Thursday, February 22, 2024

    Your primary job is over when you all shake hands at the closing table. Sure, you need to update your buyer’s or seller’s info in your CRM so you can keep in touch, but, at closing, you drive away feeling good about a job well done.

    Your client, on the other hand, has the crummiest task of all looming in the near future: moving.

    We know many agents who feel their job doesn’t end at closing. Sure, some of them offer the use of a moving truck. But there are other, less expensive, and just as impressive ways to show your client’s real customer service.

    Let’s dive into some of the less-pricey services that agents have passed on to us that not only will help make you unforgettable but also get you more referrals.

    Offer to take on the small stuff

    If you have an assistant, this one is for you. Offer a concierge service that includes ensuring the utilities at the old home are turned off and turned on at the new home.

    Other services you can offer include:

    • Pet licensing and updating of the address on the microchip.
    • Canceling services, such as pool cleaning and maintenance, landscaping, housekeeping, pest control, etc.
    • Having cable or satellite service transferred to the new home.
    Give them peace of mind

    Offer to change the locks on the new home and install a smart lock. 

    This is a task that movers often neglect, and you’re installing your closing gift simultaneously.  It’s a two-fer.

    Consider a Ring (or other brand) video doorbell camera if it’s in your budget.


    The Real Estate Times Series is shown above. To see more, Click Here.

    Get-acquainted-with-the-neighborhood list

    Here is another job for an assistant. Have him or her research your client’s new neighborhood for points of interest and everyday services. 

    Do some sleuthing on Yelp.com to find the best-rated:

    • Parks
    • Restaurants
    • Drycleaner
    • Hairstylist
    • Handyman or handywoman
    • Landscaper
    • Pool Service
    • Doctor
    • Dentist
    • Veterinarian 

    Then, make a list with the company’s website URL, phone number, and address.

    Boxes, boxes, boxes

    It’s the one thing most people don’t seem to have enough of when they’re moving. If you have the money, consider purchasing moving boxes emblazoned with your branding.

    Let clients know before closing that they won’t need to haunt the local grocery store for boxes because you have some for them.

    The essentials basket

    Create a basket with any combination of the following,

    • Grubhub, or Uber Eats gift card (so they don’t have to drag out the pots and pans to make dinner)
    • Trash bags
    • Toilet paper – you’ll need it eventually, better to grab it sooner than later
    • Paper towels
    • Light bulbs 
    • Cleaning products, sponges, and a scrub brush
    • Bottled water
    • Snacks
    • Anything else you can think of that they may need upon arrival in the new home
    Hire some help

    It’s typically that first day in the home, with no furniture present, that new homeowners find something wrong. Whether it’s something aesthetic or non-functional, they want it fixed.

    Offer an hour or two of handyman or woman service to your clients so they can get fixed, eventually driving them nuts.

    Or, consider offering a professional cleaning the day before your clients move in. The home should be broom swept so there shouldn’t be too much cleaning left.

    Customer service after the sale is the most impressive of all. Find a way to help your clients move, and they’ll remember you.


    PLUS: When you have time…below are some marketing tools to help support your success.

    1. Put Your Real Estate Business a Step Above with Your Own Branded Magazine

    Homes & Life Magazine is a customizable magazine with rich, full-color content and a sharp, professional aesthetic. It includes compelling, direct, response-driven articles written by real estate industry experts and engaging lifestyle content. Send out Homes & Life Magazine in Just Minutes – No Minimums Required. Or we’ll ship it to you. Homes & Life Magazine is the ultimate “Coffee Table Lingerer”! …and it costs less than sending a greeting card!Click Here

    2. The Free 6-Month Done-For-You Strategic Marketing Plan

    The Real Estate Marketing Planner is a powerful 6-Month Guide that strategically defines what marketing to do and when. Four key market segments include niche Markets, geographic farming, sphere of influence, and past clients. – Click Here

    3. The Free Interactive 6-Month Real Estate Business Review

    The Free Interactive 6-Month Real Estate Business Review allows you to enter your business goals for the remainder of the year and get a breakdown of how many prospects, listings, closings, and so on are needed to reach your goals.   – Click Here

    4. The Become a Listing Legend Free eBook 

    This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Become-A-Listing-Legend-3D-Book-White-274x300.jpg

    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


      Back in October, the U.S. Department of Agriculture enlarged its map of eligible areas for USDA home loans. In fact, “… they added 1,131 areas to its USDA mortgage footprint for 2024 and removed thirty-six,” according to Dan Green at Homebuyer.com.

