Sunday, August 20, 2017

Row of residential houses in suburban neighborhood

Insights From ReboGateway

By Julie Escobar

We just had an amazing and informative webinar with our friend Brian Fox from Benutech and ReboGatewaybest carrier routes that got a lot of agents buzzing about using a BETTER way to leverage EDDM.

For those of you who are new to the concept, EDDM is a system provided by USPS that allows you to literally get in EVERY door in a carrier route for a low postage cost of 18.3 cents per piece – and you have the ability to send out marketing pieces of all sizes, which is big plus when you choose a BIG size!

What we’ve found is that one of the toughest challenges is deciding where to start.  Almost daily we are asked by customers, “What’s the best way to pick a carrier route?” Fortunately, our friends over at Benutech figured that part out for us!

In this webinar you’ll learn how they can help you pinpoint not only which carrier routes have the highest NeighborhoodSpecialist_11x8.5_FullBleed_Workingturnover rate, but also those with the highest dollar homes, and largest percentage of homeowner to deliverables. That’s huge for agents, because up to now, most agents have chosen carrier routes more based on location to their office, or the neighborhood they live in, or just randomly – without really knowing which would have a higher probability of yielding the best results.  Now, they can be much more strategic in their approach to carrier routes.neighborhood update series

The great thing about EDDM is that you don’t need a list – it literally gets in every door.  However, the savvy agent knows that marketing should be layered. So they can also pull the list from their ReboGateway system to add additional marketing touches such as Just Listed postcards, Just Sold postcards, Open House cards and more.

To learn what our customers top picks for Every Door Direct Mail, we asked our Director of Business property showcaseDevelopment Ramona Williams who works with our customers every day.  She shared, “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.”

Some links to get you started:

Use promo code EDDM10 to save 10% on your www.prospectsplus.com EDDM order! 

To save on ReboGateway use promo code PROSTUA (make sure it’s all capitalized).

This promo code will provide ReboGateway annual for $399.95 with the Tract Utility (turnover tool) provided for FREE (saving $120) via the Promo Code.

If you are thinking of using this powerful tool, consider choosing just one or two routes to start.  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 follow up is important, as is consistency.  If budget is an issue, then you may wish to 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.

Watch the video:

If you’re interested in learning more about the tracking data from Benutech and ReboGateway, call them today at 866-887-0206 for a free demonstration of the data that is available in YOUR area.

If you are a real estate pro and you’d like to learn more about what EDDM tools we can help you with, give us a call at 1.866.405.3638 today.   

A Guest Post from Our Friends at ReboGateway

Brian Fox, VP Business Development, Benutech, Inc.

We live in a world today where we know where we are going before we even get there – and life is easier and better because of it.  The best restaurants, stores, and shops can be located online, reviewed on various sites such as Yelp, viewed on a map, and if we want we can even see the front of the location using a street view before we arrive.  In other words, there are very few mysteries in area of direction in today’s world… we can very easily know before we go and for the most part, it’s how we roll.

Yet for some odd reason, this know before you go mentality has not been used in real estate as often as it should.  Most Realtors, seem to market into geographic areas or to family and friends… as in the people closest to where they live, or closest to where they work.   It’s random, it’s best known as the “shotgun approach” to marketing, and it’s like heading to a new spot in your city without reviews, maps, or direction. It was how it was done in the 1980’s but why so today?

Real estate coaches throughout the U.S. seem to be on board with the know before you go mentality.   Seems every coach I have ever read or heard, is focused on finding areas that are selling (areas of 7% turnover rate or higher per year), and then coach their students to market into those areas for better marketing results.  Turnover rates or other “reasons to sell” such as divorce, mortgage default, or empty-nester status are all available… and easily accessible.  So why in 2016 should we market from Front St., to Market St., between Main St. and South St. when we could be marketing to owners that have reasons to sell their property?

To illustrate this point, let’s take a quick look at the wonderful city of McKinney, TX.  It happens to be the city that CNN Money named in 2014 First Place for “Best Places to live in the U.S.”  The U.S. Census Bureau also named it the fastest growing city from 2000 – 2003 and again in 2006.  The Realtors in McKinney obviously have a lot of selling points for their fine city and the sellers in McKinney should be in a good position to profit from these accolades if they choose to sell.

