Tuesday, January 23, 2018

HolidayAgentGiving Yourself the Gift of Perspective for the New Year
By Julia Escobar, Corporate Marketing Director
An old axiom reminds us that perspective is everything. In today’s quickly changing market, it’s easy to get caught up in survival tactics. Keeping your wits, humor and focus in check will give you the gift of perspective as you face the new year.

Amidst the whirlwind of holiday parties, meal making and family gatherings, set aside a day or two just for you to build the framework for the year ahead. A head start on the new year will give you forward momentum, a system to follow and genuine peace of mind.

1. Develop Your Plan. With paper and pencil in hand, or fingers poised over your keyboard, put your plan in place. Having this map to follow and refer to throughout the year will keep you focused and productive.

First, know what you have to make and what you want to make, then develop your budget accordingly. Be sure to include your family’s goals in determining your number. Knowing that you are working hard for a new car, family vacation or college tuition goes a long way with your family when long hours are the norm. Now, ask yourself the
following questions:

  1. What is my required income?
  2. How many closings do I need to reach that goal?
  3. How many listings do I need for that number of closings?
  4. How many sales do I need to close?
  5. What % of my listings expire?
  6. What % of my contracts close?
  7. How many contacts are needed for an appointment?
  8. How many appointments are needed for a listing?
  9. How many people do I need to contact daily?

By calculating how much you need to make and tracking that number all the way down to daily activity, you can plot your course for the next 12 months. Make a simple graph you can fill in each day to measure your daily contacts, appointments scheduled, listings taken and closings. This visual will serve as a daily/weekly/monthly reminder of where you are in relation to your goals. Feeling ambitious? Take that calculation further and add your two-year and five-year goals.

2. Create Your Calendar. Taking the time now to calendar your activities for the coming year will create a balance for your personal and professional life. Scheduling family time, vacation time and personal time will help maintain your humor and sanity as you make your way through 2007. This way, if you know you need to make 20 contacts per day to reach your goals, you will be able to plan ahead for those days or weeks you plan to take for yourself instead of playing the stressful game of “catch up.”

As you plan out the next 12 months, include opportunities to learn new skill sets, timely techniques and market solutions that will help you stay forward of your competition. You may want to incorporate local, regional and national conventions or networking opportunities into
your calendar to ensure yourself of new opportunities and
educational experiences.

Consider automating portions of your marketing, using systems such as our MLSmailings.com. This system automatically sends out your Just Listed and Just Sold postcards by integrating with your local MLS provider. Whether you are at work or at play, your marketing is always working for you!

3. Create an Integrity Partnership. As an independent contractor, it is often too simple to give yourself “a day off.” In completing step one, you know how many days per week, per year you need to stay on task to realize your goals. A success strategy many top producers use is an integrity partnership–a mutual relationship with another agent whom you respect and admire. It’s a wonderful way to ensure that you both stay focused and productive.

Set aside time to meet with your integrity partner each week. You can share your goal graph and weekly activity; brainstorm new ideas, strategies and objection handling techniques; and bring each other the accountability factor needed to push forward each day. The benefits of this teamwork are far reaching. In addition to higher production, most find themselves with better time management, more balance in their lives and a consistent means of strengthening the skills and techniques necessary to becoming or maintaining status as a top producer.

4. Find a New Niche. Niche marketing is not new, but developing a new avenue for your personal business may be new to you. As you build your client base, expand your horizons to become the “go to” agent in your market area for whatever specialized target market suits you best. Perhaps you would like to help local renters realize their dreams of becoming first-time homeowners. You may want to develop a referral network among small-business owners in your area or work with investors in the luxury home market. Seniors, medical professionals, educators, accountants and builders are just a few of the targeted demographics that could benefit from your particular brand of spark and skill. Experiment this year by adding at least one new market group to your client base.

5. Break Time and Breathing Room. The only successful business plans are the ones we actually implement. All work and no play not only makes for a dull life, but also is counterproductive to our life goals. The mind, body and spirit need time to rejuvenate and refresh in order to meet the pace and expectations our careers require. Be sure to build break time and breathing room into your busy days. At least one day a week, several breaks during the year and scheduling your days to include personal and family time, not just business time, will make staying on track a simpler, more palatable process.

Ours is a constantly changing industry that can and will create stressful situations throughout the year. Put a plan in place to consistently learn new systems and stay on track for your goals, and couple that plan with the right perspective. This will allow you to take each new curve in stride as you keep pace with your career goals.

For more ideas on how you can continuously impact your market area, visit www.prospectsplus.com. Request our free Master Marketing Schedule to guide you through 24 months of strategic marketing campaigns. If you have questions or ideas that you would like to share, call Julie at 800.287.5710.

Stuffed Mushrooms

Good morning Bloggers!  This holiday season you’ll find us cooking up new recipes!  I truly enjoy getting to share some of those with our ProspectsPLUS! & PostcardsPLUS! customers in our monthly recipe cards!  I’ve included a couple here and will add new ones here when I can.  The Stuffed Mushroom Recipe is GREAT for holiday parties!