      Even better, is that, while the program still restricts the loans to those buying in rural areas, some of these added areas are now closer to large cities, such as Los Angeles, CA, and San Antonio, TX.

      This is important news for agents working with credit- and financially challenged buyers who can’t qualify for a traditional mortgage.

      A quick refresher course on what the USDA offers to homebuyers

      The USDA home loan programs reside under the umbrella of the Rural Development Agency. This office provides money to low-to-moderate-income families to build, rehab, purchase, and refinance homes within the rural areas it serves. This money comes in the form of direct loans, loan guarantees, and grants.

      The two most popular USDA home-buying programs include a direct loan and a guaranteed loan. The former is restricted to those borrowers with low to very low incomes. 

      Since the applicant borrows the money to purchase the home directly from the USDA, not only is there no down payment required, but closing costs are kept to a minimum.

      SOI scheduled campaigns are shown above. To learn more, Click Here.

      The guaranteed loan, on the other hand, appeals to those with moderate incomes. Although the guaranteed loans are backed by the USDA, they must be obtained through a USDA–approved conventional lender.

      Qualifying for a USDA loan involves two aspects. Not only must the borrower qualify, but the house the borrower wishes to purchase must be eligible as well. 

      Aside from the fact that the home must be located in a USDA-designated rural area (more on that in a moment), it must be considered “modest” for the area. In other words, no swimming pools and no other features that might be considered extravagant or unnecessary.

      The USDA has additional requirements that the home must meet, as well. 

      Borrower eligibility is determined mainly by income and ability to repay the loan. The USDA will look at your client’s credit reports. Late pay and delinquencies may not disqualify a borrower, it depends on the entire financial picture.

      Finally, each program has different income requirements. 

      Understanding the USDA mortgage zones

      The USDA divides eligible areas for its mortgage programs into different zones based on population density and other demographic factors. These zones determine the eligibility of properties for USDA-backed loans, which offer favorable terms, including low interest rates and zero down payment requirements. 

      Historically, these loans have been key to facilitating homeownership in rural areas, serving as an amazing resource for low- to moderate-income homebuyers.

      Check the USDA website to find out if the market you serve is among, or near those added to the map. Interested in seeing some of the new rural areas opening up? Check this out!


      When you have time…below are some marketing tools to help support your success.

      1. Put Your Real Estate Business a Step Above with Your Own Branded Magazin

      Homes & Life Magazine is a customizable magazine with rich, full-color content and a sharp, professional aesthetic. It includes compelling, direct, response-driven articles written by real estate industry experts and engaging lifestyle content. Send out Homes & Life Magazine in Just Minutes – No Minimums Required. Or we’ll ship it to you. Homes & Life Magazine is the ultimate “Coffee Table Lingerer”! …and it costs less than sending a greeting card!Click Here

      2. The Free 6-Month Done-For-You Strategic Marketing Planner

      The Real Estate Marketing Planner is a powerful 6-Month Guide that strategically defines what marketing to do and when. Four key market segments include niche Markets, geographic farming, sphere of influence, and past clients. – Click Here

      3. The Free Online Real Estate Business Plan

      The Real Estate Business Plan allows you to enter your business goals for the year and get a breakdown of how many prospects, listings, closings, and so on are needed to reach your financial goals.   – Click Here

      4. The Become a Listing Legend Free eBook 

      This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Become-A-Listing-Legend-3D-Book-White-274x300.jpg

      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


        Jackie recently sent out Just Sold Postcards (shown above). To learn more, Click Here.

        Congratulations, Jackie on winning this week’s contest!

        Jackie had the following words to say about her success sending marketing out from ProspectsPLUS!,

        “I love how fast your service is – once I submit my postcard it’s mailed within a day or two. Very easy to do and convenient!”

        -Jackie Rogers

        Jackie, thank you for your review. We truly appreciate you and your support!


        Don’t Forget to Enter For Your Chance to Win a $125 ProspectsPLUS! Gift Card! (see how below)*

        HOW TO ENTER: Just leave feedback regarding how using marketing from ProspectsPLUS! has impacted your business, and you’re automatically entered into our next contest.

        Leave feedback on Google HERE.
        Leave feedback on Facebook, HERE.

        *If you’ve already entered our drawing in the past and haven’t won, you don’t need to enter again. Your entry remains valid, and you still have a chance to win.

        Don’t forget to watch for next Friday’s email announcing the weekly winner!


        PLUS: When you have time…below are some marketing tools to help support your success.

