Thursday, November 15, 2018

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.

Convince Your Buyer to Bite

You’ve conducted a buyers’ consultation and you have a pretty good handle on what your potential buyers want in a home. And, they have a handle on the buying process. Now, it’s time to find them a home.

Be safe out there

First and foremost, your safety should be top-of-mind at all times when showing real estate to strangers. Remember to park your car where it can’t be blocked, to always follow, not lead, the client during the tour of the home and never ignore gut instincts.

For more tips on agent safety, watch this video produced by NAR on REALTOR® Safety Video

The checklist

Just as no two listing clients are identical, not all buyers are alike. Some of them will take your consultation to heart, while others will remain unfocused. Although the following technique works for both, it’s the latter who will get the most out of it.

Create some checklists and worksheets for your clients to use as they tour each home. HUD offers a home comparison checklist that you can download. Brand it and hand it out to your buyers.

Do the same with a wish list worksheet – which is just as useful for you as it is for your clients. It helps you narrow down the list of homes to show and it helps keeps your clients focused on what is truly important to them.

Go overboard on sharing information

If there’s a home on the viewing list that you know fits most or all of your clients’ requirements, help make the sale by loading them up with valuable information (including property flyers). Open House Flyers

Is it their first time in a neighborhood? Be sure to grab some information about it and nearby amenities. If you know where they work, get an estimated commute time by putting the home’s address into Google maps and asking for directions to the work address. The time it takes to drive from one location to the other is included in Google’s directions.

If the buyers have children, locate nearby schools on a map of the area. Even if they don’t have kids, learn about the quality of those schools.

If you get lucky, and the home is located close to a quality school, remind childless buyers of how homes near good schools are good investments because they tend to hold their value better than homes near poor-performing schools.

The best way to get this information is by going online, to schooldigger.com, and entering the name of the school or district in the search box.

Finally, compiling a CMA for any home you think the buyers will be interested in is a must. They’ll want to know if it’s priced right and had those stats at your fingertips is a valuable customer service tactic.

Don’t encourage enormously high expectations

I love this tip from John D. Mayfield, broker/owner of Mayfield Real Estate in Farmington, MO. He calls it “underselling,” and cautions agents not to “hype” up a home before the showing.

Why?

“Buyers may feel the home doesn’t meet their hyped-up expectations,” he suggests and goes on to caution that “The opposite is true, too—many practitioners have stories of showing homes they thought were downright ugly, only to learn” that it was just what the buyers were looking for.

Sure, you should mention the home’s features that match their wish list, but, as Mayfield says, “Let the home sell itself.”

Set the stage

If you won’t be loading the buyers in your car, try to get to the home a few minutes before they do. This way you can run through the home and open drapes, turn on all the lights and ensure pets are safely tucked away.

Know when to back off

Veteran buyers’ agents know the signs of both interest and disinterest in a home. The buyer who zips through the home, barely looking at it, most likely decided at the curb that he didn’t like it.

Then, there’s the buyer who focuses on one or two rooms, repeatedly returning to them – a definite sign of interest.

When working with the latter, you need to know when to physically back off. Especially if it’s a couple, give them some privacy to discuss what is most evidently on their minds. “Is there enough room here for the sofa?” “How do you think yellow would work in here?”

The nit-picker, on the other hand, needs your presence. Although many agents think the buyers who notice every little thing wrong in a home show disinterest, an experienced pro at the helm can guide them into understanding what easy fixes many of these “problems” can be.

Give them a vision

Most buyer agents know that a couple that starts talking about furniture placement is interested in the home. They’re envisioning what the rooms will look like with their furniture and accessories.

Since you were smart enough to get them to provide a thorough wish list, guide their vision by pointing out the features they will find most desirable.

Get them to realize that just because a room is used as a bedroom, it doesn’t have to be

Do they long for a home office? Point out which bedroom would make the ideal office and why.

