Saturday, May 27, 2017

Is EDDM is Right for You?

By Julie Escobar

Our webinar last month showed us just how eager agents are to really understand what Every Door Direct Mail is – and what it isn’t so they can best determine whether they should make it part of their overall marketing strategy for the year ahead.  There’s no doubt there are lots of confusion out there but for the people who have figured it out…it’s become an essential element in their marketing.

Here are some do’s & don’ts to get you started:

Do – Take your time.  Carefully choosing your carrier routes is usually the first place people find themselves in trouble? Why?  Snap decisions and not enough investigation won’t get you the exposure or the results that you’re looking for.

Do – Get some advice.  Loved our customer Maggie Dokic’s tossed her tip into the contest ring this week on our Facebook page (if you haven’t entered to win the iPad Mini – click here now!) about EDDM.  She shared, The best tip I can give anyone wanting to maximize their marketing dollars is to use Every Door Direct Mail. For the same cost as traditional mail, you get to hit THREE times the household! I was able to bump up my mailings from roughly 300 pieces up to 1,000 by using EDDM instead of a mailing list. I sat down and picked out my routes. I even chose routes to add to those initial ones once I start seeing results (I want to reinvest as soon as I can!). I started out with 1,002 households for a mailing cost of about $146 plus the postcards and have my plan in place to add carrier routes systematically, until I am touching roughly 12,000 households in my chosen area. Yes, we know consumers are online and we have all that covered. But they also get their mail daily and we want them to see us there too. ProspectsPLUS! and EDDM both ROCK!”  (Thanks Maggie!)

Our team of marketing experts are happy to help walk you through how to best match your carrier route choices to your marketing goals and budget.  You can reach them at 866.405.3638.  They’re happy to help answer any of your questions.

Do – Decide what you want to accomplish before creating your message.  Most EDDM-GAWIENCZUK-FRONTagents are using Every Door Direct as a tool to either market a particular listing (usually a higher end property) or saturate a market to establish themselves as the neighborhood specialist.  Your marketing goals are the key to making sure your creative works the way you want it to.  For luxury properties, a dynamite flyer or full color brochure spotlighting the property and your successes is terrific.  As the neighborhood specialist, many agents are EDDM-ARMSTRONG-FRONTchoosing to use done for you newsletters once a month or once a quarter with terrific success.  Here are a few samples of what agents have been sending out recently that’s working.  Again, call our team at 866.405.3638 and they’ll be happy to share with you what you need to consider when choosing the right marketing piece for your area.

Don’t – try to match carrier routes before really analyzing what you want to accomplish.  Just like any marketing tool – EDDM works when it’s done CONSISTENTLY.  So choose a route that is not only manageable budget wise for more than one mailing, but also an area where you’d really like to make an impact.

 

Don’t have your message or mail piece try to be all things to all people.  Yes, you’ll get in EVERY door – but that doesn’t mean you want every person in that area.  Trying to create a marketing piece that is everything in one – newsletter, bio, feature flyer and the works will be too busy to make the right statement or get results.  We’ve got some great templates that can help you get going in the right direction and our team can help guide you in your choices.

Don’t – Just send one mailing.  As with ANY marketing, be it direct mail, phone calls or email – once just doesn’t cut it.  It takes at least three times for people to really start to notice your name.  Consistency is key.  So carefully weigh out your budget for ALL of your marketing for at least the first quarter and create a strategy where all your marketing efforts are fueling each other and you’re getting the most from your money by consistently branding yourself in an area.

We’ve got you covered!  If you missed the recent webinar – you can review it by clicking here.  If you have questions or would like some guidance in setting up your own Every Door Direct campaign, call our office at 866.405.3638 today.

Oh and if you haven’t heard about our contest to win an iPad Mini yet – click here to get the details and Follow Us on Facebook!

EDDM® Webinar on Demand with Julie Escobar and Ramona Williams

What a wonderful audience we had this week on our webinar!  With important questions coming in from all around North America and a first hand look at how to choose the carrier routes that are right for you, the real costs involved and who should and shouldn’t really be using Every Door Direct in their marketing — we covered a lot of bases in our time together.

