Thursday, November 15, 2018

Even folks who aren’t thinking of buying or selling a home in the near future enjoy reading well-written real estate market reports.

If you aren’t using market reports in your marketing efforts, you’re missing out on a prime opportunity to show your area expertise. However, it’s not enough to slap up an MLS graph and call it a market report.

If you’ve ever scratched your head over a medical report from a doc, radiologist or other medical professionals, you know how your market report recipients feel when poring over all the stats.

It’s up to you to put them into a form that’s easily understandable to the layperson. Then, it’s up to you to let them know what it means for them.

We’ve seen some brilliant market reports but, unfortunately, we’ve also seen some pretty bad ones. Let’s start with what not to do when writing your report.

1. Don’t assume consumers understand real estate jargon

“The pending ratio indicates the supply & demand of the market.”

While this statement might be true, the author (a company that actually creates reports for agents) assumes that the average reader understands what she means by “pending.”

Pending what? Most consumers don’t understand MLS terminology so each and every report should clearly spell out the meaning behind what you assume are widely-used terms.

So, rewritten, it might look like this:

When a seller accepts an offer on a home, the listing agent changes its status in the MLS from “Active” to “Pending,” meaning the home has an offer, but it hasn’t closed yet.

Then go on to explain what the pending ratio means – in clear, easy-to-understand English.

Then, there’s “absorption rate.” One Las Vegas brokerage offers an email of a menu of local reports, including a “Monthly Absorption Report.” Sounds more like a soil report than what’s going on in the housing market. We don’t imagine they get many requests for that one.

“Inventory” is another term that’s tossed around as if everyone understands what the agent is talking about.

Consider appending the use of “inventory,” at least on the first usage, with an explanatory term. “Inventory of available homes” or “Inventory of homes for sale,” will get the meaning across.

We love Long & Foster’s description in its market reports. While their graph is titled “Inventory,” the accompanying text simply says:

“Versus last December, the total number of homes available this month was lower by 298 units or 26%.”

Then, there are all the acronyms so frequently used by agents that may be a complete mystery to your report recipients. Like “DOM” and “Y-o-Y.”

2. Don’t assume they understand the statistics’ implications

Many real estate consumers don’t have a clue as to how different aspects of the economy impact the housing market and why the local economy accounts for many of the differences between the local and national market.

We like the way Mountain Oak Properties in Asheville, North Carolina handles this:

“Looking deeper into what is driving this steady improvement nationally and locally, you will find that the Asheville area job growth is outperforming the nation and NC.”

The report then goes into a deeper dive of the statistics presented in the report, what job growth has to do with the real estate market and what the consumer might expect in the future.

We all know that we can’t predict the market’s future performance based on current numbers, and you should explain that. But, as the “local expert,” you can take a stab at it.

3. Don’t Be Too General With Your Information

Get as specific as you can. Lucky you if your MLS provides neighborhood-specific statistics. These allow you to go hyper-local.

Determine your target market and focus your reports accordingly. If you’re trying to achieve more listings, mention the neighborhoods with the highest price appreciation. Do the opposite if you’re hoping to lure buyers.

4. Don’t Just Offer Stats and Dry Copy

Once you have your report written, it’s time to get it into an easy-on-the-eyes format. Ideally, you’ll hire a graphic designer and outsource this part of the project. You can find inexpensive designers online at sites such as upwork.com or 99designs.com.

Prefer to DIY? Consider customizing one of the thousands of templates at Canva.com. It’s an easy-to-use graphics site and most of what you’ll find there is free.

Sure, you can take that nifty graph from your MLS and paste it into your report, but, again, it’ll be meaningless to the average real estate consumer.

The name of the game with market reports is “Reader-Friendly.” And, since 65 percent of us are visual learners, this means using lots of colors and big, bold graphics.

Brilliant market reports can help set you apart from the lazy agents. Do them right, and you’ll be one more step ahead.

Start generating interest in your market reports now! Send the Free Comparative Market Analysis postcard from our Call to Action Series to at least 100 prospects in your farm or an area where you want more listings.

Need help targeting the perfect niche of buyers or sellers? Use our mailing list tool to create the ideal list (it’s easy) or call our support team for assistance at 866.405.3638!

PLUS: When you have time…here are 3 free ways we can help you STILL CRUSH IT in 2018!

