Sunday, October 22, 2017

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. 
Google

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!  
Google

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! 

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!