Monday, December 18, 2017

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!

They Will Buy, Sell and Refersphere of influence

By Julie Escobar

You remember the line from the movie Field of Dreams, I’m sure – “If you build it, they will come.”  Well, as with baseball diamonds in corn fields – the same is true of a solid sphere of influence.  If you build it – they will come, and buy real estate and sell real estate and send new referrals your way.  Just like old Kevin Costner’s character though – you’ve got to commit to the work, take a leap of faith and believe enough in the ‘what could be’ to get past the ‘but what about right now’ thinking.

Tip: (Brokers & Managers – this might be a good exercise for your new agents or your ‘starting over’ agents!)

Build it.  This is the toughest thing for agents.  Committing to the database creation.  Many think they have to take it all on at once – or have EVERYTHING in place before they can start marketing themselves as the neighborhood specialist.  Not so.  Remember the old adage – “how do you eat an elephant? ONE bite at a time!”  Same thing applies here.  Don’t worry about having a bazillion people in your sphere to start.  Ask yourself this, “what’s DOABLE?”  Then answer yourself by taking ACTION!

Where to start?  Start with the name, address, phone, email, relationship type, and social media information if you can of:

  • Current clients
  • Friends/Relatives
  • Colleagues
  • Doctors
  • Veterinarian
  • Dentist
  • Attorney
  • Accountant
  • Insurance agent
  • Financial advisor
  • Social circle contacts
    • civic groups
    • networking group
    • PTA
    • golf/tennis/racquetball club members
    • little league/soccer/basketball/football contacts
    • church
    • Neighbors
  • Car dealer
  • Teachers
  • Mortgage professionals
  • Landscaper
  • Handyman
  • Roofer
  • Electrician
  • Pool service owner
  • Restaurant/Business owners around you
  • Grocer or grocery store managers
  • All those business cards that you’ve been stacking in that desk drawer somewhere from everyone you ever met anywhere!
  • Open house contacts
  • Past mailings lists from Just Listed/Just Sold postcards, geographic farm areas

Don’t Assume:  This is a great start for building your base and if you build it…they will bring you business. If you don’t – they’ll call someone else! (As any agent who has had a friend or family member use someone else for their real estate needs because they ‘forgot’ or weren’t ever aware that someone they already KNEW was an agent!)  Never assume or take for granted that everyone YOU know KNOWS that you’re in real estate.  Top of mind awareness takes consistency, commitment and a system to ‘touch’ your sphere month after month.

Don’t Panic:  Now – if you don’t have the information for EVERYONE on this list – don’t PANIC.  Start with who you do know.  Even if it’s 20-30 people – it’s better to START marketing now than to wait until everything is ready.  (We can help you grab lists from your neighborhood or farm area as well – call our team at 866.405.3638.)

Now CONNECT!  Set up a drip mail campaign to your new sphere list and send them something every 28-35 days.  Then follow up!  You may surprise yourself with a new listing (or two, or three) when you get the ball rolling and keep it in play!

Until then, get busy BUILDING and count your blessings!  At least you’re not having to create baseball diamonds in cornfields-right?  Good luck and let us know how we can help you!  Our marketing team can help you choose the right real estate postcard campaign for you, and they can even help you with mailing lists if you want to add geographic farming to your marketing plan as well!  Call us at 1.866.405.3638 today!  And while you’re online…please be sure to connect with us on FacebookTwitter & now look for ProspectsPLUS Marketing on Google+!

An Experienced Nod for Newslettersreal estate newsletters

By Julie Escobar

When it comes to direct marketing, you can’t beat the reputation of Dan Kennedy.  He’s been around the block – in fact, I’m fairly sure he’s BUILT a few of the blocks. That’s why it was awesome to see his piece last week on the power of newsletters and how they have not, as some bloggers would suggest, “met their demise”.  Mr. Kennedy, and many of his followers have earned their stripes by building solid, long-lasting relationships — most using his direct-response materials.

After 20 years in the direct mail and real estate marketing industry, we couldn’t agree more.  Our clients have been using newsletters to stay top-of-mind with their sphere and geographic farm areas and love the results they get in return.  While many in our business have taken direct mail completely OFF their marketing menu, you’ve got to love the power of doing something DIFFERENT to get yourself noticed (and remembered!)

Today’s consumers are hungry for new, timely, and on-target information.  They want resources they can trust and hyper-local information that is important to them, their family and the decisions facing them in today’s market.  And the agent that delivers that?  Not just ONCE, but time and time again?  Will be the agent that wins in the end.  We know that delivering quality content month after month is tough to do for busy agents.  Top agents spend (and should) their valuable time face-to-face and voice-to-voice with sellers and buyers.  That’s what is closest to their revenue line, and what they are best at.  Compiling, collating and disseminating content is time consuming and for many, frustrating.  We get it.  That’s why we’ve always said, “creating is hard, but clicking is easy!”  We develop the content month after month that gets agents noticed.  And we don’t leave out the details!

Adding eye-catching real estate infographics, industry-relevant articles, call-provoking direct response offers, and warm, client-friendly commentary are just some of what make our newsletters such a success for agents.  We also include the ability to completely edit any of the pieces and add in local stats and information to really personalize for those agents that CHOOSE to add their own creative touches.  It couldn’t be easier.

So for those that say newsletters are a thing of the past, we beg to differ.  When you combine real content, real resources, real top-of-mind awareness, and real consultative communication with the people in your sphere and farm CONSISTENTLY?  You’re more than ‘sending a newsletter.’  You’re building a referral base that will take you throughout your career.

And for those who REALLY want to DOMINATE in their marketplace, we’ve got a system that delivers MORE than just a newsletter that gets you both in the door and drives market share for less!  Learn more!

Want to learn more?  View all of our newsletter templates here or contact our office today at 866.405,3638 to find out how we can help you start reaching out to the referral market you may be missing today!