Thursday, January 23, 2020

Lisa Gray

Lisa Gray
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Lisa is an accomplished marketer with years of expertise in direct response marketing, digital marketing, data analytics and business development working with both B2C and B2B.

    Ah, the things we learn online.

    Homer – you remember him from school, right?

    In “The Odyssey,” Odysseus went to war and left his household in the capable hands of a Mentor, his son’s teacher. Apparently, the Mentor was really good at dealing with personal dilemmas.

    As a new agent, you have lots of those, right?

    While being mentored isn’t just for new agents, they seem to be the ones that most need it. Seasoned agents typically hire a coach, or trainer, to assist with increasing their production, hiring management and staff and learning better business practices.

    For the nuts and bolts of how to actually hit the ground running in a real estate career, however, latching onto a mentor is the way to go.

    The Timing is Everything postcard is located under the Fence Sitters Series in the postcard section

    And before you get all uppity and indignant that we are assuming you know nothing about how to be a real estate agent, consider that Beethoven was humble enough to accept mentoring from Hayden. Plato turned to Socrates for help and then, in turn, mentored Aristotle. Then, there was Freud and Jung.

    What is a Real Estate Mentor?

    Taking over the king’s household was an enormous responsibility for the Mentor.

    It meant that he “had to be a father figure, a teacher, a role model, an approachable counselor, a trusted adviser, a challenger, an encourager,” according to J. Carruthers in “The Return of the Mentor: Strategies for Workplace Learning.”

    Which is exactly what a real estate mentor should be — well, sans the father figure part.

    A mentor is someone in your office who takes you under his or her wing – free of charge – and shows you the ropes.

    Mentors have various ways of teaching, but the best will let you shadow them for a couple of weeks. Going on some listing presentations with a top listing agent is an amazing opportunity to learn how it’s done, successfully.

    Why have a Mentor?

    It’s safe to say that Renton, Wash. broker Sheila McGraw knows a thing or two about how to achieve success in real estate. In 1995, her first year in the business, she earned more than $150,000 in commissions and was named Rookie of the Year.

    McGraw claims that the best way to learn “is to model oneself after someone that has achieved the level of success one aspires to.”

    Tony Robbins takes it much further and insists that you need a mentor to obtain “mastery.”

    Mastery is a noble goal if you hope to last in the real estate industry. “One of the things new agents need to learn early on is that no two transactions are the same. By shadowing a mentor, they’ll not only learn this first-hand, but they’ll be able to see how a master deals with the various situations,” says Realty Billings broker/owner Amber Uhren.

    While shadowing your mentor on listing presentations and showings is an excellent way to learn that end of the business, a mentor can also assist with the back-end.

    The Tiem is Running Out postcard is located under the Fence Sitters Series in the postcard section

    Do you know how to run a small business? How to allocate your time? From choosing the right technology tools to learning how to prospect effectively, a mentor in your corner is invaluable.

    Pick a Winner

    Be careful who you choose as a mentor. Resist the temptation to choose someone purely on the basis of his or her production level.

    “I firmly believe that what you eat, what you think, who you hang out with, who you emulate all makes you who you are. Emulate a jerk and you’ll probably turn into one!” says Jolenta Averill, broker/owner at Lake and City Homes in Madison, Wisc.

    When considering who to approach for mentorship, look beyond production. If you’ve chosen a niche, a good choice would be someone who specializes in that corner of the market.  But also look closely at personal qualities, such as integrity and reliability.

    Finally, look for an agent who is open and willing to allow you into her business world, sharing her professional accomplishments and failures.

    Building a business takes time so consider this mentorship period part of the initial process. Don’t rush it and don’t expect to learn everything overnight. You’re building a foundation on which will sit a thriving real estate practice.

    A couple of years ago I spoke with California agent Dorothee Crawford and she explained to me how even after three decades in real estate, she remained motivated by the words of her mentor, Cam Merage, founder and CEO of First Team Real Estate.

    “I am Persian and Jewish, with an accent and I am not a native to the United States – If I can do this, you can do this.”

