Wednesday, August 21, 2019

    One of the biggest agent concerns is finding ways to stand out in the crowded marketplace of other agents.

    Why, then, do so many agents copy other agents? From websites to scripts, originality is sabotaged at every turn. And this is most apparent when it comes to an agents photo.

    Nine photos out of 10 are absolutely identical. The hands are either on the hips or arms are crossed. Is it any wonder that consumers have the notion that all real estate agents are alike?

    Step away from the pack during your next photo shoot. Here are some ideas from the pros.

    The Sometimes it Pays postcard is available in the postcard section under the Fence Sitters Series.
    What to do with your face

    About five years ago, the folks at Photofeeder.com conducted a study to determine “what elements reliably produce a better professional headshot photo.

    The study found that slightly squinting your eyes makes you appear more competent and influential. In addition, the study showed eyes wide open connote fear.

    To smile or not to smile? Mouth open or closed? Who knew so much goes into an effective business photo?

    No smile, according to Photofeeder’s study, destroys your likeability. Closing your mouth when you smile had no effect on whether or not you appear competent but it will make you look likeable.

    The best thing to do with your mouth during a photo shoot is to allow your teeth to show when you smile. Showing your teeth boosts both competence and likeability scores.

    Finally, be mindful of what you do with your chin. We have a tendency to tilt it skyward when photographed. Keep it down. Nobody wants to look up your nostrils.

    Strike a pose

    News anchor at Houston’s KPRC Channel 2, Dominique Sachse, offers some clever tricks (especially for women) on what to do with your body in your photo.

    She recommends you avoid “that staged pose,” of the “45-degree pivot, with the hand on the hip.”

    Crossing the arms is an epidemic in real estate business photos. The ubiquitous pose is actually “a standard crutch for photographers trying to knock out a quick portrait,” Jeremy Barr, creator of “Local People with their Arms Crossed”, tells Wired.com.

    According to body language experts, arms crossed makes you look defensive, shy or insecure. It also makes one appear unapproachable – not a vibe that real estate agents want to give off.

    The Doesn’t Take a Crystal Ball postcard is available from the postcard section under the Fence Sitter Series.

    “Non-verbal communication happens in still photography just as easily as it happens in an active conversation,” claims the pros at ARES Business Coaching.

    What to wear

    What to wear in your real estate photo shoot is a common conundrum for many agents. The answer is: it depends.

    Wear clothing that is appropriate to either your typical clientele, or to your marketplace. Luxury agents, those who specialize in country property, farms and ranches will have no problem with this.

    If you’re a real estate generalist, consider “business casual” attire; something a bit less formal than corporate business attire but still professional.

    For women, this typically means skirt or slacks, a button-down blouse, and closed-toe shoes. “For men, this typically means a button-down shirt, slacks, and dress shoes, according to Jill Ilao at FitSmallBusiness.com.  Get additional tips about business casual attire from Ann Sraders at TheStreet.com.

    Again, this should be adjusted for your marketplace. No-one will look askance at a photo of a female agent in Hawaii wearing open-toed shoes.

    The one bit of clothing and accessory advice that all business photographers agree on is to ditch the glamour shots. Dangling earrings, low-cut blouses, skin-tight clothing – appropriate for a stripper audition, maybe, but not for a real estate agent.

    Here are some examples of agent photos done right:

    Craig Ackerman, San Francisco Bay Area

    Notice the smile, with teeth showing. His arms are open, giving the impression that he’s approachable.

    Kelly Moye, Denver area

    Kelly strikes a casual pose, but it’s the smile that got us.

    Erin Mathews, Dallas area luxury agent

    We think Erin chose the perfect outfit and backdrop for a luxury agent. Again, notice the smile, with teeth showing.

    Jason and Rachel Harper, Home Team, Temecula / Murrieta, CA

    Business casual attire? Check (ok, she’s wearing open-toed shoes. In Temecula she can get away with it). Great smiles? Check. Most of all, the photo is professional yet gives the impression this team is fun to work with.

