Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Making Your Book of Business a Priority

By Julie Escobar

We’re excited about the launch of the fifth edition of the Master Marketing Magazine this month.  The printed copies should be hitting mailboxes soon, but you can sneak a peek inside the pages here and read the digital version today!  It all starts with a powerful but simple business plan shared with us by our old friend Floyd masket-marketing-magazine-5-3d
Wickman.  Find it here. 

Every edition of the magazine has centered around different themes such as Big Data, Experts & Insights, and Geographic Farming.  Our latest edition focuses on the heart of what should be every agent’s business foundation – their sphere of influence.  Why?  Statistics show that top producers consistently share that 66% of their business comes from their sphere.  That one in every twelve people in your sphere will either do business with you or refer business your way every year IF (and only IF) you consistently make reaching out to them a priority.

For every agent who sits scratching their head wondering why “Aunt Helen” listed with another agent or is stymied by the fact that the people they most closely do business with (lawyers, doctors, dentists, accountants, colleagues) aren’t choosing to make them their real estate go-to professional, there are the top agents who get it.  It costs less to KEEP and create a customer FOR LIFE than it does to cultivate new ones.  Plus, it is WAY less stressful than riding the commission roller coaster your whole career.

Step One: Know your numbers. How many people do you need in YOUR SPHERE to help you hit your goals this year?  We’ve created a sphere of influence calculator to help you figure out if you’re on track.

Find it here.

Step Two:  Stay in touch. The Direct Marketing Association recommends reaching out to your book of business every 21-45 days.  Savvy agents use a variety of methods to make sure that they are top of mind.  We recommend the Send-Call-See approach to staying connected.  That is to SEND something monthly to your sphere as a tangible reminder that you are a resource they can turn to. Then CALL everyone in your sphere at two-four times per year.  And SEE everyone at least twice per year.

For the SEND we can recommend:community-news

For the CALL, we recommend:

  • Take a look at our Master Marketing Schedule, for some fun, creative reasons to connect
  • If sending the content cards or newsletters, follow up on a topic and ask if they have any questions
  • Let people know that the market is in a constant state of change, and that change can raise a lot of important questions for folks. Ask them if they’ve got any questions, or know anyone who may be in need of real estate assistance.
  • If you’re following them on social media, and see that there has been a change in their lives (new job, new baby or grandchild, award or accomplishment), tell them you saw the news and you just wanted to check in and congratulate them, or the appropriate sentiment for the event.

For the SEE, we recommend:

  • Choosing at least five top clients a month to reach out to with an invite for coffee or lunch, or a drop by with something fun using the suggestions found in the Master Marketing Schedule.
  • Hosting an annual customer appreciation party. Suggestions:  rent out a movie theatre or do an outdoor movie in the park in the spring, a picnic, or an open house wine and cheese.

Taking care of the people in your sphere will help you grow your business faster and easier. Not sure where to start? Here are a few suggestions:

  • Download our BusinessBASE™ – includes suggestions for the 150 people who SHOULD be in your sphere plus the how/when and why for contacting them20-year
  • Harvest from past and present transactions – client contacts from both sides
  • Networking – Local Chamber of Commerce, Rotary Club, etc.
  • Connectivity – If you just added two people per day each business day of the year, you could effectively grow your book of business to more than 500 within 12 months
  • Acquire the client bases of agents leaving the industry

Why should you grow your sphere of influence SOONER rather than Later? It’s simple when you consider the average Lifetime Value of a Customer is more than $49,000!

We wish you every success this year and know that we are here to help!  Contact our support team if you have any questions at 866-405-3638. Good luck out there making it your Year of the Sphere!

Creating Your Own New Normal for 2017

By Todd Robertson

If you’re like a lot of top agents, right about now you’re analyzing everything you did in past twelve months to get you to this point and asking yourself a few questions:

  • What worked and what didn’t?
  • Did my actions support my goals?
  • Did I earn what I’m worth?
  • Did I take personal responsibility for my success or failures?

By carefully analyzing the past you can discover the elements that you can take into the new year and create
your own new “normal”.  In other words – you can advance your game, play at a higher level, and avoid the pitfalls and hurdles you’ve already cleared to excel faster and with hopefully a few less headaches!

