Saturday, August 19, 2017

A Guest Blog About Every Door Direct Mail 

by Brian Fox. VP Business Development, Benutech

Okay, so you probably know about the value and benefit of mailing postcards via Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM) by the United State Postal Service (USPS)… They are plentiful.  The postage rate for delivery is attractive (17 cents a door).  The residences are all in a close, neat geographical location.  This allows you acquire the best postage rates for your mail marketing and when it’s time to walk your farm to meet homeowners – the residences are all in a neat geographical location for easy walking and knocking.

The challenge is… How do you find the “right” EDDM Group to deliver to?  Well, that’s a bit tricky – but not only is there hope, there are real data solutions to solve this tricky challenge.

Let’s break the moves down step by step for you.   There are 4 very important steps in choosing the correct EDDM location(s) to farm and here they are:

  1. Locate EDDM Groups within a zip code or city by finding the EDDM Groups with the highest turnover rates available. In other words, the higher the ratio of homeowners that move annually, the higher the chance of finding more sellers within those areas in the future. Why?  Every real estate coach in the U.S. teaches their paying clients to find areas of “high turnover” defined as 7% turnover rate or higher.  Statistically, they have shown that finding areas where homes are selling provides agents with areas that will continue to sell at high rates.  This will help make your marketing more efficient.
  2. Once you have the EDDM Groups ranked from highest to lowest turnover rate – Locate the EDDM groups that have “Sales Price Points” that interest you. In other words, if two EDDM groups have similar turnover rates, but different home price selling points – it’s much better to sell a home that sells for $600K vs. $350K, right?
  3. Now, this is important: Compare the number of “owned homes” in the EDDM Group against what the USPS will deliver to in the same EDDM group.  Keep in mind – EDDM via USPS delivers to every resident (homeowners, apartment renters) within the EDDM group. Most agents don’t want to mail to renters – Agents mail market to find potential sellers.  So, you wouldn’t want to mail to 500 residences via EDDM if only 300 of them are “owned” properties.  If you did, you would be employing the USPS to deliver to 200 apartment renters in that EDDM Group that can’t be sellers because they are renting.   Look for EDDM Groups on the USPS Website that have a similar number of “delivery” vs. “properties owned within the EDDM group” – See the examples provided for zip code 98006 in Bellevue, a suburb of Seattle, WA.  Two EDDM Groups with similar turnover rates 7.95% and 7.84% – but the 7.84% group (Carrier Route C037) has 536 owned properties within the EDDM Group of 543 units that the USPS will deliver to. Therefore, Carrier Route C037 has a much higher “ownership deliver rate” than Carrier Route C028 – providing a better value for you as a paying customer.
  4. As a last step – look to see what the “average years owned” is for the EDDM group you select. Average home ownership rates in the 7-10 year range seem to indicate areas that folks purchase into and then sell rather quickly – possibly to upgrade to a larger home or to a home in a more desirable location – which results in higher sales rates annually.  Also, look to see what the Non-Owner occupancy rate is for the EDDM group.  Much of the time, Non-Owners will sell property more frequently than Owner Occupants, so high Non-Owner Occupancy rates could help facilitate more sales, more often.

In the example provided for Zip Code 98006 in Bellevue, WA – the perfect EDDM Group was found utilizing Benutech’s “Title Toolbox” data.  Carrier Route C037 had a high turnover rate (7.84%), it had 536 owned units within a 543 unit EDDM Group, it had one of the highest sales price points in Bellevue at $1.3M, and had an average years owned of 8.6% – indicating that this area could be an area where folks purchase and sell rather frequently. If you are farming in Bellevue, this would be the place to farm!

Okay, yes… This may seem like a lot… and it is… so just do this:  Contact ProspectsPLUS! and have them help you with this process.  They are direct mail marketing experts, and by utilizing Benutech data and their technology – they can complete these steps for you and place you in the perfect EDDM group to start your successful farming campaigns.

Oh, but please realize, you are not done once you find that perfect EDDM Group to market to! Now it’s time to make you known to the homeowners within the EDDM Group.  Let’s go back to those Real Estate Coaches… Their expensive advice is to market monthly.  You have just located the perfect farming location – so FARM it!

