Saturday, February 29, 2020

    With all the changes Facebook has been forced to institute in its ad program, many agents we speak with are dumping their ads on the platform and seeking alternative forms of lead generation.

    Some are reconsidering the “old” ways to generate leads, primarily direct mail.

    We agree that direct mail is even more effective today than ever, but all marketing plans should be multi-pronged.

    One free way to generate leads that is often overlooked is the agent website. Sure, you can hire someone to tweak your SEO, but there are other ways to help generate organic traffic.

    Start with your content. As you go through the content on your site, keep this advice from Dan Ritzke, founder of Third Act Marketing, top-of-mind:

    No one wants to learn about your brand

    No one wants to learn about your product

    No one wants to learn about you 

    Everyone wants to solve problems that are bothering them

    Everyone wants to make their life easier

    Everyone wants to make their job easier.

    luxury marketing brochures
    Give consumer s what they are asking for. Create property brochures with multi-photos and detailed descriptions. Available in the Brochure section.

    The “everyone” you should concentrate on is real estate consumers. Luckily, NAR offers some tips they gleaned in a survey of these potential clients (2019 Homebuyer and Seller Generational Trends).

    The top three website features that consumers find “very helpful” have to do with listings:
    • Photos
    • Detailed information about listings
    • Floor plans

    That these consumers chose listing information as the most useful shows exactly why they visited real estate websites. Although neighborhood information is important, that’s not why they visited.

    Your bio is also important, but most don’t find it “useful” to them.

    The most useless information on agent websites, according to survey respondents, includes:

    • Videos
    • Information about open houses
    • Real estate news

    While all ages rank videos as unimportant, 27 percent of baby boomers like them (the highest percentage of all groups).

    What stood out the most for us is that floor plans are important to real estate website visitors yet we see few listings that include this feature.

    Among the tasks you can accomplish to make your listings more valuable to buyers is to start including floor plans, lots of photos and get more detailed in your descriptions. Get more tips here.

    While we can’t personally vouch for the following floor plan providers, several agents we’ve spoken with recommend them:

    Then, ditch the videos on your website. Another NAR report proves that homebuyers don’t watch videos and don’t find them useful. They do, however, like virtual tours. Get on the 3-D virtual tour train in 2020 to offer value to website visitors.

    The value the real estate agent brings to the process

    That NAR survey also asked participants about the “Most Important Factors when Choosing an Agent.”

    Let’s start with what they consider least important:

    What matters least to real estate consumers?

    • Which broker you work for
    • Your level of community involvement
    • Designations (last on the list)

    Note: There have been studies over the past couple of years that claim an agent’s community involvement is very important to the younger real estate consumer.

    Your broker’s brand, whether it’s a Keller Williams or RE/Max or a local boutique brokerage, is often shown to be of little importance to consumers.

    And, designations? Not only do consumers not know what the letters stand for, but when told, they aren’t impressed.

    Create a personal brochure describing important attributes and experience and use it as a leave-behind

    Don’t feel as if you need to take up space on your website, especially above the fold, with these items. Save that area for the things potential clients feel are valuable.

    The top 3 qualities consumers look for in a real estate agent:

    • That the agent is honest and trustworthy
    • Experience
    • Reputation

    Experience matters most to baby boomers and least to members of Gen X.

    Think about Ritzke’s advice when tweaking your website’s information about you. Overtly salesy stuff will get you nowhere.

    For instance, while they value experience, it will take a lot more than “Three decades as the top-selling agent” to convince them.

    Ask yourself how your experience will help them solve common problems in a real estate transaction:
    • Experienced agents are better negotiators
    • Experienced agents know what can go wrong and can help buyers/sellers be proactive to avoid these pitfalls

    When it comes to proving your honesty and reputation, nothing will do that better than your testimonials.

    Tell them until the cows come home that you’re experienced and honest or the king or queen of trustworthiness and they may or — more likely — may not believe you.

    When tweaking your website ensure that your best testimonial resides above the fold and that others – especially those in which your clients extoll your honesty and boost your reputation — are sprinkled liberally throughout your site.

    Need more tips on how and why to use testimonials? You’ll find them right here.

    Send the Multi-Photo Just Listed Postcards out to the area surrounding your listing. Turn one listing into many.

    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. The 12 Month Done-For-You Strategic Marketing Plan – NEW 2020!

