Sunday, November 19, 2017

It’s Not Too Soon to Create Your Plan

by Julie Escobar

Hard to believe it’s almost September isn’t it? Taking a cue from this week’s Master Marketing Schedule tip which is to send the Hello Autumn postcard from the Holiday series, I thought it was a great time to share some tips for getting a jump on staying connected with your sphere and farm in this fun way, because staying in touch and top of mind never goes out of season.  Before you buy a card, stick a stamp of figure out where your mailing list is — consider these eight great holiday tips!

  1. Be clear about your message.  Even when you’re sending holiday postcards, you can use the reverse side to send a great message to your customer base.  If you are sending to both your sphere and farm, you may want to consider altering the message slightly for each. Make it personal and heartfelt, with a note of thanks for allowing you the opportunity to serve them as customers — or in the case of your farm – the community.
  2. Serve two purposes.  Are you having a holiday open house? Customer event?  Charity drive? Looking for a good time to stop by with a small gift? You can include that information on the cards as well.
  3. Don’t be salesy.  Holiday greetings are not about the sale – they are about the connection.  Keep it warm and personable.
  4. Don’t wait for just Christmas.  Many top agents send a holiday message once a month to their sphere. Back to School, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s, etc.  There’s something to celebrate all year round, and it’s a fun way to stay connected and stand out as someone who is “there” more than just in the month of December.
  5. Have some fun with it.  Got a great team? Or just a great personality?  Take some fun pictures and opt for a photo-card rather than a more traditional card and don’t be afraid to get a little creative with your photos.
  6. Don’t leave anyone out! You know all those mailing lists you’ve been collecting throughout the year? For Just Listed postcards, or the stack of business cards that have been sitting on the corner of your desk collecting dust?
  7. Order early.  We suggest sending your holiday cards out at LEAST two weeks in advance of the holiday every month — and sending first class as opposed to standard-class to ensure timely delivery.
  8. Follow up.  Sending cards is a great way to easily stay in touch.  Pick a postcard, edit your message, add a list – and you’re done!  In a matter of minutes, you’ve created a connection.  However to really get the full impact of ANY mailing (holiday and otherwise) — be sure to follow-up – at least with the top 25% of your list.  There is no substitution for this step.  Imagine if you made it a point each year, every year, to speak with every single person in your sphere at least twice a year?  Touch base, see if they have questions, thank them for being great customers, and say hello.  Here’s what happens when you do:  they remember you.  They don’t list with another agent because your name wasn’t on the radar.  They are grateful that you take the time to call.  And one out of 12? Statistically, will do business with you or refer business to you.

Here’s to a great holiday season ahead – and to staying in touch with your sphere and farm!

Need help?  We’re here for you!  Call our team at 866.405.3638 today.  We’ll help get your holidays started and save you money at the same time! Have a great one!  

3 Powerful Steps to Engage Customers

By Julie Escobar

You’ve probably heard it said a time or two (or more) that the business will go to those who show up not just once, but again and again.  To succeed in sales today, professionals have to dig in, refuse to cut corners, commit to consistency and the big key?  FOLLOW UP.  Engagement of your customers, your sphere, and your farm – isn’t something you can take a ‘stand-back’ approach to.  You can ‘warm’ the call, set up the stage for prospecting, and share the information that people need to see to consider you the expert they should turn to when they are ready to list or sell their home – but you have to go the EXTRA step – and follow up.  Voice to voice.  Face to face.  Belly to belly.

Is that always easy?  No, for many–not at first.  But for those who dive in and get it?  That their real job, true passion is to help people?  And they practice getting outside their comfort zones?  That’s when the game-changing happens.

So here are a few ways to engage, follow up and make the difference between what could be and what will be a rest of the year. 

