Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Work smarter instead of harder

Working hard to get a listing is the first step toward a commission check. In some markets, you may work just as hard to get the listing sold. (By the way, if you’re in need of more listings, send out postcards from our Get More Listings Series they’re great at driving new listings).

In reference to getting your current listings sold, did you know you have 8 seconds to make a great first impression on a potential buyer who has just stepped foot into your listing? This is according to Barbara Corcoran.

Counseling your clients on how to prepare the home for the market is a given. But we all know that many homes need more than a good cleaning and thorough decluttering.

This is when the home stager is worth his or her weight in gold. Taking a home from ho-hum to drop-dead appealing is the magic that sells homes for the most money the market will bear.

Notify Them The Time is NOW (Available in “Get More Listings” postcard section)

Read on to learn how to find this magician and the important questions to ask before recommending a stager to your listing clients. 

Where to find stagers

Seems like a no-brainer, right? Just enter “home stagers in [your city] into your favorite search engine’s search box.

But there’s more to it than that. Just as you hope your real estate clients will interview more than one agent, you should have at least three stagers (more is better) to compare. And, the best place to look for them is right there in your office – your colleagues.

Find out which agents in your office use stagers in their real estate business and then make note of who they use. The beauty of this type of referral is that your colleagues did the heavy lifting when vetting the stagers.

All that’s left for you to do is a bit of sleuthing and then interview them to determine if they’re a good fit for your business.

Stalk that stager

Visit each stager’s website to find their portfolios. Remember, if they’ve posted something on their site for all the world to see, they are most likely presenting what they consider their best work.

Try to determine if each stager has a preferred niche. For instance, some specialize in staging vacant homes or condos. Others may have a preferred part of town.

Then, check each candidate’s ranking at Yelp.com and their information at the Better Business Bureau.

Get Them Calling YOU (Available in “Get More Listings” postcard section)
Interview time

When you’ve come up with a list of promising prospects, give each one a call to set up an interview. Here are some ideas of what to ask during the interview:

  1. Ask about rates, especially whether or not the stager requires a consultation fee.
  2. Ask for the address of one or two of their currently staged properties so that you can visit before the interview.
  3. Get a list of the names of other agents they’ve worked with.
  4. Does the stager have a niche? If you, as an agent, practice in a niche, this question is quite important. Luxury agents, for instance, should look for luxury home stagers.
  5. Ask the stagers which areas of town they primarily work in. This is important information since knowledge of the neighborhood’s target audience is critical.
  6. Does the stager use the homeowner’s existing furniture or does he or she have a warehouse with everything needed?
  7. How long does the average staging job take?
  8. What is required of the homeowner pre-staging?
  9. What is the average DOM for the stager’s clients? Is this over or under the average for the market? And, the average list-to-sales price ratio of the company’s staged homes?
  10. Ask if the stager is insured and if you decide to hire him or her, get a copy of the insurance certificate.

Regardless of the incredible customer service you provide your clients, regardless of your impeccable reputation, it takes only one lazy, shoddy, or dishonest vendor to ruin it. Not only is it important to take your time when interviewing vendors, but to consistently follow up on their work.

Call your clients to find out how the job is going. Follow up after completion to get an idea of how it was working with your vendor. Never remain loyal to a vendor after receiving negative feedback.

It’s your reputation on the line.

Let Them Know You’re the Area Expert Agent (Available in “Get More Listings” postcard section)
Send at least 100 Activity in Your Neighborhood postcards from our Get More Listings Series to an area where you want more listings.
Then get your stager lined up and ready for the flow of new listings coming your way.

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 4 free ways we can help you have an INVINCIBLE 2019!

1. Become a Listing Legend Free eBook 

Ready to take a vertical leap in your real estate career? If you’re looking for inspiration…and the tools and methods to dominate a market and go to the top in real estate…you’ll find them in this free book. – Click Here 

 

2. The Free One-Page Real Estate Business Plan

Treat your business like a business it is vital to long-term success in this industry. Some agents may put together elaborate business plans, yet there’s something powerful about keeping it simple. Check out our one page Online Real Estate Business Plan  – Click Here

 

3. 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

 

4. 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 game-changing 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 & achieve 20% market share

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)!

