Thursday, March 30, 2017

Real Estate Marketing Success

3 Strategies for Success

by Julie Escobar

What separates top producers from their less-successful counterparts in this and every market is their ability to work on their business while working in their business. 

What’s the difference? For most, it begins with the right mindset. Real estate sales is not just a job; it is a career and a business that requires planning, careful thought, organization and systems that create and maintain balance, accountability and forward momentum.  As we head into the new year – be sure that you are putting ALL the systems in place that you can to ensure a great year from start to finish and keep you from feeling like you’re on that dreaded commission roller coaster.

Step 1: Have a plan. Part of working ON your business is to create a written plan. You likely fall into one of three categories:

  1. You’re brand new and more than a little overwhelmed at where to start.
  2. You’re an early adapter to the concept of effective planning and are enjoying a stable, productive career despite market peaks and valleys.
  3. You’ve been at this for a while now and, while still in business, you do not have a formal plan to create sustainable, repeatable success and stability. You find yourself working 12-hour days with high stress and little certainty as to where your next deal will come from.

Planning is critical to realizing your goals, generating consistent income and creating an exit plan that ensures you have a valuable “book of business” that you can sell when you are ready to retire. Your plan should:

  • be written out and clearly defined
  • have a realistic and comprehensive budget
  • be based not only on your goals, but also on your family’s goals (very important to maintaining the support system necessary during long days or tough weeks!)
  • outline the number of transactions you will need to reach those goals based on commission dollars, list-to-close ratio and fall-through rate
  • outline the number of contacts, appointments scheduled and appointments attended you will need to realize your transaction goal
  • break your numbers down into daily, weekly and monthly activities so that you ALWAYS know where you are in relation to your goal

Be sure to share your plan with a manager, mentor, coach and/or partner so that you can set up a system of accountability.

Step 2: Employ smart marketing. In today’s competitive arena, effectively marketing yourself, your listings and your business requires both consistency and laser focus.

Consistency. Countless agents send single marketing pieces to blanket areas of several thousand consumers, with no intention of following up. Many others take the “holiday” approach to staying in touch by sending an annual holiday card in the hopes that they are remembered. Both of these approaches are a waste of time, energy and valuable marketing dollars.

Truth is, you should be in contact with your sphere of influence at least every 30-45 days. Using the popular listing-inventorysend-call-see approach (part of our free BusinessBASETM), you can easily set up a system for contacting your VIPs each month. Send a postcard, letter, newsletter, flyer, novelty or note one month.  Many of our customers find the Listing Inventory Series, Content Cards, and Market Dominator among their favorites. You can find out what the latest tools are and get budget saving promo codes for your marketing on our Specials Page.

Next, call with a friendly event reminder, helpful hint, or just to say hello the following month. During the third month, arrange to see them via a networking event, social
gathering or quick in-person visit (with notice, of course) where you drop off a small token, informational item or card. Then start the “rotation” over again. Such consistency creates vital ‘top-of-mind’ awareness that often becomes “the key to the kingdom” when growing your referral base and creating a md-decreliable income.

If you’re not sure where to start, our popular Master Marketing Schedule shares monthly Action Items that agents tell us help them stay consistently on track.

Laser focus. I’ve written before about the power of target marketing in today’s sales arena. Gone are the days when agents could afford to take a “shotgun” approach-casting a wide net in the hopes of “catching a few” wastes precious resources on prospects that couldn’t, wouldn’t or shouldn’t do business with you for any number of reasons.

Response rates increase dramatically when you speak directly to the needs and interests of a particular group. Wise agents seek out demographics and/or geographics that they relate to or have a history of success with. The more comfortable you become speaking to a particular group or segment, the more you become recognized or thought of as a specialist in that field.

mailing list

So discover the wonderful world of data mining; your watch and your wallet will thank you for it! Here are just a few examples:

  • First-time homeowners. Try MapMyMail to quickly data mine for local renters. Send a postcard or letter that explains the advantages of home ownership as well as the possible monthly savings and ability to build equity!
  • Builders. Offer to help builders eliminate their #1 worry: standing inventory. Create a list of every builder in your area, then send a flyer or brochure explaining how you can data mine for the perfect customers to purchase their homes!lifestyle
  • Find a new niche.  With our Lifestyle Interest data, you can reach consumers who are just the demographic you want to work with. Think Golfers, Boaters, Fitness Lovers and more.
  • FSBOs. There are many effective search products for this demographic. Fear leads many agents to steer clear of FSBOs, which eliminates at least a portion of your competition. Because you know that they are (or at least were) motivated to sell, you can pull out the stops, give them the tools they need to sell, and use your best skills to price it right for your particular market.
  • Investors.  Find high income earners that would be great potential investors.real estate fsbo marketing postcards
  • A New Geographic Farm.  Find an area in your market that is beginning to see turnover, but doesn’t currently have another agent with more than a 10% market share.  Start connecting month after month using the Neighborhood Update/Free Offer series to present yourself effectively as the turn-to agent in your market.

