Saturday, July 22, 2017

Making Connections in Unexpected Ways

by Julie Escobar

While a firm believer in the power of consistent top-of-mind marketing using series such as our neighborhood update postcards or content postcards, I always like to remind agents to also include an element of surprise in their marketing efforts as well.  It’s terrific to keep people informed — that brands you as an expert and resource people can trust and call on for their real estate questions or needs.  When combined, however, with a genuine thank you and note of appreciation, you now also brand yourself as someone who cares about your customers — and about details!

This week’s Master Marketing Schedule tip is to send the Out of the Blue postcard from Customer Appreciation Series to 200 of your past clients.  What if you did that at least four times per year?  Or took a few moments to send these kind messages to a block of your sphere of influence VIPs per month?  Do you think it might be worth a few transactions or referrals?  You bet it would!

For the reverse side of the card, I would recommend choosing the “standard back with message” – it has a little more room for a message.  Here are some ideas for customizing your message:

  1. Invite to a customer appreciation event.  Spring is a great time to host a party!
  2. Offer something of value.  We have some terrific Free Reports that are easily customized and downloadable that you can offer.  Nine Strategies to Get 17% More For Your Home or 10 Renovations That Reap Return on Investments are two great ones you can offer.
  3. Offer a service. Let them know that the market, and mortgage rates are changing — and that has a lot of people asking questions about what that potential means for their home value.  Offer to meet with them to share a home price evaluation and answer any questions they might have.
  4. Let them know when you’ll be in the area!  Schedule a time for you and your team, if you have one, to walk your geographic farm or be available for a meet and greet at a local coffee shop or community center. Then share that information with your fans and offer to answer any questions they might have and even tell them to invite a friend!

Then follow up.  Block time to connect with at least 25 past clients per week with a kind word, a thank you and an offer to assist.  We’re in the business of people, and when you reach out on a regular basis and let people know you genuinely care — you’ll be rewarded with new business and customers for life!

Need help with your marketing? Contact our team today at 866.405.3638.

Finding the Diamonds in Your Database

By Julie Escobar

As my old friend Floyd Wickman used to say, there are acres of diamonds in your book of business or “sphere” – but the trouble is, most agents are willing to do what it takes to mine for those diamonds.

Many agents don’t even have a ‘book of business’ or a true database.  They’re either new to the business or ‘never got around to it’ or for some – they’re so busy working ‘in the business’ to ever work ‘on the business.’  But there’s acres of diamonds in building a sphere of influence client list of people who know you, like you and trust you. Because frankly – those are the people that are going to list and sell their homes with you – buy from you –and refer friends and family to you.  First – you’ve got to reach them.  Consistently.  Effectively.  With purpose.

First, look at should be in your book of business. Read last week’s post:  The Year of the Sphere.

Secondly, get a handle on your business plan.  This is the one-page easy plan shared by Floyd Wickman. 

2017-biz

Download a copy for yourself or your team here. Then USE it. Make sure you are reviewing every month so you know when you are are on track — and off!

Next, Invest in these ten strategies for building a powerful base. 

