Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Strategies and Scripts for Getting More Listings

By Julie Escobar

Last week we sat down with Coach Todd Robertson for some strategies for dominating in a geographic farm.  This week, we wanted to take that a step further and find out his thoughts for agents eager to get a jump start on their fall marketing, especially in hyper-competitive areas.  Here’s what we learned:

Q:  Hey Todd, a lot of our readers want to hit the fall market with all they’ve got – do you have some ideas for them?

A:  Sure – the year is already more than half over and a lot of agents are looking at the calendar and thinking – “No way am I going to hit my goals.”  That’s a little intimidating, right? For some, it’s enough to make them already start to shut down.  Don’t.  Instead, realize it’s time to dig in. To put a source of accountability into your career – your weekly routine and create a game plan. You know, we’re really glad that we can be a source for agents. The Master Marketing ScheduleTM that you’ve created is a powerful tool to help agents stay on track and put some consistency into their marketing.  It takes the “what do I do?” out, which is a big stress for a lot of agents.  First step I would say, is to start there, and develop a game plan that will allow you to connect CONSISTENTLY, with your Sphere of Influence, a Geographic Farm, and a niche market. If you can work a campaign for each of those marketing segments without fail, month after month, your results will grow exponentially.

Q:  I agree!  We share a lot of strategies about staying consistent.  How often should agents connect with their sphere, farm, and niche?

A:  At least monthly. Those ‘touch’ points are so important in terms of staying top of mind and creating brand awareness.  Send something every month to all three, and not necessarily the same thing.  For your sphere, many agents choose a postcard campaign such as a holiday series (not just at Thanksgiving and Christmas!), recipe cards, content cards, inspirational postcards, or a newsletter each month.  For their geo farms they send our Market Dominator, or Listing Inventory, or the Free Offer/Neighborhood Specialist cards – all are popular.  For a niche, they are specific to that group – for example: Expireds, FSBOs, First Time Home Buyers, Investors, etc. Top agents are also diligent about sending out Just Listed/Just Sold postcards with every listing and sale they have. Without exception. Why? They spotlight you as the agent that can generate RESULTS – and they showcase the properties you are marketing. That’s a powerful combo. Then they do that thing that agents desperately steer clear of but shouldn’t if they want to fire up their career on all levels – they FOLLOW UP.

Q:  There’s the sticking point, right?  The old getting on the phone or walking the farm and knocking on doors part that stops agents in their tracks. Any suggestions?

A:  Yes, the first step we just talked about – putting a campaign in place that touches your customers and prospects every month. That makes it way less intimidating when you call them. Why? Because you have a reason to touch base with them.  It doesn’t have to be a “SALES call”, it is a follow up call – or visit if you are walking a farm.  “Hey there, Todd Robertson here, from Success Realty, just wanted to touch base.  We’ve got a LOT of changes in the market, and I just wanted to see if you had any questions.”  (Yes or no, doesn’t matter really, you’re just touching base, asking questions.) Or you can do a combination of touching base and letting them know that you have a big goal to hit.  “Hey there, Todd Robertson, Success Realty, how are you?  You may have seen me in the neighborhood and I hope you’re receiving my mailings.  I just wanted to touch base, see if you had any questions about our market or what homes are selling for right now?  By the way, I am committed to helping as many clients as I can take advantage of this market.  Who do you know who might be interested in buying or selling in the next 90 days? Maybe someone from work? Or your kids’ sport team?  Or church?  If you think of someone, I sure hope you’ll remember my name and pass it along. Thanks so much.”

Q:  Lastly, what about those agents who need the extra push or accountability? 

A:  For a lot of agents coaching is a good investment, but it can be out of the budget for many.  Instead, perhaps consider starting or joining a Mastermind group in your area.  Think and Grow Rich has an entire chapter on this topic that is still incredibly relevant and powerful today.  Participating in a group like this costs you zero – but your return will be extraordinary.  You’re involved with like-minded people, all with the goal of lifting each other up, cheering each other on, and holding each other accountable. That’s the missing link for many agents.  If there’s not one in your area that you want to join – start one.  Your career, customers, and bank balance will all be the better for it!

