Sunday, August 20, 2017

Real estate agent or a home buyer selecting an energy efficient house from a row of paper houses in energy label colors.

You’ll Need a Few Tools of the Trade

By Julie Escobar

This month’s Master Marketing Schedule Tip is perfect for those of you who are looking for a new niche to jump into.  Our recommendation is to start planting the seeds for potential move up market clients.  With markets continuing to rebound and our economy getting stronger, many families are once again considering moving up to the next size home.  If you’re the agent staying top of mind with the right marketing materials, you could easily position yourself as the turn to agent. 6 move up mistakes

So how do you get started? 

  1. Locate a neighborhood with a large number of first-time or entry-level homeowners or choose the county in which you’d like to establish your niche.
  2. Gather data and listings for larger homes in neighborhoods with prices $50,000 to $100,000 higher than your targeted group.
  3. Do your homework. Know as much about those new neighborhoods as possible including school ratings, local business information, etc.
  4. Download our Free Report: 6 Move Up Mistakes Home Buyers Make to use as collateral, and a fair trade offer.move up market 1
  5. Start sending our series of three Move Up Market postcards once a month to homeowners in your targeted area.
  6. Mailing list options. If searching by a specific neighborhood, you can use our radial search by street address function. Or simply choose your state, county, and then the Move Up Market option tosearch your market.
  7. Start following up! Canvass the area with your free report and even Need more room carddoor hangers.
  8. You may also want to order a stack of our Need More Room postcards from our Life Event series and see if area pediatricians and obstetricians will let you put them in their waiting rooms. Baby superstores and boutiques are another great place to advertise. Growing families are often in the market for bigger homes.

We love when agents get creative about how they market themselves and aren’t afraid to go a little outside the box. Just remember, when working with move up market buyers, be prepared to help them best understand how to juggle financing and timing – especially if they have to sell their current home first.  Have fun with this niche!

Need more great marketing ideas? Visit our Master Marketing Schedule today. It’s filled with new, innovative and outside the box ideas each and every month!  Need help?  Our marketing team is top of the line at 866.405.3638 and ready to answer your questions or help you create the marketing piece that’s perfect for your market.  


Putting the Right Pieces in PlaceMailbox and mail

by Julie Escobar

I know, I know – it’s all about EMAIL right?  Or social media.  Or networking.  Actually – it’s about all of the above — AND that still powerful tools – direct mail.

Did you know that according to a national survey, direct mail postcards are read by over 75% of recipients and they’re kept for weeks as opposed to the life of an email message which lasts a second on average?  With that in mind – it just makes GOOD SENSE to layer your marketing.

But not just ANY old direct mail.  Think Direct Response mail.  Done consistently.  To a targeted audience.  With track-able results.  For top of mind branding.  Sound like a plan is formulating?

Strategy one:  Direct response.  Is your postcard  asking your prospects a question?  Are you raising their awareness?  Are you giving them a reason and means to contact you?  Are you just staying in touch or do you need them to take action?  I love the pretty pictures – I do!  I also love when a postcard speaks to the heart of what your targeted audience is thinking and feeling you create a connection that makes people want to reach back out to you.

Don’t miss that.  Even holiday postcards can effectively raise awareness and include a message to not only have a great holiday but to call you should they need you.   A Just Listed card too – is not just a just listed card.  It’s an invitation to see a new listing, to get a list of other homes like it, answer questions or evaluate another potential seller’s ability to sell their home.

Strategy two:  Consistency.  Again and again and again.  That’s how often you need to “show up” in their mailbox, on their radar and in the lives of your prospects and customer base.  Our market is too competitive and life is too short for one-shot wonders.  Plus – it’s just too expensive to waste time, effort and of course, marketing dollars on a one-hit mailing.  They don’t work.  Never have, never will.  And in today’s world – people want to see that you’ve got that stick-to-it-tive-ness before they want to work with you.  If you give up easily on your marketing – what message does that send to your customer base?  Success comes to those who show up not once but over and over again. With the right message, the right attitude and the right promise of service.  Show them you’ve got what it takes.

