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.

Putting the Pieces in Place to Out-Brand, Out-Market, and Stand Out in a Geographic Farm

by Julie Escobar

The savvy agents? Are out there in their neighborhoods, and in their communities and in this powerful age of information. Top agents are presenting themselves as the resource they know can and will make a difference in terms of how they make decisions for their families.

So, how do you brand yourself as that resource?feb dom front

1. Consistency & Content.  Farming a geographical area is a time-tested, proven method for garnering new listings and referrals.  Yet for many agents, the what (what to send, say, create), the when (how often) and the cost (that one speaks for itself) has stopped them from farming consistently.  Maybe a mailing here or there, but nothing that will truly help them become a brand name in a market area.

That’s why we created the Market DominatorSM. We’ve got the ‘what’ and ‘when’ buttoned up for you.  Each month we have two powerful, consumer-centric articles on the front, bright, eye-catching info-graphics, engaging direct response offers, free reports that can be used as fair trade items, fun conversation starters, and a timely agent message.  On the back we have content-rich articles and ideas that consumers love to share.  All of this in an attention-grabbing 12 x 15 poster that is delivered to EVERY home in the farm area, EVERY month, via the cost-saving Every Door Direct service from the USPS.

2.  Get out of stealth mode.  We recently viewed a video from a powerhouse agent and coach who challenged her coaching members and agents world-wide to get out from behind their computers and out – front and center in the communities they are services.  Social media is an amazing place to speak one-to-man, and develop powerful agent-to-agent referrals and connect with your sphere — but nothing — NOTHING will ever take place of meeting and greeting the folks in the neighborhoods you serve.

Our Dominator customers know that owning a market is like peeling an onion – there are many, many layers to it. Door knocking, canvassing,  Q&A sessions at your local market, coffee shop, or library, open houses, charity drives, school sponsorship participation — all of it helps consumers put your face with your name, your name with your business, and helps brand you as THE community resource they can turn to get information.

3.  Beef up your collateral (and sell yourself).  What do consumers also want to know about the agents they five tipswill choose to help them with one of the biggest financial transactions of their lives?  Your RESULTS.  Fire up those Just Listed and Just Sold postcards – share statistics and testimonials, showcase what makes you unique and how that benefits THEM.  Use door hangers, and free reports to extend your reach, and the extra Dominators that are sent to you to show potential sellers how you are going the extra mile to ensure that every home you list is sold as quickly as possible and for the highest price available.

In the WIIFM (What’s In It For Me) Channel that folks are tuned into every day – they want to see these two things:  RESOURCES & RESULTS.

National speaker and coach Todd Robertson shared this thought, “As the market heats up the great agents in the country and those on their way to becoming great are very focused on three things:

  1. Qualifying people stronger then ever before
  2. Separating themselves from competition
  3. Having a consistent campaign in place to farm and create passive income for years to come. This is simple. Yet not always easy. Simple because most of your competition will not commit to an area for any real length of time. Simple because we have seen the results of at least 10 percent market share first year. 20 plus percent the second year.

The truth is that it’s not always easy because you have to believe in yourself. Believe in your selling skills and most importantly believe that you deserve to be wildly successful. It all starts there.”

Most agents?  Won’t commit to geographic farming.  “It takes too long.” “It costs too much.”  The two biggest ‘reasons’ for not jumping in.  That’s good news for the agents that do.  It means that they fall into that 93/7 rule.  They will be the 7% of agents ruling their markets while the other 93% continue ‘one-and-done’ marketing or worse, no marketing, just chasing the next deal.  Chasing the next commission is not a fun way to earn a living or live.  Our industry is a treasure trove of opportunity.

It’s one of the few where you have zero cap on how much you can earn or how far you can go regardless of gender, race, religion, geography, history – anything.  It does take a little planning, a little courage, a little consistency, a little skill building, a little stick-to-it attitude, and the right tools.

This month commit to being part of that 7%.  Fire your business up on all cylinders.  Work your sphere, your farm, and your niche – each month — EVERY month.  The results? A career and life that IS fun, exciting, rewarding, and anything you want it to be.

Questions about how to DOMINATE in your market?  Call Todd Robertson at 702-683-1967 or email us today.

Need help building your collateral materials, sending Just Listed/Just Sold postcards, finding the right free reports for your buyers and sellers, or building a better brand for yourself?  

Visit us online at www.prospectsplus.com or give us a call today at 866.405.3638.