Thanks Todd.  Great stuff.  If you’d like to learn more about the kind of tools that we have to help keep YOU on track and ready for the fall market and beyond, head over to our Master Marketing ScheduleTM  or main site today.  If you’re interested in dominating a geographic farm and would like to speak with Todd about that directly, click here to learn more.  Our team is here to help you with all your marketing needs, call us today at 866-405-3638!

What Top Agents Are Doing NOW

By Julie Escobar

Capturing the top market share in a geographic area can be challenging in today’s competitive real estate climate.  It is completely doable however with the right tools and strategies in place.  To learn how top agents around the country are making their mark, I sat down with real estate coach and Market Dominator Director Todd Robertson to get his take on the topic.

Here’s an excerpt from our interview:

Q:  Hey Todd – you deal with agents every day who are eager to dominate in their market — what would you say is the number one question you are asked, and how do you answer?

A:   The number one question agents ask is, “How much will it cost me?”   And I reply, “If you commit to dominate your market or if you talk yourself out of it?”   In all seriousness, however, the main question they ask outside of that “Hey, I’m overwhelmed with all of these options, in terms of marketing, how can I really dominate in my market?”   My answer is that in our current state of “Technology Overload” — direct mail has become more effective than ever before.   Basically I steer them to use the tools that will help them garner the best return on investment.

Q:  That said, I know you’re a big fan of Every Door Direct Mail®, because of its affordability and saturation dominator Juneelement for a geo farm.  It can be a little complicated to wrap your head around for some agents though.  What do you tell agents who are interested in using EDDM for their marketing?

A:  In terms of Every Door Direct Mail, if an agent is not familiar, I can spend literally just five minutes with them to make sure they fully understand how it works.  I then help them pick an area, or geo farm, they want to really become the “Neighborhood Specialist”.   Additionally, once they have an area picked out, we spend an additional few minutes on the phone to see if the Market Dominator program is the right fit for them.

Q:  We challenge agents all the time to leave ‘nothing to chance’ when it comes to staying top of mind in their market area.  What are some additional ways they can support their direct response marketing efforts in their geographic farms – and their market?

A:  I’m glad you asked.  To remain “Top of Mind” the agents getting the best results in their geographic farm areas are doing the following every month – not just SOMETIMES – but EVERY MONTH:

1)   Send direct response mail – (people today are hungry for valuable information – be the resource that delivers that every month.)

2)  Just listed / Just Sold postcards – (shares that you are the agent making things HAPPEN.)

3)  Very aggressive, very well marketed “Open Houses” – (Gets you out front of people in a very hands-on way, be sure to have great collateral material at your open houses that distinguishes you as a resource/information source – not just an agent sitting in a house)

4)   Door Knocking – (NOT an old fashioned idea.  Some of today’s top mega-producers are out in force with their teams in the geographic areas they want to dominate meeting the people, passing out door hangers, brochures, and business cards.  They are asking and answering all the right questions – and NOT in stealth mode like those agents back at the office still waiting for the phone to ring.  Want to INCREASE up your exposure and your results?  Remember this:  STP – See The People. If they don’t know who you are – they’re not going to call you first.  Make sure they KNOW who you are!

Q:  Love that slogan!  Todd, follow up is often the most neglected piece of the marketing puzzle for agents — how do you encourage agents to get off the fence and make that a priority?

A:  The truth is, follow-up is typically the downfall of 90% of agents in the country.  Because most of the time Fear and Uncertainty take over in the Real Estate agent’s mind.  Here’s what they forget however:  According to the National Association of REALTORS, if an agents commits to a campaign in a geographic area, most agents quit BEFORE the 5th contact.  They’ll market once, twice, maybe even three times in an area – but that’s it. They throw in the towel and say, “well this isn’t working”.  Most marketing campaigns don’t start even seeing a response until after that fifth contact. So, if when you think about it, this actually works in the favor of the agent who is COMMITTED to being the dominant player.  If you know that 90 % of agents bail before that 5th contact, we simply put agents on a two-year direct response mail campaign in that area to insure they brand themselves as that go to agent.  We encourage them and coach them to put those three powerful pieces in place we talked about in the last question, (Just Listed/Just Sold, aggressive open houses, and door knocking) so they can layer their marketing for best results.  And we remind them that NO marketing is thorough without follow up. If they truly want to dominate – to get the bulk of the listings, to get a lion’s share of the referrals, to brand themselves so well that they are the first agent consumers think of in their geo farm area – they have to fire on all cylinders, meaning – direct response marketing, results marketing (Just listed/just sold), face-to-face contact (door knocking, open houses, events), and FOLLOW up calls and visits.  When an agent commits to THAT for two years?  They go from “Uncertain to Unstoppable”.

