Sunday, October 22, 2017

Why Consumer Information Can Be Key in Direct Response Marketing

By Julie Escobar

Do you know one of the biggest reasons why so many real estate agents LEFT the business when
the going got tough?  And what was a key component in helping those that stayed in succeed, even thrive?  A database.  A strong, reliable, well-nurtured, up-to-date database.

The best ones start with a solid sphere of influence, and grow exponentially over years in the soi calculatorbusiness.  Adding niche markets, new geographic farms and new customers.  And what do the agents get in return?  A referral base they can count on without having to constantly chase new business.

Start with your sphere.  (Those people who know you, like you, and would trust you to do business with them.) And build from there.  If you don’t already have your sphere of influence or book of business in a solid database – don’t waste another month putting that together.  (There are plenty of college kids who could use the extra money inputting data for you this summer!)  Top agents tell us that 66% of their business comes from their sphere.  And that one in every twelve result in a transaction per year.

We can help you calculate how many people should be in your sphere to realize your goals – and help you identify top 150 people who should be in your sphere right now.  Click here to calculate your SOI.

Next add a geographic farm and a niche.  We can help you with that data as well.  Continue marketing to those folks until you connect and build a relationship with them as well.  Click here to see data options.

Then continue to grow your book of business – and your bottom line by taking care of the 20 Year Value of a Real Estate Customerfoundation of your business – your database of clients and customers.  Create touch points every 28-45 days using a multi-media method.  Send postcards or powerful newsletters for an easy touch once a month. Add email, face-to-face events, phone calls, and neighborhood canvassing.  And stick with it! Remember – most agents quit after the SECOND try, most transactions happen after the FIFTH.

As an organization that has developed top-of-the-line marketing tools for real estate agents for more than 20 years, we know the true value of a customer for all of our customers.  That’s why in terms of products, services and data—we leave nothing to chance.

And that’s why we’ve done the research – and we deliver the very best data resources — Experian® — for those agents eager to market to:

Renters – including high-income renters who are candidates for home ownership. On our site, we use Experian® data to make it possible for agents to search by data selects such as renter, and income level.

Move-Up Market:  Not only can you select confirmed home owners, but you also can define your target market more specifically by considering a real estate lead’s estimated available equity or property characteristics such as year built and presence of a swimming pool.

• Potential Downsizing or Second Home Market:  One real estate trend is Baby boomers who are downsizing or investing in second homes right now. To target baby boomers, you can use the year of birth demographic selection available in our consumer database to narrow your pool of real estate leads to those born between 1946 and 1964.

• Potential Investors:  Targeting high-income earners as investors.

• Generational Niche Markets:  Target specific generational niches such as:generations

  • Silent Generation (1925-1945)
  • Baby Boomers (1946-1964)
  • Generation  X (1964-1976)
  • Generation Y (1976-2000)

How does Experian® get their data?  They are an original source compiler, which means they collect data directly from more than 3,500 original public and proprietary sources, including:

  • White pages
  • Census data
  • State and local public records
  • Product registrations and surveys (self-reported)
  • Property/Realty records such as property deeds
  • Mail-order transactions
  • Other proprietary sources

The data we receive is then tested and validated. It is cleansed and combined using Experian’s proprietary logic to create the most accurate and comprehensive repository of consumer marketing information available. This process sets them apart from other data suppliers who typically rely on secondary data sources. Since they acquire data directly from the original source, they have in-depth knowledge of the data.

So every time you choose to use our list service, whether you are choosing from data selects such as income and age, or even geographic – to market around current listings, know that you are getting the very best data on the market.  And those lists are yours to keep.  We tell our customers to add them to their marketing list and stay in touch, at least once every 28-45 days (a Direct Marketing Association recommendation).  Before long you’ll have taken those contacts from being a potential lead – to a contact that has come to know you as the brand name to call in real estate.

Need help understanding data and lists?  Call our marketing team today at 866.405.3638.  Good luck and happy listing!

 Google

And Why Banking On the Past is NEVER an Option3 steps to long term success

by Julie Escobar

Just like top agents who NEVER take success for granted, and constantly look for new ways to improve and innovate, we know that to stay current in a constantly evolving market and economy, it takes a commitment, forward-thinking and creative connection.  One of our favorite mantras is Tony Robbin’s CANI:  Constant And Never-Ending Improvement.”  That’s why we aren’t slowing down one bit in terms of adding fresh content, up-to-the-minute marketing tools and the kinds of strategies and solutions it takes to help our customers and agents all across the real estate industry have what they need to thrive in ANY market.

