Thursday, March 23, 2017

To Up Your Game This Year

By Julie Escobar

If ever there was a time to up the ante on your marketing presence, it’s right now. Stakes are high, competition is fierce and anyone eager to be THE resource for consumers in their markets need to bring their A-game and then some.

Here are a few musts to consider:

  1. Get a professional headshot. I know. This one seems like an obvious choice. But take it from a company who produces hundreds of thousands of real estate marketing postcards per week, we see agent photos that just aren’t print quality and reach out to customers to send high resolution shots that show them in their best light.  Oh, and when you’re taking those pictures – SMILE! Studies from photofeeler.com show that people who smiled in their head-shots were considered far more likable and influential than those that didn’t, and slightly more competent. It’s a marketing expense that makes a lot of sense. Your job is to help consumers think of your name and your face first when they think real estate – so put your best FACE forward!
  2. Craft a great bio. On many of our marketing tools, agents have an opportunity to share some “about me” information. You should have a long and short version.  Long for your website, but short and sweet for real estate brochures, flyers and postcards.  Choose your words wisely. For the best balance? Present yourself, your brand, why you do what you do, and what differentiates you – without being too salesy. Then have both versions proof-read before beginning to use them.  This makes it easier when you’re creating your marketing pieces as well as you aren’t trying to come up with something on the fly, which often leads to typos or inconsistent copy.
  3. Pick a brand style that works for you. Too often you see agents who are all over the map in terms of listing inventory snapshottheir marketing. Different styles, colors, messages. While it’s good to test a little, you’ll find better results when sticking to a campaign that has some uniformity.  That’s one of the reasons agents love our series of postcards, which have the same look and feel throughout the series. For example, our popular Listing Inventory Series has the same branding style, with a series of messages that lets potential sellers know that this is a great time to list.  They can send one a month and keep their branding with their sphere or farm consistent to get better results.
  4. Be consistent. We kind of just covered this, but one and done is dead. In fact, it never was a marketing strategy that worked. The key to becoming a brand name is 27 impressions.  Keep showing up, and the Nov-DOM-Free-Reportnext time someone is asked if they know anyone who sells homes, your name will be top of mind!
  5. Don’t forget your contact information. Would you be surprised to learn how many times people do not put their phone number or contact information on their marketing materials, then send thousands of them out and wonder why they don’t get a response? Make sure people know how to reach you. And if you are inviting people to your social media platforms via your marketing, don’t just use the blanket, “Find me on Facebook”.  Actually, give them a unique URL they can go to such as Facebook.com/yourrealestatepage.
  6. Offer items of value. Many of our customers use our Free Reports as Lead Capture offerings on their websites. There are lots to choose from, easily customizable, and they serve multiple purposes.  Use them on your site, at your open houses, in your listing presentations, or as collateral for the popular consumer meet and greets that so many agents are doing today.
  7. Build on what you already have. All those lists you’ve purchased? The ones from your Just Listed postcard orders?  Reuse them! Put those folks on a drip campaign of postcards so they know you’re always in the game.  I recommend a combination of our Neighborhood Update Free Offer Series and updates on your listings such as Neighborhood update postcardsContract Pending and Just Sold. Every list = unlimited opportunities.  Contract Pending. Price Reduced. Just Sold. Listing Inventory.  Check out our new ThreeClickPostcards.com – where you can order your Just Listed/Sold/Contract Pending cards — right from your phone!
  8. Have some FUN. Real estate is serious business for certain, but you can certainly have some fun with it too. Our Master Marketing Schedule is filled with fun ways to reach out to your sphere and farm and make a noticeable difference! See what’s coming up for the next month.

It’s a great time to be a real estate professional and it’s a great time to tap into ready-made resources that can make your life easier.  To that end, we’re here to answer your questions and get your marketing on-track within a budget that works for you! Call our team today at 866.405.3638.

Finding the Diamonds in Your Database

By Julie Escobar

As my old friend Floyd Wickman used to say, there are acres of diamonds in your book of business or “sphere” – but the trouble is, most agents are willing to do what it takes to mine for those diamonds.

