Wednesday, July 18, 2018

3 defining moves to start the year
Set the pace for Strategic Success

As competition grows more fierce, you may find yourself asking, “What’s my next move?”

Savvy agents are navigating the New Year with ease by investing in smart systems and tools that help them compete in today’s real estate market.

Who will take the lead in both listing and selling homes this year?

Those who stay strategically focused on one-to-one marketing, negotiate effectively up front and commit to consistent business development through monthly prospecting.

Time to set the standard high

In any market, taking a listing that won’t sell is worse than having no listing at all.

And while you may be tempted to take listings at any price, terms or commission, this is also a recipe for failure.

Consider instead, raising your standards using a strong, effective tool which spotlights the homeowner’s commitment to getting the home sold in the quickest possible time.

Our Merchandising Review is a great tool for this and there are three successful ways to implement it.

First: Make the right decisions at the listing appointment. It’s likely during your MerchandisingReviewTHUMB
presentation your sellers may have an objection or two regarding terms.

Try to shelve objection handling until after you have completed your presentation and obtained the signatures for the listing.

Then close your appointment by going over the Merchandising Review to make certain everything is in order.

Stating the Merchandising Review is a helpful tool to ensure everything is in order before the home is listed, the same way pilots use a pre-flight checklist.

This list of 18 different seller-controlled factors actually will help generate a quicker sale for the best possible price and terms. Then simply walk through the list and negotiate where necessary.

Get non-selling inventory back on track

Go through your inventory and red flag problem listings.

Walk PricePyramidTHUMBthrough the problems using the Merchandising Review and the Five Most Common Mistakes tools.

Contact your sellers by phone or visit in person to help them understand those review items that are hindering the sale of their home.

Sample Dialogue: “Mr. and Mrs. Seller, we’ve had your property on the market for ____ days now and we are not getting the results that either of us had hoped for. We have a new tool called the Merchandising Review that helps us identify problem areas. I’d like to sit down with you to discuss those potential issues.

I believe if we walk through these items we can get your listing back on track and help exact a faster sale for your home. Would tomorrow at 6:00pm be good or would 8:30pm be better?”

Data mine for the niche that’s right for you

By targeting niche markets that are near and dear to your own interests, you’ll be better able to “speak their language” and let your passion for that market segment build the momentum you are looking for.

For example, do you love listing and selling waterfront properties?  Is boating the way you unwind?  Now, it’s easy to find and market to like-minded people and works not only with your sphere — but consumer interest groups that most resonate with you.

That way you are growing your book of business with the kind of folks you are most interested in working with. (And that just makes work, and life, a whole lot more interesting, don’t you think?)

It’s never been easier to do  

Create a target mailing list to search for the customer segments you most want to market to:

mailing

  1. Choose High-Income Consumers for luxury or investment property.investor
  2. Choose the Lifestyle Interest option for niche markets such as golfers, Tennis enthusiasts, and Boat owners.
  3. Empty-nesters are a great segment to market for downsizing. You could end up listing their current home, and help them purchase their new home
  4. Look to High-Income Renters for high-quality first time home ownership options.
  5.  Choose move up market for those who have been in their homes over nine years.  Help them list their current home and find their new dream property!

These market segments are just the tip of the iceberg.  Find the niche that most works for you.

Whatever strategy you deploy this season, make sure your message is clear and marketing consistent.

move up

Call, see or send something to everyone in your base of business at least every 30 days. You will find that your productivity, profitability, referrals, and commissions will be on track all year round.

Choose a postcard series from the niches mentioned above and send at least 100 postcards out to your newly targeted list.

Need help?  Call our support team today at 866.405.3638 to put the best systems in place to build your business easily, and cost-effectively. 

Time to bring your A game

New Year – New Game!

If there ever were a time to up the ante – it’s right now at the start of a New Year.

Stakes are high, competition is fierce and anyone eager to be the expert resource in their market needs to bring their A-game.

