Sunday, September 23, 2018

Five things to ensure a strong year-end

With a little over three months left in the year. Right now is the ideal time to go over your 2018 goals and make sure you have everything in order to finish strong. The following review should help keep you on track and ensure your success.

Review your numbers

Don’t wait another day to get a handle on your year-to-date numbers, if you haven’t already.

Figure out what you need to do to accomplish your 2018 goals with the time remaining. Figure out how many closings it will take and how many listings are needed to achieve those closings?

Work the math to see how many new contacts you need to make, to get the number of appointments to secure a listing, based on your closing ratio. This will tell you the number of listings needed to realize your goals.

Once you have this number, break it down to its simplest form. How many new contacts do you need to make weekly and daily? Then create a daily schedule to meet these goals. Make a commitment to stick to this schedule and not allow anything to throw you off track.

Leverage the opportunities to connect

This time of year is filled with holiday gatherings and neighborhood invites. And the holidays make it super easy to reach out and connect with your customer base and farm.

Take advantage of all the opportunities to connect with everyone throughout the season with Fall, Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas Holiday Postcards.

Don’t forget to layer and add to the effectiveness of your postcard marketing with a happy holiday phone call.

Call every existing customer you have and wish them a happy holiday season. Be sure they know you’re on top of anything related to real estate and are the expert resource to turn to for all of their real estate needs.

Ask for referrals  

Before you hang up – ASK FOR A REFERRAL. I know it is uncomfortable to ask someone for what feels like a “favor”, but remember you are doing them a favor by providing expert help to someone they know.

I personally enjoy the opportunity to refer a great restaurant, hairstylist, repairman, or health professional to someone I know. The reason for this is because I know how difficult it is to discover great resources. We’re all searching for the “best of the best” and love sharing this information once a business is discovered.

The people in your customer base are no different. Allow them the opportunity to become the provider of a great resource. Most people will forget to make a referral unless something or someone jogs their memory. Be the person to jog their memory while on the phone with them!

Don’t leave your marketing to chance.

This time of year it’s easy to get busy. That’s when things like marketing and prospecting fall through the cracks or take a back seat.  Put a plan in place today to make sure you have marketing systems active and scheduled through the end of the year, so you stay top-of-mind all the way through the season.

This plan includes showcasing your Just Listed, Open Houses, and Just Solds for the greatest impact, exposure, and results. Remember, if you did an especially impressive job of getting that new listing under contract fast or at a great list-to-sale price ratio, add that subheading to your Just Sold Postcard! This information can be the differentiator in a competitive market making you stand out head and shoulders above the rest.

Set aside 20-30 minutes each week to review what changes you need to make to your current marketing plan based on your previous week’s activity. Then get your order out for whatever Holiday postcards, Just Listed/Just Sold or Open House postcards you need to send that week. Knocking out your marketing at one time each week gives you a lot more time to prospect, present and close – the three things closest to your bottom line.

Commit to the extra mile

As they say, it’s never crowded along the extra mile. With three months remaining, this is an ideal time to push beyond your commitment goals a bit. If your goal is to make 10 phone calls a day, consider what would happen over the next month if you pushed that goal to 15 calls a day?

Here’s a goal to add to your list that will provide long-term success and make things interesting, commit to adding at least one new person to your prospect list each day regardless of what it takes. This means if you’ve made 15 phone calls and some neighborhood cold calling, yet still don’t have a new person to add to your prospect list, you keep going until you do.

If you only committed to that goal for the next three months, it would result in over 90 additional prospects by the end of the year.

The truth is the bottom 80% of agents in your industry won’t be doing any of these things over the next 90 days.  Many will look at how far they are from their goal and give up.  Many will do the basics and continue to live commission check to commission check.  It will be those of you who strike out and stay laser-focused who will end up on top this year, crushing your goals and kick-starting 2019 with passion.

Where do you want to be in three months?  The top 20 or bottom 80?  What you do in the next three months will make all the difference in how your ends and the new year begins.

Kick off your 2018 year-end goal countdown by ordering at least 100 Holiday postcards to send out to your sphere and farm!

Make sure you stay top of mind with the people that matter most!

Need help targeting the perfect niche of buyers or sellers? Use our mailing list tool to create the ideal list (it’s easy) or call our support team for assistance at 866.405.3638!

PLUS: When you have time…here are 2 free ways we can help you CRUSH IT in 2018!

