Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Success Advice from Power Agent Buddy Keene

by Julie Escobar

Tapping into what works for our customers is a great way to get a read on what agents need now and what is right around the corner as well. We caught up with one of our VIP customers Buddy Keene to learn what he’s doing to take his business to the next level.

Here’s what we learned:

Q:  Thanks for the interview! Can you start by telling our readers a little about yourself?

A:  Sure, I’m a Tampa native whose background as a business owner and executive brings a new and innovative approach to the sale of real estate. I take pride in providing personal and responsive service tailored to each client’s individual needs. I am a high-energy individual who delivers start-to-finish service with the sale or purchase of primary residences, vacation/secondary homes, and rental properties. My company, Great Blue’s mission is to become both the best respected and the most successful real estate brokerage in the state of Florida.

Q:  We know that staying consistent with your marketing is one powerful key to branding yourself and generating business. Can you tell us what you find most effective in terms of staying top of mind with your sphere and farm?

A:  I concentrate my marketing budget on direct mailings. I mail three communities every month. The total number of homes that I reach is just over 2,500. 90% of all of business comes from this mail campaign. If you want to be top of mind for the homeowners in your farm area, you have got to be consistent with your touches. If you intend to simply mail one time, or even on a quarterly basis, you’re wasting your money. I consider 12 touches per year to be the optimum exposure for my listing services.

Q:  We appreciate your trusting us to be the resource for your marketing tools – what drew you to our organization and what is your go-to tool for getting results?

A: I learned about ProspectsPLUS.com from a postcard that you mailed to me. So, I’m proof that direct mail produces results!

Q:  It’s a competitive market out there. What advice would you give fellow agents for creating an edge over their competitors?

A: For years, I produced my own Real Estate Reports for my farm area. I would gather the info from the MLS, analyze it, write a report, print it, and the envelopes, stuff them, and mail them. It was a massive effort to put the campaign together. My printing toner cost alone was $500 per month. At that time, I was only mailing on a quarterly basis. While I was surviving, the return on my investment just wasn’t where I felt it should be. After contacting prospects Plus, and learning about the Market Dominator product, I made the change, and hired your profession organization to produce my mailing pieces. This is by far the best marketing decision I have made to date. The mailings are always top notch quality, both the graphics, and the copy. My personal branded image has never been more professional. And I’m spending less time on my mailings than ever before.

The very first thing that homeowners tell me when we meet at the listing appointment, is that they love my mailers.

Q:  Many agents are reluctant to do any follow up activities with their book of business.  What words of wisdom can you share with them?

A: My farm areas consist of $400,000 properties. When you start charging people the amounts of money that I charge, you’d better bring some real value to the table. I have added services to my marketing plan, that most other Realtors simply don’t offer. For example, pay for a professional appraisal. The fact that we have a professional third party opinion of market value is very comforting to the sellers. It’s amazing how much stress this practice removes from the selling process for my clients. Another benefit to having this info, is that they sellers don’t go into the selling process with unrealistic expectations.

I bring in a professional photographer, and have him shoot High Dynamic Range photos, as well as aerial photos shot with a drone. I have a virtual tour software that I invested in, and it’s so much better than anything else that the sellers have ever seen. I also use an appointment center service, so that we never miss a call to show. I employ an internet service that syndicates my listings to over 50 websites, and delivers an email report to my sellers on the 1st, and the 15th of each month, showing how many view’s we have gotten, and from which of the website.

Q:  How valuable have you found it to be to stay in touch with your past clients?

A: Being mostly a listing agent, many of my past clients have actually moved out of my market area. So, the majority of my book of business is made up from buyers that I have worked with in the past. This is one of the areas where I have some serious room for improvement. While I have been fortunate enough to have very good relationships with my past buyer clients, I have not established a formal drip-mail campaign to keep myself top of mind with them.