But let’s use data to take a closer look at the city… There are 15,187 rooftops in McKinney, most of which are single family residences.  For most Realtors, it’s not possible to market to all 15,187 of those residences.  There are just too many rooftops in McKinney, not enough funds in the marketing budget, and not enough time to accomplish marketing to each of those residences once per month.  So rather than marketing to all residences, or just the residences nearest you… can we find the needles in the McKinney haystack?  In other words, can we find the folks that have a higher probability of selling their homes in McKinney this year or next?  The answer is: Yes.

Homes in McKinney traditionally sell at rate of about 3.3% per year.  In the most recent couple of years, homes have been selling at better than 10% per year with the added popularity of McKinney. But newly sold homes rarely go back on the market and sell in the upcoming few years… so today, how do we find the most probable sellers for 2016 & 2017 in McKinney? The same way you use your phone to find the best lunch spot in McKinney.  You leverage information to know, before you go.

All Realtors can think back to listings they have taken and sold in the past and why they were able to acquire them.   A homeowner filed for divorce, and then they listed and sold their home to make an equitable split.  A mortgage default occurred at a property, you got the listing.  An owner passed away, then you got the listing.  Preceding most sales is a “life event” of some sort… and the life event may simply be the increasing age of the homeowner that then leads to their property selling.

Most life events are available to the general public.  Divorce, eviction, probate, bankruptcy, and mortgage or Real-Estate-Life-Event-Postcardstax default filings are all made public by courts.  When matched to owned property, it creates a database of homeowners that are much more likely to sell in coming years than their neighbors.  When homeowners decide to go FSBO, or have an Estate Sale to sell personal belongings prior to a move – they post the information online to drive traffic to the event.  Again, knowing these addresses provides a timing advantage to the Realtors that find them and market to them.

Let’s now get back to McKinney.  We have already discussed that there are 15,187 rooftops in the McKinney haystack.  A closer look at available information on “life events” in McKinney reveals the following:  There are 87 homeowners that have filed for divorce in the past 12 months that have not yet sold their homes. These folks may be going from 2 incomes to 1, and may need to sell.  They may have more equity in their property than money in the bank.  Either of those reasons could lead to the equity being liquidated by property sale in order to facilitate a fair split between the owners.  Statistically, 22.1% of couples that file for divorce sell their homes in the first 12 months after filing.  A good Realtor is going to be an important piece of that puzzle.

Also in McKinney, there are 32 homes with mortgage default filings in the past 6 months. Better than 50% of these will result in property sale within 12 months. Eight homeowners have filed bankruptcy in the past 6 months. Fourteen homes are trying to “For Sale by Owner”, but have not yet sold. Seven homes are in Probate.  There are also 1,498 homes with approved “Senior (Property) Tax Exemptions”.  Of those, 570 of them also have 4 bedrooms or more (large homes). These are your classic “Empty-Nesters”, and they sell property for many reasons.  The home may be too big for them now, the stairs are no longer a good idea, they may soon need an elderly care facility, or their passing may facilitate the home sale.

In each of these situations, it has been statistically proven that when these types of events occur, the properties associated to them sell more frequently.  There is no way of knowing that these events are occurring by looking at the street address or by staring at the outside of the home.  Life event data has to be matched to owned property, and when that match occurs, the results are eye opening.

ReboGateway, a product by Benutech, Inc., identifies and matches these types of life events and more to owned property.  ReboGateway allows Realtors to quickly identify probable sellers by “life events” so that they can be smarter about whom they market to and when to market to them.

So the next time you are in McKinney, TX or in your hometown, don’t just stop at any lunch spot. Use select data to know before you go.   In case you were wondering, in a state known for its barbecue, the best BBQ in McKinney, TX is Hutchin’s BBQ and Grill. It is ranked the 2nd best restaurant in the city and 356 reviews say it’s a “must go” as the “Best BBQ in North Texas”.  Similarly, the next time you choose to make yourself known to homeowners with your focus on acquiring new listings… find the addresses that are more likely to sell, and market consistently to those addresses.  The correct select data matched to a consistent marketing plan is how it should be done today and in doing so; Once again, life is easier and better because of it.

To learn more about using Life Event trigger data from ReboGateway to market in your area, watch our webinar on demand at blog.prospectsplus.com/rebogateway-prospectsplus-webinar-on-demand/.

If you’d like to learn more about how Brian and his team are helping real estate pros across North America use technology and systems to grow their businesses more efficiently and effectively, join us April 7th  at 1pm Eastern for a powerful new webinar – Everything You Wanted to Know About Every Door Direct Mail!

