Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Success Advice from Power Agent Buddy Keene

by Julie Escobar

Tapping into what works for our customers is a great way to get a read on what agents need now and what is right around the corner as well. We caught up with one of our VIP customers Buddy Keene to learn what he’s doing to take his business to the next level.

Here’s what we learned:

Q:  Thanks for the interview! Can you start by telling our readers a little about yourself?

A:  Sure, I’m a Tampa native whose background as a business owner and executive brings a new and innovative approach to the sale of real estate. I take pride in providing personal and responsive service tailored to each client’s individual needs. I am a high-energy individual who delivers start-to-finish service with the sale or purchase of primary residences, vacation/secondary homes, and rental properties. My company, Great Blue’s mission is to become both the best respected and the most successful real estate brokerage in the state of Florida.

Q:  We know that staying consistent with your marketing is one powerful key to branding yourself and generating business. Can you tell us what you find most effective in terms of staying top of mind with your sphere and farm?

A:  I concentrate my marketing budget on direct mailings. I mail three communities every month. The total number of homes that I reach is just over 2,500. 90% of all of business comes from this mail campaign. If you want to be top of mind for the homeowners in your farm area, you have got to be consistent with your touches. If you intend to simply mail one time, or even on a quarterly basis, you’re wasting your money. I consider 12 touches per year to be the optimum exposure for my listing services.

Q:  We appreciate your trusting us to be the resource for your marketing tools – what drew you to our organization and what is your go-to tool for getting results?

A: I learned about ProspectsPLUS.com from a postcard that you mailed to me. So, I’m proof that direct mail produces results!

Q:  It’s a competitive market out there. What advice would you give fellow agents for creating an edge over their competitors?

A: For years, I produced my own Real Estate Reports for my farm area. I would gather the info from the MLS, analyze it, write a report, print it, and the envelopes, stuff them, and mail them. It was a massive effort to put the campaign together. My printing toner cost alone was $500 per month. At that time, I was only mailing on a quarterly basis. While I was surviving, the return on my investment just wasn’t where I felt it should be. After contacting prospects Plus, and learning about the Market Dominator product, I made the change, and hired your profession organization to produce my mailing pieces. This is by far the best marketing decision I have made to date. The mailings are always top notch quality, both the graphics, and the copy. My personal branded image has never been more professional. And I’m spending less time on my mailings than ever before.

The very first thing that homeowners tell me when we meet at the listing appointment, is that they love my mailers.

Q:  Many agents are reluctant to do any follow up activities with their book of business.  What words of wisdom can you share with them?

A: My farm areas consist of $400,000 properties. When you start charging people the amounts of money that I charge, you’d better bring some real value to the table. I have added services to my marketing plan, that most other Realtors simply don’t offer. For example, pay for a professional appraisal. The fact that we have a professional third party opinion of market value is very comforting to the sellers. It’s amazing how much stress this practice removes from the selling process for my clients. Another benefit to having this info, is that they sellers don’t go into the selling process with unrealistic expectations.

I bring in a professional photographer, and have him shoot High Dynamic Range photos, as well as aerial photos shot with a drone. I have a virtual tour software that I invested in, and it’s so much better than anything else that the sellers have ever seen. I also use an appointment center service, so that we never miss a call to show. I employ an internet service that syndicates my listings to over 50 websites, and delivers an email report to my sellers on the 1st, and the 15th of each month, showing how many view’s we have gotten, and from which of the website.

Q:  How valuable have you found it to be to stay in touch with your past clients?

A: Being mostly a listing agent, many of my past clients have actually moved out of my market area. So, the majority of my book of business is made up from buyers that I have worked with in the past. This is one of the areas where I have some serious room for improvement. While I have been fortunate enough to have very good relationships with my past buyer clients, I have not established a formal drip-mail campaign to keep myself top of mind with them.

My past clients have become a strong source of referrals. In fact, I have one family that has purchased, and or sold six properties with me. We’ve been working together for over 10 years. Many of my past buyers were first time buyers. Now that they are ready to move up, they are calling me to both sell their current property, and help them buy their new home.