As you approach the new year, many of you are in the process of goal setting.  Let me share a four step system for goals that is used by some of the top performing entrepreneurs in the world.  It’s called the DOME strategy.  Here’s what that stands for:

  • D – Stands for Decide. If you look up one of the definitions of the word decision, you’ll find that it means to “cut off from”.  That’s step one for creating your new normal. What things should you cut yourself off from that aren’t working or haven’t
    dominator janworked for you this year?  Whether that be a mindset, a skill, or a system, what can you unplug, cut off, or change up that will increase your success in the new year.
  • O – Stands for Outstanding. There’s never been a more important time to play at an outstanding level.  That means to surround yourself with the best people, strategies, solutions and systems in our industry.  Model your choices on those of top producers.  Duplicate excellence.
  • M – Stands for Momentum. Now’s the time to take the stance that what gets scheduled – gets DONE.  That’s how you build momentum.  By cutting out the things that don’t work. By plugging in new systems and solutions that drive your business in smarter ways.  By blocking your time so that you can streamline your processes – as well as schedule those
    things that help you create balance.
  • E – Stands for Tell Everyone. Once you’ve set your goals for the next twelve months, it’s time to tell everyone. If you’re goal is 10 salable listings in your pipeline at all times or to own a geographic farm – tell everyone you know. Put public pressure on yourself to hit those goals. People will help you when you do. They’ll support you. Remind you. Work with you to make them happen. Then commit to doing whatever it takes to make those goals happen.

Next, remember to be BOTH a Hunter and a Farmer.  Top agents realize they have to both aggressively prospect as well as create opportunities for lead generation by branding themselves in a geographic farm.  In fact, I just spoke with a great new Market Dominator customer, who will finish this year with 100 closings.  I asked him why he decided to use the Dominator to brand himself in the markets he’s going after for the new year.  He told me it was because he needed to raise the bar.  Because he was capable of helping more people than he was currently helping and he was committed to doing that.  That’s why he chose to use the 12 x 15 Dominator as his marketing tool.  It’s a statement that tells potential sellers in his farm area that he’s serious about marketing.  Serious about getting results. Here’s what’s interesting:  90% or more of the agents in your market won’t be willing to make that commitment. Most will continue to do what has always been done and get the results that they’ve always gotten.  But some of you?  Will step outside the norm to create a new normal.  Some of you will raise your standards, raise your skill levels, and raise your commitment. And in the process – you’ll go beyond what’s always been done to develop a career that others will emulate.

Ready to create your new normal and put a plan in place to take 2017 by storm?  Go for it. Remember that we’re here if you need anything.  Call our team at 866-405.3638! That’s what we do best! 

With Geographic Farming Done Right

By Julie Escobar

Geographic farming has roared back to the marketing forefront for agents in our industry in ways we haven’t seen in years. Why? Because – when done right – it works.

And what exactly is “done right”? It’s when agents who are committed to consistency step up to make themselves known in a neighborhood in real and meaningful ways – getting out into communities, shaking hands, meeting people, making introductions and making a difference.

To talk about one creative tool for geographic farming, the Market Dominator, I sat down with Dominator Director Todd Robertson to learn a little more about the system, the agents who are using it and what it takes to really make an impact on a market area.

Q: Todd, you work with agents across the country who are growing their market share by doing smart geographic farming. Can you tell us a little about the Market Dominator?

A: Sure! This product evolved out of necessity. Agents around the country were asking for a consistency final-ops-proof-december-dominator-frontprogram that would allow them to truly dominate a neighborhood or piece of geography. After six months of research with our team, we came up with the product for our agents called the Market Dominator, which utilizes Every Door Direct Mail with the USPS. At 12” x 15”, it’s the largest legal size that can be sent through the mail, so it doesn’t get overlooked in the mailbox. The content is created every month by our team of writers, who do an outstanding job of weaving in the eight best practices of direct mail. And agents love it because it’s either 100% done for them or 90%, meaning they can make some changes to the back. And with our national sponsors on board now, we can literally send it for the price of a first-class postcard. The other great thing about it is that it’s a two-year campaign… kind of like joining the gym, your personal trainer makes you go.

Q: We both have been in this industry for a long time, and we both know that marketing alone is not what takes agents to the top of their game. It’s follow up and relationship building. Can you tell us some of the powerful ways Market Dominator members are going above and beyond to support their marketing mailing efforts by connecting with the folks in their farm final-ops-proof-december-dominator-backneighborhoods?

A: In terms of what our best agents are doing supplementing the Market Dominator to increase their success rate in their numbers, we’re seeing them do things like canvassing their farms with door hangers,  introducing themselves to everybody in the neighborhood, being consistent in sending out new on the market or Just Listed postcards when they get a listing and holding open houses in their carrier routes and making a splash in the area with signs and balloons on every street, every artery when they do. That way, when the Market Dominator shows up in that mailbox, the homeowners will see it and say, “Oh yeah, that’s Susie. I see her all over the place; she’s the neighborhood specialist.”

Q: We’ve talked about the tremendous opportunity agents have to reach out to the businesses that surround or are in their farm area to build reciprocal referral relationships. Can you share your thoughts on that?

