Sunday, October 22, 2017

Positioning Yourself to Be the Go-To Agent

By Julie Escobar

It’s certainly a whole new ball game out there isn’t it?  The buyers are out in force and agents are now fast and furiously competing to both find and market new listing inventory.  If EVER there’s been a time where listings are the name of the game?  It’s right now. We recently did a poll to see what people were most interested in this month in terms of their marketing — the number one choice? HOW TO GET MORE LISTINGS.  Enter this week’s topic!

Let’s look at four tips and tools you can use to position yourself as the go-to agent for listings in your market.

  1. Systematically work For Sale By Owners and Expired listings. Make this on the top of your to-do list each week.  Send them something. Get voice-to-voice. Go see them. Since they’re already motivated sellers-make sure they know how motivated you are to help them achieve the results you want!
  2. Include a PDF. Another strategy came from one of our top agent customers who, before every listing jl jsappointment, creates a pdf version of a Just Listed postcard with a picture of the potential seller’s house and all listing details and includes it in every listing presentation as an example of the marketing that she will get started immediately upon getting their signature!  (Very clever!) Click here to see a selection of Just Listed Postcards you can download.
  3. Host an Open House to generate listing leads.  In areas where homes are just starting to turn over, you’ll more than likely shake out the 3-4 (or more) other homeowners in the neighborhood who have been thinking about selling.  Be sure to do your homework – canvas the neighborhood well in advance of your open house.  Advertise it well.  Send open house cards, use door hangers or flyers to your existing sphere of influence or farm areas as well.  Some agents create an open house field day – where they’ll advertise 3-6 open houses all on the same day, one right after the other.  While it makes for a long day, it does showcase you as an agent who has a lot going on and knows how to get things done.  I 6 pitfalls of overpricingalways recommend having powerful collateral pieces at your open houses as well.  Like 6 Pitfalls to Overpricing Your Home, Saving for a Down Payment and the Cash Buyer Checklist.  When you have more creative collateral than just the home listing flyer you present yourself at a higher level of service and resource.
  4. Saturate Your Target Neighborhood.  Working an area or areas where you know turnover is starting to happen?  Blanket those areas with a powerful inventory-needed campaign that speaks to the mindset of potential sellers and spotlights you as the agent to call when they are thinking of selling now or in the near future.  Our Listing Inventory Series is great for getting attention. Or, if you really want to turn up the heat, learn more about our Market Dominator System which takes saturation mailing and direct response marketing to a whole new level!  Then be sure to follow up on that saturation mailing and make the most of your marketing efforts.

Good luck getting those listings, and remember if you need help – call our marketing team at 866.405.3638!  Be sure to check out our Specials Page this month as well if you haven’t already and see what’s new and get your budget-saving promo codes!  

 

A Guest Post from Our Friends at ReboGateway

Brian Fox, VP Business Development, Benutech, Inc.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

Eight Factors to Adopt Today to Leverage More Success

by Julie Escobar

You’ve seen them — those mega-producers who seem impervious to the market peaks and valleys felt by mere “mortal” agents. They continue to work day in and day out, usually with a smile to share and the time (and money) to even take their families on nice vacations each year.

How do YOU become one of THEM? Start by recognizing eight traits that superstars embody, embrace and constantly improve upon in order to maintain forward momentum and a healthy balance-and then adopt them as your own:

1. Positive attitude. That’s right! Attitude is critical to top producers. They greet their days with confidence and joy, seek out the positive and leave the negative for those unwilling to step above the mire. That’s not to say that problems, obstacles or objections don’t arise; they just choose to approach them as opportunities to find new solutions. They understand that to go where they’ve never gone, they must do things they’ve never done. They push forward with persistence and joy because they know the feeling and frame of mind that accompanies every new success.

2. Action oriented. “Just do it.” Nike has it right, as do top producers in every industry. They move forward. Do something. Take action. They don’t wait for the perfect time, a better market or a new day. Author Jules Renard said it well, “Everything you want is out there waiting for you to ask. Everything you want also wants you. But you have to take action to get it.”

Top producers don’t sit by waiting for the phone to ring. They don’t plan, re-plan, organize and re-organize to the point where they spend no real time doing the things that will earn them a viable living. They move forward. Take action. Delegate the “busy work” that could prevent them from achieving their goals. Go ahead, just do it!

3. Desire to learn. How do the best get better? How do they maintain their integrity, success and longevity despite market shifts and economic challenges? They take a page from the Marines: They adapt and overcome.