Our business flourishes from recommendations (similar to yours). We truly appreciate when you leave a review – Review us here 

 

Overcome your call reluctance

It’s irrational.

After all, “call reluctance” is a malady reserved for cold callers, isn’t it?

Then why does the warm-call-lead-follow-up produce the same symptoms?

The dread at the thought of picking up the phone and trying to win the trust and business of a complete stranger isn’t all that irrational when you think about it.

You’ve cleared the first hurdle by generating a response to your marketing. Now, it’s completely up to how you handle this call that will result in you winning the business.

That’s intimidating for many of us.

Intimidation gets us stuck. So, back away from the phone and take a deep breath. Then, learn the tried-and-true techniques successful agents use when following up on real estate leads.

Generate Leads With a Free Report Offer (Available in Free Reports)

 

Change your perspective

Remember, this first follow-up call isn’t a cold one. You’re returning a call (or email, etc.). This person reached out to you and expects a response. You’ve actually been given permission to contact her.

She may not be ready to pull the trigger on a real estate transaction right now, and you should be prepared for that, but she was motivated enough to take the first step and that’s a cause to celebrate, not back away.

Besides, who has too many leads in their pipeline? There’s always room for one more.

It’s all in the timing 

While our industry is known for its “location, location, location” mantra, what outsiders don’t know is that “time is of the essence” is more than just a contract term to real estate agents.

When faced with an initial contact from a real estate lead, time can either be your enemy or your best friend.

It is critical that you place that follow-up call within minutes of receiving the lead. 

If you don’t, another agent most certainly will.

Whether it’s call reluctance or that you’re insanely busy, we get it. But studies show that the chances of reaching the lead are the highest if you return the call within five minutes.

Years ago, two guys from InsideSales.com teamed up with James B. Oldroyd, from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to conduct a survey of more than 600 businesses.

Their aim was to study “lead response rates, timing and effort, and their influence on the outcome of a lead,” they told Steve Olenski at Forbes.com.

Compel Your Target Market With Free Reports (Available in Free Reports)
What they found should be etched into the minds of every real estate agent:
  • Call back within five minutes and you’re most likely to connect with the lead.
  • If you wait a half hour and you are 100 times less likely to reach the lead.
  • Wait five hours and your odds of ever connecting with that lead drop by 3,000 times.

An immediate call-back is not only most likely to result in a conversation with your lead, but it’s impressive as well.

“We call it the ‘wow effect’ as in wow, that was fast! You are impressive,” InsideSales.com’s CEO Dave Elkington tells Olenski.

And, how could they not be impressed, especially if they’ve placed calls to other agents? The odds are pretty low that they got a return call this quickly from anyone else.

But this isn’t all we can take away from the survey; conversion rates – “the rate at which the lead contact is willing to set an appointment and enter the sales cycle,” according to Olenski — increases with a quicker return call.

Free Report Offers Get Your Phone Ringing (Available in Free Reports)

Obviously, getting an appointment is the goal with real estate lead gen follow-up, so ignore time being of the essence at your peril.

What not to say after “hello”

Before making the call-back, take a minute to familiarize yourself with everything you learned from his or her message. If it was a call about a specific property, get the MLS listing in front of you. Then look it over to determine the neighborhood, size, and anything of interest that may not be included in the public-facing listing information.

Focus solely on the lead and his or reasons for reaching out to you, no matter how tempted you are to toot your own horn. Naturally, if you’re asked, you’ll want to answer questions about yourself, but unsolicited remarks about your sales stats, designations, etc. make you appear overly “salesy.”

Don’t push for an appointment until you understand where in the pipeline this lead falls. At this point, you’re a counselor, not a real estate salesperson.

Identify yourself and the name of your brokerage, and quickly add that you’re returning his or her call.

