Monday, December 18, 2017

Tools You Can Use…

By Julie Escobar

The famous bank robber Willie Sutton once said, “I found that the right visual aide (his pistol) and a few well chosen words are more persuasive than just the words alone.”  Felonies aside – he was on to something!

As sales professionals, having the right visuals to back up your words and presentation can often mean the difference between taking the listing or leaving empty handed.   I’ve always been a big fan of visuals when giving presentations and when your goal is to effectively communicate with your client or customers.  They lend an extra layer of authority to the conversation, appeal to the both the “listener” in the room and the “visual” person in the room (and if there’s a husband and wife or more than one person who is a decision maker – there’s usually one of each!), and it help you and your ‘audience’ to stay ON TRACK.

Targeting Expireds is a dynamite strategy in today’s market.  Granted, some are disillusioned, some worried and many frustrated…but most of the time – they’re still motivated to sell.  One of the first things you have to do is to help them figure out the “WHY” for their dilemma.  Was it price?  (Many times!)  Was it condition?  (You can sell anything for the right PRICE.)  Was it the terms?

Whatever it was – the key to keeping that from happening again is to make sure your sellers are just as vested as you are in creating a successful end result – the sale of their home, preferably sooner rather than later.

Enter the Merchandising Review.  This handy dandy little form is great for walking sellers through the potential pitfalls that can happen  if you don’t follow a success track when listing a property.  It helps put some of the “monkey” if you will on their backs – not just that of the sales agent.  And truly – it should be – right?

The Merchandising Review is a great way to sit across from the seller and say, “Listen, selling a home in today’s market is challenging at times, there’s no doubt.  But I like a good challenge and when you have the right tools, the right price, the right plan and the right agent – we can get you to your goal of getting this home sold.  Let’s do this – let’s walk through what I call a Merchandising Review and take a look at some of the top reasons that a home will sell (or won’t) in our market – OK?  That way we can make whatever adjustments we need to get you and your family to the next chapter of your life.  Sound good?  Here, I brought two copies – let’s go through it…”

It’s easy to use and easy (and free) to get!  Click here to go to our Resource Page – scroll about half way down the page until you see “Merchandising Review” – then just click download!  Easy, breezy!  While you’re there – also download our Five Factors That Cause Properties Not to Sell and Six Pitfalls to Overpricing Your Home.  Both are perfect for this demographic!

Then if you really start wanting to drive up your production and attract Expireds in your market – use our ‘7-Series for Expireds’ – the messages are perfect for entering the conversation that’s already going on in the minds of these disappointed sellers.

At least twice a week, pull the Expireds in your market and send them a series of 3-5 postcards, mailing one every 5-7 days. Use the alternative back on the postcard to write a little more – and share that you have a very special tool that can help them first, determine what went wrong in the sale of their home and two, ensure that it doesn’t happen again and invite them to call your for a copy of their own.

You can offer a different report on each postcard!

It’s a great way in the door for these potential sellers.  Go for it!

Need help choosing the cards that are right for you?  Simply call our marketing specialists at 866-405-3638 today.  They’re smart, knowledgeable, friendly and just the folks you need on your side to ensure that your marketing is TIMELY and DONE!  Be sure to use promo code REFERRALS this month to save 15% on your order!  Good luck and go get those Expireds!

Mastering the Merchandising Review

By Julie Escobar

I’ve always been a big fan of visuals when giving presentations and when your goal is to effectively communicate with your client or customers.  They lend an extra layer of authority to the conversation, appeal to the both the “listener” in the room and the “visual” person in the room (and if there’s a husband and wife or more than one person who is a decision maker – there’s usually one of each!), and it help you and your ‘audience’ to stay ON TRACK.

Working with Expireds is a dynamite strategy in today’s market.  Granted, some are disillusioned, some worried and some flat out angry that they didn’t get the results they wanted.  But most of the time – they’re still motivated to sell.  One of the first things you have to do is to help them figure out the “WHY” for their dilemma.  Was it price?  (Many times!)  Was it condition?  (You can sell anything for the right PRICE.)  Was it the terms?

