Thursday, March 30, 2017

Positioning Yourself to Be the Go-To Agent

By Julie Escobar

It’s certainly a whole new ball game out there isn’t it?  The buyers are out in force and agents are now fast and furiously competing to both find and market new listing inventory.  If EVER there’s been a time where listings are the name of the game?  It’s right now. We recently did a poll to see what people were most interested in this month in terms of their marketing — the number one choice? HOW TO GET MORE LISTINGS.  Enter this week’s topic!

Let’s look at four tips and tools you can use to position yourself as the go-to agent for listings in your market.

  1. Systematically work For Sale By Owners and Expired listings. Make this on the top of your to-do list each week.  Send them something. Get voice-to-voice. Go see them. Since they’re already motivated sellers-make sure they know how motivated you are to help them achieve the results you want!
  2. Include a PDF. Another strategy came from one of our top agent customers who, before every listing jl jsappointment, creates a pdf version of a Just Listed postcard with a picture of the potential seller’s house and all listing details and includes it in every listing presentation as an example of the marketing that she will get started immediately upon getting their signature!  (Very clever!) Click here to see a selection of Just Listed Postcards you can download.
  3. Host an Open House to generate listing leads.  In areas where homes are just starting to turn over, you’ll more than likely shake out the 3-4 (or more) other homeowners in the neighborhood who have been thinking about selling.  Be sure to do your homework – canvas the neighborhood well in advance of your open house.  Advertise it well.  Send open house cards, use door hangers or flyers to your existing sphere of influence or farm areas as well.  Some agents create an open house field day – where they’ll advertise 3-6 open houses all on the same day, one right after the other.  While it makes for a long day, it does showcase you as an agent who has a lot going on and knows how to get things done.  I 6 pitfalls of overpricingalways recommend having powerful collateral pieces at your open houses as well.  Like 6 Pitfalls to Overpricing Your Home, Saving for a Down Payment and the Cash Buyer Checklist.  When you have more creative collateral than just the home listing flyer you present yourself at a higher level of service and resource.
  4. Saturate Your Target Neighborhood.  Working an area or areas where you know turnover is starting to happen?  Blanket those areas with a powerful inventory-needed campaign that speaks to the mindset of potential sellers and spotlights you as the agent to call when they are thinking of selling now or in the near future.  Our Listing Inventory Series is great for getting attention. Or, if you really want to turn up the heat, learn more about our Market Dominator System which takes saturation mailing and direct response marketing to a whole new level!  Then be sure to follow up on that saturation mailing and make the most of your marketing efforts.

Good luck getting those listings, and remember if you need help – call our marketing team at 866.405.3638!  Be sure to check out our Specials Page this month as well if you haven’t already and see what’s new and get your budget-saving promo codes!  

 

paper houses or homes showing a concept for real estate

Think and ACT Like a Top Producer

By Todd Robertson

There’s something I say at the end of every speech I give when presenting to sales professionals – “If the game is scheduled and you’ve decided to play, you might as well win.”

What I mean by that is that if you’re going to do the work, be in the game, and put in the time – you might as well give yourself the absolute best chance to knock it out of the park.  That’s exactly what I wanted to talk about in this week’s quick post.   There are three powerful ingredients to putting yourself at the top of the game in your market. They are…

  1. Make it easy for people to find you. If you’re playing to win in today’s market you have to have an internet presence. That said, what you DON’T want to do is to put ALL of your eggs in that basket.  Make sure you have a presence, are ranking, driving traffic, and showcasing not only your listings, but your credentials as the specialist in your area and can back that up.  Opt-ins that keep your listing growing are a great add in as well.  Make it easy for people to find you when they are searching and you’re one up on your competition.dominator June3
  2. Skills. There are SO many great trainers, speakers, courses, and connections these days, many even on demand so you can learn at your leisure. There’s no reason and frankly no excuse for an agent who is eager to succeed to not be playing at an extraordinary level.  Tony Robbins calls it CANI – for Constant And Never Ending I  What do your skill levels look like in terms of presentation, negotiation, pricing, prospecting – or all of the above?  Never stop learning and fine tuning.  You can have all the internet leads in the world or all the referrals in the world – if you don’t have the skills to close – then you are leaving money on the table.
  3. Good ground game. What I mean by this is modern day farming.  It’s easier than ever and so important.  To pull it off though you have to deliver Ritz Carlton quality and service. That means picking the right area – then creating a dominating presence.  To do that I suggest you…
    1. Pick the absolute right area. Don’t just choose your carrier routes or neighborhood without doing your homework.  In fact, we have a webinar coming up this month that shares exactly how to do that with the help of our friends over at Benutech.  In it you’ll learn all about turnover rate, sales price, homeowner to renter ratios and how to use that data to find the right farm for you.  Register to attend here.
    2. Send out the largest legal size mailing possible (12×15). That sends a message to local homeowners that you are in the game to win. Show up BIG, and let them know you mean business.
    3. Make it a campaign. In other words, if you’re going to be like 90+% of agents and drop one or two marketing strategies then call it a day, farming is not going to work. If you do however decide that you are going to commit for the duration and consistently show up month after month after month with a strong message and direct response offers – you’ll be positioning yourself to win.

