Monday, November 18, 2019

Lisa Gray

Lisa Gray
191 POSTS 0 COMMENTS
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.

    It’s that time of year when small businesses traditionally perform the Q4 look back and look ahead. When compiling next year’s business plan, marketing will no doubt loom large.

    Even if the oft-predicted recession doesn’t hit, if this last year wasn’t as profitable as you’d hoped, it’s time to get back to the tried-and-true and (yes, it sounds self-serving), direct mail deserves a spot in your marketing budget.

    Why direct mail?

    According to the latest CMO survey (a company that collects the opinions of top marketers), only 16.3 percent of marketers “are confident in their ability to justify social media investment.”

    The Thanksgiving postcard is located in the Postcard section under the Holiday Series.

    If professional marketers – folks who do marketing for a living – aren’t able to justify spending their clients’ money on social media, why are you?

    Don’t listen to the hype.

    Direct mail’s response rate, according to the DMA Response Rate Report, stands at 9 percent to warm leads and 5 percent to cold.

    Email’s response rate? 1 percent to both. Online display ads are even worse, at 0.30 percent.

    There are a bunch of reasons for direct mail’s effectiveness and you can learn more here.

    How much of my real estate business budget should I allocate to marketing?

    The annual business plan is a vital component of all businesses, most especially small ones. One of the most important aspects of yearly planning is to get clear on your revenue goals and objectives for the year and how you intend on meeting them.

    This is where marketing and a marketing budget come into play. It’s the section of the business plan that many agents, especially new ones, find the most challenging.

    Determine first how you’ll be marketing your real estate business next year. The most common marketing methods among agents include:

    • Digital
    • Direct mail
    • Events
    • Broadcast

    As you can imagine, the costs for each type of marketing can range from the minimal to the budget-busting.

    So, figure out your budget first and then choose your marketing methods. By the way, businesses spend, on average, 9.8 percent of revenue on marketing, according to the aforementioned CMO survey.

    We see you wincing. But consider this: according to NAR, the budget item that agents spend the most money on every year is on their automobiles.

    Cars aren’t exactly lead-generating machines, yet there you have it.

    So, determine a percentage that you can feel comfortable with and commit to spending that solely on marketing.

    Free One-Page Business Plan

    3 tips to get the most bang for your direct mail buck

    1. The List

    For any marketing campaign to be successful you must know your audience. This is even more critical when you’re on a tight budget. Now is not the time to attempt to be all things to all people.

    The easiest way to whittle down the audience is by figuring out if you want buyers or sellers. Make a choice.

    This not only ensures that what you mail is relevant to the recipient, but helps you choose a farming area (subdivision vs apartment building, for instance).

    Be very picky who you mail to. Throwing stuff against the wall to see what sticks is a sure way to burn through your budget with nothing to show for the time and money spent.

    2. The mail piece

    After taking into account how many mail pieces your budget will allow you to send, it’s time to determine an economic format. Postcards are most likely your best bet. They’re inexpensive to print and to mail.

    If your budget is super squeaky, consider foregoing postage costs and delivering door hangers. The advantages to using door hangers include that they stand out more (unlike mailed pieces which typically arrive in a stack of other mail) and because you’ll save on postage your list can be larger.

    Disadvantages include the labor intensiveness of having to visit each home on your list. Also, door hangers aren’t quite as effective when used in neighborhoods where folks routinely enter their homes through the garage.

    3. Offer something

    Come up with a compelling offer and feature that on your direct mail piece. A free evaluation of home value is one idea or consider offering free staging to anyone who lists with you, an informative E-book with a snazzy title, or a free pre-listing home inspection.

    The idea is to move recipients to act or, at the very least, hang on to your postcard until they’re ready to act.

    Now (when your budget is tight) isn’t the time to take chances with marketing your real estate biz.

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

    Jumping on time-consuming and costly social media bandwagons that don’t deliver your target audience or wasting money on email that won’t be opened, let alone read, can wait.

    Send at least 100  Free Home Market Analysis postcards from the Free Offer Series to an area where you want more listings.
    You might also like:

    Has Technology Killed the Real Estate Business Card

    How to Use Free Reports as Effective Lead Magnets


    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

      It’s not as if listings were a dime-a-dozen over the past few years. You worked your rear end off to even generate seller leads, let alone actually list them.