 

Making Your Book of Business a Priority

By Julie Escobar

We’re excited about the launch of the fifth edition of the Master Marketing Magazine this month.  The printed copies should be hitting mailboxes soon, but you can sneak a peek inside the pages here and read the digital version today!  It all starts with a powerful but simple business plan shared with us by our old friend Floyd masket-marketing-magazine-5-3d
Wickman.  Find it here. 

Every edition of the magazine has centered around different themes such as Big Data, Experts & Insights, and Geographic Farming.  Our latest edition focuses on the heart of what should be every agent’s business foundation – their sphere of influence.  Why?  Statistics show that top producers consistently share that 66% of their business comes from their sphere.  That one in every twelve people in your sphere will either do business with you or refer business your way every year IF (and only IF) you consistently make reaching out to them a priority.

For every agent who sits scratching their head wondering why “Aunt Helen” listed with another agent or is stymied by the fact that the people they most closely do business with (lawyers, doctors, dentists, accountants, colleagues) aren’t choosing to make them their real estate go-to professional, there are the top agents who get it.  It costs less to KEEP and create a customer FOR LIFE than it does to cultivate new ones.  Plus, it is WAY less stressful than riding the commission roller coaster your whole career.

Step One: Know your numbers. How many people do you need in YOUR SPHERE to help you hit your goals this year?  We’ve created a sphere of influence calculator to help you figure out if you’re on track.

Find it here.

Step Two:  Stay in touch. The Direct Marketing Association recommends reaching out to your book of business every 21-45 days.  Savvy agents use a variety of methods to make sure that they are top of mind.  We recommend the Send-Call-See approach to staying connected.  That is to SEND something monthly to your sphere as a tangible reminder that you are a resource they can turn to. Then CALL everyone in your sphere at two-four times per year.  And SEE everyone at least twice per year.

For the SEND we can recommend:community-news

For the CALL, we recommend:

  • Take a look at our Master Marketing Schedule, for some fun, creative reasons to connect
  • If sending the content cards or newsletters, follow up on a topic and ask if they have any questions
  • Let people know that the market is in a constant state of change, and that change can raise a lot of important questions for folks. Ask them if they’ve got any questions, or know anyone who may be in need of real estate assistance.
  • If you’re following them on social media, and see that there has been a change in their lives (new job, new baby or grandchild, award or accomplishment), tell them you saw the news and you just wanted to check in and congratulate them, or the appropriate sentiment for the event.

For the SEE, we recommend:

  • Choosing at least five top clients a month to reach out to with an invite for coffee or lunch, or a drop by with something fun using the suggestions found in the Master Marketing Schedule.
  • Hosting an annual customer appreciation party. Suggestions:  rent out a movie theatre or do an outdoor movie in the park in the spring, a picnic, or an open house wine and cheese.

Taking care of the people in your sphere will help you grow your business faster and easier. Not sure where to start? Here are a few suggestions:

  • Download our BusinessBASE™ – includes suggestions for the 150 people who SHOULD be in your sphere plus the how/when and why for contacting them20-year
  • Harvest from past and present transactions – client contacts from both sides
  • Networking – Local Chamber of Commerce, Rotary Club, etc.
  • Connectivity – If you just added two people per day each business day of the year, you could effectively grow your book of business to more than 500 within 12 months
  • Acquire the client bases of agents leaving the industry

Why should you grow your sphere of influence SOONER rather than Later? It’s simple when you consider the average Lifetime Value of a Customer is more than $49,000!

We wish you every success this year and know that we are here to help!  Contact our support team if you have any questions at 866-405-3638. Good luck out there making it your Year of the Sphere!

Creating Your Own New Normal for 2017

By Todd Robertson

If you’re like a lot of top agents, right about now you’re analyzing everything you did in past twelve months to get you to this point and asking yourself a few questions:

  • What worked and what didn’t?
  • Did my actions support my goals?
  • Did I earn what I’m worth?
  • Did I take personal responsibility for my success or failures?

By carefully analyzing the past you can discover the elements that you can take into the new year and create
your own new “normal”.  In other words – you can advance your game, play at a higher level, and avoid the pitfalls and hurdles you’ve already cleared to excel faster and with hopefully a few less headaches!