Here’s how to come out swinging

Update your headshot

Your photo is your first impression, make sure it’s current and professionally done, so you are seen in the best possible light. A great photo is money well spent. Remember your goal is for consumers to visualize your face and name first when thinking of real estate.

And, don’t forget to smile in your photo.

Studies from photofeeler.com show that people who smile in their head-shots are considered more likable, influential and competent than those who don’t.

Craft a killer bio 

On many of our marketing tools, agents have the space to share some “about me” information. You should have a long and short bio version available for different purposes. The long bio is great for your website and the short and sweet bio works perfectly for real estate brochures, flyers, and postcards.

Be sure to choose your words wisely.

Define what differentiates you from other agents in the industry and why you do what you do. Then have both long and short bio versions proof-read before you start using them.

Having these bio’s ready makes it much easier when you’re creating new marketing pieces. You aren’t trying to come up with something on the fly, which can lead to typos or inconsistent copy.

Branding that works

Too often you see agents all over the map in terms of their marketing. Different styles, colors, messages from piece to piece. While it’s good to test, you’ll find better results if you stick to a campaign that has some uniformity.

That’s why agents love our series of postcards, they have the same look and feel throughout the entire series.

For example, our popular Market Quote Series has the same branding style, with a series of messages that are both educating and compelling for the home seller.  Send one per month and keep your branding consistent for better results.

Be consistent

Sending one marketing piece then deciding you’re done has never been an effective marketing strategy in any industry. The key to becoming a brand name is 27 impressions (3-7-27 rule).

Keep showing up, and the next time someone is asked if they know anyone who sells homes, your name will be top of mind!

Don’t forget your contact information

Would you be surprised to learn how many times people do not put their phone number or contact information on their marketing materials?

They send thousands of pieces out and wonder why they don’t get a response.

Make sure people know how to reach you. And if you are inviting people to your social media platforms, don’t just say, “find me on Facebook”.  Give them a unique URL they can go to such as Facebook.com/yourrealestatepage.

Be Creative

Many of our customers use our Free Reports as a lead capture opt-in on their website. There are lots to choose from, they’re easily customizable, and they serve multiple purposes.

Use them on your site, at your open houses, in your listing presentations, or as collateral for the popular consumer meet and greets that so many agents are doing today.

Build on what you already have

Take the lists you’ve purchased for your Just Listed postcard orders and reuse them.

Put them on a drip campaign of postcards so they know you’re always in the game.  Alternate your Just List/Just Sold postcard mailings with other postcard series that we offer.

Remember, every listing is full of unlimited opportunities to gain attention.

Check out our ThreeClickPostcards.com tool – where you can order your Just Listed/Sold/Contract Pending cards on the fly — right from your phone!

Try something new

Sometimes life can start to feel like the ‘Groundhog Day Movie’ – the same day repeating over and over again.

Trying something new can add life to your day and create a fresh surge of excitement. Our Real Estate Marketing Planner is the perfect solution to a stale schedule.

Our Planner provides 12 months of strategic marketing including new ideas every month for top niche marketing segments such as your sphere and farm.

This Month’s Real Estate Marketing Planner Tip: Handwritten note cards are making a comeback. Make a commitment to send at least one a day this month.

Start Now
Order a stack of our Real Estate Note Cards and make a commitment to send them out to 100 of your past clients this month!

It’s a great time to be a real estate professional and to tap into resources that make your life easier.  We’re here to help you. Call our team today at 866.405.3638.

Take it to the next level

7 tips to take your real estate business to the next level

If indications are right, 2018 should be quite the interesting year in real estate.

If you’ve decided it’s the year you’ll take a giant leap forward in your real estate business, well, I’ve got your back, read on for tips on how to do just that.

Treat your business as a business

It is not only a business, but it is one in which you are the CEO. So, act like a CEO.

Do you have a business plan? If not check out our Free Online Realtor Business Plan.