Q:  Lastly, how can agents get hold of you if they have a referral they’d like to share in your area?

A: I can be reached at Buddy.keene@greatblue.us, or by phone at 813.727.7110.

Awesome information. Thanks Buddy!  

If you’d like to learn more about growing your book of business, earn more referrals and brand yourself in a geographic market, visit us online at www.prospectsplus.com or call our team today at 866.405.3638.

Success Spotlight Q & A with Power Agent Jennifer Ingiald

By Julie Escobar

When you really want to know what’s working for your customers, you reach out and ask them.  We are so fortunate to have extraordinary customers who are willing and happy to share their experiences of what works, and sometimes what doesn’t with our readers.  Agents love to learn from one another and we love sharing their stories.  This week?  We caught up with power agent Jennifer Ingiald to see what she’s doing to knock it out of the park in her market.

Here’s an excerpt from our interview:

Q:  Can you please tell our readers a little about you?

A:  I’m a Realtor in the central Wisconsin area. I focus mostly on waterfront homes and condos in the Castle Rock Lake area and Wisconsin Dells. Being originally from Schaumburg, IL, my family always vacationed in the Wisconsin Dells area and Castle Rock Lake is the fourth largest lake in Wisconsin, so it’s a lot of fun to work with buyers and sellers purchasing or building their dream vacation home.

Q:  How long have you been using ProspectsPLUS! and what made you choose us as your resource?

A: I’ve been using ProspectsPLUS! for about a year and a half now. My broker had recommended the site as she had great success with it as well. She was absolutely right! The website is very user-friendly, and so easy to navigate and create awesome postcards.

Q:  Can you tell us what you believe is the most important part of your marketing plan?

A: Listing photos and direct mail campaigns.  I like to utilize a professional real estate photographer for listing photos which I can then import into ProspectsPLUS.com postcard templates for a “Just Listed” or “Just Sold” campaign.  The end result is a completely professional postcard that always yields amazing results.

Q: I know you wisely use Just Listed and Just Sold cards in your market – can you tell us what kind of results you are getting and why you are so passionate about using these time-tested tools?  

A: This is by far my most important marketing tool.  Every single time I send out a Just Listed or Just Sold card, I get at least one new listing.  With the last Just Sold card I sent, I received two new listings.  I prefer to use the Jumbo postcards as opposed to the standard size, as I think they catch the eye better and help me to stand out amongst my competition.

Q:  Any advice for agents eager to get more results from their sphere and farm? 

A: I would absolutely recommend a ProspectsPLUS.com direct mail campaign, especially for farming.  It may seem like more money than you’d like to spend at first, but if you get one listing, and thus one sale out of it, it is worth it!  I like to use the postcard templates with a lot of photos as I think photos grab a reader’s attention. I also think it’s important to consistently send out either a Just Listed or Just Sold once you have a new listing or sale in a particular area you are farming, as you will start to become viewed as the market expert in your area.

Q:  Awesome – thank you so much Jennifer! How can readers connect with you if they have referrals in your market?

A:  If anyone has any referrals in the Wisconsin Dells or Castle Rock Lake areas, please feel free to call me at 608-548-3307 or www.CastleRockLakeAreaHomes.com.

If you’d like to learn more about consistently marketing your listings and yourself in your market, call our marketing team at 866.405.3638 or visit us online at www.prospectsplus.com. We’re happy to help you develop the plan that can help you take your business to the next level.

If you are a ProspectsPLUS.com customer and would be interested in potentially being featured on our blog or in our next Master Marketing Magazine, please email me today and set up a time to connect!

The Answer? Only If You USE Them!

By Julie Escobar

Can we start with how cool our customers are? They are always there to share ideas and what’s working in today’s markets and we so appreciate it.  We know other agents do as well, because while most like hearing from industry coaches and experts, sometimes hearing what other agents just like you are doing is a just what you need most. just sold card

That’s why we wanted to showcase some of what our awesome customers have shared with us that could work for you too!

