Sunday, August 20, 2017

fw it's what you do

Sage Words from Industry Expert Floyd Wickman

By Julie Escobar

I watched a video yesterday from Floyd where he shared some of his timeless truths about succeeding in real estate. What’s amazing is that, even in our swiftly evolving industry — the same message would have been on point twenty years ago and will no doubt be just as timely twenty years from now. 

That message? Activity equals results. 

Want to achieve more?  Make more?  Rise to the top of your field?  Your company?  Your market?  Increase your ACTIVITY.  Or as Floyd likes to say, “It’s What You Do When You Don’t Have to That Will Determine What You’ll Be When You Can No Longer Help It.”

Isn’t that the truth?  Sometimes as salespeople – well and as people – we make things way more difficult than they need to be.  A really simple formula for success in real estate is to map out your time and commit to the activity that generates appointments.  SEND.  CALL.  SEE.  Get a list together.  Build your database of sphere of influence members.  Family.  Friends.  Colleagues.  Acquaintances.  People you do business with.  Neighbors. Start there and stay in touch. Send them something month after month after month.  Next get a geographic list of everyone in the market area you want to brand yourself in and do the same thing for them.

And here’s where the magic happens – don’t just SEND stuff.  Call them.  Connect.  Reach out.  Ask the question, “Do you have any questions?”  Be the resource they need and want in a time where consumers have LOTS of questions regarding the value of their property, their buying power, investment opportunities, and what’s happening in their market.  You’re not bothering people – you’re providing a SERVICE.  “HOLD THAT THOUGHT,” Floyd would say.

What can you SEND?

What can you SAY when you CALL?

  • Hi!  Just checking in on you! We’ve got a lot of activity in our market, and I thought you might have some questions—do you?
  • Is there anything I can do to help you?
  • I’m expanding my business and I could use your help…
  • Have you thought about selling your house now or in the near future?
  • Have you been receiving my information?  Any questions

What do you do when you SEE them? 

  • Create opportunities for appointments
  • Take someone to lunch
  • Attend a neighborhood block party
  • Organize a charity drive in the community
  • Sponsor a free workshop and invite everyone to attend
  • Get out there and be visible in the community you’re servicing
  • Walk your farm and start making friends

Where can you get a geographic list? 

We’ve got you covered there!  Call our office at 866.405.3638 and we can walk you through how to order one specific to your needs.

When should you start?

Again, as Floyd would say, “Well, when do you want to start getting results?  Does today work?”

Watch Floyd’s video that sparked the conversation and have a fantastic (and ACTIVITY-DRIVEN) day! 

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uX67mrhl8jE]
 Need help automating that activity and firing up your production?  Call our team at 866.405.3638 or visit us at www.postcardsplus.com today.  Want to learn  more mad skills and training techniques from Floyd? Visit his site at: https://floydwickman.com/ and tell them Julie sent you!  Have a great one! 

How to STAND OUT From Your Competitionget creative

By Julie Escobar

You’re rocking and rolling.  Making calls. Booking appointments.  Showing up to the office.  Plugging away. But you’re really not seeing an uptick in your brand.  Or your business.  So what do top agents do that you might consider?  They don’t try to blend in.  They work on STANDING OUT. 

To do that?  A little creative can go a long way. 