Now if you’re ready to knock it out of the park, give me a call today at 702-683-1967. I know we’ve got the systems and tools to help you do just that. 

Visit us online at www.prospectsplus.com or give us a call today at 866.405.3638.

An Interview with Todd Robertson

By Julie Escobar

Time and experience tells us that there are two marketing segments that can’t be ignored, neglected, or inconsistent if you are eager to enjoy a long, profitable, and productive career in this industry:  Your Sphere of Influence and Geographic Farm. Statistics tell us that your SOI will contribute one transaction (listing, sale, or referral) for every twelve folks in your sphere of influence IF, and only if, you consistently stay in touch. These are the people that already know you, like you, and trust you enough to do business with them. How much business you can determine from a geographic farm really depends on the farm area.  For that we turn to our Market Dominator Director Todd Robertson who has conducted a series of webinars in the past for us on how to DOMINATE in a geographic farm!

Here’s an excerpt from our interview:

Q:  Let’s start out with this common question from readers:  How do you choose a geographic farm?

A:  I work with a lot of agents to help them really fine tune what area they want to market.  Even if you find a geographic farm that you think works for you location wise with commission-friendly price ranges, you still need to be mindful of two other factors:  The turn-over rate, and the competition.  Ideally, we want to help position you to receive a 20% market share in a geo farm.  If you start in a farm where another agent already has that or higher, you’re going to work much harder and have to be at it longer to see the results you’re seeking.  Finding an area where any one agent has less than 10% market share is preferable, or if you see an area where a previously aggressive agent has slowed or stopped their marketing.  In terms of turnover rate, ideally you want a one that is at least 10-15%.  You can easily determine the turnover rate by dividing the number of homes in the farm by the number of homes which have sold. Agents may want to watch your recent webinar with the folks from ReboGateway – they had some excellent strategies for choosing the right farm area.

Q:  Terrific!  So, why should REALTORS geo farm in today’s market?

A:  Honestly, not just in today’s market – but ANY market, geographic farming has been and will continue to be a savvy business decision.  When you are consistently farming an area, within even six months, you can begin to cultivate a better life. Why?  Because you take the guesswork out of your business plan.  You aren’t constantly chasing new commissions, you’re instead working a system.  And that?  Will help ensure that you DON’T end up like 85% of agents out there who continue to struggle month to month.

Q:  I totally agree!  So, how should they follow up on their marketing and how often?

A:  This is the perfect season to get out and about in the geographic farm you are marketing.  Forward thinking agents don’t sit behind their social media or at their desk waiting, waiting, and more waiting for something to happen. They take ACTION.  I worked for some time with the amazing Tony Robbins.  One of my favorite quotes of his is, “The path to success is to take massive, determined action.”  It’s so true. Action begets more action.  Get out there with door hangers, or your extra Market Dominator pieces, or free reports, and meet the people.  Make your name, your face, and your brand as visible as possible.  Just as with your sphere of influence, your goal is to help people know you, like you, and trust you enough to do business with you.  You can’t do that just sitting in the office. We know that statistically it takes 27 ‘touches’ or contacts to create that kind of branding.  Send people marketing pieces at least once a month. Call them at least once a quarter.  See them at least once a quarter.  That canvassing the neighborhood thing is NOT old school – it’s competitive in a market where so many agents are simply relying on email to spread the word.

Q:  Great advice.  I know door knocking and canvassing are back in business, what else can agents do to support their marketing efforts in a geographic farm?

