Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Gift Giving (and Saving) Just Got Easier!

Get or Give the Gift of Marketing with the ProspectsPLUS.com Gift Card!

Perfect for Today’s Busy and Competitive Real Estate Professional.

Here’s why:

  1. There’s no need to store a credit card number
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Prices:

$50 for $45
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Visit us today to get yours!  For higher denominations, or assistance, please phone our marketing team at 866.405.3638!

Webinar button on keyboard with soft focus

We had a great webinar last week where Todd Robertson shared some terrific strategies, ideas, and tools for owning more market share, hitting every goal you ever set, and finishing the year strong.  We wanted to share it on demand for all of you who did not have an opportunity to join us!

Need help? To learn more about how we can help you fuel your business, streamline your systems and take your career to the next level, call our marketing team today at 866.405.3638 or visit our website www.prospectsplus.com.

Real Estate Agent Success

Insights from the Front Line with Ramona Williams

By Julie Escobar

When it comes to knowing EXACTLY what real estate professionals, and specifically our ProspectsPLUS!
customers want and need to grow their businesses in today’s market, I knew that there was one person who would be perfect to interview. My closest friend and always one of the smartest people in the room, our Director of Business Development, Ramona Williams.  With both an MBA and more thirty years of experience working with real estate agents and brokers, she’s the go-to resource for insights and ideas.

Here’s what we learned:

Q:  You are on the phones with customers every day, where do you think agents are needing the most help in terms of marketing their businesses and their listings?

A:  Consistency – hands down. That’s honestly where most agent’s marketing breaks down.  One and done listing inventory snapshotmarketing doesn’t work, never has and never will.  Secondly, what hurts agents is having no strategy at all.  That’s not a new problem of course. That’s historically where agents fail to grow their businesses, and why so many don’t make it.  Unfortunately, the majority of agents try lots of little things, including whatever the “shiny new idea” is in the office at the moment and never commit to anything consistently.  The result is they end up all over the place in terms of the message they are sending out into their market, and they’ll actually spend considerably more money trying every new thing that comes along than they would if they just put a solid, strategic plan of tested direct marketing that works in place and stuck to it.  Consistently sending branded, direct response marketing every 21-45 days to a sphere and farm is still the best means of driving results in our industry.

Q:  We’re seeing a huge rise in agents using EDDM® as a means to strategically market for less – what is your take on that and what advice do you have for others eager to do the same?

A:  I think Every Door Direct Mail® is a terrific way for agents to cover a large geographic area because of the Dominator April 16lower postage costs.  It makes it really affordable for agents to get back to those basics like working a geographic farm.  What I really like about seeing agents return to geo-farming is that it helps them focus their marketing efforts. For a long while we saw agents just chasing the next deal. They’d follow internet leads wherever they took them – sometimes driving hours to take a listing.  EDDM helps them to find a geographic market area that makes sense for them and literally get in every door. When used consistently, it creates a much more predictive business and income model than constantly chasing new business.  Here’s what else I can tell you – the great agents get that. They know that it’s not only OK to be in control of their marketing and business, it’s a must if you want to create a consistently growing business with commissions and referrals you can count on.  I think so much of the time you see agents who look at the business of real estate as risky to start with or unpredictable because it’s commission based.  So their mindset is that their business is supposed to be all over the place, or unpredictable as well.  Savvy agents know that real estate is a business and can be a very lucrative one if they treat is like it is and work a plan.

Q:  What product do you see the most demand for in today’s market?

A:  I’d say in most areas of the country inventory is still historically low, so agents are looking for any vehicle that can help them get listings.  So we’re seeing a lot of EDDM, Just Listed postcards and Just Sold postcardsjl js cards (which are great for pulling double duty – marketing the listing and the agent), our Market Dominator, Listing Inventory cards, FSBO and Expired tools, and our Neighborhood Update/Free Offer cards. The last take a little more work to input the listing data, but it’s what consumers want to see, and they make direct response offers, so they work.  Again, it’s getting back to taking control of your marketing.