My past clients have become a strong source of referrals. In fact, I have one family that has purchased, and or sold six properties with me. We’ve been working together for over 10 years. Many of my past buyers were first time buyers. Now that they are ready to move up, they are calling me to both sell their current property, and help them buy their new home.

Q:  Lastly, how can agents get hold of you if they have a referral they’d like to share in your area?

A: I can be reached at Buddy.keene@greatblue.us, or by phone at 813.727.7110.

Awesome information. Thanks Buddy!  

If you’d like to learn more about growing your book of business, earn more referrals and brand yourself in a geographic market, visit us online at www.prospectsplus.com or call our team today at 866.405.3638.

How to Stay Top of Mind All Season Long

By Julie Escobar

Fall is in the air and the holidays will be in full swing before you know it.  We’ve entered the season of Pumpkin Spice everything and parties and plans are already in the works.  While many agents send Christmas, New Year’s and Calendar cards come December, why not beat the competition to the mailbox and thumbhalloweenv7stndstart with our adorable Halloween postcards. They’re fun, charming and perfect for kicking off your fall well wishes to your sphere of influence.

You can then follow up with Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday postcards and stay top of mind all season long.

AWESOME AGENT IDEA:  Use the reverse side of the postcard to make special offers to your VIP clients.  Here are some ideas that we’ve heard from agents for holiday time:

  • Invite to a holiday open house or customer appreciation event
  • Many agents give away pumpkins or pies during October and November, share where you clients can thanksgivingget theirs.  (One agent we talked to gets her pies and pumpkins from charity organizations so she’s contributing to good causes and connecting with her sphere.)
  • Order trick-or-treat bags and let customers know where they can get hold of theirs
  • Let them know how much you appreciate them and that you are there if they, or someone they know have questions!

Be sure to have some fun this last quarter of the year.  Head over to our Master Marketing Schedule to see all the fun and creative ways you can touch base with your sphere and farm this season and make the kind of connections that will get you noticed — and earn you business.

PLUS — From now until October 15th, we will donate 10% of EVERY holiday postcard order (excluding taxes, postage and handling) to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital!  Help us help the kids — and stay top of mind all season long! Get started today.

Clock dial with 2016-2017 change represents the new 2017, three-dimensional rendering, 3D illustration

With Just 100+ Days Left in the Year…Timing is Everything

By Julie Escobar

It’s funny to think that what you do today – this week – this month will affect whether you and your family will celebrate a stress-free holiday season and finish the year strong, or whether you’ll be worried and hurried and wind up with more year left than budget!   With just over 100 days left in the year – let’s take some ideas from the top producers and look at the five things they continuously put into place to guarantee a great fourth quarter.