After sending out my monthly cards, I received 3 calls!!! – Marlene Shelton Giles

I received an email with Just Listed postcards on my new listing from Prospects PLUS!. I changed the copy a bit to announce my first open house sneak preview for the neighborhood. The turnout for the Open House was awesome, and I got an offer from one of the neighbor’s family members within a week later! Thanks! – Margie D’Anna BirchIluxury cards

The first time I used ProspectsPLUS! just listed post cards it was a winner. I received several calls within the first month for new listings and I’ve already ordered my second set. Thanks so much for making my job a little easier. I also donated to my favorite charity, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. – Kathy Christian Reynolds

Prospect PLUS! was a great way to send out my Just Closed Postcard. I was able to also add my lenders information so future clients will know that we work as a multi photo cardsteam to get the home and the loan that is right for them. – Sasanna Strozier‎

I have been very impressed with the service I get through ProspectsPLUS. I just started implementing Just Listed/Just Sold cards and have gotten two listings; what an amazing return on my investment. I also enjoy the engagement I get from you with your catalogs and Jumbo postcard discount card. Market Dominator is next for my farm! – Duane Wright Realty

ProspectsPLUS! is a great tool for Realtors® everywhere! Their variety of products and services is perfect for any of your real estate needs. I have ordered a number of different postcards and have never been disappointed. The content is effective and gets results! Also a huge fan of their Master Marketing Schedule and the fun ideas for social media sharing. Highly recommend. – Brittany Bairexpired door hanger

I decided to try something new so I ordered Expired Listing door hangers instead of making cold colds or sending out letters. I ordered them on a Thursday evening, and the package was at my office on Monday morning. That was standard delivery. That’s fast! I spent Monday morning putting out the door hangers. This is Thursday. I’ve had 5 listing appointments and 4 new listings as a result. WOW! Thank you ProspectsPLUS! for designing incredibly professional artwork and allowing me to edit/make content changes online. I’ve found my new go-to advertising source. You guys rock! Thank you so much! – Wanda Bond

I found ProspectsPLUS.com while searching online for prospecting material. I’m glad I did.  I placed my order and received it promptly. Love the door hangers. So professional looking and great price. I was so excited that I referred a friend who placed an order. Then, the next thing I just listed door hangerknow I’m being sent a $25 gift card because of my friend’s order! Thanks and I’m ready to place another order and spread the word about ProspectsPLUS.com! – Landa White

Wow! I ordered postcards to mail to a 55+ complex that included recent sales and existing sales. Within two weeks, I had two listings from my mailing and I couldn’t be happier! Because of ProspectsPLUS!, I had the opportunity to work with a client from another state to help him sell his mother’s condo. It was listed and sold within two weeks. I will use them on a regular basis! – Sandy Schafer Hayford

We love hearing from our customers and we are always thrilled to give away $400 or more each month in gift cards to those agents who join in the conversation and share their strategies on our Google+ Page and our Facebook Page.  If you haven’t joined in the fun yet, please head over to one or the other of those today and share your story!  You could be one of our next winners.

You may also want to head over to our Master Marketing Schedule and see what’s in store for the rest of this month and all the fun fall ideas we have for you as well.  This week’s tip is to send the Hello Autumn postcard from the Holiday Series to your Sphere-of- Influence.

Need help getting started? We’ve got you covered! Head over to www.prospectsplus.com or call our marketing team at 866.405.3638 today and they’ll put you on a path to marketing success!

 

 

To Reach More People In Your Sphere and Farm

by Julie Escobar

Agents often ask us for ideas on what to send and when. We’re happy to help so they can get back to what they do best:  Prospecting, Presenting and Closing.  We know there are LOTS of option to choose from, and no real one-size-fits-all. That’s why we put new marketing tools on the site each and every month.  It’s also why we have over 1,000 postcards in the standard-size alone, and thousands more in Jumbo and Panoramic.