We recorded it on demand for you to share with your team or colleagues.  Watch it here:
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To learn more about this valuable service – call our team at 866.405.3638 today or visit our site at www.prospectsplus.com/eddm2.

A Powerful Interview with Talented Agent Maggie Dokic

By Julie Escobar

I love success stories don’t you? Especially when they spotlight someone who was brave enough to take calculated risks, savvy enough to look to new strategies, and generous enough to share what is working in a challenging market. One of our clients Maggie Dokic is just that kind of agent and I appreciated the opportunity to have her share her story with us!

If you’re an agent who has struggled (or still struggles) to find your footing in today’s market –you’ll appreciate this insightful interview.

Q: Maggie – when we first connected you were just really getting started and realizing what a tough road it can sometimes be in this business and now you’re gaining traction! How exciting. Can you tell me a little bit about that and what you think you’re doing differently that others can learn from?

A: I’m not out of the woods yet Julie. I’m not ashamed to say I had a couple of really tough years. But it’s exciting to know that I can see the light and am headed in the right direction. I never gave up and there’s a sense of satisfaction that comes from that. As for what I’m doing differently, I started reigning in my enthusiasm for chasing everything that glitters and got back to basics. I have a hard time with that. Every email that gets past my spam blockers seems to garner ‘ooohs and aaahs’ from me as THE answer to all my real estate woes. Instead, I put my focus back on where it belongs. Basics like knowing our market, time blocking, tracking our numbers, reaching out to our sphere and growing it (love this one!), having systems in place, generating business so we can count on regular closings. This isn’t rocket science and we oftentimes get in our own way. I am still a technology fan girl and do allow myself the time to research new things when I hear a buzz. But I have to limit myself to only certain times and they’re on my schedule. Otherwise I’d be on Facebook too long to get any work done. They don’t call it social media for nothing.

Q: I love that you’re thinking outside the box and that you’ve just tried Every Door Direct Mail™ for the first time – what made you make that decision?

A: Well as they say Julie, “Mama didn’t raise no fool!” The cost of EDDM made me realize I’d BE a fool for not trying it. Knowing that I could reach about three times the number of people for the same cost was a no brainer. We mailed to 1,002 homes last month and are preparing our 2nd mailing right now. The very next day after the mailers were delivered I received my first call from a homeowner considering selling. We took that as an omen that EDDM will work for us. We are mailing high quality pieces that stand out and set us apart from the rest. We’re also targeting a specific market and making sure our market knowledge is reflected in our mailings. We’re committed to mailing for a year so those home owners get to know us and our brand. Also in our plans is to grow our reach so we’re in 6,000 mailboxes by the 12th mailing.

Q: That’s awesome! And one of the calls you got was for a TOP DOLLAR Listing too you said! Congratulations! You’ve recently formed a team – how has that made an impact on your business?

A: I always knew I wanted a team. Keller Williams supports that so it was a natural for me to pursue it when I came to KW a year ago. I have to explain that my “team” is still in its infancy. It’s me, an assistant, a virtual assistant, plus buyer agents who are not on my team but I refer business to. It’s working for me right now as it helps me to leverage my time. I want to focus on listings. If I’m doing everything I can’t focus on anything. The goal is to hire a buyer agent as soon as the numbers allow. It all starts with the vision. I created my logo and started branding my team before it even existed. And anyone who has a broker, an office receptionist, and office staff can do the same. They are your team. Start thinking of it that way and the next step is a natural one.

Q: Great advice Maggie – and you’re absolutely right to have the mindset to look at your business AS a business and treat it as such! As a ProspectsPLUS! software user, we’ve often talked about how you like the wide spectrum of marketing tools it offers. As we begin to move our newer pieces online for more functionality and flexibility – do you think that’s something that will make it even easier for your team to use?

A: Heck yes! We love our ProspectsPLUS! software! Every time I open up one of your pieces, I am awed again by what a marketing genius you are! There are a gazillion systems in Prospects Plus and that actually makes it difficult the first time you use it because you want to use all of it but of course have to start with just one. OK, so I exaggerated about the gazillion, but it sure seems like it. So once you get past the fact that you have to limit your attention to one piece and how you’re going to use it, the rest is easy. Seriously, your marketing pieces are so well written that just making a list of the ones you want to use and then chipping away at that list is a great strategy for any real estate professional. And having them available online eventually will simply be icing on the cake.