Be kind to the homeowners

Before leaving the home, ensure that it’s in the same condition as when you arrived. Close the drapes and turn off the lights. If your clients had children in tow, go through each room to ensure the beds aren’t rumpled and all doors to the exterior of the home are locked.Open House Door Hangers

Have a home showing coming up? Order 100 Open House Door Hangers delivered to you, to hang on neighborhood doors prior to the open house.

Need assistance taking your marketing to the next level?  Call our support team at 866.405.3638 today!  

PLUS: Whenever you have a moment…here are 3 things to check out that will help you CRUSH IT in 2018!

1. The Free 2018 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

2. The 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. 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, Listing Inventory, Geographic Farming, and Sphere of Influence – Click Here

Also…check these out 🙂

3 Click Postcards – Just snap, tap, send all from your mobile phone

MLS Mailings – Automated Just Listed, Just Sold Postcards

Market Dominator System – Become a neighborhood brand

 

Whew – that 2017 housing market was a tough one for listing agents.

A paralyzing lack of inventory had most scrambling to find homeowners who were even partially interested in selling.

Our friends at Zillow claim that inventory was down 10.5 percent through November of last year; this contributed not only to the familiar bidding wars but helped drive up home values as well.

So, look at the bright side: there’s a whole lot of Americans sitting on some yummy equity right now. Your job is to convince them to get at that equity by selling their homes and moving up (Our Fence Sitters Postcard Series is the perfect market solution to gain this niche’s attention).

It’s time for an adjustment in your marketing plan – at least until the inventory shortage eases.

And, a brush up on “the basics” will help with tweaking the plan.

Start with the warm stuff

Remember when you first started in real estate? The answer to “how do I get business?” was typically met with “reach out to everyone you know.”

And, that advice is still pertinent.

Dust off the 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 who may be thinking of selling their home.

Our customizable notecards are a great way to reach out to your sphere with a personalized message that will generate interest and feedback.

Don’t be discouraged if your contacts can’t think of a soul who wants to sell. You’re now top-of-mind if and when that changes.

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.

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 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.”.

Cool off a bit

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 “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. This is where your 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.

Cast a wider net

The media isn’t a friend of listing agents right now – with their endless stories of bidding wars, rapidly escalating home prices and nationwide inventories so tiny it’s all but impossible to find a home.

It’s no mystery why homeowners are reluctant to sell.

Avoid the frustration of trying to get these listings and go after homeowners who don’t have to sell – absentee owners.

Our Listing Inventory Postcard Series offers postcards with content that effectively reach 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.

While the new tax plan benefits landlords, if they crunch the numbers they may just find that cashing out right now is a good plan.

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.

Tip: Pursuing absentee owners won’t work in an area with rapidly rising rents.

If you choose to use direct mail marketing for absentee owners, consider these suggestions 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 when the inventory problem will ease, so plan on sellers being reluctant to jump into the market for the foreseeable future. That makes this a good time to get back to the basics if you hope to list – and last.

Start now by sending out our customizable notecards to at least 100 people in your sphere of influence today.

Need assistance taking your marketing to the next level?  Call our support team at 866.405.3638 today!  

PLUS: Whenever you have a moment…here are 3 things to check out that will help you CRUSH IT in 2018!

1. The Free 2018 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

2. The 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. 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, Listing Inventory, Geographic Farming, and Sphere of Influence – Click Here

Also…check these out 🙂

3 Click Postcards – Just snap, tap, send all from your mobile phone

MLS Mailings – Automated Just Listed, Just Sold Postcards

Market Dominator System – Become a neighborhood brand

The Easiest Path to Success

What if I told you that sending out 200 postcards could potentially net you five new listings?

Barbara Todaro, a Franklin, MA agent, sent 200 Just Listed postcards to a farm that surrounded her new listing. And, her mailing resulted in just that number – five new listings.

Todaro’s advice, “Never eliminate a method because it’s basic, those are often the best methods.”

“Everyone reads their mail”, she added.

Yes, real estate postcard marketing has been around for a while. And, no, it’s not as innovative as digital marketing, but clearly – IT WORKS.

