Monday, December 18, 2017

It Pays to Be Preparedexpireds

By Julie Escobar

Expireds have long had a relatively rotten reputation.  Dubbed ‘difficult’, ‘tough nuts’, or ‘stubborn’ by many agents – but for others – they are considered great ‘low hanging fruit’ and for expired aficionados —  they are the #1 source for increased productivity, respectable listing inventory and even long-term referral clients.  In fact, as many agents will tell you – directly after the holiday season will be the BEST time to swoop in and dominate the expireds in your market.

Here’s what you need to know first:

I believe most experts (and expired specialists) would tell you that success lies in three things:  ATTITUDE, APPROACH and SALESMANSHIP. 

ATTITUDE first, because often expireds are a little discouraged, beat up and even a little put off because they’ve been disappointed in the past.  But a strong agent with a great disposition and a handle on how to get the job done can almost always turn that around.

APPROACH without being pushy, overbearing or blameful.  We’ve always found direct response postcards a great way to capture the attention of a prospect by using questions and statements that are ALREADY in the mind of your target consumer and that lead them to look to YOU for the solutions.  And it’s an APPROACH that has worked tremendously for thousands of agents because it 1) warms the call, 2) presents you as the expired specialist and 3) offers an item of value that is intriguing and helpful to your potential customer.  (Now there’s a win-win-win!)

SALESMANSHIP is often a combo platter of things-right?  It includes the right attitude and approach of course, but also combines savvy dialogue skills, the ability to empathize with your customers and steer them in the right direction.  I’ve always found that it is also the ability to use VISUALS to help tie down your points, make your message crystal clear and lend authority to what you’re saying.  And when you are dealing with more than one seller—more often than not, one is a VISUAL person and one is more focused on the words and the details – so if you have BOTH going for you, you stand a better chance of closing for the signature!

A success strategy that many agents are using today is fairly simple and extremely effective:  

  1. Every morning (or at least once a week) pull the list of expireds from your MLS.  Put these names, addresses and contact information into your prospect database. (HINT:  Pay special attention to the first week of the new year – that’s a goldmine of expireds, so don’t wait to be prepared!)
  2. Set up a series of 3, 6 or 9 direct response offer postcards to go out to those expireds over the course of the next two weeks.  (Sending the postcards 2-3 days apart.)
  3. Follow up with a phone call, introduce yourself as an expert in expired listings and offer an item of value in return for a chance to come out and see the property and make some recommendations for getting the job done.  (If at first you don’t succeed – keep trying!)  Close for the appointment.
  4. Bring their collateral pieces with them to the listing appointment, and begin to build that relationship with them with the right ATTITUDE, APPROACH and SALESMANSHIP.

Sometimes (all right – a LOT of the times) pricing is a factor for expireds- so be sure you have some great objection handlers in your arsenal to ensure that you are pricing that listing RIGHT so you can help your clients reach a better conclusion than their LAST listing experience.

We went ahead and did all the leg work for you – We’ve put together three different expired listing packages for agents to make your job of getting in the door and walking away with the listing a whole lot easier.  Choose from our Silver, Gold or Platinum Packages which include direct response postcards, powerful brochures and the free reports that are just what the sellers are looking for!

Both the Silver and Platinum Kit have our Merchandising Review included.  Here is a little pricing dialogue you can use with that piece to get Expireds to come to the table with the right price. 

As soon as a property comes up on the MLS expired list, you should contact them by telephone and attempt to use the Merchandising Review as a reason for them to set an appointment to talk with you.  Here’s the dialogue we suggest for a phone call:

Hello, Mr./Mrs./Ms/Miss ____________, my name is _______, and I’m with ______.  The reason I’m calling is to see whether or not you still want to sell your home.  Do you?

O.K., well, I know you must be disappointed that it didn’t sell the first time, and I think I have something that will ensure that situation won’t ever happen to you again.  It’s called a Merchandising Review form…have you heard of it before?

Basically this is a special tool I use to make a comprehensive analysis of why your home didn’t sell, and what needs to be done differently to guarantee that it will sell if you do decide to put it back on the market.

What I’d like to do is set a time when we could sit down together and go over the Merchandising Review.  It takes about 20-25 minutes, and there’s absolutely no cost for this service.

Would Wednesday at 6:15 be good, or Thursday around 8:30 be better for you?

Now walk them through each item and negotiate the issues that were keeping the property from selling.  Correct these issues, and then show them your marketing plan.

Here’s just some of the pieces that are included:

expired listing package

 

 

 

 

 

 

Get yours today here or learn more by calling us at 866.405.3638.

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

December’s ProspectsPLUS! Review Contest!250 gift

Wow! We had some GREAT responses from the December review contest on our Google+ Page!  Our new winner is Greg Hanner!  Greg, we’ll be sending you a $250 ProspectsPLUS.com gift card!  Perfect for getting all your marketing tools lined up for the new year ahead!