1.  The 12 Month Done-For-You Strategic Marketing Plan.

The Real Estate Marketing Planner is a powerful 12-Month-Guide that strategically defines what marketing to do when. Four key market segments are included, Niche Marketing, Listing Inventory, Geographic Farming, and Sphere of Influence – Click Here

2. The Free Online ROI Calculator. 

Consistency and automation are the keys to success. Discover how effective direct mail marketing can dramatically increase your bottom line. Enter your statistics in our Free online ROI Calculator and click the ‘CALCULATE MY ROI’ button to see your results instantly! – Click Here

Also…check out these cool tools 

 Three Click Postcards – Just snap a home photo & create a postcard all from your mobile phone

MLSmailings.com – Automated Just Listed, Just Sold Postcards

Market Dominator System – Become a neighborhood brand

Want to Refer a friend or colleague? Refer them, Here. THEY get a Free $25 Gift Card and YOU become their hero. BTW, you also get a $25 Gift Card too (now that’s what I’m talking about)!

Update Your Community Pages

What if we told you that you can increase organic traffic to your site by as much as 40 percent just by updating old content?

“It’s one of the quickest (and easiest) ways to make Google recognize you and bring your rankings back from the graveyard,” according to Neal Patel. He goes on to explain how the co-founder of Ninja Outreach increased the site’s organic traffic by 40 percent just by resurrecting old content.

The best content on your site to bring back from the dead resides on your community or neighborhood pages.

Why?

Because these pages, if done right, are your most valuable when it comes to showing up in organic real estate searches.

Let’s find the walking dead posts
  1. Find the posts that have been bringing in the most traffic. The Google Search Console website is a handy tool for this step. We prefer the old version, which you can reach by clicking the link on the bottom left side of the page.
  2. Go to “Search Traffic” and then click on “Search Analytics.”
  3. Now you have a list of your most popular content. Click on “CTR,” located above the list.

To identify the posts that will “give you the most bang for your buck,” according to David Schneider, co-founder of Ninja Outreach, look for the following on your most popular pages:

  • A CTR lower than 1 percent
  • A high impression rate
  • A “position” between 1 and 30
What to change

It can be pretty embarrassing looking at your old blog posts but you’ll need to do so before going into the site’s backend to tweak them.

First, check the page’s overall appeal. Does it include enough photos, subheadings and white space? Then, check the page for broken links.

Make note of any issues you need to fix and then head over to the backend of your site.

Next, look for the following:

  • Fix or update links on the page. Cyrus Shepard suggests that you should update the text surrounding the links as well, claiming that it helps search engine spiders more readily see that the page has been updated.
  • Consider removing any content that isn’t evergreen. This includes mentions of the community’s average home price, which, as you know, can become quickly outdated.
  • If you haven’t yet added alt text to your images, do so now.
  • Consider adding additional text to the page to make the word count longer. Have there been changes to the area since you wrote the original content? Any changes planned for the future? Longer content tends to rank higher so if there is anything you can add to beef up skimpy content, it’s worth it to take the time to do so.
  • Is there enough white space on the page? Break up paragraphs so that each contains no more than five sentences, add bulleted lists, subheadings, and additional photos.
  • Ensure your CTA is clear and compelling.
  • Check the copy for grammar, punctuation and spelling errors.

Once you hit publish, head over to your social media pages and post your new and improved content.

One additional note: Patel suggests checking that blog posts don’t compete with your community pages for “SEO authority.”

“For example, you create an amazing page for your primary neighborhood focused on ‘real estate-centric’ keywords,” such as ‘homes for sale in (name of community).

Then, you later publish blog posts for the same neighborhood using the same keywords in prominent locations, such as the title, URL & headings – that would be a mistake,” Patel cautions.

Keep track of the pages’ progress

SEO experts suggest taking a screenshot of the Google Console results we walked you through earlier. Then, when you check for changes in a month or two you’ll have something to compare the new results too.

Keep tweaking as needed until you get the results you’re looking for.

Homebuyers demand local knowledge and neighborhood or community pages are an ideal way to meet that demand. But letting information go stale isn’t a good strategy.

In fact, it could be costing you money.Realtor marketing postcards for neighborhood updates with a free offer

A great way to keep your Geographic farm updated with local knowledge is to send the Neighborhood Update postcard with a Free Offer.
Send out at least 100 in an area where you want more listings.