A: Some of our Market Dominator members have given us ideas that we never thought about before that we try to share with our new members. One of them is to go after the local businesses in and/or around that carrier route. It’s really an outstanding strategy, because they can utilize the extra 20 Dominators that we give them each month in a clever way.

One of our great agents up in the Northeast simply takes her 20 and goes to every business where people have to wait, such as a hair salon, oil change shop and restaurants. She said the best was actually auto dealerships. What she would do in auto dealerships is first go in and make an introduction to the general sales manager that goes something like, “Hi, I’m Susie with XYZ Realty. I’m the neighborhood real estate specialist in this area. Would you mind if I leave a couple of these in the lobby of your service department?”

What’s great about that strategy is, number one, she’s prospecting the service manager, who becomes a mover and shaker on her SOI list – meaning she visits every month and has offered to let him or her know if a great listing comes on the market. Think about how most cities have what they call “auto dealership row,” where several dealerships are all on the same street. If you’re like Susie, you go right down that strip and pass out two or three Dominators in each dealership, meet some incredible new people and start establishing relationships in a pretty short period of time.

Number two, she’s leaving valuable content, with her name, face, contact information and calls to action in a place where a lot of people congregate. Think about when you have to have your car serviced, and you’ve had to wait anywhere from an hour to a full day in the guest services lounge. What are most people doing when they’re waiting? They’re looking at their phones or whatever magazines are sitting there, right? Imagine if two or three Market Dominators were sitting there with Ritz Carlton quality, filled with great information for people to peruse. Agents who are utilizing this tiny local business strategy with consistency, who have mastered their presentation skills and aren’t afraid to follow up, could find themselves with anywhere from two to 20 extra closings per year.

Q: What about agents who are afraid to follow up, either in person (door knocking) or on the phone? Any advice for them?

A: Some agents just want to send their marketing out, then sit back and see what happens. In my mind, to be great in real estate you have to be obsessed, or you end up being average. By “obsessed,” I mean you’ve already made a commitment to your neighborhood farm, so why not stretch yourself a little and go make an introduction? One way or another, knowing that you’re simply providing a great service to help these people buy or sell real estate is powerful motivation to meet people.

I also would say if somebody is still afraid or hesitant to follow up, spend a couple days and get so good at your listing presentation, get so great at overcoming objections, so great at your value proposition that you can’t help but have a relaxed sense of confidence. This will do a couple of things for you: It will get you excited to go out and meet people and prospect, which is the one thing most people hate doing (usually because they aren’t as confident in their presentation), and it will force you to fine-tune your skills, which will help you enjoy a long-term career.

Q: Consistency and sticking to a plan is a powerful combination for success in our business. Will you share why making the Dominator part of a consistent marketing plan is a smart strategy?

A: In terms of doing any marketing, consistency has to be part of the plan – whether it’s in real estate marketing, building wealth or getting in shape. The Market Dominator gives agents what they told us for many years they wanted: a two-year campaign. According to the National Association of REALTORS®, if your competition is going to do any marketing, history says they quit after the third contact. Yet we know that most activity doesn’t happen until after the fifth contact. So staying in the game for the duration is vital.  

Q: Any last words of advice for our readers?

A: First, I would say that if you’re reading this article or reading our magazines or blogs and looking for real estate strategies and insights, you’ve already separated yourself from the competition. Because for you and me to get great at anything, we must remain a student of life. So I congratulate you on taking that step. Whether it’s the Market Dominator, one of our other great products or you just want to call our home office and brainstorm, our team is always willing to help you find the real estate marketing product that best fits your needs, your market and your area.

Thanks for the information and insight, Todd!

If you’d like to learn more about the Market Dominator System, visit www.prospectsplus.com/dominator, or call Todd directly at 855-383-6646.

Building a Book of Business

By Brian Fox, Benutech

Loyal supporters are important for any business not only survive but to also thrive. Be it Coca-Cola or Pepsi, each brand has their loyal returning supporters. Ford vs. Chevy, for years parents all across the U.S. have raised their kids on one side or the other of the “truck fence”.   Think Dallas Cowboys vs. Washington Redskins.  New York Yankees or Los Angeles Dodgers. For my English football fans… is it Manchester United or Liverpool FC for you? These brands initially attracted our interest, then kept us by providing us with identity, entertainment, and valuable life moments. And at the end of the day – it doesn’t matter what brands or teams you support, the IMPORTANT part for whom you support, is that you SUPPORT. Dallas Cowboy fans purchase Cowboy gear, game tickets, and spend money at the Stadium which makes the Dallas Cowboys significant revenue.