Strategy three:  Take care of your list.  Your mailing list is not just “a list.”  It’s not just a spreadsheet of names and addresses.  It represents the lifeblood of your business.  It hosts the people that, if cared for, if catered to, if serviced right, if stayed in touch with, if impacted – will take care of you for the entirety of your career.  In fact, studies show that one in twelve will result in a transaction per year of you consistently and effectively stay in touch.  That said- how many do you want on your list and how committed are you to taking care of them like the  VIPs that they are?

Find a database you’re comfortable with and don’t stop with names, addresses and phone numbers.  Fill in the gaps.  Who is their spouse? What are their kids’ names?  What do they do?  What do they like?  When did they purchase/sell with you last?  What referrals have they sent?  What common interests do you have?  It’s not easy at first – but once you’ve formed the good habit of contacting your list at least three times a year (not all at once, of course!) you’ll start to be able to feed the details into your database.

Don’t lose those lists you get when you purchase a just listed postcard either!  Every time you send a postcard out with us and choose to do a radial or neighborhood search, that list is yours to keep so that you can continue to build your book of business.  Add them to your list and start building a relationship with them as well.  For more ideas of who should be in your sphere of influence – download our free BusinessBASE – and check out the 150 Questions to Help You Build Your Business Relationships.  It’s a great ‘refresher’ course for remembering all the people you SHOULD be building relationships with!

So as you’re heading into this time of year where you’ll be tweaking (and tweeting about) your business and marketing plans that will have you crushing it throughout the coming year, add direct mail to your repertoire and start reaching and converting those prospects into customers today!

Oh – and if you need a few EXTRA ideas about how to capture the attention of the potential clients in YOUR market – hit up our free reports section of our site and download all the great consumer reports we’ve got for you to download – no cost – no obligation!   Find them all here:  Free Reports

And if you’re looking to see what’s new – what’s cooking and what other agents are using to drive traffic to their sites, their social media and – oh yeah – their phones – bookmark our Specials page to see this month’s offer and be sure to use the promo codes posted there for an extra savings benefit!

Need help?  Call our marketing department at 866.405.3638 today!  They can help you decide what pieces are right for you, building a good farm list, scheduling a campaign and more! Have a great one!

All Year Around
business strategies for realtors

By Julie Escobar

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

Before you can do that – you should know these 10 things:

  1. Get it all on ‘record.’  Whatever database management system you choose, be sure that you have entered at the very least the basic information such as name, address, phone number, email address, social media addresses if you have them for every past customer, friend, family member and acquaintance that you can think of.  Sound like a lot of work?  It is – but SO worth it.  And I’m not saying you have to do it yourself.  Delegate it – that way you can stick to what you do best – getting face to face with the folks in your market. Click here to get a copy of our BusinessBASE™. In it you’ll find a list of everyone who should be in your sphere of influence.
  2. Fill in the blanks.  The more RELEVANT you are – the more REFERRALS you’ll receive. So once you’ve got the basics down – take note of more personal information about the people in your database.  What do they do?  Where do they live?  What makes them unique?  What else do you know about them that you can reference?  Who’s in their family?  You know the old saying – the ‘devil is in the details!’ The more you know the easier it will be for you to connect with them on topics that are relevant and important to them.
  3. Clean up old records.  At least twice a year go through your database and cull old contacts, and clean up missed or incorrect information. Connect with your database and let them know that their business is important to you and that you’re just doing a little ‘housekeeping’ so that you can be sure they are always kept in the loop and double check their information.  You can even make them a fair trade offer of a free report or certificate of some kind.
  4. Data mine for ‘like’ minded people.  One of the best things an agent can do is to really take a good long look at what their ‘best customer’ looks like.  Who do you like to work with?  Seniors?  Singles?  First time homebuyers?  Expireds? FSBO’s?  Once you know that – and can determine who you both like to work with and the type of people you have the most successful relationships with – you can data mine to find more of the same.
  5. Add new personal contacts.  As sales professionals we come into contact with new people every day that are potentially great future clients or customers.  Make it a point to add at least one new person per day or 5 per week to your book of business – more depending on how fast you want your business to grow.  Many agents I know make this database building a positive habit by dedicating one hour a week to the health and maintenance of their list.  Every time they meet a new person at the local Starbucks, networking meeting, business event, PTA, restaurant – even the grocery store and have an opportunity to collect a business card or information – that person goes into the ‘book’ and the nurturing begins!  Some of the best agents spend an hour a week sending a personal note or firing off an email just to say what a pleasure it was to meet and if they need anything – just call.  (Making notes on the back of those business cards or in your phone after meeting a new person will help jog your memory for details when you are entering them into your database at a later time.)  Think about 10 people THIS WEEK you could add if you tried:  Teachers, Bankers, Restaurant Owner/Staff, Accountant, Attorney, Landscaper, Gas Station Owner, Grocery Store Manager…the possibilities are endless!  (If you did that EVERY week you’d be adding more than 500 people to your book of business each year!)
  6. Add past lists:  If you’ve sent out Just Listed or Just Sold postcards and have purchased a list of homeowners contact information who received those postcards – be sure not to forget those folks.  You can add them in and start the process of taking them from ‘prospect’ to ‘member’ of your sphere by building those relationships over time.
  7. SHARE with them.  Direct mail is a great way to ‘touch’ your book of business at least once a month.  From powerful sphere of influence postcards with relevant offers to a monthly newsletter packed with valuable content – staying in TOUCH is the key to staying TOP of mind.  We’ll even help you put the right pieces in place to allow you to put your marketing plan in motion and then focus on those personal contacts and the three tasks that are most important in your business:  prospecting, presenting and CLOSING.