Need help targeting the perfect niche of buyers or sellers? Use our mailing list tool to create the ideal list (it’s easy) or call our support team for assistance at 866.405.3638!

PLUS: When you have time…here are 2 free ways we can help you CRUSH IT in 2018!

1.  The 12 Month Done-For-You Strategic Marketing Plan.

The Real Estate Marketing Planner is a powerful 12-Month-Guide that strategically defines what marketing to do when. Four key market segments are included, Niche Marketing, Listing Inventory, Geographic Farming, and Sphere of Influence – Click Here

2. The Free Online ROI Calculator. 

Consistency and automation are the keys to success. Discover how effective direct mail marketing can dramatically increase your bottom line. Enter your statistics in our Free online ROI Calculator and click the ‘CALCULATE MY ROI’ button to see your results instantly! – Click Here

Also…check out these cool tools 

 Three Click Postcards – Just snap a home photo & create a postcard all from your mobile phone

MLSmailings.com – Automated Just Listed, Just Sold Postcards

Market Dominator System – Become a neighborhood brand

Want to Refer a friend or colleague? Refer them, Here. THEY get a Free $25 Gift Card and YOU become their hero. BTW, you also get a $25 Gift Card too (now that’s what I’m talking about)!

Win Them Over With Mortgage Savvy

Remember real estate school? What fun it was to learn about such thrilling topics as riparian rights, avulsion, and tenancy by the entirety. Unless you were planning on selling ranch, investment or water-front property, these topics were quickly pushed to the back of your mind once you got your license. Then came the real learning: how to generate leads, work with buyers and sellers and the anatomy of a mortgage.

While you may have had a broker or mentor who walked you through the fine art of generating leads, the mortgage process is typically something we learned on our own, piecemeal.

If, as newbies, we were confused over the mortgage process, think about how clueless your first-time buyers might be.

Get them up to speed

Only 30 percent of them are familiar with the mortgage process according to a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and the Federal Finance Housing Agency (FHFA) survey. That’s a whole lot of buyers who are blindly entering a huge financial transaction.

The mortgage profession, like real estate, boasts a workforce with a variety of backgrounds, education, skills, and experience. Like our industry, there are those who work hard at providing customer service and there are those who seemingly couldn’t care less.

Sadly, as they do when choosing a real estate agent, the vast majority of homebuyers (77 percent, according to the survey above) choose the first lender they speak with.

This offers the customer-service-oriented agent a brilliant opportunity. Make explaining the mortgage process, from start to finish (and in plain English) a part of your buyer consultation meetings. It’s customer service on steroids.

Go beyond referring your clients to a lender

Surf the internet for home buying advice and agent websites typically offer some form of “See a lender.” This is skimpy advice that adds nothing of value to the reader.

Providing answers to their most frequently asked questions is valuable. What does DTI stand for and how is it determined and what role does it play in the mortgage process? Explain what “mortgage origination” means. What are “discount points?”

Explain the different players who work behind the scenes for a typical borrower. For instance, what does an underwriter do? An infographic or even a text walk-through of the life cycle of a home loan could do the trick here.

And, don’t neglect counseling your buying clients about protecting their credit during escrow (not making large purchases on credit, not changing jobs, not moving money around).

How to get the word out

While a basic explanation during your buyer consultation is a must, your website is another vehicle for spreading the word about the mortgage process. From articles in the “Buying” or “Financing” section of your site to blog posts about different aspects of mortgages (down payment assistance, what to expect at closing, etc.) can all help educate your client.

Getting back to the buyer consultation: use handouts to cut down the amount of time it takes to explain the mortgage process. Start with an explainer sheet or infographic that walks them, step-by-step- through the process. Include a glossary of mortgage terms that they can refer to when needed.

Include a page on various mortgage programs, such as FHA, VA and USDA and another on down payment assistance programs in your area. Then, package them all up in one of our presentation folders for them to take home with them.

Explaining the mortgage process to your buying clients does more than add to their customer service experience. Knowing that they need to hold off on that appliance-shopping trip to Lowe’s or Home Depot prevents a common mortgage disaster.

Also, knowing what to expect during the process allows them to relax into it. And, we’re sure you’ll agree that relaxed clients are the easiest to work with.

Order the Free Report Chop $24,000 Off Your Mortgage and give out everywhere as a Free Offer on your direct mail pieces, at Open Houses, and in your community.
Make sure everyone knows who the expert agent is who will be there for them, answer ALL their questions and guide them in the right direction.