We are fortunate to live in a time where knowledge is available via the internet 24/7. We can learn whatever we want, whenever we want. Industry legends create downloadable seminars and publish books, CDs and DVDs. Live training is available in every major market-and most of the smaller ones, too. The wise never stop learning-never stop improving who they are and what they do. They feed their minds and their hearts with the best the world has to offer. It is part of what fuels their days and invigorates their careers.

What have you learned lately? I challenge you to learn a new skill or acquire a new tool that will make you better this week. Then learn another and another until you, like all top producers, are passionate about expanding your knowledge base.  Want a little light reading to get you started?  Read a digital version of our all new Master Marketing Magazine today!

4. Serious about systems. Agents at the top of their game know that systems are key. They know that continuously marketing their name and brand is too important to leave to chance. They have systems for contact management, lead generation, time management, administrative responsibilities, and budget checks and balances. They have a financial plan for their future and an exit plan for their careers.

Finding the right systems may seem like a big mountain to climb, but reflect back on #2 above, and take action-any action-today. Start by taking advantage of our simple BusinessBASETM  which helps you identify the 250 people who should be in your sphere of influence.  It’s not only effective, but it’s also FREE! Be sure to lock into our Master Marketing Schedule as well for month-by-month guides to consistently staying in touch with the folks in your sphere, farm, and niche markets. While you’re at it – don’t wait until January to get organized.  Ask the super-agents in your office who they recommend for a financial plan, what systems they use to manage their time and what advice they can give to aspiring top producers. You might be surprised at how much they’re willing to share.

I recommend the book Juggling Elephants by Jones Loflin and Todd Musig. It’s a quick read that shares some terrific time-management and priority-setting strategies you may just want to adopt for yourself!

5. Put people first. One of the traits I find most interesting about many of the most successful entrepreneurs I know is their commitment to putting people first. They are service minded, happy to help and willing to go the extra mile not just for their clients, but for everyone in their lives.

Is money a priority? Sure, but it doesn’t top the list. Top producers fully understand that theirs is a people industry, and an unwavering focus on bringing their best selves to the table for everyone is what makes them superstars above and beyond the balance in their bank accounts.

I recommend both Jack Mitchell’s Hug Your Customer and Mark Sanborn’s The Fred Factor. These terrific books explain how focusing on and serving the VIPs in your life brings tremendous rewards that go far beyond business.

6. Self discipline and motivation. Top producers don’t ask their managers what to do next, who to call or where to start. They rely on their systems for that and use their own sense of discipline to follow through. They motivate themselves by tapping into the sources and mindsets they need to greet each morning, each customer, each appointment, each obstacle and each opportunity. They see greatness when others see weakness. They realize potential where others see waste.

7. Expansive thinking. Top professionals don’t think in terms of “limits” or use the word “can’t” very much. They are broad-spectrum, can-do people. They look at what could be and make it reality. They turn negative thoughts and doubt away at the door by taking action and moving past the moment.

Mike Ferry said it well, “When you think big, think bigger, then think bigger than that. If I had it to do all over again, I would think bigger.” Now that’s a strong statement from a legend in this business. Open your mind, knock down the walls and think big-then think BIGGER!

8. Don’t go it alone. Very few successful people are “self made;” most had a lot of help along the way. They recognize the value of having the right people in their lives-not only to help them realize their goals, but also to keep them playing at the level of success and balance that they desire.

They are, in many cases, both mentors and protégés. They seek guidance and coaching in the areas that matter: family, relationships, business, education and spirituality. They keep family and friends close for strength and support. Success is far more fun, meaningful and exponential when it’s shared.

What could you accomplish this week if you embraced or improved on just one of these characteristics? What would it mean to your family, yourself and to the possibilities that lie before you? What if you didn’t stop there and-step-by-step and day-by-day-made all of these traits your own?

How quickly or effectively you weave these traits into your life and career is up to you. It all begins with the desire to do more, be more and achieve more than ever before. I challenge you to start today.

ProspectsPLUS! can enhance your team’s vision, purpose and productivity through foundation-building skills, winning mindsets and proven tools for ANY market. Be sure to bookmark our featured specials page for budget-saving offers. Contact our inside marketing team today at 1.866.405.3638 to learn how they can best help you grow your business and become the kind of top producer you’ve always wanted to be. 