We are also seeing an uptick in agents struggling with pricing listings correctly and that’s where your eBook 21 Ways to Get Your Listing Priced Right the First Time (Despite the Seller’s Objections) is a terrific tool that’s really affordable and filled with the kind of objection handlers agents need today.

Q:  You and I go way back in this business – we won’t say how far!  How do you think the market has changed and what do you think agents can do to best get in front of those changes and be competitive?

A:  You know, surprisingly, it really hasn’t changed all that much.  Our business is and always be cyclical.  What is different, of course, are the amount of technology options agents have and how many different organizations are selling to them.  Many of which are amazing and game-changing solutions for agents, no doubt. It does, however, make it really easy for agents to take their eye off the ball and look for that “magic pill” that will skyrocket them to success.  While that’s understandably tempting, the keys to being the top in your field is the stay focused, build inventory, price listing right, have a strategic plan, and find areas you really enjoy working and stay the course.

Q:  Excellent advice! You work with top producers and high volume teams quite a bit as our Director of Business Development.  What are some factors from a marketing perspective do you think they deploy that allow them to continuously rise to the top?

A:  Much like we just talked about, top teams and top agents don’t roll the dice with their results. They build their businesses exponentially by putting systems in place so things don’t fall through the cracks and understand and implement the power of consistent marketing.  In other words, they don’t wait and they don’t shy away from marketing at high levels.  They prioritize immediate lead generation, but they also have systems that allow them to build their brand and their businesses long term.  They are also typically service-minded professionals.  They take excellent care of their customer base, and communicate effectively and often with their sphere and farm.  That’s smart business.

Q:  Awesome. Any last words of wisdom for the readers?

A:  Well I guess I would say that this is truly a great industry where people can make an excellent, lucrative living that is relatively affordable to get into with a strong return on investment.  I would tell them to be strategic, consistent and be mindful of who you model yourself after.  You and I have both seen, countless times, agents who have been in this business 3, 4, 5 – even 10 years or more in this industry and have never put a sphere of influence database together.  While some may do all right at that, it makes you really wonder where COULD their business be if they had put that basic but so important piece in place? That’s a lot of missed opportunity and money left on the table.  I’d challenge agents to not do the same.  Get back to the basics.  Have a plan. Use strategic, consistent marketing (both in terms of timing and branding) to build your inventory, price them right, follow up, and take care of your book of business and your farm.

As always, you’re a tremendous source of advice for today’s professionals. What’s great for our customers to know is that you’ve done such an amazing job of both training and managing our support and marketing teams that they have incredible skills and insights as well and are wonderfully adept at helping agents and brokers figure out the best plans for them, and helping them strategically implement those plans every day.  Kudos to you for that!  Thanks for sharing!

If you’d like to connect with a member of Ramona’s team, you can call them at 866-405-3638 or email us at pmc@prospectsplus.com.  They are eager to help make your job – and your life a whole lot easier!

How to Use Lifestyle Interest Data to Attract New Real Estate Customers

As we kick into high gear for the spring season, we wanted to revision our training webinar-on-demand featuring Lifestyle Interest Data.  We were thrilled to share some how-to’s, answer some terrific questions, and even spotlight how simple it is to build a list of prospects that you can use again and again to work with the customers you most want to attract.  Using specialty data to target consumers such as boaters, golfers, tennis enthusiasts, do-it-yourself home improvement fans and more – and then expertly matching your marketing messages to those data segments is a great way to find the real estate hand raisers in your market.  For those of you who missed it or just want a quick review – we’ve got it on demand for you to watch below!

Want to learn more about putting this marketing strategy in place? Contact our marketing experts at 866.405.3638 today! 

 

Insights and Strategies from Real Estate Coach Darryl Davis

By Julie Escobar

Since the dawn of real estate, it seems we’ve been hearing phrases such as, “Listings are the name of the game” or “List to last.” While those sayings are as true today as they’ve always been, we caught up with our old friend and real estate coach Darryl Davis to learn why “just listings” aren’t enough to propel your way to the top and stay there anymore. Today’s agents need to focus on building listing INVENTORY if they want toDarryl Davis 06 stay in the game and compete at the highest levels. Here’s an excerpt from our interview:

Q: Darryl, you’re teaching your students and coaching members that they need to step up their game in terms of building (and keeping) listing inventory. Can you share a little more about that with our readers?