  1. Get it all on ‘record.’  Whatever database management system you choose, be sure that you have entered at the very least the basic information such as name, address, phone number, email address, social media addresses if you have them for every past customer, friend, family member and acquaintance that you can think of.  Sound like a lot of work?  It is – but SO worth it.  And I’m not saying you have to do it yourself.  Delegate it – that way you can stick to what you do best – getting face to face with the folks in your market.
  2. Fill in the blanks.  The more RELEVANT you are – the more REFERRALS you’ll receive. So once you’ve customer-appgot the basics down – take note of more personal information about the people in your database.  What do they do?  Where do they live?  What makes them unique?  What else do you know about them that you can reference?  Who’s in their family?  You know the old saying – the ‘devil is in the details!’ The more you know the easier it will be for you to connect with them on topics that are relevant and important to them.
  3. Clean up old records.  At least twice a year go through your database and cull old contacts, and clean up missed or incorrect information. Connect with your database and let them know that their business is important to you and that you’re just doing a little ‘housekeeping’ so that you can be sure they are always kept in the loop and double check their information.  You can even make them a fair trade offer of a free report or certificate of some kind.
  4. Data mine for ‘like’ minded people.  One of the best things an agent can do is to really take a good fsbolong look at what their ‘best customer’ looks like.  Who do you like to work with?  Seniors?  Singles?  First time homebuyers?  Expireds? FSBO’s?  Once you know that – and can determine who you both like to work with and the type of people you have the most successful relationships with – you can data mine to find more of the same.   Find list options for data mining here. 
  5. Add new personal contacts.  As sales professionals we come into contact with new people every day that are potentially great future clients or customers.  Make it a point to add at least one new person per day or five per week to your book of business – more depending on how fast you want your business to grow.  Many agents I know make this database building a positive habit by dedicating one hour a week to the health and maintenance of their list.  Every time they meet a new person at the local Starbucks, networking meeting, business event, PTA, restaurant – even the grocery store and have an opportunity to collect a business card or information – that person goes into the ‘book’ and the nurturing begins!  Some of the best agents spend an hour a week sending a personal note or firing off an email just to say what a pleasure it was to meet and if they need anything – just call.  (Making notes on the back of those business cards or in your phone after meeting a new person will help jog your memory for details when you are entering them into your database at a later time.)  Think about 10 people THIS WEEK you could add if you tried:  Teachers, Bankers, Restaurant Owner/Staff, Accountant, Attorney, Landscaper, Gas Station Owner, Grocery Store Manager…the possibilities are endless!  (If you did that EVERY week you’d be adding more than 500 people to your book of business each year!)
  6. Add past lists:  If you’ve sent out Just Listed or Just Sold postcards and have purchased a list of just sold cardhomeowners contact information who received those postcards – be sure not to forget those folks.  You can add them in and start the process of taking them from ‘prospect’ to ‘member’ of your sphere by building those relationships over time.  Think about this – every time you send a Just Listed postcard with a purchased list – you are adding to your database. But most agents only send that one card, the Just Listed to that list.  Think one list = unlimited opportunities.  Contract Pending. Price Reduced. Just Sold. Listing Inventory.  Check out our new ThreeClickPostcards.com – where you can order your Just Listed/Sold/Contract Pending cards — right from your phone!
  7. SHARE with them.  Direct mail is a great way to ‘touch’ your book of business at least once a month.  From powerful postcards with relevant offers to a monthly newsletter packed with valuable content – staying in TOUCH is the key to staying TOP of mind.  We’ll even help you automate the process with a set-and-forget system that allows you to put your marketing plan in motion and then focus on those personal contacts and the three tasks that are most important in your business:  prospecting, presenting and CLOSING.  Visit www.prospectsplus.com/specials today to learn more about these options or call our team at 866.405.3638 for help deciding what might work best for you, your list and your budget!
  8. Invite them into the conversation.  Savvy agents are firing up their social media strategies on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and Pinterest and inviting their community of followers to join in the conversation.  Create a Facebook page for your neighborhood farm and post community information that’s relevant to your buyers and sellers such as school information, local business information, fun facts and more.  Agents are breaking out their iPhones and creating video walking tours of area hotspots, news for the week, reviews of local businesses, types of homes to look for in their area and all kinds of fun and interesting information.  Pinterest has people pinning and posting all about staging ideas, inspirational quotes, homes in the area, community events, blog posts and more.
  9. Follow up.  Break your list up into manageable numbers and commit to follow up calls every week.  Most experts recommend scheduling a daily appointment with yourself to prospect.  Don’t underestimate the value of face-to-face connecting as well.  Community events, school functions, networking opportunities and just being active in the community that you service will help keep you visible, allow you a chance to arrange follow up conversations and ask questions, be the resource people need and you will generate referrals in the process! It can be as simple as letting them know that you are there to help anytime.
  10. Lather, Rinse, Repeat.  Well you get the idea.  Treating your database as the saleable, valuable resource that it is means not putting it away for 11 months out of the year.  Commit to these ten strategies monthly and your career will thrive – and you won’t have to always be wondering where your next commission will come from.

Need help?  Call us at 866.405.3638.  Our team of marketing professionals can help you put your plan in place for success. 

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. 

 

Attention All Shoppers! 

This year we wanted to go all out with BIG holiday savings now through Cyber Monday (December 1st) at Midnight!  Order any Holiday Postcard or Holiday Photocard between now and Monday and take 50% off your order (excluding postage)!  Just use the promo codes below to get started!

There are LOTS of styles and sizes to choose from – and plenty of time to get yours out so you are one of the first to greet your sphere or farm this holiday season! Please do remember though, Standard Class options of postcards do take 2-3 weeks for the post office to deliver.

pp photo card

pp christmas new year

Use these PROMO CODES to save 50% on YOUR order!

