Sunday, August 20, 2017

Clock dial with 2016-2017 change represents the new 2017, three-dimensional rendering, 3D illustration

With Just 100+ Days Left in the Year…Timing is Everything

By Julie Escobar

It’s funny to think that what you do today – this week – this month will affect whether you and your family will celebrate a stress-free holiday season and finish the year strong, or whether you’ll be worried and hurried and wind up with more year left than budget!   With just over 100 days left in the year – let’s take some ideas from the top producers and look at the five things they continuously put into place to guarantee a great fourth quarter.

  1. Know your numbers.  Savvy entrepreneurs already know how much business they need to  bring in before year’s end.  They also think ahead – and know what they need to do to head into the new year with momentum.  Don’t wait another day to get a handle these numbers if you haven’t already.  Figure out what you want and need to make and how many listings you want to have heading into the year then work the math to see how many contacts you need to make to get the number of appointments you need based on your closing ratio to achieve the number of listings you need to realize your goals.Happy Halloween Card  Make yourself a daily chart to ensure that you stay on track.
  2. Leverage the opportunities to connect.  The fourth quarter is filled with holiday gatherings and neighborhood invites.  The holidays create an amazing reason to reach out and connect with your customer base.  Don’t wait for Christmas either! Be the agent that connects all season long with a postcard and a call.  Call every existing customer you have and wish them a happy holiday season ahead.  Let them know that with all the chatter in the national news and even local headlines, you’ve found that many people have questions about how this will affect their family, their investments and their future.  Be sure they know that you’re on top if it all and there to answer any questions they might have.Thanksgiving card
  3. Ask for referrals.  Before you hang up – be sure to ask your clients if they know of anyone who might need some help.  There’s plenty of people struggling and unsure of what their options are in today’s market. Let them know you are a resource they can turn to – whatever their situation.  If you don’ t have the immediate answers –you’re your clients know that  you’ll be first in line to get them.  On the reverse side of your holiday cards, make an offer for something of value. A free Comparative Market Analysis, or one of our great free reports such as 5 Ways to Build Equity in Your Home. 5 ways to build equity
  4. Don’t leave your marketing to chance.  Life gets in the way sometime – no doubt.  We get busy, over-scheduled and over-committed – especially as we make our way toward the fall and winter holidays.  That’s when things like marketing and prospecting fall through the cracks or take a back seat.  Put a plan in place today to make sure that you have all systems “go” to make sure you are staying top-of-mind and that your listings are being showcased and syndicated in all the ways that matter for great exposure and results. Set aside 20-30 minutes at the beginning of each month or each week to set your marketing in motion by ordering your holiday postcards, and your Just Listed/Just Sold or Open House postcards. Knocking out your marketing in under half an hour gives you a lot more time to prospect, present and close – the three things closest to your bottom line.  It also helps you make up for larger than normal volume of downtime you’ll spend at holiday activities.  Spend guilt-free time with friends and family, attend winter recitals and holiday concerts without worrying so much about what’s not getting done in the office.  If you need help – call the terrific folks in our client care center at 866.405.3638 – they’ll help you get everything all lined up this month so you slide into the home stretch of this year without stress.
  5. Commit to the extra mile.  I love the Wayne Dyer quote, “It’s never crowded along the extra mile.”  Commit to 10 extra calls a day over the next 17 weeks.  Commit to adding just ONE new person to your prospect list each day.  That’s 109 more folks that can and will bring you new business and referrals in the coming year if you stay top of mind.  Do you think that could be worth a commission or three…or more?

The truth is that the bottom 80% of the salespeople in our industry won’t be doing any of these five things over the next quarter.  Many will look at how far behind they already are from their goal, throw their hands up and give up.  Many will do the basics – no more and no less and continue to live commission check to commission check.  It will be those of you who strike out, step up and stay laser-focused who will be out on top this year, crushing their goals and kick starting 2017 with a fiery passion.

Where do you want to be in four months?  Top 20 or bottom 80?  What you do this month will make all the difference.10 percent

If you need help – call us.  Our team has been helping eager agents get to the next level and top producers stay on top for more than 20 years.  We can do the same for you, call 866.405.3638 today! Head over to our Specials Page to see what’s new and get the latest budget saving promo codes! 