Whatever it was – the key to keeping that from happening again is to make sure your sellers are just as vested as you are in creating a successful end result – the sale of their home, preferably sooner rather than later.

Enter the Merchandising Review.  This handy dandy little form is great for walking sellers through the potential pitfalls that can happen  if you don’t follow a success track when listing a property.  It helps put some of the “monkey” if you will on their backs – not just that of the sales agent.  And truly – it should be – right?

The Merchandising Review is a great way to sit across from the seller and say, “Listen, selling a home in today’s market is challenging at times, there’s no doubt.  But I like a good challenge and when you have the right tools, the right price, the right plan and the right agent – we can get you to your goal of getting this home sold.  Let’s do this – let’s walk through what I call a Merchandising Review and take a look at some of the top reasons that a home will sell (or won’t) in our market – OK?  That way we can make whatever adjustments we need to get you and your family to the next chapter of your life.  Sound good?  Here, I brought two copies – let’s go through it…”

It’s easy to use and easy (and free) to get!  Click here to go to our Resource Page – scroll about half way down the page until you see “Merchandising Review” – then just click download!  Easy, breezy!  Then if you really start wanting to drive up your production and attract Expireds in your market – use our ‘7-Series for Expireds’ – the messages are perfect for entering the conversation that’s already going on in the minds of these disappointed sellers.

At least twice a week, pull the Expireds in your market and send them a series of 3-5 postcards, mailing one every 5-7 days. Use the alternative back on the postcard to write a little more – and share that you have a very special tool that can help them first, determine what went wrong in the sale of their home and two, ensure that it doesn’t happen again and invite them to call your for a copy of their own.

It’s a great way in the door for these potential sellers.  Go for it!

Need help choosing the cards that are right for you?  Simply call our marketing specialists at 866-405-3638 today.  They’re smart, knowledgeable, friendly and just the folks you need on your side to ensure that your marketing is TIMELY and DONE!  Be sure to use promo code LOCAL15 this month to save 15% on your order!  Good luck and go get those Expireds!

Look Right In Your Own Back ‘Yard’!

By Julie Escobar

I was watching a new video by a good friend and awesome agent Virginia Munden who was
talking about social media and why you don’t need everyone in the WORLD to follow you – you just need to focus on what’s important and RELEVANT to the folks right there in your own community and back yard to really create the kind of ENGAGEMENT you need to connect with the customers you want.

She, of course, is absolutely right.  From social media, to mailings to conversation – what people have shown they REALLY want to know about are the things that mean the most to them.  That’s why we created a Local Market Series of postcards. They’re a great way to let consumers in your market know that you’ve got the inside scoop on all things local.  Here’s a few strategies for how to use them.

1.  Choose your farm area or sphere list – or if you need help, we can work with you to build a geographic list that works perfectly with this series.  (It’s also a great way to BUILD that sphere or farm if you haven’t yet had a chance to put a database together!)

2.  Click here to see our Local Market Series cards – then select this campaign to go out over the next 3-6 months – either one every 28-30 days (a Direct Marketing Association recommendation) or one every other month to your list.

3.  Choose the ‘Alternative Back’ for the postcards – This gives you a little more room to make great offers to your recipient list.  I would suggest inviting (and enticing) them to your blog or social media page where you are no doubt keeping everyone abreast of the latest and greatest things happening around town.  New businesses opening, school sports activities, local plays or concerts, great restaurant review, list of local resources, etc. are all good content ideas for your online portal.  Secondly, I would offer them a free report that gives valuable information that they can use.  We’ve got a wide variety to choose from on our Resources page including How to Save for a Down Payment, Cash Buyer Checklist, Four Questions to Ask Every Buyer, Spring Moving Tips and so much more.  Get yours here – and remember – you can download these at no cost and use them on your blogs as well.  (Handy for those days when writer’s block creeps in or your up to your ears in offers!  Love those offer days!)

Be sure to start really connecting with area businesses as well.  It’s terrific to really know and support them and you’d be amazed at how willing they are to support you right back.  Many will offer coupons and offers that you can extend to your sphere which makes for another great reason to mail to them or reach out via telephone.  Use your flip camera or iphone to make a short video testimonial – and ask them to do the same.  Sharing networks can be great fun in today’s world – and REALLY SMART BUSINESS.