Photocards

PHOTO50- to take 50% off any standard-size postcard order (excluding postage)
PHOTO50J – to take 50% off any jumbo-sized first-class postcard order (excluding postage)
PHOTO50S – to take 50% off any standard-size postcard order, shipped to you
PHOTO50JS – to take 50% off any jumbo-sized postcard (standard class mail, excluding postage)
PHOTO50PSS – to take 50% off any jumbo-sized postcard order, shipped to you
PHOTO50P – to take 50% off all panoramic postcards mailed first class (excluding postage)
PHOTO50PS- to take 50% off all panoramic postcards mailed standard class (excluding postage)

Holiday postcards

HOLIDAY50- to take 50% off any standard-size postcard order (excluding postage)
HOLIDAY50J – to take 50% off any jumbo-sized first-class postcard order (excluding postage)
HOLIDAY50S – to take 50% off any standard-size postcard order, shipped to you
HOLIDAY50JS – to take 50% off any jumbo-sized postcard (standard class mail, excluding postage)
HOLIDAY50PSS – to take 50% off any jumbo-sized postcard order, shipped to you
HOLIDAY50P – to take 50% off all panoramic postcards mailed first class (excluding postage)
HOLIDAY50PS- to take 50% off all panoramic postcards mailed standard class (excluding postage)

Get started now, choose any Holiday Postcard or Holiday Photocard between now and Monday and take 50% off your order (excluding postage)!  Need help?  Call our team 866.405.3638 today!  Wishing you a wonderful Thanksgiving and an amazing holiday season! 

8 Ways to Mix Your Message Mediums to Attract More Business

Mixed messages

By Julie Escobar

How Shaking Up Your Marketing Helps Open New Doors

by Julie Escobar

While coaches, experts, trainers, top agents, and our own marketing team will all tell you that CONSISTENCY in your message is KEY to staying top of mind and a consistent pipeline of referrals – most will also share that is not only fine to mix up the mediums – it’s a smart strategy for success.  Why?  Because let’s face it – we’re all DIFFERENT.  (Which is a good thing!  Makes life WAY less boring – don’t you think?)

So because we’re all different – the way we view, absorb and react to marketing messages is different too.  Using email, direct mail, social media, video, audio, visuals, phone calls, personal visits and everything in between will help you reach the folks in your sphere or farm in the ways that make the most sense for them.

First let’s start with the obvious—NAR tells us that more than 90% of home buyers and sellers START their search for their new home or REALTOR online, which is great news for you if you’re busily building an online presence…right? There’s just a little hitch — according to a study of Broker Website Effectiveness conducted by the WAV Group 69% of visitors to broker websites type the address directly into the browser, 20% use search engine – but with keywords such as agent or brokerage name, which means that more than 85% of all traffic to the brokers’ websites were coming from people who ALREADY knew them. This is good in terms of retention of customers – but not so good news in terms of driving NEW eyes to your website, blog or social media channels.

So if NEW traffic’s your goal, then you’ve got to find some ways to get consumers in YOUR MARKET who are looking for information about buying or selling a house and they start to type something into that search bar….They know YOUR NAME & Company name!

1. Make direct mail your friend. Don’t start yelling at me and saying direct mail is dead – before you consider a few facts. According to a survey conducted by the Direct Marketing Association nearly 70% of consumers prefer to receive announcements and information from companies they are familiar with via conventional mail, versus less than 20% who prefer e-mail pitches.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of email marketing, but I have agents asking me week after week – “How do I get email addresses?” And that’s where I believe direct mail postcards can really compliment an agent’s marketing plan. They’re affordable, fast, don’t have to be opened first, quick to make an impression and done right – a great way to brand yourself, get your name TOP OF MIND for area consumers and drive people looking for real estate answers or information – Straight to your website!

We even developed a great line of postcards to help you develop a social media following! So on the webwhether you’re posting, pinning, blogging, tweeting, linking, or a combo platter – we’ve got you covered – they’re called our On-the-Web postcards and they’re really helping drive traffic to your social media sites.
Check them out: On the Web Templates!

Need help finding addresses to mail to?  Check out our MapMyMail feature.  It allows you to identify addresses in the geo farms where you’re looking to brand yourself.

And now with the addition of Every Door Direct Mail – you can send larger pieces like newsletters and flyers for a fraction of the cost (and make sure you are literally getting in EVERY door.)  This is great news – especially if you’re marketing luxury homes and you want to saturate a high end market with larger Just Listed/Just Sold brochures.  In fact our Dominator System is really taking things to an even higher level – it allows you to send a 12 x 15 poster-size piece with done-for-you, direct response content for $1 (or less) a piece!  Learn more…

And one of the BEST things you can do in today’s market is to share your STATS.  Let people know what you are listing and selling.  Here’s a great way to showcase your success stories…

2. Next, add QR codes to all of your printed materials. Postcards, business cards, flyers – even sign riders! Point those QR (Quick Response) codes to your Facebook Fanpage, your lead capture forms on your website, your single property websites or just about anywhere on the web you want to drive new customer attention.  I’ve even seen them on car magnets!

