Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Why Consumer Information Can Be Key in Direct Response Marketing

By Julie Escobar

Do you know one of the biggest reasons why so many real estate agents LEFT the business when
the going got tough?  And what was a key component in helping those that stayed in succeed, even thrive?  A database.  A strong, reliable, well-nurtured, up-to-date database.

The best ones start with a solid sphere of influence, and grow exponentially over years in the soi calculatorbusiness.  Adding niche markets, new geographic farms and new customers.  And what do the agents get in return?  A referral base they can count on without having to constantly chase new business.

Start with your sphere.  (Those people who know you, like you, and would trust you to do business with them.) And build from there.  If you don’t already have your sphere of influence or book of business in a solid database – don’t waste another month putting that together.  (There are plenty of college kids who could use the extra money inputting data for you this summer!)  Top agents tell us that 66% of their business comes from their sphere.  And that one in every twelve result in a transaction per year.

We can help you calculate how many people should be in your sphere to realize your goals – and help you identify top 150 people who should be in your sphere right now.  Click here to calculate your SOI.

Next add a geographic farm and a niche.  We can help you with that data as well.  Continue marketing to those folks until you connect and build a relationship with them as well.  Click here to see data options.

Then continue to grow your book of business – and your bottom line by taking care of the 20 Year Value of a Real Estate Customerfoundation of your business – your database of clients and customers.  Create touch points every 28-45 days using a multi-media method.  Send postcards or powerful newsletters for an easy touch once a month. Add email, face-to-face events, phone calls, and neighborhood canvassing.  And stick with it! Remember – most agents quit after the SECOND try, most transactions happen after the FIFTH.

As an organization that has developed top-of-the-line marketing tools for real estate agents for more than 20 years, we know the true value of a customer for all of our customers.  That’s why in terms of products, services and data—we leave nothing to chance.

And that’s why we’ve done the research – and we deliver the very best data resources — Experian® — for those agents eager to market to:

Renters – including high-income renters who are candidates for home ownership. On our site, we use Experian® data to make it possible for agents to search by data selects such as renter, and income level.

Move-Up Market:  Not only can you select confirmed home owners, but you also can define your target market more specifically by considering a real estate lead’s estimated available equity or property characteristics such as year built and presence of a swimming pool.

• Potential Downsizing or Second Home Market:  One real estate trend is Baby boomers who are downsizing or investing in second homes right now. To target baby boomers, you can use the year of birth demographic selection available in our consumer database to narrow your pool of real estate leads to those born between 1946 and 1964.

• Potential Investors:  Targeting high-income earners as investors.

• Generational Niche Markets:  Target specific generational niches such as:generations

  • Silent Generation (1925-1945)
  • Baby Boomers (1946-1964)
  • Generation  X (1964-1976)
  • Generation Y (1976-2000)

How does Experian® get their data?  They are an original source compiler, which means they collect data directly from more than 3,500 original public and proprietary sources, including:

  • White pages
  • Census data
  • State and local public records
  • Product registrations and surveys (self-reported)
  • Property/Realty records such as property deeds
  • Mail-order transactions
  • Other proprietary sources

The data we receive is then tested and validated. It is cleansed and combined using Experian’s proprietary logic to create the most accurate and comprehensive repository of consumer marketing information available. This process sets them apart from other data suppliers who typically rely on secondary data sources. Since they acquire data directly from the original source, they have in-depth knowledge of the data.

So every time you choose to use our list service, whether you are choosing from data selects such as income and age, or even geographic – to market around current listings, know that you are getting the very best data on the market.  And those lists are yours to keep.  We tell our customers to add them to their marketing list and stay in touch, at least once every 28-45 days (a Direct Marketing Association recommendation).  Before long you’ll have taken those contacts from being a potential lead – to a contact that has come to know you as the brand name to call in real estate.

Need help understanding data and lists?  Call our marketing team today at 866.405.3638.  Good luck and happy listing!

 Google

Three Strategies for Summer…Mailbox and mail

by Julie Escobar

I know, I know – it’s all about EMAIL right?  Or social media.  Or networking.  Or all of the above which are must-have items in your toolkit for sales success.  Never discount, however ,the power of direct mail!

