Saturday, February 29, 2020

    “Before I got an agent, I would try to inquire about their services … and I’d say 90% of the time agents did not return my call,” complains a real estate client (Trulia reviews).

    If some agents can’t respond to a hot lead, how can a client expect them to communicate effectively during the listing period?

    Agents have come up with a lengthy list of excuses for why they don’t call. They run the gamut from “I don’t call if nothing is happening,” to “I didn’t get your message.”

    Which is why the biggest client complaint against agents is lack of communication. 

    So why aren’t agents working harder to provide this most in-demand aspect of customer service?

    Communicating with your client helps dispel the oft-repeated complaint that real estate agents don’t do anything to earn their commissions. It builds trust and it makes for a more relaxed working relationship.

    Here’s how NOT to be that agent.

    Examples go a long way
    Let them know you’re on the ball (available in the postcard section under Get More Listings)

    Explanations, walk-throughs, and examples go a long way in helping a client understand the complicated selling process, especially when working with first-time home sellers.

    “We didn’t know there were all these things we had to pay for,” says a real estate client at a Hear it Direct event (pity they aren’t doing these any longer).

    The gentleman went on to complain that his agent “never brought it up.”

    Yet another client was so disgusted by her agent’s lack of an explanation of the process that she won’t use any agent’s services in the future.

    “We’ll probably just do it on our own – we kind of feel like we are already,” she said.

    A real estate client who feels isolated during the sale of such a huge investment is not only in a sad situation, but it’s uncalled for in an industry that prides itself on “building relationships.”

    Take a tip from buyers agents who hold buyer consultations before showing homes. Take the time to walk your listing client through the entire process, from what happens immediately after signing the listing agreement to the closing table.

    Outline the costs of selling the home, what might go wrong during the process and their responsibilities.

    Explain the following during your consultation:
    • What happens after they sign the listing agreement – detail the process beginning to end. Don’t assume they know.
    • Describe your marketing plan and when and how you’ll implement it.
    • Explain what a broker’s open is and how important it is.
    • Show them a lockbox and explain how it works, what to expect from buyers’ agents and everything else they need to know about the marketing period.
    • How offers are presented.
    • The period after an offer is accepted. Explain the escrow process, the paperwork they’ll encounter, disclosure duties. Remind them that they’ll need to be accommodating to the appraiser and home inspector.
    • Explain the closing process.

      Keep them in on area real estate action (available in the postcard section under Content postcards)

    Even the smallest aspects of the home sale process may be completely foreign to a client, so don’t assume that you don’t need to explain them.

    Aside from an actual, sit-down seller consultation, there are a number of other ways to provide this information, from a book or e-book to a video or the plethora of information on your website (you have a plethora, right?).

    Ask and listen

    Ask questions—lots and lots of questions. How do they prefer to communicate, by text, email, phone? How often would they like to hear from you? Is once a week okay or do they want more frequent contact?

    How do they feel about open houses? What are their biggest fears about the process? Is there anything about it they would like to know more about?

    One home seller who vented his frustrations at CityData.com complained that “I figure an email a week telling me how many hits I’ve gotten on the various real estate sites, calls about my property (if tracked) and general market conditions would work, but I shouldn’t have to chase my agent down to hear what’s going on.”

    Asking questions isn’t enough. You need to listen to the answers and ask for clarification if needed. Ensure there are no misunderstandings about their expectations.

    Communicate often

    Toss the old advice about not saying anything if you don’t have anything nice to say. Homeowners crave communication so provide it as often as possible.

    Even if you have nothing to communicate, reach out to your client and let them know. I bet you can come up with something of value to communicate:

    • How many people toured the home during the past week?
    • How the open house went.
    • What type of feedback did they, or their agents leave?
    • Anything going on with the overall real estate market that they should know?
    • If under contract, let them know how escrow is progressing.
    • Find out if they have any questions such as, what comes next.

    The Merriam Webster dictionary defines “consultant” as “one who gives professional advice or services.” These homeowners could have chosen to sell the home without an agent but chose to go with you because of your professional knowledge.

    By consistently communicating with your clients throughout the sales process, you’ll make them very happy they chose you and, hopefully, more likely to recommend you to others.