    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

     

     

     

    2. The Free One-Page Real Estate Business Plan – NEW 2020!

    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

     

     

    4. 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

     

     

     

    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

     

     

     

    3. Get the ALL-NEW Real Estate Marketing Guide “CRUSH IT” 

    The “Crush It” Guide includes easy steps to launching an effective direct mail marketing campaign, how to create a targeted mailing list, the perfect way to layout marketing materials for success, seven opportunities available to target in your area right now. –Click Here

      Here we are, almost three months into the new year, on the precipice of the spring real estate market. Have you stuck to your marketing plan? If so, and it’s a good one, you’ll have no shortage of folks to work with this spring.

      If you’ve been slacking, take the time now to tweak the plan. Start with the digital aspect of your real estate marketing plan.

      Take a critical look at social media

      Since it’s vital that you connect with potential clients where they spend most of their social media time, re-evaluate how each social media platform you use is working for you.

      Content postcards are available in the postcard section under Content Card Series.

      If you’re not getting a decent return on your investment (of time or money) for any platform, dump it and try something else.

      Facebook

      A good Facebook strategy, even if it’s just to get organic leads, is always worth your time. Users are, by and large, in the buyer/seller age range. Engagement, if pursued strategically, is easier than on most of the other platforms.

      A decent Facebook strategy includes posting a couple times a week. If that’s too much for your schedule, post at least once a week and make sure the post is strong.

      What’s a strong Facebook post? One in which you are aiming for engagement and shares. For instance, if your city or state is among the many “Best places” (to retire, to get a job, to buy a home, etc.) chosen each year, link to the article.

      You can find these types of articles by entering the name of your city or state into a search engine, followed by “named best” or “chosen best.”

      As an example, “Scottsdale named best” returned a ton of very cool articles that a Scottsdale agent might want to repost on Facebook.

      Content postcards are available in the postcard section under Content Card Series.

      People love proof that where they live is the best on the planet and tend to share these types of posts.

      Instagram

      If you are among the few (very few) agents who get real estate leads from the time-suck-that-is-Instagram, congratulations. If you aren’t seeing a return on the investment of your precious time, dump it. And, don’t feel bad. There’s a reason it isn’t working.

      In December of 2019, Statista published the results of a study that found that nearly 71 percent of U.S. Instagram users are between the ages of 13 and 34.

      Let that sink in: The majority of Instagram users aren’t within every real estate agent’s target audience.

      Sadly, only 12 percent of users are in the typical buyer and seller age range. Marketing your real estate business on Instagram, at least in 2020, is like an actor playing to an empty house.

      YouTube

      Video production companies love to tout YouTube’s “more than 1.9 billion registered users.” What they don’t tell you is that it’s a worldwide figure, so it’s useless to real estate agents.

      Unless, of course, you sell real estate worldwide?

      Of those 1.9 billion users, nearly 185 million reside in the U.S. Most of these users turn to the video channel for entertainment, not tutorials.

      Males, according to Statista, primarily watch soccer or other sports while beauty videos are the most popular among women.

      Real estate is missing from the list of the 25 most-watched verticals, as of February 2020. To get an idea of what people in the United States are tuning in to watch, check out Vidooly.com.

      It should come as no surprise that YouTube isn’t the ideal digital marketing platform for most agents.

      • Videos can be expensive and time-consuming to do right.
      • The NAR’s statistics show that video isn’t always an effective way to market listings as well.

      Keep in mind, however, that walk-throughs are more popular than video among buyers. Try to talk your listing clients into a 3-D walkthrough instead.

      Just don’t rely on the platform as an awesome way to market your business, because, again, you’re playing to an empty house.

      Your website

      Nearly half of all Google searchers are looking for local information, according to Hubspot, and slightly more than 80 percent of smartphone users search for local businesses.

      This is a strong signal that your best ROI of your time is ranking in organic search for your local market.

      Start with our site’s keywords. If you’re having trouble coming up with some, research the competition – those agents who are ranking on the first page of search engine results for local searches.

      Yes, you can then use them on your site, but there’s more to it. Create content around these keywords and phrases and ensure that your content is “bigger and badder” than your competition’s.

      Content postcards are available in the postcard section under Content Card Series.

