Friday, April 28, 2017

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. 

 

Introducing 8 Year Old Leland

As proud supporters of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, we would like to introduce you to their patient of the month: Eight year old Leland!

His story:

In 2014, Leland started having headaches. His parents were concerned but not alarmed, because migraines run in the family. But then more symptoms appeared. Leland’s grandmother noticed he was holding his left arm funny. His mother, Marisa, noticed his smile was off kilter in a photograph. Soon, a series of tests revealed Leland suffered from an aggressive brain cancer known as an atypical teratoid/ rhabdoid tumor, or simply ATRT.

When considering treatment options, Marisa sought her doctor’s recommendation. “My doctor said, ‘If it was my child, I would be going to St. Jude,’” Marisa recalled. After receiving a referral, Leland and Marisa were on their way to Memphis.

At St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital®, Leland’s treatment has included surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy. “St. Jude is amazing,” said Marisa. “Not just all the leaps and bounds they’re taking medically, and how many children they save, but how they don’t just treat his diagnosis. Kids can be kids here, and I think that helps a lot with their healing.”

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. We won’t stop until no child dies from cancer.

Leland loves to make people laugh. He says silly things and never lets anything get him down. “He’s strong and amazing,” Marisa said. “I draw my strength from Leland, because he amazes me every day.” Some of Leland’s favorite things are tacos, baseball, kittens and the beach.  Watch a video about Leland here.

Here at ProspectsPLUS! we’ve committed to helping kids just like Leland and their families get the help, support, and medical attention they need. We’d love to have you join us in effort! 

ProspectsPLUS! Charitable Donations

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

 

Eight Factors to Adopt Today to Leverage More Success

by Julie Escobar

You’ve seen them — those mega-producers who seem impervious to the market peaks and valleys felt by mere “mortal” agents. They continue to work day in and day out, usually with a smile to share and the time (and money) to even take their families on nice vacations each year.

How do YOU become one of THEM? Start by recognizing eight traits that superstars embody, embrace and constantly improve upon in order to maintain forward momentum and a healthy balance-and then adopt them as your own:

1. Positive attitude. That’s right! Attitude is critical to top producers. They greet their days with confidence and joy, seek out the positive and leave the negative for those unwilling to step above the mire. That’s not to say that problems, obstacles or objections don’t arise; they just choose to approach them as opportunities to find new solutions. They understand that to go where they’ve never gone, they must do things they’ve never done. They push forward with persistence and joy because they know the feeling and frame of mind that accompanies every new success.

2. Action oriented. “Just do it.” Nike has it right, as do top producers in every industry. They move forward. Do something. Take action. They don’t wait for the perfect time, a better market or a new day. Author Jules Renard said it well, “Everything you want is out there waiting for you to ask. Everything you want also wants you. But you have to take action to get it.”

Top producers don’t sit by waiting for the phone to ring. They don’t plan, re-plan, organize and re-organize to the point where they spend no real time doing the things that will earn them a viable living. They move forward. Take action. Delegate the “busy work” that could prevent them from achieving their goals. Go ahead, just do it!

3. Desire to learn. How do the best get better? How do they maintain their integrity, success and longevity despite market shifts and economic challenges? They take a page from the Marines: They adapt and overcome.

We are fortunate to live in a time where knowledge is available via the internet 24/7. We can learn whatever we want, whenever we want. Industry legends create downloadable seminars and publish books, CDs and DVDs. Live training is available in every major market-and most of the smaller ones, too. The wise never stop learning-never stop improving who they are and what they do. They feed their minds and their hearts with the best the world has to offer. It is part of what fuels their days and invigorates their careers.

What have you learned lately? I challenge you to learn a new skill or acquire a new tool that will make you better this week. Then learn another and another until you, like all top producers, are passionate about expanding your knowledge base.  Want a little light reading to get you started?  Read a digital version of our all new Master Marketing Magazine today!

4. Serious about systems. Agents at the top of their game know that systems are key. They know that continuously marketing their name and brand is too important to leave to chance. They have systems for contact management, lead generation, time management, administrative responsibilities, and budget checks and balances. They have a financial plan for their future and an exit plan for their careers.