As you approach the new year, many of you are in the process of goal setting.  Let me share a four step system for goals that is used by some of the top performing entrepreneurs in the world.  It’s called the DOME strategy.  Here’s what that stands for:

  • D – Stands for Decide. If you look up one of the definitions of the word decision, you’ll find that it means to “cut off from”.  That’s step one for creating your new normal. What things should you cut yourself off from that aren’t working or haven’t
    dominator janworked for you this year?  Whether that be a mindset, a skill, or a system, what can you unplug, cut off, or change up that will increase your success in the new year.
  • O – Stands for Outstanding. There’s never been a more important time to play at an outstanding level.  That means to surround yourself with the best people, strategies, solutions and systems in our industry.  Model your choices on those of top producers.  Duplicate excellence.
  • M – Stands for Momentum. Now’s the time to take the stance that what gets scheduled – gets DONE.  That’s how you build momentum.  By cutting out the things that don’t work. By plugging in new systems and solutions that drive your business in smarter ways.  By blocking your time so that you can streamline your processes – as well as schedule those
    things that help you create balance.
  • E – Stands for Tell Everyone. Once you’ve set your goals for the next twelve months, it’s time to tell everyone. If you’re goal is 10 salable listings in your pipeline at all times or to own a geographic farm – tell everyone you know. Put public pressure on yourself to hit those goals. People will help you when you do. They’ll support you. Remind you. Work with you to make them happen. Then commit to doing whatever it takes to make those goals happen.

Next, remember to be BOTH a Hunter and a Farmer.  Top agents realize they have to both aggressively prospect as well as create opportunities for lead generation by branding themselves in a geographic farm.  In fact, I just spoke with a great new Market Dominator customer, who will finish this year with 100 closings.  I asked him why he decided to use the Dominator to brand himself in the markets he’s going after for the new year.  He told me it was because he needed to raise the bar.  Because he was capable of helping more people than he was currently helping and he was committed to doing that.  That’s why he chose to use the 12 x 15 Dominator as his marketing tool.  It’s a statement that tells potential sellers in his farm area that he’s serious about marketing.  Serious about getting results. Here’s what’s interesting:  90% or more of the agents in your market won’t be willing to make that commitment. Most will continue to do what has always been done and get the results that they’ve always gotten.  But some of you?  Will step outside the norm to create a new normal.  Some of you will raise your standards, raise your skill levels, and raise your commitment. And in the process – you’ll go beyond what’s always been done to develop a career that others will emulate.

Ready to create your new normal and put a plan in place to take 2017 by storm?  Go for it. Remember that we’re here if you need anything.  Call our team at 866-405.3638! That’s what we do best! 

With Geographic Farming Done Right

By Julie Escobar

Geographic farming has roared back to the marketing forefront for agents in our industry in ways we haven’t seen in years. Why? Because – when done right – it works.

And what exactly is “done right”? It’s when agents who are committed to consistency step up to make themselves known in a neighborhood in real and meaningful ways – getting out into communities, shaking hands, meeting people, making introductions and making a difference.

To talk about one creative tool for geographic farming, the Market Dominator, I sat down with Dominator Director Todd Robertson to learn a little more about the system, the agents who are using it and what it takes to really make an impact on a market area.

Q: Todd, you work with agents across the country who are growing their market share by doing smart geographic farming. Can you tell us a little about the Market Dominator?

A: Sure! This product evolved out of necessity. Agents around the country were asking for a consistency final-ops-proof-december-dominator-frontprogram that would allow them to truly dominate a neighborhood or piece of geography. After six months of research with our team, we came up with the product for our agents called the Market Dominator, which utilizes Every Door Direct Mail with the USPS. At 12” x 15”, it’s the largest legal size that can be sent through the mail, so it doesn’t get overlooked in the mailbox. The content is created every month by our team of writers, who do an outstanding job of weaving in the eight best practices of direct mail. And agents love it because it’s either 100% done for them or 90%, meaning they can make some changes to the back. And with our national sponsors on board now, we can literally send it for the price of a first-class postcard. The other great thing about it is that it’s a two-year campaign… kind of like joining the gym, your personal trainer makes you go.

Q: We both have been in this industry for a long time, and we both know that marketing alone is not what takes agents to the top of their game. It’s follow up and relationship building. Can you tell us some of the powerful ways Market Dominator members are going above and beyond to support their marketing mailing efforts by connecting with the folks in their farm final-ops-proof-december-dominator-backneighborhoods?

