Monday, December 18, 2017

An Experienced Nod for Newslettersreal estate newsletters

By Julie Escobar

When it comes to direct marketing, you can’t beat the reputation of Dan Kennedy.  He’s been around the block – in fact, I’m fairly sure he’s BUILT a few of the blocks. That’s why it was awesome to see his piece last week on the power of newsletters and how they have not, as some bloggers would suggest, “met their demise”.  Mr. Kennedy, and many of his followers have earned their stripes by building solid, long-lasting relationships — most using his direct-response materials.

After 20 years in the direct mail and real estate marketing industry, we couldn’t agree more.  Our clients have been using newsletters to stay top-of-mind with their sphere and geographic farm areas and love the results they get in return.  While many in our business have taken direct mail completely OFF their marketing menu, you’ve got to love the power of doing something DIFFERENT to get yourself noticed (and remembered!)

Today’s consumers are hungry for new, timely, and on-target information.  They want resources they can trust and hyper-local information that is important to them, their family and the decisions facing them in today’s market.  And the agent that delivers that?  Not just ONCE, but time and time again?  Will be the agent that wins in the end.  We know that delivering quality content month after month is tough to do for busy agents.  Top agents spend (and should) their valuable time face-to-face and voice-to-voice with sellers and buyers.  That’s what is closest to their revenue line, and what they are best at.  Compiling, collating and disseminating content is time consuming and for many, frustrating.  We get it.  That’s why we’ve always said, “creating is hard, but clicking is easy!”  We develop the content month after month that gets agents noticed.  And we don’t leave out the details!

Adding eye-catching real estate infographics, industry-relevant articles, call-provoking direct response offers, and warm, client-friendly commentary are just some of what make our newsletters such a success for agents.  We also include the ability to completely edit any of the pieces and add in local stats and information to really personalize for those agents that CHOOSE to add their own creative touches.  It couldn’t be easier.

So for those that say newsletters are a thing of the past, we beg to differ.  When you combine real content, real resources, real top-of-mind awareness, and real consultative communication with the people in your sphere and farm CONSISTENTLY?  You’re more than ‘sending a newsletter.’  You’re building a referral base that will take you throughout your career.

And for those who REALLY want to DOMINATE in their marketplace, we’ve got a system that delivers MORE than just a newsletter that gets you both in the door and drives market share for less!  Learn more!

Want to learn more?  View all of our newsletter templates here or contact our office today at 866.405,3638 to find out how we can help you start reaching out to the referral market you may be missing today!

How to Appeal to Resource-Hungry Consumersreal estate newsletters

by Julie Escobar

Newsletters have long-since been a turn-to marketing tool for real estate agents — and they still are worth their weight in RESULTS.  Why?  Because of technology, the internet, and just the data-culture we live in now, today’s savvy consumers are eager to get their hands on all the information they can get. That way they can make smart decisions for their families, be well versed in their social and family circles and feel like they have the resources they need when they need them.

As we head into fall and you’re looking at what to add, keep or toss in your marketing plan, I wanted to share with you a few top reasons why these timeless tools are a power-packed addition to helping YOU stay top of mind in your market and drive those referrals through the roof.

  1. New templates every month to choose from.
  2. Timely content and infographics pulled from current market trends and headlines.
  3. 100% editable – you can customize and make your own or use as is.
  4. Filled with direct response offers and reasons to call YOU.
  5. Creative content that can be re-purposed for your blog and social media.
  6. Order as a pdf and includ in all your email marketing, or as an opt-in download on your site to drive an increase in your email database — or both!
  7. Terrific for showcasing you as the turn-to agent in your sphere and farm.
  8. Wonderful addition to feature flyer sheets at your open house — consumers will see you as more than just a listing agent- but a wealth of information.
  9. Great leave-behinds at business partners such as salons and doctor’s offices.
  10. You have the ability to make them hyper-local. In the agent message section, add upcoming events, school information, community changes, ALL of your social media credentials – the works!  Or give them a link to a page on your site or social media where they can find everything at a glance!

Want to give them a try?  Click here to see all of our newsletter templates, pick a newsletter, choose the Shipped to You option, customize however you like and use PROMO CODE NEWS10 at checkout to save 10% on your order!

Here’s to an incredible fall season for all of you!  Need help?  Give us a call at 866.405.3638 today! We’re happy to help you find just what you’re looking for to create YOUR competitive edge! 

The Inside Scoop From the Print Shoppostcards

By Julie Escobar

Well, if I ever want the inside skinny on WHAT agents are doing effectively and WHY, I head straight to the source and connect with my good friend, colleague and all around smart cookie Ramona Williams.  Since it seems like Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM)™ is the hot-market marketing tool of choice, I thought I’d find out what agents are saying these days.

Here’s the scoop:

Q: Ramona, EDDM orders are flying out of the print shop at break-neck speeds these days – what would you say the top three TYPES of mailings agents are ordering when using this cool and affordable service?