 

 

Insights and Strategies to Own Your Geographic Farm

by Todd Robertson

Ask yourself this: Are you the “Go-To” agent in your area? Who is? And why are they?  The truth?  Usually is that they are the number one REALTOR in the market because of their ability to brand and market themselves — not necessarily because they are the best agent for the job.  So how do they achieve that position?  Because perception becomes reality.

Here’s the reality: the majority of agents will never become that go-to person in their chosen area, because dominator decemberto become THAT agent requires time, effort, money and commitment.  There’s a cost to brand yourself – and really — there’s a cost to not branding yourself.

According to stats from industry resources such as Realtor.com, WAV Group and RISMedia, only 10% of agents ever make more than three touches.  However – here’s what we know:

  • 2% of sales are made on the 1st touch
  • 3% on sales are made on 2nd touch
  • 5% of sales are made on the 3rd touch
  • 10% are made on the 4th touch

And…

  • 80% are made on the 5th-12th touches!

So, if you’re an agent who truly wants to brand yourself as the go-to resource, are you ready to step up your game?  Here’s what some of our customers are doing:  Imagine a two year campaign to a specific geographical area. Where you are sending the largest legal size allowed by the U.S, Post Office. If an agent really did this, a couple things would happen.

  1. Homeowners who receive this marketing piece consistently each month began thinking “Wow, this agent shows up in my mailbox every single month — they must know the market.
  2. In a sellers mind, they began to say to themselves and their neighbors, “Wow, if this agent is this strong at marketing, and we need to list our home, imagine how great she would be at marketing our home?  Again perception becomes reality.

In your mind, make a decision, are you willing to pay the price to become the “Go-To” agent in your market? We all know the reward at the finish line . . . once you are branded, you get the listing, you get the commissions and you get the fulfillment of helping 30-50-100 people every year buy and sell real estate. It’s a great life!  Let’s finish the year strong.

Questions about how to DOMINATE in your market?  Call me today at 702-683-1967 or email us today.

Need help building your collateral materials, staying top of mind, finding additional touch point pieces that work for you?  Visit us online at www.prospectsplus.com or give us a call today at 866.405.3638.

Strategies and Scripts for Getting More Listings

By Julie Escobar

Last week we sat down with Coach Todd Robertson for some strategies for dominating in a geographic farm.  This week, we wanted to take that a step further and find out his thoughts for agents eager to get a jump start on their fall marketing, especially in hyper-competitive areas.  Here’s what we learned:

Q:  Hey Todd, a lot of our readers want to hit the fall market with all they’ve got – do you have some ideas for them?

A:  Sure – the year is already more than half over and a lot of agents are looking at the calendar and thinking – “No way am I going to hit my goals.”  That’s a little intimidating, right? For some, it’s enough to make them already start to shut down.  Don’t.  Instead, realize it’s time to dig in. To put a source of accountability into your career – your weekly routine and create a game plan. You know, we’re really glad that we can be a source for agents. The Master Marketing ScheduleTM that you’ve created is a powerful tool to help agents stay on track and put some consistency into their marketing.  It takes the “what do I do?” out, which is a big stress for a lot of agents.  First step I would say, is to start there, and develop a game plan that will allow you to connect CONSISTENTLY, with your Sphere of Influence, a Geographic Farm, and a niche market. If you can work a campaign for each of those marketing segments without fail, month after month, your results will grow exponentially.

Q:  I agree!  We share a lot of strategies about staying consistent.  How often should agents connect with their sphere, farm, and niche?

A:  At least monthly. Those ‘touch’ points are so important in terms of staying top of mind and creating brand awareness.  Send something every month to all three, and not necessarily the same thing.  For your sphere, many agents choose a postcard campaign such as a holiday series (not just at Thanksgiving and Christmas!), recipe cards, content cards, inspirational postcards, or a newsletter each month.  For their geo farms they send our Market Dominator, or Listing Inventory, or the Free Offer/Neighborhood Specialist cards – all are popular.  For a niche, they are specific to that group – for example: Expireds, FSBOs, First Time Home Buyers, Investors, etc. Top agents are also diligent about sending out Just Listed/Just Sold postcards with every listing and sale they have. Without exception. Why? They spotlight you as the agent that can generate RESULTS – and they showcase the properties you are marketing. That’s a powerful combo. Then they do that thing that agents desperately steer clear of but shouldn’t if they want to fire up their career on all levels – they FOLLOW UP.

