Sunday, November 19, 2017

Three Powerful Means of Engagement for the Fourth Quarter

By Julie Escobar

You’ve probably heard me say a time or two (or more) that the business will go to those who show up not just once, but again and again.  To succeed in sales today, professionals have to dig in, refuse to cut corners, commit to consistency and the big key?  FOLLOW UP.  Engagement of your customers, your sphere, and your farm – isn’t something you can take a ‘stand-back’ approach to.  You can ‘warm’ the call, set up the stage for prospecting, and share the information that people need to see to consider you the expert they should turn to when they are ready to list or sell their home – but you have to go the EXTRA step – and follow-up.  Voice to voice.  Face to face.  Belly to belly.

Is that always easy?  No, for many–not at first.  But for those who dive in and get it?  That their real job, true passion is to help people?  And they practice getting outside their comfort zones?  That’s when the game-changing happens.

So here are a few ways to engage, follow up and make the difference between what could be and what will be a great fourth quarter. 

  1. SEND! For most agents – from the brand new to experienced – warming that prospecting call is something that puts them at ease.  Luckily, ‘tis the season!  Send a holiday card (and don’t wait for the winter holidays – go ahead and get the jump on fall holidays and be different than your competitors.) Even recipe cards that feature great appetizers or dishes that people can share at upcoming holiday gatherings are good.  You may want to choose to offer a great free report or fair trade item to FSBO’s and Expireds who might be more than anxious about getting their homes sold as we head into holiday season.  Be the resource that goes the extra step for them and it will be appreciated.  Get something in front of your prospects and sphere that gives you a great ‘reason’ to follow up.
  2. CALL! I can’t tell you how many agents I talk to that just have a hard time getting past this one.   It’s ok.  Make the call.  ENGAGE.  Talk to people.  Be yourself.  Be helpful.  Ask questions.  It doesn’t have to be scary and it doesn’t have to be “salesy.”  It can be as simple as this:  “Hi!  It’s Julie from ABC Realty – just wanted to wish you a great holiday season and to see if there is anything at all I can do for you?  There are lots of questions out there right now in our market – and my passion is to help answer them!  Is there anything I can do for you?  Any questions you might have?” Then LISTEN and respond to what they say.  Some won’t need anything but odds are in your favor that some will.  Be sure to let people know that you’re expanding your business and that not only is every referral APPRECIATED, but you realize what an honor everyone is – and you can promise that each will be treated like royalty.  Is there anyone you know that might be looking to buy or sell now or in the near future? Break your calls down into manageable numbers so you don’t get overwhelmed – 10-20 a day – and commit to making it happen.
  3. SEE!  Get out there and SEE people.  As a professional real estate agent – meeting new people and adding to your sphere is a MUST DO not a SHOULD DO.  Walk your neighborhood farm and share some great collateral pieces like the Market Dominators or Door Hangers. Attend your community garage sales and meet the folks in the neighborhoods you service.  Go to the fall festivals or winter carnivals at the schools.  Wear your name badge, bring your business cards, and shake some hands.  Stop into local restaurants, delis, shops, and businesses in the community you represent and get to know the people there and let them know you work on referrals – and you’d love to refer your clients back to them as well.  Share your stories about a great meal, terrific new shop, amazing customer experience, incredible health care providers and more in your area on your social media, blog or newsletter.  You’ll not only make new friends, you’ll gain new customers (and respect for being pro-active and a resource people can trust).  Be sure to SEE those in your sphere at least twice a year as well.  Take your top referral customers to coffee or lunch or stop by with a special treat.

The truth is, to stand out as someone who presents themselves as someone who will go the extra mile for their customers and clients – you have to SHOW that characteristic in everything you do – INCLUDING marketing your OWN business.  It’s that simple.  Ultimately it’s not the business of HOMES that we’re in – it’s the business of PEOPLE.  So show up again and again – and follow up over and over.   The results will take care of themselves!

Need help?  Call our marketing team to help get you started, restarted or fired up this fall at 866.405.3638.  They’ve got the experience, knowledge, and solutions you need to succeed.  And they’re FUN!  Can’t beat that!  Have a good one and happy follow-up!

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. 

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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

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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!