Wednesday, October 16, 2019

    The direct mail revival is well underway and if you’re toying with the idea of participating, remember the old “40/40/20 Rule”

    • 40% of a successful campaign depends on the quality of the mailing list
    • 40% depends on what you offer
    • 20% depends on the quality of the message and the actual piece you mail out.

    Read on to learn how to start a real estate direct mail campaign in 5 easy steps. 

    1. Use the right mailing list

    Reaching the right people at the right time is key to the success of any type of marketing, including direct mail. Choosing the people who populate your mailing list is your first job.

    To decide who goes on the list, determine your purpose with each direct mail campaign. Are you trying to build brand awareness in a farm area? Generate leads? Buyer or seller leads?

    It’s critical to determine your “why” before doing anything else. “Why am I conducting a direct mail campaign? Who do I want to reach?”

    Then, laser focus your list to that audience using our targeted mailing list search tools.

    The Ready to Own postcard is available in the Postcard Section under the First-Time-Buyer Series

    Suppose you want buyer leads from a particular subdivision. Sure, homeowners may be thinking of moving, but it’s more likely that those currently renting are the best prospects. You’ll need to find the homes in the subdivision owned by absentee owners, but target the tenants living in them.

    2. Determine what you want them to do

    You may think this is as easy as “Well, duh, I want them to buy or sell real estate.”

    But it’s not that simple.

    The second “40” in the 40/40/20 Rule refers to your offer, the second most important aspect of a successful direct mail campaign.

    Retailers have an easier time with this one. Offering 20 percent off a product, free shipping or buy-one, get-one-free are all popular.

    What about real estate agents? What can you offer that might compel a recipient of their postcards to act?

    • Free e-book on buying or selling a home
    • A list of down payment assistance options (national, statewide and regional)
    • Free reports, such as “How to Buy a Home with a Low Credit Score,” “From Tenant to Homeowner” or “Buy a Home with No Money Down” (all about the VA and USDA loans).
    • Free list of homes for sale under a certain dollar amount.

      The Free List of Homes postcard is available in the Postcard Section under the Free Offer Series.

    If you offer enticing seller services, such as free home staging or a free pre-sale home inspection, by all means, play that up as your offer.

    If you don’t offer free services, consider choosing one to use as your offer just for the direct mail campaign.

    Keep in mind, however, that the number of hoops you force them to jump through to take advantage of the offer impacts the response rate, according to Bob McCarthy at DMNNews.com.

    The more they have to do, the lower the response rate.

    3. Direct mail piece design

    “One strategy we use to get our highest response rates is to make the offer the centerpiece of the mail package, McCarthy claims.

    Whether you choose to include an actual photograph of the Ebook or special report (or whatever it is on offer) or use text to describe it, mention it boldly and repeatedly.

    Your message (its length and graphic requirements) will determine the medium. Keeping it plain and simple? A standard-sized postcard may do the trick.

    If it’s graphics-heavy and you’ll include substantial copy, consider using one of the larger postcard sizes (view them here).

    Choose a font that’s easy to scan as folks sift through their mail. Many direct mail experts recommend using a sans serif font, such as Arial, rather than Times New Roman or another serif font.

    Consider varying the font size throughout the text, with more important items highlighted with a larger version of the chosen font.

    Additional design tips to keep in mind include:

    • Ensure your headline is bold and compelling yet short and specific.
    • Use lots of white space to make the piece appear to be easily digestible.
    • Sub-headings help guide the reader through the text.
    • Use a high-resolution photograph.
    • Avoid placing text over photos.
    • Ensure that your offer stands out and that your contact information is easy to find.
    4. Send it out . . . and keep sending

    Naturally, you’ll want to use ProspectsPLUS! for your direct mail campaign piece printing and mailing. With next-day printing and mailing, you can’t go wrong.

    Then, there’s the follow-up – you know, that place where the “fortune” is.

    While there’s no rule as to how often to mail to your list, consistency is key, whether you choose to run your campaign monthly or quarterly.

    Market conditions may prompt a change in frequency as well. New listings and just sold-homes in the area and other real estate news deserves a “touch” of everyone in your farm area.

    5. Track your results

    Tracking your results is vital to your direct mail campaign. One of the most popular methods used by agents is the creation of a dedicated landing page on their websites. The URL should be unique to the campaign so that you’ll be able to learn your exact response rate (number of responses divided by the total number of pieces sent).

