Thursday, March 23, 2017

A Powerful Interview with Talented Agent Maggie Dokic

By Julie Escobar

I love success stories don’t you? Especially when they spotlight someone who was brave enough to take calculated risks, savvy enough to look to new strategies, and generous enough to share what is working in a challenging market. One of our clients Maggie Dokic is just that kind of agent and I appreciated the opportunity to have her share her story with us!

If you’re an agent who has struggled (or still struggles) to find your footing in today’s market –you’ll appreciate this insightful interview.

Q: Maggie – when we first connected you were just really getting started and realizing what a tough road it can sometimes be in this business and now you’re gaining traction! How exciting. Can you tell me a little bit about that and what you think you’re doing differently that others can learn from?

A: I’m not out of the woods yet Julie. I’m not ashamed to say I had a couple of really tough years. But it’s exciting to know that I can see the light and am headed in the right direction. I never gave up and there’s a sense of satisfaction that comes from that. As for what I’m doing differently, I started reigning in my enthusiasm for chasing everything that glitters and got back to basics. I have a hard time with that. Every email that gets past my spam blockers seems to garner ‘ooohs and aaahs’ from me as THE answer to all my real estate woes. Instead, I put my focus back on where it belongs. Basics like knowing our market, time blocking, tracking our numbers, reaching out to our sphere and growing it (love this one!), having systems in place, generating business so we can count on regular closings. This isn’t rocket science and we oftentimes get in our own way. I am still a technology fan girl and do allow myself the time to research new things when I hear a buzz. But I have to limit myself to only certain times and they’re on my schedule. Otherwise I’d be on Facebook too long to get any work done. They don’t call it social media for nothing.

Q: I love that you’re thinking outside the box and that you’ve just tried Every Door Direct Mail™ for the first time – what made you make that decision?

A: Well as they say Julie, “Mama didn’t raise no fool!” The cost of EDDM made me realize I’d BE a fool for not trying it. Knowing that I could reach about three times the number of people for the same cost was a no brainer. We mailed to 1,002 homes last month and are preparing our 2nd mailing right now. The very next day after the mailers were delivered I received my first call from a homeowner considering selling. We took that as an omen that EDDM will work for us. We are mailing high quality pieces that stand out and set us apart from the rest. We’re also targeting a specific market and making sure our market knowledge is reflected in our mailings. We’re committed to mailing for a year so those home owners get to know us and our brand. Also in our plans is to grow our reach so we’re in 6,000 mailboxes by the 12th mailing.

Q: That’s awesome! And one of the calls you got was for a TOP DOLLAR Listing too you said! Congratulations! You’ve recently formed a team – how has that made an impact on your business?

A: I always knew I wanted a team. Keller Williams supports that so it was a natural for me to pursue it when I came to KW a year ago. I have to explain that my “team” is still in its infancy. It’s me, an assistant, a virtual assistant, plus buyer agents who are not on my team but I refer business to. It’s working for me right now as it helps me to leverage my time. I want to focus on listings. If I’m doing everything I can’t focus on anything. The goal is to hire a buyer agent as soon as the numbers allow. It all starts with the vision. I created my logo and started branding my team before it even existed. And anyone who has a broker, an office receptionist, and office staff can do the same. They are your team. Start thinking of it that way and the next step is a natural one.

Q: Great advice Maggie – and you’re absolutely right to have the mindset to look at your business AS a business and treat it as such! As a ProspectsPLUS! software user, we’ve often talked about how you like the wide spectrum of marketing tools it offers. As we begin to move our newer pieces online for more functionality and flexibility – do you think that’s something that will make it even easier for your team to use?

A: Heck yes! We love our ProspectsPLUS! software! Every time I open up one of your pieces, I am awed again by what a marketing genius you are! There are a gazillion systems in Prospects Plus and that actually makes it difficult the first time you use it because you want to use all of it but of course have to start with just one. OK, so I exaggerated about the gazillion, but it sure seems like it. So once you get past the fact that you have to limit your attention to one piece and how you’re going to use it, the rest is easy. Seriously, your marketing pieces are so well written that just making a list of the ones you want to use and then chipping away at that list is a great strategy for any real estate professional. And having them available online eventually will simply be icing on the cake.