Q: It’s great to see your spark when you talk about building your business and celebrating your client base. What advice would you give to other agents who are either just starting out or even RE-starting in this business?

A: First, focus on one thing at a time. People multi-tasking and being efficient is a myth. It’s been proven that we get a lot more done and do it better, when we’re not tasked with doing more than one thing at once. Second, don’t be a secret agent. This is Real Estate 101. Reach out to those who know you and like you, and let them know you’re in the business (or remind them you’re still in the business). People want to use someone knowledgeable when they hire anyone, yes. But all things being equal, they prefer to work with someone they know, like and trust and that’s where you gain the upper hand. Make sure your contacts know you are there for them. And be genuine in your approach. In my day to day routine, I enjoy nothing more than the hand written note cards with genuine sentiments and the phone calls made without having to beat them over the head for a referral. The monthly mailings remind them I’m in real estate. My phone calls, texts, Facebook posts and note cards are short, sweet, not about real estate and appreciated. When it’s time for their neighbor to put their home on the market I know they will remember I’m the real estate professional for them. And last, use Evernote. It really is all that and a side of fries. I can go on and on about this wonder app so I will just stop now.

Maggie – thank you so much for sharing your experience and top tips with us. You are an inspiration to agents just like you across North America. I still remember when you first got your software walking you through strategies and solutions and I’m thrilled that things are turning out in your favor and I wish you tremendous success in the future!

If you’d like to get a copy of our ProspectsPLUS! software to kick start your OWN production – click here!  Because we have begun to migrate our product online, we’ve just recently dropped the cost on this powerful tool that includes more than 600+ marketing pieces including postcards, brochures, free reports, flyers, feature property marketing tools, lead generators, presentation tools and so much more to an unbelievably low price of $195. 

If you’d like to, like Maggie, also learn more about the power of Every Door done for you real estate newsletters Direct Mail marketing – click here to see just how easy and affordable it can be. 

To follow Maggie find her on Facebook here and follow her blog as well!  While you’re online look us up too on Facebook and Twitter and even now on Pinterest!

 

 

Success Comes to Those Who Are In for the Duration

By Julie Escobar

Now’s a good time to ask yourself…Are you an instant gratification kind of agent or one who’s in this business for the long haul?  Do you want ‘just now’ results or a career you can COUNT on and PLAN on to take you the distance and not just provide for yourself and your family – but provide well?

You’ve got to put the time in and PERSEVERE.  You’ve got 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.

So, let’s take a look at some smart strategies that can make succeeding faster (YES!), easier (Phew!) and more effective (Sounds good!).

Make it easy on yourself.  Delegate.  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 and 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. And unless you’re interested in total SATURATION marketing, using a system like Every Door Direct Mail, then don’t try to reach EVERYONE.  Find that sweet spot of 250-1000 people in your sphere or farm that you can AFFORD to effectively contact every month.   We’ve worked hard to make that easy for you with hundreds and hundreds of ready-to-go campaigns that you can choose, calendar and then have peace of mind that this part of the puzzle is done – find out more here: Postcard Campaign Specials.

Use social media wisely.  The wonderful thing about social media is that it gives you the ability to communicate one-to-many.  Creating a blog or Facebook page to keep your sphere or neighborhood farm updated and informed is not only effective – it’s POWERFUL.  One of the people I know who are doing this best is Stacy Stateham.  She calls herself a “Corporate Life Escapee” and you can learn a lot from her.  Read more here…  (While you’re there check out the other articles in that series on social media!)

Network.  With the shifts in the economy & market – now is the perfect time to connect with smart, like-minded area business professionals and share ideas, strategies and – SPHERES.  Area CPAs can send you clients who are looking for good investments.  Attorneys handling divorce, estates and real estate holdings can send you buyers, sellers and leads.  Human Resource managers can use your expertise to help their employees  find homes and put down roots in a community.  In return – you have the ability to send your clients their way as well.  Great for you – great for your networking partners and great for the customers.  In times like these – people NEED referrals they can trust.  It makes them feel safe, cared for and re-affirms that they are making sound decisions for themselves and their families.  THAT is the kind of thing that cements relationships and creates a client for life.

