Tuesday, April 24, 2018

When 1,500 U.S. consumers were asked what type of research they performed before hiring a real estate agent, nearly 43 percent said they seek advice from a neighbor or friend. More than 34 percent say they check the agent’s website.

When the second most popular way of finding agents is by trolling their websites, it’s critical to take a good look at your online presence. Blogging has benefits.

Listings, listings, and more listings

Here’s a “well, DUH” for you: To capture website leads you need visitors to your website. There are several ways to generate more traffic and blogging is one of the best methods.

Merely having a blog on your website will increase the site’s number of visitors, according to a Hubspot study. In fact, companies that blog receive 80 percent more visitors and small-business bloggers (which is what you are) get 126 percent more leads.

The bottom line is that if you promote your posts widely and consistently, you’ll drive more traffic to your website. 

SEO

And, if you search engine optimize your blog using long-tail keywords, you’ll be focusing on traffic that is more likely to convert.

Examples of short and long-tail keywords in real estate include:

  • Short: Lake homes
  • Long: Lake homes for sale in Madison
  • Short: Homes for sale in Phoenix
  • Long: Homes for sale in Phoenix with a pool
  • One-story homes in Las Vegas
  • One-story homes for sale in 89123 under $200,000
Real estate consumers are using longtail keywords to find you

Agent Steve Jolly of nashvillerealestatenow claims that he counted “21,050 keywords that were used to find my website” over the course of one year. More than 90 percent of those keywords were longtail.

In a nutshell: Although long tail key phrases will result in less traffic, what you do get will convert easier. And, when you think about it, are you in the traffic-generating or lead-generating business?

Finally, if you’re posting valuable, high-quality content, you may attract inbound links – the holy grail of anyone seeking to rank in Google.

If you want Google to see your site as authoritative, having high-quality inbound links is the only way to do it, according to Jayson DeMers at Search Engine Land.

Blogging helps build trust and establish expertise

The folks at Google asked real estate consumers what is important to them when choosing an agent and nearly half of them said “trust,” according to Tom Ferry.

So, how do you create trust? Through your online presence.

Blogging helps you appear human instead of as a brand. Regular blogging, on a schedule, helps people trust you as well. You show up, you are consistent – those are all qualities consumers seek in an agent. 

 A blog will help you to position yourself as an expert in your niche
 The How

Stuck for topics? Think about your clients and the questions they ask. The chances are good that others have the same questions.

There are at least a gazillion (ok, an exaggeration, maybe a bazillion) pieces of online advice about how to write blog posts. The key thing is to know your audience before you sit down to put fingers to keyboard:

  • Buyer or seller?
  • What pain point is your topic addressing?

Keep the answers to these questions in mind to remain focused as you write.

Make the post easier to read by structuring it so that it has lots of white space. Chop up overly long paragraphs and use photos, subheadings, content boxes and block quotes.

The When

How often should you post to your blog? Businesses that “published 16+ blog posts per month got about 4.5X more leads than companies that published between 0 – 4 monthly,” according to a Hubspot survey.

Sounds a bit excessive, doesn’t it? Other than agents who outsource their blogging, who has time to write four blog posts a week? Nonetheless, the takeaway from this survey is that blogging more often results in increased lead generation.

Not only does inbound marketing work, it’s far less expensive than most other types. If done right, blogging is inbound marketing on steroids.

Another way to get more listings, send the Timing is Everything postcard from the Fence-Sitter Series to at least 100 new prospects in an area where you want more listings.

PLUS: Whenever you have a moment…here are 3 things to check out that will help you CRUSH IT in 2018!

1. The Free 2018 Real Estate Business Plan

Treat your business like a business it is vital to long-term success in this industry. Some agents may put together elaborate business plans, yet there’s something powerful about keeping it simple. Check out our one page Online Real Estate Business Plan – Click Here

2. The Online ROI Calculator

Consistency and automation are the keys to success. Discover how effective direct mail marketing can dramatically increase your bottom line. Enter your statistics in our Free online ROI Calculator and click the ‘CALCULATE MY ROI’ button to see your results instantly! – Click Here

3. The 12 Month Done-For-You Strategic Marketing Plan

The Real Estate Marketing Planner is a powerful 12-Month-Guide that strategically defines what marketing to do when. Four key market segments are included, Niche Marketing, Listing Inventory, Geographic Farming, and Sphere of Influence – Click Here

Also…check these out 🙂

3 Click Postcards – Just snap, tap, send all from your mobile phone

MLS Mailings – Automated Just Listed, Just Sold Postcards

Market Dominator System – Become a neighborhood brand

 

The Answer? Only If You USE Them!