Left in the dust

We have to hand it to the real estate elders – who have been in the industry since before the “New Internet Age” of the 1990s. These agents have risen to the challenges of an ever-changing set of real estate tools.

From an AOL dial-up connection on an Apple computer system that took up an entire corner of a room, to using artificial intelligence to laser-target real estate prospects.

We’ve definitely come a long way.

It was a steep learning curve, but like most things in life, as agents became more tech-proficient, the demand for high-tech grew.

Faster load times, jet-propelled search engine rankings and the availability of real-time information instilled in everyone a need for speed.

This sort-of-new-fangled idea that listing generation and conversion should be quick, painless and effortless came at a price, though.

Old, yet highly effective marketing methods, were left in the dust.

Of course, consistency is the key, but we absolutely know that postcard marketing works wonders for a real estate business.

Snail mail? Guess again!

Direct mail outperforms email, social media and all digital forms of marketing by 700 percent, according to research from the Data and Marketing Association (DMA).

Targeting millennials? Studies show that 92 percent of millennials surveyed say they were influenced by direct mail.

Only 78 percent of millennials surveyed were swayed by emails, according to a Nielsen survey. If you’re interested in targeting this growing demographic, take a look at our Millennial Postcard Series.

In addition, the Marketing Sherpa survey showed that, overall, direct mail ads were the third most trusted form of marketing (behind print ads in magazines/newspapers and TV ads).

For comparison, search engine ads came in sixth and, at the bottom of the list? Online pop-up ads.

Old McAgent had a farm

In the past, most agents chose farm areas to target their best potential customers and direct mail marketing was the best way for them to reach these people. Guess what?

IT STILL IS.

Neighborhoods that are ripe for the picking include those that haven’t turned over in a while. And, at least in 2018, those with a large Gen X and/or baby boomer population.

The experts recommend that you start with an area you know best – such as your own neighborhood, or those surrounding it. If you are planning to go after the move-up market? Our Move-up Market Postcard Series is the perfect marketing solution.Move up market real estate postcards

Your research into the right farm doesn’t stop with choosing your neighborhood; learning the area’s demographics (especially the average age and income of the residents) is vital to a successful campaign. The easiest way to ensure you are targeting the right demographic is to use our targeted mailing list tools.

The postcard winners

So, which are the most effective postcards for real estate? By far, the agents we’ve spoken with choose Just Listed/Just Sold postcards.

But, cards with a compelling message do just as well. A great example is our Call to Action Postcard Series, with effective consumer offers that generate a response from your targeted audience.

“We host monthly events at our office and invite local businesses and residents. When we send a Just Sold Postcard, it includes an invitation message to the party,” states Laurie Laykish, Engle & Volkers.

Though the invite isn’t the focus of the card (the just-sold home is), “we have had at least 2 people from each drop of 200 cards that attend an event and sign up to buy or sell with us,” Laykish concludes.

Nearly 15 percent of direct mail recipients who responded to the Marketing Sherpa survey say they often discard consumer services-oriented mail pieces when they are “too focused on the company’s needs and not enough on my needs.”

This is why it’s important to keep the postcard’s focus on the recipient and not on you or your business. Telling—or hinting—at what’s in it for them will appeal to them far more than blatant self-promotion.

A successful real estate marketing plan is multi-pronged, across different platforms. If a year-round direct mail marketing strategy isn’t currently part of your plan – the time to change this is now. Fence Sitter Postcard Series

Start with sending the Doesn’t Take a Crystal Ball Postcards from the Fence-Sitter Series to at least 100 new prospects in an area where you want more listings.

For help creating the perfect, targeted mailing list start here.

Need assistance taking your marketing to the next level?  Call our support team at 866.405.3638 today!  

PLUS: Whenever you have a moment…here are 3 things to check out that will help you CRUSH IT in 2018!

1. The Free 2018 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

2. The 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. 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, Listing Inventory, Geographic Farming, and Sphere of Influence – Click Here

Also…check these out 🙂

3 Click Postcards – Just snap, tap, send all from your mobile phone

MLS Mailings – Automated Just Listed, Just Sold Postcards

Market Dominator System – Become a neighborhood brand

Thank you to all of our amazing contestants for our January contest!