Here are a couple of QR Code Generators for you to try:
http://delivr.com/qr-code-generator
http://www.beqrious.com/generator (love the name of that one!)

If you don’t like either of those just Google “QR Code Generator” and you’ll find a bunch! I’d look for ones that have analytics attached so that you can track your results.

3. Add your social media addresses to everything just like your QR codes! Your business cards, email signatures, newsletters, printed materials, websites, blogs, the works. Make sure everything has got all the myriad of ways people can find you (and create some great backlinks for your different sites at the same time!) And please don’t make the mistake that I see many businesses make where they simply say “follow us on Facebook” – you have to go the extra step. Tell them HOW! For example – Follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/prospectsplus. (A shameless plug – but a good example!) I see business signs, cards, brochures etc. that just have the icons for social media and blogs but not the actual address. Make it EASY for folks to find you!

4. Join the online conversation. Don’t expect immediate results, but also don’t discount the power of the internet to help establish and fuel new relationships. I was just on a webinar with an agent who is terrifically engaged in social media and can attribute THIRTY SIX referrals in the last year to her online networking.  36!  With a commission value of over $1 million.  Talk about what’s going on in your market, but don’t make your social media posts all about you or all about real estate. If you’ve got a niche your passionate about-talk, post or tweet about that! Let your personality shine.  Connect with agents from all over the world.  ENGAGE them honestly with the VISION you have for your life and your business.  Like attracts like.  Ask questions. Invite the neighbors in your farm area to join a neighborhood fan page where you’ll help to keep them posted on all things that pertain to their area. Like to work with seniors? Blog or post about the things that interest them. First time home buyers your gig? Make sure you include information on how to save for a down payment, how to protect their interests, etc.  School events coming up?  Neighborhood changes?  Thank agents for referrals in big ways.  You’ll be surprised at the connections you can make.

Another great strategy is to interview area business owners. If you’re tweeting or facebooking about them, there’s a good chance they’ll do the same for you! Ask an area roofer how what are the signs of a roof that needs to be replaced. Ask a plumber about winter pipe maintenance. Ask a local restaurateur about new menu items and promotions they might be having. Start conversing and connecting! Ask a local pediatrician about school vaccinations or seasonal allergies.  Ask a new shop owner what brings them to the area.  (You get the idea!)

5. Offer items of value on your website or blog. A great way to capture email addresses is to offer free reports and value items to your website in exchange for email addresses. People are information hungry these days and if you can satisfy that hunger with the right collateral pieces- they’ll share their contact information and their loyalty! We’ve got lots of free reports and handy tools that you can download for free – find them here: ProspectsPLUS.com Resource Page

6.  Event marketing.  People are thirsty for information – invite them to learn what you know by hosting workshops in your market on popular topics such as First Time Home Buying, Real Estate Investing, Real Estate and Today’s Seniors, What You Need to Know About Short Sales and Foreclosures.  PTAs and PTSA’s are always on the look out for local professionals that can speak for 15-20 minutes or more at their meetings to draw more attendance, libraries are another great place to host meetings, or talk to some of the HOAs in your area about community meetings that you can take part in.  All great ways to reach out to folks in your area.  Here is a link to some handy workshop invites!

7.  eMail is still viable:  eMail is tough in a lot of ways – spam blockers and just a saturation of inbox items can make it hard to get seen from the rest – but it is a good way to just touch base with your sphere – especially if there is something new in the market to talk about.  Stay in tuned with what’s going on in your area so that you have little sound bites to share with people for that kind of hyper-local touch that’s so important.  Things like school events, neighborhood block parties, community garage sales, new business openings, special offers and items of interest that people are happy to learn about and grateful to have a resource to remind them!

8.  Stop being camera shy.  Awesome GoPro and iPhone videos are becoming more and more a powerful marketing tool for agents who are stepping in front of the camera to share everything from market information tidbits to house tours to great news sound bites and featuring local businesses. They spotlight community attributes, share valuable content, are a great way to get seen, heard AND build SEO-friendly websites!  Be sure to have links to all of them on your website, drive people to your YouTube account and break out your inner movie star!  (Go ahead – it’s fun!)

So start mixing and matching and building both your email database as well as your book of business database so that you can whether whatever market storm comes your way. Good luck and remember we’re here when you need us!  Call our team at 866.405.3638 or visit www.prospectsplus.com/specials  if you need help with mastering any of your marketing needs or implementing any of the direct mail solutions we’ve spotlighted here!  
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