At this point, the lead may launch into the reason for the original call. Listen carefully to what’s being said and answer all questions.

When the call is for information about a particular listing, describe it and then, again, listen.

If you feel that the lead is open to remaining on the phone with you, begin a gentle probe, asking if he has spoken with a lender, if he has a home to sell before buying another and, naturally, if he’s interested in touring the home he called about.

Before disengaging the caller, let him know that you have no intention of hounding him like some of the other agents he’s spoken with but that you’re available if he has additional questions.

Ask for permission to email alerts about new listings similar to the one he called about.

Free Report for Real Estate Marketing to sellers
Add Free Report Offers to all of Your Marketing (Available in Free Reports)
The wrap-up 

If you offer free reports or an e-book, offer it toward the end of the call. “I just created a market report for the Pleasant Skies neighborhood that will give you an idea of what the different models are selling for, can I email you a copy?”

Great free reports to offer that are popular with consumers include, “Chop Years Off Your Mortgage“, “5 Reasons Your House Didn’t Sell” “Sure-Fire Tips For a Quick Sale“, “6 Dangers of Overpricing“, all of which are available here.

Be sure to include your free report offer with your emails direct mail, social media and website to drive those inbound phone calls.

No freebies? Hey, a list of new listings matching his criteria is a freebie, so offer that. “I’ll tell you what, Joe, give me your email address and I’ll be happy to email you alerts of new listings that match what you’re looking for.”

End the call with something along the lines of: “Terrific. Now, if you see any other listings you’re interested in touring, don’t hesitate to give me a call, or text me. I’m happy to set appointments for you and show you around the neighborhood,”

The key to success with a lead who leaves you a message is lightning-quick response time. Then, remember not to come on too strong. Counsel the lead, don’t sell to her.

Now that you have a plan of attack, order some Free Reports and keep them on hand.
And don’t forget to add a Free Report Offer to ALL of your marketing (emails, direct mail, website, and social media).

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 4 free ways we can help you have an INVINCIBLE 2019!

1. Become a Listing Legend Free eBook 

Ready to take a vertical leap in your real estate career? If you’re looking for inspiration…and the tools and methods to dominate a market and go to the top in real estate…you’ll find them in this free book. – Click Here 

 

2. The Free One-Page Real Estate Business Plan

Treat your business like a business it is vital to long-term success in this industry. Some agents may put together elaborate business plans, yet there’s something powerful about keeping it simple. Check out our one page Online Real Estate Business Plan  – Click Here

 

3. 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

 

4. 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 game-changing 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 & achieve 20% market share

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)!

Our business flourishes from recommendations (similar to yours). We truly appreciate when you leave a review – Review us here 

The Ins & Outs of the Divorce Niche

Leaving her husband was the most gut-wrenching decision Louise would make in her adult life.

Or, so she thought.

What to do with the family’s home as they separated soon rivaled the decision to leave.

Images of the kids being ripped from their friends in the neighborhood, sleeping in strange bedrooms and trying to settle into a new school made her question whether divorce was the right answer.

Then, there was the house.

The one she and her husband shopped for, fought for, fixed up to meet their needs, loved, maintained and in which they built memories.

Man, giving that up is a hard concept to deal with.

With the help of her attorney and a dedicated, empathic real estate agent, Louise overcame the turmoil and was able to move on with her life.

Yes, divorce rates seem to be on the decline in the U.S. yet 40 to 50 percent of American marriages still end in divorce.

Furthermore, divorcing couples sell homes and, often, purchase another. Although it sounds a bit mercenary, the divorce niche in real estate can be quite lucrative. 

Someone needs to help couples going through this challenge.

At the risk of sounding like we’re objectifying living, breathing human beings (humans who are in emotional pain), you won’t find a more motivated home seller than someone going through a divorce.

Whether it’s because of a court order or simple logistics, most (but not all) divorcing couples choose to include the home when liquidating their assets.