  1. 1.       Tap into our Fun Days Calendar.  Every month we create a list of fun ways you can connect based on both traditional – and let’s face it – a few wacky holidays.  It’s a terrific way to spark interest with your referral clients and create a buzz in your market!  For example – March 8th is Popcorn Lover’s Day.  Our tip is to grab a box or two of those mini microwaveable bags and send or hand deliver to six of your favorite clients with a thank you.  If they’re really good clients – throw in a movie or a Red Box gift certificate too!  It’s those EXTRA MILE things we do that make people sit up, take notice and REMEMBER you in your market.  Click here to see all of our fun tips!
  2. 2.       Give people what they want (with personality!)  People in your market area want hyper local information. What’ happening at the schools, neighborhood events, new business information, grand openings, market stats.  But you can share that in so many different ways and showcase yourself as the expert in the process.    I know power teams that host a real estate Q & A once a month at the local Starbucks, and pass out newsletter type information and great advice. Other agents host workshops once a quarter on timely topics such as saving for a down payment, first time homeowners, foreclosure and short sales, etc.   It shows they are the experts on all things real estate and they bring in new sphere of influence members every time!  Click here to see some workshop ideas.  (Scroll down to Goof Proof Tips for for Success.) Other agents who host charity events every quarter where they get the whole community involved – whether it’s food drives for local shelters, coat drives for children’s homes, Relays for Life and more – they show that they are right there as a team, eager to give back and making it easy for other people to do the same.  That goes a long way.   I know other agents who host movie night once a year and rent out a local theater and sponsor a movie for their top clients. Have fun with it!  Click here to see some Customer Appreciate Party ideas.
  3. 3.       Leverage technology.  Are you using QR Code business cards?  They’re a great conversation starter (and a terrific way to instantly get your contact information in your customer’s hands.)  You can share with your customers how they too can use QR codes to make everyday life a little simpler.  Check out http://redlaser.com/ – with its scanner, customers can not only get the information they need (like your name, number, listing information, website) but they can comparison shop prices for things they purchase every day, scan food products for allergen alerts, find local shops and more.  People appreciate service professionals who are able to share not only in their OWN area of expertise – but also ones who can help them learn new ideas, insights and tools that can make their lives better!  Check it out today.  And if you need QR code business cards- give our team a call at 866.405.3638 and they’ll hook you up!

Don’t stop here!  Infuse your everyday business life with some creative ideas that help you get NOTICED and stand out from your competition.  Keep your eyes and ears open in your market and top agents online to see what is working for them,  then model those ideas and creatively make them your own.

Need help?  Call us today at 866.405.3638 to kick start your connections with some powerful direct response marketing tools!  Have a great one! 

 

 

 

One Month Down, Eleven to Go!
on track

By Julie Escobar

As we round the corner into February, it’s interesting to note that many entrepreneurs fall into three categories: those who created a comprehensive business plan and are on track, those who made a plan but just like those resolutions have started to slip, and those who are still taking the “hope for the best” approach to their business. Which are you?

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.

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 to 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 every two to three months. It can be as simple as asking, “how are things going for you and your business?” 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 automated 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 into month two of the year — 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!  

Ideas From the Front Linesthree ways

By Julie Escobar

One of the things that I find the coolest about reaching out to our customer base for their ideas and insights is how generously they are to share.  They get it – we’re all in this together so they’re willing to open up about what they are doing that’s working so that other agents can learn, implement and hopefully duplicate those levels of success.  So thank you again to everyone who contributed their ideas in the last month and a half.  We’re going to be using them throughout this month to share some strategies to help you make this year one of your best ever.

One:  Send Just Listed and Just Sold Postcards.  This time-tested, still relevant, tool is still one of the best marketing strategies you can deploy in your market.  Why?  First, it is exactly what it is.  People who are thinking of buying or selling a house in today’s world want someone who can get the job DONE.  Just listed/just sold cards are great for spotlighting your results, keeping you top of mind and providing that ‘social proof’ people are looking for today when choosing a sales professional.

Here are just two examples from the front lines…

Gary Brand  shared, “An e-marketing fellow recently told a group of Realtors that print advertising was a thing of the past. About a week later I put out a ProspectPLUS! Just Sold post card in the neighborhood around a home I had just sold. Got a call from a neighbor down the street to list his home and it SOLD quickly and I made $17,000 I think I’ll stick with my print marketing thank you very much! It’s just another important piece of my overall marketing program.”

Steven Laidley shared, “Since our office has been using MLSmailings.com (about 6 months ago) our listings have increased about 30%. Our office is located in a condominium complex of approximately 150 units and the postcard mailings that your company has been sending out on our behalf, has many of our neighbors commenting about receiving them and how professional our new appearance is. We can attribute about a 30% increase in listings coming directly from unit owners that have received them. We have reasoned that this is the best advertising money we have ever spent; with results we can gauge definitively.”