So GO for it!  Spotlight YOURSELF as the go-to agent in your market!  Need help?  Call us at 866.405.3638.  Our marketing team can help you build your list, pick the campaign, even create your alternate message.  Be sure to use our new Promo Code:  LOCAL15 to save 15% on your order!  Good luck!   

Oh – and while you’re online?  Be sure to connect with us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/prospectsplus!  We’re ALWAYS having fun to share!

 

 

How to Use a Successful Mix of Marketing Tools to Drive OFFLINE Traffic to Your ONLINE Presence

By Julie Escobar

It’s been a busy week of interviews and interesting to hear what people are asking in terms of “how do I market my listings and myself more effectively?” Good question! Let’s see if I can share a little of what we’ve found that works when you’re ready to mix and match your marketing mediums so that you can really make the most of your time, energy and dollars. Sound good?

First let’s start with the obvious—we KNOW that 87% of home buyers and sellers START their search for their new home or REALTOR online, which is great news for you if you’re busily building an online presence…right? There’s just a little hitch — according to a study of Broker Website Effectiveness conducted by the WAV Group 69% of visitors to broker websites type the address directly into the browser, 20% use search engine – but with keywords such as agent or brokerage name, which means that more than 85% of all traffic to the brokers’ websites were coming from people who ALREADY knew them. This is good in terms of retention of customers – but not so good news in terms of driving NEW eyes to your website, blog or social media channels.

So if NEW traffic’s your goal, then you’ve got to find some ways to get consumers in YOUR MARKET who are looking for information about buying or selling a house and they start to type something into that search bar…They know YOUR NAME & Company name!

1. Make direct mail your friend. Don’t start yelling at me and saying direct mail is dead – before you consider a few facts. According to a survey conducted by the Direct Marketing Association nearly 70% of consumers prefer to receive announcements and information from companies they are familiar with via conventional mail, versus less than 20% who prefer e-mail pitches.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of email marketing, but I have agents asking me week after week – “How do I get email addresses?” And that’s where I believe direct mail postcards can really compliment an agent’s marketing plan. They’re affordable, fast, don’t have to be opened first, quick to make an impression and done right – a great way to brand yourself, get your name TOP OF MIND for area consumers and drive people looking for real estate answers or information – Straight to your website!

We’ve even developed a new line of postcards to help you develop a social media following! Check them out: On the Web Templates!

Need help finding addresses to mail to?  Click here to watch a video on building your mailing list:  Mailing List Management

2. Next, add QR codes to all of your printed materials. Postcards, business cards, flyers – even sign riders! Point those QR (Quick Response) codes to your Facebook Fanpage, your lead capture forms on your website, your single property websites or just about anywhere on the web you want to drive new customer attention.

Here are a couple of QR Code Generators for you to try:
http://delivr.com/qr-code-generator
http://www.beqrious.com/generator (love the name of that one!)

If you don’t like either of those just Google “QR Code Generator” and you’ll find a bunch! I’d look for ones that have analytics attached so that you can track your results.

3. Add your social media addresses to everything just like your QR codes! Your business cards, email signatures, printed materials, websites, blogs, the works. Make sure everything has got all the myriad of ways people can find you (and create some great backlinks for your different sites at the same time!) And please don’t make the mistake that I see many businesses make where they simply say “follow us on Facebook” – you have to go the extra step. Tell them HOW! For example – Follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/prospectsplus. (A shameless plug – but a good example!) I see business signs, cards, brochures etc. that just have the icons for social media and blogs but not the actual address. Make it EASY for folks to find you!

4. Join the online conversation. Don’t expect immediate results, but also don’t discount the power of the internet to help establish and fuel new relationships. Talk about what’s going on in your market, but don’t make your social media posts all about you or all about real estate. If you’ve got a niche your passionate about-talk, post or tweet about that! Ask questions. Invite the neighbors in your farm area to join a neighborhood fan page where you’ll help to keep them posted on all things that pertain to their area. Like to work with seniors? Blog or post about the things that interest them. First time home buyers your gig? Make sure you include information on how to save for a down payment, how to protect their interests, etc.