For those of you who strive to be the “Recipe REALTOR” — see the Press Release below — you can order recipe cards of your own by clicking on the card samples below! 

Bon Appetite!

ProspectsPLUS!, an innovator in personal marketing solutions for real estate professionals, has made their popular recipe card series available on PostcardsPLUS!.com. 

This simple web-to-print platform allows agents the ease and swiftness of ordering sphere-of-influence postcards such as the successful recipe series featuring delicious appetizers, main dishes and delectable desserts in just minutes.  “Our SupportPLUS! team works to bring new products and solutions to the table each month to enable our clients to creatively compete in today’s market,” says Jim Studebaker, operations director for the Florida-based firm. “What’s unique about our postcards is that they are fully laminated, which comes in handy when prospects use them while cooking.”

“I have been looking for a recipe of the month for the past few years,” said Linda Rodman of Shorewest Realtors in Milwaukee, WI. “I have a rather large farm area and have tried many different pieces and the one that worked the best was the recipe card. Your card is not only within my budget but has been very professionally designed and with both my picture and phone number on both sides. We have a small mentor group of six and we all use your program.”

The system also offers a variety of timely postcard themes such as holiday cards, Just Listed/Just Sold cards, recruiting cards and more.  Agents who want an annual marketing campaign can choose the popular Inspiration, Baby or Animal series as well.  Also available are Just Listed, Just Sold and corporately designed cards for every major franchise and most larger independents. 

At $45 per hundred for standard cards and $75 per hundred for jumbo cards (lamination and first-class postage included!), prospecting has never been easier or more cost effective.

“What sets this system apart is the ease of ordering,” says Director of Corporate Marketing Julie Escobar.  “Within five minutes, agents can place a personalized order with their photo, logo and contact information and upload or choose their mailing list. From there, we digitally print full-color postcards, address them, affix first-class postage and fully laminate each card. They are then packed up and sent to the post office, in most cases within 48 hours!  This series has been an exciting addition for all of customers who love being the RECIPE REALTOR in their market area!”

“Your products do just what you said they would do and more,” said Kitty Sessions of Long and Foster Real Estate. “They are very easy and quick and designed to allow REALTORS® to do what they do best: list and sell. We can just leave the advertising to the professionals! Your service department is patient and kind and gets us going so that we can get going! Thank you!”

ProspectsPLUS! and http://www.postcardsplus.com/ offer innovative solutions each month to help agents stay in touch with their sphere of influence. While others are dropping out or scaling back, savvy agents are making the most of the summer months to increase their market share and build their businesses. 

Changing Perspectives, Habits and Heroes for a Better 2008
By Julia Escobar, Director of Corporate Marketing

As we ready ourselves to ring in a new year, making a list and checking it twice should be more about learning from the path we’ve traveled over the past year than the jolly old elf’s “naughty or nice” list. What perspectives, habits and heroes have made their mark on who we are and where we’re going? That particular trip can be soothing or scary — depending on the road you’ve traveled — but either way, an important step in getting 2008 off to a great start. Let’s take a look at the past year, toss the old that isn’t working, and bring in the new that can make a positive impact on your career and life.

Keep perspective. Too often, our perspective on life, business, relationships and self-worth can become skewed by the forces around us. Have you ever had a day that was going along fine, even putting a spring in your step, and then — wham — you run into the “black cloud” in your office who wants to expound on the perils of being an entrepreneur, the bleak market decline, the sorry condition of life and what amounts to his or her version of Armageddon? Even people you are close to, friends you love dearly but somehow find themselves in a never-ending drama that you must help them “sort out,” can tap your energy, your productivity and your ability to look at the world with crystal-clear vision. Give yourself a real gift this holiday season by taking an honest look at the people and perspectives in your life.
1. Set boundaries for the energy-robbers and naysayers. Don’t let their experiences cloud yours, and stop tolerating their negative influence. Say no and mean it when you feel their grip on
your day.
2. Put the pains of the past in the past. Life is meant to be a forward journey, so keep moving in that direction. Decide what lessons you can take from old haunts or hurts, and let the rest go. We have no control over what happened before — only over what comes next.
3. Choose faith over fear. Many people allow fear of the future and the unknown — sometimes even fear of success — to lock them into a holding pattern that they are incapable of breaking through. Whatever comes your way, meet it with faith, humor and the knowledge that nothing is permanent. As Og Mandino reminded us in his inspirational Greatest Salesman in the World, “This too shall pass.” As human beings, we are allowed to make mistakes, even expected to on occasion. Don’t be afraid to step forward and try something new.

