How to Take Your Results to the Next Level
By Julie Escobar
Sphere, farm, niche – it’s the real estate agent’s version of lather, rinse, repeat. Success in this business requires staying in touch, staying positioned and staying top of mind in all three areas. When agents ask me where to start, my first answer is always “the sphere” (i.e., your sphere of influence or book of business).
Now if I had a dollar for every agent who said “no” when asked if he/she had ever taken the time to put his/her sphere (people who know you, like you, trust you and would do business with you) into a database, I could buy a very large piece of property – like an island or something! So don’t let yourself fall into THAT category!
Savvy agents understand that their best customers are the ones they’ve consistently built and nurtured relationships with. Who should be in your sphere? Family, friends, neighbors, colleagues, past clients and all of the other people whose lives you touch and touch yours back.
Sphere. For a list of 250 people who SHOULD be in your book of business, download a pdf of our BusinessBASETM at no cost today. Then make THIS the week you turn YOUR sphere into a working, viable, referral-generating database. Need help inputting the data? College students with bills to pay are perfect for that kind of task, or you can hire a virtual assistant. Your highest and best use of time is prospecting, presenting and closing, so gather up the data, and delegate to make it happen.
Four Great Marketing Pieces for Your Sphere
Recipe cards – many agents swear by these as customer “keepers.”
Content cards – content-rich, consumer-friendly postcards filled to the brim with valuable information that people love.
Newsletters – powerful tools perfect for connecting with your sphere.
Pick an area – but not just ANY area. Coach Todd Robertson’s how-to advice? “Even if you find a geographic farm that works location-wise with commission-friendly price ranges, you still need to be mindful of two other factors: turnover rate and competition.
“Ideally, we want to help position you to secure a 20% market share in a geo farm. If you start in a farm where another agent already has that or more, you’re going to work much harder and have to be at it longer to get the results you’re seeking. An area where no agent has more than 10% market share is preferable; an area where a previously aggressive agent has slowed or stopped marketing is another good choice.
“In terms of turnover rate, ideally you want one that’s at least 10% to 15%. You can easily determine the turnover rate by dividing the number of homes in the farm by the number of homes that have sold.”
That’s a great starting point. So take a snapshot of your market area, look at the neighborhoods close to you that fit the criteria, and then use our MapMyMailSM system to easily capture mailing lists from those areas. You can choose a radial search by address, or zip code. You can further define your mailing area by using the points on the map to define your target area.
Talk to your broker, look at your options, and then map out your marketing list! Once you have that, remember to stay in touch with these folks – CONSISTENTLY – month after month.
Neighborhood Update/Free Offer Series – People want two things: to know the agent they work with can get results and to be confident that they have the resources they need. These cards present you as the agent with both!
Listing Inventory Series – These postcards speak to the mindset of potential sellers with the right questions and direct response offers.
The Market Dominator – For agents who are serious about dominating a geographic farm and earning a 20% market share, this powerful direct response piece demands attention with its 12 x 15 size. It also takes advantage of Every Door Direct Mail, so the cost is even more affordable.
Now we’re getting fancy! Top agents don’t stop at marketing to their sphere and farm. They specialize in a demographic that resonates with them. To help them do that – we’re taking data-mining to the next level, by suggesting several different means of searching data. Our Geographic search on MapMyMailSM , a Demographic search on MapMyMailSM, Nielsen’s PRIZM Code data, and outside real estate data companies such as REDX, LANDVOICE, and your own MLS.
Let’s break down some marketing “recipes” that can help you achieve the results you want:
Mailing List Options
One of the biggest stumbling blocks for agents is finding the right list for their marketing. With our system, you can geographically search over 128 million deliverable records from Tax Assessor data (MapMyMail) or search demographically over 200 million consumer records in just minutes at unbelievably affordable rates. Unlike some list services which ‘rent’ lists – these lists are yours to keep, and remarket to as often as you like. Here are some of the most popular lists agents pull from our system – and the marketing tools that correspond to them:
Investors: Use Demographic search option, then click on custom, then choose records with a household income of $150,000 or higher. You also can look for REI or REIA websites to learn more about real estate investors. Use our Investor Series postcards to reach out to these lists each month.
First-Time Homebuyers: Use the Demographic search option to find local renters. Offer a variety of free reports such as How to Save for a Down Payment or Top Ten Checklist for Choosing an Agent. Send our First-Time Homebuyer/Renter Series of postcards monthly, with a fair trade offer to connect.
Property Management: Use the MapMyMailSM system to find non-owner occupants in resort areas or second home markets. Plug in the area you are looking for, then click on the Homeowner option, and change it from just homeowners to Homeowners and Non-Owner Occupants. Use our Free Report: Fives Signs It’s Time to Hire a Property Manager as a fair trade item, and use our Property Management Series of postcards to reach out this list.