Step One:  Get the mail marketing pieces out to this EDDM Group once per month.  ProspectsPLUS! will help you select the perfect mail pieces.

Step two: Once the mail is out… You need to get out.  Homeowners are not going to hire you to sell their
home unless they get to KNOW YOU. It’s that simple.  Having homes in EDDM Groups allow you to easily walk and talk to the homeowners within the EDDM groups.  Don’t rely just on the mail… You are way more powerful than a postcard… Meet the folks in the EDDM Group so that they can hire you when it comes time to sell.  Seize the day, meet some folks – and take new listings!

About: Brian Fox, VP Business Development, Benutech, Inc. Benutech, Inc. is a real estate data company out of Costa Mesa, CA and is the creator of “ReboGateway” (for Real Estate Agents and Investors) and “Title Toolbox” (for Title Companies and other property related business). To contact Brian Fox:  Brian@benutech.com or 714-580-8099.

Need help choosing the right EDDM piece for you? Contact the ProspectsPLUS! customer care team at 866.405.3638 today! 

The Difference Between Calm & Commission Chasing

By Julie Escobar

One of the biggest challenges for people getting into the business of real estate is the fear of NOT knowing when they will get paid.  Commission only? Are you kidding me?  While that’s a genuine concern when you’re brand new and haven’t learned the ropes yet, what’s interesting is how many people are STILL unclear about when and where their next commission will come from though they’ve been in the business for years.  The common denominator for that dilemma lies in whether they take a proactive or reactive approach to their business.

First and foremost?  You are an independent contractor, and as such you are running a business entity, so treating it as such is more than common sense – it’s a must.  Proactive agents know where their leads are coming from because they are putting systems in place to ensure that they are marketing themselves in the areas that matter most such as:

  • Their sphere of influence: Those folks that already know them, like them, trust them and would do business with them. They know that if they stay in touch monthly, contact regularly, and make these VIPs a priority, they can expect a referral, listing or sale from one in twelve each year. (Marketing methods of choice: Newsletter, Holiday Postcards, Recipe Cards, Content Cards, Annual Customer Appreciation events, and a phone call or visit at LEAST twice per year.)
  • Their geo farm: The market area they most want to dominate. Smart agents choose a neighborhood that already has some turnover, does NOT have another agent with the substantial presence or market share, and has a price point that makes sense for them to invest in marketing. (Marketing methods of choice:  Market Dominator, Just Listed/Just Sold postcards, Open Houses, Neighborhood luxury cardsUpdate/Free Offer Series and farm canvassing at least three times per year.)
  • A niche: That tribe of people or customers you most like to work with.  Maybe it’s first time home buyers, or seniors, or medical professionals, or boaters. Whatever group you feel connected with – make yourself known as the go-to agent.  (Marketing Methods of choice, Newsletters, Lifestyle Interest Postcards and attending or sponsoring events specifically targeted to that niche.)
  • Lead generation: Continuously casting new nets for new business as well as constant prospecting the three segments above. (Marketing Methods of choice: Reaching out to local businesses for networking and referrals, partnering with local PTAs and sporting teams, using Every Door Direct Mail to market to blanket a new carrier route, Listing Inventory postcards.)

These agents aren’t shy about sharing their success rates either.  They use social media wisely, are active and visible in the communities they service and they broadcast their results via Just Listed/Just Sold postcards and online announcements.  Examples: Sold in TWO days!  Was on the market with another agent for six months. Now sold in just one week!

Reactive agents? Pretty much none of the above. They spend the bulk of their time working with buyers and usually only actively seek a new listing once the one or two they have in inventory sell.  I love what Darryl Davis shared in his last article with us.  “It’s no longer listings are the name of the game – it’s listing INVENTORY is the name of the game.”  He compares it to owning a shoe store and having no shoes left to sell.

Bottom line: When you are reactionary, as in, “I have no income coming in – let me go take a listing now,” your life is stressful. You worry about providing for yourself and your family.  You aren’t sure if you need to go “get a real job”.

When you are proactive, you make marketing and prospecting part of your daily routine.  You KNOW your numbers.  “I need to speak with X number of people each day to get X amount of appointments, to do X number of listings, X amount of sales, and X number of closings.”  You use time blocking to prioritize your time and activity. You use systems to automate your marketing or simplify the processes.