Many agents don’t even have a ‘book of business’ or a true database.  They’re either new to the business or ‘never got around to it’ or for some – they’re so busy working ‘in the business’ to ever work ‘on the business.’  But there’s acres of diamonds in building a sphere of influence client list of people who know you, like you and trust you. Because frankly – those are the people that are going to list and sell their homes with you – buy from you –and refer friends and family to you.  First – you’ve got to reach them.  Consistently.  Effectively.  With purpose.

First, look at should be in your book of business. Read last week’s post:  The Year of the Sphere.

Secondly, get a handle on your business plan.  This is the one-page easy plan shared by Floyd Wickman. 

2017-biz

Download a copy for yourself or your team here. Then USE it. Make sure you are reviewing every month so you know when you are are on track — and off!

Next, Invest in these ten strategies for building a powerful base. 

  1. Get it all on ‘record.’  Whatever database management system you choose, be sure that you have entered at the very least the basic information such as name, address, phone number, email address, social media addresses if you have them for every past customer, friend, family member and acquaintance that you can think of.  Sound like a lot of work?  It is – but SO worth it.  And I’m not saying you have to do it yourself.  Delegate it – that way you can stick to what you do best – getting face to face with the folks in your market.
  2. Fill in the blanks.  The more RELEVANT you are – the more REFERRALS you’ll receive. So once you’ve customer-appgot the basics down – take note of more personal information about the people in your database.  What do they do?  Where do they live?  What makes them unique?  What else do you know about them that you can reference?  Who’s in their family?  You know the old saying – the ‘devil is in the details!’ The more you know the easier it will be for you to connect with them on topics that are relevant and important to them.
  3. Clean up old records.  At least twice a year go through your database and cull old contacts, and clean up missed or incorrect information. Connect with your database and let them know that their business is important to you and that you’re just doing a little ‘housekeeping’ so that you can be sure they are always kept in the loop and double check their information.  You can even make them a fair trade offer of a free report or certificate of some kind.
  4. Data mine for ‘like’ minded people.  One of the best things an agent can do is to really take a good fsbolong look at what their ‘best customer’ looks like.  Who do you like to work with?  Seniors?  Singles?  First time homebuyers?  Expireds? FSBO’s?  Once you know that – and can determine who you both like to work with and the type of people you have the most successful relationships with – you can data mine to find more of the same.   Find list options for data mining here. 
  5. Add new personal contacts.  As sales professionals we come into contact with new people every day that are potentially great future clients or customers.  Make it a point to add at least one new person per day or five per week to your book of business – more depending on how fast you want your business to grow.  Many agents I know make this database building a positive habit by dedicating one hour a week to the health and maintenance of their list.  Every time they meet a new person at the local Starbucks, networking meeting, business event, PTA, restaurant – even the grocery store and have an opportunity to collect a business card or information – that person goes into the ‘book’ and the nurturing begins!  Some of the best agents spend an hour a week sending a personal note or firing off an email just to say what a pleasure it was to meet and if they need anything – just call.  (Making notes on the back of those business cards or in your phone after meeting a new person will help jog your memory for details when you are entering them into your database at a later time.)  Think about 10 people THIS WEEK you could add if you tried:  Teachers, Bankers, Restaurant Owner/Staff, Accountant, Attorney, Landscaper, Gas Station Owner, Grocery Store Manager…the possibilities are endless!  (If you did that EVERY week you’d be adding more than 500 people to your book of business each year!)
  6. Add past lists:  If you’ve sent out Just Listed or Just Sold postcards and have purchased a list of just sold cardhomeowners contact information who received those postcards – be sure not to forget those folks.  You can add them in and start the process of taking them from ‘prospect’ to ‘member’ of your sphere by building those relationships over time.  Think about this – every time you send a Just Listed postcard with a purchased list – you are adding to your database. But most agents only send that one card, the Just Listed to that list.  Think one list = unlimited opportunities.  Contract Pending. Price Reduced. Just Sold. Listing Inventory.  Check out our new ThreeClickPostcards.com – where you can order your Just Listed/Sold/Contract Pending cards — right from your phone!
  7. SHARE with them.  Direct mail is a great way to ‘touch’ your book of business at least once a month.  From powerful postcards with relevant offers to a monthly newsletter packed with valuable content – staying in TOUCH is the key to staying TOP of mind.  We’ll even help you automate the process with a set-and-forget system that allows you to put your marketing plan in motion and then focus on those personal contacts and the three tasks that are most important in your business:  prospecting, presenting and CLOSING.  Visit www.prospectsplus.com/specials today to learn more about these options or call our team at 866.405.3638 for help deciding what might work best for you, your list and your budget!
  8. Invite them into the conversation.  Savvy agents are firing up their social media strategies on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and Pinterest and inviting their community of followers to join in the conversation.  Create a Facebook page for your neighborhood farm and post community information that’s relevant to your buyers and sellers such as school information, local business information, fun facts and more.  Agents are breaking out their iPhones and creating video walking tours of area hotspots, news for the week, reviews of local businesses, types of homes to look for in their area and all kinds of fun and interesting information.  Pinterest has people pinning and posting all about staging ideas, inspirational quotes, homes in the area, community events, blog posts and more.
  9. Follow up.  Break your list up into manageable numbers and commit to follow up calls every week.  Most experts recommend scheduling a daily appointment with yourself to prospect.  Don’t underestimate the value of face-to-face connecting as well.  Community events, school functions, networking opportunities and just being active in the community that you service will help keep you visible, allow you a chance to arrange follow up conversations and ask questions, be the resource people need and you will generate referrals in the process! It can be as simple as letting them know that you are there to help anytime.
  10. Lather, Rinse, Repeat.  Well you get the idea.  Treating your database as the saleable, valuable resource that it is means not putting it away for 11 months out of the year.  Commit to these ten strategies monthly and your career will thrive – and you won’t have to always be wondering where your next commission will come from.