        1. Put Your Real Estate Business a Step Above with Your Own Branded Magazine

        Homes & Life Magazine is a customizable magazine with rich, full-color content and a sharp, professional aesthetic. It includes compelling, direct response-driven articles written by real estate industry experts and engaging lifestyle content. Send out Homes & Life Magazine in Just Minutes – No Minimums Required. Or we’ll ship it to you. Homes & Life Magazine is the ultimate “Coffee Table Lingerer”! …and it costs less than sending a greeting card!Click Here

        2. The Free 6-Month Strategic Marketing Planner

        The Real Estate Marketing Planner is a powerful 6-Month Guide that strategically defines what marketing to do and when. Four key market segments include niche Markets, geographic farming, sphere of influence, and past clients. – Click Here

        3. The Free Interactive Real Estate Business Plan

        The Free Interactive Real Estate Business Plan allows you to enter your business goals for this year and get a breakdown of how many prospects, listings, closing, and so on are needed to reach your goals.  – Click Here

        4. The Become a Listing Legend Free eBook 

        This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Become-A-Listing-Legend-3D-Book-White-274x300.jpg

        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

          So, what are your business marketing plans for spring 2024 real estate marketing? Sure, a lot of the decision-making will center around what’s happening with the economy. 

          Market soothsayers are hedging their bets when predicting what the Fed will come up with during the March meeting. The latest jobs numbers seem to be the fly in the ointment at this point.

          “But Fed officials have repeatedly indicated that they want to be sure that inflation is coming down sustainably before they’ll consider cutting rates, and a more balanced labor market is part of that,” says Molly Grace at BusinessInsider.com.

          If you want to play it safe, fall back on the tried-and-true marketing methods. One of the best of these is farming.

          Let’s take a look at three farms that we think are worthy of your consideration.

          Baby boomers in highly rated school districts

          Baby boomers turn 60 to 78 years old this year. Last year, the National Association of REALTORS’ surveys found that baby boomers now make up the largest share of both homebuyers and sellers.

          In fact, this cohort makes “… up 39% of home buyers – the most of any generation – an increase from 29% last year.” That’s an astounding statistic. A 10% jump in real estate activity in one year? From a group of people who have been stubbornly sitting on the home they’ve lived in for 15 to 20 years?

          They’re moving, and you should be at the forefront of your market to capture this business.

          Then, there are the Gen Xers and Millennial moms and dads who are still in the child-rearing phases, longing to get junior into a good school district.

          That’s the perfect starting point for an agent looking for a new marketing method: farm those baby boomers living in decently ranked school districts. I would market to all of them, but most particularly, those who live in multi-story homes.

          Stairs are hard on the knees and we’re betting they can’t wait to get into a home without the climb.

          The Absentee Owner Series is shown above. To learn more, Click Here.

          Absentee owners

          While being a landlord isn’t quite as painful now as it was during the pandemic, the economy still isn’t where it should be and many Americans are pinching pennies.

          Because of this, many landlords are thinking about cashing out. This is such an easy audience to market to because most of it is done via direct mail. 

          It’s somewhat quick and easy to set up and landlords (most of them anyway) are eager to learn about the market and what their rentals might be worth right now.

          This one requires consistency in nurturing, however. Consistent mailings will keep you top-of-mind but don’t neglect the Just Listed and Just Sold postcards that are pertinent to the landlord’s property.

          Spring will be here before we know it, so let’s get ready!


          When you have time…below are some marketing tools to help support your success.

          1. Put Your Real Estate Business a Step Above with Your Own Branded Magazin

          Homes & Life Magazine is a customizable magazine with rich, full-color content and a sharp, professional aesthetic. It includes compelling, direct, response-driven articles written by real estate industry experts and engaging lifestyle content. Send out Homes & Life Magazine in Just Minutes – No Minimums Required. Or we’ll ship it to you. Homes & Life Magazine is the ultimate “Coffee Table Lingerer”! …and it costs less than sending a greeting card!Click Here

          2. The Free 6-Month Done-For-You Strategic Marketing Planner

          The Real Estate Marketing Planner is a powerful 6-Month Guide that strategically defines what marketing to do and when. Four key market segments include niche Markets, geographic farming, sphere of influence, and past clients. – Click Here

          3. The Free Online Real Estate Business Plan

          The Real Estate Business Plan allows you to enter your business goals for the year and get a breakdown of how many prospects, listings, closings, and so on are needed to reach your financial goals.   – Click Here

          4. The Become a Listing Legend Free eBook 

          This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Become-A-Listing-Legend-3D-Book-White-274x300.jpg

          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