The reviews and feedback are incredible! We are thrilled to see the positive and rewarding experiences everyone is having. This is truly what we live for!

Remember, if your name wasn’t announced in this month’s contest, a new contest is starting soon with new opportunities to win!

The 1st Prize Amazon Echo Show Winner – Lisa Waldeck

Lisa had wonderful feedback about her experiences with ProspectsPLUS! (below)

“I just listed a property that is in a guard gated community, no signs permitted in the yard and no open houses permitted!

Thanks to ProspectsPLUS! I mailed Just Listed Postcards to all of the residents in the community to spread the word of the new listing!

Thank you ProspectsPLUS! for great tools, ease of use and super-fast service! I am a fan and continue to use your services!”

Update: “From the Just Listed Postcards I sent, I received a call from a neighbor, showed them a home, wrote and got an accepted offer! Once again – the power of ProspectsPLUS! Thank you!” – Lisa Waldeck

Lisa Waldecks Latest Marketing Piece Purchases – Just Listed Postcards, Listing Inventory Series, Fence Sitters Series, Expired Series  

The $100 Gift Card Winner – Quincy Morris

Quincy shared his recent experiences using ProspectsPLUS! FSBO marketing materials, below.

“My product, the FSBO Silver Kit, was a big hit, even encouraged other colleagues to place orders of their own. ProspectPLUS! is now my number one source to get my marketing for my business.” – Quincy Morris

Quincy’s Latest Marketing Piece Purchases – FSBO Silver Kit, including 3 Sets of 25 Jumbo Size Postcards,
25 Brochures, 1 “Free Report” PDF 

The second $100 Gift Card Winner – Sophia Hernandez

Sophia is a big fan of our Doorhangers. She shared the following feedback, below.

“I was able to use my amazing Doorhangers to obtain so many new leads! The quality and content on the Doorhangers is really intriguing to the recipients. I’d recommend ProspectPLUS! to all agents!” – Sophia Hernandez

Sophia’s Latest Marketing Piece Purchases – Doorhangers, Free Offer Postcards, First Time Buyer Postcards, Agent Introduction Postcards

 

There has never been a better time to be an agent. We are always here to help you in any way we can. Reach out to our support team at 866.405.3638 for help with new targeted mailing lists and marketing materials!

PLUS: Whenever you have a moment…here are 3 things to check out that will help you CRUSH IT in 2018!

1. The Free 2018 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

2. The Online Sphere of Influence Calculator

Top real estate professionals state 66% of their business comes from their sphere of influence. So how many people do you need in your SOI? Check out our Sphere of Influence Calculator (from your desktop) to find out the answer – 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, Listing Inventory, Geographic Farming, and Sphere of Influence – Click Here

Also…check these out 🙂

3 Click Postcards – Just snap, tap, send all from your mobile phone

MLS Mailings – Automated Just Listed, Just Sold Postcards

Market Dominator System – Become a neighborhood brand

agent etiquette

Agents Behaving Badly?

Reading the news every day it’s easy to assume that etiquette is a thing of the past – some dusty old idea that few feel the need to adhere to.

Our whole sense of what is and isn’t appropriate has been turned upside down to the point where bad behavior is so revered, it has its own TV shows.

Unfortunately, this lack of dignity carries over into the business world, the real estate industry included.

Agents Behaving Badly may not ever become a popular TV show, but they’re becoming ever more prevalent in the industry.

“Real Estate is a reputation business. Practicing sound business etiquette and consistent professional courtesies will enhance your reputation both inside and outside the real estate arena,” claims the Austin Board of REALTORS®.

And, truer words have never been spoken.

just listed/just sold postcards

“When we asked agents to tell us how agents should behave toward one another, we heard horror stories.”

Showings

“How about when the listing instructions say to call the listing agent for an appointment to show the house and the agent doesn’t answer the phone?” asks Realty Billings’ Amber Uhren.