Get Your Game On! Man drawing a game strategy

By Julie Escobar

Hitting the fall market with all you have and playing to win for the long game means starting early for savvy real estate professionals.  While much of your competition will work hard this month and some of October, many will then fall into cruise control, as the holidays begin to approach. Not you! You’re in it to win it – and here are six strategies you can implement to stay top-of-mind and ahead of the curve through the end of the year — without burnout or breaking the budget.

1. Prospect, Promote and Prosper.  In changing markets, many agents stop advertising, re-direct their marketing dollars to the year ahead and put their prospecting in park until after the holidays.  Stay forward of the competition by continuing to market yourself with creative, consistent, targeted marketing.

2. Spread the Holiday Cheer.  Start now planning out the rest of your year.  Take your top 50+ clients and make it a point to not only send holiday cards each month from now through January, but also calendar time to reach out to your client base with face-to-face visits.  What may seem like a lot of time, can really be broken down into 10 or so contacts per week.  Would that be worth a sale or two?  Sure it would.  Make the calls.  Shake hands, bring a card and thank these very important people for their contribution to your career.  For those really special clients, bring along a treat for their family table and you’ll find yourself more than their REALTOR® you become a friend.   

3. Clean Out Your Client Base.  Most agents wait until January to truly wade through their client base.  Getting an early start means momentum as you head into the New Year when most are still putting away party hats and streamers.  If you don’t currently have a means of tracking your clients, click here to check out our free BusinessBASE™ client management system.  Getting to know your prospects, their families, their needs and their personalities will help you build long term, solid relationships that bring you current listings and sales as well as referrals that will build your book of business throughout your career.  Ditch the people that you DON’T want to work with, clean out old addresses (both email and snail mail), and update phone records now so that you’ve got a clean start for the first of the year. 

4. Live and Learn.  What a tremendous time to be a professional salesperson.  Never before in history has education, skill-building and growth as an agent or as a person been more simple or accessible.  How fortunate we are to have internet, 24/7 that allows us to tap in, download, read, discuss and explore ways to improve our life skills personally and professionally.  Maybe gift YOURSELF (and in turn your career and financial security) with some skill building courses, great business books and valuable audio downloads this season to help you fine tune your mad skills before the new year rolls in. 

5. Implement Systems for Success.  New agents run on adrenaline, nerve and sheer exhaustive energy.  Experience gives us the insight to set systems in place to plan now for a successful year ahead.  Calendar your direct marketing for the months to come, implement your BusinessBASE™ to insure ongoing, automated contact with your clients, and employ creative campaigns throughout the year that will differentiate you from your competition.  In a shifting market, systems simplify your life, keep you on track and maximize your market share through consistent, results producing planning. They allow you to focus on the revenue based activities that are your strength, prospecting, presenting and closing without expending energy on deciding each day, each week what your course of action should be.

When you are putting your business plan in place for the new year – choose to focus on your core – the customers and clients that know you, like you and trust you – and expand on that core as you move through the year.  Social media not your thing?  Delegate it.  Direct mail too hard to create?  Use ready-to-go and done-for-you solutions to consistently reach your sphere every month such as postcard campaigns and monthly newsletters.   Just Listed & Just Sold marketing too much to task yourself with?  Automate it with MLSmailings and not have to worry about it!  Paperwork getting the best of you?  Hire a Virtual Assistant.  There are some amazing ones out there that are affordable and talented and allow you to focus on what you do best! Next – make it a point to ADD to your core each month.  Can you add 10 new prospects per week to your list?  Absolutely.  Might it be worth an extra deal or three (or more) throughout the year?  DEFINITELY.  

6. Fall in Love With What You Do.  The secret of success is historically based in finding your niche and enjoying every minute of it.  Whatever your passion, whatever demographic of the industry lights your fire, run with it, own it and allow it to empower your prospecting with determination and enthusiasm.  This season, take stock in the incredible opportunity you have to set your own pace, create your own calendar and charter your own course for financial freedom.

Inevitably, there will be down time as the holidays roll in. You’ll have days strung together to re-charge, re-connect and realize your strength as you approach the fourth quarter and the year ahead.  Make it magical.  Take this time to set your sights on new goals, family dreams and incredible new opportunities.  Whether it is a much needed vacation, new family car or boat, include your family’s goals when creating your budget and marketing plan, so they not only know why you are negotiating into the evening and weekends, they support you.  Your goals are their goals.  Their goals are yours.