Did you know that according to a national survey, direct mail postcards are read by over 75% of recipients and they’re kept for weeks as opposed to the life of an email message which lasts a second on average?  With that in mind – it just makes GOOD SENSE to layer your marketing.

But not just ANY old direct mail.  Think Direct Response mail.  Done consistently.  To a targeted audience.  With track-able results.  For top of mind branding.  Oh yeah – now you get the picture.

Strategy one:  Direct response.  Is your postcard  asking your prospects a question?  Are you time and optionsraising their awareness?  Are you giving them a reason and means to contact you?  Are you just staying in touch or do you need them to take action?  I love the pretty pictures – I do!  I also love when a postcard speaks to the heart of what your targeted audience is thinking and feeling such as the one from our Fence Sitter SeriesStill on the Fence?  Or the one from our expired series that asks, “Are you running out of time and options?”  

Sent to the right audience and send up a resounding, “Heck Yes!”

It’s a great way to match your message to your marketing audience.  Keep this little tidbit in mind:  According to the Direct Marketing Association 79% of consumers read their mail daily.  Another stat shows that since 2004 direct mail response rates have risen by 14% – (email response rates are down 57% in that same time frame.)

Don’t miss that.  Even holiday postcards can effectively raise awareness and include a message to not only have a great holiday but to call you should they need you.   A just listed card too – is not just a just listed card.  It’s an invitation to see a new listing, to get a list of other homes like it, answer questions or evaluate another potential seller’s ability to sell their home.

Strategy two:  Consistency.  Again and again and again.  That’s how often you need to “show up” in their mailbox, on their radar and in the lives of your prospects and customer base.  Our market is too competitive and life is too short for one-shot wonders.  Plus – it’s just too darned expensive to just waste time, effort and of course, marketing dollars on a one-hit mailing.  They don’t work.  Never have, never will.  And in today’s world – people want to see that you’ve got that stick-to-it-tive-ness before they want to work with you.  If you give up easily on your marketing – what message does that send to your customer base?  Success comes to those who show up not once but over and over again. With the right message, the right attitude and the right promise of service.  Show them you’ve got what it takes.

Strategy three:  Take care of your list.  Your mailing list is not just “a list.”  It’s not just a spreadsheet of names and addresses.  It represents the lifeblood of your business.  It hosts the people that, if cared for, if catered to, if serviced right, if stayed in touch with, if impacted – will take care of you for the entirety of your career.  In fact, studies show that one in twelve will result in a transaction per year of you consistently and effectively stay in touch.  That said- how many do you want on your list and how committed are you to taking care of them like the  VIPs that they are?

Find a database you’re comfortable with and don’t stop with names, addresses and phone numbers.  Fill in the gaps.  Who is their spouse? What are their kids’ names?  What do they do?  What do they like?  When did they purchase/sell with you last?  What referrals have they sent?  What common interests do you have?  It’s not easy at first – but once you’ve formed the good habit of contacting your list at least three times a year (not all at once, of course!) you’ll start to be able to feed the details into your database.

Don’t lose those lists you get when you purchase a just listed postcard either!  Every time you send a postcard out with us and choose to do a radial or neighborhood search, that list is yours to keep so that you can continue to build your book of business.  Add them to your list and start building a relationship with them as well.  For more ideas of who should be in your sphere of influence – download our free BusinessBASE – and check out the 150 Questions to Help You Build Your Business Relationships.  It’s a great ‘refresher’ course for remembering all the people you SHOULD be building relationships with!

So as you’re racing into the second half of the year and tweaking (and tweeting about) your business and marketing plans that will have you crushing it long before December rolls around – add direct mail to your repertoire and start reaching and converting those prospects into customers today!

Oh – and if you need a few EXTRA ideas about how to capture the attention of the potential clients in YOUR market – hit up our free reports section of our site and download all the great consumer reports we’ve got for you to download – no cost – no obligation!   Find them all here:  Free Reports

And if you’re looking to see what’s new – what’s cooking and what other agents are using to drive traffic to their sites, their social media and – oh yeah – their phones – bookmark our Specials page to see this month’s offer and get our latest and greatest promo codes to save some summer dollars!