Here’s what Greg had to say: “Forget trying to do your own cards or flyers ‘in-house’ since ProspectsPLUS! has outstanding print quality and you can upload your own or buy a mailing list to suit your campaign’s needs. I will never look back and look forward to using ProspectsPlus! for future printing needs.” Thanks Greg – we’re thrilled you’re enjoying the service!

Next up is Janice Carmichael, with a $100 gift card to the site! Here’s what she had to say, “I am a new Realtor with Witalisz and Associates, Inc. in Westfield, MA and was delighted to find ProspectsPLUS. I’ve been reading the helpful tips they send, and also trying to decide what I should or shouldn’t be doing these first few months regarding investments in mailings. The first mailing after listing my first house was handled by ProspectsPLUS. It was both well done, promptly sent out, and looked great as well as was within my budget. I’ll be doing more business with the company as I get more into this business!” Good luck in your new business Janice! We’re happy to be a resource for you!

And finally — Maerilu Wooley – wins a $50 gift card! Here’s what she had to say, “Love the professional look of your products, and always get the best customer service available! I’m always interested in your professional tips of the trade as well. So glad to have a professional company like yours helping me with my business.

Thank you to everyone who participated in last month’s contest! The good news?  Is there is STILL a way to win!  In fact, join us for January’s contest — we’re giving away THREE MORE prizes!  A $150 Gift Card, a $100 gift card and a $50 gift card to three lucky winners!  It’s EASY to enter! 

Simply Just leave a review on our Google+ page for a chance to win!  The next drawing will be held February 4th!  Enter today!

Need help with your marketing?  Call our team today at 866.405.3638 or visit us online here to see our monthly specials!

(And Why It Doesn’t Have to Be As Hard as Some Folks Make It)

By Julie Escobar

Expireds have long had a relatively rotten reputation.  Dubbed ‘difficult’, ‘tough expiredlistingnuts’, or ‘stubborn’ by many agents – but for others – they are considered great ‘low hanging fruit’ and for expired aficionados —  they are the #1 source for increased productivity, respectable listing inventory and even long-term referral clients.  So what’s the difference?

I believe most experts (and expired specialists) would tell you that success lies in three things:  ATTITUDE, APPROACH and SALESMANSHIP. 

ATTITUDE first, because often expireds are a little discouraged, beat up and even a little put off because they’ve been disappointed in the past.  But a strong agent with a great disposition and a handle on how to get the job done can almost always turn that around.

APPROACH without being pushy, overbearing or blameful.  We’ve always found direct response postcards a great way to capture the attention of a prospect by using questions and statements that are ALREADY in the mind of your target consumer and that lead them to look to YOU for the solutions.  And it’s an APPROACH that has worked tremendously for thousands of agents because it 1) warms the call, 2) presents you as the expired specialist and 3) offers an item of value that is intriguing and helpful to your potential customer.  (Now there’s a win-win-win!)

SALESMANSHIP is often a combo platter of things-right?  It includes the right attitude and approach of course, but also combines savvy dialogue skills, the ability to empathize with your customers and steer them in the right direction.  I’ve always found that it is also the ability to use VISUALS to help tie down your points, make your message crystal clear and lend authority to what you’re saying.  And when you are dealing with more than one seller—more often than not, one is a VISUAL person and one is more focused on the words and the details – so if you have BOTH going for you, you stand a better chance of closing for the signature!

A success strategy that many agents are using today is fairly simple and extremely effective:  

  1. Every morning (or at least once a week) they pull the list of expireds from their MLS.  They put these names, addresses and contact information into their prospect database.  (You probably know by now how we feel about BUIILDING YOUR DATABASES!)
  2. They set up a series of 3, 6 or 9 direct response offer postcards to go out to those expireds over the course of the next two weeks.  (Sending the postcards 2-3 days apart.)
  3. They follow up with a phone call, introducing themselves as an expert in expired listings and offer the item of value in return for a chance to come out and see the property and make some recommendations for getting the job done.  (If at first you don’t succeed – keep trying!)  Close for the appointment.
  4. They bring their collateral pieces with them to the listing appointment, and begin to build that relationship with them with the right ATTITUDE, APPROACH and SALESMANSHIP.

Sometimes (all right – a LOT of the times) pricing is a factor for expireds- so be sure you have some great objection handlers in your arsenal to ensure that you are pricing that listing RIGHT so you can help your clients reach a better conclusion than their LAST listing experience.  You’ll find some terrific pricing strategies here.

We went ahead and did all the leg work for you – We’ve put together three different expired listing packages for agents to make your job of getting in the door and walking away with the listing a whole lot easier.  Choose from our Silver, Gold or Platinum Packages which include direct response postcards, powerful brochures and the free reports that are just what the sellers are looking for!