If you’re a brand new agent or are an agent that needs less stress, more business and are ready to get to the next level in your career – kick that reactive stuff to the curb and jump in with a proactive plan to build your business.

Need help working with your sphere, farm or niche? We’ve got everything you need to succeed at www.prospectsplus.com or call our team at 866.405.3638.

 

Start by Answering the Questions Already in the Minds of Consumers

By Julie Escobar

A new month – and a new marketing season are straight ahead — and both buyers and sellers in our markets have been inundated with information regarding the economy and the housing industry on television, in print and on the internet.  Some good information – some misinterpreted, and some just flat out wrong.

What consumers need more than ever is a RELIABLE, TRUSTWORTHY resource to help them best understand how market changes affect them most. What’s my home worth today?  What if I wait a year to sell?  What are interest rates going to do?   Should they sell?  Should they buy?  Should they move up to the next size home or is that a risk?

The questions are many – and the answers are yours for the giving – IF you can capture (and keep) the top-of-mind attention of the folks in your area.

One direct response series that is getting great response for agents is our Free Offer Series.  Sending three over the course of 2-3 months can certainly help you create the top-of-mind awareness and show potential sellers that you are the agent to ask when they have questions.

Consider kicking off this campaign free home market analysis starting with the Market Analysis postcard.   This allows you to spotlight your ability to deliver the information sellers are looking for in a professional way and tap into today’s consumers’ natural desire to search out ‘free’ offers and trusted resources.

Step one:  Login to your free ProspectsPLUS.com account. (Or easily create an account and profile in a matter of minutes. Once your profile is ready – the system will automatically populate your information into all of the 680+ marketing tools on the site.)

Step two:  Select the Market Analysis Postcard.  You can leave as is or customize to suit your marketing style. Click here to watch a video on how to select a postcard series.

Step three:  Add your mailing list or use our mapping tools to create a mailing list. If you need help with mailing lists – call our support team at 866.405.3638 or click here to see all of our comprehensive mailing list solutions.

Step four:  Place your order then track it. It’s that easy! Click here to watch a video on tracking your postcard order.

Making your job easier is our goal.  That’s why we’ve re-engineered the Master Marketing Schedule to offer free offer door hangerstrategic and creative solutions for building your business faster, easier, more affordable and with way less headaches. In fact, if you’re following the Schedule – this week is a great time to get out in those geo farms and start making real connections.  Our Free Offer Door hangers are a great compliment to the Free Offer postcards and the perfect leave behind when you’re door knocking in the market area you most want to dominate.

Putting systems for staying in touch in place don’t have to be tough – or time consuming.  Most of our top customers schedule 15-30 minutes at the beginning or end of every month to focus on what marketing tools they want to go out.  When they choose a campaign, it’s easy — they simply pick the next one in the series, order and get back to their high priority tasks. Some even delegate a member of their team to make it their priority that something is always being sent to their sphere and farm so top of mind awareness is always there.

Kudos to the agents that are working their systems and are willing to share their experiences with others. We so appreciate you all. For example, Cozett shared with us on ResellerRatings, “I like how ProspectsPLUS! puts marketing at my fingertips and then handles the time consuming work of mailing and distributing materials if I need them too.”  Or Jeremy who wrote on our Google+ page, “ProspectPLUS! is a real lifesaver for me. I have been looking around on how to keep in contact with my sellers. I needed more than just a phone call. The postcards are a highlight to my business now. This has also allowed me to start farming a few neighborhoods that I drive through with a more personal touch.”  Or Bradley who wrote on our Facebook Page, “ProspectsPLUS makes it so easy for me to market to not only my sphere but also to my farming areas. In less than 5 minutes I can have all of my postcards ordered and off my plate so I can work on what I do best…selling homes!”

We’d love to hear from you too! In fact, give us a shout out with a review now on our Google+ Page and you’ll be entered to win one of our monthly prizes! Wait until you see what’s in store for July!

Have questions or need help developing the marketing plan that’s right for you?  Call us today at 866.405.3638 or email us at pmc@prospectsplus.com.  We’re here to assist!