Why?  We know that three things are vital for agents to succeed out there: 

1.  Consistently staying top-of-mind.  There’s plenty of competition in the minds of the buyers and sellers out there when it comes to choosing the agent THEY are willing to do business with.  Much of that, however, boils down to how top-of-mind agents are for those consumers.  (That out-of-sight-out-of-mind thing is truer today than ever!)  Ever known cases where people have chosen other agents over family and friends just because they ‘forgot’ that their loved one was in real estate?  Don’t let that happen to you.  The Direct Marketing Association says an idea time frame for staying in touch with your clients is every 21-28 days.

Don’t know what to send or how?  We can help.  Visit our specials page to see what’s new each month — or our home page to see the complete spectrum of tools we have to offer.  Our marketing team is also happy to help you match your marketing tools to your market preferences. Call them at 866.405.3638. From postcards to door hangers to newsletters and flyers — there are hundreds of ways to get noticed for your sphere of influence, farm and even niche markets.

2.  STANDING out.  Have fun with your marketing.  All too often I see agents who are in ‘stealth’ mode – always at the office or behind the phone.  Get out there in your community!  Host some workshops, make it a point to add one new contact a day as you are out and about, and be sure to bookmark our Master Marketing Schedule page for really creative and interesting ways to make the people in your sphere and farm sit up and take notice!

3. Following up.  Your collateral marketing tools are just a part of the equation.  If you’re not taking the time to follow up with your sphere at least every three months, you’re missing valuable REFERRALS and NEW BUSINESS.  Savvy agents also take the time to walk their farm areas at least twice a year by themselves or with a team or host events or workshops in those areas so that they can put faces with names and get to meet the people in the communities they service.

As we head into the summer months, it’s sometimes easy to let these key success factors slide. The magic is in your calendar.  Block your time effectively to ensure that ‘all work and no play’ is never the case, and you are making time to stay ahead of the game in terms of marketing while still taking valuable time out to enjoy family and friends!

Good luck and if you need us – call at 866.405.3638.  Helping agents grow their business for the long-haul is what we do best!   Google

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.  re news mayThey 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:re news april

  • 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 our newsletters are filled with timely information, eye-catching real estate infographics, fun facts to share, and engaging direct response offers —  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%!

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 – re news april dominatoryou 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 us online 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!
  • You have OPTIONS.  Our newsletters come with three different options.  First, our Done-for-you – which can be downloaded as a pdf and printed yourself, shipped to you, or mailed for you. Secondly, you could take advantage of the Every Door Direct Mail® version and save big on postal costs!  And lastly. for those eager to DOMINATE  a market, our Market Dominator System™.  Learn the difference between all three options here! 

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 our newsletters today.    We’ve even added a step-by-step video for you so you can see for yourself how easy it is!

Oh – and here’s a tip for ADDING to your sphere — ever work with investors?  Or in property management? It’s easy to find the names and addresses of non-owner occupied luxury properties. Simply use the MapMyMail system and choose the non-owner-occupied data select! Watch the video here.

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

With Industry Icon Danielle KennedyDanielle Kennedy

By Julie Escobar

It’s not too often you get to interview one of the First Ladies of Real Estate, so I was thrilled to connect with none other than industry pioneer Danielle Kennedy last week to congratulate her on the 30th Anniversary of one of the most timeless real estate books written, How to List and Sell Real Estate.  As always, she’s delightful, strong, passionate and right to the point.  I hope you’ll enjoy her words of wisdom!

Q:  Danielle, how exciting to announce the 30th anniversary of your best-selling book of timeless real estate strategies, How to List and Sell Real Estate.  I remember reading the original ‘back in the day’ — how do you feel about hitting this milestone?

A:  Excited and strong.  Strong, meaning, I am so pleased I wrote the book and made it real.  From DK How to list and sell real estatemy heart.  And very, very practical.  It is not a puff piece.  It is very hard core. I wrote it when I was in the heat of the business.  Floundering all around looking for answers from others when I was the one who had the answers.  I loved houses.  I cared about people. AND I was motivated from within because I had bills to pay and family to support.  The HAVE TO DO IT is a necessary element. That combination for anyone wanting to be successful in this business is the true recipe.  And then layer good behavior into that combination.  Good behavior means you stay focused.  You stay disciplined.  You put in the time to meet and greet people.  It is, after all, a contact sport. If you think it is about the internet, or the most expensive lead generation program you can buy, or who your coach is, you will fail.  Those are in the equation, of course.  But it is up to you to go DO the deed.  And we all know the deed is about consistent prospecting and paying more attention to what the client needs than our own personal selfish issues.  Not always an easy task.