“In addition, the agent doesn’t have anyone else answering the phone and doesn’t return calls.”

How much does a listing client pay for high-quality service? Everyone is trying to make money – the seller, the buyer’s agent and, hopefully, the listing agent as well.

To not do all you can to make it easy for other agents to show the home is not only a breach of your duties to your client, but it’s frustrating for other agents – agents you may need to deal with in the future.

Even if the house has a recently-accepted offer, answer the phone, return the calls and update the listing in the MLS to reflect the change in status.

It’s business etiquette 101.

Then, there’s the flip side. Most homeowners go through hoops to keep their homes in showing condition. Imagine the frenzy of cleaning and tidying they must go through when they’re expecting a potential buyer.

Then, having to leave the house before the buyers show up is another huge inconvenience. But they do it because they want their homes to sell.

As a listing agent, have you ever faced a ticked off homeowner when, after going through the hoops, the showing agent didn’t show?

“Either show the home you made the appointment for, or call the homeowner and cancel,” Uhren continues.

One issue we heard repeatedly is that so many agents don’t leave feedback about the listings they show their buyers.

This may be an old-school custom, but isn’t obtaining feedback the listing agent’s job?

In the past, it was up to the listing agent to gather up all those business cards agents toss on the kitchen counter and make the calls to get the feedback.

Today, the onus not only seems to be on the buyer’s agent, but those that don’t take the time to reach out to the listing agent are considered rude.

Sure, it’s good etiquette for the buyer’s agent to offer up feedback, but if it isn’t forthcoming, call, text or email him or her.

property brochures

Communication

This may sound crazy, but please check your email more often than once a week.

We spoke with one agent recently, that was in the midst of a deal with an agent across town who, when asked if she got her email, said: “I only check my emails once a week.”

It’s 2018 – time to check your emails daily, at least.

Then, there are the agents who are so busy, their texts look like shorthand. The problem is, not a lot of us understand abbreviations and symbols. If the information you need to communicate doesn’t fit into a text, use email or pick up the phone.

Business communication, especially when we’re dealing with contracts pertaining to someone’s largest investment, need to be clean and clear.

No emojis, no emoticons, and no text-speak. K? 😉

Then, there’s the agent who told us a story about a particular listing presentation. We’ll call her “Agent 2.”

Agent 1 did her listing presentation just prior to Agent 2 giving hers. When Agent 2 arrived for hers, the homeowner shared Agent 1’s trash talk about her.

Not only is this a violation of article 15 of NAR’s Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice, but Agent 1’s unprofessional behavior handed the listing to Agent 2.

The homeowner told her she would NEVER work with anyone who would stoop so low as to insult a colleague just to get her business.

Agents behaving badly to one another isn’t just harmful to the transaction; it is also seriously damaging the real estate industry’s reputation as a whole.

Agent-to-agent etiquette boils down to what you learned in scouting.

Be polite, be respectful and be considerate.

And, although you didn’t learn this in scouting, please don’t EVER leave a listing until you check that all the doors are locked.

Want more listings? Send the I Have a Buyer postcard from the Listing Inventory Series to at least 100 new prospects in an area where you want more listings. Create the perfect mailing list to send to here.listing inventory series of realtor postcards

Need assistance taking your marketing to the next level?  Call our support team at 866.405.3638 today!  

PLUS: Whenever you have a moment…here are 3 things to check out that will help you CRUSH IT in 2018!

1. The Free 2018 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

2. The Online Sphere of Influence Calculator

Top real estate professionals state 66% of their business comes from their sphere of influence. So how many people do you need in your SOI? Check out our Sphere of Influence Calculator (from your desktop) to find out the answer – 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, Listing Inventory, Geographic Farming, and Sphere of Influence – Click Here

Also…check these out 🙂

3 Click Postcards – Just snap, tap, send all from your mobile phone

MLS Mailings – Automated Just Listed, Just Sold Postcards

Market Dominator System – Become a neighborhood brand