Need help?  Call our marketing department at 866.405.3638 today!  They can help you decide what pieces are right for you, building a good farm list, scheduling a campaign and more! Happy Summer! Google

And Why Banking On the Past is NEVER an Option3 steps to long term success

by Julie Escobar

Just like top agents who NEVER take success for granted, and constantly look for new ways to improve and innovate, we know that to stay current in a constantly evolving market and economy, it takes a commitment, forward-thinking and creative connection.  One of our favorite mantras is Tony Robbin’s CANI:  Constant And Never-Ending Improvement.”  That’s why we aren’t slowing down one bit in terms of adding fresh content, up-to-the-minute marketing tools and the kinds of strategies and solutions it takes to help our customers and agents all across the real estate industry have what they need to thrive in ANY market.

Why?  We know that three things are vital for agents to succeed out there: 

1.  Consistently staying top-of-mind.  There’s plenty of competition in the minds of the buyers and sellers out there when it comes to choosing the agent THEY are willing to do business with.  Much of that, however, boils down to how top-of-mind agents are for those consumers.  (That out-of-sight-out-of-mind thing is truer today than ever!)  Ever known cases where people have chosen other agents over family and friends just because they ‘forgot’ that their loved one was in real estate?  Don’t let that happen to you.  The Direct Marketing Association says an idea time frame for staying in touch with your clients is every 21-28 days.

Don’t know what to send or how?  We can help.  Visit our specials page to see what’s new each month — or our home page to see the complete spectrum of tools we have to offer.  Our marketing team is also happy to help you match your marketing tools to your market preferences. Call them at 866.405.3638. From postcards to door hangers to newsletters and flyers — there are hundreds of ways to get noticed for your sphere of influence, farm and even niche markets.

2.  STANDING out.  Have fun with your marketing.  All too often I see agents who are in ‘stealth’ mode – always at the office or behind the phone.  Get out there in your community!  Host some workshops, make it a point to add one new contact a day as you are out and about, and be sure to bookmark our Master Marketing Schedule page for really creative and interesting ways to make the people in your sphere and farm sit up and take notice!

3. Following up.  Your collateral marketing tools are just a part of the equation.  If you’re not taking the time to follow up with your sphere at least every three months, you’re missing valuable REFERRALS and NEW BUSINESS.  Savvy agents also take the time to walk their farm areas at least twice a year by themselves or with a team or host events or workshops in those areas so that they can put faces with names and get to meet the people in the communities they service.

As we head into the summer months, it’s sometimes easy to let these key success factors slide. The magic is in your calendar.  Block your time effectively to ensure that ‘all work and no play’ is never the case, and you are making time to stay ahead of the game in terms of marketing while still taking valuable time out to enjoy family and friends!

Good luck and if you need us – call at 866.405.3638.  Helping agents grow their business for the long-haul is what we do best!   Google

Savvy Agents Choose the Right Continuity Program for Their Market

By Julie Escobar

One thing is a certainly a constant in our world – and that is that people are creatures of HABIT.  re news mayThey want predictability, comfortable decisions and easy choices – especially when it comes to who they CHOOSE to do business with.  And with a market where competition is fierce and marketing dollars tightened, savvy agents are making smart choices of their own in terms of the continuity systems and tools they are using to engage their sphere of influence or geographic farm consistently, month-after-month.

Top-of-mind awareness doesn’t just happen-right?  (Wouldn’t THAT be fantastic?)  Instead, it’s something we have to work at.  But the truth is, top salespeople know that to make the most of their talents and skills and earn top dollar – they should be doing what THEY do BEST – LISTING and SELLING homes.  Getting face-to-face and voice-to-voice with buyers and sellers.  NOT necessarily writing and designing mailers, schlepping down to the post office themselves.  But the marketing HAS to be done.  The brand awareness has to be built and the influence has to be developed and earned in that sphere.

Why?  Statistics show that 90% of real estate buyers and sellers come from the following:re news april

  • 48% choose someone they already know (the relationship has been built)
  • 24% choose an agent based on a referral or word of mouth
  • 12% from a listing call or for sale sign
  • 6% from open houses

So if you’re NOT building that relationship – you will be battling it out with the other agents for that leftover 10%.  (And that’s just no fun – and low rewards!)  So let’s look at a system that’s easy, manageable, doesn’t take a boatload of your time and gets your sphere or farm engaged – what do you say?