You don’t necessarily need to have personal marital break-up experience to effectively pursue divorce leads, but agents who do are one-step ahead of you.

 What you need to know to work with divorcing couples

Working with divorced or divorcing couples isn’t easy. It isn’t for those who lack empathy, tact, diplomacy or patience.

It’s for the counselors among the agent ranks, the educators, those who truly want to help and aren’t in it for the quick commission.

Agent Scott Weeda, for instance, tells NPR’s Sara Lerner about just one of the strategies he’s found effective when working with divorcing couples:

“I never try to force them to communicate together, which means a lot of separate and duplicate communication, so that neither ever has the impression that I’m trying to force the agenda of one on the other,” he says.

This may mean coordinating separate meetings for everything from signing the listing agreement to acknowledging contingency releases, presenting offers and closing.

But that is one strategy in a process full of them.

How to generate divorce listing leads

You have several options when it comes to finding divorce leads. One of the easiest is, of course, to buy a list. Companies such as ReboGateway (started and run by former agents and brokers) offer lists that they obtain from mining court records.

We offer postcards that speak specifically to divorcing couples selling their home in our Life Event Postcard Series. These postcards integrate with ReboGateway. To learn more about how to export a divorced homeowners mailing list from Rebogateway into your ProspectsPLUS! account click here (from a desktop computer).

Or, consider mailing to quit claim deed filers. A real estate investor who specializes in divorce listings claims, in a thread at bigger pockets.com, that about 20 percent of responses to his quitclaim deed ads come from divorcing couples.

“Most of the time I am contacted from the person who decided to keep the house and now they understand they can no longer afford it,” he explains.

He also advertises in a local grade school’s parent newsletter. The ad directs the reader to a landing page he designed specifically for couples going through a divorce.

If you think that sending a divorce focused postcard is too direct send a postcard from our Get More Listings Series instead. This series is targeted at driving more listings. As long as you get your name in front of these couples you’re one step ahead of everyone else.

Get referrals

If you decide to make divorce real estate your sole niche, consider a program that teaches you how to work with the family law community to earn their referrals.

Laurel Starks, divorce agent and author of “The House Matters in Divorce” offers classes in how to get divorce leads and how to work with divorcing couples.

She is the founder of the Divorce Real Estate Institute and teaches agents about the “two paths to successfully serving divorcing clients.”

Since the 2019 real estate market remains up in the air right now, choosing the divorce niche may just mean the success of your business this year.

Send our Divorce: Curve Ball postcard from our Life Event Series to your list of divorced homeowners.
Remember to export your Rebogateway list of divorced homeowner into your ProspectsPLUS! account, click here to learn more (From a desktop computer).

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 4 free ways we can help you have an INVINCIBLE 2019!

1. Become a Listing Legend Free eBook 

Ready to take a vertical leap in your real estate career? If you’re looking for inspiration…and the tools and methods to dominate a market and go to the top in real estate…you’ll find them in this free book. – Click Here 

 

2. The Free One-Page Real Estate Business Plan

Treat your business like a business it is vital to long-term success in this industry. Some agents may put together elaborate business plans, yet there’s something powerful about keeping it simple. Check out our one page Online Real Estate Business Plan  – Click Here

 

3. 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

 

4. 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 game-changing 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 & achieve 20% market share

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)!

Our business flourishes from recommendations just like yours and we truly appreciate your review of our products and services – Review us here 

Presentations that close

You can blink your eye three times in the time it takes a person to judge your trustworthiness and competence just by looking at your face, according to research conducted by Princeton University.

Yet, the real estate industry is confounded that most real estate consumers go with the first agent they meet and that so many homeowners spend only one day choosing a listing agent.

As with all things real estate, time is of the essence during the listing appointment, so let’s take a look at how you can ensure the homeowner’s first impression is a winning one.

It starts with fact gathering

Whether it’s a cold call or a response to a Free Offer postcard, how you handle that first contact with a potential seller will pave the way to a successful listing presentation. In fact, this is the time to gather as much information as possible about the home and the owner.