      Sellers had it so easy – fielding multiple offers and selling lightning-fast and for major bucks.

      But the times they are a-changin’, and you may need to dip a toe or two into the buyer pool in the future.

      It naturally depends on if increases in inventory outpace demand. And, there’s a whole bunch of stuff that could happen to impact that scenario.

      Just in case the “experts” are correct in assuming we’re headed for a buyers’ market; do you remember how to work with them? Let’s take a crash, refresher course.

       “Buyers are liars” – or are they?

      Sure, it’s a common saying since real estate agent caveman (and women) days, but it’s still creepy.

      First, don’t we all pretty much lie when we’re thinking of buying anything? Think about it: you may know exactly what you want when you walk into Macy’s.

      Say what’s on a home buyers mind (Available in the postcard section under Fence Sitter Buyer Series)

      Even when you can’t locate the item or even which department it’s located in, you’ll tell a salesperson that no, you don’t need help, because you’re “just looking.”

      Americans, by and large, don’t like salespeople. We don’t trust them.

      When will real estate agents get it that the vast majority of consumers consider you salespeople? Every year when that “most disrespected” professions list comes out real estate agents rank among the most despised.

      Yeah, it sucks, because we know better – we love you. But they don’t know you, so don’t take it personally. Again, people don’t like being sold to (which is why used car salespeople rank on that list every year as well).

      So, when a buyer tells you that he or she isn’t “ready” yet or is “just looking,” it’s not fair to think of him as a liar.

      Your best defense here is to do everything in your power to banish the perception of real-estate- agents-as-sharks. Take off the sales and promotion hat for starters.

      Buyers are time and labor-intensive

      Listing agents have it made. Breeze in, get a signature on the contract, stick a sign in the front yard and let all the town’s buyers’ agents sell the home.

      Help a renter become a home buyer (Available in the postcard section under the First Time Buyer Series)

      Yeah, I know, that’s pretty simplistic and not entirely realistic, but you have to admit that a listing agent’s job (especially if he or she is good at it) is a whole lot easier than a buyers’ agent.

      While other agents are working on selling your listing, you’re out taking more of them.

      Compared to listing clients, buyers are time and labor-intensive. And first-time buyers will gobble more of your time than repeat buyers.

      The key to saving some of your precious hours is by putting the proper systems in place:

      • Prepare a buyers’ consultation that nails it. Create handouts or website content that walks the buyer through the process, step-by-step and answers every possible question he or she could have.
      • Consider creating in-depth buyer guides – one for How to Buy a Fixer, How to Buy a Newly Constructed Home, How to Buy a Waterfront Home, How to Buy a Home on a Septic or well or whatever.
      • And, don’t forget Mortgage 101 guides on the various government-backed loan programs.
      • Get your preferred vendors lined up so you won’t waste time trying to round up a lender or home inspector or contractor for your buyers.
      • Stick all these valuable guides on your real estate website to make it even easier for buyers to access them. Education is power (and a time-saver for you).

      These things not only provide a better client experience but save you time in the long run.

      Buyers have totally unrealistic expectations

      Don and Joan want to buy a condo in Boston’s Beacon Hill neighborhood. High on the wish list is panoramic views “We need lots of natural light, low fees and on-site amenities, such as a gym, pool, and a pet spa,” Joan said.

      Don chimes in with some of his must-haves: “We also really want heated floors, a gourmet kitchen with granite countertops, a wine cooler, and a walk-in pantry,” he says.

      “We would love a media room, a sauna, and a fireplace in the master bedroom. Our lender says we can pay up to $250,000,” adds Joan.

      Yes, uneducated home buyers tend to be unrealistic. Sadly, when Don and Joan actually lay eyes on what that $250k will buy them (it won’t be in Beacon Hill, where the lowest-priced home right now is $1.5 million), they’ll be crushed.

      Although “buyers are unrealistic” may be an accurate statement, whose fault is it? They don’t, after all, work in the real estate market every day so naturally, they don’t understand it.

      It’s why the pros create a buyers’ consultation

      Back to that, again, huh? A consultation should be the backbone of every real estate agent’s buyer’s system.

      With the market potentially changing, as a listing agent, you’ll also be facing unrealistic expectations from your listing clients. They will no longer have the luxury of demanding top dollar for homes that need work.