Just some ideas and strategies to ponder this hot summer week.  If you’re one of our friends trying hard to stay cool in the blistering heat – be well and take care.  We’re thinking of you!

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

A Broker’s Perspective…

By Julie Escobar

I had a great time catching up with San Diego Broker Lee Henderson recently who was excited about his first time using the all new Every Door Direct Mail™ system by ProspectsPLUS! He was kind enough to share his experience with us.  Read on!

Q:  Hey Lee!  So, you took the leap into EDDM™ – there’s so much talk out there right now about it – what was the deciding factor for you?

A:  Well frankly, COST.  When I first heard about a solution that dropped the postage rate down to 14.5 cents per piece to saturate a market – I figured, I’m in!  That’s definitely worth a shot.  And it certainly was.

Q:  You’re using it to market a very high end listing-correct?  Tell me a little about that.

A:  It’s a high-end beach community that I plan on becoming very active in. I’m using this listing as an introduction to the community. It’s a way for me to demonstrate a higher level of marketing expertise.  I used EDDM™ to get in the door to more than 500 homes for an open house.  I was thrilled when I had a terrific turn out for the open house, 11 of which came with the mailing in their hands.  It was also a great conversation starter for a few of the neighbors who came out while I was picking up open house signs who told me they had gotten the mailing and they were curious about the asking price and wanted to know more.

Q:  Wow – that’s great Lee.  Tell me, how easy did you think the system was to use?  Which delivery method did you choose and why?

A:  It couldn’t have been easier!  I chose to have everything shipped to me and I delivered to the local post office so that I could better control the delivery date and take advantage of the 14.5 cents postage.  Everything arrived right on time and I was thrilled at how efficient everything was.  I then took my paperwork and mailers down to the post office first thing in the morning and asked them when I could expect it to go out.  To my surprise they said it would be out for delivery the next day!  WOW.  Unlike the bulk mailings I’ve done in the past where you NEVER know when your information will be delivered – I was getting next day delivery service for 14.5 cents!  You can’t beat that!

Q:  What other ways would you consider using EDDM™ to market and brand yourself in your area?

A:  I truly believe we are going back to the future in real estate marketing with geo-farming! EDDM™ makes it very cost effective to do repetitive direct mail to your farm CONSISTENTLY and that really is the key.  To make an impact and become a brand name in a new market you’ve got to be consistent and visible.  To send 15-18 mailings a year in the past would be pretty cost-prohibitive for many agents.  But when you look at paying a fraction of that with this new system – it just makes sense.

Q:  Would you recommend the system to others and why?

A:  I sure would.  It’s a turnkey solution and allows you to control the delivery date and the costs.  It’s just so darn easy!  What’s great is that when you use this in conjunction with your social media marketing – it really makes an impact.  Just as I can narrow down my direct mail geographically with EDDM™, I can do the same thing with my Facebook ads, narrowing down my targeted audience by zip code.  It’s perfect for getting my name, number and branding out inexpensively and effectively!

Q:  Great advice Lee.  What else would you say to agents interested in using the EDDM™ system?

A:  I would tell them to do their homework.  Really take some time to figure out what carrier routes will work best for you.  Get the routes from the site that you think are good and go out there and drive them so you can make the best informed decision for your business.

Geo-farming works, and works well.  In fact, what you do now will affect where your business in the fall, the winter and even next spring will be coming from.  Get started soon and stick with it and you’ll reap the rewards for years to come.

Thanks Lee for your time and your insights.  I wish you great luck and re-connect with us in the future for more great success stories.  If you’d like to connect with Lee online – you can follow him on Facebook at www.facebook.com/lee.henderson.3956.  While you’re there – don’t forget to follow us as well for the latest and greatest news on how we can help you grow your business at www.facebook.com/prospectsplus.

To learn more about how to choose carrier routes yourself or how the all new Every Door Direct System works – visit www.prospectsplus.com/eddm/.  Need help?  Call us at 866.405.3638 today!