Wednesday, April 26, 2017

(It’s More Than Just Money!)what you lose by not staying in touch

By Julie Escobar

We frequently share the BENEFITS of building and maintaining a salable book of business or sphere-of-influence such as knowing where your next commission is going to come from, developing long-term friendships and relationships, solid referrals you can count on, etc.  What we don’t usually talk about is the flip side of that coin.  What is it COSTING you when you DON’T stay in touch and follow up with your sphere or farm?

What if ONE prospective seller or buyer fails to call you when they are ready to sell or buy because they ‘forgot’ you were in real estate since you didn’t stay top of mind?  Because you didn’t follow up when you said you would?  Because you stayed in stealth mode, waiting for the phone to ring?  Because you didn’t create a database to manage your lists, so they simply slipped through the lack of system?

We know that on average, top agents get more 66% of their business (or more) from their sphere.  (People who know you, like you, trust you, and you’re top of mind with.)  We also know that 1 in 12 will deliver a transaction or referral per year on average.  So let’s run SIMPLE numbers using our SOI calculator

If I wanted to make $200,000 per year in real estate and my average commission was $6,000 that would mean I would need AT LEAST 33 transactions in a year (plus whatever your fall-through rate is) to reach that goal.  If 66% of that is coming from my sphere – that means I can count on 22 of those transactions coming from the people I am staying in touch with. If 1 in 12 are sending me that business, then I’ll need at least 264 in my sphere to hit the numbers.

The reverse of that is this…22 commissions LOST. That’s $132,000.  But it’s even more than that-right?  Because let’s face it, if good news travels fast, bad news travels faster-doesn’t it? So, for every broken promise, lack of follow up, or poor customer experience you provide, that can mean a loss of not just a customer, but every referral they might send your way.  Add social media in the mix, “don’t use Agent X because they don’t follow through” – and you’ve got a slippery slope that’s tough to recover from.

  1. Commission loss per seller or buyer? _____________ (Average commission)
  2. Loss of referral?  ______________ (Average commission x let’s just say 2 referrals)
  3. Loss of re-list and future sale? _____________ (Average commission x average homeowner moves – lists, sells, and buys new – every 9 years)
  4. Loss of marketing dollars spent on those sellers and buyers not recaptured? ________________

Lastly, loss of reputation as a turn-to, stand-up, get-the-job-done agent.  That’s really too much to calculate, isn’t it? And that’s not YOU anyway!  You’re the stand-up agent-right?  Besides, staying top-of-mind is an easy, and affordable investment.  Remember that SEND-CALL-SEE + NETWORK approach I’ve shared in the past.

Start with how many you need in your sphere by heading over to our Sphere of Influence Calculator.  

SEND – let’s take our example from above – if I needed to stay in touch with my sphere of 264 customers listing-inventoryevery 30 days to stay visible, (and help earn that $132,000) – and I wanted to send a standard sized postcard first class, that would be 62¢ per card  or $163.68 per month.  Or you could choose jumbo cards, or newsletters, our Dominator, or even handwritten cards – or better still a combination of all of the above. See what your budget allows and start somewhere, but be consistent every 30-45 days.

CALL – you should call your customers every three months.  If you break down that 264 number over 12 weeks — that means you just have to call 22 per week to reach everyone.  Easy FEB-Dominator-FRONT-Largepeasy!

SEE – you should see your customers at least two times a year.  Many agents host open houses, holiday events, or even neighborhood block parties (with sponsors for each) which gives them a chance to see many customers at once.  Take that top 20% of your list – the ones who consistently send you business – and be sure to spend some one on one time with them.  Take them to lunch.  Drop by a gift. Deliver tickets to the movies for their family.  Our Master Marketing Schedule has some terrific ways to creatively connect each month.

NETWORK – In today’s hyper-connected world, networking has to be part of the equation. From social media to joining local groups, to developing a mastermind of like-minded people to share with — networking is a key source of knowledge AND referral business.

Don’t lose any more dollars, branding, or reputation to lack of connectivity.  You are your business.  The connection you have with each and every one in your sphere will determine whether they stay a client (and a referral source) or whether you take a loss.

Need help? Contact our team at 866.405.3638 today.

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.  As we head into the new year – 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.

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. 

Miss the January Webinar — 4 Ways to Hit Any Goal You Set?

We’ve Got it On-Demand!

A big shout out to Todd Robertson for sharing some strong goal setting strategies as well as fielding questions on how to dominate in a geographic farm area.  Awesome questions from the audience as well. Thank you to all who joined us.  We truly  hope it makes a difference in how you approach your goals this year!  Go knock it out of the park!

Meanwhile – if you need a refresher or you missed it – please feel free to watch it in entirety below: 

Need help? Contact our marketing team at 866.405.3638. They’re ready to help with all your marketing needs.  Interested in learning more about the Market Dominator?  Contact Todd Robertson today via call or text at 702-683-1967 . 