Q:  Your insights and tools are so powerfully relevant to today’s agents, just as much as they were 30, 20, or 10 years ago.  Do you have any favorite chapters agents should earmark?

A:  Yes.  Open House Frenzy.  How Listings Are Sold In The Best And Worst Of Times. Cut To The Chase Qualifying. Negotiating For a Lifetime Customer.  THE WHOLE ENCHILADA.  Read the bloody book.  Especially those doubters.  Those folks that think it is all about social media, technology and burying your head in your smart phone vs. making eye contact with real people. If you do not have people skills you will fail miserably in this business.  This is a manual that deals with proper people skills during every single step of the listing and selling process.

Q:  I’m a big proponent of staying top of mind with your sphere and farm, as I know you are as well.  What do you say to agents who think farming, direct mail, and relationship building are ‘old school’? 

A:  Anyone who thinks farming, direct mail and relationship selling are “old school” should come be a fly on the wall at the offices and homes of the highest paid agents on the planet.  I know them. They take home commissions in the millions.  This is the honest to goodness truth.  And they are all about farming, direct mail and building lifetime referrals.  If agents are criticizing old school, it’s because they know nothing about people skills.  They do not know how to write a letter, speak to someone on the phone or at the door in a neighborhood who has a need to buy or sell.  And sometimes that’s what humans do when they don’t know.  They deny the existence of better ways to do things.  It takes humility to admit one needs help to improve. There is nothing OLD SCHOOL about communicating compassionately, directly, and confidently with people who may need you to serve them.

Q:  If you had one word of advice for agents today, what would it be?

A:  One word of advice: Make it your business to discover the truth about every prospect that gives you the opportunity to work with them. Make sure they are giving you the straight story about what they need and can afford.  If you do not have their trust and they are not honest with you, your life in this business will be chaotic.  That’s why How To List and Sell Real Estate is a book that needs to be in your library.  It is essentially a book which helps you build trust with those you serve.

Q:  Where can people get your amazing book? 

A:  That’s easy!  You can go directly to the publisher and order online, or try Barnes and Noble or Amazon.

Thank you Danielle.  As always, a pleasure to touch base with you.  You’re doing amazing things and I’ve so enjoyed following all your life’s adventures.

If you’d like to learn more about Danielle, you can visit her site at DanielleKennedy.com, and look for her in upcoming film and television productions as well.  She’s added incredible actress to her repertoire in recent years. 

If you’d like to learn more about how to put some of those prospecting lessons to work in your own business, call us today at 866.405.3638 or visit www. Prospectsplus.com. We deliver powerful direct mail, postcard marketing, objection handling, geographic farming and sphere of influence tools to some of the best agents in the business. 

Month-by-Month Watch to Hit Your Goalsinfluence

By Julie Escobar

There’s an old saying, “there’s acres of diamonds” in your book of business.   But only if you’re willing to put in the work to make sure it stays on track.  The key to your sphere of influence is of course, influence.  That relationship you develop where they know you, like you, and trust you. That last one is vital.  In the words of Zig Ziglar, “Every sale has five basic obstacles: no need, no money, no hurry, no desire, no trust.”   It’s a great illustration of the importance of staying in front of the folks in your sphere until they are ready, willing, and able to buy or sell and trust you enough to be the one they call when they do.

Each month make an appointment with yourself to review for at least one hour where you are in terms of your book of business.  Ask yourself these four questions:

  1. How many past clients will I contact this month? 
  2. What is my focus? 
  3. Who can I add to my database?
  4. What’s working and what’s not? 

Then take action on your answers.  Top agents don’t worry about chasing their next commission. They know that a strong sphere, connected with month after month, will reap all the leads they want and more!

Here is a reminder of the 10 strategies you should always consider for creating and keeping a results-producing sphere of influence.  