    Get those fence-sitters off the fence by sending the It Doesn’t Take a Crystal Ball postcard from the Fence Sitters Series to an area where you want more listings.
    The It Doesn’t Take a Crystal Ball postcard is located under the Fence Sitters Series in the postcard section.

    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. 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

     

     

     

    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

     

     

      Can someone point out where it’s written that real estate agents need to be active on every social media platform?

      I didn’t think so.

      Real estate agents, if they’re doing it right, have insanely busy schedules and little help with the scut work.

      Not that marketing your business is necessarily scut work, but the actual implementation of social media marketing methods often is.

      Since demographics on these platforms ebb and flow, it’s challenging to figure out which ones are worthy of your precious time and money and which to cut loose.

      The Valentine’s Day postcards are available under the Holiday Series in the Postcard Section

      So, we thought we’d help you out a bit by doing some of the research for you.

      It’s all about the demographics

      “Popularity was fickle and elusive, like trying to catch fireflies in a jar,” according to author Melissa de la Cruz. While she wasn’t referring to social media, the quote certainly fits.

      It’s important to not buy into the hype when researching social media platforms. That Twitter boasts 330 million monthly active users means nothing other than that a whole bunch of people use it.

      The two most important statistics for real estate agents to know are:

      • How many of these users are located in the U.S.?
      • A breakdown of these U.S. users by age group

      For instance, of those 330 million monthly Twitter users, only 20 percent are located in the U.S. There are other social media platforms that offer a larger U.S. user base.

      The age of the average user is critically important for real estate agents when choosing where to market their businesses.

      The NAR breaks down buyers and sellers according to generational cohorts:

      Millennials will be between the ages of 25-43 in 2020. They represent:

      • 37 percent of buyers
      • 20% of sellers

      Gen X members are between the ages of 44 and 55 this year and they represent:

      • 24% of buyers
      • 25% of sellers

      Baby Boomers are age 56-74 in 2020 and they make up:

      • 32% of the buyer pool
      • 43% of sellers

      Keep in mind that the average age of a homebuyer is 47 and the average age of a home seller is 57, according to the NAR.

      Obviously, if you are a listing agent you are going to want to put your marketing money and time into the platform that attracts baby boomers and older members of Gen X.

      The Valentine’s Day postcards are available under the Holiday Series in teh Postcard Section

      Buyers’ agents should go all-in on platforms that are popular with Gen X but figure out where millennials hang out as well.

      Facebook

      Every year when we take a look back at social media user statistics Facebook comes out the clear winner and, although its popularity is waning, 2020 should be no exception.

      Last year, the largest group of U.S. Facebook users were millennials, at 84 percent. The next largest age group, 30 to 49, includes younger members of Gen X.

      Older generations are well-represented as well, with two-thirds of older Gen Xers and boomers and nearly half of older boomers (older than 65) using Facebook.

      Facebook remains a no-brainer for real estate agents, whether trying to boost organic traffic to websites or using targeted advertising.

      Instagram

      Our opinion? For real estate agents, Instagram is mostly not as effective as Facebook.

      • Of the platform’s 1 billion users, only 11 percent reside in the U.S.
      • Only one-third of the most-viewed stories are from businesses.
      • Instagram ranks sixth in global popularity (Hootsuite).
      • Instagram’s largest user base (64 percent) is between the ages of 18 and 34.

      Consider this as well:

      If your looking to target a younger demographic this is a great platform.

      Don’t be sucked in by the number of businesses that use the platform. Their targeted demographics are most likely not nearly as narrow as yours. For instance, they may be after a global audience or want to appeal to teens and young adults.

      If you are already creating posts for Facebook, it should be fairly easy to copy them and post to Instagram as well. The more reach and visibility you can generate from posting your brand or listings the better!

      Remember to keep a close eye on your targeted audience and make sure your content matches the demographic.

      The Valentine’s Day postcards are available under the Holiday Series in teh Postcard Section

      Check back soon when we compare two more popular social media platforms.

      Send Valentine’s Day postcard from the Holiday Series to your Sphere of Influence. Let them know you are thinking about them.