Visit our SPECIALS page today to learn more about these options or call our team at 866.405.3638 for help deciding what might work best for you, your list and your budget!

  1. Invite them into the conversation.  Savvy agents are firing up their social media strategies on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and Pinterest and inviting their community of followers to join in the conversation.  Create a Facebook page for your neighborhood farm and post community information that’s relevant to your buyers and sellers such as school information, local business information, fun facts and more.  Agents are breaking out their iPhones and flip cameras and creating video walking tours of area hotspots, news for the week, reviews of local businesses, types of homes to look for in their area and all kinds of fun and interesting information.  Pinterest has people pinning and posting all about staging ideas, inspirational quotes, homes in the area, community events, blog posts and more.  Use our On the Web Series of postcards to drive your offline traffic to these valuable and engaging sites.
  2. Follow up.  Break your list up into manageable numbers and commit to follow up calls every week.  Most experts recommend scheduling a daily appointment with yourself to prospect.  Don’t underestimate the value of face-to-face connecting as well.  Community events, school functions, networking opportunities and just being active in the community that you service will help keep you visible, allow you a chance to arrange follow up conversations and ask questions, be the resource people need and you will generate referrals in the process! It can be as simple as letting them know that you are there to help anytime.
  3. Lather, Rinse, Repeat.  Well you get the idea.  Treating your database as the salable, valuable resource that it is means not putting it away for 11 months out of the year.  Commit to these ten strategies monthly and your career will thrive – and you won’t have to always be wondering where your next commission will come from.

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

What You Do NOW Has Everything to Do With How You’ll Finish the Yearreal estate Beat the Clock

By Julie Escobar

As we hit the mid-month mark this month – many agents are staring down the barrel of just five and a half months left to hit their goals this year. What’s interesting to note that many entrepreneurs usually fall into three categories: those who created a comprehensive business plan and are on track, those who made a plan but just haven’t kept tabs on it, and those who are still taking the “hope for the best” approach to their business.

Where you land in that set of three will determine whether you are feeling confident and competent (and without a lot of stress) as we take on the rest of the year, or whether you will find yourself playing beat the clock (or worse yet, behind the eight-ball!)

In today’s competitive marketplace, savvy business men and women know that having a viable business plan and tracking it not just annually, but weekly and monthly as well is critical to success. Why? Consider how quickly you can find yourself not one month off track, but one quarter or one half of the year and then what? Once you lose your footing, getting back on track and staying focused becomes a slippery slope.

Step One:  Determine WHERE YOU ARE NOW.  Are you on track or off?  What will it take to hit your goals?  What will it mean to you and your family if you don’t?

If you’re on track – terrific.  You’ve got time to fine tune skills and keep the marketing and prospecting engines going to meet and probably exceed your goals by year’s end.