Need help?  Call us at 866.405.3638.  Our team of marketing professionals can help you put your plan in place for success. 

Steadily Getting Ready for a New Year Ahead

by Julie Escobar

I love the Seneca quote, “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.” Or Floyd Wickman’s quote, “There’s nothing special about special people it’s what they DO that makes them special.”  What a great time of year for agents.  So many of our friends and clients are deep in preparation for the year ahead. Building marketing strategies, laying out budgets, meeting with mentors, and sharing ideas.  These are the folks that will not only finish out this year strong, but hit the ground running with a passion as we enter a new year and keep right on going to make 2017 their best year ever — long before it even starts.  How cool is that?

For our part, at ProspectsPLUS!, we are doing the same.  From our Master Marketing Schedule, (which you can download directly to your Google, Apple or Outlook calendars), to a line up of great new series, products and services for the year ahead.  We know that agents today need every tool they can get to compete in challenging markets, and we’re passionate about delivering those tools.

Now when you’re making your marketing list and business plan for 2017 (and checking it twice), please let us know how we can help you maximize your goals for the new year.  Here are just some of the things we can deliver:5 ways to build equity

  1. Fresh ideas  – Our Master Marketing Schedule is a strategic marketing plan specifically for real estate professionals which delivers powerful strategies and solutions every month to connect with your sphere, find cash buyers, work with investors, saturate your geographic farm, automate your just listed or just sold postcards, and even gives you some fun ways to stand out and be noticed in your market area.
  2. Brochures, Flyers and Free Reports — We know how important having the right collateral at the right
    time is when you’re prospecting, presenting and closing.  These tools lend authority, put stats at your fingertips, spotlight you as the resource, and give additional credibility.
  3. Postcards — We literally have hundreds and hundreds of postcard templates on our site that cover the gamut with over 22 niche marketing categories to choose from.holiday-cards-16
  4. Newsletters — Done for you newsletters which make a perfect ‘touch’ point for your sphere of influence.  You can
    customize however you want, or just run with as is.  All the copy is ready, timely and perfect for delivering relevant content to your customers.
  5. Market Dominator — Our powerful new system for capturing a 20% market share in a geographic area within a two-year time frame.  There’s nothing like it on the market!
  6. Business Cards — From cool new QR Code cards to branded cards — we have a wide selection at a great price to make sure you have what you need.
  7. Door Hangers — These are perfect for your geographic farm or for area FSBOs and Expireds. Easy to
    order and use and priced for any budget!fsbodoor hangers
  8. Data — Our MapMyMail system is amazing for finding the right list of prospects for what you need.  Investors, first time home buyers, move up market candidates — you name it.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg!  Visit our SPECIALS page today (and bookmark it!) — so you can always keep tabs on the latest promo codes, new marketing tools and fresh insights!  We add anywhere from 5-8 new pieces to our site each and every month!