Here’s just some of the pieces that are included:

Some of the Gold package

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Click on the image above to see the these pieces and more in detail or here to get yours today or learn more by calling us at 866.405.3638 or visiting our all new site at www.postcardsplus.com

Using Consumer Free Reports to Generate Leads

by Julie Escobar

“Knowledge is power,” right? Let’s face it, the world has changed a lot in the last ten years. Where consumers once had to rely on an expert to gain the information they needed about a particular topic, now they literally have a world of data at their fingertips. They can simply type in their interest into their internet search bar and scroll through to learn 24/7.

So how do you, the local real estate professional, differentiate yourself in your market; prove yourself to be the resource buyers and sellers can turn to first (even before they go start “Googling”) when they have a real estate question or need? We know they’re going online; national statistics tell us to the tune of 90% or more when they’re searching for a new home or a new agent. So how do you make sure they bookmark YOUR site?

ONE:  Give them what they’re looking for. Sounds simple enough, right? Trend watching can be time consuming but it is smart to keep it in your peripheral vision. When you know that searches such as short sales, how to buy a house, how to avoid foreclosure, homes for sale, etc. are what is tracking through Google searches, why not create a keyword rich short report (or download the ones we offer for free!) to answer the burning questions that consumers have on these topics and add it to your website? That way, when they search that topic and you’ve made it available, you become the hero and the “expert” in their eyes.

TWO:  Let the world know it’s available. Send postcards to your Sphere of Influence inviting them to get their copy and write a press release, posting it on your blog, website, Facebook, Twitter and even in your local paper to announce that your new report is available. Use “teaser copy” and popular keywords to pique the interest of the consumers in your area. Remember when writing press releases: both consumers and newspaper publishers look for relevance, the ability to get to the point, newsworthiness and information. Don’t make it a sales pitch about you or your company; keep to the content and leave your call to action and contact information for the end such as “to receive your copy of this valuable report, visit www.yourwebsite.com today or call us at 1-555-5555!”

THREE:  Capture their email address and update your databases. These reports, saved as a PDF and made available on your website or blog, are a great way to capture email addresses and begin to build your email database of customers. It’s also a terrific fair trade for updating your current database and asking for referrals by contacting your current Sphere of Influence and letting them know you have a brand new free report available and you’d be happy to share it with them. Ask them if they wouldn’t mind if you updated your database so you can be sure to always reach them with the most timely, relevant and up-to-date information available. This would be a good time to also say something along the lines of, “You know, our market has changed so much recently and the media sure makes a lot of noise about it, doesn’t it? It has created a lot of questions in the minds of many of my customers and I just wanted to find out if you had any questions I can answer or if there is any way I can better serve you during these changing times?” You might be pleasantly surprised by how much of your customer base actually does have a question as well as how much they appreciate your asking.

FOUR:  Use them to help customers realize they need help. People are naturally curious and more often than not try to adopt a do-it-yourself approach on many topics—including buying or selling a home. These reports are the perfect way to spotlight what’s obvious to you but perhaps not yet obvious to the consumer. Use free reports to point out factors such as:

  • The amount of work involved
  • Security issues
  • Legal questions
  • Time requirements
  • What they could lose in terms of time and money by waiting or without a proven negotiator

I know agents who keep these handy tools in their cars at all times so they are always armed when a question arises. Another agent dramatically increases her success rate at open houses by making these and additional content rich materials available on site. They make great ice breakers and conversation starters and she tells me that she rarely leaves an open house without picking up at least one or two buyer or seller leads or referrals. How? Because she goes the extra step. She doesn’t stop at just having the property information flyers. She successfully showcases her ability to navigate the wide spectrum of real estate needs by having the right collateral material, the right attitude, and the presence of mind to ask questions! (That last one is REALLY important! Don’t be afraid to ASK!) One of the best closes in the sales industry is simply two words: “Any questions?”

FIVE:  Expand on it. We make it easy for you to kick start your free report marketing! We know the value of differentiating yourself in a market. That’s why we have more than ten free reports on our website available for download and we add new ones almost every month! Visit us today at prospectsplus.com/freereports and get your copies!

Here’s a list of just some of the free report resources you’ll find:

  • Six Pitfalls of Overpricing Your Home
  • Five Factors that Cause a Property NOT to Sell
  • Seller’s Security Checklist: Six Keys to Staying Safe When Showing Your Home
  • After the Tax Credit: Why it’s STILL a Great Time to Buy
  • Free Consumer Workshop Goof Proof Tips for Success
  • Six Tips for Selling Your Home in a Shifting Market
  • Seven Must Know Facts About Short Sales & Foreclosures
  • FSBO First Aid
  • Five Keys to Selling Your Home Sooner
  • Four Questions You Should Ask Every Buyer
  • 10 Ways to Prospect to and Support Your Local PTAs
  • Top Ten Checklist for Choosing a REALTOR

I also included some suggestions for each in terms of target audience and postcards that can help you spread the word and contact frequency to make it easier!  Plus use Promo Code:  APPLE15 TO SAVE 15%!

As always, your success is our passion, so feel free to call us at 1-866-405-3638 today or visit prospectsplus.com/SPECIALS .