Need help targeting the perfect niche of buyers or sellers? Use our mailing list tool to create the ideal list (it’s easy) or call our support team for assistance at 866.405.3638!

PLUS: When you have time…here are 2 free ways we can help you CRUSH IT in 2018!

1.  The 12 Month Done-For-You Strategic Marketing Plan.

The Real Estate Marketing Planner is a powerful 12-Month-Guide that strategically defines what marketing to do when. Four key market segments are included, Niche Marketing, Listing Inventory, Geographic Farming, and Sphere of Influence – Click Here

2. The Free Online ROI Calculator. 

Consistency and automation are the keys to success. Discover how effective direct mail marketing can dramatically increase your bottom line. Enter your statistics in our Free online ROI Calculator and click the ‘CALCULATE MY ROI’ button to see your results instantly! – Click Here

Also…check out these cool tools 

 Three Click Postcards – Just snap a home photo & create a postcard all from your mobile phone

MLSmailings.com – Automated Just Listed, Just Sold Postcards

Market Dominator System – Become a neighborhood brand

Want to Refer a friend or colleague? Refer them, Here. THEY get a Free $25 Gift Card and YOU become their hero. BTW, you also get a $25 Gift Card too (now that’s what I’m talking about)!

 

Door Knocking Mastery

One thing I learned during my tenure in the real estate industry is that you don’t have to be on a stage to experience “stage fright.”

The heart-pounding, parched mouth, tight throat, trembling, sweating and nausea can happen when doing something as simple as merely contemplating making a cold call.

Worse, it comes on in spades when considering knocking on a stranger’s door to ask about his plans for the future.

Professionals in psychology and psychiatry call this “performance anxiety,” an aspect of social anxiety, and claim that the malady is “ … fairly common, occurring in as much as 13% of the population,” according to James W. Jefferson, MD, at the National Institutes of Health.

Stage fright can be overcome and you can be knocking your way to real estate riches. 

Overcoming the jitters

According to the pros, the best cure for the jitters is preparation, so practice your door-knocking approach until it becomes second nature.

“Don’t focus on what could go wrong,” suggests the professionals at WebMD.com. “Instead focus on the positive. Visualize your success.”

They also suggest concentrating on connecting with your audience. When Mrs. Homeowner opens the door, smile, make eye contact with her and don’t think of her as the enemy.

Tony Robbins says that to become successful at anything, “model someone who is already getting the results that you want.” In fact, he credits this technique with being “the number one secret for the things in my life that I’ve mastered.”

We watched a lot of agent-advice videos on scripts and other approaches to door-knocking and, by far, we feel that Borino (former rags-to-riches agent and current real estate coach), does a brilliant job. He’s definitely someone you can learn from, and copy. 

Make a game out of it

Instead of approaching a day of door-knocking as drudgery, make a game out of it. Don’t concentrate on how many leads you need to pick up from the session but go for the no’s instead. Investor Sal Williams walks you through his game of “I need 39 ‘no’s’ in his YouTube video. 

Don’t go empty-handed

No, leaving a business card with the homeowner isn’t enough.

Rachel Adams Lee began her mega-agent career by knocking on 200 doors per week. She shares some tips on creating a handout that offers value to the homeowner in her YouTube video.

But, really, anything that offers value to the homeowner will be welcome. This might include a neighborhood market update on one side of a postcard or flyer and general homeowner information on the other. Valuable info for homeowners includes:

  • How to take an insurance inventory of their home’s contents.
  • How to solve the “should I buy first or sell first” dilemma.
  • A story about how much equity local homeowners have regained since the recession ended.
  • Which remodeling projects add value to a home and which to avoid.

One very successful agent we know commissioned a freelance writer to ghostwrite a seller’s handbook that walks homeowners through the entire selling process.

Handing an actual paperback book to a potential client, with the agent as an author, not only offers value to the homeowner but establishes her as an expert in real estate. 

One ingenious tip for the chronically shy

Despite knowing the scripts verbatim and watching the videos of the masters, some agents just can’t bring themselves to shake the “Ew, I’m a slimy salesperson” feeling by knocking on strangers’ doors.

We learned a tip from Minneapolis agent Shannon Brooks that we think you’ll love. In fall and spring, Shannon door-knocks, but not for the reasons other agents do.  She’s collecting non-perishable food donations for local food banks.