      Marketing plans shouldn’t be set in stone, but evolve. Take a look at yours periodically throughout the year and make the changes necessary.

      Send the How Home Prices are Set postcard from the Content Card Series to an area where you want to brand yourself and develop 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 Free killer tools to help your success this year!

      1. The 12 Month Done-For-You Strategic Marketing Plan – NEW 2020!

      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

       

       

       

      2. The Free One-Page Real Estate Business Plan – NEW 2020!

      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

       

       

      4. 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

       

       

       

      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

       

       

       

      3. Get the ALL-NEW Real Estate Marketing Guide “CRUSH IT” 

      The “Crush It” Guide includes easy steps to launching an effective direct mail marketing campaign, how to create a targeted mailing list, the perfect way to layout marketing materials for success, seven opportunities available to target in your area right now. –Click Here

       

       

      You might also like this episode of the Take a Listing Today Podcast, “Marketing Ideas to Explode Your Growth”.

        It may not seem like it, but winter is almost over. The “famine” part of the equation will be history and we can wallow in the “feast” that spring brings.

        Until then, dealing with the snail’s pace of the market at this time of year can dishearten even the most optimistic among us.

        Direct Response Reports are available under the Free Report section on ProspectsPLUS.com

        But it doesn’t have to. Check out these three tips to help you stay motivated through the final month of winter.

        1. 1. Take action, even if it’s puny

        “Your income right now is a result of your standards, it is not the industry, it is not the economy,” claims motivational coach Tony Robbins. Easy for him to say when he doesn’t work in real estate, right?

        If you’re familiar with Robbins you’ll know that he’s big on taking action – especially if it’s “massive.” Even a small step toward your goals, however, helps raise those standards he speaks about.

        “Even if you take the wrong action, if you keep changing your approach you can succeed in anything,” according to Robbins.

        Actions to consider taking during the remaining downtime include:

        • Clean up and organize your CRM
        • Prepare a mailing list of past clients
        • Research a farm area for listings
        • Organize a summer event for past clients

        One action – just one step toward a goal – taken every day can move you from inertia to progress.


        Related: 8 Things you can do to increase your real estate closings in 2020


        1. Turn the eyes upside down

        While people you hang out with can stifle your professional progress, “the what that you surround yourself with …can either propel you forward…or hold you back,” according to Amy Blaschka at Forbes.com.

        In other words, get out of the office, the car and your head by changing your environment. Samuel R. Sommers, associate professor of psychology at Tufts University claims that this one change can lead to “a burst of fresh thinking and increased drive.”

        Take the laptop to a coffee shop or, if it’s not too frosty outdoors, head to the local park. Invite a prospect for coffee or lunch. Take a walk in nature.

        Direct Response Reports are available under the Free Report section on ProspectsPLUS.com

        “Turn the eyes upside down, by looking at the landscape through your legs,” suggested the late Ralph Waldo Emerson.

        1. Watch, listen, read

        The world is filled with motivational coaches, speakers, and gurus. Take advantage of their knowledge by scheduling time each day to watch, listen to or read their works.

        If it’s a video you prefer, check out “5 Lessons to Live By” from the late Dr. Wayne Dyer and “Take Action In Your Life” with the brilliant Les Brown.

        Books more your speed? Grab Gary Keller’s “Shift: How Top Real Estate Agents Tackle Tough Times” or Ian Schechter’s “Breathe, Focus, Attack: A Triple – Threat System for Creating the Life You Want.”

        In our ears, we prefer The Zig Ziglar Show and the über-energetic Gary Vee’s Audio Experience.

        Be brave, strong and smart

        Winnie the Pooh fans will recall Christopher Robin’s admonition that “You’re braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”

        We tend to forget this fact when we aren’t actively participating in whatever it is that reminds us of our greatness.

        Direct Response Reports are available under the Free Report section on ProspectsPLUS.com

        Fight the malaise by taking action, even if it’s one small step.

        Download the 5 Reasons Why Your Home May Not Sell Report and offer it in all of your marketing including your emails, direct mail, on your website, and as a hand out at your Open Houses and listing presentations.

        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. The 12 Month Done-For-You Strategic Marketing Plan – NEW 2020!