1. Become a Listing Legend Free eBook.

Ready to take a vertical leap in your real estate career? If you’re looking for inspiration…and the tools and methods to dominate a market and go to the top in real estate…you’ll find them in this free book. – Click Here 

2. 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

2. The Free Online ROI Calculator. 

Consistency and automation are the keys to success. Discover how effective direct mail marketing can dramatically increase your bottom line. Enter your statistics in our Free online ROI Calculator and click the ‘CALCULATE MY ROI’ button to see your results instantly! – Click Here

Also…check out these cool tools 

 Three Click Postcards – Just snap a home photo & create a postcard all from your mobile phone

MLSmailings.com – Automated Just Listed, Just Sold Postcards

Market Dominator System – Become a neighborhood brand

Want to Refer a friend or colleague? Refer them, Here. THEY get a Free $25 Gift Card and YOU become their hero. BTW, you also get a $25 Gift Card too (now that’s what I’m talking about)!

Putting the Pieces in Place to Out-Brand, Out-Market, and Stand Out in a Geographic Farm

by Julie Escobar

The savvy agents? Are out there in their neighborhoods, and in their communities and in this powerful age of information. Top agents are presenting themselves as the resource they know can and will make a difference in terms of how they make decisions for their families.

So, how do you brand yourself as that resource?

1. Consistency & Content.  Farming a geographical area is a time-tested, proven method for garnering new listings and referrals.  Yet for many agents, the what (what to send, say, create), the when (how often) and the cost (that one speaks for itself) has stopped them from farming consistently.  Maybe a mailing here or there, but nothing that will truly help them become a brand name in a market area.

That’s why we created the Market DominatorSM. We’ve got the ‘what’ and ‘when’ buttoned up for you.  Each month we have two powerful, consumer-centric articles on the front, bright, eye-catching info-graphics, engaging direct response offers, free reports that can be used as fair trade items, fun conversation starters, and a timely agent message.  On the back, we have content-rich articles and ideas that consumers love to share.  All of this in an attention-grabbing 12 x 15 poster that is delivered to EVERY home in the farm area, EVERY month, via the cost-saving Every Door Direct service from the USPS.

2.  Get out of stealth mode.  We recently viewed a video from a powerhouse agent and coach who challenged her coaching members and agents worldwide to get out from behind their computers and out – front and center in the communities they are services.  Social media is an amazing place to speak one-to-many, and develop powerful agent-to-agent referrals and connect with your sphere — but nothing — NOTHING will ever take place of meeting and greeting the folks in the neighborhoods you serve.

Our Dominator customers know that owning a market is like peeling an onion – there are many, many layers to it. Door knocking, canvassing,  Q&A sessions at your local market, coffee shop, or library, open houses, charity drives, school sponsorship participation — all of it helps consumers put your face with your name, your name with your business, and helps brand you as THE community resource they can turn to get information.

3.  Beef up your collateral (and sell yourself).  What do consumers also want to know about the agents they five tipswill choose to help them with one of the biggest financial transactions of their lives?  Your RESULTS.  Fire up those Just Listed and Just Sold postcards – share statistics and testimonials, showcase what makes you unique and how that benefits THEM. Use door hangers, and free reports to extend your reach, and the extra Dominators that are sent to you to show potential sellers how you are going the extra mile to ensure that every home you list is sold as quickly as possible and for the highest price available.

In the WIIFM (What’s In It For Me) Channel that folks are tuned into every day – they want to see these two things:  RESOURCES & RESULTS.

National speaker and coach Todd Robertson shared this thought, “As the market heats up the great agents in the country and those on their way to becoming great are very focused on three things:

  1. Qualifying people stronger than ever before
  2. Separating themselves from competition
  3. Having a consistent campaign in place to farm and create passive income for years to come. This is simple. Yet not always easy. Simple because most of your competition will not commit to an area for any real length of time. Simple because we have seen the results of at least 10 percent market share first year. 20 plus percent the second year.

The truth is that it’s not always easy because you have to believe in yourself. Believe in your selling skills and most importantly believe that you deserve to be wildly successful. It all starts there.”

Most agents?  Won’t commit to geographic farming.  “It takes too long.” “It costs too much.”  The two biggest ‘reasons’ for not jumping in.  That’s good news for the agents that do.  It means that they fall into that 93/7 rule.  They will be the 7% of agents ruling their markets while the other 93% continue ‘one-and-done’ marketing or worse, no marketing, just chasing the next deal.  Chasing the next commission is not a fun way to earn a living or live.  Our industry is a treasure trove of opportunity.

It’s one of the few where you have zero caps on how much you can earn or how far you can go regardless of gender, race, religion, geography, history – anything.  It does take a little planning, a little courage, a little consistency, a little skill building, a little stick-to-it attitude, and the right tools.

This month commit to being part of that 7%.  Fire your business up on all cylinders.  Work your sphere, your farm, and your niche – each month — EVERY month.  The results? A career and life that IS fun, exciting, rewarding, and anything you want it to be.

