Sunday, August 20, 2017

How to Rise to the Top
Even When You’re Taking Time Off!

by Julie Escobar

“What the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.”  That classic Napoleon Hill concept certainly has withstood the test of time, hasn’t it? Think about the high achievers you know, and take a look at the commonalities that have led those talented sales professionals to the pinnacles of success.

Now, while the sales industry as a whole doesn’t offer up a college degree, you can be sure that studying the principals and practices of super-achievers will earn you higher response rates, productivity, profitability and a career you can be proud of.

So, watch the short film, then don your thinking cap and read below to consider the seven elements that you’ll always find at the very core of the very best:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4d2emry4TbU]

1. They are believers. It’s more than self-confidence; successful people embody the belief that anything is possible. They think expansively rather than seek the closed door of failure.

One of the greatest gifts we have is the ability to open our minds, hearts and lives up to all of the resources within our reach. Mega-producers shift from “I think I can” to “I know I can” each and every day.

As the amazing Walt Disney once said: “It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.” Believe that you can; it’s a tremendous place to start.

2. They live in the present. Of course they do. Doesn’t everyone?

Sadly, no. How many people do you know who wallow in the past or are paralyzed by fear of the future — what could or might happen tomorrow?

Top achievers recognize that today is what they have. This minute, this hour is what they can control. They become masters of the moment. They embrace the day, the conversation, the relationship, the business and sometimes even the silence.

It’s amazing how these people with so much to do and so much to accomplish each day seem to do it with ease and joy. Consider how much lighter your load would be if you left the past firmly behind you and the future out in front of you. Don’t you think that would make today much easier to walk through?

3. They work hard. I’m stating the obvious here as a reminder that success doesn’t happen by accident.

Top producers get up earlier, stay later, go the extra mile for their customers and strike the best balance in life — all while counting their blessings rather than complaining. They consider their career part of who they are and what they love — making work a lot less like, well, work.

In today’s market, the “pie” is smaller, which makes the competition for each “piece” tougher. Know that it takes more prospecting, preparation, time management, skill building and closing to stay ahead of the competition. If you want to travel on the high road, you have to be willing to go the extra mile.

4.  They consider themselves “works in progress.” Anthony Robbins calls it CANI (Constant and Never-ending Improvement). The great Og Mandino tells us: “Take the attitude of a student: Never be too big to ask questions; never know too much to learn something new.”

Real winners are successful students; they never stop learning. They’re passionate about absorbing everything there is to know about work, life, relationships, balance, etc. They recognize that our world is abundant in resources that can help them learn, master their crafts and expand their horizons. You’ll find many are both mentors and protégés, as ongoing teaching and learning are necessary not only to make it to the top, but also to stay there.

5. They take responsibility.  It’s amazing how much we can accomplish when we take personal responsibility for our actions, successes and failures. Too many people try to look busy, place blame or find reasons why something won’t work rather than doing what it takes to make it to the top.

Leaders accept the challenges before them, step up and learn from their mistakes and don’t wait for success to come knocking at their door.

6. They are resourceful. Top producers think ahead and actively acquire the skills, strategies, tools, techniques and systems they need to keep their edge in any market. They not only create new ways to “build a better mousetrap,” but they also set out to build a better “self.”

They think ahead of the trends and seek out the lessons they need to thrive. Rather than saying, “I don’t know,” winners add the words, “but I will find out.”

Get creative. Explore the resources that are available to you — from libraries and the internet to mentors and mega-producers.

7. They put people first. Successful people think outside of themselves. They understand that their customers are the lifeblood of their business and that the care and keeping of those customers is a top priority.

They also realize that living an exceptional life requires a delicate balance among work, family and self. All work and no play usually makes for someone who ends up alone. They cherish and guard family time with as much fervor as they use in cultivating business relationships.

How do they do this? By using prospecting systems that ensure they stay in touch with their customers every month and putting time-management systems in place to ensure their family time is uninterrupted.

I challenge you to continuously study your profession and hone your skills and knowledge base. Incorporate these elements into your own life and business, and realize that you, too, can conceive, believe and achieve greatness.