Balancing success, life and market twists and turns takes practice to be sure.  With the right systems, tools and training, you can and will find your stride.  We’re here if you need us!

For more ideas on how you can continuously impact your market area, visit our website at www.prospectsplus.com and our Master Marketing Schedule page which allows you to drop our action item tips right into your Google, Apple, or Outlook calendars!  If you have questions or need help putting together some systems for your plan – call us at 866.405.3638.  Our marketing team is awesome about helping you find the right solutions for you. 

And while you’re online…please take a moment to like our page on Facebook.  We’re always sharing new ideas, strategies and dialogues with industry experts and terrific real estate professionals just like you!  Click here to see our page!

“We want to price it at the top of the market to get the most money from our Most Common Mistakes Sellers Makehome…”

By Julie Escobar

You’ve never heard that before right?  Unreasonable sellers?  High expectations?  Zero grasp of the market?

I know, I feel your pain.  And since we are smack dab in the middle of a buyer’s market– I thought I’d share a couple of my favorite dialogues and strategies for pricing listings right in ANY market.

So when you’re faced with this particular objection – try this is a slight variation of a piece called our Price Pyramid and it’s designed to illustrate the importance of pricing the property at or below market value.

With this visual, it’s as simple as walking the seller through each tier of the pyramid, and then reviewing the most common mistakes sellers make in terms of price.  For example:

“I understand how you feel, Mr. & Mrs. Seller.  In fact, that’s something we hear quite a bit.  What I’d like to share with you however is just that same decision has cost others tremendously and I would hate for that to happen to you. 

What I’d like to show you is what we call the Price Pyramid so that you can better get a feel for how the price you choose now can positively or negatively impact the amount of money you’ll get from your investment. 

Let me explain. 

As you can see, when you price your home at the top of the market, you eliminate many prospective buyers – they are simply unwilling to look at property they deem overpriced. 

The same is true for other agents—they have an obligation to their buyers to find them the best home for the best price.  So you can see that by pricing your home at the top – you limit yourself to just 10% of the potential market. 

Now, when you price your home halfway between the market price and the investor price, you will attract the highest percentage of retail buyers – this is the most favorable range. 

Of course, if you want to sell your home in the shortest possible period of time, you’ll want to price your home below the halfway mark between market price and investor price.

This expands your buyer prospects considerably, giving you both retail buyers and investors bidding for your property.”

I would also go ahead and walk them through the five most common mistakes that you see on the bottom of the piece. 

In fact, many of our clients include this piece right in their pre-listing package.  It helps overcome the objection before you ever even sit down to the listing table.  Try it! 

————

The Dilemma Technique (Lie or Level?):  Another one of my favorite Dilemma Techniquedialogues is from National Speaker’s Association Hall of Famer Floyd Wickman. Use this when working with sellers who are already itching to price it high: 

“From what I’ve shown you of the comparables for your home, if we can agree on price, would you let me go ahead and list the house today?  Before you answer though, I have to tell you that I have a dilemma that I’d like to chat with you about. 

Remember how I did the research on what other properties have sold for in this area?  And the reason I did that was so that we could use those comparables to determine the best price for your house?

Well, see that’s where I hit a snag.  Do you remember when you told me on the phone that you thought the house was worth $200,000? 

Well, my dilemma is that when I ran all those numbers, I couldn’t come anywhere near that price in terms of comparables. 

And you know, that’s not even my biggest problem. 

I guess my real dilemma is, knowing what I know about the price your home will sell for – is that I’m faced with a tough choice – do you want me to lie to you or level with you?  You see, rather than just tell you what you’d rather hear like some agents would — I’d rather turn you down now than let you down later.  So what do you think I should do?  Lie or level?”

**Have the comparables handy and show them the facts and figures

——–

More than 90% of home buyers and sellers start their search for an agent online.  The more information you can give them, the more knowledgeable and professional you appear – the better your chances of getting their attention.

People love to get free information – and you need to develop you email database – so free downloads are a great way to help you do just that!  Have your web person create a download link which requires a name and email address to download the file with an automated thank you message which either allows them to download directly or sends an email with the file.

That allows you to accomplish two things – provide valuable information which makes you look like a hero to the consumer and you get a chance to add an email address to your opt-in database!  Talk about your win-win!

Learn more pricing techniques, get more visuals and dialogues from seasoned pros at www.prospectsplus.com/21Ways today!  Have fun – and get those price reductions!