    An effective way to communicate with and encourage prospective clients is to offer the Free Report “5 Sure-Fire Tips For a Quick Home Sale”.
    Include it in all of your marketing and offer it as an opt-in on your website.

    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 Free killer tools to help your success this year!

    1. The 12 Month Done-For-You Strategic Marketing Plan – NEW 2020!

    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, Get More Listings, Geographic Farming, and Sphere of Influence. –Click Here

     

     

     

    2. The Free One-Page Real Estate Business Plan – NEW 2020!

    Treat your business like a business it is vital to long-term success in this industry. Some agents may put together elaborate business plans, yet there’s something powerful about keeping it simple. Check out our one page Online Real Estate Business Plan.  – Click Here

     

     

     

    3. 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

     

     

     

    4. 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

     

     

     

    5. Get the ALL-NEW Real Estate Marketing Guide “CRUSH IT” 

    The “Crush It” Guide includes easy steps to launching an effective direct mail marketing campaign, how to create a targeted mailing list, the perfect way to layout marketing materials for success, seven opportunities available to target in your area right now. –Click Here

     

      As the market changes and your listing is still for sale 24 hours after they hit the MLS, it’s time to resurrect some of the old-school methods to market it.

      One of the best is the broker’s open. Done right, you’ll get the most important eyes on your listing – those of other agents.

      Sure, it’s usually a cattle call, with agents spending as little time in each home as possible. But yours will be different.

      Yours is one that will slow them down.

      It’s all in the planning

      It takes careful planning to pull off a successful event, and your broker’s open should be considered “an event.” The higher the price of the home, in fact, the more eventful your broker’s open should be.

      Don’t let being low on cash stop you from throwing an awesome broker’s open. Enlist the assistance of your favorite title rep, stager or loan officer.

      Determine the menu. Yes, you need to come up with a way to slow these agents down and stopping into the kitchen or dining room for a snack is the ideal way to do it.

      We’re sure you’ve seen what’s popular at your local brokers open, but here are a few suggestions we got from agents across the country:
      • Platters of sandwiches on various types of bread, cut in quarters, bowls of chips, fruit and/or green salad, bottled water.
      • At morning open houses, consider two or three types of quiche (cut in squares or wedges) small breakfast burritos, fruit and/or a green salad and juice and/or coffee and tea.
      • An assortment of appetizers on platters. You can purchase downright delicious frozen appetizers at Costco and Sam’s Club, or have a caterer create them.
      Showcase your property in a memorable way. (available in the “Flyers” section under Property Flyers).

      After coming up with the menu and shopping list (plates, napkins, etc.), make an agent feedback form.

      Include all the questions you know your sellers would like answered by other agents in your agent feedback form:
      • What do they think of the price?
      • Rate the home’s interior condition on a scale of 1 to 10.
      • Rate the home’s exterior condition on a scale of 1 to 10.
      • How does this home stack up to other homes the agent has viewed in this price range?
      • Anything the home seller (or listing agent) has missed that should be remedied?

      The chances that agents will fill these out are best if they’re near the food and you ask them to fill them out.

      If there’s an incentive, though, the chances are even better. Come up with an interesting prize (even a gift card can be compelling) to raffle off to all those who threw their completed feedback forms into a designated and prominent “drop your entries here” bowl.

      This is a great way for your title rep, stager or loan officer to get involved. Have them sponsor the prize.

      Finally, ensure you have enough directional signs available for that day and determine where you will place them.

      Get the word out

      At one time, broker’s opens were listed in the MLS. Even if that’s still true, in a changing market you may need to do more to get the maximum number of agent boots through the door of your listing.

      Free ways to get the word out about your broker’s open:

      • Announce it at the office sales meeting and, if you attend the MLS meetings, announce it there as well.
      • Make up flyers and get to the aforementioned meetings early. Place a flyer on each chair.
      • Put flyers in the office mailboxes for each agent.
      • If you belong to local real estate groups on social media, post about it. Mention all the cool things they’ll experience if they attend.
      • Send an email to the mega-agents in town. They’re the ones that are typically too busy to hang out on social media. Make your email a visual delight, with eye-catching photos and, again, promises of the cool stuff on offer (food! A drawing!) at the broker’s open.

      You might also want to create a special invitation that you can snail mail to the top buyers’ agents in town and to agents with whom you’ve built a solid professional working relationship.