Finding the right systems may seem like a big mountain to climb, but reflect back on #2 above, and take action-any action-today. Start by taking advantage of our simple BusinessBASETM  which helps you identify the 250 people who should be in your sphere of influence.  It’s not only effective, but it’s also FREE! Be sure to lock into our Master Marketing Schedule as well for month-by-month guides to consistently staying in touch with the folks in your sphere, farm, and niche markets. While you’re at it – don’t wait until January to get organized.  Ask the super-agents in your office who they recommend for a financial plan, what systems they use to manage their time and what advice they can give to aspiring top producers. You might be surprised at how much they’re willing to share.

I recommend the book Juggling Elephants by Jones Loflin and Todd Musig. It’s a quick read that shares some terrific time-management and priority-setting strategies you may just want to adopt for yourself!

5. Put people first. One of the traits I find most interesting about many of the most successful entrepreneurs I know is their commitment to putting people first. They are service minded, happy to help and willing to go the extra mile not just for their clients, but for everyone in their lives.

Is money a priority? Sure, but it doesn’t top the list. Top producers fully understand that theirs is a people industry, and an unwavering focus on bringing their best selves to the table for everyone is what makes them superstars above and beyond the balance in their bank accounts.

I recommend both Jack Mitchell’s Hug Your Customer and Mark Sanborn’s The Fred Factor. These terrific books explain how focusing on and serving the VIPs in your life brings tremendous rewards that go far beyond business.

6. Self discipline and motivation. Top producers don’t ask their managers what to do next, who to call or where to start. They rely on their systems for that and use their own sense of discipline to follow through. They motivate themselves by tapping into the sources and mindsets they need to greet each morning, each customer, each appointment, each obstacle and each opportunity. They see greatness when others see weakness. They realize potential where others see waste.

7. Expansive thinking. Top professionals don’t think in terms of “limits” or use the word “can’t” very much. They are broad-spectrum, can-do people. They look at what could be and make it reality. They turn negative thoughts and doubt away at the door by taking action and moving past the moment.

Mike Ferry said it well, “When you think big, think bigger, then think bigger than that. If I had it to do all over again, I would think bigger.” Now that’s a strong statement from a legend in this business. Open your mind, knock down the walls and think big-then think BIGGER!

8. Don’t go it alone. Very few successful people are “self made;” most had a lot of help along the way. They recognize the value of having the right people in their lives-not only to help them realize their goals, but also to keep them playing at the level of success and balance that they desire.

They are, in many cases, both mentors and protégés. They seek guidance and coaching in the areas that matter: family, relationships, business, education and spirituality. They keep family and friends close for strength and support. Success is far more fun, meaningful and exponential when it’s shared.

What could you accomplish this week if you embraced or improved on just one of these characteristics? What would it mean to your family, yourself and to the possibilities that lie before you? What if you didn’t stop there and-step-by-step and day-by-day-made all of these traits your own?

How quickly or effectively you weave these traits into your life and career is up to you. It all begins with the desire to do more, be more and achieve more than ever before. I challenge you to start today.

ProspectsPLUS! can enhance your team’s vision, purpose and productivity through foundation-building skills, winning mindsets and proven tools for ANY market. Be sure to bookmark our featured specials page for budget-saving offers. Contact our inside marketing team today at 1.866.405.3638 to learn how they can best help you grow your business and become the kind of top producer you’ve always wanted to be. 


And Success Will Often Follow You…do what you love concept on blackboard

By Julie Escobar

If there’s one thing I’ve learned through all of my years and experience with sales professionals, it’s that the most successful among them, the ones who seem to effortlessly rise to the top and stay there have many common denominators – but right at the top of the list – is PASSION. They LOVE what they do.  They love the people they work with, the client base they’ve cultivated and the tools and systems they use to make it all look so easy.

How about you?  Are you infusing your career, your days – your life with passion?  I recently read a great quote – “If you can’t put your heart into it – take yourself out of it.”  That’s good advice, and a powerful reminder that much of what makes people successful comes from their ability to really put themselves – heart and all – into what they do each day.

How can you become more passionate about your career?

