Wednesday, May 24, 2017

With Geographic Farming Done Right

By Julie Escobar

Geographic farming has roared back to the marketing forefront for agents in our industry in ways we haven’t seen in years. Why? Because – when done right – it works.

And what exactly is “done right”? It’s when agents who are committed to consistency step up to make themselves known in a neighborhood in real and meaningful ways – getting out into communities, shaking hands, meeting people, making introductions and making a difference.

To talk about one creative tool for geographic farming, the Market Dominator, I sat down with Dominator Director Todd Robertson to learn a little more about the system, the agents who are using it and what it takes to really make an impact on a market area.

Q: Todd, you work with agents across the country who are growing their market share by doing smart geographic farming. Can you tell us a little about the Market Dominator?

A: Sure! This product evolved out of necessity. Agents around the country were asking for a consistency final-ops-proof-december-dominator-frontprogram that would allow them to truly dominate a neighborhood or piece of geography. After six months of research with our team, we came up with the product for our agents called the Market Dominator, which utilizes Every Door Direct Mail with the USPS. At 12” x 15”, it’s the largest legal size that can be sent through the mail, so it doesn’t get overlooked in the mailbox. The content is created every month by our team of writers, who do an outstanding job of weaving in the eight best practices of direct mail. And agents love it because it’s either 100% done for them or 90%, meaning they can make some changes to the back. And with our national sponsors on board now, we can literally send it for the price of a first-class postcard. The other great thing about it is that it’s a two-year campaign… kind of like joining the gym, your personal trainer makes you go.

Q: We both have been in this industry for a long time, and we both know that marketing alone is not what takes agents to the top of their game. It’s follow up and relationship building. Can you tell us some of the powerful ways Market Dominator members are going above and beyond to support their marketing mailing efforts by connecting with the folks in their farm final-ops-proof-december-dominator-backneighborhoods?

A: In terms of what our best agents are doing supplementing the Market Dominator to increase their success rate in their numbers, we’re seeing them do things like canvassing their farms with door hangers,  introducing themselves to everybody in the neighborhood, being consistent in sending out new on the market or Just Listed postcards when they get a listing and holding open houses in their carrier routes and making a splash in the area with signs and balloons on every street, every artery when they do. That way, when the Market Dominator shows up in that mailbox, the homeowners will see it and say, “Oh yeah, that’s Susie. I see her all over the place; she’s the neighborhood specialist.”

Q: We’ve talked about the tremendous opportunity agents have to reach out to the businesses that surround or are in their farm area to build reciprocal referral relationships. Can you share your thoughts on that?

A: Some of our Market Dominator members have given us ideas that we never thought about before that we try to share with our new members. One of them is to go after the local businesses in and/or around that carrier route. It’s really an outstanding strategy, because they can utilize the extra 20 Dominators that we give them each month in a clever way.

One of our great agents up in the Northeast simply takes her 20 and goes to every business where people have to wait, such as a hair salon, oil change shop and restaurants. She said the best was actually auto dealerships. What she would do in auto dealerships is first go in and make an introduction to the general sales manager that goes something like, “Hi, I’m Susie with XYZ Realty. I’m the neighborhood real estate specialist in this area. Would you mind if I leave a couple of these in the lobby of your service department?”

What’s great about that strategy is, number one, she’s prospecting the service manager, who becomes a mover and shaker on her SOI list – meaning she visits every month and has offered to let him or her know if a great listing comes on the market. Think about how most cities have what they call “auto dealership row,” where several dealerships are all on the same street. If you’re like Susie, you go right down that strip and pass out two or three Dominators in each dealership, meet some incredible new people and start establishing relationships in a pretty short period of time.

Number two, she’s leaving valuable content, with her name, face, contact information and calls to action in a place where a lot of people congregate. Think about when you have to have your car serviced, and you’ve had to wait anywhere from an hour to a full day in the guest services lounge. What are most people doing when they’re waiting? They’re looking at their phones or whatever magazines are sitting there, right? Imagine if two or three Market Dominators were sitting there with Ritz Carlton quality, filled with great information for people to peruse. Agents who are utilizing this tiny local business strategy with consistency, who have mastered their presentation skills and aren’t afraid to follow up, could find themselves with anywhere from two to 20 extra closings per year.

Q: What about agents who are afraid to follow up, either in person (door knocking) or on the phone? Any advice for them?

A: Some agents just want to send their marketing out, then sit back and see what happens. In my mind, to be great in real estate you have to be obsessed, or you end up being average. By “obsessed,” I mean you’ve already made a commitment to your neighborhood farm, so why not stretch yourself a little and go make an introduction? One way or another, knowing that you’re simply providing a great service to help these people buy or sell real estate is powerful motivation to meet people.

I also would say if somebody is still afraid or hesitant to follow up, spend a couple days and get so good at your listing presentation, get so great at overcoming objections, so great at your value proposition that you can’t help but have a relaxed sense of confidence. This will do a couple of things for you: It will get you excited to go out and meet people and prospect, which is the one thing most people hate doing (usually because they aren’t as confident in their presentation), and it will force you to fine-tune your skills, which will help you enjoy a long-term career.