What we’ve found is that postcard marketing makes it easy for agents to “pull the trigger”, get their marketing ordered and move on to the next task. Expediency and ease are two factors that agents tell us are important to them.  The fact that the content is done, customization is easy and data is readily available to create marketing lists all help make the process quick and easy.

One series that’s really popular right now is the Listing Inventory Series, because it highlights the need for more listings!  Agents love having a series that has a wide selection because they can send month after month to your sphere and farm with consistent branding and similar messaging.

Here are some suggestions for the next three months using this series with a little bit of a twist! Pairing a
postcard with a Free Report Offer is a great way to offer something of value, brand yourself as a resource, and get people to pick up the phone or text you for the offer.  

March:  Send the Buyers are Waiting postcard from the Listing Inventory Series. When choosing a back, choose the “Standard Back with Message” option so you have a little more room.

Change up the front if you like, and on the back, change the copy to say something like:

There’s never been a more important time to have resources you can count on when it comes to buying and selling a home.  We currently have more buyers than listings, which makes them motivated to pay top dollar while interest rates are low and demand is high. If you are interested in selling, or know someone who is, please call or text me today at (your cell number) to get a copy of my Free Report: 5 Tips for a Smooth Quick Home Sale.  

April:  Send the Take Advantage of the Market postcard. Again, choose “Standard Back with Message” option so you have a little more room.

Change up the front if you like, and on the back, change the copy to say something like:

Timing is everything in the real estate market, and the time to get more for your home is right now.  We currently have more buyers than listings, which makes them motivated to pay top dollar while interest rates are low and demand is high. If you are interested in selling, or know someone who is, please call or text me today at (your cell number) to get a copy of my Free Report: 9 Strategies for Getting Up to 17% More for Your Home.

May:  Send The Big Question postcard, and change up the back message to:

Selling your home is a big decision. One of the biggest for most people.  You’ll want to make sure you have every question answered before diving into this competitive market. I can help. If you are interested in selling, or know someone who is, please call or text me today at (your cell number) to get a copy of my Free Report: 5 On the Money Reasons to Use a REALTOR. 

Get the full impact from your marketing tools.  

  • Add the report PDFs to your blog.
  • Or as an opt-in on your site.
  • Print them out to share at Open houses.
  • Share the jpg’s on your social media with a link driving people to your site to download.
  • Or use when you are walking your farm to follow up on your mailings.
  • Add additional marketing “touches” by sending Just Listed/Just Sold or Open House postcards.

Be sure to block time to speak with at least 100 people per week from your sphere list as part of our March challenge.  The market is competitive. That means it will take bold ACTION to gain market share. We challenge you to do just that.  

Need help?  Contact our team at 866.405.3638. They are there for you! 

 

 

Take the March Challenge! 

By Julie Escobar

Why leave all the “March Madness” stuff for the basketball fans?  This month, we’re looking at ways to inspire agents to take the ACTION they need to drive their numbers and build momentum.  That means being pro-active, and working ON your business as well as in it.  There’s no doubt agents are increasingly busy, but when they fail to time-block for business-driving activities like prospecting and database building, they often fall into the commission-chasing category as opposed to having a steady business and referral stream they can count on.

Statistics tell us for every twelve people in your sphere of influence that you regularly connect with, you can expect a deal or referral per year.  That’s valuable information to know. Yet, how come so many agents lose business because they failed to stay top of mind and connected with their sphere?  And when you find a farm that has the a healthy turnover and you’re NOT actively marketing to that area? You’re leaving money on the table.

Here are three pieces of great advice for getting ahead in this business:

International Speaker and Coach Darryl Davis: “I tell my students and coaching members to focus on the activity rather than the results. Why do people fail? Because they don’t see immediate results. So, they do what? They QUIT. When you switch your thinking to focus on the ACTIVITY, not the results, it helps you get past the fear. Think of it like baseball averages. Ballplayers know the more times they get up to bat and take a swing, the more likely they are to get a hit. After a while of playing, they know their numbers… their average. The same is true in prospecting – you’ll get to know your numbers. So maybe out of 10 calls, you get five connects and two appointments. I tell my students that their goal should NOT be to get the appointment; it should be about building relationships. Why? Because it takes the pressure off.  Focusing on getting an appointment is a win/lose scenario. If you don’t get it, your reaction is, “I lost. I’m bad.” When you focus on building a relationship, every call is a win. The truth is, you’re not going to get an appointment unless there’s trust. By building relationships, you build trust – and the appointments will happen by themselves.”