    The response rate you can expect depends on how well you’ve carried out the aforementioned objectives. Marketing experts are all over the map when quoting an “average response rate, from 0.5 percent to 5 percent.

    With the holidays coming up, now is the perfect time to plan an execute a 2020 real estate direct mail campaign.

    We’re here to help.

    Download the Chop Your Mortgage Free Report and add it as an offer to all of your marketing (email, direct mail, website).
    Keep this report on hand for open houses and for your listing presentions folder.

    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

     

     

     

     

      As the season begins to slow in the coming months, one way to remain productive is to spend your time reflecting on your marketing efforts and determine what’s been working and what hasn’t. This way, you’ll have all your ducks in a row to kick off 2020 with a brand-new and ultra-strategic marketing plan.

      Stop being a generalist

      One of the most interesting dichotomies apparent in real estate professionals is between the longing to stand out and the strict adherence to the standard way of doing business.

      This results in marketing messages that are nearly identical, which is why the public claims “all real estate agents are alike.” If you truly want to stand out from everyone else you need to do something different. Start with your business structure.

      Instead of trying to convince potential clients that you’re good at everything, why not concentrate on being THE BEST in one area? Ditch the rookie mentality that too many agents hang on to – that you are an all-purpose generalist who “specializes” in all areas of real estate. There’s nothing unique about that.

      Be great at one thing

      Decide that you’ll stop trying to be good at everything and concentrate on being GREAT at one thing. Be productive during your slower time and think long and hard about becoming the true expert in a niche area of real estate.

      Think about what you like best about your current practice. Are there certain clients you enjoy working with more than others? Buyers? Sellers? First-timers, Baby Boomers, families?

      Are there certain properties that you’ve worked with more often than others? Maybe waterfront, ranches, condos or vintage homes.

      Speak the same language

      If all else fails, imagine your ideal client and then create a profile of that person. For example, suppose I’m a veteran and I’ve always felt most comfortable assisting other veterans in their real estate transactions.

      After all, we have shared experiences and speak the same “language.” There’s my niche right there.

      Maybe you’re an equestrian and love working with other horse owners. Horse properties may be what you should specialize in.

      Now you have someone specific to speak to. You understand their needs and can speak directly to them, instead of speaking in vague terms to all real estate consumers. Your content then becomes more valuable, your brand is better defined and your entire real estate practice is unique.

      I once interviewed Steve Israel, owner/broker of Buyer’s Edge in Bethesda, MD. Notice his niche is in the brokerage’s name – buyers.

      But, not just any buyers. Israel specializes in condos in downtown D.C. I asked him how he came up with this specialization.

      He told me that his clientele was, by and large, first-time homebuyers. He also realized that “the condo market is a very vibrant part of the local market and that it lends itself well to being a niche.”

      His first productive step was to create a website packed with information and details about the various condo communities. Yes, it was time-consuming, which is why we suggest that you use the slow season to get this started.

      Niching your real estate practice works best if you work in a medium to large market. Those in small markets may not find it quite as valuable.

      The Demand is High postcard is available in the Postcard section under the Content Card Series

      We are rapidly approaching a new year. Consider being productive and using the slower times to create something unique and prosperous that results in a powerful jump-start for the new year.

      Send at least 100 of the Demand is High & Inventory is Low postcards from the Content Card Series to 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 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

       

        This time of year is ideal for reviewing and reestablishing strategies that have been successful in the past.

        With this in mind, let’s look at three strategies that have proven successful at attracting new clients, for many agents.

        Strategy 1: Start with what’s warm 

        Remember when you first started in real estate? The answer to “how do I attract new clients?” was typically met with “reach out to everyone you know.” And, that advice is still pertinent.

        Dust off your CRM and dig into it, starting with the warmest contacts. Reach out to family, friends, former colleagues, parents of your kids’ friends, and anyone else who you have even a modicum of a relationship. Ask them who they know that may be thinking of selling their home.

        Our Holiday Postcards are a fun, easy way to reach out to your Sphere without feeling too salesy. Or choose a handwritten notecard, for a more intimate way of saying hello and reminding your Sphere you’re only a phone call away.