Q:  Great advice Todd.  Any additional advice for agents who want to capture a 10-20% market share?

A:  I would say that Patience and Persistence win the game.   There is an interesting phenomena that occurs when an agent commits to an area, really commits.  Two interesting things happen:

1)   It makes them more assertive in that area in terms of other marketing.

2)  If another agent’s sign goes up in their neighborhood it bothers them.  They then begin to take ownership of that area, meaning they shift their thinking to – “Any sign that goes up in this area should be MY sign, MY listing.” And that?  Is a winning mindset.

Thanks so much Todd for sharing your insights.  If you have a question for Todd, you can email him here, or give him a call at 855-383-6646.  If you want to learn more about the Market Dominator System, here’s a great video you can watch, or see our webinar on demand here.  Good luck!  If you have any additional marketing needs or questions, our team is always ready to assist!  Give them a call at 866.405.3638. 

Are YOU Staying Top of Mind?

By Julie Escobar

Put yourself in the shoes of the folks in your sphere and farm.  When they ask themselves, “Who is my neighborhood specialist?”  Or, “What agent should I call to find out about listing my home?” Or, “My sister/neighbor/best friend/cousin is moving into town and needs an agent, who should I recommend?” — Are all of the answers YOUR name?  If not, then you’ve got some work to do to solidify your position as the go-to agent in their minds starting now.  This week our Master Marketing Schedule tip is to send out the Home Equity Analysis postcards from Neighborhood Specialist/Free Offer series to at least 100 new prospects in an area you want more listings.  It prompted me to look at a few different strategies agents can use to always be top-of-mind in their markets with buyers and sellers as THE neighborhood specialist.

First up – where to start? 

Size of sphere or farm: How big of a farm or neighborhood should you market? Denise, a friend of mine from New York kept tabs on a farm of about 5,000 throughout most of her career but then pared that down to 2,500 which includes her sphere of influence when she took over as managing broker. She had this to share, “I usually recommend new agents start building their farm area to about 250, and experienced, full-time agents should consider working towards maintaining a farm of
at least 1,000.”

Karen of Keller Williams in Pittsburgh and her team successfully navigate a database of more than 10,000, and uses a system of referral name recognition to effectively communicate with 500-1,000 regularly. What’s her secret to success? “Never stop marketing!”

Keep in mind you don’t have to start with a 500, 1,000, 2,000 or more – you just have to start! After all, as in wise words of Zig Ziglar, “If we don’t start, it’s certain we can’t arrive!”

How to find the right neighborhood or farm area: If you’re new, pick an area that REALLY interests you, dig in and learn about the community, the people, the surrounding businesses and the culture. Then make it your own and then start expanding. If you’ve been in the business for a while now and have NOT yet begun to build and maintain a working database/customer base – let today be the day you start. Too many in our industry leave with nothing to show for it – don’t let that be you!

Denise shared, “A good starting point is to target a town or part of a town they want to establish themselves in. Get passionate about it – and your connection and commitment to that community. Designate 75% of your efforts to the top 10% of that market share, and then blanket the rest for the lower tiered homes. Once you’ve established yourself in that top 10%, then everyone knows your name.” As with any effective branding effort, becoming the neighborhood specialist means you have to jump in with both feet and commit to being the resource for those consumers who make up your target market. Not just to gain their business, but because you believe you are the best person for the job and able to provide a level of service like no other. You have to be genuine. If you’re not authentic in your purpose, it shows and especially in today’s market, people don’t want, nor do they have to work with people who are less than the real deal.

To easily create mailing lists for the geographic farm areas you are interested in, take a look at our MapMyMail tool which allows you to search over 128 million records easily and download a list cost-effectively at just 8 cents per record.