By Julie Escobar

Can we start with how cool our customers are? They are always there to share ideas and what’s working in today’s markets and we so appreciate it.  We know other agents do as well, because while most like hearing from industry coaches and experts, sometimes hearing what other agents just like you are doing is a just what you need most. just sold card

That’s why we wanted to showcase some of what our awesome customers have shared with us that could work for you too!

After sending out my monthly cards, I received 3 calls!!! – Marlene Shelton Giles

I received an email with Just Listed postcards on my new listing from Prospects PLUS!. I changed the copy a bit to announce my first open house sneak preview for the neighborhood. The turnout for the Open House was awesome, and I got an offer from one of the neighbor’s family members within a week later! Thanks! – Margie D’Anna BirchIluxury cards

The first time I used ProspectsPLUS! just listed post cards it was a winner. I received several calls within the first month for new listings and I’ve already ordered my second set. Thanks so much for making my job a little easier. I also donated to my favorite charity, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. – Kathy Christian Reynolds

Prospect PLUS! was a great way to send out my Just Closed Postcard. I was able to also add my lenders information so future clients will know that we work as a multi photo cardsteam to get the home and the loan that is right for them. – Sasanna Strozier‎

I have been very impressed with the service I get through ProspectsPLUS. I just started implementing Just Listed/Just Sold cards and have gotten two listings; what an amazing return on my investment. I also enjoy the engagement I get from you with your catalogs and Jumbo postcard discount card. Market Dominator is next for my farm! – Duane Wright Realty

ProspectsPLUS! is a great tool for Realtors® everywhere! Their variety of products and services is perfect for any of your real estate needs. I have ordered a number of different postcards and have never been disappointed. The content is effective and gets results! Also a huge fan of their Master Marketing Schedule and the fun ideas for social media sharing. Highly recommend. – Brittany Bairexpired door hanger

I decided to try something new so I ordered Expired Listing door hangers instead of making cold colds or sending out letters. I ordered them on a Thursday evening, and the package was at my office on Monday morning. That was standard delivery. That’s fast! I spent Monday morning putting out the door hangers. This is Thursday. I’ve had 5 listing appointments and 4 new listings as a result. WOW! Thank you ProspectsPLUS! for designing incredibly professional artwork and allowing me to edit/make content changes online. I’ve found my new go-to advertising source. You guys rock! Thank you so much! – Wanda Bond

I found ProspectsPLUS.com while searching online for prospecting material. I’m glad I did.  I placed my order and received it promptly. Love the door hangers. So professional looking and great price. I was so excited that I referred a friend who placed an order. Then, the next thing I just listed door hangerknow I’m being sent a $25 gift card because of my friend’s order! Thanks and I’m ready to place another order and spread the word about ProspectsPLUS.com! – Landa White

Wow! I ordered postcards to mail to a 55+ complex that included recent sales and existing sales. Within two weeks, I had two listings from my mailing and I couldn’t be happier! Because of ProspectsPLUS!, I had the opportunity to work with a client from another state to help him sell his mother’s condo. It was listed and sold within two weeks. I will use them on a regular basis! – Sandy Schafer Hayford

We love hearing from our customers and we are always thrilled to give away $400 or more each month in gift cards to those agents who join in the conversation and share their strategies on our Google+ Page and our Facebook Page.  If you haven’t joined in the fun yet, please head over to one or the other of those today and share your story!  You could be one of our next winners.

You may also want to head over to our Master Marketing Schedule and see what’s in store for the rest of this month and all the fun fall ideas we have for you as well.  This week’s tip is to send the Hello Autumn postcard from the Holiday Series to your Sphere-of- Influence.

Need help getting started? We’ve got you covered! Head over to www.prospectsplus.com or call our marketing team at 866.405.3638 today and they’ll put you on a path to marketing success!