A:  I’d say by far the most popular piece hands-down is the Panoramic Postcard featuring a new listing.  It’s sleek, beautiful, markets the new listing and is a great way to showcase the agent’s results as well.  Secondly, we’re seeing a lot of agents who are using a little bigger piece to spotlight multiple listings on one mailer.  It might be for a series of open houses or just to showcase that the agent is the turn-to person to call for listings in an area.  And third, we’re seeing agents use panoramic postcards featuring direct response offers such as a Free CMA, List of Homes, Consultation, etc.

Q:  Great – yes, I think the panoramic postcard is definitely the front runner choice for agents right now. How many routes, on average, are you seeing agents choose? 

A:  I would say most agents choose one or two routes.  With the average carrier route running anywhere from 300-500 homes, it just seems like a manageable area for most agents to not only connect with – but have the ability to follow up on.  (And that really IS still the key-right?)

Q:  Right! So what’s the response been from the agents that you’ve talked to – is it working? 

A:  Absolutely, and I believe that most of the agents that are taking advantage of this powerful, yet affordable new option from the post office are using it in some very smart ways.  They are using them to break into new areas where they’ve maybe got a little name recognition but want more, or they are using it to really consistently cultivate listing saturation.  Both are really smart strategies.

Q:  I agree! Any last words of advice for agents considering EDDM?

A:  Just that like ANY marketing, consistency really is key.  If budget is an issue then I would say choose a smaller route and be consistent in sending to that route often. One-shot mailings – even ones that saturate a market area are not normally very effective.  The agents that are seeing the best results from this system are sending every one to two months for at least six months.

Thank you much Ramona for your insights.  As always – you’re very helpful!  If you are a real estate pro and you’d like to learn more about whether EDDM is right for you or whether another form of marketing might better suit your needs and market area – give Ramona and her team a call at 1.866.405.3638 today.  They’ve got the answers you need to kick your spring marketing into HIGH gear! 

 

 

 

 

Making the Most of the New Year…Resolutions

By Julie Escobar

You know there comes an age (and that’s different for everyone) when you just know what works and what doesn’t and all the ‘I’m gonna try’s’ in the world aren’t going to make the difference.  These days we can resolve to change, to be different, to do better – but unless really give that resolve some muscle by way of mindset, habit and system CHANGES – well find ourselves, like so many others, pitching them two weeks into the year.

Instead, let’s do this.  Let’s take ACTION.  Positive, powerful, forward-momentum gaining ACTION every day.  Keep track of it.  Celebrate it.  Go for it.  Here are some ideas for the new year that CAN increase your business, decrease your stress, help you find balance and honestly, make a world of difference.  Ready?

  1. Don’t try to do it all yourself.  It’s 2013-the age of technology, super apps, virtual assistants, and systems that automate your marketing, your connectivity and your database.  Take a day in the next two weeks if you haven’t already and tap into those tools that will make your life and job easier.  (And remember our marketing team is here to help you too.  With experience and tools – they can help you choose what systems best meet your needs.  Call them at 866.405.3638 today and let’s get this year kicked off!)
  2. Commit to consistency.  The best possible thing you can do to develop your sphere or farm is to connect CONSISTENTLY month in and month out.  It doesn’t have to be expensive or difficult – but it does need to be done if you expect to lead in today’s increasingly competitive market.  Shake it up.  Mix your marketing means.  Direct mail every month or  every other month.  Every Door Direct Mail newsletter once a quarter.  Just Listed Postcards for each new listing.  eMail.  Face-to-face.  Community events.  Don’t be afraid to get out there.  Get visible.  Stay visible.  It really is a powerful secret to success.
  3. Keep learning.  Boy, things are changing at the blink of an eye these days aren’t they?  Social media mixes it up almost weekly, consumers are more savvy than ever and your competitors are building skills like sales warriors.  The cool thing?  Learning doesn’t have to be boring or old hat.  Find a group of agents you like, respect and have similar integrity levels and meet once a month for an idea exchange.  It’s a great chance to learn, share referrals and sharpen your skills.  (And it can be FUN!)
  4. Fuel your mindset.  Listen, no one wants to work with a Grumpy Gus, Debbie Downer or any of their negative relatives.  Find the joy in what you do by working with the people you really want to work with.  Find a niche that you’re passionate about and guess what?  You’ll be excited to go to work every day to service those folks.  You’ll make new contacts, new customers and even new friends – and isn’t that a terrific way to face the new year?  From daily affirmations to a smart system of time management that keeps you on track and moving forward – give yourself the best chance for success.

So, my challenge to you is to go beyond the RESOLUTION and move more into the ACTIONS that it takes to thrive in our changing market.  Things are looking up for our industry.  Markets are coming back.  Some are even on fire.  You can make the most of the new year too – and we want you to know that we’re here every step of the way!    Call us today at 866.405.3638 to get your year in high gear!  