If you’re not on track, determine a viable plan of action.  Get with your coach, mentor, or manager and create a plan based on these factors:

  • what are your must-accomplish goals for the rest of the year?
  • how many listings you need to hit your goals?
  • how many people do you need to contact hit those goals?
  • what are your success ratios?  (calls to appointments, appointments to listings, listings to closings)
  • what will you have to do DAILY/WEEKLY/MONTHLY to realize those goals

Goal setting and goal reviewing aren’t just for New Year’s resolutions.  They are an integral part to success EVERY month.  If you’re off track, don’t despair – there’s still time (and the fall market) to help you get where you want to go.

It all starts with the PEOPLE.  Consumers are more apt than ever to “take their business elsewhere” if they don’t feel like they are a priority for you and your organization.

As a consumer yourself, who are you more likely to do business with? The professional who month-after-month and year-after-year reminded you that they appreciated your business and are there during good times and bad or the company that only calls when they are trying to sell you something? Now turn the tables. How many of YOUR customers have you failed to send something to, call or see in person over the last twelve months?

They say it costs 5-10 times more to sell to new customers than it does to sell more to current customers, and yet what percent of our effort is spent looking for new customers vs. pleasing and staying in touch with our current customers? Sometimes it’s not geographically possible to meet in person or invite a client to lunch, but it is possible to call them and connect.

It can be as simple as saying…

  • How are things going for you and your business?  I’d love to send some referrals your way…
  • Our market is changing quite a bit, and many people have questions about how that affects them — do you have any?
  • We’ve got more buyers than sellers right now, and I’m just calling to see if you’ve thought about selling – or if there’s any questions you might have?

Letting people know you care, and that you are interested not only in your success but theirs as well is the foundation for building long term referral success. Sending them something every month is equally as simple by putting systems in place to creatively:

Finding new customers is tough and expensive. Once you’ve got a customer, hold on to them by staying in touch. I can guarantee you if you don’t, somebody else will.

As we head out of summer soon and into the fall— take the time NOW to determine if you are on track or off. Ensure that your customers know that you are there and that you care not just once or twice a year, but consistently month after month. Remember to use the SEND-CALL-SEE approach to your marketing.  Continuously SEND something to your sphere, CALL them at least once a quarter and SEE them at least every six months for the best success.  You’ll keep their business and ensure that your name and number are handy the next time they are asked by a family member or friend, “who would you call for real estate…?”

Need help deciding what to send, when to call and see your customers?  Call our office today at 866.405.3638!  We’re always here to help!  

How to Appeal to Resource-Hungry Consumersreal estate newsletters

by Julie Escobar

Newsletters have long-since been a turn-to marketing tool for real estate agents — and they still are worth their weight in RESULTS.  Why?  Because of technology, the internet, and just the data-culture we live in now, today’s savvy consumers are eager to get their hands on all the information they can get. That way they can make smart decisions for their families, be well versed in their social and family circles and feel like they have the resources they need when they need them.

As we head into fall and you’re looking at what to add, keep or toss in your marketing plan, I wanted to share with you a few top reasons why these timeless tools are a power-packed addition to helping YOU stay top of mind in your market and drive those referrals through the roof.

  1. New templates every month to choose from.
  2. Timely content and infographics pulled from current market trends and headlines.
  3. 100% editable – you can customize and make your own or use as is.
  4. Filled with direct response offers and reasons to call YOU.
  5. Creative content that can be re-purposed for your blog and social media.
  6. Order as a pdf and includ in all your email marketing, or as an opt-in download on your site to drive an increase in your email database — or both!
  7. Terrific for showcasing you as the turn-to agent in your sphere and farm.
  8. Wonderful addition to feature flyer sheets at your open house — consumers will see you as more than just a listing agent- but a wealth of information.
  9. Great leave-behinds at business partners such as salons and doctor’s offices.
  10. You have the ability to make them hyper-local. In the agent message section, add upcoming events, school information, community changes, ALL of your social media credentials – the works!  Or give them a link to a page on your site or social media where they can find everything at a glance!

Want to give them a try?  Click here to see all of our newsletter templates, pick a newsletter, choose the Shipped to You option, customize however you like and use PROMO CODE NEWS10 at checkout to save 10% on your order!

Here’s to an incredible fall season for all of you!  Need help?  Give us a call at 866.405.3638 today! We’re happy to help you find just what you’re looking for to create YOUR competitive edge!