Need help?  Call our inside team at 866.405.3638 or visit us at our all new site – www.prospectsplus.com!   Cool people.  Great answers.  Serious systems.

Three Powerful Means of Engagement for the Fourth Quarterfollow up

 

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, 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 in a the 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 miles 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!

Savvy Agents Choose the Right Continuity Program for Their Market

By Julie Escobar

One thing is a certainly a constant in our world – and that is that people are creatures of HABIT.  They want predictability, comfortable decisions and easy choices – especially when it comes to who they CHOOSE to do business with.  And with a market where competition is fierce and marketing dollars tightened, savvy agents are making smart choices of their own in terms of the continuity systems and tools they are using to engage their sphere of influence or geographic farm consistently, month-after-month.

Top-of-mind awareness doesn’t just happen-right?  (Wouldn’t THAT be fantastic?)  Instead, it’s something we have to work at.  But the truth is, top salespeople know that to make the most of their talents and skills and earn top dollar – they should be doing what THEY do BEST – listing and selling homes.  Getting face-to-face and voice-to-voice with buyers and sellers.  NOT necessarily writing and designing mailers, schlepping down to the post office themselves.  But the marketing HAS to be done.  The brand awareness has to be built and the influence has to be developed and earned in that sphere.

Why?  Statistics show that 90% of real estate buyers and sellers come from the following:

  • 48% choose someone they already know (the relationship has been built)
  • 24% choose an agent based on a referral or word of mouth
  • 12% from a listing call or for sale sign
  • 6% from open houses

So if you’re NOT building that relationship – you will be battling it out with the other agents for that leftover 10%.  (And that’s just no fun – and low rewards!)  So let’s look at a system that’s easy, manageable, doesn’t take a boatload of your time and gets your sphere or farm engaged – what do you say?

ProspectsPLUS! has been a leader in helping agents serve up the right messages to their right market segments at the right time – and that includes writing some of the best-read newsletters in the industry.   And this year – we’ve taken our newsletters and put them online so that agents just like you can, in just a matter of minutes, use these powerful continuity tools to stay in touch CONSISTENTLY with that VERY IMPORTANT 90%!

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F8K1JMHMJSk]

What makes our newsletters the tool of choice for so many agents?

  • They’re done for you.  While every newsletter is COMPLETELY EDITABLE – in other words – you can change anything you want in terms of copy.  You can add your own spin, market statistics, personal note or invoke your own personality but when time is of the essence and you just want to get it checked off the list – you’ve got a template that’s ready-made with everything you need to capture your customer’s attention.
  • They’re compelling.  We put in the time, effort, energy and RESEARCH to create newsletters that get READ.  Interesting headlines.  Topics that are timely.  Articles that enter the conversations going on in the minds and households of consumers today.  Fun facts people can share with friends or online in the social media platforms.  News they need to know.
  • They’re DIRECT RESPONSE.  Meaning all throughout the newsletters, you’re giving customers or potential customers persuasive reasons to contact YOU.  They offer items of VALUE.  Engage them with smart questions that invite people to call you for answers.
  • Space for sponsorship.  Many agents use the ‘editorial’ section on page two of their newsletters to feature a sponsor such as a title rep, mortgage lender or real estate attorney.  This allows them to spotlight a trusted resource – and either share in the cost of the monthly newsletter – or in many cases- get them paid for completely by the sponsor.  That’s a win-win-win for everyone.  The sponsor gets recognition and builds a relationship with a trusted REALTOR, the agent gets their marketing paid for and has the ability to CONSISTENTLY reach out to the sphere or farm and the consumers get information that’s engaging, timely and of interest!
  • They’re AFFORDABLE.  You’ll find all of ProspectsPLUS! tools and solutions always competitively priced and newsletters are no exception.  Sign up for your FREE account online and you can preview our pricing matrix based on quantity and shipping options.  Just visit newsletters.prospectsplus.com today.
  • They’re EASY.  Who has time for frustration in today’s world?  Once you’ve created an account, added your personal information and photos – the rest is a piece of cake.  With all the content already done for you – it couldn’t be simpler.  And if you’d like a helpful hand to walk you through the process or help you decide – contact our team at 866.405.3638 today. They’re always eager to assist!

