Saturday, May 27, 2017

Real Estate Marketing Success

3 Strategies for Success

by Julie Escobar

What separates top producers from their less-successful counterparts in this and every market is their ability to work on their business while working in their business. 

What’s the difference? For most, it begins with the right mindset. Real estate sales is not just a job; it is a career and a business that requires planning, careful thought, organization and systems that create and maintain balance, accountability and forward momentum.  To achieve success and keep it, be sure that you are putting ALL the systems in place that you can to ensure a great year from start to finish and keep you from feeling like you’re on that dreaded commission roller coaster. Remember, the 3-7-27 law of branding — consistency is key. It takes 3 contacts for someone to remember your name, 7 to put your name with your business and 27 to become a brand name. Where to start?

Step 1: Have a plan. Part of working ON your business is to create a written plan. You likely fall into one of three categories:

  1. You’re brand new and more than a little overwhelmed at where to start.
  2. You’re an early adapter to the concept of effective planning and are enjoying a stable, productive career despite market peaks and valleys.
  3. You’ve been at this for a while now and, while still in business, you do not have a formal plan to create sustainable, repeatable success and stability. You find yourself working 12-hour days with high stress and little certainty as to where your next deal will come from.

Planning is critical to realizing your goals, generating consistent income and creating an exit plan that ensures you have a valuable “book of business” that you can sell when you are ready to retire. Your plan should:

  • be written out and clearly defined
  • have a realistic and comprehensive budget
  • be based not only on your goals, but also on your family’s goals (very important to maintaining the support system necessary during long days or tough weeks!)
  • outline the number of transactions you will need to reach those goals based on commission dollars, list-to-close ratio and fall-through rate
  • outline the number of contacts, appointments scheduled and appointments attended you will need to realize your transaction goal
  • break your numbers down into daily, weekly and monthly activities so that you ALWAYS know where you are in relation to your goal

Be sure to share your plan with a manager, mentor, coach and/or partner so that you can set up a system of accountability.

Step 2: Employ smart marketing. In today’s competitive arena, effectively marketing yourself, your listings and your business requires both consistency and laser focus.

Consistency. Countless agents send single marketing pieces to blanket areas of several thousand consumers, with no intention of following up. Many others take the “holiday” approach to staying in touch by sending an annual holiday card in the hopes that they are remembered. Both of these approaches are a waste of time, energy and valuable marketing dollars.

Truth is, you should be in contact with your sphere of influence at least every 30-45 days. Using the popular listing-inventorysend-call-see approach (part of our free BusinessBASETM), you can easily set up a system for contacting your VIPs each month. Send a postcard, letter, newsletter, flyer, novelty or note one month.  Many of our customers find the Listing Inventory Series, Content Cards, and Market Dominator among their favorites. You can find out what the latest tools are and get budget saving promo codes for your marketing on our Specials Page.

Next, call with a friendly event reminder, helpful hint, or just to say hello the following month. During the third month, arrange to see them via a networking event, social
gathering or quick in-person visit (with notice, of course) where you drop off a small token, informational item or card. Then start the “rotation” over again. Such consistency creates vital ‘top-of-mind’ awareness that often becomes “the key to the kingdom” when growing your referral base and creating a md-decreliable income.

If you’re not sure where to start, our popular Master Marketing Schedule shares monthly Action Items that agents tell us help them stay consistently on track.

Laser focus. I’ve written before about the power of target marketing in today’s sales arena. Gone are the days when agents could afford to take a “shotgun” approach-casting a wide net in the hopes of “catching a few” wastes precious resources on prospects that couldn’t, wouldn’t or shouldn’t do business with you for any number of reasons.

Response rates increase dramatically when you speak directly to the needs and interests of a particular group. Wise agents seek out demographics and/or geographics that they relate to or have a history of success with. The more comfortable you become speaking to a particular group or segment, the more you become recognized or thought of as a specialist in that field.

mailing list

So discover the wonderful world of data mining; your watch and your wallet will thank you for it! Here are just a few examples:

  • First-time homeowners. Try MapMyMail to quickly data mine for local renters. Send a postcard or letter that explains the advantages of home ownership as well as the possible monthly savings and ability to build equity!
  • Builders. Offer to help builders eliminate their #1 worry: standing inventory. Create a list of every builder in your area, then send a flyer or brochure explaining how you can data mine for the perfect customers to purchase their homes!lifestyle
  • Find a new niche.  With our Lifestyle Interest data, you can reach consumers who are just the demographic you want to work with. Think Golfers, Boaters, Fitness Lovers and more.
  • FSBOs. There are many effective search products for this demographic. Fear leads many agents to steer clear of FSBOs, which eliminates at least a portion of your competition. Because you know that they are (or at least were) motivated to sell, you can pull out the stops, give them the tools they need to sell, and use your best skills to price it right for your particular market.
  • Investors.  Find high income earners that would be great potential investors.real estate fsbo marketing postcards
  • A New Geographic Farm.  Find an area in your market that is beginning to see turnover, but doesn’t currently have another agent with more than a 10% market share.  Start connecting month after month using the Neighborhood Update/Free Offer series to present yourself effectively as the turn-to agent in your market.