“If I asked you to drive from Omaha, Nebraska to San Diego, California what would be the first thing you would do? Probably mapquest and plan out the directions!” suggests Bubba Mills of Corcoran Consulting and Coaching.

“If I ask you how to do 50 transactions in one year, then shouldn’t you do the same thing?” he continues.

Those “directions” can be found in a business plan – the roadmap for your real estate business.

And, if you do have a plan, does it still require the use of outdated strategies? Update your Real Estate Marketing Plan to meet the needs of today’s real estate practice and today’s real estate consumer.

Next, build a budget, itemizing how much you’ll spend on your car, your dues, desk fees, E&O insurance, your listings and all the other things you spend money on in your business.

A budget is the only way to ensure you’ll meet your income goals by the end of the year.

Let the past guide you

Decide to focus on what has brought you success in the past and do more of it.

Perhaps choose the one tactic that worked best for you as a new agent and concentrate on that for a time.

Was it cold calling?

Sending postcards or newsletters? Door knocking? Whatever it was, resurrect those skills that worked in the past and put them to work helping you jump to the next level.

Start one new thing this year

Try your hand at something you haven’t done before such as automating your Just Listed/Just Sold Postcard mailing.

Free up time from manually handling your Just Listed Just Sold Postcard mailing and automate it instead.

It’s easy to do, affordable and takes the ongoing stress of getting those cards out in a timely manner off of your shoulders.

This leaves you more time to focus on other areas of marketing that need your attention.

How about trying your hand at sending a newsletter?

Las Vegas agent Debbie Drummond tells the story of how a newsletter helped her snag a client for a luxury high-rise condo after an agent who lived in the building failed miserably.

The couple ended up calling Debbie after they received her newsletter. “The newsletter has proven to be a money maker,” she tells Tyler Zey at easyagentpro.

Hire help

The quickest way to move your real estate business to the next level is to stop doing things that don’t make you money.

Hire an assistant to do them for you.

“If I had to touch every single piece in my system myself, I would never be able to produce multiple amounts of volume,” one of Las Vegas’ top producers tells the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

“You have to be efficient, and you have to leverage the system (by hiring).”

Think you can’t afford an assistant? Try going the virtual route first. If you choose a virtual assistant who specializes in real estate you’ll do away with the time and effort involved in training him or her.

Two to consider are Kim Hughes & Company and Real Support. Both companies specialize in supporting real estate agents.

Pay tribute

To truly move your business to the next level, you need to admit that it’s time to stop ignoring your past clients.

To drive this point home, did you know the cost to acquire a new client is five times higher than pursuing someone you’ve already worked with.

Ready for another powerful statistic? Nearly 40 percent of home sellers found their agent through a referral (according to the NAR).

If your website isn’t effective, fix it

Who in your market ranks organically for your preferred keywords?

If it isn’t you, maybe you have some website issues. Check out the sites of those who do and vow to beat them at the Google game.

What are they doing that you aren’t? Typically, it’s the agents who post content consistently that get the best organic rankings, but go through the sites, page-by-page and learn from them.

Take time off

Taking time off actually increases our productivity by 80 percent, according to researchers at Alertness Solutions.

They are a company founded by former NASA scientists that provide fatigue management consulting services.

Research from Harvard University, however, cautions that unless your vacation is planned (at least one month ahead) and you travel far from your work, you won’t get a good ROI on that time away.

Unplug – completely – while you’re away and your focus will be stronger when you return to work, according to researchers at Boston College Center for Work and Family.

Rest and recharge your way to the next level in your real estate business.

Choose a Newsletter or the Market Dominator to send to 200 homes in your Geographic Farm in the month of January! Make sure they know YOU are their neighborhood expert.

The ProspectsPLUS! Team are your biggest fans! We are here to help you succeed in 2018. Please reach out to us if there is any way we can help you at  866.405.3638.