We offer gift cards as well! Thinking about giving the gift of marketing this year or putting it your wish list? See the holiday specials now!

As always, we’re here to help.  Our marketing team is experienced and well versed in what today’s real estate professionals NEED, WANT and will make their lives and jobs EASIER.  If you’re creating your marketing budget for next year and would like some guidance on which tools might work best for you and what that cost would be, call our team today at 866.405.3638 or email us at pmc@prospectsplus.com!

 

An Interview with Marketing Guru Dean Jackson

By Julie Escobar

When you want big marketing ideas with smart research and strategies to back them up, you want to listen to Dean Jackson.  With humor and character, Dean not only takes agents OUTSIDE the box, he challenges dean-jackson-profilethem to leave the “box” in the dust and look to unconventional, creative strategies that make good solid business sense.  So when we heard about his Listing Multiplier – we knew we wanted to share it with all of you.

Q:  Dean, I read your awesome white paper on the Multiplier – can you give our readers a little nutshell of what this powerful concept is please?

A:  Sure, the big idea here is to have a sense of what you are missing.  To start, I ask agents to think of their last ten listings, and score them, one point each for the following opportunities:

  1. Get it sold
  2. Find the buyer
  3. Find the buyer that buys another house
  4. Get another listing from it
  5. Get a referral from the seller

Now you take your number out of 50 for these opportunities. They’ll range from say, 8 out of 50 to 15 out of jl js cards50.  In some cases, you’re hitting every opportunity, in others, such as a listing expiring, you get zero points. What you get once you’ve done this exercise is a sense of what your  current system yields.

Now take that number and divide it by ten – that’s your Listing Multiplier Index. So, say you have a 15 out of 50, divide that by 10 and you get 1.5. That means your current system yields 1.5 listings for every listing you take.  Now – the objective is to get that HIGHER.  Imagine if you could double that or more and turn every listing into three transactions!

Q:  Right? That would be awesome.  Can you share some ways readers can start to do that?

A:  Well yeah.  Start with Just Listed postcards.  Most of the time agents take the approach of, “I’ll just put itdo-you-know-postcard

in the MLS. Right now, listings go fast, so we don’t HAVE to market.”  That’s just short-sighted. Instead of looking at what has to be done to “get by”, agents should be looking at using marketing such as Just Listed/Just Sold postcards, InfoBox flyers, single property websites, and instant open house landing pages — all to extend that one commission into many commissionable activities.  Listing puts you in the ballgame, then it’s time to hit it out of the park.

Q:  Can you explain the Instant Open House Landing page please?

A:  Sure, you can learn more at www.gogoagent.com, but the idea is that you set up an instant landing page for the property address, people add their name and email address to download a pdf of all the property information.  Then you send a very simple, very conversational, expecting a reply email to those folks, and to buyers that might be interested in the home that says, “Got some people coming by the property at 23 Greystone tomorrow afternoon to see the house. Would you care to join them?”

That’s it. No time, no details – just expecting a yes or no answer.  We had one open house where eighteen people showed up at once! That’s letting your marketing do the work – generating buyers, new potential sellers and referrals. Now picture you have five listings, and you do the instant open house for all five – one at noon, one at 2, one at 3:30, 5 and 6:30. How great of a day would that be?wmipcissue38stationeryfrontthu

Q:  Pretty amazing, I’d say! One thing I know that you talk about with your GoGoAgent members is setting your marketing up in such a way that you’re not having to make those dreaded “cold calls”. Can you expand on that?

A:  Nothing I’d ever do would involve cold calls. No one likes to make them and no one likes to get them. I prefer to teach agents to use their email as a better communication tool. Short, conversational emails that make people feel like you are talking directly and specifically to them. That’s leverage-able.