A: Sure! First, I like to share the WHY – WHY it’s important to build and maintain listing inventory. I’m a big analogy guy, so I sometimes ask agents to think about their friends, family members or neighbors and what they make. You know, a lot of times you don’t know exactly how much other people make, but you have an idea, and sometimes you think to yourself, “I know I make more than that, but they have more than I do or don’t seem to struggle as much as I do.”

Two words explain that: cash flow. See, those other folks are usually salaried people with consistent income, so they can budget and plan their lives around that. In real estate, we don’t have that. Most agents run their business in surge-and-drought mode – right? But it doesn’t have to be that way. If I asked every agent reading this if he/she had a consistent $5,000 (or whatever your number is) every month, would it make your life less stressful? The answer is 100% yes.

Q: That helps put it in perspective, doesn’t it? So there’s the WHY. Can you tell them HOW building inventory solves their surge-and-drought problem?

A: Yes. I like to tell agents to focus on listing inventory rather than listings like this: Imagine you’re selling shoes listing inventory 2instead of houses. If you want to sell shoes for a living, you’ve got two choices: One is to get a store, some racks and some shoes, and promote your store… right? The second is to find a buyer who wants to buy shoes, put him/her in your car and drive around to every shoe store in town until he/she finds the perfect ones. Get the picture?

Here’s the thing: Every time you put a buyer in your car to show a listing that’s not your own, you’re basically taking that buyer to another agent’s “shoe store.” You’re essentially becoming an “employee” of sorts for that other agent. Bottom line? No inventory = no business.

Q: Great analogy. Can you expand on that?

A: Think of it like this: You’ve got six listings or, for this purpose, we’ll go back to shoes. So you’ve got six pairs of shoes, and you put four under contract this month. YEA, right? That’s terrific! Well yeah, it is – BUT dominator marchlook at your inventory. You went from six to two. When you close on them, you’ll have a surge of cash, of course, but if you don’t replenish your inventory, then you’ll head into a drought. To create continuous cash flow, you have to at least MAINTAIN or, better still, INCREASE your inventory.

Let’s say you’re brand-new, and you want to build inventory by one per month. You start out month one with one listing. Month two you get another. Month three you get another, but you close on one. So that means month three, you have to get TWO to make up for the one under contract and keep your inventory up. If the average commission is $5,000 per listing sold, and you start with zero and focus on building your inventory by one per month, you should be able to earn $100,000 within 12 months.

Q: It helps to put it in dollars and cents, doesn’t it? It’s more than just the money though – it’s about managing time as well, right?

A: Exactly. When you think like a businessperson instead of solely like a salesperson, you can balance your time. I’ll give you an example: I’ve got a student who earns a quarter million per year and takes two full months off every year to spend with family… two full months! Now if he owned a shoe store instead of a real estate business, would he close down those two months? Of course not. He’d hire a manager to handle things. In real estate, if you don’t have a “store,” or inventory, that can sell while you’re away, you can’t take time off. No inventory = no income, no time off. Lots of inventory = consistent income, ability to take time off.

Q: Love that… treating your business like a business. What a concept, right? Darryl, you’ve always been real estate fsbo marketing postcardsamazing at teaching agents how to succeed by marketing to FSBOs and expireds, but recently you’ve been sharing why it’s important to stay top of mind with a book of business and geo farm as well. Can you tell me more about that?

A: Because the worst of the housing market crash is mostly behind us, we’re going to see more and more people come into the market in the next few years. Because of that, it’s important for agents to have a consistent marketing campaign. People need to know your name, your face and what you do for a living. I still say working with FSBOs and expireds is a great way to generate listings fast – simply because they’ve already identified themselves as the hand-raisers. That said, think of your business like a wheel – the more spokes you have, the more efficient the wheel works. You eventually hit a point of diminishing return, or too many spokes, but it’s important to find the balance. One or two spokes isn’t enough to generate business momentum.

