Saturday, October 21, 2017

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 .

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!