Questions about how to DOMINATE in your market?  Call Todd Robertson at 702-683-1967 or email us today.

Need help building your collateral materials, sending Just Listed/Just Sold postcards, finding the right free reports for your buyers and sellers, or building a better brand for yourself?  

Visit us online at www.prospectsplus.com or give us a call today at 866.405.3638.

 

Leaving Nothing Left to Chance

By Julie Escobar

Competition hasn’t been this fierce in years so savvy agents are using every tool at their disposal to generate new listings, stay top of mind, and brand themselves as the neighborhood expert to call.  Staying in touch with the VIPs in your sphere of influence makes sense. Those folks know you, trust you, and are already willing to do business with you. But how do you cultivate new relationships in markets that you really want to make an impact?  You use smart tools that connect you with consumers in communities. You offer items of value. And you get out there and meet the people.

Todd Robertson recently shared five tips for making the most of your geographic farm and sphere:

  1. Ask for referrals. Never be afraid to ask for new business. When you get comfortable with the level of service you provide, asking for the business gets easier. Get to the point where you KNOW that you have a marketing plan that helps sellers get the most from their house. Know that you can assist buyers in finding the perfect home for their family. Know that you are an advocate for consumers, and know that you are the best person for the job – then you have an obligation to let people KNOW that you are a real estate professional who can help.
  2. Mail consistently (3-7-27 law). We’ve shared before the 3-7-27 law of branding, which is that it takes three contacts for someone to recognize your name, seven to put your name with your business and twenty-seven to become a brand in someone’s mind. If you are losing business to other agents in your market area, is it because they are consistently md jan backmaking more contacts and staying more top of mind than you are?  It’s a tough question to ask, but if you can show up, and show value consistently, then sellers and buyers are going to consider you the brand to trust with their real estate investment questions and needs. Mind-share equals market share.  Our Market Dominator members know that they are showing up month after month with the 12×15 Market Dominator to ensure this kind of consistency and value are creating that mind-share and market share.
  3. Let people know what areas and price points that you service. Through your marketing and prospecting, let people know where you do business. If you’ve ever lost a listing because a friend or acquaintance said, “Oh, I didn’t know you worked that area,” you’ll get the message behind this step.
  4. Train on how you take referrals. Let folks know that their referrals are important to you and how they can best deliver that information to you. “Shoot me a text, an email – or give me a call if you know someone who is looking to buy or sell a home.”
  5. Thank your VIPs. Thank everyone for their referrals. Go the extra mile. Send a card or letter to them after the fact. Say, “Thank you for your kind referral. It’s the lifeblood of my business and no small thing, I know, so I appreciate it. Know that I’ll treat them with the highest possible level of care and you can rest assured they, and their interests, will be well taken care of. I’ll also keep you posted on how that referral is going so that you know your friends or relatives are in good hands.”   Stand out in every way. People want to do business with those who they know can get the job done with the least number of headaches and the highest return on investment. They also want to work with people who are service-minded and extraordinary in their client care.  That old adage, “they don’t care what you know until they know that you care” has never been more true.

Showing up in every way possible in your market place is critical to owning that market share.

  • Take the time THIS month to put your plan in place to ask for referrals. Can you make ten extra calls this week towards that goal?
  • Be consistent. The 12×15 Market Dominator is a powerful way to show up each month with value-added content and calls to action. Follow those mailings up with phone calls and door knocking in that geographic farm to help folks put your face with your name and know you are a resource they can count on.
  • Review your marketing tools, your website and social media. Are you letting people know the areas you serve?
  • Remember to let people know how to reach you if they have referrals. Review your business cards, email signature line, and marketing tools.
  • Send thank you messages weekly. We’ve got some easy-to-order Thank-You postcards that can streamline that process.

Make real estate farming a top priority this season and you’ll start to see returns on that investment. Stay strong, and let us know if we can help you.

If you’d like to learn more about the Market Dominator, call Todd Robertson at 702-683-1967.

Need additional marketing help? Contact our team at 866-405-3638.

One Solid Strategy for Fall

by Julie Escobar

Successful real estate professionals will tell you that part of creating a continuous stream of referrals and new business is staying top of mind with the folks in your sphere and farm in consistent and creative ways. One popular postcard series that agents are using to kick start market-specific conversations is our Market Quote Series. This series of six postcards are perfect for agents who want to mail-market to their database every other month.

They are a fun way to remind potential buyers and sellers that you are a resource they can trust to answer their real estate questions or needs.

Step one:  Login to your free ProspectsPLUS.com account. (Or easily create an account and profile in a matter of minutes. Once your profile is ready – the system will automatically populate your information into all of the 800+ marketing tools on the site.)