  1. Know your numbers.  Savvy entrepreneurs already know how much business they need to  bring in before year’s end.  They also think ahead – and know what they need to do to head into the new year with momentum.  Don’t wait another day to get a handle these numbers if you haven’t already.  Figure out what you want and need to make and how many listings you want to have heading into the year then work the math to see how many contacts you need to make to get the number of appointments you need based on your closing ratio to achieve the number of listings you need to realize your goals.Happy Halloween Card  Make yourself a daily chart to ensure that you stay on track.
  2. Leverage the opportunities to connect.  The fourth quarter is filled with holiday gatherings and neighborhood invites.  The holidays create an amazing reason to reach out and connect with your customer base.  Don’t wait for Christmas either! Be the agent that connects all season long with a postcard and a call.  Call every existing customer you have and wish them a happy holiday season ahead.  Let them know that with all the chatter in the national news and even local headlines, you’ve found that many people have questions about how this will affect their family, their investments and their future.  Be sure they know that you’re on top if it all and there to answer any questions they might have.Thanksgiving card
  3. Ask for referrals.  Before you hang up – be sure to ask your clients if they know of anyone who might need some help.  There’s plenty of people struggling and unsure of what their options are in today’s market. Let them know you are a resource they can turn to – whatever their situation.  If you don’ t have the immediate answers –you’re your clients know that  you’ll be first in line to get them.  On the reverse side of your holiday cards, make an offer for something of value. A free Comparative Market Analysis, or one of our great free reports such as 5 Ways to Build Equity in Your Home. 5 ways to build equity
  4. Don’t leave your marketing to chance.  Life gets in the way sometime – no doubt.  We get busy, over-scheduled and over-committed – especially as we make our way toward the fall and winter holidays.  That’s when things like marketing and prospecting fall through the cracks or take a back seat.  Put a plan in place today to make sure that you have all systems “go” to make sure you are staying top-of-mind and that your listings are being showcased and syndicated in all the ways that matter for great exposure and results. Set aside 20-30 minutes at the beginning of each month or each week to set your marketing in motion by ordering your holiday postcards, and your Just Listed/Just Sold or Open House postcards. Knocking out your marketing in under half an hour gives you a lot more time to prospect, present and close – the three things closest to your bottom line.  It also helps you make up for larger than normal volume of downtime you’ll spend at holiday activities.  Spend guilt-free time with friends and family, attend winter recitals and holiday concerts without worrying so much about what’s not getting done in the office.  If you need help – call the terrific folks in our client care center at 866.405.3638 – they’ll help you get everything all lined up this month so you slide into the home stretch of this year without stress.
  5. Commit to the extra mile.  I love the Wayne Dyer quote, “It’s never crowded along the extra mile.”  Commit to 10 extra calls a day over the next 17 weeks.  Commit to adding just ONE new person to your prospect list each day.  That’s 109 more folks that can and will bring you new business and referrals in the coming year if you stay top of mind.  Do you think that could be worth a commission or three…or more?

The truth is that the bottom 80% of the salespeople in our industry won’t be doing any of these five things over the next quarter.  Many will look at how far behind they already are from their goal, throw their hands up and give up.  Many will do the basics – no more and no less and continue to live commission check to commission check.  It will be those of you who strike out, step up and stay laser-focused who will be out on top this year, crushing their goals and kick starting 2017 with a fiery passion.

Where do you want to be in four months?  Top 20 or bottom 80?  What you do this month will make all the difference.10 percent

If you need help – call us.  Our team has been helping eager agents get to the next level and top producers stay on top for more than 20 years.  We can do the same for you, call 866.405.3638 today! Head over to our Specials Page to see what’s new and get the latest budget saving promo codes! 

 

April 2016

Gracie, 5 years oldgracie

Diagnosis: Acute lymphoblastic leukemia

Gracie’s story:

When 5-year-old Gracie didn’t want her belly touched, her mom feared appendicitis. In fact, the diagnosis as worse: acute lymphoblastic leukemia, a type of blood cancer that is also the most common form of cancer in children.

Referred to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital®, Gracie began a treatment plan of two and a half years of chemotherapy, at no cost to her family.

Families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food – because all a family should worry about is helping their child live. “Everything St. Jude is doing for us, and we won’t have to pay a bill? That’s amazing,” said Gracie’s mom. “Being able to focus on nothing but your child is a wonderful thing.”

Gracie adores her care team at St. Jude. From her Child Life Specialist to her doctor, she calls them by name and doles out hugs and love-notes.

Please help us help kids like Gracie and their families.

To Donate, please visit www.prospectsplus.com/StJude

About St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital:

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is leading the way the world understands, treats and defeats childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases. It is the only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center devoted solely to children. Treatments invented at St. Jude have helped push the overall childhood cancer survival rate from 20 percent to 80 percent since the hospital opened more than 50 years ago.

St. Jude is working to drive the overall survival rate for childhood cancer to 90 percent, and we won’t stop until no child dies from cancer. St. Jude freely shares the discoveries it makes, and every child saved at St. Jude means doctors and scientists worldwide can use that knowledge to save thousands more children. Families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food – because all a family should worry about is helping their child live. Join the St. Jude mission by visiting stjude.org, liking St. Jude on Facebook (facebook.com/stjude) and following us on Twitter (@stjude).