A: In terms of what our best agents are doing supplementing the Market Dominator to increase their success rate in their numbers, we’re seeing them do things like canvassing their farms with door hangers,  introducing themselves to everybody in the neighborhood, being consistent in sending out new on the market or Just Listed postcards when they get a listing and holding open houses in their carrier routes and making a splash in the area with signs and balloons on every street, every artery when they do. That way, when the Market Dominator shows up in that mailbox, the homeowners will see it and say, “Oh yeah, that’s Susie. I see her all over the place; she’s the neighborhood specialist.”

Q: We’ve talked about the tremendous opportunity agents have to reach out to the businesses that surround or are in their farm area to build reciprocal referral relationships. Can you share your thoughts on that?

A: Some of our Market Dominator members have given us ideas that we never thought about before that we try to share with our new members. One of them is to go after the local businesses in and/or around that carrier route. It’s really an outstanding strategy, because they can utilize the extra 20 Dominators that we give them each month in a clever way.

One of our great agents up in the Northeast simply takes her 20 and goes to every business where people have to wait, such as a hair salon, oil change shop and restaurants. She said the best was actually auto dealerships. What she would do in auto dealerships is first go in and make an introduction to the general sales manager that goes something like, “Hi, I’m Susie with XYZ Realty. I’m the neighborhood real estate specialist in this area. Would you mind if I leave a couple of these in the lobby of your service department?”

What’s great about that strategy is, number one, she’s prospecting the service manager, who becomes a mover and shaker on her SOI list – meaning she visits every month and has offered to let him or her know if a great listing comes on the market. Think about how most cities have what they call “auto dealership row,” where several dealerships are all on the same street. If you’re like Susie, you go right down that strip and pass out two or three Dominators in each dealership, meet some incredible new people and start establishing relationships in a pretty short period of time.

Number two, she’s leaving valuable content, with her name, face, contact information and calls to action in a place where a lot of people congregate. Think about when you have to have your car serviced, and you’ve had to wait anywhere from an hour to a full day in the guest services lounge. What are most people doing when they’re waiting? They’re looking at their phones or whatever magazines are sitting there, right? Imagine if two or three Market Dominators were sitting there with Ritz Carlton quality, filled with great information for people to peruse. Agents who are utilizing this tiny local business strategy with consistency, who have mastered their presentation skills and aren’t afraid to follow up, could find themselves with anywhere from two to 20 extra closings per year.

Q: What about agents who are afraid to follow up, either in person (door knocking) or on the phone? Any advice for them?

A: Some agents just want to send their marketing out, then sit back and see what happens. In my mind, to be great in real estate you have to be obsessed, or you end up being average. By “obsessed,” I mean you’ve already made a commitment to your neighborhood farm, so why not stretch yourself a little and go make an introduction? One way or another, knowing that you’re simply providing a great service to help these people buy or sell real estate is powerful motivation to meet people.

I also would say if somebody is still afraid or hesitant to follow up, spend a couple days and get so good at your listing presentation, get so great at overcoming objections, so great at your value proposition that you can’t help but have a relaxed sense of confidence. This will do a couple of things for you: It will get you excited to go out and meet people and prospect, which is the one thing most people hate doing (usually because they aren’t as confident in their presentation), and it will force you to fine-tune your skills, which will help you enjoy a long-term career.

Q: Consistency and sticking to a plan is a powerful combination for success in our business. Will you share why making the Dominator part of a consistent marketing plan is a smart strategy?

A: In terms of doing any marketing, consistency has to be part of the plan – whether it’s in real estate marketing, building wealth or getting in shape. The Market Dominator gives agents what they told us for many years they wanted: a two-year campaign. According to the National Association of REALTORS®, if your competition is going to do any marketing, history says they quit after the third contact. Yet we know that most activity doesn’t happen until after the fifth contact. So staying in the game for the duration is vital.  

Q: Any last words of advice for our readers?

A: First, I would say that if you’re reading this article or reading our magazines or blogs and looking for real estate strategies and insights, you’ve already separated yourself from the competition. Because for you and me to get great at anything, we must remain a student of life. So I congratulate you on taking that step. Whether it’s the Market Dominator, one of our other great products or you just want to call our home office and brainstorm, our team is always willing to help you find the real estate marketing product that best fits your needs, your market and your area.

Thanks for the information and insight, Todd!

If you’d like to learn more about the Market Dominator System, visit www.prospectsplus.com/dominator, or call Todd directly at 855-383-6646.