Step two:  Select a card such as this week’s Master Marketing Schedule tip which is to send the Best Advice postcard from the Market Quote Series to at least 100 new prospects in an area where you want more listings.You can leave as is or customize to suit your marketing style.

Step three:  Add your mailing list or use our mapping tools to create a mailing list. If you need help with mailing lists – call our support team at 866.405.3638 or click here to see all of our comprehensive mailing list solutions.

Step four:  Place your order then track it. It’s that easy! Click here to watch a video on tracking your postcard order.

Making your job easier is our goal.  That’s why we created the Master Marketing Schedule to offer strategic and creative solutions for building your business faster, easier, more affordable and with way fewer headaches. In fact, if you’re in “marketing mode” – you may want to look at this month’s tip which is:

The weather is cooling down, and the market is heating up! Door hangers are a time-tested tool to help you get noticed, meet the folks in the geographic farm you’re working and market yourself and your listings. Learn three powerful ways to use them at blog.prospectsplus.com/door-hangers.

Putting systems for staying in touch in place don’t have to be tough – or time consuming.  Most of our top customers schedule 15-30 minutes at the beginning or end of every month to focus on what marketing tools they want to go out.  When they choose a campaign, it’s easy — they simply pick the next one in the series, order and get back to their high priority tasks. Some even delegate a member of their team to make it their priority that something is always being sent to their sphere and farm so top of mind awareness is always there.

Kudos to the agents that are working their systems and are willing to share their experiences with others. We so appreciate you all. Want to see what other agents are using to market themselves this season from the Master Marketing Schedule? Head over to our Facebook page to see their $10K Realtor Contest Entries! Perhaps one of these strategies will be part of YOUR contest entry!

CLICK HERE TO LEARN HOW YOU CAN WIN $10,000.

Have questions or need help developing the marketing plan that’s right for you?  Call us today at 866.405.3638 or email us at pmc@prospectsplus.com.  We’re here to assist!

It’s Not Too Soon to Create Your Plan

by Julie Escobar

Hard to believe it’s almost September isn’t it? Taking a cue from this week’s Master Marketing Schedule tip which is to send the Hello Autumn postcard from the Holiday series, I thought it was a great time to share some tips for getting a jump on staying connected with your sphere and farm in this fun way, because staying in touch and top of mind never goes out of season.  Before you buy a card, stick a stamp of figure out where your mailing list is — consider these eight great holiday tips!

  1. Be clear about your message.  Even when you’re sending holiday postcards, you can use the reverse side to send a great message to your customer base.  If you are sending to both your sphere and farm, you may want to consider altering the message slightly for each. Make it personal and heartfelt, with a note of thanks for allowing you the opportunity to serve them as customers — or in the case of your farm – the community.
  2. Serve two purposes.  Are you having a holiday open house? Customer event?  Charity drive? Looking for a good time to stop by with a small gift? You can include that information on the cards as well.
  3. Don’t be salesy.  Holiday greetings are not about the sale – they are about the connection.  Keep it warm and personable.
  4. Don’t wait for just Christmas.  Many top agents send a holiday message once a month to their sphere. Back to School, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s, etc.  There’s something to celebrate all year round, and it’s a fun way to stay connected and stand out as someone who is “there” more than just in the month of December.
  5. Have some fun with it.  Got a great team? Or just a great personality?  Take some fun pictures and opt for a photo-card rather than a more traditional card and don’t be afraid to get a little creative with your photos.
  6. Don’t leave anyone out! You know all those mailing lists you’ve been collecting throughout the year? For Just Listed postcards, or the stack of business cards that have been sitting on the corner of your desk collecting dust?
  7. Order early.  We suggest sending your holiday cards out at LEAST two weeks in advance of the holiday every month — and sending first class as opposed to standard-class to ensure timely delivery.
  8. Follow up.  Sending cards is a great way to easily stay in touch.  Pick a postcard, edit your message, add a list – and you’re done!  In a matter of minutes, you’ve created a connection.  However to really get the full impact of ANY mailing (holiday and otherwise) — be sure to follow-up – at least with the top 25% of your list.  There is no substitution for this step.  Imagine if you made it a point each year, every year, to speak with every single person in your sphere at least twice a year?  Touch base, see if they have questions, thank them for being great customers, and say hello.  Here’s what happens when you do:  they remember you.  They don’t list with another agent because your name wasn’t on the radar.  They are grateful that you take the time to call.  And one out of 12? Statistically, will do business with you or refer business to you.

Here’s to a great holiday season ahead – and to staying in touch with your sphere and farm!

Need help?  We’re here for you!  Call our team at 866.405.3638 today.  We’ll help get your holidays started and save you money at the same time! Have a great one!