Your postcard marketing as well – put some personality to it. Think of your postcards for what they are – an opportunity to share a message. Not long ago I was in Missouri and I went to the Pony Express Museum.  It makes you think, you know?  Those young people on the Pony Express risked their lives to deliver a message.  Letters and communication were so important that people hired a government employee to take great risks to deliver them. We are still hiring a government employee to deliver our words to someone else – the least we can do is make them interesting! Think about what you would say if you were face-to-face.  Differentiate yourself. Give people something that helps them engage.

Q:  Any last words for our readers?

A:  I would say to really just dive into learning about how to use your Listing Multiplier Index to take your business to incredible levels.  When you think about what it would mean to you to take your multiplier from say a 1.1 to a 3.3 for your next ten listings, that would mean 20 extra transactions. If your average commission is $10,000 – that means an additional $200,000 per year. That’s exciting!

Q:  I totally agree! I know agents would love to learn more about your creative, collaborative listing and sales ideas. How can they find out more?

A:  They can find everything they need at www.gogoagent.com.  Thanks!

Need help multiplying your listings? Call our team at 866.405.3638 or visit our site today at www.prospectsplus.com. 

 

 

 

 

 

How Hyper-Local Information and Consistency Work to Your Advantage

By Julie Escobar

Real estate is not for the get-rich-quick, zero effort entrepreneur.  To succeed for the long haul?  You’ve got to take an ‘in it to win it’ approach. That means the kind of ‘one and done’ marketing that some folks want to ‘try on’ is not a viable, sustainable path to market share.

You’ve got to put the time in and PERSEVERE.  To show up not just ONCE, but again and again and again.  You know that old saying out of sight – out of mind?  It’s especially true of customer relationships in today’s market.  In fact, Statistics tell us it takes at LEAST three impressions for a consumer to recognize your name, seven to associate your name with your business, and twenty seven for them to like you, know you, trust you enough to do business with them.  I know – it’s not instant gratification – but it is the smart business practice if you want to be in real estate for the long haul.

Make it easy on yourself.  You get paid to get face-to-face and voice–to-voice with customers.  Your job is to wow them with what you can do for them – how you can make that easier, more profitable & fewer headaches.  Hard to do that when you’re still printing, cutting & stuffing envelopes.  Put a system in place to reach your customers at the very least every 4-6 weeks.  The Direct Marketing Association and top agents lean more towards every 21-30 days.  It doesn’t have to be a lot – but it does have to be neighborhood update seriesconsistent.   We’ve worked hard to make that easy for you with hundreds of ready-to-go campaigns that you can choose from that’s as simple as pick a card, customize however you like, add your list or purchase one and you are done!

One that is especially popular right now and getting results is our Neighborhood Update Free Offer Series. Why is it such a hit?  It gives them the critical market information consumers want — and spotlights you as holiday-cards-16the authority in the neighborhood.  Grab your local stats (recent listings and sales), sign in to your account,  go to the neighborhood update free offer series, enter your data, get your list  (at least 100 homeowners in the neighborhood you want to brand yourself in) and go! What people LOVE about this series is that it offers up the hyper local market information they are craving. What are homes in THEIR neighborhoods selling for?  How much can they get for their home?  What’s happening in their own back yard? Send one of these a month and watch your market share grow!

Next, map out your marketing for the rest of the year. Will you be sending holiday photocards or holiday cards? Order them early and get them sent.  Calendar cards with magnetic backs are also very popular as means to stay top of mind (by being stuck to the refrigerator) all year around.  You’ll find budget saving promo codes on our Specials Pagecalendar-cards-16

Looking for more ideas for staying connected? Bookmark our Master Marketing Schedule.  It’s filled with actionable marketing tips as well as some really fun, out-of-the-box, memorable ways to reach out to the people in your sphere and farm.  That’s the key — helping to make sure your name is MEMORABLE — in a good way!

Some things to think about for this week.  Know that if you need some help showing up – OVER and OVER – affordably, easily and without stress, our team is there for you.  Call them at 866.405.3638 today or email pmc@prospectsplus.com.  We’ve got you covered!