Secondly – what to send?  free offer hea

What you send is up to you, but it too should be consistently branded and consistently sent.  Let’s take a look at what is currently trending with top agents across North America:

  • Neighborhood Update/Free Offer postcards:  They give stats that people love, plus add a direct response component.content cards 2
  • Listing Inventory Series:  Agents love these because they are a great way to shake out the sellers who may be interested in listing NOW or in the near future.  By sharing that you have qualified buyers who are ready, willing, and able to offer a great price for homes sooner rather than later, you can capture the attention of potential sellers.
  • Content cards:  These are powerful, in that dominator 3they contain tons of content on timely topics and are likely to be kept – and shared by consumers.
  • The Market Dominator: This 12 x 15 piece is cost effective, leverages the Every Door Direct Mail system, and has 100% impression because of its size and direct response content.

Next, how often?

Be Consistent:  “Staying top of mind doesn’t have to be rocket science, but it does have to be consistent,” shared Real Estate Coach Judy LaDeur.  “Sending something in the mail each month is a great way to stay positioned in your market.  It’s funny how many times you see agents who are frustrated because their friend or neighbor has listed with someone else, when the truth is, that it is up to the AGENT to ensure that those friends, neighbors, acquaintances — and the folks in their geographic farm are thinking of them as the real estate specialist.  To do that takes consistent contact.”  Coach Dirk Zeller backs up the idea of consistency: “The key word to success…CONSISTENT.  Whether you are trying to lose weight, increase your business, or create wealth, the secret sauce is consistency.  Most people are not consistent enough to let the law of averages create the win for them.  They need help in being consistent and that is true in all areas of their business and life.  The law of averages connects with the compounding effect of consistency to create a greater return and a compounded return over time.  Let me illustrate in money terms.  If you put $3.83 a day away from the time you turned 20 until age 65 and received high single digit interest rate return by age 65 you would be a millionaire.  The only hard part is doing it every day for 45 years…the rest is easy.  Would you trade a vanilla latte a day for a million bucks?  To be consistent in marketing you need a system in place that can create and send the pieces of marketing that have value to your client base or focus base.  You can’t do it alone because, as an agent, it’s too easy to get busy and it doesn’t get done.”

Have Some Fun With Your Marketing!

Get Creative:  I am always thrilled to see agents putting best practices into play, showing true tenacity and taking a walk on the creative side! When it comes to building trust, increasing your image, and really getting to know the community members in your farm, little things really do mean a lot. In addition to our monthly mailings, many savvy agents actually ‘walk the farm’ about four times a year with a gift, a giveaway, or door hangers, and use this time as a chance to meet and talk to people one-on-one. One agent even shared with me that she tucks the Neighborhood Update Postcards into those neon colored plastic sand shovels she gets from the novelty store with a note saying, ‘here’s the scoop from your 110% Realtor!’ How fun is that?  It’s important to just get out there, have fun, be creative and meet the people!”

Event marketing is another great idea.  Holding buyer’s and seller’s workshops is another great way to offer valuable information to your farm area and get tremendous results in return. Some agents even host them monthly on different real estate topics. We have invites that make getting people there easier!

Ask for leads: Another friend and longtime agents Tony from Tampa shared this tip:  “Work with those people other agents are unwilling or unable to work with. How many agents do you know that DON’T follow up on open house leads? Offer them $100 for every lead that turns into something. It’s a great way to build your business, and make sure that the customer is getting the service they want and deserve!”

Community events: Consider helping out at community block parties, firework celebrations and more. Send out newsletters that offer ideas and solutions people can use as well as present yourself as the expert they can turn to with current, relevant and timely information each and every month.

Now get out there and start branding yourself as the turn-to agent in your neighborhood of choice so that next time someone is asked, “Who’s your neighborhood specialist?” They’ll know EXACTLY who to name!

Need more help building your business or making a name for yourself in your niche of choice? Visit www.prospectsplus.com today and tap into a wide spectrum of solutions, resources and training that can help you thrive in today’s market.

 

Putting all the Pieces in Placepp puzzle

by Julie Escobar

Sometimes it’s easy to get overwhelmed as a busy agent. You’ve got LOTS of plates spinning and you can get stretched a little thin trying to be ‘all things to all people’.  The thing is, that all things strategy is a recipe for burn out and stress.  Instead focus on the RIGHT people for you.  Who do you ENJOY working with?  Who do you WANT to connect with month after month?  Then put the tools, marketing, strategies and plan in place to work with more of THOSE folks, and less of the ‘everyone’ you may have been chasing.