  1. Get it all on ‘record.’  Whatever database management system you choose, be sure that you have entered at the very least the basic information such as name, address, phone number, email address, social media addresses if you have them for every past customer, friend, family member and acquaintance that you can think of.  Sound like a lot of work?  It is – but SO worth it.  And I’m not saying you have to do it yourself.  Delegate it – that way you can stick to what you do best – getting face to face with the folks in your market. Click here to get a copy of our BusinessBASE™. In it you’ll find a list of everyone who should be in your sphere of influence.
  2. Fill in the blanks.  The more RELEVANT you are – the more REFERRALS you’ll receive. So once you’ve got the basics down – take note of more personal information about the people in your database.  What do they do?  Where do they live?  What makes them unique?  What else do you know about them that you can reference?  Who’s in their family?  You know the old saying – the ‘devil is in the details!’ The more you know the easier it will be for you to connect with them on topics that are relevant and important to them.
  3. Clean up old records.  At least twice a year go through your database and cull old contacts, and clean up missed or incorrect information. Connect with your database and let them know that their business is important to you and that you’re just doing a little ‘housekeeping’ so that you can be sure they are always kept in the loop and double check their information.  You can even make them a fair trade offer of a free report or certificate of some kind.
  4. Data mine for ‘like’ minded people.  One of the best things an agent can do is to really take a good long look at what their ‘best customer’ looks like.  Who do you like to work with?  Seniors?  Singles?  First time homebuyers?  Expireds? FSBO’s?  Once you know that – and can determine who you both like to work with and the type of people you have the most successful relationships with – you can data mine to find more of the same.
  5. Add new personal contacts.  As sales professionals we come into contact with new people every day that are potentially great future clients or customers.  Make it a point to add at least one new person per day or 5 per week to your book of business – more depending on how fast you want your business to grow.  Many agents I know make this database building a positive habit by dedicating one hour a week to the health and maintenance of their list.  Every time they meet a new person at the local Starbucks, networking meeting, business event, PTA, restaurant – even the grocery store and have an opportunity to collect a business card or information – that person goes into the ‘book’ and the nurturing begins!  Some of the best agents spend an hour a week sending a personal note or firing off an email just to say what a pleasure it was to meet and if they need anything – just call.  (Making notes on the back of those business cards or in your phone after meeting a new person will help jog your memory for details when you are entering them into your database at a later time.)  Think about 10 people THIS WEEK you could add if you tried:  Teachers, Bankers, Restaurant Owner/Staff, Accountant, Attorney, Landscaper, Gas Station Owner, Grocery Store Manager…the possibilities are endless!  (If you did that EVERY week you’d be adding more than 500 people to your book of business each year!)
  6. Add past lists:  If you’ve sent out Just Listed or Just Sold postcards and have purchased a list of homeowners contact information who received those postcards – be sure not to forget those folks.  You can add them in and start the process of taking them from ‘prospect’ to ‘member’ of your sphere by building those relationships over time.
  7. SHARE with them.  Direct mail is a great way to ‘touch’ your book of business at least once a month.  From powerful sphere of influence postcards with relevant offers to a monthly newsletter packed with valuable content – staying in TOUCH is the key to staying TOP of mind.  We’ll even help you put the right pieces in place to allow you to put your marketing plan in motion and then focus on those personal contacts and the three tasks that are most important in your business:  prospecting, presenting and CLOSING.  Visit our SPECIALS page today to learn more about these options or call our team at 866.405.3638 for help deciding what might work best for you, your list and your budget!
  8. Invite them into the conversation.  Savvy agents are firing up their social media strategies on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and Pinterest and inviting their community of followers to join in the conversation.  Create a Facebook page for your neighborhood farm and post community information that’s relevant to your buyers and sellers such as school information, local business information, fun facts and more.  Agents are breaking out their iPhones and flip cameras and creating video walking tours of area hotspots, news for the week, reviews of local businesses, types of homes to look for in their area and all kinds of fun and interesting information.  Pinterest has people pinning and posting all about staging ideas, inspirational quotes, homes in the area, community events, blog posts and more.  Use our On the Web Series of postcards to drive your offline traffic to these valuable and engaging sites.
  9. Follow up.  Break your list up into manageable numbers and commit to follow up calls every week.  Most experts recommend scheduling a daily appointment with yourself to prospect.  Don’t underestimate the value of face-to-face connecting as well.  Community events, school functions, networking opportunities and just being active in the community that you service will help keep you visible, allow you a chance to arrange follow up conversations and ask questions, be the resource people need and you will generate referrals in the process! It can be as simple as letting them know that you are there to help anytime.
  10. Lather, Rinse, Repeat.  Well you get the idea.  Treating your database as the saleable, valuable resource that it is means not putting it away for 11 months out of the year.  Commit to these ten strategies monthly and your career will thrive – and you won’t have to always be wondering where your next commission will come from.

Need help?  Call us at 866.405.3638.  Our team of marketing professionals can help you put your plan in place for success.