 

 

Mastering the Merchandising Review

By Julie Escobar

Using visuals when giving presentations helps you effectively Merchandising Reviewcommunicate with your client or customers.  They lend an extra layer of authority to the conversation, appeal to the both the “listener” in the room and the “visual” person in the room (and if there are a husband and wife or more than one person who is a decision maker – there’s usually one of each!), and it help you and your ‘audience’ to stay ON TRACK.

Working with Expireds is almost always a great listing-generating activity. Granted, some are disillusioned, some worried and some flat out angry that they didn’t get the results they wanted the first time around.  But most of the time – they’re still motivated to sell.  One of the first things you have to do is to help them figure out the “WHY” for their dilemma.  Was it price?  (Many times!)  Was it condition?  (You can sell anything for the right PRICE.)  Was it the terms?

Whatever it was – the key to keeping that from happening again is to make sure your sellers are just as vested as you are in creating a successful end result – the sale of their home, preferably sooner rather than later.

Enter the Merchandising Review.  This handy dandy little form is great for walking sellers through the potential pitfalls that can happen if you don’t follow a success track when listing a property.  It helps put some of the “monkey” if you will on their backs – not just that of the sales agent.  And truly – it should be – right?

The Merchandising Review is a great way to sit across from the seller and say, “Listen, selling a home in today’s market is challenging at times, there’s no doubt.  But I like a good challenge and when you have the right tools, the right price, the right plan and the right agent – we can get you to your goal of getting this home sold.  Let’s do this – let’s walk through what I call a Merchandising Review and take a look at some of the top reasons that a home will sell (or won’t) in our market – OK?  That way we can make whatever adjustments we need to get you and your family to the next chapter of your life.  Sound good?  Here, I brought two copies – let’s go through it…”

It’s easy to use and easy (and free) to get!  Click here to go to our Resource Page – scroll about half way down the page until you see “Merchandising Review” – then just click download!  Easy, breezy!  Then if you really start wanting to drive up your production and attract Expireds in your market – use our ‘7-Series for Expireds’ – the messages are perfect for entering the conversation that’s already going on in the minds of these disappointed sellers. (While you are there, download the 6 Pitfalls of Overpricing free report – it’s a must-have for today’s listing presentation!)

At least twice a week, pull the Expireds in your market and send them a series of 3-5 postcards, mailing one every 5-7 days. Use the alternative back on the postcard to write a little more – and share that you have a very special tool that can help them first, determine what went wrong in the sale of their home and two, ensure that it doesn’t happen again and invite them to call you for a copy of their own.

It’s a great way in the door for these potential sellers.  Go for it!

Need help choosing the cards that are right for you?  Simply call our marketing specialists at 866-405-3638 today.  They’re smart, knowledgeable, friendly and just the folks you need on your side to ensure that your marketing is TIMELY and DONE!   Good luck and go get those Expireds!

And Have Some Fun With Your Marketing

by Julie Escobar

Consistency is a powerful element in successful marketing. That’s why so many of our clients wisely choose to pick a postcard series to stick with for three to six months at a time. It’s also why you’ll see this strategy play out in our Master Marketing Schedule. We pick a series and make the postcards from it a monthly tip for reaching out to the consumers in your marketplace to build your book of business.

This week’s schedule strategy is to send the Waiting Could Cost You postcard from the Market Quote Series to at least 100 new prospects in an area where you want more listings. I love this series. It’s simple and effective and gives potential buyers and sellers insights into what is happening right now in the real estate market.

If you’ve thought about using it, here are some suggestions for the copy on the backside of the card. 

  1. Invite people to a real estate question and answer event. Have some fun with it.
  2. Offer something of value such as a Comparative Market Analysis, Home Price Analysis, or a Free Report.
  3. Share some hyper-local information such as listing and sale metrics, or even local event information such as school schedules, neighborhood event calendars, etc.
  4. Share your personal insights on what people need to know about real estate on a local level.
  5. Drive people to a blog post or social media page to learn more information.