  1. SEND! For most agents – from the brand new to experienced – warming that prospecting call is more buyers cardsomething that puts them at ease.  One direct mail series that is getting a lot of attention and results is our Listing Inventory cards.  They speak to what is happening in today’s market and get people’s attention.  Or you may want to go with a classic direct mail piece such as a holiday card (and don’t wait for the winter holidays – go ahead and send something every month and be different than your competitors.) Even recipe cards that feature great appetizers or dishes that people can share are great. You may also want to take a tip from top producers and send handwritten notecards to five VIPs on your SOI list each week.
  2. CALL! I can’t tell you how many agents I talk to that just have a hard time getting past this one.   Don’t worry so much!  Make the call.  ENGAGE.  Talk to people.  Be yourself.  Be helpful .  Ask questions.  It doesn’t have to be scary and it doesn’t have to be “salesy.”  It can be as simple as this:  “Hi!  It’s Julie from ABC Realty – just wanted to let you know we have a lot of things changing in our market — and to see if you have any questions about that or anything real estate related?” Then LISTEN and respond to what they say.  Some won’t need anything but odds are in your favor that some will.  Be sure to let people know that you’re expanding your business and that not only is every referral APPRECIATED, but you realize what an honor everyone is – and you can promise that each will be treated like royalty. Finish with the question,  “Is there anyone you know that might be looking to buy or sell now or in themerchandising review near future?”  You may also want to choose to offer a great free report or fair trade item to FSBO’s such as the Merchandising Review, who might be more than anxious about getting their homes sold. Many of our reports are a great conversation starter when you’re on the phone and a perfect reason to email or even stop by! Check them all out here.  Be the resource that goes the extra step for them and it will be appreciated.  Get something in front of your prospects and sphere that gives you a great ‘reason’ to follow up.  Break your calls down into manageable numbers so you don’t get overwhelmed – 15-25 calls per day is a good goal for agents who are in high-productivity mode.  Time block this prospecting into your schedule then commit to making it happen.
  3. SEE!  Get out there and SEE people.  As a professional real estate agent – meeting new people and adding to your sphere is a MUST DO not a SHOULD DO.  Walk your neighborhood farm, attend your community garage sales and meet the folks in the neighborhoods you service.  Go to the fall festivals at the schools.  Attend the neighborhood and community events. Wear your name badge, bring your business cards, and shake some hands.  Stop in a the local restaurants, delis, shops and businesses in the community you represent and get to know the people there and let them know you work on referrals – and you’d love to refer your clients back to them as well.  Share your stories about a great meal, terrific new shop, amazing customer experience, incredible health care providers and more in your area on your social media, blog or newsletter.  You’ll not only make new friends, you’ll gain new customers (and respect for being pro-active and a resource people can trust).  Be sure to SEE those in your sphere at least twice a year as well.  Take your top referral customers to coffee or lunch or stop by with a special treat.

The truth is, to stand out as someone who presents themselves as someone who will go the extra miles for their customers and clients – you have to SHOW that characteristic in everything you do – INCLUDING marketing your OWN business.  It’s that simple.  Ultimately it’s not the business of HOMES that we’re in – it’s the business of PEOPLE.  So show up again and again – and follow up over and over.   The results will take care of themselves!

Need help?  Call our marketing team to help get you started, restarted or fired up this fall at 866.405.3638.  They’ve got the experience, knowledge and solutions you need to succeed.  And they’re FUN!  Can’t beat that!  Have a good one and happy follow up!

Staying Top of Mind With Your Sphere

by Julie Escobar

Consistency is key when marketing, but agents call us every week to ask, “What should I send?” So, we put together three suggestions to get you started.

  1. Holiday Postcards:  This week’s Master Marketing Schedule tip is to send your St. Patrick’s Day postcards to your sphere of influence.  Agents love Holiday cards because they are timely, can be easily customized with a fun message, and the consistency (sending one per month) is just what the doctor ordered for staying top of mind.  Just be sure to order the first class option for speedier delivery. Our St. Patrick’s Day postcard and Daylight Savings postcards are perfect for reaching out to that top tier of customers on your list in March. 
  2. Animal II Series:  There’s a reason the internet is filled with puppies and kittens.  They make people smile. As our friend Darryl Davis talks about – that’s one BIG key to building rapport and making connections with people – giving them reasons to SMIILE! We’ve recently added this new series option to our offerings because of agent demand.  You can look for many additional cards to be added to this series over the next few months.
  3. Market Quote Series:  This series is growing as well and is an easy way to communicate some of what’s going on in the market right now, and have a little fun!

To get the most from your postcard campaign follow these steps: 

  • Pick a postcard.
  • Choose a size.
  • Choose first-class delivery for holiday postcards, and your choice of delivery options for non-time sensitive postcards.
  • Choose the pre-written copy – or better yet, customize the back of the card with a message of your own. You can offer an item of value, invite customers to an event such as a home buying or selling workshop, or just send them well wishes.
  • Upload your sphere of influence list:  those who know you, like you and trust you. This list is usually compiled from your friends, family, acquaintances and past customers.  Statistically, if you stay in touch with these folks every month, one in twelve should produce a listing, sale or referral to you per year! If you need a list of the 250 people who should be in your sphere, head over to our resources page and dowload our BusinessBASE.
  • Use a promo code to save 10%! Here are the top postcard promo codes for the current month:
    • VAL10S – standard size, mailed First-Class
    • VAL10J – jumbo size, mailed First-Class
    • VAL10P – panoramic size, mailed First-Class
    • VAL10JSC – jumbo size, mailed Standard-Class
    • VAL10PSC – panoramic size, mailed Standard-Class

Next, a fun tip to help you have more fun with your sphere and farm:  Be sure to check in weekly to our Master Marketing Schedule. In the next few weeks you’ll see Pistachio Day, Dentist Day, Salesperson Day, Doctor Day, Pi Day and more. What do these all have in common?  Each includes interesting and fun ways to connect with the folks in your market and differentiate yourself from your competitors! Find out how! 