Q:  There’s the sticking point, right?  The old getting on the phone or walking the farm and knocking on doors part that stops agents in their tracks. Any suggestions?

A:  Yes, the first step we just talked about – putting a campaign in place that touches your customers and prospects every month. That makes it way less intimidating when you call them. Why? Because you have a reason to touch base with them.  It doesn’t have to be a “SALES call”, it is a follow up call – or visit if you are walking a farm.  “Hey there, Todd Robertson here, from Success Realty, just wanted to touch base.  We’ve got a LOT of changes in the market, and I just wanted to see if you had any questions.”  (Yes or no, doesn’t matter really, you’re just touching base, asking questions.) Or you can do a combination of touching base and letting them know that you have a big goal to hit.  “Hey there, Todd Robertson, Success Realty, how are you?  You may have seen me in the neighborhood and I hope you’re receiving my mailings.  I just wanted to touch base, see if you had any questions about our market or what homes are selling for right now?  By the way, I am committed to helping as many clients as I can take advantage of this market.  Who do you know who might be interested in buying or selling in the next 90 days? Maybe someone from work? Or your kids’ sport team?  Or church?  If you think of someone, I sure hope you’ll remember my name and pass it along. Thanks so much.”

Q:  Lastly, what about those agents who need the extra push or accountability? 

A:  For a lot of agents coaching is a good investment, but it can be out of the budget for many.  Instead, perhaps consider starting or joining a Mastermind group in your area.  Think and Grow Rich has an entire chapter on this topic that is still incredibly relevant and powerful today.  Participating in a group like this costs you zero – but your return will be extraordinary.  You’re involved with like-minded people, all with the goal of lifting each other up, cheering each other on, and holding each other accountable. That’s the missing link for many agents.  If there’s not one in your area that you want to join – start one.  Your career, customers, and bank balance will all be the better for it!

Thanks Todd.  Great stuff.  If you’d like to learn more about the kind of tools that we have to help keep YOU on track and ready for the fall market and beyond, head over to our Master Marketing ScheduleTM  or main site today.  If you’re interested in dominating a geographic farm and would like to speak with Todd about that directly, click here to learn more.  Our team is here to help you with all your marketing needs, call us today at 866-405-3638!

Insights from Real Estate Coach Dirk ZellerObjectives Achieved, Setting Goals Concept

For a lot of agents looking to make the most of what’s left of the year, getting the RIGHT coaching advice and strategies to create the RIGHT action plan for success can truly be the difference between making and breaking goals.  To get some words of wisdom, I reached out to Real Estate Champions Coach Dirk Zeller to learn what he’s sharing with agents that has got their production and profitability up, and their minds aligned with what they need to do to finish the year strong.

Here’s what we learned…

Q:  What agents do now is vital to how they finish the year – and even head into the New Year.  What’s your best top tip for agents eager to finish the second half of the year strong?

A: Do I have to give just one?  Because we have so many moving pieces to the real estate market, to the inventory increasing in many markets.  The Fed slowing down and ending the bond buying which will raise interest rates, with more than 41 million internet based leads being created this year up from about 15 million last year.  The agents have a lot more to focus on in this last few months.  Let me share a couple quickly that will create a vast difference.

1)  We are in a 90 day sprint.  Agents have less than 90 days left to the production year.  The real estate year really ends November 30th.  Which means– you have less time than you think.

2)  Call all leads and ask all new leads, “Is your goal to be in by the holiday season?” This will do more to determine timing, urgency, and whether this is a now prospect or a future customer.  Then, walk the fine line forward to build urgency.  “Wow, if you want to be in by Christmas, we need to have you closed on a home by December 15.  It usually takes 45 days to comfortably close a transaction, so we need to be in negotiations with a seller no later than November 1st.  Based on our inventory it likely will take 45 days to search and find the right home.  That means we need to be actively looking and view homes no later than September 15th.  Wow, that’s days away.  Let’s book an appointment to meet.”  I call this the Holiday close.

3)  Whether you make your goal for the year is not will be based on quality of the prospects you are investing your time in.  You have too little time left to make a mistake in investing time into someone that isn’t going to take action, meaning buy or seller.  Your cushion is now gone.  You can mess up in February but you can’t mess up in September.  There isn’t enough time to overcome.