      Enhance your listing with multiple images and copy opportunities (available under the “Brochure” tab in Luxury Brochures).

      Direct mail is far more powerful in the digital age than at any time in its history.

      Play nice with other agents

      Put your phone away and vow to not pick it up during the duration of the brokers open. Greet everyone individually as they come in and thank them for coming as they leave.

      Invariably, agents who are also friends will show up but don’t get so involved conversing with them that you ignore the other guests.

      The fortune is in the follow-up

      Yes, even with other agents. You never know how one simple phone call or email to thank them for attending will endear you to other agents. You never know how it might prompt their memories just when they picked up that new buyer.

      If you choose to do a mass email, don’t forget to congratulate the winner of the drawing.

      Send panoramic luxury postcards and stand out in the mail (available in the postcard section under Luxury postcards).

      Finally, ensure that you attend other agents’ broker’s opens. They will be far more likely to reciprocate if they’ve seen you at theirs.

      Send Panoramic Luxury postcards from the Luxury Market Series to announce your newest listing, Open House or Sold in style!

      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 Free killer tools to help your success this year!

      1. The 12 Month Done-For-You Strategic Marketing Plan – NEW 2020!

      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, Get More Listings, Geographic Farming, and Sphere of Influence. –Click Here

       

       

       

      2. The Free One-Page Real Estate Business Plan – NEW 2020!

      Treat your business like a business it is vital to long-term success in this industry. Some agents may put together elaborate business plans, yet there’s something powerful about keeping it simple. Check out our one page Online Real Estate Business Plan.  – Click Here

       

       

       

      3. Get the ALL-NEW Real Estate Marketing Guide “CRUSH IT” 

      The “Crush It” Guide includes easy steps to launching an effective direct mail marketing campaign, how to create a targeted mailing list, the perfect way to layout marketing materials for success, seven opportunities available to target in your area right now. –Click Here

       

       

       

      4. 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

       

       

       

      5. 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

        We have both first and second place drawing winners. A first-place $250 Gift Card winner & a second-place $100 Gift Card winner!

        1. Congratulations Scott Skare on winning our first place $250 Gift Card!

        Scott shared the following feedback with ProspectsPLUS!.

        “ProspectsPLUS! has friendly, knowledgeable customer service and affordable prices. Excellent products and messaging!

        Scott’s latest marketing pieces he’s sent out include – The Fence Sitter and Just Sold postcards

        Above shown is from the Fence Sitters Series and Just Sold House Series in the postcard section.

        2.Congratulations Dan Percefull on winning our 2nd Prize $100 ProspectsPLUS! Gift Card!

        Dan shared the following feedback with ProspectsPLUS!

        “Read the clues they provide, like how to start an investor mailing. Buy the mailing list of non-owner-occupied homes from them and start a successful campaign. I did and it worked. Thanks, ProspectsPLUS!

        Dan’s latest marketing pieces include – The Just Closed and Upload Your Own postcards.Just Closed and Upload Your Own postcards are available under the postcard section

        Take the lead from Scott and Dan send at least 100 marketing pieces to an area where you want more buyers and sellers!


        You might also like:

        8 Things You Can Do To Increase Your Closings in 2020

        What Real Estate Agents Can Learn From Hospitality Workers

        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!

          Here we are, officially ensconced in a new year and a new decade. Still, in the winter doldrums, real estate closings and their ensuing commission checks loom large in the minds of many real estate agents.

          “How to get more” entails stuffing that pipeline and converting prospects.

          That’s a tall order when productivity is at its ebb at this point in the year. But spring is right around the corner, and with it brings new opportunities.

          Are you on track to increase your closings this year?

          1. Create and stick to a marketing plan

          A marketing plan does a lot more than let you know how much money you’ll spend this year promoting your services. Chief among the additional benefits is that it helps you strategize.

          That forward-thinking stuff you’ll need to do to create the plan forces you to carefully consider each option, both in terms of its financial impact and its effectiveness.

          “Big ideas fail without a plan, and your marketing plan is the one thing that will drive innovation and help you meet sales targets,” according to Mark Ellis, business writer at Business2Community.com.

          To get your FREE 12-month, Real Estate Marketing Planner click here

          If increasing closings is your goal this year, start with a marketing plan, and then stick to it.