    The Time is Running Out postcards from the postcard section under the Fence Sitters Series.
    There’s no time to lose in getting your postcards out for the fall season.
    Send the Time is running Out postcard from the Fence-Sitters Series to light a fire under the feet of slow-moving sellers.
    You might also like:

    Real Estate Marketing That Leaves No Money Behind


    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 Free killer tools to help your success this year!

    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. “Get More Listings” Free Online Webinar

     

    “Get MORE Listings & Begin to Dominate Your Market!” Free online webinar. Learn the 3-7-27 strategy for explosive growth, why 95% of agents have less than 20% market share, and how to become the agent everyone competes against. – 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, Get More Listings, Geographic Farming, and Sphere of Influence. –Click Here

     

     

    4. 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

     

     

    5. 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

      Time to Get Moving

      The market is acting rather crazy lately with home prices dropping in some regions but rising insanely in others. This makes it challenging to figure out what will happen during the upcoming fall market.

      Traditionally, the market wakes up in September, after a summer lull while folks are vacationing and enjoying the kids’ time off from school.

      But once September and October roll around, agents get busy and stay busy until the winter slowdown.

      So, if the past is any indication of what we can expect in the future, you’re about to get busy again. Here’s what your fall buying and selling clients need to know.

      Educate your sellersAgent Community Newsletter

      Plan a pre-fall photography blitz. Let your potential autumn selling clients know that the best way to stand out from other listings in fall. Showing how their homes looked when the trees were still green and the flowers were blooming is key.

      Use a Community Newsletter or an Autumn postcard from Holiday postcard Series to conduct a postcard blitz and offer a free, no obligation exterior photo session before everything turns brown.

      “So, for the next few weeks, our professional photographer will be roaming the Twin Cities.” “He will be taking exterior photos of our listings that will hit the market in winter and early spring,” mega-agent Kris Lindahl says in his “green photography” promotion.

      “Sure, we’ll include some winter wonderland photos in the marketing materials.” “But just think how your home, with its sun-lit landscaping, will stand out as a buyer scrolls through listings online!”

      By the way, you’ll know who is serious about selling by the responses you get from your Autumn postcard blitz.

      Be focused, move quickly

      “Time is of the essence” is never truer than it is during the fall real estate market. The time between putting a home on the market and that big old brick wall known as the holidays is short. Everything you do to sell the home will be condensed.

      Remind your clients that this means coming up with the appropriate price right out of the gate. An informative and helpful Free Report you can provide your clients with is, “The 6 Pitfalls of Overpricing”.  It will help them understand just what they have to lose by not pricing their home right the first time.

      If they refuse, let them know that if the need for a price reduction becomes evident, they’ll need to act immediately – not wait a month.

      The Back to School postcards is available in the Holiday Series under the Postcards section.

      Yards get messy in autumn, so remind your listing clients to keep up the home’s curb appeal on an ongoing basis.

      Remind your clients that leaves will need to be raked more often and dying annuals yanked from the soil. Suggest they hire a gardener to do once weekly yard cleanups if they don’t have the time to do it themselves.

      Finally, if the home is still on the market as Thanksgiving approaches, your listing client has some decisions to make. Primarily, does he or she want to remain on the market over the holidays or put the listing on hold until the beginning of the year?

      Yes, we understand that you’re hoping to high heaven they don’t yank the listing. If you can convince them to remain on the market, let them know that closings near Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Eve are typically slow going. This way, they can make moving plans accordingly.

      A report that makes an ideal piece to leave behind during a listing presentation is, “Moving Made Easy”. Its available in the Free Resource section of our website. Yes, this report is free for you. Get a bunch of copies made and keep them on hand to give to your clients.

      Help out your buyers

      To avoid butting up against Thanksgiving, most homeowners who list their home in the fall put their homes on the market in the early part of the season. Urge your buying clients to be prepared to be the early bird and get their loan pre approval out of the way as soon as possible.

      They should also narrow down their choice of neighborhoods so that when a home is listed in the area, they can be among the first to view it.

      Warn your buying clients not to give in to the temptation that fall appliance sales offer. This year’s models typically go on sale in September and October to make room for next year’s. These bargains may seem irresistible additions to their soon-to-be new home.

      Let them know that the lender may pull their credit once more before closing. A large purchase on credit may either slow down closing or cause loan denial.