Another great strategy is to interview area business owners. If you’re tweeting or facebooking about them, there’s a good chance they’ll do the same for you! Ask an area roofer how what are the signs of a roof that needs to be replaced. Ask a plumber about winter pipe maintenance. Ask a local restaurateur about new menu items and promotions they might be having. Start conversing and connecting!

5. Offer items of value on your website or blog. A great way to capture email addresses is to offer free reports and value items to your website in exchange for email addresses. People are information hungry these days and if you can satisfy that hunger with the right collateral pieces- they’ll share their contact information and their loyalty! We’ve got lots of free reports and handy tools that you can download for free – find them here: ProspectsPLUS.com Resource Page

So start mixing and matching and building both your email database as well as your book of business database so that you can whether whatever market storm comes your way. Good luck and remember we’re here when you need us!  Call our inside account management team at 866.405.3638 to learn how they can help you boost your business, drive more traffic to your site and get your phone ringing! 

“Do No Harm Strategies” from Short Sale Experts Leonard Giarrano and Sandra Maslen

By Julie Escobar

It’s funny, when I started this series on short sales – the phrase Hippocratic Oath kept popping into my head – and then when I sat down to interview an old friend and extraordinary short sale expert Len Giarrano – it was one of the first things that he said.  Don’t you just love it when things come together?  For real estate professionals, especially those diving into the sometimes murky waters of short sales and foreclosures – taking the “first, do no harm” approach to business and clients is a top priority.

So when the topic came up, I took my questions to a man I’ve known and trusted in this business for more than 20 years.  When it comes to integrity and character – -this guy and his incredible partner, Sandra Maslen have it in spades.  So who better to ask?

Here’s an excerpt from our interview…

Q:  Hey Len!  Always happy to connect with you!  I’m excited to hear about your new partnership with Ms. Maslen here (Hi Sandra!) and what you two have been up to in terms of helping distressed homeowners once again find peace of mind.  First, why don’t you guys tell us a little about yourselves?

Len: Hi Julie, I’m always happy to connect with you as well and this topic really is something we’re passionate about.  For me, the American dream of home ownership sparked my real estate career 25 years ago!  I wanted to take some of the complexities that families were finding out of buying a home.  Then and now, I first seek to understand what each family needs and then find a way to create a solid course to help them reach that goal.  Helping households through the process of short sale is good business & makes customers for life.

Sandra: My background is actually in mortgage banking and real estate – and I think that’s really been wonderful experience to draw from when working with lenders on our client’s behalf.  Lenders and banks have a definite way of doing business – and while many agents get frustrated because banks want their deals done “in their way” – I can see the situation from the other side and do everything necessary to ensure that when our files hit the lender’s desk – they’re exactly what they’re looking for to expedite the process.

Q:  What’s important for distressed homeowners to know SOONER rather than later in today’s economy?

Len & Sandra: Well, one of the first things that people should know is that the banks don’t want your home back.  They want a vibrant economy and household like yours on your feet again – that’s profits everyone.  They would much rather work with you to resolve the situation.  They can recover assets – but it’s tough once it gets to the point of vacant, destroyed homes and neighborhoods.

So in terms of what they should do SOONER, first –don’t try to go it alone.  Find an agent or team with the CDPE designation and get a good, solid, accurate assessment of your situation so you know what your options are.  The CDPE training is so comprehensive and robust that it gives agents all the tools they need to first – as we said early – DO NO HARM – and secondly, provide the tools and the systems needed to help those homeowners once again find peace of mind.

Secondly, don’t wait until you’re down to your last dime and financially devastated to take action. For many of the homeowners we work with – there is such a sense of guilt and shame about their situation – so much so that people are too afraid or embarrassed to seek help.  They’re so overwhelmed and feel like they have to exhaust every penny they have to try to dig themselves out of a bad situation.  Our job is to make sure that each situation is diagnosed on its own merit for its own set of circumstances and to really advocate for those homeowners and provide them with choices that in most cases – they didn’t even know they had.

Q: How are you reaching out to distressed homeowners and letting them know that there are options available to them?