ProspectsPLUS! has been a leader in helping agents serve up the right messages to their right market segments at the right time – and that includes writing some of the best-read newsletters in the industry.   And our newsletters are filled with timely information, eye-catching real estate infographics, fun facts to share, and engaging direct response offers —  so that agents just like you can, in just a matter of minutes, use these powerful continuity tools to stay in touch CONSISTENTLY with that VERY IMPORTANT 90%!

What makes our newsletters the tool of choice for so many agents?

  • They’re done for you.  While every newsletter is COMPLETELY EDITABLE – in other words – re news april dominatoryou can change anything you want in terms of copy.  You can add your own spin, market statistics, personal note or invoke your own personality but when time is of the essence and you just want to get it checked off the list – you’ve got a template that’s ready-made with everything you need to capture your customer’s attention.
  • They’re compelling.  We put in the time, effort, energy and RESEARCH to create newsletters that get READ.  Interesting headlines.  Topics that are timely.  Articles that enter the conversations going on in the minds and households of consumers today.  Fun facts people can share with friends or online in the social media platforms.  News they need to know.
  • They’re DIRECT RESPONSE.  Meaning all throughout the newsletters, you’re giving customers or potential customers persuasive reasons to contact YOU.  They offer items of VALUE.  Engage them with smart questions that invite people to call you for answers.
  • Space for sponsorship.  Many agents use the ‘editorial’ section on page two of their newsletters to feature a sponsor such as a title rep, mortgage lender or real estate attorney.  This allows them to spotlight a trusted resource – and either share in the cost of the monthly newsletter – or in many cases- get them paid for completely by the sponsor.  That’s a win-win-win for everyone.  The sponsor gets recognition and builds a relationship with a trusted REALTOR, the agent gets their marketing paid for and has the ability to CONSISTENTLY reach out to the sphere or farm and the consumers get information that’s engaging, timely and of interest!
  • They’re AFFORDABLE.  You’ll find all of ProspectsPLUS! tools and solutions always competitively priced and newsletters are no exception.  Sign up for your FREE account online and you can preview our pricing matrix based on quantity and shipping options.  Just visit us online today.
  • They’re EASY.  Who has time for frustration in today’s world?  Once you’ve created an account, added your personal information and photos – the rest is a piece of cake.  With all the content already done for you – it couldn’t be simpler.  And if you’d like a helpful hand to walk you through the process or help you decide – contact our team at 866.405.3638 today. They’re always eager to assist!
  • You have OPTIONS.  Our newsletters come with three different options.  First, our Done-for-you – which can be downloaded as a pdf and printed yourself, shipped to you, or mailed for you. Secondly, you could take advantage of the Every Door Direct Mail® version and save big on postal costs!  And lastly. for those eager to DOMINATE  a market, our Market Dominator System™.  Learn the difference between all three options here! 

If you’re in the market for a continuity program that makes your job easier, your production and market share INCREASE and that’s easy on your budget – check out our newsletters today.    We’ve even added a step-by-step video for you so you can see for yourself how easy it is!

Oh – and here’s a tip for ADDING to your sphere — ever work with investors?  Or in property management? It’s easy to find the names and addresses of non-owner occupied luxury properties. Simply use the MapMyMail system and choose the non-owner-occupied data select! Watch the video here.

Happy marketing and remember – we’re here if you need us!  Just call our team today at 866.405.3638.  Google

Building Blocks for a Great Spring

By Julie Escobar

As we head into the spring market and commit to helping agents more successfully and consistently build a better book of business, let’s take a look at some powerful and productive ways to do that WITHOUT a lot of stress or hassle.

Strategy #1:  Commit to the list.  Whatever database system you’re using, inputting your customer information is step one.  Even if you don’t have EVERYTHING you need , or all the information you want, start somewhere.  I’ve talked to agents who never get around to marketing at all because they feel like they have to do everything at once.  If it seems overwhelming – start SOMEWHERE.  Pick 50 or 100 people to add and knock it out in a couple hours – even if you’re simply using excel to add name, address, phone, email.  Start somewhere.  Then pick another day and do the same thing so you can get your list to the 200 mark.   (Virtual assistants these days are very affordable as well – so that may be an option for some of you.  College students are always looking for some extra money too – so ask around!  Not sure who to add, refer back to the BusinessBASE on our Resource page that shares the 150 people who should be in your real estate sphere of influence.)