A:  I always suggest that agents automate their just listed/just sold marketing.  That way EVERY time they list or sell a home those cards announcing their success and savvy are going out to that neighborhood.  Why? Because people want to know if they are going to list or sell their home with anyone it is someone who 1) knows the neighborhood, and 2) gets RESULTS.  I also suggest hosting aggressive open houses.  I know that idea has gone out fashion with a lot of agents as well, which I believe is all the more reason to do them.  Done right, you can generate an incredible amount of leads, position yourself as THE expert in the area, and even generate agent referrals.  Email or call me to learn more.

Q:  Terrific.  Todd, tell our readers why it is so important to have a system put in place?

A:  Well, the best reason is that the top 7% of agents in the country are there because of the systems they put into place. Hands-down.  They aren’t leaving things to fall through the cracks. They aren’t chasing the next commission. They are following a solid, systematic plan to generate business from their sphere and farm.  I often talk about agents who are one-dimensional.  In other words, they only have one prospecting system or tool in place.  That, unfortunately, can lead to dry months with zero commissions.  That takes a lot of the fun out of life, doesn’t it?  Instead, I share with agents how to put multiple systems (dimensions) in place so that their marketing is layered, and so are their results.  Think about it.  If you had a sphere of influence that had say, 600 people in it and one in twelve resulted in business – that would be FIFTY prospective deals a year.  Now take a farm area that has 600 homes that had a 10% turnover like we talked about, and you could take10-20% or better of that, you’re talking about an additional 6-12 deals all because you are POSITIONED to win.  To be THAT positioned month after month?  Takes systems.   That’s one of the reasons our Market Dominator system is so powerful — especially for strong agents who are not afraid to aggressively compete.

Q:  So true.  Todd, I loved how in your recent webinar you talked about future pacing and how a simple paragraph can impact how an agent’s year will turn out – can you share that with our readers?

A:  Absolutely. Future Pacing is a Strategy the top psychologists in the country use, and often charging their clients $750 an hour to share it. We deliver it free at our events/webinars at ProspectsPLUS.  It’s actually so simple, it’s complicated.  What’s funny is that most people who learn this strategy will still resist because it may not initially be comfortable or they might not believe they deserve greatness. Or that they can close 75 Transactions a year or more. But you can.  You absolutely can. With the right mindset and systems in place.  Here’s what you do:

Write a Paragraph.  State it in the present tense as if it has already happened. For 90 percent of people in the country who complete this 15 minute assignment, 80% percent of what they write comes true. Why? Because the human mind does not know the difference between the conscious and the other than conscious mind. So it sets about making the statement a reality.  I’ll give you an example: “I’m in the best shape of my life.  I have ten good, quality, right-priced listings in my Inventory at all times.   I closed 35 transactions this year.   I have $30,000 in savings. I live a terrific life and love what I do each day.”  Write it down – whatever that dream statement looks like to you.  If you want, email it to me or share it with an integrity partner so that it’s REAL and out there for others to know.  I think you’ll surprise yourself about how well it works!

Q:  Great stuff Todd.  How can agents get hold of you if they have questions about dominating in a geographic farm?

A:  I’m happy to help.  To contact me for more strategies and to learn about Market Dominator, you can call 702 683-1867 or email me.

Awesome, Thanks so much Todd for sharing your insights with us today.  We hope all of you reading took an idea or three from this and are eager to get out there and dominate a farm area of your own.  Know that we are here to help you in any way we can.  You can always visit us at www.prospectsplus.com or call our support and marketing team at 866.405.3638. 

Real Estate Thank You Cards

Starts with a Little Appreciation

By Julie Escobar

People say a little appreciation goes a long way and they wouldn’t be wrong.  We know from massive research where business really comes from, and it’s not from where most business people think. Statistics show that 66% of all the business generated by 95% of successful professionals today comes from only four sources:

  • Family
  • Friends
  • Close Acquaintances
  • Referrals generated by the first three groups

Statistics also show us that when you stay in consistent touch, top of mind, and deliver excellent service and show your appreciation, you can expect either a referral or a transaction from one in every twelve people in your sphere.  So the questions to ask yourself is do you even know who is in your sphere, and how are you expertly staying in touch with them and delivering that top of mind service and appreciation?