Using Consumer Free Reports to Generate Leads

by Julie Escobar

“Knowledge is power,” right? Let’s face it, the world has changed a lot in the last ten years. Where consumers once had to rely on an expert to gain the information they needed about a particular topic, now they literally have a world of data at their fingertips. They can simply type in their interest into their internet search bar and scroll through to learn 24/7.

So how do you, the local real estate professional, differentiate yourself in your market; prove yourself to be the resource buyers and sellers can turn to first (even before they go start “Googling”) when they have a real estate question or need? We know they’re going online; national statistics tell us to the tune of 90% or more when they’re searching for a new home or a new agent. So how do you make sure they bookmark YOUR site?

ONE:  Give them what they’re looking for. Sounds simple enough, right? Trend watching can be time consuming but it is smart to keep it in your peripheral vision. When you know that searches such as short sales, how to buy a house, how to avoid foreclosure, homes for sale, etc. are what is tracking through Google searches, why not create a keyword rich short report (or download the ones we offer for free!) to answer the burning questions that consumers have on these topics and add it to your website? That way, when they search that topic and you’ve made it available, you become the hero and the “expert” in their eyes.

TWO:  Let the world know it’s available. Send postcards to your Sphere of Influence inviting them to get their copy and write a press release, posting it on your blog, website, Facebook, Twitter and even in your local paper to announce that your new report is available. Use “teaser copy” and popular keywords to pique the interest of the consumers in your area. Remember when writing press releases: both consumers and newspaper publishers look for relevance, the ability to get to the point, newsworthiness and information. Don’t make it a sales pitch about you or your company; keep to the content and leave your call to action and contact information for the end such as “to receive your copy of this valuable report, visit www.yourwebsite.com today or call us at 1-555-5555!”

THREE:  Capture their email address and update your databases. These reports, saved as a PDF and made available on your website or blog, are a great way to capture email addresses and begin to build your email database of customers. It’s also a terrific fair trade for updating your current database and asking for referrals by contacting your current Sphere of Influence and letting them know you have a brand new free report available and you’d be happy to share it with them. Ask them if they wouldn’t mind if you updated your database so you can be sure to always reach them with the most timely, relevant and up-to-date information available. This would be a good time to also say something along the lines of, “You know, our market has changed so much recently and the media sure makes a lot of noise about it, doesn’t it? It has created a lot of questions in the minds of many of my customers and I just wanted to find out if you had any questions I can answer or if there is any way I can better serve you during these changing times?” You might be pleasantly surprised by how much of your customer base actually does have a question as well as how much they appreciate your asking.

FOUR:  Use them to help customers realize they need help. People are naturally curious and more often than not try to adopt a do-it-yourself approach on many topics—including buying or selling a home. These reports are the perfect way to spotlight what’s obvious to you but perhaps not yet obvious to the consumer. Use free reports to point out factors such as:

  • The amount of work involved
  • Security issues
  • Legal questions
  • Time requirements
  • What they could lose in terms of time and money by waiting or without a proven negotiator

I know agents who keep these handy tools in their cars at all times so they are always armed when a question arises. Another agent dramatically increases her success rate at open houses by making these and additional content rich materials available on site. They make great ice breakers and conversation starters and she tells me that she rarely leaves an open house without picking up at least one or two buyer or seller leads or referrals. How? Because she goes the extra step. She doesn’t stop at just having the property information flyers. She successfully showcases her ability to navigate the wide spectrum of real estate needs by having the right collateral material, the right attitude, and the presence of mind to ask questions! (That last one is REALLY important! Don’t be afraid to ASK!) One of the best closes in the sales industry is simply two words: “Any questions?”

FIVE:  Expand on it. We make it easy for you to kick start your free report marketing! We know the value of differentiating yourself in a market. That’s why we have more than ten free reports on our website available for download and we add new ones almost every month! Visit us today at prospectsplus.com/freereports and get your copies!

Here’s a list of just some of the free report resources you’ll find:

  • Six Pitfalls of Overpricing Your Home
  • Five Factors that Cause a Property NOT to Sell
  • Seller’s Security Checklist: Six Keys to Staying Safe When Showing Your Home
  • After the Tax Credit: Why it’s STILL a Great Time to Buy
  • Free Consumer Workshop Goof Proof Tips for Success
  • Six Tips for Selling Your Home in a Shifting Market
  • Seven Must Know Facts About Short Sales & Foreclosures
  • FSBO First Aid
  • Five Keys to Selling Your Home Sooner
  • Four Questions You Should Ask Every Buyer
  • 10 Ways to Prospect to and Support Your Local PTAs
  • Top Ten Checklist for Choosing a REALTOR

I also included some suggestions for each in terms of target audience and postcards that can help you spread the word and contact frequency to make it easier!  Plus use Promo Code:  APPLE15 TO SAVE 15%!

As always, your success is our passion, so feel free to call us at 1-866-405-3638 today or visit prospectsplus.com/SPECIALS .