Step 3: Put systems in place. Without systems, you’re like a hamster on the wheel-spinning without really getting anywhere. Systems are the only way to establish and maintain the delegation, automation and streamlining necessary to continuously work ON your business. Systems allow you to:

  • manage your time effectively
  • create a consistent standard of service
  • assure clients that their needs are being met by a “team”
  • provide checks and balances for fine tuning your business
  • promote efficiency and accuracy
  •  reduce training time when bringing on new team members

What systems should you have in place?

SEND-CALL-SEE.  Be the resource they need and want in a time where consumers have LOTS of questions regarding the value of their property, their buying power, investment opportunities, and what’s happening in their market.  You’re not bothering people – you’re providing a SERVICE.

What can you SEND?

What can you SAY when you CALL?

  • Hi.  I have buyers, the Smiths (insert real names!), that are looking for a home in the _____________ neighborhood, and I wanted to know if you’ve ever thought about selling your home or know someone who is so I can help this nice family find what they are looking for?
  • Hi!  Just checking in on you! We’ve got a lot of activity in our market, and I thought you might have some questions—do you?
  • Is there anything I can do to help you?
  • I’m expanding my business and I could use your help…
  • Have you thought about selling your house now or in the near future?
  • Have you been receiving my information?  Any questions?

What do you do when you SEE them? 

  • Create opportunities for appointments
  • Take someone to lunch
  • Attend a neighborhood block party
  • Organize a charity drive in the community
  • Sponsor a free workshop and invite everyone to attend
  • Get out there and be visible in the community you’re servicing
  • Walk your farm and start making friends

Working ON your business requires dedication and a commitment to the activities that earn you top dollar and allow you to “feed” the career you’re building. Never lose sight of the fact that prospecting, presenting and closing should always be at the top of your list.

Visit http://www.prospectsplus.com/ to get your FREE copy of our BusinessBASETM (Plus learn the 250 people who should be in your SOI), and be sure to bookmark our Master Marketing ScheduleTM .

Need help?  Contact our team today at 866.405.3638. 

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Was YOUR Name Drawn?

Wow! A big thanks to all our amazing contestants this past month! We had some terrific entries – and we thank you all so much for sharing your ProspectPLUS.com experiences! If your name wasn’t drawn – no worries!  We’ll choose three MORE winners November 1st!  Congratulations everyone!

Our $250 winner is Lauren Moore who shared, “We love ProspectsPLUS! Your website is easy to use, has lots of marketing options, and the best Customer Service help ever! We’ve gotten lots of listings from just sending out your Just Listed & Just Sold Postcards! Thank you!”

Our $100 winner is ‎Lisa Waldeck who shared‎, “The first mailing that I use ProspectsPLUS! was for Just SOLD postcards. I mailed to the entire community of 108 homes, resulted in a listing appointment! Thank you ProspectsPLUS! I have another closing this week and will be using your services again!”

Our $50 winner is Nancy Cagwin who shared, “ProspectsPLUS is a fantastic marketing for REALTORS! They have professional looking materials and it is very user friendly. I highly recommend ProspectsPLUS to any REALTOR looking for an easy and professional marketing system. ProspectsPLUS is the BEST!”

Thank you to everyone who entered! Ready to throw your hat in the ring? It’s easy!  Leave your review of your ProspectsPLUS.com product or service on our Google+ Page or our Facebook Page today!  We’ll give away a total of $400 more in ProspectsPLUS! gift cards!  Next drawing is November 1st!

By the way – our new Promo Codes are live – check out our Specials Page today to save 10% on your next order! 

We’d also like to invite you to join us in our goal to raise $50,000 for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital®! We are matching every donation this year, dollar-for-dollar! Learn more at: blog.prospectsplus.com/st-jude.

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! 

 

Three Strategies for a Constantly Changing Market

by Julie Escobar

As competition grows more fierce, you may find yourself like many agents asking, “What’s my next move?” Savvy sales professionals are negotiating the turn by investing in smart systems and tools that will help them compete long-term in today’s real estate arena. Who will take the lead in both listing and selling homes as we navigate this constantly shifting market? Those who stay strategically focused on one-to-one marketing, negotiating effectively up front, and committing to consistent business development through monthly prospecting.