      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. 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

       

       

       

      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

       

       

        Bathrooms and kitchens. Anyone who has been listing real estate for more than a minute is aware that these two rooms dominate the consciousness of every homebuyer. Or, so we’ve been led to believe.

        Sadly, the adherence to the perceived need to sell these two rooms leaves the rest of the house feeling like the neglected stepchild.

        Nobody expects your listing descriptions to read like they came from the fingertips of the world’s greatest copywriter.

        What buyers do expect, and seldom get, is value for the time they spend reading them. That value remains undelivered when important information is left out. And the good news is that the information doesn’t need to eat up your valuable MLS word count if you can convey it with photos.

        The Neighborhood Update postcard is available under the Postcard section.

        We’ve noticed that there are three areas of a home in particular that agents tend to ignore. Three areas, we assure you, buyers want to know about.

        1. The Backyard

        Why does a homebuyer prefer a single-family residence over a condo?

        There are several reasons, as you know, and chief among them is the backyard. Even a tiny backyard is better than a condo’s lanai. If the buyer entertains a lot, loves to tinker in the garden or has kids/pets that crave the outdoors, a condo won’t work.

        For the past few years, outdoor living spaces have been in-demand with homebuyers. Last year, however, became the year of the patio, at least according to studies by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).

        More than 80 percent of homebuyers surveyed said that a patio in their new home is a must.

        How often are patios staged? More important, how often do you see patios featured in listing descriptions?

        Convince your listing clients to stage the patio. Then, ditch two or three of the 500 kitchen photos you’d planned on posting and use patio photos in their place on your next listing description.

        Get patio staging tips at Pinterest.com.

        The Free Local Market Statistics postcard is available under the Call to Action Series in the Postcard section.

        We’re willing to bet your efforts will build traffic through the listing – especially if you also highlight the rest of the areas of the home most listing agents neglect.

        1. The Garage

        We’re going out on a limb here to guess that the reason listing photos don’t include any of the home’s garages is because most garages we’ve seen are akin to the kitchen junk drawer, but on a larger scale.

        It’s going to take a lot of convincing to get your clients to clean out the garage. Maybe if you let them know that nearly 90 percent of homebuyers say that garage storage is essential, they’ll act.

        In other words, there’s a real good chance that if your clients’ homes don’t clearly show potential buyers how much storage space there is in the garage, they’ll find a home that does.

        Decluttering is a good first step, but staging the garage will wow potential buyers. If your clients already have storage solutions built in, use them in the staging. Otherwise, convince them to buy racks, shelves and ceiling storage units.

        Online ideas abound, but nobody does it better than Pinterest.com.

        Your listing’s garage is so much more than home to two or three cars – so prove it to garage-hungry buyers.

        1. The Laundry Room

        It’s a rare agent’s remarks space that includes mention of a laundry room. Typically, one needs to look beyond the listing description into the features section where you will or won’t find an “X” in the box next to “Laundry Room.”

        When one considers that the number one feature that most homebuyers claim is essential in their new home is a laundry room, according to the NAHB survey, neglecting to play up the feature is nuts.

        By the way, nearly three quarters of repeat buyers say that a laundry room is more important to them than a living room.

        A lot of this desire has to do with the storage a laundry room provides – at least enough room to stack folded laundry and stow dirty stuff.

        Even the smallest room, however, will please would-be homeowners. If your client’s budget allows for the addition of a laundry room, suggest a basement remodel.

        Paul Sullivan, president of a Massachusetts remodeling firm explains to the editors at Kiplinger.com that since the “utility lines are already there” and the addition most likely won’t involve demolition, the cost can run as low as $1,000.

        The Neighborhood Update postcard is available under the Postcard section.

        Make 2020 the year your listing descriptions and photos show buyers the features they’re truly interested in.

        Send the Neighborhood Update postcard from the Neighborhood Update 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. 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. 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

         

         

         

        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

         

          If you have ever experienced the probate process, you’re a step ahead of agents who haven’t.

          We aren’t suggesting you specialize solely in probate listings, but adding them to your repertoire can only help swell your bank account.