If not, you’re leaving a lot of business on the table.  One powerful way to tap into spring of referrals starts customer-appreciation-direct-mail-real-estate-postcards (1)with two little words:  thank you.

A long time ago I learned from Floyd Wickman that, “People don’t care what you know until they know that you care.”  Show them you care.

Here are four easy strategies to help you do that:

  1. Each month pull a list of every customer in your database who has an anniversary of either the sale or purchase of a home and send them a Customer Appreciation postcard with a personalized message on the back.
  2. Each month choose 25-50 people from your sphere database and send them either a Thank You or a Thinking of You postcard from the Customer Appreciation series with a personalized message on the back.
  3. Each month send a sphere-friendly postcard to the rest of your database to keep your name top of mind. Top customer picks would be the Listing Inventory Series, Content Cards, Holiday Cards, and Recipe Cards.holiday-listing-inventory-recipe-content-direct-mail-real-estate-postcards (1)
  4. Pull an idea (or a few) from the fun connection suggestions on our Master Marketing Schedule each month. For example, this month, April 22nd, is National Jelly Bean Day. Get little packages of jelly beans to give to clients, the admin staff at your office, co-workers and friends. There’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Day in May for a chance to deliver some tasty treats to ten top clients.  Or National Chocolate Day in July, where we suggest you grab ten of those little sampler boxes of chocolate and deliver to ten top clients with a note thanking them for being such a treat!  Or Aviation Day in August where we suggest you order cardboard or paper airplanes from www.orientaltrading.com and pass them out to your farm area this day with a note attached saying, “Buying and selling real estate today takes an experienced pilot.  I can help ensure you have a terrific landing!  Call me today!” The schedule is filled with fun ideas that help you stand out from your competition.  Try them!

Rising to the top of your game in your market means doing things differently than your competition. Where others show up once or twice – show up every month.  Where others wait for the phone to ring – pick up the phone or see everyone in your sphere at least twice a year.  Break the list into manageable numbers and call just to say hi, see if they have any questions, let them know you appreciate them and that you’re there when they need you. Where others sit on the sidelines, get in the mix every day. Be out and about in your community. Talk to your customers.  Walk your farm areas. (The goal is to get the folks in your farm so connected with you that they become part of your sphere!)

Lastly, never, ever forget to say thank you, in big ways and small.  To your customers, clients, colleagues, brokers, assistants, friends and family.  It is a gesture that will never go out of style, and will garner you good will again and again.  In a business built on relationships with people – good will goes a long way. On that note – a big THANK YOU to all of you who graciously allow us to be your marketing resource of choice!

Need help?  Call our marketing team today at 866.405.3638 to put the best systems in place to build your business easily, and cost-effectively. 

 

Real Estate Agent Success

Insights from the Front Line with Ramona Williams

By Julie Escobar

When it comes to knowing EXACTLY what real estate professionals, and specifically our ProspectsPLUS!
customers want and need to grow their businesses in today’s market, I knew that there was one person who would be perfect to interview. My closest friend and always one of the smartest people in the room, our Director of Business Development, Ramona Williams.  With both an MBA and more thirty years of experience working with real estate agents and brokers, she’s the go-to resource for insights and ideas.

Here’s what we learned:

Q:  You are on the phones with customers every day, where do you think agents are needing the most help in terms of marketing their businesses and their listings?

A:  Consistency – hands down. That’s honestly where most agent’s marketing breaks down.  One and done listing inventory snapshotmarketing doesn’t work, never has and never will.  Secondly, what hurts agents is having no strategy at all.  That’s not a new problem of course. That’s historically where agents fail to grow their businesses, and why so many don’t make it.  Unfortunately, the majority of agents try lots of little things, including whatever the “shiny new idea” is in the office at the moment and never commit to anything consistently.  The result is they end up all over the place in terms of the message they are sending out into their market, and they’ll actually spend considerably more money trying every new thing that comes along than they would if they just put a solid, strategic plan of tested direct marketing that works in place and stuck to it.  Consistently sending branded, direct response marketing every 21-45 days to a sphere and farm is still the best means of driving results in our industry.

Q:  We’re seeing a huge rise in agents using EDDM® as a means to strategically market for less – what is your take on that and what advice do you have for others eager to do the same?