 

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!  
Google

Why Consumer Information Can Be Key in Direct Response Marketing

By Julie Escobar

Do you know one of the biggest reasons why so many real estate agents LEFT the business when
the going got tough?  And what was a key component in helping those that stayed in succeed, even thrive?  A database.  A strong, reliable, well-nurtured, up-to-date database.

The best ones start with a solid sphere of influence, and grow exponentially over years in the soi calculatorbusiness.  Adding niche markets, new geographic farms and new customers.  And what do the agents get in return?  A referral base they can count on without having to constantly chase new business.

Start with your sphere.  (Those people who know you, like you, and would trust you to do business with them.) And build from there.  If you don’t already have your sphere of influence or book of business in a solid database – don’t waste another month putting that together.  (There are plenty of college kids who could use the extra money inputting data for you this summer!)  Top agents tell us that 66% of their business comes from their sphere.  And that one in every twelve result in a transaction per year.

We can help you calculate how many people should be in your sphere to realize your goals – and help you identify top 150 people who should be in your sphere right now.  Click here to calculate your SOI.

Next add a geographic farm and a niche.  We can help you with that data as well.  Continue marketing to those folks until you connect and build a relationship with them as well.  Click here to see data options.

Then continue to grow your book of business – and your bottom line by taking care of the 20 Year Value of a Real Estate Customerfoundation of your business – your database of clients and customers.  Create touch points every 28-45 days using a multi-media method.  Send postcards or powerful newsletters for an easy touch once a month. Add email, face-to-face events, phone calls, and neighborhood canvassing.  And stick with it! Remember – most agents quit after the SECOND try, most transactions happen after the FIFTH.

As an organization that has developed top-of-the-line marketing tools for real estate agents for more than 20 years, we know the true value of a customer for all of our customers.  That’s why in terms of products, services and data—we leave nothing to chance.

And that’s why we’ve done the research – and we deliver the very best data resources — Experian® — for those agents eager to market to:

Renters – including high-income renters who are candidates for home ownership. On our site, we use Experian® data to make it possible for agents to search by data selects such as renter, and income level.

Move-Up Market:  Not only can you select confirmed home owners, but you also can define your target market more specifically by considering a real estate lead’s estimated available equity or property characteristics such as year built and presence of a swimming pool.

• Potential Downsizing or Second Home Market:  One real estate trend is Baby boomers who are downsizing or investing in second homes right now. To target baby boomers, you can use the year of birth demographic selection available in our consumer database to narrow your pool of real estate leads to those born between 1946 and 1964.

• Potential Investors:  Targeting high-income earners as investors.

• Generational Niche Markets:  Target specific generational niches such as:generations

  • Silent Generation (1925-1945)
  • Baby Boomers (1946-1964)
  • Generation  X (1964-1976)
  • Generation Y (1976-2000)

How does Experian® get their data?  They are an original source compiler, which means they collect data directly from more than 3,500 original public and proprietary sources, including:

  • White pages
  • Census data
  • State and local public records
  • Product registrations and surveys (self-reported)
  • Property/Realty records such as property deeds
  • Mail-order transactions
  • Other proprietary sources

The data we receive is then tested and validated. It is cleansed and combined using Experian’s proprietary logic to create the most accurate and comprehensive repository of consumer marketing information available. This process sets them apart from other data suppliers who typically rely on secondary data sources. Since they acquire data directly from the original source, they have in-depth knowledge of the data.

So every time you choose to use our list service, whether you are choosing from data selects such as income and age, or even geographic – to market around current listings, know that you are getting the very best data on the market.  And those lists are yours to keep.  We tell our customers to add them to their marketing list and stay in touch, at least once every 28-45 days (a Direct Marketing Association recommendation).  Before long you’ll have taken those contacts from being a potential lead – to a contact that has come to know you as the brand name to call in real estate.

Need help understanding data and lists?  Call our marketing team today at 866.405.3638.  Good luck and happy listing!

 Google