          The facts behind probate real estate

          Although we aren’t experts on the topic, we do have first-hand experience with a probate home sale and learned a lot during the process. For an in-depth education on the topic, consult with a probate attorney.

          Probate is the legal process “through which a deceased person’s estate is properly distributed to designated beneficiaries. If any debt is owed it is paid off to creditors,” according to the experts at LegalZoom.com.

          Additionally, probate isn’t always necessary. This is evidenced by the volume of probate avoidance techniques hawked by probate lawyers across the country.

          When probate is unavoidable, however, there is a process. Unfortunately, it varies according to state, which makes it challenging to find information.

          For instance, your “lead” will be the contact person for the decedent. How this person is referred to is just one of the aspects of probate that varies.

          In Hawaii, he or she is called the decedent’s “personal representative.” In California, you’ll need to find the name of the executor or executrix.

          The I Have a Buyer postcard is available in the Get More Listings section under postcards.

          This representative is tasked with coming up with an inventory of the deceased’s estate and the disposal of the assets according to the decedent’s wishes. But wait – what if the person’s wishes aren’t clearly spelled out in a will?

          In that case, the decedent is said to have died “intestate,” and the disbursement will be subject to the laws of inheritance in your particular state.

          Findlaw.com offers a handy chart of where you can find the specific laws for each state, here.

          Probate real estate is a growing niche

          You, as a real estate agent experienced in probate sales (which you will be after your first probate transaction) are one of the decedent’s family’s biggest assets. You are an advisor, a helper, not a mercenary.

          All housing market eyes are on members of the baby boomer generation. More specifically, when these folks are going to move out of the homes that the younger generations so desperately want to buy.

          And the interest is justified, considering that older Americans currently own 40 percent of the country’s housing stock.

          Fannie Mae calls this the “departure of these older adults from the homeownership market.” What they mean is their departure from the earthly realm, but they’re far too kind to put it that way.

          While Baby Boomers are living longer than previous generations, they will “exit homeownership” during this new decade. Statistics show they will exit at a rate of 42 percent higher than the previous decade, according to Fannie Mae’s Economic & Strategic Research Group.

          The learning curve for real estate agents

          If you lack enough first-hand knowledge of the process to get you started, you’ll need to learn all you can about the probate process in your area.

          Start by visiting the Findlaw.com link we mentioned earlier. Then, call your MLS or local association to find out if they offer probate educational opportunities.

          The Motivated Buyer postcard is available in the Get More Listings section under postcards.

          For instance, the Orange County Association of Realtors, in California, at one time offered probate training by a local probate attorney (not sure if they still do).

          If you’re willing to pay the cost of online courses, you’ll find them offered at AllTheLeads.com. We know nothing about the courses, so perform your due diligence before signing up.

          Some of us prefer the self-taught method of learning. If you’re among this group, you’ll find loads of information online:

          Then you’ll need to generate probate leads

          Starting out, you may opt for buying leads, and that’s ok. While we don’t know anything about the following companies, it may be worth it to check them out.

          DIY agents should know that probate records are public. But that doesn’t mean it’s easy to access them.

          There are two ways to approach the search, initially:

          • Choose a county you’re interested in working in. Call the probate court for that county and ask how you can obtain a list of probates. Can’t find a “probate court” in that county? Call the circuit court.
          • Do an online search for “[Name of County] probate records.” This should help you find the .gov site that will outline the steps to get copies of the court records.
          Probate clients aren’t like other real estate clients

          You’ll meet a variety of clients when you start specializing in probate real estate. Some will be grief-stricken over the loss of a parent and the loss of the family home. Others are happy to help you sell the home in the shortest amount of time possible.

          Often, it becomes a group undertaking, where all the details need to be ok’d by all siblings.

          Emotions may run high so if you aren’t good at dealing with them, you may want to reconsider this niche.

          The I Have a Buyer postcard is available in the Get More Listings section under postcards.

          If, on the other hand, you’re not afraid of others’ emotions, probate real estate can be a lucrative and rewarding specialty.

          Send the I Have a Buyer postcard from the Get More Listings 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. 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. 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

           

           

           

          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