      2020 is going to be an interesting year in real estate.

      Help them take the next step (Available in the postcard section under the Move-Up Market Series)
      Send at least 100 Considering a Move postcard from the Move-Up Market 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

        We have two winners!

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

        1. Congratulations Krista Nelson on winning the 1st Prize $250 ProspectsPLUS! Gift Card

        Krista shared the following feedback with ProspectsPLUS!,

        “I have loved using extra postcards in my pre-listing packets as samples. They have been great conversation pieces and look so professional my listing prospects love them.”

        Krista’s latest marketing pieces she’s sent out include – Holiday, Just Sold, and Just Closed postcards. 

         

        Just Sold, Just Closed and Holiday Postcard

        2.Congratulations Ronald Stewart on winning our 2nd Prize $100 ProspectsPLUS! Gift Card!

        Ronald shared the following feedback with ProspectsPLUS!

        “As an independent broker, I can produce quality brochures,  flyers, and postcards that look better than the big franchise companies I compete with. Thanks, ProspectsPLUS!”

        Ronald’s latest marketing pieces include – Just Sold postcards, Free Reports, and Get More Listings postcards.  

        Free Reports, Just Sold, and Get More Listings Postcards

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


        You might also like:

        Tips to Stay Focused Over the Holidays

        Looking For Real Estate Leads, Target Landlords

        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!

          You work hard to establish your bona fides as a real estate agent. Hopefully, you work as hard at keeping in touch with past clients and prospective clients.

          So, what happens to the perception of you as an expert when one of these people learns that you’re promoting real estate myths?

          Embarrassing, right?

          Because something sounds as if it should be true doesn’t necessarily mean it is. Homes on busy streets aren’t always worth less than others and a new professional sports stadium in town doesn’t mean property values will explode.

          Today we expose three home value myths that, quite frankly, we thought had been busted a long time ago. Yet, we still find agents writing about them as if they’re a reality.

          1. Cemeteries drag down values

          “Although living near a cemetery doesn’t automatically affect the home’s price, it does have the potential to drive down home prices,” says an unnamed writer at a site that promises to be “your trusted source of information on real estate market news, trends, and advice.”

          The article was updated in January of this year and still contains this erroneous information.

          A 2013 study by Redfin found that “Homes Near Cemeteries Sell for More.” According to Christin Camacho on Redfin’s blog, “. . . on average, homes near cemeteries are slightly smaller, but sell for more per square foot.”

          The Home Staging Mistakes postcard is available in the postcard section under the Content Card Series tab

          Those closest to the graveyard (within 500 feet) sold for an average $162 per square foot, while those “located more than 500 yards away sold for $145 per square foot.”

          2.The NFL effect

          It’s easy to assume that property values will increase when an NFL team (or any professional sports team) takes up residence in your town. Especially when the real estate community dangles the team’s move as an incentive to homebuyers.

          The most recent example of this is Las Vegas as the new home to not only the Raiders but a brand-new professional hockey team, the Golden Knights.

          Brokers and agents were all over the local news, wringing their hands in glee at how much home values were poised to rise because of pro sports coming to town. This, despite various research studies finding that, overall, the stadiums just don’t correlate to a rise in property value.

          In fact, Trulia’s study concluded that “New stadiums built in the last decade, by and large, have failed to lift the fortunes of nearby neighborhoods.”

          They looked at homes within a 2-mile radius of pro football stadiums across the U.S. Earlier studies by others came to the same conclusion.

          Despite this, agents continue to claim otherwise, with one going so far as to say, on his website, that “housing prices are expected to go up considerably once Las Vegas finishes construction of its stadium.”

          Don’t buy into the hype. It’s simply untrue.


          Related: Is it Appraisal Time? Tricks to Getting Top Dollar


           3. Your pets are going to cost you
          The Low Listing Inventory postcard is available in the postcard section under the Content Card Series

          I dare you to find (on an agent’s website) an article about preparing the home for the market that doesn’t warn people about how many homebuyers won’t buy a home that has pets.

          “If you truly want to get top dollar for your house, pay attention to how much you might lose with a dog or cat in residence,” cautions Elizabeth Weintraub at TheBalance.com.

          “Like other forms of home staging, removing extra pet clutter is an important consideration when you are selling your property,” suggests Bill Gassett on his website, MaxRealEstateExposure.com.