Need more help? Call our team at 866.405.3638! They’re happy to assist! 

 

There are some powerful NEW ways to market yourself and your  business in this industry, but you have to hand it to the savvy agents who also don’t discount the tried and true tools.  Like Just Listed postcards, Just Sold postcards — and of course – the annual Magnetic Calendar Postcard.

Why use Calendar cards? First, People still love them.  It’s the perfect quick-reference for their refrigerator or office cubicle.  So you’re providing a resource people need – and that’s ALWAYS a good thing. And secondly? Your brand stays top-of-mind all year around.  There’s something to be said for having that kind of stick-with-it branding. Every time your customers reach for something in the refrigerator — your face and brand are right there reminding them who to call if they need anything real estate related.

 Here are seven great ways you can use them:

  1. Ask permission to leave a stack of magnetic calendars by registers of your favorite businesses such as area doctors, dentists, restaurants etc.,  for people to take
  2. Send them with a kind holiday note to current customers and the VIPs in your sphere as a simple thank you gift.
  3. Walk your neighborhood farm and offer one to every homeowner you meet and let them know you are available to answer any real estate questions they might have.
  4. Use a jpg of your calendar on your social media platforms and let folks know that you are sending them out and that if they’d like one of their own, to in-box you and you’re happy to send.
  5. These are perfect when you are attending local festivals, job fairs, and business expos.
  6. Lots of agents are hosting impromptu “Ask Me About Real Estate” events at their local coffee shops, simply by visiting the shop, and putting up a sign.  These are great give-aways that people can take with them.
  7. Use them as Open House gifts.

This month, save 10% off any magnetic calendar card with the promo code: ELF10M.

See all thirteen designs here.   

As always, we’re here to help.  Our marketing team is experienced and well versed in what today’s real estate professionals NEED, WANT and will make their lives and jobs EASIER.  If you’re creating your marketing budget for next year and would like some guidance on which tools might work best for you and what that cost would be, call our team today at 866.405.3638 or email us at pmc@prospectsplus.com!

3 Great Strategies for Creating PRESENCE This Season

By Julie Escobar

It’s that time of year.  The holidays are here and with them much of your competition is settling in – for shorter days, slimmer work calendars and that ‘wait ‘till the first of the year’ slump.  Not you.  You’ve got your eye on a new year filled with promise and kicked off with momentum-right?

Here are three things you can do to create vital PRESENCE now that will carry you through the holidays and long into the New Year with powerful, forward, full-steam-ahead strength.

Commit to Consistencythanksgiving cards

You know what you see a lot of?  Agents who ONLY send a postcard or greeting card once a year.  Start now and make it a point to ‘touch’ your sphere and farm at LEAST once every 21-30 days for the duration.  Consumers today are savvy – they’re not swayed, influenced or impressed by the ‘one-and-done’ marketing efforts.  From their perspective?  If you’re that lax in how you market YOURSELF – how will you be at marketing THEIR property?  Show the consumers in your market place that you’ve got the chops – and the commitment to be front and center not just once, but again and again and again.

Community Countsworkshop cards

Want to be known as the neighborhood resource or the market specialist?  Get out of the office, out from behind your desk and out in FRONT of the people in the community you serve.  Make it a point to calendar at least ONE community event in your market per quarter – or even per month.  It’s an edge that will set you apart, win favor and create a presence that you’re the top agent to talk to. Team up with your local schools, libraries, chamber of commerce, or even a network of like-minded business professionals to help create awareness, increase attendance and bring a wide spectrum of information to those who want it most.

Think AHEADlisting inventory1

The smartest agents in the business are never satisfied with doing things the ‘same old way’.  They’re keeping their ear to the ground, eyes open, and thinking ahead.  What can you do to make a splash?  How can you best keep the ‘buzz’ going?  I love Tony Robbins who has served up the motto ‘Constant And Never Ending Improvement’ for years.  In a 24/7, 365 world, you can’t let your skills, your top-of-mind awareness, or your passion to coast or slip to the back burner.

Need help?  Call us at 866.405.3638.  We’ve got answers you can count on.  From direct response postcard marketing that keeps you top-of-mind, to Holiday messages that make a difference, to real world resources that you can adopt and make part of that empowered new marketing and business plan for 2017 that we know you are ALREADY working on!  Have a great week!