Sunday, August 20, 2017

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!

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!