        Don’t be discouraged if your contacts don’t respond with interest after the first mailing. You’ve begun the process of making yourself top-of-mind for the time when their interest changes or that of their friend.

        Now, take a look at all the potential clients you’ve spoken with in the past – especially anyone that requested or received a listing presentation but ended up not selling. Find out what their current status is and reach out.

        This tactic worked for St. Paul broker Teresa Boardman. First, she determined that they hadn’t listed with someone else and then she contacted them.

        Shortly after starting the tactic she reported that “One homeowner, I’m going to list for sure and another one looks like a real strong possibility and another is trying to decide if he should rent out the house or sell it.”.

        Strategy 2: Go where others won’t

        If you think that every other agent in town is pursuing canceled, withdrawn and expired listings, Tom Ferry coach Tom Toole would beg to differ with you.

        He looks at an expired listing as an ideal opportunity, because “most people are afraid to call them.”

        And, it works for him. In a case study at tomferry.com, Toole reports that his annual gross commission income from working with expired listings is $525,000. His marketing investment is $3,000 a month.

        He makes those icy-cold calls and those that aren’t ready to re-list go into a drip campaign of direct mail marketing. This is where newsletters and postcards can really pay off.

        If you are getting ready to go after this lucrative niche our Expired Postcard Series is an effective solution.

        Let them know you can get their home sold (Available under the Expired Series in the postcard section)
        Strategy 3: Cast a wider net

        With the media running endless stories of rapidly escalating home prices and potential rate hikes, it’s understandable that homeowners can be reluctant to sell.

        Which makes now the perfect time to add another niche to focus on by going after homeowners who don’t have to sell – absentee owners.

        Our Get More Listings Series offers postcards with content that effectively reaches out to these absentee owners.

        Depending on how far away they live from their investment property they may have no idea how values have skyrocketed and the equity they’re currently sitting on.

        Nearly 80 percent of landlords plan on owning their properties for five years, so seek out those who have owned for at least three years. You can get that specifically targeted mailing list here.

        Consider these suggestions for direct mail marketing to absentee owners, from Louisville, Kentucky real estate investor Sharon Vornholt:

        • Personalize your direct mail – Use the owner’s name, instead of “Homeowner.”
        • Use the same “best practices” for this mail as you do your blog posts: Lots of white space, subheadings and bulleted points.
        • Don’t talk about you or your brokerage. Get to the point quickly and address the benefits for the homeowner (such as an increase in value).

        Nobody knows what the foreseeable future holds for the real estate market. However, there’s one thing we do know and that is to last you need to continue to list.

        Therefore, there’s nothing more important, as you finish this year and make plans for 2020 than to reacquaint yourself with the best ways to attract clients.

        Notecards are available under the Notecard tab on ProspectsPLUS.com

         

        Order personal Notecards and send out a couple handwritten notes every day to your Sphere of Influence.

        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 Sue Hurd on winning the 1st Prize $250 ProspectsPLUS! Gift Card

          Sue shared the following feedback with ProspectsPLUS!,

          “Easy, fast and cost-effective!”

          Sue’s latest marketing pieces she’s sent out include – Free Report, “4 Home Seller Mistakes”, Agent Introduction postcard, Fence Sitter postcard.

           

          2.Congratulations Charlene Bailey on winning our 2nd Prize $100 ProspectsPLUS! Gift Card!

          Charlene shared the following feedback with ProspectsPLUS!

          “I highly recommend ProspectsPLUS! I always get my shipments earlier than promised and their customer service is excellent”

          Charlene’s latest marketing pieces she’s sent out include – Property Brochures, Free Offer Door Hangers, Objection Handling Flyer. 


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


          You might also like:

          5 Podcasts For the Burned-Out, Stressed-Out, Ready-To-Quit Real Estate Agents

          Stop Wondering How You’ll Get Business in 2020

          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!

            Once a year we like to take a look at the late-summer real estate market.

            What we’ve been reading in the media lately is pretty confusing.

            If it baffles people who work in the industry, imagine how the average buyer or seller, or even potential buyer or seller, feels right now. Talk about “fake news!”

            Here’s one example among the many misleading news pieces we’ve read.

            Late last month, Yahoo Finance published an article titled “Goldman Sachs reveals what’s holding back the housing market.”