1.  Work with the people you like. Don’t try to be all things to all people.  That’s a mistake many new sales professionals make (not to mention a fair share of experienced ones as well.)  Finding a niche that works for you and becoming the very best you can be at it will not only propel your productivity, but save you time, money, headaches and aggravation as well.  Top that off with the fact that it’s just more FUN to work with people you like and you’ve got a great foundation building block.

2.  Take more action. In the words of Pete Seeger, “do-so” is more important than “say-so.”  Top professionals don’t wait, procrastinate or debate decisions three hundred ways to Sunday.  They take action-strategically, intelligently, thoughtfully and consistently because they know that action is the key to momentum and productivity.  Growing your book of business should be based on a send-call-see formula.  Each and every month you are taking ACTION by sending something to your sphere and farm, postcards, free-reports, neighborhood updates, newsletters — then following up.  You should be calling everyone on your list at least twice a year.  And finally seeing – take the time to be out in the community, to canvas the neighborhoods you want to be top of mind in, and to personally invite to lunch or visit those top 10% of referring customers in your business base.

3. Desire to learn. How do the best get better? How do they maintain their integrity, success and longevity despite market shifts and economic challenges? They LEARN…New things almost every day.   They keep their eyes, ears, heart and mind OPEN so that they can continuously absorb new ways to grow as people and professionals.

4. Put people first. One of the traits I find most interesting about many of the most successful entrepreneurs I know is their commitment to putting people first. They are service minded, happy to help and willing to go the extra mile not just for their clients, but for everyone in their lives.

Is money a priority? Sure, but it doesn’t top the list. Top producers fully understand that theirs is a people industry, and an unwavering focus on bringing their best selves to the table for everyone is what makes them superstars above and beyond the balance in their bank accounts.

I recommend both Jack Mitchell’s Hug Your Customer and Mark Sanborn’s The Fred Factor. These terrific books explain how focusing on and serving the VIPs in your life brings tremendous rewards that go far beyond business.

This month give yourself a Valentine’s Day gift – and add more PASSION to your business and life.  I challenge you to adopt and adapt these traits of top entrepreneurs so that you can invite the EXTRAORDINARY into your career.  To paraphrase Confucius, “Love what you do and you’ll never work a day in your life.”  Now – doesn’t that sound like great advice? 

We’re here if you need us!  One thing is for sure we LOVE what we do – and that’s bringing the very best tools and strategies to agents each and every month.  Please visit our Specials Page for budget-saving coupons each month!  Got questions? Call us at 866.405.3638! 

Empowering Your Life and Career with Two Extraordinary Wordsthank you note

By Julie Escobar, Director of Corporate Marketing, ProspectsPLUS!

Thank you. Funny, isn’t it? How two little words can make such a difference? We’ve heard a lot over the last few years about the power of fueling your life with an “attitude of gratitude.” There are hundreds of variations of that thought and probably a million or more examples of the very real connection between abundance, riches, wealth and happiness and our ability to give thanks. So in this season of thanksgiving, let us explore just how we can adopt that “get by giving” philosophy into our lives year around and what that can mean for our careers, our clients, our communities and our families.

Start and end your day with thanks. It’s amazing really, when you add up the people that affect your life every day. Beginning and ending your day by giving thanks for the support, lessons and love you get from your family, friends, clients, prospects, colleagues and peers is the best way to keep life’s obstacles, challenges and trials all in perspective. Even those who “challenge” us – teach us.

We get what we give. Floyd Wickman was the first to introduce me to the phrase, “we get by giving,” twenty-plus years ago when I was a fledgling in this business but it still holds true. I spoke at length about this with Coach Patti Kouri once.  Her thoughts echoed my own in that having this component in your life, and living it really is a way to not just increase your business, but be happier, healthier and more fulfilled in the process. “Without coming from that place of appreciation each day, you really can’t attract more of what you want. Granted, sometimes you have to look HARD to find what you appreciate about some people, but take the time to look around you. Consider the administrative assistants, past clients, friends, even those toxic clients have something to offer – if nothing else an opportunity to ask yourself, ‘What did I learn?’ I always tell my clients, “You can’t expect people to give to you unless you have given value first. It’s like only making withdrawals from a bank – eventually – there’s nothing left. You’ve got to always put in more than you get.”