“The holiday season is a perfect time to reflect on our blessings and seek out ways to make life better for those around us.” – Terri Marshall

What a perfect quote for Realtors.

You help people discover the place they embrace as home, where they raise children, nurture relationships, and seek comfort and peace – and that help truly makes life better.

So when you are reflecting on blessings, include the combination of characteristics and skills that you have, that allow you to help people in such a positive, life-changing way.

Then take some time to reflect on everything you have accomplished in 2017.

In the daily grind we get so close to what we are doing, the outcome we are after, and the high stakes associated with that outcome, we can lose sight of the bigger picture.

We forget that little wins throughout the year can add up to meaningful big wins overtime.

For instance, at ProspectsPLUS! we had an important goal of our own.

A committment to raising $50,000 for St Jude Children’s Research Hospital®. We matched contributions on our website, dollar for dollar, and offered 1, 5, & 10 optional donations at check out. With smaller donation levels you might think our goal is a bit too big.

But we achieved it!

Little by little, donation by donation, we climbed that hill to an incredible joint success with our amazingly generous customers!

That’s how goals often are accomplished…

In small steps – a few forward a few back – all the while keeping an eye on the prize until you get there.

Now it’s your turn, to take a look back at the goals you set last year and the effort ‘over time’ that went into achieving them.

It’s a great precursor to deciding what it is you want to accomplish in the new year.

Once you are done, take a few moments to celebrate your accomplishments!

…Then prepare your new goals for an explosive 2018!

Lisa

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

1. The 2018 Online Real Estate Business Plan

Treating your business like a business is a vital component to succeeding long term in this industry. While some agents put together elaborate business plans, detailing every aspect of their marketing plans, business goals and budget needs, there is something powerful to be said for keeping it simple. Check out our one page Online Real Estate Business Plan.

2. The 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.

3. A 12 Month Strategic Marketing Plan

The Master Marketing Schedule 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.

Remember, 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 mailing lists and marketing materials for 2018. 

Get Their Hand to Raise

More often than not, today’s consumer learns everything they can about a product or service on the internet, before making a decision.

So how do you get them to raise their hand and turn to you for help?

By being the expert who consistently gives them what they want—valuable information that can help them:

  • Become more educated
  • Solve a problem
  • Make an informed decision

So whether you are delivering your content via phone call, email or direct mail – deliver what your customers want most.

3 success strategies

Make it about them – Think about the things that your customers want and are interested in most.

Make your interaction compelling, relevant and —honest. Our Newsletters and more precisely our Market Dominator are great marketing tools to use on an ongoing basis that highlight you as the expert resource to turn to in their area.

This type of marketing puts you in the position of educator, which innately denotes a level of trust. Once you are trusted you will be rewarded with happy, loyal customers.

Don’t establish trust and you have consumers who are wary of your products or services because you haven’t eliminated their fear.

Give something of high value – This can be a tough thing for some people. The idea of giving something away for free can be bothersome or make them feel as if they are de-valuing their product or service.

In reality, offering a product such as a Free Report can be an effective, value-boosting investment in your long term customer relationship.

When you consider acquiring a new customer remember it’s 4-6 times harder than keeping your current customers engaged, happy and loyal, giving value on the front end just makes sense.

Free reports are perfect hand-outs at your Open House

Make it ongoing – Before launching into this form of marketing, consider your long term goals and draw up a plan to consistently reach out to your clients month after month.

You want your customers and prospects to come to rely on your information and updates.

Become Their Resource

If they come to count on you for the answers and resources they need, it stands to reason they will turn to you for help when the time comes.

Whatever strategy you deploy, make sure your message is clear and your marketing consistent. Connect with your base of business at least every 30 days through phone calls, visits and direct marketing, and you will find your profitability, referrals and commissions right on track year round.

Related: Marketing That Pays for Itself

Need help?  Call our team today at 866.405.3638 to put the best marketing tools in place to build your business easily, and cost-effectively.