Power Agent Denise Buscemi, Florida:  “My advice? Several things. First, remember when you are meeting customers and clients, make everything you do be about that person and only that person–the rewards will naturally follow. Next, read more – be a lifelong learner. It makes you more competitive.  Be a great listener – not only does it make you a better communicator, buyers and sellers will tell you everything you need to know to help you close the deal.  Send the postcards that keep your name in front of them. Do your homework and always go the extra mile.”

Power Agent Kathy Casarin, Pennsylvania: “I would say first, there are no timeouts for replays!  Engage your client get back to them fast whether it is on Facebook, email, in person or a phone call.  Don’t wait or you’ll find they’ve already called upon someone else. Next, assure your client you are the professional. You are experienced, successful and know what works and what doesn’t. Earn your clients trust upfront. Become your absolute best at communication. Keep your client in the loop every step of the way, whether it is periodic emails as to how their listing is doing vs competitors.  Make that phone call to discuss price, home improvements, showings, open houses etc.  Regular contact reassures the client you haven’t forgotten about them or their listing or the homes they want to buy… so when you have to advise them on say a market adjustment on home price they agree and know it is in their best interest because you are always with them to get this SOLD. Stay current and do what works.  The truth is it all works–but only if you do it — so don’t forget to post on your social networks, answer real estate questions on Trulia, use ProsectsPLUS! to send out postcards, attend social gatherings to see and be seen and be that constant reminder to say, ‘Hi! I’m in Real Estate!’”

Our challenge to you this month? 

  1. Calculate your SOI. See how many people you need in your sphere to hit your goals this year by
    heading over to our SOI Calculator.
  2. Thank people. Send Thank You Postcards from our Customer Appreciation Series to at least 100 people on your sphere of influence list this month.
  3. Pick up the phone. Make at 20 calls per day to your sphere of influence. (100 per week is a big goal!) There are some really fun connectivity ideas on our Master Marketing Schedule if you’re looking for interesting reasons to connect! Consider Darryl’s advice above if you’re nervous about talking to people.
  4. Knock on at least 100 doors. Use door hangers so that even if folks aren’t home they’ll know you were there. According to the Master Marketing Schedule, March 12th is National Flower Day, it might be the perfect time to attached a packet of flower seeds to your door hangers and walk your farm! Have some fun with it!
  5. Add 100 people to your database. Now, this one may sound hard, but it doesn’t have to be. Some agents are on top of their game, adding new people all the time. But a LOT of agents that we talk to don’t really have a handle on their lists.  Hire a college kid or virtual assistant for a short-term project to get this done. It’s one of the most important things you can do as an agent. Here are some sources that you can pull from:
    1. Past purchased lists. (Think of all those Just Listed and Just Sold postcards you’ve sent out. Have you done anything with those saved lists you’ve purchased? Put them all in a database and use it to send Listing Inventory postcards or Neighborhood Update/Free Offer Postcards)
    2. Past buyers and sellers. Hand over those files to someone who can pull all those contacts and put them into a database for you. These people already have trusted you enough to do business with them.
    3. Get creative. Download our BusinessBASE, to see the 250 people who should be in your sphere and start adding.

It’s a good month to go above and beyond. To stretch yourself, your goals, and your reach in your community.  Take some time this week to plan your calendar then go for it. We’d love to hear how you’re doing.  Connect with us on Facebook (and be entered into our March Contest), or leave a comment below.

Need help? Our marketing team is amazing! Call them today at 866.405.3638. They’ll walk through any questions you might have and help you get your marketing on track! Have a great month ahead!