Q: It’s great to see your spark when you talk about building your business and celebrating your client base. What advice would you give to other agents who are either just starting out or even RE-starting in this business?

A: First, focus on one thing at a time. People multi-tasking and being efficient is a myth. It’s been proven that we get a lot more done and do it better, when we’re not tasked with doing more than one thing at once. Second, don’t be a secret agent. This is Real Estate 101. Reach out to those who know you and like you, and let them know you’re in the business (or remind them you’re still in the business). People want to use someone knowledgeable when they hire anyone, yes. But all things being equal, they prefer to work with someone they know, like and trust and that’s where you gain the upper hand. Make sure your contacts know you are there for them. And be genuine in your approach. In my day to day routine, I enjoy nothing more than the hand written note cards with genuine sentiments and the phone calls made without having to beat them over the head for a referral. The monthly mailings remind them I’m in real estate. My phone calls, texts, Facebook posts and note cards are short, sweet, not about real estate and appreciated. When it’s time for their neighbor to put their home on the market I know they will remember I’m the real estate professional for them. And last, use Evernote. It really is all that and a side of fries. I can go on and on about this wonder app so I will just stop now.

Maggie – thank you so much for sharing your experience and top tips with us. You are an inspiration to agents just like you across North America. I still remember when you first got your software walking you through strategies and solutions and I’m thrilled that things are turning out in your favor and I wish you tremendous success in the future!

If you’d like to get a copy of our ProspectsPLUS! software to kick start your OWN production – click here!  Because we have begun to migrate our product online, we’ve just recently dropped the cost on this powerful tool that includes more than 600+ marketing pieces including postcards, brochures, free reports, flyers, feature property marketing tools, lead generators, presentation tools and so much more to an unbelievably low price of $195. 

If you’d like to, like Maggie, also learn more about the power of Every Door done for you real estate newsletters Direct Mail marketing – click here to see just how easy and affordable it can be. 

To follow Maggie find her on Facebook here and follow her blog as well!  While you’re online look us up too on Facebook and Twitter and even now on Pinterest!

 

 

ProspectsPLUS.com kicks off a new series of football postcards to help 
REALTORS® get into the marketing game by mailing team schedules to the legions of fans nationwide gearing up to answer the call, “Are you ready for some football?”

This simple web-to-print platform allows agents to choose their team, upload their list and within just minutes place their order.  This year’s postcards are ready to score big for agents with the ability to send just one postcard or to an entire database quickly. These full-color cards are printed, addressed, finished and mailed first class within 48 hours, to make staying ‘top-of-mind’ all season fast, effective and affordable!

Agents who need a targeted, geographic list for their mailings will find that option available as well on the company’s website www.prospectsplus.com/data. With just a few quick clicks of the mouse and a few moments of time, agents can customize a specialized mailing list with the variables and demographics that best work for them!  “With football season on the way, we wanted to be sure our clients had the opportunity to be first in the door for their prospects with this seasonal favorite.” says Julie Escobar, Director of Corporate Marketing for the group.

“Our football postcards are just another way we stay forward of our goal for ProspectsPLUS! which is to offer innovative solutions each month to help agents stay in touch with their sphere of influence and geographic farm areas,” continued Escobar. Agents can access the football series today by visiting www.prospectsplus.com/football.  For the non-sports fans in the crowd, www.prospectsplus.com offers a wide variety of postcard options such as Inspiration, Recipes, Holiday Series, Animal Series and even Recruiting postcards for the brokers in the crowd.  You can also find quick to order cards for Price Reductions, Open Houses, Contract Pendings and more!  he site also boasts a wide spectrum of FREE resources that can help agents effectively brand themselves and build their book of business in today’s market such as Free Consumer Reports, Webinars-on-Demand, the BusinessBASE™ system and more.

ProspectsPLUS! is even throwing in a pre-season bonus!  Order your postcards before August 30th and save 15% – use the PROMO CODE:  FOOTBALL — Enjoy the season!