Make sure you are writing your copy in a conversational and engaging way and don’t be afraid to let your personality show through! Be sure to spell-check before you finalize your postcard, then place your order. (It’s sometimes helpful to write out what you want in a Word document first and paste it into the system for less frustration and spell-checking.) Many of our top agent clients choose the first week of every month to spend 30-60 minutes to make sure their marketing is done and checked off the list for the month for each category of customers they want to reach or they break it down by week, based on the Master Marketing Schedule.  Be sure you are connecting with:

Need help putting your marketing in motion? Contact our team today at 866.405.3638! They are terrific at helping agents grow their businesses. 

Start by Answering the Questions Already in the Minds of Consumers

By Julie Escobar

A new month – and a new marketing season are straight ahead — and both buyers and sellers in our markets have been inundated with information regarding the economy and the housing industry on television, in print and on the internet.  Some good information – some misinterpreted, and some just flat out wrong.

What consumers need more than ever is a RELIABLE, TRUSTWORTHY resource to help them best understand how market changes affect them most. What’s my home worth today?  What if I wait a year to sell?  What are interest rates going to do?   Should they sell?  Should they buy?  Should they move up to the next size home or is that a risk?

The questions are many – and the answers are yours for the giving – IF you can capture (and keep) the top-of-mind attention of the folks in your area.

One direct response series that is getting great response for agents is our Free Offer Series.  Sending three over the course of 2-3 months can certainly help you create the top-of-mind awareness and show potential sellers that you are the agent to ask when they have questions.

Consider kicking off this campaign free home market analysis starting with the Market Analysis postcard.   This allows you to spotlight your ability to deliver the information sellers are looking for in a professional way and tap into today’s consumers’ natural desire to search out ‘free’ offers and trusted resources.

Step one:  Login to your free ProspectsPLUS.com account. (Or easily create an account and profile in a matter of minutes. Once your profile is ready – the system will automatically populate your information into all of the 680+ marketing tools on the site.)

Step two:  Select the Market Analysis Postcard.  You can leave as is or customize to suit your marketing style. Click here to watch a video on how to select a postcard series.

Step three:  Add your mailing list or use our mapping tools to create a mailing list. If you need help with mailing lists – call our support team at 866.405.3638 or click here to see all of our comprehensive mailing list solutions.

Step four:  Place your order then track it. It’s that easy! Click here to watch a video on tracking your postcard order.

Making your job easier is our goal.  That’s why we’ve re-engineered the Master Marketing Schedule to offer free offer door hangerstrategic and creative solutions for building your business faster, easier, more affordable and with way less headaches. In fact, if you’re following the Schedule – this week is a great time to get out in those geo farms and start making real connections.  Our Free Offer Door hangers are a great compliment to the Free Offer postcards and the perfect leave behind when you’re door knocking in the market area you most want to dominate.

Putting systems for staying in touch in place don’t have to be tough – or time consuming.  Most of our top customers schedule 15-30 minutes at the beginning or end of every month to focus on what marketing tools they want to go out.  When they choose a campaign, it’s easy — they simply pick the next one in the series, order and get back to their high priority tasks. Some even delegate a member of their team to make it their priority that something is always being sent to their sphere and farm so top of mind awareness is always there.

Kudos to the agents that are working their systems and are willing to share their experiences with others. We so appreciate you all. For example, Cozett shared with us on ResellerRatings, “I like how ProspectsPLUS! puts marketing at my fingertips and then handles the time consuming work of mailing and distributing materials if I need them too.”  Or Jeremy who wrote on our Google+ page, “ProspectPLUS! is a real lifesaver for me. I have been looking around on how to keep in contact with my sellers. I needed more than just a phone call. The postcards are a highlight to my business now. This has also allowed me to start farming a few neighborhoods that I drive through with a more personal touch.”  Or Bradley who wrote on our Facebook Page, “ProspectsPLUS makes it so easy for me to market to not only my sphere but also to my farming areas. In less than 5 minutes I can have all of my postcards ordered and off my plate so I can work on what I do best…selling homes!”

We’d love to hear from you too! In fact, give us a shout out with a review now on our Google+ Page and you’ll be entered to win one of our monthly prizes! Wait until you see what’s in store for July!

Have questions or need help developing the marketing plan that’s right for you?  Call us today at 866.405.3638 or email us at pmc@prospectsplus.com.  We’re here to assist!