So as real estate agents, how do we develop loyal followers and that highly desired significant revenue that comes from a loyal group of supporters? When looking at the root of loyal support, the brand or team being supported is delivering an image or something of value to their supporters. The more they deliver that value, the more supporters they receive. So what can we deliver that will create followers that support and build a large referral book of business?

Let’s assume the position of the typical homeowner…
Access to MLS? No.
Access to assessor, loan/transaction history, sales comparables? No.
Understanding of what to consider before down-sizing? No.
To build our Investor supporters… The location of distressed homes that may sell soon? No.

I think all too often, real estate agents take for granted all we know, and all we have access to in this industry. One of the most valuable assets you have as an Agent is your knowledge about real estate itself, real estate terminology, real estate transactions and the real estate market around you. All of which is super valuable to homeowners. Be their resource and they will support you and your business – no different than Coke, Starbucks, or DirecTv.home-price-analysis

Think about it: Homeowners are constantly doing calculations on “What do I owe?” vs. “What’s my home worth?” The difference represents “money in the bank”.  Zillow and similar sites have developed a poor reputation for delivering those answers. Homeowners don’t like paying property taxes – can you provide them knowledge on what an assessment is, and how to possibly lower their taxable assessments? Can you offer homeowners insight on what steps go into purchasing a second home or investment property? You are the real estate expert, Mr. Homeowner is not, and so you can better answer questions like free-comparitive-market-analysisthese. And best yet, these opportunities represents the chance to meet homeowners so that you can get to know them. On your next postcard mailing… think about Neighborhood update postcardsusing a message like… “What’s your home worth?” – “I know, and I would love to help answer that for you”. “Considering Purchasing a Second Home? “Let me help you with understanding costs and qualifications”. “Property Taxes Too High?” “Let’s evaluate your assessed value vs. market value and see if we can lower them.” Important questions for homeowners, and valuable answers that you are best qualified to provide. ProspectsPLUS! does a great job of providing the tools you can easily customize and send to get your message out such as their Call to Action series and their Neighborhood Update Series. 

To build a supporting group of Investor clients… What causes homeowners sell quickly with less desire to make top dollar in the sale of the home? For starters: Death, Divorce, Mortgage and tax defaults all lead to quick sales. And many times, they are distressed sales. When a homeowner passes away, the heirs tend to be more concerned with quick money from the sale of the home, estatemore so than top dollar. Oh, and they don’t want to do home improvements prior to listing the home for sale – which add to the perfect opportunity for investor clients. Mortgage or tax defaults are similar… The default is an issue that creates a “quick sale” scenario that is way more important than receiving the highest price available in the sale. The result is the perfect opportunity for you and your investor supporters. These types of “life event” information (death, divorce, defaults) tied to property is not easy to locate – but for the agents that do, the opportunities are endless. Think about this in your next mailing… “Looking for off-market properties that have a high chance of selling quickly?” – I know where they are located. Next question: Who do you mail these types of postcards to? The mailing addresses of the investors that already own investment property in the immediate area. These mort-defaultfolks already own investment property – so what better pool of folks to get to know with this valuable data that only you have?

ProspectsPLUS! makes this messaging easy for you with their Life Events postcards that correspond to our data mining tools.

Hopefully I am not the first to tell you…. when looking to deliver “items of value” to create a loyal group of supporters, it’s not a “hot cooking recipe” or “note pad” with your mug shot on it. Those are simply items that remind the homeowner you exist – but they don’t provide anything of significant value. I have never entertained making the “Spiced Rum Cake” that came in the mail from a Realtor – have you? But if you could help me locate an off-market property that I have a better chance of acquiring at a less than market price or if you could confidently tell me how much money I have in my “housing piggy bank” (equity) – I start to become your follower, your supporter, and I help you build your supporters via recommendations and referrals.

As your loyal group of supporters builds… regular valuable information will be the key to keeping their support. Offer them pricing updates on their home, information on market trends based upon recent sales and recent listings – all information they want to know. Offer them off-market opportunities (from new “life events”) as new ones pop-up. It’s interesting and it’s valuable, and if they are interested in finding a great deal on another home – they will support you as their agent.

As an Agent, you have access to some really great sets of information – use it.

Brian Fox is Vice President of Business Development for Benutech, Inc.. Benutech is the creator of the award-winning ReboGateway property data product that identifies which properties across the Nation have divorce, mortgage defaults, tax defaults, death affidavits, probate filings, bankruptcy filings, FSBO, estate sales, or empty nester scenarios present. This valuable information allows agents to quickly identify which properties have the best chance of listing/selling soon. Work smarter, not harder. (www.ReboGateway.com)

Need help using the postcard tools referenced in today’s post? Call our team at 866.405.3638 or visit our site today at www.prospectsplus.com.