Strategy #2:  Opt-ins & social media.  We’ve got some other powerful tools in our resource section.  Terrific free reports that are a perfect addition to your website as an opt-in piece.  Here’s a creative multi-use way to use these tools to help you build your list, feed your social media stream and entice your customers and prospects to continually return to your site for more resources!  You’ll become the go-to agent for information!  Simply click here to go to our resource section and download the free reports that will work best for you and your market.  Download as many as you like and bookmark this page because we add new ones all the time.  These are going to now become part of the campaign you’re about to kick off!  Now, take one per week or one per month and break the contents down into bite sized pieces to share on your social media and on the backs of your postcards.

I’ll give you an example:  Take the How to Save for a Down Payment free report.  It has seven tips for saving for a down payment.  A fun strategy would be to kick off your Facebook posts on a Monday with a post something along these lines:

As a professional Realtor, it’s a privilege to help people invest in their future and find the home of their dreams.  Often times, it is the down payment that can be a sticking point.  This week I’ll share with you seven powerful ways you can save!  Tip #1:  1. Get in the know. Like any good budget or savings plan, the first place to start is to determine where you are NOW in relation to your credit score, your monthly bills and assets. Contact me or a trusted mortgage professional to see how much home you qualify for and how much you’ll need to save to purchase your home. We can help you take a look at things like credit scores, loan requirements and interest rates now so you can be simultaneously doing ALL the things right during this savings period to ensure the most favorable rate and terms.

Say you made this your “Free report for March or April” in your business plan.  When setting up your postcard campaign on Prospectsplus.com – choose the alternate back and add a little verbiage to that fact.  Here is an example:

Happy Spring! As a professional Realtor who specializes in helping people find the home of their dreams, I’m always eager to share resources that can help consumers just like you make the best financial decisions for their family!  Please visit my site today at www.yoursitehere.com and download a copy of my new free report:  How to Save for a Down Payment.  No cost or obligation and please share with friends!  Call me if you have questions at xxx-xxx-xxxx!

Then do the same for month two and three of your campaign.  This way your social media and your postcard marketing are all working in tandem.  Keep copies of each report on hand so you can mail or email them out easily.  (I would make a file on your desktop specifically to house all these reports to make finding them easier!)

Strategy #3:  Commit to a campaign.  Even if you’re not sure which campaign is right for you – choose one to use for the next three months.  Breaking projects down into bite-size pieces makes the process less stressful and more manageable for most people.  I love the idea of a three month campaign because you can add your list, choose your card campaign and let that run for three months.  Then make whatever revisions are necessary to your list once a quarter such change an address, add a new customer or referral, change an email, etc.  This makes your database management less time-consuming as well.  By breaking your campaigns down into quarterly increments – you also have the flexibility to try a new campaign on for size. We’ve got lots of results-producing Sphere of Influence postcard campaigns to choose from! See them all here or contact our marketing team at 866.405.3638 for help choosing the campaign that’s right for you!

Strategy #4:  Add a niche.  One of the fastest ways to grow your sphere is to take what you’re passionate about, the people you like working with the MOST and create a niche for yourself.  I’ve always said it’s tough to be #1 in a geographic market – but not in a smaller niche that you are excited about.  From traditional (first time home buyers, fsbo’s, expireds) to out of the box (Harley riders, health and wellness seekers, boaters, fishermen) – find something you love, then get out there and meet THOSE people and start putting them into your list.  The secret ingredient in a sphere of influence is INFLUENCE.  Taking people from being “on a list” to knowing, trusting and liking you enough to want to do business with you.  That process happens fastest when you’re working with a group of people that you like and know about in return!

Now you’re ready to get STARTED!  Head into the spring market excited, eager and ready to take on the CHALLENGE!  And don’t forget – our inside account management team is here to help you make some of these decisions and walk you through the processes.   You can reach them at 866.405.3638.

Have a great week!  Get started today!