            So, what did Goldman Sachs base its gloomy conclusion on? Chief among the reasons:

            Just Listed postcards are available in the postcard section under the Just Listed Color Series.
            Tax Reform:

            “The reduced tax incentives effectively increases a home’s cost of ownership.” What they neglected to add, which is significant, considering the average Yahoo Finance reader isn’t a 1 percenter or isn’t even remotely connected to anything Goldman Sachs-ish, is that this primarily affects wealthy homeowners, not the average homeowner.

            Construction Labor Market:

            Apparently, tightening illegal immigration policies have diminished the number of low-cost laborers these multi-billion-dollar corporations choose to hire.

            “In the real world, however, there is a very limited number of potential employees in any given labor market. To attract more workers, you need to raise the wage rate,” according to Scott Sumner at the Library of Economics and Liberty.

            Makes sense, right?

            Instead of offering higher wages for American unemployed workers, the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) has turned to the federal government with pleas to allow more of these immigrants to work here legally.

            “When a reporter stops by, you [the builder] tell her that you face a “shortage” of workers, even though there’s someone willing to do the job” for a higher wage, Sumner concludes.

            In other words, the reporter (and thus, the public) isn’t told that the reality is that there isn’t a labor shortage, there is a living wage shortage among those who hire the labor.

            The truth is, the unemployment rate in the construction sector is 0.4 percent higher this summer than last and it’s among the top four unemployed industry sectors.

            These are American workers, sitting on the sidelines.

            Start paying more and the labor “shortage” will turn into a glut. Therefore, Goldman Sach’s claim of a labor shortage is quite misleading.

            This is the perception that real estate consumers are receiving from many in the media.

            Just Sold postcards are available in the postcard section under the Just Listed Color Series.

            The people spreading the perception may be folks who aren’t told the truth, such as the aforementioned reporter. They are definitely people who haven’t spent a day listing and selling real estate in the current market.

            The reality is quite different

            Holding back the housing market?

            Many regions across the country (Rockford, IL; Houston, TX and Lexington, KY, for example) are experiencing record-breaking sales.

            Certain housing sectors boast the same. For instance, multi-family housing showed quite positive gains in late August, according to MPMag.com.

            While existing home sales increased 2.5 percent, nationwide, housing starts fell 4 percent in July. But the number of building permits, on a national basis, increased 8.4 percent.

            Even the roller-coaster-like new-home (single-family) sector doesn’t tell a tale of woe. While sales are down, they’ve been up for the previous couple of months.

            Additionally, SFR, condo and apartment builder sentiment is rosy, according to WorldPropertyJournal.com. Add to that Fannie Mae’s numbers that show consumer confidence in housing is at a record high.

            So, why all the doom and gloom about the real estate market?

            The “R” word

            Recession. The U.S. is years overdue for one so it’s not a question of if the economy will contract, it’s when. After all, we’re now in the longest economic expansion in our history.

            The “R” word, however, scares the public. Few mainstream Americans are aware that recessions are a natural part of the U.S. economic cycle and place the blame on the president, congress or whoever holds the current bogeyman title.

            The last recession was largely caused by the real estate market, the memories of which are giving current real estate consumers the jitters.

            Most economists say that the impending recession will not be caused by the real estate sector. Therefore, we can look to past recessions (with the exception of the last) to learn how real estate was affected.

            If we’re about to experience a global economic downturn, as some doom and gloomers in the media are claiming, it certainly isn’t affecting many foreign housing markets.

            News out of Australia claims “Australian homes fly at auctions in a boon for prices.” Toronto, Canada is enjoying a healthy real estate market as well as is Manilla, PH and even Vietnam. The UK is seeing a more-than 6 percent jump in home sales over this time last year.

            You may need to talk your prospects down off the ledge with all of this anti-market hype. It’s only natural for them to be completely confused right now and you can help them clear it up.

            Write a blog post stating the truth about the market and then share it on social media. Send infographics with the “Myths and the Realities” of the current market to your prospects.

            Most of all, let your potential sellers know that they can relax because the chances are good that their homes may actually increase in value when we enter a recession,

            The media is doing a disservice to not only real estate consumers but to our country’s economy as well. The misleading headlines, the omissions of positive aspects of the market lead to a widespread perception of a problem that simply doesn’t exist.

            Show consumers homeowners are selling by sending out the Multi-Photo Just Listed postcard from the  Multi-Photo Series.

            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