      Perfect marketing for Fence Sitter Home Sellers
      The Time is Running Out postcard is available in the Fence-Sitters Series under the Postcard section.

      You’re the expert that your clients rely on to help them navigate the real estate process. While buying or selling a home is primarily the same in fall as in the other three seasons, there are subtle differences they need to be aware of.

      There’s no time to lose in getting your postcard blitz out for the fall season.
      Send the Time is running Out postcard from the Fence-Sitters Series to light a fire under the feet of slow-moving sellers.
      You might also like:

      Master the Art of Writing Listing Descriptions That Sell

      Downsizing: How to Help Your Older Real Estate Clients


      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 Free killer tools to help your success this year!

      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. “Get More Listings” Free Online Webinar

       

      “Get MORE Listings & Begin to Dominate Your Market!” Free online webinar. Learn the 3-7-27 strategy for explosive growth, why 95% of agents have less than 20% market share, and how to become the agent everyone competes against. – 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, Get More Listings, Geographic Farming, and Sphere of Influence. –Click Here

       

       

      4. 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

       

       

      5. 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

        Even folks who aren’t thinking of buying or selling a home in the near future enjoy reading well-written real estate market reports.

        If you aren’t using market reports in your marketing efforts, you’re missing out on a prime opportunity to show your area expertise. However, it’s not enough to slap up an MLS graph and call it a market report.

        If you’ve ever scratched your head over a medical report from a doc, radiologist or other medical professionals, you know how your market report recipients feel when poring over all the stats.

        It’s up to you to put them into a form that’s easily understandable to the layperson. Then, it’s up to you to let them know what it means for them.

        We’ve seen some brilliant market reports but, unfortunately, we’ve also seen some pretty bad ones. Let’s start with what not to do when writing your report.

        1. Don’t assume consumers understand real estate jargon

        “The pending ratio indicates the supply & demand of the market.”

        While this statement might be true, the author (a company that actually creates reports for agents) assumes that the average reader understands what she means by “pending.”

        Pending what? Most consumers don’t understand MLS terminology so each and every report should clearly spell out the meaning behind what you assume are widely-used terms.

        So, rewritten, it might look like this:

        When a seller accepts an offer on a home, the listing agent changes its status in the MLS from “Active” to “Pending,” meaning the home has an offer, but it hasn’t closed yet.

        The Neighborhood Update postcard is available under the Neighborhood Update Series in the Postcard section

        Then go on to explain what the pending ratio means – in clear, easy-to-understand English.

        Then, there’s “absorption rate.” One Las Vegas brokerage offers an email of a menu of local reports, including a “Monthly Absorption Report.” Sounds more like a soil report than what’s going on in the housing market. We don’t imagine they get many requests for that one.

        “Inventory” is another term that’s tossed around as if everyone understands what the agent is talking about.

        Consider appending the use of “inventory,” at least on the first usage, with an explanatory term. “Inventory of available homes” or “Inventory of homes for sale,” will get the meaning across.

        We love Long & Foster’s description in its market reports. While their graph is titled “Inventory,” the accompanying text simply says:

        “Versus last December, the total number of homes available this month was lower by 298 units or 26%.”

        Then, there are all the acronyms so frequently used by agents that may be a complete mystery to your report recipients. Like “DOM” and “Y-o-Y.”

        2. Don’t assume they understand the statistics’ implications

        Many real estate consumers don’t have a clue as to how different aspects of the economy impact the housing market and why the local economy accounts for many of the differences between the local and national market.

        We like the way Mountain Oak Properties in Asheville, North Carolina handles this:

        “Looking deeper into what is driving this steady improvement nationally and locally, you will find that the Asheville area job growth is outperforming the nation and NC.”

        The report then goes into a deeper dive of the statistics presented in the report, what job growth has to do with the real estate market and what the consumer might expect in the future.

        The Free Market Analysis postcard is available in the Free Offer Series under the Postcard section

        We all know that we can’t predict the market’s future performance based on current numbers, and you should explain that. But, as the “local expert,” you can take a stab at it.

        3. Don’t Be Too General With Your Information

        Get as specific as you can. Lucky you if your MLS provides neighborhood-specific statistics. These allow you to go hyper-local.