Need more marketing ideas?  Stay in touch with us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/prospectsplus

Savvy Agents Choose the Right Continuity Program for Their Market

By Julie Escobar

One thing is a certainly a constant in our world – and that is that people are creatures of HABIT.  They want predictability, comfortable decisions and easy choices – especially when it comes to who they CHOOSE to do business with.  And with a market where competition is fierce and marketing dollars tightened, savvy agents are making smart choices of their own in terms of the continuity systems and tools they are using to engage their sphere of influence or geographic farm consistently, month-after-month.

Top-of-mind awareness doesn’t just happen-right?  (Wouldn’t THAT be fantastic?)  Instead, it’s something we have to work at.  But the truth is, top salespeople know that to make the most of their talents and skills and earn top dollar – they should be doing what THEY do BEST – listing and selling homes.  Getting face-to-face and voice-to-voice with buyers and sellers.  NOT necessarily writing and designing mailers, schlepping down to the post office themselves.  But the marketing HAS to be done.  The brand awareness has to be built and the influence has to be developed and earned in that sphere.

Why?  Statistics show that 90% of real estate buyers and sellers come from the following:

  • 48% choose someone they already know (the relationship has been built)
  • 24% choose an agent based on a referral or word of mouth
  • 12% from a listing call or for sale sign
  • 6% from open houses

So if you’re NOT building that relationship – you will be battling it out with the other agents for that leftover 10%.  (And that’s just no fun – and low rewards!)  So let’s look at a system that’s easy, manageable, doesn’t take a boatload of your time and gets your sphere or farm engaged – what do you say?

ProspectsPLUS! has been a leader in helping agents serve up the right messages to their right market segments at the right time – and that includes writing some of the best-read newsletters in the industry.   And this year – we’ve taken our newsletters and put them online so that agents just like you can, in just a matter of minutes, use these powerful continuity tools to stay in touch CONSISTENTLY with that VERY IMPORTANT 90%!

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F8K1JMHMJSk]

What makes our newsletters the tool of choice for so many agents?

  • They’re done for you.  While every newsletter is COMPLETELY EDITABLE – in other words – you can change anything you want in terms of copy.  You can add your own spin, market statistics, personal note or invoke your own personality but when time is of the essence and you just want to get it checked off the list – you’ve got a template that’s ready-made with everything you need to capture your customer’s attention.
  • They’re compelling.  We put in the time, effort, energy and RESEARCH to create newsletters that get READ.  Interesting headlines.  Topics that are timely.  Articles that enter the conversations going on in the minds and households of consumers today.  Fun facts people can share with friends or online in the social media platforms.  News they need to know.
  • They’re DIRECT RESPONSE.  Meaning all throughout the newsletters, you’re giving customers or potential customers persuasive reasons to contact YOU.  They offer items of VALUE.  Engage them with smart questions that invite people to call you for answers.
  • Space for sponsorship.  Many agents use the ‘editorial’ section on page two of their newsletters to feature a sponsor such as a title rep, mortgage lender or real estate attorney.  This allows them to spotlight a trusted resource – and either share in the cost of the monthly newsletter – or in many cases- get them paid for completely by the sponsor.  That’s a win-win-win for everyone.  The sponsor gets recognition and builds a relationship with a trusted REALTOR, the agent gets their marketing paid for and has the ability to CONSISTENTLY reach out to the sphere or farm and the consumers get information that’s engaging, timely and of interest!
  • They’re AFFORDABLE.  You’ll find all of ProspectsPLUS! tools and solutions always competitively priced and newsletters are no exception.  Sign up for your FREE account online and you can preview our pricing matrix based on quantity and shipping options.  Just visit newsletters.prospectsplus.com today.
  • They’re EASY.  Who has time for frustration in today’s world?  Once you’ve created an account, added your personal information and photos – the rest is a piece of cake.  With all the content already done for you – it couldn’t be simpler.  And if you’d like a helpful hand to walk you through the process or help you decide – contact our team at 866.405.3638 today. They’re always eager to assist!

