in hyper-competitive areas.  Here’s what we learned:

Q:  Hey Todd, a lot of our readers want to hit the fall market with all they’ve got – do you have some ideas for them?

A:  Sure – the year is already more than half over and a lot of agents are looking at the calendar and thinking – “No way am I going to hit my goals.”  That’s a little intimidating, right? For some, it’s enough to make them already start to shut down.  Don’t.  Instead, realize it’s time to dig in. To put a source of accountability into your career – your weekly routine and create a game plan. You know, we’re really glad that we can be a source for agents. The Master Marketing ScheduleTM that you’ve created is a powerful tool to help agents stay on track and put some consistency into their marketing.  It takes the “what do I do?” out, which is a big stress for a lot of agents.  First step I would say, is to start there, and develop a game plan that will allow you to connect CONSISTENTLY, with your Sphere of Influence, a Geographic Farm, and a niche market. If you can work a campaign for each of those marketing segments without fail, month after month, your results will grow exponentially.

Q:  I agree!  We share a lot of strategies about staying consistent.  How often should agents connect with their sphere, farm, and niche?

A:  At least monthly. Those ‘touch’ points are so important in terms of staying top of mind and creating brand awareness.  Send something every month to all three, and not necessarily the same thing.  For your sphere, many agents choose a postcard campaign such as a holiday series (not just at Thanksgiving and Christmas!), recipe cards, content cards, inspirational postcards, or a newsletter each month.  For their geo farms they send our Market Dominator, or Listing Inventory, or the Free Offer/Neighborhood Specialist cards – all are popular.  For a niche, they are specific to that group – for example: Expireds, FSBOs, First Time Home Buyers, Investors, etc. Top agents are also diligent about sending out Just Listed/Just Sold postcards with every listing and sale they have. Without exception. Why? They spotlight you as the agent that can generate RESULTS – and they showcase the properties you are marketing. That’s a powerful combo. Then they do that thing that agents desperately steer clear of but shouldn’t if they want to fire up their career on all levels – they FOLLOW UP.

Q:  There’s the sticking point, right?  The old getting on the phone or walking the farm and knocking on doors part that stops agents in their tracks. Any suggestions?

A:  Yes, the first step we just talked about – putting a campaign in place that touches your customers and prospects every month. That makes it way less intimidating when you call them. Why? Because you have a reason to touch base with them.  It doesn’t have to be a “SALES call”, it is a follow up call – or visit if you are walking a farm.  “Hey there, Todd Robertson here, from Success Realty, just wanted to touch base.  We’ve got a LOT of changes in the market, and I just wanted to see if you had any questions.”  (Yes or no, doesn’t matter really, you’re just touching base, asking questions.) Or you can do a combination of touching base and letting them know that you have a big goal to hit.  “Hey there, Todd Robertson, Success Realty, how are you?  You may have seen me in the neighborhood and I hope you’re receiving my mailings.  I just wanted to touch base, see if you had any questions about our market or what homes are selling for right now?  By the way, I am committed to helping as many clients as I can take advantage of this market.  Who do you know who might be interested in buying or selling in the next 90 days? Maybe someone from work? Or your kids’ sport team?  Or church?  If you think of someone, I sure hope you’ll remember my name and pass it along. Thanks so much.”

Q:  Lastly, what about those agents who need the extra push or accountability? 

A:  For a lot of agents coaching is a good investment, but it can be out of the budget for many.  Instead, perhaps consider starting or joining a Mastermind group in your area.  Think and Grow Rich has an entire chapter on this topic that is still incredibly relevant and powerful today.  Participating in a group like this costs you zero – but your return will be extraordinary.  You’re involved with like-minded people, all with the goal of lifting each other up, cheering each other on, and holding each other accountable. That’s the missing link for many agents.  If there’s not one in your area that you want to join – start one.  Your career, customers, and bank balance will all be the better for it!

Thanks Todd.  Great stuff.  If you’d like to learn more about the kind of tools that we have to help keep YOU on track and ready for the fall market and beyond, head over to our Master Marketing ScheduleTM  or main site today.  If you’re interested in dominating a geographic farm and would like to speak with Todd about that directly, click here to learn more.  Our team is here to help you with all your marketing needs, call us today at 866-405-3638!

Was it You?

What a great turnout we had for our February contest!  Amazing customer experience stories, insights, and encouragement.  Just some of the reasons we’re sure we have the best customers in the industry!  So to all of you that participated – and those of you who will help us kick off the next contest – THANKS! 

Our first place winner for a $250 gift card is Lev Shalomayev, who shared, “All I Have to say is “WOW WHAT A SERVICE!” This is one company you will want to do business over and over again for their A+ customer service, their super-fast shipping service, and their prices are very reasonable. I would vouch for ProspectPLUS! at any given moment!”

Our second place winner of a $100 gift card is Freeman Burns who said, “My Jumbo Just Sold cards were great, I really liked the layout and color. I would highly recommend ProspectsPLUS.com to every REALTOR I know. The shipping was fast and the quality was far superior to what I’ve had done in the past. I will be using ProspectsPLUS.com from now on. And just in case anyone was worried, the price was right too. Very affordable.”

And our third place winner of a $50 gift card is Susan Oliver who shared, “I just placed two orders for postcards from ProspectsPLUS.com. They were not only very high quality and attractive but the price was great and they were delivered in a timely manner! I plan on using this company a lot and have recommended them to my fellow agents!

Thank you to everyone who entered!  You can be a winner too!  Join us for the March contest, where we’ll give a total of $400 in ProspectsPLUS! Gift cards away to help agents make 2015 their very best. Entering is easy!  Visit our Facebook Page today and leave your review of your ProspectsPLUS.com product or experience!  New winners will be drawn April 2nd! 

Need help with your marketing? Call our team today at 866.405.3638 or visit us online here to see our monthly specials!