Q: Consistency and sticking to a plan is a powerful combination for success in our business. Will you share why making the Dominator part of a consistent marketing plan is a smart strategy?

A: In terms of doing any marketing, consistency has to be part of the plan – whether it’s in real estate marketing, building wealth or getting in shape. The Market Dominator gives agents what they told us for many years they wanted: a two-year campaign. According to the National Association of REALTORS®, if your competition is going to do any marketing, history says they quit after the third contact. Yet we know that most activity doesn’t happen until after the fifth contact. So staying in the game for the duration is vital.  

Q: Any last words of advice for our readers?

A: First, I would say that if you’re reading this article or reading our magazines or blogs and looking for real estate strategies and insights, you’ve already separated yourself from the competition. Because for you and me to get great at anything, we must remain a student of life. So I congratulate you on taking that step. Whether it’s the Market Dominator, one of our other great products or you just want to call our home office and brainstorm, our team is always willing to help you find the real estate marketing product that best fits your needs, your market and your area.

Thanks for the information and insight, Todd!

If you’d like to learn more about the Market Dominator System, visit www.prospectsplus.com/dominator, or call Todd directly at 855-383-6646.

How Hyper-Local Information and Consistency Work to Your Advantage

By Julie Escobar

Real estate is not for the get-rich-quick, zero effort entrepreneur.  To succeed for the long haul?  You’ve got to take an ‘in it to win it’ approach. That means the kind of ‘one and done’ marketing that some folks want to ‘try on’ is not a viable, sustainable path to market share.

You’ve got to put the time in and PERSEVERE.  To show up not just ONCE, but again and again and again.  You know that old saying out of sight – out of mind?  It’s especially true of customer relationships in today’s market.  In fact, Statistics tell us it takes at LEAST three impressions for a consumer to recognize your name, seven to associate your name with your business, and twenty seven for them to like you, know you, trust you enough to do business with them.  I know – it’s not instant gratification – but it is the smart business practice if you want to be in real estate for the long haul.

Make it easy on yourself.  You get paid to get face-to-face and voice–to-voice with customers.  Your job is to wow them with what you can do for them – how you can make that easier, more profitable & fewer headaches.  Hard to do that when you’re still printing, cutting & stuffing envelopes.  Put a system in place to reach your customers at the very least every 4-6 weeks.  The Direct Marketing Association and top agents lean more towards every 21-30 days.  It doesn’t have to be a lot – but it does have to be neighborhood update seriesconsistent.   We’ve worked hard to make that easy for you with hundreds of ready-to-go campaigns that you can choose from that’s as simple as pick a card, customize however you like, add your list or purchase one and you are done!

One that is especially popular right now and getting results is our Neighborhood Update Free Offer Series. Why is it such a hit?  It gives them the critical market information consumers want — and spotlights you as holiday-cards-16the authority in the neighborhood.  Grab your local stats (recent listings and sales), sign in to your account,  go to the neighborhood update free offer series, enter your data, get your list  (at least 100 homeowners in the neighborhood you want to brand yourself in) and go! What people LOVE about this series is that it offers up the hyper local market information they are craving. What are homes in THEIR neighborhoods selling for?  How much can they get for their home?  What’s happening in their own back yard? Send one of these a month and watch your market share grow!

Next, map out your marketing for the rest of the year. Will you be sending holiday photocards or holiday cards? Order them early and get them sent.  Calendar cards with magnetic backs are also very popular as means to stay top of mind (by being stuck to the refrigerator) all year around.  You’ll find budget saving promo codes on our Specials Pagecalendar-cards-16

Looking for more ideas for staying connected? Bookmark our Master Marketing Schedule.  It’s filled with actionable marketing tips as well as some really fun, out-of-the-box, memorable ways to reach out to the people in your sphere and farm.  That’s the key — helping to make sure your name is MEMORABLE — in a good way!

Some things to think about for this week.  Know that if you need some help showing up – OVER and OVER – affordably, easily and without stress, our team is there for you.  Call them at 866.405.3638 today or email pmc@prospectsplus.com.  We’ve got you covered!

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Taking the Guesswork Out of Real Estate Marketingtrack it

By Julie Escobar

You’ve got to love technology right?  As real estate professionals in today’s competitive world, every marketing step counts – and every marketing dollar is important.  We get that.  That’s why we put systems in place to track 100% of all postcard and mailing orders.  That way, you know what’s been delivered, when there’s an issue and exactly when you can start following up on your important real estate marketing mailing.

Here’s a quick video to show you how it works:

As you kick your marketing and momentum into high gear – here are four things you should know:

1.       Track My Mail is a Resource You Can Trust.  We know that every dollar counts and you want to know that your marketing is not only being sent, but is being delivered.  We want the same.  Every time you place an order, you will be sent a link when that order is shipped so you can track your mail every step of the way. When we deliver it to the post office, when and where it’s routed, and when it gets delivered.  That way you’ve got total confidence that your marketing is working for you. There’s no extra cost, no fuss, no questions.  We’ve got you covered.