You can find a wide variety of Just Listed/Just Sold postcards on our main site at http://www.prospectsplus.com/specials.  I love the Scenic Series – but use the quick find guide to find the selection that most works for you!  Be sure to use promo code JAN10 this month to save  10% off your next order.

Or if you want to REALLY streamline your business this year – consider AUTOMATING your Just Listed/Just Sold postcard marketing with MLSmailings.com – in areas all over the country, we integrate with local MLS’s so that every time you get a listing – we’ll send out your postcards for you – no fuss – no work!  Use promo code TRYUS to waive the $24.95 set up fee.  Got questions about this powerful tool?  Call Becky at 800.287.5710 today.  She’ll get you hooked up!

Two:  Put All Your Marketing in One Place – Then USE IT!  One of the challenges for a lot of agents is they have lots of pieces of their marketing puzzle – they’re just scattered so few and far between that it’s hard to use them to convey a strong marketing plan to today’s sellers.  Home buyers and sellers today are not like they used to be.  They are smart, savvy and know, in many cases, more than some of the agents coming to present them their business offerings.  Don’t let that be you.  When we developed our GettingListingsSold.com’s Ultimate Marketing Toolkit – we put everything into the mix.  Flyers, Just Listed Cards, Lead Generation, Craigslist ads, sign riders, listing presentations, property websites – -the works.  Why?  Because it allows agents to be consistent in their delivery, congruent in their tools and more importantly, have the system they need to be successful in today’s market.  A little like our MLSmailings system, we integrate with MLS’s across the country to help agents easily and affordably take any listing, get it sold, turn it into their next few transactions and appreciate how easy it is.

More from an agent just like you! 

Qabbani Goodwyn shared, “I heard about the GettingListingsSold program right about the time this listing went to settlement. I wondered if all the testimonials on the site were true, and more importantly, could I achieve similar results. To be able to click a few places online and have these postcards canvassed to the area with no additional time consumption on my part was very alluring. If I got just one listing out of it, the ROI would be incredible!

Instead of sending 100, I took a leap of faith and decided to send 275 postcards, jumbo size, not standard. I did this 11 days ago, with a positive expectation of success, even though I was leery as to if sellers between $500k and $1MM would respond to this type of marketing.

Within one week I received two calls – one from a neighbor a few doors down from my sold listing, and another from a homeowner facing foreclosure to needed to short-sale her home (larger than my original listing). I met with both homeowners immediately. The results – I am exploring foreclosure alternatives with homeowner #1 who will list with me if they can’t refinance, and the big news is that I secured a listing with homeowner #2 last night. It was a little uncanny that way that the postcard established “credibility” for me before I even walked in the door with these homeowners. They both were immediately very warm to me and were ready to get right down to business.”

If that sounds like something that you’d like to explore – click here to take the tour!

Three:  Try Every Door Direct Mail™.  You’ve got to love an affordable solution for getting in LITERALLY every door in a farm area.  While most agents have a lot of questions about this relatively new offering from the postal service – the results are coming in fast and furious for agents who are putting it into play in their markets.  It’s a great way to break into a new area, spotlight a high-end listing or establish yourself competitively (and inexpensively.)

Read how these agents has dramatically increased her business:    

Maggie Dokic 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 – cheaper in bulk!) 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!”

Thinking of using a newsletter?  Barbara Taylor Farner shared, “I can contribute a 20k increase on the newsletter….try it!”

If Every Door Direct Mail sounds like something you might be interested in – click here to check out our Webinar on Demand  – in this 40+ minute webinar we run you through the do’s, don’ts and logistics of why this platform is so popular for building agent’s business.  You can also call our marketing department at 866.405.3638 who will be happy to answer your questions for you, help you choose routes and more!

This year, remember it is all about taking pro-active ACTION in attracting new business, new listings and new customers.  Don’t be afraid to jump in, learn, ask questions and ask around.  Your colleagues in the industry are happy to share what’s working.  Visit our Facebook page to learn more mad skills that our customers have shared today! 