Step 3: Put systems in place. Without systems, you’re like a hamster on the wheel-spinning without really getting anywhere. Systems are the only way to establish and maintain the delegation, automation and streamlining necessary to continuously work ON your business. Systems allow you to:

  • manage your time effectively
  • create a consistent standard of service
  • assure clients that their needs are being met by a “team”
  • provide checks and balances for fine tuning your business
  • promote efficiency and accuracy
  •  reduce training time when bringing on new team members

What systems should you have in place?

SEND-CALL-SEE.  Be the resource they need and want in a time where consumers have LOTS of questions regarding the value of their property, their buying power, investment opportunities, and what’s happening in their market.  You’re not bothering people – you’re providing a SERVICE.

What can you SEND?

What can you SAY when you CALL?

  • Hi.  I have buyers, the Smiths (insert real names!), that are looking for a home in the _____________ neighborhood, and I wanted to know if you’ve ever thought about selling your home or know someone who is so I can help this nice family find what they are looking for?
  • Hi!  Just checking in on you! We’ve got a lot of activity in our market, and I thought you might have some questions—do you?
  • Is there anything I can do to help you?
  • I’m expanding my business and I could use your help…
  • Have you thought about selling your house now or in the near future?
  • Have you been receiving my information?  Any questions?

What do you do when you SEE them? 

  • Create opportunities for appointments
  • Take someone to lunch
  • Attend a neighborhood block party
  • Organize a charity drive in the community
  • Sponsor a free workshop and invite everyone to attend
  • Get out there and be visible in the community you’re servicing
  • Walk your farm and start making friends

Working ON your business requires dedication and a commitment to the activities that earn you top dollar and allow you to “feed” the career you’re building. Never lose sight of the fact that prospecting, presenting and closing should always be at the top of your list.

Visit http://www.prospectsplus.com/ to get your FREE copy of our BusinessBASETM (Plus learn the 250 people who should be in your SOI), and be sure to bookmark our Master Marketing ScheduleTM .

Need help?  Contact our team today at 866.405.3638. 

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!  

 

“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! 

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.

fw it's what you do

Sage Words from Industry Expert Floyd Wickman

By Julie Escobar

I watched a video yesterday from Floyd where he shared some of his timeless truths about succeeding in real estate. What’s amazing is that, even in our swiftly evolving industry — the same message would have been on point twenty years ago and will no doubt be just as timely twenty years from now. 

That message? Activity equals results. 

Want to achieve more?  Make more?  Rise to the top of your field?  Your company?  Your market?  Increase your ACTIVITY.  Or as Floyd likes to say, “It’s What You Do When You Don’t Have to That Will Determine What You’ll Be When You Can No Longer Help It.”

Isn’t that the truth?  Sometimes as salespeople – well and as people – we make things way more difficult than they need to be.  A really simple formula for success in real estate is to map out your time and commit to the activity that generates appointments.  SEND.  CALL.  SEE.  Get a list together.  Build your database of sphere of influence members.  Family.  Friends.  Colleagues.  Acquaintances.  People you do business with.  Neighbors. Start there and stay in touch. Send them something month after month after month.  Next get a geographic list of everyone in the market area you want to brand yourself in and do the same thing for them.

And here’s where the magic happens – don’t just SEND stuff.  Call them.  Connect.  Reach out.  Ask the question, “Do you have any questions?”  Be the resource they need and want in a time where consumers have LOTS of questions regarding the value of their property, their buying power, investment opportunities, and what’s happening in their market.  You’re not bothering people – you’re providing a SERVICE.  “HOLD THAT THOUGHT,” Floyd would say.

What can you SEND?

What can you SAY when you CALL?

  • Hi!  Just checking in on you! We’ve got a lot of activity in our market, and I thought you might have some questions—do you?
  • Is there anything I can do to help you?
  • I’m expanding my business and I could use your help…
  • Have you thought about selling your house now or in the near future?
  • Have you been receiving my information?  Any questions

What do you do when you SEE them? 

  • Create opportunities for appointments
  • Take someone to lunch
  • Attend a neighborhood block party
  • Organize a charity drive in the community
  • Sponsor a free workshop and invite everyone to attend
  • Get out there and be visible in the community you’re servicing
  • Walk your farm and start making friends

Where can you get a geographic list? 

We’ve got you covered there!  Call our office at 866.405.3638 and we can walk you through how to order one specific to your needs.

When should you start?

Again, as Floyd would say, “Well, when do you want to start getting results?  Does today work?”

Watch Floyd’s video that sparked the conversation and have a fantastic (and ACTIVITY-DRIVEN) day! 

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uX67mrhl8jE]
 Need help automating that activity and firing up your production?  Call our team at 866.405.3638 or visit us at www.postcardsplus.com today.  Want to learn  more mad skills and training techniques from Floyd? Visit his site at: https://floydwickman.com/ and tell them Julie sent you!  Have a great one!