 

by Julie Escobar

Real Estate Door Hanger are a hot ticket for our customers right now, and rightfully so. They are a trusted tool of the trade for agents eager to brand themselves as the neighborhood specialist to call in a specific geo farm. Why?  They work.  They catch attention. They a great reason to canvas.  And they  are an easy-to-use leave-behind for potential clients. And between now and July 1st, 2017, we’re giving 10% of every order to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.  How’s that for a win-win?

Before you hit the streets in your neighborhood farm, here are seven things you should consider:

1.  Content is key.  One series of door hanger that’s really popular with agents right now is the real-estate-door-hangers-expiredListing Inventory Series, designed specifically to help agents find more sellers.  But we also have hangers for FSBO’s and Expireds, which are handy to have in the car when you come across a FSBO that just popped up, or see an expired come off the market that’s close by.  You can use them to brand yourself, spotlight a new listing, advertise an open house.  The possibilities are endless!  Get creative!

2.  Include a call to action.  Many times, agents will put a lot of time and energy into getting their message just right, and forget to direct their prospects as to what they want them to do.  With ANY marketing piece, always be sure to have a call to action that’s simple and direct!

3.  Keep them readily available.  Many savvy agents keep a ‘rolling tool chest’ in their trunk.  Filled with the forms they need on the fly, objection handling brochures, extra business cards, listing agreements, presentation folders, and door hangers.  That way they, just like the scouts, are ‘always prepared’.

4.  Going door to door?  Know how many homes are in the neighborhood you are canvassing, real-estate-door-hangers-get-your-home-soldbut don’t try to do it all at one time if you are flying solo.  You can visit our EDDM page here and look for the link on the right to choose your carrier route.  Even if you’re planning to use the door hangers and not Every Door Direct Mail – this is a handy tool to find out how many homes are in a given area so you’re sure to order enough door hangers! Wear your name badge, some comfortable shoes and your best smile and get out and meet some people!

5.  Timing is everything.  If you want to just get the hangers on the door without ACTUALLY talking to very many people, mornings (right after people leave for work) are good.  If shaking hands and making connections with potential sellers and buyers than early evening is good after people have made their way home.

6.  Make a block party of it!  Get a group together!  Take your team along for the day and break the canvassing up in a grid to lighten the load. Start at your local Starbucks for a caffeine fuel first and share your door hangers with the customers there!

7.  A little PRE-canvas legwork.  If you are planning deliver door hangers to a neighborhood or neighborhoods, it’s a good call to warm things up a little by sending postcards with your name, picture and information first.  That way when you are meeting face-to-face, consumers will be more likely to recognize you and realize you’re there as the ‘neighborhood expert.’  If you’re using the listing inventory door hangers, we have Listing Inventory Postcards that compliment them nicely. Find them here!

These are just a few great ways agents are making door hangers part of their marketing plan. They are a great addition to your spring or fall marketing – because of their low cost and high impact.

From Your Desktop Computer You Can Browse All Our Door Hanger Templates by Visiting: Prospectsplus.com/DoorHangers 

To help us help kids — learn more about our commitment to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, visit blog.prospectsplus.com/st-jude.

Need help?  Give our team a call at 800.287.5710 or click through to see the variety of terrific options for Real Estate Door Hangers that we have to offer!  

Six Answers You Need to Know

By Julie Escobar

With markets and competition heating up this summer, geographic farming is more relevant, and results-producing than ever. It’s what is differentiating top agents from lower producers, and what is setting some apart as leaders in both their marketplace – and in market share.

To learn more, we asked Todd Robertson about what he is seeing trend across North America right now. Here’s an excerpt from our interview:

Q:  Todd – there was a time when agents got away from geographic farming but now it’s back stronger than ever – can you shed some light on that?

A:  Here’s what we’ve found:  With all the ‘noise’ out there now, social media, Zillow, Trulia, email, spam filters, online ads – a lot of home buyers and sellers aren’t responding to the noise. Yet, a LOT of agents are still hiding behind their computers. We know that 95% of people check their mail every day – and direct mail is standing out from the ‘online’ noise.  It used to be that farming was expensive. Mailings were expensive. Now with technology and new USPS tools, it’s much less so, and with most agents still not in that space – those who do jump in – WIN.