A:  I think Every Door Direct Mail® is a terrific way for agents to cover a large geographic area because of the Dominator April 16lower postage costs.  It makes it really affordable for agents to get back to those basics like working a geographic farm.  What I really like about seeing agents return to geo-farming is that it helps them focus their marketing efforts. For a long while we saw agents just chasing the next deal. They’d follow internet leads wherever they took them – sometimes driving hours to take a listing.  EDDM helps them to find a geographic market area that makes sense for them and literally get in every door. When used consistently, it creates a much more predictive business and income model than constantly chasing new business.  Here’s what else I can tell you – the great agents get that. They know that it’s not only OK to be in control of their marketing and business, it’s a must if you want to create a consistently growing business with commissions and referrals you can count on.  I think so much of the time you see agents who look at the business of real estate as risky to start with or unpredictable because it’s commission based.  So their mindset is that their business is supposed to be all over the place, or unpredictable as well.  Savvy agents know that real estate is a business and can be a very lucrative one if they treat is like it is and work a plan.

Q:  What product do you see the most demand for in today’s market?

A:  I’d say in most areas of the country inventory is still historically low, so agents are looking for any vehicle that can help them get listings.  So we’re seeing a lot of EDDM, Just Listed postcards and Just Sold postcardsjl js cards (which are great for pulling double duty – marketing the listing and the agent), our Market Dominator, Listing Inventory cards, FSBO and Expired tools, and our Neighborhood Update/Free Offer cards. The last take a little more work to input the listing data, but it’s what consumers want to see, and they make direct response offers, so they work.  Again, it’s getting back to taking control of your marketing.

We are also seeing an uptick in agents struggling with pricing listings correctly and that’s where your eBook 21 Ways to Get Your Listing Priced Right the First Time (Despite the Seller’s Objections) is a terrific tool that’s really affordable and filled with the kind of objection handlers agents need today.

Q:  You and I go way back in this business – we won’t say how far!  How do you think the market has changed and what do you think agents can do to best get in front of those changes and be competitive?

A:  You know, surprisingly, it really hasn’t changed all that much.  Our business is and always be cyclical.  What is different, of course, are the amount of technology options agents have and how many different organizations are selling to them.  Many of which are amazing and game-changing solutions for agents, no doubt. It does, however, make it really easy for agents to take their eye off the ball and look for that “magic pill” that will skyrocket them to success.  While that’s understandably tempting, the keys to being the top in your field is the stay focused, build inventory, price listing right, have a strategic plan, and find areas you really enjoy working and stay the course.

Q:  Excellent advice! You work with top producers and high volume teams quite a bit as our Director of Business Development.  What are some factors from a marketing perspective do you think they deploy that allow them to continuously rise to the top?

A:  Much like we just talked about, top teams and top agents don’t roll the dice with their results. They build their businesses exponentially by putting systems in place so things don’t fall through the cracks and understand and implement the power of consistent marketing.  In other words, they don’t wait and they don’t shy away from marketing at high levels.  They prioritize immediate lead generation, but they also have systems that allow them to build their brand and their businesses long term.  They are also typically service-minded professionals.  They take excellent care of their customer base, and communicate effectively and often with their sphere and farm.  That’s smart business.

Q:  Awesome. Any last words of wisdom for the readers?

A:  Well I guess I would say that this is truly a great industry where people can make an excellent, lucrative living that is relatively affordable to get into with a strong return on investment.  I would tell them to be strategic, consistent and be mindful of who you model yourself after.  You and I have both seen, countless times, agents who have been in this business 3, 4, 5 – even 10 years or more in this industry and have never put a sphere of influence database together.  While some may do all right at that, it makes you really wonder where COULD their business be if they had put that basic but so important piece in place? That’s a lot of missed opportunity and money left on the table.  I’d challenge agents to not do the same.  Get back to the basics.  Have a plan. Use strategic, consistent marketing (both in terms of timing and branding) to build your inventory, price them right, follow up, and take care of your book of business and your farm.

As always, you’re a tremendous source of advice for today’s professionals. What’s great for our customers to know is that you’ve done such an amazing job of both training and managing our support and marketing teams that they have incredible skills and insights as well and are wonderfully adept at helping agents and brokers figure out the best plans for them, and helping them strategically implement those plans every day.  Kudos to you for that!  Thanks for sharing!

If you’d like to connect with a member of Ramona’s team, you can call them at 866-405-3638 or email us at pmc@prospectsplus.com.  They are eager to help make your job – and your life a whole lot easier!