I’ll give you another example: I have a student named Marty who makes a six-figure income. He lives in South Carolina, but his business is on Long Island. He goes to Long Island once a month to take listings and meet clients. He can do that because one of his “spokes” is a mailing campaign that he sends out consistently to his sphere and farm promoting himself, his business and his listings – all while living in another state! THAT’S the power of staying positioned consistently with the right marketing tools.

Q: Wow! That’s incredible. One of the things our readers tell us is tough for them is following up. They’re either afraid of it (picking up the phone) or don’t make it a priority. Can you share some secrets to success in that area?

A: I would say focus on the activity rather than the results. Why do people fail? Because they don’t see immediate results. So they do what? They QUIT. When you switch your thinking to focus on the ACTIVITY, not the results, it helps you get past the fear.

Think of it like baseball averages. Ballplayers know the more times they get up to bat and take a swing, the more likely they are to get a hit. After a while of playing, they know their numbers… their average. The same is true in prospecting – you’ll get to know your numbers. So maybe out of 10 calls, you get five connects and two appointments. I tell my students that their goal should NOT be to get the appointment; it should be about building relationships. Why? Because it takes the pressure off.  Focusing on getting an appointment is a win/lose scenario. If you don’t get it, your reaction is, “I lost. I’m bad.” When you focus on building a relationship, every call is a win. The truth is, you’re not going to get an appointment unless there’s trust. By building relationships, you build trust – and the appointments will happen by themselves.

Going back to the last question, one of the things I like best about consistently sending out mailings is that it helps agents “warm” those calls – which makes follow-up easier, because you have something right off the bat to talk about.

Q: I love the title of your new book, How to Design a Life Worth Smiling About. I just downloaded it and can’t wait to read it! Can you tell us about it?

A: Absolutely. It’s got a lot of fun content in it, and people seem to love it. You know, I ask agents all the time, “When a homeowner lists their house with you, what do you think they want as an end result?” I get a variety of answers, of course. “To sell the home.” No. “To get the most money.” No.

Tune in, and take it all a step further. When you’ve been in the business a while, you’ll often hear homeowners say something like, “If these walls could talk.” They’re not selling a house – they’re selling their HOME. Shelter is the second most important thing to people. They’re leaving the comfort of shelter and going into an unknown. When you’re the agent who can tune into that and realize that every client you help is heading into a new chapter in their lives – and you are a part of that – don’t minimize the powerful impact. Great agents help change people’s lives for the better. When you get THAT… you’re no longer selling.

Q: Darryl, any last words of wisdom? 

A: The money we make is actually the thermometer as to how many lives we’ve helped. Focus on the lives you can help, and the money will come.

Awesome insights, Darryl. Thank you so much for sharing with us. I look forward to reading your new book and, as someone who’s known you more years than we care to count, I know all of your students, coaching members and audience members are fortunate to learn from you. Your ability to help people both laugh and learn is extraordinary.

About Darryl Davis

Darryl became a real estate agent at the age of 19 and quickly climbed the ladder to become a top producer, averaging six transactions a month. He became a licensed broker and manager of a new office that became the #1 listing and selling branch within its first 6 months of operation. He’s been named one of the highest-rated speakers at the National Association of REALTORS® convention for the past several years and is the ONLY real estate speaker who is a best-selling author with McGraw-Hill Publishing for his book, How to Become a Power Agent in Real Estate. He is the founder of The POWER Program®, a yearlong real estate coaching program that has proven results of agents doubling their income over their previous year. He’s also the creator of the nationally acclaimed three-day program S.U.R.E. Results, where agents generate an average of $33,504.82 over their previous year. And as creator of the nationally recognized term “Next Level®,” Darryl strives to bring his students and attendees to their “Next Level®” of success by training them on how to have more fun and less stress in their business and personal lives. To learn more about Darryl and his training tools and services, visit www.DarrylSpeaks.com, or contact him at 1-800-395-3905.

To learn more about staying in consistent touch with your sphere and farm (as Darryl teaches), visit www.prospectsplus.com, or call our support team at 866.405.3638 today.