And, she takes it a step further by branding the bags she leaves with homeowners.

It started off with basic paper bags,” Brooks tells smartzip.com’s Gina Thelemann. “but now it has evolved into a branded bag with my name and brand, and my lender and title partner’s brands, too!”

It also started with the aim of helping the community but she quickly learned what an amazing strategy it could be for the chronically shy agent. The initial conversation is easier to start, it’s non-threatening to the homeowner and it allows you to follow-up when you return to pick up the donated items.

Which doors to knock on

Good for you if you already have a geo farm. If you don’t, now is the time to choose one. But, choose intelligently.

First, check the tenure of current homeowners in your chosen area. In 2017, the average home seller had lived in her home for 10 years, according to the NAR. So, seek out a farming area in which the homeowners have lived there at least 8 or 9 years.

Then, consider your income goals and narrow down your choice of neighborhoods to those at the right price point to help you meet your goals.

Coach Tom Ferry says to start with between 250 and 500 homes and then expand “as saturation and ROI is accomplished,” according to coach Kay Fairchild.

Another approach, as explained by coach Kevin Ward, is to target certain homeowners, not neighborhoods. Ward calls these homeowners “turbo leads” and they include FSBOs, expired listings, and homeowners who’ve received notice of defaults.

“They have already exhibited a need or a desire to sell their property,” he explains. In his video, he walks you through how to approach the homeowner in a way that lessens the chance of resistance.

Like all marketing methods, it takes time and requires keeping organized records of your contacts and following-up.

Time to dive in and order at least 100 door hangers to attract more buyers, sellers or advertise your upcoming open house or new listing!
Remember to also keep FSBO and Expired Door Hangers in your car for that spontaneous drive by.

Need help targeting the perfect niche of buyers or sellers? Use our mailing list tool to create the ideal list (it’s easy) or call our support team for assistance at 866.405.3638!

PLUS: When you have time…here are 2 free ways we can help you CRUSH IT in 2018!

1.  The 12 Month Done-For-You Strategic Marketing Plan.

The Real Estate Marketing Planner is a powerful 12-Month-Guide that strategically defines what marketing to do when. Four key market segments are included, Niche Marketing, Listing Inventory, Geographic Farming, and Sphere of Influence – Click Here

2. The Free Online ROI Calculator. 

Consistency and automation are the keys to success. Discover how effective direct mail marketing can dramatically increase your bottom line. Enter your statistics in our Free online ROI Calculator and click the ‘CALCULATE MY ROI’ button to see your results instantly! – Click Here

Also…check out these cool tools 

 Three Click Postcards – Just snap a home photo & create a postcard all from your mobile phone

MLSmailings.com – Automated Just Listed, Just Sold Postcards

Market Dominator System – Become a neighborhood brand

Want to Refer a friend or colleague? Refer them, Here. THEY get a Free $25 Gift Card and YOU become their hero. BTW, you also get a $25 Gift Card too (now that’s what I’m talking about)!

Ready to Finish This Year Strong? 

Well, I have a highly effective marketing technique to help with that – Door Hangers.

You know what’s great about Door Hangers? Aside from affordability. When you are out hanging them, there is a good chance you will run into the very people you are trying to get to know better (what is not to love about that)?

Plus, they’re a tangible that the homeowner can touch and feel and save for future reference – perfect!

Are you currently in search of MORE listing inventory? Great! Compel sellers to pick up the phone and call you by offering a Free Home Market Analysis with the Free Offer Door Hanger Series.

Or Hang the Ready to Sell Door Hanger or I Have More Buyers Door Hanger on their doors to peak their interest and get them excited about selling.

Do you have an Open House coming up? Congrats! Hang an Open House Series Door Hanger on the doors in the surrounding neighborhood to get the word out.

Whatever niche you plan to go after, there is a targeted Door Hanger available. We even offer FSBO and Expired Door Hangers too.

The September Challenge: Choose your areas of focus, then order 100 Door Hangers and make a commitment to get all 100 Door Hangers hung in the month of September.

Post your story on Facebook use tags #doorhangerchallenge #septemberchallenge #prospectpluschallenge

Oh, and did I mention the prize for the most fun/creative post on Facebook gets a $250.00 ProspectsPLUS! Gift Card!

Are you up for the challenge? GO NOW!