Seniors: Use the Demographic search option to find Baby Boomers and older. You can also use the custom search and choose the age selects and income selects of your choice. Send our Senior Series of postcards to these fine folks!
Specialty Data Selects Using Nielsen’s PRIZM Codes
As leaders in the real estate marketing space, we’re excited to offer these creative data segments to our valued customers to help make their marketing easier – and more effective. What is PRIZM segmentation? According to Nielsen, “Segmentation links your customer data with household-level and neighborhood-level demographics, syndicated survey and primary research data to reveal exactly what types of consumers are currently using your products or services. Any customer files, lists or survey data with complete addresses or at least a ZIP code can be coded with Nielsen’s segmentation systems. This allows you to identify your best prospect segments with the greatest efficiency for effective marketing strategies that align with marketplace demands.”
Smart, right? So what does that mean to YOU as a real estate professional? It means that marketing just got more interesting. Here are some top PRIZM segments for today’s real estate professionals:
Investors: Choose from the PRIZM Codes found in our Mailing List option. Click on Nielsen’s PRIZM code search, then select Upper Crust, Big Fish, Small Pond, Cosmopolitans. Send our Investor Series to these folks!
Move Up Market: Choose from the PRIZM Codes found in our Mailing List option. Click on Nielsen’s PRIZM code search, then select Upward Bound, Fast Track Families, Country Squires, and Cul de Sacs. Send our Move Up Market Series to this group. You may want to use our Free Report: Six Move Up Market Mistakes Home Buyers Make as a fair trade item for this group.
Seniors: If you want a little more advanced data, choose from the PRIZM Codes found in our Mailing List option. Click on Nielsen’s PRIZM code search, then select Upper Crust, Money & Brains, Gray Power, New Empty Nests – and send the senior-centric postcards from our Life Events series such as Too Much House to this group.
Luxury Property Market: Look for the higher-end income contacts in your market by choosing from the Mailing List Options and Nielsen’s PRIZM Codes and select Pools & Patios, Fast Track Families, Beltway Boomers, Home Sweet Home, White Picket Fences, American Dreams. Send the Listing Inventory Series to these folks.
Young Affluent Families: Choose from the PRIZM Codes found in our Mailing List system then PRIZM codes and select Winner’s Circle, Blue Blood Estates, Upward Bound, White Picket Fences, Blue-Chip Blues, New Homesteaders and send our Local Market Series of postcards to these folks to get their attention.
Outside Data Source Options
FSBOs and Expireds have long been a tried and true means of generating listing inventory. The two companies below have established a great name for themselves in our industry to deliver the data for these segments in a timely, affordable way. Give them a try!
FSBOs & Expireds: Great services such as LANDVOICE or REDX offer data for FSBOs & Expireds in market areas all across North America. Use our 7 Series for FSBOs or Expireds – send 3 to 7 postcards in rapid succession (every 3 to 5 days) as soon as you see a new prospect for these demographics, offer a free report such as 5 Factors That Cause a Property Not to Sell, and follow up with a direct response offer after you’ve sent the postcards. Offer to perform a Merchandising Review to ensure the home sells for the best price possible in the fastest time possible. For all three marketing avenues – your sphere, your farm and your niche – connect every 28 to 45 days to ensure you maintain top-of-mind awareness. Armed with your database and marketing materials – and a reminder system to FOLLOW UP with the people in each – you will quickly gain a competitive edge that allows you to develop and maintain a long and prosperous career. Ready, set, GO!
For all market segments, remember to that the key to all marketing is consistency. Many agents build databases of all kinds of lists – and then they sit dormant in their computer never to be used again. Don’t let that be YOU! Your lists are the lifeblood of your business. Take some time today to map out the next six months – and decide which segments you’ll market to, and what campaign you’ll use. Then send no less than three postcards, with diligent follow up after the second and third. Remember: Most agents stop at two touches, and most transactions happen after five. It actually takes 27 contacts to properly brand yourself with your target market! Layer your marketing with community involvement, social media, phone calls, walking your farm and email. The key to any successful marketing effort is staying top of mind.
We’ll continue to create powerful content that speaks to all of the top demographic searches as well as new specialty data selects and share them as they are developed. Be sure to always keep our Specials Page bookmarked so that you can see what leading agents are using each month and take advantage of our budget-saving promo codes.
Need help? Contact our team today at 866.405.3638. Our goal is to help you always have the right marketing for the right people at the right time. From developing the right lists, helping you choose the right niche, and staying consistently top-of-mind – we’re committed to being the resource for all your marketing needs.