        Determine your target market and focus your reports accordingly. If you’re trying to achieve more listings, mention the neighborhoods with the highest price appreciation. Do the opposite if you’re hoping to lure buyers.

        4. Don’t Just Offer Stats and Dry Copy

        Once you have your report written, it’s time to get it into an easy-on-the-eyes format. Ideally, you’ll hire a graphic designer and outsource this part of the project. You can find inexpensive designers online at sites such as upwork.com or 99designs.com.

        Prefer to DIY? Consider customizing one of the thousands of templates at Canva.com. It’s an easy-to-use graphics site and most of what you’ll find there is free.

        Sure, you can take that nifty graph from your MLS and paste it into your report, but, again, it’ll be meaningless to the average real estate consumer.

        The name of the game with market reports is “Reader-Friendly.” And, since 65 percent of us are visual learners, this means using lots of colors and big, bold graphics.

        The Comparative Market Analysis postcard is available in the Call to Action Series under the Postcard section

        Brilliant market reports can help set you apart from the lazy agents. Do them right, and you’ll be one more step ahead.

        Start generating interest in your market reports now!
        Send the Free Comparative Market Analysis postcard from our Call to Action Series to at least 100 prospects in your farm or an area where you want more listings.
        You might also like:

        The Biggest Client Complaint and How Not to Be That Agent

        Agent Facebook Success: Rules of Engagement


        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 Free killer tools to help your success this year!

        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. “Get More Listings” Free Online Webinar

         

        “Get MORE Listings & Begin to Dominate Your Market!” Free online webinar. Learn the 3-7-27 strategy for explosive growth, why 95% of agents have less than 20% market share, and how to become the agent everyone competes against. – 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, Get More Listings, Geographic Farming, and Sphere of Influence. –Click Here

         

         

        4. 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

         

         

        5. 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

          Think back to when you first got started in real estate. Remember that sinking feeling of knowing that you had no money coming in – and wouldn’t – until you got a deal?

          The suggestion that you should start generating leads by trolling your sphere of influence is of little consolation when one is accustomed to receiving a regular paycheck.

          If you took the advice, however, you now know the value of a network of people who know, like and trust you. And, never is this sphere of influence more appreciated than when it’s time to leave them all behind and start anew.

          Relocating real estate agents experience a double whammy—moving their homes and families as well as their businesses. Only, the latter isn’t as simple as it might be for other business people. As a small business owner, you’re going to be starting from scratch. No family, no friends, no colleagues.

          The Allow Me Please postcard is available in the postcard section under the Agent Introduction Series.

          How will you do it?

          You’ll need to lay some groundwork before the move and then hit that ground running upon your arrival. Other agents have successfully started over, so learn from them.

          The groundwork

          Before you leave your present home, make some warm calls to your present sphere. Ask if they know anyone in your destination city that might be ok with you calling them for some insider tips on the area.

          Then, call and introduce yourself and begin loading up your CRM with these contacts.

          Stalk other agents

          If you have time before the move, get to know the major players in your new town’s real estate universe. Check websites, read Yelp reviews – do whatever it takes to familiarize yourself with the “competition.”

          Pay close attention to their branding, as this is something you’ll need to do once you’re moved. If you’re seeing the same thing with most agents, differentiating yourself will be easy. If not, consider how you’ll make yourself stand out from the everyone else.

          Then, look at the markets these agents are currently serving – find a niche that isn’t being served and claim it as your own. It’s a lot easier to be a big fish in a small pond than to try to be everything to everyone.

          The Call to Action Door Hanger is available under the Door Hanger tab.

          Get your web presence up and running early

          With so many “fingers” in the website-creation pie, it’s not wise to depend on the developer’s estimated completion date, so get started as early as possible.

          Your local internet presence will be imperative to get established.

          Learn all you can about your new city

          With the internet, getting to know an area is ridiculously easy and something you can begin before leaving your current city. Google Earth will even allow you to view the homes, neighborhoods and city hotspots.

          Use Yelp to find out what’s popular with locals and create a Twitter list to stay on top of local events and news. To get a local’s view of the area, stalk the forums at City-Data.