        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

         

         

         

        2. The Free One-Page Real Estate Business Plan – NEW 2020!

        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

         

         

        4. 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

         

         

         

        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

         

         

         

        3. Get the ALL-NEW Real Estate Marketing Guide “CRUSH IT” 

        The “Crush It” Guide includes easy steps to launching an effective direct mail marketing campaign, how to create a targeted mailing list, the perfect way to layout marketing materials for success, seven opportunities available to target in your area right now. –Click Here

         

         

         

          That commission kerfuffle in which the NAR is embroiled, brings with it lots of discussions, questioning the value the agent brings to the real estate process.

          Buyers’ agents, especially, are under the magnifying glass and it’s not at all uncommon to find quotes from consumers testifying that these agents do little to earn the “big bucks” the public thinks they make.

          However, the results of a recent Century 21 survey say otherwise.

          Ninety-nine percent of buyers claimed that their agent “added value” to the process.

          Which is not quite what we’re hearing from the media, right? And, if I were a gambler, I’d bet against that study seeing the light of day in the mainstream media.

          But buyers’ agents can take heart in knowing their clients approve of the job they do.

          There were also other tidbits of information from this particular survey that, if heeded, can help listing agents maintain their relationship with clients long after the deal is done.

          And, successful relationships result in referrals.


          Related: Find out how many people you need in your Sphere. Try our Free SOI Calculator


          Use handwritten notecards to send a special message to your Sphere. Available on ProspectsPLUS.com.

          First, let’s talk about buyers’ agents

          Sadly, nearly a quarter of homebuying clients interviewed said they hadn’t heard from their agents since closing. It’s bad enough that so many agents can’t seem to follow up with leads and prospects but that they also ghost their clients – people they know – is simply mind-boggling.

          Then, when we consider the C-21 survey results about how happy these clients were with their agent, what kind of crazy does an agent have to be to not follow up?

          Would it help if you knew that these clients feel “abandoned” when they don’t hear from you? Would it help to know that more than one-third of survey respondents said they “were unlikely to recommend or rehire the agent they just worked with?” (Emma Ludman, Chicago Agent Magazine).

          It’s easy to assume that since they just bought the home, they won’t be needing your services for some time. But they most likely have friends, family, and colleagues, right? If your name is top-of-mind when someone asks your clients which agent in town they recommend, you’ve got yourself a referral.

          Follow up, follow up, follow up

          The very first thing agents need to do is show their appreciation and gratitude to the person or people responsible for that commission check they just received. You’ll find a wide selection of cards here on ProspectsPLUS!

          If you prefer to send a hand-written note, keep it brief.

          “We are truly grateful for the trust you placed in us during your recent home purchase/sale. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions.

          We hope to be your real estate team for many years to come.”

          Get the card in the mail within a week or two after closing.

          Then, create a follow-up campaign
          Send the Neighborhood Update postcard, available under the Neighborhood Update Series.

          If you don’t already have a follow-up system, it’s time to create one. In 2020, you’ll get the most bang for the buck with a direct mail campaign.

          The mailings must be personalized and they must be strategic. Dig into your CRM and create lists, even if they’re as simple as a list of buying clients and selling clients. We would suggest an additional list of sellers who also bought a home. These experienced homeowners require different information than first-timers.

          Decide what you’ll mail and how often. A list of what has sold in the neighborhood is welcome information for your buyers who are most likely keeping tabs on how their investment is doing. Also, consider:

          “Defying the mediocrity that still exists in the real estate industry is a major part of our mission,” according to Mike Miedler, president and CEO of Century 21 Real Estate LLC.

          Send the Multi-Photo Just Listed postcard to your Sphere and show them how active you are. Available under the Multi-Photo Series.

          Make it a part of your mission as well by keeping in touch with past clients strategically and consistently.

          Send the Multi-Photo Just Listed postcard to your Sphere, keep them apprised of what you’ve been up to and stay on their minds.

          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. The 12 Month Done-For-You Strategic Marketing Plan – NEW 2020!

          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

           

           

           

          2. The Free One-Page Real Estate Business Plan – NEW 2020!

          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. 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

           

           

          4The 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

           

           

           

          5. Get the ALL-NEW Real Estate Marketing Guide “CRUSH IT” 

          The “Crush It” Guide includes easy steps to launching an effective direct mail marketing campaign, how to create a targeted mailing list, the perfect way to layout marketing materials for success, seven opportunities available to target in your area right now. –Click Here