          2. Adhere to a regular prospecting schedule

          Whether you door-knock, cold-call, chase after expireds and FSBOs or use another method of prospecting, ensure that it gets done by making it a part of your daily or weekly schedule.

          Prioritize the task as well. It’s easy to keep putting it off when there are more interesting tasks to pursue, but it’s not wise. The more leads you steer toward that real estate sales funnel, the more prospects you can convert to clients.

          3. Update, maintain and backup your CRM

          People who sell customer relationship management software are fond of claiming that a CRM is the “lifeblood” of the real estate agent’s business.

          Guess what? They’re right. Building and nurturing relationships is the key to increased commission checks and to do it right, you need a way to keep track of leads, prospects, clients (both current and past) and just about everyone else you know.

          While there are probably a million and one ways to set up a CRM, find a way that makes adding information and finding what you need easy. A way that works for you.

          Then, ensure that you do use it and keep it safe. Back it up.

          4. Find a mentor, coach or mastermind partner

          “Coaching works,” according to the authors of a study, “Evaluating the effectiveness of executive coaching: beyond ROI?”

          If it is something that helped former Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, entertainers such as Oprah Winfrey and Leonardo DiCaprio and mega-athletes Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan, perhaps you should consider it as well.

          New agent? Consider latching on to a mentor. Not only is this a way to quickly learn the nuts and bolts of the business, but to begin to nurture new habits that will help you immensely in the long run.

          Mentors, coaches and even mastermind groups can propel you to the next level in productivity, thus increasing your closings.

          The All Ears postcard is available under the Animal II Series in the postcard section

          Check out our in-depth guide to finding a real estate mentor.

          5. Increase your activity on social media sites

          Social media can be a major time suck if you aren’t diligent. Get in, do your thing and get out. Easier said than done, right?

          The key is to wisely choose the platforms you use so that your engagement is strategically focused to your chosen audience.

          We compare social media platforms for real estate agents and suggest how to choose the most effective in 2020. You’ll find part one here.

          6. Fine-tune your response time to leads

          You can’t turn a lead into a prospect that you’ll later convert to a client if you don’t respond to their initial contact in a timely manner.

          The short and sweet of it is that you have a maximum of five minutes to respond to an incoming lead if you hope to reach the person and get him or her into your sales funnel, according to InsideSales.com research.

          In fact, the agent who responds within this time period is nearly 25 percent more likely to snag the lead.

          Wait a half-hour? You might as well forget about it and let the agent down the street who responds quicker have the lead.

          7. Reach out to your SOI – relentlessly

          Now that you’ve spiffed up your CRM, reaching out to your real estate SOI will be a lot easier. Efficiency… .so cool, isn’t it?

          Get every single person onto a touch campaign, according to their current status (homeowner, potential buyer, seller, etc.). Number 8, below, is a low-cost, effective and easy way to reach out to a bunch of folks at once.

          8. Start farming, via direct mail

          I know, it sounds self-serving coming from someone who works for a company that helps real estate agents with direct mail marketing solutions.

          Be that as it may, the fact remains that direct mail is one of the most powerful marketing methods today.

          Mix that with consistent farming, and you’ve got yourself an increase in closings.

          The Sell Faster postcard is available under the Content Card Series in the postcard section

          Learn more about how to kick off your farming efforts and how direct mail postcards just might be the magic bullet of lead generation. We show you how, here.

          Send Sell Faster postcard from the Content Card Series to your Geographic 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 Free killer tools to help your success this year!

          1. The 12 Month Done-For-You Strategic Marketing Plan – NEW 2020!

          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, Get More Listings, Geographic Farming, and Sphere of Influence. –Click Here

           

           

           

          2. The Free One-Page Real Estate Business Plan – NEW 2020!

          Treat your business like a business it is vital to long-term success in this industry. Some agents may put together elaborate business plans, yet there’s something powerful about keeping it simple. Check out our one page Online Real Estate Business Plan.  – Click Here

           

           

           

          3. Get the ALL-NEW Real Estate Marketing Guide “CRUSH IT” 

          The “Crush It” Guide includes easy steps to launching an effective direct mail marketing campaign, how to create a targeted mailing list, the perfect way to layout marketing materials for success, seven opportunities available to target in your area right now. –Click Here

           

           

           

          4. 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

           

           

           

          5. 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