1. Set Your Standards High: In any market, taking listings that just won’t sell is far worse than having no listings at all. While you may be tempted to take at any price, terms or commission to secure the listing, this is a recipe for failure. Consider instead, raising your standards using a strong, effective tool which spotlights the homeowner’s commitment to getting the home sold in the quickest possible time, with the best price and terms. We call it our Merchandising Review and there are three very successful ways to implement this valuable tool.

First: Make the right mutual decisions at the listing appointment. In all likelihood, throughout your presentation your sellers will have an objection or two regarding terms such as price, commission, etc. Our suggestion is to agreeably shelve objection handling until AFTER you have obtained the signatures for the listing. Then close your appointment by going over the Merchandising Review to make certain everything is MerchandisingReviewTHUMBin order.

Sample dialogue: “I want to thank you for listing your home with me. Please know that I will do everything in my power to get it sold. To help me do just that, let me take a few minutes to go over our Merchandising Review. I use this the same way pilots use a pre-flight checklist. This list of 18 different seller-controlled factors actually will help generate a quicker sale for the best possible price and terms. What I need from you is a commitment to check off at least eight of these items. Let’s review.” Then simply walk them through the list and negotiate where necessary.

Second: Get non-selling inventory back on track. Go through your inventory and red flag problem listings. Walk through the problems using the Merchandising Review. Contact your sellers by phone or visit in person to help them understand those review items that are hindering the sale of their home.

Sample Dialogue: “Mr. and Mrs. Seller, we’ve had your property on the market for ____ days now and we are not getting the results that either of us had hoped for. We have a new tool called the Merchandising Review that helps us identify problem areas, and I’d like to sit down with you to discuss those issues. I believe if we walk through these items we can get your listing back on track and help exact a faster sale for your home. Would tomorrow at 6:00 pm be good or would 8:30 pm be better?”real estate fsbo marketing postcards

Third: Capturing the attention of EXPIREDS! While expired listings have been remote in recent years, they are back and can be difficult to maneuver. The Merchandising Review offers you a great foot in the door for these sometimes soured-on-salespeople sellers. We’ve found the following dialogue captures their attention and helps you better negotiate both appointment and listing.

Sample Dialogue: “Hello, Mr./Mrs./Miss ____________. My name is ________and I’m with _________. The reason for my call is to see if you are still interested in selling your home. I’m sure you must be disappointed that it didn’t sell the first time, but I think I have something that will help keep that situation from happening to you again. It’s called a Merchandising Review, have you heard of it before? It is a special tool I use to make a comprehensive analysis of why your home didn’t sell and what needs to be done differently to guarantee it will sell should you decide to put it back on the market. What I’d like to do is to set a time when we could sit down to go over the Merchandising Review. It only takes about 20-25 minutes, and there will be absolutely no cost for this service. Would Wednesday at 6:15 pm be good or Thursday at 8:30 pm be better for you?”

Now, simply walk them through each item, correct the problem areas and review your marketing plan!

2. Price It Right Pyramid! Take advantage of this guerrilla-style objection handling tool when explaining to PricePyramidTHUMBsellers that the key to selling their property faster in a difficult market is to price it right from the beginning. Use this strategy in conjunction with the Merchandising Review and you have a great foundation for a successful sale.

The 5 most common mistakes sellers make when choosing a price:
1. Not choosing the right price when a property is first listed. In other words, thinking “we can always come down.”
2. Putting the property on the market at an unrealistic price. A property must be priced on a comparative basis to the other similar properties.
3. Not relating marketing time to price. Generally, the quicker you want to sell, the less you should be willing to take.
4. Calculating brokerage fees on top of the sales price. A home is worth what it’s worth, with or without a commission.
5. Thinking that buyers aren’t comparing your home, on a dollar-for-dollar basis, with every other home on the market.

3. Data Mine for Marketing Gold! To compete in today’s arena it helps to have a few high-tech tools in your arsenal. Data mining is a simple, highly effective tool which allows you to be very specific in your search for lifestyle interstnew prospects.  You can use our list services to find niche market clients such as boat owners looking for waterfront properties, golf enthusiasts searching for golf communities based on Lifestyle Interest Data. It’s perfect for customizing a targeted new potential customer mailing list so you easily match your message to your ideal market.

What kind of information can you access with our Demographic Search Option?

  • Tax assessor data supplied by Acxiom
  • Over 128 million deliverable addresses
  • 97.3% of US counties available
  • Radial, polygon or pinpoint search function
  • Identify and mail to owner/occupants or absentee owners

Whatever you do, 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 weather the market changes with both ease and profit!

Need help? Visit www.prospectsplus.com, or contact our team at 866.405.3638 today. They’ve got the answers you’re looking for!