Mix it up. Get creative. There are some great ways to show your appreciation above and beyond frequently saying those two important “thank you” words! Pat Tasker with Shorewest Realtors actually got together with three other agents to throw an easy-but-effective Customer Appreciation Movie Night. The cost was affordable, and the results were amazing. “Between the four of us, we had about 150 people attend, everyone was thrilled and splitting the bill between the four of us was really very manageable. The nice part is, even those that didn’t attend felt special just for being invited. It gave us all a reason to connect with our client base in a positive, fun way! The movie theater made it easy. It was $6 a person for the movie, popcorn and drink and all we did was show up early, greet everyone when they came in, took pictures with families and friends, watched the movie and that was it! Easy!”

Movie nights are a great way to get large groups together to say thanks, and it really is extraordinary to see the referrals you will receive afterwards as well because you’ve reached out to your client base, your name is top of mind and they know that you are appreciative and there for them. If movie nights aren’t your thing, a holiday open house, or simple invitation to lunch might work!

Talk about mixers; consider this idea from Patti Kouri: “Go into your database and choose a small group of people each month and invite them to lunch. Make the lunch a networking event of sorts and start with the question, ‘How can I help you?’ Before long, you’ll have a whole group of people exploring ways to help each other and all appreciative that you facilitated something that was not just about listing a house or getting a referral but truly helping people. Make a regular habit of this and watch as the law of reciprocity kicks in! Consider calling people individually as well – and ask what you can do for them. How can you help them in their business or endeavor? You’ll find when you approach ‘prospecting’ in this way it:

  • Feels better than cold calling
  • When you’re giving not asking for something, it’s easier
  • You create a natural ‘boomerang’ and invite good things back to you

Keep trying new ways to help your clients. Many agents come from a place of fear, which is really a place where you don’t want to do anything. Take the opposite approach and you’ll find that you immediately and instinctively want to take action.”

I am reminded too of my conversation with Watson manager Karin Hill in Florida. As the broker with a great team in the Orlando area, Karin definitely is a think outside the box professional. “We do a lot of community service work here. It’s a wonderful way to build your business while really working for a greater good. At any given time we are involved in several charities. For example, we’ve worked with the Second Harvest Organization on a food drive. They estimate there are roughly 250,000 homeless children in Florida and could use a few helping hands to reach out to them! We have the information on our sign out front, and it’s wonderful to have strangers come into our office with donations. It really lets people know that we are there for the whole community, not to sell them something and they appreciate it. We even have the agents bringing in canned goods to our weekly office meetings!

We’ve organized charity runs, car and motorcycle drives, ‘adopted’ families in need, poker runs and more. It’s a great way for us to work together as a team, stay connected to our community and give back all at the same time!”

All great ideas from great thinkers! Another great way to give back and show your appreciation for your community is to work with your area schools. Most of them are looking for business partners who can help them provide the things they need for the students and staff. It’s a fun way to get to know the teachers, the faculty and the parents and they always appreciate the helping hands so it’s definitely a win-win for everyone!

So this month, and EVERY month, give thanks for the opportunity before you. As real estate professionals, you are only limited by your own thinking. There are no glass ceilings in this business, no one telling you that your income is capped and your goals are too high. Are there challenges? Most definitely – but challenges make us stronger, push us to try harder, learn more, and fine-tune our skills. Give thanks for those VIPs that make up your book of business and who invited you into their lives and those of their families to help them with one of the biggest decisions of their lives. Treat them well, show them you care and they’ll be a customer for your entire career, sharing their lives, their business and their referrals. Give thanks for your family and friends. They tolerate the often odd hours, pick you up on tough days and celebrate with you during the triumphs. Lastly, give thanks for another day to give back, to work hard, to try again and to make a difference in the world around you.

Here’s a great quote from John Southard to help keep things in perspective: “The only people with whom you should try to get even are those who have helped you.” That said, know that we appreciate YOU! Thank you for spending a little time with us today reading this article, for being a client, for doing all that you do. What can we do for you? How can we help? We’re just a phone call away at 866.405.3638. Wishing you all a safe and happy holiday season!