Three Powerful Means of Engagement for the Fourth Quarterfollow up

 

By Julie Escobar

You’ve probably heard me say a time or two (or more) that the business will go to those who show up not just once, but again and again.  To succeed in sales today, professionals have to dig in, refuse to cut corners, commit to consistency and the big key?  FOLLOW UP.  Engagement of your customers, your sphere, and your farm – isn’t something you can take a ‘stand-back’ approach to.  You can ‘warm’ the call, set up the stage for prospecting, and share the information that people need to see to consider you the expert they should turn to when they are ready to list or sell their home – but you have to go the EXTRA step – and follow up.  Voice to voice.  Face to face.  Belly to belly.

Is that always easy?  No, for many–not at first.  But for those who dive in and get it?  That their real job, true passion is to help people?  And they practice getting outside their comfort zones?  That’s when the game-changing happens.

So here are a few ways to engage, follow up and make the difference between what could be and what will be a great fourth quarter. 

  1. SEND! For most agents – from the brand new to experienced – warming that prospecting call is something that puts them at ease.  Luckily, ‘tis the season!  Send a holiday card (and don’t wait for the winter holidays – go ahead and get the jump on fall holidays and be different than your competitors.)  Even recipe cards that feature great appetizers or dishes that people can share at upcoming holiday gatherings are good.  You may want to choose to offer a great free report or fair trade item to FSBO’s and Expireds who might be more than anxious about getting their homes sold as we head into holiday season.  Be the resource that goes the extra step for them and it will be appreciated.  Get something in front of your prospects and sphere that gives you a great ‘reason’ to follow up.
  2. CALL! I can’t tell you how many agents I talk to that just have a hard time getting past this one.   It’s ok.  Make the call.  ENGAGE.  Talk to people.  Be yourself.  Be helpful .  Ask questions.  It doesn’t have to be scary and it doesn’t have to be “salesy.”  It can be as simple as this:  “Hi!  It’s Julie from ABC Realty – just wanted to wish you a great holiday season and to see if there is anything at all I can do for you?  There are lots of questions out there right now in our market – and my passion is to help answer them!  Is there anything I can do for you?  Any questions you might have?” Then LISTEN and respond to what they say.  Some won’t need anything but odds are in your favor that some will.  Be sure to let people know that you’re expanding your business and that not only is every referral APPRECIATED, but you realize what an honor everyone is – and you can promise that each will be treated like royalty.  Is there anyone you know that might be looking to buy or sell now or in the near future? Break your calls down into manageable numbers so you don’t get overwhelmed – 10-20 a day – and commit to making it happen.
  3. SEE!  Get out there and SEE people.  As a professional real estate agent – meeting new people and adding to your sphere is a MUST DO not a SHOULD DO.  Walk your neighborhood farm, attend your community garage sales and meet the folks in the neighborhoods you service.  Go to the fall festivals or winter carnivals at the schools.  Wear your name badge, bring your business cards, and shake some hands.  Stop in a the local restaurants, delis, shops and businesses in the community you represent and get to know the people there and let them know you work on referrals – and you’d love to refer your clients back to them as well.  Share your stories about a great meal, terrific new shop, amazing customer experience, incredible health care providers and more in your area on your social media, blog or newsletter.  You’ll not only make new friends, you’ll gain new customers (and respect for being pro-active and a resource people can trust).  Be sure to SEE those in your sphere at least twice a year as well.  Take your top referral customers to coffee or lunch or stop by with a special treat.

The truth is, to stand out as someone who presents themselves as someone who will go the extra miles for their customers and clients – you have to SHOW that characteristic in everything you do – INCLUDING marketing your OWN business.  It’s that simple.  Ultimately it’s not the business of HOMES that we’re in – it’s the business of PEOPLE.  So show up again and again – and follow up over and over.   The results will take care of themselves!

Need help?  Call our marketing team to help get you started, restarted or fired up this fall at 866.405.3638.  They’ve got the experience, knowledge and solutions you need to succeed.  And they’re FUN!  Can’t beat that!  Have a good one and happy follow up!