Honor your healthy habits.  Take a look at your habits over the past 12 months. Which have brought you closer to your goals? Which have hurt more than helped in your quest for health, wealth and peace of mind? Grab a paper and pen, or start tapping on the laptop, and make a list of your personal dos and don’ts to keep handy when you feel yourself straying from the straight and narrow. Take a look at your professional and personal habits, and determine what you can do differently in the year ahead that will bring you more balance and prosperity.
1. Business: Do you have a written business plan? Do you have daily, weekly and monthly goal charts? Are you setting obtainable goals that allow you to stretch your abilities and talents? Do you have a set time to prospect DAILY to ensure a constant stream of new business? Are you investing at least 10% to 15% of your annual income to market yourself and your business? Do you have an exit strategy that will allow you to retire with a salable book of business, or are you just “winging it” each year? Are you reaching the VIPs in your BusinessBASE™ or sphere of influence each and every month to ensure a healthy referral base? Are you working high-priority activities that keep you close to your revenue line and away from the company water cooler? Have you segmented your marketing to become the go-to agent for niche markets that will help you dramatically grow your SOI, make nw friends and upscale your business? Have you put systems in place to automate as much of your marketing as possible, so that you can focus on prospecting, presenting and closing? If you answered “no” to any of the above, then you are short-changing your career and yourself. Take some time this month to put these business musts in place so that you can truly work smarter, not harder, in the coming year.
2. Personal: What are you doing for you? Is exercise part of
your daily/weekly routine? Are you pushing back from the table/coffee/alcohol/nicotine to ensure a longer, healthier life? Do you take the time each day to count your blessings and celebrate victories, both small and large? Do you nurture your own self-esteem and self-worth? It’s OK to be your own biggest fan! Do you surround yourself with positive people, inspiration and influences that promote personal growth? Are you on a continuous quest to learn more and be more than you ever thought possible? Yours is the face you will see in the mirror for all of your days; embrace who you are, what you do and where you are going. Accept your quirks, differences and flaws, and ditch the self-defeating or self-sabotaging habits that can land you in a rut. Believe that you really do have the power to make a difference — in your life and in the lives of those you care about.
Who are your heroes? Remember the old Kung Fu and Karate Kid movies? “Choose wisely” was a recurring theme. When it comes to choosing heroes — those we look up to, emulate and pattern our lives after — choosing wisely is essential. Who do you look up to? For some, motivational gurus such as Anthony Robbins and Zig Ziglar fit the bill. Others choose sports greats such as Tiger Woods, entertainment moguls such as Oprah Winfrey or coaching giants such as John Wooden. Unfortunately, however, some choose heroes based on riches or popularity rather than integrity and character. Think of who you really want to be, then choose heroes who embody those qualities. Wealth is certainly a factor, but compassion, empathy, honor, philanthropy, courage and passion should be, as well. You might be surprised to find that the hero you admire most lies not so much at the helm of a Fortune 00 company, but in a beloved grandparent, a wise and extraordinary child, a sibling or a friend. Choose wisely.

Take the time this month to consider the perspectives, habits and heroes that mold your life, affect your days and help you make every day worthwhile. Imagine walking into a new year with a clearer view, improved work and health habits and the type of mentors and heroes that help build legacies.
We wish you the merriest of holidays and an extraordinary beginning to what really can be your BEST YEAR EVER! For more ideas on how you can continuously impact your market area, visit www.prospectsplus.com. If you have questions or ideas that you would like to share, call Julie toll free at 866.405.3641.

Be the first in the door with Holiday Greeting and 2008 Postcards! 

Fully laminated, addressed, full color and mailed within 48 hours in most cases, you’ll find http://www.postcardsplus.com/holidays  a fast, simple solution for your web-to-print postcard needs!  With just a few quick clicks of the mouse, you can order using your own mailing list, or use purchase a data list from our MarketShare Online tool!  Enjoy!

  Click To Preview

Send your best holiday wishes to the VIPs in your sphere of influence and farm areas today, and be first in the mailbox to say HAPPY HOLIDAYS! Choose from a variety of Christmas, Hanukkah, New Year’s and other holiday postcards either in your ProspectsPLUS! software or via our PostcardsPLUS! web-to-print site!

Go Calendar Crazy!
Be the first in your area to tap into the year-round top-of-mind marketing found with our 2008 calendar postcards. These beautiful, fully laminated cards are sure to grace refrigerators and bulletin boards in homes across your market!  Send this postcard now with PostcardsPLUS! While you are on our site, please feel free to browse our recipe cards, inspiration series, Just Listed/Just Sold Cards and any number of fast, effective ways to stay in touch with your SOI this month and all throughout the new year! 

Happy Holidays! 

“I have been in the real estate business for not quite two years and bought the ProspectsPLUS! program in April of 2007. I immediately started mailing the “Expired Listing?” brochures. I received a phone call after I mailed just the third brochure. This house had been on the market for 2 years with 2 other agencies. I got the listing and SOLD the house in 28 DAYS! I just closed this sale yesterday, making it the highest commission I have ever received.

“This has created so much talk in the area that I am now getting phone calls from other homeowners needing to sell their houses. When I bought ProspectsPLUS!, I was told that if I would just use it, they would guarantee at least 6 extra sales a year. I’m a true believer, and I know I will far bypass those 6 extra sales this year.”