Monday, December 18, 2017

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 I’m learning along the way about how 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:

While there are tens of thousands of agents across North America competitively out-listing their peers by making Expireds their niche market of choice, there are still some surprisingly pervasive myths floating around out there about working this demographic.

So, let’s put on our “Myth-busters” hat for a moment and take a look at some common misconceptions:

1.  All Expired Listing Sellers are MEAN. Come on now – all of them?  In truth, most sellers whose listings have expired are just like other sellers with two differences.  First, they’re usually MORE motivated to get their homes back on the market and SOLD because the “clock” has been ticking longer and they often need to move quickly.  Secondly, they may be frustrated, discouraged or yes, even angry that they didn’t get the results they were looking for the first time around.  That doesn’t make them mean – it makes them human beings.  It’s YOUR job to earn their trust, treat them with respect, develop a relationship and make them raving fans.

How do you help develop that relationship? Consistent communication, professional presentation tools and a can-do attitude.  Try the “7” series of our 3-7-27 Expired Postcard templates – they’re perfect for getting your foot in the door and raising those questions (and answering them) in the minds of the sellers that get them to then call you for help.  Don’t forget to use promo code:  EXPIRED15 to get 15% off your order.

2.  All Expired Listings Were Overpriced. Don’t you just love sweeping generalities?  In truth, (again) – probably better than half or more were overpriced, no doubt.  But there is a wide spectrum of reasons that houses don’t sell – some of which lie in the agent that had it before, some because of price, some market area, some home condition, some lack of marketing, etc.  Once again – it’s your job to figure out WHY it didn’t sell and what can be done differently to ensure success the next time around.  Meet that challenge and you’ll be a hero to those sellers!

Try our free Merchandising Review. If you’ve never used it, give it a whirl – you’ll make it a part of your listing tool chest from now on!  It’s a great way to strategically walk sellers through ALL the components of salable listing and even helps to answer some questions (price at the top!) before they’re even raised.  Download your copy for free and start using it today.   By the way – here’s a little Merchandising Review dialogue you can use when contacting expireds:

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.

“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 it 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?”

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.

3.   All Expired Listings are Unsellable. I love this one.  Truth is almost anything is sellable for the right price, terms and promotion.  I’ve seen agent after agent take what others deemed “unsellable” and turn it around to get it sold in some cases just DAYS.  Keep it in perspective, do the work on the front end, price it right, communicate with the sellers and go ahead – sell the “unsellable” – you’ll be the new office real estate rock star!

4.  They Always Re-List With the Same Agent. This one is SO not true.  While depending on market, on average 40+% may re-list with the same agent, consider the other sometimes 60% that don’t.  They’re disappointed usually with that first agent; they’re ready for a change, fresh start – and results.  Be the agent that can present them with a professional and proven plan to help them ultimately get their home sold in the shortest amount of time for the most amount of money with the least amount of headaches – and you’ll walk away with the listing.

Expireds really are the “low hanging fruit” for many agents – why?  Because they’re easily found (right there in your MLS) and they’re usually still motivated to sell!  But the keys to success are that  you have to consistent (can’t show up just ONCE – remember MOST deals are sealed after the FIFTH contact), timely (most successful expired experts make reaching out to expireds a DAILY business practice – no half-stepping it!), know your business and your market (practice, drill and rehearse your presentation, S

So go ahead – time to CRUSH IT and start listing those expireds and ot maneuvering, out-selling and out-smarting the competition in your market place!  And remember -we’re here if you need us!

By Julie Escobar

Did you know?  We’ve got LOTS of Free Reports on ProspectsPLUS.com just waiting for you to come and download them?

Simple, fast and free – these handy little tools are a great way for you to expand your marketing collateral “tool box” and make sure you always have the right strategies for staying competitive in your market!  Since these terrific items are often missed tucked up under the Resource section of our site – I thought this time of year would be the PERFECT time to have you check them out and add them to your arsenal!

First things first – you’ve got to have a website account!  No worries – it’s free!  Simply go to the Sign Up button on the top right hand side of www.prospectsplus.com and fill out your profile.   Once you’re logged in – you get to UNLOCK all the treasures we’ve got on the site for you!

Next – check out the resource section – not just for the free reports but for all the cool training tools, downloads and on-demand videos as well as our newsletter sign up!  As for reports – you’ll really find we run the gamut for topics!  There’s currently over 15 Free Reports on the site – so check them out today!  FREE REPORTS

All right – ready for five great ways to use your free reports? Here you go:

  1. Opt-in enticement: As a download on your website!  Ask for an email address to send a free report – change them out every month to help build your opt-in email database!  What’s that give you?  Options—which will be critical as savvy agents continually move towards multi-channel/multi-media marketing strategies for the years ahead.
  2. 2. Blog or Social Media Post Content: When you hit that “I’ve run out of ideas to post about” days – nab the copy from these little treasures and post them on your blog or wall!  (You can even use a thumbnail of the report as a visual on Tweetpic.com – then add the title and url to your blog post where they can get the information!)
  3. 3. As a direct response tool for your postcard marketing. For each report, you’ll find a corresponding series of postcards that compliment your offer and help you drive OFFLINE traffic to your ONLINE source sites.  It gives prospects and customers a reason to visit you online, call you for the report or email you! 
  4. 4. Eye openers for FSBOs & Expireds: Use the Six Keys, FSBO First Aid and Four Questions reports to create some “Ah-ha” moments for FSBOs and the Five Factors and Six Pitfalls Report to do the same for Expireds – all of which spotlight the very real need for an agent in terms of getting the most from their investment with the least amount of headaches.
  5. 5. As collateral for your Open Houses. I’ve talked to a great deal of agents who use these reports as collateral when they host an open house. Instead of having JUST the property flyers on site – they bring along copies of these which become terrific conversation starters for both buyer and seller candidates.  It allow you to be seen more as an expert who has a wide spectrum of valuable information to share rather than just an agent waiting for a buyer! 

Check out the FREE REPORTS page today and pick a report to download and experiment with the wide variety of ways you can use these tools in your business and marketing!  As always, give us a shout if you need anything or email me directly!  Have a great one!