Why?  Well, first of all we’re better when we are in our own element. Working with the kind of people we are in sync with.  Second of all, just like anything else – the more you work with specific niches, the more skill you have at knowing everything that might come your way with those buyers and sellers and exactly how to deal with those.

Here’s what’s also cool:  We can help.  Our marketing tools are created by real estate professionals for real estate professionals. We’ve been in your shoes. We keep our eyes and ears on the market and deliver what you need accordingly.  Many of our customers say that brings a sense of relief to them as they know right where they can get what they need, at a price they can afford.

Here are a few examples: 

Luxury Home Marketing:  Love to work with high-end sellers and fabulous, luxury properties?  Who could blame you?  Having beautiful high-end property portfolios that are simple to create and cost-effective is simpler than you might think.  We’ve done it all for you with coordinating materials.  Check them out here…

FSBOs and Expireds:  These turn-to niches are a staple for most real estate pros, especially when they are eager to ramp up their listing inventory.  We’ve developed entire kits to help you market them effectively and affordably complete with postcards, free reports, and brochures.  Pick which one works best for you!  You’ll find them here – FSBOs & Expireds. Remember, the key is at least three-five contacts with these potential sellers and follow up with phone calls!

First time home buyers:  This is a great niche for a lot of agents, especially newer agents. Sometimes first time buyers seem a little less intimidating!  With interest rates low and home prices on the rise – now is the time for renters to invest!  Here are some great postcards to get you started.

Geographic farm or neighborhood niche:  We recommend all agents stick close to a sphere of influence AND market to a geographic farm.  Two of our most popular marketing tools for this is our Neighborhood Update/Free Offer Series of postcards, and our Market Dominator. Over time, with consistency, you can ‘own’ those neighborhoods in terms of loyalty and market share.

Matching your marketing to your market is one of the smartest things you can do to ensure the success you desire.  When your marketing speaks to the demographic specifically, you have a better chance of finding the hand-raisers who will pick up the phone.

Here are a few other niches you might try on for size:  Seniors, Investors, Short Sales, Foreclosures & REOs, and Property Management.

Whatever your target market is, we’re here to help.  Be sure to bookmark our Specials Page for money-saving promo codes and call us if you need assistance at 1.866.405.3638! 

New Digital Magazine Filled With Tools for YOUMaster Marketing Magazine

by Julie Escobar

We’re thrilled this week to introduce you to the digital, online version of our all-new Master Marketing Magazine which started hitting mailboxes all across the nation last week.  The reviews and comments are coming in fast and the word on the street is that it is already being recommended as a tool agents can count on as they put their marketing in place to hit this year strong.

With 67 pages filled to the brim with strategic content, creative ideas, and tools you can use – you’ll want to be sure to get your copy as well!

Here are a few of the featured articles: 

  • 15 Facts About Every Door Direct Mail
  • Handling Objections (Like a BOSS!)
  • Putting the “Influence” Into Your Sphere
  • Gearing Up for Expireds
  • How to Track Your Marketing Results
  • Help Me Help My Agents (For Brokers and Managers)
  • Understanding the Value of Your List
  • The Market Dominator
  • Master Marketing SUCCESS Strategies
  • Just Listed/Just Sold Postcards:  NOT Just for “Old School” Agents
  • Four Tips to Building Your Listing Inventory
  • Five Ways to Use Done For You Content

And so much more…

How do you get YOUR copy?  If you are already a registered member of www.ProspectsPLUS.com, you should be receiving your copy in the mail very soon.

If you’re NOT yet a registered member of www.ProspectsPLUS.com – sign up today for your FREE account and we’ll send a copy right out to you!  There’s no cost and you can start using your account right away!

Ready to start reading NOW?  Click here to read (and bookmark) our Digital Master Marketing Magazine today!

To help celebrate our new publication, we are also hosting a fun, interactive Sweepstakes – where YOU could win a $250 ProsectsPLUS.com Gift card!  Find us on Facebook and click the Sweepstakes tab to enter! Winners will be drawn February 16th! Enter as often as you like, and share the sweepstakes to earn MORE chances to win! Click here to enter! 

We’d love to hear from you!  Leave your comments below and let us know what you think of the magazine!