Q:  We’ve all seen agents who get frustrated because they want instant results – and farming just isn’t that kind of marketing.  What do you say to agents who want instant gratification?

A:  The truth is we are in an instant gratification mode. We’re looking to the lottery for a quick million, fast food for an instant meal, and whatever ‘golden ticket’ it might take to unlock the key to right-now success.  But what I like to share with agents is the hunter vs. farmer mindsets.  The hunter is great at getting on the phone, shaking the trees, finding those expireds, FSBOs, SOI leads, anything that will generate business today or this week.  Where the farmer isn’t crazy about all that possible rejection, so they slowly and surely cultivate an area with direct mail and email marketing.  After 25 years in this business we do know two things though:  Patience and persistence will always win and combining the two skills of hunting and farming are your best means of generating long term success at a whole other level. You do have to be “all-in” – but it is so worth it.

Q:  In your talks and webinars you speak about putting ALL the pieces in place – can you share more about what you mean by that?

A:  Well this kind of goes back to my last answer.  You really CAN dominate a market area and out-pace any competition if you are willing to streamline your practices – and do it all.  Not one thing. Not the easy things. But all of it.  Direct mail. Just Listed. Just Sold. Door knocking. Aggressive open houses. All of it – and not just once but really adhere to that 3-7-27 rule of marketing I’ve shared in the past where you’re continuously making impressions and staying top of mind because the competition, for the most part, is not going to be as committed to doing it all. If you are? You win.

Q:  Follow up is a critical part of marketing, but so many agents are reluctant to walk their farm or pick up the phone.  What’s your best advice to get over that hurdle?  

A:  Well, the tough advice is that if your mindset is ‘I’m afraid or unwilling to prospect’ then perhaps this is not the profession for you.  If we look at the old 80/20 rule which says that 20% of the agents do 80% of the business, we know that those numbers are now outdated. In today’s world it’s 93/7.  7% of the agents are doing 93% of the business.  The reason lies right here – prospecting. Following up.  I like to tell my audiences, “If the game is scheduled, and you’ve chosen to play – you might as well win.”  So if you are in this business to help people – then remember, you are paid in direct proportion to how many people you help, and how good you are at that help. So don’t just put your toe in the pool – jump in.  Don’t be that agent who tried something once, or twice, or three times and throws up their hands and says, ‘this doesn’t work’.  Stick with it. The year is half over.  Don’t fall into that – it is what it is mindset where it is all right to be average, or less than your goals.  You get paid in proportion to how many you help. Get out there and play hard.  If you get a no, pick up the phone again, and again.  It’s a numbers game, but more than that, it’s a people game. Find the next person to help.

Q:  This is a busy time for agents – and many are so busy working IN the business, they don’t stop to work ON their business.  What can you share with our readers regarding blocking time so that nothing falls through the cracks?

A:  It’s easy to get caught up in the minutiae, I know. The feel-good work. The paper shuffling. The non-confrontational. Top agents though know that the highest and best use of their time is doing three things: prospecting, presenting, and closing.  The rest they find solutions for. Automated marketing. Virtual Assistants. Database management systems. Marketing systems.  They are effective time managers – that’s the level you need to strive for.

Q:  The Market Dominator is hard to ignore when homeowners get it in their mailbox – can you tell us a little about the science of its size, content, and calls to action?

A:  Well it’s the largest piece allowed legally through the USPS system.  It’s got 100% impression rate. It’s coated on one side, full color and on great paper.  Most importantly, it’s filled with the kind of content people want to read.  Not salesy – hyped commercial stuff. But real world content. And real world calls to action.  It’s relevant and fun and ‘share-able’ for people.  And it gets the job done.  I just heard from one of our customers who has done 16 transactions this year so far, three directly as a result of the Dominator.  Take a look and let me know if you have questions. It’s a powerful tool for agents who are really interested in dominating their own geographic farm.

Thanks so much for your time Todd.  For those interested in learning more about the Market Dominator, you can watch Todd’s informative video here.  For questions, give Todd a call at 866-405-3638.  Now, go out there and dominate in YOUR favorite geographic farm!