The National Association of Realtors offers a list of questions to have ready for your next listing appointment:

  • Why are you selling your home?
  • How soon do you need to sell?
  • Do you have a ballpark price in mind?
  • Tell me about your home – how long you’ve lived there, what you like best about it and whether you’ve performed any renovations or major repairs.
  • In your opinion, what makes your home different from others in the neighborhood?

When you set the appointment, let the homeowner know that all decision-makers should be present.

Before compiling the CMA, take a tour of every home currently for sale in the seller’s neighborhood and a drive-by of sold comps.

As most listing agents know, potential home sellers are keenly aware of current listings in the area and will many times bring them up during a listing appointment. Rather than being embarrassed that the homeowner knows the local market better than you do, be the agent who is completely up-to-date on the local market.

Now you have the information necessary to put together the CMA. For the rookies out there, here is a list of quick tips to help you out with that:

  • Generics won’t make you stand out. Every home and every seller is different. Customize your presentation to a specific home and neighborhood.
  • Even if you use a digital presentation, ensure that everything in your hard copy is professionally printed. Your competition won’t bother using the color printer, which is why you must. From your branding to the graphics and photos, color grabs attention and gives the impression that marketing is your forte.
Powerful first impressions

Remember how quickly we form first impressions? One of the best ways to ruin your chances is by being late for the listing appointment. No excuse on earth will work just show up on time. Before you leave your car, turn off your phone, take a deep breath and relax. Remind yourself to smile and make eye contact as the homeowner opens the door.

Steer the participants to a place where it will be easier to maintain eye contact with everyone who is present. A round dining table is ideal. Then, break the ice with a statement such as, “Driving over here, I was thinking about how excited I am about this meeting,” this lets them know that you’re confident and have exciting things to share.

Another suggested ice-breaker is to ask a question. Engaging the homeowners immediately will help you make a quick connection. While every listing agent is different in how they conduct a listing presentation, most that we’ve spoken with share the following:

Homeowners want to know that you’re truly listening to them. Making eye contact conveys that and taking notes as they speak shows you are serious about remembering what they’re saying.

Assume the close

While some agents we’ve spoken with wait until the end of the presentation to assume the close, others do so throughout the presentation.

Here’s a brilliant example we read about at ActiveRain. Draw up two lists of services – one the basics, and one with the extra services you offer your listing clients.

Then, when explaining your services during the presentation, start with the basics – the stuff that is standard in your area. Then, whip out the second list and, as you tick them off, stop occasionally to ask if this is a service they want you to provide.

For instance, “Will you want aerial photography as well as the 3-D home tour?” Or “Do you want me to hold open houses?”

Although we don’t expect these tips to be everything required to beat the listing presentation willies, they offer ideas on how to prepare. And, knowing you’re prepared is calming. And, when you’re calm, you’re confident and unbeatable!

Send out at least 100 Free Market Statistics postcards from the Call to Action Series to an area where you would like more listings and get that killer presentation ready.

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 4 free ways we can help you have an INVINCIBLE 2019!

1. Become a Listing Legend Free eBook 

Ready to take a vertical leap in your real estate career? If you’re looking for inspiration…and the tools and methods to dominate a market and go to the top in real estate…you’ll find them in this free book. – Click Here 

 

2. The Free One-Page Real Estate Business Plan

Treat your business like a business it is vital to long-term success in this industry. Some agents may put together elaborate business plans, yet there’s something powerful about keeping it simple. Check out our one page Online Real Estate Business Plan  – Click Here

 

3. 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

 

4. 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 game-changing 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 & achieve 20% market share

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)!

Our business flourishes from recommendations just like yours and we truly appreciate your review of our products and services – Review us here 

Every step forward this year is a step toward achieving something bigger and better for you and your business!
Please reach out to our support team (866.405.3638) if there is any way we can help with your success.
Wishing you a year filled with Bigger & Better,
Your ProspectsPLUS! Team