          After all the research, you should have a basic knowledge of the area so that when you land there, you can strike out on your own for a more intimate look.

          And, now that your website’s up and running, take photos while you’re out and about and use them in blog posts about neighborhoods, eateries and city features. You’ll look like a local in no time.

          Meet the folks

          Your goal should be, aside from getting to know the area, building relationships in your new city.

          One quick way to do this is to get involved in a community organization. Choose one that fits your passion and volunteer. Or, join a civic club, such as the Lions Club, Rotary Club or Kiwanis.

          “My experience is to connect, connect, connect! Fill your pipeline. Know your market, focus and play the game daily,” recommends Christina Sanchez Hood, CEO at Silicon Valley HOODS, at Inman.com.

          Get back to the basics

          Starting a new real estate practice as an experienced agent is a lot different than starting as a rookie. Imagine trying to start a business where you not only don’t have a network but don’t know anything about the business as well. So, rely on your experience.

          Which lead gen technique helped fill your pipeline as a rookie? Whether it was door-knocking, cold-calling, using direct mail or even floor time – if it worked then, it’ll work now. And, if it produces even one converted lead, you’ll thank yourself for putting up with the drudgery.

          In fact, Patti Irwin, an agent in the Scottsdale, Arizona area relied on, among other tactics, open houses and floor time to rebuild her business after relocating from Illinois.

          The Community Newsletter is available under the Newsletter tab.

          If all else fails, research buying leads

          Yes, it’s a contentious topic and those on both sides of the issue have valid points. The fact is, if you work them right, many online leads are productive.

          There are a number of companies that sell real estate leads, but it’s important to do some research before embarking on this tactic.

          If you’re a new agent or have just relocated to a new area, start building your base of business today, send 100 Community Newsletters to an area where you want to become the neighborhood brand.

          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 Free killer tools to help your success this year!

          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. “Get More Listings” Free Online Webinar

           

          “Get MORE Listings & Begin to Dominate Your Market!” Free online webinar. Learn the 3-7-27 strategy for explosive growth, why 95% of agents have less than 20% market share, and how to become the agent everyone competes against. – 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, Get More Listings, Geographic Farming, and Sphere of Influence. –Click Here

           

           

          4. 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

           

           

          5. 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

            We have two winners!

            A first place $250 Gift Card winner & a second place $100 Gift Card winner!

            1.Congratulations Virginia Enoch on winning our 1st Prize $250 ProspectsPLUS! Gift Card!

            Virginia shared the following feedback with ProspectsPLUS!

            “A recent postcard publishing was so successful that we ordered another 100 postcards.

            We know that our success is rewarded by partnerships with proven vendors such as ProspectsPLUS!. Your products do enable us!

            I constantly see amazing new products and benefits you provide for your customers. What can I say? Well done and thank you”.

            Virginia’s latest marketing pieces she’s using include – The following Free Reports – 9 Ways to Get More Money in Less Time”, 5 Killer Tips to Sell This Summer”, “Don’t Leave Money on The Table”.


            2. Congratulations Chris Ditoro on winning the 2nd Prize $100 ProspectsPLUS! Gift Card

            Chris shared the following feedback with ProspectsPLUS!,

            “Hands down the products that ProspectsPLUS! put out are second to none. I have compared other Just Listed, Just Sold postcards and ProspectsPLUS! blows them out of the water.

            Tons of design options, Free customizable PDF reports and soooo much more. What’s there not to love about their products and services. Highly recommend 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

            I also didn’t mention. I download their PDF reports and include them in my weekly marketing email to my clients. Also I print them out and have them at open houses and when we door knock as a handout or offer in an email. So many ways to use their products”.

            Chris’ latest marketing pieces she’s sent out include – The Free Report, “6 Critical Questions to Ask”, the Get More Listings Series postcard, “I have a Buyer”, and the Just Sold postcard.

            Take the lead from Virgina and Chris and send at least 100 marketing pieces to an area where you want more buyers or sellers!


            You might also like to read:

            How to Harness the 5 Key Traits of ‘Rock Star’ Agents

            Agent Facebook Success: Rules of Engagement

            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!