If you’re in the market for a continuity program that makes your job easier, your production and market share INCREASE and that’s easy on your budget – check out newsletters.prospectsplus.com today.    We’ve even added a step-by-step video for you so you can see for yourself how easy it is!

Happy marketing and remember – we’re here if you need us!  Just call our team today at 866.405.3638. 

Look Right In Your Own Back ‘Yard’!

By Julie Escobar

I was watching a new video by a good friend and awesome agent Virginia Munden who was
talking about social media and why you don’t need everyone in the WORLD to follow you – you just need to focus on what’s important and RELEVANT to the folks right there in your own community and back yard to really create the kind of ENGAGEMENT you need to connect with the customers you want.

She, of course, is absolutely right.  From social media, to mailings to conversation – what people have shown they REALLY want to know about are the things that mean the most to them.  That’s why we created a Local Market Series of postcards. They’re a great way to let consumers in your market know that you’ve got the inside scoop on all things local.  Here’s a few strategies for how to use them.

1.  Choose your farm area or sphere list – or if you need help, we can work with you to build a geographic list that works perfectly with this series.  (It’s also a great way to BUILD that sphere or farm if you haven’t yet had a chance to put a database together!)

2.  Click here to see our Local Market Series cards – then select this campaign to go out over the next 3-6 months – either one every 28-30 days (a Direct Marketing Association recommendation) or one every other month to your list.

3.  Choose the ‘Alternative Back’ for the postcards – This gives you a little more room to make great offers to your recipient list.  I would suggest inviting (and enticing) them to your blog or social media page where you are no doubt keeping everyone abreast of the latest and greatest things happening around town.  New businesses opening, school sports activities, local plays or concerts, great restaurant review, list of local resources, etc. are all good content ideas for your online portal.  Secondly, I would offer them a free report that gives valuable information that they can use.  We’ve got a wide variety to choose from on our Resources page including How to Save for a Down Payment, Cash Buyer Checklist, Four Questions to Ask Every Buyer, Spring Moving Tips and so much more.  Get yours here – and remember – you can download these at no cost and use them on your blogs as well.  (Handy for those days when writer’s block creeps in or your up to your ears in offers!  Love those offer days!)

Be sure to start really connecting with area businesses as well.  It’s terrific to really know and support them and you’d be amazed at how willing they are to support you right back.  Many will offer coupons and offers that you can extend to your sphere which makes for another great reason to mail to them or reach out via telephone.  Use your flip camera or iphone to make a short video testimonial – and ask them to do the same.  Sharing networks can be great fun in today’s world – and REALLY SMART BUSINESS.

So GO for it!  Spotlight YOURSELF as the go-to agent in your market!  Need help?  Call us at 866.405.3638.  Our marketing team can help you build your list, pick the campaign, even create your alternate message.  Be sure to use our new Promo Code:  LOCAL15 to save 15% on your order!  Good luck!   

Oh – and while you’re online?  Be sure to connect with us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/prospectsplus!  We’re ALWAYS having fun to share!

 

 

How to Use a Successful Mix of Marketing Tools to Drive OFFLINE Traffic to Your ONLINE Presence

By Julie Escobar

It’s been a busy week of interviews and interesting to hear what people are asking in terms of “how do I market my listings and myself more effectively?” Good question! Let’s see if I can share a little of what we’ve found that works when you’re ready to mix and match your marketing mediums so that you can really make the most of your time, energy and dollars. Sound good?

First let’s start with the obvious—we KNOW that 87% 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.

Now, 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’ve even developed a new line of postcards to help you develop a social media following! Check them out: On the Web Templates!

Need help finding addresses to mail to?  Click here to watch a video on building your mailing list:  Mailing List Management

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.

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, 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. 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! 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.

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!

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

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 inside account management team at 866.405.3638 to learn how they can help you boost your business, drive more traffic to your site and get your phone ringing!