Q:  What do you think has been the biggest change this year in our business and how can agents get in front of that to position themselves to better compete?

A:  The biggest challenge I see is selling value to a consumer that is more emboldened, more ‘do it yourself’. They are searching online more with more frequency and limited loyalty.  Based on the NAR numbers of more than 90%+ people using the internet to search for a home, with more than 80% searching frequently, almost all leads are now internet leads first.  Your best past clients and sphere are going to the internet before they even call you to say I am thinking about selling.  They get caught in Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com or another agent who has good web presence or pay-per-click campaign lead generation system.  This creates competition, public perception of lack of value, and an “I don’t need an agent I can get all I need online” misconception.  How I sell my value has changed because the information and options are out in the open at a higher level.  It also makes the need to consistently touch, communicate, transfer value to your past clients, sphere and forum more important than ever because they won’t automatically come back to use your service.

Q: There are a lot of agents who are still really fearful to pick up the phone and connect with their sphere – any dialogues you can share that will help them break the ice?

A:  The apprehension comes from the lack of contact in the past.  We have some months or years without personal contact, meaning a call.  It also comes from the lack of value we just talked about.  If I have no value “what’s” the purpose for the call?  Let me share two thoughts.  First, if it’s been awhile, call up and have a conversation.  You are calling because you were thinking of them and are wondering how they are doing.  Don’t ask for referrals on the call.  This is where agents get stuck.  They know they should ask for referrals, but they haven’t talked with this person in 3 years.  They know it’s not authentic to call once in 3 years and then at the end say “oh, so by the way…blah, blah, blah”.  Position your value to them. Craft a 30 second script on what’s happening in the marketplace, share with them economic indicators and how that effects real estate.  Express to them that its clear interest rates will be climbing in 6 months.  Have they looked into locking in the lowest possible rate to have their money if this home is a longer term house for them?  The key today is value, value, value!

Q: As you know, we are huge proponents of agents staying in CONSISTENT touch with their sphere and farm, what’s your advice in terms staying top of mind?

A:  Julie, you said the key word to success…CONSISTENT.  Whether you are trying to lose weight, increase your business, or create wealth, the secret sauce is consistency.  Most people are not consistent enough to let the law of averages create the win for them.  They need help in being consistent and that is true in all areas of their business and life.  The law of averages connects with the compounding effect of consistency to create a greater return and a compounded return over time.  Let me illustrate in money terms.  If you put $3.83 a day away from the time you turned 20 until age 65 and received high single digit interest rate return by age 65 you would be a millionaire.  The only hard part is doing it every day for 45 years…the rest is easy.  Would you trade a vanilla latte a day for a million bucks?  To be consistent in marketing you need someone that can create and send the pieces of marketing that have value to your client base or focus base.  You can’t do it alone because as an agent you get busy and it doesn’t get done.

Q:  Exactly!  That’s why we keep creating new ways for people to connect – so they don’t have to!  Any words of wisdom to help agents get on track and stay there?

A:  Because consistency in market and in actions is so important, do they have a system, strategy or person to help them?  That could be your spouse, significant other, brother, or a colleague, a mentor or coach.  If you aren’t consistent it’s likely that won’t miraculously change overnight unless you get some level of help.  Some of your audience, Julie, are thinking, “You’re right, Dirk, this is an issue and one I have had for some time”.  If you are thinking that, it’s likely you won’t fix this on your own.  You have known about it, have tried different alterations to fix it but it’s still an issue.  Look for help.  If you are saying, “Ok, Dirk, you got me, you’re right”, at least contact us so we can see if there might be a fit for us to provide help and value.

Q:  If agents want to learn more about your training systems, where is the best place for them to go?

A:  There are a number of ways to reach us.  They can go to our website at www.RealEstateChampions.com, Facebook page at www.facebook.com/RealEstateChampions.  Probably the best is to call our office at 541-388-8833, or 877-732-4676.  One of our Success Consultants can invest a few minutes with you to better diagnose your challenges and help you create some solutions for you and your business.

Awesome stuff, Dirk! Thanks so much for sharing your time and strategies!  As always, our team is here to help you as well with powerful tools to help you get and stay connected, positioned, and top of mind in your market CONSISTENTLY.  Just reach out to us at 866.405.3638 or visit us online at www.prospectsplus.com. Be sure to visit our Specials Page as well to see what’s new this month and get the latest budget-saving promo codes.