If you’re in the market for a continuity program that makes your job easier, your production and market share INCREASE and that’s easy on your budget – check out newsletters.prospectsplus.com today.    We’ve even added a step-by-step video for you so you can see for yourself how easy it is!

Happy marketing and remember – we’re here if you need us!  Just call our team today at 866.405.3638. 

A Broker’s Perspective…

By Julie Escobar

I had a great time catching up with San Diego Broker Lee Henderson recently who was excited about his first time using the all new Every Door Direct Mail™ system by ProspectsPLUS! He was kind enough to share his experience with us.  Read on!

Q:  Hey Lee!  So, you took the leap into EDDM™ – there’s so much talk out there right now about it – what was the deciding factor for you?

A:  Well frankly, COST.  When I first heard about a solution that dropped the postage rate down to 14.5 cents per piece to saturate a market – I figured, I’m in!  That’s definitely worth a shot.  And it certainly was.

Q:  You’re using it to market a very high end listing-correct?  Tell me a little about that.

A:  It’s a high-end beach community that I plan on becoming very active in. I’m using this listing as an introduction to the community. It’s a way for me to demonstrate a higher level of marketing expertise.  I used EDDM™ to get in the door to more than 500 homes for an open house.  I was thrilled when I had a terrific turn out for the open house, 11 of which came with the mailing in their hands.  It was also a great conversation starter for a few of the neighbors who came out while I was picking up open house signs who told me they had gotten the mailing and they were curious about the asking price and wanted to know more.

Q:  Wow – that’s great Lee.  Tell me, how easy did you think the system was to use?  Which delivery method did you choose and why?

A:  It couldn’t have been easier!  I chose to have everything shipped to me and I delivered to the local post office so that I could better control the delivery date and take advantage of the 14.5 cents postage.  Everything arrived right on time and I was thrilled at how efficient everything was.  I then took my paperwork and mailers down to the post office first thing in the morning and asked them when I could expect it to go out.  To my surprise they said it would be out for delivery the next day!  WOW.  Unlike the bulk mailings I’ve done in the past where you NEVER know when your information will be delivered – I was getting next day delivery service for 14.5 cents!  You can’t beat that!

Q:  What other ways would you consider using EDDM™ to market and brand yourself in your area?

A:  I truly believe we are going back to the future in real estate marketing with geo-farming! EDDM™ makes it very cost effective to do repetitive direct mail to your farm CONSISTENTLY and that really is the key.  To make an impact and become a brand name in a new market you’ve got to be consistent and visible.  To send 15-18 mailings a year in the past would be pretty cost-prohibitive for many agents.  But when you look at paying a fraction of that with this new system – it just makes sense.

Q:  Would you recommend the system to others and why?

A:  I sure would.  It’s a turnkey solution and allows you to control the delivery date and the costs.  It’s just so darn easy!  What’s great is that when you use this in conjunction with your social media marketing – it really makes an impact.  Just as I can narrow down my direct mail geographically with EDDM™, I can do the same thing with my Facebook ads, narrowing down my targeted audience by zip code.  It’s perfect for getting my name, number and branding out inexpensively and effectively!

Q:  Great advice Lee.  What else would you say to agents interested in using the EDDM™ system?

A:  I would tell them to do their homework.  Really take some time to figure out what carrier routes will work best for you.  Get the routes from the site that you think are good and go out there and drive them so you can make the best informed decision for your business.

Geo-farming works, and works well.  In fact, what you do now will affect where your business in the fall, the winter and even next spring will be coming from.  Get started soon and stick with it and you’ll reap the rewards for years to come.

Thanks Lee for your time and your insights.  I wish you great luck and re-connect with us in the future for more great success stories.  If you’d like to connect with Lee online – you can follow him on Facebook at www.facebook.com/lee.henderson.3956.  While you’re there – don’t forget to follow us as well for the latest and greatest news on how we can help you grow your business at www.facebook.com/prospectsplus.

To learn more about how to choose carrier routes yourself or how the all new Every Door Direct System works – visit www.prospectsplus.com/eddm/.  Need help?  Call us at 866.405.3638 today!