2.       There are LOTS of options available.  Marketing is a big decision for agents today, and budgets are a jl-cards-2giant factor.  We’ve got tools that can match any budget, and can help you reach as far or as limited a target as you are comfortable with.  From Every Door Direct options that allow you to blanket entire geographic areas, to Just Listed/Just Sold Postcards which are a foundation for any real estate marketing plan, to the collateral pieces you need for fair trade items, blog fodder, consumer friendly website downloads and presentation content and more.  We can work with you one-on-one to meet your budget and extend your reach with ease.

3.       By real estate professionals for real estate professionals.  With our organization, you’ll know that your marketing is being written and produced by people who have long ties and experience in this industry we love.  We’re constantly watching market trends so we can keep you on the cutting edge when it comes to always having tcommunitynewsnovthumbsfront4he right piece for the right person at the right time.  It’s the difference – that makes all the difference.

4.       Totally editable.  We get that creating is HARD and clicking is EASY.  That’s why we try to do as much of the ‘heavy lifting’ as possible so that when you choose your marketing materials  – be they real estate postcards, newsletters, flyers, brochures, or even kits – you don’t HAVE to change a thing if you don’t want to.  You can simply have our system apply your contact and profile information and go – but if you want?  You can totally change whatever you like.  Change the words. The images. Upload your own piece even.  Flexibility is key in today’s busy world.  You have our commitment to continuously make that an easy solution.

Get started today!

We know that a successful agent is a busy agent.  And time – is really of the essence.  So giving you the options, materials, resources and support you need  is our top priority.  Call us today at 866.405.3638 and speak to one of our marketing professionals about building your book of business this year. We’ve got just what you need to succeed.

Give Them What They Want

By Julie Escobar

“Content is king.” You may have heard that throughout the years, but it’s relevance has never been more important than today’s fast-paced world of business marketing. More often than not, today’s savvy consumer takes to the internet to learn everything they can about a product, service or even destination before making a decision.

So how do you jump to the top of their attention span? Be the competitor who consistently gives them what they want—valuable information that can help them:

  • make a more informed decision
  • solve a problem
  • become more educated

The real differentiator here is to do all of these things WITHOUT the consumer feeling like they’re being
dom-octlined up for a sales pitch. So whether you are delivering your content via video, conference call, email, ezines, newsletters, Market Dominator, — or a combination of all of the above, put your best foot forward, your thinking cap on and deliver what your customers need most.

Let’s take a look at three smart strategies to consider when implementing “Education Based Marketing.”

ONEMake it about them. Put yourself in the shoes of your best customer and think about the things that they want/need/expect/are interested in. Make it personal, intriguing, factual, relevant and —here’s a big one—HONEST. This type of marketing puts you in the position of teacher, and that denotes a level of trust. Create the right level of trust and you have comfortable, well informed customers—clearly better customers. Create the wrong level of trust, and you have consumers who are wary of your products or services because you haven’t eliminated the fear.

TWO:   Give a high value. This can be a tough thing for some business owners. The idea of giving something6 move up market away for free can be bothersome or make them feel as if they are de-valuing their product or service. In reality, these loss leaders are an effective, value-boosting investment in your long term customer relationship. When you consider the average of acquiring a new customer is considered 4-6 times higher than keeping your current customers engaged, happy, informed and ultimately loyal, giving value on the front end just makes sense. Take a tip from this week’s Master Marketing Schedule, which is to re-purpose the content from our Free Reports to share valuable information with those in your sphere and farm. You can share bits and pieces from these on your social media platforms – and offer the entire report for free on your website as an opt in piece.  You’ll want to put many of them in your listing or pre-listing packages as well. They are also perfect hand-outs at your Open Houses.  Get them all here. Our
Content Cards are another great way to offer educational information, present yourself as the resource people can count on, while earning their trust and their business. What’s great is there are new cards every content 1month for this series!  You can find them all here.  

THREE:  Make it ongoing. Before launching into this form of marketing, consider your long term goals and draw up a creative plan to consistently reach out to your clients month after month. Choose your topics in advance if you possibly can which will allow you to “tease” the participants each month with “coming attractions.” This also gives you time to do your homework and add in as much extra value as possible as well as drive traffic to your next event. The bottom line is you want your customers, both new and old, to get to the point where they would miss the information if it weren’t there. If they come to count on you for the answers and resources they need, it stands to reason you’ll outshine your competition every time.  For example, if your SaveDownPayment_thumbgoal is to work with first time home buyers – you may want to consider hosting a webinar or teleconference once a month or once a quarter where you can share ideas for new home ownership. You can base a lot of content on the free reports and even have a loan officer on hand to answer additional questions.  You can then use the free reports as reference material that will help you get additional contact information or as terrific reasons to meet with you for an appointment to learn more.

Whatever strategy you deploy this season, make sure your message is clear and marketing consistent. Call, see or send something to everyone in your base of business at least every 30 days and you will find that your productivity, profitability, referrals and commissions will be on track all year round.

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.

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!