Exploring the Connection:  One-on-One with Matthew Ferrymatthew ferry
By Julie Escobar

It seems people all over the world are trying to unlock the secrets to a better life, better career, and more happiness.  What do the really successful people have that others don’t?  Why do they seem to effortlessly “attract” all that they need and want?  Why do they rise to the top and stay there, and more importantly, how can the rest of us capture that same lightning in a bottle and use it to propel our own lives and careers?  To gain a little insight on the topic, I sat down with mindset expert and talented speaker Matthew Ferry.  Below is an excerpt from that interview:

Julie Escobar:  Hi Matthew, thanks for taking the time to be a part of this!  I knew that when it came to exploring the connection between finding the right niche — that magic that comes from doing what you love and working with people you like —  and what we know and don’t know about the law of attraction, you were just the guy to turn to for “enlightenment!”

Matthew Ferry:  Thanks Julie! I think there most definitely is a connection.  While niche marketing and the Law of Attraction are distinctly different – they are related.

First, I don’t think the law of attraction is the kind of thing you should focus on. That would be a little like studying gravity when learning to hang glide—right?  While gravity plays a part, it’s certainly not the big picture!  Let’s look at the bigger picture of how top producers in this business actually tap into that powerful combination of “laws” that I refer to as the “Laws of Momentum.”

The Law of Attraction:  In its most simple format, the law of attraction boils down to “like attracts like,” or in other words, “what you put into the world the most will come back to you.”  That said, to get the most from this law, you really need to begin by truly knowing what you want.  Fall in love with the idea of what you want, be thrilled by it and develop a deep connection to that future.

I’ll give you an example.  I have a client who did 1,996 transactions in a single year with just two assistants.  How?  He immersed himself in his passion.  Deeply tied to his immigrant roots he began working with lower Hispanic communities and those people who couldn’t afford to buy a home on their own.  He knew he wanted to help the people in these communities experience the American dream of homeownership.  His affinity for them and passion to help allowed him to make the right connections and unlock the possibilities to make home buying possible.  It grew to a point where he literally was taking seven listings a day!  With the combination of knowing what he wanted, feeling deeply rooted to that cause, and possessing the willingness to do for others, he created that kind of momentum.

Julie Escobar:  What a great example, Matthew.  You’re absolutely right to say that it starts with really knowing what you want.  I’ve seen so many agents and salespeople in all industries who try too hard to be “all things to all people,” and all they have to show for it at the end of the day, or the end of their careers, are a lot of man hours, frustration and limited success.  Life’s too short to dislike what you do or who you work with!  How much smarter and more effective it is to work with a group of people who share your interests, your passions and your vision.  It sure makes work less like work, and goes a very long way towards building and maintaining long term relationships.

Matthew Ferry:  Absolutely, but the law of attraction doesn’t work alone!  Next, let’s consider: The Law of Reciprocity:   This law follows the “golden rule.” In other words, whatever you do will be returned back to you.  So if you help other people be successful, you’ll be successful.  If you show kindness, you’ll receive kindness.  If you champion the cause of another, they will, in turn, champion the cause for you.

This law is amplified when you are grateful, thankful, appreciative, and service-oriented.  Take a look at the people who are succeeding rapidly – those salespeople who make seven, ten and twelve million.  Note that they have advocates, supporters, believers and followers.  It’s not by accident; it is because they, too, are advocates, supporters, believers and followers.  They are champions for their customers and work selflessly for them.  The success they appreciate in return is simply a “bonus.”

Julie Escobar:  That reminds me of Zig Ziglar’s quote, “You’ll get everything in life that you want if you help enough other people get what they want.” They are certainly words to live – and work by. What’s next?

Matthew Ferry:  The last law most people are already familiar with, which is The Law of Averages:  It states the more you put in, the more you get out.  It’s really that simple.

All in all, it really does boil down to: success comes to people who are absolutely clear about what they want and really love it.  They have a great affinity for their niche and a desire to serve and this ignites the law of attraction in their favor and takes away any resistance to success.

Next, using the law of reciprocity they focus on what they want, but more importantly, they focus on helping everyone else get it.  Without an agenda, they selflessly want more for the people they work with.  They are advocates and supporters, and in return, they find that others become advocates and supporters for them.

And lastly, they work hard.  They are excited about working with as many people as they can because they are having so much fun.  The more fun they have, the more time and energy they put in and the more people they work with, so the law of averages is hard at work for them as well!

Julie Escobar:  Thanks Matthew!  I know our readers will appreciate all of your wonderful insight and information.  You always have so much positive to share and I invite everyone to bookmark Matthew’s site to stay connected!  Download free audio training from Matthew online at www.matthewferry.com.

I would also like to invite all of our readers to join us online at www.prospectsplus.com.  There you can sign up for a free web account and tap into the many powerful marketing resources available to you for building your niche, managing your sphere of influence and growing your business!  If you would like to learn more contact me at 1.866.405.3641 or  email me at Julie.Escobar@prospectsplus.com.

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!