          At one time, this was excellent advice. But time marches on, people’s tastes change, and to give 1990s advice in the 21st century doesn’t make much sense.

          If I were an agent, I would tell all of my listing clients to take all those dog toys and other paraphernalia and use them to stage the backyard. Why?

          “Pet owners make up 80 percent of recent homebuyers,” according to research from Realtor.com®, released last August.

          Three-quarters of these buyers also claim that they would “would pass on an otherwise-perfect home if it wasn’t right for their animals.”

          Ask to prioritize the features they were looking for in a dog-friendly home:

          • Large yard
          • Any outdoor space
          • Garage
          • Large square footage
          • Dog run
          • Dog-proof or “sturdy” flooring
          • Close proximity to outdoor spaces

          If you have a listing that ticks any of those boxes, be sure to let buyers’ agents know. In fact, why not hold a dog-friendly open house? Let buyers can bring their pooches to let them try out the backyard.

          Just a thought.

          The bottom line is that if 80 percent of buyers are pet owners, it’s a safe bet that a little dog aroma won’t negatively impact your listings.

          The Appealing to Equity postcard is available in the postcard section under the Content Card Series

          In fact, if your listing has dog-friendly features and is located where people are playing down their pets, it may just be worth more.

          Send at least 100 Appealing For Equity postcards from the Content Card Series to an area where you want to stir up more listings.
          You might also like:

          Go From Home Showing to Sold in Lightning Speed

          Avoid These 4 Common Real Estate Marketing Mistakes


          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

            It’s a rare home buyer or seller who isn’t highly motivated if they’re willing to buy or sell in winter. Even in parts of the country with balmy weather, there are still the winter holidays to consider.

            Who wants people in and out of their homes when trying to get ready for family visits? Who has time to house hunt when there’s so much shopping, cooking and schmoozing to do?

            While it may be the slowest of real estate seasons, the players on the winter field are highly motivated to buy, sell and move.

            The Call To Action postcard is available in the postcard section under the Call To Action Series.
            That’s the good news.

            Between working with these clients, keeping up with lead generation, preparing your 2020 business plan and squeezing in time with family and friends, winter can be distracting for the real estate agent.

            It’s far too easy to let the merrymaking consume us over the holidays. Unfortunately, as a self-employed, small businessperson who typically wears most of the hats in the business, letting your real estate business’ fundamentals slide can be disastrous to your 2020 bottom line.

            Make a plan for the winter market that will ensure that your business doesn’t dry up when spring rolls around.

            Priority uno

            Even when business is good, lead gen should be your priority. In winter, however, you may need to change your tactics a bit.

            People are busy, people are traveling, so cold calling and door knocking efforts may be fruitless.

            A NAR survey a while back found that 75 percent of seller leads and 65 percent of buyer leads come from referrals and contacts. Go through your CRM and concentrate on nurturing your sphere in November and, especially, December.

            Think newsletters, holiday cards or postcards, and small gifts for past clients that you want to keep in touch with.

            The Determining Value postcard is in the postcard section under the Content Card Series.

            Giving yourself a break from the pressure to generate new leads allows you to focus on drumming up business from referrals. Hopefully, just in time for the spring market.

            Follow-up

            Any new leads you’re able to generate during the holiday season need a quick response and consistent follow-up.

            And by “quick,” I mean within five minutes, if at all possible.

            Forbes published study results that found that salespeople who responded within five minutes were more likely to actually reach the lead (and the lead is more likely to convert) than those who waited longer.

            If you wait a half-hour to respond you may as well kiss the lead goodbye, according to the study.

            Schedule time for the personal stuff

            Agents with assistants can delegate some of the more mundane winter tasks (research to help you with your 2020 business plan, year-end clean up your CRM, etc.)
            If you haven’t hired an assistant, consider doing so now.

            Even if it’s just seasonal help via a virtual assistant, delegate some of your end-of-year tasks so that you can free up time to spend with friends and family.

            Realtor marketing postcards for neighborhood updates
            The neighborhood Update postcard is available in the postcard section under the Neighborhood Update Series.

            Winter slows down for many agents but that’s no reason to lose your focus. Your business depends on building and maintaining relationships and the winter holidays present plenty of opportunities to do just that.

            Send out the Neighborhood Update postcard 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